Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 03-02-2008, 03:14 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2
Filtration issues, or lack-there-of filtration...

My intellectually disabled brother wanted a goldfish for Christmas, so we have set up an AquaOne "AquaStart 320" 28 L tank. Knowing full well my mother and I would be the ones taking care of them, we took the plunge with two comet goldfish. They are definetly healthy fish, having grown alot from when we got them Christmas Eve.

Which leads me to our problem. Our water quality is a shocker. The tank is set up with the original filter system, an UGF with a water pump with no filter media whatsoever. I believe this is the culprit, the cause of about one week of clear water that goes a little cloudy, then suddenly in a day goes green and you can barely see the otherside of the small tank. I try small daily water changes and gravel vacuuming, but it doesn't do anything so I do a whole water change to keep my brother happy. The fish have never seemed affected, I think preferring the whole water change performed about every two weeks. The tank is not near direct sunlight and we feed as little as possible.

So as a result I have a few questions. I'm sorry, I'm a newbie confused by Google.

1. Is it possible that I haven't set the UGF up properly or need an extra part to make it work on its own?

2. If not, do I need an extra filter, or remove the UGF and just use a single filter?

3. What filter should I get? I like the conveinience of a hang-on filter but the tank has a lid. Can a H.O.T filter go on this?

4. Is it possible to overcrowd the tank with ornaments that make filtration more difficult? There is a small shipwreck, a treasure chest and plastic plants. It would be brilliant if I don't have to take these out! My brother pretty much only wanted fish to have the "Titanic".

5. Could a real plant battle the algae and keep the original UGF in place on its own.

I come from a big family who've all had the basic kiddies goldfish set up before and have never had problems like this.

Any help is greatly appreciated. This tank is driving me nuts. I apologise if I have left any important information out but it's hard to write everything down with a small parrot sitting on your hand.:-| I actually think I've done pretty well!
__________________

__________________
penelope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2008, 08:57 AM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
Purrbox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 5,860
Considering how messy goldfish are, I'd recommend removing the UGF and installing a HOB filter designed for an aquarium slightly larger that what they are in. Those deluxe hoods generally have a plastic back strip that peices can be popped or cut out of to accomodate a HOB. The Aquaclear is a good brand with lots of extra room for media.

As long as there is good flow in the aquarium, there's no problem. If you find that there are dead areas, then a slight rearrangement of the ornaments should fix the problem.

Ammonia + light will cause Green Water (a free floating algae). Once it's in an aquarium it can be very difficult to get rid of. After a large water change it may look like you've gotten rid of the Green Water but all it takes is a few specks still in the aquarium and it will come back. Most likely an Ammonia Spike was a result of underfiltration or overfeeding. Once you replace/fix the filter, try doing a blackout for 3-5 days. Completely cover the aquarium (heavy blankets, black plastic garbage bags, etc) so that no light gets in and no peeking even to feed fish (they'll be fine for a few days without food). At the end do a large water change to get rid of the dead algae and with luck it will be gone for good.
__________________

Purrbox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2008, 11:50 AM   #3
AA Team Emeritus
 
An t-iasg's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Criders Corners, PA
Posts: 9,889
Comet goldfish can get up to 12-14 inches long. These two will definitely outgrow the small tank they are in. As they get larger and produce more waste, you'll continue to battle water quality problems. Purrbox gave you some excellent advice to remedy the problem for now but later on you'll really have to consider a bigger tank of at least 40 gallons.
__________________







An t-iasg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2008, 12:16 PM   #4
AA Team Emeritus
 
jsoong's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 4,222
28 liters? or 28 Long? Comets really belong in a pond (as they get to be 1-2 feet long!), although if you have a 28 gal tank, you can get by for a while, but it will take work to avoid problems. <It is too late now, but for a 28, 2 fantails would have been better choice...>

I have ran UGF's with small golds years before. The gravel acts as the filter material, and it actually kept my water quite clean. <You do need 3" deep gravel for a UGF.> The problem with UGF is that it will eventually clog and you need to do a total teardown & cleaning every 6 months or so. <Yes, I know that you can clean under the UGF plates with an airline, but I never find that too effective.>

Since the tank is 3 months old, I don't think it is a clogged filter. For a new tank, the intially cloudiness is likely a bacterial spike due to NH3. That prob settled as your tank cycled. <Did you do any water tests to confirm that?>

The green water is algae now is due to high nitrates (&/or ammonia). Goldies make lots of waste & it takes a lot of work to keep a tank clean. Even though it is unsightly, algae actually remove the nitrogenous wastes & keep the water livable for the fish. Blackouts are really stop gaps (and may lead to large NH3 spikes - so you need to do large water changes before & after your blackout).

To remove algae, you need to either control NO3 or light. With 2 comets in a small tank, you need to do large water changes to get rid of waste. The only way to know how much is to do nitrate tests to see how fast things are accumulating <and also NH3/NO2 to make sure your tank is cycled>. I would suspect that you'll need 50% changes once or twice a week (if not more) just to keep things under control. A better filter (say a small canister) might help, and certainly much easier to maintain in the long term <the UGF will be giving you trouble in a few months.> However, to really cure algae, you need to remove nitrates.

The other thing to do is to cut down on light. Make sure there is no direct sunlight, and have your tank lights on only when you are looking at the fish <say on a timer for 3-4 hours a day.> As long as there is ambiant light the rest of the day, your golds should not mind the lights off.

Plants are good for removing nitrates & NH3. However, to sucessfully grow plants, you need adaquate light, and LOTS of plants to start so they can out-compete the algae. <And you need to choose the right plants as comets will eat most of your soft green plants.> If you just have stock lights, I would not suggest plants .... poorly growing plants just adds to the problem ..... A planted goldfish tank is a major challenge, not what you need at this time.
__________________
80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
jsoong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2008, 12:26 PM   #5
AA Team Emeritus
 
jsoong's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 4,222
One more thing to elaborate on in the filter: Since your UGF is on a water pump, if possible, run it in reverse configuration .... ie - have the pump push water INTO the UGF plates & push water out through the gravel ..... this willa void the UGF clogging problem. However, rUGF's will push all your waste into your water, so you will need a second filter to catch that waste (that is where the canister comes in). You would want to clean & remove the waste from your second filter frequently .... this will help remove some of the Nitrogenous wastes & decrease your pwc needs.
__________________
80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
jsoong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2008, 12:44 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Tired of the mod power plays; gone to another forum
Posts: 266
It's the old discusssion again. A UGF does not clog every 6 months. I've run a UGF (w PH) along w/ a Whsiper 60 on a 30gFW tank for going on 3 years.. Never cleaned it, never touched it. My nitrates remain at a constant 5 w/ 16% (5g bottled water) changes every 3 weeks. As a matter of fact, I highly recommend them. When my son went to the 30 from the 15 the tank he got used came with one. The water clarity has been superb. Snails and shrimps spend more time on the gravel than on the rocks.

Clean ur gravel well, keep ur filter floss clean, use a good water source and change your water on a regular basis and a UGF will suit you fine. Above all don't overfeed. Most of what gets the bottom is what you put in there, except for the waste from the bottom feeders.
__________________
tawolcott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2008, 04:52 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
rkilling1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: NE ohio
Posts: 2,245
Send a message via AIM to rkilling1
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsoong View Post
The green water is algae now is due to high nitrates (&/or ammonia). Goldies make lots of waste & it takes a lot of work to keep a tank clean. Even though it is unsightly, algae actually remove the nitrogenous wastes & keep the water livable for the fish. Blackouts are really stop gaps (and may lead to large NH3 spikes - so you need to do large water changes before & after your blackout).

To remove algae, you need to either control NO3 or light. With 2 comets in a small tank, you need to do large water changes to get rid of waste. The only way to know how much is to do nitrate tests to see how fast things are accumulating <and also NH3/NO2 to make sure your tank is cycled>. I would suspect that you'll need 50% changes once or twice a week (if not more) just to keep things under control. A better filter (say a small canister) might help, and certainly much easier to maintain in the long term <the UGF will be giving you trouble in a few months.> However, to really cure algae, you need to remove nitrates.
I just had to clarify this post. NO3's have never been proven to cause GW algae. I have had NO3's in the 100's without gettting GW. If this were the cause, all of use who maintain a planted tank would have GW.

The truth is, NH3 is the cause of GW and has been proven time and time again. You can add 100 PPM NO3 to an established planted tank and never see GW, but add a little NH3 and bam, you will have GW. Once the GW has established, it will consume all the nutrients within your tank (NO3's included along with PO4's/ K/ Micro's ect..)

Controlling NO3's will not stop GW as the algae is very adaptive and will just swith to another nutrient to absorb.

There are a few ways to get ride of it. A complete tear down of the tank along with a lot of hard work to clean EVERYTHING, A UV sterilizer, an extended blackout (may or may not solve it) and the use of a diatom filter.

There have been reported cases of GW going away on it's own, but this is VERY rare and normally takes a long time. Many people have tried to reproduce this and have never (that I know of) been able to reproduce the results that could help someone that has this problem.
__________________
My Planted Aquariums
rkilling1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2008, 05:54 PM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
Purrbox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 5,860
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkilling1 View Post
There have been reported cases of GW going away on it's own, but this is VERY rare and normally takes a long time. Many people have tried to reproduce this and have never (that I know of) been able to reproduce the results that could help someone that has this problem.
I've actually done it twice in two different aquariums. It is important to note that they were planted aquariums and it took a few months. It's a matter of keeping up with water changes, plant fertilization, and letting the plants get well established and growing well. Of course this method would not work in this situation, which is why I didn't suggest it.
Purrbox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2008, 07:21 PM   #9
AA Team Emeritus
 
jsoong's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 4,222
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkilling1 View Post
I just had to clarify this post. NO3's have never been proven to cause GW algae. I have had NO3's in the 100's without gettting GW. If this were the cause, all of use who maintain a planted tank would have GW.
You are prob right that it is NH3 rather than NO3 that cause GW. However, in a non-planted tank, would NO3 do the same thing?

Actually, in my tank, which is beginning to get fairly heavily planted, I am still having problems with algae whenever I add any NO3. My NO3 is running at zero, and even adding KNO3 to bring it to 5 would get me green algae everywhere within a day... Thankfully, all the black algae is gone, so I am content to just not add any ferts & let the plants grow slowly. So basically, I am just trying to understand why all you high tech plant people can have your NO3, etc. up without problems & I can't? <ie do you need high light & CO2 in order to have ferts at those level?>
__________________
80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
jsoong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2008, 08:22 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2
12-14 inches??? Wow. We got them because we were told they were small and hardy. I didn't expect bad information from an aquarist-run store. Never listen to a person behind a desk I guess...

What do I do now with a small tank and fish that are going to outgrow it? We would've gotten smaller fish if I knew they would grow. We have no room safe enough for a bigger tank.

Eek.

In the meantime, I will buy a new filter and try and blackout the tank for a few days. Thanks for all your replies. I research guinea pigs before buying, a rainbow lorikeet before buying. 'Nah, goldfish are easy' I tell myself... they are proving the most difficult!


Edit: Both of the fish are about 3 inches including tail at the moment.
__________________

__________________
penelope is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
filtration

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Filtration issues Latitude_change General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 3 08-27-2008 10:26 AM
Filtration issues Friendly General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 2 11-30-2005 03:28 PM
F/O filtration Paul Saltwater Fish Only & FOWLR 1 05-27-2005 10:40 PM
What filtration for 38? crono_vivi Saltwater Reef Aquaria 2 10-02-2004 11:08 PM
Filtration/Water Quality Issues with Fry Brandon General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 1 05-26-2003 09:12 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.