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Author Topic: TANK MAINTENANCE  (Read 1405 times)
Nossie
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TANK MAINTENANCE
« on: October 02, 2011, 02:15:32 PM »

Maintaining good water quality and clean filters are the most important points aside from sufficient space and sensible stocking levels in a goldfish aquarium (and basically any other aquarium as well).

First of all, you need to make sure that your tank is cycled if you follow this schedule. There's another thread on cycling tanks here: (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
It's usually a good idea to keep testing the water regularly, every other day or once a week for the first 6 months and you know exactly how fast the nitrates are building up in your system. The amount of nitrates you get every week decides how much water you change. Typically, you should change a minimum of 50% when keeping goldfish EVERY SINGLE WEEK. If your nitrates are a tad higher than normal, 75% should be sufficient for your weekly water changes. Just make sure the new water is largely the same temperature as the water in the tank! It should ideally differ by only one or two degrees.

Below I have added a picture on how to use gravel cleaners. (This is a tricky one Wink) I recommend to vacuum the gravel with every water change when keeping goldfish since they make such a mess and most of the dirt collects in the substrate and rots, creating more harmful nitrogen in the tank. Every once in a while (or even every time!), some people remove the decorations from the tank to get to the usually hard-to-reach places under pebbles or drift wood.
Same with the filter media, it depends on how dirty it gets how fast, but in internal filters it's usually a good idea to scrub some sludge off of the filter and give the media a quick rinse in a bucket of tank water once every two weeks or month. If it comes to larger systems with external filters, you can clean them every second month or so. Change out only HALF of the filter media at a time to make sure you don't start an unintentional mini-cycle!!

Always use separate buckets, sponges, brushes and towels for maintaining your tank!! You don't want any strong cleaning chemicals to get into the aquarium and burn the fishes' skin and gills.

Don't forget to scrub the covering glasses! Algae usually enjoy growing on the warm, humid and well-lit surface right under the bulbs, and this will reduce the amount of light reaching the plants and fish below. You don't need to scrub the algae off the side and back of the tank though, the goldfish will just enjoy grazing on a nice carpet of green algae anyway, and it makes great holiday foods compared to automatic feeding contraptions and possibly over-feeding neighbors.

Summary:
+ Change water regularly, once a week minimum. And always 50-75%, this will keep the water quality from deteriorating too much in between maintenance.
+ Remember the water conditioner!! You can also add some beneficial bacteria/bio-filter booster every once in a while in a cycled system as well. Especially when you've cleaned the filters or changed the media.
+ As long as you have a properly stocked tank, weekly water changes should suffice to keep the nitrates far below 40ppm. (Properly stocked = one goldfish per 10 gallons/40 liters of water in a tank no smaller than 20 gallons/80 liters.)
+ If your fish start acting up, ALWAYS TEST THE WATER'S pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Something might have gone wrong somewhere. If it's as simple as high nitrite or nitrate you can perform a large water change and everything should go back to normal.

I hope this will solve some of your problems and answer any questions, even if it's just how a siphon works Wink

(Don't you think it would be a good idea to create an information section too? There are quite a few articles on the forum by now... Smiley)
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Goldiegirl
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2011, 03:01:45 PM »

Wonderful information given Nossie, it is obvious that you put a bunch of work into your article!  Smiley These are great suggestions for anyone who may be just begining their aquarist journey, or for those of us who already have a tank but could use some basic advice. Coloring important sentances makes for an easier read as well. It is so true that whenever someone is having a problem with their fish they should TEST the water first instead of dumping in random medications, often times pushing a fish over the edge that is suffering from poor water quality and not a specified illness.

Thank you for attatching that helpful diagram as well regarding the proper way to use a gravel vacuum.

Karma!  Cheesy Oh and this should definately be a sticky.  Wink
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Nossie
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2011, 03:24:53 PM »

Thank you so much! Wink
I think the method shown on the pictures is a lot healthier than getting a few mouthfuls of tank water... xD I don't know if I said that, but I tend to get that when I'm starting up the external filter after cleaning it Tongue

Hope it didn't get too long or anything.. I tried to keep it short so there wouldn't be too much extra info... Tongue
Oh, and in case anyone has anything to add, go ahead! Smiley
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Goldiegirl
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2011, 04:50:32 PM »

It's the perfect size of an article, no worries.  Wink

And I know right! Fish water...yuck! My cats have a liking for it though.  Roll Eyes
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Nossie
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2011, 02:48:12 AM »

Just wait 'til the goldies go have a bite of the cats' tongues Wink Happened to one of my teachers' cats, needless to say, it lost interest... xD
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Ron H
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2011, 04:27:30 AM »

well done Nossie and so informative, I also like the way you get the water flowing, I have to jiggle mine up and down (my syphon of course, lol) karma and best wishes for you... cheers
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Nossie
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2011, 07:19:12 AM »

Thanks Smiley
The smaller siphon I have works like the one on the picture, but the bigger one I have to use on the larger tank is one of those wigglers Wink
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Goldiegirl
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2011, 04:47:45 PM »

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Just wait 'til the goldies go have a bite of the cats' tongues Wink Happened to one of my teachers' cats, needless to say, it lost interest... xD

LOL! XD Fish bite back...I think I would feel the same had I been the cat.  Grin

Mine just enjoy drinking out of the buckets of old tank water before I dump them out. They always think it has a better flavor than tap water or something.  Roll Eyes

Speaking of the syphon I ffinally saved up to buy a brand-new big one with an attatchment (learned that the hard way) and a plastic ball-shaped thingy that you squeeze to get the water started.  Smiley
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Nossie
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2011, 02:35:54 AM »

Heh, slightly fish-flavored maybe? c:

Nice, have fun with that! Wink Mine has a sort of thing inside the cylinder, so you have to move it up and down in the water to get it flowing, that plastic thingy is sort of pushing the water up but it won't let it come back down. It works, but it's a bit of a pain when I'm switching sides in the tank (There's a flat metal "stick" separating the two halves) and the tank has less water than before >>
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Skwishee
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2011, 06:02:50 PM »

Nossie you are one fountain of knowledge! *Karma for you*  Smiley
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Nossie
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2011, 03:01:49 AM »

Thank you Skwishee! Hope you found something useful here Smiley
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lreiden
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2011, 01:06:00 PM »

This is great, how I wish I had had this information before killing a few goldfish.  Thanks Nossie, Karma for you! Smiley
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Nossie
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2011, 02:25:04 PM »

It happens to all of us in the start I guess Smiley Glad it helped you Smiley
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rufus70
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2012, 09:14:08 AM »

I have 6 goldfish in a 3 gallon bowl. Is this ok? The water is a little cloudy, but I change it every week. I was thinking of adding an Oscar. Would they get along?
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scrivens345
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2012, 10:14:01 AM »

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I have 6 goldfish in a 3 gallon bowl. Is this ok? The water is a little cloudy, but I change it every week. I was thinking of adding an Oscar. Would they get along?

I think I'll just sit back and watch the fireworks on this one Huh
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Skwishee
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2012, 06:09:58 PM »

Rufus, an oscar would be a bad idea as your tank is already un-suitable and way overstocked for goldfish.

Stocking rules for fancy goldfish, are as a minimum; 20 gallons for the first fish, then 10 gallons for each additional fish. Please note I say this is a minimum requirement, of course if you can provide more space then go ahead and do so.
If however you have single tailed goldfish, then it's slightly different and they will need a large tank of at least 6 foot in length or a pond of at least 1000 litres. I have a post that goes into more depth on this topic if you do have single tailed goldfish, you can find it here; (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)

So please get those goldfish out of that bowl as soon as possible, it is in their best interest that you do so, otherwise there is a high chance they will become seriously ill or even worse, die.
It is possible to create temporary homes using large plastic tubs, so this could be a possibility for you, if you are un able to get something immediately. Or you could consider re-homing them to someone who has suitable tank space if their fancies or a pond if their single tailed.

This will sound like a lot I know, but the reason goldfish are given such large amounts of space when it comes to stocking, is because they give off large amounts of waste resulting in ammonia, they effectively live in their own toilet when they are not kept in suitable sized tanks with good filtration of 10x the tank size and weekly water changes of 50%.
The other reason for their stocking level being so high is that they grow quite big. Fancy varieties of goldfish can reach anywhere from 6-10 inches, depending on the breed and single tailed varieties reach 10 - 12 inches.

Believe me, I have had a goldfish die from ammonia levels being too high, so I would hate to see the same happen to you.
If you have any further questions please ask and let us know how you get on with upgrading the goldfish to a bigger home.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 07:02:08 PM by Skwishee » Logged
cheri_alexander
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2012, 06:41:03 PM »

Oh jeez...I'll just let you handle this, shall I?
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Nossie
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2012, 11:11:17 AM »

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I have 6 goldfish in a 3 gallon bowl. Is this ok? The water is a little cloudy, but I change it every week. I was thinking of adding an Oscar. Would they get along?

I think you're joking Smiley
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scrivens345
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2012, 11:42:02 AM »

could be a troll Roll Eyes
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pdhowell
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2012, 10:49:55 AM »

Has anyone had experience with fantails in a 15-20 gallon small outdoor fountain?
At present I have 1 small gold fantail, 1 larger calico telescope, and 1 calico fantail about the same size at the telescope. So far, they have been OK for about six weeks.  Smiley
However, I am worried about the summer heat.... etc
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Nossie
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2012, 09:04:14 AM »

You can't keep them in such a small container! The minimum stocking level is 20 gallons for the first fish and 10 gallons for each additional fish, ponds typically need to be even bigger to avoid temperature fluctuations over nights and to provide the goldfish with deep enough water to protect them from predators.

If you have 3 goldfish, you should have a 40 gallon tank minimum.
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tmniy
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2012, 05:04:51 AM »

My Flower Gold died today... iam sad.... Cry
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fantailer
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Re: TANK MAINTENANCE
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2012, 06:17:51 AM »

Oh no!!! Did she just die overnight or something?
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