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New Aquarium

Discussion in 'Fish and Aquarium - all types' started by swtnpink, Jun 26, 2004.

  1. swtnpink

    swtnpink New Member

    I've never had an aquarium before and decided to get one to help "liven" up my apartment a bit.

    I got an 18 gallon tank yesterday and is planning to put in 3 small goldfishes (no more than 2 inches).

    I have a 20 gallon filter made by top fin in it and i put a thermometer and an ammonia detector in the tank. I've put in two conditioners made by kordon in the tank that should remove any nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, chlorine, chloramines, and detoxifies any heavy metals last night.

    I did attempt to take care of some fishes when I was little but they all died of funky diseases... at the time I had no idea what it was but now I know some of the things they died of was from ick, fungal growth, and (i forgot the name, but it's where the scales starts sticking out and makes it look like its cold... i just know it's deadly and incurable as soon as those symptoms starts to show). I'm just kind of scared my goldfishes will die from my carelessness and lack of knowledge and I wouldn't want to repeat any of the same mistakes, so...

    My question are as follows:

    (1) Is there anything I'm missing for my aquarium?
    (2) How long should I wait before I go buy my goldfishes?
    (3) Under gravel filtration system... should i have one? and why?
    (4) Stress coat solution, when should I put these in? (because i know that fishes get stressed when they are placed in a new environment... should I put the stress stuff in my tank the same day i put my fishes in?)

    That's all I really want to know for now. I really want to get my fishes NOW but I'm pretty sure it's still too soon and my tank is not in the proper condition to have fishes yet. Any suggestions and or tips for a beginning like me to keep a nice healthy aquarium?
     
  2. misssmurf26

    misssmurf26 New Member

    goldfish need 10 gallons per fish. are you running a fishless cycle? you need pure ammonia for that. I'm not an expert on goldfish as I only have tropical tanks but I do know that you need to cycle the tank.
     
  3. OneWolvesDream

    OneWolvesDream New Member

    (1) Is there anything I'm missing for my aquarium? looks like you have most of it.
    (2) How long should I wait before I go buy my goldfishes? wait at the least 24 hours but thats still not good for the fish. i usually wait a week or two
    (3) Under gravel filtration system... should i have one? and why? they are nice to have but not needed. your normal filter is the same just diff is the sound. it is a lot more silent
    (4) Stress coat solution, when should I put these in? (because i know that fishes get stressed when they are placed in a new environment... should I put the stress stuff in my tank the same day i put my fishes in?) only use it is really needed. it is bad to add chemicals "just because" if the fish look like they are under large levels of stress then add the coat.

    hope i helped.
     
  4. misssmurf26

    misssmurf26 New Member

    goldfish need 10 gallons per fish. are you running a fishless cycle? you need pure ammonia for that. I'm not an expert on goldfish as I only have tropical tanks but I do know that you need to cycle the tank.
     
  5. swtnpink

    swtnpink New Member

    i think i'm running a fishless cycle... there's no fishes in my tank yet... and it's been about 24 hours now o_O

    Thanks for all the answers OneWolfsDream, it was extremely helpful =)

    I'll probably wait probably 3-4 more days and buy a water test kit to check my water before I put any fishes in my tank. I'm probably going to bring in a sample to the pet store as well just to double check ^^
     
  6. Fish Addict

    Fish Addict New Member

    i think you need to wait to till you cycle your tank before putting fish in unless your going to cycle with fish that means your fish will prolly die check at mine site www.bryansaquarium.com on cycling or just go online and type in cycling a aquarium
     
  7. mknuth

    mknuth New Member

    You can also speed up the cycle by adding "Cycle" to the tank then test after a few days. Goldfish are pH sensitive, so keep an eye on it. :)
     
  8. Fish Addict

    Fish Addict New Member

    Cycle doesn't work there is only one product that does if it isn't refrigerated at the active bacteria will be dead i forget what it is call but tchelle know lol ill let her take this one
     
  9. Fish Addict

    Fish Addict New Member

    oh its called Bio-Spira
     
  10. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    (1) Is there anything I'm missing for my aquarium?
    It sounds like you have pretty much all the equipment you'll need. However, an air stone/bubble wall might be a good idea. Also, how many gallons/hour is your filter rated at? Even though filters will say they're good for up to a certain sized tank, they generally aren't. The general rule with HOB filters is you need a turnover rate of 10x the volume of the tank. So you would need a filter rated for at least 180 gallons/hour.

    (2) How long should I wait before I go buy my goldfishes?
    The safest and best way to guarantee that your tank is cycled (w/o harming any fish) is to do a fishless cycle. I recommend reading this article:
    http://www.flippersandfins.net/cycling.htm

    Also, as others have said goldfish need at least 10gallons per fish. However, I'm really not a firm believer in this rule. Even the smallest types of goldfish get about 6" - 8" long. IMO, 10 gallons for an 8" goldfish isn't nearly enough space. Just try to imagine 3 grapefruit-sized goldfish swimming around in your tank. It's gonna be pretty cramped. I really think that 25 gallons each should be the bare minimum (meaning bigger is even better). There's also common/comet goldfish and koi. Both of which are much better suited for ponds than aaquariums.


    (3) Under gravel filtration system... should i have one? and why?
    Personally, I don't like undergravel filters. They're not nearly as efficient as power filters and they tend to trap all kinds of junk underneath the filter plate. Plus if you have any sort of fish that likes to dig, they will uncover the plate rendering the whole system pretty much useless. Personally, I prefer canister filters, but they're not really cost effective for that size tank so in your case, an HOB filter will be fine (remember, 180 gallons/hour).

    (4) Stress coat solution, when should I put these in? (because i know that fishes get stressed when they are placed in a new environment... should I put the stress stuff in my tank the same day i put my fishes in?) Personally, I never use Stress Coat and my fish are fine. As long as your water quality is good, you shouldn't have too many illnesses. Maybe an initial bout of ich just from them being around so many other fish at the LFS, but after that if you keep the water parameters in check, feed a healthy diet, and don't introduce any other fish w/o quarantining first, they should stay fairly healthy. Plus, most LFS's will add some sort of Stress Coat type med when they bag your fish.

    -Chelle
     
  11. Obelix

    Obelix New Member

    I dont want to sound contrary but I've personally had alot of sucess with Aquarium Pharmisuticals Cycle
     
  12. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Unless you're adding ammonia to the tank, you're not cycling it. The bacteria need ammonia to feed on. W/o a source of ammonia, you're not going to get any bacteria.

    -Chelle
     
  13. Fish Addict

    Fish Addict New Member

    was it in the frigde when you bought it
     
  14. swtnpink

    swtnpink New Member

    OMG, I didn't know about the gallons/hour thing so I went to check my filter and it said 100 gallons per hour! I guess this isn't a strong enough filter for my tank?

    I think I got the gist of fishless cycling (I can't do a regular cycling because I'd FEEL AWFUL if any fishes DIED due to high levels of ammonium in my tank... I think that's kind of wrong as well to have "test" fishes in my tank during cycling :shock: )

    I'm still confused as to where the "good bacteria colony" will grow. From my understanding, it grows in the little filter pouches... but I'm suppose to change those every month or so... so wouldn't that mean that I'm throwing away those "good bacteria colony"? Would that mean I'd have to cycle it again?

    Aiya, I'm so confused... I was SO looking forward to getting fishes in a couple of days =/

    Well, I'm really appreciating all the feedback I'm getting... Any info is good because I don't want my goldfishes to die.

    Thanks for all the information so far guys! =)
     
  15. swtnpink

    swtnpink New Member

    haha, I'm stupid, I just looked at my little test strip thing and it said that 50-150 ppm for GH is ideal for my goldfish... haha, and this whole time I thought 100 ppm was too high just because it matched up with "hard water"...

    So, according to my test kit, it's safe for me to put fishes in my tank... but I need to cycle it first? I guess this is a stupid question but... how IMPORTANT is it that I cycle it :lol: I REALLY want fishes NOW!!! :cry:
     
  16. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    If you just get another filter like the one you have, you'll be fine. About 90% of the good bacteria grows on the filter media. You should never completely replace it. Instead, when you do a water change put some of the old tank water in a bucket and rinse the media out in that. It won't thoroughly clean the media, but it will get most of the loose gunk off.

    I'm guessing it will probably take at least 2 or 3 weeks to cycle your tank. I know it's hard staring at an empty tank, but you'll just have to be patient. You could ask the LFS if they will give you a little bit of media fro their filters. That will seed the tank and help speed up the cycle a bit.

    And remember, at the most, you can only keep one goldfish in there. If you want more than one fish, you'll have to either get a larger tank or smaller fish. Things like tetras, barbs, danios, or livebearers would be okay in an 18 gallon tank.

    -Chelle
     
  17. swtnpink

    swtnpink New Member

    The fancy goldfishes I'm going to get are REALLY small, they're practically babies... Are you sure I can't keep three of them in there? I hate it when my fishes look "lonely"... Honestly, they're no more than an inch big... I know they grow up to about a foot long, but for now I was planning to keep all 3 in my 18 gallon tank and then getting another 18 gallon tank in about a year and separate them. This should be fine right?

    I still haven't bought my goldfishes yet because I wanna hear all of ya'lls opinions before I do so ^^ My tank has been running with a filter and conditioner in it for about 3 days now and I started my fishless cycling this morning :lol: I put in some "Bacteria Starter for Aquariums" made by Proquatics that's suppose to help grow bacteria without having to put fishes in my tank.

    I also got a new filter made by Tetra called a Whisper Power Filter 40 that does 210 gph for my 18 gallon tank. I thought it was a nice filter because it has 50% more carbon and it has an extra "bio-foam" that I dont need to change that allows cultivation of the "good bacterias". This way i can still change my filter without having to worry about re-cycling my tank to grow them bacterias again.

    What do you guys think? good or bad so far?

    I love my local pet store... they let me return both the filters i bought and the 10 gallon fish tank even though I've used it already. The people there are so nice and they're not annoyed to see me there almost every day ^^ Haha, I've made friends with the workers at the pet store!!!
     
  18. Hooben

    Hooben New Member

    Okay you want everybodys opinion, here goes.

    First welcome to the forum, I think we have the friendliest group of people here. Now the hard part. Goldfishes are not beginner fishes and really do better in small ponds, outside. Somehow people have made us believe that they are a great beginner fish. For my kids it was elmo, and the movies. They are big producers of ammonia and will clog up your filters quicker than almost any other fish on the market. My suggestion to you is to research other fish choices out there that may catch your eye, while your tank cycles.
    Secondly, there is nothing more important than cycling a tank for the first time. Many people I know have lost a first batch of fishes, and then must start over as the tank is poisoned with ammonia. Without good bacteria then the ammonia cannot be cycled safely and will give your goldfish a slow death.
    Thirdly, the hardest part about fishkeeping is the wait. Read, do research and ask more than one fish shop what they "think" I am always looking in different shops, as everyone has fresh new ideas.
    I sincerely hope that you have a successful tank and good luck!

    Hooben
     
  19. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    By keeping fish in a tank that's too small, you risk stunting them which leads to weakened immune system, deformities, illnesses, and premature death. That combined with the possibility that your plans may fall through and you won't be able to get more/larger tanks makes it a really bad idea to try keeping them in an 18 gallon tank. You will have much better luck if you only stock the tank with fish that can live their entire lives in it.

    IMO, a vast majority of the "bacteria-in-a-bottle" products don't work because by the time you get it, the bacteria is already dead. And even if it was alive, if you don't add ammonia for it to feed on, it will die and the tank won't cycle. You NEED to add ammonia for the tank to cycle.

    Personally, I've had really bad experiences with Whisper filters. I had 4 die in less than a year and their customer service was no help. I'm not saying you should return the filter, just keep an eye on it.

    -Chelle
     
  20. swtnpink

    swtnpink New Member

    whoa, why would a filter cause fishes to die? the carbon thingie in it isn't doing its job? o_O was it just one incident or more than one incident?
     

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