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labecs

Need to clarify info about crushed coral and filters

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I have a 45 gallon, normally with three goldies of about 5 inches total length. [i had to put down one due to dropsy and another one has been sick for weeks in a hospital tank :( ]

 

I do 50% water changes every week.

  1. Ammonia (tank/tap):  0/0
  2. Nitrite (tank/tap): 0/0
  3. Nitrate (tank/tap): 10 /  0
  4. pH (tank/tap):  6.8 / 6.8
  5. kH (tank/tap): 0 / 0
  6. gH (tank/tap): 75 / 75

I also keep 2 big air stones running constantly and keep the temp between 68 and 72. It's a bare bottom tank.

 

 

I finally went to get help for my sick goldie from an aquarium shop near my home that seemed to be very reliable according to reviews. I've been treating him with all kinds of stuff and he is not getting better. :(

 

When checking my water he said my ph was low (I confess, I had not tested it) and he explained that Seattle, where I live, has soft water. I never even thought of that when I moved here a couple of years ago. (Don't hate me... please, I'm learning)  He thinks that might have been stressing my guys.

 

So he recommended I use crushed coral as a substrate. 15 pounds for my 45 gallon tank.

 

But just handling it hurt my hands as I was rinsing it, I'm afraid it will hurt my guys when they forage, so I came in here before putting it in and I have been seeing you recommend using it in the filter. I am reconsidering using it as substrate alone. 

 

This guy also said I only needed a couple of sponge in-tank filters with an air pump, and that would be more than enough filtration. I currently have a canister (for 100 gallon tank)  with ceramic rings and ceramic bio balls and sponge and floss, and a power filter with sponge as filtration. (He said I ONLY needed the sponge filters and not the rest, but that keeping the canister would do no harm). I would keep the canister and the power filter. I know 3 goldies is too many for a 45 but I want to have 3, and I cannot get a larger tank at the moment, but I will, soon I hope.

 

He also recommended I raise the temp to 75.... should I?

 

So, my question here is: Can I really just keep the sponge filters?  If that is the case, can I fill the canister with the crushed coral and take out the ceramic media?  I cannot fit 15 pounds of it in there, do I really need that much to control the PH?

 

I'd appreciate your guidance. I stopped having goldies for a while, and I have forgotten everything I used to do for them...

 

 

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I live in Seattle where kh is nonexistent. I buffer using just plain baking soda. That raises kh and ph. If your interested in that there is a link below in my signature.

Regarding coral, I don't use it so someone else would need to advise you there. I did at one point consider using it as substrate, but had similar concern about the roughness of it.

If you do remove your ceramic media, you'll lose your cycle. Where are you thinking of putting that media?

Edited by LisaCGold

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If you do remove your ceramic media, you'll lose your cycle. Where are you thinking of putting that media?

Darn... didn't think of that! Forget it. I am keeping my canister as it is. I'll do the baking soda.

I still want to hear about the sponge filters... what do you guys think?  Did I just get a bunch of bogus advice???

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I have the same kind of water as you, its a west coast thing.  I used to buffer my water up, then decided that was stupid and pointless.  Their fine at 6.8/7 as long as it's stable!  When you have super soft water it doesn't take much (crap buildup and death and plant decay and what not) to drop the ph, which will harm the fish.

Personally I would suggest you stop going to that fish store.... yikes!
I think the experts on this forum recommend your HOB or combination of HOBs do at least 10x filtration so for a 45 gal you want 450gallons per hour.
 

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I live in Seattle where kh is nonexistent. I buffer using just plain baking soda. That raises kh and ph. If your interested in that there is a link below in my signature.

If I understood the instructions correctly, you have to add the same amount of bicarbonate you remove when doing water changes?  So, if I have to add 5 teaspoons for my tank to get to 120, and I change 50% water, I have to add 2.5 teaspoons each time, and do a 100% water change every two months. Is that how you do it? 

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What type of canister filter do you have? For a 45 gallon tank you'll want a canister filter that has a flow of 315 gph. Basically 7x the tank size. If you have that, you should be okay with 50% water changes. Even better if you could do larger changes because your pushing the edge of recommended 15-20 gallon per fish.

Temp at 75 is good. Mine is 75.

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I live in Seattle where kh is nonexistent. I buffer using just plain baking soda. That raises kh and ph. If your interested in that there is a link below in my signature.

If I understood the instructions correctly, you have to add the same amount of bicarbonate you remove when doing water changes?  So, if I have to add 5 teaspoons for my tank to get to 120, and I change 50% water, I have to add 2.5 teaspoons each time, and do a 100% water change every two months. Is that how you do it?

You got it!

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Personally I would suggest you stop going to that fish store.... yikes!

Right? It's starting to sound "fishy".... hehehe...

 

However, something is making my fish sick  :(   I guess it's the food, then.

 

And I'll still add the sponge filters regardless... I guess they will come in handy during power outages (which we get often due to windstorms) as they will remain in the tank and hold some bacteria... am I right?

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What fish store did you go to? I do really think most fish stores have good intention, but just don't specialize in goldfish.

Edited by LisaCGold

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For your sick fish, please post in the disease and diagnoses forum. You'll need to fill out request form and post in that forum. A link to request form is below my signature.

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What type of canister filter do you have? For a 45 gallon tank you'll want a canister filter that has a flow of 315 gph. Basically 7x the tank size. If you have that, you should be okay with 50% water changes. Even better if you could do larger changes because your pushing the edge of recommended 15-20 gallon per fish.

Temp at 75 is good. Mine is 75.

I have an Eheim 2217 (264 gph) and an Aqueon pf (250 gph)... I will add the sponges, as it will just be more filtration.  I tend to do larger water changes, it's almost always closer to 65%.

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What fish store did you go to? I do really think most fish stores have good intention, but just don't specialize in goldfish.

It's the Aquarium Co-op in Edmonds. The reason I went to them is because the guy actually has a bunch of videos about Goldfish, and he keeps a bunch himself. But the "no more filtration than the sponges" caught me by surprise. I fell for the coral, but when I saw the actual texture of it, it freaked me out.

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I love aquarium coop! They have some beautiful goldfish!

If you do get power outages in your area, sponge filters are good. You can use a battery operated air pump during the outages.

The part of Seattle I live doesn't get power outages usually. I think I jinxed myself now that I wrote that. :)

Edited by LisaCGold

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I love aquarium coop! They have some beautiful goldfish!

If you do get power outages in your area, sponge filters are good. You can use a battery operated air pump during the outages.

The part of Seattle I live doesn't get power outages usually. I think I jinxed myself now that I wrote that. :)

Yes, I loved them, the advice just sounded weird to me from what I could remember from here about filtration, but they keep a very nice stock and the store is awesome.

I have my battery air pumps and my emergency blankets at the ready for the outages, which don't happen often, but when they do, they can last a couple of days, and normally I just bag the media from the canister, but the sponges sound like a better choice.

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I'm the fish (goldfish mainly) expert in my store I work at :):teehee I pretty much maintain it myself. It has (8) 20 gallon tanks and a 50ish gallon sump. It's water gets changed twice a week and the tropical system gets changed once a week unless something pops up on test results then it gets changed twice as well. Here in my town we also have 0 kH which sucks so I'm constantly adding baking soda to keep the pH correct.

My manager and I always tell people don't let anyone else test your water but us because we are the only ones who can test it properly. My bosses don't know the first thing about testing it... It kind of actually aggravates me that they own the place and know like nothing about fish. The only reason those fish are still alive are because of myself and my manager. My one boss is always sell sell sell well both of them actually but if it is not in the best interest or health for the fish, I will not "sell sell sell" people like honesty and quality over quantity and many issues that my manager and I have to fix in a few days to a week. Sorry about the ranting hahaha

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I checked the PH with the master kit just now, and it's higher than what showed on the strips: low: 6.8/7 and high 7.4. Tap is the same. I was thinking of putting some coral in the power filter instead of the sponge I usually use, keep the canister with the ceramic media, add a sponge filter for now , and add another one later (when I'm done using it in the hospital tank)

 

I'll also up my water changes to 80% every week.

 

Now I can only hope Valentino gets better, and I'll check my params before adding another fish to the big tank.

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Such a small amount of crushed coral likely wont do anything.

If youre that seriously concerned about your ph, get a neutral buffer (seachem makes a nice 7.0 buffer) and use that in the tank and all new water.

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Yeah, that's my doubt now... ♪♫ to buffer or not to buffer, that is the question  ♪♫

 

And if I buffer, crushed coral as substrate, bicarbonate, or chemical buffer...

Could the PH have anything to do with fishes getting sick, [ most of them swim bladder problems, and one I killed when it got sucked by the syphon  :(  ] or it's not that important as long as it's a stable 6.8/7....? Stress!!!!!!!!!  Mine, and the fishes..... yikes!

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Was that pH for tank or tap?

 

Baking soda has the advantage of being a good buffer and cheap.

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Was that pH for tank or tap?

 

Baking soda has the advantage of being a good buffer and cheap.

Both, actually.

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Your ph being neutral is not the reason the fish are getting sick. Just make sure it is consistant.

If you ph was 5 then perhaps theres a big issue there....

The moment you start using a buffer to bring ph up it becomes a hastle to ensure new water matches tap and ages properly as it will still change.

If you feel like you have to buffer use a neutral one http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/NeutralRegulator.html

Not an up or a down.

Your ph is fine.

I live in BC, same soft water, ph of 7. Blah blah youre fine!

Just make sure it doesnt drop. A change in ph can be harmful. Keeping goldfish in ph7 water isnt.

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I agree.

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Your ph being neutral is not the reason the fish are getting sick. Just make sure it is consistant.

If you ph was 5 then perhaps theres a big issue there....

The moment you start using a buffer to bring ph up it becomes a hastle to ensure new water matches tap and ages properly as it will still change.

If you feel like you have to buffer use a neutral one http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/NeutralRegulator.html

Not an up or a down.

Your ph is fine.

I live in BC, same soft water, ph of 7. Blah blah youre fine!

Just make sure it doesnt drop. A change in ph can be harmful. Keeping goldfish in ph7 water isnt.

That's very good news... I would hate to have to deal with matching tap and tank water and all that... too much room for error.

Edited by labecs

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