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Hi Guys!

New to this forum at PlantedTank! (Hello!!!!)

Ive got a 72Litre tank set up, ive used some aqua safe water purifier, and left it for a few days, the tank currently doesnt have anything in it and im looking for a few recommendations to what Goldfish usually like? or what other people have had and would recommend!

What are some suggestions for a beginner and some MUST KNOWS! (Ive had tetras in the past and plecos, im currently only looking for goldfish in this tank!)

Thank you all, I appreciate it

Moosh.
 

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I would let it sit another couple weeks before you add fish. If you add some now do it like one per week. But just wait. reduce that risk of loosing your brand new fish.

Nitrogen cycle... just cause the water is "safe" doesn't mean the bacteria you need to take Ammonia through the nitrite and to nitrate stages. You will likely have a huge ammonia spike if you put in fish now and then they will die. even with that aqua water safe.
 

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The biggest thing new aquarists need to know is the nitrogen cycle. The next most important thing is to get yourself an aquarium test kit. The only tests you REALLY need when starting an aquarium are Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate. I would bet you that more fish are killed by ammonia and nitrite than all other causes in our aquariums combined, by a large margin.

Read these two articles for more info.

The Beginner's Guide to the Nitrogen Cycle for Aquariums - Aquarium Co-Op
Freshwater Fish Tank Cycling: How to Prepare for New Fish - Aquarium Co-Op

Lastly (and I'm going to catch some flak on this), but Goldfish are not recommended for a tank your size. Goldfish can grow to 30 to 45 cm in length, and really require a bigger home. Instead of goldfish, I would do some research into other fish species.
 

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You could do the fancier goldfish types: 1 black moor, 1 Ranchu, OR 1 Lionhead goldfish in a tank that size; but, when reached 5 inches would need to size up to at least a 30 gallon. The standard goldfish will grow much too large for that size tank very quickly.
You will need to do weekly water changes on this tank with even 1 fancy goldfish. They eat a lot and emit a lot of waste. Make sure that you do your research on the type that you get. Each have some specific care and nutritional requirements.
 

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Personally I think your tank is half the size it needs to be for goldfish. They look super cute when small in the stores. But the ones in the stores are babies. They will grow a few inches within a year. If your willing to upgrade the tank in 3 or 4 months then go for it. Otherwise I'd reconsider the fish choice.
 

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Personally I think your tank is half the size it needs to be for goldfish. They look super cute when small in the stores. But the ones in the stores are babies. They will grow a few inches within a year. If your willing to upgrade the tank in 3 or 4 months then go for it. Otherwise I'd reconsider the fish choice.
I didn’t even catch that it was liters and not gallons, I’d agree with this. I think that’s probably a poor choice of fish for a tank that size.
 

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To add to what everyone else is saying: I got a tiny 2.5cm goldfish forced upon me (long story), and a year later it is already nearly 15cm. It has a 225 liter tank almost completely to itself and it is already becoming difficult to maintain water quality between weekly 50% water changes, so I am now planning to move it to my currently-empty 370 liter tank in a month or two where I can setup a larger external filter and run the return plumbing through a hydroponic box full of houseplants to help keep on top of the nitrates better.

My formerly densely planted 225 liter tank is half barren now; it destroys every single type of plant I put in the tank except cryptocoryne undulata (though it does like to uproot them) and amazon swords (which it takes bites of occasionally). It has eaten some $300 worth of rotala colorata, rotala h'ra, rotala bloodred, ludwigia ovalis, ludwigia red mini, myrio red, pennywort, mermaid weed, hygrophila, and pygmy chain sword, and mows my vallisnaria to about 4cm high and uproots most of the runners.

Consider carefully before choosing a goldfish. They are fun, beautiful fish, but they have specific tank size requirements, and most plants and other fish cannot be kept with them. If you are ok with that, and can afford to purchase and setup a tank of sufficient size within 6-8 months as it grows, then they can be very rewarding pets. I used to keep a dozen shubunkin goldfish in a pond that was planted with loads of water lillies at my old house, and they were wonderful, though I feel like I definitely prefer them as outside pets.

As indicated above, cryptocoryne and Amazon swords are some of the few plants that can stand up to a goldfish. I've heard anubias also fare reasonably well if anchored to rocks that are too big for the fish to lift. Water lilies that are allowed to reach the surface instead of being trained for underwater also hold up, and are good for mitigating the rapid nitrate buildup caused by the goldfish.

Edit: I do want to mention that my goldfish is a longfin comet type, and ultimately it will realistically be too large for a normal indoor aquarium, so I will need to construct a pond since a tank of adequate size is not possible in my home. Shubunkin types are a bit smaller, and fan tail types are a little smaller than still. However, all goldfish are still "large fish" for the purpose of aquariums.
 

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I think that your tank is not big enough for the single tailed goldfish tyoes but as discusluv said you could do the fancier smaller goldfish like Oranda, liohnhead ,bubble eye, black moor, and a whole bunch more. I keep 5 orandas in a 65 gal. you could probably do 2 maybe. But I would do tetras or some other small fish like others have suggested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi guys, thank you all for the feedback, I shall heed your advice. I was thinking of maybe using the tank for just tetras then? my friend suggested 2 Black moor's and a few Amano shrimp? but i dont think i have enough experience for any of that? I need to learn more about cycling a tank and getting it all set up properly. Patience is key ive been told. Im going to follow that advice, when you guys say cycle do you mean add some plants ect ? i struggle to understand some things even when reading them online, (apologies) can you explain it like im 5?. Do i get some plants and add 1 single sturdy fish?. Thank you all for all of this advice, i really appreciate it, thank you all so much! i cant wait to learn more! (Btw my tank is compeltely empty, ive cleaned the filter over and added some tetra water cleaner, thats it. Basically a new tank.)
 

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Hi guys, thank you all for the feedback, I shall heed your advice. I was thinking of maybe using the tank for just tetras then? my friend suggested 2 Black moor's and a few Amano shrimp? but i dont think i have enough experience for any of that? I need to learn more about cycling a tank and getting it all set up properly. Patience is key ive been told. Im going to follow that advice, when you guys say cycle do you mean add some plants ect ? i struggle to understand some things even when reading them online, (apologies) can you explain it like im 5?. Do i get some plants and add 1 single sturdy fish?. Thank you all for all of this advice, i really appreciate it, thank you all so much! i cant wait to learn more! (Btw my tank is compeltely empty, ive cleaned the filter over and added some tetra water cleaner, thats it. Basically a new tank.)
Please re-read the third post in this thread. Then click on the links he provided, read them, and understand them. Cycling is NOT adding plants
 

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Hi guys, thank you all for the feedback, I shall heed your advice. I was thinking of maybe using the tank for just tetras then? my friend suggested 2 Black moor's and a few Amano shrimp? but i dont think i have enough experience for any of that? I need to learn more about cycling a tank and getting it all set up properly. Patience is key ive been told. Im going to follow that advice, when you guys say cycle do you mean add some plants ect ? i struggle to understand some things even when reading them online, (apologies) can you explain it like im 5?. Do i get some plants and add 1 single sturdy fish?. Thank you all for all of this advice, i really appreciate it, thank you all so much! i cant wait to learn more! (Btw my tank is compeltely empty, ive cleaned the filter over and added some tetra water cleaner, thats it. Basically a new tank.)
When we say cycle the tank we are referring to the nitrogen cycle. Basically it works like this.

Anything alive releases waste, be it a plant, a fish, whatever. That waste degrades into ammonia. Ammonia in high enough concentrations will murder the heck out of fish. So how do they survive? The answer is the nitrogen cycle. Bacteria alive in the tank will break down ammonia into nitrite. Nitrite is also deadly to critters, so different bacteria will break down nitrite into nitrate. Nitrate is MUCH safer to fish but still not super healthy for them. To get rid of nitrate you can do things like change the water and/or you can have plants. Plants are cool because ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all plant food. At least in the concentrations found in aquariums.

The change of ammonia, to nitrite, to nitrate is referred to as the nitrogen cycle, or more often, simple as 'cycle'. This is what we are talking about when we say you need to make sure your tank is 'cycled'.

Cycling a tank is referring to culturing enough bacteria in your tank to be able to keep up with the bioload (the amount of things making waste in your tank) and do it all without letting the ammonia and nitrite build up to levels that are harmful to the critters in your tank.

You might ask yourself at this point, "where do I get this spiffy bacteria?"

Answer is you already have it. This bacteria is essentially everywhere and any tank that sits around long enough will get colonized. Typically it takes 2 to 6 weeks to fully cycle a tank but there are exceptions in both directions. You can determine if your tank is cycled by testing your water. If you see ammonia in your water, then nitrite, then later nitrate and all the ammonia and nitrite is gone.. well you know you are cycled.

There is a bit more to it and for that I am going to refer you to my good friend : youtube.com

Go to youtube and type in search terms like "cycling an aquarium" and "beginners guide to a freshwater aquarium" etc. You will find MANY videos from a variety of sources. They will explain a lot of details I am glossing over. Watch a few of them because some people are better at explaining it then others and you will also notice folks have different opinions on it as well.
 

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To expand on what @minorhero said, he’s MOSTLY correct. There are only 2 things I might add.



  • While beneficial bacteria do exist all over, they won’t multiply and colonize your filter without food (ammonia). This feels like a catch-22… you won’t have any beneficial bacteria without ammonia, you won’t have ammonia without fish, and you can’t have fish without beneficial bacteria. There are two solutions. One is outlined in the link I gave above, and that’s to add 1 hardy fish. Check the water daily, and any time there’s enough ammonia for it to register on a test, then change half the water. The lone fish is producing enough ammonia to start feeding bacteria, but not enough to kill it overnight. I’ll outline the second method below.

  • You didn’t mention it in your original post, but you need to have a filter in your tank to hold biological media. This is usually a type of coarse sponge (good) or ceramic media (better). Do some reading on how to clean your filter, because it’s important. This may seem counter-intuitive, but cleaning your filter can kill your fish. This is where your beneficial bacteria lives, and tap water can contain chlorine, which will kill that bacteria.


On to how to do a fishless cycle…



Here are the things you’re going to need:

  • Dechlorinated water- this means that if you are using tap water, you need to make it safe for your tank. Most pet stores sell products that “make tap water safe”. Look for these products, and add them per the instructions whenever you add water.
  • A working filter of some kind- Bigger is better. Nobody has ever gone wrong by having too much filter media
  • Household Ammonia- This needs to be completely free of anything else… No soaps, dyes, surfactants, or anything else. Usually sold at home improvement stores, and comes in strengths of 5-10%
  • Water test kits. You need to have tests for Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate


Step 1: Ensure filter is running, has media in it, and you’re using dechlorinated water. Test your water for ammonia , nitrite , and nitrate . You should have 0 ammonia and nitrite, and <5 nitrate
Step 2: Use this calculator to determine how much ammonia you need to add to get to 2ppm in your water column. I entered 10% strength ammonia for this example, but if you use something else, just use this calculator. Again, you’re aiming for 2ppm ammonia. For your tank size, assuming 10% ammonia, you would be adding 1.4mL of ammonia. The easiest way to measure this would be to add 10mL to 100mL of water, then add 14mL of that mixture.

Ammonia Calculator for Aquariums - Spec-Tanks (spec-tanks.com)


Step 3: Let your tank run like this, and check for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate every day. Don’t add any more ammonia just yet

Step 4: When your ammonia begins to decrease, you should see nitrites begin to increase. This is displaying growth in beneficial bacteria

Step 5: If at any time your test shows 0 ammonia, dose it again to 2ppm like in step 2. Repeat this step whenever you test your tank, and read 0 ammonia

Step 6: If at any time your test shows >= 5ppm Nitrite, do a 50% water change. Check for ammonia again and dose if needed (step 5)

Step 7: By this point, you should be seeing Nitrates in your test. If at any point, your nitrates are >=40ppm, do a 50% water change. Check for ammonia again and dose if needed (step 5)

Step 8: You will hit a point where you dose 2ppm ammonia, and your bacterial will convert all of it to Nitrite AND to nitrate in 1 day. If you dose 2ppm of ammonia today, and you have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite in your tank at the same time tomorrow, then your tank is fully cycled.

Step 9: Once your tank is fully cycled, it is almost ready for fish. The last thing you’re going to want to do is a massive (90%+) water change to remove all of the nitrates you created. Do this the day before you plan on adding fish.



Notes: These are super important.

  • During this whole time, do not touch your filter, and do not let it turn off.
  • During every water change, make sure you are adding water dechlorinator to the tank before you add the tap water (drain tank -> add dechlor -> refill tank)
  • If things feel like they have stalled at any point, you can add bottled bacteria to give you a jump start. There are several brands out there, but I’ll leave it to others for recommendations. I’ve never used them.
 

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Once your tank is cycled and you're ready to add fish keep in mind that goldfish are cold water fish. The ideal temperature for goldfish is less than the ideal temperature for "tropical" fish and plants which is almost all the other fish that will be readily available for you.
 
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