Shipping fish?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by shelleyd2008, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    I have a tank that has 2 goldfish in it. I can clean it one day, and 2 days later it is cloudy. I was thinking of getting a plecostomas (sp?) but there are no pet stores nearby. I have found some sites online that will ship them, but I am kind of leary about that.

    Has anyone had fish shipped to them before?
  2. FrChuckW

    FrChuckW Father to all, Dad to none

    Sep 7, 2008
    Louisville, KY
    Quote:Silly girl! Don't you read my signature lines? [​IMG] Of course I have had fish shipped to me several times. over the years and I have shipped fish as well. They will send the fish in enough water to keep it comfortable, and this time of the year they will more than likely include a heat pack of some kind to keep the fish from freezing up.

    How big is your tank? Gold fish are notorious for producing more fish waste than other fish. The cloudiness in your tank will disapear after a few days. What is happening is the good bacteria (nitrifying bacteria) is rebuilding itself and working to control the ammonia spike in the tank. These bacteria help to break down the ammonia into nitrates and then nitrites. You can help by having some live plants in your tank as well.

    Let me know if I can help, I know a couple of good places that I could recommend. You can also go to and see what they have there.
  3. ChickenCop

    ChickenCop Chillin' With My Peeps

    As for your question...I have had many fish shipped over the years of keeping fish. At the present you might have issues with weather conditions and the cost of shipping aint cheap on fish either.
    You might want to consider your options on the pleco with the goldfish for a couple reasons....Goldfish are cold water fish, while plecos come from S. America where water temp is alot warmer. Alot of folks think the plecos are only scavengers but they too need to be feed vegetable matter. Secondly, Goldfish have a small digestive tract, so it seems as soon as you feed them it goes through them quick. Depending on how big your fish are and the size of the tank this might be causing your "cloudy" problem.
    Just to make sure Im understanding you, you are changing out some water right, not all of it ? If your changing it all out that cloudiness could possibly be a bacteria bloom. Not a serious thing to worry about but if you clean the tank all the way out that's hard on your fish....Good luck![​IMG]
  4. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Fish shipping is common. See I've bought tons of fish and aquatic critters online including a whole bunch of clown plecos.

    However adding a pleco will only make your problems worse. They are poop machines and not very efficient at digesting what they eat. Or more specifically they don't eat stuff that is very concentrated so a lot of it turns back into waste. They also do not eat fish waste. Nothing really does. You will find your tank requires twice as much cleaning with a large common pleco.

    The first thing to address would be tank size. The minimum recommended for fancy goldfish is 30g for the first one and 10g after that leading you to a 40-55g for 2. Anything less will eventually lead to issues. The minimum for a common pleco.. well... let's not go there because some can get 5' long... [​IMG] If you do want to add a plec a bushy or bristlenose is best because they will top out at maybe 8" max for the larger species and are better algae eaters than commons. Again it will only increase your tank maintenance.

    The 2nd thing is that over cleaning actually causes harm to the tank. A tank needs to cycle. A cycle is when bacteria grow that turn ammonia to nitrites and then to nitrates. Ammonia is harmful at any testable level and toxic at around 2ppm while nitrates are safe at 10-20ppm and don't cause noticeable harm until 40ppm. Over cleaning removes the bacteria and ruins the cycle which will cause ammonia and nitrite spikes. In turn those cause cloudy water from bacterial and algae blooms (algae loves nothing more than nitrates except ammonia and nitrites). Then we're going in circles where the person cleans more often so the cycle gets ruined even more so the tank gets cloudier so they clean more often.... You shouldn't need more than a 25% change of water (some do 50% by choice especially when trying to spawn fish), gravel vac of 25% of the gravel, and change of filter cartridges weekly. Otherwise something is probably wrong.

    Now if you know all that (sorry you had to read it then) and are following it then your problem is most likely just that you have very messy fish. Adding another filter might help. I run 10-12 times the volume of the tank so for a 55 enough filters to equal 550gph. Many goldfish keepers resort to live plants to keep the nitrates down and avoid mini cycles (short temporary interruptions to the cycle). Plants use up ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and phosphorous which are used by algae and so prevent algae growth far better than a pleco which will just contribute to it. Some use hardy low light plants like duckweed (do not add unless you never want to get rid of it), java ferns, cryptocornes, aponogetons (my first plant ever when I stepped into aquatic gardening and you can find bulbs at walmart), and hornwort (my favorite choice for water polishing in a low light tank). Some use safe houseplants with external root systems that can be draped in the aquarium. I wouldn't know these since I never had a reason to try it. One person I know of used stripped willow branches cut from a local tree that sprouted in the tank. Nonaquatics as a general rule grow faster than aquatic plants. If you want to go the chemical route there are nitrate and phosphorous removers but they have their risks and costs.

    Try if you want more info and possible solutions.
  5. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Hmm,. well I don't think I need a pleco then, as I haven't had any problems with algae. It is just cloudy water that I have trouble with.

    I try to do partial water changes, but after 'trying' to clean the gravel, the water level is about 50%. The last time I cleaned it was a total cleaning as we had to move it. My dad is a bit scatter-brained, and thought he had some papers in the table the tank was on. Of course he didn't, so it was a big waste of time. I know that I should use the old filter cartridges for a while after changing the water, for the good bacteria and stuff.

    One of these goldfish is pretty big. I know they need a bigger tank, but I live with my dad right now, and he doesn't want to have a huge fish tank in the house. They are in a 10 gallon right now. If I had known how big they got, I would not have let my son play the fish bowl game at the fair! [​IMG] I believe they are common goldfish, which I have read get to 8" long. The bigger of the two is probably a good 3" already, and the other is about 1 1/2".

    Would an undergravel filter help? Most of the gunk in there is in the gravel, and trying to vacuum the gravel only seems to make it worse.

    I'll look next time I go to walmart for live plants, but I know my mom used to try to get some started in her fish tank, and they would never take, so I don't have much faith in them.
  6. Aneesa's Muse

    Aneesa's Muse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 8, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    Plecostomus and Goldfish are not compatible tank mates is tropical, the other coldwater ...therefore, someone isn't going to be happy or healthy.

    The cloudiness could be from a lot of different things. It's probably best to take a sample of your water to a local fish store (LFS) and have them run some tests. Even dip tests will give you some idea of what the problem is ..and how to correct it.

    Good luck! [​IMG]

    Oh.. and yes, I've had a LOT of fish shipped to me. I've shipped a few, as well. Healthy fish travel well ..use Next Day shipping ...and in this climate, include.. or have the shipper include.. an activated heat pak (40hr minimum, just in case).
  7. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Ok, so would an undergravel filter help?

    Would I be able to use an undergravel filter with live plants?

    How many plants would be good for this tank?

    Anyone wanna trade a small(er) common goldfish for one really big one? [​IMG]
  8. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Ok, so would an undergravel filter help? Yes

    Would I be able to use an undergravel filter with live plants? Yes

    How many plants would be good for this tank? At least one in each corner.
  9. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    And you can make your own undergravel filter with some of the plastic light diffuser they sell at home depot. It is about a half inch thick and as half inch squares, you can cut it to size and lay some screen over it and put the gravel on top. set some one inch pieces of half inch pvc under it to keep it off the aquarium floor, cut holes for your riser pipes, which you can make yourself also from pvc pipe, drop an airstone down each one in each back corner, and you will have a very inexpensive undergravel filter that works every bit as well as a manufactured one. Those fish are going to get a LOT bigger than six inches. They could get to be a foot long each, just so you can eventually plan ahead for the correct size of the fish.
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Under the circumstances I'd really recommend AGAINST an undergravel filter. (Full disclosure: I don't generally like them all that much anyhow, even under the best of conditions). Biggest reason being, mostly it will pull all the fish poo and uneaten food down into the gravel and underneath, where you can't as easily remove it by vacuuming, and it will take AGES for enough bacteria to build up to process it properly.

    Why not just get a regular ol' hang-off-the-back-of-the-tank power filter. Just as cheap, MUCH easier to set up (does not require totally wrecking apart the tank!), better with live plants than an undergravel filter is (plant roots can restrict flow thru it), and will IMHO do a better job of allowing you to manage high nutrient loads.

    Then vacuum the tank every week or two, doing a small water change to replace the volume lost in the vacuuming. Make sure to stir the gravel around a bit. As you say, goldfish are MESSY.

    You may be feeding them too much. All they need is a REAL LITTLE pinch of food, no more than once a day. Honest.

    Finally, I would HIGHLY recommend getting a test kit for nitrites and possibly nitrates. So you can see how bad your water is at any one time [​IMG] and whether you need to do more or not.

    BTW, you mention live plants. How much lighting do you have for them. I ask because live plants in insufficient light (and most of them really do need a WHALE of a lot of light) will start dying back and actually *adding* nutrients back to the water, rather than what you probably hoped for which was that they'd sequester nutrients *out of* the water.

    If you still find yourself with real bad cloudy-water high-N problems that a decent filter and regular vacuuming and suchlike won't cure, there are products ont he market that you can put into the filter or tank that will chemically remove some of the ammonia/nitrite/nitrates from the water. I don't normally like them one bit, but if you are stuck with too much goldfish in too little tank there might be some use for them. They are not real cheap but they won't kill ya either. Try all the other management measures first though.

    GOod luck,

    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009

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