Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Cheknnudol 07-14-2009 09:09 PM

Inherited Gold Fish
I inherited three goldfish in a ten gallon tank from a local family who no longer wished to care for them. Apparently they've been in that same tank quite peacefully since they were purchased at least a year ago with a snail and another fish (both of which died around the time I adopted them) and no filtration, and they've been in that tank for the past couple weeks that I've had them with a decent filter. They, from what I can tell, are the comet variety and each are about 2.5 - 3 inches long. As far as the fish-inch per gallon rule, we're running at max capacity obviously but I read here that goldfish need even more space as they pollute the water quite readily and grow very fast. I have a 40 gallon in my boyfriend's garage that I could set up, but another thread suggested at least 75 gallons for this many comet variety gold fish. Is 75g a -safe- minimum, or could the 40 gallon work with ample filtration? If not permanently, for how long approximately?

Lupin 07-14-2009 09:30 PM

If they were fancy types, a 40g would be okay already but dang, these are comets and comets grow rather quickly at 12 inches and over so a 75g would be the minimum. Give them a month or two in the 40g until you get the 75g. If you have a pond, they'll be happier.:wink:

Cheknnudol 07-15-2009 10:53 AM

The problem is that I just don't have the space for a 75 gallon aquarium, and since I'm moving out soon anyways it just isn't practical for me to have that large of a set up. This also means that I do not myself have a pond. My sister, however, has 2 but they're not really set up for fish as far as I am aware. Once is a small man made pond (about 6' wide by 4' long) next to her front door. The other is a huge pond behind her house in the woods with tadpoles and stuff that she definitely did not put there - totally wild. I'm not sure if either of these would be suitable for Kyle, Stan, and Kenny.

Lupin 07-15-2009 07:12 PM

Chek, those goldfish will do just fine in the backyard pond. What else are in that pond? Does it have filtration? Even if filtration is not an option, add aeration to keep the water well oxygenated.

adiumroot 07-16-2009 01:58 AM

If the pond is large enough (I'm speaking huge like 10 feet or more across), then filtration wouldn't be needed as long as there are plants.

I hope the goldfish will be happy in the pond! With all the algae and tadpoles and stuff in the pond, feeding won't be a problem since you will need to feed them less since they can get their own food.

Cheknnudol 07-16-2009 11:08 AM

I was just informed that the larger pond has been drying up in the summers with the odd weather (us Washingtonians aren't used to this bright light you call 'sun') so that it's only about 4' across and about a foot deep. That doesn't somehow seem appropriate. The small one is about 2'x6'x4' and already has 2-3 goldfish and a couple of bass. I'm not sure really how well either of those is going to work out now...

onekatietwo 07-16-2009 11:15 PM

Please make sure that the larger pond has no streams in or out that goldfish or baby goldfish could escape from. Having goldfish in a natural, small isolated pond is okay, but if they can get into the rest of the ecosystem it's really not very great at all.

If you can bear to part with them, try putting an ad on craigslist or your community's freecycle. Offer them for free and mention that they are pond fish (and make sure they're not going to be going into a worse home than they are in now. At least you are properly caring for them even if they don't have the greatest environment.)

I was in a similar situation and I used Freecycle to find my inherited fish a GREAT home. I also got to see an amazing garden and pond. :)

Good luck!

Cheknnudol 07-17-2009 10:41 AM

Despite how short of a period of time I've had these fish, I really do adore them. I would like to have them go to a place where I could at least visit regularly. The natural pond at my sister's it fed by nothing but the wet puffy grey things in the sky that we know so well around here (lol) but it seems that it's much too small for my goldfish in the summers. It would not be safe. Right now it is less than one foot deep and hardly my height across (I'm only 5'1"), and is grass-bottomed. It's more of a swamp. The other pond at her place seems to already be overstocked and doesn't have a filter to their knowledge (which means that even if there is one it probably hasn't been cleaned for 5+ years). With my fish being so small, I don't know that I would feel comfortable putting my little guys in there with the big'uns anyhow; I'd hate to find that they'd been eaten.

I brought the issue up to my mom and she jumped on it like a cat on a mouse; turns out she's been secretly nudging my father into letting her put a pond in the back yard since we moved into the house. He didn't want to make either the time or financial investment as we had been planning to sell our house soon ever since we moved into it (here we are 5 years later still living there! haha). I told her we should do a DIY pond and began doing research on it last night. Along with several good ideas on this forum, reasonable kits are available as well for a fraction of what my mom had expected. If we can convince my dad to let us dig a hole in the yard, my mom will have her dream pond and I'll have a home for my fish :)

On this note, we don't want anything ginormous; we were thinking roughly the size of my sister's with a skimmer, filter, waterfall, etc. about 6' x 4' x 2'. Would this be big enough for my fish? It calculates out to around 350 gallons and would have adequate filtration and aeration. One thing I'm not certain of though is that the winters get rather cold here and my understanding is that pond depth is the only thing that can really keep fish alive. Will 2' be enough for winters that get just below freezing?

Lupin 07-17-2009 10:47 AM

Ditch the skimmer. No need to complicate the pond setup. Filtration and aeration are all you need. If you have winter season, keep the pond as deep as 3 feet so the water will not become frozen that could potentially kill the fish. In winter areas, minimum depth should be 3 feet otherwise you'd have to keep the goldfish indoors before winter starts.

Cheknnudol 07-17-2009 11:40 AM

The kit we were thinking of getting is the first one here: Mini Pond Kits

I'm unsure of how deep that kit is meant to go... can anyone else find that?

The skimmer comes with the kit which is why I have it listed, but the pond would also be near pine trees (it is the northwest!). There wouldn't be a day gone by without leaves and pine needles floating about in our pond no matter where in the yard we put it. A pond I can't look into isn't worth having, so a pond without a skimmer in our yard isn't worth installing.

When I see my mom later tonight I'll talk to her about adding a foot to the depth we discussed and see if she's had any luck bringing it up to dear ol' dad yet ;P

Is there anything inherently wrong with the kit I'm looking at? Are the components shoddy? I don't know a darn thing about any of this!

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