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Kairi

Newbie General Questions....

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OOoookay! So I'm sure this has been asked before and Ive searched the forum and other sites but can't reach a definite answer on some topics.

I'm new to fish keeping - this is my first fish so I'm sorry if my questions seem redundant!

I have two Ryukins in a tank :) one is mine which I got today (red/white and black) and the other Ludovinquinho (long name... red/white) is my bro's. Anyway we keep them in the same tank, and we just want to keep those two. We are not planning having lots of fishies, and I actually got my Ryukin (no name yet) today to keep Ludoviquinho company :)

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Ludoviquinho is an excellent fishy, I got it at Wallymart and he captured me because of his fast swimming and how excited he was!! We bought a huge tank with a filter, gravel, live plants, a moss ball and kept everything as free as possible :D ... I really dont get the whiole nitrate and measurements things to be honest, we are VERY amateur, shame on me, I make a 50% water change

and treat the water of course! but I never check for anything! How can I start to? and how can I know the correct levels for my Ryukin?

Today I got a Ryuking he was from vvvv and he was a gift, so my new little guy (or girl?...I cant tell...) is probably stressed cos the guy at Pet-smart was a complete @#$*(#@(*$@#(*$ at handling him!!!!! (or her) so he is swimming but maybe he is stressed? Cos sometimes he is just floating and swimming slowly...how can I help my new little guy or girl get adjusted? Also, how can I tell if is a girl or a guy?, and what food should I feed the ryukins!! I bought small sinking pellets that I wet first since that is what I read from most people... Ive also read Zucchini, and lettuce...also shirmp? ... Our babies are really small... So how should I feed this to them?Where can I buy the correct brands/products for them?

Also any general recommendations on Ryukins and stuff would be great...or on what should I do to keep them happy... it makes me sad to see my little new fishy so sad and shy...he seemed happy at the store :(

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Welcome :D Koko has given you some good links.

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wow what a fast response!!!Thank you!!! They are immensely helpful! I thought my water was getting cloudy so fast because of the food!! not because of cycling!!!

Actually (you are gonna kill me) before reading this forum when I gave the first Ryukin to my bro, I bought it in a bowl...cuz well that is what we see on movies!...but I bought a 20gallon tank and he is sososos excited! So thank you!!

I have a few questions :x

I saw at the pet store something like little wheels that go inside your tank and tell you the "nitrate levels" , temperature and such, is this effective at all? or are the strips better?

Also, on the food ...I fed them peas but my sweeties are small, so I cut it up and gave them really small pieces..is that okay? should I feed the lettuce this way too? also where should I get the spirulina? ot the frozen shirmp?

and how can I help my new little guy? I bought some live plants today and they look really happy nibbling and exploring!! :) Im so excited!

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I find those little wheels to be worthless. Unfortunately, so are the test strips. You are much better off getting a liquid test kit. I like API. And test every day...that is the best start to help you through your cycle and to help guide your water changes. Any frozen foods you can get at the pet stores...in the freezer section. It is totally fine to cut up peas and you can cut up other veggies. I find it more fun to put lettuce, spinach , orange slices on a feeding clip (at pet stores as well). The live plants are great...just make sure to sterilze them first.

For new fish read up on quarentine procedures. Salt and prazi is a good start.

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First off, :welcome

Next, I understand not wanting to wade through bunches of articles trying to pick out what you want to know and I have no problem answering the same question again, so don't feel badly for wanting some personalized advice.

Koko, our illustrious leader, gave you some great links, but I'm going to try to just post some basic info, in the simplest form possible, so you can start to get going right. Also, I have several links in my signature that will help you start to learn about a few things.

You have a new tank, so it's still cycling. I'm not going to try to explain the entire Nitrogen Cycle process, so please read the link in my signature about that and/or the link Koko provided. You MUST know this if you want to keep your goldfish alive and healthy.

To cope with a newly cycling tank with fish, you will need to do DAILY water changes of AT LEAST 50% and easily up to 80 - 90%. How much you change will depend on your test readings.

To test your water, you will need DROP tests:

ammonia

nitrites

nitrates

ph

kh and gh

Ammonia, nitrites and nitrates tests will test for nitrogen in your tank. Ammonia will be the first reading you will get. You cannot allow it to get higher than 1.0 ppm. So, for instance, a reading of .25 ppm would require you only do about a 50% water change for that day. A reading of .5 ppm would require you do about a 70% water change and if you were to get a reading of 1.0 ppm, you would need to do a water change of 80% - 90%. See how that kind of works? In other words, you need to keep your reading as low as possible.

Nitrites will appear next. There is no exact timeline of when they will appear. It can be anywhere from 2-5 weeks usually, and just depends on how many fish you have, how big your tank is, how much you feed, how much water you change, what sort of filtration you have, etc. Once you get a nitrite reading, you need to continue doing your daily water changes and continue to base the amount you change on your readings. The "rules" for nitrites is pretty much the same as for ammonia.

After another 2-5 weeks or so, you should start to see nitrates. Once you see nitrates and ONLY nitrates, that means your tank is finally cycled. It's preferable to keep your nitrates at 10 ppm or so, but sometimes you have nitrates coming out of your tap so you will just have to deal with higher nitrates. So, this is also a suggestion that you test your tap water for all of these things so you know what you're dealing with right from the start. Once you get nitrates and your tank is cycled, you can reduce your water changes to once a week, again, at least 50% and easily 75% or so. Just remember, with goldfish, if in doubt, do a larger water change. It can never hurt.

If you have gravel, you MUST have a gravel vacuum and you must thoroughly vacuum your gravel every time you change your water. If you allow uneaten food and poop to remain in your gravel, this is what invites bad bacteria to grow which can cause sicknesses in your fish.

Rinse your filter media in water you remove from your tank during water changes. Never rinse it in tap water as this will kill your beneficial bacteria.

pH: you should get a reading of absolutely no less than 7.0, but it's preferable to have a pH of 7.5-8.5 and even 9.0 for goldfish.

KH and GH should read in the range of 11°-22° (200-400 ppm), but if it's down around 8° or 9°, that's okay. pH, KH and GH may seem confusing, but once you really start to read about it, it's not nearly as baffling as it may seem. But, let's worry about these readings if and when your tests reveal too low a number.

Only feed your fish once a day and we even encourage fasting your fish one day a week to help clean out their intestines. Goldfish can get bloated very easily from eating too much and/or gulping air and this can result in floating, flipping, difficulty swimming or even SBD. You want to feed a high quality food that has good balances of protein and greens. You don't want your food to float. Don't feed flakes and if you feed pellets, soak them first, not only so they sink, but also so the food doesn't swell inside the fish and cause internal problems in that regard. You may want to check out gel food. They also love lots of fresh veggies and fruits. Read the link in my signature about Good Foods to Feed.

Whenever you bring home a new fish, it should go into a quarantine tank for a month before adding it to the main tank. In your case; however, seeing as both of your fish are from the same source and your entire tank is new, you can do your quarantine in your main tank. You pretty much have to always assume that new fish will bring home some sort of bad bacteria and/or parasite, so you need to treat them for these things.

So, you will need to get an aquarium salt, rock salt, kosher salt, or some type of non-iodized salt and you will need to get some praziquantel, most typically sold by the name of Prazi Pro. You will need to do at least one round of prazi treatment and you may determine that you would like to do a second round. Follow the instructions for this. For salting the tank, read the link in my signature, "Treating with Salt." If you feel your fish look healthy, you can add salt to just 0.1%. You need to treat your fish with salt for at least 2 weeks. Treating your fish with salt for up to 4 weeks is often done. If you feel your fish may seem sick with something, go up to 0.2% or 0.3%. Salt won't hurt your fish long-term, but you shouldn't allow salt to remain in the tank long-term nevertheless because bacteria, viruses and parasites can develop immunities to it, so when you're done with your salt treatment, you will need to do a very large water change of around 90% to remove most of the salt.

I have a feeling the black on your fish may be ammonia burn. This is not a big deal, at least at this point, because black from ammonia burn is like a scab and it means it's on its way to healing. Keeping your ammonia low through water changes will stop this from happening again, so don't be surprised if your black disappears.

Don't worry, right now, about trying to determine whether you have males or females. You can do that more leisurely later on and when a goldfish is young, it's really difficult to tell anyway.

You didn't mention the size of your tank or filters, so I'm just going to throw all of that out there. For two fancies, you need a minimum of a 20 gallon tank, and it would be much nicer if you had at least a 29 gallon. Goldfish require filtration that runs a gph of 10 times the size of the tank. So, if you had a 20 gallon tank, you need a filter that runs AT LEAST 200 gph. If you have a 290 gallon tank, you need a filter that runs AT LEAST 300 gph, etc.

You are also going to want lots of aeration in the form of very small bubbles in your tank, so you'll want to have some sort of bubble wand or other bubbler that makes very small bubbles. Making sure your filter breaks the surface of the water will also help with aeration.

Your fish may appear "sad and shy" either because of the stress of the move and/or it may have brought home a bacteria or parasite or it may be suffering from ammonia poisoning, etc., so that's why you need to make sure to test and do the quarantine treatment. Covering your tank for the first 24-48 hours and keeping it dark (no light) may help with the stress of the move.

And, speaking of lights. Only allow them to stay on for about 12 or less a day.

Edited by Lynda Von G

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Thank you!!!! I actually asked for some guidance on Pet*Smart..the guy said put the bag inside your tank for 15mins and then let the new fish go inside! ... I thought this was rather inhumane and I didn't wanna shock the new fishie...so what I did was I put the fishy in a container with the water he was in and slowly started to transfer a little of the water of the tank on the container he was in so he would get adjusted and I let him sit there and then I did transfer him...I hope I didn't hurt the little guy :( shoot, I should have quarantined it or something.. :/ I really didn't know u had to aghhh :( is it too late? he is already with our other fishy in the tank... but he seems much better, at first he seemed just floating but he is swimming more and nibbling the plants... I hope I didn't hurt him or something...

Also, those gravel vacuums..how good are they? is it worth getting one? My gravel is pretty big sized since I was afraid of my babies eating them by mistake! that thing sucks the water and the poo?

and thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuu I have spinach at home!!! Orange slices too? :D awesome! Thank you!!!!

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WOW Lynda you covered everything so well thank you!!!!

The new guy (the one with the black spots) we were actually attracted to him because of the spots, he has some on his side too We thought that was just his coloring and thought it was cute, since its on the ends of the tail and a bit on his head (like calico fish) sigh! My poor babyy! :'( and we bought him because we thought "oh this way we can tell them two apart!" how ignorant can I be? :( how can I determine if its an ammonia burn?

My earlier post was before reading your post Lynda, thank you you covered everything so well!

I actually have a 20gl with a filter... I didn't know if an air pump was needed so I have not gotten one yet.

Going to get that testing kit tomorrow morning :D Im so pumped Im up at 2am reading up on goldfish! haha :D THANK YOU! :D

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Now, don't totally panic that the black isn't a permanent thing. Maybe it is, but it's just that from your pic, which is a little difficult to tell, the black just appeared to be a bit too random, and given that it came from Wally World and everything, that's why I have to wonder if it may be ammonia burn. Hopefully it will stay, but I'm just sayin'.... it may disappear.

Well, ammonia burn CAN look a lot like scale coloration, but it's just got a look to it like it just doesn't quite.... belong.... I don't know. But, as I said, black means it's healing and on its way to being gone, so if you keep testing and doing daily water changes, whatever ammonia burns there may be will soon disappear. If it doesn't disappear in a couple of weeks, then it's probably permanent and.... yay!

Make sure you double check the gph on your filter to make sure it's big enough too.

It is exciting, isn't it?! But, also, goldfish keeping is also an exercise in extreme patience, so just don't get frustrated when your cycle seems like it's taking forever (because it will! lol!) or whatever else you may find yourself getting impatient about.....

Edited by Lynda Von G

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Okay phew!Ill relax and see what wrong :D Ill keep checking up on him tho! Well the one with the spots came from Pet*smart today actually...the one on the top (came from wal*mart) and its a very active fish! :o I will snap a better pic tomorrow! :( a cellphone camera doesnt do them any justice :(

hahaha Ill be patient, I sit and watch them swim from one side to the other haha

Thank you so much for ur info, ur sig has a lot of informative articles as well!

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Feel free to keep asking as many questions as you need to and also to check in and let us know how it's all going!

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Oh and actually its good to acclimate the fish like you did, reason being you never know what the ph is at the pet store unless you test it. A ph difference of 1.0 ppm may put a fish into shock. So no matter if you are to QT them or did what you did it was still a good thing that you let some of your tank water into his container :)

Good thing when getting a fish is to test the water they came in this will help you :)

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Thank you guys! :) Went to the pet store and bought a bunch of goodies of my sweeties! My little goldie still has his black spot :x so Im unsure at the moment! BTW what do you guys think of those black, blue and pink bulbs? are they really worth it?

Also how much should you feed ur fishies?

I bought the sinking pellets, (I soak them first) ..and on the label it says "feed daily various times per day" What do you guys think? I feed my guys twice (morning and night) and I see they keep looking for food pellets between the rocks and eating the ones they find...what do you guys think?

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they will always look hungary but that doesnt mean anything. i feed mine 2x per day and their food is gone in under 2 minutes. Try to get a variety of all different kins of food for them.

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i give two pinches every time i feed mine, which is normally once or twice a day. I feed them hikari pellets and sometimes tubifex worms or bloodworms for variety. I prefer not to feed live worms, as they can bring parasites into the water. Hopefully you will learn as much as I did from the helpful members on Koko's :D Welcome ;)

PS: it is perfectly normal to be checking this site every five minutes and wanting to go on as much as you can! :D

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