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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys!

I took some time away from the hobby, as many of us do. Right now I have a 40 gallon breeder with a 2 1/2 inch ranchu and 6 nerites. A 3 gallon quarantine tank. and A 15 Gallon With One 3 1/2" common.And now my newest project, a 20 gallon long for my 10 yr old son.

This summer my son and his grandfather went to the fair.... Can you guess what happened next? So I have a 3 1/2" common goldfish. Just what I wanted?! So we will grow him out a bit and then he will go to my friends pond this summer. Since goldfish are social creatures I will be adding a shubunkin to keep him company.

Since we will only be keeping him for a few more months and my kid will have to give up his fish so it can have a better life, I told him he could get some appropriate fish.

He intends on learning how to care for his own tank so I want to make it as easy as possible. However I will be supervising ( like a hawk). Here are my set up plans.

20 gallon long aquarium ( and glass hood?)
Poret mattenfilter run by
statuary pump
Led light, probably Finnex stingrays or chihiros led
Pool filter sand
1x 3 1/2"Common goldfish
1x 2" shubunkin
2x zebra nerite snails
Java fern, anubias and bolbitis (african).
Python water changer
I will be using seachem prime for water conditioner
and Nilocg thrive for my plant fertilizer used at 1/3 dose to start.

Water changes will be twice weekly @ 70%.

With all of the different filters, lights and air pumps i have been through. I thought this would be the easiest set up for a beginner to care for. The fact that his filter will only need to be cleaned once a year is super cool. He can do water changes in back of the mattenfilter and not worry about vacuuming up the fish. I can vac the sand if I need to later, until he gets the hang of it.

I Guess that this post will serve as a journal. Since I will not allow my 10 yr old son to be on the web without supervision and he is too young to have his own account, I will be posting on his behalf at times.
I will post pictures later. I need to find a decent camera. All I have right now is a kindle and a cell phone with a grainy camera.

I encourage you to post your thoughts and questions on the set up. I however discourage back and forth arguments. PLEASE keep this journal clean. I would like my son to come back and see his progress.

Please keep in mind that these fish will be in this tank temporarily. I will be performing large bi weekly water changes. I do not suggest keeping single tailed goldfish in standard aquariums. These fish get immense and so do their requirements to be healthy.
This is why both of these fish are going into a pond. I have made sure my children understand this.


I am starting to set it up tomorrow. I will be painting the back and the right side black. I may paint part of the right side front glass as well, just to hide the space in back of the filter.

Wish us luck on our endeavor!
 

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Im glad to hear that you have a suitable home set up for the current occupants. I look forward to hearing all the updates. :)

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Aussiejjdude ... Yes, I am lucky to have a friend with a pond. My kids will be able to visit them.


I just got done painting the back, right side and 3 or 4 inches of the front. Looks pretty nice thus far.

I ordered the mattenfilter from swiss tropicals last night. I am pretty excited to try this filter out. I have used block sponge filters before run on air and liked them despite my noisy air pump. This will be the first mattenfilter that I have used. I will be running it through a statuary pump to keep the noise down. I should only hear the water movement.

I also picked up a little surprise for my son. I found a so-called " sky blue" shubunkin. Little thing,very active also very pretty. "She" is in quarantine right now with 2 nerites my son picked out with his grandpa. This time they called and asked permission. Baby steps! He was very proud as he got " the best ones".

The quarantine tank they are in has algae covered walls. I have bought quite a few snails lately and had to qt them. So I made the qt tailored to them. These snails can starve if introduced to a new tank. The ones my son got will be in there a bit longer than the shubunkin. I have to make sure that there is enough to sustain them in the new tank. I do not supplement my snails as nerites are hard to feed in a goldfish tank.

I placed the tank where it will be set up last night. Unfortunately, my house is a bit unlevel. It would be easy to shim a tank stand but this tank is going on my breakfast bar between my kitchen and living room. I am drawing up plans to build a platform stand. I will buy some 3/4 " plywood, paint it black and put some heavy duty steel cabinet legs on it. They are for kitchen cabinets, have a rating of 660lbs max load each and have adjustable feet. I will probably add trim to the front and sides, leaving the back open. This way I can hide food, nets, fertilizers and etc under the stand. Maybe I can find some cool little bins or baskets to fit underneath it.

I also have to decide whether or not to get a glass hood for this tank. I prefer open tops. However these fish can actually jump, not like my ranchu. Not worried about the snails. Make sure they are well fed ,have clean water and an inch or two of dry area to hang out on. This new tank will not be filled up to the top for this reason. Nerites are tidal snails so they will wander around to a point. Mine like to hang above the water sometimes, but they have yet to go over the black trim. When I first started keeping them I would fill the tank up to the black trim. They would crawl out and I would have to go snail hunting. Since I started doing this they don't leave the tank. Oh, I should mention that I want to grow marginal plants out of the area behind the mattenfilter. I'll figure out some hanging basket l can slip back there. I have pothos, peace lily and anthurium on hand I could use also. Gotta run this stuff past the kid. He knows a little bit about plants making the water safer and cleaner for his fish.

Will keep updating. Also looking for a camera tomorrow. Good day!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just got done sanding the 3/4" plywood for the platform. I hope I have enough black paint on hand. Might have to go to home depot and get more tomorrow. The legs should be here tomorrow as well.

I may have to wait a bit on some of the plants though. I am trying to find a decent size piece of java fern var. trident or regular African bolbitis hedulotti. All I can find is baby bolbitis. I noticed that the java fern in my 40b is propagating, but it is the large variety. I do have plenty of anubias though. I don't want to add too many plants. I will probably be relocating them to my 40b this spring/summer.

My son and I have been looking at other fish for this tank when it is done housing the goldfish. I think we found something. A species tank of Neolamprologus multifaciatus, or " shellies". I think they are also referred to as " multies". These are the smallest cichlid in lake tanganyika. The little cuties are a bit spendy though.

Back to painting....yay!
 

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I built the stand and painted it and leveled it last night. Worked like a charm.

I went to feed the common last night and his filter was dead and his water was 10° warmer than usual. Poor guy. I stuck a bubbler in there and let it cool down and did a big water change. He is doing fine now.

So I had to set the tank up today. Got the filter working. I may need a smaller pump though. The one I am using is for my patio pond. Set to low it is ok. But I want to have my pond up this spring.

I am going to add some cycled media from my other tank. I don't know if my bacteria died off last night or not. I have no idea how long the filter was off. It heated up the water though. Wonder how warm it got in there for him? He seems unfazed though.

I didn't acclimate long, probably 10 min. I used a bit of his water and 80% clean , temp was the same.

So he is enjoying his new home. I will add the shubunkin in a few weeks after quarantine is over.

Still need a light and some plants. And a camera.
 

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Nothing much today. Just doing water testing etc. I did order the Nilocg thrive. I am excited to use it. Still looking for a light.
 

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I am using an undercounter light I think it is a 3800k, not sure. I am still reading reviews on leds. My Nilocg thrive came today. I do my water changes on Sundays so I will try it then.
 

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Well, that undercounter led light is growing anubias fine it seems. Tank has finished cycling. A few more days for "Rosey" the shubunkin in qt. The common is quite a bit bigger than her. I hope they get along. Feeding repashy soilent green and nls goldfish. I think I want to try southern delight goldfish food next or repashy super gold. Next on the agenda is treating for flukes and uploading pictures. Hopefully I am able to figure out how to post from my new cell phone.
 

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I did add the shubunkin a couple of weeks ago. Things are going great.
I am especially impressed with the mattenfilter. Water changes are incredibly easy now. I change the water from in back of the filter and add water the same way. As the filter matures,the efficiency is supposed to go up. I wish I would have known about these simple filters long ago. From here on out I will be using these exclusively.
 

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Maybe a little late but I used the procedures in my signature for a 20g long that ran for 5-8 years.


just a thought.


Worth at most .02
 

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Glad to hear that things are going great!

I love the matten, but I don't like how one looses tank space with them.... plus the extra water volume from a hob or canister is hard to beat at times.

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