Back at it again after 60 years!!

rjbelles

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Greetings to all. When I was a young boy, I was a devoted tropical fish enthusiast. I had several tanks, and I raised guppies, betas, mollies and the like. When I left home, my Dad kept some of the fish for a while. My wife recently died, and my sons though it would be a good thing to get a fish tank and some fish for me. At first, I didn't want it, but now it has grown on me.

Years ago, I purchased my fish from an older gentleman who had his own shop and had been an enthusiast for many years. He had the best fish. Since I have restarted, I have noticed that the fish for sale now are much smaller than the ones from years ago. Have I just forgotten or is this a fact?

The boys set up the tank, cleaned and rinsed the gravel, filled up the tank and added the chemical need to neutralize the chlorine. I have an "over the back" filter which is from Pet Smart. A few days after i had purchased some fish, I noticed that the water was "milky". It still is to this day (about three weeks later) even after replacing the filter. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to return the water to crystal clear? I hate seen the water so milky!

There are no plants in the tank. I guess I should get the water tested. What is the recommendation for a good test kit? At this time, should I empty out half of the 30 gal tank and replenish with fresh water?

Didn't mean to "rant" so much. If anyone can help me get started back on the right foot after all these years, I would appreciate it.

Thank you very much,
Richard Belles
Fuquay Varina, NC
 

WhistlingBadger

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Hi, Richard. Welcome to the forum! The API master test kit is the standard. It sounds like you didn't cycle your tank before you got fish, so at this point read up on fish-in cycling, and buckle up for lots of huge water changes. :)
 

Slaphppy7

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Welcome to the forum, Richard.

Your tank is not cycled, as suggested above...read this, and post any questions you may have: https://www.fishforums.net/threads/rescuing-a-fish-in-cycle-gone-wild-part-i.433769/

The milky water is probably a bacterial bloom, it will resolve itself with time, and many, many water changes.

Get this test: https://apifishcare.com/product/freshwater-master-test-kit

Also, you'll need a high quality water conditioner, get either Seachem Prime, or API Tap Water conditioner.

What size is the tank? What fish are presently in it?
 

Sunnyspots

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Hello 👋. I hope you don't find things are too different nowadays. I'm lucky as a late starter.
Could fish look smaller because you're bigger? :lol:
 

Colin_T

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Hi and welcome to the forum, and welcome back to the hobby :)

Sorry to hear about your wife. Here's hoping you are dealing with it to the best of your ability.

Milky cloudy water is usually caused by uneaten food in a new tank where the filter has not developed the colonies of good bacteria. Reduce feeding to once every couple of days and do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate 4-8 hours after feeding.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Some fish are smaller now but as a kid most things seem bigger than they actually are. I got a Lego set recently and the mini figure's heads appear really small from my recollection. However, I got one of my old Lego mini figures from the 70s and the heads are the same size.
 
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rjbelles

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Hi, Richard. Welcome to the forum! The API master test kit is the standard. It sounds like you didn't cycle your tank before you got fish, so at this point read up on fish-in cycling, and buckle up for lots of huge water changes. :)
30 gal tank
 
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rjbelles

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Hi and welcome to the forum, and welcome back to the hobby :)

Sorry to hear about your wife. Here's hoping you are dealing with it to the best of your ability.

Milky cloudy water is usually caused by uneaten food in a new tank where the filter has not developed the colonies of good bacteria. Reduce feeding to once every couple of days and do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate 4-8 hours after feeding.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Some fish are smaller now but as a kid most things seem bigger than they actually are. I got a Lego set recently and the mini figure's heads appear really small from my recollection. However, I got one of my old Lego mini figures from the 70s and the heads are the same size.
Thank you so much. I will try your suggestions maybe this weekend. I have a filter that hangs over the back. To clean the gravel, do i just stir it up? I just ordered an API test kit.
 

Sunnyspots

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For cleaning gravel you need a gravel siphon which you can buy at any fish shop. They consist of a plastic tube that has a wider end. You start siphoning and then plunge the wider end sequentially deep into the substrate in a regular manner. The dirt rises faster than the substrate (at least it does with gravel) and by moving the pipe up again from the substrate you should see it fall back while the dirt continues up to join the siphoned tank water. There are YouTube videos which demonstrate how to do it. E.g.

 

Avel1896

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Hello and :hi: (back) aboard !
the fish for sale now are much smaller than the ones from years ago. Have I just forgotten or is this a fact?
It is a fact, fishes are sold younger and younger, fragilized by over-selection... ahhh genetics... that makes fishes fluorescent or Betta double dorsal fin... :sad:😡
 

Colin_T

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To clean the gravel, do i just stir it up?
Get a basic model gravel cleaner like the one in the following link. They let you drain water out of the tank and suck the gunk out of the gravel at the same time. this means you don't have to remove the gravel and don't have cloudy water after stirring up the substrate.

If you can't find a gravel cleaner, you can make one out of a 1, 1.5 or 2 litre plastic drink bottle and a garden hose.
Get a 1 litre plastic drink bottle and cut the bottom off it. Throw the bottom bit in the recycling.
Remove the lid and plastic ring from the top and put these 2 bits in the recycling.
Stick a garden hose in the top of the bottle and run the hose out the door onto the lawn. If you have a short length of garden hose (1.5-2 meters) you can put the end in a bucket.
That is a home made gravel cleaner.

To use the gravel cleaner, fill the bottle with tank water and start the syphon out the hose.
Push the bottle into the gravel and lift it up. The gravel will circulate in the bottle and drop down. The dirt and debris will be sucked out with some of the water.
Gravel clean as much of the substrate as possible while draining some of the water out. Then stop gravel cleaning and refill the tank with dechlorinated water. The next time you do a water change, gravel clean the part that wasn't done.
The bucket of dirty water can be poured on the lawn/ garden.
 

itiwhetu

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Hi and welcome to the forum, and welcome back to the hobby :)

Sorry to hear about your wife. Here's hoping you are dealing with it to the best of your ability.

Milky cloudy water is usually caused by uneaten food in a new tank where the filter has not developed the colonies of good bacteria. Reduce feeding to once every couple of days and do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate 4-8 hours after feeding.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Some fish are smaller now but as a kid most things seem bigger than they actually are. I got a Lego set recently and the mini figure's heads appear really small from my recollection. However, I got one of my old Lego mini figures from the 70s and the heads are the same size.
So cool a werewolf playing Lego Love it. There is a soft spot in the old boy. Was the Mini figure a pussy cat.
 

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