My name's Carter, I'm new here.
Today I "accidentally" adopted a goldfish. A friend's younger sister is taking a zoology class. The class was sketching/studying goldfish today, and she ended up with her group's fish because nobody else would take it. Unfortunately, she does not have a fish tank, and neither do any of my friends, so I ended up taking Fish home. (Fish does not have a name yet, so I'm calling them Fish.)
According to my friend's sister, Fish was in the original bag water and (I assume) had been all day. Fish stayed in their mostly closed gallon Ziploc while I was working on the tank.
I managed to find, clean, and make a 2 gallon batch of water for my old ten gallon tank (and get Fish set up in it) within a couple hours. The filter and heater both appear to be working, and there's a fresh carbon filter packet in the filter.
It's been a while since I've kept a tank. I set this one up in a matter of hours.
After getting Fish into the tank and realizing that I was completely out of dechlorinator and fish food, I drove to Wal-Mart (I know it's not the best, but it's the closest) and bought some AquaSafe dechlorinator and their weekly tank maintenance stuff. While I was there I glanced at the fish tanks and found Fish's former tankmates. Fish is an 88 cent small common goldfish, who may one day reach six inches in length.
I drove home, made and poured a couple more batches of water, and finished the tank setup. I let it settle for a while before trying to feed Fish. (I bought Tetra flakes, having not found any consensus on flakes versus floating pellets. There were no sinking pellets to be bought.)
I tested the pH of my tank. It's between 7.5 and 8. The temperature is between 67 and 68 degrees F, it's hard water, and there is a very small amount of nitrates (0-20 ppm
) in the water. No nitrites according to the test strip. The test strips I have don't test for ammonia. All of the gravel and plants are freshly cleaned (no soap of course).
Fish is happily exploring the tank and playing (?) in the current from the filter's output.
I did notice that Fish has a couple small dark spots on their fins.
I wish that I could have let the tank cycle for a few days before putting Fish in, but that wasn't really an option in this situation.
(Handsome lil fella, huh?)
So, my questions are:
-Where can I go to test for ammonia? Are there test strips I can buy, and is there a preferred brand?
-Will not letting the tank have a while to cycle have any negative effects? If so, how can I combat them?
-Does the thermometer need to be on? The thermostat in my house is set to 55 degrees after we all leave for the day, and it's kinda cold in Idaho these days.
-Should I get an aerator? (The filter isn't making many bubbles, it's quite close to the surface of the water)
-Will a glow in the dark plant bother Fish?
-Seriously, flakes or pellets? (floating pellets? sinking pellets? vegetables?)
-If you can tell from any of the photos, is Fish male or female?
-How do you ensure that a fish notices the food flakes on the surface of the water? Fish seems pretty oblivious.
-What are the dark spots on Fish's fins, and are they something I can fix with an additive? I saw a few in the store that claimed to clear up fungus related issues.
-Is a ten gallon tank enough to house a potentially six-inch-long goldfish?
-When should I turn the tank light off - when it gets dark outside, or when we go to sleep ~10 pm?
Any other advice is welcome as well!