Need maintenance advice on goldfish aquariums (aquaculture)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I have taking care of my dogs and cat mastered, but now am haveing troubles with the aquariums that were left with me. I know the feeding regime, but need to know what the best approach is to cleaning the tanks. We put one of those wierd looking cleaner fish that have the mouth on the underside in each tank last summer "to do windows" and they are doing good and the water is clean, but there is a green silt accumulating on the gravel now. This needs to go , right? Should I siphon vacuum the gravel on a schedule or only when it's funky like now ? Also I had two floaters, so I put the blue stuff in the tank in case it had "ick " (????sp???).What should I look for in case this is whats killing my goldfish ? Sorry to bug ya'll with this, but I've only known how to feed em and mix the funk water with worm casting to brew garden tea. Thanks.
-- Jay Blair in N. AL (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 08, 2002
Sharks will bottom feed the algae as will algae eaters (or allergy eaters as my kids call them). You should remove the water in your tank by siphoning--direct the hose to the algae at the bottom of the tank.
This water is excellent for gardens
-- Ann Markson (email@example.com), January 08, 2002.
Ann, Do I just do it when it build up or on some kind of schedule?
-- Jay Blair in N. AL (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 08, 2002.
I have goldfish too. I have two fancies, a fantail and a lionhead, in a forty gallon tank. There are a lot of myths and a lot of misinformation about goldfish out there. I'll give a synopsis of what I know and would be glad to post some good links if you would like.
Standard goldfish population is one fish per ten gallons. Any more and the tank will be hard to keep clean. Goldfish are extrememly dirty fish. They poop a lot.
Many people who keep goldfish go with a no gravel bottom. Gravel collects the detrius. I had no gravel for years and have recently tried fine sand. So far I'm pleased with the sand.
If you don't have a python [vacuum water siphon] it would be a good idea. It makes cleaning so much easier. You need to do partial water changes every couple of weeks. You need to dechlorinate if you are on municiple water.
If you are having algae blooms you need to cut down the sunlight the tank gets. Keep the tank away from windows. Use a backing on the tank [I just have a piece of black plastic trash bag taped on the back]. Don't keep the hood light on for more than 12 hours per day. I've had luck with pleckos but many people have not. When they get big they might attack the goldfish. Keep your eye out for this.
Feed good foods. Hikari sinking food is very good. Also a smooshed up pea or a bit of spinach every now and then is good. Don't overfeed. Most people do. Even skip a day every now and then.
Maintain your filter and get an airstone if you don't have one. You should also have various water quality testing kits. But, many people don't bother with getting these things until they really get hooked on their fish hobby. They are inexpensive though and do tell you right away how the wtaer is doing.
Good luck! I hope you don't have any more floaters! With minimum care you goldfish could easily live for decades.
-- (email@example.com), January 08, 2002.
Your tank (and anyone else's tank for that matter) should be cleaned at least weekly with a minimum of 10% water changed (with goldfish I'd recommend even more, like 20-30%). Scrape the inside of the glass with a coarse sponge that's never been used for anything else, and siphon off the bottom scum. That'll help keep the algae under control. With good tank maintenance the water quality test kits aren't really necessary unless you're into breeding or have a disater of some kind and want to diagnose the problem.
Plecos (those sucker catfish) and goldfish don't really mix. Plecos can be nasty like mentioned above.
Besides, Plecos come from tropical waters with temps in the 70's and 80's wherease goldfish are temperate (cold) water fish. You don't need a heater, sometimes room temperature is too warm for them. They'll live longer and be healthier if kept on the cool side. (They won't even consider breeding unless it's downright cold. Here, in southern Ontario the waters around Hamilton and Toronto are full of goldfish that were 'flushed' and survived. They've grown enormous and do quite well thank you very much, even through winter when the surface freezes over. They can grow to 5 or 6 pounds! (compare that to those in your tank)
Use high quality goldfish food - it's specially formulated for their needs. And watch how much. 99% of all aquarists overfeed. This fouls the tank, makes the fish fat and unhealthy and shortens their life span (which can reach into the 20's). Think of a fish's stomach as approximately the size of their eye or smaller, and feed accordingly. Feeding only 6 days a week and fasting on the 7th also helps. It makes them use some of their built up fat stores, and helps keep them on the lean (healthier)side. Being cold water fish, they are not as active and consequently, need less food than tropical fish who are constantly moving and using up energy.
Hope this helps
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 08, 2002.
We just bought my 8-year old a couple of goldfish and a smithsonian institute observer fish tank and he seems to be enjoying it ,I agree with putting no gravel down-much easier to clean! We replace all the water not just 30% or it still seems cloudy- but Don't use any kind of clorinated water- if you use city water buy spring water from the store.My daughter has a betafish at college and has to buy her water (the last one she had died from the clorination in the schools water).They really are facinating to watch- Enjoy! Lisa
-- Lisa Reddish (email@example.com), January 08, 2002.
I hope you enjoy your new adventures in goldfish keeping!
But, I did want to point out a couple of things. Keeping goldfish is very different than keeping a betta. Bettas like small spaces. Goldfish need their space.
I have a 40 gallon for two goldfish. I'd like to go up to an 80 or a 100 by next year. No way will I buy and haul 20 gallons of spring water per week to do water changes!
That's why a Python[tm] comes in so handy. You attach it to a faucet [mine has about 40 feet of hose]. You can both vacuum,empty and fill the tank by an easy valve switch. I add the proper amount of dechlorination drops while I am refilling the tank. I also have a little hand siphon. I use this to siphon off water to water my plants.
Next week I am trying my hand at my first goldfish safe plant. Java moss. I hope it works out as I'd like to have a planted tank. And, I think the plant will help with some of the everpresent excess nutrients.
-- pc (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 08, 2002.
Guess I'll be cleaning a couple of tanks tonite, its been a month. I was thinking about using a motorized siphon and a mesh coffee filter for most of it. Would that work?
-- Jay Blair in N. AL (email@example.com), January 08, 2002.
While we are on the subject of fish, let me ask you guys who live in the country if you have had any problems keeping fish with well water...we tried everything, and we could never get the ph close to right! The water became cloudy after a couple of days, and of course, the fish died. Any ideas? Thanks!
-- Joe (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 08, 2002.
change 20% of the water every two weeks and sponge down the side. get an algae eater and that's about it. I have five and it takes me 5 minutes each week to keep them all clean.
-- mike parish (PARISH48@MSN.COM), January 08, 2002.
Hi Joe, The reason your water becomes cloudy is because it is trying to establish a bacterial system. I work in a pet store and we always suggest feeder goldfish to start a tank so when (not if)they died, the good bacteria gets going. Since your tank is only a month old, it is on schedule.
How big is this tank and how many fish are in it? Big factor. I fight with my boss all the time because he forgets that goldfish need three gallons per inch of fish. This means, if you have 5 three inch fish in a ten gallon tank, you have too many fish unless you want to do water changes all the time.
I think gravel helps to keep the biological health going in a tank. I totally agree with the point that most people overfeed. That would throw off your Nitrates and PH and cause algea to grow (along with too much lighting as mentioned)Also the pleco is not good because they sometimes suck on the goldfish, besides needing that heat.
The syphon system you mentioned for today will work but too fast to clean the gravel well. If you haven't already done it, wait until tomorrow and buy a gravel syphon that does the water changes at the same time. I've been thinking of getting a Python syphion myself but the other one is cheaper. Do not get the vaccuum that puts the water back into the tank and do not scoop the water off the top, that will not get rid of harmful water settled on the bottom. Mixing it up to syphion it up is hard on fish too, that is why the gravel cleaning syphion works so well. Oh and adding water that has evaporated because of the wood stove does not count as a water change.
I used to have big Orandas in the city that used recycled river water and kept them forever. When I moved and got a bigger tank, I could not keep anything but Oscars alive. We finally figured out that I didn't have enough filtration going. The filter said 10-30 gallons but it meant 10 gallons with fish, 30 without. Gee, who would run a tank without fish?
-- Dee (email@example.com), January 08, 2002.
Dee-what do you mean about when the goldfish die, the good bacteria gets going? How? We wouldn't leave the dead fish in there for the bacteria to feed off of, surely...LOL...thanks!
-- Joe (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 09, 2002.
Does it hurt to feed hatchling worms to goldfish occasionally?
-- Jay Blair in N. AL (email@example.com), January 09, 2002.
I would siphon the bottom of the tank, removing about 10-20% of the water. (Make sure you get into the rocks, you really don't want old food and poop building up here) I only clean the tank every other week or so, but goldfish eat a lot and poop a lot. If you do have ick in the tank, turn the heat up to 90 degrees to make it hurry through it's lifespan, and take out the charcoal filter for two weeks. Clean and syphon the tank weekly until then. I purchase a general case medicene for my aquariums called amoxocillen (not like over the counter stuff really) that works on a variety of ailments. One tablet to every 10 gallons. Follow directions.
-- Marty in KS (Mrs.Puck@Excite.com), January 09, 2002.
Sorry I didn't see your question until tonight. The others have answered your question very well.
-- Ann Markson (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 09, 2002.
When you start a tank,it's too clean, sterile. The fish will die and as a natural way of things, bacteria will form from their death. Yes, you remove the dead fish, as soon as possible or the tank will get polluted. I know, tough for the fish but it's how we tell people to start so they don't spend alot of the fish they want to keep.
Goldfish will eat worms but are more vegetanians and do better with a special diet, especially if you have fancies, like Orandas.
Ich looks like little white dots all over the fish. Don't treat for it if they don't have it, it throws off the balance of the tank. In the future, if you see ragged fins and tail, fish swimming sideways or upside down, it usually means nitrates and ammonia levels are dangerously high. 20% water changes every other day for at least a week.
The PH levels aren't as bad as the Nitrates. Don't overfeed. One small flake or one pellet per fish is all that is needed. They always look like they are hungry and even if the food goes in their mouths, it sometimes comes out the gills because there is no room. And of course, the food containers all say as much as they will eat in 5 minutes. Well, I'd say that too if I wanted you to keep buying more food.
-- Dee (email@example.com), January 09, 2002.