Hi all. I was tempted to search out another forum to ask about this but you guys have always been so wonderfully helpful, so I figured I'd pick your brains first. :)
Over the summer I'm going to be caring for four comet goldfish who are in less-than-ideal living conditions. They're pets of a teacher at my school, who was given them by another teacher when he retired; their current owner can't take care of them over the summer and asked me if I'd help out, since she knows I have experience with fishkeeping. (We're a small school.)
The fish are (I think) about three years old (they're all about the length of my hand), and there are four of them being kept in a 10-gallon (ish?) tank. This is the biggest problem-- there's nothing I can do to change the tank size, so I need to know what I can do to make them as comfortable as I can during their two-month stay with me. Their tank also comes with an acceptable heater, filter and thermometer, and I believe it is cycled.
As far as I can tell, the fish are all in very good health. However, it's been awhile since I've cared for goldfish, and it would be great if I could get a general overview of how I should be taking care of them. Some questions:
- what temperature should their water be kept at?
- how much food should they be fed per day, keeping in mind that there are four of them? I believe the food I'll be getting with them is flakes-- are there any other foods I could introduce into their diet?
- assuming the tank IS cycled as I think it is, how often and what percentage of their water should I be changing per week? (Again, keeping in mind that there are four of them and the tank is overstocked.)
- I use Prime water conditioner for my betta tanks-- will this work for the goldfish as well?
Any other tips you can think of would be greatly appreciated. Ideally I'd just like to keep these fish healthy and comfortable over the summer. (When they're returned to school in the fall they'll have a more attentive caregiver and will be kept in the Special Ed room, which I'm pretty happy about.)