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Help Help Our 3 Goldfish Are Ill


Guest feelmich

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Guest feelmich

Could someone please help? Our 3 goldfish have been ill for two days now. All three are about 6 years old now. They are just lying on the bottom of the tank(50 Liter). They only swim when they get their food. You can see all of their veigns in their tails very clearly(not like normal). They breathe normally, but they have some kind of bruises on their bellies. We change the water twice a week(4/5 of the tank) they have a filter which is cleaned once a week. Does anyone know what they have and how we can threat them???????????????

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Guest katie.P

im new to goldfish so i dont know alot about what you are saying but i know that veigns in the fish seen clearly is a sign of stress?

anything happened that could have caused stress?

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Hello feelmich and welcome to koko's :)

In order for us to help you in the best way possible, can you please answer as many questions in the white box above as best as you can? We need as much information as we possibly can.

For the time being, you said you cleaned the filter once a week. Can you elaborate how you clean the filter? Do you change the media/sponge? Do you wash it with tap water?

Looking forward to hearing from you again :)

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Guest feelmich

well i have the fish for 6 years now. I did everything like i always do. I use tapwater to change the water 4/5th of the tank( so 40 of the 50 liters). I have some plants for air in the water. the filter is a very small normal one with wad. i change the wad every week.

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Hi Feelmich,

As d_golem advised please provide them with more info...the info that is asked in the box on the top of the page of this forum..it would more easy for everyone to help diagnose the problem...

From your post..I think 50 litres is really small for 3 goldfish...its almost between 12-14 US gallons...which unfortunately is very small for goldfish...What kind of goldfish are these??..Fancy goldfish (double tailed) or common/feeder/comet (single tailed goldfish)...Each fancy requires minimum of 10 gallons and each single tailed common requires minimum 20 gallons....Considering this 50 litres for 3 goldfish is overcrowded..and you say you have had them for 6 years??..wow...that means they are stunted...

U see as they goldfish start growing they need to be upgraded to bigger tanks...or else they are stunted..the internal organs keep growing as per age..but their outside grows in proportiono to their habitat...so your goldfish in a small tank cannot grow to their full potential..This is what I understand from the info you give in your post..I may be wrong...

That said please provide more information..water parameters and I am sure the moderators and more experienced people can elaborate and help you more on this...

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Hi and welcome!

As d_golem and SunshineGurl have already said, we need your water parameters and the housing size of you tank to go further with helping you. I know you have had the fish for 6 years, but fish can live for a long time in sub-standard conditions. But they are not thriving, they are just surviving.

You should never clean your filter or media with tapwater. The chlorine and minerals strip the beneficial bacteria that you need for your cycle. Do you use dechlorinator in the water?

Please answer as many of the questions as you can in the box above. If you don't have a water testing kit, you can take a sample of your water to the lfs and they will test it for you...just make sure they give you the precise numbers, not just if it is "okay".

Hoping to hear from you soon! :)

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Right then, feelmich.

While I'm waiting for the answers to the questions in the white box above from you, for now I'm just going to analyse things based from what you've given me.

A couple of things I've noted:

1. Changing the filter wad every week is....well....completely unnecessary. In fact, if it's not in tatters and breaking down, you need not change it at all. Why? Because the filter wad the place where most of the beneficial bacteria (BB) in your tank lives. Put it simply, BB converts harmful toxins to less harmful substance. Having BB colonising your filter media and having them stay there is the basis of having a filter in the first place.

What you have to do when cleaning your filter is to take the wad out then just rinse it in tank water, not throw it out. I myself have not changed my filter sponge in 3 years. If you change your filter wad every single week, not only you waste unnecessary money, you also throw away the place the BB lives without giving them a chance to establish yet (which takes 4-8 weeks).

2. The red veins are most likely because of bad water quality and your fish are showing the symptoms of it. What you describe as "bruises" sounds like ammonia burns. Ammonia is the most toxic substance in the tank, and ammonia burn indicate that you have higher than normal ammonia level in your tank.

3. I would like to know how big are your fish now. A 6 year-old goldfish should be, by all accounts, quite big and should be at least 15-20 cm long regardless of what type they are.

Now, what I need you to do now is to answer the questions in the white box above. That's the priority.

Secondly, as a first measure, let's do a waterchange of the amount you usually do. However, do not change the filter wad, ever again. Also do not forget to use a water conditioner (or leave the water out for 24 hours).

Let us know how you're doing, k? ;)

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Guest feelmich

We have done some tests. Ammonia level is between 0 and 0,25 mg/l so it is ok. Nitrite was sold out in the store. Nitrate level was 25 mg/l so also still ok. KH level in tank 10 dh so a little bit on the higher side but still ok. All tests were tetra tests.

the tank measures are 40x40cm (16x16 inch), the three fish are about 7 inch long. They have not been ill before, a few times they?ve laid eggs (and then they also behaved al little bit different, water was very merky, probably with sperm). Now they only sit together on the bottom of the tank.

We feed the fish Multifit and because our tap water has no KH, we use KH plus.

The only thing we?ve changed last week are the plants (they regularly get new ones).

i have made some pics: http://community.webshots.com/album/565080622ZCZVRH

Edited by feelmich
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I think that your fish have 'outgrown' your tank's capacity's. You said you had 3 fish all 7 inches in one tank of 50 litres. this is way too much fish in a too small tank. A fancy (double tailed goldfish) needs at least 10 US gallon (37.5 l).

I saw your pics and it is clear that they are not feeling so well, rather clamped fins.

It looks like the problem is just not enough water volume the fish, this should be solved when you up grade to a bigger tank (or get a rubbermade ;) ) with a filter that does at least 10 times the water volume of your entire tank an hour.

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Guest feelmich

so you think if i buy a bigger tank they will get better? I mean i don't want to spend 100 euros on a new tank and my fish die anyway in a few days because the problem is something else.

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so you think if i buy a bigger tank they will get better? I mean i don't want to spend 100 euros on a new tank and my fish die anyway in a few days because the problem is something else.

There don't seem (to me) to be any really obvious signs of the most common diseases, so it very possible that your fish are suffering from a high bioload (of which nitrates make up an important part). Although it's also possible that they have some sort of illness ... given that it's near impossible to keep your water quality as high as it should be with so much fish/volume, it would be equally impossible to get them back to health in the current tank. In goldfish, water quality is figuratively speaking at least 85% (if not more) of what is needed to keep them healthy (keep the water healthy and in most cases the goldfish will keep themselves healthy). Although low water quality can be really harmful in itself, it also prevents the fish from standing up to any parasite that may be present :( . So which ever way you'd look at it, if you want a chance at saving your goldfish, you'd need to move them to a larger tank. As Quasi briefly noted though, there are alternatives to an (expensive) glass aquarium. For instance, you could get a rubbermade, which costs far less and is a good alternative (some people even use it on a permanent basis).

Edited by Erinaceus
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Take care of the water, and the water takes care of the fish. I'll give you an example

I rescued 8 skinny fish from very dirty water and a frozen end (a week later the little tub was frozen solid) by adopting them. I didn't know how many were in the disgusting water, so I bought an 20 gal tank (80 l) thinking that it would be 3 or maximum 4 tiny fish. Well I was wrong, there were 8 fish, 7 of them tiny and one a big sarassa commet. So after I had got them safely home, I found out the amount of space goldfish needed so I searched for a big second hand tank. Bought a 70 gal for 200 euros. and transferred the biggest ones over one at the time because I had to cycle it. My big commet (7 inches including tail) was rather depressed and stayed skinny in the little tank and was not really interested in her surroundings. After I transferred her she became a very lifely fish, always begging for food and she fattend up in no time.

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Guest feelmich

aweek ago when the fish were fine. they always came up when they did see a person to beg for food. If you wouldN't give them anything they splattered you with water., but now nothing they just are on the bottom of the tank and only come up for food. :(

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When you say your water has very little chlorine, any chlorine at all is very bad for your fish. Also, tap water conditioner removes harmful minerals and bacteria that shouldn't be in your aquarium. A lot of tap water also contains ammonia. IMO, you should always use a dechlorinator and water conditioner.

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aweek ago when the fish were fine. they always came up when they did see a person to beg for food. If you wouldN't give them anything they splattered you with water., but now nothing they just are on the bottom of the tank and only come up for food. :(

Although they can be strongly affected by water quality, a lot of goldfish tend to 'withstand' the negative effects of water for rather a long time, before suddenly having too much of it and succumbing. This is illustrated well by the stereotypical 'normal lifespan' of a goldfish: keep it in a bowl, change the water when it gets dirty (i.e. every few weeks), the fish remains okay for a couple of months to maybe two years, and then one morning it's floating lifeless on the top of the bottom. (my apologies to everyone for this horror story, but it seemed rather relevant here :unsure: )

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Guest feelmich

since it is not the water at the moment i have used sera omnipur against the most common ornamental fish diseases. If they improve a little i will get a 160 Liter tank tomorrow. I have already seen a nice one 100x40x45cm.

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since it is not the water at the moment i have used sera omnipur against the most common ornamental fish diseases. If they improve a little i will get a 160 Liter tank tomorrow. I have already seen a nice one 100x40x45cm.

It is always good to stay away from medications of any sort and try and solve issues naturally..I think you might wanna upgrade..also it will take time to cycle...I think they will do much much better in a bigger tank...I had suggested that in my very first post...you really might wanna consider this..no matter how they look or feel at the moment.. :)

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You are showing ammonia readings in your water tests. Not only will medications be ineffective if there is any ammonia in your water, it turns the water into a toxic soup that will do your fish more harm than good.

As Erinaceus has said, fish can survive for some time in poor conditions, and the slightest thing will set off a fatal domino effect. For example, the parasite ich is always present in almost all aquarium settings. It will not show up on healthy fish, but the first thing that goes wrong give it the opportunity to attack your fish because their immune system is already compromised.

Cycling a healthy tank is a complex thing to do, but after it is cycled, it is just maintaining the pristine water conditions. Using meds in less than perfect conditions, and using incorrect meds when you're not sure what is wrong with the fish is dangerous. We've all been there and done that, and the results have been at the least unfortunate for our fish, and fatal at the worst.

I would concentrate on getting a bigger home for your fish now...not wait until you see improvement. They will not get much better in a tank that is too small for them. A Rubbermaid container has been suggested, and they work very well until you can get a bigger tank.

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Guest feelmich

Fortunately the antibiotics did help. Today the fish are swimming again and behave like they did before they got ill. We already bought a new 120L tank, it?s already filled with water and water conditioner. The fish have to stay in the old tank (with the antibiotics) for 3 days, on monday they?ll move into their new home.

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