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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. Just wanted to check in and get some feedback on how my tank is progressing. I have a 10 gallon with TopFin powerfilter10. I have two FanTail goldies. The tank was setup on Saturday, so it has been four days. Here were my readings tonight:

pH - 6.4 (This seems low, should I be concerned?)
Ammonia - <0.25ppm
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0
water temp - about 69F

I used the API Freshwater Master Test kit for the readings. I performed one 20% water change on day3 adding a water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia. I've only been feeding once per day, should I increase since ammonia readings are so low? When should i expect it to "spike"?
 

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Hi and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping!!

6.4 for Ph isn't bad. I wouldn't worry about that but I would worry (and I hate to say this!!) about two fan tail goldies in a 10 gallon tank. In all honesty that is way too small for one goldie let alone two.

As for when to expect an ammonia spike. You want to avoid this with fish in the tank. Soo you should be testing this at least everyday and be prepared to do a water change when you see t raise above .25ppm (really that's too much 0 is where you want it to be). I wouldn't imagine it would take long with 2 goldies in the a 10 for the ammonia to get high if not monitor well.
 

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if they are still small i think the size is fine and i would get a bigger filter bc it will clean the water more keeping everything in order. i didnt really test my water for my goldfish bc they are pretty hardy and arent bad about dying due to water in mt experience, thats not gonna be every gold fish ofcourse. but anyway just keep the water clean, think about a 20g filter, and be prepared to have a bigger tank when time comes :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ok, so now on day 6, readings are:

pH - 6.0-6.2
Ammonia <.25ppm
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - 0
water temp - 70-72

Have done two 20% changes on day 3 and day 5. I still am concerned a bit about the pH, just seems low compared to what I've read is ideal. The pH from the tap is closer to 8.0. If there is anything I should be doing differently, please let me know. Thanks everyone!
 

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How long does it take for the pH to go from 8.0 to 6.2? With a pH that low, it'll take a while to cycle. With Goldfish, you'll be reading ammonia pretty soon.
 

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Welcome to TFK. While the goldfish may be fine in your 10 gal right now, they will need a larger tank before too long. They grow very fast when given proper food and good quality water. If you plan to keep those goldfish expect to upgrade to a 40 gal before too long. Young goldfish grow incredibly fast. Just because a fish is hardy doesn't mean it should be subjected to bad water quality.

Your pH might be an issue, tho. I'll see if I can contact someone about it as I haven't cycled a tank with a low pH.
 

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Hallyx made a good point in wondering how quickly the pH dropped. Did you test the pH directly from the tap or did you allow it to sit out for a day? Allowing tapwater to sit out 24 hours allows you the chance to see the actual pH after outgassing and that is often different than a reading right away. Can you tell us about what's in the aquarium? Like any wood, what substrate, etc.

My advice would be to step up the water changes. Do a small one daily instead of every few days. Small, very frequent water changes should help raise the pH at least a little and keep it in a range where the bacteria can function. At such a low pH ammonia is a whole lot less deadly, but the tank will never cycle.

That's about the only thing I can think of. Plants won't work as the goldfish are just likely to eat them. Buffering the water up with something like crushed coral is also not an option in this case since you already have fish and that will cause too large of a pH swing and hurt the fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I tested the pH right out of the tap. After a 20% water change the other day the pH was closer to 7.0, but I just tested it tonight and it has dropped back down to 6.0. So it looks like I need to do daily water changes to keep the pH up? My ammonia levels are not rising above .25ppm and I also add the water conditioner each water change to detoxify it anyway, so I believe the water quality is good in that respect. Thanks for any other tips you can give me!
 

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Usually water conditioners that lock down ammonia can only do so for 24-48 hours. Goldfish are really good poop machines, but you should be OK for now due to the low Ph... however, if the PH becomes basic, Ammonia will become toxic and the lives of your fishies will be at stake :(

Any ideas on the Gh/ Kh?, that might give you a better idea whether your tank will be prone to a PH swing~

I would say keeping two goldfish in a nano tank is rather risky. If you plan on keeping these fellows to a ripe old age; I highly highly highly (did i mention highly?) recommend upgrading to a 40 gallon, this will save you immensely on costs in the long run. I also like to recommend plants to cut down on maintenance and to stabilize water parameters~ Since goldfish are notorious plant devourers, some hardier plants like amazon swords, Anubias and java ferns are less likely to be eaten :) Since you have fantails, plants might just stand a chance :)

good luck and keep us updated!


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You have received some great advice. I agree that a ten gallon tank is no place for any goldfish, regardless of their size. They can become stunted by the wrong environment. The absolute minimum I would recommend for 2 goldfish is a 29 gallon, and that would also eventually need to be upgraded.
As far as your PH, the addition of an air pump and airstone would not only add some much needed oxygen, but can increase your PH.
Another thing to consider that affects PH.When it is very hot,or very cold out, we tend to keep our homes closed up tight. newer homes are at an even bigger disadvantage as they are more airtight. What happens is respiration from people, pets, even the heat itself will increase indoor carbon dioxide. This can also have an affect on PH. Sometimes simply airing out your home is needed. There is a test for this- take a cup or vessel of some sort of your tank water. Set it outside with an airstone dropped in it for 24 hours. Then test the PH. If it has increased significantly, you know the indoor carbon dioxide is an issue.
More likely, I agree with aokashi, that your GH/KH is what is having an effect on your PH. It is teetering at the edge, so monitor it closely. You don't want your PH to crash.
Make sure you keep decor at a minimum in this tank, until you can upgrade. I would suggest that you don't even use a substrate, so that all waste can be removed with your water changes.
Increasing the size of the filter would also be helpful. I recommend no less than a 10X turnover in a tank with goldfish. That means you need a filter that moves at least 100 gallons per hour{GPH}
Make sure the filter is causing surface movement at the top of the water, this also helps to oxygenate the water. Monitor your tank close as it cycles, so as not to expose the fish to any dangerous levels. In the future, it would be best to learn how to do a fish-less cycle, or add some beneficial bacteria to help speed up the process. I only recommend Dr. Tim's One And Only.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
[Any ideas on the Gh/ Kh?, that might give you a better idea whether your tank will be prone to a PH swing~

Sent from Petguide.com App[/quote]

No clue on the Gh/Kh...do I need a different test kit for that? I know I will have to upgrade the tank eventually, but I just can't do it right away. So for now my goal is to get the tank cycled and keep the water quality good. I am doing the water changes and also adding the water conditioner so the ammonia should not be harmful and the fish are extremely happy. So at present, my only concern is getting the pH levels correct so the cycle can complete.


Thanks again!
 

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I'm actually quite envious of your PH, it's great for certain species of dwarf shrimps!

The low PH is your friend right now, not in cycling, but in keeping the feeshies alive :D

I dont recommend working against your water. But if you have to, it is likely you will have to premix your water and let it sit for a while before you use it :( In the initial stages this will likely lead to buckets and buckets of water prepared in advance due to the frequency of water changes needed >.<

Some one else might have a better method, I only keep pico tanks, so any water changes larger than a gallon is pretty much beyond my wisdom....


Another thought... is there any way for you to return the goldfish until you manage to figure out your water parameters and cycling issues and then cycle the tank first? I think this way it would be less stressful on you and the fish :)


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Discussion Starter #14
no, I cannot return the goldfish unfortunately. So i did a 25% water change this evening and the pH levels are now 6.8. Is this a good level for cycling?
 

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Aww... Poor feeshies :(

Hallyx is knowledgeable on all aspects of cycling, he can help you with that :)

Maybe you should try one of the cycling products, I think Tetra safestart is one of the few that is known to work

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I was able to cycle my tank at a ph of 6.4/6.8 with super low kh/gh. I can't tell you how long it took, I never kept records, but one week I was reading 8ppm ammonia and a few weeks later I was at 0. I did 25% or larger daily water changes and had a ton of fast growing stem plants (the fancies might eat those, but would floating plants like frogbit work? I don't know if they would mouth those or not.)
 

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Keepsmiling gave a lot of good advice in post #10. As long as you're reading ~7.0 pH, you'll get a strong, stable cycle. You can slowly raise you KH with crushed coral or seashells. As Carole says, running a sponge filter will usually raise your pH by oxygenating the water. A sponge filter also provides a large volume for the bacteria to colonize.

Tetra Safestart is an easily available bacteria-in-a-bottle. Make sure it's fresh (check the sell-by date). Fresh API Quickstart, ATM Colony have been reported to work well. Seachem Stability works for some keepers. Dr Tim's One-and-Only is arguably the best, but expensive.

It's probably easier to do more smaller pwc's than it is to age lots of water to allow your refill pH to go down enough to not pH shock your fish. For example, doing a 50% pwc with refill >1.0 pH above your tank pH is pushing it. As long as you don't raise the pH much more than 0.5pH all at once, they'll be OK. Even Bettas can handle that. And goldies are tough.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Goldfish will generally begin to bottom sit at a pH of 6 this is about the bottom of their tolerance. I generally would like to see a kH of 100 ppm minimum with goldfish to maintain a stable pH. Being a water purist I almost never say this, I would add crushed coral to filter to stabilize the pH.
Rick
Can you explain in detail about adding the crushed coral? I have a TopFin Power10 filter that came with the tank. The filter cartridges are supposed to be replaced every 3-4 weeks. I will be able to add the crushed coral into those cartridges?

Also just to comment on their behavior so far...no bottom sitting. They are very active swimmers.

Thanks
 

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Aww... Poor feeshies :(

Hallyx is knowledgeable on all aspects of cycling, he can help you with that :)

Maybe you should try one of the cycling products, I think Tetra safestart is one of the few that is known to work

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I have read many good things about the Tetra Safestart and think that I may go that route. But one question is will a low pH impact the products performance?

Thanks
 
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