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I Don't Think I Can Do This Anymore...


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There is a thread somewhere on some easy ways to seal them. :)

I once had a coliseum type decoration which attracted such nasties. Even when I overturned the thing weekly during my cleanings, it would pour crud everywhere.

You and your wife may really enjoy a tank overhaul (went from a rock bottom with some large ornaments to bare bottom, few rocks and some moss balls). When I did mine about a year ago, at first my husband thought it looked bare, but really came to love the peaceful simplicity of it. :)

And, if you're having trouble with a place to start, just make small changes here and there.

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There is a thread somewhere on some easy ways to seal them. :)

I once had a coliseum type decoration which attracted such nasties. Even when I overturned the thing weekly during my cleanings, it would pour crud everywhere.

You and your wife may really enjoy a tank overhaul (went from a rock bottom with some large ornaments to bare bottom, few rocks and some moss balls). When I did mine about a year ago, at first my husband thought it looked bare, but really came to love the peaceful simplicity of it. :)

And, if you're having trouble with a place to start, just make small changes here and there.

:bingo:

'Natural' is a wonderful, easy theme. ;)

You know something, Chelsea....contrary to what my wife keeps saying regarding how she HATES a natural theme, I think this would be the best way to go...I love all the bridges, ships, caves, chests, etc. but they are creating pockets of toxic hazards, I think, being that I'm not cleaning 'em out correctly...

The problem with starting over and doing a "natural" theme is that I have NO idea where to start with this tank...it's so tall and requires very tall plants (some of which I have already in red and green) to look "filled up" and I just don't know how to aquascape it...

Then, if I end up getting fake tree logs or something like that as a centerpiece, wouldn't THESE also trap the bacterial pockets, leading me right back to where I started? :madrant:mad::no::ill

You could look into driftwood. Many people here have driftwood in their tanks (myself included), often with anubias or java fern attached. Since it's a natural product a wide variety of shapes and sizes are available.

Thanks Bron...

I would do driftwood, but I really wanted to keep the tank with "artificial" décor (even those pieces that are made to LOOK real like the logs, stumps, etc.) and with fake plants...

My wife REALLY wants to do the Roman/Greek ruins theme -- you know with the statues, broken pieces of the ruins and columns, etc...these pieces are SO heavy and expensive though...

I understand. Just thought it would be a good alternative to a hollow plastic log. But if it doesn't work with your aesthetics then it won't work for you. I hope you find some non-hollow or easily seal-able decor that works for you :D

Sometimes getting a tank set up the way we want and in a way that works for our fish takes some time, but it's worth it once you get there :) . I realize it's probably frustrating/overwhelming right now, but you WILL love your new tank and it WILL all be worth it!

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Thank you...I have to chew on exactly what we want to do right now because I don't want Rubio to be any more stressed out than he (possibly) is right now after the gravel vac and such; though he does look himself, swimming, eating, etc...

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I would like to comment that I dont agree with the opening comment of the article that "the only ornaments that should be in a tank are solid ones.

Maybe it should be said that to reduce issues, ornaments should be solid.

I bet your fish are doing fine.

One thing I have noticed from the time I have been on here, it is all about reducing the chances of things going wrong, no?

I won't be one of those that will tell you/anyone that hollow ornaments are bad and your fish are doomed.

I think each person needs to figure out a balance between appearance and risk when it comes to things like that.

I mean, I bought some driftwood (mopani, I think it's called), but heard that too can be an issue.

So, I didn't bother taking the risk.

Guess it's a personal choice.

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I'd say there's a difference between ornaments that are completely hollow and ones that water can pass through. Regardless, I have a hollow ornament in my betta tank and have for a good while. I make sure to take it out and clean it well every week on my regular water change day but I've never had an issue and my tank is thriving. I probably wouldn't have gotten it if I knew it was hollow but it was from eBay and I really like it. It's easier to get away with that in non goldfish tanks though since goldfish are so big and messy. I do agree with the general consensious of this forum when they say that hollow ornaments aren't a great idea. It's good advice in general, especially for beginners and those who don't know about the potential problems.

Perhaps you would have better luck downgrading to a 40 breeder? The dimensions are great for goldfish and they're easy to clean. I love mine!

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I would like to comment that I dont agree with the opening comment of the article that "the only ornaments that should be in a tank are solid ones. I have a couple of large ornaments that are hollow, but are not closed up. Water can easily pass through them. My fish can pass through them as well, which does present another problem, if they get stuck. If you scroll up a few posts to my pictures, you will see on the far right, a chunk of fake wood. It is hollow. Water can easily pass through on the bottom, sides, and the top. Ill post another one below, where even large fish can swim through the pot and the fake log.

IMAG0861.jpg

The Article is to get ppl to see that small ornaments that with just water going into it and no way for it to get out are very very bad for goldfish... In fact for alot of fish. I had something like the small sunken ship in the Guppy tank and same problem....

If you have one where your fish can go through and water is flowing through it then I dont see a problem... The problem is stagnate water getting stuck in a ornament... :)

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I have a greek column ornament sitting in my basement. I don't use it anymore because I don't like it, but it looks similar to this, but only has 2 columns:

800443163788C.jpg

Nonetheless, the ornament is quite small, I can fit it in my hand. And it is very much solid.

If your tank is more on the taller side, I don't think it'd be plausible to use a huge ornament, as swimming space is very vital to goldfish.

Why don't you try like an "overrun" look with your Greek theme? Attach some moss to some columns, have some tipped over, and scatter some rocks around (you can attach an anubias or two to some rocks to look like "weeds"), to make it look like the ruins have been untouched for many years? This way you can have an artificial scape, but still incorporate some natural elements. If you can find a cool background to accompany your theme, I think that would add another level of dimension! :)

I am sorry you are feeling overwhelmed and I hope you will find some peace very soon! :hug

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During the 3 or so years I had gravel, I vacuumed it whenever I did a WC, but I don't think I tried to get every bit out.

As for sand, I have never tried to vacuum it in the 4 years I've had it, nor will I. My fish haven't suffered for it.

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Thank you, again, everyone for your continued assistance and wishes...it's much appreciated.

I got to thinking, because I really don't like the "Asian esque" theme we were attempting with our current décor, that perhaps I could work on getting a good deal of gravel out for now (there is a really thick layer in there and I don't think that's helping matters any) as well as yanking the bridge ornament out and the Asian "gazebo," leaving just the plants, re-arrange them a bit and go from there...because our gravel is natural-colored, perhaps I could begin with a thin layer of gravel before I switch totally to sand as this would allow a base for a natural theme anyway...thoughts?

A couple of things I question with regard to this journey -- first, Rubio (and my other goldies before him) really enjoyed swimming in and out of the "tunnels" beneath the bridge ornament in there now, as well as through the gazebo holes...will he be okay without any ornaments to swim through now or peck on?

Also -- how much gravel would be good to keep in there so not to cause another bacterial breakout...should it be just enough to cover the bottom of the tank and anchor the plants and bubble bars?

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Thank you, again, everyone for your continued assistance and wishes...it's much appreciated.

I got to thinking, because I really don't like the "Asian esque" theme we were attempting with our current décor, that perhaps I could work on getting a good deal of gravel out for now (there is a really thick layer in there and I don't think that's helping matters any) as well as yanking the bridge ornament out and the Asian "gazebo," leaving just the plants, re-arrange them a bit and go from there...because our gravel is natural-colored, perhaps I could begin with a thin layer of gravel before I switch totally to sand as this would allow a base for a natural theme anyway...thoughts?

A natural theme would do fine no matter the substrate, but the sand is the closest resemblance to the carp's natural environment. This means it would be easy to switch over while still maintaining your theme.

A couple of things I question with regard to this journey -- first, Rubio (and my other goldies before him) really enjoyed swimming in and out of the "tunnels" beneath the bridge ornament in there now, as well as through the gazebo holes...will he be okay without any ornaments to swim through now or peck on?

I have no ornaments, nor have I had any real ornaments in my tanks. My fish are fine. Not many of us actually use ornaments.

Also -- how much gravel would be good to keep in there so not to cause another bacterial breakout...should it be just enough to cover the bottom of the tank and anchor the plants and bubble bars?

Yep, just keep it at 1/2" or so for now, or whatever it takes to keep the plants down. Once you figure out your switch-over theme, just phase the gravel out with everything else. (But once you start removing it, I doubt you're going to want to keep any of it in there anyway. It's a real shocker.)

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Thank you very much for your replies, Chelsea...

A natural theme would do fine no matter the substrate, but the sand is the closest resemblance to the carp's natural environment. This means it would be easy to switch over while still maintaining your theme.

What do you mean by "it would be easy to switch over while still maintaining your theme?"

I have no ornaments, nor have I had any real ornaments in my tanks. My fish are fine. Not many of us actually use ornaments.

But being that he was already accustomed to swimming through tunnels, etc., this won't affect him in any negative way?

Yep, just keep it at 1/2" or so for now, or whatever it takes to keep the plants down. Once you figure out your switch-over theme, just phase the gravel out with everything else. (But once you start removing it, I doubt you're going to want to keep any of it in there anyway. It's a real shocker.)

Can you explain this a bit better -- specifically your last comment regarding "once you start removing it, I doubt you're going to want to keep any of it there anyway"?

Thank you.

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I stumbled across this when I did some Googling on natural gravel and levels of substrate, etc...can anyone give me any feedback because it seems to go DIRECTLY against what I was being told earlier in the thread about sand?

Sand can be very pleasing to the eye in an aquarium. You know how some people put up those giant photos of exotic sandy beaches in their office to remind them they hate their jobs?

Same concept applies. A sandy oasis aquarium full of fish can be a wonderful escape to lose yourself in.

Unfortunately for goldfish, sand isn't so good.

Goldfish are notorious gravel pickers. They will eat all the food available and then charge headstrong into the gravel throwing it around everywhere searching for that elusive last morsel.

Sand, whilst small and in no danger of getting stuck in a goldfish's mouth does irritate the gills. Being so small it's easy for goldfish to throw it around and long term this gill irritation isn't healthy for your fish.

Cleaning can also be a bit of a pain with sand as the particles are so light they often get sucked up into your syphon along with all the crud. Goldfish produce a lot of crud which means it's probably not worth your time salvaging the sand mixed in with it at the bottom of the bucket.

Worse still if you're using a python, well the sand is going straight down the drain.

When keeping plants it is also possible to note that because sand is so fine and dense, it's actually possible to crush plant roots rather then support them.

Finally because sand is so fine it's possible that without adequate aeration (either via mixing up the substrate yourself or through plant roots), pockets of toxic gas can form in the sand.

Over time these turn anaerobic (lack of oxygen in the pocket) and hydrogen sulfide can be produced. When released, this gas is extremely toxic to fish should they expose one of these pockets via substrate digging.

Despite looking nice, I'd recommend staying away from aquarium sand for a goldfish tank.

Edited by ClinicaTerraLTD
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CT,

You can always find lots of things on the internet, and there will be as many opinions as there stars in the sky.

What I do know is this. David, who is both a fish researcher and a breeder of goldfish for a couple of decades at least, keeps all of his many of tens of thousands of goldfish (some extremely expensive) in tubs with sand. This is his preferred method, and he has found that it has helped him tremendously.

Also, whomever wrote what you posted probably forgot to consider the muddy, sandy, rocky, gravelly bottoms where carp feed.

I absolutely agree that too much of sand or any substrate can be extremely bad.

Finally, as I have said, I have been quite lucky with keeping my goldfish. I have used sand for just about over 4 years now, with not even once vacuuming the sand, and I daresay that my goldfish are about as healthy as they come.

This is of course not to convince you to have sand or not. It's just to show that sand can and has worked on a small scale (me) and a much larger scale (ichthius of Goldfish Garage), to name two examples.

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If you're disturbing the gravel bed, please remove your fish beforehand. As you recently saw, there is a lot of junk under there, and we don't want the fish negatively impacted, while trying to make his life better. :) Also, you may need to squeeze your sponges in your filters a little more frequently, as you'll be sucking up more garbage, while fiddling with the substrate.

I definitely agree with you that you should, at the very least, drop the gravel level to about a 1/2", or less. :) That will be a huge help, in itself.

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just wanted to show you how I clean my tank thats too big for me to reach the bottom.

DIY SIPHON DIRECT TO GARDEN:

Also I have also had bare bottom gravel and sand. The only substrate I have had issues with has been gravel. Choaking Hazzard- almost lost two fish!

But anyways, this video is of sand and siphoning. And another variation of an easy siphon

Edited by LouiseAnn
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Just wanted to show you how I clean my tank thats too big for me to reach the bottom.

DIY SIPHON DIRECT TO GARDEN:

Also I have also had bare bottom gravel and sand. The only substrate I have had issues with has been gravel. Choaking Hazzard- almost lost two fish!

But anyways, this video is of sand and siphoning. And another variation of an easy siphon

I don't see a vid. :(

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Just wanted to show you how I clean my tank thats too big for me to reach the bottom.

DIY SIPHON DIRECT TO GARDEN:

Also I have also had bare bottom gravel and sand. The only substrate I have had issues with has been gravel. Choaking Hazzard- almost lost two fish!

But anyways, this video is of sand and siphoning. And another variation of an easy siphon

I don't see a vid. :(

sorry my phone takes a while to register the video. Can you see it now?

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Just wanted to show you how I clean my tank thats too big for me to reach the bottom.

DIY SIPHON DIRECT TO GARDEN:

Also I have also had bare bottom gravel and sand. The only substrate I have had issues with has been gravel. Choaking Hazzard- almost lost two fish!

But anyways, this video is of sand and siphoning. And another variation of an easy siphon

I don't see a vid. :(

sorry my phone takes a while to register the video. Can you see it now?

Yes! :nana :nana :nana

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Lol its all jumbled. Hopefully the videos make more sense than my note haha!

In the diy siphon (the one im in) you can attatch the siphon tube from the sand video onto the red suction siphon. Oh I hope this makes sense lol ;)

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Thank you very much for your replies, Chelsea...

A natural theme would do fine no matter the substrate, but the sand is the closest resemblance to the carp's natural environment. This means it would be easy to switch over while still maintaining your theme.

What do you mean by "it would be easy to switch over while still maintaining your theme?"

It is not going to look bad when you change it over to sand. It won't be a shocking difference

I have no ornaments, nor have I had any real ornaments in my tanks. My fish are fine. Not many of us actually use ornaments.

But being that he was already accustomed to swimming through tunnels, etc., this won't affect him in any negative way?

Like I said, my fish do not have ornaments and they are fine. Ornaments are not a necessity for goldfish and having or not having them will not impact the fish. Ornaments are completely inconsequential to a fish's general wellbeing. I am not sure why you think that removing them is going to cause an issue.

Yep, just keep it at 1/2" or so for now, or whatever it takes to keep the plants down. Once you figure out your switch-over theme, just phase the gravel out with everything else. (But once you start removing it, I doubt you're going to want to keep any of it in there anyway. It's a real shocker.)

Can you explain this a bit better -- specifically your last comment regarding "once you start removing it, I doubt you're going to want to keep any of it there anyway"?

It is going to look nasty and you will see one of the reasons switching to sand is a good idea. You're not even going to want to keep a small amount of gravel in there anymore once you start pulling it out. It's exactly like Jason (DP) said earlier. You're going to see all of the crud and smell all of the rotten gunk. Since you're an intelligent person, I am going to assume you will think twice about leaving any of the gravel in the tank once you see how much gunk it is trapping despite your cleanings. I know even our more stubborn members have.:teehee

Thank you.

Also, the bolded post you made earlier about sand is an opinion and a very cautious one at that. I think it would be a better idea to listen to the article you were linked earlier, which has factual references as to why sand is fine for goldfish. We've already also told you how to prevent anaerobic pockets, you've seen nearly everyone in here advocate the use of sand (This is a goldfish forum, so we do know the species of fish you are keeping extremely well!) and you've seen how sand is easily and properly cleaned via Louise's video.

Edited by ChelseaM
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I already also posted a video to show how easy it is to clean the sand substrate and that one looks just as easy. :)

Goldfish are... "Made" to sift substrate, it's what they do in the wild and how they eat their food.

Like Alex said, you'll find opinions to back up every other opinion out there. You'll find people claiming water changes kill their fish, medicines kill their fish, lights kill their fish, foods kill their fish, sand is the worst thing ever, people who say artificial plants are deadly, people who say artificial plants are the only way to go, etc. it's the internet, you'll find everything if it exists! But I digress. :rofl

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For those of you that had been following my thread in the Obituaries area, you know I recently experienced two deaths in my tank pretty much back to back. I now have left one Red Cap Oranda, "Rubio," who has been growing and doing well but because it was suspected something bacterial may be killing my goldies on a systemic basis -- coupled by the admitted fact that I don't do deep gravel cleanings nearly as often as I should -- I just today attempted a deep gravel vac and removal of about 75 percent of Rubio's water...the end result was beyond exhaustive and I don't know if I have the stamina for this anymore...there HAS to be a better way...

Because my 60 gallon is decorated in a kind of Asian-esque theme with fake plants, a "water garden," bridges and an Asian gazebo -- plus two 18" bubble bars -- it is an absolute NIGHTMARE to get in there and clean on a regular basis. The Marineland 60 gallon tank I have is ridiculously deep and tall, making it nearly impossible to clean...I have to stand on a bridge chair to get the gravel vacuum into the substrate, and this KILLS my back from getting up and down on and off the chair, bending into the tank and then lugging each three gallon bucket to the bathtub...at any rate, I just completed the deep gravel vac on the tank as best I could, removing decorations and plants and really getting in there with the syphon...a massive amount of crap did come out from the water, turning the bucket water nearly black in some places, so the tank DID need a cleaning...

But I got to thinking...was this the best thing for Rubio? I think it may have caused more harm than good because now his water is teeming with cloudy debris, even after I flushed fresh water through during the water change process...I hope I didn't burn his scales or gills digging all this stuff up. It was suggested to me by someone in my obit thread that I remove Rubio before doing this -- but I didn't want to cause any added stress on him because I always feel like chasing them around a tank and capturing them to move into a quarantine tank of some kind is horrifically frightening based on their behavior...

Yet now I think I may have caused him the same stress anyway since the tank was ridiculously murky after this deep gravel cleaning....yes, the filters are up and running to suck all this back in and filter it, but I don't know if I can go through this with the gravel on a regular basis...now, my ENTIRE aquascape has been messed up, nothing is anywhere it should be in the tank because I couldn't go on any further due to my back hurting and the sweat I was producing and my house, which was just cleaned from top to bottom by me yesterday, is a mess upstairs due to the water splashing of this escapade...

What is the key here? Does gravel vacuuming have to be done on EACH weekly water change? I know most goldfish enthusiasts go bare bottom on their tanks for this reason...but I just hate that look. Should I consider taking out the amount of gravel that's in there to manage a bit better? It's a pretty thick layer...

I don't know what to do anymore; each of my goldies died in turn from a "swelling up/under-the-scales tumor" issue and it was suspected when I discussed this in the other area of the forum that not cleaning the gravel could have indeed made bacteria build up to the point something bacterial took hold...but I simply CANNOT do these deep cleanings on a regular basis with the tank I have now...it's TOO hard...is there any alternative I haven't thought of here?

Hello,

I am a newbie but have learned a lot recently from my own mistakes.

I would suggest a sand bottom. I had gravel, bare bottom and sand. Yes bare bottom is superrrrrr easy - but I hated it as well. I loved my gravel (I had neutral tone river pebbles - looked great but WOW - it holds sooooooo much waste!!!! and food - it's probably the worst substrate by far! and sand ...... the waste stays on the surface - it looks gorgeous and the goldies love sifting through it! and it's closer to nature - they sift through sandy dirt ponds*

As for all your decor - I was told all those plastic decorations are hollow and are basically just a breeding ground for bacteria - get rid of them and try something new* - I know it stinks - you have the image you like, you spent a fortune on all these nice decorations and now people are telling you to get rid of them? ------ I've been there - it stinks ........... but now I have a beautiful white sand bottom and some nice real large river stones and I float a pothos plant submerged in my water - it looks great* ---- takes FOREVER to clean the roots before you add to your tank - but worth the time. and helps with Nitrates*** --- I just need to buy a background color so I can hide my wires - but something new may work for you and it will definitely work for your fishies health.

I never knew fishkeeping was so much work - if I did I probably wouldn't have started - but I learned fast and still am learning and once they start acting healthy and happy - it suddenly becomes worth it and enjoyable*

Best of luck*

and Yes -- you do have to wash the gravel every week thoroughly!!! - I'd suggest buying a python water changer - it is the ultimate lifesaver!!!!!!!!!!!!! so so so soso worth it! -- trust me - i was doing Daily!!!! water changes with buckets on my 55 gallon - it was a nightmare until I got my python*- definitely buy one* ---- Then remove your fishy - just place in a bucket with some tank water and an air stone - then drain your tank with the python - just insert hose and stand and watch - no work****and no buckets*

Then remove your gravel. Go buy some sand - get some natural rock (not hollow plastic stuff) I got mine from nature* so free! - I cleaned them and boiled them then let them cool....... and make a natural home for your fishies - I'm sure our fish would prefer to not be living in our tanks..... so why not give them something a little bit closer to what they're suppose to have*

and try the floating submerged pothos - or if you don't have cats (pothos is poisonous to them) then grow some out of the top of your filters if you have HOBs ---- you won't be disappointed*

Hope I helped some.

Oh* - and two bubbles bars is no good - I added one long one and my fish hated it!!!!!!!!!!! they began instantly surface gulping - it was totally messing up my levels - anyways -that's another story - best of luck* (two small air stones is enough just keep the surface moving not rumbling* :)

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Oh - and I was also worried about the pockets so I have a very shallow layer and during my water changes after I suck up the poops on the surface I just sift my hand through the sand and 1, 2, 3 done - it's super easy - no worries*

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