Absolutely lost as to why I'm losing fish. Lots of detail inside.

Guyfromthenorth

Are goldfish really this difficult?



Back in February of this year I thought as a fun project for my 4yr old why not get a fish tank. We started this “project’ back then and had no idea how hard it was going to be… After several failed attempts and dead goldfish (heart breaking for her and us) we finally had a safe working biome in the tank. What does this mean:

-Cycle was used along with water conditioner

-Testing confirmed ammonia spike a few weeks in, followed by weeks of partial water changes and cycling eventually hit the nitrite spike

-A couple weeks of water changes through the nitrite spike into the nitrate phase

-After a couple more weeks of fine tuning got every level EXACTLY where they should be and they held perfectly



Tank Specs:

-10 gallon Aqueon tank with waterfall style filter

-1 bubbler stone for extra O2 in the back corner

-Biosafe rock substrate bought from a specialty pet store designed for freshwater tanks

-2x thermometers to ensure tank is evenly controlled

-1x automatic heater set to the range for goldfish, the room itself is specifically heat controlled as well to ensure no outside fluctuations and the tank is kept out of direct sunlight

-Feeding ring installed to limit food dispersion due to the waterfall style filtration often making a mess inside

-Premium fish flakes used, fed 1x a day 20mins after the sunrise lights the room and the main light turns on, never over fed, tank partially vacuumed every 48hrs to ensure no buildup at the bottom

-NutriFin Cycle used to cycle and also maintain cultures during water changes, fresh batches kept on hand, none were expired

-Ammolock used as per directions when the fish were introduced and spiked the ammonia, no issues controlling ammonia since

-Water conditioner used to control tap water when doing water changes, tap water is not hard and does not test for any anomalous chemicals or metals, when adding new water it is kept within 1deg C of the tank water to make sure no temperature shocks

-Some plastic plants, porcelain coral, and a hollow log to provide shelter for the fish, all made for fresh water tanks and rinsed before initial use back this winter

-Test kits are from API and not expired



The temperature has been carefully monitored including the use of a heater. Light levels were controlled via timer to ensure proper daylight cycles for the fish and ramps up slowly to not surprise them. Filters were changed at regular intervals, including daily inspections in case they got dirty quickly. Ammonia filter was changed as per schedule.



Goldfish are standard fancy goldfish. They cost 0.21c a piece but require me to drive 640km roundtrip to pick them up as we live remotely. When transporting fish they are kept temperature and shock controlled. None have died in transport or as a result of transport. They were all introduced slowly to the tank to ensure no shock and inspected for parasites carefully. None found.



First 2 fish introduced after cycle completed 1.5 months ago or so. One fish began turning black on his fins. Panicked that this was some kind of chemical burn but none tested. He seemed fine even though his colour was changing and in fact was more active than “fish 1’ who stayed orange. He eventually turned a dirty black colour and we figured he literally just changed colour, he looked and acted healthy otherwise, no gill discoloration or swelling, no distended belly, no issues with floatation or movement. This went on for a while without any issues. Daily tank testing and maintenance was completed. I spend no joke at least an hour a day doing tank testing, cleaning, etc. A week ago I left the house for 1 day, on return the “black” fish was white and stuck to the water intake for the filter, ridged and dead. Fish 1 seemed fine. I removed the dead fish, luckily my daughter has been at her grandparents house. I tested the water, everything was well within safe levels and ammonia was 0ppm.



Maybe fish 2 died of natural causes. Who knows... I drive the 9hr roundtrip and get a new goldfish from the same store. I follow all the same procedures as before. The one I got was a bit bigger and more vibrant than the last one but maybe my daughter won’t notice. Once “fish 3” is introduced to the tank he loves it. Swimming around checking stuff out, hiding in the log a bit, he comes out and mooches food when he sees me walking by. In fact he was so active it made me think my other fish might be sick because in comparison fish 1 was sluggish. Fish 3 eats food like a machine, fins are out and very healthy looking. I keep testing the tank and monitoring for Ich (new fish introduction so I’m paranoid of catching something in my tank). About 3 days go by without any issue and no changes to the tank biome.



I wake up this morning and fish 3 is dead as a doornail and stuck against the filter intake.



I’m just at a loss here. I feel like I’m running a tank at Sea World with the amount of work it is for these goldfish and I’m getting deaths. I’ve had friends get goldfish from “The Fair” that were in a cup when they won them and they lived for many many years with virtually 0 maintenance. In fact when they heard you can “test for ammonia..and stuff” they looked at me like I was crazy and had no idea the water even needed testing.



Thoughts before I throw the tank in the garbage and tell my daughter her fish moved out to the river? I’m in over 1000$ on less than 5$ worth of fish, and that doesn’t count my labor lol.
 

Dunk2

Welcome to Fishlore!

Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle?

You mentioned AmmoLock. . . How long did you use it and are you still using it? I ask because it will not allow your tank to cycle.
 

carsonsgjs

Welcome to fishlore!

In additon to dunk2’s question, the first thing that jumps out is the 1 hour daily maintenance - seems like a lot for a 10 gallon tank. What does that entail?

Second, it states that you change your filters regularly. Does that mean you change the sponges completely, or just rinse them out?

Finally, vacuuming every 2 days feels like a lot. If you arent overfeeding, what are you vacuuming that much for?

it would also be good to know your exact water parameters from your tests - temp, ph etc.
 

Ouse

Welcome to Fishlore. Sorry you went through all this trouble.

Please stop using ammolock. It stunts the cycle and does more harm than good.

10 gallons is too small for fancy goldfish. 30 gallons is the usual minimum size requirement for them. I imagine the constant vacuuming was stressing them out, another factor adding to the early deaths.

Goldfish turning black is a sign of ammonia poisoning, however you mention ammonia always being 0mg/L. Are you using API Master kit or API test strips?

In small tanks, goldfish are difficult because small tanks just can’t handle them.
 

Guyfromthenorth

Thanks for the replies, so let me do my best to answer:

1)After the tank cycled and I introduced the goldfish there was ammonia that appeared. I let that sit for a day and it kept going up (most likely from the addition of the fish). I then used the amount of Ammolock as per the instructions for 3 days and the ammonia went back to zero. This included doing 50% water change, adding ammolock, and then refilling with new water (with cycle, conditioner added). I haven't had to use the AL since the ammonia went away and the fish deaths occurred long after that phase.

2)My 1hr is the time is takes to carefully suck up any missed food from the bottom. My Fish 1 and 2 were VERY bad at eating. They missed food alot or spit it out by accident while trying to eat it. I resorted to crumbling it up fairly small and using the floating feeding ring as mentioned. The waterfall style filter had a tendency to bring the food over along the surface due to the current and then when it would get to the waterfall would get blasted all over the tank. I would put the SMALL pinch of food in, give them 3-5mins to eat, then clean up the leftovers. This method kept them fed but didn't result in any excess ammonia or nitrite to date.

3)Filters were changed as per the schedule recommended (1 month). They are fabricated cartridge so no real water to replace just the cotton or charcoal. I would pull and inspect daily regardless of the 1mo change cycle and if they were dirty would change regardless.

4)The parameters were based on the API 5 in 1 test trip kits "safe' levels on their package, and for my ammonia strips 0ppm was what I was shooting for.

I forgot to mention I have added aquarium salt (in the proper proportions on the box) to the tank. I did not add it every time I changed water as I'm told it won't filter out or go away. I would only add it after doing enough water changes that the tank would be more or less "fresh' and then would carefully dissolve the right amount in and add it to the tank. No salt accretion has been seen anywhere so I'm sure I haven't over-done the salt.

Hope that helps. When the black fish died I thought -maybe- he just "died". But the new addition died quickly after looking amazingly healthy so my worry now is why that happened. Fish 1 was there when I left for work this morning, he has always been sluggish but is alive.

As for the 1hr of maintenance. That's just the time it takes me to feed, remove anything left over, test, and vaccuum\refill. I can find an attach pictures of the tank if it helps. I'm doing my best here and have consulted literally 5 different pet stores and sources on the internet. I've got lots of opinions and lots of people like to say what I'm doing wrong but at this point I'm getting baffled.

EDIT: As mentioned the ammolock was just for a short burst of ammonia, haven't used it since because I haven't needed to. My test strips do work as they showed the toxins rise and then fall as my tank cycled. The 10gal tank has 2 fish that are less than 1in long. I'm sure that a 1in fish wouldn't die in 3 days (or a month) due to the tank being too small. If they grew bigger sure maybe a larger tank may happen but I doubt size is the issue right now. The fish seem not stressed by the vaccuum. They actually follow it around and grab up any bits is loosens up from the bottom. I've been careful not to chase them around and stress them out. Also yes the ammonia tested 0 when blackie turned blacked. Also the other fish in at the same time didn't turn a single scale a different colour. I think that black change was a bizarre red herring (for lack of a better term).
 

Dunk2

Thanks for the replies, so let me do my best to answer:

1)After the tank cycled and I introduced the goldfish there was ammonia that appeared. I let that sit for a day and it kept going up (most likely from the addition of the fish). I then used the amount of Ammolock as per the instructions for 3 days and the ammonia went back to zero. This included doing 50% water change, adding ammolock, and then refilling with new water (with cycle, conditioner added). I haven't had to use the AL since the ammonia went away and the fish deaths occurred long after that phase.

2)My 1hr is the time is takes to carefully suck up any missed food from the bottom. My Fish 1 and 2 were VERY bad at eating. They missed food alot or spit it out by accident while trying to eat it. I resorted to crumbling it up fairly small and using the floating feeding ring as mentioned. The waterfall style filter had a tendency to bring the food over along the surface due to the current and then when it would get to the waterfall would get blasted all over the tank. I would put the SMALL pinch of food in, give them 3-5mins to eat, then clean up the leftovers. This method kept them fed but didn't result in any excess ammonia or nitrite to date.

3)Filters were changed as per the schedule recommended (1 month). They are fabricated cartridge so no real water to replace just the cotton or charcoal. I would pull and inspect daily regardless of the 1mo change cycle and if they were dirty would change regardless.

4)The parameters were based on the API 5 in 1 test trip kits "safe' levels on their package, and for my ammonia strips 0ppm was what I was shooting for.

I forgot to mention I have added aquarium salt (in the proper proportions on the box) to the tank. I did not add it every time I changed water as I'm told it won't filter out or go away. I would only add it after doing enough water changes that the tank would be more or less "fresh' and then would carefully dissolve the right amount in and add it to the tank. No salt accretion has been seen anywhere so I'm sure I haven't over-done the salt.

Hope that helps. When the black fish died I thought -maybe- he just "died". But the new addition died quickly after looking amazingly healthy so my worry now is why that happened. Fish 1 was there when I left for work this morning, he has always been sluggish but is alive.

As for the 1hr of maintenance. That's just the time it takes me to feed, remove anything left over, test, and vaccuum\refill. I can find an attach pictures of the tank if it helps. I'm doing my best here and have consulted literally 5 different pet stores and sources on the internet. I've got lots of opinions and lots of people like to say what I'm doing wrong but at this point I'm getting baffled.
Each time you changed the filter cartridge you lost the beneficial bacteria that had grown. That basically restarted the cycling process.
 

carsonsgjs

Thanks for the replies, so let me do my best to answer:

1)After the tank cycled and I introduced the goldfish there was ammonia that appeared. I let that sit for a day and it kept going up (most likely from the addition of the fish). I then used the amount of Ammolock as per the instructions for 3 days and the ammonia went back to zero. This included doing 50% water change, adding ammolock, and then refilling with new water (with cycle, conditioner added). I haven't had to use the AL since the ammonia went away and the fish deaths occurred long after that phase.

2)My 1hr is the time is takes to carefully suck up any missed food from the bottom. My Fish 1 and 2 were VERY bad at eating. They missed food alot or spit it out by accident while trying to eat it. I resorted to crumbling it up fairly small and using the floating feeding ring as mentioned. The waterfall style filter had a tendency to bring the food over along the surface due to the current and then when it would get to the waterfall would get blasted all over the tank. I would put the SMALL pinch of food in, give them 3-5mins to eat, then clean up the leftovers. This method kept them fed but didn't result in any excess ammonia or nitrite to date.

3)Filters were changed as per the schedule recommended (1 month). They are fabricated cartridge so no real water to replace just the cotton or charcoal. I would pull and inspect daily regardless of the 1mo change cycle and if they were dirty would change regardless.

4)The parameters were based on the API 5 in 1 test trip kits "safe' levels on their package, and for my ammonia strips 0ppm was what I was shooting for.

I forgot to mention I have added aquarium salt (in the proper proportions on the box) to the tank. I did not add it every time I changed water as I'm told it won't filter out or go away. I would only add it after doing enough water changes that the tank would be more or less "fresh' and then would carefully dissolve the right amount in and add it to the tank. No salt accretion has been seen anywhere so I'm sure I haven't over-done the salt.

Hope that helps. When the black fish died I thought -maybe- he just "died". But the new addition died quickly after looking amazingly healthy so my worry now is why that happened. Fish 1 was there when I left for work this morning, he has always been sluggish but is alive.

As for the 1hr of maintenance. That's just the time it takes me to feed, remove anything left over, test, and vaccuum\refill. I can find an attach pictures of the tank if it helps. I'm doing my best here and have consulted literally 5 different pet stores and sources on the internet. I've got lots of opinions and lots of people like to say what I'm doing wrong but at this point I'm getting baffled.

EDIT: As mentioned the ammolock was just for a short burst of ammonia, haven't used it since because I haven't needed to. My test strips do work as they showed the toxins rise and then fall as my tank cycled. The 10gal tank has 2 fish that are less than 1in long. I'm sure that a 1in fish wouldn't die in 3 days (or a month) due to the tank being too small. If they grew bigger sure maybe a larger tank may happen but I doubt size is the issue right now. The fish seem not stressed by the vaccuum. They actually follow it around and grab up any bits is loosens up from the bottom. I've been careful not to chase them around and stress them out. Also yes the ammonia tested 0 when blackie turned blacked. Also the other fish in at the same time didn't turn a single scale a different colour. I think that black change was a bizarre red herring (for lack of a better term).
So first off, stop switching out the filter media. I know thats what the instructions say, but don’t do it. Each time you do that, the bulk of your nitrifying bacteria are lost. With you keeping the tank so clean, there doesn’t seem to be enough in the tank to keep the cycle going. I feel thats the main problem here. Just give them a rinse out in some old tank water and put them back in the filter. Your fish and wallet will thank you for it.

If you are having to manually remove food from the tank after 5 mins of the fish not eating it, then thats overfeeding. The ‘feed as much as they can eat in 5 min’ rule isn’t particularly accurate.

Not sure what the salt is being added for but I’m not sure if that is helping either.

I just think you need to be a little hands-off and let things settle. Fishkeeping isnt meant to be an arduous daily chore, its supposed to be an enjoyable hobby!
 

Ouse

When you do water changes, how much water, in %, do you change?

Yup, don’t replace cartridges, just rinse them thoroughly in a bucket of tank water to clean them. :) The manufacturer usually says to change them frequently, but they’re lying, likely to make more sales and cause cycling problems, which will scare people into buying their fixes.

API test strips are another example of marketing possibly with bad intent. The strips degrade when opened, making them useless and inaccurate the moment they’re opened. Quite often, readings are 0 across the board with API’s strips, when this is all but true. I’m concerned this is happening to you.

API do the API Master kit, which is much more accurate and involves better trusted drip tests. Use this one instead; many of us use it and know about it.

Please stop consulting with pet shops. They coax people into buying as much of their stuff as possible, often not knowing much about fishkeeping to be reliable.
 

Guyfromthenorth

So the filters I was changing because they would get off-colour even after a few rinses. I still had the ammonia foam thing in there that is supposed to be housing bacteria as well, it goes in place in the filter housing waterfall. Even with the changes that did I never saw a subsequent ammonia or nitrite spike indicating I had wrecked the cycle so I at least feel that was ok? Test strips aren't expired and have been kept in their container sealed and temp controlled.

As for water changes, when the tank was cycling and I was getting sky-rocketing ammonia I was doing 50% changes. I found many sources that said 50% was fine to do for that purpose, although in my experience to date I'm sure for every 1 person who says "yes' i can find 1 who will say "no", that is what has been my most frustrating part to be honest.

Since fish were added and I've been doing it just to keep the tank clean I do 25% or less, just enough to suck up any fish poop from the bottom. The food pinch I'm doing is TINY. To the point where the fish mooch food. I don't believe I'm overfeeding, some of the bottom bits may be missed food but some is poop as mentioned.

As for the salt it's specific aquarium salt for fresh water. As I'm trying to be cautious I'd say I'm actually using less than directed per gallon. It was used to help the fish during the nitrite spike after the subsequent ammonia rise after introducing the fish.

I mean I can go buy another test kit if the strips are 'no good". It's just been getting crazy because everytime I ask someone a question about this issue there's always "another 20$ bill" to be spent to 'fix it". I'm so many 20's in at this point it's crazy. I am in no way saying I'm a marine biologist here because I'm not lol. It's just so many people 'inform me" of what I'm doing wrong (which is fine if I am) but then have another 20$ to fix it. I've been chasing that dragon for months now. I appreciate the input though, don't mis-read my tone here.
 

Dunk2

So the filters I was changing because they would get off-colour even after a few rinses. I still had the ammonia foam thing in there that is supposed to be housing bacteria as well, it goes in place in the filter housing waterfall. Even with the changes that did I never saw a subsequent ammonia or nitrite spike indicating I had wrecked the cycle so I at least feel that was ok? Test strips aren't expired and have been kept in their container sealed and temp controlled.

As for water changes, when the tank was cycling and I was getting sky-rocketing ammonia I was doing 50% changes. I found many sources that said 50% was fine to do for that purpose, although in my experience to date I'm sure for every 1 person who says "yes' i can find 1 who will say "no", that is what has been my most frustrating part to be honest.

Since fish were added and I've been doing it just to keep the tank clean I do 25% or less, just enough to suck up any fish poop from the bottom. The food pinch I'm doing is TINY. To the point where the fish mooch food. I don't believe I'm overfeeding, some of the bottom bits may be missed food but some is poop as mentioned.

As for the salt it's specific aquarium salt for fresh water. As I'm trying to be cautious I'd say I'm actually using less than directed per gallon. It was used to help the fish during the nitrite spike after the subsequent ammonia rise after introducing the fish.

I mean I can go buy another test kit if the strips are 'no good". It's just been getting crazy because everytime I ask someone a question about this issue there's always "another 20$ bill" to be spent to 'fix it". I'm so many 20's in at this point it's crazy. I am in no way saying I'm a marine biologist here because I'm not lol. It's just so many people 'inform me" of what I'm doing wrong (which is fine if I am) but then have another 20$ to fix it. I've been chasing that dragon for months now. I appreciate the input though, don't mis-read my tone here.

I understand the frustration with all the different opinions. . . That’s the case with most every subject in this hobby and why it’s important for us to do our own research.

No matter the cause, you’re doing a fish-in cycle at this point. Which means daily testing (I’d also suggest the API Master Test kit) and water changes to keep the combined level of ammonia and nitrites below 0.50 ppm.

Water changes won’t affect your cycle, but replacing filter media will. Off colored filter media is a good thing! What are you rinsing the media with?
 

StarGirl

Goldfish are messy big poopers! I would recommend to do at least 50% water changes weekly. This is to keep the nitrates down in addition to keeping your water in the tank closer to your tap water reading. If you are only doing 25% that means 75% of the bad water is still in there stewing. Can you see how it could build up over time?
 

Guyfromthenorth

I was using tap water with conditioner and cycle mixed in (in proper ratios) so essentially "clean" tank water. I also rarely changed the rectangle secondary filter as I was under the impression it was my "bacteria house". Good to know I can save some money on filters though. This is my first tank since I was a kid. Back then I had a bubbler I'd manually pack with charcoal and cotton (well "synthetic" cotton). Also back then I never tested anything but PH and somehow did fine lol.
Goldfish are messy big poopers! I would recommend to do at least 50% water changes weekly. This is to keep the nitrates down in addition to keeping your water in the tank closer to your tap water reading. If you are only doing 25% that means 75% of the bad water is still in there stewing. Can you see how it could build up over time?
Agreed but I never tested it as too high when doing 25%, and remember I have been doing 25% a day (or every 2 days) which works out to 50% or more weekly anyways. I don't think the fish died from stress, heck when blackie died I wasn't even home, but I can move to 50% weekly instead of 25% 1-2 days.
 

mattgirl

This may sound harsh but I think the main problem is you are killing your fish with too much care. Our fish tanks are the one thing in our home that we don't want to keep spotlessly clean. We can keep them looking clean but we want to allow the bacteria to grow in/on all the surfaces in the tank. The strongest colony is going to be on the filter media, in this case the cartridge you have in your filter, but it is growing everywhere else too.

If you continue using cartridges please don't replace it until it is literally falling apart or water will no longer flow through it freely. I understand you have already spent a lot on this tank but I am going to recommend you buy a bit more. In the long run it will save you money. Stop using the cartridges. Instead replace it with a piece of sponge cut to size. This sponge will last for many years. You can buy a sheet of foam for less than the cost of a package of disposable cartridges.

I am going to also recommend you remove the ammonia pad and replace it with permanent bio-media such as matrix, lava rock or ceramic rings. This media is the perfect home for bacteria to thrive and will last the lifetime of this tank.

I am spending some of your money but I am also saving you from paying the high price for the cartridges. We need to make the switch from ammonia pad and cartridge over time though. We don't want to replace all the media at the same time. We can talk more about it if you are interested.

Like others I am going to recommend you get an API Master Freshwater Test Kit. With it you can keep a very close eye on the pH. ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Unfortunately test strips start degrading as soon as we open them. They react to moisture. Each time the container is opened a bit of moisture gets in.
 

Guyfromthenorth

Master kit is ordered (that was 2x 20$ bills ha). I agree the tank shouldn't be spotless, I was just trying to manage ammonia\nitrite as best I could to reduce chances of fish poisoning. Currently tests are clear, the "original" fish is still alive, I am just a bit lost as to why the other two dropped dead. Especially the one from 3 days ago as he was healthy as could be when I went to bed (visually). Maybe foul play and fish 1 murdered him in the dark (that's a joke, they weren't fighting or picking at each others fins).

I'll look into the other filter media options. Like I said I was just following directions for the filters and honestly I don't think i wrecked my cycle (much) as since my first big ammonia then nitrite spikes I haven't had any other off balanced tests come back indicating my tank reset or anything. That being said I am not a pro so I'll spend more money and give this a go. Master kit and new lava rock\ceramic over time may be my last 20's though as this is feeling like a money pit here. I'll dig around the forum here and let my tank rest a bit (unless I suddenly test ammonia or nitrite spikes) and see where it goes.
 

mattgirl

Master kit is ordered (that was 2x 20$ bills ha). I agree the tank shouldn't be spotless, I was just trying to manage ammonia\nitrite as best I could to reduce chances of fish poisoning. Currently tests are clear, the "original" fish is still alive, I am just a bit lost as to why the other two dropped dead. Especially the one from 3 days ago as he was healthy as could be when I went to bed (visually). Maybe foul play and fish 1 murdered him in the dark (that's a joke, they weren't fighting or picking at each others fins).

I'll look into the other filter media options. Like I said I was just following directions for the filters and honestly I don't think i wrecked my cycle (much) as since my first big ammonia then nitrite spikes I haven't had any other off balanced tests come back indicating my tank reset or anything. That being said I am not a pro so I'll spend more money and give this a go. Master kit and new lava rock\ceramic over time may be my last 20's though as this is feeling like a money pit here. I'll dig around the forum here and let my tank rest a bit (unless I suddenly test ammonia or nitrite spikes) and see where it goes.
Water changes are good but cleaning anything else needs to be kept to a minimum. Unfortunately the ones making these cartridges and recommend changing them each month don't take into account we are throwing away a great deal of bacteria each time we change them. More money for them but not good for our water pets.

The carbon inside the cartridges is normally what causes them to clog up. Fortunately carbon isn't really necessary. In fact I've not run any in any of my tanks for years. It does have its uses such as pulling medications or bad odor out of the tank but we normally don't need it. If cartridges are going to be used I do recommend cutting the fiber and dumping the carbon out before using one. It will last much longer without it.

Since these are feeder goldfish I have to wonder just how healthy they are to begin with. Unfortunately they aren't bred and then grown out under the best of conditions. Sometimes we can do everything just right and will still lose fish. You are on the right path to providing a safe home for water pets. I do think eventually you may need to upgrade to a bigger tank if you plan on keeping goldfish but let's get some healthy fish before we go down that road.

You mentioned keeping the temp consistent but i don't remember if you said what that temp is. Goldfish aren't really tropical fish so require cooler water. I am not sure what that temp is since I've never had goldfish but I have to think no more than about 70 would be the best for them. If you've not done so already you may want to look into it.
 

StarGirl

I think it is a bad time of year to try to match temps. My AC is on and my tanks are all still over 80. I would have to have it cranking at 60 to get it to go down I think. lol
 

Ouse

I think it is a bad time of year to try to match temps. My AC is on and my tanks are all still over 80. I would have to have it cranking at 60 to get it to go down I think. lol
Yup. It’s been 18°C today and the heaters are off on two of my tanks for the summer. They were around 26°C, and 50% water changes on both of them using only the cold tap dropped the temp only by a few °C for a few hours.
 

mattgirl

I think it is a bad time of year to try to match temps. My AC is on and my tanks are all still over 80. I would have to have it cranking at 60 to get it to go down I think. lol
Mine are running up close to 80. Normal temp is 76. I was just trying to come up with reason for these little ones dying. Temp may or may not have anything to do with it. :)
 

StarGirl

Yup. It’s been 18°C today and the heaters are off on two of my tanks for the summer. They were around 26°C, and 50% water changes on both of them using only the cold tap dropped the temp only by a few °C for a few hours.
Sounds like Stinkyloaf is trying to shock his fish....... ;) lol

I would be in the Weak feeder fish bad genetic vote. Regular fish are treated bad can you imagine how they treat feeder fish? :eek:
 

Ouse

In any other case I mix the hot tap with the cold tap until it’s “close enough.” But so far, no shock. :)
 

Guyfromthenorth

Thanks again everyone for the ideas and input. Just to tie up the loose ends I agree with the feeder fish theory could be at play as well potentially. My daughter very specifically wanted the "orange fish" and was specific to the ol' feeder tank at the store lol. Toddlers.

Temp has been easy to manage at my house because it's northern Canada and rarely 'hot" out. The room is steadily kept between 21 and 22 deg Celcius along with the tank water being the same. That is 69.8 to 71.6 F respectively. There is no HVAC in the room so therefore no "hot" or "cold" spots from vents blowing air around. We positioned the tank to never be in the path of sunlight either. I monitor the tank temps constantly as I've been curious if there's some way they spike (like a bad heater) without my knowledge but both temp gauges (one on each side of the tank, proper glass tube red alchohol themometers not the "sticker" style) confirm the temp never fluctuates more than a degree. I also am very careful and run the tapwater mixed hot\cold on the dial for 10mins to get consistent water out within 1 deg of the tanks idle temps so no shock happens. As I fill my water transfer container I hold the thermometer in the stream to ensure no sudden changes (flushed toilet!) happen.

Like I said...effort has been put in to say the least lol.

Thanks again I'll move forward with these ideas and instead of replacing the feeder fish that died this morning with another I may see if I can research some 'compatible" fish with the left over feeder and try to convince my daughter to move up the genetic ladder a bit.
 

altermac

Maybe your water is perfect. But there is another issue: Dominant Goldfish release a pheromone or allele that keeps the other goldfish in an aquarium small and can harm them till death.

I had an redcap oranda for about 12 years. We called him/her Hannibal Lector. The first 6 to 8 years we kept the goldfish in a 10G (54 Liter). Thought he might be lonely and added 3 or 4 small goldfish. Water cycled, everything perfect. After 2 month all new goldfish were dead. So we kept him/her solo.

Some years later we moved him to a 30G cube, because he/she was to big for the small tank. We added another five goldfish to the new aquarium. Everything cycled and perfect. Then 4 of the new goldfish died within 2 months. One after another. Only one big black telescope goldfish survived. This pair lived happy for five years in this tank.

All goldfish died without any hint for a disease. Water allways tested at least ok. They changed behaviour, stopped eating and died.

Lessons learned: My guess is, that one goldfish in an aquarium with more goldfish needs at least 10G of water or a steady waterchange to thrive. And a solo goldfish can be very happy in an aquarium.

Edit: This is Hannibal (rip):

DSC_0421.JPG
 

Cherryshrimp420

10g is way too small for goldfish. The bigger the tank the EASIER it is to keep fish.
 

Guyfromthenorth

Made it home after work and the original fish has died. Found him at the top of the tank breathing about every 5-10 seconds but not twitching or swimming. Put it out of its misery and disposed of.

Dipped the tank (master kit won't be here for a week).

Ammonia= 0

GH= between 0 and 50, hard to differentiate the blue sometimes
Nitrite= 0
Nitrate= 25
Chlorine= 0
pH= 7
Alk= 40

Water crystal clear and at a clean 70deg F as usual, bubbler and filter running great.
 

mattgirl

Well shoot, I hate to hear this. I have to think you just didn't get healthy fish to begin with. These little guys appear to have had what should have been a safe home. Once you get the test kit we will have a better idea as to whether or not parameters had anything to do with losing them. I have to think the home you provided for them is much better than what they have lived in before coming home with you.

Once we are sure things are in good shape in the tank you may want to consider a different species of fish. Something other than feeder goldfish might be a better choice. Maybe something like platies or mollies. I think both come in orange if orange is what your little one wants. Should you go this route be sure to get males.
 

Guyfromthenorth

Well shoot, I hate to hear this. I have to think you just didn't get healthy fish to begin with. These little guys appear to have had what should have been a safe home. Once you get the test kit we will have a better idea as to whether or not parameters had anything to do with losing them. I have to think the home you provided for them is much better than what they have lived in before coming home with you.

Once we are sure things are in good shape in the tank you may want to consider a different species of fish. Something other than feeder goldfish might be a better choice. Maybe something like platies or mollies. I think both come in orange if orange is what your little one wants. Should you go this route be sure to get males.
I appreciate that Mattgirl, we are definitely trying our best to make them happy and safe but just can't seem to win. I'll tell her (she comes home tomorrow) that the home we have isn't working out for them and they moved on to a better home. She is still struggling to get over the death of our dog so not exactly looking to give her a shot of reality by telling her that her fish died while she was away.

I was thinking the same thing, get a hearty non-feeder fish that have a good shot. I've seen betta's in shot glasses on walmart shelves and you'd think they would be tough if that's how they are transported. It always seemed mean to me. Only one betta of course IF we go that route. Good to know on the platies\mollies, may consider them as well. First we will wait for the master kit to arrive to make sure that our readings are indeed accurate before we put any more living things in there. Don't want to be reckless and harm animals without the need.
 

mattgirl

A betta for a 10 gallon tank is actually a good idea. I am sure some folks are cringing at my recommendation on platies or mollies since it seems they need a bigger tank. I was just trying to think of orange fish and they are what came to mind.

For now though we want to be sure all is well with the tank before deciding what kind of fish we are going to put in there.
 

Guyfromthenorth

UPDATE: We received the master kit quickly after ordering and it confirmed our readings and that the tank was safe for use. The feeders must have just died because they were fragile genetically speaking.

I took my daughter to the city to pick out a Betta and get some specific decorations (silk flowers and a floating log). She chose a brilliantly red and purple half moon. It doesn't do the little guy justice in the photos. He has the run of the tank and other than doing some weird hide-and-seek now and then he is a great pet and seems happy.

It's funny watching him try and lean up against leaves to "hide", he likes to sneak around. He loves the log and the cave, he even dug down under the coral a bit and manages to squeeze in there randomly. I've been watching the levels the last couple days and everything has remained perfect. We will keep it as just this male for the 10gal tank for the foreseeable future. I've never owned a betta ever, many cichlids and some newts growing up. Now that I've seen how intelligent these little guys are and the personality they carry I almost want to setup a 10gal tank in my own room for one of my own. One tank at a time though lol.
 

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Dunk2

UPDATE: We received the master kit quickly after ordering and it confirmed our readings and that the tank was safe for use. The feeders must have just died because they were fragile genetically speaking.

Awesome news!

I almost want to setup a 10gal tank in my own room for one of my own. One tank at a time though lol.

There’s a diagnosis for that. . . Multiple Tank Syndrome (MTS). A few of us have it. :)
 

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