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Old 04-23-2019, 11:01 AM   #1
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Newbie requesting advice on set-up and cycle

Hi

I have read some of the threads and articles on this site - all very useful but nothing that fully answered my particular circumstance so I hope you don't mind a new thread.

I have adopted ('rescued') a fantail goldfish (approx 5 years) and a 30 gallon tank from someone who did not look after either properly. The tank has been emptied and the fish is in a bowl temporarily whilst the tank is set up.

The fish bowl is about 1.5 gallons - so far too small. I have added a small air stone (running from a Trixie Air Pump 180), a live plant, gravel and a cave. Fish seems ok for now (although has white spots on its body which it had when I rescued it which I know I need to treat).

So my first question is - is it best to keep the fish in the bowl whilst I cycle the tank or given the circumstances is it best to get him over to the tank asap? I am changing 50% of the water in the fish bowl every 12 hours as worried about ammonia levels. Is that too much/too little? There's no filter in the bowl.

Secondly - is that air pump too powerful? Should it be on permanently or intermittently (and if so for how long?).

I obviously have a lot to learn and I am aware that a fish bowl is not a suitable environment for a grown fantail - I'm trying to make the best of a bad situation so any advice on the best way to proceed would be greatly received.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:40 PM   #2
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Here is the fish - I feel awful about it being in a bowl but given the circumstances had no choice. Tank arrives tonight - really need to know if its better (in this situation) to cycle the tank and keep him in the bowl until the cycle is finished or run a 24hr filter once set up and move him across.

Also reading up on cycling - if its best to do this and keep him in the bowl in the meantime then given the white spots shown below is it best to get a new filter or use the same filter because it will help with seeding?
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:04 PM   #3
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Get it into the 30 gallons asap.

The solution to pollution is dilution - 30 gallons / 1.5 gallons = 20x more dilution.

Change lots of water, and dose Prime to temporarily lock-up ammonia.

Try and get some cycled media from a friend / store asap.
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:49 PM   #4
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Set up your 30g right when you get it. Add water with prime. Get it running then immediately add the fish as Z stated.

Do 25% to 33% water changes every 12 hours..... roughly 8-10 gallons. You are gonna have to do a fish in cycle unless you can find cycled media from someone so these water changes are a must. You are also changing out the water to keep it pristine for the white patches on its body. I'm not entirely sure what those are at the moment. The bright side is his fins and eyes look good.

I'd hold off on medicating unless his condition gets worse. Just keep the water good with frequent changes. Try to get yourself an API Freshwater Master Test Kit to test your water. You'll want to do this every day or two.

Keep us updated.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:45 PM   #5
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Thank you

Tank is just about to be set up. The filter is the same one as before but I don't know that it will have any benefit as hasn't been kept wet since Friday.

We will go to a lfs tomorrow and try to get something from their healthy tanks to help with the cycling. I've ordered the test kit mentioned above and that arrives tomorrow.

I'll keep you updated. From what I've heard from the previous owner - the patches have been there awhile and they've previously treated it for fungal infections but from what I could tell they haven't really been giving it the best of care for a few months now.

Thanks again - I'll no doubt have further questions and I'll make sure we keep on top of the testing and the water changes.
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Old 04-24-2019, 05:53 PM   #6
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Update

Thank you. Flappy is now in his tank and seems to be thriving. pH and ammonia and nitrates a little raised - will test again in a few hours and assess what to do.

I know daily (if not more) pwc was recommended above. I just wanted to check if this was the best plan as I live in a chalky area and despite treating the water with Easy-Life Filter Medium to remove the chlorine, I suspect that this might be the cause of the pH imbalance.

Would it be best to follow the Master Kit advice and get the pH Down solution or should I go natural and add almond leaves from the lfs (which I read somewhere lowers pH)?

Same query really with the ammonia. pwc will definitely lower that I know but what about the Ammonia Lock they suggest?

I also added in Tetra Safe Start Bacteria as advised by my lfs but not sure if that was the right thing to do as also seen opposite advice on this forum in one of the articles. I think you're supposed to leave that in for 2 weeks to do its thing without pwc so now I really don't know what to do for the best!!

TIA
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:16 PM   #7
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What's your pH? Fish adapt to pH so I wouldn't mess with it. Once you start chasing pH levels with chemicals it causes pH swings which will kill your fish. Almond leaves do work and peat moss if you don't mind a brown water tank. The tannins that turns the water brown is also what lowers the pH. Another option is to add 50% tap to 50% RO or Distilled water. Again, this needs to be done with accuracy or you'll swing the pH. It also lowers your KH and GH. KH being your buffer which stabilizes your pH so you don't want KH real low or you get pH swings.

IME, bacteria in a bottle doesn't work. I know some people are dead set on it but I don't see how bacteria lives in a bottle without a food source (ammonia).

Seachem Prime converts ammonia to the safer ammonium and also converts nitrites to a safer form. This has to be dosed every 48 hours to maintain effectiveness. Some people dose every 24 hours. There seems to be some debate between 1 or 2 day effectiveness but Seachem claims 48 hours.

So my advice would be to change 1/3 of your water every 48 hours with Seachem Prime. Test your water just prior to your water change to see what's going on with it. Remember, if you have, say, .50 ppm ammonia and you change out 50% of the water you will then have .25 ppm in the tank.

If your readings are high after two days then I'd start a daily water change schedule.
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:43 PM   #8
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I agree with King, donít use any chemicals to alter pH. Keep up with water changes and use Prime every day / every other day. Feed LIGHTLY, and test often
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Old 04-25-2019, 04:18 AM   #9
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These are the readings before I did a 50% water change first thing this morning (about 2 hours ago).

High pH - reading was weird this morning because I couldn't match the colour - it was kind of magenta which I figured isn't as high as the higher readings which was purple and therefore was probably somewhere between 8.0 and 8.4.

Ammonia - 0.25-0.5ppm

Nitrite - 0ppm

Nitrate - 40-80ppm

Haven't tested since the water change. How often should I be testing do you think? I think it might make sense to test my tap water too to see how high nitrates are.

Noted re: not using chemicals to change pH. I will try to get almond leaves asap and give those a try. I also read that driftwood is good (once boiled and cooled). I live by the beach so will try to find some.

At the moment I'm using Easy-life filter medium because that is what was recommended to me by the first lfs we went to (prior to that I was using Tap Safe). If you think I should change to Seachem Prime then I'll get some asap.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikkih View Post
These are the readings before I did a 50% water change first thing this morning (about 2 hours ago).

High pH - reading was weird this morning because I couldn't match the colour - it was kind of magenta which I figured isn't as high as the higher readings which was purple and therefore was probably somewhere between 8.0 and 8.4.

Ammonia - 0.25-0.5ppm

Nitrite - 0ppm

Nitrate - 40-80ppm

Haven't tested since the water change. How often should I be testing do you think? I think it might make sense to test my tap water too to see how high nitrates are.

Noted re: not using chemicals to change pH. I will try to get almond leaves asap and give those a try. I also read that driftwood is good (once boiled and cooled). I live by the beach so will try to find some.

At the moment I'm using Easy-life filter medium because that is what was recommended to me by the first lfs we went to (prior to that I was using Tap Safe). If you think I should change to Seachem Prime then I'll get some asap.
Don't chase pH, especially if its a goldfish. They are super hardy (within reason) and will do fine in any pH. Just leave your conditioned tap water alone.

Use Prime or Safe, it will detoxify ammonia for a short while, while you wait for the tank to cycle. Grab some cycled media if you can, and keep with a large water change once per day until the tank had cycled.
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