My feed

to access all these features

If you have a fish pond, fish tank or are seeking advice about keeping tropical fish, you can find advice on our Fish forum.


tell me about keeping goldfish

15 replies

cheesesarnie · 21/04/2011 16:16

ds1 got a goldfish today.tank was set up 2 days ago and admiral bubbles arrived today!
what do i need to know?i know pump stays on and light on for 5 hours a day.and feed twice a day-is it a pinch of food?
what about cleaning etc?

OP posts:
EauRouge · 21/04/2011 16:36

Ooooh, you'd better sit down because this is going to be a long post (sorry!)

First of all you will need to get a water test kit because your fish has been put in an uncycled (unprepared) tank. It's not the end of the world but you'll have to put some extra work in to stop the fish getting sick. Have a read of this and it will explain about the nitrogen cycle. You'll need to do lots of water changes to keep the ammonia and nitrIte levels down.

Another thing to take into account is that goldfish get very large. Admiral Bubbles (best goldfish name ever btw) will be at the cute baby stage now but they get much bigger and they do it quickly. This covers goldfish growth, tank size and life expectancy.

A pinch of food once a day is probably enough. Goldfish are brilliant liars and will try to convince you that they are perpetually starving- don't fall for it! Give him what he can eat in 2-3 minutes and scoop the rest out. It might take a while to figure out the exact amount so go slowly to start with.

Cleaning is relatively simple, you'll need a bucket or 5 (depending on how big the tank is and how many trips you want to make). Syphon out around 25-30% of the water and use a gravel vac to clean the substrate. Unplug the filter and give the sponge a quick swish around in a bucket of water that you've taken from the tank (chuck the water on your roses, it'll do them good). Never, ever use tap water to clean the filter sponge, the chlorine will kill all the good bacteria. Then refill the buckets from the tap and add a bit of boiled water from the kettle to bring up the temperature so it's the same as that of the water in the tank. DO NOT FORGET TO DECHLORINATE!! Put the sponge back in the filter and switch it back on. Then put your feet up Grin

Hopefully that's a start, let me know if you want to know anything else. :)

cheesesarnie · 21/04/2011 16:50

Shock omg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
it was supposed to be the easy option!
i'll wait till dc are in bed before having a proper look at the links,thankyou for doing them.i might have to print out your post!
hes quite big anyway.there were little ones and big ones,does that still mean he'll get bigger?

i should have got a hamster!

OP posts:
GollyHolightly · 21/04/2011 16:55

We had goldfish for years. No pump, no light. Cleaned them about once a month - had to do the entire tank by then, not a partial clean. Never waited for water to 'settle' for days at a time. The bloody things are still alive and well and now living in my PILs garden pond [buhmm]

cheesesarnie · 21/04/2011 16:59

this is why im dad said that golly-love your name btw.
man in shop said let tank settle but thats it.
friend said something else.

oh dear.
should have got a cat!

OP posts:
LynetteScavo · 21/04/2011 17:01

I was told to feed every other day.

The tank won't be officially big enough. The tank to fish ratio is ridiculous for goldfish. You need a tank the size of your garage for one fish.

It will probably die of fin rot before long (or this may just be characteristic of the place I got my fish Angry). But hey, it will be an educational experience for DS.

GollyHolightly · 21/04/2011 17:07

I'm sure that they grow according to the size of the tank? ours certainly had a big growth spurt when they were moved to the garden pond, and they were at least six years old by then!

cheesesarnie · 21/04/2011 17:09

it is a pretty looking fish and funny to watch.ds wants to get him a friend in a few weeks when hes managed to earn/save some pocket money

OP posts:
GollyHolightly · 21/04/2011 17:22

Ha! yes, get it a friend. Then get another friend when one dies and you feel sorry for the one left alone. It's a never ending cycle. When I said that our goldfish were still alive, one of the originals was still alive but the other had been replaced at least twice!

We have rats now. I have no idea what I'm going to do when one of them carks it. I don't like the idea of a lonely rat but I certainly don't want to perpetuate the rat cycle forevermore. I suppose I'll have to find someone else who has rats and give the lonely rat away to them.

EauRouge · 21/04/2011 17:40

Well, it's rare that they outgrow their tank but that's because if you keep them in a tank that's too small then they become stunted. It messes up their internal organs and they get a bit deformed so it can cause all kinds of health problems and premature death.

Goldfish are pretty tough fish which is why they're so popular, they can survive all kinds of things but it's worth getting them a proper set-up so you can really see them thrive. A healthy goldfish is a beautiful thing! The tank sizes may seem ridiculous but goldfish can get to a ridiculous size. They are definitely not the cheap and easy option!

cheesesarnie · 21/04/2011 17:43

Shock at that goldfish!why did i not ask on here before getting one!
it is all quite exciting though,determined to help him do it all properly.hes a little scientist in the making so an amazing thing to do

OP posts:
EauRouge · 21/04/2011 17:50

Ah, if he likes science then he'll love keeping fish Grin you get little test tubes with the water test kits (the API mini master kit is a good one).

If you don't have the space for a goldfish, which most people don't, then there are some smaller fish that might be better. If you want a coldwater tank then white cloud mountain minnows could work depending on your water parameters. A 60 litre tank would happily house 6 or 7 minnows and they might even breed.

peeriebear · 21/04/2011 17:58

When I first got my goldfish he was in a great big tank on his own... Then I downsized him to a small one... then I got him some friends... No tank light, no filter, just live plants. Complete water change at cleaning out time, refilled with tap water. Fish is now ten and coming up for six inches from nose to tail. Now in bigger living room tank with three other fish, light and filter! I suspect I just had a tough fish that endured rather than enjoyed my hamfisted care in the past. The most important thing is space IMO.

EauRouge · 21/04/2011 18:03

Crikey, that's massive! Don't panic though, it's a koi, they get about 3 times bigger than goldfish. The whiskers are the giveaway, otherwise they look pretty similar.

peeriebear · 21/04/2011 19:20

I just think it's awesome :o I LOVE my fish. I'd like to have a lake with fish in so they can grow to enormous sizes in the depths.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.