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Advice on 55 gallon tank

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Hello, thank you for accepting me to the group. I bought a 55 gallon tank. I really had my heart set on goldfish, but a local aquatic specialist told me 55 gallons is not enough for 1 goldfish for even 1 year. I want to post her comments and get opinions here from goldfish experts if this is true. I wanted 2 comets or 3-4 fancy goldfish. THANK YOU!!! Below is what I was told:

The first and most important thing you need to know is that a 55 gallon tank is temporary for even just 1 goldfish of any type. Goldfish get very large. Comets average 14 inches each and fancy goldfish average 8 - 9 inches each as adults and they grow quickly if they are healthy and well cared for. Goldfish are also notorious waste machines, one of the dirtiest fish in the hobby, which also makes them much more difficult to keep. 55 gallons is not suitable for even 1 goldfish beyond the first year or so. A healthy goldfish should be able to grow from 1 inch to 5 - 6 inches within the first year and because of the heavy amount of waste output and higher oxygen requirements for goldfish, this means by the end of the first year you will find yourself doing large water changes almost daily to keep it/them healthy. If you're asking how long a 55 gallon would last for goldfish... with 2 - 4 of them, likely a year or less if they are healthy.

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Ps- tithra I watched all your video on YouTube about fishless cycling, and Puff and Edie (hope I got that right) inspired me to try a fishless cycle on a 6 gallon Betta tank. I also have a 5 gallOn frog tank , but the 55 is my first big tank. I was so excited, now I'm not sure what to do. I want ontsie care of the fish, and I had a funny feeling maybe this last was wrong??? Thanks for your candid answers.

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Most people agree that it is 20 gallons for the first fancy goldfish, and 10 for each after. But some also say 20 per goldfish (: I currently have 4 in my 55 and they are perfectly happy. As long as you monitor your parameters you should be able to take care of 2-3 fancy goldfish in a 55. I am going to be upgrading to a 65 soon so that I can be understocked/ correctly stocked (: But you want to cycle the water first before adding fish into it.

Edited by LovelyChaos

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Hello :)

Welcome! I happy to tell you that your local aquatic specialist is a bit bonkers. I understand that she is wanting to make sure that people use large tanks to raise goldfish, but from her statement, I do not know that she knows anything about goldfish. She sounds more like she is just trying to steer you away from goldfish in general.

In fact, a 55 gallon tank is perfectly suitable for not just one, but even 3 goldfish, for the entirety of their lives.

If you have not bought fish, hold off. You will want to cycle your tank, and do so without fish. This process can take a while, but it ensures the safety of your fish.

Ask us anything you like. We are here to help :)

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This site promotes 40 gallons per single tail and 20 gallons per double tail. That is if you are providing adequate oxygenation with either a bubbler, or something that increases surface movement. A filter or filters with 10X filtration is a recommended minimum. A fishless cycle is definitely the smartest way to start out in goldfish and helps prevent some common illnesses from cropping up later. Even with all of this, you still need to perform a partial or total water change every week to keep the nitrates down.

I recommend reading the articles on the site associated with this forum as they are excellent at explaining the beginning process.

ETA: that darn dnalex is such a fast and fancy typer! :lol

Edited by bodoba

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Fancy goldfish you can have 2 of them in a 55 gallon tank... As for Single tailed goldfish they need at least 40 gallons per on fish... More if you can. They get the biggest of the two kinds.... Right now I have a Ranchu and a Mixed Oranda in my 50 gallon tank doing good too :)

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This site promotes 40 gallons per single tail and 20 gallons per double tail.

If anything, it would be the other way around because fancies are much bigger than singles.

I think for now, the base recommendation is 15-20 gallons/goldfish (of any kind), with a minimum tank size of 20 gallons, and more ideally 40 or 55 gallons :)

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This site promotes 40 gallons per single tail and 20 gallons per double tail.

If anything, it would be the other way around because fancies are much bigger than singles.

I think for now, the base recommendation is 15-20 gallons/goldfish (of any kind), with a minimum tank size of 20 gallons, and more ideally 40 or 55 gallons :)

I hate to argue with you Alex. But Singles get alot larger than Double tails.... They are pond fish per say :)

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Wow I can't believe how many responses do fast. THANK YOU!!! I bought a Rena Large filter and an Aquaclear HOB, got ammonia for fishless cycle. I was just researching the color and size gravel when I was given that advice. I am seriously so happy because I fell in love with goldfish. Any suggestions on types of fish and gravel size? I like long flowing tails which is why I was going to buy 2 comets. Do you think 2 fancies is better in a 55? I am going by your expert advice. Thank you

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This site promotes 40 gallons per single tail and 20 gallons per double tail.

If anything, it would be the other way around because fancies are much bigger than singles.

I think for now, the base recommendation is 15-20 gallons/goldfish (of any kind), with a minimum tank size of 20 gallons, and more ideally 40 or 55 gallons :)

I hate to argue with you Alex. But Singles get alot larger than Double tails.... They are pond fish per say :)

Koko, it's not an argument, and discussions are good :)

The reason why I say this is because Fang and shakaho have made very valid points the last two years on single tails versus fancies. It's true that single tails can get longer, but fancies can get a lot wider. Here are some examples:

- Helen and Federica's ryukins, all adults, are from 200-350 grams.

- Fang's Hugo, an adult single tail is less than 100 grams.

Anyway, I do think that single tails need some room to swim, and so 55 gallons minimum is a good rule :)

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This site promotes 40 gallons per single tail and 20 gallons per double tail.

If anything, it would be the other way around because fancies are much bigger than singles.

I think for now, the base recommendation is 15-20 gallons/goldfish (of any kind), with a minimum tank size of 20 gallons, and more ideally 40 or 55 gallons :)

I hate to argue with you Alex. But Singles get alot larger than Double tails.... They are pond fish per say :)

Koko, it's not an argument, and discussions are good :)

The reason why I say this is because Fang and shakaho have made very valid points the last two years on single tails versus fancies. It's true that single tails can get longer, but fancies can get a lot wider. Here are some examples:

- Helen and Federica's ryukins, all adults, are from 200-350 grams.

- Fang's Hugo, an adult single tail is less than 100 grams.

Anyway, I do think that single tails need some room to swim, and so 55 gallons minimum is a good rule :)

Well Okay wrong word... Disagree :P

What Im trying to say is the Single fish need a longer tank than the Fancy fish..... Now that being said there are some Double tailed fish that need just the same amount of room... Lets take Charlie and Pharoh both about 8-9" long now... I couldnt see them in any thing less than a 40 gallon tank... With now say a Ranchu, (myng) a tall tank is fine and could get away with 20 gallons.... So lets say we both are right, but it depends on the kind of fish :):thumb:

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I agree with that completely!

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So what gold fish do you think would be best in my 55? Perhaps aomething that could gave a forever home there. I love comets, but I do see them referred to as pond comets ... And I definitely don't have a pond.

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Hello, :welcome. As for your gravel question. Most people on here have bare bottom tanks. If you choose to go with a substrate you will either want to go with sand or large enough rocks that won't get stuck in the fishes' mouths. As for type of goldfish, that's is up to you. I would suggest going to the following websites: raingarden.us, or goldfishconnection.com (on Thursdays) and see which ones tickle your fancy. Generally speaking, as other members have stated, you will want to stay away from the pond variety of goldfish for your 55g tank. This leaves but is not limited to the following options: orandas, lionheads, crown pearl scales, pearlscales, ryukins, celestials, bubble eyes, ranchus, tosakins, telescopes, moores, butterflys, broadtails, and veiltails.

For the most part care of them is the same, the exception being that the more egg shaped fish are more prone to constipation issues - we can help you with that; and the bubble eye/celestials need more strategic decorating as they can get hurt easier.

Welcome to the forum. I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of your fish and your set up! We'll be there with you, every step of the way. :)

Edited by MexiMike83

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Go for fancies.

Ranchus are always fun, as are orandas, lionheads, ryukins, and telescopes.

Or you could go for the more delicate type, such as veiltails, bubble eyes, and celestials. :)

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Thank you. I am soooo glad I found this group. I have 2 girls ages 2 and 6 and they will love these fish too. I live in NJ - can I still order from those sites? Thank you for the gravel suggestions. I have bare bottom with a couple gemstones on my frog tank. I have Eco complrte on the betta tank - its a huge mess when I do even the smallest housekeeping, all the dirt blows and covers everything. Maybe I'll try something else for the goldfish like you said sand or big gravel.

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Yes, you can order from any of those websites and they will ship them to you. I suggested those sites because you can look at all of the varieties and see what you like as not all pet stores will have all the varieties. I have heard there are some good fish stores in New York - I'll let the other members post the name (I don't remember), perhaps you could check them out if you're in the area.

Many of our members have fish from both websites and have had a very good experience. Either way, I'm sure they will be in good hands in your care.

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Thanks again everyone. I went to LFS today and just could not get excited about anything else. I haven't even filled the tank with water. I'll start cycling it ASAP. So happy I got the goldfish green light from you experts. I'll check out the sites. Anyone here heard of Marc Marone, the "petkeeper" from the hallmark channel? I bought my Betta from him, but I think Flame got really stressed from the bumpy ride back to NJ.

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Oh, and if I may make a few more suggestions. Here are some other things you might want to consider getting in addition to the regular tank stuff.

An API drop test kit for testing water parameters.

Aquarium Salt

Prazi Pro - to treat for flukes and new fish to be quarantined

Metro Meds-Antibiotic (just in case)

Medi Gold- Antibiotic (same as above)

As far as fish food goes, we recommend using Pro Gold (you can get this along with the antibiotics at Goldfishconnection.com or Repashy soilent green (you can get this on Amazon). The antibiotics are absolutely necessary but it's nice if your fish ever gets sick, you can treat it right there and then. Rather than rushing out the door to find a store that carries something to help your fish.

Phew, And I think that should do it!

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I have the test kit and the salt. Never heard of prazi pro. I will buy the food. I gave Furan2 at home. Is that good?

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I have the test kit and the salt. Never heard of prazi pro. I will buy the food. I gave Furan2 at home. Is that good?

If you can order Prazi pro... its amazing stuff and since most goldfish have some type of parasite now I highly suggest getting it. :)

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Welcome to goldfish keeping!!

Beyond the basics, the No. 1 best thing you can get is a water changer. It hooks up to you faucet and lets you do big water changes without carrying buckets. Popular brands are Aqueon, Python and Lee. It makes water changes so much easier, and your fish will need large weekly water changes.

I want to put in a plug for substrate. My fish spend most of their day picking through the sand in their tank. If you don't have plants, you need only a thin layer, and it creates a much more natural environment for them imo. You can get CaribSea Supernaturals sand in a light natural sand color or a glitter black.

If you want a planted tank, it's possible if you find the right plants. An easy planted tank is to do the thin layer of sand or gravel, or barebottom, and attach some anubias or java ferns to large rocks or driftwood. Both of those plants are hardy, goldfish-resistant and easy to grow in even low lighting. :)

Edited by ShawneeRiver

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Thank you. I'm getting and doing everything you recommend and I have plenty of time to plan since I don't have fish yet. I have a huge container I used to get RO water for the frogs, so I'll use that to fill/cycle but I'll definitely get the water changer for the goldfish - sounds like fun! So you treat the goldfish prophylacticly? Is that in the tank or a QT tank?

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Furan-2 is good to have on hand, but not something that you will need to use.

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