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Old 05-23-2011, 08:17 AM   #1 
tokala
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Just wondering about goldfish....

Alright, so I have been lurking on a couple threads about goldfish lately and I can't stand the curiosity any more! My best friend won 4 goldfish at a carnival 19 years ago (ah we were so little!) and she STILL has them! Bubbles, Truffles, Petunia and Prissy are their names hehe (thats what you get when an 8 year old names fish). The head scratcher is, they all live in a 5 gallon kritter keeper.... and have their whole lives!

So, there are so many misconceptions about bettas, and it seems to be the same for gold fish? How much space do they really need, and how old can they live? Also, are goldfish labyrinth fish also? I have seen my local pet store keeping one in a bowl, probably about a gallon, with no filter.

Please don't attack me, I have absolutely zero intention of getting goldfish. I have just been so curious, and I figured you all would know the answers!
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:57 AM   #2 
Wyvern
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Im a goldfish keeper, I dont honestly know the exact amount of space they need, but its not a good idea to keep them in small bowls or tanks without filters. I started mine off in a 2 gallon tank with just an airstone! They looked fine but because the tank was so small it was a nightmare to keep it clean. I hate to admit it but goldies are piggies. They really make a huge mess!

After a while my brother took pity on me and loaned me the money for the Jebo 310 (about 27l is what I was told), the same one my betta's are now living in. And they immediately just started growing and becoming more active since they where in a tank that had a proper filter and had been cycled as well. Our summers become very hot and Ive had to cool the tank off a few times with iceblocks floated in plastic baggies.

Now my 4 goldies live in a 38l tank and Im seriously considering getting them 2 more tank mates - 2 black moors. Since I do weekly water changes of 50% and with that water change I do half the tank gravel vac - I alternate so as to not give the goldies a shock. Since the one and only time I did a complete gravel vac I gave them nitrite poisoning.

They are hardy fish, but you need loads of time to care for them. I find my betta's are easier to look after than the goldies. Also something most people dont take into consideration - goldfish flakes are evil! I was using that to feed the goldies, they also had some floating plants in the tank to munch on. The flakes made my water murky, they just in general became a pain to clean. So I managed to find goldfish granules that float, which my fish love more than the flakes!

This is the tank they started out in:


This is their current home:
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:42 AM   #3 
russalka
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Goldfish need a minimum of 10 gallons per fish. They make a lot of waste but can live a very long time if cared for properly. Here's a link to a good care sheet. http://thegab.org/Goldfish/goldfish-basics.html I have five goldfish in a 75 gallon tank and there is a picture of the tank in my photo albumn. I have 1 common, 1 sarasa comet, 1 gold comet, and 2 shibunkins. They are very easy to take care of once the tank was cycled. They do munch on the plants.

Last edited by russalka; 05-23-2011 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:56 AM   #4 
RiverStoneBetta
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Goldfish are messy and relatively unhygenic, and I fully agree with the 10 gallon per fish rule.

However I will say that if ever there was a fish to break every rule we throw at it, it's the goldfish. I can think of 3 examples in my tank alone. They say you aren't supposed to put in slender bodied goldfish with fancy-bodied goldfish, since the former well often beat the latter to food sources. My fantail, Xerxes, is undisputed god of the tank and can outswim my two rescue comets, Apollo and Caligula. They were never supposed to be very big, since they are in a 15 gallon high tank (I'm upgrading within a month), but Caligula and Apollo are at 4 inches (I measue from mouth to fork of the caudal fin) and Xerxes is at 3.5 inches, with a healthily fat body. And as messy as goldfish are, my goldfish tank is the closest out of all my tanks to be completely zeroed out. Nitrates build up within a day, so water changes are frequent. But ammonia and nitrites stay at 0, surprisingly.
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:15 AM   #5 
Luimeril
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the general rule is, 20 gallons for one goldfish, 10 extra gallons per extra goldfish. so, for two goldfish, you'd need about a 30 gallon tank. for five, you'd need a 60 gallon. common goldfish, need bigger spaces. the need, if i'm not mistaking, 10 times the filtration, as they have tank size(i could be VERY mistaken on that, though). i won a common goldfish at a fair, and he was just a few inches long. 11 or so years later, he done ate all his tankmates except a pleco, and they lived happily in our 29 gallon tank. he died, though, and was almost 2 feet long. if my dad hadn't dumped random pond and lake fish into the tank randomly, he may still be with me today. they live over 20 years. :d and, i'm turning 24 this year.
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:39 AM   #6 
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Wyvern: Your tank is massively overstocked as it is. Although they don't grow as large as the commons, fancy goldfish can grow to the size of a softball once fully mature. You should be looking to upgrade to a tank of around 40-50 gallons if not more, as goldfish produce a stunting hormone that can adversely affect their health and life expectancy if not diluted by frequent water changes and a large water volume.

I own three Shubunkins, one of which has been severely stunted due to prior bad care. He is only half as big as he should be for his age, but even that is larger than most other domestic fish species grow. At the moment they live in a 50 gallon tank that has two filters turning over 1000 litres an hour. They are fed a high-protein diet of frozen foods and good quality pellet/flake, and I use elodea and wisteria to consume excess nitrates in between water changes. Since we can't build a pond for them, they are going to be upgraded to a six foot (think it is around 100 gallons) tank sometime next year.

Goldfish are a big commitment. They can live anywhere upwards of 20 years, and can measure up to 12 inches in length. Unfortunately, their hardiness only serves to exacerbate the ignorance regarding their care, and for some reason, the whole 'goldfish in a bowl' is still flogged by workers at pet and fish stores.

They are really no different from bettas in that regard. A goldfish in a bowl is on the same level of cruelty as a betta in a jar.
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:56 AM   #7 
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I don't like goldfishes because they seem kinda fat, I would get paranoid thinking I would be overfeeding them xD!

My cousin had a tank with some of them, I remember one was kinda retarded, it used to open his mouth slowly and let it open while swimming towards us to like, wanting to eat us or something for over 1 minute xD!!!
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:28 AM   #8 
Wyvern
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@Littlebettafish - That is why im seriously considering selling them or donating them to someone who can take better care of them. When I got them I was told the small tank is fine, plus that they are easy to care for. Ive upped my water changes to 2 50% changes a week. I have to admit tho they are thriving. Only reason I havent found them new homes is that my mum is in love with them.

I havent had any serious issues with them except the one ammonia/nitrite spike. Which I found was due to the flakes. But yea Im sad that I only got limited info when I got them (My internet connection was down for 2 months so I couldnt do proper research). As much as I love my goldies, they are not what I really want so I will find them good homes.
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:51 AM   #9 
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The only thing I hate about mine is their tank gets so cold this time of year. It's like ten degrees celcius and I have to stick my arm up to my elbow when I'm cleaning their tank. By the time I pull it out, it's numb. Give me a tropical tank any day.

It's good you are doing plenty of water changes and keeping an eye on parameters. My big Shubunkin lived in a 15 gallon with four other goldfish and a crappy undergravel filter for five or so years so don't feel too bad. Space-wise, they are just not a very practical fish. Mine got chucked down in our rumpus because we just didn't have anywhere else for their tank to fit.
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:10 AM   #10 
Wyvern
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Yea Im lucky we have mild winters - their tank is at a steady 21degrees. And they are very active and friendly - always wants some attention - the 2 oranda's tend to come sit in hand when I do a gravel vac! My biggest issue was during our summer we had a heatwave of over 40 degrees for 2 weeks - try cooling a tank then! I used to have sand as a substrate but changed to the gravel since its easier to keep clean for them. The one thing Im happy with is this Jebo's filter system. Its got the ceramics and filter sponge. And I got one that helps reduce ammonia now and it surprised me with how well it works!
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