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Beginner's Circle This forum is dedicated to helping people new to the hobby. If you need help, this is your starting point.

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Old 05-15-2013, 08:42 PM   #11
Fishfur
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There is a 'sticky' at the top of the Beginner forum that explains the nitrogen cycle for aquariums. You should read it, it'll help make things clearer. The word cycle, in reference to an aquarium, means a process during which some specific types of bacteria in the filter consume the ammonia or nitrite from a tank and convert it to less toxic compounds. Ammonia is what the fish poop turns into first, then nitrite, last nitrate. Nitrite is as bad as ammonia is, nitrate is less toxic, but not non toxic. You need appropriate filters, well maintained, [cleaned] regularly, and regular partial water changes to keep nitrate levels down once the tank has cycled.

Pyrrolin, I just wanted to clarify a bit, the term 'bio load' refers to the organic waste from a tank that produces ammonia when it breaks down. Poop from the livestock, left over fish food, dead animals & dead plant matter all contribute to bio load. There is also biofilm, which is literally a slick feeling film of bacteria and other small organisms that forms on all surfaces in a tank over time. It's a good food source for fish fry or shrimp & snails, but it takes a few months to build up enough to serve as a food source. Biofilm doesn't add much to bioload, though I suppose it does contribute something. Bacteria eat and poop too.

I mentioned it in case there might have been any confusion with the bacteria that are needed for effective filtration. The filter bacteria are not part of a bioload. They process the ammonia which results from the bioload, as the water passes through the filter.

No question that Goldfish are very popular, but they have needs you should meet, for them to be healthy. They are one of the dirtiest fish, because they eat so much. What goes in must come out the other end :-). As others have said, you need to greatly increase the filtration for this tank.

Goldfish make pretty bad tank mates for tropical fish like neons, for a couple of reasons. For one, Goldlfish prefer rather cold water, compared to the temperatures many tropical fish need. There are 'tropical' fish that like cooler water, but Neons are not one of them. Goldfish don't need a tank heater, Neons do. Temperatures too high or low cause stress. Stress can kill fish. It harms their immune systems, weakens the animals, and even if it doesn't kill outright, it may shorten lifespans dramatically. Instead of five or more years, a Neon might live only a year, or only a few months.

Also, the warmer the water is, the less oxygen it can hold. Goldfish living in water warm enough for Neons may end up gulping air at the surface, thanks to an oxygen shortage in the water. Another stress for them.

The same holds for Neons kept in water that's too cold; stress. And as has been said, goldfish will eat neons. A rule of thumb is that if a fish or shrimp is small enough to fit inside the mouth of another fish, chances are good the larger fish will eat the smaller one. Sooner or later, Neons will be snack bites for goldfish.

Goldfish grow fast. Even if they are small now, they won't be for long. Though you have a fair size tank, once the goldfish grow, you won't have room for any other fish. Goldfish are also infamous for destroying scapes and plants. If you are hoping for a pretty planted tank, sorry to say, but Goldfish will probably make a mess of it. They like to dig plants up and eat a number of them.

The greenwater you describe may be from too much light, or too much bioload - fish poop or food leftovers rotting in the tank.. because they're not being filtered out properly. Frequent partial water changes help. Make sure fish are fed no more than they can eat completely in 3 minutes, not more than twice a day. Shorten the hours for the light.

If you have only one 30W bulb over this tank, there are very few plants that will grow under it. Java ferns, anubias or java moss should, once the water clears up, but for anything else you'll need more light.

It would help us to help you, if you get the test kit and find out what your water parameters are. Parameters are the physical properties of the tank: Temperature; pH; water hardness, which is referred to as GH & KH; levels of ammonia, nitrite and/or nitrate.

A fully cycled tank would have tests that read Zero ammonia, Zero nitrite, and ideally, less than 50 ppm. nitrate. Higher that that is toxic. pH & hardness won't affect the cycle, but do affect the fish. A tank needs to have water with values close to what your fish need for good health.

Softer, acidic water is preferred by fish like Neons or Angelfish, while harder, more alkaline water is better for Goldfish. Many fish are able to adapt to values that are not ideal for their species, up to a point, but big differences like the ones with Neons and Goldfish means either one or both species just won't get what they need. It's important to keep the values as stable as possible, without large variations in pH or hardness between one water change and the next.
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Last edited by Fishfur; 05-15-2013 at 09:09 PM..
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:17 PM   #12
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Thanks for correcting and giving a better explanation of bio load, I didn't do a very good job on that part.

I also learned something, didn't know about the common issue with goldfish and plants. One of the many factors why plants don't do well in my son's goldfish tank. At least I have lots of plants to spare to replace in his tank. There are a large number of factors causing those plants to not do well, its a very tall tank, only a single t8 bulb, only gravel and not enough and the light is always on. Im surprised they last as long as they do.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:20 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone that reply for my cry. Looks like there are a lot that I have to modify. I guest I need to add one more filter, change filter cartage, change water, clean gravel, separate neon and goldfish, get a test kit.

But why don't I have the problem when I had a bare bottom tank?
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:46 PM   #14
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You have only had the tank for a few weeks. I am positive things were going to go like this with bare bottom or not.

Just a quick lesson on bacteria, the ones that keep the tank clean. They are on all surfaces inside the tank, on the filter, on the glass, on any plants, rocks, other ornaments, on the gravel and some in the water itself.

The main bulk of the good bacteria is in the filter, its the slime that is all over the inside of the filter. The filter's main job is to give a good home for the bacteria and to constantly move water from the tank which contains all the fish waste and bringing that waste to the bacteria to eat and make safe for the fish.

There is cleaning a tank and there is cleaning a tank.

The only time we actually clean a tank is if is an old unused tank that we want to have running again.

normally when we say cleaning a tank, its just things like removing excess waste from the gravel with a gravel vacuum during a water change. Or if the filter has a sponge part that is just for grabbing debris from the water, we rinse it out. If the inside glass it dirty, we use a scrapper or scrubby that is only ever used for the aquarium to remove algae. Sometimes after a very long period of time, many months or years, the filter can get gummed up with a thick film of dead bacteria, they live and die and keep growing. In this case you may need to scrape off some of the inside of the filter.

Trick to keeping things in balance, meaning making sure you keep lots of bacteria is to do things in stages. If you were to do a water change, clean the gravel, clean the inside glass and do some cleaning on the filter all on the same day, you would lose too much bacteria and cause problems. You want to space things out. The main thing is the filter, if you have to do cleaning in the filter, make sure you do not touch anything else for a couple days. It is ok to clean glass, gravel and a water change on the same day. water changes does not mean removing all the water and refilling, that would really mess things up. Generally the most water you would want to change in one day is 50 percent and normally that is just for extreme cases. The general rule for water changes is 10 percent a week and you can adjust from there depending on stock, feeding, plants.

If you need to rinse out a filter sponge, it is strongly recommended that you do it in some used tank water. The reason is, this water does not contain chlorine which kills bacteria. Normally when we need to clean a sponge we are also doing a 10 percent water change, use this water you removed to clean the sponge. The sponge is probably not the main holder of good bacteria but it is an important one, so keeping some bacteria alive on it is to your benefit.
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:09 AM   #15
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pyrrolin i think he mentioned that his tank has been setup 1 year ago and that it was bare bottom until now.

Chi you really didnt answer our questions though. Did you rinse the gravel before putting it in the tank? and is the water green or is the glass green? if you can snap a few pictures it would really help us understand it more. Were there always plants in your tank even a year ago? Do you vacuum your gravel since you started putting it in? If you can provide your water parameters too that would help sorta. Thanks and goodluck
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:21 AM   #16
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Not a new tank but new setup.

New setup could mean the tank is a year old but was empty for a while and was setup again.

It could just mean they added some gravel and plants, which wouldn't cause problems 99.9999% of the time.

Or it could mean they drained the tank, cleaned everything and set it up again, which would then make it a brand new tank cycling wise.

We need to know what new setup actually means in this case. My guess by the sudden problems is the system is started from scratch again.


I have a possible theory on the new problems. It could just be that the bulbs in the lights are too old, they are only good for about a year max if you want to push it. Bad light could be causing excess algae, green water possibly.

We need more information and clarification to narrow down the problem and cause and solutions.
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:43 AM   #17
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sorry pyrrolin i must of been mistaken then.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:00 AM   #18
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Hi everyone

The tank was clean up and restart recently. I mean clean tank, filter with beach and start over.
Yesterday I have 30% water change and had turned off light for 48 hr. Add another filter. When I check it this morning, the water looks a bit clear than before. Thanks for all the help. you gays are great.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chi View Post
...Thanks for all the help. you gays are great.
I can only speak for myself, but I love women. As for the others here, some of the things they write can be a little fishy...

You know where to find us.
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:51 PM   #20
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i am surprised not noticing anyone explicitly mentioning this (that I noticed), but if your water is turning green, it is what is known as an algae bloom. As I understand it (and I' not expert), and algae bloom will often occur during part of the tank cycle. You can google "algae bloom" and get piles of good info. And maybe some bad info to : )

Now, by cycle, we mean the nitrogen cycle, not just how much water is "cycling" through your filter. the fish poop and pee in the water. Their waste contains ammonia, which is bad for the fishies. However, your filter (and tank walls, plants, substrate, etc etc) will grow a colony of good bacteria, who will then convert ammonia to nitrite (still bad for fishies) and nitrite to nitrogen (only bad in large amounts). It takes time for the colony of bacteria to grow, and we call this "cycling" the tank, to set up the proper nitrogen cycle (ammonia > nitrite>nitrate).

You still need to remove nitrate. The way to do this is partial water changes. Each week, replace some of the tank water (between 10 and 25%, depending on how many fishies you have at the time, and if your nitrates are rising, which is what a test kit is good for).

I had no idea about this when I got my first tank, and put 4 goldfish in a 10 gallon. They died. The tank was not cycled, and that is WAAAAAAY to many goldfish for a 10. It is good you got a big tank, they are better and easier to deal with. I now have 2 healthy tanks, and happy fishies.

I hope these answers helped more than confused. I think an algae bloom is expected during this phase of your tank setting up a cycle, and I think the best thing to do it make a few 25% water changes. But google it, and get second opnions.

Good luck!

EDIT: oh I missed the whole second page of comments which covered much of this anyways! EEK!
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