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People use the "it's just a fish" argument to justify keeping bettas in 1/2 gal unheated aquariums. If it applies to bettas; it applies to goldfish. Both are fish.

Bomba is very right. A 5 gal is too small for a goldfish of any size. Due to the nature of their digestive systems they produce a ton more ammonia than other fish of the same size. Not to mention that goldfish commonly grow 6+ inches. Black moores and fantails tend to get larger than some of the other breeds and can top 10 inches. My fantail is pushing 10 inches. Right now a 10 gal is a minimum, but the tank will need daily water changes. Those two fish will ultimately need a cycled 40+ gallon tank and possibly live 10-15 years.

Honestly, most people aren't prepared for a commitment like this. If you aren't prepared to give them this kind of care, you should return them to the store. We're not picking on you; it's just a fact. It's kinda like buying a bed and then realizing that it is just too big for your room; there is no harm in returning it, but it should be done for your comfort.

Happiness isn't something that fish feel, but they do feel stress. And the stress from the ammonia buildup in a tank of that size is going to cause disease. I've seen this before with other people who kept goldfish in a 5 gal tank.
 
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