water change schedule

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by a1Matt, 30 Sep 2008.

  1. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    My little sister has just set up a goldfish bowl...

    size: very apprx 5litres.
    filter: fluval 1+ (this took a lot of persuading for me to get in there!)
    substrate: unipac sand
    flora: java fern
    fauna: one small goldfish (named Elliot!)
    lighting: sunlight
    ferts: none
    feeding: frozen food mix (artemia,bloodword,brine shrimp)

    I have never had such a small volume of water before. What would you guys recommend for water change\maintenance schedule? Bear in mind that unfortunately it probably won't be followed religously.

    I have told her to let me know if she spots any algae anywhere or blackening of the ferns. I will then introduce ferts if need be.

    The guy in MA said that for small setups don't change more than 10% water weekly.

    Does that sound like a good rough plan to start with? ....
     
  2. san-ho-zay

    san-ho-zay Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Otley, UK
    Well done for getting the filter in :)

    When the filter is cycled I think you'd struggle to keep the nitrates down with 10% a week changes. Even small goldfish are messy fish and it will probably hit 3" SL within a year.

    I'd also go for goldfish flake as the main staple with the frozen for variety, plus some veg like cucumber; boiled, shelled peas or lettuce. Bloodworm in particular is very rich food.
     
  3. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    quick reply, and helpful too. Thanks :)

    I am being dense here what is SL? (Silt Level?)

    I presume flake as the staple food is to reduce waste in the tank? Or is it because that is a better balanced food source?
    I'll let her know about putting greens in there as well.

    I was hoping someone would say up the water changes :D
     
  4. san-ho-zay

    san-ho-zay Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Otley, UK
    Sorry. SL - standard length, i.e. nose to base of tail.

    The flake is a mix of things and is a better balance as a staple food. Too much high-protein food isn't good. They'll produce loads of waste either way.

    I've been casually "helping" with a couple of goldfish in a 25 litre for someone's teenage daughter and they grow like mad. My pleas for a bigger tank or find someone with a pond aren't being taken seriously. Goldfish in a small tank put a real strain on the filter and I've had ammonia/nitrite spikes and the fish producing excess slime coat if I've disturbed it. If you aren't keeping the nitrate level down (we are talking about nitrate from the fish via filter here), you aren't keeping other things down like pheromones and dissolved organics which can lead to health problems.

    Short term, bigger water changes will help. It'll soon need a tank. Long term a pond is the best solution.
     
  5. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    That covers all the points nicely, thanks. I am always impressed with the time people take to explain things on this forum :)

    Well I am going to have to tread carefully with my sis. She thinks me insisting on a filter is a little overzealous! I'll keep on at her though ;) ...I'll stress the importance of the water changes and I'll sow the seeds now for the idea of getting a bigger tank when it grows. My mum has a pond (we all live in different houses by the way!), so we can move it there eventually.
     
  6. Egmel

    Egmel Member

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    Is that one of those dire plastic ones with the little coloured surround type hoods? 5 litres is nothing.

    I think the best way to help your sister is to explain that although a bigger tank may seem like more work it'll actually make her job easier since larger tanks are more stable. Goldfish can live to over 10 years old, grow to over a foot long and generally be the most stunning of fish. Show her some photos of easy to maintain tanks with goldfish in and see if that helps.
    Kingyotom.jpg
    march2008a.jpg
    goldfish1.jpg

    Wiki actually states that Rome has banned goldfish bowls because they're an insufficient space to house a goldfish.
     
  7. JamesM

    JamesM Member

    Messages:
    1,913
    Location:
    The BIG End, South Wales
    Or suggest a betta who will be far happier than a goldfish in a small volume of water.
     
  8. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    Wow! What a great link Egmel. A foot long goldfish is an incredible sight, I had no idea it was possible.

    You'll wince when you hear she wanted to buy 2 or 3 goldfish (so they don't get lonely) and remove the filter to make more room for them. Sometimes I think she is just having me on though :twisted:

    Anyways, once the little fella starts growing I expect that she will see sense.

    The betta idea is quite a good one, I'll keep that up my sleeve!

    If she gets attached to the fish I'll fork out for a bigger tank when the time comes.
    If she gets attached to the bowl (it was a present from my mum for her 18th so it means something to her. Mainly that my mum is tight for only buying her an empty goldfish bowl for an 18th birthday present :lol: :lol: :lol: ) I'll let her know about Bettas and put the fish in my mums pond.

    In the meantime I'll just have to make sure the water changes get done and the filter gets cleaned regularly :)
     
  9. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    Without the lid\hood, but the same kind of thing. I am guessing at 5 litres. It may be a bit more, but no more than 7/8litres.

    I will wait until the initial enchantment wears off a little and then intorudce her to those links ;)
     
  10. Fred Dulley

    Fred Dulley Member

    Messages:
    512
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    Ouch.
    If it was me, I would be taking out 25% each day. Ideally I wouldn't have a goldfish (potential size being 12") in a bowl.
    Wouldn't even both with plants or ferts. It's just such a small amount of water.
     
  11. JamesM

    JamesM Member

    Messages:
    1,913
    Location:
    The BIG End, South Wales
    My grandmother, God bless her, had a goldfish called Jaws for over 14 years. It lived quite happily on a windowsill in a 10 litre tank with a weekly 100% water change. No filter or plants. The fish grew to about 9" and could barely turn in his tank, but often managed to jump out in to the washing up bowl, sometimes full of dishes and hot soapy water! :eek: We all loved that fish and it was a sad day when it passed, but I'm sure it would not have had a better or longer life if it lived in a pond or a larger tank. Sometimes things work out like that, but its certainly not the norm.
     
  12. Egmel

    Egmel Member

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    There are bigger ones on a simple google search, 2ft and over! It was just interesting because it was a captive uk one.
    Sounds about right! Though think of how good a few would look in a nice big tank!
    it will still require a filter and water changes though. Saying that some of the fancier goldfish are almost as bad for not requiring too much swimming room!
    True, we had a large goldfish in a 20G for a long time, he tried to jump often but couldn't because of the lid. Generally when the fish got too big for the bowl they went into grandma's pond... all the family fair fish ended up there eventually!
     

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