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    Boss's Avatar
    Boss Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #1

    Mar 6, 2007, 04:50 PM
    Cloudy fish tank
    Hello ,

    I recently got a new hobby... a 30 gallon aquarium.I have had it about 2 months. Initially I put in 6 gold fish,3 red cap orandas and 3 gold fish. I then went and bought ranchu(fat one) and bought 2 plecos(algea eaters) and 3 apple snails. All are fine, except that 2 of the snails died one after the other. Now I have one left.
    It doesn't stop here, I then went out and bought a beautiful silver blue koi and a golden koi, to small black moores, blue oranda and tiny " pond fish" just to company the goldfish. So all together I have 17 fish in my 30 gallon tank. They are from small to medium size. The koi is the biggest about 3 to 4" out of all of them

    I also have 2 fifty gallon filters on the back of the tank. But my tank still gets cloudy sometimes?? I feed them once a day or sometime twice a day.I just want to keep it clean. Clear. What should I do?

    All the fish look health and swim around a lot. Some of the gold fish we developing some with dot on their red caps(head) so I went and bought this ick guard and used it 3 day in a row. But the spots are still there. I guess I need to wait a little?

    Please tell me if I'm doing anything wrong here.

    With thanks and regards,

    Imran
    AKaeTrue's Avatar
    AKaeTrue Posts: 1,599, Reputation: 272
    Ultra Member
     
    #2

    Mar 6, 2007, 07:26 PM
    From what you described, you're tank is overcrowded.
    This can cause many problems.
    You'll need to run some water tests so that I can better understand what's happening inside the tank.

    Do you happen to have any water tests? The cloudiness may be due to bacterial blooms - white cloudiness. Or, algae - green cloudiness.
    I'll need to know the levels of
    Ammonia?
    Nitrites?
    Nitrates?
    Ph?
    Hardness?
    Alkalinity?

    Can you explain what the dots look like? Are they white? Big, little?

    The more information you give me, the better I'll be able to help.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Kae
    Boss's Avatar
    Boss Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Mar 7, 2007, 02:23 AM
    Hi Kae,

    Thank you so much for your reply. I have never got the water tested. But I will take a sample to the pet store to test it.

    At first I thought I was over crowding the tank, but then I met a few people that had like 15 fish in like a 20 gallon tank for a while where as mine is 30. I also know... eventually I will have to get another 20 gallon tank as the fish get bigger.

    I am wondering how come the filters are not helping? When I had 7 or eight fish and had the one 50 gallon filter(marine land - biowheel) it was still cloudy then I added the aqua clear 50 gallon filter and it was clean for a while but then cloudy again.

    I did a water change using the mop bucket, but I clean it thoroughly. And after that I thought I should drain the water again and then thought that might be more dangerous to change all the water. So I took out 50 % of the water and a couple of days later I took out anpther 20 % of the water and put fresh water. Still remains cloudy. It looks more cloudly if I look at it from the sides? And looks cloudy when I turn on the aquarium light... but look fairly clean when the light is off. I put in the particle remover chemical, but it doesn't help. In fact it clouds the tank when you put it in and say it will clear up in 1-3 hours, I think its bogus product?

    The spots are very tiny... not on all the fish, more so on one or 2 redcaps and a goldfish.
    What should be the final final number of fish in a 30 gallon tank? Please let me know.

    I thank you for your help and am happy to know that you are experienced with fish:)

    Many thanks,
    Imran

    Quote Originally Posted by AKaeTrue
    From what you described, you're tank is overcrowded.
    This can cause many problems.
    You'll need to run some water tests so that I can better understand whats happening inside the tank.

    Do you happen to have any water tests? The cloudiness may be due to bacterial blooms - white cloudiness. Or, algae - green cloudiness.
    I'll need to know the levels of
    ammonia?
    nitrites?
    nitrates?
    Ph?
    hardness?
    alkalinity?

    Can you explain what the dots look like? Are they white? big, little?

    The more information you give me, the better I'll be able to help.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Kae
    AKaeTrue's Avatar
    AKaeTrue Posts: 1,599, Reputation: 272
    Ultra Member
     
    #4

    Mar 7, 2007, 10:41 PM
    Hi Imran,

    Without knowing how your water is testing, I can only guess at what's going on.

    I will guess that it is a combination of an overcrowded tank along with an under developed nitrogen cycle (beneficial bacteria in natures way of purifying itself). This would be the reason why a particle remover did not clear the water. Particle removers are great at removing particles, sludge, suet, or any type of dirt, but they will not remove ammonia produced by fish or bacterial blooms.

    The 5 in 1 water tests have become real popular among fish keepers and are very affordable and easy to use.

    But in order to really know what's happening, I would need to know the water readings.

    Kae
    Boss's Avatar
    Boss Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #5

    Mar 12, 2007, 08:16 PM
    HI Kae,

    I got some time to go out and buy a water testing kit.its the 5 in 1 test with test tubes and pamphlets to match colour of the water... etc. before the water test I took the filter(carbon sack and the zeocarb) of both 50 gal. filters and took them out and put them in a tub of the aqaurium water and moved it around and cleaned it. So much dirt and muck came out. I then put them back in. the next moring my tank was clear(crystal clear). The water look very "thin"" I had put a lot of tap conditioner in it too and particle cleaner(not a lot). The tank looked perfect.. . but after I did the water change (and did the cleaning with the tube thing)... added more water, the water did look as clean. It looked betterclearer before. I did the water change because one of the test said if you ammonia is above... so and so level change the water right away... I hope this information helps.

    then 2 days later I go the water test kit.

    the first test I did is as follows;

    Nitrite = .3mg

    PH Low range = 7.0

    PH High Range= 8.4

    ammonia= .6

    General hardness = 40

    KH(alkalinity) 110


    Test 2: Soon after 20% water change


    GH= 260

    KH= 70

    Nitrite= .1

    ammonia= .6

    High range PH= 8

    Low range - I didn't do this.



    Quote Originally Posted by AKaeTrue
    From what you described, you're tank is overcrowded.
    This can cause many problems.
    You'll need to run some water tests so that I can better understand whats happening inside the tank.

    Do you happen to have any water tests? The cloudiness may be due to bacterial blooms - white cloudiness. Or, algae - green cloudiness.
    I'll need to know the levels of
    ammonia?
    nitrites?
    nitrates?
    Ph?
    hardness?
    alkalinity?

    Can you explain what the dots look like? Are they white? big, little?

    The more information you give me, the better I'll be able to help.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Kae
    AKaeTrue's Avatar
    AKaeTrue Posts: 1,599, Reputation: 272
    Ultra Member
     
    #6

    Mar 13, 2007, 07:03 PM
    Hi Imran,

    Glad to have you back:D

    One of my biggest challenges with helping people with their aquariums over the Internet is trying to help them understand the water chemistry inside aquariums.
    You've done great by getting a test kit. It really helps me out, and will help you out too as you learn more about the water chemistry inside your tank.

    Your water tests indicate that you have 2 causes for cloudy water:

    1) bacterial blooms : natures way of purifying itself from pollution is called the nitrogen cycle and your aquarium environment is trying to develop this. This rapid bacterial growth clouds the water.

    2) you have a lot of fish in an environment that has not yet established the nitrogen cycle, therefor the waste the fish are producing causes pollution and clouds the water.

    From your water readings, I can tell that your filters bio-wheels have not yet established the beneficial bacterial colonies (the nitrogen cycle) that keep your water clean and clear. This process takes a lot of time and patience.

    Since you have so many fish that will be producing ammonia (their waste) and the environment is going to be producing bacterial blooms to complete the nitrogen cycle, both are going to cloud the water.
    I suggest for you buy a product by Nutrafin called Cycle.
    This is an excellent product and it will help stabilize your water in about a 3 week period.
    If you choose to let nature take it's course, you are looking at 8 weeks before you begin seeing a progress in your waters condition.

    Your PH:
    You have a fresh water environment, so you will only need to use the low range Ph test for an accurate reading.

    The high range Ph test is for marine environments, using this test will give inaccurate readings.

    particle removers:
    After using a particle remover, it is very important to clean the filter cartridges. If the muck is not removed, it will break back down and return to the water in the tank making it dirty again.

    Water conditioners:
    Only use the recommended amount. Too much can overdose and harm the fish.
    Never go over the highest dose the bottle suggests.

    Because you have a lot of fish and an incomplete nitrogen cycle, I strongly recommend the product Cycle by Nutrafin.
    Clean filter cartridges only when dirty.
    And never clean the bio-wheels...

    Or,

    If buying this product is not an option for you.
    You can do 20% water changes daily.
    Clean filter cartridges only when dirty.
    And never clean the bio-wheels (this is where the beneficial bacteria live and you do not want to wash them away)


    Are you ready to cycle your aquarium (the nitrogen cycle process)?
    Do you know which method you'd like to use? (I suggest the product Nutrafin Cycle) because the amount of fish you have.

    I am here to answer any questions you have, so feel free to ask.

    Kae
    Parajr's Avatar
    Parajr Posts: 149, Reputation: 21
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    #7

    Mar 13, 2007, 07:07 PM
    Dude you have way too many fish. In my 30 gal I had five fish and the experts in petco said if I wanted more I should get a bigger tank.
    Boss's Avatar
    Boss Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #8

    Mar 14, 2007, 03:32 PM
    HI Kae,


    Thank you for your detailed email:) that's a lot of help. I think soon after I asked you my first question the cycle completed. That is how I got a clear tank... to me th ewater looks thinner always when the tank is clear. I think did the tests and maybe I did it wrong... the result was for ammonia , and it said do a 20 percent water change.

    The secod test was OK. I then took a water sampleto the pet store and the guy told me to use this Big al's bio support... benificial bateria. I put double or so the amount for rapid growth. I then took another sample to this other pet store and they said the PH, ammonia were OK but my nitrates were high.


    So I added a little more beneficial bacteria and now I will just let it sit and add some weekly. I also added the tap water conditioner.

    I notice the koi fish a little aggressive toward the algea eater fish and always chases it away.

    Other than that everything is OK.I have another question? If the water is crystal clean can we assume the tank and everything inside is OK and that nothing needs to be changed but the regular filters?



    With thanks and regards,

    Imran



    Quote Originally Posted by AKaeTrue
    Hi Imran,

    Glad to have you back:D

    One of my biggest challenges with helping people with their aquariums over the Internet is trying to help them understand the water chemistry inside aquariums.
    You've done great by getting a test kit. It really helps me out, and will help you out too as you learn more about the water chemistry inside your tank.

    Your water tests indicate that you have 2 causes for cloudy water:

    1) bacterial blooms : natures way of purifying itself from pollution is called the nitrogen cycle and your aquarium environment is trying to develop this. This rapid bacterial growth clouds the water.

    2) you have a lot of fish in an environment that has not yet established the nitrogen cycle, therefor the waste the fish are producing causes pollution and clouds the water.

    From your water readings, I can tell that your filters bio-wheels have not yet established the beneficial bacterial colonies (the nitrogen cycle) that keep your water clean and clear. This process takes a lot of time and patience.

    Since you have so many fish that will be producing ammonia (their waste) and the environment is going to be producing bacterial blooms to complete the nitrogen cycle, both are going to cloud the water.
    I suggest for you buy a product by Nutrafin called Cycle.
    This is an excellent product and it will help stabilize your water in about a 3 week period.
    If you choose to let nature take it's course, you are looking at 8 weeks before you begin seeing a progress in your waters condition.

    Your PH:
    You have a fresh water environment, so you will only need to use the low range Ph test for an accurate reading.

    The high range Ph test is for marine environments, using this test will give inaccurate readings.

    particle removers:
    After using a particle remover, it is very important to clean the filter cartridges. If the muck is not removed, it will break back down and return to the water in the tank making it dirty again.

    Water conditioners:
    only use the recommended amount. Too much can overdose and harm the fish.
    Never go over the highest dose the bottle suggests.

    Because you have a lot of fish and an incomplete nitrogen cycle, I strongly recommend the product Cycle by Nutrafin.
    Clean filter cartridges only when dirty.
    And never clean the bio-wheels...

    Or,

    If buying this product is not an option for you.
    You can do 20% water changes daily.
    Clean filter cartridges only when dirty.
    And never clean the bio-wheels (this is where the beneficial bacteria live and you do not want to wash them away)


    Are you ready to cycle your aquarium (the nitrogen cycle process)?
    Do you know which method you'd like to use? (I suggest the product Nutrafin Cycle) because the amount of fish you have.

    I am here to answer any questions you have, so feel free to ask.

    Kae
    AKaeTrue's Avatar
    AKaeTrue Posts: 1,599, Reputation: 272
    Ultra Member
     
    #9

    Mar 16, 2007, 10:50 AM
    Hi Imram

    A healthy aquarium (when referring to the nitrogen cycle or "cycle") your water must read:

    Ammonia 0 ppm

    Nitrite 0 ppm

    Nitrate .1 to 75 ppm

    You are always going to have a nitrate reading in a healthy aquarium.
    You remove nitrate from the water by doing partial water changes - not by adding more bottled bacteria.
    You need to be very careful adding live active bottled bacteria to your tank. Adding too much can overdose your tank causing more harm than good. Adding more than recommended will pollute the water and cause toxic levels of nitrates (which is non toxic to fish if under 75 ppm).
    That's why I suggested the product Nutrafin Cycle, you can't overdose with this product. It is live inactive bacteria in a bottle. It's a lot safer.

    Having "thin" looking water is definitely a good sign, but you cannot rely on that as to know when you need to make water changes.
    You want it to always remain "thin" looking, so you will want to wash or replace filter cartridges before they are so dirty that it begins dirtying the water and you need to learn how to rely on your water test to know when you need to make a water change.

    Most people come up with a weekly, biweekly, or monthly aquarium maintenance schedule that they follow.

    For instance:

    I have several aquariums that I make a 20% water change 1 time a month and replace filters.

    And, I have some aquariums that require weekly water changes with filter maintenance only once a month...

    You will need to get a feel for your tank and go from there... I can help you with that...

    What are the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings? Lets see where your tank is...

    Kae
    Boss's Avatar
    Boss Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #10

    Mar 16, 2007, 11:24 AM
    Hi Kae,


    Thank you so much for your reply. I always enjoy reading your emails as I can understand much better when you describe things.

    So you have many aquariums! Wow, how do you maintain those with 1 water change a month?(saltwater?)

    You know I may need another tank maybe 12 x 30 or smaller. Do you have any for sale? Please let me know.

    I will get home and get you some readings again.

    Im actually worried because I put a lot of bacteria in the tank... where I think its going througha bacterial bloom again. I also put some aquarium salt.
    should I do a 20% water change because of too much live bacteria.


    another thing I noticed, one of the red cap orandas I think is sick... he swimming OK , but slow sometimes (like floting swiming-slowmotion)sometimes.his red cap is fading to light red color. I feed them peas, and put more bacteria as it said use more if you have sick fish or something like that


    I will be able to send you picture soon


    Many thanks,

    imran




    Quote Originally Posted by AKaeTrue
    Hi Imram

    A healthy aquarium (when referring to the nitrogen cycle or "cycle") your water must read:

    ammonia 0 ppm

    nitrite 0 ppm

    Nitrate .1 to 75 ppm

    You are always going to have a nitrate reading in a healthy aquarium.
    You remove nitrate from the water by doing partial water changes - not by adding more bottled bacteria.
    You need to be very careful adding live active bottled bacteria to your tank. Adding too much can overdose your tank causing more harm than good. Adding more than recommended will pollute the water and cause toxic levels of nitrates (which is non toxic to fish if under 75 ppm).
    Thats why I suggested the product Nutrafin Cycle, you can't overdose with this product. It is live inactive bacteria in a bottle. It's a lot safer.

    Having "thin" looking water is definitely a good sign, but you cannot rely on that as to know when you need to make water changes.
    You want it to always remain "thin" looking, so you will want to wash or replace filter cartridges before they are so dirty that it begins dirtying the water and you need to learn how to rely on your water test to know when you need to make a water change.

    Most people come up with a weekly, biweekly, or monthly aquarium maintenance schedule that they follow.

    For instance:

    I have several aquariums that I make a 20% water change 1 time a month and replace filters.

    And, I have some aquariums that require weekly water changes with filter maintenance only once a month...

    you will need to get a feel for your tank and go from there...I can help you with that...

    what are the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings? Lets see where your tank is...

    Kae
    AKaeTrue's Avatar
    AKaeTrue Posts: 1,599, Reputation: 272
    Ultra Member
     
    #11

    Mar 18, 2007, 12:11 AM
    I have (1) 55 gallon Marine salt water aquarium that requires weekly water changes and monthly filter maintenance.
    It needs weekly water changes to keep nitrates between .1 and 5 because marine fish are more sensitive to nitrates, whereas cold or tropical fresh water fish are not as sensitive.

    (2) 55 gallon rift lake aquarium (one of them is home to the blue fish you see in the pic to the side).

    (1) 55 gallon tropical fresh water aquarium

    (1) 40 gallon tropical fresh water aquarium (home to only 2 Angle Fish)

    (1) 30 gallon cold fresh water aquarium (4 round bellied goldfish)

    I change fish around in my tropical freshwater tanks. I do a lot of trading so that number is subject to change (lol) I know it's a lot of tanks, but I see my aquariums as living art...

    All my freshwater aquariums only require new filter cartridges and (1) 20% water change a month.

    This is because I don't over crowd the tanks, I have a good understanding about water chemistry and the fish I keep, and my filters bio-sponges and bio-wheels have good strong beneficial bacterial colonies established in them.

    The bacteria colonies is what converts all the waste into a non toxic form.
    The non toxic form is called nitrate. It is only non toxic to freshwater fish if kept under 75 ppm. (I never let mine get that high though) I feel that a nitrate reading over 40 deserves a water change.

    The good bacteria that live in my filters bio-sponges and bio-wheels do all the hard work for me.
    All I have to do is change the dirty cartridges and remove the nitrates by preforming water changes.
    Also, I have a very handy device called a Python that pumps the dirty water out, then with a flip of a switch, it puts fresh clean water back into the tanks.
    I spend about 1 hour every month cleaning my freshwater tanks - that's it...
    (now my marine saltwater tank is a different story - it's not so easy because I use buckets and requires more time - about 30 minutes to 1 hour a week)

    In nature, nitrate would be consumed by plants and other organisms like algae; however in an enclosed aquarium environment, we could not keep enough plants and algae to consume all the nitrates, so we remove them by water changes.

    In all honesty, you have overstocked your tank...
    If some of the fish are not given proper homes, you will continue to have problems with water clarity, sick fish, and eventually dying fish.

    Big round bellied goldfish are not physically able to swim in strong currents. I'm sure that the (2) 55 gallon filters you have on your tank is finally taking it's tole. They will soon be out of strength and give up the fight to swim.

    Koi are aggressive fish that get huge in size. They will pick on weaker fish until the weaker fish die.

    Koi and comet goldfish belong in ponds because of their size and the amount of waste they produce.

    Here are a few pictures of Koi:
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    As you can see, you will need much more than another tank if you decide to keep these fish.

    If a lot of fish is what you desire, your 30 gallon tank would make a wonderful home for 30 non aggressive tropical fish like Guppies, Tetras, and Mollies just to name a few.

    I hate to be a barer of bad news, but with the type and the amount of fish you are keeping in your 30 gallon right now, your new hobby is going to turn into your biggest job and you will struggle to keep the water clean.

    Goldfish are messy and a 30 gallon can happily give a home to 4 or 5 full grown round bellied goldfish. (I have 4 full grown ones in mine).

    Also, you may not need to add aquarium salt.
    Freshwater aquarium salt raises the alkalinity (KH) in water.
    Your tap water may already have a stable KH and salt would be unnecessary and possibly risky.

    If you don't mind, could you test your tap water for GH, KH, and PH (low range). This way we can know the readings of your tap water before it goes into your tank.
    Put some tap water in a cup, wait 15 to 30 minutes then test it.
    We will use that reading to compare to your aquarium water reading.
    This way I'll have a better idea about what is happening with the aquarium water and what should and shouldn't be added.

    A lot of times, new fish keepers will take a little advice from a lot of different people and try to use it to solve their aquarium problems...
    Unfortunately, this is not a wise decision.
    There are many different fish keepers that use different systems that work for them.
    When you take bits and pieces of a lot of different peoples advice and try using them for yourself, it usually fails.
    This is because one method of fish keeping may not be compatible with another.
    Plus, Joe Some at the fish department may not be taking into consideration your tanks specific needs. I found out the hard way long ago that employees at fish departments don't always know what their talking about (Walmart and petsmart employees are the worst).
    Where do you buy your fish and get advice from?

    You have to come up with a system that works for your tank...
    First step in doing this is to understand your water (tap and aquarium).
    Second step is to understand the nitrogen cycle or "cycle" and "beneficial bacteria"
    After your tank has stabilized and you have a system you use for maintaining it, you will not have to do so much work and water tests.

    Do you need help understanding the nitrogen cycle?

    I want you to be able to enjoy your new hobby - not hate it...
    So lets work on getting this right and finding a system that works for you and your tank... I'm here to help...
    Boss's Avatar
    Boss Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #12

    Mar 18, 2007, 12:58 PM
    Hello Kae,


    I did some more tests and they are as follows;


    Nitrite = way over the safe limit .3 / I did a 20% watr change , but still the levels were high

    PH Low range = 7.2 or over



    ammonia= is between .0 to .6


    KH(alkalinity) 30 one time, second time 40

    according to the nirite test and ammonia test, they both say if the levels high then do a 20% and add the nurtfin bacteria so it becomes rapidly available.

    so I 3 days ago I did a 10 % water change... did not help much. Then 2 days after I did another water change20% Because MY NITRITE was too high. And its got me worried.
    the water is clear and fish are moving about fine. I thnk I should use the syphoning thing... but I didn't want to disturn the tank 3 days in a row with partial water changes, and add chemicals,. I think it's the aqurium salt that is causing the nitrate high level??


    what do you recommend I do at this point to avoid put the fish in danger?:(

    I will try to add a picture to my profile of the tank

    With best regards,

    imran



    Quote Originally Posted by Boss
    Hi Kae,


    Thank you so much for your reply. I always enjoy reading your emails as i can understand much better when you describe things.

    So you have many aquariums! wow, how do you maintain those with 1 water change a month?(saltwater?)

    You know i may need another tank maybe 12 x 30 or smaller. do you have any for sale? please let me know.

    I will get home and get you some readings again.

    Im actually worried because i put a lot of bacteria in the tank ... where i think its going througha bacterial bloom again. i also put some aquarium salt.
    should i do a 20% water change becasue of too much live bacteria.


    another thing i noticed, one of the red cap orandas i think is sick... he swiming ok , but slow sometimes (like floting swiming-slowmotion)sometimes.his red cap is fading to light red color. I feed them peas, and put more bacteria as it said use more if you have sick fish or something like that


    i will be able to send you picture soon


    Many thanks,

    imran
    Boss's Avatar
    Boss Posts: 11, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #13

    Mar 18, 2007, 01:11 PM
    Hi again,



    I just wanted to thank you for taking the time and writing to me all that detail, it is very kind of you.

    If that is your house in the picture... then WOW! That is amazing. I would like to follow what you have done, but I know that is some serious responsibility not to mention costly... but simply amazing.

    I bought my fish from Big Als and the 2 pond fish I bought from walmart died because I think they were already sick.

    But the fish in my tank look healthy over all. I would like to see my fish grow as they are very little... not full grown. I think I got very lucky with my Koi as I haven't seen one like it yet. It is one of my favoritesVery different.

    Are you in Toronto? Would it be possible to email you directly?

    Many thanks,

    Imran

    Quote Originally Posted by AKaeTrue
    I have (1) 55 gallon Marine salt water aquarium that requires weekly water changes and monthly filter maintenance.
    It needs weekly water changes to keep nitrates between .1 and 5 because marine fish are more sensitive to nitrates, whereas cold or tropical fresh water fish are not as sensitive.

    (2) 55 gallon rift lake aquarium (one of them is home to the blue fish you see in the pic to the side).

    (1) 55 gallon tropical fresh water aquarium

    (1) 40 gallon tropical fresh water aquarium (home to only 2 Angle Fish)

    (1) 30 gallon cold fresh water aquarium (4 round bellied goldfish)

    I change fish around in my tropical freshwater tanks. I do a lot of trading so that number is subject to change (lol) I know it's a lot of tanks, but I see my aquariums as living art...

    All my freshwater aquariums only require new filter cartridges and (1) 20% water change a month.

    This is because I don't over crowd the tanks, I have a good understanding about water chemistry and the fish I keep, and my filters bio-sponges and bio-wheels have good strong beneficial bacterial colonies established in them.

    The bacteria colonies is what converts all the waste into a non toxic form.
    The non toxic form is called nitrate. It is only non toxic to freshwater fish if kept under 75 ppm. (I never let mine get that high though) I feel that a nitrate reading over 40 deserves a water change.

    The good bacteria that live in my filters bio-sponges and bio-wheels do all the hard work for me.
    All I have to do is change the dirty cartridges and remove the nitrates by preforming water changes.
    Also, I have a very handy device called a Python that pumps the dirty water out, then with a flip of a switch, it puts fresh clean water back into the tanks.
    I spend about 1 hour every month cleaning my freshwater tanks - thats it...
    (now my marine saltwater tank is a different story - it's not so easy because I use buckets and requires more time - about 30 minutes to 1 hour a week)

    In nature, nitrate would be consumed by plants and other organisms like algae; however in an enclosed aquarium environment, we could not keep enough plants and algae to consume all the nitrates, so we remove them by water changes.

    In all honesty, you have overstocked your tank...
    If some of the fish are not given proper homes, you will continue to have problems with water clarity, sick fish, and eventually dying fish.

    Big round bellied goldfish are not physically able to swim in strong currents. I'm sure that the (2) 55 gallon filters you have on your tank is finally taking it's tole. They will soon be out of strength and give up the fight to swim.

    Koi are aggressive fish that get huge in size. They will pick on weaker fish until the weaker fish die.

    Koi and comet goldfish belong in ponds because of their size and the amount of waste they produce.

    Here are a few pictures of Koi:
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    As you can see, you will need much more than another tank if you decide to keep these fish.

    If a lot of fish is what you desire, your 30 gallon tank would make a wonderful home for 30 non aggressive tropical fish like Guppies, Tetras, and Mollies just to name a few.

    I hate to be a barer of bad news, but with the type and the amount of fish you are keeping in your 30 gallon right now, your new hobby is going to turn into your biggest job and you will struggle to keep the water clean.

    Goldfish are messy and a 30 gallon can happily give a home to 4 or 5 full grown round bellied goldfish. (I have 4 full grown ones in mine).

    Also, you may not need to add aquarium salt.
    Freshwater aquarium salt raises the alkalinity (KH) in water.
    Your tap water may already have a stable KH and salt would be unnecessary and possibly risky.

    If you don't mind, could you test your tap water for GH, KH, and PH (low range). This way we can know the readings of your tap water before it goes into your tank.
    Put some tap water in a cup, wait 15 to 30 minutes then test it.
    We will use that reading to compare to your aquarium water reading.
    This way I'll have a better idea about what is happening with the aquarium water and what should and shouldn't be added.

    A lot of times, new fish keepers will take a little advice from a lot of different people and try to use it to solve their aquarium problems...
    Unfortunately, this is not a wise decision.
    There are many different fish keepers that use different systems that work for them.
    When you take bits and pieces of a lot of different peoples advice and try using them for yourself, it usually fails.
    This is because one method of fish keeping may not be compatible with another.
    Plus, Joe Smoe at the fish department may not be taking into consideration your tanks specific needs. I found out the hard way long ago that employees at fish departments don't always know what their talking about (Walmart and petsmart employees are the worst).
    Where do you buy your fish and get advice from?

    You have to come up with a system that works for your tank...
    First step in doing this is to understand your water (tap and aquarium).
    Second step is to understand the nitrogen cycle or "cycle" and "beneficial bacteria"
    After your tank has stabilized and you have a system you use for maintaining it, you will not have to do so much work and water tests.

    Do you need help understanding the nitrogen cycle?

    I want you to be able to enjoy your new hobby - not hate it...
    So lets work on getting this right and finding a system that works for you and your tank... I'm here to help...
    AKaeTrue's Avatar
    AKaeTrue Posts: 1,599, Reputation: 272
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    #14

    Mar 19, 2007, 12:38 AM
    Hi Imran,

    I just wanted to thank you for taking the time and writing to me all that detail, it is very kind of you.
    your welcome... I love and enjoy the beauty of aquariums...
    I love watching fish go about their business in their own little world...
    It's very peaceful... I try my best to help out those who are having trouble with the fish keeping hobby so they can enjoy it too.

    If that is your house in the picture... then WOW! That is amazing. I would like to follow what you have done, but I know that is some serious responsibility not to mention costly... but simply amazing.
    I'm flattered... but the pictures were actually taken at a vacation resort... I do still dream of being there every day though... LOL ;)

    2 pond fish I bought from walmart died because I think they were already sick
    You are correct! All fish at Walmart are sick.

    Are you in Toronto?
    I live in the US... You?

    I did some more tests and they are as follows;


    Nitrite = way over the safe limit .3 / I did a 20% watr change , but still the levels were high

    PH Low range = 7.2 or over
    Nitrite .3 is not high... Could you possibly mean 3.

    Ph 7.2 is perfect :D

    ammonia= is between .0 to .6
    Even though ammonia is toxic to fish, 6 is not a high reading (it's very low).

    KH(alkalinity) 30 one time, second time 40
    This is fine for right now... Salt effects this reading...
    It would really help me if you could take a reading of your tap water for me to see (GH, KH and PH)...

    according to the nirite test and ammonia test, they both say if the levels high then do a 20% and add the nurtfin bacteria so it becomes rapidly available.
    Did you happen to buy the product Nutrafin Cycle? Or are you referring to any nitrifing bacteria (bacteria in a bottle)?

    so I 3 days ago I did a 10 % water change... did not help much. Then 2 days after I did another water change20% Because MY NITRITE was too high. And its got me worried.
    the water is clear and fish are moving about fine. I thnk I should use the syphoning thing... but I didn't want to disturn the tank 3 days in a row with partial water changes, and add chemicals,. I think it's the aqurium salt that is causing the nitrate high level??
    Do you still happen to have a nitrate reading when testing for nitrates?
    If so, that good...
    Don't clean the gravel just yet... It will cause a set back in the cycling process. Bacteria live in the gravel as well as inside the filters bio-wheels.
    No cleaning gravel until the filters have established good strong bacterial colonies - no matter how dirty it looks...
    You can however stir it up by flipping the dirty rocks over gently.
    This way your turning over the dirty rocks and sending any bacteria in them to the filters.
    The dirt settles or is sucked up by the filters and you don't lose any bacteria.

    Salt only effects the alkalinity level (KH) nothing else...

    Fish urine, excreta, and old food cause ammonia (toxic).
    Then, nature develops a bacteria called Nitrosomonas bacteria to convert the ammonia into Nitrite (toxic).
    Then nature develops another bacteria called Nitrobacter bacteria to convert the nitrite into nitrate (non toxic if under 75ppm)
    When nitrates reach the toxic level (or before they reach the toxic level) we make water changes to remove the nitrate.

    And this is the "cycle"... (for us fish keepers anyway)

    At this point, I will need to see tap water readings (water from sink) on GH, KH, and Ph

    You've added bacteria in a bottle to your tank - is this correct?
    If so, lets hold off on the water changes for now...

    I would like for you to go 5 days without a water change.
    After the 5 days is up, test the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, Ph, GH and KH... and let me know those readings.

    Don't be worried about the small amounts of ammonia and nitrite in the aquarium water... They are so low (almost close to 0)...
    During this 5 day hold on water changes, don't be alarmed if they go up.

    If you are concerned about any issues that arise during this time, you can surely ask and I'll get back to you quickly.
    AKaeTrue's Avatar
    AKaeTrue Posts: 1,599, Reputation: 272
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    #15

    Mar 19, 2007, 12:41 AM
    Your avatar, is that a fish of yours?
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    #16

    Mar 19, 2007, 03:52 AM
    Hi Kae,

    Thanks for your email. I did do a water change and syphoning. Then added tap conditioner and some bacteria2 teaspoons.

    I also realized that the 2 filters may be creating a current too storng for the fish to swim in,
    So I slowed the speed of one of them. Both are at each side of the tanks with maybe 4 inches empty space between them.


    I don't know what a avatar is , but yes it is my fish... I thought it was a koi?

    I tried to put a bigger picture o rpictures but coulnt figure out how to.

    I will let you know of the tap water reading soon.

    With best regards,'

    Imran


    Quote Originally Posted by AKaeTrue
    Your avatar, is that a fish of yours?
    AKaeTrue's Avatar
    AKaeTrue Posts: 1,599, Reputation: 272
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    #17

    Mar 19, 2007, 10:54 AM
    Hi

    Since you already siphoned your gravel and did a water change... wait 5 days before you do anything else so that we can see if the nitrogen cycle is going to start removing the ammonia and nitrite for you.

    After the 5 days is up, take a water test.

    Are you using test tube water tests?
    That's a pain, right? Especially with the amount of tests you're having to take.

    You might benefit from the 5 in 1 dip stick tests.
    All you do is dip a test stick in the water, pull it out, and read the results.
    It only takes seconds to test the water...

    The avatar is just the name given to the picture that you use to represent yourself.
    Example: You are using a Koi for your avatar... and I'm using a blue fish for my avatar... ;)

    Kae
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    #18

    Mar 20, 2007, 04:44 AM
    Hi Kae,


    yes I figured out what avatar is and had a good laugh:) the tests I am doing are the test tube ones and the dipstick test sound much easier. Thank u for the suggestion.

    I tested my tap water and the readings are;

    Ammonia = 0 to .6

    Nitrite = 0.0

    KH = 40 or 50

    PH = 7.6


    then right after I tested the aquarium water, those readings are below;

    Ammonia = 0.6

    nitrite = .8 to 3.3 I could not match the colour properly.

    KH = 40

    PH = 7.0 or 7.4


    nitrite is too high, but I have already done a 20 percent water change one day and another 10 % aniother day?? including changing some water while doing the syphoneing as well.


    because nitrates were high- the test book said, do a water change and add some beneficial bacteria... etc I didn't do the water change again... but did put some more bacteria in the tank just in case. Thnking maybe if they don't get the bacteria they might die or something. The bottle treat up to 480 gall. And I used close to half of it.

    the only other chemicals I have used in the water are;

    BACTERIA(BENIFICIAL)

    aquarium salt - as it is suppose to take care of the nirites

    ick guard which I have used 2 separate times for three consecutive days as wer instruction.

    tap water conditioner

    particle remover- and I cleaned the filters and carbon bag/sponnge for my filters

    this product called - crystal clear - small bottle to clear the tank

    and that all.I have 2 algea eaters in the tank too. One of them is the big ugly one... the other is smalled and thinner called a tiger something its small but very fast... he seems to be out and about and seems like he's trying to clean the other fish as they pass by and they all swim away for him even though the rest of the fish are much bigger... even the KOi??

    I look forward to your reply and advise.

    many thanks,


    imran




    Quote Originally Posted by AKaeTrue
    Hi

    Since you already siphoned your gravel and did a water change...wait 5 days before you do anything else so that we can see if the nitrogen cycle is going to start removing the ammonia and nitrite for you.

    After the 5 days is up, take a water test.

    Are you using test tube water tests?
    Thats a pain, right? Especially with the amount of tests you're having to take.

    You might benefit from the 5 in 1 dip stick tests.
    All you do is dip a test stick in the water, pull it out, and read the results.
    It only takes seconds to test the water...

    The avatar is just the name given to the picture that you use to represent yourself.
    Example: You are using a Koi for your avatar...and I'm using a blue fish for my avatar...;)

    Kae
    AKaeTrue's Avatar
    AKaeTrue Posts: 1,599, Reputation: 272
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    #19

    Mar 22, 2007, 09:11 AM
    Imran,
    From what I'm reading here, your tank is not in that bad of condition.

    Because nitrates were high- the test book said, do a water change and add some beneficial bacteria... etc I didn't do the water change again... but did put some more bacteria in the tank just in case. Thnking maybe if they don't get the bacteria they might die or something. The bottle treat up to 480 gall. And I used close to half of it.
    This is true. If you have high ammonia and nitrites doing a water change and adding bacteria is a good move.
    However, if you continue to make water changes after adding the bacteria, you're only removing the bacteria that you pored in the water to help it...

    You need to allow the bacteria to colonize inside the bio-wheels by not changing the water so much, this way the bacteria can do all the hard work.

    aquarium salt - as it is suppose to take care of the nirites
    This is not true.
    Salt does absolutely nothing for nitrites.
    It does not remove, help, or take care of nitrites.

    Fresh water aquarium salt ONLY raises the alkalinity (KH)

    and that all.I have 2 algea eaters in the tank too. One of them is the big ugly one... the other is smalled and thinner called a tiger something its small but very fast... he seems to be out and about and seems like he's trying to clean the other fish as they pass by and they all swim away for him even though the rest of the fish are much bigger... even the KOi??
    What appears to be "cleaning" is more than likely "bullying".
    He is picking on your other fish. The kind of algae eater you described is known for this type of aggression and it will get worse as he gets bigger.

    Over all, I think your tank is doing rather well.
    It's on it's way to being stabilized, but at this point, you need to cut back on water changes (not all together, but you need to do them less often).

    Kae
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    #20

    Mar 27, 2007, 11:03 AM
    Hi Kae,



    Should I remove the tiger/algea eating fish from the tank? Now the fish aren't running away from it even thought it will try to " clean" them at time or bully them.

    How often do you think I should do a water change, once a week right.im just a little confused about 2 things.

    Water changes and syphoning; water change... you change 20% of the water and replace with new water. Where as the syphoning part... you syphon the gravel... and you let the water sit right... once all the waste settles we pour the water back in the tank , correct?
    Or can we just do the syphoning part... clean the gravel while taking out about 20% of the water and then adding new water evry week
    ??


    I'm trying to get another tank... hope fully that will make thing easier:) then I can put the 50 gall. Filter in each tank. I don't know exactly when I can do this, but hopefully soon.

    I want to send you some pictures of my tank... or post them some wehere... any suggestions. I'm in Canada by the way, Toronto.


    Many thanks for your help,

    Imran


    Quote Originally Posted by AKaeTrue
    Imran,
    From what I'm reading here, your tank is not in that bad of condition.


    This is true. If you have high ammonia and nitrites doing a water change and adding bacteria is a good move.
    However, if you continue to make water changes after adding the bacteria, you're only removing the bacteria that you pored in the water to help it....

    You need to allow the bacteria to colonize inside the bio-wheels by not changing the water so much, this way the bacteria can do all the hard work.


    This is not true.
    Salt does absolutely nothing for nitrites.
    It does not remove, help, or take care of nitrites.

    Fresh water aquarium salt ONLY raises the alkalinity (KH)


    What appears to be "cleaning" is more than likely "bullying".
    He is picking on your other fish. The kind of algae eater you described is known for this type of aggression and it will get worse as he gets bigger.

    Over all, I think your tank is doing rather well.
    It's on it's way to being stabilized, but at this point, you need to cut back on water changes (not all together, but you need to do them less often).

    Kae

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