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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I only just signed up for this forum, and I'm not sure where to post my question about a tank I plan to set up- this will be the first one I've run on my own, and I want to make sure I do it right. I haven't purchased anything yet, because I want to make sure I do this correctly and with minimal stress to the fish. I plan on buying a 40-55 gallon glass aquarium. I want to keep some goldfish in it, one black moor, one organda, one bubble eye, and one lion head. I will be buying them locally, so they will most likely be no more than two or three inches to start. I want to make sure this is a reasonable size for them as adults and that they are compatible. Also, I would be running either one or two filters off the top. Should I also buy an undergravel one? I want to minimize water changes, although I understand they will still be necessary. I hope to only have to do them maybe once every week and a half. As for decorations, I'm worried about hurting their eyes, so I was wondering for any suggestions as far as live plants would go. I would like to have some form of algae eater in there, though I've yet to decide on ghost shrimp, snails, or some type of fish. Again, I'm afraid for the eyes of my gold fish, so I'm not sure the shrimp are a great idea.

So basically, my questions are;
When I get the tank, I know that more surface area on the top is better. However, with the amount of filtration I plan to use, would I be able to get away with a tall one? Or will it be better for the fish if I get longer and flatter?
Can the four types of fish I mentioned be combined safely or should I reconsider? Will there be any issues of some being faster to the food?
What kind of filtration and plants would you suggest?
What kinds of tank mates would be best for cleaning up after the goldfish?
And finally, a quick question about cycling the tank- I've heard that having fish in the tank helps speed it along and that many people suggest goldfish, and others say not to. Those that say you should not are because they are generally different types from what they ultimately want to keep. Since I do want to keep goldfish, should I buy the fish and use them to cycle the tank, or should I do it without fish to avoid any stress on them?

Thank you, I apologize if I have asked this in the wrong area. =/
 

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I'm in no way a goldfish expert, but I'll do my best here.

Before I say anything else, don't use your goldfish to cycle the tank. I always recommend fishless cycling because you can avoid putting alot of stress on your fish. This can be done with ammonia and an ammonia test kit. Check out this article about fishless cycling: Fishless Cycle / Nitrogen Cycle

On to you other questions.
-I'd get a 55g for sure. You can never get too big of a tank =) They should all get along fine with each other since they are all relatively docile species from what I hear.
-I'd recommend having a canister filter for a tank like this, since fancy goldfish don't like a whole lot of water movement. They prefer calmer tanks but need really heavy filtration, so a canister filter is a good way to go here. I'd recommend getting one that's rated for a size bigger than your tank to make sure the turnover rate is high enough. I'd say a minimum turnover rate of 10x per hour. So you'd want a canister filter that had a minimum turnover rate of 550gph, preferrably more. Bigger is better in this case. I've read that they like to dig in the substrate, so that's not the best thing if you have undergravel filtration.
-Corydoras catfish are great cleaneruppers and eat just about anything. Get a school of these guys and they'll keep the bottom clean. And they're really fun to watch too and very docile like the goldies.
-Plants. Elodea, Anubias, Java moss and Java fern would all be good in a fancy goldfish tank. They do tend to eat plants (especially Elodea) and dig around in the substrate, so it can be tricky to keep things planted. I don't know much in this area though.
-A standard 55g tank would be just fine, though longer is probably better than deeper if you have an option.
-Do at least a 25% water change weekly. When they're small it probably won't be as critical, but once they're full grown, they will be MAJOR waste producers and they don't tolerate high nitrates too well. Live plants will help a lot here though.
-Stable temperatures in the 70-78F range are usually ideal for fancy goldies.

Hopefully someone who is more of an expert can comment here. Sounds like a great tank plan. And welcome to the forum!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm thinking maybe I should rethink my plans for a tank. During the summer in my area my temperatures will be above 90 at times, in the winter below freezing. Do they sell combination chillers/ heaters that will adjust based on the temperature?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh gosh, they're so expensive... Haha, I may need to look for a less expensive tank, I have my heart set on goldfish. Maybe I can find something locally.
 

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I am no expert on this but I have a sugestion before you go changing all your plans.

Chillers are not cheap as you have discovered. That is just the start as they run your electric bill up as well. There is good news though, as Ladyonyz suggested, a longer tank is better. One reason is the amount of surface water they have. Instead of a chiller, get a fan and place it so that if blows across the top of the length of your tank. This will help to dissipate heat from both your water and your lighting system that is the prime source of heat in the tank. If you can, buy a lighting system that is on legs so that it has room under it for the air to circulate. These methods will increase the amount of water you will need to replace daily but will save you some cash from the cost of the chiller that you can use to buy a RO/DI system that will again save you money that you can buy... well you get the idea!
 

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One thing I forgot to add, consider a LED lighting system. The prices are coming down, they produce very little heat and they look great.
I have the Marineland 36 and 18 inch end to end as my tank is 60 inches long. For both systems I paid less than $200 with free shipping.
This will save you some more $ in the long run as they are rated for 17,000 hours of use.
Most bulbs need to be replaced every 9-12 months which costs almost as much as the LED system that will last 4 years.
 

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Bubble eye goldfish are fragile and better off in a tank by themselves. They need rounded ornaments and plants so their fluid sacs can avoid damage. If you do buy them, make sure the seller does not lob it out with nets or hands (the bubbles again!)
 

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I have a friend that has several goldies in tanks and they are all planted. With elodea plan on replacing often as they will eat it. Swords are a good plant with goldies, the way she does plants is put them in shallow flower pots then in the tank. Stem plants you really want to avoid. Anubia and java ferns need to be tied to something like wood or rock and with the bubble eyed goldies that can cause a problem. If you decide to go with fake plants, best to use is silk ones and not the plastic ones (can cause damage)

If you have a hood on the tank you can also mount shop lights in it, will cost a lot less and will work on growing the lower light plants as stated above.
 
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