11-15-2007, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
| | New hobbyist - with goldfish!
Alright - I was told to get a hobby, and I chose an aquarium. I decided I was going to try and keep live plants this time around (only had plastic when I was a youngster). Unfortunately, I have a taste for goldfish.
30 gallons, has been cycled for 2 months.
water conditions all normal for fish
KH 4 dH, GH 8 dH, pH 7.4, CO2 4 mg/l
Iron drops added because my vals washed out
Undergravel fertilizer tabs added - well, because my vals washed out.
Fake CO2 injection - a powerhead that pumps yeast driven gas at the bottom of the tank.
substrate is large, rounded gravel (1/2 to 1 inch pebbles)
Light: Coralife Aqualite T-5 fluorescent double bulb (21 watt 10000K + 21 watt actinic blue)
2 small fancy goldfish, 1 king dojo, a ginormous snail population due to a rogue egg patch.
1 piece of driftwood with a very happy anubias rooted to it.
1 bunch of Jungle Val that I left bunched that has made exactly 1 runner.
1 bunch of anacharis - goldie salad - that brought snails.
1.) My anacharis uprooted itself after a fertilizer tab was pushed in by its roots. All its anchor strands rotted off, all the rooted strands rotted at the bottoms. That which is floating around now is nice and green - why did it uproot?
2.) Substrate: Big gravel is good for goldies - they tend to get stuff stuck in their mouths if its too small - but I imagine it's bad for plants. Someone suggested laterite. Can I add laterite (or some other substrate) to an already established tank successfully? Can the substrate be mostly on the bottom? with roundy gravel on top? Should they be evenly mixed?
3.) Your walkthru site link for newbies mentions that airstones are a bad idea with CO2 additions - and to be honest, I'm confused why my CO2 is still so low with the CO2 yeast bomb I have brewing. Is the stone the culprit? Is there any reason why I should remove it? Can I leave it in? Is it doing anything but making bubbles? (and removing my CO2 :P)
4.) VACUUMING! Goldies are dirty. I vacuum once a week and nastiness always comes up. I'd love to have a self-regulating substrate system that doesn't need much vacuuming and takes care of it's bioload itself. Can I vacuum (I avoid the areas with plants, but I get about 1 inch away at times)? Should I only vacuum the parts without plants? If my tank was better planted, would I still need to vacuum? (e.g. the plants do that dirty work for me?)
5.) Algae. I had a golden algae eater that was doing a wonderful job - unfortunately he had a taste for goldie fish slime and started sucking on my fish. Now he's gone, and there is red algae EVERYWHERE. I'm ordering some cherry red shrimp and a dozen non-breeding nerite snails from AZgardens, but I'm sure the plants could help with some out-competing. Suggestions? More plants? i'm afraid to add more with such low CO2 concentrations.
6.) Lighting, Ferts, CO2 - what am I doing right, wrong, need to do more of or less of?
Thanks for the help in advance - the substrate and the vacuuming are my big concerns.