Hi, I'm rather new to the Hobby, and new to this forum. if you want to get straight to the question scroll to the end....
My Fish raising adventure started a bit less than a month ago. while at a pet store in a mall, I felt the urge to get a gold fish and put it in a bowl, i had no clue at the time of how bad an idea that was, not the fish, the bowl.
I picked a picture perfect common goldfish about 6cm long, and got it a plastic bowl, some food, and off we went. within a couple of hours of getting home, i noticed the water going yellow, i decided to change the water immediately and realized something is wrong, so i started Googling about goldfish care, i read quite a bit, and the first thing i did, is go out and buy a 2 gallon aquarium and a power filter pump as well as some white gravel. at that moment i had not read enough about the nitrogen cycle, and the need to cycle an aquarium prior to introducing fish.
so i set up the aquarium, some fake palm trees, put in the filter, added the water, and then the fish. the fish seemed happy, but two days later the water started getting yellow, so i started changing the water at a rate of about 60% ever 3 days, and then about 50% every 4, and i got an air pump and air stone to make sure the water remains oxygenated, despite the fact that the water pump mentions that it oxygenates, i thought it wasn't enough. the fish seemed happy, but i had to travel, so the night before i left, i did a 60% change, instructed my wife to do a 30% water change in 3 days time to keep things within control, and i would come back 4 days later and carry on the schedule. but when i arrived the fish had a couple of black spots on its fins, again googled and discovered it's ammonia burns, very little but enough to get me worried about my picture perfect fish. so i changed all the water, i filtered about 30& of the old water through a coffee filter, came out surprisingly clean, and reintroduced the fish. the equipment i had washed in another batch of filtered old water to keep the bacteria in them as much as possible.
the ammonia burns haven't gotten worse, they look better i think. the fish seems happy, I'm siphoning the bottom of the tank more regularly 2-3 days, and adding fresh water instead of the dirty water that comes out, but still the water is murky...is there a way to make it crystal clear?
should i invest in a better filter pump? or should i replace the air rock with a sponge filter? would that solve my issue.
I'm planning on up-sizing the aquarium perhaps to triple it's size within 3 to 4 month, I'm on a specific budget here, i would love to get a 30 gallon tank later on and put a few fish in it.
some help would be appreciated, mainly the question is, how can i keep my water crystal clear?
p.s: I got a second comet goldfish, about 3 cm long, but i have sequestered in a smaller plastic aquarium, it has lost it's tail and most of its fins, and was seemingly stuck in a nose down position and barely moving for the past 4 days, this morning i noticed that he that he is swimming normally, almost, and he even ate his food from the top of the tank rather than wait for the flakes to sink to the floor then eat it...
For some reason, the computer became very upset and erased my first, long reply. I'll try to make it shorter this time.
Crystal clear water is not always healthy water. From the looks of your aquarium, the filter may be producing too much turbulence and thus keeping fine particles suspended in the water. The air stone may be adding to the turbulence. It works by breaking up the water surface and allowing it to absorb oxygen. The air stone does not directly add oxygen, and the large filter is likely keeping the water surface stirred up enough.
The beneficial bacteria that power the nitrogen <email> primarily in the filter media and substrate. The substrate in your aquarium seems thin and coarse. You may want to add some finer, white gravel to provide better housing for the beneficial bacteria without changing looks. In addition, it's OK to pick up uneaten food from the substrate surface, but don't deep clean over half of it in any week. Remember the good cooties.
Fish are sensitive to rapid changes in water parameters, and changing a large percentage of the water at one time risks stressing them. The standard for established aquariums with a working nitrogen cycle is about 20 percent a week. You will know the nitrogen cycle is working when ammonia and nitrite consistently measure zero.
If I'm seeing the photograph correctly, the aquarium is only about 2/3 full. It should be filled to within an inch or less of the rim. To prevent evaporation and jumping fish, the aquarium should have a full hood (cover). Most aquarium shops sell glass hoods.
Finally, goldfish can become very large and messy. They need large aquariums and careful maintenance. Two large goldfish in a small aquarium is over crowding and will upset the biological balance.
from the looks of ur aquarium it looks very nice but only for a betta. a commet goldfish r one of the bigger ones that u can get for cheap. there also known as feeders. urs looks very nice. but a commet and get anywhere from 9-10 inches some times 11-12 depending on how gud u take care of them. so saying how big they get u would need at least a 55 gallon for 2 commet goldfish and if u wanted to get a pleco or 2. u could probly get away with keeping them in a 50 gallon tank. its just commets make gud pond fish not so gud aquarium fish cuz of how big they get. goldfihs r my fave typ of fish to have i have many many goldfish of all dif kinds shapes sizes and colors in my pond. also like i tell other ppl goldfish r not compatible with anyother fish except plecos and golden dojo louches the reason for this they both can live in cold water like goldfish alot of other fish need warmer water so there not compatible. also ppl will tell ya no fish is compatible with goldfish but a pleco but as long as u have a gud strong filter and do 25% water changes 2 times a week u will be ok with having fish. now to ur reall ? how to keep the water clean. john pretty much said it all. lol. but in a bigger aquarium where the filter is not moving the water to much u can go to walmart pr petsmart and get water clarifyers. i get mine at walmart and they look redich and r in a small container. all u do is add 1 drop per gallon or water.
Thanks John... i keep my filter at minimum power, and the air pump on low during the day and i switch that off at night to give the fish a quasi silent night. the picture was taken right after i set up the tank and before i added the air stone, and since, i have increased the water level to about an inch from the top.
about the filter, i was concerned that this might be the issue with water turbidity, so I'm thinking of getting an outer filter which will be able to slow down the water flow back into the tank, or at least i can break it up somehow and slow it down to minimize water turbulence. i was also thinking of getting a smaller air pump for that aquarium, the one i got seems just too powerful even on the low setting. plus it's noisy and I'm sure that stresses the fish out...it stresses me out sometimes...
Good idea about the hood, I'm always worried that Bubbles jumps out of his tank... but I'm cautious of spending too much on this tank as i plan to triple its size within 3 month, i will have to come up with an alternate solution.
and about the pebbles, i was thinking going to a river nearby, it's still hasn't regained its full flow, and try to find finer substance on its shores. i will also be getting a gravel vacuum to make sure i pull out all the leftovers and waste with minimum disruption, as it is now, I'm doing it with a small hose, it kicks back a lot of the stuff back into the water possibly flaring up the ammonia levels.
I'm kind of looking forward to a new tank which i can set up properly from the start.
ps: I'm from Lebanon, we have plenty of fish stores, but i have realized that many are shark pits wanting to take your money and most of their advice is bogus just so they can sell (naturally). it's not my first hobby, and i tend to take them seriously, in my last hobby, let go for expenses, i went so anal that i ended up snatching 2nd place nationally, runner up to a guy with 4 times my budget, so i will do my best within budget and ability to find the equipment i need to have the best fish. however i still haven't been able to find ammonia and nitrite test strips that resemble the litmus paper used for PH...will keep looking this weekend.
o yes pet stores will sell u fish with out tellin u any thing they just want u to come bakc and get more.
Don't clean the gravel too thouroughly, just clean off the surface for now. what you may e taking for gunk could be the bacteria starting to gro, and if you keep cleaning it out, you'll never solve your problem.
That being said, I'd return the goldfish and go for a different typre of fish. The average goldfish (fancy types), need about 15 gallons of water each, and should be kept in groups of about 3, because they are social. That means a minimum of 40-45 gallons. That being said, the commet is NOT a fancy goldfish- the commet is a pond fish, requiring about 150 gallons. The average lifespan of a properly-cared-for commet if about 20 years, yours will die in probably about 2-4 years at best.
Goldfish release a hormone when in a container too small for their adult size. This hormone stops the grownth of their skelton, with the hope that it will live just long enough to reproduce. However, the organs and eyes will continue to grow in the too-small body, until the fish dies, usually from multiple-organ system failure.
I would suggest you continue to read about the nitrogen cycle, and invest in a test kit for pH, ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite.
As has been said, clear water and healthy water are too differnt things. You can't see ammonia, so your water could be crystal clear but deadly. Or your water could be dark but healthy. In fact, I remove the carbon from my filters, and let driftwood stain my water a dark amber color. It's not right for all fish, but since I keep fish from the Amazon, the darker water is actually better for them.
I would like to add that while some advice is just to sell more, some if it, as expensive as it sounds, is legit and very important to maintaining a healthy aquarium. It is an expensive hobby. ALWAYS do your research before buying, and ask questions.
Ammonia test kits usually employ reagents and a small sample tube, not the dip strips. If you can't find test equipment, you may have to rely on fish behavior. For example, ammonia burns gills and makes the fish gasp for air at the water surface. Even small concentrations produce stress and can make the fish lethargic.
I'm not sure about import restrictions in Lebanon, but lots of aquarium supply shops advertise on the internet; they offer a huge variety of aquarium products.
Our forum has members from all over the world, but you may be the first from Lebanon. We would all enjoy seeing some pictures and learning more about aquarium keeping in Lebanon.
Hi John, thanks a million for that priceless nugget of wisdom you shared.
I had a scheduled water change yesterday night, I'm typically siphoning 30% now, and after i had done that, and cleaned the filter, water remained clearer this time around, i observed Bubbles' movement. although i fed him, he kept surfacing and moving around the tank. i was worried, so i changed the water again hoping, that if the ammonia level were high that I'd dropped them significantly with two water changes back to back.
i will have to go around and shop more for the ammonia test kits to help me keep my mind at ease.
i also addressed the current issue within the aquarium,i raised the power filter, and added a nozzle that seems to soften the flow, i put it a bit over the waterline so the water drops down rather than jet out...i also restricted the air pump tube and placed some more rocks over the air rock to break up the bubbles. the difference in water turbidity was instant.
i know i need a bigger tank and will enlarge it soon.
as for the fish himself, find a photo or 2 attached. and in the photo i noticed that there are more ammonia burns on the fins than i could see live, the flash brought them out i guess. means the condition was worse than i initially thought.
would these black spots disappear once conditions are improved and chemical balance in the water is achieved?
One more thing, do you think the sound of the submersible pump is bothering him, because he seems calmer when i switch it off during the cleaning process...
thanks again, and I hope the rest of the beginner readers are benefiting from my beginner's experience
The goldfish appears to be healthy, and any damage should heal after the water quality issues are solved.
Since water is a very good transmitter of sound, a noisy pump/filter could be distracting her. You can substitute a hang on the back filter or a box or under gravel type filter that is operated entirely by an air pump. Valves in the airline can then control output, and an additional valve can be used to bleed off excess pressure. Often, this will quiet the air pump.
In any aquarium air pump, it's useful to install a one way valve (check valve). This will prevent a back syphon in the event of a power outage. The bleed valve, if one is used, should be installed between the pump and check valve.
Hi John, Everyone, Happy New Year...
This is a short update (tried to make it short),
Since I've stopped the continuous operation of the air pump, and moved the power filter pump outlet to above water line, the current inside my small tank has normalized, i presume oxygenation remains OK with this setup.
the water is very clear, and it no longer smells of anything, I suspect the Ammonia Level has either been reached or very close to zero now. Bubbles seems to be acting very normally, and happy. i have recently found pellet goldfish food in my regular supermarket. since i started giving that sort of food, for the past 3 days now it seems that his poop is sort of cleaner and healthier, the pellets dont sink so they are easy to remove and i dont think they contaminate the tank as much as the flakes. i still give him flakes, but less than before i alternate the type of foods to keep him balanced, but he does seem happier than ever.
I still have some issue with the filter pump making noise, and I'm looking around for a silent exterior pump will update when i find it...
Looking to up-size the tank by March, so i should purchase it sometime in early Feb to set it up and run this one properly before bubbles can roam in his new home...
take care all of you, and thank you for all your input...
You're very welcome. Please keep us updated.
I want to know this too! I have a betta and his water is now crystal clear! What I did is, I got a bucket and filled it with 69 degree 1 1/2 gallon water. I left it sitting for 8-9 hours. In the morning it was 70 degrees. (A perfect tempature for a fish) So I sprayed this conditioner stuff in the bucket with the water. I got the conditioner with the aquarium I bought my Betta. Anyways this conditioner stuff put stuff in the water to dissolve bacteria or germs. Now the water was clear. I poured it in my Bettas tank and he loves the tempature and his water. It's really clear. Now I try my hardest to clean our any food my Betta didn't eat to keep his water clear. I change it every 6/7 days now. Good Luck with your fish! Hoped I helped!
Unless it's a real emergency, twice a day partial water changes may be somewhat excessive.
Add perlite in the filter cartrigde and that will keep the water clear and it is non toxic and natural thats what I use
like this to try u v light and big size aquarium stone and gravel filter
Goldfish need 30+ gallons and Milky water is common in new tanks.
Hi John could you help.when my tank light is on the water is crystal clear but when the light is off it looks to have a slight green ting.is this normal.
Please do not post on old posts. if you have a question make a new post.