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Growth Curves and Accuracy?

This is a discussion on Growth Curves and Accuracy? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Okay, So, for now, I am going to edit that page to hopefully be a bit more obvious about certain key facts that you ...

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Growth Curves and Accuracy?
Old 01-14-2010, 01:52 AM   #21
MOA
 
Okay,

So, for now, I am going to edit that page to hopefully be a bit more obvious about certain key facts that you mentioned and integrate it a bit more with the other parts of the website that provide the details. You have given me a great place to start, thank you very much.

Looking Forward,
MOA
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:01 AM   #22
MOA
 
Hello Again,

I editted the paragraph in question to be abit more reflective of your concerns. Your points were very valid and I appreciate them. :)

MOA
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:34 PM   #23
 
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MOA,

I apologize for the limited time I have to devote to this, but I didn't want you to think I abandoned this topic. I have not.
Recently we exchanged a pm, which I feel it important to post here. I think this can be a learning experience for many and will greatly benefit the database here at ff. I have a reply for you but it took a few days to get what I needed for your answer.
Our pm was as follows:

"Using your spreadsheet, what would you consider a safe tank size/situation for 1 adult fancy goldfish? I already know what is safe, but I am very curious about what your spreadsheet dictates...

Thanks,

Dawn My spreadsheet is definitely conservative when it comes to goldfish. For a fancy variety, it will indictate that the aquarium should be at least a 20H. For other species of goldfish the recommendation is over fifty gallons (some are well over 100 gallons). Nonetheless, the spreadsheet does not "enforce" these recommendations. A user can choose to ingnore the warnings and the results will still be computed as if the warnings were not present. These results, however, will probably not be any more pleasing to the users as the spreadsheet subscribes to the ideal that aquarists should always account for the maximum size of their fish. Consequently, full-grown goldfish are going to produce much more waste than what most aquarists will expect."


As you can see I highlighted the first two sentences of your reply to my question, and I did this to explain the following photos:

This is an adult fancy goldfish in a 20H. Freddy is about 7 yrs old and when measured for total length, including fins, he is approximately 8.5 inches long and as big around as a standard softball. I apologize for the poor picture quality but it was impossible to keep him in that small tank for more than about 10 minutes. The stress was making him sick. I'm happy to say he is ok and suffered no real issues from this temporary move, but I felt it was important for you (and others) to be able to visualize what your spreadsheet calls conservative housing for an adult fancy goldfish. I attached tape measures to the side and bottom of the tank in the first photo so there is no question about the actual size of the tank.

I guess I don't know what else to say at this point... I think the photos say it all.
Thank you for your patience, I need to go now and take this 20H down so I can put it back into storage. In case you're wondering, Freddy outgrew this 20H by the time he was about 6 - 8 months old, and he started out as a 2.5 inch baby.
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:48 AM   #24
MOA
 
Awesome!

You bring up an excellent point that few people really consider or even believe. I agree with you heartily that a 20H is too small for most goldfish of any variety, but, sadly, most people do not. I know of several very experienced fish keepers who commonly recommend a 20-gallon tank for goldfish (done with the aid of water changes, etc.). here is a list of a few of them and the source where they can be found:

I'd go with the tropicals. A 20g should only be able to hold one fancy goldfish (shubunkins are OUT), two if you're okay with a crazy water change schedule and plans for a bigger tank on down the road. It's not an ideal set-up.

Goldfish

Small goldfish tank is an oxymoron. With fancies you are looking at a minimum of 20g per fish or 55g for three. An with shubunkins and comets you can pretty much triple that. Quadruple it even. Goldfish are dirty, dirty, dirty fish. They produce a lot of waste from those convoluted stomachs!

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...ium-any-33355/

you said it's 20 gallons? About 1-2 goldfish will be enough for that... any more and when they get bigger you will have to change tanks... I also have a 20 gallon and only one fish in it...

Questions from a beginner - FishForums.com


These are the sort of people that have kept goldfish in small tanks, some of them for years and years, and contradict me when I tell them that the tank size should be bigger. The key element here is how the fish are kept. With lots of water changes it can be done, but not easily. Consequently, my spreadsheet allows for a 20-gallon tank for fancy goldfish because it has been proven to work, but my spreadsheet will also attach a cleaning requirement that most users will not find suitable. My system has several redundancies to keep the fish safe. Thus, my spreadsheet remains conservative.

MOA
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:39 PM   #25
 
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I have a few comments to make about the goldfish issue, and a few questions, too.

Is it ok to buy a dog and cage it up in a cage barely big enough for it to stand in, and call it home? For that people go to jail, so why is it ok to do it to a fish?

I would have to challenge those people who call keeping an adult fancy goldfish in a 20 gallon tank "acceptable". I am wondering how big those fish got to be and how long they lived? A stunted fish ends up with a much shorted life span and internal damage/deformities. So, basically, people are calling this ok just because they can't see the damage they are doing or dno't know what these fish SHOULD turn into if healthy. When you stunt the growth of most any animal you will cause some kind of internal damage to it. In that respect, keeping a goldfish in a 20 gallon tank is not only unacceptable, but its abusive.

I have had the same arguments with many people over the years, and if you consult with anyone who has any experience in "properly" keeping "healthy" fancy goldfish, they will agree that 20 gallons isn't even close to safe or appropriate. I have spent years listening to people boast about how their goldfish lived for 5 yrs in a bowl before it died because they did daily water changes. They saw that as a great accomplishment and proof that it can be done. The fact that a fancy goldfish SHOULD live 15 - 25 yrs average seems to mean nothing to them, and quite often those people hadn't a clue of what a long life span these fish have. Just as few people have seen a healthy adult goldfish before. The fact is, if a goldfish can fit into a bowl at 5 yrs old, that is a sure indication that its not a "healthy" fish.

When I worked at the store yrs ago we always maintained a large display with healthy adult fancy goldfish. We were the only store around that could show someone what those cute little babies turn into, and how quickly it happens. We raised most of those fish from 2 inch babies so our customers got to see how fast they grew. When someone came to me with a bowl in hand and asked for a goldfish I would ask if the bowl was the intended home for it. If I got a positive reply, before I would touch a goldfish, I would lead them to the display tank and on the way over there I would start to explain that a bowl wouldn't work. Most of the time we'd get to the display tank and people's eyes would bug out of their heads as I explained that "This" is what they turn into, and most of those fish were 2 yrs old or younger. I used that display tank as an example of what is needed for a proper goldfish tank, and you know what? It worked. Those were customers I didn't have to argue with about what those fish need.

So... what I have found over the past 20 yrs is that the biggest problem with properly keeping goldfish is that not enough people are doing it, thus most people have never actually seen a healthy adult fancy goldfish. But... that does NOT make it right and that doesn't give others the right to promote mistreating innocent animals, especially once they know the truth behind it. That only tells me that people who are seriously into the science and well being of the animals would try to promote the "proper" environment and offer healthy examples whenever possible.

In situations like your spreadsheet I find a wonderful teaching tool to promote what is right vs what is commonly accepted due to lack of knowledge and experience, and also due in part to lack of morals on the end of the retail business. People, for the most part, are gullible. When someone walks into a lfs and asks a question and receives an answer, for most of them thats good enough to be truth. What happens when those people find out after the fact that what they've done, unknowingly, is to abuse a helpless animal they now care about? In the retail industry its basically a sales tool/ploy. The idea is to make money regardless of how they do it. This is especially true of the big chain stores such as Petco and PetSmart. That is how they keep prices low and continue with chain stores. The focus is solely on profit. People continue to shop there, continue to contribute to the problem by funding these situations, so it is then called acceptable. I don't find that acceptable.

Please do me a favor and use your spreadsheet to do something good and not contribute to misinformation and promotion of inhumane practices. You seem to be very in tune with the science part of this hobby. The science behind a goldfish in a 20 gallon tank proves that it is not proper for a goldfish (of any species) just due to the internal damage caused by the growth stunting.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:34 PM   #26
MOA
 
Hello,

I agree with you completely, but part of the problem is that the science portion of aquarium husbandry only deals with empirical results--with what can be shown. Much of why a 20-gallon tank is too small for goldfish can be shown, but not the morality behind it. Also, my experience (including my experience selling fish) has shown me that most newbies hate it when fishkeeping becomes a moral question. I cannot even begin to recount the number of times I have heard a customer tell me, "You're just saying that so I'll buy a bigger tank" (despite that what I usually recommend is simply a little bigger tank (10-20 gallons instead of the fish bowl) and more suitable species (like small tetras, cory cats)). Some people simply do not care and are amazingly stubborn.

To combat this, I have made my spreadsheet so that it measures tank appropriateness in more than one way. It has minimum dimensions for a tank for every species it lists. This is basically the first filter in determining whether or not a species is appropriate. It also has a biomass and space "filter" that will help weed out anything that gets through the first requirement of basic tank size. For goldfish, the bioload is simply too high for the spreadsheet to actually give the "all clear" for putting a fancy goldfish in such a small tank. Additionally, the spreadsheet does not actually state what fish can go in what size of tank until the basic tank stats have been entered. This way, people cannot use the spreadsheet to justify and specific length/width/height ratios that may come up.

Essentially, instead of outright saying that a 20-gallon is an outright impossible tank for fancy goldfish, my spreadsheet gives the user a little bit of a reason why it is not possible. Does this make sense?

MOA
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:13 PM   #27
 
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It makes sense, but I still want to address your calculations for biomass... I just don't have time to do it right now.
I'll post about it as soon as I can.

Thanks for your continued patience.
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:19 PM   #28
MOA
 
No Problem. Looking forward to more of your wonderful input. In the new version of the Fishsheet I will probably edit the tank guide with regard to fancy goldfish.

MOA
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