Help One glofish Tetra now flipping!

JSwen824

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My son wanted fish when he turned five and we got him a small aquarium (he will be eight in a few months). We originally had two glofish Tetras and another type that unexpectedly passed awhile ago. Then we got our newest Tetra, making it the three we have now. They’ve been doing great, yet a few days ago I noticed the greenish one named Freddie Fish was floating upside down; it was like his back fin was pulling him up. I did some reading about swim bladder disease. As a result, I did some cleaning, replacing the water partially, scrubbed the decor, replaced the filter, and began a three day fast. I then tried the whole pea thing but they wanted nothing to do with it. So I fed them the usual flakes in small amounts. Poor Freddie Fish is now flipping around and I just don’t know what to do. I am so sad watching him. Is he suffering? What do I do???
 
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Bloodfeather

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JSwen824 said:
My son wanted fish when he turned five and we got him a small aquarium (he will be eight in a few months). We originally had two glofish Tetras and another type that unexpectedly passed awhile ago. Then we got our newest Tetra, making it the three we have now. They’ve been doing great, yet a few days ago I noticed the greenish one named Freddie Fish was floating upside down; it was like his back fin was pulling him up. I did some reading about swim bladder disease. As a result, I did some cleaning, replacing the water partially, scrubbed the decor, replaced the filter, and began a three day fast. I then tried the whole pea thing but they wanted nothing to do with it. So I fed them the usual flakes in small amounts. Poor Freddie Fish is now flipping around and I just don’t know what to do. I am so sad watching him. Is he suffering? What do I do???
Oooh... Ok, so first-

Never scrub your decor or change the filter!!! That kills your beneficial bacteria and crashes your cycle. Very, very bad for the fish.
 
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JSwen824

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Thank you for replying so quickly. Why do they sell filter cartridge replacements if you aren’t supposed to change them? Aren’t they supposed to help keep the water clean? I am obviously not very knowledgeable. I had goldfish in a bowl as a child and that is about all of my fish experience until now.
 

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JSwen824 said:
Thank you for replying so quickly. Why do they sell filter cartridge replacements if you aren’t supposed to change them? Aren’t they supposed to help keep the water clean? I am obviously not very knowledgeable. I had goldfish in a bowl as a child and that is about all of my fish experience until now.
Of course! I want to help if I can :)

Most of the good bacteria for the tank is kept in the filter. They sell them for when the current filter falls apart, but you are supposed to keep the broken filter floss from the old one in the filter.

Sadly goldfish actually need 40 gallons for only one fish, bowls are not acceptable for anything. Every fish needs a filter and heater. Neither bettas nor goldfish can be kept in bowls; it's a common misconception.

Could you fill this out? It'd help a lot: Fish Emergency Template | 376562 | Freshwater Fish Disease and Fish Health

Also I'd recommend doing some heavy research on the nitrogen cycle. It is crucial to any fishkeeping!
 

FreshwaterHG

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JSwen824 said:
Thank you for replying so quickly. Why do they sell filter cartridge replacements if you aren’t supposed to change them? Aren’t they supposed to help keep the water clean? I am obviously not very knowledgeable. I had goldfish in a bowl as a child and that is about all of my fish experience until now.
Those cartridges are a total scam tbh. They recommend you change them wayyyyy to often, it actually hurts your cycle. You also don’t even have to buy the brand they say you do. The best way to go is to buy your own filter media and when you replace it, only replace half at a time. Since the filter holds a large amount of beneficial bacteria, when you aggressively clean the or remove all the media, it’s also takes away from its ability to keep the cycle going. (Just a little tip, saves money too)
 
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JSwen824

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Bloodfeather said:
Of course! I want to help if I can :)

Most of the good bacteria for the tank is kept in the filter. They sell them for when the current filter falls apart, but you are supposed to keep the broken filter floss from the old one in the filter.

Sadly goldfish actually need 40 gallons for only one fish, bowls are not acceptable for anything. Every fish needs a filter and heater. Neither bettas nor goldfish can be kept in bowls; it's a common misconception.

Could you fill this out? It'd help a lot: Fish Emergency Template | 376562 | Freshwater Fish Disease and Fish Health

Also I'd recommend doing some heavy research on the nitrogen cycle. It is crucial to any fishkeeping!
Tank

I recently did not put back as much water as I read a lower level might be easier for Freddie Fish. The tank has been running since 2017. It has a heater which is working and as mentioned earlier a filter. Water temperature: 78 degrees

Maintenance
I usually add water when I see it gets low and use Tetra Aquasafe each time that I do. I will clean the glass when needed from time to time and rinse some rocks out.

*Parameters - I have none as I have never known there was a need. I’m a bad fish mom.

They are fed twice a day with the TetraMin tropical flakes. Honestly, my son was doing it and I worry he was giving too much so I have taken over.
 

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Bloodfeather

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JSwen824 said:
Tank

I recently did not put back as much water as I read a lower level might be easier for Freddie Fish. The tank has been running since 2017. It has a heater which is working and as mentioned earlier a filter. Water temperature: 78 degrees

Maintenance
I usually add water when I see it gets low and use Tetra Aquasafe each time that I do. I will clean the glass when needed from time to time and rinse some rocks out.

*Parameters - I have none as I have never known there was a need. I’m a bad fish mom.

They are fed twice a day with the TetraMin tropical flakes. Honestly, my son was doing it and I worry he was giving too much so I have taken over.
First- I'd get an API master test kit and test your parameters.
 
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JSwen824

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FreshwaterHG said:
Those cartridges are a total scam tbh. They recommend you change them wayyyyy to often, it actually hurts your cycle. You also don’t even have to buy the brand they say you do. The best way to go is to buy your own filter media and when you replace it, only replace half at a time. Since the filter holds a large amount of beneficial bacteria, when you aggressively clean the or remove all the media, it’s also takes away from its ability to keep the cycle going. (Just a little tip, saves money too)
Thanks for the great information! What do you mean by replace half? Sorry for being so naive.
 

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You're not a bad fish mom-you're reaching out for help which is great.

However, it is vital to know parameters, as others have said. Please fill out the form that Bloodfeather posted-it will help the forum to best help you.

Also know that Tetra fish are prone to disease so there could be a combination of issues. We're here to help.
 
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JSwen824

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CrayfishAreAwesome said:
how big is the tank? 5 gallons? it looks like it that is too small.
I just checked the box It is five gallons. But there are only three small fish.
 

FreshwaterHG

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JSwen824 said:
Thanks for the great information! What do you mean by replace half? Sorry for being so naive.
Sorry this is kinda confusing if you have only ever seen cartridge style filter media. They sell loose media in different forms. Some are like filter pads, foam, or small foam looking prices. Basically if you have a different media, you are able to remove only half of it at a time. Here’s an example of a different type of media you can buy for pretty cheap if you ever wanted to change types. I use a combination of cartridges and loose media in my filters

 
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JSwen824

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Fisheye said:
You're not a bad fish mom-you're reaching out for help which is great.

However, it is vital to know parameters, as others have said. Please fill out the form that Bloodfeather posted-it will help the forum to best help you.

Also know that Tetra fish are prone to disease so there could be a combination of issues. We're here to help.
Oh boy! Thank you for the information. And thank you for being so supportive. I did my best to answer the questions for the template other than the parameters I do not have.
 

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JSwen824 said:
Oh boy! Thank you for the information. And thank you for being so supportive. I did my best to answer the questions for the template other than the parameters I do not have.
API freshwater master test kit is your best bet for testing water. Works the best and it best for the money. For right now, you can take your water to petco or another fish store and they will test for free. Make sure to ask the exact numbers and write it down tho!
 

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FishGirl115 said:
You're fine with stocking IMO
Sorry but I highly disagree! They market glow fish so it seems they can be kept in small tanks but it’s just for the money! Glow fish are no different then any other fish. There is very little you can keep in a 5g. This does not include 3 glow fish. These should be in a 15-20g tank.
 

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FishGirl115 said:
You're fine with stocking IMO
I disagree. Glofish tetras are active, get a good size and can get a bit nippy, keeping them in groups of 6 or more in at least a 20 gallon tank is ideal.
@op, I think you are right in the swim bladder thing, but that could be caused by multiple things. I am no disease expert so I'll step aside for this and let more knowledgable people aid you. Good luck!
 
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JSwen824

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FreshwaterHG said:
API freshwater master test kit is your best bet for testing water. Works the best and it best for the money. For right now, you can take your water to petco or another fish store and they will test for free. Make sure to ask the exact numbers and write it down tho!
Thanks so much! I certainly will become more aware of the parameters. But my thinking is that if the other two fish are okay, is it then unlikely that it’s the water?
 

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JSwen824 said:
Thanks so much! I certainly will become more aware of the parameters. But my thinking is that if the other two fish are okay, is it then unlikely that it’s the water?
It’s possible but there’s really no way to know without testing the water. Often fish survive in bad conditions for a while before displaying symptoms. Long term, I would recommend what others have as well, bigger tank, more fish (since they need to be in groups) and leaning more on the nitrogen cycle :) it’s honestly not too complex and there are lots of resources on YouTube or this forum. It’s also important to note that even if it’s not the cause of this issue, it could lead to other issues in the future.

It does appear like swim bladder to me which isn’t caused from bad water conditions. I’m no expert on diagnosis or treatment so I will leave that to someone else.
 

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