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Picking My First Goldfish


watisfish

I've done a few searches and didn't find what I was looking for specifically... So I figured I would ask here:

What characteristics should I look for when choosing a new, small goldfish from a chain store? Particularly an oranda.

I've had my heart set on a Ranchu or Lionhead... but, I can't seem to find any in my area, so an Oranda is a close second as they seem to be everywhere.

From what I understand, color will definitely change. Are color changes really drastic? For instance, if I buy a little fish that is all orange, could he end up black? Or are most of the color changes for fish that start out unique - chocolate or white and black - and end up orange? If color isn't an issue, should I just go for general shape of the goldfish? Or is body shape likely to change as well? I ask because it seems like the different Orandas at LFS are sometimes curved back with broad face while other are straighter backed with smaller face.

Also, is the size of the goldfish a good indicator of age? If I buy one of the smallest fish, is that generally the youngest? I'm not sure how chain pet shops work...

I know there were a billion questions in there. Thanks for reading! I hope this hasn't been asked a billion times... (I didn't see it in the FAQ section...)


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  • Regular Member

I especially look at the health side. The fish should be active, brightly colored, intact and healthy fins/ tail, clear eyes, good swimming and buoyancy, happy dorsal fin etc. these are just some things to look out for. Also - larger fish with small eyes are better than little fish with large eyes which might suggest stunting.

As for the color, shape etc - one will surely stick out to you. :)

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  • Regular Member

if i were to look for an oranda i would look for the largest wen (the growth on their heads). Also, look for the activity of the fish. First pick judging by the looks an color, and then make sure the fish looks heathly. Make sure the fish is aware of their surrondings. Look at the fins. Are they erect? (good) is he sitting at the bottom? (bad). Any unusual colors on his fins that could be a sickness? Also, mostly from what i see fishe's color changes usually go in the direction of orange. Not away from orange. Age is hard to tell. I have a fish that is about 7 years old but is only 3 inches or so.

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  • Regular Member

also, if you have the money, check out "rain garden goldfish" online. I went to my local fish store yesterday and most of them had diseases, and i am not that experienced to know. It was that obvious.

I have had success with my local fish store, but i have also had many sick fish come from there. Like Captian findis said, look at the behavior

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  • Regular Member

Will young Orandas have noticeable wen growth? (I'm talking about fish with a body an inch or less long)

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  • Regular Member

to be honest, i havent seen many orandas shorter than 2 inches. so i cant answer your question. This LFS has orandas that small? Ont time i bought an "oranda" that was really tiny, but it turned out to be a fantail

Also, not having a large wen doesnt really mean much. My oldest fish has only a little wen. i mentioned looking for a large wen only because tht is what i want, and will be looking for that on my next fish (i want a calico oranda or lionhead with a decent wen)

Edited by Midnight
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  • Regular Member

I can only agree with what has been said. A smaller fish doesn't necessarily have to be younger. If you see a small one with huge fins and big eyes, he might already be older, but stunted due to bad water conditions.

Color does not HAVE to change. Some fish change, some don't. Some changes are drastic, some aren't. Some colors tend more to change than others. Some stay the same color for years and then suddenly change color. From what I have seen, I can tell you this:

Goldfish usually change to some sort of orange / white / red or a combo of these colors, as this is their more "natural" coloring.

So fish that are already of these color/s, will likely stay like this.

Fish of very different color (black, blue) are more likely to change to the orange coloring.

Calicos usually stay calico, at least I never heard of them changing. Only the overall pattern might change.

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  • Regular Member

Will young Orandas have noticeable wen growth? (I'm talking about fish with a body an inch or less long)

They probably won't have a wen being this small/young (given that they are as young as they appear to be :) ) If you are concerned about having a fish with a wen (or are looking for a particular shape/size of wen), then you may want to buy a slightly larger fish, where you can see that the wen has begun to develop. The size of a fish's wen tends to be primarily a matter of genetics I believe, and not all orandas will grow noticeable wens.

Edited by tithra
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  • Regular Member

When you pick out a small/young oranda, you will want one with some wen, although not an outrageous amount. A small oranda with a lot of wen may actually be a stunted one, not a young one.

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  • Regular Member

!st have your QT tank up & running! Then what I do is just simply go look at the goldies! I see what catches my eye then look it over real good. If all seems fine I get someone to bag it up! Then take it some float it in the bag in the QT tank then pour a little water in from that tank a little at a time. When all STILL seems fine I place him in the tank!!

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  • Regular Member

Calicos usually stay calico, at least I never heard of them changing. Only the overall pattern might change.

this is have not found to be true depending on where your fish comes from my oranda Ed was considerd a calico had black spots all over him when i got him he now has no black and my LPS sold me a calico pearlscale had lots of black spots but just over a year and there all gone. so jsut becuase its listed calico dont always belive them.

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  • Admin

Make sure the eyes arent really big, if they are the fish is stunted. I got one that was like that when I picked her up. :(

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  • Regular Member

I look very closely at how a fish swims. When it stops, does it drift at all? Float upward at all? Tip at even a slight angle? All could be indicators of future SBD, which I want to avoid at all costs.

I don't want to see a big wen or long fins on a very young fish, because that can be indicative of poor conditions in the fish's early weeks/months -- you want a fish to direct its growth when it's young primarily to the body, increasing its overall size; major development of wen and fins should come later. However, I want to see a good suggestion of a wen on a young wenned fish, such as a fullness at the cheeks that suggests they will fill out nicely later.

I also check for things like two anal fins, whether the tail is properly split or not, and the overall condition of the fins.

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  • Regular Member

ALL such great tips.... (wish i known this info BEFORE i got my goldfish) but saying that i purposely chose one because it wasn't perfect like the rest. Was a pity buy , but at the same time i knew i could provide great quality care for it so would rather the fish come home with me than someone else who may not have access to good information and that may not provide the best of care.

you chose what YOU LIKEe in a fish... but be aware of what a HEALTHY fish is . :)

KUDOS for finding this all out BEFORE getting the fish... great work ! need more people doing their research like you !

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  • Regular Member

Thanks for all of the advice!

Definitely glad for all of the health tips and the stunting information.

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  • Supporter

Calicos usually stay calico, at least I never heard of them changing. Only the overall pattern might change.

this is have not found to be true depending on where your fish comes from my oranda Ed was considerd a calico had black spots all over him when i got him he now has no black and my LPS sold me a calico pearlscale had lots of black spots but just over a year and there all gone. so jsut becuase its listed calico dont always belive them.

a calico fish is not determined by the black spots. it can just be a one solid colour. what determines a calico fish is a combination of transparent and metallic scales.

here is rocky, he is a calico fish who lost his spots and has since regained them, however, the metallic scales always stayed metallic

rocky-better-070610.jpg

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  • Regular Member

Calicos usually stay calico, at least I never heard of them changing. Only the overall pattern might change.

this is have not found to be true depending on where your fish comes from my oranda Ed was considerd a calico had black spots all over him when i got him he now has no black and my LPS sold me a calico pearlscale had lots of black spots but just over a year and there all gone. so jsut becuase its listed calico dont always belive them.

a calico fish is not determined by the black spots. it can just be a one solid colour. what determines a calico fish is a combination of transparent and metallic scales.

here is rocky, he is a calico fish who lost his spots and has since regained them, however, the metallic scales always stayed metallic

rocky-better-070610.jpg

ohh thats intresting i thought a calico was a fish with differant color speckles and patches.

so considering that that would mean my pearly was mislabled as a calico.

well i suppose thats still a warning the term calico can be misleading :)

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  • Regular Member

Picked!

Let me know what yall think:

imag0146y.jpg

I'm a bit worried about him because he is mostly sitting on the bottom in the corner. When I first put him in the tank, he kind of flew around all crazy, then settled down. I left him because he was just sitting in the corner... I snuck back in and I saw him swimming around, but as soon as I entered the room he went back to the corner. Is he just a bit stressed being in a new home? Or is there something I can do to make him more comfortable? (Or did I do something that made him ill?)

Bringing a fish home to a big tank is a new thing for me... so I'm just checking to see that he is behaving normally.

imag0149hs.jpg

Thanks!

EDIT: Another thing I was wondering about is maybe my filter is too powerful? I have the water down a bit so it is waterfalling into the aquarium to make some nice bubbles for him, but maybe that force is too heavy for him since he is so little? I can raise the water up and turn down the filter a bit (It is an AquaClear 200/50 in an ~18 gallon).

Edited by watisfish
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  • Regular Member

What a beautiful fish! It does sound like he's just a little stressed. What usually helps is to keep the lights off for a couple of days and cover about half of the tank with a towel so that he can retreat to a dark place when he is inclined. I'm sure he will acclimate quickly.

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  • Regular Member

What a beautiful fish! It does sound like he's just a little stressed. What usually helps is to keep the lights off for a couple of days and cover about half of the tank with a towel so that he can retreat to a dark place when he is inclined. I'm sure he will acclimate quickly.

Thanks for the quick reply! I added the light because I thought maybe he wanted it to see his surroundings... good thing I read this! Lights are out and windows are drawn so it is nice and dark in here for him. I've also read that I should hold off feeding him for tonight, so I guess I will wait til tomorrow!

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  • Regular Member

Aww, such a cutie. :)

It may just take a while for him to get settled in.

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