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Big Fat Danios!


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Every summer, my danios get fat and I always assumed they were getting ready to lay eggs. But come to think of it, I've never noticed any eggs. Anyway, they're all really fat again this year (bear in mind there all new bar one that survived from last year's disaster) apart from one who's remained skinny. This only happens in summer, although this time, they seem to be even fatter and for longer! So what's going on? :s

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[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level?

Don't know.

[*]Nitrite Level?

Don't know.

[*]Nitrate level?

Don't know.

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

Don't know.

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

Don't know.

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?

N/A

[*]Water temperature?

Don't know.

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

80L, not sure how much that is on gallons, running a few years.

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

Fluval 3 plus

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

About once a month to every six weeks, 50%.

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size?

3 goldfish, and 5 danios

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners?

none

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

Hikari Oranda Gold once, sometimes twice a day

[*]Any new fish added to the tank?

Not recently.

[*]Any medications added to the tank?

Nope

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

No.

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

Pontos, one of my golies, seems to be developing a bit of a swimbladder problem

:) It was fun filling that in.

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ummm... you should really get your water tested. you are overstocked - as each goldfish needs about 40liters. so you would need 120liters just for the goldfish.

and a 50percent waterchange every 6weeks is not really going to work. you need to do that each week - even more since you are overstocked...

I am surprised not more of your fish are sick....

Oh and the swim bladder issues you seem to have with one of your goldfish doesn't require medications. It is probably just from the bad water conditions.

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Yes really really need to test your water. If you can't buy the test take some water to a pet shop most well test. Better then nothing.

Also you need a bigger tank and weekly 50 to 75% water changes.

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lol, i knew i'd get all this. I don't need a bigger tank, it's fine the way it is. I used to do a water change every week and my fish were constantly getting sick, so i went to once a month and they stopped getting ill. All that water testing you guys do is, in my opinion, a con. A way for the companies to make more money by selling you test kits you don;t need, unless your fish is really ill, in which case, testing your water for bacteria may have some use..

And Pomtos' swimbladder seems to gone on it's own, she's swimming around just fine now.

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Nobody here tests their water for bacteria. You can test a fish(not tank water) for bacteria, but that requires a bacterial culture and a veterinarian. The test kits are for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH. It is a known fact that goldfish produce massive amounts of waste, the by-products of which are the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Going for a month or two without a water change can cause a pH crash. pH is held stable by minerals in the water, which are used up over time in the tank. Once they are used up, you will get a quick and deadly pH crash. The reasons for doing large weekly water changes are many; to reduce deadly bacteria in the tank, to reduce nitrate (in a cycled tank), to maintain a stable pH, and to remove the growth inhibiting hormone from the water. Maybe your fish were getting sick with the weekly water changes because your pH or temp wasn't matched properly, or the water wasn't conditioned properly. It could even be that your tank was cycling at the time, so fish illness was inevitable either way. There are just too many variables going on to claim that the water changes alone made your fish sick IMO.

I think you desperately need a bigger tank. There are experts in the subject of goldfish; people who have done serious research and have dedicated their lives to the hobby/profession. They are all in agreement that goldfish need a LOT of space. This can't be ignored, it is simply fact. If you focus on good water quality, I'm sure any issues you are seeing will disappear fairly quickly.

Hope that clears things up for you a little bit :)

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I'm afraid i wan't making myself very clear. I am aware that most people will test their water for the things you mentioned; but I just don't see the point. But, after thinking about it, I may give it a go, just to say i tried it your way. no harm in trying, right? But not for a while, not much money this week.

I've always found this website is a bit too strict with goldfish care; specifically tank sizes. I take on people's advice from here, and other places and i also use my own commonsense. My fish are healthy and happy. A lot more so than when i was doing a water change every week.

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I don't think that name-calling is necessary. You did come here asking for our help after all, and that's all we're tying to do- help you. Okay? :)

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Yeah, sorry, you're right. I shouldn't have said you were all crazy. It's just, clearly my way works, but just because it's not what you guys do I get ganged up on.

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It is clear you want to help your fish. And that is a good thing. I am glad you are going to give testing a try and I am sure once you do you well see what is going on and why you need to do what we have advised you.

I am sorry you don't like what we are advising. We are only telling you what we know works.

Until you can get a bigger tank (or rubber maid with 10x gph) I would step up the water changes to 2 times a week 50 to 75 percent.

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lol, i knew i'd get all this. I don't need a bigger tank, it's fine the way it is. I used to do a water change every week and my fish were constantly getting sick, so i went to once a month and they stopped getting ill. All that water testing you guys do is, in my opinion, a con. A way for the companies to make more money by selling you test kits you don;t need, unless your fish is really ill, in which case, testing your water for bacteria may have some use..

And Pomtos' swimbladder seems to gone on it's own, she's swimming around just fine now.

Yeah, sorry, you're right. I shouldn't have said you were all crazy. It's just, clearly my way works, but just because it's not what you guys do I get ganged up on.

It sounds like you do quite a bit of reading up on fish care, and have a personal philosophy of how to take care of your fish. With this being said and noted, you can choose to take or ignore any advice I give as you see fit. First off, thanks for filling the box in to the best of your knowledge, it really does help us get a better idea of what may be wrong with the fish. Secondly, as you already know, here at Koko's we usually follow a few main guidelines for goldfish care. They are methods that have been tried and true, but those too are also recommendations for you to choose to follow or not. Everyone who comments frequently here at Koko's do so voluntarily be they members, subscribers, helpers, mods, or just people who stop by to look around. So in my personal opinion, if you stop by to ask for help, then the polite thing to do is be humble and listen to (or in this case read) the replies and simply take in what you choose to, and not follow what you choose not to. Nobody is ganging up on you, they are merely trying to help you and your fish with the advice they think best.

[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level?

Don't know.

[*]Nitrite Level?

Don't know.

[*]Nitrate level?

Don't know.

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

Don't know.

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

Don't know.

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?

N/A

[*]Water temperature?

Don't know.

So based on the white box results, this is what I see and would follow for my own fish (with reasoning included... so this may get kinda long.)

1. Water testing kit - we highly recommend testing with water testing drop kits because this is what informs you of what's going on with the water chemistry in your tank. I personally use Aquarium Pharmaceutical, Inc. (API) Freshwater Master Test Kit, which is what many people recommend here because it's accurate, and it works. They're about $30 from Pet*Smart here in the U.S. and can very well last you a whole year (this is about the equivalent of $.08 a day). I don't think the equivalent would be horribly expensive over there in England.

Anyway, the point of water testing is to understand your aquarium water - mainly the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. This is crucial during cycling, and is recommended to be tested daily during cycling. Knowing your water parameters is information that is necessary to know if your fish tank is "healthy" - it's the equivalent of a doctor taking your temperature, knowing your weight, height, and allergies. It's just information to help determine what may or may not be wrong. If you don't provide this, it makes diagnosing and the possibility of recommending medication very difficult.

I admit that I don't test my water daily, but once you understand your water, water testing can occur lest frequently so long as you keep your water clean. The only way of knowing if your water is clean though, is to test it. So it's really a judgement call. I know that in my location, I have nitrates in my tap water, so my nitrates will be a bit high. To combat this, I do weekly water changes of around 80-90% and over filter EVERY tank that I have to provide more oxygenation of the water. I test mainly for nitrates and pH in my tanks now that they have all cycled and are well established. However, I also know from previous experience of daily water testing that I need to perform water changes about once every 5-6 days with my load of fish.

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

80L, not sure how much that is on gallons, running a few years.

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

Fluval 3 plus

2. Tank set up is the second most important key to keeping healthy goldfish. I am not saying it's impossible to keep healthy fish in a smaller tank - with good water conditions, it very well could be possible... just difficult. We recommend a minimum of 10 gals per fish just because this provides them with room to grow, and a buffer zone for your tank cycle to keep up with goldfish waste. (That all has to do with the nitrogen cycle, and the data of goldfish waste produced per inch of fish.) If you like your set up and don't plan to upgrade, then just make sure you understand that your fish may not grow to be big and robust, and that they may very well stay small and stunted for life. Here at Koko's we also recommend a minimum of 10 times the volume of water for your filter turnover rate. Meaning for your 80L tank, you would want a filter that turns at least 800L/hour. This is to provide aeration/oxygenation of water, to filter out debris and fish waste, and to provide a good place for beneficial bacteria to colonize.

Just for you to consider and to put things into perspective, my largest tank is a 125 gallon tank (that is a little over 470L.) In this tank, I have 8 goldfish which is approximately 60L per goldfish. On this tank, I have 5 filters. 3 Aquaclear 110's, and 2 Eheim 2215 canister filters. I have 4 air bubblers, 3 Hydor 4's, and one micro bubbler. And 1 Aquaclear #50 powerhead. It's barebottom, with a few ornaments, gets 70-80% water change weekly with Seachem Prime conditioned water. The fish in there are between 3-5 years old with the oldest being one of the fish I started with in college.

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

About once a month to every six weeks, 50%.

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size?

3 goldfish, and 5 danios

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners?

none

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

Hikari Oranda Gold once, sometimes twice a day

[*]Any new fish added to the tank?

Not recently.

[*]Any medications added to the tank?

Nope

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

No.

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

Pontos, one of my golies, seems to be developing a bit of a swimbladder problem

3. With proper water testing equipment and a good setup, all that is left for good care is really water changes. Fish have gills which allow the fish to exchange ammonia for oxygen when they push water through their gills. So with ammonia building up in the water, it's the equivalent of us living in a toilet bowl. Fortunately, with a cycled tank we can keep the water "clean" because of the nitrogen cycle (in a nutshell bacteria break down the waste by converting Ammonia -> Nitrites -> Nitrates). Nitrates build up in the tank water, and we remove the nitrates by changing out the dirty fish water with routine water changes. As toxic as nitrates are, ammonia and nitrites have more debilitating effects on fish in high concentrations, which is why people get "New tank syndrome" when they first set up a tank. *Sorry if you already knew all this*

So for common sense, a larger tank means more water volume, which means waste water is more diluted, which means... aside from more swimming space for fish... less toxic buildup and more of a buffer time in water changing urgency. Hence the big tanks, good filters, and water change strict regimen we follow.

Hope this helps you understand a bit better, the reasoning behind all the perceived rules we follow. It's not a matter of just-because-the-wise-ones-say-so or what not, it's the science behind the goldfish-keeping. Tropicals on the other hand are a whole other barrel of fish because they produce a lot less waste.

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Thanks for the advice, Tinkokeshi; I'll definitly look into some of it. As for the tank size, even if I agreed with you (and admidtedly, after such a well explained point I can't beleive that I'm actually slightly leaning toward agreeing with you), but even if I did fully agree with you, there's nothing I can do about it; I simply don't have the money.

As for the water changes, I can only go on my past experiences and this way definitly works a lot better for me.

Just out of interest though, say you test your water, what do you do if the results are not to your satisfaction?

Also, where do you guys find the time to do all this? I only work 3 and a half days a week and i still wouldn't be able to fit it all in even if i wanted to.

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Rubber maids (large plastic containers.)make great homes for goldfish. You can set up that while you save up the money for a proper tank or consider re homing enough fish to get to the 10 gallon guidelines.

A python goes a long ways to making water changes fast and easy. And I made a commitment to my fish to give the care they need when I got them. I have five tanks they all get the water changes they need as often as they need it. (BTW I was also overstocked when I first got goldfish. Had nine in a 55 and half of them were long bodied goldfish that need 20 gallons each. They all died after about 6 months and I though I was doing it all correct and it was working for me till they all died.)

When you test your water on your tank you make water changes to correct it as need and it well also let you see once a month is just not enough. Also you can test your tap water and see if you need to use buffers to make it closer to correct so you can do the water changes safely and help your fish stay healthy and live as long as they can.

BTW what type of water conditioner do you use when you make your water changes?

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Let's say I test the water daily for a month straight. What I am looking for is a patter, or a general trend that the water chemistry may follow. This may or may not be difficult since water from the tap also changes throughout the day. Typically, in most cities, tap-water is "cleaner" in the morning, and throughout the day, more nitrates start showing up.

So let's say:

week 1 of the water testing (in a cycled tank), the nitrates go from 5ppm (right after a water change on Sunday) to 10ppm by Wednesday, then to 20ppm by Friday.

week 2 of the water testing (in a cycled tank), the nitrates go from 5ppm (right after a water change on Sunday) to 10ppm by Tuesday, then to 20ppm by Friday.

week 3 of the water testing (in a cycled tank), the nitrates go from 5ppm (right after a water change on Sunday) to 10ppm by Wednesday, then to 20ppm by Saturday.

week 4 of the water testing (in a cycled tank), the nitrates go from 5ppm (right after a water change on Sunday) to 10ppm by Wednesday, then to 30ppm by Saturday.

Water changing routines should be set up based on how comfortable with letting your nitrates build up. It is best to keep it as low as possible, but for some of us with nitrates in our tap, it's generally recommended to keep it below 10ppm and highly recommended to keep it below 20ppm (max). So based on the FAKE above information since I made those numbers up, I'd be comfortable with a weekly water change every 5-6 days, maybe even just once a week.

The numbers also help determine how much water to change out... it's not exact, but most of us follow the guides of common mathematics. So if my nitrates are registering at 20ppm, and I want them at 5ppm. I need to change out at least 75% of the water if not more. (This is why everyone does such large water changes weekly). If I want to break down my water changes to twice a week, I may choose to do a 50% water change on Wednesday or when the nitrates register at 10ppm to cut it to 5ppm, and then another later in the week when it's up to 10ppm again or something like that.

This is why accurate water testing kits are so important. It helps us as fish keepers know when the water needs to be changed, and how much. With consistently clean water, goldfish rarely - if ever get sick. When water quality goes bad, stress levels rise leaving the fish susceptible to a compromised immune which then can lead to all sorts of things like parasites, infection, and disease. So symptoms such as red fins, floating, lack of appetite, funny colored poop... most of these are indicators of stress which is usually caused by poor water quality. Most can also be taken care of by just making sure water is consistently clean. IF after water is in pristine condition, and any disease-like symptoms don't go away, then it's time to look into other possibilities.

Setting a strict water change routine can sometimes also be dangerous because some fish are more susceptible to nitrates than others, so it's important to observe your fish and be able to identify the key indicators that something is wrong. But if the water tests say it's time to do a water change, regardless of whether or not the fish LOOKS happy or not, it's time. Most of the average, healthy fish won't show symptoms until it's been immersed in poor conditions to the point where it's almost intolerable. That is why people often times encounter situations where "The fish looked fine and healthy just yesterday", and then WHAM! "It died today!" kind of thing. This is especially common with goldfish because they are bred to be so hardy, and people are oftentimes misinformed about their needs. So they will be healthy, fine and dandy for months, and then just flip over and die.

It's really difficult to try and convince someone that it's not just a fluke accident, but a consistent routine of poor conditions when it looks like nothing was wrong. Most cases are usually simple fixes like water issues, but all we can do here is recommend what we think is best. The rest is up to the fish owner to decide. :)

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No room for a "rubber maid" and I have no idea what you mean by a "python"; I'm assuming you don't mean an actual snake. I have nowhere to rehome them to even if i wanted to. No water conditioner. Again, I used to, but found it made no difference.

Also, "buffers"?

EDIT: Just read your post, Tinkokeshi, and this just sounds too difficult and too expensive. I love my fish, but I'm pretty sure i won;t be able to do all this.

Edited by Pontosfan
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even if I did fully agree with you, there's nothing I can do about it; I simply don't have the money.

Plastic storage bins work as makeshift tanks... they're sturdy enough to hold a filter on them, and work adequately enough to keep fish in. In the meantime, it's always a good idea to keep your eyes peeled for ads posted for people selling stuff because of relocation or the inability to keep it. Let your friends and family know you're looking, and start saving little by little. I started off small too and upgraded as my goldfish obsession grew. :rofl Now I have 8 tanks. :blink:

Also, where do you guys find the time to do all this? I only work 3 and a half days a week and i still wouldn't be able to fit it all in even if i wanted to.

I only have 2 goldfish tanks. My 125 gal and 72 gal tanks. It takes about a total of 3.5 to 4 hours to drain and refill both tanks using a python that is gravity fed. I pick a day, and dedicate that afternoon after work or a weekend while the sun is up to change water. The dirty water goes to the garden, and new water is put in. :) You just gotta commit and do it. Keeping a pet is a responsibility, and with fish, they really do rely on us to keep them alive.

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Whilst we're talking about it, I'd also like to point out that I used to keep A LOT more fish in that tank (even I thought it was too many) and most of them lasted for years. In fact, one grew to such a size he's now been moved into the pond where he's living quite happily. I couldn't have been keeping him that bad if he can cope with a move to an outside pond with no problems.

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No one can tell you what to do, All they're trying to do is help.

I really can't stress how important testing the water is. Once your tank is cycled, you may be okay without ammonia and nitrite test kits, but that's only if your fish NEVER get sick. And if they do get sick, you need to test ASAP, so its best to have the kits on hand.

Nitrate test kits are absolutely required for goldfish. If you don't test for nitrate, how do you know when and how much water to change? It's true that nitrate can get to 100ppm and not be lethal, but it's definitely not good. And you can never have 0ppm nitrate unless you do a 100% water change. Less than 20ppm is ideal. It'd be good to test once a week for nitrate, and do water changes until the nitrate is low enough. That could mean one 20% water change, or a 50% water change three days in a row. You can't possibly know unless you test the water.

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No one can tell you what to do, All they're trying to do is help.

Funny then that no one's even mentioned the problem that started this thread.

What do you mean by cycled?

Nitrate test kits are absolutely required for goldfish. If you don't test for nitrate, how do you know when and how much water to change?

Why would you need to?

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But we have. That is what all this advice you don't like is all about.

These are common things you can do that can help you with your danios. After you address these and you still have issue (I don't think you well though) then we can work further on helping you. But for now this is the best advice we can give to help your fish get better.

All tanks need to cycle so that they can be stable and safe for our fish.

Info on tank cycle how it works ect.

http://www.kokosgold....com/cycle.html

Info on basic goldfish care.

http://www.kokosgold...m/tensteps.html

And something else you may find helpful.

http://www.kokosgold...om/comfish.html

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Don't worry, I found out what it was elsewhere without being attacked. And Hidr, your advice wasn't to help me with my danios, it was just telling me I'm doing everything wrong.

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Yes our advice was to help you and we were not attacking you at all. Just trying to explain to you what was best to help your fish. I am sorry you did not read it that way but that was how it was meant.

So many things get lost between the lines. Like you can't see our caring faces and our concern in our eyes for your fish.

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