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View Full Version : i think my goldfish are crazy. please help



saraelf69
04-01-2010, 05:26 PM
hi everyone i found this site and i just joined and i have a question about my 5 goldfish. i have a 20 gallon tank with just the 5 goldfish. i bought them 3 weeks ago cause i thought they were easy to handle but from the moment i put them in the tank all they do is swim fast and chase each other around like crazy fish. they are always trying to swim up the filter, eating my plants, or fast swiming at the top of the water. i feed them in the morning and they eat like they are just starving for food finishing the food in seconds. i sometimes feed them at night since i was told they only need to be fed once a day. i think they are just really happy fish but never thought they could be this happy. is this normal or did i get the crazy fish at the pet store? help me thank you.

robflanker
04-01-2010, 05:37 PM
You listen to the crazy people at the pet store and put 5 goldfish in a 20g tank.

You need a 55g tank roughly for that many fish...

saraelf69
04-01-2010, 05:38 PM
yeah im now reading more about goldfish needing a big tank. the guy at the pet store said 5 goldfish would do fine in a 10 gallon. now i feel bad for my fish being in a 20 gallon.

robflanker
04-01-2010, 05:41 PM
Someone on here has an expression "the pet store would sell you cancer"

If left as is, they will all die, and you'd go back and buy new ones and keep the cycle up thus making more and more money for the pet store.

Brhino
04-01-2010, 05:42 PM
Welcome to the AC!

Did you cycle your tank? Check out the Free Aquarium Ebook on the left if you're not familiar with the concept of cycling.

Are they regular or fancy goldfish? How big are they right now? Regardless, they're in much too small of a tank. Do you do water changes or other tank maintenance? Do you have a filter? Do you have a kit to test your water parameters? After three weeks in the tank together they're probably very unhealthy right now. There are a number of things you need to do, starting with giving us all the details on your setup you can, or you're very likely to have dead goldfish soon.

Z Fish Man
04-01-2010, 05:43 PM
Yeah it's a common problem with goldfish, pet stores misinform people but you're doing the right thing by researching. You might want to consider taking some or all back or getting a different tank. There are lots of other cool fish types that would do well in a 20g but you might need to get a heater for them.

saraelf69
04-01-2010, 05:45 PM
they are regular goldfish. about 4' big. i change 15% of the water every 2 weeks. filter is on there and i have a test kit that i use almost every week. the tank had been set up for about 1 month with healthy water that was tested before i got the fish.

Rue
04-01-2010, 05:48 PM
...also...goldfish eat plants...you really can't have live plants in a goldfish tank, esp. when you're overstocked.

Keep in mind too, that goldfish grow BIG...what you have now are active babies...

Brhino
04-01-2010, 05:48 PM
you'll definitely want to increase your water changes. When the tank was set up for the month before you got the fish, were you putting anything in it, like fish, plants, or chemicals?

What are your ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates reading?

saraelf69
04-01-2010, 05:52 PM
i dont know the exact readings since i took a water sample to the pet store. the person there said the water was good. i didnt have the test kit at the time i got the fish. i had one plant in there. didnt put any chemicals in the tank.

Brhino
04-01-2010, 05:58 PM
it'd be a good idea to test the water right now, if you can. It's always a good thing to do when you have a concern about your fish.

Since you went from having 0 fish in the tank to 5 large waste producers, your tank is now in the middle of cycling. Ammonia and Nitrites from fish waste and uneaten food is building up and may now be at levels that are toxic to your fish, which is why it's very important to find out what those levels are at currently.

saraelf69
04-01-2010, 05:59 PM
im sorry i didnt read the last response. the current readings are


0 ammonia

8 nitrates

0 nitrite


the nitrates went up from last week they were at 6


what should the balance be?

Brhino
04-01-2010, 06:04 PM
that's not bad, actually. I'm surprised. Based on the information you've given us I expected things to be much worse. The only healthy number for ammonia and nitrites are 0, which you have. 8 for nitrates is quite reasonable, too. That water should be healthy for your fish, at least from that standpoint.

saraelf69
04-01-2010, 06:08 PM
well im glad about that. i forgot to mention that i like to take some water out every 3 day just using the symphon *sp* and cleaning out the rocks a bit. i see my fish eating food off the rocks so i try to clean them often.

Brhino
04-01-2010, 06:13 PM
you do have the problem that your goldfish are eventually going to grow to the size of the tank itself - imagine living with four family members inside a phone booth for your entire life - but that's more of a long term problem.

For now, I'd continue to test your water parameters very often - daily or every few days - and keep an eye out for an increase in ammonia or nitrites. Resist the urge to overfeed your fish. Give them no more than what they can eat in a couple minutes once or twice a day. That will help keep your water healthy. It's also good that you're cleaning up the bottom of the tank and changing some water a couple times a week.

saraelf69
04-01-2010, 06:17 PM
so being crowded is why my fish swim frantically around? when i was testing the water they were nipping at my hand and fingers. i hope they do ok until i am able to get a bigger tank.

Brhino
04-01-2010, 06:22 PM
they're probably swimming around quickly because common goldfish are active, fast swimmers. It's part of the reason why a nice big tank is recommended. Goldfish are also pretty smart. They're probably figured out that you're the one that feeds them, so they're begging for food.

annageckos
04-01-2010, 06:36 PM
What kind of test are you using to test the water? Strips or liquid? The stirps are know to be inaccurret. You goldies are going to need a pond, they will get about a foot long each and produce a lot of waste. Weekly water changes of 40-50% would be best for now with the bio load on that size tank.

robflanker
04-01-2010, 08:16 PM
they're probably swimming around quickly because common goldfish are active, fast swimmers. It's part of the reason why a nice big tank is recommended. Goldfish are also pretty smart. They're probably figured out that you're the one that feeds them, so they're begging for food.
Or they are swimming around because they are stressed due to overstocking and the fact they could (might not tho) be swimming in a poisonous solution of nitrates and other nastiness.

Fish aren't smart. They are greedy. They will eat and eat and eat until they explode - they will always beg for food.