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Old 12-27-2011, 01:09 PM   #1 
Badjer
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Exclamation Please don't eat me. (Goldfish rescues)

So before I even get started, please note that I am 100% aware that a goldfish needs a large tank. My hands are tied, I have no where for these fish to go, and I cannot purchase a larger tank since I just upgraded my bettas. I tried rehoming them, but everyone I know who keeps fish can't take them.

The other day, my brother's friend (he's 9) came here with two plastic sandwich baggies. Each contained disgusting, yellow water and a sickly looking goldfish. He also brought us two goldfish bowls. Yep, I said it: goldfish bowls. He explained to me that his mom was sick of the fish and had tried to flush them down the toilet alive. He knew that I kept fish, so he brought them to me. Apparently, I now take rescues. Anyways, one of the fish was smaller, and a white color. He said that this one had been orange, but turned white. The other was larger and had a long tail that split into two lobes. Without really thinking about it, I accepted the fish.

So now I have two goldfish, living in bowls with no way to give them more room, short of tossing them into our goldfish pond. If it were spring or summer or even fall, that would work out fine. But it's winter and the pond is ice cold and I would imagine that putting them in there would kill them. They aren't comets or fantails, but I honestly have no idea what they are. The smaller white one is in a one gallon bowl in my little brother's room, and the larger one is in a two gallon bowl in my room. I've been feeding them the pellets we feed our pond fish, and cleaning waste out of the bowls once a day. The larger one seems very healthy and active...just in a very small space. I don't feel that I've rescued them very well, but I guess clean water and food is better than being flushed.

So some questions...
Why did the little one turn white?
Will they stunt before I can get them in the pond (that would be about March/April depending on our unreliable weather)?
Why do people think keeping fish in tiny bowls is ok? Why do I always take on more than I can chew?!
Help would be appreciated. I feel so bad for these poor fish.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:15 AM   #2 
SeaHorse
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Do you think you could find a 2'ish x 3'ish space and put them both together into a larger Rubbermaid tub? A big rectangular deep tub so they can swim around. They dont have a heater in a bowl anyway so why not. They go on sale for as little as $7 sometimes. Watch your store flyers and go take a look at sizes and prices to see if it's an option and then ask the store when the next sale might be.
Bad water conditions, lack of room to swim... causes stress which could easily cause the colour changes. Do what you can till spring, I'm sure they will love to be in that pond with the others.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:04 PM   #3 
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You are a wonderful person for taking them in. I agree with Jakiebabie. One of those huge plastic tubs from walmart would be a great temp home for them. You are going to want to keep them in a lower temp (under 60F) to slow their metabolism. But be sure to lower the temp gradually, like over a week. If you feed them you shouldn't feed them anything high in protein. At those temps they should be eating high carb, low protein food. Cheeroes are a great treat.

The color changes are probably due to the stress. Put them in a larger space with clean water, and they will color up nicely. Unfortunately they might already be stunted. We have no clue how old they are, so for all we know they are already stunted. We will just have to wait and see.

Now for the tub habitat: you will need a filter, but I have a very cheap alternative. DIY bubble filter. All you will need to buy is an air pump. It will move water, get some surface movement, and have filter media for bacteria. If you have any floating plants like duckweed or hornwort (both are non-light demanding) they would be excellent to add. Extra moss balls are also great to add. Goldfish like greens in their diets and moss balls make excellent snacks.

Sometimes I wish petstores would stop selling goldfish all together. I have 2 in a 55 gal and love those little piggies to death (one is in my sig), but I wouldn't mind having the find a breeder if it meant millions of other goldfish wouldn't have to suffer in bowls and tiny tanks. If the aquarium industry had any heart at all, they would stop putting goldfish on the boxes of those tiny tanks.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:40 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekoimaiden View Post
You are a wonderful person for taking them in. I agree with Jakiebabie. One of those huge plastic tubs from walmart would be a great temp home for them. You are going to want to keep them in a lower temp (under 60F) to slow their metabolism. But be sure to lower the temp gradually, like over a week. If you feed them you shouldn't feed them anything high in protein. At those temps they should be eating high carb, low protein food. Cheeroes are a great treat.

The color changes are probably due to the stress. Put them in a larger space with clean water, and they will color up nicely. Unfortunately they might already be stunted. We have no clue how old they are, so for all we know they are already stunted. We will just have to wait and see.

Now for the tub habitat: you will need a filter, but I have a very cheap alternative. DIY bubble filter. All you will need to buy is an air pump. It will move water, get some surface movement, and have filter media for bacteria. If you have any floating plants like duckweed or hornwort (both are non-light demanding) they would be excellent to add. Extra moss balls are also great to add. Goldfish like greens in their diets and moss balls make excellent snacks.

Sometimes I wish petstores would stop selling goldfish all together. I have 2 in a 55 gal and love those little piggies to death (one is in my sig), but I wouldn't mind having the find a breeder if it meant millions of other goldfish wouldn't have to suffer in bowls and tiny tanks. If the aquarium industry had any heart at all, they would stop putting goldfish on the boxes of those tiny tanks.
+One to all of above.
Even the popular Aquarist magazines, still picture goldfish,Betta's, in Bowls and small container's not suitable for long term health of fishes without considerable effort.
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:28 PM   #5 
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Thank you all so much for reassuring me! I thought for sure my mom would turn me down on moving them to a large tub, but she actually said yes. So they're no together in my storage room in a ten gallon tub. I didn't really want to spend any money, so I just took the two old mini bow Aqueon filters I no longer use in my 2.5 gal tanks and duct taped them to either side of the container. Seems pretty effective so far! I covered the top with some plastic wrap with holes poked in it, as one of the fish is a proven jumper!

Pretty sure the food I've been feeding is high in protein...any recommendations for pellets (preferred over flakes) that I can use as a staple food?
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:27 AM   #6 
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Glad you got them into a better home. They really will appreciate it. Even 10 gal tub is a big step up from what they had. You're putting more effort into this than most people who get goldfish.

For food, you're going to laugh, but if you have any Cheeroes those would be a great short-term food (even stale ones). New Life Spectrum is a good staple food (a little costly, I know). I've heard good things about Hikari's goldfish foods, too, but I think those are mostly high in protein. I know Hikari makes a winter feed (wheat-germ) for koi ponds. That is what you would want to feed them, but I understand if you can't find it. You could try offering them some greens like lettuce or spinach.

Actually if the water temp is below 50F, you don't need to feed them at all. Below that temp koi and goldfish metabolism slows so much that they really only need algae and greens to survive (and very little at that). If you could put some basic plants in their tank (because I don't think there would be an algae yet) you could be set for the winter. You'll still need to do at least weekly water changes, tho.
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:23 AM   #7 
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The water isn't below 50...I haven't stuck a thermometer in there yet, but I'd imagine it's high 60's low 70's with our heated basement. I'll have to try the cheerios and greens...those we have around. Could that plus maybe just a few of the goldfish pellets a week make a stable diet? I'm in debt with my mom due to fish already, so I'd like to avoid purchasing more food. Also, since the Hikari winter food is wheat-germ based, could they have just plain wheat-germ as food? We have a lot of that, mom likes to sneak it into all our food!

I see you have some koi...very jealous! I wish our pond was large enough for koi, but it's just a small landscape pond in our front yard. Someday I'm definitely going to have a large pond though. Koi remind me of puppies...not sure why!
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:47 PM   #8 
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At those temps, doing a mix of wheat-germ, greens, cheeroes, and goldfish pellets sounds like a good idea. If you have a lettuce clip, you could even throw in an orange slice every once in a while, but I only like to do it right before a water change because it has a tendency to make the water a little messy. Variety in goldfish diet is key to good health. Once they get healthy and strong, they don't need to be fed every day. It will help cut down on the waste.

I love koi, too. Their little barbels are sooo cute! They are a joy to have. They beg for food like little puppies. I'd love to have a larger pond, too. Mine is only about 4000 gal, so I can't keep too many koi it. With my next pond I'm going to shoot for 10,000+ gallons.
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:12 PM   #9 
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I agree with all posts above. Those large plastic tubs are good for a situation like this. You can get 30+ gallons for under 10$. They probably will be stunted somewhat if you keep them in the bowls, but I think if you changed their water every single day and only fed them like 1ce or 2ce a week to surpress ammonia levels, then they could make it. Now, if you did the tub thing, you would only have to do like 2 water changes a week, and they could eat more.

Good luck!
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:48 PM   #10 
Badjer
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Yeah they're in a10 gallon tub now and have been trying out new foods. They're both quite shy, but last night I sat and watched them for awhile. They both act...odd. They lie on the bottom of the bin, on their sides and look dead...but they aren't. Oftentimes they'll lie on top of each other, like their cuddling. They also seems to be nibbling on each other, but neither seems to have parasites. I'll try and get some pictures and maybe a video up, I can't really explain it but it worries me.
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