Lockdown=No New Tank


MFK Member
Nov 7, 2018
Have you tested your water?
If yes, what is your ammonia?
0 ppm
If yes, what is your nitrite?
0 ppm
If yes, what is your nitrate?
Always below 20 mg/L
If I did not test my water...
...I recognize that I will likely be asked to do a test, and that water tests are critical for solving freshwater health problems.
Do you do water changes?
What percentage of water do you change?
How frequently do you change your water?
Every week
If I do not change my water...
...I recognize that I will likely be recommended to do a water change, and water changes are critical for preventing future freshwater health problems.
We have been saving for a new (used) tank for a long time now but lockdown out any plans on hold. I’m worried about our fish in the meantime: would you change water more often? Add another filter? Go colder?

35 (may be 37) gallon tank
Hypostumos Pleco 13.5 inches
2 filters
Air stone
Goldfish 4 inches (he was a rescue and unplanned)
gravel substrate
Full chemical test kit
Strip test kits
-Full tests before water changes w/test strip confirmations, test of water after chem adds/sitting to make sure it’s ok to add, and test tank again after water changes
-we keep it on the warmer side for our pleico and the gold seemed to have adapted...unless recent problems are related in some way
-fish keeper for 7 years and all test levels appropriate (ammonia, nitrates, etc)

we cut back to broccoli only once a week
Giving higher quality wafers and pellets daily in evening
standard flake food in AM for the Goldie

water change 10-20% weekly. We were doing 35% every 2 weeks but it seemed like they were struggling - Goldie lost some scales but he’s almost entirely healed now. And after switch to weekly 2 months ago they *were* seeming ok but...

now our gold has started gulping air again/ beginning immediately after water changes for a few hours sometimes 1day and then again 1-2 days before. It’s noticeably worse after sponge change/filter rinse. (Thinking it’s the stir up with the gravel vac)

They do seem sensitive, (my pleco in particular) to actually changing the water though, so I don’t want to do too much at once. And I’m disabled and reliant on others to help w/the tank- tbh I already faced protests and had to really fight for following advice from this forum and changing water more often (rather than my local Petsmart), all the testing etc


MFK Moderator
Staff member
Global Moderator
MFK Member
Dec 24, 2005
Could be just thinking there’s food of the gravel is stirred up and smelling something in the water. I’d watch it for now. Cont with keeping the water clean.


Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Dec 30, 2015
You've got two messy fish there, and one of them is huge, in a relatively small tank. The sooner you can get your upgrade the better. For now just do your best, given your limited mobility, and keep that water clean. 10-20% weekly is not really that much, and your fish are telling you so.

You say things are notably worse after your filter cleaning/rinsing schedule. How exactly do you clean your filters? Also, is your gravel quite deep and do you ever vacuum it?