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  1. Hi all! I’m Erin…and brand new here as this is my first post! I have been reading and trying to learn as much as possible for about a week now. I am originally from New Orleans, but grew up and now live in Hattiesburg, Mississippi…about 2 hrs. northeast of New Orleans. I am married, and my husband and I have two boys ages 2 and 5. Weezie (8 year old Pug) and Scout (11 year old tabby cat) also make our house a home! Our boys received 2 fancy goldfish (fantails…I believe) for Easter on March 31. With total ignorance and zero knowledge, I think I’ve done a very poor to mediocre job of caring for our newest additions to our family…Nemo and Nolan. They had to endure the cycling of the tank…which I didn’t learn about until recently. Also, they are in a 5 gallon tank. I know, I know. I feel terrible about it. We are looking to upgrade ASAP. I have been feeding flakes and pellets (without pre-soaking)…I know better now. And, I just bought the API Freshwater Master testing kit last week. Here’s the trouble…the nitrates are too high (tap water is zero for nitrates), and our Nemo was rising to the top and struggling to swim to the bottom…fed diet of peas for 2 days…he is better…but now rests on bottom occasionally. Swim bladder issue? But, he doesn’t lean to one side. Constipation? Therefore peas. Nitrate issue? Definitely…tests 80ppm before weekly water change…40 ppm after. 1. Should I do daily 50% or more water changes? 2. Should I remove the gravel and plastic plants and go bare bottom to help remove any waste contributing to the problem and free up more swimming space? 3. Should I get real plants ASAP…if so what works best? 4. Obviously, I should get a bigger tank ASAP. Sorry to be so long-winded. Looking forward to learning from all of you. I found the site by watching YouTube videos. Lol! I was desperate for info…and they really helped. Now, I am quite surprised that I find all of this a fun and rewarding challenge! I do not want my story to end up in the horror section of the forum!! Thanks so much!
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