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New Tank And Sick-looking Fish


Guest Koi.LB

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I got 8 small feeder goldfish (quite small, from about 1-2 inches) from a night market 4 days ago and have transferred 4 of them into my new 10 gallon tank (I only cycled it for 24 hours since I didn't want to keep my fish in their temporary small containers for too long, especially since some of them started looking lethargic), but I think the others may be sick and I don't want to move them into the tank with the others if they are. One of them actually died yesterday from what I think was hemorragic septicemia (it was very lethargic and started showing redness on its gills, a spot on its eye and on the bases of the fins).

Originally, when I got them, they were all together in the same bag. Then I separated 3 into one container and 5 into another. The one that died was part of the 3, but I separated him the next morning since he didn't look so good (he wasn't moving much, stayed at the bottom, was at almost a 45 degree angle with its tail sticking upwards and wasn't pooing). Another one of that group was doing the same kind of angling thing and not moving around much, but I thought it might just be constipation, so I fed them some peas which helped a little.

I then moved 3 healthy-looking fish into the tank and the others all had their own small container, but now aside from the fish that died, the other angling fish of the group of 3 and another of the group of 5 weren't (and still aren't) moving much. Today, I also added one more of the healthy looking fish.

Joe (the one from the group of 3) just sits at the bottom with his pectoral fins close to his body, isn't interested in food, does the angling thing a bit and I haven't seen poop in his water lately. Mohawk (the one from the group of 5, quite a lively group) who used to be quite lively, usually stays at the bottom except for an occasional erratic swim, has its body angled upwards, seems to have lost some of its orange colour and just now I found some of its feces, which looks somewhat colourless and stringy but does have some orangy-red colour in some spots...Mohawk will still eat though, unlike Joe. Pip (who was in the group of 5 and looked quite lively up until moving into his own container) now seems to be taking naps a lot...? Usually when I go check on him, he's not moving much and seems to be in that fish sleep-trance, but he also eats, though he has the most damage to his fins which look like they're healing.

A couple of hours ago, I actually saw one of the fish in the tank (who is the smallest and I think a bit scared to compete for food with the others and was introduced a day later) start pooping, but its poop was red (not colourless and red, but all red). Then part of it went back into its body and later came out, but then another fish came along and I think ate its poop... :o and I watched it for another 10 minutes and it didn't spit it out...so now I'm worried about those two as well, though they're quite active and nothing else seems to be wrong with them.

That is REALLY long, but any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. I haven't seen anything so far about red feces... :S

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  • Regular Member

A couple of simple questions for you :D

1. Do you have filter in your tank? If so, what kind (model & turnover rate, if you can)?

2. Do you use any water conditioners?

3. Are you prepared to get a (quite a big) tank upgrade for them?

and lastly,

4. If all goes well and they pull through, are you prepared to care for them & love them for potentially the next 10-15 years, quite possibly more? :)

Looking forward to hear from you again ;)

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I tried editing my post once I realized I didn't include a bunch of the info on the list...

Ammonia levels for the ones in containers usually goes from 0 to 0.25 before I change their water. For the tank, its been 0 so far.

I don't have a tester for nitrite and nitrates, but the pH is about 6.5-7.0.

I used drop test kits, API for ammonia and Nutrafin for pH.

Water temperature is 22 degrees Celsius.

The filter is a Tetra Whisper Power Filter Model 5-15 #26308. No idea what the turn-over rate is. I have the instructions that came with it but that's about it and I don't see that info anywhere on it...

I added AquaPlus water conditioner, Cycle and Waste Control (all made by Nutrafin) as well as some salt (made by API).

I don't know if my parents would allow me to get a bigger tank, especially since we just got this one. Getting the fish was kind of a spur of the moment thing and I had no idea how much I had to consider in order to care for them. My parents would probably just tell me to let some of the fish die so we don't need a bigger tank :( . My mom didn't want me to get medication for the other one since she said it was too expensive and it wasn't worth it since the fish is so cheap. But I would really like to be able to do whatever I can to take care of them properly.

Edited by Koi.LB
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Hi and welcome to Koko's. I'm so sorry it is under sad circumstances. Unfortunately, your tank is a bit too small for even one of the goldfish. Common goldfish require twenty gallons each to grow healthy and be well. If the fish are quite small and you are dedicated to many water changes you might get away with having one fish in your ten gallon for a while, but with the understanding that you will have to upgrade. It is hard to imagine just how big these guys can get and they produce a lot of waste.

I believe your filters output is 150 GPH which should be fine for the ten gallon with one fish for a bit. You could keep one fancy goldfish in a tank that size as they don't get quite as long as feeder fish do. I would suggest seeing if the night market would take the living fish back and allow you to exchange them for one fany or one betta which would do very well in a tank that size.

Feeder fish are normally not cared for as well as goldfish that aren't intended for food so it is possible that some of your fish are sickly. It is also possible that they are suffering from an uncycled tank and dirty water (you can't see ammonia or nitrites)

or most likely a mix of both.

Thanks for caring enough about your newly acquired fish to find Koko's.

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Grr...the pet store employee lied to me...He said that you could have an inch per gallon of water and that my fish would be fine in that size tank...

Unfortunately, the night market is only a summer thing, so it's over now and they only had really small feeder fish since it was one of those scoop-the-fish type things.

I wonder how my parents would feel about upgrading to a bigger tank...this has already cost a lot more than they thought it would...

I also forgot to mention that in addition to feeding them peas and whatever fish food they came with (just came in a bag so no idea what it is), I've been feeding them Tetremin, which says "tropical flakes". Is it okay to feed my goldfish food made for tropical fish?

Edited by Koi.LB
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Yep, that's unfortunately how most people think: cheap pets must be cheap maintenance also. Goldfish is one of the more demanding fish to keep, 12c feeder or $5000 champion, they all need the same care.

Btw, the tropical food is fine :) although it is better if you can get hold of some sinking goldfish pellets.

If your parents don't want money out of their pocket, then why don't you? I see you're old enough.

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The food the fish came with are sinking pellets and I feed them that as well, but I need to crush them since the pellets themselves are a bit big for them and they tend to spit it out.

I can pay for what my fish need, but if I do, my parents will get mad at me for spending too much money and if it's money spent on a bigger tank, there won't be a place to put it...

I checked the pH of my water today and found that my tap water (which was at 7.0-7.5 a few days ago) is now 5.0-5.5, which leave me wondering if that may be the problem with the fish in their temporary homes (though the one that most recently moved to the tank was still quite lively in that water...) and what in the world happened to our water...The water in my tank was at 6.5-7.0, which I managed to put back to 7.0-7.5 with baking soda, but with the small containers, it's taking a bit more trial and error...

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I found more clearish, whitish feces in Mohawk`s container and he still floats at an angle when not swimming. Could it be a bacterial infection? (I fixed the pH of his water, which is now around 7.5-8.0)

My dad wants me to move him to the tank, but I don't want to risk getting the other fish sick.

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Hi Koi! : )

How are things going over there?

Grr...the pet store employee lied to me...He said that you could have an inch per gallon of water and that my fish would be fine in that size tank...

I was told the same thing... That rule isn't terrible for tropicals... but for goldies, it just simply won't work. Add to that the fact that they grow.. A teeny little goldfish can end up being HUGE...

There is really no way around it, you ARE going to need a bigger space for the fish... You might be able to keep them for a short short amount of time, doing water changes every day like a crazy person, but it won't be enough.. Even if you kept them alive, they wouldn't be healthy. They won't grow... I kept 3 goldies in a 3 gallon bowl because someone told me the same rule as you.. Technically they lived for about a year.. But they never grew at all.... However, while their bodies aren't growing, their internal organs are... So you eventually are left with poor sick fish which will die if even the slightest thing goes wrong.

It's really best if you find a new home for these fish...

In the meantime, you CAN buy some rubbermaids.. They are cheap, and hold lots of water : ) A lot of us have done that here..

The PH is something you are going to need to watch.. Dropping so low like that can kill the fish... I am glad you got it raised, but keep an eye on it.

How are the fish? Can you buy some aquarium salt???? Salt is one of the best medicines for fish if used properly. There is a link near my name in my signature that explains how to salt properly. I think you will want that to be your first move.

Good luck with them. I am sorry you were mislead into thinking you could keep them all : ( I can tell you wouldn't have bought so many if you had known. This just sucks!

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