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Start Again And Again


awrieger

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Some of you may be aware of my recent troubles where I lost some of my beautiful fish. Well the main tank was since empty since the troubles, so I decided to create my dream tank. You may be familiar with this Buddha statue:

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Took me three days to set all up properly, and I was qute happy with the result.

It lasted all of 12 hours. My run of bad luck continues.

Woke up the morning after finishing it and putting Bumpy and Big Red in to see the top glass brace had snapped loose. I was very lucky not to have lost the whole tank when the brace went. It was bending outwards in the middle but held, which gave me time to completely undo everything and set it up again quickly back in the boys' old tank (which faces my desk):

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Not as nice as the Buddha tank, but I can work on it as the plants grow to improve it over time.

The plants are a very good thing. For weeks and weeks, Bumpy was just never getting better. His was feeble, not eating well and his gills just weren't healing with the ammonia-laced tapwater I have now. This is his first day with the plants, where you can see how dark his gills are:

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Three days later, look now:

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The plants are just sucking all the ammonia and everything out of the water. A miracle cure. I realise now my biggest mistake was taking all the potted plants out his tank (i was adding medicines) when the troubles began. They were the best cure. Anyway, he's perking up now incredibly and getting his ravenous appetite back. :)

Big Red survived the troubles a lot better than Bumpy, but he still lost a few scales to infection. They have grown back now, but they are white.

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I've been very busy this week setting up *all* my tanks as planted tanks with proper substrate (Caribsea Ecocomplete).

So I replaced the broken main tank, and it now looks like this:

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It's only freshly set up so needs to settle and plants grow in a bit. That's Angel you can see there, my rescued Oranda. Don't worry, that's all she really does, just sit on the bottom. Fuji is in there as well, but doesn't seem to like her new tank much. She's hiding in the bushes behind Angel.

This is my bad luck tank from the troubles, so I hope it doesn't continue and affect Fuji.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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And then there's my two remaining survivors, Baby Surprise and Lizzie. They have a nice new planted tank too. This tank has no CO2, so it's just a bunch of stem plants at the moment.

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Baby Surprise is getting big and fat. She was smaller than a 5c piece at the beginning of the year:

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Well, as you can see, my goldie population has been drastically reduced so I only have two per tank now.

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Thanks Annette. :) I'm so happy to see Bumpy beginning to be old Bumpy again! Still only about 75% there though.

I have to add here that this afternoon I lost Lucy, my beautiful redcap oranda. Add her to the death toll. She passed away in her hospital tank after weeks and weeks of struggling. At the beginning I thought she was going to be okay, she was actually getting better, but then everything just got.. well.. :(

I'll be removing my signature pic with her image tomorrow. I'll just leave it up for another day in rememberance at how beauiful she was.

Anyway, Kennedy the Ryukin is the only other seriously damaged fish still surviving now. I've taken him out of the hospital tank he was sharing with Lucy until she passed away and just put him back in with Bumpy and Red two hours ago to let nature takes its course. He's on the bottom on his side. Maybe I could have saved him too if I knew what I was doing as he was improving at first too, but he's too far gone now..

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I'm so sorry you lost all those fish but Lucy was my favourite. Sad to hear that Kennedy is also on the way out. :cry

On a brighter note I am amazed at the size of baby surprise, she really is coming along nicely.

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So that leaves me with one main tank left over, which I'm giving over to a tropical aquascape.

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It's only just freshly set up yesterday as you can see (the murky water has since cleared), so I'll post progress pics as the plants grow and develop. Hopefully this tank will have a nice lawn of hairgrass eventually, and a nice moss covered log.

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I'm so sorry you lost all those fish but Lucy was my favourite. 

I think it's a an unspoken rule of goldfish ownership that the favourite ones always go first! I don't know why. One of those inexplicable mysteries, like the other queue always moving faster no matter which one you join..

Well, at the rate Baby Surprise is growing, she'll be my biggest fish soon! She's the only fish I've ever had as a few weeks old baby which, except for this recent episode, has never experienced poor water conditions so I think that made a big difference.

She's easily already overtaken Lizzie who's almost a year older, who I got as a tiny baby too. But that was when I was still a bad fish keeper last year and she endured some seriously bad water for a long time while growing which has badly stunted her growth.

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So if the lawn grass becomes established does that mean you don't gravel vac?

You know, I have absolutely no idea! I'll have to find out what to do when the time comes. I'm just assuming you can go over it lightly with a wide gravel vac to sort of vacuum it like a carpet!

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well what can i say you've come back after all the mess and things look fantastic again well done, and cutie pie bumpy looks so much better, poor little bugger was in a bad way wasnt he, i'm gald to see pics again i really miss seeing your beautiful tanks, i'm sure everyone else does too, so welcome back darls XXXXXXX keep up the pics we all luv em. :D

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Thanks so much for that Sonni. :)

It's been difficult. I really did feel like just giving it all away at one point. And today when Lucy passed away I was just numb to it, even though I think she was the best fish I ever had. But I know if I ever look at photos of her in future, my stomach will just turn into knots of guilt and regret like it does when I look at pics of Frostbite and Sox. :(

But giving all the tanks a new makeover this week has been very therapeutic. A bit of a stumble there though when the Buddha tank broke after all that effort I put into it, but at least I'm back on track. :)

Thanks again! :)

xxx

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Hi - I'm sorry to hear your troubles. I am so sorry about Lucy! :heart

I hope that Kennedy will be spared too much more suffering - but, maybe the new tank (rather, set-up) has some good vibes - it healed Bumpy! It is good to take your sadness and put it to constructive use - the new fish will be very happy!

We are wishing for renewed good fortune with your tanks! :rest:

I have a Buddha tank, too! Yours did look beautiful - will the Buddha not fit in the other tank? At least you have gorgeous plants! I tried the Eco-Complete, too, and although I have not used other substrates before - I really like it! I don't think I would use anything else. And it looks so natural - my killifish look they are actually in a river bed!

Keep the pictures coming - your tanks are beautiful and your fish are lovely! :exactly

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Thanks, Gold Ryu! :)

Thanks, Graham! :) Not such good vibes for Kennedy I'm afraid as the ramshorn snails started munching on his tail (from his lying on the bottom), so I've moved him back into his own little tank again.

I'm not sure about using the Buddha again unil I get a muc larger tank I think. It was really a bit of a squeeze in the 35 gallon. And Ecocomplete is the first plant substrate I've ever used too, and I really like it too. It sort of looks like real dirt, but isn't! The plants seem to love it and are thriving. :)

Thanks again!

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Remember I mentioned Lizzie being stunted? Well, she was so stunted she didn't develop her male flecks on her fins until just now. At least I didn't even notice until yesterday because of all the drama. After more than a year thinking he was a girl!

So this lady ain't no lady!

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You can see he's (I have to get used to that now after a whole year!) blind in his right eye from where an aggressive female ranchu bit him when he was a tiny tot. I managed to save his eye when it got all bloody and swollen up three times normal size, but it's shrunken and totally blind now. The aggressive ranchu went back to the lfs the very next day months ago even though she was one of my best looking fish. I'm going to keep Lizzie in with Baby Surprise for the time being as he never bothers her at all.

And then there's Fuji here.. I absolutely love Fuji, she's so cute!.. well, Fuji didn't like her new planted tank at all. Spent all her time hiding amongst the stem plants:

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She even got tangled in the plants on the first night and the base of her tail was all bloodied and wounded from her struggles and I thought oh no!!, but she's recovered from that and I've since made more space in her tank for her to move around okay now. :)

But Angel has adapted to the new tank a lot better. But all she does anyway is sit on the bottom. This fish would look really great if she ever swam about the tank like a normal fish I think!

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The Ecocomplete substrate looks almost like normal dirt, doesn't it? But it's not, it's actually porous volcanic rock (to absorb nutrients and hold bacteria) of all different sizes, with the finer stuff settling to the bottom leaving the bigger pebbles on the top. I also have heating cables under it to help maintain a water current through it as well.

And here's a rather large male ramshorn snail trundling past the stand of Hygrophilia Corymbosa 'Compact' in Bumpy and Big Red's tank. That's an Ozelot Sword in the vase, and the purplish plant on the left at the back is a Red Rubin Sword, and the purplish one on the right is a Red Lotus leaf.

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Hey, that looks real nice. Lizzie is such a doll, oops, I should say Lizzie is such a hunk. :lol:

I like the idea of your substrate, I've been toying with the idea of tropicals but many prefer planted tanks. I've had no luck with plants but when the time comes I may give that a try.

I'm in no hurry because I would need a vacate tank and I'm not going to give any of my goldies away. Hopefully I won't have a vacant tank for a long time.

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My babies are growing up! *sob*!

For the first time in weeks, I fed them some algae wafers and Baby Surprise and Lizzy (boy's name now, not Lizzie ;) ) both just gulped them in one go! Before, they'd have to chase the wafers around the tank nibbling at them bit by bit!

Thanks Kissy! :) I now have 3 goldie tanks - two x 3 foot (35 gallon) and one x 2 foot (24 gallon). The other 2 foot (24 gal) tank previously a goldie tank is now the tropical planted tank with the rocks and stuff.

All four of the ranchus are between 3 and 4 inches body length, while Big Red and Angel are both between 5 and 6 inches body length. Baby Surprise was barely 3/4 inch when I got her at the beginning of the year, smaller than even her own tail fin is now!

Annette, as nice as it is to have a spare tank now to plant with tropical fish and aquascape it a bit, I would still much rather have all the goldies back instead. So I really hope that you don't get the chance I just did with having a vacant tank, not for a very, very long time at least as you say!

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I'm sorry about all of your troubles lately and the loss of your beautiful fish! Frostbite, Sox and well they were all beautiful! I'm very glad you got all your tanks set back up and are feeling good about it again. You have such amazing looking tanks and fish and I love seeing the pictures too. I really hope the bad stuff is behind you now and these little darlings will be just fine! Sorry the buddha didn't work out again, maybe some day though, huh?

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awrieger, I was in shock when I came across this post, I had no idea of all your troubles :hug , and I'm so, so sad to hear about your fish .... Frostbite, Sox and Lucy stand out in my memory as outstandingly beautiful fish, so i really feel for you.

Just wanted to say as well though that your tanks are once more looking amazing and your fish now are also lovely ... baby surprise is so cute :heart

Our tank is all silk plants, I thought a planted tank would be way too complicated to look after, but yours looks absolutely beautiful. What happens with algea growth in a planted tank? Like our plants, gravel, rocks & ornaments gets covered and it's an ongoing battle to keep them clean :krazy: ... is it a problem in a planted tank too?

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My troubles continue...

Kennedy dead.

Angel dead.

Kennedy I was eventually expecting as he never really recovered. Looked like septicemia on the side facing down, which just deteriorated from rubbing on the floor over time

But Angel took me by surprise. That dreaded mysterious bloody poop symptom again. I saw a bloody stool on the tank floor and thought OMG, not again! :( Which fish was it! All three looked fine. I was really worried it may have been Fuji, my favourite, but it didn't take long to see it was Angel. This thing, whatever it is, kills quickly once it gets to the bloody poop stage while there's no outwards appearance of anything wrong at all. What disease is it?! Does anyone know please? In the space of less than one hour I watched her as she went from being normal, then started leaning to one side, then completely on her side, then breathing rapidly, then slowing, then stopped altogether as she died before my eyes.

And nothing I can do and no idea what it is. So helpless just watching them die. It doesn't seem to be contagious, yet it does seem contagious. One fish dies but the others are completely fine. Then two months later, another fish gets it...

So I'm reduced down to 5 fish now from the original 11, and reverted to two completely bare tanks, like this:

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This is basically to keep the tanks as sterile and clean as possible until I sort my problems out with my tapwater. Sort of like hospital tanks.

See Bumpy there in the corner? That's him actually looking okay. That water there is about 100-200ppm of nitrates. But that's 'good', believe it or not! Because five days ago he was looking like he was about to die - deteriorated badly straight after a water change. So it's better like this than to do a water change. At least he's still hanging in there after all this time. Tough little fellow! But that's been a weekly routine - after every water change, his gills go purple and he deteriorates again just when I think he's coming good. Then once the filter starts reducing the ammonia (or the charcoal removes the toxins), he comes good again. His condition just goes up and down like a yo-yo.

It's gotten to the point where I'm too scared to even do any water changes at all now. After a 50% change, in less than 5 days the nitrate levels are already well over 120ppm (maybe more as the test just goes dark red and it's hard to tell)! The filter's working overtime because I'm just adding so much ammonia from my tapwater, it's beyond ridiculous. It's gotten to the point where I believe Bumpy is better off with over 100ppm NO3 than with supposedly fresh clean water!

So I'm not planning on getting any more goldfish at all ever again until I can find a solution. Which is not something I'd like to contemplate, so I've bought a tap water filter this week. Not a reverse osmosis thingie, but one that specifically removes chloramines. A chloramine filter! It even says so on the side - "Chloramine Filter".

But my laundry tap is an old one so the attachment doesn't fit, so now I have to go buy a new tap and see if I can change it over so I can screw the filter in. *sigh*

Once I get it working though, hopefully my troubles will be all over and I can start posting good news stories and redecoraating the tanks again. I also really want to get another fish just like Lucy. I really miss her. :)

PS. I think I can safely conclude that high nitrates don't cause flipover or sbd problems.

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Gday awrieger

So sorry to hear all your troubles with your fish and tap water. Btw u got some very beautiful fishies. I particularly like Bumpy :D . where do u live? i live in perth and the tap water is very good here.

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