Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
The only time I've had any ick issues, was when there was a large amount of fish stress. This was due in part to insufficient filtration for the tank in question. Goldfish are incredibly hardy, but they require an excessive amount of filtration, and an excessive amount of water volume to live healthy lives. They also require temperature stability, and are not cold water fish, as many people believe. Any significant amount of stress will usually cause an ick outbreak.
Generally you want roughly 10-20 gallons per goldfish in terms of water volume, and you want an utterly obscene amount of filtration. I run a Rena XP3 on my 46 gallon bowfront. (It's rated for 175 gallons). Goldfish are the aquarium equivilant of a cow. They can and will eat almost nonstop, and produce what seems like an endless amount of waste. (Leading cause of death to goldifsh, besides insufficient filtration, is overeating) Most of the reasons you can't have goldfish with many other fish types isn't that they wouldn't get along...it's that the other fish can't handle the pollution the goldfish make!
As for temperature, I run it at 74F with one of those 200 watt inline hydror's. Though goldfish are commonly thought to be cold water fish, they actually thrive in warmer temperatures. They can "tolerate" cold temperatures, but prefer warmer ones. Bottom of tank siphon and roughly 40-50% water change weekly. Once a month I break down the XP3 and rinse out the sponges, and replace the pre-filter if needed.
It's funny because goldfish are usually rated as "easy" fish to take care of...when in reality, they're quite difficult to take care of properly. With the proper setup and care, most goldfish will outlive the family cat or dog! (Keep this in mind when choosing the type of fish to take care of! Goldfish can live 20+ years!!!)
I eventually plan to move the goldfish to a larger tank, as they are getting gigantic now. Chomper is as big as my hand!
Having just moved, I understand your pain. The Val's are just now starting to come back. I lost roughly 50% of them in the move. Was worried for a bit, but then I remembered it usually takes about 2 weeks or so for the plants to get out of their shock phase and back into growing bonkers.