Advice On Setup

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Chloe676, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. Chloe676New MemberMember

    Okay, so I first started having fish about a year and a half ago and being uneducated didn't treat them very well. I have improved but I still have some issues and advice on how I could make this work would be really helpful. My filter filters my tank 7 and a half times an hour, and I have 3 fish in a 34 gallon tank. This isn't exactly ideal, I know. The filter is new so I'm having to regrow a lot of my bacteria (I put the old filters media in there but the previous filter being an internal it didn't exactly have a lot) the filter I have now is a canister filter with lots of media. I stupidly thought because I put my old media in I wouldn't have ammonia problems and I've just noticed one of my fish has some red patches on her fins and a few broken veins. I also had an extreme amount of algae that I just cleaned all out today that was probably contributing to the high ammonia as well. My fish had also been looking bloated this week, and developed stringy poo right after I cleaned all the algae off which caused the water to get really murky and gross. I'm thinking if I get a lot of plants my ammonia problem should be helped? Is that right? Before I upgraded my filter to a better one my ammonia sat at 0.25. My ph is also 6.8 which I've been thinking of raising if necessary, but apparently it should be fine
    Thanks guys
  2. sylviepldValued MemberMember

    Well I will try to help you with the limited knowledge that I have.:) First your pH is fine. Plants in your tank can help your tank cycle and are especially good at helping keep the nitrates down. The more plants the better this works. If you did a big change in your filtration system with all new media you probably didn't have enough beneficial bacteria left. You can buy liquid bacterial supplement at the fish store to help repopulate your bacterial population. When you changed over to your new filter you may have triggered another cycle. This can cause your ammonia to increase. If your ammonia is too high you should do an immediate water change of about 25-50% then maybe 10% daily until your levels come down. It's a complicated situation because if you do a water change you will again be taking away some of the beneficial bacteria (not much though because you are hopefully not vacuuming the gravel). I think there is also a chemical you can buy to help decrease ammonia in case of emergency. So to summarize I would say:
    1. I would do a water change to get the ammonia down.
    2. Buy some bacterial supplement and add it to the tank.
    Hopefully your tank will recycle and settle down.
    hope I am not being too confusing.
    To all the more experienced people out there please correct me I have mislead Chloe676

  3. Lindsay83Valued MemberMember

    In theory, you were correct. If you had the bacteria there to start with, it should have been enough to deal with the bioload even while the new filter media is populated. That's assuming you haven't added any new fish to the set up. Perhaps you had some bacterial die-off which has caused the spike. I see you had a 0.25ppm ammonia reading before the upgrade. Was the filter fully cycled, or have you had a problem with ammonia all along? T

    Whereabouts are you?
    What fish are in the tank?
    What's the ammonia reading now? And nitrite?

    I wouldn't worry too much about pH, especially if it's stable.

  4. Chloe676New MemberMember

    No that's alright, the highest it got to (that I noticed, it could have easily gotten higher at one point and gone down) was just the other day and was 0.50 ppm. Coincidently my opa just visited and bought me some oxygen weed that I've put in my sand. Hopefully my fish don't dig it up, I've never noticed them digging in the sand. I've read bacterial supplements like API QuickStart barely help, the bacteria often dies in transport and you just end up adding dead bacteria to your tank. I'm definitely going to do small water changes everyday and reduce feedings until Cindy's fins are healed. Hopefully as the water becomes more stable their food will pass easier as well

    I live in New Zealand, so good equipment is hard to come by, but I think I've managed reasonably okay. I didn't do a reading before my water change but I did a 70% water change and scraped off all my algae making the reading 0. About four days ago it was at 0.50 and I dosed with prime, I think that day is what the burns are from because I read burns take a few days to appear. Also with all the algae I couldn't see my fish very clearly, so I probably can't say how old they are. It took me awhile to set the whole filter up so the bacteria was probably deprived of oxygen for abit, and with the media being so little there can't have been much bacteria to begin with. I will test for nitrite now but ever since I set up this tank it has been at 0

    Sorry, they are goldfish

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2017
  5. ChaoryValued MemberMember

    Besides all the good advice given. Your filter would be good enough. For HOBs you'll want 10x the tank size in gph. For canisters about 5x.
  6. Chloe676New MemberMember

    Oh really? That's great. I don't understand how that works though? Is it because canisters are so much bigger and hold more water?
  7. ChaoryValued MemberMember

    Canisters are much more sufficient than HOBS.
  8. Lindsay83Valued MemberMember

    It's not that they hold more water that makes them so efficient. It's that they hold more media, meaning a much larger colony of the beneficial bacteria. ;)

    Goldfish are messy fish with a heavy bioload, which could be why the bacteria are struggling to deal with the ammonia - and yes, an internal filter was never goingto be enough to convert the ammonia from the fish - especially as the fish grew. If it took a while for you to get the new filter set up, then die-back would confound the issue.

    I'd start doing daily water changes, of about 20% to try and keep the ammonia as low as possible and keep testing. What's the capacity of the filter? I.e. what tank sizeis it for? With goldies, you really need to overfilter.

    As for algae, how long are the lights in the tank on for, and is there any leftover food once the goldies have finished eating?
  9. Chloe676New MemberMember

    They don't have a light, I have a window going across one of my walls which fills the whole room with light all day, so there's not really a way around it apart from plants which should thrive in such a position. I don't remember it saying it's for a specific size tank, but my tank is 130 litres and the filter filters 1000 litres per hour. It's one of those off brand ones made in NZ- but is almost exactly the same as the sunsun canister filter, same dimensions and looks the same, which is for tanks 'up to 70 gallons'. My tank is 34g. I feed them a little 2cm square of homemade gel food which I break up in pieces, they fight otherwise, three times a day. But I've recently cut down because they were looking oddly fat. They seem to manage to eat it all fairly quickly, even though the water isn't the best they haven't lost their appetites which is good
  10. Lindsay83Valued MemberMember

    Ah! I see. Well, assuming it is for tanks up to 70gal, it should be powerful enough, in theory, so it could be a simple matter of watching and waiting to see if the bacteria get their act together.

    How long ago was the new filter set up?
  11. Chloe676New MemberMember

    Only two weeks ago. Before I set up the new filter ammonia was always at 0.25. Also, my fish didn't have stringy/long poop before I cleaned off all the algae and the water got all murky and gross. It was pretty bad, the water was looking to be more opaque than clear if that makes sense. Is it fair to say that the fish being in that sort of water for about 15 minutes could've caused stress and their poop problems? After being in clear water for a few hours all is well now. I found some pvc pipe in my dads shed and put it in some water with a little bleach and am planning to add it to my tank tomorrow, but just remembered that maybe the bleach will be absorbed a little and can't go in my tank now ..
  12. Lindsay83Valued MemberMember

    If the poop is white, it indicates a bacterial problem. If it's normal coloured, but just long and stringy, it's constipation, which would explain how things have returned to normal.

    It would be incredibly risky to use the tube in the tank, unless you could be sure of completely washing away all the bleach.
  13. BottomDwellerFishlore VIPMember

    I'd say most of the problems are because your tank is overstocked. With fancy goldfish you want 20 gallons+ per goldfish and with singletail goldfish you want 50 gallons+ per goldfish.

    I had 2 singletails in a 20 gallon quarantine for 4 weeks before they went into my pond and I was changing 40% of the water twice a day.
  14. Chloe676New MemberMember

    Yeah it was the same colour it was just long and had some empty parts in it. Bleach is really alkaline, so I'm thinking of putting it in a bucket for the day while I'm at school and test the ph before and after. If the ph doesn't drop should it be fine? I've also rinsed it plenty of times so it doesn't smell

    I've been considering putting one of my fish in my friends pond because of overstocking but the fish in there are much bigger and I'm afraid that at this stage he will get eaten. He is pretty small and I think stunted from the store I bought him from
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2017
  15. Lindsay83Valued MemberMember

    I personally wouldn't want to risk it. I did, in a desperate attempt to rid my main tank of fish TB, once use a very weak bleach solution to sterilize the tank, before restocking, but it took forever to get the last smell of bleach out of it.

    Plus, when you think of what bleach does to us, would you really want it anywhere near more fragile animals? ;)

    If you are going to use it, make sure to rinse the beck out of it. Any whiff of bleach, and it's still present.

    Golfish will eat anything that can fit into their mouth. How big are the fish in the pond, and how big is he?

    Your own overstocked tank could be contributing to his stunted growth, sadly. ; ( (Not a criticism, just stating a fact).
  16. Chloe676New MemberMember

    I wouldn't imagine he'd be able to fit in their mouths, but he's about 2 inches and they're all adults, plus they're single tails and he's a nymph. I can show you a photo if that would help
  17. Lindsay83Valued MemberMember

    Are the other fish in the tank the same as he?

    If he's a fancy, commons will outpace and outswim him.
  18. Chloe676New MemberMember

    I just took a picture to scale which I can't upload for some reason and he is the size/length of about 2 and 1/4 marbles. My other two fish are roughly twice the size as him
  19. Chloe676New MemberMember

    Here he is
    The spotty one is Toby, I don't have a decent photo of my other fish but she has a long double tail

    Attached Files:

  20. Lindsay83Valued MemberMember

    Could you perhaps move one of the bigger fish over to the pond, instead of him?

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