I am also quite ?anti-chemical? when it comes to my tank but again of course, this is just my approach.
Some fishkeepers like pumping their tanks full of all sorts of products that claim to reduce algae / reduce cloudiness / de-stress fish / raise or lower ph etc etc but in reality you shouldn?t need any more than a good de-chlorinator as a chemical to add to your tank, if you find yourself using lots of chemicals for things you could be disguising an underlying problem with the tank that needs addressing.
The kit you are referring to includes Prime, Stability & Clarity.
I can?t really comment on Stability & Clarity as I?ve never used them and as much as I respect Seachem and their products I tend to be suspicious of products that claim to ?fast track? and seed a biofilter. The only way the biofilter can develop is through a gradual process of introducing ammonia into a tank preferably by fish-less cycling - that could be what this Stability contains, ammonia but as your fish are already producing ammonia for the tank I would be unsure as to its benefits.
Clarity reduces cloudiness in tanks but I don?t know of any other benefits to it?s use.
I would just get a big bottle of Prime rather than get the headstart kit but it?s only my personal opinion ? I am happy to be shot down by anyone else who has a better experience of these other 2 products.
I welcome any one else on here to disagree with me but I would move the fish + filter (very important you move the filter as well) into the new tank, this will at least dilute the toxins slightly but you should keep up with the water changes as 54l is still way too small a tank.
If cost is an issue, take a look on ebay for tanks, I bought my 200l tank for ?40 and that came with a stand / filter and hood & light! I also picked up my 600l tank with wooden cabinet for ?200!
One thing that will help (and I should have mentioned earlier) is a water conditioner called Seachem Prime, it is water conditioner like any other but it contains chemicals that "bind" ammonia into a non-toxic form that should at least reduce the toxicity on your fish, the beneficial bacteria will still continue to grow over the coming weeks but it should help reduce the toxic nature of your water.
If you search for it on the internet there are plenty of places that sell it, it may seem a bit pricey but it is very concentrated so you don't need a lot, use this at each water change but be careful you don't overdose - I used to use this on my old 200l tank, great stuff and lasts for ages.
Also, when you do your water changes make sure untreated tap water doesn't come into contact with your filter, the chlorine within tapwater kills off beneficial bacteria and you'll keep putting yourself back to square one with each water change so switch off your filter when you do water changes and only turn it back on once treated water is in the tank - does this make sense?
It's commendable that you are performing 50% water changes but you are really going to struggle keeping your water parameters in check with such a small tank, I won't mention anything more about tank size though as it seems as though you are aware they need a much bigger tank - I will say though that you need around 200l for 2 goldfish.
Ammonia at any level is extremely toxic to fish and they will be suffering from the presence of it in the water, same can be said of nitrite.
The tank is now cycling, a process which can take several weeks meaning at the initial stages the ammonia being produced by the fish isn't being processed into nitrite and then nitrate, the ammonia is staying in the water and is slowly poisoning the fish as there currently isn't a bacterial colony large enough in your filter to cope with the waste being produced by the fish, although this is slowly growing now.
Ideally the tank should be cycled (this can take typically 6-8 weeks) before any fish are put into the tank meaning that a sufficient colony of beneficial bacteria will have grown within the filter and the tank itself to covert any toxic waste produced by the fish into nitrate which is much less toxic than ammonia / nitrite - the nitrate levels can then be managed through regular water changes.
Unfortunately the tank is now cycling with fish in it which isn't ideal, the best you can do is do much larger water changes, 90%-ish and do them daily, this is the only way you'll be able to manage the ammonia levels and keep them down but this will be an on-going battle. As I mentioned earlier any presence of ammonia is seriously bad news, it will burn the gills of the fish and make them very unwell, not to mention shortening their overall lifespan and contributing to general ill-health over the course of their lives.
Keep testing your water, the kit you have is excellent - best of luck.
Just woke up this morning and did my usual check on the fish only to find one of the fish has a louse attached to his dorsal fin, unmistakable disc-shaped louse with moving legs, kind of green in colour - this may also explain why one of my other Oranda's has been kind of "off colour" for a couple of days.
I have been frantically looking up treatments this morning, I see Interpet do an Anti-Crustacean treatment (No.12) but this kills off the biological filter - as this is the only aquarium in my house I have no practical way of moving the filter & keeping the bacteria alive while I treat the tank and all of the inhabitants.
Does anyone know of any lice / parasite treatment that doesn't affect the biological filter OR know of a method where I could move the filter out and keep the bacteria alive for seven days while I treat the whole tank and the fish? I don't want to have to start the biological filter again from scratch especially when we're talking about 8 fancies in a 600l tank, far too risky in my opinion.
Ah that?s interesting, I hadn?t heard of that kind of behaviour before.
I did a large water change on Sat (50%) and tested the water Tues night, the nitrate levels appeared to be very low and I interpreted it as 0 on the chart (I use the API Freshwater testing kit, only bought it in March) so assumed the levels hadn?t built up enough but I?ll check again as that is an interesting thought.
I know a plethora of information has already been written about fancy goldfish and issues with swimbladder disorder but I thought I'd ask people's thoughts on this particular issue.
I have a 600l tank with 6 Oranda's, 1 Ranchu and 1 Lionhead - they are all healthy and swimming about happily however my black oranda has some buoyancy issues which I believe is food-related.
I used to feed the fish a combination of Hikari sinking pellet, frozen food & peas (on varying days, not in 1 sitting), feeding once in the morning and once in the evening.
I have owned the black oranda since April but over the past couple of months he has displayed problems with his swimming, in particular when he is feeding from the gravel his back-end lifts up to the point where it tips him over and he has to barrel-roll to "right himself" - his swimming overall is poor and he often appears to struggle whereas the others swim with relative grace (well as much as fancies can bearing in mind they aren't strong swimmers).
Around a month ago I withheld food for 4 days and this seemed to solve the problem, after this I fed the fish peas and he appeared to be ok.
I have also stopped feed Hikari and replaced this with Repashy Soilent Green, a gel food which is meant to be much better for fancies when it comes to SBD as I hear some fish can react badly to Hikari food.
But, over the past couple of weeks his buoyancy issues have come back, he isn't stuck at the bottom or at the top but he is definitely struggling with his swimming again.
I am currently feeding once in the morning and once in the evening, any suggestions as to how I can alleviate this issue for him? None of the other fish in the tank have ever displayed any SBD issues.
PH - 7.2 (I use crushed coral to raise the ph as I am in a softwater area) Nitrate - 0 Nitrite - 0 Ammonia - 0