Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Is This Tank Suitable For Goldfish?

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

I am new to this site and were hoping that you could give me some advice on a prospective goldfish tank.

I have checked around the forum a bit and think this is the right section to post this, but I apologise if its in the wrong place.

I currently own a Juwel Rio 120L Aquarium which I have been deliberating about turning into a Goldfish tank for some time now.

At the moment it is used as a tropical community tank, focused mainly on a small female Betta sorority with some Cory-cats (three-line, sterbas and smudgespots) and Ottos, as well as shrimp and assassin snails as filler/clearup. I love these fish and im pleased with much of the setup of the tank, but for all my trying, there always seems to be at least one big problem with the tank, there always seems to be at least one fish who is not at his/her best and by the time I cure one problem another already seems to be brewing. For this reason, I am giving serious thought to converting the tank to coldwater and just keeping Fancy goldfish in there.

I am not 100% sure on a few things yet, and I dont know if I have the heart to return all my tropicals in order to convert the tank, though if it carries on this way it may ultimately be better for their welfare to do so. I think even if I dont return my current fishies, after they have lived out their merry time on earth I will probably look more toward goldfish keeping.

I know goldfish can be demanding in their own ways but I was hoping that if theres only one fish or one kind of fish in there I can cater to its exact needs without worrying about any tankmates.

Basically what I want to know is if this tank is even an appropriate setup for a Fancy goldfish.

The capacity is 120L, which I know is not the hugest tank but it is not minuscule either.

The filter runs solely on an inbuilt sponge filtering system and has a good powerhead - the tank has never suffered any filtration trouble, but I know goldfish require more powerful filtration than tropicals.

I also run an air-pump in to help oxygenate the water.

Is this tank/filtration likely to be enough for a fancy goldfish? I am thinking of maybe just having one good fancy goldfish in there. I do like Orandas, Ryunkins and Moors so I would probably opt for one of these.

Also, the substrate at the moment is silica sand with a little gravel mixed in - would this be okay for goldfish? or would I have to change to gravel/large pebbles? I find the sand substrate so much easier to clean because of how the waste rest on the surface. It also brightens up the tank considerably as it reflects light much better than gravel.

I would like to know if my Java Fern, Bolbitus Fern and Anubias plants would be okay to keep in the tank? I realise some of my other plants may kark it if i change the water temp (including a really nice crianum bulb I have in there) but id like to keep the lush green feel to it if possible.

I realise theres ALOT of text and questions there, but I just dont want to be one of those people who rush out and get goldfish only to consign them to suffering in poor conditions :(

Thank you all in advance for any help you can offer me :]

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

You keep two fancies in there. But you well need more filteration. Need to have 10xlph. The plants may or may not make it depending on the goldfish. All you can do it wait and see.

Many of us have barebottom tanks for out goldfish but some here have used gravel or sand. With gravel you just have to make sure it can't get stuck in the mouth of a goldfish.

Good lucki

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


Goldfish are much more difficult to take care of than tropicals, so if you're having a difficult time with tropicals, I'm not sure that switching to goldfish would be the best idea. Now, if you simply want to start keeping goldfish and want to learn how to take care of them, that's fine.

You didn't say how many of each of your tropicals you have or what your maintenance routine is, but as long as you have an appropriate bioload for the size of your tank and do proper maintenance, you should be able to keep healthy fish. I'm not trying to talk you out of goldfish, but maybe with a little help, we can get your tropicals back to a healthier state. And, if you still do want goldfish, we'll help you learn what you need to know for them too.

Your tank is comfortably big enough for two fancy goldfish.

You didn't say what size your filter was, but because goldfish need a lot more filtration than tropicals, as you know, they need a filter that moves a minimum of 10 times the amount of water as the size of the tank, so for a 120L tank, and forgive my potential conversion faux pas, you'd need a filter that moved at least 1200 lph.

Never clean your filter media in tap or other chlorinated water. This will kill all of your beneficial bacteria. Just make sure to rinse it in some of the removed tank water with your water changes. You only need to replace your filter media when it, literally, starts to fall apart. And, when you do replace it, never replace all of it at once. Stagger replacement so you don't lose all of your beneficial bacteria, and, thus, your cycle.

Whether you choose to have a substrate is up to you. Because of how messy goldfish can be, many keepers choose to have a bare bottom tank. It's much easier to clean and healthier, but if you have a substrate, you just need to vacuum it really well.

Goldfish can be murder on plants, but the ones you have are pretty safe and should be fine with goldfish.

With goldfish, you need to do weekly water changes of at least 50% and even up to 75% or possibly more, depending on the nitrogen levels and any concerns about bad bacteria.

You will need drop test kits for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH and, if possible, KH and GH. You need to test at least once a week to make sure your water is safe and healthy.

If your tank isn't, or won't be, cycled, then you need to make sure to get your water cycled. It's much easier to cycle without fish, but whether you choose to do it with or without fish, just make sure you understand how and what cycling is.

Edited by Lynda Von G

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi both, thanks for the replies.

The powerhead does over 10xLPH, sorry I didnt mention this originally.

If it did prove insufficient for goldfish it should be easily replaceable with a higher spec one because it is a standard design for all juwel internal filters I believe.

I am definately interested in Goldfish in their own right - so sorry im really if it came off as simply looking for something easier.

What I mean to say is I am interested in keeping a species tank rather than a community tank - because I can design and maintain everything 100% for that kind of fish. I have kept tropical species tanks before and definitely found it easier than a community set-up to maintain because you could concentrate all your efforts and attention on just one or two fish.

I am attracted to goldfish for their appearance and character and would rather keep them than keep a single tropical species in the tank - if this makes sense?

The tank I am referring to has been running for 2 years, I did a fishless cycle when I started it and there are no real technical problems with it, the filter is fine, I do regular drop water tests which always have good results, I believe it is actually slightly understocked (3 female bettas, 7 small corydoras, 1 Otto, 1 bamboo shrimp, and about 8 assorted dwarf shrimps). I change about 20% of the water in total a week, usually by doing a 10% water change twice weekly. I swill the filter sponges in old tank water once a month.

I dont have any goldfish keeping experience myself, just tropical fishkeeping, which is why im seeking a little advice here before I make any decisions.

My grandmother had used to keep goldfish to great success, she had the same two veiltails in her tank, which was slightly larger in volume than mine, for around 10 years and they grew quite large and handsome. This was originally what attracted me to goldfish but everytime I look into them im put off because I think they might need more space than I have.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

you dont specify what kinds of problems your having with your fish? i agree though that a single fish would be alot easier to care for then a community of fish especielly if you take your time in chooseing a healhty goldfish and getting it from a reputable place.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, well this was great! Gave us a bit more insight into your experience, which seems quite good. And, we totally understand what you mean by wanting to keep goldfish for their appearance and personality as that's, I'm sure, why all of us here have them as well! And, a single species is definitely easier.

Glad to hear your filter is large enough. That's very good.

So, when you do switch over to goldfish, you're going to need to do a quarantine as you pretty much have to assume that all fish bring in some sort of bacteria or parasite with them. So, if you wanted to do two goldfish in your tank, it would probably be best to get both at once, that way, you could do your quarantine right in the main tank. If you got only one and then decided to get another one later on, you'd need to do a separate quarantine in a separate, usually smaller, tank.

As I said, you'll have to up your 20% water changes to a minimum of 50% weekly when you get goldfish because they're great big pooping machines. And it would be best to rinse your filters every week for the same reason.

Let us know how things progress!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I wasnt very specific, there have been a few problems over the years really.

The usual problem is various fungal infections or bacterial problems. Though there have been a few "snail epidemics" and other minor annoyances too, I dont really worry about those too much. I believe that this mostly comes from secondary complications stemming from accidental injuries and minor skirmishes etcetc rather than water quality.

Its not that I cant combat these problems, they are quite easy to treat with medication, I just feel like I am having to medicate at least one of the fish all of the time, which is kind of taking the enjoyment out of fishkeeping for me.

I have a few friends who work for a tropical LFS that have seen the tank as it is at the moment and they say there is nothing wrong with the design or setup that could be causing this - they seem to think its just part of community fishkeeping.

I think that just reducing the number of fish I have lowers probability of anything like this happening.

Strangely I havent ever had Ich in my tank, touch wood.

Also id like to go back to having a few character-filled fish I can really bond with rather than a secenic tank of smaller fish.

Edited by Lucerne

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, from what I read about your maintenance and knowledge, I also would have to agree that it's not from bad cleaning practices. Some of those tropical fish can be snippity, and it could just be those bettas, they're kind of supposed to be "loners," so simple injuries probably ARE the reason.

But, just to warn you, between the constant, vigilant, stringent cleaning and maintenance you have to do with goldfish and their touchy little issues that alway result in one problem or another, just be prepared to have those constant worries and treatments go on, at least for a while until your tank and goldfish get really settled in. My friend, Amy Mitchell, who's also on here, poor child, has had goldfish for as long as I've known her - probably almost 3 years now, and I don't think she's been able to sit back and take a nice long, relaxed breath since she's had them..... I've been fairly lucky, on the other hand. I had several big problems in the beginning, but short of a very long-term, unknown low-level stressor that's causing some fin rot in some of my goldies and which I'm trying everything to get rid of, I haven't had any serious illnesses or sicknesses in a couple of years. ugh..... now I've said it! I've just asked the disease gods to do something evil.....

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback Lynda, I hope you havent tempted fate too much and that your fish stay healthy!

The girl fighters are OK about 90% of the time. Theyre not as fiesty as the males and they set up a pecking order and generally stick to their own little areas of the tank, but every now and then theres a spat when one of them gets too bold. Having said that, even simply adding a new plant can be enough to start off a new territory war which then takes a good week or so for them to sort out. Generally the fighters themselves stay healthy, even with a little bit of fin damage from skirmishes they usually dont become infected with any fungus or finrot and just grow back happily. Though having their fins torn for weeks while they reheal does kind of detract from their beauty.

Sadly the Cory cats sometimes take "collateral damage" and they seem to be more prone to illness following even small injuries.

I do love my current fish though, so im trying to keep dosing them up and working through it, but after this long its starting to feel like its just not meant to be for me and community tanks! - Do you ever just get the feeling that "this is not working no matter what I do"? because that is how I feel about my community tank, and thats why im starting to think maybe a change of tact could be the best for both myself and the fish!

As I said earlier, I do love my current fish, but if it ultimately comes to a point where their welfare would be better off separated into other smaller tanks or returned to my good LFS then I would do so, and either of those options would leave me with a big empty tank!

Im pretty glad I asked here because now I know that this tank should hopefully accom a pair of goldfish if that is what I eventually decide to go with, which if this tank becomes "vacant" is what I think I will aim for, as I really cant think of what other fish I would like enough keep as a single species!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys, sorry to necro this thread but there have been some developments :]

Basically, for various reasons, the tank I mentioned earlier needs to be moved. I have been gifted a smaller tank as my housemate is upgrading one of hers, so this means I can transfer my fighters into this tank (itll be ample for them), and she is also willing to take my corys and bamboo shrimp into her new bigger tank too so its kind of win-win.

I figure since I am going to have to empty the tank anyway this may be the perfect chance to make the transition from FWT to goldfish in there, but I still have a few questions so hopefully you can answer them for me :D

Really, what I want to know is

A: what would you say the optimum temperature is for fancy goldfish?

B: what is a good beginner fancy? I am pretty experienced at keeping aquariums but ive never had goldfish before. I really like Black Moors, though the stories about eyes falling off worries me a bit. I also really like Redcap and Calico Orandas. Are any of these suitable as a first fish?

C: Is there any medication I should buy in before I get a goldfish? I have some standard finrot/ich treatments, and I gather from reading here you guys tend to salt for most things if possible - but is there anything you would recommend as a staple?

D: I have some MTS in the tank at the moment, which are kept in check mostly by Assassin snails, will assassins survive in a goldfish tank? if not, what do you guys use to control snail outbreaks?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A) Mid to High 70's

B) Black Moors eyes don't randomly fall off... Perhaps you were reading some horror stories from a siphon accident? Go ahead and pick out any fish that catches your eye. The ones you've listed sound like great fish for you.

C) Firstly you need a water testing kit. I recommend API Freshwater Master Test Kit. Also useful is the kH & gH kit but it is purchased individually from the Master Test Kit. Now medication wise I would include the water dechlorinator Prime. Some Aquarium Salt. PraziPro. And I think that's about it as far as medicine goes. Most of us will not recommend keeping any medicated food as they will most likely expire before you even get a chance to use them. Possibly a heater. And a battery operated air pump. If things like hp or epsom salts are needed for a specific treatment you can get those easily at the pharmacy. Carbon would be a good idea to keep on hand if you need to remove anything from the water but this is not something you should use in your filter all the time.

D) What is MTS? And I'm unfamiliar with assassin snails but you shouldn't have problem with snails for two reasons. 1 You must disinfect all newly purchased plants or plants that may have been contaminated. and 2 Goldfish eat snails. :teehee

Edited by stakos
as per martha's request

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing to add IMO is this:

A) Goldfish do well in temperatures from the mid sixties to the high seventies. The key is to have the temperature stable. The fish will normally have no problem if the temperature is 64F or 78F, as long as it doesn't fluctuate (except for a natural cooling down during the night hours).

B) I agree with Martha, teles eyes don't just fall off. This usually only happens through accidents like siphoning, sharp ornaments, getting stuck behind an ornament / filter intake etc. Orandas, fantails, ranchus, lionheads, ryukins are normally rather hardy. The more delicate ones are fish like bubble eyes, pearlscales etc, at least from what I read on here.

C) Considering you are getting a "new" fish, many here treat a new fish for gill flukes, even if we don't know for sure if they got any or not. So some sort of aqua prazi (I personally swear on the liquid Prazi Pro) would maybe be a good idea to give the fish the standard quarantine procedure.

D) Whatever Martha said. No idea either what MTS are. :unsure:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

MARTHA - I have all the hardware and I have water treatment and a master drop-test which does all parameters I know of, owing to the fact this tank has been set up and running as a tropical tank for the past few years, but thanks for recommending salt and prazi - I will definitely try and source these before I make the change :]

FANG - I am going to try and quarantine the fish IN the tank since I am just going to keep it as a singular fish, will prazi cover most possible problems the fish could come in with from the LFS?

BOTH - Thanks for dispelling the eye-falling-off stories, I know its an extreme but it was giving me drak thoughts! To be honest though, I am kind of smitten with Orandas so I may just plump for one of those guys I think!

I am kind of horrible at temperatures in Fahrenheit, but ive been told keeping fancy goldfish at about 19 centigrade is optimum? I do have a heater for the tank already and I plan to put it in there set to whatever temp im aiming for just to try and stop possible fluctuation.

MTS are Malaysian Trumpet Snails, which are pretty annoying pests and id be suprised if goldfish can eat them just because of how hard their shells are - even dwarf puffers can struggle with them. Theyre asexual and kind of a nightmare - I only ever see the odd one or two in the tank atm though because the assassin snails (which eat other snails) keep them at bay, but I am sure if the Assassins were to die off in cooler water the Malays may rise in number - I dont really like using anti-snail chemical treatments sheerly because they are prone to damaging filter cycles in my experience.

I do have one really important sort of theoretical question. Basically the tank has got to move from its current location to accommodate some new furniture and equipment which cant really go anywhere else. This leaves me with two options for where the tank can go:

1) on the second floor of the house, in our living room, the advantages of which is that it is a warmer room where ambient water temp would be around 19C most of the year. I also spend a lot of time in this room and so I would have more contact with the tank.

The disadvantage is the potential damage that could be cause if a 120L tank were to leak or burst on the second floor. The house is new and the floor can definitely take the weight, but it worries me how much it could destroy if 120L were suddenly leaked out onto the floor.

2) Ground floor hallway. The advantage is it is the ground floor and on a tiled surface so any leakage would do considerably less damage. Im sure most of the water would just flow out under the front door as that would be its lowest point of exit. The disadvantage of this would be that I spend less time here (though im sure I would sit infront of my tank alot, I am not just regularly doing stuff in the hall all evening! The other drawback of this is the fact that it gets much lower in temp (it can drop to pretty much outdoor temp and here in the UK in the winter that can mean single digits in centigrade or even below 0 on occasion, and there would be a slight draft form the front door in cold weather - would this make keeping the tank heated impossible? would the heater just burn out if it had to be on pretty much all day during winter months?

I know it might be hard to say whats best - I am the one living here and im having a hard time figuring it out, but id appreciate any speculation on what YOU guys might do if it were your conundrum.

Thanks so much for any help, I really have nobody else to ask about this stuff!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...