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Old 01-28-2022, 06:52 AM   #1
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New tank setup

Hello,

Firstly thank you for letting me join the forum, and apologies for my silly questions.

I have recently re-set up a tank. It is a 90L tank with a 550L/h filter with live plants and several logs, and coldwater

I previously had a rosebarb and a fantail in it (for 7 years) but they died when I was unwell (I was in hospital for 9 months, and the people who tried to care for them didnít know how). It was not neglect.

I now (4yrs later) would like to get fish again. I can no longer do tank maintenance myself (due to disability) so have hired professional fish aquarium/pond Maintence people to come once a month (they suggested this schedule). They helped me set it up and I have one more week to wait until I can get fish.

I can afford Finances to ask them to come more regularly but am wondering if I need to? (There are no fish in tank yet - does it depend on type / number?).
Is once a month normal? (I canít remember what my routine was before) I donít want my fish to get sick because I cannot do emergency water changing

I would like to get goldfish (two fantail type, so they are friends) Is my tank big enough?

Are there other recommendations if people think goldfish are not ok (I remember they can be dirty) that are slow and peaceful to watch?

Many thanks for your help

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Old 01-28-2022, 07:23 AM   #2
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I would say your tank is on the small size for 2 goldfish. Not by a million miles though. You will probably get away with it, but 120 litres would be better, or stick with the one goldfish.

Filtration. I would say its good for 1 goldfish, but if you wanted 2, then either get a bigger filter or add another one similar to what you currently have.

As you know, goldfish are messy. Personally i think you should be changing some water weekly. If you are going with a light stocking then you can probably get away with fortnightly.

If you wanted to go monthly, then a small amount of fish would be better. Maybe a small group of tetras, some snails, throw in a small gourami or betta to add something a bit more interesting. This would need a heater in the tank.
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Old 01-28-2022, 03:55 PM   #3
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I’d have to agree with that

Goldfish are one of the bigger tank polluters to choose from. If you are relying on a third party to perform tank maintenance I would suggest keeping the bioload on the tank fairly low. 2 goldfish is not a massive load for that tank, but that would also be assuming weekly maintenance.

Yes, funds may not be an issue to get help performing maintenance. But you also have to consider the fact that what happens if they don’t show up for whatever reason or they go out of business suddenly? You don’t want to be sitting there with a tank that absolutely requires maintenance every week if you are unable to do it yourself.

If your disability and tank location allows for use of something like a python water changer that would make a huge difference. It’s just a fitting that goes onto a tap and a hose you plunk into the tank and allows you to drain and refill the tank. If you’re able to perform water changes yourself, and have someone hired to come monthly or every few weeks to perform tank and filter cleaning I’d say you’re quite safe going with a couple goldfish
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Old 01-28-2022, 09:31 PM   #4
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Hello

Thank you both for your replies, it is much appreciated.

Would one fantail goldfish get lonely? Or do they not mind?
Would a small fish like a neon keep it company or is it not the same?

Could I get away with one goldfish and the monthly service?

I looked up the python water change tube (thank you for the suggestion). I donít think I would be able to use it given my disability but might be able to direct my support worker (in case of emergency), so that is a good option.

But I think I would like to set up the tank so it will (if things go as planned) do well with a schedule though. I really donít want disasters (sick/unhappy fish) I canít fix easily

What does low bioload mean? Less fish or smaller fish?

Apologies for what are probably basic questions (the pet store was NOT useful)

Thankyou
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Old 01-28-2022, 10:08 PM   #5
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Unfortunately there’s no magic numbers in this hobby for x ammount of fish in a certain sized tank as there’s a billion variables that come into play.

Ideally you want to have weekly maintenance that includes a minimum of a small water change (20% or so of the tank volume). But the amount of fish waste (bio load), your filtration, substrate and even decorations have an impact on the tanks ability to process fish waste. So only time and testing can tell you how many fish you can sustain for x amount of days before the tank requires maintenance.

Ideally I’d say start with one goldfish once your tank is cycled, monitor the water quality over the course of a couple months. If you find that the water quality is reasonable with 1 goldfish with only doing monthly maintenance, then it should be safe to say you can add another goldfish and get the tank maintained every 2 weeks or maybe even longer
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Old 01-29-2022, 04:02 AM   #6
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Personally i dont think you will get away with a goldfish and monthly tank maintenance. You may get away with fortnightly with a single fish, if you have 2 goldfish you need weekly, especially if you stick with the smaller tank.

To go monthly, you will need to cut back to a minimum bioload. Like half a dozen small tetras, and the betta/gourami i suggested.

A goldfish will usually be just fine on its own. Adding a small tetra will just be asking for issues. Tetras are tropical and goldfish are temperate so they prefer different temperature ranges. Anything that will fit in another fishes mouth is potentially a snack, goldfish will get big if kept in suitable conditions. Tetras are social fish and prefer to be kept in groups.

Bioload is the amount of pressure your fish put on your tank and filtration. Fewer fish/smaller fish, lower bioload. More fish/bigger fish/messier fish higher bioload. Bigger tanks/bigger filtration can support higher bioload than smaller. More bioload in comparison to tank/filtration size equals more maintenance needed. Goldfish get big and are very messy.
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Old 01-29-2022, 01:39 PM   #7
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Yes I don’t believe even one fantail is going to be able to go 3-4 weeks between water changes and maintenance, at least not without suffering the consequences of poor water quality. Not to mention the tank is just dimensionally small for goldfish, one fully grown fantail would take up most of the real estate in the tank, 2 of them would be too much imo.

Of course don’t forget we’re talking about mature fish, it’s best to plan for what you have, not what you want in the future. You can definitely get away with a couple juvenile fantail in that tank with bi-weekly maintenance, but eventually one will have to be rehomed or you will need a larger tank to house them properly. Yea people plunk them into a little glass bowl and they live, but they end up stunted and start deforming when placed in too small of a tank (organs outgrow their body) and they end up living a short and not so great life.

Are you able to test the water quality on your own or have someone around once in a while that can do it for you? If not, and you’re set on using this same tank, I would highly consider a different (smaller/cleaner) fish or just the one fantail. Not only for the easier maintenance, but less stress on the fish as well as yourself and your bank account.

If you want to get a rough idea of what you should put into the tank, check out aqadvisor.com

You can play around with tank and filter sizes and basically any type of fish you can imagine. Then it tells you any compatibility issues as well as your stocking level and how much water should be changed weekly. In your case you probably want to keep it down to ~15% weekly water changes recommended if you want to go with monthly maintenance.

Just for an example, I have a 75g tank that houses 10 tiger barb, 10 danio, 4 corydora, 2 bristlenose pleco and a red tail shark. It’s a fairly populated tank and at this time while feeding a bit heavy to bulk them up, I can go a month on a water change. If I take this exact same tank and plunk in just 2 fantail Goldie’s and 2 bristlenose pleco I’m basically at the same bio load. I guess what I’m saying is you can either have 1 fantail or you could have a lot more other types of fish in the same tank for the same maintenance requirements.
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Old 01-29-2022, 10:30 PM   #8
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Thank you both for your advice

Reflecting on the stuff I've read and both of your advice, I am thinking I will not get a goldfish (feel quite sad about it, but the last thing I want is to adopt a fish and then make it ill or miserable).

Yes, I can test the water (or rather get support worker to help) so can test between the aqarium maintence coming every month.

I am researching heaters and will probably get one and set it up this week (and then wait a while for the water and plants to adapt?)

I used the AqAdvisor (thanks for the suggestion) and have come up with this list that says it is is stocked at 69% (is that understocking?) and would need a 16% water change a week (not sure what that amounts to when every 4 weeks)
Can you please let me know your thoughts? I appreciate your experience and want to get this off on the right foot (my plan would be to introduce incrementally so that the tank and fish can adapt and myself/William-the-tank-guy can see how they are going)

- 1 x mystery snail
- 5 x neon tetra
- 3 x dwarf goumari (I read they are social, but if 2 is better then I will do that, I just don't want the fish getting depressed)
and/or
- 3 x guppy (female only) (15% water weekly changes with these, 10% without)

I have never kept warm-water fish so any advice you may give as to if this would work would be appreciated. From what I researched, they should get on ok

Thank you again for your (huge) help
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Old 01-30-2022, 01:26 PM   #9
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Yes unfortunately goldfish just aren’t suited for smaller tanks and extended maintenance intervals. I think you’ll be happier having a tank with a handful of different fish rather than just a single goldfish!

As you’ve previously had the aquarium I assume you know all about the nitrogen cycle and are doing a “fishless” cycle before adding the fish? I think that’s going to be your safest option as you would be unable to do a water change every couple days on your own if you we’re doing a fish-in cycle and had to deal with the ammonia spikes.

Under or overstocking is really subjective. It’s basically how much maintenance do you want to do and how well you are able to maintain water quality. A lightly stocked tank requires less mandatory maintenance and typically offers the fish a better quality of life (more room to grow and swim around, better/stable water conditions,ect)

I think you’re on the right track, if the tank is cycled and you’re ready for fish, I would personally let the tank sit for 24h after you add the heater. But in reality a couple hours should be more than enough for the water temperature to stabilize. Then like you’ve already stated, start with a few fish and add more as time goes on. The last think you want is to end up having an ammonia spike in the tank and not being able to really do anything about it

I would also suggest getting something like the seachem ‘ammonia alert’ tags that are a quick and easy indicator for you if there is an ammonia spike in the tank. I’d also suggest having something like seachem prime that you can add to the tank to help temporarily detoxify the ammonia and give you some time to get someone to help you perform a water change. Even something like api ‘ammo lock’ will get you out of a bind but it tends to skew your ammonia test results making it hard to really know where the ammonia levels are actually at
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Old 01-30-2022, 05:35 PM   #10
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Thank you Cold Koi

I remember the cycling stuff, but am not sure where I stand with this tank. It has not had fish in it for 4 years but has been sitting in an unused part of the house (with the filter on) filled with a bunch of plants (mostly anubas) which are in surprisingly good condition, probably because there were random snails eating alge in there. There was no water change in that time, so it had a really good clean out (by tank-guy), but I am hoping that this means the whole system isn't starting from scratch (though know that after so long as a fishless tank it might well be).

I do have some prime liquid, so yes, a backup plan in place!

I will do as you suggested and put the heater in first, then add tetras a few days later. Will wait a few weeks before adding anything else.

Thanks so much for your help and guidance
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Old 01-30-2022, 06:30 PM   #11
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Unfortunately you need an ammonia source in the tank to sustain the beneficial bacteria that are essentially the cycle.

What type of snails were in there and how many? They would have produced a small ammount of waste that should have kept the cycle from completely crashing, you shouldn’t be starting from scratch but I wouldn’t just assume it’s safe to plunk in a couple fish either.

I would test the water and if you are only showing nitrates, throw some fish flakes in the tank (ghost feed) to try and raise the ammonia levels. If you still have the snails in there don’t get too carried away, just bring it up to a definitive positive test (and try not to go over .5ppm). If this ammonia reading doesn’t diminish to a 0 reading within 24h your cycle has been compromised severely. Best thing you can do in that case is to treat it as a fishless cycle, ghost feeding the tank to maintain a positive ammonia reading.

Ideally you’d maintain at least 1ppm ammonia reading and when it is processed to 0 within 24h with no nitrites, your tank is safe to start adding fish. If you’ve got snails in there still, you’d do the same thing just keeping the ammonia level lower so as not to harm them. This would typically mean a longer time to cycle the tank but I think you might be lucky enough you just need to build up the bacteria colony again which should be a lot faster even at lower ammonia levels
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