Live plants need a light, correct? The tank came with a cover, but it doesn't have a light and the filter makes it so it doesn't sit down all the way. So I do want a new cover...
Anyway, sorry for disappearing. So far so good with these little guys! They are eating and swimming happily :)
Turns out the test kit I bought only tests for Ammonia (I for confused because I saw N3/N4 on the box and I thought that was Nitrate/Nitrite), so I will be going to PetSmart again on Monday on my way up to school to grab the Nitrate/Nitrite kits.
So far, the Ammonia has stayed a consistent 0.25, which I believe is not perfect, but okay? Believe it or not, I went to a technical high school and my "shop" was Environmental Technology, so I tested water quality for HUGE tanks with tilapia, trout, bass, etc (I am having the hardest time remembering everything I did for the tanks though haha). I do remember all our tanks were usually 0.25 for Ammonia, but correct me if it's not good.
How should I be going about water changes while this tank cycles?
Live plants do need a light. When you get another hood (if you have the money and want plants) you should look into a 6500k growth bulb. I know Petco carries the ZooMed UltraSun bulbs which are the grow bulbs I use.
I wish my high school had done things like that. I would have loved an aquaculture class. I didn't even get one in college. Anyways, any reading of ammonia is bad. 0.25 ppm isn't the worst thing in the world, but it is not good. I would be doing 50% daily water changes on that tank until it is cycled.
I wouldn't go for the individual test kits. I would go ahead and get the API master kit because you will need everything that is in that kit at one point in time.
Zergy has it pretty close to correct. With clean water and good nutrition, single-tail goldies reach around a foot in about a year. This could take a little longer in an outdoor pond because growth slows significantly in the winter (meaning it will be about 2 years). Goldfish grow fastest in the first 2-3 years of life. After that it slows down a lot, but since fish have indeterminate growth (they grow as long as they are alive) a goldfish can potentially reach about 2 feet. Koi can reach around 4 feet long, but this takes quite a few years, good food, and swimming space.
Good point Olympe. You can feed them greens like kale and spinach as well as squashes like yellow squash and zucchini. Peas are great, too. They will eat them frozen/thawed or fresh. These will help cut down on the ammonia load, too. Foods that are high in protein like well normal fish food will make them produce more ammonia than veggies. So when you don't want to eat your veggies feed them to your goldies!
Random question. Can Koi eat these vegetables as well or only goldfish?