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Black Moor Goldfish Help, Please
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RedTiger
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Joined: 24 Aug 2008

PostPosted: 2008.09.01(Mon)12:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think he is lethargic. (though I could be wrong.) he's not immobile. he just swims around on the left side of the tank, near the corner. he will venture out but always returns. he mainly stuck to one side in the 2-gal, too. I thought it was because his space was so limited. (it was a hex so he had 6 sides to choose from but liked one the best.)

I put two "weekender" ice packs on the outside of the tank. the temp is now 76-F so it is helping. as soon as more are frozen, I'll add to the back of the tank. the water is a little less cloudy today. (I did a 10% water change yesterday but it didn't help with the cloudiness. I guess it wouldn't if its the bacteria!)

so now I understand why goldfish need bigger tanks. I didn't realize that they get that big! hopefully we'll be in a new place before he gets too big.

yes, I didn't have much choice but to move him in the 10-gal without cycling first. I was doing daily water changes in the 2-gal. it's not like I planned on getting a fish Wink. I'll just keep on top of the water changes. Very Happy
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RedTiger
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PostPosted: 2008.10.04(Sat)20:49    Post subject: Please: NEW help needed! Nitrite Problem Reply with quote

HI!! Everyone was so helpful before and the pet stores are telling me all kinds of different things Surprised, so I thought that I'd come back here. Smile

Swimmey seems to be doing well. He digs around in his gravel a lot, ate the second plant that we bought him and is now working on eating the first plant. He has not touched plant #3 yet. Since it was so hot here, I've been adding ice packs in his tank to keep it from going above 80-degrees. I bought a tank divider and put the divider about 4" away from the edge so I could place the ice pack in horizontally and not take up a lot of the surface air. It's starting to cool off so I shouldn't need that much longer! Anyway, he looks pretty healthy and does not show any signs of sickness.

I still have the Jungle Sticks but discovered that their Nitrate/Nitrite levels are a little off. So I'm not really using them but will use them to check the chlorine or for a quick check mid-week. I bought the API Freshwater Master Test Kit and used that to check the levels tonight. I also have syringes for accurate dispensing. I have not changed any of the water for 7 days and am planning on doing that the next morning. The last time that I used the gravel cleaner was about 2 weeks ago and that's near when all these problems started. (Perhaps I cleaned it TOO well?)

HERE ARE THE LEVELS

pH: 6.8. (I added 0.70ml of API pH increaser, since goldfish prefer 7.0-7.4. Last week, it was at 6.2 but increased after I added 1.0ml of the pH increaser.)

Nitrite: 1.0-1.5 (it's in between the two colors on chart. This is the same as last week.)

Nitrate: 10-15 (it's in between the two colors on chart. It was 160 last week!)

Ammonia: 0.0 (this is the same as last week.)

What do you recommend to get the Nitrite levels down? Should I put the Nitrazorb back in the filter?



Background Info, if you want it:


After PetsMart's recommendation, I used some AmQual Plus to bring down the Nitrate/Nitrite levels but that did not help. I got an in-tank monitor for the Ammonia levels and that showed the Ammonia was at Zero. (I also have the in-tank pH monitor and both of the in-tank monitors match what the API test kit reads.)

I tried large water changes (waiting 2 days between each: 70% then 50%) but that did not help.

I went to Petland Discounts because the clerks seem more knowledgeable. The clerk said that the tank could still be cycling but when I told him how high the Nitrate/Nitrtire levels read, he recommended adding Nitrazorb in the tank's filter. (He told me to do a 10-20% water change before adding it but not another one for a week because I am removing the beneficial bacteria.) After 3 days, the Nitrite/Nitrate levels still showed high on the dipstick. So, I brought the water to a local Pet Store and PetsMart. Both stores had similar readings and showed lower Nitrite/Nitrate levels than the dipsticks had. The guy at the local pet store told me to remove the Nitrazorb. When I got home with the new API test kit, I tested the water myself and it was pretty close to what they got in the stores so at least there is consistency!


THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!! Smile
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Cliff Mayes
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Joined: 11 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: 2008.10.05(Sun)17:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your pH is probably OK, I would not try to change it. Acid conditions help keep the Nitrites from doing too much harm. The Nitrites need to be 0 and water changes are probably your best bet. The tank may be cycling and it will be rough and problematical as to results but there does not seem to be good choices here. Try some bacteria culture starter if you can find some or get some gravel from an existing tank to put in your tank for a while, so as to hurry the cycling process along. After the appropriate bacteria grow, everything in the tank will be coated with many kinds of bacteria cultures, hopefully, the right types. You will know that you have reached the "sweet spot" when the Nitrite levels reach 0 and stay there.

The attempts to keep the temp down probably only helps but the fish should be OK. Try a fan and open top to help keep the temp down.

Watch the feeding regimin. Fish do not need much food but their normal behavior will say otherwise. I have allowed fish to go a couple of weeks without food (not a good thing) but I have also seen them eat until undigested food come out the other end. Fish constantly forage and Goldfish especially will sift constantly through gravel and nibble plants to find food. Do not be fooled. A small pinch a day is fine. The same amount spread out over a few times a day is even better.
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RedTiger
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PostPosted: 2008.10.05(Sun)20:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cliff Mayes wrote:
Your pH is probably OK, I would not try to change it. Acid conditions help keep the Nitrites from doing too much harm. The Nitrites need to be 0 and water changes are probably your best bet. The tank may be cycling and it will be rough and problematical as to results but there does not seem to be good choices here. Try some bacteria culture starter if you can find some or get some gravel from an existing tank to put in your tank for a while, so as to hurry the cycling process along. After the appropriate bacteria grow, everything in the tank will be coated with many kinds of bacteria cultures, hopefully, the right types. You will know that you have reached the "sweet spot" when the Nitrite levels reach 0 and stay there.

The attempts to keep the temp down probably only helps but the fish should be OK. Try a fan and open top to help keep the temp down.

Watch the feeding regimin. Fish do not need much food but their normal behavior will say otherwise. I have allowed fish to go a couple of weeks without food (not a good thing) but I have also seen them eat until undigested food come out the other end. Fish constantly forage and Goldfish especially will sift constantly through gravel and nibble plants to find food. Do not be fooled. A small pinch a day is fine. The same amount spread out over a few times a day is even better.


thank you! I won't add anymore pH adjuster then and I'll keep the nitrazorb out of the tank. the chlorine remover that I add in does have beneficial bacteria so that must be a good thin. Smile

he did start eating plant #3 so I'm not worried about swimmey starving. I was afraid to leave the top open because he might jump out. the tank temp has been 74 all day without ice pack so I think we are good on that. I'll remember what you said for next summer. thank you!! Smile
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Cliff Mayes
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PostPosted: 2008.10.05(Sun)21:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chlorine does not want to stay in water. Areation, heating and just plain letting it sit allows the Chlorine out and the existing bacteria to grow again. Chlorine Out simply neutralizes the Chlorine and Ammonia that may be in the water it does not remove it per se. Most bacteria culture media is supposed to be worthless except for one on the market that needs to be kept chilled to be any good. I have not used it so I cannot speak to it's efficacy.

More fish are killed by kindness than anything else. Overfeeding is a real problem in the Hobby. As I said before fish do not need much food. And remember that just because a fish is foraging in the substrate is not a cause for dumping in more food, foraging is what a lot of fish do, regardless. Fish are coldblooded creatures adapting to their enviornment as far as body temp goes and they are streamlined and coated to allow easy passage through the water and as a result do not use up much energy existing unless they are spawning or fighting for territory.
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RedTiger
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PostPosted: 2008.10.19(Sun)0:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi! I think that I finally have my PW memorized so logging in should be easier! Laughing

We were overfeeding him, I'm sure of that. We're giving him a LOT less food now! He gets just a few flakes 2x/day. We had a snail problem. Despite cleaning the plant, at least one snuck in. Sad I changed out all the gravel. Might not have been the best idea but there were tons & tons of snail eggs in it. Could also be why our Nitrite/Nitrate (whichever is the bad one) was so high. Since I did that, I could see some left over flakes in the gravel. (Not a lot but enough.) We've also got less gravel in it. I thought we had too much before (20lbs) and now its just right (15lbs). The fish store guy said to *not* change the filter for a couple of weeks, just to be sure that there's enough beneficial bacteria in the gravel before removing it. (It's due to be removed in about a week.) I remember that you (Cliff) said a layer of beneficial bacteria rests on the gravel. I was torn between thousands of snails and beneficial bacteria. Thought it would be better to change the gravel, since there will still be some beneficial bacteria in the tank. Thousands of snails could cause lots of havoc!! Shocked I got a better siphon, too.

I bought him another plant, rinsed it and have it sitting in a bowl for any hidden snails to reveal themselves before its too late. While I was at it, I cleaned off the glass with a fish tank sponge. It looks so nice now! We didn't have algae but there was a fuzz on the tank. The water was in the tank so whatever was on the glass is still in the tank. I'm hoping it was some beneficial bacteria.

I did a quick dip check and all levels look good. I'll do a kit test tmrw. The only thing that I'm concerned about is his glass rock in his tank. There was a tank divider btwn him and the rock but thats gone now (weather is cooler, no need for ice packs). Hope he doesn't hurt himself on it. The pH is still a little on the low side. Perhaps I should do as was suggested earlier and get some coral?

Poor Swimmey, he misses nibbling on his plant. He keeps nibbling on the fake soft anoneme. Laughing

p.s. -- how do I get a pic to show under my name? I tried selecting one from the gallery but it does not show up. nevermind,I got it. it didn't like the one that I wanted which was this one: http://www.aquahobby.com/board/images/avatars/gallery/fish/nvt17.gif
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Last edited by RedTiger on 2008.10.19(Sun)1:30; edited 2 times in total
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RedTiger
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PostPosted: 2008.10.19(Sun)1:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh we have canned peas. Is that acceptable? Smile I keep reading "frozen and then cook".
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Cliff Mayes
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PostPosted: 2008.10.19(Sun)11:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

One crushed pea, of any type, is good every couple of days. On the days you feed veggies do not feed anything else.

The snails only multiply if there is enough food for them. Any creature only exists if there is food and space available. Snails, algae and other things are always with us and become problems when overfed.

Bacteria cannot normally be seen as they are microscopic. The gravel change was probably not a good idea but what is done is done. Bacteria, of the many kinds, exist anywhere they can. According to current wisdom we benefit from just two in a tank to accomplish the breakdown to, relatively innocuous material from the ammonia that the fish give off by its gas exchange and body wastes which are also added to by the breakdown of excess food (uneaten) that is in the tank. The bad chemical we look out for is nitrite.

The glass rock may or may not be a potential hazard but the fish does not care about it one way or another. The plastic anemone is made so that people will buy it. It is just another thing to the fish. It is a representation of something that was not part of the fishes experience so it is only interesting as a hiding place or a food item.

Live plants are enjoyed, as a food item, by Goldfish. Snails always ride in on plants and some folk have had sucess with bleach or Pottasium permanganate solution as dips before the plant is placed in the tank.

Do not mess with the pH just now, probably never, as there are enough things going on with out the fish having to contend with pH fluctuations. Remember that fish always look hungry and spend their time foraging so do not be fooled. Fish do not sleep as we do and they do not watch TV or read books. If a fish gets skinny it can mean not enough food, and I have never seen a skinny Goldfish.

The fuzz in the tank is probably one of the Algaes so take it out ASAP with your water changes. The Algae may or may not go away as the tank matures but keeping it under control is helpful. The Goldfish will, if not overfed, will probably eat some of it.

Gravel in a Goldfish tank is important but it is the least of out concerns just now. A couple of inches in a planted tank is good but there are all sorts of different ideas out there. Sand of various sorts and specialty gravels and mixes of soils, litter, absorbants and what have you are all touted as being the best. You are coming a long way fast and are getting an education in the Hobby that is jumping a lot of technology.
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RedTiger
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PostPosted: 2008.10.19(Sun)19:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cliff Mayes wrote:
One crushed pea, of any type, is good every couple of days. On the days you feed veggies do not feed anything else.

The snails only multiply if there is enough food for them. Any creature only exists if there is food and space available. Snails, algae and other things are always with us and become problems when overfed.

Bacteria cannot normally be seen as they are microscopic. The gravel change was probably not a good idea but what is done is done. Bacteria, of the many kinds, exist anywhere they can. According to current wisdom we benefit from just two in a tank to accomplish the breakdown to, relatively innocuous material from the ammonia that the fish give off by its gas exchange and body wastes which are also added to by the breakdown of excess food (uneaten) that is in the tank. The bad chemical we look out for is nitrite.

The glass rock may or may not be a potential hazard but the fish does not care about it one way or another. The plastic anemone is made so that people will buy it. It is just another thing to the fish. It is a representation of something that was not part of the fishes experience so it is only interesting as a hiding place or a food item.

Live plants are enjoyed, as a food item, by Goldfish. Snails always ride in on plants and some folk have had sucess with bleach or Pottasium permanganate solution as dips before the plant is placed in the tank.

Do not mess with the pH just now, probably never, as there are enough things going on with out the fish having to contend with pH fluctuations. Remember that fish always look hungry and spend their time foraging so do not be fooled. Fish do not sleep as we do and they do not watch TV or read books. If a fish gets skinny it can mean not enough food, and I have never seen a skinny Goldfish.

The fuzz in the tank is probably one of the Algaes so take it out ASAP with your water changes. The Algae may or may not go away as the tank matures but keeping it under control is helpful. The Goldfish will, if not overfed, will probably eat some of it.

Gravel in a Goldfish tank is important but it is the least of out concerns just now. A couple of inches in a planted tank is good but there are all sorts of different ideas out there. Sand of various sorts and specialty gravels and mixes of soils, litter, absorbants and what have you are all touted as being the best. You are coming a long way fast and are getting an education in the Hobby that is jumping a lot of technology.


hi!! okay, I'll give him one of the canned peas. should I cook it first or is it okay uncooked (but crushed).

ohhhh.... fuzz was algae! I thought algae was greeen. oops. I'm sure the sponge scooped up part of it at least. now that I have a glass cleaner/scraper, I'll be able to keep on top of that.

our gravel cleaner is much better, too. gravel needs to be cleaned monthly, correct? (I like gravel better because I think the sand could become troublesome and hurt his eyes, too.)

I put the glass rock in because it is pretty. he's been staying away from it so that's good. if he hangs out by it (like he does the vase and anemone), I'll take it out. its too sharp for him, with his bad eyesight.

speaking of the anenome, I know it doesn't help him but its pretty! LOL! the alligator eating a fish with a sign that says, "no eating" was for decoration, too. the oriental vase is also pretty but I got that so he could hide in there. (he does go in there, too.) Smile

yesterday, when I was scooping out all the gravel, he went into the cup that I was using and nibbled at me. it was cute.

I'm not worried about Swimmey not getting enough food. we're giving him a few flakes 2x/day and if that's not enough, then he'll eat the plant (when it returns). he's not skinny and he's not fat.

I really do think the nitrate/nitrite problem was because of the high levels of snail eggs (many were probably dead things). I did attempt to just get them out but they were all throughout the gravel and every time I thought that I got it all, there was more. it was really gross. since changing the gravel, the levels are good.

re: ((Snails always ride in on plants and some folk have had sucess with bleach or Pottasium permanganate solution as dips before the plant is placed in the tank.))

the new plant is still soaking. I think I'll move it over in a few days and give it another big rinse. where would I get a potassium permanganate solution? the bleach won't hurt the fish?

I will leave the pH alone, then. I do have pH increaser by API but I won't use it until its really low.

thanks again, cliff! Smile
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Cliff Mayes
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PostPosted: 2008.10.19(Sun)23:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peas from cans are probably already soft enough for the fish and it is probably loaded with salt which is good for the Goldfish. If the Pea needs to be cooked do so in the Microwave for several seconds , and let it cool off before feeding. One flake a couple times a day is probaby good enough. The fish will probably grow fast.

Use your siphon to do your WCs and only do about about half your gravel bed at a time. After your tank becomes mature, gravel cleaning about once a month is good.

Sand is actually good for Goldfish, especially the softer rounded types but any gravel is OK and will be a place for bacteria to colonize.

I never worry about Snails but I think most folk use a 1/20 ratio of household (no additives) bleach for about 30 seconds to kill hitchhikers on plants. I got some Pottasium permanganate crystals, many years ago, from a neighborhood Pharmacist. I have not, in many years, used any chemicals except Saltwater mix to grow baby Brine Shrimp to feed Goldfish fry. I have come to the conclusion that medicines and chemicals are better off not being used. Some plants are extremely sensitive to dipping , so be careful if you do this.

A lot of the various Algaes are not green, and different greens are common.

Decorations and decorating a tank is a very subjective and personal thing. If you enjoy something...do it!

If the fish was nibbling at you it means that it is comfortable and probably was tasting to see if you were edible. Goldfish do not seem to eat plants 'cause their hungry, they are vegetarians, primarily. Plants get eaten just because they are there.

Any leftover food can contribute to increased ammonia/nitrites in a tank as well as additional snails, so watch the feeding.

Yes, bleach (Sodium hypochlorate or Chlorine) can hurt tank critters so rinse thoroughly anything that is touched by bleach before it goes into a tank. Some folk use a strong Ammo/Chlor treatment on plants that have been dipped before they are placed into a tank.
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