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Hello all - I am a new member and need someone to slap me. Here is my dilema ..... I have raised fish successfully for over 20 years . Not a novice by any means , BUT not a beginner either. For the last 7 years I had raised goldfish bowl comets to 6 inch beauties in a 55 gal tank. Trying to be the good steward , I had released them into a beautiful pond to grow and live out their next 15 years . This time around I thought I would raise Fancies . Never having them before , I have done extensive research to make sure that I provide the best care possible . ( I love this site by the way - very informative , watching it from afar for ever ) Anyway - After reading what I need to know - My head is spinning out of control . I am talking about water quality - Everywhere I read , they want you to have PERFECT water . Too hard , too soft , add salt , add this , add that . Good grief - I understand the importance of keeping up with your water , BUT - water softner water is no good , they prefer we add chemicals left and right . Holy cow - you would think the constant water changes , plants , bio filters would be enough . NOPE - not good enough . Gotta add Chemicals or they will die . After all of this doom and gloom talk , I dont even feel adequate to have a goldfish. I just thought , like a dummy , goldfish are pretty hardy & will adapt to their environment as long as they have a healthy bio system . Yes - I have a dreaded water softner , as most people have well or city water . I understand its not perfect , BUT - during changes doesnt the tank water mix with the soft water & you still have clean fresh water at the end of the change ? Isnt that the ultimate goal ? Also - people change water daily ? You would almost think that would cause stress on the fish . My point is - There is no such thing as " perfect " water - they need good CLEAN water , not perfect. If somebody can shed some light on this - maybe I am missing something ? Almost feel I should turn their tank into a rat cage ....... would hate to make a goldie suffer.