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Old 02-08-2013, 03:06 AM   #1
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FINALLY Got a New (60 Gallon Again) Tank Up & Running for my Goldies! Long Post...

Hi, everyone!

The more seasoned members of the forum will recall my last dilemma (it's been QUITE some time since I have posted on here; much going on including, in the wake of our last tank crack disaster, the unfortunate death of our beloved Black Lab/Aussie Shephard ) which stemmed from a stocked 60 gallon fancy goldfish setup which came down with a bacterial infection through poor water quality conditions and maintenance on my part, brought about and to our attention by a new Red Cap Oranda who proceeded to exhibit aggressive tendencies and began nipping at the backsides of our Chocolate Fantail and another beautiful female Red Cap. This nipping ended up resulting in nasty, open sores on their back ends, eventually letting a bacterial infection in from the poor water, and killed them within 48 hours a piece, even with dosing with Maracyn as prescribed by this site's own JLK. I was able to save the aggressive Oranda and a then new small Black Moor, who were transfered to a 10 gallon starter tank to remove them from the infected, nasty water of the 60 gallon for the purpose of recovering in fresh, clean, unaffected water.

I stripped that infected tank down, threw out all the decor, gravel, plants, etc. but kept the two HOB filters I was running, an Aqueon QuietFlow 55 and an AquaClear 110, while ditching their old, infected media. But in the cleaning process, I mistakenly used SCALDING hot water to rinse out the debris in this tank, thinking I would kill the bacterial infection on the walls of the glass and such -- against the advice of some on other online help forums -- and it must have weakened the tank's seals or something because after about two or so weeks of running the newly set up tank after being cleaned out, and adding back in the Black Moor (to begin with) to start re-cycling, our home was flooded from a HUGE, jagged crack that developed in the back glass and which emptied out half the water from the 60 gallon. The water spilled onto the carpeted floor of our upstairs loft (where it was situated) and into our living room below, destroying ridiculous amounts of personal property and causing a remodeling headache with homeowners insurance that I NEVER want to experience again...

Once the house was fixed, which took almost a month, the old cracked tank was obviously thrown out, and what we ended up with was a 10 gallon, running with just an Aqueon QuietFlow 20 and a bubble bar, stocked with the same Black Moor that survived the infection and multiple moves, plus the aggressive Red Cap Oranda who started the whole fiasco in the old tank to begin with, plus two other small fancy goldies, not particularly exotic in any way. Would you believe that almost ONE YEAR LATER, these four goldfish are STILL alive and actually getting bigger and thriving, even after being housed in a 10 gallon tank because we couldn't scrape up enough funds to get another bigger one? I did DAILY 50% water changes on this 10 gallon and dosed with Prime each time -- NOTHING else. They're still alive and doing well, and the Moor -- as JLK predicted -- lost most of her black scales and has become almost all gold colored, with some black in her fins...she almost looks like a Lionhead! But she's been getting much larger and much fatter, so it was obvious we had to do something...

Fast-forward to this past Super Bowl Sunday. Being a New England fan, I wanted to see the 49ers beat the snot out of the Ravens, as the Ravens handed the Patriots their behinds in the AFC Championship IN Foxboro, so when the game wasn't going in the direction of San Francisco having a chance, I decided to bite the bullet and drive over to our local Petsmart to buy a tank we have had our eyes on for some time now as it was the very last day it was on sale for $260 something, and this included the 60 gallon Marineland aquarium, dual hoods with fluorescent lighting and a pretty nice stand; Marineland called it the "Heartland Ensemble" and it looks like this:

60 Gallon Aquarium Ľ Marinelandģ 60 Gallon Heartland Aquarium Ensemble | PetSmart

We did not really have the money for it, but I caved anyway and after RIDICULOUS amounts of twisting and turning the stand and the tank to try and get it to fit into my four door sedan by the store's manager and a sales kid (they will not deliver) I ended up driving home with the stand in my trunk and the tank on the back seat of my car. Getting it up the stairs to our loft was a totally different problem -- it took my wife and I all our strength to drag these HEAVY pieces up our stairs and finally into position (we're putting it in the same spot our last tank was in -- I know, we're probably asking for the same crack-and-spill problem but it won't work anywhere else in our home and our handyman has reinforced the area under the floor where we wanted to put it).

Since last Sunday, I have cleaned up the tank (NOT with scalding hot water this time!), filled it up with water to the brim when it was sitting in our garage and let it sit for 24 hours to be sure there were no leaks (there IS a crack in the dark colored sealant on one of the walls of the tank which concerns me; like a chunk has been chipped off, but it doesn't seem to be leaking even now upstairs in its permanent home), washed the natural-colored gravel we had in the last setup, poured the gravel in, got the two HOBs up and running with brand new media and hooked up the two bubble bars I was previously running to the two pumps I already had -- a Tetra Whisper 60 and a Rena Air 400. We decorated with the sparse amount of stuff we had (the newer decor I used after the last tank crashed) and filled up the tank with cold tap water. The filters started running and I started dosing with Seachem's Stability to kick-start the cycle and prepare the water for the fish's transfer (the water was also treated with Prime twice); last night, we transferred the goldfish with a container, one at a time, to the new tank, making sure the new tank was running for at least 48 hours to get to room temperature, where they're comfortable from sitting in the 10 gallon, as well to make sure Stability was running for at least two days.

So far, there hasn't been any loss of fish (it's been about 24 hours since they're in the new tank) but MANY things are bothering me about this new setup and, of course, I have a plethora of questions regarding what my next step is...

First of all, this Marineland tank is RIDICULOUSLY tall. On the stand, there is NO WAY I can get to the bottom of it to clean it or move decor without standing on a chair or stepstool, and that is already becoming tiresome. I would NEVER buy another tall-over-long tank ever again; my last 60 was rectangular and longish, but this one keeps a similar footprint yet puts its distribution of the water in its HEIGHT, and it's daunting to maintain. There is also a severe LEANING problem with the stand and tank, being that they're on padded carpeting, so the tank is NOT level, leaning forward a bit and making the water level impossible to even out on the surface. My question with regard to this problem is will this eventually affect cracking and loosening of seals with this tank again? Will the leaning forward (it's not "severe," but it's not really subtle) create the seals in front to crack from the pressure?

Further -- the fluorsescent lights under the ridiculously cheap, plastic hoods provided in this package look HORRID. I don't know what it is, but my water looks green and "unhealthy" and it is NOT my water supply. It's definitely the lights. I really can't stand the way the lighting is illuminating the aquarium and the goldfish inside; even my wife says it gives her a headache when they're on and we're in the dark. The lighting in no way brings out any of the colors of our decor or the fish themselves, and it gives off like a sickly, hospital-like, cool greenish hue that's VERY offputting; I don't know what to do....if I should replace the hoods with different lighting, but we really don't have the money for that right now...any thoughts or input would be appreciated here.

The hoods themselves feel like they're going to break off in your hand when you lift one to feed or take them off to get to the water in the tank; my two HOBs fit okay in the back after I cut the spaces for them out, but this tank is so high that I can't even see the flow of the filters' outputs when I lift the hoods or even peer over the tank on TIPPY TOES...it's ridiculous.

Another issue I'm having since setting up this Marineland is with my air pumps and bubble wands -- I'm getting no air pressure from either of these pumps since setting them up for this tank, and it's causing very little bubble output in the bars. I am assuming it's because this tank is so tall and the water is now so deep, they're going to need more powerful pumps to feed the bars, but it seems my Rena Air 400 has gotten water into one of the output valves because I wasn't running a stop valve on it, so only one side of the outputs is working...this is causing very little bubble action to be produced. The Tetra Whisper, feeding the other bar, is also producing little to no power as there are very little bubbles coming from that bar too. Both pumps are running "bridged" with a T-bar connector so both their dual outputs are feeding one common line to get all its power to each bubble bar. I don't know what to do here, either; is this because this new tank is so deep in water depth now that I need a new pump, or new pumps? Can anyone recommend an air pump that is powerful enough to feed two bubble bars at the bottom of a very tall 60 gallon such as the Marineland I cited in the link earlier in this post?

Finally, we get to my next step with this tank and the health of the fish -- I know many on this forum are against using products like Seachem's Stability to kick-start a cycle, but I had success with it in the past and it seems harmless to the goldies. Tomorrow will be my third day dosing with Stability, and the fish seem to be doing okay, swimming and enjoying their new added space to stretch out etc. and eating fine as well. I am experiencing cloudy water from what I assume are the bacterial colonies attempting to take hold in the tank from the Stability, but here are my questions as the new tank matures:

Was it wise to put the goldies in so soon even with the Stability? I was under the assumption that the fish waste and its ammonia produced would be good to further start the cycle. At this point, now, what should my water change schedule look like? Being that the fish are in just 24 hours or so, should I be looking to do a water change? Or should this wait? I know this probably depends on parameter readings, but I wanted to first share with you all what I did and in what steps so you could understand my reasoning for it; the tank is dosed with Stability for two days now, and treated twice with Prime just to keep bad stuff in check. Normally, I would use Prime just when doing water changes, but I felt comfortable adding it now...

The bottle of the Stability says fish and other aquatic life can be added at any time in a new tank when using the product so long as the treatment is finished for 7 days -- tomorrow will be the third day, so I am just going to continue for the 7 days and then stop using it, but should I be doing any water changes right now, or just wait until the Stability regiment is done, then begin weekly changes? Or is this ALL dependent on what the API test readings come back with?

Is there ANYTHING else I should be doing at this point to help these fish survive the move to their bigger home in terms of chemicals, water exchanges, etc...or is it just a waiting game at this point? They were transferred into the same tap water they're used to from the 10 gallon they were in, and I DID wait 48 hours for the tank to get to the same room temperature they're used to. Was this wise? I did NOT transfer them in nets, because I think it's not the humane way, what with them not being able to breathe during those moments, and instead let them swim into a container and then swim out of it in the new tank, all on their own...was this okay?

If anyone could lend any insight, opinion or feedback on these matters, I would greatly appreciate it; I really don't like this Marineland setup, but you know what? The fish are in a bigger home and I suppose that's all that matters. I'm NOT stripping this thing down again to return back to the store; it was a nightmare getting it home anyway because we don't have a truck.

Thanks friends!
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:55 AM   #2
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Definitely check your ammo&nitrites,keeping them below .25ppm...
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:25 PM   #3
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holy ----, that is the longest post I have ever seen artesiawells!
did it take you an hour to write that?
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:12 PM   #4
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Definitely check your ammo&nitrites,keeping them below .25ppm...
On a daily basis, or hourly??
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:13 PM   #5
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holy ----, that is the longest post I have ever seen artesiawells!
did it take you an hour to write that?
Almost; that's why I gave the warning in the subject title.

I just wanted to give those who weren't aware of my situation a bit of a background with what happened.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:14 PM   #6
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Anyone with any other insight or feedback regarding the tank itself, its lights, the air pump problems or thoughts on my water change schedule from this point on?
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:25 PM   #7
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Sorry...I meant to include this in the previous post...my big question now is, being that I'm on the third day of Seachem Stability to speed up the bacterial growth with a fish-in situation, do I need to do any water changes at this point if the tank is running only 72 hours or so? If I don't get around to taking water parameter readings, how long should I wait to do the tank's first water change and gravel syphon?

Shouldn't the fish waste/ammonia and uneaten food in the substrate, etc. act as elements to start the cycle process as well? That's why I am hesitant to "clean" the gravel and water too perfectly right now...
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:12 AM   #8
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Wow! Long post lol. I'm not that knowledgeable on fish-in cycling, or cycling in general lol because in my 60g, which we both have the same tanks But mine is full of angelfish and heavily planted high tech set up (link is in my sig if you want to check it out!) I did a fish less cycle. I did not do any water changes until the nitrate finally went down and the cycle was trough. I added a bunch of seeded biomax in the filter, so it was done in like 10 days...very excited to be following though!
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:43 AM   #9
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Wow! Long post lol. I'm not that knowledgeable on fish-in cycling, or cycling in general lol because in my 60g, which we both have the same tanks But mine is full of angelfish and heavily planted high tech set up (link is in my sig if you want to check it out!) I did a fish less cycle. I did not do any water changes until the nitrate finally went down and the cycle was trough. I added a bunch of seeded biomax in the filter, so it was done in like 10 days...very excited to be following though!
Hey Dan!

Thanks for the feedback and response; it's greatly appreciated, as I need all the assistance I can get with this situation!

Sorry about the long post -- I wanted to explain it in the best detail I could. You have that exact Marineland I have? How do you like it? You don't find it too tall or that it leans a lot, forward? I can't get to the bottom of this tank to arrange decor to save my life...

As for my cycling, I added Seachem's STABILITY, which is supposed to allow the addition of all marine life immediately upon treating a new tank with it -- it's a seven day regiment that is supposed to speed up the cycle process, and my water getting cloudy is definitely a sign that it's at least attempting to do that.

Do you suggest waiting on the water change then in my situation? My fish are in about 48 plus hours now...
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:50 AM   #10
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Okay Dan...

I checked out your pics -- gorgeous angels and aquascaping! I couldn't do the job you did in a million lifetimes; I am sticking with fake plants for my goldies.

If I was going to do tropicals, I was going to stock a tank full of angels...they were definitely my favorite tropical when I used to keep trops. Are you certain your tank is the Marineland Heartland setup from Petsmart? Are you set up on the included stand? It looks like you have changed out the lighting from the stock dual hoods...is that right? I can't STAND the lights included with this package....it makes the tank look sickly "greenish" and does not show off any colors AT ALL.

Do you have any issues with the tank and stand leaning forward?

Would you like to see pics of my current setup?
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:28 PM   #11
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My tank was leaning also extremely hard and was putting alot of pressure on the left side. I had to darn near completely the entire thing (55 gallons) and move it. I was losing sleep over the thought of it cracking and saturating our living room
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ArtesiaWells View Post
Hey Dan!

Thanks for the feedback and response; it's greatly appreciated, as I need all the assistance I can get with this situation!

Sorry about the long post -- I wanted to explain it in the best detail I could. You have that exact Marineland I have? How do you like it? You don't find it too tall or that it leans a lot, forward? I can't get to the bottom of this tank to arrange decor to save my life...

As for my cycling, I added Seachem's STABILITY, which is supposed to allow the addition of all marine life immediately upon treating a new tank with it -- it's a seven day regiment that is supposed to speed up the cycle process, and my water getting cloudy is definitely a sign that it's at least attempting to do that.

Do you suggest waiting on the water change then in my situation? My fish are in about 48 plus hours now...

Okay Dan...

I checked out your pics -- gorgeous angels and aquascaping! I couldn't do the job you did in a million lifetimes; I am sticking with fake plants for my goldies.

If I was going to do tropicals, I was going to stock a tank full of angels...they were definitely my favorite tropical when I used to keep trops. Are you certain your tank is the Marineland Heartland setup from Petsmart? Are you set up on the included stand? It looks like you have changed out the lighting from the stock dual hoods...is that right? I can't STAND the lights included with this package....it makes the tank look sickly "greenish" and does not show off any colors AT ALL.

Do you have any issues with the tank and stand leaning forward?

Would you like to see pics of my current setup?
Yes, I am positive. Same stand, I got mine at petsmart also for $359 though I believe. And yeah lol it's a tall tank to get into, I have to use a scaffold type thing to arrange the bottom of it lol...but when I first set mine up like 3 years ago, it actually was leaning forward as you described. I had it on carpet though, so I just slid little flat wooden boards under the legs of the stand and it stood straight. Then in October when I started my angel planted tank (it used to be a tropical community setup) I mived it to tile downstairs and it stands straight up. I also used stability to start te cycling in my tank, and when I first started this tank those 3 years ago, I did a fish in cycle, and I just preformed weekly pwc's as usual and nothing was really affected by it, but i did lose a few fish because of all the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate spikes. Someone more knowledgable on this topic may be able to help you better...

Thanks about my tank! I got tired of the fake plants look and small tropical fish, so I decided to tear it all down and start with an all live plant and all angel tank. I love it! And again, I can almost bet my life we have the same tanks as well as another user, forgot the name, and I do have it set up on the same stand. I did build a canopy for it, too. Since I do have such a planted tank, the lighting that was included was definitely NOT adequate to even grow many plants. Since I wanted a high tech setup with pressurized CO2, highly planted, etc. etc. I added a dual T5HO 48" long fixture with 2 54watt 6700K bulbs and I added 2 48" TrueLumen Pro 8,000K LED light strips, so I have quite high lighting to grow my plants. Planted tanks are a lot more work and money than just a normal tank, and especially if you are doing Goldies they probably would just keep ripping up the plants, or at least mine did lol. And these lights bring out SO much more color and adds a shimmer to the water which is just beautiful. But in your situation, if you don't like the color of the lights, just get a bulb with higher color temp. I reccomend a 6700K or maybe 10,000K if you want it really bright...again, some others can help with this too

I believe that's everything you asked, lol, and yes I am sure we all want to see your setup so far! Wow I almost wrote a novel like you did!
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:27 PM   #13
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My tank was leaning also extremely hard and was putting alot of pressure on the left side. I had to darn near completely the entire thing (55 gallons) and move it. I was losing sleep over the thought of it cracking and saturating our living room
That's what I'm primarily worried about -- the pressure it's seemingly putting on one side (the front, where there's already a chunk of glass missing from when I first bought the tank -- you ONLY get the floor models when you buy these things at Pet-not-so-Smart). The leaning forward, however, isn't that severe...

I can't go through the draining process right now, but maybe if I ever perform a near 100 percent water change, I'll attempt to raise the stand and tank up enough to put some feet under the front...
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:35 PM   #14
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In terms of the Stability, it may help, it may not, time will tell I guess.

Do you have a good liquid test kit (like the API Master)? That's a must-have and the only way to know whether the tank is cycling and when you need to do water changes (when ammonia and/or nitrite are .25 or over).
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:38 PM   #15
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Yes, I am positive. Same stand, I got mine at petsmart also for $359 though I believe.
Yeah -- I think that is the non-sale price normally...the only way we were able to SEMI afford this thing was when it was on sale for the $260 something cited...

Quote:
And yeah lol it's a tall tank to get into, I have to use a scaffold type thing to arrange the bottom of it lol...
I can't STAND that -- I had my suspicions at the store that it was tall, and read all the reviews by users on Petsmart's site, but it really was the best deal in the store in terms of all their tanks, and the fact that it came with a stand already assembled was a HUGE plus for us. But I cannot stand how tall this tank is -- it's almost offputting in my opinion; the next time, if I ever need to buy another aquarium, I DEFINITELY sticking with LONG over TALL...

Quote:
but when I first set mine up like 3 years ago, it actually was leaning forward as you described. I had it on carpet though, so I just slid little flat wooden boards under the legs of the stand and it stood straight. Then in October when I started my angel planted tank (it used to be a tropical community setup) I mived it to tile downstairs and it stands straight up.
Yes, the problem with this "Heartland Ensemble," from what I'm reading, is that the stand has issues ONLY on carpeted surfaces. This tank actually looks like it was built to sit on a wall of a dining room or living room with its height and dimensions; the room we have it in, an upstairs loft which doubles as our kind of chill out/music listening area, seemed more suitable for the last tank we owned, which was a 60 but longer and wider, not tall...

You have a two-story home? Where was the tank originally when you set it up, upstairs?

Quote:
I also used stability to start te cycling in my tank, and when I first started this tank those 3 years ago, I did a fish in cycle, and I just preformed weekly pwc's as usual and nothing was really affected by it, but i did lose a few fish because of all the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate spikes. Someone more knowledgable on this topic may be able to help you better...
Yes, the parameters will spike out of control for awhile until the tank cycles, that I know, and I'm praying I don't lose any of my beloved goldies. I took API readings last night and will post the results in a new reply.

So, you just did weekly water changes when cycling, without checking parameters?

Quote:
Thanks about my tank! I got tired of the fake plants look and small tropical fish, so I decided to tear it all down and start with an all live plant and all angel tank. I love it! And again, I can almost bet my life we have the same tanks as well as another user, forgot the name, and I do have it set up on the same stand. I did build a canopy for it, too. Since I do have such a planted tank, the lighting that was included was definitely NOT adequate to even grow many plants. Since I wanted a high tech setup with pressurized CO2, highly planted, etc. etc. I added a dual T5HO 48" long fixture with 2 54watt 6700K bulbs and I added 2 48" TrueLumen Pro 8,000K LED light strips, so I have quite high lighting to grow my plants. Planted tanks are a lot more work and money than just a normal tank, and especially if you are doing Goldies they probably would just keep ripping up the plants, or at least mine did lol. And these lights bring out SO much more color and adds a shimmer to the water which is just beautiful. But in your situation, if you don't like the color of the lights, just get a bulb with higher color temp. I reccomend a 6700K or maybe 10,000K if you want it really bright...again, some others can help with this too
Yeah, the angels are definitely gorgeous. Like you mentioned, I'm hesitant to keep live plants because of those exact reasons -- maintenance, expense and the fact that we're keeping fancy goldfish that like to dine on vegetation.

As for the lighting, I don't know what I'm going for exactly, but I DO know I can't stand the greenish hue the included lights give off -- I do like the idea of the "shimmering" effect, which I understand is achieved through some fixtures and hoods that Marineland makes, but all I know is that this stock lighting has to go. It's awful. I know LEDs will brighten up the tank, but I don't know if I'd rather go with that or a more "natural" look in which it seems like sunlight from above is pouring into the tank...right now, it looks cold and sterile.

Would I necessarily have to change out my hoods to replace the lighting...or can I keep the hoods and just yank the fluorescent tubes out and replace those with a different kind of light output?

Quote:
I believe that's everything you asked, lol, and yes I am sure we all want to see your setup so far! Wow I almost wrote a novel like you did!
Well, I am a writer by profession.

Thanks for all your assistance and time; it's appreciated.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:42 PM   #16
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In terms of the Stability, it may help, it may not, time will tell I guess.

Do you have a good liquid test kit (like the API Master)? That's a must-have and the only way to know whether the tank is cycling and when you need to do water changes (when ammonia and/or nitrite are .25 or over).
Hello Library Girl,

Thanks for your reply. Indeed, I have the API Master Freshwater Kit -- I ran tests last night, and here were the results; perhaps you and others can help me analyze what they mean and what's going on in the tank right now:

PH: 7.6 or HIGHER
Hi PH: 8.0
Ammonia: 0-0.25 (not higher)
NitrIte: 0ppm
NitrAte: 5.0ppm
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:47 PM   #17
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Hello Library Girl,

Thanks for your reply. Indeed, I have the API Master Freshwater Kit -- I ran tests last night, and here were the results; perhaps you and others can help me analyze what they mean and what's going on in the tank right now:

PH: 7.6 or HIGHER
Hi PH: 8.0
Ammonia: 0-0.25 (not higher)
NitrIte: 0ppm
NitrAte: 5.0ppm
The fish haven't been in there too long so it's hard to say yet but ammonia is rising. If it gets higher than what it is now I'd do a 50% water change with dechlorinator. Do you know if your tap water has nitrates in it? I suspect that's where the nitrates are coming from since the tank is new but it's hard to say without knowing if your tap water has any or not.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:16 PM   #18
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The fish haven't been in there too long so it's hard to say yet but ammonia is rising. If it gets higher than what it is now I'd do a 50% water change with dechlorinator. Do you know if your tap water has nitrates in it? I suspect that's where the nitrates are coming from since the tank is new but it's hard to say without knowing if your tap water has any or not.
The only way I will know if the ammonia is rising is to do another API test today; I will do so as soon as I can and report back. I will definitely use Seachem's Prime when I add the fresh water back in, if a water change is needed...

How do my other numbers look, though? The pH readings always bothered me -- what am I looking for, exactly, with the pH readings? Am I supposed to test for both "standard" AND Hi pH EVERY TIME I do a reading? From what the API instructions indicate, goldfish tend to like the higher side of pH -- so should I just be testing with the Hi pH test each time?

As for the Nitrates, I don't know if my tap water source contains any as I never had it tested; I assumed the Prime I used with each water change I did DAILY in the 10 gallon would have brought all of this under control, so I didn't even test. The fish did fine and actually GREW in that tank, but now in the 60, I'm concerned because I won't be doing daily changes anymore -- most likely weekly...

Does that Nitrate reading seem normal for a new tank getting established? Isn't it good that there are NO Nitrites?
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:09 PM   #19
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Yeah -- I think that is the non-sale price normally...the only way we were able to SEMI afford this thing was when it was on sale for the $260 something cited...



I can't STAND that -- I had my suspicions at the store that it was tall, and read all the reviews by users on Petsmart's site, but it really was the best deal in the store in terms of all their tanks, and the fact that it came with a stand already assembled was a HUGE plus for us. But I cannot stand how tall this tank is -- it's almost offputting in my opinion; the next time, if I ever need to buy another aquarium, I DEFINITELY sticking with LONG over TALL...



Yes, the problem with this "Heartland Ensemble," from what I'm reading, is that the stand has issues ONLY on carpeted surfaces. This tank actually looks like it was built to sit on a wall of a dining room or living room with its height and dimensions; the room we have it in, an upstairs loft which doubles as our kind of chill out/music listening area, seemed more suitable for the last tank we owned, which was a 60 but longer and wider, not tall...

You have a two-story home? Where was the tank originally when you set it up, upstairs?

Yes I have a small 2 story house and I kept it in the hallway upstairs that is carpeted.

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Yes, the parameters will spike out of control for awhile until the tank cycles, that I know, and I'm praying I don't lose any of my beloved goldies. I took API readings last night and will post the results in a new reply.

So, you just did weekly water changes when cycling, without checking parameters?
I just did weekly water changes as you would normally when keeping a tank. I did check the readings at least twice a week, I never had an issue since the whole cycling process takes place in the filter and replacing the water should not be an issue.

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Yeah, the angels are definitely gorgeous. Like you mentioned, I'm hesitant to keep live plants because of those exact reasons -- maintenance, expense and the fact that we're keeping fancy goldfish that like to dine on vegetation.

As for the lighting, I don't know what I'm going for exactly, but I DO know I can't stand the greenish hue the included lights give off -- I do like the idea of the "shimmering" effect, which I understand is achieved through some fixtures and hoods that Marineland makes, but all I know is that this stock lighting has to go. It's awful. I know LEDs will brighten up the tank, but I don't know if I'd rather go with that or a more "natural" look in which it seems like sunlight from above is pouring into the tank...right now, it looks cold and sterile.

Would I necessarily have to change out my hoods to replace the lighting...or can I keep the hoods and just yank the fluorescent tubes out and replace those with a different kind of light output?
Yeah, the LED's are mostly the things to make that "shimmering" effect, and a Marineland should do the trick. I didn't go with Marineland LEDs on mine backside, again, it's planted and those just wouldn't cut if to grow the plants. I first installed the T5HO bulb fixure but that didn't really get the color temp or shimmer I wanted so I added the 2 LED powerful light strips and the two light mixed together to get the perfect color and delivered that shimmer. You do not need to change the whole fixure, just the bulbs. Just make sure you get the correct size bulbs. If you hate how the fixtures look you can build a canopy as I did or just get a new fixture, but I wouldn't thing that would be an issue. [/QUOTE]

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Well, I am a writer by profession.

Thanks for all your assistance and time; it's appreciated.
Lol, cool! And no problem, always ready to help!
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:36 PM   #20
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The only way I will know if the ammonia is rising is to do another API test today; I will do so as soon as I can and report back. I will definitely use Seachem's Prime when I add the fresh water back in, if a water change is needed... Good. Let the test dictate when to do a water change while it's cycling (if ammonia and/or nitrite are over .25)

How do my other numbers look, though? The pH readings always bothered me -- what am I looking for, exactly, with the pH readings? Am I supposed to test for both "standard" AND Hi pH EVERY TIME I do a reading? From what the API instructions indicate, goldfish tend to like the higher side of pH -- so should I just be testing with the Hi pH test each time?
PH looks fine. Most fish can adapt to your PH as long as it''s stable. Use the high range test if the normal PH test is the highest it can go on the chart. Since yours does, your PH seems to be 8, so you can just use the high range test from now on. If something changes (e.g. if you use the high range test and it for some reason reads the lowest on the chart, 7.4, then use the normal PH test).

As for the Nitrates, I don't know if my tap water source contains any as I never had it tested; I assumed the Prime I used with each water change I did DAILY in the 10 gallon would have brought all of this under control, so I didn't even test. The fish did fine and actually GREW in that tank, but now in the 60, I'm concerned because I won't be doing daily changes anymore -- most likely weekly...
You can test your tap water with your nitrate test. The nitrates at 5 are fine, I was just wondering if the nitrates were coming from your tap water or if some of the ammonia was already being converted to nitrate for the cycle.

Does that Nitrate reading seem normal for a new tank getting established? Isn't it good that there are NO Nitrites? Yes! But....I'm not sure some ammonia is being converted to nitrite then nitrate, OR if your tap water has nitrate in it, which would explain the nitrate readings in the tank so soon. Since you're just starting it's likely you'll have nitrites at some point though unless you have some seeded media or something from an established tank that you're using to help seed the bacteria.
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