Jump to content

What To Do With Goldfish...and Tank - Vacation For 10 Days!


wuhsabee

Recommended Posts

  • Regular Member

Hi everyone,

I have a question (well, several) about moving tanks. So I am going to go on vacation for ten days and I don't know how I would need to move my whole tank/fish without stressing it out. I have a ten gallon tank with one baby oranda in there.

The thing is, the tank is in the middle of cycling right now so I can't ask a neighbor to help feed him because I still need to do daily water changes. I was planning on not feeding him for two days, then take out 75% of the water, and then place it in the car with a battery operated bubbler. If I leave the filter off for 5 hours (the car trip is approx 5 hours), will my "good" bacteria die off? Will I have to start over my cycling again? Also, since I'm going to another city, I'm concerned that the water there might have a different pH/ammonia levels - will that shock the fish? I do have Prime and am currently salting the water right now (.1% salinity because there's a big nitrite spike.) I'm just worried about the changes in pH.

Any advice will be sooo helpful.

Thank you very much,

Super paranoid fish owner

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

In situations where you can't take care of your fish it's best just to not feed a few days prior, do as large of a w/c as possible before leaving, double dose with Prime and just leave the filter and bubbler on.

You don't have to take your fish with you! (Unless you're not coming back after the 10 days :o ) As for your bbs, if you're going away, why not just leave the filter going? generally the rule is if the media stays wet the bbs should be okay, but they'd do better in the filter where the water moves around vs just in the water.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

In situations where you can't take care of your fish it's best just to not feed a few days prior, do as large of a w/c as possible before leaving, double dose with Prime and just leave the filter and bubbler on.

You don't have to take your fish with you! (Unless you're not coming back after the 10 days :o ) As for your bbs, if you're going away, why not just leave the filter going? generally the rule is if the media stays wet the bbs should be okay, but they'd do better in the filter where the water moves around vs just in the water.

Well the thing is, my tank is still in the middle of cycling, so I sorta' have to take my whole tank with me to do daily water changes...unless there are other options. (Oh god, LOL. I must sound so insane right now.) And if I were to double dose with Prime, it stops working after 24 hours so it won't really help with the nitrite spike (It's been at 5 ppm for the past 12 days!!!!)...I don't want to see my poor ChubChub dead when I come back...:(

For the media, I think when I do the water change, I'm going to keep a small portion of the tank water so I can just stick the filter in for those five hours. (Thanks for that tip!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Wow, 5ppm daily? :o

Maybe you should consider doing two back to back 50% wcs..

I've left fish in cycling tanks while I was away before and they've come to no harm. Is there something in your tank that's causing the nitrite to shoot up so high in just one day? Maybe you're feeding too much? Are there any decorations, rocks or chemicals (other than prime)in the tank, is the filter turning over enough gph? Do you have carbon inserts in your filter?

Adding plants will help to keep the cycle running more closely to 0 across the board once it's cycled. Maybe adding in some live plants would be a good trick for you. Anubias and Sword plants tend to do well in goldy tanks, are low light and generally pretty tough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Wow, 5ppm daily? :o

Maybe you should consider doing two back to back 50% wcs..

I've left fish in cycling tanks while I was away before and they've come to no harm. Is there something in your tank that's causing the nitrite to shoot up so high in just one day? Maybe you're feeding too much? Are there any decorations, rocks or chemicals (other than prime)in the tank, is the filter turning over enough gph? Do you have carbon inserts in your filter?

Adding plants will help to keep the cycle running more closely to 0 across the board once it's cycled. Maybe adding in some live plants would be a good trick for you. Anubias and Sword plants tend to do well in goldy tanks, are low light and generally pretty tough.

YES. 5 ppm daily for the past 13 days now. Basically, I checked my tap water and it already has 1 ppm ammonia..at first, nitrite was at 0 Jul 5th then gradually increased to about 2 ppm Jul-13th, then jumped to 5 ppm Jul-14th..it was a very, very scary purple. Since Jul 14th, I have been doing 75% water changes..sometimes an extra 20% water change if I see the fish gasping at the surface (for a few seconds - not for a long time, but I'm pretty paranoid!).

But the fish LOOKS okay. I hope he really is okay. Like he's swimming fine and has a crazy appetite, lol. I didn't introduce anything new from Jul-13th - Jul-14th. My guess would be that the nitrosomas have been populating and converting A LOT of the ammonia into nitrite, esp since after a water change, I'm basically adding more ammonia into the tank ...but there is not a lot of nitrite bacteria yet? I'm not sure..but it's been 13 days, and I'm getting kind of worried. What can I do? Does the nitrite part of the cycle usually take this long?

Also, my filter is the 5-15 gallon biofilter that came with the 10 gal kit I bought. I feed one pea per day or 3 pellets. There is a bubbler as well as a volcano decoration thing, but that's been there since the Jul 5th, when nitrite was still at 0. No other chemicals other than Prime and some dissolved aquarium salt.

I'm a total noob at plants...I haven't been researching, but thanks for the tip! Would I need soil under the gravel or something? LOL

Edited by wuhsabee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

The filter you bought with the tank probably isn't enough. Generally when filters are recommended for a size tank they're recommended for fresh water fish who produce far less waste than goldies do. Can you look at the box/maybe even on the filter and see how many gph it turns over? for a ten gallon it should be pushing at least 100 gallons per hour. More is better, and will help to keep the water cleaner.

Everyone's cycle differs. In my signature is a link to the page on Koko's main site that goes into detail about cycling, but I'm sure if you visit the water problems area of the forum there are detailed diaries of people's journeys on their cycling.

Generally if you put the prime in before you add the water you aren't really adding any ammonia, unless your tap water levels are high. Have you tested those? Bringing the fish with you to a different water source can be worrying because different water conditions (temperature, pH, ammonia, etc.) can easily shock a fish.

It is difficult to QT a fish while cycling, because the meds can interrupt the cycling. I know for a fact that aquarium salt can increase the ammonia, which might be a part of your water conditions. If the fish is fine for now I'd recommend that you do not re-add the salt.

Is the volcano hollow in any way? Decorations that are hollow usually harbor nasty bacteria and we don't recommend putting them in the tank.

As for the plants each plant's "potting" style differs. You can put the plants in a terracotta pot with soil, but it's not necessary. For Amazon swords their roots need to be buried in gravel in order to root. For the Anubias only it's roots and not the main rhizome need to be planted. :) If you can't find the plants and instructions in your lfs or pet store try e-bay. I've bought plants from online and as long as you dunk them in a bleach/water solution and rinse well you should have no problems with them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I agree that adding plants will help make cycling faster, or less required at all actually,but you need lots of them, so Anubias/Sword can be quiete expensive (though nice addition, i have anubias myself). Add some cheap hornworth (its like 3 - 4 $ each bunch). You dont need any substrate, or anything, other than the lamp/light, just let it float. Horworth will greatly reduce the nitrates, and probably the amonia as well. Thats what i did on my small 10gallon tank, and it helped a bunch. Now i am on 75 gallon, so i dont have to worry daily, i could leave it for 2 weeks, and with all the plants, it will be fine in terms of amonia/nitrite/nitrate. Hornworth is a bit messy, cause it "sheds" alot, specially when not doing good, so you could always remove it once you come back, if you dont like it. But i think the horworth will be superior to Anubias and Sword (needs substrate), simply because it is a great nitrate eater, it floats (so it cant be uprooted), its dirt cheap (probably cheapest, so you can buy much more and fill the tank easily so it actually has quick and good effects). By the way, if your tank is too small for the fish, that could be a reason also for your spikes, so you could always get those rubbermaid containers that would be much larger, and do it there, dont forget the light, that should be on all the time, unless you have timer (cause even algue will help with the bad chemicals when you are away). Also, there are products like SuperBac that i use to jumpstart the bacteria (it doesnt hurt anyways if you have it), combined with alot of live plants (or just the plants is enough), gives you good fighting chances for while you are away. Also, the horworth is usually not eaten, but if it is, at least they got something cheap they can try to munch (but probably wont much). The food issue, someone else can purhaps help, i only left my fish for like 3 - 5 days max, so i got to find a solution myself, i have a cheap automatic feeder, but its sort of useless now cause i have to hand feed some of my fish (black moore), whilst it might help with the other fish, and i dont trust it as it might feed too much and polute the tank, at which point, having purigen as an added media for the filter will help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

For a baby oranda by itself alone a 10g is fine. Fish need generally 10g each, unless they're of the bigger varieties. We only suggest 20g for the first fish and 10 for each after because the more room a goldie has the better! :)

I'm not sure on the hornwart, I've never even seen it in my lfs, but cheap plants to help you along may be just what you need. I only suggested anubias and swords because I know goldies don't generally eat them and they're very hardy.

As for the instant cycle stuff, there have been many members here who use it. Some say it helps a little while others say nothing happened at all. Most of the time people market things like that just to get you to spend money on useless products, but if you want to give it a go let us know how it works for you! :D

Lights should not be on all the time as well. It's better to put the goldies on a "day/night" type cycle. I don't use a light in my main 55g tank and the plants did just as fine in the goldy tank as they are doing in my betta tank that does have a light, algae and is kept on a day/night cycle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

The light was mentioned for the Hornworth alone, not for the goldfish, which indeed doesnt care about it. No Light, and that hornworth will die and not do any good, and actually be a detriment (with hornworth, they do bad without that light, unless aquarium is not too far off the window, but why risk it, plus some algue is ok for now when he is gone, when he returns, he can clean it). I only recommend using the instant cycle if combining it with alot of plants, since it is only a back-up, and you are not there to phisically check how well it is working (if he was physically there, then he could have indeed tested it). They have superbac at Big Al, and its 10$ in canada for a 20 gallon (so you only need half, though you could add the other half in a few days if no effects (shake it well though). I hadnt read the 10 g and one baby fish, so you can survive with that (i did, but i didnt go on a 10 day trip), but you really need a 20 gallon in the long run as suggested by others (for later i guess). The hornworth is compatible with goldfish (but even if your particular fish happen to eat it, no problem, you are getting alot with 2 bunches, it will last you). Big Al and most petstores should have it (if they dont, shame on them). Hornworth is good for that nitrate, but sheds alot specially when no light or it is doing bad. The aquarium light is enough for this purpose, or even a normal lamp 23 W spiral energy saver. Leave it on ALL day ONLY if you dont have a timer. Better it be on and you get the hornworth and new alguae (because light is on all the time) working for you, than nothing to help you at all. The other plants mentioned are fine too, but i bought 2 bunches of hornworth for a 10 gallon, and it was more than enough to have an effect, and cost was bellow 10 $. Trim the excess and put it in the garbage, so fish can swim too a bit, you can put the bunches at the end of your tank, floating or with weights (rocks) to hold it down in 1 place. After your vacation, you can remove it if you want, and get the nicer plants, because you are there to physically control things in any case. Did i mention not to forget to leave the lights ON if adding the plants??? ;). Get an Aquafilter 20 (or better a 30), remove the carbon, add floss instead or another cheap sponge. I had the aquaclear 20, but also another filter to complement as i had two fish in there (very bad of me), but in retro, if you moving to a 20 gallons eventually, the Aquaclear 30 is a minimum, and for dirty goldfish, maybe not enough and you may want eventually (not now) get two of them when you upgrade, or a larger one. Carbon is only good for 1 to 2 weeks, so you dont want it to release the bad stuff back into the tank after its job is done, and plus, it removes the good parts that the plants need. Keep carbon for when needed after using medications or needing to urgenly remove something bad in the tank.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hi guys,

Good news! Yesterday, nitrite levels dropped to 1 ppm!! Today, it is at 1 ppm too! I'm very happy.

Thanks for all of your suggestions. The model for my filter says it's running at 100 gph. When I upgrade to a 20/50 gal tank (might be a while since I'm still in college), I will definitely do more research on the type of filters I get. I think my baby oranda will be okay 'till then. I will take the plant thing into consideration, but I'm scared lol because I don't want to introduce anything new into the tank..like snails / worms and stuff....stupid reason, I know. But I am terrified of worms. :o

Thank you guys! Now I just have to worry about the vacation stuff. :[

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Oh yes. I do have a volcano decoration and it is hollow at the bottom and the top (because it's actually a bubbler decoration) for the bubbles to go through. I will probably take it out in a few days when my other bubbler arrives. I think it's been hurting my fish too because I see scars/ scales missing on his body that were never there before. :( :( :( My baby.

Any suggestions for a good bubbler? The one I bought before (it was a 4 inch bubbler disk thing) wouldn't stay down so I had to push a lot of substrates onto it. It kept floating up again after every water change so I had to put my hand into the tank..which I don't like to do because I'm introducing foreign bacteria into the tank. Don't want my fish to get a disease since it's probably stressed right now due to cycling.

Edited by wuhsabee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

:( Oh no, poor fishie! As for a bubbler I use a bubble bar and hold the tubing down using suction cups with hooks on them.

As for the scare of introducing things into the tank with the plants that's why you qt the plants/give them a good rinse with bleach+water. :)

Try looking for a used tank in garage sales, etc. I'm not sure where you're located at, but in the US Craigslist is often a great deal for tanks. :)

Also, if you have Pet**co near you they have sales where it's a dollar per gallon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...