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mickeyrom

A few questions from me, a newbie with Goldfish.

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We have three small fancy tail goldfish, and one was clearly having swimming bladder issues. Found some helpful things on line and they actually worked. We made them fast for 48 hrs. and then fed peeled peas. All three seem doing well. The question is: Should we keep feeding them the peas, should we feed them less than daily and why do we have to buy/acquire a huge tank? They don't seem to be crowding the 10 gallon we have right now. We, that is my wife and I had no idea that all this was necessary when we bought them, and if I didn't have a soft heart for all living creatures, I would just return them.to Walmart,(God forbid :( ) I guess I am having buyers remorse, but it is what it is. It's not the cost of the large tank, it's the hassle of cycling and getting it right that makes it problematic. That and I had no desire to own huge fish after being a lifetime very small fish keeper. Mollies, Guppies, Betas, Zebra Danios and the like.

 

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Hello. Someone will be able to answer your question soon.

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You need to buy a large tank because those fish will get large. They also produce MUCH more waste than most other fish due to their poor digestive systems. Goldfish should have at least 15, preferably 20 gallons of water per fish. Your current 3 fish will just not be able to handle the water quality issues that are inevitable in their current 10 gallon tank for very long at all. Also, goldfish grow quickly in their first couple of years of life. Right now I have a 2 year old Tamasaba and a 2.5 year old Tamasaba that are making a 40 gallon breeder tank look pretty cramped. Both fish are big enough that I have to use 2 hands to handle them, and have been that big since they hit 1 year of age. 

 

As for the swim bladder issues, I've got a few questions:

1. What are you feeding? 

2. How much and how often are you feeding them?

3. What are the water parameters in your tank currently? (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH)

4. How much water are you changing and how often?

 

 

If you feel that goldfish are just not for you, then instead of returning them to WalMart you could try contacting aquarium societies in your area and see if there's anyone who can take them. Another option would be to make a post asking if anyone can take them in. Goldfish are a lot more difficult to care for than a lot of people think, so you're not in an empty boat there.

 

Edited to Add: Here's a good example of one of my fish and how quickly she grew given proper accommodations. That's a 10 gallon tank for reference, and she didn't live there longer than 3 months before she outgrew it. She spent a majority of her life in a 40 gallon breeder tank, then upgraded to a 55, and then to a small stock tank because she was too large to turn around in the 55.

Edited by ChelseaM

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Good grief Chelsea, that is depressing. I would say that my three are much smaller than that one in your ten gallon tank.

We feed them pretty much standard gold fish food. Tetrafin Gold Fish Flakes(since discontinued), Tetra sun dried gammarus, and mostly HBH goldfish bites. My plan was to feed them bites every other day and peas once a week.

The fast and pea treatment has done wonders. I was just wondering what to do now. By the way the water in that 10 gallon tank was quite mature as it had been the home to some Mollies. I cleaned the gravel several times and changed the water a gallon at a time and they have been in there about two weeks now. I have a filter as well as an air stone, and since yesterday when I installed a heater, the temp. should stay pretty constant. I just check for ammonia and the color was yellow, or 0 ammonia.

How big do you think these fancy tails would get, even in this ten gallon tank? I have always heard that goldfish will grow depending on the size of their habitat.

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Actually, there's no hassle at all in cycling a larger tank for your fish.  When you cycle a tank, you cycle your filter medium, and if your filter medium has enough nitrifiers to process all of the ammonia your fish produce in the current tank, they will do the same thing in a larger tank if you just move the filter with the fish.  

 

Now that's not quite the whole truth.  You will want a larger filter for the larger tank because there is more water to turn over.  You can put the new large filter  in the tank with the old small one and it will also acquire a population of nitrifiers.  No hassle.

 

 

 

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Actually, there's no hassle at all in cycling a larger tank for your fish.  When you cycle a tank, you cycle your filter medium, and if your filter medium has enough nitrifiers to process all of the ammonia your fish produce in the current tank, they will do the same thing in a larger tank if you just move the filter with the fish.  

to help

Now that's not quite the whole truth.  You will want a larger filter for the larger tank because there is more water to turn over.  You can put the new large filter  in the tank with the old small one and it will also acquire a population of nitrifiers.  No hassle.

 

I imagine a filter for a 40 or 50 gallon tank might not fit in a 10 gallon tank, nes pas?  If it does , how long should it be in the existing tank before it would be ready for the larger tank? Another question I have is, if I get the larger tank, and all goes well, could I put a couple of cories in it  To help with the daily cleanup? I was planning to use the same gravel which is in the 10 gallon right now. Would that not be a good idea? Some of the same water too, maybe 4-5 gallons.

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Have you checked the other parameters? 

 

The whole 'Goldfish get to the size of their habitat' thing is somewhat true, but it is also something that we keepers really don't like hearing because it's not a healthy way to think about these fish. Think of it this way: you wouldn't put a great dane in a puppy crate to keep it small, would you? It's not okay for the animal's health, and you'll wind up with a dead fish much earlier than it should pass on. These fish live for an average of 5-6 years, but can get to be over 10 with proper care. I know of a fish on here that is living large in a pond at 14 years old, still laying eggs and still as healthy as can be. As for the approximate time I think your fish can live in those conditions: Think weeks or months, not years. And I am being pretty generous with that. It's not much different than keeping them in bowls. :(

 

Right now, I would get yourself a 55 gallon or larger. Here's some filtration guidelines to follow:

- For HOB filters: 10x the tank's volume turnover rate per hour. 55 gallon tank = 550gph filtration.

- For canister filters: 5-7x the tank's volume turnover per hour. Since you'd be fully stocked, go with 7x. That's 385gph. 

 

While you're corralling something bigger if you decide to keep them, check the pH. If it's the same, do daily 100% water changes in the 10 gallon.

 

 

As for cycling the 55 gallon, you just need to move the cycled filter from the 10 gallon to the 55 gallon tank and run both filters on the larger tank. The cycle is mainly in the filter, so you'd be fine just moving it over. Moving the water over won't do anything at all. And goldfish shouldn't be in gravel-bottom tanks due to choking hazard as they grow, so don't move that either. (gravel is also a big waste-trapper, so no go.)

 

Don't add cories. Not only will the tank be completely stocked with the 3 goldfish, but once the goldies get bigger you'll run the risk of them trying to eat the cories. Like gravel, there's a risk of the fish getting stuck in the goldies' mouths.

 

I know, lots of do's and don'ts. :thud It sounds nuts, but more perusing on this forum will show that a majority of us do things this way with amazing results.

 

Edited to add: Just slowly introduce about 1/4 of the food amount that you have been feeding them. Keep it light, and skip anything that floats. Fancy goldfish will develop swim bladder problems eating floating food a majority of the time. 

Edited by ChelseaM

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@ Chelsea. I am about ready to euthanize these poor fish.(just kidding) but no gravel? That means no plants obviously. Not very interesting tank in my view. Are you serious that three goldfish in a 10 gallon tank could live only at best a few months? Anybody out in the Koko world want three healthy , lovely goldfish? FREE!!!!!!

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No gravel doesn't mean no plants. You can use a dozen different substrates with a goldfish. For example, planting substrate or sand. There are also plenty of plants that don't require substrate. My two favorites for keeping with goldfish are anubias and java ferns. There are a large variety of each, and they do well super-glued to rocks or driftwood.

 

 

E2A, again: If your main worry about having a large tank is the water changes involved, then one of these might be a good idea: http://www.amazon.com/25-Foot-Python-Aquarium-Maintenance/dp/B000255NXC/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1424551026&sr=1-1&keywords=python

It's called a 'python' and screws to the sink to eliminate the use of buckets.

Edited by ChelseaM

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Actually, there's no hassle at all in cycling a larger tank for your fish.  When you cycle a tank, you cycle your filter medium, and if your filter medium has enough nitrifiers to process all of the ammonia your fish produce in the current tank, they will do the same thing in a larger tank if you just move the filter with the fish.  

to help

Now that's not quite the whole truth.  You will want a larger filter for the larger tank because there is more water to turn over.  You can put the new large filter  in the tank with the old small one and it will also acquire a population of nitrifiers.  No hassle.

 

I imagine a filter for a 40 or 50 gallon tank might not fit in a 10 gallon tank, nes pas?  If it does , how long should it be in the existing tank before it would be ready for the larger tank? Another question I have is, if I get the larger tank, and all goes well, could I put a couple of cories in it  To help with the daily cleanup? I was planning to use the same gravel which is in the 10 gallon right now. Would that not be a good idea? Some of the same water too, maybe 4-5 gallons.

 

Using the filter that you have on your 10 gallon on the bigger tank that you may get is a good start because it has beneficial bacteria (BB) already in it. But you will need to get a bigger filter on the tank. You can use more than one filter on the tank to add up to the gallons per hour (GPH) you need. I have 2 filters on each of my 40 gallon tanks that are 200 GPH each so that adds up to 400 GPH. It is better to have 2 smaller filters that add up to your GPH than one big one that adds up to the same GPH because if one of the smaller filters stop working you still have the other filter still running on the tank until you can replace the 2nd filter. If you use just one big filter, and it stops running then you don't have anything providing the filtration and BB that you need.

 

You wouldn't want or really need Cories in your tank. One, they like warmer water because they are tropical fish. Two, they will just add to your bio load with more wastes. Three, Goldfish usually pick around in the substrate on the bottom of the tank anyway while they eat so nothing will be left after that anyway for the cories to eat. Cories usually do not get enough to eat if you just let them eat what happens to drop to the bottom of the tank. Cories really need a food portion of their own like catfish food pellets that the goldies would likely eat before the cories could eat it. Even my tropical fish try to eat my cory catfish's pellets so I feed the cories at night after I turn the lights out. Cory catfish do not eat the wastes from other fish either by the way.

 

Gravel is a choking hazard to goldfish, and tends to trap too much wastes and food and can cause bad water quality issues and that can cause health problems in your fish. You can use aquarium sand for freshwater fish ( I use CaribSea brand sand) Some people use play sand for use in children's sand box but it has to be rinsed VERY well first, or you can even go with a bare bottom tank with no substrate at all.

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No gravel doesn't mean no plants. You can use a dozen different substrates with a goldfish. For example, planting substrate or sand. There are also plenty of plants that don't require substrate. My two favorites for keeping with goldfish are anubias and java ferns. There are a large variety of each, and they do well super-glued to rocks or driftwood.

 

 

E2A, again: If your main worry about having a large tank is the water changes involved, then one of these might be a good idea: http://www.amazon.com/25-Foot-Python-Aquarium-Maintenance/dp/B000255NXC/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1424551026&sr=1-1&keywords=python

It's called a 'python' and screws to the sink to eliminate the use of buckets.

 

Thank you. This is really overwhelming. I am going to have to find a way out of what has become a nightmare. Who would think that just from buying three small fish.. I never intended this to become a passion, just three goldfish. Blame it on my wife, it was her idea.

Allan

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@ Chelsea. I am about ready to euthanize these poor fish.(just kidding) but no gravel? That means no plants obviously. Not very interesting tank in my view. Are you serious that three goldfish in a 10 gallon tank could live only at best a few months? Anybody out in the Koko world want three healthy , lovely goldfish? FREE!!!!!!

If you rehomed 2 of the goldfish you can just get a 20 gallon tank for the last fish. A 20 gallon long tank is preferred to a 20 gallon tall tank. It would take up way less room than a 40 breeder or 55 gallon is space is an issue. A 20 gallon tank is good for a single goldfish even at adult size. :)

 

To post pictures by the way, you can go to Photobucket.com to upload the pictures there then copy and paste the image link to post pictures on here.

 

Curious, what do your goldfish look like?

Edited by Fish Of Gold

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@Shakaho. Thank you for all the help, and I do love your avatar. I have always had gravel in my fish tanks, but only had one goldfish, a plain one. I never did heavy water changes. I vacuum the gravel about once a month and at that time replace the filters. About one gallon of water is removed in the process and is replaced by new water.  I had planned  to do the same with these three fish, but since they are so dirty, I was going to do it every two weeks. Now the more I talk with experienced keepers, I decided to do that process every week. Of course that is not good enough so there is no point of buying a huge tank since I am not willing to devote half of my waking moments in maintaining the tank for these little guys. I have to find someone else to have them. Goldfish tanks at the stores should have a warning label.

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Hello and Welcome to the forum. Seeing your getting a lot of information I thought I'd share with you when I first started keeping goldfish. My daughter had a couple of goldfish in a 5 1/2 gallon tank with brightly colored gravel. Yikes! For the first couple of weeks I thought it was okay. But as I kept going in her bedroom for one thing or another I'd check on the fish and it just kind of seemed too small of a tank. We upgraded to a 10g. The 10g seemed small after only having this tank for a short amount of time. (I think it was less than 2 weeks) We upgraded that tank to a 29. I didn't know what I was doing. Long story short (hopefully) we yet upgraded the tank to a 40 breeder and bought another fish or two. We either had 3 or 4 fish but a fish had passed away when we had the 29g. After all this had happened in a short amount of time that's when I found Koko's forum.

I introduced myself and what I thought was an awesome looking tank. We had 4 small fish, pretty gravel, the standard filter that came with the tank, neat ornaments with holes in them for the fish to swim through. Little did I know all the mistakes I made. Here at Koko's is where all my learning begun. After members had told me the "wrongs and rights" of keeping goldfish safe and healthy I started making the changes. I thought I wouldn't like a barebottom tank and to get rid of all my daughters cute ornaments :( would be sad. It wasn't. We both actually loved the way the tank looked. We learned from our mistakes just like a lot of us do. This was almost three years ago. One of the fish we had rehomed. Another fish had passed away last year from his fins not healing and internal parasites. I tried for a few of months to save Valentino but he just kept declining and passed away one evening on his own. Our third fish we still have. He was a little Crowned Pearlscale that was about 1 1/2 inches in total length and he's now 7 inches in total length.

If you decide to keep you goldfish and make some changes in their environment I think overall you'd be happy knowing that they will be thriving and not just living. If you decide to rehome them that will be perfectly fine also. I just recently started keeping a tropical tank also. You said you've had them in the past. You can always set up your ten gallon for a tropical tank. I'm learning a lot of new information to keep my tropical fish healthy.

Edited by 4prettyfish

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@Shakaho. Thank you for all the help, and I do love your avatar. I have always had gravel in my fish tanks, but only had one goldfish, a plain one. I never did heavy water changes. I vacuum the gravel about once a month and at that time replace the filters. About one gallon of water is removed in the process and is replaced by new water.  I had planned  to do the same with these three fish, but since they are so dirty, I was going to do it every two weeks. Now the more I talk with experienced keepers, I decided to do that process every week. Of course that is not good enough so there is no point of buying a huge tank since I am not willing to devote half of my waking moments in maintaining the tank for these little guys. I have to find someone else to have them. Goldfish tanks at the stores should have a warning label.

 

Once a week water changes of 50% of your tank's volume is just fine for even a big tank. I use a pond pump with tubing attached to drain and fill my tank and that makes it very easy for me, or a python like mentioned above does the same thing and makes water changes faster and easier on the fish keeper.

 

But if you really would prefer to find new homes for them, I could possible take them. I only have room for one, maybe two of them in my new 40 gallon tank that I have just recently set up. I have a new goldfish ready to move into the 40 gallon and was going to look for another goldfish to live with her. My other 40 gallon has 3 goldfish in it, so I could add a goldfish or two to the new 40 gallon. If I take all 3 of your goldfish, I know a great pet store where I always go to that does take in customers unwanted fish to rehome and they take great care of their fish. Their fish are healthy so that is why I buy lots of my fish from them over the many years. They even took my sisters 2 dozen Guppies when they kept having babies and her 1 foot long Pleco catfish. So I could give the one/ones that I can't keep to that pet store.

Edited by Fish Of Gold

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@Shakaho. Thank you for all the help, and I do love your avatar. I have always had gravel in my fish tanks, but only had one goldfish, a plain one. I never did heavy water changes. I vacuum the gravel about once a month and at that time replace the filters. About one gallon of water is removed in the process and is replaced by new water.  I had planned  to do the same with these three fish, but since they are so dirty, I was going to do it every two weeks. Now the more I talk with experienced keepers, I decided to do that process every week. Of course that is not good enough so there is no point of buying a huge tank since I am not willing to devote half of my waking moments in maintaining the tank for these little guys. I have to find someone else to have them. Goldfish tanks at the stores should have a warning label.

 

Once a week water changes of 50% of your tank's volume is just fine for even a big tank. I use a pond pump with tubing attached to drain and fill my tank and that makes it very easy for me, or a python like mentioned above does the same thing and makes water changes faster and easier on the fish keeper.

 

But if you really would prefer to find new homes for them, I could possible take them. I only have room for one, maybe two of them in my new 40 gallon tank that I have just recently set up. I have a new goldfish ready to move into the 40 gallon and was going to look for another goldfish to live with her. My other 40 gallon has 3 goldfish in it, so I could add a goldfish or two to the new 40 gallon. If I take all 3 of your goldfish, I know a great pet store where I always go to that does take in customers unwanted fish to rehome and they take great care of their fish. Their fish are healthy so that is why I buy lots of my fish from them over the many years. They even took my sisters 2 dozen Guppies when they kept having babies and her 1 foot long Pleco catfish. So I could give the one/ones that I can't keep to that pet store.

 

I can not private message you about more details to discuss this topic because you are still a new comer and do not have enough posts to earn private messaging unless Koko can change that for this situation :idont

 

Awesome of you. :hug

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Welcome to the site! I've used the rounded edged gravel in my tanks for decades without incident. Yes it is more work but this no gravel trend is something relatively new. This is my opinion of course and I am in no way suggesting what you should or shouldn't do. I personally enjoy seeing my fish in tanks with some decoration and substrate. I commend you for being honest about your apprehensions. I think If Fish aren't your passion then perhaps re-homing them would be best for all involved.

Best of luck to you and your Fish in whatever it is you decide to do. :)

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@ Chelsea. I am about ready to euthanize these poor fish.(just kidding) but no gravel? That means no plants obviously. Not very interesting tank in my view. Are you serious that three goldfish in a 10 gallon tank could live only at best a few months? Anybody out in the Koko world want three healthy , lovely goldfish? FREE!!!!!!

If you rehomed 2 of the goldfish you can just get a 20 gallon tank for the last fish. A 20 gallon long tank is preferred to a 20 gallon tall tank. It would take up way less room than a 40 breeder or 55 gallon is space is an issue. A 20 gallon tank is good for a single goldfish even at adult size. :)

 

To post pictures by the way, you can go to Photobucket.com to upload the pictures there then copy and paste the image link to post pictures on here.

 

Curious, what do your goldfish look like?

 They look like your basic goldfish, but with fancy split tails and a slightly rounder body. The heads are like any other fish, not bulbous and the eyes do not protrude. One is gold, one is mostly white and the other is multicolored.

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They sound like fantails or ryukins that look much alike when they are small.

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Using a proper sized clear hose from Home Depot with a pond pump from a store like Harbor Freight is also a good option for water changes. Insert the pond pump into the tank, plug it in, water leaves the tank through the hose and goes down the drain into a nearby tub or large sink.

Plop the pond pump into a bucket in said tub/sink, run water, use a cable clamp or so to hold the end of the hose inside the tank for refilling. :)

XcBjy3d.jpg

Edited by Chai

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Chai, the water in Kewanee is such quality that we have to either buy bottled water, or use a device that filters it for the water we consume. This method is not possible in Kewanee.

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Oh my goodness. :yikes

How will you do the large weekly changes? :yikes

10 gallon containers and sheer man power? :ehh

Edited by Chai

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Oh my goodness. :yikes

How will you do the large weekly changes? :yikes

10 gallon containers and sheer man power? :ehh

Even that is not possible as our drinking water filter only puts out about a gallon at a time. I would want to use the same water consistently so buying bottled water is not an option. Let's say that this is very problematic.

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Chai, the water in Kewanee is such quality that we have to either buy bottled water, or use a device that filters it for the water we consume. This method is not possible in Kewanee.

 

I live in an area where the water straight out of the tap is not safe to put directly in the tank. I fill several 5 gallon buckets though a hose filter that I have, add the water conditioner that I use, let it sit for 15 minutes, then pour it back into the tank. Or, with Chai's suggestion, it could be pumped back in with the pump from those pre-treated buckets.

The hose filter that I use might be helpful for you. It screws on to the end of any hose and then you run your tap water through it, you just need an adapter to put your hose onto your faucet. Before I got this no water conditioner could remove all the chloramines in my tap water, but this took it down to safe enough levels that things like Prime work. Might be something to consider for yourself. Lots of people I know were buying filtered water from their local fish store, I found this was way easier.  :)

http://familybedrock.com/category/garden-hose-filter

Edited by goldfishgirl82

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I am not up to this task. I am thinking about returning two of them to a fish store and getting a 20 gallon tank for the remaining fish. I would get rid of all three, but my wife insists that she wants one kept here. I don't like returning fish to Walmart, or anywhere else, but I think they would have a chance at a small pet shop which we have here in Kewanee where we bought a couple of Guppies. I'm sure I am not the only one who is ignorant about the needs Goldfish have, but that is beyond my control.

I am also considering trying to keep them in the existing 10 gallon tank, watching their growth closely and thinking about my options a bit longer. I will put in a second filter and feed the minimum food needed, so the ammonia level should be OK.

I don't suppose getting a 20 gallon would be much of an improvement. What do you think? Any idea how long it takes them to REALLY outgrow my tank? Yeah I know, I do babble on....such is my nature. Have a nice Sunday.

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