Hi I am new to this and at present am very worried about my tank please can anyone help. My brother has given me his fish tank which is well established 10-12 years, the tank is 140,000 = 1m x 350x 400, the tank was transported to me 4 weeks ago 2/3rd empty with the fish in the remaining water, the journey of a couple of miles was ok, the tank was refilled and all was well, all the fish survived and have been very happy and active, there has been no new members added to the tank for over 12 months and they all get on great. The largest is a golden carp approx 20cm there are also large goldfish approx 15cm ranging down to small gold fish and one fancy. I have cleaned the tank on a weekly basis emptying apporx 1/3 rinsing the plants and ornaments and flushing the filter though, all was well until couple of days ago when I noticed the fish gasping at the top, as the tank was clear I decided to exchange 2 buckets of water to freshen it up, this I did and noticed that the larger fish have deep red veins in all fins and the spine scaled along there back, so far I have not been able to work out what it could be the fish are still gasping at the top and all have energetic moments whizzing around and some brush across the gravel on the bottom. I have a stingray filter and an air pump which works but does not produce a great amount of bubbles, could it be too little oxygen or maybe too much. Please help I really don?t want to loose any of the fish, by the way there are 13 fish in total, who are fed dried pellet food.
Thank you in advance for any advise anyone can offer.
I assume the tank youve got is roughly a 30 gallon regular and you have enough goldfish in it for 150 gallons plus, so the most likely problem is the present level of ammonia and nitrite, plus nowhere near enough surface area for efficient breathing.
The ultimate answer is of course to pass some fish on, or get a bigger aquarium and larger filter, as the fish mature and grow these problems will become increasingly severe and youll lose most of the fish. A moderate amount of salt in the meantime (half a gram per gallon will do) will aleviate some of the consequences of nitrite toxicity, but you will be fighting a losing battle until those numbers of fish and their environment size are addressed.
Youll need to get a decent water testing kit, api's master test kit is a good one, and includes four test types ammonia, ph, nitrite and nitrate, all of which you need to know the levels of.
The readings should ideally be ph 7.5, ammonia nil, nitrite nil, and nitrate less than 40 ppm, and youll probably have a combination of water too acidic, very high in nitrate and the ammonia and nitrite levels will be considered lethal, even with a regular water change regimen you will be unable to keep up with the nitrate production and ultimately your fishs gills will be damaged, and their bloodstream chemistry changed so that they are less able to use oxygen efficiently.
Your basically overstocked, and theres only two real solutions to that, reduce the number of fish radically, or buy a much larger aquarium. Anything else pretty much leads to dead fish, guaranteed.
It sounds like ammonia and/or nitrite problems. Both are very toxic to the fish and will kill them if nothing's done about it. They restrict the amount of oxygen a fish gets from the water, and causes them to gasp at the surface. They can also cause haemorragic septoceamia (blood streaks) that you're seeing in the fins.
Stingray filters are pretty much useless - especially for goldies. You'll need a good external filter that can deal with tanks double the size of yours in order to be able to deal with the waste of the fish.
* Have you got a test kit, or the results for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH? * Do you use dechloronator?
If it is ammonia or nitrite poisoning, you'll need to carry out daily water changes of 15% until the ammonia and nitrite are 0. Aquarium salt will help against nitrite poisoning, but I believe it won't do much about ammonia poisoning.
EDIT: Glad you can work out the capacity LHG, because I couldn't
Hi Longairedgit Thank you for your reply, that does make sense, when i got the tank i was told to feed the fish once a day, but this didnt seem enough and on investigation i read i should be feeding them 2-3 times smaller amounts, so this would have a knock on effect of more waste in the water causeing toxic build up. From the size of my tank are you sure i have too many fish as i have grown accustomed to them and wouldnt know how to get them adopted to a good home.
Jenny Ps is there an online aquarium shop to purchase the api tester kit and poss an external filter?
Each common goldfish needs 10 gallons of water. Each fancy, 8 gallons. Goldies are best suited to ponds for this reason. I had two lovely goldies initially when I started out and was sad to have to turn them out into a pond.
The rumour the goldfish will only grow to the size of it's surrounding is nonsense. The external body of the fish may do this, but his internal organs won't, they will keep going, causing cramping of all the organs and organ failure - obviously not a nice way to go.
LHG is a fishkeeping expert so what he says goes! What he says is 100% correct I am afraid.
They also require a more powerful filter as they are pooing machines. You need to 'over-filter' for goldies.
You can get the API Test kit on ebay quite cheaply though I got mine in Pets at Home for just under 20 notes.
edit: Just read you latest post. Does that mean plain tap water has been added to the tank and you have been washing the filter out under the tap? Think you may have uncycled the tank too. Did the guy who gave you tha tank give you any bottles of potions or any care advice at all?
All water company water is treated with chlorine and in many towns/cities also with chloramine to kill bacteria in the water. Good for drinking water, but unfortunately the chlorine kills the helpful bacteria you need in a fish tank to process fish waste. That's why you can't just use tap water.