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Author Topic: Advice for newbies from an experienced newbie  (Read 785 times)
toomanypets
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Advice for newbies from an experienced newbie
« on: November 15, 2010, 10:02:07 AM »

Golden rules to commit to your heart & mind now!
1.  Goldfish need a minimum of 10 gallons of water per fish.   Do NOT put a goldfish in a bowl!!!
2.  Buy a water test  kit  before you purchase your fish!  Preferably a master  test kit as strips are not reliable.
3.  Do not cycle your tank empty.Cycle with feeder fish before you place goldies into tank.(personal preference)   You can cycle your tank fishless using beneficial bacteria, used gravel & an old filter from friends  but if this is not an option only use feeder fish  that you can  give to a friend or plan to keep for yourself as a member of the family. NO FISH ABUSE please.
4.  NEVER   use a sterile tank!    CYCLE CYCLE CYCLE  !!  Bacteria is your friend.
5.   Research  before you buy. But  pick 1 source of info as it can get confusing & contradictory. This forum is an EXCELLENT source.
6.Test your water quality daily until you've established your tank.  Water quality is the answer!
7. When in doubt  ask!!   Someone is always here that can answer our questions.   Best batch of fish hoarders on the net!

Taking your fish home is exciting. Note there should be more AIR than water in bag.  Only buy from a reputable source.  Look at all the fish in the tank & make sure they're ALL healthy.    NEVER  pour bag water in your  tank  yuck eww   good way to get ick.   Let's get those fishies in the tank the right way.  Float  the bag in  your setup properly cycled perfect water quality  tank.  Have handy a clean bowl,net, & clean cup.
1.Float the bag  in tank for 15 minutes, 2.  Pour cup of tank water into bag  wait 5-10 minutes 3. Now pour 2 more cups of tank water into bag & wait 10 minutes  4. If fish have all adapted well pour them into clean bowl.   If they seem to be getting shocked wait a few more minutes then pour another cup of water in bag & watch for 5 more minutes.  5.  I prefer my fish to set in bowl for 5 minutes then Net fish out of bowl & place into  tank. 6.  Pour  bowl of  nasty bag water down the toilet. 7.  Watch your fish  enjoy their new safe home.     
This method of introduction was given to me by an experienced 40+ year   shop keeper  & he's never lost a fish due to shock of temperature or chemical. 
 


Now a word from our more experienced fish hoarders  ladies & gents  if you please Smiley
« Last Edit: November 15, 2010, 10:11:51 AM by toomanypets » Logged
Nossie
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Re: Advice for newbies from an experienced newbie
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2010, 10:17:45 AM »

2. The tests should be for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Which are the absolute most important parameters to be testing.
Ammonia and nitrite are most important while the tank is cycling during the first 2-3 weeks.

3. It's safer to avoid feeder fish even for cycling a tank, since they are certain carriers of loads of diseases due to the low standards of keeping them in the shop. They're usually in crowded tanks and are most of the time affected by both parasites and bacterial disease. It would be the same as pouring water from the bag into the tank. So before you'd introduce your "real" fish, you'd have to make sure that there are no bacteria or parasites present, which is usually not a good thing as you may end up killing the good bacteria at the same time as treating the diseases.

So cycle the tank one week, with a piece of shrimp or something on the bottom and lots of bio filter booster. You can add the fish, one or two at a time (depending on tank size) once the ammonia is gone.

5. Find as many sources of information as you can, BUT aim your attention on books as they usually carry more correct info than internet. This way you can choose the techniques YOU find most suitable for your own fish and the way you want to keep them. If you learn more about fish as an organism, you'll be able to spot useful information easier than if you'd have no idea how a fish works.

I'd like to add:
8. Test the water as soon as your fish act strange. If anything's off, change 50-75% of the water. If everything is alright with the water, change 50% anyway and look for visible symptoms in the fish. Post the test results and everything you've noticed about your fish and we'll help Grin
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fantailer
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Re: Advice for newbies from an experienced newbie
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2010, 06:05:29 PM »

I do:

1.Feed every 1 or 2 days rotating between lettuce, cucumbers, peas, worms and flakes

2.10 % water change a week.

3.Every month a filter change.
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Mindemae
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Re: Advice for newbies from an experienced newbie
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2010, 06:22:41 PM »

Fantailer,
If you are going to keep 3 fantails in a 10 gallon tank you will need to do more than 10% water changes a week or your fish will get sick from ammonia/nitrite/nitrate poisoning. Undecided
You really need to buy a test kit so you can check the water chemistry in your tank.
Really, a 10 gallon tank will only house 1 fish comfortably! Smiley
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Andrea
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Re: Advice for newbies from an experienced newbie
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2010, 09:23:59 PM »

Definitely agree with Nossie's when it comes to point three!
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Nossie
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Re: Advice for newbies from an experienced newbie
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2010, 11:43:45 AM »

fantailer: 1. Goldfish don't have stomachs, so they need regular small feedings to give them the energy and nutrition they need, hence, feed them 3 or even 4 times A DAY. With varied food stuffs. Some good quality staple pellets + vegetables + live foods.
Very, very small amounts as fish are cold blooded animals and they don't need as much food as mammals do. Feed only a few small pinches at a time.

2. Test the water once a week and change the water according to nitrate levels. If they're more than 25, change half the water, if it's less, leave it for another week. 10% water changes first of all don't make a difference, and if you actually bother doing them, you're wasting time since the water quality wouldn't demand such a small and useless effort.

3. Filter maintenance is a very varying matter, I clean my filters every second water change, some may need to rinse them more often, but DO NOT CHANGE the filter media as often as once a month!!! You'll notice when it'll need to be changed, filter pads use to get pretty soft and strange and not catch the dirt as well as new ones, when this happens, change half of the filter media first, and change the other half after two-three weeks.
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