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SocialWorker94

2 Goldfish in 10 Gallon for 6 Months?

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Hello, all.

 

I am excited to be part of this forum!  I've been aware of this community's online presence for several years.  I nearly made a very bad purchase that would've hurt whatever fish I was trying to take care of, but thankfully I decided to do my research first.  

 

I have kept fish for most of my life.  My parents didn't understand the fish keeping hobby - they stocked a very small tank (maybe 3-5 gallons?) with fish, not paying attention to how they might do.  When I tell my mother many fish can live up to a decade or more if taken care of in pristine conditions, she doesn't believe me!  

 

We once had a goldfish I named Monster Fish.  He (we never sexed him, but used male pronouns) began as a five cent "feeder fish".  He was a comet goldfish, I've come to learn.  He had a white body with an orange spot on the top of his head.  That fish lived for something like 4 years, in various tanks I had growing up.  He got so big - around 6.5 inches long - I've learned he could've grown even larger!  It got to the point where if we put some very small fish in with him, he would eat them.  I loved that fish so much - if I put my hand in the tank, he would swim up to it and give my fingers a "kiss", or rub against my hand.  Loved that fish.

 

I am now in a small apartment, and we're allowed a 10 gallon aquarium.  I am considering populating it with a betta fish and a snail, perhaps a shrimp or two.  Or other fish that would thrive for their entire lives in such a small tank.  However, I would really love to pick up goldfish keeping again.

 

Here is my situation - I will be living in this apartment for another 6 months at the most (possibly only 3), before I move back home and begin graduate school (I'm learning to be a Social Worker!)  I have my mother's permission to purchase, setup, and maintain a 30-40 gallon tank.  I am educated in the nitrogen cycle, and would regularly test and cycle out the water.  I would give these fishies the best care possible.

 

I am considering two goldfish, since I know companionship is important.  I'm thinking of comets since I had such luck with them, and I think they're beautiful.  I will purchase them from Fry or Parr from my local pet store, and so I'm hoping that in the 3-6 months they're in the 10 gallon, they'll fair well, and by the time I transfer them to a 30-40 gallon, they'll be ready.

 

How does this sound?  I hope I don't sound too naive, I am interested in taking up this hobby and understand the responsibility of a living being depending upon me for everything - I must give it/them the best care possible.

 

While I'm posting, I must complain.  The Colorado State Fair is going on, and many friends are coming home with goldfish in small plastic "tanks" that can't be more than 3/4 gallon at best.  I told one friend "congratulations, you'll want at least a 10 gallon tank with a filtration system and something to oxygenate the water for your new friend!"  She responded, "I don't have money for that, it will be fine."  It's like people don't realize how amazing these fish are when they thrive for their entire lives, and what a devastation it is when they're mishandled, which happens all too often.

Edited by SocialWorker94

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It is doable as long as you are committed to very regular water changes. Personally, I would just wait 6 months til you can get the 40 gallon.

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Welcome to Kokos!!!!

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Of course you can!  Please read our guidelines for healthy goldfish.  You will observe that you can keep baby fish in a small container and that you can compensate for a "too small" tank by doing larger and more frequent water changes.

 

Starting with two small comets in your 10 gallon tank, you should change 5 gallons daily with very light feeding until the tank has cycled.  Once ammonia and nitrite read consistently zero, you can drop to changing 50% every other day.  Unless your fish grow very fast, you can probably eventually get down to two 50% water changes a week. 

 

Meanwhile, save your money to get a 40B at the first Petco dollar per gallon sale after you move.

 

You might get a shallow, spacious 10 gallon storage tote instead of a 10 gallon tank.  The swimming space and the huge surface area makes this able to handle more fish than an aquarium of the same volume.

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I would wait on the larger tank then get the fish.  Good luck

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I like the idea of getting the 10 gallon storage tote. It will be like an indoor pond.

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I think it's doable, especially with the water change frequency that Shakaho outlined. But, should you happen upon an upgrade (be it tank or tote), you might want to jump on it! Might be easier for you.

I'd say to just wait but i can't talk, right now i have two little celestials in a 10g... will move them to a 20 after their quarantine is done but i have no long-term plan as yet. :peeka just keep up on water quality and you should be okay :)

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As you see, we can have different opinions on this forum.  I'm not sure why some people would wait until the move to set up your tank -- perhaps because of the hassle of moving your fish.  

 

I would not wait, because of the ease of cycling a 10 gallon system.  Even changing a 5 gallon bucket of water every day for the first few weeks shouldn't overwhelm you.  Once the system has cycled, moving to the 40B just means filling the new tank with water and moving in the fish and filter. You will then have a larger tank that has already cycled.  You will, of course, need to get a larger filter to circulate the water in the bigger tank but you only need to run that next to the little filter to get it populated with nitrifiers.

 

If you wait until you have the big tank to get your fish, you have a choice.  You can spend a couple of months doing a fishless cycle before you get the fish, or you can do a fish-in cycle.  A bigger volume of water means you won't have to do 50% daily water changes, but you won't be able to get away with changing just 5 gallons a day until after the tank has cycled.

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I say buy 'em now! Like shakaho mentioned, cycling a 10g is so much easier than cycling a 40B fish-in. Plus, if you tell yourself you have to wait, Murphy's Law-- your dream fish will show up in stores and you'll have nowhere to put it!

Sent from my LGL62VL using Tapatalk

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Personally I would wait because I don't want to do the water changes.

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A five gallon water change is a breeze.

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I think the "10 gal now, & move the little filter over for an instant cycle later" idea is a good one; & you can certainly get some great fish out of the 'feeder' type comets - this fellow of ours was a teensy minnow-looking olive grey fish when we got him from Petco - 3 years later, Ghost has turned from the proverbial "ugly duckling" into a real "swan"!

 

Ghost24July7827_zpsrzl4rdjc.jpg

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I think the "10 gal now, & move the little filter over for an instant cycle later" idea is a good one; & you can certainly get some great fish out of the 'feeder' type comets - this fellow of ours was a teensy minnow-looking olive grey fish when we got him from Petco - 3 years later, Ghost has turned from the proverbial "ugly duckling" into a real "swan"!

 

Ghost24July7827_zpsrzl4rdjc.jpg

 

The beauty of comets!!!

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As you see, we can have different opinions on this forum.  I'm not sure why some people would wait until the move to set up your tank -- perhaps because of the hassle of moving your fish.  

 

I would not wait, because of the ease of cycling a 10 gallon system.  Even changing a 5 gallon bucket of water every day for the first few weeks shouldn't overwhelm you.  Once the system has cycled, moving to the 40B just means filling the new tank with water and moving in the fish and filter. You will then have a larger tank that has already cycled.  You will, of course, need to get a larger filter to circulate the water in the bigger tank but you only need to run that next to the little filter to get it populated with nitrifiers.

 

If you wait until you have the big tank to get your fish, you have a choice.  You can spend a couple of months doing a fishless cycle before you get the fish, or you can do a fish-in cycle.  A bigger volume of water means you won't have to do 50% daily water changes, but you won't be able to get away with changing just 5 gallons a day until after the tank has cycled.

Thank you!

 

I am hoping, if I go through with this after careful consideration, to purchase and set up everything for the 10 gallon tank.  Then I'll work on getting things together for a 40g tank, and hopefully it will be cycled through and ready when I move the fish.  I also go home for Christmas, so I am hoping to have it ready when I bring my finned friends home for the holidays!  

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I'm not sure a 5 gallon bucket will fit in a 10 gallon tank so it is still some work syphoning out the water. I am definitely not saying that the OP should not go ahead and go for it. I'm just saying for me, knowing how busy I am, I just don't wanna do it. I'm sure it will be no problem for someone willing to spend a bit of time in it.

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I must say, I've never found filling a tube with water and putting one end in a tank and the other in a bucket to be heavy labor.  :)   Now lugging the full bucket isn't easy for a little old lady like me, so I dump it into two dollar store 2 1/2 gallon buckets which I can carry easily.

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I must say, I've never found filling a tube with water and putting one end in a tank and the other in a bucket to be heavy labor.  :)   Now lugging the full bucket isn't easy for a little old lady like me, so I dump it into two dollar store 2 1/2 gallon buckets which I can carry easily.

 

the labor is in the intensive search of will... at least for me :rolleyes:

So that's why I prefer to hold off.. life gets in the way, then laziness, then there's vacations and who knows what else... Yes the cycling is way easier like you said, but I feel safer to let a 40B go for 2 weeks than a 10 gallon. :)

 

To the OP: sounds like you've got a plan! And I love your avatar! :nana

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Hi, all,

 

I've done some more research (this is so fun!)  Since comets and other similar looking goldfish grow so large and are so athletic, I've decided considering my space constraints and the fact that even a 40g wouldn't be enough for swimming and waste dilution, I am going to look into fancy goldfish in stead.  

 

I'd appreciate any suggestions when it comes to types, though I'm limited to what my local pet stores have.  I LOVE the idea of "saving" a couple of "feeder fish", but I may need to go for the goldfish meant to be kept as pets.  I'm not complaining!  (I will have a small army of comets when I have my own home - mwahaha!)

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Comets/Common Goldfish actually only get about as large as fancys. They get longer sure, but they are no where near as wide, so when it comes to mass. 40g will be fine for two comets/commons :) They can turn around in tighter spaces than fancies as well :)

Its up to you what you for for, just putting it out there that single tails don't need a bigger tank than fancies!

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I must say, I've never found filling a tube with water and putting one end in a tank and the other in a bucket to be heavy labor.  :)   Now lugging the full bucket isn't easy for a little old lady like me, so I dump it into two dollar store 2 1/2 gallon buckets which I can carry easily.

You're right. It is not heavy labor. Just time I could be doing other things. I did have an idea though. I could just lift the 10 gallon and pour it directly into the sink or 5 gallon bucket. This would save a lot of time. Hopefully the fish wouldn't flop out!

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Yes, I'm sure you could.   :lol:

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Hi, all,

 

I've done some more research (this is so fun!)  Since comets and other similar looking goldfish grow so large and are so athletic, I've decided considering my space constraints and the fact that even a 40g wouldn't be enough for swimming and waste dilution, I am going to look into fancy goldfish in stead.  

 

I'd appreciate any suggestions when it comes to types, though I'm limited to what my local pet stores have.  I LOVE the idea of "saving" a couple of "feeder fish", but I may need to go for the goldfish meant to be kept as pets.  I'm not complaining!  (I will have a small army of comets when I have my own home - mwahaha!)

 

I have a few dozen such fish, and have spent a lot of time trying to dispose of this widespread misinformation.  Unfortunately many people repeat whatever they read on the internet so you can read this everywhere.  If you ask the person who said this how many commons/comets/shubunkin they own, you can determine whether they have qualifications for making this statement.  

 

Long bodied goldfish lived as pets for a long time before fancies became available.  In domestic situations, they do not get larger than fancies.  They get longer, but fancies get both wider and taller.  Mature goldfish of all varieties have similar mass/volume.  We recommend 20 gallons per goldfish for all varieties, basing that on experience, not internet rumor.  We probably should recommend larger volume for fancies, since these more delicate fish need better water quality,  but 20 gallons works for all but truly giant goldfish.  I keep two pond-sized mature comets/commons/shubunkin in 40 gallons where they appear perfectly happy.  

 

You will read that long-bodied goldfish need more space because they swim so fast.  They do dart around as babies, but fish biologists call goldfish sedentary fish.  As adults, they rarely swim fast unless terrified, coming for food, or spawning.  The rest of the time they meander around looking for something to nibble on.  I recommend the 40B for two fish because most people here keep fancies, and when these get large they have little flexibility and may have trouble turning in a narrow tank.  A mature comet can turn around in a 6" wide tank.

 

I can tell you some differences between fancy and long-bodied goldfish, since I have both.  The fish with long bodies live roughly three times as long as the fancies.  They very rarely experience the incurable swim bladder disorders which occur frequently in aquarium-raised fancies (but no so often in pond fancies).  The fancies have lost some of the protective instincts of prey fish, since they have never lived in the wild.  For example, all of my fish respond to those they know with open mouths, but the fancies do the same with strangers.  (Fancies that live with long-bodied fish hide like their "wiser" buddies when a stranger appears.)  While fancies seem to benefit more from moving from an aquarium to an appropriate pond, they need a predator-proof pond cover even more than the long-bodied fish.

Edited by shakaho

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Hi, all,

 

I've done some more research (this is so fun!)  Since comets and other similar looking goldfish grow so large and are so athletic, I've decided considering my space constraints and the fact that even a 40g wouldn't be enough for swimming and waste dilution, I am going to look into fancy goldfish in stead.  

 

I'd appreciate any suggestions when it comes to types, though I'm limited to what my local pet stores have.  I LOVE the idea of "saving" a couple of "feeder fish", but I may need to go for the goldfish meant to be kept as pets.  I'm not complaining!  (I will have a small army of comets when I have my own home - mwahaha!)

 

I have a few dozen such fish, and have spent a lot of time trying to dispose of this widespread misinformation.  Unfortunately many people repeat whatever they read on the internet so you can read this everywhere.  If you ask the person who said this how many commons/comets/shubunkin they own, you can determine whether they have qualifications for making this statement.  

 

Long bodied goldfish lived as pets for a long time before fancies became available.  In domestic situations, they do not get larger than fancies.  They get longer, but fancies get both wider and taller.  Mature goldfish of all varieties have similar mass/volume.  We recommend 20 gallons per goldfish for all varieties, basing that on experience, not internet rumor.  We probably should recommend larger volume for fancies, since these more delicate fish need better water quality,  but 20 gallons works for all but truly giant goldfish.  I keep two pond-sized mature comets/commons/shubunkin in 40 gallons where they appear perfectly happy.  

 

You will read that long-bodied goldfish need more space because they swim so fast.  They do dart around as babies, but fish biologists call goldfish sedentary fish.  As adults, they rarely swim fast unless terrified, coming for food, or spawning.  The rest of the time they meander around looking for something to nibble on.  I recommend the 40B for two fish because most people here keep fancies, and when these get large they have little flexibility and may have trouble turning in a narrow tank.  A mature comet can turn around in a 6" wide tank.

 

I can tell you some differences between fancy and long-bodied goldfish, since I have both.  The fish with long bodies live roughly three times as long as the fancies.  They very rarely experience the incurable swim bladder disorders which occur frequently in aquarium-raised fancies (but no so often in pond fancies).  The fancies have lost some of the protective instincts of prey fish, since they have never lived in the wild.  For example, all of my fish respond to those they know with open mouths, but the fancies do the same with strangers.  (Fancies that live with long-bodied fish hide like their "wiser" buddies when a stranger appears.)  While fancies seem to benefit more from moving from an aquarium to an appropriate pond, they need a predator-proof pond cover even more than the long-bodied fish.

 

 

Wow, that's so good to know!  Thanks a lot!  :)

 

I learned in biology class that "fancy" goldfish, because they are so far from their ancestor's form, suffer different issues (some of which you bring up).  I've heard around the boards that comets/commons tend to be healthier because their bodies are more similar to their ancestors.  I've heard people use the word "hardy", saying they're more hardy than those fish who look very different than their ancestors (such as the goldfish with the goofy cheeks - who thought that was a good idea?  I imagine those can be punctured?)

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Every mutation that you find in fancy goldfish has some deleterious effect.  The basic mutation that makes a goldfish "fancy" -- the shortened body -- may be the most harmful because of the compressed internal organs.  These contribute to digestive problems and swim bladder disorders, particularly when combined with obesity.  Add the second characteristic of fancies -- a twin tail, and you have a fish that can't swim as fast as normal.  With just those two mutations, you have fantails.  My fantails appear to be as vigorous and healthy as my long-bodied fish.  Many people classify them as borderline "pond goldfish," since they can live in an outdoor pond year around, even under ice.

 

This nonsense about commons/comets requiring vast quantities of water may come from calling them "pond fish."  That doesn't mean they need a pond, it means they can live in a pond in virtually any climate -- under ice, in the tropics, and everything in between.  Common goldfish can tolerate temperatures from slightly over 32oF to 106oF, although fish that have been adapted to a high temperature will not survive at the minimum and fish adapted to the lower range will not survive at the maximum.  Although some people keep fancies other than fantails under ice in outdoor ponds, they have a better chance of thriving in a pond if the temperature doesn't go much below 40oF.  

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A ten gallon tank full of water is pretty heavy, I have lugged one full of gross water outside and it did splash during transport and make quite the mess! The siphon doesn't take much time, however in the ten gallon storage tote, it is harder to use, but then the tote isn't as heavy as the glass tank and is easier to move. Also, not that hard to remove the fish before turning the tank over. So many options. Good luck with the fishies!

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