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Seeking advice on filter for goldfish

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 930 ✭✭✭ Uncle Pierre


    Hi all. Am in a bit of a difficult situation with a goldfish. And they're words that I never thought I'd end up having to write!

    Long story short:
    • Christmas Day 2017, when our young lad was still just four years old, one of his uncles arrived with a goldfish in a bowl as one of his presents. Regular tiny size fish, of the sort you buy for less than a fiver in any shop.
    • This fish has thrived ever since. We left him in the bowl for a while, until he was obviously too big for it. We then bought one of those children's starter aquarium sets (17 litres), until he got too big for that too.
    • Tail end of last year, when fish had grown to about four inches, we spent approx €120 on a 54-litre tank and a new filter that's rated for tank sizes of 50 to 60 litres.
    • Fish has since grown to about six inches. Find myself now having to clean the filter and do about 25% water change every second or third day. It's always me who gets the good jobs around here!

    My knowledge of this sort of thing is confined to what I've tried to figure out via Google. General advice seems to be that a 54 litre tank is not enough for a fish of that size, and that 120 litres is recommended.

    Thing is, a tank of that size seems to cost around €250 to €300. Please don't judge me for this, but am not about to spend that sort of money, considering we're not actual enthusiasts in the first place and the fish wasn't something we ever actually intended to have.

    Young lad is now approaching his seventh birthday and won't hear of allowing us to find a new home for the fish somewhere and replacing it with one or two smaller ones more suited to the size of the tank. That might change as he gets older, but for now, poor old fish is destined to remain in a tank that's too small for it. Again, please don't judge me for this!

    Basically, I'm wondering if we get a bigger filter, might it help in reducing the need for cleaning it and changing water so frequently?

    My theory is that while the current filter suits the tank, it doesn't suit the fish. If the fish actually needs a 120 litre tank, then it stands to reason that it needs a 120 litre filter, since the current filter can't cope with the amount of waste produced.

    Is there any weight to this theory at all?

    Would putting in a larger filter help, or would it just be a completely wrong or stupid to thing to do?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.


Comments



  • Hi all. Am in a bit of a difficult situation with a goldfish. And they're words that I never thought I'd end up having to write!

    Long story short:
    • Christmas Day 2017, when our young lad was still just four years old, one of his uncles arrived with a goldfish in a bowl as one of his presents. Regular tiny size fish, of the sort you buy for less than a fiver in any shop.
    • This fish has thrived ever since. We left him in the bowl for a while, until he was obviously too big for it. We then bought one of those children's starter aquarium sets (17 litres), until he got too big for that too.
    • Tail end of last year, when fish had grown to about four inches, we spent approx €120 on a 54-litre tank and a new filter that's rated for tank sizes of 50 to 60 litres.
    • Fish has since grown to about six inches. Find myself now having to clean the filter and do about 25% water change every second or third day. It's always me who gets the good jobs around here!

    My knowledge of this sort of thing is confined to what I've tried to figure out via Google. General advice seems to be that a 54 litre tank is not enough for a fish of that size, and that 120 litres is recommended.

    Thing is, a tank of that size seems to cost around €250 to €300. Please don't judge me for this, but am not about to spend that sort of money, considering we're not actual enthusiasts in the first place and the fish wasn't something we ever actually intended to have.

    Young lad is now approaching his seventh birthday and won't hear of allowing us to find a new home for the fish somewhere and replacing it with one or two smaller ones more suited to the size of the tank. That might change as he gets older, but for now, poor old fish is destined to remain in a tank that's too small for it. Again, please don't judge me for this!

    Basically, I'm wondering if we get a bigger filter, might it help in reducing the need for cleaning it and changing water so frequently?

    My theory is that while the current filter suits the tank, it doesn't suit the fish. If the fish actually needs a 120 litre tank, then it stands to reason that it needs a 120 litre filter, since the current filter can't cope with the amount of waste produced.

    Is there any weight to this theory at all?

    Would putting in a larger filter help, or would it just be a completely wrong or stupid to thing to do?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.


    I understand your thinking but its not correct.

    Filters work correctly based on the population of your tank not the liters of water in the tank. .

    When you read the specs of filters they will say its rated for so many liters.

    Their calculations are presuming you have a 120 Liter aquarium with medium to large amount of stock.

    I would agree that the Goldfish needs a larger aquarium but at this stage you can pick them up on Adverts for peanuts.

    You no matter the size of the aquarium, you will always need to clean it due to Nitrate build up.




  • Thanks for reply. Thanks too for acknowledging there was at least some sense to my thinking, even if it turned out to be completely incorrect. :)

    Have been keeping an eye on Adverts all right, but nothing's turned up recently within reasonable driving distance (say about an hour) from where we live in Co. Wexford. Will continue to keep an eye out, but another complicating factor is that a tank any larger than what we now have won't really fit in the same place, and my wife is not happy about the idea of putting a tank somewhere else instead. Don't know what I can do about that one. Suggestions welcome!!!!

    My preferred option would be to find a new home for the fish and then re-stock the tank with a couple of smaller ones. We even have a heater that came with the last aquarium kit we bought (but which has never been used), so warm water fish wouldn't be a problem. But as I said above, the young lad won't hear of it.

    Don't suppose there's anything else I could try, to try cut down on the need to clean things out so often? I understand there'll always be cleaning and maintenance, but having to do every three days or so on average seems a bit much.

    Am basically just trying to do my best for this fish here in somewhat difficult circumstances and with very limited knowledge, while trying to keep everybody else happy too!




  • I would suggest you bring your son to a proper aquatic shop and show him some smaller fish like neon cardinal tetras and the like.

    He may fall in love with some smaller fish and if he does you could tell him he could swap the goldfish for the tetras.




  • That's a good idea........so good that I already thought of it myself about a month ago. :)

    It didn't work. Harry (the fish's name) has to stay. It's the young lad's first and so far only pet, and he's very fond of it. In fairness, he's good at doing the feeding (under supervision), and he's spent some of his own money on small decorations for the tank a couple of times. But I'm still the one who has to do the cleaning and all that other glamorous stuff!

    Thanks again for your help.




  • Have you got a garden? If so, could you build a pond?


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  • How are you cleaning the filter? You shouldn't really have to be doing that frequently, as it's bad for that bacteria colony that keeps the water safe for fish




  • Thanks for the further replies.

    Building a pond is an interesting idea but I fear it would take a lot more investment in terms of both work and money. Anyway, would also worry that the fish might only be in it a couple of days before being plucked out by one of the cats from the house down the road, or one of the birds that normally hang out at the river just a short distance away!

    I clean the filter by removing about 10 litres of water from the tank and into a bucket, then washing the filter sponge out in that water before putting the sponge back. I top up the tank with 10 litres of fresh water. Okay, it's a 20% water change and not 25% like I said in the top post, but what's 5% between friends........!

    Anyway, think I may have stumbled on something of a solution. I bought a better vacuum gravel cleaner thing than I was using before, and gave the bottom of the tank a really good cleaning early last week. The amount of uneaten flakes that it sucked out from between the stones was phenomenal. I genuinely thought we'd been feeding the correct amount, but turns out it must have been too much, and the leftovers were at least partly responsible for the problem.

    As I said, that was about a week ago, and I haven't had to do a water change or clean the filter since then. We've eased off a bit on the feeding too. So hopefully that's solved things a bit, and hopefully we'll get on okay from here.

    In an ideal world, the fish would still be going into a bigger tank, but we've been through all that already.......!

    Thanks again to all for their help here.




  • You're not doing too badly, that's for sure. Your 20% twice weekly water changes sound about right for that fish in that tank, I was just surprised about how frequently you have to clean the actual filter - I would barley do filter maintenance on my tank once a month.
    What filter are you using?
    You might benefit from adding a layer of filter floss, this is very fine wool which is not for bacteria to grow on but rather to catch fine particles in the water. You can wash this out every few days without worrying about using tap water and not disturbing the colonies on the coarser sponges.
    Only other thing I could recommend is adding more filtration, but you'll still need to do water changes!




  • Hi again. This was the set we bought, so the filter we use is the one that comes with it:
    https://www.tetra.net/en/produkte/tetra-starter-line-led-54l-aquarium

    Will try the floss thing with it - thanks for the suggestion.

    Interesting what you say about possibly adding more filtration, since that's along the lines of what I was wondering here in the first place. Do you mean add a second filter, rather than get a larger/more powerful one?

    P.S. - would you not clean the filter as a matter of course, when doing a water change? I've always done things that way. Maybe I've been doing too much!!




  • Hi again. This was the set we bought, so the filter we use is the one that comes with it:
    https://www.tetra.net/en/produkte/tetra-starter-line-led-54l-aquarium

    Will try the floss thing with it - thanks for the suggestion.

    Interesting what you say about possibly adding more filtration, since that's along the lines of what I was wondering here in the first place. Do you mean add a second filter, rather than get a larger/more powerful one?

    P.S. - would you not clean the filter as a matter of course, when doing a water change? I've always done things that way. Maybe I've been doing too much!!

    You could add a second filter or replace what you have with a larger one - no difference really.

    No, the filter does not need to be regularly cleaned unless it is clogged and the flow reduces. When cleaning your filter you should only clean it in old tank water and you shouldn't even clean the whole filter at once in case you remove too much good bacteria. Many small filters have two identical separate sponges for this very reason.


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  • Might be the case then that I've been too "enthusiastic" about cleaning the filter so often. Will add some of that floss anyway but cut back on cleaning the sponge a small bit, and see how that goes.

    Thanks again for all.




  • Goldfish poop a lot. They've a big bioload which is why you're getting nitrate building up and needing more regular water changes as his tank is too small.

    If you can't pick up a bigger second hand one I would trade the fish for smaller species appropriate to your water type (hard or soft) and tank size.

    I know your son doesn't want to but the goldfish will suffer in too small a tank. He'll become stunted and likely die. I would just explain to your son that Harry us too big for his house & he needs to move on or he'll get very sick and suffer. That it's time for a new home for Harry and instead you can get fish that will live longer and healthier in the tank.

    Depending on water hardness a 60 litre tank of Endlers or Galaxy Rasbora (also called Celestial Pearl Danios) would look great. You could create a theme to the tank with one or two decorations like octonauts or something similar.

    It's not perfect but it's a good lesson for your son to learn about pet keeping. 7 is old enough to understand that the fish needs a suitable environment to be healthy.




  • If it was me, I'd move on the Goldfish & get a male Betta for that size tank. They look lovely & are such fab Characters. Great for kids.

    You would need a small heater. Very cheap to buy.


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