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Help! Fish Keep Dying


Guest sachie

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Guest sachie

Ammonia Level? 0

Nitrite Level? 0

Nitrate level? 5-10

Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines)? 7-7.2

Ph Level (KH/GH) out of the Tap? same

Brand of test-kit used? (strips or drops?) api

[*]Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running? 10 gal . a year and a half

[*]What is the name and size of the filter/s? whisper power filter 10 with bio bags

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? once or twice a week 30-40%

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 1- 2.5" that died 3 weeks ago and that I had for 1.5 years. Then I bought 2 babies on Wednesday, both only 1.25" -1.5" one died 3 days after it got home, and the other one looks very sick, probably by the time I'll get back home from work it would be dead after only 6 days!!

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? mmm water conditioner

[*]Any medications added to the tank? Last night I added some drops for ick that I don't remember the brand, but the bottle said it was mild and that it could be added to a tank with new fish as prevention for any sickness.

[*]Add any new fish to the tank? 2 new black moore goldfish to an empty tank

[*]What do you feed your fish? TetraFin goldfish Crisps (presoaked)

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as

"grains of salt",

bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? just a couple of scratches I guess from the handling at the store

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating,ect..? they stayed at the bottom a lot, then had a lot of difficulty breathing, now it cannot float normally by itself so he hangs by the plastic plants to avoid being pushed around by the current produced by the filter. Keeps breathing with difficulty

Hi again guys,

this is getting frustrating and sad, three weeks ago little ninja died after being with us for a little bit over a year and a half, so when I finally decided to get new ones (2 very small goldfish) They are dying as well....

I don't know what to do, I got the water changed, right after the first one died (only 3 days after I bought it) and the other one is very sick, hanging on the plants. They all seem to had the same symptoms. I tested the water a hundred times and everything seems normal. What should I do? Do you think is the temperature? Around 82-84C? I got them also an airstone, but it's the same.

Nothing works, and I don't know what to do? I don't want to keep buying goldfish just to see the dye few days after....

Please help me!!

Thanks again!!!!!!

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  • Regular Member

Hi there,

Some of the more experienced members should be able to offer advice soon. I just wanted to ask: did you mean 82-84F (because 82C doesn't seem right)? Goldfish prefer a temperature somewhere between 65F and 75F (18-24C), so 82F seems rather high.

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Hi there -- I am sorry you're having problems with your fish.

If you've been around for a while, you probably realize that your tank is overstocked and under filtered. Even when your fish are small, they require ten gallons each and a filter that turns over the water volume at least ten times per hour. The Whisper filter you are using is designed for 5-10 gallon tropical tanks and is not adequate for goldfish.

We always recommend against indiscriminant use of medications, even ones labeled as "safe and gentle". The very best treatment/preventative for ich is 0.3% salt, which you can use for the first 2-3 weeks after you purchase fish to help insure that they are free of parasites.

I would recommend that you stick with a single goldfish in your ten gallon tank and switch over to a larger filter -- something along the lines of an AquaClear 30 (150 gph) would work well for your set-up.

P.S. Erinaceus is correct that 82-84 degrees is on the high side for goldfish. As long as a tank and the fish are healthy and adequately aerated goldfish can tolerate temperatures that high, but it is a source of stress for them. Could you get a small clip-on fan to help cool your tank down to more in the range of 78-80 degrees?

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Guest sachie

Thank you.

I don't think this is an overcrow problem. Again, I kept 1 goldfish for over a year and a half and got sick suddenly. The new one left that is about to die, has been alone for two days, with clean water (the tests were fine). You might be right about the filter, although I'm concern about putting a filter that is too big and can cause a strong current of water on my ten gallon tank that could make the fish tired and stressed.

This is the first time I put medicine in the tank, and that was because of a desperate measure....

Any other recommendations??

I'm sure they're getting sick with something else and don't know what.

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A few things:

The fish you kept for 18 months was alone in the tank, correct? That is a different scenario than two fish in a ten gallon tank, regardless of their size. Fish generally do not "suddenly" become ill. Many goldfish are quite hardy and can tolerate a less than perfect environment for a while. But the effects of stress accumulate and then "all of a sudden" they become sick. This could be what happened with your first fish.

What did you do with the tank in the two weeks or so between the death of your first fish and the introduction of the next two? Did you clean and disinfect it? If not, how did you maintain the cycle? What happened in those few weeks could be an important clue to what killed the one fish and has sickened the other.

Keeping water parameters good is not the only thing that you need to take into account. Ammonia and nitrite can be zero and nitrate can be low and the water can still be unsafe for the fish if there is a lot of pathogenic bacteria and/or fungi growing in the tank. Accumulation of these pathogens happens more quickly in warm water temperatures and in an overstocked and/or underfiltered tank. How much gravel is in your tank? Too much gravel (any more than about a 1/4 inch) will also accumulate and harbor harmful bugs.

A healthy fish should be able to tolerate the current generated by a 150 gph filter.

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Hi there Sachie, and :welcome !

It is frustrating when things happen like that, and you lost your fish for which you cared for for over a year. Was he the only inhabitant of the 10 gl tank all this time? If not, the tank simply might have been overstocked, and it finally got to the little guy. However, from what you are saying, it sounds like Ninja was the only fish in the tank.

That said, the problem with the 2 new arrivals most likely is a combination of things, and not all of them are in your control. Those new fish, they most likely brought something with them from the pet store - that is very common. Most parasites you can't see with the naked eye, and you are being lulled into the false sense that the fish are healthy. That is why quarantine is so important when you get new fish. They might have been stressed from the change in water conditions between the pet store and your fish tank, which is also common. Plus the fact that something might be going on in your fish tank as well. The combination of all of that most likely did it for them.

So, here is what I would do if it would be my situation - I would clean the tank really well with a mild bleach solution. 9 parts of water to 1 part of bleach. Rinse it out really well afterwards until all the bleach smell is gone, then put new water in it and a double dose of the water conditioner you are using. Preferably the water conditioner should remove chlorine as well - I don't know what brand you are using. It should say it on the bottle if its for chlorine removal.

In all of this, remove your filter - don't let it run while the bleach is in the tank, it'll kill all the beneficial bacteria that is in the media. Put the filter back on after you dosed the new water with the water conditioner.

This way, you killed off whatever caused you fish's death, and the parasites that the new fish brought in with them.

From there, I would continue "feeding" the tank to keep the cycle going. Feeding simply means keep on adding a small dose of fish food every day, so that the beneficial bacteria in the filter has something to sustain them. If you don't do that, the beneficial bacteria will die down, and once you get new fish, you have to go through the cycling process all over again.

With a cycled filter, you can take your time picking new fish. If you are not planning on upgrading the tank in the future, I would just go with one fish in that 10 gl tank. And it shouldn't be a common or comet (any single tailed fish), since they ideally would need 20 gl per fish to begin with. If your favorite were those cute black moors, just get one for now. You don't have to worry about quarantine then, because there aren't any fish the new one could endanger.

However, once you have a new fish, there are things that you can do to destroy any parasites that the fish most likely will bring in. Here is an interesting link to give you some idea as to what to look for....

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=32884

If you got any questions, please feel free to shoot away! :)

Edit: Oops, that what happens when you start a post, walk away and finish it half an hour later - more replies! Acupunk covered it nicely there... :thumbs:

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Guest sachie

Thank you Andrea and Kristen!

This is more helpfull. Maybe it is a filter thing. DOn't know. If I get home and the only little one left is dead then I'll follow your instructions.

I didn't put any more food in the tank for those 2 - 3 weeks, but kept cleaning and testing the water. Do you think the good bacteria in the filter is dead? And if I do change the filter to the one you recommended, I guess I have to start the whole tank cycle thing again????

Maybe the gravel is a problem, there is certainly almost 1" of gravel in my tank.

And I always had 1 goldfsih in the 10gal. I cannot get a bigger tank since I live in NY and space is a limitation here. I got two black moore last time because they were really tiny. HAlf the size of the first one I had. And didn't want them to feel lonely as ninja was... I tested the water all the time and it was good with the two of them there. So i guess is some parasite or just not enough filtration as you said. Any other thoughts?

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If the tank was empty for 2-3 weeks between Ninja and the new fish a fair number of the beneficial bacteria probably died off. They consume ammonia and nitrite as a food source so they starve if there are no fish in the tank (when the tank is empty you can maintain the cycle by adding plain ammonia from the hardware store). When you get the new filter you will be able to get a headstart on cycling by moving over the biomedia that you have in your current filter. I would recommend removing most of the gravel that you have in there -- you should really only have a very thin layer covering the bottom of the tank.

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Hola Sachie.

I remember you from before when Ninja was ill. I just checked your old topic and found the tank readings you had back then, which may be helpful to keep in mind.

"Ammonia Level? 0 ppm

Nitrite Level? don't have

Nitrate level? don't have

Ph Level, ? 6.8

Ph Level out of the Tap? I guess same

Brand of test-kit used? (strips or drops?) drops Wardley (ph), Aquarium pharmaceutical (Ammonia)

[*]Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running? 10 gal

[*]What is the name and size of the filter/s? Whisper power filter #5-15

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? 30% once a week,or every 10 days"

If we compare them to your current readings......

Ammonia Level? 0

Nitrite Level? 0

Nitrate level? 5-10

Ph Level? 7-7.2

Ph Level out of the Tap? same

Brand of test-kit used? (strips or drops?) api

[*]Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running? 10 gal . a year and a half

[*]What is the name and size of the filter/s? whisper power filter 10 with bio bags

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? once or twice a week 30-40%

We can see that your PH had dropped below the current tap and tank reading. Also, that you had been changing too little water too infrequently - which you have now improved. I think it would be good to get a tester for your KH (alkalinity), as I think it's possible you may have had a PH crash earlier on. This is very easy to have happen if the water lacks enough alkalinity and you go too long between changes. The nitrate (which is acidic) builds up and the alkalinity of the water can no longer hold your PH steady. If this happens, you loose a lot of your filter bacteria which would make the addition of new fish even more of a problem. I may be wrong about this, but I do think it would be good to know your KH reading - just to be sure.

"Last night I added some drops for ick that I don't remember the brand, but the bottle said it was mild and that it could be added to a tank with new fish as prevention for any sickness."

Do you see signs of ich? Look at your fish carefully and tell us if there are any spots or streaks or changes to the slimecoat. Try to find the medication box and tell us what this treatment was called. It is very helpful to know this; meds can be very toxic depending on their ingredients in conjunction with your water readings ie. PH and temp etc.

Post back and let us know anything else you can.

PS. De donde es?

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