Beginner needing advice!

(4 Posts)
BadPoet Mon 22-Oct-12 10:57:43

We have set up and fishless-cycled a 90 gallon fluval cold water tank (were lucky enough to get some filter material from a friend) and have just added a black moor and a lionhead, who seem happy but it has only been a few days!

DH and I have both been reading a lot but getting confused now. I think that our tank is big enough for these fish but the sellers have said we could add up to another five (kids now keen to add another two in a couple of weeks). Some links I read would consider that overstocked I think? What do the experts here think?

They have also told us not to buy a test kit but to take the water there for testing every time we buy fish. It's not very close and they don't test at weekends and anyway I think we should monitor ourselves. Can you recommend a decent kit - I clicked on links in old threads but they had expired.

Any other tips, suggestions for fish, behaviour to look out for much appreciated! The moor keeps going to the surface - they have been fed very little so far and it is sinking pellets, so I wonder why?

Keen to learn! ANy advice appreciated.

smile

EauRouge Mon 22-Oct-12 12:25:31

Oh, brava for doing a fishless cycle <applauds> You have saved yourself untold troubles!

No chance can you get another 5 goldfish in there. They are titchy now but they get enormous, and very quickly, so they need the space. 90 litres is OK for now but I'd be looking to upgrade within a year or so. If you imagine a tennis ball with a head and tail then that's about the size your fish will get to (sometimes bigger!) and they need the space not just to swim but to cope with all the ammonia that they produce. Something around 130 litres would be the minimum I would go for for 2 fancy goldfish. If you google photos of fully grown goldfish then you'll see why!

Testing wise, having your own kit is an essential so that you can spot any potential problems. Liquid kits are cheaper in the long run and tend to be a bit more accurate in that they have measurements on the instructions instead of just having 'safe' or 'unsafe' like a lot of the dipsticks do. The API kit is popular and you can get it on ebay for about £20.

It's normal for them to go to the surface and scrounge for food grin Goldfish are buggers for doing that, so don't be tempted to overfeed.

BadPoet Mon 22-Oct-12 14:28:25

Thank you, I have ordered an API kit.

Yes, I thought 6 or 7 fish would be pushing it - will keep to the 2 we have and look into expanding! I am a bit surprised - the sellers (not sure whether to name or not) seemed very responsible, more so than a lot of horror stories I've read, & most of what they said corresponded to what I had read here and elsewhere but I guess they are still in it to sell fish...

Our two seem happy enough anyway for now - thanks very much.

EauRouge Mon 22-Oct-12 14:40:43

I think part of the problem is that in aquatic stores they only usually see juvenile fish, unless they have a pond section, so it's hard to picture the cute little baby goldfish turning into 8"+ monsters. Also there's that old wives' tale about goldfish only growing to the size of their tank that a lot of people still believe. And finally since a goldfish only cost the shop a couple of pence, most people don't think they are worth housing properly because you can just replace them sad

Glad they are getting on well anyway smile

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