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One Goldfish Laying On Bottom


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I'm new to the forum and have spent the last 2 days reading. I think I'm more confused now than when I started. Some general info...

I have 18 young goldfish that vary in size from 3/4 inch to 1 3/4 inches. I don't know the kind of goldfish - some are white (sort of transparent) with orange and/or black spots, stripes, etc. some are solid metalic gold. They don't have fancy fins or tails. They were bred in a student's outdoor pond and I've had them since late September. I've had no problems until last week.

One of the fish (about 1 1/4 inches) was laying on the bottom when I got to school last Thursday. It will eat when the others let it, but doesn't swim around unless I bother it with the handle of my net. It kind of flutters around to move from place to place. There are no unusual spots or missing parts on fins or tail. It's color hasn't changed at all, even after 6 days of sickness. It gets no worse, but no better.

This morning I put the little sweetie in a "hospital" (net breeder box) within the same tank. It's getting more food now, because it doesn't have to compete. Until today I had only fed them TopFin flakes and some kind of freezedried worms in cubes. I don't know what kind because they are at school and I'm at home. Today I started soaking the flakes for all of the fish, now that I read about that here in this forum. I'm also feeding less and started the veggie thing with a cute little Nemo clip.

I gave the sick fish three very tiny pieces of cucumber this morning and this afternoon I gave it one TopFin flake - it gobbles everything right up. By this afternoon, I hadn't seen any poop in the isolating box. I'm going to try some peas tomorrow. (Why do they have to be cooked?) All of the other fish are very healthy and active.

I have a 20 gallon TopFin tank in my classroom. (I'm a teacher) I'm using large TopFin Bio3 filters. Water was tested by local pet store - is "fine".

The temperature this morning was 64 degrees F. Water is clear and algae is under control.

I did have to replace the gravel and give the glass a good scrubbing with an algae scrubber 2 weeks ago - I was out sick and my sub left the light on for 7 days and nights straight. Algae was terrible and water was awful. I did a 6 gallon water change after I scrubbed the glass and replaced the algae-covered gravel. I did the rock change carefully, a little cup at a time to remove all and then a little cup at a time to put in the new, thoroughly-rinsed gravel. The water was clear about one hour after the job was completed. The new water was added after the new gravel was in place.

Normally I do a 4 gallon water change once a week and have the light on for about 8 hours per day.

I really need your advice. I am determined to save this fishy. Oh, by the way, I also have a chocolate albino placostimus (sp?). It is also healthy. Thank you in advance for your help!

Stormysgrandma

Animal lover to the max!

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:) I know a lot more experienced people here can help you out but I can tell you this, is that you can not keep 18 commons? in a 20 gal tank. One common goldfish (single tail) need 20 gals per fish and a fancy goldfish needs 10 gal per fish. The fish is probably sick due to the amount of waste in the water. With that many fish in the 20 gal you might need to do a 50%-75% water change every day.

Wait though and see what the experts here say though :)

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Hi stormysgrandma and welcome. This place and all it's information can be overwhelming to say the least when you are a novice at fish keeping (believe me I was there once. ;) ).

Now as Silverpelt said, you are way overstocked. GF (commons, single tailed gf) need 20 gals each per fish. This seems extreme but really isn't when you understand why. Gf are terribley messy, producing tons of waste which build toxins in the water. As the fish grows the waste becomes more extreme. (commons can reach 12 + inches in a couple years) so the toxins start to make them sick eventually killing them.

Now reason why you haven't had any problems until now is simply this. GF can try and adapt to "terrible" enviornments for ages, only for their immune system to get to the point it can't compensate anymore. (that is where you are)

Then something happens in the environment to "spark" off a long line of sickness and death. I believe when you changed out the gravel and really cleaned the tank did this.

See that gravel had most likely had a great amount of toxins under it and when you removed it released them all into the water. So the fish not only have their "normal bad enviornment" now had double ever triple the amount of toxins in the water.

Since you do seem already overwhelmed I will wait for you reply and try to catch up with all the info we are throwing at you.

For now I would do a 50% water change in the tank and look into getting a bigger tank (of course with 18 of them you would be looking at a 360 gal tank) or get a few smaller tanks or giving some fish up.

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Thanks for the responses. I'm doing water changes more often and changing more water each time. I had the water tested again - everything very good. The fish is still alive, but not doing well. I'm afraid I may have to put it down. Any suggestions?

All of the other fish are doing fine. They love the peas and cucumber. I'm planning to try some orange tomorrow. I'm soaking the dried food.

I realize that these fish are going to get bigger and I must separate them. The problem is finding people who want common gold fish. I've asked around - no takers yet.

I really can't afford to buy more tanks. This set-up has cost over $150.00 already. Plus, I just don't have the room for several tanks.

Should I do some antibiotic food in case this is some kind of bacteria? If so, where do I get it?

I really could use more advice if possible.

Thanks

Stormysgrandma

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Hi all! I finally have some answers to the standard questions:

Test Results for the Following:

Ammonia Level? 0

Nitrite Level? .5

Nitrate level? 50

Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines)? 6.4

Ph Level out of the Tap? 6.4

* Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running?20 gal. running since Sept 2005

* What is the name and size of the filter/s? TopFin - Large Bio3 filters

* How often do you change the water and how much? was changing 1/5 per week, did 50% change this morning

* How many fish in the tank and their size? 18 commons/comets mixed plus 1 chocolate albino placostimus (sp?) YES - I KNOW I HAVE WAY TOO MANY - I'M WORKING ON THAT - BUT STILL NEED HELP

* What kind of water additives or conditioners? AquaSafe with every water change

* Any medications added to the tank? no meds yet.

* Add any new fish to the tank? no new fish

* What do you feed your fish? TetraFin Goldfish Crisps and WardleyTubifix Worms (cubes soaked and shredded into tank) Last week I started giving them peas - cooked and peeled, and half of a cucumber slice clipped on my little Nemo clip.

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt",

bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? I think there's something that looks like fuzz on the "nose" of the sick fish, but I'm not sure.

* Any unusual behavior like staying

at the bottom, not eating, ect..? The sick fish stays on the bottom on it's side, but can right itself with effort. It is eating, but I am handfeeding it twice a day - today was tubifix worms - yesterday was peas. It is very hungry, just has trouble getting to the food.

OK - Now I have more bad news. Besides the sick fish - which is still about the same, I have discovered, by reading in the forum, that 4 of my fish, including the sick one have popeye. The sick one is the worst, but I know that 3 others have it now.

I purchased some Maracyn and some Prime water conditioner. I also purchased some TopFin filters that have the carbon separate, so I can leave the carbon out while medicating.

Now, I need your help and advice. I'm not going to do anything with what I bought until I here from some of you in this forum. The water test readings above are from right after the 50% water change. I tested the water before and after, and the only difference was the nitrates. They went down from 90 to 50. I think I need at least one more water change - tomorrow, but won't do it until I get some feedback from someone here.

I do have a heater, but haven't used it yet. The water temp is a constant 66 degrees F. The temp did not change during today's water change.

I hope you don't think that it's not worth your time to help me, just because my tank is severely overcrowded. I need your help. :krazy:

Thanks again!

Stormysgrandma

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ok thank you for your reply, now that we have the inf owe need we should be able to help you with your problem

From what i see, your nitrate is to high. it should be 40 or lower,Ok, well seeing as you have aprox 20 fish in your tank. thats not doing any thing good in the slightest. personaly.. im surprised they havent died from Ammonia poisoning.

i recomend, you take the sick fish out and place them in a hospital tank, where you can then treat them for there illnesses.

Hopefully when you do get a new tank it will help with any future problems,

There are some other things that perhaps you could do to help this. as you have bought a couple of the things i was to suggest, that may help.

If you could provide any pictures at all, then we maybe able to help you more, but with out seeing the fish its harder to make suggestions..

I hope this helps in any way :)

Thank you

Lee

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I am not sure taking them out to treat is going to be all that different at this point. Often it is the better thing to do, but with this case, may not be practical.

If it were me I would do this...............

Begin raising the temp in the water to 78-80F. This must be done slowly only 2 degrees an hour.

Next I would salt the tank to 0.1% for now. The dose is 1tsp per gallon of water. Remember when you do water changes you are taking salt out. So you will have to be accurate on measuring what you do change and put back the salt you remove.

I am not sure I would run the Maracyn at this point. Maracyn is a very good medicine, but it WILL wreck havoc with the cycle and that is NOT a good thing with these fish.

I would do the above for a few days, see if they don't get some better.

Of course working on the water to get it perfect and keep it there. This may mean changing water daily. But if it works then it may have to be done.

Another option you can do is give some fish back to the fish stores. They often take them for credit or such. This would help you with easing the burden on the tank and helping with supplies for the remaining.

I only mention the following as another option. Rubbermaid containers work for temporary tanks and are cheaper. Alot of members use them.

Keep working on that water and post back soon.

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Thanks for the info - I'll go to school tomorrow and start the heater process. I will do another water change tomorrow. Should I use Prime instead of AquaSafe to condition the new water? The bottle of Prime says it helps to control nitrates.

By the way, the ammonia level is "0" - can you believe it????? I guess I have a good filter - or something! The ammonia level was even at 0 before I did the water change today.

Is the PH ok for the water? The number of 6.4 seemed a little low.

What about food? Am I doing OK on that? I was planning to do some lettuce or a little orange.

I did notice that the Tubifix Worms that I am giving them every 3rd day have ascorbic acid for vitamin C. The fish really love those worms!

I had to feed them today, before I could change the water - they chased the siphon all over the tank begging for food.

By the way, I can't give the fish back to the store, because I didn't get them from a store. One of my kindergarten parents gave them to me. Her fish bred like crazy in her pond and she gave them to a couple of us teachers. Free fish - expensive equipment, and accessories, hahaha. She contacted me last week to let me know that more fish are on the way. I told her NO! - that I had toooooo many now! :krazy:

I'm looking forward to any other comments - like offers to take some of these fish off my hands - I'm in Indiana - anyone out there want more fishies????? :rolleyes:

Stormysgrandma

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Boy that is good you are not taking anymore, geez that would certainly be bad!! ;)

You could try contacting a local store and seeing if they would take some, hey if they are free to them......you never know. It is worth a try.

You could also try and look up the local gf club or koi club in your state, contact them and see.

Do you have an email? If so I might can post it in our forum for trade, buy and sell section. Without you being a full member you can't do it yourself but I may can list it for you.

I would definitely switch to the Prime and use it alone. It is a wonderful conditioner.

And while your ph is a little low, it comes out of the tap at the same result, correct? If so I wouldn't mess with it. GF can adapt to quite a range of ph's as long as they stay exact and not bounce around. So I wouldn't worry there.

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Thanks again for the responses!

I'm feeling a little better about this whole thing. I didn't sleep much last night. All I could think about was my poor fishies!

I'll check the nitrates tomorrow and do another water change before I warm up the water. I will add the salt when I do the water change.

I don't have a digital camera, but will try to find one to borrow, so I can post a couple pics. Can't promise anything.

Everyone has been great! Thanks again! Keep your fingers crossed!! I'll keep in touch.

Stormysgrandma

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More news! I great guy who owns an aquarium service is going to stop by the school tomorrow to help me out a little. He thinks, by my description, that I might have some baby coi or other potentially large pond-type goldfish. He will identify all of my fish, tell me if he thinks I can save my sickest fishy, and possibly plan to take some of my fish once they are healthy.

He is starting to set up his stock for spring pond sales, and will take my extra fish when the tank is healthy.

He agreed that heating the tank and salting is the first step to treat the popeye and will tell me more after he sees them tomorrow.

He isn't charging me a dime for this. He said he helps schools out frequently.

I also found a 55 gal. Top Fin tank with large filter, stand, net, and heater for $240.00 at vvvv. That seems to be the most reasonable price around here. My better half has offered to buy it for our home for my early birthday present. Woohoo!!!! We're going to pick it up tomorrow evening.

2 Important questions - How long should I run the tank with all the new stuff in it before I bring some of the fish home to this tank? What is the concensus on "undergravel filters?" Do I need it or not? I don't want to start this new tank with problems. I would rather keep doing extra water changes on the 20 gal at school until this new one is ready for fish. I ran the 20 gal at school for about 10 days before I added fish.

I know that the new tank stuff normally doesn't belong in this forum, I just thought it tied to what I'm trying to solve..

Thanks

Stormysgrandma

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That is great news on the new tank!!!

As for the underground filters they are not good for gf. In truth are very hazardous for gf, the toxins build up underneath them and can really wreck havoc when the gf root around on the bottom. So power filters, such as biowheel are good. Along with canister filters.

Once you get the new tank up, I would use half the water from the school tank to "seed" the new one. This will give the good bacteria a head start. Also using a handful of gravel in a nylon stocking placed in the new tank will help this along.

I would immediatly transfer some of the fish. Let's face it, it isn't ideal to do this, but those fish aren't going to get well in the little tank, they have a better shot in the big one.

If you can use enough water and gravel to really get a good "seed" in that tank hopefullly it will just take a few days to cycle.

Good to hear that guy is going to help you. Hopefully he can take some right from the get go.

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I just discovered that my fish may not have popeye!!!!

I've been researching here and at other web sites - looking for pictures of fish with eyes like some of mine. I finally found a picture that is perfect!! I saved it as a pdf, but I can't post pics here yet.

Could I please email this to one of the moderators?

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You can actually go to photobucket and upload it there. It is free and then you can link us, that way everyone sees it.

What does it say about the eye?

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It didn't say anything; it's just a picture of a healthy goldfish that has eyes just like the four in my tank that I thought had a problem. I saved it as a pdf - I don't know if I can do a pdf on photobucket, but I will try. I don't think I can post a picture here yet, I'm not a full member yet.

Also, the guy from the aquarium service came to my school and checked everything out. He said that their eyes are ok. They have a big black area instead of the little black spot surrounded by the same color as the rest of their head.

He said the fish are cross bred - and probably on of the fish involved was one that has the large eyes. As far as he could tell, several of my fish are crossed between comets, fantails, and "who knows what else with big eyes." We have a tiny baby in the tank that no one put in there. We think that eggs were laid and one survived. The baby is sort of silver and has a real fancy tail. I can't tell how many tail fins there are yet, either 2 bigger really waivy fancy ones, or 4 smaller fancy ones. The fishy is still too little to tell. It's only about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch long from head to tail.

I have another question, but I'm not sure if I should ask it here or in Tanks and Equipment, but here goes......

I'm getting a new tank. I've asked several questions in the other forum, but I thought this would apply here, since I'm moving fish from my overcrowded tank to this new one. These fish are stressed enough, and I don't want to make things any worse for them.

The ph in my tank at school is 6.4 - constant. The ph of my water at home is 8.4!!! Both the well water and softened water tested at 8.4. I know that fish can't tolerate a change in ph. What should I do? Also, there is zero alkalai in my tank at school, and there is definitely alkalai in my water here at home. I can't remember the exact amount, and my test info is at school ( I forgot to bring it home.) Dummy me - I forgot to ask the aquarium guy about this.

I'm also concerned about the well and softened water. The well water is very very hard and full of iron. The softened water is very soft. I'm thinking maybe I should use half and half, but I'm not sure.

I'm getting my new tank tonight! I can't wait!! I have to choose between 55 gallon All Glass with a Whisper filter or a 60 gallon Top Fin with a Top Fin 60 filter. The All Glass kit is $129. The Top Fin is $150. Decisions! Decisions! And then there is the air pump, air wand, gravel, etc!

This is fun!!!! :D

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Yes it is fun, I would go for the bigger one but that is just me. This hobby is very addicting and you soon run out of room. So bigger is usually better.

As for the ph, that is going to be hard. I am not the expert on ph but you are right you are going to have to acclimate them very slowly to it.

A whole 2 points is very drastic. What I would do is fill the tank up with the old tank water and new "school" water. And each day change out about 10-20%.

Let me see if I can locate someone to help with the ph thing.

Once we get them in the other tank things will hopefully ease up some.

I would also do a test, take some tap water and leave it out overnight. REtest it for ph and see if it is different than the tap.

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I'll do that tonight! Thanks for the idea!

I already have the info for the ph right out of the tap, so I can compare them.

I'm getting a full ph/hardness test kit tomorrow that test for ph, gH, etc. I'll test both ways then.

I'm also going to test the softened water both ways. - Can't hurt!

Maybe a mixture of both types of water is what I will need. I'll try that also.

I like that idea of starting with water from school. It will keep the fish from going through any more stress. I have several 6-gallon water jugs that we use for camping. I can bring enough water home from school to start the tank.

Thanks Laurie!!!!

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My sick little fishy has improved a little. He sits upright for 15 or 20 minutes at a time. I've been hand feeding him, and I'm keeping the temp at 76 degrees F.

He doesn't seem to like the light on. The basket is hanging at the top of the tank. I was thinking that the light is too bright since he's so close to it. He can't hide or move away from the bright light. Does that make sense or am I totally goofy here. :blink:

Most of the adults think I'm nuts, lol. Sometimes I think I should put the little guy out of his misery. Each time I think I will, I check him, and he shows signs of improvement.

How do you know when it's time to give up?

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I would think the light may be bothering him. Try leaving it off and see how he does.

I am not sure why you are using the basket, did I miss something????

And to answer your question, it is hard to know, but only you can know. As a vet tech I am asked this question on a daily basis and to be honest there isn't an answer. It is what you feel you need to do. If you feel he is too far gone then yes euthansia is best. But if you want to try we can try with you.

I am a full believer that you will know if you listen closely to him. He'll tell you. With behavior that is.

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Thanks for the advice, Laurie. I think I know what you mean.

There are 17 other fish in the tank ( Yes, I know, it's way overcrowded - that's why I bought the new 55 gal. tank) - I put him in the net basket so he wouldn't get picked on, and so he could eat. The others were not letting any food get to him. They would hover over him and eat everything. The net basket isolates him and brings him closer to the surface so I can hand feed him. It seems to be working, but progress is so slow. I thought with medicated food, warmer water, and salt in the water things would progress faster.

I hope I'm not fooling myself.

(Geez, I just read back what I wrote - I sound like someone nursing a human patient or something!! - but I can't help it.)

I'll decide by Monday or Tuesday whether to keep trying with this little guy.

My new tank will be set up sometime this weekend, I hope. The stand was supposed to be in today, but it didn't come in. I'm hoping for tomorrow. I have all this stuff ready to go, and no stand. Ugh!! I need to get some of these fish the new 55 gal. tank before the water quality gets totally out of control in the 20 gal. one.

In the mean time I've been experiment with water mixtures to get the right chemistry. My water at home just won't work by itself, even with a mixture of well and softened water. After three evenings of trying different mixtures, I found that one part well water and one part softened water from my home and 2 parts city water from my daughter's house has the perfect pH, GH, and KH. I got the same numbers for this mixture three evenings in a row, so it seems stable. The main problem was the KH. My water was way way too high, and my daughter's was way too low. It took a mixture of the 2 to get the right KH.

I told my daughter she couldn't move from her house, because I needed her water! Ha! Ha!

I'll keep you informed on the progress with my sick little goldie and the new tank.

Thanks again! Maybe some day - I'll be able to help people here, the way Koko, the moderators, and the helpers do. :heart

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Ok, I hope things go well setting up the tank. Keep at it, hopefully he will turn around for you.

I wanted you to know that I won't be around this weekend, so if you post and I don't answer it isn't me ignoring or forgetting you. I will check back Mon with you.

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Woohoo!! My 55 gallon tank is running! The stand was a real pain - it took 9 hours on Friday night to put it together (and I've done this kind of furniture before!) I used 10 gallons from my tank at school, cut a little of the sponge from the existing filter and put it in the filter of the new tank. I also have some of the gravel from my school tank in a piece of panty hose.

I took your advice on the urgency of getting the herd thinned out and moved 2 of the fish today. They've been in the tank for 3 hours now. They are doing great, so far. They didn't swim the entire length of the tank for the first half hour or so. I don't think they realized they could! Now they are swimming together, the full length of the tank. They didn't stray from each other for the first couple of hours, but now they are all over the tank, exploring. The biggest one is swimming back and forth the full length of the tank. I can almost hear him yelling Yahoo!

I chose two of the strongest for this first move, because I thought they had the best chance for survival. If they are still doing well by Wednesday, I'll bring a couple more home. One is a fantail with orange pokadots on one side and vertical orange stripes on the other side. The stripes run right into his dorsal fin. The other one is pinkish white with a gray splotch on its back. This one has a shorter tail that is quite pretty, almost like ruffles. My honey has already named them. The pinkish white one is called Ghost and the one with dots and stripes is called Flip. Their names suit them well.

Keep your fingers crossed that they do well in a tank that hasn't cycled yet. :yeah:

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More good news about my sick fishy in my tank at school..........

He seems to be much stronger, although he still spends a lot of time on the bottom of the net breeder basket. He will sit up on his tummy longer and today he swam up to the top, went around the basket twice, then settled back to the bottom. He had the medicated food for 8 days, so I'm giving him a break on that. I gave him some flakes today, soaked for 10 minutes before I gave it to him. His appetite is not terrific, but at least I don't have to hand feed him. In fact, he won't let me hand feed him - he swims away and hides his head. He eats enough on his own that I'm not worried.

If he is strong enough, will he swim around the little basket continuously when he's a little stronger or is the basket too small. It's about 5"x5"x4". I don't want to release him into full tank yet, because he can't compete for food yet, and still lays on his side about 50% of the time.

Do you have any other advice?

Thanks for your continued help! :)

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