Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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CountryChic 12-16-2012 11:35 AM

Gold Fish - what did I get myself into? :)
So I was not expecting to get a gold fish last night but I couldn't help myself! :oops:

I went to a small pet shop last night where I usually sell my platy babies when they get old enough. The store gave me $3 in store credit so I went to the fish section to see if I wanted any more plants for my 55g platy tank. I was looking at the plants and I happened to glance over at the (overstocked) goldfish tank. I walked over to it and there was this one gold fish that really stood out to me. It was gorgeous! I just fell in love an before I knew it my in store credit ticket was gone and I was walking out with my brand new goldfish and some gold fish food. ;-) after making the poor lady try to net the exact one I wanted.

When I got home I put it in my empty 29 gallon with my extra filter. I also gave it a cave so it can hide if it wants. I didn't have any gravel but I'm hoping to get some sand or something to put in there. I don't know why I got him/her I just love the thought of getting a gold fish, so original. I wanna make it as comfortable as possible, is there anything else I should do? The water temperature has been staying between 61-63F and I woke up this morning to a bright and happy fish. It also ate this morning so I'm guessing he or she is not too stressed.

Also, as of now he/she is only about 2 and 1/2 inches but I'm sure it will probably get bigger so should I look into upgrading the tank sometime soon? :)

small fry 12-16-2012 11:55 AM

Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping! :-)

Goldfish are beautiful fish, but require a lot more attention than most people realize. They foul the water quickly, and long exposure to it will stunt their growth (which can lead to further health problems and shorter life expectancy). They need a strict water change routine.

Many people believe that the minimum tank size for a common goldfish is 55g to 180g. I personally think that it should be no less than 90g, and above that would be even better. They need a lot of swimming room, and the larger quantity of water helps keep the toxicity down (assuming proper maintenance is taking place).

I would definitely recommend saving up for a larger setup. More than likely your goldfish's growth has already been stunted some, due to living in less than ideal conditions at your local fish store, but it can still reach a good size. I would get ready to get him something at least 55 gallons, but more if you can afford it. Either way, it still gets a way better life than it would have had at the pet store. :)

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask questions if you have any. This is a really good community. We also love pictures if you wanted to show off your goldfish. :)

emeraldsky 12-16-2012 01:44 PM

Would you happen to know what kind of gold fish it is?

Fancies can live happily in a 29 gallon but should have a bit bigger since they like friends, but commons do need much bigger tanks since they get pretty massive.

Look into live plants, the goldfish will probably nibble on them so stick to ones that grow really fast like anacharis and hornwort or ones that have tough leaves like anubias.

small fry 12-16-2012 01:51 PM


Originally Posted by emeraldsky (Post 1350942)
Would you happen to know what kind of gold fish it is? Fancies can live happily in a 29 gallon but should have a bit bigger since they like friends, but commons do need much bigger tanks since they get pretty massive.

+1. My previous post is entirely under the assumption that you have a common goldfish. Fancies do not require quite as much space. Live plants would definitely help, as emeraldsky mentioned; However, my goldfish always eat my plants before they have time to grow. All goldfish are different, but the fact that they may eat/uproot plants is something to consider before you purchase lots of expensive plants.

CountryChic 12-16-2012 03:37 PM

It is a common gold fish, so from what I have read upgrading is a must. Upgrading is no problem but how long do you think I can wait before I need to upgrade? I'm definatly going to get some plants :) I'll try to upload some pictures but my gold fish doesn't like to sit still, it's all over the tank :lol:

thekoimaiden 12-17-2012 03:47 PM

You'll need to upgrade sometime in the next few months. Or consider putting in an outdoor pond next summer. Goldfish were originally bred to be pond fish, and I personally feel like that's the best place for single-tail goldfish.

There is another bit of information that most people don't seem to realize is that goldfish are highly social creatures. Even as adults mine are always together. I recommend no less than three in a group, but the more the merrier (space permitting). A lone goldfish can be very skittish and dart around a lot.

As far as being without substrate, a lot of people actually recommend it for goldfish tanks as it makes removing the waste a lot easier. I don't think it's right for a fish that spends most of its day rooting around in the substrate to be in a bare-bottom tank, but since this is just a grow-out tank I don't think it's a problem. Save the money for either a larger tank or a pond.

CountryChic 12-19-2012 04:47 AM

Okay, I'll go out and buy 2 more goldfish. Will they be okay to stay in my 29 gallon for the winter? I can get a pond set up around May or June. A pond sounds like a really neat idea!! :D I can get a bigger tank for them in the winter if needed but I'd rather save my money. Sorry for no pictures yet, I'll will try to get some later today
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small fry 12-19-2012 10:36 AM

Three juvenile goldfish in a 29 gallon tank might work Ok for a few months, but you are going to really make sure you keep up with the water changes. They need very clean water that is changed frequently, or they may stay small to medium most of their lives (even after being introduced to a pond).

If you can provide your fish with a pond, I would recommend just keeping them in the 29g tank over the winter while researching and generating funds for a pond upgrade. I've seen some very beautiful goldfish and koi ponds. I would like to setup one at my house, but there are too many cats in my neighborhood.

By the way, don't stress too much if you can't seem to get very good common goldfish pictures. I've been there. ;-)

thekoimaiden 12-19-2012 02:16 PM

I think they would be fine in a 29 gal for the winter. You'll probably need twice weekly water changes to keep the water quality up, and if you keep the water temp lower they won't grow very fast. If they do look like they are outgrowing the 29 gal you could put them in a baby pool (in the basement) or a large tub.

I have a koi pond and have to say it is one of the most relaxing things in my life. One of the things that made the largest difference was bringing in someone who builds pond professionally. It made the difference between a hole in the ground with water and a water feature.

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