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Sydan67

65 Gallon Goldfish Choices

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Hi,

 

I've just purchased a 65 gallon tank (4ft x 1.5ft x 1.5ft) for goldfish.  I'm planning to have it heavily planted with a bunch of various plants until I can determine which plants work best with my goldies, then will stock up on those plants.  

 

I hope you can help me answer a few questions.

 

I've seen on this forum that the stocking recommendation is 20g per goldfish, no matter if they're fancy or slim-bodied fish, so I'm planning on stocking my tank with three goldfish.  I've been trying to decide between comets/shubunkins and fantails, but I was wondering if I might be able to mix the two types together.  Do you think this could work?

 

Do full-sized adult fantails and comets/shubunkins have differing bioloads?  I know that comets and shubunkins are longer, and fantails are rounder, so I thought maybe they'd have very similar bioloads as full grown fish.  Is one's bioload slightly higher than the other?

 

If mixing fancies and single tails is okay, and it were your tank, would you choose to go with 1 comet and 2 fantails or 2 comets and 1 fantail, and for what reason?  Would you choose to do a mixed goldfish tank or would you choose to have one variety or the other?  Which variety would you choose to keep and why?

 

I really appreciate your help!  Thank you!

 

 

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I personally think fantails will do okay with comets and commons. I'd not add any other variety of fancy, though. If I kept single tails - I'd pick only Shubunkins. That's just me though because I find them awesome. Also recommendations are 15-20 gallons per fish, so with proper filtration and water maintenance, you can get away with one more fish.

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I have fantails and long-bodied fish together in ponds.  All do well.  I'm not about to go through the battle of catching, weighing and measuring pond fish just out of curiosity about their mass, but my eye says the fantails run bigger in volume/mass than my comets/commons/shubunkins.  All of my fantails were "born" here, which might give  them an edge

 

Generally, most varieties of of goldfish grow to the same average mass.  I say average because within any variety you can have anything from runts to giants.  The exceptions include the fancies that have several mutations.  These have less vigor because of all the abnormalities and tend to run on the small size.  

 

Short-tailed long-bodied fish (commons and London shubunkins) get larger than those with long tails (comets and other shubunkins).  I don't know if that rule extends to fancy goldfish since all of my fancies have long tails.  

 

I can make one recommendation about the ratios.  I think three females or three males make ideal pet tanks.  I wouldn't put one female with two males.  Goldfish spawning is rough and females can get beat up if two males chase them.  If the males include one or more faster-swimming long-bodied fish and the female is a plump fantail, she gets even more harried.  This rarely results in injury to the fish, but gets very stressful for the fishkeeper.  Unfortunately, it can be hard to distinguish males from females in very young fish, with which you will probably start.

 

If I were doing one fantail, I would chose a male.  If one long-bodied fish, I would chose a female.  Which varieties/color you choose depends on your taste.  

 

 

Also recommendations are 15-20 gallons per fish, so with proper filtration and water maintenance, you can get away with one more fish.

 

 MJ, we recommend at least 20 gallons per goldfish.  A recommended range might be 20-50 gallons per fish.  We wouldn't recommend 100 gallons per fish (some people do), since goldfish like companionship and few people have 200 gallon tanks. 

 

If someone has between 15 and 20 gallons per fish, we usually suggest increased water changes.  If they have 15 gallons or less per fish, we usually recommend greatly increased water changes until the next dollar per gallon sale makes a larger tank affordable.

 

Do me a favor,  read this and suggest any rewording that would make it clear that we don't recommend less than 20 gallons, without saying we will scold.

 

Optimally, your tank should be large enough to provide at least 20 gallons for each goldfish, with a minimum of 15 gallons per fish. This is true for both long-bodied and fancy goldfish. While baby goldfish can do well in a smaller tank short term, they grow very fast, so we recommend starting them in their grown-up tank.

 

 

 

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If I was going to keep a round bodied type of fish with single tailed fish, it would either be a fantail, an oranda with a less than 'spectacular' wen (because minus the wen, they're basically still fantails, but if they have a cumbersome wen, it can make it hard for them to see, giving them a bit of a handicap) as all the ones I've had have been very robust and give all the other fish a run for their money, or a ryukin, which is a Japanese fantail.  I've never had one, but they seem to have the same robustness that I've seen in orandas :)

 

And I think I've heard it said that 15 gal per fish was okay at one point in time, but that was YEARS ago - maybe not even this site, but I've been popping on and off here for quite some time now  =/

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You can keep goldfish in 5 gallons of water each, but you have to know what you are doing and be willing to do lots of 100% water changes.  We recommend 20 gallons per goldfish, 10X tank volume turnover, and 50% weekly changes because we know even a raw beginner following those guidelines will have good water quality.  

 

Our guidelines evolve as we learn.  Not long ago this forum followed the common (but very silly if you think about it) rule of 20 gallons for the first fish and 10 gallons for each additional fish.  When someone pointed out that it made no sense that a goldfish needed 20 gallons with no tankmates, 15 gallons with one tankmate, but only 11 gallons if it had 8 tankmates, that recommendation ended.

Edited by shakaho

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 The point was you could not keep one in a small 10 gallon tank.  That is where the 20 gallon for first 10 for each after come from or so I had read long long time ago..  Mine have 15 each. Someday I well have more. When the right goldfish show up. lol  But I don't mind larger water changes.  

Edited by Hidr

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Well my tank was 20 gallons and I had two fish. Because I did multiple large water changes and my API test kit never showed trouble - I was not scolded, I was merely informed that I really needed to upgrade. As I am not of the extra money tribe, I do tell people that you can get away with the 15 gallons. Why? Because you can.

Sure more space is ALWAYS better, but extra filtration can often be cheaper than extra space. In my case - I got two similarly sized fish last October, but one is over 70 grams and probably 3"now and the other less than 20 grams and barely over 1". I highly doubt the dinky fish gets big, as she has seemingly stopped growing. Because teensy fish produce way less waste - I'd certainly say 20 gallons for the bigger fish at least, but 15 gallons foe the dinky fish would be fine assuming I had proper filtration. Maybe I am wrong, but I'd see no issue with that.

My apologies Shakaho for perhaps indirectly saying that the recommendation was exactly 15-20 gallons per fish, as that isn't correct. I was merely telling him that with 65 gallons (assuming the tank is standard shaped as I recently learned shape is also important) he COULD stock one more fish if he had enough filtration. Allow me to make it clear that I was not telling him to do so - merely saying it is possible without detriment.

In addition: you can simply remove the bit about 15 gallons being acceptable in any form if you truly don't wish for people to use that guideline. Omit the "with 15 gallons per fish being the minimum" and it makes it more clear that you should truly opt for 20 gallons per fish. That modifies the statement without adding any scolding or harshness at all to it.

Edited by mjfromga

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 The point was you could not keep one in a small 10 gallon tank.  That is where the 20 gallon for first 10 for each after come from or so I had read long long time ago..  Mine have 15 each. Someday I well have more. When the right goldfish show up. lol  But I don't mind larger water changes.  

 

Ahh, yes.  That explains the procedure if each goldfish needs 10 gallons of water.  That's what fish lovers (as opposed to food fish producers) recommend in an aquaponics system.  Ten gallons per pound of mature fish (even if you have babies). Mature goldfish weigh about a pound.  However that means 10 gallons per fish in the fish tank.  The system includes fish tank, filters, growbeds, and sumps.  These total one to two times the volume of the fish tank in a well-designed aquaponics system.  So they recommend a minimum of 20 gallons per goldfish.  An aquaponics system has filtration far superior to all but the most sophisticated aquarium systems.

 

Water changes do the same thing, in terms of water quality, as increased volume -- reduce the concentration of dissolved substances.  If you have a 20 gallon tank with one goldfish and MJ has a 20 gallon tank with two goldfish of the same size and you feed the same amount per fish, her tank will have twice the dissolved solids as yours.  If you each do a 50% water change she will be where you were before your water change and will have to do another 50% water change to get her water as clean as yours.  

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Personally my favorite type of goldfish are any kind with long flowing fins. Slim bodied and fat fancies both have their ups and downs. I am not a perfect fish keeper but one downside to fancies is more frequent health problems. An upside is they can be quite beautiful gliding slowly around d the tank. With slim bodied fish they are generally more healthy and they do seem to zip around the tank a bit more. My big fancies are very lazy.

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Well my tank was 20 gallons and I had two fish. Because I did multiple large water changes and my API test kit never showed trouble.

 

While additional water changes can substitute for larger volume.  Additional filtration does not.  A cycled filter converts all the ammonia in the water to nitrate.  Two cycled filters convert all of the ammonia to nitrate, as do three, etc.  Small aquarium filters can't do much more.  In a cycled tank, water changes remove accumulated dissolved solids, including nitrate, organics, minerals concentrated by evaporation, etc.  You could quadruple the filtration you have now and not accomplish any of that.  

 

The only information the API tests give relative to water quality in a cycled tank come from the nitrate and pH readings.  High nitrate tells you you need more water changes, fewer fish, or less feeding.  So does a dropping pH in the tank.  

 

I do tell people that you can get away with the 15 gallons. Why? Because you can.

 

Of course you can.  You can also keep a goldfish in a two gallon bowl.  People have done that for decades simply by feeding only a tiny pinch of food a day and doing a 100% daily water change.  Some of those fish have survived for 30 or 40 years.  You certainly may recommend keeping goldfish in 15 gallons or 2 gallons provided that you specify you are giving a personal recommendation that differs from the Koko's recommendation of 20 gallons per fish.

 

 I was merely telling him that with 65 gallons (assuming the tank is standard shaped as I recently learned shape is also important) he COULD stock one more fish if he had enough filtration. Allow me to make it clear that I was not telling him to do so - merely saying it is possible without detriment.

 

You are welcome make any recommendation you wish as long as specify you are giving a personal recommendation that differs from the Koko's recommendation of 20 gallons per fish.  

 

In addition: you can simply remove the bit about 15 gallons being acceptable in any form if you truly don't wish for people to use that guideline. Omit the "with 15 gallons per fish being the minimum" and it makes it more clear that you should truly opt for 20 gallons per fish. That modifies the statement without adding any scolding or harshness at all to it.

 

Good idea.  Thanks!

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Personally my favorite type of goldfish are any kind with long flowing fins. Slim bodied and fat fancies both have their ups and downs. I am not a perfect fish keeper but one downside to fancies is more frequent health problems. An upside is they can be quite beautiful gliding slowly around d the tank. With slim bodied fish they are generally more healthy and they do seem to zip around the tank a bit more. My big fancies are very lazy.

 

My fantails (all in ponds) have no more health problems (and probably less) than my long-bodied fish.  Several people have reported that fancies appear to benefit more from moving from an aquarium to a pond than do long bodied fish, particularly with respect to growth.  Also, I have only surviving "pond mutts" as my fantails -- babies that I rescued from waste water, so I guess I selected for the tough ones.

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All great points Shakaho. I DO always say that more space is better, because of course it is. I also am an advocate of water changes as it has kept my water parameters very good despite my overstocking. I did 75% per week in two changes then switched to two 50% per week changes. So important! Thanks for adding that extremely important rule about water changing. :)

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Personally my favorite type of goldfish are any kind with long flowing fins. Slim bodied and fat fancies both have their ups and downs. I am not a perfect fish keeper but one downside to fancies is more frequent health problems. An upside is they can be quite beautiful gliding slowly around d the tank. With slim bodied fish they are generally more healthy and they do seem to zip around the tank a bit more. My big fancies are very lazy.

 

My fantails (all in ponds) have no more health problems (and probably less) than my long-bodied fish.  Several people have reported that fancies appear to benefit more from moving from an aquarium to a pond than do long bodied fish, particularly with respect to growth.  Also, I have only surviving "pond mutts" as my fantails -- babies that I rescued from waste water, so I guess I selected for the tough ones.

You are more the exception than the rule though. Never once have I had a floaty slim bodied fish and I have had over 100 of them over the past 4 years. Over half of my fancies have had this problem.

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I don't think that anybody will argue that Fancies float way more than Commons in general. Now fantails are not as float prone as say - Ryukins, so that's also something to bear in mind. Did you notice floaty issues in your fantails as much as your other varieties of fancy goldfish?

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Personally my favorite type of goldfish are any kind with long flowing fins. Slim bodied and fat fancies both have their ups and downs. I am not a perfect fish keeper but one downside to fancies is more frequent health problems. An upside is they can be quite beautiful gliding slowly around d the tank. With slim bodied fish they are generally more healthy and they do seem to zip around the tank a bit more. My big fancies are very lazy.

 

My fantails (all in ponds) have no more health problems (and probably less) than my long-bodied fish.  Several people have reported that fancies appear to benefit more from moving from an aquarium to a pond than do long bodied fish, particularly with respect to growth.  Also, I have only surviving "pond mutts" as my fantails -- babies that I rescued from waste water, so I guess I selected for the tough ones.

You are more the exception than the rule though. Never once have I had a floaty slim bodied fish and I have had over 100 of them over the past 4 years. Over half of my fancies have had this problem.

 

What about your fancies that live in ponds?  What fraction of those float?  I think it has a lot to do with activity.  Pond fancies move more than aquarium fancies.  While they just poke around, they do this almost all of the time.  A pond bottom sitter will usually die soon if not removed for treatment.   They also eat algae that keeps the digestive tract moving.  

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Personally my favorite type of goldfish are any kind with long flowing fins. Slim bodied and fat fancies both have their ups and downs. I am not a perfect fish keeper but one downside to fancies is more frequent health problems. An upside is they can be quite beautiful gliding slowly around d the tank. With slim bodied fish they are generally more healthy and they do seem to zip around the tank a bit more. My big fancies are very lazy.

 

My fantails (all in ponds) have no more health problems (and probably less) than my long-bodied fish.  Several people have reported that fancies appear to benefit more from moving from an aquarium to a pond than do long bodied fish, particularly with respect to growth.  Also, I have only surviving "pond mutts" as my fantails -- babies that I rescued from waste water, so I guess I selected for the tough ones.

You are more the exception than the rule though. Never once have I had a floaty slim bodied fish and I have had over 100 of them over the past 4 years. Over half of my fancies have had this problem.

What about your fancies that live in ponds?  What fraction of those float?  I think it has a lot to do with activity.  Pond fancies move more than aquarium fancies.  While they just poke around, they do this almost all of the time.  A pond bottom sitter will usually die soon if not removed for treatment.   They also eat algae that keeps the digestive tract moving.

About half. I pulled one out this winter and moved it inside. I don't think it's going to make it. I suspect these guys were not perfect since birth and the depth of nearly 5 feet has not helped them.

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Thank you everyone for the responses.  

 

I am still completely undecided in my choice of goldfish for my tank.  Perhaps I will not be able to decide until I am actually at the LFS and certain fish pique my interest.  I am thinking either three mixed, or three fantails.  

 

Have you noticed any differences between the natures of comets and fantails?  Such as, do comets tend to destroy plants more often than fantails?  Are there any differences you've noticed, other than physical ones?

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Can't speak for the fantails, but I have 2 commons, a shubunkin & a comet - if they were dogs, the commons would be Labrador retrievers, the shubunkin, a Clumber spaniel, & the comet would be an Irish setter. The commons are good natured, muscular, athletic types that like to dig & will obliviously plow through plants. The comet is fast, hyperactive, likes to swim in the power head stream & through bubbles, & he will go back & forth & around & around & ... the shubunkin is a solid fellow with long fins & just sort of bumbles around - he's faster & more athletic than a fancy, but not as much as his buddies. They have a heavily planted tank, & really only nibble on one type of plant, but it outgrows them (hygrophila).

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Personally my favorite type of goldfish are any kind with long flowing fins. Slim bodied and fat fancies both have their ups and downs. I am not a perfect fish keeper but one downside to fancies is more frequent health problems. An upside is they can be quite beautiful gliding slowly around d the tank. With slim bodied fish they are generally more healthy and they do seem to zip around the tank a bit more. My big fancies are very lazy.

This is why I LOVE fantails. You get the best of both worlds. Fancy with long flowing tails and less health issues. IMO

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I am now thinking two fantails and one shubunkin.  I love the long flowing fins and patterns of the shubunkin and also the fantails.  I'd ideally love to have one calico (the shubunkin), one red fantail, and one red and white fantail.  I'd love a black and orange/red, but hear that the black tends to fade with age.  

 

Does anyone have any recommendations/good links for trying to sex young goldfish?  Is it even possible?  I'd prefer to start with the very young goldfish so I can watch them grow up.  The smaller goldfish tend to only be 1-1.5" for fantails (body length) and 1-2" for shubunkins, at least in the LFS I went to recently.  

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Fancy goldfish have lost some of the instincts of the wild fish.  They may not dive for cover when they see something over head.  My fantails that don't share a pond with long-bodied fish will respond to strangers with open mouths.  The long bodied fish distinguish between people they know and strangers. 

 

Sexing goldfish:

 

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/page/index.html/_/goldfish-keeping-tips/sexing-goldfish-r339

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Hehe I'm similar to Shahbazin with a comet, common and shubunkin but they're very different in behaviour. My shubunkin is never still. He spends all day moving around the tank eating the plants and algae and digging through the gravel. He's never in the one place for more than 30 seconds and is super fast but he's fairly interactive and friendly. My common couldn't care less about me unless she thinks I'm feeding her. She's more stand-offish. She rarely moves quickly (except for food) and she definately eats a lot of the plants. My pretty comet is pretty interactive, and just kind of cruises around the tank, she nibbles things a bit but is fairly plant friendly.

I'm making similar decisions to you at the moment. Good luck with whatever you decide. It sounds like you're doing your research so you're starting on the right foot :)

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