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Topic: the great fish bowl debate  (Read 1677 times)
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riverwatson
« on: July 19, 2007 04:18:49 PM »

longstoryshort: my best friend went on vacation and needed someone to take care of her goldfish. singular. one goldfish. and two sea monkey colonies. ( she's twenty two and has sea monkeys! Cheesy cute huh? ) anyway, i fell in love with her goldfish. he's in this adorable mod fish condo- a fishbowl designed to look like the jetson's living room or something. she got it at Meijer forever ago. And i really am considering not giving him back when she comes home. because he's adorable. but there is one problem- his condo is awkward. it's pretty small but i still can't find a good place for it. it's driving me nuts. my friend keeps him on her handy dandy entertainment center shelf when he's at home, but my entertainment center is an industrial wire storage rack with a 300 pound big screen on it... my apartment is seriously shelf-deprived.

when i get a fish i'm gonna need something smaller, or rather taller/ more vertical, so that he will be about at eye-level. i live in a super tiny apartment and i don't really have any horizontal space at that height. except on top of the microwave which i think is less than fish-friendly, with all the opening, closing, beeping and radiation. so i've been considering alternative items in which to house a fish. I really like the fish blender idea, but obviously there's controversy. i have had betas before. and i know that though they are space-saving puddle-jumpers, they're also dreadfully boring. i want a bubbly goldfish. but what could i keep him in so that he is comfortable without compromising my sparse shelving space?

i know that goldfish need more space than betas, but what kind of container (around 3.5 liters) would be neat to keep a fish in? i'd like it to be less than 1 square foot wide. but it doesn't matter how tall...

I've seen betas and guppies in eco-spheres made out of three liter soda bottles with the tops cut off- betas in big vases with vegetation growing on top, etc. but i think that even though i eat fish now (i'm a fully recovered vegan,  Grin eighteen months omnivorous, thanks) i still believe that if i'm going to invite a living thing into my habitat, i should care for it as responsibly as possible. (even my lucky bamboo, which is almost a foot tall, now. it likes miracle grow!) 

anyway i've tried a million different places, and this fish condo is just too bulky. i had it parked right beside our front door, on our beautiful printer cart, which was so convenient, and i could see him there, he was getting the right amount of light, etc. but then i remembered that's where boyfriend usually plops his keys and wallet when he gets home (out of habit) and needless to say i was afraid my little speckled friend might get accidentally squished by car keys when boyfriend walks in. so for now he's on top of my entertainment stand. looking confused as to why he's being shuffled around so much.  Tongue

so what's the verdict? what is both practical and crafty when it comes to housing a goldfish in my teensy weensy little apartment?



 
THIS ROCKS   Logged

I heart mod podge.
thief
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2007 11:03:32 AM »

Feeder goldfish [comets] need at least 30 gallons per fish but should have around 50.
Common goldfish need at least 30 per fish as well, but more is better.
Fat goldfish [fantails] need 20 gallons for the first fish, and 10 for every additional fish.
All goldfish are social but do not shoal.
All of my fish tanks have a theme, most of them are biotopes.
If you're interested in other fish that require less space,
bettas: 2.5 gallons at least
guppies: one guppy per gallon [they are social and tend to shoal]
neon tetras: 5 tetras per 2 gallons [also social and schooling, you should keep no less than 6]
rummynose tetras: 3 tetras per 2 gallons [same sociality as above]
cardinal tetras: 3 tetras per 2 gallons [same sociality as above]
ALL fish need a filter, no matter what color/shape/size/age/breed/origin. this is just an example of what can happen to a fish that is not kept in the appropriately sized tank.
If you need more info on other fish or any of the above mentioned fish, PM me.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2007 11:17:47 AM by thief » THIS ROCKS   Logged

-Amy
[and Abbey, Bella, Natasha, Milo, Ferdie, Olive, Sophie-Mo, Laika and Winston]

I make snuggly things for snuggly beasts.
etsy: http://silverbeatshop.etsy.com
blog: http://tashastails.blogspot.com
riverwatson
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2007 06:49:33 AM »

hmm. that's very interesting.

i was wondering if you could give me some more information on that considering i've never had a fish before (except for male betas).

my friend's calico goldfish was rescued from walmart. (they won't say how long they're supposed to live but if they die in the first six months walmart's pet center will replace them.) she's had hers for about six months now in a one-and-a-half gallon tank, changing the water only once every two weeks unless it gets really cloudy- no filter. since i've been taking care of him i change out fresh spring water about every three days, and he seems pretty healthy. how long are these things supposed to live, anyway?

also, my mom has a cichlid that's like six years old. what is hole in the head disease? that video wasn't too clear. i didn't have any sound since i'm viewing it at school. that could be why. but that oscar just looked like he has a funny colored head?  Huh

i think some neon guppies might be pretty to keep in a tall aquarium if and when i can ever afford one. i always thought a cylindrical glass container dressed up like an old fashioned gas pump or a glass globe gumball machine would be really cool to have fish in (lit up and filtered of course).


THIS ROCKS   Logged

I heart mod podge.
thief
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2007 10:50:04 AM »

Depending on the breed of your friend's goldfish its lifespan should be anywhere from 10-40 years.
Hole in the Head disease is a parasitic disease that usually affects fish kept in unsuitable environments, or fish under a lot of stress. It begins with discolouration of an area of the head.
Guppies are a good beginner fish, you can keep about two for every 1.5 gallons, but you should keep less in a tall tank. Tall tanks allow for less oxygen exchange, so be sure to purchase an airstone or two, or even a bubble wand for your tall tank. Live plants will help as well. While guppies are a hardy fish, it is best to cycle your tank before adding them. Here is an article on cycling:
http://www.aquaria.info/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=344&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0
However, if you pack your tank with live plants, you won't need to worry about cycling, just wait a couple of days before adding your fish. Which brings me to another point, you should be adding somewhere around five guppies every two days to avoid a mini-cycle, which can kill your fish. Aim for tall plants like wisteria, amazon swords, anachris, and onion plants in the back and shorter plants, like java fern, glossostigma, and liverwort in the middleground and sides.
If money is an issue, look around your local fish stores, classified ads, and craigslist for used tanks. Avoid anything that has been resealed. Your aim for cost should be about $1 per gallon. At my local fish store they have a 30 gallon hex tank with stand and hood for a reasonable $60. [In a 30 gallon tank you should have around ~20 male guppies]
On to the equipment. You have three kinds of filters to choose from: Hang-On-Back, Internal, and External. For an external filter, you will need holes drilled in your tank by a professional. External filters are good for larger tanks, usually those 55 gallons and up. Internal filters are not very favorable and I wouldn't recommend them. Which brings us to HOB filters. If you get one of these for your tank, you will need one that filters more than what your tank actually holds [if your tank is 30 gallons, it should filter 40 or above.] This will make it easier on everyone. Aquaclears and Whispers are the most common filters, and the best. Whispers are cheaper and easier to maintain. Remember to clean the filter sponge and carbon filter at separate times [change the carbon once a month and clean the sponge once every 6 weeks]. You can purchase an extension for your filter if you wish, but with two sponge filters with airstones, you should be set.
Gravel vacuuming will be unnecessary in a heavily planted tank, so don't bother buying one of these.
Most flourescent lights provide the necessary colors of light for live plants, so no worries there.
Test kits. These are VERY important. You need to test your water for ammonia before adding new fish and you need to test water hardness, pH, KH, nitrites, nitrates, etc regularly. My recommendation is for you to purchase an API ammonia test kit [you will probably never need to replace this] and Quick-Dip 6-in-1 sticks [you'll need to replace this every three months or so when you run out of sticks]. This is the cheapest route.
QT tank. This is unnecessary unless you want to add new fish after your guppies [if some die off and you with to replace them]. Simply treat your new fish with a dose of Melafix [cheap anti-bacterial fish medicine] for a week.
Algae cleaner. This can be useful, but even more useful are otocinclus. They are a very small catfish that live for algae. Don't add them unless you have an abundance of algae in your tank.
Net. You need a net for catching the new fish in their bag and putting them in the new tank [do not add the water from the bag].
Dechlorinator. You need to add this to your initial water and new water that you introduce into the tank. Fish can die quickly of chlorine poisoning.
Heater. Guppies are tropical fish and need a heater. Thermometers are cheap and necessary too [guppies prefer a temp of 75F-80F]

Maintenance for your tank:
Water change anywhere from 20-30% about once a week.
Daily check your fish and make sure that they are all active and eating [my guppies feed from my hand.. it's very cute!] and that you don't see any signs of attack by another tankmate.
Check your temperature daily to ensure that the heater is functioning properly.
Test your water with the 6-in-1 strips weekly.
Monthly change the filter carbon.
Daily check that the filter is functioning properly [put it on maximum flow, I've found that guppies enjoy swimming against the current].

Guppies are an amazing fish, and they compliment a planted tank very well, as they are available in a wide range of colors [I like your gum ball machine Idea too Cheesy]. They live 4-6 years if properly cared for.

Check around the articles and FAQ at www.fishgeeks.com in the future if you're having any problems!
Also, here is an example of a heavily planted tank:

That fish is an arowana, one of my favourites!! They look like grumpy old men Tongue
« Last Edit: August 02, 2007 10:52:37 AM by thief » THIS ROCKS   Logged

-Amy
[and Abbey, Bella, Natasha, Milo, Ferdie, Olive, Sophie-Mo, Laika and Winston]

I make snuggly things for snuggly beasts.
etsy: http://silverbeatshop.etsy.com
blog: http://tashastails.blogspot.com
Avian Flight
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2007 12:36:17 PM »

Interesting. Thanks for all the info thief. I was trying to figure out what was wrong with my male betta fish. He has a discoloration on his head also. I will go see if there's medication at the store. Your post is motivating me to put him in a bigger tank. I don't think he's happy right now. I never see him eat but he must be because he has survived 8 weeks. Any tips on getting him to eat? I put food in his bowl and in the afternoon I see it at the bottom of the bowl.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2007 12:36:47 PM by Avian Flight » THIS ROCKS   Logged

My Wists
eula.wordpress.com - updated frequently! (food and bento)
thief
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2007 01:14:51 PM »

Interesting. Thanks for all the info thief. I was trying to figure out what was wrong with my male betta fish. He has a discoloration on his head also. I will go see if there's medication at the store. Your post is motivating me to put him in a bigger tank. I don't think he's happy right now. I never see him eat but he must be because he has survived 8 weeks. Any tips on getting him to eat? I put food in his bowl and in the afternoon I see it at the bottom of the bowl.
Try giving him a treat like bloodworms or minikrill. Both of my bettas really enjoy this, one of them even snatches it right out of my hand!
Both of my bettas also like in small community tanks as well. One is more aggressive and I keep him with 4 panda corydoras, a dwarf puffer, and a hillstream loach in a very heavily planted ten-gallon tank. I feed him him guppy fry, bloodworms, minikrill as a treat, and bettamin. Most fish enjoy a varied diet such as this.
My other betta is much gentler and I have him with 8 neon tetras [though I wouldn't recommend these for beginners], 4 zebra danios [I am blessed that he doesn't eat these, they are pests to long-finned fish], 3 peppered corydoras and a couple of snails, also in a planted ten-gallon tank.
Hole in the Head can start with any discolouration on the head but the typical is a palish area on the head. A common cause of lack of appetite is some kind of poisoning in the water. Do a partial water change, remembering to dechlorinate, and see how he does if treats don't perk him up.
My aggressive betta, Wayne, really enjoys flaring at his reflection in a mirror I bought for him. He parades around his tank like a king. Perhaps get him a mirror for his new tank?
My non-aggressive boy, Brutis, is happy just to zoom around the tank, wiggling his fins and sometimes giving the neon tetras a good scare.
I hope your betta perks up! Cheesy

By the way, Bettas can live 5+ years under good conditions!! Smiley
« Last Edit: August 02, 2007 01:17:57 PM by thief » THIS ROCKS   Logged

-Amy
[and Abbey, Bella, Natasha, Milo, Ferdie, Olive, Sophie-Mo, Laika and Winston]

I make snuggly things for snuggly beasts.
etsy: http://silverbeatshop.etsy.com
blog: http://tashastails.blogspot.com
thief
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2007 07:16:22 PM »

I have nothing better to do so I shall talk you through beginning  fishkeeping.
Day 1: Purchase tank, filter(s), hood, stand [this you can build yourself for cheap if you're good with wood www.garf.org go to DIY Pages >> Stand Building], test kits, and all the rest of the supplies I listed above.
Test your tap water with a 6-in-1 strip. If your water happens to be very hard, you can add a VERY fine layer, more of a dusting, of peat moss to the bottom of your tank [beneath the substrate]. This will also lower the pH if it is very high [guppies prefer anywhere from 6.5-7.5, but neutral [7] is best.] and it will aid plant growth.
Plant your tank by placing the plants you wish to have in the places you wish to have them and pouring substrate [approx. 2-3 inches high] over the roots or bulbs. A finer substrate [fine rounded gravel or even sand, though this is a pain in the neck,] is beneficial
Fill tank with regular tap water, hook up filters, heater, dechlorinate your water.
Days 2-5: Allow your tank to run normally, turning on and off your light at the appropriate times.
Day 6: Purchase no more than five guppies and float their bag in your tank for about half an hour. Then, carefully net them out of the bag and into the tank [remember not to add the bag water!]
Day 8: Test with a 6-in-1 strip.
Day 10: Test again, and do a 20% water change.
Day 12: Add no more than five more guppies, same directions as above.
Day 15: Test with 6-in-1 strip again.
Day 20: Add no more than five guppies, same directions as above.
Day 23: Test with 6-in-1, do a 25% water change.
Day 25: Add no more than five guppies, same directions as above.
Days 28-onward: Change water once a week, propagate plants accordingly, follow directions in above post, and enjoy your fish.
This is assuming that your tank holds 30 gallons and is going to be heavily planted. If it holds: 20 gallons: add no more than 10-15 male guppies; 10 gallons: add no more that 8 male guppies; above 30 gallons: add 5-8 male guppies for every 10 gallons of water. Higher numbers assume a less narrow tank. If it's not going to be planted, remember to cycle, then follow the above steps.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2007 09:02:38 AM by thief » THIS ROCKS   Logged

-Amy
[and Abbey, Bella, Natasha, Milo, Ferdie, Olive, Sophie-Mo, Laika and Winston]

I make snuggly things for snuggly beasts.
etsy: http://silverbeatshop.etsy.com
blog: http://tashastails.blogspot.com
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