Do Goldfish *need* Filtered Water?

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MadMen | 20:45 Sun 12th May 2013 | Animals & Nature
40 Answers
Really quick question as I'm right in the middle of something and can't stay and chat (boo hoo)...

My kids wanted goldfish, so today we went and got 4. Got the bowls and accessories somewhere else and then went to Pets At Home for the fish.
Noticed on every fish tank that held goldfish there was a little sign that said "needs filtered water" - or something like that.
I called a lad over and told him we wanted 4 of the medium sized goldfish and said "will they be fine in just a bowl if I clean the water every other day"?
He looked at me like I was mental and said "sorry madam but I won't be able to sell you the fish if you don't have a filter". Me: "Eh"? Him: "Yeah, it's against company policy I'm afraid. If it were just me here then I'd let you have them, but I can't".
Me: "well I had goldfish for years as a kid and we never had filters, they just swam around in a bowl". Him: I'm not saying they'd die, but I'm afraid we can't let you have them without you having the proper kit. Me: It's a bloody goldfish, not a horse! Him: Lol (he actually laughed out loud) sorry. Me: Urghh. (looks at kids who are starting to look disappointed) Ok, well I'll have to buy two filters as well then. Him: That's fine, but I still won't be able to let you have the fish today. Me: What?! Him: The water needs to be filtered for at least three days before the fish can go in there. So you can buy the filters now and then come back in three or four days for the fish. Me: Are you serious? Him: Afraid so. You can always go to the new aquarium shop just out of town and they will probably let you have them there and then, if you don't care about the fish. Me: Ah, ok. Fair enough.... and off I went.

So, I went to the other place and got four goldfish but felt SO guilty I got two small filters.

My question is, just how important are the filters? I cannot believe it was so much hassle to get two bloody goldfish!
I purposely didn't want filters, or anything that required plugging in, because I have a major OCD about things left plugged in at night and I now won't be able to sleep properly knowing they're plugged in and whirring away.


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Just ensure you have correct fuses in your plug and you will be totally safe!
21:01 Sun 12th May 2013
Quite important yes!

Goldfish are notoriously poop makers, without filters the tanks would be literally crap filled and toxic before you know it.

And no offence, they may only be "bloody goldfish" to you, but they are also living creatures, which deserve the best care that you can give them, and if that entails filtering the tank and ensuring the tank cycles (PH levels of the water) before you put them in there, then so be it.

Personally, id rather have disappointed children then goldfish possibly suffering and then ending belly up on you.
If you don't have a filter running you will need to change the water regularly. at least weekly maybe more often and add a treatment to protect the fish against the chlorine in the tap water. It is also stressful for the fish to be caught and put in another container on such a frequent basis and there is a risk of damage to the fish every time you do it. I would say for the proper care of the goldfish they are essential. In the old days, we were forever having to treat goldfish for fungal disease, that white cotton wooly stuff that they get growing on them. the treatment doesn't work well and the fish suffered and died. if you can't tolerate the filters running then give the fish away to someone who doesn't mind it.
Harsh comments I know but I am on the side of the goldfish!! :-)
hello B00
I apologise that I do not have not read your whole post, but yes, buy a filter for the little fishies.
'ow do Woofy x
Yes we used to keep goldfish in bowl, but we never knew any better. Now we know how my they suffer. If you just change the water every few days you will kill them slowly and painfully with the ammonia in the tap water.

Lisa x

Oh and you need to read up on how to cycle a tank also. Personally I would take the fish back to the shop.
Question Author
Thanks for answering. I appreciate it. I realise I probably come across as not very animal loving, I am really, but I was honestly under the impression that it was only tropical fish that required filters, etc. As I say, we had goldfish for years, and they were literally just swimming around in a bowl.

Anyway, I do definitely need the filters in then.

Next question, and I know this is going to sound crazy, but having something electrical plugged in 24/7 which is in water, is there any way, shape or form that could possibly be dangerous/fire hazzard?

Nope MM.

You actually need to take a sample of the water into Pets at Home to get tested before they still sell you them . I had all that to do too and we had an aquarium with a filter pump, water treatment etc. They lasted a wee while but still died in the end even though I cleaned it all weekly and added the chlorine neutraliser stuff. We just got rid of the tank then, was more hassle than it was worth really
Just ensure you have correct fuses in your plug and you will be totally safe!
Question Author
Not harsh at all. I want honest answers, I don't want the things to be floating in a few days. Then my kids really will be disappointed!

Well the filters are in and both on. Having read the answers, I will not even think about switching them off. I don't want the fish to suffer, but I genuinely had no reason why having a filter was so important - so thanks for explaining that to me.

I'm a bit confused about the 'tap water' thing? My water doesn't actually come directly from the tap, well it does but it goes through 4 filters, so I'm assuming there won't be any problems with that??
Don't forget that tap water these days has a great deal more junk in it than it did when we were kids.
Question Author
Thanks Ratter :-)
Question Author
"Don't forget that tap water these days has a great deal more junk in it than it did when we were kids."

Oh, I know all about that!

Gotta go now, but thanks again. Much appreciated.
Madmen, my grandson has had one goldfish for 2 years now in a tank at our house. I have a cheap filter that came with the tank but I turn it off every night and back on again in the morning, no problems. Sometimes I forget and don't turn the filter back on until lunchtime but so far the fish is as fit as a flea and when you change the water just change a third of the water at a time and take the sponge out of the filter and give it a clean in cold water, nothing else as the filter contains bacteria that help keep the tank gunge free.
My Goldfish is now about 15+ years! And still going strong, think he'll live us all out.
Would having the plug plugged into one of these help ease your mind? User Recommendation

you don't need to go to amazon, places like b and q and diy stores sell them. They monitor the power going through the plug and if it senses a problem, it cuts the power to whatever is plugged into it.
MadMen, go to the garden centre where I work, (you know where it is) , there have a large pets and aquatics dept and would be more than happy to help with any advice.

Question Author
Thanks again for all the helpful advice. Great link with that plug. Never knew the existed.
I'm going to switch them off tonight, just before I go to bed, and put them back on in the morning. I know it sounds selfish, but I will really panic tonight if I don't.

Dave, "you know where I work" makes me sound like a stalker! Lol
I'm there fairly often, usually when it's nice weather, so I'll be sure to say hello next time.
You and ratter can look forward to lots of fishy pics uploaded to Facebook tomorrow!! :-)
im normally outside in the "patio" dept.


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