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Ashq828

Goldfish stressed in new tank HELP!

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Sorry if this is in the wrong content section but as a new user I was limited in my options. Also this is long but because I’m trying to include as much info as possible. 

This past July my daughter won 2 small goldfish at a local carnival. It was at night and no pet stores were open, so we put them in Tupperware overnight and went out early the next morning to get a 5 gallon starter aquarium. We didn’t know anything about cycling, and because we were concerned about the fish surviving in the Tupperware, we put them right in the tank using Tetra safestart. They adjusted well and have been happy since. My only maintenance was weekly 20% water changes and monthly filter cartridge changes, and a couple months ago added a live plant. I admittedly slacked on water changes for the past month or so and I noticed their water was getting cloudier and the glass was a bit dirty. This, coupled with them growing significantly, prompted the idea to upgrade them to a larger tank, so I got a 10 gallon kit and did basically the same thing. I put them in a bag and floated it in the tank for 20 min to make sure the temp equalized- by recommendation of the girl at the pet store- and I again used Safestart. I added all new gravel and the fresh filter and cartridge that came with the tank, as well as a new air bubble system (same type as they had before). The only thing I transferred is their 1 decor (without rinsing). I did not include any of their old water.

At first they seemed fine, but within about 10-15 minutes I noticed that they both had long poop hanging out (which I’ve never seen before) and they were hovering at the bottom of the tank. I tried feeding them as it was that time anyway but they wouldn’t eat. It’s been a little over 24 hours and they will swim around a little, but much more slowly and still settle at the bottom most of the time. One will eat a little but not much and the other still won’t eat. These are fish who usually swim around excitedly when I walk towards the tank hoping to be fed. 

After much research I fully realize why this is happening and what I did wrong and believe me I am beating myself up for it. I am asking for immediate help to prevent them from dying. My husband siphoned out all the water from their old tank last night, but there was a little left with the gravel. So today I did a 25% water change and added about 1/4 of the old gravel with the included water (which looked very dirty when I poured it in and included old food and dirt bits). Once it settled the water is clear again.

I keep reading conflicting advice in other forums regarding water changes in this situation. Some say do daily 50% changes and some say don’t change water so bacteria can form. What do I do?? And do I continue to try to feed them in the meantime? Help please!

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The only other info I forgot to include is that I also added a new live plant with this tank and I have never tested their water so I don’t know about prior or current levels.

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Do you have a test kit? If so, testing their water now on would be a good idea.

I would encourage to do daily waterchanges until the tank has established. While this will somewhat negatively effect the rate of bacterial growth, in the long run its a lot more healthier on the fish!

Do you have the old filter - preferably unwashed? Adding that to the new tank would also be a good idea and help transfer more bacteria over and help jumpstart the new filter.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

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Please read our Guidelines for Healthy Goldfish and follow the advice there.  You have some tough fish to survive the treatment they have received so far, so they may recover completely once you improve their water quality.

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Just my 2 cents worth, but anything alive is not a good carnival prize. 

"Congratulations! You won a bag of responsibility and extra expenses!" Fish are expensive and simi complicated to care for properly. giving them to some one who isnt ready for that is just cruel. 

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Thabks for the replies. The fish are still alive, how I’m not sure. I went to the pet store last week and talked to a girl there who recommended a conditioner with aloe for their skin and a product called stability which I have been using daily. I have also been doing every other day 25% water changes, and was finally able to check the ammonia level today and got a 2.0 (pic attached). The goldfish now have bubbles for eyes which break open every couple days then reform, and their fins are starting to turn brown at the edges. I feel horrible, I would honestly rather they die than continue to suffer. Surprisingly though they are starting to act a little more normal. They swim around the tank a lot more regularly like they used to and even try to eat, although I think they may be blind at this point. The one fish who was doing much worse has even come around a bit, as the other one would keep swimming over to it and rub against it a bit until it would move around. Now they both seem to be doing a bit better which is why I’m so encouraged to get them through this but I’m not sure what else to do for them. 

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Oh and then the different girl at the pet store today told me that a 10 gallon tank is a little big for 2 goldfish and that will make it harder to cycle the water which I know is wrong so I’m not sure I can trust anything they tell me.

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49 minutes ago, Ashq828 said:

Oh and then the different girl at the pet store today told me that a 10 gallon tank is a little big for 2 goldfish and that will make it harder to cycle the water which I know is wrong so I’m not sure I can trust anything they tell me.

I wouldn't be trusting them at all with that kind of information. You can cycle a tank with just ammonia. One goldfish can produce enough to cycle any tank. 10 gallons is way to small for just one goldfish. :O 

If you can I would suggest getting a 40B tank and a Aquaclear filter of at least 70 GPH. That would be a great start for two fish. Also when you can please some more photos of the eyes. Im concerned about that. :( 

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At that ammonia concentration they should be dead.  You have tough fish.  You absolutely have to handle the ammonia situation.  Get Seachem Prime water conditioner and do a 50% water change daily, treating the water with the amount of Prime for your full tank volume.  Prime will protect your fish from up to 1 ppm 
Ammonia.  It will not lower the ammonia concentration.  Water changes will do that.

Please check the  pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in your tap water and report these.

 

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Here are water parameters on a 10 gallon tank AFTER two large water changes. There was a tiny Shubunkin in the tank at the time. I only suspected an issue because the water begun to cloud. She was acting totally fine and eating and everything. I had ZERO idea the water quality was this bad. The tank was well over a year old running and had Bettas and etc in it and was cycled and whatnot. 

Original tests showed ammonia well over 4 ppm (near the 8 ppm mark) and the fish was behaving normally. Turns out the soil I used in the tank to try and newly plant it leached tons of ammonia and overloaded/crashed the cycle. I only had a small HOB and a sponge filter. It wasn't the fish. She is the size of a Betta and I wasn't feeding much. 

I quickly removed the fish to a heated tub outside, she is still totally fine BTW... And parameters are way down now with only trace ammonia showing. There are no fish in the tank now. I've gotten fish from Walmart in water that tested high like this in ammonia and they were fine as well. Fish shipped often have ammonia levels through the roof in those bags and they don't die either. 

High ammonia doesn't always kill super quickly. Not from what I've seen. BUT it definitely is BAD NEWS and left long enough, they'll usually eventually get sick and die. Definitely need to handle that ammonia ASAP. And watch out, there might be Nitrite issues too. When my cycle crashed, everything went through the roof. 

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