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New To Goldifish, Need Advice


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Hi everyone,

I am so excited to have found this forum. I could use some help. I have a lot of fish experience (I used to have a seventy-five gallon saltwater years ago), but I am brand new to goldfish. Last Tuesday my friend gave me her ten-gallon tank and had it stocked with five tropical fish (including a very nasty Chinese Algae Eater) and one beautiful little pearl scale. We emptied 75% of the water and I had to clean the gravel (it had never been cleaned) but I left the media in the filter. I just changed the carbon filter yeseterday (it had never been changed). I've had two water tests done and the quality is great.

I did some research and realized the tropicals had to go. So they went and in came an air pump and airtstone, one live plant, and one adorable little Calico Runykin. Both fish are currently about an inch to an inch and a half. I switched them to goldfish food (she had the pearl scale on tropical flakes) and have been alternating them with peas, spinach, cucumber, and an orange slice. I plan to add some worms and brine to the mix as well.

My question is that I am being told various things on if I can add another fish or not. I would like to add a third Runykin or if I can find one a China Doll (though she may later get picked on). My fish shops are telling me I can have up to six goldfish in this tank, but I know that is crazy. I am chaging twenty-five percent of the water weekly and we plan to upgrade the tank to at least a forty to fifty-five in the next year. So will three be okay until then? Are there any caretaking things I should know? Any help or advice is greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long post.

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No, three will not be okay. The rule is, a very minimum of 10 gallons of water per goldfish. As your fish are smaller now and if you keep a very close eye on the water parameters, you should be okay, but when they start getting very much bigger, you will need to invest in at least a 20 gallon tank. Which is good anyway because then you'll have the 10 gallon for a quarantine/hospital tank. Also, tropicals don't require as much filtration as goldfish do. The rule there is that the pump should run 10 times the amount of water as the size of the tank. So, for a 10 gallon tank, you need to have a 100 gph filter. If your filter is not that big, that's okay. You can just add a second filter. Most people do a combination of filters so that they can have a good balance for the bacterial, chemical and mechanical filtration needs. This is a link to some basic goldfish care information. Goldfish Care Read up on some of the other articles here as well as any posts that may interest you. And, Welcome to Kokos! Glad you found us and we are happy to help you with anything you need to know! :welcome

Edited by lynda441
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Hi Lynda,

Thanks. From my research (and I've been doing a lot) that is what I am finding. How quickly will they outgrow this tank? Are the water changes I am doing sufficient (I vacuum the gravel weekly and change twenty-five percent) being that I am already overstocked? We are starting to save now for a larger one, so it would be good to plan ahead. My other question is that some of the reading I am doing says that you should introduce your fish within three to five weeks of them being in the tank. So when we upgrade to a larger tank should we not add another fish? I know it should be the same size, but I want everyone to get along.

Thanks for all your help!

Amy

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since your goldfish are small, you could probably get away with 2 temporarily. but try to get a new tank asap. goldfish grow quickly and that means frequent water changes. also, get the biggest tank you can afford. a 55 gal would be perfect for 3 goldfish. this will allow them to grow to their potential. later on you can add a couple more. 25% weekly water changes are fine. make sure you get a test kit, so u know how much water to change. btw when u upgrade to a bigger tank, keep ur old one. u can use that as a quarantine when u get new fish. people usually q their fish for 30 days depending on their health. good luck!

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Hi Lynda,

Thanks. From my research (and I've been doing a lot) that is what I am finding. How quickly will they outgrow this tank? Are the water changes I am doing sufficient (I vacuum the gravel weekly and change twenty-five percent) being that I am already overstocked? We are starting to save now for a larger one, so it would be good to plan ahead. My other question is that some of the reading I am doing says that you should introduce your fish within three to five weeks of them being in the tank. So when we upgrade to a larger tank should we not add another fish? I know it should be the same size, but I want everyone to get along.

Thanks for all your help!

Amy

Glad to hear you're doing your research! How quickly they outgrow the tank will depend on their eating habits, what they eat, if they remain healthy, etc., but I would say that, as long as the water readings stay good, they could stay in there until they reach maybe 2 1/2 inches, but the sooner the better is always best. It's not only a matter of water quality, which is the most important thing, of course, but it's also about stunting them by keeping them in too small a tank. Cleaning once a week with a gravel siphoning is fine, but I would up the amount of the water change to 40-75%. Most people on here advocate a bare bottom tank. It's much easier to clean and keep track of the detritus that accumulates in the tank. I have gravel and yes, it's a lot of work, but I like the look, so I'm willing to do the extra work, but my qt and hospital tank are bare bottom and I most especially advocate bare bottoms for those kinds of tanks. I would also suggest investing in drop test kits for ph, ammonia, nitrates and nitrites. Taking your water out to be tested is a pain, and quite frankly, not necessarily to be trusted. Yes, for fish to be compatible, keeping them the same size is good, also combining the same type of fish is also important. You don't usually want to mix the specialized eye fancies with the regular eye fancies because they can't see as well and they won't get as much food. Because of their body shape, pearlscales can be slower, but not necessarily. Orandas and ryukins are faster fish with the fantails being the fastest. So, you need to mix them accordingly. As far as introducing new fish when you get your larger tank, you first need to get the new tank up and running and get it fully cycled while your goldies remain in the 10 gallon. Once the new tank is cycled, you can move your goldies to the new tank, now called the main tank. You need to put any new fish you buy after that into quarantine before introducing them into the main tank, so after you've moved the fish you have into the main tank, you could get another fish and keep it in the 10 gallon quarantine tank for a good month. They usually suggest adding aquarium salt at 0.1%, which basically figures out to about 1 teaspoon per gallon of water and prazi for flukes. If it appears healthy and hasn't exhibited any signs of disease or problems after its quarantine period is up, you can then add it to the main tank.

Edited by lynda441
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Thanks. From my research (and I've been doing a lot) that is what I am finding. How quickly will they outgrow this tank? Are the water changes I am doing sufficient (I vacuum the gravel weekly and change twenty-five percent) being that I am already overstocked? We are starting to save now for a larger one, so it would be good to plan ahead. My other question is that some of the reading I am doing says that you should introduce your fish within three to five weeks of them being in the tank. So when we upgrade to a larger tank should we not add another fish? I know it should be the same size, but I want everyone to get along.

First of all, welcome to Koko's! :)

Goldfish can grow really fast. If they're still young (say under 2 years old) they could probably grow in the range of an inch every few months (though other people might be able to give better estimates).

Regarding the water changes, the main concern is your bioload. If you can manage to keep it low enough (there are some excellent pinned posts on water quality and cycling to be found on the forum) in a tank of a certain size by doing a certain % of water change weekly, then you (and your fish) should be fine (given that they're not to cramped in the tank of course :rolleyes: ). So the main thing would be to test your nitrate, nitrate and ammonia often enough, and from that you can judge what the minimum % of water change weekly should always be (most people do between 50 and 90%). Keep in mind though that the smaller the bioload is the healthier and happier your gf will be ;) .

-edit: apparently Lynda beat me to it with her excellent advice :D -

Edited by Erinaceus
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-edit: apparently Lynda beat me to it with her excellent advice :D -

Lol! Gotcha! oh, and [humble face], I'm sorry...

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Thanks, Lynda. This has been incredibly helpful. I have convinced my husband we have to wait for a third until we can upgrade. I'm a bit worried that I didn't seperate the new fish, but I will keep a close watch. So far my Pearlscale, though not the best swimmer, gets an equal amount of the food. I drop food in two seperate places to give her a good chance. I'll keep an eye out for that, though. I've noticed since I've put in the airstone she seems to really enjoy riding the current on that side of the tank.

I do have gravel (what they had in the tank) to hold my plants down (a mix of plastic and live) and it is pretty heavy gravel. Maybe dime sized I would say. I'll keep it well vacuumed, but maybe should consider sand in the new tank for safety? I have one peotsky stone and a pink quartz, but want to add driftwood and other rocks to keep them interested. As the tank is small I want to leave plenty of swimming room as well.

Two more quick questions and then I promise I will end for tonight:) I've read varying thoughts on adding 1 tsp. of non-idoized salt per gallon to the tank regularly. Do you suggest doing that? If so, would I add it to the the new water during a water change? Also, so far my thermeter (one of the stick on kind) is reading between 77-78 degrees. Too hot for them I know. We keep our air at a steady 72, but I think the water warmed up for the heater my friend had in there that I took out. Should I put a fan on it to cool it down or just keep an eye on it as they seem active.

Thanks for everything. As soon as I figure out how to I will post pictures.

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I've noticed since I've put in the airstone she seems to really enjoy riding the current on that side of the tank.

lol! My pearlscale LOVED to ride the current! Oh man, you should've seen her! She'd swim above the filter output, position herself just right and then drop right down into it for the ride. It was hilarious to watch her! I guess they're adventurous little things!

I've read varying thoughts on adding 1 tsp. of non-idoized salt per gallon to the tank regularly. Do you suggest doing that? If so, would I add it to the the new water during a water change? Also, so far my thermeter (one of the stick on kind) is reading between 77-78 degrees. Too hot for them I know. We keep our air at a steady 72, but I think the water warmed up for the heater my friend had in there that I took out. Should I put a fan on it to cool it down or just keep an eye on it as they seem active.

I've heard certain people say to keep salt in at all times, but they really were tropicals keepers. I think I've read on here that most people don't think it's a good idea to use salt all the time. I don't. I'll leave this open for other more informed opinions. But, yes, you would add it at the water changes. Yeah, heat. My tank is hot too. I've heard people say that having a fan blow over the top of the water helps a lot.

I do have gravel (what they had in the tank) to hold my plants down (a mix of plastic and live) and it is pretty heavy gravel. Maybe dime sized I would say. I'll keep it well vacuumed, but maybe should consider sand in the new tank for safety? I have one peotsky stone and a pink quartz, but want to add driftwood and other rocks to keep them interested. As the tank is small I want to leave plenty of swimming room as well.

No, I'd stick with the larger rocks. That's what most people use if they do put something on the bottom. And although I've never used sand, I've heard that if it gets into their gills, it can cut and irritate the gills just like glass. And as much as goldies are bottom sifters... well... Petosky stone! I know what that is! An ex-boyfriend of mine had one. He was born and raised in Petosky! lol! Be careful adding driftwood and rocks. They can affect ph. Driftwood can lower your ph, while some rocks can raise it, so do some research there with your tests and what you choose to add.

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Thanks, everyone! I learned a lot. I didn't realize I could do a fifty-percent water change weekly so that will be my goal to keep these guys healthy over the next few months until we can upgrade. I want big beautiful healthy and eventually very old goldfish.

I'm storing water to get it room temp. for the water changes. I hope I can take care of these little friends.

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Thanks, everyone! I learned a lot. I didn't realize I could do a fifty-percent water change weekly so that will be my goal to keep these guys healthy over the next few months until we can upgrade. I want big beautiful healthy and eventually very old goldfish.

I'm storing water to get it room temp. for the water changes. I hope I can take care of these little friends.

Good luck, keep in touch and we want to see those pics!

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