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silentlaugh
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First Goldfish!
« on: September 18, 2010, 07:50:35 PM »

Hello there! I recently got a goldfish and he (not sure about the gender) was named Yoshi by a friend of mine. Smiley I have never had a fish as a pet before, or any other animal, so I would appreciate any advice for caring for little Yoshi.

He's such a tiny little guy, I have lots of fun just watching him swim around in his bowl Smiley

I've been reading up on how to care for goldfish online these past couple of days and have read many articles that are leaving me with more questions than answers. Like how it's probably not a good idea to raise fish in a bowl or about what to feed them/how many times to feed them.

He looks like he's breathing a bit hard--I cleaned out his bowl this morning and I think an aerator is what I should buy next?

Looking forward to getting to know everyone and their cute fishies  Cheesy
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Hanna
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2010, 03:44:57 AM »

Hi, WELCOME to the forum.

The next thing you should get is a proper tank, min 10 gal for 1 goldfish. Then a very good filter and an airstone with pump.
Gravel, live plants. Waterconditioner, beneficial bacteria, watertestkit.
High quality food, varied diet is the best.

There are many posts about this issue in this forum, you may browse and read up which will take a while to do so.

Please follow the advice NEVER KEEP GOLDFISH IN A BOWL.
Always get a proper tanksize, as goldfish grow very fast. They eat a lot and produce lots of waste.
Never clean the whole tank ( in your case the bowl ) at once, only do partial water changes and use water conditioner and beneficial bacteria.

You are welcomed to ask specific questions, as it will be easier to answer those, one after the other instead of only covering the general information which may leave you with more unanswered questions.
Don't hesitate Smiley

So I ask you a few questions to start with:

1. What kind of goldfish is Yoshi and can you post a pic?
2. How big is the bowl (volume)?
3. How did you clean the bowl?
4. What else is in the bowl?
5. Did you use conditioner and beneficial bacteria?
« Last Edit: September 19, 2010, 03:50:47 AM by Hanna » Logged
Andrea
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2010, 04:41:32 AM »

Pretty much what Hanna said Smiley Once you answer those questions we can help you alot more and give your fish the best and longest life possible.
Start researching on the tank cycle as it is one of the most important things you should know. There is plenty of information on it on the internet and on this site, so have a look.
It doesn't sound very good so far, it sounds like he is living in a 'normal' goldfish bowl which is actually not good at all and by the way you said it also sounds like you cleaned out the entire tank which you should also never do (all to do with the cycle).
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silentlaugh
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2010, 09:28:01 AM »

Thanks Hanna and Andrea Smiley

I've been worrying a bit about him living in the bowl, so I plan on getting a tank for him later today. Should I transfer him immediately after I get the tank or should I wait a bit?

I'll remember not to clean the the entire tank at once. So for cleaning, I should pump out some percentage of water and put back clean water? What about wiping the inside of the bowl/tank? Or getting his waste out of there?

Yoshi's a common goldfish. I'm not sure about the size of that bowl, but it doesn't look like very much. :/ There's not that much room, so I only put in a bottle cap-sized rock in at the bottom along with some pebbles (but I read that plastic pebbles are not good?) And earlier I scooped him out of the bowl and put him into a big bucket of water... that's what I remember my uncle doing with his fish. Then dumped out all the water in his bowl and took out the pebbles and rock and cleaned them all. Then put in some water that I had left out to sit and then put him back. Didn't use conditioner or beneficial bacteria. I'll go read up on those.

I'll get a picture of him up as soon as I can. Thanks for all the help Smiley
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Nossie
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2010, 10:22:08 AM »

I would absolutely encourage you to buy a 20 gallon tank, since this fish is a streamline shaped variety, as they are faster and need more space to swim than a fantail or other egg shaped kinds.

You also need to make sure that you've got sufficient filtration, meaning 5 times the tank volume at a minimum (The more the better, always when it comes to filtration). So you need a filter that turns at least 100 gallons per hour, it's the same with filters as it is with tanks, try buying something big enough from the start so you won't have problems later. An external filter is ideal when keeping goldfish, since they are very strong, and have lots of space for filter media Smiley

Other than that, get yourself three different kinds of high quality staple pellets, some floating and some sinking, just for a varied diet. This needs to be supplemented with live foods and fresh vegetables. Frozen or freeze-dried blood worms or tubifex worms are among the most common ones, but there are also brine shrimp, krill etc available.
Fresh vegetables include peas (popped out of their shells), cucumber, lettuce, boiled carrot, zucchini... etc, just be sure that they're free of salt!

Now to answer some questions:

Let the new tank stand at least for 24 hours for the temperature to stabilize. And add some beneficial bacteria. For my tank, I used "Fluid Filter Medium" by Easy Life, it's a very good thing, as it prevents diseases and strengthens the immune system during this sensitive time Smiley

When you change the water, change no less than half, 75% a week is even better Cheesy And buy a special siphon, so that you can clean the gravel at the same time, siphoning out any waste that has accumulated between the rocks. You can also wipe away algae and dirt on the tank walls, but leave some growing on the back, the goldfish love eating some algae now and then Wink

WATER CONDITIONER IS CRUCIAL. Go buy it right now!!! The chlorine in your tank water is hurting your fish terribly! Sad That's just what it's for, to neutralize the chlorine and make the water "fish-friendly". Without it, your fish is suffering, being burned by the chemicals :/
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Hanna
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2010, 04:31:04 PM »

Nossie covered the tank issue and conditioning the water. It is very important.
So minimum 20 gallon tank for ONE common goldfish. They are streamlined fish and very fast swimmers too, so they need plenty of space. In case you want to add some more fish later on, go BIG like a 3ft tank or bigger, depends on how much room you got and how much you like to spend. Sometimes the pet stores do have excellent package deals.

For the tank it also is important that it is not placed in front of windows, aircon and direct sunlight.

Ans as Nossie mentioned: Water conditioner is crucial, also the beneficial bacteria: I use PRIME as water conditioner and STABILITY as beneficial bacteria, both made by Seachem.

According to tank decorations and substrate: go natural, keep away from artificial stuff as much as you can, lets say 90% natural, 10% fake.
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Andrea
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2010, 06:34:35 AM »

Just to clear one thing up Nossie it is just a 75% water change until the tank has cycled. Then you can go down to 10-25% depending on your water quality as of course it changes Smiley
Try to get the biggest tank you can afford even if it means borrowing some money or going without somethings for awhile as a bigger tank is vital for this fish's survival, it can not live in this bowl. Though you should be aiming for 20 gallons, I think you should also be fine with a 10 gallon one for one goldfish! I think it would be best to put your goldfish in the tank as soon as possible well after 24 hours like Nossie said. Put the water from the bowl in the tank and buy beneficial bacteria to speed up the cycle.
It is just vital for you now to get this fish out of the bowl but once it is in the tank to keep a close eye on your water. Do the water changes every second day for now and get your water tested so you know where to go each day.
Once that is all sorted, you can do a small water change (10-25%) per week or fortnight. Also wash half of the filter floss/wool in dirty tank water according to how dirty it gets. Only wash half at one time and change only half when needed.
Feel free to ask more questions. Just get the important things sorted for now I would say.
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Nossie
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2010, 03:32:42 PM »

Nope, bigger water changes are better. You know that nitrates keep building up?
I'll hand you an example from one of my books:
"the fish will add ten units of pollution per week. If you do a 10 percent  change of the existing aquarium water after the tank has been set up for a week, you remove 10 percent of the newly accumulated pollution. Wait a week before you do another water change and the tank will have accumulated another week's worth of accumulation on top of the 90 percent left behind. If you do another 10 percent water change at this point, you remove 10 percent of all the pollution: 10 percent of the week's accumulation plus 10 percent of the 90 percent left after the previous water change. This leaves 90 percent of a week's pollution plus 81 percent of the first week's pollution. If you hadn't changed any water, the amount of pollution added to the water during the two-week period would have been two times, or 200 percent, of the weekly production. Instead, even after the two small water changes, 171 percent of the amount of pollution produced in a week still remains."

In other words, your fish are practically bathing in their own waste. Not to mention that this was only an example of two weeks. Think two months, and you'll get the picture. I have always done at least 50-70% weekly, or twice a week, water changes, and this has been crucial to keep the water quality acceptable in the two small tanks I used previously.
Not to mention that the water quality is constantly deteriorating in a tank as the fish waste accumulates. You need to get it out of the system through water changes, gravel cleaning and filter maintenance. The more often you do this, the better, as it won't be a bigger change in water quality for the fish, if you won't let the nitrates accumulate. Even in a bigger system, it'd be wonderful if you'd do 75% a week, or 50% twice weekly.
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Jujube
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2010, 05:23:57 PM »

Following on from Nossie's last point, invest in a water pump so you aren't stuck lugging buckets around. Just make sure you can reach a drain and a faucet.
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silentlaugh
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2010, 10:10:34 PM »

Ah! Thank you for everyone's help!
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Andrea
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2010, 11:14:36 PM »

Ohh I see  Undecided But in such a big tank how do you manage to do 75% water changes? Mine is only 20 gallons and I couldn't imagine doing that much. Unless you do what Jujube said?
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Nossie
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2010, 03:29:11 AM »

How big tank? Or do you mean mine?
I simply bite my teeth together and carry an average of 40 buckets of tank water and replacement water every week d: But I would love to invest in a sort of pump that'd lead to the tap, but unfortunately, it's a bit expensive for now :'D
Generally, most people I know who have larger systems are using some siphons with pumps connected to the tap! So I guess it's the best and most practical solution Smiley

I use to do the water changes in mom's 100L as well whenever I'm home, in case she's working then or something Cheesy Compared to my tank, the 100L is a bliss to maintain! xD
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Andrea
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2010, 06:19:36 AM »

I can't believe I said gallons, oh no I'm turning into am American Tongue

But yeah I meant your tank Nossie. My gosh that must take such a long time, it was hard enough filling my tank up with buckets, my whole body was shaking by the end. Your such a good fishie parent Smiley
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Nossie
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2010, 06:49:59 AM »

I'm talking gallons all the time! xD (And more English than Swedish :'C) So I'm prolly a bit of an American too d: Lol d:

It takes between one and two hours at a time, yes :'D It's hard to be a poor fish-keeper :'D How big are them buckets you use? Mine are 10 liters, I have four buckets c: *so, so, so unnecessary xD*
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Andrea
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2010, 07:04:30 AM »

Yep I have a 10 litre bucket too. Another problem is I fill the bucket up in the laundry which is down the other side of the house because the bucket gets suck in any of the other sinks in the house! Learnt that when I was filling the tank up and water went everywhere!!

Do you speak Swedish? I always thought you were from Finland  Huh
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Nossie
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2010, 09:30:44 AM »

What a pain! At least I've got the sink right across the room :'D That's one good thing about living in a small apartment.

In Finland, a few percent of the population speak Swedish. Mainly around the coast there are a few cities where people largely speak only Swedish. But of course, a more Finnish-oriented Swedish, in my taste, a more true and elaborate Swedish (Because in Sweden, it has gotten such an influence from English that it sounds pretty weird, while in Finland it's quite pure and preserved from the beginning of the 1900s). Which is why our country is officially bi-lingual. I speak Finnish along with the Swedish as well, but I come from the coast o I've always lived in Swedish parts = that's my mother tongue c:
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Nicole
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2010, 07:29:51 PM »

Andrea- just had to give you karma for saying you're turning into an American.  Not a thing wrong with that. Wink
Oh, one other good thing to get is a little net for scooping the tank.  It's good for cleaning out floating stuff like extra food scraps or poo.  And also make sure your fishies have a decoration or two to hide in.  You may want to see your fishies, but they like their privacy sometimes and need a place to chill by themselves.  And I think it goes without saying that you do NOT tap on the tank or the bowl.  The noise scares them.  Follow the suggestions on this site, and you will have happy, healthy fishies in no time!
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Andrea
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2010, 05:05:57 AM »

Yeah, it is quite annoying. Not yet which I must say is the one good thing about having a small tank, the water changes are so quick and easy. But it's worth it as we all know Smiley

Nicole haha of course there isn't Tongue But I wouldn't wanna turn into one hehe.
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silentlaugh
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2010, 09:45:05 PM »

Ok, I've kind of transferred ownership of Yoshi to my brother and he's renamed him "Mario." Haha Cheesy But I got another goldfish--it's white with a few orange spots...kind of like a koi? I haven't thought up a name for him (genders!) yet.

Oh, and I've gotten them a tank and this time I had the water conditioner to clean it with. I put in the drops before I put them in the tank, while I was waiting for the water to cool down to room temp and then put the fish in. But for future reference, I wonder, do I have to take the fish out before I put in more water conditioner?

My camera's not taking very good pictures because it's dark outside right now, but I'll get pictures up soon.

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Nossie
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2010, 03:36:51 AM »

Nope, not like a koi, they're separate breeds entirely d: It's as if you'd take a white goldfish and say that it's "kind of like a kissing gourami". So it's just a two-colored goldfish c: Comet, I guess?

No, you take out half of the water in the tank, and then you add the proper doses of water conditioner to each bucket of refill water. Whenever needed you should also clean the filter in a bucket of "used" tank water as well.
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Hanna
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2010, 06:11:26 AM »

Does your brother have a proper tank for Yoshi?
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Andrea
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2010, 06:14:27 AM »

Oh and Nossie I never knew that about Finland Smiley It sort of blows my mind like I understand it but Australia is just so isolated when it comes to that stuff. I could never imagine people speaking another language here because they are closer to another country, of course people speak different languages here but not for that particular reason if you know what I mean. Very interesting.
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Nicole
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2010, 05:55:54 PM »

He's probably a comet.  Our Izzy is colored like that.
Andrea- never been to Finland but I was an exchange student in Oz back in '96.  We were mostly on the east coast, Sydney up to Brisbane, and then to NZ.  Australia is lovely.  We went during June and July, which is our summer but your winter, but my mom didn't get that and insisted I pack shorts and light shirts and leave my coat.  As a result I remember being quite cold while I was there. Wink
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Andrea
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Re: First Goldfish!
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2010, 10:03:26 PM »

Hahaha aw that's funny. You'd never do that again I imagine, Sydney can get freezing in winter. Higher up isn't as bad but still cold. Glad you liked it Smiley
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