Sleeping or something worse?

Becca Stephens

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Hello all!

I have two common goldfish in a 42gal tank. I will have had them for 3 years next month. One of them, Orange Juice, has been hanging out in one specific part of the tank. He kind of sits on the bottom of the tank behind a piece of decor. He comes out when I feed them and eats normally and swims around picking at the rocks at the bottom for awhile after feeding. He isn't stuck in that spot in the tank at all and he leaves and swims around the tank maybe every 10 minutes. He does not appear to have anything wrong with him other than this strange behavior. I noticed him doing it for the first time about 2 weeks ago. He just sits and moves his eyes and every so often opens and closes his mouth. He moves his fins to readjust if he starts to drift a little. Ricardo, my other fish has not done this and has continued to act normally.

Does this seem like normal behavior or does it signal that something is wrong? Is it just his favorite place to hang out? I'm a little worried so I've been increasing the water changes but to no avail. Last week they were both exhibiting some strange behavior and some issues with their slime coat. I believe there was a bit of an ammonia spike and the levels have now been controlled. Do you think Orange Juice may just be pouting still from the ammonia spike?

Thank you in advance for any help and suggestions!
 

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UnknownUser

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Cute names! What size is the tank? It looks a bit small for two goldfish that big, but It's also hard to tell from pictures how big a tank is. He could definitely still be recovering from the ammonia spike and he's stressed.
 

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The water parameters are most likely jumping all over the place because the tank is too small for them and cannot support their size and bioload.
do you have a test kit? This is an essential component to fishkeeping.
 
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Becca Stephens

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Tank is 42gal! That is the small side of the tank, its about 3 feet on the longer side. The water is a bit cloudy. I noticed that they have been a little skittish as well. I have been away at school since September and my mom has been taking care of them. Their tank is at the foot of my bed and there is obviously a lot more movement than they're used to in my room now that I'm home so I think it might just all be a bit of stress. Now that I will be home for the foreseeable future I will work on keeping the water a bit clearer and checking water parameters more often. I was also wondering about the amount of aeration you would recommend for a tank this size? I have a bubble bar and the filter of course but I'm starting to think that may not be enough. I just added two air stones and we'll see if increased aeration can relieve a bit of stress. Thank you for the help!
 

UnknownUser

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Becca Stephens said:
Tank is 42gal! That is the small side of the tank, its about 3 feet on the longer side. The water is a bit cloudy. I noticed that they have been a little skittish as well. I have been away at school since September and my mom has been taking care of them. Their tank is at the foot of my bed and there is obviously a lot more movement than they're used to in my room now that I'm home so I think it might just all be a bit of stress. Now that I will be home for the foreseeable future I will work on keeping the water a bit clearer and checking water parameters more often. I was also wondering about the amount of aeration you would recommend for a tank this size? I have a bubble bar and the filter of course but I'm starting to think that may not be enough. I just added two air stones and we'll see if increased aeration can relieve a bit of stress. Thank you for the help!
I have read here that no amount of surface movement or filtration is too much, so adding o2 is probably fine. You could add a sponge filter in with the hob you have to up the filtration, too. Let us know your ammonia nitrites and nitrates if you have it; use the liquid test kit for ammonia it’s more accurate.
 

KSo

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Whoa Orange Juice is huge hehe keep us posted on how he makes out, hopefully it’s just an adjustment period.
 
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Becca Stephens

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He is!! I swear every time I come home from school he's even bigger than the last time
 
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Becca Stephens

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The tank is a 42gal. Of course, everyone has their own idea of how big a tank should be but if you go by the 30 gal for one plus 12 gal for the second the tank should be a fine size although maybe a bit on the small size. As much as I would love to give them a bigger tank I don't have the space or the funds right now :( I have now added a sponge filter to help with the bio load
 

CoryBoi

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Becca Stephens said:
The tank is a 42gal. Of course, everyone has their own idea of how big a tank should be but if you go by the 30 gal for one plus 12 gal for the second the tank should be a fine size although maybe a bit on the small size. As much as I would love to give them a bigger tank I don't have the space or the funds right now :( I have now added a sponge filter to help with the bio load
That rule doesn’t work for common goldfish (what you have), they need at least 100 gallons and then 20-50 gallons for every additional one.
 

flyinGourami

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Becca Stephens said:
The tank is a 42gal. Of course, everyone has their own idea of how big a tank should be but if you go by the 30 gal for one plus 12 gal for the second the tank should be a fine size although maybe a bit on the small size. As much as I would love to give them a bigger tank I don't have the space or the funds right now :( I have now added a sponge filter to help with the bio load
Well, technically that stocking is fine, but they will probably be stunted. A lot of people say stunting is bad because there organs grow bigger but I've never seen any believable(or any to be honest) evidence or statements taht are backed up by facts. In fact scientifically this would not make any sense, most cells(and tissue) would stop growing. The only exception to that is if they are cancerous. I think you are fine for now, but water quality may be harder to cope with depending on your maintenance schedule. However, getting plants such as pothos can really help with the nitrates.
 

UnknownUser

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If you look up common goldfish specifically it comes up with the 30+12 per fish rule. So the tank is technically fine. They are just high waste producing fish, so more frequent water changes are going to be needed in a smaller tank. It makes sense that the fish is stressed when there’s a lot of new commotion going on around the tank and it just dealt with an ammonia spike.
 

flyinGourami

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LivebearerMom said:
If you look up common goldfish specifically it comes up with the 30+12 per fish rule. So the tank is technically fine. They are just high waste producing fish, so more frequent water changes are going to be needed in a smaller tank. It makes sense that the fish is stressed when there’s a lot of new commotion going on around the tank and it just dealt with an ammonia spike.
Yes... its sometimes scary to be honest. Although I shouldn't judge them sometimes I'm really disturbed that someone can poop so long. Lol when I feed my goldfish 4 pellets they end up pooping the equivalence to at least 10 pellets. I think a good filter and some way to keep the nitrates lower should work so that you only have to do one water change per week.
 

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bgntoc said:
Yes... its sometimes scary to be honest. Although I shouldn't judge them sometimes I'm really disturbed that someone can poop so long. Lol when I feed my goldfish 4 pellets they end up pooping the equivalence to at least 10 pellets. I think a good filter and some way to keep the nitrates lower should work so that you only have to do one water change per week.
One LARGE water change per week haha. That is so much poop. It could also be helpful to have some lava rocks in the tank and deep substrate which promotes anaerobic bacterial growth that break down nitrates.
 

flyinGourami

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LivebearerMom said:
One LARGE water change per week haha. That is so much poop. It could also be helpful to have some lava rocks in the tank and deep substrate which promotes anaerobic bacterial growth that break down nitrates.
YEs definetely! When I was younger we kept fish in bowls and water changes were done once every 2 days or else the bottom of the tank would be covered in poop lol. Yeah, I agree with the lava rocks. I think for now tho seachem matrix is better since the lava rocks online are more expensive?? Idk
 

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bgntoc said:
YEs definetely! When I was younger we kept fish in bowls and water changes were done once every 2 days or else the bottom of the tank would be covered in poop lol. Yeah, I agree with the lava rocks. I think for now tho seachem matrix is better since the lava rocks online are more expensive?? Idk
Oh I’ve never looked at matrix before, that’s a much better idea! I might actually get some for my own filter!
 

flyinGourami

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LivebearerMom said:
Oh I’ve never looked at matrix before, that’s a much better idea! I might actually get some for my own filter!
I've heard many good reviews. Apparently matrix is really good compared to sponges since people looked at it under a microscope and it offered much more surface area, with more texture.
 

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I agree with getting lots of live plants. Pothos growing outside of tank and having roots in is great one, and live plants to tank, the more the better. They use ammonia, nitrites and nitrates to grow, and stem plants are also cheap and easy. Good growth helps with water quality. My goldfish love to nibble bits of algae that grows on plants, and it also keeps them entartained better.
 

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They look fat and healthy from what I can see. All I can think of is make sure you're not changing out filter with new media. Always have an established bacterial colony in your filter. Also, don't overfeed (if you are) and do consistent weekly water changes of no less than 50 percent.
 

flyinGourami

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scarface said:
They look fat and healthy from what I can see. All I can think of is make sure you're not changing out filter with new media. Always have an established bacterial colony in your filter. Also, don't overfeed (if you are) and do consistent weekly water changes of no less than 50 percent.
Yes, of course. THats really good advice. I think 2 water changes a week is better. Maybe 2 25 percent water changes, or 1 20 percent and 1 30 percent. I think frequent water changes are a little less stressful, but I find that with goldfish they don't get stressed as easily, as long as there aren't large water parameter differences.
 

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