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Lieutenant Shiny Sides

Does cleaning out the tank stress out goldfish?

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I have recently adopted 3 goldfish and have become obsessed with them since. I have been researching information on them endlessly on how to keep them healthy. After becoming more informed I have realized there are a lot of things wrong with the tank, mainly size (too small). I know stress can be very detrimental to their health and was wondering if water changes, even if done correctly, stresses them out? Does moving ornaments around stress them out aswel or do they 'forget' about it as I know they have a low short-term memory.

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I leave my fish in for water changes and moving things around. They don't seem stressed out about it. My betta used to get stressed during water changes but he seems much better now that he is more used to it. Toss in a bit of food and they will forget what you are doing! :rofl

Poor water quality will stress them more than proper maintenance. :D

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My fish actually seem to really like water changes! They nibble my fingers and play in the bubbles while I'm refilling the tank (I have a python gravel vacuum - highly recommend it...totally worth the price!) so I don't think it stresses them out too much, no :) I think they'd do worse having bad water quality.

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I agree, mine don't seem bothered by my poking the siphon around. Actually I often have to "shoo" them away so I can get a place to clean. They are curious about the siphon (I have made a net to go over it so their curiosity doesn't get them hurt or killed!). They seem to think any "gunk" going up the siphon is potential food!

As for the ornaments I only clean them when needed. And I usually just scrub them in plain water & the "fish only" scrub brush. If REALLY ecky I might let them soak in a little water with bleach...then rinse & let them sit in clean water with dechlorinator. This is rarely needed.

The Python is a GREAT investment!!! (If something happened to ruin mine :thud I would buy another!!)

AND I find it overall very relaxing to ME!!!!

Edited by Jeana727

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My goldfish don't seem stressed out either. I think they like it when I do WC. They just seem to be happy. They like to follow my hand/fingers when it's in the tank water. My fish seem to enjoy my company when I'm near/close to them.

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I always feed immediately after a water change, so my fish would get excited when WC time would come. It meant they were going to eat!

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I don't have a python and I do think that water changes stress Newton out for the time it is happening. I see no sign that he sits brooding about the indignity of it all afterwards, and of course, he would get sick and die if I didn't do it.

It's like changing an 18 month olds diaper. They don't like it, but it's not like you can let them go around with poop in their pants. :rofl2

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Mine don't mind, they seem quite curious... It's probably more the gravel being moved around by the siphon that interests them, they try eating it threw the siphon :lol

And occasionally nibble at my fingers

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Initially when fish are not used to it yet, they can get freaked out a bit, of course. But mine learned within a few weeks that the whole ordeal rewards them with super fresh water, and they love it. They stay calm during the whole procedure, pick at the gravel vacuum or my hand and will even beg for food.

I leave the fish in the tank and drain so much water that only enough remains in the tank to cover the fish without their dorsal being erect, and they are cool with that. :)

Some of them it took a while to figure out nothing bad happens, and I like RD's idea of feeding them afterwards. Fish aren't as dumb as people make them out, they will likely start to associate the water change with a special treat. :)

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Initially when fish are not used to it yet, they can get freaked out a bit, of course. But mine learned within a few weeks that the whole ordeal rewards them with super fresh water, and they love it. They stay calm during the whole procedure, pick at the gravel vacuum or my hand and will even beg for food.

I leave the fish in the tank and drain so much water that only enough remains in the tank to cover the fish without their dorsal being erect, and they are cool with that. :)

Some of them it took a while to figure out nothing bad happens, and I like RD's idea of feeding them afterwards. Fish aren't as dumb as people make them out, they will likely start to associate the water change with a special treat. :)

I agree. My fish were very skittish during water changes for the first month or two (they were also skittish when I looked at them and I think the idea of my giant hand entering their home was terrifying). However, they got over it and now they always nip at my fingers when I work in the tank. They swim around during water changes and actually seem to enjoy the stimulation I think.

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Mine have never minded. I use buckets and when I dump the new water in they love swimming up the fast new bubbley current.... I too empty the tant to the fishes dorsal fin. Just enough water so that they can still swim. I believe they like to play while I'm fooling around in their home.

Flipper

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All very helpful thank you! I guess they will just get used to more frequent water changes. As was said before, it HAS to be done anyway to keep them healthy. I think they are slowly getting used to their new owner. Love the idea of feeding them afterwards as a reward, great tip! Thanks again.

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I even feed them during the water change to distract them. I hand feed my GF and if my hand is in there, they nibble on me the whole time unless I toss some food in! :rofl

Good luck. :D

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I even feed them during the water change to distract them. I hand feed my GF and if my hand is in there, they nibble on me the whole time unless I toss some food in! :rofl

Good luck. :D

I do this too to keep them in one area of the tank while I work on the other side, plus they usually start pooping when they're being fed so I can get a jump on sucking that up :rofl

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It's really interesting: I'm reading through this thread and seeing that those without pythons or aqueons are seeming to report more stress during changes... is that correct?

I personally have had a lot less stress from the fish while changing water with my aqueon rather than with just buckets. :idont

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My "African goldfish" love eating all the algae that floats around after I scrape down their tank with a credit card. They seem to love the fast current of water being added too, I always catch a few trying to swim "upstream" as if they were salmon.

My fish seem to poop right after a water change...I'm stuck looking at them like "I JUST cleaned that!!!!" :rofl

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I leave my fish in. Less stressful then chasing them around the tank to put them in a bucket then chase them around the bucket to put back in tank.

Just one word of advice since you know the tank is too small I remove all decor. Rocks and everything so you don't displace as much water. Then when you get a new tank redecorate.

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It's really interesting: I'm reading through this thread and seeing that those without pythons or aqueons are seeming to report more stress during changes... is that correct?

I personally have had a lot less stress from the fish while changing water with my aqueon rather than with just buckets. :idont

My fish swim INTO the stream on water when I refill. They seem to really "enjoy" playing in the flow of water :)

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It's really interesting: I'm reading through this thread and seeing that those without pythons or aqueons are seeming to report more stress during changes... is that correct?

I personally have had a lot less stress from the fish while changing water with my aqueon rather than with just buckets. :idont

I think clearly Chelsea. And it makes sense, stream of water versus buckets of it... I'm actually working with a local aquarium club to see if we can get a python distributor in the country.

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I even feed them during the water change to distract them. I hand feed my GF and if my hand is in there, they nibble on me the whole time unless I toss some food in! :rofl

Good luck. :D

I do this too to keep them in one area of the tank while I work on the other side, plus they usually start pooping when they're being fed so I can get a jump on sucking that up :rofl

I sometimes feed them also during a wc otherwise they follow my hand around while I'm using the syphon.

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