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TelescopeEyes

Good filter + weekly water changes = how many goldfish?

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I tried to find a related topic that's already been posted so I don't repeat what's already been said but I can't seem to find exact information. I'm also new to forums and got a little overwhelmed :)

I have a 44 gal hexagon tank. It isn't the typical tall hexagon tank. It's quite long with a good amount of surface area.

I have a Marinland Penguin Bio-wheel 350 filter. It says it's for tanks up to 75 gallons so I figured for goldfish this was a very good thing. I've had this tank set up and cycled for about 9 months. It currently has 3 fancies in it following the 1st fancy 20 gal and for every extra fancy 10 gal more rule.

I do about 30-40% weekly water changes. When I test the water nitrates, nitrites and ammonia are always 0.

I have completely fallen in love with goldfish particularly the fancy ones. I have a black moor, calico telescope, and a red and white oranda. They are very happy.

With my love and somewhat obsession I have found that I have a desire to get more. With the filtration system that I have, the surface area for gas exchange, and water changes, am I able to get more? Obviously I don't mean getting 10 more. Maybe just 1 so I have an even number? :D

I think I may have acquired an unhealthy obsession.....oops ;)

Sorry if this is waaaay too much information. I just wanted to make sure there was enough to get proper answers.

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It isn't all about filtration when it comes to stocking, but more about how much room your fish have to get around. Right now, 3 in a 44 is plenty, even maybe too many when they get bigger. Remember that goldfish do get large, fancies reaching up to 8 inches and singles reaching 12-ish. I'd say to ignore your urges, or get another aquarium if you want more badly enough.

Also, it's becoming more commonplace to recommend 15-20 gallons per fish. I thought I would throw that out there. :)

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Well, as you know, one more goldfish and you would be overstocked. People do run their tanks overstocked and do more water changes to keep parameters in order. For me, it wouldn't be worth it as I like to know that I'm not always on the edge. If you are sick, or go away on vacation, you don't have to worry about disaster striking if you are under/appropriately stocked.

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Both bits of advice are kind of what I figured but I thought it would be best to actually ask people who know what they're talking about :D

On another somewhat related sidenote: there is this one restuarant that I go to that has, I kid you not, 20 goldfish in a 50 gallon tank. And most of them look to be full grown. They're all fat fancies. How are they doing this?!?! The fish can't be happy. Or healthy for that matter. That's only slightly bigger than my tank and I doubt they do weekly water changes, so how can the fish "survive" so MAJORLY overstocked?

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Can't speak for the specific tank but for a little while when I was in college I worked for a firm that maintained tanks (no goldies) for corporate customers. The tanks were well maintained even though the people working in the offices hadn't a clue.

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These restaurants usually purchase their fish fully grown to look more impressive. Keeping 20 in a 50g is a disaster waiting to happen.

Close by, there is a nail salon that does the same. They have a 55g and there are probably 20 goldfish in addition to plecos, blood parrots etc. I go by there once a month and over time I could tell how the fish are constantly being replaced.

The only reason to safely have 20 fish in a 50g is by having the entirety of the water replaced several times during the day. There are filters that work that way, but of course you do not want to think about your water bill then.

The most to keep in a 40g would be 4 and that's already pushing it to the point that you will want to do 2x weekly 50% water changes minimum. Even if the toxins show zero, there are bacteria etc in the water that we can not even test for.

Hope this helps! :)

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You could do it but as others have said the more fish you have the less room you have to slack off with water changes when life gets hectic. When you're overstocked it's also more likely that an issue such as your filter breaking down when you go away for the weekend could prove fatal. If you choose to add another fish, or just in general, it might be a good idea to get a second filter. Generally we recommend that the total GPH of your goldfish tank's filtration be 10x the tank size and obviously there's nothing wrong with going over that :) Plus if one filter breaks down when you're going to be away for a while you still have one running. All in all, it's your call if you don't mind being a little more diligent but keep in mind that the desire to collect ALL the goldfish never stops!

Does that restaurant you go to always have the same fish? Because sadly in those situations it's not uncommon for the owner to keep replacing the dead fish with other cheap fish. :(

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I think that for your 3 Goldfish 40 gallon tank is OK if you change weekly 40% of the tank water + good filtration. About that restаurant tank, in that conditions Goldfish can not demonstrates their maximum coloration, size and movements as well as it will have problems soon or late just it is matter of time.

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Actually, you are slightly underfiltered according the general rule of thumb of 10Xs filtration. Your Penguin 350 filters 350 gallons per hour. Going by the 10X rule, your 44 gallon would need around 440 gph. Many of us go above that. If I were you, I'd add another filter. :D

I have a 40 gallon tank and have an Emperor 400 and an Emperor 280 on it for 680 gph filtration. That way if one filter breaks I have a back up or during regular filter cleaning, I can clean one filter and leave the other for the next week, making it less likely to create a bump in my cycle.

Also unless your tank is extremely heavily planted, you should be getting something other than 0 for nitrates. What test are you using?

Edited by fantailfan1

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You could do it but as others have said the more fish you have the less room you have to slack off with water changes when life gets hectic. When you're overstocked it's also more likely that an issue such as your filter breaking down when you go away for the weekend could prove fatal. If you choose to add another fish, or just in general, it might be a good idea to get a second filter. Generally we recommend that the total GPH of your goldfish tank's filtration be 10x the tank size and obviously there's nothing wrong with going over that :) Plus if one filter breaks down when you're going to be away for a while you still have one running. All in all, it's your call if you don't mind being a little more diligent but keep in mind that the desire to collect ALL the goldfish never stops!

Does that restaurant you go to always have the same fish? Because sadly in those situations it's not uncommon for the owner to keep replacing the dead fish with other cheap fish. :(

I actually just upgraded my filter to the Marinland 350. I had two small Aqueon filters and they were doing okay. But not great. The Marineland 350 happened to be on sale and I heard a lot of great reviews and I also have a Marinland 5 gal hex and I liked the bio-wheel so I figured I'd try it out with the goldies. So far, so good.

As for the restuarant, I felt so bad for the fish. A few of them didn't have eyes and their fins looked like some of the others were either hungry or getting aggressive. It didn't look like fin rot.

Edited by TelescopeEyes

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Actually, you are slightly underfiltered according the general rule of thumb of 10Xs filtration. Your Penguin 350 filters 350 gallons per hour. Going by the 10X rule, your 44 gallon would need around 440 gph. Many of us go above that. If I were you, I'd add another filter. :D

Well, the filter I just got is still on sale. Why oh why did I pick such an expensive hobby/obsession? I must be crazy.

Why not just get a second tank? :)

I actually have a second tank. It's only 5 gallons though. I can't exactly put a goldfish in that haha I think it would hate me if I did.

I'm running out of room! There's only soo much space for aquariums! :D

Edited by TelescopeEyes

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Actually, you are slightly underfiltered according the general rule of thumb of 10Xs filtration. Your Penguin 350 filters 350 gallons per hour. Going by the 10X rule, your 44 gallon would need around 440 gph. Many of us go above that. If I were you, I'd add another filter. :D

Well, the filter I just got is still on sale. Why oh why did I pick such an expensive hobby/obsession? I must be crazy.

:rofl We've all asked ourselves this at least once! :rofl

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Actually, you are slightly underfiltered according the general rule of thumb of 10Xs filtration. Your Penguin 350 filters 350 gallons per hour. Going by the 10X rule, your 44 gallon would need around 440 gph. Many of us go above that. If I were you, I'd add another filter. :D

Well, the filter I just got is still on sale. Why oh why did I pick such an expensive hobby/obsession? I must be crazy.

:rofl We've all asked ourselves this at least once! :rofl

The Marineland that I got (the 350), as I stated before, is up to 75 gallons and has two cartridges and two bio wheels. Do you think buying a second one that is one size down (the 200) would be okay or should I just go big or go home and get a second 350?

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I think 3 in a 44 gallon is good (and you may find yourself needing to upgrade at some point as your fish grow), I personally would not add any more. :)

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I think 3 in a 44 gallon is good (and you may find yourself needing to upgrade at some point as your fish grow), I personally would not add any more. :)

Yeah I'm starting to see a bigger tank in the future. Oh man. Just thinking about it is a little nerve-racking but exciting at the same time :)

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Are you using the cartridges or did you put your own media in the tank? And I didn't see what test kit you were using?

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Well if you're thinking you'll be upgrading tanks in the future, 2 350s would probably be nice to have. :rofl

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Well if you're thinking you'll be upgrading tanks in the future, 2 350s would probably be nice to have. :rofl

Good point lol

Are you using the cartridges or did you put your own media in the tank? And I didn't see what test kit you were using?

I'm using the cartridges. And off the top of my head I don't remember what the brand of the test kit is (at work, can't check). I'm new to keeping fish and of course I pick the fish that produces the most waste haha I'm all ears for suggestions or recommendations though! Anything that makes my fish healthier and happier.

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The API freshwater master test kit is a good one. It's got the essentials and is rather accurate.

Do your cartridges have carbon in them? Also did you add some sort of filter media to them? (I think they are very similar to my Emperors. The Emperor 400s have 2 cartridges with carbon and 2 empty media cartridges. Is that what the Penguins have?)

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First, ditch the cartridges. If you change the cartridge monthly as recommended on the box then you don't have a cycle and that is very dangerous. Please look around in the 'water quality' section to learn about the nitrogen cycle to learn more about cycling the tank and what to use instead of cartridges.

Second, when you go and get that second filter please pick up the "API Freshwater Master" drop test kit if that is not what you have. This is the most accurate test kit you can get and the standard kit we use here at Koko's for that reason. :)

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Hi, You might want to consider doing a bigger weekly WC. A lot of us do a 80% WC or even bigger. When I do a WC it's always 90% and it's every 5 days. (with the exception over the last 2 months it was being done once a week because I got sick.) I really do believe my fish are healthier and happier because of this.

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I don't think you need to necessarily ditch the cartridges but I would remove the carbon. In the future when you need to replace the cartridges I would buy filter floss and cut it to size. It's much cheaper than the cartridges and since you don't need the carbon you may as well go with filter floss . . .

I don't replace the cartridges monthly either. I give them a good thorough rinse in hot water with my sprayer thing on my kitchen sink to get the gunk out. I use them probably a few months before I replace them . . .

Just my 2 cents. :D

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First I'd like to summarize our recommendations for goldfish, which people have been giving to you piecemeal.

A minimum 20 gallons for a tank with one goldfish.

For tanks with more than one goldfish, a minimum of 15 gallons, and preferably 20 gallons per fish. This is adequate for most goldfish. The big ones can use more space.

For a HOB filter, the advertised gallons per hour should be 10x the aquarium volume.

Minimum water changes of 50% per week.

Then I'd like to address the question of the goldfish in the restaurant tank. It is likely that fish are dying and being replaced by fish from a somewhat less overcrowded home tank. But it's also true that some goldfish survive to a ripe old age in nasty, overcrowded conditions. Many people here have rescued fish from smelly, dirty fish bowls or tiny tanks. Most of these are commons or comets, but a few are fancies. I believe there are two things going on here. The first is selection. The wild goldfish is very tough. Goldfish were likely domesticated from gibel carp in flooded rice paddies. These fish had to be able to survive in muddy water loaded with fertilizer of natural origin, and thus low in oxygen. The genes that allow survival under those conditions are still in the goldfish population. Ofen, the fish that survive a few months under very bad conditions live for many years under the same conditions. I read recently of a 15 year old goldfish that had outlived many tankmates in his 8 gallon tank with monthly water changes. The fish was finally developing symptoms, and the owner was quick to follow the advice he got on a forum and start weekly water changes in a larger tank. The fish got better quickly.

The other is the luck of developing an excellent ecosystem. In nature, there are microbes that dispose of any waste product produced by any organism. The processes that produce the clean water from your tap are almost entirely the actions of microorganisms. Natural bodies of water collect these organisms, so do some ponds, but it is much less likely in indoor tanks. Most poorly-maintained tanks get toxic and fish die, but a few pick up the microbes needed to keep the water healthy enough. When I got my 20 gallon tank it had held 6 healthy goldfish several years old. The owner dumped the fish in his 30 gallon tank with the four fish in there. He wanted to clean the filter before I took it, but I said "No way. Just put it in a plastic bag." I wanted those microbes, and they worked great for me as well.

Edited by shakaho

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