Goldfish have long been considered very unpretentious, and in the literature indicated that their content does not cause any special difficulties. Is it so? Only partly, especially now, taking into account the peculiarities of the content of fish from Southeast Asia. We can say this: the maintenance of goldfish will not cause difficulties in fulfilling a number of conditions: a spacious aquarium, a moderate population density, the presence of a powerful filtration system and aeration combined with regular partial water changes.
What is contained in the word "content"? This term hides a set of actions that can be conventionally classified as follows.
1. Arrangement of an aquarium and its settlement with fish.
3. Regular care for the aquarium and disease prevention.
So, you have become the happy owner of an aquarium with a capacity of at least 100 liters (why not less. read below) and want to start a goldfish.
We define for a start with the ground. A 3-5 mm fraction is considered a good soil for an aquarium, however, it should be noted that goldfish love to pick this fraction and, under certain conditions, the pebble can get stuck in their mouth, therefore some aquarists recommend a larger fraction, or, conversely, smaller. But it is not worth much to dwell on it, this happens quite rarely; just make sure that the stones do not have rough or sharp edges. In extreme cases, you will have to save the unfortunate creation with tweezers or a toothpick.
5.1.2 Aquarium equipment
1) Internal filter. Goldfish are distinguished by rather large mud formation both in connection with their physiology and due to their love for digging in the ground. Therefore, a good internal filter for mechanical cleaning in an aquarium seems necessary. Requires regular cleaning (washing in aquarium water during changes).
2) External filter. It helps to organize biofiltration in an aquarium, especially when using special fillers, a rather useful, although not absolutely necessary device. Indispensable when there is a desire to save space in the aquarium. A big advantage is also that it requires cleaning much less frequently than an internal filter.
Since many manufacturers specify the nameplate capacity of the filters without fillers, and over time, as they become more contaminated, it is recommended to purchase filters, both internal and external, based on the performance of 3-4 volumes of the aquarium per hour.
Be sure to recall that the filters should work around the clock.
3) Heater. Golden. cold-water fish, however, it was noticed that they do not always feel comfortable at a temperature of 18-20 degrees. This is especially true of local breeding fish grown in aquariums. In addition, fish such as telescopes, ranches, lionheads are considered more thermophilic. You can keep the temperature at the level of 22-25 degrees, choose according to the state of health of your pets, but note that the increased temperature causes accelerated aging of the fish.
4) Compressor. It is also quite a useful acquisition, since gold needs a sufficiently high oxygen content in the water. Even if the internal filter in the aeration mode copes with its task, it is useful to keep a spare compressor just in case. If the compressor noise is annoying (for example, an aquarium is installed in the bedroom), you can find low-noise compressors for sale (they are quite expensive), or install a submersible aerator (in this case, the air diffuser and rotor are enclosed in a single housing that is installed at the bottom of the aquarium, the air intake is carried out on the hose taken out of the aquarium.
5) Siphon. the mandatory purchase of each aquarist. Necessary with regular cleaning of the soil.
6) Ultraviolet water sterilizer. Until recently, it was used most often in quarantine bases and in fish farms. The device is not mandatory. But many install it in aquariums for reinsurance if they are dealing with imported fish, or the aquarium is densely populated. Ultraviolet radiation kills during a given period of time the majority of parasites and pathogenic bacteria, thereby preventing the spread of infection (when it occurs) in the aquarium; In addition, it easily copes with lower algae, causing water to "bloom".
Plant or not plant live plants in an aquarium with goldfish? Definitely: plant! The presence of plants favorably affects the ecological situation, helps to cope with algae, pleases the eye and serves as an excellent feeding for fish. However, there is a small problem. Goldfish happily eat almost any aquarium plants and can quickly turn your "flowering garden" into a gnawed wasteland. Many aquarists believe that in this case there is nothing to suffer with plants, but the authors strongly disagree with this. On the contrary, this is why “tasty plants” should be planted in an aquarium. they diversify the diet of our pets, serve as an additional source of vitamins and brighten up monotonous fish life. In addition, there are a large number of large-leaved, hard or simply "tasteless" plants that the fish will not touch. These are, for example, Anubias, Schizandra, Cryptocoryne, Echinodorus, etc. Such plants will not be eaten and will serve as additional ecological stabilizers in the aquarium.
In order that, rummaging in the ground, the fish each time did not pull out the plants with the root, when they are planted, the bottom around the roots can be covered with larger rounded pebbles over the ground.
5.1.4 Aquarium decoration
The shape of an aquarium for goldfish is desirable as close as possible to the “classical” one, that is, when its length is approximately twice as wide as it is. You should not choose an aquarium with a height of water column more than 50 cm, because, firstly, it will create additional difficulties in caring for it, secondly, difficulties may arise in growing plants, because the light will reach the lower layers of water and the bottom with difficulties. However, almost all commercially produced aquariums can not be called 100 percent suitable for the violent growth of plants; The lighting system often has to be refined in terms of its gain to a ratio of at least 0.5 W per 1 liter of water.
The design of an aquarium for goldfish is a personal matter and the fruit of fantasy of every aquarist. Someone attracts professionals, someone prefers to develop their own project and implement it with their own hands, and someone neglects the "standards" (which, in fact, maybe not!) And draws up your aquarium of the principle of "how it goes".
When you design an aquarium, you need to take into account one important fact: what kind of goldfish will live there. If you plan to contain telescopes, astrochets, water eyes, you will have to abandon not only stones and soil particles with sharp edges, but also plants with leaves that have sharp edges or teeth. Otherwise, there is a very high risk of injury to the fish.
Separately, it is necessary to mention some elements of the decor: "castles", "grottoes", "ships" and the like. Firstly, their aesthetic value is small, and secondly, these decorations can easily be injured by fins, eyes or growths on the head. Therefore, such decorations for an aquarium with goldfish seem superfluous.
Of course, a large (at least 200 liters) or medium (from 100 to 200 liters) aquarium for goldfish is not an axiom and not a law. You can very nicely arrange and properly maintain and small aquariums (from 50 to 100 liters) with one fish (or two in 100 liters). It simply seems to the authors that it is in large tanks that these fish will feel much better: there is some open space for swimming, the “flock” of goldfish looks much more beautiful than a single individual, and many experts note that it’s a great aquarium much easier.
Strange as it may seem, not all breeds of goldfish are compatible with each other. There are fish that are desirable or necessary to keep separate, including from their relatives. In addition, representatives of different breeds may not be suitable for each other in temperament, in particular, this concerns the coexistence of long-bodied and short-bodied goldfish.
About long-bodied goldfish, a special conversation. They are much more mobile than their short-hair counterparts, most often these are schooling fish and, moreover, they are able to grow very large, up to 30 cm and even more (without taking into account the length of the tail fin). Therefore, the most comfortable long-bodied goldfish feel in the ponds. When keeping them in an aquarium, it is desirable that its capacity was at least 200 liters. Due to their temperament, it is recommended to keep long-bodied goldfish separately from short-bodied ones. In general, these fish (“ordinary” goldfish, comet, shubunkin, Vakin) are rather unpretentious, hardy and not so sensitive to changes in conditions of detention.
Among the short-bodied fish, there are those which, as mentioned above, are recommended to be kept separate for various reasons. The telescope is clumsy, blind, so the neighbors can leave it on a starvation ration, in addition, his eyes are very vulnerable. The same applies to stargazer. Water eyes neighbors by negligence or intentionally can injure their "bags". In this group of fish, riukin and fantail are considered to be the most unpretentious. It is more difficult to maintain orandes, telescopes, astrochets, ranches, lionheads. For beginners, pearls and water eyes are clearly not suitable.
And here we come to one of the "cornerstones" of the content of goldfish. the volume of the aquarium and the population density.
It should be borne in mind that for one goldfish recommend a volume of 50 liters and above. Moreover, the minimum volume is desirable to organize 100 liters per pair (in this case, the fish will be more free to move, even if there are neighbors). With an increase in the volume of the aquarium, the planting density can be slightly increased, but it is impossible to get involved much, it is very easy to step over the edge with these fish. In particular, in the volume of 100 l you can settle two goldfish (you can have three, but in this case it will be necessary to organize a powerful filtration and make frequent water changes). 3-4 individuals can be planted in 150 l, 5-6 in 200 l, 6-8 in 250 l, etc. Let’s say that we are talking about grown-up fish, at least 5-7 cm in size without taking into account the length of the tail fin.
Why are the requirements so tough? The main reasons, perhaps, are two. Firstly, the fish brought from South-East Asia are grown in ponds and, as already mentioned, they hardly adapt to small aquariums compared to ponds. And, secondly, due to its natural gluttony and structural features of the digestive system, goldfish bear an increased biological load on the aquarium. This is reflected in the large amount of waste produced. As soon as this number exceeds a certain edge, a biological balance with all negative consequences, up to the death of fish, occurs in the aquarium. In addition, the high density of landing of fish that have not reached their maximum size is quite capable of causing a phenomenon that is called “delaying” in aquarists: fish stop growing, some structural defects begin to appear, they become more susceptible to diseases.
A question very often asked by newbies: “Who can be kept together with goldfish?”. And, as a rule, a definite answer to it. no one! Goldfish are extremely poorly compatible with any other aquarium fish, the main problem here is that, figuratively speaking, everyone who does not eat gold will somehow have gold. There are real examples when guppies almost alive ate large sluggish gold fish (especially voileae). And those, in turn, will be happy to eat everything that they can get into their mouths. Add to this the difficult ecological situation in an aquarium with goldfish, temperature requirements and feeding regime, and you will have to exclude almost all ornamental fish from the list of compatibility. The only exception may be unpretentious peaceful catfish, who will play the role of cleaners in an aquarium. Here, too, you need to be alert, because there are cases when even antsistrusy, typical phytophagous plants, “encroached” on short-bodied goldfish and sucked their sides to meat.
5.3 CARE OF THE AQUARIUM
Feeding goldfish is a very difficult question, especially for beginners. The fact is that these fish are very voracious and always hungry. Every time, passing by the aquarium, we see their poor muzzles, eagerly “screaming”: “Give! Give! ”But you must be firm and not be led by the fish. Train your and their willpower, remember the rule: the fish are hungrier, the healthier they are. It is necessary to feed gold one or two times a day in small portions so that everything is eaten in 5-10 minutes and less (if you feed twice a day, respectively, reduce the portions by half). Overfeeding is a very common problem when keeping these fish, it can easily lead to various diseases, primarily associated with the gastrointestinal tract.
Goldfish are omnivores. Therefore, the diet for them should be varied. There are also live feeds (you need to be careful with them, often along with live feed, dangerous diseases can get into the aquarium; frozen foods are safer in this plan), and vegetable food, and specialized goldfish feeds produced by a number of manufacturers (for example, Sera, Tetra).
Dry food (like flakes, and, in particular, pellets) before feeding, it is desirable to soak for several minutes in a bowl with aquarium water. Otherwise, there is a risk that the feed particles that swell after eating will provoke a breakdown of the digestive system.
Frozen food before feeding must be defrosted, reaching room temperature, and fed immediately after thawing. When feeding young frozen artemia, it is recommended to soak it in water in order to eliminate excessive salt concentration.
Repeated freezing of feed is not allowed!
Various plant foods, such as lettuce, cucumber, dill, cabbage, nettle, etc., should also be added to the diet. All this is scalded, finely cut and served to fish. Adult fish are able to eat, for example, lettuce, without scalding, and sometimes without the need for finely sliced. Fruits (orange, kiwi, etc.) will also be a good addition to the diet.
Some plant aquarium plants such as duckweed, Riccia, and hornpole are good plant foods. The hornberry is doubly useful due to the fact that, being fast-growing, it intensively absorbs nitrogen from water, thereby reducing the concentration of nitrates.
Adult fish that receive a balanced diet tolerate even a two-week hunger strike without any problems. And one of the ways not to leave the fish on a starvation ration during a vacation or business trip, if there is no person who could feed the fish, put a “bunch” of hornpole in the aquarium. This food is enough for fish for a long time.
Many experts recommend introducing into the diet porridges cooked from various cereals on the water (without salt). It is desirable that these porridges have a crumbly structure.
It is unlikely that anyone will argue with the statement that one of the most important prerequisites for the health of fish is keeping them in good conditions. It is known that in almost every aquarium, parasites and opportunistic microorganisms, including causative agents of dangerous diseases, are present in a certain amount. But to hit a healthy, strong fish with a strong immune system they have no chance. A completely different situation may occur when a fish is under constant stress due to certain negative factors, when the concentration of nitrogen compounds in the water is constantly increased, when the fish suffers oxygen starvation, is contained at elevated or low temperatures (even worse, when the aquarist allows sharp jumps water temperature) or water parameters (acidity, hardness, etc.) are extremely unstable. The immune system of the fish weakens, the resistance of the fish to infections decreases, and “one day” the fish will fall ill. There are no barriers to repelling the attack of parasites and opportunistic microorganisms, and this may result in a massive illness of the inhabitants of the aquarium with the most adverse consequences.
You can avoid this scenario. How?
1. Do not overcrowd aquarium.
2. Maintain a healthy living environment, high water quality. No wonder they say that even with the help of “just” water changes, you can get rid of many misfortunes!
3. Avoid aggressive neighbors in the aquarium, which can cause stress in the fish or injure it.
4. Follow the proper diet and feeding regimen.
To quarantine the fish, it is necessary to equip a special tank with heating and aeration of water. It is best to have a small tank aquarium (35. 50 l of water per one adult fish). Soil, plants, scenery, etc. seem redundant.
The main purpose of the quarantine is to adapt the fish to the conditions of detention (first of all, to the parameters of water) in the general aquarium and to prevent the emergence and development of various dangerous diseases.
Before planting the fish, the water must go through the whole cycle of preparation (settling, aeration). Many recommend pouring water from a common aquarium into a quarantine tank.
As you know, there are two main types of quarantine. passive and active. Passive quarantine provides for an isolated content of fish in the quarantine capacity without the addition of any drugs (of course, in the absence of signs of disease). Active quarantine is a complex of treatment-and-prophylactic procedures aimed at therapeutic effects on overt or covert pathogens by adding drugs to the quarantine capacity. In any case, the quarantine should last at least a month. Small volumes of quarantine capacity, coupled with the lack of biofiltration, somehow can trigger an outbreak of the disease if the fish contain its pathogen.
Which type of quarantine to choose. active or passive? A debatable question. It seems to the authors that if the fish is taken from a reliable source, it is possible to confine it to passive quarantine before planting it in the general aquarium, and if the fish is brought from the countries of Southeast Asia and it is not known whether it has passed the quarantine at the fish breeder, goldfish, as a rule, generally tolerate drug therapy well, exposing it, first of all, to antiparasitic treatment.
So, new settlers arrived at quarantine. These are five black telescopes, of Chinese origin, which were subjected only to primary processing. If you intend to conduct an active quarantine, it seems necessary to conduct a long-term processing of fish from the parasites, which she brought on herself.
The treatment is carried out using a therapeutic dose of salt (1 tablespoon per 10 liters of water), copper sulfate (5 ml per 20 liters of water) and a twice-exceeded dose of Antipar Advanced Formula manufactured by Agrovetzashchita (methylene blue, malachite green and formalin ). 2 ml per 50 liters. Daily water changes are made with the additional introduction of half of the initial dose of drugs.