One fancy goldfish


New Member
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3 years
hi, I'm new to this, but I have a question.

2 1/2 years ago, I picked up a 27 cent feeder fish from the local pet shop. I wanted to "save a life," but as he is growing, I have established that he is definitely a fancy goldfish. Butch Cassidy lived in a one gallon tank for a year but then he developed airbladder disease so I bought him a 2 gallon and switched him to sinking food. He still didn't seem happy so he now lives in a 10 gallon tank by himself.

I go to college, so Butch travels in my car in his 2 gallon. (He used to travel in a cup, but he outgrew it.)

My question is, am I doing anything wrong. I use AquaFresh because I use tap water. he has gravel, three fake plants, a rock to hide in and a bubbler. He lives in natural light, farish from the window, but not very far.

He is a big little boy (at least from when I got him), but his color has gotten lighter. A few of his scales have also fallen off. Should I get him pH stuff and a filter?

Any help would be great. Thanks.


Active Member
Reaction score
1 year
Hello and welcome, Piper182. It was a very good thing you got your goldfish a 10 gallon tank.

Have you been reading up on the aquarium nitrogen cycle? When you say Butch travels, is his 10 gallon tank emptied and started over at a different location? If that's the case, the 10 gallon tank probably never had a chance to establish/maintain the nitrogen cycle. This means the ammonia and nitrite in the tank (waste produced by fish, uneaten food and debris, etc.) are not getting processed by the beneficial bacteria. Both ammonia and nitrite are very toxic to fish, and Butch could be under constant stress because of this.

I would suggest you look into purchasing a filter for the tank. An aquarium filter will be very helpful in maintaining the healthy environment by ensuring water circulation and providing a breeding bed for the beneficial bacteria. It would also be a good idea to test your water to find out where you stand. You can take a small cup of your tank water to a nearby aquarium shop if you don't have a water test kit. With the readings on ammonia, nitrite and nitrate (and ph while you're at it,) we can better help you with the next course of action.

Tell us more about your maintenance schedule as well, such as frequency and amount of water changes, so we can figure out what you can do to improve things for Butch.

Here's a link to one article on nitrogen cycle:


Well Known
Reaction score
Phoenix, Arizona
Just started
The lighter color and missing scales both point to ammonia poisoning. Butch really should have a filter on his tank. A 10 gallon is an okay starter size, but you may want to start shopping for a larger tank. Butch's final tank should be at least 20 gallons if you keep him all by himself. If you go for a 30 - 40 gallon, Butch could have a roommate to keep him company. Do you have any pictures of Butch? With a couple of good pics, we could probably help you determine exactly what type Butch is. Different types of goldfish have different tank needs.


Fishlore Legend
Reaction score
On the beach
More than 10 years
Hello Piper and Welcome to Fish Lore.
Some great information above. Here is a link you may find helpful too:
Best wishes.

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