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Sick Or Just Growing?


Guest Nick/Katie

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Guest Nick/Katie

Hi Everyone! My girlfriend and I just recently purchased 5 common goldfish... about 5 days ago. We've done lots of research over the past few days to make sure that we take care of our new friends as much as possible. I guess I'll cut right to the concern. Of the 5 fish, 2 look extremely similar in both color and size. They both look like the most "sterotypical" of the goldfish. Both of them have black on the tips of their fins. I've read that this could be caused from too much Ammonium in the water and the fins are getting burned. It's only happening to those two fish and for all I know, they came that way. What really bothers me though is that one of the healthiest looking/acting fishes who is slightly bigger has started picking on both of them from time to time. The two fish though swim very well and maintain their stability in the water and all around act healthy. It appears that Todd only picks on chip and dale (the twins) whenever they happen to be poking around various parts of the tank right by each other. Todd does not go out of his way to bother them.

Some information about our tank/care of the fish:

Our tank is about 4 gallons. We realize this may be a little small, but it has lots of surface area and an oxygen pump. We will be replacing a good amount of water weekly and cleaning the entire tank (rocks and such) every 3-4 weeks. We are using AquaSafe Water Conditioner and currently we have no filter. We're keeping a close eye on our fish and if a filter becomes necessary we will take that direction. We do not overfeed our fish, the first time we fed them we noticed trails of waste on a couple and from that point on we've been fine). We break up a fish flake or two about once a day and they all take to the flakes. We're well aware of how bad over feeding can be for both the fish and the system they live in.

Any feedback/suggestions about anything would be most appreciated =)

Edited by Nick/Katie
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Unfortunately, this tank isn't a little too small...it is way too small. A single common goldfish needs twenty gallons alone to be healthy and grow. Five commons in this little tank will be severly stunted and sickly. My suggestion would be to go out and get at least a fifteen gallon rubermaid tub and a filter that pushes at least two hundred gallons per hour. Then as sad as this may be pick your favorite and return the other four to the store where you got them. Unless you can afford to upgrade to a 100 gallon tank right now then you are severely overstocked.

I attached an image so you can get an idea of how big commons can (and should) get.

We are so happy to have you here at Koko's. We have all come here to learn things the hard way, but it is because we care that we learn and grow and do our best to keep our fish healthy and happy.

post-15599-1220422203_thumb.jpg

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Guest Nick/Katie

Thank you for the feedback. We originally read the 1 inch of fish rule and thought we were fine. Just recently I read up on how it's much more than just that. The tank we're using is from my childhood. In the morning I'll talk with the gf about our possible options. More than likely we'll be giving some fish back =( . We were well aware that we would have to consider an upgrade as the fish grew, but we did not understand the seriousness of our situation.

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It is sad, but it is the right thing to do for your fish in the long run. You won't believe how quickly these guys grow with the right care and goldfish produce an incredible amount of waste which is why they need so much water and filteration. And you are doing the right thing in reading and exploring. This site offers an incredible wealth of information.

Most local fish sellers will tell you that you can add way more fish than you really should. They know that these fish aren't likely to live (or they are uniformed about goldies needs) and they know that you will return for more fish pretty often.

One good option if you can't afford any updgrade is to return all the commons (any good fish store should take them back and maybe even offer you a little store credit) and pick out a beautiful betta that will do fine in that four gallon. They are very pretty fish and will add lots of beauty to that little tank.

Good luck and hopefully we will still see you on Koko's. If you decide on the betta there is great information about them on here as well.

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Oh dear... where to start....

First, :welcome We love having new people find us and we're here to help with whatever we can.

As said, commons and comets need 20 gallons of water per fish. As small ones, you can get away with 10 gallons per fish for a while. But, no less.

Also, a filter is MANDATORY for goldfish. They produce huge amounts of waste that need a large overturn of water per hour. The filter should move 10 times the water as the size of the tank.

Next, with goldfish, a minimum 50% water change must be done once a week with a 100% water change once a month. And that's in an appropriately sized tank with cycled water. With five fish in a 4 gallon, you need to be doing 100% water changes daily. Possibly twice a day.

Food should not be allowed to float on top of the water because the goldfish will gulp air and this will cause them to flip. All food either needs to be sinking food or needs to be soaked so it will sink. Gel food is an excellent food to feed goldfish. Gel Food Recipes.

I'm sure you haven't cycled your tank, so it will be even more critical to watch your water. To be able to know that your water is healthy, you MUST have drop test kits for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and ph. Here is a link on how to cycle a tank with fish. Cycle of the Tank.

Amy said you need to get at least a 15 gallon tank or tub. At least. For five single tail goldfish, they really need 50 gallons, so, I'd rather see 20-30 gallons with a 300 gph filter. But, whatever you get, you must get something much, much, much bigger ASAP.

Yes, it is more than certain that the black is ammonia burns. That means you need to do a 100% water change immediately and continue to do 100% water changes every day, possibly twice a day until you can get a bigger tank/tub. This small tank will never cycle with this many fish, so changing all the water will not make any difference as far as disrupting the cycle.

This, I'm sure, is enough to take in for now. But, keep in touch with us and let us know how things are going. As soon as you get your test kits, we'd like to hear what your readings are.

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And life has carried on while I've been typing away! That 1 inch per gallon "rule" is a myth that I think was started by the same people who say goldfish only have 3 second memories! lol! Yes, I think Amy's suggestion of taking all your gf back and getting a betta is an excellent idea! A 4 gallon tank would be a super home for a betta! Then, you can read up on goldfish and what it takes to keep them properly and then, when you're ready, you can invest in all the equipment to do it up right. We've all been where you are! We were all beginners once upon a time, so we completely understand!

Stay in touch and let us know what you decide to do! This is a great place to learn and to make friends!

Edited by Lynda Von G
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Thank you for the feedback. We originally read the 1 inch of fish rule and thought we were fine. Just recently I read up on how it's much more than just that. The tank we're using is from my childhood. In the morning I'll talk with the gf about our possible options. More than likely we'll be giving some fish back =( . We were well aware that we would have to consider an upgrade as the fish grew, but we did not understand the seriousness of our situation.

The rule of 1 inch per fish is for the tropical fish. Most LFS's dont really care to much about the quality of goldfish since they dont cost to much for them. I have been to many different kinds of LFS's and the strange thing is, is that if a fish is Salt water or a high priced tropical fish they will tell you how to take care of them but as for goldfish they dont care and will sell you almost anything to make a buck. I was in my Local store here in town yesterday and was very surprised to see 2 shubukins in a 10 gal Bio-Orb tank, they were about 5-6" long and cramped in there.......sorry about the rant but have seen so much of this lately and its just sad...

Im glad you found us this way if you need help we are here :)

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