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Belated Emergency

Guest Honeysuckle

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Guest Honeysuckle

Please note: Tank stats are below

Background: My brother and I set up a 15 gallon tank in July and purchased 2 goldfish - not sure of the variety (they had double tails and didn't have weird bulging eyes and the pet store said they were 'moderately easy' to keep). My brother has a background as a marine lab tech, so we understood the basics of keeping/cycling a tank. Both fish seemed to stay at the surface gulping air quite a bit, but we hadn't bought a bubbler (his term) yet. As the water level decreased through evaporation, the water falling from the filter provided more bubbles which we thought would do the same trick. The fish seemed to be doing fine (other than gulping at the surface).

A week ago, we had to move the tank and so removed 75% of the water, moved the tank, and put new water back in. We were careful with the water treatment and temperature. Everything seemed fine for a week. Then last Saturday nght I noticed one of the fish seemed to be swimming funny (pointing straight up and sliding down tail-first, like it was in a daze - never seen it do that before). Sunday morning and it was dead. The remaining fish had milky-white filmy gunk on it. We took the live fish out and put it into a bowl (no hospital tank available) where it acted lethargic and we tested the water in the tank -- these are the readings given below. After a few hours, since we couldn't tell from the water if anything was wrong, we put the fish back into the tank. I feel I should mention that I did nose around on the internet to find out if we should sterilize a tank after a fish death, but not finding anything that indicated it was a standard procedure, we put the live fish back in. He seemed fine.

This morning the filmy white gunk was back and by noon he was dead. I don't know what we did wrong, and I would like to correct our ignorance before we jeapordize another fish's life. Thank you in advance.


Tank Stats:

Ammonia Level -- 0

Tank size(How many Gals) and How long has it been running? -- 15 gal, 1.5 months

Nitrite Level? -- 0

How often do you change the water and how much? -- only once, a 75% water change a week ago (see above for details)

Nitrate Level? -- 0

Filtration? Whisper Power Filter - hangs on back of tank

Ph Level -- untested, but GH was at 125.3 ppm and KH was at 0 (according to our test kits)

Water additives/conditioners? -- AmQuel

What do you feed your fish? Nutrafin Max Goldfish Flake Food and peas whenever we have them for dinner

Medications add to the tank? -- none

How many fish in the tank and there size? -- 2, small (abt. 2-3 in)

Any new fish added to the tank? -- yes, both fish are/were the first time residents

Any unusual findings on the fish? Such as "grains of salt", bloody streaks, frayed fins, fungus Any unusual behavior? Like staying at the bottom, not eating, ect..

-- A milky-white film covering entire fish just before death.

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  • Regular Member

Im very sorry you lost your fish :(

If your nitrAte was 0 then the tank is not cycled yet.

double tail varieties are considered "fancy" goldfish, just so you know

what filtration did you have? I know you said you had a "bubbler" so I am guessing thats an airstone or a bubblewall

That will provide airation but, Im wondering how much filtration?

Goldies, as aposed to other fish, need X10 filtration

for example: if the tank is 40 gallon you need to filter 400 gallon per hour min.

the other thing I will ask is.....if you set the tank up in July how many water changes have been done sinse then?

with the amount of waste goldies produce. weekly changes are needed

As for having 2 fancy fish in 15 gallon...thats ok short term if they small

We recomend 10 gal per fancy

but if you prepared to do frequant waterchanges you may get away with it

but be prepared to upgrade

One other thing... you said "A week ago, we had to move the tank and so removed 75% of the water, "

when you moved the tank did you clean it and if so how?

Did you save the filter and bugs for the new home?

sorry for soooooooo many questions but the more info we have...the better we can help

pls post back soon

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  • Regular Member

Hi honeysuckle :welcome - and i'm so sorry you lost your fish :heart

White milky skin and gasping at the surface is one of the most obvious symptoms of ph crash. This is why a ph test kit would probably be the most important test kit you can have.

Do you know what the ph out of your tap is?

You say your kh is 0.... this combined with a low ph ie. 6's - will lead to a pH crash, which will kill fish sadly.

Again, I'm so sorry and I hope this helps :)

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