View Full Version : New Tank - Need Help

05-07-2015, 01:18 PM
Gents / Ladies - I am restarting my hobby after 3+ years. I have a 20G, 28G & 34G tanks. I used my old TOP FIN 20g back hanging filters for the 20G tank. Just purchased two new 30G & 40G back hanging filters for the other two tanks. Added marbles, pebbles etc & have been cycling all the tanks for about 2+ weeks now. For about a week or so, I have had 2 x 2" starter goldfish in the 20G tank. No fish in the other two. I have added a capful or PRIME almost every day. And every other day a capful of Seachem's (Stability?? or some name like that) product that has lot of nitrifying bacteria. I have checked the water twice & Ammonia is 0 ppm & Nitrite is negligible. One goldie died last night & I moved the other one to the 28G tank this morning. There is a white fungus/cotton ball kind of something floating at the bottom of all the tanks - almost like some kind of fungus. Not sure what it is. I moved the dead fish to the 34G so that it can produce some ammonia while decaying so that the tank can cycle faster. And did a partial water change on all 3 tanks.

I am sure one of you would have gone through this problem.
Any ideas on how I can solve this mystery?


05-07-2015, 01:38 PM
Water here is very soft, it can drop to a low pH quickly and cycling takes much longer at low pH. Soft water is also adored by fungus. Fungus will engulf any poop, dead fish or uneaten food, just siphon it out. Add a tsp of baking soda per 20 gallons. Tanks won't "cycle" without an ammonia source so don't even bother testing an empty tank, wait until you are are ready to start stocking. Stability and Prime are both good products. But Prime can hide ammonia from some test kits and it can deplete the oxygen in the water so look for symptoms like fish at the surface after dosing.

What are you intending to keep in the tanks? Starting with "feeder" goldfish can introduce disease before you even get the fish you want.

05-07-2015, 05:37 PM
Thank you for your kind response. I intend to two keep the following:
a. 2 small koi or some africal cichlids/guppies/tiger barbs in the 20G
b. 2 angels in the 28G
c. 2 oranda in 34G
All fresh water only.
Will add baking soda.
So, what to do for ammonia in these tanks? keep fish - i am afraid I may kill them. Will remove the feeder fish. I think the other guy may be dead by now. Appreciate your suggestions.

Larry Bugg
05-07-2015, 05:53 PM

05-07-2015, 06:45 PM
Where are you located at? A club member living close to you might be able to give you some filter material from a cycled tank to seed your new ones. That would shorten the cycling time by a lot and you can put in the type of fish you want to keep immediately, like 2 tiger barbs, one goldfish, one angel and then later increase their numbers to what you want them to be. IMO koi belong in a pond not in a tank. You might want to reconsider getting them.

05-07-2015, 10:14 PM
You might also consider not putting a goldfish in with the other tropical fish. Goldfish produce large amounts of ammonia. Not something you want in with your other fish...

05-08-2015, 08:13 AM
Used filter material from a club member as suggested by Garfieldnfish will give you an almost an instant cycle. Stability will work as well but you are not using it per directions. You can fully stock your tank with fish and dose Stability as directed. It will work.

05-12-2015, 08:26 AM
Hi Ron V, Caricell, Garfieldnfish,

Thank you for your kind comments. I was out for a couple of days & just read your notes.
Yes. I will consider taking the koi out [ it is more of a feeder fish, but I know it can get big]. Fortunately, one fish survived [may be because I moved him to another tank]. I also did water changes on all the three tanks. Siphoned out lot of the cotton ball fungus. Added baking soda to all the tanks. Haven't tested the water yet - but the little fish is swimming actively & eating. So, that's a good sign.
I live in Cumming, GA. I'll be grateful to any member who can give me a little bit of the filter material which I can use to shorten the cycling time. Much appreciate your kind comments.


06-01-2015, 01:56 PM
Hi...I am continuing the same discussion from where I had left off a few weeks back. Tank probably has gone through some cycling.(I could not get any medium from an used tank). I had added some baking soda into all the tanks. And some rock salt as well. There isn't much of the white cotton fungus. Ammonia - 0 ppm, Nitrites - low. The pH was slightly high - so, got Seachem Neutral 7.0 ph powder & added a couple of tsp to the tank. Tested water & ph is probably 7-7.5. I now have two oranda (3-4"). But they seem to be sitting at the bottom of the tank for no reason. Based on the water levels, I cannot find what's the problem. Given a choice, they will gorge any food I throw in, but I haven't fed them since the morning. I do see they seem to come up the surface for air - so, I did another partial water change a few minutes back & added some rock salt. Put a heater as well. Still they are sitting at the bottom. Any ideas why they sit on the gravel? Are they simply lazy?

I now have two little angels in my 28G tank & they are doing just fine.


06-01-2015, 04:01 PM
Update: I see some kind of thin oily film spread on the surface. Not sure how or where they came from. (do not have any lid for all the three tanks). Only thing I can suspect is that I added two new plants (artificial) with just one rinse with cold water.

Any ideas?
Your help is much appreciated.


06-01-2015, 06:13 PM
You can just siphon it off. It's bad for air exchange at the surface. Hob filter usually agitates the surface enough to keep it from forming.

06-01-2015, 08:55 PM
Drag a paper towel across the surface. The oil will stick to it.

06-03-2015, 11:10 AM
Super Idea. Will do it now.
Thanks for your help.