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Advice on Growing Out Smaller Fish


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  • Regular Member

Hi guys, 

Wow it's been awhile :hi. I tend to lurk on here lot, but it's been forever since I actually posted.

Basically I'd like some advice about grooming goldfish. A few weeks ago I got two very small goldies from my local PetSmart, a little blue oranda & a black moor. When I small, I mean so small I was kind of surprised they were selling them. When I first brought them home they were probably only an inch from head to tail. 

I really want them to grow to their fullest potential so I'm trying really hard to give them the most ideal conditions. If it's okay, I'd like to tell you guys what I'm doing to help their growth and get some feedback on if I'm doing everything right.  So far this is what I'm doing:

-Feeding them 3-4 meals a day. Alternating between Hikari Green Bag Pellets, NLS Goldfish Pellets, giving either bloodworms or brine shrimp once a day. 

-80-90% water changes daily or sometimes every other day

-Keeping the temp raised in my tank to 76F, I have read when you're trying to grow out goldfish 78-80F is ideal, but my heater struggles to keep it that warm so I've settled on 76F 

My main concern is that I'm overfeeding the fish or stressing them, but so far they seem to be doing pretty well. Also just generally concerned about trying to make them grow too fast/overdoing it. They're probably closer to an inch an half now, both of them have also visibly gained weight, especially the tele. The oranda didn't have a wen at all when I first got them, but now they've got a little one coming in. 

I'd love some input or advice, I'd also love to hear what you guys do to make your fish grow well.

 

Edit: I forgot mention, my tank is a 40 gallon breeder & fully cycled. It's filtered with an AquaClear 70 & a large sponge filter. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Regular Member

Hi! :hi

Sounds like you’re doing great! 

The only things I would personally change:

- I would add a bit more fruit/veg to their diet

- I’d actually reduce the water changes somewhat. Too many can stress them out so I’d do every other day as long as it keeps the parameters in check!

Also bear in mind that faster growth will generally result in a shorter lifespan. As far as feeding is concerned I would weigh them and calculate how much food to feed by this, there are resources here about how much food a goldfish needs for maintenance vs. faster growth etc by percentage of body weight. ;)

Best of luck with your new fishies! :heart

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I also agree with the water changes being excessive. If the tank is fully cycled and has two tiny fish, you don't need to change that much. It is incredibly wasteful at the least. I do not feed for growth, I actually do the opposite. Large fish just seem to have more health problems and they eat more and poop more and take up more space etc etc. Never really understood the desire for large fish. My strongest and healthiest ones are the dinkier ones.

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  • Helper

The general rule is that frequent water changes do help the fish grow bigger because it removes growth inhibiting hormones released into the water with the fish’s waste. Most breeders keep vigorous water change schedules or flow through systems for this reason, along with optimal water quality. I think you can probably scale back to twice per week though.

Heavy feeding of high protein food like bloodworms or mysis shrimp is the other main hack for growing big, vigorous goldfish. It works better than pellets, because those have filler, but heavier feeding in general will help. The tradeoff of warm water and heavier feeding is speeding up the goldfish metabolisms and shortening their lives a bit. It can stress their organs too, depending on the quality of the food. Generally speaking three small, protein heavy meals per day for a juvenile fish should be plenty to help them grow well without overdoing it. Beyond that and I think it can get dodgy for their long term health, even though many breeders swear by it.

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  • Regular Member

not a big fan of trying to get size on fish rapidly, I believe it is not good for their long term health. However I switch to mostly a gel food. I like those repashy brands such as the pure gold made specifically for goldfish. Blood worms and brine shrimp should be fed more as a treat. I would eliminate the dry foods as they really lack nutritional value and goldfish were designed by nature to eat soft foods

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  • Regular Member
11 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

The general rule is that frequent water changes do help the fish grow bigger because it removes growth inhibiting hormones released into the water with the fish’s waste. Most breeders keep vigorous water change schedules or flow through systems for this reason, along with optimal water quality. I think you can probably scale back to twice per week though.

Heavy feeding of high protein food like bloodworms or mysis shrimp is the other main hack for growing big, vigorous goldfish. It works better than pellets, because those have filler, but heavier feeding in general will help. The tradeoff of warm water and heavier feeding is speeding up the goldfish metabolisms and shortening their lives a bit. It can stress their organs too, depending on the quality of the food. Generally speaking three small, protein heavy meals per day for a juvenile fish should be plenty to help them grow well without overdoing it. Beyond that and I think it can get dodgy for their long term health, even though many breeders swear by it.

I think I may reign it in a bit, then, that's kind of what I had feared. I'd rather them grow a little slower and live longer. I think I'll only do water changes twice a week instead like you recommended & maybe take the heater out or turn it down a bit.

I have purchased larger fish in the past and they always seemed to be the ones with the most health issues. I wonder if their growth being rushed so they can be big enough to sell was part of the issue. 

 

 

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  • Regular Member

I believe that is the case with those larger imported fish. How can a fish that is less than a year old be 5 inches in length unless some heavy feedings/hormones are in playhere

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