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2 fantails in a 20 gallon


Lian_S

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I would not keep any goldfish in there.

I disagree, fantails are generally longer bodied than tall. If these were Ryukins, the OP would have a problem, but with the height of fantails, I wouldn't be that worried.

With your dimensions, the pond would be 31 US gallons, which is fine for two fantails, especially since the footprint is actually larger than a 40 gallon. Are you sure it's a 2 gallon bucket and not a 3 gallon?

Don't fish like to school because it makes them feel safer from predators?

Some do. Goldfish (carp) are schooling fish but do ok by themselves. But if your fish grew up with another, I personally wouldn't separate them.

I'm sorry but you can not disagree that I would not keep any fish in there.

:teehee you got a point there lol

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Hi. Im pretty sure its 20 gallons because we measured the amount of water we were putting in as we were filling it. Anyway, i guess I am just going to have to add more water volume to the waterfall/filter output or rehome one of the goldies. Would a goldfish be happy living on its own? Could I keep both until they get a bit bigger? I would feel really bad making a young goldfish live on its own. Don't fish like to school because it makes them feel safer from predators? I think a small goldfish on its own would feel a bit stressed so I would rather separate them when they are a but older as I think the bigger they are they less they would feel like "prey" xD. They aren't that big at the moment, I would say not including fins each one is still smaller than a golfball. By the way how tall do they grow? Would they reach more than 5-6 inches tall in 20 gals? Are you all absolutely positive they couldn't live in 20 gallons for a few years? Thanks

I think they will be fine in your pond at their present size. Just watch their growth, test the water frequently and do water changes as necessary.

The main thing here is that you obviously care a lot about their well being and seem like you will do what's necessary to care for them :D

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Hi Lian, you won't have to get rid of one today ;) but probably within 6mo to a year at the latest and it sounds like your water may not be deep enough for a fancy, maybe a common/comet though. Even then you will probably have to do fairly large water changes of 50% 2x a week or more volume weekly like 75 to 85%. I like the idea of adding extra volume through a fountain etc but that still won't give you more depth.

Edit: all fish are different and grow differently. My oranda is actually my longest/leanest fish, but my two fantails are more like ryukin shapes and are very deep. Since you see your fish every day you will be able to tell when its not deep enough anymore and hopefully will have a backup plan.

Edited by CindiL
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Hey, thanks for all the replies. However, don't commons/comets get pretty much as tall as fancies since although they aren't as round they are still much longer/bigger? Also, I don't really like ranchus or lionheads, I would prefer they hardier breeds. I guess I would just have to upgrade the fantails in the future? They look about this size now http://www.ozarkkoi.com/images/categories/C100.jpg. I was thinking if 20 gals isnt enough for 2 and the pond isn't too shallow I could just rehome one after a while. Would that work?

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CindiL I know it would be a bit though to part with one but if the pond absolutely cannot sustain 2 I would be willing to do it (just not now though, I think it would feel like making a child live completely on their own). But someone mentioned that the pond has a footprint larger than a 4o gal. Which is more important, the footprint or the volume? If its the footprint then I think the 2 would be fine for quite a while. btw CindiL that tank of yours looks really nice!

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CindiL I know it would be a bit though to part with one but if the pond absolutely cannot sustain 2 I would be willing to do it (just not now though, I think it would feel like making a child live completely on their own). But someone mentioned that the pond has a footprint larger than a 4o gal. Which is more important, the footprint or the volume? If its the footprint then I think the 2 would be fine for quite a while. btw CindiL that tank of yours looks really nice!

I agree with DieselP, the volume is more important but that doesn't mean that the footprint isn't important also as the more surface area the better for oxygen exchange etc. and more room to swim and turn around horizontally. Usually with goldies wider is better than taller for those same reasons.

Thanks for the compliment! Its a 40breeder, has had many iterations but I think I have it mostly how I want it now. I not so secretly wish I could upgrade to a 75g but as long as I live in this house, not sure its an option with some tap water quality issues I have. So for now, I'm maxed out with my 3 :)

FYI, I change out 2/3rds of my water a week to keep parameters at a healthy level.

Edited by CindiL
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Hello everyone. This is my first post here, I also made a similar post at [dnalex removed] incase anyone also uses that site.

So anyway, a few months ago my family had a 20 gallon indoor pond installed and we got a pair of fantail goldfish. It was only after we had the pond installed and got the goldfish that we found out 2 fantails would need a 30 - 40 gallon tank. footinmouth.gif The tank is 95 cm wide and 85 cm front to back (at its widest points, its sort of a round-edged rectangle) with a waterfall and 2 filters. Could anyone give me tips on how to keep the goldfish healthy in these conditions which are not exactly ideal like how often I should do water changes, much % etc. Upgrading them is just not an option right now, neither is giving them up. Thanks!

I emphatically approve of two goldfish in this pond as long as they don't get so tall that they have trouble swimming. If some of the volume of the water is in filters, it doesn't matter, it's still part of the system. Surface area is very important in stocking levels and water quality.

A few years ago, some people discovered that Pond Prime was dosed at half the level of regular Prime while costing no more. It was all over the fish forums that you could save money by getting the more concentrated pond product for your aquarium. Then Seachem reported that Pond Prime was exactly the same product as regular Prime, but because of the greater surface area-to-volume ratio of ponds, there was much better gas exchange and thus less water conditioner was needed than in aquariums. In covered aquariums, gas exchange is even less. I bring this up because it illustrates the importance of surface area.

This koi stocking guide gives both surface area and volume. By surface area, this pond is good for 9-18 inches of fish depending on the quality of filtration (which is not defined). Now this is assuming typical pond water changes of 10% a week, not aquarium levels of 50% a week or more (which would be easy with this small volume).

Now I will answer your questions, Lian. You asked how to accommodate your fish in the current container, not whether that container was ideal. I recommend changing at least 50% of your water each week. If you don't mind doing more, do two 50% changes a week. Your fish will appreciate your efforts. As others have mentioned, you can increase the volume of the pond system by building a pond-type filter. Here are some examples of DIY filters.

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/100490-pond-filter-system-for-the-40b/?hl=%2Bpond+%2Bfilter

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/98620-upgrading-the-instant-pond/?hl=%2Bupgrading+%2Bthe+%2Binstant+%2Bpond

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/100931-mini-bog-filter-for-aquarium-or-container-pond/

You can use a nice flowerpot or urn for your filter container so it will look pretty. Putting house plants in the top of the filter will make it even more attractive and will also improve water quality. In calculating the volume of your pond system, you can add on the volume of water in the filter.

Yes, a goldfish that has been living with a companion will be "lonely" if the companion is taken away. It will get used to being alone, but if you put it back with other goldfish you will see how much happier it is. I would not get rid of one of the fish.

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Volume is more important than surface area. If u have good surface agitation from a waterfall or filter discharge it will more than make up for low surface area.

Do you have evidence for that statement?

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Volume is more important than surface area. If u have good surface agitation from a waterfall or filter discharge it will more than make up for low surface area.

Do you have evidence for that statement?

Do I really need to waste my time finding something? Its common knowledge that breaking the surface of the water is the best way to exchange oxygen and gas..

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Just wondering.....don't we/this site recommend stocking levels by volume (i.e., 15-20 gallons a fish) vs surface area? i.e., length x width? And I realize a large pond is different but isn't this actually more like a tank setup for a variety of reasons such as lower overall volume of water, no outdoor eco-system interacting with the pond, no outdoor rainfall etc? :idont I certainly don't know, but since the discussion seems to have come up......thoughts?

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Hello. Yes, CindiL I do agree that an indoor pond is actually just a tank that happens to be on the ground instead of on a stand lol xD. Thank you Shakaho, your answer was very informative and I would be willing to do 50% water changes weekly and also like I said the goldfish that belonged to my friend that had to stay in my pond was at least 6 inches long (which is around a fantails max size) could swim without any problems at all. So do you really think this could work? Also, while on holiday a couple of weeks ago a got a bottle of dechlorinator which i opened (for some weird reason) before getting on the plane. The bottle was in my suitcase which I did not bring as a hand-carry (so it went to where ever non hand carried baggage goes) with the seal already broken. We flew over South East Asia and the Middle East (tropical temps). Would I have to throw the dechlorinator out can i still use it?

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I'm sorry but you can not disagree that I would not keep any fish in there.

Lol that's a point, but you know what I mean :idont I guess I read it more as "you can't keep goldfish in there".

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Most "common knowledge" is just somebody's unverified opinion, repeated frequently. I know Seachem has a very large research program, and they have found that the surface area to volume ratio affects the amount of water conditioner you need to use -- something I wouldn't have suspected.

Yes, CindiL, we recommend stocking levels by volume. That is because there is little variation in the surface to volume area of aquariums, and most people here have only aquariums. [We have had discussions about 40B and 55 gallon tanks (which are more similar in volume than their names suggest) with some of us preferring the 40B because of it's larger surface area and others preferring the 55 because of it's slightly larger volume.]

Guidelines are nothing more than general rules that people have found to work. We feel confident that an inexperienced fishkeeper who follows the forum guidelines for stocking, water changes, and filtration will not have problems from water quality. This little pond is extreme in being very shallow and having a huge surface area. Furthermore, it's not like Lian is putting 2 fish in a 12 gallon tank. Whatever we recommend as stocking levels, there are experienced people here with healthy goldfish stocked at 1 fish per 10 gallons (or less). We get away with this by having more than excellent filtration and (more importantly) doing much more than the recommended water changes. In terms of water quality, larger volume and larger water changes accomplish the same thing.

Lian came here acknowledging that he had less than optimum conditions and asked what he could do to keep his fish healthy. The answer to this is simple -- change lots of water and add a big filter. He is obviously very attentive to his fish and can certainly make this work.

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Wow shakaho you seem very wise with goldfish lol! I was also think the same thing, I have seen tanks that look like they are stocked with way more fish than 1 per 20 while the goldfish seem pretty healthy. I will definately look into getting another larger filter and will do my best with water changes. Thanks for all the responses. Btw does anyone know what I should do about my little dechlorinator problem? Thanks again

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By the way I was just curious, does anyone know where the forum's background picture came from? That pond/tank or whatever it is looks HUGE!

Its not a true tank it was made specifically for the site :) thanks though :)

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7.jpg

Now this is an Oranda and you cant see really well but he was about 4" tall he wouldnt work in a pond like yours.. he wasnt even fully grown in this photo either.... My current Oranda would work either.... Now if you dont get snow or freezing temps you may get around a Ranchu or Lionhead MAYBE!

Nice picture btw...you should enter it in the photo contest ;)

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I 'm sorry but you can not disagree that I would not keep any fish in ther

Lol that's a point, but you know what I mean :idont I guess I read it more as "you can't keep goldfish in there".

I wouldnt say cant. Goldfish are pretty tough. I have kept them in some pretty awful conditions before i knew any better. I just mean i would not suffer them to live in such a tiny space. Having gone from a 15 to a 29 to a 40 to a 75 gallon tank and from a 150 to a 250 to a 1600 gallon pond i have see the difference in their behavior and from what i have observed bigger is better. it has been stated numerous times already, sure it can be done, but at the cost of double the regular water changes. That recommendation right there should tell a person that the condition is substandard. why not get smaller fish?

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Most "common knowledge" is just somebody's unverified opinion, repeated frequently. I know Seachem has a very large research program, and they have found that the surface area to volume ratio affects the amount of water conditioner you need to use -- something I wouldn't have suspected.

Yes, CindiL, we recommend stocking levels by volume. That is because there is little variation in the surface to volume area of aquariums, and most people here have only aquariums. [We have had discussions about 40B and 55 gallon tanks (which are more similar in volume than their names suggest) with some of us preferring the 40B because of it's larger surface area and others preferring the 55 because of it's slightly larger volume.]

Guidelines are nothing more than general rules that people have found to work. We feel confident that an inexperienced fishkeeper who follows the forum guidelines for stocking, water changes, and filtration will not have problems from water quality. This little pond is extreme in being very shallow and having a huge surface area. Furthermore, it's not like Lian is putting 2 fish in a 12 gallon tank. Whatever we recommend as stocking levels, there are experienced people here with healthy goldfish stocked at 1 fish per 10 gallons (or less). We get away with this by having more than excellent filtration and (more importantly) doing much more than the recommended water changes. In terms of water quality, larger volume and larger water changes accomplish the same thing.

Lian came here acknowledging that he had less than optimum conditions and asked what he could do to keep his fish healthy. The answer to this is simple -- change lots of water and add a big filter. He is obviously very attentive to his fish and can certainly make this work.

I agree. Many Asian breeders raise fish in shallow tubs with a large surface area and no filtration (They, of course, do large water changes). In my research, surface area is of paramount importance. I also believe "breaking" one area of the water's surface with a waterfall is less effective than "moving" a larger area of the surface with a return or jet aimed straight across it. The Hess Fancy Goldfish book speaks to this point as do other sources I have read on the subject.

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