goldfish powered tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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goldfish powered tank?

My next tank looks like it is going to be a natural planted with a sump. I've been thinking I may want to keep it only lightly stocked, or maybe just Invertebrae to keep the plants looking nice, and create a low stress, peaceful environment for the fish. I don't like using ferts except a little potassium now and again, so was thinking of putting a couple of goldfish in the sump to keep the nutrients up.

Anyone have any experience with this or see any potential problems?

I have and can get more tetras to use similarly, but the fold fish may be the most bio-load for the buck.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 08:52 PM
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I have a goldfish powered tank I guess. I don't add anything except fish food.

Is your sump large enough for goldfish? Their waste is proportional to their size. They don't poop more than any other fish of the same mass.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 10:52 PM
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The only problem I see is that goldfish eat most plants. Tough plants like anubias are probably safe.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 12:36 AM
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I see two possible issues.

First, goldfish are a cold water fish, and like temps a bit lower than most tropicals.

Second, goldfish because they are cold water fish, have a heavy slime coat, which they "shed". Ever notice that goldfish tanks are seldom crystal clear, even when it's fancy types, not crowded in larger tanks?

My choice would be to test your water and add ferts as needed, possibly at a lower level, rather than the full recommended rate. Remember that your not going to get very complete fertilization from fish waste products alone.

My second choice would be to just add more regular fish to the tank. Remember, goldfish in the sump, are still fish in the system. Why not get fish you want in the main display tank?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 12:47 AM
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 01:24 AM
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I've also heard about goldfish eating plants, but never had any bad luck with them...

maybe cause that sucker was always full.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 02:21 AM
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It could possibly be worth a try.

Fancy goldfish would probably be your best bet (More towards Black moors). Not only are they hardy, they can stand temps between 62F - 75F with out a problem.

Are you planning on putting plants in the sump? If so, I would recommend not to. Goldfish won't eat the plants (In My Experience), but more likely uproot them. But if you do add plants in the sump, look into Java Fern (They are really 'rooted', but more of grabbing on to the substrate to help keep down).

I don't believe the slime coat shedding will be a problem, just keep your water good and clean. Goldfishes slime coat is made up of mucoprotein (Fights infections and such), keeping the electrolytes in. I believe the only real reason a goldfish should shed its slime coat would be due to water quality and or old mucoprotein (I'm not saying I am right, but I'm thinking so).

Depending on how big you sump/setup is going to be is going to depend on how many goldfish you can put in the sump (For say the rule: First fancy goldfish needs at least 20 gallons of water alone and 10 gallons for each additional one).
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 03:17 AM
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If you need nutrients and want inverts, just put some red cherry shrimp in it. Start with a dozen and in 6 months you'll have a what looks like a tank full of fire ants. Feed them well and trade off the excess shrimpage for store credit or swap for goodies from other fish keepers.

Cherry shrimp need NO heater whatsoever and, once established in the tank, are quite tough. A small team of burrowing snails will help keep the gravel stirred up a little.

If you have slightly more costly taste, crystal red shrimp can also be done this way.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 05:03 PM
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I've never noticed a lack of clear water due to slime coats. My goldfish tank is always as clear as my tropical tank.

Goldfish do perfectly fine in heated tanks--some even do better.

But why not get fish you want and let them do the fertilizing? Goldfish aren't magic. They're just big fish.
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