We are setting up my four year old with his first aquarium and its all starting to cost quite a bit!?
Anyway I want to buy a water test kit but am unsure which one to get. I went into the pet shop and they only have separate ones for Nitrite, ammonia and Nitrite. So I went online and found an API one for about ?25 that tests for all of them. Is there another one on the market which is good ....tests all of them, but doesn't cost so much?
Hi and welcome. I assume you're talking about the API Master Test Kit with the liquid test solutions. That's the best one to go for in my opinion, and indeed in many people's opinion. Don't get test strips as they're very inaccurate. The API Master Test Kit may seem expensive but it's very good value for money. You should have enough nitrate solution for at least a year and the others should last even longer - after nearly 3 years I still haven't replaced the nitrite solution in mine, and it feels like there's still quite a bit left. If you shop around a bit you might be able to find it a bit cheaper. I've just found it on Ebay for ?20.50 with free postage: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/API-Freshwa ... _Fish&hash=item3cd013da1e What size tank are you looking at? Common goldfish ideally need a pond, fancy goldfish need at least 140l for a single fish plus an extra 40l for every additional fish. So if you can't afford/don't have space for something that size you may need to look at something other than goldfish. You will also need to do a fishless cycle before adding any fish to the tank - this builds up cultures of bacteria in the filter which break down the fish waste, and without these the filter is useless. Check out our fishless cycling article for more info.
It's not that i can't afford it, it's just that the cost is starting to mount up! haha He was given the tank as a gift from his Granny so we haven't had to buy that, it's just all the other bits that slowly creep up. Everyone assumes that getting a goldfish is easy and cheap, but i have found this out not the case.
We are cycling the tank, which is why we want to get a kit, he's being being patient about it as i told him that if he doesn't wait his goldfish will go to heaven too early so hes being very good
It's not cheap but the rewards from the pleasure of the fish will easily outweigh the costs. :)
Just adding on from the previous helpful reply, a 140-litre tank equates to 48x12x15 inches, so that should help you work out whether or not the tank is adequately sized for a goldfish. If so, and if cared for carefully (folk on this site can help in conjunction with the helpful info in the "Caresheets" and "Articles" sections on this site), your 4-year-old should have their goldfish well into mid-adulthood.
If the tank isn't sufficiently big for a goldfish, then, depending on the size of tank you do have, folk here will be happy to advise on alternatives to goldfish (which generally tend to have shorter lifespans, and which might be better if your 4-year-old decides as a teenager that they're no longer interested in their fish).
Following on from fcmf's comments I would have to say that goldfish really are not fish for a beginner, that may sound crazy to a lot of people but they are not easy fish to keep in a healthy and well maintained manner.
For a start they require large tanks as they grow very large, require large external filtration and the fish themselves create a lot of waste resulting in frequent water changes and tank maintenance by the keeper which many beginners can end up resenting in a short space of time thus resulting in neglected (then ultimately dead) fish and then a rejection of the hobby as a whole.
Don't underestimate goldfish, they are challenging fish to keep - but speaking as a fancy goldfish keeper of 8 fish I can confirm they are very rewarding to keep and I really enjoy it, although it took me a lot of time to research and make a few mistakes along the way before I learnt how to keep them properly.
Perhaps smaller, more hardy fish would be a better type of fish to start with especially if you are looking to keep costs down and inspire your child into the hobby.
I would consider some rosy barbs instead of goldfish - they are a cheerful orange, or orange and black, and rather like goldfish at a glance; also temperate fish so they won't need a heater in a centrally heated house unless it gets very cold at night; they are egg scatterers so you won't end up overrun with surviving fry unless you actively set up conditions for breeding, and they are so much less delicate and prone to health problems than fancy goldfish. You could start with a ground of 6 mixed sex providing you have the space - how big is your tank?