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I really need advice on looking after Nemo. Novice here.

7 replies

Deux · 28/10/2011 00:24

My DCs got a goldfish from the fair back in April. I think he's a comet or common goldfish. He is in an unfiltered tank and I realise that he needs to be in a filtered tank for optimum health.

He is cleaned out regularly and fed regularly and he is fairly devouring his plants and he loves hovering under his little bridge. And really, I've grown very fond of him. Smile And he is growing and has probably doubled in size since April.

So what size of tank do I get him? Will a 30 litre be sufficient? I was thinking of a Biorb as they are at a good price on ebay. Or will he need 60 litre? Or is a rectangular tank better?

Should I get him a companion? He has already had a now-deceased companion and I'm sure Nemo murdered him (DH thinks I'm mad but the companion kept chasing Nemo and eating all the food).

We are hoping to have a small pond put in our garden next year and I was wondering if he would be OK in it and have him in a pond as a long term plan?

I've been reading up on goldfish care and am finding it a bit bewildering especially cycling the tank etc.

Any help gratefully received. Smile

OP posts:
EauRouge · 28/10/2011 09:04

I thought you meant a clown fish for a second!

Right. There's a fair bit to go through so get a cup of tea. You may well be cursing the day you went to the fair by the end of this....

Goldfish are very large, very active (the common ones) and very messy. Therefore they need lots and lots of space. A pond is ideal if it's big enough- it needs to be a metre deep in the deepest spot so they can shelter from the cold weather and from predators. Spring is the best time to introduce them to a new pond.

In the meantime, a larger, filtered tank is a must. 30 litres is not sufficient, unfortunately. If this is a temporary measure until he goes in a pond in the spring then you could get away with 70 litres for just the one fish. I would wait until he goes in the pond before you get him some friends, he'll be OK until then. Here is an article about goldfish sizes and life expectancy.

Biorbs are shite. And that is pretty much all there is to say about Biorbs Grin Don't bother, you can get bigger and better tanks for half the price. Rectangular tanks are best, there are plenty of second hand ones knocking around on ebay, at car boots etc.

With regards to tank cycling, normally it is recommended to fully cycle a tank before introducing any fish but since your fish is living in an unfiltered tank anyway it would be better to just get him straight in the new, filtered tank. This article explains about tank cycling quite well.

I hope that makes a start at answering your questions, if you want me to expand on any of it then please just ask. I am more than happy to geek about fish Grin

Principality · 28/10/2011 09:42

Also I'd suggest you by a bottle of tetra safe start and a water testing kit.

There have been mixed reviews on the TSS, but apparently (from lots of internet scouring and looking at fishkeeping forums!) this is the best of the filter starter liquids. Aparently the other types contain land dwelling bacteria, hence why you have to keep adding the liquid every time you water change as they die off.

The TSS you add at the same time as you add fish- so that the bacteria have a source of amonia to eat. You only add it once.

I used it when I started up my tank about 18m ago, and it cycled v quickly, i never got any amonia readings, a very low nitrite reading and then nitrates as expected.

EauRouge · 28/10/2011 10:53

I've tried a few different filter start type products and most of them make no significant difference at all, I've not tried Tetra Safe Start though (I'd love to know how they keep aerobic bacteria alive in liquid with no oxygen source...) . The only damage it can do is to your wallet! You will need a dechlorinator like Aquasafe or Tapsafe though.

A water test kit is definitely a must as well. Liquid ones are more accurate and work out cheaper in the long run.

Deux · 28/10/2011 15:03

Many thanks for your replies. I've been browsing and was wondering what you thought about this kind of set up.

I am thinking that once he goes into the pond then I may go tropical .

It does all sound a bit technical .... dechlorinator, water test kit, oh dear. Do you think you could set out a list of everything I would need? A bit like a shopping list and then I can tick it off.

I love our little fish but am wondering if a guinea pig would have been easier. Smile

OP posts:
EauRouge · 28/10/2011 17:18

Here is a list of stuff with explanations of what it's for- some stuff you need, others you can skip if you're going for a low-tech set up.

It's quite technical to start with but it's much easier, not to mention cheaper, if you start properly. Once you've figured out how the nitrogen cycle works and some other basic water chemistry stuff (pH and hardness are important) then that's all you'll need to know if you just want a basic fish tank that'll look good. Fish are definitely not the cheap or low-maintenance option though!

The tank you've linked to is OK but you could get something better for less if you bought a second hand tank and a new filter.

Tropical fish are not necessarily more difficult to keep, the tricky part is choosing fish that are easy to keep. Since there is so much choice it can be difficult. Best to do your own research- some aquatic store staff are really good but some don't know the head end of a fish from the tail end.

Deux · 28/10/2011 18:44

Many, many thanks. Got lots of reading to do, I see. I was never any good at chemistry at school so I have a mental block.

I'll mark this thread and update when Nemo's in his watery palace. Smile

OP posts:
Principality · 29/10/2011 16:38

Here is some info on TSS from the manufacturers that I read when I used it. I found it worked, others didn't. Worth a try I would have thought, if you know you are putting a fish into an uncycled tank.

I would def have a look on ebay or aquarist classified for a second hand tank and then buy a new filter. Very often manufacturers claim their filters can cope with a bigger tank. I would aim, with a goldie, to turn the tank water over 10x per hour. So look at the flow rate on the filter (will be on the box). It will say something like 700lt per hour flow rate. I would use this in a 70lt tank. I have 1600lt ph flow in my 165lt tropical tank- to achieve this i have the 1000ph wet and dry filter it came with plus a fluval u3 internal filter.

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