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The Two Sickly Fish & The Overstocked 10gal.


sheep

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I may have made a note before that my science teacher is keeping two common goldfish(and as of a week or two ago, a silvery koi) in a ten gallon aquarium in her classroom.

The two commons are actually fish I handed over to her in hopes that she'd give them a home in a nice, large tank, last spring. Unfortunately, they stayed in that ten gallon and were even joined recently by a small silver koi. All three fish have a body length of about.. 2-3" and the aquarium is decorated with half a fake log, a live plant or two, a couple of fake plants, and a handful of muscles(yes, MUSCLES!). The water stays filled all the way to the top(which means little to no surface disturbance) and my teacher relies solely on a filter to keep the water clean.

This morning when I met her in the office before hanging out in her room, she said that her two goldfish were missing! We both suspected that the principal or another teacher had taken them or something.. but when we got to the classroom, moments later I spotted one. It looked very ill- instead of gold it was splotchy and its mouth, head, and gills were patches with sickly red. It was swimming slowly and stayed at the bottom of the tank most of the time. The second goldfish was found under the fake log and looked just as ill as the first. Both of them may have had parasites of some sort on their bodies, but I couldn't tell, really. I'm sure the water under the log was very stagnant..

I knew somethine like this would happen eventually.. The two goldies may not live, but I don't particularly know what's WRONG with them. When I left today they were both sitting very still next to eachother at the bottom and back of the aquarium. The koi was just as active as always, swimming at the glass.

I'm pretty sure she's never done tests on the water(when I was talking about testing my water once she said she doesn't do all of that..), so I don't know its state.

My fish-friend, Ricky, said while I was talking with him about the ill fish that he keeps many more fish of that size in a 10gallon(KOI!!) and they "do just fine".?

Eh.. a bit of a rant.. I've asked them both to join the forum, but there's no guarantee that they will. Ah, well..?

I'll try discussing things with Ricky, asking him questions about how he keeps his fish. As for my teacher, I try not to pester her TOO much because I'm also trying to set her straight with her hermit crab.?

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All you can do is educate (or try) them on how to keep the fish healthy. It is sad to see the fish suffer though. Is there a way you can help the teacher get the tank under control and show her how to care for them properly? I wonder if the muscles caused some type of illness the goldfish? :unsure:

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All you can do is educate (or try) them on how to keep the fish healthy. It is sad to see the fish suffer though. Is there a way you can help the teacher get the tank under control and show her how to care for them properly? I wonder if the muscles caused some type of illness the goldfish? :unsure:

I'm not really sure. I'm a but dumb to muscles. They haven't been there long and I have no clue where she got them(if she brought them for the wild, there may be room to worry..)

It could even be the koi, but my first suspect is the water itself.?

I will talk with her all I can, but like I've said, I'll try not to load her down with too much info. She stays busy(teacher!), but maybe I can offer to help out with getting the tank in order.. It'll take a good bit of work and we'll have to do something about that koi, it just doesn't belong in an aquarium! :(

When I finally get my frop test kit, I can check it out, but a strip test or two won't hurt for a vague idea of the water's state..

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Do you have a local pet/fish store that will do free water testing. I had to do that until I got my test kit and it helped even if the employees didn't. Just a suggestion. I hope you can help her and get things looking better.

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That's absolutely right! Strip tests are better than no tests!

I'm sure it's probably a combination of poor water quality, mussels and the new fish. Maybe any of them alone wasn't enough to make the fish sick, but add them altogether and it's finally enough bad bugs to do the job. The first thing, as you know, is to get some good water in there. The second thing is to have those mussels for dinner! lol! Okay, maybe not, but they don't belong in there and you know that! And, as you also know, that koi needs to go back to the store... or somewhere else. Then, just a lot of good water, salt and maybe some med food and nurse them back to health! It's a big job offering to help out with them, but you're a good person for wanting to do so! Best of luck!

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Do you have a local pet/fish store that will do free water testing. I had to do that until I got my test kit and it helped even if the employees didn't. Just a suggestion. I hope you can help her and get things looking better.

I really don't know. I'll have to actually get there to get the tests and everything's about an hour away here. I will surely find out, though.

That's absolutely right! Strip tests are better than no tests!

I'm sure it's probably a combination of poor water quality, mussels and the new fish. Maybe any of them alone wasn't enough to make the fish sick, but add them altogether and it's finally enough bad bugs to do the job. The first thing, as you know, is to get some good water in there. The second thing is to have those mussels for dinner! lol! Okay, maybe not, but they don't belong in there and you know that! And, as you also know, that koi needs to go back to the store... or somewhere else. Then, just a lot of good water, salt and maybe some med food and nurse them back to health! It's a big job offering to help out with them, but you're a good person for wanting to do so! Best of luck!

Well.. the muscles I think were for some lesson, but she should have kept them seperate. She may have also thought they'd help the water in some way, I really don't know.

The koi was brought by a student(my fish-friend). He's dumped animals on her before, that's where she got the hermie I've been helping her with.

Tomorrow, if the fish are still alive, I'll try my best. I'm very doubtful.. they were extremely weak when I left.

I think another good idea would be to e-mail her the information you guys are offering up. She reads everything I send her a nd she check her e-mail daily. I need to know what meds and what kind of salt I'll need.

I'll also bring my dechlorinator and see if I can do almost a full water change. I'm not sure what to do with the muscles yet.. and the student will HAVE to take that koi back. Pond fish =/= aquarium! :(

I'm sorry if I'm asking a lot, but this is going to be a big job and I need to know as much as possible. Thanks so much guys for your support! I really means a tremendous amount to me!

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Shellfish can carry A LOT of diseases. That's probably the biggest reason it's against the jewish faith to eat them. And why we're told not to eat them during certain months of the year. And it is always assumed that all new fish carry bacteria and parasites and must be quarantined and treated before adding them to a main tank. Additionally, koi are outdoor pond fish. Koi are not meant for indoor aquariums unless your aquarium is about at least 1,000 gallons.

First, a 100% water change is in order. Water changes should be temperature matched and a dechlorinator/conditioner used. Allowing the water to sit out isn't enough. Yes, the chlorine will dissipate if the water is allowed to sit, but there are other things in the water such as chloramine and trace elements that will not dissipate and a dechlorinator/conditioner is the only thing that will get rid of these things.

Salt and medicated food are the best treatments. Aquarium salt is easiest to dissolve, but is the most expensive. Any kind of rock salt is acceptable to use. Kosher, pickling, sea or rock salt. Just so it's not been iodized. Salt is reference by volume: 0.1%, 0.2% and 0.3%. 0.1%=1 tsp salt per 1 gallon water, 0.2%=2 tsp salt per 1 gallon water and 0.3%=3 tsp salt per 1 gallon water. Salt is added in increments. Add 0.1%, then 12 hours later, bring the salt up to 0.2%, then another 12 hours later, bring the salt up to 0.3%.

Medicated food will treat internal bacterial infections. No external treatments will reach anything internal. Goldfish Connection's Medi-Gold is the best food, but must be ordered online and as this is an emergency situation, you would need to have it overnighted, which can be very expensive, so you can try the Jungle Anti-Bacterial food. That should be available at most fish stores. The important thing is to get some medication inside of them as soon as possible.

Remember that salt is removed in equivalent amounts when you do water changes. For example, if you remove 50% of the water, you've removed 50% of the salt. If you have a 10 gallon tank with 0.3% salt, then you have 30 tsps salt. If you remove 50% of the water, you have removed 15 tsps salt, so 15 tsps of salt would need to be added back in after the water change. Pre-dissolve the salt in some tank water you've removed from the tank, then pour the salted water back in the tank slowly near the filter(s) so that it gets mixed well. Be careful if you buy salt in a container that has any plastic as I've heard more than one horror story of plastic bits being in the salt and then get in the water and the fish eat them and the plastic gets stuck in the fish's mouth. So, after the salt is dissolved in the bucket/cup, feel around the bottom for ANY solid objects before adding to the tank. Or, you can use a strainer to pour the water through.

Water should always be tested often to ensure healthy conditions, but it is of the utmost importance that water be kept as pristine as possible when you have a sick fish. Water needs to be tested every day when you have sick fish and you may need to do daily water changes, often in large amounts.

The test kits you need are drops for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and ph. They may seem a bit expensive in the beginning, but they are worth the investment.

Water changes for goldfish should always be at least 50% once a week with a 100% water change once a month.

Hopefully this will help your teacher. Good luck with the fish!

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Wowzers, that's a ton of information, thank you so very much!

I forwarded it all to her in my e-mail. It's a little late, but maybe she'll read it before tomorrow..?

Even if the goldfish do pass away before I can save them, I will make sure the tank is put into order!

I'll also keep the info in mind for my own reference.

Tomorrow, I'll take a bucket, my test strips, dechlorinator, and if I can find any, salt. I don't have any medicated food(I haven't really.. needed any, har) and I'm not sure when the soonest will be that I get some. That goes for just about all other supplies.

Do you know how long a water sample can retain its levels before testing? I was going to see if I could get it done at my LFS if no drop tests are available..

Sorry if I start to ramble my thoughts aren't completely in order(near bed time..)

Uhm.. I can't think of anything else to add! :( ?

I will paste the e-mail, though!

It's a reply to an e-mail I got a.. reply to about the aquarium project. She asked about pictures of my current g'fish. :)

Picture of Toeby? I have MANY MANY MANY pictures of her! She's very photogenic!

...

Speaking of fish, I discussed the aquarium problem with my friends at Koko's! This e-mail may be.. a bit lengthy!

I don't know if I've told you before, but your 10 gallon tank has been overstocked since I offered my two commons to you.

I expected you to take them somewhere bigger, but it never happened, ahaha. o_o

I don't really like loading you(or anyone else) down with a lot of information, nor do I like sounding very much like a know-it-all, but I do know some very important things that will help you with your aquarium in the future and even right NOW.

First of all, common goldfish need at least 20 gallons per fish as a general thumb rule. I never count size into this equation due to the amount of amonie/waiste they produce and the fact that they grow and they grow FAST.

Koi are pond fish and probably produce even more waiste than commons(I don't know EXACTLY, I'm not a koi person, haha..)

As for the muscles, where did you get them?

A combination of the added muscles, koi, poor water quality(you can NEVER rely on a filter to take care of the water for you!), and maybe even minimal surface disturbance may have counted into the eventual illness of the two goldies.

I think I've heard you mention, also, that you don't do water tests?These are vital to ensuring that the water is healthy and the nitrItes, amonia, etc. are all in check. If the water is taken care of the water takes care of the fish, very simple, right?

I'm afraid the koi will have to be taken somewhere.. it's really not helping anything and It probably didn't recieve proper quarantine before being placed witht he goldfish(just an assumption, sorry). Koi are pond fish and do not belong in aquariums, let alone a 10gallon.

Without quarantine fish can easily transmit nasty bugs/parasites and deseases to an already established aquarium.

(If you catch me rambling or lecturing, please bare with me.. it's just my way! D:)

Uhmm, let me see..

The muscles.. where did they come from? I don't know if they can transmit anything to the fish, but they probably aren't benefitting them very much. I don't know how much space muscles need for their size, etc., but I don't think it would hurt much to.. do some reading on them..

Here, I'll post some replies by my friend, Lynda. She's very wise in my opinion and is always offering advice!

"Shellfish can carry A LOT of diseases. That's probably the biggest reason it's against the jewish faith to eat them. And why we're told not to eat them during certain months of the year. And it is always assumed that all new fish carry bacteria and parasites and must be quarantined and treated before adding them to a main tank. Additionally, koi are outdoor pond fish. Koi are not meant for indoor aquariums unless your aquarium is about at least 1,000 gallons.

First, a 100% water change is in order. Water changes should be temperature matched and a dechlorinator/conditioner used. Allowing the water to sit out isn't enough. Yes, the chlorine will dissipate if the water is allowed to sit, but there are other things in the water such as chloramine and trace elements that will not dissipate and a dechlorinator/conditioner is the only thing that will get rid of these things.

Salt and medicated food are the best treatments. Aquarium salt is easiest to dissolve, but is the most expensive. Any kind of rock salt is acceptable to use. Kosher, pickling, sea or rock salt. Just so it's not been iodized. Salt is reference by volume: 0.1%, 0.2% and 0.3%. 0.1%=1 tsp salt per 1 gallon water, 0.2%=2 tsp salt per 1 gallon water and 0.3%=3 tsp salt per 1 gallon water. Salt is added in increments. Add 0.1%, then 12 hours later, bring the salt up to 0.2%, then another 12 hours later, bring the salt up to 0.3%.

Medicated food will treat internal bacterial infections. No external treatments will reach anything internal. Goldfish Connection's Medi-Gold is the best food, but must be ordered online and as this is an emergency situation, you would need to have it overnighted, which can be very expensive, so you can try the Jungle Anti-Bacterial food. That should be available at most fish stores. The important thing is to get some medication inside of them as soon as possible.

Remember that salt is removed in equivalent amounts when you do water changes. For example, if you remove 50% of the water, you've removed 50% of the salt. If you have a 10 gallon tank with 0.3% salt, then you have 30 tsps salt. If you remove 50% of the water, you have removed 15 tsps salt, so 15 tsps of salt would need to be added back in after the water change. Pre-dissolve the salt in some tank water you've removed from the tank, then pour the salted water back in the tank slowly near the filter(s) so that it gets mixed well. Be careful if you buy salt in a container that has any plastic as I've heard more than one horror story of plastic bits being in the salt and then get in the water and the fish eat them and the plastic gets stuck in the fish's mouth. So, after the salt is dissolved in the bucket/cup, feel around the bottom for ANY solid objects before adding to the tank. Or, you can use a strainer to pour the water through.

Water should always be tested often to ensure healthy conditions, but it is of the utmost importance that water be kept as pristine as possible when you have a sick fish. Water needs to be tested every day when you have sick fish and you may need to do daily water changes, often in large amounts.

The test kits you need are drops for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and ph. They may seem a bit expensive in the beginning, but they are worth the investment.

Water changes for goldfish should always be at least 50% once a week with a 100% water change once a month.

Hopefully this will help your teacher. Good luck with the fish!"

That's directly quoted!

I can bring dechlorinate, buckets.. I don't have the other supplies, but I have strip tests for an approximate reading..

My only hope is that the fish can survive long enough for us to help them..

Mrs. Sims, I will gladly do the chore of water changes weekly and even do the tests daily. I can offer any help you ask of me! I just request your support. :)

At the same time, I will also do what I can to help you with the little hermie. I don't go out much to shop for the things we need but I'm sure my mom will let me pick some things up next time I'm there(At the grocery store, I'll pick up some produce justf or the crab?)

Uhm.. as for the salt, I don't know.. I may have seasalt.. I hope you read this before tomorrow, please reply once you've read EVERYTHING!

(And before I send, I honestly want you to join Koko's. I'm not trying to press it, but it's a helpful, friendly community and I'd like to see you and Ricky there. I've learned a lot since joining and I want to spread as much knowlege as possible!)

Thank you for reading.. Please don't find me pushy, I just want to ensure the health of the animals that call your classroom home. *lovelove!!*

~Amanda

That's about it. :D ?

I've asked her before to join Koko's, haha... maybe two other times, but she's so busy all of the time..

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Oh, and I can stick around for maybe 40 mor minutes before I head to bed, so any discussion before then is highly valued!? :heart

I've said it before, but I really can't thank you guys enough. Since I've joined I've recieved nothing less than support and I'm so glad..? :exactly

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Do you know how long a water sample can retain its levels before testing? I was going to see if I could get it done at my LFS if no drop tests are available.

This is an excellent question, but I have to say that I don't know the answer! I will email Erinaceus and Daryl, both of whom are far more knowledgeable about the scientific side of things and see if they have an answer. But, while strip tests aren't accurate, they most certainly will provide some very important information, nonetheless!

Sorry I couldn't offer you any more advice!

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Do you know how long a water sample can retain its levels before testing? I was going to see if I could get it done at my LFS if no drop tests are available.

This is an excellent question, but I have to say that I don't know the answer! I will email Erinaceus and Daryl, both of whom are far more knowledgeable about the scientific side of things and see if they have an answer. But, while strip tests aren't accurate, they most certainly will provide some very important information, nonetheless!

Sorry I couldn't offer you any more advice!

It's perfectly alright! I tend to expect a lot of people, so sorry if I burden you.

Thank you again, Lynda, you're are wonderful! :D

Wish me luck! Tomorrow is going to be a long day.. and afterwards is going to be much work, but I'm willing to do it.

I have to go now, good night, friends!?

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Let us know how things go!

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Do you know how long a water sample can retain its levels before testing? I was going to see if I could get it done at my LFS if no drop tests are available.

This is an excellent question, but I have to say that I don't know the answer! I will email Erinaceus and Daryl, both of whom are far more knowledgeable about the scientific side of things and see if they have an answer.

Thanks for the praise, Lynda :D . Daryl will probably be better at answering this, but here's my two cents ...

If you have a water sample with a certain concentration of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, then those concentrations will only be able to chance as the result of a small number of things. The first is biological modification: similarly to what goes on in a cycled filter, bacteria that are present in the sample may be able to convert some of the ammonia->nitrite->nitrate, which may be 'used up' (as in, assimilated) by any algae in the water. The thing is, just as a filter isn't easy to cycle (unless you're lucky), the bacteria in you water sample will not have ideal growing conditions (e.g. not enough surface to stick to, not enough available oxygen). The same is (to a lesser extent) true for algae, but those also need time to grow and accumulate. So in the case of biological factors, keeping a sample in a bottle for a couple of days wouldn't do much to the water parameters. If you were to store it in your fridge in the mean time, that would be even better.

The other factor is physics: like chlorine, the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate may slowly evaporate from your sample. Although I have no idea how fast/slowly this occurs, I can advise that keeping your water sample in a adequately closed bottle will minimize any evaporation. Also, keeping the amount of air in the bottle to a minimum (i.e. filling it all the way to the top) will also prevent any diffusion into that air (like what you get with a bottle of coca cola).

So in summary, I would think that keeping your sample in a closed, completely filled bottle in the fridge should give you some certainty that the water parameters won't change to much over the course of a couple of days. If you're planning to keep it for a much longer time, I think putting the bottle in your freezer would be best (freezing shouldn't have much of an effect on the ammonia, nitrite or nitrates). In this case though, don't fill the bottle all the way to the top, or it will crack ;) . I wouldn't advise using your freezer rather than your fridge, because freezing and unfreezing something can possible have some effect on water evaporation, which might change your concentrations if the bottle isn't air tight (though I have no idea of the amount of change is at all significant for what it is to be used later on).

Hope this helps a bit :) .

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It helped me! Now I know something new! Thanks so much!

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Ok, guys, today was a little rushed, but I do have some news.

First of all, my friend got to the romo before I did and told me one of the g'fish had died. I found the other under the fake log again, still alive. The friend had brought a blue bottle that had medicine in it for ick(ich?), but it said it was for tropical fish..

We removed the muscles and she put them in a tub of water and sand. I left a note on the tank to Ricky to take his koi back home. He kept trying to tell me a day or two before that he keeps many koi the same size as this one(~2") in a ten gallon.. he must be using the.. 1 inch rule for all of his fish. Ahem..

I emptied the aquarium of as much water as I possibly could. I don't know if the gravel needs to be removed or not. If I need to clean it, I'll have to do it when I have plenty of time. Today, I was a little pressed on it(time, that is).

I removed all decorations and any suspicious stones and all seashells.?

The only thing I returned to the tank was the plant because I was unsure if it'd survive out of the water..

I ran a test before I change the water and NitrATES were very very high, according to the strip, around.. 200? I didn't think to record the results, I was kinda in a hurry, sorry.. the strips don't give a reading for amonia, so I don't know what the levels were(likely high.)

The goldfish does have Ich. The chin, mouth, and gills are miscolored with red splotches. The fish keeps its fins clamped and tries to rub its side on the gravel. Along with these symptoms, he hides behind the plant and remains still near the bottom. He'll move if I bump him gently.?

Another thing I'd like to note.. the water was very warm after the tank was refilled. I wasn't in the room when it was filled the rest of the way, my friend did it. He filled it to the top.. I removed about 2-3 inches before dissolving the salt (0.1%)

I don't think I have enough salt to double the dose.. I used seasalt.?

I won't be able to go to the pet store to pick up medication or treatments.. not until the weekend which is extremely inconvenient.

My teacher was very understanding and let me take over fish duties. I will be cleaning, feeding, and taking care of him in general. I'll ask her tomorrow if I may take the gravel out. It'll probably be much cleaner, especially considering I have no python or other tool to clean it with other than, well.. buckets.

I'm a bit.. stuck. Or at least I feel stuck..?

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