New To The Fish World And Would Like Some Help

MrWindley

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I am very new to fish and aquariums, I recently came across a 55 gallon tank and decided to put it to use. I started with 3 goldfish in a 10 gallon tank for about 9 months. once i got the aquarium, I transferred the goldfish into it. after about a month I got 3 Oscars or potopoums (not sure of the name) bottom feeders, 1 koi silverish, 2 black goldfish, whom all died within a week of putting them in the tank. The goldfish became either stressed or sick with white spots, upside down floating, bloody fins and ****, gasping at the top for air. swimming with weakness. I did a complete water change and tank cleaning. I also boiled the gravel rocks to remove any ammonia or buildup. I recently purchased 2 baby bala sharks and I put them into my 55 gallon tank about 3 hours and a complete water change after they came from the store. I also purchased 2 Iridescent sharks as well. after putting them in the tank the Iridescent sharks divided themselves and stayed on opposite sides of the tank just floating in one spot and hitting the glass. The Bala Sharks stayed together but in one spot on one side of the tank with 1 of the iridescent sharks. I noticed some spots on one of the iridescent sharks and i put some stress zyme and metafix into the water. the fish continued to swim in the same spot and way for the next day or two before turning upside down floating and gasping slowly. I would really like some help on maintaining a 55 gallon aquarium and taking care of fish. i would also like to start a community tropical fish aquarium. any help. i was thinking of getting cherry barbs as i heard they were good starters for aquariums.
 

NavyChief20

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Before i get to the issues with some of the fish you have, what is your current stock and what kind of filter are you running?
 
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MrWindley

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This is my tank and the last fish standing. (The Goldfish) is the last fish standing and I a seeking tips and advice before putting new fish in the tank.

This is my heater. Marina 200w
 

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GuppyDazzle

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The white spots sound like ich (pronounced "ick"). Ich looks like someone sprinkled table salt on your fish. It's a parasite. Ich can lay dormant for a long time, then surface when fish get stressed, but the most common way to contract it is from adding a new fish. You'll find discussions on "quarantine tank" where it's ideal to isolate a new fish for a couple of weeks to make sure they're not bringing any nasties into your aquarium.

Ich is present long before you see it. Once it hits, it has infected your entire tank. Boiling will kill the ich in the gravel and rocks, but it's all over, so that won't solve the problem. Ich lives in the water, in the fish, everywhere. There are several stages to the life cycle, with the visible white spots just being one of them.

You can cure ich either with medication (I've used Jungle Ich Guard), or heating the tank to a certain level for a couple weeks. I'm not sure whether your fish can tolerate the temps. If you use medication, make sure to follow the instructions exactly. Lots of people stop treating when the white spots disappear, but that won't work because ich is still present, just not visible. You have to treat the entire tank.

Do you know about the water cycle? Do you have a means of testing the water? Your tank might have been cycled, but adding a lot of fish all at once can overwhelm the biosystem and cause ammonia spikes. I'd be curious what your ammonia readings are. Ammonia is present in the water column. Boiling rocks or gravel won't help if you have ammonia.
 

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ok got it. So first off dont buy bala sharks. I know they seem cool but they arent sharks and they get huge. Oscars are aggressive and will eat anything that they can. Is your tank cycled? Whats your water chemistry like?
 
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MrWindley

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I have read and came to the conclusion that it was Ich. Thanks for that insight on the Ich. that was very helpful. I did about 5 complete water changes after every fish died. I just did a complete water change about 2 hours ago and, have just the one gold fish who does have ich. so I might have to take him back out and put him in the seperate 10 gallon tank that I purchased. Do another complete water change and boil the gravel rocks again or should I get new gravel or Black Sand? I do not now anything about the water cycle but I was just reading on it today. I just ordered a API complete water test kit. I tested the aquarium water at a local petland before one of the last fish died and the ammonia was high which prompted a complete water change for me. I also tested the water from the faucet of my home and that was fine.

Right, i know that now after they died. I was planning on the upgrade if i could have kept them alive and healthy. No I dont think my tank is cycled and I would not know how to tell besides the fish keeps dying.

NavyChief20 said:
what fish do you have in there now?
Right Now Just The Goldfish. I am going to start completely over and would like any tips. Im quite sure the goldfish wont make it too much longer either.

NavyChief20 said:
Before i get to the issues with some of the fish you have, what is your current stock and what kind of filter are you running?
You have some nice Fish! WOW!
 

trainandfishguy

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MrWindley said:
I am very new to fish and aquariums, I recently came across a 55 gallon tank and decided to put it to use. I started with 3 goldfish in a 10 gallon tank for about 9 months. once i got the aquarium, I transferred the goldfish into it. after about a month I got 3 Oscars or potopoums (not sure of the name) bottom feeders, 1 koi silverish, 2 black goldfish, whom all died within a week of putting them in the tank. The goldfish became either stressed or sick with white spots, upside down floating, bloody fins and ****, gasping at the top for air. swimming with weakness. I did a complete water change and tank cleaning. I also boiled the gravel rocks to remove any ammonia or buildup. I recently purchased 2 baby bala sharks and I put them into my 55 gallon tank about 3 hours and a complete water change after they came from the store. I also purchased 2 Iridescent sharks as well. after putting them in the tank the Iridescent sharks divided themselves and stayed on opposite sides of the tank just floating in one spot and hitting the glass. The Bala Sharks stayed together but in one spot on one side of the tank with 1 of the iridescent sharks. I noticed some spots on one of the iridescent sharks and i put some stress zyme and metafix into the water. the fish continued to swim in the same spot and way for the next day or two before turning upside down floating and gasping slowly. I would really like some help on maintaining a 55 gallon aquarium and taking care of fish. i would also like to start a community tropical fish aquarium. any help. i was thinking of getting cherry barbs as i heard they were good starters for aquariums.
For starters, you mixed alot of fish that shouldn't be mixed together. Oscars, Plecos and Bala Sharks are tropical while goldfish are cold water fish. In addition, ALL the fish you have will vastly outgrow your tank. You can get away with maybe one Oscar but that is about it. Sorry to say this but you did everything wrong that you possibly could. Don't feel bad though, you are not alone and I do hope that you don't give up on this great hobby.
 
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MrWindley

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No way am I going to give up and don’t be sorry, I know I did everything wrong.. That’s why I joined this site. I don’t trust the people in the pet stores in my area. The Sharks were the most recent to die. Those were not mixed in with the ocsars. I purchased them after the oscars, black goldfish, and the other fish died. The 3 goldfish were the last ones. I took them out and quarantined them in a small tank but two of them still died within the last two days.

After that I did a water change and brought the sharks and they lasted but two days..
 

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Dont get any new fish yet. Lets get your cycle rolling. Once you get your API kit you will want to test your water. We can help with the readings but there is an info link on here for water testing and the nitrogen cycle. Read it and it will help. You can do a fishless cycle (which I prefer) and it takes a bit. Then once your chemistry is right you can go with fish. Theres some chemical products you can get to jump start and they are all beneficial bacterial colony chemicals (i cant stand that stuff but some swear on it). You do need chlorine stabilizer. Looking at your filter it looks like you have a mesh bag with ceramic rings in it? If what im seeing is true that is a good start. Stick with 20% water changes. Huge water changes really mess with the chemical balance of the tank.
 
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MrWindley

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Okay! And yes I was thinking about holding off on the fish for now and learning about this water cycling/chemistry thing first, then hopefully you can give me some ideas for fish for my tank size. My API Test kit should be here by Thursday. This is the filter

Schmidthead said:
I need to ask, are you using any water conditioners when you're doing water changes? If not look into picking up some Seachem Prime to use with water changes.
Just this stuff here but I only put the Aqueon water conditioner in this water change.
 

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trainandfishguy said:
Sorry to say this but you did everything wrong that you possibly could. Don't feel bad though, you are not alone and I do hope that you don't give up on this great hobby.
Isn't that how most of us started, though?

I think we could help you restock your tank. What sort of look are you going for? (If you don't understand any of these, google them, as they are pretty easy to find pictures of)
Do you want a really natural looking tank, with lots of schooling fish, and plants?
Do you want a goldfish tank?
Do you want a cichlid tank? (Cichlids are fairly aggressive fish that can really only be housed with each other for beginners)
That's the first question when you stock a tank, is, what do you want it to look like?
Do you want it to look like you hired a biologist to make a beautiful setscape, or do you want something fun, where you can put your hand in one end of the tank and have fish come up to you?

The Aqueon water conditioner is okay (it's not bad, but it's not the worst), in fact, I use it! For such a big tank, I would recommend SeaChem Prime, however. It will turn toxic ammonia into a less toxic form, and it uses a lot less per water change. It's the super high end of the spectrum, but it isn't really priced like it!

Sory to spam this thread, but I keep forgetting about certain topics.
The nitrogen cycle:
The nitrogen cycle is fairly simple once you understand, but hard to explain. There's a good diagram somewhere on here if I could find it. Basically, fish food and waste (as with all living creatures) produces ammonia. The same ammonia that you can die because of. Now, it isn't that concentrated, but it's still toxic to fish at low levels. Luckily, there is a type of bacteria that eats ammonia and produces nitrite (with an I). Unfortunately, nitrite is also toxic to fish. However, there is a type of bacteria that eats nitrite, and produces nitrate. Nitrate is a lot less toxic than either ammonia or nitrite. When you cycle a tank, you are building up a colony of bacteria to consume the ammonia into nitrite, and the nitrite into nitrate. You are basically waiting for your particular bacteria species to float through the air and land in your tank, and then multiply in your filter. When you are cycling without fish, then you don't have a source of ammonia. To give your bacteria the ammonia, you can either add household cleaning ammonia, or you can put a pinch of flakes in there (ghost fish/ghost feedings) to break down, and give your filter the ammonia.
 

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I don’t think anyone said this, but the Aquaclear 70 isn’t enough filtration for the tank. It’s only 300 gallons per hour, but you want about 550 gallons per hour (10 X gallons of your tank). Welcome to the hobby, and to the forum!
 

NavyChief20

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AquaticJ said:
I don’t think anyone said this, but the Aquaclear 70 isn’t enough filtration for the tank. It’s only 300 gallons per hour, but you want about 550 gallons per hour (10 X gallons of your tank). Welcome to the hobby, and to the forum!
thats tweakable
 

GuppyDazzle

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Once you have you test kit you'll be able to start. It will be pretty simple, really. Your ultimate goal is zero ammonia, zero nitrite, and a low nitrate reading. That will happen when the tank is cycled.

I've used fish-in to cycle my tanks, but using pure ammonia will work too. Make sure it doesn't have any additives. If you shake the bottle and it doesn't foam, that's pure ammonia.

Put a few drops of ammonia in every day. You'll get test readings of ammonia at first. When I did fish-in, I'd do a water change of 25% every other day. That kept the toxin levels down enough where it didn't hurt the fish, but left enough in where the nitrifying bacteria could form. After a few days you'll see nitrite, and your ammonia will start lowering. Then a while later your ammonia will be zero, your nitrite will lower, then your nitrates will show up. Amnoia zero, nitrites zero, nitrates, 20 ppm or so and your tank is cycled. The cycle will break down ammonia on its own from there. It'll take a month or so.

Prime is pretty popular for water conditioner, but your aqueon should be OK too. It needs to neutralize chlorine and chloramine.

There are different opinions on the cycle starters, quick start, etc. In my opinion those additives are more trouble than they're worth, but lots of people use them successfully I guess.
 

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AquaticJ said:
recommended GPH for hang on back is 8-10 X your tank amount. I always recommend 10.
you can also put a power head in to increase the fluidity and chemical mixing of the tank which will allow you to have less GPH overall. It really comes down to the circulation ratio of the tank not just the actual turnover rate of the filter
 
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MrWindley

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lilabug4545 said:
Isn't that how most of us started, though?

I think we could help you restock your tank. What sort of look are you going for? (If you don't understand any of these, google them, as they are pretty easy to find pictures of)
Do you want a really natural looking tank, with lots of schooling fish, and plants?
Do you want a goldfish tank?
Do you want a cichlid tank? (Cichlids are fairly aggressive fish that can really only be housed with each other for beginners)
That's the first question when you stock a tank, is, what do you want it to look like?
Do you want it to look like you hired a biologist to make a beautiful setscape, or do you want something fun, where you can put your hand in one end of the tank and have fish come up to you?
Why, Thank you very much. That would be great and I would highly appreciate it. The Natrual Look or the Fun look seems like a nice idea and right up my alley. Fish come up to me sounds awesome..

AquaticJ said:
I don’t think anyone said this, but the Aquaclear 70 isn’t enough filtration for the tank. It’s only 300 gallons per hour, but you want about 550 gallons per hour (10 X gallons of your tank). Welcome to the hobby, and to the forum!
Thanks! I was kinda thinking that as well. Thank god for warranties. I don’t mind paying the different for the right equipment or do I need that sunsun 40?

lilabug4545 said:
The Aqueon water conditioner is okay (it's not bad, but it's not the worst), in fact, I use it! For such a big tank, I would recommend SeaChem Prime, however. It will turn toxic ammonia into a less toxic form, and it uses a lot less per water change. It's the super high end of the spectrum, but it isn't really priced like it!
I will definitely look into that.

lilabug4545 said:
Sory to spam this thread, but I keep forgetting about certain topics.
The nitrogen cycle:
The nitrogen cycle is fairly simple once you understand, but hard to explain. There's a good diagram somewhere on here if I could find it. Basically, fish food and waste (as with all living creatures) produces ammonia. The same ammonia that you can die because of. Now, it isn't that concentrated, but it's still toxic to fish at low levels. Luckily, there is a type of bacteria that eats ammonia and produces nitrite (with an I). Unfortunately, nitrite is also toxic to fish. However, there is a type of bacteria that eats nitrite, and produces nitrate. Nitrate is a lot less toxic than either ammonia or nitrite. When you cycle a tank, you are building up a colony of bacteria to consume the ammonia into nitrite, and the nitrite into nitrate. You are basically waiting for your particular bacteria species to float through the air and land in your tank, and then multiply in your filter. When you are cycling without fish, then you don't have a source of ammonia. To give your bacteria the ammonia, you can either add household cleaning ammonia, or you can put a pinch of flakes in there (ghost fish/ghost feedings) to break down, and give your filter the ammonia.
Thank you for that clarification of that as I have read it about 4 times and it’s making sense now. I have just one goldfish in there now after a complete water change but my test kit won’t arrive till Thursday. So is that cycling with a fish?

AquaticJ said:
recommended GPH for hang on back is 8-10 X your tank amount. I always recommend 10.
What’s tweakable and what’s are you taking about here?

NavyChief20 said:
you can also put a power head in to increase the fluidity and chemical mixing of the tank which will allow you to have less GPH overall. It really comes down to the circulation ratio of the tank not just the actual turnover rate of the filter
What is this we talking about here?
 
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