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Sick Fantail Goldfish


marianna

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  • * Ammonia Level - 1.5ish ppm
  • * Nitrite Level - 0
  • * Nitrate level - 0
  • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) - 7.5
  • Other Required Info:
  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API with drops
  • * Water temperature? Room temperature - about 70 degrees
  • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 2.5 gallons. I know its a bit small but they're quite young fish, the big one is only like an inch and a half big, the big one at most 2 inches. I will be moving them into a new tank in about a month that will be much bigger. The tank has been running since early September, and the larger fish was added mid october, the smaller beginning of november
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? It's the tetra whisper for 3 gallon tanks with a small filter
  • * How often do you change the water and how much? I usually do about 20-40% water changes depending on how much prepared water I have, every 2-4 days. I use a gravel vacuum to do so.
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? I changed about 15% today after giving the fish salt baths, and about 40% yesterday when I did my regular cleaning
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size? Already answered this - 2 fish, ones about an inch and a half named princess, the others less than 2 inches named david bowie
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? I use the API water conditioner when I prepare my water to change - i fill up a gallon jug of water and put one drop in at least 24 hr advance of each change. Recently I added some Stress Coat when I first noticed issues with princess.
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? I feed them Tetra Tetrafin Crisps, which was great for my old feeder goldfish, but I think isn't working out so well with my new fancy goldfish
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? No
  • * Any medications added to the tank? I added a little bit of Epsom Salts (maybe 1/4 tsp) today, and theres aquarium salts in, but no real medicine.
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. I add about a tbsp of aquarium salts every time I do a water change. The fish were taken out for a 30min Epsom Salt bath (1 tbsp of salt to a small maybe half galon tank for a half hour), but put back in with a net and fresh water replaced the water taken from their tank.
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? They look fine, minus their behaviors.
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

Yesterday I noticed in the afternoon that princess was floating at the top of the tank. This was not the first time this happened. She was floating on her side, but as soon as I went near the tank she started moving around, which is what happened last time too. Last time, i fed her a pea and she was fine. This time, she would not eat the pea and kept going on her side. I had noticed also that David was oddly resting near the corner of the tank floating vertically at the top with his mouth near the top, but not out of water, so it was not him gasping for air. I did my vacuuming and water change, figuring the ammonia issues that I have in this small tank might be hurting. She was moving around a lot, so I didn't think she looked like she was going to die, so I went to bed hoping she would be a bit better in the morning. When I woke up, both fish were floating at the top of the tank on their side. Princess was still trying to move around a lot, but David was barely moving at all. WHen they did move, they would swim down to the bottom of the tank and then come back. I spoke to the woman at Petco, who did not seem so intelligent, so I did some research. Later in the afternoon I put them in a small tank with Epsom salts. This didn't do much, they were in it for about 30 minutes. After the salts, it swapped. David is now swimming around more, and Princess is floating at the top more, but for the most part they are the same. I don't erally know what to do but now I worry they will die. I cannot feed them, so I can't give them peas, as they wont eat anyway. I added maybe 1/4 of a tsp of epsom salt into their tank hoping this will help their constipation. This is about all the information I have.

Do you think medicine would help? Is there anything I can do? The ammonia levels are higher than they should be, but they are lower than they were a couple weeks ago, and the fish seemed quite happy in those conditions.

If people are going to respond just to tell me that my fish are almost dead or that my tank is too small and im a horrible person who is killing my own fish, i would rather they didn't answer at all - because that will not be helpful and I am doing the best I can with space constraints, and am completely aware that I need to fix that. If you have any useful advice on how I can help my fish as they are I would appreciate it.

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Hello marianna and welcome :)

Yes the size of the tank mans that ammonia you are seeing will be even more deadly. Your tank is still "cycling" and these floaty symptoms are all to do with ammonia and nitrites in the water. Your very best bet is to find a larger space for your two fish. A plastic rubbermaid even, and set the filter on it and be committed to doing daily 80% water changes matching pH and temp until you can get the filter to cycle :)

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I'm sorry you are having issues with your fish! Please do not take offense to any responses you receive here :) Most of us have been in your position at one time or another.

Unfortunately, I can only agree with what Trinket says. Your tank is much too small. Goldies really do need a very minimum of 10 gallons per fish (20 gallons for the first and 10 for each on after is better). As you can already tell they are huge waste producers and in a small tank the ammonia will get high very fast and it is deadly. Ammonia needs to be kept at 0 ppm.

Most Petcos are having their dollar per gallon sale right now, so it is an excellent time to upgrade your tank :) You can also use a large plastic storage bin with a filter as Trinket suggested (the sterilite ones are good because they are food safe). This can be set anywhere on the floor if you don't have room for it up high. It may not be the prettiest option, but it will be best for your fish.

Is there a reason why you are currently waiting 24 hours to use the water you have 'prepared' even though you are using a water conditioner? If you are using a water conditioner the water can be used immediately. In the 2.5 gallon I really don't think you will be able to control ammonia even with daily water changes, but that would be where to start (1-2x daily 80% water changes). I don't think you will be able to keep ammonia at 0 in the 2.5, so upgrading is really unfortunately critical. Then if you can get a storage tub or larger tank, you'll want to continue with the 80% daily water changes in that while you are cycling as Trinket has already suggested.

I would also recommend that you begin using Seachem Prime water conditioner if you can. It is great to use while you are cycling because it detoxifies ammonia for 24-48 hours, so it can help to keep your water safe in between daily water changes. You'll also want to get a larger filter if you are able to. This will help your tank cycle faster, as the more filter media you have, the more surface area is available for beneficial bacteria to colonize. The rule of thumb for goldfish is that your filter should do at least 10x the tank volume in gph, so if you get a 30 gallon tank you will want a filter(s) that push out 300 gallons per hour.

I don't think any meds are a good idea at this point (we can see what others think). Most of the time goldfish illness is related to poor water quality and the stress this can cause. I would suggest taking care of the water quality first, and then we can reassess if anything else needs to be done. Medications can actually do more harm than good if water parameters aren't safe.

EDIT: I just want to touch on your comment regarding the ammonia levels being lower now, and the fish seemed happy before. Just like in people, illness takes awhile to set in. The stress of high ammonia may not affect the fish initially, but over time it does have significant effects, which is what you are now seeing.

Edited by tithra
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hello and welcome to kokos :)

No worries we have all been in your spot before finding this wonderful forum ;) and we don't want to beat you over the head with the information you already know ;) your tank is to small,so to fix this either the sterlite clear tub 20 gallons or better,or if you have a pet co in your area the dollar per gallon tank sale is on :)

hopefully one of those options will work for you and the sooner the better :) then the daily w/c's of 50-75% will go a long way in helping your fishies feel better :) once you can afford a better filter (10 X the gph preferred)

I do hope you and your fish can pull through this asap :) hang in there we know your doing your best :)

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I'm sorry you are having issues with your fish! Please do not take offense to any responses you receive here :) Most of us have been in your position at one time or another.

Unfortunately, I can only agree with what Trinket says. Your tank is much too small. Goldies really do need a very minimum of 10 gallons per fish (20 gallons for the first and 10 for each on after is better). As you can already tell they are huge waste producers and in a small tank the ammonia will get high very fast and it is deadly. Ammonia needs to be kept at 0 ppm.

Most Petcos are having their dollar per gallon sale right now, so it is an excellent time to upgrade your tank :) You can also use a large plastic storage bin with a filter as Trinket suggested (the sterilite ones are good because they are food safe). This can be set anywhere on the floor if you don't have room for it up high. It may not be the prettiest option, but it will be best for your fish.

Is there a reason why you are currently waiting 24 hours to use the water you have 'prepared' even though you are using a water conditioner? If you are using a water conditioner the water can be used immediately. In the 2.5 gallon I really don't think you will be able to control ammonia even with daily water changes, but that would be where to start (1-2x daily 80% water changes). I don't think you will be able to keep ammonia at 0 in the 2.5, so upgrading is really unfortunately critical. Then if you can get a storage tub or larger tank, you'll want to continue with the 80% daily water changes in that while you are cycling as Trinket has already suggested.

I would also recommend that you begin using Seachem Prime water conditioner if you can. It is great to use while you are cycling because it detoxifies ammonia for 24-48 hours, so it can help to keep your water safe in between daily water changes. You'll also want to get a larger filter if you are able to. This will help your tank cycle faster, as the more filter media you have, the more surface area is available for beneficial bacteria to colonize. The rule of thumb for goldfish is that your filter should do at least 10x the tank volume in gph, so if you get a 30 gallon tank you will want a filter(s) that push out 300 gallons per hour.

I don't think any meds are a good idea at this point (we can see what others think). Most of the time goldfish illness is related to poor water quality and the stress this can cause. I would suggest taking care of the water quality first, and then we can reassess if anything else needs to be done. Medications can actually do more harm than good if water parameters aren't safe.

EDIT: I just want to touch on your comment regarding the ammonia levels being lower now, and the fish seemed happy before. Just like in people, illness takes awhile to set in. The stress of high ammonia may not affect the fish initially, but over time it does have significant effects, which is what you are now seeing.

The issues with getting a bigger tank is a space issue, not a money or looks issue. Until I have a bigger space for the tank, i cannot keep a bigger tank. Is there anything I can do for the next month while they are still in the smaller tank?

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Is there any space for at least a small upgrade? Even a 10 gallon tank would be better than the 2.5 gallon :) They are relatively small :)

If there is absolutely nothing you can do right in terms of upgrading tank size I would recommend getting the Seachem Prime water conditioner and then doing multiple large water changes a day to keep ammonia at 0 ppm. It's great that you have a test kit, you should probably test your water a couple times a day and do water changes accordingly :)

Do you have any friends or family that might have space for a larger temporary tank in their house for the next month by any chance?

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I'm kind of confused about the cycling thing. As far as I know my fish tank is cycled. This is why the nitrates are at 0 after not having been for a while (prior to getting these fish).

Would getting a larger tank and putting these fish in it really save them at this point? Or would that just be better for more fish in the future?

Also - is it really worth it for me to get a large tank and cycle it just to move in a month, have to take it all apart and rebuild it?

Would a temporary solution for the next month be to get the water conditioner that reduces ammonia and use that with my water changes, and then move them into a bigger tank when I move? For that matter would I have to cycle my new tank prior to moving them over?

They're both moving around a bit now.. swimming around and occasionally even straight. - but then they go back to floating

Why should I remove all of the salt from my tank? I put very little of the epsom salts - and the aquarium salt is something I have been told numerous times to do regularly?

The only reason I do not have a bigger or more powerful filter is because I was originally sold a bigger one for this tank, and it murdered one of my goldfish because he got stuck in the end of the filter from it being too powerful. The bigger filters aren't even expensive - I just do not want to have a fish of mine overpowered again.

I hope you all can understand my concern with the larger tank and with switching it now. I'd love some advice on what I have said just now.

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Is there any space for at least a small upgrade? Even a 10 gallon tank would be better than the 2.5 gallon :) They are relatively small :)

If there is absolutely nothing you can do right in terms of upgrading tank size I would recommend getting the Seachem Prime water conditioner and then doing multiple large water changes a day to keep ammonia at 0 ppm. It's great that you have a test kit, you should probably test your water a couple times a day and do water changes accordingly :)

Do you have any friends or family that might have space for a larger temporary tank in their house for the next month by any chance?

Like I said, my biggest issue is that I will be moving in a month - and it seems silly to cycle a tank, then have to empty it and recycle a new one? Isn't that dangerous for my fish? There is no way I will be able to transport a full 10 gallon tank even if I could find somewhere to put one. Do you know which stores sell Seachem Prime? Does Petco? I don't think they do and thats the nearest store to me..

Also - I don't think I answered earlier. I let the water sit for 24 hours because of the temperature. I want it to be the same - because I hear the temperature change can shock/kill the goldfish, and I don't have a heater.

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Hello. Let me see if I can address all the questions you've brought up. Post back if it's not clear or you have more questions, please :)

I'm kind of confused about the cycling thing. As far as I know my fish tank is cycled. This is why the nitrates are at 0 after not having been for a while (prior to getting these fish).

Your tank is not cycled, if ever you detect ammonia or nitrite. A stable, cycled tank (cycled filters, really) should always have readings of 0 for ammonia and nitrite, and something for nitrate (unless you have loads of plants, then nitrates may be 0). A tank is cycled means that it's built up enough numbers of nitrogen fixing bacteria to convert the nitrogenous waste product ammonia into nitrite, and then nitrite into nitrate. Nitrate is consumed either by plants or removed by water changes.

Would getting a larger tank and putting these fish in it really save them at this point? Or would that just be better for more fish in the future?

I think it likely will. I don't think it's a very good idea for them to be stewing in toxic water.

Also - is it really worth it for me to get a large tank and cycle it just to move in a month, have to take it all apart and rebuild it?

Yes, it is, because once you've cycled a tank, you can keep that cycle going indefinitely :)

Would a temporary solution for the next month be to get the water conditioner that reduces ammonia and use that with my water changes, and then move them into a bigger tank when I move? For that matter would I have to cycle my new tank prior to moving them over?

You SHOULD definitely get a water conditioner like Seachem Prime, which can help you to detoxify ammonia and nitrites, but because the tank is so small, even the conditioner won't be enough to detoxify the rapidly accumulating toxic products. The more optimal solution is to get a Sterilite tub, a bigger filter, and start the cycling process.

Why should I remove all of the salt from my tank? I put very little of the epsom salts - and the aquarium salt is something I have been told numerous times to do regularly?

Although salt is a very good treatment for a lot of things, long term exposure to salt can cause fin issues, problems with osmoregulation, and/or create situation of salt tolerance.

The only reason I do not have a bigger or more powerful filter is because I was originally sold a bigger one for this tank, and it murdered one of my goldfish because he got stuck in the end of the filter from it being too powerful. The bigger filters aren't even expensive - I just do not want to have a fish of mine overpowered again.

A healthy goldfish is more than fine with 10x filtration. Some of us have much higher filtration rates than that, and the fish are all fine :)

I hope you all can understand my concern with the larger tank and with switching it now. I'd love some advice on what I have said just now.

Let us know if we can answer more questions :)

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I'm kind of confused about the cycling thing. As far as I know my fish tank is cycled. This is why the nitrates are at 0 after not having been for a while (prior to getting these fish).

In a cycled tank you will have a reading of 0ppm ammonia 0ppm nitrite and some reading of nitrate. Here's the basic cycle overview: the fish produce waste (ammonia), the ammonia feeds the first beneficial bacteria to develop (nitrosonomas) take the ammonia and convert it to nitrite, the second beneficial bacteria to develop (nitrobacter) then take the nitrite and convert it to nitrate. So, in a cycled aquarium these beneficial bacteria (BBs) will keep ammonia and nitrite (which are deadly to your fish) at 0 ppm. Nitrate will remain and needs to be dealt with by doing weekly water changes. Nitrate is the least harmful, but should be kept below 20 ppm.

Do you use filter cartridges? If so do you throw these away monthly?

Would getting a larger tank and putting these fish in it really save them at this point? Or would that just be better for more fish in the future?

It's hard to say for certain if the larger tank will save them at this point, but keeping them in the conditions they are in now will quite certainly kill them unfortunately, unless you are really able to change the water often enough to keep the water parameters safe (and I have no idea if it's even really possible to achieve safe water parameters in a tank this small just because of the huge amount of waste goldies produce). I really do think that what you are seeing though is from water quality issues, so I do think that getting them in a bigger tank and keeping up on water changes is their best bet at getting better right now :)

Also - is it really worth it for me to get a large tank and cycle it just to move in a month, have to take it all apart and rebuild it?

I do think it is. I am not sure that the fish will survive if you wait, given that they are already not eating. I think that the storage bin is probably the best idea for you right now since that will be easier to move than a tank :) Are you moving far away? (like having to take a plane etc.)

Would a temporary solution for the next month be to get the water conditioner that reduces ammonia and use that with my water changes, and then move them into a bigger tank when I move? For that matter would I have to cycle my new tank prior to moving them over?

I am not sure if this will work or not. It will really be dependent on if you can control the ammonia/nitrite. The issue is that with such a small amount of water volume the ammonia/nitrite will build up very fast, in a larger aquarium with more water volume it is better diluted. You will need to use your test kit to guide you on this one. But I really do think the storage bin is a better option. You would not need to cycle the new tank before moving them over. You can just put the filter you are currently using on the new tank :)

They're both moving around a bit now.. swimming around and occasionally even straight. - but then they go back to floating

Why should I remove all of the salt from my tank? I put very little of the epsom salts - and the aquarium salt is something I have been told numerous times to do regularly?

Salt should not be used on a regular basis. It is really a medication and should be used as such (only when absolutely required). If you use it regularly it can actually reduce it's effectiveness for when you really need it. Additionally, I know that many people here have indicated that using salt when there is ammonia in the tank can make the ammonia more toxic, I myself do not know the specifics of this interaction and cannot confirm that it is absolutely true, but maybe someone else can provide some input on this.

The only reason I do not have a bigger or more powerful filter is because I was originally sold a bigger one for this tank, and it murdered one of my goldfish because he got stuck in the end of the filter from it being too powerful. The bigger filters aren't even expensive - I just do not want to have a fish of mine overpowered again.

I understand. It would be difficult to have a larger filter on the small tank, it would create a lot of current for the goldies. But it would be a good idea to get a larger one if you can swing the storage container because it will help to cycle your tank to have more filter media.

I hope you all can understand my concern with the larger tank and with switching it now. I'd love some advice on what I have said just now.

EDIT: posted at the same time as Alex!

Edited by tithra
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Like I said, my biggest issue is that I will be moving in a month - and it seems silly to cycle a tank, then have to empty it and recycle a new one? Isn't that dangerous for my fish? There is no way I will be able to transport a full 10 gallon tank even if I could find somewhere to put one. Do you know which stores sell Seachem Prime? Does Petco? I don't think they do and thats the nearest store to me..

Like alex said, you can keep your filter media cycled when you move (just don't throw it away and keep it in water when you move... you'll want to use an airstone as well if it is a long move. And it is totally fine to take apart and re-setup the tank. You can transport your fish in a small container during the move and the tank can be empty :)

Petco and petsmart both sell seachem prime. It comes in a red bottle. It's a very popular water conditioner, any local pet store should have it too (it's really the best water conditioner IMO :D)

Also - I don't think I answered earlier. I let the water sit for 24 hours because of the temperature. I want it to be the same - because I hear the temperature change can shock/kill the goldfish, and I don't have a heater.

Are you not able to match the temperature out of the tap directly?

You do certainly want the temp of the new water to be within 1-3 degrees of the tank water.

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Wait - so if I take all of the water out and replace it with new water when I move this won't ruin the cycle? I was told the fact that I did this last time was why another one of my goldfish died. I have tried to read up on cycling before but something about it just does not make sense to me. When I change my filter cartridge does that not change the cycle? Maybe if you could explain to me exactly what I have to do to make a tank cycled that might help?

I won't be able to use a storage bucket... The rooms up here have rugs and my parent's are a little crazy. I might be able to get a 10 gallon fish tank and move them downstairs - but my parents would probably kill me. If i upgraded them to a 5 gallon for now would this be helpful? in conjunction to using the Seachem Prime. I might be able to find a home for that size...

I am moving somewhere that is a 15 min or so drive away - but I have a standard sized car and no real place to put a storage container or anything like that when I move.

Does this mean regular aquarium salts is a bad thing? I was told I should use them every water change - or are you just referring to the epsom salts?

I change my filter cartridge every month or two.

So if I get a new tank - its safe to cycle it with my goldfish in it? I thought that was unsafe?

I just did another about 40% water change and the ammonia now reads .5ppm

Our taps are a bit iffy with water temperature - which is why I find it easier to let it sit for 24 hours.

It's late so I won't be able to go get any new supplies until tomorrow night. I might be able to run to pets supplies plus before work to get the prime if you think that is worth the rush.

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Wait - so if I take all of the water out and replace it with new water when I move this won't ruin the cycle? I was told the fact that I did this last time was why another one of my goldfish died. I have tried to read up on cycling before but something about it just does not make sense to me. When I change my filter cartridge does that not change the cycle? Maybe if you could explain to me exactly what I have to do to make a tank cycled that might help?

Ugh, sorry you got that bad advice. No, changing your water will not harm your cycle. The beneficial bacteria live in the filter media, there may be some free floating in the water, but really they require a surface to colonize, so you can change your water without harming your cycle. The thing you need to be careful with when changing your water is to make sure temp and Ph are matched, which is sounds like you already do ;)

Yes, I asked about the filter cartridge because many people starting out have been told to change their cartridge monthly. The filter media (your cartridge) is where the BBs grow, so throwing this out monthly is essentially throwing your cycle away and you need to start from new.. not good.

It's actually best not to even use cartridges. Here's a great link that shows you how to setup your filter w/out the cartridge. http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/94732-simple-media-setup-for-hob-filters/

I won't be able to use a storage bucket... The rooms up here have rugs and my parent's are a little crazy. I might be able to get a 10 gallon fish tank and move them downstairs - but my parents would probably kill me. If i upgraded them to a 5 gallon for now would this be helpful? in conjunction to using the Seachem Prime. I might be able to find a home for that size...

I really think the 10 gallon would be best if you can't do the storage container, but any upgrade is going to be better than no upgrade, but if you can convince your parents to allow at minimum the 10 gallon I think that would be best just in terms of your ability to keep the water parameters stable (even if you could find a 10 gallon storage bin so that then when you moved you could upgrade the tank to a 20 or 30 gallon, as the 10 gallon would really just be a temporary measure).

I am moving somewhere that is a 15 min or so drive away - but I have a standard sized car and no real place to put a storage container or anything like that when I move.

Okay, well at least the trip won't be tough on your fish and you will have no problem keeping the filter media cycled during that trip ;) You could use the storage container to move stuff (fill it with clothes or whatever when you move ;) )

Does this mean regular aquarium salts is a bad thing? I was told I should use them every water change - or are you just referring to the epsom salts?

No, all salts, including aquarium salt should be saved for only when the fish absolutely needs it and it is sick. (and in terms of the ammonia interacting with salt I am talking about any type of salt). Salt is really not at all necessary for goldfish to have in the tank on a regular basis and can do more harm than good in the long run by creating 'bugs' that are salt resistant when you need salt as a medication (kind of in the same way that overuse of antibiotics can create antibiotic resistant 'bugs').

I change my filter cartridge every month or two.

So, take a look at that link. Cartridges are really a waste of money. I would set up your filter with regular media (as the link describes) and then you want to just rinse it in tank water once a month. You don't throw it out as you will lose your cycle by doing this.

So if I get a new tank - its safe to cycle it with my goldfish in it? I thought that was unsafe?

It certainly can be unsafe, but it is what you are already doing right now. You do not need to 'do' anything when you are cycling with fish, as they produce the ammonia that drives the cycle. You just need to make sure water parameters stay safe for them in the process (which is no small task!). There is no difference between having them in the current uncycled tank than putting them in the new uncycled tank except that with more water volume it will be much less dangerous in terms of your ability to control the ammonia/nitrite levels with water changes. You can think about it like this. If you have food coloring (food coloring = ammonia) and you put 10 drops in a cup of water, then put 10 drops in a bucket of water, the cup of water will have much more concentrated color than the bucket. Similarly, in the larger tank, ammonia will be more diluted and not build to a dangerous level as fast (it will still be fast, but it will be manageable with daily water changes, whereas in your current tank I am not sure that you could keep it safe at all because there will be 8 hours while you are sleeping that you can't do water changes ;)

I just did another about 40% water change and the ammonia now reads .5ppm

You should do another water change asap. .5 ppm is still high. It should really be 0ppm. Even .25 ppm acts as a low level stressor that can lower immunity and make fish vulnerable to problems (ammonia also can cause burns on the body of the fish (you will see black patches) and can permanently damage the gills by burning them... bad stuff!), nitrite also needs to be 0 always... it effects the blood in such a way that the blood cannot carry oxygen efficiently, and this can essentially suffocate your fish.

Our taps are a bit iffy with water temperature - which is why I find it easier to let it sit for 24 hours.

It's late so I won't be able to go get any new supplies until tomorrow night. I might be able to run to pets supplies plus before work to get the prime if you think that is worth the rush.

I think it's a good idea to get it as soon as you can :) And if you let you water sit for 24 hours, I wouldn't add the Prime until right before you change the water because you want the Prime to be active when you change the water so that it can detoxify some of the ammonia. And I would suggest double dosing the Prime (this is perfectly safe ;) ).

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I'm just going to copy and paste the things I have responses to...

Yes, I asked about the filter cartridge because many people starting out have been told to change their cartridge monthly. The filter media (your cartridge) is where the BBs grow, so throwing this out monthly is essentially throwing your cycle away and you need to start from new.. not good.

It's actually best not to even use cartridges. Here's a great link that shows you how to setup your filter w/out the cartridge. http://www.kokosgold...or-hob-filters/

One thing at a time, haha. First I need a good tank. http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11164161 I am considering getting this tank - or another tank with the bio wheel because I like that it has a 3 step filtering process. Seems good and all of the reviews are pretty awesome. Would I be able to eventually do that with the filter?

I won't be able to use a storage bucket... The rooms up here have rugs and my parent's are a little crazy. I might be able to get a 10 gallon fish tank and move them downstairs - but my parents would probably kill me. If i upgraded them to a 5 gallon for now would this be helpful? in conjunction to using the Seachem Prime. I might be able to find a home for that size...

I really think the 10 gallon would be best if you can't do the storage container, but any upgrade is going to be better than no upgrade, but if you can convince your parents to allow at minimum the 10 gallon I think that would be best just in terms of your ability to keep the water parameters stable (even if you could find a 10 gallon storage bin so that then when you moved you could upgrade the tank to a 20 or 30 gallon, as the 10 gallon would really just be a temporary measure).

I don't think I will be able to find space for a 20 gallon for a while. Once I am moved and settled it becomes the expense of the tank and something to put the tank on, but changing them to a 10 should be good for a while right? They are very small fish...

I just did another about 40% water change and the ammonia now reads .5ppm

You should do another water change asap. .5 ppm is still high. It should really be 0ppm. Even .25 ppm acts as a low level stressor that can lower immunity and make fish vulnerable to problems (ammonia also can cause burns on the body of the fish (you will see black patches) and can permanently damage the gills by burning them... bad stuff!), nitrite also needs to be 0 always... it effects the blood in such a way that the blood cannot carry oxygen efficiently, and this can essentially suffocate your fish.

I will do a new water change right now.

Our taps are a bit iffy with water temperature - which is why I find it easier to let it sit for 24 hours.

It's late so I won't be able to go get any new supplies until tomorrow night. I might be able to run to pets supplies plus before work to get the prime if you think that is worth the rush.

I think it's a good idea to get it as soon as you can :) And if you let you water sit for 24 hours, I wouldn't add the Prime until right before you change the water because you want the Prime to be active when you change the water so that it can detoxify some of the ammonia. And I would suggest double dosing the Prime (this is perfectly safe ;) ).

I will hopefully find/buy the prime in the morning. and will do a double dose. I suppose before buying a new tank I should make sure my fish are still alive when I get home from work - but they seem pretty alive despite their floating.

Is there anything special I need to do with the new tank before adding them to it? I guess since this tank will have a heater/thermometer I can fill it up with the water, then prime it, and then let it sit to temperature before adding them? What temperature is ideal? Should I just try to get it set to our room temperature to start?

Thank you for the advice this has been very helpful.

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One thing at a time, haha. First I need a good tank. http://www.petsmart....ductId=11164161 I am considering getting this tank - or another tank with the bio wheel because I like that it has a 3 step filtering process. Seems good and all of the reviews are pretty awesome. Would I be able to eventually do that with the filter?

lol.. okay. I know it's a lot of info at once ;) But, do not throw out your cartridge anymore. Rinse it in some tank water to 'clean it' once a month. Then when you get whatever setup you get next you can either run the two filters (your old one with the old cartridge and the new one with new filter media) side by side. Let us know if you have questions on this when it comes time to do it.

Many people do like the biowheels. I have never had one myself, but you can set up any filter according to the info in that link :)

I think that this 10 gallon will certainly be better than the 2.5 gallon. But it is important to upgrade to an appropriate sized tank as soon as possible still. The reason is that goldies can grow large (8-10 inches for fancies, 12 or so for single tails) when provided appropriate space. Goldfish produce a growth inhibiting hormone that when kept in a tank that is too small will stunt their growth and can over time lead to long term health issues. But I think that it's sounds like this is the best option you have right now :)

Is there anything special I need to do with the new tank before adding them to it? I guess since this tank will have a heater/thermometer I can fill it up with the water, then prime it, and then let it sit to temperature before adding them? What temperature is ideal? Should I just try to get it set to our room temperature to start?

Just rinse out the tank with warm water to make sure that there is no dust or anything in it. Transfer all the gravel etc you have to the new tank (btw keep only a very think layer of gravel, think 1/4-1/2 an inch, gravel can breed bad bacteria and it takes up water volume ;) ) Then fill it up with new water that is matched to the temp of your current tank, and add a double dose of Prime right before you add the fish. Room temp is just fine if it is in the high 60's to mid 70's. Goldies do well in a wide range of temps, but fancies do tend to do a bit better in the 70's (I keep my tank 72-74) just because it helps with their metabolism.

Thank you for the advice this has been very helpful.

No problem! I'm glad it was helpful :D I know it can really be tough to realize that your setup is less than ideal, especially when have been misinformed by others. I have been there! :) Please don't hesitate to ask more questions, we are always happy to answer them here and do what we can to problem solve!

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Last few questions for the night -

In the morning when I get prime - can i throw a double dose in the water i already have in the tank before I head to work or do I have to do a water change to add it?

What I'm trying to explain is the timeline will be 9am- buy prime (if all goes well), then I have to get home and add it and get out of my house by 9:40 latest. Which is why just adding the prime would be easier than a water change.. I probably won't be able to get home with a new tank until about 8pm, because it seems from what I've seen the petcos by me have a terrible selection and petsmart sells the one I like - its a bit further away and I work until 6 and have other errands that need running. So I'm trying to figure out how I can keep my fish safest for the time until then. I also want to come home and make sure they're still alive as they are not in the nicest of shape and it would be devastating to go through all the effort to come home and find them dead.

I don't think the gravel that I have will be nearly enough for a new tank - and I have a feeling that mine is very dirty and a part of my ammonia problem (it took me months to figure out how to properly use this gravel vacuum. the instructions were not very good on the package...) - would it be unsafe to use all new gravel? Perhaps this would be even better?

I also just am wondering - I thought the problem with the fish is their swimbladders. I understand why you say I need a bigger tank - but will that 100% fix why they are floating on their side? Isn't this caused by their abdomen (if thats what you'd consider it on a fish) is constipated/filled with air? Every time they try to swim normal their abdomen is pushing upwards. Can better water quality actually solve this problem on its own? Like - how does better water quality make them start to poo is basically what I'm asking?

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Last few questions for the night -

In the morning when I get prime - can i throw a double dose in the water i already have in the tank before I head to work or do I have to do a water change to add it?

It would be best to do a water change, but you can add it without changing the water (it won't hurt anything)

What I'm trying to explain is the timeline will be 9am- buy prime (if all goes well), then I have to get home and add it and get out of my house by 9:40 latest. Which is why just adding the prime would be easier than a water change.. I probably won't be able to get home with a new tank until about 8pm, because it seems from what I've seen the petcos by me have a terrible selection and petsmart sells the one I like - its a bit further away and I work until 6 and have other errands that need running. So I'm trying to figure out how I can keep my fish safest for the time until then. I also want to come home and make sure they're still alive as they are not in the nicest of shape and it would be devastating to go through all the effort to come home and find them dead.

I don't think the gravel that I have will be nearly enough for a new tank - and I have a feeling that mine is very dirty and a part of my ammonia problem (it took me months to figure out how to properly use this gravel vacuum. the instructions were not very good on the package...) - would it be unsafe to use all new gravel? Perhaps this would be even better?

You can rinse the gravel out in some tank water to 'clean' it a bit (don't use tap), I think that you should add the old gravel only because you may have some beneficial bacteria already in the gravel which may help your cycle along. ***If others have different thoughts on this please jump in***

(I would typically suggest going bare bottom in your situation, but I think having some established gravel may be good for the cycling process in this case)

I also just am wondering - I thought the problem with the fish is their swimbladders. I understand why you say I need a bigger tank - but will that 100% fix why they are floating on their side? Isn't this caused by their abdomen (if thats what you'd consider it on a fish) is constipated/filled with air? Every time they try to swim normal their abdomen is pushing upwards. Can better water quality actually solve this problem on its own? Like - how does better water quality make them start to poo is basically what I'm asking?

It may or may not fully fix the swim bladder problems. Swim bladder issues are caused by a multitude of things, one being poor water quality. So, I would suggest getting the water quality under control, then if they still demonstrate issues we can help with other things that you can try :) (one thing at a time... the water quality is the most obvious factor in this case)

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Great job tithra :)

~marianna you are in excellent hands. And almost there :heart

Just a quick comment about "swimbladder" issues. The swimbladder is a balloon shaped sac twisted in the middle rather like those party people that do balloon tricks making animals you know what I mean? And those two sacs deflate and inflate as gases in the water pass through the fish. This is what keeps the sb fully pumped and functioning....the easy flow through of the gases.

Some of the gases in water are: nitrogen, oxygen, carbondioxide to mention a few. The fish manages to osmote and pass through these gases, saving what he needs to use to swim and to stabilise his vascular system. Extras are passed out. IF the water contains ammonia gas and nitrite gas ---OOOOOOoooo .....>_<

the fish cannot manage all these gases!!! He starts to reject the good ones in error and retain the bad :o

That twisted double balloon begins to look deflated on one side. So does the fish :(

So, in order for a fish to have good balance it is crucial the water is free or kept as low as possible of bad gases :)

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THats a nice looking tank. But I would suggest you get a ckheeper 10 gallon with a normal top so you can get the right size filter. You need at least 10xfilteration and in this case I would suggest even more. Remember it can be used on your 30 gallon when you get it for your goldfish.

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THats a nice looking tank. But I would suggest you get a ckheeper 10 gallon with a normal top so you can get the right size filter. You need at least 10xfilteration and in this case I would suggest even more. Remember it can be used on your 30 gallon when you get it for your goldfish.

That tank does have the right size filter? It filters 100 times per minute? I can always buy a larger filter when I get a larger tank???

I woke up this morning to find David Bowie dead :( Princess is held up against the unicorn ornament in my tank struggling

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and as soon as I got back from taking Bowie out Princess was dead too.

I guess I don't need to rush out to get anything today since they both died already :/ Is it normal for them to die this quickly?

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with such conditions.. should something go wrong, i am afraid there is no room for forgiveness as you've just experienced.. i am sorry you lost your fish.. however, once an aquarist always an aqurarist.. please consider when you set up again that a fantail/fancy set up is 20 gallons for the first fish and 10 gallons for each additional fish..

for a single tail.. it's 20 gallons each fish (longer tank as they love to swim left to right etc a lot)

we recommend a fishless cycle which can take upto 6 weeks.. http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/FishlessCycle.html

best of luck, hope to see you around the forums learning as you go :)

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with such conditions.. should something go wrong, i am afraid there is no room for forgiveness as you've just experienced.. i am sorry you lost your fish.. however, once an aquarist always an aqurarist.. please consider when you set up again that a fantail/fancy set up is 20 gallons for the first fish and 10 gallons for each additional fish..

for a single tail.. it's 20 gallons each fish (longer tank as they love to swim left to right etc a lot)

we recommend a fishless cycle which can take upto 6 weeks.. http://www.kokosgold...hlessCycle.html

best of luck, hope to see you around the forums learning as you go :)

Thank you for the rude comment that was unnecessary, especially considering that my fish literally just died.

To everyone who was polite and actually helpful, thank you, I appreciate your help.

I am going to drain and shut off the filter in my tank, because despite the fact that it would help me set up a new one I can't really stand having an empty tank right near where i sleep where my fish used to be, its depressing. I'm going on vacation soon so when I get back I will buy a new tank and set up some new fish.

I could understand the need for a 10 or a 20 gallon tank, but I think its completely ridiculous to say that I need a massive 30 gallon tank for 2 goldfish that are under 2 inches each. I would understand if someone said that once they started growing I needed to upgrade, but to say I would need a 30 right away is completely impractical.

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with such conditions.. should something go wrong, i am afraid there is no room for forgiveness as you've just experienced.. i am sorry you lost your fish.. however, once an aquarist always an aqurarist.. please consider when you set up again that a fantail/fancy set up is 20 gallons for the first fish and 10 gallons for each additional fish..

for a single tail.. it's 20 gallons each fish (longer tank as they love to swim left to right etc a lot)

we recommend a fishless cycle which can take upto 6 weeks.. http://www.kokosgold...hlessCycle.html

best of luck, hope to see you around the forums learning as you go :)

Thank you for the rude comment that was unnecessary, especially considering that my fish literally just died.

i do apologize if i came accross as rude, there was certainly no intention by me to be rude, i was offering some advice. i do wish you well and hope that you enter the hobby again having learned from the advice given here. i fail to see where i expressed rudeness and again, am sorry that your fish died.

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