A new product wreaked havoc weeks ago, still trying to rehab it & at a loss!

  • #1
Let me start out by saying we have a 55 gallon fancy goldfish tank that is only minimally planted. (I tried originally to have more plants but they killed everything but the two little anubias plants and of course, the anacharis that I buy for them to eat gets gradually nibbled away at but if I buy enough, its a slow enough process that it will continue to grow anyway.) Up until yesterday we had 6 goldfish of varying sizes, a juvenile sail fin pleco and 4 Nerite snails. We used "live" lava rock gravel in the bottom of the tank to avoid pollutants from treated/painted/epoxied/artificially colored gravels available at most pet stores in rainbow colors as well as to nourish the plants I wasn't able to keep alive once the goldfish got big enough to do damage. Among the other products I use are water conditioner, "Quick Start" for beneficial bacteria supplementation if necessary, aquarium salt for mineral/electrolyte supplementation at water changes, and Ammo-lock which I use because the goldfish tend to make so much more ammonia and waste than any other fish. I don't use this last one as a rescue remedy or band-aid fix for lax maintenance because not only do I take care of this tank religiously, but it also does little in that regard as it does not remove the ammonia from the water. I use it as it was intended: more of a preventative because it de-natures the ammonia so what is in the tank is a less toxic form to the fish until it can be removed by our weekly water change.

Ok, back to the questions at hand: When I ran out of both water conditioner, and Ammo-lock at the same time, made the trip to the local pet store and found they were out of them as well. I asked the owner if there was another he recommended, not realizing until a later conversation that of the three that own the place, he is probably the least knowledgeable of them. He handed me a bottle labeled Goldfish Cleaner for goldfish aquariums and went on his way. I did not see anything on the bottle that would indicate it did any other than the same job Ammo-lock did and it was a new product to them so I had never had any experience with it before. I cleaned the tank at night, used the product as directed, then shut off the lights and washed up for bed. I don't know if it was just not the right one to start with or had gone bad on the shelf but instead of "breaking down" the liquid wastes like I expected, it "broke them down" in the sense that it dissolved all solid wastes into liquid by morning! To the naked eye, it might seem that this was a good thing but in reality this meant that the fish waste now not only could not be filtered out by our filter, but also could not be suctioned out of the bottom with a gravel vacuum and once dissolved in the water turned my formerly clean and clear tank into something that smelled like sewage got dumped into the smelliest stagnant pond you can imagine! I mean, I know what bacteria blooms are like and I know what nitrogen cycling gone wrong is like but those would have been a walk in the park compared to this! I would much rather deal with either of those than the disaster it made of my tank!

My formerly peaceful fish turned against each other in the stress of it. It was so bad that by the morning when I found the tank in the sorry shape it had become thanks to the so-called "cleaner" that one fish who had taken the brunt of the bullying and harassment had huge raw, ulcer-like wounds on both of her sides as well as several tears in her tail. I immediately set up my quarantine tank, switched her over, and began trying to clean the tank to remove as much of the product as soon as possible. As soon as she was out, the largest three started after another that had looked similar to the female I had just removed. I put him in the quarantine tank as well then had to do the same with our smallest goldfish because they repeated this process with him too. While all three healed in the quarantine tank, I spent weeks trying to get the suddenly spiked Ammonia/Nitrates/Nitrites back down, the water softened as it was suddenly hard to an extreme and the pH back to 7-7.5 because it was extremely acidic to the point that the test strips were not even able to tell me accurately what it was. (Color variations on the ph pads ranged from yellow to red, and the ph was so skewed that the ph pad on the strips turned highlighter green!) I had tested right before using the new product specifically so I could see if there would be any changes and prior to its use, everything was within the ideal range for my goldfish: slightly hard water, 7.5 ph, and of course, little to no nitrate/nitrite/ammonia, etc.

I immediately went back to the pet store as soon as I dropped off my son at school and waited for them to open. When I brought up to the owner (one of three) that perhaps their supplier had given them bad products, he simply said "Maybe its doing one of those 'starter cycles' I always hear Ramon rambling on about to customers!" That's when I realized he knew less than zero about the fish. I waited outside for Ramon, the guy they hired to take over the fish department when one of the owners (different from the man I had originally dealt with) got too old for her to be able to haul the heavy buckets full of water back and forth so many times a day to keep all their tanks maintained. Ramon has always had an answer no matter how random the question is that I have for him and so far has yet to steer me wrong so when he came in and I explained it to him, he set me up with Sachem Prime, Sachem Alkaline Buffer, and even offered to order the Sachem version of "Ammo-lock" known as AmGuard if I couldn't find it faster elsewhere. I ordered AmGuard along with StressGuard and Paraguard, which he had also recommended I get "just in case" and sure enough, by that evening every single one was sick and every single one of them had something different. I spent the next several weeks adding a fraction of a dose of the various medications and water treatments daily rather than a whopping huge dose all at once to bring everything back in line as quickly as I could but not too quickly to avoid stressing the already frantic fish. We even had the two tanks on two different schedules for dosing with everything since the injured fish was so easily stressed that we had to give them much smaller doses and adjust water at a much smaller rate than the regular tank.

Once all water parameters were back within range, maybe not down to nil on the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate (but with goldfish it probably never will be) but much much lower than it had been when all this started, I introduced the three fish that had been in quarantine back into the tank. Within 10 minutes I had to take two of those three smallest back out again because the three larges ones were harassing them so badly. After a number of days and more adjustments to the water chemistry (and the requisite water changes to maintain everything) I tried again. Again, I tried separating them but this time moved out the three biggest fish. After that there was peace within the regular tank but the quarantine tank was too small for even one of them, much less three and so they soon began to fight from stress as well. I had nowhere else to put them in an attempt to further separate them so I just began daily water changes in the hope that if I could keep the ammonia levels down, maybe they would settle down. Finally this morning, I awoke to find one fish completely blinded as both of his eyes had been damaged so badly as to be nearly flush with his head and since he was a telescope-eyed goldfish, this was truly traumatic for him! He was clearly dying so we trapped the others in nets in separate corners of the tank, waited and finally flushed the blinded one when he had passed.

My 7-year old decided when he got home and was told that his fishy had "gone to heaven" and the others could not be put back in the big tank because they would not stop fighting everyone in sight. We took them back to the pet store where we had bought them, I plead our case to Ramon and he took them back. I am so frustrated at this point with this tank and all the problems and heartache that have been caused by use of that one product (of which this account is actually the much shortened down version if you can believe it!). I am about ready to throw my hands up on the goldfish entirely, give the remaining three away, drain the tank entirely to rid it of any remaining residual of that one product" and start fresh with a lower maintenance tank of something hardy and colorful that my son could still enjoy but wouldn't come with the waste-load of goldfish. While I know it is not their fault obviously, after watching how brutal they were to each other, I am greatly tempted to go just give up on goldfish altogether, go back to the basics referred to most beginners as starter fish in their tropical aquariums: guppies, platys, etc.

My questions now are besides use of the one product to start out with, what have I done wrong? I want to learn so I don't repeat any mistakes I made. I am still working to get nitrate/nitrite/ammonia the rest of the way down although it is about halfway there or slightly more from where it was when it spiked with use of that one product. What can I do to further improve things? I also recently took a lot of the "live rock" out thinking maybe it was contributing to the massive bacteria bloom that I had following all of this by harboring too much of the bacteria or that too much waste was seeping into the porous surfaces of the rock and not being suctioned out when I used the gravel vac. Should I put it back or should I replace it with something else? If something else, what else do you recommend for substrate? I also let my son pick out a SMALL fish (a baby gold dojo loach) when we turned over our bully goldfish today so what substrates would be better for him if our live lava rock gravel isn't it? Would more/different plants help the water quality and if so, what do you recommend for a first timer when it comes to having an aquarium that's planted? I've had aquariums for years but never planted ones and have no idea where to start. Are there any other products, techniques, etc. that I haven't mentioned use of already that I should be doing? I feel like I need an overall rehab and rebuild on my tank now and to just redo everything from the grown up even if I don't give up the remaining goldfish. At some point in the future, I would like to put more fish in but not until things are back to the clean and clear state I haven't seen in weeks but it will not be more goldfish no matter what I do so am leaning towards the "tropicals" that could do an unheated tank if that changes the recommendations at all, although I know I am a looming way off from that point. Thanks in advance and I'm sorry for such a long post.
  • #2
Hello! Sorry to hear you're having Goldie problems and I'm very sorry for your loss.

I'm having aggressive Goldie issues too at the moment, so know a little how you feel. One of my tanks is heavily planted, the other is a quickly set up, bare new permanent home for the victims!

My first thought is that a cycled tank shouldn't show ammonia, so the ammo-lock intrigues me. What were your ammonia readings?

What are the numerical readings for Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? Do you have a test kit? What kind?

What filter do you have and how do you maintain it? What's the turnover?

I did try and follow but could you just confirm your current stock? 3 Goldies (what type?) and a dojo?

As far as live plants go, my Goldies do well with Anubias, Java fern, Elodea, Cabonba, Dwarf Sag, Alternanthera Roseafolia, Rotala Wallichi, Echinodorus and Hygrophila Difformis.

What do you feed them and how often?

What is your maintenance schedule?


What decor do you have? Anything sharp?

What treatments are you currently using?

Sorry to ask a load of questions in answer to your list of questions! All the best.xx
  • #3
Sorry for your loss. Sounds like your new product killed your cycle. Waiting for your responses to @ hollie1505 questions.
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
No need to be sorry, I know I left out a ton of information in favor of getting as much of the background of what is going on and probably should have included more of it.

Previously I was using Ammo-lock because the goldies tend to make such a high quantity of waste per cubic inch of fish when compared to most others with the exceptions being their relatives, the koi. I had a very low level at most times prior to all of this going south just because of the waste output as well as food waste because goldfish are such messy eaters that there is sometimes food waste. I don't feel Ammo-lock is an adequate rescue product but is intended as a preventative measure to insure that if there was a rise in ammonia (such as an over-enthusiastic 7-year old "helper" giving the occasional extra meal) that it would at least be less toxic to them until the weekly water change removed it. That being said, I tested it at least once to twice a week and more often if I felt the need for any reason but had not ever gotten a higher reading than 0.5 ppm for the ammonia. Nitrite is similar and while no ammonia is preferable, even with my son occasionally helping feed our fish, prior to use of the one new treatment it was never past 0.5 once cycling was completed. Treatments prior to the issues included Tetra Aquasafe Plus or the equivalent API product for water conditioner, API QuickStart to supplement as needed for beneficial bacteria, API Ammo-lock as a preventative and aquarium salt for electrolytes/minerals. When problems began I tried Pimafix, Melafix and LifeGuard to treat with as the fish became sick although only the last seemed to have any benefit. When I went to the fish guy at the local pet store (the one that does know what he is doing, not the one that had given me the bad product) and explained all of what had been going on, what the levels were before and after use of the one new product (API Goldfish Cleaner or something along those lines), he recommended I switch to higher caliber products, specifically to switch over to Seachem because many of their products such as Prime multitask as well as are much more concentrated so I not only could use one little bottle in the place of three larger ones but I would be counting it out at just two drops per gallon as opposed to however many mLs per gallon the Tetra or API products required for use. Since then, I have discontinued use of all the API/Tetra products except the test strips, QuickStart and aquarium salt and switched over to the Seachem products: Prime (water conditioner that also provides slime coat and detoxifies ammonia/nitrate/nitrite) AmGuard to get the ammonia/nitrate/nitrite down further after everything spiked, Paraguard & Stressguard to treat/protect against infections of various kinds. Alkaline Buffer to add back the necessary KH and raise the pH. I dosed the medications daily during use as directed but the AmGuard and Alkaline Buffer I did a fraction of the dose daily so as to avoid causing even more stress to the fish by dumping a bunch in at the normal once a week cleaning and having a sudden change in the water chemistry. I was doing every other day or every third day water changes to help alleviate the wastes in the water and remove any of the product that remained in the water as quickly as possible without causing the undo stress of too large a water change and resulting disruption of beneficial bacteria (what little remained through the medicating, that is)

I use API 5-in-1 test strips and as per their write up that came with it, could safely have up to 40 ppm Nitrates, preferably 7.5 pH180 GH and a KH of 120-240. I routinely also tested with Tetra EasyCare strips to insure against inaccurate readings. Before all this started everything was perfectly in range. As soon as I had used the aquarium cleaner thinking it to be another form of Ammo-lock, GH and KH were both at ), pH was so low it didn't even show up properly using either brand of test strips, Ammonia spiked to 6 ppm, Nitrite was 10 ppm and Nitrate was 200 ppm (all the highest possible readings on Ammonia/Nitrate/Nitrite, and I would not have been surprised if it wasn't even higher in reality!) I thought maybe some water had gotten into the test strips container and ruined them, hoping that accounted for the extreme readings but when retesting with the Tetra Easy Strips I got within half a point on all as I always have when comparing the two.

I feed a mix of multiple different foods for variety: mostly different types of sinking pellets, sticks, crisps, granules but also including a SMALL helping of sinking carnivore pellets (mainly for the benefit of the pleco but also helps the goldfish with color and growth), daphnia, dried brine shrimp, tubifex worms and crumbled up algae disks (also mainly for the benefit of the pleco but it does help with bloat in the goldies). These are from a variety of brands but are all mixed together in a large plastic bag to make sure each feeding contains a more or less equal amount of everything and better be able to judge portion sizes when sprinkled in altogether. We use one of the canisters that the fish foods originally came in and refill as needed from this big mix bag and have used this since tank set up approximately six months ago with very good results. Since getting the dojo loach yesterday, we have also introduced shrimp pellets, and two different mini-pellets for bottom feeders to supplement specifically for him but because he is not big enough yet to compete with the goldfish at feeding times, at the moment we just poke one little pellet each into the log he has claimed as his home to ensure they don't steal it before he can eat. We usually feed twice a day in smaller portions rather than once a day in a larger serving that would make more mess but once everything went downhill, I cut back to once a day to see if that had caused or exacerbated the problems but it had no effect in the long-run.

Once the dojo loach grows enough to hold his own against others of his kind, we may eventually get him some tank mates to school with but not until much later. At the moment we have only the one baby we brought home yesterday and is maybe 3 inches long at the max, a six inch sailfin pleco, two fantail goldfish and a little telescope eye goldfish. The largest of the three goldfish is maybe golfball sized at most (not counting tail) if that gives you a more accurate visual. Up until the other day we also had a "blue" oranda, a black moor and a calico moor that were all much bigger. The calico moor is the one that got bullied beyond rescue by the black moor and when the black moor was moved out of quarantine to protect the calico until his end came, he ganged up with the oranda to start picking on everyone else as the two large moors had done previous to being separated out into what my son referred to as "The Time-Out Tank." The oranda and black moor have since been brought back into the pet store after the particularly gruesome assault on what had previously been my son's favorite as it had been among his first three goldies that we surprised him with once we had cycled the tank.

I use an Aquaclear 70 Power Filter for 40-70 gallon aquariums, and rinse it out in the water that's been siphoned out of the tank into a bucket during water changes. I replace all cartridges on a staggered schedule based on manufacturer guidelines and use the "foam" cartridge, carbon cartridge and bio-media bag. Since all the problems began I have also begun using their ammonia absorbing filter cartridge to try and remove some of the liquified waste from the water although I'm not sure how much it helped.

While all of this over the course of the last several weeks has brought most of the parameters back in range, I am still working on the Ammonia/Nitrate/Nitrite which is still a little high but not at the extreme it was after I had put that new treatment in. Ammonia is currently approximately 0.75, nitrite is somewhere around 1-2 ppm and nitrate is approximately 60 ppm. Like I said, not good but still much better than it was and I am wondering what else I can or should be doing to help things along, including potentially "upgrading" any aspect of the set up that is inadequate or not correct for the current inhabitants and potential future ones down the line if all goes well.
  • #5
If you have ammonia in your tank, it is not cycled. Plain and simple. I suspect you were not able to achieve a healthy cycle due to overstocking.

What cycling method did you use?

API is a reputable brand, I use many of their products. I would find it hard to believe that a product marketed to goldfish owners that is an exact copy of another of their products would cause this issue in your tank. Very possibly the issue is in your gravel bed, or in your son's extra feedings of the fish.
  • #6
Those levels are dangerous. You need to do a series of water changes to get those down.

You want your Ammonia and Nitrite at 0, Nitrates below 20ppm.

I recommend 2 or 3, 50+% water changes to get the levels safe a d then daily water changes until you've regained the cycle.

I advise you to get a liquid test kit, they're much more accurate.

Only the carbon in the filter needs regularly replacing, every four weeks or so. The other stuff can just be rinsed. The manufacturer wants you to replace it so you spend money really, unless it's literally falling to pieces, it's fine.

What's the turnover of that filter? How many GPH? Goldies need 10x tank volume per hour.

Goldies have no stomach so teeny, tiny feedings are all that are needed.

So at the moment you have three fancies, one large pleco and a dojo. Careful with that pleco, they enjoy a nice tasty slime coat and a Goldie is a lovely, slow moving target.

Also, the telescope may struggle to compete against the fantails as his sight is more hindered than the fantails.

A cycled tank would show no ammonia. Makes me wonder if there was something else happening there or doubting the test strips.

A 55G is suitable for four goldfish. You were way over stocked before, this could be the reason for the ammonia readings. Your current stocking levels are much better.

What chemicals are you using now?xxxx
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I probably had overstocked it but had been monitoring levels of everything and ammonia/nitrite was always either zero or on occasion 0.5 but that literally was only here and there. I always did a larger cleaning when that popped up and that solved the problem. That was prior to using the one product and that's why I wonder if it hadn't gone bad or something. I had never had an issue with any of API's other products beyond they are popular (for good reason) and so occasionally had to substitute the equivalent Tetra brand version when the LPS sold out of API. It was only after using that one treatment that everything went to extremes. I have been doing daily or every other day water changes since, sometimes every third as needed while treating the fish early on to avoid removing too much of the meds, but what I am wondering is if there is more I can do beyond just water changes and waiting it out?

We have found amazingly enough that the littlest goldfish (the telescope eyed one) had made friends with the pleco! When we set up an area that the chubby goldfish couldn't get through to steal food from the pleco while he was still small enough to be pushed around by a determined goldfish, the little guy could still slip through and they would eat together happily. We started to put fish food down there for the little telescope eyed goldfish to eat without being outrun by the bigger fantails trying to hog it all when we put the pleco's food there too. On the rare occasion that the "mandrake roots" decor piece is jostled enough to actually admit any bigger goldfish into the area inside it, the pleco is big enough not to be bothered by the goldfish anymore but chases them off if they start to harass the little one for his food.

I will be picking up a liquid test kit in the morning along with a number of other things I need for the tank. Thanks for the tip!

Also, in regard to the pleco, we have a deal with the local elementary school since their fully grown nearly 2 foot long pleco was stolen from their pond recently. They can't afford to buy one of similar size and the principal had been asking if I knew where they could find a good sized pleco cheaply or free in the area preferably within the next year or so and that evolved into an agreement that when ours is big enough to need more than our 55 gallon (probably sooner than later) he will get a nice big pond to kick back in. Is kept shaded in the summer and heated in the winter so he will be comfortable there, they will get some help with the algae they are anticipating with the spring and summer, and best of all my son will still get to visit his big buddy, Jack. I am planning to get an REAL bristlenose pleco once Jack is moved to the pond since that's what we had asked for when we bought him at PetSmart and had even made a special trip just to go get one when I heard they had them. No matter how much we insisted that this was not a bristlenose pleco, the girl at Petsmart assured us repeatedly that he only looked like a different pleco because at two inches long, he wouldn't show any bristles yet but they would grow as he grew. I have since seen even littered ones and even at half the size he was then, they still had little tiny nubbins that were visible to the naked eye that would later grow into their bristles but at the time I was less informed on BN plecos and so took him home hoping she was right. Well, we got home and excited by the big new tank, our new little pleco put up his dorsal fin for the first time and very clearly was a sailfin, not a bristlenose. My son was attached to him already though so we didn't bother bringing him back.

While it was cycled to begin with by adding in some water from an existing tank and some QuickStart or other beneficial bacteria to further jumpstart the process, had fully cycled in the weeks following and stabilized prior to adding the first fish, I suspect that if the one "cleaner" treatment product didn't knock out the bacteria colonies, the subsequent treatments the fish required probably did. I had hoped it maybe was just bacteria bloom and removing most of the gravel (and therefor bacteria harboring in it) would help but if it has, it's doing so at a glacial pace. While I know I have to be patient and so far have tried to be, at the same time I can't help beating myself up over "what if there is something more I could do?"
  • #8
Okay, from here on out, this is what I'd do:

1. Perform several large water changes to get my levels as close to 0 as is possible.

2. Condition the water and wait 24hours.

2. Buy a bottle of Tetra Safestart (TSS). Shake and add in the whole thing (at least 24hours after the conditioner).

3. Get a jug of water and condition it and do nothing but top up with (aged by at least 24hours with conditioner) water if needed for the next two weeks.

Feed sparingly.

Do not do a water change.

Do not add conditioner.

Do not add any fish.

4. After 14 days, you should have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some nitrates (probably quite a large amount). Then do a nice big water change. Your tank is now cycled.

5. Bi-weekly maintenance of 25% water changes, gravel vac. Rinse filter media in dechlorinated water as required.

6. Use a turkey baster for any big build up of waste.

7. Live plants. I know they get destroyed but throw in a load of Elodea, Wisteria, Cabomba, Java ferns.. They'll help with the water quality.

I've found giving them fresh veg (wilted cabbage, spinach and broccolI being faves) stops a lot of the plant massacre.

I like Repashy gels. They don't foul the water as quickly as other foods. You can also make your own gels using veg, quality pellets, frozen treats, vitamins. Then freeze in cubes and feed as required. Repashy gels can sit in the water for 24hours without causing issues. Great for grazing Goldies. The soilent green is great for them.

Use a separate container/bucket/ tank for treatments. Some destroy the bacteria. If in doubt, take 'em out

I personally wouldn't replace Jack once he's in his mansion. Of course, your tank, your decision but it's a risk I wouldn't take. They have been known to eat slime coats. It's not uncommon and slow Goldies are a perfect target. Just something to consider.

All the best.
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
I have removed the gravel bed as was recommended to me in another thread where I asked specifically about it retaining so much waste that it was potentially causing part of this issue. I am waiting for some of the dust and fine sediment that was stirred up by that process to settle before I do one or two big water changes to get not only the silt it left behind but more importantly to get the water levels back within ideal parameters. The next step after is the cycling since I think you guys were right and I probably lost the cycle at some point.

I am probably going to be installing sand substrate at some point. Do you guys feel that is best done before or after trying to restart the cycling process?
  • #10
If you're going to have substrate, it should be in when cycling, as it houses some BB and will help the tank cycle. But, and I think we covered this in another thread, sand is generally not a good idea for goldies.
  • #11
My Goldies are thriving in a tank without substrate.
  • #12
Sorry, I forgot you've got a Golden Dojo Loach, you have to have sand substrate.
  • #13
Only the carbon in the filter needs regularly replacing, every four weeks or so. The other stuff can just be rinsed.

This entire post by Holly is spot on great advice. Just want to clarify that one bit about rinsing for any new aquarists that may eventually read this thread; by "rinse" she means rinsed in a bucket of clean dechlorinated water. Not rinsed in the sink under the faucet.
  • #14
This entire post by Holly is spot on great advice. Just want to clarify that one bit about rinsing for any new aquarists that may eventually read this thread; by "rinse" she means rinsed in a bucket of clean dechlorinated water. Not rinsed in the sink under the faucet.

So true! It was you who taught me not to wash filter cartridges with soap and hot water.
  • #15
Thanks Mamajin, missed that one!!xx
  • #16
Goldies should not be in the same tank as dojo loaches. The Dojos need sand and goldies will eat the sand and die.
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
I have been researching ways to put in an area of sand for the loach to bury in but the goldfish do not have access to. Similar to what we did when our sailfin was a baby and the goldfish were able to push him around and steal food (piggies that they are) the mangrove roots style decor piece didn't allow the chubby goldfish in underneath but the little sailfin could zip back and forth through the roots just fine so we simply put his food down there for him to eat. If we adapted the idea and filled a cave or similar with a couple inches of sand in the bottom for the loach where it would be safely contained but had the rest of the tank be bare bottomed, would that be workable for everyone? Otherwise, if the tank was big enough for both, the little loach could accompany the baby BN pleco into his growing tank I have been talking about in another thread since he could probably benefit from the same thing.

Somebody restrain me, quick! This is how MTS starts!
  • #18
We had Goldies share the tank with Dojos for almost a year. We've separated them now because from day one, Dojos never got their share of food. Oranda was tiny, but Dojos never had a chance.

Dojos do a ritual dance before they eat, as if they were saying grace. When their pellets hit the bottom they start somersaults and write number 8 several times. Then they eat. Usually, all of them attack one one pellet, than they all move to the next one.

Goldies would devour Dojos' pellets before Dojos would have a chance to start eating, and then move on to their food, given to them earlier in a different part of the tank. For a while, we just removed Goldies into a 5 gallon bucket until Dojos were fed.

Thank God, our Goldies never got sick from sand, they are in the bare bottom tank now.
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Jomolager, I sent this to another user when the topic of goldfish stealing food from other fish came up. Before our sailfin got big enough to not be bothered, the goldfish were bigger by just enough to bump their bellies into him like scaly little sumo wrestlers then snag his food before he could get in the way again. This was the only time I have ever seen the "trademark pleco aggression" - when he was starving because they wouldn't let him have any of his own food! I bought a 'mangrove root' style tank decoration that he was still sleek enough to zip right through but with their round little sumo bellies, they didn't fit inside. I then used plastic aquarium tube from the LPS and two suction cups to rig a feeding tube of sorts. This way they couldn't just lay in waiting and snag food on its way down to him. It worked like a charm and even came in handy when the last of my Goldies to have been brought home was being outcompeted by bigger ones. That goldfish and the pleco have now formed the most unexpected friendship because they shared the safe eating space underneath the mangrove roots. It may come in handy in the future if any major catastrophes like tank leak force you to put any others in with your Goldies again
ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1422081648.836923.jpg
ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1422081682.777263.jpg
Sorry for the odd angles and bad, blurry photos but I'm in the middle of a major tank cleaning and wanted to get the pics to you before Jack pushed around his mangrove roots any more than he already has in a show of his displeasure with the idea of a clean tank
  • #20
waterlilykari, very interesting. You are quite an inventor. Thank you

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