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Please Help!


gaines

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Just set up our 55 gallon tank last week and cycled it for a few days before adding 3 new fish. Husband and I have been out of the Goldfish scene for a couple years now. But noticed last night that one of the fish was very inactive and starting to get what looked like ammonia burn on his dorsal and tail fins but water tested fine when we brought it into vvvv. Late last night and even this morning he's been getting worse. I just moved him to our "make do hospital tank" today. Hasn't eaten much the last two days. Stopped feeding him. Water temp is about 75 degrees, pH 7.5, he isn't swimming, just barely moving around, lays somewhat to one side.

The first couple of days we weren't too worried about it we just assumed he was a little bit stressed and would come out of it. He tried eating and was swimming from time to time just seemed to want to be left alone.

I used "cycle" in the new tank for him to see if that would hopefully help. ANY advice would be very helpful and appreciated. Everyone keeps telling me that he's "just a fish" and to flush him. But I can't do that. He's so beautiful and trying to hang on. :(

I will try to post pics tonight when hubby gets home. And he is also going to pick up some peas on the way home. PLEASE help! Thank you!

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Hi Gaines and :welcome

A helper or a moderator will come along soon to walk you through the process of diagnosing and treating your fish, but I will give you a few first steps while we wait for them.

First off, cycling a tank properly can take weeks, and with a 55 gallon tank, sometimes months, if you do a fishless cycle. The products like Cycle that supposedly jumpstart your cycle don't really work. (Some of our members have tested them thoroughly!) Since you added your fish after a few days, it is absolutely VITAL that you check your water parameters DAILY and do large water changes DAILY to protect the health of your fish. If you take care of the water, the water will take care of your fish.

I'm going to guess that your fish are suffering from ammonia and nitrite toxicity.

The very first thing you need to do is a MASSIVE water change with temperature-matched, dechlorinated water. I would change 75% in the 55gallon and 100% in your hospital tank.

The second thing you need to do is, unfortunately, not trust Wallyworld when you take your water in there to be tested. You need to buy a test kit for your own personal use! Trust me, it's one of the most useful and fish-saving buys! And please do not buy the testing strips-- they are highly inaccurate! I recommend the API Freshwater Master Test Kit, like this one.

The third thing you should do is read up on the nitrogen cycle and how to cycle your tank.

Once you have all that figured out, it will help the moderators immensely if you answered ALL of the questions in the white box at the top of this page. With that information, we will be able to help you much more easily.

Good luck!

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Thank you so much! The only testing kit that we have here is for pH levels but we will definately invest in something better!

I actually changed about 75% of the water in the 55 gallon tank this morning after I removed the sick fish. Is there anything I can go buy to help treat him without having to get it online so I can help him today and not have to wait for shipping?!

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Oh, I just posted that link as an example! You can get the API test at any fish store, even Wallyworld should have it!

What additive are you using to dechlorinate?

TopFin Water Conditioner

Keep in mind I only know what my husband tells me about goldfish and he's at work so I'm a little freaked out. We have literally NEVER lost a fish before and I'll never live it down if I can't save this one!

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Keep in mind I only know what my husband tells me about goldfish and he's at work so I'm a little freaked out. We have literally NEVER lost a fish before and I'll never live it down if I can't save this one!

Every single member on this website has lost at least one fish. We all have "that" story, sometimes called "Pre-Koko's" stories, of how we lost a fish due to our extreme ignorance. I put two common goldfish in a 1 gallon bowl without a filter.

This website has a TON of information about goldfish, so if you spend a quick minute reading, I'll bet you'll know even more than your hubby by the end of the day. Knowledge is POWER! So definitely go read about the nitrogen cycle so you understand what's happening in the chemistry of your water.

Also, what's going on with your hospital tank? Is there a filter in there?

Can you answer as many of the questions in the white box as you can? Or can you go buy the test kit? (At least have your hubby pick one up on the way home from work).

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Keep in mind I only know what my husband tells me about goldfish and he's at work so I'm a little freaked out. We have literally NEVER lost a fish before and I'll never live it down if I can't save this one!

Every single member on this website has lost at least one fish. We all have "that" story, sometimes called "Pre-Koko's" stories, of how we lost a fish due to our extreme ignorance. I put two common goldfish in a 1 gallon bowl without a filter.

This website has a TON of information about goldfish, so if you spend a quick minute reading, I'll bet you'll know even more than your hubby by the end of the day. Knowledge is POWER! So definitely go read about the nitrogen cycle so you understand what's happening in the chemistry of your water.

Also, what's going on with your hospital tank? Is there a filter in there?

Can you answer as many of the questions in the white box as you can? Or can you go buy the test kit? (At least have your hubby pick one up on the way home from work).

We do not have a 2nd filter yet for our hospital tank. So at least in my best efforts, I did put a bubble dispenser in there for some air circulation. Unfortunately I am unable to leave the house because we have only one vehicle and the baby is sleeping!

I have already left him a voicemail to call me so he can stop at vvvvv on the way home.

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This is for the hospital tank:

[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level? 0 (according to nnnnnn) :(

[*]Nitrite Level? 0

[*]Nitrate level?

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7.5

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)?

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Inc. (drops)

[*]Water temperature? 75 degrees

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 24 hours

[*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)? No filter YET just bubbles :(

55 Gallon tank:

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? Every 3 days 75%

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 3 ranging from 2-5 inches long

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? TopFin Water Conditioner

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? ProGold twice daily

[*]Any new fish added to the tank? 3

[*]Any medications added to the tank? 0

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? black streaks on fins, all fins flat, kind of a white, cloudy film on one side

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

Stays towards the top, wants to eat but seems disoriented like he can't find the food, laying slightly to one side, not swimming :(

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The bubbler is a good idea. Why is the hospital tank so hot? Is it just hot in TX? Warm water does not hold as much oxygen as cold water does, so it's important to keep the water moving to oxygenate the water. Don't take the bubbler out!

Since you have no filter, you should change 100% of the hospital tank water twice daily. Make sure it's temperature-matched, dechlorinated water. (Perhaps a few degrees cooler, since the ideal range for goldfish is less than 70F).

What kind of fish are they? Fancies (the fat ones with double tails)? Any chance of pictures?

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Our tap water is NOT cold so I actually have been slowly replacing it with new water from the fridge so it doesn't come as shock to him.

And yeah it's FRIGGIN HOT HERE lol

He's an orange Ryukin. Very pretty. Waiting on pictures till Husband is home, he has the camera.

I've been reading some older posts and it talks about salting quarantine tubs....we do have salt here...but wouldn't have a clue how to do it...any help?

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How to Salt

But let me be clear-- you DO NOT want to salt your hospital tank!!!!! Read Trinket's post carefully and you will see how she says not to salt if your tank has any ammonia at all. Since you don't have a test kit and don't know your parameters, you don't want to do that!!

The best you can do for now is to make sure that the water is changed regularly, to keep it aerated. If the water is clean, your fish just needs some time to recover. And without the advice of a moderator, I am hesitant to tell you to do anything else! Getting the parameters under control is the MOST IMPORTANT STEP!!!

As for the heat, what you can do is fill a plastic water bottle half full and stick it in the freezer. Once frozen, you can float it in the water to slowly cool it. Don't stick ice cubes directly in, unless you made the ice cubes with dechlorinated water!

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Ok, I will do that!

Thank you so much for all your help...I guess I can only wait until I get a testing kit to see what our next step is.

Thanks again!

You're welcome!

When you get the test kit, do all of them: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH... whatever else comes with it! lol The nitrate test is the trickiest one, make sure you follow the instructions closely. Then post back with your water parameters and, if you can, some pictures of your fish. We'll go from there!

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Believe me, I will!

And P.S. the link about cycling was very helpful in helping me understand it all! I had no idea taking care of Goldfish could be so complex! But still worth it nonetheless!

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In my signature, I have a little quip about how I'm not a fishkeeper, I'm a water chemist. 9 times out of 10, that's what it boils down to: keeping the water pristine for the fish!

Having ammonia or nitrite or too much nitrate or the wrong pH in the water is for the fish what living in a cloud of smoke or carbon monoxide is for us. Just plain unhealthy! And when your water (or air) isn't healthy, it harms you and makes you sick. Luckily, Mother Nature takes care of our air for us. As fishkeepers, we have to be Mother Nature for the mini ecosystem we create in our tanks. :)

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I saw it and couldn't really appreciate the meaning until after reading so much about ammonia and nitrates and levels of this and that...about made my head spin at first, but after understanding how it all works everything is starting to make a lot of sense. I can't believe how helpful this site is and just how much information there is! Very neat! I'm sure I'll be a frequent visitor with more stupid questions! lol

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OK...well my husband came home and with what he brought home we were only able to check the ammonia...

Everything registered at 3.0! 55 galloon tank, the hospital tank, AND our tap water! So now what do I do? Will changing the water still help? Is Ammonia Remover going to do it's job in enough time that our fish don't die?

Edited by Gaines
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Your TAP WATER comes out at 3.0ppm?! Oh goodness, then no wonder you're having problems.

You need to get a water conditioner that binds ammonia. I think AmQuel is the proper one to use, but see if you can't get to the fish store and read the different bottles. I have AmQuel+, which also removes nitrite and nitrate. In my established tank with a full bioload of fish, it doesn't upset my cycle. In your new tank, it would prevent the cycle from happening.

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How are your fish today, Gaines?

I spoke with a fishkeeping friend of mine and he suggested Zeolite chips to bind the insane amounts of ammonia in your water. They get "full" of ammonia after awhile and must be recharged in salt water, but there is lots of advice about that in the water quality forum. Cheaper and easier than spending a lot on ammonia detoxifiers!

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