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Warning Bad Advise Nearly Killed My Fish!


Guest stina3246

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Guest stina3246

I don't know if this is the correct forum for this but.........I was having a problem with a sick comet. My HUGE comet Moriarty was fine, healthy, happy....just thriving but his tank mate Cleo was laying at the bottom with clamped fins. I knew if I ask a question here I'd need the info on the tank's parameters but had no tester kit so I ran down to my nearest pet store to get one.(I won't mention the name....)

Well I found several testers along with water conditioner kits. The tester I wanted did not come with the right conditioner for goldfish but there was a seperate conditioner with no tester that was cheaper that said "perfect for goldfish" I asked the "fish person" what would be best and she suggested I just by the conditioner called Proper PH 7.5 with out the tester kit since it would automatically fix the water regardless of what it was. (I had read that clamped fins with no other signs is generally poor water quality)

I took it home and read the directions carefully. It says on the package

"PROPER pH 7.0, and PROPER pH 7.5 are formulated for freshwater aquariums. PROPER pH automatically adjusts and holds the pH level at 6.5, 7.0, and 7.5. These three PROPER pH products neutralize chlorine, detoxify heavy metals, and add electrolytes to the aquarium. These formulas also contain Aloe Vera, a proven natural stress reducer and healing agent of tropical fish."

It did not suggest I remove the fish or let it sit in the tank of anything....it said it was non-toxic to fish" So I dumped it in.

Within 10 min. Moriarty had sunk to the bottom, clamped his fins and began to list to one side!! I immediately removed him and Cleo and did a full 100% emergency cleaning. Once I replaced them into the freshly cleaned tank Moriarty recovered with in an hour. Unfortunatley Cleo died. (I can't be sure if it was the Proper PH or her illness that actually killed her.)

Anyway....has anyone used this stuff before? I just figure I'd share that with you guys.

I'll be getting a tester soon but right now Moriarty is fine....he had tail & fin rot a while ago but he's completely recovered from that and his tail is even growing back.

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  • Regular Member

Wow stina - that's a tough one and i'm sorry you lost Cleo :(

With ph being so important - i'll always test the levels myself. Then if it needs to be raised or droped, I'll use the appropriate chemicals... but i'll do it slowly over the course of time and keep an eye on the new levels by testing with the ph drop test..

Without knowing what your previous level of ph was , there's a chance the change was too much... especially if they've been in a stable ph environment for some time. When you get your ph test kit, try testing the level out of your tap - you may find it's either high or low and then trying to stabilise it in one go could have put too much stress on your fish.

Also, was your tank water already dechlorinated? If so then adding more metal neutralisers can have a negative affect. Products like Prime are the good because if you accidentally put a little too much in, it won't hurt your fish. Others though just become a harmful chemical....

How long has your tank been set up? Was it fully cycled? The reason I ask is that if you've completed a 100% clean of your tank - you'll be going through a cycle again (unless you kept the media in your filter?)

Anyhow, again, I'm so sorry you lost your little guy but it's great that Moriarty is getting better.. He should do well with good conditions and a stable ph :)

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  • Regular Member

Did you use the exact measurement on the package, or did you literally just dump it in???

hmmm. How long has the tank been running, and how big is it? Are both of the goldfish commons? any other varieties of fish in there? How often do you change the water and how many gallons total do you change?

lets see here, you say you don't have kits like ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and ph test kits?

I know of several people, my cousin being one of them, who used this products over the years with no probs whatsoever...

My guess as to what happened is that their had to be something bad going on with your water, whether it was ammonia or nitrites, I don't know. This caused your fish to be sick...Then you added the ph adjuster, which either raised or lowered their ph. Sudden changes can be stressfull on even the healthiest of goldfish, and when you have one that is sick and then they have a sudden water change--things can go grim. I Think this may be what has happened. She was sick, had a rapid change, and then another rapid change from the emergency water change.

Thats why those test kits are essential with fish care. They tell you when a problem is beginning, when one is in the process, and when one is ending. With all of this, one has a good clue as to what is happening to their fish, due to this, one can come up with a good treatment plan.

I Love test kits to peices, I do. I really love aquarium pharmecueticals brand. I have ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and kh from this brand. These test kits are SOOO important. then, from wardley brand, I have the mid range test kit, but it's hard to get good drops to come out of it. I'm gonna buy and automatic ph pen....

Anyways, in the mean time, you could always ask your pet store to test you water for you.... I don't know how much that costs, though.... Then you could come back here and answer all of the questions at the top of this page in the white box. We might be able to get some answers then....

Is the pet store that you buy your products from a small pet store ar a large one? I ask because i know how much buying a bunch of test kits all at once can cost a person. Alot. Smaller pet stores are crazy on prices in my areas (they have their reasons, I know). But if you go to a larger pet store chain, the prices aren't bad.... Aqua pharms ammonia and nitrite are about 6 bucks a peice... nitrates cost me about ten.. That was the most expensive one if I'm remembering right....

Hope things get better for you and your fish!

sammie

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Guest stina3246

Did you use the exact measurement on the package, or did you literally just dump it in???

The measurements said 1 packet good for 10 gallons. It's a 10 gallon tank

hmmm. How long has the tank been running, and how big is it? The tank has been running for about 3 month's (I just moved and had to re-start the tank) It's 10 gallons. I actually don't know what cycled tank is. Are both of the goldfish commons? Yes...both were common comets. any other varieties of fish in there? No other fish at all. No live plants either. How often do you change the water and how many gallons total do you change? I clean it when it looks dirty....about every other week or so...I was doing 100% water changes but then I found your site so I'm trying to change to healthier habits for Moriarty. So now about 30-50%

I'm from an erra where gold fish lived in bowls.....there was no de-chlor...you had to let the water sit 24 hours and change it 100%. Then just dump them back in without worrying about temp or anything. No wonder they only lived a few years!

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  • Regular Member

I'm very sorry to hear your story and the lose of Cleo.

I guess I'm just repeating what the others have said but it is important to know what your existing water readings are before attempting to make changes.

pH is actually a very important test. For a long time it was the only test kit I owned. When you have an opportunity I suggest you invest in a pH, ammonia and nitrIte test kit - these are the basic ones and the most useful when trying to diagnose water quality problems.

I hope your other fish continues to stay ok.

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Hi there. :)

Yes, it seems that you also had to learn the hard way about bad advice. 90% of the advice given out at pet shops is bunk. Not all shop clerks are bad, but the majority of them know very little about specific fish species and their proper care. Sadly.... <_<

From here on out, you would do good to scrutinize ANY and ALL advice given out at pet shops. Always cross referrence advice, online, at a popular forum that specializes in the animal you are seeking info about. Just like you are doing now.

Okay, off the top, you are going to need test kits for ammonia, nitrItes, nitrAtes. These 3 tests are what will get you through the cycling phase of establishing your tank. Follow the advice in this link to the "T" and you should be able to bring your fish through the cycling without a hitch: http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/cycle.html

Next, you are going to need to know what your tapwater is comprised of. You can get a free analysis of your municipal water supply upon demand. By law, they either have to send you a printed report of everything. You might also be able to find this info online. The main info we need is the pH, KH and GH of your tapwater. Once we have that info, we can determine if you need to correct anything with the tapwater at all. Most likely, you wont need anything except a complete dechlorinator such as Prime or Amquel plus. In other words, stop using the pH corrector. Goldfish can live in any pH from 6.5 on up to 8.5. As long as it remains stable, all will be well. Trust me.

Just for good measure, can you go ahead and answer every question fom the white box above. We can determine a lot about your tanks potential for cleanliness, or lack thereof, just by the equipment you use.

Post back soon. :)

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Now, just so you know, don't think I'm knocking you in any way. So many people out there think goldfish (gf) are fish bowl fish. And even then, when a person buys a five or ten gallon tank, it's show four or five goldfish on the box that it come in. That's marketing for you. They tell you to buy a tank so your fish will live happy lives all while they are showing people pics about what no do do with fish right on the package.

Therefore, know that this isn't your fault--it's societies--and the big guys goal to make money. Fact is, a fancy goldfish gets so big it needs ten gallons of water PER fish... But, on the box selling a ten gallon aqaurium, they probably think it would look boring to show only one goldfish in a tank that size, so they take a pic with 5 gf in the ten gallon tank. It just looks more interesting, but it misleads people into killing the fish that they buy and begin to love.... Sad huh?

Now with the comets and the common goldfish, also shubunkins I believe--they need twenty gallons per fish to remain healthy. Seriously, when full grown--these fish are pretty darn big. There is no way they will ever be able to live a complete and healthy life in a bowl, five gallon, or ten gallon tank.... Any goldfish is an extremely messy fish... If they are keot in tanks that are too small, those waste build up and make the water bad.... This makes um sick and can kill um quick.

Also, for goldfish care, you want 100 gallons or water per hour of filter power for each ten gallons.... So, for the fish you still have alive (how's he doing by the way?) he will end up needing a twenty gallon tank--just to him self. or you could get a thirty gallon tank and give him a fancy goldfish (like an oranda or ryukin---just make sure this samller fish gets enough to eat since the fish you have now will be able to swim faster and get more food) as a friend. Regardless, he should be fine on his own in just a twenty gallon tank. But, as I was saying, you will need a filter that pumps 200 gallons of water per hour. All of these good bacteria will grow on the filter. when the water pumps through it, the bacteria will eat the ammonias and turn them into a less lethal form called nitrites. Then another type of bacteria eats the nitrites and turns it into nitrates. Nitrates is the end product of the cycled tank. While it isn;t a huge fish killer like ammonia and nitrites, it can still harm fish if it gets over 20 ppm (parts per million). Also, ammonia and nitrites are always best at 0 ppm....

Speaking of which, sometimes when a person moves a tank, the tank can crash. the good bacteria dies out and ammonia begins to climb.... This "CoUld" be what happened to cleo....

Anyways, I'd definatly get your hands on some tap water conditioner. any kind will work, but amquesl plus and prime will detoxify the ammonia/nitrites in the water if they or in your tank, and they might possibly be in your tap water too. For example though, lets say you have ammonia and/or nitrites in your tank. YOU DON'T want to use so much of these products to completely rid the ammonia/nitrites---> otherwise, the good bacteria will NEVER grow because there is no ammonia/nitrites for them to eat....

If you do this, try to keep the ammonia/nitrites at about 2 ppm.... anything higher and you could have some fish health probs....

I like these products and use them when setting up a new tank. I just use test kits and add what I need..... otherwise I'd have to break my back once a day for about a month changing water! :)

Trying to think of anything else I can tell you.... I hope I'm not telling you a bunch of stuff you already know though!!!

Ummm. the good bacteria will also grow on your gravel. Do you have a siphon?

hmmm. OH! it also isn't real good (I"m not being mean here) to change 100% of the water in the tank. That can really throw things out of whack IMO. even if you let the fresh water sit for a day or two, it wouldn't be aged quite as well as the water in the tank. Thats why GF owners change 50% of the water ONCE a week. This means that there is constantly good aged water in there. We also change the water regardless of how clean it looks. even if it is sparkiling clear, it must be changed otherwise things like nitrates and phosphates begin building up. Also, the good bacteria can become overworked and there might not be enough of them to take care of the fresh daily accumulations of stuff like ammonia.....

Well, I think thats all I can think of for right now.

I'd just like to add that I agree with toothless. Personally, I know it sounds weird, but I NeVeR ask a pet shop for advice. I come here and to other forums always checking and rechecking answers.

Also, do you know if your ph was too low or too high? If it's going to low, that can kill your fish too. Once you find out, let me know. Fish can die real fast from low ph. There is a simple solution to stabilizing the ph in the tank. If thats a problem for your fish, I'd be glad to help you out!

sammie

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Guest AldenM1

I know it's been a couple of days, but I wanted to point one thing out. Next time if you're in a similar situation you should take some tank water with you to the pet store. Then you wouldn't even need to buy a tester kit if you didn't want to... all the big chains and most of the small stores I've visited will do water tests for free (mostly because they hope you'll then buy water conditioners from them). Even if the person "helping" you is just a teenager who has no idea what he's doing, you'll have a much more accurate idea of what's wrong with the tank.

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  • Regular Member

While that is a good idea, several things must be mentioned along with that advice:

If something goes wrong in the evening, you wont be able to get the testing done til the next afternoon. 24 hours is a long time to wait for a diagnosis.

Also, remember that the tests should be done accurately (make sure of this) and the results should be recorded for posting back here or for your own records. DO NOT settle for, "your water is fine" from the employee. This is one of the biggest mstakes that can be made. ;)

Paul

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