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I Am Just Sooooo Excited


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Oh goodness where do I begin? *lol*

Although I had tropical fish for 3 years, I'm finding keeping goldfish a brand new learning experience!

I have read the Fancy Goldfish book and The Proper Care of Goldfish from front to back the past few weeks. Just loved both books.

When I first decided to have a goldfish tank, I knew NOTHING about the 10 gallon rule. The girl at the fish store told me that it was 3 inches of fish per gallon.

SOOOO, needless to say my tank is a bit overstocked.

I started out with a 30 gallon tank and have moved up to a 49 gallon tank.

I have 8 goldfish and 2 tetras (survived the ice freeze last winter when we had no power for 4 days).

This is how my 49 gallon looked about a month ago:


I was trying to do everything right but finding that I was REALLY struggling with Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrite. Just couldn't seem to get my readings down.

Last week when I was vaccuuming the rocks, I almost DIED when I saw how much wasted matter was in the rocks! I couldn't believe it. I don't over feed and just was totally amazed at what I was pulling out of the rocks.

Right then I decided that I needed to really do some things differently if I was going to provide the best possible home for my babies (which I love dearly).

So I removed all of the rocks. I wasn't sure how I was going to like the look at first but I have to say, now that it's done......I LOVE IT!!!! I wish I had learned of bare bottom tanks sooner!

Another problem that I have ALWAYS had is VERY acidic water. Our PH reading is WAAAAY below 6.0. It is a neon yellow! I have always battled with PH UP, Regulators etc. They all seemed to work for a day or two but then I would have to keep adding more. I went through SO MUCH of it just trying to have somewhat of a stable, almost neutral PH.

In my reading and yearning to learn more so that I can do the best possible thing for my cuties, I read about crushed coral and reef rocks. I bought some reef rocks and coral at the pet store and couldn't wait to try them.

I had a dilema though, I run a 400 Emperor and a 350 Bio Wheel and you can't buy just the filter frame and bags like the Whisper HOB sells and I don't use charcoal in my tank. So I bought 2 of the cartridges with carbon, some filter floss and some ladies knee highs. I came home, cut the filter cartridge apart and dumped out the carbon. Then I laid the frame on the filter floss and cut a piece the size of the frame. Next I took a knee high and stretched it around both the frame and the floss and then filled between the frame and floss with crushed coral. Makes a nice bag and has the frame to fit the slot. I was tickled with the results. :nana

This morning I put the cartridges in the HOB filter and all day I have been testing the PH. It started at about 6.2 first thing this morning and slowly throughout the day it has risen a little at a time and right now it is a solid 7.0 and NO CHEMICALS!!! I can't tell you how relieved I am to FINALLY combat this acidic water and do it naturally. I know it's just me thinking this but I truly believe my friends seem even happier now *lol*

I also have learned about Purigen and added that to the filter to try. I really feel that this is just going to be so much easier to maintain in the long run.

So without further ado, this is my tank today:


Kind of off topic here but can any of you more experienced folks tell me why my background (which is black) looks like that? I tried to fix it but couldn't. Did I do something wrong?

Here are some closeups of the kids in their "new improved environment".

This is HARLEY (sold to me as a Ryukin but most likely a fantail) admiring his reflection:


BUBBLES the oranda puckering up:


CHIQUITA and NEMO the orandas just hanging out:


BRUCE the oranda showing off his fins. Some of Bruces scales look matte to me. Is there a way to tell if he's lost his scales for some reason or if they are matte scales? If he lost his scales for some reason, will they grow back?


PENNY who was sold to me as a fantail but could possibly be a Ryukin glimmering in gold:


MICAH the "wenless" oranda but cute little narial bouquets on her nose:


And last but not least DUCKY the.......? Fantail/Pearl-less Pearlscale?


Another shot of DUCKY just because I love this little face:


It took a little bit for them to adjust to no rocks to pick up in their mouths but they quickly learned how to clean a bare bottom tank *lol*

Here is a picture of DUCKY and CHIQUITA cleaning the floor *lol*


I tell you, I think I learn something new every day when it comes to providing the best suitable home for these little rascals.

I know that soon I will have to invest in another tank but right now it's just not in the cards. Luckily 3 of them are on the small side still (2.5 inches or less).

I just love researching and reading everything I get my hands on and I know there will be new things to learn but it's so fun!

So glad to have found you all :)


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  • Regular Member

It is looking great and it is good to know you are okay moving up to a larger tank when they outgrow this one (with good care they will).

One trick for the background is to use a credit card to smooth out the wrinkles...that should help!

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So do you still have your smaller tank then? Is it possible to split them between the two? I myself always want as many tanks as possible, because it kills me to have just one "look", but alas, while i'm living rent free a la the generosity and kindness of my mom while finishing up college (blast the economy crumbling right before I graduate!) I have to keep it to just a couple because I don't want to be a rude dude when it comes to hogging electricity. But I tell ya, when I'm a "grown up" and have my own place I will have either one HUUUUUUUGE tank or a couple regular large big ones.

Or I don't know if you checkout Craigslist or not but perhaps you can sell the smaller one for a "grow into" tank fund?

Any how your Harley is just gorgeous. I wish he and one of my babies could get together and make pretty pretty fry,,, I have just the softest spot in my heart for calicos,,, fish, cats you name it I love me some calicos.

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I think splitting them would be the best idea and rehome the tetras. You don't have enough for a group and they requite different upkeep then the goldfish.

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Good Morning Everyone,

Unfortunately right now I just don't have the space for another tank.

We have 2 children still at home (son will be 20 but same situation as Aubree) so those rooms are being occupied.

As it is, the computer that I'm at right now is in the kitchen. We have 2 computers in the kitchen.

Once the kids move out the computers will move into their rooms and I will have this kitchen wall :)

Hubby doesn't want a tank in our bedroom as he doesn't like the noise at night.

Sooooo, I got the biggest tank I could for the space that I had.

As far as re-homing the tetras, I don't know of anyone who has a tank and these guys have been with me for about 3 years. They survived in 30 degree tank water when we lost power for 4 days in January. They were the only survivors. The really don't take up any space and they seem quite happy in the tank. They have been living with the goldfish for 4 months now. I don't know what their life expectancy is but I'm hoping they will die a natural death. I just looked up their lifespan and it's about 5 years.

I know it's not the perfect setup, but I'm trying the best I can with what I have to work with.

I'm trying to make their environment as clean and safe as possible.

Once I inherit the kitchen wall though............Oh yeah, I see a 90 gallon in my future believe me! And I can't wait!!!

But for now I'm grateful that I was able to upgrade from the 30 to a 49 and right now because 3 of them are still quite small they don't look crowded but I know that they are going to outgrow this tank and I'm working on it.

I am actually quite proud that I was able to move them from the 30 to the 49 without a single loss and I have never had any type of fungus or parasite thus far.

I couple of months ago I thought Bruce had cotton fungus on his head but after much reading learned that it was his wen growing *lol*

I asked the question above but do any of you know by looking at Bruce if he just has a few matte scales on his body or if his scales are missing? If they are missing, do they grow back? I'm not sure I remember his side looking like that and I'm not worried about it but if the scales are missing, I'm not sure why.

I try to pick out my favorite but it's funny, each of them has their own unique personality and each one touches my heart in a different way.

I guess if I HAD to pick a favorite it would have to be Ducky. Only because he's the tiniest guy in the tank and he's such a little odd ball.

Thank you all for the compliments on my babies, I know they are not show winners but they are show winners in my eyes *lol*

Just for the fun of it I just tested the tank. I can't believe it! My PH is at 7.4 this morning! I have NEVER been able to get a 7.4 reading no matter how much PH UP or Regulator I put in the tank! I am just totally beside myself. I have fought with yellow PH tests for years! Unbelievable! I wouldn't believe it unless I saw it myself! Seriously, I have the most acidic water I have ever seen. We have a well and back in 1947 this whole part of town was burned to the ground. I have 2 1/2 acres of blueberries if that tells you how acidic the soil and water are here. I'm SO happy that I tried crushed coral! No more having to buy PH adjusters!!!

My ammonia level was 0, Nitrite 0, and Nitrate around 60? How is that? How do I lower the Nitrate and why does that read when the ammonia level is 0 and Nitrite is 0?

I do know that I have never been able to grow nice green algae where this tank is but when we had tropical fish there was a brown algae (really like brown tar) that would grow on the back of the tank. It's still on the chest that in the tank but none on the new aquarium which has only been set up for almost a month.

I truly believe that since I put the coral in and the PH has been rising on it's own that my little water hogs seem so much more active and happy. I know it's just me thinking this but I really do think I see them being spunkier :)

It's so nice to wake up and have my coffee and be able to chat fish with people who understand *lol* Hubby says I'm a Fish Aholic because everywhere I go I bring one of the 2 fish books with me to read over and over and over again *lol* I have to say, although I loved the tropical fish and had alot of fun breeding mollys, I love the goldfish even more.

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful day. We are off for a family Bar-B-Q today and you can bet I will have my books with me :)


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  • Regular Member

Your fish are lovely :D

Your backing looks strange because water has got behind it thus making some of it stick to the glass maybe. The credit card tip is a good one though and helps smooth out the air bubbles. Elsewise it's a case of taking it off, drying the glass and the backing then applying with double sided tape all round to stop water getting in so easily :D

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Thank you all for your replies. I think I will try to play around with that backing this weekend.

Well, it's been almost a week with a bare bottom and coral shells in the filter and I am just LOVING it!

Tomorrow is clean the tank day and it should be a breeze :)

PH is holding at 7.0 - 7.4 which is totally AWESOME! I can't even believe it.

My little water hogs have never looked this happy :)

Hope you all have a great day!


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The nitrates are high and the ammonia and nitrites 0 as they are converted into nitrates. You need to get those nitrates down with water changes if possible, your cycle wont get rid of them without green algae. Reading other people's posts it seems general consensus is 10-20 is good :) Your fish are looking fantastic, I recently went barebottom too (tank, not me!) and I can't believe how much poop one fish produces in one day! I currently have 1 smallish oranda in a 23 gallon tank (his new tankmate is still in QT), I siphoned it only yesterday and there's so much today! Must be because he keeps eating all my plants....

Good luck sorting a bigger tank and kicking the kids out! I'm a uni student so space is not a problem at the moment, housemates moved out so I have the place to myself, but not sure what my mum's gonna say when I turn up with a 2 1/2 foot tank, she knows about it but knowing is not quite the same as seeing...

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You're RIGHT ON! I don't have ANY algae!

It doesn't grow.

After a LOOOONG time I will get brown algae but not the good green kind :(

Having 8 fancies in a 49 gallon is alot of work and I'm forever puttering with the tank to keep it healthy but I LUV it!

I can't wait for the day when I can get another tank. I already picture it in my head.

I'm sure your mum will love you tank, who couldn't love pretty goldies hanging out?

I can't believe how attached I have become to mine. I keep telling myself.....Kim they are only fish *lol* But I know if anything happened to any one of them that I would be devastated.

Thank you so mcuh for the compliment on my babies, I have such a great time with them!


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No one seems to have answered your scales question so I thought I would.

Yes, it looks like Bruce has lost a few scales. Don't worry, scales grow back. They fall off for all sorts of reasons. I personally think it was from the sustained low pH. Missing scales aren't a problem in and of themselves but rather an indicator that something else is wrong. It could be that Bruce has lost scales in the past but you didn't notice them because they grew back orange. But I hypothesize the older the fish gets, the less stable the color is and therefore the scales won't grow back the same color.

Take my 1 1/2 yr old Dragon. He lost quite a few scales when I first bought him (he was roughly 6 mos) and kept him in a tiny 3 gallon tank. They all grew back orange. Now, however, he lost a few scales to the stress of flipover and they left little white spots on his body. I am certain they have grown back, but they are just white. It's kinda cute, actually. :) I think he will eventually turn all white because his orange color is fading and his cheeks are turning white. It's just another example of finicky goldfish colors!

Hope this helps :)

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