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Best Fish For A Newbie?


jen626

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I am about to start over with goldfish. I just lost one, due to not knowing what i was doing. It was a fish that was given to my daughter and I by my three year old nephew before he moved to Montana. I made a mistake and changed all the water and washed the gravel, plus used some distilled water in his tank, and I think that is what did him in, plus being in too small of a tank to start out with.

So now I am starting over and getting a new tank, filter etc. i have learned a ton from this site, plus have a great place to go with the inevitable questions that will come up.

So I am wondering if it matters what type of goldfish we start with? I took my daughter to the store the other day and the two she liked best were a red cap oranda and a calico fantail. Would these be good choices? We will probably only get one to start with (in a 20 gallon tank). Just wondering if some are easier than others.

The only other experience I have had was as a child I had a bunch of "feeder" fish (I think they were still goldfish?) that were in a 10 gallon tank, four of them. They had no filter, no aerator, just gravel and water. They lived in that tank for six years with only weekly water changes and got so huge (6+ inches each) that we ended up putting them in a neighbor's pond where they lived for another two or three years at least. I think that was pure luck because I sure didn't know what i was doing!

Thanks for any advice. :-)

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Hi, Jen - Sorry to hear about the rough start - but it will be feel good to know that you are going to be all set-up right this time! (I also started out the "hard" way)!

I think the two fancies you mentioned would make great "newbie" fish! Fantails and orandas are resonably hardy and very enjoyable! I don't think you need to feel like you have to get a comet or a *heart tail* (formerly known as common) - or a shubunkin - just becuse you are getting started. In time, they will need more space! And it will be harder to have more fish even in a bigger tank. So, a fancy is a nice way to go since they don't get quite as big as the slender fish and their swimming requirements are a little easier to accommodate.

With the right conditions ;) the oranda or the fantail will be just as hardy! IMO

PS - Feeders are basically culled comets and heart tails - they are still plain old GF - it does sound like a very lucky situation how they managed to thrive in those conditons - it is not unheard of - but ultimatley not ideal, either. Think how much bigger they could have been! It is really fantastic that they had such a great life and made into a pond even, but personally, I would not try to reproduce that result. A new fish in the environment you have been preparing can live for 20 years! It is very tempting but, knowledge is power! Hard to go back now - you would prolly keep wondering what the WQ is?! :lol:

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Guest JustJayde

I have a fan tail and I love him dearly :) he is sweet and funny and has an awesome personality! he made it through a lot of stuff I don't think a weaker fish would have. So I will triple the vote on a fan tail :)

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I agree with the others--my fantail has survived many many things she probably shouldn't have (many newbie mistakes I made, attempting to eat her algae eater, and getting stuck in a decorative rock).

So I also think a fantail would be great. I don't have any experience with orandas but I know many others here are very fond of them. I'd like to also mention ryukins (although they are a bit prone to swim bladder disorder).

Good luck and have fun!! :krazy:

Oh and I forgot :welcome

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WELCOME!! U couldn't have come to a better site for information!! I think u and ur dauther will LOVe haveing goldies, I have fallin in love with my goldies!! Esspecially my bubble eyed goldie (not a beginner fish, I found that one out the hard way) And I also recient feel in love with ORanda and they are fantastic they are soo friendly and soo sweet I just love them, they will always come to say hello to you when you come to the tank. I kno u will have many happy years with ur new babies!!!

GOOD LUCK!!! AND WELCOME!!

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If I could only choose one fish it would be (turning computer away from little fishey eyes) an Oranda. My siggy reads" Orandas are puppies with fins!" They are sweet and loads of fun. :D

Just keep up your quarter water changes weekly & you'll have a friend for years!! :exactly

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Yup! I agree with everyone else. My first two fancy goldfish were a red cap oranda and a red and white fantail. I had no clue what i was doing and they survived my ignorance longer than I thought they would! I wish Id known what I was doing at the time. My red cap got sooo big and pretty!!! I wish I still had him today! And I probably would had I known what I was doing. :( Thank goodness for Koko's! Honestly that is the only reason I know what the heck Im doing.

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Wow! Thank you so much everyone for the awesome advice! It sounds like we picked good starter fish, although I think we may just get one to start with. Do they get lonelty though? Would two be better? And would an oranda and a fantail get along ok if we did get both?

Yes, I was very lucky with the 'feeders" I had that lived forever and went to a pond, but I definitely will not try that again. When I think of the conditions they were living in, it still makes me cringe. My mom could've read a goldfish book or something (no internet then).

I am so glad to have found this site. I have utter confidence in the knowledge here and everyone is so gosh darn friendly!

Thanks again everyone, within a week or two I should have the tank cycling.

~Jen

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Wow!  Thank you so much everyone for the awesome advice!  It sounds like we picked good starter fish, although I think we may just get one to start with. Do they get lonelty though?  Would two be better?  And would an oranda and a fantail get along ok if we did get both?

~Jen

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You may want to just get both of them to start. That way one doesn't get to used to having all 20 of those gallons to himself. They both enter on equal terms--new tank for both of them.

Of course that is just my opinion and I'm sure it'll be fine if you do just one a time. If you do one first then the other, you'll need to quarantine the newbie (I think it's suggested 2-4 weeks). I would imagine if you got both from the same store/tank at the same time you could skip the quarantine? Or at least treat them both at once? Maybe someone iwth more knowledge could let you know if that is true.

Have fun!!

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Gf can often get lonely, they are a schooling fish so having a buddy is a nice thing for them.

And with a 20 gal tank you can get 2. It doesn't give you room to add more if you see one you just have to have latter down the road, but the one fish would'nt be lonely.

I think the oranda and fantail will be just fine.

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I think pretty much any fish would be good, as long as it is healthy to start off with. When you are looking around, make sure there aren't a lot of dead fish in ANY of the stores tanks, especially in the special goldfish's tank. Most LFS's have one huge filter in the back that go to all the tanks so all fish share the water. I *think* some stores have two or three filters now, so just make sure. Also, pick one out that is active and happy, with no signs of disease :)

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What about pearlscale orandas (or other pearlscale fish)? Are they more difficult to care for? I know they have different scales, but are they any other differences? I like the regular orandas better, but I suppose I will let my daughter pick it out....grumble, grumble :-)

We were at another pet store today and both decided we like black moors as well...would those be ok too?

I have also heard that the bubble-eyed fish are not really good for beginner's...why is that? I don't think we want one of them right now anyway, just curious!

Thanks!

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Pearlscales are pretty hardy. They are the roundest fancies tho, and that means there could be possible swim bladder problems. Moors and telescope eyes are my absolute favorites :) The ones indiscriminately bred tend to have lots of eye problems (pop eye, cloudiness, blindness etc) and often have a hard time finding food because of their vision impairnent. Care must be taken to avoid sharp things in the tank so you don't damage their eyes. Same thing pretty much with bubble eyes, except its their bubbles you are worried about, and they can pop easilly if there are sharp plastic plants or ornaments. They are also a bit more sensitive and can get sick easier if water params in your tank are not good.

Of course you can always suggest your daughter look at this one..tell her what you like about it and why! :D

Hope this helps!

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Thanks! There is a woman on the site who lives nearby and is giving away her 20 gallon setup with four fish, so we may have to check that out. Her fishies need a home and we need fish! Plus with four i could get another tank....I can see this is going to become quite addictive! :-)

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