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Fantail Goldfish Needs Help


Guest BrandonC

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Guest BrandonC

[*]Test Results for the Following:

Ammonia Level? Low

Nitrite Level? Low/None

Nitrate level? Low/None

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

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

Brand of test-kit used? Drops I think. I got my water tested at mmm and wasn't really watching.

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

2.5 Gallons. It's been running for about 3-4 months.

[*]What is the name and size of the filter/s?

Tetra Whisper Internal Power Filter 10i

High Low/Flow Setting: Low

Fish been swimming ok with it when not sick: Yes

[*]How often do you change the water and how much?

Every 2-4 weeks

Comments: First, my big goldfish was acting unusual. I thought maybe it was because it's been a while without a water change. The water was clean, but obviously there was mostly likely some kind of level of ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, etc. Anyway, I change about 99% of the water and that didn't do much of a difference. I go to mmm and ask about it there and they weren't much help. I then bought a small goldfish. The small goldfish was acting all ok for a while, but then started showing the same symptoms as my big goldfish. Yesterday, I got my water tested at mmm and he just said there was a small amount of ammonia, but that was all. He said it might be stress, although I highly doubt it. I bought stress coat and put a very small amount in the tank, but it didn't do much. Anyway, my small goldfish died yesterday night on the tank floor and my big goldfish is still alive at the top behind my filter, sometimes in an odd position. I'm really frustrated about this issue because my goldfish was very healthy for all those months and now he and any other goldfish I put in that tank die.

I don't think my catfish is affected, but he is on the tank floor a little more than usual. I think the catfish is a cory, but i'm not sure. I made sure he was safe and ok with my goldfish though as I know some types of catfish are very harmful to the goldfish.

My mom used to have fish and she doesn't know what the problem is. I have given all the basic care and such to these fish and therefore I don't know what to think is happening to the fish. I'm pretty sure i'm not doing anything wrong. I suspect there is some kind of sickness spreading or something, but i'm not a veteranarian.

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 2/3 (1 died) Fish. 1 very small cat fish,

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

[*]Any medications added to the tank? No

[*]Add any new fish to the tank? 1 very small GoldFish about 2-3 days ago, but it died.

[*]What do you feed your fish? GoldFish Flakes

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as

"grains of salt",

bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? No, not that I could see.

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating,ect..? Yes, there has been alot of very unusual behavior. The GoldFish will lay on the tank floor/rocks most of the time. Lately, my big goldfish has been staying at the top behind the filter yesterday and today. My small goldfish was staying on the bottom/rocks most of the time until it died. They also haven't been really eating much. Also, I think my big goldfish might have some kind of issue swimming, but he hardly ever swims so it is hard to determine.

Note: My big goldfish isn't fully grown or anything and isn't that big at all, but I call him the big goldfish because there was a much smaller goldfish in their with him.

Goldfish Type: Fantail GoldFish

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  • Regular Member

Hi BrandonC and welcome to Koko's! :)

Ok, the first thing I noticed here is that you have 2/3 fish in a 2.5 gallon tank. The general rule of thumb for goldfish is 10 gallons for each fancy (which is what your fantail is) and 20 gallons for each common goldfish. That would be a single-tail. So right now you need a tank that is at least 20 gallons. A 2.5 gallon might be suitable for a betta, but that would be it.

Your water tests indicate that your tank is not cycled if the lfs tests are correct. Most lfs use strips, not drops, and they can be very inaccurate. And any reading of ammonia is bad. Especially in a small overstocked tank. And in this small of a tank, water changes every 2-4 weeks is not nearly enough. You should be doing temp and ph matched water changes 2-3 times weekly to get your tank water pristine and keep the ammonia levels down. This is going to be impossible in this small of a tank with goldfish. They are huge waste producers and produce ammonia not only from their waste, but from their gills as well.

Adding another fish without QTing it first just adds trouble to the mix. All new fish come from the lfs with parasites and especially flukes. They all need to be quarantined in a separate tank until they have been treated and are disease free. Adding parasites to the tank where your fish's immune system is already compromised can be deadly.

Whew!! I know this seems like a lot to take in at once. I know also that you said your fish has been fine up till now. This happens a lot. Goldfish can be very hardy and survive in poor conditions, but it just takes one thing to set up an unfortunate chain of events. They are just surviving, but not thriving.

Please don't get discouraged. We all came here the same as you, with overstocked tanks, sick fish, and no clue as to what we had done wrong. We came here to try to save our fish because we loved them and that is why you are here.

For a start I would do a 100% water change. Do not change your filters. You need these to help get your tank cycled as it seems that your fish are suffering from New Tank Syndrome. If you can't get a larger tank right now, you could consider getting a large Rubbermaid tote to keep the fish in. You'll need another filter larger than the one you have (you should use both) but this would be inexpensive and easier to maintain your water params correctly.

You should get a water testing kit. Drops, not strips. The water quality is the most important thing you can do for your little buddies as if the water is good, the fish will do well most of the time.

If you go to the home page of the forum, there are many links there that will help you on your way to keeping healthy fish and they are very informative. We are all here to help you, and look forward to helping you get your fish on track! :exactly

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Guest BrandonC

Thank you for the reply. I'll do a 100% water change as soon as possible. Aside from the fish being sick, it would be worth it since there is quite a bit of waste and such hiding in the rocks. Also, you mentioned I should consider purchasing a Rubbermaid tote if I can't get a larger tank at the moment. What stores have these Rubbermaid totes for purchase?

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I'm not sure where you are, but any store that sells things for the home would have them, and they are relatively cheap. If you are in the US, wallyworld carries them as do the other chain stores. They make wonderful flybytheseatofyourpants aquariums and will do very well until you get something more suitable!

Another thing BrandonC, if I were you with the situation you are in right now, I'd consider removing the gravel. Don't remove all of it at once, just take a small portion out when you do wcs until its gone. In your small tank you don't need anyplace for nasties to hide. I really hope you consider the Rubbermaid option if you can't get a larger tank right now, as your fish desperately need a larger space. And if you do, don't forget to get another filter so you can use both. And I'd turn the flow setting to high. You need all the filtration you can get, and fast.

Edited by vickielm
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Brandon~ as vickie says, all these problems are related to overcrowding. 2.5 gallons is only enough tank volume for a betta. Your fish will suffer all kinds of problems long and short term in so small a volume of water. I hope you can move him with his filter to a 10 gallon plastic rubbermaid or tank soon. Meanwhile daily 80% water changes will help him most . Good luck :)

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Because there is a lot of information for a new goldfish keeper to take in, I just wanted to summarize what you need to have to help get your goldy healthy. You can leave your catfish in the 2.5 gallon, and as they do best in schools, you could get 1-2 more as companions. Don't put your catfish in with your goldfish. Water testing and changes and tank cleaning, however, need to be as constant as for the goldfish.

For one goldfish you need:

1. A 10 gallon rubbermaid or rubbermaid-like plastic storage bin or aquarium. (Multiply by 2 for each additional goldfish.)

2. A filter or filters that move a combined total of 100 gph water. (Multiply by 2 for each additional goldfish. Actual calculations are that you need a filter that moves 10 times the water per hour as the size of the tank.)

3. A thermometer. Ideal temperature should be around 70 degrees F.

4. A vacuum, siphon or python.

5. Drop test kits for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and ph.

6. Water dechlorinator, such as NovAqua +, to be added with every water change.

7. No gravel on the bottom.

8. Daily water testing until your tank is cycled. Weekly water testing on a cycled tank.

9. Daily temperature-matched dechlorinated water changes of 70%-90% until your tank is cycled. Water changes are based on test readings.

10. Weekly temperature-matched dechlorinated water changes of at least 50% on a cycled tank. Water changes are based on the test readings.

11. A 100% temperature-matched dechlorinated water change once a month.

12. A healthy, varied diet of quality protein and veggies fed in proper amounts.

13. Quarantine all new fish in a separate tank for at least 2 weeks and treat with aquarium salt and prazi before adding them to the main tank.

Edited by Lynda Von G
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How are things with the fish now, BrandonC? Were you able to implement any of the suggestions? I know it is a lot to take in all at once. We all have been there, done that. We all turned out okay. Is that even something that can be said of an addiction? :whistle

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