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All My Goldfish Keep Dying

Guest mondo22

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Guest mondo22

Hi Guys,

I've had a goldfish tank for the last 2 years..Most recently my fish have started to die.

I had 5 fish but now I have just 1 .. the fish just become very lathargic/lazy and their fins are down..

I've tested the water and to me everything is fine..My fish are just common goldfish and fantails..

I've entered the below information ahead of time as I have seen this requested in order to help..

[*]Test Results for the Following:

[0]Ammonia Level?

[0]Nitrite Level?

[0]Nitrate level?

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

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

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

[i Don't Know - But its cold water]Water temperature?

[35L/9G]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?

[Elite Stinray 10]What is the name and size of the filter(s)?

[20% every week]How often do you change the water and how much?

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

[Nutrafin aqua plus / Cycle ]What kind of water additives or conditioners?

[Tetra Food once a week]What do you feed your fish and how often?

[No]Any new fish added to the tank?

[No]Any medications added to the tank?

[No]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

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

I also have an air stone ..

please help


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  • Regular Member

I don't think your readings are correct, with that many fish in a tank that size your nitrates at the very least will be off the charts and your filter is not big enough :( Single-tailed goldfish need 20 gallons each and fancies 10 gallons, and they're all poop machines unfortunately. Can you test your readings for me again? Check that your test kits are less than a year old and you're following the instructions.

You need to look into getting a thermometer, and do a 100% water change with pH and temperature matched water, do it now and get it as close as you can with your hand. I'll dig up some links for you on cycling but I believe your problems will be linked to poor water quality as the tank is very overcrowded, and stunting. Hopefully you will be able to save your last fish, but you are probably going to have to look into a bigger tank for him and do daily 80% water changes until then. Check the tapwater before you use it, some people get ammonia through the tap water and you do not want to add that.

Get back to us when you've done that, and welcome to the forum! Sorry it's in such unhappy circumstances.

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Guest mondo22

Hiya and thx so much for the quick replys..

This is not a case of new tank syndrome as I have had the tank for nearly 2 years.

The kit is probably 2 years old though..

I remember nitrates / amonia going through the roof at the begining but the tank setting down well, and fish have been fine for 6 months..

The tank was part of a kit which included the filter and tha manual says I can have about 5 fish easily with proper filtration..?

Do I need a better filter?

Do I need a better test kit ?

Was I mis-informed by these tank/filter kits ?


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Yes, they misinformed you about the amount of fish you can keep in it.

A fish tank has to be 20 gallons / 80 liters minimum, even with only one fish.

Fancy goldfish should have at least 10 gallons / 40 liters each (so you could keep 2 fancies in a 20gallon/80 liter tank although I'd recommend something bigger so the fish can grow big)

Singe tailed goldfish should have 20 gallons/80 liters each because they swim a lot more than fancies and so require more room.

A better filtration would also be great. As goldfish produce a lot of waste it is recommended to have 10x filtration per hour. Meaning if you have a 20 gallon tank, the entire tank water should be filtered 10 times per hour, so in this case you'd need a filter capable of 200gallons per hour (gph)

Hope this helps a bit :)

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First off Welcome to koko's :)

Sadly you were mis informed :( as stated above you need at least 20 gallons of tanks per common goldfish and additional 10 gallons per fancy (double tail) like your fantails, so you would need at least a 75 gallon(us) or 300 liters (i think??) not 100% on the liter/gallon conversions ;) I also agree your test kits may have expired and maybe you need to replace or have your local pet shop test for you...I hope you can get this all worked out asap :)

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Guest mondo22

Thx for all the advice..

Would you guys recommend the following filter for a 35L tank

Fluval U2 for aquariums 45 - 110 L ( 12 - 30 US Gallons)

400 LPH / 105 US Gallons Per hour

So for a 35L tank I need at least 350LPH..

I currently have an elite stingray 10 ( This is too small ?)


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New tank syndrome is just a name for an uncycled tank and is nothing to do with age unfortunately. It's likely your fish have suffered prolonged exposure to high nitrates if not ammonia and nitrites and you're only now starting to see the unfortunate consequences. I've complained before to stores about incorrect advertising of the number of fish you can keep in those tiny tanks but unfortunately changes are few. It drives me nuts. The filter is too small I'm afraid, I use the same one or the next one up, the 15 I think, on my betta tank and he produces nothing like the bioload of even 1 goldfish.

I would get the biggest filter you can, the Fluval U2 looks a good size to me but if you're going to upgrade it's better to get the bigger filter so you only have to get one ya know? The fish that you have left, is he a fancy or a single-tailed? A fancy might be ok in your current tank for a while as long as you keep up the water changes. A single-tail will be ok for now, but you really should look into something bigger sooner rather than later. When you get a bigger filter move all the sponge and those rock pockets that are inside the filter (don't know if you've looked inside) into the new one, this will help transfer any good bacteria from your Stingray to the new filter and help decrease 'new tank syndrome'. If you want any help with how to take it apart or what's what inside let me know and I'll take some pictures of mine and label them up :)

If you do want to look for a new tank I really recommend you have a look on ebay and gumtree, my current tank is an ebay bargain :)

Edited by devilduck
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