09-17-2009, 02:44 AM
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I dunno about goldfish being the "easiest". It is true they can survive deteriorating water conditions. The problem however is they are also one of those most susceptible to countless issues especially if not well cared for. They are prone to ich, bacteria infections, tumors, etc if conditions are very appalling.
Twistermom and Willow are correct. Comets can reach 18 inches in length, not to mention the fact these are also fast growers. By thir first year, they would already be 6 inches, never mind how much space they require just to swim around.
There are two categories classified for goldfish: fancy and pond. The pond category includes watonais, wakins, jikins, hibunas/common goldfish, comets and shubunkins. These are the largest goldfish that require exactly a pond or very large tanks. If they must be housed in tanks, a good guideline should be 20g per first fish with additional 15g per added fish. A 75g is the best tank size you can get for your comets or any pond goldfish. The width of 18 inches is quite feasible especially as they grow on the same length as already mentioned earlier.
Fancy goldfish on the other hand include orandas, fantails, ryukins and many others however many of them still reach 10-12 inches in length. Of all the fancies, fantais and orandas are the largest followed by ryukins that simply add more bulk than body length due to their unusually tall bodies. Allow 15g per fancy goldfish. The smaller ones such as tikus pearlscales, hamanishikis (crown pearlscales), tosakins and short bodied variants can cope with at least 10g per fish.
The above statements do not mean keeping them in tanks less than 20g permanently is okay. Each goldfish still needs adequate space to swim and grow which is why for a good start with fancies, a 30g would be the bare minimum. Goldfish are sociable by nature so you should not keep one by itself. As much as possible, stick to at least 2. The more, the better. Of course, you also have to ensure there is adequate space for every fish you get.
Rohland, unfortunately, hibunas, comets and shubunkins are considered "feeder" fish numerous times. While it is true that they harbor a lot of parasites, they still need to be given the same perception that we do with other fish. The first step is quarantine them properly. When I quarantine my new goldfish, they are treated with praziquantel for flukes and internal parasites, both common issues among coldwater cyprinids. A temporary 0.3% salt solution is also done to help destroy most pathogens that harbor the fish. A quarantine tank does not have o be loaded with decorations despite most people criticizing it as a waste of time and money. It should be kept barebottom first and foremost. Sponge filter and heater are all you need to operate that tank. Adding a few decorations in the tank as refuge for the fish also helps make them feel more comfortable with their environment.
Hope this helps.