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Goldfish rescue

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Im adopting 4 goldfish who are in a terrible situation. The roomate left behind his tank and fish. Its a 40 gallon with 4 commons "living" in there. 

 

I'm picking them up tomorrow. I dont want to shock them, they have been living in (very little) nasty water. The homeowner is feeding them but has no idea what else to do. There is no filter or heater.

 

Spam me. I cant afford the best filter ever, or the best heater, etc. But anything will be better, so  please be nice. How do I transport them? What do I do when I get them home? They will be in the same tank as I cannot immediately afford to upgrade, so in the meantime what can I do to make them comfortable?

 

Thanks everyone!

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Given that our standard recommendation is 20g/fish-- and assuming you can't/don't want to rehome any, my first suggestion would be twice weekly 70-90% wc to maintain water quality.

Are the water parameters in their current tank the same as your water?

They don't necessarily need a heater.

I like the Aqueon Quietflow filters. I'd get two quietflow 55's for that size tank.

Here are our general guidelines for keeping healthy fish, in case you haven't seen them.

Edited by Morgan'sMiracles

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Also, if there is any gravel or ornaments in the tank, take them out so that they aren't taking away from water capacity/swimming space.

 

I'd definitely advise getting a Test Kit, API Freshwater Master Liquid Test Kit is the most recommended. I'd be keeping a close eye on the parameters, and doing waterchanges at least 2-3 times a week with four in the 40gallon. 

 

You don't need a tank to give them more space, if you could get a large storage tote they make great temporary setups and you could split them between the tank and the tub to give them more space and help with water quality.

 

For transportation you can use buckets. If the PH and temperature match you could move them straight to clean water,otherwise I like to acclimate by floating them in the new water and slowly adding new water to the old water they are in. If they are in buckets you can't float really but you can slowly add new water.

 

I'd also recommend getting Prime water conditioner, as that will detoxify ammonia and nitrite. 

 

Is this your only tank, or do you have other fish? If you have another healthy tank you can take some of the filter media and put in whatever filter you get to speed up the cycling process

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As for the media and getting the filter booted up, you can also order an established sponge filter or media from Angel's Plus. Super duper helpful. I would recommend 80 - 100% water changes daily until you get the filter set up.

Getting a Sterilite Brand tub is a great idea as far as giving the fish enough space.

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If they have been living in "nasty" water, wouldn't putting them straight into new water shock them?

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Welcome to Kokos.  I will disagree with most of the above.  As you and Mothercrow observed, clean water could shock and kill them.  

 

Get some large (2 gallon) food bags and some buckets  When you get there, fill each bag at least half full with the yucky water from the tank, put a fish in each bag, seal it, and put it in a bucket.  You need four bags and four 2 1/2 gallon or two five-gallon buckets. (Better take some spares in case of surprise problems.)  The fish will be fine unless the trip home takes several hours.

 

Remove and discard the rest of the water in the tank.  Do NOT discard any gravel, stones or sand in the tank.  Just take it home.  In the absence of a filter, all of the microbes that remove toxic ammonia and nitrite will be on surfaces in the tank -- the sides, the substrate, plants, ornaments.  Don't discard these or even clean them at this point.  

 

When you get the tank home, half fill it with tap water at as close to room temperature as you can get it, adding a water conditioner (ideally Seachem Prime) to remove chlorine.  Don't  wash the inside of the tank at this time, but you can clean the outside if you wish.  ;)  Then add the fish and their bag water, one at a time.  The water will look pretty gross as debris get stirred up, but this won't hurt the fish.  Dechlorinate more tap water in those buckets and add a gallon of fresh water every hour or so until the tank is filled.

 

You need the following:

 

Seachem Prime water conditioner.  It looks expensive, but it is highly concentrated so it's actually the cheapest you can get.

 

A siphon for removing grungy water from the tank.

 

A filter.  Ideally, you should get one that turns over 400 gallons per hour, but just get the best you can afford.  You can add another filter later.

 

You do NOT need a heater.  Goldfish are happy at a much wider temperature range than us and love room temperature.

 

If you aren't broke yet, get a test kit.  We recommend this one.  The kit will last for years.

 

To clean up the water without shocking the fish, change 10-20% of the water daily for the first week.  Then change half of the water.  By this time you should have a test kit so you can test your tank and tap water and report your results so we can help you determine a good water change schedule.

 

How big are these fish?   

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Sharon bought up a lot of things I was thinking of later when laying in bed, so glad to wake up and see she had corrected me on those! Thanks! :)

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I would love to hear more about this rescue and maybe see pictures, if you're so inclined. :-)

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