Goldfish Laying On Gravel

  • #1
Hi, my brother just bought me a telescope eyed goldfish for my graduation and I've been learning more and more about the rules of fish care and such and soforth. When he bought me the fish he got me a bowl but I quickly learned that was unhealthy and moved my little Olive Juice to a ten gallon tank. However, I went to visit my other brother for three days and while I was gone my mother didn't feed my fish. When I returned he had a red blotch on his back which I learned was a bacterial infection. I went to the fish store and asked them what to do and they gave me freshwater salt, medicine, and new filter cartridges. I changed all the water that I could from his tank, cleaned the gravel, and gave him his dose of medicine and salt. Today I'm on the third stage of medicine and I notice his little red blotch is getting better, however, I also notice he spends a lot of time laying like on the gravel. First he was just floating really low but now it's like he won't even try.

I was reading online and people were saying to change the water but with the medicine cycle, I can't change all the water for another three days. Is he just worn out from being sick with the bacterial infection?

Anytime I come to the tank he gets active again, and he always swims to the top when I put food in. I'm just worried my poor little Olive Juice is gonna die and I've only had him for, like, three months. Can you help me know what's wrong?
  • #2
Is the water you provided your fish dechlorinated? Did you cycle your tank before introducing your fish?
  • #3
Did you change the filter cartridge and put in the new one the store gave you? If you did not yet, do NOT do it. If you did, this is likely part of your problem. The filter is where beneficial bacteria live, and stores and filter manufacturers want you to change filter cartridges, but this actually gets rid of the beneficial nitrifying bacteria. Do you know about the nitrogen cycle? If not, the words should have a link, follow the link and read about it.

Do you have a test kit such as the API freshwater master test kit? If so, what are your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate/pH levels?

If you did mess up your cycle by changing the filter, and you cannot change water due to medicines, at least buy Prime which is a water conditioner which detoxifies ammonia and nitrites for 24 hours, and for now just add the right amount for the entire volume of your tank every 24 hours, and as soon as your medicine is completed, start doing daily water changes. If I were you I would do daily water changes as soon as you can, even if your cycle is ok - daily water changes are very beneficial to sick fish.

Finally, did you take out the carbon part of your filter cartridge while medicating? Many medicines will not be as effective if active carbon is in filter. Which medicine are you using?

Good luck!
  • #4
Welcome to FishLore!!
I'm sorry your goldie isn't well.

Good suggestions from the above members.

Good luck
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I have put the conditioner drops in the water every time I add new water, even after it sits for several days. And I did not change nor remove the cartridge. The lady who sold me the medicine told me not to change it until after I was finished with all the dosages. The medicine I'm using is called E.M. Erythromycin.

I started reading about this nitrogen cycle and I guess that might be the problem? Because I'm probably around the second month of owning this tank. I let the tank sit for 24 hours before I put my fish in, however, if this is the case that doesn't matter. Is there anyway of saving him or is he just going to die? Because if he's gonna die I want to prepare myself for it lol

I do not have a test kit. I actually didn't really know I needed one until I started reading things online when Olive Juice got sick. Unfortunately I don't really have the money to get one. Are they expensive?

And finally, I did not remove anything from my filter when I started medicating. Is "carbon" the white spongie thing? And if so, should I remove it? I really believe that the medicine is doing it's job because Olive Juice's red blotch is going away and healing over. He just doesn't swim anymore and I'm assuming that's a different issue.
  • #6
Don't remove the white sponge ever. Well, ok, don't remove it unless it is falling apart. That's where your nitrifying bacteria live in the sponge. Carbon is likely inside the sponge embedded in it. It is black rock hard carbon. However, if you think the medicine is working, I would not worry about removing it now if I were you.

If you have any way to get Prime water conditioner (the specific name "Prime") this conditioner will detoxify ammonia and nitrites for 25 hours. You can add this conditioner even if you are not doing a water change while you are medicating, and then if you add it every 24 hours if you have ammonia or nitrites your fish will be safe from them.

Once your medicine finishes, start daily water changes every day until your fish gets better.

Frankly if you have had the tank for two months chances are high that it already cycled. However, you may be experiencing a mini-cycle which is if ammonia and or nitrites occur for a while even once the tank is cycled. I would strongly recommend that you do try to get a test kit because then you will know when you have ammonia or nitrites, and will know that you need to protect your fish from them. Also if your fish continues to act sick and yet the test results show that the water is fine, then this would be a clue to look for other causes. If you cannot afford to buy a test kit, take some of your water in a plastic bag to a local fish or local pet store, and ask them whether they can test the water for you. Most pet stores in the US do this for free. Once you know your test results of your water, post them on fishlore and people can help you further.

All the best!
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Okay I'm gonna see if I can get to the store tomorrow and take some of my water with me to get it tested. Thanks for all your help!
  • #8
One good lesson to learn from this, and that everyone has to learn sooner or later, is not to trust advice from a pet store. More often than not, they steer you wrong. That's what forums full of people experienced in keeping whatever it is you keep are for! Best of luck in saving your fish.
  • #9
Also, I would be sure to ask for the specific values of the water tests. Sometimes they'll just say the water is "good," but their definition of "good" isn't exactly always accurate.

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