Need advice on getting a Goldfish

Karl

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#1
Well, it's my middle son's 6th Birthday on Sunday. We have decided to get him a pet goldfish or two.

Now, in our heads it was - buy a tank, buy a fish. Boom.

No. I've been reading up on having to get a tank cycle the water, and shit before I get the fish.

So I am now in a panic. I've got until Sunday to get this shit off the ground... so what can I do?

I know I need the following, and I've been reading guides and stuff... but is there anyone here experienced with fish tanks that can offer advice to save me having to go to Pets at Home and speak to someone (gonna cost me in fuel which I could do without).

Tank
Filter
Water Treatment
Gravel
Decorations
Back/Side walls (decoration)
Water test kit
Food
Fish!

The plan is to buy it all today except the fish, and then buy the fish on Saturday evening, introduce them to the tank etc (I know about this bit), and then they will be ready for when we pick him up on Sunday afternoon.

I have a budget of £50 - HELP!
 

Brendan1969

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#2
Karl, you aint gonna get much my friend for your £50 TBH. I keep goldfish in a small pond kit in the garden. The entire thing cost me £250 and the fish love it in there. We clean the pump every other day too as it does get clogged albeit they have all now gone to bed for winter months and usually reside down the bottom and only ever pop up for air if its a nice sunny day. We seldom drop a bit of food in there now also as they will eat off the sides and bottom. We started with 10 goldies. Jaws has grown and is king of the pond. LOL. The others just follow him/her around.

Best thing is to go to your local garden centre/aquarium and seek their best advice on the matter. You can get a decent bowl nowadays and have a 2 in there for company and sit it in your lads room away from a cat if you have one also and he can look at them and feed them ( not too much ) and simply clean out the bowl every couple of weeks.

All he will need is an old plastic butter tub to put them in to with some of there bowl water while he cleans out the bowl and then put them back in there.

Speak to the experts
 

Karl

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#3
Well I've found a little 12l tank that comes with a backdrop, gravel and a filter for £15. I've also found some decorations that he'd like on a 3 for 2 offer for £14. So at the moment I'm at £29. With some Tap Safe water treatment and food that comes to £35.50. So now I just need some plants and a couple of fish once the tank is settled.

We don't want to go spending a fortune because if the kids lose interest or don't want them (he's not asked for fish, we just thought he might like it). If we can get it all done and set up for £50 I'll be a happy man, it's more just the timeframe I'm now working with.
 

freshandminty

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#4
That starter kit should be all you need - like you say it's just a timescale thing - set it up with the water in and tap safe added today - start and keep the filter running the whole time and then instead of buying the fish and putting them in saturday take him to the fish place on sunday afternoon and he can choose his own - that buys another 24 hours.
 

RobP

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#5
Used to have tank with tropical fish in and that was hard work! So many different things had to be right for them to live.
One thing is for sure pets at home will not let you buy fish at the same time as buying a tank etc, as the water needs time to be set up. So def getthe tank etc in advance.
Pretty sure there are additives you add to the water these days, leave it a while (I think a week is recommended but you might get away with less) and you should be good to go.
Gold fish are pretty easy to keep usually, and fairly low maintenance, but you don't want an upset son if anything happens to it.
 

Karl

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#7
That starter kit should be all you need - like you say it's just a timescale thing - set it up with the water in and tap safe added today - start and keep the filter running the whole time and then instead of buying the fish and putting them in saturday take him to the fish place on sunday afternoon and he can choose his own - that buys another 24 hours.
I can't do that because my stupid bitch of an ex wife is only "allowing" me to see him on Sunday when it suits her... IF it suits her. I don't even know for sure if I'm going to get them. But it might be later on in the afternoon that we get him, and then it will be shut, so he'll have an empty fish tank for his birthday. I can't do that, need to get the tank all set up ready for him so I can wrap it (just before he comes over so they aren't plunged into darkness for too long).

One thing is for sure pets at home will not let you buy fish at the same time as buying a tank etc, as the water needs time to be set up. So def getthe tank etc in advance.
Pretty sure there are additives you add to the water these days, leave it a while (I think a week is recommended but you might get away with less) and you should be good to go.
Gold fish are pretty easy to keep usually, and fairly low maintenance, but you don't want an upset son if anything happens to it.
Yeah, I figured that out, which is why I'm going to get it all set up tonight. I've just found out there is actually a pets at home in Hartlepool, so I will be going after work. I thought I'd have to travel further a field to get to one, didn't know there was one near my house!. The easy look after / low maintenance is why we thought it would be a good idea. If he, and the other boys, all like the fish, then we can look to upgrade later down the line to a bigger tank with more difficult fish to keep.

Mate buy a bowl, some gravel and steal a fish or two from a relatives pond and jobs a good'un ours have lasted ages. We named ours one and two, one died just before Xmas but it's OK as we still have two left.
I don't have any relatives or friends to steal fish from :joy:
 

Brendan1969

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#8
I can't do that because my stupid bitch of an ex wife is only "allowing" me to see him on Sunday when it suits her... IF it suits her. I don't even know for sure if I'm going to get them. But it might be later on in the afternoon that we get him, and then it will be shut, so he'll have an empty fish tank for his birthday. I can't do that, need to get the tank all set up ready for him so I can wrap it (just before he comes over so they aren't plunged into darkness for too long).



Yeah, I figured that out, which is why I'm going to get it all set up tonight. I've just found out there is actually a pets at home in Hartlepool, so I will be going after work. I thought I'd have to travel further a field to get to one, didn't know there was one near my house!. The easy look after / low maintenance is why we thought it would be a good idea. If he, and the other boys, all like the fish, then we can look to upgrade later down the line to a bigger tank with more difficult fish to keep.



I don't have any relatives or friends to steal fish from :joy:
You could always get a big tank or box to put the ex in mate!!! LOL
 

freshandminty

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#10
I can't do that because my stupid bitch of an ex wife is only "allowing" me to see him on Sunday when it suits her... IF it suits her. I don't even know for sure if I'm going to get them. But it might be later on in the afternoon that we get him, and then it will be shut, so he'll have an empty fish tank for his birthday. I can't do that, need to get the tank all set up ready for him so I can wrap it (just before he comes over so they aren't plunged into darkness for too long).
The other option is to see whether they can fill a container with water from a spare tank for you that will have already gone through cycles so it's fish-ready. Local independent aquatic places are more likely to help you out with that than a chain though to be honest.
 

Seven

The Engineer
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E50 Owner
#11
I've kept fish before. £50 ain't going to get you shit and don't talk to Pets at Home they're useless.

A decently sized tank (unless you get one second hand like I did for my bigger topical fish tank) will cost you around £100 with the filter. You'll need gravel, a couple tall decorative plants to give the fish something to hide around and then a decent test kit that has everything you might need. Mine was a API Freshwater Master Test Kit. I use Tetra water treatment.

A Goldfish will typically grow to the size of the tank, however I'd always recommend 50L+ to anyone. You get a couple goldfish, they need to space to swim. I see fish in a bowl and I think it's cruel. Even my 30L half-hex tank I thought was too small for 6 fish and I was changing the water every week. The larger your tank, the less you'll have to maintain it and the happier the fish will be. Also with more water, the chemicals are less likely to spike as quickly and will be overall more stable. Plus if you start liking it you can add more comfortably.

Tank cycling, this can take up to 6 weeks after you fill the tank with treated tap water and all the chemicals start to leave the substrate, decorations, etc. Add some household ammonia (only a couple ml) to simulate fish and get the bacteria going then after a week do a 50% water change and you should be good to introduce a goldfish if everything tests OK. Goldfish are pretty hardy and easy to take care of however in the first 2 months of the tank being set up, use the test kit to test the water every other day - in a new tank bacteria can quickly get out of control.

fishkeeping.co.uk is who I turned to when I first started keeping Tropical fish. Very useful folk who know their shit. A lot of them have multiple tanks and been doing it for longer than I am old. :)
 

Karl

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#12
@Seven - you miss the point. I have £50. That's it. If that means no fish, then I'll spend it on toys lol. I just wanted to get him something that he'll be able to enjoy for longer. And gives him something more to look forward to when he comes over other than playing Rayman on the PS4.

I understand that a decent set up is going to cost a lot, and it is something I've wanted for a while, but at the moment, I'm doing everything on a budget, so I am hoping a small fish tank will be possible.

I will upgrade the tank, the filter and everything else in it before the year is out, this is literally just to get the ball rolling and needs to be done before Sunday.
 

Seven

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#15
I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm saying it's an animal's life and your life. A 12L tank is no better than the 30L it sits in at the pet store and you'll be cleaning it every week with a 2/3 water change. After a while it becomes another chore, half an hour a time, every week. I don't like doing chores anyway so I got a bigger tank that takes a month to need cleaning.

Not had any stock in about a year now, might try get my own tank up and running again rather than sitting empty. :(
 

Madfish

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#16
I've a large 4 foot bowed front tank that we kept our Chinese turtle in... Not sure if I should go back to tropical or not... Had some great tanks in the past....

Nit sure I can be bothered now though