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New Goldfish help - My son won it at a funfair

Discussion in 'Coldwater Aquarium Advice' started by Elsammy, Oct 18, 2015.


  1. Elsammy

    Elsammy PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,

    Today my son won a Goldfish at the funfair. I'll admit I don't really know much about keeping any fish and that it was a stupid idea to let him try and win a fish but I just did not think. I simply thought that on the way home we would pop into a pet shop and get a new tank for it, which I did. The tank is 19L. I was told by the pet shop that this was OK to keep a goldfish in and that the goldfish would be OK if I added some liquid bacteria to the water.

    I'm now totally aware that this is far from Ideal and that the poor fish might die. So I'm here to ask you for some help on what I can do to help my sons new goldfish to survive, hoping its not already too late. I feel incredibly guilty and totally against any animal cruelty and yet I now know my sons goldfish is suffering because I did not know anything about keeping a goldfish.The goldfish appears OK at the moment. I'm just worried I'm causing him pain from the toxins and want to do my best to help him as quickly as I can. I'm totally prepared to get another new tank etc tomorrow morning and to start the cycle, but want to know what to do in the meantime to minimise his suffering.

    Please no bashing. I know I've been stupid.

    E.T.A I'm hopeless at spelling :oops:
     
    #1 Elsammy, Oct 18, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  2. ameliajane

    ameliajane PetForums VIP

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    If your Goldfish is a Common Goldfish (doesn't have a fancy tail) and you know someone with a pond the best thing to do would be to see whether they would be happy to take your fish.
    If you and your and your son would still like to keep fish you could then start again with a bigger tank and more suitable fish.
    If you want to keep this particular fish you are going to need a very large tank or a pond. I'm sure you know by now that Goldfish can grow to a foot long and live longer than a dog or cat.
    Until you can arrange more suitable accommodation keep doing large daily water changes using a dechlorinater.
    And don't beat yourself up - many of came into fish-keeping with a very similar story!
     
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  3. Elsammy

    Elsammy PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the reply. We unfortunately don't know anyone who has a pond so we will go out and get a very large tank for the goldfish today and keep up with the water change daily. We have a water conditioner to declorinate the water and get rid of the ammonia.

    What size tank do you suggest? Size ain't a problem as we have a large space it can go into. Also what filter do you suggest. The stuff I'm reading on the Internet varies a lot and so I'm a little confused on what to buy.

    Would the tank I already have be ok for a smaller type of fish? It seems a shame to just get rid of it considering it has only just been bought or is it not suitable for anything?
     
  4. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    Hi, you might find the responses in this post useful as the OP had the same issue as you.
    www.petforums.co.uk/threads/urgent-help-needed.405285/#post-1064258842

    I would recommend you get a liquid test kit. You need to keep the ammonia as close to zero as possible. If you are keeping your fish in a tank for a little while then 4 ft or greater will be needed. Goldfish can grow to a foot in length and live potentially up to 40years ( my oldest was in its mid twenties)and they are very messy fish producing lots of waste so even a large tank won't be sufficient. That said you can grow on the fish for a little while in the tank and look out for someone with a nice pond in the future.

    You will need a large filter. I use two external filters on my 4ft tank (180 litre) which is a bit of overkill for the Tropicals I have but a large filter is a must for a goldfish as they are poop machines.

    If you know any fish keepers, taking some of their filter medium ( sponges / ceramic beads or whatever) and this will speed up the process of getting sufficient bacteria on the filter to break down wastes.

    Be prepared to become quickly addicted to fish keeping. Multiple tank syndrome is a common sign of this addiction :) Your 20l tank is too small for any fish even tropicals however it would make a lovely shrimp planted tank. The problem with tiny tanks is that the water quality is much hardr to keep a stable quality. So small tanks are actually much harder work than larger tanks. As you have found fish / pet shop advice is sometimes very poor.
     
    #4 kittih, Oct 18, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
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  5. lisa0307

    lisa0307 PetForums VIP

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    Thought they'd stopped gold fish at fun fairs...wish they would.
     
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  6. lostbear

    lostbear Bear right at Newcastle . . .

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    I agree that a bigger tank is better - and as big as possible, but if we are talking about a single fish a two - two and half foot tank would be adequate (in fact, you could put a second fish in with him for company - they like that). Goldfish can get large, but tend to be limited by the size of the container they are in. Not that they don't grow in a smaller tank, but they grow much more slowly - almost imperceptibly sometimes. Make sure though that the fish have stimulation in the form of plants, rocks (not from the beach - they will contain minerals that can be fatal for freshwater fish) and perhaps that fossilised wood stuff so that they have a healthy and exciting environment - fish like to have things to swim round and explore. A little cave or two (pottery plant pots are good) to rest in is also good for them, and nice deep gravel to root around in.

    I think your fish will do well if he has somewhere like this to live (of course, if you have the room for a 4 foot tank all the better . . .).

    Oh - and a good diet with occasional fresh food (e.g. daphnia) is also very good for them. Best of luck - let us know how he gets on. If it's any encouragement, we had fish that our kids got from fairs for years (over 10), and the two we have now, though not our fairground fish, have been with us for well over twenty years (youngest child is now 29) and are each about six-seven inches long.
     
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  7. Lulus mum

    Lulus mum PetForums VIP

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    Have no advice to give but just want to say how heartwarming it is that you have taken the time and trouble to come on here for advice re. a goldfish won at a fair-!!!!
    Every life is precious- and you have one very lucky pet.
    Hope all goes well for you and whatever happens you could not have done more
    Maureen
     
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  8. lisa0307

    lisa0307 PetForums VIP

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    Don't forget to get an air pump and filter for the tank x
     
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  9. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    In my opinion as long as you have good filtration with the outlet positioned such that it causes some surface water movement an airpump isn't neccesary however it can add to the decorative appeal to the tank.
     
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  10. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    I agree that a pond is the ideal, but failing that, the biggest tank you can manage, ideally 4ft, with an external filter rated for at least twice the capacity of the tank. If you can manage a 4ft tank, you could eventually get a companion for your fish (ideally a fancy goldfish next time as they're better suited to tanks than the common ones are), but not until the tank is cycled.

    To cycle your tank with a fish in it, you'll need a liquid test kit such as the API master kit. Test daily for ammonia and nitrite, and do a 50% water change any time either of these levels rise above 0.25. Once both ammonia and nitrite have been steady at 0 for a week or so, your tank is cycled and you can drop down to weekly water changes of around 25% (if your tank is smaller than 4ft, you'll need to do larger and more frequent water changes). Be sure to use dechlorinated water each time, and never use untreated tapwater on anything in the tank, especially the filter media.

    Good luck, and, as others have said, well done for being willing to do all you can for this fish :)
     
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  11. Elsammy

    Elsammy PetForums Newbie

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    Hello. We now have a 120 litre tank which we got for £30 from a site on facebook. It came also with a very good filter and tank Decs. The seller had to get rid asap as was moving house the next day and didn't have room to take it and so we were lucky to get such an excellent bargain.
    The tank was quite dirty but have now cleaned it out and got the filter running. We also managed to get some media from a friend who has a couple of established tanks and we are well on our way to getting the tank upto a good condition.
    Our little goldfish is still in the small tank and having daily water changes and is doing really well. My next question is when is the right time to put him into his new home? Can I let him go in now or should I wait until the test kit reads 0 ammonia etc?
    His name is Kevin by the way. My son chose the name and didn't want a goldfish sounding name.
     
  12. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    Sounds like a great bargain :) It's still rather small for a common goldie, but is much better than what he's in at the moment, and will be fine as a temporary home.

    If you have the tank up and running with established media in it, I'd transfer him right away. The established media (assuming it wansn't out of the water for too long during the transfer from your friend's tank) will deal with some of the toxins being produced and help the cycle go quicker, and the larger volume of water will mean that the toxins are less concentrated, so all round a better situation for your fish to be in. Also, the good bacteria in the established media will soon starve without a source of ammonia, so if you leave the new tank much longer with no fish in, you'll lose all the benefit from that.

    To transfer him, you'll need to acclimatise him like you would do when getting a new fish. Ask your local pet/aquatic shop if you can have a fish bag - they shouldn't charge for this - fill it 1/3 full with water from the old tank, then pop him in. Then float the bag in the new tank for 10 minutes before gradually starting to add some of the new tank water to the bag over a period of around 30 mins. Then he'll be ready to go into the new tank :)
     
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  13. lostbear

    lostbear Bear right at Newcastle . . .

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    Sounds like you got a bargain. Suggest you acclimatise him as NaomiM suggests, but when you release him into his new home, open the bag and allow him to gently swim out to minimise the shock of the transfer. He will probably hide himself away at first - he won't know what is happening and his instinct will be to avoid predators - but he'll soon realise that he is safe. I would also get at least one and maybe two other fish roughly the same size as he is if you can. Goldfish prefer to be in shoals and he will gain confidence from having the company.
     
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  14. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    I agree that a second fish (a fancy goldie not a common) is a possibility for the future, but wait until the new tank is fully cycled or you're going to get increased ammonia levels. You may also need to add extra filtration if you do decide to do this. In the meantime, plenty of plants (real or fake) and other decor will make him feel more comfortable and at home.
     
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  15. Lulus mum

    Lulus mum PetForums VIP

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    You have had loads of advice on here
    I posted earlier this week- to say I was hoping things go well
    Your last post really moved me -to go to all that trouble to look after a goldfish won at a fair!!!
    That is so lovely .
    Hope Kevin lives a long and happy life.
    God bless you for what you have done
    Maureen
     
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  16. catpud

    catpud PetForums VIP

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    Not strictly true - and when it is true it is down to something called stunting - this is actually quite painful for the fish. The internal organs still grow, the skeleton and skin don't.
    Some of them can look quite deformed due to the stunting - not nice to see.

    A 20 odd year goldfish should be much larger than 7 inches - they are large fish, it is testament to how hardy they used to be though, they don't breed them anywhere near as bomb proof anymore.

    The old fish only grow to the size of the tank thing is very outdated, fish keepers know different now.

    I actually wouldn't recommend you get a second fish unless you can offer a bigger tank, or better yet a pond, and I wouldn't put a fancy goldfish with a common - fancy goldfish are slower moving, have interesting / tasty looking strange fins, caps, and sometimes eyes, common goldfish can dart around very quickly and are often quite pushy.

    I do agree with everything else Lostbear has said though.
     
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  17. catpud

    catpud PetForums VIP

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    Doh, just realised I resurrected a month old thread lol
     
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  18. lostbear

    lostbear Bear right at Newcastle . . .

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    I'm glad you did - I hadn't realised that I was being cruel to my lads. I'll have to see what we can do about it. When we first moved them out of the tank a couple of years ago they shot up in size (yes - I know they are far from being Leviathans, but one was about five inches and the other a bit smaller, and in only a couple of months they got the to size that are now, and then stopped again). The "stunting" sounds awful - for the internal organs to continue to grow and the body not must be so painful. My fish look quite chubby - could this be what the problem is? (I thought that maybe they just filled up with eggs, laid them and ate them or something - it never occurred to me that there may be a problem because the fish always seemed so healthy)

    I still have our original tank (it's only about 18"). Would it be better to put one in there and leave one in the titchy pond? It seems a shame to separate them because they do seem to "shoal" together (if you can call two a shoal).
     
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  19. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    What size is your pond, lostbear? I don't think putting one in an 18" tank would do it any good, and I'd have thought it would be cheaper (though a bit of effort) to extend the size of the pond, if possible, rather than buy a huge new tank.
     
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  20. lostbear

    lostbear Bear right at Newcastle . . .

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    Pond is circular- about 2' 6" in diameter and 2' deep (I know it's the surface area that is the most important factor). It is a "unit" rather than a "dug in" one. I don't know if Mr LB is physically p do digging a big pond (not joking here - he has a congenital spinal anomaly, and a heart condition - I could do some digging, but I am a bit of a weed). What size pond would you suggest? We are doing some garden work at the moment, and might be able to do something.
     
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