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New Tank


chico

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Hi - New user. I love this board! Thank-you all so much for such valuable information. I have been reading this board for two weeks now, and I am very greatful for all the advice it has given me.

I have a 10 gallon start-up tank I purchased from vvvv for my 3yo son. I set it up and let it sit for 5 days before I added two orandas.

The fish seem to be doing wonderfully. They are always swimming around like mad and begging for food. They look like they are in great shape.

1. I am performing the tests and I have experienced a spike in the ammonia, but it has gone down to .25. Now the nitrites are up. After reading some advice here on the board, I have added some table salt to the tank. Now my question regarding this is:

Is it 1tsp per 1gallon of water? OR 1tsp per 5gallon of water? I have seen it listed both ways on this board. After adding the salt I can see that the water is a bit cloudy. Will this clear up?

2. I have also noticed that the water now has a smell to it. I guess that maybe this is normal? I haven't performed any water changes as of yet. I am getting different advice on that topic.....some say wait until 1 month b/c performing water change once a week is stressful to the fish. Others say perform it once a week. Anything I can do about this smell?

3. Which now leads me to the filter question. The tank came w/a Top Fin 10 filter (small), which to me seems to be just a standard little filter for a beginner tank. Should I be looking into getting a better filter for this? And if I do, would it be better for me to get it now rather than later?

Thank-you so much for taking the time to read this and help us out! My kids are loving the fish, as am I!!

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Guest squeeker

Welcome to the board, Chico!

I just want to let you know that table salt should NEVER be added to the aquarium as it contains added chemicals that keep the salt from caking together. These chemicals are lethal to fish. I would suggest you do a couple of very large water changes to get rid of the salt, if you did indeed use table salt! Kosher salt and aquarium salt are some acceptable salts you can use.

The correct dosage is 1 tsp to 1 gallon of water. This will give a 0.1% salt solution. You should dissolve the salt in some aquarium water before adding it to the tank.

The other thing you might want to think about is that a 10 gallon tank just isn't big enough to sustain 2 goldfish. Goldfish really should have 10 gallons each, and others will say the same. Overcrowding will eventually lead to stunting, uncontrollable poor water quality, disease, and prematrue death.

Otherwise, you seem to have the cycle under control, that's a big hurdle!

As for the filter: I have never used (or even seen) a top fin filter. The rule of thumb here is to be sure that you are getting 10X tank volume turnover per hour. If you find that your filter isn't powerful enough, you can always get a second small filter, or get a larger one to replace the old one. I recommend the Aquaclear 30! If you do decide to replace your old filter, be sure to use both at the same time for a few weeks so you don't have to cycle again. Or, you could use the media from the old filter and put it in the new one.

Good luck with the fish!

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Thanks for the reply, squeeker!!

Ok - for the salt issue: I found straight from DataGuru's website that I could use table salt. I quote,

"Add salt at 1 teaspoon per gallon of water. Pre-dissolve in tank water and make sure it disperses well when you add it. You can use non-iodized table salt as long as it doesn't contain yellow prussiate of soda."

According to that, and another thread somewhere else on this board, I used non-iodized table salt. So now...I am scared. Is this information incorrect??

The Top Fin filter that came w/the 'kit' doesn't have a wheel. It just sucks the water out of the tank, flows the water thru this little 'box' where a small filter sits. The water is then sent back into the tank. I have no idea if it's performing the 10x tank turnover an hour. I am still not up to speed on filters...I will do more research on this. But any advice is greatly appreciated.

I am concerned about the smell of the water...again is that normal? Does anyone else's tank have a smell to it?

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Guest squeeker
You can use non-iodized table salt as long as it doesn't contain yellow prussiate of soda

Like it says, you can use non-iodized table salt, as long as it doesn't contain prussiate of soda. This is the anti-caking agent I was talking about... be sure your salt doesn't have it!

I'm sure you could find out how much your filter turns over by looking at the packaging it came in. It's usually quoted in gallons per hour, or GPH. You'll need 100 gph or more for a 10 gallon tank.

Filters don't need a wheel, in fact, I am not personally convinced that the wheel does all that much. My aquaclear filters don't have a wheel, either.

The water should smell earthy, but you shouldn't be able to smell it from across the room. If the water smells differently, do a 25% water change and see if that helps!

HTH!

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Ok - great. That does help. The water smells earthy - so that's okay. No - I cannot smell it from across the room! THANK GOODNESS!

I'll check the gph on that filter. Thanks again for the input.

Oh - and yes - I am using the salt without the YPS in it. Thanks for the clarification!

You gals and guys ROCK!

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I did some reading the other day on the salt thing, and 1 tsp per gallon is probaby overkill. but since that level of salt won't hurt anything, I'd rather be safe than sorry.

New tanks generally go thru a few days where the water looks cloudy. That's the bacteria that eat debris going a little nuts in reproducing. They'll calm down. Small partial water changes can help somewhat.

on your partial water changes question. In my opinion, whoever told you not to do partial water changes is full of it. a pet store ninny I'd bet. LOL I think you need to change out 20-50% of the water weekly (and after your biofilter bacteria get established) vacuum with each partial water change. This helps to reduce nitrAtes (which will just keep building and buiiding) and will add fresh water. As your goldies grow, you'll need to upgrade them cuz it will become impossible to keep the water happy with two in a 10 gallon tank. not to mention swimming room.

the thing to look for in a filter is that it should optimally have separate areas for mechanical media (filters out debris) and biological media (a home for the biofilter bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrAte). moving 10x the gallons in the tank per hour is a good rule of thumb.

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Guest Phreno

Well, it seems you've got everything covered, so good luck with your new fish!

Just one thing, you'd really be much better off with a larger tank. The fish really enjoy the extra swimming room, and they'll live much better with more room. It also means less water changes to bring nitrates down, so in the end it can only be good! Well, except on your walet! :D

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The wallet sure is taking a pinch. My husband cannot believe all that I have done so far...for fish!

But I am loving it. I had no idea so much is involved!

Question for the water change, tho....in a 10 gallon tank, even if I do the 10%/week, do I still do the 25%/month?

~Laura

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Guest Phreno

If the ammonia is not too high, and your nitrates are not too high, then a weekly 25% change and monthly 50% change should be fine. :)

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Oh cripes! :(

Well, I am hoping and praying for the best on this overstocked issue. I had NO IDEA that two fish would be too much for the 10 gallon. Guy at the petstore said "NO PROBLEM!" What do I know!

If these two last a few months, I will be EXTREMELY happy. As will my son! Then I will think about getting a new tank. I just hate to have to go thru the entire cycle process again SO SOON! Any suggestions on that thought?

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Guest Phreno

Well, if they're small they could make it. You just don't want to stunt them is all.

Actually, you'd hope that by the time you get the new tank the filter on your old one would contain enough bacteria, so you just move the filter and get another one and viola! instant half-cycle. You can use the same gravel and water too, I think it will help.

Untill them, try reeeeally hard not to overfeed them, because that could cause some problems. It always can.

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Alright - thanks for the info, Kyle. I really appreciate it! :D

I'll certainly watch on the feeding....as it seems to be very tempting to feed them every time I walk into the room!

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