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pandamanda111

Do I have to change all the water in my tank after my old goldfish died?

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I had 2 goldfish and 2 minnows. Both goldfish died from some unknown diseases (very different symptoms), but the minnows are happily swimming around still. Do i need to change all the water in my tank and sterilize everything and start over? That would be a bummer because I have nowhere for the minnows to go, and even just a 90% water change takes me around 3 hours, with my rediculous little manual gravel vaccuum. plus I really wanted to get my new goldfish tomorrow. Do I really have to start the cycle over again, or could I simply get away with doing a 50% water change? Thx!:)

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Hmm. I personally would do at least a full water change including thorough rinsing of all the gravel in hot water. You could put the minnows temporarily in some small container. Walmart (prolly not the best choice today) sells a sterilite or rubbermaid brand plastic shoe box. It holds about a gallon of water and costs $ 1 regular retail. The minnows should be fine in it for the duration of the water change.

You could even use a larger salad bowl if you have one. Just rinse it reeeally good with plain hot water before you use it, to make sure there are no detergent or oil residues on it.

After removing the minnows, I'd dump all the media in the tank, and squeeze and swish it around to get any kind of gunk off, but keeping most of the BBs. Then place the media in another container full of tank water. Switch the air stone back and forth between the minnows and media while cleaning the tank, to ensure both having enough oxygen.

I know this is a big pain, but if you don't know what killed the fish, you will try to reduce the risk for the new guys as much as possible. How sad would it be if the new guys die from the same problem too? :(

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Yeah, I guess ur right. :( bummer.

Thanks anyways. Maybe somebody else will have an idea so I won't have to?:):)

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I am sorry to hear of your loss. How long had you had the goldfish and what were the symptoms. Sorry if i missed a different post with reference to this.

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Nah, u didn't miss much, I just became a member of this forum today.:) I miss those little guys. I had two little ryukins:(

If I do a 100% water change and wash the filter media, does that start the nitrogen cycle over?

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I had the ryukins for about 3 months.

Mallie's symptoms:

-bottom sitting

-red, swollen gills

-heavy breathing

Then she died:(

Otto's symptoms:

-lethargic

-ate much less and less excitedly

-hovered in one spot for hours on end

-hung out in upper corners for hours

-shimmying

-sitting still in live plant

Then he died:(

PLEASE NOTE**

I do not know the real gender of my goldfish. I just made up that one was male and one was female. :)

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I hope after doing a 100% water changes don't have to cycle my tank again and start over. :/

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If you blitz your filter media you will lose your cycle and will have to start the process again. Your minnows will definately speed things along but you will need to read up on cycling if you haven't all ready. Do you own a freshwater test kit ? What size of tank and type of filtration are you using ?

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Just gently rinse the media in the tank water. This should not start the cycle all over. I do that once a month on all my tanks to clean the media a bit :)

To be on the safe side (safe side sucks, I know!) you could just do the big cleaning, add the minnows back and keep testing the water parameters for the next few days to see if you have a cycle bump. Ammonia and nitrite should stay 0. Then you could safely add one goldfish, and then a week later another one :)

Oh wait, that's just a 10 gallon tank, right? You're upgrading in half a year, if I remember correctly. Maybe just one goldie and the minnows. It is quite possible that there could have been an undetected water quality issue since your tank was overstocked before.

This happened to me when I started out with my own 10 gallon tank. I was overstocked, didn't have a test kit for the water etc, and ended up losing 75% of my fish.

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang

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Oerba yun fang-I just feel so bad having one goldfish so lonely when I know that they are social creatures...ya know? Oh, and i tested my water once a week and i always got the same test results-perfect!:)

alistairw- would you mind telling me what you mean by "blitz"? I am not familiar with this term. Sorry.

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I think he means disinfecting the media. With bleach or Potassium Permanganate or a very high salt solution. That would kill all nasties and your tank would be sterile. You could probably cycle the media again with just the minnows, without it causing to much stress for them if you keep up the water changes.

You could even get an additional filter - since you will need a big filter on your 30 gallons anyway - and start cycling the media on this one too. That way you will have fully cycled filters for the big tank later on.

One goldfish for now won't be too lonely, he has the minnows to keep him company. Of course it is up to you if you have one or two, but one would be the safer method. For two, you will have to do a 80% water change weekly, with thorough gravel vacuuming - but this takes you like 3 hours you said, even on the 10 gallon tank. Maybe it is time to get a better tool for this? I used to use a medium sized gravel vacuum and a bucket, and draining the water from my 10g took maybe 20 minutes. :)

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Well, in the gravel vacuum's defense, my bucket isn't very big, and I dump the fish water in the toilet, and the bathroom is on the other side of the house...

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Oh, and by the way:

Just something you should know-

My mom is soooooooooooooo sick of buying me fish stuff. Nobody in my family likes my hobby of fish-keeping because it seems I'm always needing new stuff- be it a tank, medicine, a plant, or gravel vacuum, we honestly go to petsmart like 4-5x a week...

We have probably spent a good $300 on all of my fish stuff. I feel bad making her pay for all this stuff, but I get a really small allowance, and cant afford it by myself. Besides, even if I did, my dad would give me a big lecture on "how much money I'm wasting on a $5 fish"

I can't get a job until I'm 16, and there is literally nobody around here with young kids to babysit. It's not that we're having money issues or anything, my mom just doesn't want to "waste" any more money on my fishy friends...

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How long would I have to cycle my tank if I just completely started over...meaning washing EVERYTHING and put in a new filter cartridge and all, and put in the minnows as cycling fish. I don't mean to sound like a horrible fish murderer, but I'm not too attached to the minnows, so if one died in the process, I wouldn't really care. Sorry...

I'm not in to the whole "cycling for 3 months"' idea. A week is pushing my patience...;) please tell me I can just cycle it for 4 days, do a water test, and by GOLDFISH!!!:):):):):):) i miss having goldies on my desk:)

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