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Adding tap safe

(11 Posts)
ALemonyPea Sun 27-Mar-16 18:53:31

Do I add it just to the new water before I add it to tank, or add new water then tap safe for the full tank?

Bit of a novice with fish.

Also, is it best to replace half the water or a third of the water once a week? So much conflicting info online, it's very confusing.

TreeSparrow Mon 28-Mar-16 10:50:45

You can do either. Dechlorinate the water before adding or dechlorinate the whole tank after adding water. The latter will use more dechlorinator and there's a slightly increased risk of killing beneficial bacteria in the tank.

50% per week is pretty standard amongst experienced aquarists. What kind of set up do you have? Size/stock?

ALemonyPea Mon 28-Mar-16 20:07:53

I have a small 20l tank with two goldfish in. So far so good. They seem happy, come to the glass when they're going to be fed.

TreeSparrow Tue 29-Mar-16 22:03:35

Oh God, no. Goldfish in a 20 litre? No. They need a tank ten or twenty times that size. Very cruel I'm afraid sad

I suspect the tank hasn't been cycled either?

ALemonyPea Wed 30-Mar-16 15:31:48

Cruel? Really? sad then why do they sell them that size? How the hell are people meant to know these things when they get told different by pet shop staff. I didn't even want fish. My feckless son went to the fair and brought a fish back, so had no option as didn't want the thing to die.

By cycled do you mean left for a few days without fish before I added them? Because I did that.

ALemonyPea Wed 30-Mar-16 15:38:13

Can't really afford a huge tank, so what's the best way to look after them for the time being in this tank?

TreeSparrow Wed 30-Mar-16 23:29:23

Sorry, I didn't mean to label you personally as being wilfully cruel. This is a sad outcome for so many goldfish. It should be outlawed that they are given as prizes. sad

Ok, cycling is the process of preparing and culturing a bacterial colony (in a filter) ready for processing fish waste (ammonia).

Ammonia is highly toxic to fish. Beneficial bacteria in a cycled tank covert ammonia to nitrite. In turn bacteria covert nitrite to nitrate. Nitrate is less toxic to fish and is used by plants and removed from the water by doing water changes.

Cycling a tank without fish (by dosing pure ammonia and testing the water daily) can take 2-3 weeks. Cycling a tank with fish (stressful for the fish) can take a couple of months and requires many daily water changes to keep the fish within safe levels.

Fish in an uncycled tank will be swimming and breathing in their own waste. You should do huge (75% at least two or three times a day), regular water changes to reduce the ammonia in the water. Replaced water must be dechlorinated with something like Aquasafe.

The fish will need a bigger tank or they will need rehoming if they are to live properly and thrive. Pet shops sell goldfish, which often have a potential adult size of more than a foot long, and tiny tanks through ignorance and/or greed.

The humble goldfish is the most abused animal kept as a pet, unfortunately. Mainly down to misinformation and/or ignorance. I'm very sorry you're in this position.

CharleyDavidson Wed 30-Mar-16 23:44:50

Sadly, fish shops (and petsathome are really bad for this) routinely give out bad advice to new owners.

Cycling means ages of testing the water for the bad stuff (ammonia, then later nitrites and even then keeping a routine eye on the levels) while the bacteria build in the filter to sufficient levels to keep breaking down the amount of ammonia that the fish produce in their waste - and goldfish are very messy in the amount of waste they produce.

The 'leave water a few days' is poor advice. If you've done that then you are stuck with it due to rubbish advice, but will have to do very frequent water changes to keep the stress low for the fish. If you have a kind friend with a setup you can beg to have or borrow some of the sponge etc out of their filter to put in yours to speed up the cycling.

If you see them gasping at the surface they could be suffering from ammonia poisoning (the first threat as the levels build in the tank) and you need to do a water change.

Even when ammonia is under control, your fish can gasp at the surface (they look like they are cruising for food constantly). This can mean they are suffering from nitrote posoning. It's like humans with carbon monoxide. No matter how much oxygen in the water, they can't absorb it because the nitrite is preventing them. Again, the answer is swift, big and frequent water changes.

If you can get it cycled then they will quickly outgrow their tank I'm afraid. There is some truth in the theory that too small a tank stunts their outward growth. However, their internal organs grow normally and this damages their health.

Keep an eye out on ebay or freecycle for as large a tank as you can fit in and afford. I have 4 fancy goldfish in a 320L tank, 4 foot wide. It's lovely, and far easier to keep the fish in it healthy than it was in my 120L tank that DH first bought me.

Happy fish keeping.

ALemonyPea Thu 31-Mar-16 13:44:10

Right, so, until I can manage to afford a new tank they're stuck in this one, luckily they're only small and seem happy in there. No gasping for air at the top, swimming around without a care in the world and no lying on the floor either. I think they are fancy goldfish? Boggle eyes and swishy tails. The black one is very clever. There is an open shell ornament at the bottom. He looked trapped in there so when I went towards the tank he swam out and straight to the spot the food is dropped in. He has done it a few times since, sneaky little thing.

I don't know anyone with a tank sadly. Wil the tank cycle eventually? I'll keep on top of water changes, have been doing it twice a week so far when the water is looking a bit dirty, I take it that's because the filter hasn't had a chance to cycle properly?

CharleyDavidson Thu 31-Mar-16 15:28:01

It will cycle eventually. If you can stretch to it I recommend a water testing kit to be able to detect when you need to do changes (and to ultimately tell you when your tank has cycled) as the water can look spotless but still be poisonous.

TreeSparrow Thu 31-Mar-16 15:31:42

Your honestly on borrowed time with only 20 litres of water with two messy goldfish. You can pick up a large plastic storage box or even a dustbin very cheaply and this will provide far more water volume for the fish.

I'd strongly advise you to be doing multiple large water changes every day.

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