Hello, everyone! Last week, I was at a wedding where baby goldfish were used as a centerpiece. They were planning on killing them all afterwards, so I took 4 of them to try to save them. I am a first time fish owner, so please bear with me.
I obviously didn't have time to cycle a tank, so I am trying to start that process. I have tested the water every day for a week now and so far, liquid tests have picked up no changes to the ammonia or nitrite levels (always 0), so I'm not sure if/when cycling will complete. Today was my first time using strips, and those seemed to pick up a bit of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate.
The smallest fish of the bunch has been exhibiting strange behavior. The first day, he was perky and excited. He was even stealing food from the others. The next day, he started sinking to the bottom of the tank and listlessly floating around. I thought it was swim bladder so I added freshwater salt to the tank and started introducing fiber to their diet. I fed kale one day, skipped feeding the next, and then only kale the next day. I then reintroduced soaked pellets. He still didn't perk up and continued to act lethargic, so I turned off the air stone to make his last days of swimming a little easier. I also added 50 mL of Tetra SafeStart to start the cycling (this would be 5 days ago). He perked up immediately after the air stone was turned off and even stopped fin clamping. Two days later, I introduced a pot for him to hide in because he seemed a bit nervous around the other fish at times (other times, they all swim in a happy little pack). Then, about 2 days after introducing the pot, he started floating in the pot all day, fin clamped again. He started developing black spots around the same time (I'm guessing ammonia burn from his atrocious conditions at the wedding, with filthy water and no oxygen). And 2 days ago, he started sitting at the bottom of the pot and not even floating. He comes out for feeding times and gets really excited, but then returns to the pot afterwards. Shortly after he started floating in the pot, I added 6 extra drops of Prime, 5 mL of API StressZyme and 10 more mL of Tetra SafeStart (I added the 2 bacteria additives a day apart). I also tried just giving him ambient light in case the bright lights were stressful, but it didn't help. All the other fish are doing just great, swimming in packs, greeting me, etc. What can I do to help him? I'm so worried and I feel helpless.
* Ammonia Level(Tank) = 0 (via API liquid test kit) or .5 ppm (via Tetra EasyStrips)
* Nitrite Level(Tank) = 0 (via API liquid test kit) maybe .1 ppm (via Tetra EasyStrips)
* Nitrate level(Tank) = probably around 10 ppm (via Tetra EasyStrips)
Ammonia Level(Tap) = 0 via strips
* Nitrite Level(Tap) = 0 via strips
* Nitrate level(Tap) = 0 via strips
* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) Around 7.6 Via test strips, hardness is between 75 to 100 ppm, alkalinity is probably 20 ppm, and chlorine is 0.
* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) = around 7.2 via test strips. harness is 150 ppm, chlorine is 0, and alkalinity is about 40 ppm.
Other Required Info:
* Water temperature? 74 degrees Fahrenheit
* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 20 gallon and one week (the 20 gallons is absolutely temporary until I can afford to buy a larger tank)
* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Filter included with Aqueon 20 gallon tank called Quietflow LED Pro Power Flow
* How often do you change the water and how much? New Tank. No regular schedule yet. Unsure how frequently to change it during cycling
* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 6 days ago, 10 gallons
* How many fish in the tank and their size? 4 feeder goldfish about one inch
* What kind of water additives or conditioners? 66 total drops of Prime (3 per gallon at times of water change plus 6 additional drops later on to build up slime coat). 60 mL of Tetra SafeStart. 5 mL of API StressZyme. 15 teaspoons of freshwater salt.
* What do you feed your fish and how often? I rotate pellets, mashed peas, and blanched kale approximately every day (veggies every day, pellets every other day. I soak and mash up the pellets so they fit in their tiny little mouths. I occasionally give them a few tropical fish flakes, too, since it seems easy for them to eat)
* Any new fish added to the tank? All 4 are brand new
* Any medications added to the tank? None
* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank.Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. 15 teaspoons of freshwater aquarium salt 6 days ago
* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Sick fish is developing black spots (I believe this is from the ammonia in his previous home). Another fish previously with black spots is actually getting fading on his spots.
* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? He sits inside a pot in his tank all day at the bottom with his fin clamped up. At feeding times, he perks up and swims around. He seems to have a bit of trouble swimming. His front fins look very small. He flicks his tail and wiggles while swimming more than the other fish, too, almost as if he has a bit of trouble getting around. He also seems to perk up before bed or for brief stints randomly (they all enjoy nipping at my test strips and my syringe that I use to suck out water for liquid testing)