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Various Care Questions


t.terror97

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  • Regular Member

I recently upgraded my hermit crab tank to a 40 gal and now I have an empty 10 gal lying around. I wanted to know if it would be possible to keep a short finned lionhead goldfish in there.

These are my questions stated simply:

1) Can I keep one short finned lion head goldfish in a 10 gallon tank (w/ a huge filter if needed)?

2) Do I actually need a giant filter or can I use a filter for a 10 gallon tank (I was planning on buying a power filter)?

3) What do you need to do as far as upkeep goes for the filter?

What do you need to replace in it and how often?

How do you clean it out and what parts need to be cleaned?

4) What can goldfish eat? could I feed him/ her a combo of flakes and the occasional treat of like freeze dried shrimp (I already feed my hermit crabs this) or fruits?

5) How much water should I siphon out and how often should I do it (considering the filter size and my bio-load)?

THANK YOU FOR ANY HELP!!!!!!!!! IT'S MUCH APPRECIATED! <3

--Tara

P.S. I know it's strange I don't have any goldfish yet I use this website hahaha! I just wanted to get some good care info from a reliable source, AKA u guys, not the mmm/ nnnn workers :P, so I don't get in over my head by buying a goldfish and not know what it takes to own one.

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  • Regular Member

Welcome! It's good that you joined before getting a goldfish, easier to ask questions now than fix problems later :) A 10 gal is a little small for even 1 goldie; if they reach full size, it's not much room to stretch their fins. Generally, if you go by 20 gal for 1 and 10 for every other one, you can avoid a lot of water quality related problems, and you won't be forced to upgrade later. For filtration, 10 x gallons/hour is recommended. If you decide to keep 1 goldfish in your 10 gallon, I'd go with a filter that runs 150/gph, just to be sure and I would do it bare bottom (no gravel) with just a couple of plants for decor, to leave him max swim space. Hope that helps :D

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  • Regular Member

1. I would NOT keep a single fish in a 10 gallon. A 10 gallon will make an excellent quarantine tank. For the first fancy goldfish you'll want about 20 gallons so it can get good growth. A good rule is to get the biggest tank you possibly can.

2. You need filtration that turns over 10x the gallons of the tank. So if you have a 20 gallon tank, you need a filter that turns over 200 gallons per hour.

3. You don't need to replace your filter media at all. You need to keep it in the filter so that beneficial bacteria can cycle the tank. I would recommend an aquaclear because it has more surface area for the bacteria to colonize. You only need to rinse it in old tank water when it gets clogged (which will be rarely).

4. You need to give them a variety in their diet. They need a good staple diet of a good healthy sinking pellet. For example Saki Hikari or progold from the Goldfish Connection. Do not feed them fruits often as the sugars are bad for them and the acidity of the fruit may mess up your tank.

5. You should do weekly water changes of 50% or more and I would avoid getting gravel if you can help it if you're just starting out. It gets dirty too fast and can make the fish sick.

Some other information that you need is that you need to have a water testing kit. This is to test the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH of the water. Goldfish need a pH of 7.5 or higher Mostly up to the 8.5 range. This is because goldfish like hard, alkaline, and basic water. Anything below 7 is acidic and not good.

Before getting a goldfish you also need to cycle the tank through a fishless cycle. This will be so much easier on you. Here's an article on cycling and fishless cycling. Cycle of the tank

In addition you will also need to treat any new fish for parasites and flukes. But we can get into that if you decide on getting your fish ;) Goldfish are definitely hard work, and you cannot get lazy on water changes and care. If you do they often get sick and can die :( Deciding to get a goldfish is a big decision and if you're up to the challenge by all means go do some research on here on types of goldfish and feel free to ask us more questions :heart

It's a pleasure to have you here and welcome to Kokos!

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  • Regular Member

I check on my tank daily. I make sure all of the fish are fed multiple times daily, and check to see if they are all healthy and getting around normally. Maybe 28 hours a week? I'm not sure exactly, but I know I check on them daily. And one water change days they and their tank get extra attention.

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I have a 72 gal and 40 gal with goldies and a 25 with small tropicals, I clean them every 4-5 days and it takes about 3 1/2 hours each time, feed twice a day and check water every 2-3 days, so that's probably average 10-15 min per day. Then, of course there are the many hours where I just can't stop watching them :heart:D

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  • Regular Member

Thank you for the response! I will probably not spend quite as much time as you do because I would only have one fish, however I would imagine if that was your time per week, I would be chalking in around 20 hrs a week. That's not too bad... I'll keep thinking about it and discuss with my family members more.

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Well, with a smaller tank it doesn't take much time to clean it once a week. This is the only part that is really time consuming.

Checking on your fish and seeing if they act normal happens when you look at your fish which I don't consider "work". You know, after all you get the fish to be able to watch it and look at it.

Testing the water quality, if you have the API Drop Test Kit (which is the best one) it takes about... 15 minutes, maybe 20. You do that once a week or twice if you want to make sure the water is fine.

Feeding is only about 5 minutes for only one fish, a couple times a day. So I don't even think it would take you 20 hours a week to taking care of them, when it comes to actual "work". :)

And welcome to Koko's! And feel free to ask anything :) We like helping!

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Hi and welcome to Kokos! :)

I probably spend 20 minutes a day feeding and checking my 2 goldfish and then a water change takes maybe 2 hours as I spend a lot of time vacuuming up all the poop and plant guck (one of my telescopes likes to pull the roots off plants!). There's usually a few other bits to do as well which take up some time. Each week a minimum for me would probably be around 6 hours work (with a lot more watching time on top of that :) ). Though at the moment my tank is cycling so I'm on daily/every other day water changes to keep levels of ammonia and nitrite low.

I'd recommend bare bottom as it's soooo much easier to keep clean - I have a few pieces of aquarium safe rock and some plants and moss balls so the tank still looks decorated.

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yeah, that is true, I don't really consider feeding and examining the fish work. I probably wouldn't have gravel either which would cut down on a lot of time because I wouldn't have to use the gravel vac every week. Feeding is actually one of the things that makes me want goldfish so much, they'r mouths are so hilarious when they come up to grab treats or something.

Edited by Tara
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hi tara,

i have a 66gallon and i do 1 50% + 1 75% water changes (2 in total) per week.. takes me about half an hour midweek on the 50% and about an hour on the weekend for the 75% because i scrub the glass and clean the plants and so forth..

feeding? i feed once per day (of a night time) and fast them one day per week.

i spend whatever time i can with them.. i spend "activity" time with them, ie, i make sure they follow me when i walk from left to right.. then i scrub up one hand really well to make sure it's free from body oils and any household substances and i place my hand inside the water and allow them to either suckle or play or anything they like really.. i love this time, it's quite interesting how they bond with me.

food, many members make their own gel food.. i do too.. i am happy to know every single ingredient that goes into their food is healthy and beneficial for them.. and they love it too :) i make a couple of months gel food for them at a time and store in the freezer. there are some very simple recepies available on these forums.

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seems like to me a lot of people have already replied, but here are my two cents as well.

everyone here has their methods and what not, their suggestions and i can see that as the first poster said 150 gals per hour minimum while the other says 200 so it all varies as i assure you, majority of the people here take the hobby very serious and dedicate long hours and money in maintaining their fish. which is great :D

though yes i would agree with everyone. a 20 gal. a 10 gal, even for an uber small fish wont last too long. you COULD do it, but it wont benefit much the fish. so i suggest a ten gal at least as well. they can be cheap or sort of expensive depending if you go to your LFS (local fish store) or lets say ebay or kijiji.

filter wise aquaclear i believe the brand is called, makes good filters at great prices, you can see on the boxes how many gallons the filter would accommodate. Tetra also makes great filters. i love em. for my 55gallon, i have a Tetra Whisper EX70. works well for my 55 gal, so i am overfiltering which is great. the Tetra brand or tetra whisper series is a bit more expensive than aquaclear, but its great. i own a 10 gal tetra whisper filter and it does great as well.

as other said, keep the ten for a medic tank. and just keep the filter you have i guess for it and use it on that. that way you can save on some cash because things can get quite expensive.

a lot of the users here have barebottom tanks. so there is no subtrate(gravel, or dirt depending your set up) but if you'd like you can put maybe like 10-15 pounds of gravel. start out with plastic plants for now i suppose, avoid sharp ones. then maybe later down the road in a few months you can go live plants.. i heart love plants. i have a 55 gallon heavily planted tank. gotta love the naturalness of live plants.

cleaning wise, i usually do 25-35 percent water changes. i use this

http://www.bigalsonline.ca/Fish_Maintenance-Equipment_Gravel-Cleaners_No-Spill-Clean-And-Fill_8165377_102.html?tc=fish

it connect to your faucet and it makes the process of cleaning A LOT faster. but it does cost quite a bit for 50 feet. as seeing only a 25 footer cost 50.

but seeing how you are just starting out, i suggest something like this.

http://www.bigalsonline.ca/Fish_Maintenance-Equipment_Gravel-Cleaners_Gravel-Cleaner_7298817_102.html?tc=fish

doing it the old school way XD and you will need a bucket.

when filling the tank again, make sure the temp is roughly the same so it doesnt affect the fish too hard, and dont forget to add water conditioner to remove chlorine and what not.

food wise, flakes are good but the problem which i faced with this is that they tend to gasp and take in too much air, and so they end up getting a swimp bladder issue. and so your fish will end up either floating or sinking. so i would suggest SINKING pellets, as even floating pellets can give the same issue. variety is important as well though, so flakes every now and then, blood worms are fine. i have tried strawberries, works well, cucumbers and zucchinis dont do soo well unless you have bottom feeders such as plecos or loaches etc. lettuce does okie, peas (skin off) do well once a week as it works as a method to clean out their system so they dont get constipated for instance.

maybe get a snail, they do pretty well with the algae control and they are basically self maintained.

i hope i covered everything i wanted to say. i know what i have said others may have covered as well but i hope i said stuff others may have not as well.

hope all this helps, i know its a lot, but fish keeping becomes exciting and an addiction.. i started with a bowl basically, then a 2.5 gal then ten gal, then 2 ten gals, and now a 55 gallon. from plastic plants to real plants. i also got tropical fish, which could be another consideration if you cant get a 20 gal. you can set up the 10 gal with tropical fish, but make sure you buy a heater as well.

everything said above will generally work with both coldwater and tropical fish. just some general info.

keep on asking though if you'd like :D

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  • Regular Member

I am not fairly familiar with lion heads but 1 fancy would be fine in there

flaked food, balls and peas and all good foods

and it is right you have joined before getting a fish

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Thank you for that pellet/ things to feed section! no one has covered that before. As of right now it sounds like I will be getting a filter and decor so I can start cycling my tank after christmas. (I want to pay for this w/ christmas money)

Is this the correct routine to take care of the fish or am I missing something?

1) feed fish every day (sinking pellets, sometimes peas)

2) check fish for any health probs

3) check water for any problems

4)watch and love the fish to the heart's content :) lol

5) scrub algae off w/ magnet algae scrubber thing.

cleaning days:

1) turn off filter

2) siphon out 50% of the water every week

3) put tap water in a bucket and dechlorinate it

4) pour water into tank

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;) I think you've got it down. What size tank are you getting again? Remember 20 gallons for the first fancy and 10 each for the ones after just to be on the safe side when you're starting out. :)

IF you do decide to get gravel and are willing to do extra vacuuming, then only do less than half an inch. it might be easier to start out with no gravel though. Also no hollow ornaments at all. (The ones with holes on the bottom that water enters so that the ornament sinks).

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;) I think you've got it down. What size tank are you getting again? Remember 20 gallons for the first fancy and 10 each for the ones after just to be on the safe side when you're starting out. :)

I am getting a 20 gallon and keeping one lionhead/ fancy (I haven't decided but I will have plenty of time while I'm cycling my tank.

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I just want to add that you do not need to scrub away the algae in the tank. The green algae is actually beneficial because it gives the goldfish something to nibble on throughout the day, and it also helps use up some ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate that is caused by the fish. I let carpets of algae grow on the large rocks in my goldfish tanks and the fish love picking at it. :) It's really up to you if you scrape away the algae or not; some people don't like how it looks. But I just wanted you to know that you don't have to scrape it off if you like how it looks.

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i agree with sakura. i personally dont use the algae magnets, dont really need them too actually. i never have an intense algae issue.however, i actually like green algae to begin with so i welcome the growth. doesnt bother me. its up to you. besides, for the algae control i use one snail. for my 55 gal i also have a rubber nose pleco but snails do better for algae. so its up to you. i say wait until you get algae and see if you like it or not.

glad all our team efforts here have taught you stuff :D

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ya, that's actually a relief that I don't have to scrub off the algae unless I don't like it. (it was killing me to spend over $10 on a magnetic sponge ahaha) Wait, one final question before I start writing up a shopping list: Do goldfish absolutely need a light? If so what kind of light? I would rather not buy one but if it's needed to make the fishies happy I would be more than willing to.

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Yes you will want a light to give them a regulation between night and day. It also helps with good algae growth. Sunlight can work but you're prone to having more algae problems and things of the sort.

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stock lights in the tank are fine. florescent looks better than incandescent but it wont do much aside from personal preference. you can even buy colors if you'd like. there are light fixtures and other fancy lights which cost a lot more at times, which are many bought for plant growth but also claim to enhance the color from a fish. but nope, a SPECIAL type isnt needed, but regular lights are needed. sometimes, an easy way to figure out waht you need and what you dont.. is ask yourself the same question. would you want a room to always have natural lights? or would you want some lights in a room to see at night? XD hahah or food as well. do you always want chicken? or do you want variety and want steak as well.

im kind of exciting to see how your tank will turn out. keep us posted. :D

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im kind of exciting to see how your tank will turn out. keep us posted. :D

I'm going to do a fishless cycle so I don't end up hurting any fishies; that probably means I won't be posting here too much for a while. However, I will make sure to post when I get my fish!

Btw, my mom said that she wants me to get two goldfish instead of one! I'm so excited! I'm going to be using the 20g at first and when they grow more I would upgrade to a 30g. Is there any way I could stop them from mating or would that be taken care of when I do a water change?

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im kind of exciting to see how your tank will turn out. keep us posted. :D

I'm going to do a fishless cycle so I don't end up hurting any fishies; that probably means I won't be posting here too much for a while. However, I will make sure to post when I get my fish!

Btw, my mom said that she wants me to get two goldfish instead of one! I'm so excited! I'm going to be using the 20g at first and when they grow more I would upgrade to a 30g. Is there any way I could stop them from mating or would that be taken care of when I do a water change?

nice to see some other younger members to keep me company

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