36 gallon bowfront (cycling...) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
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36 gallon bowfront (cycling...)

Welcome to my journal on my 36 gallon tank! It's pretty new. I've had it since the first week of March, 2016.

Current picture of the tank
(As of 3/22/16)


Fish in the tank:
Apple and Oscar:
Apple is a petsmart oranda. I don't expect her wen to get much bigger than it is now...
Oscar is a petsmart Black Moor. I expect him to change color soon.



Butterflies Telescopes:
I haven't named these two yet. I actually bought them after I set up the 36 gallon.



Equipment on the tank:
Standard hood with fluorescent light.
20 or 30lbs of Quikrete fine white play sand.
One anubias plant.
Quiet Flow 30 power filter.
Hood.

Current status of the tank:
Not cycled.
Running. Clean and healthy except for ammonia and nitrite levels as well as the brown algae that too much waste leads to. No illness.

Most recent water change as of 3/22/2016:
March 22, 2016. 60% water change.
Ammonia before change = 0.50
Nitrite before water change = 1.5 or 2
Nitrate before water change = 20
pH before water change = 8.2

I know, I know... I let it go too long with a water change. I must say, though, I wasn't expecting the tests to read that!

Anyway, it's under control now and I'll be keeping more of an eye on it.

The story behind my fish:
Oscar the black moor:
Nearly a year ago I got a 30 gallon tank and a fantail goldfish. I decided it needed a friend and I had always wanted a moor. So, I got one. Oscar was this tiny little black fish that I never saw that well in the tank. My fantail had some constipation issues and died.

Apple the Oranda:
After my fantail died, I knew I needed another. So I ran up to the nearest store that sold some below par but still good enough fancy goldfish and I found an oranda I liked. It took me a long time to decide if I wanted it or not, but the little pom poms on it's face convinced me. Apple then came into my life. I don't regret getting her at all.

The telescopes:
The 36 looked empty with just the two goldfish. In the picture above of the tank, both goldfish are in it. They were lost, though. I knew that I would be better off not buying any more, but I had dreamed of having a butterfly tailed goldfish for the longest time. Finally I bought one. One thing led to another, and due to some issues that were the seller's fault I was gifted another butterfly tail. So, two arrived about a week late having not shipped on time. Both were healthy. Fate led me to have two goldfish, and I couldn't say no to my favorite goldfish. Two butterflies for $40 shipped was an offer I couldn't pass up.

The nerite snail:
Yeah, yeah, I didn't include this above. But I feel I should now. I thought nerites were meant to be sensitive little snails? Well, my tigers aren't. One lives with the goldfish. I've had this snail for about 2 or 3 years now.

Thanks for looking!

Last edited by TurtleShark; 08-18-2016 at 02:00 AM. Reason: title
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 01:36 AM
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Get some Nitrospira species of bacteria to cycle the tank. Do not waste money on anything else.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 01:40 AM
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I don't even waste money on bacteria in a bottle. Seachem Prime and water changes for fish in cycle. Prime bind ammonia for up to 48 hours, but many users of it recommend dosing every 24 horus-2 drops per a gallon when cycling.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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I used bottled bacteria once to cycle the 30 gallon I had for my goldfish. I guess I've just never really seen the point of it.

I don't use conditioner, but if I did then I would go with prime for sure. I'm on well water and haven't had any issues. My oldest fish I've had since just after starting in the planted hobby (three little Serpae tetras).

I'm going to keep a closer eye on the levels in the tank from now on, for sure. The fish have proven that they can take the cycle with no issues (not that I want to put them through that bad of water again).

Fish-in cycling it is!

I would use some of my media from other tanks, but I'm not 100% sure those ones are disease free. Strange fish deaths in my 55 gallon and relativity new fish in all of the rest of the tanks.

I won't mind the extra work, for sure.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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So, it's been a while. I guess I just can't keep up with things like this...

I'm down to one goldfish. Apple, my oranda.

I'm failing at this whole keeping fish alive idea. And it's all my fault. I'm not going to make any excuses. I'm not going to blame someone else. I could have prevented each of these deaths but I chose not to...

First to go was Oscar, the black moor. I was tired and not thinking right. The tank needed a water change (oscar was at the top and not looking right). So I got out the gravel vacuum. I didn't have the large end on it as it cleans better in the sand without it. All I had was the dime-sized tube.

Wiggles or bubbles, one of the butterflies, got too close to the tube so I moved it away with my finger. While I was distracted Oscar came down, got behind my hand where I couldn't see it. Next thing I knew the fish was in the tube. I knew it was dead. It was a horrible experience. I'm much more careful now and I know not to do water changes at 12 o'clock at night...

I knew something bad was going to happen, too... I just didn't know it would be me cleaning that did it.

Next to go was Wiggles, my whiter butterfly.

I'm not sure why this fish died, but it never seemed quite right...

Fast forward a few months and now I'm at a new place with chloramined water. The goldfish tank was cycled before I moved and now it's not. I didn't notice a real issue (I was testing for ammonia but it was hard to tell as my tap has ammonia) until I found Bubbles attached to the filter. I filled a bucket with fresh water, conditioned it (3-4 drops of API super strength conditioner), and moved bubbles to it. A few minutes later Apple was attached to the filter. It was late at night and I'm still not willing to do late-night water changes so I left it until morning.

Morning came... Morning went... I changed the bucket's water... Another day passed... More water changes. I decided to just keep the goldfish in the bucket and do water changes two to three times a day. Bubbles didn't take too well to that.

Finally I gave it. The tank's not cycling fast enough. I think it had fully lost the bacteria. So I bought some Seachem Stablitly. It's been 48 hours since I put the first treatment in. The ammonia was down to 0.25 or 0.50. So I just got done with a 90% water change and now I'm going to put Apple back in. I've been afraid to but I think it should be fine. I've waited too long as it is and Apple has some ammonia burns going.

Now I wish I'd bought Prime instead of API. At the time I wasn't thinking about the whole "ammonia detoxification" thing.

There's nitrate in the water. Over 40ppm last I checked. So the tank's cycling.

This is my first run-in with city water. I'm trying...


....


So I haven't been a very good goldfish owner this passed few months.

This is my promise to you and to myself:
I'm going to do better. I know there's no excuses. I know that I've been lazy and that laziness has killed three fish, nearly four. It's also nearly killed my 8 inch axolotl that I've had for a year. It's time for this to stop.

So now begins the real test. I have an app on my phone that will remind me of when to do a water change. Apple and Nessie (my axolotl) are going to be getting water changes every 5 days.

Well, thank's for reading guys...

Does anyone have suggestions on the next goldfish I can try? I'm sticking with just Apple for now, don't worry. I'm going to wait until after I have the tank cycled, stable, and have proven that I can care for the fish before I get another. It's not fair to the fish at all.

Stay tuned for some updates. Hopefully next time I'll have better news...
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 05:30 AM
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Sorry to hear about your fish... But mistakes happen, hopefully now you know not to repeat these. I'd recommend testing your water straight from the tap, if you haven't already. Make sure your tap isn't full of nitrates, as happens sometimes.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, good point. I think I tested it at one time. I can't quite remember. I've been trying to stay away from my Nitrate test a little as I'm running low. Same with ammonia but I know I can't stop using that.

I know there's ammonia in the tap. About 0.25ppm. There's no nitrite for sure. And I don't think there's any nitrate. I know I tested the tank at one time and it came back negative for nitrate.

I just woke up so my brain isn't working quite yet.

Apple is back into the 36 gallon. So far the fish has managed to avoid any more filter mishaps so I'm hoping it'll be okay. It's doing a lot of bottom sitting but that may be because it's still basically nighttime...
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtleShark View Post
I know there's ammonia in the tap. About 0.25ppm. There's no nitrite for sure. And I don't think there's any nitrate. I know I tested the tank at one time and it came back negative for nitrate.
I've read that when dosing Seachem Prime especially, but maybe just in general, you can get false .25 readings with the API test kit. You might test RO/distilled water (or distilled with prime) to see if you get the same.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-19-2016, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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I don't have prime... I went with an API conditioner. It doesn't mention anything about detoxifying ammonia or anything. I'll get prime next time for sure.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-19-2016, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtleShark View Post
I don't have prime... I went with an API conditioner. It doesn't mention anything about detoxifying ammonia or anything. I'll get prime next time for sure.
In that case, it might not be a false reading - when dechlorinators bind the chlorine out of chloramine (present in most city water), ammonia is left behind. If your dechlorinator doesn't detoxify ammonia, then it makes sense that there would be ammonia left over.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-19-2016, 05:06 PM
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I use API liquid tst kits and Seachem Prime. I don't have false readings with it. However there was construction at the water treatment plant this past year that let a TON of particulates into the water and THAT messed up the ammonia test (only could get ammonia readings when adding ammonia to distilled water-not my tap).
I cycled my goldfish tank with 2 in it (+ a mystery snail) blind basically. I dosed 3-5x prime daily and did water changes every day about 15 gallons (40g breeder)for first 1.5 months, then started dialing back to 10gs every otehr day (have a lot of plants on the tank). Once all the particulates finally left the water I could test ammonia again and tank was cycled. I'm down to 2x water changes a week about 5-10gs each time-mostly just to siphon out poop-my nitrates are at 5-10ppm.

You should consider using live either fast growing aquatic plants or terrestrial plants that you can stick the roots in the tank and have leaves above to help with nitrates. A lot of house plants do well with wet roots and low light such as pothos.

If you find your goldfish nibbling on the plants add some veggies to their diet. I use repashy soilent green food gel that I modded with some extras (carrots, cucumber, tuna, garlic, orange, and some fish foods), you can also just blanch a veggie and keep in the tank all the time such as lettuce or cucumber.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-20-2016, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Apple's back into a bucket for the night...

I just can't understand why the cycle fully crashed.

I found the fish stuck to the filter when I got home. I had to leave right away so I put it back into a bucket to keep it out of the filter's reach.

When I got home later I found that the fish still wasn't looking quite right so I did a water change on the bucket. I'm going to do another again before I go to sleep. I tried to do an ammonia test but I didn't have enough left to do a full test.

The nitrate is still going strong, though. The cycle seems to be going faster although it's hard to tell without an ammonia kit.

I think I'm going to go ahead and get some prime. This is getting way out of hand...
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-20-2016, 03:26 AM Thread Starter
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I don't think this fish will make it though the night... But thanks for your help everyone...
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 09:17 PM
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I'm sorry to hear your fish is not doing well. If all fish are dead, consider buying some pure ammonia (ace hardware janitor strength ammonia is safe) and use this calculator (bottom)to do a fish-less cycle. I calculate and dose for about 3-4ppm ammonia-using a needle-less syringe make measuring much easier.
Fishkeeping - Fishless Tank Cycling and Avoiding New Tank Syndrome - General Guides - Articles
Do water changes on the schedule you want to keep when fish are added, dosing ammonia after the cycle and testing to see when/how much ammonia to add daily.
After about 2 months the tank should have a strong beneficial bacteria colony and be ready to restock (be mindful over time you will start dosing ammonia daily to feed the bacteria)
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