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Starting up a new goldfish tank

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey again everyone-
I just started a fishtank today (my cats finally have their own TV!), and need some tips on keeping goldfish alive. It is a 10-gallon tank with a filter, gravel, a rock, plastic plants and real plants. I took some of the live plants from my other set-up at my parents house (I'm cheap, that's how I roll). In the past I have had great luck with fish like tetras, guppies, mollies, platy's, stuff like that. But this time I really want goldfish. I did have really good luck once with a goldfish, one of those 25 cent feeders. She's (sister named her princess, so it's a girl lol) still alive today, many years after I got her. But she won't be in this tank. I want to get the same goldfish this time. I actually think they're pretty neat fish, when they get bigger. Plus they're cheaper, which I'm all for. But I have always had cruddy luck with all kinds of goldfish, so I want to know how to keep them alive. I understand that they are not good quality goldfish, but that's not stopping me at all. Does anyone have any tips? Please, don't say I need a bigger tank- I live in a small flat and don't have room for a larger one unfortunately. There are already snails in the tank that I brought over from the other tank. They're those little long ones, don't know what they're called. What can I do to really give them the best shot at staying alive for a longer time? I didn't get the fish yet since I want to give the whole thing to sit for at least 24 hours (I know it should be longer, but I never have that patience ).
post #2 of 18
I kept goldfish for many years. Many people will tell you you need a bigger tank. I did fine with a 10gal. The trick is number of fish. With a tank your size 2-4 small fish (under 2-3inches) is fine. I did 2 goldfish and 2 weather loaches (cold water scavengers; they work with goldies). I think the rule is 1inch of fish per gallon.

Weather loaches are fun to watch, very hardy and easy to care for. They're shaped like catfish torpedoes, and either very lazy or zooming around the tank. You really need a lid though, as they'll jump out. I highly recommend them to go with goldies.

Live plants and goldfish can be a challenge. They tend to destroy tanks. I found plastic was easier. They will move a pound of gravel around. I used to have a fish that picked up gravel in his mouth swished it around (to get the algae off I think) and would spit it out against the glass repeatedly -Lovely noise at 2am!

Biggest mistake is overfeeding. Once a day. Ten gallons with a filter you can probably change the water once every 2 weeks with light siphoning algae clean up and I dumped the whole tank and cleaned every 2-3 months. Fish had a giant peanut butter jar hotel for that.

The 30cent feeders are really hit of miss sometimes they make it and you'll have a fish for years. Sometimes they croak real quick and you never know why. I've done well with feeders, slightly larger pond fish the ordinary goldfish but grown a little, Fantails and Orandas. the other more exotic breed have a harder time.
post #3 of 18
Fantails would be best. The comets (feeders) can get to be foot long, even in a 10g (it happened to a friend of mine! She had to find a guy with a pond to take the fish). Fantails stay pretty small. If you want to keep them in the 10g tank for their entire lives, don't get more than 2. Most goldfish enthusiasts will say no more than one per 10g, but I have seen 2 fantails get along in a 10g for years, with weekly partial water changes. If you get more than 2, you'll have to either get a larger tank or rehome some of them in a couple years. And the water quality will be difficult to keep stable.

Frequent partial water changes and good filtration are the keys to successfully keeping goldies.
post #4 of 18
My oranda was 10 inches in diameter and was cramped in a 50gal.
Goldfish are all the same species and they will outgrow a ten or even twenty gallon tank. Most, unfortunately, will never live that long.
The biggest problem is that they are messy.
I recommend a power filter that is rated at twice the capacity.
Example: You have a ten gal. for goldfish you should have a filter rated for a 20 gallon or higher.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
My oranda was 10 inches in diameter and was cramped in a 50gal.
Goldfish are all the same species and they will outgrow a ten or even twenty gallon tank. Most, unfortunately, will never live that long.
The biggest problem is that they are messy.
I recommend a power filter that is rated at twice the capacity.
Example: You have a ten gal. for goldfish you should have a filter rated for a 20 gallon or higher.
Eek. I just bought the filter yesterday, and a larger one won't fit with the lid and I don't want to buy a new cover. Maybe I should go with guppies, molly's or platys huh? And if I got guppies, I would be able to get more than 2 (and they're pretty which helps ) I've already got the heater (wasn't turned on because of the upcoming goldfish) so all I would have to do is go back to the store and exchange the goldie food for some tropical food. And I'll be able to keep my live plants alive then lol.

Is that a better plan?
post #6 of 18
in ten gallons with good filtration and a live plant or two you can probably do 6 guppies and I'd get an otocinclus (not a chinese algea eater!) in there for algea control as well.
I like the blue delta guppies and the half black blues, both are common petstore strains.
Mollies are great, but some breeds get quite large, and they are a little more sensitive to water conditions.

Guppies do like a bit of aquarium salt in the water.
post #7 of 18
I was going to say get one betta for the 10 gallon, you dont even need to get other fish bettas are so nicely colored as is!

All goldfish species eventually outgrow 10 gallons, so I wouldnt even get a goldfish. Guppies are easy to care for but breed like crazy so eventually your tank will be overcrowded with them. I've had goldfish live in a 10 gallon for 8 years and they all got spinal problems and never grew and only lived for mabye 8 years were in a huge aquarium or pond could live over 10 years.

I'd go with a single betta, they can live for about 6 years and a 10 gallon is great for one and you can add some decorations in it and live plants (bettas wont destroy your live plants) They need a very slow moving filter though they cant handle fast water, and they need temps of about 75-82 F.

You can read more on bettas here this is the #1 betta site I know of on the internet- http://www.bettatalk.com/
post #8 of 18
That's a much better idea....I have a male Betta in a 12g with 4 cory catfish. I love cory cats. Neon tetras are another pretty fish that isn't too hard to keep.
post #9 of 18
You can combat guppy over breeding by getting a female betta to put in the tank, or getting only male guppies.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
I ended up getting gouramis- never had them and wanted to try something totally different. They are all different types, and together they are really pretty. I ended up with 4 gouramis. I got the first two at one pet store, then went to another pet store and they were having a huge sale so that's how I ended up with 4. I originally was going to only start with 2 fish in there, but I couldn't resist. I probably shouldn't have done that, but, I did

Does anyone have tips on keeping a gourami tank going?
post #11 of 18
Ooh, do you know what kinds of gouramis they are? Some varieties get very large. Some get very aggressive when they get older. There are a lot of different kinds, so the variety is important to know. They also have very different care standards depending on type.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mismaris777 View Post
I ended up getting gouramis- never had them and wanted to try something totally different. They are all different types, and together they are really pretty. I ended up with 4 gouramis.

Does anyone have tips on keeping a gourami tank going?
I tried for a couple years to do gouramis. I usually tried kissers. the 'kissing' is actually a form of fighting like 'I'll bite your lips off. I'm dominate kissing fish' Never had any luck. Our water was not conducive to tropical fish. 10 gal. is probably not enough space. They do get agressive and if one becomes dominant he will chase the others around, even to the death, so I think they do better in a big tank with lots of hiding spaces. I did have one pugnacious gold gourami who lived for 2 years. He liked to chase everything around that tank, so I could never get another fish to go with him.

In the end I gave up and did goldies...
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyrajean View Post
I tried for a couple years to do gouramis. I usually tried kissers. the 'kissing' is actually a form of fighting like 'I'll bite your lips off. I'm dominate kissing fish' Never had any luck. Our water was not conducive to tropical fish. 10 gal. is probably not enough space. They do get agressive and if one becomes dominant he will chase the others around, even to the death, so I think they do better in a big tank with lots of hiding spaces. I did have one pugnacious gold gourami who lived for 2 years. He liked to chase everything around that tank, so I could never get another fish to go with him.

In the end I gave up and did goldies...
That's kinda funny, because one of the ones I got was a gold gourami. He's chasing one of them around constantly, so he's getting rehomed. This really just inforces the fact that I need to read up on what I'm doing before I do it! haha

Just so everyone knows, there is no option to get a larger tank. 10 gallons is as big as I can fit into my house. It's a small older home, so no extra space.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
So, the gold gourami and the pink kissing gourami are finally gone to a new, bigger home where they won't kill my fish . There's only one gourami in there right now, it's a really easy-going one. Now I have to decide on what I want to put in there. Whatever goes in there though, I want to be very bright and colorful. The whole tank is very sparkly and girly, so that's what needs to be in there. Any suggestions?
post #15 of 18
I don't know what kind of Gourami you have, how inclined he is to eating smaller fish, etc., but I think Cardinal Tetras are very pretty. Like Neons, but bigger and more colorful.
post #16 of 18
In addition to kitties, I keep fish, lots of them. We currently have 5 fish tanks up and running. a 20 gal, a 37 gal, a 75 gal, a 125 gal, and last but not least, a 240 gal.
The single most important thing you can do to insure that your fish survive, regardless of the kind of fish is to allow the tank and the filter to "cycle" before adding the fish. The filter needs a colony of bacteria that feeds off the ammonia (waste) produced by the fish and without it, you get a ammonia build-up that will kill your fish. It can take up to 6-8 weeks for this to happen and there must be an ammonia source for it to happen. Some people use pure ammonia with no additives to cycle their tank. There are test kits you can buy that will tell you the amount of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates in your water. Secondly if your tap water is city water, you must have something to dechlorinate it, also easily found in most any pet store. The second most important thing you need to do is water changes. Its not necessary to change ALL of the water, but at least half of it, weekly, depending of course on your stocking level.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fish keeping...I strongly suggest you google "how to cycle an aquarium" and read....Your fish will thank you for it.
post #17 of 18
Hmm... do keep in mind that gouramis are related to bettas and can be just as territorial and agressive towards others of their species or similar looking fish... Alot depends on the species you have... opeline, blue, three-spot, and "gold" gouramis are the same species, just different color types and can grow up to 6"..they are also pretty agressive. A parent dumped three in the 30gl tank at school that I maintain and one of them killed the other two off in a period of 2 weeks.

I have kept pearl, dwarf, and honey dwarf gouramis before in community tanks and they did fairly well...the pearls also get 5-6" so need a larger tank... the dwarfs and honey dwarfs stay around 2"...but some can be pretty agressive. Most of them sold in petstores are males also, so more territorial.

If you want even a chance at "keeping the peace"...I'd get LOADS of plants, preferably live, floating and rooted plants...hornwort is a good hard-to-kill and usually cheap plant to try. You need to break up as much of the visual space as possible (i.e. if they can't see each other they'll forget). If you bought the larger gouramis...the pearls, kissers, giant, opeline, or others I mentioned (all buy the dwarfs), I'd take them back and only keep one in your tank.

Something else to watch out for...I have never been able to keep a gourami alive for over 2 years...I believe most come into the store with some sort of either parasite or digestive issues... usually the dwarfs I have gotten succombed to bloat even with antibiotics and medicated food (bloat is where their belly sticks out and their scales start to look like pine cones).

A note about filtration....usually you need at least 5 gallons per hour / tank volume...i.e. 50 gph for a 10gl minimum...I like to overfilter and usually keep 10gph on my tanks...if your hood has room, you can use 2, smaller filters, one on each end. This will also be a safety feature if one of them goes out on you.

HTH,
Art
post #18 of 18
I don't know how the tank is coming, but if you've got tropicals in there now and want a flash of color and maybe a bit of wierd to go along with it I recommend kuhli loaches. They need the water temps of tropicals, but are very hardy. I kept them until my tank heater died with great results (a non-centrally heated house in a VT winter was not good at keeping water temps up).

They look like a catfish with brown/beige zebra stripes stuffed in a worm skin. I had one survive for 6 months under my under gravel filter. I cleaned the tank and suddenly he reappearred. I'd assumed he'd died and bough another one. Again, you need a good lid, like most fish torpedoes they have an annoying tendency to jump out.

I never had luck with tetras, our water was too hard.
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