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gtxxx gtxxx
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  • Posted on: 26/1/2010 21:49
Hello folks #1
I have had goldfish since I was a lad (at least 20 something year). I wouldn't call myself an enthusiast rather just a casual hobbiest and not ofay with the technicallities of fishkeeping but keen to learn. Currently I have four varieties of goldfish, a shunbunkin, algae eater, two apple snails, two Nirite snails, four clawed shrimp, four cherry shrimp, and five tiger shrimp in a 21.1 gallon tank with two powerheads driving two undergravel filters. It's live planted mostly to the rear of the tank (apart from one plastic plant that my daughter insisted I put in) and have a log, with various ormnaments, some slate and natural stone.
http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq352/gtxxx_photo/IMG_1956.jpg
I used to clean the entire tank every six months or so and it's been four months since the last clean. I've decided to try using a gravel cleaner and am going to attempt to not clean out the tank if I can possibly help it and so far so good. I also bought a water butt to try and use that for water changes rather than using tap water but the last 20% change seems to have left the tank more acidic than the tetra six in one test strips goto. I have performed another water change with tap water standing 24hr and it's come back a little but the apple snails have taken to hiding for the minute so I think maybe another is called for soon. It's a pity cause I thought the water butt would be the best source of clean non chlorinated water. Anyway I'm looking into setting up a fancy tank soon so will keep you posted. (hope the link works )
GT
Violet Violet
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  • Posted on: 27/1/2010 20:15
Re: Hello folks #2
Hi gtxxx, welcome to FK

TBH, no need to clean out an entire tank every 6 months, little and often is usually the way. Much easier and far less back breaking

Simply wiping the glass panes every week followed by a weekly water change of 25% (possibly more depending on existing stock and water readings), whilst hoovering the gravel of all poo, uneaten food etc is more common TBH. 100% water changes can shock fish due to changes in pH so not recommended. It would be helpful see know your recent tank reading for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate if possible. There are some excellent care sheets/articles here that you may find helpful, just two of them copied here.

The first one will be invaluable for setting up your new fancy tank

http://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles ... -size-life-expectancy.htm

http://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles ... e-to-the-water-change.htm

Collected rain water is not ideal as it often has lots of nasties in it, where has it run off from ? flat roofs etc that are not clean, air and traffic pollution and the pH can vary dramatically from tap water once left for 24 hours. The water would need to be filtered through carbon and filter wool first and possibly UV too, at the exact rate to ensure safety.

Far better to use tap water, pre treated for Chloramines and Chlorine and brought up to temp with hot water from the kettle, or the tap if you have a combi boiler. If the butt water is very acidic as you say, the snails may not be happy, nor the goldies actually.
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suey2 suey2
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  • Posted on: 27/1/2010 21:16
Re: Hello folks #3
Hi gtxxx - welcome to FK Just going to move you to coldwater
It's Not Just A Fish
gtxxx gtxxx
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  • Posted on: 27/1/2010 21:22
Re: Hello folks #4
Thank you very much for your help. I was surprised to learn that they live for fifteen years that would explain why my longest living fish was indeed fifteen. I only have test strips at the minute but will get a master kit soon for more accurate readings. Are there additives that can bring the water into more acceptable pH levels? I have heard that the snails are more sensitive to water change that would exlain why the apples are hiding. The fish are all displaying well and seem happy enough and in fact appear to be growing. The cherry/tiger shrimp were added before xmas a month after the clawed ones. I don't see much of the newer ones but the clawed ones have made themelves at home and we see them every day and are molting. It's fun seeing them face up to the fish. the plants are fiarly new and to be honest I've had problems with them before but thought I'd better try again. I have a small problem with green algae but so far it's limited to some of the ornaments so easy enough to take out and scrub (at the minute leaving it to see if the snails or the algae eater can deal with it). Anyway thanks agian.
GT
gtxxx gtxxx
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  • Posted on: 27/1/2010 21:23
Re: Hello folks #5
Oh. OK, sorry newbie mistake
GT
Violet Violet
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  • Posted on: 27/1/2010 21:40
Re: Hello folks #6
Hi gtxxx, do not add pH treatments to the tank. They cause water pH to yo-yo up and down which is very bad for the fish. Far safer to do it naturally over a longer period of time or house fish suited to your local water.

?Hardness? article courtesy and copy right of The Tropical Tank website (www.thetropicaltank.co.uk). This site explains it very well and text reproduced below.

?The hardness of water is related to the dissolved minerals in contains. The total hardness is usually regarded as consisting of two components: general hardness (GH) and carbonate hardness (KH). General hardness is caused by divalent metal ions, primarily calcium and magnesium. Carbonate hardness is due to carbonate/bicarbonate ions, and represents the main 'buffering capacity' of the water, i.e. its ability to resist pH changes. KH and pH are therefore inter-related: if KH is high, the pH will be very stable (and difficult to alter), if KH is low (e.g. less than 3 degrees KH) then the pH will be less stable.

Carbonate hardness is sometimes referred to as 'temporary' hardness, because it can be removed by boiling, which precipitates the carbonates. The remaining hardness contributed by other salts of calcium and magnesium is then referred to as permanent hardness, or non-carbonate hardness.

Note that a confusing number of units have been used to refer to hardness values, including different English, American, German and French degrees of hardness!

Increasing hardness is normally fairly easy. Adding decor to the tank which will gradually leach hardening salts (such as limestone rock) is one way. Hardening materials such as coral gravel could also be added to a canister filter. There are also commercially available hardening salts - these are often used for tanks containing cichlids from the African rift lakes, which are hard and alkaline.

Decreasing hardness can be done in two main ways: dilution with softer water, or adsorption of hardening ions. Some people use reverse osmosis (RO), distilled, deionised (DI) or rainwater to dilute their tapwater to a hardness suitable for their fish. Note that hardness has a fairly straight-forward relationship with dilution. For example, if your tapwater has a GH of 10 and you use half tapwater and half pure water, the GH will be 5.?

Water Hardness (GH) : Terms and Conversion

mg/l CaC03 / oDegrees of Hardness / Described as:

0 - 50 / 0 - 3 / soft
50 - 100 / 3 - 6 / fairly soft
100 ? 200 / 6 - 12 / slightly hard
200 - 300 / 12 - 18 / moderately hard
300 - 540 / 18 - 30 / hard
540 plus / 30 plus / very hard"

Personal comment:
The oDegrees of Hardness equate to how many drops of tester solution with the API tester kits are needed to read the results.

For example, if it takes 3 drops of reactant to change the test tube from blue to yellow that = soft water. 15 drops would mean moderately hard etc.

What are your current pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings?
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suey2 suey2
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  • Posted on: 27/1/2010 22:23
Re: Hello folks #7
Quote:

gtxxx wrote:
Oh. OK, sorry newbie mistake
GT


Not a problem at all, no need to apologise Just that you're likely to get more advice in this section
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Miss Pennyapple Miss Pennyapple
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  • Posted on: 28/1/2010 13:39
Re: Hello folks #8
Don't think anyone mentioned this yet, but you are waaaay overstocked for a 95L tank. That is only suitable for 2 fancy goldfish and even then, they would likely outgrow that and require a larger tank. 40L per fancy goldfish is what is required, and 80L for the shubunkin.
165L AquaOne - 1 Blackmoor, 1 red telescope fantail, 1 white telescope, 1 panda moor

Tank upgrade on its way!
gtxxx gtxxx
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  • Posted on: 28/1/2010 20:13
Re: Hello folks #9
Was beginning to think that after reading some of the posts on sizing here, strange though cause several of the fish I've had over the years have lived quite a number of years and some to 12-15 years, but never got big right enough (Pets at Home and Dobbies have got it wrong as it was those guys, years ago I might add, that advised on stocking, and before that there was no internet and very few books, GOD IT MAKES ME FEEL OLD ). My sister is possibly looking to offload her six foot tank so maybe I'll drop her a line especially as they seem to be growing. As I said I don't have a master test kit and am relying on test strips at the minute and everything seems to be OK apart from the pH, which if I were a guessing man, would be around 6.1-6.3, but I'll know more when the test kit arrives and let you know. (got my volume wrong 106L - still too small)
GT
Miss Pennyapple Miss Pennyapple
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  • Posted on: 28/1/2010 22:06
Re: Hello folks #10
Hiya, I think getting a larger tank of 200L plus for the 3 fancies would be sensible. The Shuunkin will get even bigger than the fancy goldies so you should consider rehoming him to a pond in the spring. I think you said you had an algea eater thing in there too? Not suitable tank mate for goldies - can get boistrous and injure the goldies and they like to eat the slimecoat off the goldies! Yuck!

Yes, get a test kit asap, the strips are no good. I'm going to guess that your Nitrate level will be high as your very overstocked. I struggle with my nitrate level and I have 4 fancies in 165L which is why i'm upgrading to 260L asap. And that Ph is a concern, too low for goldies, but I've never really understood the Ph thing so can't advise on what to do about it. What is your tap PH?
165L AquaOne - 1 Blackmoor, 1 red telescope fantail, 1 white telescope, 1 panda moor

Tank upgrade on its way!