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Sick Fish?


Guest funkyfishy

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Guest funkyfishy

we bought a fancy goldfish almost a month ago and he was doing great, but about 3 days ago I notice him a little paranoid darting around the tank and at times hitting the side of the tank, we read on this site to do water changes for 3 days straight and we should see positive signs so we acted immediatlyand we have seen positive changes as soon as we did that. Our little guy is no longer darting as much only when we tend to move quickly. He hasn't lost his appetite and seems to be alot calmer, he does have a little black mark on the side of his face which I believe is called burn surges. He does tend to sit at the bottom as if he's hiding but when we approach the tank slowly he comes to us, besides what I believe to be burn surges he has no other visible signs everything else looks great but that. This is our first fish and we are kinda clueless on what is wrong with him, is this something we should be worried about and if so what can we do to help him. Please help us help him :(

thanks a bunch,

Tracy & Mark

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  • Regular Member

Hi there FF - and a big welcome... :D

To give you the best advice possible, would you be able to answer as many of the questions above the reply box? - it'll be a great start. :D and then we can narrow it down.

Post back soon. :D

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Guest funkyfishy

ty Jen W for the warm welcome, i'll answer the best I can and I hope it will help you a little more. I don't have the exact numbers for the levels although I usually take water samples in to the pet store where I bought the goldy and get it tested for everything and they informed me that the levels were a little high but nothing to be concerned about. I bought Penguin filter cartridges and the people at the petstore told me to rinse them once a week and change once a month which I have been doing. Not sure on the tank size although showing them at the store they said I could fit 2 gold fish comfortably but possibly 3 although I only have 1 in there and plan on leaving it at that. We change the water once a week and feed Travis flakes, pellets, algae tablets, and sometimes a slice of an orange. Each water change we put in some aquarium salt, water conditioner, water clarifier, as well as bacteria cleansing stuff...a tablespoon of each. Hope this helps

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Welcome to Kokos as well Tracy and Mark!

Ok, first off - If the pet store told you you can put 3 fish in it, i am worried it could be very small indeed (rule of thumb, 10 gallons of water -at least- per fancy goldfish) . Could you measure it in inches/feet for us please? or centimeteres, lol whut ever your comfortable with. the lenght width and hieght, i can find out the gallonage for you.

If you could run to the pet store and get them to write down the numbers for you, this would be a great benifit for us, as little black spots can also be caused by ammonia (amonia burns, maybe thats whut your refering to as surge burns? not familiar with the term..) but we cant tell that if we dont know the readings.

Also, it seems like your putting quite a bit of meds in there. You may be over medicating your fish, as you dont know how big the tank is, and this could be making him ill as well.

Plese answer these questions:

How much water do you change a week?

Did you cycle the tank before added your fish?

Did the pet store say whut levels were a little high?

Whut your discribing makes me think ammonia, here guys. Ammonia poisioning will make a fish act very erattic, swimming around bumping into things, as you explained, and doing water changes will bring it down, which explains him getting better. Also the black spot, ammonia burns turn black as they are healing, so i am really thinking ammonia here, but Id need the readings to confirm that.

The others may agree or disagree on that.. but thats whut it sounds like to me. Reply soon! and Good luck with your fish!

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Hi FF - if you can, post the measurements of your tank and i'll do a gallon conversion for you (it's good to keep on hand :D )

Further to Meg's great advice - my first suggestion would be if you can, invest in some drop tests. These are invaluable especially when setting up a new tank. You see the first 6 weeks is when you go through the nitrogen cycle which is basically natures chain reaction. This is the 'birth' of various types of nitrifying bacterias, each with their own job to do. So in separate stages, each new bacteria consumes the previous one, and in turn converts to the next bacteria. The three stages are ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.

While you're cycling, testing the water daily is crucial to the survival of any fish. Ammonia at any level is very toxic to fish - as are the nitrites they're converted to.

To give you an idea - ammonia is given off by fish through their gills and also through fish waste (poop and pee). When ammonia levels rise rapidly to near-dangerous your fish may show signs of discomfort, such as rapid breathing, poor feeding and darting about. This means that 1st stage bacteria are beginning to become established and this is where you need ammonia binders to convert into a non-toxic form. Weak fish may succumb to ammonia poisoning so regular partial water changes are necessary to dilute ammonia and reduce stress.

Then next comes the nitrite stage which is the waste product from ammonia-eating bacteria. While a less toxic than ammonia, high levels can also cause death. When nitrites get into a fishes blood stream it can hamper their red blood cells ability to carry oxygen. At high levels this to will cause fish to suffocate and can be seen by a fish swimming frequently to the surface to get air. So again, test water, do partial water changes but add salt to 0.1%. The salt will help protect your fish at this stage..

Then stage 3 is easy - ammonia should be down to 0, nitrites should be down to 0 but your nitrates will start to climb slowly. This is only detrimental to a fish if levels get high but with weekly waterchanges, these should remain in a safe range.

So you see FF - a lot to take in :blink: and that's why having your own test kits can be what saves a fish in the end. They indicate when levels get too high, or when you need to do a waterchange etc....

I think your little guy is displaying signs of stress possibly due to high ammonia levels... So my suggestion in lieu of test kits would be to do daily waterchanges of about 20% - it will help dilute the more toxic levels until your tank has completed its cycle.

I hope this makes sense - I was going to point you to a link but just ended up typing, typing and typing some more :lol:

I hope this helps some and any other questions you have or if you need clarification, please ask away :D

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Guest funkyfishy

I will get the numbers from the pet store , and measurement on the tank. They said I could fit 2 Fancy goldfish in it but possibly 3. I did cycle the tank prior to putting the fish in there and do 30% water changes each week but will take your advice and do 20% daily. I was told by several people that ammonia levels could be a factor and I had the same feeling as well. He is doing alot better and more active but still tends to dart. I will get the information for you all to have a better diagnosis on it. We appreciate the time you took to help us and we will keep you posted. Thank you again all you fish fans :D

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Before you put all those meds in, are you taking in account the meds allready in the water? if you take 30% of the water out, do you only put 30% of the meds back in, or the full table spoons?

Also, goldfish are not seen as more then throw away pets and most pet stores will tell you that 3 can go great in little more then a bowl. For 3 youd need a tank that can hold 30 gallons, preferably more then that. You see whut i mean? I am worried that they told you to get a very small tank for your little guy.

And there is no trouble in helping you, that is whut we are here for!

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Guest funkyfishy

when we put the medicated stuff back in we use a little less than a full table spoon and as for the tank it's 32 inches wide and 16 inches high. We do have a pic of the fishy in the tank in our profile thingy, and it definitly isn't that small of a tank so I am thinking ammonia is a factor but will get it tested for sure. Thanks again :D

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im getting about 30 gallons, so you pet store deffinatley knows their stuff. So that is great, and we will just have to wait on the level to try and pin point exactly whut is going on. I am sure its ammonia, so do the 20% water change a day, and you should be fine. Id recommend picking up a test kit as well.

Also, how do you change your water?

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Guest funkyfishy

Thank you all for your help and yes I took the advice and got a test kit as well as the vacuum for the rocks. I did the test and the ammonia is ok but the nitrate is a little high, the pet shop guy told me to do a daily water change and vacuum and the nitrate should go down does this sound correct, is there anything else I can do or just some overall advice. Travis seems to be doing very well at this time :D

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I second.... why everything :lol: And yeah - i get just over 30gal also...

Once you get your test readings, it'll be interesting to see what's happening.

Now I know Meg has already asked (and hopefully i haven't missed it) - but why are you using a bacterial medication? Or is it a bacterial building additive?

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Guest funkyfishy

Sorry I should have been more specific on that , it is a bacteria starter to help eliminate toxic ammonia and nitrite to help keep everything balanced

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Guest funkyfishy

Thanks again to everyone who has given their help to us, I must say that Travis is doing extremely well :rolleyes: . He still tends to swim fast at times (not darting), but I am noticing him getting back to him old self again which is a pleasure to see. I am wondering 1 more thing though is it okay to do minor water changes dailey or stick to it once a week? were not quite sure which would be better.

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Do minor ones until your test comes back as amonia 0 nitrate 0 and nitrite should be showing numbers. (or maybe i have the nitrate and nitrite mixed up, some one else will varify) This way, the levels will stay in check until the tank finishes cycling. Once your tank is cycled, then you can do a 25-30% change once a week. good luck!

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