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Please critique my goldfish care

(15 Posts)
PersisFord Thu 27-Oct-16 22:01:12

This is absolutely pathetic....but I really don't know if I'm doing the right things with my goldfish. I didn't want her...but I am now strangely besotted. She's just so pretty!

Firstly, feeding. I have some flakes, and the kids feed her once a day. They each give a few flakes so probably 6ish in total? She eats them straight away, or within the first 2 minutes. Once a week she gets either half a cooked pea (deshelled) or a cooked broccoli little flower as a treat, which she devours. Am I feeding enough? DH and I both fed her today (communication break down!!) but she munched it all up anyway, does that mean she is actually starving? How do I know?!?

Secondly, I couldn't do a fish less cycle as she was already in the tank. I have added some bacteria. Once a week I change 20% of her water using a siphon thing, siphon half the gravel each time, wash the filter sponge and her toys in tank water and replace with tap water I have added the dechlorinator to. I'm worried that I should maybe be warming the water before I add it? Does that all sound ok?

Finally, how do I clean the glass inside the tank? Can I use a normal disposable dishcloth?!?

Thanks!! I was going to ask the vet but I would be grateful to be spared that embarrassment!!!

froglou Fri 28-Oct-16 13:03:30

You're feeding enough but you should feed pellets not flakes. Fish have a part of the body called the swim ladder which is especially delicate in goldfish; if a goldfish is swimming up to the top of the tank to feed it puts a lot of strain on the swimbladder as they don't naturally spend a lot of time at the top of the tank, also when eating the flakes they ingest air which is bad for the swimbladder. Swim ladder controls there balance and ability to swim problems with it can be fatal.

What size is the tank and is it filtered? For a big enough filtered tank a weekly 20% change is fine. The size of tank you'll need depends on the type of goldfish you have. Orandas (the rounder goldfish) reach about 18 cm so need a minimum of 27 litres each, comets (the more typical goldfish) should reach about 30cm and need about 46l each. Goldfish are very messy as they don't digest food the same as other fish so need a bare minimum of 1.5litres per cm of potential growth.

http://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles_74/goldfish-size-life-expectancy.htm

froglou Fri 28-Oct-16 13:05:33

The water should be close to the temp as the water in the tank,so you don't need to warm it as goldfish are cold water. Also yes a dishcloth is fine as long as it's unused and hasn't got any chemicals on smile

DearMrDilkington Fri 28-Oct-16 13:11:36

How big is the tank and what type of goldfish? If it's a common streamlined goldfish then please rehome to someone who owns a pond. They shouldn't be in tanks.

If its a fancy goldfish then post a photowink, I have 3 fancies. They are beautiful fish.

PersisFord Fri 28-Oct-16 13:24:22

The tank is smaller than that - 12l. It said it was big enough for one goldfish. It has a filter and I will get her a bigger one in the summer if we still have her, so hopefully she won't grow too much before then! Should I change more of the water then?

She is the cheapest kind of goldfish you can buy so I really doubt she is fancy in any way (she is gorgeous though)!! I did try to get her a pondy home but she is tiny and the pond owners said their fish would eat her sad so I'm still looking.

I'll also get some pellet food, that all sounds very sensible! Poor old Fishy, we are in no way ideal owners!!

PersisFord Fri 28-Oct-16 13:27:40

Oh no, I've just read on that site that she might have organ impaction due to lack of space sad what do I do?

froglou Fri 28-Oct-16 13:36:34

She'll only have an organ problems if she's been in that tank for a while. If you was miss sold the tank and the fish then don't beat yourself up! Is there anyway you could get a bigger tank, I believe pah sell a 24l tank with a filter for about £22 which would be fine for an oranda (rounder goldfish) or you can use it until she gets big enough to go into a pond, they can go into a pond once they're bigger than about 1.5 inches (just big enough not to fit into another fishes mouth basically). If you post a pic I can tell you what type she is.

If you do get a bigger tank and move her into a pond, once she's not in the tank you could look at getting smaller easier fish like platys?

PersisFord Fri 28-Oct-16 13:45:17

Here she is....

DearMrDilkington Fri 28-Oct-16 13:46:05

I'm guessing she's a common goldfish then. Rehome her to someone with a pond.

Even with the best air pumps and filters in the world common goldfish can not thrive in a fish tank. They grow wonderfully in ponds though and can easily live 20+ years when cared for correctly.

Don't feel guilty over it, pet shops need to stop selling them with stupid tiny tanks. They should be sold as pond fish only.

DearMrDilkington Fri 28-Oct-16 13:46:45

Yes she's a common and needs a pond unfortunately..

DearMrDilkington Fri 28-Oct-16 13:50:01

The problem with goldfish is the myth that they will only grow to the size of their environment which is slightly true but their organs will keep growing inside while their body stops growing. A very painful and horrible way to die.

PersisFord Fri 28-Oct-16 13:51:41

Ok, she can def go to a pond in the spring as by then hopefully she will be big enough to hold her own. And until then I'll try and get a bigger tanks and some pellet food!!!

She's common, but v v v pretty!!!

I will google platys - I am visualising a platypus but I'm guessing that's not right grin

froglou Fri 28-Oct-16 16:37:14

Aw she's lovely but yes she's a comet so will reach over a foot in length so would need a 50l tank! She looks ok to go into a pond but you can wait till spring if you'd feel more comfortable just get a slightly bigger tank if you can, it may seem excessive for something so small but it's to do with how much waste they produce.

If you still wanted to keep fish, Platys aren't as mucky and they only get to 6cm, you could keep 2 in your 12 litre tank or 4 in a 24 litre tank if you do get a bigger one and they don't need a heater! smile

PersisFord Fri 28-Oct-16 18:59:30

Do you know, I thought goldfish only lived for a year or so, and I'm really excited that she might live a really lovely long life if we can find the right pond! I've gone off our neighbours after I saw a heron sitting there....their fish are all enormous but Fishy would be a tasty heron mouthful!! We live in a very leafy suburb and I'm sure there are thousands of ponds available.

Are those platys? They look cute!!

Rainmaker1 Sat 17-Dec-16 18:05:30

Terrible advice there, a comet will need well over 200l and massive filtration but will only thrive in a pond. A 12 litre tank is totally unsuitable for any fish. The smallest tank that is suitable for fish is around 45 litres for maybe a few Platys. There are exceptions to this such as nano tanks etc, but are generally best left to specialists.

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