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How To Care For Our Goldfish?

(15 Posts)
woopsidaisy Tue 04-Oct-11 14:39:24

Hi. We "won" two goldfish in August at a country fair. I hate animals being given as prizes,and the reason I took them was I knew they would have a chance of survival with us.
Anyway,went to local fish shop,where we were recommended to get a 10L bowl,with gravel,net, food,anti-chlorine stuff,small plastic plant etc.
Fish have been doing great. I love them. Change their water every 3 days. Feed with a pinch of flakes twice a day.
But I think the tank is too small. I have bought a 19l tank today. It has a plug in filter.
My mum and dad have a pond-with goldfish. When weather gets warm in the Spring,we were going to pop our fish into their pond. I really don't want to have to buy any more tanks if at all possible. But obviously I want the wee fish to be happy.
Will they grow too big for the 19l tank before Spring? Am I doing it all wrong? Any advice greatly received. Each fish shop tells me something different!

CherryMonster Tue 04-Oct-11 15:34:59

i dont think they will grow too big for the tank by the spring, but they might. what are the dimensions of the tank?

Stropzilla Tue 04-Oct-11 15:36:23

I couldn't tell you how big they'll be come spring, bearing in mind I don't know how big they are now, or the state of their health. I CAN tell you that when we moved house, we popped our goldfish of approx 1.5 - 2 inches in our pond. He's grown huge now, and has been in there a year and a half! The problem with fish shops is that they tend to want your money, and usually staffed by people who don't really know anything about fish.

The tank you have does sound a little on the small side, mine was 15 gallons (37 liters) and I think that was OK for one. It's a total myth that fish will only grow to the size of the tank, so if you see it gets crowded in there you might want to upgrade. So sorry not to be helpful, but I think the bottom line is see how it goes!

woopsidaisy Tue 04-Oct-11 15:39:23

That is helpful ladies,thanks! They are about 2.5-3 inches now. The tank is 36x28x22 cms.

EauRouge Tue 04-Oct-11 15:47:35

Apologies for the forthcoming mammoth post grin

The sooner you can get them into a bigger tank, the better. Small tanks are aimed at beginners but they are actually bloody hard to keep clean and will cause no end of problems. You shouldn't really consider anything less than around 60 litres even for a baby goldfish. Freecycle and car boot sales are great places to pick up a free/cheap tank. They might be OK in that until the spring but I would get the largest one you can, they grow pretty fast and they poo A LOT.

Make sure never to clean the filter with tap water because that will kill the good bacteria. I would invest in a water testing kit too so you can head off any potential problems.

If you can't find another tank then a food-grade plastic storage box will be OK temporarily. Obviously not very nice to look at but cheap and will come in useful after the fish have flown the nest grin Staples do them.

Don't listen to any fish shops, some are good and some are rubbish (like the one that sold you a 10 litre bowl FFS, I wouldn't keep a bunch of tulips in there! They should be ashamed of themselves for telling you fish would be OK in there, lying bastards).

I would move them over to the 19 litre tank with the filter for now, they will be better off there than in the bowl. You really need a water test kit to keep an eye on the ammonia level. This explains more about that.

Hope that helps a bit, let me know if you need to know anything else smile

woopsidaisy Tue 04-Oct-11 17:07:23

EauRouge that is so helpful,thank you. I have set up the 19L tank. The filter is running, have added the anti-chlorine stuff and cleaned the gravel etc. Have to wait 3 days,then will take a sample to a fish store place nearby to have the water tested before I add the fish.
I have an exotic fish place nearby that seems very good. The lady there was very helpful when I called in recently. She gave me a book on how to keep goldfish,which is why I got worried that I wasn't looking after them properly.
Will have a look at the link too.
Thanks so much!

EauRouge Tue 04-Oct-11 17:22:50

Why do you need to wait 3 days? If it's to do with water quality then I wouldn't bother. Normally it takes around 4-6 weeks to prepare a tank- some shops say leave the tank to sit for 24 hrs, some a week, all this is nonsense and will make no difference. You need to add a source of ammonia and test and when the ammonia and nitrIte levels have dropped to zero, then you start adding fish.

This is under normal circumstances though, and your situation is different. Being in an uncycled tank is no good for fish but it's better than being in an unfiltered, very small bowl so I would move them over as soon as you can. There's no need to wait 3 days.

woopsidaisy Tue 04-Oct-11 17:40:06

It says on the instructions of the tank/filter to wait for three days. Then to add Filter Boost Water Treatment (FBWT) after the three days. I bought some of this today too. Then get the water tested before adding the fish.
Should I just go ahead and add the FBWT now and then put the fish in?!?
I'm afraid I'll kill them.sad
Although,they have been in the water in the small bowl for 6 weeks and it hasn't killed them....and that had no filter.

woopsidaisy Tue 04-Oct-11 17:43:22

One more question! What strength should I have the filter on when the fish are in the tank? There are four levels, and it is on at max level now,as per instructions. should I lower it when the fish are in the tank?

BluddyMoFo Tue 04-Oct-11 17:44:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

woopsidaisy Tue 04-Oct-11 17:47:00

BluddyMoFo are you my mum?wink
I have to say these little guys have completely won me over! I can't imagine the kitchen without them now...
Yes,I know I'm sad.

EauRouge Tue 04-Oct-11 17:57:34

Yes, you can add the fish as soon as you've run the filter long enough to check that it works and there are no leaks. I'm not sure exactly what the treatment is, does it say on the label? You'll need to use a dechlorinator to remove chlorine, otherwise the good bacteria won't grow. There are a lot of bacteria products on the market but none of them really work. The bacteria that process fish waste need three things to survive- oxygen, ammonia and nitrite (for food) and water. Without these they die off pretty quickly so the amount in a bottle of filter boost or whatever is pretty minimal. They contain a different type of nitrifying bacteria but I've not found them to speed up a fishless cycle significantly enough to be worth the money.

You can just experiment with the filter flow rate. Try and make sure that the filter outlet flow disturbs the surface of the water, this will increase gas exchange and the level of oxygen in the water. If the fish are getting buffeted about a bit then turn it down grin goldfish are descended from pond fish so prefer stiller water than some other species.

woopsidaisy Tue 04-Oct-11 18:05:27

The label of the FBWT is "love fish" . It says...
"Ammonia and nitrate levels are regulated by bacteria living inside the aquarium filter. Love Fish Filter Boost Water Treatment can be added to your aquarium to encourage the growth of these bacteria".
I have already added a dechlorinator. I got this the day after I got the fish,so they haven't had chlorine in their water.
OK,I will let the water reach room temp,and pop them in this evening....fingers crossed!

EauRouge Tue 04-Oct-11 18:46:18

Good luck! Give them plenty of time to acclimatise, you could swap some of the water between the tank and bowl just in case the pH is different.

woopsidaisy Tue 04-Oct-11 18:50:10

Thanks so much for all your help!

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