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Biorb Fish Selection and Care

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There is a good choice of coldwater fish available and tropical fish can be kept if an aquarium heater is fitted inside the aquarium.  The suitability of fish depends on their adult size, behavior, and requirements

Hardy fantail goldfish area good choice for a Biorb Aquariums.  Fantail goldfish have long tails that look like two tails joined together.  Their bodies are short and round.  Avoid fancier varieties such as bubble eyes and pearl scales which can be harder to care for, or Orandas that can grow too big.

Common goldfish are fast swimming and boisterous, they shouldn’t be mixed with fantail goldfish and are better suited to very large aquariums or ponds.  Common goldfish, such as comets and shubunkins usually have a single flat tail and cigar shaped bodies.

Smaller coldwater fish such as white cloud mountain minnows make good first fish, a shoal of six can be mixed with fantail goldfish.

Temperate fish can be kept without a heater providing you use a thermometer to check that the temperature in the aquarium does not drop below 19 degrees Celsius.  These can include danios, some guppies and platys amongst others.  Only buy fish that have already been acclimatized to cool water.  These shouldn’t be mixed with goldfish.

Do not keep ‘bottom feeding’ fish, such as a common pleco, loach or catfish in Biorb Aquariums.  The ceramic media used for biological filtration in Biorb aquariums is unsuitable for them.  Many of these species also grow very large.

There is a large variety of small tropical fish that can be mixed together or kept as a large shoal of one species.  As with any pet, before buying you should do a little research into your chosen fish from the wealth of fish books or web sites available.

Check that the fish you buy will be compatible with your existing fish and/or the fish you plan to have.  They should be healthy and alert, scales should be smooth and not damaged or infected

With fantail goldfish in particular, check that they are swimming easily (not sideways or up-side down) and that their tails are not held at an abnormal angle.  Don’t be afraid to reject a fish that you do not think is healthy.  If you are not completely happy with it, don’t but it.

Number of Fish

It is unlikey that fish get lonely or bored, however, animalds tdo benefit from having a more challenging lifestyle.  Fish must be compatible and goldfish should be of a similar size when introduced to each other.

Shoaling fishes like minnows and tetras need to live in a shoal.  They can feel under threat of predation without the security of a group.

Swim bladder problems

The swim bladder is a gas filled sack inside most fish that control their buoyancy in the water. Problems with the swim bladder cause the fish difficulty in swimming, and are common with fantail goldfish.  Bacteria infections and air swallowing are thought to be common causes of these problems.  Feeding a carried diet can help in prevention.

Swim bladder problems are not usually life threatening, however it can be a symptom of a more serious disease.  If a fish is suffering badly for more than a day or two it can be worth using a swim bladder medication

Some fish suffer regular bouts of problems’ the fish is uncomfortable but soon recovers.  If, however, a fish constantly suffers with swim bladder problems to the extent that it affects quality of life, you may wish to consider seeking advice from a vet.

Cycle

Aquariums use filter bacteria to remove toxic fish waste: creating a biological filter in the ceramic media.  These filter bacteria are not already present in new aquariums, they will start to multiply when they have a food supply = fish waste.  This means that when a fish is first added there will be more fish waste than the filter bacteria to remove it.

When the fish goes to the bathroom ammonia is created, this can be deadly to fish.  The bacteria convert the toxic ammonia into nitrite and then a safer substance called nitrate.  When a fish is added the level of ammonia and nitrite will rise sharply.  As the filter bacteria catch up they will keep the ammonia and nitrite to a safe level and the safe nitrate will steadily rise.  This process is called the ‘cycle’ and will take about 28 days for one small goldfish.

This is potentially a risky time for the fish and the level of ammonia should be minimized by introducing a small fish and not feeding him/her too much. Even so, some fish may not cope with life in very new aquariums as well as other fish. 

It is essential that fish are introduced gradually at a rate of one small goldfish every four weeks.

Filter bacteria need food (fish waste) so that they can multiply.  To multiply, the bacteria need food and a constant supply of oxygenated water.  This is provided by the air pump that must be left running 24 hours a day.  There will only ever be enough filter bacteria for the fish already in the aquarium.

It is important that the biological filter is given time to become established. A few bacteria are introduced to the aquarium with the water preparation chemical and 25 hours later one small goldfish can be added.

When the new fish goes to the bathroom the level of ammonia will start to rise.  In response, the filter bacteria multiply to catch up with the amount of work they have to do.  The fish should be fed sparingly.

The ammonia level will continue to rise, after a couple of weeks the filter bacteria should have caught up.  The water quality should then be good and the aquarium is ready for one new fish.  This process will happen with every new fish.

If more than one goldfish is added at one time then the level of ammonia could get dangerously high.  The extra ammonia could make the fish very ill or even kill them.  Too much food or too large a fish will also create extra ammonia

There are times when you will need to add more than one fish at a time.  For instance, if you buy a shoal of tetras or minnows they should be kept in groups of four or more.  IF this is the case watch your water levels carefully and often in new aquariums one or more of new fish that are added with several others might die.

Filtration cycle

Fish eat food, the waste produced by the fish (ammonia) is consumed by the filter bacteria and turned into the less harmful pollutant nitrate.  These pollutants should be kept low with regular maintenance and light feeding.

If these pollutants build up they will encourage green water and poor fish health

It is important that the biological filter is given time to become established. A few bacteria are introduced to the aquarium with the water preparation chemicals so that 24 hours later one small goldfish can be added

When the new fish is added the filter bacteria start to multiply to catch up with the amount of work they have to do.  After about 28 days there should be enough bacteria to keep the water clean and safe.  The aquarium has ‘cycled’ and is ready for one more goldfish.  The aquarium has to go through this cycle every time a new fish is added.

If more than one goldfish is added there will be a lot more fish waste.  The filter bacteria cannot catch up quickly enough.  Adding a large fish or overfeeding will have the same effect.  As the fish keep going to the bathroom, the water becomes more and more toxic, this can kill your fish.

The less you put into the aquarium, the healthier the water will be.  Good fish keepers look after the water, the fish look after themselves.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
       
       
       
       
       
         
       
       
         
         

 

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