FAQs About Goldfish Stocking/Selection
Related Articles: Goldfish, Goldfish Varieties, Goldfish
Systems, Goldfish Disease,
Related FAQs: Goldfish 1, Goldfish
Behavior, Goldfish Compatibility, Goldfish
Systems, Goldfish Feeding, Goldfish Disease, Goldfish
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What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Question on Goldfish/Tank Stocking
I wrote to you a couple of years ago about our four common goldfish in
the 55 gallon tank, and your answer was so helpful, and now I have
another question for you along the same lines.
Some background: in Fall 2014 we pulled our four common goldfish out of
our outdoor pond for the winter, and stored them in our 55 gallon tank
indoors until the pond outside came up to a livable temperature again in
the spring. Summer 2015 the fish reproduced outside in the pond (big
shocker to us), so in the Fall of 2015, when we pulled the big fish out
of the pond, eight babies came out too! Over the winter 2015-16 we had
four adult goldfish and eight baby goldfish in the tank (adults all
around 5"-6" and babies all around 0.75"-2"). Knowing that the 55 gallon
tank was overstocked, I monitored the tank levels carefully and
performed frequent water changes throughout the winter. Spring 2016,
four adults and four babies went back outside into the pond, and I
decided to keep four babies inside in the 55 gallon for the summer.
Fast-forward to August 2016 (actually, yesterday): the liner in our
outdoor pond appears to have a leak, and water is rapidly escaping the
pond. I pulled out all remaining goldfish (three of our adults were
eaten by something this summer), so in the indoor 55 gallon tank I have
one adult (7") and eight babies (all between 3"-4"). I know that my tank
overstocked (and I'm sure there was a serious shock to the bio load on
my filter), so I performed a 50% water change this morning, and plan to
do regular ~30% water changes daily until we either repair the pond or
get a bigger tank.
In the meantime, do you think that it is safe to keep that many goldfish
in a 55 gallon tank?
<With careful feeding, redundant filtration and aeration; yes; should
I currently have one filter (rated for 70 gallons) running in the tank.
I'm assuming a second filter would be advisable.
Is doing a partial water change every day helping or hurting my cycled
<Good question. IF the water quality of your source is "good"; better to
do the changes... IF it's not good, best to limit to 10-20 percent every
Thank you so much!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Question on Goldfish/Tank Stocking
Thank you again for your advice. So far the fish are doing great. I
the water parameters carefully, and they are staying right where they
should be. I purchased a second filter (so I'm now running two
Penguin 350 filters in the 55 gallon tank) and have been religious about
doing a partial water change every day. I have another question for
It appears a baby from Summer 2015 was left in the pond over the winter
survived, so I pulled him out after I realized he was in there. While I
trying to scoop out the extra fish, *another* baby from this year got
caught in my net! He appears to be roughly a month(?) old (he's ~1"
He's definitely small enough that our biggest fish wouldn't have a
eating him, and all of the fish nip at his fins when they see him,
he's great at hiding among the driftwood in the tank, so they don't spot
him too often.
My question is, do you think it's ok to leave the tiny baby in the tank
with ten other larger goldfish and take the chance that he's a great
survivor, or should I put him in my spare 10 gallon tank for the time
being, until he grows a little bigger?
<Should be fine either way. Goldfish (minnows) don't have "teeth on
jaws", but further back in the throat/buccal cavity... don't "bite"
I imagine even with his hiding
spots, such a thing has to put a lot of stress on the little guy. He
out alone in the tank while the other ten fish seem to school together
each other. I could put the 10 gallon up next to the 55 gallon so they
could still see each other for the social aspect.
<Mmm; up to you>
Thank you again. I really appreciate you taking the time to write back
<Appreciate your sharing likewise. Cheers, BobF>
Question about Freshwater Links. New GF link
I came across your website years ago when searching for information on goldfish
diseases. I loved the way you shared such valuable information and included a
great page of individual questions you receive from owners having problems with
your answers to each one. So helpful to me when I was first starting out as a
stressed-out, first-time fish mom!
Since then I've gone on to create my own website about goldfish information
with a storefront that independent breeders can sell their goldfish on (http://puregoldfish.com/product-category/live-goldfish/)
Might make a nice addition to the page :D
Either way, keep up the great work!
<Will def. add. Thank you for your efforts, sharing. Bob Fenner>
Hi there, my name is Jake Saulis,
I am from the Maritimes in New Brunswick and I have a new 5
gallon tank of 1
week old and I have 2 gold fish in it (both of a small size)
<Not small; young. There's a difference. Get yourself a side plate out
of the cupboard, the sort you eat toast from. Hold it up. That's about the size of an adult fancy Goldfish. Grab a second. That's your two goldfish within a couple years if you look after them properly. As should be immediately obvious, 5 gallons isn't anywhere near big enough for them.
Yes, lots of people put goldfish in such tanks when they buy them, but
the vast majority of such goldfish end up stunted, sick, or most often
one is a lion-head named Mufasa and the other (Nova) I got today and for the life of me I cannot remember the type but he has HUGE eyes and is orange and white its also from the goldfish family...either way my
question is can goldfish become jealous that they have a new friend in the tank?
<If two males, yes, in a very small tank aggression is possible.>
because Mufasa(the Lion-head) will take runs at Nova and nip his fins...that being said Nova gives it back in small portions... Nova seem timid in the tank but Mufasa (the lion head) swims freely and without worry, is the lion-head bullying my other new goldfish?
<Can I have you read this:
You need a 20 gallon tank, minimum, for successful, trouble-free
Goldfish keeping. Plus there's lots of other information in that article you'll
Thanks and cant wait to hear from you!
<Most welcome, Neale.>
re: Lionhead goldfish bullying?
Hi again, great to hear back from you and yes I did read on and saw that
20gallons was about the size needed luckily I have one were just getting
it set up over time while the goldfish are still young for when they are
larger! One last question before I let you go how can I tell if Mufasa
and nova are male or female?
<Juvenile Goldfish are nearly impossible to sex. Once they become
sexually mature though, at around 10 cm/4 inches upwards, then males
develop distinctive "spawning tubercles" on their heads during the
breeding season (typically, mid spring, but may be different indoors).
All this said, females do tend to be plumper and bigger, while males are
often noticeably more active and pushy, chasing tankmates about. Problem
here is that fancy Goldfish often have extreme body shapes anyway, and
personality varies as much among Goldfish as any other aquarium fish.
Can I Add A Third Goldfish to My Tank?
I have a 30 gallon tank with a 75 gallon filter.
There are 2 Oranda goldfish in this tank already.
Do you think I could add a third Oranda to the tank?
<Mmm, no... this volume will already be overcrowded by the two fancy
goldfish you already have. See WWM re GF systems. Bob Fenner>
|Some pix from friend Perry Chong of Singapore of his
shopping in Goldfish Street in Hong Kong
How Many Fish Should I Have In
My Tank, Freshwater... GF care 11/26/10
I'm only very new at this, and I'm finding it very frustrating
the information I've been given <by> my the various local pet
shops, which just confuses me more.
<We'll try to help.>
I have a 120L tank with cold water fish in it, fantails ,comets, a
black more a peppered catfish and comets.
<Seems like too much, I would not have more than 3 goldfish in this
sized tank, and even then it's pushing it a bit.>
Every time I talk to the local pet shop they give me different answers
and I am left wondering what to believe. I even had one of them sell me
a paradise fish to put in with the above in my cold water tank!
Needless to say it attacked one of my "boggle" eyed fish and
I had it back on their counter within the hour!
<At least you were able to return it.>
My main concern is I'm not sure how many fish I should have in the
tank. I would like them to grow big as at the moment they are only
between 1cm- 3cms.
<For the moment, goldfish in general get big and messy, and need
lots of space. I would go with a trio here and think about a larger
tank for them at some point.>
Also I've noticed some of them are losing their scales, they seem
rather happy other than that?
<Check your water parameters, they should not be dropping
<See our goldfish section for more.
Re: How Many Fish Should I Have In My Tank, Freshwater
Thank-you from the sounds of that my tank is WAY too full, I have like
12 in there!
<Oh yes, way too many.>
I simply have a question that I hope you can answer. It's difficult
finding a quality Oranda goldfish breeder here in southern California,
so my best bet was to ask you guys if you know of any Oranda goldfish
breeders that you would recommend?
<Mmm... it's been so many years since I was active in the
trade... I just tried to look via the Net to see if folks I knew in the
Sacto area were still about. My best advice (what I would do) is to
read through, contact folks at the American Goldfish Association:
and ask re>
Does not necessarily have to be in southern California, as long as they
<Please do report back your experience, observations. Bob
Veggie Clip Use, GF fdg. (also,
mixing Fancy Goldfish varieties) 5/4/2009
I have a fairly new, 26 gal. system (5 weeks)and a large Chocolate
Oranda about 2x4 in., I had a smaller one and lost him, I think due to
diet from all I have read as I was only feeding flake food, by the time
I knew about feeding peas and such it was too late for him. I started
feeding my remaining Oranda one pea a day and pellet or flake food for
the second feeding.
Yesterday I purchased a veggie clip, put a small piece of peeled
zucchini in this and he loved it....anyway, The little glutton has just
about eat that small piece as I left it in there. How long can I leave
this in and can I
give him this on a reg. basis?
<You can leave plant food in the tank as long as you want. It
won't harm water quality. By all means pipette out (turkey basters
are ideal) any bits that are messing up the tank visually, but
otherwise, don't worry about it.
It's a good idea to have some thing green for these fish to nibble
on 365 days of the year. If you can't manage that, don't worry.
Just so long as your Goldies get some greens two or three times a week,
I guess My main question would be what would you consider a well
balance diet for a large choc. Oranda?
<Difficult to say, because they're total omnivores, like humans,
and adapt to most anything within moderation. It's when we give
them *just* dried foods things go wrong. I'd say 2-3 days of
flake/pellets, and the rest green foods would be about right. But feel
free to mix it up a little. If you're away on vacation, dump some
Elodea (pondweed) in the tank, and leave your Goldfish to graze on that
for 2 weeks. He'd be just fine on that.>
I want to get him a friend when the local shop get some more. I
didn't realize they would be so hard to come by.
<Some of Fancy Goldfish can be hard to track down! But good pet
shops should be able to order in specific fish for you. By all means
mix varieties, provided you keep varieties that are similar in
boisterousness and swimming ability. I'd consider single-tail
Goldfish best kept together (Standards, Comets, Shubunkins) and apart
from Fancy Goldfish. Within the Fancy Goldfish, the "hardy"
Fancy varieties like Moors and Fantails work well together, but the
more "delicate" varieties such as Orandas, Ryukins and the
like are better mixed-and-matched amongst their own kind. The really
delicate Fancies, such as Celestials, Bubble-eyes and Ranchu are
difficult to mix, and do best in single variety tanks.>
He is a beautiful orange and black named "smooch" as he will
eat from my fingers!
Thanks for any advice!
Goldfish Questions, sys, sel. of
varieties... -- 04/12/09
I was recently thinking of purchasing goldfish,
<Make sure you read first, and are prepared to buy a big aquarium;
at least 125 l/30 gallons, and ideally more, and with a serious filter
to boot, not some poky hang-on-the-back unit.
Most folks get small tanks, often kidding themselves they'll
the end result is invariably a sick or dead Goldfish.>
but I didn't know which type of goldfish that I should get. I was
wondering what type of goldfish would live long and fits a beginner
<Most any, provided the tank is sufficiently large. Comets and
Shubunkins for example are fast and active fish and need plenty of
space, while Black Moors don't get so big or swim so much.>
I was actually thinking of choosing an orange Oranda, but when I
searched it online, I saw really big Orandas with large things on their
heads. The one I saw at the pet shop (and the one that I was hoping to
buy) was way smaller and cuter, and the lump on the head was smaller.
Does that mean that the ones that i saw were babies?
<Likely; all Orandas will get fairly large, 20 cm/8 inches
Or were they a different kind of Orandas?
Also, what kind of tank size would 2-3 Orandas need?
Thank you for reviewing this e-mail and I hope to hear from you again
Re: Goldfish Questions --
About the goldfish question...
After I read your reply, I was thinking of buying a more smaller type
of fish. I can purchase a big tank for the Oranda goldfish, and provide
it a lot of care, but i was thinking of a smaller fish, that
doesn't grow too
big. And when i mean my smaller fish, I do not mean the little 1-inch
fish, but fish that are at least 10 cm. Also, a fish that lives more
than 2-3 years is fine. I searched on your website, but none of them
interest. What do you recommend? /> --
<Have written about stocking relatively small tanks here:
Unless you're an expert fishkeeper, don't waste your time or
money (or fish lives) buying a system less than 15-20 gallons in size;
10 gallon and smaller tanks are [a] difficult to stock properly; and
[b] difficult to
maintain. We get dozens of messages each week from people who have made
this common mistake, and it's very depressing for me to read them
all! Bite the bullet, get a 20 gallon tank (which takes up little more
space than a 10 gallon system, and doesn't cost much more either)
and start keeping fish the sensible way. If you're thinking about
an aquarium smaller than even 10 gallons, then think about getting a
vase, filling it with water, and sticking in some cut flowers.
Seriously. This will be better for everyone!
Very small tanks rarely work unless you're an expert fishkeeper and
know precisely what you're doing. Cheers, Neale.>
Goldfish, var.s, sel.,
sys. 02/06/09 Hello all, hope things are
going well for you there. I have a question about goldfish please. I
have a 75 gallon f/w tank that is just about finished cycling
(fishless) and keep going back and forth in my choices about which fish
to keep. I went into a local pet store today to buy dogfood and
strolled over to the fish area. I saw some goldfish and went over to
investigate. I never realized there were so many types, some very
beautiful. Please tell me the main differences I would have to
acclimate to if I decided to go with goldfish, as well as which types
you would recommend and which ones might mix with regular tropical
fish, if any. Also, if you feel it is not a good idea to fool with
goldfish please let me know that as well. Thank you, James <Goldfish
are indeed lovely fish. I've often said that if they cost hundreds
of dollars, people would fall over themselves to keep them. But because
they're cheap, we tend to ignore them. The reality is that Goldfish
are colourful fish well worth keeping. The problem is that they need
space, but if you 75 gallons to play with, you're fine. The main
issues to deal with are these: Firstly, it's not a good idea to mix
Standard and Fancy Goldfish. Standard Goldfish are any with a single
tail, not just "Common Goldfish", but also things like
Shubunkins and Comets. All the Standard Goldfish are fast-moving fish,
and they tend to be boisterous and sometimes bullies. They mix great
with one another, so if you like them, by all means mix them. I have a
great fondness for the Koi-like Shubunkins, and I know Bob F. is a fan
of the Comet, one of the few truly American varieties of Goldfish.
Either way, these are spectacular fish. In recent years a lemon yellow
version of the Common Goldfish has appeared in the UK trade, and
it's a lovely animal as well. Now, on to the Fancies. There are two
classes here, the "hardy" ones and the "delicate"
ones. The hardy ones are things like Fantails and Black Moors; while
they have forked-tails and crooked backs, they are otherwise fairly
robust, and with care can even be combined with Standards, provided you
make sure everyone gets fed. The "delicate" ones are the
varieties with odd deformities (for want of a better term) to the head
or abdomen, missing dorsal fins, and so on. Examples include
Celestials, Ranchus, Bubble-eyes and so on. All these varieties are
best kept in groups of a single variety per aquarium. Otherwise they
are prone to being damaged, bullied or otherwise losing out at feeding
time. I'm not wild about mixing Goldfish with tropical fish, but
you certainly can mix some varieties (Standards and hardy Fancies) with
*subtropical* fish when maintained around 20 C (68 F). Things like
Corydoras paleatus and Florida Flagfish work quite well. Paradise fish
are another option, though some Macropodus species are more aggressive
than others, so take care here. The main thing is to avoid keeping
nippy species (e.g., Rosy Barbs, Mosquitofish) with Fancy varieties,
and obviously don't keep anything "bite size" with big
Goldfish (e.g., White Cloud Mountain Minnows, small Danio species).
Hope this helps, Neale.>
02/06/09 Thank you Neale. From what you say it seems that if I
wanted a more slower moving group in the tank the fancies would be the
way to go? <If you want Fancy goldfish, then yes, an aquarium just
for them is best.> Also do most varieties of the fancies get along
together? <As stated, it depends. Ones that "merely" have
the round body and double fins, like Black Moors, Ryukins and Fantails,
can be mixed. But the more delicate forms, like Orandas, Pom-poms,
Celestials, Bubble-eyes, Lionheads, Ranchus and Pearlscales are all
best kept in single-variety tanks. At the very least, the aquarist has
to evaluate each fish on a case-by-case basis. Oranda and Ranchus might
be kept together, but Celestials shouldn't be mixed with anything.
Essentially, ask yourself this: is the deformity of variety X such that
it couldn't compete for food with, or be likely to bossed about by,
variety Y.> What would be the maximum number to put in a 75 gallon
tank? <A safe approach is to allow 20 gallons for the first
Goldfish, and then 10 gallons for each additional fish, assuming
commensurate filtration and water changes. Fancies do tend to be
smaller than Standards, but that bit more sensitive to water quality
issues. So let's say 6-7 specimens.> I have a sand bottom and
some artificial plants along with some java fern. Will these fish root
up the artificial plants or eat java fern? <Yes, they dig up sand.
But Java fern attached to bogwood should be fine.> One of the main
things I wanted to ask I forgot to. I have read that these are
extremely messy fish, putting off more waste than tropicals and also
putting off a lot of ammonia. I guess this will mean more tank
maintenance than usual? <"More maintenance" depends on
filtration. Beefy filtration, i.e., water turnover 6-8 times the volume
of the tank per hour, should keep water changes and tank cleaning down
to normal levels.> And if I did not keep any tropicals with these
would I even need a heater at all? <Goldfish are fine at comfortable
room temperatures. Slightly cooling in winter is no problem, though
Fancy varieties cannot handle frosty conditions and get Finrot easily
if allowed to get cooler than, say, 15 degrees C (59 F).> Thank you
again for your help. James <Cheers, Neale.>
Is it possible to piggy-back
goldfish to an existing order? Sel. Hello! I am a
goldfish hobbyist in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. I really want 4 - 6
individual Malaysian ping pong Pearlscale (tiku's) goldfish, with
the tiny pointy heads and double wide Pearlscale bodies. Is there any
way to add on just a few fish to an order already coming to the USA
from Ipoh, Malaysia??? They are not available anywhere near me nor via
web ordering that I can find, only the Pearlscale Orandas are readily
available imported from China (or domestically bred) which isn't
what I want at this time. Thanks for any advice or help on this
subject!!!! I truly appreciate any help or advice you can offer. The
minimum orders are for wholesalers only and I am not a wholesaler.
Gratefully, Lisa <Lisa, this is a question to ask your retailer. The
better retailers will order in special batches of fish for their
customers, but within certain constraints. Fish are traded in boxes,
and so while you could order six goldfish from one particular breeder,
your retailer would likely have to add some other stock to make up a
minimum order. All this varies from place to place, so while I can say
that some retailers will order remarkably small quantities of fish for
valued clients, often this either takes time (because they need to wait
to fill up an entire order) or else becomes expensive (because shipping
a half empty box costs the same as a full box, and the price of the
livestock is usually a tiny amount compared with air freight). In the
meantime, you could ask around on any fish clubs or online forums in
your country, and see if there are any local breeders. Cheers,
Redcap Oranda problem 11/6/07 Hello, I have
a red cap Oranda named snookums for about a year now and is quite
healthy and just recently ive noticed the large red cap growth has
grown to an extent where it covers the top of its head completely. it
also has some kind of clear tissue/membrane growth by its cheeks which
doesn't look like any disease at all but looks more like parts of
its face... my question and concern is that the membrane by its cheeks
is slowly growing and beginning to creep near its eyes. what would be
the best thing or method to counter that? <Mmm, there are times,
folks who advocate some sort of surgical removal... I do not... I would
just wait, allow the fish to develop other senses to finding its way
about, food...> ive seen a picture of it in a book (cant remember
the title) where they would use a scalpel and remove the membrane
quickly while the fish is out of the water for a few seconds?
<Yes> I know this sounds barbaric, but they mentioned that this
is the only thing that can be done to save it. <Can, will adapt as
is...> this is exactly what happened to my brothers goldfish until
it was too late and the fish couldn't see where it would swim too,
then it just stayed in one place helpless... I really don't want
this to happen to my fish, so any help would be appreciated. thanks in
advance, Ryan <Try to not worry, anthropomorphize... All will likely
be fine. Bob Fenner>
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>
|Help me with my goldfish... Error in placing
"feeders" in a tank... 10/24/07 Hi,
my nephew won these fish at a carnival and I just so happened to
have started a tank about a month prior with only a algae eater in
it <I hope not a CAE... please see the Net, WWM re Gyrinocheilus
aymonieri> and he asked if I could add these two fish to my
tank. So I did, <A mistake... such "feeder, comets"
are notoriously unhealthy... invariably infested with a few types
of parasites, infectious agents... now your system is as well>
and now the one fish has black spots on him and is losing all of
his fins, they are deteriorating. And as of this morning, he is
getting a white egg textured film on top of his head and off the
back of his tail. I am new to the whole goldfish thing, so could
you help me find a cure. thanks so much!! Amber <Much to relate
to you re developing a course of treatment here... As stated, your
whole tank, all the fishes there... are subject to a myriad of
pathogens... Best for you to start reading... Here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the
linked files above... till you understand what you've done,
what you're up against... You will need to sequentially treat
the system, all fishes for bacterial, protozoan, worm et al.
diseases... Bob Fenner>
Goldfish, wholesale, from China... --
06/28/07 Dear Sirs or Madams, <Howzit?> We are a
private-operated corporation long standing and high reputation, engaged
in the import and export of ornamental fish in China. We have a
grow-out area of 5000m2, which holds 3000 tons of water. It is
especially built to cater for our clients from overseas current and
future demands. We stock fishes, feed them with good supply of
nutrients and water to further improve their health and colour. We have
established a network of good farmers, who adopt good farming
management practices, providing quality fishes, advice and support.
Meanwhile, we are also equipped with 700 quarantine tanks and good
packing facilities for quality assurance. <Nice> We have obtained
your company from the internet and understood that you are Importers of
ornamental fish. As this item falls within the scope of our business
activities, we are glad to send you this introductory letter to express
our desire to enter into business relationships with you. To give a
general idea of various kinds of ornamental fish we enclose our sample
list with prices on FOB Shanghai Airport basis for your kind reference.
We look forward to hearing from you soon. Yours Sincerely, Joanna
Assistant Trade Manager Shanghai Luminous Trading & Development
Co., Ltd Tel: 86-21-52730072-202 Fax: 86-21-52732801 E-mail:
Ksymm10@163.com firstname.lastname@example.org Ouyangling518@hotmail.com
Website: www.aquariahome.cn <Thank you for writing. We don't
deal in livestock, but will post your message for others to find you.
Cheers, Bob Fenner, WetWebMedia.com>
Fantail fish query...and a bit of a rant! -
6/1/07 > Hello to everyone at WWM, and once again my thanks for
being there when I need you! <Hello!> > This is just a quick
question regarding my fantail fish, Horatio; both my partner (Oliver)
and myself have been in touch about him before (we originally thought
he was a Pearlscale, but Bob helpfully cleared up any confusion there
for us). We're getting a new tank for Horatio based on Bob's
confirmation that his tank is way too small (it's 10 gallons and
Horatio is already four and a half inches long), but there is one small
matter we need clearing up; Bob advised a tank of around 30 gallons, a
size I have seen recommended for fantails repeatedly on this site -
however, is this US or UK gallons? <Since Bob's an American,
I'd suggest US gallons. But opting for 30 UK gallons (36 US
gallons) will do harm at all. Of course, being an advocate of the
metric system, I'd say let everyone use litres and be done with
it!> > I ask because Ollie and I are considering getting a 125
litre tank from Juwel (we were going to get another fish to keep
Horatio company, but at the moment that's not possible - the floor
won't take a larger tank and we're stuck living here until
August - obviously Horatio needs the larger tank now). This tank is
around 27 UK gallons; however, if Bob meant 30 UK gallons, we don't
want to go too small. I just wanted to ask if this would be sufficient,
really, as we can't afford to be buying another new tank in a year
or so and we want our fish to be happy for a long time to come. <The
Jewel 125 litre tank is a very nice aquarium. It would be a good choice
for goldfish. I have the very similar Jewel 180 and enjoy it very much.
The only flaw with Jewel tanks is that filter is a low-pressure system.
While this means you get excellent biological filtration despite the
small size of the pump, it does mean that solid waste is barely sucked
up at all. I'm having to siphon out the "wood chippings"
from my Panaque catfish almost every day. Adding an external canister
filter, such as the Fluval 104 or something similar, as and when funds
allow, will make keeping the tank clean a darn sight easier. By the
way, the Jewel filters come with a (black) carbon sponge. I happen not
to consider carbon even remotely useful, but if you do use it,
don't forget to remove it any time you add medications.> >
One other thing - I've just come home from investigating a new
local pet shop. I'm never going there again. I saw several fish
that were struggling for oxygen, two with cotton-mouth, others with
fungus and at least a couple with Ick. The people in there hadn't a
clue about how to look after fish, it was really upsetting. Short of
buying the sick fish (I can't afford enough tanks or I
would've!) is there anything that can be done when shops are being
so horribly callous? <Welcome to the "Horrified at Local Pet
Shops" club. We were thinking of having some jackets made up.
Anyway, what you describe is, sadly, too common. In theory, all pet
shops need to meet some basic standards to get a license to trade
animals, but in practice these don't seem to affect pet fish to any
real degree. What you can do is simply not patronise those stores, and
instead look for stores that are members of trade associations (in the
UK, OATA). While this doesn't guarantee the store will be a slice
of paradise for the fish, it is a very good step in the right
direction. Buying the sick fish you see in bad shops, sadly, has the
reverse effect: the bad shops simply buy more fish to replace them.
Sometimes, its genuine non-malicious ignorance, and having a quiet word
with the manager helps. This is often the case where the store is
otherwise clean and tidy, and the other animals are healthy. It's
just the fish they're having problems with. Explaining what the
problem is and suggesting a cure will be appreciated. But other times
it is not, and if the rest of the shop is seedy, then these are
basically bad people who shouldn't be running a pet store. Writing
to the local council is the thing to do here, expressing your concerns
and itemising what was wrong. The council should send along an
inspector, and in theory at least the shop will have to fix things. The
reality is, of course, that councils are often over-stretched checking
out schools, hospitals, and the rest, so goldfish come pretty far down
the list of priorities.> > Thanks, as ever, for your help and for
the wonderful site, <Cheers, Neale>
New Print and
eBook on Amazon
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner