10 gallon golfish tank
My girlfriend just set up a 10 gallon tank with 2 goldfish. How often should we change the water? I was thinking 1 time every week/week and a half. How much water should we change? Do you think the tank is too small for the 2 goldfish? they're about an inch and a half and 2 inches. I thought the general rule was 1 inch / gallon of water. but the goldfish produce a lot more waste.
I think 10 gal. is fine. ( :
There are many problems, however.
1. Goldfish are a coldwater species, which means the inch per gallon rule is even less accurate than normal. If I remember right, a coldwater tank can only hold like an inch per 4 gallons. (cold water holds less oxygen than warm water)
2. If the tank isn't cycled, they may very well die. You need to do WC's DAILY and buy a test kit for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate minimum. Ammonia should be 0, nitrite should be 0, and nitrate should be existent, around 5-10. (Nitrate is harmful, but it's the least harmful product from ammonia. If there's 0 nitrate, your tank is probably not cycles. A little bit of nitrate just means your bacteria is doing it's job.)
3. Goldfish, even common goldfish, grow extremely large and will outgrow the 10G in no time. I'd say a minimum of 20g+ for two grown goldfish, and you might need a tank even bigger.
4. If it's possible, I would take the goldfish back and wait for your tank to cycle. Once it's cycles, there's many fish species that look like goldfish...
If your tap water has a lower PH, look for tetras that you like. (Ember tetras for example)
If your tap water has a higher PH (around 7.5) then maybe orange platys or swordtails.
If you're REALLY lucky and it's 7.0, you can get either. All of those fish I mentioned are tropical fish, so they like warm water- get a heater, and you can do something closer to the 1inch/per gallon.
I hope I covered everything... If you have any questions, post them here or feel free to PM me.
Take the goldfish back if at all possible or if they are common varieties (they only have a 'singletail', not a split tail) give them to a friend's pond.
I'm sorry you had to learn this way but you are absolutely correct about goldfish being heavy waste producers... they have no true stomach (just a gastrointestinal tract) so 90% of what they eat goes straight out the other end.
Whats more concerning though is that fancy goldfish (the kinds with a 'doubletail') can grow from 6-12" while common goldfish like feeder comets and shubinkins will get 12"-24". So assuming your tank is a standard 10g, it is about the same length as an adult common goldfish!
If you would like to keep the goldfish, a bigger tank will be needed. For fancy varieties you will need 20g for the first goldfish and 10g for each additional goldfish. For commons, you need about 80g per fish so it is more feasible just to get a pond.
I know thats not what you wanted to hear but trust me... I have one fancy in a 20g and it is a HANFDFUL as far as cleaning goes... thankfully I am in the process of setting up a 50g tank. There are many suitable fishfor your 10g, just if you decide to take the goldfish back and start fresh, please do feel free to ask us about any fish you are considering... I can name 10 fish sold in pet stores that grow to over 1' long despite the fact that they are sold when only a few inches long. Pet store employees are not always a reliable source of information but forums are extremely good resources.
Thank you for all your feedback -- I think she's already attached to the newest goldfish so she'll probably keep it. Maybe she'll consider getting a 20. I did wait to cycle the tank and it was good to go before I added the new fish.
Since she's probably going to keep them in there, how much water should we replace everytime there's a water change? I was told half. What do you think? Thx again.
Being that Gold Fish are fairly hardy you can change out 50% of the water.......Match the temp and use a good quality water conditioner like Prime.
Have you researched the aquarium cycle? Have a look at this article:
Since there are already fish in the tank you're essentially in the midst of a fish-in cycle so you need to respond accordingly by doing water changes whenever you get an ammonia or nitrite reading of over about 0.25 ppm (basically the lowest readable amount on a liquid test kit). If you don't already have a test kit, go get one; in the meantime do 50% water changes daily just to be on the safe side. A good water conditioner like Prime will help detoxify ammonia and nitrite, if only temporarily.
Any word on what type of goldfish you have? If they are a fancy variety you could probably keep the two of them in something as small as a 29g long-term although bigger would certainly be better. If they're shubunkins or common goldies, you'll need a much bigger tank than that. You should upgrade to the "final" tank size as soon as you can as keeping a fish in a too-small tank as it grows can lead to permanent damage and greatly reduced lifespan.
Before you buy the new tank, I agree with iamntbatman... if they are fancies you may need to go for a 30g. Which isn't a huge deal compared to a 20g, they only have a slightly larger "footprint" (the square inches they take up on your floor, dresser, etc. Or if they are commons, you needa stop looking for tanks and start digging a pond lol (half kidding).
When looking for a tank I strongly suggest you look at craigslist... every day people like you who bought fish under the advice of a pet store get frustrated when their oversized fish die in a short while and sell a nearly-new tank for a fraction of the price.
Good luck with the goldfish! They really do grow on you.... I didn't realise how much so until my goldfish (who I've only had for 4 months) had a life or death experience involving stupid me O.D.ing on aquarium salt... when most of my fish die I can just call it part of the hobby and throw their bodies int he trash but if my goldie died my week (or fortnight) owuld be totally ruined!
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