Feeder goldfish

  1. bubblefish Member Member

    Hello to all,

    I found a good deal on a used acrylic 5 gallon with heater and filter (used) to be used as a hospital tank. I went to pick the tank up last night. When I arrived, the guy had 3 feeder fish in it and hadn't broken down the set up because he had gotten home later than expected. He said it would only take him a few minutes to "get rid" of the fish and dump the water out. He was going to flush the live feeder goldfish down the toilet even though they were still alive. I couldn't stand the thought of this so I asked if I could have them. Needless to say, the water was very dirty and the fish did not look well (breathing rapidly, gasping at the surface, very red gills and a lot of missing scales). I don't know much about goldfish but I want to try to help them, even though they are just feeder fish.

    When I got home, I put them in a small rubermaid tub, cleaned the tank thoroughly, put in new gravel and filter media, put in freash water conditioned with prime and put the fish back in. They do look more comfortable but look really rough. They are eating but not very much. I don't know how to treat the patches where they are missing scales as I don't know what is causing this. Any information and suggestions would be appreciated. They looked a bit better this morning so I guess the clean water has been somewhat helpful so far. I just think that they must be in pain and suffering.
  2. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    It's probably ammonia poisoning and stress, no?

    I know that the 5g is way too small for goldies if you think you are going to keep them. Feeder goldies get huge, and for the 3, you'd need a minimum 40 gallons. do you have a local fish store that would take them once you get them a bit healthier?

    If you decide to keep them, you should read the goldfish care guide.

  3. Tony G. Fishlore VIP Member

    I would put them in the rubbermaid tank instead of the 5g, just because they will have more room, Just transfer the filter and use it in the tub for now. Are you willing to keep them or just untill you find homes for them?

    As far as the scales i would get my hands on some Stresscoat to regenerate them if possible, also some garlic guard or garlic juice to boost their immune system. I would transfer media from your other tanks to the tub so they can have a cycled tank. HOw big is the tub?

    Hope that helps..
  4. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    Hi bubblefish.
    Boy, I'm glad that man was running late and you saved the fish.
    I bet that tank water was pretty high in ammonia.
    Is there anyway you can put them in the 20g and move the fry (depending on how many and how big there are) to the 5g?
    Goldies need more room than that, but it'll be better than the 5g.

    I wonder if they just need some time in nice fresh water? Melafix might help them heal up.

    Best of luck and thank you for saving these fish.

    Edit: Meenu, thanks for the sig!! lol

  5. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    awesome advice! I make my garlic juice by using a jar of minced garlic from my kitchen. I take a bit of garlic from the jarm and just soak it in a little water.
  6. bubblefish Member Member

    I should have added this info at the beginning. The rubbermaid container was pretty small so my priority was to provide them with immediate relief, hence cleaning the 5 gallon and putting them back in. After doing this, I set up the 20 gallon that I upgraded to 55 gallon this past Saturday (listed as tank #2 in my profile). I wanted to have the 20 gallon running 24 hours to stabilize the temp. before putting the goldies in. When I get home tonight, I plan on putting some filter media from my established 55 gallon (listed as tank #1 in my profile) into the filter that is on the 20 gallon and then tranfer the goldies into that.

    As far as keeping them, I definately will if they make it. After seeing what they are going trough right now, I can't bare the thought of this possible happening to them again. Also, if they do survive, they deserve to live and not be fed to a bigger fish. Oh Dear!!! - I'm feeling another 55 gallon tank lurking just around the corner.

    I will try the garlic but am concerned that it may sting or be painful for them. Is there something that could be more soothing for them?
  7. Tony G. Fishlore VIP Member

    the guarlic juice you dip their food in, that way it goes inside them...

  8. bubblefish Member Member

    Thanks Tony, I thought I was putting the juice into the tank water, lol.

    Thanks all for your advice. I hope they make it. They're pretty cute. One is all "goldfish orange", one is a redder orange with white and the third is all white.
  9. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    If they don't like the taste, you can add garlic juice to their tank water.
  10. Tony G. Fishlore VIP Member

    Aww! i love goldies, if i could have them i totally would LOL

    ive been thinking of making my 35g a goldy tank but i am not sure LOL

    Im pretty sure they'll make it. Goldies are really strong, hardy fish, so its very possible :)

  11. bubblefish Member Member

    Lucy, How much garlic juice do I put in the water (20 gallon). Will it sting as it looks like the patches where the scales are missing could be sore. I am surprised that their fins look to be in good shape.

    They are very small, about one and a half inches long. Can they be in the 20 gallon for a month or a bit longer? I would like them to get healthier and stabilize a bit before getting them a 55 gallon tank.
  12. gremlin Well Known Member Member

    Good job on the rescue!

    They should be okay in the 20 gallon for a while (a couple months), just make sure you keep up on the water changes to handle the ammonia. They will eventually need at least a 55 gallon since they can grow quite a bit. The missing scales are probably damage from poor water quality and - if they were feeder fish - possible injuries from larger fish trying to eat them and these three are just the left overs that actually survived. Melafix is great for goldie injuries. It does have a rather pungent odor to it, and it does foam a bit sometimes in the water, but i have not found anything better to treat actual injuries. Since they are still so small, they are probably quite young and should be able to regenerate most (if not all) of their scales. Breathing rapidly, gasping at the surface, very red gills - these are all signs of high ammonia. The fact that their gills are "very red" means that they were probably in bad water conditions for quite a while. This could also cause them to lose scales. Good clean water and melafix. That would be my suggestion. Oh, and pics of them!
  13. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    Just a few drops. I was just pointing out, that you can add it to the tank. Some fish don't like the taste. I've never seen any adverse effects from it.
    Melafix as mentioned above and by Gremlin is great for goldie wounds
    Gremlin knows her goldies!
  14. Tony G. Fishlore VIP Member

    LOL i absolutely agree, gremlin and Joy are great for goldies
  15. bubblefish Member Member

    Thanks Gremlin. They were not injured by larger fish. At first, I wasn't sure why her had them as he was in a small apartment and there were no other tanks around. When I asked what the feeder fish were for, he seemed very agitated and barked that his girlfriend bought "this stuff" about a month ago and didn't take it with her when they broke up 2 weeks ago. It was a little too much info for me but did give me with some perspective on why the little Goldies were not being cared for. He probably had not bothered to clean the tank in the two weeks after she left. Not even convinced they were fed as they are very thin.

    I will go ahead and move them to the 20 gallon tonight. I will pick up some Melafix on the way home and put this in as well. The smell can't possibly be as bad as the smelly water they came in. Anyway, that doesn't matter as long as it helps them.

    I will pick up a new 55 gallon tank and the equipment for it this weekend but will not put them into the 55 gallon until they are looking better.

    I'll have to read up on how to post pics first. Then for sure. They are too cute to not have their pics up somewhere. I sure hope they live - my first and foremost priority.
  16. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

  17. bubblefish Member Member

    Thanks for the info for pics. Let me get them settled down and more comfortable and I will post pics for sure. Thanks All.
  18. bubblefish Member Member

    Oh, I almost forgot. I want to get them some very good food. I didn't have food specific for goldfish so last night I gave them a little daphnia, a few thawed frozen bloodworms and threw in a shrip pellet. Very small amouts of each. They seemed to slowly nibble at all of them. I want to pick up food for them on my way hime when I pick up the Melafix.
  19. gremlin Well Known Member Member

    I suggest a good pellet diet. I prefer floating pellets, but sinking are fine. I order the "big" bag from dr's foster and smith - blue ridge brand floating mini pellets. The float just below the surface of the water so the goldies can nibble at them as they soften, but it is easy to remove any excess.
  20. bubblefish Member Member