Help! Goldfish in bottom corner of tank!

Angrytabby

Hi all, super super newbie here so I appreciate your patience with me. I’m really upset so I hope I answered everything alright.


Tank
What is the water volume of the tank
? 10 gal (I know, but when we bought the tank the associate at the pet store said that was the smallest possible size and we didn’t know any better)
How long has the tank been running? 2 months
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? I’m not sure. It’s the Aqueon tank?
What is the water temperature? It said 75 but my husband said it wasn’t working (it was the stick on kind)
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) it’s just two small goldfish won at a county fair. They’re approx 3 inches.

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?
Weekly
How much of the water do you change? 10%
What do you use to treat your water? Tetra aqua safe plus.
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
Yes we vacuum the gravel

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? No, didn’t know this was a thing but we’ve had the fish for 2 months and they were fine.
What do you use to test the water? Api liquid kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
pH: 7.0

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?
1-2x a day
How much do you feed your fish? A couple of flakes consumed in less than 2 min
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Tetra goldfish flakes
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
2 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Today, when I got home this evening
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
one of my goldfish is on the bottom of the tank in the corner and has not moved. He’s breathing/moving his mouth but not swimming. Have you started any treatment for the illness? No
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No they were fine until today
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? They were happy and active fish and after last night one appears to be sick or dying. The other one seems ok but concerned about the other as he keeps hovering over him.

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)


Ok, so up until today the fish were doing great. Swimming, eating, etc Our only issue was that our aquarium was growing brown algae on the surface of the walls and on the ornaments inside the tank. From my googling I learned it was probably from our tap water. We were treating the tap with Aquasafe plus. So since people said it was from the tap and to switch to RO water we did that. Before changing the water we tested it with the liquid API kit and everything was safe except for slightly high ammonia. It was around .25 ppm but it was due for a tank change That night anyway. Ok so here’s where things probably went wrong. Instead of gradually changing the water to ROmy husband dumped the entire tank, including all the old gravel and hosed the tank down before adding new gravel and the RO water. I told him not to do this as we’d be getting rid of the beneficial bacteria but he basically yelled at me and told me the fish would be fine. At this time he also replaced the filter. He said you needed to put a new one in every month. I wasn’t sure about just rinsing it in the aquarium water rather than just opening a brand new one.
So during these water changes and cleaning the fish were kept in a small bowl before being returned to the tank once filled. This took a couple hours. We had a thermometer but my husband said it didn’t work and threw it away. It was the stick on kind. It read 75. The RO water comes out of the tank at room temperature so we didn’t think the temp was a problem.
So the sculptures and ornaments that were in the tank were thrown out even though I said we could just use the scrubber and rinse it off before replacing the tank. So the fish basically went back to an empty tank with new gravel one new freshwater plant I just bought at Petsmart. Anyway I don’t know what went wrong. The test Readings were all perfect.
One fish is clearly unwell and possibly dying and I don’t know what my husband did here.
I know the tank is small for two fish but these were won at a fair so we didn’t have time to cycle a new tank and I also didn’t know you had to do that. The pet store associate didn’t tell us anything like that so we were pretty ignorant when we first won them but they were doing well for 2 months until now and the switch to RO.
Help!
 

Broggy

Hi all, super super newbie here so I appreciate your patience with me. I’m really upset so I hope I answered everything alright.


Tank
What is the water volume of the tank
? 10 gal (I know, but when we bought the tank the associate at the pet store said that was the smallest possible size and we didn’t know any better)
How long has the tank been running? 2 months
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? I’m not sure. It’s the Aqueon tank?
What is the water temperature? It said 75 but my husband said it wasn’t working (it was the stick on kind)
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) it’s just two small goldfish won at a county fair. They’re approx 3 inches.

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?
Weekly
How much of the water do you change? 10%
What do you use to treat your water? Tetra aqua safe plus.
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
Yes we vacuum the gravel

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? No, didn’t know this was a thing but we’ve had the fish for 2 months and they were fine.
What do you use to test the water? Api liquid kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
pH: 7.0

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?
1-2x a day
How much do you feed your fish? A couple of flakes consumed in less than 2 min
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Tetra goldfish flakes
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
2 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Today, when I got home this evening
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
one of my goldfish is on the bottom of the tank in the corner and has not moved. He’s breathing/moving his mouth but not swimming. Have you started any treatment for the illness? No
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No they were fine until today
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? They were happy and active fish and after last night one appears to be sick or dying. The other one seems ok but concerned about the other as he keeps hovering over him.

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)

Ok, so up until today the fish were doing great. Swimming, eating, etc Our only issue was that our aquarium was growing brown algae on the surface of the walls and on the ornaments inside the tank. From my googling I learned it was probably from our tap water. We were treating the tap with Aquasafe plus. So since people said it was from the tap and to switch to RO water we did that. Before changing the water we tested it with the liquid API kit and everything was safe except for slightly high ammonia. It was around .25 ppm but it was due for a tank change That night anyway. Ok so here’s where things probably went wrong. Instead of gradually changing the water to ROmy husband dumped the entire tank, including all the old gravel and hosed the tank down before adding new gravel and the RO water. I told him not to do this as we’d be getting rid of the beneficial bacteria but he basically yelled at me and told me the fish would be fine. At this time he also replaced the filter. He said you needed to put a new one in every month. I wasn’t sure about just rinsing it in the aquarium water rather than just opening a brand new one.
So during these water changes and cleaning the fish were kept in a small bowl before being returned to the tank once filled. This took a couple hours. We had a thermometer but my husband said it didn’t work and threw it away. It was the stick on kind. It read 75. The RO water comes out of the tank at room temperature so we didn’t think the temp was a problem.
So the sculptures and ornaments that were in the tank were thrown out even though I said we could just use the scrubber and rinse it off before replacing the tank. So the fish basically went back to an empty tank with new gravel one new freshwater plant I just bought at Petsmart. Anyway I don’t know what went wrong. The test Readings were all perfect.
One fish is clearly unwell and possibly dying and I don’t know what my husband did here.
I know the tank is small for two fish but these were won at a fair so we didn’t have time to cycle a new tank and I also didn’t know you had to do that. The pet store associate didn’t tell us anything like that so we were pretty ignorant when we first won them but they were doing well for 2 months until now and the switch to RO.
Help!
welcome to fishlore!

first I would like to say, an ro system was not necessary. they can be useful, and I wish I had one lol, but for a beginner aquarist it kind of complicates things. an RO system removes everything from water. all hardness, metals everything. while removing some bad stuff, it removes the good things like calcium and hardness in general. you can buy aquarium powders that add necessary elements like seachem equilibrium

so, the brown algae, I hate that stuff. it comes from silicates in the water, which a little could be coming from the tap, but substrate, depending on the kind you have, can have lots of silicates, causing brown algae. I read the whole paragraph, but it was kind of a blur, so if you want me to touch on something else, feel free to ask.

as for the goldfish. the tank is not cycled and you have said you have never heard of cycling. try not to let this overwhelm you, it kind of did for me at first, but it is very simple.
when fish poop, the poop introduces ammonia to the water, and if the ammonia gets high, the fish die. ammonia is very toxic. eventually nitrite naturally comes along, and eats ammonia. nitrite is toxic. eventually nitrate develops and eats nitrite. nitrate is not as toxic as ammonia and nitrite, and can be removed with water changes weekly. 10 to 40 ppm of nitrate is healthy. because the tank is not cycled, the goldfish could be suffering from water quality Fish In Nitrogen Cycle Simplified | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 414083 read this :D
 
Upvote 0

NevermindIgnoreMe

Hi all, super super newbie here so I appreciate your patience with me. I’m really upset so I hope I answered everything alright.


Tank
What is the water volume of the tank
? 10 gal (I know, but when we bought the tank the associate at the pet store said that was the smallest possible size and we didn’t know any better)
How long has the tank been running? 2 months
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? I’m not sure. It’s the Aqueon tank?
What is the water temperature? It said 75 but my husband said it wasn’t working (it was the stick on kind)
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) it’s just two small goldfish won at a county fair. They’re approx 3 inches.

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?
Weekly
How much of the water do you change? 10%
What do you use to treat your water? Tetra aqua safe plus.
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
Yes we vacuum the gravel

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? No, didn’t know this was a thing but we’ve had the fish for 2 months and they were fine.
What do you use to test the water? Api liquid kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
pH: 7.0

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?
1-2x a day
How much do you feed your fish? A couple of flakes consumed in less than 2 min
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Tetra goldfish flakes
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
2 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Today, when I got home this evening
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
one of my goldfish is on the bottom of the tank in the corner and has not moved. He’s breathing/moving his mouth but not swimming. Have you started any treatment for the illness? No
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No they were fine until today
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? They were happy and active fish and after last night one appears to be sick or dying. The other one seems ok but concerned about the other as he keeps hovering over him.

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)

Ok, so up until today the fish were doing great. Swimming, eating, etc Our only issue was that our aquarium was growing brown algae on the surface of the walls and on the ornaments inside the tank. From my googling I learned it was probably from our tap water. We were treating the tap with Aquasafe plus. So since people said it was from the tap and to switch to RO water we did that. Before changing the water we tested it with the liquid API kit and everything was safe except for slightly high ammonia. It was around .25 ppm but it was due for a tank change That night anyway. Ok so here’s where things probably went wrong. Instead of gradually changing the water to ROmy husband dumped the entire tank, including all the old gravel and hosed the tank down before adding new gravel and the RO water. I told him not to do this as we’d be getting rid of the beneficial bacteria but he basically yelled at me and told me the fish would be fine. At this time he also replaced the filter. He said you needed to put a new one in every month. I wasn’t sure about just rinsing it in the aquarium water rather than just opening a brand new one.
So during these water changes and cleaning the fish were kept in a small bowl before being returned to the tank once filled. This took a couple hours. We had a thermometer but my husband said it didn’t work and threw it away. It was the stick on kind. It read 75. The RO water comes out of the tank at room temperature so we didn’t think the temp was a problem.
So the sculptures and ornaments that were in the tank were thrown out even though I said we could just use the scrubber and rinse it off before replacing the tank. So the fish basically went back to an empty tank with new gravel one new freshwater plant I just bought at Petsmart. Anyway I don’t know what went wrong. The test Readings were all perfect.
One fish is clearly unwell and possibly dying and I don’t know what my husband did here.
I know the tank is small for two fish but these were won at a fair so we didn’t have time to cycle a new tank and I also didn’t know you had to do that. The pet store associate didn’t tell us anything like that so we were pretty ignorant when we first won them but they were doing well for 2 months until now and the switch to RO.
Help!
Yep, your husband definitely should have listened to you, as he just trashed most of your beneficial bacteria, because it lives mainly in the substrate and filter. Make sure to keep testing, and do a water change by only taking out half the water and replacing it with dechlorinated water, you don't need to do anything else. Do a water change every time you get results for ammonia or nitrite. Do NOT replace the filter media unless it's literally falling apart. If it's dirty, squeeze/rinse it out in old tankwater, that's all you need to do.

Try and calmly explain to your husband that the bacteria that makes it possible for the fish to live in an aquarium has to live on the filter media, and the surfaces of the aquarium, and replacing the media or substrate means taking out a lot of that good bacteria, and without it, the fish will only poison themselves and die. Have him read this if you need to, or just ask him to research it online so maybe he'll realize how he can do better next time. You could also point out that the fish are clearly not fine, though that may be a bit more petty.

It's not necessary to use RO water, tap is fine usually. The brown stuff is diatom, it's common in new tanks. You can just scrub it off.
Do you have any more questions?
 
Upvote 0

Angrytabby

welcome to fishlore!

first I would like to say, an ro system was not necessary. they can be useful, and I wish I had one lol, but for a beginner aquarist it kind of complicates things. an RO system removes everything from water. all hardness, metals everything. while removing some bad stuff, it removes the good things like calcium and hardness in general. you can buy aquarium powders that add necessary elements like seachem equilibrium

so, the brown algae, I hate that stuff. it comes from silicates in the water, which a little could be coming from the tap, but substrate, depending on the kind you have, can have lots of silicates, causing brown algae. I read the whole paragraph, but it was kind of a blur, so if you want me to touch on something else, feel free to ask.

as for the goldfish. the tank is not cycled and you have said you have never heard of cycling. try not to let this overwhelm you, it kind of did for me at first, but it is very simple.
when fish poop, the poop introduces ammonia to the water, and if the ammonia gets high, the fish die. ammonia is very toxic. eventually nitrite naturally comes along, and eats ammonia. nitrite is toxic. eventually nitrate develops and eats nitrite. nitrate is not as toxic as ammonia and nitrite, and can be removed with water changes weekly. 10 to 40 ppm of nitrate is healthy. because the tank is not cycled, the goldfish could be suffering from water quality Fish In Nitrogen Cycle Simplified | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 414083 read this :D

thank you for your comment! We didn’t cycle when we first got the tank because I didn’t know that was a thing but just fed them lightly. They were fine for two months that we had them. The tank had established itself by then I guess.

I think the problem was wjth the water change abs getting rid of their gravel, filter and tank ornaments. I’m pretty sure they’re gonna die now and I feel horrible.
 
Upvote 0

Angrytabby

Yep, your husband definitely should have listened to you, as he just trashed most of your beneficial bacteria, because it lives mainly in the substrate and filter. Make sure to keep testing, and do a water change by only taking out half the water and replacing it with dechlorinated water, you don't need to do anything else. Do a water change every time you get results for ammonia or nitrite. Do NOT replace the filter media unless it's literally falling apart. If it's dirty, squeeze/rinse it out in old tankwater, that's all you need to do.

Try and calmly explain to your husband that the bacteria that makes it possible for the fish to live in an aquarium has to live on the filter media, and the surfaces of the aquarium, and replacing the media or substrate means taking out a lot of that good bacteria, and without it, the fish will only poison themselves and die. Have him read this if you need to, or just ask him to research it online so maybe he'll realize how he can do better next time. You could also point out that the fish are clearly not fine, though that may be a bit more petty.

It's not necessary to use RO water, tap is fine usually. The brown stuff is diatom, it's common in new tanks. You can just scrub it off.
Do you have any more questions?

thank you somuch. I just feel horrible that this happened. Sure I learned a lot but I feel terrible that the fish had to die because of it.
Both of them are now looking very badly and one got stuck to the filter. This is not looking good.

thank you for the info about the substrate causing the Silica build up. I didn’t even consider this. There’s so much info about aquarium life that yoy end up getting everyone’s opinions without much fact behind it. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me.
 
Upvote 0

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