Jump to content

Frustrated With My Goldfish


TC10284

Recommended Posts

  • Regular Member

I am not a pro like you guys at maintaining aquariums. But I do have three tanks - two 30gal, one 20gal.

The left 30 gal has four goldfish, probably eight to ten years old, except for one that is maybe three. They are about 3-4" long.

The middle 30gal has two goldfish, probably eight to ten years old, about 4" long.

The right 20gal tank has (now) two goldfish (the sick ones), probably eight to ten years old and 3-4" long.

Each tank has a pleco in it.

Each tank has about 2-3" of gravel and some fake plants with a filtration system in each, rated up to 40gal tanks.

Recently, I resealed the right tank. Long story short, I made a mistake of not letting the tank cycle properly and the ammonia levels went up. I changed the water frequently. Sometimes 50%, then I started reading that large water changes were hard on ammonia eating bacteria. So I tried mixing some of the water that tested .0ppm ammonia from the left tank, hoping the bacteria would grow quicker. The ammonia levels stayed the same. Then I tried some of the ammonia reducer tablets sold at stores. Same story with these. One of the two fish in the 20gal was my favorite black moore. He started sitting on the bottom. I noticed very tiny white spots on his fins, mostly tail, and it progressively got worse from that point. I switched him to the middle tank, which was more established, I believe. He eventually started swimming crooked (not always upright). Then a few days later, I lost him. =(

I'm upset and frustrated about that, because I try to put a lot of time into maintaining my aquariums, but with my business, it lately seems to be a lot more difficult.

So now, there are two fish from the middle tank that are showing the same signs as the black moore. I thought it was ammonia poisioning, but now they are showing the same symptoms. They hover at the bottom of the tank and show lots of blood in their fins. Not really white spots.

So yesterday morning I changed out 100% of the water in the right 20gal tank to remove all the ammonia build-up. Yes, I know it remove the growing bacteria. But I was stuck...I had sick fish in the middle 30 gal, and I was afraid to put aquarium salt and baking soda in the tank because I just got new plants and have only had luck with plants growing once, then they all died and I have not been able to maintain live plants in years for a reason unknown to me.

I don't know what to do about the goldfish that are sick. I put an appropriate amount of aquarium salt in the right 20 gal tank, and maybe a half a teaspoon of baking soda.

I am frustrated because:

  • I try to test the quality of the water with test strips every so often - yet the fish in the right tank and now middle tank have developed a disease that I don't know how to treat.
  • So far, the two sick fish in the right tank are not responding to aquarium salt and baking soda.
  • I want LIVE plants to grow in each of my tanks, but previously, all of them died and I'm not sure why.
  • I try to maintain a good pH level of around 6.8 to 7. It does not help when your tap water comes naturally out of the faucet testing "acidic". (I use the 5in1 test strips)
  • I'm now afraid to add aquarium salt or baking soda to my tanks because I am afraid it is killing my plants. Am I right or wrong on this?
  • I know that my fish are big for their aquariums, but I cannot afford, or moreso, have the room for a large tank.

Any suggestions would help a whole lot. I can take pics of the test strips and ammonia test tube if needed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

If you could please answer all of these questions

[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level?

[*]Nitrite Level?

[*]Nitrate level?

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

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

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

[*]Water temperature?

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

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

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

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

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners?

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

[*]Any new fish added to the tank?

[*]Any medications added to the tank?

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

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

I suspect the fish are suffering due to poor water quality as well as extremely low pH. How often do you change the water? With two overstocked tanks you need to do at least 50%-75% weekly. Do you have any deep gravel? As for the poor pH I would add crushed coral to your filter, the fluctuations are not good for your fish.

If the fish are that old, I would suspect stunting due to overstocking and poor water quality. See if you can get your water tested with a drop test kit as well, those are much more accurate. Have you ever thought about rehoming?

I'm so sorry all of this is happening to you :(

Edited by Haruka
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

First thing I see is your fish are very stunted. So most likely you need larger tanks. Fancy goldfish 20 gallons for the first one and 10 for each after then. Common goldfish need 20 gallons plus each. Both types should be much much bigger then what you say yours are right now.

Also common plecos need 40 gallons and they are known for eating the slim off of goldfish leading to their death.

Never heard of using baking soda to treat fish and it causes your ph to go up if you have to much fluctuation with your ph it can cause stress with the fish and kill them. So stop using that.

You can use rubbermaids to house your fish till you can get them a bigger tank they need. Or once you get them well you can rehome some of them so you don't need new tanks.

Many plants don't survive goldfish but lets worry about the goldfish first and worry about the plants later.

I would move the plecos out find them new homes or place them all in the same tank till you can find them new homes. I know this well further overstock your goldfish but with extra water changes you can deal with that for a few weeks while you do something with the commons.

I am sure I missed something and wish I can give more advice but to do so we well need to to answer all the questions at the top of the page.

In the meantime do a 75% water change on all tanks. Re-salt but leave off the baking soda.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

[*]Ammonia Level?

left tank - 0

middle tank - 0

right tank - 0.5 to 1.0ppm

[*]Nitrite Level?

right tank - 0ppm

[*]Nitrate level?

right tank - 0ppm

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

Right tank - between 6.8 and 7.2 (looking at test strip guide sheet)

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

right tank - 6.2 or below on test strip when freshly added to tank with no additives.

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

Quick Dip test strips - 5 in 1

[*]Water temperature?

Right tank - 80-85*F

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

Right tank - 20 gal - just changed all water the other day. Prior to this, it was setup for about a month.

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

Tetra - 20-40gal, IIRC.

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

Previously it was about 50% in each tank. Now that I have read a little more, it is about 10-15%, or 2-3gal according to tank size.

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

see above

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners?

see above

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

Green peas from a can in the morning, some cheerios midday, sometimes some tubifex cubes or pellets in the afternoon.

[*]Any new fish added to the tank?

No.

[*]Any medications added to the tank?

See above

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

Bloody streaks, bloodspots at base of fins and some on bottom of fish, some white spots on fins.

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

Staying on bottom mostly. I think they are still eating, but slow to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

This definitely sounds like ammonia poisoning if the ammonia is almost 1PPM and such low pH. 2-3 gallons isn't nearly enough water changes. It sounds like you lost your cycles as well, I would do 50% daily water changes and dose the tank with nutrafin cycle directly to the filter. Also don't feed them cheerios, a good pellet diet such as omega one will definitely help with their health. I also think you might be underfiltered. How many gallons per hour does the tetrafilter turnover?

How much salt have you been adding?

Edited by Haruka
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

This definitely sounds like ammonia poisoning if the ammonia is almost 1PPM and such low pH. 2-3 gallons isn't nearly enough water changes. It sounds like you lost your cycles as well, I would do 50% daily water changes and dose the tank with nutrafin cycle directly to the filter. Also don't feed them cheerios, a good pellet diet such as omega one will definitely help with their health. I also think you might be underfiltered. How many gallons per hour does the tetrafilter turnover?

How much salt have you been adding?

OK - I'll stick with 50% changes. Though do I need to if the left and middle tanks test for ammonia at 0ppm? Some of them sit on the ground, but not usually. Rarely actually.

What is nutrafin cycle and where can I get it? Dr. Foster and Smith's Aquatics website?

I'm not sure what GPH the filters are. They are tetra power filters. FS-30-60 on the left and middle. FS20-40 on the right.

I am seriously thinking about giving them to someone that could better care for them with a large tank. Maybe a pet store or business or something. I love them dearly and I hate to, but I don't want to see them die like this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

This definitely sounds like ammonia poisoning if the ammonia is almost 1PPM and such low pH. 2-3 gallons isn't nearly enough water changes. It sounds like you lost your cycles as well, I would do 50% daily water changes and dose the tank with nutrafin cycle directly to the filter. Also don't feed them cheerios, a good pellet diet such as omega one will definitely help with their health. I also think you might be underfiltered. How many gallons per hour does the tetrafilter turnover?

How much salt have you been adding?

OK - I'll stick with 50% changes. Though do I need to if the left and middle tanks test for ammonia at 0ppm? Some of them sit on the ground, but not usually. Rarely actually.

What is nutrafin cycle and where can I get it? Dr. Foster and Smith's Aquatics website?

I'm not sure what GPH the filters are. They are tetra power filters. FS-30-60 on the left and middle. FS20-40 on the right.

I am seriously thinking about giving them to someone that could better care for them with a large tank. Maybe a pet store or business or something. I love them dearly and I hate to, but I don't want to see them die like this.

Salt = one tablespoon per 5 gal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Nutrafin cycle contains bacteria that help replinish cycles. You can probably get it from that site.

If you do that I really commend you, it's a tough thing to do but it may be for the better if you are not up to all of the daily water changes that might need to happen or all of the care. Then maybe ou could do a fishless cycle on your tanks and try again.

You'll want to do 1 teaspoon per gallon to get to 0.1% and that should help out with any stress. Don't add any salt after that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Nutrafin cycle contains bacteria that help replinish cycles. You can probably get it from that site.

If you do that I really commend you, it's a tough thing to do but it may be for the better if you are not up to all of the daily water changes that might need to happen or all of the care. Then maybe ou could do a fishless cycle on your tanks and try again.

You'll want to do 1 teaspoon per gallon to get to 0.1% and that should help out with any stress. Don't add any salt after that.

OK thanks!

How can I raise the pH level of the tap water when added to the tank without using baking soda?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Crushed coral and letting the water sit in a tub with a bubbler will help. :D Just add crushed coral to your filter and let the water in the tub aerate for maybe 6 hours.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

OH ok thought you were treating your fish with the baking soda. Sorry I missunderstood but as started there are better ways to do it. Crushed coral is one of the best IMO for your problem. Just add it slow untill you have the ph you desire.

But won't help much if you don't rehome some goldfish, rehome or move the plecos and/or get bigger tanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Crushed coral and letting the water sit in a tub with a bubbler will help. :D Just add crushed coral to your filter and let the water in the tub aerate for maybe 6 hours.

OK guys, for crush coral I have coral calcium capsules that have 1000mg in them. Will that suffice if I break the capsule and put it in the filter?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hello. Sorry I am a little late to the game here and a apologize if I repeat anything that was already said.

I have a 30 gallon, well planted tank and have no problems... here's why....

Goldfish will shred live plants, with love of course. They are like dogs, eat anything. I have driftwood in my tank and bought lots of Willow Moss, which is creeping all over the drift wood. I tried Java Moss but I find most goldies like to eat it :) I also have plants that a VERY thick and heavy foliage, one even blooms flowers. I forgot the names of them but I will look them up when I get home and will post here.

Now, anytime a fish get sick, they go to the "hospital". I have a 5 gallon tank (I'd use a 10 gal tank for very large goldfish), where I place the sick fish. It is completely empty with no filter of course and I medicate the tank. This treatment works extremely well, and easier on you with 25% water changes.

Your black moor got Ich. There is all kinds of badness for goldfish, like Ich, in the water. However, the goldfish's immune system can fight them off.... unless you have an ammonia spike. Ammonia weakens the fishes immune system, making it easy for them to get sick.

In the tanks that have disease, how many fish are in them? An overstocked tank, even though you said you know your goldies are too big for the tank, will almost *always* give you trouble with ammonia spikes. You'd have to do 25% water changes once a week, maybe even twice if it is really over stocked. I have a 30 gallon tank, and 3 finish is comfortable.... 4 would be the max.

I never put salt in my tank... and I did not know that was something safe to do....

Never give the fish cheerios. Pellets keep the tank cleaner, rather than flakes. Peas are great but I really recommend frozen peas. Put it in warm water for about 3 minutes, *pull off the outer shell*, and then feed it to the fish (break it up for smaller fish). You can also buy a suction up with a clamp and put a little round of peeled zucchini or peeled cucumber.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...