Help My fish is about to die!!!

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pusenka

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Ok, So I have four gold fish in one 10 gallon tank. (And yes I know its not enough for them, but its all that I have at the moment.) And one of my poor little gold fish (technically he is a black moor) has been acting funny since I got up this morning. He has been breathing slower than normal and just floating at the top of the tank and when he does swim its erratic and sometimes he swims on his side. I started panicking, and ran the entire test kit for the tank. Everything came out normal except for the ammonia which was just a little high. We have been having some problems keeping the ammonia down. Please help, if this one dies then this will be the second one in the past almost month.
 

aaron

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Ok,

First, if you have ammonia then something is up with your bacteria. Did you cycle the tank?

What type of filter are you running?

What size are the goldfish?
 

pusenka

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As far as the cycling, Im not total updated with how to know if its done cycling or not, and the filter is an AQUA-Tech. And as far as the gold fish, they are about an inch long right now. but they are getting bigger.
 

platy ben

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I don't think your tank is cycled From your aquarium info, you have ammonia but no nitrites or nitrates. I would guess your fish are suffering from ammonia water change. I would advise doing a 25% water change right away while you wait for more help.
 

aaron

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I complete cycle will have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite. You will have nitrates. If you have ammonia I bet you also have nitrites. I am willing to bet that this is your problem.

I would do a 25% water change. Check your ammonia level again tomorrow and if it is still present do another 25% change. The ammonia will be tough on your fish, but they may pull through.


Do you have a heater?
 

aaron

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I am about to go to bed, but if you do have a heater make sure it is not turned up to high. Goldfish are a cold water species.

Make sure nothing is slowing down the flow of your filter.

Hope it works out.
 

pusenka

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We just did a water change yesteday, and I havent been using all tap water. I try to use as much Spring water as possible. I read in an artical if you use spring water then thats the best way because its already been cleaned. but i have been trying to get the nitrate and nitrite up. but we do a water change when the ammonia gets to high and it seems like doing that so much makes it harder for the bacteria to grow. we have had the tank for almost a month now and we put in the prime that helps bacteria grow. so im stumped.
 

pusenka

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oh and btw, we dont have a tank heater bc i did read that the little things need to be in cold water. so the tank stays about room temp and in my apt thats about 75
 

aaron

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Doing water changes will slow down the cycling process, but you have no choice when you have fish in the tank. Can you return the fish?

You don't want nitrite or nitrate to be high.

You can use tap water as long as you use a dechlorinator. Chlorine is harmful to fish so if you are not using any type of water conditioner that removes chlorine then that could also kill them. I have never head of using spring water.
 

pusenka

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well the prime that we have removes chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia. it also detoxifies nitrite and nitrate.
 

aaron

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Prime is a great product. I do not think prime removes ammonia, but it does convert the ammonia into a less harmful form.

For a long term plan, all you can do is continue to do water changes. If you can, try to monitor how big of a water change you need to take care of your ammonia. That way you can do the smallest water change possible while still keeping ammonia at bay.

I hope I helped you and sorry about your sick fish.

In the future, please do a fishless cycle. It is much easier and you wont have to go through all the dead fish.
 

pusenka

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lol thanks. and it looks as if ill be doing a water change, yet again.
 

LyndaB

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Ok, So I have four gold fish in one 10 gallon tank. (And yes I know its not enough for them, but its all that I have at the moment.) ...if this one dies then this will be the second one in the past almost month.
Unfortunately, this is going to be a recurring issue. The tank is simply not large enough to support the fish. Think of a St. Bernard dog in a Chihuahua's crate. It doesn't work, right?

You really have no choice here but to return the fish and choose a species that is much more suited for a 10 gallon tank. I'm sorry..... :-\
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

So sorry to hear that your fish aren't feeling up to par. Sadly I have to agree that your tank is a bit over stocked. A good guide line for most Goldfish (other than Commets) is 20 gallons for the first Goldie and 10g's for each additional Goldie. I see that you are aware of this so that's a step in the right direction

For now, I suggest daily water changes 30 to 50%. Add some Prime or Amquel + to detox the ammonia for 24 hours until it's time for the next water change. Keep up with your daily water changes until you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and under 20 nitrates. However, due to the fact that you're overstocked and the fact that Goldfish are huge waste producers getting your tank to cycle correctly could be difficult.

Once you've added the Prime or Amquel + wait 24 hours to test again so that you get a more accurate reading.

I would also recommend that you not use salt.

A couple of links for you:
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/goldfish-care-sheet.167762/
http://www.petgoldfish.net/goldfish-types.html
https://www.fishlore.com/Profiles-Goldfish.htm

Best of luck and please keep us posted.
 

jetajockey

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Welcome to FL pusenka!

Sorry about your circumstances, it is VERY hard, if not impossible, to get the biological filter established in a small tank with a heavy bioload. The problem is that the fish create so much waste that you'll end up doing constant water changes to keep them alive, which really slows down the cycling process. If possible, try to get a larger tank, or return some of the fish. Many fish cannot handle the cycling process and its not uncommon for a fish that has done a fish-in cycle to have issues stemming from high stress levels and exposure to ammonia and nitrites.

I wouldn't bother using spring water since you use prime to condition the water anyway.

Apart from all this, you are doing the best you can, I would suggest a bacteria additive but I don't know if it could get established against the bioload that is currently in the tank. Perhaps get some used gravel or filter media from your LFS?
 

yallyall1

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well... everyone has said what I was going to say... your'e doing well. Try to take them back, if at all possible.

If not...

A (not so) useful fact is that when you lower the PH to 7 or under the ammonia turns to ammonium, which is better for your fish, but don't use the PH lowerers as they are very harsh, so maybe doing a natural PH drop such as adding driftwood...

This might stuff up your cycle so please wait for someone to confirm before trying this.
 

funkman262

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A (not so) useful fact is that when you lower the PH to 7 or under the ammonia turns to ammonium, which is better for your fish, but don't use the PH lowerers as they are very harsh, so maybe doing a natural PH drop such as adding driftwood...
Actually, the ammonium and ammonia concentrations are equal at a pH of about 9.23. Then for every ph drop of 1, the ammonium concentration becomes 10 times that of ammonia. For example, with a total ammonia concentration of 1 ppm at a pH of 9.23, the ammonia and ammonium concentrations are each 0.5. But at a pH of 8.23, the ammonium would be 0.91 and the ammonia would only be 0.09. And at a pH of 7.23 (closer to typical aquarium pH), the ammonium would be 0.991 and the ammonia would only be 0.009. Hope this helps
 

gremlin

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What types of goldfish do you have? What are the exact readings for ammonia, nitrate, nitrite? Any ammonia reading at all is not good and can harm your fishies. Since your tank is so over stocked, and most likely not cycled yet, you may want to consider adding some zeolite to your tank. Zeolite is a white rock that absorbs ammonia. It also is porous enough that it provides extra surface area for the good bacteria to grow. The bacteria can grow and feed right on the zeolite. Drs Foster and Smith sells larger zeolite rocks in their pond section. Look for Pond Rocks in the filter media section. A larger tank would also help the situation immensely. Four fancy goldfish would do well in a 40 gallon tank. That would give them ample room to swim and allow sufficient water volume to handle the bioload.

What type of food are you feeding? If you are feeding flakes, you may want to consider switching to a pellet - either floating or sinking. Since flake food sits on top of the water, the goldfish can suck in air when it sucks in the flake. This can cause digestive problems with fancy goldies since their body shape cramps their innards. The floating pellets, while they do still float at the top of the water, actually float just below the surface of the water. This means that the goldfish can suck in the pellet without sucking in air. Sinking pellets also work well since they drop down into the water. The problem with them is that any extra pellets are harder to find since they are on the bottom of the tank. Floating pellets are easier to remove if the goldies do not eat all of them.
 
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