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-   -   Aquarium kit advice - eclipse vs. Aqueon (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-aquarium-equipment/aquarium-kit-advice-eclipse-vs-aqueon-10854/)

anneyl35 01-13-2008 12:34 PM

Aquarium kit advice - eclipse vs. Aqueon
 
Please help me decide which kit to keep. Have purchased both Eclipse 6 and Aqueon 14 kits from Petco. Eclipse 6 is set up and has fish in it. I thought it wasn't working due to cloudy water after first few days and stressed fish. Fish have been in the tank for 2 weeks and seem more settled now.

Didn't know about cycling and that it was probable cause of cloudy water. So bought another kit - aqueon 14 - which is basic 10 gallon filiter and taller tank, plus thermometer and heater.

The aquarium is two house two goldfish won last spring at the school fair, which grew too big for the 1 gallon mini tank. My goal is to keep the fish alive and have a small attractive aquarium in my son's room - with least amount of work and least amount of cost. I am single working mom with 2 young kits and a cat. So no time, money or desire to really get into this hobby at this point. Frankly never thought the fish would live this long because as a kid I only had fish bowls and goldfish that died soon after bringing them home.

My preference is to keep the Eclipse since it's up and running, better size for location, and prefer acrylic to glass. So my question is whether the larger tank is a lot "better" for the fish and/or will be easier to keep clean? In other words, is there enough benefit in the long run to make it worthwhile to take on the new cycling, buy more gravel, and live with less desirable size aesthetically?

If advice is to switch to larger, please advise on how to proceed re set-up, switch and cycling?

Also please advise on what to buy for gravel cleaning and water changing. Is the "Ultra Gravel Vac" by Lee's sufficient. Remember, my goal is low coast and least time maintenance. I'll pay a little more for time saving, though.

Lastly, is it bad to just scoop out the dirty water with a cup and add clean water the same way.

Thanks in advance. I really hope somebody answers soon because I need to decide.

bettababy 01-13-2008 01:12 PM

Re: Aquarium kit advice - eclipse vs. Aqueon
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by anneyl35
Please help me decide which kit to keep. Have purchased both Eclipse 6 and Aqueon 14 kits from Petco. Eclipse 6 is set up and has fish in it. I thought it wasn't working due to cloudy water after first few days and stressed fish. Fish have been in the tank for 2 weeks and seem more settled now.

Didn't know about cycling and that it was probable cause of cloudy water. So bought another kit - aqueon 14 - which is basic 10 gallon filiter and taller tank, plus thermometer and heater.

The aquarium is two house two goldfish won last spring at the school fair, which grew too big for the 1 gallon mini tank. My goal is to keep the fish alive and have a small attractive aquarium in my son's room - with least amount of work and least amount of cost. I am single working mom with 2 young kits and a cat. So no time, money or desire to really get into this hobby at this point. Frankly never thought the fish would live this long because as a kid I only had fish bowls and goldfish that died soon after bringing them home.

My preference is to keep the Eclipse since it's up and running, better size for location, and prefer acrylic to glass. So my question is whether the larger tank is a lot "better" for the fish and/or will be easier to keep clean? In other words, is there enough benefit in the long run to make it worthwhile to take on the new cycling, buy more gravel, and live with less desirable size aesthetically?

If advice is to switch to larger, please advise on how to proceed re set-up, switch and cycling?

Also please advise on what to buy for gravel cleaning and water changing. Is the "Ultra Gravel Vac" by Lee's sufficient. Remember, my goal is low coast and least time maintenance. I'll pay a little more for time saving, though.

Lastly, is it bad to just scoop out the dirty water with a cup and add clean water the same way.

Thanks in advance. I really hope somebody answers soon because I need to decide.

Ok, where to begin....
Lets start with your goldfish, and some info about them. I think once hearing this, you will have the information needed to make an informed choice as to how to proceed.
Common goldfish won at fairs and carnivals are called comets. Comets average about 14 inches long each at full grown, and this happens fast. Normal growth rate for a healthy comet: to go from 1 or 2 inches to 5 - 6 inches within the first year is to be expected.
Goldfish are a cold water fish, needing temps that range from 65 - 68 degrees, and steady. Goldfish are also large consumers of oxygen, which requires more water volume and the cooler temperatures (the warmer the water the less oxygen is in it), and quite often in an aquarium situation an air stone is also needed. Goldfish that have grown very little to not at all over the course of months to a year are typically suffering from toxicity levels in the water created by too much waste. Regular water testing and lots of water changes with goldfish are a must, as poor water quality is common and will slowly poison the fish.
Minimum tank size for 2 standard comet goldfish is about 125 gallons with good filtration and lots of water changes. Because of their fast growth rate and huge waste output, and messy eating habits, it is best to start even a small goldfish in at least 75 gallons or more.
The larger the tank/volume of water, the less work it will be to care for them.

Now, in reference to your situation:
This probably sounds quite overwhelming, and you are probably wondering why nobody warned you of this when you children won these fish. Put simply, because not enough people realize the problems. Goldfish are one of the more difficult fishes to keep because of their size and waste output. The average life span for a comet can range from 25 - 75 yrs, so these guys are a very long term committment.
My suggestion for you, as you didn't sound prepared to handle something of this nature... maybe convince the children to trade the goldfish in for different fish at your LFS, something more suitable to the conditions you are able to provide. There are a number of options for fish in the Aqueon 14, but goldfish is not one of them. If done right it doesn't have to be much work or very time consuming, but there are basics that need to be provided. Regular water changes, water testing during cycling and then every so often to monitor waste levels, good food, lots of decorations and attention are all things any aquarium will require.
If you need help finding fish more suited to what you can provide, let me know and I'll help list your options and guide you through the process.
Please note, if the goldfish stay in that small of a tank, they are doomed to a drawn out and painful death, which is not any fun to watch.

Welcome to the world of fish keeping where surprises are common and addiction is usually the end result.

anneyl35 01-13-2008 09:15 PM

Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. What do you suggest that I do with the goldfish, other than to watch them die slowly. I like these two fish alot. They are very playful together.

And without the need to care for existing pets, I'm not sure I want to forge ahead with this hobby. I can appreciate already that it is fun and addictive.

But if I do, what fish do you advise? Are you saying that Aqueon is preferable? It was cheaper, so that's a good thing. Is it OK to buy fish at Petco. It's the only convenient place near where we live.

Thanks again,
Anne

bettababy 01-14-2008 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anneyl35
Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. What do you suggest that I do with the goldfish, other than to watch them die slowly. I like these two fish alot. They are very playful together.
I can think of 2 ideas for you... find someone you know who would be able to take care of them, or take them to the LFS. Unfortunately there isn't much else you can do if you want to try to save them both.

And without the need to care for existing pets, I'm not sure I want to forge ahead with this hobby. I can appreciate already that it is fun and addictive.
Fish are not the pet for everyone, and not everyone can fit a pet into their lives. I have helped so many customers who came into the store to get started on an aquarium thinking that fish were an "easy" pet you don't have to take care of. It's sad, but the majority of our population still believes a fish is just something you drop into water and watch it swim. It just isn't that simple for any animal. Once some of these customers understand what they are considering, they soon come to decide that this is more work than they can handle. Here at FF we try to help people understand what this hobby is and then help prepare them for what is to come, help with problems, etc... but we support someone's ideas when this gets to be just too much. We are all real people here who have a love for fish in common. Anytime you wish to learn more or want to try again with something "easier" and more appropriate for you, just let us know, we are always happy to help.
But if I do, what fish do you advise?
There are a number of great options for that size of an aquarium, and with the heater that is included, this opens you options even more.
Things like many of the tetras, some of the mollys, guppys, coral platys, some of the smaller rainbows, or things like dwarf puffers, a few species of barbs, dwarf gouramis... there are a lot of options for you. Let me offer you a few links for examples of fish that would be the easiest to care for, the least time consuming, and not real expensive to buy or keep.
Signifer rainbow: http://www.azgardens.com/images/Rain...niferTHUMB.gif
Furcata rainbow:
http://www.stroodaquarist.co.uk/images/factsh19.jpg
Green fire tetra:
http://www.aquariumlife.net/profile-...fire-tetra.jpg
Glo lite tetra:
http://badmanstropicalfish.com/profiles/profile62.html
Zebra danio:
http://www.dkimages.com/discover/pre...7/20206604.JPG
Longfin blue danio:
http://animal-world.com/encyclo/fres...WFCy_C1269.jpg
Leopard danio:
http://animal-world.com/encyclo/fres...WFCy_C2882.jpg
Odessa barb:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/55/16...bef58e8c0d.jpg

These are some very easy fish to care for in that size of a tank, though not all of these can be mixed together. Take a look, if you see something you like, let us know and we can help you find others that will work with what you've chosen. There are so many options I could fill this thread with just those quite easily.

Are you saying that Aqueon is preferable? It was cheaper, so that's a good thing.
The Aqueon is preferable in this case because the larger the tank the easier it will be to take care of, and the more options you'll have to work with for animals to go into it. Something to remember when considering this... the smaller the amount of water the faster the rate of change. Waste buildup is one of the biggest problems in a small tank. This happens a lot faster in a smaller tank, which is where the "work" comes in. (such as with the goldfish)
Is it OK to buy fish at Petco. It's the only convenient place near where we live.
It's ok to buy fish from anywhere you can find them, but make sure they are healthy before you spend your money. Look for things like dead fish in a tank (stay away from the whole tank because most fish disease is contageous), fish that are gasping for air at the surface, fish laying on the bottom doing nothing, fish that are breathing real hard, loss of color, fuzz or other types of growth on the fish, tattered fins, open sores... anytime you see even 1 fish with these problems in a tank, its a good idea to walk away and wait for another shipment of that type of fish, go somewhere else, or choose another kind of fish all together. If you can keep both tanks for a while, using the smaller tank for quarantine when you bring the new fish home would also save you a lot of work and hassles. Fish should spend 2 wks in a quarantine tank, which usually is enough time to see if there is illness that needs to be dealt with. If there is, it is much easier and less work to treat the fish in a quarantine tank and away from your healthy main tank. If the tank stays healthy with basic care, it isn't much work to take care of. Its when something goes wrong, when people impulse buy, overcrowd or overfeed a tank, introduce a new sick fish into the tank, etc. that problems set in. Patience will take you a long way, research and asking for help, like you're doing here helps to avoid problems from the start.

Thanks again,
Anne

I hope this was some help to you. As I said, let us know if you need any other info/help.

anneyl35 01-20-2008 03:47 PM

Dawn,

Thanks again for all your help and so much information. Petco's basic gold fish have worse living conditions than ours, and no good home to be found. So I opted to keep the larger tank and do the best I can to care for the goldfish. Perhaps the fish will be more easily "placed" when they're bigger. I'm assuming they'll grow more rapidly now that they're in the larger tank.

Since the tank is already too small for the goldfish, I'm assuming that we can't add anything else so long as we have the goldfish. I'll look at your suggestions, though, so I know what to look for down the road.

Best,
Anne

bettababy 01-20-2008 04:49 PM

Anne,
It is likely that if you bought "feeder goldfish" the store houses them in a huge tank that is severely overcrowded, filthy dirty, and it contains a lot of sick/unhealthy fish. Unfortunately, this is the life of a "feeder fish" in most cases. Also please be aware that those fish are seldom there for more than a few days. The fish that don't die are sold to feed other fish that eat live foods. Think of it in terms of people who eat veal. Veal is a baby cow. Veal farms don't raise those calves the same way as a beef farm or dairy farm would... why? Because they are being raised and sold for food, so the standards become different in the eyes of "man". Veal calves are usually tied/chained to a small enclosure, seldom bigger than the calves themselves. They are fed primarily a liquid diet full of vitamins so that it is cheap, easy, and helps them to grow fast. Is this humane? no, of course not... but, those are the standards we allow. Feeder goldfish are just another example of this. Most stores will order up to 1000 or more feeder goldfish every week.
Unfortunately, what you are doing with the goldfish, really isn't all that much better. The feeder fish at the store must remain in that condition for a matter of a few days at which time they are bought as food, and put out of their misery that way. With 2 of these fish in a 10 gallon tank, they are then going to suffer for how long? Remember that the water pollution will poison them, this is a slow and painful death. In my opinion, I'd rather see them fed to something and put out of their misery rather than to drag it on.
Even if you were to change 100% of their water daily, run good filtration, give them good healthy foods, these fish can't survive in a 10 gallon tank. By the time each of those fish reaches over 3 inches long each, the oxygen content in the water is going to be depleted so quickly it will be near impossible to provide enough, the space they need to swim properly won't be there, and the waste will build to toxic levels in less than 24 hrs. This is a terrible way to die.
I'm sorry, but I can't agree with or condone such a thing. I feel sorry for those fish.

In the future, for anyone reading this post, I want to make it known that when you purchase a sick fish or any fish from unhealthy conditions, you are not really rescuing anything. What you are doing, in fact, is promoting the conditions in which you found it. You wonder how? A store spends money on fish to sell to the customers for a profit. They mark prices up 3 - 4 times the wholesale cost. The fish you pay $1 for likely cost them a quarter or less. The stores often provide bare minimum conditions to keep the fish until they are sold because everything they do for and give to the fish is something else they have to pay for, which brings their profit margin down. When they keep fish poorly, 1 of 2 things will happen. They will get stuck with a lot of fish that will die, costing them a lot of money, or people will come in and buy the fish as is, which gives them no reason to change their practices.
Anyone who really wants to rescue the fish, there are things you can do to make a huge difference, while saving your money and many more than the 1 fish you may or may not be able to provide for your yourself. Complain! I don't know how many times I have said this... but complaining... making some noise, is one of the best ways to approach it. Tell these stores that you, a paying customer, will not give them your business until they raise their standards to a humane level. Complain to employees, but more so complain to management. Ask to speak to an owner, either in person, via phone or email... doesn't matter. Let these peopel know that we demand healthy and well cared for animals for sale, or we will take our business elsewhere. Then, the next best thing to do is walk away. Don't spend your money, don't contribute to the problem. These stores have to make money or they don't exist. If they start losing money they have to either quit selling that thing or fix the problem with why it doesn't sell.
So the next time someone is tempted to rescue a sick fish, please remember this: you can save one and contribute to the death of how many others? or you can sacrafice one for the sake of how many in the future?


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