Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ten Steps To a Healthy Goldfish

1. A 10-20gal tank for one goldfish. Goldfish grow to be 6 to 8 inches in length and therefore they need a big tank for just one fish. 
A filter
2.Reason: Goldfish are very dirty fish when they process thier food it goes through thier system fast since thier organs are squished into a tight space. 
Setting up the new tank
3. Goldfish love to pick up rocks so in my opinion you should use river rocks (you can find them at a Home Improvement store)that way the rocks are to big for the goldfish to get in there mouths and get one stuck in there. Make sure when you get your rocks that you rinse them well with water to get rid of any debris. Then add your rocks carefully in to the tank. Next use water that you have let sit out in a jugs or buckets for 24 hours so that the toxins have had a chance to evaporate from the water (chorine, bleach, ect....) to fill up the tank with. When you add the water to your tank place a flat dish in the bottom of the tank on top of your rocks so it doesnt splash the water so much. When done remove the dish. 
Lights and Heaters
4. Goldfish need light just like you and I. Also you will need light if you get live plants in the tank. Heaters are not necessary in a goldfish tank goldfish can live in temps from 78 to just below freezing. So unless you want your tank at a constant temp goldfish don't need a heater. 

Additives in the water
5. When setting up a tank or doing water changes you need to add some type of water clarifier (like Amquel) to help get rid of more toxins in the water, since goldfish have to breath the water any type of chorine or bleaches can kill your goldfish. 

Test Kits
6. This is a tip for all that are starting a goldfish tank. It is very important to have test kits like the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. You need to check the water before every water change. This is expecially true when a tank is first cycling, the ammonia levels and the nitrites are the first killers of most tanks that are just starting out.. Also if you are going to use Amquel for a water conditioner you will need a test kit that is "salicylate" based, because the "Nessler" based kit will give false readings when using Amquel..... 

7. You can use real plants if you like but goldfish are nibblers so you plants wont live very long. There are some plants that goldfish don't really like to nibble on like Java ferns and the grass like plants (the wider the leafs the better). If you don't want to spend a a lot of money to maintain the looks of the tank I would go with the fake plants. 

Selecting Your Fish
8. Now that you have had the tank up and running now for a week or two you can start looking for a good and healthy goldfish. 
What to look for: 
a. Look at the tank the goldfish are in. Are there any dead ones in the tank? If there are that normally means there is something wrong with the fish or tank and in any way the goldfish is most likely to be sick. 
b. Look at the fish you want. Is the fish you want aware of his/her surroundings? Is the fish moving around looking and nibbling at things or just staying in one spot. Goldfish that look more aware of what's going on are the better ones. 
c. Look at the fish's eyes. Are the eyes clear not foggy. If foggy the goldfish could have a disease or just blind. 
d. Look at the fins. The fins should be erect. If the fins are always in the down positions the fish could be stressed out. 
e. Look at the fish over all. Make sure the fish doesn't have any times of parasites (ick, anchor worm, ect......) on them or any type of disease (fungus, fin rot, ect......) on the fish. 
f. Now you have chosen your fish When you get you fish make sure the pet store places the goldfish in a plastic bag , then in a brown paper bag, so the fish will not get stressed out by seeing what is going on around him. When you get the fish to his tank make sure you float the bag in the tank for 5 mins so that the fish will get used to the temperature in your tank with out stressing out if you just put him in there. After floating in the tank open the bag and slowly let the water from your tank enter the bag and let the bag again float for about a min. Then let the goldfish out and keep a close eye on the goldfish for a couple of days to see if there are any problems with the goldfish. 

Feeding Your Goldfish
9. Now there are many foods out there for your goldfish and many people think this one is better than that one. If your going to feed you goldfish any pellets or flake food, please soak them in water from the tank for at least a min. Un-soaked food will expand in the stomach (just like if you ate rice or bread) and the goldfish will eventually get swim bladder disease (some times irreversably) and the goldfish will not be able to eat and swim correctly. Feed your fish once every day, what they can eat in 5 mins or the food will spoil the tank. 

Water Changes
10. Now you've had your goldfish in your tank for a week you need to do a water change. Once a week you need to change at least 10% to 20% of your water. When you change the water make sure you are replacing the water with water that has been sitting in a jug for at least 24 hours. When you're starting to change the water, use a gravel siphon to get a lot of the waste the filer hasn't picked up from the bottom. Now add the water that you had sitting out for 24 hours to the tank, also add your water conditioner (Amquel) if needed. At this time its a good idea to check your filter to see if its dirty and them clean it out. 
When you have your tank up and running you will need to understand the general rule of cycling the tank. This is very important to have a tank that is cycled or the fish can get sick or die. Very important to read.
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