View Full Version : Help - 2 of my goldfish died

Melrose Rebeiro
09-08-2009, 06:49 AM
I have a 100 gallon tank, and I had 3 goldfish and 2 suckers.
My tank has a filter. Now, I must add, that the concept of (and tools required for) measuring ph of the tank, introducing heat etc is either really hard to find, or virtually non-existent over here. I didn't even know about it until I started researching the internet.
Everything was fine, and one day I noticed my white goldfish was dead, floating at the top, and the sucker was eating it. Cleared it up, but about a week later, I found the sucker stuck to one of the aquarium ornaments (dead). I don't know why both of them died.
I bought a few tetras. The aquarium market in India is not as good, and store owners aren't really very good at advice. I specifically asked him for fish that are good with goldfish, and he gave me some tetras. There were 4 red phantom tetras (passive and a little docile) and 2 tetras (not sure what they were) red tail with a black dot on it. Next morning, noticed the red tails nipping at my goldfish fins, and the tips of their fins were nipped quite a bit. Separated the offenders. everything seemed fine in the tank for a while, until about a week ago, I found one more goldfish dead (Oranda). Lying at the bottom of the tank. I clean the tank pretty often. Water seems clean. Got 2 more goldfish. The new ones and the old one are all doing fine.
Then, yesterday, I noticed a red phantom tetra lying dead at the bottom, before I could clean it up, I saw another red phantom swim up, twist, turn, somersault and then floated to the bottom, dead. I don't understand. Why did the phantoms die ?

Am I doing something wrong ? I don't have access to anyone checking the water conditions and the only thing I can do is keep the tank clean, with frequent water changes. :help: How do I improve the quality of life of my fish ?

09-08-2009, 07:26 AM
At the beginning of setting up a tank, minimally, you should have three water test kits for 1)Ammonia, 2)Nitrites, and 3)Nitrates. This will help you to monitor and see if your tank has "cycled", i.e., enough beneficial bacteria that has colonised your filter media(um) to process the ammonia from fish waste (respiration and liquid/solid waste). Click on the links in my signature for the fishless cycle and cycling with fish to read more.

I personally would not mix coldwater fish with tropical water fish. Choose one type and stick with it, or get two different tanks, one for each type. If you don't have access to heaters for tanks, then get a regular thermometer to see what your average tank temp is. If your climate is typically very warm year round, you might be able to keep tropical fish without a heater.

Do you know if your water supply contains chlorine and/or chloramines to purify the water? These are deadly to fish and the beneficial bacteria. If your water supply contains these, then you have to add dechlorinating product to remove or neutralise them. Although the water may "look" clean, it can be quite deadly either from chlorine/chloramines or ammonia and nitrites from fish waste.

Melrose Rebeiro
09-08-2009, 08:06 AM
Thanks so much for your quick and detailed reply.

I don't think I will be able to find the test kits you mentioned, over here. Maybe I could order it online ?

I will check the temperature of the water. Although the climate here is relatively warm. Not lower than 8 degrees celcius (46 F)in winter and up to 50 degrees celcius (122 F) in summer.

Now, tap water here is not consumable, (we filter tap water to make it drinkable / buy packaged drinking water) and so the pet store guy sold me little bottles of chlorine, to make the water suitable to keep fish in it. You said chlorine is not good ?! OMG ! My poor fish.

I'll stop chlorinating right away. But, what if there are other elements (in the local water) or microorganisms that are not conducive to the fish's environment ? :scry:

Deleted User
09-08-2009, 09:20 AM
Yeah, you want to not have chlorine in with your fish. I don't really know enough to give good advice -- I'm fairly new to fishkeeping and not sure of what I could advise that would be do-able for you where you live. But, I want to applaud your commitment of doing right by your fish and that is a really great size tank for goldfish! I wish we had that big a tank for our goldfish thumbs2:

09-08-2009, 10:39 AM
my goodness , the pet shop man really sold u clohrine to add to you water ? that's really bad to say the least !!! I would follow the advise given by Fur&Fin , also I would like to add that 8 Celsius is not enough. I ma new to the hobby as you but I'm sure u will find plenty of infos in AC , please visit the forum in the beginner section ( I love it ) there some goods threads especially about cycling created by Ladyhobbs , they are simply excellent, and then read , learn , ask , ask ask....

5P : previous preparation prevent poor perfomancethumbs2:

Good luck and enjoy your hobby:fish:

Melrose Rebeiro
09-08-2009, 02:54 PM
Thank you so much for your replies. The pet and aquarium markets here are very disorganised, so it's hard to find your way around.

But, I will look up the beginner's thread, Neon. Thanks.

And thank you Jill. It's the least I can do once I've gone out and got them home. I feel so bad everytime they die. :scry:

Lady Hobbs
09-08-2009, 03:08 PM
If memory serves me right, we had another here from India and she said she could not find test kits either but I think she found some online. If you can't find any just know that their water must be changed often and very good filtration on the tank. You might want to read the cycling link in my signature. Many of the goldfish are considered as pond fish because of the size they grow so do not need a heater. They are cold water fish and should be with other cold water fish.

Chlorine is bleach! If it is not used for your drinking water there then you may not even need to use dechlorinator (which removes it.) I would find out.

Make sure your filter is large enough that the fall from water is adding to the oxygen in your tank. If you have a big tank with a small filter it may not have enough oxygen for your fish. They will be gasping at the top in that case.

Melrose Rebeiro
09-09-2009, 05:08 AM
Thank you for your detailed advice. I will definitely try getting the testing kit online. Or will try getting it from the middle east. I'm sure it will be available there.

I will definitely stop using chlorine.

I did read your article on cycling (fishless and otherwise). I'm considering putting my fish in a second tank, cycling and then putting them back in. I assume they must already be under stress with all the deaths / stressful conditions that caused the deaths, so maybe cycling with them would be too much.

About the oxygen levels, they usually seem pretty comfortable, but at times they do go up for air. Maybe once or twice in an hour or so. More towards evening... or are they just searching for food ? The tetras never go to the top. I also have a bubble maker. Is that required ?

Thanks again for your time and your advice. I wish I knew about this forum before I got the tank. :sconfused:

Lady Hobbs
09-09-2009, 01:02 PM
You need not move your fish or they'll just be in another uncycled area? Go ahead and finish cycling with what you have but make sure you keep up with water changes more often. If you read the link then you know that cleaning and changing filter media while cycling sets the tank back and gets rid of good bacteria?

I would just keep going but keep up with that tank more. I know it's a lot of water but it has to be replaced fairly often when cycling to deminish the toxic levels. Once that bacteria is grown those toxins will stay at 0.

09-09-2009, 01:37 PM
<Now, tap water here is not consumable, (we filter tap water to make it drinkable / buy packaged drinking water) and so the pet store guy sold me little bottles of chlorine, to make the water suitable to keep fish in it. You said chlorine is not good ?! OMG ! My poor fish.>

I think your fish guy was actually trying to be helpful. If your water is not consumable due to various contaminates, perhaps he wants you to use the chlorine to 'clean' the water. You would then need to use a dechlorinator to remove the chlorine before placing the water in your tank.


Melrose Rebeiro
09-10-2009, 04:05 PM
Yes. That could be true.

I think there's a lot of work that I need to do. But, atleast it's getting sorted. Thank you all for your advice.

09-11-2009, 03:18 PM
Yes it is most likely the chlorine that killed the fish - but as the last person said, you may need to treat your water with chlorine to make it fish-safe, and then add dechlorinator to remove the chlorine