Greetings with a goldfish question
Happy New Year! I figured I'd start the New Year with an attempt to resolve a question that's been niggling at me for quite some time.
Well, I'm an accidental aquarist, all because of a single goldfish...
I have a 29-gallon freshwater tank that I set up about 5 months ago with one 7-inch comet goldfish.
My question: Would it be okay to add another ~7" goldfish? "Jasper" has been a solo fish for >5 years and is a beloved pet (see "Background" below). I have read that goldfish are "community" fish and prefer company, but I'm nervous about introducing a new fish after so many years... I'm considering adding a ~7" comet or shubunkin goldfish. What are your thoughts? This is the first recently-active advice forum I came across. Please let me know if you know of a goldfish-specific forum. Also, I will copy my post to the Freshwater section of the forum.
Tank Details: The 29-gallon tank has an Aqueon power filter with bio-holster and replaceable carbon/floss cartridge. The substrate is about 1/2" of small (<1/4"), smooth pebbles. I have two types of live plants, elodea (one rooted in a container, one floating), and one anubis. It took a while to get the biofilter established, but now there are consistently nondetectable levels of ammonia and nitrite. The pH holds steady at 7.5. I do a partial water change once every week or so.
Background: About 6 years ago I had a small outdoor water garden in a 25 gallon, black plastic container in an old half wine barrel. For mosquito control I added five ~1" "feeder" goldfish from a local pet store. All but one died within the first couple days. That one goldfish lived amongst the plants for the next five+ years, growing into a large, bright gold/orange, comet-shaped fish. "Jasper" (gender?) became tame enough to take food from our fingers. He has survived several harrowing experiences (e.g., herons, dogs, heat waves). One day while we were traveling, he leapt out of the water garden and was stranded for an unknown period; our pet-sitter found him on the ground and placed him back in the water and he lived. After that, I added a mesh cover to the water garden and named him. In anticipation of a heat wave (which did not happen), I moved Jasper to an indoor tank this past summer and he is now an inside fish full-time. My husband and step-daughter made fun of me for purchasing a 29-gallon tank for just one fish, but I read that goldfish really like food (like our black lab!), produce a lot of waste, and need a minimum of 20 gallons because they can grow quite large. Also, none of us realized how large Jasper had already become; because of the density of plants and shadows in the water garden, we went years without seeing more than his mouth (during feeding time) or the arch of his body and tail when he would do a quick dive from the surface. Indeed, Jasper was bigger than expected (I had to get a bigger net!) and makes the tank look small...