Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   I bought a new fish and a new tank all at once, now what? (

goldfish98 09-30-2013 02:46 PM

I bought a new fish and a new tank all at once, now what?
I have a goldfish and a fishtank, can I just add the fish to the tank right away? Will it die?

littlemrlewis 09-30-2013 03:01 PM

probably. you need to cycle the tank.

Ogre44 09-30-2013 03:02 PM

Goldfish are pretty hardy, it should do ok if you perform frequent and large water changes.
What size tank and what breed of goldfish?

jentralala 10-01-2013 02:26 AM

Hi! Welcome to the forum!

May I ask what size the tank is? Goldfish, even those 'fancy' fan-tailed varieties that look small at the store, get quite large. Minimum size is six inches long! And they are also rather chubby. The tank sized usually recommended for them is around 55 gallons, minimum, because they really do get big and produce a LOT of waste (these fish poop near constantly, creating a lot of ammonia and nitrites (ie, fish waste)) so they need a lot of water to keep parameters stable. The non-fancy varieties (ie 'feeder' goldifsh) can get over 18 inches!!! These fish really require a pond, and are not suited to house hold tanks, for the most part.

All tanks go through what we call a 'cycle'. This is where ammonia (which is highly toxic to fish and will kill them) (be it fish waste or introduced ammonia, depending on how you cycle) is converted to nitrites (still toxic) and then converted into nitrates (non toxic at numbers below 20ppm) by what are called 'beneficial bacteria'.

Now, the cycle takes around 4 - 6 weeks to complete, before the tank becomes stable and not dangerous to the fish. If you are cycling 'fish-in', you'll need to do daily water changes of around 75% to keep the fish from dying. If you do a 'fish-less' (no fish in the tank, at all) cycle, water changes aren't necessary.

I'd really recommend returning the goldfish, depending on the size of your tank (if it's less than 55 gallons, I firmly believe it's your best option) and then doing a fish-less cycle. We can then discuss the methods of fish-less cycling, and the equipment necessary (nothing too expensive, and it all lasts for years!), and move on to discussing what fish will work well for your set-up. This all depends on whether your water is 'soft' or 'hard'. But I'm getting way ahead of myself!

I know it's a LOT of information to absorb at first, but trust me, it'll all be worth it when you have a gorgeous, balanced tank! You may even want to take the route of live plants!

Oh, before I forget, what equipment do you already have for the tank? Such as filter, heater, etc.

Let me know if you have any more questions or need anything clarified! I'm MORE than happy to be of assistance!!! :)

goldfish98 10-01-2013 05:28 AM

Hi, the fish I got came from a carnival, so it can't be returned. I was told that a 10 gallon tank would be fine for one goldfish. I have a filter and a heater.

jaysee 10-01-2013 09:23 AM

Unfortunately you were told wrong.

Pretty much the same advice here as I gave you in your other thread....

goldfish98 10-01-2013 02:03 PM

Sad. The guy from petco lied to me!

jentralala 10-01-2013 02:13 PM

Unfortunately the fish usually given away at carnivals are usually 'feeder' goldfish, or possibly comets, which are about the same. These are the ones that can reach over 18" long. Is it possible you can call a local pet store who may take the fish, or do you know anyone with a pond?

Many people will recommend a ten gallon for a goldfish because they are still of the thinking that "fish only grow to the size of their tank", which is a complete fallacy. Fish will always continue growing, but if kept in a tank that is much too small for them their growth becomes stunted. Their skeletal growth will become deformed, and greatly affect their organs to point of killing the fish. It's like keeping a great dane puppy in a cat carrier it's whole life. The dog can't stop it's own growth, no more than a fish can.

People may also just not realize how big they get, given that many people house them improperly so the fish dies quite young and small. These fish can become decades old under proper care, but unfortunately many are kept improperly and die while only a year or two old.

Sorry to ramble, I just get truly upset when people are given false information! It's really great that you asked about the care and took the time to ask here as well. Unfortunately, the person who advised you that a ten gallon would be sufficient was quite incorrect. The person may not have realized it, but it's still false information.

It's in your hands what to do at this point. Please feel free to ask any questions or for clarification, I'm so sorry you were put in this situation!

goldfish98 10-01-2013 02:20 PM

Well I will hold onto it for now. The guy told me even a 5 gallon tank would work :roll:

Justinzane 10-01-2013 04:26 PM

It is sad that these big box stores (petco, petland, etc) will tell you anything that you want to hear just to make that sale. This is why i like the smaller LFS, at least the ones in my city. They will tell you what is good for the fish, not good for you.

Stay clear of this big box store and support your LFS instead. The prices may be slightly higher, but the quality of information is 1000x better than the minimum wage guy.

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