PDA

View Full Version : Vegass2k's first aquarium journal (goldfish)



vegas2k
09-21-2009, 08:08 PM
Thanks to the help of some dedicated aquarists here, I am getting a step closer to having some fancy goldfish each day!

To start, the fish I will be introducing to my tank are the following goldies :

2 Ranchu(if we can even find any around here..petco doesn't have any)
1 Ryukin
*1 Shubunkin
1 Fantail
1 more of one of those above

*removed from list due to compatibility issues swimming and what not I'm told. Will replace with probably a Fantail or a Ryukin.

For now, I am thinking


2 Ranchu
2 Fantail
1 Ryukin



I had a little trouble getting that mineral build up on the top out. At least that's what I think it is. will try some more vinegar again later to get that out. I'll take any suggestions as far as an easier way to get it out though :)

Hardware I am sourcing :

1 Aquaclear 110
Ceramic rings
1 Rena FilStar XP3
Pool filter sand
Goldfish food
dechlorinator
fish net
Air wall(I hear goldies like to play with the bubbles :)
Theme - beach. I hope to find fish safe deco that will look like they're in a submerged beach :) like some kind of an umbrella..one of those generic treasure chests, beach ball..palm trees etc



As of now, I already have procured a 55 gallon tank with stand. Here are my cleaning progress pics from my first cleaning only..about an hour of elbow grease :)

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2627/3941450719_af293898b4_b.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2454/3942234008_c48002e0f9_b.jpg


Also wondering what I can lay across top to prevent the cat from getting in there. I already have the plastic top with lighting that goes across it, but doesn't cover the entire tank. I don't want too much coverage...and suffocate the fish..will my Aquaclear and air wall be sufficient air for the fish?


Much more to come..this is very exciting for us!

bushwhacker
09-21-2009, 08:33 PM
nice job on the clean up...i'm not to sure on your decore theme but as they say beauty lies in the eye of the beholder..lol. i dont use air stones in my tanks really dont like the look as long as you have surface agitation.. it will get plenty of gas exchange. for the cat get a squirt gun, a few well placed shots he'll leave the tank alone

vegas2k
09-21-2009, 09:03 PM
nice job on the clean up...i'm not to sure on your decore theme but as they say beauty lies in the eye of the beholder..lol. i dont use air stones in my tanks really dont like the look as long as you have surface agitation.. it will get plenty of gas exchange. for the cat get a squirt gun, a few well placed shots he'll leave the tank alone

If I don't have bubbles, is the agitation from the rena and aqua clear sufficientfor Oxygen? I'll probably still add some kind of nice looking thing that bubbles, because I hear goldies like to sometimes play in them.

Northernguy
09-21-2009, 09:10 PM
The aqua clear would be fine.The bubbles are just that ,bubbles.All they do is add oxygen to the water.The ac will be great until your fish get larger.They will need the rena.They may also need a bigger tank when they get near full size.I don't own golds,I am unsure as to how fast they grow.
NLS brand foog would be great for your fish.
If you can get a wood canopy made for your tank,your cat would stay out of it.

vegas2k
09-21-2009, 09:24 PM
I don't know if I want to go to a bigger tank eventually...so perhaps I should reduce the amount of fish to 4? That would be then 13.75 gallons per fish. The tank is a lengthy one, so I think they will have a lot of room to swim, even as adults.

Lab_Rat
09-21-2009, 11:56 PM
I think 5 fancy goldfish will be fine in your tank as you will have a ton of filtration with the xp3 and the aquaclear 110. Weekly water changes will keep the nitrates down.

As the others have said, there is no real need for an airstone, though it will help with oxygen exchange. Most people use them for the look. If you go that route, you'll need an air pump and airline tubing in addition to the airstone.

vegas2k
09-22-2009, 12:30 AM
yeah I think instead of getting a plain ole airstone or what not, I'll eventually find a nice decoration that fits my theme well that is made for tubing air to it.

Today, after reading that PetSmart does indeed pricematch, I went there with printouts in hand. I think it pretty much comes out even, paying tax instead of S&H. And besides, I like local for these things in case there is any need for return due to defect or whatever. Overall I got all this stuff in In the photo for 300 dollars. In the photo are :


Rena Filstar xP3
Aquaclear 110 Power filter
API Master Freshwater test kit
Fluval ceramic rings
Omega one small sinking goldfish food
Aqueon Water conditioner
4" net


http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2605/3943111692_a9115c99f7_b.jpg


Two things come to mind while I was shopping. Do I need to not use the carbon? Will it hinder the bacteria growth when cycling, and when the tank is already cycling and with fish? replace carbon with something else? Also, I got the ceramic rings from fluval for the aquaclear.

vegas2k
09-22-2009, 12:50 AM
One thing I forgot! A heater/thermometer! Damn I knew I forgot something lol.

My friend recommended a Visitherm heater, 350w. Upon reading specs though, I read that I only need a 200w for 55 gallon tank. Any reason to get the higher wattage one? Perhaps if i get a higher one, and lower the temp it'll be more efficient? Or perhaps get a bigger one just in case I go to a bigger tank sometime? Not sure why I would go with that big 350 guy.

rich311k
09-22-2009, 12:55 AM
5 watts a gallon is the usual recommendation. I would go with a 250.

Lab_Rat
09-22-2009, 01:04 AM
Goldfish are temperate fish, no need for a heater as you'll want their tank water on the cool side.

vegas2k
09-22-2009, 01:31 AM
Goldfish are temperate fish, no need for a heater as you'll want their tank water on the cool side.


will i need a heater to cycle the tank though? I read it helps. Also, will it cycle(although slower) without introducing bacteria from already formed colonies in another tank? I will definitely try to get used sponge or gravel or what not from another person's tank, but if not, will it still cycle?

Lab_Rat
09-22-2009, 05:49 AM
Heating up will definitely speed up the cycle, if you've got the cash for a heater go for it. I only use the visi-therm stealth and I think I have the 200w on my 55g. The tank will still cycle without seeding it with media as long as there is an ammonia source, it will just take a lot longer.

vegas2k
09-22-2009, 08:27 AM
after reading much about the benefits of plants to the fish, such as an extra nutrient, cleaning the water better, etc, I am thinking about introducing plants now..changed my mind haha. Also I read that roots of live plants have the bacteria needed for seeding the tank as well(so you don't need to get bacteria laden material from a store/friend. If i anchor a few java moss balls into my tank, will they provide the needed bacteria? I plan on getting them anyways, since I like how they look.

vegas2k
09-22-2009, 09:31 PM
I looked at those japanese moss balls today. I love them, they are like little green water mines =p I will definitely get a few of those...though they are a bit expensive at 10 bucks a pop.

The local petco fish girl is really knowledgeable, and thus she knows what I meant when I asked her to get some gravel to help my cycle my tank. She said she has many tanks that she wants to reduce the gravel, so I can get as much as I want :18: So I'll put it in my tank(in a container...as I dont want it permanently, only to cycle my tank). Fish-less cycling FTW!

vegas2k
09-23-2009, 05:17 AM
I looked at those japanese moss balls today. I love them, they are like little green water mines =p I will definitely get a few of those...though they are a bit expensive at 10 bucks a pop.

The local petco fish girl is really knowledgeable, and thus she knows what I meant when I asked her to get some gravel to help my cycle my tank. She said she has many tanks that she wants to reduce the gravel, so I can get as much as I want :18: So I'll put it in my tank(in a container...as I dont want it permanently, only to cycle my tank). Fish-less cycling FTW!


after reading much about the benefits of plants to the fish, such as an extra nutrient, cleaning the water better, etc, I am thinking about introducing plants now..changed my mind haha. Also I read that roots of live plants have the bacteria needed for seeding the tank as well(so you don't need to get bacteria laden material from a store/friend. If i anchor a few java moss balls into my tank, will they provide the needed bacteria? I plan on getting them anyways, since I like how they look.

also, did a test tonight, curious what our water's pH is, tested at 7.6. right around where it's good for the goldies :)

Lab_Rat
09-23-2009, 05:25 AM
after reading much about the benefits of plants to the fish, such as an extra nutrient, cleaning the water better, etc, I am thinking about introducing plants now..changed my mind haha. Also I read that roots of live plants have the bacteria needed for seeding the tank as well(so you don't need to get bacteria laden material from a store/friend. If i anchor a few java moss balls into my tank, will they provide the needed bacteria? I plan on getting them anyways, since I like how they look.

I've never heard that plants have nitrifying bacteria on them. They do help with keeping nitrogenous waste down since they use both ammonia and nitrate. The java moss is a good idea.

It's great they're willing to give you gravel to jump start the cycle. What I would do is put it in a nylon stocking and add ammonia to the tank. Daily, squeeze the stocking so bacteria are released. You'll likely experience a bacterial bloom and if there is enough bacteria in the substrate your cycle will likely be done in less than a week. I like this method vs just adding fish with the seeded gravel because you will then know exactly how big your biofilter is.

vegas2k
09-23-2009, 05:32 AM
I've never heard that plants have nitrifying bacteria on them.

this was after reading Dr. Cow's writeup on cycling, and the possible sources. Here are the sources he cites :


1. Filter material (floss, sponge, biowheel, etc.) from an established, disease-free tank.
2. Live plants (preferably potted, leave the rockwool on until cycling is finished). Crypts or amazon swords are good choices, and not too demanding.
3. Gravel from an established, disease-free tank. (Many lfs [local fish stores] will give this away if asked nicely.)
4. Other ornaments (driftwood, rocks, etc.) from an established tank.
5. Squeezings from a filter sponge (any lfs should be willing to do this...)

well in any case, it can only help right? :) one thing that worries me is, to my untrained eye, how do I know for sure that the gravel from the aquarium i get it from is not in a diseased aquarium? that kinda scares me a bit.

vegas2k
09-23-2009, 09:55 PM
Tank clean and in the house!! Does the activated carbon help with maybe any trace impurities that may be in the tank(maybe trace amounts of vinegar I used to clean the minerals)?I hosed out the tank quite thoroughly after I cleaned it. And before the water goes in I will once again use paper towel wet with tap water and wipe the entire inner surface. I am just paranoid haha

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3436/3948212713_bd9dc32afb_b.jpg

and here, the Fish' nemesis. But the cover along with my filters, will block any intrusion from the cat.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2675/3948215357_9c371e567a_b.jpg

Lab_Rat
09-23-2009, 10:58 PM
this was after reading Dr. Cow's writeup on cycling, and the possible sources. Here are the sources he cites :



well in any case, it can only help right? :) one thing that worries me is, to my untrained eye, how do I know for sure that the gravel from the aquarium i get it from is not in a diseased aquarium? that kinda scares me a bit.

Ok, the nitrifying bacteria are in the wool around the plants, that's why he says get potted and don't remove the wool until after the cycle is finished.

Activated carbon is a personal choice, I usually don't use it except to remove medications. It's not going to hurt your cycle though. Not sure if it will take out vinegar, but as long as you rinsed well you're ok. You'll be doing a massive wc after the cycle completes before adding fish anyway.

When you're choosing the used gravel to get, make sure you get it out of a tank with no dead fish, fish that look like they are very skinny, fish with black edges (other than natural markings) on their fins, fish that look like they have cottony growth on them, or fish that have little, salt looking spots on them (that is ich). So pick the healthiest looking tank with fish. If you do see tanks with the above problems, ask if the filtration is linked with the tank you get the substrate out of. If it is you will want to choose one where it's not connected to the sick tank.

Cute cat, mine loves trying to catch the fish through the glass.

I forgot to mention to do a snail dip before adding live plants to your tank, unless you want snails. I do a dip with about a teaspoon of alum in some water. The plants soak for a couple of hours, then I rinse them well and add them to the tank. Other snail dips are out there, some use dilute bleach or potassium permanganate but the alum has always worked for me and is not harsh on the plants.

vegas2k
09-24-2009, 08:44 PM
If I add duckweed to my goldfish tank, I know the goldies will like eating it, but how do I know if they will eat it faster than it grows, or slower, or maybe just right? It would be nice to have it for them to nibble on, but I don't want it to go out of control in growth, and neither do I want the fish to eat it up till it's all gone. I guess if it outgrows the eating, I can always once in a while skim a bunch out of the tank...

MrJim
09-24-2009, 10:21 PM
and here, the Fish' nemesis. But the cover along with my filters, will block any intrusion from the cat.



...he looks like a clever cat~might need to put a lock on that lid:hmm3grin2orange:

vegas2k
09-25-2009, 07:46 AM
...he looks like a clever cat~might need to put a lock on that lid:hmm3grin2orange:


haha..I certainly will be watching her!!! She treads carefully downstairs too as that is the domain of my dogs, and she doesn't like them. I think at most she'll sit at the bottom of the stairs and look at them curiously.

Here is a new progress pic of the tank.

Aquarium now on the stand in the house. Rena XP3 intake dangling on the left side, Xp3 output bar in the middle, Aquaclear on the right side(you can see the bottom of it) :heartsthree:


http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2598/3952100183_2ff671a8c3.jpg

vegas2k
09-26-2009, 02:23 AM
obtained two large handfuls of bacteria laden gravel. got nylon hose. each foot has a handful of gravel...it looks really funny lol. So far added 1ml of ammonia and at 0 ppm ammonia. using a 1ml syringe as my dropper. filled up, doing more 5 drops at a time...will update with changes

vegas2k
09-26-2009, 04:35 AM
yeah..really funny picture of my gravel seeding material in the feet of stockings...thanks Lab Rat for the suggestion..looks pretty funny lol



http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2523/3955080846_0beceece8b_b.jpg

MCHRKiller
09-26-2009, 05:02 AM
Looks like your off to a fabulous start! Definatly going to be a nice goldfish tank for sure. Your tank does look larger than 55gallons, what are the dimmensions on it?

vegas2k
09-26-2009, 05:10 AM
Looks like your off to a fabulous start! Definatly going to be a nice goldfish tank for sure. Your tank does look larger than 55gallons, what are the dimmensions on it?


thanks :) it's 48" wide x 20.5 high x 12.5" deep to be exact...it may look big due to the width. But realistically I don't use all 55 gallons...I think I use around 48-50 gallons, due to the tank not being filled to the brim =p

MCHRKiller
09-26-2009, 05:36 AM
Yeah thats a 55G, just looks larger in the pics. Anyway nice tank :22:

vegas2k
09-29-2009, 03:35 AM
thanks to Wolf Eyes here on the forums, I now have one of her old filters from one of her tanks :) See where my ammonia is in a few hours and tomrrow morning..and hopefully with some nitrites/nitrates! i hope that my nitrite eating bacteria doesnt die..since i am introducing it to a tank with no nitrite...i hope the filter's ammonia bacteria will offer up some nitrites for the nitrate bacteria so that they stay alive and do their magic!

vegas2k
09-30-2009, 12:31 AM
Update :

Ammonia is high(I think when I first added it, I did not read the chart correctly..and put too much, and it ended up above 8ppm).

Nitrites : 0 ppm
Nitrates : 5 ppm


I assume what this means is, wait for Ammonia to come down to zero, and see if nitrites still at 0. If that is true, do a big 70% water change, perhaps then also check my pH, and put my fish in?

And if I can put fish in at that point, should I just get 2 goldfish at a time because of the large bio load they present to the tank?

Lab_Rat
09-30-2009, 01:11 AM
How high is the ammonia? If it's too high it can actually slow down the cycle. If it's still above 8ppm I would do a partial water change to bring it down to 5ppm or so.

Once the ammonia and nitrite are 0ppm the cycle is completed. A large water change is the proper next step (removing 70+%, I get out as much as I can, making sure to keep the filter media wet). If you're getting small goldfish (not full grown adults) with as much ammonia as you've used to cycle (5ppm or so) you should have a sufficient biofilter to add more than two. If all are less than an inch or so, I would feel comfortable adding all five if your biofilter is large enough to take care of 4-5ppm rapidly. Remember to feed the bacteria by adding some ammonia when the ammonia reads zero but the nitrites are still spiking.

bushwhacker
09-30-2009, 02:38 AM
something to remember goldies love plants....for lunch

vegas2k
09-30-2009, 03:04 AM
yah my plan is to raise duckweed separately and feed it to them :)

bushwhacker
09-30-2009, 04:44 AM
haha hope you keep em well fed.....

vegas2k
09-30-2009, 05:03 AM
haha hope you keep em well fed.....

yeah, the duckweed is just a snack to supplement my Omega goldfish pellets. I am just keeping it separate in case they eat all of it up...

vegas2k
09-30-2009, 07:01 AM
I read in one of the reference links about fish here that with goldfish, it is good to use a certain amt of aquarium salt to prevent fungus and stuff...is that common practice?

vegas2k
10-01-2009, 07:15 AM
day 5 of cycling...still have gravel in there, and a small piece of used filter media in there...waiting for ammonia to go down... /yawn

vegas2k
10-01-2009, 07:59 AM
thinking about getting a bottle of safe start..cant hurt, and could be a fun experiment...

Deleted User
10-01-2009, 10:14 AM
I can't wait to see pics when you get to add your fish. I love fancy goldfish, too thumbs2:

vegas2k
10-01-2009, 04:27 PM
I can't wait to see pics when you get to add your fish. I love fancy goldfish, too thumbs2:


hehe thanks. We are also excited to see the little buggers swimming around the tank :) for now..empty tank hahah...I'm sure everyone who has had to do the fishless in the beginning is tempted to do whatever it takes to make it faster haha. I got a heater yesterday for it, turned it up to 85 degrees...my excuse was..uhh well I may need it one day for tropical freshwater fish....lol..wife's reaction..another tank? lol

vegas2k
10-01-2009, 08:22 PM
just for the frickin hell of it, I got a bottle of this bacteria called Start Smart from the LFS. A company called TLC makes it :

http://www.tlc-products.com/pages/1/index.htm


I will log how this goes, as I have not seen any ammonia or nitrite change since I started a week ago..will let you all know exactly what I do and what happens.

vegas2k
10-02-2009, 04:14 PM
This morning, we are 4 hours shy of 24 hours since I added StartSmart.

I kept my test from yesterday when I added SmartStart So i have a basis of comparison for my ammonia.

Today's test was significantly lower than yesterdays.

Now that I compare the two, I really think my ammonia was at or over 8 ppm. Because now there is a noticeable change in green color..it is lighter(im sure because I even mixed the vials a few times and i was able to pick out which was today's by color), and I think it is around 4ppm now.

I am now on the lookout for nitrites as well.

vegas2k
10-03-2009, 08:18 AM
I am 2.5 days since adding StartSmart.

I saw this morning that my Ammonia has gone down from around 8 ppm levels down to 2 ppm.

So this evening(now), I tested to see if some nitrites were floating in there. I got a reading of .25. yay!

so...2.5 days after TLC StartSmart, things are going. I was not a believer in this stuff, but I am beginning to believe...which is a relief as it was not cheap.

Ammonia - 2 ppm
Nitrite - .25 ppm


will test ammonia and nitrites again tomorrow evening, and add ammonia as needed.

I will bring it back up to 4ppm once I have ammonia gone down to 1ppm..as I am terrible at reading the green color, so I will wait till it's at 1ppm and then add ammonia till it matches the 4ppm color :)

wolf_eyes
10-03-2009, 07:57 PM
I had a hard time believing in that sort of stuff as well when I first saw it in store. When my shrimp started dying off due to a mini cycle, however, I went out and bought some. Threw the whole bottle into the tank and there were no more deaths. I'm glad they have this type of product out now, because it makes starting the hobby a lot easier.

vegas2k
10-04-2009, 12:15 AM
thanks wolf eyes, i am becoming a more and more of a believer as the days pass. We are on 2 days and 4 hours since getting it(yeah I wrote it incorrectly on yesterday's entry).

So basically 48 hours after using 4 ounces of the good stuff in a bottle, I have .5 ppm of nitrates, and my ammonia dropped to 1 ppm. I added 5 drops ammonia, and will add more if needed after retesting in an hour.

I wonder how long I should wait before looking for nitrates...being slow growing and all. maybe every other day I can check the -ates...


so :

1 ppm ammonia(adding to bring it back up now)
.5 ppm nitrite
100% love for this stuff so far.

vegas2k
10-04-2009, 06:27 PM
Almost the 3 day marker...I got -ATES!!

Ammonia 1ppm
Nitrites .5ppm
Nitrates 5ppm

Already getting nitrates from this stuff

vegas2k
10-05-2009, 07:42 PM
keeping my ammonia up...

nitrites are now off the chart. continue waiting game for nitrites to drop :) Hopefully not too long since I am showing the -ates.

vegas2k
10-06-2009, 06:04 PM
Nitrites -2 ppm
Nitrates - 10 ppm


looks like Nitrosomonas still doing their work, and Nitrobacter also continuing to process Nitrites and growthumbs2:

Lolita
10-06-2009, 06:21 PM
Nitrites -2 ppm
Nitrates - 10 ppm


looks like Nitrosomonas still doing their work, and Nitrobacter also continuing to process Nitrites and growthumbs2:

Yaay so close!

vegas2k
10-06-2009, 06:35 PM
Yaay so close!


yah, it's exciting for sure!

Lab_Rat
10-06-2009, 08:34 PM
Sounds like you're almost done! thumbs2:

Did you find a supplier for the different types of goldies you want?

vegas2k
10-06-2009, 09:35 PM
Sounds like you're almost done! thumbs2:

Did you find a supplier for the different types of goldies you want?


kinda. I can get all the fish locally, but the Ranchus only sell in a bigger size...40 dollars each...I won't bother with them, get the others smaller, then maybe down the road get aRanchu when they're as big as one i can buy.

vegas2k
10-07-2009, 04:50 AM
ok trying to make my testing now at the same time..it's been 24 hours since i put in ammonia. it tested at zero..nice. tested nitrites, still high. so, tonight put in enough to bring it to 3 ppm ammonia. I'll check again tomorow evening.

I am under the assumption that once i grow enough of the nitrite eating bacteria, that they will take this huge amount of nitrite that my continual feeding of ammonia creates and eat it all up...

once nitrite hits zero...time to see if my tank can get rid of 5ppm ammonia in 5 hours, i believe is a good standard.

vegas2k
10-19-2009, 05:27 PM
Slightly over 3 weeks

Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0

I am giving the tank a bio load of around .75 ppm ammonia this morning, and going to see if it can make that into 0/0 by the end of the work day. If so, I'll go get me some fish :)

vegas2k
10-20-2009, 04:25 AM
tank is cycled, and added two little babies to my tank :) A calico Ryukin and a Red Cap Oranda :) Some crappy iPhone youtube dark video to follow lol

vegas2k
10-20-2009, 05:57 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW-7CJ-mQY0

My two new goldfish :) poor iphone video but it's something hehe