Impromptu Impromptu
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  • Posted on: 10/1/2013 11:44
Tank recommendations for unexpected new arrivals? #1
I have an outdoor formal fish pool, home to 7 shubs ranging 2"-4".

Someone was admiring it the other day, and decided to surprise me with a present of 4 baby fantails (I say baby - about 1" in the body).

Now I know that fancies can struggle in with singletails, but I'm an outdoors kind of fish guy and at some point we're all going to have to suck it and see. I just feel now is not the time, since they're so young and the shubs are finally calming down for winter, having been up way past their bedtime.

So I've decided to overwinter the new guys indoors. If I could prevail on your kindness, I'd appreciate recommendations for type and size of tank. The idea is to give the guys a cushy time until spring. Thereafter the tank can be kept in reserve for hospital, perhaps even nursery duty.

I don't really want to turn my house into Seaworld, just need something comfortable enough for the babies, to give them the best shot when it's time to go to big school...

Thanks in advance.

PS This is in Emergencies because at the moment the poor little things are living in a bucket. Cycling shouldn't be a problem - I do have 1,000ltrs of established pondwater to draw on...
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 10/1/2013 12:16
Re: Tank recommendations for unexpected new arrivals? #2
To be honest it isn't recommended to keep Fancy Goldfish outside in ponds. They really don't do well over winter as they can't cope with the cold and I think they'll also struggle to compete with your Shubunkins for food.

Is there any way you could return/rehome them as they really need to be in an indoor tank for life? For four of them that means a 300 litre tank

If you do keep them, the water from your pond won't be any help with the cycle as the bacteria that process waste grow in the filter media, not the water. You could probably pinch some media from your pond filter though.
Impromptu Impromptu
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  • Posted on: 10/1/2013 12:51
Re: Tank recommendations for unexpected new arrivals? #3
Fishlady:

Thanks. Suspected as much - I went for shubs exactly for their hardiness. Wonder whether I'm even overstocked at 7 in 1,000ltrs tbh. But then, there is natural attrition to take into account.

Just getting fond of the little fancy tykes too! For now, while I'm trying to figure out what to do, I'm changing their bucket every day. I'm crushing my usual adult food into a powder and giving them a pinch every now and then too. What was encouraging was that straight out of the bag they started eating, so it seems they weren't distressed by the change of environment. (Unless the stockist starved them...)

Take your point about the filter media, but at least the pondwater is well filtered, isn't chlorinated to hell and has a few daphnia and wotsits in it.

Such a well-meaning present... Puppy for Christmas stuff, but I didn't actually ask for it!

Aw, might even get soppy and try keeping a couple of them indoors...
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 10/1/2013 15:03
Re: Tank recommendations for unexpected new arrivals? #4
A cheap temporary solution is a food safe storage box (look for fork and glass symbol). Staples "Really Useful" boxes are good and a big one around 100 litres is under ?20. Add an internal filter and heater (Fancies need protecting from fluctuations so a heater set at about 20-22C is good) and it will certainly do them over the winter or while you decide what to do long term.
Impromptu Impromptu
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  • Posted on: 10/1/2013 15:05
Re: Tank recommendations for unexpected new arrivals? #5
Thanks very much for your help.
Impromptu Impromptu
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  • Posted on: 27/2/2013 20:34
Re: Tank recommendations for unexpected new arrivals? #6
Back to Fishlady, since I thought you might be interested in an update.

One, sadly, didn't make it out of the bucket before I could get the new accommodation organised. The other three little gobblers seem to be really thriving in 60ltrs. It was an emergency procedure (aided, no doubt, by your suggestion of borrowing filter media from the outdoor pond), so we had what looked to me like an ich problem early on. Nipped that in the bud though.

Think I'll still consider giving them a shot at a Born Free moment when March is out. When the shubs have got over the ravenous post-hibernation phase and reverted to their spoilt lifestyle, we'll see how cohabitation goes. Though not ideal, I've heard that it can work, with care.

BTW I take great care that the pond doesn't freeze, but I appreciate that overwintering the fancy gobblers may have to become a regular deal. But at least in future I'll have the chance to condition the tank in advance. And the cat will be pleased - she's enjoyed having her own TV.

Thanks again for your help.
Violet Violet
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Re: Tank recommendations for unexpected new arrivals? #7
MMmm. Not sure I'd personally recommend fancies to be kept outside Even in the non winter the water temp could get a bit low at night. Inside, we tend to keep that at 20 or so degrees to avoid digestion issues which can happen when they are in cold water.
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Impromptu Impromptu
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  • Posted on: 27/2/2013 20:55
Re: Tank recommendations for unexpected new arrivals? #8
Violet:

Look, I'll do my best by them. If necessary I'll rehome them. And I have nothing but their welfare at heart.

I do feel there's a degree of fish snobbery in some circles. No offence intended. For instance, it's all well and good to tell people that the little things should become very big things and you should plan ahead, but not entirely fair to recommend rigs containing enough water for Shamu, when they're going to be perfectly content in a smaller environment for at least two years.

As for the outdoor situation, I assure you I will monitor them very carefully.
Violet Violet
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Re: Tank recommendations for unexpected new arrivals? #9
I think you will find that there is no "fish snobbery" here. We all love our pets here and only have fish welfare (and happy stress fish keepers) in mind. That's why the cheap and cheerful storage boxes make such fab emergency tanks as others have posted.

Advice is requested and we would be lacking in our responsibilities if we were not honest, despite that being a little difficult to hear perhaps.

I'm unsure what you mean by a "Shamu sized rig", but yes, fancies get big and will quickly in the right set up.
Unfortunately they don't stay small for 2 years. Should be 4-5 inches and heavy set by 12 months, hence our tank recommendations.

Fins crossed for your guys though.
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Impromptu Impromptu
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  • Posted on: 27/2/2013 21:32
Re: Tank recommendations for unexpected new arrivals? #10
Fins crossed indeed, and I assure you I will do no wrong by them.

Shamu was a very famous orca, whose name has become a brand in the States. Magnificent, intelligent and emotionally advanced creatures whose longevity in captivity just makes me weep.