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Old 04-30-2012, 03:14 PM   #1
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Unhappy New Tank - Advice welcome

I rescued my 6 year old grandsons fish, relocated them to my house, and need to know if I'm on the right track. I have not had fish since my kids were little (mid 80's), and things have changed.

As I found them:

1 comet : 6 in
1 fantail : 4 in
1 fat belly fantail : 4 in
1 black moor : 5 1/2 in
1 black moor : 7 in

(Measured nose to tail). They were in a 10 gal tank, half full of water, and the water was reddish orange. No plants. Filter in tank had not been changed in 3 months. Tough fish. Started out couple years ago in 1 gallon fishbowl, all from Walmart.

I moved them to my house 3 months ago and started by cleaning tank and putting in fresh filters as required. Also added 1 ft bubble wall with Tetra Air Pump : 10-30 gal rating. Did partial water changes weekly and came to realize tank was too small and started saving for larger one.

Purchased 55 gallon tank kit at Wal-mart 4/7, then had to build a stand. Finally set up on 4/12.

New set-up:

55 gal tank
Tetra Whisper internal power filter from 10 gallon tank : rated 10-30 gal
Aqua-Tech 30-60 Power Filter from kit
Tetra Air Pump : 10-30 gal
Hoods with daylight fluorescents : I turn them off if water goes over 80 deg F
Bubble wall : 2 1/2 ft long
Asst silk plants and a few decorations

Use stress cote in water at set up and for each water change. Treated for Ick with coppersafe on 4/16, left in filters but removed the carbon from them. Have changed the water as follows:

4/17 20% added stress cote and coppersafe as directed
4/22 20% added stress cote and coppersafe as directed
4/28 20% added stress cote and coppersafe as directed

Just got my API test kit this morning and test results are as follows:
PH 7.2
Ammonia .5 ppm
Nitrite .25 ppm
Nitrate. 5.0 ppm

Is there anything else I should be doing to get this tank cycled so it's easier on the fish? I just couldn't leave them in the 10 gal, PH was in the toilet (5-6 ) and water quality had to be worse than what they have now. Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:17 PM   #2
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:36 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA!
You did the right thing saving those fish! Having them in the larger tank is better for them even during the cycle. What you can be doing to keep them safe is to test water every day and change as necessary. If ammonia or nitrite are at or over .25ppm do a water change to bring it down. For filtration you want to aim for 10x the tanks volume an hour. So a 55g will need at least 550g of water filtered an hour. The rule of stocking fancy goldfish is 20g for the first and 10g for each fish after that. The 4 fancies you have are a perfect fit but the comet is not. Comets are pond fish so if you could find him a new home in a pond that would be ideal.
These fish are most likely stunted. They will never reach their full potential but they will continue to grow than thrive in heathy conditions.
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:07 PM   #4
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Excellent advice! Water changes will be your best friend until this tank is cycled. The four fancies are a perfect fit for this tank. Definitely look into adding another big hob filter- Marineland, Aquaclear & Aqueon all make filters that run 400gph (gallons per hour). You should look into rehoming the comet to a happy pond home as Mumma suggested. Please ask if you have any questions!
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:22 AM   #5
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Another ???

One other question. How much should they be eating? I am feeding them the teeny tiny goldfish pellets soaked in water, but how much is too much, especially while cycling the tank? How do I know they are getting enough, they always act like famine victims. Whenever I'm near the tank, they rush to the feeding corner and push and shove with thier mouths at the surface.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:32 AM   #6
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As much as they can eat in a couple of minutes. If there is anything being wasted (which I doubt because it's goldfish we are talking about lol) your feeding too much. You can feed green vege in addition to the pellets. My guys LOVE blanched broccoli.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:49 AM   #7
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Thanks. Did a water change last night and then tested again.

PH 7
Ammonia : .25 ppm
Nitrite : color between 0 and .25 ppm
Nitrate : between 0 and 5. ppm

Hope this thing cycles soon!

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Old 05-01-2012, 05:53 PM   #8
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Unhappy Help please.

Just finished another water test :

PH : 6.6.
Ammonia : .25
Nitrite : .25
Nitrate : 5.0

What should I do for the PH? Water change alone or something else too?
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:26 PM   #9
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What I need you to do is test your tap waters pH. Let some sit out in a glass over night to gas off. Stir it occasionally. Test after 24 hours. That will be the true pH of the tap water and what you should expect to tank to sit at (except after large water changes).
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:50 AM   #10
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Thanks for sticking with me.
Will be tomorrow morning for new tap water. Caught my cat up on the counter drinking it. Will put out new.

Did a 50% water change last night around 11:30. This mornings #'s are:

PH 6.4
Ammonia : .25ppm
Nitrite : .25 ppm
Nitrate : 5 ppm
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:01 AM   #11
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Def let us know what your taps ph is. Your tanks ph is on the low side. I would do another water change today to try & bring it up a bit & lower your amm & nitrite. If your taps ph is this low as well, you may need to add some crushed coral or arogonite to your filter to help buffer your water & stabilize your ph. Keep us posted!
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:11 PM   #12
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Added some aquarium salt to the water per directions (heard it will ease stress on the fish during cycling). They seem fine as long as I don't approach the tank. It can be hard to observe them when they are in frantic begging mode.
Tap water from the spigot is PH 7. Will have new 24 hour old water tomorrow morning. (Put it in a cabinet and closed the door, this time.)
Should I add a little crushed shell now. Their old 10 gallon tank's PH was always very low no matter what, but this is the first time this 55 gallon has been low.
Do you need to get the shell at a store, or can I just go get some from the shucker's. We're 10 miles from the Gulf. Would I have to worry about BP spill contamination?
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:47 PM   #13
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Knowing the 10g was always this low def helps! I suspect your tap gasses off this low. I honestly dont know about contamination due to the oil spill- if your leery of using these shells, find a cleaner source. Crushed shells will work to help stabilize your ph as well- you will need to add a mesh bag full of them (or use a piece of clean pantyhose) and add this to your filter. Start with 2-3 tablespoons full & check your tanks ph in 24hrs. Keeping adding another spoon full until you can get your tank to stabilize in the 6.8-7 range. If it jumps alot, just remove some. It will be a bit of trial & error to figure out how much you need.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:55 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info

Thanks! That info helps no end. I'll look into getting some from a for sure clean source. There've been more reports of sick, black streaked fish offshore. Why borrow more trouble.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:46 AM   #15
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Unhappy Problem

Did a big water change last night late, but didn't get a reading before bed. My ph is crashing. Woke up this morning and it registered 6!!!!! That is as low as the test goes, so who knows what it really is. Had to leave for an appointment so as an emergency measure dosed it with proper PH 7. Don't know what's going on at home but will be back there around 1030 or 1100, and will do another big water change then.
Will have to go to the mall and see if that pet store has oyster shells, Pet Station did not. Only other quick choice is a 1 hour drive away. Are there any other options for buffering (aside from PWC's, of course)?
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:12 AM   #16
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Yes, your lfs may have crushed coral or argonite- check in the saltwater section. If not, both are available online as well.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:40 PM   #17
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Exclamation Update on PH and other #'s

Tested PH at 1115 and it was back to 6.4. The tap water sample tested today at 1200 came in at 6.8. Maybe the PH drop is a phase of the cycle? Put in some clean egg shells to see if that helps til I can get up to Spanish Fort for some oyster shell or coral or argonite.
Just finished other tests at 1215 and results are :

PH : now 6.6
Amm : .25 ppm
Nitrite : 0 ppm
Nitrate : between 0 & 5.0 ppm

Any idea why nitrite is 0? Did the low PH set back my cycling? Did I do the right thing with the Proper PH? I do try not to resort to chemicals but I wouldn't be home for hours and I panicked. Should I do another PWC or wait awhile. I have 1 fancy who seems more sensitive to stress and he has 8 scales kinda pine coned if you know what I mean.

Ordered a seeded sponge filter from Angels Plus that was mentioned on another post, also. Figured it can't hurt to try.

Hope I get this right soon for the little guy's sake. I can't tell you how much I appreciate all your good advice right now.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:56 PM   #18
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Yes, your ph swings are affecting your good bacteria as well as your fish. Your big ph drop to 6 (or lower) basically stopped your cycle in its tracks until the bacteria recover. At a ph 6/lower, the nitrification cycle basically grinds to a halt due to the acidic environment- the lack of carbonates (buffers) in your water also stopped it as well. Without the buffers, the chemical conversion can not happen. The lack of buffers also allows your ph to crash, so its basically a vicious cycle until your ph is stabilized in a higher range than 6 & theres sufficient buffers for your bacteria to use. Sufficient buffers will also keep your ph stable as well.

The fish you describe as having some pineconed scales- can you post a pic of him? Is it a few random scales or is it all of the scales around his stomach? Is he bloated? Is he eating? Some more info on his condition will help!
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:48 PM   #19
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Yes, your ph swings are affecting your good bacteria as well as your fish. Your big ph drop to 6 (or lower) basically stopped your cycle in its tracks until the bacteria recover. At a ph 6/lower, the nitrification cycle basically grinds to a halt due to the acidic environment- the lack of carbonates (buffers) in your water also stopped it as well. Without the buffers, the chemical conversion can not happen. The lack of buffers also allows your ph to crash, so its basically a vicious cycle until your ph is stabilized in a higher range than 6 & theres sufficient buffers for your bacteria to use. Sufficient buffers will also keep your ph stable as well.

The fish you describe as having some pineconed scales- can you post a pic of him? Is it a few random scales or is it all of the scales around his stomach? Is he bloated? Is he eating? Some more info on his condition will help!

I will try to post a pic from my computer (very old and cranky), as my iPad won't upload to this site. It is just 8 or 9 randon scales, but he is the only one. He seems to be the most unhappy looking one under stress (some hanging out at the top, etc...)He is eating and deficating regularly, in fact he is one of my biggest piggies. Just not his happy self but nothing I can put my finger on.

Will crank up computer and try to post pic.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:04 PM   #20
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If you can track down some lime stone or sand stone at a landscaping supply that will help buffer your pH.
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