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Why can't Goldfish be kept with other species?
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Dusko
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Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: 2008.05.15(Thu)2:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You play God here with living things.


What a coincidence Smile I was thinking to start a thread today here on AoA called Aquarium Gods, addressing this issue.
Fish are inside the aquarium, totally depending on us and our "good/evil" will.

Welcome on board.

Regards, Dusko
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badisbadis101
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Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: 2008.05.15(Thu)19:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marcos Avila wrote:
First of all the question itself is wrong. Of course they can be kept with many other species. That's not the point...the point is that if you keep goldfish by themselves you avoid several issues that occur when mixing in other commonly available species without giving it too much thought. Some of these issues are:

- Some species are hyperactive and nippy, and can damage the slow-moving goldfish's fins...sometimes even their eyes.

- Some species are boisterous eaters and don't let the goldfish get a fare share of food.

- Other species are shy eaters and the bulky goldfish intimidates them.

- Some species don't respond well to the cooler temperatures that goldfish prefer, and goldfish may not respond well to the higher temperatures these species prefer. If you keep them together there's only a narrow temperature range that's comfortable for both.

- Goldfish grow BIG and they're messy, ammonia-generating machines, not a good idea to have in a small tank with sensitive species that require pristine water conditions.

Note that many of these issues refer to long-term problems. Take a careful look at people who claim "I have goldfish with this and that and they're all fine" and you'll see that they've usually kept only very young fish for a few months, they have no idea what it's like to keep those fish as adults for 5-10 years or more (read the comment in my sig about success).

In summary, goldfish can obviously be kept with some carefully selected companions, in a large enough tank. It's just easier and more recommendable, especially for beginners, to keep them on their own until you get a better grip on the hobby and on the particulars of each species...


Sorry to quote a really long post, but I believe that this is worth rereading, and agree 100% with what Marcos has said.

One other thing that people fail to realized is that not all goldfish are created equal, and not all aquariums/ponds are created equal. In my opinion, the goldfish and their tank or pond have a lot to do with their success with other species.

In my opinion, most fancy goldfish should be kept alone, or with other similar goldfish varieties. Fancy goldfish are often slow and have long fins, making them difficult to keep with other goldfish, let alone other species.

However, standard "feeder" goldfish, as well as comets and similar varieties, can, in my opinion, be kept sucessfully with other species, provided certain conditions are met. First off, a large tank is in order. In my opinion, "normal" goldfish (ones without bubble eyes, double tails, etc) need a 55 gallon tank MINIMUM to thrive. In this size tank, tankmates should probably not even be considered. In larger tanks (over 100 gallons), other peaceful coolwater species can be considered, such as white clouds, dojo loaches, etc. No matter what, the stocking density should be low, the water kept cool (under 75 at least) and clean, with frequent water changes.

Finally, in ponds, their are many options of fish to combine with "normal" goldfish, assuming the pond is large enough. By large, I do not mean 200 gallons. I am talking about 750+ gallons minimum. I personally keep 8 goldfish and 2 young koi in a ~1,000 gallon pond. These fish thrive year round, often spawning in the spring. In the summer, water temps average 78 or so (I live in houston), and the goldfish thrive. 2 years ago, I experimentally added 2 convict cichlids and a few young african cichlids for the summer. All species thrived, with the africans even breeding. No aggression was observed, with the africans (orange zebra cichlids) even schooling with the similarly colored goldfish. This year, I added the above mentioned fish again, as well as a large (8") bumblebee cichlid and a pair of electric yelllows. The yellows are behaving much like the orange zebras, schooling with the golfish. The bumblebee either keeps to herself, or schools with the koi. The convicts have even began schooling with the goldfish. Once again, no aggression was observed.

The above may or may not be the normal, but it has worked for me. I still recommend exercising extreme caution when keeping fish with goldfish, especially potentially aggressive ones such as african cichlids. However, it can work. I believe this is largely due to the large size of the pond, and the low stocking densities, as well as the numerous plants and rock structures. I am also fortunate to have relatively stable summers, with water temps at which nearly all fish commonly kept in aquariums can thrive. Once again, be careful when mixing any fish with goldfish, but careful planning and experimentation can result in success. Laughing
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beowulf
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Joined: 26 May 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: 2008.05.15(Thu)19:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marcos Avila wrote:
First of all the question itself is wrong. Of course they can be kept with many other species. That's not the point...the point is that if you keep goldfish by themselves you avoid several issues that occur when mixing in other commonly available species without giving it too much thought. Some of these issues are:

- Some species are hyperactive and nippy, and can damage the slow-moving goldfish's fins...sometimes even their eyes.

- Some species are boisterous eaters and don't let the goldfish get a fare share of food.

- Other species are shy eaters and the bulky goldfish intimidates them.

- Some species don't respond well to the cooler temperatures that goldfish prefer, and goldfish may not respond well to the higher temperatures these species prefer. If you keep them together there's only a narrow temperature range that's comfortable for both.

- Goldfish grow BIG and they're messy, ammonia-generating machines, not a good idea to have in a small tank with sensitive species that require pristine water conditions.

Note that many of these issues refer to long-term problems. Take a careful look at people who claim "I have goldfish with this and that and they're all fine" and you'll see that they've usually kept only very young fish for a few months, they have no idea what it's like to keep those fish as adults for 5-10 years or more (read the comment in my sig about success).

In summary, goldfish can obviously be kept with some carefully selected companions, in a large enough tank. It's just easier and more recommendable, especially for beginners, to keep them on their own until you get a better grip on the hobby and on the particulars of each species...


Bingo!!
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badisbadis101
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Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: 2008.05.16(Fri)14:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, long term success is very important to consider, no matter what the situation. However, long term success can never be achieved without short term success. Success, in my opinion, is also measured by the colors of the fish and whether or not they breed and behave normally. In my case, the fish all sho full colors, behave normally, and breed, which I beleive is a very good indicator that that mix is actually sucessful, and will be in the long term.

Once again, I want to emphasize that only extremely large tanks should be considered for combining goldfish with other fish, and the other species, as well as the goldfish, should be carefully chosen
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Barchef
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Location: It changed but I'm not telling you where silly children. :)

PostPosted: 2008.05.16(Fri)15:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

You kept AFRICAN CICHLIDS sucessfully with goldfish? Plus a convict or two to boot? Sucessfully?

Holy.....

Errr....ahem.

Didn't know that was even possible. I have shubukins and they are like comets but nicer. They have the speed of normal goldfish and have rather long fins too. They in the past have gotten along fine with my dojo loach, at one point with rosy barbs until they got electricuted (long story), tadpoles, a small lepord frog, red bellied newts, and white cloud minnows in my 560something gallon pond.

You don't want to mix any greedy pets and red bellied newts though, they're poisonous, you don't want your dog/cat eating a poisonous newt. Also make sure to wash your hands after you handle said newts.
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badisbadis101
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PostPosted: 2008.05.17(Sat)19:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barchef wrote:
You kept AFRICAN CICHLIDS sucessfully with goldfish? Plus a convict or two to boot? Sucessfully?

Holy.....

Errr....ahem.

Didn't know that was even possible.


It seems far out, but it has worked perfectly fine. Absolutely nothing has gone wrong, the goldfish seem to enjoy the company. AS I said, it is in a larger pond, with lots of plants and rocks, and I keep a very close eye on everything.

But it can be done Wink
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Barchef
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Location: It changed but I'm not telling you where silly children. :)

PostPosted: 2008.05.17(Sat)23:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still not doin it. Mixing electric yellows with convicts doesn't make any sense.

kthxbi. Razz
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cluxford
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PostPosted: 2008.06.20(Fri)16:30    Post subject: Goldfish kept with other species. Reply with quote

This topic touched on a question I had. How would tin foil barbs do in unheated water? Such as a large pond outside with big goldfish and koi? I would not expect them to overwinter like the goldfish but wondered anyway. Question
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spikeyfish
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Joined: 14 May 2008
Location: UK

PostPosted: 2008.06.20(Fri)17:17    Post subject: Re: Goldfish kept with other species. Reply with quote

cluxford wrote:
This topic touched on a question I had. How would tin foil barbs do in unheated water? Such as a large pond outside with big goldfish and koi? I would not expect them to overwinter like the goldfish but wondered anyway. Question


Please don't. It would be like keeping a neon in a coldwater tank, they would die after a short time from incorrect parameters, being run down and - the biggest killer of fish, a build up of stress. I'm presuming you don't live in a tropical climate? The other thing is most ponds don't have filters and tin foil barbs do not come from 'lakes'. It would be nicer for them to have their biotype recreated as naturally as possible - well - unless you really do need a castle in the corner of your tank Wink Shocked

What about looking into something else you might find interesting like ghost koi or sterletts, small sturgeon I beleive. Swan mussels are great for a pond but I also keep them in coldwater tanks (where you can see them!) with coldwater species for something different and a natural filter aid. Laughing

Check out the less 'supermarket type' LFS's for a wider selection of fish if you're wanting to do something different. Not sure if you're UK but Wyvale Garden Centres and some small businesses seem to stock a huge variety of fish compared to some supermarket pet stores that stock general goldfish and community buddies.

Wink
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cluxford
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PostPosted: 2008.06.20(Fri)18:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

I won't. I have them in a 75 gallon planted tank right now. There are six of them. They are pretty small now, but I know that sooner or later I will have to move them to larger quarters. I wouldn't mind having a 125 gallon tank, but hopefully that will be farther down the road. They are eating the tops off of some of the plants and the java moss. I think that the largest one also ate about 8 neons. Hmmmmm. I wonder if they will continue to eat fishies smaller than they are as they get bigger. I won't like that if they do. I thought they were vegetarians. Sounds like I need to feed them more Laughing Thanks for the tips on the pond fish. We are planning to have ours done by end of summer. Probably won't introduce fish til it warms up again next spring. We live in the Pacific Northwest about 10 miles from the ocean.
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