Goldfish Question

bellajourneyApril 16, 2012

Hi everyone,

I need some advice. The other day we rescued some small goldfish (they look like feeder fish) who were left outside to die (in little plastic cups with water) by a neighbor. (6 fish were alive, 4 were already dead.) The poor fish that were still alive were struggling to breathe, in filthy water, and no food. It was so upsetting.

We talked to our neighbor, who didn't want them (obviously), and they are now in a 3 gallon fishtank that we dug out of the garage and cleaned up. (DH properly transitioned them to the tank.) After doing a little research, I realize that a 3 gallon tank is WAY too small for 6 tiny goldfish that will get huge. But we are not prepared to buy and maintain a huge tank.

So - to end my long story - How can we find these little fish a happy home?

Thanks for your help!

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You can take them to pet shop who will most likely take them and then sell them to a customer after they have been quarantined for a week or so. Call first.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 12:03PM
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kalevi - That's a great idea. Thank you!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 2:07PM
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Craigslist or Freecycle for your area is another option.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 5:19PM
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lisa11310(z5 MI)

Be advised these fish will most likely be sold as food for bigger fish.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 10:20PM
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pashta_2006 - Another terrific idea, thank you!

lisa11310 - Eeeek! Thanks for the heads up!!

So, I talked the options over with DH (I was leaning towards Craigslist, so they don't become lunch), and guess what - he said that he's gotten attached to them and wants to make them an outdoor pond! =O He has always wanted a pond, but with all the work that our new fixer upper home needs, it wasn't supposed to happen for a few more years. So much for that!

While we work on plans for the pond, what would be a good temporary tank for our 6 new little friends to hang out in for a month or two? Right now they are an inch long or less (not including fins).

Thank you, again!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 7:11AM
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I don't think you have to worry at all. Your tank will be fine. The fish won't grow big in a small tank. Add a little aerator pump from whereever the tank came from, or from a pet store for $5.00. Add a plant and get a small can of fish food and do what families have been doing for generations.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 9:46AM
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Go get a Sterilite plastic storage box with 20 gallon or larger capacity and put in a filter. The Aquatech filters at Walmart are good and cheap.

If it's warm enough, you can use a kiddie wading pool as a temporary pond.

With excellent filtration and regular water changes in your pond, you can get away with 20 gallons of water per goldfish. Your pond will need much less cleaning and maintenance if you double that.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 10:18PM
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kashka_kat(z4 WI)

Awww.. that's how it happens. Fish make great pets - I was surprised at how much fun they are and how attached I got.

A very easy pond to do and a good way to get started (& see if you like it) is a 100 gallon (or more) stock tank and a 150 gph pondmaster pump and carbon+ biological filter - can do that for about $200. The carbon is good with a small pond because it can filter ammonia and keep that in check. If you ever do go to a big pond, then you can still use the stock tank for quarantine or for bringing fish in over the winter.

I had such a set up for many happy years and to tell you the truth rather regret going to a larger pond - the small pond was SO easy.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 10:51AM
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I am a strong advocate of the stock tank pond. You can set it up in hours; it will last for decades; and you can learn how to build filters, do basic plumbing, and maintain your pond without having to fight with (and maybe repair) liners. If later you want to build a bigger pond, the stock tank can serve as a source for a stream to the new big pond or can be used to make a filter.

Nevertheless, I hate the 100 gallon stock tanks. They have too little surface area for the volume. My favorite beginner's pond is the 300 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank partially sunk in the ground. It's an ugly thing, but since it is completely self supporting, you can build any kind of a surround you want.

If you have room for it, the 8' circular tanks not only hold a lot of goldfish, but are beautiful even without a surround.

Here is a link that might be useful: stock tanks

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 12:00PM
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Thank you all for your replies! So much terrific information!

The stock tank pond sounds like a good solution to keep our new friends happy and as a first pond for us. A few questions -

- We live in zone 7a. Will we be able to keep our fish outside in the winter?

- How much of a time commitment is a stock tank pond (once it's set up)? I want to be sure we know what we're getting into.

- Any recommended reading for newbie goldfish pond owners?

Thanks so much!! :)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 10:01AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Yes, you can leave them outside in that zone.

There are excellent books for newbie ponders written by Helen Nash, one just for container ponds

Here is a link that might be useful: Helen Nash

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 1:50PM
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Once it's set up, a pond requires much less effort than an indoor tank. You should change 10-20% of the water each week. You need to clean your filter every two to four weeks. The problem is that most pond owners keep thinking of ways to make the pond better, or bigger, or make another better, bigger pond ...

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 9:39PM
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Thank you all again for the terrific advice!

I'm afraid that things have taken a turn for the worst since my last post. A few of the goldfish developed Ich. DH tried to help them with Quick Cure. The sick ones started spending lots of time at the top of the tank - DH added an airstone, but it created too much current so we had to remove it. Despite frequent water changes, conditioning the water, and the medicine - our group of 6 fish is sadly down to 2. :( (The two largest ones.) DH doesn't want to set up a pond for 2 (which I disagree with), and wants to upgrade them to a 10 gallon tank (which I also disagree with and think is too small).

Many "discussions" have ensued over our tiny friends. I think the kindest thing to do is to try and find a proper home for them. :( I will miss them, but I would feel awful sticking them in a 10 gallon tank. Please cross your fingers that we can find a great home for them Quickly.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 2:17PM
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kashka_kat(z4 WI)

Well thank you for caring about their well being - yeah, they're "only fish," but they are aware and living creatures after all. They probably were not in the best of health from their ordeal and also the orginal fish breeder may not have cared much about providing healthy conditions either.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 11:19AM
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