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A little help with stocking plans...


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I have a 90 gallon aquarium that I hope to stock with long-bodied goldfish (just because I prefer their activeness and appearance over fancies). I've heard that long-bodied goldfish are better suited in ponds, but after reading around on this forum it seems that's not necessarily the case. Something about body volume contributing to more waste and fancies being actually "larger" in terms of volume since they're round.

So according to stocking guidelines of 20-25 gallons per fish, my 90 gallon can probably hold 4 fully grown long-bodied goldies. However, I'd prefer to have more fish in a large tank than just 4, but any more goldfish would be overstocked. Therefore I was thinking of cutting back a goldfish to a total of 3 long-bodied goldies and adding a school of rosy reds (those other feeder fish at the store next to the poor baby goldies), probably 8 or so. Rosy reds don't grow larger than about 2 inches, are fast enough to avoid being goldfish food when they get big, and are compatible according to a list of compatible fish somewhere on this forum.

The tank will be filtered at a total of around 1250gph with two Rena xp3s, a large hang on back, and a good-sized in-tank sponge/powerhead pump.

Does this sound like a good plan to you guys? Any suggestions? Thanks!

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Out of curiosity, why would you want to add more fish? Is it just so you have more fish in a larger tank, or is there another reason?

A 90 gallon tank would be a perfect 'forever' home for 2 (maybe 3) shubunkins or comets. The more space allotted per fish, the better in my opinion.

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Oh I meant the orange common goldfish (hibuna?).

It's mostly just personal preference, I like the movement of having a few more fish. Three goldfish (even larger ones) feels a little...empty, at least to me. It's probably because I used to keep tropical fish, so I'm used to seeing communities of fish and more fish in general in an aquarium.

And out of curiosity, why do you say 90 gallons can only hold 2 and *maybe* 3 adult comets/shubunkins? I was under the impression that single-tailed goldfish do not in fact produce more waste than fancies?

Edited by thelittlechef
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  • Regular Member

They get very large. While fancies only get six to eight inches single tailed goldfish can get closer to 12 inches and sometimes even larger than that. So it's not just a matter of how much waste they produce but also how much room they have to actually swim in.

Edited by katearei
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  • Regular Member

Although we'd all like to have more fish for the space, twenty gallons or so per fish is the stocking recommendation right now for both fancies and for long-bodied fish. If you want more movement, you actually will want fewer fish. They are more inclined to get larger and fill up the space better if they have room to grow. I'm seeing this right now in my fifty five gallon tank with my single Oranda. She is much more active with all of that space to herself, and continues to grow like a weed. Taking that into consideration, two to three long-bodies sounds about right for an active, lively ninety gallon tank with lots of space for them to grow and move.

If that doesn't seem like enough movement to you, there's always the option of decorating the tank with snails and plants. :)

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  • Regular Member

90 gal.

Should be fine for 4-5 comets/ shubunkins

20gal per fish

Its been discussed here many times before they dont need any more than any other goldie really.

Theyre fast yes but they dont swim flat out 24/7.

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I just found one of PawsPlus' threads regarding her ninety gallon with two hibuna. It is a good judge of size. ;) Those fish are not nearly done growing yet. The larger, Georgia, is about half of her adult size.

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/110804-finally-video-of-my-new-90-gal-tank/

Edited by ChelseaM
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  • Regular Member

Ok seriously folks. It was just upped to 20 gallons per fish and now suddenly people are saying 2 or 3 fish in a 90?! So its 30 to 45 gallons now? With proper maintenance you could easily have 4 goldfish in there. There is a mall near me with 4 large singletails in a decorative display of I would estimate 300 gallons. They don't zip aroud. They chill. So do the fish in my 1600 gallon pond. Also, I think 3 goldfish and a school of smaller fish would be fine, although I might shoot for 5 of them rather than 8, just to give some leeway.

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Ok seriously folks. It was just upped to 20 gallons per fish and now suddenly people are saying 2 or 3 fish in a 90?! So its 30 to 45 gallons now? With proper maintenance you could easily have 4 goldfish in there. There is a mall near me with 4 large singletails in a decorative display of I would estimate 300 gallons. They don't zip aroud. They chill. So do the fish in my 1600 gallon pond. Also, I think 3 goldfish and a school of smaller fish would be fine, although I might shoot for 5 of them rather than 8, just to give some leeway.

There are times when understocking is appropriate. This is one of them. I am assuming this tank will be a forever home. Just looking at PawsPlus' tank is enough to confirm it for me. :)

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Snails are surprisingly fascinating tankmates! They can add some color and movement and really are fun to watch. Plants can add a lot of visual interest, too!

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I also think 20gal per fish would be fine. Most goldfish do not grow above 9-10 inches, regardless or fancy or single tails. It is always better to under stock but with good maintenance the 20gal per fish rule should be just fine. My single tails are actually bust as active as my fancies. Both in the pond and tank.

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Ok so disclaimer. I don't have singles in a tank they are in my pond.

So I have comets/ commons in my pond that are a good 14" I account there size to the volume of water they are in being over 100,000gal in tanks on here and that I have seen I am hard pressed to remember more than 1-2 over 10" that said I would say 20G/fish is a good number for them. 15-20 for fancy 20-24 for singletail. Now on the just changing to 15-20gal/fancy from what I understand its from long term observation on activity and health of the fish that several of our veteran members have (correct me if I am wrong). I have also saw recommendations of 30gal/single tail as optimum even when I first started. so this being out of the blue and unfounded I don't believe would be an accurate statement.

with rosy reds getting 1-2" F, 2-3" M id give 3g/fish

so if you did 3 single tail goldfish 25x3=75

you could do 5 rosy reds 3x5=15

this is just my calculations and thoughts. I think with this number you would be safe with a regular cleaning schedule

as I am sure I can not post the link the site i'm getting this from I will just post the info.

this is on the rosy reds.

Rosy Red Minnows
Rosy Red Minnows (Pimephales promelas) are often sold as "feeder fish" and have little or no ranking among fish hobbyists. Little do people know that if cared for properly, these little fish can prosper, and provide you with clean, non-sickly live food for your carnivorous fish. They can also be quite a sight in large tanks, since they are schooling fish and enjoy staying in groups, even when there is no threat around.

Common Name(s): Rosy Red Minnow, Rosey Reds, Rosy Reds, Rosies, feeder fish, minnows
Scientific Name: Pimephales promelas
Max Size: males, 2-3 inches; females, 1-2 inches
Temperature: 55F-85F (very hardy, will survive in colder or warmer waters)
Sexing: males are broader and larger with thicker fins, they will also develop a fatty tissue and breeding tubercles on the top of their heads during breeding (in fatheads males will have vertical stripes when mature), females will have a visible ovipositor (in fatheads they lack the vertical stripes)
Ph: 6-8
Disposition: peaceful, males may tussle a bit during breeding season without physical injury
Feeding: omnivorous, will eat flakes, pellets, whatever you feed to your fish

Rosy Reds are actually fathead minnows, but due to a genetic mutation they are a light "rosy" color. If you breed a gray fathead minnow with a rosy red, the babies will be mostly wild fathead color, indicating that the wild color is dominant over the rosy color. These fish are available in almost any fish or pet store, usually sold as "feeder fish". I personally think they are lacking the respect they deserve as fish. Rosy reds are as hardy as goldfish, but produce much less waste and can easily survive in warm or colder water. This makes them great for aquariums, both coldwater and tropical.

Housing
Rosy reds are usually sold when 1/2-2 inches in pet stores, but can grow up to 3 inches in males. Since rosy reds are schooling fish, they should be kept in groups of 5 or more, with fish of both sexes. Their tank should be a minimum of 10 gallons; I would not recommend more than 5-6 individuals in a 10 gallon tank. Keep in mind that males can grow 2-3 inches and during breeding may tussle a bit with each other if there is not enough room in the tank to establish territories. They can be kept in larger aquariums as a schooling fish, and will breed in a community aquarium as well as in a special breeding tank. However, the young are usually eaten in a community aquarium, so if you are breeding for fry, use a breeding tank.

These hardy little fish can survive just about any temperature, from just above freezing to very warm waters. They seem to do best at 58F-80F; this makes them great for both coldwater aquariums (goldfish) and tropical aquariums.

Health

Since rosy reds are usually sold as feeder fish, they are often very unhealthy and many of them die. You can find them at just about any pet store, crammed into a tiny tank with at least several hundred others. Treat them with medications and quarantine before adding to your tank(s). If cared for properly, rosy reds are very hardy and almost never get sick.

Feeding

Rosies are omnivorous, meaning they need both plant and animal matter in their diet. They will accept pretty much all food including: fish flakes, pellets, wafers, sticks, and granules. Frozen and live foods should be supplemented occasionally and used to condition them for breeding. Anything you feed your fish will work for rosies; they are not picky at all.

Sexing

Sexing can only be done in mature fish, young fish usually do not show any gender differences until they mature. Males usually mature at about 1.5 years to 2 years, and females mature at about a year. Females are shorter in body length, are plumper, and are less heavily built. Males are usually longer and have thicker fins. They also develop a fatty tissue and breeding tubercles on the top of their heads when conditioned to spawn. The gray fathead males will have dark, vertical bands on their body.

Breeding

Breeding rosy reds is extremely easy; all they require is good quality food containing lots of protein and a photoperiod of 14-16 hours of light a day. A breeding tank of 10 gallons should be setup if you are trying to breed them. The water temperature should be around 75F-80F. Any overhanging rock or decor can become a nesting site, clay pots placed on their side work great.

Each male will stake out a territory and court female rosy reds. Male fatheads will turn dark in coloration with breeding and develop a fatty tissue and breeding tubercles (do not mistake for ich). A female may spawn up to 6-7 times before being completely emptied of her eggs. After spawning, the male will guard the eggs and chase away the female. The fatty tissue on the top of his head produces a fungus eliminator, which he will rub on his eggs. Parents generally do not eat their fry or eggs unless extremely hungry.

Females will be ready to breed again in a couple weeks.

If a male is not spawning, try adding another male to add competition and he may spawn.

Egg and Fry Care

Leaving the care of the fry to the male is perfectly acceptable. He will rub his fungus eliminating secretion on the eggs to prevent fungus and will care for the eggs until they hatch. After the eggs hatch and become free swimming, the male and fry pretty much ignore each other. Fry can eat finely ground flakes the moment they become free swimming, but microworms or BBS would be much better. The fry grow fast and will be ready to spawn in a year or two.

You can also rear the eggs yourself. Remove the eggs by plucking them with tweezers or by taking out whatever they are attached on. Put the eggs in a 5 gallon tank with aeration and methylene blue or Maroxy to prevent fungus. If you see any eggs with fungus, remove them with tweezers. The eggs should hatch in 2-3 days. Feed the fry BBS, egg yolk, microworms, or vinegar eel. They will also accept finely ground flake food, but live foods are better for fry.

Last Note

Rosy reds are a very rewarding fish to keep. They will provide a lot of live food and are great additions to your tank. Instead of buying feeder fish with possible parasites, breed them yourself. This will make them safe for your fish without the worry of internal parasites. I also find that they are good aquarium fish; they school and their "rosy" color look great in a large tank IMO. A cheaper alternative to neon tetras!

Lilim

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  • Regular Member

I think we need to stick with the 15-20 recommendation for now, instead of inching ever higher. While it is nice to have 50-100 gallons for every fish, it's also not practical. Stocking is determined by both gallonage AND maintenance. :)

As fishkeepers and those who make care recommendations, we need to balance between helping people to do the right things for their fish versus setting a standard so incredible that people either shy away, or have to lie about it. In the end, we want to make things workable, not daunting. Remember that stocking is not something set in stone, but rather we want to establish a reasonable start, and have the person modify things, either by changing stocking and/or maintenance.

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Yes I agree like I said that was my personal input as what I would do. I find it depends of the individual fish what it may need. If you have 2 in a 29 as I currently. They may be able to live in it for a verry long time without out growing it. Another 2 fish make need a 40 gal. But the in general rule of 15-20 I find to be good. Again I jave 4 ryukins in an 80 gal I think I could do one more without problem. I do not think 8 would live well in it. But 4-5 I see no problem. Even with a few snails. Lol

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

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  • Regular Member

Hi Daniel :)

My message wasn't targeted at you, or actually anyone one person. I have noticed the trend around the forum lately that we've been showing "gallonage creep" where they gallons per fish are climbing ever higher. While of course we all have individual strong feelings about it (as we should), I think there needs to be a consensus number so that we can initiate meaning discussions and recommendations with new members. For that, 15-20 is a good place to start.

I have no doubt that you could stock the numbers you mentioned in your tank without problems. As I said before, stocking depends on the size of the tank, AND the maintenance schedule. :)

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I did not think you was directing your post toward anyone :) I just wanted to say that I agree with the need to have a standard and that the 15-20 is a good place for it to be. The majority of fish will do quite well in that :)

So just for clarity what is the standard recommended monstrance schedule? Am I right in thinking it was 50% WC/week or 80-100% WC/ 2 weeks? I think I remember reading something like that somewhere. but I am not sure.

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  • Regular Member

I did not think you was directing your post toward anyone :) I just wanted to say that I agree with the need to have a standard and that the 15-20 is a good place for it to be. The majority of fish will do quite well in that :)

So just for clarity what is the standard recommended monstrance schedule? Am I right in thinking it was 50% WC/week or 80-100% WC/ 2 weeks? I think I remember reading something like that somewhere. but I am not sure.

Good question. The stocking recommendation is designed with the idea doing a water change of 50-80% once a week, and then for each system, we have to check to see if that's sufficient, or if more needs to be done. Usually, it should be more than sufficient.

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So here is a picture (although not very good one) of my commons that grew to 13 inches in a 29 gallon thank with seven other tank mates nearly as large. Mind you they are only five and he was she was this big at the age of two. I did not know any better and am down to three due to the various illness that I attribute to poor water quality from over stocking. They grow no matter what in my opinion. Jumbo is now in a 55 gallon (almost 5 feet long) and she needs a 75 because she can hardly turn around. Plus, trust me on this, they are messy. I have an Eheim 2217 and an Eheim 2028 and an Aqua clear 110 and I still struggle with nitrates and, minimum, do two 50 percent water changes a week. It is much nicer to watch my three (only) happy healthy fish with a lot of space than to see a bunch of fish cramped into a tank with the inevitable illnesses they will suffer from over stocking. Their colors have popped, they are more social with me and with each other, and are happier now that I am taking better care of them! I think they are just as beautiful as fancy fish, are really smart, and have great, distinct personalities (much like myself :teehee .) Now I have to start saving for my 75 gallon, and then a house because we are going to be pond size soon!

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  • Regular Member

I agree, the stocking guidelines are a good place to start; however, they aren't always ideal for all fish. When I had my three shubunkins, they eventually outgrew the 60 gallon tank they were in. For this reason I always espouse, when possible, more liberal stocking guidelines. It's not ideal for everyone and I can respect that, but if you have the extra space why not understock? It's not harming anyone or anything. Sometimes frugality can be good. That said, perhaps I'm being somewhat trite with this idea.

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  • Regular Member

I have a 90 gallon aquarium that I hope to stock with long-bodied goldfish (just because I prefer their activeness and appearance over fancies). I've heard that long-bodied goldfish are better suited in ponds, but after reading around on this forum it seems that's not necessarily the case. Something about body volume contributing to more waste and fancies being actually "larger" in terms of volume since they're round.

All goldfish do better in ponds. Fancies benefit more than long bodied fish in my experience, particularly with respect to growth rate and swim bladder health.

So according to stocking guidelines of 20-25 gallons per fish, my 90 gallon can probably hold 4 fully grown long-bodied goldies. However, I'd prefer to have more fish in a large tank than just 4, but any more goldfish would be overstocked. Therefore I was thinking of cutting back a goldfish to a total of 3 long-bodied goldies and adding a school of rosy reds (those other feeder fish at the store next to the poor baby goldies), probably 8 or so. Rosy reds don't grow larger than about 2 inches, are fast enough to avoid being goldfish food when they get big, and are compatible according to a list of compatible fish somewhere on this forum.

I think that's an excellent idea. The more active rosy reds will provide a contrast to the lazier goldfish.

By long bodied fish do you mean single tail goldfish like feeders, comets and shubinkin ?

Long-bodied fish include hibuna, comets, shubunkins, wakin, watonai, and jinkins. The first three have single tails, the last three have double tails.

Oh I meant the orange common goldfish (hibuna?).

It's mostly just personal preference, I like the movement of having a few more fish. Three goldfish (even larger ones) feels a little...empty, at least to me. It's probably because I used to keep tropical fish, so I'm used to seeing communities of fish and more fish in general in an aquarium.

And out of curiosity, why do you say 90 gallons can only hold 2 and *maybe* 3 adult comets/shubunkins? I was under the impression that single-tailed goldfish do not in fact produce more waste than fancies?

Fish of the same mass produce the same amount of waste. Given the same standard (body) length. Fancy goldfish have 2 to 3 times the body mass of long-bodied goldfish. After all, they are larger in two of three dimensions. So if you are talking about fish of the same length, fancies produce MUCH more waste.

They get very large. While fancies only get six to eight inches single tailed goldfish can get closer to 12 inches and sometimes even larger than that. So it's not just a matter of how much waste they produce but also how much room they have to actually swim in.

All of the largest goldfish on record are fancies, while the longest are pond-type fish. Actually the record fatties are longer than most mature pond long-bodied fish. The slim, long-bodied fish are much more agile than fancy goldifish. A common goldfish can fold into a "U" to turn around, while a mature fancy can often only bend the tail end of its body. Just like a fat, clumsy person needs more walking space than a slim, athletic one, fancy goldfish need more space for maneuvering than the long bodied fish, particularly turning room. I don't know of a goldfish that doesn't have room enough to swim in a 90 gallon tank.

I also think 20gal per fish would be fine. Most goldfish do not grow above 9-10 inches, regardless or fancy or single tails. It is always better to under stock but with good maintenance the 20gal per fish rule should be just fine. My single tails are actually bust as active as my fancies. Both in the pond and tank.

If your "single tails" are as active as the fancies in that last pond video you posted, you should put them on ritalin, LOL. I assume it was feeding time. My fish would only be romping around like that if there were multiple spawnings going on.

Given that one is following our water change recommendations, 20 gallons per goldfish is fine unless you have 2 pound fish. That's the usual stocking recommendation for ponds if one has good filtration, lots of plants, and 10% water change per week. I prefer 30-40 gallons per goldfish in the pond. It's hard to stock any lighter than that unless you have a one-sex pond, have predator fish in there to control the population, or you net and cull every year since goldfish make rabbits look infertile.

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  • Regular Member

If your "single tails" are as active as the fancies in that last pond video you posted, you should put them on ritalin, LOL. I assume it was feeding time. My fish would only be romping around like that if there were multiple spawnings going on.

My comet and common were in that video as well!! I hadn't fed them yet so that was just them begging for food. It's that behavior as soon as anyone walks up to the pond. They don't stop unless you feed them or leave. :rofl I also agree that fancies need more turning room than any more streamlined fish. When Roos was alive watching her turn was absolutely hilarious.

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