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Andrew Goldfish

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Everything posted by Andrew Goldfish

  1. Hey everyone, Happy New Year. Wow seems likes ages ago when I started my goldfish blog on our dirt planted goldfish tank. Well we have some news, our very first ranchu baby goldfish hatched and are slowly growing up. We plan to rehome our non-ranchus and at some point get some nice red and white ranchus for any future breeding. Thanks again to everyone here for your helpful comments over the years. Cheers.
  2. Yup the female Cheddar is certainly not the perfect type ranchu. But they were a male/female pair at a reasonable price, so I figured its a good way to get started with ranchus. Got to say I'm really loving their Fu dog looking faces and interactions so far.
  3. I finally found some ranchu goldfish to try and start our breeding project. Wish us luck!
  4. Thanks for the advice, I'll go with the 10G. And when i went up in the attic to bring down my 23 year old 20G to see if it was still water tight it turned out it was actually a 30G lol.
  5. Is it better to quarantine a 3 1/2 inch goldfish in a 10 or 20 gallon tank? Which would you all do?
  6. Wow waiting four weeks seemed to take forever, but we finally put our two new goldfish into the 125G tank to keep our Ryukin “Ranger” company.
  7. Here’s a two minute video of Ranger, our red and white Ryukin, after six weeks in our tank. So far so good.
  8. My 125 gallon dirt planted goldfish tank used to have a good mix of water lettuce, water wisteria and frogbit. But when I upgraded my lights to Fluval leds (Plant 2.0 and Aquasky) the water lettuce and wisteria started to turn brown and the frogbit took over as the last remaining floating plant. The frogbit used to send up flowers about every day, but have taken a bit of a hit with the absence of fish in the tank for two weeks and with our new fish Ranger now heavily eating their roots. I currently have the lights only 2 ¾ inch from the water. I’m wondering if I should raise it a bit and try adding some water lettuce and wisteria back into the mix. Am I right in thinking the lights might be too close for certain floating plants?
  9. Thanks for the response Shakaho. I read Walstad’s original book four years ago when I was first setting up the tank and actually re-read her updated version last year. Obviously I’m doing a modified version since I still have two box filters rated to 120 gallons to maintain good oxygenation and periodically do 30% water changes. I would of course agree that a sudden loss of fish would most likely be caused by something toxic in the water or food. But the reason we don’t think that was the issue was because the tank tested its normal zero ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. The only significant thing that could have rotted would be a couple of nerite snails, but they don’t burrow down into the 1 inch of gravel. In the first six months of our tank we would see bubbles percolating up from the organic potting soil as it broke down, but that never seemed to be a problem. It doesn’t really seem plausible that the small and consistent amounts of fish food, fish poop or decomposing plants that might get under the gravel, which the fish are constantly pecking through, could cause a lethal release of anything to kill off two healthy fish in a 120 gallon heavily planted and well oxygenated tank, but we could be wrong. The reason we suspect the spiral snails was that Big Red was always searching through the top leaves looking for algae and (we now realize) snails. Once she was gone for a month the spiral snails, for the first time, were able to come down onto the lower leaves and glass. Once Lighting and Scout, who were always much more likely to forage in the mid level to bottom of the tank, had access to them, we think they began feasting on them for the first time. At least that’s what we suspect, hard to know for sure.
  10. Hey everyone, here is the video about losing all three of our four year old goldfish. We have a new Ryukin in the tank now checking things out to see if everything is ok. Got a 10 gallon quarantine tank setup for the next fish we put in. After that I think I might give raising some nerite snails a try. And in case anyone missed it here is the video with the story of our four year dirt planted goldfish tank.
  11. I would also recommend reading Walstad’s book. Based on my experience keeping three comet goldfish in a dirt planted tank for two and a half years I would recommend full size amazon swords, the bigger the better. It took them more than a year, but eventually my growing fish pulled up or ate everything else I had planted. My Java ferns have done well because they were tried to driftwood or superglued to rocks. At some point I might try anubias again, but I would attach them all securely to a structure. I think the key factor for the variation on the Walstad method I’ve been doing has been the constant growth of the floating plants: frogbit, water lettuce and some surviving water sprite. I still cull out a cup of them every week or so. Looking forward to seeing your updates.
  12. It's harder to play diving submarine with your camera with a hood on. Just saying...
  13. Justin Algae just needs nutrients in the water and light to grow. So if you add your nutrient-rich dirt, gravel and water and run the lights before you have plants you're giving the algae a head start. If possible I'd add some floating plants to your list. They're the best thing possible for sucking up excess nitrogen and nutrients since they can get their CO2 directly from the air. I've had the best luck with watersprite, water lettuce and frogbit. I've had good experiences ordering online from Peabody's Paradise and Planted Aquariums Central. I'd also highly recommend getting some Nerite snails after awhile. They do a great job of cleaning any algae you may get and breaking down any missed fish food or wilting leaves into a form the plants can more readily use. They lay tiny white eggs but they won't hatch in freshwater so you don't have to worry about them become a pest.
  14. Justin My local Lowes didn't have the Miracle Grow that many people use. So I just used their generic organic potting soil that had the same basic stats and it worked great. I wouldn't recommend anything that has limestone or fertilizer in it. I think the ingredients in my organic potting soil was something like poultry litter and feathermeal. One small drawback to the Miracle Grow organic potting soil is that many people report getting lots of floating debris in it, which I was lucky enough to not get. I would recommend that after adding the dirt you only add a few inches of water and let it set overnight. If it doesn't mostly clear up on its own I would recommend vacuuming up all the floating debris BEFORE filling the whole tank with your substrate and water. And the main thing to remember about a dirted tank is you want to add as many plants as you can afford from the start so they can outcompete algae for all the nutrients that dirt will be slowly leaching into the water. And DON'T use your lights until you actually start planting plants. If you haven't already I would highly recommend watching some YouTube videos at Justin's Fish Tanks to get lots of good info on dirted tanks: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4j90aZYe6v7J4Yb6qpbiLw If you do some basic research and plant enough suitable plants you should find that dirted tanks are actually way easier and less maintenance than about any other way of keeping plants. You'll spend most of your maintenance time pruning excess plant growth. Happy dirting!
  15. Thanks for the comments everyone. By "natural" I meant an environment more like what goldfish/carp have typically lived in for the last several hundred/thousand years: dirt, rocks, submerged wood, aquatic plants and invertebrates with fairly stable or at least slow changing water conditions full of dissolved organics. I suppose the main thing (other than size obviously) my system most misses would be algae for the goldfish to eat -- but I can live with that -- that's what the Rapashy Super Green is for. The way Walstad tried to measure her system was to weigh all the fish food she put in and compare it to the weight of the plant mass she was taking out. I typically take out at least one full cup of mostly green plant mass a week. That at least seems to be more than the mass of fish food I put in, but I haven't tried to weigh it all out. Btw here is the link to my tank's goldfish blog: http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/116731-andrews-125-g-dirt-planted-goldfish-tank/ And here are some pictures.
  16. The Walstad Method is a low maintenance way of keeping fish, snails and plants in a balanced low tech system. The fish provide fertilizer and CO2 for the plants. The plants filter out nitrogen and other toxins and provide oxygen for the fish. It uses very little mechanical filtration and minimal water changes. The downside to this system is the need to keep a relatively small number of fish that won't eat the plants or root around in the substrate (aka goldfish). Here is how I modified the Walstad Method in my 125 gallon tank for the needs of my three red and white comets. Main Difference #1: Heavy Filtration. While the Walstad Method uses minimal mechanical filtration, I'm using three HOB filters rated for 180 gallons for my 125 gallon tank for several reasons. 1) To provide amble and continuous oxygen for my active goldfish. One feature of the Walstad Method is that oxygen levels lower at night when the plants can't photosynthesize, while CO2 levels rise. This can potentially stress your fish. 2) To provide a water flow that pushes the floating plants toward the front of the tank in order to let light through to the heavily planted back third of my tank. 3) To maintain a backup source of biological filtration just in case the plants can't handle any excess fish waste or decomposing organics. 4) I like having those six little waterfalls flowing into my tank. It also helps to keep the water moving evenly through the tank to keep everything well mixed. Main Difference #2: Moderate Water Changes. While the Walstad Method uses minimal water changes, I'm doing 20% changes every week or two, although this could probably be reduced to every three or four weeks. But I'm only vacuuming the gravel across the front third of my tank, and letting the fish pooh filter down into the dirt wherever there are or will be roots. I also use this opportunity to do a culling of excess plants and clean out any wilting leaves. So here are what I would consider to be the essential points in a Walstad Method modified for Goldfish. 1) About one inch of Organic potting soil covered by about one inch of gravel. The dirt will provide nutrients for the plants and the gravel will help keep the goldfish from uprooting them. I used a larger sized gravel than Walstad recommends which seems to work great. 2) Floating plants! The amount of submerged plant growth you get will be limited by how much carbon is in the water. Floating plants or plants that grow out of the water can get their CO2 from the air and can easily outcompete algae. I've found that water lettuce, frogbit and water sprite have worked the best with my goldfish. 3) Plant a large variety and amount of plants from the start that goldfish are less likely to eat or uproot. Let these establish for a minimum of four to six weeks before getting even the smallest goldfish. If you're going to add larger goldfish, let the plants establish and grow even more. Remember you'll need an inch of roots just to get down into the actual dirt. I've had the most success with Amazon Swords, Jungle Val, Spiral Val, Wisteria, Anubias, Java Fern, Crypts (Wentii and Balansae), Onion Plant and Umbrella Plant. You want to start with large plants with the largest roots possible. 4) Nerite snails. They do a great job of dealing with any algae you might get and breaking down wilting leaves or missed fish food into dissolved organics that the plants can directly use, or that can more easily filter down into the dirt. 5) 10 to 14 hours a day of light. As long as you have floating plants you can leave the lights on for 14 hours to trigger maximum plant growth. The super bonus is you get to enjoy your fish all day long. 6) Moderate water changes of maybe 20% no more than once a week works well and you can probably do much less. Plants secrete a variety of chemicals that inhibit algae growth that you don't want to completely remove. You also want to keep the dissolved organics in your water because some of your plants can get nutrients and even carbon from it. Large water changes will remove these key advantages for no benefit. 7) Ample meals. Give your goldfish fresh spinach or lettuce on a veggie clip often and feed them heavily on a good variety of different foods several times a day. My fish get Omega One pellets, Wardley flake food, peas, Repashy Super Green and frozen plankton. 8) Don't overstock. I would recommend only two to three goldfish in a 55 to 75 gallon and three or four in a 125 if you intend them to grow to a normal size. As long as you have enough healthy plants your nitrogen tests should always be 0-0-0 and you should never have to scrape algae. If you add too many fish for the plants to handle the system will become unbalanced and stop working as intended. Anyway, those are my thoughts and experiences. I hope they help anyone who wants to set up a dirt planted goldfish tank.
  17. I've had a really hard time getting pictures of my 125 gallon tank that look anything like what my eyes see. Here's one of the best using my Cannon G9 and two using my new Sony AS100 action cam. I'm not a fan of the 170 degrees field of vision warping but it at least looks clearer.
  18. My Lowes didn't have the Organic Miracle Grow, so I got a bag of some other brand of organic potting soil with the same stats. Only had a few floaters that were easily skimmed off. One bag was more than enough for about a inch for my 125 gallon. After seven and a half weeks everything seems to be working great. Here are a couple of things Walstad recommends in her book that I didn't get a chance to read until after I finished: Walstad recommends that after you put in the dirt you add a few inches of water, let it set for awhile, and then siphon out that water to remove the floaters more easily. Walstad recommends using smaller sized gravel. I got a larger size because I liked the look. So far it still seems to be doing just fine, and might be safer for goldfish actually. Hope that helps. Good luck!
  19. Btw, if my dead goldfish put parasites or disease into the water, how long can different nasties last in a fishless tank? I'll also be running a UV filter for awhile before trying again.
  20. Ah I think that's it. I found what looks just like it on a YouTube video:
  21. I squashed the one I found. It was like a 1/4 inch piece of white thread wriggling real fast to move around. None of the pics I tried to take of the fish are clear enough to show the white dots and batches.
  22. As I described in my goldfish blog, after growing plants and snails for six weeks in my dirt planted 125 gallon tank, I ordered six small Orandas off Aquabid. I didn't notice until after they shipped that they were only going UPS ground and would spend 48 hours in one bag. They came with ragged tails and fins and white spots and blotches, and all died within three days. On day three I just noticed for the first time a 1/4 inch white worm crazily swimming around the tank -- until I got him anyway. I also got in an order of Anubias and 10 more nerite snails at the same time as the new fish. Is the crazy little worm from the fish? Also, can a swimming worm like that infect my snails? How long can the little nasties live in a fishless tank? I have a SunSun 13W UV Sterilizer on the way so that will start running in the next two days. Thanks in advance for your help.
  23. I'm trying to figure out a way to get more oxygen in the tank without taking out CO2. Would using an air pump to run air stones inside my HOB filters make any meaningful difference to how much oxygen is getting into the tank? Thanks.
  24. Also, if you're doing a dirt planted tank I would highly recommend getting some nerite snails after a few weeks. They do a great job of eating dead leaves and algae. They lay tiny dots of eggs but won't reproduce in your tank. When my vals had some wilt on their tips the nerites would climb up to the top, chomp a bit till the wilt was all gone, then head back down the other side.
  25. 1) If you're using dirt you want as many plants as you can get from the start so they can out compete the algae. 2) 1-2 wpg is considered low to medium light and is what I'm using. Seems to have worked well for me these last six weeks with a large variety of plants. 3) I've heard that. With dirt you don't really need any ferts since you'll be having plenty of dissolved organics naturally in your system.
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