Aquarium Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

My first post, and I really am glad there's a forum like this.

My daughter "won" 3 gold fish (I think they're all goldfish, they look alike in structure, albeit one is completely "gold", one is gold with a silver belly and one is dirty silver) at Del Mar Fair over the weekend. They came in a very small lunchbox size acrylic fish tank. The fish are probably 1.5inches long.

So she wants to keep them, and I've never raised fish (or any other pet) before.

The internet has way too much information, and so far everything I've heard is that I need a bigger tank :) I just am not sure how much I want to spend and I definitely can't get something too big (space restrictions).

So here's what I've done so far (I'm trying!):
1. cleaned out an old cookie jar with water and salt only to temporarily move the fish there. let water age for a couple hours (to room temperature, this is san diego, so outside temperature pretty much is 70deg.). Put a couple of drops of something I picked up from the pet store to reduce ammonia and chlorine in the water and put the fish (using a nice net) in there.
2. cleaned out the original (very small) tank that had some gravel at the bottom. refilled with water and a couple of drops of that de-ammonia stuff I mentioned earlier.
3. put the fish back and put in 4 flakes of food or so per fish. Again, I picked this up from the pet store.

Here are some problems I see off the bat:
1. I think (don't laugh) the fish are scared. (a) they have no place to hide, and (b) maybe new environment?
2. they don't seem to swim to the top much, despite adding the food.
3. they mostly tend to go to a corner or at least stay static, unless I approach them. Sometimes from a distance I can see them move around a bit, but not much.

I think I would like to create a nice hobby and interest for my daughter (she's 3) long-term, but I'm a little concerned about the amount of work required (and commitment). I'm not shying away from some work, but I guess you could say I know my limitations :)

My immediate concern is to get them in to a nice environment. Then I'd like to see what I can do to improve their health (if that's in question).

OR, is it more 'humane' to find someone who wants them (how?) and focus on setting up an aquarium and fish species that's easier to maintain?

Sorry, so confused
 

·
Livebearer Specialist
Joined
·
409 Posts
first problem is that goldfish are not like bettas they need some kind of aeration (some kind of air pump) and if you do a bit of research you will find out that Goldfish are actually a species of Carp and they do grow to become very big like one in this link tp://nyfisherman.net/2005carp.jpg so I truly belive that Goldfish and Koi can only be kept in a aqarium for a short period of time and also keep in mind that when well kept they can live over 40 years so its a partner for almost a life time. So can you get it a pond '???? if not look for some one who can actually give it a good sized home and proper care as many of us here at the forum will tell is that a goldfish is a very messy fish so be prepared to give them away unless you have a pond give the fish away !!!!!!!
p.s sorry you fell victim to the fair fish. we all have done this at one point of are life
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
This is exactly how I started keeping fish, when I was just 6 years old. I also won a feeder goldfish at a school function in the first grade. I'm 33 now, if that gives you any indication!

Ok, what you really need to know about goldfish:

They are not as easy to care for as people think.

What you have are probably juvenile Comet goldfish. They are still growing into their colors, if they are a dirty silver to pale gold. Comets are beautiful and among the fastest of goldfish. They are among the best fish to have for a novice goldfish keeper as they are quite hardy. They can live up to 20 years and can grow to be 14 inches in length. They interestingly are able to grow and stop growing to fit their tank, though. Still, your little fish ARE going to get bigger. It is a myth that they can live in just fishbowls or that little acrylic tank your daughter's fish came in.

Goldfish big waste producers. Which means they need a lot of space, good filtration, and regular water changes. Rule of thumb is 20 gallons for the first fish, 10 more per fish after. So you are looking to be needing at LEAST a 40 gallon tank for those three fish with a filter that is slated for 50 gallon tanks or higher.

Goldfish are also coldwater fish, which means the water temperature needs to be kept 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. They will need either an aquarium chiller or a cool room to be kept in.

They are omnivorus and can eat pretty much anything. For healthy long lived fish, they will need more than just flakes. They can eat things like bloodworms, pellets, earthworms (cleaned) and enjoy dark leafy green lettuce, spinach, zuchinni, and peas. They also love live aquatic plants in their aquarium to hide in and munch on.

1. I think (don't laugh) the fish are scared. (a) they have no place to hide, and (b) maybe new environment?
Yes, this is true. They've gone through a lot of trauma, and they are stressed, which is why they aren't moving much. Being jostled around, new water, new water temperatures, and a new environment is extremely stressing for fish. New water without proper acclimation to temperature and PH gives them a shock that can kill them.

My best advice I can give is to cover the tank for a day. Coolness and darkness will help keep them calm. Do not feed the fish. They can survive easily without food for a day, and it will also help them adjust.

While you are doing that, decide whether this is something you want to pursue. Goldfish are some of my favorite fish, and once you get the tank set up and optimal, and with a little knowledge they are wonderful pets. Still, they do require a large set up!

If this isn't for you, but you are still interested in having a fish, I recommend giving the goldfish to a pet store and picking out a pretty male betta. They ARE fish that can live in 1 gallon tanks quite happily, by themselves, and are very easy to care for and are beautiful to look at. And we here will be more than happy to answer any questions you have. :)

Welcome to the forum!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Well I'm back :)

Unfortunately, 2 of the three "fair goldfish" died within the first 3 days.

The last one (also the most active of the bunch) has survived, 3 weeks later.

All is good, and other than me being lazy about getting him a bigger home, he seems really healthy (and growing). What I have right now is nowhere near optimal, but I think I'm ready to pursue this further. He's in a bowl right now (large-ish, perhaps 2ga or so) with some gravel and a ceramic ornament for him to hide once in awhile. No filtration yet. But I've learned *alot*:

1. goldfish are dirty. Within a day his tank is 'cloudy'. Because of this, I clean out his tank every day (100% water exchange). Again I know this is not ideal, not to mention the trauma. I use a couple of drops of (ammonia? nitrate?) balancer stuff that I picked up from the pet store.
2. clearly this helps. If I try to feed him before his water change, he barely eats and generally seems a little bit more lethargic, and tends to make bubbles at the surface a lot. Once I change the water, he darts back and forth and scoops up his flakes in less than a minute and doesn't hover at the top as much (oxygen deprived)?
3. he seems to be happiest with two feedings.

Ok, so I know that he needs a bigger tank asap, not to mention a filtration system. Luckily, climates in San Diego are pretty nice, so hopefully a water heater won't be necessary.

The only thing I don't want to do is buy a huge tank. Everyone here says 20gallon min, I was hoping more for 5, ok, maybe 10. Will I be doing him an injustice with 10gal?

Finally, does he get lonely? Should I introduce another goldfish, or some other variety? Honestly, I wish I had a male betta instead (based one what I hear), but I don't know how to give this fish a good home and replace him (and don't know if I really want to either).

Thoughts? Thanks so much, this forum is great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
A ten gallon tank would be a good size a long with a filter. You can also pick up some fresh water aquarium salt to add electrolytes to the water and it helps fight against disease, I believe its a rounded tablespoon per 5 gallons. A heater would also be a goood idea to keep it at a steady temperature. If you can try to keep your water changes to once a week and change no more than about 25% of the water. With a ten gallon tank you can get more fish but if you get more goldfish that just means more of a mess there gonna make haha. Hope some of this info helps!
 

·
Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
Joined
·
7,685 Posts
A 20 gal tank has about the same footprint as a 10 only taller so it won't take up much space and the fish would be so much happier. Keeping it in a 10 gal would stunt his growth eventually and shorten his lifespan. If you can't give him a suitable home I would suggest taking it to a petshop and trading it for a more suitable fish for a 5 or 10 gal tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all for the advice.

Of course I want to give him a suitable home, the thought of 20gal was just bewildering. I also didn't realize that I could take him in to a pet store and have him 'replaced'.

What about company for him? It seems that life would be quite boring, if it was just himself. If I did pick up a 20gal, or replace him with, say, a betta, should I consider two fish minimum?
Thanks again.
 

·
Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
Joined
·
7,685 Posts
In a 20 gal, if you replace him with a betta, you can add a small school of another small fish, and 3 or 4 of the smaller cories. Some rasboras would look good with a single betta. You might even add a mystery snail. Most kids like to watch them.

If you keep the goldfish you don't want to add another goldie to a 20 gal as it will be messy. Maybe add a couple of mystery snails or 3 or 4 white cloud minnows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
hi there what i would say is a bigger tank. id say about 2ft long and about 1ft high or bigger than that. It is still qiet small but its enuff room for them to move about and be able to swim happly as thay do like to have a good old swim. Pluse thay do like the space from eatch other. You kneed a air stone and pump and a peace of plastic tubing that attacers to the pump and then the other side of the tube you put the air stone on this is a gotta have. Put the end with the aire stone into the tank witch will crate bubles when pluged in witch helps give them move aire under the water to breth. You will kneed a filter witch cleans and adds aire to the water also called oxigen this is a gotta have to.Gravel you dont have to have it but it gives them something to do as thay love to suck the gravel up in there mouths and spit it back out looking for food. Its qiet funny and cute really. Plants will give them a more at home feeling as thay can hide in them if thay feel a little shaken up pluse thay like to play around and eat them somtimes. You can get diffrent kinds of plants. Real plants, plastic plants, silk plants and also rubber plants witch are my favrate as thay move with the flow of the water and look real. Im not being funny to enny one but dont listen to enny one on here that has put that the gold fish will out grow the tank and kneeds to be put in a pond. that is not true. I have had gold fish and tropical fish and koi. All my life since i was young and now i am 19. I have never had a pond in my life thay have all been in aquariums. You might have to get a bit bigger tank as thay will grow but not massively. Your not being silly about saying you think the goldfish are sceard becouse your rght thay probly are. As it is a new enviroment and there isent nothing thay can hide behind by the sounds of it lol. So get all the stuff i have said for your fish and you souldent have no problem. Good look with your new fishy friends if you kneed enny more help please come and ask me i dont mind at all
 

·
This is how I feel.
Joined
·
753 Posts
I drink heavily every time there's a fair happening nearby, as I can almost be guaranteed that my weekend will be full of phone calls and visiting folks saying 'We won this goldfish at the fair...'

And then I get to tell them how big they get, what sort of care they need, etc. It's not fun. I really wish we could get legislature passed to prevent that sort of thing from happening, since it's quite inhumane.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top