Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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turtle10 11-19-2011 10:00 AM

Thinking of Goldfish for my 55g
 
I have a 55 gallon tank that I would like to turn into a goldfish tank. It is a normal shaped aqueon tank with a good eheim heater (not that I'll need that lol), and a great eheim filter. Not sure which one it is, but it is one of the bigger models of the classic external canister filter. My local fish man recommended it when I had about 20+ tropical fish in there (most bettas, snails, guppies, corys). I also plan to add some airstones as a have 2-3 air pumps available.

I have never had experience with goldfish so I am listening with open ears! I have tried researching goldfish but I can't seem to find good site, so I am asking you guys for help so I can at least get a clear idea of how to care for goldfish.

I know goldfish range in size, but I would like a goldfish that I could at least keep three or four in the 55g. I know goldfish get big so that might not be possible to do that many, so what goldfish do well in small groups? I want at least two goldfish, although three or four would be the best. I just keep hearing so many different things. One website says only like 2 or 3 in a 55, some say only 2, others say like 6 and I know that's not right. Also, for what ever goldfish I get, this would have to be the final home. I live in an apartment and can't go any bigger than 55g, so I hope that is enough space for a permanent home for some goldies.

I am not a beginner with fish but I am a beginner with goldfish so I should probably stick with easy to intermediate level goldfish.

A few questions:

1)The bottom of my tank is sand. Is that okay?

2)What is the best substrate for goldfish?

3)Do goldfish really uproot and eat live plants?

4) Are they compatible with snails?

5) Should I get them young or already grown a little bit?

6) What should I always avoid when it comes to goldfish?

Finally, 7) Does anyone know of any reputable goldfish care sites?


THANK YOU!

thekoimaiden 11-20-2011 01:21 AM

Glad to see other people on this site interested in goldfish. I happen to have 2 goldfish (planning to get 2 more) in a 55 gallon. I'll do my best to answer your questions, but if I can't then I have found the people at thegab.org very helpful for much of the advanced stuff.

You should actually keep that heater. Fancy goldfish like a steady temp of about 75F (I only have to run my heater in the winter). The common goldfish are more hardy with temp variations, but I do not recommend them for an aquarium. Common goldfish really do best in ponds or 100+ gal tanks. With the filter you have you could have about 4 fancy goldfish. Fish Profiles: Overview of Goldfish Types <-- This is a good pictorial guide to goldfish breeds. I would stick away from anything without a dorsal. My favorite is the ryukin ^-^. Fantails are pretty but their long flowing fins can become a problem.

Now for your questions:
1+2) Sand is a great substrate for goldfish. The substrate needs to be either something small enough that it will pass through the GI tract unimpeded or is too large to fit in their mouths. I've never dealt with sand for substrate; I prefer large river rocks. Goldfish can also be kept in bare-bottomed tanks. Many people also do that. But I would not use regular aquarium gravel.

3) Yes. Goldfish love to snack on live plants, but I have found a few species that either outgrow their trimmings or they don't like. I have anarcharis, hornwort, and water sprite in my tank. They like the water sprite the most. Goldfish are also big waste producers and all of the plants in mine are nutrient sinks (great way to keep the nitrates down). A good way to keep them from eating your plants is to provide them with fresh veggies daily; in fact I highly recommend it. Goldfish can't survive and thrive on commercial feed alone. One way many have found to get around goldfish uprooting plants is to plant them in little pots. I haven't had an uprooting problem. Goldfish are rather varied. Some people have a real problem with issues like nibbling and uprooting; others don't.

4) Goldfish and snails... I have a troubling history with this. My goldfish have eaten almost every snail that can fit into their mouths. If you get one large enough not to be eaten, it will probably survive. Again; it's mostly a case-by-case basis.

5) I can't really answer to this. It depends on what you want. Do you want to watch them grow? Do you want to insure that you have a great specimen? Goldfish will easily live for 10+ years under the right conditions, so it is not an issue of the amount of time you will have with them.

6) Things to avoid: Putting the eye-deformed goldfish like bubble eyes, celestials, and moors together with non-eye deformed breeds like ryukins and fantails. Exercise caution when putting commons and fancies together. Be careful of sharp decorations with most of the fancies. I had a fantail who ripped his beautiful fins on my tank decorations. Another thing to avoid is low-quality commercial foods; these can cause gastro-intestinal bloat which can cause swim bladder disease (sometimes called floaty goldfish).

I hope I was of some help! Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.

turtle10 11-20-2011 01:45 PM

Okay so I will keep the heater then and just set it to 75. I definitely want to watch them grow, but it seems like rain garden's fish are a bit bigger so it doesn't matter too much. I will also stick with no snails. I am going to try plants but if they don't work out I have a ton of fake ones. For my bettas I feed New Life Spectrum, so if they have a goldfish food I was going to get them that brand as they have high quality ingredients.

So, I can't get a black moor and a fantail? It would have to be one or the other?

thekoimaiden 11-20-2011 04:18 PM

New Life Spectrum has a goldfish food that is one of the best commercial foods in the industry. NLS is a great food, but it needs to supplemented with fresh veggies. I feed it to my goldfish along with Mazuri gel food and fresh veggies. Snails also make a great supplement when the fish feel like it. You could try them and see if the fish bother them too much. Some do, some don't.

A moor and a fantail could be fine together. Moors aren't as seeing-impaired as some of the really fancy ones like celestial eyes and bubble eyes (those two breeds should NEVER be kept with anything but each other). In some cases they can be kept together. If you watch the two and make sure both are getting equal shares in food, then you will be fine. If you get an aggressive fantail, then you will have some trouble. My goldfish are very quick at feeding time, so I could never have a moor. It might be different in your case.

Goldfish are funny. Keeping them is a fish-by-fish basis. Some will uproot plants; some won't. Some will nibble plants to the stems; some won't. Some will eat snails; some won't. Some will have swim bladder problems; others won't even on the same diet. You have to try and figure out what works for you and your fish. I wish you the best of luck!

turtle10 11-20-2011 04:56 PM

Great, then I think I have mostly everything figured out, although I'll probably be back lol. I'll get NLS, maybe some mazuri gel, and definitely veggies. Is it okay if I mix frozen and fresh veggies to save a bit of money?

thekoimaiden 11-20-2011 05:02 PM

Actually, some veggies like zucchini are digested better when frozen. One suggestion someone gave me about fresh spinach is to grind it up and freeze it in little cubes. Frozen bloodworms also work well, too.

Your goldies will be younger than mine so they will need a diet slightly higher in protein to promote good growth. After about a year or two you can lessen the amount of protein in their diets.

Thegab.org has a good goldfish forum. They have many threads containing recipes for gel food (homemade and Mazuri). That website is my go-to for goldfish questions.

turtle10 11-20-2011 05:02 PM

What does everyone think about ordering fish online? I have done it with shrimp and bettas, but do goldfish do as well? I have been looking at liveaquaria, does anyone have any experience with them? Goldfish or not?

turtle10 11-20-2011 05:04 PM

I will definitely check that site out and do a high protein diet for younger goldies.

thekoimaiden 11-20-2011 09:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by turtle10 (Post 898526)
What does everyone think about ordering fish online? I have done it with shrimp and bettas, but do goldfish do as well? I have been looking at liveaquaria, does anyone have any experience with them? Goldfish or not?

I don't know about ordering goldfish online. For fish where every one can be slightly different (koi, bettas, guppies) I would rather see the fish in person (or a picture) before I buy it, so I will probably never buy a goldfish online. My guess is that goldfish wouldn't do as well as bettas because bettas can take atmospheric oxygen and goldfish can't. But I have ordered plants from liveaquaria with good results. Sent me a lot of hornwort and the water sprite is already growing like a weed :)


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