Need Help Making A Decision!

  • #1
So, about two months ago, I bought a 20 gallon fish tank. I set it up and all that stuff, let it run for a couple weeks and waited a while before getting my fish. Maybe it was about a couple of weeks that I waited since I had travelling to do and did not want to leave my fish alone right away. But when I thought it was the right time, I bought two Oranda goldfish from a petco. I was a relatively new fish owner and really wanted to care for these fish. I did not discover until the next day that the "random white spots" all over their body was actually ich. After water treatment, the smaller fish died within about a week to the parasite and the slightly bigger one survived. Mind you, these fish were somewhere from about half a year to a year old. After a couple of safe days, this second fish started to get black spots on the edges of its fins. I could not figure out what was wrong with the fish. I tested the water and everything was perfectly normal. After some vigorous googling, I determined it was ammonia burns. This was confusing to me, though, because the ammonia strips said that there was no ammonia in the water. I started reading more on the bottle and discovered that the bottle that I had purchased along with the fish, not even two weeks ago, WAS VERY EXPIRED. I was very upset with this, as my fish was dying, and since it was night time, decided I would go the next day to get an ammonia buffer and new strips. The fish did not make it for my mom to come home from work the next day to take me back to the pet store. This left me very upset for quite a while, as I was excited to watch my new pets grow.

Now, almost a month later, still terrified from this experience, I am still interested in owning orandas. I can not determine whether this would be a good decision or not. Since then, I have done a little more research and feel that I have learned from this past experience and may be able to successfully own goldfish.

This is where I need help... I am not sure where to get my fish from to make sure they aren't given to me with parasites and/or disease. I was reading about getting fish on ebay... is that a good option? Does anyone have success stories with that? Would you recommend going back to a petstore, maybe a different location or a Petsmart instead? Please, any and all opinions or tips would help, thanks.
  • #2
1st I don’t think you cycled your tank as you didn’t mention how and if you did.
PetSmart is generally about the worst place. Not sure where you live but check around for a local owned store. I bought fish from the Ifish store, and was really happy.
  • #3
!. You need to fishless cycle your tank before adding fish!
2. You need to invest in liquid test kits, those strips ar not reliable. Salifirt has good testers, you will need nitrate, ammonia, and nitrate. Any pet store will test your ph for free, and your ph won't change unless you change your sorce water " faucet water"
3. 2 or more orandos would be best in a larger tank a 30 gallon would be bare minimum, I wouldnt do less then a 48 inch long tank such as a 40 gallon breeder, or a 55 gallon tank.
4. You can buyfish online if you want to, but shipping is very expensive. You should be able to find a more dedicated fish only store to find goldfish.
5. Your 20 gallon tank would be best for a small community tank. consider a school of tetra and a dwarf gourami.
  • #4
I agree with the above. I think PetSmart has some kind of warranty on the fish. Hopefully you got your money back.
  • #5
Buying fish from petsmart is fine. Just be sure to observe them well before buying them. Petsmart isn't any worse than any other place in my opinion. It probably didn't help your tank wasn't cycled either. That can stress your fish and cause all sorts of problems.

Sounds like you just started off on the wrong foot is all. Read read and read more about keeping tanks and ask questions. Its s learning process
  • #6
Hello and welcome! I too am new here and to fishkeeping. Don't get discouraged. Like me you did nothing wrong, you simply were given poor or not enough information like I was. The bottle says add fish today! Sadly I learned and am still learning that's not so much the case. Information is key we now know that. Also the people you get that information from is key. What brought me to this forum was simply objectivity. The members of this forum have no need to care about us....they don't know us. What they do care about is the health and welfare of fish, fishkeeping, and perpetuating and growing the hobby they love. Some of these members have been doing this their whole life. I believe this is the perfect place for the information we need as novices. I am sure the only thing they would ever ask of us is to pass on what we learn from them in an ethical manner.

Good luck and I look forward to reading how you make out now that you will be better equipped and more experienced!

  • #7
So you set your tankup. Left the filter ruining a few and added fish. First just letting it run didn't cycle it but that's not the end of the world. Your fish produced ammonia and basic my poisoned the water. Well and got ich. Good news is this whole time after adding fish your tank has started its cycle. How far along it is I don't know but testing will tell you that. You can either finish your cycle by adding pure ammonia and doing it fish less or adding back fish and test your water with water changes as needed to keep the water safe.

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