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I'm scared I injured my goldfish PLEASE HELP!

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Hi, I'm new here and I am looking for some advice and I would love if someone can help me.

I am afraid I have injured/ hurt/ damaged one of my goldfish.

I have 2 goldfish and I was moving them out of their bowl in order to change their water. I picked her up (she's a fantail goldfish) when I picked her up she jumped out of my hand and landed on the table!! She was jumping around on the table for a max 10 seconds while I panicked and rushed to put her back into water.

I'm terrified that I damaged her tail or some other bones around her tail area while I was lifting her off the table or hastily putting her back into water. When she was back in the water the top half of her fanned tail seemed to be slightly bent and moving slower than the bottom half (if that makes sense!) When she was back in the bowl both she and the other fish were kinda sitting around the bottom of the bowl.

She was back swimming and feeding ok yesterday. I would still like to know if she could be hurt. I couldn't live with myself if she died because of me or if she is now swimming around in pain.

Apologies for the long post and thank you for reading. If somebody could help me that would be great. It was two days ago and I'm now terrified I will wake up and she will be dead in the bowl.

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Hi there. Welcome to Koko's! It's a shame that we have to meet on such circumstances. However, I'm glad you're here. Koko's is one of the best sources for goldfish information on the internet, and will help you to keep your fish alive for years to come with a wealth of knowledge.

If you could fill this out the best you can and then provide us with a few photos, that would be awesome.

I'm going to ask a moderator to move this topic to our Diagnosis and Discussion section on the forum, so don't worry if you no longer see it here. It will be there. :)

  • 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.?

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Hi ChelseaM,

Thanks for your quick reply!!

I have no photos at the moment as I am at work but I could see if I could get some later this evening (I'm in Ireland so I'm a few hours ahead of you! )

Regarding your questions- I will answer as much as I can for now. My setup is pretty basic as I inherited fish from a friend who could no longer keep them. They are actually in a bowl rather than a tank. It's a 17 litre bowl. .

I would not be sure how to test the tap water the nitrate levels or ammonia levels as you requested. As it's a bowl unfortunately it does not have any filter etc.

Answers to your other questions are as follows-

  • I changed the entire bowl which is 17 litres, It's not completely full so I would say approx 15 litres of water in bowl. I would also do a partial change of about 2 litres of water every 2-3 days and would do a full change and rinse of the bowl, gravel and house once a week.
  • * There are 2 goldfish in the bowl, each are approx 4 inches in size.
  • * I don't use any additives just plain tap water. Also when I changed the water and clean the bowl I only use tap water and do not use any detergents to clean bowl.
  • * I feed the fish a pinch of Aquarian Goldfish flakes once a day.
  • * I have never added any new fish to the bowl. It's just the two of them.
  • * No medications added to bowl
  • * As far as I know the fish have never been treated for anything and the previous owner had the same routine as my ie. change entire bowl with regular tap water with no conditioners or water treatments.
  • * I cannot see anything unusual on the fish other than the females tail (Although I don't know if I am being overly sensitive to every little movement she makes now due to my stupidity when moving her from her bowl) The tail seems like it has more movement today.
  • * After I changed the water and moved both fish back into the bowl on Sunday they were both just kind of staying at the bottom of the tank and were moving slightly. Again I'm not sure if they were just afraid / getting re aquainted with the new water and being back in the bowl. They sat at the bottom for a while on Sunday but came up for some food later in the evening. Yesterday they both fed well and were swimming around.

When I got the fish first I was thinking of buying a small tank with a filter for them but I was worried that such a change of environment (from bowl to tank) after living in a bowl all of their lives would cause too much distress.

I only wants wants best of them and to give them the best quality of life, I had been reading things online saying that you are not supposed to keep goldfish or any fish in a bowl. Is this the case? I don't want to be treating them badly or being cruel by keeping them in a bowl if it's no good for them.Though they seem happy and alert in the bowl so far.

Thanks again for your reply and I'm sorry I can't provide more info at this stage.

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Welcome to Koko's! I'm glad to hear that you want to do what's best for your fish.

No one here will think it's OK for goldfish to be in bowls, for many reasons. To me, it's like having a dog but keeping it in a crate all the time. Goldfish are living creatures that can grow to be quite large -- a bowl is simply not an adequate home.

Here's a video made by a member of Koko's. This fish is good sized, but not huge.

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Depending on the length of the fall there should be little damage to the fish. However you need to alter your maintenance and care to keep your fish healthy. :) Converting to a tank will not distress them, they are capable of adjusting to larger volumes of water. :)

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/care.html

Above is a link that talks you through the basics. Hope to see you around! :hi

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:hi If your tap water has chlorine or chloramines (which I'm guessing it does), you need to be adding a water conditioner to detoxify these chemicals. I would recommend Seachem Prime or something like it that neutralizes chlorine, chloramines, ammonia and nitrite. This is particularly important while these fish are living in a bowl with no filter.

Don't feel bad about dropping the fish. They are slippery little buggers and it has happened to many of us :peeka

I love your idea of getting a tank with a filter. A 40 gallon (151 liters) would be ideal for 2 goldfish :fishtank:

A picture of the tail will help us see if there is any damage.

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At the least, you should probably start using some water conditioner and change the water daily. If you are using city water, it's likely treated with chlorine or chloramine, which is dangerous for fish. Water conditioner neutralizes those. Many people like the water conditioner Prime, but there are other brands you could use. :)

If you should decide to get your fish a tank with filtration, we would be happy to help you decide what to get. If possible, you could get used equipment to cut costs. That's fine as long as it's properly cleaned. :)

As Bodoba said, your fish certainly can handle the switch to a tank. In fact, they would be very happy.

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Hi there. Welcome to Koko's! It's a shame that we have to meet on such circumstances. However, I'm glad you're here. Koko's is one of the best sources for goldfish information on the internet, and will help you to keep your fish alive for years to come with a wealth of knowledge.

If you could fill this out the best you can and then provide us with a few photos, that would be awesome.

I'm going to ask a moderator to move this topic to our Diagnosis and Discussion section on the forum, so don't worry if you no longer see it here. It will be there. :)

  • 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.?

:goodpost

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Welcome to Koko's! I'm glad to hear that you want to do what's best for your fish.

No one here will think it's OK for goldfish to be in bowls, for many reasons. To me, it's like having a dog but keeping it in a crate all the time. Goldfish are living creatures that can grow to be quite large -- a bowl is simply not an adequate home.

Here's a video made by a member of Koko's. This fish is good sized, but not huge.

Hi,

Thanks for taking time to reply. I haven't watched the video as I'm at work but I will watch later. Do you think the fish would adapt if they were moved from a bowl into a small tank at this stage (Again as I kind of adopted the fish I don't know exactly how old they are i would think they are at least 2 though) It probably doesn't make sense but I was afraid that the shock of changing their living space after being used to the bowl would cause too much stress and I was worried that this would have an adverse affect on their health.

If I was moving them how big should a tank be for 2 goldfish? I was looking at some small tanks previously between 30-40 litres. I have limited space in my apartment for anything too big. I would feel better if I had something with a filter even though i do partially change the water during the week and change all of the water at least once a week.

I do just want them to be the happiest and healthiest they can be and for them to live as long as possible as I've become very attached to them.

Thanks

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The bigger the better. We generally recommend 20 gallons per goldfish which doesn't sound like it's an option in your apartment so I would take a look around at tank dimensions and get as large as you can. It won't shock them, at least not in a bad way. :rofl3

Also, as mentioned above, your water likely has chlorine in it if you're on city water. You really need a dechlorinator if that is the case. :D

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Depending on the length of the fall there should be little damage to the fish. However you need to alter your maintenance and care to keep your fish healthy. :) Converting to a tank will not distress them, they are capable of adjusting to larger volumes of water. :)

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/care.html

Above is a link that talks you through the basics. Hope to see you around! :hi

Thanks for they reply. It wasn't a big fall she just kinda slipped forwards, I'd say the fall was only an inch or 2 at most. I had just convinced myself that I had broken one of her bones or her tail!

I was thinking she may have just got a fright when I dropped her. I am also aware I shouldn't be handling the fish at all!

I will look into getting some kind of tank with a filter, at least that would be better than the bowl anyways.

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:hi If your tap water has chlorine or chloramines (which I'm guessing it does), you need to be adding a water conditioner to detoxify these chemicals. I would recommend Seachem Prime or something like it that neutralizes chlorine, chloramines, ammonia and nitrite. This is particularly important while these fish are living in a bowl with no filter.

Don't feel bad about dropping the fish. They are slippery little buggers and it has happened to many of us :peeka

I love your idea of getting a tank with a filter. A 40 gallon (151 liters) would be ideal for 2 goldfish :fishtank:

A picture of the tail will help us see if there is any damage.

I will try to post a pic later. I was just feeling so upset about dropping her and have been going crazy worrying since it happened. I assume if there was serious broken bones or something like that it would be more obvious as she seems to be swimming around and eating fine now. I wil get some water conditioner also.

Thanks

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Depending on the length of the fall there should be little damage to the fish. However you need to alter your maintenance and care to keep your fish healthy. :) Converting to a tank will not distress them, they are capable of adjusting to larger volumes of water. :)

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/care.html

Above is a link that talks you through the basics. Hope to see you around! :hi

Thanks for they reply. It wasn't a big fall she just kinda slipped forwards, I'd say the fall was only an inch or 2 at most. I had just convinced myself that I had broken one of her bones or her tail!

I was thinking she may have just got a fright when I dropped her. I am also aware I shouldn't be handling the fish at all!

I will look into getting some kind of tank with a filter, at least that would be better than the bowl anyways.

Depending on the length of the fall there should be little damage to the fish. However you need to alter your maintenance and care to keep your fish healthy. :) Converting to a tank will not distress them, they are capable of adjusting to larger volumes of water. :)

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/care.html

Above is a link that talks you through the basics. Hope to see you around! :hi

Thanks for they reply. It wasn't a big fall she just kinda slipped forwards, I'd say the fall was only an inch or 2 at most. I had just convinced myself that I had broken one of her bones or her tail!

I was thinking she may have just got a fright when I dropped her. I am also aware I shouldn't be handling the fish at all!

I will look into getting some kind of tank with a filter, at least that would be better than the bowl anyways.

It is okay to handle them when you need to catch them for water changes, etc. Just wet your hands with the tank water so as not to strip their slime coat off. Using your hands is much better than using a net :)

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The bigger the better. We generally recommend 20 gallons per goldfish which doesn't sound like it's an option in your apartment so I would take a look around at tank dimensions and get as large as you can. It won't shock them, at least not in a bad way. :rofl3

Also, as mentioned above, your water likely has chlorine in it if you're on city water. You really need a dechlorinator if that is the case. :D

Hi,

I will definitely look into getting some kind of tank with a filter now that I know they can cope with the change!! I will try to get a filtered tank. I will have a look at different sizes to see what I can fit into my apartment! Thanks again

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Don't feel bad about dropping the fish. They are slippery little buggers and it has happened to many of us :peeka

It's true! I dropped my Merlin once xD and I've had him for years still!

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:heart Hi everyone!

Yep, they pretty much covered it.

I keep a 40 US gallon Breeder aquarium in my apartment with no issues, even when I used to live in a 1 room apartment (Everything except the bathroom was in the same room. My bed folded out of the wall.) It only takes up a 3'x2' space, just as much as a reclining chair all the way reclined, or a little wider than the end of a twin bed. I am sure that the fish will appreciate it just as much as you will. It will be an adequate home for just those two for years to come.

The 40 US gallon tank should have 400 gallons-per-hour (1500 liters-per-hour) filtration, or filter the tank's water 10 times every hour, so finding a filter that hangs on the back of the tank (NOT internal) with that flow rate would be what you need for a tank that is big enough to house them.

Another thing I would recommend purchasing is an aquarium water changer. I swear to you that this is the BEST thing I have ever purchased for my tank. It makes it so that you don't have to carry buckets to do water changes.

I am sure when you got these fish you weren't expecting this. :teehee Don't worry, it's not as overwhelming as it seems. Soon you'll have the hang of it just like the rest of us. :hug And once everything is set up, maintenance is easy and inexpensive. The only semi-expensive part is getting started.

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:hi Fish Keeper

I hope this isn't an intimidating welcome to the Kokos community! It can actually be every exciting, and ultimately rewarding when you see your fish thriving in their new big home. :D

Don't hesitate to ask any questions. :)

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:heart Hi everyone!

Yep, they pretty much covered it.

I keep a 40 US gallon Breeder aquarium in my apartment with no issues, even when I used to live in a 1 room apartment (Everything except the bathroom was in the same room. My bed folded out of the wall.) It only takes up a 3'x2' space, just as much as a reclining chair all the way reclined, or a little wider than the end of a twin bed. I am sure that the fish will appreciate it just as much as you will. It will be an adequate home for just those two for years to come.

The 40 US gallon tank should have 400 gallons-per-hour (1500 liters-per-hour) filtration, or filter the tank's water 10 times every hour, so finding a filter that hangs on the back of the tank (NOT internal) with that flow rate would be what you need for a tank that is big enough to house them.

Another thing I would recommend purchasing is an aquarium water changer. I swear to you that this is the BEST thing I have ever purchased for my tank. It makes it so that you don't have to carry buckets to do water changes.

I am sure when you got these fish you weren't expecting this. :teehee Don't worry, it's not as overwhelming as it seems. Soon you'll have the hang of it just like the rest of us. :hug And once everything is set up, maintenance is easy and inexpensive. The only semi-expensive part is getting started.

Hi,

Thanks again for your very helpful replies!! I will definitely look into this as I would like to have them for a long time!! Everyone has put my mind at ease here regarding my stupid mishap! i will have a look around for something decent for them. Thanks so much!

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:hi Fish Keeper

I hope this isn't an intimidating welcome to the Kokos community! It can actually be every exciting, and ultimately rewarding when you see your fish thriving in their new big home. :D

Don't hesitate to ask any questions. :)

Hi Jenzaar,

Everyone on this forum have been so helpful I wish I had discovered it sooner! I can't wait to find a new tank for my fish and I will definitely come back here for advice if I need it (I probably will!)

I'm sure I will have any questions when it comes to buying a tank although I have gained a lot of very useful information already!

(Also I can't like your post as I have apparently reached my daily quota of positive votes for the day!!)

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Welcome Fish Keeper! I hope your fish is doing well.

You can often get good deals on used set-ups. The juwel lido is a placement friendly tank and Aquael makes basic kits that work well. As the others have said, just ask any questions you have!

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Welcome to Koko's! I'm glad to hear that you want to do what's best for your fish.

No one here will think it's OK for goldfish to be in bowls, for many reasons. To me, it's like having a dog but keeping it in a crate all the time. Goldfish are living creatures that can grow to be quite large -- a bowl is simply not an adequate home.

Here's a video made by a member of Koko's. This fish is good sized, but not huge.

Hi,

Thanks for taking time to reply. I haven't watched the video as I'm at work but I will watch later. Do you think the fish would adapt if they were moved from a bowl into a small tank at this stage (Again as I kind of adopted the fish I don't know exactly how old they are i would think they are at least 2 though) It probably doesn't make sense but I was afraid that the shock of changing their living space after being used to the bowl would cause too much stress and I was worried that this would have an adverse affect on their health.

If I was moving them how big should a tank be for 2 goldfish? I was looking at some small tanks previously between 30-40 litres. I have limited space in my apartment for anything too big. I would feel better if I had something with a filter even though i do partially change the water during the week and change all of the water at least once a week.

I do just want them to be the happiest and healthiest they can be and for them to live as long as possible as I've become very attached to them.

Thanks

I moved my fish from 15 litres to 160 litres then to 200 litres. Both of them showed a huge change in behaviour (a good change!) I moved the rest of my fish in as I had no choice but they, too, love the space. Some people don't like the height but a 50G has the same footprint as a 40 breeder, just taller which adds water volume. A 40 breeder is great, though! :)

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Hello and Welcome Fish Keeper. Nice to meet you. :)

I couldn't have said it better than what Jenzaar/jenna had said. I hope you are able to find a nice good size tank for your fish. You will be able to enjoy them so much more while watching them swim around in a bigger tank instead of a bowl.

I hope your fish will be okay.

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