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Author Topic: Have a question about tank size and health.  (Read 6965 times)
GoldFishNoob
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Have a question about tank size and health.
« on: September 18, 2011, 03:32:28 PM »

Hi, I'm new to the forum. Smiley

When I was little, my grandpa had a fish pond with gold fish in it. So I've always liked them. I won a little gold fish from a faire and put it in with the big gold fish.

Now 12+ some odd years later at a church carnival, I got 4. I honestly was only expecting to get 2, but the lady handed my mum 3 next to the one I had. Brought them home and put them in what I could. Set them up in a 3 galon kritter keeper from PetCo. They seemed content for the first day and were eating and swimming around. But today they seem like they're not swimming around too much. I did a water change because I don't have a filter at the moment.

After learning all this info about Goldfish and how they need a ton of space and make a mess, I feel bad for even getting them. I really want to keep them. I'm an animal lover, but I don't have alot of money and I'm afaid they might die before I can even manage a small filter. I have a 10 gal tank (Because I also keep tarantulas) would it help if I put them in that? It's hard to believe 4 small gold fish could need a bigger tank....but I will if it'll help. What can I do now, with what I have to help my fish servive until I can get a filter?
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 04:12:50 PM by GoldFishNoob » Logged
GoldFishNoob
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2011, 05:09:43 PM »

I've decided to try and find them a better home. It's obvious I'm in way over my head with these guys and it's causing me alot of stress and causing arguements in the house.
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Skwishee
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2011, 05:23:10 PM »

I'm sorry to hear you've been having problems GoldFish.
It's an easy mistake to make, I've done a similar thing, I put two goldfish into a 21 litre/around 5 gallons, lost one of my goldfish in the process and I'm now currently working on keeping my goldfish healthy until I can get a larger tank Smiley

I'm fairly new to fish keeping myself, but what I've learned from the people here and researching, is that for your first goldfish you need 20 gallons and then 10 additional gallons for each fish after that. So you would need to get a much bigger tank if you did want to keep them. The reason such large tanks are necessary (I couldn't understand it myself at first) is because goldfish can grow up to 12 inches, not only that but they produce a large amount of waste, hence they need a lot of space so they can be happy and healthy.

You will probably need to do partial daily water changes until you can find them a new home or get a bigger tank.

I'm really sorry to hear you've had such a negative experience and I wish you the best of luck. I'm sure the guys here will help with further advice as they are all much more knowledgeable than me!
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 05:35:14 PM by Skwishee » Logged
GoldFishNoob
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2011, 08:42:50 PM »

Thank you Smiley That makes me feel better to know some ones going through something similar. I really would like to keep them. If no one wants them and they're still around by the time I get the money to pick up a filter I may transfer them into a 10 gal. But right now I just did a complete water change from tap water to spring water to see if it would help them perk up, because I don't know how hard our water is here, so I don't want to stress them. I think my problem is, I'm such an animal lover that it tears me apart to know that I may not be doing right by these fish and that I can't really do much about it for the time being.
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GoldFishNoob
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2011, 09:07:43 PM »

The water change seems to have done something because they've perked up noticably. I also rearranged the stuff in the tank as well. Shocked
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Skwishee
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2011, 02:18:56 AM »

A good idea would be to get a water testing kit. That will not only tell you the PH of your water but you can test for Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates.

I'm imagining the tank hasn't been cycled and you will need to keep an eye on the water quality in the tank.
This is where it can get difficult and will be even more of a challenge for you, without a filter and having more fish.

When a tank cycles, it goes through the nitrogen cycle (there are several threads around here that explain it very well, so I'll just do a brief summary).
So to begin with Ammonia levels will rise and spike, bacteria will be developing which transform Ammonia into Nitrites, then Ammonia levels will go down and Nitrites will spike up, then more bacteria will develop turning Nitrites into Nitrates.
Ammonia is deadly to fish and Nitrites are pretty bad for them as well, but Nitrates are okay in a low concentration.

Sadly I lost Star, my other goldfish to the Ammonia spike that happened in my tank and I'm now helping Lucky get through the Nitrite spike, so by testing my water levels I can see how far along my tank has cycled.

There may be some products you can get at aquarium shops, that contain live bacteria and can help with the ammonia and nitrite, I'm sure the more experienced members can recommend products they use themselves. As I'm currently looking for a product to help the bacteria in the tank the pesky Nitrites.

You will really need to get a bigger tank asap, perhaps ask among your friends and family? That 3 gallon is simply too small and the fish will be poisoning themselves in their own waste, they are very messy fish!

Also limit feeding them, as food that is left un-eaten and fish poo all contribute to ammonia levels, by feeding them less -for example my goldfish is on a diet of being fed once every two days- it may help just that little bit more.

I can't think of anything else right now, but you really need to get a bigger tank asap.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 02:21:04 AM by Skwishee » Logged
Nossie
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2011, 02:44:54 AM »

(Karma for Skwishee Wink)

Goldfishnoob:: Most of us have been in that situation, what you could do now would be to move maybe 3 of the fish into the 10 gallon and keep one in the smaller tank, do daily water changes of about 30-50% (maybe even more!) to protect them from the ammonia build. It really doesn't matter if you keep them in spring water or tap water since the problem is their waste that's building up in the shape of ammonia, highly toxic to any fish!

If you want to keep these, I suggest finding a 55 gallon or along those lines, you have commons/comets and they need twice the space fancy goldfish need! These are essentially pond fish, so you need to provide them with a nice amount of space if you intend to keep them in a tank Smiley
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GoldFishNoob
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2011, 09:45:06 AM »

Thanks everyone. I'll  try to get a water test kit and a filter as soon as possible. I've been doing water changes, but it's starting to get tedious and annoying. I don't have any money right now and I'm having a hard time convincing my parents they need to be in a bigger tank. They act like I'm crazy and say "They're fine in there, they're happy." and dad is annoyed because he bought that 3 gal with money he did'nt have and for me to not use it would be a waste. I don't have a job so whatever I need has to either be earned by me or run by my parents. So I like the idea of using the small one and the 10 gal. Maybe I'll keep the smallest one in the kritter keeper. My neighbor has a 20 gal that she does'nt use but it's essentually a reptile tank, not a fish tank. I'm just not to gung ho about seperating them and leaving one alone because they seem to have become pals and they hang around together alot. I try to clean the uneaten fish food and poo out the best I can. They don't seem to be swimming around much and hang around in the corner together behind the rock cave even though I just did a water change.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 10:12:43 AM by GoldFishNoob » Logged
GoldFishNoob
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2011, 10:24:04 AM »

I'm just surrounded by uninformed people telliing me "Don't believe everything people you on the internet" and I'm like "But....half a dozen people with healthy, happy fish are telling me this? How can I not believe it?" and the people who do know are giving me mixed information. Some of them say they'll be fine in there as long as I get a filter, but others (The majority of people) are telling me I need to put them in something bigger. I'm so confused.  Huh
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 10:47:57 AM by GoldFishNoob » Logged
Dragonii
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2011, 01:12:27 PM »

 "Don't believe everything people tell you on the internet"...


How about the advice of someone with 20 years of experience in the hobby that started out working at the largest pet store in the New Orleans area, managed the aquarium department at the biggest Petsmart in Louisiana, served as assistant manager at the first Petco to open in Louisiana and has kept everything from guppies to salt water reef tanks? My current list of aquatic friends includes cichlids from the rift valley of Africa, guppies, danios, bettas, frogs, shrimp, snails and a flounder. I have successfully kept wild caught indigenous fish and tamed them to eat pellet foods.

That critter keeper is too small. With or without a filter.

Do you know more about this 20 gallon that your neighbor has? Is it a fish tank that she used for reptiles or is it a tank that was made for reptiles? If it was just a regular aquarium that she used for reptiles you may be able to use it, that is if the seal is still good. If the seal is bad it may be possible to reseal the tank. (I would have to know how old you are before I start explaining how to do that)
You can also find good deals or even free tanks on sites like Craigslist. Someone around here was giving away a 55 gallon setup a couple of weeks ago.

Filtration can be accomplished rather cheaply if you know something about how it works. With enough ingenuity you can even build your own filter... may not be pretty, but I will get the job done.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 01:50:37 PM by Dragonii » Logged
Skwishee
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2011, 02:46:55 PM »

I'd second what Dragonii said about the 20 gallon tank, maybe ask your neighbour about it? There are good deals around if you look for second hand tanks as well, I saw one or two 200 Litre tanks where I am, going for around 100.

But it's okay to be slightly confused, I dove in head first to all of this too, my tank is only 3 weeks old, but I've learnt so much in the time being! Perhaps you could do some research and clarify anything in particular that has you confused, I found it quite helpful to do Smiley

With regards to the goldfish in the tank, if people are telling you they will be fine in that 3 gallon with a filter, maybe ask them why they think that?

It could be that they are mis-informed, there is a very common misconception about Goldfish, that they will grow to the size of the tank they are in. Whilst it is true that Goldfish will stop growing, in the process their growth will become stunted, this is really un healthy for the fish. Goldfish can grow up to 12 inches in length and so they need big tanks to grow properly and be healthy. It could very well be that your friends think something else, but this is a myth I've come across quite a lot.

I honestly had no idea Goldfish could get so large until recently, but once I found out, I began to realise why they needed such big tanks Smiley

The other main reason why they need so much tank space, is because (as others have mentioned) the amount of waste.

It's a lot of information to take in, I understand and I wish you the best of luck.
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GoldFishNoob
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2011, 08:04:37 PM »

The 20 gal, if it is one ( It's definately twice as big as my 10 gals.) and appears to be made for lizards. It's long, sort of shallower and has two thermometers on the back side of the glass. I'm not sure how good a shape it is in, or wether she'd even be willing to part ways with it.

In regards to the tank, my friend told me his sister had 6, 8 inch common gold fish in a 10 gal and with proper filtration they lived for several years.

So...should I put them in something bigger like my 10 gal now? Or wait til I get the filter, then move them? What do you think their chances of surviving for another 2-3 months? Will that prospect increase if I put them in something bigger, even if I don't have a filter now?

I'm 22. How do you make your own filter?


The 10 gals I have says not to fill it over half full with water or it may eventually leak.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 08:15:44 PM by GoldFishNoob » Logged
GoldFishNoob
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2011, 08:32:28 PM »

Here's a picture of my empty 10 galon tank. It's actually made for reptiles, but it says you can fill it with water but only about half or a little over half way. This is honestly all i have to work with right now.
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Dragonii
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2011, 10:34:50 PM »

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I'm 22. How do you make your own filter?




I just don't want to go telling a 12 year old to start cutting stuff with sharp knives. lol

Cheapest, easiest DIY filter...
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Instead of those little white stones you can use these.
[image]

pick them up at a dollar store, unravel them and stuff them loosely into the bottle. Only thing that may cost you any real money would be an air pump. Walmart is probably the cheapest place to get one. 
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Dragonii
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2011, 10:43:03 PM »

About the tank, measure how thick the glass is and I will get back to you tomorrow on it. It's late and the fiance says it's time for bed. Sad
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GoldFishNoob
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2011, 11:30:27 PM »

Got them in the bigger, clean tank. I'm seeing some very odd behaviore though...Their activity level has shot up ten fold and the smallest one has been darting back and forth like a mad fish and gasping for air at the surface and one of them seems to be swimming sort of at a leaning angle.

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GoldFishNoob
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2011, 11:56:19 PM »

They've settled down a bit and are swimming better, but my littlest one is still acting weird and breathing from the surface.
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GoldFishNoob
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2011, 01:16:28 AM »

I'm thrilled, they seem to be doing alot better now. They seem quite happy now.

How do you post a video here?

Oop, nevermind I think I figured it out.

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« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 01:24:02 AM by GoldFishNoob » Logged
Nossie
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2011, 01:57:55 AM »

This will have to do for now... Smiley

If you'd like, you can buy yourself a goldfish book, there's always (if it's a good book) the 20 gallon +10 gallon rule Smiley
It's pretty unfair of your parents to disregard our advice and your belief in it, considering that you're an adult as well so obviously, you have your own opinions and you CAN judge things by yourself... :/

In any case, keep an eye on the little ones and change some water still every- or every second day Smiley
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GoldFishNoob
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2011, 02:40:48 AM »

It is unfair. I feel like they were'nt listening to me. :/ But I finally got them in something bigger and they're fine with it and happy I'm happy now and not worried about them as much. I'm still going to work on getting a filter as planned, asap. I just used a cup with little holes punched in it to sift poo and uneaten food out of the water and I'll change some of it later tomorrow. I also plan to eventually get more gravel and some real, legit tank decorations/plants. XD I did'nt know fish were so social...is it natural for them to follow eachother around? It seems like my dark one and the orange and white one enjoy eachothers company and the small one and my orange one tend to stick together.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 02:57:49 AM by GoldFishNoob » Logged
Nossie
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2011, 07:56:00 AM »

So they're in the ten gallon now?
If so, you really shouldn't be spending money on decorations etc right now but rather save as much as you can for a larger tank. The ten gallon has to be a temporary stay only. Just like the previous, smaller setup.
You have 4 goldfish in your tank, and these four fish need a 40 gallon tank to grow big and healthy, and for you to avoid all the trouble that comes with a small, overcrowded system.
I know it sounds boring and "I've heard that a million times already", but it's absolutely crucial that the fish get enough room! Or else you'll need to give them away (in a 10 gallon you can't even keep one goldfish because of the tiny space).

Some fish are shoaling, like tetras, some live-bearers and, to some extent, goldfish Smiley Where tetras depend on a certain amount of mates (at least 7 fish in a shoal) to be happy and calm, goldfish are fine just being two-three fish together. They simply enjoy the company Smiley Especially in the start when one or many new fish are introduced to each other they tend to stick together, but later as they grow older and more used to their surroundings and tank mates they'll start to swim more separately but still shoal occasionally Smiley Try talking to them too, in the end they'll get used to your voice and get excited when you're coming close Smiley (Since voice usually means: FOOD!)
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Dragonii
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2011, 08:52:02 AM »

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About the tank, measure how thick the glass is and I will get back to you tomorrow on it. It's late and the fiance says it's time for bed. Sad

Ok, about the tank.

They manufacturers of tanks tend to use thinner glass when building reptile tanks. This keeps their overhead cost down. If they can use the thin glass that is normally used in a 10 gallon to make a 30 gallon reptile tank instead of using the standard thicker 30 gallon tank glass, they win. The deep the water gets the more pressure you have pushing out on the glass, the thinner the glass, the easier it will break or bow. If it bows the seals will give and the tank will leak.This is why they suggest only filling it half way.

However...in most cases the glass that is used to make the 10 gallon tanks is already the thinnest glass that they have. Even the little 2.5 and 5 gallon tanks use this glass. So your reptile tank is more than likely the same exact thing that a regular 10 gallon would be except that the rim is cut for a screen top. It should be perfectly safe to fill it all  the way up. The reason for the label is a legal issue. They just put those on all reptile tanks.

Personally, I would take the tank out side, fill it all the way, look for leaks or signs of weaknesses, look for glass bowing, let it sit for a few hours to be safe and then just go with it if checks out ok.

As Nossie said, don't waste money on decorations. Save for a bigger tank. Shop the classifieds, Craigslist etc. and find a bigger tank. A 40 gallon breeder tank or a 55 would be good. When buying a used tank make sure they have water in it when you go look at it. Look for leaks, dry or peeling seals, large chips on the edges, small chips are ok, but if the chip is too deep it can cause a week spot. (if you want to know how to prevent said chips, just ask)
Always make sure that larger tanks are level. Off level and the water pressure will be greater on one end than the other and lead to failure.
When you get the bigger tank, save yourself some money and buy your gravel at a home improvement store. Home Depot sells a huge bag of pea gravel for like $4. You just have to clean it before using it. Very easy to do.
The gravel in the pet store is highly over prices. It would have cost me over $150 to do my 150 gallon with sand from the pet store, I did it for $18 using pool filter sand. And it looks good.  Grin

If you need any advice on filters or anything just ask. I spent several years working in pet stores so I have a feel for all of the different brands and styles.
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Dragonii
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2011, 08:56:53 AM »

I don't take it you are fortunate enough to live in southern Louisiana? lol

Someone has a 55 gallon tank w/ stand on Craigslist for free in Slidell.
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GoldFishNoob
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2011, 04:11:47 PM »

Lol Nope. I live in Modesto California. Would have been awesome though. I still find it hard to picture 4, 2 inch long goldfish and 1 inch baby in a ginormous tank like a 55 gal.

I've been keeping up with daily water changes and meticulously sifting for poo and uneaten food. They seem to be very content, swim around alot more and they like the bubbles that happen when I pour the new water in. But I'm starting to see why a filter is so important.
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GoldFishNoob
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2011, 04:22:27 PM »

I just found an add on craiglist near me for a 60 gal hexigon tank with stand, no leaks, even has a picture, "Lots of goodies included". Not sure how much the person wants for it though and I'm not even sure if I have room for something that big.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 04:30:38 PM by GoldFishNoob » Logged
Dragonii
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2011, 04:23:16 PM »

" I still find it hard to picture 4, 2 inch long goldfish and 1 inch baby in a ginormous tank like a 55 gal."

But then this happens...
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Dragonii
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2011, 04:31:34 PM »

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I just found an add on craiglist for a 60 gal hexigon tank with stand, no leaks, even has a picture, "Lots of goodies included". Not sure how much the person wants for it though.

A long tank like a 55 would be better for those guys. Hex tanks are more tall than long, not giving the fish much room to swim.
Hex would be ok, not ideal, but ok if you had the big fat bodied goldfish that can't really swim too well, but your guys are fast, straight swimmers and should have a long tank.
Now if they are giving it away or selling it dirt cheap... go get it. lol
It would be a huge step up from what you have and it would work for your guys for a pretty good stretch. Just don't buy it if they are asking too much for it. Used 55 gallon set ups tend to sell for around $100. I wouldn't pay no more than $150 for a full set up (tank, filter, stand, light, etc.)

You may want to go check around at some of the pet shops too. I know the ones around here have boards up were people will post tanks for sale and we even have one shop that sells used tanks dirt cheap.
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GoldFishNoob
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #27 on: September 20, 2011, 04:39:24 PM »

Lol wow...that was funny. I was playing jaws music in my head while watching that video. That gold fish lookes like the white and orange one I have. Very nice, healthy looking fish.

Long tank seems more plausable for me to have room for. The table I have the tank on now might fit something alot tose lines, but that's a big might and I don't know how well it'll support such a massive weight. It's a little wobbly as it is. Is it o.k. to sit a large tank on the floor or does it need a stand?
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Dragonii
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2011, 04:42:30 PM »

50 gallon with stand in your area for $40.

Like Nossie said, save your money... good deals can be found.


Have you looked into making/buying a filter yet?
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Dragonii
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Re: Have a question about tank size and health.
« Reply #29 on: September 20, 2011, 04:44:13 PM »

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Lol wow...that was funny. I was playing jaws music in my head while watching that video. That gold fish lookes like the white and orange one I have. Very nice, healthy looking fish.

Long tank seems more plausable for me to have room for. The table I have the tank on now might fit something alot tose lines, but that's a big might and I don't know how well it'll support such a massive weight. It's a little wobbly as it is. Is it o.k. to sit a large tank on the floor or does it need a stand?

Floor will be fine. Being level is more important than being high. lol
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