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shadowdrinker83

My Current Tank and Changes I Need to Make

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I am receiving help in another thread for my water quality problems and general help getting my fish to live while I figure out cycling. Someone requested I show photos of my current tank set up so here they are... (I'm rather embarassed after seeing all the amazing tanks in the Tank Photos thread- LOL).

This is a shot of my entire tank. When we move in a month, Goldie will not be in such a prominent position (which will hopefully reduce some stress). It was our only option in our current home.

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Here is the heater (it came with the tank).

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Here is the filter (this also came with the tank). I just went and bought supplies to create my own filter set up so I will no longer be using the cartridges intended for this filter.

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I would actually like to make some changes to my tank when I replace the filter cartridge with the DIY filter media. I would like to remove all of the accessories except one and also add a bubble wall to the tank. Do these changes sound ok? For those who haven't read the other thread, we are moving in a month and will eventually be upgrading tank size, but for now I have to work with what I have.

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I love how the tank looks, but you might want to decrease the amount of gravel a little at a time. :)

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Aww- cute fish! He has very nice coloring.

I understand that you're planning on upgrading in the future, and a larger tank, in the long run, would obviously be better. I also understand that you can only do what you can do. In the mean time, I would at least try to upgrade the filter to a bigger output. It looks like you have one of the 10 gallon complete set-ups that come from Walmart-- I have 2 of these, myself. No complaints about mine!

This filter might fit in the slot in the back of the hood, but you might also need to notch it out a little more. Shouldn't be too hard to do. This will give you just about 15Xs filtration, which is going to be very essential in a small tank. There are others on the market, but this one is just over $20, so very cost effective, if you're on a budget. This would be a very good investment, until you can upgrade overall tank size. :)

http://www.amazon.com/Penn-Plax-Cascade-Power-Filter/dp/B0002DJ7ZY/ref=sr_1_3?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1367529353&sr=1-3&keywords=150+gph+power+filter

You are going to get nitrate build up in that tank very quickly- I don't know if it is already being recommended on your other water quality thread, but changing out 3 gallons of water daily would be a good idea. You also might want to consider some of the goldfish friendly plants in your tank, as they will help some with water quality while you are unable to upgrade. One of the benefits of a smaller tank is that they actually are GREAT for growing plants, as the light is very close, so they get a lot of light per gallon. Switch out your bulbs in the hood with regular old household CFL bulbs, that are in the daylight spectrum. Anacharis, Hornwort, or giant hygro might be good choices to look into for water quality assistance, if you want to plant your tank a little. For your tank, I'd actually recommend removing all the gravel and going bare bottomed with a few larger decorative and real plants + an air feature for decor. It will give more overall water volume, and help to keep things clean in the small space. Anubias is a favorite decorative plant for bare bottom tanks- and it looks fabulous with large rocks. :D

Look at this thread, if you'd like a little inspiration for planning out a bare bottom.

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/109257-show-me-your-tanks-bare-bottomed/

Good luck with your fish, can't wait to see the new tank set up, and thank you for showing the concern for doing the best you can for your little guy. :D

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I agree with others in terms of removing gravel and the ornament. The less 'stuff' in the tank, the more water volume ;)

As said above, you should remove a little gravel at a time. Take a cup or so out 1-2 times a week until it is gone. If your tank is cycled (I don't know if it is or not), this will prevent a cycle 'bump'

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Thanks! I am actually about to start over with trying to cycle my tank now that I know what I have been doing wrong. I do agree I need a better filter, but I am slowly having to acquire things as we are in the middle of waiting to close on a house we just bought. I will definitely look into the possible use of live plants and check out that link for bare bottom tanks. I have a definite design in mind for the larger tank, but I want to make what I have work as well as possible. Since my tank is not cycled I had planned on making the changes on the day I put the new media in my filter. Is it ok to take all the gravel out of the tank isn't cycled?

Oh, and I have been doing daily 30%-40% water changes since finding this site this past weekend. Hopefully that helps with any possible ammonia or nitrite build up for the time being. I'm going to keep trying to learn as much as I can and implement it the best I can, when I can.

Thanks again for all the tips!!

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Thanks! I am actually about to start over with trying to cycle my tank now that I know what I have been doing wrong. I do agree I need a better filter, but I am slowly having to acquire things as we are in the middle of waiting to close on a house we just bought. I will definitely look into the possible use of live plants and check out that link for bare bottom tanks. I have a definite design in mind for the larger tank, but I want to make what I have work as well as possible. Since my tank is not cycled I had planned on making the changes on the day I put the new media in my filter. Is it ok to take all the gravel out of the tank isn't cycled?

Oh, and I have been doing daily 30%-40% water changes since finding this site this past weekend. Hopefully that helps with any possible ammonia or nitrite build up for the time being. I'm going to keep trying to learn as much as I can and implement it the best I can, when I can.

Thanks again for all the tips!!

Do you know how far your tank is already into the cycle? Maybe it might be good to run your old filter alongside the new filter, just for a few weeks, so that any BB's on the old filter will be present on the new.

I started out with two fish in a ten. We've all been there, girl. :) I've found that bare bottom tanks, while they take some getting used to, are the easiest to maintain. Goldfish are very messy little guys, as you'll soon see. Cycling with fish is an adventure, but keep strong, it will happen. :)

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Do you know how far your tank is already into the cycle? Maybe it might be good to run your old filter alongside the new filter, just for a few weeks, so that any BB's on the old filter will be present on the new.

I discovered from the wisdom of the helpful people on here that my tank never cycled because I was throwing my filter cartridges away every 2 weeks (replacing them per the instructions on the box). I just put a new one in less than a week ago right before finding this out. How long does it take for BB to start growing in the filter media?

With all the mistakes I keep discovering I've made I am amazed I have somehow kept Goldie alive since we got her in October (2012).

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Do you know how far your tank is already into the cycle? Maybe it might be good to run your old filter alongside the new filter, just for a few weeks, so that any BB's on the old filter will be present on the new.

I discovered from the wisdom of the helpful people on here that my tank never cycled because I was throwing my filter cartridges away every 2 weeks (replacing them per the instructions on the box). I just put a new one in less than a week ago right before finding this out. How long does it take for BB to start growing in the filter media?

With all the mistakes I keep discovering I've made I am amazed I have somehow kept Goldie alive since we got her in October (2012).

Just to be on the safe side, I would still remove the gravel slowly. It is possible that there are some BBs that have colonized the gravel :)

A full cycle takes anywhere from 1-3 months on average. Do you have a good drop test kit to test your water? (like the API Master freshwater test kit) If you don't yet you'll want to invest in one asap. That is the best way to know where you are in the cycle and whether or not the water is safe for your fish ;)

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A full cycle takes anywhere from 1-3 months on average. Do you have a good drop test kit to test your water? (like the API Master freshwater test kit) If you don't yet you'll want to invest in one asap. That is the best way to know where you are in the cycle and whether or not the water is safe for your fish ;)

I am going to be ordering the API Master test kit through Amazon, but I am currently using a 5-in-1 strip test and also an ammonia strip test.

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A full cycle takes anywhere from 1-3 months on average. Do you have a good drop test kit to test your water? (like the API Master freshwater test kit) If you don't yet you'll want to invest in one asap. That is the best way to know where you are in the cycle and whether or not the water is safe for your fish ;)

I am going to be ordering the API Master test kit through Amazon, but I am currently using a 5-in-1 strip test and also an ammonia strip test.

perfect ;)

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Today I went to work on my tank and here is what I did...

- 70% water change (conditioned with Prime- my first time using that product)

- Removed about 1/3 of the gravel

- Removed all fake plants (leaving only the castle as an accesory)

- Took out the carbon filter cartridge in my filter and added the "cut-to-size", bonded filter pad. I was going to add the Fluval BioMax media, but I discovered I had a bio filter so I left that in to help pass BB onto the new filter pad and also keep my water as healthy as possible for my fish while all of these other changes are going on. (Should I eventually switch the filter out and replace with the fluval biomax stuff- once the BB has been established in the new pad? Or should I just forget the other stuff and stick with the bio filter that came with the filter)?

- Added the bubble wall (LOVE how this looks)!

After making all these changes I waited about an hour and took readings (with my strip tests as I do not have the API master kit yet). Here are the results:

Ammonia: .25

Nitrate: 0

Nitrite: 0

Hardness (GH): 75

Alkalinity (KH): 40

pH: 6.8

Out of those readings (if they are correct) the only one that is not good is the Alkalinity (KH) level.

And now for an "after" shot!

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Awesome- keep up the good work!

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Good work!

I would also remove the castle. Not only is it taking up room/water volume in the tank, it is also hollow. Hollow ornaments can trap stagnant water and lead bacterial issues in the tank. If you want to keep it you can run an airstone inside of it to make sure there is some water movement, but until you have upgraded I would recommend removing it.

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