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Poorly goldfish

Discussion in 'Fish Keeping Chat' started by Tomato_Soz, Jul 19, 2018.


  1. Tomato_Soz

    Tomato_Soz PetForums Newbie

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    Hi everyone

    I woke up today and one of our goldfish is floating at the top of the tank and has a red wound on it's side.

    I have not posted before but I have read a lot of advice about keeping goldfish as pets so I will give a bit of background and if possible please can I have some advice?

    I know that goldfish are difficult to look after and I'll be honest I didn't want any pets. I took my children to a fair and they won the goldfish while I was talking to another mum (my fault). The stallholder refused to take the fish back and when we were walking round we actually saw some dead goldfish where people had dropped the bags and I felt so sorry for them. We have a very large ornamental public pond (almost lake) where we live but I read that it is illegal and cruel to set them free there even though I've seen massive goldfish in it, so I didn't do that. We don't have a garden so my only option was to buy an aquarium. I could only afford 56litres at the time and I'm well aware they need a bigger tank. I've saved most of the £1k I need for a 6 foot tank and can hopefully buy this in September. I'm really disgusted by pets at home telling me the small tank I bought is like a fish mansion because I know this isn't true.

    One of my questions is will they both be ok in the 56litre until I get the new one in a couple of months. Obviously I'll need to cycle it first so it will probably be in October they're in their new home. I don't know how old they both are but they started at an inch long each and are easily twice the size in the last 4 weeks so they must have some room to grow right now.

    They have a good filter and air stone so lots of surface disruption. They sleep in the corner when it's dark away from the filter so I've put lots of plants there and they seem generally happy as in they recognise me and swim over when they think I'm going to feed them.

    I started doing 20% water changes every day then a third every 2 days. I use water conditioner. Today we have had them for 4 weeks so I did a complete water change and rinsed the gravel and ornaments with tap water and rinsed the filter pad. I was going to do this on Monday when the tank was 4 weeks old but I was worried they got sick from uncleanliness. I've used a dipstick and everything is fine.

    I bought them some bloodworm and brine shrimp but usually feed them flakes as the pellets I was getting at first were just getting sucked into the filter as the fish swim to the top when I open the lid so they were missing them. They do root around in the gravel for treats but I don't know if they were finding the pellets. Are pellets or flakes better?

    Today the smaller one (named Gummi Bear by my daughter) is floating near the top and has a mark on it's side. I can't tell what it is from looking online. When I got the fish I used King British disease clear in the tank as I was sceptical that the fairground people had bothered looking after them and didn't want them to have any diseases. It is mostly floating at the top like it's looking for food but not gasping for air. The oxygen in the tank is fine anyway. Could it be swim bladder? I feed them twice per day as much as they can eat in a few mins. Would that explain the sore? I'll put a photo on.

    The larger one (Goldie) is hiding in the plants with all fins clamped looking sorry for himself. When he does move he's darting around wildly. They were both like this before I cleaned the tank (forgot to mention I've read up about bacteria etc and every time I've cleaned them I swish the filter media in the old tank water and I don't use any detergent or anything). What could be wrong with them? I feel so bad if it's my fault.

    Sometimes Goldie (the big one) will chase Gummi Bear around the tank - maybe 3 times that I've seen but not sure about when I've been asleep or at work but it's usually over food from what I've seen. Like one will chase the other until they spit food out and then eat whatever came out. Even though I put enough food in for both. They haven't done that for a couple of weeks now.

    Also noteworthy to mention the tank came with a light but I don't use it because I read they don't like this because they have no eyelids? Nothing like light temp or noise has changed outside the tank. Ive stopped even using a wax melter in my living room in case perfume gets in there.

    My plan of action is to not feed them for 24hrs and just give them some skinned peas tomorrow. They like these as the first day they came here they had white poops so i gave them peas and they were better after that.

    Is there anything else i can do to help them? Is it because the tank is too small? My children will be devastated if they don't recover.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
    #1 Tomato_Soz, Jul 19, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
  2. Tomato_Soz

    Tomato_Soz PetForums Newbie

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    Sorry it's not the best photo of the mark but Gummi was moving around near the top. It's red like a cut of some sorts. Could Goldie have attacked him/her? I try to keep the tank ph neutral and nitrate about 5 but i need to get a better testing system than sticks. I need to get more on Monday but I usually test it every day. Oxygen is fine, they never gasp for air at the top even when we've recently had a heatwave. I'm pretty confident this is the only thing I'm *not* worried about. Update: they seem a bit happier now and are just bobbing around like usual after half scaring me to death.
     

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    #2 Tomato_Soz, Jul 19, 2018
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  3. Tomato_Soz

    Tomato_Soz PetForums Newbie

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    Photo of the tank. Will they be too cramped in there until I get the new one? When I replace it I'm getting a dark coloured background for them and going to get sand rather than gravel. Also possibly some live plants. They eat boiled broccoli or boiled cucumber sometimes instead of flakes I know they enjoy this. At the moment they're in a dark corner but could having no background upset them? Sorry for multiple posts just want to give as much info as possible as I've read some replies to other people on different forums and they get slated a bit but I really am trying my best to look after them when I didn't really want pet fish. I'm now rather attached to them.
     

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  4. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    Hi :)

    First question, when you did the complete water change and rinsed the gravel & ornaments in tap water, did you also rinse the filter sponges in tap water? If you've only had them for four weeks your tank won't be completely cycled yet anyway, but rinsing the sponges in tap water will have killed off any good bacteria that had started to grow and unfortunately put your cycle right back to the start. You mentioned cycling the new tank when you get it, so I don't know how much you know about cycling, but there is some good information here: https://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles_51/fishless-cycling-article.htm

    I think they should be ok until you get the new tank, as they are still very small but you'll need to keep a close eye on the water parameters and do a lot of water changes, and I would make it a priority to get a good test kit so you can check ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Also, if you get this tank cycled, you won't need to then cycle the new tank too, just move over the old filter and the fish at the same time as most of the good bacteria will be in the filter sponges.

    I'm not great at identifying illnesses/diseases, the only thing that springs to mind with a red wound is maybe an ulcer? https://www.about-goldfish.com/ulcer-disease.html

    It's fine to have lights on in the tank, so long as they are not on all the time, and for food pellets are generally considered better than flakes, as flakes tend to disintegrate quite quickly, and gel food is also very popular.
     
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  5. Tomato_Soz

    Tomato_Soz PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you so much for replying. We just swished the foam pad around in the first bucket of old tank water to get rid of any big bits of food. I don't tend to rinse the gravel or filter when I change the water either unless to remove the broccoli they didn't eat which absolutely stank I don't want to remove the good bacteria. Thank you for the link, I'll take a look at that.

    I didn't know I wouldn't need to cycle the new tank but that makes sense so thanks for that :)

    It definitely looks like an ulcer after reading that but I just don't know where it came from. Or why the other fish seems to be stressed. I've started to think they might be fighting as they usually stick together like a 2 fish shoal of sorts but today they wont go near each other. When i put them in a bowl to clean the tank they were at opposite sides. They're usually happy so not sure why they would fight. If I see them fighting again I will consider getting a new tank and putting one in there for a goldfish time out or something. Would it be cruel to keep them apart?

    I'll look into the gel food or if not then pellets. I also realised that we were using Tetra stuff to declorinate the water and out local pet Shop only had a generic brand. I put this in the tap water we put in to replace what we took out, at the appropriate ratio but they've seemed unhappy since we changed it. I'm going to P at H tomorrow to get the tetra stuff but this will mean a full tank change again? As I don't want to mix different brands. So should I wait until the next time they're due to be cleaned. Sorry for so many questions.

    Can't believe how worried I get over them. I love watching them just looking around for food or swimming in the bubbles. When we got the air stone a few weeks ago they were kept swimming into the bubbles and then swimming back down and doing it again about 100 times it makes me laugh that Gummi will always swim under the little rainbow arch when going past that way even though there's nothing to stop it from going past.
     
  6. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    How you've been washing the filter is perfect, so that's good. You have probably already found that gravel does tend to get quite mucky as the dirt falls between the stones, most goldfish owners use sand as a substrate as the dirt sits on top and is easier to get rid of, or some leave the tank bare. Gravel can also be a choking hazard for goldfish as they sometimes suck the stones into their mouths when eating and can get them stuck, so it might be worth thinking about getting rid of it at some point.

    Ulcers can be caused by poor water quality or by parasites I believe. Being fairground fish I doubt they've ever been treated so it might be worth giving them a parasite treatment, I always treat new fish with Fluke Solve before they go into my main tank. Obviously getting the water tested will let you know what the water quality is like, but in the meantime water changes never hurt.

    Dechlorinator is all much of a muchness, so there shouldn't be any problem with using different brands. If you can get some though, Prime is one of the best as it is very concentrated so you only need to use a small amount, making it cheaper to use than other brands, plus it also detoxifies ammonia & nitrite for I think 24 hours, which will be useful if your tank is still cycling.

    Goldfish are generally social fish and don't tend to be truly aggressive towards one another, but perhaps one or other being ill might make them pick on each other? And males will chase females, though they might be a bit young for that!
     
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  7. Tomato_Soz

    Tomato_Soz PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you - as soon as we got them I was online looking up how to look after them. I'll be honest I'm not much of a pet person but seeing as I'm responsible for them I want them to be as happy as possible. I can't bear the thought of any creature suffering because of me. I don't eat meat but since I started looking after these two I can't bring myself to eat fish either :D

    I'll get them some treatment tomorrow. Gummi isn't floating at the top constantly now and the mark is a lot less visible. I'm going to get online this weekend and buy a proper testing kit

    Also regards to the gravel I'm going to get black sand in the new tank. My daughters chose the current stuff and it was all they had in the pet shop at the time but I want to get something a lot less garish because a massive tank won't fit in their room and pink isn't really my thing.

    I'm hoping they're both male or both female as i worry too much about these two let alone babies.

    Thank you so much for the advice.
     
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  8. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    You're welcome! Let us know how you get on :)
     
  9. Tomato_Soz

    Tomato_Soz PetForums Newbie

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    Will do - I've just ordered some fluke solve to be delivered tomorrow as after reading up on it I think it's probably that. Poor fish. I read they might not eat or want to be around other fish which is exactly how they're behaving.
     
  10. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    Thanks for doing the right thing by these fish :)

    Magpie knows much more about goldfish than I do and has given you excellent advice. I only wanted to add that you shouldn't ever have to take them out of the big tank and do a 100% water change, as this can stress them out, especially if you don't temperature-match the water. While the tank's cycling, keep doing what you're doing and change a percentage of the water daily (a higher percentage if water tests show anything more than a trace of ammonia or nitrite). Once the tank is cycled and all the parameters are stable, a 20-30% change once a week should be sufficient (maybe more while they're in the small tank you have at present, but since the fish are currently only babies themselves their bioload shouldn't be too high just yet).
     
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  11. Tomato_Soz

    Tomato_Soz PetForums Newbie

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    Gummi Bear is now lying on the bottom of the tank and not eating at all. There isn't anywhere I could go after 5pm and I feel so awful. Goldie is acting strangely but is still swimming around and looks ok. Can they tell if their friends are sick? I feel so awful and really wish there was something I could do right now. Gummi had fallen into a plant and was just lying there so I moved it to the corner of the tank beneath a plant so it could get some peace from being bobbed around by the filter. What are the chance of Gummi recovering from this with treatment first thing tomorrow? Instead of waiting for the package I can get to an aquatic shop before work as soon as they open. I did put in some disease clear treatment earlier on to see if that would help but it hasn't made any difference yet.
     
    #11 Tomato_Soz, Jul 20, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  12. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    I would be concerned you have high/ammonia/nitrite levels. Given you are trying to do a fish in cycle and they are bei g exposed to ammonia as the filter develops this can make them very Ill.
    You mentioned you rested with test strips and all was OK. Test strips can be very inaccurate and often aren't sending enough to pick up ammonia and nitrite at low levels (but at high enough levels to make the fish sick).

    Most fish illnesses the underlying cause is poor water quality. Personally I would be looking at improving the water quality rather than using meds.

    I can only write a brief reply but o recommend you do twice daily 30 % water changes with dechlorinator and mat h the temperature. Buy a liquid test kit eg the api master test kit. Also get some ammonia remover granules. Remove your filter sponge and place that free floating in the tank for now and replace with the granules (there should be a bag in the box to put them in).

    Stop an feeding if you are.

    Then search for posts I have replied to on here re fish (sorry no time to link) where I explain how to save fish and then sperately mature your filter.

    Fish in cycles are very tough on fish and often end in deaths even if you are careful.

    Will link later if have time.
     
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  13. Tomato_Soz

    Tomato_Soz PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for your advice everyone. Unfortunately Gummi Bear didn't make it and died shortly after my last message. Goldie was poorly yesterday and was floating at the bottom of the tank all day despite my best efforts. Today he is swimming around again like nothing happened. I think it may have been swim bladder as he couldn't stay upright yesterday. I kept gently moving him away from the filter so he didn't get sucked in. After fasting him for a couple of days he's doing better and is now upright and swimming around. My other half has gone out to get frozen peas so I'm going to feed later with a cocktail stick as we tried by hand today and he won't take the food from me yet. I am going to be really careful with how much food I put in after this. I cried the other night when Gummi died. I have ordered a better testing kit and the other stuff recommended by everyone. I'm still going to get the bigger tank if Goldie pulls through. Now I don't know whether it's more cruel to keep him on his own or get another fish. I know that if I did I would be better waiting until the tank is fully cycled, quarantine the fish and also as the tank I have is fine for now but not big enough would it be more cruel to get another one at all? Looking for the lesser of two evils really.
     
  14. Tomato_Soz

    Tomato_Soz PetForums Newbie

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    I have also been changing about a third of the water twice a day but to be honest I have kept them very clean but done everything I can to keep the good bacteria going like with the filter. I keep it well oxygenated and very clean because I know the ammonia and nitrates/nitrates are deadly.

    By the time Gummi passed away he had a huge hole in his side like something necrotic had attacked him so I believe it may have been from a scratch or maybe an existing burn from previous tap water. Having looked into flukes again and other illnesses I'm not entirely certain they do have it but I'm going to give Goldie preventative treatment if and when he is 100% better and stronger. When I saw the hole in Gummi's side I knew he would not make it, so much so that we went to the all night chemist to get clove oil just in case it got really bad. I'm not a religious person but I felt so awful I actually prayed for that little soul and by the time I got back he had already passed.

    Thank you so much for your advice everyone. My children are on holiday with a family member at the moment and I have to break it to them that Gummi is gone. I suppose it's a good opportunity to teach them about how important it is to feed the right amount and about Gold fish anatomy etc.
     
  15. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    I am sorry to hear about your fish.

    Personally I would hold off getting another fish until you have the larger tank and your filter is well established.
     
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  16. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    Oh, I'm sorry to hear that :(

    Goldfish are social fish, but as @kittih says I would definitely wait until you have a bigger tank and Goldie is back to full health. It is worth mentioning that nitrate poisoning can sometimes look like a swim bladder problem (you said Goldie had a problem staying upright), so when you get your test kit I would test your tap water as well as your tank as some areas can have high nitrate out of the tap.
     
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