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Thread: New to goldfish - please help!
09-12-2013, 01:27 PM #1
New to goldfish - please help!
I have been fishkeeping for many years but have never kept goldfish. A friend of mine asked for help in fish because she can't keep them alive. She loves goldfish, but was keeping them in a 5g tank (one at a time, but still not a large enough tank).
I set up a 20g tank with two filters (a biowheel and an internal filter). I used media from my established tank that has been running for around six years. She bought a fantail from Wal-Mart (I know!) but said he looked frisky and healthy.
Fast forward two days and he's very lethargic and sick looking. (I have not been there to test the water but will be going later today).
Her tap water (well water) is a bit troubling. The pH is high (8.0) and there seems to be a trace amount of ammonia in it (API test was faintly green). No nitrate or nitrate. I figured with a good biological filter and Prime to condition the water, the ammonia could be controlled, even with the high pH.
I asked her about water temp because I knew she had a heater in there (I couldn't convince her that he didn't need a heater). She said it was a bit warm last night so she took the heater out. She said the temp is lower this morning.
Any ideas? I'll post back once I'm able to get water readings. Thank you.
09-12-2013, 02:29 PM #2Senior Member Red tailed catfish
- Join Date
- Dec 2010
1st of all, I hope you are aware that even 20gal is too small for a goldfish - depending upon the type, they all have the potential to grow to about 6 inches minimum.
2nd, your friend really needs to learn how to change the tank water (unless she already does this) - fish are big poopers so their tanks need to be kept clean.
Nice of you to test her water - she should be doing this with a reliable test kit if she's really serious about keeping any fish.
I'm thinking that fresh water daily (like half the tank at a time), until you know the ammonia level, will probably perk up the fish
09-12-2013, 02:33 PM #3
09-13-2013, 03:35 AM #4
I'm actually going to be doing a lot of the care. She it's my horse trainer and we're swapping services. :)
I went and changed the water today. I also did some tests.
Ammonia: 0.5 - 1
So, apparently the bacteria can't keep up. Something is working cause there's nitrate, but there's still ammonia. Not sure what good the water change did due to there being trace amounts of ammonia in the tap water, but I had to try.
I don't think he's going to make it. He's covered in some sort of fungus and spends most of his time upside down. :(
09-13-2013, 03:36 AM #5
Also: everything I've read/been told says 20g minimum for goldfish. Not true?
09-13-2013, 04:08 AM #6
Can you take a picture? I'm pretty sure if he's got fungus growing on him your water perams aren't the biggest issue here...
09-14-2013, 12:13 AM #7
It's hard to see but it's all over him. White filmy fungus.
09-16-2013, 09:55 AM #8
You say he has a fungus all over him...... is it possibly just excess slime coat? Something irritating him maybe?Julie
Dog, cat, cockatiel, 4 budgies, & many fishies
tank 1 - goldfish & white clouds
tank 2 - betta, neon tetras, khuli loaches, & Bob the Bristlenose
09-16-2013, 04:01 PM #9Senior Member Red tailed catfish
- Join Date
- Dec 2010
And from what I've read, a single goldfish should have a minumum of 30gal just based upon how large they can potentially grow.
09-18-2013, 02:46 AM #10
He died. :( I knew he wasn't going to make it when he was floating upside down, poor guy.
I wasn't able to get out there more than once per day, unfortunately. It's about 45 minutes away from where I live. It was difficult to get the ammonia down considering there's ammonia in the tap water.
I'm going to bleach everything and start over. I'll seed the filter again with media from one of my established tanks, but this time rather than adding fish right away I'll do a fishless cycle just to make sure the bacteria take a good hold and multiply.
Thanks for the help.