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My water is orange/pink!

This is a discussion on My water is orange/pink! within the FreshWater Beginner Information/Questions forums, part of the FreshWater Topics category;
I'm brand new here, so hello everyone! I'm having a problem with my fishtank. I can't keep it clear anymore. ...

  1. #1
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    Unhappy My water is orange/pink!

    I'm brand new here, so hello everyone!
    I'm having a problem with my fishtank. I can't keep it clear anymore.

    Pleaso, don't hate me for this. I have a fantail goldfish and a black moor and a tiny pleco (I also have a snail) in a 10 gal. tank. I'm aware that goldfish need a lot of room, so I'm getting a 30 gal. tank soon. I thought that the 10 gal. tank would be alright until I could get the bigger tank. It's really become hard to manage, though. 10 gal. just isn't enough! Goldfish are PIGGIES! Does anyone know where I can find a cheap 29 or 30 gal. tank?

    Anyways, I've been having water quality problems. I was able to get it clear for a good while, but now it's cloudy again. I do weekly water changes (btw, what % should I normally change? I usually do 50%), the tank is filtered properly, it has healthy algae, and it has a bubbler. The pleco and snail keep it tidy.

    Before, I believe the pH was too high, so I bought a pH regulator that the petstore woman recommended (Wardley Wellness- Bullseye 7.0) and it seemed to fix the problem. However, I think I screwed up BIG TIME, since I thought it required 10 tbsp, not 10 tsp. I read it a hundered times and I thought it still said tbsp. My bad. Anyways, this DID fix the water for a while, but maybe it sent it the opposite way after a while. After I figured out I put in the WRONG dose, I did a complete water change. Ever since then, my tank has been worse.

    My water has an orangish/pinkish tint to it! Do you know why? I'm going to get the water tested at Petsmart later today. This isn't healthy for my fish at all! They've been ok with it these last few days, but recently, they're starting to sit on the bottom and act all droopy. I really need to know how the fix this. I've done water changes and I condition the water with Accu-Clear.

    Also, my fantail's tail is becomming kind of curled-- likt the sides are pinching together. Is this because of the bad water quality? Or could it be because I feed them TetraFin goldfish food? What Hikari food for goldfish would you guys recommend? Also, will his tail be able to go back to its normal, flat self?

    I hope you guys can help me. I feel just terrible for not giving my fish what they deserve- A BIGGER TANK. For now, I just need to know how I can keep the tank in decent condition until I can upgrade the size. I don't want my fish to die. Are there any chemicals/products I could add for now? I hope someone can help! Thanks everyone.

  2. #2
    Super Fish homebunnyj's Avatar
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    PH is pretty much irrelevant in most fishkeeping situations. Later on, if you get into breeding some sort of difficult-to-keep fish, maybe then.... But for now, forget the pH. Leave it alone. PH swings are very hard on fish, much worse than nearly any steady pH.

    Do you have an ornament that is pinkish or orangey, or maybe your gravel? That's most likely the source of the color. If so, it should be harmless.

    If your water is white-cloudy, that's a good thing. It means your tank is developing a healthy population of nitrifying bacteria. It will go away on its own. Let us know if it's a different kind of cloudiness.

    Your fish may be suffering from the effects of the pH swings, but I suspect ammonia poisoning. Take a water sample to the fish store and have them tell you -- in actual numbers -- your readings for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Post them up and we can tell you what steps to take. If your ammonia or nitrite are 1.0 or above, you need to do a 50% water change immediately after getting home from the fish store.

    Watch Craigslist for a good deal on a used tank. Bigger is definitely better with goldfish.
    Judy

    Down to 3 tanks... from 7!!

    29g: 3 goldfish (temporary)... thinking of convicts instead

    55g: 12 glowlight tetras, 3 yoyo loaches (planning for another school of tetras, some more yoyo's, and maybe a pair of rams... any suggestions?)

    2g: 3 guppies waiting for a bigger home and a few more buddies

  3. #3
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    Thanks. Well yes, the gravel in the water is the assorted pebbles gravel-- it is mostly tan. I do have a lot of orange half marble things. I mean, this wasn't making the water pink/orange before, but oh well.
    I do believe this is the unhealthy cloudiness. I mean, yes, the water was cloudy when I first got it and it took a long time to clear up. I also thought it should've cleared up on its own, but my fish all got ICH after being in that water for too long, and I had to treat them so they wouldn't die. That was during the first couple of months of having the tank-- I've probably had this tank for about 5 months now.
    I wasn't able to get the water checked yet, because I got out of work pretty late, but I did add some AccuClear before leaving and it seems to have cleared up a lot (still a little cloudy, though ':/ ) I think I'm going to add more after the 24 hours is up and hope it doesn't get cloudy again.
    Also, what can I do about my fantail's tail? Is this normal or common? Thank you :3

  4. #4
    Little Fish
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    Were it me ,I would change two gal of water every two days using a water conditioner such as PRIME or AMQUEL+ for the new water I put in the tank. I would not add anything else to the water. I would clean the filter material once a week in old aquarium water I took out during water changes. I would feed these fish once a day and no more than I SEE them eat in one minute. I would remove the orange chips,or marbles with net and see if water doesn't improve.
    And lastly. I would look for a larger tank for your fish assuming you want them to remain healthy.

  5. #5
    Super Fish homebunnyj's Avatar
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    Yeah, if you can't get your water tested, then do the frequent water changes as stated above for the safety of your fish.

    As to the cloudiness, the fish don't care. It isn't unhealthy, only unsightly. What affects fish health is water parameters, so don't sweat the cloudiness. Concentrate on keeping the water parameters under control. The ich was no doubt due to elevated ammonia and nitrite during the cycling of the tank, not anything to do with cloudiness. You really don't need any chemicals other than water conditioner (dechlorinator).

    Good advice above on feeding. Overfeeding in a crowded tank makes it impossible to keep your water in good shape, either the parameters or the clarity.

    Why don't you tell us a bit about your tank maintenance -- not only your water change schedule, but how often and how much you feed, how/when you vacuum the gravel, what sort of filter maintenance you do. And you didn't really say if the cloudiness is white, brown, or green. What is it?
    Judy

    Down to 3 tanks... from 7!!

    29g: 3 goldfish (temporary)... thinking of convicts instead

    55g: 12 glowlight tetras, 3 yoyo loaches (planning for another school of tetras, some more yoyo's, and maybe a pair of rams... any suggestions?)

    2g: 3 guppies waiting for a bigger home and a few more buddies

  6. #6
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    Oh, I'm sorry-- I didn't know there were different colors of cloudiness. It's always been a white cloudiness. Back when it was cloudy and they got ICH, I think the ammonia was too high (the tank smelled like ammonia). It doesn't really smell like that this time.

    I do change the water once a week, along with the filterer insides (it gets pretty sludgey brown if I dont). (The filter is a 'Whisper' for 5-10 gal). I change the actual filter when it needs it. I dont have a tank vacuum-- but when it starts to get dirty, I stir up the gravel and use a net to scoop out as much poo, etc. as I can. Actually, this does seem to work pretty well. Besides that, I'll change 100% of the water and rinse the gravel-- about every 4-6 months.

    I usually only feed them at night- once a day. I've always heard to feed them as much as they can eat in 3 minutes-- not 1. My goldfish are tanks-- I didn't think 1 minute was enough time for them.

    I'm just feeding them TetraFin flakes. I can't give my pleco the algae discs, because my giant fantail eats it all and gets constipated from it...yeah.
    I also treat them to an orange slice (I take out the leftover after about 20 min) and snow peas (which they eat all of) and the snow pea shell (they all munch on it-- I'll leave the shell in longer because it doesnt seem to pollute the tank-- I'll usually leave it in overnight) once or twice a week. They haven't had peas in a while, though.

    I might have been overfeeding them with the flakes. I actually just ran out, so I just fed them some orange today. The water is the same as it was yesterday: a little cloudy. The two goldfish were kind of moping around on the bottom for a while today- but this could be because maybe they ate too much orange or they were resting-- I'm hoping that's what it's from.

    Oh, one thing I didn't mention before-- the snail in the tank. I introduced the snail into my tank from a freshwater lake. This isn't as bad as it sounds. The snail looks fine and he's living perfectly off of the algae and whatnot in the tank right now. I doubt he's had any effect on the water.

    I'll have to look for those conditioners- PRIME or AMQUEL+. I don't think what I'm using (API Accu-Clear) is actually a conditioner. I'm just curious--would it be bad to use purified (meaning boiled clean) water into a fish tank?

    Also, a while ago when I was able to keep the water nice and clear after struggling to fix the cloudiness- it was because the woman at the petstore told me my water was too soft. She told me to make the water 50%-50% soft and hard water (bath water and hose water). That worked the first time, but ever since when I do water changes and put in 1/2 soft and 1/2 hard water, it just gets cloudy again.

    Oh, and what you guys have told me about leaving the pH alone really helps, though! I'm going to leave it where its at (unless, when I get it checked, it's WAY off). That pH regulator I used was pretty much a bust.
    Last edited by vo1umeone; 08-02-2009 at 06:50 PM.

  7. #7
    Little Fish KyleBradley's Avatar
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    I've always been told that unless you're raising really special fish that have a real sensitivity to Ph that it is best to just make your fish adjust to your Ph of your tap water, otherwise water changes will be very hard on them...
    I was also told that it's 2-3 min for consumption of food for feeding amounts.. One minute is a little bit ridiculous, especially if you're eating once a day..

  8. #8
    Little Fish
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    No one ever lost a fish ,or fishes by feeding once a day. Try counting from 180 or 120 backwards (60 seconds in a minute),,, If you are allowing enough food for fish to feed for this length of time, You will find it difficult to maintain water parameters especially in small tanks.
    Gold fish like,(need) vegetable based flake food to do well in the long term and the citrus from oranges isn't good for them.
    On a ten gal tank with goldfish, it will always be a struggle to keep ammonia in check for these fish are serious waste producers. Throw in a Pleco,, and problems in such a small tank should be expected. Hence,, the need for water changes every couple days to help dilute the toxins created by fish waste and the recommended feeding of once a day and no more than you actually SEE them eat in ONE minute.
    I have attempted to recommend things that will help clean up the water and make fish comfortable until a larger tank is provided.
    Goldfish will do well in hard alkaline water with pH values of 7.2 to 8.0 in fact it is what they need .
    Do purchase one of the two water conditioners mentioned and don't use anything but tapwater and said conditioner and along with other recommendations,, your fish will thank you.

  9. #9
    Teenie Weenie Fish MrNiteOwl's Avatar
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    Here's what I'd recommend.... first take out the pleco.... he is probably adding more waste than what he cleans.... especially in a 10g.... The Goldies tail seems to be starting to get some fin rot.... and that is because of the high ammonia.... doing a water change @ 30-50% every 2-4 days would help.... don't worry about pH and water hardness or softness.... Goldies are very hardy and should be able to make it until you get the bigger tank.... As long as you keep up with this schedule.... Prime is a very good water treatment.... I would also recommend getting your own water test kit.... a lot of us use API Master Test FW kit.... Petsmart uses the strips and those aren't very accurate.... Feeding.... feeding little as possoble (1 min) is the way to go while you still have the 10g.... once you get the bigger tank you can feed a bit more.... Fish are scavengers by nature and get by without food for a few days actually.... My fish feed in various ways.... there are times I won't feed for a day or two.... and there are times that I throw in a very big feeding.... including flakes, pellets, brine shrimp and maybe a zucchini.... small pinches of each.... I can get away with this because I do have the bigger tank and well over filtering it.... with a few shrimp and snails to help with the left overs.... Hope this helps and if you do have any other questions.... feel free to ask....

    CraigsList is a great place to find bigger tanks for the smaller prices.... depending where you are at....
    1.5g ~ 1 Red Crayfish
    72g ~ 2 Red Cap Orandas (Pinky & The Brain), 1 Red and White Ryukin (Smoky), 1 "Green" Lionhead (Leo or Hulk?), 2 Black Moors (free), 1 Blue Mystery Snail (free), 1 Gold Mystery Snail, 1 Black Mystery Snail (free), 20+ Ghost Shrimp, 1 Bamboo Shrimp
    35g ~ 3 Cichlids, 1 Dragon Goby (free)
    50g ~ SW w/ 70lbs LR, 25lbs LS, 4 Percula Clowns, 1 Blue Hippo Tang, 1 Black Belly Trigger, 1 Scopas Tang, Red Legged Hermits and some Corals
    50g ~ Empty

  10. #10
    Little Fish RexyTexel's Avatar
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    You should be careful when you take wildlife(your snail) and place them into your aquarium. Who knows what kind of parasites could possibly be living in them and waiting for a new host.
    Fish are not starter pets!!

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