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Goldfish Questions

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Guest SeeQuee

Hi Everyone,

I am a Goldfish newbie. I have been working on getting a tank situated and getting my fish as comfy as possible. This is the first time I have ever had fish, so I started out totally clueless. Hopefully as I have gone along (only about a month or so) I have learned more. So right now, I have a 20 gallon tank and two Orandas that I got at seperate times. My first one, I got about a week ago, and then a couple days ago I fell in love with this beautiful orange oranda with black fins. SO, my question for right now is, my newest fish ( I dont have a name yet) has burrowed out a hole in the gravel of my tank. What does this mean?

Thank you so much:)

Stephani

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A few questions that will help us help you and your fish:

Do you have any water testing equipment? If you could tell us your water parameters that would help a lot. Like readings for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and ph. Do you know about cycling the tank? If not, I provided a link below that explains it.

How often are you changing the water in your tank? How much water do you change at a time and do you vacuum the gravel? What sort of water conditioner (if any) are you using?

Do you have a filter and if so what kind?

Also, does your fish look like he is trying to scratch himself or rub himself on the bottom when burrowing? Does he have any other things that look different like fins clamped tightly to his body, white spots anywhere, torn/frayed fins, staying at the bottom, breathing fast? Is he eating and pooping ok?

Sorry for all the questions. just some things that will help everyone help you figure out what might be wrong, if anything. Fish do dig around in the gravel, especially looking for food, but rubbbing/scratching against it can be signs of parasites, and because there is a new fish that makes that even more likely

Also, I want to commend you on learning how to care for your fish properly. This is a great place for information and people to share your goldfish with. :)

Here are some good things to read up on:

10 steps to a healthy goldfish: http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/tensteps.html

All about goldfish: http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=11275

Cycling the tank: http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/cycle.html

And most importantly, :welcome

Edited by jen626

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the new one is scared or in shock. however you should read all around this site. for example you need to cycle the tank water, kinda hard but has to be done. try leaving the light off and the room quite. your little newbie will come around.

i assume they are already in the tank together? watch for signs for distress. also signs located on the site. just take a look around

oh and welcome to KoKo's you will soon be addicted!!

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Guest SeeQuee

Jen,

I do have testing strips. I have the one that does Nitrie, nitrate, alkaliknity, hardness of water and pH. I do not have the amonia test though.

I have read about cycling of the tank. Im not sure I have the full comprehension of how it works. This tank has been up for a little over a week. I think I jumped the gun in getting another fish so soon. Wish I was a little smarter!! Right now the nitrite is a little on the high side. Nitrate is in the "ok" area.

Since this tank is new I have not done a water change but am considering doing one tomorrow. I have about three gallons in my fish bucket that I am aging. DO you think it is too soon? I have been using stress zyme and stress coat. I put the amount you are supposed to put in of the stress coat yesterday.

I have a filter. It is the one that hangs on the back and has a charchol pad in it. Sorry I dont know the exact name. I do rinse it out. not on a particular schedule though.

Other than that, my new fish eats, looks healthy...I have looked very carefully! I dont see any white spots or evidence that it has been scratching or anything like that. It looks like he/she is just sitting down in the little burrowed out spot.

I dont mind the questions at all. I want to do what I can so my fish will live happy lives!! I have looked all around Koko's website. That is where I have learned most of what I know:)

Stephani

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Guest SeeQuee

Sarah,

I am gone during the day so it is pretty quiet then. I didnt know how it would effect my other fish having the lights off for a long time. Is it ok for the light to be off for long periods? I have a heater so the water temp would nt be effected.

Stephani

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Perhaps your new fish is shy? (and/or scared.)

What kind of plants/decorations do you have in the tank, that the fish could hide in/behind, when he's scared? I know one of my fish tends to be shy, and he has one favorite corner of the tank, and there are several plants in that corner, so he can swim behind them, and look out, but he feels hidden, and can nap in peace.

Also, sometimes fish can be territorial. Maybe the other fish are being difficult, and he doesn't have a good space, so he is trying to create one by burrowing? I've heard a good way to solve that problem is to take all the decorations/plants out and put them back in the tank, in different places, so the old 'boundaries' that existed are no longer present, and so there's not the established space to be territorial about.

--Mav

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Thanks for answering the questions! I am no expert, but I can give you some advice that has helped me be successful.

I would suggest gettting some liquid drop tests rather than the strips. Not only are they more accurate but in the long run they are less expensive. You can get the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Master Kit for $13.49-$14.99 at vvvv if you take in a copy of their inline page, they will nmatch their own online proices f you bring in the printed page, which will save you a bundle-in store the kit is $28.99 or something. It is an accurate test and the kit will last you for a very long time, it contains over 700 tests, and it includes ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, ph and high range ph. Totally worth it in my book, plus you'll have actual numbers instead of "safe" and stuff. Here is the link to that page at vvvv's website, and anything else you need you can print the page for that too. http://www.vvvv.com/global/product_det...=master+kit&N=2

While at the pet store you may also want to pick up some Prime water conditioner. It removes chlorine and chloramines from your tap water and also helps detoxify ammonia and nitrites during cycling. It will seem more expensive than other conditioners but it is very concentrated and will last a long time. It wouldn't hurt to pick up some aquarium salt or rock salt too, which can help with nitrite stress. If you do not already have a siphon with a gravel vaccuum on the end that is a good investment too and you can get one for as little as $5. They will make water changes WAY easier and keep your water parameters under control by cleaning out the gravel.

Cycling is definitely confusing at first, at least it was for me! Basically, you want to grow as much good bacteria in your tank as you can because that will help process the waste the messy goldfish make. If you can find out what kind of filter you have that would be good, to make sure it is strong enough. Goldfish require at least 10 times the gallonage being filtered per hour, so for a 20 gallon tank you;d want a filter that does 200 gallon per hour (gph). Most filters say things like "for a 20-40 gallon tank on them, but those are rated for tropical fish that are not so messy, so always check the gph. The filter you have may be fine, but something to look into eventually.

The main thing with cycling is that you want to leave your filter alone as much as you can and fill it with as much "media" (stuff the good bacteria can grow on) as possible. You must have some starting since you are showing nitrites in your tank-that's good, just don't let them get too high. Does your filter have anything in it besides the charcoal and the catridge/floss? Sponges are good for growing bacteria, as are ceramic cylinders. If you can get some filter media (ie. spionges, ceramic cylinders) and stuff it into your filter that will help a lot. You alkso do not need the charcoal unless you are trying to remove meds from the water...it loses it's effectiveness very quickly. You are better off filling the filter with something good bacteria can grown on. If the charcoal is inside the cartridges I just cut a slit in it and dump it out. Also, you never want to rinse out your filter unless it is so clogged up that it is no longer working properly. You want the good bacteria to stay there! I know they recommend you should change it out every four weeks or whatever, but you can leave it until it gets really full. Then, instead of changing it, take the media out and swish it around in a bucket of used tank water, like when you are changing the water. NEVER rinse anything in the filter with tap water because the chlorine will kill all the good bacteria. If the floss gets so cruddy that it starts to actually fall apart, then you can change it. :-)

If you have high nitrites then you will want to do a water change soon as those are especially dangerous to the fish. When your tank is all cycled you should have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 5-20 nitrates. When the nitrates get up to 20 or higher then you need to change water to get them lower.

If your nitrites are high now then you should do a water change very soon, you definitely do not want them to be higher than .30 or you can start seeing signs of poisoning in the fish. Do not be afraid to change lots of water-the good bacteria lives in your filter and a little in the gravel, not in the water! You do not need to age your water at all if you are using Stress Coat or another conditioner because it gets rid of chlorine for you. You do want to make sure that any water you add is as close to the same temperature as possible and that the ph is the same so not to shock your fish.

I have already spouted on enough, lol, so I will leave you be for awhile. Good luck and i am glad you are so open to suggestions!

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Jen has done very well, describing the cycle and all. I will stress, again, do not be afraid of water changes. The water changes are what are going to save your fish's life while the tank is cycling. You may (probably) wil have to do a LARGE water change every day for some time, until the tank cycles. I will repeat - DO NOT BE AFRAID TO CHANGE LARGE AMOUNTS OF WATER! The cycle is developing in the filter on the media, not in the water. :)

As far as the answer to your original question.... goldfish are bottom feeders. They root around in the substrate of a tank, pond or wherever they live, looking for food. When they are in a tank with gravel, they will spend a great deal of their time picking up gravel and moving it to see if there is something to eat hidden in it.

Some fish are great interior decorators, moving all your tank's decor around every day. Others dig holes in the substrate - right to the bottom if they have enough time.

Fish can get gravel stuck in their mouths because of this. Keep an eye on the situation.

:)

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Guest SeeQuee

Jen,

Thanks so much for all the helpful info!!! I went to vvvv and got a good test kit, a bigger filter and some different filter pads. I feel so bad that I didnt know all of this stuff before. I guess that is what happens when you do something on the spur of the moment. I got a filter that in for a 30 gallon tank!! I also noticed that my new fish had a long clear poop. According to the website, that means a bacterial infection, so I got some antibiotic food and stuff to put in the water. Im surprised that the people at vvvv are surprised that I dont just want a new fish. I havent had them very long but I love my fish!!!

Anyway, I did a water change last night, medicated my fish, but had to take the filter out for the meds. Is that going to mess the cycling of the tank up?

Stephani

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Guest SeeQuee

Daral and Mav,

Thanks for the suggestions and all. I had been wondering about how often you can do water changes. It seems like everyone you ask has a totally different way to do things. It is very confusing for someone just starting out!!

Stephani

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Guest SeeQuee

I noticed today that my nitrites and nitrates are still a little high. I do have aquar salt. Is it a good idea to put salt in the tank while Im medicating? Also, I am confused about the amount of salt you can put in a tank. I have read on the website where you can put so much more salt than what is reccommended.

HELP ME!!!!!

Stephani

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Is your fish acting normally other than the long, clear poop? Sometimes fish will do that occasionally and still be fine and medications can sometimes cause further stress. I don;t think the medicated food will hurt anything but the antibiotocs you put in the water can be stressfil and also mess with your cycle (antibiotics kill bacteria-even the good kind!)

Some meds are ok with salt and some are not, so if you can try and read the packages see if they say anything about not compatible with salt or post back hjere and tell us what the meds are exactly.

Taking your filter off will mess up the cycle i am afraid, once the filter dries out. You actually can and should run the filter even with the meds you just need to make sure and remove any carbon or charcoal that may be in the cartridges because the carbon will remove the medication. If you have no carbon/charcoal in your filter then you can leave it as is, although as I mentioned above some types of meds can affect your cycle. Also, if there are ammo chips in your filter DO NOT USE SALT as it will cause all the ammonia in the filter to be released at once.

I am thinking it might be a good idea to start a thread in the Diagnosis/Discussion forum and talk about your fish with the clear poo, post what meds you are using and your current water parameters and wee what some of the experts say. They may say your fish does not even need meds...but I am still too new at this to guess. Perfect water is the best thing you can do for your fish, especially i they are ill, all the meds in the world won't help if the water is toxic. So if your nitrites are above .30 or your ammonia above .25 to .50 do some large water changes. If the nitrates get above 20 change some water as well. You ultimately want 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 5-10 nitrates once the cycling is done.

Even if removing your filter bumps your cycle, you still have some cgood knowledge now to help you along. Don't feel bad about before...the important thing is that you are here now and taking people's advice! You are doing a great job!

So here is the link to start a New Topic in Diagnosis forum-look st the top of the page and anser as many opf the questions listed as possible, then tell them about the long, clear poo and maybe copy and paste a link to this initial thread, and see what our resident experts think. http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...o=new_post&f=10 Good luck!

Edited by jen626

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