I would love advice! :) (Goldfish)

Discussion in 'Goldfish' started by ladygold, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. ladygoldNew MemberMember

    Hi! I haven't had fish for awhile and just recently setup a 30 G freshwater tank with an AquaFin 30 pump (floss/carbon filter). I've done tons of reading and research to refresh my memory, but there's just so much out there and so many contradicting methods. I would love advice on how to really get off to the right start - especially from other Goldfish keepers!

    My profile contains all the current stats on my tank, as of noon today.
    Tank start up: March 29th - JUST started cycling.

    I added water conditioner (NutraFin Aqua +Plus) and waited 24hrs before adding NutraFin Cycle and 1 fantail Goldfish. Today I added more NutraFin Cycle as directed on the bottle for start up tanks. Marley (the Goldfish) is doing well, very active and seemingly happy. No puffing, discoloration, or sucking air from the surface - so ammonia seems to be held at bay for now.

    Water tests at:
    pH: 7
    NH3/NH4: 0.25 ppm
    NO3: 0 ppm
    NO2: 0 ppm

    Question: Because ammonia is showing 0.25 ppm today, should I begin daily 10% (or 15%, 20%?) water changes and keep this up till levels go down? If ammonia levels go up (which I assume it likely will because the tank has just begun cycling) do I increase the w/c %? Up to how much before it seriously compromises the biological filter I'm trying to establish? I do know about Prime and Ammo-Lock, etc and intend on purchasing some to help protect my fish during the cycle.

    I am tempted to limit feedings because I don't want to add to the toxin load... Although to some extent I've also read that continued feeding can be beneficial as it helps with the cycling. Today is the first day I fed Marley since the tank start up, and only just a very little bit.
    Question: How often do you recommend I feed 1 goldfish during the start up cycle? (Current diet: Aqueon Color Enhancing Goldfish Pellets)

    Question: Knowing that Goldfish tend to produce a lot of waste, I want to be sure my tank's bacteria is capable of handling more before I add another goldfish. When is it recommended I add more fish? Once the tank has fully cycled? Once the initial NH3/NH4/NO3/NO2 spikes have dropped but have not completely gone down? Do I add just 1 and wait, or would an additional 2 be okay?

    Answers to these questions and ANY other Goldfish advice is appreciated!!!
  2. Akari_32

    Akari_32Fishlore LegendMember


    My first suggestion would be to stop using Cycle. Its a "junk" product, and unfortunately, there are a lot of these. I would switch to daily water changes with Prime, and feeding just a little big once every day or so.

    I would not recommend any more goldfish for your tank, for the long term. They are poop machines, which you know. To get another, I'd get at least a 40 gallon tank, but the bigger the better with fish that produce so much waste. But, if they are small, like, around 4 inches long or less, you could get away with another couple, only with the intent to upgrade in the near-ish future, and if you add another filter :)

    Only add more fish when the ammonia and nitrite are 0 and the nitrate is under 40, and they stay like this for several weeks.

    Good luck with your goldfish! They are great fun =D
  3. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    First of all, I'd like to say that it was very nice reading a well formatted post. Made me happy :D

    Nutrafin cycle really won't help cycle the tank. The majority of those bacteria in a bottle products are a land based bacteria that dies off in a couple of weeks. The only product that I've seen proven work (and has worked for me) is Tetra Safe Start.

  4. OP

    ladygoldNew MemberMember

    Good to know about Cycle. Like you said, it's tough to find a good product with so many mixed reviews out there! Who's to know.

    Yes. The current goldfish is only about 1.5" long... It's not supposed to grow more then approx 6 in full grown and knowing how dirty they can be, I did not intend on overcrowding my tank. :) -Not only does it stress the fish out (and kill them!) but I stress and worry too. lol

  5. Akari_32

    Akari_32Fishlore LegendMember

    Apparently, Fantails can get 8 inches or more, given the room. That was a shocker to me lol They are supposed to be the smaller of the Fancies!

    At that size, you've certainly got the room to add a couple more, provided you wanted to upgrade in the future :)
  6. bowcrazyWell Known MemberMember

    First off Welcome to FishLore! In my personal opinion - Akari_32 and Cichlidnut have both provided you with some good advice.

    Tetra Safe Start is a much better product than the Nutrafin Cycle and it will cycle your tank where Cycle will not. You only add TSS once instead of several times and once you add it you don’t have do anything else for 10 to 14 days. You don’t even do any testing for the first 10 days. Testing will only cause you to mess with the cycle process which will cause the process to fail. One side note, don’t use Prime or any other product like it that detoxifies ammonia while cycling with TSS because it can cause the cycle process to fail.

    As for stocking a 30 gallon tank with Goldfish you are quite limited. Goldfish can out grow a 30 gallon tank quite quickly and they are very large waste producers. I kept 3 five inch single tailed Goldfish in a 30 gallon tank over the winter for my grandson. I was able to keep the ammonia down by doing twice a week 50% water changes but that is a lot of work to do over an indefinite period of time. The Goldfish have now been re-homed back to his small pond.

    As far as feeding goes, Goldfish really need to have a constant food source because they don’t have a real stomach like other fish. This can be a problem when cycling a tank because the excess waste is going to be hard to control. This is why I would only feed yours a real small amount at a time but two to threes times a day. This way the fish will not get hungry and it will produce less waste.
  7. orandagal

    orandagalValued MemberMember

    Hi Ladygold,
    Welcome and I know you will enjoy this site. Lot's of good folk and good information!
    I hope this is appropriate, (and no one minds) but I also belong to another forum dedicated to "pet goldfish" that you may find interesting.
    The link is:


    I've had goldfish on and off for about 5 years and in Jan. got my first big aquarium, a 29 gallon. I've made numerous mistakes over the years and decided I was going to get it right this time and this forum and the goldfish forum helped me a lot. I cycled without goldfish in mine and it took just at 6 weeks but the water quality has stayed good and everyone is still alive! I know you will get the help you need from this and the other site.
    Best wishes and be sure to post photo's :)
  8. OP

    ladygoldNew MemberMember

    Okay, today's water readings show:
    pH: 7.2
    NH3/NH4: 0.50 ppm
    NO2: 0 ppm
    NO3: 0 ppm

    The only thing I've done since yesterday's readings is feed the 1.5" goldfish twice; only small amounts and both times I made sure nothing remained on the bottom of the tank. (I have Not done the partial w/c yet today.)
    So obviously as everyone (and I) knows, my goldfish is producing a lot of waste.

    I'm willing to use TSS, but want to make sure I'm running out to buy the right products first.

    So, to insure my understanding is correct, TSS will add bacteria cultures to my water and immediately establish the biological filter? -Other then jump starting the cycle, does it provide any immediate "protection" from current toxin levels?

    What about Stability? Any reviews?   (From the same company as Prime.) That is also supposed to add "instant" cultures and it can be used with Prime. I Really like the idea of the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate being rendered non-toxic to the fish but still very much usable by the bacteria - being that goldfish cause so much waste.

    -Obviously I would like to cause as little stress to my fish as possible, so I'm willing to use whatever product(s) provides the "fullest" protection and gets my tank off to the right start.
  9. bowcrazyWell Known MemberMember

    First off TSS will not instantly cycle the tank. It just provides dormant bacteria to the tank that will awaken when introduced to a food source like your ammonia. It will still take it around two weeks to fully cycle.

    I use a lot of products by Seachem but have never needed to use stability. Tetra Safe Start can be hard to find at times but is by far the best product on the market of its kind. You will find all kinds of people here who have used it with great success.

    You don’t want to use any product like Prime or Amquel+ while cycling your tank with TSS. They can starve the beneficial bacteria and cause the cycle to fail. Just dump the bottle of TSS in the tank and don’t do anything, even test for the first 10 to 14 days then do a large water change and test 24 hours later to see what the results are.
  10. OP

    ladygoldNew MemberMember

    lol I suppose "immediate" wasn't exactly the best choice of word. I do understand that a proper cycle (series of steps) takes time! I just want to make sure I'm doing what I should for the health and well being of the aquarium. :) Sounds like I'll go with TSS. After all, why reinvent the wheel when it's worked well for so many other people.
  11. OP

    ladygoldNew MemberMember

    Thanks orandagal... I spent some time looking around and really like all the goldfish-specific advice!
    I appreciate forums and websites like this so much; feedback can be so helpful. :)

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