Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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JustinScott 11-27-2010 12:46 PM

180 Gallon Tank - Fish feeding question
Hi everyone, new to this forum...

I have a 180 Gallon freshwater which has been running for a little less than a year now.

I have around 70-80 inches of fish in the tank. I'm allowing for each fish to double its size; some species will grow more than that; others are already as big as I expect them to grow... The fish have been in there for about 4 months now, and for the most part no fatalities/diseases.

--The Problem--
Anyway, my problem is my mechanical filter gets clogged litterally every other day & I'm constantly cleaning it. I think I'm over feeding them; but I don't know how much I should feed them. Everywhere online says 'feed them enough that they stop eating within 5 minutes'... I think this guideline must be for smaller aquariums; because my fish eat 3/4 ton in 5 minutes. I'm three them several large (very large) pinches twice a day. They tear through it in under a minute.

---Fish note---
I do have 3 goldfish and 1 black moor in my tank. The black moor will stay as he is breathing fine and is my wife's favorite. The 3 goldfish (starter fish that I never took out) will go out to my Koi pond when the weather gets better... right now the temp shock would simply kill them.
-->The goldfish/moor & the angels fish tear through the food 10x faster than anyone else.

Aquarium details:
Other than the tannens from a irritating piece of bogwood; the water is clear.
One Fluval G6 - expensive, but I love it. Willing to get another, but would rather solve this problem.
One UV seralizer
One Water mover (salt water water pump)
I am trying to plant the tank right now.

Water details (from this morning):
Ammonia is at 0
Nitrate is around 30 (safe zone) this morning -- usually less... but never 0
Nitrite is around .2
Hardness (GH:75) soft
chorine 0
Alkalinity (KH80) moderate
ph 7.2 -- never seems to get any less - never gets above 7.8

Fish details (of note -- as there are way too many):
2 plecos
4 angels
4 bala
3 goldfish, 1 black moor
10 tigerbarbs (regret these little bastards)
the rest are community tetras

thefishboy 11-27-2010 12:53 PM

Firstly Goldfish are coldwater fish and the others are tropical they are not suited for each other....
Tiger Barbs are to fast for the sedate Angel Fish..
And Angel Fish should be kept in groups of 5-6 unless breeding pair.. Could you return the Tiger Barbs and get quite alot more Angel Fish???
Some one else will chime in soon..
Goldfish are poop machines!! Cut down feeding for a while and see if that helps but if i were you i would definatley get rid of the goldfish then Tiger Barbs and get more Angel Fish you could have a nice array in that sized tank.......

JustinScott 11-27-2010 01:15 PM

Thanks for the quick reply.

The angels are very large compared to the tigers... So they leave the angels alone, thankfully. They are little jerks though. They constantly bother my 'small army' of cory cats. I've really have about had it with them. If one of my LFS would give me a trade, I'd probably take it.

I really can't do much with the goldfish, my gma picked them out for me and she's not doing very well right now... so they are 'sentimental goldfish'. So I'm unwilling to sentence them to freeze to death & I'm unwilling to give them to the LHS goldfish machine. What I might be willing to do is move them to the hospital tank... but that is ONLY if I'm sure they are the cause. I'd first need to tune the community's food rate.

BlackMoor (a variant of goldfish) cannot be removed from tropical tank, wife would kill me.

thefishboy 11-27-2010 01:17 PM

i would just set up another tank for the gold fish because there not supposed to be tropical fish.......

JustinScott 11-28-2010 09:30 PM

Bump.. That's it? Get rid of the poor goldfish?

Back to my original question... How much food should be dispensed?
Posted via Mobile Device

MukiTheFish 11-29-2010 09:56 AM

First I have a question, is the gunk that clogs your filter food or waste?
It it's waste the fish produced then I'd say it's just how your goldfish are.

If it helps, I can tell you how I feed my fish.
I feed them mostly twice a day, by giving a very small amount of food in the water and wait untill I see all the food eaten, then I add another pinch and wait again etc., untill I feel they had enough. I have 10 rasboras and they are small so i'd say i give alltogether roughly 8 food flakes crumbled in small pieces in about 3- 4 pinches.

I agree with putting all the coldwater fish in a different tank. If it helps with survivability, ask your wife if she'd like to spend 24/7 in a sauna?

sik80 11-29-2010 12:31 PM

you would be surprised how little food fish need to survive. I have roughly 40 fish in my tank and they get a tiny sprinkle of flake or micro pellets plus 2 sinking pellets once per day. Twice a week I will feed bloodworms or chopped earthworm and no flake or pellets that day. all my fish are healthy and some have even bred. I've just been away for 4 days and the fish haven't been fed at all but are fine on my return.

one more point - i see you have a water mover - imo this is not needed in your tank. the canister filter will provide enough water movement. angel fish in particular do not like a high rate of water flow as they come from habitats with very slow moving water

Byron 11-29-2010 07:10 PM

I second the advice/suggestions on the incompatible mix of fish.

I concur with sik80 on feeding; one feeding per day is more than sufficient, perhaps too much at that--unless the fish are young fry that need frequent meals. I feed once a day in the mid-morning when the fish are most active [though they will learn to become active if fed at a different time regularly:-)]. On water change day I omit feeding completely. Fish (aside from fry) can manage for 1-2 weeks with no food provided they are healthy.

They will always (if healthy) appear "hungry" and will eat if food is provided whether they need to or not, it is their natural instinct because they don't naturally know when they may next find food. Depending upon the size of the fish of cours, a morsel of food daily is quite sufficient.


P.S. I moved the posts about angels and tiger barbs to a new thread, in case anyone wonders what happened to them.

JustinScott 11-29-2010 07:29 PM

I caught one of the goldfish and is now living in the hospital tank. The other two saw what happened to their friend and are evading me.

I reduced the amount of food I'm feeding them & cleaned the filter. Will see how long it takes to gunk up. One of the great things about the g6... It tells you when it's clogged!

How can I tell if it is waste or food? It just looks like dark green muck.

I actually disagree with you sik80; I don't think the water is moving nearly fast enough for a 180 gallon. I will eventually buy another g6 as I don't think one is enough.
Posted via Mobile Device

Byron 11-29-2010 07:48 PM


I actually disagree with you sik80; I don't think the water is moving nearly fast enough for a 180 gallon. I will eventually buy another g6 as I don't think one is enough.
This is difficult for us to ascertain, and you being there may be correct. However, sik80's point was valid and correct; some fish do not appreciate water movement and will be stressed by it.

We often tend to think of filtration as "the more the better" but nothing could be farther from the truth. Filtration is a matter of fish and tank size; the type of fish and the number of them in relation to the water volume should indicate how much filtration is necessary. Tied to filtration is water movement, and this is also important to fish health. Fish from stagnant ponds and swamps (like gourami) and flooded forest and slow-flowing streams (like angels, most but not all tetra, rasbora, etc) are "programmed" for such waters and will be stressed if having to fight currents. This is why one should always consider all aspects of a fish's natural habitat when selecting compatible fish for a community aquarium. Fish that prefer similar to identical environments and water parameters will naturally be more healthy together.

Another reason to separate out the goldfish; their are waste producers and increased filtration and good water circulation are important. But not to the angels.

I hope that explains it a bit.


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