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Wannabe first time fish owner (age 4)

(8 Posts)
JimmyCorkhill Tue 17-Jun-14 17:28:30

My DD1 is desperate for a goldfish. I thought it would be the easiest pet option but after a few days googling I've realised that it's a really expensive outlay and goldfish keeping is haaaaard!

I read that guppies are a better first time option. So, any tips? Where's best to buy from? Can you have 2 males in a tank? (don't feel equipped to deal with babies - what do you do with them all?!) Males are preferred as they're more colourful. Or is it more fun to have a mix (read that the males chase the females - is this cool to watch?)

As an aside, I want to apologise to any goldfish I owned in the past. I am so sorry. I had NO idea how to look after you.

EauRouge Wed 18-Jun-14 08:43:21

Guppies are OK, endlers are similar and less in-bred so might be a better option. I've seen some shops selling hybrids and giving them fancy names so they can charge ridiculous prices (bit like all those shit-poo poodle crosses) so be careful where you buy from. An endler shouldn't cost more than about £2.

You'll need a shoal of at least 6, they don't like being kept in pairs (same with guppies) and it's fine to keep all males- if you get a mix then you WILL end up with millions of babies and will have to find homes for them.

A tank of about 60 litres is good, smaller tanks are often peddled to beginners and children but they are actually very difficult to maintain. I'd avoid any of those trendy looking tanks too, they usually have piddly little filters and no surface area. A good old rectangular tank is best and 60 litres is the perfect size for a beginner. I'd probably keep 8-10 endlers in there.

You'll need to prepare the tank by doing a fishless cycle first. There are products that claim to speed it up but it's best done the old-fashioned way by just waiting. This is the hardest part for children wink

There's lots of equipment to buy, it's expensive to get started but if you cut corners then you end up spending loads in the long run trying to fix things. You'll need a decent filter, a water test kit, some dechlorinator, plants (real ones aren't tricky if you get the right ones), lighting, a heater, substrate (play sand is cheapest!), and cleaning equipment. You can get complete aquarium kits which are easy to set up but it works out pretty expensive. You can do it a lot cheaper if you have a handy geek with no financial interest to tell you exactly what you need grin

Or try your local freecycle, there are always fish tanks going on mine.

JimmyCorkhill Wed 18-Jun-14 12:46:56

An answer - thank you EauRouge!

I will google endlers. I've never even heard of them. Thanks for mentioning freecycle, I thought of that but was a bit nervous as I won't know if I'm getting the right thing.

It kept saying 60L for 2 goldfish. I'm not going to get away with a tiddly tank am I?! But 8-10 fish sounds more exciting. I

JimmyCorkhill Wed 18-Jun-14 12:47:40


I will return with further questions!!

EauRouge Wed 18-Jun-14 12:56:28

What was saying 60 litres for 2 goldfish? No chance would that be big enough, they can grow to almost a foot long and a 60 litre tank is only a foot deep.

Steer clear of tiddly tanks unless you want to be constantly doing water changes and tests, they are such hard work. 60 litres means you'll only have to do minimal maintenance work- one water change a week and a little tidy up, it should only take about 30 mins once a week if you stock it lightly and keep the plants in check.

JimmyCorkhill Wed 18-Jun-14 18:37:11

The 60L for 2 goldfish was just on something I googled. So even that's not big enough? shock It's disgraceful how goldfish are considered an easy pet option when they are clearly quite intensive. I can't believe how the majority of us think a tiny tank and tap water is sufficient.

I googled endlers and they are very attractive. DD1 will be impressed.

If I was to buy a brand new tank what do you think of this?

EauRouge Wed 18-Jun-14 19:10:59

Yes, that tank looks OK. You won't need the carbon filtration- it needs replacing every 4 weeks, so adds up to ££££. I never use it in any of my tanks unless there's medication or other pollutant that needs removing. If you have sensible stocking levels then you don't need to use it routinely. The floss also needs replacing quite often, the sponges and bioballs are all you really need.

It's shocking the way goldfish are treated. Most people think they stay small and only live a few years. But if they are cared for properly then they can live 20+ years. The only reason they stay small and die after a couple of years is because they are stuffed in tiny little bowls and tanks. The industry isn't going to do anything to change this because goldfish are such a money-spinner sad

They don't all get this big, but they might. They are carp after all.

JimmyCorkhill Wed 18-Jun-14 21:07:29

Thank you for helping me smile

I love the idea of a goldfish that DD1 still has when she's an adult!!

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