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How much oxygen should a comet goldfish (comet feeder) "take in"?
Question Date: 2009-04-29
Answer 1:

That depends on how active the goldfish is, just as your oxygen intake depends on how active you are.

I don't know what typical numbers are, but if you're not afraid of math, here's how you can estimate it:

Metabolic rate (the rate at which an animal uses energy) scales approximately with the 3/4 power of the weight of the animal, assuming the animals have comparable metabolism. You can weigh yourself, and then weigh the goldfish, and then calculate the ratio of your weight to the goldfish's weight.

You should know approximately how many calories you eat in a day. If your energy output is very different from that, you'll either be gaining or losing weight rapidly and you won't be healthy, so assuming you are healthy that will also be your energy output. Sugar - which is the fuel you are burning once you break down your food - yields about 4.1 calories per gram. Using simple chemistry, you need 192 grams of oxygen to burn 190 grams of sugar. So, once you calculate how much sugar you burn each day from the number of calories you eat, and from that how much oxygen you need per day. Divide the day up into minutes, and that's your oxygen intake per minute.

Take the ratio of the goldfish's weight to your weight, and raise that to the 3/4 power. This number should be a fraction, but a larger fraction than the original number. Multiply this result by the oxygen you burn in a minute, and that's how much the goldfish would use if it had the same metabolism as you do (i.e. warm-blooded and growing rapidly because you're a teenager). Warm- blooded animals take about five times as much energy as cold-blooded animals, and goldfish are cold-blooded, so divide by five. Goldfish do grow pretty fast, so this final result is roughly the amount of oxygen the goldfish needs.

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