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mary

It takes a village to raise a fish - that village is Koko's!

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Hi, everyone! Some of you may know me from years back. I've relied on Koko's for good advice since my very first fish, Gilbert Keith Chesterton Goldfish. I learned a lot over the years, and I'm certainly not going to reinvent the wheel! But you can always learn more. I really think my new little rescue, Faramir Fish, is alive today because of you guys. So-

 

Here's what I JUST learned.

 

1.

Of course, you need to have at least a ten gallon tank for one small goldfish. Of course, you need a filter. Of course, you need to change the water every week. But I learned that, if you have a heavily planted tank or a plant filter (plant filters are great!) you can't rely on the nitrate level to guide your water changes.

 

The nitrates in my tank are always near zero, because of the groponix filter. BUT I still needed to change more water! I noticed this way back when I was moving little Gilbert into his bigger tanks. He would perk right up after a big water change. So, from now on, I'm aiming for 50 percent a week, even if the parameters seem perfect. Even more would be even better.

 

2.

Your goldfish almost certainly has flukes. Especially if it's a rescue from the feeder tank. Be proactive and minimize those guys! Hikarki prazipro (what I'm using) is a gentle med that can help your fish a lot and won't kill the filter.

 

3.

You CAN salt your tank, even if it's planted. It's a good idea to treat all new fish for parasites. Believe it or not, I hadn't done this with my earlier fish; I would watch and wait and treat after symptoms showed up. But, when symptoms show, your fish is getting attacked by nasties! You can and should take care of the major ones he or she is likely to have before you see any symptoms. 

 

One thing I learned is that the therapeutic dose is bigger than I'd imagined. I had, in the past, used the guidelines on the aquarium salt boxes. That's not enough to kill ich and other parasites. You really do have to get the concentration up to 0.3 percent to do any good. 

 

4.

Give your fish good food, and presoak it I began by feeding flakes, and they were leading to constipation and other problems. New Life and Omega one foods are so much better! Eventually, I'll probably get Faramir fish to eat a pea. Then that can be a weekly treat, and I'll look out for other fresh foods for him. 

 

5.

We've all heard you shouldn't overfeed your fish. You shouldn't underfeed them, either! I'm serious! When I got Charlie Weasely goldfish from Dr. Tepper, it turned out that I was seriously underfeeding the poor little guy. I wasn't feeding Faramir right, either. Dr. Tepper told me I was starving Charlie, and that I must feed him more. Underfeeding will stress and weaken your fish. Yes, they make a mess when they're fed right! That's why you need to change so much water. :)

 

So that's what I learned in the past month, (point five got reinforced this past month.)

 

Of course, I did some things right, too! With Faramir fish, I did my first fishless cycle. I also took great care to acclimatize him to the tank. And I do think plant filters are awesome, especially for goldfish. Dr. Tepper, of the Long Island fish hospital, did a lot of research into plant filters and how they help guard the fish from disease, as well as cleaning the water.

 

I'm happy Faramir is doing so much better now. The places on his face that looked red and swollen are now black, which I think is a sign of healing. His gills aren't swollen, he's not constipated, and he doesn't look as skinny. Thanks to everyone over on the other thread for all their help!

 

And - one of the things that's cool about keeping goldies is that there's always more to learn!

 

So thanks again, and happy goldfish keeping!

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You can salt a tank if it's planted, but watch your plants! Some of my more finicky Anubias species and my Crinum do not do well in salt. :yikes

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Yes - Doctor Johnson has a whole list of plants that don't like salt, but it seems most will survive. I was terrified of killing the marigolds, but, so far, they don't even seem to have noticed. They're still blooming like mad. 

 

Thanks for your help and your response!

 

About the plants: I imagine the experts here do all the parasite treatment in separate containers before the fish go into the planted tank. That's obviously the best way, but, alas, I have neither the space nor the money for that. I am still happy I got such good guidance here on treating for parasites. :)

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Wonderful summary! Thank you for sharing the learnings from your adventure.

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Thank you! I really appreciate the help I've gotten over the years, and hope my experience can help other newbies.

:P

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