About to give up

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by SamHD, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. SamHDNew MemberMember

    I have a 25 litre tank, in which I previously kept two comet goldfish. I had no idea about cycling the tank and just chucked them in (My boys won them at a fair, that's another story, I wasn't with them at the time). They (the fish) lived in there with no (apparent) ill effects for 6 months. I added tapsafe to the water, but never tested it in any way. They also had a filter and a couple of plants that died pretty quickly.

    They grew quite rapidly (probably because I overfed them, they begged for food endlessly), so I transferred them to their (my boy's) Grandad's pond where they are thriving, and doubtless much happier.

    I decided that I would keep tropical fish in the tank so I have been researching loads, and discovering that I committed every fishkeeping sin with the goldfish! I was going to do it right this time. I was going to have 4 tiny fish and some cherry shrimps.

    I set up the tank with a new filter, river sand, water heater, bogwood and plants attatched. The PH was high so I adjusted that and added API quick start.

    The water was cloudy after a day so I took everything out, boiled the bogwood and sand, cleaned everything and put it all back in.

    I did the same again and now the water is yet again cloudy, the bogwood has white fungus like spots on it, the plants don't look too happy and the water stinks!! I haven't even got any fish in it.

    Why is it that when I had goldfish in it, and I was apparently doing everything wrong, the water was crystal clear, and now I'm doing everything 'right', it's all going wrong?

    I'm waiting for some ammonia to arrive, but to be honest, I feel like giving up. I've spent so much money too.

    Any ideas as to what's going on? Any advice appreciated.
  2. rach125New MemberMember

    Can't give any advice except don't give up! It will all be worth it in the end.
  3. Quibbles

    QuibblesValued MemberMember

    Welcome to fishlore. looks like your bogwood is decomposing. Did you buy it, or find it? Also, the plants may be unhappy due to the lighting. What kind of lighting do you have? My water was always cloudy when i set up a tank, but after a couple days it clears. How long have you been set up?

  4. Annie424Well Known MemberMember

    Don't feel bad, I'll bet lots of us started fish keeping doing it all wrong! Mixed with a little luck and (what is now known to be) outdated information, we've all just plugged along not knowing any better at some point. Our poor fish! Count me as one of those, although when I started keeping fish in the 80's I thought I was doing everything right. What I've learned since then is astronomical. I'd love to help but not sure if I can with all aspects. I'm not sure about some of the information you gave, so here goes a few questions. :)
    1. River sand. Did this come from a real river or a bag from your LFS? (sorry if that seems like a stupid question, I really don't know)
    2. What plants did you put in, and what is bogwood?
    3. How did you adjust the pH? What was the initial reading, and what is it now?
    4. What supplemental products have you added to the water so far (i.e. dechlorinator, ammonia remover, added beneficial bacteria supplement, etc)?
    5. Do you have a tester kit for more than just pH? Is it liquid or test strips?
    6. If so, what are your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, GH/KH, etc. readings for both tank and tap water?
    7. When you 'cleaned everything out', how did you do it?
    8. Do you know about the nitrogen cycle yet?

    Don't give up, you've come to the right place for solid answers. Even if I can't help with everything, there are others on here who can. Take a deep breath, hold it a moment, and slowly exhale while you tell yourself it's going to be ok. :)
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
  5. OP

    SamHDNew MemberMember

    Hi, thankyou. I bought the bogwood (I think its bogwood, it's like a root) from our local aquatic shop. The tank is an aquaone pendant 25l. The light is 3W led. I'm on day 3 of setting it back up. It smells too. I have covered the root with christmas moss.

    Thankyou rach125, I hope it will be worth it if I ever get it right!
  6. Annie424Well Known MemberMember

    You will get it right! And it will truly be worth it...just like anything in life, LOL. :)
  7. OP

    SamHDNew MemberMember

    Hi Annie,

    The river sand came from my LFS. The plants are java fern and christmas java moss (tied to the white spotty wood!). I'm calling it bogwood, but I'm not actually sure that it is, it's like a root. I adjusted the ph with api ph down, it was originally 8.2 (or thereabouts), it's now 7.5 currently. The supplements that I've added are Tetra tapsafe, api ph down and api quick start (beneficial bacteria). I have an api master test system, the liquids and test tubes. Ammonia is about 0.25, not sure about nitrates. I don't know what GH/KH are, need to look those up. I don't know the readings for tap water, only the water in the tank after I'd added supplements.
    I cleaned the filter and the tank with tap water and tetra wipes, and I boiled the wood and stood the sand in boiling water. Yes I know about the nitrogen cycle, and have some ammonia on it's way.

    Thanks for getting back to me.

    I hope I can get it right! It's driving me crazy lol
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2016
  8. slayer5590

    slayer5590Well Known MemberMember

    The white fuzz on your wood is normal. It will go away in a week or two.
  9. SmilingJocker

    SmilingJockerValued MemberMember

    Ok, I think I can answer most of your questions.
    The cloudy water will only go away after the wood and the sand have been undisturbed in the tank with the water for a few days.
    The fungus is normal when adding wood. Just like the cloudy water it also goes away if you leave it alone in the tank with the water for a few days.
    Don't adjust the ph. The fish will adjust to the ph if they are acclimatized right.
    It's very stressful for them to have the ph shifting constantly which is what happens when we try to maintain the perfect ph.
    Also, the bacterial supplement will not do anything if there is no ammonia for them to feed on..

    For the plants:
    What type of lights are you using?
    Are you adding any, aquarium safe, fertilizers?
    Also it's normal for almost all plants to shed their leaves when they are disturbed or relocated. They stop doing that in about a month or so of being in the same water conditions.

    Update: the wood piece you have in there will stabilize the ph around 6 and 7.
    So don't worry about how to stabilize that.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
  10. Annie424Well Known MemberMember

    Isn't it just annoying when you realize what should be easy...isn't? thank you @SmilingJocker. @SamHD, can you provide the other readings from my first post? pH down and Up is mostly not good , which I'm sure you've figured out by now....if you keep using the pH down, you will most likely find that your tank parameters swing like crazy and fish deaths are the norm...unless you address the KH problems you have with your water supply you will most likely find angst in trying to keep a healthy aquarium.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2016

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