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I just bought my first fish tank ever, and have my first two fish ever... I have 2 goldfish starter fish in a 10 gal. tank. It's about 4 days into the "cycling" process, and I'm not so sure what to expect... I'd like these little guys to survive. The place i got the setup from said they wouldn't sell me any regular fish until my tank has cycled for like 40 days, and they can get a water sample from my tank. I have a marineland 100 power filter, and an aerating setup, and thats it, aside from the light. Any information and advice would be greatly appreciated. also, let's say i went outside and gathered some rocks, how should i treat them before placing them in my tank?
 

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The place i got the setup from said they wouldn't sell me any regular fish until my tank has cycled for like 40 days, and they can get a water sample from my tank.
where is this place? i want to write them a tank you letter
 

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Cornelius
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hehe, Tank you letter. Funny.
I have two comments on what they told you to do. First, I have never had a tank take 8 weeks to cycle. 2-4 seems normal for me. Second, I hate that petstores have people use goldfish to cycle a tropical tank. Goldfish have different care requirements then tropical fish, and when you adjust your parameters for the fish you actually want, you can send the tank into another cycle, possibly killing your new fish. Also, the feeder goldfish they give you to use are typically poorly bred and susceptible to disease, often leaving you to treat your tank and possibly force it to cycle again. Finally, what did they tell you to do with your goldfish after 8 weeks? Ok, end rant.

As for the cycling process itself, watch for an ammonia spike, that will be followed by a Nitrite spike, which will taper off and turn into Nitrates. Once the Nitrites approach 0, your tank is cycled. The fish store will test your water for free if you don't have a kit. Other then that, there really isn't anything to see while the tank cycles. It just does it's thing.

Rocks! I would refrain from using any soaps or bleach because the rocks have the potential to absorb it and leach it into your tank later. A good scrubbing under hot water should be more then enough. Personally I just rinse em off and put them in. Remember that Calcareous rocks will raise the PH of the tank water and should generally be avoided.

Anyway, good luck with your tank. The cycle is boring, but it gives you time to play with decor and plan before the fish get in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for the info! well my goal is to have some ryukens and some other fancy goldfish, those aren't considered tropical, are they? i hope not, a second cycling would suck! haha.

p.s. the store told me i could give the fish back if they make it through the cycle... i'm really rooting for them though! i think i've invested some emotion in them, championing them to survive the cycle lol
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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One thing I would like to add, is the tank is to small for goldfish. You need a minimum of 15 gal for 1, then 10 additional gallons for each goldfish that you add after that. for 3 goldfish I would recommend a minimum of 55 gal as they can get to a foot long.
 

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I wouldn't get too attached to those goldfish. If they gave you what I suspect they did, they are probably feeder fish, and will end up being lunch for another fish.
Susankat is right about tank size. Goldfish make a whole LOT of waste product, too.
Still, nothing is more exciting than a new tank, right! I hope it turns out to be what you want it to be
 

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I would reccomend using minnows to cycle the tank. They are hardy, cheep, and small. Goldfish are "dirty" fish, so they make a lot of waste, dirtying your clean tank water. Before you add the (real tropical) fish I would do a water change to help take some of that out.

To clean the rocks clean them in a 1 out of 10 part bleach soultion. Dry for 2 weeks or untill bleachy smell goes away (whatever comes last).

To euthinze the goldfish (will need to once the tank has finished cycling) try putting them in a cup with water and clove oil to "knock it out". Add some white achol and the fish will die. Don't just flush it because it dies of chemical burns, not by "swishing around in the potty" and that's not humane.
 

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Or instead of killing a perfectly good fish, give it away. Jesus. I'm all for euthanizing a fish that's suffering, but killing anything for freaking reason is just pathetic.
 

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well I wasn't being a proponent of euthanizing, I was just commenting another way to do it. Yes, give them away, or back to the lfs because they said they'd take them back. I'm all for it.
 

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You are full into a fish-in cycle setup. The only way that I know to deal with that is by doing lots of big water changes to hold down the ammonia and nitrite levels until your tank cycles. 40 days is not at all out of line for a cycle where you have no mature filter media to help get things started. If you want the present occupants to survive the cycling process, you will need your own test kit because you won't want to make 3 trips a day to the local fish shop for water testing. Any time your ammonia or nitrites go over 0.25 ppm, do a large water change and eventually you will find that it takes less and less water changes to keep the tank chemistry in line. At that point start stretching out and if you can go a week with no measurable ammonia or nitrites all week, you will be cycled. At that point, you could possibly trade the goldfish that you have for the goldfish that you want but, and it is a big but, you do not have a large enough tank for the fish that you already have. The fish that you think you want will also take a very large tank. The options that you have are to get a bigger tank and get it cycled for your desired fish or change what you are keeping to some smaller tropicals that can actually live a decent life in a tank that small.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have a 150 gal tank awaiting these fish when they start to grow... i figured 10 gal would be kinda sucky to do to fish like this... Why not just let my goldfish live as long as they can after the cycle??? I have no qualms about keeping them, if it's not a danger to them or other fish... On a side note... Can anyone reccomend some good types of fish to keep with goldfish? I'm sure I'll need a pleco... (sucker fish?) and i'm very interested in getting an axolotl... i know a place where I can get a baby one. anyone have any info on them? especially tank compatability?
 

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Cornelius
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My research turned up mixed results on tank mates for the goldfish. I did read that pleco's and Apple Snails are good choices if you come into an algae problem. However, I keep goldfish in the horse trough specifically to keep the algae and insects under control. You may not need an algae eater at all with those gold fish sucking on everything.


Edit: I am not sure I would put a beta in with the goldfish. Goldfish don't do well in temps above 75 f, so the beta would be freezing his little fins off!
 

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Bettas are not good tank mates for goldies. The betta will want relatively high temperatures while the goldies like it cooler. Some fish that will work well as far as temperature is cories. Many cories are subtropical in their needs rather than tropical. Other subtropicals can be found among the goodeids but I am not so sure about compatibility in terms of temperament.
 

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Cornelius
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yeah, Betas need a lot more attention then most people realize. Betas can live for years, and goldfish can live for decades if they have a good environment. Instead, most live for months because of poor conditions.
 
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