Ideal tank for stunted 14 y.o. comet goldfish?

LBCole

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Hi all, hope I'm not repetitive with this question - I've seen the topic danced around in other posts I've searched through but not answered directly. My parents have a comet goldfish, Boq, who is 14 years old. He lived the first 11 years of his life in fishbowls of increasing size - I don't know how he made it so long like that... a combo of his hardiness and my dad's strictly regimented weekly bowl cleaning schedule, I don't know. Anyway, I finally got a job at an animal shelter, learned some more about fish care, and we got him into a cycled tank ASAP.

He is definitely stunted (about 4.5 inches long not including tail), and he hasn't noticeably grown in a while. His tank is 20 gallons, and when I look at him in there it just seems small to me. I've seen conflicting information about tanks of that size for comets, so I wanted some guidance on that. My parents are limited in how large they can upgrade, so if he really needs a lot more room I'd like to persuade them to re-home him. The poor guy spent so much of his life crammed into tiny spaces, I just want him to be comfortable and happy. For a fish his size (4.5 inch body), what do you think a good size tank is? And, having been stunted for so long, is he likely to grow a lot more in the future? Thank you so much for any advice you can give.
 
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MrBryan723

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Glad this was a learning experience. At this time, the best I can say is if its not broken, don't try to fix it. You got a 14 year old comet goldfish. Treat it like you would one of those delicate bubbled fancy ones. They're the same fish wish some human intervention. 20g is solid at this point. Obviously bigger is better but kinda irrelevant now.
No not after 14 years. As long as they keep doing what they're doing the 20 should provide an ideal retirement. Just take the knowledge you have now and use it for later.
 
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LBCole

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MrBryan723 said:
Glad this was a learning experience. At this time, the best I can say is if its not broken, don't try to fix it. You got a 14 year old comet goldfish. Treat it like you would one of those delicate bubbled fancy ones. They're the same fish wish some human intervention. 20g is solid at this point. Obviously bigger is better but kinda irrelevant now.
No not after 14 years. As long as they keep doing what they're doing the 20 should provide an ideal retirement. Just take the knowledge you have now and use it for later.
Thank you for this feedback. I might try to get them to go bigger in the future, we'll see, but right now it's really good to know he's not suffering in a small tank. Also I don't want to needlessly stress him if he is ok.
 
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LBCole

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FinalFins said:
Regardless of him being stunted I would try to get at least a 55.. bigger the better.
Right - a studio apartment is ok but a 2 bedroom is better. I'd like him to have more space. Thank you!
 

TheeLadyG

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When I first started out, I had two little (2") baby goldfish in a 30-gallon tank. Later in the year I lucked into a 75g tank and it's been wonderful. Four feet long!! They've grown like weeds and in April I added a third goldfish. (All split-tail fancy types). My fish are about 2 years old and I'd say they're 6 and 7" (including the tail). The larger tank has been really fun, they zip around all over the place and I gave it tall decor t hat they can move in and out of. Once you get the lil' guy established, maybe consider a young fish friend (a fancy split-tail type) if you can get a bigger tank (say 40+ gallons).

Honestly? the best thing about a bigger tank is that it is WAY LESS TROUBLE to take care of. The water stays stable much longer, it doesn't get messy as fast, and it feels more like you're "hanging out" with your guys with a big tank in the room. It's pretty cool. Also it's fun to arrange different objects around in the tank to keep your fish interested. ;) I can also recommend sand or really fine gravel (I'm using black diamond medium grit sandblasting sand). Even if it's just a scanty amount, it helps collect 'junk' so it's easier to clean, also the fish looove sucking it up and spitting it out and sifting through it all day. Normal gravel can sometimes have an issue with getting stuck in their mouths in a way they can't spit back out.

Goldfish are naturally super curious, they are carp and, like carp, spend all day trying to ferret out food from wherever. If you give them things to go into, around, behind, and under, they will. WHICH MEANS you have to be mindful of spaces where they might get stuck! They also need free-swimming room to stretch out those fins, in an ideal situation. A bigger tank makes that easier. (I think of my tank more like a "playroom" than a decoration... it looks pretty anyway :) )
 
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LBCole

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TheeLadyG said:
When I first started out, I had two little (2") baby goldfish in a 30-gallon tank. Later in the year I lucked into a 75g tank and it's been wonderful. Four feet long!! They've grown like weeds and in April I added a third goldfish. (All split-tail fancy types). My fish are about 2 years old and I'd say they're 6 and 7" (including the tail). The larger tank has been really fun, they zip around all over the place and I gave it tall decor t hat they can move in and out of. Once you get the lil' guy established, maybe consider a young fish friend (a fancy split-tail type) if you can get a bigger tank (say 40+ gallons).

Honestly? the best thing about a bigger tank is that it is WAY LESS TROUBLE to take care of. The water stays stable much longer, it doesn't get messy as fast, and it feels more like you're "hanging out" with your guys with a big tank in the room. It's pretty cool. Also it's fun to arrange different objects around in the tank to keep your fish interested. ;) I can also recommend sand or really fine gravel (I'm using black diamond medium grit sandblasting sand). Even if it's just a scanty amount, it helps collect 'junk' so it's easier to clean, also the fish looove sucking it up and spitting it out and sifting through it all day. Normal gravel can sometimes have an issue with getting stuck in their mouths in a way they can't spit back out.

Goldfish are naturally super curious, they are carp and, like carp, spend all day trying to ferret out food from wherever. If you give them things to go into, around, behind, and under, they will. WHICH MEANS you have to be mindful of spaces where they might get stuck! They also need free-swimming room to stretch out those fins, in an ideal situation. A bigger tank makes that easier. (I think of my tank more like a "playroom" than a decoration... it looks pretty anyway :) )
Wow, all that sounds great. Especially being able to add more enrichment in a larger tank. My parents' fish currently enjoys sucking the algae off his gravel - and you make a great point about having a smaller substrate size. Thank you for all this, whatever size tank he ends up in I'll think about all of it!
 

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