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Goldfish Tanksize Rule (everyone Please Read)


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Alright, I notice that on this and various other goldfish sites there is a rule that exists for common goldfish and it states that a 20g should be the minimum tank size for said fish. I don't get it though, most of us fishkeepers with experiance know that a common goldfish will outgrow a 20g tank, they can grow over a foot long, How is keeping such a large fish in a small tank justifiable? You wouldn't suggest putting an oscar in a 20g and they don't even grow as large as commons. We would not suggest putting a koi in anything less than a multi-hundred gallon pond so why the 20g rule for a fish that grows so darn large? For those who don't know here is some photographic evidence. These are NOT koi, they are common (or comet) goldfish.

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Tarpley-goldfishWS.jpg

These fish are large, fast and messy. A 20g is no place for them and I think a revision is needed in the tank size rule. Personally, I think a 75g at least is needed for a common with a multi hundred gallon tank being much better. For comets I think somewhere between 40-55g would be best. And while we are on the subject, a 10g tank is no good for the fancys, we have all seen those baseball or softball sized individuals and I cannot imagin keeping them in such a cramped space. Maybe 20g per fancy with 10g for every fancy added afterwards?

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These commons have grown huge because they were probably in a pond or something like that, goldfish & common wont grow very fast if they don't have enough room,thats why its hard to tell the age of any fish if its a big 7" Oranda it might be old or it might have been bred in a huge tank or pond.

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These commons have grown huge because they were probably in a pond or something like that, goldfish & common wont grow very fast if they don't have enough room,thats why its hard to tell the age of any fish if its a big 7" Oranda it might be old or it might have been bred in a huge tank or pond.

Fish do not grow to the size of their tank, if this was the case than why can't we keep fish in bowls? A captive goldfish can grow just as large as a wild goldfish. If you provide them with a healthy environment and diet there is no reason to think they would not grow just as large. After all, other fish grow large in aquaria, sometimes larger than they would in the wild simply because in captivity they are exposed to warmer water (faster metabolism) and live longer.

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The 10g per fancy and 20g per single-tailed is the BARE MINIMUM, so it's not ideal but it's better than nothing.

I do agree with what u said about 20g for the first fancy, then 10g for the next ones.

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Exactly Sandtiger. I agree 100%. The "10 gallon rule" is the absolute minimum for a small goldie. We tell people all the time that they need at least 10 gallons a piece, we often neglect to tell people that they will need a much larger tank as the fish grows.

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im not saying they wont grow as large as their tank,i am saying they will not grow as fast as if you had them in a pond. Obviously if you put two baby fancy goldfish in a 60 gallon tank they will grow quite fast. All the pictures you have show us are commons that have been in a lake or pond. This is why Breeders in japan put their fancy goldfish in huge water areas and not fish tanks,they want them to gorw as fast as they can. And why can't you put a goldfish in any bowl?well it wouldnt live. If you buy a 60 gallon tank and you put 6 fish in there their growth rate is going to be VERY slow.

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I have to agree that I also think that these fish pictured have grown to that size because of where they live. The picture's show clearly that they don't live in tanks, There fore they would grow much larger than a fish in a tank.

The Bowl rule has a lot more to do with than just having enough room, Filtration etc. Come's into play with that rule also.

I agree with Riz on the Gallon Sizes, It's ideal, Better than nothing.

I have to disagree on one account though, GF do grow to the size of their tank.

I also really think this thread has the ablity to get out of hand, And Fast. Let's keep it nice..It's a intresting thread, With really great fish pic's!! :)

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I have to disagree on one account though, GF do grow to the size of their tank.

Yep. AND, their age also follow their tank size. The smaller the tank, the quicker they go kaput.

Here's my thoughts on this matter:

40-50g per single-tailed and 20g per fancy is ideal, but the society is not ready for that yet. To most people, goldfish is still regarded as cheapo pets and I'm afraid that attitude will change later rather than sooner. Goldfish status (and general knowledge) is currently better than 50 years ago, and people are *very* gradually taught that goldfish is a high-maintenance pet, but once again, they're not ready yet for 40-50 gal for one single 20 cents comet. 10g per fancy and 20g per single-tailed is a good compromise for now. Who knows, maybe a few years from now, if KGW is still around, we'll get to the stage where it's fit to change the 10g/20g rule to 20g/50g, and when that time comes, us goldfish enthusiasts should party like there's no tomorrow ;)

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Yes, I don't want this thread to turn into an arguement. I am only trying to express my views on what I feel is an important subject.

Golem: I just don't feel that those are good BARE MINIMUMS for such large fish. IMO a bare minimum sould allow a fish to grow to it's full size, anything less will stunt or cram the fish. Yes, it's better than nothing but as a site I feel we should promote the best possable way to keep fish, we all care about these fish and whether people like it or not the bare minimums need to be changed.

To all the others who mentioned the fish in the pictures and how large fish can grow, I have to protest. It makes no sense that in a healthy tank with a healthy diet a fish's growth would slow down. Look at it this way...in the wild a fish has to find it's food and exhaust more energy. In captivity they are hand fed pellets often more than once a day. In the wild they only live so long, a predator or some other environmental factor will kill them probably long before they reach full size. Fish, unlike us do not stop growing. Older fish are larger than younger fish. In captivity fish live a lot longer. In the wild fish have to survive through a winter period (if they live in that kind of place). This slows metabolism and growth, fish are cold blooded. In captivity they live in year round constant temps. Typically warm temps in the 70's. Lastly, in the wild fish have to deal with pollution and other foul water habitats. In captivity, if you do it right fish should live in very clean water that's changed often. Fish cannot sense the size of their tank and only grow so large according to it, they cannot change what genetics have determined. The only was a fish will stop growing is if it is kept in a stressfull unhealthy environment. Please people, I am not trying to start trouble. I have been around this site long enough that I think people know that I know quite a bit about fish, both in and out of the aquarium and how they function. I keep over 22 species of fish of all sizes, I have over 50 individual fishes. I studied fish in college and have had an interest in them for most of my life. I'm not bragging here, mearly saying that I know what I am talking about.

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I have to disagree on one account though, GF do grow to the size of their tank.

Yep. AND, their age also follow their tank size. The smaller the tank, the quicker they go kaput.

Here's my thoughts on this matter:

40-50g per single-tailed and 20g per fancy is ideal, but the society is not ready for that yet. To most people, goldfish is still regarded as cheapo pets and I'm afraid that attitude will change later rather than sooner. Goldfish status (and general knowledge) is currently better than 50 years ago, and people are *very* gradually taught that goldfish is a high-maintenance pet, but once again, they're not ready yet for 40-50 gal for one single 20 cents comet. 10g per fancy and 20g per single-tailed is a good compromise for now. Who knows, maybe a few years from now, if KGW is still around, we'll get to the stage where it's fit to change the 10g/20g rule to 20g/50g, and when that time comes, us goldfish enthusiasts should party like there's no tomorrow ;)

I don't think that's good enough. Why should the fish suffer because "people are not ready"? Promote the larger tank size, if the members don't like it than that's too bad, if that's what the fish need and they cannot provide it they need to find a new species of fish. In is common knowledge among aquarists "in-the-know" that larger tanks are actually more easy to maintain. They also aren't that much more money. A 29g kit averages around $100. A 55g kit around $150.

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Most people won't listen when you tell them to buy a 55 gallon tank for a 20 cent fish, thats the sad part of it. It doesnt matter if youre right or not unfortunetely. We can't tell them what kind of fish they should keep, just give our advice. In the end, its up to the people themselves.

I agree that this thread is not going in a good direction so cool it everyone!! ;)

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On another note, i think that keeping a feeder comet or common in a 10-20 gal is a lot better than being fish food. I agree that larger goldfish should have between 20 and 40 gallons but for the most part, most peoples fish are not as big as the fish in the pictures.

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Most people won't listen when you tell them to buy a 55 gallon tank for a 20 cent fish, thats the sad part of it. It doesnt matter if youre right or not unfortunetely. We can't tell them what kind of fish they should keep, just give our advice. In the end, its up to the people themselves.

I agree that this thread is not going in a good direction so cool it everyone!! ;)

If the people won't listen than there is nothing we can do about it but we can still provide the information. I myself will continue to suggest what I feel is right, so if you see me in a thread telling people they should have something larger than a 20g tank for a foot long fish than you will at least understand why.

I don't see how this thread is going in a bad direction. So far everyone has been acting fine. There hasen't been any name calling, insults or anything of that nature. If you can point out specifics than please do.

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On another note, i think that keeping a feeder comet or common in a 10-20 gal is a lot better than being fish food. I agree that larger goldfish should have between 20 and 40 gallons but for the most part, most peoples fish are not as big as the fish in the pictures.

Give them time, other people's fish will grow...provided they A) Survive long enough and B) Live in heathy conditions. I have personally seen how large a common goldfish can grow over the course of a few years in the right sized tank.

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I have to disagree on one account though, GF do grow to the size of their tank.

Yep. AND, their age also follow their tank size. The smaller the tank, the quicker they go kaput.

Here's my thoughts on this matter:

40-50g per single-tailed and 20g per fancy is ideal, but the society is not ready for that yet. To most people, goldfish is still regarded as cheapo pets and I'm afraid that attitude will change later rather than sooner. Goldfish status (and general knowledge) is currently better than 50 years ago, and people are *very* gradually taught that goldfish is a high-maintenance pet, but once again, they're not ready yet for 40-50 gal for one single 20 cents comet. 10g per fancy and 20g per single-tailed is a good compromise for now. Who knows, maybe a few years from now, if KGW is still around, we'll get to the stage where it's fit to change the 10g/20g rule to 20g/50g, and when that time comes, us goldfish enthusiasts should party like there's no tomorrow ;)

I don't think that's good enough. Why should the fish suffer because "people are not ready"? Promote the larger tank size, if the members don't like it than that's too bad, if that's what the fish need and they cannot provide it they need to find a new species of fish. In is common knowledge among aquarists "in-the-know" that larger tanks are actually more easy to maintain. They also aren't that much more money. A 29g kit averages around $100. A 55g kit around $150.

Not everyone on here has to do what you think is good enough, There are plenty of us on here that have well mainted tanks with beautiful healthy fish living in them. And as a site we do encourage a certain Gal ratio per fish. I would rather see somene putting a GF in a 10Gal rather than a bowl, Or worse. This site also promote's the idea of DIY, To keep costs down. There is no reason that you can't have beautiful fish along with the cost's of huge tanks, I think that is why a lot of us use the Rubbermaid as a alternative sometime's. Not everything has to be bigger and better.

Truth remain's, Like someone mentioned before that Goldfish have just recently became a popular breed again. With that come's some learning and that is what the most of us are doing on this board. We are not perfect. Nor do we claim to be. You are almost making it sound like you know all there is to know about raising fish in general. I know you studied fish in college, But that still does not give you expertise status.

What I think is causing the most problem with this thread is your tone. Your coming off as harsh and knocking what everyone else has said thus far.

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I was also pondering if the 10G or 20G rule needed to be revised. Atleast if you're trying to get the best progress in raising goldfishes. I think 30-50 gallons is more sutable for a fancy and 70-100 is require for the long bodied goldfishes.

Also it would be best to think of wakins, jikins, comets, and shubunkins in the same category as commons in the idea of fish per gallon.

Although don't take this idea to seriously I was thinking in terms of quality over quantity, if you guys have 2 ryukins and only a 20 gallon tank then hey atleast you're doing your best with the resources you're offered.

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I have to agree with Froggydella on what she said

"What I think is causing the most problem with this thread is your tone. Your coming off as harsh and knocking what everyone else has said thus far."

That is what i was personally feeling when i read the thread for the 1st time,it made me feel like everything i was trying to say and respond to your topic was totally wrong,and that you weren't willing to agree a little with our opinions.

I wan't this topic to stay friendly,the whole point of putting a topic in "goldfish Discussion" is to get everyones opinion,and i hope it stays at that :)

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Thank You. OB. :) I would also like it to stay friendly, It's a good topic and I'm sure we can all offer some good advice. The tone just needs to be well...toned down a bit. ;)

"Although don't take this idea to seriously I was thinking in terms of quality over quantity, if you guys have 2 ryukins and only a 20 gallon tank then hey atleast you're doing your best with the resources you're offered."

I really think that is a very good point. Maniac!!

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From what I understand, the growth rate of goldfish has more to do with the hormones they secrete into the water than the actual tank size-but they are directly related.

Goldfish secrete hormones in the water and when those hormones reach a certain level the fish receives a message to stop growing (simplified version). The smaller the tank, the sooner the hormones will reach that level and have the fish stop growing. And I believe there is something to do with those levels allowing only some parts to grow if they are too high, which is where stunting comes in and can cause internal organ damage and stuff.

Now, i may be way off on that but that is the way I understand it. I still don;t think fish should be kept in tiny bowls no matter how often the water is changed-that doesn't make the fish happy which also has a direct relation to their general health and well being.

I think more is better for gallonage too-20 gallons for the first fish and 10 each thereafter is good, and more is better. My new calico telescope has been in my 20 gallon tank for 5 weeks or so by herself and is growing like mad. I feel badly because I have 4 commons/comets in a 55 gallon-but these fish grew up in a ten gallon tank all together, and it was the best I could do for now. More gallonage is better, but it is difficult to tell soneone brand new coming here that they need a 40-50 gallon tank for their 20 cent feeder, I agree. I always say 10-20 gallon minimum (depending on the type) but more is better.

Just my two cents, and if I am way off base on the hormone thing let me know...

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This topic has remained sensible so far so keep it like this please :)

I could add a lengthy reply, but im not.

This is Kokos site and as such we go by her rules. I personally say commons are pond fish but indoors one fish will eventually need at least 50 gallons and a fancy can and will do well in a 10 gallon for a year or so but will need a larger tank.

This site is to help those that need it in whichever way they need and all we can try and do is educate.

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The 20G per fancy rule sounds like the fish would be living in a mansion. But I have three fancies and I can't afford a 60G tank. I would love a 60G, but a teenage budget can't really afford it. Granted, Cracker is starting to look like a big orange cow in the 29G.

Besides, isn't the 10G rule listed on the site as a "rule of thumb" and not strict requirements?

A 10G for a baby fancy is a ton better than a "Betta bowl" or a "goldfish bowl" any day.

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Not all common goldfish will grow as large as those in the pictures, genetics and diet have a role to play as well.

As others have mentioned the 10g/20g guideline is only a basic minimum recommendation, others also mentioned that many fancy or common goldfish need more than this due to their size.

In a perfect world we would give each goldfish 100g to swim their merry heads off but until then so long as nobody recommends less than 10g/20g they can practice what they believe to be best, we don't all have to agree. Nobody has to prove a point on this thread either - it's just open discussion.

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