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can anyone give me and my son clear, conscise info about keeping a gold fish

(15 Posts)
Pudden Fri 14-Jun-13 19:17:48


we have inherited a small tank 45x25x25 cm) and 1 fish and our eyes are all boggled with reading all the (sometimes) conflicting stuff out there.

How often do we need to clean out or do water changes?

do we need a filter and/or pump...can you buy one that does filtering and aerating together? can anyone recommend an reasonably priced one which isn't too noisy as tank is in his bedroom

do they need fresh food or are the flakes ok?

do we need to put plants in and if so what kind?

he is 9 and keen to look after it but I will be helping with water changes etc

Thank you

notcitrus Fri 14-Jun-13 19:45:04

You've already got a fish in the tank? Can you ask whoever you got it from or were they clueless?

Firstly, what sort of fish is it? I'm assuming it's coldwater if you havent noticed a heater, so it probably is a goldfish. In which case it will need a bigger tank soon. (you can have about 1cm of fish per 10 litres water, so you'll get about 5cm of happy goldfish before you get unhappy goldfish...)

Probably don't need a pump if the fish is alive as is; goldfish flakes are OK, and a few fake plants will keep the fish happier (keeping plants alive is harder than keeping fish alive!), and you'll want to change around 15% ofthe water each week, but tbh I would phone up your nearest fish shop or go in and show them a photo, and ask for advice - if it's actually a tropical fish or a betta then while the tank may not be too small, you'll need a lot of guidance on setting up heater, filter, pump and water chemistry and it may die by then anyway.

I don't like being negative but fish hate moving more than anything else and quite often die in the process, so be warned.

EauRouge Fri 14-Jun-13 19:54:23

Have you got a fish yet?

Sadly, the tank you have is too small for goldfish. They grow absolutely enormous, they do not grow to the size of your tank as the old wives' tale would have you believe.

In fact, you tank is 28 litres and the minimum size recommended by the RSPCA for any fish is 45 litres (something around 60 litres would be better for a first tank). Small tanks are really, really hard to maintain and over time will make a fish very ill, and shorten their lifespan.

Have you the space for a larger tank?

All fish absolutely need a filter. Otherwise they slowly get ammonia poisoning from their own waste.

EauRouge Fri 14-Jun-13 19:58:04

Ooh, just noticed that you've already got a fish. Do you have a filter? If not, I would be doing water changes every day (around 75%) with dechlorinated water until you can get a larger tank and a filter.

Pudden Sun 16-Jun-13 08:54:34

we have one goldfish; rescued from just about to be flushed down the bog as no longer wanted and the tank it came with.
Came also with a filter- a rena filstar which looks like they are no longer made. There is nothing inside it so don't know if it needs some kind of sponge thing?

thank you

EauRouge Sun 16-Jun-13 11:13:23

Yes, you do need a sponge. if you can't get one exactly the right size then you can cut it to fit- but you need to get one as soon as you can. When will you be able to get a bigger tank?

Pudden Mon 17-Jun-13 10:03:41

Bigger tank in mid July; my nephew is upgrading his then and we are getting the old one - it's a 112 litre and is still the right size to fit on top of his drawers

Pudden Mon 17-Jun-13 10:04:30

thank you for all the advice

EauRouge Mon 17-Jun-13 21:27:22

112 litres will be much easier to keep the fish healthy in until you can get him into his forever home. Is it a common or fancy goldfish?

Pudden Mon 17-Jun-13 21:53:33

just a common orange goldfish but the young 'un thinks he is 'beautiful' smile

EauRouge Mon 17-Jun-13 22:29:22

How sweet! He's right, of course. smile

Long term, commons are much better off in ponds. Do you know anyone with a suitable pond?

Pudden Tue 18-Jun-13 09:41:09

Yes! Next door have just reinstated theirs now their dc are grown and are getting fish next month. If Finias gets rehomed what can we put in the proposed 112 litre tank that would be suitable (cold, fresh water)

Last question I does a sponge (in a filter) remove ammonia from the water?

thanks again

EauRouge Tue 18-Jun-13 10:15:53

Sounds perfect! There are a few fish that would do well in your 112 litre. Minnows, rosy barbs or zebra danios can all live in unheated tanks providing the room doesn't get too cold.

The way the filtration works is two- fold. The sponge physically filters out bits of poo etc and it also provides a home for nitrifying bacteria. These turn ammonia into nitrite and then nitrate. smile

EauRouge Tue 18-Jun-13 10:19:58

Sounds perfect! There are lots of fish that would do well in your tank- minnows( zebra danios or rosy barbs are all OK without a heater providing the room doesn't get too cold.

The way the filter works is partly by removing poo etc. from the water but also by providing a home for nitrifying bacteria that turn ammonia into nitrite and then nitrate. Keep the filter switched on at all times and never use tap water to rinse it, otherwise bacteria will die off.

can't link now as I'm on my phone but if you Google aquarium nitrogen cycle you'll find a full explanation. smile

EauRouge Tue 18-Jun-13 10:20:58

Ha, turns out I didn't lose that post when I dropped my phone grin

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