Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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losaramic 03-18-2007 04:59 PM

not so great start...
 
Hi! I would have sworn that I registered at this forum last week and posted my question, but when I returned I wasn't recognized. (?) So I registered again.

A few weeks ago I bought a small aquarium without doing anymore research than asking questions at a pet store. I now know that trusting pet store employees was not very bright.

I thought I was getting off to a good start by reading the guide that came with the tank and watching the DVD as well. I also read all instructions that came with the filter and chemicals. But then I went to buy a few telescope eye goldfish from the store and was assured that my little tank was good enough. I had two fake plants and one real one.

Everything seemed to go okay for the first four days and then one of the fish began hanging around near the surface. It seemed to be fighting to get anywhere. I finally started looking at resources online and found out that it probably had swim bladder disease and there wasn't much I could do except stop feeding for a few days and then try feeding them peas. I also discovered that I should have had a 10 gallon tank, minimum, for those fish.

The sick fish died and the other two continued to be okay, surviving my chemical treatment and filter cleaning last Sunday, but now I can see a slightly greenish tint to the water. When I cleaned the filter materials again this week I could feel definite slime beginning to start and this surprised me since there are only 2 fish and I've been pretty careful not to overfeed them.

The plan was to get a snail soon and hope I could keep the snail population down. Will a snail or two help with this problem or is there some other product I should use to get rid of algae? Is it possible that I was overdoing it with the chemicals? For a 5 gallon tank I was putting in half a capful of Aquaplus, 1/2 capful of Cycle and the same amount of Waste Control once per week.

Oh, another problem, I just tried the syphon for the first time and it didn't work! I watched the DVD again first to make sure I would do it right and pushed the syphon up and down in the water rapidly as shown, yet the water didn't go up and through the tube! I had to scoop out a 1/4 of the tank's water to replace it.

Thanks for all advice.

Lois

musho3210 03-18-2007 05:38 PM

well welcome to the forum first

second i have a little talk on the care of goldfish http://www.fishforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=5196

and third, do you clean all the filter and replace everything submerged in the filter? About the siphon, make sure the end where the water comes out isnt submerged in water, if it still doesnt work suck the water a bit until it goes over, then stop, you'll learn how to not get any water in your mouth.

losaramic 03-19-2007 01:13 PM

Quote:

suck the water a bit until it goes over, then stop, you'll learn how to not get any water in your mouth
LOL, I guess I will be very motivated to learn that! :? Thanks for the suggestions. As for your first question, yes I rinsed every part of the filter and filter materials, and I was careful to make sure the water was just tepid.

One thing I forgot to mention is that I plan to get a much larger tank (and more fish) and use the 5G tank as a hospital tank thereafter. But for now with that tiny tank the top end of the vacuum is definitely out of the water.
I think I will find someone to demonstrate it for me and point out what I was doing wrong. It looks quite straight forward so I was bewildered. Perhaps I was moving it too quickly when I moved it up and down..

losaramic 03-19-2007 01:29 PM

Now that I've read your post I am absolutely astonished at how great a mistake is being made, and way too often! (And this is also something that employees at pet stores should be telling customers, too! Geez!) I've done my part by posting a link to your post at my own message board and I will continue to post it at all the ones I frequent (general topic boards, mainly).

In the meantime, though, I already have two telescope goldfish and I'm going to do my best to keep them alive and healthy. As you said, it is an expense and for a small number of fish, but I was raised to believe that when you take an animal into your home you are responsible for the quality of its life. It's not their fault I didn't know what I was getting into when I bought them, so I will do my best.

Amphitrite 03-19-2007 03:25 PM

Welcome to the forum losaramic :)

musho3210 03-19-2007 05:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by losaramic
Quote:

suck the water a bit until it goes over, then stop, you'll learn how to not get any water in your mouth
LOL, I guess I will be very motivated to learn that! :? Thanks for the suggestions. As for your first question, yes I rinsed every part of the filter and filter materials, and I was careful to make sure the water was just tepid.

One thing I forgot to mention is that I plan to get a much larger tank (and more fish) and use the 5G tank as a hospital tank thereafter. But for now with that tiny tank the top end of the vacuum is definitely out of the water.
I think I will find someone to demonstrate it for me and point out what I was doing wrong. It looks quite straight forward so I was bewildered. Perhaps I was moving it too quickly when I moved it up and down..

rinsing every part of the filter is where you made the mistake, you killed all the beneficial bacteria, my next question is what are the water parameters.

You did not do anything wrong, you just didnt do anything right and the fish store didnt fix it so technically its there fault. What i am astonished about is how many fish stores still sell goldfish bowls and small goldfish tanks.

Rue 03-20-2007 07:21 PM

...well no...you have to rinse the filter/media...just do it in dechlorinated, room-temperature water...

Chlorine will kill your good bacteria and so will hot water....

Your old tank water is best to use to clean the sponge during maintenance...

If you're set on goldfish...I'd really recommend getting a large tank with good filtration...goldfish are very dirty fish...count on at least 10g per fish (it doesn't work that straightforwardly...but with 2-10 fish it holds quite well)...

Also be aware there's a difference between 'fancy' goldfish...they're smaller and fuller-bodied...regular single-finned goldfish - like Comets - that grow to a good 12" or more and are quite fast and active...

...and Koi...which really need a large pond to live in...as they can grow to be 18+"...

Goldfish also need cooler water to do well...and if conditins are right...can live to be quite old...40 years is the top of the range...but I've met some in their 20s...


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