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Author Topic: Quarantine tank size OK for goldfish?  (Read 10055 times)
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« on: April 23, 2014, 08:19:48 AM »

I have a 5 gallon fish tank available. Would the 5 gallon tank be OK for quarantine (temporary) purposes?  The new goldfish (fantail) will be about 3 inches long.  I will do water changes twice a week. goldfish

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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 09:26:39 AM »

I wouldn't do it.  Others may disagree but I think that a 5 gallon is just too small to house this fish for 4-6 weeks.  Is there any way that you could get a cheap 10 gallon?

When in doubt, do a water change.
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 11:21:00 AM »

A quarantine tank doesn't need to be a glass tank... Just buy a large plastic container  Wink. I'm sure there are very affordable plastic containers out there which hold more then 20gals.

Something along the lines of this would be perfect...

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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 03:13:23 PM »

Hi karlsmom,

Goldfish may be one of the most deceptively demanding of all species goldfish  Coldwater species require a bit more surface area than tropicals (some quote needing a minimum of at least 30 square inches of surface area) and being larger-bodied fish (particularly fancys) they tend to produce a bit more waste (which can quickly have a negative effect on it's beautiful fins.)  A 3 inch fish in a 5 gallon tank (even if it's empty of decor) might not last a week without around-the-clock water changes which, themselves, can be stressful for the fish. 

What do you envision your eventual set-up looking like?  I see that you have the tropical 75 gallon...given that you're QT-ing the goldfish, do you already have a set up awaiting it?  Also, will this goldfish be an only-fish or part of a coldwater species tank?  If you already have a coldwater set-up, in a pinch, you might be able to forgo at least some of the QT time by buying a UV sterilizer and adding it to the original set up.  It could take care of bacteria, ich and many other fish diseases.

If you're still awaiting your eventual coldwater aquarium, setting up a QT for a fish of that size will require some logistics, esp. for 4 - 6 weeks.  30 gallons is usually the min. sized tank for a 3" fancy, so you're looking at finding something with measurements of roughly 36 x 12 x 16 inches (L x W x H.)

For multi-tasking alone, if I needed to buy a non-aquarium item for QT only, I think I'd go with a chest cooler.  They generally have nice, long dimensions (for better surface area,) some come on wheels, many feature spigots for draining/water changing and with a quick 19 - to - 1 water to bleach solution wash, you can keep food in there after you've transferred the fish to it's permanent home (so long as you've really kept the water clean, it shouldn't be any worse than having brought home fish from the grocery store in it...which is what we use coolers for in AZ, grocery runs!) You may be able to get away with something between 50 -70 quarts, so long as you have good aeration.  Considering you may not want to have to wait and order something, I found fairly good prices at walmart and home depot (it's just a matter of deciding which amenities--wheels, spigot, size--you want):

Fishermen have been using modified coolers as bait buckets for years, you can see how much they charge:

Of course then, you need to consider a filter...  Whereas a canister could keep the water cleaner and you wouldn't have to worry about the side thickness (which might be an issue with an hob,) it would require you to keep the tank/cooler elevated something like 18 - 24" above the canister.  A sponge filter w/ air pump, on the other hand could be kept easily, but isn't as efficient of a cleaner (imp. with fancy goldfish.)

Always something to think about Wink

Take care!


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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 05:43:41 PM »

I don't know if this has been mentioned but, one of the main reasons I would not recommend anything below ten gallons capacity is that a QT tank can quickly turn into a hospital tank. Administering meds (either direct or as a preventative ) is difficult in tanks less than 10 gals. Most formulated meds and additives are calculated using doses per 10 gals. Merely halving  doses to accommodate 5 gals just doesn't work well.

Goldfish classified as fancy goldfish (which probably includes many these days) are more temperature tolerant and should be kept at higher temps than their comet and celestial eyed cousins. 75F should not be an issues for them.

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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2014, 06:51:02 PM »

A 5 gallon tank is not suitable for a gold fish of that size for much more than a few hours.  That is the same as putting the fish in a bucket.

Camp cooler, big plastic bin, or a cheap 10 gallon tank without a lid would be a VAST improvement.

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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2014, 07:59:27 PM »

I wouldn't do it.  Others may disagree but I think that a 5 gallon is just too small to house this fish for 4-6 weeks.  Is there any way that you could get a cheap 10 gallon?
Ther is always Craigs List where they list used tanks at a cheap price.
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