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Filling out the D/D form


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  • Regular Member

Some people, including most new members, feel overwhelmed by all the questions on the D/D form  AKA "Help Request Checklist".  We have a reputation for helping sick fish, and can help them mainly because we don't diagnose or recommend treatment without all necessary information.


I want to walk you through the form, explaining what we need from you at each step. 


Please remember that our moderating team consists of volunteers who have jobs and other responsibilities, as well as more questions,  and may not get to your post for several hours.  Also, this international forum includes people living in different time zones who will respond in the morning.  In an emergency,  use the "report" button to alert the moderating team to your post.


Please copy & paste fill the following form and fill it out to the best of your ability when requesting help for Goldfish Problems:

Please follow this instruction. Copy the form, paste it in your post, and fill in your answers after the questions.  If you can't copy and paste, just quote the form.  To help us even more, you can italize or color your answers, to make them easy to find, but you don't have to do that.  


Feel free to use metric units, I didn't use both systems here to keep things compact.  

  • Test Results for the Following:
    • * Ammonia Level(Tank)
    • * Nitrite Level(Tank) 
    • * Nitrate level(Tank)  If you have a test kit, take these readings before you do a water change. If you don't have a test kit and can't get one immediately, please take samples of tank and tap water to your fish /pet store and request a test. Demand numbers for each test.
    • * Ammonia Level(Tap) 
    • * Nitrite Level(Tap) 
    • * Nitrate level(Tap) Please test tap water. It may contain ammonia or nitrate.  Tap water often varies in quality with weather/season, so don't just report an old test.  
    • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) Difference in the pH of tank and tap can cause distress in your fish. We need both tap and tank results. 
    • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)   If you don't have KH and GH tests and have municipal water, you can often get this information from the water company.
    • Other Required Info:
      • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?  Please answer both brand and type.
      • * Water temperature?  If you don't use a heater, give the the air temperature. 
      • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?  Please answer both questions. If you aren't sure of the volume of the tank, give the length, width, and height. 
      • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? By the "size" of the filter we mean the gph/lph that it claims to turn over.
      • * How often do you change the water and how much? Please answer both questions.
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Please answer both questions
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size? You may give the weight of each fish or the length.  For goldfish, include the variety, and use (and indicate that you used) the standard length (sl) -- the length from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail fin.  You can estimate length. For example: 1 oranda, 3" sl, 2 pearlscales 1.5" and 2" sl.  For other species of fish that don't vary in tail length, you may use total length, from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail fin,  but please specify.  For example: 2 bristlenose plecos 3" tl 
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? Water conditioner means the agent used against chlorine.  If you don't use a water conditioner, say why, for example, "well water."  "Water additives" include anything else that you regularly or recently have added to your water, including buffers, water clarifiers, algaecides, etc.
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? Give the brand, type of food (sinking/floating pellets, gel food, steamed vegetable, etc.), and how frequently you feed each.
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? If you have added new fish in the past few months, indicate which ones,  the duration of quarantine, and any treatments you used during quarantine
  • * Any medications added to the tank? This includes any used recently or currently in 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.  This can be a long answer if you have a sickly fish.  You can link to old D/D threads if we have advised on treatment before.
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? List all physical symptoms.
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? List all behavioral symptoms.
Edited by shakaho
clarifying instructions
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  • Regular Member

Well done, Sharon! This should be pinned!


I would like to emphasize providing answers next to the relevant questions; i.e, fill out the form like as if you are filling out a hard copy. Providing responses this way makes the information convenient for moderators and disease assistants to quickly access.

Edited by LisaCGold
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  • Regular Member

Well said Sharon. I'd just like to add we aren't trying to be mean or making you do extra unnecessary things like filling out the D/D forms. We are just like yall in that we love our goldfish and want to try to do anything we can when they're sick, that's what brought us all to this site.


The reason why we ask you to fill out the D/D forms is because it gives us more information to try to figure out what is going on with your goldfish. A majority of all fish problems and diseases come from water quality (don't believe me? just scroll through all the D/D posts and you will see the culprit always being water quality or a derivation of it) and a lot of diseases and symptoms are a direct result of water quality and that's WHY we need people to fill out the D/D forms when their fish is sick. Without the D/D form, a lot of this would be guessing, which just like when you get sick and go see the doctor, you'd rather they not guess on what's causing you sick, as opposed to finding the exact cause.

For the sake of your goldfish needing help, fill out the D/D form, it'll take 5 minutes but it could save your goldfish's life.  :thumbup2:

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  • Regular Member

Great explanation. I've tried to use colour in the D&D form to help everyone out because it's certainly easier to read, but I can never work out how to do it? Are there options in the reply section that I'm missing? Maybe others are having the same issue

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