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HELP! Made a mistake and now I think I have a bully problem! :-(


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Ok I've had fancy and orandas for years but I've never had commons until now. I was stupid I admit, I went by what the pet store lady said and I think I have too many fish and not enough room. She has three tanks and lots of experience but I think her advice was wrong and I should've gone with my gut.

I have three small commons and one oranda in a 20 gal tank. They were friendly and then minded their own business but now two of them keep swimming under and beside my oranda really fast and cause it to run into the sides and bottom of tank and it just seems mean. I don't know if its the water, them, or if I have some males and females!

The ph was 7.2 yesterday now it's at 7.6 over night. I have ph increaser not decreaser. I have a 5 gal filtered tank but there is a betta in it. I couldn't find my bowls so I took a freshly cleaned very large clear glass cookie jar and put tank water in it and took one bully out but I think #2 needs to leave too.

What is wrong and how do I fix this?

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PS - the commons haven't been paying attention to food when I try to feed them. I just got them a new thing of food it's omega small sinking pellets (they don't really sink). They haven't eaten in a day and a half because they won't pay attention how do I get them to eat? They seem fine otherwise!

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Hello,

I'm sorry you are having issues. Could you please post a video of this, and also, there is a link in my signature to the D&D questionnaire...could you copy and paste it here, and answer the questions? Thanks.

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there appear to be a few things which generally go against the way we like to keep fish.

generally we like to offer our fish approximately 20 gallons each. this avoids problems such as bullying, cramped swimming space and water which has potential to quickly go bad. goldfish produce a lot of waste and in 20 gallons, that will be at a rate that you could not possibly keep up with, or the filter. with so many fish in such a small amount of water, i would be changing 80% of the water twice a day...

so, the behaviour you are seeing could be from bullying (ie, cramped tank) or it could be breeding behaviour. the PH is the least of your worries here because goldfish can handle a PH in the low 8's.

is there any way you update in the very near future or perhaps give 3 goldies back to the LFS? i only see room for 1 fish in a 20 gallon.

how big is the cookie jar that you removed one fish into? does that have an airstone in there?

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I quickly removed the two because I didn't want my poor oranda to get too worn and stressed out because they were relentless. The jar is only about a gallon so I don't want them in there too long.

What's an LFS?

I'll fill the form out the best I can. I don't have a bunch o test kits just the ph kit. I changed 50% of the water yesterday.

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LFS = Local Fish Store

you can also take some water (from tank and tap) and have them test for all the other tests we ask answers to in the questionnaire just be sure to write the actual numbers down because that's the information we need to know. if you have the room for a 60-80 gallon, have a look on craigslist to see what's being offered, i've heard people from the US walk away with absolute bargains from there. also, i think it's petco sometimes have the dollar per gallon sale every so often. but a second hand tank in good condition on craigslist is often offered with filtration included. that could work out to be cheaper for you.

you're better off currently doing a 100% waterchange and placing all the fish back in the tank.

in the interim, if it is faster for you to do so, a 40-50 gallon food safe tub with filtration might be a solution. there you can put 2-3 fish temporarily until you decide if you can upgrade to something more suitable long term or ask the LFS to take 3 of the fish back.

are you dechlorinating the water? what dechlorinator do you use?

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LFS stands for "Local Fish Store".

Do you have a way to take a sample of both your tap and aquarium water to the LFS to have it tested? If you do, please do so and make sure to ask for actual numbers instead of just "Fine" or "A little high". We are really going to need all of the parameters in actual numbers to find a solution to the problem.

Right now Petco is having their "Dollar per Gallon" sale. Since you have so many fish, it would be a good idea to upgrade your aquarium and filtration to handle the bioload. (This is assuming you don't want to re-home some of them.) Like Helen said, we like to offer our fish around 20 gallons of water each. The DPG sale goes up to 55g aquariums. Goldfish have the potential of getting large very quickly, so even if you decided to re-home everyone but 1 fish, you will still likely need to upgrade in the future to keep up with the fish's growth.

Edit: Oops, sniped!

Edited by ChelseaM
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Thank you so much for the advice! I'm going to do some work on the water, we have good well water. It tests at 6.6 ph straight out of the faucet but I read that the goldfish needs 7.0 and higher is that true?

I did some switching around with the fish today and although the situation is not ideal it will help me sleep tonight! My husband and siblings were planning on getting my mother-in-law a betta because she's miserable and alone a lot. My father-in-law won't allow ANY indoor pets (and we all live on a big cattle farm with cats and dogs and rabbits running around as pets!) she's been lonely and my Goldie's give her a lot of joy when she comes over and brightens her up. She can't maintain a big fish tank for medical reasons and since we planned on getting her one since their easy we gave her my sons betta and moved the two wild bullies to the bettas tank and left the oranda an calm comet.

Even though it's in a huge clear cookie jar it is really really big for a cookie jar but until I get her the tank or bowl or whatever she wants the Betta is happy and set up with good water and decorations! It's really funny that the cookie jar is exactly shaped like a big fish bowl it's just got a little rounded spot on the lower side so it can be turned up on end or the side. My mom in law didn't even know it was a cookie jar til I told her! Weird huh?

So the bettas old tank is an octagonal 5 gal tank with filter system including bio wheel. I changed the water and the two bully comets or commons are now in it and I watched them a while and they seem to love it and each other. When I had them separated they where miserable and wanted to be together and kept looking at each other.

Now the oranda and single comet are alone in the 20 gal rectangle tank. Now the comet or whatever it is had been calm and seemed to like the oranda but as I've been typing this it has started chasing my beloved oranda!!

Lord have mercy I thought this was fixed! I did check the temp with an aquarium thermometer and it's at 86!! Would that affect them? I had the heat up for winter and we've had a huge spike in temperature here. It was in the forties last week it's now 75! It'll be 75 all week so I've taken the heater out.

How long should I wait before now taking this third problem fish out?

Thank you so much for the advice! I'm going to do some work on the water, we have good well water. It tests at 6.6 ph straight out of the faucet but I read that the goldfish needs 7.0 and higher is that true?

I did some switching around with the fish today and although the situation is not ideal it will help me sleep tonight! My husband and siblings were planning on getting my mother-in-law a betta because she's miserable and alone a lot. My father-in-law won't allow ANY indoor pets (and we all live on a big cattle farm with cats and dogs and rabbits running around as pets!) she's been lonely and my Goldie's give her a lot of joy when she comes over and brightens her up. She can't maintain a big fish tank for medical reasons and since we planned on getting her one since their easy we gave her my sons betta and moved the two wild bullies to the bettas tank and left the oranda an calm comet.

Even though it's in a huge clear cookie jar it is really really big for a cookie jar but until I get her the tank or bowl or whatever she wants the Betta is happy and set up with good water and decorations! It's really funny that the cookie jar is exactly shaped like a big fish bowl it's just got a little rounded spot on the lower side so it can be turned up on end or the side. My mom in law didn't even know it was a cookie jar til I told her! Weird huh?

So the bettas old tank is an octagonal 5 gal tank with filter system including bio wheel. I changed the water and the two bully comets or commons are now in it and I watched them a while and they seem to love it and each other. When I had them separated they where miserable and wanted to be together and kept looking at each other.

Now the oranda and single comet are alone in the 20 gal rectangle tank. Now the comet or whatever it is had been calm and seemed to like the oranda but as I've been typing this it has started chasing my beloved oranda!!

Lord have mercy I thought this was fixed! I did check the temp with an aquarium thermometer and it's at 86!! Would that affect them? I had the heat up for winter and we've had a huge spike in temperature here. It was in the forties last week it's now 75! It'll be 75 all week so I've taken the heater out.

How long should I wait before now taking this third problem fish out?

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Unfortunately those two common goldfish in the 5 gallon might not last very long. They get really big really fast, and that's a lesson I've had to learn the hard way by losing one of my pets. I would definitely go with the advice of the folks here and either take a few of them back to the store, or get a bigger tank for all of them to live together. They won't need to be separated if they all have enough room to swim.

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I thought of that and we do have a pond and many farms out here have outdoor goldfish and koi ponds to re home them. I do believe I will have to take them all back though.

The last comet I left in was happy with the oranda their both smallish but now it's chasing my oranda! What the heck!! They were buddies all day now I can't tell what's going on. If I post a video now if I can get it to work where do I do it and will anyone be able to view it and give me some advice soon? It's almost midnight here in nc...

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To post a picture or video I recommend using photobucket or youtube. Here's how to post photos and I imagine videos are the same (or similar - I've only posted photos myself): http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/95717-how-to-post-pics-photobucket/ If that doesn't work, just check out our 'how to' section and I'm sure you find an answer http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/forum/45-forum-functions-and-how-to/

As for help we have members worldwide: North America, Europe, Asia, Australia etc. There are people checking in at all times of day. While I don't want to make promises on the behalf of all the knowledgeable members who generously give of their time to advise us, I have found that I have never had to wait very long for an answer to any of my questions. The sooner you can provide any info, photos or videos you have (especially any info that's been requested) the sooner it can be reviewed and answers provided.

At this point I definitely think it'll be difficult to get you any further answers until we have your water parameters and a video of the behaviour. I know you're worried and concerned for your oranda, but I'm certain forum members can get you some good answers as soon as they have all the info. In the mean time I strongly second Helen's suggestion of a large food safe storage container as a temporary housing solution. Sterlite is a brand I've seen recommended several times here, but anything food safe will be fine.

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Thanks BronwynH!

UPDATE: I've been watching them all morning and the comet has stopped chasing the oranda and they are happy buddies again. The temp finally went down and it's at 70 F and the ph is still 7.6. Of course the color chart doesn't go above 7.6 but it's the exact color on the chart.

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Of course the color chart doesn't go above 7.6 but it's the exact color on the chart.

ANY pH over 7.6 will show up as the "exact color" of 7.6 on the chart. Because of the way the color changing chemicals react, they CAN'T go beyond that color, no matter how much above 7.6 your pH actually is. At least, according to my best recollection from my college chem class. I suggest getting your hands on a high range pH kit. I usually need to use both for my tanks as mine tends to fall in the overlap range of the two (7.4-7.6) and typically shows up as 7.6 on the regular test, and 7.4 on the high range one.

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Thanks BronwynH!

UPDATE: I've been watching them all morning and the comet has stopped chasing the oranda and they are happy buddies again. The temp finally went down and it's at 70 F and the ph is still 7.6. Of course the color chart doesn't go above 7.6 but it's the exact color on the chart.

Good news! Update us tomorrow, when we will hope for equally good tidings. :)

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