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Please help me set my goldfish tank up!

(9 Posts)
crokky Wed 20-May-09 16:48:39

I am a fish novice!!

I have a 60L aquarium and I would like to get 4 little goldfish so I am preparing it.

It has everything in (apart from the fish which I have not yet bought), the filter is working etc, but now I need to treat the water.

I have to first put in Nutrafin Aqua Plus, but I don't understand the instructions on the bottle.

It says:

To remove chlorine - add 5ml per 38L (so this would be about 8ml for my 60L tank)

To remove chloramine - add 5ml per 19L (so this would be about 16ml for my 60L tank)

To protect scales and fins - add 10ml per 38L (this would be about 16ml for my 60L tank)

So I am not sure how much I should add - should I add enough to do all of these things - ie 8ml + 16ml + 16ml = 40ml? Or am I not supposed to be protecting scales and fins because the fish are not in there yet - should I just be adding the 8 + 16 = 24ml to remove chlorine and chloramine?

Very grateful for any help!

Also - not sure how accurate this is supposed to be - the filter takes up space, the ornaments etc do as well, so how exact is the 60L supposed to be?

RubberDuck Wed 20-May-09 16:58:58

I'm sorry, but 60L isn't really suitable for 1 goldfish, let alone 4.

Even fancy goldfish grow very big, and you should have 20 gallons for the first goldfish and 10 gallons for each subsequent goldfish - so for 4 goldfish you would need a 50 gallon tank which is over 200L.

I know lots of people do keep goldfish in smaller tanks, but it's really very cruel. Goldfish can live decades when looked after properly and a fully grown fancy goldfish is about the size of a large cooking apple with fins - but in small tanks can become stunted (their outsides stop growing, but their insides keep growing, leading to a painful death).

However, 60L is an ideal size for a tropical set up. The good news is, that for a novice fish keeper, tropical is actually EASIER than a coldwater tank (as well as smaller!) All you need to do is add a heater. Do google for instructions on how to do a 'fishless cycle' as this is the safest and easiest way to get your tank ready for fish - it'll save you much heartache and unnecessary deaths.

As for the dechlorinator, it really doesn't have to be that accurate - I chuck in half a capful of Seachem's dechlorinator for every 10L bucket of water I add. I would assume that your water authority is using chloramine rather than chlorine to be on the safe side, and go with that - but don't worry about measuring it to the exact mm. Also, you only need to dechlorinate water that you're adding, so remember you won't be treating 60L of water each and every time.

Hope that helps a little. I don't want to overwhelm you, so if you have other questions, please ask

RubberDuck Wed 20-May-09 17:01:05

Correction - I don't chuck in half a capful - that's the bacteria supplement I use - I use even less than that for the dechlorinator... but the Seachem stuff is fairly concentrated and lasts AGES as you only need teeny tiny amounts.

RubberDuck Wed 20-May-09 17:03:05

An image I often link to, to demonstrate why goldfish NEED so much room, as people only think of them as teeny things:

Bubba - now compare to the size of your tank grin

crokky Wed 20-May-09 17:10:36

Thanks rubberduck - I am surprised the tank is not big enough - on the box, they were suggesting keeping between 5 and 9 fish in this tank so I thought I was being kind thinking of keeping 4 in there! Is it cruel to get 4 goldfish and then transfer them to a pond in a few years time when they are bigger or do their insides start growing at a different rate to their outsides right from the start?

I wanted to get some hardy fish because I didn't want them to die accidentally - I was a bit afraid to keep tropical ones, but I will look into it because I don't want to be cruel to any fish.

RubberDuck Wed 20-May-09 17:22:09

If you are going to transfer to pond, then you really you shouldn't get fancies as they're much less hardy outside and wouldn't fare well. On the flip side 'standard' goldfish shouldn't really be kept in tanks either. So yes, probably best to just get fish for your pond only rather than trying to get fish suitable for both.

There are lots of really hardy tropical fish - danios immediately spring to mind, that are great to start out with. A good aquatics shop should be able to advise. Tropical fish are actually easier - in my experience there's less disease and being slimmer/smaller fish MUCH less messy (which means less work for your filter and less cleaning for you!).

Think Fish is a fab website - especially the community creator section which has details of all the different fish, and allows you to put species together virtually to check that they'd get on/be suitable for your sized tank.

A good article on Fishless Cycling and why it's important

crokky Tue 23-Jun-09 16:43:39

As of today my tank contains 3 danios! I am still a bit worried about them though because they should be kept in bigger numbers, but the man in the garden centre told me to just get 3 to start with as the aquarium was new. 2 of them seem very happy and are swimming about together. The other one, well I'm worried about him, he seems to only swim with the other 2 sometimes - the majority of the time, he is on his own. Hope he will be OK.

sweetnitanitro Thu 25-Jun-09 12:49:56

Cool, did you do your fishless cycle then? Keep an eye on the water readings while your tank is still new.

RubberDuck- nice to see another fish geek grin is Bubba your fish? He's lovely!

RubberDuck Thu 25-Jun-09 13:01:36

3 danios will be fine, they're hardy little things and once you've had a couple of weeks with no fatalities and the water quality is good you can add 3 more

1 swimming on his own can be a warning sign - especially if he starts to look a bit less perky/less active. Keep an eye, but it might just be they're feeling more confident/exploring.

Sweet: nope Bubba isn't my fish unfortunately I don't have the space for a proper goldfish tank, so I stick to tropical fish! I am hoping to upgrade to a 125L or 180L tank in the near future though - just have to finish decorating the living room first!

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