Jump to content

Need Help New Aquarist And Dying Goldfish!


Guest radjxf

Recommended Posts

Guest radjxf

Hello guys. My son recently won some small goldfish at a school carnival. Prior to this we have not had an aquarium.

We purchased a 10 gallon aquarium "kit" at vvvv, proper gravel substrate, external filter (charcoal filter) and some artificial habitat, i.e fake plants, etc.

I monitor the temp (runs betw 68-72*), I was using the Seachem brand of ammonia and pH monitors---until I found that they do not work.

We have never had more than (4) goldfish, all less than 2.5" in the tank at any given time.

We did however have an African Cichlid in the tank--it was sold to us as a "goldfish" erroneously by the pet store. It was in there for 5 days before we took him back. He relentlessly chased the other goldfish, moved rocks all over, and out-compteted the others for food in his short time in the tank--good riddance!

Some of the original goldfish only lived a few days. Most began sitting on the bottom and died after a day or so of that behavior. Only one of the original goldfish from 3 weeks ago has made it! Currently they spend a lot (not all) of their time gasping at the surface.

Any help will be greatly appreciated as we feel terrible about this, and cannot obtain any worthwhile info locally. Just get "wait and see", etc.

[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level? <0.25 ppm per API test-tube kit...it was 4.0 for a few weeks...due to the first ammonia monitor falsely read <0.2ppm!

[*]Nitrite Level? no idea

[*]Nitrate level? no idea

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? ~7.8-8.0 per SeaChem monitor

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? ~8+

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API test-tube (drops)

[*]Water temperature? 72* currently---our house is difficult to keep a stable temp...hotter in summer, cold in winter (MT)

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 10 gallons, purchased new, running 3 weeks

[*]What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? not sure, came with tank, external design with replaceable small charcoal filter

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? Initially changed water at 10%/week per local suggestion..now changing 10-20% every other day to control ammonia.

[*]how many days ago was the last water change and how much? Still using original filter for 3 weeks...concerned about establishing the biological filter

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? (3) current "survivors", common goldfish approx 1.5", common at 2.5", and fantail at 1.75"

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? I've used several brands of chlorine reducers, currently API tap water conditioner, API Stresszyme+, API aquarium salt at recommended levels for goldfish and Tetra brand Ammoniasafe "fizzy tabs".

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? Various brands of goldfish flakes, all new and fresh. Fed via food ring, 2x day.

[*]Any new fish added to the tank? Most are new as the others haven't lived longer than 3 days to 1.5 weeks!

[*]Any medications added to the tank? None, other than the Stresszyme+ and small amount of aquarium salt.

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Yes, recently 2 of the three fish have very tiny "grains of salt" that I can only see on their tails.

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Very consistently "gasping" at the top. Sometimes spitting out food. One is occasionally quickly swimming to the bottom on hitting his side on the gravel. One to two days before they die, they sit on the bottom, breathly very shallow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

ok, I am assuming that your fish are singletails in which case your tank is way overstocked. You will need an 80 gallon tank minimum. If a tank this size will not work then I would rehome some or bring them back to the petstore.

In the mean time, take out all the gravel and decorations. Since your tank isn't cycled yet, this won't effect your cycle. Start doing 80% water changes 2x a day until you can get your nitrItes and nitrAtes tested. They are likely being effected by toxic nitrites levels.

Also, try to add another filter or bubble wand. They are probably gasping from lack of oxygen.

I know this is probably a lot to take in, but this happens to a lot of people. We are going to help you through it :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Welcome to Koko's. :) Once you get the hang of proper care, you will love this hobby. Goldfish are amazing pets. :)

For now, with a 10 gallon tank, I'd recommend you rehome all but one, keep the fantail. Common/comet goldfish grow huge, and will need a 80-100 gallon tank within a year or so, for just two! But one fantail can thrive for a few months in your 10 gallon, but plan on upgrading to at least 20 gallons for one fantail, and extra 10 gallons for each extra fantail. So a 40 gallon for example will house 3. :)

Buy a complete API test kit (tubes) as Ashlee said, you need to monitor all levels. Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and PH. And water changes as she says above.

Filtering, you need a filter that does 10x the tank volume per hour. So for a 10 gallon you need 100gph filtration. Most filters will have this GPH noted on the box or in the guide. Also don't buy & replace those plastic cartridges. Waste of money. Buy Bio-media beads/rings (AquaClear is one brand) and sponges (again AquaClear) to stuff in the filter. No carbon. Carbon is not needed except to remove medications if used.

For feeding, a sinking pellet will be better, and less likely to be over fed, or have remaining food to foul water.

Really can't recommend treatment for white spots, etc until water params are all tested. Many meds even salt can be harmful in poor water. If you do follow advice and get down to one fantail in the tank and get the readings we need, we can recommend treatment.

For now I would also recommend you order/buy Prazi (Hikari PraziPro is one brand) as most goldfish come with gill flukes, and the food spitting/gasping can be a sign. Get this Prazi to be prepared for when we can recommend treatment. Also Aquarium salt for freshwater tanks. This is effective for Ich if the white spots are Ich.

Edited by Red
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Ashlee gave you good advice, but I'll just add that you can buy some plastic storage bins to place your fish in with at least 10gallons per fish, so that it will be easier to keep the ammonia levels down. Feeding them every other day would also help to lower the ammonia.

The "grains of salt" most likely mean that your fish has ich, but it is more important to get rid of the ammonia first.

Good luck :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest radjxf

Thanks very much for the help. It's amazing how little the pet stores seem to know about the fish they sell.

All told me that 3-4 small gold fish would be fine in a 10 gal tank. Unfortunately due to space and $, the 10 gal tank will have to remain. I'll see if I can find homes for some goldfish--my son will not be happy!

Could someone expound on the "bio beads and rings"---never heard of them. Should I remove the carbon-type filter and replace it with something else?

May I ask why the ornaments and gravel should be removed? I thoroughly washed them before insertion, and was lead to believe they would help beneficial algae to grow.

Can Prazi only be purchased online?

We moved to MT and there just isn't much of anything here. Only a "major pet chain store" and a small pet store. Both of them seem to be mostly oriented towards dogs.

I may have to order some things, which drags out the process...ugh....

Thanks again for all of the help.

Edited by radjxf
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I also want to stress the fact that you shouldn't be replacing dead fish. Dead fish mean something is wrong. Adding more fish will just mean more deaths.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

The suggestion to remove the ornaments is to give the fish as much swimming space as possible since you are overstocked, and also because if any of your ornaments are hollow they can be dangerous. Removing the gravel will also maximize water space, and if you are going to have gravel you need to have only a very thn layer and vaccuum it very thouroughly at least once a week to prevent growth of bad bacteria and build up of toxic gasses.

In addition to what everyone else has mentioned, I wanted to add that it is not a good idea to use salt in a tank where ammonia is present. Salt increases ammonia toxicity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Here is the AquaClear bio-media. On that page you can also see the sponges. These can be cut to fit your filter. Sponge on bottom, bag of beads on top. These can be gently rinsed in old tank water (when you do water changes) and re-used until they fall apart. Months even years! No need to replace as often as manufacturer suggests.

Prazi is available online if you can't get it locally. I order mine from Big Als online. Shipping is reasonable.

Edited by Red
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I just want to add--don't despair. Lots of us started out just this way--as you said, petstores usually do not understand that goldfish need lots of water volume and 10x tank size filtration. RE Prazi, you can usually buy prazipro at the big chain stores. Bio balls are cermmaic balls that stay in your filter and on which the beneficial bacteria grow that eat the ammonia and nitrites when you tank is cycled, (You can read about cycing on this site.) You do not throw them away, but just rinse once in awhile in old tank water. AquaClear filters have them (also available at the major chains usually), you just need to get one rated for 100 gallons/hour for a 10 G tank. Bigger if you plan to buy a bigger tank. You may be able to pick up a cheap use bigger tank on craigslist if you want more than one fish--I'd just be sure to disinfect it before you use it. (Info also on tnis on this site.) A big clear/off white rubbrmaid tub will do in a pinch, as has been mentioned. But what I would do right now is an 90% gentle water change (temp matched as closely as possible, dechlorinated). And then two 75% daily changes daily as long as you have the 3 three fish. That's the only way to get the ammonia out until the cycle takes hold. Once you have less fish, a bigger filter, and, maybe a bigger tank, you can probably do one 75% change a day, but for now, I'm afraid that there will be a litlte bit more work. Feed them lightly for the time being to reduce the ammonia in the water...and an airstone will help them with the O2 as mentioned above. I know it seems like a lot, but it's great that you care about your fish and you can sort this out--it is just the "getting set up and getting the cycle giong" that takes a bit of effort.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest radjxf

I couldn't edit my original post to add this: The filter that came with the "tank kit" is a Top Fin 10. The specs state that it is for a 10 gallon tank, and runs 80 gph.

I'll continue with the water changes recommended here and see if I can maybe find a home for most or all of these fish.

Thanks again for all of the good info.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I also want to stress the fact that you shouldn't be replacing dead fish. Dead fish mean something is wrong. Adding more fish will just mean more deaths.

I can only agree with this!!

Bio rings, what I use are these here: http://www.theaquari..._Rings_500g.jpg

Pet$mart carries these and at my store I pay 11.99 for a box, I think. But it is something that LASTS. Unlike the filter cartridges you don't have to replace them every month.

You really think you can't upgrade? :( If you have the room for a 20 gallon tank you can get those very cheap, used on craigslist. And a 20g doesn't really use much more room than the 10g. Here the measurements to compare

(L x W x H)

24 1/4 x 8 1/2 x 12 5/8 - 10 gallons

24 1/4 x 12 1/2 x 16 3/4 - 20 gallons

As you see, length is the same. It is only 4 inches wider and 4 inches taller, but holds TWICE the amount of water, and I have seen those tanks on craigslist for 25 bucks. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest radjxf

You really think you can't upgrade? :( If you have the room for a 20 gallon tank you can get those very cheap, used on craigslist. And a 20g doesn't really use much more room than the 10g. Here the measurements to compare

In short, my wife and I were very much against an aquarium as we both work tons of hours. My son wanted these fish, now of course doesn't help much and it's beyond him dealing with the complicated water chemistry stuff we're dealing with now. Also, the wife is very unhappy about the amount of money we've spent on all of the chemicals, supplies, etc. and will not be involved in any of the care. If I buy another, bigger tank I'll be out the door....

So...I'll do the best I can for these fish until some or all are given away.

J

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Gotcha. How old is your son anyway? Just curious!

Well, if no one really wants to take care of them, maybe you should just re home them all? I mean, either he wants them and takes care of them, or not. Not trying to tell you how to raise your kid though! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest radjxf

Gotcha. How old is your son anyway? Just curious!

Well, if no one really wants to take care of them, maybe you should just re home them all? I mean, either he wants them and takes care of them, or not. Not trying to tell you how to raise your kid though! :D

My son is 10. Not as responsible as I was at that age however. He really wants them, likes to look at them and feed them, but isn't realistically going to do anything else. I can't trust him dealing with this water chemistry issue at his age either. My wife just wants the whole thing to go away, as she hates the $ I spend on it!

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...