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Old 01-28-2023, 05:10 AM   #1
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20yr old goldfish

Hi,

I have very recently (three days!) got my two 20 year old goldfish back. My friend had them for 7 years after my housing situation changed dramatically.

I used to know so much about looking after them but am now terrified of doing anything wrong so I have a few questions if okay.

They are in a 200L tank and I was able to bring 100L of the water, they seemed quite happy straight after putting them back in. I feed them two peas a day, one at lunch and one in the evening. I also have Tetra goldfish pellets but they don’t seem very interested in food after the move. Do you think that’s okay?

The smallest one (they are around 10inchs) stares at one spot most of the time, he’s not at the bottom though and he swims around now and again. Is that a bad sign?

I’ve ordered testing strips but am worried as I’ve forgotten so much about the levels. They had an ammonia spike years ago as the filter broke down so I’m also worried about that. Should I buy a back up filter for emergencies? I’ll do a 30% water change every week, is that correct?

This is a really long post, sorry. I have so many questions but can ask as I go along. I’ll try to add a picture, I’m going to get them more decorations. They have an LED light which has loads of different tones to match natural light changes.

Edit to say, I was advised that they would be happier in a lake come Spring, I would do what’s absolutely best for their welfare. What are your opinions on this?

Thanks for reading if you got this far!
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Old 01-28-2023, 05:38 AM   #2
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Where was they living for those 7 years? In a tank? How big? In a pond?

Did you cycle this 200 litre tank before adding your 2 goldfish? If so, how? Thats a huge bioload for an uncycled tank.

Do you know your water parameters? pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate? I would get a liquid test kit rather than strips. In the meantime take a sample of water to a fish store and get them to test. Get actual numbers.

Dont just take them to a lake and dump them. They could have infections and parasites that wild fish have no immunity to. They could outcompete wild fish and cause them to die out. Or maybe they cant compete with wild fish and will die themselves. Introducing domestic fish to wild environments causes ecological issues. If you know someone with a private pond that would be ok with the owners permission.
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Old 01-28-2023, 06:02 AM   #3
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They were in the same tank. I brought 100L of their water so they had a 50% water change. The filter had the same sponges and carbon in and I added pure aquarium bacterial treatment inside the filter. There’s nothing new in there apart from the 50% added water.

I used to use the liquid test kit and will buy that from a proper aquatic shop, the testing strips come tomorrow so I thought I could use them until I get the liquid test kit next week? I can go to the aquatic shop tomorrow for the liquid test kit if you think that’s better?

It was an emergency move, but I kept everything that has the original bacteria in apart from having to add treated water. It’s not a new set up, it was just moved to mine.

I really wouldn’t just put them in any lake, I was speaking to the man in the aquatic shop and I got the number of a man that has his own private lake. He rescues fish, and I will speak to him nearer Spring when the water temp is higher. I will only do what is best for them and other fish and go by complete professional advice. If he thinks they are fine in the tank I will keep them. It’s purely what’s better for them.
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Old 01-28-2023, 06:03 AM   #4
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Hi and welcome to the forum

They are probably stressed from being moved. Give them a week or two to recover and see how they are then.

Bigger water changes are better for fish. I like to do a 75% water change and gravel clean each week to reduce nutrients and disease organisms. Just make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

If you do a 25% water change each week you leave behind 75% of the bad stuff in the water.
If you do a 50% water change each week you leave behind 50% of the bad stuff in the water.
If you do a 75% water change each week you leave behind 25% of the bad stuff in the water.

------------------

You don't need a back up filter unless you live in a remote place and it takes a week or two for things to get to you. If the filter packs up (stops working) reduce feeding and do big daily water changes to keep ammonia levels down.

------------------

Besides what Aiken mentioned about releasing fish into the wild. It is usually illegal because of the risk of them introducing diseases into the wild or becoming an invasive species, and goldfish are an invasive species in some countries.

Your fish are both white (light coloured) and one appears to have long fins, which will reduce its movement speed. The light colouration will make them prime targets for predators because they will stand out really well against the dark substrate found in most rivers and lakes. Your fish would be eaten shortly after being released because of their colour and long fins.

If they are seen by a government worker in a creek or lake, they will be caught and euthanised for being an invasive species.

If you release your fish into the wild, you will most likely be sentencing them to an early grave. Just let them settle into their new home and enjoy having your fish back.
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Old 01-28-2023, 06:20 AM   #5
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Thank you for the welcome

I will do 75% water change each week then. I’ve forgotten so much so your reply is really helpful. It also makes me feel better that the 50% water change on moving day was fine? I’ll increase the feed after a week or so if they seem to be more interested in food.

I replied to Aiken about about the lake, it’s a private lake that rehomes fish. But after what you have said about their colour etc I will keep them. They’re so old that obviously it would be horrific for them to be predated! I was going by what the aquatic guy said but he didn’t say any of that.

Do you think the one that just stares into one spot is distressed? Or just shaken after the move? Shadow (the biggest one) has always been very resilient.

Thank you so much for the advice.
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Old 01-28-2023, 06:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte-47 View Post
They were in the same tank. I brought 100L of their water so they had a 50% water change. The filter had the same sponges and carbon in and I added pure aquarium bacterial treatment inside the filter. There’s nothing new in there apart from the 50% added water.

I used to use the liquid test kit and will buy that from a proper aquatic shop, the testing strips come tomorrow so I thought I could use them until I get the liquid test kit next week? I can go to the aquatic shop tomorrow for the liquid test kit if you think that’s better?

It was an emergency move, but I kept everything that has the original bacteria in apart from having to add treated water. It’s not a new set up, it was just moved to mine.

I really wouldn’t just put them in any lake, I was speaking to the man in the aquatic shop and I got the number of a man that has his own private lake. He rescues fish, and I will speak to him nearer Spring when the water temp is higher. I will only do what is best for them and other fish and go by complete professional advice. If he thinks they are fine in the tank I will keep them. It’s purely what’s better for them.
If filter media and substrate wasnt allowed to dry out for longer than 2 or 3 hours you should be ok with your cycle. If it took a long time to relocate everything and media wasnt kept wet during the move you may have lost your cycle. I would do a daily water change until your test kit arrives.

A liquid test kit is more accurate than strips. Those 5 in 1/ 6 in 1 etc test strips dont have ammonia tests on them, and thats the most important test. You need to buy ammonia test strips seperately. Did you get ammonia test strips?

20 year old goldfish is very good going. They are well into old age, great job you and your friend have done keeping them in good health all this time. Personally i wouldnt appreciate a move into a totally different environment at their age.

I would up the water changes. 50% per week, 50% twice a week would be better.
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Old 01-28-2023, 06:41 AM   #7
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Thank you for your advice. The filter medium was kept wet (in original water) and it took 30-40 minutes to drive to mine.

I’ll go to the shop tomorrow then and buy the liquid test kit, I didn’t buy separate Ammonia test strips, the ones I ordered were a 6 in 1. I used to do weekly tests and did it all without thinking, I even have the original test kit but it’s obviously far too old to use.

Thank you, I honestly would do anything that will keep them safe and happy. The biggest one was brought round to me in a bag 20 years ago by a neighbour. I was really upset that he was just treated like an inanimate object so started learning immediately and built up the size of the tanks to fit him. I will relearn it all.

I really appreciate the advice, thanks again.
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Old 01-28-2023, 06:58 AM   #8
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I you are going to do water tests weekly, then a liquid water test kit like API Freshwater Master Test Kit is going to save you heaps of money compared to strips. You get 100s of tests from the liquid test kit, 20 or 25 test strips in a pack. And you need 2 different packs of strips. Although liquid trsts cost a little more up front, they are way cheaper per test.

Saying that a stall at our local car boot sale sometimes sells aquarium stuff, and they have no idea on the retail price of the things they sell. £1 for a £20 pack of test strips, so i pick a pack up every now and again if they have some. Good for a quick dip test every now and again.
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Old 01-28-2023, 02:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I you are going to do water tests weekly, then a liquid water test kit like API Freshwater Master Test Kit is going to save you heaps of money compared to strips. You get 100s of tests from the liquid test kit, 20 or 25 test strips in a pack. And you need 2 different packs of strips. Although liquid trsts cost a little more up front, they are way cheaper per test.

Saying that a stall at our local car boot sale sometimes sells aquarium stuff, and they have no idea on the retail price of the things they sell. £1 for a £20 pack of test strips, so i pick a pack up every now and again if they have some. Good for a quick dip test every now and again.
Thatís the kit I had years ago, Iíll buy one tomorrow and also do a water change as theyíre really not eating much and I want to get the excess food out. Thanks again
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Old 01-28-2023, 02:31 PM   #10
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Keep a cupful of water to test later so you can see what the water parameters are before you dilute them down with the water change.
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