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Old 09-06-2013, 08:52 AM   #1
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goldfish (bubbler help) :) please

i need a little help (not sure how/where to post this so forgive)
i have 2 goldfish in a 2.5 glass bowl - i know this is very bad but they are my moms so for now thats where they are. color me stupid but i thought it was fine and did not know that they were not getting enough oxygen or that i should check water for ammonia etc. i change the water every other day (all of it and now i find out this is also wrong.) when the bowl gets a little cloudy they hang out at the top and gasp for air i now realize so.....i bought a bubbler and they were very frightened of it so i ran it on and off for a few days and now they have adjusted however - sometimes they look like they are trying to eat the bubbles and i would not think that would be good? also they are unable to ever relax because the water is always moving - is that bad? the bubbler says up to 13 gal tank and its a 2.5 bowl so should i try to get a smaller one? i think i saw petco has an up to 5 gal one.
the guy said i cant get a filter because it takes like 45 days and the fish would die but i hope to quick research how to do all this and get them a 20 gal tank with all the proper equipment asap but it is very overwhelming. i love animals way more than people and i feel horrible that i have been so uninformed and made life not so beautiful for these guys - have had them 3 years - any advice on the bubbler?
oh and their names are patience and fortitude so maybe thats why they are still with me

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Old 09-09-2013, 09:33 PM   #2
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Goldfish can get some oxygen from air, but the gasping is mainly because gas exchange in water takes place at the surface, so that's the best level of oxygen if levels are low.

Changing all the water daily is not necessarily bad. So long as the new water is dechlorinated and the same temperature as what they had before, new water is better than ammonia build up, which damages gills and shortens lives, or worse.

If you know anyone with a working aquarium, you might be able to get some used media from their filter, and use that to cycle a new tank very quickly. Bypass the time needed for the more usual cycling methods. You can also use a lot of plants to help cycling, but they will eat many of them, and that's messy.

Best thing is the new tank, but goldfish do grow, and live a long, long time. They'll outgrow even a twenty gallon fairly soon. Rehoming them may be a better idea in the long run, if you can find someone with a pond that will take them.

The bubbler may be creating a bit too much current, but they are hardy fish. If you can, lengthen the air hose, the longer it is, the less air reaches the stone, and slows it down. Might have to add ten feet to the hose. You could also pinch the hose a bit, say, a clothespin, to reduce the air flow.

Edit. I like that you trying do the right thing here.. but goldfish, despite the many myths and misconceptions about them, remain popular, even though they are not good tank pets. They are better off in ponds, IMO, because they do get too big for most tanks within a short time.

After 3 years in a bowl, yours may in fact have been stunted a bit. This can happen if they are kept too long in too small a container. If so, it's permanent, but I doubt they are in pain from it, if that helps. But they would still do better in a pond for the long term. It is just a sad fact of life, and pet stores don't tell you that bowls are a bad idea or that the fish need as much space as they really do need. Not your fault, so try not to beat yourself up over it. You are trying now, that's what counts. I'm a life long animal crazy lover too, I hear where you are coming from.

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Old 09-09-2013, 11:48 PM   #3
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Keeping them alive for 3 years in a fishbowl is not too shabby, you have done a good job at doing the water changes, that is why they are still alive.

What kind of goldfish are they?

My best advice is to go somewhere like walmart and buy an aquarium kit, I think it's about $40. I have goldfish and cannot use a bubbler as they will try to eat the bubbles which is not good. Also get a couple bags of gravel and the ammonia test strips. There are other ways to go, but this is the easiest.

If you just use the filter that comes with the aquarium kit, you don't need the air pump.

You don't need to wait 45 days, you can put the fish in right away and do a fish-in cycle. Ive done a fish in cycle in every tank and my fish are fine. Your goldfish are tough, but you should do water changes at least every other day until the ammonia levels go down. Keep a close eye on the ammonia and nitrites, high levels can quickly cause damage.

The articles on the home page about doing a fish-in cycle are good. It doesn't have to be complicated to make a nice home for your fish.
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bubble, bubbler, fish, gold, goldfish

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