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Guest Ted_Suzi

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Guest Ted_Suzi

I am pretty new at all of this.... We have had Red Hot Head for about a year and a half. For the most part she has been healthy. Now her tail is ragged and bloody looking. She also has what looks like a blister under her eye. (it is pretty large) She is swimming and eating as normal. She is in a 5 gallon tank with one other small gold fish. I am not even sure what kind they are. Red hot is white with red on the top of her head. Goldy is all orange and both have double tails. So far Goldy is okay. I treated the water with Fungus clear by Jungle, waited 4 days, did a 25% water change and treated again. (as per instructions on box). I have seen no change or improvment. I do not know what my water levels are. We have never tested in 1 1/2 years and never had a problem. What should I do next? I will go and get a water test if nessasary. Do you think this might be a bacterial infection? I am really not sure what to do next. I do have another small tank. Should I move Red Hot out?? Help please.... Suzi

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  • Regular Member

Your fish are probably outgrowing their tank and you should start to think about getting a larger tank. A good size for two goldfish would be about 20 gallons.

You problem does sound like a water quality problem. You could start by getting your water tested. Most larger pet stores will test your water for free. Ask them for the numbers, not just whether it is "good or bad". Particularly ask for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph.

You should probably start by doing a fairly large water change. I would change 50% of the water and vacuum the gravel (if you have any). Rinse your filter cartridges.

Please let us know the results of the water tests and also a little more about your tank, i.e. what kind of filtration you have, your maintenance routine, that kind of thing.

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Guest Ted_Suzi

We use a carbon filter (biobag). I usually do a 25% water change 2 times a month and change the filter then. I vaccum the gravel then and use Stress Coat water conditioner to treat the water. I did have the water tested once and they said that my leaves looked "good" but my water was slightly hard. Thanks for your input. I don't trust the pet stores much. When we first started the whole fish ownership they sold me fish which had ich, gave me the wrong stuff to treat them and both fish died. That was fun to explain to my 5 yr old daughter. They also said that a 5 gallon tank shoud be big enough for the 3 goldfish. Thanks again I am off to do the water change. Suzi

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Hi Suzi,

I would up your water changes to twice per week. Goldfish are messy fish and as they grow, the bioload increases.

I would say it would be a good idea to change 50% of the water twice per week. Do gravel vacs at the same time. Rinse you filter material at least once per week. Rinse it in tank water, but don't use the really dirty water after a gravel vac. Your filter material doesn't need to be changed every week, and doing that would actually be detrimental.

Also, it is a good idea to put a piece of the used filter bag in with the new filter bag when you do change it. It helps to re-establish the beneficial bacteria in the filter. Just cut off a chunk and slip it in the bag.

I have a couple of Whisper filters and I use polyester quilt batting wrapped over the frame and held by the clip at the top rather than buying the biobags. It is a lot cheaper, and the carbon really isn't necessary. I use two layers of the quilt batting. When I change one, the other is left behind to keep the bacteria in place, then a new piece is wrapped over the old one. If you want to try this, buy 100% polyester quilt batting at a place like nooppee. Make sure there are no additives in it like flame retardant or that kind of thing. It will say on the bag.

As I mentioned, it really is recommended that goldfish have a minimum of 10 gallons per fish. If possible, move up to a larger tank. There are deals around on used equipment and often pet stores have good deals on 20 gallon set ups.

Your fish's problems sound like a water quality issue, and increasing the water changes should help.

Please let me know how it goes and :welcome

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Guest Ted_Suzi

Once again, thank you so much for your help. It sounds like the Pet Stores are pretty clueless (as am I). Most of the advice I have gotten from the stores has ended up not being correct and/or harmful to the fish. I have always had lots of pets so I fugured fish would be an easy addition for the kids. I am very thankful that we have had more than a year of good luck. I have just followed the advise of the pet stores and the fish have been fine until now. I will up the water changes and start looking for a bigger set up. Thanks also for the info on the batting. I sew and tend to have alot of that stuff around. I will keep you posted on Red Hot's progress. (Don't you love the names kids pick??)

Thanks Suzi

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I think a lot of pet stores give advice based on the needs of smaller tropical fish.

I do love the names kids give to fish. I think Red Hot is a great name :D One of my bristlenose plecos is named Flatface (any bets of whether or not this is a kid's name) :rofl

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Ted_Suzi

Sorry I have not replied in awhile. I took red hot into a fish store and she has tail rot. I have been treating her with the meds they gave me. She seemed to get better but is quickly going down hill. The water is well within the area it should be ( I forgot the numbers). She is still swimming some but it is usually to right herself as she starts to turn over or flip head over tail. I think time will tell if she is going to make it. I am doubtful. Thanks again for your help

Suzi

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Guest Ted_Suzi

Maracyn-two. She is looking better today. She actually came up to eat. She is swimming better and doesn't seem to be doing the head over tail and the turning over thing. I am more optimistic today. However.... I did lose a fish last night. I did my normal 50% water change on my son's 5 gal tank. (only one fish and she was small. Maybe 1 to 1 1/2 inches total) The water levels looked good. Woke up today and she was floating. Tested the water and the nitrites were off the scale. So what happened???? I didn't do anything out of norm. The water levels were perfect after the water change. I'm feeling a little frustrated about that one. I would understand more if I lost Redhot. I have been nursing that fish back to health for a while now. But to lose a fish that is not showing any signs of problems ...... grrrrr......

Fingers crossed for Red hot... I really thought that we were going to lose her yesterday. I hope that if she pulled through the worse yesterday that she will make it.

Thanks

Suzi

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Just to clarify about the high nitrite level. You tested the water before the change and after the change and the nitrite level was 0? have you tested your tap water?

Anyway, that is very odd. Maybe someone else has some ideas.

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Guest Ted_Suzi

I tested the water before the change.. 0. Tested the tap water when all of this started with Red hot... 0. Tested the water after the change... 0. Woke up to dead fish with nitrite levels off the chart. Strange to me too.

Red Hot made it through another night. Yeah. Her tail looks better too. She isn't eating much but hopefully that will change.

Thanks again for all of your input. I really do apprechiate it.

Suzi

PS Flat face is a great name... :D

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I think children come up with the greatest names :)

I am glad to hear that Red Hot made it through another night and is looking a bit better. Does she have any favourite foods you could tempt her with?

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Guest Ted_Suzi

Red Hot is still hanging on. She is eating (yeah!!) :) and the blister under her eye is gone. Her tail is looking better too. I think she will pull through.

I talked to the fish store about the other tank and they said if the fish died early in the night, having it hang out in the water for 6 -8 hours would make the nitrite levels go up. The water levels are back to normal now.

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I am glad Red Hot is on the mend. Please keep me posted on her progress.

Interesting about the dead fish causing the nitrite spike. I wonder why the fish died in the first place, since she showed no signs of illness?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Ted_Suzi

Hey-

Red Hot Head lost her fight this weekend. She was doing really well. When we woke up Thursday am, she was on the bottom laying on her side. She hung on for about 36 hours but she never came off the bottom. She died late Friday night. Her companion, Goldie Orange, seems a little lost without her. She is a little sad. She is coming to the side when we come in the room but she spends most of her day hanging out where Red Hot died. Thanks again for all of your advise. She will be missed. :cry1

Suzi

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Guest Ted_Suzi

Thanks for all of your thoughts. Red Hot really hung in there for a while. I was hoping she would pull through too. Goldie is doing well. She is the queen of the tank now! she swims more and seems to interact with my daughter more.

Take care

Suzi

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I'm glad to hear that Goldie is doing well. Goldfish can do well living on their own especially when they get lots of attention from their human caretakers, and it sounds like your daughter gives her that :D

Sometimes I think it is genetics with these poor little fish. Some of them are just weaker than others, and even with good care, they don't survive :(

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