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Old 08-16-2006, 02:35 PM   #1
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Newfie Newbie

Hello everyone,

I first came here (thanks to Google) just to ask a quick question, but after only a couple of days I can see that I'll be visiting this forum quite a bit so I figured I'd introduce myself.

So then, a little about me; the name’s Cindy. I'm from Newfoundland (that's the eastern most province of Canada just in case you've never heard of it). And I got my first fish as a sort of party favour just about 2 years ago. I know that sounds like a strange way to acquire a fish, but it's true. You see, I was the maid of honour at a wedding where small fancy goldfish were placed in bowls with a flower floating on top and used as the table centrepieces at the reception. All those of us in the wedding party were then given the opportunity to take one of those centrepieces home with us. I chose Spunky and he started what has grown to become a full fledged hobby.

I kept Spunky in the bowl I got him in (minus the flower) for almost 3 months. Then I decided it seemed cruel to keep him in that little bowl all by himself so I bought my first aquarium (a 10 gallon) and got him some friends. I dove into the aquarium thing with absolutely no knowledge and having done no research. I had never even heard of a cycle (in aquarium terms that is) and knew nothing about how big goldfish grow or how much space they needed, so the first day I set up the tank, in went spunky and 3 new fishy friends, and a day or so later two more joined them. How any of them survived is beyond me.

So then I had an itsy bitsy tank with 5 assorted goldfish (2 comets, 2 fancies, and a black moor) and a paradise fish. A few days into my aquarium experience, the black moor died. Most likely due to what must have been a very toxic environment, though at the time I blamed it entirely on the paradise fish who was quite aggressive and certainly didn’t belong in with my mild mannered goldfish. He was a real bully and seemed to pick on Bugsy (the black moor) more so than the others (probably because he was the slowest). So, Capone (the paradise fish) went back to the store from whence he came, and still knowing nothing about how overloaded my tank was, I went out right away and bought Bugsy II. I soon learned of the dangers of ammonia (though still knowing nothing about the nitrogen cycle) and bought my first test kit. Of course, my tank was quite toxic as one would expect, and I tried all sorts of products to bring down the ammonia finally turning to the advice of some guy at the lfs where I had bought the fish and got a new, more powerful, filter system and replaced the carbon filter with an ammonia remover to bring down the level of ammonia. With constant monitoring, I eventually settled on a zeo-carb filter and an additional ammonia remover crammed into my filter on a regular basis and thus the ammonia was kept under control. (The tank probably never did cycle properly).

I made several attempts to include an algae eater in my tank, none of which lasted very long. So over the course of the next few months a golden apple snail, an otto catfish, and 2 plecos perished in my tank before I gave up on that idea. The five goldfish, miraculously, swam around happily and seemed quite healthy (at least to the inexperienced eye) for more than a year. Then one Saturday morning, I tossed in the usual morning food and only Spunky (that little guy is really tough) came quickly for the food like they all would normally do. I shrugged it off and went and sat down on the couch to see what was on the tube. Later, as I looked over at my tank though, I noticed Bugsy being strangely still and on top, so I got up and went over for a closer inspection. He was floating bottom up, dead as a doorknob. My heart sunk as I noticed also that much of the food remained uneaten and 3 of the other 4 fish (all but Spunky) seemed really lethargic. I quickly drew off some water to change and I also took a sample in a bottle and headed for the lfs. I asked them to test it for everything they could test for and tell me what was killing my fish. All this time, I had thought the only thing I needed to be concerned with in the way of water quality was ammonia, which I monitored regularly and kept at 0ppm. It turned out that the pH was very low. The guy at the lfs couldn’t understand how any fish were living in my tank it was so low and finally chalked it up to good aeration. I had noticed the fish were spending a lot more time in the bubbles than they used to.

Anyway, that guy sold me some pH up and told me to use just a few drops a day until the pH returned to neutral. After about two weeks of adding that stuff as per the instructions and still not getting the pH up to where it would even register on the scale of the test kit I had bought (which I believe bottomed out at 5 or something), I decided to consult another source. I did some searching on the net and found some interesting articles on kH (which I had never even heard of) and its affect on pH and pH stability. So I bought a test kit for that and discovered that the kH level of my water wasn’t even detectible. I figured that was why I had absolutely no success in raising the pH, so I bought some stuff called kH boost and proceeded to use it to raise the kH a little each day. When I got the kH up to the level suggested in the test kit, I tested again for pH and it had taken care of itself.

Upon testing my tap water, I discovered that the kH was barely detectible in the local water supply. So from that point on, I started adding kH boost to the water I was using for PWCs. Surprisingly, the remaining 4 fish survived this whole crazy process I put them through. Although, one of my comets (Goldeneye) developed a big lump on his side just back from his eye. I assume it is a tumour, although I probably should get some opinions on that too.

Anyway, that brings me up to my recent purchase of a new 25 Gallon tank for my four remaining goldfish. I know that’s still kinda small for goldfish but that’s all that space would allow at this time, so I’m hoping that by the time they outgrow it I will be able to provide better arrangements for them.

They aren’t moved into their new home yet because I recently discovered (through this forum) this little thing called cycling and have been reading up on it. I got myself a couple of new test kits (nitrite and nitrate) and will try my best to do justice to my fishies this time. After all, they’ve already put up with a lot from me.

So there you go, that’s my fishy history. Hope I haven’t bored you and if you actually made it all the way to the end, I salute you!
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:41 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA!!! Nice to have you here.
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:43 PM   #3
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Thanks! It's nice to be here. I've learned so much already that my head is spinning
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:32 PM   #4
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WELCOME TO AA!!!

Wow, what a learning experience! Well, you have found the right place.
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Old 08-17-2006, 09:24 AM   #5
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Thanks! I believe I have indeed found the right place at last.
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Old 08-22-2006, 06:43 PM   #6
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LOL... welcome to AA and just wanted to tell ya that you're a great story teller. Very entertaining... welcome SALUTE!
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Old 08-23-2006, 12:49 PM   #7
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Heh heh. Thanks. I do my best
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Old 08-25-2006, 03:14 AM   #8
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Welcome to the kitchen party...grab a chair! Have you discovered the ECAS yet?
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:23 AM   #9
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What's the ECAS?
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Old 08-30-2006, 11:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MurfQ
What's the ECAS?
East Coast Aquarium Society: http://www.eastcoastaquariumsociety.ca/
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