Upgrade from 10 gal tank

Flic

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We purchased a small 5 gallon tank for my 6 yr/old daughter at Christmas and we got 3 fantail goldfish initially. I have to admit to not doing any research ahead of time and was unaware of the size tank needed, etc. After seeing the tank get very filthy and the fish acting lethargic, I upgraded to a 10 gallon tank about 2 months ago. The fish have done much better but I'm surprised how dirty the tank still gets. I have been doing 25% water changes every 2-3 days but finally figured I need to upgrade the size again. I'm thinking of a 20 gallon tank since I have a 20g filter right now. My other option would be a 29g but I would need to get a new filter in that case. I can't seem to make up my mind on this but can see the advantage of just getting the bigger tank. We don't plan to be adding any more fish. Once I get this new tank, it sounds as if I could just move all the existing gravel over to preserve the bacteria? I would also be able to use the same filter if I go with a 20g which would help maintain the cycle. The plastic plants have brown (algae?) all over them so I am not sure if they should be moved or not. The current tank seems fully cycled with hardly any Nitrates/Nitrites or ammonia. I guess I'm just seeing if anyone has further advice on tank size and how to go about transferring stuff over. Thanks!!
 
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Lucy

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Welcome to FishLore!!
Since you have 3 goldfish, go with the 29g, better yet a 40 if you can do it. It's recommended 20g's for the first goldfish and 10 gallons for each additional goldfish.
As you found out, they're heavy waste producers.

You can move everything over (gravel, deco, filter) to the new tank to help seed it. Run your old filter along with the new filter until the tank finishes cycling.

You can rinse the plants and anything else that has gunk built up in used tank water or clean dechlorinated tap water.

Congrats on the upgrade. Your goldfish will thank you.
Well, maybe not, but we do. lol
 

Kunsthure

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Welcome to Fish Lore!

Goldfish need large tanks because they are so messy and they grow to be very large. I believe the rule is 20g for the first fish and 10g for each additional fish. So even a 29g is too small unfortunately.

If it were me, I'd buy a second filter now so that you have two and try to build up as much of the beneficial bacteria as you can before moving to the larger tank. You may still experience a mini-cycle, so be prepared. Plus having a second filter for a goldfish tank is good because they are so messy--you can never have too much filtration.

If you have any ammonia or nitrIte readings, your tank isn't cycled. You want nitrAtes under 20. You'll need to do daily water changes of at least 25% and use a detox product like Prime or Amquel+ to get your ammonia and nitrItes down.

You can move the plants, just wash them first, but don't use soap, just hot water. But some people leave the algae, it's your choice.

Good luck! Goldfish aren't easy but are fun.

-Lisa
 
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Flic

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Wow, thanks for the quick replies!! I guess I have been talked into the larger tank! 29g is about the biggest size we can do right now with the space we are utilizing. Another question I had is how to transfer the fish over. Should I transfer the existing water along with the fish to the new tank and slowly add new conditioned water over several hours? Thanks again!
 
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Flic

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Well, I ended up going with a 36g tank! It was actually on sale and cheaper than the 29g I was considering so I went with it. It actually fit perfectly in the space we had for it. Got it all set up and everything transferred over last night. Fish are loving it!
 

Shine

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Congrats on the upgrade! ...and 36! I think I'm jealous

I'm going to have to do the same by fall (my goldies get to move to a pond for the summer, so by the time I need to bring them back to the house I have no doubt that they will be too large for their current abode!)

pictures?
 

BritJo

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Congrats on the bigger tank, I'm completely jealous! One day lol. It sounds like you've got everything I would recommend but I thought I'd let you in on my cleaning methods for plastic plants. My plants were covered in algae so I got a bucket, put some aqua safe in (prime would work to of course, or anything that is along the same concept) got a kids tooth brush and went to town on them. They are now nice and clean. I've also done it under running water then put the aqua safe directly onto the plants and not had any problems, though I'm new at this too so I would take others advice over mine lol .
 
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