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December 9, 2012
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Goldfish question?

:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I don't know if any of you can help me (or if this is the right forum even) but I'll give it a go anyway. So for almost a year I have had 5 goldfish in a bowl. Now don't jump down my throat about the bowl thing, first read the facts:

The bowl is VERY big (well for a fish bowl it is), its diameter is a bit over a foot, it's around 35-40 centimetres in diameter, and my five goldfish (they arent huge fish) have stacks of room and are by no means crowded or anything like that. I have had these five fish living in there for almost a year and they seem to be in perfect health and happiness, no issues at all. BUT. when I was in my old bedroom, they would occasionally peck/gulp at the waters surface, I have no idea why. It would even keep me awake at night sometimes with the splashy gully noises it would make. But ever since I have moved into my new room about a month ago, they seem to be doing it constantly, during the day and almost every night. I even have to sleep with earplugs in to block out their noise. Now the noise and sleep issue is not the problem, I rather like sleeping with earplugs in. I just want to know why they are doing it, what is the issue here? I will do/buy anything for my goldfish, their health and happiness is all I care about, I love my fish so much!

So can anyone tell me what the issue could be? And what I can do or get to help?
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Devious Comments

:iconsleepingsnowwhite:
SleepingSnowWhite Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
a filter would help... and plants
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I am excited to say that I am getting my tank very soon!
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:iconsleepingsnowwhite:
SleepingSnowWhite Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
yah!!! I think you fish will be fine though. We got that sometimes at my old job-- i worked at petsmart :P
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:iconkuhwin:
KUHwin Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Student
That bowl is DEFINITELY not enough space. If you have five goldfish, it would be better to have a 30 gallon tank, and even that may still be too small. Goldfish grow to be really big and can live for yeeaaars.
If their going to the top of the water, that means they need more air in their water. You should purchase a sponge filter of some kind or a bubble curtain to add oxygen into the water.

You really should have researched them before you bought that many goldfish. :( If you are really serious in taking proper care of these goldfish, you are going to have to spend a lot more money. If you have any questions I can see what I can help you out with!
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Roughly how many litres is 30 gallon? I am hopeless at maths conversions :D
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:iconkuhwin:
KUHwin Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Student
It's about 114 liters. I just used google. xD haha! I never really memorized conversions. ^^;
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Haha thanks :) at least I'm not the only one!
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:icondancingintwilight:
DancingInTwilight Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Student General Artist
they are probably bored. thats a guess. I had fish jump out when i moved them into an area with more fish. i dunno why :? maybe they need space? like separate bowls?
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:iconmercury-crowe:
Mercury-Crowe Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
Fish usually sip air when they don't have enough oxygen in the water.

Try live plants or a bubbler.

You can get the supplies for a a bubbler here: [link] you basically just need tubing and an air pump.
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:iconblubjee:
Blubjee Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Five goldfish in a bowl.. Goldfish can grow very big. Even the fancy ones can get to 25+cm if kept properly (although it depends on the species, some stay a tad smaller, but still get very big). They don't belong in a bowl.
It's probably a good idea to save up for a big tank or bring the fish to a pond. (I'm not sure where you live, if it's really cold you have to wait until spring).

Do you have a filter in your bowl? If not, buy a filter in a pet store. In the filter bacteria lives that convert the waste of the fish (ammonia) to nitrate. Plants absorb nitrate.
If your filter doesn't fit in a bowl, go buy a watertight plastic box. Like these: [link]
They are pretty cheap and it'll give your fish much more space. :)

In my goldfish tank, I measure a minimum of 50 liters (about 13 gallon) per fish. That seems much for a small fish, but small fish need space to grow. Also, goldfish produce a lot of waste and that's why they need so much space.
Another thing is that goldfish produce 'growth hormone'. When they grow, they produce growth hormones, and it will build up in the water. When there's too much of this hormone in the water, the fish will stunt. That means that the body of the fish stops growing, but their fins, eyes and organs keep growing. That way, stunting can cause very serious damage to the fish.

For now on, do a 50% water change every day. Make sure that the water is the same temperature as the water in the tank (goldfish don't like temperature changes). That can already help a lot.

Here are some sites that can help you:
[link] Goldfish and Aquarium Board. A lot of articles about how to keep goldfish the proper way, diseases and more stuff.
[link] Kokosgoldfish, a forum about goldfish. It's very informative, and there's a lot of information too.
[link] A very informative site.

I hope I've helped you with this and your goldfish get happy and healthy :)
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:iconstaple-salad:
staple-salad Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
Also, I second the plant idea. Though, in my experience, the fish mostly just like them for a treat. Ask at your local pet shop (preferably find a fish specialist shop) to find the right plants for goldfish. But that's another way to protect them and get some more oxygen in the water.

And definitely, since I saw you were saving for a bigger tank, try to find something that will blow bubbles or similar into the water.
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Yep, the bubble blower was a must have item, I'm not buying a tank unless it has one included.
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:iconstaple-salad:
staple-salad Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
You don't need to get an attached one really. I'd almost be hesitant to suggest it since a lot of things that are combined into one means that one part fails = replace everything, or at best, you end up stuck with something broken and then a replacement right next to it (like my combo TV/DVD player sitting on top of a DVD player).

My goldfish lived in a pretty basic rectangular tank if it's of any help. It wasn't very different from this [link] (we even bought the background sticker to put on it to make it feel more homey).
The filter we had was almost identical to this one: [link]
It just perches on the side and has a carbon filter and sponge that go in it.
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Thanks so much for giving me great advice! The part about all things being in one and breaking is very true, my mum has said things like that in the past on many occasions, great minds think alike! Haha
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:iconstaple-salad:
staple-salad Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
I suggest a tank for the fish. While I don't think it's your intent, a bowl just isn't that great for goldfish (not trying to get on you about it or anything). I had 2 fish in a tank, not sure what size it was but it was 10 or 20 galons. We had a water filter for them too, which is nice because it oxygenates the water AND helps keep it clean. They cost about $100 and the filter packs need to be changed regularly, it's not super cheap, but it's definitely worth it if you care about your fish.

We also had this nifty fish vacuum that made cleaning the tank a lot easier since you didn't have to scoop out the fish, just use the water itself to "vacuum" the gravel.

Anyways, I won fish vouchers at a school fair when I was in 1st grade, and we exchanged them for $0.25 feeder goldfish. They died when I was a sophomore in high school, the first of cancer, the second of loneliness.

But they gulped all the time. It's pretty normal for fish. But I would suggest a bigger tank and a filter since that way you know the water has enough oxygen in it. It really has to have some source of movement.

I'm not a fish expert, but that's what we did and they lived a good while so I figure we did something right. =P They also got lots of love and let me pet them occasionally.
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I had one of those vacuum things for our turtle, they are very handy items! It broke so I must replace it. I am looking into tanks, there are so many to choose from varying in size, quality and price, it's such a hard decision!
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:iconstaple-salad:
staple-salad Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
You really don't need to go very fancy for goldfish. They aren't as high matinence as salt water fish, as my dad always told me "they're carp! They are hearty!" Really you just need a basic tank that holds enough water fort he fish, and a filter.

I've found that the more complex a thing you get your pets, the more dangerous it becomes. My gerbils lived most of their lives in a fish tank (minus the water) and were very happy. The times we tried to get them a fancy rodent cage (with the paths and multiple rooms, etc) they'd end up really hurting themselves (my first gerbil, who lived a long life and loved me very much, skinned her tail to the bone on the very tip; she lived a couple years after that so it wasn't grave and she healed very, very well, but it wasn't exactly fun for her or us).
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I agree with you, the more fancy and complex you go, the more risk and room for error.
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:icondivine--apathia:
divine--apathia Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
The ratio for small goldfish to water should be 20 gallons for the first two fish, and an extra ten gallons for each fish. this means that:
1 goldfish = 20 gallons
2 goldfish = 20 gallons
3 goldfish = 30 gallons

You have to have good filter too.


The reason why you need a very good filter and so much water is because of three reasons:
1. Most importantly, goldfish are a type carp. Carp are dirty fish. If you have them in little amounts of water, without a filter, the waste products in the water will get too high, and it will make your fish sick, and eventually die.

2. Goldfish can grow very large. Fish produce a hormone that goes into the water. When there is not enough water, this hormone builds up and stops them from growing. However, when fish are exposed to high levels of this hormone for long periods of time, your fish can get sick and die.

3. It's much easier to look after tanks between 20 gallons -100 gallons. Tanks smaller than that are hard to look after, because things go wrong with the water more. (pet stores push small bowls and tanks because they know that
smaller = cheaper to buy = more people will buy = more profit


Also, you should never have a bowl, because it reduces the amount of oxygen ( bowl = less surface area = less oxygen)
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the advice :)
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:icondivine--apathia:
divine--apathia Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
No worries. You can find all this information and similar stuff online. There are many forums dedicated for fish.

Websites/forums run by fish lovers are the best place to get advice, because companies etc don't care about fish, they care about profit.
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Yeah, I have been on tonnes of sites :) thanks!
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:iconsteampunk-desperado:
Steampunk-Desperado Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
For 5 goldfish, a bowl that's only about a foot wide ISN'T much space at all. Just because they aren't gill to gill doesn't mean that they have enough space. Maybe you should have researched goldfish more before buying 5 of them.
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
To start with, if you had read this properly you would have read that it is OVER a foot wide. And secondly "maybe you should have researched goldfish more before buying five of them", seriously, your making it sound like I have ten or twenty fish, I have FIVE. Five. That's not a ridiculous irresponsible amount for a bowl that is over a foot in diameter. Maybe you need to do the research.
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:iconsteampunk-desperado:
Steampunk-Desperado Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
OVER a foot wide, you say? We got us a bad ass over here! :lol: Seriously, just saying "over a foot" still doesn't mean they have enough room, you dumbass. Clearly I know more about fish than you do if I already know that putting 5 in something "over a foot wide" is insufficient. If they had everything they needed, they wouldn't be having problems. Goldish by nature need a lot of space, meaning they also need plenty of oxygen. When they have more than themselves to take into consideration, oxygen becomes a limited resource. I think you would be better off giving them to someone more responsible. :no:
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Yeah, I re-stated the 'over a foot wide' because in your comment you clearly wrote something along the lines of 'barely a foot wide', which is incorrect facts on your behalf, try reading properly in the first place and we would have saved ourselves this argument. And considering that they have lived in this environment for almost a year without and casualties, then that would suggest that whatever the issue is, it clearly isn't EXTREMELY life threatening otherwise they would all be dead by now. Oh and I am a responsible person, the fact that I actually posted a thread in this forum seeking help and advice should be enough to show that I care about my pets. I came here looking for useful help, not unhelpful opinion of a fool like you.
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:iconsteampunk-desperado:
Steampunk-Desperado Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
If you're going to lie about what I said, at least try not to be so obvious about it. I said a foot wide, nothing more nothing less. :unimpressed:
If a fish is growing, it is going to need more oxygen. Saying it has been okay for a year doesn't mean that it is going to be sufficient for their entire lives.

Not to mention, if you want help you should go to a pet website, not the forums of dA. So no, you don't look responsible. No matter how proud of yourself you think you should be. You're just mad because I'm right.
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Your exact words: "only about a foot wide". Still incorrect no matter what you think you said or what you may have intended to say. I have been to dozens of other websites and things, what's wrong with also making use of this forum? That's what it's here for idiot. "You're just mad because I'm right". Seriously, you actually think your all that? Get over yourself mate, your opinions don't make your right, they just make you an individual. An individual with a head and ego the size of Jupiter. Time to get off your high horse.
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:iconsteampunk-desperado:
Steampunk-Desperado Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
Still doesn't change the fact that your fish could be dying from your stupidity. Try giving them more space, that's a good start.
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Oh good, you have pulled your head out your ass and actually said something useful. Yes I am saving for a big tank.
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(1 Reply)
:iconscdragonlady:
SCDragonLady Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think the water might not have enough oxygen in it, so they come to the water near the surface, which contains more of it. Do you have one of those machines that blows air bubbles in the water? (I forget what they're called right now, typical.) I'm not an expert, so I may be wrong, but if you don't have one of those, that might be what is happening.
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
No I don't have one of them, what causes lack of oxygen in the water then?
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:iconscdragonlady:
SCDragonLady Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm not completely sure, I am definitely no expert. :lol:
The surface area of the water exposed to the air effects the amount of oxygen that can diffuse into the water. So if the surface area exposed to the air is low, it could reduce the oxygen content...
However, they seem to have been doing mostly fine before the room change, maybe something about the room is doing it. :shrug:
Another reason could be overcrowding, not enough water for each fish = not enough oxygen. But I don't know how much space goldfish need, sorry.

I know I'm not being very helpful, but maybe it could lead to a solution.
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Your being incredibly helpful, thankyou very much! :) I did paint the room, but that was before the fish were moved in, so the fumes had died down quite a bit before they were in, and the fumes are well and truly gone now, maybe that could still have somehow done something? I don't know either, I'm no expert haha :D
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:iconscdragonlady:
SCDragonLady Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Maybe, I don't know. Not a problem. :)
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:iconthisismyboat:
thisismyboat Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Every fish is pulling oxygen out of the water for its own lungs. They're all competing for a limited resource. It's like having five friends share one large pizza. Everyone's getting a share, but no one's really satisfied.
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
That's a good way of putting it, thanks for helping me understand better :)
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:iconthisismyboat:
thisismyboat Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I can't tell you for sure, but my guess is they're trying to get more oxygen. Have you considered throwing some plants or a filter into the bowl?
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I haven't been able to find a filter that fits a bowl :(
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:iconthisismyboat:
thisismyboat Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
So throw some plants in. Not as effective, but it does help. Also, get a bigger bowl. Five fish is a lot of competition for such a small space.
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:iconhametsunocharge:
HametsuNoCharge Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Maybe get a tank, or a separate bowl for two of your fish. It could be they're simply at the poitn where a singel bowl is not enough room for five of them anymore.
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I am saving for a tank, I want to get a really big one, so I'm gonna have to save for awhile haha
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:iconhametsunocharge:
HametsuNoCharge Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah I see

good luck then :)
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Thanks! :)
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:iconhametsunocharge:
HametsuNoCharge Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
you're welcome :)
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:iconcody-h:
Cody-H Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Photographer
I would just (call or go to) ask a expert, I don't know much about fish, sorry.
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:icontribalchick101:
Tribalchick101 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
That's okay, thankyou for the idea :)
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:iconcody-h:
Cody-H Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Photographer
No problem. ^^
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