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Discussion Starter #1
One of my clients is moving to Florida *tonight* so this was an extremely urgent situation!

They had three rather large fantail goldfish that they've had for over a year. The wife gets really attached and she said she'd hate to see them die again, so when she found out they're moving I was their first and only choice to help.

They needed to be re-homed. Seeing that they're rather large fish and it's a Sunday, I'm temporarily keeping them in smaller tanks. They were in a 20 gallon! They're all beautiful!

My sister has one, and I put one in a fish tank out in the living room, but I don't know what to do with the third one. I'm positive we're going to make accommodations for them soon, but we already have other goldfish...

I've asked around for people to take the third one, and they're "not sure" yet...

I'm going to mention this, and I ask that everyone not jump on my case about it; but can I re-home them to a pond? There's a small pond at the dog park and a gentlemen there showed me a school of goldfish- of all kinds, swimming around... I've never before thought to do something like this so I don't know if it'd be appropriate for the guy, if he'd survive well or not... So any ideas on what to do with the last little guy would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

I'll post pictures when I can!
 

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If the pond does not connect to any wild water ways and its ok with whomever runs the park then the goldfish would do fine in a pond. Actually they usually do better in ponds than tanks. Goldfish were origionally pond fish, they are carp after all:)
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks! That's just what I needed to know...

However, late last night after the storms hit here in GA, the couple that gave me the fish called to say that they conveniently "couldn't fit the tank in the truck". : P So I went over and picked up their 20 gallon tank!! For free! They gave me the rocks, plants, river rocks, filtration system, the works! I was so grateful...

I just have to wait to set it up because I'm not sure if we're moving ourselves at the end of the month. : (

I appreciate you replying back Melgrj7, so I know down the road should I get fish I can't take care of. : )

I really want these guys to work with me, I couldn't help the kittens like I wish I could have. : (

::TODAY::


Okay- I've spent the last two hours working on breaking down the 20 gallon they gave me.

I washed all the plants in scalding hot water, and some of them I scrubbed with Vinegar and then rinsed thoroughly.

Then I scrubbed all the large river-rocks with soap, then scrubbed them in cold water and now I'm leaving them soaking in cold water to make sure all the soapy residue is off.

I put all the filtration pieces in the dishwater, they were filthy, and I hope that's alright to do... They were just covered in limescale buildup or something, and so slimy with algae! *Blech!

Then I quadrupled Wal-Mart bags together and scooped out all the pebbles... They had at least 5lbs or more of pebbles! I don't use that much for my fish tanks...

Now I need some serious help- Am I forgetting anything? Is there anything I can do make sure it's all clean?

Secondly- I'm going to PetSmart or PetCo today to try and find some filters.

I really want to set up this tank bad; The black bug-eyed fish is perfectly fine, and the orange one is okay, but the Calico one is becoming lethargic... : ( Speaking of, ever since I've bought my sister that small tank, her fish have died left and right and come down with all kinds of parasites... We have all helped her clean it, several times, and she's not doing anything different then the rest of are doing with ours. I'm beginning to think it's something wrong with the tank itself? Is this possible?
 

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Yikes, I would NOT use anything you put soap on in the fish tank. The stuff you put in the dishwasher I would rinse, rinse and rinse some more in hot water. It also would have been a good idea to keep some of the stuff gunky so you had some good bacteria to start with. Usually if you want to clean aquarium stuff its best to use either vinegar or diluted bleached and then rinse well in hot water. When you set the tank up if you can get a handful of gravel from an established, health tank (been up at least 6 months, health fish) to toss in there that would be good.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I used an all natural soap, and diluted it in the sink before I scrubbed them... And yes, I did leave a few plants and couple rocks a little slimy. But the tank was in very bad shape. It was filthy and disgusting, and I couldn't leave it the way it was- It was as if they never cleaned it- Which I know it's good to have algae and everything as a part of a healthy ecosystem, but still...

I rinsed and soaked everything in hot and cold water quite a few times. I went out and bought new filters of course- The ones they left in the filters made me gag, it's recommended you change them out monthly or shortly there after, but these were gross!

I set it up yesterday and left it filter 24 hours, I know you're supposed to wait 2 days to 2 weeks and sometimes longer, but two of their fish were dying so I rushed the cycling process I guess you'd say, and added the fish early. It took them about 45 minutes before they started snapping out of their funk or whatever it was... I mean, these fish were close to death, they were lethargic, not eating, and barely breathing, I couldn't wait any longer and set the tank up anyway- (If we do wind up moving, I'm screwed.) So... I added the fish, I didn't know what else to do.

However, they're doing wonderful now! They're chasing each other, eating happily, and swimming around like they're supposed to.
 

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A 20g really isn't big enough for 3 large fantails. They should have 15 gallons for one fantail and 10 gallons for each extra fantail. But since they've been in there for a while they should be OK until you can get a bigger tank. It's VERY hard to keep the water quality stable in an overstocked tank, so be sure to do lots of water changes.

Are you experienced in "cycling" a tank at all? Google it if not, because the fish could die in the process if you're not careful. Leaving some of the crud in the gravel would have helped, but every time you tear down a tank it re-cycles, so expect some challenges. Do you have a test kit?

If you can find a pond whose owner is willing to have them, that would be the best situation for them. Although the telescope-eyed fish don't do as well in wild situations.

Have fun with them! I love goldies--they have so much personality.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
They've been in this tank for a year, and I can't do anything else with them except release them into the wild. If they hadn't given the tank to me later that night I would really be in a pickle!

They were given to me, for free, and everyone knows there is no way in hell I could afford a 20 gallon on my own. It wasn't my choice to have three fantails, and it wasn't my choice to have a 20 gallon... But the couple giving them to me couldn't take them with them and they didn't want to see them die... So I felt somewhat obligated to take them because it was such an emergency and they had no time to find anyone else. After having them the last couple days I've decided to keep them... If and when I move, my family has plans on setting up their own tank and taking one of the fantails.

I've done my research and tomorrow I'm having the water tested. I've had 5 and 10 gallon tanks before and they all cycled nicely, so I'm fully aware of the challenges up ahead. The fish were on the verge of death, if I would have waited 2 weeks or longer for the tank to completely cycle they would have died three days in... I took a risk, but it was with good intentions to save the fish.
 

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Yeah, I understand when it comes to unexpected things like that. More water changes are the most important thing. The size of the tank isn't a big deal (as long as it's big enough for the fish to swim), but water quality is a HUGE deal. It's easier to maintain water quality in larger tanks, but it certainly is do-able with a smaller tank if you do enough water changes. Until everything is established, weekly (at least) water testing would be a good idea. If you see ANY nitrites at all, do a big water change immediately. Nitrates are good, ammonia is bad. Nitrites are really bad.

You can get test strips that are reasonably accurate, and they don't cost too much. Liquid tests are better, but more expensive. Don't bother with the Ph tests (goldies aren't terribly sensitive to Ph) or water hardness tests----ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites are the important things to monitor.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks. I wasn't able to get the water tested in the last two days. (My vehicle has no gas, I'm in need of a bad oil change and my checks have yet to clear.) (Sounds like I have an excuse for everything...) But I'll get this done.

The fish are still doing wonderful, eating normally again, and nearly all day they're all swimming around playing/chasing/tormenting each other, lol! They're finally getting used to the overhead light, when I first started using it they'd freak out so bad it looked as if they were having a seizure... So now during the day, when the living room is at it's brightest I turn the light on, they don't "seizure" any more and within a couple minutes they all come out of hiding and start swimming. Then I turn it off, and later in the evening when it's starting to get dark I turn the light back on and they show no effect either way.

I don't believe their previous owners ever used the light... I used to have my fish trained by the light, they all knew when the light came on they got food! lol!
 

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Thank you for rescuing these guys and finding suitable homes for them! :)

As for the pond, they'd probably do well in it from what you described, but just so you know- some states have very strict laws against releasing any kind of animal that was once kept as a pet into a public area or pond. The reason I know this is because of some slider turtles that I rescued and thought about releasing into a lake. This was in Tennessee. I think these laws are in place to preserve the food chain of these areas, as well as making sure new disease/parasites are not introduced in these wildlife areas.

Best wishes!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, as it turns out, I was talking with a gentlemen at the dog park that I'm friends with, and mentioned the fish.

I mentioned that they're all doing wonderful, and I was planning on keeping them, however the two small guys would need a home... He sweet-talked me into taking all the fish off my hands... He has a couple ponds in his back yard, and a few tanks in his home. We talked it over, and I decided that the fish do need a bigger home. It's a 20 gallon tank, and although the fish have been in that tank a year and are doing wonderful, I just think they'd do even better in his care.

He's turned it into a hobby/job after he retired... He has four tanks in his home, two ponds in his yard. One of the tanks in his home is 75 gallons or close too, it's huge in comparison to the 20 gallon I have!! There are only two smaller fish in there right now, as far as I can gather, the fish in his home are isolated for one reason or another from the ponds outside... He put the black fish, (the bug-eyed guy) in there permanently, and the other fish were isolated in another tank until he can be sure they're in tip-top-shape then he'll transfer them into his pond.

I asked him how high the "death-rate" is for his fish and he laughed and said he doesn't really have a "death-rate"... This guys isn't like, bomb-barded with fish, and he doesn't appear to be breeding the fish... but he takes amazing care of them! lol!

So... I no longer have the guys in my care, but the gentlemen said I'm welcome to come visit them whenever I want!
 

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Yay! It really is best for them to be in a managed pond. My friend gave me her VERY large goldfish when she moved, and I had to keep him in a 10g for a while until I found a guy with a pond to take him. I'm sure he's much happier now, although I haven't kept in touch. I'd love to have a pond, but the upkeep is daunting.
 
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