Q&A: Got a goldfish from a carnival. What can I do to keep him alive over night until I can get him a tank?

Question by Kate L: Got a goldfish from a carnival. What can I do to keep him alive over night until I can get him a tank?
Just won a little common goldfish from the fair, but it’s late at night and all the pet supply stores are closed. What steps can I do to keep him alive over night?

I have him in a Tupperware, and I added some distilled water to the water he was in. I figure that have less stuff in it then regular water.

Also, I have some triops food, can I feed him a little?

And if anyone knows of a good little affordable first fish pet tank let me know.
Also, looking at a tank like this:


I know it’s been said that they need a lot of room, but it sounds to be it’s because they just are really dirty. Would it be bad to have a fish in a tank like this and just clean the water more frequently?

Also, he’s about an inch. Dunno if that means anything

Best answer:

Answer by Bizz
not sure about the food– but keep an eye on him.

as for the tank, nothing will be very cheap. dont get a bowl. to start out you could gett a 20 gal but if you got a 55 then that would be good. goldfish can grow to be about 1 foot long. so eventually you could build a pond and put a few more in, too. If you cant do that you could find someone who can take him or sadly keep him in a 20 gal iguess its better than a bowl :/

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

5 Responses to “Q&A: Got a goldfish from a carnival. What can I do to keep him alive over night until I can get him a tank?”

  • Jessica:

    Give him a slice of cucumber (attach it to a rock with a rubber band to weight it down).

    Set out some tap water to sit overnight (this will get rid of the chlorine). You want him in about 1 gallon of water per inch of fish.

    You’ll probably be best with a 20 gallon tank. But depending on his size, you might be ok with a 10 gallon.

  • Sara N:

    you can just leave it in the bag or whatever it came in for the night it will
    be fine. With the tank you can just get a hard plastic box or just a fish bowel witch don’t cost very much usually from about $20-$70. you could probably feed it some of that but actual fish food would be better. and with goldfish you either need a filter or you clean out about a quarter of their water every 1-2 weeks because goldfish are a bit messy

  • Mike:

    The distilled water was the right choice as this has no harsh chlorine or metals. If you go to a fish store or walmart, you can pick up some dechlorinater and treat your tap water to use in the future. Also, I think Walmart has tank kits that include a tank, air pump, air stone, light and filter. Fish stores will cut you deals too if you want to assemble a starter kit.

    The size of the tank depends on the gold fish, but most require 15 to 20 gallons per fish. The reason they need something so large compared to a fish bowl is because they are huge waste producers. It’s like a kitten passing poops as large as a Labrador’s. This immense amount of waste will need to be removed by way of water changes. Either 5% each week or 20% every two weeks.

    One thing to know about is the cycling period. The new water will have to cycle first before it’s right for the fish. Most gold fish can make it through this with no problems. Maybe a little finrot, but this goes away with good water quality. Basically, once fish waste is introduced to fresh water it triggers a chain of events that occur over the next few months or so. These chain of events are two types of bacteria forming in the water called nitrosomonas and nitrobacter. When the cycling is complete, these bacteria will oxidize ammonia and nitrites(that build up in the water and are harmful to fish) into nitrates that you remove with water changes. Never remove over 50% of the water, during or after the cycling is complete. This will remove these essential bacteria and you’ll have to start the cycling process all over again or send it out of whack at the very least.

    Hope this helps.

  • Ianab:

    The fish can live in a plastic tub or bucket untill tommorow, no worries there. The distilled water will do no harm, but long term, use tap water with some water conditioner to remove any chlorine residue.

    Dont waste your money on a tiny tank. If your fish is healthy it will outgrow a 5gal in months. 1 or 2 gal is just a death trap.

    Go and buy the biggest tank you can afford, and a good power filter. Water condtioner and some fish food. Everything else is optional. If you are short of money, you can get a light, gravel, ornaments, net, gravel vac etc later. Look for a plain glass tank, at least 10gal, preferable bigger. It will take longer for your fish to outgrow the bigger tank.

    I buying a big tank is a problem, you can actually keep a fish in a big plastic storage bin, get a stong one that can handle the weight of water. And spend your $$ on a good power filter. After the fish has has lived for a few months, and grown bigger, then spending the $$ on a bigger tank wont seem so silly.

    In a year your fish should be 4-6″ long, hence you may as well buy a decent tank now. It should grow to a foot long, and could live for 20 years, thats a 50gal+ fish. Or grow it for a while then give it to someone with a pond.


  • cutebunny64:

    I bought this tank for my goldfish and he is perfectly healthy.


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