I can't figure out the reason for my fish bottom sitting?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by jacquemarie, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. jacquemarie

    jacquemarieNew MemberMember

    Tank stats:
    20G Long
    200gph filter
    no air pump
    no heater
    usual range 65-70 deg F (fluctuates throughout day)

    1in of large rock, undyed, as bottom
    2 decors that they can hide in
    4 plastic plants for additional cover/decoration

    Test Readings (done with API liquid tests):
    8.0 PH (how can I lower it to 7.5?)
    0.25 ppm Ammonia
    0 ppm nitrite
    10-20 ppm nitrate

    1 common goldfish (won from a fair)
    1 Comet goldfish (store bought)

    Diet: They are fed twice a day, and only for a minute each time. First time is at 6:30AM, second is anytime between 5-10pm (depending on my work schedule). They are also fed in separate areas of the tank to make sure they don't miss out on food.
    SUN AM - soaked goldfish flakes (Tetrafin), generally one pinch per fish
    SUN PM - freeze-dried shrimp (omega one) , cut & soaked for easy eating

    MON AM - soaked small pellets (omega one), ~3-5 per fish
    MON PM - earthworm on a stick (generally bought from store, and i wash them in a sample of tank water before i feed them), only as much as they can eat in 1min. i made sure that they don't get close to the stick and hurt themselves with it

    TUES AM - blanched spinach (fresh), generally about my thumbsize is torn off and they eat about half of it each within the minute
    TUES PM - shrimp again

    WED AM - treat time! very small amounts of strawberry, they love it!
    WED PM - bloodworms

    THURS AM - Flakes again
    THURS PM - lettuce, or whatever vegetable I happen to have on hand

    FRI AM - Pellets again
    FRI PM - 1-2 peas per fish, depending on the size of the pea. they are frozen peas. i boil them for quick thawing, and until they are almost mush. peel off skin, cut in half, and feed it to them

    SAT - skip

    All food is soaked in a separate cup of tank water prior to feeding

    I didn't know about the tank cycling before I put goldfish in. I've had them for about a week or so and they've been extremely active, following each other around the tank (not "flashing" though, mainly just gliding). The love each others company and never stay on separate sides of the tank for long. Lately, my common goldfish has been sitting on the bottom of the tank and barely moving all day, except when you feed him. He'll get active when and after you feed him, and he'll swim around for an hour or so before he goes back in his little hiding spot and just lays on ground. I know the tank is a little small, but so are they and I am moving in a month, so I didn't really want to get a huge tank that we would have trouble moving. We are planning on getting a large tank before they get bigger.

    Skipper (the common goldfish) doesn't have any of the physical symptoms of ick or anything of that matter. He still has a super bright colour, no distortion to his normal body frame, no lines, spots, etc. The one thing I did notice is he would clamp his fins from time to time as he was laying on the ground.

    I did a 30% water change a few hours ago, and ever since he has been his usual self. I use Prime for a dechlorinator+. Do you think the water needed to be changed, or is it something else that is wrong with him?

    I'm just scared he will go back to bottom sitting and I won't know what's wrong and he'll die.
  2. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    20 gallons is just way too small for 1 goldfish, let alone 2 goldfish. The fish are probably sitting at the bottom from ammonia poisoning. Has your tank been cycled?
  3. OP

    jacquemarieNew MemberMember

    Only one of them is bottom sitting, the other is completely fine. The 20G tank is temporary until I move in a month. They are only about 1-2in in length. As I said, I didn't know about cycling it, but I have been testing it and so far the only levels that have been crazy is the PH, which is at 8.0 when it should be 7.5 but I can't figure out how to lower it.
  4. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    I would not mess with the pH, it's not a smart thing to do and could lead to a pH crash. Most tank-raised fish will adapt to the pH of the tank, unlike most wild-caught specimens, then you have a problem. You should get a bottle of Seachem Stability to help you establish the bio-filter faster as you already have fish in the tank :eek: At that size, they should be ok for now, but eventually you'll need at least 55 gallons or so to accomodate both fish.
  5. flamesofchaos83

    flamesofchaos83New MemberMember

    1 gold fish in a 20 gal is fine lol. That's almost like your saying to have no fish.....

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2015
  6. AquaticBrandon

    AquaticBrandonWell Known MemberMember

    Not true, he has a comet and a common goldfish which get huge and need a very large tank or a pond

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2015
  7. junebug

    junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Common and Comet goldfish grow over a foot long... they are too big for your tank with too high of bioloads. Generally torpedo bodied goldies require ponds in order to remain healthy.

    One may be hardier than the other, one may be more affected by the ammonia that's likely present in the water.
  8. OP

    jacquemarieNew MemberMember

    @: Pet store had mentioned Seachem Stability to me, but I was weary of their advice considering they keep 20-30 fish in a tiny tank day in and day out. I will try it, thanks for the advice! We are planning on getting the 55G or maybe even bigger, depending on if we want another goldfish or anything.

    @flames: I have 2 gold fish, and the general rule of thumb is 20g for the first first and 10G per each additional fish, so really they should be in a 30G tank at minimum, though a 40-55G tank would be more forgiving
  9. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Ok my suggestion of a 55 gallon should be scrapped if they grow over a foot long, you're gonna want at least a 120 gallon tank, if not more.
  10. AquaticBrandon

    AquaticBrandonWell Known MemberMember

    That rule I think applies for fancy goldfish.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  11. delta5

    delta5Well Known MemberMember

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  12. ClearEyes

    ClearEyesWell Known MemberMember

    Don't go by what the store stocks in their tank sizes. Those fish are only going to be there for a week or two tops before they get sold. Their tanks are generally grossly overstocked. Long term, most fish will grow.
  13. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Yea... I saw a 6" common pleco in a 20 gallon at a fish store one time...
  14. flamesofchaos83

    flamesofchaos83New MemberMember

    Some only want a small goldfish or two in a tank so I don't see what's wrong with keeping them small... Most are feeder fish anyway so I guess it's a better life as opposed to that ha ha

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  15. delta5

    delta5Well Known MemberMember

    Unless you plan on eating an animal, it's best to treat them like a pet or don't get one at all.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  16. junebug

    junebugFishlore LegendMember

    They don't "stay small." They get stunted from poor water quality, suffer deformities from not having enough room to exercise, and die of kidney and liver failure at extremely young ages. The myth that fish only grow to the size of a tank is just that - a myth. They "only grow to the size of the tank" because they die prematurely.

    Goldies, particularly torpedo shaped goldies, live just about as long as humans. Keeping one in a small tank for 5 years is not a success, it's a failure, and it's animal cruelty.

    The rule of 20 for the first, 10 for additional goldies applies strictly to fancy goldfish. Commons and comets need large ponds. End of story. They get too large to keep in tanks unless it's just for a few months to over-winter them. Then they go back to the pond.
  17. flamesofchaos83

    flamesofchaos83New MemberMember

    Well I'm talking keeping them long enough to upgrade I wouldn't recommend keeping a 6 inch goldfish in a 20 gallon tank, I'm talking about small ones and not many, once they get big than throw them in bigger tank

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2015
  18. smee82

    smee82Fishlore VIPMember

    Advice has been given its the OPs choice if they want to listen. simple.
  19. pugletfan

    pugletfanWell Known MemberMember

    The tricky thing about keeping fish in a tank that they will outgrow is that they will get stunted in the small tank. This means that the outside of the fish will grow slowly but it's insides will grow quickly. This is very painful for the fish and bad for its health. That's why it's bad for the fish to keep it in a small tank.
  20. junebug

    junebugFishlore LegendMember

    That's not the way it works. By the time they outgrow the tank, they're already having health problems that we can't see. A perfect example is an Oscar. A lot of people keep baby oscars in 10 or 20 gallon tanks, and (hopefully) at some point upgrade them to a 75 or 100 gallon tank. By the time those Oscars are full grown, they've reached a grand total of 8-10 inches. Now, take that same baby Oscar and never let him see a tank smaller than 55 gallons and he'll easily reach a foot long.

    The same thing applies to all fish that need big tanks as adults. If you keep them in a small tank as babies and upgrade them after they outgrow it, they inevitably end up with issues. The one that we can see with the naked eye is their adult size. But remember that a fish that's smaller as an adult than it should be, still likely has a kidney, liver, and probably heart, the size they'd be if he reached his full length and breadth.