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Guest Stinky Water

Ongoing Nasty Water Issue

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Guest Stinky Water

Hi! I am new to this forum and have serious ongoing issues with my water quality. My goldfish are large (most 7-8") and over 5 years old. They lived 4 years in a backyard pond. Long story, but when I moved, I had to take them with. Difficult transition, because I had pond care down to an exact science and knew nothing about indoor fish care. They now live in a 55 gallon aquarium with a Fluval 304.

I am about to go stark raving mad from the amount of time I spend doing water changes and disassembling, thoroughly cleaning, and reassembling my pump. Within days of cleaning everything, despite clean filter media, gravel vacuuming, no overfeeding, etc., the water begins to stink and get cloudy. It's different from algae.

Once upon a time adding a bacteria kept things in balance. Now nothing I do or try will keep the water from becoming rancid. It is a nasty smell to live with, the whole house smells like it.

Anyone know what on earth I am doing wrong? I really need help with this. I am tired of wasting money on treatments that don't work and I know it stresses my fish out when I have to remove them to clean the tank. Thanks.

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Guest jdumalski

Ok how many gold fish do you have in your tank. Whata re you usinf for filtration?

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First of all, you have WAY too little filtration on the tank, so its not surprising that you're having problems keeping your water clean. A fluval 304 filters 260 gallons per hour. Goldfish need a minimum of 10 times the number of gallons in the tank filtered per hour. You need at least 550 gph on your tank. I would get more because you have large fish. I would add 2 penguin 330s on the tank along with the fluval to bring up your filtration.

How many fish are in the tank, and what kind are they (fancy varieties or non-fancy)? I wouldn't put more than 3 large fancy goldfish in a 55 gallon tank, and no more than 2 non-fancy. Having the right stocking density and the right amount of filtration will help immensely in keeping your tank clean and reducing maintainance.

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Guest Stinky Water

That's scary to hear my Fluval 304 isn't enough. That's what the local store told me would work. I can't afford to spend any money at all on more pumps, etc. right now.

I have 5 goldfish, non-fancy. 4 are 7-8". 55 gallon was the biggest indoor tank I could afford. This is a situation where I had the goldfish years before I had the aquarium. I couldn't choose how many fish to put in the aquarium.

Anyone have suggestions on what I can add to the water to help keep it clean?

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More filtration.

the Fluval 304 only does 260 gallons per hour and you really need at least 550 gallons per hour going in that tank.

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A more painful but practical solution is to half your fish load. :( It's a tough choice.

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Guest Stinky Water

After what I went through to keep my fish and take care of them, I would never get rid of them. They are over 5 years old and I raised them from tiny 20 cent feeders. My cat claims ownership of them too. So I wouldn't get rid of them.

I'm seriously thinking of checking back with the pet store I bought the aquarium equipment at and asking for a break on a newer, better filter.

If I can someday afford to buy a larger pump, which one would you recommend? I'm okay with the Fluval, a bigger Fluval? It's quiet and reliable.

Lastly, what do you all put in your water? Thanks. I really appreciate these answers.

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Fair enough, I wasn't been flippant. Some decisions are harder than others. I won't part with mine neither. ;)

What I put into my tank, the simple answer is as little as possible. The only thing that I use regularly is dechlor.

I use ammonia binders and salt when I start a tank because I know both ammonia and nitrIte will peak and I'm not in the mood of hitting the panic button when it gets high. I know the fish are protected and I can sit back and let them ride it out. :)

Other than that, I don't normally add anything else. If the biofilter is work well and is correctly dimensioned, it should take care of the ammonia and nitrIte. My pH is perfect for my cichlids and koi's straight out of the tap. I occasional adjust the KH with a bit of baking soda but that's rarely. Regular partial water change (10-20%) keep nitrAte under control. That's about that. :thumb:

In your case, what do you feed them? How often?

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Guest Stinky Water

I know you weren't being flippant, my cat would sue me if I got rid of his version of the Discovery Channel. Thanks for giving more info.

What do they eat? More like, what will they accept? I found out the hard way that the only thing they want is cheap goldfish flakes. I've tried gourmet flakes and high end food, they let it rot in their tank. The jumbo can of cheap fish flakes is the only thing they will eat. I guess they got so accustomed to bugs and weird natural crap in their pond that the cheap flakes must be gourmet enough. Some of them would eat flakes while in the pond too. But not pellets, not veggies, nothing human grade.

They will only eat once, at night. I can tell if I forgot to feed them at their scheduled time because they will "swarm". They get all hyper until I notice them. What else are they supposed to do since they can't say "hey! get me my fish food!", I guess.

So, is consensus that I need a more powerful filter? Thanks.

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Hmm, that doesn't sound too exotic. ;) Sometimes high protein food cause trouble with water. I read through the thread again and you mentioned that you have tried all sorts of things to fix the water. Exactly what have you tried. No point in suggesting something you tried already and may be we shall find clues as well. ;)

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