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Old 11-08-2011, 01:59 PM   #1
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Ok so last night I think I screwed up, two days ago my daughter decided she wanted a bubble wall and to move some decorations around. As I was doing this in her tank I stirred up some of the substrate and white flakey stuff(looked like when you peel you skin after a sunburn) started floating all around the tank. I decided yesterday to do a deep gravel vacuum. Vacuumed out about 3 gallons(10%) of murky nastyness from the gravel. Put in 3 gallons of clean water with prime(maybe too much prime)Right afterwards I checked out my carbon filter pad(topfin 30 filter) and it was nasty! So I swapped that with a fresh sponge only filter I got online.

After reading online, it looks like that was a bad idea deep vacuum and filter change on the same day. Do you think I crashed my cycle? I have three goldfish in my 29 gallon tank a tiny tiny black moor a small fantail(I think its a fantail) and a 2 month old common.

I'm at work right now so don't have the tank infront of me to check the chemistry. But what do you think?
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:05 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

Goldfish are huge waste producers and you need to be more thorough with regular gravel vacs than you might with another species.

Every week, when you do your water changes, swish the filter through used tank water. You shouldn't have to change out your filter cartridges but for a few times a year, when they're really falling apart.

Without knowing your readings, it's impossible to know whether you've crashed your cycle or not.
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:30 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.
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Goldfish are huge waste producers and you need to be more thorough with regular gravel vacs than you might with another species.
I've only had the tank about a month so honestly i don't even know if my cycle has started/finished yet but ammonia has never gone above .50, my plan was a 50% water change every week (i just ordered two 15 gallon buckets) and a deep gravel vacuum every other week(with smaller water changes in between based on chemistry), do you think that will be enough, or should i do a deep gravel vacuuming every time i do a water change?

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Every week, when you do your water changes, swish the filter through used tank water. You shouldn't have to change out your filter cartridges but for a few times a year, when they're really falling apart.
The Cartridge that came with my TopFin 30 was an Activated Carbon cart, wrapped in some filter material, i was a little worried about the activated carbon becoming, *unactivated*(does that even happen?) and not sure if i could just swish those around or if they needed to be changed....When changing a filter, you loose all bacteria that was on it, I've installed one of these Fluval Edge Pre-Filter Sponge - Filter Media - Fish - PetSmart on the end of my HOB intake arm, hoping that will hold some bacteria, but i'm not sure if that will be enough to make up for having to change an activated carbon cart when it becomes inactivated

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Without knowing your readings, it's impossible to know whether you've crashed your cycle or not.
Thanks Lynda! Even without me having my numbers handy, you've been ALOT of help!
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:59 PM   #4
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A tank generally takes 4-6 weeks to cycle. Any amount of ammonia, even .5, is toxic to the fish.

You don't need buckets if you have a gravel vac system (like a Python). You don't need to do a deep gravel vac weekly, unless you have fish with a heavy bioload.

Carbon does become "unactivated" (and if that's not a word, it should be).

You can always just slice open the cartridge and pull the carbon out. It lasts about 30 days whereas the cartridge itself lasts until it literally falls apart. An additional sponge or any filter media will always be helpful.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:58 PM   #5
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Please keep an eye on your water parameters (ammonia/nitrite/nitrate). Ammonia & nitrite should be zero and your nitrates should be less than 20ppm. Lynda gave great advice in respect to filters and their care! In the case of your fish, you really should be doing deep weekly gravel vacs because goldfish are very messy. Water changes should be atleast weekly unless your getting detectable ammonia or nitrites. If these are detectable, you really will need to do daily (or even twice daily) large pwcs of atleast 50% to get thse levels under control. As you are new to goldfish (and we will help you!), you should be aware that your present tank setup should not be a permanent one. Fancies need 20 gal for the first fish, 10gal for each fish after. A common (which grows quickly to be 12-18inches) realistically needs to be in a pond environment or a very large tank. Commons & fancies really should not be homed together due to the commons single caudal tail-this single tail allows the common the advantage when it comes to food & it will serve as tough competition for the slower fancies at meal time. Just some things to consider!
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:04 AM   #6
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Commons & fancies really should not be homed together due to the commons single caudal tail-this single tail allows the common the advantage when it comes to food & it will serve as tough competition for the slower fancies at meal time. Just some things to consider!
I've been experiencing this first hand, i have to practicly follow my baby black moor around with food and put it in his mouth so he can get anything to eat.with his awkward swimming and what seems like blindness, compared to how quick the Common is...he won't get a bit to eat unless i chase him around with the food

the fantail(what i believe is either a fantail or a Oranda, he has a red/orange spot on his head like an Oranda, but isn't showing the growth yet could just be Tancho like my common?) he seems to be doing much better

My brothers wives father has a rather large goldfish/koi pond he keeps right around the block from where i live, the common won't be here much long, i just want to make sure he big enough so he doesn't end up a snack for the other fish in the pond...maybe 4-6 inches
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:13 AM   #7
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Your common will be fine once he is @2-3 inches & im glad you already have a future home in mind for him. Problem is, he may not grow to this size due to the confines of your tank (not pleasant for goldfish because they continue to grow internally). Moors are visually impaired due to their telescopic eyes as you have discovered, so make sure he is getting his share of food at mealtime. You may even have to seperate him from the other guys at mealtime-a tank divider or simple sheet of plastic would work well. Does your fantail have a double tail and/or is he lacking a top dorsal fin? He very well may be an oranda or lionhead. You will be able to tell as he grows (and his wen starts to grow). Keep us posted & do not hesitate to ask more questions!
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:59 AM   #8
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Tested Ammonia tonight and got a .50 (appox. i'm not good with colors with the API Master kit, i wish for a digital meter) did a 70-80% water change with alot of Prime(8 drops for each 10% instead of 6)...Tested Nitrate after the water change and got somewhere between 10 and 20

So what i'm thinking now is my tank is overstocked(Duh!) i'm going to test again tommorrow after dinner(about 24hrs from the last test) and if my ammonia is still up i'm going to go out and buy some of that 'cycle in a bottle' stuff to see if i can increase the amount of bacteria in my tank to clean up the excess Ammonia instead of just using alot of Prime and 50% water changes everyday
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:37 AM   #9
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Tested Ammonia tonight and got a .50 (appox. i'm not good with colors with the API Master kit, i wish for a digital meter) did a 70-80% water change with alot of Prime(8 drops for each 10% instead of 6)...Tested Nitrate after the water change and got somewhere between 10 and 20

So what i'm thinking now is my tank is overstocked(Duh!) i'm going to test again tommorrow after dinner(about 24hrs from the last test) and if my ammonia is still up i'm going to go out and buy some of that 'cycle in a bottle' stuff to see if i can increase the amount of bacteria in my tank to clean up the excess Ammonia instead of just using alot of Prime and 50% water changes everyday
There are no 'shortcuts' when it comes to fish & aquariums. The 'cycle in bottle' stuff is not worth the money & it may in fact do more harm than good. Adding more chemicals here (beyond prime) is going to create more problems for you & your fish. I really would just stick to your water changes to keep ammonia/nitrite under control. Move the common to the pond & things will be alot easier because it will lessen the overall bioload.
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:18 AM   #10
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Vacuuming shouldn't have caused any harm. Changing the filter out though could be a problem. They do get nasty but that's good; generally a swish in old tank water is all that's needed. Changing out the filter entirely gets rid of the beneficial bacteria your tank needs. So that's probably your problem. Another is yes you are overstocked.

You may have sent the tank into a mini-cycle from changing the filter. Daily testing and water changes when ammonia and/or nitrite are over .25 is needed to keep the fish healthy. Hopefully the tank will establish itself again soon. But you're going to need to address your stocking issue very soon. Either upgrade to a much larger tank or rehome one of the fish (the Common).
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