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Lost 2 Out Of My3 Fish In The Last Month?

Guest daverush

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Guest daverush

Ive posted before and have learned alot from everyone about proper care

of my tank. I found my nitrites to high and took measures to bring it down.

However, not soon enough to save my second fish (All feeder goldfish). They both seemed to die, from what i can tell, of dropsy. I performed a 30% water change,

gravel vac and cleaned my filter and my nitrites came down. I just added a fluval 404 filter the other night to help keep the tank cleaner. I have a doc fishwell test kit. These are my stats.

Ammonia Level- 0

Nitrite Level -3.

Nitrate level -200

Ph Level -6.8/7.2

Ph Level out of the Tap -6.8/7.2

Tank size -55

How long has it been running -5 Years.

What kind of Filtration-Emporer dual bio-wheel(Wheels no longer in filter).

How often do you change the water and how much? Before every couple of months but now every week 30%.

What kind of Water additives or conditioners-Before I didnt use anything, now im using stress coat with new water changes.

Any Medications add to the tank? No (used hosp. tank for sick fish).

How many fish in the tank and there size? (I used to have two 6" GF and one 3" GF and two bottom feeders ( A 2" pelco and some sort of 1" catfsh) Have since lost 2 Goldfish (Just have one of the 6" goldfish left).

Add any new fish to the tank? Not within the last year.

What do you feed your fish? Pre soaked Flakes,Pelets,occasional Blood worms

Any unusual findings on the fish? Not the last one, but the first two that died had bulged sides and eventually raised scales (I figured Dropsy) Soon after the raised scales they died.

Any unusual behavior? GF not swimming around much.

She/He used to be very active when other fish were alive.

Could it be a depression?

Can fish feel the loss?

If you can what is the chloramines Level from the Tap? Dont know how to test this

The last fish seems healthy but I dont want to take any chances (Beautiful Fish).

At feeding she perks up considerably.

No signs of any thing.

Only thing to note is what appears to be some missing scales near her tail.

I figured she may have injured them.

I took a water sample last night to vvvvv to be tested and they found my nitrates to be high but everything else to be in range.

They were very concerned about this and gave me AmQuel+ plus to remove it.

I added 1 ounce to my 55 gal tank.

This morning I tested it and its still high.(200 ppm or higher)

I thought nitrates were non toxic.(In fact my Doc Test Kit doesn't even test nitrates)(I had to buy strips that did)(Jungle brand Quick dip 5 in 1 tast strips)

Is this a big concern?

What might be causing this?

What can I do?

Thanks for your concern.

Dave :idont

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  • Regular Member

If you suspect dropsy is what killed your fish (were they actually pineconing?) then your best bet is to rip apart the whole tank and clean it well and start a brand new cycle. If you put another fish in that same tank, they will die from it too.

Your nitrates are high. Fish will start to act funny when the nitrates hit around 100ppm. I would probably start testing the nitrates in your tap water before you add it to the tank. That could be the problem. Also, when your nitrates are higher, fish are more prone to disease and also lack of oxygen in the tank.

Missing scales on your fish is a sign of poor water quality, probably caused by the high nitrates in the tank.

I would start doing small water changes everyday or everyother day. Do not get anymore fish for the time being until you figure out why you're having trouble. I would say change about 30% everyday or everyother day for about 5 days and keep testing the water as you do it to see if the nitrate levels are coming down.

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Hi Dave,Welcome. Both your Nitrite Level & your Nitrates,are way too high. I think that because your tank has been established for quite a while,the water changes you made were not being done quite often enough-therefore giving your NitrAtes a chance to soar.Safe levels for Nitrites are 0,safe levels for NitrAtes are 40ppms & under that number. The more that you go over that number,the more chances you take on sick fish,High Nitrates can also kill your fish as easy as high ammonia.nitrites,etc. By the way,vvvv must have been so worried about the Nitrates,that they failed to tell you that a Nitrite level of three is definately Too High! As I said,0 should be the number it's reading. As for your goldies,they need 10 x's filtration for their tank.You have a 55 gal.so you'd need a filter with at least 550gph on it.You can check those number's against the ones your filter's have to see if it all adds up.The main thing that you have to worry on right now,is more frequent water changes to get those Nitrites and Nitrates down.Once you get them where they're supposed to be,then you can probably go back to the 30% water changes that you've started doing on a weekly basis. You may have to do small water changes every day,along with testing until you get where the tank should read safe levels,Good luck & if you have any more questions,fire away!

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Guest daverush


Thanks for the reply.

I,m not sure if it was pineconing

I'd really hate to start all over again.

What do I do with my existing fish?

The nitrites out of my tap are a little high.

I was told that this was not a problem because a cycled tank will correct this

and it seems to be true.

If I start new isn't this going to be hard on my fish until water is cycled?

Sure wish there was a better solution than starting all over.

However I am using small gravel and have always wanted to switch to a larger gravel after watching the goldies sucking them in and spittigh them out.Always worrird thier gonna get one stuck.

Sharon Thanks for your reply.

Also very hepful info on getting the water quality back to par.

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:unsure: I don't think that I personally would strip the tank down .I think that the fish became suseptible when you weren't doing water changes/gravel vacs often enough,and that their illness came from your poor water quality,and that once you get that in check,things should be okay for your fish.I've had fish for many years,but I have lost very few in that time but even so,I don't think of myself as some sort of expert, -- this is only my opinion. :)
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Hi Dave - I agree with Devs.... IMHO i'd firstly test your nitrates out of your tap - see how high they are. Then as mentioned, i'd do some regular waterchanges with a major vacuum of your gravel.... although try not to stir it up too much as it may be harbouring some deadly gases....

I think this may be part of the problem then see what happens when you get your nitrates <40. Just on the stresscoat - now that you have Amquel+, you can stop using it. It contains Aloe Vera which over time can coat the gills - i believe that's not too great for fish. Amquel+ is excellent and all you need.

As you're showing a nitrite reading of 3, you could also add 1 teaspoon of salt per gallon (rock/sea/aquarium) - which will help your fish to breath a little easier.

And lastly, just keep an eye on your pleco's - they may be chewing on your fishes tail when you're not looking... especially if he rests on the bottom of the tank....

Hopefully this'll help keep your fish healthy :)

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Guest daverush

Thanks Jen once more for helping me out.

By the way I ended up using the Fluval 404.

The Enheim was only available thru the online store and I didn't

want to wait for it in the mail.

The Fluval is a nice filter. So easy to set up and get running.

So quite too. Now if I could just find a quit air pump??? :listen:

Waiting to see any results.

I've been told that I should be using 500+ gallons per hour of filtration.

I think the 404 is around 225 gallons per hour. Hard to believe that I should be using two of these.

If it is true , maybe I should fix my Emperor. I noticed a cover missing of the bottom that forces the water up to the biowheels. Easily replacable.

Had another scare tonight, my last goldy was pigging out on pellets again and was gasping on the bottom afterwards. I swore she probably swallowed a stone but after about 20 min. she was back out scurvaging(I hope thats the proper word) the bottom for more leftovers. Those little white stones scare me. She's always sucking them in and spitting them out.




I cant wait to get a couple of new fish.

I'd love to get an Aranda.

Sharon, Thanks for the your input. I kind of agree. This last fish appears healthy.

I hope that will be the end of diseases if I maintain quality water.

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Yeah I know, but a 55 gal is a decent sized tank. I've got a couple of 60gal tanks and to make sure there's enough filtration - i run the 404 on each but also have a couple of aquaclear 300's for each tank. They've got an output of 300 gal each which helps the load enormously. Even with 2 filters on my tanks, i still do weekly tank cleans - roughly 30-40% .... I don't actually take any water out of the tank, i just use the gravel vacuum and once i've done the enitre tank, that's roughly how much water comes out.

So if you can, try and repair your emperor... it'll only make your tank cleaner.

But seriously, watch your pleco's, especially if your fish is a bottom sitter - you may find your pleco taking bites out of your fish. I had a common pleco once - found 2 of my baby moors dead.... I couldn't figure out why until I found my pleco taking bites out of another fish. I had to remove him - ended up giving him to a friend of mine. No deaths since... I know it's a generalisation - but i won't take that risk again...

As for the gravel - yes, i've had to pull the tweezers out on a couple of occassions.... :blink: One fish in particular seemed to have this ability to take in rocks way to big for his mouth. He's now in a bare bottom tank.... :)

Oranda's are one of my favourites - orandas, ranchu's and lionheads... They've got such great little faces :)

Anyhow, keep us posted

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