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My Fish Keep Dying :(


Guest MrsHyde

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Guest MrsHyde

Okay, so I'm a teacher and, long story short, ended up getting a goldfish from one of my students. I had no tank or anything, so that weekend I went out and got a 10 gallon tank with a filter (it has a carbon filter and a debris filter in it). I added gravel, water that had been treated to remove chlorine, and some fake plants, along with 3 more small goldfish so the first one wouldn't be lonely. (Do fish get lonely?) Anyway, after a couple of days the water got slightly cloudy and then one died that same day. I changed about a third of the water and a couple of days later the water was cloudy again and another one bit the dust. I then bought a water testing kit and was going to get some of that stuff to neutralize ammonia since I thought that was what it might be, but the pet store guy said chemicals were bad and that my tank was cycling. So, I came home and tested the water which showed the ammonia at around 4ppm. So I changed out half the water, vacuumed the gravel, and added an airstone. Then the water tested at 1ppm. I went out for a few hours, came back, and another fish was dead. Now I have one left. Note that the original one who all of this was purchased for died first. So now I have one goldfish left, and I don't know what to do to keep it from dying. He looks fine -he's swmming around nicely and eating. But then so did the other one right up until I found him floating. If I add those chemicals to reduce the ammonia am I going to mess up the cycling? Is there anything else I can do to keep this one alive? I feel like a crappy fish-keeper. This was kind of thrown in my lap, but I've been trying my damndest to keep these little suckers alive, but it's just not working. Any suggestions?

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  • Regular Member

Hello, and welcome! :) Teachers are some fo my favorite people! My daughter teaches as do a number of very valuable members here. You are an appreciated person.

Goldfish, despite their reputation of being a "child's" pet, can be one of the more labor intensive pets to keep. That said, do not be afraid or turned off..... it is not hard. It just requres a bit of information. :)

Here, on Koko's, we all like to help - and will answer any questions you may have - and are more than happy to walk you through any problems, etc. To get you started, however, I am going to suggest some "homework" for you. These are basic articles that have been written by various people through the years. They are quite valuable and very informative.

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=11275

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

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

Feel free to read anything you find....and ask whatever questions that come to mind. There is probably not a question out there that we have not all asked before ... we all started out where you are.

Again - WELCOME!

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Guest SeRiOuS

They probably died from shock, also how long did you leave your tank to run before putting in your goldfish?

in future you need to wait 24 hours before putting fish into a tank you just bought....then you gradually introduce them if you dont the changes in water temperature gets them stressed and they die...

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Don't feel bad, we all make mistakes when we're first starting out. The thing you must do now is learn from those mistakes and become better!

Daryl has given you some great links. Read up and keep us updated with your adventure in goldfish-keeping. :D

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Guest MrsHyde

Daryl - Thank you for the response - I will read the articles today. The last fish is still alive - my husband and I are thinking of naming him Lucky :)

Serious - Unfortunately, I was given these goldfish on a school day, after which I attended class (working on my doctorate in education) for six hours, so no trip to the pet store that day. I then worked the next day before being able to get to a pet store. So, unfortunately the fish had been sitting in a tiny container of water that was, by that point, very cloudy and dirty. I had to choose between leaving them there or just putting them in the new tank immediately. I figured their chances might be slightly better in the new tank, so I put them in that, but it didn't have 24 hours to sit. Next time though, I will definitely take ample time to prepare!

On a side note - I've never considered myself to be a "fish person" although I am a longtime vegetarian and don't eat them :) However, I am really surprised at how much I actually enjoy having this little fish swimming around. I've already started talking to him like a nutcase. The insanity has begun....

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They probably died from shock, also how long did you leave your tank to run before putting in your goldfish?

in future you need to wait 24 hours before putting fish into a tank you just bought....then you gradually introduce them if you dont the changes in water temperature gets them stressed and they die...

"Shock" has very little to do with it. It was ammonia poisoning, clear and simple. There is no need to wait 24 hours at all unless you are not using a chlorine-removing water conditioner. As long as the first are acclimated from their bags into the new environment, temperature shock will not occur.

On a side note - I've never considered myself to be a "fish person" although I am a longtime vegetarian and don't eat them :) However, I am really surprised at how much I actually enjoy having this little fish swimming around. I've already started talking to him like a nutcase. The insanity has begun....

Hi Mrs Hyde and welcome to Koko's! The articles that Daryl linked you to will be quite revealing and be very helpful for keeping Lucky alive. I just want to highlight the main problems for you here.

1) Ammonia is HIGHLY toxic to goldfish! I'm very sorry to hear that all of the fish died, but it is because 4ppm ammonia is akin to breathing carbon monoxide for us. Even 1ppm is too high! After you read the link Daryl posted about cycling, it will hopefully become clear to you why this is, and how to use the natural process of the nitrogen cycle to keep your water safe for your fish. Water changes, water changes, WATER CHANGES. Just remember to match the temperature and pH as best as you can, and to ALWAYS use a chlorine-removing water conditioner.

2) Goldfish are very, very, very messy fish. Far more so than any small tropical fish you might find! Their waste and the waste produced from their gills turns into ammonia very quickly-- water can become toxic within a matter of hours! Because of this, filtration is a must. We recommend having 10x filtration water turnover (measured in gallons per hour) as the size of your tank. There is also a general rule that fancy fish (deep-bodied, with double tails) need 10 gallons each and common goldfish (slim-bodied, with single tails) need 20 gallons each. The more gallonage and the more filtration, the better!

There is much more to learn, but as you do, you should keep a close eye on the water parameters (test with your kit twice a day, or more!) and do LARGE water changes (75-100%) every single day. That will keep the ammonia level down.

Welcome to Koko's, welcome to goldfish, and welcome to your new addiction!! Good luck, and keep us posted!

If talking to your fish is insanity.... I am a blithering idot!

:yeah:

Hmm... that makes two of us. I sing to mine. :P

Edited by thoughtsofjoy
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Welcome to Koko's!

You certainly are not a bad fishkeeper: you were merely uninformed. You will find TONS of information here on how to keep a goldfish healthy and happy.

It is important to understand that goldfish are pond fish at heart, and that is why we have such high standards of tank size and filtration for keeping them in aquariums.

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welcome....you have been given great advise from some great members here on the board. many are here to help as was already said. just keep reading, i find myself still reading posts over and over, soaking it all in. i think we all talk to our fish....im just insane. have fun learning and taking care of lucky!

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