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Stones/pebbles for bottom of the tank

Discussion in 'Coldwater Fish and Ponds' started by SamRobinson, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. SamRobinson

    SamRobinson New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I have a cold water tank with a few goldfish and I’m fed up of the gravel from the local pet shop being stained with algae and hard to clean.

    Would I be able to grab a few small pebbles from a friends garden to pop in the bottom or would they cause problems with parasites or end up killing my fish.

    Would I need to put some sort of disinfectant on them before I put them in.

    Thanks,
    Sam

     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Hi Sam and welcome to the forum :)

    What sort of algae is on the gravel?
    If you can post a small picture of the algae we might be able to help you out.

    Do you use a gravel cleaner (like the one in the following link) to clean the gunk out of the gravel?
    https://www.about-goldfish.com/aquarium-cleaning.html

    Do you have a light on the tank, and if yes, how long is it on for?

    Do you have live plants in the tank?
    Live plants use the light and reduce the algae growth. If you don't have live plants but do have a light, then algae will grow instead. Some good live plants include Duckweed and Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta), with Water Sprite being my preferred floating plant.

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    You can use river rocks & pebbles in tanks with fish, however do not use any that have been in a garden in case they have been sprayed with herbicide or bug spray. Unless your friend is a tree hugging greeny type person like me, and has no chemicals or herbicides/ pesticides anywhere near the property, I would not touch rocks from an average garden because they might be contaminated.

    If you go to a garden centre/ nursery or hardware, they usually sell bags of river rocks and pebbles and you can use them as long as they are sealed up in a bag. Rinse the rocks well and then put them in a bucket of water. Change the water each day for a week and then rinse the rocks again. Then they should be fine to go in the tank.

    Some petshops sell river rocks too and they can be used as well. Rinse them and soak for a few days before using, to remove anything on them.
     
    #2 Colin_T, Aug 4, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
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  3. fluttermoth

    fluttermoth The current Mrs Treguard ;)
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    Welcome to the forum, Sam :)

    You will need to be careful of a few things.

    Unless the rocks come from a pond or river, there's no need to worry about parasites, Rocks don't need disinfecting, boiling, baking in the oven, or anything like that to make them 'safe', just a really good scrub in very hot water.

    However, some rocks dissolve in water, and will make the water very hard, as well as changing the pH, and that would be very bad for your fish. Real;y you need to know what sort of rock they are, although there are ways of testing them, which we can help you with, if you decide to use some.

    There's also a problem with using larger stones or pebbles, and that is that any food and fish waste will fall between the gaps and be harder to get at.

    Goldies also like to pick things up and mouth them around, so you will need to be VERY careful that any stones are large enough not to get stuck in their mouths (or small enough to be easily spat out).
     
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  4. SamRobinson

    SamRobinson New Member

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    Hi guys,

    Great thanks for the help so I went to the local pet shop and picked up some little/medium pebbles and I’m currently in the process of cleaning them (just in case) day by day before I pop them in. My tank is around 40 gallons and it has a shubunkin and a comet goldfish in. The tank does not have a light or live plants in it is placed on my kitchen bench not directly in the sun but it does now and again get some sunlight on it and I noticed that the side the sun hits the worse the algae I have had these fish for about 5 years and they have been in there bigger tank for about 3 1/2 years as the other tank was to small and the goldfish had ended up bullying the shubunkin and he ended up with no fins they are starting to grow back since they are in the bigger tank they are just your standard £1 fish from the pet shop they were about 1” and now they are about 4”.

    But I’m in the process of moving house later this month and I’m wanting to get a bigger tank and a few more fish once I am settled will the change in tap water ph matter or as long as I continue to use the tap water solution drops will they be ok.

    Do you recommend any other fish that would be ok to put in with them or would they just bully any other fish I put in?
     
  5. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Goldfish should not be combined with any other fish (only goldfish). As for more goldfish, that depends upon the tank size; I would certainly not add more to a 40 gallon with the present two goldfish. Make sure to clean well in between the pebbles/stones to remove all detritus, during the weekly water change.

    Goldfish are not likely to have issues with a change in pH unless it is significant. The GH is actually of more importance, this is the measure of hardness due to dissolved mineral in the source water, and the pH is usually related. Harder water has a higher pH, and softer water a lower, generally. You could check these numbers with the municipal water authority for the area you are moving to, they may have them posted on their website.

    Water conditioner does not impact GH or pH. It is used with city water to dechlorinate as chlorine (and chloramine if this is used by the city) will burn fish gills rapidly.
     
  6. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Check the water chemistry in the new house and if it is similar to your current house then the fish should be fine. However, if there is a major difference in pH, then you will need to adjust the pH a bit at the new house to gradually get the fish use to the new water.

    Goldfish need an alkaline pH (above 7.0) so if the water at the new place is below 7.0, then you want to buff it up a bit for them.

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    Goldfish are best kept with goldfish and nothing else. If you have fantail goldfish (2 tails) then only keep them with other fantails. If you have comets or shubunkins, these guys only have a single tail and should only be kept with other single tailed goldfish.

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    You could put a picture or backing on the back of the tank to reduce the light coming in and that would reduce the algae. However, normal green algae is not an issue and simply grows where there is water and light. Goldfish might even pick at it because they like plant matter in their diet. You could even try to grow some duckweed in the tank. this is a small floating plant that goldfish eat and it can help use nutrients in the water and reduce algae. :)
     
  7. SamRobinson

    SamRobinson New Member

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    Great thanks for the information. I’m only moving along the street so I can’t see much difference in the water when checking the website.

    I will just leave them as is and pop some duckweed in there if the local pet shop has some available.

    I’m really interested in getting in to the tropical fish tanks hobby in time I’m hoping to get a cheap 100 gallon tank I’m thinking of getting the easiest fish to look after like some danios bettas and a pleco them sort of fish and would I be able to get further help once I get the tank before I even think of getting the fish etc to make sure I get things right.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Byron

    Byron Member

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    As you move ahead into tropical fish, my prime piece of advice is to always thoroughly research before acquiring fish. You simply cannot trust or rely on advice from most store staff. And suffering and dying fish is the end result. It is not difficult to research; this forum is a good place to do it. You need to know what fish you intend before even considering the tank size and décor, as fish have specific needs and these vary among species. The type of filter is determined somewhat by the intended fish. The substrate material may need to be sand if catfish are part of the plan. Chunks of wood, or rock, or plants...all depend upon intended fish.
     
  9. SamRobinson

    SamRobinson New Member

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    Yeah I was definitely looking at getting a few barbs especially the cherry or tiger barbs or any other species of barbs but I saw on another forum on here that they are aggressive fish.

    I have been searching a lot of information regarding filters, air pumps, live plants and wood.

    Would watching scaping videos and full tank set up videos help me in the lead up to setting up from scratch.

    Thanks,
     
  10. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Viewing photos and videos of various aquariums can provide a lot of information and ideas. I would decide on what you intend when it is finished, and then research how to achieve that, being ready to make changes along the way. For example, a 6-foot tank of a shoal of discus, with thick plants, may look nice but that is going to be much more work with issues along the way than a 3-foot tank of tetras and cory catfish.

    You mentioned Tiger Barbs...a group of 10-12 of these in a 30 gallon tank can be a lovely aquarium. If you want other species as well, you need a much larger tank, and then the other species have to be carefully considered with the natural aggressive tendency of the Tiger Barbs in mind. A group of more peaceful barbs like the lovely Black Ruby Barb would be a better choice with other fish; you still have the active swimming of the barbs, the females have the same vertical stripe pattern, but you have a relatively docile fish that opens up more choices for tankmates. But even so, you do not want these in with sedate fish like angelfish or other cichlids, or gourami, because the active swimming behaviour of the barbs will annoy sedate fish, and there is always the chance of fin nipping.

    Taking just plants...there are different methods to a planted tank, from low-tech or natural up to high-tech. Having healthy plants can be very easy if they are low or moderate light requiring species; if you expect to grow more demanding plant species, that can require considerable technical equipment and expense.
     
  11. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    If you are only moving up the road your water should be the same as what you currently have so I wouldn't worry too much. Check the pH at the new place and if it is not the same as your current place then there might be an issue. But it should be exactly the same as your current water.

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    Watching videos about aquascaping might give you ideas but they don't normally give you information about filtration or fish.

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    If you plan on getting a new tank in the future, you could put another filter on the goldfish tank and leave it there to cycle. When you get the new tank you simply move one filter onto the new tank and have an instant cycled tank. If you are unsure about the type of filter you plan on getting for the new tank, just add a couple of sponges to the current filter or put them in the tank and they will get beneficial filter bacteria on them over a month or so.

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    Barbs are not necessarily aggressive. They are active schooling fish that can pester other fish and some (tiger barbs) can be fin nippers. Some of the more peaceful barbs include: cherry, checkered, golden, rosy, ruby, filament & odessa barbs. If you keep these fishes in groups of 10 or more of their own kind, they do very well and add colour and movement to any aquarium. Most barbs get along well with danios. :)

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    The next time you are at the pet shop, write down a list of fishes that you like and post the list on here. We can go through it and say which fish go with each other. Do the same with plants.

    A tropical freshwater tank is exactly the same as a coldwater freshwater tank with the only difference being fish and an aquarium heater.

    When you do get a new tank, do not buy lights for it straight away. Tell us what size tank you have (eg: length x width x height) and tell us what plants you want and what lights are available at the pet shop, and we can advise you on which light to get. You can also check out hardware stores for LED spotlights. These are cheap to run and readily available now. They come in different temperatures, noted by their K for Kelvin rating, eg: 6500K.

    If space is an issue, perhaps look into a double tier stand. You have one stand that holds 2 tanks, 1 on top of the stand and 1 underneath. Talk to your pet shop about them and you might have to order one and wait a few weeks for it to come in. But it does give you 2 tanks on a single stand. Just be sure the floor in the house can take the weight.
     
  12. SamRobinson

    SamRobinson New Member

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    Fantastic thank you’s both for the help I will get back regarding more information once I have moved home and settled in and I will keep an eye out and keep notes for any fish or plants that catch my eye .

    Thanks,
     

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