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Discussion Starter #1
Okay so I set up a 55 gallon tank exactly four weeks ago. Have only two fish in it, a 6 inch shubunkin and a 1.5 inch comet. Brought them both in from my outside ornamental pond as snakes were trying to get to them! :(
Anyway, I am having the water tested WEEKLY. At first it was a higher ammonia, then a high ammonia, high nitrites AND nitrates. Now I am being told the nitrites are way too high (ammonia very low). If you use the API water testing kit, the nitrites test a dark purple color which is darker then the darkest color on the nitrite color chart.
One fish expert says change 50% of water and continue the Stability product (which has different kinds of bacteria to break up the nitrites, nitrates)
Another fish expert says if I do this much of a water change that I am going to slow down the cycling down because by removing the nitrites you have less for the bacteria to work on (and that the fish have acclimated to the high nitrites and that the tank is just cycling).
Thank GOD since I have set up this tank, that for the last four weeks my two goldfish are doing great and eating well. In fact, I have even gone to every other day feeding with a very small sprinkle when before I was doing the very small sprinkle once a day.
I have large and small gravel on the bottom, have been doing 20% water changes about once or twice a week. Also have a few plants, and those bubble bars along the back to aerate the gold fish. Also added aquarium salt a couple of weeks ago and every time I do the water change I add the Prime product. pH was too alkaline (between 7.8 and 8) but now is just starting to normalize.
SO my question is what do you fish experts think I should do for the Very high nitrites? Since I like fancy goldfish and they are dirtier fish, should I add ANOTHER wet/dry filter on the back? I already have one and I have had one pet store that said to add an under gravel filter. THe wet/dry three step filtration process I have on the back of the tank now is appropriate for the tank size.
Thanks for any tips on lowering the nitrites and if I should add another filter since I wanted to add at least two more other fancy goldfish.
Sincerely,
Ingrid
 

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Do the water change! Yes, it may delay the cycle completion, but given you appear to be pretty far along in the process, it won't be much of a delay. The water change will be better for the fish. High ammonia and nitrite can kill them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks you for your quick feedback! What percentage water change should I do then? And what kind of filtration system works best with goldfish? I have a powerfilter on right now and was thinking of getting a second...would this help the cycling go faster and take care of the high nitrites as well?
 

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I would do at least 50% water change. Monitor a few hours and see if it changes. If it doesn't I'd do another smaller, maybe 25-30%, water change.

Personally, and opinions will vary, I would want at least double the rated amount for your tank for filtration. So if your tank is a 55g, I'd want something in the 100+ range for ratings on the filter. I like Auqaclear so I would probably get either their 110 setup or two of their 70s. I say that, but then I have two 70s on a 75g setup. Not exactly what I wanted but hard to leave two 70s sitting in my garage unused :).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes! That is what I read last night (three separate sources) when researching filtration systems for goldfish online about doubling the filtration system. I already had the Aqua tech for a 55 gallon ( Walmart power filter that I heard good things about) but just tonight bought the AquaClear 70 (on sale at Petsmart for 43.99). So now I will have double filtration system.
Local petstore told me that they think I should have gotten an undergravel to add to the power filter but heard so much controversy regarding it?
Hubby huffing and puffing and doing water change for me now. Thanks again so much! What are your favorite goldfish foods? Is this just a goldfish forum?
Thanks again!
Ingrid ([email protected] if its easier to email me)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sick fish? I need advice!!

Just me again, Ingrid. I was the one who started this thread so you can read about my set up above...:)
I have a ranchu goldfish that I have had for about two weeks. I got him right after my tank cycled. He had been doing just fine this whole time. Now he has been hovering at the bottom alot more the last couple of days :( I just did a 25% water change (had done this also two weeks before), added some salt yesterday and a little more today. His color looks great, no white spots, just hovering most of the day at the bottom of the tank. My other three goldfish look great. No ammonia or nitrites, my nitrates are a little high but not any higher then what it has been for the last couple of weeks. Temperature is perfect. Anyone have any suggestions on what I should do or what could be wrong?
I am open for ANY suggestions!
Thanks!
Ingrid
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I do not have my goldfish mixed with any other kinds of fish AND I have a double filtration system (two 55 gallon rated power filters) on one 55 gallon tank. My water tests perfect with the exception of the nitrates just being a little high...so what next?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just found out that my phosphate level was 10 ppm. I was told that fish (only plants) are not usually affected by high phosphate levels in the water by two fish people, then two other fish people told me it could kill my fish. I did end up loosing my BEAUTIUL Ranchu goldfish and am very upset about this tonight :( Some say it was the high phospate level (though the other three goldfish are just fine). ANd someone else said possible swim bladder? Though I did see him use the bathroom just find a couple of times.
I just bought a phosphate test kit and my well water as well as RO water does NOT have any phosphates in it. I was feeding my four gold fish every other day (with the exception of the last few days when my Ranchu was weak). I have a double filtration system so what the heck caused such a high phosphate? I was even doing weekly to every other week water changes!
Thanks for any ideas, I am really starting to get frustrated now, especially after loosing my ranchu who had the cutest personality...he would swim into your hand (which I had read they were really friendly fish) and he had the most beautiful coloration. My tank cycled two weeks ago if you read my other post so hopefully I gave you all enough info to go on.....
Sincerely and frustrated and sad...come on any fish experts out there???,
Ingrid
 

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It sounds like your tank is re-cycling because of the sudden addition of large waste producers. Basically it was cycled and had a colony of beneficial bacteria that could handle waste-amount-X, and the addition of the goldfish and their notorious waste capacities added waste-amount-Y to the bioload, and this was more than the existing colony of beneficial bacteria could convert, so the tank is cycling to catch up to the additional bioload that has been added.

Keep doing daily water changes while there are any readings of ammonia or nitrate. Frankly, I would put the fish back in the pond. 55 gallons really is not much for these two fish together. One or the other can live comfortably in that tank, (I think I've read that Shubukins need less space than comets, maybe a 20G minimum, was it?) so I would keep the Shubunkin in the tank and put the comet back outside. OR put the comet in the 55 and set up a new tank for the Shububkin, alone, that is 20 (or more) gallons.

Edit: Why are you worried about their swim bladders? Are any of the fish swimming erratically or unevenly? A swim bladder infection would be a separate issue from a water quality issue that was caused by overcrowding.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just added the salt that was recommended on the back of the aquarium salt box. I believe at that time I added half on one day and half on the other.
Do you or anyone have any clue to why my phosphates continue to be at 10 ppm? The local fish stores here have no clue :(
I believe my tank re-cycled again a couple of weeks ago because one of the local fish stores told me to do a 50% water change due to the higher nitrates and high phosphates. I am just now finishing the second cycle BUT the phosphates continue to be 10 ppm. I have searched all over on line with no answers and feel very frustrated :(
 

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I would just be concerned about getting ammonia and nitrites to zero. Once that is attained nitrates and other things can be easier dealt with.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Phosphates WAY too high! :(

Actually I am almost there. But last time when I got this all done the phosphates were too high as well. And we even added those phosphate removed beads (I can look at the name if you need it).
 

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okay. Guess I'm not sure why you're worried about phosphates, unless you have an algea bloom issue? Phosphates don't really harm fish. Why I was saying get the other stuff under control that is toxic and worry about the less impartant stuff later.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for your post so soon :) Well I lost a Ranchu goldfish who was depressed at the bottom of the tank. When I had a local fish owner scratching his head why because my tank had already cycled (the first time), then he decided to check the phophates and said they were too high and that they would kill my fish. When reading some on line it said it would not kill fish, as you are saying. I guess that its so high at 10 ppm when it should be less then .05 ppm.
Don't have any algae blooms and only a couple of plants in the tank. Was concerned about the phosphates killing possibly another fish that I have now or that I will add later?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
We just checked it yesterday and its come down.... Ammonia .5 ppm and Nitrites are .25. They were virtually zero after our first cycling for a small while (for a few weeks), then either from the 50% water change or when we added tetracycline (which do you think it was?) it caused us to go into a second cycling. :( BUT Phosphate has ALWAYS been between 5 and 10 ppm since we started checking about a month ago and no one knows why....
 

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Keep watching both of those until they zero out. On the phosphates...have you checked what they are right out of your tap? I don't think they are a concern personally. If I had to guess, most people don't even test for them, but could be wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yes, we tested our reverse osmosis water and did not find any phosphates. The owner of the local fish store said that we have bacteria in our tank that is coverting inorganic phosphate (which the tests are not lookling for) into organic phosphates?
 
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