General Aquarium Life Expectancy...and Could Someone Please Tell Me Why This Keeps Happening to our Tanks?

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Kaskade10729

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Jun 16, 2013
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You said you put "some" old filter media in the new filter, so not just old tank water.
I literally said I filled up the 29 gallon with water ONLY from the old 60. There was NO other water in there. So what they were used to swimming in was what they went into when transferred to the 29.

Have you tested the 29g yet for ammonia & nitrite?
I didn't (so I will have to revise my initial response to you that the tank was cycled), but I assumed everything was fine because it was the EXACT SAME WATER the fish were swimming in for over a year in the 60 gallon that had been established already. They are doing fine, swimming, eating and acting like themselves since going in the 29, and the water has remained CRYSTAL clear. Because the tank is so small, I am changing the water every few days in small amounts.

I can do an ammonia and nitrite test, though, just out of sheer curiosity.

IF the 29g shows 0 for those 2 tests I'd consider the 29g cycled. When you are ready to move the fish move the filter(s) from the 29 to the new tank.
The actual FILTER itself, or can I just put the CARTRIDGE that's loaded with slimy BB in the bigger Aqueon 75 filter?

I did suggest running both the new filter & the smaller "old" Aqueon 75 filter on the 29 now so you have more area for BB to grow before you get & set up the new tank, it will help some...
Wait....I'm confused here....the Aqueon QuietFlow 75 isn't a "small" filter. There's no way I could get that on the 29 alongside the Aqueon QuietFlow 20 that's running on the small tank now.

My concern is what to do with these filters when the NEW tank is set up.

I disagree with Dee a bit, I think 1ppm of either ammonia or nitrite is too high with fish in the tank. You can use Prime to protect them from the worst effects, it supposedly "neutralizes" them_ Dose every 24-48 hours & test!!

As we've all said, there is very little BB in the old tank water but you can use it. & you need to test every other day to know what's going on.
You mean test the NEW tank's water every other day?

The reason I suggested using the water from the tank they're in now in the 75 when we get it is because I figured it would be less stressful on them in their transition; like, it would be water they were "used to." This doesn't have ANY validity beyond the BB factor?

The Prime will still allow the "safer" form & harmful form of ammonia to show up on an API ammonia test & it is supposed to keep both from harming your fish. The damage to fish from either can be permanent...& shorten fish lifespans.

IF the 29 is NOT cycled, I would montor it by testing (not fish looking "ok"). Change water, dose "whatever" , changing water will be easier in the small tank. Once the 29 is cycled with 1 (or 2) filters, again, move the cycled filter(s) when you move the fish. You can temporarily hang 1 filter on the tank front if you need to. Not pretty but not for too long either, a couple weeks? Test!

Yes, just clean the old filters' media & you can reuse it. Like Dee said, the BB likely died but the media is still usable.

At the early stages of all this emergency getting a new tank stuff, I wouldn't worry too much about nitrate...but you need to test for that too before long. 20ppm is the most I would consider ok in the long view, some would say 40ppm. 80ppm & your in the danger zone with fish in the tank. In the first couple weeks I would feed lightly to reduce that along with water changes...
I'm lost at this point, aside from rinsing and reusing the old media, but I suppose I will try to take what you suggest here and mix it with the advice I got previously from the other two members.
 

Kaskade10729

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There you go then, just move the 29g filter & use it & another "old" filter on the new tank. You should be fine
As I mentioned above, I need to revise my statement of "the 29 is cycled" -- I ASSUMED it was cycled because it was the EXACT SAME WATER that came over from the 60 gallon they were in. NO OTHER WATER was used in this transfer.

Now, as far as the filters are concerned, can I just move the filter CATRIDGE that's in the Aqueon on the 29 and is gunked up with BB into the larger Aqueon 75 I'm going to add to the new tank? The only other "old" filter I have from the 60 gallon setup was the AquaClear 110, but, as I said, the foam and ceramic rings must have dried up already in terms of bacteria.
 

dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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That is a lot to read.

From the gist I got, my rrsponse is that you do not 'cycle' the water, you create a bacterial colony that is big enough to handle the bioloaf of your aquarium system... That would be considered 'cycled'

If there is a bioload, test frequently to make sure levels rise and fall where ecpected.

As for moving the water being less stressful; there should be minimal change is water if you are good about doing frequent and large water changes, the water should be about the same. It is not like you are moving across country maybe across the room.

If you have moved filter media, or decor, or substrate you should be good or at least well on the way. You don't have to use all filters themselves, just the media and be able to move a good amount of it.

As always, testing the water should tell you how 'cycled' you are (or not)
 

Kaskade10729

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That is a lot to read.

From the gist I got, my rrsponse is that you do not 'cycle' the water, you create a bacterial colony that is big enough to handle the bioloaf of your aquarium system... That would be considered 'cycled'

If there is a bioload, test frequently to make sure levels rise and fall where ecpected.

As for moving the water being less stressful; there should be minimal change is water if you are good about doing frequent and large water changes, the water should be about the same. It is not like you are moving across country maybe across the room.

If you have moved filter media, or decor, or substrate you should be good or at least well on the way. You don't have to use all filters themselves, just the media and be able to move a good amount of it.

As always, testing the water should tell you how 'cycled' you are (or not)
Okay....but I suppose what I was trying to say was that the water in the 60 was "established," so to speak, and the fish were doing fine for over a year after I did the whole Stability thing back then. The water remained clear and they were thriving, swimming, eating and growing -- to the point their fantails have become HUGE and they almost look like show goldies.

I used that EXACT SAME water when I moved them to the 29 after the 60 sprung the leak. And, yes, I am not moving across the country...just a few feet in the same room, LOL.

So let's go over this once more:

When I get the new 75, I will wipe it down to "clean" it, then add the substrate, then fresh water (plus the decor, etc.) and then I will begin (just my preference) the bacteria process by using Tetra SafeStart.

From THERE, I should:

- Run both the old HOBs I had on the last tank, which were an Aqueon QuietFlow 75 and AquaClear 110, using the already-seeded cartridge in the Aqueon?

- Not worry about adding any water from the 29 that's "already established"?

- Move the fish over to the new tank after the SafeStart process is "finished" even though the water will be considered "new"?

I know you helped summarize how this should go in a previous post, but I was just reiterating so I'm clear as we get closer to picking up the new Marineland 75.
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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Since you don't have the new tank yet I would run both the 29g filter AND the smaller "old" filter (now cleaned) on the 29g even if it means hanging 1 on the front of the tank (didn't I say this before?). When the new tank is set up move both filters or at least all the media from both to the new tank's 2 filters.

Since you don't test, much or at all?, there's really no way to know what's happening. We've told you "established" water has almost no beneficial bacteria but you can move some if you want. BB is on all the tank's surfaces including but not limited to filter media (glass, substrate, decor, plants). If you only reuse the filter media & nothing else from the 29 there will be some BB loss. You want to minimize that loss & test to see if you need to do water changes. Prime can help prevent the damage to fish from ammonia & nitrite...but only for 24-48 hours. You really need to test...Yes, it's a PITA.
 
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dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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I honestly don't care how you establish a bacterial colony.

You seem to have missed a part where you have a source of ammonia for the bacteria. Adding any sort of bacterial product without is just going to leave it to die.

Testing your water is going to be key. Whatever you do.

And, I will disagree with Fishorama here, if the 29 will be shut down afterwards, no need to run 2 filters, 1 is fine if it will move afterward.
 

Kaskade10729

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The 29 gallon is actually going to be packed up and returned to Petco (it was an Aqueon starter kit we just used as a temporary home for the goldies) once the transfer is complete.
 

Kaskade10729

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Jun 16, 2013
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I honestly don't care how you establish a bacterial colony.

You seem to have missed a part where you have a source of ammonia for the bacteria. Adding any sort of bacterial product without is just going to leave it to die.

Testing your water is going to be key. Whatever you do.

And, I will disagree with Fishorama here, if the 29 will be shut down afterwards, no need to run 2 filters, 1 is fine if it will move afterward.
Alright, I'll just go back and re-read what was suggested a few posts back about what to do once the new tank is set up.

I hope I don't lose these fish.
 

fishorama

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You have a little jump start on cycling the 29g from the small amount of old filter media you have in the new 29 filter. You lost a vast majority of BB from the leaking tank; at least you saved some.

You're almost doing a "fish in" cycle. It's much easier to cycle a smaller tank, less water to change to have a significant impact...But you need to test to know where you are in the process.

Since you don't want to use the 29 filter & have only a limited amout of BB, I suggested using 1 of the old filters you will be using on the new tank along with the new 29 filter & old floss cartridges. Each time you use a little media instead of all that's in the tank, you'll lose some BB...& you don't have a full tank's worth now...right? What are your test results in the 29 now?

You can also add the fake plants you had in the leaker, another place for BB to grow (did you do that? I know in a panic things get forgotten) & move them to the newest tank. Do you move substrate from the leaker in the 29? That could have helped...but if you didn't, it's too late now.

Really, we're trying to help you. If you don't have an API Master Test kit, do you have test strips? You can also take a water sample to LFS. Don't take "OK" as an answer, we want actual numbers or at least a range for ammonia & nitrite...at this point nitrate is moot for now...but good to know.
 

Kaskade10729

AC Members
Jun 16, 2013
361
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You have a little jump start on cycling the 29g from the small amount of old filter media you have in the new 29 filter. You lost a vast majority of BB from the leaking tank; at least you saved some.

You're almost doing a "fish in" cycle. It's much easier to cycle a smaller tank, less water to change to have a significant impact...But you need to test to know where you are in the process.

Since you don't want to use the 29 filter & have only a limited amout of BB, I suggested using 1 of the old filters you will be using on the new tank along with the new 29 filter & old floss cartridges. Each time you use a little media instead of all that's in the tank, you'll lose some BB...& you don't have a full tank's worth now...right? What are your test results in the 29 now?

You can also add the fake plants you had in the leaker, another place for BB to grow (did you do that? I know in a panic things get forgotten) & move them to the newest tank. Do you move substrate from the leaker in the 29? That could have helped...but if you didn't, it's too late now.

Really, we're trying to help you. If you don't have an API Master Test kit, do you have test strips? You can also take a water sample to LFS. Don't take "OK" as an answer, we want actual numbers or at least a range for ammonia & nitrite...at this point nitrate is moot for now...but good to know.
Who said I didn't think you were trying to help me?

I do have the API kit.
 
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