Jump to content

Ree

Recommended Posts

  • Regular Member
This is all a little daunting for me.  I have not used a forum before, and have no idea what to do to post a question... literally NO idea.
 
I hope you may be able to help me.  I have experienced a very steep learning curved over the past few months.  I must apologise for the length of this, but I could not think of a way of shortening it for you so you could understand the problem.  Sorry
 
My Background. 
 
I am 35 and suffer chronic back pain, so I am bed ridden most of the time.  There is nothing they can do for the pain except painkillers and bed rest.  So I thought I would get some gold fish so I could have something to sit and watch, as I don't get to go outside very often. I had some when I was really little and LOVED them.  I was hyperactive and didn't sleep for the first three months of my life, so for my mothers sanity, she would sit me in front of the tank so she could have some sleep and I would sit and watch the fish. 
 
I also need to tell you I have OCD, so I tend to over do things, or over clean them, or over think them... etc.
 
So, about 5 months ago my lovely husband bought me a small 20L tank, a small HOB filter, a heater, a fighting fish we called Rodney, and some food.
 
Well, that was a disaster.  I spent over $200 on medicines and water additives to try to make him happy.  But he kept getting fin rot, and then ick, constipation, swim bladder issues, and then fin rot again, and I could not get the tank conditions right, so in the end I could not watch him suffer any more and put him outside in a very very large terracotta pot we use as a water feature.  It is in the sun, so it stays warm, it has duck weed and papyrus for him to hide under, and lots and lots of wrigglers for him to eat.  The idea was he would either live or die, and I would not have to watch him die on my bedside table.  Well the little rotter is flourishing!  He has been out there for three months now.  His fins are growing back, he is swimming around happily, and obviously has enough to eat as he is not interested in the pellets he loved so much before. 
 
While looking after Rodney I read about ph, and ammonia, nitrate and nitrites.  Well that nearly did my head in!  I bit the bullet however and purchased an api freshwater kit and I have figured out all the testing.  Before I got the kit I took a sample of the townwater to the LFS for testing, and they said it was very alkaline, and to use ph down.  The ph would come down to 7 from over 8 then a day later would be back to over 8 again.  So then they said to use our rainwater tank water, which was very acid less than 6ph, and said to use ph up.  This did not work either.  So I started mixing the two to try to get the water to be a perfect 7ph.  Then I found out from a fishkeeper I should not be chasing the ph, but get a stable ph... well I had no idea how to do this at all, and that's when we moved Rodney out into his new home.
 
I did however manage to keep the ammonia, nitrate and nitrite levels all at 0 for him.  I made sure no food was left in the tank, and did 30% water changes once a week, making sure that the temp and ph matched what was already in the tank.
 
New tank!
 
I was so disappointed about Rodney that my husband looked into fish and which would be more suitable for us, and decided that Goldfish might be a better option. My husband said I could get a bigger tank (YAY) as I convinced him the 20L was just not big enough for fish really.  We would ideally like to have 2 or 2 pearlscale or ryukin or fantails in the tank as they don't grow as big I am told.  We would also be looking at getting a bigger tank for them once they are getting too big for this tank (details below).  We also would like snails to eat the algae.
 
This time we decided we were going to do it properly, or as properly as I possibly could.  So I did some research and got the best I could find within our budget.  I ended up with a 100L tank, with hood, overhead lighting, and a overhead sump filter, filtering 1500L/hour... or that's what the info said. It sits on a dresser beside my bedside table so I (and my gentle Burmese cat) can sit and watch them (he likes to pat them on the way past through the glass, and they are not scared of him at all, but come up and look at him!).  I set it up with scoria gravel bed, under gravel filter (for extra biological filtration and additional aeration), a air pump which has 2 outlets @ 200L/hr each, and some soft silicon ornaments, a large diving helmet for them to hide in (i made sure it had no sharp edges) and a 131mm round air stone.  The tank is not planted. 
 
The water (mixing mostly rainwater tank water with a little town water) was around ph7.4 which I thought an acceptable compromise.
 
I let the tank sit for two weeks with no fish for everything to settle, with the filter running. 
 
I am unable to source any ammonia, so I have had to do a fish in cycle, so I bought 6 small comets (less than 2inch each) from the pet shop, as they said they are the hardiest.  I intend to do a slow tank cycling, so that the fish are not tooo stressed, and realise this will mean more frequent water changes.  They have been in the tank just on two weeks now.  I sadly lost one a day after I bought them, so now I have five.  They are not going to live in the tank once it is cycled, because I understand comets grow to big for my tank.  My parents in law have a pond they will be going in.  It is large, has lots of duckweed over it, and lots of places for them to hide from anything interested in them.
 
Just prior to purchasing the comets I found out about the KH and GH.  That did my head in even more.  But again, it sounded like it might have been the problem with my jumping ph water issues, so I ordered a test kit.  That was all well and good, I have been testing the water, but had no idea of what to do with the results or what they meant.  I found the water sources I had available had the following parameters:
 
Rainwater:
KH less than 10?  it was less than one drop for the API KH test
GH 20?
PH less than 6
 
Townwater:
KH 53?
GH 215?
PH 8.2
 
So what led me here?  I am having fish problems!  or at least I think one of my fish is not well, so I have come to get some advice, and hopefully will be able to save the little fellas.
 
I would love to thank you all in advance for all your help, I know my posts will probably be too long, but please bear with me til I have learned the knack of what you need to know to help me.
 
Thanks so much  :-)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 63
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Regular Member

Welcome Ree! :)  

 

Here is a helpful thread about the nitrogen cycle in a tank  http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/109351-the-nitrogen-cycle/

 

With 5 comets in a 100 litre tank, the ammonia is going to build up very quickly and the fish will develop ammonia poisoning.  I think that you could cycle this tank with 1 comet, but 5 will not live long in an uncycled tank.  You need a test kit that can test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.  A cycled tank will convert ammonia (fish pee) to nitrites and the nitrites to the safer nitrates.  Water changes then remove the nitrates.  Most likely, in your tank, the ammonia levels are going very, very high (or, if the tank is starting to cycle, the nitrite levels) and affecting the health of the comets.  I would put all but one of the comets in your parents' pond and begin testing your tank water for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.  

 

The water quality section of the forum has a lot of great information.  Be sure to ask any questions you have!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hi,

 

Thankyou so much for the welcome and for all the links! 

 

I might just keep the healthiest one of the comets then.  The others can go in the pond tomorrow.  There is one greedy guts that looks healthier, and eats more than the others.

 

I have a API freshwater testing kit and so far I have had one ammonia spike of 0.5ppm on the 3rd and did a 30% water change, then today the reading was 0.1ppm before I did a water change to up the GH by adding more town water than rainwater.  The nitrates and nitrites have been 0 on all tests done daily since the fish were added.

 

I just added a post to the diagnosis section with the symptoms etc of my lill friends. 

 

Let me know if you need more info, I will soak up any info you can send my way. 

 

Thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hi Ree,

I have OCD too and also overthink and get overwhelmed easily sometimes...so I understand that when you first start out with goldfish all the information can be very daunting. 

Your rainwater pH is too low for goldfish and with the low kh and gh...the pH will drop even lower.  A pH of 8.2 is not a problem at all as long as the kh and gh are high enough to prevent the pH from dropping.  My outside 700 gallon pond has a pH of 7.9 - 8.3 and my fish thrive in it.  A stable, higher pH is thought to actually make goldfish keep brighter coloration.

Does your townwater drop in pH quickly in the tank or does it stay fairly steady at 8.2? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hello Ree,

Seeing you have some great advice I just wanted to welcome you on Koko's.  I'm sorry for the chronic back pain that you have.  My mom has it in her lower back and her legs hurt at times where she needs to see her specialist on a regular basis for both back and leg(s).   I hope you are able to find some relief with your doctor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Taking care of goldfish is a big job for someone partially bedridden.  Goldfish are a lot easier to care for in a small pond, and if you could use an outdoor lounge chair as a "bed" you could really enjoy them that way.  

 

Here's the good news.  Goldfish have an extremely wide pH range.  A pH over 8 is perfectly comfortable for them and typically very stable.  You don't need the rain water at all.  People who give an "optimum pH" for goldfish are repeating what they read from someone who was repeating what they read from someone .... and on and on.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hi everyone,

 

What a response! 

 

Kayla,

 

A fellow OCDer... YAY, YOU UNDERSTAND!!! :thumbup2:  Daunting is an understatement, I think I have done my head in.  This was supposed to be relaxing, not cause more stress LOL.

 

I have been mixing the rainwater in with the townwater until I have a stable ph.  The lowest stable ph I could get was 7.4, but it seems I have just discovered the GH was way too low.  Now I have mixed in more townwater and the GH is 179, the KH is 45 and the ph is a stable 7.5.  Will those measurements be ok for Goldies?

 

Hi Prettyfish,

 

Thankyou so much for the welcome... its very much appreciated.

 

Hi Sharon,

 

Thanks for the Ph tip, that is very reassuring.  I was really worried about getting the ph right, but I will just aim for stability. 

 

Unfortunately we live in a rented bed sitter (a one room house with separate ensuite) as we are trying to save for a house deposit. We don't have any garden we can have a pond :-(  which I would love.  Instead my lovely husband helps me with the fish, and he does all the heavy lifting, and also does water changes if I cant manage.  He is a treasure, and I would not be able to even think about doing this without him!

 

Thanks again everyone for the well wishes and the helpful advice.  It is so reassuring to have people who understand what they are talking about mentoring.  Thankyou Thankyou THANKYOU!!!!!!!!

 

Ree

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Oh, I forgot to mention, my fish seem to have recovered this morning from whatever was the problem.  They are back on the way to being their cheeky selves again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hello Ree :)

 

I have high PH water too and my fish do great in our tap water.

 

I too have a bad back, 2 previous car accidents and upper spinal scoliosis. :no:  So it is a good thing that my Fiancé doesn't mind helping me out with water changes ;)

 

Welcome to Koko's and good luck with your fish :thumb:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hi Fish of Gold,

 

Thankyou so much!  Yes bad backs are a PAIN aren't they!  I have lower back disc damage in three discs, and twisted nerves and nerve rootlets... whatever that means!  Well it mean ows and lots of them!  All I did was take a step, slipped on some water on the floor, and landed on my knee.... the next thing I new I was in agony.  That was 6 years ago now.  Two things it has taught me; 1, no matter how frustrating, take each day as it comes, the good days and the bad days, and get lots of rest, and 2, where would we be without those amazing people who care for us and look after us on a daily basis!  My husband has taken over most, if not all the household chores, helps me to get in and out of bed etc, and looks after my fish and our little (well not so little really, more along the chubby lines LOL) Burmese boy Finey.

 

Btw, I LOVE your goldfish names.  I will have to tell my husband when he comes in next.  He loves creative names!

 

Hope today is a good back day for you!  :thumbup2:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

:hi and welcome

I would not use rain water anymore. Your tap GH is fine and doesn't need to be lowered. Your KH is a bit on the low side as you want it to be at least 100 to ensure a stable pH. And, as others have said, your pH of 8.2 is absolutely fine as long as it's stable.

You can use baking soda to raise your KH. Here is a link that is sure to make your head swim. :rofl. Read through it and start a thread in the water quality section if you're interested in using baking soda to raise your KH. :)

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/110296-stabilizing-your-tank-ph-with-sodium-bicarbonate-baking-soda/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hi Fish of Gold,

 

Thankyou so much!  Yes bad backs are a PAIN aren't they!  I have lower back disc damage in three discs, and twisted nerves and nerve rootlets... whatever that means!  Well it mean ows and lots of them!  All I did was take a step, slipped on some water on the floor, and landed on my knee.... the next thing I new I was in agony.  That was 6 years ago now.  Two things it has taught me; 1, no matter how frustrating, take each day as it comes, the good days and the bad days, and get lots of rest, and 2, where would we be without those amazing people who care for us and look after us on a daily basis!  My husband has taken over most, if not all the household chores, helps me to get in and out of bed etc, and looks after my fish and our little (well not so little really, more along the chubby lines LOL) Burmese boy Finey.

 

Btw, I LOVE your goldfish names.  I will have to tell my husband when he comes in next.  He loves creative names!

 

Hope today is a good back day for you!  :thumbup2:

Oh yes I am grateful for the help I do get! My Fiancé doesn't even mind doing the dishes and vacuuming :teehee

 

Can you post a picture of your Burmese kitty? :please

 

LOL Yeah my mom suggested my first Goldfish's name, Dreamsicle, then when I got my next Goldfish I named her Creamsicle, then came Popsicle. Now I also have Icicle, Fudgsicle, and Tricycle :rofl

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hi Fantailfan1,

Thankyou so much for the link, and the reassurance. I will check out the link and look into the bicarb, it is great that it is so cheap, and easy to add.... Thanks for the help!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Fish of Gold,

 

I LOVE those names.... esp Fudgsicle, and Tricycle! 

 

Our internet connection is really slow, so I don't know if I will be able to upload Finney photos for you, but this is a link to a puddy he looks similar too.....  Just imagine this little puddy http://www.furawaytails.co.uk/images/Taracat.jpg  with a slightly stubbier nose/face and lots more pudge!

 

:teehee

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hi everyone,

 

What a response! 

 

Kayla,

 

A fellow OCDer... YAY, YOU UNDERSTAND!!! :thumbup2:  Daunting is an understatement, I think I have done my head in.  This was supposed to be relaxing, not cause more stress LOL.

 

I have been mixing the rainwater in with the townwater until I have a stable ph.  The lowest stable ph I could get was 7.4, but it seems I have just discovered the GH was way too low.  Now I have mixed in more townwater and the GH is 179, the KH is 45 and the ph is a stable 7.5.  Will those measurements be ok for Goldies?

 

Hi Prettyfish,

 

Thankyou so much for the welcome... its very much appreciated.

 

Hi Sharon,

 

Thanks for the Ph tip, that is very reassuring.  I was really worried about getting the ph right, but I will just aim for stability. 

 

Unfortunately we live in a rented bed sitter (a one room house with separate ensuite) as we are trying to save for a house deposit. We don't have any garden we can have a pond :-(  which I would love.  Instead my lovely husband helps me with the fish, and he does all the heavy lifting, and also does water changes if I cant manage.  He is a treasure, and I would not be able to even think about doing this without him!

 

Thanks again everyone for the well wishes and the helpful advice.  It is so reassuring to have people who understand what they are talking about mentoring.  Thankyou Thankyou THANKYOU!!!!!!!!

 

Ree

LOL.  I'm glad you explained bed sitter.  Here we call that a studio or efficiency apartment.  Tight quarters for two people!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

LOL yes it is tight.... we have two people, one cat and accessories and a fish tank and accessories all squeezed into a 3.5x7m house fitted out into a bedroom come kitchen with a very small bathroom... that's about the size of a single car garage.  Downside - not much space, and very limited storage; upside - very little vacuuming and dusting to do! 

 

I only wish I had more room for a bigger tank, but hopefully that will come when we have saved enough moola for a little house.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hi Mandy,

 

Thankyou for the welcome.  I'm sorry you have back pain.  Its no fun.  Tell me if there is any way you get around problems you have found looking after your fish when your back is bad.  I would love some hacks to help me along a little!  Yesterday I was thinking maybe I did the wrong thing getting a tank, but then I could just be because it was a bad day.  Today was better, so tomorrow might be even better again hey!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Helper

Hi Mandy,

 

Thankyou for the welcome.  I'm sorry you have back pain.  Its no fun.  Tell me if there is any way you get around problems you have found looking after your fish when your back is bad.  I would love some hacks to help me along a little!  Yesterday I was thinking maybe I did the wrong thing getting a tank, but then I could just be because it was a bad day.  Today was better, so tomorrow might be even better again hey!

My python was the best investment I ever made. It cost an arm and leg with shipping but you can make things similar! I now use a pump attached to the python to drain my tank, so I just have to sit and watch it empty, while the water empties into the yard, and then use the python to refill it again, much easier than buckets!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...