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Emergency - Dying Fish


Guest walkingbeard

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Guest walkingbeard

Hi!

My flatmate has bought these three fish - one goldfish (2 inches), one black fish (inch and a half), like Cleo from the Disney Pinnochio film and one fatter one with a silvery white skin, with black freckles (3 inches).

He's put them in a tank about 21/2 fee long, a foot and a half wide and two feet high, filled with tap water (high levels of lime), and with some gravel he found outside. There was original a lot of weed and snails and general bugs from the local river.

The goldfish is the worst. It has spent the last two days on its side on the surface of the water. It occasionally thrashes about and swims back down, but it just topples over and over, never able to stay upright.

The black one is now resting on the bottom of the tank, but its gills don't move much.

The other one doesn't seem too bad, but its not very active, except when food's involved.

The food is Aquarian Goldfish flake food.

If you can help, I'd really appreciate it. They're not mine, but I'd not want to see them all cop it.

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  • Regular Member

hmmm has your flatemate even conditioned the water yet??? you know de-chlorided it yet??

you need to take out the chlorine or else they'll die...

you can buy the conditioner and other equipment you need at your Local Pet Shop.

im not sure its good when you said he found some gravel outside...you mean just some random rocks on your garden or something??

marco

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I know these are not your fish, but maybe you can tell us if you know if your flatmate does water changes ... takes out some of the water and replaces it with new water? Also, does he have a filter on the tank and if so, what does it look like and do you know if he maintains it?

Also, as Marco mentioned, water from the tap needs a water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramine (if used by your local utility).

Also, how long has he had the fish in the tank?

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  • Regular Member

Firstly, all those fish sound like goldfish, the black one is a black moor and the silvery one sounds like a calico.

The tank sounds like it is a 50 gallon which is a great size for 3 goldfish, does it have a filter? All fish tanks need filters, especially goldfish because they are the biggest eaters and poopers.

The first fish sounds like it has a swim bladder disorder which may just be gas in the intestine or a reaction to high levels of nitrATes in the water. It could also be an internal infection - but we won't go there just yet.

The black moor resting on the bottom may be suffering from nitrIte poisoning (amongst other possibilities).

It is really difficult to make a proper diagnosis without as much information as possible from the questions in the white box above. I appreciate this is not your fish so I'll just go with the most likely cause of the problems.

It really all sounds like this is due to bad water quality (and possible bacteria and parasites introduced from the river). There are three things you can do easily that will greatly enhance the chances of survival for these fish.

ONE:

First opportunity you get visit your local pet store and purchase some water conditioner, this dechlorinates the tap water, eliminates heavy metals, detoxifies ammonia/nitrIte. I recommend the brand Prime if you can find it. While you're there pick up some aquarium salt. I don't know where you are from but this would set you back about AU$15 or US$10.

If this is not possible fill up 5 clean buckets of tap water and sit them overnight to let them mature. Sea salt, rock salt and kosher salt are also suitable in an aquarium. In fact any sort of salt that does not contain extra ingredients such as anti-caking agents. nb. make sure there is not trace of detergents or chemicals in the buckets before you use them.

TWO:

Remove about 30% of tank water and replace with tap water conditioned with Prime (or other brand), try to match the temperature, you can mix hot water into buckets if necessary.

THREE:

Before adding each bucket to the tank dissolve 6 teaspoons of salt (for a 2 gallon bucket). By doing this you have salted the new water to a concentration of .3%. You also have to salt the remaining water in the tank by .3%. You can do this over the next two days.

I estimate the tank is roughly 50 gallons, so use that as a guide for how much salt you need to add on the following days.

The benefit of .3% salt is twofold, it greatly assists the fish deal with toxic nitrITes in the tank and it will kill most parasites. It is recommended to keep the tank salted for 14 days if possible. Unfortunately it may make the floaty fish even more floaty. There are a couple of things you can do to help.

Withold food for one day then feed all the fish only peas. Frozen ones are good, just cook for a few minutes then squeeze between your fingers until the pea pops out of it's shell. Squish it up and feed it to the fish. You can do this for a couple of days. Afterwards, instead of putting the flakes on top of the water you can soak them in a cup of water for a few minutes then they will sink. This helps floaty fish as they are ingesting as much air.

Phew!! well, you did ask. ;)

I hope this will help the fish. Good luck.

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Thanks Marco. B)

Oh, Walkingbeard, if you are able to get to a pet store please take a sample of tank water with you. Ask the pet store to test the water for pH, ammonia, nitrItes and nitrAtes. Most stores do it for free.

If you can report back to us with these details it would be most helpful. Also ask them for an actual reading, ie. a figure such as 0, 2.5, whatever.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

Yeah, probably... I'll move it out of the emergency section then...

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