Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

goldfish stink?

We have a 55 gallon tank. We always had african cichlids, but had to get rid of them for a long move. We just wanted to get our tank up and running cheap so we bought 20 goldfish to put in there for now. Well so far 5 have died in the past 2 days and the thing stinks like its never been cleaned. I am having family fly in in a few days and really don't want them to walk in our house and smell the awful smell of dying goldfish or whatever it is. Any suggestions for the smell or should i just get rid of the fish? Thanks.

Answer Question

Asked by sweetjpea at 7:31 PM on May. 25, 2010 in Pets

Level 9 (367 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • when fish die, their bodies produce ammonia, which makes that fishy smell a LOT worse. Goldfish especially :)
    Do at least a 25% water change the day before your visitors get there, it should cut down on the odor.

    Answer by StellarJKD at 7:36 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • Um 20 goldfish is way too many!!!!! They need a lot of space to swim and grow. A good rule of thumb is a gallon of water per inch of goldfish.

    Answer by newmomma14 at 7:45 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • For Cichlids, tetras, etc the rule is 1" of fish per gallon... for goldfish it is 2" of fish per gallon..

    One regular goldfish will get 14-16" long. Much larger than an African will get- think South American size! One goldfish needs 28 gallons of water to be housed.
    The tank is overcrowded and you are smelling ammonia.
    Goldfish are in the Carp family and NATURALLY produce excess ammonia whereas other fish do not do this. Having so many GF in that size tank is causing a build up of ammonia and it is literally burning the scales off of the fish. I can also hazard a guess that the waste in that tank is off the charts.
    The best thing to do is to find a pond for those GF, which is the best place for them- not a tank. Clean your tank, set it back up, cycle for 2 weeks and then slowly add more fish- Cichlids again, or even sharks or something else altogether.
    I've had fish for over 20+ me if you need help.

    Answer by mcginnisc at 7:37 AM on May. 26, 2010

  • Ew, well, goldfish have to be the most disgusting fish that you can keep. They will eat anything that fits in their mouths, and yes, they DO stink. I'd cut your losses and get rid of them, or take them back to the place you bought them and fill your tank with a handful (8-12) guppies, and some rasbora hets and tetras. They're school fish, so it'll be interesting to watch them school through eachother. They'll find a hiding spot in the tank and always gravitate toward that side, but are social enough to interact.

    And sharks are really cool. My mom bought 6 for her 55gal, although they will outgrow the tank, the store would exchange them back out with new smaller ones later, because the bigger sharks sell too. They are very active, but mainly swim top to bottom, top to bottom, over and over. Though they're flashy, they're not as exciting to me as the schooling fish.

    Good luck, let us know what you decide!

    Answer by matobe at 10:37 AM on May. 26, 2010

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.