No experience, in over our heads! 60 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Bailey, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. Bailey

    BaileyNew MemberMember


    Hello everyone... I hope that everyone is having a joyful season!

    There will be 2 of us using this account here, myself (Rhonda & my fiancé - Nick)... I stumbled across this site and decided to join because of the positive feedback/constructive criticism that I read for a question I surfed the net for.

    Now, we just bought a 60 gallon tank about 2 weeks ago, filled the tank with tap water mixed in conditioner & setup aquaclear filter... We let this run over 24 hours and added 10 goldfish (I'm finding out they are also called 'feeder fish'), we did this as suggested by a local fish store!

    After reading the forum, I believe that this was the wrong thing to do!

    We want to eventually have beautiful & healthy tropical fish... What to do now? The water is now cloudy after the goldfish have been in the tank and I am afraid that these poor fish will die!

    Please help!

    Thanks in advance for your response!!
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  2. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello Bailey's :) Welcome to Fish Lore.
    Here is where you need to begin.
    The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle
    There is a lot of information there, check it out as it's crucial to fish keeping. We're here to answer questions when you're ready.

    API (liquid) Master Test Kit is highly recommended. You don't want to rely on the results that you're given by your local fish store. the kit will test for everything mentioned in the Nitrogen Cycle link.

    As for your Golf Fish, I'm afraid you're over stocked. A good guide line (not a rule) for Gold Fish is 1 = 20gallons and each additional Gold Fish needs 10 gallons. They are huge waste producers. I'm afraid you're going to be dealing with ammonia issues as your tank isn't cycled. Once you understand the information in the links you'll understand this more too. I would suggest that you do 30 to 50% daily water changes. Add some Prime (water conditioner) that will reduce ammonia, nitrites and nitrates for 24 hours until it's time for your next water change. What you want to see is 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and under 20 nitrates (explained in the link above) Then your tank is cycled. I would suggest returning some of the Gold Fish or dividing them into other tanks. Or, if you're wanting to go tropical, take them all back and let's get your tank cycled.
    I'll stop here for now. I'm sure you'll get more responses. Hang in there. It will get easier!
  3. Beth1965

    Beth1965Well Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore, a great place for advice.
    Ken gave you great advice. Personally, I would return the fish until your tank is cycled. this way you have more time to plan on a good healthy tank-plan on what fish you ultimately want.
    Best of luck,
  4. peacemaker92

    peacemaker92Well Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore! :;hi2

    Glad to have you on board with us. Great site! Hope you learn loads and have great fish! Best of luck! :;hf
  5. ynaggo

    ynaggoValued MemberMember

    If you can't return your fish to the LFS, 50% water changes of a 60 gallon seem a lot!
    To save yourself those water changes you can get a bacterial additive, selected members had great success with Tetra SafeStart, just follow the instructions and you will be fine, no need for water changes when using it.

    If they don't have it at your LFS check here:

    Oh I almost forgot,

    Welcome to FishLore!
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  6. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Hi welcome to FishLore :)
    Don't feel bad, many of us bought a tank and put fish in not knowing about the nitrogen cycle.
    50% water changes is going to be a lot of work on your side tank.
    Since you're wanting a tropical tank, I'd also suggest you take the gold fish back and do a fish less cycle.
    Less work for you and no fish are harmed during the process!
    Here are Four Methods of Fish Less Cycling

    Best of luck to you both :)
  7. OP

    BaileyNew MemberMember

    Thanks soo much for the quick responses, we're going to give them away & start from square 1!

    Nick thought that they looked a bit 'stressed'... Neither of us has had tanks before, so we're both still learning :)

    Thanks for accepting us into your community forum!
  8. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

  9. ynaggo

    ynaggoValued MemberMember

    When you return your goldfish see if the LFS has Tetra Safestart, Tetra Safestart is sort of rare here in Canada and im not sure about the US
  10. OP

    BaileyNew MemberMember

    I'm soo sad that this wa wrong... I noticed a few of the fish would kind of stop swimming and float a bit towards the top... I thought they were dead, but then they'd start sluggishly start to swim again. I feel absolutely horrible! Eitherway, we're going to try to find them somewhere nice to go!

    I can't imagine how our son will react after just getting the fish... To having no fish the very next day, he's 2 and just loved watching the fish! :-(

    thanks for the encouragement 'it will get easier'

    I hope so ;-)

  11. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    After the tank is cycled, it will get easier.
    When we started with tropicals it was for my daughter's birthday. She wasn't as young as your son, but still young.
    We bought hr a 10g set up and 5 beautiful guppies. No one at the store said anything about the nitrogen cycle.
    Sadly, we watched those poor guppies die one by one.
    It makes me so mad that stores don't expalin the nitrogen cycle!

    I hope you can get Tetra SafeStart as mentioned above. That way you add that and the fish at the same time (I think)
    The big box stores don't sell it.
    Don't be fooled by similar sounding products or any other product that claims to help cycle a tank. (Cycle, Stress Zyme, Stability ect.)
  12. Diggly

    DigglyWell Known MemberMember

    Dont worry Bailey you are in good hands here! keep us updated on your progress and welcome!
  13. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    great advice from others..just wanted to say welcome to fishlore!
  14. Meenu

    MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Hi, welcome to Fishlore. You are getting some good advice here.

    The most important thing to keeping healthy fish is understanding the nitrogen cycle, in my opinion. Please read the link, but here it is in a nutshell:

    Your tank has ammonia from the waste your fish produce. The beneficial bacteria living on the surface of your gravel and filter media eats the ammonia, changing it to nitrite. Another beneficial bacteria converts that into nitrates.

    Any amount of ammonia or nitrites can be lethal to fish. A small amount of nitrates are fine (5-20). Once your tank is cycled, it means you have enough benefical bacteria growing to eat all the ammonia and nitrites, making your tank a healthy place to live. Your readings should be 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 5-20 nitrates.

    You need a good liquid test kit to check your water. The strips aren't accurate. Most of the members here use the API master test kit. It is expensive at the beginning, but provides hundreds of tests and so ends up being cheaper. You also get accurate, precise readings, so it is worth the initial expense, in my opinion. I got it 10 bucks cheaper on Amazon, by the way, than any of the stores around me.

    You also want to have a good water conditioner. Seachem makes one called Prime, already mentioned above. Members really like it because not only does it remove chlorine, etc., from your water like other conditioners, but it also detoxifies ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate for 24 hours, so it serves an extra, important purpose.

    I think that giving the goldfish back at this point is for the best. You then can cycle your tank without fish in it (Lucy gave you the link on how to do that), which is really the best way to do it, because then no fish are stressed by the cycle. It also gives you loads of time to research what fish you want to get.

    I know people recommended Tetra Safe Start - I used it for my tank and really like it. It's basically a big bottle of the good bacteria you need for your tank. You add it with fish at the same time. It's hard to find and expensive, so if you decide to go that way, you should research proper usage so you don't waste the bottle. It's pretty finicky.

    Good luck with your tank.
  15. Amanda

    AmandaFishlore VIPMember

    Great advice, Welcome to Fishlore!
  16. fishingman001

    fishingman001Well Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!

    Another thing to mention. After a couple months if your filter sponge needs to be cleaned, don't clean it with tap water. Use old tank water because the chlorine in the tap water will kill the beneficial bacteria. Just lightly squeeze it in a bucket of tank water and put it back.

    Don't feel bad about not knowing about the nitrogen cycle. When I first started I set up a 10 gallon and added 3 bala sharks the same day. Sad to say they did not last long. This site has some great info (as you already know) and the people are always willing to help.

    Good Luck!
  17. bolivianbaby

    bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fishlore! The other members have you covered with some wonderful advice. We're glad you're here!
  18. rae64

    rae64Well Known MemberMember

    i did the same thing, buy a tank and throw fish in.... except i had a 10 gallon and not a 60 gallon!!! i would HIGHLY suggest taking your goldfish back to the LFS if at all possible. Tropical tanks/cichlid tanks can have more vairety, and are easier to maintain. also, if you can return the fish, you can fishless cycle. others have already given you links, so if i were you i would cycle the tank this way (my prefered method is using pure houshold ammonia with a combination of seed media. its clean, fast, efficient, and safe) and, if all goes well, your tank should be cycled by christmas and you could maybe take your son out to the LFS to help pick out some fishies as part of his present :) young children are FACINATED (well, most of them) by fish tanks. they are great fun :) but be sure to do reaserch/chat with some people on this forum before buying fish! you might want to go and choose some species you like, write their names down, and then do some reaserch. here we can offer tons of good adivice about stocking, tips, etc. etc. do you have any pictures?? we LOVE pictures!!!!
  19. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Just to expound on the quote above a little since this was not obvious to me whan I was starting out.

    You really don't want to replace your filter media (i.e. floss or sponge) until it is falling apart. I know that the instructions that came with your filter will recommend changing the media every month, but like mentioned previously, the filter media is where all the good bacteria lives and by removing it you will be removing all the benificial bacteria and have to cycle all over again.
  20. fishingman001

    fishingman001Well Known MemberMember

    i didn't mean replacing it. i meant just rinsing it lightly in old tank water and putting it back in the filter.