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Goldfish Care
How do I care for my beautiful goldfish, do you ask? Well, let me explain (this set-up is intended for comets and common goldfish, though I did make a note in it of how many Fancy Goldfish this can hold)!:

Suppiles Needed:

60 Gallon Tank w/ Hood & Stand(This may house 2 Common or Comet Goldfish or 3 Fancy Goldfish; and don't forget to get the recommended light bulbs!)

5-Inch & 10-Inch Net (Those goldfish are going to grow HUGE!)

Water Conditioner

Filter w/ Extra Cartiridges

10 Inch Airstone w/ recommended Air Pump

25 Feet of Air Line Tubing (Always make sure you have some extra lying around)

Gravel Vaccum Cleaner (No, not a vaccum cleaner, a gravel cleaner you find in FISH stores!)

40-50 Pounds of gravel (Too much gravel in a goldie tank makes it harder to clean)

6-10 Soft, Fake, Plants

Power Strip

pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, & Nitrate Test Kit

1 Aquarium Theromometer

Ok, still with me? How was that vacation of yours at the fish store? Dandy? Ok, here's what you need to do:
1. Find a spot not near a window, draft, or busy kitchen. Place the stand there, but make sure there's space for the wall "stand".

2. Wash out the tank with WATER, and scrub with a towel. You might as well get soap-free sponges at the store for this purpose. Then, wash off all decorations and wash the gravel with a net-WITHOUT SOAP. Scrub well again with that "tank" sponge or towel. Place the aquarium on the stand.

3. Pour gravel in to 2-3 inches in the back, to about 1-2 inches in the front. Place your clean *soap-free* plants in the tank. Cover the bases with gravel (this is where you can be artful). Remember, goldfish will eat live plants, and unless your experienced, I, personally, wouldn't try putting live plants in with them.

4. Next, after you have cleaned it with WATER fill your bucket with water. Place a clean paper plate on top of the gravel. Slowly pour the water on top of the paper plate. Repeat this [you can stick with the same plate, no worries] until the tank is full 1-inch below the brim.

5. Then, carefully wash the filter parts, and a cartiridge. Assemble following the directions that come with the filter. Hang on aquarium after your have messured were the filter space on the hood lays, to make sure the hood won't be resting on it (some hoods have blocks that you have to knock out for the filter, airstone, etc.).

6. Assemble airstone by washing the airstone, then connecting it to the air line, and then connect the other side of the airline to the part of the airpump that has that little round tube-like thing. Nail wall "stand" behind aquarium. Place air pump on the wall "stand". Place airstone in aquarium.

7. Place hood on aqaurium.

8. Plug in the air pump, light hood, and filter to the power strip. Switch the "off" button on it, and plug the power strip into the wall. When you have caught your breath, switch the on switch and pour water from your bucket into the filter to prime it. Go to my article of fish cycling to find out what to do next.

The Fish
First off, while you are cycling your aquarium, you must research a reputable dealer, poissbly even a breeder. Also, do not buy from a chain store, if your local one doesn't have the following. When you go to check out the fish store, make sure it has:
1. Clean tanks, with no debris flying around.

2. The fish swim upright, their scales are shiney, and there are NO dead fish in the tanks (this goes for all fish). If the tanks have more then 2 dead fish in the tanks, walk out oh the store ASAP, and find another place.

3. Look at the goldfish, note their behavior, size, and price. Are the goldfish overcrowed? Is there a flow of air coming in? How small/big are they? Most good stores will have Comet Goldfish and Common Goldfish for a cheaper price. Ask the staff if these fish are intended to be feeders. If so, ask if they have any "pet" goldfish. Otherwise, if the feeders look healthy, and describe #1 and #2, this may be a good place to purchase your finned friends.

4. The staff are helpful, knowledgable, and friendly.

After the cycling is finished, go to the store you've chosen, following the pointers above. Look carefully at the goldfish and look for one with shiney scales, one that swims upright, and one that appears to have no white, cotton growth on its body. When you find this fish, even if it takes another week, be ready to bring it home to it's new aquarium. Remember, you are looking for comets and common goldfish, NOT fancy goldfish (unless you have decided upon fancy goldfish). Once you have picked out the fish, ask a staff member to come net and bag it for you. Once they have netted and bag the fish, ask any questions you may have (but get a second opinion on an online forum to make sure). After your have payed for the fish, and your getting in your car, make sure you but the bag in a secure area, where it won't fall over.

When you get home, carefully open the lid on the hood, and float the bag. Float the bag for 15 minutes, then carefully open the bag and add a little of the aquarium water to it, and twist it shut. Wait another 5 minutes. Then, re-open the bag, and slowly lower the top down in the water, and let the fish swim out. After 1 week, gravel vaccum the tank, and replace 15% of the water. Then, test your water following the directions on the test kit. Happy Fish Keeping!

Feed the fish once a day. Older fish, over 6 years old you may feed every other day. To know your fish's age, you must know that a goldfish under a year old will be grey in coloring. Then, how many years you have had with the goldfish, plus 1 year (if the fish isn't grey), should determine the age of your goldfish.

Gravel vaccum your tank out once a week, and replace 25% of the water (don't forget water conditioner!)

Test the water once a week, to make sure it stays in the safe range (noted in directions of test kit). If not, contact your dealer and online forum ASAP to figure out the problem.

If your fish appear sick, change 15% of the water. Contact your dealer and online forum (it may be helpful to join a local aquarium society, also).

For Tropical Fish, use the same setup, except put in a heater (they can usually have smaller tanks- check the fish profiles for some good fish.)

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