Novice, losing fish, need to start from scratch...what do I do with my snails? plus any other advice?

apont

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Hi All -

My first time posting here. I am a novice who has been trying to establish a 10 gallon aquarium for over a year. My set up is real simple. I start with 1 fancy goldfish, and just keep losing them after a month or so. This time around, I got smart and started testing PH and Ammonia, adjusting with Prime and Seachem Netural regulator, but then the fish got Ich. I treated w API Super, fish seemed to rebound, but then I think I killed it with the 25% water change. (Yes, I used Prime in the new water and let it sit out over night before I added to the tank). I am thinking I should just start over - dump the entire tank, scrub and clean it, replace gravel, maybe get a new filter, etc. Do you agree this is the most full proof solution?

In the mean time, I still have two snails in the tank which seem to be doing well. My question is, can I try and transplant them, or should I assume that if there is a disease, that the snails are contaminated too? I hate to just toss them in the garden.
 

e_watson09

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Alright so it sounds like you have quite a bit going on here. #1, stop using any pH adjuster. They cause WAY more harm than good and make your pH unstable which can be a death sentence for fish.

I would purchase an API master test kit. Test your ammonia, nitrates and nitrites. That will tell us where you are in your cycle. I would not just start over, you have your cycle started and it takes time to finish.

Depending on the type of snails you have they likely can produce enough ammonia to allow the tank to cycle with just them in it.

As for fish you're going to want to look into fish that can live in a 10g comfortably. Most goldfish get way too big. Usually fancies you're looking at a 55g or larger when they get full grown. Personally I love a male betta in a 10g tank but there are other options as well! You'll need to add a heater if you don't already have one.
 

!poogs!

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The problem is your choice of fish for the size of tank. A guess without even knowing all the facts is feeding and filtration are likely side issues.

On species alone a goldfish is not suitable to a 10 gallon tank. Just another guess, you are likely not able to produce enough BB to support a goldfish in that volume of water on feeding and waste alone.

Are you using a heater?
 

Dunk2

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apont said:
Hi All -

My first time posting here. I am a novice who has been trying to establish a 10 gallon aquarium for over a year. My set up is real simple. I start with 1 fancy goldfish, and just keep losing them after a month or so. This time around, I got smart and started testing PH and Ammonia, adjusting with Prime and Seachem Netural regulator, but then the fish got Ich. I treated w API Super, fish seemed to rebound, but then I think I killed it with the 25% water change. (Yes, I used Prime in the new water and let it sit out over night before I added to the tank). I am thinking I should just start over - dump the entire tank, scrub and clean it, replace gravel, maybe get a new filter, etc. Do you agree this is the most full proof solution?

In the mean time, I still have two snails in the tank which seem to be doing well. My question is, can I try and transplant them, or should I assume that if there is a disease, that the snails are contaminated too? I hate to just toss them in the garden.
Your profile says you don’t know about the nitrogen cycle. I’d begin by reading this. . .

Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle
 
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apont

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First, thanks for the feedback...this is truly appreciated.

So I don't even know how to cycle per se. I guess I need to learn that? For the newest fish, the water (same water as for prior fish) was running for a good couple of months without a fish before I went and added the newest one. Changed to a new filter. Then, at the same time I tested and made sure ammonia was good (it was) and PH was in balance (it wasn't). I was testing every few days. Everything seemed fine til the Ich showed up.

As for the PH adjuster, I can stop using...but what do I do then if my PH is way out of whack?

I get that you are saying a 10 gallon tank is too small for a goldfish. But given that the fish are dying in weeks and months, would the tank size be the short-term issue? A 10 gallon tank won't cause death of a 2" fancy, or will it?

Would prefer to not have to heat the tank since that's just one more piece of electrical equipment constantly running. I keep the home at a steady 70 degrees. But if you tell me that's important....
 

Dunk2

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apont said:
First, thanks for the feedback...this is truly appreciated.

So I don't even know how to cycle per se. I guess I need to learn that? For the newest fish, the water (same water as for prior fish) was running for a good couple of months without a fish before I went and added the newest one. Changed to a new filter. Then, at the same time I tested and made sure ammonia was good (it was) and PH was in balance (it wasn't). I was testing every few days. Everything seemed fine til the Ich showed up.

As for the PH adjuster, I can stop using...but what do I do then if my PH is way out of whack?

I get that you are saying a 10 gallon tank is too small for a goldfish. But given that the fish are dying in weeks and months, would the tank size be the short-term issue? A 10 gallon tank won't cause death of a 2" fancy, or will it?

Would prefer to not have to heat the tank since that's just one more piece of electrical equipment constantly running. I keep the home at a steady 70 degrees. But if you tell me that's important....
Learning about the nitrogen cycle is likely the most important thing you can do to be successful in this hobby. Followed closely by fish compatibility (including to your tank size).
 

e_watson09

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apont said:
First, thanks for the feedback...this is truly appreciated.

So I don't even know how to cycle per se. I guess I need to learn that? For the newest fish, the water (same water as for prior fish) was running for a good couple of months without a fish before I went and added the newest one. Changed to a new filter. Then, at the same time I tested and made sure ammonia was good (it was) and PH was in balance (it wasn't). I was testing every few days. Everything seemed fine til the Ich showed up.

As for the PH adjuster, I can stop using...but what do I do then if my PH is way out of whack?

I get that you are saying a 10 gallon tank is too small for a goldfish. But given that the fish are dying in weeks and months, would the tank size be the short-term issue? A 10 gallon tank won't cause death of a 2" fancy, or will it?

Would prefer to not have to heat the tank since that's just one more piece of electrical equipment constantly running. I keep the home at a steady 70 degrees. But if you tell me that's important....
Most fish your pH out of your tap will be just fine as long as its consistent. The issue is really when it fluctuates. A key factor with fish is not having things fluctuate.

All of the fish that can fit in a 10g will need a warmer tank. It'll need to be 76+ depending on the type you pick.

A 10g filter (and uncycled tank) cannot handle the bioload of a goldfish. There are quite a few issues at play. Too small of a tank can stress the fish, filter can't keep up, and the tank not being cycled can be deadly to a fish.

Fish are a commitment so when you purchase a fish you want to make sure you have the means to house it and meet its requirements.
 

Noroomforshoe

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Your tank can not cycle without a sorce of ammonia. you have to add ammonia, bottled ammonia, fish food, grocery store shrimp in a nylon stocking... And a cycled tank left without fish will begin to lose the cycle. Though with all the waste from a goldfish in a ten gallon, it may take a while.
Test ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
in a cycled tank , you should have zero ammonia, zero nitrite, but NOT zero nitrate. your job is now to keep nitrate below 40 ppm with weekly water changes and gravel vacs, not overfeeding, not overstocking, not underfiltering.

So = 1 fancy/double tail goldfish needs a 20 gallon, and each additional goldfish needs 10 more gallons, and goldfish are social, keep at least 2 similar size/similar species. FYI= no telescope eye fish with orandos, no pearscale "the smallest, with black more "the largest"

Dont add ph chemicals, carefully acclimate fish, and avoid the few rare or wild caught species that are know to have touble adapting to ph out of there range.

A ten gallon is limited, look for posts on stocking, consider a betta.
 

MomeWrath

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A ten gallon tank even with a 2" goldfish in it can accumulate enough ammonia to become toxic, and even if it wasn't a direct cause of death it can contribute to stress and a weakened immune system, leaving the door open for secondary infections. Goldfish are excellent beggars and always look hungry, so a lot of people overfeed as well. Like dog food, it's usually only required to feed half of what the container suggests. A 2" goldfish becomes 4" goldfish in a matter of a couple of months, and then the tank is definitely too small.
Before you toss the baby out with the bathwater, try this:
Do read about the nitrogen cycle
You probably have some beneficial bacteria existing in the tank, and your snail friends will help keep it going. Rather than scrubbing it out and starting over completely, do a 50% water change. Do NOT replace your filter cartridge unless it is literally falling to pieces. When you do your weekly maintenance just swish it around in some used tank water and put it back.
I would recommend white cloud mountain minnows. You can keep several (like 10) in a ten gallon tank. They prefer cool water, are colorful, active, and very hardy.
Good luck and let us know how it all works out.
And also don't think you are the only person who ever got sold a fancy goldfish for their ten gallon tank. We read posts almost identical to this on a nearly-daily basis. And remember just because you don't know what the cycle is doesn't stop it from happening in spite of that. :)
 

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