Goldfish lethargic, less appetite, white poop, Help


Hello, I posted in the welcome thread not long ago, and was waiting until I had gone through FL to see if anyone else had posted anything that looked similar to my situation. I did not find any post directly in line with what, Rooster (Goldfish) is experiencing, and I am not experienced enough to discern if this is a bigger issue, or not. I would greatly appreciate any help on the matter and will give as many details as I am able to.

What is the water volume of the tank?
55 Gallons; 12918.9 cubic inches
How long has the tank been running?
I do not know the original date it was purchased, but in my care I have had the tank functional since Jan. 8th of 2021.
Does it have a filter?
Yes, I was given filters with it they are Aqua-Tech 20-40 & 30-60 power filter with carbon.
Does it have a heater?
Yes it does.
What is the water temperature?
The tank generally sits at 78, and rarely dips down to 76, or rises up to 80.
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
The original inhabitants were; 1 Pleco, 3 Angels, 1 Goldfish, 1 Gourami, 2 Tetras
After purchase 2 Raph. Cats, and 1 Gourami were added.

How often do you change the water?
Weekly, I make sure I do not miss water-change day.
How much of the water do you change?
10%, want to do more but currently do not have enough water jugs for transport of more than 6 gallons at a time.
What do you use to treat your water?
I have slime coat, Bacteria Supplement, StartZyme, and waste-away. Though I haven't used either product for the tank yet. When we got it, we used a partial of Reverse Osmosis water, and pre-set up tank water from the pet store.
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
Both, though our vacuum does not seem to do as well of a job as I would like on the substrate.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
The tank filtration system has red bio-inserts, the previous owner had sent them over in a cooler (Like for picnics, ice/drinks ect.) and from the time we got it home to the time it was set up the fish were beginning to behave stressed, our smallest Angel even fainted, and gave us a big scare. We put the fish in after getting the temperature of the water up slightly to a more habitable temp. and hoped.. They did fine, and had no issues from then on. After that we did not add new fish immediately, and allowed them to get situated in the tank before introducing new fish friends to allow for the tank to cycle through. Unless I completely misunderstood tank cycling, and if so I am open to understanding, genuinely thought I did so I am hoping I did it right.
What do you use to test the water?
We were given only 1 set of tests, which are to do with pH, and from what we could see without the initial pH card... The pH was in a good parameter, we were not given the card to read the color.
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: .5-1.0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20
pH: 6.2
**I have returned from the pet store, and been advised on two different products for my ammonia, and pH. The products are API proper pH 7.0, and Prime concentrated conditioner.**

How often do you feed your fish?
Twice a day, the previous owner fed three times daily. I have gotten them on a schedule of a morning feed and an evening feed. The bottom feeders are fed usually just once daily.
How much do you feed your fish?
We use flakes, and pellets for the non-bottom feeders. With the flakes, I take a small pinch and spread it out on one side, and repeat the same for the other side. The pellets we use a small plastic spoon and only take enough to cover the very tip of it and do so on both sides. For the bottom feeders we use 1-3 wafers or 1-3 tablets.
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
Tetra Min Tropical Flakes, Tetra Pleco Wafers Algae Enriched, Omega One Color Mini Pellets, and Top Fin Algae Thins.
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?
No, I have thought about bloodworms but was unsure.

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
I have personally had this fish since Jan. 8th of 2021, roughly a month and a few days. I do not know his/her exact age unfortunately.
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
The day of the filter change, the 8th he/she began acting out of character.
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
He/she sitting at the bottom of the tank, less color, erratic swimming, strange look to body (Almost like how dead skin looks on a person, not cracked but shluffy..)
Have you started any treatment for the illness?
We noticed last night the issue with his outer appearance, and decided to remove him into a bowl. I feel terrible about this but I currently do not have a secondary tank we could have placed him in. Our pond outside has other fish, and is currently in hibernation.. The only tank indoors is the one he was in, with other fish.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
The person we obtained him/her from said he was part of a fall celebration where they release hundreds if not thousands of Goldfish into stone ponds for small children to fish out.. So I am unsure of his/her actual age, and if there were any injuries from that, that may be causing problems now or if it is something wrong on my end, or just inevitable.. I do know that they said all the other Golds they had died aside from this one.
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
Yes. Normally Rooster (Fish) acts like a little hooligan in the tank. S/he races about like they own the place, chases others, is just all around very active. But in the last few days has begun hanging towards the bottom, when swimming will suddenly go sideways, or even hit the bottom and make the sand substrate disperse around him/herself.. Not directly as hungry, he/she had a HUGE appetite previously, and would push others out of the way to get to the food..

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)
Rooster (Goldfish) has always been a very active fish, and is currently not as active. Very lethargic if you will.. Appetite is decreased, used to push others out of the way but now eats a bit and then returns to the bottom. We noticed a lack of enthusiasm and energy in the tank and thought perhaps he was just being viewed at times of sleep, but after about 3 days I then noticed a lacking in coloration, he looked pale almost.
Usually he is very shiny, but now looks more dull. Today there is a slight amount of shine. Last night we removed Rooster from the tank in hopes that if it was contagious we would prevent (hopefully!) the other fish from getting ill. I do their water changes on Fridays, and last Friday the 4th, I wanted to vacuum their sand substrate.
So I removed half of the decor in the tank to make it easier to get the tube suction down into the bottom of the tank. I do not know if this caused him stress, but he began acting slightly less energetic after this. Then on Monday the 8th I changed their filters, and he seemed to continue to get worse from then-on with his color change, and lack of appetite. Last night as I mentioned we removed him, the only thing on-hand at the time was a glass bowl (Baking dish quite large for mixing, cleaned before putting him in. We used water from the tank as our tap water is not something we even drink.. It is well water..)
This morning and afternoon he is more shiny, but still slightly dull. He has poo'd but his poo is white/clear? The coating on his outer body looks to have mostly, if not completely come off and it looks like white small flecks in the water now, and one clump that I'm not sure if it combined, or if that truthfully came off of his body. It was not there last night when we put him in the bowl.
Out of worry that he was constipated, I have held off on feeding him, he had 1 feeding yesterday before we noticed he had worsened. Nothing today however.

I am concerned about him, and would appreciate any/all help I can be given and advice if I've done something incorrectly. I genuinely care for my fish, and am new to this. I've tried doing research and feel I'm not getting many answers that feel confident to solve my issue..


Just wanting to update on this incase anyone else has this issue too.
I went to another store today, as the store I went to yesterday did not have any medication for fungal infections. Thankfully, this one did! I was advised on getting Pimafix, and have added that to my tank.

Yesterday after talking to the store associate, we put Rooster (Goldfish) back into the tank as we would then be medicating, and treating the entire tank. Today his activity has returned, though he is still having random moments of strange movement, it has decreased. I have noticed that his tail fin, and Stripey's (Black Veil Tetra) tail fin both look like they may have possible tail-rot? Pimafix says it will also treat that on the bottle. Rooster's joints look less red, and he has been eating better. We were advised against using flakes and have switched to pellets entirely.

We treated for ammonia, and pH and will be getting the water tested again in a week. After our water change tomorrow we are going to start using bacteria supplement too as we got advice that the Reverse Osmosis water probably doesn't have enough.


This is what has been going on with my goldfish! Seriously everything you mentioned I have been experiencing, and in the same order. Did you ever figure out what was wrong?

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