Aquarium tips for complete amateurs?

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notdavid

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My partner and I won a few goldfish from the local fair last night, and we're starting to get a little emotionally attached to the little bastards. Like, we named them and stuff. I'm aware of the stigma of carnival fish, i.e. them dying almost instantly. Carnies aren't always the best fishkeepers, and their immune systems are pretty much shot from stress.

We're fully committed to nursing these suckers back to health, and eventually starting up a fish tank with some other little buddies for them. We're picking up a used 10 gallon from a friend tonight, along with gravel, a filter, and de-chlorination stuff. Until then, our fishy friends are hanging out in a bowl covered by a net so they don't jump.

My problem: Every article I've been reading online recommends having an aquarium running for at least a week before you add fish, and now that we already HAVE the fish, we're kind of on a time limit. Does anyone here have experience taking care of carnival fish, or hastily putting together a working aquarium that can provide a nice home in less than a day?

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notdavid

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Gilda, Fitzpatrick, and Jerome
Gilda, Fitzpatrick, and Jerome

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isomeri

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#3  Edited By isomeri

Aquariums can be beautiful and cool, but most I've seen, including mine, end up in a really depressing dilapidated state.

The tip about having your aquarium running for a week or so without fish is a sound one. You need to clear out all the small particles that get into the water, even when you carefully wash the sand and stuff before putting it in. That being said, even an aquarium in a bad state is likely to give your fish more comfort than some random vase.

EDIT: Oh and about plants. Buy plenty of plants, because without oxygen your fish will have a hard and short life and your aquarium will look like some random sewer. And make sure to clean out algae as soon as it pops up.

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456nto

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If you're going to start an aquarium, either make it exclusively for goldfish or don't have any. Goldfish tend to get attacked by other species and they are used to colder water than your average fish. They have sensitive scales and other fish tend to nip them. Goldfish can also grow pretty large and they eat everything, so plan ahead and get a decent sized tank. Another reason to get a larger tank is because goldfish pollute the water very fast and if they're all bunched up they will die quickly.

I think other common fish only require to be fed every 3 days so their metabolism builds up (they also get nutrients from any plants or bacteria kicking around in the aquarium with them). Goldfish seem to eat way more than your average fish though. If there's excess food lying around, scoop it out before it rots.

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MonkeyKing1969

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I think the advice above is fine:
- Just keep goldfish
- Dont over feed
- Clean the tank

But, the best advice is DON'T GET OVER YOUR HEAD.

If you want to add ornamentation on the cheap most people think "I'll use rocks I find outside!" You can but that is a lot of work to clean! If you want cheap and fast ornamentation go to a Goodwill or Salvation Army and buy colored glass cups, vaises, jugs, etc. NOT CERAMIC! NOT CRYSTAL! Just glass! Glass is easy & fast to clean, is non-porous, and if often interestingly geometric. The nice thing about glass is when it is time to deep clean the tank, taking it out and cleaning is EASY! It easier to clean glass of alege and goop, than it is from plastic plants or the plastic sunken treasure chest.