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  1. Susan, have you tried talking to the owner of the local pet store? Ask them if they're on the same water supply as you --- the city water. Ask them what they do to their water to prep it after water changes. Sometimes they have dealt with bad water and have a protocol they use for water changes. It's worth a try. As for the gravel. How deep is it in your tank? That could harbor nasties, and you may want to go with a thinner layer if too much gunk is in there. PRIME is what I use here in Virginia, and its fantastic stuff. I do very large water changes -- 50 to 80 percent on several tanks, especially the goldfish tanks. And the pond gets a 30-50 percent WC as well. All have PRIME as their water conditioner to remove cholorine and chloramines. Have you tested the pH of your tank water, and then tested the pH of your tap water? I have had problems in the past (when I used Amquel) with pH crashes. It caused all kinds of problems with the water in my fish room and I lost a lot of fish. The Amquel crashed the pH within 36 hours. This is typical with water that is low KH and has been documented all over the web. (Google: Amquel Aquarium pH crash) Anyway, I hope you find out what the problem is and let us know. Good luck.
  2. Just put the dechlor in before you add the water back in.... Spraying the water over the waterfall is a good idea as that oxygenates the water and degasses the chlorine a bit, but use the dechlor just to be on the safe side..... Good for you for vacuuming all the gunk off the bottom of your pond!
  3. I'm in the same boat, but with smaller numbers. I got 18 babies from a friend last summer and grew them out in the basement fish room all winter. They are getting rather large now and I'm doing twice-a-week water changes to keep the water up. The fins on the common babies are not up to my standards for my pond, so I'll probably try to rehome the ten fish with common tails. The others are fancy tails and they are happy growing out in a 75 gallon tank with mega-filtration (two Emperor 400's). I may move them to a pond of their own outside this summer though. I don't know yet..... A 700 gallon baby pool inside is impressive. I'd love to see a picture of that.... I'm really ready for these fish to move outdoors for the spring, but our weather is not cooperating yet. :-(
  4. The lights could be turned off during the day when there is other light in the room. That really will do the trick on the algae.
  5. I wouldn't stock the hot tub that heavily...... The fish will breed, so that has to be taken into account as well. Also, plants displace the water so that will lessen the number of gallons in the hot tub. Plants are an incredibly important part of the eco-system, so don't skip them..... The fish will feel much more secure with a lot of plants in the tank/tub. Ideally, you could start with a couple of water lilies in the bottom, maybe a pot of iris or two on a shelf, and a few pots of a submerged plant like anacharis. Goldfish love to nibble on the anacharis and it makes them feel secure to hide in it. You can float water lettuce and water hyacinth for them as well. I could see six to eight fish in a tub of that size to start with. You'll be surprised at how easily they will breed.....
  6. When in May are you leaving? If it's the end of the month you'll probably be alright. Do a big water change before you leave. Will someone be feeding him while you are gone? Don't forget to add dechlorinator/water conditioner to your water when you do all those water changes.
  7. Take the siphon hose to the sink and fill it, then take it back to the tank and hold your thumb over both ends. Insert one end in the tank, and one end in the bucket, while still holding your thumb over the hose ends. Then take your thumb off the hose ends. The siphon will start automatically with no need to suck on one end of the hose. I do this with my Guppy tank because I can't use the Python with such small fish and it works every time. As for your goldfish, you can cycle the new filter, by doing a 50% water change every other day for a month. By then the filter will be cycled and you can slowly move back to once a week water changes. Don't go past three days without a water change in the first month -- it will be very bad for your goldfish. When I had bettas I cycled the tank by doing water changes every three days for the first month, then everything evened out..... Check your water perameters, of course, to be sure you're fully cycled. I admire you for posting and wanting the best for your goldfish, and I completely understand why you don't want to give him away. You'll be fine, just keep up with those water changes. Take care of the water and your goldfish will thrive! :-)
  8. If you haven't done anything different, and if your fish were not sick to begin with, then I suspect there might be something going on with the city water. You can call them and ask if they have been using more chemicals, or back flushing their systems. Heavy rain or snow fall causes them to use more chemicals also. The water may be tainted somehow and you need to figure out if you need to use a different dechlor or more dechlor. I've had the same thing happen here in Virginia and had to switch dechlor products. Now I use Prime and don't have any issues. I'm sorry for your losses.
  9. What about switching to the test strips??? I like my test tubes, but if they made me sick, I'd switch. The test strips are so easy and no fumes!
  10. Don't worry about them. They're nibbling on plants and algae, getting enough energy for now. When temps go into the 50's and stay there, you can feed them.
  11. A hot tub is a terrific idea for a goldfish pond.... I know of another person who has one set up for fancy tails. She's got it planted heavily and you don't even know it's a hot tub. Post pics when you can! Great idea to recycle like that!
  12. Hey FF, what's the lighting situation on this tank? How long are the lights on every day? I control algae by scraping the glass, and by having the lights on a timer. I use strong compact fluorescent lights on some tanks and only have to put them on for 8 hours a day. Any more than that and the algae gets bad. You could try limiting the amount of light and see if that does it.... Chance are that you won't effect the plants, just the algae.
  13. That's too bad. I don't suppose you could talk to her and volunteer to come in after school or on the weekend and help change out tanks?
  14. Apparently, this teacher comes in during the summer to "take care" of the tanks. I shudder to think what that really means..... Anyway, thank you everyone for your kind words. I'm going to come in over Spring break and do water changes, change filter media and feed the fish. I do think there was some animosity towards the teacher who left. He was irresponsible with these tanks and forgetful. Definately some problems there. This other teacher is sick of dealing with it all, I feel. Anyway, he really wants this room next year and has been annoying about making that clear. I don't care, as I'm out of here in June anyway. All I care about is teaching these kids, getting them to graduation, and taking care of the fish. I really don't care about who gets this room, LOL. Not my problem -- that's the glory of what I do. I can teach without getting caught up in the drama. The teacher who left was in a bad situation and I've been in touch with him. He was as neglectful as the current guy, so getting advice from him is not going to happen. BUT, the idea about printing out the ASPCA sheet on fish care is wonderful and I'll do that. Good idea. Thanks. I found an old gravel vac at home and brought it in today. With a little work, I got it working and it will do fine for water changes. I'll do that over spring break. In the meantime, I'll try to figure out what to do with the fish. This guy is talking about breaking down tanks next year, so maybe I can rehome some of the fish. He seems really possessive though, so I'll have to figure out how to finess it. Anyway, I'm glad I'm here. I always seem to find myself in these positions -- defending those who cannot defend themselves. :-)
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