Goldfish water cloudy, ammonia at 2.0

KyleRMorrison

Hi,

I have a 20 gallon freshwater tank with no substrate, and one gold fish. I can't seem to keep the ammonia down lately, and after I do water changes, it spikes and gets cloudy. pH, Nitrates, and Nitrates are normal.

I put in an ammonia removing filter bag last night (removed my regular filter cartridge but kept the sponge to fit it.). My poor Goldie has a clamped fin. Any tips? I'm traveling at the end of the week and want to make sure he's all set before I go.
 

CreativeName1

The ammonia problem is probably caused by the fact that you have no substrate and therefore not enough beneficial bacteria.
 

Dunk2

Hi,

I have a 20 gallon freshwater tank with no substrate, and one gold fish. I can't seem to keep the ammonia down lately, and after I do water changes, it spikes and gets cloudy. pH, Nitrates, and Nitrates are normal.

I put in an ammonia removing filter bag last night (removed my regular filter cartridge but kept the sponge to fit it.). My poor Goldie has a clamped fin. Any tips? I'm traveling at the end of the week and want to make sure he's all set before I go.
Welcome to Fishlore.

The solution to your ammonia problem is lots of water changes and getting your tank cycled.

Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle?
How long has this tank been running with your goldfish in it?
How often and how much water are you changing?
What kind of filter are you running?
 

KyleRMorrison

Welcome to Fishlore.

The solution to your ammonia problem is lots of water changes and getting your tank cycled.

Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle?
How long has this tank been running with your goldfish in it?
How often and how much water are you changing?
What kind of filter are you running?
We have had this tank for a year now. One fish. Every week I change about 30%. Typically I'm running Zilla Cartridges https://www.amazon.com/Zilla-Pack-B...9926d&pd_rd_wg=qnahe&pd_rd_i=B0759HX8L7&psc=1 and change the filter weekly.

Right now I have the cartridge pulled and I am running Aqua Clear Ammonia filter. https://www.amazon.com/Aquaclear-30...uaclear+ammonia+remover&qid=1636926162&sr=8-1
 

KyleRMorrison

The ammonia problem is probably caused by the fact that you have no substrate and therefore not enough beneficial bacteria.
Thanks! What substrate is best for goldfish?
 

CreativeName1

Thanks! What substrate is best for goldfish?
Fine gravel or sand (anything they can dig around in)
 

Dunk2

We have had this tank for a year now. One fish. Every week I change about 30%. Typically I'm running Zilla Cartridges https://www.amazon.com/Zilla-Pack-B...9926d&pd_rd_wg=qnahe&pd_rd_i=B0759HX8L7&psc=1 and change the filter weekly.

Right now I have the cartridge pulled and I am running Aqua Clear Ammonia filter. https://www.amazon.com/Aquaclear-30...uaclear+ammonia+remover&qid=1636926162&sr=8-1
I’d guess you lost your cycle because you‘re changing the filter or filter cartridge weekly? That’s where a majority of your beneficial bacteria would live.

While the cartridge manufacturers often suggest replacing them weekly or monthly, they shouldn’t be replaced until they’re literally falling apart. When the gunk needs cleaned off them, they should just be swished around in water removed from your tank when doing a water change.

Because goldfish produce a fair amount of waste, I also wonder if you have adequate filtration capacity?
 

KyleRMorrison

Fine gravel or sand (anything they can dig around in)
For putting fine gravel into the tank -I'm guessing I should take out my goldfish and put him in a separate tank, clean the gravel, let it run for a day, and then put the goldfish back in?
 

CreativeName1

For putting fine gravel into the tank -I'm guessing I should take out my goldfish and put him in a separate tank, clean the gravel, let it run for a day, and then put the goldfish back in?
Yup. Just test and cycle so enough bacteria has grown in the gravel. When ammonia and nitrites are at 0ppm, you should be good to go.
 

Dunk2

For putting fine gravel into the tank -I'm guessing I should take out my goldfish and put him in a separate tank, clean the gravel, let it run for a day, and then put the goldfish back in?
This is just my opinion/perspective, but because you are going away this weekend (I assume that means you’ll be gone for a while with no one available to tend to your tank?), my immediate focus wouldn’t be on adding substrate to this tank.

Would you be able to get any filter media from an established tank from your LFS or a fish keeping friend?
 

KyleRMorrison

Thank you everyone. I appreciate very much. I have been thinking of getting a more powerful filter. I have also heard you don't need to put filter cartridges in, as long as you have the sponge in the back?


ALSO: How long would you keep AquaClear ammonia remover inserts in? The box is not very clear.
 

mattgirl

For putting fine gravel into the tank -I'm guessing I should take out my goldfish and put him in a separate tank, clean the gravel, let it run for a day, and then put the goldfish back in?
No. Don't take the fish out. Just rinse the gravel well and pour it in there. I wouldn't pour it through the water though. I would add it a cup full at a time. Fill a cup, lower it to the bottom of the tank and tip it over.

By having almost nothing in the tank for bacteria to grow on and replacing your filter cartridges so often there is very little bacteria in this tank. This is why you are seeing ammonia in a year old tank.

I highly recommend you stop using the disposable cartridges and instead add more permanent filter media. Media such as a cut to fit piece of filter foam. I would also add some bio-media such as matrix, lava rock or ceramic rings. Put it in a media bag and put it in your filter. This type of media will last for years and you will no longer be throwing your cycle (bacteria) away. Just rinse foam and bio-media off as needed.
 

KyleRMorrison

Thanks. I see a lot of people are anti water changes but you have had success? Im leaving town Thursday and won't have time to add gravel by then, should I do water changes?

Also I have Aquaclear Ammonia Filter Remover insert filter in for now in my file r- do you know how long they can stay in ?
 

Dunk2

Thanks. I see a lot of people are anti water changes but you have had success? Im leaving town Thursday and won't have time to add gravel by then, should I do water changes?

Also I have Aquaclear Ammonia Filter Remover insert filter in for now in my file r- do you know how long they can stay in ?
Have you read all the comments and suggestions in this thread?

Your water change question has already been answered. And many questions asked of you have not been answered.

Simply said, you’re doing a fish-in cycle. . . Water changes aren’t optional.
 

mattgirl

Thanks. I see a lot of people are anti water changes but you have had success? Im leaving town Thursday and won't have time to add gravel by then, should I do water changes?
Yes, I would never depend on any kind of filter media that claims to remove ammonia. Your fish are depending on you to provide them a safe home. The very best way to get ammonia down and keep it down is remove it by doing water changes. When I was cycling my tank with fish in the tank it wasn't unusual for me to be changing some of the water daily. Now that it is fully cycled I change out at least 50% of the water each week.
Also I have Aquaclear Ammonia Filter Remover insert filter in for now in my file r- do you know how long they can stay in ?
It could conceivably stay in there from now on. I would not depend on it helping to remove the ammonia though.
 

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