Noob to Freshwater Fish - fish seem to be devoloping fin rot

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Mantisdreamz, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. MantisdreamzNew MemberMember

    Hi guys

    So I have a 10 gallon tank, with 3 small goldfish. I've had them for about 2 months.

    The filters were just recently changed, and my boyfriend added a half cap full of Nutrafin Cycle and some tap water (that we let sit for a day or so).

    Since then, 2 of the fish seemed to have developed a bit of fin rot.

    One of them (Nami) developed it first, and was swimming around with her upper fin down, not looking so great. She seems to have gotten a bit better. Her upper fin is back up and she's looking relatively normal, except for the fact that one of her fins still looks haggard.

    The other goldfish, (Fizz), seems to have caught (?) it. And one of his fins is haggard right down to the base. He's been swimming around the top in circles. Upper fin is down. He doesn't seem to be improving.

    We bought some testers, and tested the pH last night. It was at 6.7. Apparently this is relatively normal? Perhaps on the acidic side? <- Would love to get some advice on this.

    We also tested the ammonia levels, and they were literally at zero.

    So, reading about - I see that the main cause of fin rot is poor water quality. But if the pH is relatively normal, and the ammonia is not excessive.. what is going on?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Could it be that the Nutrafin Cycle should never have been added?

    Thanks in advance

  2. MantisdreamzNew MemberMember

    I should also add, that our 3rd goldfish (Count Blacula), has been perfectly fine. He's chubby and swims around like everything is just peachy.

    The other day, he was acting a bit funny and was floating around in a vertical manner. But that cleared up within a day.

    So it's odd that the other 2 are having issues.

  3. charlie93New MemberMember

    You say you changed both the filters? This could have definitely caused it, do you know about the nitrogen cycle? It's not advised to change your filters, essentially you're throwing away all your beneficial bacteria. Filters only really need to be swished around in some old tank water to remove larger debris.

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  4. charlie93New MemberMember

    I don't keep goldfish but I also believe that they recommend larger than a 10, more like a 30.

    Sent from my GT-I9500 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app

  5. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!

    I'm sorry to have to tell you that you will continue having problems in that tank. Goldfish really need a much larger tank. The rule of thumb for fancy goldfish (i.e. Black Moore's, Fantails) is 20 gallons for the first fish and 10 gallons for every additional fish. But if you have comets or commons than those really grow too large to keep in a home aquarium and really should be in a pond.

    Are you aware of the nitrogen cycle? If not click the words in post #2 and you will be taken to an article about it.

    Also, what test kit are you using? If it is test strips I highly recommend getting an API Liquid based test kit. Test strips are notorious for being inaccurate.

    The Nutrifin Cycle should not have caused any problems. But Cycle does not have a very good reputation for actually working over. It contains the bacteria that converts ammonia into nitrite and the bacteria that converts nitrite into nitrates, but it is not a self sustaing bacteria and will die off after a week or so, leaving you with no bacteria to process ammonia & nitrite.

    As for going forward, make sure the tank is cycled, but I would recommend some daily 50% water changes (be sure to use a dechlorinator to remove and chlorine or chloramines from the water as well as any heavy metals) until the fish are looking better.

    Best of luck and feel free to ask any additional questions you may have.
  6. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to fishlore!
    As stated, that tank is too small for them. Fancies can get up to 10 inches long.....
    Which brings me to the 20 gallons for one, 10 gallons for additional rule. Imo, a 20g is not big enough for a 6-10 inch fish, I would go 40 gallons minimum for one.

    Like jdhef said, what test kit are you using?

    What is the nitrite and nitrate levels? (depending on what test kit you're using)

    And yeah, read up on the nitrogen cycle.
  7. VulpesValued MemberMember

    IMO,RECOMMENDED stocking for FANCY goldfish is 20 gallons for each fish,and MINIMUM is 15 gallons for each fish.So for 3 fancy goldfish I would get a 55+ gallon tank.But well,this is my opinion :).
  8. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    A 15g is not enough room for a 6-10 inch fish, neither is a 20.
  9. MantisdreamzNew MemberMember

    Maybe that is what caused it then. I actually did swish around the filters, though, in tap water. But then decided to just change them.

    Here is the power filter I am using:

    It takes 3 slim filter cartridges. Even on the package for the filters (Marina), it says replace every 2-4 weeks! bah! But ya, I suppose I shouldn't have changed all of them at once.

    I do know of the nitrogen cycle.. still kind of learning it though.

    Do you think there could be a fix for the fin rot, in the meantime? Or do I just wait it out.

    I went out and bought: Kordon, Rid Fungus (disease treatment):

    Haven't used it yet. And not sure if I will. But this was unfortunately, the only thing that looked relevant to buy at the pet store I went to.

    (Just previewed my post, apologies for the excessively large photos :I )

    I also suppose I will have to get a larger tank? Kinda , the person at the pet store said something like 1 gallon per 1 inch of fish. :I

    He said that 3 goldfish would be fine.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2015
  10. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Going by the inch per gallon rule that tank would be overstocked.
    But anyways, never follow the inch per gallon rule, it's rubbish. :(
    And I wouldn't listen to the pet store, they're just trying to sell you stuff.
    What are your water parameters?
  11. MantisdreamzNew MemberMember

    By the way, thanks for all the responses.

    So the test kit I am using is the NutraFin tests, for both Ammonia & pH. It's where you have to take a syringe of water, add some drops and then compare the color to the color chart (that they supply). Not cheap stuff, as I've discovered!

    I don't have a test for Nitrates though. Got one of those, and the package was faulty so I had to take it back, and there were no others available at the moment.

    Do you guys think that the Nitrate test is super necessary, above and beyond having the Ammonia & pH tests?

    I'm glad to hear that the Nutrafin cycle probably didn't cause the problems. I am now wondering if I should add some more to the tank, given what charlie93 mentioned - in that by changing all the filters, I might have caused a (severe) beneficial bacteria reduction.

    K, I will try the 50% water changes. I have a water conditioner... seems like it's 1 cap to 38 litres ?! Seems so little of an amount to have any sort of effect.


    I have 1 possibly very dumb question. Does anyone use jugs bottled/natural water, instead of tap water?

    Just out of curiosity, I tested my tap water, and it's a pH of 7.4! Seems too alkaline?

    I also tested the bottled water - it was right at a pH of 7.0

    I wonder if I should just use the bottled water?

    Yea, maybe he didn't really know.

    I suppose by parameters, it's @ 6.7 ph, and 0 ammonia.

    In my last post, I asked if it was necessary to test nitrates, given that I already know the ammonia & ph levels.

    Thanks for your help : )

    also, read the nitrogen cycle. I see that the Nitrate kit is necessary now. In order to determine when water changes are necessary.

    Does anyone use live plants to limit the nitrates?

    I also apologize if I'm asking seriously dumb questions :p

    I wondered about the bottled jug water, because if my tap water is soo much different in ph level to my tank water, i would imagine the drastic change could be harmful
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2015
  12. VulpesValued MemberMember

    Noooooooo,I meant in terms of bioload,a fancy goldfish would need atleast 15 gallons of water,so that the water would not get too polluted.I'm not saying a 15 or 20 can house 1 goldfish permanently.They need ALOT more space than that.
  13. MantisdreamzNew MemberMember

    for now, the goldfish (all 3 of them) are 1 inch long.
  14. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    In terms of bioload, a fancy goldfish would need much more than 15 gallons, they are very messy and have a huge bioload...

    Keep in mind when buying fish and a tank, that you have to buy a tank size appropriate for the ADULT size of the fish and then some. It's better to be understocked in a bigger tank than the other way around.
  15. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Yes, what are the nitrites and the nitrate levels? Also, sorry if I missed it, what test kit are you using?
    And no problem for the help. There are no dumb questions. :)
  16. MantisdreamzNew MemberMember

    Not sure what the nitrate levels are.

    Is putting my tap water at a ph of 7.4 detrimental to my tank which is at 6.7 ?
  17. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    What test kit are you using, again? Test strips or liquid tests?
  18. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Seems the OP is using NutraFin test kit, never really heard of it but from what I'm discerning, its not as good as the API since its missing nitrates..
  19. MantisdreamzNew MemberMember

    The test kit is NutraFin

    ph was w/ bromothymol blue drops
    and ammonia was w/ mercury iodine drops
  20. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Have you let the tap water sit 24 hours before testing it OP? If not, try that and see if you get a different pH reading out of the tap.

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