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Author Topic: Goldfish issues...  (Read 1065 times)
Skwishee
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Goldfish issues...
« on: September 04, 2011, 09:03:37 AM »

Hello!

About a week ago, I adopted 2 Goldfish. I was working at a festival (where one of the stalls was giving out fish as prizes) and someone had left these 2 goldfish, evidently didn't want them or just forgotten to take them home.

So I brought them home, got a 21 litre tank, a filter, gravel, and all the usual stuff like food, fish safe/tap safe etc etc.

The two goldfish have been fine all week, until today when I went to feed them and found one of them dead. He was pressed against the filter, so I imagine it got pulled that way after it died?

I'm really not sure why it died? The other guy seems fine, but I'm worried that I did something wrong?
The waters been a little cloudy for the past few days, but I thought that was possibly over feeding, so have been feeding them less and will be partially changing the water today for the first time. (Am I right in thinking I need to take them out, while I do the water change, or are they okay to be left in?)

I didn't notice any unusual behaviour when they were fed yesterday evening.
There were some new plants added yesterday, to help block the current of the filter, so they could swim around more, but I'm unsure if this would have been the cause? They both seemed fine when I was adding the plants in with some washed gravel.

I also noticed that when I took the dead fish out, his underbelly was a little green, is this normal?

Any help or advice would be appreciated, as I really don't understand why this happened.
Thanks.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2011, 09:10:32 AM by Skwishee » Logged
Goldiegirl
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2011, 10:24:14 AM »

Alrighty let's see what you've got going on...

Well for starters 21 litres (according to my math about 5.547 gallons) is too small of a tank for ONE goldfish...goldfish need lots of room. 20 gallons for the first goldfish is recommended, with 10 gallons for each additional fish. They get quite large and produce massive ammounts of ammonia for their size. Speaking of ammonia it sounds as if you haven't cycled your tank before adding fish. Cycling your tank is the process of running the filter in an empty tank (fishless cycle) until the good bacteria overcomes the bad, and your water parameters become safe and stable for fish. The only way to tell if your tank is cycled is by testing the water. Ideal water parameters are as follows: Ammonia and nitrite 0 ppm, nitrate under 40 ppm, and ph. around 7-7.8ish. Now in an uncycled aquarium these parameters are constantly spiking and falling, making the water very unsafe for fish. That is why it's best to wait until your tank is done cycling before adding fish. Cloudy water indicates that your tank was still trying to cycle (plus overfeeding - uneaten food produces ammonia as well), and it is probable that you had an ammonia spike, what with too many fish in an uncycled aquarium producing poo (which also creates ammonia). Ammonia is DEADLY to fish in any traceable ammount. Your little guy probably died, then got pulled into the current of the filter where you found him.

In the future, when you change the water you do NOT need to take the fish out of the aquarium. That only stresses them unnessisarily. You should be doing 50% water changes per week, plus a gravel vacuum to get all the poo out.

Sometiems when goldfish die, their tissue on their underbelly becomes a little more transparent, and you can see the food inside.

If you care about your remaining fish you should purchase a larger tank. When too many goldfish are put in too small a space they are literally poisoned by their own waste. By providing adequate housing for your fish, you will enable him to live a long, happy life.

Hope this helps!  Smiley
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Skwishee
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2011, 11:46:51 AM »

Thanks for your answer, what would be best to do at this point, besides buy a larger tank?

We were unable to cycle the water, because the conditions that the fish were left in were quite poor (in a very small container with just water) so my concern was to get them out of that and into a more suitable environment.

What kind of goldfish are you referring to in terms of the aquarium size? I understand that they grow a lot, but our's are very small, Lucky the goldfish who is left is only about an inch or so and Star was slightly bigger. In pet shops we've seen tanks of a similar size to ours holding more fish. Is this a species related thing?

Also, do you know of any easy ways to test for ammonia without buying specialist equipment? Just so I can make sure this doesn't happen to Lucky.

I've attached a picture of how the tank is set up with a 12 inch ruler beside it for scale and Lucky in frame as well.

Thank you so much for all your advice, I really want to do everything I can for Lucky.
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Nossie
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2011, 12:47:25 PM »

Goldfish grow incredibly fast, so will this one. There's no way you can keep it in that tiny tank!
This isn't a suitable environment, really, get a 100L tank as soon as you can! Other than that, change water every day, about 40%.

Next, to test the water, you need to buy a test kit for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, it's not "specialist" equipment, this is what  every fish-keeper should have at home!
If you want to do everything you can, this is a good place to start Smiley
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2011, 01:10:53 PM »

The fish you see similar to yours packed into those tanks at the store are feeder fish; fish that are used as meals for tropical fish, snakes, and turtles. The store owners do not intend for them to live long at all, knowing their fate. However, if given enough room and a nice habitat, they can become large and good pets, given they have been treated for most illnesses feeders carry. Yours will do the same, provided you give him ample room and a cycled tank.

Fancy goldfish (the ones with double tails) usually grow about 6-8 inches. Comet or common goldfish (most likely the kind Lucky is) can get much bigger...over 12 inches long! If the goldfish doesn't have enough room to grow it will become stunted, meaning that the body stops growing but the internal organs do not, literally causing the fish to explode - obviously killing it. 

Also, if you need a water test for ammonia asap, you can get it tested at your LFS (local fish store). They usually offer free water testing to their customers. But, like Nossie says, every fish keeper should always have one on hand for emergancies....even though they can be a little pricy. Like I said, ammonia poisoning is the number one cause of fish deaths, so it si imperative to make sure your water contains none.
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Skwishee
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2011, 01:25:21 PM »

Thanks for the advice.

In the information I received with some of the fish products I purchased, it stated that one 2- 3" goldfish should be kept per every 4.5 litres of water, so I thought Lucky would be okay.

When he does inevitabley grow larger, would it best to give him away? What size would that be roughly?
I really can't afford a 100 litre tank Embarrassed

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Nossie
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2011, 02:05:06 PM »

But a 100 liter tank is very small... actually... if you can't keep him now, give him away as soon as you can.
If you'll try to keep him there until you notice that he'll get visibly larger, you'll end up stunting him, like Goldiegirl said... that's very dangerous for the fish!!
If I were you, I'd start looking for someone who has experience with goldfish and ask around if anyone is interested in taking care of your fish! He really can't be kept in a tank that will make him poison himself in his own waste :/

The correct way to calculate (Yes, even while they're 4 cm long), is one fish per 40 liters MINIMUM. When it comes to comets and commons, I'd say 80-100 liters per fish for the space. There's no such thing as "small goldfish". It's just people trying to make it sound easier to accommodate them. (leading to lots of interested newbies to get their fish killed...)

All of us here on the forum have worked really hard to get larger tanks for our fish at some points in our lives, it's not easy, but if you love them, you'll understand. (I had a 30 liter with 3 goldfish in the start, now I have a 317 liter with 8 of them Wink)
Just checking though, you said you'd do "anything you could" for Lucky, is a 100 liter tank that far off the chart?
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2011, 10:25:59 AM »

Nossie is right to every point.  Smiley If you really can't keep him, maybe you could try finding a neighbor who has a goldfish pond? Comets and commons are really well suited for that size of an environment. But if you can't find one and you want to keep your fish, get the 20 gallon tank.  Wink

What your tank says about the 2-3 fish in a 4.5 litre tank....that's absolute rubbish. Just a classic example of people trying to make a buck off of inexperienced fishkeepers. Can you imagine trying to stuff 2-3 12 INCH LONG comet goldfish in there, or 2-3 8 INCH LONG fancies? If you do your homework, you will find out that the housing you have Lucky in right now can only be a temporary setup. 

That really gets my blood boiling when I hear stories like this, of how commercial products try to pull the wool over beginning fishkeepers' eyes.  Angry
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Nossie
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 12:38:16 PM »

Goldiegirl: I second that!! It's the worst when pet shop keepers are giving absolutely crazy advice to inexperienced people :/ So many are missing the great opportunity to have a great past-time in the form of goldfish Smiley Many also miss how big they can actually grow with proper care Smiley
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2011, 05:00:38 PM »

Especially when the products agree with the crazy pet shop employees! 'O.O' Ugh...

Goldfish can make really great pets when cared for correctly and provided with proper housing. And they live so long!  Smiley
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Ron H
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2011, 08:07:15 PM »

I agree with you both as well, this subject puts me thru the full gamet of bad emotions... pet shop employees can be hit and miss... I have spoken to all the pet shop employees where I go and asked a few hard fish questions... I quickly worked out which two knew what they were talking about and discovered they know because they have fish at home as well, and now I only go to them if I need to discuss anything or get extra advice... cheers and may you all keep up the good work...
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Skwishee
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2011, 03:23:01 AM »

Thanks for all the help guys.

It's really bad about the pet shop owners, their the ones who are supposed to know everything! I'm thinking of popping to my local aquarium shop, I'd hope that aquarium shop owners know their stuff!

Also the reason I commented about the fish tank, is that large ones can be hard to find and expensive, for example just a 30 litre one from 'Pets at Home' can cost anything from 45 - 100 and I cannot seem to find any 100 litre tanks, biggest I've come across so far is 70 litre. Perhaps if I could find someone with a pond that would be better for him? Tanks just don't seem big enough for goldfish here?

Although I'm slightly baffled that google comes up with 20 Gal tanks for 25? How trustworthy are tanks off the internet? (Mind you the reviews on the online site are pretty bad, so perhaps not very trustworthy...)
My parents also have an empty fish tank at their house, not sure on the size, but I know its bigger than the one I have currently.

So thanks, I'm continuing with trying to help Lucky, the waters cleared right up since I did the partial change and I have a product called 'fish safe' which I use in between water changes which will take care of harmful waste, for the time being Lucky seems fine Smiley I just need to make sure he has a bigger tank or new home soon, so he doesn't get stunted.

Just out of curiosity how much space would you need for 2 or 3 goldfish? Nossie you mentioned you had a 30 litre with 3 of them in?

p.s Goldie, I meant one 2 - 3 inch Goldfish per 4.5 litres of water.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 04:47:47 AM by Skwishee » Logged
Nossie
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2011, 04:48:29 AM »

I have recently spotted a nice aquarium package by Juwel for 150, that's pretty cheap, and it was 110 liter with full filter system built into the tank + a hood with two bulbs Smiley

So I did have a 30 liter before, but that's ABSOLUTELY not to be done, I had problems all the time with my poor babies hanging by the surface and whatnot... I keep Platies in it nowadays Smiley The goldfish are safely housed in the 317 liter I also mentioned Smiley
So three goldfish need roughly 120-150 liters to be happy Smiley

The calculation from the pamphlet is complete crap, honestly :/ A 12 inch fish couldn't possibly live healthy in a 17 liter, the poor thing couldn't turn around!! You see, with large fish it's important that the tank is wide enough, if nothing else but for the space, they need to be able to turn, so at least a tank that is 12 inches+ would be good for a goldfish that size. Not to mention that he'd poison himself and die before the keeper would even have an idea what's happening :/
That calculation works for tropical fish, but you should NEVER EVER keep any fish in such a small container!! It would be polluted so fast and the fish wouldn't be comfortable. If you use that measurement to stock a larger system of at least 100 liters, it'll work, because you can calculate how much water each fish needs, but it can't be used to decide how big the tank should be, only the other way around!!
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Skwishee
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2011, 05:52:18 AM »

Thanks for the tip, I'm just having a browse on the Juwel website. I'll see if I can find any tanks with a width bigger than 12 inches/30 cms.

I see what you mean about the pamphlet, but I do have fish safe, which is added to the tank to get rid of the harmful waste so the fish doesn't poison itself. But I don't understand why tanks a similar size or possibly slightly larger/smaller than mine are sold as 'beginner tanks' and the such, when they won't be big enough? Are there any fish that could live in a 21 litre?

Also how would a small fish like Lucky do in a pond? I remember that my parent's neighbours had an outdoor pond with some pretty big fish, I could always ask them. It would take a couple of hours to get there but it could be done, not sure if it would be a good idea though, I imagine travelling would cause a lot of stress for Lucky and not sure how he'd do with lots of other much bigger fish around? I could always ask in local aquarium shops if the owners know of anyone locally.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 06:00:46 AM by Skwishee » Logged
fantailer
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2011, 05:59:09 AM »

Yeah they make tanks like that Roll Eyes.

You could put a betta fish with 1 or 2 other tropical fish Smiley in a 21 liter tank.

I think if the neighboors just make sure Lucky gets food he will be fine.

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Goldiegirl
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2011, 12:02:35 PM »

Betta fish (siamese fighting fish) do quite well in small areas...they are surface breathers and don't require good filtration and tons of space. To answer your question, for 2 - 3 goldfish, you would need a 30 - 40 gallon tank. Comets and Commons grow much larger, so it's 20 gallons for the first fish and 10 for each additional one. And one 2 - 3 inch goldfish is still way not good in 4.5 litres of water. They don't stop at that size unless they get stunted, then inevitably die quite soon.

Because Lucky is so small compared with most pond fish, he may be eaten if he is small enough to fit in the other's mouths. If not, he would be fine, so long as he got enough food. If I were you, I would use your parents' tank until you can find an affordable 20 gallon or give him away. He needs to get out of that teeny tank ASAP, and he should be fine for a bit longer in a larger sized aquarium.  Smiley
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scrivens345
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2011, 12:42:06 PM »

100 litres is absolute minimum. In fact 150 litres is on the small size. \If you want a jewel tank the Rio is nice but the internal filter is useless for goldfish, you should buy an external filter that pumps as much volume of water as your budget allows. And get the poor fellow a companion. Goldfish are social creatures.
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Nossie
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2011, 02:16:03 PM »

Skwishee:: Again, you misunderstood my point Smiley I said "at least 12 inches" but no matter what you do, the tank cannot be smaller than 100-150 liters!!

It doesn't matter what chemicals you put in there, the fish is constantly creating waste, and if the biological filter cannot handle all that, and the waste concentration becomes too high (which it always does in too small tanks), it will harm the fish and shorten their lifespan considerably. About the 21 liter, nothing except a betta and a couple of snails and stuff maybe Tongue Honestly, the smallest tank to get a beginner should be 100-150 liters if you ask me. It leaves some room for mistakes and it's easy to maintain, provided that it has good filtration, reasonable stocking levels and regular maintenance.

Lucky would probably do just fine in a pond Smiley In my tank I have fish in sizes between 5 inches to as small as barely 1,5 inch Wink I call the smallest one "Baby" and she's eating better than any of the larger fish! Grin It all comes down to their personality in the end, I also kept some smaller ones that just couldn't get the food at some points... :/ But it should be pretty easy to keep track of that in a pond since you could just drop food close to each and every fish.

Other than that, everyone else had really good points Smiley I understand that it's confusing for you, there's a lot of background knowledge needed to keep goldfish in the end, and you're getting all of it just poured at you like this... but it really isn't more complicated than a 150 liter with two goldfish in it, good filtration + weekly water changes! Grin
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Dragonii
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2011, 02:36:56 PM »

(Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
Are there any fish that could live in a 21 litre?



Plenty actually.

21 liters is what? 5.5 gallons?
I have a 6 gallon tank with 4 guppies, 2 glass cats, 1 flounder, 5 shrimp, 2 zebra danios, a betta and 4 snails.
I have a 2 gallon with a Betta, 1 shrimp and a frog.
Pico tanks are becoming very popular, even pico reef tanks. Just not for big fish.

My personal Fluval Spec. 2 gallons (7.57 Litres)
[image]


A Fluval Spec Pico Reef:
[image]


Just don't try to put a goldfish in them.
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fantailer
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2011, 03:29:58 PM »

Wow great tanks! Wink
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Skwishee
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2011, 03:41:39 AM »

Dragonii those tanks are pretty awesome!
I'd agree with you Scrivens, I am planning on getting Lucky some company Smiley

At the moment I'm going to save and get a nice tank (probably 150/180 litres) as soon as I can so Lucky can have a couple of friends, any species in particular that get on well with the common? I was thinking maybe another common and a black moor/ or 2 black moors? Would they get on okay? Or just stick with common for now?
I'm also considering getting a Juwel tank (maybe trigon or vision) I like that they come with a filter and everything ready fitted. But I'm going to head to my local aquarium shop soon to have a look anyway and I'll be sure to double check about filtration, are there any filters that would be able to deal with the goldfish's amount of waste? Also this may sound like a daft question, but how do external filters work? I've never really seen one before.

In the mean time I'm going to see if I can get my parents tank here, although it doesn't have a lid? So just make sure the water doesn't evaporate too much and that Lucky doesn't get a sudden interest for trying out jumping skills...

Thanks once more for the help guys! Cheesy

« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 04:28:51 AM by Skwishee » Logged
Nossie
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2011, 07:01:26 AM »

That's so lovely to hear Skwishee! Smiley
Black moors should never be kept with long-bodied fish, the moors have really bad eyesight so they would have problems getting all the food they need, which would inevitably lead to sickness and death :/
But there are lots of other cool fish you can keep with the common! Smiley For example Shubunkins are gorgeous fish! Especially the Bristol Shubunkin, they're calico colored and have sort of big B-shaped tail Smiley You could also try Comets, they look like commons but have long, flowing fins. Try choosing one with interesting color too, if you want the difference to be clearer between the fish, it'll look really beautiful! Cheesy

External canister filters have been explained pretty well in other posts already, so I'll just give you a short summary Smiley
And external filter is like a bucket that stands under or next to the tank, connected with two hoses, one that takes in the water on the bottom of the "bucket" and pulls it through the filter media inside and one hose that pushes the water back into the tank through an upper hose. On the end of the outtake there's usually a spray bar (simply a plastic bar with holes in) that spreads the water out by the surface for better circulation and oxygenation of the water Smiley
There's always a manual included with the filter on how to start it up etc, so that won't be a problem should you decide to get one Smiley

But I'd definitely recommend an external filter even if your tank isn't that big in the end, it's really great for goldfish since it has such a big space for biological filter media, which is essential for goldfish-keeping. The Eheim Classic brands make pretty small and suitable filters, just find one that is big enough! For a tank that size I'd take one that's rated for a 200 liter, or that pumps roughly 1000l/h.
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Goldfish issues...
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2011, 10:18:32 AM »

Dragonii, simply beautiful tanks! Is that a delta-tail blue betta you have, or a half-moon?  Smiley

I'm glad you're trying to do all you can for your remaining fish, Skwishee. If you are worried about the fish jumping out (which has happend to me before...I lost my favorite fish that way due to her trying crazy antics in the sky) you can always find something to cover it with in the mean time. A bit of screening stapled onto a wooden frame works quite well, as it allows oxygen in but keeps the fish in as well. (I use this on my outdoor fish setup to prevent local wildlife from busting in.) But if you don't want something so ugly on top during the day make sure it has something on it at night/when you leave your house.
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