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For The New Aquapuppy Will Be Or Would Be Owner


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This is a placed as, hopefully, an istance for the beginner. I am not a Know it all and I am sure that there will be things people will disasgree with. That is why I placed this Topic. It will certainly give a beginner a better start than I had. I welcome commentary; My desire is to give a head start to someone and maybe, just maybe, just a few less dead fish from the lack of concentrated knowledge.

Punch is my aquapuppy. the website:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUhgGhi7Wfw

This video is about 5 months old. Since then some amazing things have happened. in the next few days an update video will be placed for view. This is where I gleen my experience from.

Now he loves to swing like a human does---

Here goe the beginner tips;;;

Tank:

A fancy 4 month old Goldfish starts with optimal size of 28 gallons. This idea has been thrown about so many times it is depressing - why 28?

1. It is always best to be slightly large than slightly small. Trust me - your goldie will grow into it.

2. Beginners do not get the idea that you have to control how much you feed your fish- Goldies are wasters of most of their food in-one end- out the other end. they produce an unbelievable waste with amonia and other stuff- They will die from being poisioned from their own waste before they would die from over-eating.

3. The larger tank will allow beginners to stay ahead of the water changes; less frequency allows a person to enjoy the fish a little more and less shock on the fish while the beginner learns to adjust feeding schedules.

4 Globe tanks are the most worthless tanks I have ever owned- you are restricted in how to access the tank, the filters do not allow you to place material in to handle the 10 gallon tank, you have to place your hands in the water every time you want to change the filter, and you can not use 2/3rds of the bottom because 2/3 is intake surface area that can not be covered. The small top makes it impossible to vacuum the tank in any reasonable manner. Mine has turned into a plant regeneration tank for plants torn apart by punch. I will not use it again because it was partly responsible (as well as me) for the death of my first fish; Poki.

Fish bowls are so bad the country Italy has banned them and has actually made it a state crime to have goldfish in a fish bowl.

Another reason to use a 28 gallon (now I am in dangerous territory with experienced owners) is plants. Yeah; 2/3 of the first 6 months you are probably doing more with maintaining the plants then you are with the fish. Bit the 28 gallon, once the plants are stable, are worth it for a number of reasons.

1. They simply look better than fake plants.

2. They are a great roughange source for your goldie. These fish were raised for their looks - not for the operation of their system. I think Punch was borne constipated. He has shown me what plants he likes the most - and that is fine with me- when they get ratty I take them out and place them in the rejuv globe tank. That gives them time to get back to health.

3. Plants primary food is the Nitrate and other bi-products directly or indirectly produced by your goldy. Once the tank stabalizes the plants will tell you what your pollutant levels are. Especikally the fast growing ones- So will brown and green alge. I have Poki's (my first fish) little house in the tank. Algae grows on it - It is a better teletaler sign of the nitrate levels than any test strip. In fact - if you see algae that means the bio-cycle is working in some capacity.

4. The 28 gallon tank seems to allow enough living plant material to offset any spikes of Nitrate etc. It seems to give enopugh leaf surface area to assist in the bio-degradation.

My water change is 3 gallons per day - one in the morning- water is changed with a one gallon container seated on the hood that has an air hose- using gravity feed by initial suction it allows water to add slowly into the tank- minimizing shock or stress - it takes about 15 minutes for the container to empty. then it is removed- no direct pouring

Dont bother with plants if you are not prepared to shell out the money for a really good full spectrum lighting system. There are charts to give good wattage-k- depth parameters and needs from those charts as to the amount of light needed. Reasons;

1. The plants will grow better

2. Sunlight or close to natural conditions simulation definately seems to have a positive effect on the fish vitality, health, and color. One of ther great things about sunlight is its ability to destroy or genetically deactivate/alter microbes. In fact; that is why I have a uv filter. It is difficult to reproduce natural conditions but that does assist quite a bit.

Hint- use stones and rubber bands to lash the plants to- The rubber bands degrade slowly- over months- rm the fish- and in noi case have gravel small enough so that your fish can suck up- it may look nice but it could kill your fish- punch picks up boulders when he wants to get at food and spits them aside- the suction they can produce can suck up small debris and get them lodged- possibly causing death.

There is no doubt that what money you have to spare limits what you can provide. My system runs with the following on a 55 gallon tank:

Eheim wet dry enclosed filter- cannot over flow: This was the best investment I ever made.

Eheim 4 level electronic filter:

It is an instant to prime- guaranteed 3 years, has only one moving part- that being the fan, and has a sealed head which will not leak even if the seals fail inside, and makes it very easy with large baskets to place loose media in - instead of bagging it, and there is no way water can bypass, unlike Rena(curse the day of any Rena filter ever started in my home with their multiple moving parts and do not hold up well in brackish water, and leak).

UV Steralizer.

Mimicks the natural UV effect on the water. No; the good bacteria are not most effective in the water. The majority if not all the ammonia conversion by bacteria is done in the wet dry filter and my bio material located in the electronic filter. The small amountof good bacteria floating that are killed does noit affect the overall efficiency; against other opinions saying otherwise.

1/10 hp Chiller:

temperatures around 80 or above will cause your fish to swim quiite fast to try and cool off. 85F or so will kill him. If you cannot afford a chiller and you hit a severe heat day- (I have heard many with this problem and loose their fish) place the filter, or the outline drape, into a trough of ice. The draped line is best because the heat from the pump moter is not helping to melt the ice to fast. Youe can also pre freeze fish water - accumulate the cubes, and drop them into the tank. Obviously turn off the hood light.

In Line Heater-

not in tank. This is controlled by the Chiller. However- I have ended up unplugging it. New research has found that maintaining the temperature at one level at all times reduces their immune factor, reduces color, and hampers their ability to go thru a season cycle. Anotherwards- the goldie is best with a natural fluxuation of temperature. I set my chiller to kick on at 77 degrees and shutdown at 75. in the temperatrure in the house goes down to 70 or so- its ok. This is all part of what nature would do and - in fact- has gone thru his winter cycle of adding a fat layer and is not starting to drop it off. The video will let you understand how I know. The in-limne was chosen because of the dangers of breakage or cracking of the heater in the tank. It can cause you r fishes death as well as yours. yes the water still connects to the tank but it substantially reduced by a grounding wire from the tank to an electrical outlet ground attachment to mitigate such possibilities.

So as not to make this to long- some tid-bits:

Searchum has a new 3-type bacteria starter product. It is excellant and will permit much faster stability than ever in the past. I use this as a "boost " once a week to my bio filter.

Handling:

I handle my fish daily- Yeah, yeah slime coat and all that stuff. Not to be rude- but stoiw that concept. If your fish is healthy your goldie will produce more than ample amounts. I do not work for API. In fact my lesson with them is forget it if you have a question on a product- taking a message and calling you back in 2-3 days. But Slime Coat does work. You can feel the difference. It does help them produce natural slime as well. I am very carefuk not to rub, etc.

Feeling:

Fish feel. Take this as fact . FACT!!!!!. Especially under their "chin", in between their fins on their stomach, and tickleish behing the Wen - the back part.

Fish communicate;

Punch, when he wishes attention and I am busy cleaning the tank (the old Rena was converted to a great and easy setup vacuum ) he will come up to me and create a veryu high intensity vibration - faster than a pair of electric shears. And while holding him and petting or swing or playing, he shortens the vibration intervals denoting to me his satisfaction.

Sexing:

How do I know Punch is a male. All the diagrams of the rectum, etc. are only approximate. the only sure ways are two- a genetic test or- and you are not going to believe this one- slight pressure under the rectum - if he is a male- will allow sperm to shoot out- that is the fastest and easiest way to determine the sex- unless of course your fish has certain attributes of dual sexuality or has had an operation.

Diseases info source:

Millitary: Punch was harmed by someone "watching " him while I went away for Christmas and developed Cottony wool disease. It is not well known by most fish people. The milliotary - for whatever reason- is the greatest source of research - forget the Chicago shed aquarium or alike- they only know what fish look like.

By the way Furanese is one of only a few products to stop Cottony wool. Bi furan will do it if you bathe your fish in it "until he floats" and then poroceeds to tell you to stop medicating if mortality occurs- noooo- I shall keep medicating long after he dies.

Wen debris and diseases:

An Orands Wen is a capture point for debris. The "qtip " swabs are the tight6est head and leave the least cottony residue. lightly go over the surface cracking once a month or so to clean the surface areas of the cracks out - do not go deep or open the cracks up or else they will bleed and you open them to more infection. when you see white hard spots - most lkikely they are fungus or bacteria that is harbouring on debris- a little furanase on a cotton swab and brush the area under water will usually kill iot in a couple of days- CAREFUL!!! if the material is grayish and stringy it is most likely residue dead skin from natural growing and it is beiung pushed out from the cracks in the wen. Punch is an Alpha male- his reflectioon is enough to make him go into Save The World" mode trying to get at his reflection. In the process; he rubs his wen on the glass embedding debris into the wen. Cleaning becomes a standard process.- Oh and if you have an alpha male doing this action- I usually let him go at it- it hgives him great exercise- But idf you wish to discourage him; print out a letter sized paper with multiple stripes of different colors and tape it in the area of aggression- It breaks up the reflection for his eyes

Speaking of eyes:

One of the Big subjects- (OUCH) Orandas grow in spirts. One of those Spirts may finally close up his eyes. When Punch was small = as you can see in the video, his eyes were open. when I would lay him sideways in my hand to caress him- he would actually place the wen down over his eyes- yes fish have no eyelids- but it seems he was relaxing the upper muscleuture because he was so trusting, and in doing so, the wen would drop down and cover his eyes. Well now the wen has grown quite thick over his eyes- once every couple of weeks I take a cotton sway and carefully slide it between the space and open upo the area to maintain it clear and to see that there is nothing growing in there. There was a long period where I was seriously considering cutting the wen material away- partly selfish because he was much more active with me and playful when the wen was not there. But I conducted some tests with surprising results.

I placed come peas and corn under some stones 2-=3 layers deep in verious places. His sense of "smell" is unbelievable and found all of the peas and corn. And yes he still sees me come into the room and sees wghen food is dropped. I am biteing my lip[ and holding back my selfish want to see him more active and play more with me- and he still sees his reflection. Yes he van see thru the wen. Changing the tank around does not confuse him.

Food-

Sinking- and if you have floating "crack it" with a pill crusher and pre- soak it and it will sink.

Constipation-

a cooked pea- squeeze one side and the pea will pop out the other side and a kernal of corn (skin pulled off) a couple of times a day keeps him quite regular- a diet including spriolina and kelp helps as well. There is nothing more painful toi watch- foe a beginner- than a fish going thru the constipation process. If it is really serious- a couple of granules of epsom salts encased in a pea will work in a couple of hours. Sorry; I totally disagree with the ":experts" . Following him clearing his constipation the experts say to starve 3-4 days. I totally disagree for the following:

This change in diet habit can cause more stress and drastic changes in their system

It robs them of the nutrients and vitimans to reset themselves after the trama has occured.

I usually follow up with peas and corn to clean their system out and adjust the diet to a leaner- not so rich- diet to compensate for the constipation. Usually it is from overfeeding or feeding high ash and high protein foods, or not enough hunger to veggie upo, by feeding on the live plants.

What Food:

If the lkisting on the package starts with "meal" of any type, put it back down. The exceptiuoin would be products specifically with sinking spirulikna or kelp- most of the foods made by omega or Hikari are very high quality topfin and tetra, are awlful`- you are putting more into the tank that is of no use by the fish. And if you feed on the top then you are asking for trouble with internal problems due to air injestion, etc.

Ph-

NEVER overclean your tank- and if you can spare $40 get a .01 accuracy electronic tester. IN the long run a beginner has a tendency, if he is dilligent with his fish, to go thru more than $40 of strips in 6 months and still find them very innacurate. The colorized liquid is just as hard to discern at times. . The new in - tank sensitive pads become worthless from stress coat pr other types of chemicals and will give a false reading after a couple of months. 7.2-7.8 seems to be adaptable by goldfish- dont chase after the Ph and make your tank a chemistry set. Your fish will end up the looser.

Salt!

When I began I just jumped away from someone who suggested I add 1/2 `teaspoon per gallon of aquariuum salt. Now my background is in biochem and I was just so blinded to the obvious- remember the old high school dayus in studying osmotic potential and the movement of different concentrations of fluid over a permeable membrane gradient- well the same thing happens in fish. Do it- Goldfish are meant for brachish water. Just remember to always get equiptment rated for salt water- marine- this excludes brass or other fittings of metal.

I am not pretending to be an expert - nor am I- but If I knew some of this when I started Poki would still be alive today- This is in his rememberance to Poki - and in hopeful long life to Punch - an enormous amount of information there is to share may save someone the greatrest heartache.

Oh; if anyone tells you that the work to save a fish from a disease is not worth it and you should just fluah it- show them the video -- and if theyt own a dog tell them you own a smarter animal - in that your animal is not stupid enough to tangle with, or tease, such animals as a cat (lol)

My apologies for the length.

Eric

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There is some really good information here.. But not all of it is so good for Newbies. :)

Sexing:

How do I know Punch is a male. All the diagrams of the rectum, etc. are only approximate. the only sure ways are two- a genetic test or- and you are not going to believe this one- slight pressure under the rectum - if he is a male- will allow sperm to shoot out- that is the fastest and easiest way to determine the sex- unless of course your fish has certain attributes of dual sexuality or has had an operation.

-I would never suggest to a newbie to squeeze a fish rectum to see if milt comes out. -in the hands of someone who doesn't know what sort of pressure to use, it can be really detrimental to the organs of the fish. -And what about breeding stars in males? you don't even have to put your hand in the water to see those! -If the fish is too young to show breeding stars, I doubt very much it would produce milt if you squeeze it!

-Also not quite sure exactly what you meant by goldfish having certain attributes of 'dual sexuality', -goldfish aren't hermaphrodites, they're either male or female, this statement is confusing, -if you're writing this for a pamphlet for newbies, I'd consider rewriting this bit.

Again, the bit about handling goldies, -that's fine for people who have been in the game for a while, but like trying to determine sexing of goldfish, newbies (most often young kids) just wont know how much pressure goldfish can take, also mentioning that you thoroughly clean your hands before and after (I'm guessing you do!) you put your hands in the water to avoid transfering disease to and from your fish.

I don't know much about wenned fish so I cant really comment on what you do re cleanign the wens, but it's the first time I've heard of someone proactively cleaning it.

Hmn, I'm not trying to dis all your work, some is very good, but I just wanted to give you some constructive criticism since you asked for it ;) ...

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Any animal can be hermaphroditic, or have dual sex characteristics. There are true males and females, and these are a TINY minority of the population of any animal, especially people. Male and female are on the extreme ends of the spectrum, with every possible combination in between. Most of the differences are in the brain. Very interesting stuff.

I agree with Mads about squeezing a fish to see if it is male.... yikes. I would feel so terrible if I pressed too hard and damaged my fish because I was too impatient to wait for breeding stars or other male characteristics. Unless you are avidly breeding, who cares what sex your fish are other than naming purposes and really, how important is that? I disagree with handling of fish just for fun, though the video IS charming and Punch obviously loves it. I'm not telling you what to do, just pointing out that fish are not animals that should be cuddled. Transportation is one thing, or getting a closer look for diagnosis, etc. Just my opinion.

I love that you promote planted tanks for goldies - I personally think they add so much to the life of the fish. I don't care if they nibble the plants, that's why I have them. Sure they don't always look the greatest, but I'm growing FISH not plants. My fish in planted tanks seem much more active and aware, and it may be me putting human feelings on fish, but I think they are less bored as well. Good idea about having a separate hospital tank for the eaten plants! I think I may have to try that. Would be nice to rotate out the straggly ones and let them regenerate.

I love that you spare no expense for your fish! He is one spoiled goldie :) How old do you estimate Punch is? Can't wait to see the new video. Hope you have many more happy years together!

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Any animal can be hermaphroditic, or have dual sex characteristics. There are true males and females, and these are a TINY minority of the population of any animal, especially people.

Hun, I know this, it's just that this minority of cases (1 in hundreds of thousands, if not millions) is usually a genetic mutation, goldfish breed by the union of male and female gametes. Having a caveat for such a small minority seems irrelevent in a general goldfish keeping article aimed at newbies, where most just want to know the gender of their fish for naming (or if they want to go on and breed) :)

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I touched on the idea of hermaphroditic fish partly in jest as I had done with the operation part. followed by the lol. I was careful not to say hermaphroditic because I placed "LOL" after the comment. But in a way I was trying to cover my butt - so to speak. So- in a sense I was like a politician- half joking about and half recognizing it does exist in nature.

Actually - yes Tosakin in Oz - i feel, was basically saying to me there are more important things that newbees need to know that people like Tosakin in Oz and I know that would go in spaces like that- especially if it is for newbees- or at least made it clear of the statistical probability of the dual sex affect. Because newbees would think that , if reading my comment, it is a much greater chance than it actually is - ; especially if I was addressing the beginner crowd. Tosakin in Oz - great great point!!!!- I sincerely appreciate that comment - In fact I am finishing a small booklet for publication (you would not know it by the fact that I did not take the time to review my comments for spelling errors- in my new topic LOL) and you "rung my bell" so to speak. Again thank you.

Of course this is exactly what I wanted- experienced people, in a topic such as what I started, to really give some serious commenting (like you did) about the specific areas of the subject matter. Please Please- do not be apologetic. In fact- I find it - to many times here- someone saying they do not wish to hurt someones feelings or its just an opinion etc. It is collaboration- it is information - and it helps -

The wen comment- Tosakin in Oz; exacty- no one comments about it. In fact; when I noticed gray matter exuding from his wen- I went ballistic. I had just survived (well Punch survived as well) a bout of Cottony Wool disease and now this was occuring- so Mr. Qtip here started going deep to clean the wen in that area. Fortunately I also research. I started to produce a little bleeding. It seems that the wen does grow like brain matter- layers- but those layers attach to one another and have cross circulation. My investigation in a millitary site informed me of the "dead skin matterial" that was gray and exuded. That was what this was.

In fact; in the process in the attempt of doing good with the qtip I was adding a little bi furan to it as well. I believe some of his sluggishness was due to the bi- furan being absorbed and making him ill because it was being trapped in between the wen layers and absorbed. During the healing process that area turns very dark; almost with a scab-like appearance. It clears as it heals.

I already mentioned the debris getting lodged in the wen; over time I have learned to know the difference. Fungus - two small cases- will start to form as very small white balls and will attach to the wen where the debris is. It seems to disappear when the food source- the debris - disappears. These goldies tend to do a lot of burrowing- with their head since the wen is in front of them and burrow, and burrow, and so on- so naturally it gets debris in it sooner or later. If some algae is on the side of the tank and he is fighting against his reflectioon to "save the apartment from the bad fish on the other side of the glass" he will get what I call algae stain. Maybe he is trying to help to keep the tank clean lol.

I have also learned not to fool with an abnormality so immediately. to first understand, research, and evaluate. Since you do not have a "WEN" fish I commend you for getting one minus a wen. I am not discouraging newbees for the visual value; but they should be aware that there is more work that is needed to maintain their health- espoecially in the eye overgrowth department. The eye overgrowth does not occur in redcaps and alike- just Orandas red/golds of my type.

Thank you- again - for stepping up with your comments.

Eric

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Concerning the squeezing idea; that is why I said "slight pressure". But again - you are right- newbees may take that the wrong way.

Concerning the handling concept. This is a back and forth thing by many people on this site. I appreciate your comments. Let me expound upon my viewpoint.

1. Yes- I wash hand thoroughly in water removed from the tank. - fishwater- and their is a uv filter system on the tank. But I agree with most specialists- if the fish is healthy there is little need for concern. I have not heard - as yet- and please tell me if you know otherwise - any recorded case of a disease transferring to fish. from fish, such as TB- to human - yes.

2. Kids and grownups, alike, grow up thinking that fish are not animals- that they are not in the category of "pets" - many people on this site, I am sure, have been mocked for taking care of their fish like it was a real pet. I have been mocked in the same fashion at first. But when those "disbelievers" (lol like a religion) see how Punch is- they go into an exestential meltdown. This is where, I believe, we- as fish people - fail. Sometime we fail to understand that the way for many of the "disbelievers" to understand the value of a fishes life is for them to, in some way, understand the animal at their level. Unless- of course - we wish to look at ourselves as being unique pet owners. One way we may accomplish that is to show an example that they understand- the touching and caressing of the animal- like all others.

Most of these people - say that fish do not feel. Why do they say this? becsuse obviously no one "pets" their aquapuppy to prove otherwise. So; obviously fish do not feel.

Put someone like me in front of them and watch (especially in the updated video which has not been placed as yet- the old one :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUhgGhi7Wfw)

Punche's reaction to when I touch certain spots behind the wen or run my fingers up his sensors located on the sides of the body; and they will see how his tail yanks to one side or the other but stays in position and demands more. He has plenty of opportunity to swim away - as you will see- I am just rubbing behind his wen- as an example.

What would things be like if more fishpeople showed kids and grownups alike that, just like their dog or cat, these animals feel. The high speed vibration (how he produces it I have no idea) is unique in itself. Researchers I have spoken to are aware that this form of communication exists- but most people do not know this.

When I caress him; I can feel his heart beat. It is a 4 chamber just like ours. How many people- especially kids know this? How many people know that that is one of the reasons for the theory of our evolution from the deep "6" to where we are now? I know that - as I actually use words - somehow he picks up calming vibrations from the voice - he is initially very excited when he goes into my hand his heart is beating like crazy- but if I lay him sideways and stroke him softly his heart rate falls much faster when speak to him then if i simply stay quiet while stroking.

I have experimented many ways such as what I have described. The point is not necessarily to get all children to start petting their fish; but to understand that many falsehoods exist and must be changed.

And just think of the young person- just one or two - that may see this and are given the opportunity to do the same thing. I had a friends 10 year old niece come to my house. She had the opportunity to watch me do this. Then I cleaned her hands. she stood on a stool and at first put her finger near the top of the water. Well; Punch knows not to beg for food at the top of the water. But he also knows when a human hand is there. He came right to the top and stuck his wen out of the water and she started to pet him - he did not move. Of course then she had the opportunity to touch and caress him. You should have seen the excitement. I think as much in Punch because it was a smoother and smaller hand as much as in her. Who knows - she may end up being a marine biologist some day

Oh and memory of fish- do not get me started on that subject.

again- I appreciate your commentary- that is why I placed this new topic.

Eric

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I think what is meant about the hermaphroditism is not so much that a goldfish might be both male and female, producing both eggs and sperm, but instead could be one and yet have the characteristics of another. For example, having breeding stars and a concave anus and showing breeding behavior toward females, but yet producing eggs. It's escaping me just now what the term is for a person or animal that has all the physical/emotional/behavioral characteristics of one gender, but genetically is the other.

One of the easiest and most reliable ways I've found to sex younger goldfish--and no, it's not 100% and I use it more as a guide than a decision-maker--is to see whether the anus protrudes or not. Most of the time this works. However, there's at least one member on this board who has a fish that shows the opposite (I think it's a male that has a protrusion, but I could be getting it switched around.)

I agree though that for the "casual" goldfish owner it makes very little difference, and usually has more to do with choosing an appropriate name than anything else.

Dont bother with plants if you are not prepared to shell out the money for a really good full spectrum lighting system. There are charts to give good wattage-k- depth parameters and needs from those charts as to the amount of light needed.

Good point about the lighting. The stock lights that come with all tanks except for the really high-end, expensive ones only put out the bare minimum of light to be able to view fish. They are not designed for plants, and unless you're willing to upgrade, you'll be very limited in the plants you can keep. That being said, there are some plants that can do fairly well in lower lighting conditions, but they'll always do much better in better light.

For freshwater or brackish tanks, look for lights that have a Kelvin(K) rating of 6500-10,000. Actinic bulbs (the blue tinted ones) do absolutely nothing for freshwater plants. They're a complete waste of money, so avoid them if you can, and replace them with "daylight" bulbs if you can't. I just replaced the actinic lights on a couple of my tropical tanks with 6500/10,000s, and the difference is immense! It's like going from a cloudy morning to bright noon.

2-4 watts per gallon will do you quite well for just about any plants you could want in a goldfish tank (2 watts being low light and 4 watts being medium-high.) And, contrary to all that is said about tank depth being a factor, unless the tank is more than several feet deep or you're growing a complete jungle, the depth isn't something that's going to make a difference.

and in noi case have gravel small enough so that your fish can suck up- it may look nice but it could kill your fish- punch picks up boulders when he wants to get at food and spits them aside- the suction they can produce can suck up small debris and get them lodged- possibly causing death.

The drawback to larger substrate (river rocks, etc.), though, is that food just slips between to where the fish can't get to it. The danger of subtrate size comes in when the gravel is anywhere near the size of the fish's mouth--this is the size that standard aquarium gravel is. The best suggestion I've ever heard for goldfish substrate is what is commonly referred to as "coarse sand." This is gravel that has a maximum diameter of only 1-3mm. Unless you've got fry, the goldfish will be able to sift through it all day without there being a worry of the stuff getting stuck.

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Great post. There is a lot of information in there for people to look at and make their own determination.

A couple things I wanted to respond to though.

I'm sorta middle of the road on the "handling" fish part. If your careful, there doesn't seem to be any harm done to the internals and your fish seems to crave the attention. You did however mention that he had fin rot from something and you hadn't figured out what. Could it have been from slight fin damage caused by the petting? The biggest problem I see is all the people seeing your U-Tube video and running out to buy fish to pet. When the fish doesn't come up to them, they may try to "chase" the fish to catch it and pet it resulting in a lot of unneeded stress to the fish.

Also, because you have a large tank for just one fish, could the attention he shows to you be due to not having any tank mates to interact with? There have been many posts regarding goldfish bonding with their tank mates and in the absence of this it makes me wonder if hes going to the only other option available to him.

The other thing is plants. While I'm not an expert by any measurable ability, I think telling people not to even try live plants unless they are willing to spend extra money for all the special lighting and such is wrong. Imho, plants are cheap and allow someone to experiment. After all, aren't you doing your own experimentation with Punch and not relying on everything someone tells you about Goldfish care?

Not trying to flame you or anything, just a couple things that I noticed from reading your posts.

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That's what I was trying to get at SnBMeg, thanks for saying it better than I did. :) The "females" and "males" of this world are BY FAR the minority - there are many more individuals displaying characteristics of both than there are displaying true male or female characteristics only. There is every combination imaginable, and some nearly unimaginable. Anyway, that was not the point of Eric's post, and I just wanted to say what I said because I find it fascinating.

About the wen issue... According to Doc Johnson's book, "A microscopic biopsy of these tufts of white material reveals an abundant number of red and white blood cells. There are no fungal elements and usually no bacteria are detected. This common phenomenon lacks a verifiable explanation, but the current theory is that during the most active phases of the development of the headgrowth, there is probably a deficiency of blood flow to supply the increasing mass of tissue and the crevices in the headgrowth show this strain in the form of a low-grade infection... Goldfish with headgrowth pimples but that are otherwise doing well should be closely observed but not medicated." Take that for what it's worth, but I tend to agree that these spots are natural and should be left alone. Punch accepts the treatment because he is used to being handled, but with another goldfish, the stress of the treatment might be far worse than simply leaving the spot alone to disappear naturally. I don't think that this treatment should be recommended for all wenned fish. I have two orandas - the spots appear, then they go away by themselves. I guess I feel that we shouldn't fix what's not broken.

Whatever disagreements there may be, it is wonderful to see people caring so much about their fish. I love this website. :exactly

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It might be neat to start a topic on the exhibition of hermaphroditism in goldfish in its own thread. Gender really is something that's not 100% either way, except in relatively rare cases, and it would be interesting to see discussion on the topic. I think I may go ahead and do that, and use the related contributions here as a starting point. :) I'd definitely like to hear more of what other people's thoughts on the subject are, but I don't want to hijack this thread.

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CAC10Hunter;

Disease- No; what I said was the disease was Cottony Wool disease cause by ill treatment by someone who wass supposed to take care of Punch while I was away. That is not Fin Rot. He has never aquired any diseases other than that. . One of the things I failed to mention to newbees was kid proofing their tank. ANY edge or corner the Goldie will find. Punch has lostr 4-5 scales until I had finally kid proofed everything. The scales recovered within a 2-3 month period fully. He was handled almost every day and has caused no disease in those areas.

Your comment; " I think telling people not to even try live plants unless they are willing to spend extra money for all the special lighting and such is wrong." is not what I said- I was very specific in saying to have live plants and I gave clear reasons why they should be the preferred plants vs. artificial. What I stresses was that the health of the plants was very important to the health of the fish by the plant uptake of various toxic materials produced by the fish. If the plants are kept to their prime production than the fish could suffer. And; as was agreed by another reader, Tank dealers rarely provide the proper or sufficient lighting hardware. I was simply stressing this as an equiptment issue that, to many times, is considered not important.

Concerning Handling and his response; yes- it could be because he does not have company- or enjoys it, or trusts me- the point is he responds- which shows people that do not have fish that these are animals that do respond to proper care and care. That is the important point. He comes to me. He has points on him that make him feel good. He is an animal with feeling and should not be looked on as an animal to flush down the toilet.

Eric

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imtammyo; I totally agree. As I said in the post; As a beginner I used to melt down any time I saw a spec of dirt. - As I "matured" I do not react so fast. The example that I gave was knowing the difference beweeen old skin pushing out of the wen and fungus- and I noted that- even if their is a little fungus I have a tendancy to let it alone and allow the fungus to finish its feeding and disappear. My point was to try to get beginners to think twice and evaluate treating before treating by understanding natures course and -if the fish is healthy - nature will cure the little things in life if the tank is in good shape as well as trhe fish.

Eric

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My mistake, I must have gotten this post confused with another post one on the fin rot issue. I could of sworn you mentioned it in this one after you treated the Cottony wool disease.

As for the plants, I was referring to the comment you made:

Dont bother with plants if you are not prepared to shell out the money for a really good full spectrum lighting system. There are charts to give good wattage-k- depth parameters and needs from those charts as to the amount of light needed. Reasons;

Yes you go on to list the reasons but as other posts have stated, different plants have different light requirements. My only point here was that not everyone can shell out a lot of money for the ideal tank environment but that shouldn't limit them to non-planted tanks.

Again, I wasn't trying to put a burr under your skin.

Dave

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I think all the handling bothers people. Yes, it does seem that your fish "likes" it but that does not mean it is a good idea. Fish should be handled as little as possible. I have kept fish for quite awhile & I have NEVER "felt ones heartbeat"! Also, I personally would not encourage cleaning into the wen with a qtip....making this seem like something to do regularly....one might think that upon seeing the whitish new wen growth would require "scrubbing".

I really don't want this to sound bad, but often (if not every time)when I read your extensive posts I worry about the content giving the wrong idea to newbies. :(

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