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  1. Hi, I noticed about two days ago that one of my comets is sitting near the top of the water (about an inch from the top) and his top fin is clamped down. He is not gasping, or gulping, but looks more like he is chewing cud or mumbling. He is eating normally, and can swim around normally when I go near the tank, but when I go away again he just sits near the top again. Occasionally he will swim around the tank and it is as though he is blind, and cant see, and jumps when he bumps into something, like he has had a fright. Late tonight another has started showing the fin clamping symptom and they are both sitting in the same area of the tank. I cannot see any ich, any excessive mucus, or any marks or cottonwool fungi on either of them. Neither are constipated, or showing signs of swim bladder. Both are able to swim quite normally to the bottom of the tank, and stay there if they want to. The others are all swimming about quite happily... in fact they look better than I have seen them before, so I don't think it can be the water change I have just done (details below). I should add, they are feed twice a day I alternate between Nutrafin Max flakes which are lowered below the surface of the water, and sera goldy gran soaked. They consume all the food in less than 2 min, and I make sure I don't feed them more than this, even when they beg! I have a 100L tank, with hood, overhead lighting, and a overhead sump filter, filtering 1500L/hour... or that's what the info said. I set it up with scoria gravel bed, under gravel filter (for extra biological filtration and additional aeration), a air pump which has 2 outlets @ 200L/hr each, and some soft silicon ornaments, a large diving helmet for them to hide in (i made sure it had no sharp edges) and a 131mm round air stone. The tank is not planted. I let the tank sit for two weeks with no fish for everything to settle prior to adding the fish, with the filter running. I am unable to source any ammonia, so I have had to do a fish in cycle, so I bought the 6 small comets (less than 2inch each) from the pet shop, as they said they are the hardiest. I intend to do a slow tank cycling, so that the fish are not tooo stressed, and realise this will mean more frequent water changes. They have been in the tank just on two weeks now. I sadly lost one a day after I bought them, so now I have five. They are not going to live in the tank once it is cycled, because I understand comets grow to big for my tank. My parents in law have a pond they will be going in. It is large, has lots of duckweed over it, and lots of places for them to hide from anything interested in them. Just prior to purchasing the comets I found out about the KH and GH. That did my head in! But again, it sounded like it might have been the problem with my jumping ph water issues, so I ordered a test kit. That was all well and good, I have been testing the water, but had no idea of what to do with the results or what they meant. I found the water sources I had available had the following parameters: Rainwater: KH less than 10? it was less than one drop for the API KH test GH 20? PH less than 6 Townwater: KH 53? GH 215? PH 8.2 I realised too from my research in the last week that it is good to keep records of the tank water readings I have taken, so I have started doing that. Prior to my keeping records, I was testing the water daily to look for ammonia, nitrate or nitrite spikes, and had recorded no readings for any of these. The tank has had fish in for two weeks. These are the readings I have recorded. Prior to this all the readings for ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite were 0ppm and the ph7.4. Date water change? KH GH PH Amonia ppm Nitrite ppm Nitrate ppm 3/04/2015 30% WC after tests unknown unknown 7.4 stable 0.5 0 0 5/04/2015 no unknown unknown 7.4 0 0 0 6/04/2015 prior to WC 10 55 7.4 0.1 0 0 after WC 45 179 7.5 0.1 0 0 It was only after reading some information on KH and GH on your forum that the penny finally clicked. I had been reading about it on all sorts of websites for days, and it meant absolutely nothing to my poor brain, other than I had a problem with the water. I now under stood the importance of the GH for goldfish, so today I did a partial water change (30%), and used a larger percentage of town water than I had previously. This has resulted in the ph sitting a teeny bit higher, at 7.5 instead of 7.4, but the GH is now around 179 and the KH is now about 45. At least my little fish will be getting some minerals from their water now. I did it slowly over a couple of hours to let them adjust to the new water parameters. I always make sure I use prime water conditioner when I do water changes, let it sit for at least an hour prior to adding it to the tank, and always test the ph and temp before adding it to the tank. I have kept a smaller tank for treatments if required, and I have some medications on hand, they both turn the water blue... malachite? just a guess from here. I can check if that is necessary. The only other information I have missed out is that I added 6 small mystery snails to the tank about a week ago. Oh, and prior to the record taking, I was doing a 30% water change once a week. The water temp is 24-25 degrees Celsius, with no heater on. We are just coming out of our summer in Australia. Also the filter media in the overhead filter is filter wool, very fine filter wool, scoria gravel and carbon. I have been rinsing the filter wools in the water removed from the tank then putting it back in the filter sump. I have not touched the carbon or the scoria since setting the overhead sump filter up properly for the fish two weeks ago. I am very careful about not letting any chemicals enter the tank, either by air, or on anything touching the water. I don't know what to do. Can you please let me know if you can help? Or if I am over reacting? I realise you are probably on holiday, but any help would be very very very gratefully accepted. I cannot bare seeing any animals suffer.
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