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Old 02-14-2005, 09:15 PM   #1
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Newbie needs big help

I guess I need help in every area.
I know from nothing about fish other than I like fish 'n chips and smoked salmon.
My wife went to an estate sale last week-end and come home with what she said was a real bargain, a 10 gallon aquarium complete with filter, heater and stand.
We cleaned it up, filled it up with tap water and started the pump/filter. The pump/filter is a Dynaflo 1, my first question is does anyone know what kind of filter media goes in it? It came without any.The fish guy at Petsmart was very unhelpful. I let the tank sit for 24 hours to dissipate any chlorine and went back over to Petsmart and bought three 29 cent goldfish to see if I was competent enough to keep them alive. After 24 hours the fish are indeed still alive and swimming actively, however the water has turned slightly cloudy, why?
What else do I need to know that I don't know I need to know? Help!!!
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Old 02-14-2005, 09:30 PM   #2
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Never heard of the Dynaflo, so I can't help you there.

As for general help on how to get started, I would recommend you go to this page: http://www.petfish.net/articles.htm and look at a number of articles in their FAQ section, especially the ones entitled:
-- Basic Guide to Starting an Aquarium (Parts 1 and 2)
-- Aquarium Basics
-- Basic Aquarium Set-Up
-- What is Cycling?
-- More Questions and Answers

A lot of those will repeat info from each other but that's not a bad thing. There are also a number of good articles in the articles section of this web site--though they tend to be a bit more "advanced" than the ones at the site I listed above--and also some good ones at AquaHobby (http://www.aquahobby.com/e_articles.php).

What I would do is suggest you read through some of those, and then if you have specific questions as to how all of that applies to your system, no doubt we would be more than happy to answer!
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Old 02-14-2005, 09:52 PM   #3
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Welcome to AA, DaAvid!

Let's see if we can help you out. I googled the Dynaflo 1 and found out that it is a Hagen filter. Here is a link to Hagen's website http://www.hagen.com/ . I'm sure you can find out where to get replacement cartridges. They make the popular AquaClear line - I would call and ask if any Aquaclear cartridges will fit your Dynaflo.

Unfortunately, without a cartridge, the filter is simply moving water around the tank, without filtering anything. For now, I would bring the three goldfish back - they're not going to live long without a filter anyway - unless you can remove and replace at least 1/3 of the water every day.

Tap water is perfectly fine for most fish. People don't leave the water out to age anymore - they add a few drops of water conditioner, a chemical that will instantly neutralize chlorine. You should get a bottle ASAP. people have their brand preferences, but as long as it removes chlorine AND chloramines, it's OK.

What you need to do first is get an operational filter running and use it to cycle the tank. It's pretty well-explained here: http://faq.thekrib.com/begin-cycling.html

I Don't want to give you too much stuff to look up at once. Good luck and check back.
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Old 02-15-2005, 05:15 PM   #4
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Thank you both for the great information!!
More stuff to learn!!!
QTOFFER, your suggestion of taking the three goldfish back was not practical as they were "feeder" Goldfish and were my test subjects. I did however go back to Petsmart this morning and bought a new pump/filter. Within an hour of it's installation the water cleared remarkably and the three goldfish became more animated and quite amusing.
Before anyone says he's nuts to find amusement in three goldfish, I'm a retired one legged grandfather of eight, who's worked in the Alaskan oil fields, seen Caribou herds in the ten of thousands, been out on the Aleutian Islands, seen a whole lot of "fish", seals and bald eagles to numerous to count. I have cable TV, internet service, watch C-span, C-span 2, watched laws being made and have seen actual sausage being made, but I still find a small eco system in my living room quite fascinating.
Thank you all!!!!!
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Old 02-16-2005, 11:30 AM   #5
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Welcom to AA Grandpa! see, its never to late to start an aquarium! I bet you get a case of MTS real quick. Its like owning a boat. There is always a bigger/nicer tank to buy, and always room somewhere to add just one more tank to keep those cool fish you just found but never had before. Hope your first try goes smooth.
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Old 02-16-2005, 12:43 PM   #6
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[center:641b249a07] Welcome to AA, David1549!! [/center:641b249a07]

There's nothing wrong with goldies! Most members on this site keep tropicals, but there are a few goldy lovers. Things to keep in mind with goldies is their need for lots of filtration due to their messy nature and oxygen needs. The general rule is a minimum of 10 gals per goldie. The top sites dedicated to goldfish can be found on Aquarank.com and we will help out as much as you need
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Old 02-16-2005, 05:32 PM   #7
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Internet savvy Grandpas never fail to amaze me. Maybe that's because my grandmother can't figure out the answering machine (God bless her) Welcome to the forum!
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