Oh ferpetessake. Here's I'll just paste it.
Goldfish can, when properly cared for, reach twelve inches in length. Comets have been known to grow to 30 inches and live over 30 years. Commons can grow to 40 inches and live over 40 years!
As an absolute minimum, goldies should be kept in no less than 10 gallons per fish. When you have multiple goldfish, you?ll need more per fish. Goldies are some of the messiest tank fish you can keep. They produce more poop and waste than most other fish. For this reason, in order to keep your goldfish healthy and long-lived, you would want to keep two in a minimum 30 gallon tank and 4 in a minimum 55 gallon tank. This is especially true for Commons/Comets. They grow so very large and are such very strong swimmers that they need much more than this to live comfortably.
Goldfish are coldwater fish. This means that they can tolerate lower temperatures than tropical fish and that they prefer a lower constant temperature than tropicals. It is still a good idea to have a good heater in a goldfish tank in order to avoid drastic changes in temperature. Even though they can tolerate cooler temperatures, changes of more than 2 degrees in a 24 hour period can cause stress, which can lead to illness. Keeping goldfish at about 72-74 degrees Fahrenheit is a good rule of thumb. Some fancy goldies prefer warmer temperatures than the long-bodied Commons/Comets.
Because of the large amount of waste goldfish produce, it?s recommended that their tanks have at least two filters, each rated at twice the amount of water that the tank holds. In other words, if you have a thirty gallon tank, you would do best to purchase two filters that are each rated to filter 60 gallons of water. This may sound like overkill now, but once you are housing goldfish, you?ll understand the need.
Your goldfish tank should be cycled before you add any fish. Cycling is the process by which two separate and distinct good bacteria colonies are developed. These two good bacteria beds eliminate the ammonia and nitrites that are deadly to fish. Cycling can take up to 8 weeks unless you use a commercial product made by Marineland called Bio-Spira. This is the ONLY product available that will actually cycle your tank within a week. It is designed to be added to your tank at the same time you add your new fish. Other products claim to speed the cycling process, such as Cycle, but their ability to do so is very questionable.
You should take a lot of time and care while setting up your aquarium. It is very difficult to change things at a later date when the tank is full of water! You can not move a tank with water in it.
First, choose a suitable site for the aquarium. A dark corner out of direct sunlight is best. You should avoid sunlight because sunlight encourages algae growth and makes it difficult to regulate the water temperature.
Here's your shopping list for two goldfish. I suggest two fish because goldies are social animals and enjoy the company of others of their own kind. I also suggest keeping your goldfish tank a species specific tank, as it is difficult to find other fish that work well with goldfish.
1. 20L - 55 gallon tank
2. Stand made for the size tank you buy.
3. Hood with light.
4. Gravel, about one pound per gallon of water, preferably LARGE gravel as goldfish like to pick up gravel in their bottom feeding search for food and are known to get pieces of small gravel stuck in their mouths.
5. Two filters. Bio-wheels are good. Canisters are better for larger tanks.
6. High quality air pump with two outlets.
7. Air stones and/or bubble wall.
8. Tubing to connect the air pump with the bubble wall/air stones.
9. Fake plants and other decorations.
10. A simple dechlorinator. I like Tetra?s AquaSafe.
11. Test kits for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH. I like the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals brand.
12. Gravel vacuum. I use manual, but you might want to look into the Python brand if you are getting a large tank.
13. Receptacle for removing water from tank during your weekly 25% water changes. It needs to be completely free of any substances including soap, cleansers, bleach or any other cleaning products.
14. Stick-on temperature strips. One for the tank and one for your water-changing receptacle.
15. High quality fully submersible heater.
16. Food. Goldfish need a healthy and varied diet. Flakes are not recommended because they float and have low nutritional value. You don?t want your goldfish to have to feed from the surface of the water because they will take in air in the process and this can cause swim bladder disorder. Here is a short list of good foods for goldies:
a. Progold slow sinking pellets, available from www.goldfishconnection.com
b. Marineland Bio-Blend for Goldfish
c. Frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp and krill
d. Peas, thawed frozen, with the shell removed.
Your goldies should be fed their staple foods twice a day, substituting frozen foods and vegetables at least two to three times a week. Some goldfish tend to have constipation problems and the thawed frozen peas should help avoid this. Spirulina Flakes (the only flakes you should give your goldies) and frozen daphnia are also helpful with constipation.
Once you have rinsed out the new aquarium to remove dust and fingerprints you are ready to place it squarely on the stand. Make sure that it doesn?t lean to either side and is sturdy. Then place your gravel and ornaments/ plants into the tank. If you are using an under-gravel filter, make sure you put the filter plate in the tank before the gravel!
Rinse all gravel thoroughly. To rinse the gravel, put it in a colander and rinse it thoroughly to rid it of all dust particles. The more time you spend rinsing the gravel, the less cloudy the tank will be when you fill it up with water! Rinse any rocks, ornaments and plastic plants thoroughly before placing on/in the gravel. But never use soap of any kind...just plain water please!
Place filters. Remember!! Do NOT turn on the filters until you have water in the tank. Follow all directions that come with your filters.
Place heater with suction cups close to the filter output so that the temperature will be evenly distributed throughout the tank. Make sure the heater does not touch the side/bottom of the tank, the filter or any ornaments/plants. Make sure the water level indicator on the heater is covered by water. This means the cord will be in the water. This is fine with fully submersible heaters. Remember! Never have the heater plugged in when it is even partially out of water. They can explode and electrocute you and your fish. Every time you do your weekly 25% water change, you?ll have to unplug the heater a half hour before you begin.
Attach your bubble/bubble walls to one end of the tubing and then to the air pump with the other end. You may have to cut your tubing to accommodate your needs. Place air stones and bubble walls where you want them. I like to cover them with gravel so you have the bubble effect without being able to see the device itself.
Once everything is in place to your satisfaction, start adding some water using the new/clean receptacle you?ll be using for water changes. Add your dechlorinator. Once the tank is full, switch on and test the air pump and stone/wand, the filter and lights. Do not turn the heater on until it has been submersed for at least a half hour. Now you are ready to cycle your tank.
WHY CYCLE AN AQUARIUM
Fish poop. In their water.
Poop produces ammonia, which is deadly to fish. There is a beneficial bacterium, which grows in aquariums and ingests the ammonia produced by fish poop and uneaten rotting fish food. The first part of Cycling is the growth of this bacteria colony to a size that will eliminate all ammonia from the aquarium so that the fish can live without being poisoned by it. This bacteria colony produces waste (as do all living things) and this waste is in the form of nitrites, which, unfortunately, are also deadly to fish. So, the second part of Cycling is the development and growth of a second colony of bacteria that ingest nitrites, thereby eliminating them from the aquarium.
This second type of bacteria produces a waste in the form of nitrates (as opposed to nitrites), which are not good for fish, but not nearly as toxic as ammonia and nitrites. Levels of all three must be monitored regularly, and measure taken to assure that ammonia levels stay at 0 ppm (ZERO parts per million), nitrite levels stay at 0 ppm, and nitrates stay below 30 ppm.
The Effects of Ammonia on Fish
When there is more than zero ppm of ammonia in a tank, it burns the fish. It burns their gills, eyes, skin/scales, nerves and internal organs. It is painful to the fish and can kill fish in a very short time. Some of the signs of ammonia poisoning/burns are:
Flashing - when a fish is being burnt by ammonia, it tries to get away from the pain and damage that is being caused. Since this is impossible, it looks to us as though the fish is making short rushes and spastic movements in his tank. He may even run into the walls of the tank in his efforts to shake off the burning. This is called flashing.
Rubbing - although this behavior is more common with a parasite infection, it can also indicate ammonia poisoning. The fish will rub his gills or eyes against objects in the tank, including gravel, plants and decorations. He is trying to remove whatever it is that is causing him the pain.
Frayed fins - if the fish's fins look ragged and torn, he may have ammonia poisoning. The ammonia eats away at the fins from the tip toward the body. In some cases, it can begin at the body and move outward. This is not to be confused with finrot, which looks like the fish's fins are melting away. Ammonia poisoning can lead to finrot, however. If the fin is damaged to the point that the poisoning has reached the body, the fins may not grow back. If caught before it reaches the body, fins can usually grow back, but they often won't be as colorful or smooth as the original fin.
Lilac colored or bleeding gills - most healthy fish will have reddish gills. Lilac colored gills or bleeding gills can be a sign of ammonia poisoning.
Gasping at the surface - since breathing the water ingests ammonia laden water into the fish's gills, he may try to obtain his air from the clean air at the surface of the tank. Gills that have been ammonia poisoned makes it very difficult for the fish to get oxygen and he may also show labored breathing below the surface.
Lethargy - a fish that is suffering from ammonia poisoning may become lethargic, his movement slowing down to a fraction of his normal activity.
Red streaks - red streaks are the first sign of septicemia, which is normally a bacterial infection. In fish with ammonia poisoning, this symptom may also occur as the ammonia causes hemorrhaging in the delicate circulatory system.
Loss of Color - The stress of ammonia poisoning will cause the fish to lose color. The color may fade to a lighter shade of the original color or it may fade completely.
The Effects of Nitrites on Fish
More intense coloring - the fish's color may become brighter and more intense than normal.
Gill discoloration - any new, different or off color of the gills is suspect.
Lowered activity - fish may stop most or all activity, staying on the bottom or hanging just below the surface gasping.
Sudden death - fish that seemed formerly fine may die suddenly with no warning. If this happens, test for nitrites immediately.
Because nitrite poisoning can mimic symptoms of many other fish diseases and conditions, it is essential to test the water for nitrites to determine the cause of any of these symptoms.
If nitrites are present, aquarium salt can be used ONLY WITH SCALED FISH. Scaleless fish, such as bottom feeders, loaches and all types of suckerfish do not tolerate salt. Aquarium salt aids in inhibiting the uptake of nitrites by fish. Generally, one tablespoon per five gallons of water is sufficient.
NOTE: If readings for ammonia or nitrites are found at any level above zero, partial water changes are in order.
HOW TO CYCLE AN AQUARIUM
There are several different ways to cycle your tank. In order to actually know that your tank is cycling or has completely cycled, you'll need a test kit that tests, at the very least, ammonia and nitrites.
1. When the tank is set up, add a filter supplement to start the filter maturing with beneficial bacteria. Feed fish food to the fishless tank each day as though there were fish in it. Gravel vacuum and change 10-20% of the water once a week. Check ammonia and nitrite levels. When ammonia has peaked and disappeared and nitrites have peaked and disappeared, you are ready to put live fish in the tank. There are various filter supplements available, e.g. Stress Zyme, Cycle and Establish, but I'm not convinced that these are ideal products. There is, however, a new product on the market, made by Marineland, called Bio Spira that is considered to be a breakthrough in quick tank cycling. You may have some trouble finding it, since it is so new, but if you do, follow the directions exactly and you may be happily surprised.
2. Cycling fishless with pure ammonia. Once the tank is set up and the filter(s) are running properly, add some form of beneficial bacteria. This can be filter media, gravel, plants or even water from an already cycled healthy tank (your local fish store or a friend should be able to help you here). On the first day, add small amounts of pure ammonia (you'll know it's pure if there are NO foam or suds when you shake the bottle), testing after each addition until you have reached a level of 5ppm. Thereafter, each day, add that same amount to the tank to help the beneficial bacteria live and multiply. Ammonia levels will peak and when the bacteria colony is established, it will begin to reduce. At this point, the second beneficial bacteria colony will begin to grow. This will result in nitrite levels in your tank rising. Check ammonia levels. When ammonia has peaked and is beginning to lower, reduce the amount of ammonia by half per day. Test ammonia and nitrites daily. Nitrites will spike and then begin to come down. When nitrites are at zero ppm, stop adding ammonia. The next day, do a 50 percent water change. The tank is now cycled and you may add your fish. Keep in mind that this process can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Again: the time will be a little bit shorter if you were able to 'seed' the new aquarium with some bacteria from an existing healthy aquarium by adding filter media, gravel, even water from the old healthy tank to the new one at the beginning of the cycle.
3. Cycling with fish. I don't recommend this because it causes undue stress on the fish and can kill them or cause permanent damage. If you are interested in this type of cycling, I'm sure you can find instructions on the web.
It is very important to regularly test the aquarium water before you add any fish, and at regular intervals when you have fish in your tank.
ADVICE ON BIO SPIRA FROM BERNER.....
If you can find a new product in your area called Bio-Spira, it is a wonderful new break through in the cycling of a fish tank. MarineLand has worked on it for 10 years. I have tried personally. It does everything it says it will do, which is cycle a tank with fish in it, quickly:) It takes about 7-10 days as opposed to the usual 4-8 weeks depending on size of tank. It is a refrigerated product with live bacteria. I think the premise behind it, is everything spikes and subsides in such a quick manner...that it is bearable for fish. Your ammonia will spike quickly. Then it subsides quickly...while the nitrites start on their spike. This is a fast spike also. Then it subsides quickly.
Once you put it in...check water daily. If you start to get an ammonia or nitrite spike, that is over 1.0...do a 10% change and add some more. Unfortunately, it is not available everywhere. I ordered mine out of state, shipped overnight with a cold pack. Do not confuse this with the product "CYCLE" or any of the other "QUICK" start products. Most of us have tried them all. They are a waste of money, and some say that "Cycle" can even prolong the cycling process.
If you cannot find this product in your area...here is a number, out of Tennessee. I had mine shipped overnight to N.H. It is shipped in a cold pack, then you need to refrigerate. Phone 1-888-411-7913
This is their website.......http://www.fishstoretn.com
Adding your new fish
It is very important to regularly test the aquarium water before you add any fish, and at regular intervals when you have fish in your tank
To add your goldies to the new tank, float them. Put them in a plastic bag with water from their existing aquarium or keep them in the bag they came in from the pet store and float that in the new tank. Make sure that the water in the new aquarium is the same temperature as the water they are coming from. Float their bag in the new aquarium for about a half hour. Then add a little water from the new aquarium to the bag and continue floating them for about 15 minutes. Then you can gently release them into the new tank. When floating your fish in the bag you should always turn off the aquarium lights and leave the lights switched off for a number of hours afterwards. Many fish are unduly stressed by bright light.
Maintenance of your Goldfish Tank
Once you?ve established your tank, cycled it and added fish, you?ll need to have a regular schedule of cleaning it. For most tanks, 25% weekly water changes done with a gravel vacuum and using dechlorinated water to replace the removed water is sufficient. Make sure the water you are adding back in is the same temperature as the water you removed. Unfortunately, you may find this is not enough with a goldfish tank. I do two partial water changes (PWC) weekly on my goldie tanks just to keep up with the mess they make.
When your media cartridge or bag becomes clogged, you?ll want to rinse it in tank water. Never use tap water, since this is where most of your beneficial bacteria reside and tap water will kill them and force your tank to recycle. This means ammonia spikes, which are dangerous to your fish.
Once every couple of months, you?ll want to clean the filters themselves. Turn the filter off, let it drain and then move it to your sink area. Disassemble it and clean the parts individually. The impeller, which is the fan type device that pulls water from the tank into the filter, can become clogged with debris. A tweezers is helpful in removing this. Make sure it turns freely before replacing it.
I hope this information helps you and please ask any questions you may have. I may have forgotten to include a few things, I sure hope not. Good luck!