Goldfish Rescue = What would you do?

Lucy
  • #1
I will be rescuing a goldfish from a neighbor. (Tomorrow, I hope)
Right now he (she?) is in a hex 5 gal...2 silk plants and a castle thing and some gravel, no filter. (I will be taking all of it)

This is what I was told...this fish has been in this tank for about a month with no water changes.
The only thing added was fresh start when the fish was put in.
The water is so dirty, you can barely see the poor thing.

I will be putting him by himself in a 10 gal with a filter, which I filled this morning added water conditioner and an algae wafer.
Given his current living conditions, I want to put him in the bigger tank when I get him home. (Good idea or bad?)

My questions are:

1) If I transfer the gravel, plants and castle into the 10 gallon, will the beneficial bacteria be preserved?

2) Should I add some of his existing water to the new tank so the bacteria has ammonia to feed on? (the ammonia in his tank must be off the chart)

I just want to make this tranfer as soon as possible.
 
♥ashley♥
  • #2
to tell you the truth I think it woudl be a good idea to put the old gravel in the new tank just for a while until your tank is cycled, also some of the yucky water should be added to the clean water.

i'm surprised the gold fish lived in those conditions, it must be a good strong fish.

good luck with your new fish
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #3
A goldfish will outgrow a 10 gallon tank within this year, if not 6 months.

My opinion:

You SHOULD NOT add the water from the old tank to the new tank, it would be better to cycle slowly and do a waterchange every few days than to add that water and raise your ammonia levels. Your goal will be to keep ammonia levels as near 0 as you can, not add ammonia to the tank.

If you rinse the gravel with clean, treated, tap water then put it in the 10 gallon the beneficial bacteria should be just fine and will do your cycling for you, so just keep the waterchanged and you should be fine for a couple of months. The goldfish will grow fast though.
 
♥ashley♥
  • #4
oh, I have always added water from the previous fish tank to the new tanks so that way it isn't so hard on them
 
Butterfly
  • #5
oh, I have always added water from the previous fish tank to the new tanks so that way it isn't so hard on them
There isn't a lot of beneficial bacteria in tank water but I understand what your saying about changing fish over to fresh water gradually. but in this case sounds like the water is too nasty to have even a little of it used.
Carol
 
♥ashley♥
  • #6
oh, I guess you learn something new every day
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #7
We all do. Its best to learn the easy way on here rather than from adversity in the tank, though.
 
Butterfly
  • #8
oh, I guess you learn something new every day
I'm always learning new things
Carol
 
Lucy
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Great, thank you, it's just what I needed to know.
Yeah, I wasn't planning on bringing a goldfish home, but I feel so sorry for it. I figured, at least for a little while, it's better than he's got. I'm going to find someone with a bigger tank that can take it.
And yes, he must be a tough little guy, maybe I'll call him Rocky! LOL
Uh oh, did the just show my age??
.
Ya'll are the best! Thank you so much.
 
0morrokh
  • #10
What size tank can you get for him? A 20long would probably be good. Good luck with the rescue and I hope he recovers well from his mistreatment.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #11
I would acclimate him to the new tank and be treating all tap water with Prime to protect him during the cycling.

I would transfer the gravel, plants and castle by filling a large container with treated tap water and "swishing" the stuff around in it to clean it. You could get more thorough with the plants and castle, most of the good bacteria will be on the gravel.

The only water that I would transfer over is the water used to acclimate him to the new tank. There is a VERY small amount of good bacteria in the water, but the nitrifying bacteria are drawn to surfaces to colonize. That's why most of the bacteria in cycled tanks is in filter media and substrata - the most amount of surface area and easiest to colonize.

A 10 gallon is a step up for the goldie, great job rescuing him and hopefully you can move him to a 20 gallon before too long.. which will leave you with a 10 gallon that needs fish in it.
 
Lucy
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Well, little goldy made the big move tonight. He looks pretty stressed out, so after putting him in the 10gal. I turned off the lights, so he could rest.
I was kind of hoping to see him swimming about happily after getting out of that nasty tank he was in, but oh well, maybe tomorrow he will feel better.
He is kind of cute, I'm going to hate to have to give him up. Thanks for your help, wish us luck.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #13
Good luck with the little guy. He may need a few days to get used to things and realize he's living better, but I'm sure he'll be a happy goldie when he does.
 
Lucy
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
I know this is an old thread, but with all the goldie questions, I thought I'd bring everyone who helped me up to date.

Rocky is a great fish, it didn't take him long to start swimming happily around the 10g. I never included this is my aquarium info because technically, he is in my daughters tank.

This spring he will be moving into a friend's goldfish pond. When the weather starts getting cold again he will winter inside in a 55 gallon with 2 other goldies from the pond I'm gonna miss the little guy.

One of my friend's goldies is 15yrs old So I know he will be well taken care of.

Thanks again for everyone's help.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #15
Always glad to hear good news - sounds like Rocky's going to be enjoying his winter/summer home arrangement.
 
Blub
  • #16
Well, little goldy made the big move tonight. He looks pretty stressed out, so after putting him in the 10gal. I turned off the lights, so he could rest.
I was kind of hoping to see him swimming about happily after getting out of that nasty tank he was in, but oh well, maybe tomorrow he will feel better.
He is kind of cute, I'm going to hate to have to give him up. Thanks for your help, wish us luck.
Hi!

Good luck! I have to convince my Grandma that 2 Fantail golds, 4 Zebra danios and 2 CAE's can't live in a 7.5gal together! She's had them together for 18 months - I'm surprised they're still alive! The things we do for other people's fish... Sounds like Rocky's going to have a good life here on in!

 
Biscato33
  • #17
Yay for Rocky! I know you wish you could keep him, but at least he will have a good, new home! ;D
 
TheFishGirl
  • #18
On my local Craigslist this horrid sight came up :


IMG_2572.JPG

There are 3 goldfish (single tails, 1 shubunkin, 2 common) in this acclaimed 40 gallon tank. Personally it doesn't look like a 40 gallon. In the replied email the person said they have had the goldfish since October and I think it's safe to assume they haven't touched the tank since.


08c43bb605d41c3830d6804b9a6401c1.jpg

The "40" gallon and the fish and everything else is $50 — In the ad the person admits they don't want to clean up their mess that's why it's a cheap sale — cheap but if I can talk my parents into letting me get these little guys I only want the fish and their filter not another tank. If anything these little guys could be a good placement in the stock tank pond I want to do outside this summer; except part of me doubts the health of these goldfish I mean look at that water! Though I feel terrible for them at the same time ... should I take the gamble and pick up these neglected little Goldie's?
 
juanortez
  • #19
I'd say buy the whole thing lol. Fix up the tank and all and keep the goldfish in there for a bit until you have a proper size for them and then put them in the pond during summer
 
CROWNTAILBETTA
  • #20
I saw a similar ad yesterday of two 14'' Oscars in a 40-50 gallon. I wanted so badly to rescue them, (especially since they were free but I live to far away. However if you have the space/funds maybe you should rescue these goldfish.
 
Jennywren
  • #21
I know the tank is too small for them, but I just want to point out that that green water itself is not a problem, in fact some people work hard to maintain it! It's also possible that accumulated nitrates have lowered the pH enough to keep ammonia in check. If the owner is doing no maintenance though, it's a bad situation. I'm sure you could give them a better life.
 
Mcasella
  • #22
I would go for it, but I also have a tub pond for my goldies that they could go in after health checks .
It wouldn't hurt them any to stay in it a short time before stock tank, but they surely need rescues plus you could sell the tank after you get it to recoup costs?
 
juanortez
  • #23
It wouldn't hurt them any to stay in it a short time before stock tank, but they surely need rescues plus you could sell the tank after you get it to recoup costs?

That's the direction I was going for lol. I think it's a good idea to do it this way since the Goldie's will be in that tank temporarily
 
TheFishGirl
  • #24
True to all of your suggestions about getting the tank too - except this person lives on a second floor and already said, pretty much, that he/she won't help you take anything apart or empty the tank or even help you bring it downstairs ... I really don't know why they bothered to get fish in the first place lol

I saw a similar ad yesterday of two 14'' Oscars in a 40-50 gallon. I wanted so badly to rescue them, (especially since they were free but I live to far away. However if you have the space/funds maybe you should rescue these goldfish.
14 inches!!!!! Holy cow! I didn't think they got over 12
 
CROWNTAILBETTA
  • #25
the ad also included a 30 gallon with a clown knife fish. Edit: take a look.
 
TheFishGirl
  • #26
the ad also included a 30 gallon with a clown knife fish. Edit: take a look.
WOW those Oscar's are HUGE!! My aunt had 2, years and years ago in a 75 gallon and that pair didn't even get that big
 
CROWNTAILBETTA
  • #27
Yeah I am trying to convince my mom to rescue these fish but I will probably have to pay for the gasoline to get there.
 
TheFishGirl
  • #28
Yeah I am trying to convince my mom to rescue these fish but I will probably have to pay for the gasoline to get there.
You should sooooo do it!
 
Anorea
  • #29
Go for it! I say any fish who survived no maintenance for months is a hardy fish that wants to live!
 
BottomDweller
  • #30
I think you should get them! I recently rescued 4 common goldfish that had been kept in a 5 gallon tank.
 
Anorea
  • #31
I think you should get them! I recently rescued 4 common goldfish that had been kept in a 5 gallon tank.
Aww, poor babies!
Thanks for rescuing them!
 
Kittysparks
  • #32
Hey guys! Sooo I have rescued goldfish. Here are the details:
2 goldfish, no idea what type I'm yet to research.
3 year old tank, probably about 15 litres.
Never had a water change.
0.25 ammonia
0.00 nitrite
160 nitrates (darkest colour)
Sponge filter, no details so I don't know how many litres an hour. Never been rinsed.
They have been fed exclusively flakes.
The fish other than gasping at top due to probably no oxygen have no signs of disease.

Long term plan is to make sure they are healthy and I've found somebody with a pond who is willing to take them in.

What I've done so far:
I had to take half water out so we could drive them home. Could not vac the water out so the amount of waste floating around is horrifying. I replaced the water with dechlorinated water. I've moved the filter up to create surface agitation. I've kept all gravel/substrate/gunk on sides in there and have not dared to rinse filter as I imagine it's packed with good bn.

My plan: Perform daily water changes. Once the nitrates are under control, transfer them to a big plastic container. Make sure they are disease free. Release them into a pond once this is complete.

My questions:
how much water per day should I change up? I will begin vacuuming it out as of tomorrow.
What shall I feed them and how often? I was thinking peas and blood worm as I'm sure they are fed up of flakes.
When should I dare rinse the filter in old tank water?
How would I know if they are in shock?
Is there anything else I should do? I have melafix and was wondering whether I should chuck some in.
 
Floundering_Around
  • #33
I'll try to go in order of your questions to minimize confusion. IMO...
1. I would do daily changes of 10-25% so you don't throw off whatever balance is in the tank. Definitely gravel vac as much as possible to get that filth out
2. Some frozen food or even freeze dried would be great to get them some high quality protein and help them heal
3. When you do a water change, let the waste from the tank settle in a bucket if you could and squeeze the sponge out in the water, swirling it around. NEVER use chlorinated or untreated water! Using the old tank water will keep the cycle and bacteria going.
4. If you've moved the filter up to get some more agitation and the fish are still gasping at the surface, that would obviously a good sign. Not quite sure what to do about this but turn of the lights for a little bit and keep the water clean
5. IMO doing a three day treatment with melafix shouldn't hurt anything. Maybe put a little aquarium salt in there as well to help with the slime coat and electrolytes
Hope this helped!
 
Cranks_Tanks
  • #34
Step 1: Prime. You want to detoxify that ammonia, especially in such a small tank. If you can, get them in anything bigger. 15 liters is quite small and goldfish are very dirty. Even a rubbermade storage tub would be better than that tank. Just move the filter over.

I would be doing no less than 50% water changes for a couple weeks. There's really no need for medication unless you think they are sick. They will be just fine on flakes but you might want to get them used to new food if you want to put them in a pond that doesn't get fed daily. They will more than likely find stuff to eat in a pond regardless but it can be a tough transition for a fish that has only known one food its whole life.
 
BottomDweller
  • #35
I have done a very similar thing a few times now. I rescued to goldfish yesterday that were in water that had 0.5 ammonia and 160+ nitrates.

Firstly do very small water changes (like 10-15%) for the first few days to a week. You do not want to lower the nitrates too fast. You can gradually increase the amount of water you are changing. After the nitrates are below 20 you can do much larger water changes

Usually rescue goldfish have just been fed flakes their whole life. It may take them a while to recognize some foods as food, like algae wafers, however they usually take to frozen bloodworms quickly.

You can rinse the filter media immediately. If you have a spare filter then I would run that as well, they often come with inadequate filters.

My plan: Perform daily water changes. Once the nitrates are under control, transfer them to a big plastic container.
Why wait until nitrates are under control?
I put them straight into a storage bin. You can usually get 60-80 litre ones pretty cheap. Make sure t is food safe.
 
Floundering_Around
  • #36
Kittysparks how big are the goldfish currently? Didn't see it in the thread, might have missed it though
 
Kittysparks
  • #37
I have done a very similar thing a few times now. I rescued to goldfish yesterday that were in water that had 0.5 ammonia and 160+ nitrates. Firstly do very small water changes (like 10-15%) for the first few days to a week. You do not want to lower the nitrates too fast. You can gradually increase the amount of water you are changing. After the nitrates are below 20 you can do much larger water changes Usually rescue goldfish have just been fed flakes their whole life. It may take them a while to recognize some foods as food, like algae wafers, however they usually take to frozen bloodworms quickly. You can rinse the filter media immediately. If you have a spare filter then I would run that as well, they often come with inadequate filters. Why wait until nitrates are under control? I put them straight into a storage bin. You can usually get 60-80 litre ones pretty cheap. Make sure t is food safe.

Sorry some reason the website wouldn't let me write anything, just got the app.
I was worried about putting them straight into a storage tank in case it shocked them with the massive dilution of nitrates that would occur. Are you saying this wouldn't be an issue? My spare filter is currently running on my qt tank so cannot use it so what they have at the moment is all they have.
I believe one of them is a comet fish and one is a common. The common is about 2 inches and the comet is about 4.
They are no longer gasping at the surface.
 
BottomDweller
  • #38
I would put all their current water in the storage box with them so there wouldn't be a difference in nitrates. If the water isn't deep enough you may have to add a little new water then over a day or two you can slowly add more clean water to fill the tank.
 
Kittysparks
  • #39
As the tank they are in is only 15 litres by the time it's spread out the bottom of the storage box I got it would probably be only an inch high, so I'd have to add a considerable amount of clean water and that's what concerns me. I don't know if the poor fish could handle it all at once. I was concerned doing the 50% change today but it looks ok. Do you know when you just don't want to push your luck! They have never ever had fresh water and they have been in that tank for 3 years! You can barely see through the tank it's brown and everything is covered in slime.
On a good note they ate the blood worm straight away. I will ask the man who will be taking them in what he feeds his pond and try to get them used to that type of food so they don't starve in their new home.
I'm trying my best to not get attached to them. It's hard.
 
Floundering_Around
  • #40
Those poor things. :inpain: depending on the size of the waste in the tank, you could probably take a fish net, stir up the substrate, and scoop what you can out with the net.
 

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