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phynebobglostik 10-11-2021 06:16 PM

Hi! I am a new goldfish owner!
I bought 3 goldfish about 3 days ago and they are currently in a 30 gal tank. It is tap water that I treated with water conditioner for approx. 30 hours before adding the fish. The tank is already starting to become cloudy. They have yet to eat consistently, they will eat very sparingly when I put food in, they like to wait for the food to begin to sink. I try to get as much of the extra out after 2-3 minutes as I have seen on many websites, but I also don’t want them to go hungry. The water temp stays between 68 and 71 degrees. If anyone has any advice or recommendations I am very open to hear them! Just want some happy and healthy fishies, and I realize I am very novice with this!

Aiken Drum 10-12-2021 02:49 AM

Hi phynebobglostik

A few things to start with.

Cloudy water is common in newly set up aquariums. Its a biological bloom. Bacteria growth taking advantage of an inbalance in nutrients and growing in such numbers that you can actually see them. It should clear up as the tank establishes.

What do you know about the nitrogen cycle and how to cycle a tank?

30 gallons isnt big enough for 3 goldfish long term. You will need to upgrade shortly as the fish grow. Something in the order of 50 gallons will be needed for 3 goldfish to allow them space to grow to adult size. Goldfish are very messy, get very big, live decades. They need big tanks, lots of filtration etc.

As to the food. You need to feed sparingly. I wouldnt throw a load of food in and then try and get uneaten food out. As you arent cycled you should only be feeding as much as they eat in 1 minute daily. Or 2 to 3 minutes if you feed every 2 days. You need to be limiting the waste they produce until your cycle establishes.

phynebobglostik 10-12-2021 03:53 PM

Thank you for reply Aiden! And I do not know as much as I should about the nitrogen cycle, I have been researching it and trying to grasp the concept but seemingly cannot and it leaves me with many questions. Like once the tank is cycled successfully, would I need to redo the entire process when I do 25 or 50% water changes. Further, I already have a 75 gallon tank lined up, just wanted to start them in something a little more manageable while I get the hang of everything. They are each only about 1.5 - 2 inches long including their tail. Also, since you say it is cloudy from bacteria and should clear up on its own, should I worry about changing all or a partial amount of the water or wait for it to clear naturally? I am also struggling to understand if when I do partial water changes, since I am using treated tap water, would it be safe to put the tap water in the tank with fish and add the water conditioner? I hope this makes sense and Iím sorry it is a lot I am just trying to learn!

phynebobglostik 10-12-2021 03:56 PM

The fish seem to be very happy and fine, they stay close to each a majority of the time, but do love swimming around and exploring the tank.

Aiken Drum 10-12-2021 04:17 PM

Virtually everybody starts the hobby with no idea about the nitrogen cycle, so you arent alone. Many manage just fine with no knowledge. Stock lightly, change water regularly, and your tank will cycle without you needing to know the cycle even exists. In brief though. The nitrogen cycle is the process of turning toxic ammonia into less toxic nitrate. Ammonia comes from fish waste, uneaten decaying food, decaying dead plants etc. Beneficial bacteria turns this ammonia into nitrite, which is pretty much as toxic as ammonia. A different bacteria consumes nitrite and produces much, much less toxic nitrate. Nitrate is removed with your water changes.

This video explains the nitrogen cycle in more details should you want to know a little more.

Cycling a tank is the process whereby you grow sufficient beneficial bacteria to consume all the ammonia and nitrite your aquarium produces, turning it into nitrate. This process takes a couple of months. Essentially you need to do regular water changes to keep ammonia and nitrite at relatively safe levels until your cycle establishes and can keep them at 0 on its own. Once cycled you do water changes to control nitrate, which should be nowhere near as frequent.

The beneficial bacteria live on surfaces, like your substrate, the aquarium glass, any decorations. But mostly it lives on your filter media. Very little lives in the water, so water changes shouldnt effect your cycle much.

As to how much/how often to do water changes. Cant really say as we dont know how much ammonia your fish are producing. You would probably be good doing twice weekly 50% changes for a couple of months, then weekly 50% change from there on. Another option is to daily test your water to monitor ammonia and nitrite and do water changes based on these test results.

When doing water changes, you can either treat each bucket load of water before adding it to your tank. Or, treat the tank before adding tap water with enough conditioner to treat the whole tank volume. Treating each bucket is more economical as you only use conditioner for the water you add. Treating the whole volume is more convenient.

Let us know if you want some more info on cycling. There are ways to speed it up. If you plan on getting a test kit i can tell you a little more on what you need to keep your parameters at. There is an article here that covers it also.

Nahhan00 10-13-2021 09:16 AM

Get them a bubble curtain. Goldfish love swimming through bubbles!

Autumnsky 10-13-2021 11:29 PM

If you like things in writing this article helps set out the process step by step.

Main points are that you create and preserve a colony of BB / beneficial bacteria.

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