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Old 09-20-2009, 06:27 PM   #1
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Complete newb needs advice/help

Okay. My kids got 3 comet/feeder goldfish at a japanese festival a week ago and our friend, who is very into fish, let us borrow a 10G tank with filters and everything, it was healthy and full right before she gave it to us, so that a big help.

Anyways, we decided to wait a week to see how the fish would fare because we knew how unlikely the feeder goldfish would survive, and two of them seemed to have ragged tail fins.

In the course of a week, the two who had ragged tail fins have died, leaving just the one.

So, suggestions. I have read that I should cycle, which I don't quite understand, but I have a fish that seems to be rather hardy. Should I wait to see if it dies like it's brethren, or should I start looking into getting a few more fish (pleco is a definite, my kids really loved the neons though I heard the minnows are really hardy though are not all that pretty... we would like some active fish).

Currently, the tank is a 10G (we have a 25G waiting for us when we want it, but are really wanting to just stick with the 10G to see how things go), it has a used filter (which I hear is good), polished rock gravel, a fake wood thing that my friend gave us along with the tank, and a ph/ammonia/temperature thing that's stuck to the inside of the tank.

We are going tomorrow or the next day to get a python for water changes, a few other things (like a sponge to help keep fish away from the intake of the filter and a bubble stone perhaps) and when we go, are going to get a few more fish (we promised the kids that since their fish died we would replace them with new ones, which they might just decide to want more feeder/comet goldfish).

And so, with the rambling, I am unsure of what i am trully asking, but some advice on which way to go would be nice, as well as some suggestions for what fish I should get (and possibly plants. I want live plants to help with the NO2 and NO3, but my wife is rather leery of them. We only have the hood florescent so it might not be enough for plants).


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Old 09-20-2009, 06:39 PM   #2
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Here are two good threads that should help you understand what you need to do... I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?! and http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...cle/Page1.html

Something you will want to consider is that your tank is actually too small for a goldfish. Those things get huge, ive seen them a foot and heard of them being bigger. If youre wanting to keep the 10 gallon tank, you might want to consider getting something more compatable with it. Also, dont get a common pleco. They also get HUGE, i saw a picture of one that was over a food long, not to mention they do more harm than good putting out so much waste. you could go with a smaller type of pleco like a bristlenose, they stay pretty small in the 4-6" range. The main thing you need to think about now is the bio load that a goldfish will put in your tank. They are one of the nastiest and dirtiest fish you can have, and require alot of filtration.


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Old 09-20-2009, 06:53 PM   #3
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Yes, I know my tank will be too small for the goldfish as it grows, but when that time comes, there is a large large nearby and many people with koi and goldfish ponds (and I might be one of those by that time as well).

The store I am getting the pleco from has the bristlenose so that it wont get big, I was keeping that very much so in mind.

Thank you for the links, I'll go read them now.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:04 PM   #4
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Welcome to AA!

In spite of them giving away comets at fairs, goldfish are NOT for beginners! They require proper setup in order to prosper, otherwise you are replacing fish every few weeks.

First, I would suggest NOT getting any more fish at present. Your tank is not ready (cycle first), and you need to decide what kind of aquarium you want & research before buying. Impulse buy often ends in heartaches.

Second, switch to the bigger tank. It is a mistake for newbies to start small. A larger tank is much easier to keep stable. Small tanks requires constant monitoring & work, and you will enjoy fishkeeping much more with a bigger setup. <Less work, less chance of fish loss....>

If you do decide to move to the big tank right away, I would suggest moving EVERYTHING from the 10 to the 25 - filters, decor, etc. You want to move all your bacteria over. Your tank is prob not cycled, although it may be well on its way as you started with a used & possibly seeded tank. You don't want to have to start from scratch again. <Keep the 10 gal, you need a QT & hospital setup.>

The comet is too much for even the 25. If you want to keep him, you will need to move him to a pond when he gets to 5-6". Please don't just dump him into a natural lake. Goldfish reverts to wild type carp within a few generations & those can upset your lake's natural ecosystem. <Plus it is illegal in most states.>

If you want a goldfish tank - you definitely need at least the 25. (A 40 or 50 breeder is even better.) Fantails & other double tailed fancies are much better suited to a 25 than the single tailed varieties. Comets & other single tailed fish do much better in ponds. (You might as well start digging .... once you start with fish, there is no stopping! )

You cannot keep just any fish with goldfish. Most of the tropicals don't mix well. <Different food, water, temp, etc.> bristle nose or rubberlip are the 2 kinds of pleco that can be kept with golds. But they also are big waste maker, and might overwhelm a 25. Small fish that can be kept with golds would be the White Cloud mountain minnows. They are quite lively if you get a school of 6-10. They may be eaten by the big commons, but they do OK with fancies & small single tails. There are other cold water fish that can be kept with golds, but they tend to be for the more advanced hobbyist with big tanks.

Finally, keeping plants with golds is a challenge, esp. commons. I don't think you should attempt that in a small setup. If you really want to try, let us know, we'll give your some pointers.
80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:48 PM   #5
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Okay... Update.

We had promised the kids more fish so we took some water to Petco to get it tested and to see how the water was doing (the water was all new, but everything else besides the fish was from a stocked tank of 3+ years and had been emptied out an hour before she gave the tank and everything else to us, she was looking for an excuse to move the fish into a larger tank anyways). Water was fine, so we picked up some zebra danios and neons (3 each) and the guy gave the kids a free ghost shrimp each.

So far, 2 of the danios have died and all of the ghost shrimp.

It wasnt until we saw the last remaining goldfish chomping on the last ghost shrimp did we realize what was going on. The goldfish was a killer! In fact, we realized that this goldfish was the reason why the other two had little fins left, not due to a disease. So, after a democratic vote, we decided to give the goldfish to a friend who will use the goldfish to feed to her other fish (serves him right!).

Which means, the last remaining zebra needs some friends, either tomorrow or the next day we plan on going to get him some friends.
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