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Makemus

Please - Talk me off the ledge

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Hello all - I am a new member and need someone to slap me. Here is my dilema ..... I have raised fish successfully for over 20 years . Not a novice by any means , BUT not a beginner either. For the last 7 years I had raised goldfish bowl comets to 6 inch beauties in a 55 gal tank. Trying to be the good steward , I had released them into a beautiful pond to grow and live out their next 15 years .

This time around I thought I would raise Fancies . Never having them before , I have done extensive research to make sure that I provide the best care possible . ( I love this site by the way - very informative , watching it from afar for ever ) Anyway - After reading what I need to know - My head is spinning out of control . I am talking about water quality - Everywhere I read , they want you to have PERFECT water . Too hard , too soft , add salt , add this , add that . Good grief - I understand the importance of keeping up with your water , BUT - water softner water is no good , they prefer we add chemicals left and right . Holy cow - you would think the constant water changes , plants , bio filters would be enough . NOPE - not good enough . Gotta add Chemicals or they will die . After all of this doom and gloom talk , I dont even feel adequate to have a goldfish. I just thought , like a dummy , goldfish are pretty hardy & will adapt to their environment as long as they have a healthy bio system . Yes - I have a dreaded water softner , as most people have well or city water . I understand its not perfect , BUT - during changes doesnt the tank water mix with the soft water & you still have clean fresh water at the end of the change ? Isnt that the ultimate goal ? Also - people change water daily ? You would almost think that would cause stress on the fish .

My point is - There is no such thing as " perfect " water - they need good CLEAN water , not perfect. If somebody can shed some light on this - maybe I am missing something ?

Almost feel I should turn their tank into a rat cage ....... would hate to make a goldie suffer.

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Eeep. I just use a water conditioner during my weekly Sunday water changes. Doing my 75 gallon and two 10 gallons takes less than an hour total.

I never do daily water changes unless I have a fish in quarantine without a filter :)

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Well, I don't know too much about all the chemicals you're talking about but like any of my other pets, I love my goldfish and want to do my best to keep them in good health :)

It's really not that much. Just check water parameters often, change an appropriate amount of water weekly, taking care to add dechlorinator and possibly some baking soda if the pH is too low (I run CO2) and that's it :D I change about 80% weekly and they always seem to perk up a bit in fresh water :P My water's not perfect, but for my goldfish babies' sake, I try my best to get as close as possible haha.

I think those that do 100% changes daily are probably in the process of quarantine, don't have a filter, or their fish is probably sick, in which case the constant fresh water may help prevent infection, etc. :o

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:hi

Daily water changes are usually only needed if you buy fish and then do a fish in cycle. Most of us do WCs once a week. I use Prime water conditioner and some fertilzers for my plants, no salt unless I'm treating for something.

Yes, you do want good water quality and with soft water it may be a bit more difficult. General hardness (GH) and alkalinity (KH) play an important role in water chemistry. KH is the buffering capacity of your water which is important in keeping your pH stable. Goldfish can tolerate a wide range of pH, provided its stable and a KH of 100 or more will provide that. If you have low KH and/or GH (they tend to go hand in hand) it can be raised to appropriate levels using something as simple as baking soda.

A good place to start would be with an API master test kit so you can test your water for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH. They also sell a KH/GH test kit. Knowing those 6 parameters of your tap water will give you a good idea of how difficult it would be to maintain a GF tank. If you were successful with comets, I'm sure you'd do great with fancies also. Many members keep fancies and single tails together actually.

Welcome to Koko's and please ask any and all questions you have! We are happy to help! :D

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It can seem a bit overwhelming. Often people post to boards when something is going wrong so it can seem like things are more difficult than they are.

Understocking and large weekly large water changes using a good water conditioner like Prime have kept my fish healthy - despite having a goldfish-borderline ph. Paying attention is important too, checking water parameters and just being aware of how your fish normally behaves in order to catch problems early.

I'm sure you will do fine! :)

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Hello and welcome! :)

I'm not really sure what you mean, because we are by no means advocates of making unnecessary changes/additions to the water.

Here is what I think is ideal

1. Ammonia = 0

2. Nitrite = 0

3. Nitrates - less than 40ppm at all times, preferably less than 20ppm at all times, and closest to zero

4. pH - from 7 - 8.4+, as long as the pH is STABLE

5. kH - from 50 ppm or higher, preferably 100-150 ppm

6. gH - from 50 ppm or higher, preferably 100-150 ppm

Other than adding water conditioner at water change, the only other thing that we might suggest for you to do is to boost your kH so that your kH remains stable. Likewise, it's better to boost the gH to the more ideal level. In the end, it's optional, and no one has said that your fish will die if you don't.

So really, unless you have plants etc., the only condition here that you have to watch for is the kH so that you can maintain a stable pH and provide a sufficient carbon source for the nitrifying bacteria.

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Hey I know how you feel! Relax! Nothing goes into my fancy tank except well water and food, and they are fine. I do think that fancy goldfish are a bit more prone to illness because they are what I would consider genitacally manipulated fish and this does seem to have weakened their immune system.

Also, do whatever dnalex says.

Edited by DieselPlower

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:hi Welcome to Kokos! :)

Fancies are a pleasure to keep! Don't be discouraged :D

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:hi

You have already gotten lots of excellent advice above so I will try not to be too repetitive. As a blanket statement, fancies do tend to be a bit sensitive to water quality, including pH, so those are the main things we worry about keeping up. Water changes will not stress goldfish, in fact they will get used to them and often become very interactive during water change time. As long as tank and tap temp and pH are matched, large frequent water changes are not an issue and many of us do more frequent than typical water changes because we may have slightly overstocked tanks or large fish (I do an 80% change every 3-5 days because my 2 have outgrown their 40 gallon tank and nitrates would be higher than I would like if I waited a full week between water changes).

A minimum weekly 50-80% water change is recommended for goldfish. Keeping your tank lightly stocked will help to avoid the need for more frequent water changes than weekly :)

Anyway, I have full confidence that you can and should keep some fancies! They are really fun and interactive fish, not to mention beautiful. They are well worth the trouble they can sometimes create :P

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Welcome to the forum I know it seems a bit over whelming I am toward the end of have my fish tank cycled with fish in it. I check the water parameters every day. Alex has been most helpful with talking me thru it. What was most helpful to me was purchasing that API Master test kit and testing my water and Alex took me step by step of what to do in cycling. It does sound very scary but my fish are all doing well and I know once you get started it wont seem so scary. That was my biggest fear killing the fish and with my tank cycling I do 2 90% water changes a week based on my own personal test results. So don't pay attention to what your reading in everyone elses cycling threads because yours will be somewhat different just take baby steps set up your tank and filter add your Prime ( the best water conditioner ever) and check your levels and than post back and someone will let you know what to do next. Good luck. :P

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Yes - I have a dreaded water softner , as most people have well or city water . I understand its not perfect , BUT - during changes doesnt the tank water mix with the soft water & you still have clean fresh water at the end of the change ? Isnt that the ultimate goal ? Also - people change water daily ? You would almost think that would cause stress on the fish .

Hi, welcome to Kokos :)

I don't think anyone on this site has ever said you can't use water softener softened water. Many, many people use water softened water, myself included. Actually the one thing usually good about that type of water is the kh is usually high because people don't buy an expensive water softener unless they have really hard water ;)

I do boost my gh with Seachem Replenish. But other then that and prime, and a little plant fertilizer (flourish) that is all I add in.

If you've rasied comets over and over again, the water quality questions/parameters should be the same.

I think the daily changes you have read about would be if people buy fish before their tank is cycled and their ammonia and nitrites reach toxic levels quickly, otherwise most of us here do 1x a week water changes. Some people do 2x/week if they're heavily stocked etc.

Edited by CindiL

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Thank you all for the replies - It sounds as though we are all on the same page . Like I said - I have had goldfish for many years , guess I never had the need to " research " any issues , because I never had any problems or ever lost any . And just to clarify - I have been researching for days , my comments were not based strictly on KOKOS site ...just seemed to be common " google " knowledge that had me in a lather . I am a less is more kind of person and will continue to go with my gut . Will be adopting a lionhead & Perescope on Tuesday - I can do that with confidence now . :greenbanana:

Thanks again for all of the kind words and look forward to become more familiar with the site !

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I noticed you mention

"I have raised fish successfully for over 20 years . Not a novice by any means , BUT not a beginner either. For the last 7 years I had raised goldfish bowl comets to 6 inch beauties in a 55 gal tank."

It sounds like you know the basics (to say the least), so I'm sure you'll be fine.

Why not start with one and go from there.

Good luck.

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Woo! I formally request photos once they're settled in :D :D :D

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Another thing worth mentioning is good filters, if you have enough filtration it will reduce water changes. Recommended 100x gph (55g tank the filters need to push out 550gph). And maybe looking up different foods based on what you get. What kind if fancies were you thinking?

I started getting overwhelmed :stars only recently as my passion grew from making sure I had the basics so they wont die, to making sure they grow fast and less water changes for me, to wanting to have "perfect" :yikes conditions. I also am wary of all the products used because I'm into nutrition in humans and do not agree with processed foods as well as chemicals we use in everyday life like shampoos etc. Ideally I would like to recreate a scenario closest to nature..but I can't do that right now. I keep wanting to buy more and more things but realize that its not all necessary, it's nice to do as a hobby of course. You seem like you know enough having been so successful with commons, and you should have no problem. :thumbup2:

:welcome:hi and good luck! ** also yes, pics please when you get them!

Edited by blubblubblub

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Correct me if I'm wrong, anyone, but wouldn't a lot of plants absorb nitrate and also help to lower tank maintenance needs?

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Correct me if I'm wrong, anyone, but wouldn't a lot of plants absorb nitrate and also help to lower tank maintenance needs?

It depends on the plants, but in general, yes.

However, maintenance shouldn't be reduced all that drastically, in the sense that you are still recommended to change water weekly. :)

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