comet goldfish canundrum

thatnewguy

Member
So before I knew anything about anything fish I bought my girlfriend a ten gallon tank with 6 comet goldfish. Never added any declorinator and used to clean out the entire thing by rinsing with tap water. I know, I was a horrible fish keeper. Since then, only one fish has died in the past year and we both have fell in love with the fish. I went and bought a 55gal and did a nitrogen cycle and added all the right additives and have been doing everything the way it should be done. I also bought a canister filter rated for 75 gal with bottom layer pad filter, middle layer carbon and top layer ceramic. I also bought live plants and water testers to keep my fish happy and healthy.

After more research I found out that these fish require 40gal per fish and an additional 12gal for each fish. Just when I was so close to doing things the right way now I feel inhumane about keeping these pond fish in a relatively small tank. The fish are about a year old and have grown to be 2-3" head to end of tail. After all that time I'm pretty sure they're stunted but they are very healthy, lively fish, they were even starting to mate but I separated the female because at the time I thought she was being bullied.

So after spending all this time and money trying to do things right I'm contemplating giving them away so I can get some fancy goldfish more suited to my 55gal but my girlfriend doesn't want to give them up. What should I do? Since they're already stunted should I just let them live out their days in their new roomier tank?
 

Shine

Member
Another 'rule' I have heard for goldfish is 20G for the first one and 10 for each additional one. There are many such so called rules. Yet another is 50 G for the first comet and 20 for each additional one Take it with a grain of salt.

Yes 55 for 5 comets is likely going to be a bit cramped, especially as they get bigger. These are fish that should idealy be in a pond regardless of which 'rule' you decide to follow. But on the other hand you are providing them with a good home and care. Which is better then most comets get when they are sold from the store. If you return them they will most likely be sold to provide a meal to another fish. So in my opinion if you like them, then by all means keep them. 55 may not be perfect, but so long as your tank maintanence is kept up they should be fine for a long while yet.
 

Akari_32

Member
Goldfish are extremely resilient little fish. I've bought a few I believed to be stunted, or had conditions that I though would hinder their growth, and they've all proven me wrong and are growing well. Let them be in the 55 gallon for now, and let them recover from being in such a small tank, and see how they do. If you need to, and don't have the space indoors, there are nice stock tanks that are great for the patio. Tractor supply sells 110 gallon stock tanks for $65, just add filtration and you've got a nice set up for 3-4 common or comet goldfish.
 
  • Thread Starter

thatnewguy

Member
Thanks for the suggestions and reassurance. I'm going to look into those stock tanks askarI thanks for letting me know. Everyday I'm learning more and more from this site. Here's some quick pictures of the 55 gal and the female with the red spot still in the ten gallon with her mate. Since the cycle just finished in the large tank I've been adding the fish one at a time and monitoring ammonia, nittrite and nitrate along with PH. I can't believe these fish have lived this long in such bad conditions and the lived through the process of me fixing their conditions and changing their habitat drastically. But not only did they survive they are very active and friendly. This is quickly turning into my main hobby

Will they grow in the 55? or once they're stunted do they stay that way?

Red spotted female who is the largest and has the most flowing fins out of all of them:


My 55gal setup:


And before I knew about all this fish stuff my girlfriend came home with a little comet with strange coloring. Black upper body and silverish/brown lower body. I just added him to the 55 last night and he really loves to swim through the current of my bubbler. Watch towards the end, he really tries to go for it. lol.

 

Claire Bear

Member
Nice job and very nice goldies! I hope you do get the stock tank because those beauties need it!
 

junebug

Member
I really doubt if they're stunted yet, tbh They were just babies when you put them in the 10 gallon, and goldies grow for years. Let them hang out in the 55 until they get large enough not to become crow food, then look into getting a patio pond
 
  • Thread Starter

thatnewguy

Member
claireputput said:
Nice job and very nice goldies! I hope you do get the stock tank because those beauties need it!
Thanks, I never thought I would be so captivated with common goldfish but they're a great start and their personalities are pretty interesting. They remind me of clumsy and playful dogs.

junebug said:
I really doubt if they're stunted yet, tbh They were just babies when you put them in the 10 gallon, and goldies grow for years. Let them hang out in the 55 until they get large enough not to become crow food, then look into getting a patio pond
Thanks I haven't thought of that but it makes sense. I guess time will tell.
 

Rivieraneo

Member
Just keep up on your water changes. Do a 75% weekly change, feed good quality food and swish your filters in used tank water once a month to get rid of excess build up and keep your nitrates under control. I do recommend buying a plastic stock tank to keep them long term.
 
  • Thread Starter

thatnewguy

Member
75% water change? I was gonna start doing 25% changes every week as soon as my ammonia and nitrates go up. Currently there's hardly any of each and no signs of nitrite. The tank just finished cycling so I'll probably start doing the 25% weekly change starting next week.
 

Rivieraneo

Member
Your ammonia and nitrite should be at 0 if your tank has completed cycling and nitrates should be between 5ppm to no more than 40ppm. Your Goldie's have a high bioload, so large water changes are recommended.
 
  • Thread Starter

thatnewguy

Member
Finally my API freshwater kit came in the mail. Before that I was using test strips. So after setting up my 55 gallon on 12/18/13 and 12 days later here's my results: Ammonia-0 Nitrite-0 Nitrate- 10-20 (the colors look exactly the same) so for now on I swear by tetra safe start to cycle a tank quickly. :thumb: The only thing I don't like is that it says the chemicals for checking ammonia and nitrates is really dangerous and when you go to shake the test tube the cap isn't air tight so I ended up getting drops of the solution on me :/

So my ph is 7.6 and the high range ph is 7.8, I tested water straight out of my tap and the results are the same so I guess my tap water is naturally higher ph. How worried should I be with goldfish? I read in the test kit they like it at 7.5 so no big deal right?
Edit: Some good info about ph here

One more thing, I've been using a 5gal bucket that used to hold powdered soap, I washed it with dish soap and rinsed it really well and I keep reading on the forum to never use anything that's ever come in contact with soap. It hasn't killed the fish yet and I used it to fill the 55 gallon and to do water changes in the 10 gallon so no worries?
 

Akari_32

Member
Don't worry about pH too much. Unless your fish are stressed and you can't find any onther reason and it does actually come down to pH, you very well can cause more harm than good screwing around with pH altering chemicals. Goldfish actually prefer more neutral or lower pH, but given their adaptability and how much they've been bred by large fish farms, pH really doesn't matter much these days.

As for your bucket, you've been using it this long. I wouldn't worry about it.
 

ricmcc

Member
Most of the literature that I've seen regards 6.5-7.5 pH as being neutral, so you really have no worries there, I believe.
What you might wish to do is buy a Python or similar unit, and a 75% WC will be far less work than a 25% change. Trust me, I evolved in the pre-Python age-rick
 

Rivieraneo

Member
thatnewguy said:
Finally my API freshwater kit came in the mail. Before that I was using test strips. So after setting up my 55 gallon on 12/18/13 and 12 days later here's my results: Ammonia-0 Nitrite-0 Nitrate- 10-20 (the colors look exactly the same) so for now on I swear by tetra safe start to cycle a tank quickly. :thumb: The only thing I don't like is that it says the chemicals for checking ammonia and nitrates is really dangerous and when you go to shake the test tube the cap isn't air tight so I ended up getting drops of the solution on me :/

So my ph is 7.6 and the high range ph is 7.8, I tested water straight out of my tap and the results are the same so I guess my tap water is naturally higher ph. How worried should I be with goldfish? I read in the test kit they like it at 7.5 so no big deal right?
Edit: Some good info about ph here

One more thing, I've been using a 5gal bucket that used to hold powdered soap, I washed it with dish soap and rinsed it really well and I keep reading on the forum to never use anything that's ever come in contact with soap. It hasn't killed the fish yet and I used it to fill the 55 gallon and to do water changes in the 10 gallon so no worries?
Your PH range is fine for your Goldie's. I recommend you buy a new bucket for $2 at your local hardware store to avoid any issues. Pythons are great for large water changes, I personally use a fountain pump to pump water out.
 
  • Thread Starter

thatnewguy

Member
Thanks everyone. I love this forum. I just ordered an aqueon 25ft WC I read from multiple reviews its higher quality than the python. I'm really excited to not have to lift this bucket with my bad elbow anymore. 2 quick questions that google can't really help with:

I put some duckweed and water lettuce in my tank which covers about 1/3 of the water surface. The goldfish love eating it and it seems they're eating a lot of it because they all have green poop lol. How should I account for the plant food their eating and how much flake food to feed them? I don't want to overfeed them. I didn't think about the immediate challenge of feeding them with the new plant addition but I took a plastic lid off of a sour cream container, cut a large hole in the center of them rim, sanded and sharp edges and let it float at the top of the surface so now their food doesn't mix with all the duckweed.

What are the potential problems if any with putting my return from my canister filter below the waters surface? Only thing I could find on google was about sumps over flowing but of course I'm not using a sump with this set up.

Thanks
 

Akari_32

Member
If you don't want thenntineat the duckweed, then you need to feed them A LOT to keep them from touching the floating plants. Duck weed is a favorite of goldfish because of its small size. I would also sugget switching to a sinking pellet. Goldfish forage in the substrate for food (notice how their mouths face sort of downwards). Flakes are also pretty nutritionally useless, since they dissolve pretty quickly. Look into New Life Spectrum Medium Fish pellets. Good size for 4+ inch goldfish, and more readily available, IME, than their goldfish pellets of the same size.

I have the outputs on my canisters underwater, but pointed sort of up, so that they spray across the waters surface.
 
  • Thread Starter

thatnewguy

Member
Thanks Akari, I will pick up some of the pellet food in the next day or so. I don't really mind if they eat the duckweed because that's why I put it in there is to help change up their diet, they also enjoy tearing up my amazon swords (which was expected) but I don't think they actually eat the swords. I'm just concerned about them getting too much food now that they're eating the duckweed so I wasn't sure if I should adjust how much food I give them.
 

Akari_32

Member
Trust me, there's no such thing as too much food with goldfish. The more they eat, the faster they grow. Carp have no stomachs, just a very straight digestive tract, which is why many goldfish foods say to feed three times a day. So when a goldfish acts hungry, it really is. The down side is, more food means more poops, which means more water changes.

Side note... My guys don't bother my swords. I've got all kinds of plants in my goldfish tank.
 

Rivieraneo

Member
thatnewguy said:
Thanks everyone. I love this forum. I just ordered an aqueon 25ft WC I read from multiple reviews its higher quality than the python. I'm really excited to not have to lift this bucket with my bad elbow anymore. 2 quick questions that google can't really help with:

I put some duckweed and water lettuce in my tank which covers about 1/3 of the water surface. The goldfish love eating it and it seems they're eating a lot of it because they all have green poop lol. How should I account for the plant food their eating and how much flake food to feed them? I don't want to overfeed them. I didn't think about the immediate challenge of feeding them with the new plant addition but I took a plastic lid off of a sour cream container, cut a large hole in the center of them rim, sanded and sharp edges and let it float at the top of the surface so now their food doesn't mix with all the duckweed.

What are the potential problems if any with putting my return from my canister filter below the waters surface? Only thing I could find on google was about sumps over flowing but of course I'm not using a sump with this set up.

Thanks
Both my returns are below the water surface on my tanks and i've never had any problems. Did someone tell you it should be above the water surface ? If it's in your filters owner's manual, well... I'm a guy.. I don't read instructions... :;pirate

In the wild, or a pond environment, fish eat all day, so if they are munching down on some duckweed, it should be no problem, the issue would be if your nitrates started rising to much or the duckweed was the only thing you fed them.
 

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