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Old 01-13-2022, 12:03 PM   #1
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Black Moor

Hi, Iím new to the forum and Iím hoping someone can help.

I set up a 20gallon tank in October and have put two black moors in. Both seemed very happy and healthy until recently. I was away over Christmas and when I returned I noticed the tank was a lot dirtier than expected. There was an awful lot of algae considering Iíd only been away for a few days and had done a 70% water change before I left. Iíve since cleaned the tank, done a 75-80% water change and bought a new slightly bigger filter which is in cycling currently alongside the old filter. One of my moors seems happy and healthy as normal, but the other has developed some silvery white film over parts of his body. Heís also a little sluggish in comparison to the other. When changing water, I use aquarium salts, Bioactive tapsafe, Prevent Algae solution and Healthy Goldfish Treatment Solution. Can anyone please tell me if Iím doing anything wrong or if thereís anything I can do to help my moor?
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:42 PM   #2
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First things first. Do you know your water parameters? What is your normal water change schedule?

If its a white slime coat, that could be a response to infection or poor quality water.

If its a fluffy white coating likely fungal infection.

Its always better to quarantine to sick fish if you can.

Onto the tank.

Your fish will outgrow a 20g tank pretty quickly. Too small a tank will cause stunted growth in the fish, lead to ill health and shorter lifes. Probably not an immediate concern, but give it a year and you could do with a bigger tank.

That substrate looks like a nightmare to keep clean. Uneaten food will get trapped in there, decompose leading to mould and ammonia.

Messy fish in too small a tank, uneaten food trapped in the substrate. These 2 factors could be causing poor quality water. Your water tests should give you an indication if this is an issue.

If you dont have live plants in the tank, turn down or reduce the lighting period to control algae. Its always better to be preventative rather than reactive with chemicals.
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Old 01-13-2022, 02:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
First things first. Do you know your water parameters? What is your normal water change schedule?

If its a white slime coat, that could be a response to infection or poor quality water.

If its a fluffy white coating likely fungal infection.

Its always better to quarantine to sick fish if you can.

Onto the tank.

Your fish will outgrow a 20g tank pretty quickly. Too small a tank will cause stunted growth in the fish, lead to ill health and shorter lifes. Probably not an immediate concern, but give it a year and you could do with a bigger tank.

That substrate looks like a nightmare to keep clean. Uneaten food will get trapped in there, decompose leading to mould and ammonia.

Messy fish in too small a tank, uneaten food trapped in the substrate. These 2 factors could be causing poor quality water. Your water tests should give you an indication if this is an issue.

If you dont have live plants in the tank, turn down or reduce the lighting period to control algae. Its always better to be preventative rather than reactive with chemicals.
Hi, thanks for your response and thanks for moving my message to the correct thread ��

I’m a bit of a novice so I haven’t worked out the water parameters or tested the water in any way, if there are any particular testing kits you can recommend it would be appreciated. I usually do a 25-50% water change once a week, moving to a higher percentage once a month or if the tank seems to be dirtier. it definitely looks more like a slime coat than fluffy, almost as though his scales are changing to a silvery colour.
Great advice for the lighting, I had wondered whether that was a contributing factor. I tend to turn the light on in the morning around 8am, and then off again in the evening around 9-10pm so I’ll start reducing that period to maybe just on in the evenings when it starts to get dark?

And good advice on the tank size, I wasn’t aware of that! Annoyingly, the person in the pet store that sold me the fish advised this size would be fine for two fish, although I realise now they’re probably more qualified in sales than they are in fish care! I’ll keep an eye on the fish for now and look to get a bigger tank later in the year.

Also, with the substrate, I usually take it all out of the tank for a deep clean once a month, that way I can clear out a lot of the debris left underneath while changing the water. Should I be looking to do this more often or do you have any recommendations for an alternative? Like maybe a softer sand like substrate?

Sorry, I know I’ve answered with a lot more questions! Just trying to build up my knowledge and make sure I’m keeping my fish happy and healthy ��
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Old 01-13-2022, 04:19 PM   #4
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From the products you have out on display, Pets at Home?

I would be fairly happy with your water change schedule. I think 30 to 50% would be good, at least until your fish get big. Water testing is really up to you. If you keep up with your water changes you dont really need to be testing. The other side of this is, if you havent been testing you have no idea if you are cycled or not and whether poor water quality is the root cause of your problems. If you want a recommendation for a test kit. API freshwater master test kit. Covers what you need (pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate), is reasonably easy to use, is accurate enough for what you are using it for, and as you get 100s of tests from the kit is more economic than the cheaper strips.

For now i would probably up the water changes to 50% twice weekly. See if things improve. If they take a turn for the worse, then we can look at something else.

On the UK presumption, medication is limited here and antibiotics are vets prescription only, and the stuff over the counter isnt really very good if things get serious.

One thing to learn is that pet store employees, particularly at non specialist chain stores, they often no know more than you do. A bit of corporate training and they are sent out to get you to buy stuff. They have a fish points system for making tank/fish recommendations, and its not without flaws. It works quite well for small schooling fish. Fails when it comes to fish that get big and need space. 20g isnt too far off what you need for 2 black moors. You will probably be good, 30g would be ideal. Goldfish are poop machines so you need a filter suitable for 60 gallons.

You have aquarium salt, that should help with your issue. How much are you adding? I looked at the Healthy Goldfish stuff. While i understand what it says it does, i have no idea what it actually is. Is it a chemical, bacteria, an enzyme? Im not sure if using that is of any benefit (see my comment about being sent out to sell you stuff). Bioactive tapsafe? If your fish havent died it is doing its job of removing chlorine.

Lighting. In a planted tank you are looking for a balance between plant growth and algae growth. Without plants all you get is algae growth. 6 to 8 hours per day is where you normally find this balance in a planted tank. Try at 8 hours, give a it couple of weeks and readjust as required. I have mine on from mid afternoon until bedtime so the lights are on when im home.

Substrate. Completely rinsing the substrate seems excessive. While you are removing detritus you will also be removing bacteria responsible for your cycle. Im honestly not sure whether its better to do your rinses or just let it be and do your best to clean things up with a gravel vac. If it where my tank i would have a sand substrate, and use the substrate you have as a kind of accent feature on top of the sand here and there. Maybe scatter some of those stones out around your tank decorations.
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Old 01-13-2022, 05:00 PM   #5
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You guessed correctly! It was all purchased at Pets at home.

Thanks for the brilliant advice! I’ll up my water changes to twice weekly and look at getting a sand substrate. I like the idea of using the stones as decoration dotted about on top of the sand. I’ll also cut down on the lighting as suggested.

As for the filter, I’d guessed the original one I had wasn’t big enough, as when I got home the majority of the algae was on the other side of the tank to the filter! The new filter should be big enough, but I’ll check again if it is for up to 60g and go from there.

For the salt, I usually use around a small capful each water change, which I measure using the same caps that are on the other bottles in the picture. Do you think upping the amount of salt will help? I’ll stop using the prevent algae stuff since I’m restricting the lighting and see how that goes. The healthy goldfish stuff, I’m not really sure what it is either, the bottle Doesn’t give much information other than it contains formaldehyde! As it doesn’t seem to be having any affect I think I’ll discontinue its use as well.

I’ll order one of those testing kits too, couldn’t hurt to check on the water quality thanks for all your help! Hopefully my little buddy will make an improvement soon! I’ll keep you posted.
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Old 01-13-2022, 05:37 PM   #6
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If you are just generally using aquarium salt in a freshwater tank as regular thing, 1 tablespoon per 20 litres. If using as a treatment double that.

Im really not a fan of aquarium salt in freshwater tanks as a general rule. Opinions are mixed as to whether there is any benefit. I have used it as a treatment, but only when fish are quarantined.

Formaldehyde? Thats also the active ingredient in their internal anti bacterial medication. Show the fish the box and explain that its going in the tank if they don't buck up their ideas. Should scare them back to health.
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Old 01-13-2022, 05:47 PM   #7
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I’ll frighten them back to health!
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