10 gal cycling question? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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10 gal cycling question?

Okay yesterday my father recieved a fantail goldfish as a gift. (I'll be caring for it though.) The person gave a 1/2 gallon bowl and I immediately went out and bought a ten gallon tank until he out grows it. Should I put him in now or should I cycling it first. I've only had small tanks so I have never cycled anything before. Would it be bad for the goldfish if I did a fish in cycle because right now he's in a tupperware container and stressed.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 03:36 PM
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Well, I doubt the tupperware is cycled, so yeah I think he would be better in the 10 gallon doing a fish in cycle. At least he'll have some room to move.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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okay thanks.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 04:30 PM
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I agree. Not only will the goldfish have more space, but goldfish are high waste/ammonia producers and in a small container (most of our Tupperware is a gallon or less), this is going to build up very quickly.

Neither the tank nor container are cycled, so you are still going to have to be doing very frequent (and most likely very large) water changes. However, the 10 gallon sounds like it offers more water volume, and this means that it will take longer for the ammonia levels to build up to toxic levels than it would in the Tupperware container.

I also wanted to say that with a goldfish, you want a filter with not only a good turnover rate (a lot of keepers suggest that your filter be capable of turning over ten times the volume of the tank an hour), but also plenty of space for filter media. Those smaller filters aimed at nano tanks (and usually designed for low to moderate stocking level) are not suitable. Goldfish get big, produce a lot of waste and are very oxygen hungry fish.

Also, as someone who has made multiple mistakes with their goldfish care, I would personally consider upgrading to a suitably sized tank now. I understand if this is not possible, but I stunted my three shubunkin by having them in an improperly sized tank. I think with goldfish, it is better to have them in a tank that is appropriate for their potential full size from the beginning. Often you waste more money upgrading tanks than if you'd just gone out and purchased the bigger tank at the start.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. As of right now I will keep him in the ten gallon. (Maybe I'll find something bigger at the thrift shop.) but heres an update: i placed him in the tank yesterday an after about half an hour he would not move and was having a hard time breathing. I took some water from my other two fishes tanks and put him in a bowl and immediately he got better. I think I' m going to need to cycle the tank first because I honestly think he is too fragile. (Don't worry I will take him out of the bowl that was just temporary isolation. I'll look for a plastic tub.) The ph in the tank is okay for what I saw yesterday after testing the water I need to boost the nitrates and nitrates. At what level should they be before I put him back in?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 04:47 PM
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You don't need to boost the nitrites or nitrates. I'm not certain if you fully understand how fishless cycling works. It is a process that can take between 4-6 weeks. You don't add anything to the tank but a source of ammonia. I believe you are supposed to use clear ammonia (you don't want one that contains any surfactants). Most people dose enough ammonia to raise the level to 4-5ppm, as higher ammonia levels can encourage the wrong sort of bacteria to grow.

Bacteria develops that consumes this ammonia and converts it into nitrites. Both of these are toxic to fish and in a fish-in cycle, should be kept as close to 0ppm as possible. You then get the development of a second group of bacteria that consumes the nitrites and converts them into nitrates. As I said, this process can take a number of weeks.

The tub you are putting your goldfish in is not going to be cycled either, so you might as well keep it in the 10 gallon tank as you are still going to have to be doing regular water changes on the tub to keep the ammonia and nitrite levels low.


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thank you. I will try again and see what happens. I'll hope for the best and hope that he doesnt get sick again.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 05:01 PM
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Do you have a test kit for ammonia on hand? You are probably going to be doing a number of water changes a week with a goldfish, and a test kit is going to help work out just how often and how much water you need to be removing.

Ammonia poisoning is probably going to be your biggest danger, followed by nitrite poisoning once you reach that stage in the cycle. Study the behaviour of your fish. Gasping, lethargy, skittishness, lack of appetite, red gills or 'burns' to the fins or body all point to issues with water quality. Often I don't even need a test kit to tell when there is something going on with the water in my tanks because I know what is normal and what is abnormal behaviour for my fish.

A water conditioner like Seachem Prime can help to temporarily detoxify ammonia, allowing you to get on top of the issue if there is a sudden spike. Also, you do have a filter for the 10 gallon tank don't you? I just wasn't sure as I don't believe you've mentioned it, and your tank won't cycle without one.


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-18-2014, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Yes I have a filter. I just changed 25% of the water. If he starts gasping again I'll change more. Thank you so much for all you help. I am completely oblivious when it comes to the nitrogen cycle. I think I need to pick up more ecology books.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-22-2014, 02:22 PM
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What type of filter did you get?

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