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Author Topic: Ready for a story?  (Read 1582 times)

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Ready for a story?
« on: June 11, 2011, 10:37:57 AM »

Hello everyone...this is long but it will explain everything.

Four years ago I won a goldfish at the state fair. He was kept in a bowl, till he got bigger and was moved to an even bigger space and an even bigger space after that. During this time I would clean his bowl once every week or so. Until he upgraded to a full 20 gallon aquarium with filter. Plus I two black mystery snails. (I thought Zan was really moving up in the world!) (I didn't know anything about goldfish) I am a huge plant/hydroponics fan so I had a ton of spider plants on the top of his tank. (I bet this is one reason why he lived so long)

Finally a couple weeks ago I thought it was time for him to have a buddy, I picked out a small koi. The koi was aggressive and bullied Zan so I figured it must be a territorial thing...so I started looking into larger tanks. Meanwhile Zan's fins were being nipped and tore and he was just overall stressed. 

Finally I was setting up a huge 55 gallon tank. That day was going to be the big move for them. I went out to buy some tall plastic plants so they could hide, come home and Zan is on his side, not moving at all, no gill movement.  Nothing. I was a huge disappointment, but I figured it was his time and for a fair fish he was awesome.

So last friday, I get two calico Ryukins, one ...orange and white Ryukin, a telescope-eye, and another koi. And a moss ball. (I have been doing research and actually learning) They get moved in and not even 5 min in the tank, the first agressive koi starts nipping all the new fish.

I was not going to have the fish that (I thought) killed my Zan, kill all the new guys.

I was going home that night to visit my parents who have a huge water garden with koi and goldfish, and another water garden with no fish. I didn't know how the little koi was going to hold up with all the other huge fish, so we decided to put him by himself in the other pond/water garden.

SO...he is out of the picture. So the tank has all new fish, plus the two black mystery snails.

They were all very active, eat well, got along fine. The telescope-eye seemed to be an alpha, even though he was by far the smallest. Until one morning I see these tiny white dots on some of their tails and bodies. It looked like grains of salt. I did some research. And concluded that it must be Ick. I looked up treatments and started using salt instead of a chemical based formula. After a day or so I saw a red splotch on one of the calico's bellies...I didn't know if it was apart of her coloring or was new.

The next day I continue the salt treatment, and the red splotch is bigger and I can see it on the other calico. AFTER a full day of researching I ran to the store to buy ammonia test kit, a pH/Nitrate/Nitrite/alkalinity test kit. (I go a bubbler too, I thought maybe they were just not getting enough oxygen...and what could it hurt) Those kits I thought would be able to tell me what was wrong or at least give me more information to work with. I tested them last night, and the ammonia was good, everything was good besides the alkalinity was high, and so was the nitrite. (I still don't understand the relationship of Nitrate/Nitrite) But I had some water conditioner to help with the alkalinity.

I have spent the last five hours doing more research because  the two calico look terrible. Floating around, resting on the bottom, or in plants. There is still alot of eye and gill movement. When i stand next to the tank they come to the surface and act normal waiting for food, but as soon as i back up they go back to being listless. I tested the water again this morning and the nitrite is still at "stress" level. I focused the research on that and found nitrite poisoning...one of the sources said there is no cure. Only to stop feeding for a few days, add more oxygen, plants and allow algea to grow...and pretty much hope for the best...and if they do survive it will take time for new blood cells to form.

Now that I feel terrible for not doing research before hand...even for my first fish...he lived, and didn't have diseases but he was in a bowl most of his life. And now because I knew nothing about water quality and this that and the other thing. I just feel like I'm some sick, twisted freak who made these other guys suffer and most likely die, because i have no idea of what I am doing.

So I took out the telescope guy because he wasn't effected and was starting to bully the others when they were laying on the bottom. To reduce stress on them. I took out the two snails to let what algae in there to grow. I added an underwater plant (very small, just sprouted). Also I put two baby spider plants in the top.

I don't know what else to do.

Is there anything I can do? What is the difference of Nitrate and Nitrite? What kind of chance do they have? Because the telescope is separated now, should I still treat his water for Ick? If they can make it how long should I wait to see improvement? Should I use chemical medication?

the moss ball seems fine but the water does now have salt in it will the additional plants help?

Long story and what a mess...

Bob, the orange white Ryukin had the smallest splotch and he seems better than before...just more active.

Hero Member

Karma: 257
Posts: 3108

Re: Ready for a story?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2011, 04:34:03 PM »

Hi Alesha,

it is very important now to do huge waterchanges to get the Nitrites down, at least 50% if not 70%.
You MUST monitor the waterparameters very closely: Ammonia should be 0 ppm, Nitrites should be 0 ppm and Nitrates no more than 40, but ideally about 10 ppm. pH ideally between 7.2 and 7.8.

Here is a link to read up about the nitrogen cycle: (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)

You also will find other interesting things to know if you read the "articles" which this site provides too.

To help your fish to be healthy I recommend the following;

Stability ( from Seachem ) : it is beneficial bacteria to aid in the nitrogen cycle and prevent "First Tank Syndrome" wich means if fish are added to a NON cycled tank. ... there are other brands out there too, but this is my personal preference.

to condition the water I recommend PRIME ( from Seachem ) it removes chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals from tap water.

You also should vacuum the gravel once a week to get the poo out of there.
A good filtration ( at least 4 times the tank volume ), an airstone and some bigger life plants are imperative.

I hope this helps.

Good luck with your fishies
Summer Time
Full Member

Karma: 43
Posts: 432

Re: Ready for a story?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2011, 11:06:37 PM »

Live plants are great because they're soft, and some plastic ones can poke your fish and injure them. I always use Stability and Prime for a new tank. The Prime is especially important IMO.

I have better success with medicine than salt.
Sr. Member

Karma: 169
Posts: 767

Re: Ready for a story?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2011, 02:57:55 PM »


Just one thing: the relationship of nitrate and nitrite.

NitrATE is alright to have in quantities of less than 40ppm. It will not harm your fish under that measure, and there is generally signs of it when you are cycling your tank.

NitrITE is bad. I am guessing this is what is causing the red spot on your fish's belly. It WILL KILL YOUR FISH. Salt in the water will help counteract the negative effects of the nitrite poisoning your fish are encountering, as well as rid your fish of ich.

And do the water change like Hanna said  Wink
Hero Member

Karma: 481
Posts: 5469

Re: Ready for a story?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2011, 09:02:08 AM »

Water changes is the only way to fix problems with the water. Growing algae won't really help until the tank is cycled as the algae will then consume the nitrates. Easy rule of thumb: If you see any strange behavior, any parameters that are off, do a large water change!
And for the future, don't do any smaller water changes than 50% a week, anything less won't help goldfish at all in the long run.

I wouldn't add any medication to the tank at all since this isn't about infections, it's about bad water quality, and that will fix itself with patience and water changes. So don't treat with anything except salt!

Don't ever add koi with goldfish and especially not fancy goldfish! Koi should never be kept in a tank at all since they grow so large. I didn't really catch if you bought a new koi along with your ryukins, but if you did, please put him in your parents' pond instead.

Good luck! They'll be just fine Smiley You seem really devoted to learn and take care of your fish Smiley
Please keep us posted!!
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