Emergency goldfish rescue! Help?? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Emergency goldfish rescue! Help??

A coworker told me today her sister's goldfish needs a new home or she is going to flush it alive! She asked me because she knew I had fish and I would help. Of course o said I would take it. It's coming to me in a small (dunno how small) filtered tank with its food I think? I haven't had goldfish since I was a kid and I dunno how to take care of them. What do I need? I'll make a shopping list. Help??

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 08:52 PM
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Well I'm going to assume it's a regular Comet goldfish in which I believe one needs 20 gallons or more. They are huuuuuuge waste producers and most people aren't aware of that.

So it depends on the tank you're getting which will probably be a 10 gallon I'm going to assume.

But other than tank size there's really no special requirements, they'll eat flake foods or pellets and they need temperature around 68-70 degree's if I remember correctly.

And then just your regular weekly water change, Prime would be the best to use

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 09:56 PM
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Actually, comets need way more than 20 gallons. They need at least a 55 gal. Here's a picture of our (stunted comet) in a 23 gallon. As you can see, there is no way that tank is big enough. He is now in a pond, which, IMHO, is where comets really belong. Depending how long she's been keeping this poor critter in these conditions, it's growth is probably permanently stunted, but he will likely still grow a fair amount.

Lilnaugrim is right on how incredibly messy these fish are - a goldfish is a very big commitment. They are also social fish, and prefer groups of three, meaning more filtration, bigger tanks, and more water changes.

This is not to discourage you from rescuing the fish - nothing deserves flushing just because the owner can't be bothered anymore - but be warned that you may have to rehome it to someone with a pond.

If you do plan to keep it, here is a short-term shopping list:
- a filter rated for at least 100 gallons
- a 55 gallon tank (you will probably have to go 75 gallons in the long term so that he can have a buddy)
- good quality goldfish food - try Hikari
- some silk plants (goldfish enjoy interaction)
- Prime
Another goldfish of the same type. It's inadvisable to mix fancies and commons.

I don't suppose there's any chance you are in Australia? I'd be able to help out, if so. I know you probably aren't.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Oh goodness, I know I can't afford a 55 gallon tank... Even a 50 gallon is pushing $300, and I work at a coffee shop. I don't have a spare $300 right now. The largest I own at the moment is a 5.5 gallon with my plakat in it (though he could be put in a smaller tank if need be). A 5.5 gallon sounds like it wouldn't cut it for a goldfish, though. I'd assume it probably is a comet goldfish, but I haven't seen the fish yet. My coworker will be bringing it and its tank to work in the next day or two and I will take it home from there.

I think she has had the goldfish for a while... at least a year, I think. So yes, it probably is permanently stunted. From what she's told me, it already looks too big for its tank, but she didn't feel like buying a bigger tank and she was ascribing to the "Keep it in a small tank and it will stay small and be happy" myth. I feel a bit lost... I know I can't give this goldfish the life it deserves, but I can't stand the thought of this innocent fish being flushed down the toilet alive.

I'm not in Australia, I'm in the US... specifically Ohio. I know it's doubtful, but do you think there's any chance of there being a fish sanctuary of some kind I could give it to? Maybe with a pond where it could live happily? I want to help this fish... :(

ETA: I actually just remembered the 20 gallon I have sitting in the garage. It's in dire need of cleaning and I'd have to get all new filter and decor for it, but it's a solid 20 gallon glass tank with a working hood. Goldfish don't need heaters, right? My house stays around an ambient temp of 75. It's not a permanent solution, but maybe the fish could live there for a little while? Assuming I find somewhere to put the tank, of course... I'm running out of space. >.<

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 11:14 PM
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It's a great temporary measure. :) Definitely better than a small tank for him. You will have to do very frequent water changes for him, but it will be a huge step up and give you some time to find a good permanent home for him/her.

I doubt that there's a sanctuary, but many places, such as universities and museums, have large ponds. Also post an ad on craigslist - many people will have ponds and may be able to take on another goldie. :)

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 11:26 PM
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What about a 55 gallon rubbermaid tub? I think they go for about $20. Maybe you can turn one into a miniature pond, throw some plants in it, and keep him/her in there on your patio or in your backyard or something? That is more long term, of course, if you end up deciding to keep him. If you're planning to rehome him/her, a 20 gallon will suffice.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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Ohh, I had never thought of that, but the university I went to has a large pond! I could certainly give them a call and see if they'd be interested in taking the fish. I'm honestly not sure if there are fish in their pond, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were. Also, I know of an arboretum that has a koi pond... but I would assume the goldfish would not do well with koi? Also, the arboretum is a good couple hours from me... could the fish survive a car trip of over 2 hours?

I think for now I'll focus on getting the 20 gallon cleaned up. Will it matter if it's cycled or not? I certainly won't have time to get a cycle completed before the fish arrives. Although I could speed things up by using some filter media from my cycled 5.5 gallon.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenghuang View Post
What about a 55 gallon rubbermaid tub? I think they go for about $20. Maybe you can turn one into a miniature pond, throw some plants in it, and keep him/her in there on your patio or in your backyard or something? That is more long term, of course, if you end up deciding to keep him. If you're planning to rehome him/her, a 20 gallon will suffice.
Wow, that's an idea I hadn't considered. I don't know how my parents would feel about a tub in the backyard (still living with them for the moment), but it is certainly a solution to consider. I do think I'll end up re-homing the goldfish, though. I don't have anything against goldfish, but I also never had any plans to have any. I just can't stand the idea of a fish being flushed when it is still alive and healthy. It doesn't deserve that... :(

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-31-2013, 11:38 PM
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It is better if it's cycled, of course, but this is one of those situations where you can't really do anything about that. Cycled media will definitely help. :)

PM TheKoiMaiden about goldfish and koi - she knows heaps about both and will be able to help you out. :)

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 01:01 AM
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You might look on Craig's List. I almost bought a fully-equipped 10 gallon with stand for $20 (was going to divide). Even if 10 is a bit small it's probably better that what he's in and if you rehome him to a pond you have a ready-to-divide Betta tank.

Good luck; it's a kind thing you are doing.

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