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Confusing Tank Requirements.


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So I have always wanted goldfish. About a year ago I finally moved into a place that allowed fish, however when we first moved our landlord gave me a max size limit of 15 gallons.

I asked around to see if I could have a goldfish in a 15g. All I heard was no, it was cruel to put any type of goldfish in that size. I have always heard that minimum tank for 1 fancy was a 29 gallon and a minimum tank size for 1 common/comet was 55 gallon.

I recently rescued a comet goldfish that came in a 29 gallon. I found this forum and began reading to make sure I could care for this fish (my landlord recently, after living here for a year, upped my max size limit to 29g).

What confuses me is, I have noticed alot of people on this site say 15 minimum for a fancy and 30 minimum for a comet.

To be honest I was half expecting to be yelled at when I stated my comet's tank to be a 29g. As is what mostly happens when I talk about goldfish to others. But everyone on here has been very nice and understanding, I can really tell you all love your fish dearly and are caring owners. :)

I was just wondering if anyone can help clarify my confusion? lol

If it is true I can have fancies in my 15g then I would love to get some. :)

Thank you for reading.

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The current stocking recommendation most people on the forum go with is this:

- minimum tank size of 20 gallons regardless of type of goldfish for the first fish

- for each additional single tail, add 20 more gallons minimum

- for each additional twin tail, add 10 more gallons minimum

Obviously, having a bigger tank is better, because it means that you are much less likely to run into issues of pH crashes, toxic water, etc. :)

Edited by dnalex
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Well, :x despite the general rule, i think a 15 gallon would be fine for a single fancy on the following basis:

____________

Water changes more often! (like 75% every week with a lot of plants and twice that without a lot of plants)

Don't add any decoration that takes away from swimming space unless its just plants!

The tank must be long.

Finally, the filter should be for a 30-40 gallon tank

*based on knowledge from QTing one med size goldie and one small goldie.

_________________

From what i noticed, goldies aren't as picky about space as much as they are just stressed and upset with water quality or being homed in tanks that obviously won't let them grow to full potential (bowls x_x). I think if you can ask yourself if your ready to accept all this added on work to keeping them, and that you can swear that you won't attempt to add a second one then it should be fine, but please know its not ideal! :)

*cringes for future reprimanding opinions*

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Silverxphoenix, you're right. I strongly disagree with you this reason: if the person asking this question is someone who has been keeping goldfish for while and who has an idea of the amount of time it takes to maintain the tank, then yes. However, for someone just starting out, don't you think it would be better for them to learn to ropes, so to speak, in a setting that actually tolerates mistakes and some slack?

Yes, it is possible to have a fancy in 15 gallon, but to be honest, not for someone just starting out because of the maintenance requirements that will be demanded.

Btw, this is not a reprimand. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I am just explaining why I proposed the stocking recommendation that I did :)

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If you speak to the Moderators on Badmans Tropical Fish, the one that generally deals with coldwater fish is a professor of ichthyology. She recommends that a fancy goldfish should have a minimum of 30 gallons for the first fish and 15 gallons for each additional fish. A common goldfish should not be kept in an aquarium at all according to her as they are pond fish. However, she did state that 125 gallons per common goldfish would suffice until they could be moved to a pond. Alot of people did not like this answer. If you were to ask the fish and they could reply i think they would agree with her. The 10 gallon rule is definately for the benefit of the goldfish owner and definately not for the benefit of the fish. People will generally get the tank that they can afford and it will only be as big as the space they can put aside for it. Then people will say i can add another fish if i increase the filtration and up the water changes. In the end they will do what is best for them and not necessarily best for the fish ? Just my 2 cents :)

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Dnalex, i guess i can see where your coming from there. I more just assume that if someone is asking all these questions then they are actively learning what they need to know to understand the needs of the animal. Being that i'm one of those types of people who does heavy research on the subjects, i know from personal experiences that in animal keeping, book knowledge is just as good as practical knowledge. The only cases I've found that its hard to compare book to practical knowledge is in the cases of behavior and some diseases, being that a veteran owner has the benefit of solving multiple problems in various ways that a research can not replicate. :)

Edited by Silverxphoenix
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I, too, research & read heavily on goldfish topics, and I will have to say that practical knowledge trumps book knowledge most of the time, if not all the time when it comes to goldfish keeping. For example, it's really easy to read that you need to do twice daily water changes for a month. It's an entirely different matter to actually do it. Some people will love it, whereas others will think it a chore (see recent topic poll on people's attitudes about doing WCs). I would rather give someone the more conservative, and hence more forgiving, recommendation and then let experience guide them on what they may choose to do later.

Edited by dnalex
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Thank you for the info everyone. :)

I do know quite a bit about Bettas, I have had many of them. This is my first time having goldfish though, and I have had a Platy tank up and running for about 5 months (the 15 gallon). I am good about cleaning the tanks (I siphon on tuesdays and do a water change on fridays). But I would not want to risk a goldfish's health by putting him in a 15g if that is not recommended. :)

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It's good that you have a bit of knowledge already and you will certainly learn alot on here. 15 gallons for 1 goldfish is probably alot better than most people on here started out with but the bigger the tank the better :) The trouble with goldfish is it's very hard to keep just one when the bug bites :)

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That is why I was unsure about getting one for the 15g, I do not like to have my pets live alone. My only pet that lives alone is my hamster but that is because he hates all other living things (including me). lol

Is there a possiblity I can keep 2 small fancies in the 15g as a temporary home? Like if I got them a 30g a year from now? Just curious. :)

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I think that may be very difficult to do, because in the span of a year, each fish can easily quadruple in size or more. Given that kind of waste output, you'll likely have to do big water changes several times a week. I wouldn't risk it.

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I think that may be very difficult to do, because in the span of a year, each fish can easily quadruple in size or more. Given that kind of waste output, you'll likely have to do big water changes several times a week. I wouldn't risk it.

Darn. I understand. I saw this really cute bubble eye with those little orange pom pom things above it's eyes at the petstore today so I thought I would ask. lol

Edited by Aluyasha
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Lol. I totally understand, and I've been there too many times. :)

Bubble eyes especially are delicate, and I would be concerned that adverse conditions may cause the bubbles to pop. Those things pop easily :o

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Sorry, two more questions on the matter. lol

If I got 1 fancy could another type of fish live with him for company?

If I could only get 1 fancy and nothing else in the tank, would it live ok in there and not get depressed?

Thank you everyone for being so nice and answering my questions. :)

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Please ask as many questions as you like. I will answer them to the best of my abilities :)

1. Some possible goldfish compatible tankmates: dojo loaches, bristlenose plecos, rubber lip plecos, white cloud minnows, snails, to name a few. When you have a tankmate for the goldfish, you will have to allocate space for them in the tank as well.

2. Goldfish can be fine by themselves, but personally I like to keep at least two goldfish in a tank together. (Incidentally, it's illegal to house only one goldfish in a tank in Switzerland!)

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I am just wondering. When I move I plan on getting a larger tank for my 2 goldfish. How many single tails can go in a 55g? (my mom has my 3rd goldfish, I would like him to live with me if I can).

And with the 29g empty, could I then get 2-3 fancies for it?

:)

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I know from experience that four one-year-old comets do very well in a 50 gallon stock tank pond. This is with "pond type" filtration (3 gallon filter, 200 gph pump) and more than standard "pond type" water changes (10% a week). Because the pond was so small, I doubled this to 20% a week. The water was clear, smelled good, had perfect parameters, and the fish grew rapidly. However, they would probably have been too big for this pond in another year or two. The stock tank is shallow with a large surface area, which allows for heavier stocking than in a deeper aquarium with less surface area. Still, I think with good filtration and large, regular water changes, the same fish would have done equally well in a 55 gallon tank.

Now I know that "officially" you can keep two fancies in a 29 gallon, and some people do it successfully, but I had my smaller two less-than-one-year-old fancies in a 20 gallon and the larger two in a 29 gallon. I was doing two 50% water changes a week and the tanks always seemed overstocked. Those fish grew so fast. When my big pond was ready, the comets moved out of the 50 gallon stock tank pond, and I put the 4 fancies in the stock tank pond. Then they really grew! I think they doubled in mass in six months. I had to double my water changes, and I still thought the tank was overstocked.

I have no doubt that you can keep 2 fancies in a 29 gallon, but be prepared for lots of big water changes.

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I would not go more than 2 fancies in a 29 gallon, and be prepared to upgrade. Speaking from experience, a 29 gallon gets very cramped once the 2 fish reach 5-6 inches (and that is not even full grown). So, for younger goldies 2 will be just fine in a 29 gallon, but I honestly don't think it is an appropriate 'forever home' :)

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