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Jac4Rusty Jac4Rusty
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Rescuing a goldfish: leaky tank, fish with a red gill - top tips? #1
Hoping for some advice. Rusty is about 10 years old, rescuing it because they were going to release in an outdoor pond. Tank has a broken light & a slow leak. I doubt filters were changed etc. It has red patches on its gills, hard to see in murky water.

I was going to buy a new tank but I’m afraid the shock will kill this old fish. Does anyone have any top tips?

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Fishlady Fishlady
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Re: Rescuing a goldfish: leaky tank, fish with a red gill - top tips? #2
Change his dirty water for clean gradually, a bit at a time. Putting him straight into clean water will be too much of a shock. The red gills may be due to ammonia and /or nitrite in the water. You can help alleviate the symptoms of ammonia and nitrite poisoning by double-dosing Seachem Prime. This is actually a dechlorinator and water conditioner, but it also neutralises ammonia and nitrite in an emergency.
Jac4Rusty Jac4Rusty
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Re: Rescuing a goldfish: leaky tank, fish with a red gill - top tips? #3
Thank you for your quick reply! I’ll give that a try.
Fishlady Fishlady
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Re: Rescuing a goldfish: leaky tank, fish with a red gill - top tips? #4
Just to add, I think you'd be best getting a replacement tank as soon as you can as slow leaks tend to worsen and can turn into catastrophic leaks very suddenly.
Jac4Rusty Jac4Rusty
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Re: Rescuing a goldfish: leaky tank, fish with a red gill - top tips? #5
Thanks, I went & bought a replacement tank this morning ready to move Rusty after the new tank has run for a day.

I’ve tested the old tank water and pH is 6, KH and GH 0. Should I copy this in the new tank and gradually improve pH etc or set up as ideal and acclimatise Rusty.
Fishlady Fishlady
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Re: Rescuing a goldfish: leaky tank, fish with a red gill - top tips? #6
You need to test your tap water and see how much difference there is between it and the tank. kH and pH are likely to be higher from the tap as in a neglected tank all the kH gets used up by the filter bacteria and then when kH runs out the pH also drops. You won't be able to replicate that (there's no easy way to reduce kH other than using RO water), so your best bet is likely to be to do partial water changes daily in the old tank to bring that up close to the level from the tap ad then move him over. Move the filter at the same time as you move the fish.

When testing the pH of tap water it's best to leave a cup of water to sit for 24 hours before testing it as the suppliers often use temporary adjusters to change pH at the tap, and after about 24 hours these dissipate and the water reverts to its true pH.
fcmf fcmf
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Re: Rescuing a goldfish: leaky tank, fish with a red gill - top tips? #7
Brief reply (apologies).
Lovely story and hope all goes well for Rusty.
Quote:
I doubt filters were changed etc.
As Fishlady said, best to use same/original filter and especially its filter media which houses the beneficial bacteria to process the fish's waste. Filter maintenance only requires squeezing filter media into being-discarded tank water - not replacing it altogether with new filter media (which results in a new cycle occurring and thereby risks exposure to ammonia and nitrite).
Jac4Rusty Jac4Rusty
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Re: Rescuing a goldfish: leaky tank, fish with a red gill - top tips? #8
Thank you for top tips, I’m feeling much more confident about this all now.

You’re right about the filter, it was also supposed to have ceramic noodles and carbon cartridges. All I found was the black foam (which I’ll move when I move Rusty tomorrow), filter grid and the snails (which Rusty was thought to have eaten as they disappeared!)

I’ve got quick start & stress coat. Plus test strips and prime. Using RO water (his old tank water was RO) so pH is the same.

Thanks for all the top tips!
Fishlady Fishlady
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Re: Rescuing a goldfish: leaky tank, fish with a red gill - top tips? #9
Just in case you're unaware, fish can't live healthily in pure RO long term. Once he's in the new tank, start gradually changing over to tap water a bit at a time as he'll need the minerals and trace elements that are stripped out of RO. The filter bacteria also need kH to function.
Jac4Rusty Jac4Rusty
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Re: Rescuing a goldfish: leaky tank, fish with a red gill - top tips? #10
Rusty’s move went well. So pleased fishlady recommended a new tank, I was just starting the transfer & gently moved old tank which sprung a big leak. Saved enough for a 50% water change, so it has a green tinge but so far so good. It has 5x water-fish health conditioners the aquarium shop sold me & have heaps of test kits. I’ll gently improve water quality over time & get some gravel or sand I guess. His old tank didn’t have any substrate.

So Rusty is rescued for a decent retirement, thank you fishlady & fcmf!

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