Jump to content

Goldfish - learning the hard way!


LazyDaisy

Recommended Posts

Hi ENA - This past week I have been learning a lot about goldfish and aquariums. Unfortunately, I had to learn things the hard way. Maybe this post will help someone. My BF bought my son an aquarium for his bday last week. It was only a 5 gallon tank. He bought 6 fancy goldfish for it. Two died already. I did some research and found out that goldfish need a much bigger tank - it should be 20 gallons for 1 fish and another 10 for every additional fish. My son was very upset about the goldfish that died and I really can't just sit around and wait for the rest to die a slow, painful death. So I went out today and got a much bigger aquarium. I bought the all inclusive package, got it home, set it all up and the filter is so noisy I can't stand it. I am not about to take the whole thing apart and return it, so now i have to go out and buy an additional filter that goes inside the tank. So about $450 later, I will have a nice home for my goldfish!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah pet stores really need to do a better job educating people before they send them home with completely inadequate packages. They just don't tell people about the nitrogen cycle, waste, oxygen needs, compatibility, and the many other things you need to know.

 

I'd suggest buying a good book on aquariums. It could save you a lot of money and keep your fish nice and healthy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first one that died had puffy eyes. I read that they can't be in a tank with anything sharp or pointy. He probably cut one of his eyes on something. The other one was much smaller than the rest. I think they were intimidating him. Anyway, yes, the people in the pet stores should ask your about your intentions when purchasing fish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LazyDaisy I've had very good luck with Whisper hang on filters for being nice and cheap, yet effective. Other good ones are from Marineland (though I have had more failures with those).

 

You might also consider getting an air pump and an airstone to get some oxygen into the water. Fancy goldfish really seem to like that.

 

Did you cycle your tank first before adding fish? I can explain the cycle process to you if you need it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah yes. I remember winning some of those kind many years ago. Tossed a ping pong ball and it landed in one of the bowls. Instant winner!

 

My daughter has too. Unfortunately my cats give the poor things a stroke before she gets too attached.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LazyDaisy I've had very good luck with Whisper hang on filters for being nice and cheap, yet effective. Other good ones are from Marineland (though I have had more failures with those).

 

You might also consider getting an air pump and an airstone to get some oxygen into the water. Fancy goldfish really seem to like that.

 

Did you cycle your tank first before adding fish? I can explain the cycle process to you if you need it.

 

Yes, I had it set up for a week before adding the fish.

 

New tank has a Marineland filter - Its so loud I can't stand it!

I got an air stone for the new tank. I also go a gravel vacuum, I read that Tetra makes a nice quiet filter. Who knew that goldfish required so much care!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read that Tetra makes a nice quiet filter.

 

Yes, Tetra makes the Whisper filters. I have one on my 29 gallon goldfish tank and it works great. Very quiet and it keeps up with the waste nicely. The gravel vacuum is another great idea. Goldfish poop, a lot. Your gravel will get very dirty so clean it monthly at a minimum. I should really clean mine even more often but I do it about monthly and change 20% of the water each month.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh man, been in your shoes before. Spent a good 300 bucks on the goldfishes too. They ended up dying anyway, so I don't wanna be a debbie downer, but I want you to not get your hopes up too much!

 

I was SOOOO sad when my goldfishes died. I'm such a loser, I know, but I was super attached!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh man, been in your shoes before. Spent a good 300 bucks on the goldfishes too. They ended up dying anyway, so I don't wanna be a debbie downer, but I want you to not get your hopes up too much!

 

I was SOOOO sad when my goldfishes died. I'm such a loser, I know, but I was super attached!

 

Hey, I was really sad too, probably more than my son. He really doesn't comprehend death yet. I hope they don't die. I set up the new tank last night so I am going to move them in 3 days. Wish me luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, I wanted to caution you about moving your fish. If you move your fish now, chances are they will die. You need to buy a master test kit, API makes a good liquid one. It has to test for pH, Nitrite, and Ammonia. This will allow you to determine the water quality, which is very important, and what probably killed your two fish.

Whenever you buy a tank, you have to "cycle" it before adding any fish. By cycle, I mean run the tank completely through the nitrogen cycle once. Cycling your tank creates beneficial bacteria, which act as a biological filter to break down potentially harmful waste products from your fish, like ammonia. This takes about a month or so, depending on the size of your tank. You can also buy bacteria that you can add to the tank to jumpstart things.

If you don't cycle the tank before you add the fish, the tank will cycle with the fish inside it, creating all kinds of toxic substances in the process. The test kit, pure ammonia, and patience is all you need to cycle your tank. It's called "fishless cycling" and there are tons of how-tos on the net.

 

As for the 5 gallon you have going, it's already mid-cycle. I'd recommend buying a little bottle of Prime and dosing the tank with it to remove some of the waste products that have built up. Hopefully the fish make it through to enjoy their nice new home.

 

I got into fishkeeping the same way you did, buying a small tank, and I was shocked to find out how much you have to do to get it started. Sorry for the book. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awesome. The fishless cycling thing is actually pretty simple once you get the concept, but like many things until you do it yourself it can seem daunting. If you need any clarification feel free to ask me.

 

There's a big difference between the local Petsmart and a specialty fish store where they are really invested in the fish, and that leads to really conflicting advice. Then people get fish, they die, and they're bummed and give up the hobby. I can't say I blame them. I was fortunate enough to live near an awesome mom and pop fish store who'd been in business for 30 years, and their advice really helped me starting out. I'd be happy to pass it on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is this why you shouldn't do 100% water changes with a tank? (See how much I know I had a 5 gallon once, and always did 100% water changes. Maybe that's why my betta died shortly after I had it for only a year and a half.

 

 

The water in a stable aquarium system has certain characteristics like ph, nitrate levels, alkalinity, and so on. Fish don't like radical changes to these levels. So if you completely change out all the water you end up disrupting the levels of these things. Some fish do ok with this, but most do not. So small, regular water changes are considered the best. Sometimes if you already have a problem big water changes are advised. But otherwise you should stick to around 20% water changes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always thought maybe it would be best to take care of other people's fish, or work at a pet shop for awhile to get experience.

 

With my 5 gal, I always added new water (100%), I had 2 gallon containers of water, and then filled up water in them from the tap after that to fill up the rest. I hear straight from the tap was a bad idea too. I also added everything from aquarium salt, water conditioner (amquel and novaqua), & ph neutral. It was heated with a temperature strip on the side, so when it was the right temp, I would acclimatize the fish back in the tank.

 

So say I have a 5 gallon again, and I do 20% water changes. How often would I do this?? I think instead of changing straight from the tap, I would have my gallon container with aged water, and only need that since I would change 20% anyway. So would I go into the tank and try to siphon out all the junk on the bottom till about 20% of the water is gone. At this point should I add the water conditioner to the aged gallon of water?? The water would be at room temp I am assuming when I put it in, would this be ok? Should the fish be out during this whole process even though it is only a 20% water change? Do I also need to add conditioner to the existing water in the tank even tho I added a gallon's worth of conditioner to the gallon aged new water I would be putting in??

 

So many questions, I just hope someday I can have a successful aquarium?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...