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Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. Default Got given an overstocked tank? Fish in extreme danger?

    0 Not allowed!
    Hi I helped someone move today and they didn't know what to with their fish so my girlfriend offered to take them. The only fish I know about are bettas, and the only other aquatic animal i know how to care for are african dwarf frogs.

    The tank is 10 gallons and has two goldfish, 1 big orange one and one smaller orange/white one. This alone is bad for a 10 gallon but on top of that there are 3 neon tetras, 1 suckerfish (a pleco? it is a small suckerfish) and 2 amano shrimp. Are these fish in extreme danger? Neon tetras are topical schooling fish right? What should I do, i have no room or money for a huge aquarium.

  2. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    keep an eye on the parameters daily if you have a test kit. If not and you can afford an api master kit then do that, otherwise just assume and do large water changes daily. Right now there are tropical and cold water fish together. Is the tank heated? If so this is good for everyone but the goldfish.

    My advice would be to rehome the goldfish ASAP. We know the pleco will need a new home as well, but at least you have time on that one (if it is much bigger around than a ballpoint pen than it is probably a pleco). Once you get rid of the goldfish and pleco I would get 6 more neons and keep the shrimp.

    Cost to you:
    1 heater - $30
    6 tetras - $15 (If you find a nice lfs they may be willing to trade you tetras for the goldfish and pleco)

    This way you get to have a community tank that is appropriately stocked for under $50. Odds are the fish are not in "extreme danger", but they are likely immunocompromised and could easily be overcome by illness. This is exacerbated for whichever fish are not being kept at the correct temperature.

    just my .02 cents. Look at the bight side, you have another tank!

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    The cost could be more or less than that. It's possible that, even with rehoming the inappropriate fish, that tank probably doesn't have adequate filtration. So you may be another $30 on a new filter (much less if you find a sale or a used one) and $25 for the master test kit to watch water parameters. I also frequently see neon tetras at petsmart for $1 on sale. Are you 100% sure they are neons? Cardinal tetras look very similar, you want to make sure to get the right one if you go that route.

    Whatever you do don't clean or replace the filter media or cartridge. It is okay to swish it around in a bucket of tank water that you have drained from the aquarium or rinse it in dechlorinated tap water, but this is just a gentle rinsing of the gunk, you don't want to kill your beneficial bacteria and thrust those already sensitive fish into a cycle.
    120 gallon FW bowfront in progress

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    In addition to rehoming the goldfish & suckerfish (and we dont' know exactly what it is), it's important to change half the water in the tank daily (with a small siphon that doesn't cost much - will also clean the substrate which is also important) until you can get your hands on a good test kit and see how high the ammonia level is.

    As already advised, if you plan to keep this tank with fish in it, it's in your best interest to get the API freshwater test kit and learn what water parameters are and what they should be to protect the remaining fish.

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for the tips. I have all the supplies i need for a 10 gallon (extra sponge filter and 50 watt heater). I've decided to give the two goldfish back to the pet store. Since they are full grown they may not get bought, but they have a good sized home at the store at least. I'm gonna keep the pleco and when it grows too large I will have time to buy a 55 gallon tank (is that big enough?) Once the goldfish are out i will buy 3-6 more neon tetras with the 2 shrimps and temporary pleco. Until then I will be sure to do 50% water changes for the crowded tank.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

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    【ツ】 - korith So glad someone else takes KH seriously! - talldutchie most promising newbie award! - talldutchie Good advice. Stick around! - ~firefly~ A gift for your knowledge of Tetras. - steeler1 
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    0 Not allowed!
    Just a caution on the water changes. Doing some preliminary tests would be advisable. Test for ammonia and pH and nitrate, if you can. Ammonia and pH are the most critical respecting the water changes. And test (or know) your tap water pH.

    With so many waste-producing fish (goldfish and pleco), the pH may be acidic. Ammonia is ammonium in an acidic pH, and harmless. But if you replace the water with tap water that is basic (above pH 7), the ammonium will immediately change back to ammonia, resulting in dead fish.

    Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    if you keep the suckerfish (can you post a picture), it will decrease the number of tetras you can get. The nice thing about getting a larger amount is they will school together. Suckerfish are often thought of as cleaners for the tank, but often times they can increase the bioload a lot and cause hidden pollution.

    Filtration is another good point. What brand/model is the current filter. Sponge filters are good for fry and shrimp (don't produce much waste and can be harmed by a more powerful filter) but it won't do a lot for adult fish in a 10g tank.

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for your responses everyone. I want to get these fish out of this 10 gallon asap. I've had a change of heart however. The two goldfish seem to be best friends and the smaller one follows the bigger one literally everywhere. Will moving these two goldfish and the baby pleco to a 50 gallon which already has 3 adult comet goldfish be a bad idea? It's my only option other then giving the goldfish to a pet store where they may be separated. So basically i'd have 60 gallons worth of goldfish and a pleco in a 50 gallon. If i had a very powerful sponge filter and another filter could this work with the bioload?

  9. #9


    1 Not allowed!
    If it has 3 adult comet goldfish in it then I think it is probably already overstocked. The comet goldfish commonly grow 12+ inches and I have read they can top out at 18 inches. Three 12 to 18 inch fish in a 3 foot tank seems like they wouldn't have much space, even before adding the others. This is a pond fish. Your pleco (poop factory) if it is a common pleco, is also going to get huge. I would imagine, based on my own reading (not first hand experience) that the comets will be severely stunted in that environment.

    This is truly a rock and a hard place. If you take them back to the fish store, someone without proper knowledge may buy them, turn around and plop them right back in a ten gallon. As extreme as it sounds, I think the best way to do right by these fish is to find them a pond. Whether you decide it will be a nice addition to your own yard, or you place an ad to see if you can find someone with a pond who can give them a good home, it's the best way to ensure they get proper housing

    I have never had goldfish, but I have read a lot about them. Maybe someone who actually keeps comets will weigh in with a different opinion.
    120 gallon FW bowfront in progress

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    +1 with above advice - unfortunately, most goldfish are better off in ponds - they get very large and have a large "bioload" (produce lots of waste).

    In many petstores I see plecos in 100-150gal tanks just due to the amount of swimming space they need.

    It's not a good idea to cram that many of those fish into that larger tank thinking you're doing them a favor from their current home - in the long run, best to put fish into a tank/pond suitable for them at full growth.

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