Common Goldfish Issues?

Discussion in 'Goldfish' started by Iricas16, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. Iricas16New MemberMember

    We currently have one yellow common goldfish named Becky Lightening. We're keeping her in a 10 gallon tank as of now, even though I know we should get a bigger tank. (How big do you think the tank should be for one common goldfish?) We previously had her and 2 other common goldfish in a pond, but we've had to remove the pond because of it leaking water into our basement. The two other fish who were with her in the tank died. Recently, the edges of her tail have turned black and started to rot, her fins have gotten red streaks in them, and she has asmall red sore on her body. She also tends to "clench" her top fin to her body instead of letting it fan out. I've noticed her darting around the tank as well, sometimes it's when we walk by the tank. When we clean the poop out of the tank, we've found scales that must've come off of her. We recently got a bigger filter, one made for a 20 gallon tank to make up for the small size and to put more oxygen into the tank. However, She's been going to the top corner of the tank and looks like she's gasping for breath even though we got a larger filter. We currently are doing 2 25% water changes every week (Sunday and Wednesday), along with cleaning the poop out of the tank at least once a day and feeding her pellet food twice a day (6-7 pieces). We condition the tap water with Aqua Safe Plus before we put it in the tank, make sure it's not too hot/cold, and we've recently started adding Prime to the new water to remove chlorine/chloramine/ammonia. We then pour the water in the tank. In order to help get rid of thesore and redness in her tail, we used the API Furan-2 to treat bacterial fish disease. (We have seen some improvement in the redness of her tail and the sore has gotten smaller). We have also used the API pH Down in the past to lower the pH as it's pretty high, although it didn't work very well. We use the Jungle 5-N-1 Test Strips to test the water, we try to test the water once a week or once every 2 weeks, and the water parameters are:

    Nitrate: Safe (around 10-20)
    Nitrite: Safe (0)
    Total Hardness: Very soft (around 0-25)
    Total Alkalinity: High (300)
    pH: Alkaline (8.4)

    If you could please explain why she is getting sick so badly, I'd appreciate it. Also, if you could give any product recommendations for some of our water issues that would be great. Any other tips or critiques to our care of Becky and her tank would be so helpful. It might help to know that when we first got the tank (almost 2 years ago), we didn't properly cycle the water and just followed the instructions that came with our tank. (Bad, I know, but we didn't know any better). I don't want to have to relocate her because I'm not sure where we would take her, so I hope we can fix these issues. Thank you image3.JPGimage2 (1).JPGimage1.JPG
    (The water may look a little cloudy/yellow because of the API Furan-2 treatment we recently put in).

  2. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember


    Sorry to hear you are having issues. Your goldfish is unwell. She needs to be in a tank of at least 30 gallons with filtration rated for double that. (No matter what size tank she's upgraded to she needs twice the amount of suggested filtration, goldfish dirty water quickly.) I'd get two beefier filters and run them in parallel.

    The gasping for air can be a sign that you need more aeration, in which case a bubble wand or airstone may be the solution. She may also be in distress because she is fighting an infection. Clean water will help as much or more so than antibiotics, although it sounds as if she needs both.

    I would suggest moving her to the biggest tank you have room for a 30 certainly, but depending on her size, maybe even a 55 gallon. Fortunately, Petco is currently running their Dollar per Gallon event, which means the tank at least, won't set you back too much.

    Get her moved in using her old filter in tandem with whatever new filter you buy. This will effectively instant cycle your tank, giving you a jump on the nitrogen cycle process.

    Be sure to continue to treat your water with Prime, it's important to dechlorinate. But you should consider using a liquid test kit like the API Master Test kit, because it's far more accurate than strips.

    You should be changing much more than 25% of the water. I'd do 50 or 60, some might go as high as 75 % given the current situation.

    Any word in blue is a hyperlink. Click to go to a page with more in depth information.

    Good luck, and welcome to the forum.

  3. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    If she's a common, she'll eventually need a pond. Even a 55 gal is way too small for her.

  4. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    True. But you have to fix the immediate problem which is how to get this fish back on her fins. Suggesting the OP dig a new pond isn't going to do that.
  5. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    I wasn't doing that. I was just commenting that eventually, in order to be healthy, the fish will need a pond. We're talking about the fish's health on this thread, and eventually the fish will need a pond to be healthy, as a 55 is too small for a permanent tank.

    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  6. maggie thecatWell Known MemberMember

    Fair enough, it was a misunderstanding on my part.
  7. Iricas16New MemberMember

    Sadly, I don't think we're going to be able to dig up another pond. However, if she does end up outgrowing her tank I can try to find someone with a pond that would take her.
  8. Iricas16New MemberMember

    We're definitely going to get the API Master Test Kit. I'll have to wait to get the tank and another filter until I can save up enough money to do so, but I'll get a tank that's at least 30 gallons, if not more. Do you have any idea as to why she's getting black around the edges of her fins? Lately she's also been leaning side to side and sitting at the bottom of the tank, do you know what is causing that? Also, do you have any product recommendations for fixing the hardness and alkalinity of the water? We will also start doing larger water changes, around 50%. Thank you for your help.
  9. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to the forum :)

    Daily large water changes with Prime are the best thing for your fish right now. This will also help with the fin rot she seems to have. The issues you are seeing are due to being in an uncycled tank, exposed to toxic ammonia levels.

    Don't try to fix the pH because if it's really 8.4, then it's fine as many people keep fish at that pH. And I wouldn't use pH down anymore. A fluctuating pH will be more harmful. It's better just to keep it stable since most fish can adapt to it.

    She will start getting much too big for that tank so hopefully you can find someone with a pond before more health issues arise. It will be a challenge alone keeping water parameters stable.
  10. Iricas16New MemberMember

    Okay we will start with the water changes and continue with the Prime. Lately she's been leaning to one side in the tank and I've noticed when she starts to swim she almost tips over to one side completely? Sometimes she'll even completely twist around as she's swimming. Do you think this could be swim bladder disease or something else?
  11. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    I'm not sure about the swimming issue. Maybe someone else can chime in on that.
  12. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Hi, welcome to fishlore :;hi2

    The black around the edges of her fins is from ammonia burns and actually indicates healing. Eventually if you keep the ammonia down it will go away.

    She appears to be a common goldfish and though they can get to be up to a foot long I want to concentrate on her health right now. I'd recommend getting a 20-30g tank for her. This will be enough for a year or two depending on her growth size and will give you time to figure out if there will be an appropriate home you can give her to or if a pond is an option again.

    With a 10g you'd be having to do 25-50% water changes every single day to keep her safe so I would recommend upgrading as soon as possible.

    Make sure to move her current filter over to the new tank as it holds any nitrifying bacteria which you need to keep and keeps her safe. Do you have an ammonia test? I'd also pick up the API fresh water master test kit when you get the new tank to keep an accurate measurement of her water. I'd also recommend picking up a bottle of Seachem Stability which has the bacteria needed to seed your filter.

    Follow this formula to keep her safe and to finish cycling the tank if it hasn't finished cycling. You'll need to test her water daily until you're sure the filter is cycled.

    If ammonia + nitrites is less than 1.0 == dose prime for the full volume of the tank, add in stability and re-check in 24 hours.
    If ammonia + nitrites is 1.0 or greater == do a very large water change, 50-75%, dose prime for the full volume of the tank, add in stability and re-check in 24 hours.

    Are you on a water softener at your house? I am wondering with your GH of 0 and your high alkalinity. There should be a bypass valve on it you can use to just use your "regular" hard water. She won't live long in water that soft. If you don't have a bypass valve I highly recommend Seachem Replenish which is a liquid mineral supplement and will increase the general hardness that you're currently lacking.
  13. Iricas16New MemberMember

    Thank you for all of this information! I will be sure to get an ammonia test kit as soon as possible, along with the Seachem products. Should we use the Seachem Stability in our current tank until we can get a new one? Is it okay to use Stability while the fish is in the tank? Also, will the blackness around her fins totally go away if we keep using the Prime and keep the ammonia levels down? I think we do have a water softener, but I will find out for sure and see if we have access to the regular hard water. I have a feeling she is also showing symptoms of swim bladder disease. Sometimes she will turn in circles, she basically does a barrel roll. Also, she'll just be floating and she will start tipping over to either side. She's also getting some redness around her mouth. We treated the water with Jungle Fungus Clear fizz tabs after treating it with the API Furan-2 to see if it would help. Do you have any clue what this could be and what would help?
  14. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    Yes you can use stability while cycling, that is what it is good for.

    I'd recommend the API Master Liquid Test Kit which has all the tests you need including ammonia.

    The blackness around her fins will totally go away as she heals.

    "Usually" common goldfish don't have swim bladder problems so make sure you're not over feeding her. Sometimes a shelled pea cooked in a microwave helps if they're constipated.

    The best thing you can do for her is lots of water changes, upgrade her tank (and take her filter with her to the new tank), keep ammonia and nitrites below 1.0 and dose prime once a day.

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