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4 Goldfish in a 40g


Neil D

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Do more water changes ;)

i do 2 x 50-75% water changes on my 55 with 5 goldfish currently and will be moving 2 into the 29 high again when they have grown a bit more ;)

show your mom some youtube vids of how big goldfish can get with proper w/c's and tank size ;)

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I've tried all that. And I can't get another tank. Already taking care of 2 tanks and a guinea pig cage is a bit more than I can chew.

Edited by Neil D
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I'm not sure what you want us to tell you then. that it's okay to just do one 80%+ change a week even though you're overstocked? unfortunately we can't really lie to you, which is why we've been trying to urge you to try and convince your mum not to overstock. if she is so set on getting 4 even though they will most likely outgrow it, plus they will certainly mess up the tank much quicker, then I'm afraid there is nothing more we can advise. there is no magic way of improving water quality, and don't trust any potions and lotions that say they do. there is only fresh, clean water, achieved through water changes, so that is what we're concerned about.

Edited by cathface
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Do more water changes ;)

i do 2 x 50-75% water changes on my 55 with 5 goldfish currently and will be moving 2 into the 29 high again when they have grown a bit more ;)

show your mom some youtube vids of how big goldfish can get with proper w/c's and tank size ;)

That is a great idea videos and kokos deffinately helped me out :D

If you get the water changer though with all those tanks it would be a breeze trust me and you could do all your water changes on the weekend so they don't clash with school ;) I am wishing you the best of luck and deffinately try the videos :D

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If you are going to get four, I would try for smaller ones. Give them more time to grow before they stress your tank. Besides, it is fun to watch them grow. :)

Also, watch your parameters and get the water changer. The truth will be in your numbers

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BTW, Neil, do you know what your PH is? A low (or high) ph can make things more difficult.

Are you planning to have 10x filtration? If you can, two filters that each do 200 gallons per hour is ideal. I recommend Aqua Clears. They are easy to clean.

Also, make sure you use Prime for your water conditioner. Prime is great because it also neutralizes ammonia. It should not replace water changes, but in a pinch, if you have ammonia and can't do a WC, Prime will help.

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Alright. Definitely will get prime. My pH is 7.6-8 right now. It's not fluctuating, I just can't tell where exactly in that range it is, because it's like in-between the high and low pH colors on my API Liquid Test Kit. I have one filter that does Marineland Penguin 350 that does 305 gph. It's 50 gph less than what you're recommending. I really want to try to convince my mom to get 3, but she wont listen. :(

So yeah, once I get them and do the ammonia tests, I'm expecting the numbers to speak for themselves. *facepalm* I'm really bothered by this too. Sorry if it sounds like I just want to hear what is good, but the issue is I've tried all the ideas to get my mom to go for 3.

Right now I have top fin dechlorinator in there. Would it harm the goldfish if I suddenly switch to prime?

Edited by Neil D
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No, switching to Prime should not harm your goldfish.

I can't stress enough how important it is that you will need/want to keep your nitrates below 40ppm (20ppm ideally) at all times, in addition to have zero ammonia and nitrites. With your planned stocking and water changing schedule, that will not be possible, and nitrates will far exceeed that depending on how big the fish are and what and how much you feed. At first, there won't be any observable problems, as nitrate toxicities and effects are more of the chronic type. Once it happens, though, it's pretty much irreversible, and you'll be dealing with either floaty or sinking fish for the rest of their lives, which could be over a decade. Besides the fact that it's really sad to watch them like that, I doubt that anyone will find it aesthetically pleasing. So, I would strongly consider the implications before you embark on this. I'm not trying to scare you. Ask anyone who's kept goldfish for a while. Even WITH keep parameters perfect, they still run the risk of this.

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Yeah, my mom won't listen though! I'm just taking care of them. I mean, if it was up to me, I'd be happy with 2 goldfish, but she won't even compromise on 3! I will try my hardest to keep up with water changes, and I will test the water often. Over summer I can do it, but once school starts...

I really am going to try (even harder) for 3...even if I have to fight at the pet store. I've tried telling her everything you guys have said, and she thinks you guys are too careful/pampering the fish. Not my opinion, btw. I'm running tests right now to see if my water quality is ok, right now the ammonia is at 0ppm, but that's because there are no fish. I'll test nitrites/nitrates next. I've tested pH yesterday. Thanks for all the help guys and wish me luck!

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Neil, my point is this...even with 3, you are going to need to do bigger WCs than that. With 3-4 in a 40g, plan on 80% WCs every 4-5 days. That is just a reality of goldfish keeping. I know you have homework and other animals you keep, but this is something that is pretty much non-negotiable.

Anyway, I think we've all given you all the practical advise that we can. Please know that we aren't yelling at you.

Good luck :)

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Yeah, I know you're not yelling at me. I will do bigger water changes, at 80-90% changes. I'll try to do 2x water changes. I really want 3 goldfish at the most. Maybe I'll try and cry and stuff. Thanks for all the help guys!

I just did a water test:

Ammonia: 0

Nitrate/trite: 0

(no fish in yet)

pH: 7.8-8 (hard to tell exactly)

I just thought that I'd post those. Is the pH ok?

Edited by Neil D
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Umm, I don't think anyone has touched on this but the water changes everyone is talking about is with a cycled tank, yours is a completly new tank, unless you add filter material from another tank(seeded media). Even with adding seeded media to your filter this doesn't always work. When you are working with a new tank, since goldfish are great waste producers you will likely need to do 50% water changes everyday, or 100% every other day until your readings are 0 for ammonia and nitrites.Well, its more like water changes every other day for half the time, then a water change every 3-5 days until completly cycled. Daily water testing will be your guide, if there is a reading for nitrates/ ammonia, you do a w/c. This can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months. Is there anyway you can do a fishless cycle? This way No fishys are harmed and fishless cycling requires no or nearly any water changes.

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I am planning on seeding the tank. I have a fully cycled 10g. I plan on putting filter media, gravel and a bit of decor in the tank until it cycles. I can do 50% wc's everyday over summer, that's not an issue. And yes, I'll do daily water tests until it is cycled. I'm aware of this. Thanks!

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Thank you guys so much!

I asked my mom about a more subtle topic: "We should put in 2 fish first, so there won't be too much stress on the cycle from too many fish all at once."

Her response: "Nothing'll happen."

So yeah, it looks like 4 fish it is. -_-

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Here's a thought.

I've seen this situation on other animal hobby boards but similar situations. Perhaps show your mom this thread? Sometimes it helps parents to be able to see that other people with much experience are giving this advice - with nothing but concern for the animals and so that you enjoy them instead of having problems.

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I apologise if I sounded harsh before, but it is just that we care a lot about goldfish (I mean, we are on a goldfish forum after all!), as I'm sure you are too. you are really in a pickle here with stubborn mum - I know a lot of people are probably in the same boat with various types of pets. I'm on a hamster forum too and some parents just refuse to believe hamsters should not live in cages smaller than a certain size, or they should not have metal-runged exercise wheels, etc etc because "they look fine so they must be fine". is there a possibility of asking your mum to chip in with the water changes, if you are unable to? they will technically be her fish, right? so why should you do all the work? if she does one during the weekday and you do one at the weekend, then the workload is shared out and may even be a bonding experience?!

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is there a possibility of asking your mum to chip in with the water changes, if you are unable to? they will technically be her fish, right? so why should you do all the work? if she does one during the weekday and you do one at the weekend, then the workload is shared out and may even be a bonding experience?!

While reading this thread, this is my thought, too. I think that's only fair, especially since your mother insists on the 4 fish.

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She is firm in the belief that you do not have to do a water change every week, let alone 2x a week.

Then I don't know what we can tell you. As Cath said, we can't say that what you plan to do will be alright, because it's not. This is not a theoretical thing, but based on years and years of experience.

Our membership here has offered tips and suggestions in light of your tank size and stocking, and that is the best we can do. If your mom has decided that it is not necessary, then all I can say is best of luck.

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Thanks a bunch, though. The aqueon water changer was a really good idea though to whoever posted that! Frankly, 3 goldies would even look better in our tank, but she didn't really heed that approach either. I will do water tests daily and figure out a good water changing schedule. I've gotten to the point where I'm hoping something happens to the fish so my mom will realize you can't shove that many goldfish in there. (I mean, I don't really want that to happen, but you know what I mean.)

I wish I could care for these goldfish as well as my bettas, who each have 5g to themselves. :(

Thanks again, everyone.

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