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Jim_D

Touching and holding Goldfish

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G'day all,

 

I have been trolling through countless threads (and enjoying every minute reading the forum) and looking at lots of photos.

 

I've noticed lots of you posting photos holding a fish in your hand, either in water or just out of water.

 

Do you worry about taking the slime coat off?

 

 

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It's fine for a quick photo :) And actually a lot better to move them by hand than by a net. You wouldn't want to be holding and touching them constantly but it doesn't hurt them for a short time. I often hold mine for photos when they are unwell

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When I move my goldfish I generally try to pick them up by hand rather than use a net as it's gentler. I would do it with my other fish too, but some of them are spikey.  :teehee

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the smaller fish i use my hands to move. for the tuna, i use a tub. smaller fish give less resistance and even then, they just flop about a bit, just flapping against the hand, slime coat should not come off like that as our skin is not abrasive enough. it should only affect the first few layers, and that can be seen since air bubbles will stick to it, sorta making it look like they have Ich. bigger fish will fight you and that's when our grip will be tighter and more likely that slime coat stripping will occur..

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I have always wondered how to hold fishes safely for an antibiotic bath. Now this is a really informative thread.

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I heard somewhere once that someone recommended putting Seachem prime on your hands before touching your fish. I move my fish with my hand ,but Ive never used the prime.

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When I have to move my goldies for whatever reason, I pick them up with my hand. A lot quicker and easier than using a net.

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Ive got a goldie in my pond that likes to swim up and around my hand and sit in my cupped palm.

Doesn't seem to bother him. Infact he seems to enjoy the contact as he swims like a maniac to bee line for my hand when im at the pond.

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I have had fish in the past that liked to nuzzle me and enjoyed having his tummy rubbed. :)

 

Like everyone's said, it's fine as long as you're not doing it all the time, and also more beneficial to the fish than using a net. I always handle all of my goldfish this way, even the large ones. Gives me peace of mind that they won't get caught in or injured by a net.

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I heard somewhere once that someone recommended putting Seachem prime on your hands before touching your fish. I move my fish with my hand ,but Ive never used the prime.

I don't think that that would do anything, honestly... I'd just wet your hands.

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Whats are risks of contaminating a human from goldfish, any records or threads about this ?

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Dunno.

But like any pet etc.

Always wash your hands after contact....

I usea good anti bacterial wash and also have the alcohol cleanser stuff used i hospitals (no water or soap needed etc)

No different than food prep etc. Always wash ya hands.

I do this between tanks too to avoid cross contamination etc.

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I heard somewhere once that someone recommended putting Seachem prime on your hands before touching your fish. I move my fish with my hand ,but Ive never used the prime.

I don't think that that would do anything, honestly... I'd just wet your hands.

Might make your hands smell like sulphur, that's about it. I can't see any benefit to the fish or the person holding the fish.

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I have had fish in the past that liked to nuzzle me and enjoyed having his tummy rubbed. :)

 

Like everyone's said, it's fine as long as you're not doing it all the time, and also more beneficial to the fish than using a net. I always handle all of my goldfish this way, even the large ones. Gives me peace of mind that they won't get caught in or injured by a net.

Hi

do you think its okay to do so twice a week? This net hurting the fish talk is making me worried.

 

Also, whenever i come home or feed my fish, i always let them nibble on my fingers... is that a problem?

 

I wash my hands for about 2-3 minutes with water before doing all this.

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I have had fish in the past that liked to nuzzle me and enjoyed having his tummy rubbed. :)

 

Like everyone's said, it's fine as long as you're not doing it all the time, and also more beneficial to the fish than using a net. I always handle all of my goldfish this way, even the large ones. Gives me peace of mind that they won't get caught in or injured by a net.

Hi

do you think its okay to do so twice a week? This net hurting the fish talk is making me worried.

 

Also, whenever i come home or feed my fish, i always let them nibble on my fingers... is that a problem?

 

I wash my hands for about 2-3 minutes with water before doing all this.

 

Why would you need to do so twice a week? :idont 

 

The nibbling isn't a problem at all. 

 

It's good that you wash up well. :)

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I have had fish in the past that liked to nuzzle me and enjoyed having his tummy rubbed. :)

 

Like everyone's said, it's fine as long as you're not doing it all the time, and also more beneficial to the fish than using a net. I always handle all of my goldfish this way, even the large ones. Gives me peace of mind that they won't get caught in or injured by a net.

Hi

do you think its okay to do so twice a week? This net hurting the fish talk is making me worried.

 

Also, whenever i come home or feed my fish, i always let them nibble on my fingers... is that a problem?

 

I wash my hands for about 2-3 minutes with water before doing all this.

 

Why would you need to do so twice a week? :idont

 

The nibbling isn't a problem at all. 

 

It's good that you wash up well. :)

 

Cause i change my water 25% twice a week.  And I do move the fish  (in a separate 20 gallon rubbermaid with aquarium water) because I don't have a gravel cleaner atm, so I usually move the gravel and net out the junk.

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I have had fish in the past that liked to nuzzle me and enjoyed having his tummy rubbed. :)

 

Like everyone's said, it's fine as long as you're not doing it all the time, and also more beneficial to the fish than using a net. I always handle all of my goldfish this way, even the large ones. Gives me peace of mind that they won't get caught in or injured by a net.

Hi

do you think its okay to do so twice a week? This net hurting the fish talk is making me worried.

 

Also, whenever i come home or feed my fish, i always let them nibble on my fingers... is that a problem?

 

I wash my hands for about 2-3 minutes with water before doing all this.

 

Why would you need to do so twice a week? :idont

 

The nibbling isn't a problem at all. 

 

It's good that you wash up well. :)

 

Cause i change my water 25% twice a week.  And I do move the fish  (in a separate 20 gallon rubbermaid with aquarium water) because I don't have a gravel cleaner atm, so I usually move the gravel and net out the junk.

 

Ah. Why not get a cheapo one that you can siphon into a bucket while you save up for a python? I remember netting gunk in my old tanks... it was a pain in the rear. :thud Is there a specific reason you're changing just a small amount at a time? (Sorry for all the questions, I am just curious.)

 

I don't see why handling them during those WCs would be bad as long as you're quick about it and don't hold them tightly. :) 

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I have had fish in the past that liked to nuzzle me and enjoyed having his tummy rubbed. :)

 

Like everyone's said, it's fine as long as you're not doing it all the time, and also more beneficial to the fish than using a net. I always handle all of my goldfish this way, even the large ones. Gives me peace of mind that they won't get caught in or injured by a net.

Hi

do you think its okay to do so twice a week? This net hurting the fish talk is making me worried.

 

Also, whenever i come home or feed my fish, i always let them nibble on my fingers... is that a problem?

 

I wash my hands for about 2-3 minutes with water before doing all this.

 

Why would you need to do so twice a week? :idont

 

The nibbling isn't a problem at all. 

 

It's good that you wash up well. :)

 

Cause i change my water 25% twice a week.  And I do move the fish  (in a separate 20 gallon rubbermaid with aquarium water) because I don't have a gravel cleaner atm, so I usually move the gravel and net out the junk.

 

Ah. Why not get a cheapo one that you can siphon into a bucket while you save up for a python? I remember netting gunk in my old tanks... it was a pain in the rear. :thud Is there a specific reason you're changing just a small amount at a time? (Sorry for all the questions, I am just curious.)

 

I don't see why handling them during those WCs would be bad as long as you're quick about it and don't hold them tightly. :)

 

Well what i've learned in the 3 weeks i've had my fish and browsing the goldfish forums is everyone has a different opinion, but the general line kind of depends on yourself.

Someone suggested I change the water 25% two times or once 50% (or more if need be).  He/She said she prefers 25% twice and has been doing it for years.

 

So I did that, and I test my water every week and results are fine.  

 

And as for getting a cheap gravel cleaner..

well

 

I have 2 fantails in a 20 gallon atm, and I'm saving for a bigger tank since I'm going to need that anyways.  I'm actually going to be making a DIY gravel filter with an airstone, a bottle, and a nylon sock (the looks I got when I bought the nylon sock were hilarious) so it will depend on that.  Because yea $20 for a gravel filter isn't much, but I'd rather get the tank first, as I'm in canada and that $1/gallon is inexistent....

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The only potential problem with the 2 25% changes per week is that it actually doesn't equal 50% of the water being changed per week. There's a mathematical problem that shows this, but I don't remember what it is.

It's up to you how you want to go about it. I was just curious.

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Youngb, my first advice to you is to stop doing surveys of assorted forums. Rather, Pick a source you trust and follow the advice you get there. Most forums have guidelines, and if you pick a forum, follow its guidelines. Don't pick and chose various items from the guidelines of various forums, because the individual items in the guidelines are interdependent.

Let's take our guidelines to explain. We recommend 20 gallons per goldfish with a minimum of 15 gallons per fish. If you have a hang on the back (HOB) filter, we recommend it turns over 10 times the volume of tank water per hour. So for your 20 gallon, the filter should turn over 200 gallons per hour. Then, provided you have met the first two conditions, we recommend you change a minimum of 50% of the water weekly.  However, if you have too many fish for the size of your tank, or a puny filter, you must compensate by changing more water.  

 

You may change your water continuously -- as I do -- daily, every other day, twice a week or weekly.  The key is to change at least the equivalent of 50% a week.  The purpose of water changes in a cycled tank is not to remove ammonia and nitrite.  You have biobugs to do that.  It is to remove chemicals that accumulate in the tank -- like nitrate does.  

 

Now let's look at what Chelsea said about two 25% changes a week not being the same as one 50% change.  This is true, and you will often see it said that one 25% change removes 25% of the waste leaving 75% behind and a second 25% change moves 25%  of the remaining waste, so two 25% changes are equivalent to one 42% change.  This is true if the two 25% changes are done one right after the other.  But that's not what happens.   

 

Suppose you and Chelsea have identical tanks with identical fish populations fed the same amount of food, and look at "nitrates".  Chelsea will change 50% of the water every Sunday.  You will change 25% on Sunday and Wednesday.  So start with brand new water on Sunday. You will

have the same nitrate levels until you change water on Wednesday.  Then your nitrate will be lower than hers until she makes that 50% change on Sunday, Then your nitrate will be higher than hers until you make your change on Wednesday.  This pattern will continue for about 5 weeks. Chelsea is removing a bit more nitrate than you are, so if you look at the average nitrate for weeks 2-5, yours will be higher than hers.  By the sixth week, her nitrate will be lower than yours every day of the week.  She wins.  So two 25% changes a week are pretty close to one 50% change.  Make your change 30% each time and she's toast.

 

I modeled this out on a spreadsheet, by the way.  It's pretty easy to do.

 

My next advice to you is to please stop removing your fish from the tank for a partial water change. Any piece of tubing or hose can be used to siphon waste from the bottom of the tank.  You don't need a gravel vacuum.  If your gravel is so filthy that you can't siphon out the crud, remove the gravel and leave it out. Whether you catch the fish in your hands or a net, you are still stressing them out unnecessarily.

 

As for the net vs. hands thing, I spent quite a while on the internet trying to find out if there was any basis for preferences.  I found about an even split between those who favored hands and those who preferred nets.  Both gave the same reason -- the other way removed more slime coat.  Another factor was fish  size.  The larger the fish the more risky it is to use hands.  Koi people use either a "sock net" or a plastic bag if they need to remove a koi from the water. The plastic bag sounds like a good idea for moving goldfish too.  Some koi shows have outlawed using hands to move a koi from one container to another.  

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Whats are risks of contaminating a human from goldfish, any records or threads about this ?

 

Very small if the fish are healthy.  There are a few bugs that infect both fish and humans, but you are more likely to catch them from your tank/pond than from your fish.  The most likely are opportunistic pathogens  found in nearly all aquariums, ponds, and natural bodies of water.  Aeromonas is normally free living, but will infect damaged tissue.  It can cause gastroenteritis if ingested, infect wounds, and in the case of serious wounds that occur in water, can cause infections that result in amputations or even death.  

 

Mycobacteria are also normally free living.  Virulent strains can infect fish with very bad results including untreatable lethal infections.  The virulent types can get into human wounds and cause a very unpleasant skin infection called fishkeeper's granuloma.  It is not life-threatening, but is disfiguring and extremely difficult to cure.  

 

There are lots of microbes in the water that can give you a tummy ache (and associated problems) if you drink tank water.

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Youngb, my first advice to you is to stop doing surveys of assorted forums. Rather, Pick a source you trust and follow the advice you get there. Most forums have guidelines, and if you pick a forum, follow its guidelines. Don't pick and chose various items from the guidelines of various forums, because the individual items in the guidelines are interdependent.

Let's take our guidelines to explain. We recommend 20 gallons per goldfish with a minimum of 15 gallons per fish. If you have a hang on the back (HOB) filter, we recommend it turns over 10 times the volume of tank water per hour. So for your 20 gallon, the filter should turn over 200 gallons per hour. Then, provided you have met the first two conditions, we recommend you change a minimum of 50% of the water weekly.  However, if you have too many fish for the size of your tank, or a puny filter, you must compensate by changing more water.  

 

You may change your water continuously -- as I do -- daily, every other day, twice a week or weekly.  The key is to change at least the equivalent of 50% a week.  The purpose of water changes in a cycled tank is not to remove ammonia and nitrite.  You have biobugs to do that.  It is to remove chemicals that accumulate in the tank -- like nitrate does.  

 

Now let's look at what Chelsea said about two 25% changes a week not being the same as one 50% change.  This is true, and you will often see it said that one 25% change removes 25% of the waste leaving 75% behind and a second 25% change moves 25%  of the remaining waste, so two 25% changes are equivalent to one 42% change.  This is true if the two 25% changes are done one right after the other.  But that's not what happens.   

 

Suppose you and Chelsea have identical tanks with identical fish populations fed the same amount of food, and look at "nitrates".  Chelsea will change 50% of the water every Sunday.  You will change 25% on Sunday and Wednesday.  So start with brand new water on Sunday. You will

have the same nitrate levels until you change water on Wednesday.  Then your nitrate will be lower than hers until she makes that 50% change on Sunday, Then your nitrate will be higher than hers until you make your change on Wednesday.  This pattern will continue for about 5 weeks. Chelsea is removing a bit more nitrate than you are, so if you look at the average nitrate for weeks 2-5, yours will be higher than hers.  By the sixth week, her nitrate will be lower than yours every day of the week.  She wins.  So two 25% changes a week are pretty close to one 50% change.  Make your change 30% each time and she's toast.

 

I modeled this out on a spreadsheet, by the way.  It's pretty easy to do.

 

My next advice to you is to please stop removing your fish from the tank for a partial water change. Any piece of tubing or hose can be used to siphon waste from the bottom of the tank.  You don't need a gravel vacuum.  If your gravel is so filthy that you can't siphon out the crud, remove the gravel and leave it out. Whether you catch the fish in your hands or a net, you are still stressing them out unnecessarily.

 

As for the net vs. hands thing, I spent quite a while on the internet trying to find out if there was any basis for preferences.  I found about an even split between those who favored hands and those who preferred nets.  Both gave the same reason -- the other way removed more slime coat.  Another factor was fish  size.  The larger the fish the more risky it is to use hands.  Koi people use either a "sock net" or a plastic bag if they need to remove a koi from the water. The plastic bag sounds like a good idea for moving goldfish too.  Some koi shows have outlawed using hands to move a koi from one container to another.  

Hi, thanks for the elaborate post and information.

 

Currently I have two small fantails in a 20 gallon long, with a filter thats running 200GPH.  According to the guidelines, I am pushing it.  Could you recommend me a water change % schedule (for example 50% wednesday and sunday) to compensate for the smaller tank size

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I've seen breeders using latex gloves to handle fish - just remember: no talcum or anything of that sort.

 

My fish still fits my hand (two of them barely), but I use a plastic container to move them around. Just capture them in it with water and move them to where ever.

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My question is how exactly should you hold the fish? 

 

 

I've seen breeders using latex gloves to handle fish - just remember: no talcum or anything of that sort.

 

My fish still fits my hand (two of them barely), but I use a plastic container to move them around. Just capture them in it with water and move them to where ever.

 

 

I've thought about using latex gloves. Probably helps with grip, especially on the larger ones that wiggle a lot. :krazy:

 

 


 

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My question is how exactly should you hold the fish? 

 

 

I've seen breeders using latex gloves to handle fish - just remember: no talcum or anything of that sort.

 

My fish still fits my hand (two of them barely), but I use a plastic container to move them around. Just capture them in it with water and move them to where ever.

 

 

I've thought about using latex gloves. Probably helps with grip, especially on the larger ones that wiggle a lot. :krazy:

 

 

 

 

I'm not sure you would want any help with 'grip' on a fish. The better your grip, the more slime coat you are stripping off.

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