Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
FishWish

A newbie's first post! Sending out an SOS. :-)

Recommended Posts

Hi all!

I’m Erin…and brand new here as this is my first post! I have been reading and trying to learn as much as possible for about a week now. I am originally from New Orleans, but grew up and now live in Hattiesburg, Mississippi…about 2 hrs. northeast of New Orleans. I am married, and my husband and I have two boys ages 2 and 5. Weezie (8 year old Pug) and Scout (11 year old tabby cat) also make our house a home!

Our boys received 2 fancy goldfish (fantails…I believe) for Easter on March 31. With total ignorance and zero knowledge, I think I’ve done a very poor to mediocre job of caring for our newest additions to our family…Nemo and Nolan.

They had to endure the cycling of the tank…which I didn’t learn about until recently. Also, they are in a 5 gallon tank. I know, I know. I feel terrible about it. We are looking to upgrade ASAP.

I have been feeding flakes and pellets (without pre-soaking)…I know better now. And, I just bought the API Freshwater Master testing kit last week.

Here’s the trouble…the nitrates are too high (tap water is zero for nitrates), and our Nemo was rising to the top and struggling to swim to the bottom…fed diet of peas for 2 days…he is better…but now rests on bottom occasionally. Swim bladder issue? But, he doesn’t lean to one side. Constipation? Therefore peas. Nitrate issue? Definitely…tests 80ppm before weekly water change…40 ppm after.

1. Should I do daily 50% or more water changes?

2. Should I remove the gravel and plastic plants and go bare bottom to help remove any waste contributing to the problem and free up more swimming space?

3. Should I get real plants ASAP…if so what works best?

4. Obviously, I should get a bigger tank ASAP.

Sorry to be so long-winded. Looking forward to learning from all of you. I found the site by watching YouTube videos. Lol! I was desperate for info…and they really helped. Now, I am quite surprised that I find all of this a fun and rewarding challenge! I do not want my story to end up in the horror section of the forum!!

Thanks so much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're experiencing the reason why we recommend so much space per fish. I feel that an upgrade in your relatively immediate future would be a good way to stop these problems. In the meantime, we can find a way to keep these guys from getting sick, but we need your help.

I'm going to paste the Disease Diagnosis form below. Please fill it out to the best of your abilities. :) I will have a mod move this to the Disease Diagnosis section for you.

Test Results for the Following:

* Ammonia Level(Tank)

* Nitrite Level(Tank)

* Nitrate level(Tank)

* Ammonia Level(Tap)

* Nitrite Level(Tap)

* Nitrate level(Tap)

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?

* Water temperature?

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?

* How often do you change the water and how much?

* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?

* How many fish in the tank and their size?

* What kind of water additives or conditioners?

* What do you feed your fish and how often?

* Any new fish added to the tank?

* Any medications added to the tank?

* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

Edited by ChelseaM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is all just me talking but 40 is the max you wanna have for Nitrates. Under 20 is the goal. With a 5 gallon tank you might as well do 50% water changes daily, as the water will soil quickly and the oxygen will need to be replenished regularly. What filter do you have on this tank? Do 50% changes for a few days and test the water often and adjust more or less water to keep nitrates under 20.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to say welcome!

Petco is still having their dollar per gallon sale right now I believe so it is a great time to get a bigger tank if you are able (you will want 30-40 gallons min for your two, with 40 gallons being more ideal. Petco has 55 gallons in this sale as well which is also a great tank size)

You can also check Craigslist for deals on tanks. If you are unable to spend the money on an upgrade right now, you can get a large sterilite storage tub for 10-20 dollars and a cheap filter to use until you have the funds to get a tank.

We will wait on your tap/tank water results to advise on water changes, but until you get a larger space for them, water changes are your best friend ;)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will get the results up in a few hours! Thanks all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome! I hope you can upgrade soon!

Daily water changes are great, especially since it's such a smalk tank. Even 100 percent would be fine. Use your test and let your parameters guide you.

If you have gravel, keep it at a thin layer, just enough to cover the bottom, and vacuum it regularly.

Real plants are great, but a couple of plants probably won't reduce you nitrate much. Still, they might. Try some easy low-light varieties such as anubias, java fern and hornwort. They don't have to be planted.

When you upgrade, look for 30 gallons or even a 40. Both could be a forever home, especially if your fish stay smallish.

Edited by ShawneeRiver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sniped while I was pecking away at my phone! :P

Erin, if you are going to start doing frequent WCs, it is vital that you know your pH. Low pH and pH fluctuations can kill fish, so please check that out. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also keep in mind when doing water changes using city tap water you are going to want to use a water conditioner like prime to neutralize the chlorine that is probably in the water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome! Everything that I could've covered has been brought up, I think!

My only advice, which I think I haven't seen yet :teehee

Removing the gravel from the 5 gallon is a great idea. There is probably a lot of water being displaced because of it, and since the tank is so small I'm sure you want to get every drop that you can in there! I would only remove a bit every day; since it sounds like you're going to do daily water changes, I would recommend removing just a little bit each time, til your bottom is bare! :o

:rofl

I can't say how much you should remove (who cares to chime in here?) since your cycle can be disrupted if too much of your beneficial bacteria are removed, but a little at a time is generally how most people take out their gravel.

Good luck with your fish!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome!!! :D Your story sounds very familiar...just ask my redcap who lived neglected in a 10 gallon for a year! All the info can be overwhelming but don't worry, you're in great hands here. Ask all the questions you can think of! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome! Everything that I could've covered has been brought up, I think!

My only advice, which I think I haven't seen yet :teehee

Removing the gravel from the 5 gallon is a great idea. There is probably a lot of water being displaced because of it, and since the tank is so small I'm sure you want to get every drop that you can in there! I would only remove a bit every day; since it sounds like you're going to do daily water changes, I would recommend removing just a little bit each time, til your bottom is bare! :o

:rofl

I can't say how much you should remove (who cares to chime in here?) since your cycle can be disrupted if too much of your beneficial bacteria are removed, but a little at a time is generally how most people take out their gravel.

Good luck with your fish!

It is true that a lot of people here like bare bottom, but I suggested leaving a little because these fish belong to Erin's children, and children don't always understand these kinds of changes. (Mine don't! :yikes ) So, Erin, it's your choice. :) Bare bottom is popular, but so is sand. Gravel is my least favorite because it traps so much crud, but a thin layer should be OK. Be aware that as the fish grow, smaller gravel can be a choking hazard.

Edited by ShawneeRiver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simply because it's a 5 gallon I suggested she take it out. I don't know how much water is displaced with it being in there, but I figure it would help. If she upgrades, the choice is all hers! And it still is, anyway :P

But you're right about it being part of her kids' decision too :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay…Here it goes… Please let me know if I need to post this somewhere else also…

* Ammonia Level(Tank) - 0

* Nitrite Level(Tank) - 0

* Nitrate level(Tank) – 80ppm

* Ammonia Level(Tap) - 0

* Nitrite Level(Tap) - 0

* Nitrate level(Tap) – 0

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) – 7.6

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) – 7.5

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API Freshwater Master Kit - Drops

* Water temperature? Not sure – need to get thermometer ASAP

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? – 5 gallons –running for 4.5 months

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? TopFin 10

* How often do you change the water and how much? – I used to do it weekly (30-40% each time) Never tested the water until now

* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 2 days ago on Saturday…changed about 40%

* How many fish in the tank and their size? 2 fancies…about 2 inches in body length not counting tails (one is round the other is slender)

* What kind of water additives or conditioners? – API Stress Coat

* What do you feed your fish and how often? – Flakes and Aqueon Granules (didn’t know about pre soaking food) (they have only had peas since Saturday)…usually feed once per day

* Any new fish added to the tank? no

* Any medications added to the tank? no

* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. none

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? none

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Nemo, our more slender fish, was floating up toward the top and struggling to swim to the bottom…after feeding peas…he seems better…he occasionally rests on bottom

9/9/13 pre water change…pH= 6.6, Ammonia = .20, Nitrite = 0, Nitrate = 80

9/9/13 post water change..pH= 7.4, Ammonia = 0, Nitrite = 0, Nitrate = 40

9/14/13 pre water change.pH= 7.1, Ammonia = 0, Nitrite = 0, Nitrate = 80

(I used API pH up when I changed the water…thinking pH was too low…gave one dose)

9/14/13 post water change. pH= 7.4, Ammonia = 0, Nitrite = 0, Nitrate = 30

9/16/13 pre water change..pH = 7.6, Ammonia = 0, Nitrite = 0, Nitrate = 80

Looking at these results…I am thinking the fish may be sick because of the sudden rise in pH….also nitrates are out of control too.

Thanks for the suggestions on removing the gravel…I am definitely going bare bottom…the kids will be on board…I think Nemo and Nolan are more mine now. ;-)

Also, I am planning to change to Prime…that seems to be the most recommended brand.

I would love to get a 40 gallon tank…I am going to check out our Petco. The store here just opened a week or two ago…it’s brand new. Do they advertise the dollar per gallon sale? I haven’t been able to find anything on their website.

Even if I got a tank today…it would still have to cycle which could take 30-60 days…correct?

Could you all please advise on feedings...

Erin

P.S. I feel totally welcomed...thanks all! :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rising ph won't hurt your fish, but dropping/low/fluctuating ph will. You probably need a buffer. If you have city water, you can probably look online for information about hardness, kh and gh. I can't tell you more because I'm very lucky to have stable water, so I haven't dealt with this personally. You can read this to learn more: http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/110296-stabilizing-your-tank-ph-with-sodium-bicarbonate-baking-soda/

Be careful about removing gravel. It can affect your cycle. Remove a little bit each day.

If you really are getting a new tank soon, I would keep at least some of the gravel. Then when you set up the new tank, you can run your current filter on it and move some of the gravel to it. That might get you an instant cycle or at least speed the cycling process. The beneficial bacteria live on surfaces in your tank, including in your substrate. Does that make sense? Set up the new tank and carry as many surfaces as you can. Then you can remove the gravel later when the cycle becomes established on the new surfaces and in the new filter.

Edited by ShawneeRiver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you transfer over the filter and rocks from the small tank to the new tank, you will already have the same cycle. It will grow to accept more load as the fish get bigger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a picture of the two fish...Nemo is all orange...Nolan is white and orange. Nolan is actually larger than Nemo but this picture is not the best. I am definitely not a photographer. Nemo is the one that has been acting ill.

photo-4_zpsee49ebe4.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oohhh Nolan is so cute! :wub:

Thanks for posting a pic of the two :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since your tank and tap ph are close together, you probably should look at doing as close to a 100% water change as possible right now. Those nitrates are at the very top of the 'recommended levels' and are bordering on unsafe. They definitely will cause issues with your fish if left uncorrected.

Test your tap and tank ph every day before you do a water change, and continue to change the water daily in as large amounts as you can. This will not mess with your cycle, and will help the fish. Nitrates are pretty toxic little things.

I recommend purchasing Seachem Prime within the immediate future to replace the Stress Coat. It is a much better water conditioner, many people will agree. Prime detoxifies 1pm ammonia per dose for 24 hours, detoxifies heavy metals, low nitrites, and low levels of nitrates. It can be used safely up to 5x the normal dose, too.

To find out if your petco is having the dollar per gallon sale, go online and search for the location of your store on their website. The local ad should tell you there. :)

A cheap alternative until you can find a good tank would be to buy a clear sterilite brand storage tub, or other clear, food safe tub that has not come into contact with harsh chemicals. I personally have a 116qt one for a quarantine tank. It would make a good temporary one for your fish. Just brace the outside against bowing and you're good to go.

As for food: a small sinking pellet (New life spectrum, progold, hikari, etc.) or gel (ie Repashy soilent or super green) would work great. Fancy goldfish should eat from the bottom of the tank, as surface feeding can cause problems due to ingesting air. Soak pellets for no more than 20 seconds prior to feeding.

Disclaimer: I'm not a mod. Wait for a mod before proceeding with any treatment except a larger tank,

Edited by ChelseaM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Erin,

Just wanted to say welcome! :welcome

Also, most of us have been in your position at some point, and it's awesome that you're getting more informed to help your fish! There are some really experienced and knowledgeable people on Koko's who will be able point you in the right direction :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went by our local Petco...the dollar sale is on. They have a 30 gal tank. I didn't see a 40, but I'll ask when I go back with my husband Wednesday afternoon. I did purchase Prime and a thermometer.

Shawnee...thank you for the information on buffers...I am going to have to read more on this...I am a beginner and am not familiar with kh, gh, etc. I have a lot to learn.

Chelsea...testing pH of tank and tap is a good idea...I will continue to do that. I am planning a water change tonight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since your tank and tap ph are close together, you probably should look at doing as close to a 100% water change as possible right now. Those nitrates are at the very top of the 'recommended levels' and are bordering on unsafe. They definitely will cause issues with your fish if left uncorrected.

Test your tap and tank ph every day before you do a water change, and continue to change the water daily in as large amounts as you can. This will not mess with your cycle, and will help the fish. Nitrates are pretty toxic little things.

I recommend purchasing Seachem Prime within the immediate future to replace the Stress Coat. It is a much better water conditioner, many people will agree. Prime detoxifies 1pm ammonia per dose for 24 hours, detoxifies heavy metals, low nitrites, and low levels of nitrates. It can be used safely up to 5x the normal dose, too.

To find out if your petco is having the dollar per gallon sale, go online and search for the location of your store on their website. The local ad should tell you there. :)

A cheap alternative until you can find a good tank would be to buy a clear sterilite brand storage tub, or other clear, food safe tub that has not come into contact with harsh chemicals. I personally have a 116qt one for a quarantine tank. It would make a good temporary one for your fish. Just brace the outside against bowing and you're good to go.

As for food: a small sinking pellet (New life spectrum, progold, hikari, etc.) or gel (ie Repashy soilent or super green) would work great. Fancy goldfish should eat from the bottom of the tank, as surface feeding can cause problems due to ingesting air. Soak pellets for no more than 20 seconds prior to feeding.

Disclaimer: I'm not a mod. Wait for a mod before proceeding with any treatment except a larger tank,

These are excellent suggestions.

Welcome, Erin! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night did about an 85% water change. I left fish in tank with filter off...and when the water level got down that low I felt like I couldn't safely drain out any more with them in the tank. I did not test immediately after changing the water. But now 17 hours later my results are a pH of 7.6 and Nitrates around 30ppm. I will change again this evening.

Is it just me or is there no difference in color on the API test kit chart for nitrates...10 and 20ppm look identical and 40 and 80 look identical????

Also, is it normal at all for fish to rest on the bottom??? I only see it occasionally in the one that was having floating problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome :) I haven't found a nitrate test that is easy to read. The API results can look different in different lighting conditions, and you're right, I can't tell 10ppm from 20 ppm :) I just know that it's bad if there is a reddish tinge :rofl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...