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Picking Up New Goldfish For Restarted Tank


mkinga

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Hi,

I am planning to pick up a few goldfish this weekend for my empty 72 gallon tank that has been fishless cycled completed already. I just have one question. There is a pet shop about 20 minutes away from me that specializes in goldfish, in that they get their goldfish in seperately from everyone else in the city (I live in a suburb of vancouver, canada). So you get the much more diverse, more unique goldfish. The main problem is that they have a semi-centralized filtration system, and some (sometimes most) tanks have sick fish. They often have fish that have sores, floating badly, fungus, red streaks on fins, fungus or bacterial infections on their body.

I was wondering if its safe (or at least somewhat safe) to get fish from there, if the tank I choose the goldfish from has no sick fish, but it is drawing water from a central filtration system, where other tanks have sick fish. Similarly, what if there is one or two sick fish in a large tank. Or do you think I should stay away? I like the *kinds* of goldfish they sell, which are far better, in my opinion, than other pet shops around the city.

Normally I would not get goldfish from a tank where at least one fish looks sick, but I was wondering if thats not needed and overly-safe.

Thanks for any insight or opinions!

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well, i work in a big chain petstore, and i know we have a cenralized filter system too. and a lot of our fish are often sick. ugh.

and i know most other big petstore companies have a centalized filter system too. its actually hard to find a store that doesn't have that. so really, no matter where you get your fish, they're all usually exposed to everything from all the other tanks (does that make sense?)

i would say that its fine to get fish from there. normally i would say QT the fish... but since you don't have any other fish in the tank, i'm not sure if thats necessary. you're lucky you have a store that specializes in goldfish. there's a store near me that specializes in tropicals and marine fish, but their goldfish are always in terrible condition.

good luck finding some beauties!!

:D

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THe majority of diseases - virus and bacteria - can and do travel from fish to fish, but in general the water barrier can be a pretty good protection. It is not easy for many of these diseases to travel across a water barrier from fish to fish. Since they cannot survive more than a moment or two outside the main host many do not contaminate within the same tank or system.

Fish that are healthier than their mates will also have higher immunity levels and do not necessarily pick up and incorporate disease such as virus or bacteria into their systems. That is why you can often have one sick fish and others that never get sick all within a single system.

In a large, conjoined system such as this store and the majority of other modern fish stores you do have the possibility of cross contamination between fish/tanks but the size of the system and the water barrier act as a protection for the majority of the fish. I would feel pretty confident at selecting a fish that is not in a tank with any other sick fish even if the system is joined. Look carefully - and do not select one with any open sores, tears, or wounds ( a healthy skin is a great barrier to disease, too!). Do not take one that is not acting normally - swimming in all portions of the tank - alert and perky. A perky, alert fish is a fish with a good immunity level - one that can easily shake off any potential infections.

Parasites are a different story. Many parasites do have life stages where they use the water as a vector from host to host. Ich has swarmers - juvenile ich organisms that are free swimming in the water - seeking new hosts. If one fish in the system has ich, you can bet that they all do. Yes - some fish will be more immune to ich, but you can assume that they have it. Most, if not all, parasites are far more easy to erradicate than disease such as virus and bacteria, though. I would say that if a fish is not showing any outward signs of a parasitic infestation then it is a good fish to select. Assume, however, that it HAS parasites. Do not introduce the fish into your main tank. 72 gallons is a big volume to treat - very expensive. Better to iso the fish in a smaller tub - one that has no gravel, no deco , no place for parasites to hide or lie dormant. A small volume is easier/cheaper to treat, anyway - and if you do not introduce things into the 72, you will not have to deal with them in the future!

As far as parasites - salt, Prazi and Dimilin are the three best things in your arsenal. Between the three there are VERY few parasites that can escape erradication. Give the fish a good qt with salt - treat with the others if anything appears. You can safely move the fish over to your big tank, then.

GO for it. Look the fish over carefully. Check out what is going on in all the other tanks, but do not let that put the kibosh on the whole selection. You may find a real jewel swimming in those tanks - one that is well worth a bit of iso and treatment.

:)

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Interesting, I didn't know about centalized filtration in pet stores. You are very lucky to have a pet store that specializes in goldfish! I wish I could find one here, in Edmonton.

Of course, Once you do get your fish, don't forget some nice photos for us!

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I will attempt to get some photos up once they get into the main tank. They have about 20+ tanks of fancy goldfish, and about 5-10 tanks of koi, but the fish they have seem to be sicker than most that i have seen in other stores.

How do you guys feel about a fish that looks healthy in a tank with at least one sick fish in it? Do you think it is unsafe to select that fish if he has no outward problems, but a small percent of the tank does?

How long should they be in my qt tank? I usually use salt and parasite clear (has prazi and Dimilin), but I am always unsure how long to keep in the rubbermaid tub i have that i use as my qt.

Thanks again for the replies.

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I cannot find the thread I wanted for qt .... all I found was this:

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=32884

Which is not quite what I wanted, but has some good info.

In general, assume that your fish will stay in the qt until at least 2 weeks past when all noted problems are RESOLVED. That means if you notice ich, you treat for ich. Then wait 2 weeks. If anything else turns up, you treat for that until it is solved and then wait 2 more weeks. Fish problems tend to be many layered. Wounds from spawning etc. open the skin up to infections/parasites. Parasites bring in bacteria. The immunities are lowered leaving a fish open to still other probems.

So, after solving an ich problem, you may THEN notice that you have a fluke problem. The fluke problem opens the fish up to a bacterial infection. Etc. etc. etc.

It can sometimes take quite a while to clear each problem, one by one, until the fish can be deemed "healthy". I have had fish that have been in qt for up to 6 months. I have also had fish that make it in just 4 weeks.

As far as selecting a fish in a tank with a "sick fish", it depends on what is wrong with the "sick fish". Is it fungus on open wounds? No problem if the fish you wish has no open wounds. Is it a swollen red bellied fish dying of a bacterial infection? Do NOT select a fish from that tank. Is it ich? Depending on how comfortable you are with ich, yes and no - ich can actually be so heavy on a fish as to kill it and you do not even see the tell-tale spots! Is it lice? No problem.

It is really a judgement call......

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Great thanks!

I will put them into my qt tub for a week or two to make sure they seem ok. I am not comfortable selecting a fish that has any outward signs of sickness, thanks for your invaluable tips.

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I have also read the recommendation that you ask a store employee to feed the fish you are interested in buying. A healthy fish will eat enthusiastically, whereas an unhealthy fish might not. Certainly this isn't a fool proof test, but would be one more piece of information to take into account in making your selection.

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