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Bzar

First time owner, worried about new fish, please help

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Hi, I just started on these forums and just purchased 4 Comet Goldfish for a 30 gallon tank, one of the 4 is acting much less social than the others, has in my opinion weird eyes evan before I took it home, and doesn't seem to eat. I will try to answer all the questions I can but filmed him please take a look here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9FBJaC-bhs&list=UU7ag4hnfWe8scf4VMx3-G_A&index=1&feature=plcp

Other Required Info:


  • Test Results for the Following:
  • * Ammonia Level- Not sure Petsmart okay it 5 days ago
  • * Nitrite Level -Not sure Petsmart okay it 5 days ago
  • * Nitrate level -Not sure Petsmart okay it 5 days ago
  • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
  • Not sure Petsmart okay it 5 days ago
  • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
  • Not sure Petsmart okay it 5 days ago
  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?
  • Do not currently own one
  • * Water temperature?
  • 72
  • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?
  • 30gal running 2 weeks
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?ea
  • I read that goldfish need alot of filtration so I have two running in the tank, one is a topfin 10gal the other came with the marineland set and says its 30 gal
  • * How often do you change the water and how much?
  • About 40% every 5 days

  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?
  • Yesterday
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size?
  • 4 all feederfish size from Petsmart when you think carnival fish in a bag size that is about the size, no bigger than 2"
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners?
  • At my work desk so don't know brand names but one is called Start Right and the other is Start Zyme
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often?
  • Again at my desk but slow sinking pellets, I feed about twice a day and try to make sure each fish eats about 3 pellets each time although obviously I don't always have control over that
  • * Any new fish added to the tank?
  • All the fish are "new" but they were purchased at the same time from the same tank and put in at time
  • * Any medications added to the tank?
  • No
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.
  • Added the directed amount of marine salt for a new tank on included product but besides that nothing
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?
  • I would say nothing but am not experienced enough with fish to recognize what is and isn't normal, obviously if it were extreme but I can't say I pick up on subtle indicators of poor fish health yet
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?
  • The one in the video pretty much always hangs in the middle of the tank, never seen him eat although I think it must be somehow because it has lived for 2 weeks in the tank now.

Any direction or help I can get would be great, thank you everyone.

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I can't give you any diagnostic help, because I am not qualified to do that, but I know that they are going to want you to get a drop test kit for water quality because they use they water parameters to determine what might be wrong with the fish. They will need ammonia, ph, nitrite and nitrate test results. I got the API freshwater master kit and it has been of great use to me.

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To me it looks like someting is not right, but I'll let qualified people here tell you what to do.

However, all I can say is you are overstocked, since goldfish are incredibly high waste producers and Comets are strong swimmers and need at least 20 gallons each.

I still hope everything goes fine with them, good luck :)

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With his eyes that large, it appears to me as though he may be severely stunted,and what you're experiencing could be due to the stunting,although I do not know enough to say for sure. I'll leave diagnosis for the more experienced.

There are a few things I can say for sure,though:

-Please get exact numbers for the water params. Everybody has a different definition of okay, and we need those numbers to be able to safely recommend treatments.

-Each single tail goldfish requires 20G or more each,so I would recommend looking into getting a bigger tank soon. If you can't afford a bigger tank, a rubber/plastic storage container with a filter will suffice,so long as it's food safe(Sterelite containers are all food safe).

ahardeay sniped me while replying, the API Master test kit is the one many of us use here. It's a little pricey, but lasts for quite awhile, making it cheaper in the long run. Also, drops are more accurate than the strips.

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Thanks for the responses so far, I'm not to familiar at al l what a stunted fish looks like but it had those eyes in the store and I was uneasy about how long he would last but he was pulled form one of those tank that is about 15 gallons and just stuffed to every inch with goldfish so I think being stunted is a real possibility.

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Hi there! Welcome to the forum :)

Knowing your water parameters is very important in suggesting a course of treatment. Would you be able to take a sample of the current water to be test again? This time write down the exact numbers for all parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and Ph).

It would be most ideal if you could buy your own test kit. The API Master test kit is excellent and comes with everything you need. It is a bit of cost up front (30.00) but will last you longer than the cheaper strip test kits and is more accurate. A water test kit is really one of the most important things you can have to keep your fish healthy and happy, particularly when your tank is new.

Because your tank is new your are more than likely still cycling, this means that toxins will build up very fast in the water because you do not yet have a bacterial colony established to convert them (cycling article: http://www.kokosgold....com/cycle.html ). Because of this your current water change schedule is likely not adequate to keep the water safe for your fish.

Here is what I would like to suggest:

- Get your water tested (or buy a test kit), please post numbers here when you have them

- Begin doing a water change (change 50-80% of the water) every day to every other day (a test kit comes in handy here because you can see exactly how long you can go before needing to change your water)

- Get aquarium salt if you do not have any yet. You can buy aquarium salt from a pet store, or you can get a salt from the grocery store that contains no additives or anti caking agents (morton's pickling and canning salt is one that is widely available) Here is a link about salt: http://www.kokosgold...he-use-of-salt/

- Please order prazi pro (or check your local fish stores for it). This is a relatively gentle medication that treats flukes, a common parasite in goldfish. It is generally standard procedure to treat any new fish with salt and prazi. http://www.amazon.co...36508178&sr=8-1

- If you have the funds available, I would recommend getting some Seachem Prime water conditioner. It is an excellent water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia for 24-48 hours so it is excellent to use while you are cycling.

Finally, as others have already stated, you are unfortunately a bit overstocked. You will want to start thinking about upgrading your tank if you want to keep all 4 fish. A 55 gallon at minimum would be best for your 4 :)

EDIT: Please let us know as soon as you get the water tested and have the aquarium salt :)

Edited by tithra

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Thanks for the responses so far, I'm not to familiar at al l what a stunted fish looks like but it had those eyes in the store and I was uneasy about how long he would last but he was pulled form one of those tank that is about 15 gallons and just stuffed to every inch with goldfish so I think being stunted is a real possibility.

Tell-tale signs of stunting are fins that appear to be too long/big for the fish, along with eyes that are too large for the head. And since he was a feeder, who knows how long he's been in bad conditions.

I hope everything turns out alright. I applaud those who rescue those poor feeders.

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As the posters above indicated, the first priority here is to get a test kit, to check for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. Considering that you are setting up a new tank with fish, I would not be surprised that there are a ton of ammonia and nitrites in the tank at the moment. That may explain why the water is cloudy and your fish is clamping his fins. There could be other causes to this, but we really need to have a good handle on water quality before doing anything else.

The API freshwater master kit is one of the best kits out there, and one that will last you for a very long time. I would go and get that ASAP.

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I have access to a 10gal and filter would it make sense to transfer it to be on its own in there until it improves or will that only aggravate the situation?

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I think the problem is going to be water quality, in which case you will need to deal with that, probably by doing WCs daily etc. Moving him to another tank won't help, since that will mean you will just have to change two tanks daily. Could you get parameter readings? I don't think we are able to be any more help until we have a clearer picture of what's going on in the tank.

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All black "button" eyes are normal, and don't indicate any problem. The clamped fins do indicate something is wrong. As everyone has said, you have to get your water tested. Either get a test kit, or get your water tested in the store, but DEMAND exact numbers, which is what we need. "OK," "normal," "fine" are not useful information.

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I did a 95% water change last night, no immediate change in behavior but dosn't seem to be getting worse. Will have to wait about three weeks on larger tank and pricey testing kit for now will stick to water changes and ask pets mart if I can get all the numbers I need in the mean time, will post either tonight or tomorrow depending when I'm available. Thanks for all the help so far.

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I would recommend 40 gallons per single tail goldfish as a minimum. 20 gallons per fish is fine for fancies. You can as suggested have all 4 in a 55 gallon tank to start with but they will outgrow that in a year and you will then have to spend more money upgrading again or give them to someone who has a pond. 20 gallons is not ok for a single tail !

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The standard recommendation has been 20 gallons for the first fish of any kind, and then 10 additional gallons per fancy and 20 gallons per single tail. At this level of stocking, I need only do WCs once per week, and the fish have plenty of room to swim. Of course, having more room for them is fantastic.

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I would recommend 40 gallons per single tail goldfish as a minimum. 20 gallons per fish is fine for fancies. You can as suggested have all 4 in a 55 gallon tank to start with but they will outgrow that in a year and you will then have to spend more money upgrading again or give them to someone who has a pond. 20 gallons is not ok for a single tail !

Alright well I will def look into larger tanks but they are out of budget for at least a a few weeks. If possible I would like to get a definite answer on tank size for single tales cause the plaque at the store said 20+ would do but If I'm looking more at 40 per fish than I will have to bring some of the fish back in. I called the store and they would let me but from what I hear on this site and others pet store conditions are bad and most comets wind up as food or in bowls so I'd rather not bring them back to the store if its unnecessary plus I'm pretty attached to them at this point :D

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So the water levels are in from Petsmart

Ammonia is 1.0

Nitrate is 0

Nitrite is 0

GH is 75

kH is 60

PH 7.2

The worker at the store said the water is fine and a water change would take care of the ammonia and to do that consistantly until the tank is fully cycled in a couple of weeks, based of this information any suggestions for my fish patient in the video?

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1.0 ammonia is quite high for your fish and may be the cause of the behavior you are seeing. Ammonia can cause burns to the body of the fish and it's gills. It will also cause your fish to be stressed which will lower immunity making them susceptible to illness.

I would suggest either a 100% water change (take your fish out for this) or two back to back 60-70% water changes now to get that ammonia back to 0.

Based on these results (taking into account the last time you changed your water) you really need to be doing daily 50-80% water changes to keep the water safe for your fish. The sooner you can get your own test kit the better.

I would start with the daily water changes and see if your fish perks up in the next week. If he does not we may need to assess what else may be going on.

Also, your gh/kh is a bit low (particularly the kh), which could result in a sudden Ph drop. This can be very stressful, if not potentially fatal for your fish. You need to get either some crushed coral to keep in your tank or filter or a buffer that you add at each water change (seachem gold buffer is a good one that is readily available at most stores).

Edited by tithra

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Thanks for all the help, stepping out for dinner will do a 100% water change later tonight, the lil guy seems to be doing a tad bit better after the first change but still isn't eating, know idea how he is still going. never done a 100% change b4, taking the fish out before is obvious but any tips and tricks or links to video on how to do it the best way?

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Twenty gallons per fish is fine as long as you are willing to do weekly large water changes as your fish get bigger. If they were in a pond, where water changes are much smaller, 30 to 40 gallons per fish would be better. But these recommendations are for adult fish. If you are talking about a tank in which you expect them to live out their lives, that's what you need. But for 4 feeder-sized fish, your 30 gallon tank is not too small right now. These fish - if healthy - will probably double in size in the next month and will continue to grow rapidly for the next year, so you will need a bigger tank.

My recommendation, since your budget is tight, is first get a test kit, then save your money for the bigger tank. Start following Craigslist, which always has lots of big tanks for sale, since there are people who find that big tanks are more work than they expected.

If you have a yard, or even a patio, a little pond is a cheaper alternative to a big tank.

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Thanks for all the help, stepping out for dinner will do a 100% water change later tonight, the lil guy seems to be doing a tad bit better after the first change but still isn't eating, know idea how he is still going. never done a 100% change b4, taking the fish out before is obvious but any tips and tricks or links to video on how to do it the best way?

On second thought, catching them and taking them out to do a 100% water change will be pretty stressful for them and I would hate to stress the little guy who is not doing well any more than we need to. Let's nix that plan :) EDIT: but for future reference the best way to take them out is to use your hands to gently catch them or use a bowl to scoop them up. Nets can cause damage to the slimecoat and scales so they are not recommended.

Why don't you do as large a water change as you can tonight while still keeping them in the tank. You can take the water level down to the point where their dorsal (top) fin is still covered. This will get your ammonia down to a reasonable amount and then you can do another large water change tomorrow :) Then continue with the daily water changes and let us know how he is.

Edited by tithra

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Just finished another 95% change will post progress tomorrow, still top fin is down but seems to be swimming around more, all the other fish look great all their fins are open and eating regularly. Sorry they felt the need to al make cameos but here is the vid from after the water change

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DuSNVMjSDg

Edited by Bzar

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How is your fish today? Have you been able to keep up with the water changes? (I know it is a lot of work. Cycling with fish is really hard, but things get so much better once your tank is cycled :) )

Edited by tithra

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He seems like he is doing slightly beeter every day. His top fin is always down although he is eating a little and swimming around more! Will update when he makes a significant improvement!

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okay good. Please let us know if anything changes or he makes a turn for the worse (e.g. bottom sitting or rubbing himself against items in the tank (flashing)

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When I am cycling a tank I try to do a fifty percent change in the morning and another fifty percent change at night. That makes a 100% change per day without stressing the fish. Keep a really close eye on those params. The test kit is so worth the investment.

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