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RafflesGold Forums > Discussion Area > Green Water, Filtration and Tank Setup
First of all, like to thanks all contributors to Pinned Topic on PH Buffer. Otherwise
I would still be struggling to cycle my Oranda tank. I am new to keeping goldfish.
Struggle for 1 month plus, until come across RG topic on PH Buffer. Did 100% water
change, and adding SB to buffer pH, did wonder. Ammonia spike goes to zero on
second day and Nitrite on the third day. My initial problem was PH around 6.0 during
the one month plus I struggled. All the internet articles on fish or fishless cycling
I come across don't mentioned that PH was critical for BB. Making me spending alot
of money on test kits.

But now I found my 8 Oranda like to occasionally cluster together at the top
as shown in below picture. After clustering at top it would then swim normally
Is this normal ? Or my tank still not fully cycle and there is water quality issue ?
Condition :- 2 feet tank with top filter and sponge filter in tank, 8 small Oranda,
Ammonia = 0 mg/L, Nitrite = 0 mg/L, Nitrate = 10 mg/L
pH = 7.5, KH = 5 dKH,

I also did 100 % WC with buffered to 5 dKH and pH of 7.5 (my tap water pH = 7.5,
Eastern part of Spore). But after a few hours the Oranda would again cluster around
at the top occasionally.

There is no mention on where your medias (for bacteria) are housed ; if its dependent on the sponge filter it may be insufficient or may be destroyed during water change.

Even though Amm =0 ; Nitrite =0 and Nitrates = 10, the presence of nitrates are too little to indicate that tank is cycled. It may be nitrates inherent from tap water.Hold off the water changes for the time being and take the 3 readings daily - if the first 2 readings remain 0 and nitatrates keeps increasing then its a sign that tank is cycled.

If water parameters are OK then they clustering may be due to their excitement on seeing you approaching and expecting to be fed.
Hi CP,

Thanks for your fast reply.

The tank came with a built in overhead filter with only wool filter media.
I added one cylinder bio sponge filter (8.5 x 10 cm) and
one Roka Boy (size M) Box Filter. Guess the bacteria housed in all these
3 media. Not sure if the filtration sufficient for 8 small Oranda (about 1.5 ins.)
Or I need to consider canister type filtration system.

Will start monitoring the reading 3 times daily. Thanks for your advice.

Er....not take reading 3 times daily. What I meant was take the 3 parameters ( amm, nitrite and nitatres) daily.

If the first 2 parameters remains 0 and nitrates increases daily (say up to 50 ppm), then we know tank is cycled.
Your fish may have a gill parasite.

Hi Steve,

What medication and treatment method recommended for gill parasite ?
Assuming that over the next few days, confirm that tank is already cycled.
Also for gill parasite, any symptoms or colour expected at the gill ?

The fish look like their color is dull and they are gasping at the surface. Could be flukes, Costia, Chilodonella, Trichodina or other parasite. One tablespoon of coarse salt per gallon will treat most of them (but not flukes). Salt will also make the nitrite non-toxic while the biofilter gets control.

Hi Steve,

Just add aquarium salt, observed reduced clustering & gasping at top. Will continue to monitor.

Encounter something strange before salt added to tank. If I OFF the tank overhead filter, the
goldfish immediately goes to normally swimming from clustering & gasping at top. Or reduced
aeration achieved similar effects. Any explanation anyone ?

My tank reading now, Ammonia = 0, Nitrite between 0 to 0.25mg/L (colour in between using
API test kit) and Nitrate = 40 mg/L. No sure if tank cycled or almost cycled, as do not
understand why Nitrite not zero, or this is normal.
nivia how about the chlorine issue..i used to live in spore and knows for certain that the water quality is very variable...once i had an arowana that died within hours of a water change...i think its best to age the water b4 use...
I used API Stress Coat to dechlorinate. Did use Tetra 6 in 1 test strip to confirm after
applying Stress Coat, 0 mg/L Chlorine.
Coming to a week with tank under 0.5% Salinity. But ALL goldfish still clustering together at the surface,
gasping and shaking their head violently. Not sure what wrong with them. Did not subject them
to Salt Dip. Water quality, Ammonia = 0, Nitrite = 0.25mg/L, Nitrate = 20 mg/L, pH =7.5. Anyone
any ideas what wrong with them ? Visually seem nothing wrong.
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