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Basic feeding troubles


emmyfishy

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Hello all, I recently began owning goldfish about two weeks ago and am very new to all of this, so pardon in advance if my questions seem somewhat daft ;)

I have a small fantail and I'm not sure if he's plain dumb or sick or if he's just being stubborn, but when I feed him he doesn't seem to eat his food (note: I've been feeding him Nutrafin Max pellets for goldfish). I throw in one pellet at a time and wait for them to sink/for him to eat it before throwing in another. Thing is more often than not, he won't make it to the pellet in time or he won't swim up to eat it in case the pellet doesn't sink right away. If I throw in about ten pellets, he'll maybe eat about two of them, but I also don't want to throw too many pellets in there at once as to prevent excess waste.

I'm wondering, what is the normal healthy amount for a small fantail to eat on a daily basis? How often should I really feed him per day (I've heard such mixed reviews)? How much wasted food can I allow to accumulate in the tank per day considering how little he eats? Are these feeding patterns normal? Should I switch to fish flakes?

Just trying to get this right asap seeing as this is my first time owning fish.

(Note: my fantail is in a 10gal aquarium with a small pleco and a penny-sized snail. I use a Marina S15 slim filter and do a partial water change every week. I plan on getting another fantail soon, but I'm waiting for my water testing kit to arrive in the mail first, so for now I don't really know what the exact water levels are, but I've been treating the water according to instructions.)

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Welcome! Let's see if we can't figure something out.

Firstly, do you pre-soak your pellets? If not, just take a small cup of tank water out when you feed, drop in as many pellets as you intend to feed and let them soak for about a minute. Remove or squeeze out any that are floating, and feed those that sunk.

You definitely should not use flakes, they are the devil. :P

Also, your tank is a bit small for that stocking, and you should consider moving up... also, is your pleco a common pleco? If so, better rehome him. They will eat the skin right off your goldfish. Try a bristlenose instead.

You should also make sure to change at least 50% of the water per week, and add filtration equal to turning the whole tank over ten times per hour. So if it's ten gallons, it should be 100 gallons per hour, or in the hopeful circumstance that you upgrade to a 20 gallon or a 29, 200 gph or 290 gph.

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First I agree with everyone that the tank is not big enough for one fish and about the pleco advice.

Second one of the things i like about having no rocks at the bottom of the tank is that I can see how much debris is laying on the bottom and if it is wasted food or not. Fish aren't the smartest and won't know right off the bat that the stuff you throw in there is food. But they will catch on over time. Often times food will sink to the bottom and if the fish is hungry, it will spend the rest of the day searching the bottom til it finds the food.

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Thank you for the replies! I will definitely try pre-soaking the pellets, and I will find a new home for the pleco as he is a common pleco. As for tank sizes, the only other tank I have is a 50 gallon. I would imagine that's huge for one fish? I could also just sell it and upgrade to a bigger aquarium of course...

How do I know how many gallons per hour my filter processes? Also 50% water change/weekly sounds like a lot... I was told that any more than 25% damages the bacteria levels in the aquarium? I'm so new to this and I keep hearing such mixed advice, but the more help the better of course.!

Edited by emmyfishy
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a 50 gallon would be an awesome home for one fish! He could even have a few friends! You can look up the model filter you have online and there should be a GPH rate mentioned somewhere. Contrary to popular belief nitrifying bacteria are not held within the water column but are actually held within the media in your filter and the very top layer of substrate(this is also dependent on the pore space of your substrate), so large waterchanges will not affect the cycle.I tend to do 80% changes weekly, regardless of parameters and I do not experience cycle bumps at all.:)

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When you do large water changes do you still treat the water with dechlorinating drops and products similar to Nutrafin Cycle? I've heard that leaving tap water to sit in the open for a day or two is just as good... is this true? If I'm doing 50%+ water changes in a 50gal weekly all those drops are going to get expensive!

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Also when you do water changes, do you still use a gravel vaccuum? I mean wouldn't using one suck up all the good bacteria in the substrate if that's where they reside, or do you just bucket water off the top?

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Hi Emmy!

There are other less expensive water conditioners like Seachem Prime which only takes one capful for a 50g tank per week (if you are doing those large water changes). Large water changes like others have said are good and necessary and will not hurt your cycle bacteria. I change out about 2/3rds of my water in my 40b each week. I have about an inch of substrate and I thoroughly vacuum it each week. I totally turn it over and spend probably ten minutes doing it because goldfish are notorious poopers :lol3 and if you don't clean it well your nitrates will rise and/or you can build up bad bacteria on all that waste at the bottom that is buried. Keep your substrate to an inch or less as it makes it much easier to clean. Vacuuming it will not remove your good bacteria as they grow and attach themselves to it.

Edit: Also, take out the uneaten food. Your new fish will catch on to what is food and what is not and before long will be gobbling up everything you give him.

You can have 2 or 3 goldfish in that 50g. (15-20g per goldfish).

Edited by CindiL
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It -used- to be okay to just leave your tap water out, and that works for municipal supplies that use only chlorine. However, many places now use chloramine instead, which will stay in your water indefinitely. Also, there is a danger of heavy metals, which fish are more sensitive to than humans; a level considered safe to drink might not be safe for fish.

It's better safe than sorry.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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You should totally move your goldy to the 50 gallon!! That would be heaven and s/he could have a new friend or two!! :D Then your ten gallon could be your hospital tank in case anyone gets sick!

I would rehome the common pleco they get too big and don't do well with GF. :)

As for the food, new goldfish are always slow to figure out what is food. My new guys were not used to my sinking pellets, so it took them awhile to figure that out. The veggies were a whole other trial :doh11:

No to flakes as they are full of air which can cause problems and then they have hardly any nutritional value. If the pellets do not sink soaking them for a bit will help. If they do I would still soak them for a minute just in case but that is up to you :) It might help though!

Welcome to the forum and I hope you learn a lot here!! :D

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  • 1 month later...
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Thank you for the replies! I will definitely try pre-soaking the pellets, and I will find a new home for the pleco as he is a common pleco. As for tank sizes, the only other tank I have is a 50 gallon. I would imagine that's huge for one fish? I could also just sell it and upgrade to a bigger aquarium of course...

How do I know how many gallons per hour my filter processes? Also 50% water change/weekly sounds like a lot... I was told that any more than 25% damages the bacteria levels in the aquarium? I'm so new to this and I keep hearing such mixed advice, but the more help the better of course.!

:welcome

Don't feel bad, there is a lot of misinformation about goldfish out there! This advice about not changing too much water is a very common misconception- I was told this as well, and actually lost fish because I didn't change enough water during a cycle bump. So always better to change too much water than not enough (and you can always use it to water the garden = fantastic fertiliser!) :)

Edited by Linzi Glitter
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That's great that you have a 50! Definitely move your GF there and get a friend or 2 for him (rehoming the pleco ASAP!). That will take care of most of your problems, honestly, at least once you get the tank cycled. Make sure it's cycled before adding more fish (that can take many weeks and you WILL need the test kit for that!).

Post pix when you move him! :)

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