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Kendall

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Ok I have a ten gallon take with two small goldfish in it (one fantail, the other not sure). About 5 weeks ago the filter pump went out. It was old and given to us about a year ago. So I went to the pet store and purchased a new one. A penguine 100 with bio wheel. It is very similar to my old one except that it is much quiter than the old one was and has a bio wheel which the older one did not. Fortunately my old physical filter fit perfectly into the new filter pump compartment which I was happy about because I didn't want to have to worry about my tank recycling all over again. So while I changed out the equipment I kept the old filter.

I want to change the filter now because it is nasty and has not been changed sense I've had the tank (over a year). Because I didn't have a bio wheel before I didn't want to replace it so I just kept clearning it off when the water flow started slowing down. Now that I have a bio wheel that does not need to be changed I want to put the new filter in.

My question is this... How long should I wait for bacteria to build up on the new equipment and biowheel before I change the filter out so as to keep the tank from having to cycle all over again? I am confident that the water quality is good right now but I don't want the biofilter to drop to much when I change the filter out and see the amonia levels spike. As I stated its been about 5 weeks, does that seem about right for the biowheel and equipment to catch up or should I wait a little longer? Any advice would be appreciated.

Edited by Kendall
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You may be ok, but with 2 fish in a 10 gallon you are likely going to run into water quality issues fairly quickly.

What kind of filter pad is it? The ones that are made to fit in the biowheels? You don't actually *have* to use those, you can buy filter floss or other inserts which are much easier to clean. I also put ceramic cylinders (bio media) in my filters which are great for growing good bacteria.

Maybe you could cut the old filter insert in half and put some fresh media in there for a while, so that you don't throw it all out at once. There should be good bacteria on your filter and biowheel by now, but throwing the whole insert out could be risky.

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Its a filter pad (seperate from the bio wheel). It is a blue floss filter with a black palstic back, looks like little rocks (carbon maybe?) inside of it. I read some good ideas in another thread about maybe tearing the floss off the old pad and sticking it in behind the new pad so I don't lose all of the BB. Not really sure what you mean by, cutting the old filter insert in half and putting some fresh media in there for a while.

In terms of my tank size. I realize that two is a little to much for a 10 gal tank. Does this seem like a big problem or something I can work with? Should I do larger water changes, or more frequent changes. Typically I change about 20-25% every other week. I am thinking maybe I should be doing water changes every week. I think I am going to test my water this weekend and maybe that will give me a better idea as to where I stand.

Thanks for your help!

Edited by Kendall
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In terms of my tank size. I realize that two is a little to much for a 10 gal tank. Does this seem like a big problem or something I can work with? Should I do larger water changes, or more frequent changes. Typically I change about 20-25% every other week. I am thinking maybe I should be doing water changes every week. I think I am going to test my water this weekend and maybe that will give me a better idea as to where I stand.

Thanks for your help!

Hiya Kendall...unfortunately your ten gallon tank is much too small for your two goldfish. We all recommend at least 10 gallons per fish so you'd need at least a 20 gallon tank to be able to accommodate them during the growth process, and they're gonna get big! On top of that both of them would produce a large amount of waste/toxins in such a small volume of water, making it quite deadly to them in a short period of time thus the need for many large volume water changes to remove harmful ammonia and nitrites. You'll have to test your water daily to see when and how much water that you'll need to change to keep your fish free from stress. I recommend that you upgrade to a larger tank as soon as you can to make it better for your two fish and also to make it easier on you as well! Keep us posted and best of luck with the new fish! :)

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Thanks for all the help and advice. I am not in a position right now to get a twenty gallon tank. I don't have the money to purchase one and don't really have anywhere to put it. Any advice on how best to take care of the fish until I am able to get a larger tank? I realize they will get larger but while they are small I was hoping I could buy a little time by doing larger water changes more frequently.

Also any advice on how to best deal with the filter pad issue mentioned above?

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You can throw out the filter pad. They are designed to only last about two weeks so that you keep buying new ones. The bio wheel should have enough bb on it if it has been in your tank for five weeks. But if you would feel more comfortable, remove the blue floss and add it in to the new pad. I would suggest adding sponges to the filters instead of new pads though, that way you only have to rinse them instead of throwing them away. It also helps the bb.

I would be doing 50% water changes daily, to every other day. Have you had the fish for a while? They are small because of their small tank. They will become stunted if both are left in the ten for a long period of time. 20-25% is just not adequate for these poop machines.

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Time to pay a visit to Craigslist and score yourself a much larger tank. They are a dime-a-dozen, and usually come fully equiped. It's a cheap way to get a great tank, and trust me, when you no longer have to fight with, and worry about, water quality, you'll really be able to enjoy your fish. That 10G is always going to be a problem......murky nasty water, and ultimately, unhealthy/sick fish that you are spending a bunch of time and a lot of money on.

I say, make the jump to a 30 long, step into the world of either multiple HOB filters or a Fluval or Eheim with internal storage compartments, and really enjoy the hobby. You'll be glad you did.

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Time to pay a visit to Craigslist and score yourself a much larger tank. They are a dime-a-dozen, and usually come fully equiped. It's a cheap way to get a great tank, and trust me, when you no longer have to fight with, and worry about, water quality, you'll really be able to enjoy your fish. That 10G is always going to be a problem......murky nasty water, and ultimately, unhealthy/sick fish that you are spending a bunch of time and a lot of money on.

I say, make the jump to a 30 long, step into the world of either multiple HOB filters or a Fluval or Eheim with internal storage compartments, and really enjoy the hobby. You'll be glad you did.

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Well actually the second fish I have only had for a couple of months. I started with two fish (about a year ago)but one did not make it through the initial cycle so we kept one fish for a long time and decided to add a second a couple of months ago (obviously a mistake). The first fish hsa been by itself in the 10 gal for the majority of the time with the 20% water changes every other week. I was hoping with adding the second fish I could simply just do larger or more frequent water changes but by what you all are saying that is not going to be sufficient.

I did take some water up to a local pet shop and they told me the Nitrates were a little high but not off the charts (last water change was 6 days ago). So I am going to go ahead and do another water change. I guess I will do it at 50%. I am also going to get my own testing kit so I can see the water quality myself and as you all said I am going to look into getting a bigger tank as soon as possible. I just don't know where I am going to put a 30 gal tank. Right now I have the small 10 gal sitting on a counter in my daughters' bathrooom. The 30 gal I am going to have to get a stand for as well. I'll check craigs list.

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