Fish-In Cycling Help

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Sucrizzle, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. SucrizzleNew MemberMember

    Somewhat of a long story so I'll try to use bullet points and keep it readable.

    • Moved into a house a year ago with a small backyard pond stocked with goldfish
    • Have 2 young kids who were becoming too comfortable around the water so we decided to drain it (plus it took up too much room in the small backyard)
    • Went to fish store to purchase aquarium to house the 3 remaining goldfish. Went with a 29g tank
    • Advised fish store guy that we had no experience with fish and he told us to run the tank empty for a week and we should be good to move the fish in
    • Transferred fish into the tank and thought we were golden
    • Found out about new tank syndrome and cycling from the interwebs
    • About a week and a half in after doing 20% water changes 3 times a week I bought a test kit and found ammonia readings around 8ppm
    • Proceeded with daily 50% water changes daily to bring the ammonia levels back down to below 1ppm and started with daily 20% water changes to try to keep it in check
    • 3 days later the ammonia readings are back up to 4ppm
    • Fish have been eating all food put in tank within 5 minutes

    My questions are:
    • Is there anything I can do to keep ammonia levels within reason without having to swap out 15g of water a day?
    • Could I be overfeeding the fish which could contribute to ammonia levels?

    If you need any further info please let me know.


  2. PhishphinWell Known MemberMember

    I'm going to encourage @poeticinjustices to jump on this one... our resident goldie expert.

    To prime the pump so to speak, I think she will mention something about the messy nature of goldfish as well as the surprising amount of tank space they really require to grow and remain healthy :)

    edit: And welcome to fishlore! Beware the advice of your local fish store (LFS)!

  3. SucrizzleNew MemberMember

    Yeah...they (LFS) don't seem very helpful so far. Learned more reading here then chats with their "experts".

    They seem pretty good at making a mess of their tank. :)

  4. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Hi Sucrizzle welcome to FishLore!!

    Wow, what a dilemma. Your kids safety is definitely important here. Good for you for taking the action you did before someone got hurt.
    (That's the good news lol)

    Sadly a 29g isn't really big enough for three goldfish.
    Do you know what kind they are? (a picture might help with ID)

    They can grow surprisingly big and produce a lot of waste. Food is not processed like other fish.
    Kind of goes in and comes almost right out.

    Glad to hear that you got the ammonia down. It was dangerously high!
    Do you know what the nitrite and nitrate reading is?

    An alternative to daily changes would be to use a bacterial supplement.
    There are plenty on the market but most don't work as claimed.

    One that members have had luck with is Tetra SafeStart.

    Should you decide to go that route this link should help. It's important to follow the directions exactly.

    I'm sure other members will be along with more info.

    Good luck!
  5. PhishphinWell Known MemberMember

    I was in mine the other day to pick up flakes. Each tank had at least one dead fish in it...
    Some information that others (and myself) may find useful? How big are these fish so far and how big was their pond? What type of filter are you using?
  6. Machine11Well Known MemberMember

    What filter you using? With Goldie's you really need to have a lot of filteration going (like 10-20x the tank size)
    I have had success recently with my 3 small/medium fantails using Seachem Stability in helping with the cycling of the tank.
    How big are the goldfish in your tank?

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  7. poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    Phishphin - Thank you very much for your kind words. Although, it's important to note, I'm by no means an expert. I probably know a little more than I should considering how not-long I've been doing this (about 4 mos), but around here, I'd call Rivieraneo and HappyKnitter the goldie experts. They've got a much longer history with them and have been of tremendous assistance to me.

    Now, that said, I'm sure I can help some.

    First question is - what kind of goldfish are they? Are they round or long/slim?

    What are you feeding, how much and how often? Your tank is cycling, it's not going to hurt anyone to reduce your feeding a little. Goldies are massive waste producers, that's a big part of why they need so much water to dilute their waste. To further compound matters, overfeeding the little beggars is a really easy thing to do.

    What type of filtration do you have on this tank? Are you vacuuming the gravel? What are the complete parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and temp)?

    Unfortunately, for the moment, water changes are your best friend. Big ones, frequent ones. I did 40% twice daily at the height of my cycle before I used SafeStart. Whatever it takes to keep your levels below 1ppm.

    Do you have a firm grasp on the nitrogen cycle? I recommend you read the article linked to the words. It'll help put all the pieces together.

    There is an option called Tetra SafeStart. This is a bottled bacteria product that can reduce cycling time to as little as 14 days. It is a good product, many of us have used it, and I really recommend it for your situation.

    This is one product where brand counts. There are really specific instructions for using this product correctly, please post back for guidance if/when you get it. For now, make sure you choose an appropriately sized bottle. Bigger is perfectly fine, maybe even recommended given the goldfish, just don't go too small.

    Sorry, I know that was a lot of information and I talk a lot. I hope it helped though. Welcome, by the way :) It can be stressful at first, but you're in a good place and it will get to be easier and more enjoyable!
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  8. PhishphinWell Known MemberMember

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2014
  9. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Yet again, someone mentions an old account name, this one from 2007.

    Also, sorry to be technical :p, but do they know a lot about sea bears? Anglerfish (can they be kept in an aquarium)? Great white shark?
    Um........... People? Hee hee hee, sorry had to mention the last one.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2014
  10. SucrizzleNew MemberMember

    Good questions about what kind of they are. I'm assuming goldfish as the pond was likely not large enough for koi but as I said, I'm new to all this. Beware, large pictures in links.  - About 6"
      - About 4"
      - 1" to 1.5" (was much smaller during the spring in the pond)

    All in a 29g tank with a Tetra Whipser 30 filter being fed HBH Goldfish Discs.

    We had 6 fish starting the winter outside. 4 disappeared without a trace (likely cat or raccoon unless these fish are cannibals) and the new one showed up in the spring or has been very good at hiding since we moved in.

    Tank levels are:
    Temp - 70 - 74
    PH - 7.6
    Ammonia - 1.0 PPM
    Nitrites - 0 PPM
    Nitrates - 5 PPM

    I'm am doing a gravel vacuum with some of my water changes and I'm not opposed to doing large water changes if necessary, just less frequently would be nice.
  11. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Not only is this off topic and not helpful to the OP it's also rude.

    Had you of actually noticed it was an error in the 'mention' and not calling for an older member.

    Now let's stay on topic and be respectful to your fellow members.
  12. RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    Sucrizzle, those look like comet goldfish and one is rather large. In such a small aquarium, you are going to have a difficult time managing ammonia and in the end nitrates when your tank cycles. These type of goldfish require large tanks due to their size. In the interim, you can continue with daily water changes to manage tank contaminants and hopefully in the future, you upgrade to a much larger tank or rehome the goldies to someone with a pond.
  13. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Oops sorry......
    Oh I did know it was on accident I just thought it was strange.
  14. PhishphinWell Known MemberMember

    A lot of folks (and I'm certainly not saying this is you!) have heard time and time again that goldfish are wonderful because they will only grow to the size of their tank. What's actually occurring is stunting of the fish, stress leading to disease, then an unfortunate fatality. They are such an "old" fish to the hobby, however, because of how inexpensive they are when very small and their wide range of temperature tolerance.
  15. delta5Well Known MemberMember

    Off-topic from goldfish, but you could always re home the goldfish and take your kids to a lfs and see what catches their eye.
  16. SucrizzleNew MemberMember

    Based on what people have said, I think this is the route we are going to go. Just need to find someone in the area with a suitable setup who wants to take fish off our hands.
  17. delta5Well Known MemberMember

    A lfs should take them for free. At least here they do.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum

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