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Goldfish Help!

Discussion in 'New Aquarium Advice' started by Mummyof2boys, Sep 1, 2013.


  1. Mummyof2boys

    Mummyof2boys PetForums Newbie

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    We have a 12L aquarium with a filter, the fish have been in it for about 3 weeks now but the water has turned all green... Can someone tell me if it is too soon to clean the fish tank and if I need to keep some of the old water and not use all clean water when I refill the tank? Thanks :)
     
  2. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    Hi, your basic problem is that a 12 litre tank is far too small for goldfish. If they are common goldfish, really they need to be outside in a pond as it is very difficult to accommodate a fish that can easily get over 1ft in size in a tank.

    If they are fancy goldfish then you either need to upgrade (minimum of 60 litres per fish but ideally 100+) or take them back to where you got them from.

    Long term they will not survive in a tank that small.
     
  3. mybestfriends

    mybestfriends PetForums Newbie

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    Hi. My goldfish are outside in my water garden but I did have one that got sick so had it in a 100+ L (30 gallon) aquarium with extra filtration to nurse it back to good health. It was a fantail goldfish and 4-6 inches long and that tank was even to small for it....for long term stay. They like to eat and poop a lot making keeping a tank clean and balanced.....on going task..

    Definitely need bigger aquarium to have indoor goldfish. aquarium water changes be sure to use tap water dechlorinator if you use tap water. I only change out about 25% water at a time and be sure not to change out your filter at same time so as to leave some good bacteria in the tank. After you get water balanced with whatever you use....be sure to test it to keep a check on ph, alkalinity, ammonia, etc. Aquariums are fun to have but it took me a while to get into the swing of what to do and how to keep the water healthy for the fish. Good luck and have fun. :001_smile:
     
  4. moggiemum

    moggiemum PetForums VIP

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    dont place tank in or near direct sunlight , feed much less until this problem is fixed , yes get a biger tank too when you can or improvise with other larger container, you can buy products that deal with algae but you do need to sort out the root cause- sunlight ,too much nutriment in water,
    do weekly water change 25 per cent or follow instructions on meds for algae control,
    good luck best wishes
     
  5. Phoenix24

    Phoenix24 PetForums Senior

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    Get yourself a new tank as soon as you possibly can, and consider (temporarily) rehoming your goldfish whilst you perform a full fishless cycle (which uses bottled ammonia to grow all the bacteria in the tank and filter) - which may take time but will be worth it as you are less likely to lose your goldfish due to water quality issues.

    You absolutely cannot keep them in the 12L tank. Even for tiny fish (e.g. neon tetras) this is not big enough, so for a fish that can grow several inches long and live for up to 15 years, it would be a death sentence. If they didn't poison themselves on their own wastes (a filter for a tank that size will never be enough) then they will eventually suffer from intestinal disorders as they become stunted in growth.

    If the fish are not the fancy type (ie the round bodied ones) but the comets (the longer bodied goldfish) then no tank of any size will be good enough - they will need to be re-homed to a pond (unless you want to dig one out yourself).

    As an emergency you could by one of those big plastic storage tubs to make a makeshift aquarium (you can buy really big ones - 100L+ from Staples and they are made from safe plastic, or so i'm told). You will need to transfer everything from the 12L into this, gravel, ornaments, filter - everything - and do not be tempted to rinse them out (except in tank water or pre-treated tap water if you really must) otherwise you will lose the bacteria. You can keep the goldfish in this - it won't look pretty but it will save your fish from further problems whilst you consider what course of action you will take.

    If you have the fancies, you are looking at spending quite a bit of money to get a tank of the right size (plus a stand, most aquariums are not covered under warranty if you don't use one, and most furniture is not strong enough for the weight of the water) and a filter that is rated for a larger tank than the one you buy (because goldfish are so messy).

    Once you have the tank, don't be tempted to dump the goldfish straight in it, it it not considered humane any more to do a cycle with fish - and a full fishless cycle with a bottle of ammonia (Jeyes do one that's only a couple of quid a bottle) will cost you less in money and heartache long term than using fish that will shorten their lifespans and probably kill them.

    Let us know what you decide to do, and we will help you in any way we can. But please, please, do not keep your fish in that 12L tank - no matter what the pet store told you about it being ok (which they often do)!

    ps. For a normal, correctly sized tank that is not overstocked, a 20% water change plus a gravel clean (or sand skim if that's your substrate) to remove solid wastes once a week is sufficient. For overstocked or undersized tanks you will need to change more water more frequently - and you should ALWAYS pre-condition the tap water before adding it to the tank (Seachem Prime is the absolute best tap water conditioner, I think).
     
    #5 Phoenix24, Sep 1, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  6. Mummyof2boys

    Mummyof2boys PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, thank you so much for the advice. I just did what the pet shops told us thinking they would give me good advice! I feel terrible now :'( I promise first thing in the morning I will buy a temp solution to the bigger tank and start looking for a bigger aquarium. We have 3 goldfish, 1 my son won at the fair and 2 from an aquatics centre. One is a yellow goldfish and the other is a white, orange and black one.. none are fantails. What do I need to look after these fish? My 3 year old is very attached to them and would hate to have to rehome them, it would really upset him. A pond isn't an option as we don't have a garden.
     
  7. twinkle00

    twinkle00 PetForums Newbie

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    goldfish are absolutely fine to keep in a tank, most of them will grow to the size of the tank and live quite happily for many years if kept right. (yes u get the odd one the will continue growing) but worry about that if it happens lol.
    once u get ur new bigger tank, make sure u use a dechlorinator and friendly bacteria which most new tanks come with little bottles now and leave the tank at least a week before putting the fish in. the tank will cloud but this is a natural process that will clear by itself with in a few weeks.
    feed once a day or every other day. no matter what the pot of food says.
     
  8. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    They don't grow to the size of the tank, that's a myth - their internal organs keep on growing while the outside stops, which leads to internal damage and death. A properly cared-for common goldfish should live for 20+ years, which won't happen in a 12l tank!

    For 3 common goldfish, if a pond's not an option, you're going to need a really big tank - 300l+, at least 3' long and at least 2' wide, so that they have space to swim. (That's quite a conservative estimate - others on here may disagree with me and say that's still too small.) You'll also need a powerful external filter - goldfish are very mucky fish, so you'll need one rated for twice the tank's volume - so around 1400 L/H minimum.

    As Phoenix said, if you can temporarily rehome them while you do a fishless cycle on the new tank, that would be best. If not, you're looking at daily water changes for several months until the filter bacteria have developed.

    I'd also cut feeds down to every other day until you can get a new tank and get it set up.

    I'm not meaning to sound negative, it's not your fault you were given bad advice by the pet shop, and good on you for wanting to do the best for them. The plastic container will do fine as a temporary home for a short time while you look for a new tank (I'd recommend looking on ebay or gumtree for the new tank, as it will be very expensive new!) and myself and the others here will he happy to answer any questions and talk you through the process once you do :)
     
  9. Fishyfins

    Fishyfins PetForums Member

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    Don't listen this this guy! As NaomiM says above, goldfish growing to the size of a tank is a myth. In the wild, they sometimes inhabit temporary streams and ponds, where the water level varies depending on the season. In summer, the poor fish can find themselves in quickly evaporating pools with little water. In this situation, they have evolved a method of releasing a type on enzyme into the water that inhibits their growth, so that when caught in these pools, they will not make the situation worse. But it is only supposed to be a temporary measure, and when the rains come to "rescue" them, they stop, and carry on growing. Its a seasonal thing, and during their period of stalled growth, their internal organs continue to grow.
    When kept in small tanks, this survival system kicks in, and they end up releasing this enzyme. Yes, this halts their growth, but if its left for too long, then their internal organs grow too much, and they end up dying painful deaths from internal hemorrhaging :/ not nice

    Also, under normal situations, waiting just a week before adding fish is pointless. You need to mature the filter of the new tank fishlessly (look up fishless cycle on google), which is a process that usually takes 4-6 weeks (on average). In your situation, it will have to be different as you already have fish, but normally one single week just not do anything at all. The cloudy water described is a bacterial bloom, meaning the filter is not mature, and is not a good thing for fish to experience (as it means high ammonia and low oxygen in the water)
     
  10. Phoenix24

    Phoenix24 PetForums Senior

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    Without wanting to upset you or your son, you have a duty of care to these fish that must be considered - their welfare is important and it will teach your son too that goldfish are not just something you can throw away when they die because they haven't been cared for properly.

    Saying that, perhaps one option is to re-home the fish you have into someone else's pond, and get just one or two fancy goldfish - or even a small fish species (there are other cold water species you can choose from, or if you get a heater then your options suddenly increase - and many tropical fish are in fact EASIER to care for than goldfish) that won't necessarily require the size of tank you will have to buy for goldfish. Two fancy goldfish will still require a tank of around 200L or more.

    But three comet-type goldfish? Like Naomi said, to house those you are talking some seriously BIG tanks which will cost you a small fortune. We aren't talking just 100 quid, we are looking at £500 upwards, unless you are lucky enough to find one on Ebay that's big enough - but it will be second hand.

    Growing to the size of their tank? That's a myth that has been well and truly dispelled. If that were the case we would still be putting the poor things in tiny bowls. And its not just tank size, its filtration - one giant tank needs a lot less maintenance than a small one, and for a fish as messy as a goldfish... I wouldn't like to have a water meter that's for sure.

    I'm sure you don't want to be cruel to your fish. Your best option, unless you are very well off and have space for what essentially will be an indoor pond, is to re-home the goldfish and get yourself a shoal of something small and easy e.g. white cloud mountain minnows for a cold tank (they are very entertaining and the males put on a good show of displaying), or neon tetras for a tropical tank, plus maybe one or two 'larger' centre piece fish (e.g. you could get a pair of gouramis for a trop tank, they are very peaceful and and interesting) then you won't have to buy such an enormous tank. Do a little research as for what fish to get and what tank they will fit (happily!) in; you can get some really nice mid-sized tanks - I would recommended the aquanano 40 for a small shoal (6-10 x 2cm fish) plus a couple of not too big centre piece fish, as the filtration in it is excellent and concealed in its own section, giving a nice clear space to put in the fish and decor. As a guideline for non-messy fish (which excludes gold fish and cichlids, including angelfish) you are looking at 1L per 1cm of full-grown fish.
     
    #10 Phoenix24, Sep 2, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
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