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FAQs About Goldfish in General 2

Related Articles: GoldfishGoldfish VarietiesGoldfish Systems, Goldfish Disease

Related FAQs:  Goldfish 1, Goldfish Behavior, Goldfish Compatibility, Goldfish Selection, Goldfish Systems, Goldfish Feeding, Goldfish DiseaseGoldfish Breeding/Reproduction


New Print and eBook on Amazon

Goldfish Success
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Educational Fun Goldfish Event in San Jose CA       5/1/19
Hello Bob and Crew!
<Hey Gage!>
If you would not mind terribly I would appreciate it if you could help get the word out about West Coast Goldfish Palooza III. It is an educational event put on by The Goldfish Council, a non profit dedicated to keeping, sharing, learning, and educating about goldfish (lord knows the humble goldfish needs all the help it can get). Lectures, goldfish show, auction, raffle, the whole nine.
6/22 - 6/23 at Genki Koi in San Jose
Address: 1850 S 10th St, Ste 14, San Jose, CA 95112
$10 admission - proceeds go to putting on the show
Your humble servant and WWM Crew alumni,
<Glad to share. BobF>
Re: Educational Fun Goldfish Event in San Jose CA       5/1/19

<Ah my friend; excelsior! B>

Goldfish Palooza in SJC this weekend     6/29/18
Hey Bob,
<Hey Gage!>
I know you have a secret love (lust) for goldfish. Just picked up your success with goldfish book actually, it should be required reading for all new owners.
<Ah; tis purposely very simple... For beginners>
Flattery over, now https://thegoldfishcouncil.org/product/2018-west-coast-goldfish-palooza/ super cool event in San Jose this weekend for anyone who is curious about how deep the rabbit hole of “beginner” fish actually goes.

Genki Nishikigoi and The Goldfish Council are proud and excited to announce the 2017 West Coast Goldfish Palooza educational seminar, sale, and competition.

2018 West Coast Goldfish Palooza - The Goldfish Council<https://thegoldfishcouncil.org/product/2018-west-coast-goldfish-palooza/>
Genki Nishikigoi and The Goldfish Council are proud and excited to announce the 2017 West Coast Goldfish Palooza educational seminar, sale, and competition.
<Wow! Never heard of. Am going to share on WWM. Thank you, BobF>

Goldfish Salvation 2     1/19/15
> Konichiwa, Fenner-san!
<O-hi-o Neale>
> Thought you might enjoy this:
> http://haikugirl.me/2015/01/04/exhibition-riusuke-fukahori-goldfish-salvation-2-at-the-icn-gallery-london/
<Ah yes>
> Quite extraordinary artwork. Apparently takes weeks to make each piece.
> Cheers, Neale
<D'o'omo my friend. BobF>

Goldfish and fantails... Sys., food/DIY, incomp. w/ cichlids, varieties    3/6/12
Sigridur here again..
OK, lets start with an update:
Quite a lot have happened since last time I emailed you. Last time I only had 3 goldfish, an Oranda (who's gotten a more fitting home now) and 2 goldfish, and just a 60l aquarium.
<Still not enough room. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish101art.htm
Now I have 3 aquariums. A 70L baby aquarium for guppy-babies, shrimp and young L-144 yellow bristle-nose algae eaters. A 120l with guppies and Pencilfish? (they are called Smykketetra here in Norway, but according to Google, its small Pencilfish in English). And last, but definitively not least, my 520l with 15 goldfish, that will be going outside in a water tank that will be an improvised Pond (not allowed to dig here, but I want them to be able to get to be outside until I move and can get them a real pond where there’s 900+ liters of water) and an angelfish that seems to act more like a goldfish than an angelfish lately :P
Now the questions..
I've read up a lot lately on diet, and I really want to try to make some frozen food treats for the Goldies. I always give them fruit once a week, but whatever I have left after making it, spoils because I give them a variety, and not much of each. So I plan to make some frozen food from lots of different vegetable and fruits in them. I'm unsure, however, if I have to make it very fine and almost liquidy, or if I should just make small chunks. I’m planning to use gelatin to hold it all together at least. Any suggestions? I've read the articles here, but I cant quite apply it to what I have :/
<Chunks are better... too finely diced material will just fall apart, not be consumed... Goldfish seem to enjoy picking at chunks...>
The fruit and veggies I have are: Salad, Kiwi, Strawberries, Peas, Spinach, Grapes, Orange, Red and Green apple (my fish favor the green ones, so I use both), Cucumber, banana, and Baby-carrots.
I'm planning of making a few different mixes, for variety, but I'm not sure what to mix with what. I suspect one of my 4 fantails has a slight vitamin deficiency, as it has barely grown since I got it, even though its identical 'twin' who was the same size has doubled its length and size. I got them the same day and I actually suspect they're siblings, as they have almost completely identical coloration...
<Look to alginates as emulsifier, binder, rather than gelatin>
Next, I'm a bit worried about 2 of my newly adopted goldfish (I recently adopted 8 from two different homes). They were living with fish called Cichlasoma Sp., or a Parrot ciclid...?
<Not compatible behaviorally>

 I cannot understand WHY, as all of the 4 fish I got from this place had missing scales and fins that were fraying,
<The Parrot Cichlids are beating up the Goldfish. Must be separated>
 but two of them are lacking more than the others. I've treated only with aquarium salt, and that's made the fins heal up in just days! but the scales worry me.. I've read that they can die if they've lost many, but exactly what is "many"?
<Even just a few...>
It's a bit hard to show, as these goldfish are sarasa, and one almost completely white.. 
Noble, the near white one, also has a slight...deformity of her head, where it sinks in in places.. Is this something she can be OK with?
She's about 10-13 cm's long, I estimate, so she's not small... another fish I got from the same place has a flat head as well, so I don't know if maybe the Cichlids did it,
<Assuredly so>
or if they got hurt in the pond she has during a summer, as she had had them from they were small... could it just be by injury, or could it be genetics and inbreeding in play?
 I'd send a picture if I could get a good one of Noble.. Though if you want, I'll try to snap a picture..
Now my last question. promise XP
As stated, I have 4 fantails. 2 'twins', Mocca (the small one) and Zero, as well as a red one named Skurre, and a white one, named Nova.
Nova seems to have some mutations (natural ones) where its tail is double on the lower part, but single on the top, forming a triangle of sorts. It also has one blue eye and one that's half orange, half blue. The top-part of the tail, where the tail is just single, its not thick, so its not fused.
It's simply a single, goldfish like top fin, that splits in two in the bottom part... confusing? ^^' It also only has a single anal fin and isn't quite as round as my other fantails... Could Nova be a hybrid between a goldfish and a fantail?
<Possibly, yes. All goldfish are hybrids... the same cross>
Also, Mocca has a fused top tailfin.. is that normal as well? I can't find much about either of these cases :/
Also, any suggestions as to how to make an water tank into an improvised pond which will keep my fish happy (plant wise, shade, setup, substrate..) would be greatly appreciated, as I'll be setting it up as soon as I get my Green Genie 2000 filter (fitting a 2000L pond, and has a 4W UV light)
<Yes... scan here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm
THANK YOU for answers, and for having the BEST website about all fish that's around!! It helps INCREDIBLY much!
Lots of love and thank you's from Norway Sigridur, the 15 goldies, and all the friends.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Platy/Goldfish behavior and biology   8/16/11
Sent from my iPad
<Now we get these messages at the top of the e-mail? Getting weirder and weirder>
Hi crew, my name is Jenny.
<Hello Jenny.>
I'm kind of new to the wonderful world of owning a fish tank. :) I got a 10 gallon fish tank over a month ago (it's an upgrade from my 1 gal.) All of the nitrates and nitrites are at 0, the alkalinity is ideal, and the pH is perfect.
<Perfect for what? Ideal alkalinity in what sense? Platies for example need hard water with a high pH, whereas Neon Tetras need soft water with a low pH. So you can't have "ideal" alkalinity or "perfect" pH for all types of fish.>
My sister and I went to Petco and bought: 2" rainbow shark, 1" fantail, and 1" platy.
<A bit of an odd mix. For a start, Goldfish can't be kept in 10 gallons; they get very big, 20 cm/8 inches long, and they're social. So you need 30 gallons for the first 2-3 specimens, and another 10 gallons for each additional specimen. Next up, the Rainbow Shark will need at least 40 gallons. They are very active and VERY territorial.>
A week later, we got a surprise-- the platy had babies. After that, the aquarium went downhill. My old Pleco and rainbow shark died, and I had to change all of the gravel (for reasons that I can't explain right now.)
<In what way can't you explain? Don't know the reasons, or don't want to say?>
The tank looks much better, though, since we changed from blue gravel to black and it looks a little more natural. The babies are doing okay, and the goldfish is finally recovering from a recent swim bladder infection.
<There's rarely such a thing as "swim bladder infection" and normally when casual aquarists mention this it's because their fish couldn't swim and they have no real idea why. More often than not, things like constipation, bloating, and systemic bacterial infections are the cause. Note that these are rarely mystery diseases that creep in the aquarium at night, but symptoms of poor aquarium care.>
The only problem is that my platy has been acting strange since about over 2 weeks ago. While I was redoing the fish tank, I left them and the babies in 2 1gal tanks (the babies were in a separate one with my rams horn snail because they were, and are, still too small to be with the big fish.) She was always so friendly with the female goldfish, like a BFF.
<Fish don't really work this way.>
Even before I had them in the 1 gal, she wouldn't stop attacking and chasing the goldfish!
<I bet.>
I even woke up one morning to find that there were blood spots all over her tail, patches of scales were missing from her back, and fungus was growing on her dorsal fin injuries. I immediately gave the goldfish a Fungus Clear tablet, and within a few days, it cleared up.
<Post hoc, ergo propter hoc, as the Romans would say. Just because two things follow, it doesn't mean the first thing caused the second thing. For example, in a 1-gallon or even a 10-gallon tank there's a high risk of a Goldfish getting stressed and vulnerable to what are called opportunistic bacterial infections. These have symptoms such as Dropsy and Finrot (i.e., blood spots on the fins and body). Platies are opportunistic feeders and if they can, they'll happily nibble on the sore, bloody tissue on their tankmates.>
I separated them with netting so she wouldn't bother her anymore. Do you think she could be pregnant again? She is getting fatter and she is producing a lot more waste than usual.
<Female livebearers can produce more than one brood per mating, so even if she isn't with a male now, you can have two or three broods of fry.>
Also, I have a question about one of the four babies that she had-- it was born with only one eye.
<Happens; could be genetic, but could just as easily be physical damage from casual predation by tankmates.>
Since it only has one eye, about half of the length of what it's head SHOULD be is missing. Its mouth is a lot smaller so it has trouble eating, and it usually has twice the energy that the others do! Is this normal for a baby to have a deformity like this?
<Yes. May be euthanised; 30 drops of clove oil in a litre of aquarium water will do the trick. Stir well, then immerse the fish into the mixture for 10 minutes.>
And if so, do you know if it will survive? I'll try to send a picture.
Please, feel free to ask for the details about the fish tank: plants, filter, gravel, etc.
Thank you for your time, Jenny.
<Glad to help. Do read:
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Platy/Goldfish behavior and biology   8/16/11

Thanks for the reply, Neale.
<Most welcome.>
About the pH, I followed the results based on an alkalinity and pH test strip that I had gotten when I set up the tank. I do have hard water, so they should be fine. The pH is around 7.6 and the alkalinity is between 120-170.
<Sounds okay.>
When we got our goldfish, we got the smallest one in the tank. Ever since then, he's only grown about 2mm. I also read online that rainbow sharks are a good mix with Pleco and smaller fish, like tetra, platy, Molly, etc.
<Hmm not really. Rainbow Sharks, like Red-Tail Sharks, are at best marginal community tank choices. They sometimes work fine, but sometimes are absolute terrors that chase everything.>
I guess I forgot to see how big they would get. But something, kind of gruesome if you ask me, happened to the little rainbow shark. I didn't really feel good about going into that. After that little mishap, I had to replace the gravel, water, and change some of the decor.
But right now, I guess they're doing fine. I vacuum the gravel when I do a 25 percent water change every week, test the water to make sure nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, and pH is okay, and every two weeks, I change the filter cartridge. I'm probably just going to keep 1 of the 4 babies, most likely the one-eyed one I had become fond of, and give the other three to my friend, who has a 55 gal. aquarium.
I really can't choose to euthanize the little guy... I guess I'm too attached to him.
<That's fine. So long as he can swim and eat, there's no real reason to euthanise, but breeding from him/her would be unwise, as you could easily end up with even more deformed fish.>
I'll try my best to give him the special care he needs, and if that fails, then I'll have second thoughts.
Right now, I can't exactly afford a bigger tank. When I get the money, I'll probably upgrade to a 20 or 30 gal, which is probably just 150 bucks away. (well, for a good quality one) And on the plus side, it will be better for the fish and I to get a bigger 20-30 gal.
Thanks for the help, Neale. :)
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Help ASAP please... GF, no data of use, reading    7/13/11
Hi my name is rosemary n I'm in need for some good advice please, I just recently purchased my first 3 gold fish one died yesterday :( but I just bought a larger gold fish over the weekend n ever I got him his not so active like the other ones or like how he was when I first bought him, the big problem is that he hasn't eaten and his always lying on the rocks when he does swim a little he swims normal and everything, I'm so attached to them that I don't want to see another one go please help.
I could send u a photo of him if u like?
Rosemary Boutros
<Mmm... need more info. Rose.. Best for right now to send you here:
After reading this article, maybe Neale's linked above... Can you tell us, is this system cycled? Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm
Bob Fenner>
Re: Help ASAP please... GF/ayer    7/14/11

Sorry his not so active and just sits at the bottom of the tank all day and doesn't move and when I throw In food he doesn't eat I haven't seen him not once eating anything I'm so worried and I don't know him that well to see if his like this always but when I did see him when I first bought him he was racing around the tank.
Rosemary Boutros
<... have you read where you were referred? Do so. B>

How carp 'hold their breath' through winter 11/18/2010
> Hello Bob,
> Did you come across this?
> http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn9848
> Fascinating. If goldfish were rare, we'd prize them as extreme fish of extraordinary abilities. Instead some of us at least use 'em as feeders.
> Cheers, Neale
<Had not; but have thought of penning a pc. re my amazement w/ this fish's capacity/behaviour for changing/altering biochemical pathways. B>
Re: How carp 'hold their breath' through winter
Do hope you will.
<Mmm, been a few decades since biochem. coursework; likely an adventure/challenge... And fun!>
Had been thinking about something similar, specifically the myth of the "salty" goldfish, supposedly bred to be brackish-water tolerant and hence good live bait, but in fact no more [or less!] salt-tolerant than any other non-fancy goldfish. Truly astonishing animals.
<True. B>
Cheers, Neale

black moor... care...    4/29/10
<Hello. Melinda here with you today.>
I bought a black moor yesterday.... he is so tiny.
When I put him in the tank he stayed in a corner forever it seemed and then finally started exploring the tank.
<Did you acclimate this little guy at all?>
He found himself in the driftwood and won't come out. When I turned the light off last night he got out and moved around a lot.
<Still just settling in... can take a few days, really.>
This morning he was in the driftwood when I turned the light back on and now he won't come out. I saw him eating off the bottom in the driftwood last night but no obvious signs of him eating.
<Fish can go quite a while without eating, but if you'd like to help him out while he's settling in, you could place an algae wafer on the bottom of the tank. He'd enjoy eating that, and you can have the peace of mind that he's eating.>
He doesn't have spots or look sick.
<Good to hear.>
The water was tested fine at the pet store.
<I really do like objective data when it comes to water quality; what is "fine" in one person's opinion may not be "fine" in another person's.
Please see the link below re: what these numbers are, what they represent, and what you're trying to accomplish when it comes to water quality: Ammonia and Nitrite levels of zero, Nitrate under 20.>
What do I need to do?
<Without knowing a lot of information about your experience, this system, etc., I would say to first peruse what we have to offer on Goldfish care, feeding, systems, etc. on WWM:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/goldfish101art.htm and the linked files above. Also, please do ensure that this tank has been properly cycled to avoid toxic Ammonia and Nitrite spikes:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwestcycling.htm, or you're going
to run into trouble very shortly. I think this fish is probably just "settling in," and should begin to be more active within a couple of days.
Again, do make sure that all aspects of environment are up to par by comparing what you're offering with what we suggest for keeping goldfish.
Lastly, depending on the size of your system, it may be wise to add another goldfish or two -- goldfish enjoy company, but a tank for three goldfish would be at least forty gallons or so, so this isn't always an option for
everyone. Please do write back if you have any questions after reading.

Queries on our new pet - Pearlscale Goldfish 02/14/10
Hi folks, I came across your wonderful site helping us new owners of these cool pets! I made a quick research to my queries and found contrasting opinions on the items I highlighted below. I'd appreciate your expert opinion on this please!
<Fire away!>
1. Can we use a mix of distilled and purified water for Pearlscale Goldfish?
<No real point. Goldfish need hard, basic water. You're after a pH around 7.5, and 10+ degrees dH. Goldfish are MUCH happier in hard water than soft, and rapid pH drops into the acidic range are lethal. Indeed, pH "crashes"
are a common cause of Koi and Goldfish mortality in ponds. So, most hard tap water is fine, and if you have soft water, then add Rift Valley cichlid salt mix at about a half-dose to harden it up. See here for how to do this for pennies a month:
2. We observed that most of the time, the fishes float up and gasps for air, then swims back to the middle of the tank for a couple of minutes, then swims back to the top. They do this 2-4 times. Need a definitive answer to help make the fish's life live longer.
<Goldfish "gulp" air when water quality is poor. This allows them to survive in ponds, but over the long term, this means their immune system is being weakened, and that in turn makes disease more likely. Do also be aware that constipated Goldfish can't swim properly, and may float to the top of the tank, or bob about unhappily in midwater.
Goldfish aren't difficult to keep, and they are superb pets when kept properly, becoming very tame and quickly learning tricks, if you teach them. But they do have their requirements, and these should be considered.>
[1 site mentioned that they might have been overfed and they have swim bladder and the solution is not feeding them, another site mentioned that they may have constipation - same solution of not feeding them for 3 days]
<"Not feeding" isn't the solution to constipation in fish, any more than it's a solution to constipated humans. You need to *change* the diet, so that there's much more fibre in it. Cooked peas or cheap aquarium plants (like Elodea) are an easy fix, and can be used for a couple of weeks without anything else being offered. That usually clears them out. Once happy, then just make sure you alternate flake foods on one day with high fibre foods on the next.>
3. We also observed that they float (stay still) in the middle of the tank most of the time and not moving at all. Is this a bad sign?
I'd appreciate your expert opinion, guys! Thank you for spending time to answer!
<Cheers, Neale.> 
Re: Queries on our new pet - Pearlscale Goldfish  2/15/10

Hi Neale! Thank you for the very useful and informative explanation to the queries I had below.
<Happy to help.>
I had my wife observe the fishes and they do not gasp for air anymore on top of the tank. Also, they're moving freely now around the tank. We may have overfed them the other day.
Just a clarification on your response on item # 3 below: We also observed that they float (stay still) in the middle of the tank most of the time and not moving at all. Is this a bad sign? -- Your response, "Yes." -- What happens when they just float around in the middle of the tank?
<Well, if they're unable to swim properly, which is what I assume you mean here, that's often a sign of constipation. Sick fish, or fish that have been poisoned, also have problems swimming. Of course, deformed Goldfish (i.e., fancy Goldfish) can't swim very well anyway, so you have to use some common sense when watching them.>
Again, thank you for your time!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish and catfish, incomp., Corydoras repro... Bob's go   10/27/09
Hi folks,
<Greetings Fritz>
Just want to let you know that I enjoy the material on your website. When we got run out of New Orleans, we moved to North Carolina to be close to our youngest daughter. In 2007 we moved to Zirconia, about 12 miles from Hendersonville which is about 20 miles from Asheville. We bought some land and a modular home and the plumber left a 55 gallon barrel with fresh water in it close to the house for testing purposes. He did not come back for it and it started to breed mosquitoes, I bought six goldfish from Wal-Mart for 29 cents each and tossed them in the barrel to eat the mosquitoes. One of them promptly died which left five but they did the job. Worked fine.
Winter came and the ice started to form and we were convinced the fish would never make it but they did in a small part of the inside of the barrel that apparently didn't freeze.
<A nice area geographically... have visited thereabouts>
The following summer my wife made a trip to New Orleans for a funeral and while she was gone I bought a 20 gallon tank and transferred the goldfish there. They thrived for a while but eventually succumbed to over population because they were all getting close to five or six inches long. I bought some catfish (the Amazon type)
<Mmm... there are thousands of species... some under an inch long... others, meters in length>
but they kept dying off.
<Most catfishes from this area "like" very different water quality... tropical, soft/er, acidic... opposite for goldfishes>
Eventually we were left with a couple of Cory catfish and then I bought an Albino Cory and a little later on another albino. We went to do a partial water change today and noticed eggs which according to your site are Cory eggs. I don't believe they have been there long but hopefully they will hatch in a breeding cup that I'm going to buy.
<A cup? There are many references on rearing Corydoras... need a bit of water movement...>
My question is very simple: Do these catfish have some sort of mating behavior or dance that they do prior to breeding?
<Yes they do>
I've noticed all along from the time we had just one that they are exuberant little fish that dash around and seem to enjoy running up and down to the surface and back but as I added more they seemed to do a lot of chasing, nibbling and rubbing up against each other. What's going on?
<Life... some reproduction>
Thanks. Keep up the good work!
<Will do>
Musically yours,
Fritz Owens
Professional pianist, composer, photographer, teacher and keyboard recording artist for over 40 years in New Orleans - until Katrina
<Be chatting, Bob Fenner> 
Goldfish and catfish, Neale's turn   10/27/09

Hi folks,
Just want to let you know that I enjoy the material on your website.
When we got run out of New Orleans, we moved to North Carolina to be close to our youngest daughter. In 2007 we moved to Zirconia, about 12 miles from Hendersonville which is about 20 miles from Asheville. We bought some land and a modular home and the plumber left a 55 gallon barrel with fresh water in it close to the house for testing purposes. He did not come back for it and it started to breed mosquitoes, I bought six goldfish from Wal-Mart for 29 cents each and tossed them in the barrel to eat the mosquitoes. One of them promptly died which left five but they did the job. Worked fine.
Winter came and the ice started to form and we were convinced the fish would never make it but they did in a small part of the inside of the barrel that apparently didn't freeze.
<Apparently not.>
The following summer my wife made a trip to New Orleans for a funeral and while she was gone I bought a 20 gallon tank and transferred the goldfish there. They thrived for a while but eventually succumbed to over population because they were all getting close to five or six inches long.
<By this size, for a half-dozen specimens, you'll need a tank upwards of 55 gallons, if not 75 gallons.>
I bought some catfish (the Amazon type) but they kept dying off. Eventually we were left with a couple of Cory catfish and then I bought an Albino Cory and a little later on another albino. We went to do a partial water change today and noticed eggs which according to your site are Cory eggs. I don't believe they have been there long but hopefully they will hatch in a breeding cup that I'm going to buy.
<You can certainly put the eggs in a floating breeding trap, but without a good water flow they'll get fungused. It isn't difficult to raise Corydoras catfish, but there is a little art involved. Do see here:
My question is very simple: Do these catfish have some sort of mating behavior or dance that they do prior to breeding?
<Yes, very much so. Males chase the females about, usually several males per female. When the female makes her choice, the male arranges himself in the "T-position", meaning he's perpendicular to the female, with his vent at her mouth. Apparently, he sheds his sperm, she swallows it, and then passes it out through her vent at the same time small clutches of eggs are being laid. This goes on for a few hours, a few eggs being stuck to the glass or plant leaves. Often, they spawn first thing in the morning, with the extra sunlight, and when some cold water has been added, to mimic rainfall.>
I've noticed all along from the time we had just one that they are exuberant little fish that dash around and seem to enjoy running up and down to the surface and back but as I added more they seemed to do a lot of chasing, nibbling and rubbing up against each other. What's going on?
<Corydoras are gregarious fish, and the more you keep, the happier they will be. Corydoras paleatus (which is what the common albino form tends to be) should be kept in groups of 5+ specimens, at around 20-24 degrees C, which is an ideal temperature for Goldfish. Don't let them get colder than 18 degrees C for too long; they are subtropical fish to be sure, but farmed specimens are less hardy than the wild fish.>
Thanks. Keep up the good work!
Musically yours,
<Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish and catfish   10/27/09

I want to thank you for the detailed replies to my question.
<Happy to help.>
In regards to water flow, I think it's pretty good. We have an under the gravel filter and a Millennium that hangs on the outside of the back and runs water continuously through another filter.
<Well, I've given you the numbers that matter. If the water is clear, and ammonia and nitrite levels are consistently zero, then your system is fine.
But if the water is murky, there's crud on the substrate all the time, or you can detect ammonia and nitrite levels above zero, then filtration is the thing to examine.>
We're going to let nature runs its course. If the fry disappear well they just aren't smart enough or lucky enough to make it.
<Not really luck; it's about food. Goldfish breed readily in ponds because there's plenty of algae and plankton for them to feed on, thanks to the sunshine. Indoors it's a whole other issue, because aquaria are (usually) too small to support the tiny animals and plants larval fish feed on.>
We'll continue to feed the adults fish flakes and if I see any youngsters surviving I'll grind up some flakes in a pestle and drop it in to them. really would like to see a couple make it as we only have four but we're
not really going to encourage it too much.
<As I say, it's food and water quality that matter here. It's like sitting at a keys of a piano and bashing them at random; there's noise, but no music. Likewise with breeding fish. The basics are easy enough to
understand, but the art comes from arranging all the little steps in sequence, so you get the end result you're after. Not difficult once you know how, but it isn't something that happens by itself either.>
Thanks again for all the info.
Musically yours,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Fancy Goldfish Questions 10/14/09
I'm in the process of transitioning my 90 gallon reef tank to a fancy goldfish tank and have a few questions. First, I'm assuming I should continue with my quarantine tank as I get in new fish.
<Unless you add all your fish at once, yes, it is best to quarantine new livestock, whether for a freshwater aquarium, a saltwater aquarium, or a pond.>
Do you drip acclimate goldfish or is that best for saltwater fish?
<Freshwater fish are better able to adapt to changes in water chemistry than (non-intertidal) saltwater fish. All you need do is place the fish in a bucket with the water they shipped in, and over the next 30-40 minutes, add a cup of water from quarantine or display tank every 5 minutes. When you're done, net the fish out, and place it in the aquarium.>
Are there any dips you recommend for fancy goldfish before quarantine?
<None are essential.>
Do you recommend salt during quarantine?
<There's no need, unless you're specifically using salt to treat against Ick, Velvet or something else where salt is part of the therapy. Contrary to popular misconception, salt doesn't need to -- indeed, shouldn't be -- added to freshwater aquaria.>
I have read that temperatures in the low 70s are best for goldfish.
<For Fancy Goldfish, certainly. For Standard Goldfish -- that is, varieties with a single tail, such as Shubunkins and Comets -- cooler temperatures in winter are beneficial. Since you shouldn't mix Standard and (most) Fancy Goldfish in the one tank, choose the temperature that best suits whatever you're keeping.>
I have gotten rid of some of the lights and other heat producing equipment but my tank typically ran at about 78 before. If it was somewhere in the mid to high 70s is that going to be too hot?
<Not dangerously so, but you will find your Goldfish "gasping" at the surface a lot, and issues with water quality and acidification will happen faster and/or with fewer fish, since the metabolism of the fish is going to be that bit faster.
Do people use chillers for goldfish?
<In warm parts of the world, yes, though not widely. Goldfish have a broad temperature tolerance range, and if the tank is lightly stocked and equipped with excellent water circulation, they can do well even at tropical temperatures.>
I've read lots of varying advice on stocking with fancy goldfish. Would somewhere between 7-9 be OK in my size tank?
<Depends on the variety of Goldfish you're keeping. One misconception is that all Goldfish have the same requirements. They do not. Certain varieties are best kept amongst themselves only (Celestials, Bubble-eyes, and in fact most Fancy Goldfish). Standards mix well with each other, but only the very hardiest and most robust Fancy Goldfish, essentially Black Moors and Common Fantails. Since Standards get bigger than Fancies, they need more space, particularly swimming space, so you'd keep fewer of them in a tank of a certain size than one of less mobile (more deformed) and generally smaller Fancies, like Ranchus or Lionheads.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Well water and a new addition to tank... GF, reading    6/23/09
Hi, I just recently (about 4 weeks ago) rescued a fantail goldfish (about 1 1/2" - 2" long nose to end of tail) from my work place. He used to live in a tiny bowl sitting in the sun (poor guy). He had a friend for a while as well, but died due to poor conditions. After his friend died, the fish was not looking too well. All alone in a small, warm, murky bowl. I took him and gave him a nice new 10 gallon
<Will still be too small>
home with a bubble filter, gravel bottom, and plenty of hiding places, with room temperature water. He seemed happy, healthy and active (and he is very friendly!).
(I do know I need to get a bigger filter. Until then, I have been doing more regular 25% water changes).
Now, a few questions..
1: I live in the country, and my tap water comes from a well. Is this OK for fish to live in?
<Are you drinking it? If so, likely so. Do you have data re actual water quality parameters...? Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm>
2: I have food pellets, but he doesn't eat them. Is he eating whatever might be in the well water (I noticed he was nibbling around the tank for most of the day)? Or should I change his food?
<And the linked files above>
3: I recently got my fish a friend.
<Don't need such... and there's no room/volume...>
A calico fantail (slightly smaller than my first fish). As soon as I introduced the new fish into the tank, my first fish began to act strangely. I think he may be stressed by the new fishes arrival. He doesn't have any spots or noticeable ailments, but he has become very inactive (and just sad looking),
sitting at the bottom of the tank (dorsal fin not erect; tail not fanned out), moving only when the new fish comes around to tease him (looks like it's nibbling and bumping my first fish) or change location. I added a large flat rock (upright) as a mini divider/hiding place to give a bit of separation (I understand 10 gallons is getting a little small for 2 fish) hoping this will give them each their own space away from each other. Will my first fish eventually get used to the new fish? Should I separate them for a while (I just got the new fish a day ago). Or could it be something else bothering him (the new fish seems happy as can be)? I did a 25% water change before the new fish arrived. It doesn't seem like there is too much ammonia in the water, because the new fish is eating properly and is very active.
<Keep reading>
(I did look around the site and other sites as well, but did not find information about keeping fish in well water or about new fish being the more aggressive ones)
<Don't know about other sites; but ours is relatively complete, consistent internally>
I am new to keeping fish.
<Hence the reading... Bob Fenner>
I tried to rescue my first fish from having a bad life, so I want to do my best to keep both of my fish happy and healthy. Any help is appreciated!

Live goldfish key chains 7/30/08 Folks, <Neale> Hard as it is to believe, these things are up for sale at the Beijing Olympics. http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/pfk/pages/item.php?news=1738 http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?p=185450#post185450 <Pathetic... what gets into some people... or not?> If anyone remembers the "bonsai kitten" hoax from a few years back, surely this isn't that far off? <BobF>

Bob F: Goldfish troubles and woes... -05/12/08 Hi bob (or whoever this email may find) You've helped me in the past with my Fish Rupert along time ago (thanks again) and I mentioned using my art to help spread some goldfish information so people stop making the same mistakes in caring for goldfish as I did in the beginning. (i.e. the myth that goldfish belong in bowls) <ah> I'm working on a small book with some of my art, and one of the spreads I've dedicated to goldfish facts. I'd like to put 5 or 6 short, solid facts that sum up why goldfish can't go in bowls. Perhaps I could even place a link for further care to wetwebmedia.com? (only if I'm given permission) <You are free to link to WWM. And just fyi, asking for permission to link to a webpage might be good cyber etiquette, there's no law that requires you do to so. You don't actually need a site's permission to plainly link/reference to their page (assuming you're not deep linking to an audio or video file or in anyway attempting to claim the site's work as your own, etc.--common sense applies, obviously).> I was curious if you could take a look and give me any input on what the best facts to sum up my message could be. <Hmm, if I were taking on such a project, I would simply read through the goldfish articles and FAQs here (and other reliable sources) to get some general ideas/principles. It seems to me that one of the problems people often have with goldfish, as you seem to be emphasizing in your work, is that they mistakenly think that they can be kept in small bowls/containers with little or no filtration. Goldfish are not bettas. They produce a lot of ammonia and should be kept in appropriated sized and filtered tanks.> Attached is what I have so far! I was also wondering if you could not post the art on your website, since it has no copy right on it yet. <Hehe, you have a copyright on it the moment you draw/print/create the work. Unlike trademarks and patents, you don't have to register or apply for copyrights, they are "automatically" created the moment your work comes into being. However, if you want to be thoroughly protective of your work, you can submit it to the Library of Congress for registration (giving you a registered copyright). For more info, please see: http://www.copyright.gov/ And since you already have a copyright in your work, I must heed your request that we not publish it. ;-)> Thanks again for all the help you've given me in the past. Take care mike <Thank you for writing, Sara M.> ps. feel free to see more of my art work at www.michaeldimotta.com <Very nice! I will leave this in BobF's inbox in case he has anything to add once he has internet access again.>
Re: Bob F: Goldfish troubles and woes... 5/13/08 Hi bob (or whoever this email may find) <Am here... in Egypt> You've helped me in the past with my Fish Rupert along time ago (thanks again) and I mentioned using my art to help spread some goldfish information so people stop making the same mistakes in caring for goldfish as I did in the beginning. (ie the myth that goldfish belong in bowls) <Ah, yes... I mean no!> I'm working on a small book with some of my art, and one of the spreads I've dedicated to goldfish facts. I'd like to put 5 or 6 short, solid facts that sum up why goldfish can't go in bowls. Perhaps I could even place a link for further care to wetwebmedia.com? (only if I'm given permission) <Appreciated> I was curious if you could take a look and give me any input on what the best facts to sum up my message could be. Attached is what I have so far! I was also wondering if you could not post the art on your website, since it has no copy right on it yet. <I don't see how to open the .png file... Re the art; I will ask Sara to do so> Thanks again for all the help you've given me in the past. Take care mike ps. feel free to see more of my art work at www.michaeldimotta.com <Thank you for your efforts. Bob Fenner> Re: Bob F: Goldfish troubles and woes... 5/13/08 ooo sorry bob, here is what they are looking like now: see if you can open those files :) m <Ahh! Very nice! Cheers! BobF>

Goldfish, mis-stocked, Gyrinocheilus, no reading...  3/30/08 Hi I have a 10 gallon tank with 5 goldfish, <Much too crowded> I had an algae eater <... you haven't followed directions... and read on WWM before writing us...> in the tank until yesterday because I seen him sucking on the fish and my other fish are a black googly eyed fish, orange poofy cheek and an orange and white one that's stomach is shaped like a marble and an other little goldfish but my question is my orange bubble cheek fish is a slow guy and the algae eater was picking on him a lot and I seen that he was missing some scales on his back and there's a thin white tissue on his back and I talked to the petstore and they said put in some stress coat, that will work and that was yesterday but I see that the tissue has gone on his eyes, I think he cant see because he is swimming into a lot of things and he just doesn't look healthy at all and its really scary. What can I do? April <Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above where you lead yourself on a wonderful journey of discovery and self-fulfillment... Thrill (!) as you find that you've been mistreating the life in your care! Excitement will be yours as you delve into the real care of your aquatic charges... Imagine (!!!) their relief at being taken care of properly!!! BobF>

My goldfish, reading   11/22/07 Hi <Hello there> I have an 6-8 inch common goldfish and he is doing fine by himself in an eclipse filtered tank. <... needs much more room> would anything be a good companion for the brute? <...> Also I noticed a kind of small black dot on one of his skills, should I be concerned or not? this is the first time ive seen this on him out of the 3 years ive had him. What should I do. He is eating normal and swimming normal <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. BobF>

Poop on my goldfish  11/5/07 Hey, I bought a couple of regular goldfish a few weeks ago now ( just the plain orange ones) and I noticed they have poop hanging out of them, it looks like a long string just hanging there. Why does this happen? <Can be a few things... such "feeder" goldfish (aka Comets) are often raised in deplorable conditions, fed minimally... and are parasitized externally and internally... The stress can show up as behavior you mention, as well as pathogenic disease... There is a common misunderstanding that goldfish are "easy" to keep... particularly lowly Comets... If you intend to raise these, I would run them through a series of treatments to rid them of Protozoans and worms. This is quite an undertaking, and has a good deal of related material to understand to do properly. If you're committed, I would start reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above, keeping good notes. Bob Fenner>

New Aquarium Question, goldfish gen., reading    8/26/07 Hi crew! <Alexa> First of all, thanks for a wonderfully informative site J <Welcome> Here are my questions: I recently set up a new 10 gallon cold water tank which is currently home to two small and beautiful fantails. <Goldfish need more room than this...> Both are doing great but the tank looks a little empty. I'd like to gradually introduce some new fish and had my heart set on a couple of ghost shrimps and a small crab. <Mmm, not the crab... too likely to eat the shrimp, ultimately the fish> Do you have any freshwater crab recommendations? <Yes... posted> Also, do you think there's space for a few smaller fishes in there that would get on well with the fantails? I don't want to overcrowd the tank and end up with unhappy fish L My tank is equipped with a 5-20g external filter, the water quality is fine as per the recommendations on your site and the water temperature is generally between 68-70 degrees (I don't have a heater). Right now I have artificial plants but I'd like to get some live ones that the fantails won't destroy J Many thanks, Alexa <Have just skipped down. Please learn to/use the indices, search tool. Please at least read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

General Goldfish questions  04/16/07 Robert, <<Actually, its Tom with you, Megan.>> First, thank you for all of the great scientific information on your webpage. <<Bob and the rest of the Crew can plead guilty to the contribution of the scientific information, Megan. (Makes my head hurt. :) )>>   Now, before I explain my question(s), I'll explain my setup. I have a Comet Goldfish, approximately 2.25'', he is in a 1.5 gallon vase (I know, it's small) with aeration/filter (Hagen Goldfish Bowl Filtration kit:A-946), plant, and marbles. Water is tap water from Minneapolis area, treated with Top Fin water conditioner (1 ml/gal). pH, nitrate, etc. levels are within range. <<Ive already inferred that youve done some research, Megan, but for those readers who haventyetyouve got a  Comet goldfish that can grow to a foot in length in a vase that should be a 55-60 gallon tank. (The horse is dead but Im going to beat it anyway.)>> He also is currently living in a half diluted salt solution - salt due to ick treatment, dilution due to water  replacements. <<Doesnt really tell me a lot, Megan, but I dont think thats the meat of your post so lets continue>> Now to the questions. <<Shoot.>> I feed him twice a day, the amount recommended, but excess food fits between marbles.  He seems to continually "hunt" for the food that drifts under the marbles- he eats 90%.  Although the obvious answer would be to get gravel, or something like it - is his struggle against the smooth marbles harming him? <<Nope. Goldfish will suck in pieces of gravel while they scavenge which can potentially lead to problems. Marbles, in this context, arent going to present that problem. Its the 10% that doesnt get found that might be a problem, though.>> Also, he used to constantly scratch against the plastic plant and marbles (much different action than the current "hunting"), but he still rubs against it occasionally.  Is this normal?   <<Has the Ich cleared up? Flashing (the rubbing that you refer to) is common with external parasitic infestations.>> Should I change the plant? <<Likely wont make a difference here, Megan.>> Or should I assume that this is a minor case of Ich and treat him with something else. <<You really dont want to assume anything. If youve treated your pet appropriately with aquarium salt, Ich shouldnt be a worry. Possibly a holdover behavioral pattern is all.>> Knowing that I am in college and have a restricted budget - but a passion for goldfish - how long can I keep this goldfish alive/healthy in this setup? <<Frankly, Megan, its a crap shoot, if youll pardon the expression. I, and every member of the Crew, will tell you that this animal needs to be in MUCH bigger quarters while someone will come along and tell you that he/she kept his/her Comet goldfish in a Dixie cup for 20 years. Statistically, your Goldfish wont live out a fraction of its potential lifetime. It will continue to grow, albeit at a stunted rate. (The stories you might hear about them only growing to the size of their tanks/bowls is garbage.) Theyre predisposed to grow to a certain size in the wild, which is what we attempt to replicate in our tanks.>> Finally - what do you know about the BiOrb aquariums? It's a bit pricey, but if it's worth it - let me know.   <<Nice units but not large enough, in my opinion. Your Comet, ideally, is meant for a pond setting. Lots and lots of natural room. Not possible under your present circumstances, of course. Save your money.>> Otherwise, if there is a better route (or location for affordable, Good aquarium information), please let me know! <<Megan, I dont know what your budget is or how youre fixed for space. None of my business. Ive used Aquariums Extraordinaire for a couple of smaller (20-gallon long and 10-gallon) tanks and the prices are reasonable for the aquariums alone. Im not promoting this vendor at all but I share it with you for a place to look.>> Thanks! Megan <<I dont know if Ive addressed all of your concerns/questions, Megan. If you have others, please feel free to get back to me/us. Tom>>
Re: General Goldfish questions
  4/21/07 Tom, <<Hi again, Megan.>> Thanks for the great advice! <<More than happy to help.>> I am moving my comet goldfish into a new, much larger aquarium. <<I, the Crew and your Goldfish love you for this! Well done!>> Since the vase seems to be a nice desktop "aquarium", what other types of fish could I keep in it?   <<You know those little snack Goldfish that you can buy at the grocery store? (Im teasing you, of course.) Honestly, Megan, there arent any fish, Bettas included, that I would recommend for a 1.5 gallon vase/aquarium. Its a question of stability as much as giving any fish room to move around. Larger tanks are simply more inherently stable where water conditions are concerned. Stability isnt an issue in the wild. Its a huge issue in our aquariums. Theres rarely a week that passes that we dont see a frantic post from someone whose tank went South on them for, seemingly, no discernible reason. Many times perhaps most of the time the environment was just too small for their pets. Somewhere along the line, a mistake will be made (were human, after all) and theres no fudge factor with a tiny tank. (If there were ever an instance of the proverbial accident waiting to happen, it would be keeping fish in a tiny environment.)>> I know a Betta would like it - but I'm looking for a type of fish that is a bit more active and entertaining.  (Like a goldfish!) <<I dont think its a big stretch on my part to offer that I think you really like Goldfish! (I recall that Bob once remarked, in effect, that we start in the hobby with Goldfish and the longer were in the hobby, the more likely we are to return to Goldfish.) I cant disagree with that.>> Also, is there a type of goldfish (or relative) that works well in smaller aquariums?  Approximately 5 gallons or less? <<Actually, if youre willing to keep it in the five-gallon range, Megan, I think you should venture another look at Bettas. Sounds to me like your contact with these fish is from what youve observed at the local LFS where theyre kept in plastic cups or some such containers. If so, I think youd be in for a pleasant surprise if you observed them in a larger tank. They can be far from the lethargic little creatures that they appear to be when theyre too cramped to move. Quite the opposite is true, in fact. Beyond that, youd have to consider a small group of small fish. Not, if my thinking is correct, what youre really after.>> Thanks again, Megan <<Youre welcome, Megan, and if you want to kick some other ideas around, feel free to get back to me. Tom>>

It's hard to help without certain minimum information...  - 1/22/07 Hi <Hello> Last year I bought 2 veil tails and after a long time the one died. <Many types of fish are described as "veil tailed"...exactly what species are we dealing with here?> The other one lives happy for about 1 year and something. Yesterday I bought one fantail and I found it after 8 hours dead. <Again, what type of fish are we talking about? Goldfish, or Bettas, for instance - these are but two examples of fish that the terms "veil" and "fan" are used to describe tail shape, and each's requirements couldn't be more different. I really cannot help you without more information.> When I checked his body it was bitten. I figured that the veil tail got used living alone and didn't want another one with him. <I *really* hope we aren't talking about Bettas, especially males, and these are bred to fight with one another, and cannot be housed together.  Obviously, the two didn't get along, but without knowing how large their tank was, what else was housed in it, and what species of fish we are referring to, I cannot help you further...> Does this mean I can't buy other fish? <I certainly wouldn't recommend buying more fish until you at least know what you currently have, so that you can ensure compatibility of species...> I don't want only one. <Sometimes, we can't always have exactly what we want in this life of ours...you must consider the health of your pets, and put their "needs" before your "wants"...> I hope you get this. <I got it - at least physically.> Thanks. <I'd be happy to try and help you, if you can give me some basic information about your set-up! Regards, Jorie>

Goldfish (not Betta) follow-up: still need more information to help!  - 1/22/07 Hi again Jorie, I hope you remember me and  the e-mail I sent you. <I do - thanks for the follow-up.> Both of the fish are goldfish. <Phew, I'm so glad we weren't talking about Bettas!> Veiltail red goldfish and red fantail goldfish.  I don't know yet if the one that lives is male or female. <Could you please tell me how large of an aquarium these fish are kept in, whether there is filtration and if so, what type, if they are kept with any other fish, what the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings in the tank currently are, and what your regular water change schedule is like?  If it is just the two goldfish living together, my hunch is that the aquarium is too small, and the one exhibited major aggression against the other, but without more info., this is just a guess...> Thanks again. <Looking forward to your reply, Jorie>

Desperate Beginner's Questions About Goldfish 10/10/06 Hi, I was wondering if you would mind answering several questions for a very, very new goldfish owner. <Will try - best way is to educate yourself through reading, reading, and more reading...> Grandma bought 2 goldfish for my children as a lovely "surprise" and we were quite unprepared for it. <Ah, will people never learn that fish, as live animals, do not make good presents?!> Anyhow, these are my most pressing questions at the moment: 1. We have 2 fantails each approximately 1 inch in length in a 1 gallon tank. Is this adequate enough size for them both? <Absolutely not.  See here for basic goldfish requirements:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm > 2. Our tap water is from a well and doesn't contain chemicals typical to municipal supply.  I've adjusted ammonia to almost nil... <Not good enough, ammonia and nitrite must be ZERO - nitrates can be 10-20 ppm, but obviously lower and closer to zero is best.  Read here about cycling:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm Also, please be aware that the test strips you refer to are notoriously inaccurate - better to invest in a liquid chemical test kit, such as ones put out by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals or Tetra.> ...but my test strip for pH, nitrite, nitrate hardness and alkalinity indicates that the alkalinity is at 80 ppm and pH is between 7.2 and 7.8. Do I need to adjust these and if so, how do I raise alkalinity w/o raising pH? <For now, don't worry about adjusting these levels. Do invest in a more reliable test kit.  Just be sure to keep the pH and alkalinity stable, as this is most important to a fish's health and well-being.> How often should I test ammonia levels? <In such a small gal. bowl w/o filtration, daily.  Do also test for nitrite and nitrate, as per cycling article linked to above.  A good beginner's book to invest in is The Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums by David E. Boruchowitz...very simple, practical guidance.  (Do beware his stocking schemes, though, as he tends to overstock, in my opinion.> (These are the other measurements ->(Nitrate: 20 ppm, Nitrite: 0 ppm, H2O hardness: 75 ppm) <Nitrates are on the high-end of acceptable - I'd suggest a 50% water change.> 3. The tank I have is an acrylic tank shaped somewhat like the symbol on Superman's chest. Is it made of an appropriate material to accommodate a hanging filter? (I've read that the undergravel aeration system that came with it isn't going to do much good...) <Well, the undergravel is better than nothing, but I'd say it's more imperative to purchase a bigger tank before worrying about filtration.  If you plan to keep these goldies, at least a 10 gal. is necessary...then I'd suggest investing in a power filter.> 4. is there any other way to clean the gravel/water without having to purchase a gravel vacuum? <Use a piece of flexible hosing as a siphon.> This is all getting very expensive... <Yes - honestly, if you aren't equipped for it, I'd say return the fish, as ultimately they will perish.  Fishkeeping can be very rewarding and fun, but there is honestly a fair amount of set-up work and expense at first...> 5. the larger of the two seems to be somewhat aggressive with the smaller, nosing at it from underneath-rear and often chasing it away from gravel its trying to nibble on. <This 1 gal. tank isn't suitable for 1 goldfish, let alone two...soon, the stronger one will likely stress out the weaker one to the point of its getting sick...> The larger also gets more aggressive around feeding times. Is this simply survival of the fittest, or could they be stressed? <I'm sure they are stressed - wouldn't you be if you were kept in a closet w/ no separate room for a toilet?!> 6. Oh! BUBBLES!!! Clear, colorless, non-slimy bubbles have accumulated over the entire surface of the water. How do I stop this? <Perhaps this is caused from the fish gulping at the surface for oxygen.  A larger tank more suitable for fish will hopefully alleviate the problem.> 7. The instructions on the fish food say to feed them several times per day, I was under the impression that they should be fed once per day. Which is correct? <In your situation, I'd say once per day.  You have no filtration set up on the tank, and it's way too small to begin with.  Obviously, the more the fish eat, the more waste they produce, thus polluting the water, necessitating more water changes, etc.  For now, just feed a few pellets each day.  Again, though, I must emphasize you need a larger tank ASAP!> 8. Will the fish outgrow their tank, or does the size of the tank limit their growth? I'm just wondering how extensive this endeavor is going to turn out to be... <The fish were never meant to be in this small of an aquarium to begin with.  And yes, keeping fish in too small of a system will ultimately stunt their growth - and cause health problems.> Thank you so much for answering my questions, and giving me a crash course in fish care. :-) You don't know how much I appreciate it! <Honestly, my friend, if you aren't prepared to immediately run to the store and invest in at least a 10 gal. tank with a power filtration system, you need to find these fish a suitable home ASAP.  Otherwise, do invest in a reasonably sized tank, read the links I've provided, look into the book I've recommended, and you will have two beautiful fish as your companions.  Please remind Grandma that fish are alive and require research prior to purchase...Best of luck, Jorie> Pam B.

Goldfish... no info. of use  9/25/06 my goldfish has some white stuff round its eye this morning. it is  only on its left eye. any suggestions? <Yep... keep reading: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. BobF>

Goldfish questions, young not-yet reader   6/27/06 Hello WWM. My name's Amanda but you can call me Mandii. Everyone does. But that's besides the point. I have just bought 2 Shubunkin goldfish and I have some questions about them. Here we go:    What is the life expectancy? <Can live to be twenty years of more given good care, environment, feeding...> [When owner is not neglecting]      How can you tell what gender the fish is? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshreprofaqs.htm>         I think I might have bought one male and one female Shubunkin so:        How can you tell if one is pregnant?      How can you tell that they are spawning/mating? <See, read the above area>      When both of the Shubunkin lay/rest on the pebbles on the bottom of the tank together, what does that mean? <Not a good sign... perhaps just "tired", settling-in... but also an indication of poor environment condition>   Thank you so much for reading this message. I await a reply. Thanks again!      Sincerely,   Amanda J. Schneider [Mandii] ^_^ <And here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

AHHS:  The end for fancy goldfish?  - 06/22/2006 Are "animal right's" people going too far? _ http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/pfk/pages/item.php?news=941_ ( http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/pfk/pages/item.php?news=941) <Yikes... IMO, yes. BobF>

Orandas... some basics   6/18/06 First off I would like to thank you for  supplying such a fabulous web site, however I have a question that was not  covered (as far as I could see.)  I purchased three Orandas and at first  when I put them in the aquarium (30 gallons) <Not enough space...> they seemed to get along fine,  however about an hour after I noticed they started to nudge the fins of each  other.  I'm not sure if they are just playing, or if they are  fighting. <A bit of both> I thought they must be hungry so I fed them the recommended  amount of goldfish flakes and they stopped for a minute or so and then started  nudging each other again.  If you could help me out with this problem that  would be much appreciated. Thank you, Doug   <I would not feed Oranda goldfish flakes... Please see WWM re Goldfish Systems, Nutrition.... Bob Fenner>
Re: Orandas, not reading...   6/19/06
Thank you and I am very aware 30 gallons is not  nearly enough room for three Orandas, however the man at the store who helped me  said it would be fine for about a year or so, since I purchased the very  small ones. <Not likely>     Aside from the size "problem" could you please  answer my question about them nudging each other. <... please read where you were referred... "Goldfish Behavior"... Bob Fenner>

No one has a answer... I do: Read... on WWM re goldfish sys., CAEs   5/15/06 I have asked a lot of people about these fish and the  condition they have.    I had a Fantail, a common Goldfish.  For a  few days my Fantail wasn't very energetic, but when I purchased 8 new babies <?> including two algae eaters she perked up.   <... Chinese Algae Eaters? This species is incompatible... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/algaeeatersart.htm and the related FAQs file linked at top> Anyways just few days one of the  babies started to get black spots on it fins and then it moved to its side and  with in a few days it died. Then my Fantail died, the one other baby fantail had  black fins when I purchased it the it went to almost a solid black before dying.  It has spread to another fish and I know that it does not have much longer to  live.  I have changed water and moved the bigger one out and into a big  fish bowl.   <... what re water chemistry?> No one seems to have an answer. <You don't provide sufficient information...> I have put a  fungus treatment in the water and everything else is fine.  They eat very  well right up till the end and they swim all the time.   If anyone has  any idea why this is happening then please let me  know <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Your goldfish are likely suffering from an improper, vacillating environment. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Husbandry 4/09/06 We have a single goldfish that came from the fair 2 yrs ago. <That is how I got started in this hobby.> It lives in a fish bowl with tall plastic grass (for him to swim around) <That does not sound fun.> It has red around its mouth and the tip of its tail, and seems to breathe hard.  Sometimes it stays up to the top and seems to get air above the water. I change the water every other day. <Only partial water changes right?> There is no filter or other fish. What do you think? <I think it is time to upgrade from the bowl to an aquarium.> I feed it twice a day and it eats fine. Its gold color is kind of dull at times. Doesn't like to be looked at, it swims like a nut when you do admire him/her. I feed it flake food. Can you help?? <Your Goldfish really needs a tank, filter, and more hiding places.  A 10 gallon tank would be fine for 1 goldfish, the larger volume of water and filter will improve the water quality, and this will make your fish healthier and happier.  You can change your water change schedule to every two weeks which will make you happier.  Your fish freaks out when you look at him because he has no where to hide, if you add some hiding places he will have somewhere safe to retreat and should not freak out as much.  You can find more on Goldfish and setting up an aquarium at the links below.  Best regards, Gage.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwset-up.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish.htm >

Comet/"Feeder" goldfish question    3/27/06 Hi to you all once again. I know that this is going to probably make me sound nuts, but I need some help with a little "feeder" goldfish that I rescued. <Nothing crazy about this> I was at a university event and they were giving away lil goldfish as prizes. Being the animal lover I happen to be, I noticed right away that some were dead and I complained to many people in charge about it and how they might prevent it. Well, I felt unbelievably guilty and returned to the room on a rescue mission. I know that this was a rather, unwise perhaps, idea but I did it anyway.     I was dismayed to find that many goldfish, at least a dozen without counting had died. My heart broke for the poor little creatures. I told those to whom I complained that this was definitely animal abuse. I found one who was barely hanging on, and know what was to be done with the deceased, I took him with me as well as one forgotten (who could forget their lil fishy?) by someone else, knowing that I had to make the effort to save them both. The lil organe didn't make it, and I was very hurt that this had happened, but at least I was going to make the effort to save him. I actually buried him and I prayed for him.      Now, digressing from that, the fish that has lived has been given the unisex name Li. I want to do the best thing for Li in terms of a proper aquarium, tank set up, and that sort of thing. I have read many different things tonight, but your crew seem to REALLY know what is going on. I know to some that my little Li is "only" a "feeder" goldfish, but I value all life and if I can do anything to help make that life one of longevity and quality, I feel as if I must. He/she is in a bowl now, but not for long. I hate bowls.  I guess what I am trying to say is that I would like to know some things that pertain to my situation in particular. How big of an aquarium does Li need? <For now, a ten gallon will do... ultimately much larger...> What is a good pH for him/her, what types of things should I include in the tank setup plants, gravel, lighting, etc), and should I buy a tank mate for Li? <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm Do goldfish get lonely? It has been a VERY long time since I have tried to keep goldies, so please forgive me. Anything you can tell me to help my poor little rescue would help me greatly. Thank you all so very much for caring enough to help us unknowledgeable folk. ^_^  We <3 you!! And my fishes all thank you! <And the linked files at top. Bob Fenner>

Various Goldfish Questions    3/17/06 Hi Crew, <Emma> I have a few various questions about my goldfish. I have 5 small goldfish (the largest is about 2 inches) in two separate tanks. In the first tank I had two a Pearlscale, one Pearlscale Oranda and a ranchu goldfish. The Pearlscale Oranda began to headstand a few days ago. I know that this is my fault as I had not been consistently soaking the flakes (I am now, and I feel terrible!). <Mmm, not just soaking... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm> Anyway I began feeding the fish in this tank peas and nothing else (sorry, forgot details - 8 gallon tank with a wet/dry filter. <Eight gallons is too small (ultimately) for even one fancy goldfish> Nitrites 0, Ammonia 0, pH 6.2). The peas did not seem to help and he was still head standing, then the next morning I found the poor thing with his tail stuck halfway up the intake pipe! This has never ever happened before, but I guess it was because we was just floating in the tank and not swimming - <Likely so> anyway I have covered this tube with mesh now to stop that happening again. His tail was fine, but still he was head standing so I decided to move this fish to a quarantine tank and treat with Epsom salt. <Good> I also did a water change on the original tank because the pH was so low. The fish is very nervous in this tank and he hides when we sees me, however he has still got a typically goldfish attitude and stuffs his face with the peas I give him (I've been giving him 2 or 3 a day). He just sits at the bottom of the quarantine tank, however he seems to be able to swim alright when he does swim, and he is no longer head standing. <Takes weeks to recover...> Is he miserable because of the quarantine tank and should I move him back to the main tank? Or should I leave him until he begins to act normally again? <This latter> And also, if I do move him back can I add Epsom salt to water that already has rock salt, or will this simply be too much salt? <Same concentration, no problem> The tank I have these three fish in is obviously too small - but last night I won a 58 gallon from EBay so the fish will be moved into the larger one in a couple of weeks. <Yay!> When I do the move, I was planning to move all 5 fish into the 8 gallon (this is terrible I know, but it would only be for a few days and I would do daily water changes) and put the gravel from the other two fish's tank under the new gravel of the 58 gallon, and also run the filter from that tank on the larger tank for a few days to get the cycle jumpstarted. If I put all the gravel, water and the filter in the larger tank, how long do you think it would take until I was ready to put the fish in? <A few days...> Just one more question - I have two bubble eyes in another tank. One of them (the white one) has began to turn yellow around his head and bubbles, and also around the base of his tail. <Happens> He is acting and eating normally - I thought perhaps it was velvet disease but it seems more like he's just turning yellow rather than having a yellow dust on him - it is a lemony yellow colour rather than a darker colour (pictures I saw on velvet had a gold coloured dust). The Ammonia and Nitrites in this tank are both 0, pH is 6.6. Unfortunately I don't have a Nitrate test which is why I didn't give results above either. Thank you for taking the time to read all that, I just would like to get everybody happy before moving them into the larger tank, and I don't want to introduce disease from one to another (if in fact is it disease). Emma <Highly unlikely is a disease... I would go ahead with your stated plans. Bob Fenner>

Just read WWM re Goldfish  - 03/09/2006 Hi..  I have a question about my goldfish.  Its a black fish with the bigger type head, I cant remember the type he is.  He has a rather large body, and has always had his, he does eat a lot.  I recently bought a 25 gallon tank and moved the 3 goldfish into the tank.  I noticed a change in his behavior he was hanging out upside down at the bottom of the tank, and I noticed his body was going from black to goldish, and I notice that it looked kind of flakey too.  I took the water to get tested and the ph was to low, so I added stuff. the ph and everything is fine.  the water is fresh as I just set the tank up 3 days ago. What should I do?!!? <Read... on WWM re Goldfish Behavior, Systems, Disease... Your system is likely re-cycling, poisoning these fish... Bob Fenner>

Thank You WWM - 03/01/2006 Just wanted to say thanks for having such a wonderful, informative website. <Glad you've enjoyed it. We love what we do.> My goldfish (Harry and Bess) thank you too - after reading your website I immediately ran out and got them a much bigger tank, varied their food, tested their water, and made their quality of life a bit better. Who knew that $0.12 gold fish would be so much trouble. To the whole team at WWM, thank you! Ann -  Rochester, MN. <Well Anne, thank you! Thank you for the kind words and taking action, makes our efforts all the more fulfilling. - Josh>

Comet goldfish can't open her mouth  needs help a.s.a.p.  - 02/27/06 hello, sorry to bother you but am fearfully my 3 year old female comet is about to die .   She cannot open her mouth. For the last week she swam at the filter out put presumably for o2. and managed a small quantity of food, now she is either at the bottom of the tank or hiding. i lifted her out and manually opened her mouth with no problem but she cant do it her self.  She lives with 5 other goldfish in 65 gallons. They are fed everything peas blanched spinach zooplankton, bloodworms etc. i don't believe water quality to be an issue the tank is very well maintained and tested.   The only possibility I can conclude is an injury. I use to transfer her to a hospital tank w hen she needed a rest from the aggressive males. Could I have hurt her?   Please reply our fish are part of the family and we have not lost one yet.   Thank you in advance   Elizabeth   <There are a few such instances as yours discussed on WWM. Place the subject title you sent above in the Google search tool on WWM and read the cached versions. Bob Fenner>

Something about a goldfish   1/13/06 I have a gold fish ... he about 5 in long and one of older fish ... he may have a swim bladder problem... he stays to the bottom of the tank....i tried som medications...he come out of his corner a few times but flips crazy and then returns to his corner...can you give be some advise...he doesn't seem to be eating either. <Umm, there isn't enough information here to render you a substantive response... Please see WWM, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and then on to the linked files at top. Bob Fenner>

Help with my goldfish   12/28/05 I am in desperate need of help for my two goldfish. I have had them for almost 4 years and I cannot figure out what their illness is.   I am hoping you may be able to help me. <Will try> Currently, one of them is scratching on the bottom, sitting on the bottom with fins down.  It appears as if the top of his head is turning white, not fuzzy, just a white discoloration.  Also, I am starting to notice that there may be something starting to grow on his gill plate( one little white bump, I thought it could be a scratch).  He is breathing rapidly but still eating.  His excretions are stringy at times, but after I feed him he usually excretes normally.  The two are in a 30 gallon tank with filtration, gravel etc.  I previously had pH problems but have fixed them now. <How? This could be the source of your trouble> I feed them sinking algae pellets due to a swim bladder problem with one of them. <Need other food...> I have been feeding them this food for at least a year.  Also, I recently noticed on one of them that the white part of the tail fin looks like it has some reddish discoloration but it is very slight.  Something is definitely irritating both of them. I have taken the water to be tested at an aquarium where they said that everything was within normal range. <... not useful generalizations... like the Prez and his simplified paranoid statements>   I also add 1/2 tsp per gallon of salt. Please help Thank you. <Keep reading... on WWM re Goldfish Systems, Disease, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition. Your answers lie there. Bob Fenner>

Book Recommendation For Goldfish  12/24/05 Mr. Fenner-- < Chuck this time.> Good news and bad news. Bad news is that I lost the second Goldfish last night.  It's gills were heavily damaged, even with the problem corrected there was nothing to be done.  However, the water changes & salt seem to be doing good.  The redness in the remaining two Goldfish has already receded to a point where it is almost nonexistent.  They are very active, and by and large are behaving normally. On a related note, I would like your recommendation on a fishkeeping book.  I am often told to do one thing or another with my fish (by LFS, people on the internet, etc), without much explanation of why -- in fact, I suspect that people who make recommendations often don't know why themselves.  So, I want to get a little bit nitty-gritty, maybe even learn a little bit of fish biology so I can understand my aquarium fish a little better.  Any recommendations? Jason < Check out the Barron's book on Goldfish. It is inexpensive and will get you started with the basics of keeping goldfish and understanding aquariums.-Chuck>

New Print and eBook on Amazon

Goldfish Success
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Going On Vacation, taking goldfish with you 12-19-05 I will be going on vacation for 10 days and do not have anyone to feed my two goldfish. Any ideas on how to safely take them with me - I will be traveling by car. <Jennifer, if you really want to take them in the car you should bag them for the trip.  That is the safest and easiest way to get them to your destination. Also make sure to pack them in a cooler so they are not affected by quick temperature changes. If you would rather leave them at home, get them an automatic feeder. Make sure it is set for fairly small portions so you don't foul their water. I would also suggest getting them a 10 gallon or larger aquarium with a sponge filter if you have time. That will keep their water quality in check while you are away. The only downside is you will not have time to establish the sponge before Christmas, but even a new sponge is better than no sponge. Happy Holidays, Travis> Thanks - Jennifer Whatever Lola

Wants, Lola Gets....  10/10/2005 Hi <Hello.> I wrote a while ago about my large (body is 3.5") fantail, Lola, who was just staring off into space all the time. <Sabrina with you, today - please for future reference include previous correspondences when possible, as there are a number of us answering questions, and plenty of questions being answered; without the name of the crewmember or the previous correspondence, we have no idea where to route replies or continued correspondences.> Everything checked out OK with water quality and Lola's health. I started feeding peas and she gradually became more active -- and obsessed with eating. <Sounds like a goldfish!> You guys suggested I get her a dither fish. Today I put a medium (body 2") fantail goldfish in with Lola. Lola immediately started chasing the new fish. So I fed them both peas --at the same time. Lola chased the new fish aggressively until it barfed up the food it had just eaten.  <Mm, it probably didn't actually regurgitate, just spat it out.> Lola immediately ate the barf.  <My guess is the new fish did not know quite what to do with the peas yet, and Lola just relished this uncertainty. Give it some time.> Now Lola is only mildly annoyed with the new fish. The aggressive chasing has stopped; more like a moderate teasing now. The new fish is not happy.  <Give it some time.> The dorsal fin is not clamped however. Is this aggression about not feeding them enough?  <Possibly, but could just be even friendly. Or stranger yet, the newcomer may be female, and Lola may be a mature male. Again, give it some time.> I give the larger Lola 3 peas a day. Is it about territory?  <Unlikely.... goldfish don't tend to be territorial.> They are in a 20 gallon tank with filter. Is the tank too small? <Will be in the long run.> Is this just "getting to know you" behavior? <Likely.> Is Lola afraid she will not get enough food with a new friend in the tank? <Perhaps.> Would a munchie plant help the situation? If so what kind? <An excellent idea. I would recommend Egeria/elodea/anacharis.... A few species of plants fall under these names; all grow similarly and goldfish love to eat 'em.> Should I separate them permanently if it continues? <Again, give it some time.> Should I also feed them frozen brine shrimp? <If you like.> Besides green veggies and rice, what else would round out their diet well? I read so much about their digestive problems and have eliminated the dry food (even soaked dry food). <Sounds like you're doing great so far. Some frozen brine would be okay to add to this, or frozen bloodworms once in a while.> Do they need protein from other than plant sources? Can they eat Abelmoschus manihot leaves? (It's a human food crop in the tropics and loaded with protein.) <I have absolutely no idea whatsoever. I thank you for mentioning this plant, though; I just had an opportunity to learn about Abelmoschus - apparently okra is in this genus! How neat! But, again, I have no idea whatsoever if A. manihot leaves can be eaten by fish.> Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Tell me what to do and I will do it!  <Lola is indeed a lucky fish to have you as a pal.> Lola is a family pet and I hate to see her being so mean to her new friend--such as it is. <Give it some time; hopefully this will sort itself out in a week or two.> As usual I thank you for your valuable advice and for your incredible web site! <And thank you very much for these kind words, Steve! I do hope all goes well with this.> Steve Erickson <Wishing you, Lola, and the newcomer well, -Sabrina>
Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets.... - II - 10/12/05
Hi, Sabrina <Hello, again.> Thanks again for your advice. As you said, the situation is quieting down.  <Ah, good.> In fact, Lola is back to staring off into space, motionless. The new fish, Golda, doesn't understand Lola's behavior and tries to rouse Lola into swimming around. I expect she'll be back to her old self soon.  <Yes, they will sort things out with time.> It's amazing that she has these emotional phases. But that's why we all care for her so much!  <And a good reason, too.> Regarding A. manihot: I can send you some seeds to grow the plant. It's very easy to grow in any climate.  <If this can be done legally, I'd absolutely love to do so. Where are you from?> Right now most of the garden is fading but the 7 foot Abelmoschus is still blooming.  <Wow!> Perhaps you guys could experiment with feeding the leaves and flowers--which taste like lettuce-- to goldfish. With its high protein content, I suspect that it would be an excellent food source for them. <Certainly a worthwhile idea!!> Thanks again. <And thank you, as well.> Steve <All the best, -Sabrina>
Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets.... - III - 10/12/2005
Hi Sabrina <Aloha, Steve.> I live in New England and I am sure there are no restrictions on Abelmoschus manihot.  <Ah, very good. I thought you were outside the US for some reason.> I originally bought the plant at a local garden center. I start the seeds in the early spring and mid-June (for a later crop like now). I'm not sure if there are restrictions in your area. You can check on Google. Let me know--I have lots of seeds! <I will find out, and let you know - I am indeed very interested now.> Steve <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Great Start On Goldfish - 10/09/2005 Hello! <Good morning! Sabrina with you today, on holiday in Hawai'i> Wonderful site, I've been searching and reading for a while now. <Ahh, good. That's the best start you can give your fish.> I have a 29g tank set up for a young calico lionhead (who I do not have yet, he is on hold). <Beeeee-autiful! I'm assuming you plan to set up and cycle this tank first, eh? SO glad to read this. You're off to a great start.> I was originally going to fall into the "goldfish/ Pleco " trap, but knew I should wait until I had done more research. <I'm smiling bigger with every sentence!> I plan on just the one lionhead, and then upping to a 55g when he is bigger. (Unless you suggest making the switch now.)  <Ahh, wonderful!! Unless he's already *massive*, the 29 will be a fine home for a long while. Do consider getting him a couple pals when he's into the 55 (or sooner, if they're all quite small), as goldfish seem more comfortable with conspecifics around.> Since the Pleco route can be dangerous, <Mm, I wouldn't say so much 'dangerous' as 'undesirable'.... Common plecs grow to be massive.... 18" or so.... and prefer somewhat warmer temps than are ideal for goldfish. If you want tankmates of a different species, look to the weather/dojo loach.> I'd still be interested in another bottom algae eater "fish". <Mm.... Some of the smaller plecs might be of consideration, here; but you'll still have the temperature preference issue.... I know clown plecs can hail from surprising cold waters, but they're more of a wood and meat eater, if I recall correctly (no guarantee of that!).> In addition to the best filtration I can find, I also plan to vacuum and water change once a week, so I thought a snail might be a good choice. <Sure, if you like snails.> I've done some reading on the apple snails, but can't seem to find a lot of info on snails AND goldfish in the same tank. Will one snail/one goldfish get along? <I'm sure.> What extra food/attention will I need to give the snail? <Plant matter.... Likely same fare as what you will be offering the goldfish.... Blanched human consumption greens (spinach, cucumber, zucchini....), live aquatic plants like Egeria/elodea/anacharis....> In a 29 or 55, is more than one snail necessary? <Mm, 'necessary'? Depends upon what you wish the snails to do.... Be pets? Eat algae? Eat plants?> How big will the snails get? <They do call them 'apple' snails for a reason.... Make a fist. Imagine it's a snail. There ya go!> Will our heroes make it through the treacherous mines?? (It's Friday. I'm giddy) <Heh!! It's Sunday morning (wow, sorry for the delay in response time!) and I'm almost giddy, too. Quite an ocean view here for answering fish questions!!> Thanks so much for the help. :)  <You bet.> P.S. If you know of any definitive resources on the differences (if any) between ranchu and lionheads I'd be interested. It's a neat subject matter! <In all honesty, I do not. If you do come across any, send some links my way; I'd like to take a look. Also, I'd like to touch a bit on the algae janitorial work you expect of the snail(s).... There are other methods of algae control; perhaps the best/most efficient is by outcompeting the algae for nutrients with other (vascular) plants. Plants like Anubias sp., java fern (Microsorium pteropus) and java moss (Vesicularia dubyana) will hold up to most plant eaters, goldfish and snails included. Do please take a look through our Aquatic Plants articles, about fighting algae and such.... You may find that you don't need an algae consumer, and can stock more around what you like than what you think your system might (or might not) need. I'm not at all trying to discourage you from an applesnail, mind you! They're pretty cool animals. Wishing you well, -Sabrina> 
Great Start On Goldfish - II - 10/10/2005
Thank you so much for the reply! <Oh, sure thing!> I was looking for the snail as algae control/pet. I decided on a golden apple snail, since according to applesnail.net http://applesnail.net , the Pomacea bridgesii prefers and does well on artificial fish food, along with dead and rotting plants. So, another question to come to mind would be- What types of artificial foods (in addition to peas, blanched greens, and eventually possibly live Water Sprite) would be good for both lionhead and snail? <Anything primarily vegetable in nature.... Spirulina flakes/pellets/wafers, frozen prepared vegetable fish foods (like Ocean Nutrition's "Formula Two").... Plenty of options. Sushi Nori is an easy option.> I was recommended gel, and I'm not sure if there's a brand preference. <In all honesty, I'm not familiar with gel fish foods.> I have floating pellets and flakes, but after reading more, I'd really like to avoid that swim bladder problem!  <A very good problem to avoid.> I pick up Charlie (the lionhead) this evening, and am waiting until my LFS gets some golden apple snails in. Any advice is appreciated!  <I imagine the snail will enjoy any of the same veggie matter you offer the goldfish.> Thank you again!! <Any time, my friend. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>
Great Start On Goldfish - III - 10/12/2005
Ok, last question, I swear! My lionhead is now happy in his new tank! <Ah, good.> He's very friendly, and even comes to the front of the tank (when I was expecting a much longer adjusting period). He does spend some time in his chosen "spot" tucked behind a bit of rock, and on the gravel, but it doesn't seem like a sick or unhappy habit. I feel he's just settling in.  <Likely so.> Now Charlie is a small fellow, about 1 1/2", and the bubbler I have in there is pretty big- a flat round disc about 2 inches across, placed under the gravel. I was concerned that he wasn't "enjoying" the bubbles, and felt trapped on the "quiet" side of the tank. I just turned it off briefly, to see if he prefers the lessened agitation. Should I hold off on the bubbler until he's a bit bigger, or is his aversion to swimming the whole tank just due to him settling in? <Could be. You could get a valve for the airline to shut off some of the flow so it would be less intense, if you like. These are usually sold at large/r fish stores, in packages of things like "T" splitters and such, near the air pumps and air tubing. There are brass ones, and clear or green plastic ones.> I searched "goldfish" and "bubbler" and "small", but didn't find anything related to the goldfish size. (Or lack thereof). Your site has been SO very helpful, and I appreciate the patience for my multiple questions. <Glad to be of service.> Can't I send a box of cookies to the Crew or something? <<A box of See's dark chocolates are always a good way to go.  Marina>> <Mmmm, peanut butter with chocolate chips? Just kidding.... your thanks and the fact that you have learned something that you can now pass on to others is more than thanks enough!> :) Julie <Wishing you the best, -Sabrina>

Ozone / goldfish 10/10/05 Hi, Do you know what level of ozone can be maintained without killing goldfish? Thanks, Trevor <Likely a Redox reading in excess of 400... but would keep about 300... Bob Fenner> 

New Goldfish in Quarantine  10/5/05 Hello there again, I wrote a few weeks ago about my sick Oranda (Dr. Jellyhead Lobotomus)  and Ryukin or Veiltail- it's debatable- (Squab). Unfortunately, Dr. Jellyhead died but Squab recovered slowly over about a week, and is now back to his old self. I wanted to wait until Squab was better to bring him home a new friend. Last night, I found a really nice black Oranda (or maybe it's a panda Oranda, as it has a white belly) and ended up purchasing him/her?) Very cute and lively, a good appetite, with a nice looking Wen. A little spooked of people. I've named him Sir Hamhead Hopkins (Hammy, for short) Unfortunately, there are no really good fish stores in my area, so I have to get my fish at the local PetSmart. Here are my questions: 1)Hammy is 3.5 inches long and my quarantine tank is only a 10 gallon. I planning on doing daily 20% water changes for the duration of the quarantine. <Good> I feel bad having Hammy in such a small tank, but It's all I have. Will this be okay for a few weeks? <Should be... monitor ammonia> 2)Hammy had a bite taken out of his anal fin with a little whitish fuzz on it, and a few scales that looked like they may have been injured, so I am treating the quarantine tank with Maracyn and Coppersafe and 2.5 tablespoons of salt. I know the pet store water is shared in all of the tanks so parasites and diseases are probably there. I wanted to be safe and take precautions.  Am I doing this right? <I'd leave out the copper> 3) The Maracyn really seems to be clouding the water. The quarantine tank is right next to the other tank and looks like "the smoker's lounge" in comparison. Is this okay for Hammy? Will it hurt him? <Possibly> 4) Finally, how many weeks do you think I should keep Hammy in quarantine? Squab looks lonely, but I want them to be healthy! <Don't worry re loneliness... a couple of weeks will likely "do it" I'd appreciate any advice, corrections and suggestions! <I wonder what these fish call themselves, you and I? Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Michele

Aggressive goldfish  9/5/05 We are very new to this fish keeping game, but have thoroughly enjoyed our new pets over the past couple of months, but we now have a problem! Our fish, 1 goldfish comet(?), 1 fantail goldfish and 1 black moor, have all been fine, but suddenly tonight, for no obvious reason, the two goldfish have become extremely aggressive towards the moor, even to the point of cornering it under a stone and biting it continually. <Yikes> They seem to be very protective over a certain area of the tank, both resting on the bottom, almost looking like they are 'on guard' and becoming very agitated if anything goes near them. <How big is this tank?> The moor has been put in a separate tank for the time being. We have an 'off the shelf' aquarium, including an under gravel filter, real plants, gravel and air stone. <Undergravel filters are not recommended for goldfish systems... Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm> The water has been partially changed on a regular basis (using 'Gold Tap Safe from Interpet') and we are feeding them with fish flakes twice a day. <Dried-food only diets are a poor idea... Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshfdgfaqs.htm> There are no signs of disease (we have looked through your site to try to identify anything. We really don't know what to do next, and would appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance. Regards, Kay Fitz-Gibbons <Your goldfish may have to be separated permanently... the system may just be too small. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish... do folks read the "sending messages" pitch? 8/5/05 Hi, I'm new to the fish keeping business and need your help. I have a few worries, I've had my fish for 4 days now. I have 8 fish (1 calico, 2 shubunkin, 2 fantail, and 3 feeder fish) my tank is 10" x 15" is this too small for my fish? <Yes... goldfish need several gallons per individual... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above, where you lead yourself> Also they sometimes eat each other's poop. Is this normal, and how often are they supposed to poop? <... happens and whenever/how many times ever> Next, I'm not sure how much to feed them, I'm not sure what you mean when you say feed them as much as they can eat in a few minutes. When I feed them they seem fine but then they seem like they want more. <See the linked files...> One shubunkin, Nemo, was just introduced to the gang yesterday he was fine at first but know he just sort of floats there, then swims slowly, then goes back to normal. This has been repeating all day. Lastly, all the fish stay to a certain side of the tank in a group like their having a meeting. Is this normal or am I just worrying for nothing? <Could be trouble... Bob Fenner>                                                 Thanks!

Lethargic goldfish 7/29/05 Hello Experts, <Okay...> We recently bought a 30 gallon Jewel tank, read beginners' books, followed the instructions to the letter to set it up and two weeks ago bought two fantails from a reputable dealer.  They did very well, settled down and weren't disturbed at the partial water changes.  Kipper (2") is still flitting about, eating well and looking gorgeous.  But Tiddles (1 1/2") now swims around the tank only occasionally and seems to be eating, but spends a lot of time facing the wall, head in the plastic moss cave and waving its fins.  Is this normal? <Not atypical behavior for goldfish in a new system...> There are no signs of disease as far as we can see and s/he seems to get on well with Kipper.  Should we be worried, or is this normal? Can you PLEASE give any practical tips on how much to feed them?  Every book / fish dealer gives different advice.  "How much the fish can eat in 30"" is not helpful, as we feed mainly dried food (we vary the diet between pellets, sticks and flakes, and those dried bloodworm things once a week), and the fish spit the food out several times before they eat it so we can't estimate the time they take to ingest it.  For example if we feed, say, a teaspoonful of pellets to them twice a day, would that be OK / far too much or far too little? Best wishes Catherine <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish, humans, life 7/21/05 I have a pet gold fish. And I have had him for almost four years. He lives in a fish bowl on my bedside desk. He is an all white fish and even has white eyes. So I noticed right away when he got a big red blotch on his forehead. He eats and swims just the same and even rests in a pair of swim goggles in his bowl just the same. I feed him once a day the same amount of food and always had. I cleaned out his bowl when I saw his red mark and nothing has changed. Where I live it is really hot and we have no AC so everyday at the hottest part of the day I put one or two ice cubes in his tank to help keep him cool. Could this be the reason for his red blotches? <Likely a contributing effect> Also I have been thinking of buying a bigger tank and a filter and a bunch of other stuff for him and get him a friend. <Good> But he is so old and now he seems to be sick. <Not old... goldfish can live for a couple of decades> Is that a good idea? Please e-mail me back and let me know. -- Jasmine Ortega <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm scroll down to the articles, FAQs on Goldfish Systems, Disease... and read. Bob Fenner>

Re: Need help transporting my goldfish Oranda 7/4/05 Hello, so my roommates and I decide to move. The move is about 15 min.s. away. How would you or what would you recommend I do to transport my 2 goldfish Orandas. I have a 30 gallon tank. Thank you, Ryan <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/movgaqfwfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Concerned about Orandas, cleanliness is not sterility 07/01/05 Good Day, <And to you> I am new to caring for Oranda's.  I have (2) since February 14th, Romeo and Juliet.  I have a 29 gallon tank for them and overall they seem to be well. About 2 weeks ago Juliet (the smaller of the two) began to lie on her side after I had cleaned the tank. <Define "clean"... not completely emptying the tank I hope>   After I cleaned the tank I gave them both some cooked mashed peas.  About two hours later I saw her struggling to swim and laying on her side.  I turned off the lights and let her rest.  Though the night she seemed stressed, but by the next afternoon she was totally back to normal.  When I cleaned my tank before, I just left my fish in the tank and cleaned and vacuumed the gravel with them in there. <Good... no more than 25% of the water at a go>   So after her little episode I take them out with a net and put them in a large plastic bowl while I clean the tank. <I'd leave the fish in place> All of my water readings are fine.  0 ammonia, my nitrites are perfect.  Today when I cleaned their tank I was putting them back into the clean tank and I noticed that in the plastic bowl that I had held them in, there was what looked like to me, little bits of what I thought was blood.  When I felt it with my fingers it just felt like a jelly   It was red.  Do you think they might have a parasite? <No... but bizarre>   Should I treat them with a medication? <Mmm, no> My husband thinks I am crazy, but I really do worry.   They both are very social and exhibit no signs of sickness other than Juliet s little episode 2 weeks back.  I have not given them any more peas since that time.  Also sometimes Juliet swims very fast, just a couple of passes around the tank and then she's back to normal.  The water temperature is 72 degrees and they are the only fish in the tank.  Any input would be very much appreciated. Thank you, Kim Spurling <Please read through our goldfish area on WWM... there is nothing that "jumps out" that is wrong here... but I would modify your cleaning practices. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Transportation, International Style Hi! <<Hello Thea, Marina this morning.>> I'd emailed you a while ago about my sick goldfish Pepper. Thanks a lot for all your advice and help. Now, I'm moving from Dubai to India and I want to take him with me, but I have no idea how. <<Easy, once you know how.>> I've heard that goldfish are usually transported by plane, but don't know anything else. <<All ornamentals shipped beyond a certain distance go by plane.>> Any suggestions? How do I take a fish all the way across countries? What do I do? What are the risks involved? Any special preparations? Food? How do I carry him? Thanks again, Thea <<Alright, don't feed him for a two to three days prior to the move, this ensures an empty gut and greatly reduces pollution in the bag. Have some water that's been aged and well-aerated for a couple of days on hand, you'll bag him in this.  Ratio of water to air (oxygen, if you can access, is even better) is 1/3 water, 2/3 air/O2, in relation to bag volume. For a single fish, assuming he's about 3" or less, I'd try to get a 1-2 gallon bag. Too much water will let him slosh around, too little allows no buffer. If he's not much bigger than 3", then a two gallon volume will work just fine. Also, put some Methylene blue in the water, just a few drops are all that's needed (a pretty ocean blue).  DO NOT use a Ziploc bag! They seem really neat, but are prone to "poppage".  When you do bag the fish, DO NOT fill the bag tightly, it will pop once you hit some altitude. Double-bagging with fish bags is recommended, and twist the bag end well, loop with rubber bands, twist again and loop it down on itself, and rubber band most securely. Put all this into a small Styrofoam container. If you can hand-carry your fish, better for you both. If NOT, then place this box into a cardboard box that's lined with several layers of newsprint. As long as he's kept calm and time in the bag isn't beyond 24 hours, all should go well. Upon arrival the fish will need new, clean water, be sure to acclimate him well to it as you did when you first purchased your pet. Marina>> 

Sexing, feeding goldfish Dear WetWeb crew, I have two goldfish and are not sure is they are girls, boys, or both. How do I distinguish their gender? Oh, and can I feed them Betta fish food, or do I need to go buy some goldfish food?  Sincerely, Margaret Shelton  <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm.  Scroll down to Goldfish... re Reproduction, Feeding. Bob Fenner>

3 Different "fish rookie" Questions re goldfish keeping Hello! My kids and I have just recently (2 months or so) acquired a 55-gal.   aquarium, and have been happily and slowly learning and developing it. <Good> We   really appreciate your site, and use your volumes of knowledge almost every day,   to help us avoid doing anything stupid, and killing our fish! So, today I have 3 pretty basic questions for you: 1. We have 3 goldfish and 2 Orandas.  We've fed them almost  exclusively flake food, and try not to overfeed... but they still spend a lot of  time at the bottom, sucking up pieces of gravel and spitting them back  out.  Is this normal behavior? <Yes, quite normal>   Is there something we're doing wrong  with their feeding? <Mmm, well... I would definitely adopt a broader food choice... some dried is okay... but fresh baked, microwaved vegetables of different sorts, cooked rice... are better for their health> 2. What is the best way to keep the inside of the glass clean?  Is it  best to scrub it manually, or is there a water treatment to help out, or is  there a particular species we could add to the tank that might help keep it  clean (a housekeeper fish, if you will)? <For this size system, the use of one or two "Plecostomus" (there are many species) of a type that doesn't get too large will be much appreciated... along with regular (weekly) manual wiping with their gravel vacuuming and water changes> 3. I haven't seen any discussion about tank lighting for plain old   freshwater tanks - could you point me in a direction, or "enlighten" me a  little? How important is it to have lighting at all?  Is there a better or  worse type of light?  How important is the lighting to live plants? Thanks, guys, for any help. Tom <Good questions... For freshwater systems w/o plants the lighting issue is mainly for you, aquarist enjoyment... likely some sort of fluorescents... but important to/for the fish livestock that this be "regular"... that is, on a timer or strict schedule of being turned on/off.... For plants, you can read on the WWM Planted Tank subweb. Bob Fenner>

Cloudy Water and fish being bullied I hope you can help. Two weeks ago we set up a new tank (45ltr) and introduced two goldfish, a comet and a shubunkin, who had previously been in a largish bowl. Each of the fish is approximately 2 inches long. We added a fake plant, gravel and tunnel and a power filter which also aerates the water. <A great jump forward> Although the fish appear happy and healthy we cannot get the water clear, it always seems a bit cloudy, milky white maybe slightly yellow. We change 10% of the water every two days and clean the filter once a week but to no avail. <It will clear on its own... given time... a few more weeks... in the meanwhile be careful re feeding... and oh oh...> Two days ago we brought two new fish, smaller than the others and introduced them to the tank. <Not good to add to your troubles... the cloudiness is actually indicative of establishment of beneficial microbes... which compete with other life for oxygen... space... produce some noxious substances... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwh2oqualfaqs1.htm  and the Related FAQs 2, linked above, in blue> Unfortunately the bigger fish chased the smaller ones, almost constantly and then we noticed that one of the smaller fish had a bit missing from its tail! So we took the decision to move the small fish into the bowl and we will try again in a few days. <Please wait till the water in the main tank clears here> Are we missing anything, we are new to fish keeping and would gladly receive any advice you have to give.  Thanks, Scott & Yvonne <Have you read our archived materials on goldfish? You should: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish.htm  particularly the article and FAQs on goldfish systems.  Bob Fenner> 

Goldfish project Hello! I have a few questions about goldfish. And you guys seem to know your stuff about fish. -I am doing a project for my science class where I see what different diets do for goldfish. I am going to keep 4 goldfish, and each will  have a different diet.  I was wondering if it would be okay to feed a goldfish once a week, and what kind of staple flake food is best. <Better to feed them at least once a day... twice, smaller amounts even better. Once a week is too infrequently.> I have kept tropical fish before (it didn't go to well, sadly) and I know about keeping the pH, ammonia etc. at good levels, but temperature-wise, what do goldfish need? I assume since they are 'coldwater' fish that they do not need heater in their tank. Finally, what breed of goldfish grow the least, and how much tank space does a goldfish need? I was thinking of keeping each goldfish in about a 2 gallon bowl. ><> Lauren <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the Related Articles and FAQs (linked, in blue, above). Bob Fenner>

Saving Lives Hi ya, A few weeks ago, my partner and I were in a hi-fi shop, and were saddened to see that they were keeping two goldfish, one about three inches and the other about two, in a tiny tank on the counter. So we wrote them a letter, and the upshot of it is that we have ended up taking these fish off their hands to look after them ourselves. The shop said they've had them about 10 years. We didn't really know much about the care of fish, but figured that we'd give them a better life than they'd have in a nasty tiny tank in a shop. Anyway, we've given them a bigger tank (60 litres) with a filter, and added an "air diffuser" - which they love! We've treated the water with "AquaSafe", and are changing about 20% of it every week or so. In the short-term we are feeding them the TetraFish flakes, as much as they will enthusiastically eat in about three minutes, twice a day. <All GREAT!! And I thank you for saving these fish. In 10 years these goldies should be over a foot long. That gives you an idea just how bad off they were. You may need an even bigger tank in time. But for now all is fine. Read here on Bio Filtration. Very important subject in a new setup. http://www.marineland.com/articles/1firstthirty.asp > My questions are these:  Firstly, does all that sound ok to you?  They seem much happier and more active to us, and some black smears they had around their fins and foreheads, which we took to be a fungal infection or something, have completely gone. Secondly, we are both vegans, and would like to feed the goldfish on a vegetarian diet, as long as this wouldn't compromise their health. Would this be possible? And if so, what would you recommend using as food? They are lovely fishes - we've become very fond of them over the last few weeks. Many thanks in advance, Chris <Well you're lucky on this one. Goldfish love veggies. Shelled peas are a favorite. But you can try any finely chopped veggies. Mix it up. A varied diet is a good diet. Blanch anything hard, like carrot. There are many good foods formulated just for goldfish. I suggest you pick up two or three brands and feed them as a staple. Feed the veggies a couple time a week as a treat. Stay away from floating pellets and flake. They can gulp air while eating and become bloated. Good luck and thanks again! Don>  

Goldfish system Hi its me Tara again, <Hello> I am also wondering if you can tell me how to clean my tank. this is my first time and I really don't want them to die. Also, I don't have a filter, is that okay?<It depends on how often you change the water.> Should the fish be separated? I'm sorry if I'm a hassle<You are not> to you and I'm sorry for asking all these questions <No worries> but I have researched and haven't found anything.<I found a link for wetwebmedia.com that gives you much more information that I could type here.  Here is the link. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish.htm > I would also like to maybe teach one of my comets to go through a maze.<Lets worry about getting them to eat correctly first.  One step at a time> What would be the best way to teach them?

Goldfish questions - Follow up  <Thank you Jorie,     It is so nice to know that dedicated people are out there for us Fish Newbies.  You have a good heart to take the time to help like you do.> It's my pleasure, Gayle.  The wonderful folks here are the ones who taught me everything I know just about 2 years ago - who knows, maybe you'll find yourself answering questions on WWM one day in the future? I very much believe in what goes around comes around and am happy to help out dedicated folks who want to provide the best homes for their fishies. To answer your questions... <How do I do that without just ending up with the salt residue in the water as I scrub the sides of the tank? > Gayle, I would suggest that you do use some sort of sponge or algae pad, then just siphon out the salt with rubber tubing or a gravel vacuum, if you have something like that. I'm not sure how you do your water changes, but I personally use plastic tubing, create a suction effect, then "vacuum" up whatever leftover food, poop, etc. is on the bottom.  You should be able to do that with the salt residue also. <When outside I was salting at only 1/2 pound per 100 gallons and they were fine and happy.  With NO BUILDUP of salt residue on the metal livestock tanks walls...Also, when can I add more salt and how much as they were healthier outside with salt and no parasites present?> I think you've answered your own question, my friend.  There are always many, many answers to many different questions out there, but I think in this case you should trust what you have already seen for yourself.  I'd try the lower dosing of salt, as you were first doing when the fish were outside, remembering two things: salt doesn't evaporate and if needed, it is much easier to add more salt, rather than remove it.  That would be my suggestion...start slowly, add a little bit at a time, and just see what works best for you! <Once again, excellent website you guys run and excellent advice.  You all are to be commended.  Gayle> Thank you, Gayle.  And you, too, are to be commended for taking such wonderful care of your pets! Keep in in touch and do check out the message boards...it's a fun community full of people who love fish where you can find lots of great advice. Best of luck to you and your fishies! Jorie

Editing the Goldfish FAQs? Loved all the goldfish facts which might have just saved the life of my real old fish, but your FAQs are a formatting nightmare.  Can I please talk you into an edit? -Matt <What do you have in mind? Our situation... we are a couple of dozen earnest aquarists, some involved in the trade tangentially for a living... but none paid for their work that is WWM... there is scarce time. Bob Fenner>

Wonky-Tailed Moor I have recently brought a small black moor goldfish and when I got home I noticed that one of the small fins at the base of his tail is caught up on his tail. It's causing him great problems with swimming as his tail is pulled to one side.  Is there anything I can do to relieve this?  He seems quite quiet and tends to stay around the top corner of his tank as he seems to have trouble getting back to the bottom!  He does manage it occasionally though!  He seems generally healthy otherwise!  Please help! <<Well. You can always return him to the store and choose another. Fixing the problem depends on whether or not the small fin is actually attached to the caudal fin. Sounds like a minor deformity, and a healthy goldfish should overcome this. Therefore, I don't recommend that you try to physically separate it for him.. I DO recommend that you do some reading about proper goldfish care: keep the water quality perfect with regular water changes, feed him a good diet specifically designed for herbivorous goldfish, learn what swim bladder disease is, and how to prevent it, and add a bit of salt to your tank to facilitate his swimming for the time being. I believe that he has probably suffered malnutrition and crappy water conditions at the store, leading him to be in a weakened state and prone to illness. Your good care should strengthen him to the point where he will be able to compensate for any actual deformity he may have...you know, like a three legged dog :) -Gwen>>

My goldfish care Hello <Hi there, Magnus here to help.> I happened into my goldfish about a year ago. my old roommates 16 year old thought it would be cool to have a gold fish she brought it home and put it in a large glass on the counter. when I came home I went to the store and bought a 10 gal. tank <Smart person!  probably saved the fishes life doing that.> I also bought a few more fish. ( I know I might have too many for my tank) I think they are all the same kind of goldfish except three have very long tail fins and three don't. Does that mean they are different kinds? <They are all goldfish, just different breeds.  Think of them like dogs.  Pit Bull and a Poodle, both dogs, just bred to look different.> I also have a Plecostomus they all seem to be fine and happy and I am planning on getting a 55 gal next payday will that be big enough for 7 fish? <Goldfish will get pretty big and the 55 won't be able to hold them forever, but if they are small a 55 is just fine.  I had 5 goldfish last for many years in my 55gallon and all were happy.; though the tank did get dirty quickly as they got larger. my largest goldfish is about 3 inches and they were really small when I got them is this normal to get so big so fast? <Goldfish have been bred from Carp, which are pretty big fish.  When given proper diet and clean water they grow pretty quickly.  It's a sign you are doing things right!> Also I am thinking of installing a small pond the kind that has the plastic lining can I put my larger fish in there once the water and pumps are set up or will this change from inside to outside kill them? <If you acclimate them appropriately then they should be fine.  Float them in a bag in the pond, and slowly mix in the pond water into their bags every 5 minutes.  This should acclimate them to the new environment. and will the pond be toxic? <The best advice is to go the your local library and look at the Outdoor pond books.  There are so many varieties and ways to set them up that it would be one long email back to you.  So, I suggest getting a book on the subject and research research research.  Having a pond is a great time.  I love mine.> I feed my fish gold fish flakes  crumbled up and I feed the algae pellets to the other fish the gold fish steal his food is this normal? <Yes, goldfish are bottom feeders.; Meaning they eat anything that is even remotely edible.> With the size of my tank and the amount of fish I always have to add water change about 20% every three days and do a hole clean every two or three weeks is this okay? <Goldfish are extremely messy.  Probably the worst I have ever kept.  this sounds about right with the size of tank you have and the amount of fish you currently have.  The larger the tank/system the easier.  There is more water to disperse the waste, which means less cleaning.> Also the filter seems to always get a lot of build up I don't want to use anything on it to clean just water. anyway someone told me cleaning the filter would take away good bacteria I have a filter that sits on the back of the tank and you change the filter every week. <When I had my smaller goldfish tanks going I would have to clean the filter bags every couple of days and vacuum the gravel frequently.  This is the downside of goldfish... Messy! Cleaning the filter with just water will not completely destroy the bacteria.  Bleaching or adding other chemicals would do that however.  Rinsing the filter will not be bad, there is beneficial bacteria colonies in the tank as well as the filter.> Also sometimes I rinse the filter if it gets two dirty before the week is out is this bad for my fish? <No, getting the sludge from the filter bags will not be bad.  It gets rid of the rotting material and also helps increase water flow, surface agitation and circulation which in turn raises oxygen levels.> Like I said my fish seem like they are happy they know who I am the watch me and when I get up start to swim very fast back and forth to try and get me to feed them which is another thing I have three roommates we all work different shifts and I know they all have feed the fish at some point do you think that maybe the big momma got so big so fast cause she eats to much? <Quite possibly.  I suggest you set up a feeding schedule so that your fish doesn't get over feed.  And extra food that isn't eaten quickly fouls the water and can throw the parameters off, which can make the fish ill.> If my fish are all the same kind which they all came from the same tank at the pet store does that mean I have three females and three males and the males and longer fins someone told me that thought I would pass that one by you. <No, goldfish are pretty difficult to sex. And I doubt you have 3 of each. You have to wait until they are older and during the spring males will get little white bumps on the gill plates which means they are "in the mood".  That is one of the only ways to tell (unless you have a genetic testing kit laying about).  The tail size doesn't matter, since the goldfish you see in stores have all been bred to look different.  Longer tails just means that the fish has that gene for longer tails.  I've had male goldfish have shorter tails then my females, and vice versa.> anyway thank you so much for listening hope to hear from you. Julie <No Problem Julie, Glad we can be there to help.  If you need anything else just let us know.  Thanks, and good luck with the goldfish. -Magnus>

Oranda Cap Growth Hello! I have recently just gotten into this whole fish thing. I fell in love with Goldfish, especially Orandas. I have a 30 gallon tank, that currently has one Black Moor, as well as one Red Cap Oranda. I have been trying to find out any answer towards a typical amount of time that an Oranda grows his cap. My Oranda appears to be currently pretty small, I would say 2-3 inches in length. I was wondering if you could give me an answer for this, as my prior research has indicated anything from 3 months to 1 and 1/2 yrs. of age. My Oranda at time of purchase already had indications of cap growth, but I was hoping that you could give me a more specific, if possible, answer. Thank you so much!!!! Danielle <<Dear Danielle; Sorry, there are no specific answers :P First, congrats on falling in love with fish, and for NOT overstocking! Second, growth rates are determined by a few things. The first is water quality, the more often you change your water, the faster your fish (and his hair) will grow. Second is food, a well-balanced diet, high in fibre will help your goldfish grow fat 'n sassy. Third is genetics, which kind of incorporates the fishes' character as well as the physical. Stronger character means more a dominant fish which will generally out-grow the runts...they get all the food :P Either way, one thing we all learn is patience. Enjoy your fish as they grow, and don't worry, your Orandas will be sporting kewl headgear in no time! -Gwen>>

Too many goldfish in a farm pond Brenda have a farm pond about 1/2 acre, 7 to 8 ft. deep. i put 20 goldfish in 4 years ago, now i have thousands. all size 2 inch to 12 inch. to many. what to do. I've given away 100's. not a dent in number. what will eat smaller ones , and not breed like this? thank you <A few things would eat these... larger, predaceous sunfishes like the various "basses" come to mind for this size, type system... You might want to sell them, perhaps to local fish stores, garden centers... during the warm months. Bob Fenner>

Questions on over-fat goldfish > Hi, again > <Hello.> > My 2 goldfish are very obese, it looks like if you squeezed them slightly they could pop. > <Yikes!> > How should I diet them if they need it, > <Offer them some veggies in their diet; thawed frozen peas (squeeze the shell off), blanched zucchini or cucumber, and offering anacharis/Egeria/elodea to graze on as desired are some great options. Goldfish often get bloated from an inappropriate diet, like eating only pelleted and flaked foods.> ((Thank you very much, im afraid they'll pop!!)) > and how do I tell if they are female or male, I have already determined this for my 6 mollies. > <It can be very, very difficult to sex goldfish. Females will be a little more rounded in the belly, and males may have slightly longer or pointed finnage (not often a good indicator of gender, though). These differences may not become apparent until the fish are even six inches long or so.> > Also how do you determine whether a barb is male or female. > <Most barbs can be sexed after they become mature; the female will be more robust and rounded in the belly.> > Also they have been quarreling it looks like. I just got them a week ago together, and this morning I looked and they were swimming in tight circles nipping each other, is this alright or do I need to do something about it??? > <Many/most barbs are fin nippers, especially the notorious tiger barb. This is normal, but if you have too few of them, they may end up killing each other over time. With larger groups, say, six or seven fish, they will spread the aggression out and stay pretty much in good shape. Also, there is really nothing you can do to curb this aggression.> > I'm sure my tank is big enough they have plenty of living space, is this just fun and games? > <How big IS the tank? {{55gal}} Uh, I assume they are NOT in with the goldfish?>{{yes, there is only one barb that nips the goldfish though i know the reason is because i was misinformed about buying them they never told me about buying them in schools of 3 or more. it is a rosy barb he chases my goldfish around whenever the goldfish invades his area of the tank otherwise none of the fish bother each other. my African butterfly i think was traumatized and only stays in one corner of the tank except at dark he jumped out of the tank and luckily i woke up and saved him. )) > Thanks. John > P.S what are some aquarium safe glues and paints? > <Cyanoacrylate superglues are safe, and there are some pigmented marine epoxies that are safe as paints. For the most part, paints in general are not safe for use in aquaria.> (( i wont use any glues or paints except for aquarium safe sealant sold at Wal-mart then)) > My tank is freshwater. I have 6 mollies, 2 goldfish, 4 barbs, some baitfish, > <Uh, how many is "some"? And what are these, specifically?> ((these are golden shiners i used them ice fishing, caught them in my bait trap i had 6 )) > <I'm more than a bit concerned about this mix, especially since I don't know the size of your tank. Goldfish should not be kept with tropical freshwater fish. ((these goldfish have been raised at the fish store as tropical and have seemed to be very healthy, i was a novice when i purchased them and never thought to ask about keeping them)) Goldfish are coldwater animals and can really suffer in the warm temperatures that tropicals require. On the other hand, tropicals will really suffer in the colder water needed for goldfish; the two groups just don't mix very well. Goldfish also require about 15 gallons per fish, so two goldfish would need about a 30 gallon aquarium to really grow well and healthy; think of them as poopmachines with fins - they will really, really dirty up an aquarium very fast and need that large volume of water to compensate. Also, from your super-nippy description of the barbs, I am guessing that these *are* tiger barbs ((yep))- and I'm really quite > scared for the African butterfly; those nice, long, filaments on their fins and tail are delicate; I'd be very much concerned that they'd get nipped off and get fungused. Also, baitfish an > d suckers are a very, very general description, and there are dozens of fish that could fall under those vague groups. If the "suckers" are common plecostomus, ((yep)) for example, you can bet on them getting over a foot long if they live properly ((seems to be growing well)); but if they are "Chinese" algae eaters or flying foxes, they may only get a few inches and get very aggressive. Or perhaps they are Otocinclus, or Farlowella, or hillstream loaches, and so on.... If you can find out what these fish are, by looking in books for pictures or looking online, you can be better prepared to care for these animals, as well as your others. Wishing you and your fish well, -Sabrina 

Goldfish Needs the Fobi Pouch? Hi,  <Hello.>  My 2 goldfish are very obese, it looks like if you squeezed them slightly they could pop.  <Yikes!>  How should I diet them if they need it,  <Offer them some veggies in their diet; thawed frozen peas (squeeze the shell off), blanched zucchini or cucumber, and offering anacharis/Egeria/elodea to graze on as desired are some great options. Goldfish often get bloated from an inappropriate diet, like eating only pelleted and flaked foods.>  and how do I tell if they are female or male, I have already determined this for my 6 mollies.  <It can be very, very difficult to sex goldfish. Females will be a little more rounded in the belly, and males may have slightly longer or pointed finnage (not often a good indicator of gender, though). These differences may not become apparent until the fish are even six inches long or so.>  Also how do you determine whether a barb is male or female.  <Most barbs can be sexed after they become mature; the female will be more robust and rounded in the belly.>  Also they have been quarreling it looks like. I just got them a week ago together, and this morning I looked and they were swimming in tight circles nipping each other, is this alright or do I need to do something about it???  <Many/most barbs are fin nippers, especially the notorious tiger barb. This is normal, but if you have too few of them, they may end up killing each other over time. With larger groups, say, six or seven fish, they will spread the aggression out and stay pretty much in good shape. Also, there is really nothing you can do to curb this aggression.>  I'm sure my tank is big enough they have plenty of living space, is this just fun and games?  <How big IS the tank? Uh, I assume they are NOT in with the goldfish?>  Thanks. John  P.S what are some aquarium safe glues and paints?  <Cyanoacrylate superglues are safe, and there are some pigmented marine epoxies that are safe as paints. For the most part, paints in general are not safe for use in aquaria.>  My tank is freshwater. I have 6 mollies, 2 goldfish, 4 barbs, some baitfish,  <Uh, how many is "some"? And what are these, specifically?>  an African butterfly fish and 2 suckers.  <I'm more than a bit concerned about this mix, especially since I don't know the size of your tank. Goldfish should not be kept with tropical freshwater fish. Goldfish are coldwater animals and can really suffer in the warm temperatures that tropicals require. On the other hand, tropicals will really suffer in the colder water needed for goldfish; the two groups just don't mix very well. Goldfish also require about 15 gallons per fish, so two goldfish would need about a 30 gallon aquarium to really grow well and healthy; think of them as poop machines with fins - they will really, really dirty up an aquarium very fast and need that large volume of water to compensate. Also, from your super-nippy description of the barbs, I am guessing that these *are* tiger barbs - and I'm really quite scared for the African butterfly; those nice, long, filaments on their fins and tail are delicate; I'd be very much concerned that they'd get nipped off and get fungused. Also, baitfish and suckers are a very, very general description, and there are dozens of fish that could fall under those vague groups. If the "suckers" are common Plecostomus, for example, you can bet on them getting over a foot long if they live properly; but if they are "Chinese" algae eaters or flying foxes, they may only get a few inches and get very aggressive. Or perhaps they are Otocinclus, or Farlowella, or hillstream loaches, and so on.... If you can find out what these fish are, by looking in books for pictures or looking online, you can be better prepared to care for these animals, as well as your others. Wishing you and your fish well, -Sabrina>

Black coloration on goldfish fins I recently bought 2 new goldfish. One of them orange and one of them white. I have noticed that the orange fish has much black discoloration on its fins and now body. Just today I now see black growing at the edge of the white fish's fins too. Can you tell me what this is and if there is anything I can do about it? Thank You, Laurie  < Probably nothing. If the fish swim fine and are healthy then it is probably genetics. Goldfish have been known to change colors as they grow older and black can be one of the colors. If the fins start to clamp up or have bloody streaks then there may be a problem. -Chuck>

Black Moor differential growth I have 2 black moors in a 10 gallon tank. When I got them (6 months ago) they were around the same size.1 of them has grown to at least double the size, the other doesn't seem to have grown at all.  <This happens in a small tank, One goldfish will get all the food and start growing. Once one goldfish is pretty big the other tankmates tend to stay small. My suggestion is that you start thinking about getting a larger tank in the near future. goldfish are very messy fish and in a little 10 gallon tank you will probably have problems keeping it clean as the fish get older.>  The little one seems sick at the moment. it has little white/orange spots under the eyes and under his bum ( sorry, don't speak "fish"!). he's been really lethargic, just sitting on the bottom of the tank.  <This might be Ick (Ichthyophthirius), which is a condition that can possibly be fatal to goldfish if untreated. Or it could be a Fungal infection on it's skin.>  We also had tank issues! we couldn't keep the water clear, it got green within a week. we have a new filter now and a little tea-bag looking filter thing floating in the tank, and the water seems to be ok at the moment. Could this have made things worse?  <Adding filtration to the tank is never a bad thing. I think you should do a fairly large water change in the tank to give the fish some fresh water. Once you changed the water I would begin a treatment of Maracide from the Mardel company. This should help treat the fish. follow the instructions of the box. If it still continues after the treatment then You might need to treat it with MarOxy to help fight the fungus. You should look over the freshwater fish disease section here on WetWebMedia. It should be able to help you identify what's effecting your fish.>  Please help! Jodie  <Good luck. -Magnus>

I need help on my red cap goldfish!!! thanks can you write back with some facts <Hello.  I handle many many emails a day, and I don't remember the circumstances of your previous email.  I'm not sure what facts you wished me to write to you about your red cap.  To learn more about your fish you can check out sites such as www.goldfishinfo.com, or check out the wetwebmedia articles in the goldfish section. Thanks. -Magnus>

Changing Color Fish Guys, I have a where my black moor is has now almost completely become silver and a red Oranda that is steadily becoming darker (read appears to becoming black). There are other oranda's in this tank, 2 red caps and another red Oranda (quite gold in color). I have been feeding my fish with 'color enhancing' food, should i stop this? or this likely to be another cause for this that i should take action on? Thanks, Corey <<Dear Corey; goldfish can change their colors as they grow. This is normal and most likely has nothing to do with the color enhancing food. The food should be high quality, however, to give the fish the best health possible. Since your fish are growing, you should be checking water quality consistently, to see if they are out-growing their tank. Water quality is always the biggest concern regarding fish. Test regularly for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Nitrates can mount considerably as the fish get bigger. You can keep them low by doing regular partial waterchanges. I have found a couple of FAQs for you to read which may help: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfishfaqs.htm Good luck! -Gwen>>

Welcome to the Party Hey, I'm only a beginner with fish. <Good to have ya in the hobby.> I really want to mind them well and I hope I am doing it right. They live in a 3 foot tank and I have gravel at the bottom of the tank with 2 decorations as I didn't want to crowd the tank. I have three goldfish. I have a filter inside the tank that filters the water through a sponge in inside the filter. I change a little bit of the water every week and I add some "stress zyme" to the water as my pet shop advised me. <Sounds good to me, I am not sure if you have chloramine in your water, but if you do you will want to make sure the product you are adding to the water will neutralize it.> I feed my fish with flakes once every 2 days because I don't want to overfeed them. <I would go with once a day, and maybe add some live plants for them to munch on.> They are quite lively and I really enjoy watching them. But apart from what I told you I know nothing else about fish and I really hope you could send me some information that will increase my knowledge and make me a better care of my fish. I already have searched your website and I am very happy with what I have learned so far.  Please send me a beginners guide or anything you can, <Sounds like you are doing good so far, decent sized tank, not overcrowded, frequent partial water changes, feeding sparingly, I like it.  I wish I had more info to send, just keep reading, I'd start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsubwebindex.htm Best Regards, Gage> Thanks so much Hannah Mulvihill  - Ireland

State of the common citizen in the U.S. Hey, I'm only a beginner with fish. I really want to mind them well and I hope I am doing it right. <<Hello, happy to hear you want to do this right :)>> They live in a 3 foot tank and I have gravel at the bottom of the tank with 2 decorations as I didn't want to crowd the tank. I have three goldfish. I have a filter inside the tank that filters the water through a sponge in inside the filter. I change a little bit of the water every week and I add some "stress zyme" to the water as my pet shop advised me. I feed my fish with flakes once every 2 days because I don't want to overfeed them. They are quite lively and I really enjoy watching them. But apart from what I told you I know nothing else about fish and I really hope you could send me some information that will increase my knowledge and make me a better carer of my fish. I already have searcher your website and I am very happy with what I have learned so far. Please send me a beginners guide or anything you can, Thanks so much, Hannah Mulvihill  - Ireland <<I can't send you a booklet, all I can do is tell you to keep reading as much as you can. You have started off well, it seems like you are on the right track. You should continue to use the Internet to learn as much as possible. There are many good websites out there, use your Search engine and check out the goldfish sites. Good luck! -Gwen>>

Goldfish, plants, and substrate cleaning Hello, I have a few questions for yall, hoping so much that you can help me out. Tank details: Was a used tank, came with the filter, tank, light, etc.. 60 gallon tank, 304 Fluval filter, Lighting not sure except that the bulb is full spectrum light.so not much, help there, unfortunately, Fresh water, live plants (duckweed and anacharis right now) Substrate is silicate sand, gravel, and a few larger rocks, but no UGF Just bought some peat to try out, as well. tank currently has: 3 goldfish (one 5, one 6 , one 8 inches long) 4 white clouds 3 Ramshorn snails Tubifex worms (enough for goldfish to eat a few and keep the sand a bit aerated, if I understand right.  I restock the worms when it looks like theyve all been eaten) My first few questions are more on method than anything else: I am not sure how to clean the substrate.  I have the sand and gravel mixed, rather than the gravel totally covering it, as it seems to make it easier for the fish to get at the worms.  So, I cant vacuum or the sand is totally sucked up. I wasnt sure if vacuuming was still a good idea with a planted aquarium, either.  Whats a good way to try to clean the bottom?  A particular creature, a mechanical device, more plants..?  I really like to try and keep it as natural as possible, so if there was a fish, invertebrate, etc that I could acquire that would help and not overstock, I would appreciate a finger pointing the way to one!  We also have a 20 gallon warm water planted  tank that I am going to start up, so if a creature could be used, if you have any warm freshwater substrate cleaners, Id love to hear about them as well. One of the reasons I am concerned is because I HAVE to let the food settle to the bottom or my goldfish do not eat.  They were originally fry from a friends pond.  The ponds fish population was almost completely killed off by a heron, and honest to God, I swear its given my fish issues:-P  Without live plants floating on top and many, many around the tank to hide in, even with backing, rocks, etc. on the tank, they will stay huddled together in one corner of the tank, scared to death.  Even when at ease, They absolutely refuse to come near the surface, ever.and weve had them for 2 years now, since they were less than an inch long. They arent scared in generaltheyll even come near my hand in the water and seem to rub along it whenever I am doing something inside the tank.   Ive tried a lot of different things to try to encourage surface, or at least mid-water eating, but have finally given up and just give them sinking pellets, which they enjoy rooting around for, but dont often eat as they fall, even if I am only feeding very small amounts (tried it to see if I was overfeeding, ya know?)  So, as they dont eat them as they fall, the motion of the water always ends up flowing a small pile of them to some oddball place in the tank.  Usually its found and eaten, every once in a while its not.  I worry about any Ive missed contaminating the tank! And now, onto what is actually a more vital question for meIm having cloudy water and have recently found a little bunch of food that got shoved under a bit of wood in the tankand its got some sort of white growth on it.  Looks like each piece of food has acquired a white fuzzy outside about a ¼ inch big. once taken out of the water, it seems almost hair like in consistency.  Is this some type of algae possibly?  Or does it sound more bacterial?   Or could it be both?   We were in a bit of a desperate situation with the goldfish, so, background: They were in a 20 gallon tank and had a growth spurt like they were competing in fish growth Olympics or something, jeesh.  I was saving for a bigger tank, but even as I got it, they were really crowded, I was finding it impossible to keep the tank clean enough, etc  Really worried about them.  I fishless cycled the new tank, and when it was ready, I was going to nicely, slowly introduce the fish one at a time.  However, after I introduced the first one, the 20 gallon situation was suddenly much worse, fish gasping for air at the top of the tank, etcso, I decided that putting them in the new tank together, even if the load was a bit high at first, would be less stressful than keeping them in that old one.  The ammonia level went up to .5 ppm, the nitrite and nitrate level is very low (dipsticklame test, but the nearest stores were out of the more precise ones).  I am trying to control the ammonia levels with water changes of 2-4 gallons every other day (based on how much water I can let sit at a time with the buckets I have!) which seems to be working allright on controlling the ammonia.  The ph was at 7, but dropped to 6.5. I have been using a ph up (cant recall brand) to bring it up to 7 at the moment.  Had a bit of a brown algae bloom as well.  Now that I can actually see the goldfish better out of the 20 gallon tank, Im pretty sure they have a bacterial infection, based on reading your faqs on that sort of thing. Doesnt look like they have any fungal infections.  Sois the cloudy water best taken care of through water changes, or might it be more of an indication of a bacterial problem?  Any suggestions on best way to fix? Now, I want to medicate, but Im wondered if it would interfere with the biological filter trying to straighten out?  Melaflux (spelling may be wrong) was recommended by our aquarium store owner after hearing our fishs description.     Would it be better to wait for the ammonia readings to stay at 0 without the water changes 3 times a week?  Or is it usually better to medicate first?  Fish look ill in physical appearance, but they are not so ill that their activity levels or swimming ability seems different than normal.  White clouds seem fine.    Thank you in advance for any help you can give me!!! Shauna >>Hello. First, using peat is not necessary with goldfish. Second, Tubifex worms generally come from impure water, are you sure you are using live Tubifex?? Are these cultured? Unless they are being raised in a relatively sterile environment, I would never feed these to my fish. Plants and goldfish are usually a short term arrangement, since goldfish are herbivorous and will eventually mow their way through your plants. They also like to snuffle around in the substrate, I am surprised your plants have not been uprooted yet. You can try adding Malaysian Trumpet Snails, they live in the substrate and are excellent soil-turners. Other than that, I recommend you "surface vac" your substrate regularly. If you can remove uneaten food and fish poop before it has a chance to become "one" with your substrate, all the better. Yes, you will deprive your roots of some nutrients, but you may hopefully prevent future problems this way. It would also be advisable to uproot and re-plant regularly to prevent anoxic substrate problems down the road. I can  hear the plant people wincing when I say that, but this is a goldfish tank, so, you either need to put the goldfish first, and clean it accordingly, or remove the goldfish and make the plants your priority. You can't really do both. Also, why didn't you move the filtration on the 20g onto the larger tank? This would have helped your cycling process. Cloudy water is normal when cycling, also pH fluctuations, do NOT add any pH products, it won't help your fish at this stage! Also, fuzzy, fungus-y food needs to be vacuumed out!!  Keep doing regular water changes, this will slow down the cycle, but it will help keep your fish alive. You can try adding Amrid, or AmmoLock, or any other product at your local fish store, to help with this problem. Please do these things, then describe what your fish look like, their movements, etc. I will try to help you figure out if your fish are actually sick, or are just suffering from the high ammonia problems. -Gwen<< Thank you so much for the reply, Gwen!  Appreciate the advice immensely.   RE: the Tubifex worms.  Actually, I'm culturing them myself.  I started out with live ones from an aquarium/reptile store, and accidentally 'bred' an empty tank full of them, so now I just keep the colony going and gather some up periodically and put 'em in the tank for the fish.   Oh, regarding the plants...yeah, they're mostly for the Goldfish to eat, anyway.  I have enough that they get a chance to grow, but I just add in the cost of plants periodically to the fish food budget.  I just don't want them to start dying before the fish eat them and make everything worse, ugh. I think it's all good now, thankfully. After cleaning out and finding one more spot of yucky white food, I now know where the current seems to be pushing it in the new tank so none gets left behind now, and the water cleared right up in just a few days and the ammonia just a bit after that. Yee ha.:-)  Fish are looking good, too, so that's a relief. Thanks again...any more troubles and I know just who to come and ask now! Shauna >>Thank you! I'm happy to hear things are going well. As always, if you test your water, vacuum, and do the waterchanges, you should have smooth sailing. If you are concerned about plant matter inside your filters, just add a piece of foam to your filter intake. Then all you have to do is rinse the foam periodically. Best wishes! -Gwen<<

Starting with Goldfish Hello! I am a beginner with the whole goldfish thang..... and I was just wondering a few things.... <Some of my favorite fish.> 1. I have a five gallon eclipse tank with a bio-wheel filter and I want to get 2 fantail goldfish....do you think there will be enough room for them both at least until they are grown up??? <I will probably get slapped for saying this, but if you get them small they should be fine for a while, you really want to shoot for about 10gal per goldfish to allow for growing room into adulthood, they can reach the size of softballs.> PLEASE SEND ME ANY MORE INFORMATION ABOUT GOLDFISH!~ it would really help me!!!! <Love to; frequent water changes, varied diet, anacharis, oh yeah, and water changes. Check out these links and the links at the top of the pages. -Gage (who is starting to look more and more like a fancy goldfish every day :) http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm  http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm >

Worries about new goldfish Hi, <Hello, Magnus here to help.> Last week, my landlord asked me if I would mind taking on a goldfish, who had been left to die by another tenant of his who had run off. <sounds like a great person...> Being an animal lover, I was happy to do so!  I began to clean out the unbelievably filthy tank and when I got to the bottom, I found there was also a weather loach in there. <Those loaches can hide! I once bought a tank from a person who upon tearing it down found a loach that he had thought died years ago. It had been in his tank for 2 years without ever seeing it. > After cleaning out, I filled the tank with de-chlorinated water and, later, added the 2 fish.  The following day, I began feeding them (once, every other day-as advised by the local pet store).   <I suggest you do daily feedings, do not over feed the fish.  But make sure that they are well fed.> I bought a filter and have been doing 10% water changes every other day to reduce the cloudiness that has built up and have added a 'safe water' additive. <The cloudiness is a bacterial bloom in the water.  the tank is cycling, meaning the water is gaining beneficial bacteria that breaks down wastes.  Do less water changes, just a bit of water every other day if you feel necessary.  Every time you change the water, the tank has that much longer to cycle.>   The pet store tested my water and said it is fine at the moment. <That's good, I suggest you pick up a testing kit of your own so you can learn to know what to look for and understand the chemical make-up of your tank.> I went back to my pet store 2 days ago because I was concerned about the behaviour of the goldfish, he was unusually quiet and staying underneath the filter at the bottom.  They gave me a revitalizing tonic to put in the water. <I'm not quite sure what a "revitalizing tonic" is for fish.  I have never used one.> Later on that day, he seemed to be much more lively and I stopped worrying.  Then, last night, I noticed he kept returning to the surface and gasping (he wasn't permanently there, but regularly).  He does not seem to be doing this during the daytime! <Goldfish need heavily oxygenated water, hence the reason they are coldwater fish.  Colder water carries more oxygen then warmer water.  Make sure your tank isn't to warm for it.  They do not need heaters in their tanks.  You might want to consider using an air stone and air pump to help the water circulate more and help with gas exchange.  I added that to my goldfish tank and it seemed to help greatly.> I have some other causes for concern too.  His rate of breathing is very rapid, he never ever closes his mouth, like other goldfish I saw in the pet shop.   <means he's not getting enough oxygen, perhaps the tank is to warm for him.  Try the tricks above to help with gas exchange.  Also you might want to think about a larger tank.  The smaller tanks don't have lots of surface for gas exchange.> He also seems to be trailing feces, although he does get rid of them eventually. <That happens, not really something to worry about> During the daytime yesterday, he kept rubbing his belly on the gravel at the bottom (glancing?) - During this time, he kept swimming around erratically and seemed unusually aggressive towards the weather loach (in other words he seemed very agitated - itchy perhaps!).  Physically, I can't see anything amiss, his fins are erect, there are no white spots or red blemishes, etc... <Perhaps your fish has some sort of parasite.  If he was rubbing his sides on the bottom as well he could have parasites in his Gills, which could explain him not breathing properly.  But, he might have some sort of skin parasite from living in such poor conditions before.  If the fish continues rubbing on surfaces, I suggest you add some medicine to the tank.  I have used Maracide (from the Mardel product line) to help my goldfish and it seems to work just fine.  There is more info on our FAQ section in the freshwater medicine area here at WetWebMedia.com.> After reading various articles on the internet, I am concerned about parasites.  I realize I may be wrong (being such a novice at keeping fish), but if there is anything wrong with him, I want to be able to treat it in the early stages.  I am very attached to these fish already and I would hate anything to happen to them! <treating in the early stages is the best, the fish is much more healthy then and the chances of full recovery are high.  Keep doing your research, it's one of the best things any hobbyist can do for his fish.> One more thing, I am concerned about the 10% water change I did yesterday... I forgot to de-chlorinate the first pint I poured in...I could have kicked myself!  I added a drop of de-chlorinator to the tank, hoping that would do the trick.  Was this really terrible, as it was only one pint? <It probably didn't matter, I don't envision the fishes previous owner cared enough to add anything to the water.  But, that little amount of chlorinated water shouldn't hurt anything.  I went out and bought a large Rubbermaid tub for a few bucks and mix up my fish water ahead of time.  I just add water and additives then when I do a water change I use that water.  Less likely to forget something, and it's nice and easy.> I would very much appreciate your help and advice, thank you, Victoria <Hope I was of help.  Good luck with the fish -Magnus>

Magnus, WWM, goldfish info.  Hi Bob, Just wanted to say that I'm enjoying helping out with your Great site. I have learned a great deal from your site in the past, and must say that I'm still learning so much. With helping all these people I have really sharpened the knowledge of the fishie world. <For me as well> I didn't realize you receive so many emails a day! Glad I can be of assistance to you. <There is soon to be quite a jump in traffic...> the reason for this email isn't just to say thanks for welcoming me into the fold, but to state that I do have a bit of concerns with a few aspects of you site. I've been answering an email or two dealing with Goldfish. I've kept them for many many years (in fact the first fish I ever owned, which is a goldfish, is still alive and kicking). But, I really have a bit of a problem with a few facts that are on the start of the goldfish page on WWM. <Outstanding... I encourage you to write this area in sections/articles, and want to offer to pay you for same, as we will run them in the new online zine in installments as well. The "goldfish" portion of the FW subweb is undeveloped, to put it mildly... If you would address the basic issues... feeding/nutrition, disease, general husbandry... that would be most appreciated> I don't mean to speak bad, but I think a few of the facts are a bit antiquated, and it's not advice that I feel WWM should be offering. <No worries voicing your opinions... much of the site IS very dated... mostly a/the nature of the beast... the several hundred articles posted were written since 1981 on... many never updated.> Examples. The first mention of goldfish states "Bowls". I've tried for many years to have people realize that goldfish are far too messy to be kept in bowls. I know it does say that it's best to get the biggest possible, but I would love to have it not even mention bowls. Push the idea that tanks are what is needed. Leave the bowls to Bettas that need something larger than the stupid cup that is given to them. <Agreed> second: You state that "We recommend about one fish per half gallon of water." Which, in my opinion is way to small amount with fish as messy as goldfish. If I were to read that and not know I would think I could have 5 goldfish in 2.5 gallons of water! These fish need about 10 gallons of water for one fish just to help with the dispersal of fish waste. These fish are massive ammonia producers, and the need lots of water in order to stay healthy. <Yes... you may benefit from understanding where the "Goldfish Care Sheet" posted originated. This was a free flyer we handed out in concert with our stores supplying "prizes" for schools, churches for their "fairs"... I/we found that "meeting the consumer" about where the "Sheet" is was about right... proscribing that they go out immediately and spend tens of dollars on suitable quarters... not productive... would likely have resulted in many more animals being flushed> Other than that, there are some weird typos on the opening goldfish page also "Be sure to add the chemical to remove to remove chlorine... ". I would like to help out and make sure the goldfish area is updated and offering correct information. If you would like I can find some of my old articles I had written describing general goldfish and goldfish care. Just simple bulleted paragraphs giving generalized info on goldfish I figure. If not, my girlfriend (who is the real expect on the goldfish) can possibly give you some really nice paragraphs to go on the intro goldfish page. She would be more than willing to help, and if you gave her a credit line like "written by" she would probably die of happiness. hehe. <Please do ask her to do so... that is, write... not die!> I hope you don't mind this random email to you stating problems, but I didn't want to just sit on the side lines when I thought a few things needed a bit of changing. <You are making my week, perhaps month> Thanks again for letting me join your team. I promise to give you the best I can. Magnus <It is OUR team Magnus, never forget this. Bob F>

Bubbles?  Eggs?  What on Earth?! Hi there crew.   <Hi, Todd!  Sabrina here> I  have some small comet goldfish that I had in my garage tank in which the tank was 47 degrees. <Nice and chilly!  Brr!> I brought them inside and after a week I see clear bubbles on the top that are kinda slimy and sticky. Are these eggs or saliva in which goldfish make a nest out of??   <Well, goldfish don't make nests, but they will leave bubbles at the top sometimes when they grab food; these usually pop right away, though - and I'm pretty sure their eggs don't float....> There are lots of them and they are floating on the top of the water.   The gradual increase in temperature is at 60 now. They think it is spring I guess.   <It really does sound bizarre!  Are these bubble-things uniform in size/shape?  How big?  Do they pop?  Is there anything else in the tank with them?  Since they're clear, I very seriously doubt that they're eggs of any sort, eggs should turn opaque-ish or have some visible substance inside.> How old or big do they have to get to lay eggs?????     <I have seen spawning activity in comets as small as 5-6 inches, but not smaller than that, that I can recall.> Thanks, Todd from Ontario <This does indeed sound weird!  I hope we can help you figure out what they are.  -Sabrina>

Goldfish behaviour I have a black moor and a bright yellow goldfish with bulging eyes it looks like a half breed, hehe), the gold fish being half the size of the black moor,  and I can't tell if they love each other or hate each other. The bigger one is constantly following the smaller one around. <Goldfish like to school, so that much is perfectly normal> Sometimes they seem aggressive and sometimes they don't. They tend to both shake their bodies very fast  at each other, and I don't know if this behavior means anything. <This could be spawning behavior; goldfish are rarely aggressive with each other.  As long as no fins are getting nipped, you should be safe.> Once in a while I will see them bolt at eachother, but I don't know enough about them to know if they're playing or fighting. <Probably just trying to catch up with their school (the other fish); again, if no injury is coming of their activity, they should be okay.  Keep an eye on them, watch for torn fins or other abnormal marks that would indicate that they're fighting.> I'm also thinking about getting another black moor there's this one that swims upside down, so cute!) <Woah - abnormal swimming is a major sign of illness, and goldfish should not swim upside down.  I'd recommend not getting that particular fish at all, as you would risk making your other fish sick with whatever he might have.> but I don't know if that would be a bad idea with two big fish and a little one. <Well, not knowing the size of your tank or anything else about your setup, I really can't recommend one way or the other.  Goldfish are actually pretty 'messy' fish and require large-ish volumes of water to keep clean.> Ok well thank you for taking the time to read this, and please get back to me a.s.a.p. <Glad to help - Sabrina>

Help with my Black Moor gold fish - Internal Parasites 7/10/03 My sister just got 2 black moor goldfish, one recently died. But the other has been pooping out this whitish, stringy stuff. <Often a sign of internal parasites. Do seek and feed medicated fish food to correct> And tonight we noticed a  orange worm looking thing coming out of (I'm assuming its butt) it is not living or anything, but it was like 2 inches long with that white stringy stuff on the end, then he shook real good and it fell off and floated on the top.  Then a few minutes later he did it again. And meanwhile he ate the first stuff that was at the top. Can you tell me what this is, and if the fish is ok? Thanks Very Much......          Michelle & Spike (fish)   <If the fish is eating dry foods (flakes or pellets) then it may very well be suffering from internal parasites... else the feces would be solid and darker in color. Kindly, Anthony>

Color Changing Goldfish Ok here is a silly question... I've had this small goldfish for about 6mo. or better all of a sudden, overnight my gold fish started turning black is this normal or is it having a near death experience?    <Color changes in goldfish are pretty normal, mine usually go from black to silver to orange.  Overnight sounds a little fast, does everything else seem ok, feeding, breathing, any deformities, or fuzzy stuff?  testing your water is always good.  The link below has more information on common goldfish ailments.  Best Regards, Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs

New owner of Oranda goldfish >I have a 15 gallon aquarium with one small Oranda  and plan to introduce two more fish soon.   >>Greetings, Marina this morning.  A 15 gallon tank will ultimately be too small for just this one fish.  However, if he is sufficiently small now, and your husbandry techniques are good, he can do well for a year or two.  I would hesitate to put anything but the smallest fish in the tank with the goldie, and do be sure they're not too quick to out-eat the fish, nor to bump it around in their regular activities.  Other fancy goldies are good choices in this regard, but please know that with three of them in this tank, they'll need larger housing sooner. >This Oranda has been doing fine but recently I have noticed that she comes up for food swims round a bit then sits at the bottom in a certain place for a while and then moves about a bit and then goes back to the same place. >>If you are feeding this fish the common standard flake, this will contribute to future swimbladder problems.  The Oranda, as you can see, is a very foreshortened fish, thusly, all its internal organs that once fit into a slim-bodied, sleek animal, have been crunched into this little ball.  This behavior, therefore, is not at all uncommon.  Especially if they're having swimbladder or constipation problems.  Both can be alleviated by feeding frozen peas squeezed out of their skins, and switching to slow-sinking pellets designed for fancy goldies. >She seems healthy enough but I am worried that she might be sickening for some reason. >>If she were to sicken, I would look to diet, husbandry (goldies are notoriously "dirty" fish--excreting much slime and waste), and tank size.  Water changes are helpful, but with new systems never vacuum the gravel (let them become well-established, several weeks minimum), and with established only vacuum 1/3-1/2 at each change (assuming at least one week between changes). >I have a Fluval2 Plus filter and I have it on the lowest flow but I am wondering if the current in the water is tiring her too much so she has to go to bottom to rest. >>Does she seem to be struggling against the current?  If so, then simply diffusing the flow may be sufficient, but with a HOT (hang on tank) type filter this is problematic.  The best method I can think of would be to purchase a sufficiently tall bit of rock or wood to place under the flow, or a VERY densely planted area directly under the flow.  Best of luck!  Marina

Oranda goldfish care <Hello- Ryan here> Thanks for your e-mail. Unfortunately my Oranda Goldfish died.  I think it may have been swim bladder problems, constipation or dropsy. <Sad.  No fish loss is easy> I had two common goldfish as starter fish and one of them died of dropsy.  I don't seem to be having much luck keeping fish and I don't know what I am doing wrong. <We'll do what we can!> Can recommend a fish for my  15 gallon hexagon tank - I have a Fluval 2 plus filter <is it clean?  Clean this once per month at the least>, plastic plants (I had real ones but they didn't grow very well) <Lighting?>.  My water quality seems to be okay ( nitrites 0, ammonia 0 not sure about the nitrates but I was doing weekly water changes so I imagine they weren't that bad) <This is an important test! Don't neglect it.> Would it be better if I got a bigger Oranda (maybe the smaller one that died - it was about 1 and half inch in body length wasn't formed inside properly). <2-3 inches would be a good purchase size> By the way I was feeding the Oranda flake food and freeze dried daphnia.   <It seems to me that you may have cycling problems.  Please research on the FAQs for freshwater cycling!  Patience and control will be your allies this time around, right?> Please help me, I don't want an empty fish tank all the time. <And you won't, with proper care.  A goldfish can live for years.  Until next time, Ryan>

Goldfish with fat lips and narrow mouths Hi, My brother has 4 goldfish together in a tank that has only large rounded stones. His fish seem to have deformed mouths. My tanks have regular small gravel that the fish seem to be constantly "mouthing" and they seem quite normal. Should he replace his stones with gravel? Thanks <The gravel shouldnt be causing this so he can probably leave it if this is what he likes. Ronni>

2 Goldfish; 10 Gallons; ton of fun - I hope Hello: <Hi there> As you often hear - your site rocks and is very helpful. I would suggest some formatting for your FAQ and article sections, I find them a little difficult to follow but I just got here... <I think thats something that the web gurus of the crew are currently working on in-between answering messages. :o) I will pass this on to them too. Thanks!> This adventure begins three weeks ago - Friday 4/11 - The wife and I have set up a ten gallon tank with 2 fish. One is a telescope moor, the other is a gold fantail (specifically see them here: http://fkerm.net/fish) <The pics look great but be warned that these fish are going to rapidly outgrow your 10g system.> We did not really do a "good" set up procedure we added "right start" (Dechlor.) and aged the water for 2 days, but our Eclipse System 1 hood had a defective impeller, so we bought a corner filter and let that run for about 24 hours and then we bought the fish in. I know, I know - we did bad. <Not too bad. You would have been better off to add a comet or two rather than adding these guys right away but other than that this sounds OK. I now have a RedSea Fresh Test pH/NO/NH test kit. And have been keeping track of the ensuing cycling. NH spiked then dropped to .2 ppm (which according to the test kit (Red Sea) is actually .02 ppm) <OK, this still needs to be brought down to 0ppm though.> We got a replacement impeller from Eclipse/Marineland and have had both filters running since then. <Very good, extra filtration is always a good thing with goldfish because they are messy fish.> We have gone through 2 water changes (replacement water has been de-chlorinated; brought to room/tank temp) <More frequent water changes are in order until the cycle is completed. Change small amounts every day or two until ammonia and nitrites are at 0>> We are trying to be conservative with the amount of food we provide. We have been using a gravel vaccum. <Lighter feeding isnt really necessary if you keep up with the water changes and have good filtration like you do. Dont overfeed but dont underfeed either.> The tank fits perfectly in our unused fireplace. There is no clearance around the side of the tank. The flue is closed in the fireplace. We built a tiny platform and put cork on that. The tank sits on the cork. <Neat idea. Just make sure nothing can fall into the tank.> NOW my questions: Once I started the Eclipse I started getting some suds in the tank, lings primarily to the surface level/side of the tank. Looks soapy, doesn't really feel soapy - performed water change and suds are still here in the same amount. So if it was soap, for some reason, wouldn't it go away with the water changes? Actually - now when I look in the cartridge part of the Eclipse filter there is foam in there, no too much but some - about /3 the fitler size. No suds/foam in the tank. But the tank is getting cloudy -  milky-i-sh. We have been doing 25-33% water changes on a weekly basis. (that is changes so far) <Suds can come from substrate once in a while but when its this it will disappear rapidly. My guess is that its something in your water. When I looked at the pics of your tank I didnt see any suds, just normal air bubbles, so Im not positive what this is. If the fish arent showing any signs of distress (rapid breathing, darting, scratching, etc) I wouldnt worry too much about it. You might want to keep an eye on that piece of coral in your tank though (unless its a plastic one). Coral can affect your pH levels and dyed ones can occasionally leach dye back into the water. The milky look can come from several things, high ammonia and nitrites being the most common.> n avg: H = 6.8 NH3 = less than .025 ppm NO2 = less than .7 ppm NO3 = 0 EMP = 73 (room, no htr) Any clue what is going on with my water? <Work on getting the NH3 and NO2 down to 0ppm by doing more frequent water changes and see if this helps with the milky appearance.> Also - my fish are f-i-e-s-t-y, particularly during dinner time. The moor, the slower fish, just starts pushing the gold guy all over place. It looks like they are nipping each other fins and tails but I haven't noted any damage yet. <Very common and nothing to worry about unless they are actually damaging each other.> The rest of the time the gold fish is a little more aggressive. I can't really tell if they are territorial as they are all over the tank. They seem pretty alert, they definitely look like they are watching us when we first come home or sit down to watch them. <This sounds normal and good> The gold fish seems to really like playing in the currents in the tank. He often plays in the air column coming from the air driven corner filter and the output f the Eclipse. The moor does not do this as much, but if he thinks there is food to be had, he seems to follow the Gold guys lead. <Some fish do really like to play in currents. To give him some excitement you can move the corner filter just a bit. Once in a great while, move it to the other side of the tank or just change the angle of it a hair. Most goldfish seem to like it when this happens as it gives them a change of pace.> Thanks for any replies you guys can afford. Francis <You're welcome! Ronni>
Re: 2 Goldfish; 10 Gallons; ton of fun - I hope
Can you give a time frame we should think about? When should we get a bigger tank  in 6 mo.s? Before the 1 yr anniversary? <I would guess that within 6 months these fish are going to be getting very cramped. It varies greatly with each fish but 6 months is probably going to be pretty close.> The water is driving me nutty. <Come join me then, Ive been nutty for years!> What is happening is - pH is at 6.4 - 6.6 - Ammonia is 0 - Nitrates are up to 10-15 ppm (climbing it seems) - Nitrites are becoming tough to measure because my test samples do not match the color on the provided reference cards! They use to match but now the colors are off. <Generally (but not always) when this happens the nitrites are higher than your test kits reads. You might want to take a sample in to your LFS and have them test it. Its not unusual for nitrates to climb and its nothing really to worry about since you only have fish in there. I never worry about nitrates in my FW tanks.> This is the same RedSea kit I started with, The other tests match the provided cards. I have not added any chemicals to the water other than the right start/de-chlor stuff to the replacement water. I wrote the manufacturer and am waiting for a reply. <OK> Finally - food. We bought some dried and fresh worms. I assume fresh bloodworms, they are about 1"+ and red. And very very thin. Then I read somewhere that bloodworms are the generic wrapped pre-formed un rated burgers of the fish world. Supposedly disease ridden and just gross in nature....if true would you suggest dried worms anyway? What about a 'high protein' food? <Tubifex worms are not recommended because of that but Ive never heard it about bloodworms. Could be true though. I generally feed goldfish a mix of good flake and pellet food with frozen bloodworms given as an occasional treat. This provides them with everything they need and they do quite well. You can also give them the occasional green bean or the inside of a pea, they love this but dont do it too often.> thanks again for any time/attention you can spare. <You're welcome! Ronni>
Re: 2 Goldfish; 10 Gallons; ton of fun - I hope
Hello (again - if its Ronni!) <It is Ronni, hello again to you Francis!> This chapter should be known as 'Nitrite, Nitrite, Nitrite' <Uh-oh, this doesnt sound promising> To recap: Setting 10 Gal. tank, 3/4" deep of gravel, corner box filter, Eclipse 1 hood w/Bio-wheel Players 1 Fancy Tail, 1 Telescope moor, (both ~2" tip to tip) <Are they sitting around the table playing poker and smoking cigars? If so, this is where your smoky water has been coming from *g*> The issue: - PH is 6.2 - 6.4 <Man, I wish I could get mine down to this!> - NH3 levels have spiked and been effective 0 since week 2. <Excellent> - Nitrate levels have fluctuated high of 40ppm <Not a huge concern in FW with no plants although it can cause some algaes to grow faster> - NITRITE levels will NOT drop from 1-2 ppm <Hmm, I have heard of others with this same problem. Do me a favor, test your water straight out of your tap and again after you have let it set for 24 hours. Also, make sure your test kit is accurate by having some water tested at your LFS.> Story: Since setting up the tank I monitored very closely and thought I saw the tank cycle. (NH3=0) During this time I began getting obsessed about water chemistry. Having tattooed the test kit instructions to my arm, I have noted that my Nitrate levels are above 1ppm and sometimes flirt with 5ppm. <Hey, maybe I should tattoo the color chart to mine. That way I wont have to worry about losing those blasted little cards!> I have performed about 5 water changes of an avg 30% since week 2 of the tank. <I cant remember what week youre on and dont have my notes handy but if we can get the nitrites back to 0 then youll want to cut back on the changes some.> Today I tested and got NITRITE 2ppm, I performed water change of 40%, tested and got NITRITE 2ppm. My wife brought me too with smelling salts but I still don't get it. <Ugh! You didnt put your fist thru the front of the tank? I think I would have been tempted to!  Seeing this really makes me think that you need to test your tap water/replacement water or that something is wrong with your test kit. This should have gone down, even if only temporarily.> Water changes are done via gravel siphon, so the gravel is cleaned and stirred up, hopefully to get sucked into the filters. I just changed my Eclipse filter today (at the 1 month mark). Previously I had rinsed the first filter out. I assume the BioWheel is doing its thing because the NH3 is 0. Where does NITRITE come from? <Generally you would have 0 nitrite by now and Im not positive where this is coming from!> Do I need to do water changes every day? 2x a day? <I wouldnt, just stick with the schedule youre on for now.> The fish dont seem to be suffering and the water is crystal clear (previously I had mentioned cloudiness) <Thats good at least.> Should I find another hobby to replace my water testing? and enjoy the fish as is? <Well, seeing as you have the tattoo and everything I think youre safe enjoying the water testing. *G* And hey, there are worse things to be obsessed with!> Thanks again, Francis <Youre welcome. I certainly hope one of the above mentioned things is the cause so we can get this straightened out!> PS - We are planning for the move to a bigger tank for these guys and I plan to turn the ten gallon into a nanoreef - and have bought Anthony's books to help that along - thanks for all your work! <A bigger tank is a good move and youll be very pleased with Anthonys book; just remember that a non reef tank takes a lot of effort to keep all of the levels where they should be. I have a 10g Nano and its much more work than my other 10g tanks. But its much more rewarding too!>
Re: 2 Goldfish; 10 Gallons; ton of fun - I hope
>Brrrrrr.... >>Uh oh... >Hello (Hopefully I am only spreading my insanity to Ronni) >>LOL!  Nope, you're now spreading the love with Marina, too. >This is just so baffling and should be so simple I can't stop obsessing and bugging you! >>Indeed. >I tested my replacement water today (tap water w/some Dechlor, that sat for 24 hrs) and got a textbook 0ppm (I took a picture) >>LOL!  Just to prove in your own mind that it's true?  What about contacting your local water district?  (More my area of familiarity. although if it's testing out zero--as it SHOULD--you worry not about it.) >Then I tested my tank water (having done a water change 24hrs ago.) The sample raced to the high end of the reference card (I took pictures) and settled in at ~2ppm. >>Quite the persistent problem.   >Ahhhhhhhhh.........Could my corner box filter be leaching Nitrites? >>Well, I'd like to know what the media IN the filter is, first.  Generally, the way the cycle goes is peak ammonia, converted to nitrite, converted to nitrate.  So, if you're still peaking in the nitrites, in my opinion your tank is NOT cycled.  You should only be getting significant readings on nitrates, not nitrites.  Water changes, assuming your municipality isn't allowing as high as 40ppm (been seen before, too, and it is legal to have levels that high for potable water) then water changes would relieve that last reading, yes yes?  So, nitrites are saying that the particular bacteria we wish to culture that convert ammonia to nitrite are not available in sufficient numbers. >I have not touched it since it was put in - before the fish and before the tank cycled. >>The tank cannot cycle on its own, you need either fish, or to toss in some fresh food and allow it to decompose to start the cycle.  Then, please know that you will only have cultured as many bacterium as there is food available for.  Add fish and the balance is once again out of whack. >Should I change media or remove it all together? There might be debris in there decomposing... >>No, I wouldn't.  You didn't say what percent of water you changed, please know that you'd have to make a 50% or better w/c to make a dent.  Also know that, by changing the water and not allowing the cycle to continue, you're extending the cycle.  I am also curious as to your substrate.  Most box filters (I'm assuming the old-fashioned air-driven boxes, filled with carbon and filter wool) are not designed or set up to accomplish biological filtration.  This is where something like a HOT (hang on tank) powerfilter or u/g (undergravel) filter would step in.  The HOT filter can be fitted with media for which the sole purpose is to house denitrifying bacteria, and the largest purpose of an u/g filter is the same.  If you're using very large gravel along with the box filter, this would entirely explain your problem.  Since I'm not hip, please advise and we can move further.  Also, if you're one of those people who has to keep cleaning the tank, scraping, vacuuming. STOP IT!  You're killing your benthics (the bacteria that reside upon surfaces *only*), which again would explain why your ammonia is being converted into nitrite, but not (apparently) nitrate.  Please do find out what your municipality allows for nitrates! >Thanks again - you guys rock!( .... in a reef sort of way not in a Journey way....) >>Ew, Journey.  I'm definitely more of a Ministry gal, m'self, Coldplay, Sugar Ray, bit of reggae tossed in the mix...  And hey, do we girls not rock, too?  Yeah? Yeah?  ;)  Fill me in on the rest of your tank stats (when set up, how long fallow, timing of fish additions, everything about the setup itself) and I'll be better able to nail it.  Best of luck, Francis!  Marina

Tank Maintenance >Thank you very much for your reply Marina. >>You're quite welcome, Francis. >I have been dialoguing with Ronni for about 2 weeks, but here is the low down:  Started the tank about a month ago (4/11) - 10 Gal. tank w/Eclipse1 (W/D Biowheel) and Corner Box. - About 3/4" gravel >>So the general diameter of the gravel is 3/4"?  If so, this is very large, and will not hold much in the way of nitrifying bacteria. >Filled with water and let sit for ~24 hours.  Started corner filter and let sit for ~24 hrs.  Bought fish, too soon, I know but...  1 Fantail, 1 Telescope Black Moor (see fkerm.net/fish) Each fish is about 1.5".  Feeding and pooing begins!!!  Eclipse came w/faulty impeller, waited for replacement.  Started Eclipse about 4 days after fish went in.  Got Test Kits (<- this seems to have been a problem as it precipitated my obsession w/test tubes and timers).  Over the next week I see the NH3 spike and settle back down to ~0ppm.  During the same time NO3 and NO2 bounce around with the Nitrates climbing every now and then. This is followed by ~30% water changes.  BUT - during the same time my N02 test kit is just not doing anything helpful. I get another kit with a bigger range of ppms and there is the ugly truth NO2 is at 5ppm (high) but usually over 2ppm.  So for 3 weeks I have been changing at least 30% water on a weekly basis. This past week (the 4th week) with consistent NH3 and NO3 levels but still high NO2 levels.  I decide to do water changes every day/other day, and much more aggressive 40 - 50%. >>Alright.  It does seem as though you've got "new tank owner's syndrome", typified by the person with a new setup, who becomes obsessed with it, and finds that they cannot keep their hands out of it.. LOL!  Sorry.  But, it's too true, eh? >All in all I think I have done 7 or so partial WCs.  The fish have taken to harassing me and the gravel siphon. >>AHA!!!  THAT'S your problem right there!  STOP VACUUMING THE GRAVEL.  You're very dutifully removing the very bacteria you *need*, and wish to culture.   >They seem fine health-wise: active, aware, up to date on all the celebrity news on E!, awaiting the new Disney 'Nemo' film...etc. >Last night I took the wool from the box filter, flushed it with water from the tank and replaced the filter back in the tank. >>The only purpose for the wool is mechanical filtration.  When you remove it, just replace it. >This morning I took another NITRITE test and have seen a  drop I think but it is still somewhere above .50, maybe even still at 2ppm but not as bad. Anyway the strange thing is the high Nitrate levels after water change and of course the day after. Not cool. >>Again, get the test readings for your municipality.  The amounts may differ for each municipality, but readings as high as 40ppm for nitrates are acceptable.  You're knocking your head on a wall if you're replacing the water with water that already has high nitrate readings. >So it might have been the corner filter, but I was wondering if there was something else going on. We have been good about watching our feeding and we perform water changes with a gravel vacuum. >>Yes, yes, I see that.  And no, it's not at all the corner filter.  You must stop the siphoning of the gravel.  Don't even wipe down the inside tank walls.  Your tank is only a few weeks old, you should NOT be doing so many water changes here (especially with all this gravel vac'ing!), it's only slowing up completion of the cycle.  The device that WILL be ultimately handling and harboring the bacterial cultures is that wheel on the Eclipse (in many other setups it's the undergravel filter).  I would like to see you add more gravel to the tank, but make sure it's NO BIGGER than 1/4" in diameter.  That gravel will eventually migrate to the bottom, but once the tank's established you can turn it over in thirds with each water change (or better yet, just remove the big gravel).  Also, do know that your goldfish will VERY quickly outgrow a tank that size, as goldies are among the dirtiest of fish to keep, and require a higher O2 content in their water (being a temperate/coldwater species).  Ok, so, to hit the "hot points" here: >>1: Stop vacuuming the gravel when doing water changes. >>2: Try to make the water changes only once a week, no more for now. >>3: Stop wiping down the tank walls. >>4: Feed the fish what they need (also, being short-bodied fancies, they'll need lots of veggie matter in their diets, prone to swimbladder troubles and the like with flake food only, also, it pollutes a bit more--give them a treat of frozen peas squeezed out of their skins a couple times a week, maybe more) >>5: Once the tank's established, vacuum NO MORE than 1/3 per each water change.  If the water change is less than one week in between, don't vacuum at all. >>This *should* get you on your way to an established, healthy tank.  The first old-timer I ever worked for once told me the best words I've learned in this business, "A dirty tank is a healthy tank, and a hungry fish is a healthy fish".  He is right.  Best of luck!  Marina<< >Thanks!  Francis PS Girls do Rock....a lot! the Donnas, Breeders, Hissyfits and Lunachicks - they rock and roll. PPS on fkerm.net/fish you see pointy coral. We have replaced (pics need updating) with plants. Umlaut - the moor, kept appearing with strange white markings on his face, we figured he was gouging himself on the coral. We took all other pointy things out and he hasn't shown up with any strange markings (padded tank anyone?) PPPS We plan to get the fish a bigger place in about 6 mos.  

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Goldfish Success
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term

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