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Slimy Water


Guest disenhouse

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Guest disenhouse

I've set up a new tank which is now about 3 weeks old. It all started when my daughter came home from school with a tiny little common goldfish. She loved Fred but we were absolutely clueless when it came to caring for fish.

Gritting my teeth and silently cursing the parent who sent goldfish to school for a grand end-of-school give away, I bought a goldfish bowl ($40). Yes, I know. I thought I was doing okay. Best of intentions and all that good stuff. Naturally, Fred didn't do too good. By the end of the week he was looking pretty bad. I had been doing research on goldfish all that week and realized I'd made a monumental blunder by putting him in a bowl. I went back and bought a real live tank with all the necessarily filter, gravel, conditioner etc stuff ($125). Fred only lasted another three days. We had a ceremonial flushing and I told my husband that we were now into this "project" by $165 and there was no way I was going to move all this equipment into the garage. Besides, Fred had grown on me and he really was kinda cute.

So began the great cycling adventure. We put in two goldfish into the 10 gal. tank. The ammonia spiked for a few days and I valiently battled to keep it down-no problems there. Then we added a third fishy, Angelina, who immediately introduced me and my two other little guys to ich. I put in Coppersafe, Maracyn-2, Maracyn and Maracide. Angelina died in about 5 days. My original two, Charlotte and Charlie, hung in there. Charlie (a calico) was so strong and never seemed to pick up any "salt" but his colors did fade so I'm pretty sure he had ich too, he just showed it in a different way. Charlotte was covered in salt.

Then the nitrites hit the roof...10. And they stayed that way for a week. I dumped a ton of cycle in the water, did water changes almost every day, added salt, added AmQuel+ and was so very careful about how much I fed them, but it never helped at all. I started to resign myself to the thought that I sucked as a fishy owner and they were doomed to the great toilet-flush. Then I ditched the AmQuel+ and put in some Prime. That seemed to do the trick. Either that or it coincided with the natural cycle-off of the nitrites. The tank dropped (almost) dead flat on nitrites (that was about 2 days ago). Today they read at .5 and the ammonia is 0. But now the nitrates are starting to climb ever so slightly...20, when they used to be 0.

I know this is a long tale, but yesterday I came home from yoga and looked in the tank to discover everything was covered with a slimy floating filament sort of goo. I have no idea what it was. I immediately cleaned the tank and did a 50% water change. The water did turn slightly green after I was done wiping down the sides of the tank. The filter was covered in green goo...as if someone pea-souped it. I changed the filter. Charlotte developed some black spots during the high nitrite phase and I'm still medicating the tank to help her out with healing that. This morning the spots appear a little better...more superficial than before. Charlie though, my strong little trooper, is really whooped. He's been at the bottom of the tank for the last few days, doesn't want to eat much and just doean't seem very happy.

This morning the filter was covered in goo AGAIN. I changed the filter and came to Koko's to register and see if anyone has any thoughts on the goo.

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  • Regular Member

Hi there and :welcome

Let me say, your story of how you got into fishkeeping is certainly one that has played itself out MANY time before. No worries, we will always do our best to help you with any questions you may have..... :D

Firstly, before medicating for ANYTHING in the future, come here and post all the available info from the white box in the disease diagnosis forum. You can avoid a lot of undue stress on your fish by getting the correct diagnosis ANd treatment regime.

Okay, the slimy stuff you are seeing is a mix of algae, beneficial bacteria, and other micro-organisms. Not to woryy, this is completely harmless and is actually a sign of a healthy tank. If the stuff is too unsightly for you, just wipe it off with an algae scrubber. DO NOT use additives for algae removal.

In all honesty, it will be best for you to leave all of the tank walls alone until you have your tank fully cycled and a good strong bio-base. You can wipe the front panel of glass whenever you like, just try to leave the rest. Many experienced goldfish keepers choose to leave algae growth on the tank walls and some of the ornaments because of its beneficial proerties. I am one of them. Trust me, it is better to have it (at least some) than not.

Okay, to help you get ready for the incredible amount of growth that goldfish can exhibit, I feel that you might need to do some "spiffing-up" of the tank and possibly the filtration. To make sure that your aquarium is goint to be suitable for your fish, try answering the following questions:

What is the name and size of your filter?

How many gallons is the tank?

How many goldfish and what are their sizes?

Can you test your tapwater for ammonia, nitrItes, nitrAtes, pH and KH?

Post back soon! :)

Paul

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Guest disenhouse

Hi Paul: Thanks for getting back to me. Nice to know all the slimy stuff won't hurt anything.

Ok, the filter is a Whisper power filter for a 10 gallon tank, which obviously is the size of the tank. Its getting logged down with the slime again as we speak. The flow out the front is down to a trickle and I've had to turn it off and take it apart and clean out all the gunk. I did not use soap in the cleaning process.

There are two goldfish. Charlotte is a 1.5 inch golden fantail and Charlie is a 1 inch calico fantail.

I just now tested my tap water and the nitrAte is 20 ppm, nitrIte is 0, KH is 180, ammonia is 0 and pH is 8.4. I have hard water.

Hope this helps!

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Hi disenhouse,

Good to see you and your fish persevering, I liked reading your story.

Toothless' info/advice is very good so you're in good hands :D

It's unfortunate that you have nitrate in your water, though not disastrous.

After so much medication and changes, I'd imagine your goldies are a bit stressed, and so would suggest no medication for at least a week. Just feed lightly and do water changes once every other day to maintain perfect conditions. Try to keep pH, temp rock steady, and other parameters as low as possible.

I think your filter may be gunking up because of the excess volume of solid waste. Your tank parameters seem to show that your microbe colony is big enough to cope with the amount of ammonia produced, but the solids can't be broken down fast enough. You may want to think about reducing the amount you feed, or improving filtration.

I also think that one or two months down the line, Charlotte and Charlie may get a lot bigger... :)

Good luck, and do post back on how they are doing.

Slugger :)

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Guest disenhouse

Hey Slugger: I'm actually kinda surprised at how stable the water chemistry has been for the last few days. The nitrItes were 0 this morning so that's good. I had to clean the slime off the filter again this morning. It's as if the Ghostbusters visit the tank every day.

My husband and I always wanted to set up a tank, but when we'd start to scratch the surface of everything we needed to know, our eyes would roll back in our heads and we'd feel faint from the crush of info. When our daughter came home with Fred, it kinda forced us to buckle down, pay attention and DO IT because we sure didn't want to break her little heart from indifference and not even tring to help her help her fish to survive. Ultimately we messed that up by getting a bowl, but we have kept on and I think it'll work out okay.

I'd love to graduate to a 50 gallon tank, but my husband wants to see our little 10 gallon prove successful first before we jump into that. But when we do, then we'll have a nifty little hospital tank.

When I was giving the meds to Charlotte and Charlie, I definitely didn't dump them all in at the same time :) I'm not giving meds right now. They're still at the bottom of the tank and being fed lightly. I'm hoping to see a little more zip in their wiggle soon.

Take care,

Brenda

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Off the top, you shoud never clean your filter as you described. Basically, you might have disrupted your bio-filter a bit in doing this.

Here is a link to help you with filter cleaning and maintenence: filters and maintenence

For the next couple days, you should test your water for ammonia and nitrItes. Just to be sure that you didnt trip up the bio-fitler any with yur cleaning of it. Unless, you ONLY cleaned the fitlerpad that traps debris......

Just to be sure that you have the correct filter for your tanksize, can you look at this link and tell me wich of the whisper line of filters it is that you use?

Tetra/whisper filters

Click on each selection of filters until you find your particular model. Once you figure that out, I can tell you the GPH of the filter you are using.

Keep in mind that the recomendations on the boxes of these filters do not pertain to goldfish and their excpeptinally messy habits. You actually need double what they suggest to have sufficient filtration. Goldfish tanks need to have at leat 100gph for every ten gallons of water. This is the minimum requirement to keep your goldies water good.

You can call your local water suppier and recieve a breakdon of your water and what it is comprised of. They have to send it to you upon request. In it, you will find all of the available info you need for judging your waters quality.

Post back soon. :D

Paul

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