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Guest Shiga

What Am I Doing Wrong?

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Guest Shiga

Hi guys.

Well, sad to say, but my Oranda died this morning. I'm really upset because I don't know what the cause of death was, as of yet. I had done a water test the night before and everything was fine, then I woke up this morning and the poor guy had shoved himself down into one of the plants and was barely alive. He's the only fish I had in the tank and the water had gone cloudy, so I'm confused...

It got me thinking. I've had 3 goldfish in the past 10 months, and they've all died - no matter how hard I care for them. I do regular water changes, test the water, I don't over feed and I give them enough sunlight everyday. I have a variety of food; they've never had swim bladder issues...I use live plants to help oxygenate the water. The tank is kept a constant temperature, and because he was the only one in the tank at the time, (I've never had more than 2 in my tank at one time) I know it cant be down to overstocking. My filter is really good, too.

I try so hard to care for my fish, but it always amounts to nothing, whereas my friend keeps hers in a tiny tank, hardly ever feeds them or does water changes (I don't think she conditions the water, either), and they've lived for 3 years.

So, what am I doing wrong guys? :cry1

I'd love to get another fish, but not if I'm going to kill it.

Edited by Shiga

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how big is the tank?

what are your params saying?

did you buy the tank new or second hand?

if the params are normal it may be a problem with a tank some one else recently posted something similar but there fish were dyeing every month or something and they came to the conclusion it was a problem with the tank as there params were normal 0 ammonia and nitrite and 5ppm for the nitrate.

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Hello Shiga, a mod should be along soon to advise you. however, if i were you i would strip my tank down and nuke it. i have a steam cleaner available to me so that's what i'd use. would clean the filter out too, add brand new media and then run a fishless cycle. that way you could eliminate the tank as being the source of your problems.

p.s. sorry to hear about your oranda. losing a fish is never easy. alistair

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Guest Shiga

how big is the tank?

what are your params saying?

did you buy the tank new or second hand?

The tank is about 30 - 40 gallons, and I bought it new about...oh...4 months ago, from a local petstore. Params said everything was normal, if I remember right. I would remember if something was wrong. It was just weird to see how the water went cloudy in the space of half an hour. I woke up, looked over to my fish tank (I liked watching the little guy in the morning) and everything was fine - the water was crystal clear and he was swimming around waiting to be fed. I fell back asleep for half an hour or so, and when I woke up the water was cloudy and he was dead. I'm wondering if maybe the filter malfunctioned?...

As for nuking the tank, would it be good to run a fishless cycle for more than a week?

Also, I've been using Stress Coat and Stress Zyme when I first started fish keeping in winter last year, and add small amounts of this when I change the water once a week. I'm wondering if maybe I put too much or too little in on my last water change a few days ago...-sigh-.

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For new tanks - Seacheam has a new triple bacteria product that eliminates new tank syndrome. Question - You say you use plants to aerate the water but mentiuon nothing about artificial aeration what do you use to artificially aerate the water?

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i used to use Stress Coat and Stress Zyme when i got my first tank but switched to fresh start and hagen cycle. my water params are much more steady now (both easy to get in the uk). you should read the link on fishless cycle in tip of the month section, will tell you everything you need to know. i got a new tank recently and scrubbed it top to bottom as i didn't know how long it had been sat on a shelf. as for the cloudy water a mod will be better suited to shed some light on that. alistair

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Guest Shiga

My tank is about 4 months old - does that still count as new? - and I spent 2 weeks cycling it before I added any fish. :blink:

@ Eric: Forgive my noobishness, but does a filter not count? I also have a bubble blower.

Question - I'm going to clean the whole tank out and cycle it for another 2 weeks. When nuking it, other than steam, what's the best method to make sure it's absolutely nasty free?

Thanks so much for all the help. :unsure:

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How often do you change your water?

How much Stress Coat do you use when changing water and how much water do you change?

What's the brand and model of your filter?

2 weeks cycling is not nearly enough. The bacteria colony will only be fully established in the filter media after about 4-6 weeks cycling.

I'm inclined to to say that there are 2 possibilities why your fishies dying. One is poor water quality due to (perhaps) infrequent & inadequate water change regime, or second is chlorine poisoning due to (perhaps) incorrect use of water conditioner.

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you said params said they are normal what are the exact numbers? i too am inclined to say that your tank is not cycled and that the cloudy water may have been an algae bloom (it is a good thing) but yes even new tanks can have bad bacteria in them from sitting on the shelf for too long etc. i am sorry your fishy died

and yes what is the model and brand of the filter your tank may be under filtered

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Guest Shiga

I was told by the petstore I go to that I only needed to cycle it for 2 weeks and change the water once a week! To learn now that that's not right really makes me really angry! :veryangry:

How often do you change your water? Once a week, on a Saturday. However, if the water smells bad or looks a little funny, I'll change about 10 - 20%.

How much Stress Coat do you use when changing water and how much water do you change? 1ml, as it says, "Add 1ml per 20 US gallons". And I change about 20 - 30% of the water.

What's the brand and model of your filter? Hmm...I don't know about that one. (I believe I used to use a Fluval, but I took it out because I found it just wasn't strong enough) It's an in built filter...all it says it's that the model is an AA190. There's a webpage here:

Page

These are my tank's details as listed on the site:

AA555(Glass)

> Size

: 33cm(L) X 28.5cm(W) X 44cm (H)

> Capacity : 21.6L, 5.7US Ga

> Filter Pump : AA190

> Filter Rate : 200L/Hr, 52.8 US Ga/H

> Lamp : 6w

I'm going to look around Kokos for a good cycling article or tips, and then have a go at nuking my tank out and letting it cycle for the proper amount of time.

Edited by Shiga

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Good idea :) . There are lots of helpful threads on cycling a tank here. It will take you at least a month and maybe 6 weeks to fully cycle a tank, as said. It is only after a tank is fully and completely cycled that you can safely put your fish in. That is, when ammonia and nitrites read 0 for several days and nitrates start to appear at that same time.

Some people cycle a tank with a small hardy fish in it but this can be stressful and have a bad long term effect on the fishes immunity. Most people here do a fish less cycle, then , when you get your new fish you can be sure you have prepared for their arrival as best you can.

I think your fish died from toxic water/ammonia or nitrites in the water. It is the most common cause of fish death. Unfortunately people that work in petstores are not always the best advisors of fish matters as other people here will testify. You need information from people who have kept fish for years successfully, such as you'll find plenty of here at kokos. Fish sales staff just want you to buy lots of fish and equipment a lot of the time :( . There are some very knowlegable sales people out there of course too, but they seem to be fewer.

Also, your friend with fish in a small tank was very lucky. But her fish were not. They are surviving yes and hardy to have survived through her cycle but they are doubtless not thriving.

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Guest Shiga

I'm willing to wait as long as it takes to make sure that my tank is fully cycled and safe for any future fish!! I found a good article, and I'm glad I'm able to do a fishless cycle because I wouldn't want to put that much stress on a fish just for a means of testing.

I printed it off and am about to go have some lunch and nuke my tank of nastys with some hot water and scrubbing. :P

I thought it might have something to do with the water, but I was so surprised because it was so sudden and happened within half an hour. I'm just thankful that people have taken the time to wisen up a semi-newb like me and take their time to help me so that it won't happen again in the future. Looking on it now, if there were so many underlying problems that I sure was lucky to have my Oranda for as long as I had him...

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Ok, I'm gonna break a bit of bad news for you. Your tank, which is 21.6 L, is only 1/2 the ideal size for 1 fancy gf. It's fine when the fish is still small/baby, but it will outgrow the tank very quickly. The 10gal/40 L per fish rule is not just about swimming space, but more importantly the larger the volume of water the waste released by the gf will be more saturated and therefore less toxic.

One more thing I noticed:

You said that the Stress Coat bottle say "1ml per 20 gal". That sounds really wrong, because the Stress Coat I know uses 5ml per 10 gal, and that's the usual standard amount for almost all brands of water conditioners. Maybe u got typo and meant to say 1ml per 2 gal instead?

So what you should do before buying a new goldie:

1. Upgrade tank and filter. 10 gal per fish is the absolute minimum, 20 gal if u want ur fish to reach mature size and u don't go breaking ur back doing water changes more than u have to.

2. Cycle the tank for 4-6 weeks at least. Use proper water testing kit to monitor the ammonia, nitrite & nitrate levels.

3. All done? Now go to the pet store and get ur fish. Do not buy from a tank where there are sick/dying fish. Take ur time and get the most healthy-looking one that doesn't rub it's body against objects and doesn't flick the fins.

I agree with Imogen (Trinket) about pet store people. Do not ever listen to them. Ever. I only talk to pet store guys if I want to gauge their knowledge.

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First - Alistairw - do NOT use a steam cleaner on a tank's glass. The steam cleaners are not safe to use on many glass surfaces such as mirrors/windows/shower doors. The extreme differences in temperatures in a piece of glass can crack the glass in a moment!

Instead, here is a thread that discusses the best methods for disinfecting a tank:

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=41101

Next - Shiga - is that the information that was given on the tank AND filter combo - or just on the filter. You said you had a "20-30 gallon" tank with a "too small" filter. That one, doing 52ish gph in a 5-ish gallon tank would be fine. The tank is too small for a goldfish, but the filter/tank combo is fine. I am hoping that you do, indeed, have the larger tank - and just a too small filter.... :)

When you do get your tank cleaned and reset and ready to cycle (I am thrilled you are going to go the fishless cycle way - it really does protect your fish! :D ), I would suggest that you invest in a set of water tests for yourself. Most important are the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate tests. These will tell you how you are progressing in your fishless cycle, and, once you are cycled, will tell you, each week, how much water you need to change out to keep your tank healthy.

It is best not to guess about how much water you need to change or how often. The tests can tell you whether what you are doing is sufficiant, or whether, perhaps, you need to change more or more often. Let your tests guide you in tank servicing - not the calendar or clock or anything!

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Guest Shiga

D: Really? Oh my god...these people really shouldn't be allowed to offer advice to people when they clearly don't know what they're talking about! - I was told that tank was fine. But mind you, for ?80, I'm pretty sure they didn't care.

Although, I'm not too worried about the tank size just right now, as I'm getting an upgraded size in about mid August :D My fish was still small, which was why I wanted the upgrade so he could have a bigger home when he got bigger later on.

:o Yep, I made a typo. Sorry about that!! :( I was looking at another orange labelled-bottle I have on my fishy shelf, it says "Tap Water Conditioner" and has the 1ml per 20 rule. Gah! Sorry. :cry1

So, is there any point in cycling my tank now, or do a wait for a few months, get an upgrade and cycle it then? Or do I cycle my tank for 4 -6 weeks, get a single fish and keep it while it's still a baby - then get my new tank, cycle it and transfer my fish and keep the old tank for quarantine purposes?

You know what annoys me? If the tanks they're selling aren't suitable at all for goldfish, then why sell them in the first place? I'm so upset and annoyed that their misinformation and my naive-ness has led to this. Especially when I asked them, were they sure that the tank had enough water to keep my fish in a healthy enviroment? I was told that tank was perfect for 1 goldfish. It's a good thing I've been saving for a bigger tank - I wanted a new fish but I knew a 2nd fish would need much more room, so that's why I wanted the upgrade. Sigh.

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Guest Shiga
Next - Shiga - is that the information that was given on the tank AND filter combo - or just on the filter. You said you had a "20-30 gallon" tank with a "too small" filter. That one, doing 52ish gph in a 5-ish gallon tank would be fine. The tank is too small for a goldfish, but the filter/tank combo is fine. I am hoping that you do, indeed, have the larger tank - and just a too small filter....

When you do get your tank cleaned and reset and ready to cycle (I am thrilled you are going to go the fishless cycle way - it really does protect your fish! ), I would suggest that you invest in a set of water tests for yourself. Most important are the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate tests. These will tell you how you are progressing in your fishless cycle, and, once you are cycled, will tell you, each week, how much water you need to change out to keep your tank healthy.

Thank you for the link! It'll help me loads. :D

I sadly think it's the other way round - too small a tank and too large a filter. Gah.

So, when I get my upgrade, I need to look for a strong filter tank / combo.

Yeah, I didn't like the idea of putting the fish at risk if my cycling went wrong. :cry1

I do have a set of test kits, but I'm wondering if they've gone out of date, as they gave me good readings a few days before this all happened. :blink: I'll get some new ones tomorrow and start off my cycling process. Seeing as I'm starting off, will I need to test every few days, or weekly? =O

I hate to be such a trouble, but please may I ask a favour? I'm going to down to Pets at Home tomorrow to start looking at a new tank. If I posted the tank and filter, would someone be able to tell me whether it's good for my fish and a good combo of tank / filter? I don't want to have another fiasco like this one, just because the People at Pets at Home are heartless money eaters who don't care about the fish they sell. :(

Thank you all so much. I feel better now that I'm learning the proper things and I can trust the information that I'm being given. :heart

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You are certainly welcome to ask any questions you like - we will be happy to answer as best we can. You can figure it out yourself, very easily, though, for you seem quite intelligent and capable. :)

You are looking for a tank that is at least 75-76 liters. This will give you more than enough room for any goldfish you desire. If, at a later date, you wish to add another fish, you also will be able to do so.

Then, you will need a filter that passes ALL the tank's water through the filter at least ten times an hour. For a 75 litre tank, this would need to be one that pumps 750 lph. I prefer waterfall/HangOverTheBack type filters best - they are the easiest to service, the easiest to "ammend" (adding in extra media, etc) and they provide a nice addition of oxygen to the water as the water falls back into the tank.

PErsonally, I would do a fishless cycle on the smaller tank, now. It can take quite a few weeks to successfully cycle a tank - and smaller ones can often prove more difficult! That way, in about 2 months, when it FINALLY cycles, you will be ready to get your larger tank and nearly ready to get fish! When you get your larger tank and larger filter, you can simply transfer the old filter to the new tank, mixing up the media at that time into the new filter, etc. Run both filters on the new tank in a fishless cycle for a week, give or take a week - and you will have a large, cycled tank in no time at all. Putting in the time and work ahead of time on the smaller tank will save you many many days on the larger tank!

Do not worry - when you get to that point we will be more than happy to walk you through it. It is not hard - not even very fussy work. :)

We all started out somewhere - most with making BIG mistakes in keeping. I did it. Most do. This site will be more than helpful as you learn and progress in your fish keeping. The fish really do thrive and are truly beautiful!

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If you think you started bad, when I first started 2 yrs ago, I kept 2 fantails and a black moor in a 7 litre plastic container without conditioner and only an airstone! :krazy:

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Hey Daryl. The steam cleaner i was on about is only small. it can be used safely on glass and mirrors. obviously common sense dictates that you shouldn't blast the sealant holding the tank together. first of all you should clean the inside of your tank with hot water (whilst wearing rubber household gloves). that way a steam cleaner will not be a shock to the glass. there are even steam cleaners on the market now advertising that they are safe to use on plants :)

PENSTMNEW.jpg

These little ones are ideal. alistair

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Guest Fred Sambo
no matter how hard I care for them.

Maybe you are trying too hard?

Edit: Upon further inspection, I see that you are not doing quite enough, but you are on the right track!

Edited by Fred Sambo

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I see, Alstair.... I have one of those LadyBugs - that will take the paint off your car, the yuck off your floor and blast the finish off your faucets! I could crack a mirror from 3 feet away!!!!

:yeah:

Just be careful with those things. Those small ones are easy to drop and injure yourself....

:)

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Thanks Daryl. i am always careful. comes from 17 years in the navy i think.

p.s. hope i haven't just jinxed myself.

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A Navy man will never be jinxed. That is a rule of law.

;)

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