Hello, I'm new here - a bit nervous posting this, expecting to get a bit of flaming for my inexperience but would be really good if that doesn't happen!
My children and I were given a tiny starter fish tank for Christmas which has until recently been unused while we did our research and found a suitable space etc.
Family member took my children out last weekend having followed advice from Pets At Home to set the tank up 24 hours before purchasing fish (I know now this is not a long enough cycle but sadly didn't then) and set out with the intention of asking pet shop which fish were suitable and what we needed to care for them. I expected a few danios or minnows but they returned with two fancy goldfish and 4 white cloud minnows.
The tank we have is FAR too small for all of these fish even now and I've been struggling all week to help them thrive while I find a suitable tank or home for them. I have absolutely no idea what to do to help these guys except that they need a much bigger tank and I need to properly cycle it, but again aside from a small bit of research online I don't even know where to start.
They've been in this tank for a week now (I've been gradually realising how wrong we're going and trying to rectify it as I learn), but their water quality is constantly spiking with ammonia according to the test strips I have and I'm doing almost 50% water changes every day...
So my questions, if you're still reading and not absolutely seething with somebody as clueless as me trying to get to grips with these fish, are as follows...
1. I'm aware that the bigger the better is generally the motto with these guys but unfortunately don't have the largest amount of space at home, I've found a 105L tank and stand which I have space for, is there any realistic way we could keep these fish in it or am I just going to have to let them go to somewhere which has more space and experience?
2. What on earth do I do regarding the cycle of this tank, and any potential new one I get? If the 105L will suffice I can have it here by tomorrow and begin cycling it - should I move the new fish in ASAP or stick with where they're at now, continue the huge water changes each day for now and then transfer them when the new tank is ready or should I begin transitioning them straight away when the new tank is set up?
3. How do I go about transferring into a new tank? Presumably I should include all of the gravel and filter media from this tank they're in right now but should I also include some of the water from this tank etc?
Again, I'm really sad that I'm so clueless on the little fish I've been given and feel awful that I'm not giving them a proper setup right now. At the same time, my children and I have grown quite fond of them and I'd like to keep them if there's any way we can do so humanely.
Thanks for reading, looking forward to any advice I can get. :)
I'm aware that you're the victim of very poor advice, so don't think I'm criticising you, I'm just going to state the facts.
The 105 litre tank you have in mind is not big enough for two fancies long term; they need at least a 180L tank.
Minnows and goldfish shouldn't be house together as when the goldfish grow the minnows will become food.
If you can't house a bigger tank then the best thing to do is to return the goldfish to the shop explaining they were bought by a well-meaning friend who didn't realise your tank is too small.
Get a 60 litre or bigger for the minnows and move them to it asap as whichever tank they're in they'll be in a fish-in cycle and more water volume means more dilution of toxins. Follow this guide to a fish-in cycle. When the tank is finally cycled add a few more minnows a they are a shoaling species and like a good-sized group.
That is so helpful, thanks very much for the link. Fingers crossed all goes well without any casualties, I really want these little things to thrive. Really appreciate all of your help and non judgement - thank you.
Out of interest - what *can* realistically live a good life in an 18L tank? I feel like an idiot now that I've done a bit of research but surely if these tanks are regularly sold with fancy kid designs even by brands such as Tetra (ours is), there should be a LOT more regulation and guidance on what is realistic...?!
I feel like an absolute fool for expecting this tank to be big enough, and yet its still on sale without any guidance as to which fish should or shouldn't be housed in it. I know it's down to us to research too but this pet shop was all too happy to sell us these fish despite my handwritten note of tank size that my children took...
I'm buying my minnows a bigger tank and returning the goldfish, but feel like surely I need to do something to raise awareness about how easily these poor animals are sold off to homes in which they are literally doomed from the outset?
To be honest there are no fish that can cope in 18L. With the addition of a heater it could be used for shrimps though. In some countries these small tanks aren't allowed at all, but here, the onus is on the buyer to select appropriate stock.
You'll need a heater in your minnows tank for the winter by the way, unless your house is heated 24/7.