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charlesjackson2007

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Hello All!!! ;)

I am new to this pet fish thing but I hear that it is very exciting and quite remarkable. I need so help though. Let me start off by telling you what I have:

1) 10 gallon fish tank

2) Gravel

3) Decorations-not many-don't want to overcrowd the tank

4) Bio-wheel filter

5) Full Tank hood with lamp-with 2 mini 25watt Aqua Lghts

6) Water Treatment-AquaSafe Plus

7) Ammonia Neutralizer

8) Goldfish Food-Goldfish Flakes and Goldfish Pellets

Now, I had some goldfish but unfortuantely, they are no longer with me. I thought I was doing the right thing but apparently, I wasn't. I got my pet fish from the pet retailer (don't know if I can post Names on here so I won't) and when I brought them home, I did as they said and put the bag in the water to let the water adjust to the tank water before releasing them into the tank. Before I even went and purchased my pet fish, I made sure to rinse all my decorations (not many) with warm water just as the packing said to do, and after filling my tank, I used the Water Treatment following the directions. I even let the fishless cycle go on for about 1.5 days. Then I went and purchased my pet fish and did what I mentioned earlier. I noticed that they were behaving kind of erratic but I chalked this up to the stress level (based on what the pet retailer told me would happen) so I used the stress treatment that my borther had (his fish are the same as my fish-I don't remember the brand or name of it). They seemd to calm down after that but something still seemed odd. They were all at the top of the fish tank I guess like gasping for air (or oxygen-I don't know). One of the fish was even by the filter and wouldn't leave it' side (I though it was stuck but when I used the net to see if I could gently move it along, it quickly swam away then returned later). My brother suggested that I feed them a little to see if that would fix things but it didn't. They ignored the food and kept doing what I mentioned earlier. This morning, when I woke, they were deceased and floating at the top of the water. :(

What happened and what did I do wrong?? Please help me.

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It seems like you're doing your very best, but unfortunately you've been given some very incorrect information from the pet store. This happens very often! Many of the items you have are either not large/powerful enough, or simply unnecessary. Here's a list of the basics you'll need for goldfish:

-Bare minimum of a 20 gallon tank. This will easily hold ONE fancy (double tail) goldfish, like a fantail, ryukin, oranda, telescope eye, etc. In order to have two fancy goldfish, you will need at least a 29 gallon tank.

-The filter must have a flow rate of 10 times the water volume per hour. This means for a 20 gallon tank, you need a filter of at least 200 gallons per hour. For a 29 gallon tank, you need 290 gallons per hour.

-Gravel is not needed, and can actually cause major problems with goldfish. They root around in it, and can easily get a piece lodged in their throat and choke. Also, anything deeper than 1/4 inch WILL be a major reservoir for bad bacteria that will make your fish sick. Most of us here use no gravel at all. It makes cleaning so much easier. Also, decorations aren't needed, but you can use them if you choose. Just make sure nothing is hollow or sharp.

-You need a chlorine/chloramine remover, the best product for this is Prime, made by Seachem. This is added at each water change.

-You will absolutely need a test kit for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH. You need to test these four parameters daily in a newly set up aquarium, and weekly in an established aquarium. Imbalances in these parameters are the #1 cause of goldfish illness and death. The best kit is the API Freshwater Master test kit, can be found at Pet*smart. It's also good to have one for KH (carbonate hardness).

-For food, flakes hold almost no nutrition and cause the fish to gulp air at the surface when feeding, which is bad. Sinking pellets are good, but you must soak them in tank water before feeding. You can also supplement their diet with blanched veggies, like peas. But gel food is the absolute best food for goldfish. If you want more info on gel food, please have a look at our Goldfish Food forum, there's plenty of info there.

Lastly, it seems you're confused about what it means to "cycle" a tank. It's not sufficient to let it sit for 1.5 days, this will not do anything. What you need to do is a fishless cycle. This consists of adding pure ammonia to the tank (before you get fish) and testing daily. You watch until ammonia and nitrite consistently read ZERO, and then you can add your first fish. It's best to only add one fish at a time, and make sure the parameters stay within acceptable ranges before adding another fish. The fishless cycling process normally takes 2-3 months. Some people think this sounds like too much work, so they get their fish before cycling the tank. Then you will be cycling the tank with fish in it, in which case the fish will most likely die. To keep them from dying, you'll have to do at least 2 50% daily water changes to keep ammonia and nitrite low, and the cycling process with fish takes much much longer than the fishless cycling process.

I hope I cleared up a few things, please post back with any more questions you have! And... welcome to Koko's!

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Thanks for the info. Just another question. Is it possible for me to keep and use the 10 gallon tank becuase at this point, I am unable to obtain a 20 gallon tanks and don't have adequate space to put the 20 gallon tank in my home. (unschedule guest moved back home temporarily-going on 1 year now :doh11: ). Also, with my new understanding of a 'fishless cycle,' do I have to do one?? I ask because, my brother (unscheduled guest) started his tank with two goldfish in his 10 gallon tank (which is now mine) and it he lasted with that for a good 6 months before upgrading to the 20 gallon tank that he has now.

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Thanks for the info. Just another question. Is it possible for me to keep and use the 10 gallon tank becuase at this point, I am unable to obtain a 20 gallon tanks and don't have adequate space to put the 20 gallon tank in my home. (unschedule guest moved back home temporarily-going on 1 year now :doh11: ). Also, with my new understanding of a 'fishless cycle,' do I have to do one?? I ask because, my brother (unscheduled guest) started his tank with two goldfish in his 10 gallon tank (which is now mine) and it he lasted with that for a good 6 months before upgrading to the 20 gallon tank that he has now.

When you do a "fishless" cycle, you add a source of ammonia to the tank in order to begin the process of building up beneficial bacteria whose functions are to convert harmful ammonia & nitrite to the much less harmful nitrate. This process can take from weeks to months. It is recommended that you develop the cycle this way, without fish, because during the cycling process, ammonia & nitrites will be produced or will be present, and both of these are very harmful/toxic to your fish.

However, if you already have fish in the tank, then you can still keep the fish in the tank while it's cycling. This just means that you will need to monitor your water carefully, do very frequent water changes (possibly daily) so that the amount of ammonia and nitrite are not toxic to your fish. Because you have to deplete/lower your tank of ammonia/nitrite, cycling a tank with fish in it often will take longer and requires more work, as you will need to do a lot of water changes.

As for keeping the 10 gallon, it isn't optimal, but you should be able to keep 1 fish in it for now. Eventually (sooner is better) you will have to upgrade to a bigger tank, though. Because the tank is small, you will need to make sure that your water changes are frequent, since bad water quality is often the reason fish becomes sick!

Good luck! It may sound a little overwhelming at first, but once you get going, it's quite a lot of fun :)

Edited by dnalex

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-Bare minimum of a 20 gallon tank. This will easily hold ONE fancy (double tail) goldfish, like a fantail, ryukin, oranda, telescope eye, etc. In order to have two fancy goldfish, you will need at least a 29 gallon tank.

As for keeping the 10 gallon, it isn't optimal, but you should be able to keep 1 fish in it for now. Eventually (sooner is better) you will have to upgrade to a bigger tank, though. Because the tank is small, you will need to make sure that your water changes are frequent, since bad water quality is often the reason fish becomes sick!

Another question.. I have heard from a lot of people, and you two have just confirmed what I heard, that with 1 goldfish, you should have at least a 20 gallon tank. Whay is it that they make the goldfish bowls that are way less than 10 gallons (I would even say less than 5 gallons)?? If they are not the things to use why do the pet retailers tell you that all you need is "that" bowl and a "goldfish" to get started when there is so much more that have to be done?? Because surely if 1 goldfish would be good in that "bowl" then at least 2 goldfishes would be ok in a 10 gallon tank. Right??

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I didn't see where you had a bubble wand in the tank, maybe missed it. They need that for oxygen also. More than likely what happened was ammonia built up in your tank, since it wasn't cycled which ended up killing your fish. I would not put a goldfish in your 10g tank, rather tropical fish. Goldfish get very large and will outgrow that tank, unless you plan to upgrade really soon I would not put even just ONE goldfish in there.

You need those test kits like they said and do a fishless cycle no matter what kind of fish go in there. This will help both you and your new pets. Once it has fully cycled you should get a reading of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and try to keep the nitrate below 20 doing water changes weekly. This will then be safe for fish.

I have to say as someone who kept tropical fish first that they are very easy to care for as a first time fish keeper, only thing extra you need for them is a simple heater compared to goldfish. Goldfish can be simple as well but need more space and frequent care as in water changes, varied diet, and cleaning up the tank. You could always get a larger tank later and use your cycled filter media to start up the new tank fast for some goldfish. Just my 2cents. :)

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Another question.. I have heard from a lot of people, and you two have just confirmed what I heard, that with 1 goldfish, you should have at least a 20 gallon tank. Whay is it that they make the goldfish bowls that are way less than 10 gallons (I would even say less than 5 gallons)?? If they are not the things to use why do the pet retailers tell you that all you need is "that" bowl and a "goldfish" to get started when there is so much more that have to be done?? Because surely if 1 goldfish would be good in that "bowl" then at least 2 goldfishes would be ok in a 10 gallon tank. Right??

I can totally understand your confusion on this. Bowls are not a suitable home for goldfish for many reasons...

-not adequate surface area to allow oxygen to enter the water

-no room for a filter

-way too small! goldfish grow to be upwards of 6 inches, so they need lots of space!

Any pet store employee who tells you a bowl is okay for a goldfish to live in is sadly misinformed.

2 Goldfish will not be okay in a 10 gallon tank. I strongly advise you not to even keep one in a 10 gallon tank. In reality, a 20 gallon tank doesn't require much more space than a 10 if you get a 20 gallon "tall" shape. There's no reason why you can't fit a 20 gallon tank in the place where you'd normally put your 10 gallon.

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2 Goldfish will not be okay in a 10 gallon tank. I strongly advise you not to even keep one in a 10 gallon tank. In reality, a 20 gallon tank doesn't require much more space than a 10 if you get a 20 gallon "tall" shape. There's no reason why you can't fit a 20 gallon tank in the place where you'd normally put your 10 gallon.

Oh really?!?!?! I will have to look into this and get a tall 20 gallon tank. IF it fits in the same space, that will work out just fine. Thanks

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Also with a 20 gallon you're better off having only 1 fancy goldfish in it to start out. :) Also start out with the biggest tank you can get.

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If cost is an issue, you can always buy a 20 gallon plastic tub than are only a few dollars. It's uglier, but then in the future if you want more goldfish, you won't have to spend another few hundred dollars on another, larger, setup.

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It seems like you're doing your very best, but unfortunately you've been given some very incorrect information from the pet store. This happens very often! Many of the items you have are either not large/powerful enough, or simply unnecessary. Here's a list of the basics you'll need for goldfish:

-Bare minimum of a 20 gallon tank. This will easily hold ONE fancy (double tail) goldfish, like a fantail, ryukin, oranda, telescope eye, etc. In order to have two fancy goldfish, you will need at least a 29 gallon tank.

-The filter must have a flow rate of 10 times the water volume per hour. This means for a 20 gallon tank, you need a filter of at least 200 gallons per hour. For a 29 gallon tank, you need 290 gallons per hour.

-Gravel is not needed, and can actually cause major problems with goldfish. They root around in it, and can easily get a piece lodged in their throat and choke. Also, anything deeper than 1/4 inch WILL be a major reservoir for bad bacteria that will make your fish sick. Most of us here use no gravel at all. It makes cleaning so much easier. Also, decorations aren't needed, but you can use them if you choose. Just make sure nothing is hollow or sharp.

-You need a chlorine/chloramine remover, the best product for this is Prime, made by Seachem. This is added at each water change.

-You will absolutely need a test kit for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH. You need to test these four parameters daily in a newly set up aquarium, and weekly in an established aquarium. Imbalances in these parameters are the #1 cause of goldfish illness and death. The best kit is the API Freshwater Master test kit, can be found at Pet*smart. It's also good to have one for KH (carbonate hardness).

-For food, flakes hold almost no nutrition and cause the fish to gulp air at the surface when feeding, which is bad. Sinking pellets are good, but you must soak them in tank water before feeding. You can also supplement their diet with blanched veggies, like peas. But gel food is the absolute best food for goldfish. If you want more info on gel food, please have a look at our Goldfish Food forum, there's plenty of info there.

Lastly, it seems you're confused about what it means to "cycle" a tank. It's not sufficient to let it sit for 1.5 days, this will not do anything. What you need to do is a fishless cycle. This consists of adding pure ammonia to the tank (before you get fish) and testing daily. You watch until ammonia and nitrite consistently read ZERO, and then you can add your first fish. It's best to only add one fish at a time, and make sure the parameters stay within acceptable ranges before adding another fish. The fishless cycling process normally takes 2-3 months. Some people think this sounds like too much work, so they get their fish before cycling the tank. Then you will be cycling the tank with fish in it, in which case the fish will most likely die. To keep them from dying, you'll have to do at least 2 50% daily water changes to keep ammonia and nitrite low, and the cycling process with fish takes much much longer than the fishless cycling process.

I hope I cleared up a few things, please post back with any more questions you have! And... welcome to Koko's!

Sakura, You are the reason I keep coming back to Koko's ... I have read your responces to so many novices (Like me) ... and still you keep giving the same advice ..... your advice is still

interesting to me ... don't you wish Local fish Stores had to get a license to sell fish (goldfish for sure) that required them to insure buyers know what it takes to keep these great fish!!!

washingtongoldfish

Tom

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Sakura, You are the reason I keep coming back to Koko's ... I have read your responces to so many novices (Like me) ... and still you keep giving the same advice ..... your advice is still

interesting to me ... don't you wish Local fish Stores had to get a license to sell fish (goldfish for sure) that required them to insure buyers know what it takes to keep these great fish!!!

washingtongoldfish

Tom

Thanks Tom, you're too kind! :) Yes, I really wish pet stores would get their act together and give out proper information. Unfortunately they're businesses, so they're only driven by one thing... money! :no:

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If you do look into the 20 high, it does take the same "footprint" as the standard 10 gal does. I've got one and I can use my 10 gal stands for it. So as long as you've vertical space, you can fit the 20 high in.

Everyone seems to recommend that only one goldfish be kept in a 20, so I'd suggest going with other fish. You have several choices for a 20 gal tropical community.

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You must have a different 20 tall. The standard 20 tall is much wider and longer than a standard 10. A 20 "extra tall" does have the same footprint though.

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Tropicals can also be housed in a 10 gal, depending on what kind and how many.

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Tropicals can also be housed in a 10 gal, depending on what kind and how many.

Yes, that was what I suggested if our new member here couldn't get a larger tank. There are lots of little tropical fish that don't get more than a few inches in size fully grown. I use to have some tetra's and those stay pretty small and are very hardy fish for a beginner. Molly's are cute little fish also that stay pretty small. Also guppies are very popular but I never have had any of those. There are so many to choose from. :)

But if you do get the 20 tall I would only recommend 1 fancy goldfish personally. Even fancies can get very large, I've seen some fantails that were HUGE!

Here is just one example on how much bad advice from a pet store can completely ruin your experience with keeping goldfish. When I wanted to start up my 75g tank I went to the local pet store to get supplies and he told me I needed to put 100 starter fish in my tank to cycle it! WHAT?!?! I told him no ty. They want to SELL SELL SELL! Now you know I would have had a tank full of dead fish in no time had I done that. Then I would have been back at the store to spend more money. They don't care about the health of the fish, they just see them as $$$. Not ALL pet stores are like this but a whole lot of them are. The people on this site care deeply for goldfish and want to help both you and the fish to be happy. :)

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All that cycling business is about growing a colony of beneficial bacteria :angelstaf: that break down ammonia ( like urine) into nitrites, and nitrites break down into nitrates. Nitrates need to be removed with water changes. So you need test kits to measure these, not test strips but drops that you put into a test tube.

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:newfish

My cousin has a goldfish community and has been doing the fishless cycle and actually was ready to put in new fish when I told him I was starting my own community. He gave me his 20 gallon, (tall ) tank. I went ahead and got 2 goldfish. They are small and in the same tank. They are doing great right now. He is doing the fishless cycle again in a 40 gallong tank that he is going to give to me so that I can adequately house 2 goldfish (at this point, he will take back his 20gallon.I am also helping him out with the fishless cycle so that I can learn how to do it). My 2 goldfish are doing great right now. They are swimming around with the decorations and look like they are getting along good. They swim after each other all the time (I guess they are playing.) They even come to the front of the glass tank when I come in the room. I am starting to love my fish. Their names are Jarhead, and Marine. Thank you all for your valuable input. I am learning so much about fish that I have never learned before and never even knew existed. :Congrats:

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They may be small now, and fit into that 20 gallon just fine. But goldfish *can* get big. A good rule of thumb is 20 gallons for the first goldfish, and then 10 gallons for every fish after. Since you have two in a 20 gallon tank, be sure to keep up on water changes!

I was in the same exact boat. I talked to two LFS's and one of them was a good friend of mine. I bought a 30 gallon tank (my largest tank at the time) and was told that I could have up to 4 fish. And seeing how small goldfish can be, I was like, "oh ok perfect". I was WRONG. Wrong wrong wrong. Now that I have learned the ropes, I upgraded to a 55 gallon tank and sold my 30 gallon tank. Now I can finally have 4 fish :)

Also, troll around he forums, there are lots of good reading on here. Another good reference is this book --> http://www.amazon.com/Fancy-Goldfish-Complete-Guide-Collecting/dp/0834804484 I use it all the time.

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It looks like all the pros have got you covered thus far :) I am very new to this also .. my guy is doing wonderfullly .. hopefully everyone helps you out as much as they did me.. it's great you found this place.. they are all lifesavers :):angelstaf::welcome

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It looks like all the pros have got you covered thus far :) I am very new to this also .. my guy is doing wonderfullly .. hopefully everyone helps you out as much as they did me.. it's great you found this place.. they are all lifesavers :):angelstaf::welcome

They have helped me out tremendously and I am glad I found this place also. :krazy:

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The fishless cycling process normally takes 2-3 months. Some people think this sounds like too much work, so they get their fish before cycling the tank. Then you will be cycling the tank with fish in it, in which case the fish will most likely die. To keep them from dying, you'll have to do at least 2 50% daily water changes to keep ammonia and nitrite low, and the cycling process with fish takes much much longer than the fishless cycling process.

I'm sorry but this is just a gross exaggeration.

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I have another question. When am I supposed to have the light on in the tank? When I turn out the lights, my fish seem to be so darn active and move around like crazy. I kinda thought that they were afraid of the dark because I turn the light back on and they immediately stop moving around as much. It seems to me also that they tend to rest more often when the light is on.

Also, one of my fish really doesn't move to much. He stays in the corner all the time and when he does move, it is to swim around the tank a few times and then back to the corner he goes. Is that normal and ok for him to do that?

I guess this is turning into 3 question becuase I do have another one. When I come home from work (and basically throughout the day) I find that there is like foam/bubbles on the top of my water. I think it is being cause by the long bubble stream thing I have because there is a long foam/bubble accumulation where the bubbles meet the top of the water. Is that something I have to worry about? Right now I take my fish net and move the foam/bubbles around and they disipate alsmost immediately but later they will return.

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I'm doing a fishless cycle on one of my tanks right now and a very experienced member said if there is no fishy smell involved not to worry about it... not really sure what its from...?

Regarding the bubbles on top of ur water that is... :)

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