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Help - Dying Fish - New At This


Guest newbie_nana

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Guest newbie_nana

Hello -

I found this website while surfing for info about caring for Goldfish. I'm a total newbie at this. I'm staying with my son & his family and trying to save a fish and the other occupants.

The children have a 10g tank with a bottom filter, no heater, plastic plants, gravel bottom with some river rocks. There are 2 neon tetras, 1 plecostomus (sp?), one fancy goldfish, and one pearly-white moor (I think). They have had difficulty keeping their fish alive.

The moor was hovering near the water output and seemed to be gasping for breath/at the bubbles for a few days. I used a test strip to check the water. It was: too high in nitrates and nitrites. I went to the local pet place where my grandchildren got the fish. They suggested that I first exchange 3g of water and use an additive to dechlorinate and 'balance' the water. I did that and checked the water. At first it was fine, then it was too high in nitrites. I called the pet store and they told me to add aquarium salt (3 Tbsp.). I did that; by now the sick white moor was seeming to have balance issues, and difficulty swimming up to the surface; it mainly is laying on the bottom.

I really don't know what I'm doing, but want to try to learn and help save the fish. I need help quickly!

Nana

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  • Regular Member

Hi Nana and welcome to the site. I saw your other thread but did not reply as I am not an expert. Sometimes it takes a bit for someone to help but be patient. In the meantime, can you answer as many questions as possible in the box above? That will help us get to the problem. From what I can see, you are overstocked. Rule of thumb is 10gallons per fancy goldfish and 20 per single tailed goldfish. Are any of the fish new?

Please post back soon. :)

Here are some links to help you understand cycling of the tank and other things. :)

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/tensteps.html

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/care.html

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/cycle.html

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  • Regular Member

Hello nana: I personally would seperate the goldfish from the neons and the Pleco, (especially if the pleco is a common one as these have been know to attack goldies) but the main reason i would do this is beacuse the neons are tropical fish and really shouldn't be mixed with coldwater fish like goldies. To seperate them i would get a large rubbermaid/plastic storage tub at least 20gal+ to put the goldies in. Large tubs really are a goldfish keepers best friend! :D

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  • Regular Member

(add the obligatory "could you please post the water parameters from the form above" here.)

How often are you changing out part of the water? When I started and was overstocked, I changed 10 or 20% of the water each day, exchanging out old water for dechlorinated new water.

Part of what might cause them to float towards the surface could also be diseases, or the type of food, or, the amount of food. If they're being overfed, or have a food that doesn't agree with them. (My fish seem sluggish if I overdo the pellets of any kind, though they seem to do fine gobbling down flakes. Though they might just be weird that way.)

No heater is okay, goldfish tend to like room temperatures best anyway.

Bottom filter and 10 gallons for two goldfish and the plecostomus (which can grow to be pretty huge! My mom has a foot-long plecostomus, and still growing, in her tank) is a wee bit small, if possible it may help to upgrade them to a hang-on-back (HOB) and/or power filter, as well as a larger tank. Generally by Koko's site guidelines it's 10 gallons per goldfish, since they can grow to be almost a foot long. Though I know that can be pretty tough sometimes due to space or finances.. though regular daily partial water changes should really help with that, too.

Is the white moor showing any gooey or sticky or fuzzy stuff on it? Any holes or ragged bits to the fins?

Good luck..

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  • Regular Member

Hello Nana- so glad you found kokos- welcome.

As glitterfish and Peanuts said the very first urgent thing you have to do is separate these fishand psot back with all your water params as above in box. I would keep the 2 fancies where they are, they can manage without a heater. The tropical fish and the plecos cannot survive without a heater, they are warm water fish and need a stable tank temp of around 72 F or 25C.

When you tested your water you got a figure for nitrites and nitrates that we need to know. This figure can change daily and needs checking daily till you are out of the woods. Please check the nitrites and ammonia and pH level of the tank and post back with them for farther assistance. It is highly likely that these are the main issues that need addressing as in most cases of overstocking.

Meanwhile you should change 6 gallons of the water (60%) immediately with temp matched, pH matched and de-chlorinated water. And separate the fish as soon as you possibly can please.

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  • Regular Member

Hi Nana and :welcome from me also.

In addition to what the guys have advised I just want to add a couple of things. I think the main thing letting you down on water quality is the filtration .....although how often do you do waterchanges? Undergravel filters can become a hotbed of problems and one in particular is the gunk that gets stuck under the plate. It can cause a buildup of poisonous gases that if released, can kill a fish in minutes. Another problem is with an overstocked tank, they would benefit more from having a filter that hangs on the back of the tank because you can stuff it full of sponge and ceramic noodles which offers excellent mechanical (poop remover) and biological (converts fish waste into nitrates) filtration and the only maintenance they need is a rinse out in old tank water when the sponge gets 'full'.

I think for now it would help to do daily waterchanges using a good dechlorinator because most problems you face with goldies come from polluted water and if you can, try to separate the fish so that the goldies are on their own. I think this will help them improve and will give them more necessary space :)

PS. I've combined both of your threads so that Johnny Fives response appears. Best to keep it all together to avoid any confusion :)

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Guest newbie_nana

Thanks to all who responded. I tried moving Pearlie to a QT and added aquar. salt, upped the water temp a bit, all to no avail. She died yesterday :>(

I can see from reading a lot of the posting here that I have so much to learn. For now the 10g tank is what we have. The person at the fish place told me that I could put two more goldfish, PLUS the pleco and 5 neon tetras in the same tank, so I did. It has been about 2 wks now (one fancytailed GF is several months old...all the other fish are new. I've lost the white pearl moor, and 3 tetras. The others seem o.k. w/o a heater and appear to be doing well.

I need to be changing the water more frequently and probably get a better filter than the bottom filter currently being used. This is my son's tank for the children/grandchildren. I'm trying to learn enough to maintain it and keep the fish alive and happy.

Thanks again -

Newbie Nana

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  • Regular Member

Newbie Nana, welcome. The others have started you on your way to learning all there is to know. Try and not feel bad, most clerks at the fish stores know very little about gf and their needs. It is a shame and often leads to this, but you are here now and learning. That is what counts.

Welcome again!

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