tailing pond


Earlier this month, two dams retaining tons of iron-mining waste near the Brazilian town of Bento Rodrigues burst, releasing 60 million cubic metres of thick, red toxic mud that flattened buildings and trees, smothered the small town, and left twelve dead. The wave of toxic sludge—tested and found to contain high levels of mercury and arsenic, according to a BBC report—then moved downstream, into the Rio Doce, and spent two weeks making its way several hundred miles downstream, finally reaching the Atlantic Ocean. According to Reuters: “Scientists say the sediment, which may contain chemicals used by the mine to reduce iron ore impurities, could alter the course of streams as they harden, reduce oxygen levels in the water and diminish the fertility of riverbanks and farmland where floodwater passed.”

From here

Photos by Ricardo Moraes / Reuters

Goldfish (Fancy and single tail) Care Sheet

Basic stats:

Difficulty: Moderate - Hard
Minimum tank size: Fancy (20 gallons per fish) Single tail (30 gallon pond or 10 gallons per inch of fish starting with a 30 gallon aquarium. THESE SHOULD BE POND FISH!)
Size: 8″-14″ 
PH: 6.5-8 
Temperature: Cold water 50-77′f 
Hardness: 5-25
Diet: Omnivore/ opportunistic scavenger 
Lifespan: 10-40 years (Fancy goldfish tend to live shorter lives but can still often reach their 20′s without issues if cared for)
Habitat: Asia


These fish are really pond fish. Fancies can be kept in tanks more easily requiring 20 gallons per fish. They’re social animals so should have at least one, and preferably 2 friends. So look into the 40 gallon to 60 gallon range for tanks. Filtration should be heavy but not strong. You want to look for a filter that is for double the tank size and have it cycled. They don’t require heaters and may even require a cooling system in the summer. Temperature variation is taken very well and has been known to be beneficial. You don’t need substrate and if you do use some slate or sand as best practice, they may eat and choke or become impacted on gravel. Algae and green water is very beneficial acting as plants in the tank and a grazing source.

Single tail goldfish grow massive! They’re really pond fish and should be treated as such. A standard 30 gallon pond form can house an adult common, comet or other single tail/long body variety. As you should have more I’d look into a 60-90 gallon form for a pair or trio of smaller ones. If you do house in tanks you want 10 gallons per inch of fish to allow for adiquite swimming space. If you plan to play size up start with no less than a 30 gallon, realize they will outgrow it fast. For an adult you’re looking at a 120-140 standard. You may be able to manage a pair in that. Custom tanks are good, you’re still looking at a big tank though! 3′x4′x18″ is the absolute minimum for a pair or maybe a trio in a custom. Out side of that all the same rules apply as with a fancy.


-Tank ranging from 30-120+ gallons
   -Or a 30+ gallon pond form

-No heater required! May need a chiller if in hot climate and can’t keep cool.
-A filter rated for twice the size of the tank or pond
-Substrate not required, a thin layer of pool filter, play or aquarium sand can be used if you want. Slate is also an option.
-Decor and hides not super needed. You can use natural decor, attempt plants or have pvc pipe though.
-Lighting is optional, if you plan to grow plants or algae an appropriate sized lamp will be needed.

Other non optional supplies/perishables:

-A liquid master test kit (Nutrafin or api)
-A water conditioner (prime, safe, stress coat are good brands)
-A bucket and syphon that hasn’t been used for anything else (water changers are nice if you have ponds on the ground or big tanks)
-A log to help with cycling and recording things.
-A high quality sinking goldfish or koi pellet.


Goldfish are scavengers and will always accept food if healthy. Feeding should be regulated. You can feed up to 4 times a day with each feeding being about two mouthfuls. They won’t suffer if you only feed once or twice though. Watch for overfeeding especially with fancies, they have a poor digestive system. 

Food staple should be a good high quality goldfish sinking pellet. Hikari has a good line. Omega one and new life spectrum also have good foods. Flakes are not appropriate. If floating pellets need to be used soak them so they sink before offering. You can supplement feedings with chopped frozen or blanched veggies, leafy greens, bits of fruit and frozen cubed foods. High fat diets are fine , they do best on a diet that is lower in protein though. 

Tank mates:

They really shouldn’t be kept with anything but other goldfish of the same type (Fancy or single tail) . Pleco are not good tank mates and will eat the slime coat off goldfish, algae is good for golds anyways. Cories with often end up in the gold fish’s mouth resulting in the death of both. All other catfish and pleco should be avoided. Actually just avoid all other fish, shrimp and snails. The only successful thing I’ve seen is full drown adult dojo/weather loaches with single tail golds. But even then, it’s not really worth it. 

Medical issues:

Single tails are prone to spine malformations, ich, velvet, flukes internal parisites and other external parasites, columnaris, and fungal infections. Most of these can be prevented by proper housing, diet and a quarantine period. Have melafix, pimafix, triple sulfa, fenbonazol, prazi and paragaurd on hand. It’s also good to have epsom salt and aquarium salt. 

Fancies are prone to all the above as well as digestive issues, swim bladder disorder and eye damage/popping (often caused by the pop eye bacteria). 



The above are two great sources you should give a read before you get a fish. Also show them your support!

Goldfish ID:

(Under cut because it’s really long and just for those interested. No pictures are mine)

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Minimum Tank Size

Here are some minimum tank sizes for common “starter” fish. 

Fancy Goldfish-20 gallons for the first fish and 10 more for each additional.

Comet Goldfish (and other single tailed)-Ponds work best, but a conservative tank size is 40 gallons. these are often considered “beginner” fish but they most certainly aren’t. 

Mollies- 10-20 gallons at the least

Tetras- 5 gallons is the bare minimum

Guppies- 4 gallon for a single fish with an additional gallon for each additional fish

Bettas- 3 gallon minimum, and it better be heated and filtered!

Keep this list going! These are the fish I personally know of, there are others out there that other people know much more about!

Also if you disagree with tank sizes shoot me a message or reblog on here with your reasoning and I’ll take it into consideration/change these numbers


Meet Hayley Todesco, The 17-year-old Google Science Fair Winner developing sustainable technologies

Hayley became deeply interested in the environment after watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” Her project uses a sustainable and efficient method to break down pollutant substances and toxins found in tailing ponds water in her hometown, a hub of the oil sands industry.

Brazil mining flood could devastate environment for years
The collapse of two dams at a Brazilian mine has cut off drinking water for quarter of a million people and saturated waterways downstream with dense orange sediment that could wreck the ecosystem for years to come.

General view from above of a dam owned by Vale SA and BHP Billiton Ltd that burst, in Mariana, Brazil, November 10, 2015.  

The collapse of two dams at a Brazilian mine has cut off drinking water for quarter of a million people and saturated waterways downstream with dense orange sediment that could wreck the ecosystem for years to come.

Nine people were killed, 19 are still listed as missing and 500 people were displaced from their homes when the dams burst at an iron ore mine in southeastern Brazil on Nov. 5.

The sheer volume of water disgorged by the dams and laden with mineral waste across nearly 500 km is staggering: 60 million cubic meters, the equivalent of 25,000 Olympic swimming pools or the volume carried by about 187 oil tankers.

President Dilma Rousseff compared the damage to the 2010 oil spill by BP PLC in the Gulf of Mexico and Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira called it an “environmental catastrophe.”

Scientists say the sediment, which may contain chemicals used by the mine to reduce iron ore impurities, could alter the course of streams as they harden, reduce oxygen levels in the water and diminish the fertility of riverbanks and farmland where floodwater passed.

Samarco Mineração SA, a joint venture between mining giants Vale SA and BHP Billiton and owner of the mine, has repeatedly said the mud is not toxic.

But biologists and environmental experts disagree. Local authorities have ordered families rescued from the flood to wash thoroughly and dispose of clothes that came in contact with the mud.

“It’s already clear wildlife is being killed by this mud,” said Klemens Laschesfki, professor of geosciences at the Federal University of Minas Gerais. “To say the mud is not a health risk is overly simplistic.”

As the heavy mud hardens, Laschesfki says, it will make farming difficult. And so much silt will settle along the bottom of the Rio Doce and the tributaries that carried the mud there that the very course of watershed could change.  

“Many regions will never be the same,” he says.

Researchers are testing the river water and results should be published over the coming weeks, giving a better idea of the contents of the mining waste.

One cause for concern is that compounds known as ether amines could have been used at the mine to separate silica from the iron ore, in order to produce a better quality product.

According to mining industry research and scientific literature published in recent years, the compounds are commonly used at Brazilian mines, including Samarco’s.

At least some of the compounds, according to the website of Air Products, a company that produces them, “are not readily biodegradable and have high toxicity to aquatic organisms.” They can also raise PH levels to a point that is environmentally harmful.

“There will be serious problems using the water from the river now,” says Pedro Antonio Molinas, a water resources engineer and mining industry consultant familiar with the region.

Samarco did not respond to questions about whether it used the compounds or whether they were in the so-called tailings pond whose contents burst through the broken dams. 

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