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New-to-me Tank


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Last night I picked up a free 29 gallon tank that was way overstocked with fish (a giant 8 inch common, a four inch or so fantail and a 5 inch White Morph Zebra Cichilid). The water was pea green and the fish were swimming around in major muck. Lifting up that undergravel filter and cleaning it was really nasty...though not quite as nasty as getting that water in my mouth when I used the siphon he had to empty it. Yuck :ignore

It was clear that he cared about his fish (he was pretty said to see them go, though I think his wife made him get rid of the tank), but he just didn't know anything about fish keeping. He had an undergravel filter with an airpump for a 60 gallon and a 200 Penguin BioWheel filter. He had all sorts of stuff for clearing cloudy water and getting rid of algae. It was pretty clear that his solution was to add stuff to the tank rather than to clean it. I told him that I would guess he would have to do at least three 50% water changes a week if not more for how overstocked that tank was...I don't think he knew what a water change was.

Anyway, the fish are going to new homes soon and I will be starting from scratch so I have some questions.

Is this filtration enough? I am going to start with three one inch goldfish and then when they get too big move up to a forty gallon. I feel like from what I have read on here this is a little low. Can I add my Whisper 15 to this tank to help? Also, I don't really know anything about Bio Wheels, but I noticed there is a holder for a carbon filter but it is empty so should I add a new one?

This also came with a 60 gallon airpump which I attached my 3 inch bar airstone to. Should I get at least one more airstone?

And the lighting is flourescent but it is 17 watts. I have live plants (mostly low to medium light)...so I'm thinking I need at least 35 watts in there if I can?

Okay, and finally I was hoping that this tank would be cycled and I would be good to go but I knew not with that water. I tested the water in the tank and ammonia was at 2ppm and Nitrite at 1ppm. Being that it obviously went through a cycle crash with that waste I cleaned out everything. The old gravel was so full of junk that I threw it out (except for a handful which I didn't clean and added to the tank. I scrubbed the tank down and put the filter back in unwashed. I added all fresh water except for the water from the fish when I added them. Now the tank water looks a pale green. Should I just keep an eye on everything and see if the cycle can catch up or when the fish go to new homes break it down again and start completely over with a fishless cycle?

Sorry, for the questions and the long post...I just want to do everything right now.

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Is this filtration enough? I am going to start with three one inch goldfish and then when they get too big move up to a forty gallon. I feel like from what I have read on here this is a little low. Can I add my Whisper 15 to this tank to help? Also, I don't really know anything about Bio Wheels, but I noticed there is a holder for a carbon filter but it is empty so should I add a new one?

Kudos to you for the rescue! I hope you find them some good homes!

The Penguin 200 BioWheel is NOT enough filtration. Penguins are awesome filters, but it's only 200GPH. I'm assuming you're adding 3 fancies? Yes, you can ALWAYS add more filtration! The more the better! The Whisper would bring your total turnover to 350GPH, which is good.

Chemical filtration-- carbon additives-- are only necessary in 2 cases, IMHO. #1, when removing medication from the water, or #2, when trying to remove a bad odor from the tank. Otherwise, the carbon is quickly used up and then can actually leach bad things back into the water. Instead, I recommend filling the carbon slot with fine filter media, such as filter floss (or 100% polyester pillow stuffing; that stuff works great!).

This also came with a 60 gallon airpump which I attached my 3 inch bar airstone to. Should I get at least one more airstone?

I don't think that another airstone is necessary. With the surface agitation from one 3" airstone and two powerfilters, I think the level of dissolved oxygen would be fine. If you're worried (especially if your water is on the warm side due to the weather), feel free to add another. Just make sure that the circulation is broken up with decorations so there is a calm spot for your fish to rest.

And the lighting is flourescent but it is 17 watts. I have live plants (mostly low to medium light)...so I'm thinking I need at least 35 watts in there if I can?

I believe that the lighting recommendation is at least 1 watt per gallon... 35 watts sounds good.

Okay, and finally I was hoping that this tank would be cycled and I would be good to go but I knew not with that water. I tested the water in the tank and ammonia was at 2ppm and Nitrite at 1ppm. Being that it obviously went through a cycle crash with that waste I cleaned out everything. The old gravel was so full of junk that I threw it out (except for a handful which I didn't clean and added to the tank. I scrubbed the tank down and put the filter back in unwashed. I added all fresh water except for the water from the fish when I added them. Now the tank water looks a pale green. Should I just keep an eye on everything and see if the cycle can catch up or when the fish go to new homes break it down again and start completely over with a fishless cycle?

I doubt that the cycle crashed from the cleaning. It's likely that the cycle was so overloaded by the huge bioload and inadequate filtration that the beneficial bacteria just couldn't keep up. Personally, since you don't know the history of the fish's health, I would rehome the fish and then zap that tank with either a bleach solution or PP or both, rinse it well, and then start over. If you're not keeping the original fish, it's just not worth the risk.

Hope that helps!

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Thanks so much! The tank also came with a UG, but after lifting it up and seeing the junk under it I'm just not sure I want to use it (I've read varying opinions here on that one). I'm so anxious to see it up and running, but not so anxious that I want to risk my new goldie's health. I do think the idea of PP it is probably the safest...only they don't sell it in California. I've been nervous to use bleach, but that might be the way to go. Should I buy a new bio wheel (the wheel part or can you bleach and rinse that?).

These guys will get good homes and they deserve it after living in that plain, dirty space for so many years.

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I've used a 1:19 bleach-to-water solution without problem. The key is to rinse it until you're sure it's safe-- and then rinse it again to be sure. Then, throw in some AmQuel+ to neutralize any lingering traces. Commercial cleaning bleach is actually sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl)-- in water, the sodium (Na+) and hypochlorite (OCl-) dissociate; then the hypochlorite ion reacts and releases oxygen and chlorine. AmQuel will take care of any residual chlorine in the tank.

I can't find PP in Washington either, but Kordon makes Permoxyn, which you can order online. http://www.novalek.com/kordon/permoxyn/index.htm

If starting completely over, I would buy a replacement biowheel and throw out any and all filter media and gravel.

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Last night I picked up a free 29 gallon tank that was way overstocked with fish

Yay! You got the tank! I think this was a good decision!

Anyway, the fish are going to new homes soon and I will be starting from scratch so I have some questions.

So, you already have new homes?! You're just so on top of things!

UGs can work, but you gotta know EXACTLY what you're doing. With his 200 Penguin Biowheel and your Whisper 15, that is perfect filtration. Yes, you should add a new biowheel, especially as you'll be restarting the cycle. It will give it a chance to get cycled as well. Hopefully the danged thing will spin. My wheel just won't spin, no matter what I've tried. It doesn't seem to have hurt the cycle though. The tank is cycled fine without it. It's just that it's another place for the BBs. I have an extra biowheel that I would offer you, but it's too small for your filter.

This also came with a 60 gallon airpump which I attached my 3 inch bar airstone to. Should I get at least one more airstone?

If your tank water isn't too hot, you shouldn't need more aeration, but goldies DO love to play in bubbles. I had just the little bubblers in my 10 gallons and the fish just ignored them. But, I came home yesterday with bubble bars that extend the width of the tank and as soon as I got them set up, those little ones were over there playing in the bubbles.

Okay, and finally I was hoping that this tank would be cycled and I would be good to go but I knew not with that water. I tested the water in the tank and ammonia was at 2ppm and Nitrite at 1ppm. Being that it obviously went through a cycle crash with that waste I cleaned out everything. The old gravel was so full of junk that I threw it out (except for a handful which I didn't clean and added to the tank. I scrubbed the tank down and put the filter back in unwashed. I added all fresh water except for the water from the fish when I added them. Now the tank water looks a pale green. Should I just keep an eye on everything and see if the cycle can catch up or when the fish go to new homes break it down again and start completely over with a fishless cycle?

I wouldn't mess with the water, other than the water changes to keep down the ammonia and nitrites, until you've placed all of the fish you have. As nasty as that water and tank may have been, they were used to it, so it's best not to upset them too much. Then, once they're gone, you can do your thorough cleaning and cycling.

It's a very nice looking setup btw...!

Edited by Lynda Von G
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Thanks, everyone! I think it will be a great set-up once it is done. Eventually I will invest in a larger BioWheel, but until then I'll use my two. I like the look of the airstone, but boy is it strong with that 60 gallon air pump!

Last night when I cleaned as much as I could (though still ended up with pea-green water) I threw out all the old gravel, but he had a bag of new gravel which I rinsed and added last night. Do you think I can still use this? Oh and I put my airstone in...so can I clean that and use it? Hopefully if the homes (I hope I have new homes, Lynda...I think I do :rolleyes: ) I have in mind work out I will be able to break it down in the next few days. I hope it will be okay...

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Thanks, everyone! I think it will be a great set-up once it is done. Eventually I will invest in a larger BioWheel, but until then I'll use my two. I like the look of the airstone, but boy is it strong with that 60 gallon air pump!

Last night when I cleaned as much as I could (though still ended up with pea-green water) I threw out all the old gravel, but he had a bag of new gravel which I rinsed and added last night. Do you think I can still use this? Oh and I put my airstone in...so can I clean that and use it? Hopefully if the homes (I hope I have new homes, Lynda...I think I do :rolleyes: ) I have in mind work out I will be able to break it down in the next few days. I hope it will be okay...

You can get a control valve to slow down the air flow from the air pump if the output is too strong. Sure, there should be no problem in using all of those things you mentioned. I'm excited for you!

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Sunday? Sure, I can do Sunday. Can you do EM yet?

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I've used a 1:19 bleach-to-water solution without problem. The key is to rinse it until you're sure it's safe-- and then rinse it again to be sure. Then, throw in some AmQuel+ to neutralize any lingering traces. Commercial cleaning bleach is actually sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl)-- in water, the sodium (Na+) and hypochlorite (OCl-) dissociate; then the hypochlorite ion reacts and releases oxygen and chlorine. AmQuel will take care of any residual chlorine in the tank.

I can't find PP in Washington either, but Kordon makes Permoxyn, which you can order online. http://www.novalek.com/kordon/permoxyn/index.htm

If starting completely over, I would buy a replacement biowheel and throw out any and all filter media and gravel.

Amy,

This is the PP solution I ended up with and it does work well. Petsgo carries it, and I am sure some other lfs do too. The 16 oz bottle says it treats up to 900 and some odd gallons, so there is enough to do the tank, and everything else too. It also can be used as a med for flukes and other parasites, but I'll let one of the mods explain that because all I know is what the bottle says it does.

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Amy,

This is the PP solution I ended up with and it does work well. Petsgo carries it, and I am sure some other lfs do too. The 16 oz bottle says it treats up to 900 and some odd gallons, so there is enough to do the tank, and everything else too. It also can be used as a med for flukes and other parasites, but I'll let one of the mods explain that because all I know is what the bottle says it does.

So Roni, you live in CA and you were able to get PP? I'm confused... there's another thread that says PP is illegal in CA?

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Amy,

This is the PP solution I ended up with and it does work well. Petsgo carries it, and I am sure some other lfs do too. The 16 oz bottle says it treats up to 900 and some odd gallons, so there is enough to do the tank, and everything else too. It also can be used as a med for flukes and other parasites, but I'll let one of the mods explain that because all I know is what the bottle says it does.

So Roni, you live in CA and you were able to get PP? I'm confused... there's another thread that says PP is illegal in CA?

The PP crystals are illegal. The Permoxyn is available at pet stores. It's legal because it's less than a 4% solution of PP. I believe it's 3.84% PP solution. You have to use more, but it still works well.

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The PP crystals are illegal. The Permoxyn is available at pet stores. It's legal because it's less than a 4% solution of PP. I believe it's 3.84% PP solution. You have to use more, but it still works well.

Well, that's not so terrible. I can't physically FIND PP crystals, so if I ever want to use PP, I'll be using Permoxyn. It's probably more expensive but... sigh, that's life.

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Thanks, guys. Right now I'm sort of having a hard time getting excited about the new tank because I feel sad for the fish. I posted in another post, but the fantail didn't make it and the other two were struggling so a LFS that Lynda suggested took them in. They actually seemed great when I left, but it wasn't the home I had in mind. I was really worried about bring the common to the store (a pet store in LA) with the indoor pond. He is so much bigger than their other fish and I was worried I could bring them a disease. I wish I heard about Roni's friend, before rushing to the pet store.

But I am going to clean it out tonight and get my background painted on. Thanks for the tip on the Permoxyn, Roni.

Thoughts of Joy, I meant to ask you, do you fill a carbon filter holder by empty the carbon out and adding the other material or do you just cut a square of the cotton batting and put it in? I'm a bit confused.

Lynda, I don't really know how to work anything yet here. What does that mean? I can give you my regular email here or should I do it some other way? Thanks! BTW, did you see that adorable little Calico Oranda at Aqarium City? He would have been coming home with me if I had a tank ready...so cute. And amazing store. Julian was really knowledgeable there.

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Yeah, I think I know the one you're talking about. I was THIS close to taking home either the smaller red and white lionhead on the right side or the slightly larger black and yellow oranda on the left side, but I resisted. Aquarium City will take good care of the fish. I went there one time and wanted a big ol' pom pom oranda and they wouldn't sell it to me because it was sick. They were medicating the tank and doing everything they could to properly take care of it. They will take care of your fish and I'm sure they'll make sure that whoever buys them knows what they need to do.

I don't remember how many posts you need to get PMs, but lemme see if 200 is the magic number. We can give info here if we have to, I just wanted to see if we can do it another way first.

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200 is the number of posts necessary in order to use the PM system.

I actually do the carbon slot both ways. I had the carbon inserts that came with the filter-- I cut a slit down the middle and empty out the carbon, then stick it in. Currently I just have a piece of cotton batting/coarse filter pad stuffed into the slot.

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OOOOh new tank!! : ) I just now saw this Amy! You must be sooo excited... It's amazing what threads I have been missing.. That's sad about the fish, but I am soo excited about the new tank. You said it might be christmas and now it's early! YAY! Congrats! Can't wait to see how it turns out, and which fish you get. All the goodies.. OH AND DO NOT BAKE LYNDA ANY COOKIES WHEN SHE COMES OVER!!! She's already been rubbing it in that she lives near you and I don't and she can get delicious fresh cookies! LMAO I don't need any more reasons for her to be like "hahahahahahahaha!" LMAO

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I just got it set up last night and it looks really good...I'm now feeling like I can get excited. And Lynda approved the pet store for the two fish (it was because of her that I thought that was the right store).

But, just so she can't rub things in she will only get pickled beets...Unless she likes those, hmmmm. :unsure:

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