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Author Topic: Are my fish ill??  (Read 1398 times)
sarah28
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Are my fish ill??
« on: September 18, 2011, 09:39:58 AM »

I recently bought my daughter a 17lt disney aquarium with filter. After set up, waiting a week etc, we had the water tested an bought 2 oranda and 2 little things that eat the muck (Sorry i'm a complete fish virgin) We fed them a few flakes the day after getting them and they all died 24hrs later. The pet store said it seemed like they had swim bladder because of the food we were told to feed them and also because the two types of fish shouldn't have been sold together! Great Pet Store!
I had to restart the tank from fresh as a water change was inaffective at clearing out the ammonia. After waiting another week we returned to the store, had the water tested (perfect) and came away with 2 new fancy goldfish and a little plant!
The first day Charlie seemed fine, swimming as normal around the middle of the tank and maybe spending more time in one corner than anywhere else. Lola on the other hand was very active spending most of the time swimming through the bubbles and all over the tank. Although she did look like a car taking a corner very fast when she changes direction?? Huh That evening we gave them literally 2 little pellets each just so my daughter could watch them eat. The next day we put bloodworm in as suggested by the pet store. They went crazy for it. Yesterday i didn't feed them but noticed that they seemed much quieter. Charlie's sat in the bottom corner not swimming much and lola's nose down resting under the aerial figure. I tried feeding them pellet this morn but they weren't interested. Tried bloodworm...nothing??
I've since learnt that bloodworm should only be given once a week and pellet once a day for as much as they can eat in 2 min??
Please tell me if these fish are acting normal or what could be wrong and done to fix this. I
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2011, 10:52:11 AM »

Hello sarah28! This may come as a surprise to you, but goldfish should never be kept in anything that small. 17 litres is way too tiny! You see, goldfish are very messy fish. This means that they excrete massive ammounts of ammonia via their gills and waste. The water may have been fine before you got the fish, but once you put two goldies in there that really alters your water. You mentioned you had to restart the tank because you had so much ammonia. Not to mention, it takes more than just 1 week to cycle a tank...more around 6-8 weeks. But no matter if the tank was cycled or not, that tank is too small to support 2 healthy goldfish. Your first initial fish most likely did not die of swim bladder disorder in 24 hours...they probably died from bad water. Swim bladder disorder will not kill fish in less than 24 hours, but poisonous water will. Ammonia is the #1 killer of all aquarium fish.

Another reason you should never keep goldfish in tiny tanks/bowls (contrary to popular belief) is that goldfish grow quite huge. The fancy breeds (these are double-tailed fish including orandas, fantails, moors, telescope-eyes, ryukins, etc.) usually reach a size of 6-8 inches long, when given enough room. However, if they don't have enough space, these fish will become stunted. This means that the body of the fish will stop growing, while the internal organs do not. This will obviously result in death. To avoid this problem, it is recommended to supply a 20 gallon tank for your first goldfish and then 10 more gallons for each additional goldfish. This way they will have pleanty of room to grow without being stunted, as well as have a more stable biolgical filtration system.

Your fish right now, Charlie and Lola, are not suffering from an illness, but from an ovecrowded, overloaded tank. They are literally poisoning themselves with their own waste. What Charlie is doing, resting on the floor of the tank, is known as bottom-sitting. This happens when your water quality is not right, as well as when trouble with the swimbladder is occuring. Refusing to eat is also a bad sign. A healthy goldfish is ALWAYS hungry - in fact, they can eat themselves to death if given an unlimited ammount of food. Goldfish will often display signs of buoyancy trouble when ammonia is high.

Right now, you need to do a large water change (50% and a gravel vacuum) every day until your water gets back to normal and until you can supply them with a bigger tank that will dilute the ammonia better. It is crutial to cycle your tank first for the full ammount of time as well, you can read more about cycling on some of the threads posted in the general discussion section of the forum. Also test the water before and after the water change. Every aquarist must always have a test kit on hand for this purpose. But as soon as you can you need to get them out of there and into a 20/30 gallon tank. If you really care about your fish, you should get them a larger tank ASAP. Only tropical fish can thrive in a tank the size of the one you have now, such as bettas or guppies. Goldfish need their space! So please, get those fish into a suitable habitat.

Good luck and hope this helps!  Smiley
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 10:58:17 AM by Goldiegirl » Logged
sarah28
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2011, 11:35:51 AM »

Hi Goldiegirl. Thanks for your advice. I'm becoming really annoyed with the whole thing now. asI said i'm a complete virgin when it comes to fish. I thought i'd researched and was getting the best possible advice from the place I bought them. Clearly not! I've spent so much money already. Should i remove the plant? And do i remove the bloodworm etc from the gravel?
Sarah x
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fantailer
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2011, 11:40:15 AM »

I would remove the bloodworm if its been in the tank a long time. I think you should keep the plant inside the tank unless it is a live plant.
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Dragonii
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2011, 11:44:33 AM »

Welcome to the hobby of fish keeping, sorry to hear that you are off to a rough start... time to get educated.

First off, a few general facts. Fish to water ratio: the general rule for tropical is 1 inch of fish per 1 gallon of water. So your little Disney tank could only hold 3-3.5 inches worth of fish.  Goldfish on the other hand are larger, have a higher metabolism, and make bigger messes than most fish. So the general rule with them is 20 gallons for the first fish and then an additional 10 gallons for every fish after that.
Then there is the nitrification cycle. Basically goes like this. Fish produces ammonia, bacteria grows to eat it and produces nitrite, another bacteria grows to eat that and produces nitrate. You do water changes to dilute nitrate.
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What you are suffering from is called "new tank syndrome". It is a rapid build up of ammonia due to a lack of the beneficial bacteria that breaks the ammonia down. They ammonia kills your fish. A new tank must always be cycled. You should give time for that bacteria to grow before adding any fish. It's kind of hard in such a small tank because the tried and true "old school" method is to add small fish slowly allowing the bacteria to build up over time. Newer methods include seeding a new tank with gravel from and established tank (bacteria grows on every surface in the tank but the gravel has very high concentrations) to jump start the bacteria growth, using a "bacteria in a bottle" product to get it started,  lightly feeding an empty tank allowing the decaying food to feed the bacteria and even adding ammonia to a fish-less tank to get it going.

But back to problem number one... you cannot keep goldfish in that tank. It's just not going to happen.

There are very few fish that could happily live in such a small tank and anything other than a goldfish will require a heater of some sort (unless your home stays nice and warm at all times).
So what can you keep in that tank? A betta Siamese fighting) fish is an option. They do well in anything of 2 gallons and up. Betta fish are native to Thailand where they live in rice patties. They water is not very deep and has a low oxygen content so they have evolved what is called a labyrinth lung that allows them to breath air and water. This is why you often see them in small bowls, but they do well, even better actually, in small tanks like yours. Keeping them in small bowls of less than 2 gallons is actually cruel as they do like to explore. Downside... you can only have one. They are very territorial against their own species and will fight with other bettas of anything that looks like a betta. I have successfully kept amano shrimp with betts if you want him to have a tank mate. The shrimp are good at eating left over food to help keep the tank clean.
My bettas: They are in separate tanks
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[image]

Amano shrimp:
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Other options would be two or three guppies. Two guppies and a shrimp would be a nice set up. Guppies are small, colorful and active. Start with one guppy, wait about three weeks and add the second. wait another three to four weeks and add the shrimp. This will give time for the bacteria to develop.
Guppy: If you mix male with female you will a headache with babies
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Another option that I offered customers for tanks like this when I worked in pet stores would be Balloon mollies. They are small and kind resemble goldfish. Two would be your max on those. Start with one, add the second after about four weeks.
[image]


With any of these you should pick up a bottle of bacteria starter to jump start the bacteria bed. Let the tank for a few days empty before adding anything.

Unlike goldfish, tropicals are sensitive to water chemistry/temperature changes. You should change 25% of the water once a week to keep the nitrate levels down. Let the water sit over night to become room temperature first so you don't shock them.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.
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Dragonii
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2011, 11:53:50 AM »

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Hi Goldiegirl. Thanks for your advice. I'm becoming really annoyed with the whole thing now. asI said i'm a complete virgin when it comes to fish. I thought i'd researched and was getting the best possible advice from the place I bought them. Clearly not! I've spent so much money already. Should i remove the plant? And do i remove the bloodworm etc from the gravel?
Sarah x

This is the problem with the hobby... poor advice from uneducated pet store employees lead to a bad experience that drives people away from the hobby.
You want my advice? Take the goldfish back to where you bought them. Tell them that they gave you bad advice and you want your money back. Then go somewhere else and get the proper fish for that tank.
Once you find a pet store that has someone that knows what they are doing make that your regular place to go. Reward then with your business, not the ones that sell you fish without knowing what they are doing.
Generally speaking, you will find more educated fish sellers in small mom and pop, privately owned aquarium stores. They tend to have employees that work in their stores because they are in the hobby themselves vs high school kids that work in a pet store because their parents told them they had to have a job.
Most of your big box pet retailers have people working in the aquarium department that don't even have any fish. If you go to a little private owned shop and start asking around you will find people that have multiple tanks at home themselves.
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Dragonii
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2011, 12:03:07 PM »

Sarah, is this the tank that you have?
[image]
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sarah28
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2011, 02:46:41 PM »

Hey,

Thanks so much for all your help. Aimee really loves them so really don't want to take them back. Although I will be complaining profusely and def not going back there!
Yep, that's the tank. Ok 50% water change done. I don't have a gravel vacuum so attempted to net out as much of the bloodworm etc as possible.
Charlie seems a little more lively now, although he's swimming he's also being pushed around from bubbles?? He tends to go backwards??. Lola is still nose down at the back, although more horizontal than before. I've taken out the plant as it was live and prob clogging the filter up more. I've not fed them. I can't afford a new tank yet so should i change the water daily for now? And by 50 or 25%
Really appreciate the support
Sarah x
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Dragonii
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2011, 03:25:16 PM »

If you are sticking with the goldfish, 50% is fine.   But i would advise getting a bigger tank soon.
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Nossie
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2011, 03:32:38 PM »

First of all, good thing you came here! As you see, everyone here is eager to help and give great advice Smiley

The fish are in very dangerous conditions, it really doesn't sound good with the way they act... the maximum time you can keep the poor things there is a month, possibly two, with daily 50% water changes. Are you using water conditioner? If you don't, that will also keep the fish constantly burned by both ammonia and chlorine from the tap water.

Please, please find the 100-150 liter tank AS SOON AS YOU CAN!! Or else you'll have to give the goldfish away and get your daughter a betta instead.
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2011, 07:45:32 PM »

Hey Sarah, glad to hear you did the water change. I totally understand you being upset with the pet shop people, giving you bad advice and selling you a tank that could not house your goldfish. Most chain store pet shop employees are only there to get their paycheck and don't really care about the fish, as Dragonii already stated. Fortunately there are so many other great, educated people on this site that can help you on your journey as an aquarist. When I first started out as a fish keeper I knew nothing about fish at all! This place is really great in that you get wonderful advice from the experts without worrying if it's really good or not. People here know their stuff from personal experience, not from just their best guess.

If you don't have a gravel vacuum on hand, a clean turkey baster will do the trick just as well. A net can be a bit hard to manipulate for picking out uneaten food and waste. But eventually you will want to get a syphon; they are generally inexpensive and do the trick quite well. If the fish are not eating don't feed them anymore. Uneaten food will quickly decay at the bottom of the tank and produce ammonia, something you definately don't need more of right now. Goldfish can go many days without eating and be fine, despite what many people think. It is better to underfeed than overfeed. Good water is the main thing you need to shoot for for your fish to recover. If you have some sort of water conditioner such as Prime or Amquel, that might help to detoxify some of those toxins in the water, but only for a short time.

My advice to you would be to stick with the daily 50% water changes, as everyone else has already emphasized. However, remember that it isn't enough just to take out half the water and then dump some new water back in. The waste is mostly at the bottom of the tank in the gravel, and THAT is what really needs to be taken out. Optimal water quality will increase your goldies' chances of survival. Things don't sound good for poor Charlie, but he may pull through even yet. Goldfish have endured much abuse over the years and sometimes can come out of situations alive despite the odds. When you can, invest in a test kit. Whenever there is a problem you should always test the water first. Many people mistake the effects of bad water quality for an illness, and end up medicating a goldfish that isn't sick. It was good you came on here to ask for advice first before trying anything spontaniously.

Good luck and hope this helps.  Smiley
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sarah28
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2011, 04:05:45 AM »

Hey guys,

Charlie didn't make it through the night Cry

I've done another water change this morning and sucked loads of rubbish out the gravel. Lola's sitting on the bottom now. Hopefully she'll pull through. Thank you so much for your support

Sarah & Aimee x
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Nossie
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2011, 09:41:04 AM »

I'm so sorry for your loss Sad It's always hard to go heads-on into problems like this, all because some d*mb-ass employees couldn't give you correct guidelines... :/

With the right tank from the start, keeping fish is pretty much a breeze, they'll take care of themselves and all you need to give them is a couple of hours a week and some love and food Smiley Are you intending to find another tank? And if so, how big?
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sarah28
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2011, 10:47:29 AM »

I've been donated a 38lt tank for lola. Unfortunately it's much more technical than mine, with lots more parts. Heater etc. The lady knows nothing abt how to set it up. There's an interpet airvolution 1 pump but i'm unsure what to do with it. No instructions?? Please help xx
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keo1463
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2011, 12:47:04 PM »

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I've been donated a 38lt tank for lola. Unfortunately it's much more technical than mine, with lots more parts. Heater etc. The lady knows nothing abt how to set it up. There's an interpet airvolution 1 pump but i'm unsure what to do with it. No instructions?? Please help xx
post a picture here of the equipment you have and ill try to tell you what it dose and what its called  Smiley
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2011, 03:49:33 PM »

I'm so sorry about poor Charlie.  Cry At least now with Lola you can put her in that nice new tank with a fresh start. I think Nossie or someone else can help you with the tank equipment better than myself, as I'm not too familiar with that kind of pump.  Smiley
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sarah28
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2011, 07:11:11 PM »

LOLA LIVES! Well...for now  Grin
Ok all, drastic action had to be taken. Please don't shout at me  Sad Lola would've been dead in hrs if i'd left her in there!
With a little help from google instructions i managed to set up her new tank (Aqua One aquastyle 380) I put in all the set up products etc, left it running for 2hrs, tested the water and introduced lola.
She's now seems happier swimming around and exploring her new home! She follows her reflection on the bottom, then swims around the middle (finally) She's even gone back to swimming through the bubbles. Amazing turn around. Fingers crossed she's just as well tomorrow.
Unfortunately the filter in her new tank doesn't work so i've had to take the one out of the smaller tank, and use that for now. Also i've not got gravel in there until I buy some tomorrow. And I've put the little live plant back in.
Is there anything i've done or not done??
xx
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Dragonii
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2011, 10:07:08 PM »

What do you need to know about the new tank?

First off, you probably don't need the heater. Goldfish are cool water fish.

If I remember correctly... the Aqua One has a power head driven filter that sucks the water up, sprays it through a spray bar onto a filter pad and it then drips through a tray into the tank.

I would have to see pictures to tell you if it is missing anything.

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Nossie
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2011, 02:22:27 AM »

So the filter is for sure broken? It won't even buzz when you plug it?
Anyhow, you'll need to keep an eye on the water parameters every day still, it's a much better tank, but an uncycled one Smiley do you have a water conditioner called Stress zyme? Many people on the forum use it, and it seems to be working really well. It contains the beneficial bacteria that will be growing in the filter, changing ammonia into nitrite and nitrate, much less toxic compounds Smiley

Remember to buy gravel with smooth and round rocks or Lola might hurt her lips on them when looking for food Smiley Other than that, keep doing what you're doing! And keep an eye out for a new filter Smiley (Look for something that pumps 30 liters per hour at least or is rated for a 60-70 liter tank)
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sarah28
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2011, 03:22:00 AM »

Pleased to report that Lola is still doing fantastic this morning and eating like a goldfish should be too!!
I've left the heater out and yes that is the pump. It hums when switched on but nothing is coming through the spray bar. Then it makes a really loud scrapping noise before i panic and switch it off. Any suggestions??
I,ve been using stress zyme and stress coat from the begining and i'll def be doing water checks daily for now! Thanks for the heads up on the gravel too.
Dragonii, your fish are amazing!! I'm def gonna get Aimee a couple of guppies for her smaller tank. Can i put anything else in with lola? Obviously not for a while until she's setteled and the tank has had time to cycle.
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sarah28
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2011, 03:23:42 AM »

Also she has an airstone in her new tank and a light? Is this all cool?

Thanks so much

Sarah x
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Nossie
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2011, 07:59:46 AM »

An air stone is a great idea, not only will it give her more oxygen but it will also help the nitrifying bacteria in the tank, which of course a good thing Wink She should be just fine in that tank for a longer while as long as you take good care to keep the water quality good Smiley

Sometimes it's a good idea to let a filter sit under water for a while so it can be filled with water, if it hasn't been used for a while it will be expelling air and making strange sounds in the process.
I had a really bad filter at one point that always had to be turned on for a while before anything happened, and it was making creepy, tortured noises until it started and quieted down a bit. You can try running the filter in a bucket or something just to check if it really won't work.
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Dragonii
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2011, 09:13:28 AM »

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Open the pump, pull that white impeller out and clean it. Clean the hole that the impeller sits in and try it again. They get dirty and then when they sit up the gunk dries and becomes a problem. The pump needs to be completely under the water. They are designed to push water, not pull. If it is not completely submerged it will not work.
If you can't get it to work, contact the company that makes it. You will be amazed at how for out of the way some of these companies will go for you. I had Marineland send me a replacement tank one time for a kit that I got for free.

P.S. you don't have to use those expensive replacement cartridges. you can buy aquarium filter sponge at the pet store and cut your own reusable filter pad.
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2011, 10:31:35 AM »

As to your question about if you can put anything else with Lola once she's settled, goldfish are cold-water fish and only do well with other goldfish of their body type. For instance, fancy breeds of goldfish (they have the double-tails and rounder body type) are slower swimmers and should be kept with other fancy goldfish. Goldfish with visual impairments such as bubble eye goldfish, celestial eye goldfish, and telescope-eye goldfish would not do well in a tank containing faster sighted fish, as many have trouble seeing and therefore finding food. Single-tailed goldfish, such as comets, commons, and shubunkins should be housed with other goldfish of their body type. These goldfish are fast swimmers and would not give other fish a chance to compete.

Goldfish compatability is one thing, but keeping goldfish with tropical fish is another. For starters, tropical fish require much warmer water temperatures that a goldie will not be as comfortable in. Goldfish can tolerate temperatures from close to freezing to around 72 degrees F fairly well. Tropical fish range in the upper 70's to low 80's. Tropical fish can also have a tendancy to "pick" at larger fish such as the goldies, pestering them and lowering their immune system. I know this because at one point in time I kept guppies with my goldies; something I wil never do again. So if you would like to get a tropical fish, you should keep them in a separate tank, such as the one you formerly kept Lola in.

If you decide to purchase another goldfish once Lola is back to normal 100% and your tank is fully cycled, you can consider getting another fish if you have enough room. Remember housing requirements: 20 gallons for the first fish, then 10 more gallons for each additional goldfish. Goldfish are very social creatures that seem to enjoy having company, so that is a good idea!  Smiley
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Nossie
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2011, 10:53:22 AM »

Guppies, mollies and platies generally have the same requirements as goldfish when it comes to water quality and temperature. Problem is that they wouldn't be getting the food they need, or they'd get eaten. It also happens that many tropical fish have this bad habit of nipping on goldfishes' long tails, and should therefore not be kept together.

It's generally the best idea to keep goldfish only with goldfish (some large snails would do well too in some cases.)

(Karma to Dragonii and Goldie for great posts... Smiley)
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Dragonii
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2011, 01:33:05 PM »

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Can i put anything else in with lola?


General answer, only other similar goldfish....
More detailed answer, yes.
Some say Apple snails, but goldies have been known to nip at them. It's hit or miss. Apples will live a very short life if they don't get the seasonal temperature changes. You can however keep Assassin snails, but they don't eat algae, they eat other snails, hence the name. If no other snails are present they scavenge. So they will help clean up.
People often ask about keeping algae eaters (plecos) with goldfish, general answer there is no as the plecos are tropical and will suck the slime coat off of the goldfish. But... there are two types of plecos that will work. The bristle nose and the rubber lips. Both tend to like cool water, stay on the smaller side and won't bother your goldies.
The Dojo or Weather loach will work. They like cool water and stay on the bottom. Very good at helping keep the gravel clean.
The Hillstream, or Butterfly loach has been kept with goldfish with success, but they tend to prefer strong currents, which your goldfish don't.
The Marbled crayfish could live with goldfish. Unlike other crayfish they eat vegetation (and snails) so they will not bother your fish. They also like cool water. But here is the downfall... they clone themselves. Marble crayfish are only available as females and they reproduce parthogenically, without the aid of a second crayfish. They just have babies, and plenty of them. She is capable of holding 400-1000 eggs each time she “breeds”, and gestation periods are between 22 to 42 days. So you will be over run with crayfish in no time.

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sarah28
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2011, 06:08:52 PM »

Oh my goodness, all I wanted was a goldfish and now i'm getting addicted!!  Grin You guys are a really bad influence  Wink

My pump doesn't look like that one so not sure i should be submerging it completely. Plus it's attached to the bottom of the filter housing so it won't reach all the way under. I'm pretty sure it's got the little wheel inside though so i'll have a go at cleaning it. If not the guy at the new aquatics store has offered to look at it for me tomorrow! Bonus!  Wink

Got the gravel today and also some aqualibrium salt.

Also going to sort out a picture of her so you can see the little fighter. She's so cute and looking much happier. It's bed time for her now (we're in Berkshire, England) so the light is out and she's tucked up in her little house, bless! Never ever thought I'd say that about a fish!

My tank is a 38lt, not sure how much that it is gallons so can i put another one the same as her in there too?
I'm not getting guppies now  Sad i need a couple of little sturdy coldwater fish for her little tank. Danio's maybe? Not sure how it's spelt x
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Dragonii
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #27 on: September 20, 2011, 08:32:47 PM »

38 lt = 10 gallons.
I wouldn't add another goldfish to such a small tank.
This may help with the tank.
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And what's wrong with guppies? They are cute, hardy and small so you can have more than one.
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Dragonii
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2011, 08:53:01 PM »

"i need a couple of little sturdy coldwater "

White Cloud Mountain Minnows
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Bloodfin tetra
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Platy (they come in several colors, some even have Mickey Mouse on their tails)
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White Clouds are known in the hobby as being one the easiest fish to keep.

I still vote for guppies. You will get the most variety of color with them.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 08:56:56 PM by Dragonii » Logged
Nossie
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Re: Are my fish ill??
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2011, 02:49:54 AM »

I'll make it easy for you: 1 goldfish = 80 liters (possibly two in that tank if they're fancy goldfish), if you have a tank bigger than 80 liters, you can calculate how many fish you'll be able to fit in by giving 40 liters per fish, for example, you have a 120 liter tank, you can keep 3 goldfish inside, or in a 200 liter, you can keep five, MAX. It's usually better to leave some extra space in the tank as a safety buffer, it will keep the fish safe in case you'd have to delay the water changes, or if your child would happen to overfeed the fish.
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