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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Bits of white gravel turning brown in my tank?

Hi,
My tank has been up and running for a month and I've noticed some brown spots on the back and also some of the pieces of white gravel have turned brown too. I have three goldfish in there and they seem quite happy but I don't understand what's going on. I did a big water change at the weekend, cleared away the couple of brown marks and put in the drops for chlorine, etc. but now it's started again. What am I doing wrong? What is it?
Hope someone can help. I'm knew to keeping aquariums so it might be something obvious to any experts out there. Any suggestions would be very welcome.
Thanks,
Nicola
P.S. I've attached a photo of the offending brown bits!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 03:23 PM
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It's impossible to accurately ID spots like that without a microscope but I'd guess diatoms or some other algae species . They're harmless but sudden blooms can be indicative of water quality problems. In a new tank, though, these blooms are expected and should go away on their own as things become more stable. Some algae in an aquarium is normal, by the way, and can even be beneficial (algae absorb excess nutrients like nitrate, improving water quality, and they also provide a healthy snack for fish).

This is somewhat unrelated but I hope your tank is very large! Goldfish grow pretty big and are messy animals, requiring strong filtration and frequent water changes.




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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks - that's reassuring. I was just reading your advice on fish to avoid and realised that I should have read more info on the internet instead of trusting our local pet shop guy. He seemed so helpful and seemed to know what he was talking about (even insisted on checking a sample of the water before he sold us the fish) but... he reckoned we could have kept 4 goldfish in our 6 1/2 gallon tank... grrrr... so we have three in there. And now I realise that this is small for them. We were thinking of buying a bigger tank but we need to wait at least until after Christmas. We have an upright filter that has its outlet on the surface of the water of the tank. I'm doing water changes using one of those vacuum things on a tube (sorry, don't know its correct name) every 10 days more or less and adding 'aquatan' and 'bionitrivec' with each change. Does that sound right? I'm done trusting my friendly pet shop guy...
Thanks
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 04:14 PM
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That's unfortunate and sadly very common . I think the best you can do is keep water quality up with water changes and hope they make it until you can get a much larger aquarium. Are these common goldfish or fancies?

I would do a water change twice a week on such a small tank. The tube is called a gravel vacuum .

Once the goldfish are moved, consider using the 6-gallon for a betta, harlequin rasboras, celestial danios (still sometimes sold as galaxy rasboras), white cloud minnows, or a pair of African dwarf frogs . While small "desktop" aquariums can't support many species, there are a few options.




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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 04:56 PM
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Sasami:
Just a question...
If people get small fish and start out with a small thank, is this really a big problem?
I know it's a lot of extra work with setting up new tanks as the fish grow, but wouldn't this be possible, even though it's not the easiest way to do things?

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinchi View Post
Sasami:
Just a question...
If people get small fish and start out with a small thank, is this really a big problem?
I know it's a lot of extra work with setting up new tanks as the fish grow, but wouldn't this be possible, even though it's not the easiest way to do things?
There's no real reason to do that, though, and plans for bigger tanks almost always get delayed--counting on being able to buy a bigger aquarium in the future is a risky way of doing things.

In the case of goldfish (and many other species), you need a large tank right off the bat anyways because they produce so much waste. In a small aquarium, ammonia (and hopefully later nitrates instead, once it's cycled) will quickly build up and begin poisoning the fish. Starting small with goldfish would mean setting them up in something like a 20-gallon with plans to upgrade--not a 6-gallon.

You also run the risk of stunted growth. Many fish produce pheromones that stunt the growth of their tankmates. This isn't normally a problem in a decent-sized, well-maintained tank. But in the confines of a "desktop" type aquarium, you can end up with stunted fish (leading to other health problems, as you might imagine).

I just don't see a reason to purposely house fish in an aquarium that will need to be immediately upgraded in a month or two anyways. With some species, there's no problem as long as the tank really is upgraded on time. But that doesn't seem to happen in most cases, sadly. And when it comes to large, active, messy fish (like goldfish) there's no reason at all to start them out in a small aquarium...unless "small" means something like a 20-gallon or 29-gallon to hold them while a pond is built .




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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 08:20 PM
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Okay
I wouldn't start out with a tank that wasn't big enough to hold their fish their whole lives, but some do, so that's why I wondered

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-13-2010, 12:13 PM
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I think the problem lies in the persons lack of research.
People go to their lfs, see something they like,buy it, and expect the owner to have all the answers and tell the truth.
It's a business,they'll tell you whatever you want to hear.
It's the persons responsibility(to the animal they're buying)to know what they're getting into before hand (which sadly to often is not the case).
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-14-2010, 12:43 AM
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I put fish in size appropriate tanks, my 4 goldies stated out in an 8gal, they are now in a 50gal with 2 additional goldies. They will not be upgraded from here. Once they get to the outgrow stage they will be rehomed, and new smaller goldies will take their place

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 09:10 AM
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Looks like some type of algae species. What's your nitrate/phosphate levels?

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 01:38 AM
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My mother actually had the same problem in her aquarium with the white gravel turning brown, but the affect never did damage the fishes at all. She has a few critters like a beautiful angelfish, sucker fish, and a few crabs and a goldfish and they all lived happy even with the gravel a little tanted. She did do thoeough cleaning though with a gravel vacumn and always kept a good filter. You should remember to condition the water good as well. Try adding a smail to helo cut back on the bacteria/algea on the gravel.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2011, 11:14 AM
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i'd go with the algae thing... you could put more green plants in to suck up extra nutrients, or get some sucker fish (like hypostomus plecostomus) or loaches to clean the algae. a bigger filter might help
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayks View Post
... or get some sucker fish (like hypostomus plecostomus) or loaches to clean the algae.
No. Firstly, loaches do not eat algae in anything but infinitesimal quantities. Secondly, H. plecostomus is a terrible algae-eater, and gets far too large for most aquaria. One of the bristlenose cats, such as Ancistrus dolichopterus, is a far, far better choice.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 02:11 AM
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Us here, we think we have little bit strong chlorine from water system but totally clean and good water. We just have to store the water for few days on open air to let the chlorine evaporates..

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