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jerseykid

Water advice?

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Hey guys just got an API testing kit and i'm gonna try it out right now, I've never used one before and i'll post the results after i'm done. I change 25% of the water every week as i siphon the gravel. I have one comet in a ten gallon tank with a topfin10 filter so i'm not sure if its enough. Is there more i can do or is there anything I can do better? Gonna go test the water now, hoping for the best.

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It's typically recommended that you change at 50-80% of your water at least weekly. This is the minimum, and then rely on your test kit to tell you if you need to do water changes more frequently or not. :) Your ammonia and nitrite should always be 0 ppm, nitrate should ideally be under 20 ppm (40 ppm is the max it should go, but it's better to shoot for 20). I said this in your other thread, but you should test your tap as well so you know what you're working with. Especially compare your tap and tank Ph :)

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Also, you will want to think about upgrading your tank at some point :) A minimum of 20 gallons is ideal for a single tailed fish like yours.

You would probably also benefit from an upgrade in your filtration. The topfin 10 does 80 gph. It's recommended that you have 10x the tank volume in filtration for goldies, so 100 gph for your 10 gallon, 200 gph for a 20 gallon :) You could get a second filter to run on the tank or upgrade to one larger one, either one works. The benefit of running 2 filters is that if one fails you still have the other to keep your cycle.

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as tithra has said, you should be doing 50%+ weekly. ideally, your comet should have 20 gallons to himself, so you may have to keep a closer eye on the parameters, as they are pooooopy machines. I have 4 fancies in a 40g, and I have to do about 80% twice a week to keep the nitrates down. I've never seen my nitrates go up to 40ppm though. I don't know how strong a Topfin filter is since I don't think we have them in the UK, but you will need 10x the filtration of the tank size. so for a 10g you will need a turnover of 100 gallons per hour. for a 20g, 200gph. having two filters is always a good idea too, in case one breaks for whatever reason. hope that helps. :)

edit: oh.. posted as the same time as tithra's second post lol.

Edited by cathface

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Hey jesey kid :welcome

API drop tests are great!

Hope to hear back from you :)

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Hey everyone I'm back! And I've got the results! =D

pH: 7.6

High range pH: 7.4

Ammonia: either 0ppm or 0.25 ppm but i'm leaning towards 0.25ppm =/

Nitrite: 0ppm

Nitrate: 10-20ppm the colors look too similar to me -.-

And thanks for the advice guys. =] To be honest I just bought whatever i could afford, it wasn't until after i saw tithra's video about filtration did I realize the topfin was under powered. -.-

I was considering getting the aqueon quiet flow 10 which has 100gph and its only $16 but i'm not sure if i should wait it out until i can buy a 20 gallon and a better filter at the same time. =o what do you guys think?

Oh and should I do a %50+ water change now to get rid of the ammonia? I did a 25% last night so i'm not sure if that'd be okay.

Edited by jerseykid

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Really depends on what kind of media you have in your filter. If you have a good stong family of beneficial bacteria growing in your bio-filter media then the water is almost irrelevant and you can do huge water changes and it won't normally affect the cycle. May affect pH depending how stable that is. Keep testing pH daily to get a feel for how stable the pH is. Stability is key with temp and pH. Same, not fluctuating.

However, if you have a tank that has only been cycled a few weeks then the water is important as the good bacteria may still be free wheeling and looking for a place to attach.

Do you have gravel?

Do you have any thing inside your filter box as well as the floss/wool/white mech filtration pad?

How long has your tank been set up ? :)

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Unfortunately I've been using cartridges but i'm planning on switching to filter media. =o

I do have gravel but I think I might have too much lol and I've had my tank since September.

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Okay so if you have gravel ,chances are good that a lot of those good bacteria converting ammonia are actually in your gravel not so many in the filter. if you have been set up since Sept then I would guess, with those small water changes you are all cycled and ready to go :)

Be sure however to vacuum that gravel (turn it alittle). Ideally should not be more than 2cms, max one inch. Any more and you will breed a lot of nasties (which like the deeper part of gravel beds). Any stagnant, non moved part of the tank including ornaments never lifted, will be a hot bed for trouble an disease down the road.

The cartridges are not useless by any means. They take up a lot of the muck and are good strainers. They don't offer the good bacteria the best home but you will have some growing there. Throw one away at a time. Don't throw/replace all 3 at same time to be safe.

You are definitely safe to be doing 50% or even 80% changes to clear your bad bacteria load at this point. If your pH is stable then it is amazing the difference one huge change of 80% can do (careful it's approx same temp with the old water still in tank).

Meanwhile I would focus on getting some bio media :) Here's some examples of what the good bacteria breed like crazy in and on :)

Ceramic20Noodle-1.jpg

2009113014320000.jpg

Ask for BIO media at the store. It must NOT contain zeolite (check it doesn't ) but should be made of porous rock or ceramic. You are probably going to need a second filter to house this media. A small external cannister type or a second hang on the side type that has space.

I cannot tell you what a difference this will make to the clarity of your water and the health of your fish. Your thread title was excellent by the way, yes it's all about water. Water advice NOT fish advice :)

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Be sure however to vacuum that gravel (turn it alittle). Ideally should not be more than 2cms, max one inch.

Hi trinket, just about what you said to vacuum the gravel. My gravel is about 3 cm thick, should I be vacuuming quite deep into the substrate and moving it around a lot as i siphon? or should I be only siphoning the surface of the gravel? Ive read about what you said how theirs different types of anaerobic and aerobic bacteria and that balance shouldn't be disturbed. not sure if i'm siphoning too much. Also will over siphoning kill the beneficial bacteria in the gravel?

thanks

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Hi sod. Even with 3cms I would go for a deep gravel vac and try and syphon and turn/expose the under part. Never do it too roughly because the rising, dieing bad bacteria can ferment and cause gases in the upper area of the water column, so lots of aeration and a slow, careful vac is best.

If for some reason you miss vacuuming a few weeks or a month say, and think bacteria has built up a lot, it's a good idea to remove the fish into a clean tub for 5 mins while you do the syphoning. If you vacuum every week religously and your fish are healthy you do not need to move your fish.

Yes good point, bacteria are indistinguishable when we vacuum so good and bad get sucked up when you vacuum. One thing to remember though is they also breed superfast so it isn't a big deal to vacuum up good bacteria, there will be some left for sure and syphoning the underlayers your tank will benefit more from losing some of the nasty bacs.

Also, as you vacuum the good bacteria float up and freewheel around, while the bad bacs die. The good bacs have that free wheeling abilty to wait a while in the water till you are done and they can re-attach :)

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I would recommend 40 gallons minimum for a single tail goldfish, 20 is fine for 1 fancy but not for a single tail.

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Afternoon everyone! Thanks for the help Trinket =] and I just meant that i knew that cartridges weren't great for collecting good bacteria. I'll try and look for some filter floss, padding and bio media later today, hopefully i'll have enough cash to get it all. I just hope my filter isn't too small for everything lol

And i tested my tap water's pH and ammonia levels.

pH: 8.0 or 8.2

Ammonia: 0 or 0.25ppm (i'm leaning towards 0 but its hard to tell at some angles)

not sure if this is bad.

Oh and thanks for the compliment Trinket

:)

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That's not bad for your tap water :)

You wouldn't want your tap pH to be too different from the tank. And 0 ammonia in your tap water is ideal.

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So, I am a little concerned about the difference between your tank and tap (tank is 7.4-7.6 and tap is 8.0-8.2), this suggests that your tank Ph is dropping.

Out of curiousity, how many was your last water change when you had taken the tank Ph measurement?

I am guessing that you need to either add some crushed coral or a buffer (seachem gold buffer is often recommended here) to stabilize your Ph, as a dropping Ph can be stressful if not potentially fatal for goldies. A kh and gh test will tell you for sure what the buffering capacity is for your water, I think you may even be able to call your water company to get these numbers. :)

EDIT: Crushed coral you would just put in your tank or filter (although you would definitely want to get a second filter if you choose to keep it in your filter) and it will naturally stabilize your Ph. With a buffer you need to add it at every water change :)

Edited by tithra

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Oh no! :o The results i posted were from my first water test ever which I did last night and the night before that I did a 25% water change. So is the crushed coral the better option? Should i test my tank pH again tonight? Oh and i am considering buying another filter which does 100gph and trying out the filter media with it like in your videos but then i'd have to get rid of my tank cover. Is that dangerous? I've read that some people without covers had their fish jump out of their tank.

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Oh no! :o The results i posted were from my first water test ever which I did last night and the night before that I did a 25% water change. So is the crushed coral the better option? Should i test my tank pH again tonight? Oh and i am considering buying another filter which does 100gph and trying out the filter media with it like in your videos but then i'd have to get rid of my tank cover. Is that dangerous? I've read that some people without covers had their fish jump out of their tank.

It's really all personal preference. I personally prefer a buffer that I add every time (having tried both coral and a buffer), but many others prefer coral because you just put it in and leave it. But for my particular system, my kh/gh are really low, I couldn't get the coral to adequately stabilize it and I didn't like how much room it took up in my filter. I don't mind adding a buffer every time, I have to add water conditioner every time as well, so I don't see much difference ;) But it is really personal preference and what works with your particular system.

I would go ahead and test your Ph again, keep an eye on it. If you can get your kh and gh tested that would be ideal (they are measures of the 'hardness'/mineral content of your water, 'soft' water has low buffering capacity and will allow Ph to drop). I think you probably do need a buffer/coral though, just given your test results. Hopefully others will weigh in on that though ;)

I personally keep my tank only halfway covered (and that's only bc of my light), it is actually good for gas exchange not to have the tank totally covered. Several people here do keep uncovered tanks with goldies. Typically goldies only try to jump if there is an issue with the water quality, but that is not to say it couldn't happen. It is a calculated risk that you take. I know there are some that are certainly against uncovered tanks because that risk does exist.

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Alright i'll do a quick check on the pH and I might as well do 50%+ water change while i'm at it, hopefully that'll help the ammonia issue. I'll look for a kh/gh test kit and a buffer (sounds more reliable) as soon as i can. I didn't really like the cover much anyway, mostly because the lights heat up my water so i don't even use it. -.- I wish i had more cash, there's so much i need to get him lol I'll post the results when i'm done, thanks tithra :D

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I use both a buffer and crushed oyster shell. :)

also my tank is open-top, and none of mine would even be able to get enough speed to jump out haha. to be fair they haven't even tried to escape before. I fill mine up so that the water level is about 2-3cm from the top.

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Hey everyone, things didn't go as planned lol I had to try and save a friend's fish so I didn't do the pH test or water change. I'll do it in the morning.

I use both a buffer and crushed oyster shell. :)

also my tank is open-top, and none of mine would even be able to get enough speed to jump out haha. to be fair they haven't even tried to escape before. I fill mine up so that the water level is about 2-3cm from the top.

I think Pocho could definitely jump ship if he felt like it lol i think his water has a good half inch from the top. There are times where i'll be playing xbox or i'll be on the computer and i'd hear a loud plop from his tank, I'd turn around and see some little waves on the surface. :huh:

Edited by jerseykid

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Hey everyone, things didn't go as planned lol I had to try and save a friend's fish so I didn't do the pH test or water change. I'll do it in the morning.

I use both a buffer and crushed oyster shell.

also my tank is open-top, and none of mine would even be able to get enough speed to jump out haha. to be fair they haven't even tried to escape before. I fill mine up so that the water level is about 2-3cm from the top.

I think Pocho could definitely jump ship if he felt like it lol i think his water has a good half inch from the top. There are times where i'll be playing xbox or i'll be on the computer and i'd hear a loud plop from his tank, I'd turn around and see some little waves on the surface.

Mine splash at the surface all the time :)

If you're concerned you could always buy a glass canopy for the tank, you can get them pretty cheaply at any chain or local store. This would allow you to cover the tank but still fit any filters you wanted on it.

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If you could test the gH and kH of your tap water, that would shed some light on why the pH of your tank drops :)

The kH measures the buffering capacity of your water - in other words, how well it can hold a steady pH. If it is very low, a buffer of some sort is needed for sure.

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Hey guys, I just finished testing my tank water's pH and its still 7.4 - 7.6. I also gave my tank a 50% water change for the high ammonia I had before. Still need to test its kH and gH though. While i was changing my tank water the filter started choking up since it was running out of water to drain because it has a short strainer, it scared the hell out of me lol so i turned it off until the tank was refilled. Is it alright if i have to turn it off for a bit? :o and i'll see if I can find a glass canopy =]

So much to do -.- lol

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I turn my filters off at every water change because it's not good for the filters to be running on empty. :)

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