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keeping gold fish

(6 Posts)
RacingSnake Fri 02-Oct-09 22:24:12

I had two apparently perfectly healthy goldfish for about 4 years, living in a medium sized glass aquarium in water butt water on a North facing window sill. It may be co-incidence but they both died soon after I put in some water snails to make the tank look more interesting. sad blush

Now DD (just 3) is very keen to have new fish, but I have done some reading and realised I was doing everything wrong. Tanks should never be on the windowsill, you should never change all the water at once, there should be oxygenation, etc. (I did put in lots of pondweed.)

DH will only countenance plastic fish tanks, in case a glass one spontaneously shatters and impales DD hmm, so plastic it will have to be this time.

I could put in on a table in a darkish corner of the room, but would need a light (obviously). I find that I should also have a pump and a filter.

Finances really are an issue - I can't spend a huge amount at the moment.

What is the mimimum equipment that would work for common cold water goldfish? I can get fish from a friend's outside pond, where they breed like mad.

sweetnitanitro Sat 03-Oct-09 13:02:50

If finances are an issue then you might want to consider keeping tropical fish instead. Goldfish grow VERY large so need a huge tank (I'm talking 30 gallons minimum for a couple of small fancy goldfish, much bigger for common goldfish) and a massive filter. My goldfish set up was around £200 and I did it on the cheap.

If you were to keep some small tropical fish then you could have a small tank, something around 10-15 gallons is a good size (that would be about 2ft long) and you could have a small filter and heater. You could do a set up like that for about £50.

Freecycle is great for getting tanks, there are always people giving them away. Just fill it with water before you set it all up to make sure there are no leaks! Sometimes you can get filters etc on there too. Ebay is also a good place to get cheap stuff.

You also need to do LOADS of research into what sort of fish you can keep since it's more complicated than most shops will tell you. I would join a specialist fishkeeping forum or you can just ask me grin there are plenty of small colourful tropical fish available so it can be tough trying to figure out which ones you should get.

Alternatively you could keep some minnows and then you wouldn't need a heater. A 10-15 gall tank would be fine to keep a small shoal of white cloud mountain minnows.

For a basic tropical set up you would need-

10-15 gall tank
50 watt heater
Small internal filter (a Fluval 2+ would be the best choice IMO)
Some sand or gravel (play sand is perfect and cheap!)
A 2ft light and starter unit (try car boots, ebay, freecycle etc) you will be able to grow a few easy plants with basic lighting.

RacingSnake Sat 03-Oct-09 17:10:17

Hmm. never thought about tropical fish. I always assumed that they would be prohibitively expensive and very prone to dying at the first power cut.

crokky Sat 03-Oct-09 17:23:58

RacingSnake - I am a first timer and got some fish for my 3yo and 1yo.

I got one of those all in one packs where you get the tank, the filter, the heater, the light etc.

The fish that I have are all Danios - they are very hardy and easy to keep and my kids love them. My Danios were about £1.30 each so the cost of the fish is not the issue - it's the cost of the equipment. They are nice and small - about an inch long and I don't think they'll grow much.

I did all this from MN advice.

crokky Sat 03-Oct-09 17:24:31

oh and my danios didn't mind the 3 hour power cut we had about 3 months ago!

sweetnitanitro Sat 03-Oct-09 17:43:10

Yeah, danios are tough and small but they are hyper so they need lots of room too! If you pick one of the smaller species then they would be perfect. Celestial pearls are easy to keep but make sure they are UK bred ones and not wild caught. Zebra and pearl danios are a bit larger and would need a slightly bigger tank.

Neon tetras are small and hardy. A lot depends on your water conditions because some fish like hard water and some like soft water. You'd need a water test kit really to help determine what kind of fish you can keep.

Power cuts are bad for any kind of fish, you really need to have a battery powered air pump as back up in case of long power cuts. 3 hours wouldn't have done any harm but you never know how long they're going to go on!

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