Fish Stressed And I Don’t Know Why?

Taydee

New Member
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Hello!!

I have two small fancy goldfish living in a 40 gallon tank, and both of them are showing signs of stress. I acted by the book and did some water changes but no change. Thinking it could be a PH issue I ran to the pet store and got a water test but everything was completely fine.
Chlorine: 0
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate levels are safe
Total Alkalinity is moderate
Ph is basic (around 7.8, or low– apparently no action is needed? Is that true?)

I was informed that it could be an environment issue so I gave them more plants to hide in. Still no change.

At this point I am at a lost. I’m wondering if it could be a temperature issue? They’re facing a window but the shutters are down most of the time, and they don’t bully each other though I have caught them mating twice this season.

If anyone has any ideas PLEASE help me out here, I don’t know what else it could be, and if there’s anything I could do right now to ease the stress and keep them healthy. As of today they are still eating enthusiastically but they do lie together at the bottom of the take and dart around the tank as well.

OR if I actually did do the right thing how long until I see a change in behaviour?

Thank you!
 

CloudTheFluffy

Valued Member
Messages
164
Reaction score
48
Points
28
Experience
4 years
Do you know what the temp is? Also how long have they been in the tank and was it cycled? can you ask for the exact numbers on Nitrate and nitrite? PH unless it has a swing should be fine.
Do you have a heater? even for colder water fish it's recommend to have a heater to keep the temp consistent. Unless there outdoors.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3

Taydee

New Member
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Points
3
The test said the nitrate was “between 0 and 20” I wish I could be more specific :\

They’ve been in the tank for two years now and I had it cycled a couple of months before they entered.

I don’t have a heater, but just wondering about the “swing” in the ph, is there something that I could do to help them handle that if that’s the case? I’ll also keep an eye out for a water heater as well.
 

Rtessy

Fishlore VIP
Messages
7,090
Reaction score
3,476
Points
448
Experience
4 years
First off, can you please define exatcly what you mean by them showing stress. What exactly are they doing?
Also, is the tank bare bottom? What type of filter? What type of food? Those nitrate levels should be fine, but if you're testing with strips it may be off. I recommend doing a large water change, 40-60%, just to get them some very clean water. Goldfish are pretty hardy, and pH swings really only happen in established tanks if something is added or if kH is 0-1.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #5

Taydee

New Member
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Points
3
They’ve been feeling better than before, slow progress I guess but they’ve been swimming erratically around the tank, and sitting at the bottom of the tank for long periods of time. The substrate is gravel, not small enough to swallow but they can pick it up with their mouths and move around, which they still do. I feed them tetrafin and aqueon goldfish flakes and sometimes I treat them to washed lettuce they share with my two mystery snails. The filter brand is aqua clear I believe? With the spongne and the carbon (just replaced) and the biological filter. I’ll do a water change tomorrow, thanks!
 

CloudTheFluffy

Valued Member
Messages
164
Reaction score
48
Points
28
Experience
4 years
That's weird I would assume a water quality issue but everything seems fine. Well I would continue with the water changes and see if someone who knows more than me responds I'm not to experienced with goldies.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7

Taydee

New Member
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Points
3
That’s what I thought too! The people at the store said it could be the mating since they don’t bully each other whatsoever. They’re pretty much pals!
I’m looking st them right now and they’re swimming like normal but I’m still worried. I get a little neurotic about my babies, they’re still young and I want them around as long as my last ones.
Thank you so much for your opinion though! I really appreciate it! Is there anything I could do to help de-stress them a bit or should I just keep an eye on them?
 

Rtessy

Fishlore VIP
Messages
7,090
Reaction score
3,476
Points
448
Experience
4 years
I'd keep an eye on them, how long have you had them? And when you replaced the carbon, was it one of those cartridges with carbon inside but like floss stuff on the outside?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9

Taydee

New Member
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Yes, and it was rinsed and all of that before I put it in. I’ve had them for about two years now.
 

Rtessy

Fishlore VIP
Messages
7,090
Reaction score
3,476
Points
448
Experience
4 years
Just a friendly suggestion, most of the time it's better to cut out the carbon from the floss as the floss can contain some BB. I'm not saying you lost your cycle or anything, but it's a lot easier IMO to get some 100% nylon stockings and fill those with carbon. It's also easier to make sure you the correct amount for your tank (and it's cheaper lol). Do you have a way to check the temperature? Honestly I get unnerved when fish begin to sit at the bottom (do they normally do that when they sleep?), but I also don't have fancies, and I have heard they sometimes lay on the bottom.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #11

Taydee

New Member
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Points
3
I’ve been looking around for something to check the temperature since my thermometer just broke. Trust me I get unnerved too. They do that when they sleep too but I can see they’ve been off lately. Right now they’re acting normal and they perk up a lot when I’m in the room anyway! I’ll totally try that carbon thing if it works that well, though I might as well note that they were stressed before I changed the carbon, I bought a new box while I was at the store testing the water lol
 

Rtessy

Fishlore VIP
Messages
7,090
Reaction score
3,476
Points
448
Experience
4 years
I'm sorry for the misunderstanding, I really didn't mean the carbon would have caused it, just as a future type of thing. I had something weird going on with my common a while back, if there wasn't a strong filter flow going he would sit on the bottom of the tank, and he had never done that before! It really made tank maintenance tricky. Have there been any environmental changes? I know you mentioned someone else thought of the same thing and you couldn't think of it, but I mean even tiny changes like a slightly decreased bubbler or something. Anything like that?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #13

Taydee

New Member
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Not that I’m aware of, to be honest, I do need a new sponge for the filter but I don’t think that would have anything to do with it. Since I lived away from school I hadn’t been able to check on their water quality as much and when I got back home there was an minor ammonia spike because my family forgot that our automatic fish feeder dispenses way too much food at a time and got my tank pretty gross while they were on a weekend trip but I got that under control really quickly, could such a drastic water change be the issue? I’ve heard mixed opinions about that
 

Rtessy

Fishlore VIP
Messages
7,090
Reaction score
3,476
Points
448
Experience
4 years
A drastic water change could be an issue, but it's generally not an issue for more than a few hours to three days. Was it this past weekend? Also, they're really fine without food for several days, some say two weeks (but I don't want to do that to my babies), but definitely they will be fine without food for 4-5 days. What was the reading for the ammonia spikes? Did you have a nitrite spike after that or no? And what brand and type of testing kit do you use?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #15

Taydee

New Member
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Points
3
About a week ago now, and the reading was about 1.3mg/L, but those levels are at zero now and they showed no red spots of streaks at the time. I used the nutrafin ammonia test kit
And yeah, I wouldn’t have fed them either, they’ve gone five days without food once and they were peachy but maybe a little pissy when I got home lol
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #16

Taydee

New Member
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Hi hello it’s 1:40 am and I have new developments.

Fish were acting lethargic all day, but began perking up in the evening. Now they are wide awake and being loud and.... well, gold-fishy. Basically they had my sleep schedule when I was in college. So. Not only can I not sleep but I’m confused as to what’s going on hahaha
 

DutchAquarium

Well Known Member
Messages
1,331
Reaction score
549
Points
148
Experience
More than 10 years
I guess the easiest way to go is if you post picture of your fish. they might have something that you haven't noticed yet.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom