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Old 07-26-2011, 01:25 AM   #1
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Question Need some fish wisdom, help, advice, anything!!!

My husband played one of those awful carnival games at our local fair and we won a fish. I told him not to, but now we are the proud owners of a inbred feeder goldfish. As a mother of 3, whose kids have become very attached to "rock and roll Bob" (his name given by the kids) I am going to try my best to ensure his survival.

Yet, the more I read, the more things I see I've done wrong.

I have him in a large tupperware that I did not condition with water conditioner. I had no idea I had to do that, I was just trying to get him some more clean space than the nasty container he was in. (I have changed out the water in the bowls with a little of conditioned water, now that I bought conditioner...)

I went to a pet store and bought a 2.5 gallon tank and a lovely beta fish in case "Rock and Roll Bob" dies. The tank has a divider so the fish can co-habitate. I set it up, conditioned the water, put gravel, decor and now am running the filter. I was about to add the fish till I thought I should do more research.

Then I read about cycling. Now I'm totally overwhelmed!

My questions:

Is it necessary to cycle a small 2.5 gallon tank?

How long will it take to cycle a 2.5 gallon tank?

Can I get the tests necessary to test the water at a major pet supply chain?

MOST IMPORTANT: How do I keep the fish alive while I cycle the tank? They are in smallish containers at this point, I'm worried they will not survive the length of cycling? Do I continually change their water? All the water or some?

Thank you for your help, I'm a total novice and had NO plans to own fish till my husband won this darn fish. I'm liking the idea of fish now and really want to ensure they are happy, healthy little fish.

Any advice for an inexperienced, unexpected fish owner would be very helpful!!! Thanks!!!
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:00 AM   #2
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Welcome to the site

In the interest of keeping it short and simple...you need a much larger tank regardless of anything. A 2.5 gallon isn't considered acceptable for anything other than shrimp or snails...even a Betta requires a minimum 5 gallon filtered tank. Goldfish are extremely dirty fish and produce a lot of waste that makes water conditions very dangerous for them. The general rule if thumb is 20 gallons for the first goldfish, and 10 for each additional one.

Unfortunately the only options for Bob is to either buy a much larger tank for him...or try and find a new home for him. In the mean time, I would do 50-75% water changes every day with a good water conditioner like Seachem Prime to ensure he is not suffering from ammonia poisoning which he is creating with his waste.

Normally we'd link all sorts of guides to help you cycle...but in this case it's simply not a reality

If you've got the $, upgrading the tank would give him a good environment, and with enough room...you could even add a couple friends for him
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The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ng-148283.html
Being responsible...fishless cycling defines it, fish-in requires it. Choose wisely.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:17 AM   #3
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Thank you.

Wow. I wish I saw this site before I went to the pet store. At least I could have made a better choice in tanks! The PetCo guy said it was more than enough space for 2 fish!!! (which I now have)

I hate that the circumstances in getting this fish have been so backward. Poor Bob.

I may be able to go back to the pet store and get a larger tank, although I can't bring back this tank because I already filled it with water.

For now, I guess I'll just keep changing the water diligently.

If I were able to get a larger tank, should I then cycle it? And just keep changing the water constantly for both fish until the cycle is complete? How long will they be ok in a small tank while I cycle the larger?

Thanks for your help. I really don't want them to suffer and I'm trying to make the best of a bad fish situation.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oppida
Thank you.

Wow. I wish I saw this site before I went to the pet store. At least I could have made a better choice in tanks! The PetCo guy said it was more than enough space for 2 fish!!! (which I now have)

I hate that the circumstances in getting this fish have been so backward. Poor Bob.

I may be able to go back to the pet store and get a larger tank, although I can't bring back this tank because I already filled it with water.

For now, I guess I'll just keep changing the water diligently.

If I were able to get a larger tank, should I then cycle it? And just keep changing the water constantly for both fish until the cycle is complete? How long will they be ok in a small tank while I cycle the larger?

Thanks for your help. I really don't want them to suffer and I'm trying to make the best of a bad fish situation.
I'm sorry to hear about all this...I know you were trying to do the right thing

So far, you've learned one of the most important rules of fish keeping...never listen to the guy at the pet store in 99.9% of situations. Even if it's not the particular employee who is simply out to make money...they are usually poorly trained and don't even know themselves what is appropriate.

All tanks need to be cycled. In fact, they will cycle with or without your help...the problem is that if you're not helping through the process...they won't survive and will be severely damaged during the process

My first choice would be to re-home both fish, and do what's called a fishless cycle to prepare your tank for fish. If returning the fish is simply not an option, you can do a fish-in cycle which works...but requires a very dedicated fish owner who is willing to change water however often and however much is needed...sometimes multiple times per day. For a Goldfish in a 2.5 gallon...you'll be doing LOTS of water changes every day.

I'll link you a couple articles so you can learn about the two options. Honestly, the priority needs to be decided very quickly if you can rehome these fish, or if you can immediately buy them a larger tank. I might have missed it, but what is the second type of fish? If it's another Goldy...remember it's 20 gallons for the first...and an additional 10-15 gallons for every other. Also Goldfish are cold water fish...so if you have him with a tropical fish they are not compatible with each other regardless.

Here's the guides to look over-

Fish-in cycling-
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...now/Page2.html

Fishless cycling (kinda my specialty and what I do around here )-
The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
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The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ng-148283.html
Being responsible...fishless cycling defines it, fish-in requires it. Choose wisely.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:38 AM   #5
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I'm gonna turn in for the night, but I'm sure there's plenty of members who can help out (though it's rather slow this time of night)...but I'll check back in tomorrow.

Normally my advice would be to get a quality liquid test kit like an API Master Kit and a good dechlorinator like Seachem Prime...but even though these are vital tools for keeping fish...finding a new home or buying a bigger tank absolutely needs to be your immediate goal...with lots of water changes in the mean time. There is no such thing as too many water changes as long as you are matching temperatures and using s good dechlorinator.

I'll check in tomorrow! Good luck!
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http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ng-148283.html
Being responsible...fishless cycling defines it, fish-in requires it. Choose wisely.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:49 AM   #6
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U can check craigslist to see if u can find a larger aquarium for your goldfish. There are multiple postings here on aquariums and thats where a lot of us here at AA get our set ups. It normally a lot cheaper than the pet store. If u just want the goldfish alone a 20g would be fine but if u want to add another goldfish down the line 30g at least let us know what u decide... we have all made mistakes like these... You should see some of my post lol and I'm still learning
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:03 AM   #7
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The first fish won at the carnival is a goldfish, the second I stupidly purchased today in case he died (to ease my young children's hearts) is a Betta. I honestly have no one to re-home them, I just moved and know very few people around here at the moment, much less anyone with fish.

I now know not to listen to pet store people!!!

Looking at this, it's a big fish mess.

I could return the Betta and get a bigger tank for the goldfish, though I don't know if I have enough $ for a 20 gallon tank for a goldfish. The goldfish was won at the carnival, has been sitting in tap water in the heat at the fair (i doubt the fair employees used a water conditioner) I have a feeling he is not in the best of health and may be doomed as it is. So I'm spending a bunch of money on an inbred "feeder" fish that probably will die in a week or so, as harsh as that sounds.

I could get a large tank for them both- at least 30 gallons from what you said- but honestly I don't have that kind of money- $150-175?

Lastly, do Bettas require a large tank? Maybe I can afford a 10 gallon? Is that enough for a Betta? I could just try to do right by the betta since he appears to be in good health and get a larger tank for him, buy test kit and do a fish-in cycle. But then what will I do with the poor goldfish? Ug.

God, this is just terrible. Thanks for helping me your advice. I hate to see any creature suffer and i take my responsibilities to my pets very seriously.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:06 AM   #8
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Great idea on Craig's List. I'll go searching now.

Had we planned to get fish, I assure you, I would have done extensive research! But winning a fish at a fair has turned into a fish nightmare.

I just want to do right by the little guys.

Thanks!
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:22 AM   #9
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Hello! Sorry about your dilemma right now... you're not the only one who's won a fish at the fair and ending up having this problem. It's very stressful but I assure you, you're doing all the right things to try and keep that fish alive and healthy.

But yes, a 10 gallon is enough room for a betta. I bought my 10 gallon at Petco for about $13. Good luck finding a tank for him!
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:31 AM   #10
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A 10 gallon would be perfect for a betta, just ensure when you buy the bigger tank that you have a heater as they require higher water temperatures than the goldfish, also ensure the filter is large enough to filter the whole tank 3 times an hour. I also done a fish in cycle as I was not informed about cycling when we bought our tank. Because there is fish in the tank test the water daily, I prefer the API master kit, and make sure that the ammonia preferably does not get above 0.25. Once you have finished cycling, most likely in a month you should only have nitrates in your tank these you only want no higher than 20ppm although they can be fine up to 40ppm. Also you may find that you have to do water changes daily, you should take around 20% out but again this depends on your test results as you may have to take more out or less depending.
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