Aquarium Issues? Any ideas?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by fin29, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    All I want is an aquarium with clear water. Period.

    I just set up a 10 gallon tank with a brand spankin' new Whisper Filter rated for 15-20 gallons. I have the inch + of rocks (the larger ones) that was recommended. I treated the water with 2 teaspoons of StressCote and let the filter run for three days before introducing my ONE fish--a goldfish-looking thing that I don't think is actually a goldfish. :rolleyes: I feed this fish MAYBE 3-4 small goldfish flakes of a day and he's been thriving on this since his debut in our family last November. He had been in a woefully inadequate 1 gallon jobbie until I could figure out if I could keep him alive. I have two smallish plastic plants and the aquarium is not in any sun at all. It's a steady 65-68 degrees in the room the tank's in.

    Well, three days later, the water's already getting cloudy.

    What do I do, or what am I doing wrong?
     
  2. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

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    Cloudy water usally is a sign of overfeeding. Where did you get the gravel? If not bought in pet shop for fish tanks could be another reason.

    Also, I think water temp for goldfish might be lower then what you have.
     

  3. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have you changed the filter medium lately also you might need some LIVE plants to remove the excess nitrogen from the water thats clouding it.
     
  4. ckncrazy

    ckncrazy Well-Known Member

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    I have always found that the ratings on the filters are not acurate. Try a filter rated for 30 to 50 gal. I prefer the fluval filters, but they are pricy.

    JAKE
     
  5. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) This is hard as I can't see your set-up or the species of the fish you have in it. You mean you didn't even find out what kind of fish it is?

    It is normal for newly set-up aquaria to have a bacteria bloom and if everything else is well, it will correct itself in just a few days. Live plants are certainly good and they are pretty too, but you can't keep them with some species of fish, they will just be eaten or otherwise destroyed.

    Find out what species of fish you have. If it's not a goldfish(which are carp)then it needs different food than "goldfish" food.

    As mentioned also carp, and that family prefer cooler water than a tropical species of fish. Goldfish do well at about 70 degrees druring the day and down to 50 to 60 degrees at night.

    Pop over to this site and it will give you loads of help.

    Good luck and have fun!

    http://honors.montana.edu/~weif/firsttank/

    LQ
     
  6. mysticokra

    mysticokra Well-Known Member

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    I used to have the same problem until I discovered water hardness levels.
    Take a vial of your water to the fish store and they will test it for free.

    We usually have to add a calcium based buffer to keep things right.

    We also added a protein skimmer, which works wonders on the excess food problem.

    A cheap fix is to put activated charcoal in your filter. It will make the water crystal clear for about a week.
     
  7. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    I had this happen when I used aquarium store gravel but I didn't rinse it first. I set up everything again and it was fine. A pain, I know.

    BTW, does anyone have their aquarium on a solar-power system? I'm trying to think of some way to keep one that would not be an energy drain.

    Beaux
     
  8. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I agree with LQ. When I kept fish tanks I would always get cloudy water a couple of days after changing the water. Just leave it alone and suddenly it will clear.
     
  9. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    On my 5 gallon aquarium i got a small pond pump(uses aquarium size tubing),17 dollar size from home depot.It is submersible.I pump the water into a little 4 inch long,2 inch wide,3 inch deep plastic square basket that hangs inside the aquarium just over water lever.Fill 1/3rd with activated charcoal,the rest with cotton balls,pump the water into the top.Your water will be squeeky clean.

    Last time I took the undersink water charcoal filter cannister and cut it open.Inside is a rolled sheet of activated charcoal.Cut the sheet into squares to fit my basket three layers thick.Lined basket,then put in the stuffing stuff from a destroyed squeeky stuffed dog toy.Again it filters excellent,and mighty cheep too.Im sure I have a 2 year supply of sheets now.And its a quiet filter to boot. :worship:

    BooBoo
     
  10. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    PS,I prolly change the filter stuff every 4-6 months,lasts a long time.
     
  11. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    I hope you're right about the bloom, LQ and Cyngbaeld. I will cut down on food and wait a few days. If that doesn't clear things up a little, perhaps a water sample is in order.

    LQ, the goldfish was a poorly-conceived wedding table decoration that came home with another in a vase. The other fish died after my 2yo fed it banana bread :rolleyes: and "Goldie" has survived. I guess I could take him to the petstore to have him ID'd, but I lent my carseat to a friend... :haha:

    In all seriousness, I realize this whole situation is not ideal, but I'm trying here...
    I just don't want to flush him--kids wouldn't appreciate that.
     
  12. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Bacterial bloom is common in new tanks. The bacteria go wild with all the new poo. Give it a while and everything will balance out. Give it a 20% water change once a week.

    Whatever you do, do not clean the tank entirely out, or remove too much water! You need to keep the good bacteria in there. The filter and gravel will build the bacteria population needed for a healthy tank. 1/2" pebbles are best, layed about 1" in the front, grading up to 4" in the back.
     
  13. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    Always make sure you wash your rocks and stuff.

    I was always told by the "experts" that it is very difficult to get a tanks smaller than 25 gallons to balance and operate correctly. I had everything from bowls to 5 and 10 gallons tanks and while it was more difficult, you could get them to pretty much take care of themselves.

    I've always wanted to get back into aquariums and fish but my house has pretty big temp swings and things have really changed from when I got out of the hobby in the mid 80s. I picked up a catalog a while back and was a little intimidated.
     
  14. boren

    boren Well-Known Member

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    I'm amazed no here has mentioned cycling a tank. <sigh> When a tank is first setup all the waste produces amonia which is very harmfull (1ppm), bacteria start to grow to convert this to nitrite which is pretty harmfull (2-4ppm), and more bacteria grow to convert this to nitrate which is much less harmful (100ppm). To start this cycle it takes about 3-4 weeks, more in colder water.

    The goal is to have the bacteria grow in the filter. This forms the biological filter that keeps the fish alive. Your filter should have at least 2 parts to it, a mechanical filter to filter out junk, and a biological filter. Don't replace the biological part.

    Anyways, for real information visit:

    http://faq.thekrib.com/begin.html

    Cloudyness is normal in tanks. It'll be white, it'll be green, it'll be both. Welcome to a new tanks. I've had heavily planted tanks you couldn't see 1" through, the cleared up. A plant or two in a tank that isn't setup with proper lights is useless. It'll just die and rot and add to the bioload.
     
  15. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    A larger tank is MUCH easier to maintain. A 50-80 gallon tank with homebrew undergravel filter you will never have to change the water or clean it. just takes a learning curve like everything else in life.

    mikell
     
  16. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

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    Boren is absolutely right. It should clear up, I just went through this as well. If it bugs you, buy some water clearing stuff at the pet store, it is harmless and will bind all the dust & other particles together & make it drop to the bottom, thus getting rid of the cloudiness....
     
  17. jack_c-ville

    jack_c-ville Well-Known Member

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    Sounds to me like the tank is just going through the ordinary cycle that every new set up does. The best way that I ever found to avoid that was to take a gallon of water from a healthy, established tank at the local aquarium shop and put that in my new tank right away. That way I had an ideal population of beneficial bacteria right away.

    By the way, there are 2 common misconceptions about aquarium-keeping which most people have that I'd like to clear up here. The first is that a smaller tank is easier to care for. Wrong, wrong, wrong. A 10 gallon set up is far more difficult to get right than a 30 or 50 gallon tank. The less water you have, the more your mistakes are magnified. Any little problem with water quality or overfeeding becomes diasterous right away rather than diluted and less relevant as in a big tank. Small tanks are more work and more hassle.

    Fishbowls are total folly. If you want dead fish as quickly as possible without actually throwing them against the wall, put them in a fishbowl. This goes for goldfish and betas, too. If you want to avoid having pumps and filters for some reason, consider getting some live plants for the tank. Plants make oxyen. I've had both a 10 gallon and a 50 gallon tank that each achieved just the right balance where I didn't need any pumps, filters or water changes for over a year. All I did was add water to compensate for evaporation and prune the plants periodically. The fish, tadpoles and frogs thrived.

    The second misconception is that goldfish are 'easy' fish to take care of. Goldfish are really among the hardest of freshwater fish to keep alive - especially in a new, uncycled tank. Guppies or other livebearers are much easier fish for a beginner to start with. Good fish for a newly cycling tank would include guppies, dwarf grommies and red minor tetras. Definitely not goldfish. And the fewer the fish in the tank, the better.

    -Jack
     
  18. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Yes, and you only need two for a whole tankfull. :D

    I also agree about the plants. They are another link in the "circle".
     
  19. stonefly71

    stonefly71 Well-Known Member

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    How about an alge eater or one of them black bottom feeder fish don't know the name of them but my mom has one that is 10 inches long and was only about an inch when she bought it. Matt
     
  20. Rouen

    Rouen Well-Known Member

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    "How about an alge eater or one of them black bottom feeder fish don't know the name of them but my mom has one that is 10 inches long and was only about an inch when she bought it. Matt"

    the 10g tank is probly too small for the fish s/he has now(if not now than it probly will be soon if it is a goldfish), and a pleco would just make the small space even more crowded, as for the water clouding up, that could be anything from too much ammonia to bacteria, http://forums.aquariumhobbyist.com/