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FAQs About Goldfish Systems: Maintenance/Operation

Related Articles: Goldfish Systems, Goldfish 101: Goldfish May Be Popular, And They May Be Cheap, But That Doesn't Make Them Easy Aquarium Fish by Neale Monks, Goldfish Disease, Goldfish Nutrition, GoldfishGoldfish VarietiesGoldfish Mal-Nutrition,

Related FAQs:  Goldfish Systems 1, Goldfish Systems 2, Goldfish Systems 3, Goldfish Systems 4, Goldfish Systems 5, Goldfish Systems 6, Goldfish Systems 7, Goldfish Systems 8, Goldfish Systems 9, & FAQs on Goldfish System: Tanks (Size, Shape...), Lighting/Tops, Decor, Gravel, Plantings, Heating/Temperature, Aeration/Circulation, Filtration, Water Quality (Algae, Smell, Cloudiness... Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrogen Cycling), Trouble/Fixing, & Goldfish 1, Goldfish Behavior, Goldfish Compatibility, Goldfish Feeding, Goldfish DiseaseGoldfish Breeding/Reproduction

Given appropriate habitat, some care in feeding, regular maintenance (mainly just water changes, gravel vacuuming) Goldfish can live for twenty years or more. With less care... less life.

How often is too often: cleaning; GF       1/1/15
<Hey Kath>
I have a 55 gallon tank with four comet goldfish, ranging from 4.5" to 5.5", and a filter rated for "up to 70 gallons." (I know it's small, but it's temporary.) We keep the tank at a consistent 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
The tank has been set up for over two months now (the fish had been in our outdoor pond over the summer, and we brought them inside for winter, originally filling the tank with 100% pond water so as not to shock them),
and the fish appear to be quite happy and healthy, though incredibly overfed. I am not in charge of feeding the fish, and I have tried to explain to the person in charge of feeding them that they only need a little bit of food a day, but to no avail.
<Hide the food/s>
I am religious about doing a 20% water change every Monday, and I make sure the carbon filter is replaced once a month.
Recently I purchased several tester kits, including ammonia, and tested the water in the tank. For the most part, the readings were around where they should be (nitrites were a tad high), but the ammonia was reading at about a 4.0.
<Yikes... I'd really hide the food... and add another (not so redundant) filter>

Again, the fish do not appear stressed, but seeing that number stressed me out! So my question is, would performing a 20%
water change two, or even three, times a week be too much?
<It is not; and far better than being burned by ammonia poisoning>
Would that stress the fish, or possibly starve the good bacteria in the filter?
<It will/does not. I have the same routine... for fancy goldfish (same species as comets), for decades>
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

fancy goldfish, Algicide use 3/4/11
<p>Hello, I obtain Fancy Goldfish and am wondering if utilizing Jungles No More Algae Tank Buddies is/are compatible with my Fancy &amp; Black Moors Goldfish. I would like to see if so, so that I can rid my tank of algae but I do not wish to hurt my fish- I enjoy them very much.<br><br><br></p>
<p>Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android</p>
<Is too toxic... see WWM... the search tool... re chemical Algicides for freshwater use period. Bob Fenner>

White Slimy haze in aquarium.... GF sys.  06/10/10
Dear Sir/Madam,
I am hopeful that you will be able to help me with a problem I currently have with my aquarium.
<Will try my best!>
It has been established since new year and has only ever had 2 fish in it, a small fantail moor and a small Lionhead.
<How big is this aquarium? There is, as you hopefully realise, no such thing as "small" Goldfish. Only juveniles. Two Goldfish will need an aquarium around 30 gallons in size. Anything smaller, and you'll have problems.>
I have had the water tested numerous times by the LFS and they have said that it is spot on. (Only in the beginning did it have slightly low ph, but this was only by .5).
<But what was the number? And what's the hardness. Remember, pH isn't as important as hardness. Goldfish need moderately hard to hard water with a basic pH; you're aiming for 10-25 degrees dH, pH 7 to 8.>
For the past two weeks I have had a mysterious white slimy film growing on the inside of my tank and it is quite disgusting.
<If the slime is attached to solid objects, it's either fungus or bacteria or both.>
I have trouble holding on to the filter to clean it it is soo nasty!
<Means the tank is too small, the fish are too big, and you're overfeeding.>
Anyway, it starts off on the sides of the tank, I clean it off with a magnet cleaner, but in 24hrs it is back.
The water is turning hazy and one of my fish (the black moor) looks like he is getting the same white film on him.
<Extra mucous production; a sign water quality is dire.>
I have tried several water changes and even cleaned everything in the tank but to no avail, it quickly comes back.
<Cleaning isn't the issue. Aquarium size, filtration, and feeding are all relevant here.>
The filter sponge is not new and neither has it recently been replaced although I have been rinsing it to keep it clean in the aquarium water that has been removed during the water changes. I have been using a dechlorinator during the water changes and a Bactolife treatment to encourage the good bacteria.
Although I have looked through your website, I could not find anything that sounded similar, and I haven't got a clue as to how to sort it out as I am new to fishkeeping.
<If the aquarium is smaller than 30 gallons, or your filter is rated at less than 4 times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour (e.g., for 30 gallons, 120 gallons/hour) then both those things need to be fixed.
Air-powered sponge filters WILL NOT be sufficient for Goldfish; you need something with an electric pump. Feeding should be moderate, a small pinch once or twice per day, and all uneaten food removed within two minutes.>
I would be very grateful if you could take the time to advise me on this as I really do not want to lose my fish.
Thank you so much,
J Cooper
<Cheers, Neale.>

Strange rise in nitrites, FW, goldfish ongoing...   7/11/07 Hi Bob/whoever's got this! <Just me, Neale.> Just a couple of quick questions today, if you please - I've been treating my fantail (Horatio) on Neale's advice using Interpet Aquarium Treatment No. 8 (Anti Fungus and Finrot, active ingredient Phenoxyethanol). I started the treatment three days ago and I'm delighted to say that it's made all the difference; kindly thank Neale very much for his advice as my fish is no longer ill and is perky and happy as he used to be! <Very good.> I have been regularly testing his water parameters and they have consistently been pH 7.5 (approx), ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate <5mg/l. However, this evening I tested his water and the nitrites, while not actually showing dangerous amounts per se, have risen so as to be detectable (though still less than 0.1mg/l). Naturally I am concerned and loathe to take immediate action as I don't want to remove the medication from the tank (there are four days of the seven left to go before I can change the water). My questions are as follows; <Odd. Most modern medications have no effect on the filter bacteria. I'd tend not to worry too much, but test for the next couple of days to see if this is a blip or a developing problem.> 1) What could be the cause of this peculiar rise in nitrites? Since I've been testing Horatio's water (going on two months now) the results have been steady. I've never had any ammonia or nitrites present, and nitrates have rarely risen above 5mg/l. The only recent difference is that I've started using dechlorinator (Interpet Fresh Start), and there is a question saved on WWM that states that this product can increase levels of nitrite - could this be relevant? Horatio is (as you may remember, Bob, having spoken to my girlfriend Sarah previously about this fish) living in a far-too-small tank (11 UK gallons) at the moment, so I have been carrying out extensive water changes - almost daily - to prevent build-up of unpleasant water elements until the new tank is cycled and ready for him. However, because on Saturday night I added this medication, I haven't changed the water for three days. Could this be the cause of the nitrite rise? <Most dechlorinators break down chloramine (which we want them to do) into ammonia and chlorine. But not all dechlorinators will "mop up" that ammonia. If your filter is too small, then that ammonia could be being processed into nitrite relatively slowly, giving you the nitrite reading you're observing. Either way, it's important to establish if your water supplier uses chloramine or not. If they do, get a dechlorinator that removes ammonia.> 2) What do I do about it? Should I keep watch on the situation and see if the nitrites remain at a vaguely "acceptable" level/diminish (is this level even safe?)? Or should I change some of the water to dilute the nitrites, as I would automatically do if not for the meds - and if I do, is it safe to proportionally add some more medicine or should I leave it and take the risk of Horatio not being properly medicated, leaving the possibility of having to treat him again within a short space of time (obviously not desirable)? <For now, your priority is to stick to the instructions for the medication, avoiding water changes. But once you've finished the course of medication, do the water changes and check the filter is working properly. It may need a bit of a clean to rinse off detritus. Follow the instructions that came with your filter, paying particular attention to keeping the bacteria on the sponges happy (i.e., don't rinse the sponges under the tap, but bathe them in a bucket of aquarium water). Doing water changes midway through a course of medication is a bad idea if you're told by the instructions otherwise. The problem is the medication decays over time, to "topping up" with an extra dose is likely to screw up the concentrations.> Okay, maybe that wasn't as quick as I'd hoped. Thank you once again for your patience and for your immensely helpful site and staff; you have been terrific to us over the last few months and I'm sure Horatio appreciates it! <Good luck!> Oliver <Cheers, Neale>

The Solution to Pollution is Dilution!  9/16/06 Dear Bob, <Not Bob, Pufferpunk here but I'm sure I can help.> Please help!  We are lucky enough to have an established Juwel Trigon 190 aquarium with 2 large black moors in there.  One has completely turned gold but I am not worried about this.  Basically, our water has been cloudy for months now and we can't seem to rectify the situation.  Through testing we have found out that ammonia levels are fine and nitrates and nitrites are at a safe level.  Our PH is very low however and so we have recently bought some "PH up" which we are adding every 24 hours to bring the PH up 0.2 at a time.   <Your pH is probably low from the acid produced by fish waste.> I don't know where to start with the goldfish - the "gold" black moor has a lot of trouble swimming and is often seen to be upside down.  She cannot balance at all and so we have put a see through "tunnel" in there at the moment which she goes in for a rest.  We've managed to fix her a couple of times by adding Aqualibrium salt to the aquarium and using swim bladder treatment.  Obviously we can't keep putting salt in the aquarium and so now I'm thinking of trying the peas idea I keep reading about as I'm not sure what else I can do for her!!  Any ideas? <Peeled frozen peas will help with the swim bladder problem, along with zucchini & algae wafers.  Goldfish are basically plant eaters.> The other black moor is having problems with her eyes.  We noticed a while ago that they seemed to be very cloudy like she was going blind.  We treated the water with Melafix and this seemed to clear up although it looked like she had a hole in her eye (which has also healed up now).  Anyway, her eyes are fine now but tonight we saw that she had a bit of blood in both of them and now we're really worried.  We've taken out the carbon sponge (in the filter) and added Melafix as I read on the internet it might be septicemia. I suspect most of the problems we have are down to water quality but we don't know what to do about it.   <Water changes.  Most serious goldfish keepers do 90% per week.> We've tried Accuclear and the only thing that helps is partial water changes.  I'm not sure if the partial water changes are ok to do however, as we changed the green "bacteria" sponge in there a few weeks back.   <You should be able to just rinse those out.> I am aware of bacterial blooms but we had this problem before we changed the sponge.  Actually, we left the other green sponge in there too long by accident but I don't know if that could have caused the cloudiness.  It's important to tell you that it is a white cloud and not a green cloud, we have vacuumed the gravel and have no algae build up in there.  We are at desperation point now and just want to help our fish!  Please, please, please can you offer any words of wisdom?   <I would test the water for ammonia, nitrites (should be 0 at all times) & nitrates (should be under 20) and water changes accordingly.> ps - if you don't reply personally to emails, where can I find the answer on the website?  Hopefully you will be able to help us. <You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...  ~PP> Thank you in advance. Yours sincerely, Lynsey Newton

Re: Goldfishes and grammar... More Goldfish Questions  12/4/06 Well, you answered the questions I had but opened up so many more! <They never end, because we're always learning.> I have the 14 GF, and they're each between 1 1/2" and 2" long.  Now, I know my power filter isn't big enough for the tank, it only has one filter but we have two bubblers.  Now, do those help the filtering process or should I still get a larger power filter with two instead of one? <Bubblers only help dissolve O2 into the water, for better respiration.  Fish like to play in the bubbles too.  They do nothing for filtration.  By not knowing the make/model of your filter, I can't tell you if it's sufficient or not.  On a tank that size, with that many growing fish, I'd recommend an Aquaclear filter.  You can stack them with whatever you wish, rather than most premade cartridges.  Utilizing a sponge filter (for mechanical filtration--can be rinsed weekly), filter floss (to "polish" the water crystal clear--replaced monthly) & BioMax (for biological filtration--rinsed every 3 months or so).  When the fish reach about 3", you can add a canister filter, like an Eheim.> Also, we have tried using a specific chemical that says put in 5 ml for every gallon once a week and you clean every 6 months.  We probably won't stick with it on account of the size of the tank, but does that stuff really work? <Total bunk/rip-off!  There is nothing that can replace water changes.  "The solution to pollution is dilution!"> And also, you replied with having to clean the tank once a week and replace 90% of the water and the filter but I've also seen if you clean 15% once a month it prevents the uber cleaning every couple of months.  And couldn't replacing 90% of the water at once cause shock? <"Uber cleaning" is a bad idea on all counts.  You will remove all traces of "good" bacteria that eats waste from your fish.  To understand better, read articles here: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/library.php?cat=4 There are also excellent articles in that library that will educate you on the benefits of mechanical, chemical & biological filtration here: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/library.php?cat=6 Most serious GF keepers do 90% weekly water changes (which only involves stirring the gravel to loosen waste & uneaten foods, draining & filling.  Easily done with a Python drain & fill system) to lower the high ammonia/nitrates/nitrates--the end result of such dirty fish.> Thanks so much. <You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes... ~PP> Ashley

Lil' Punkin Needs Help!  10/3/05 Hello, <Mornin'> I am having a very serious problem with my Orange Oranda, Lil' Punkin and I want to be sure I am doing everything I can. I had recently cleaned my 44 gal. <Cleaned? Not totally I hope/trust> tank and tested the water. PH, ammonia and nitrites tested good. About 2 weeks ago I noticed there was a small pointy spot on his side and then he lost a few scales a couple of days later. It then began looking like a skinned place where maybe he had gotten startled and scraped against a rock, <Maybe> just a little reddish looking like a skinned place. The next day it looked a little more reddish and more skinned. I put Stress Coat in the tank hoping to prevent any infections. The following day it became an open sore and then a day later it looked bigger (the size of a dime), deeper and more reddish. I also saw a couple of little white bumps on his forehead, his tailfins looked ragged and whitish on the edges and his eyes had gotten white stuff on them. I had introduced a new fish into the tank not thinking straight at the time so he didn't get quarantined like he should have but that was probably 6 months ago. <Should be fine then> I immediately started treatment of the tank with Ruby Reef Rally when this started happening for 4 days. I ran out of Rally and couldn't get it for a couple of days so I filtered and cleaned the tank while I waited for the Rally to arrive. I again started tank treatment with Rally, this time for 7 days but I didn't see any real difference. I was beginning to think the other Oranda might be eating this one little by little so I separated them. (I did these things based on advice from my local fish store which in the past have been wonderful in helping me with problems over the past 5 years or so. They are very knowledgeable but I just want your opinion as well for the sake of saving Lil' Punkin because I feel like there is something I still am not doing). I had begun to see whitish patches on both fish which looked like body fungus. Before I moved Lil' Punkin I saw whitish stringy stuff coming only from his wound so I thought it might be infection. That is when I moved him to the 20 gal. tank for hospitalization. I used water from the 44 gal. tank because I didn't want to start having an ammonia problem too, therefore it still had 7 days worth of Rally in it. <Stop with this product...> Immediately (within minutes literally) after I moved him the stringy stuff started coming off of him and seems to be gone now. I went back to the fish store and talked to them again and they said it sounded like he had a body fungus, fin rot and possible infection of his wound so they suggested getting a medicated food from PetSmart that they had used before. The medicated food PetSmart suggested is Jungle Anti-Bacterial Medicated Fish Food for Internal & External Bacterial Infections. It says on the back it aids in control of internal bacterial infections such as bacterial enteritis, septicemia, kidney disease and wasting. Also aids in many external infections such as open wounds, ulcers, columnaris and fin rot. It says I can still use external treatment so I thought I would start with Rally again. The food that wasn't eaten got rather messy so I cleaned the tank, did a water change and filtered it again. I evidently cleaned it too well <Yes, the root problem here> because when I tested the water again the ammonia and nitrite levels were really up but the PH was fine. I now have a solution for the tank getting so messy with this food and can continue treating the tank with Rally now. Lil' Punkin is still active and eats very well. He still comes to the glass to see me and when my hands are in the tank he comes to me like he wants to be petted or something. He seems like he is breathing a little hard but I suspect that might be due to the ammonia in the hospital tank so I put some Kordon Amquel Plus in the tank. Is what I am doing correct? I don't want to wait too late to start with the right treatment because I don't want him to die. The wound isn't getting any bigger now and actually looks a little better to me although I really can't pinpoint why it looks better. It just seems a lot cleaner looking I guess and less red. The whitish bumps on his forehead are gone but now there is a black spot on his face. I am afraid it is another wound waiting to open. The tank temperature is 80F at the moment, it increased while I had the light on but is usually about 78F. I am sorry this is so long but I didn't want to leave any details out that might be important. Also the other fish still has white patches on him too but nothing else seems to be wrong. His tank is still biologically stable and if I can prevent it I don't want to kill that. Can you help me please? Thank you for your time. I hope my spelling is correct, my spell check isn't working tonight. Cindy <Do read re Goldfish Systems on WWM... I would get/use BioSpira to return biological cycling in your system and simple "Aquarium Salt" at a level tsp. per five gallons... this will very likely effect a cure. In future, limit "cleaning" to 20% or so of water volume... cleanliness is not sterility as the saying goes. Cheers, Bob Fenner> Goldfish scale loss ... and much more 9/29/05 I have a common goldfish that has grown to about 6 inches long in the last five months (from about 2 inches when I brought him home).  He was a pretty little fish, but as a newbie I think I have not taken care of him as well as I could have. <Self-effacing behavior... a good start> I know I overfeed him, usually five or six times per day, enough until  he starts pooping.  He actually starts pooping as soon as he sees me coming toward the tank.  It is like I trained him! <You have> Every day I feed him flakes, floating pellets, cheerios, brine shrimp, Tubifex worms, blood worms, and peas.  I also throw in a vacation pellet every few days to make sure he has in between meal snacks available. <Toss in Pizza and I'm getting in the tank with him> My original goal was to see if I could make him fat. Except for having a pear shaped cross section he just seems to grow longer.    <Yes> The tank came with a biofilter wheel, and a mechanical and charcoal filtration system.  To compensate for so much waste, I put in about 2.5 pounds of crushed lava rock in the bottom of the tank, <Too sharp for this type (gold) of fish> plus a Duetto 90 submersible filter.  This is in a five gallon tank.  I also do a 25% water change every week and a 90% change once a month to clean the tank. <Too small a volume...> Ammonia and nitrites always test zero and nitrates seldom get over ten ppm. <Good> With all this pumping, the tank stays right about 80-82 F in a 74 F air conditioned house.  The tank light raises the temperature to about 85 F in a few hours so I usually leave it off. <High/er temp. will shorten the lifespan...> The goldfish is always active and seems happy.  The only problem seems to be that he has lost about 30% of his scales and the remaining scales are not shiny anymore.  The guy at the pet store said he probably had ich, so I treated the tank daily for a month with Ich Away (malachite green), Melafix, and Stress Coat. <No... doesn't have ich... ridiculous... does have an over-heated metabolism... other mal-affects of crowding...> His scales looked shiny again, but new scales do not seem to be growing back very fast.  I can see the outlines of where they are growing but it is not what I would call a scale.  Some of them have been missing for months. Do you think I should just continue the medical treatments? <Definitely not... will just shorten this fish's life further> At what point can I conclude that the scales will not grow back? <Need to move this fish to at least a twenty gallon tank... ultimately a forty, sixty... if it lives... as it will grow, approach a foot in overall length>   Frankly, I have half a mind to throw him into the river (he was only a $0.29 feeder fish to start with) and start over. <Do not release this, or any other non-indigenous life to the wild... is a potential disaster...>   There has been a heron hanging around there, so maybe I can help the heron and the goldfish fulfill their respective rolls in the circle of life. <Perhaps you will be reincarnated as a "feeder"...> Any suggestions about the scale regrowth are appreciated.  I have really enjoyed over feeding him but giving him medicine does not give me the same kick.  (Maybe that is why the idea of feeding the heron does appeal to me.)  OK, thanks. <Many important lessons (for you) here... What is life to you? Do you really care for this fish, world at all... or only what they can/apparently do for you? Think deeply re what you do... this is your life as well. Bob Fenner>

Bi-orb & Goldfish I have a 35 gal "Bi-orb" up and running for 18 months and have just lost another goldfish. We replace the filter and Hoover the gravel and do a 5 gal water change every four weeks. <Mmm, you may not want to do both the hoovering and filter replacement at the same time... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the Related files... above in blue...> We have only ever had two 2" fantails in at the same time and we have just lost the last one.  This morning I noticed a white layer of dust on the leaves of the plants in the Bi-orb and some little white stringy worms are swimming around in the water ?  There was also a red worm (like the blood worms that you can buy) on the side of the glass.  I only gave the fish 2 little pellets each at night and every now and again some daphnia.  What am I doing wrong? <Not studying, reading where you've been referred to. Bob Fenner>  

Fish tank in the office... Hi, <hello> I have a few quick newbie questions for you.  I plan on putting an Eclipse Six aquarium in my office in the near future.  I want to stock it with two small red Orandas...I know I'm overstocking, but generally how fast do Orandas grow?  The 1" of fish per gallon rule should still apply while the Orandas are still small right? <With proper care, Orandas can grow quite rapidly. The 1 of fish rule is based on the adult size of the fish, not the juvenile size.> I plan on getting a large tank when I settle down and stop moving from apartment to apartment.  I don't usually work on weekends, so would it be okay to feed them only during the week and not on weekends, or would this irregular feeding schedule affect the stress levels of the fish?   <Its not going to be good for them if you do this. They could miss one day but its not recommended that they miss both days.> Should I space out the feedings to be every two days, to account for the gap in the weekends?   <No, because then they'll only be getting fed 3 days a week.> If I feed less frequently, the Orandas won't grow as fast right?   <Well, they wont grow as fast but they will die much sooner. The reason they wont grow as fast with less food is because they wont be getting the nutrition they need. So in effect, they'd be slowly starving to death.> Also, would you recommend refrigerated bacteria such as Bio-Spira or Fritz-zyme #7 to magically cycle the tank?   <I never recommend these although others often do. I feel its best to let the tank cycle naturally.> Would I need an ammonia source to test the bacteria or can I add the fish in immediately?   <When I start a new tank I ask my LFS to provide me with a bacterial start (a bag of dirty water). I add that to the tank and also add one or two small, hardy fish. I then test the ammonia and nitrites daily and do water changes as necessary until they are both at 0ppm.> During maintenance, can I siphon gravel in such a small tank with the fish in, or should I remove the fish so that the siphoning does not stress them out?   <Siphoning the gravel with the fish in there is fine as long as you make sure not to hit the fish with the tube.> Can you recommend any websites with pictures of aquascaping so I can get a good idea of how to decorate the tank?   <Check out http://wetwebfotos.com/ > Thanks for all your help, you guys are great! Hong <You're welcome! Ronni> P.S. I failed miserably in my last attempt to keep fish, so this time I plan to do it right! <Do a lot of research and you should do fine.> 

Goldfish Tank Size Hello Everyone, My daughter "won" a fantail goldfish at her preschool and brought it home in a bag. I went out and purchased a Top Fin Aquascene2 Tank. It has an undergravel filter system with an airstone. I brought the tank home, set it up and added the fish. Her older brother of course decided he needed a fish as well. So the next day we purchased a red and white Oranda and added that night. I purchased kits to test the water, a book called The Goldfish by Carlo DeVito and Gregory Skomal, and also an Amazon Sword Plant with in a week of the tank purchase. Six months later the fish and plant (though it does show signs of being nibbled) are doing very well, however, I have come to realize that this tank is woefully undersized for these fish as they are growing. <Correct> Now they are two inches each. I am going to purchase a new tank, but am having a hard time with the research I have been doing. Different sites all say different things about tank size. For example: 10 gallons per fish, 1 gallon per 1 inch of fish, 30 square inches of surface area per inch of fish (Gold Fish Sanctuary) and various charts that give a ratio of fish per gallon. <All of these rules are nearly useless and here is why there is no uniform rule: It all depends on the fishes metabolism and activity level. A male Betta that gets to two inches in length needs a very different environment than a two inch Giant Danio. Also, six one inch Tetras is very different than one six inch Cichlid.> Based on what I've read about the fish we have, I'm guessing about a total length of 6" fully grown per fish. I want to size the new tank big, because I'm sure my youngest son will want a fish of his own within the year. I will get a fish along the same lines which will give me 18" of total length of fish. So that gives me a tank anywhere from 18 gallons to 30 gallons. I don't think I can persuade my wife to get a 30 gallon tank for 3 fish. But I don't want to do the fish wrong by under sizing. <I would recommend at least the 30 gallon tank and strongly advise you to consider a 55.> I have been visiting your site daily for about three weeks and enjoy the knowledge and passion you bring to the hobby. I've checked out the fresh water area and read the questions each day on your site and also in the chat rooms and have learned a tremendous amount. However, I haven't been able to find anything specific about goldfish and tank size. I've read that increased filtration <Along with increased water changes, look into a Python water changing system and position the tank near a faucet and drain. I have a customer that has an extensive collection of Fancy Goldfish. She performs weekly 50% water changes to keep them in optimum help.> can allow you to house more fish in a smaller area but I don't think I want to go that route. Any assistance you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Respectfully, Mark Malacky <Have a nice day. -Steven Pro> 

Goldfish and bleach Help!!! My son has had 4 goldfish in a 10 gal tank for the last 2+ years. Yesterday I took all the fish out and put them in a 1 gal holding tank using water from the main tank. I then emptied the water out and cleaned the tank and gravel with bleach. After cleaning I rinsed completely and reset the tank. <If you do smaller bi-weekly (or even weekly) water changes you will not have to do a complete tank clean.  Goldfish are messy, and if you just keep up on cleaning and vacuuming the gravel you will have an easier time with it.> I have done the same process every 8 months or so and have never had a problem. This time however all 4 fish died after sitting listless on the bottom of the tank for about 20 minutes. Before I buy more fish and start again do you Have an idea what happened?? And what I should do different? <I do not like getting bleach near my fish tanks.  If I had to guess what had happened I think the fish had been poisoned with bleach that had not been fully washed out from the tank. If you do get more goldfish, and you keep the same cleaning schedule, all you have to do is wash the tank out with warm water rather than bleach.  But, I suggest you alter your schedule and do smaller weekly or bi-weekly water changes and gravel vacuuming. doing that and adding the freshwater will be more beneficial to your fish than letting them live in the same water for 8 months then totally starting over. My other concern is that 10 gallon tanks are far to small to keep goldfish for long periods of time.  They are messy, and require large amounts of water so the tank doesn't become to disgusting to quickly.  I have moved my goldfish to larger tanks and the cleaning schedule is greatly less demanding then it was when they were in tiny tanks!   Hope that helps -Magnus>  

Goldfish maintenance I used to have to clean my one goldfish's bowl every few days or once a week. It's getting more and more frequent (daily).  Does my fish have a disease? >>Hello. Hopefully not. However, your fish is probably growing to large for its bowl. If you don't buy it a new, larger home, your fish might get sick and die. As it grows the ammonia levels will rise too quickly for the amount of water changes you do, and the fish will become stunted. You really should think about buying your fish a bigger home. Regular goldfish (comets) can grow up to a foot in length, and fantails and other fancy goldfish can grow large enough to resemble grapefruits. HTH -Gwen<<  

Slimy Aquarium - 05/31/2004 I just wanted to know. I have 2 Calico fantails and the glass in the aquarium has a film all over it. How do I clean this off? <This is probably just algae - best removed manually, with an algae-scrubbing pad or scraper.  If your tank is acrylic, be sure to get one that won't scratch it.> I am new to fish. <Welcome to the hobby, then, Mike!> Thanks Mike <Wishing you and your fish well, -Sabrina> 

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