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Elz Elz
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  • Posted on: 21/9/2012 20:08
Goldfish - please help! #1
Hi,

I've had two goldfish for about 18 months. In a nutshell, this is how I'm keeping them:
- 180 litre/1.2metre tank
- juwell daylight bulbs on for 5 hrs per day
- air stone on for 5 hrs per day
- Fluval 305 external filter with ceramic, carbon, two grades of sponge and filter wool.
- partial (1/3) water change once per fortnight. I allow the new water to stand for 24 hours before cleaning them out, and treat it with the chloramine removal stuff. I swish the media out in tank water and I only discard half of it at any one time (except the filter wool which I chuck entirely and replace with fresh).
- dose of 'good bacteria' once per week
- a pinch of flake food once per day

Earlier this weeek one of the fish was sitting right on the bottom of the tank. I added some fresh water as the tank wasn't overly full and she perked up; however this evening when I got home from work she's doing it again. The other fish is fine. She's sat the right way up, her breathing doesn't look particularly laboured, and I can't see any marks/spots/damage etc on her fins or scales.

If the other fish swims past her she gets up off the bottom and does a lap round the tank, but she keeps returning to the same spot (hidden behind some bogwood, sitting right on the bottom of the tank).

The only thing I can think of is maybe she's been overfed (we've been away so they've been fed by neighbours)- she has a poo dangling from her back end if that's relevent.

Does anybody know what's wrong with her and how I can fix it?

Please help - I love these fish!
Thanks in advance
Elz
Silverfish Silverfish
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  • Posted on: 21/9/2012 20:46
Re: Goldfish - please help! #2
Hi Elz,

Do you have any results for PH, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate?

With goldfish being such messy fish and large waste producers, you would really need to be changing 25% of the water weekly.

By the symptoms and you mention the neighbour has been feeding them, I'd say the water quality might be affecting them.

If she's pooping but having trouble passing it, I'd try not feeding for a day, then feeding some frozen garden peas, cooked, cooled and deshelled, and squished up a bit.
Elz Elz
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  • Posted on: 21/9/2012 22:39
Re: Goldfish - please help! #3
Hi

Thanks for the advice. I will do a water change and crack open the peas.

I've never done water testing - is it something which should be added to the routine? How often? Can you recommend a good brand of kit, and what should the results be?

Thanks for your help
Silverfish Silverfish
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  • Posted on: 22/9/2012 8:09
Re: Goldfish - please help! #4
I normally test my water weekly, it's seething that canl alert you to a problem before the fish show any symptoms.

Try to get the API freshwater master test kit, it's one of the best and lasts for aaaages!

Once you know the results, post them here and it will help make a diagnosis.
cathie cathie
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  • Posted on: 22/9/2012 10:20
Re: Goldfish - please help! #5
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Elz Elz
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  • Posted on: 22/9/2012 10:43
Re: Goldfish - please help! #6
Thanks so much guys. She looks completely normal this morning, they're both swimming around fine and begging for food. I feel a bit happier that she's not at death's door but I'm ignoring the begging and I'll order the test kit and let you know the results as it would be good to get to the bottom of it.

Cheers.
Silverfish Silverfish
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  • Posted on: 22/9/2012 10:51
Re: Goldfish - please help! #7
Oh good, that's a great turnaround!

From what it seems, you're housing them correctly, nice big tank, external filter, so thats good, I think maybe it's just the water changes aren't frequent enough.

Goldfish poo tends to sink to the bottom, and any uneaten food etc gets into the stones, so the filter doesn't actually remove these from the water. So a good gravel clean with a syphon, and water change every week is the only way to keep water quality good.

Couple that with neighbours feeding them I'd say they might have gotten too much food maybe, and water quality suffered as a result.

Good luck with ignoring the begging, it's VERY hard.
Joanne Joanne
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  • Posted on: 22/9/2012 16:23
Re: Goldfish - please help! #8
That's a good price for the test, I paid a third more for mine yesterday from a shop.

Glad to hear your goldie has picked up Elz :)
Violet Violet
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  • Posted on: 22/9/2012 16:37
Re: Goldfish - please help! #9
Hi Elz

That's very good advice from Silverfish. Given the water change history I'm going to suspect high nitrate is to blame for his lethargy.

Undertaking an emergency 50% water change today and then 4-5 days of daily 25% water changes I'm sure will help the fish feel far perkier until the test kit arrives It can certainly do no harm at all.

Don't wait for the kit before you start water changes, we can advise as and when when you get it.

I have 2 fancies also in a 180 and undertake roughly a 40% change each week. My tap water nitrate level is nil, but in the tank this rises to around 20ppm in a week.

Some goldy keepers prefer to do twice weekly changes as usual maintenance, to keep nitrate down.
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Elz Elz
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  • Posted on: 29/9/2012 9:48
Re: Goldfish - please help! #10
Hi again,

Right, the test kit arrived yesterday so I've tested the water this morning. Both fish have been behaving normally all week.

I'll start with the straightforward ones:
- Nitrite: 0 ppm
- Nitrate: 5 ppm

...I think these readings are ok for goldfish?

The other two readings are a bit more of a worry:

- Ammonia: to be honest I'm not sure. The colour is yellow but not as yellow as 0 ppm on the chart, so I think it's somewhere between 0 and 0.25 ppm. I kept the water from my last partial water change and tested it and it comes out the same. So the water changing is not making a difference? Is this too high? Will it make them ill? Bearing in mind I'm going to move from fornightly to weekly water changing, is something I should just monitor or do I need to take action?

- pH: between the low range and high range tests I've landed on a reading of 8.2. Help! I've tested it from the tap and it comes out at 7.4, so something is going wrong in the tank. What can I do about this? Could this be what made the fish ill in the first place?

Any advice much appreciated
Cheers