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Andrew Goldfish

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Posts posted by Andrew Goldfish

  1. Wow looks awesome.  Once my goldfish got to be a year old they pulled up my jungle val and wisteria.  Amazon Swords are still hanging tough though 5 years later, as well as all the anubias and java fern I attached to driftwood.  Always love to see a planted tank with goldfish.  Well done.

  2. 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.


  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.


  6. 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.



  7. Hey everyone.  Since this thread is so long and old I think I’m going to start a new one once I get some replacement fish for my tank.  Here is the video I finally got around to making that goes over my four year story up until I lost my fish.  It’s the first goldfish video on my new Gardening and Goldfish YouTube channel.  Hope everyone enjoys it.

  8. Thanks for everyone's thoughts.  I'm doing the five pet store loop around Indy to see what goldfish are locally available atm.  The LFS "The Reef" that I bought the last three fish from seems to have the best looking fish again.  All options on the table I guess.  I'm probably less likely to buy fast swimming goldfish that can jump out now.  Also checking out the East Coast Ranchu live feed to see what's swimming around over there.  Aka same thing I did four years ago lol.

  9. I lost all three of my fish in two months

    Well this is certainly not the update I was planning.  My three fish, nerite snails and plants were all doing well until February.  Then Big Red, who had jumped out of the tank over a year ago, jumped out again.  We got her back in the tank, but this time she didn’t recover.  She had been active and normal in every way I could see.  Because the fish had all grown so much I decided having just two would be fine with my setup.

    Then in April one day I awoke to find Lightning dead.  He had also been normal, all fins, scales, eyes looking sharp with his usual active behavior, a real beautiful fish to watch.  A few days later Scout, who had eye issues for the last two years, but otherwise seemed normal, died as well.

    Water tests as usual came up with zero ammonia, nitrite or nitrate.  The nerite snails all seem normal.  The plants seem normal, doing my usual one to two cups culling of frogbit each week. There has been no change in food, water flow, temperature or anything else that I can tell.

    The only new thing I noticed after Scout died was that a small type of snail that use to live in the top of the Amazon swords that the fish couldn’t get to were now coming down on the lower plants and on the glass.  I thought about maybe cutting one of the fish open to see if they had swallowed them, but in the end decided against it.

    So I’m very bummed that my three goldfish only lived to be four years old.  They were such a delight to watch swimming around and doing their waggle dance during feeding time.  If their activity level was any indication they certainly seemed to have enjoyed their time living in my aquarium.  We’ll miss them.

  10. Wow hard to believe it’s been over three years since I converted my 125 gallon saltwater aquarium into a dirt planted goldfish tank!  We still have the same plants and three fish from three years ago.

    The only big change was replacing the old lights with a Fluval Fresh and Plant 2.0 and Aquasky on each half of the tank.  The water lettuce didn’t like the increased light much but the frogbit love it.  I cull about two cups of them each week.

    So from all the variety of plants I tried the only rooted plant to survive the fish getting larger have been the Amazon Swords.  Java ferns and Anubias are still hanging in there attached to the driftwood or larger rocks.  The only pruning I do with the underwater plants is removing the Amazon babies once they start to breach the surface.

    I buy about 25 nerite snails each year to keep the hair algae on the plants under control.  Wish they lived longer than two years, but not a big issue I guess.

    I make myself do water tests every so often but the tank water still comes up 0-0-0, while our tap water stays at around .5 ppm ammonia.  I do a 20% water change about every four months when the mulm builds up enough in the back that the fish sometimes raise a little cloud when they swim by.

    I’ve been feeding the fish twice a day, around a tablespoon total of food.  I sprinkle it all the way across the tank so it takes them a while to root through all the plants and gravel to find it all.

    They get a big variety of food, either pellets or flake food, minced pieces of whatever is for dinner (peas, garlic, onion, lettuce, kale, steak, chicken, fish…) and sometimes some homemade kale chips from ingredients out of our garden. Yup, I guess I make home grown fishfood.  The culled plants go out into our worm bin to make compost for our garden, so we have a fun little circle of hobbies going on.

    Here are some pics with the camera.  I find it works best just videoing them and then using the best stills.  I’ve been working on a video about the tank so hopefully that will give a better feel for how the tank looks in action.


  11. So time for an update.  It’s been two and half years since I started this dirt planted goldfish tank, and it’s been a real learning experience and very fun and relaxing.  I’m immensely grateful to everyone whose experience I was able to draw from.


    Goldfish Versus Plants


    It took them well over a year but my fish finally pulled up or ate all the rooted plants except for the Amazon swords, which have been sending up dozens of baby swords.  I’ve replanted a few to see how they’ll grow.


    The java ferns and anubias that I tied to driftwood or superglued to rocks are still hanging in there.  I may add a few more at some point.


    Frogbit, water lettuce and some surviving water sprite are still doing well.  I cull about a cup of them every week or so.  They seem to be a big part of keeping my nitrates at zero.  By contrast my tap water still is at .5 ppm ammonia.




    I do some vacuuming of excess debris every 3 months or so, but I try to leave plenty around the Amazons to hopefully keep replenishing the dirt underneath with nutrients.


    I still get almost no algae on the glass, but I do scrape the snail eggs off about once a month.  The nerite snails do a good job of keeping algae growth on plant leaves from being a problem.  Love those little guys.


    Fish Reclassification


    My fish’s tails never did grow out so I think technically they should be classified as common goldfish instead of comets.  They’ve also taken on a more orange color.  The red only comes out when they are in more intense light at the surface.


    The only issue I’ve noticed with them is a little white spot on Scout’s eye.  They school well together and are very attentive if they think its feeding time.




    Aqueon discontinued their t5 light strips and stopped making the replacement bulbs, the bastards.  I’ve replaced the right side strip with a Fluval Aquasky LED light.  I’ll do the same once the other Aqueon’s surviving bulb goes out.


    Future issue?


    The only long term problem I’m wondering about is the fish getting too big, and what I would do if I start to think “they need a bigger home”.  I have on occasion debated digging a fishpond in the backyard, but with the organic garden I’ve been doing I would need to figure out an equally low maintenance setup.  We’ll see…








  12. 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.



  13. I do still run 2 box filters on the back.  Initially I did do 20% water changes once a month for awhile, but now only do them every 3 months or so when enough debris builds up in the back that the fish will raise a little cloud if they dart through it. 


    Btw I just got my Canon 80D camera, so hopefully I can finally get some good pictures and video of my tank.  I plan on doing a video showing the steps I took to get the tank up and running and how it's progresed over the last two and a half years.

  14. Now that’s it 2016 I thought I’d do a quick update on my tank.  The fish, plants and snails are all doing well.   The little stinkers did pull up my year old wisteria plant though and spit up some dirt, so I had to do a little dirt vacuuming and add more gravel to cap it off.


    Other than that the only problem I’ve had with this tank is taking clear pictures of it that look anything as nice as what it looks like in person.  Here’s one of my wife and foster dog that happen to have the goldfish patrolling in the background, so it’ll have to do for now.







  15. New Years Update.  After nine months everything is still doing well.  The fish seem happy and healthy with their three meals a day.  All the plants are thriving with their 14 hours of light.  Still culling about a cup of frogbit, water lettuce and jungle val each week.  Still no algae on the glass.  Nerites do a good job cleaning up most of the algae on the plants.  The water wisteria is now about two feet long and really adding to the floating jungle.


    I'm VERY happy with how this low maintenance tank has come along.  Many thanks to everyone for all the great info I was able to get before I started.





  16. Quick update. Fish, snails and plants are all doing well. I'm still culling about a cup of frogbit, water lettuce and jungle val each week. The water wisteria in the back has finally grown 18 inches tall and breached the surface.

    The fish are now letting some the floating plant roots hang down as long as 8 inches again, which I think looks pretty cool. It sometimes entwines with the amazon swords baby stems. Really diggin' the natural jungle look of my tank.


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