Help re Fish Tank please

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rookerygirl

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At the weekend Josh managed to con us out of 2 fan tailed goldfish and a bowl. Its nothing fancy just a simple bowl with gravel and a plant. The problem is we have noticed that over a period of 3 days the water just gets cloudier and cloudier then the fish end up permamnently on the surface as if they are suffocating and trying to get air, with loads of bubbles around the edge of the water. I have cleaned the water already once and given the gravel a good wash in case it was that but it has happened again and I am worried I am going to end up ewither suffocating the fish from the water or killing them from the stress of cleaning them out every 3 days. Can anyone give me any advice as Josh will be terribly upset if anything happens to them.
 

Benji

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Never kept fish, but are you using water direct from the tap?
 

DryNetNick

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I've got a few fan tailed goldfish. I'm no expert but here are a few tips.

1) make sure your tank is big enough. mine is 18' wide x 12' high x 12 deep.
2) get yourself a good pump with filter that will keep the oxygen levels up.
3) Don't put the tank in direct sunlight.
4) Use some 'tap safe' or alike to condition the water for the fish
5) Dont over feed the fish. No more than what they can eat in 1 - 2 mins.
6) If your worried about the water, you can buy a pack that allows you to test it to confirm Ph levels ect.

Hope this helps a little mate.
 
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rookerygirl

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To be fair its not a tank, its just a bowl for little man to look after with my help. I asked the guy in the aquarium for plain simple goldfish that could be kept in a very simple bowl by kids without the expense of filters etc and he said the fantails would be fine, they didn't seem to have any plain simple goldfish. I think that perhaps the conditions are wrong for them as they are really classed as tropicals and I think the guy in the shop shouldn't have said they could be kept without filters etc.

The bowl is not in direct sunlight and I have a water treatment, the fish get a small amount of food twice a day but something still seems to be going wrong. I suspect it is that they are the wrong type of fish to be keeping in a childs goldfish bowl!
 

NoFinPhish

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When you add fish to water, the tank/bowl takes a few weeks to 'cycle'. This means that a few different types of bacteria need to cultivate in the bowl/gravel, to break down the ammonia from fish waste, into nitrate and then into nitrite.
Ammonia is toxic to fish, as is nitrate, but less so.

So by completely spring-cleaning the tank every few days you are actually not helping the fish - you need to let the bacteria grow so they can do the job of making the bowl less toxic.

Best thing to do is don't clean your gravel often, and when you do, just give it a swill in water you have already taken from the tank.

It's good to replace SOME of the water regularily. Keep a container of 'aged' water in the garage and use this. By aged, I mean left for at least 3 or 4 days so the chlorine can evapourate. Syphon off 1/3 to 1/2 of the bowl water and replace it with this aged water every week or two.

Anyway thats general advice for looking after the fish, now the specifics.

I wonder if you are over feeding and the bowl is too close to a window?
Fish really only need a small amount of food a couple of times a day, a tiny pinch is enough for two and most people over-feed. By overfeeding you are just adding more ammonia to the water.
 

NoFinPhish

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My son has fantails, they have survived for a couple of years in cold water though I did buy a larger tank and a seperate filter to help.
They should be OK provided they have enough room.
 

rookerygirl

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Jason you seem to know quite a bit about this, will this species be ok without a filter or have we condemmened the fish before we started? I know keeping them in a bowl isn't an ideal situation but I don't want them to be suffering un-neccesarily in any other way if you know what I mean.
 

NoFinPhish

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BTW, they do say you need 30 square inches of surface area for every inch of fish to give them the oxygen they need, so you can work out just how overstocked you are.

You can help a little by adding an air-line so you get some bubbles to disturb the surface.
 

NoFinPhish

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To be honest rook, I'm more into tropicals.

I have seen the same problem with bubbles at the edge of the tank, but not in any of my own tanks so not sure what it is.
What I do know though, is fish need space and surface area for oxygen and the behaviour of the fish suggest they arent getting enough

Is your bowl the 'traditional' type with a narrowing at the top? if so put less water in so the surface area is greater.

Hard to tell if the bowl is big enough without seeing it. Work out the surface area and give me a rough idea of how long the fish are. That will determine if you need a bigger tank or one less goldfish!
 

NoFinPhish

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Actually, thinking about it, to start off with I would replace water every day initially.
But replace with aged water and only change 1/3rd to 1/2 of the water - leave the gravel as it is, just syphon off any poop you can see
 

rookerygirl

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Datafile11.asp


This is all it is, just a plain simple bowl to keep little man amused really and to give him something to 'look after'. It has an 11 inch diameter and each fish is about an inch long at the moment.
 

Isaak

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You seem to have a couple of problems here to deal with.
Firstly the container, a bowl is not a good container to keep fish in because the surface area is too small to allow appropriate oxygen exchange so lowering the water to add more surface area helps.
The bubbles round the edge look like a coating of oil on the water which may come from the food. I have a frog tank that will scum over the top with an oily type of deposit. It does get some bubbles at the top but redirecting the filter gets rid of them.
Fantail goldfish are not tropical. They are cold water just not frost resistant fish and a bit delicate to keep outdoors in a pond.
you need to do water changes if you have no filter because the mass of water cannot recycle the fish waste and it is not the solid that causes the problem but the ammonia that fish excrete that you cannot see. Water needs to cycle in a container so that the bacterial flora can build up and take up the ammonia to convert it to nitrates and nitrites. No filter means little area in a system for the bacteria to collonise so you have an issue. Solver with frequent changes of water which should be aged and sat the same temperature as the tank. You really have got yourself a whole host of difficulties to deal with there. Good luck.
 

rookerygirl

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Crumbs I am sure it was never this hard to keep goldfish we got form the fair when was a kid, lol. Would we have had any of these problems if we had stuck with just 1 normal goldfish, instead of worrying about 1 being lonely?
 

NoFinPhish

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OK, so if they are an inch long that should be alright for now, though fantails can get pretty big and will outgrow it soon.

I've just done a check on the web and foam/bubbles on the surface and cloudiness is a sign of overfeeding. Basically your setup cant cope with the amount of waste going into it. This is leftover food and fish poo/wee!

I know you say you feed a little, but cut down even more.
Fish can go for a week or two without food if necessary (though don't do this!) so dont be concerned about not giving them enough.
Try a just a tiny pinch a day for now.
Change some water daily as I suggested, leave gravel alone.

If you really want to do the best for the fish, you need to think about a filter longer term, and probably a larger tank as the fish grow. This will work out easier to look after as well. The bigger the 'ecosystem' the better it will look after itself once settled. As I said an air line will help a little.

They should be OK if you do the above, for now.
 

NoFinPhish

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Oh, and goldfish are pretty hardy, unlike most tropicals, so they should survive OK.
 

Chuditch

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the bubbles will almost certainly be chlorine gas, used in the purification process at the pumping station.
the chlorine gas disperses into the air as the water is aged. its doubtful that the water will ever be completely crystal clear in a bowl of that size without some kind of filtration system and/or adding an airstone.
 

rookerygirl

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Thanks Jason, our intentions were to start with this bowl then as the fish get bigger get a larger tank for them as we saw in the shop just how large they can grow.

Chuditch whats an air stone? That sounds interesting...
 

NoFinPhish

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Air stone is what I meant by saying air-line
The air is pumped through a small blue stone that sits in the bowl and makes air bubbles.
The column of air rises to the surface and disturbs it, therefore effectively increasing the surface area.
 

bazw

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you need a square foot of water / inch of fish when you have no water movement ,

you would be better off with nothing in a small bowl like this so you can see when the muck from the fishes starts to collect and it can not get so much in so as to poison the fish

the bowl will not go through a nitrogen cycle like a tank with a filter because the fish will turn the water to sewerage before it could happen as its so small so you need to change the water every day , because of the chlorine in tap water i find it best to use water that has been boiled and cooled down to room temp in a small bowl , you can get stuff to remove the chlorine but it means any medicines you add at any time will be wasted as the stuff absorbs that too

as you said you were going to look at a a bigger tank you could get a small air pump now with an air stone so the water moves around and use it in the tank later , they can be a bit noisy though so stand it on some sponge(i used to use a washing up one with the scrubber on one side just the right size ) to help with the buzz
 

phil-k

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Originally posted by NoFinPhish

Oh, and goldfish are pretty hardy, unlike most tropicals, so they should survive OK.

Goldfish do however produce a lot more waste than tropical fish and filtration is even more important.
The best thing to do is take the fish back to the shop and chuck the bowl in the bin.
Keeping fish is an expensive hobby and can't be done on the cheap.
Sorry but thats the truth.[;)]
 
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