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FAQs About Goldfish Systems 3

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Related FAQs:  Goldfish Systems 1, Goldfish Systems 2, Goldfish Systems 4, Goldfish Systems 5, Goldfish Systems 6, Goldfish Systems 7, Goldfish Systems 8, Goldfish Systems 9, & FAQs on Goldfish System: Tanks (Size, Shape...), Lighting/Tops, Decor, Gravel, Plantings, Heating/Temperature, Aeration/Circulation, Filtration, Water Quality (Algae, Smell, Cloudiness... Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrogen Cycling), Maintenance, Trouble/Fixing, & Goldfish 1, Goldfish Behavior, Goldfish Compatibility, Goldfish Feeding, Goldfish DiseaseGoldfish Breeding/Reproduction


Bringing Orandas indoors from pond in cold weather  12/13/05 I have a 750 gal. pond.  Since it has gotten cold here  I decided  to bring my two Orandas inside. <Good> The weather has been dropping into the  30s. <Best to bring fancy goldfish indoors once the water dips and stays below about 65 F> Anyway, I brought them in and put them into a 29 gal. aquarium.   New rock, a new Penguin 150 BioWheel power filter.  A few plants from the  pond went in also. <Good>    I used some of the pond water to fill the  aquarium and tap water that I dechlorinated. Three days later, I smell what  smells like male cat urine. I know it is ammonia but its not a strong  ammonia smell.  But its def. there.  I never noticed that smell before  with an aquarium.  the fish are each approx. 5 inches long. <Need more room...> very fat  and very healthy looking. Did great in the pond.   There is absolutely  no visible waste in the aquarium at this time.   Is this filter ok?   <If it's "working" biologically, yes> Should i <Please "I"> give it more time to establish? <... you need to test your water for ammonia, nitrite...> I don't have a  test kit.   <I'd get one> Never used one before on our other aquariums.  Never  noticed that smell either.   Please advice. <Advise>   Also, should i even  have brought them in. <Yes>   The water temp had gotten into the 40s.   I was just worried about them.  If i leave them in the pond next winter,  will they be ok and what precautions do i use to keep them ok in the cold  weather.   Filter? Survive in cold pond? water quality? Thank you so much for whatever advice you can give. colleen Fontenot <Posted on WWM, for Freshwater Goldfish... Bob Fenner>

Dead Fish, induced (?) agonistic behavior in goldfish 10/19/05 Good Morning, <And to you> Last night my red cap goldfish (silver with red head) kept banging the side of my little white goldfish (sure it is a baby) and I didn't know if it was trying to mate or something or beating it up?! <?> After the little one started swimming away and the bigger silver/red one kept pestering it. I became concerned so I took the silver one out and put it in a bowl for the night - I used some water out of the tank and put bit of food and plant in bowl so it would be ok, <... what about aeration, filtration?> but mainly I just wanted the little white one to get some peace, it had been getting knocked and was not eating and I was getting upset to be honest. This morning I heard 'Cheryl....' I  knew what was coming 'the fish is dead' - the little white one was upside down. I was gutted. the silver one never bothered the other 2 orange goldies so I put it back in - I understand it's nature and it happens, etc., but I could honestly burst into tears still when I think about this morning. The silver one started chasing the 2 orange ones straight away. I couldn't believe it so I put it back in the bowl - he will end up killing them all. It was only other night I was sat staring like a idiot at them thinking how beautiful they all are, then this happens. Why did it do this - was it because it was little or stood out coz it was white or was it because ah I don't know - I just don't understand. My brother keeps saying don't get upset they have 3 second memory it won't have realized but I don't believe that because it kept trying to hide behind the plant and on the filter so it must have known and I did nothing. <Mmmm> I don't want to take silver fish back to the shop - so can only think to buy a proper bowl and put it in the kitchen and hope it will be happy, I dare not put it with other fish. Then I have room for 2 more fish in big tank but what if this happens again!? Ah I think I just need a good cry and to get it out my system. I know they are only little fish but it was my little fish and I got attached, and I can't snap out of it. Just wanted to try to understand what's happened and why. Thanks - Cheryl. <Some individual goldfish do just seem or become "mean", but these problems are greatly amplified by improper environment... crowding... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Troubles  10/19/05 I was reading your information on goldfish today at Wet Web Media.  I am worried sick about my goldfish and I was hoping that you could help me. <Will try> I did not buy these fish and I have never had fish before.  My landlords left the fish in the back closet in the house and when I found them, the tank was covered in black slime. <... I do hope for Karma here> I took the fish out, there are two of them, and scoured the tank with hot water.  I cleaned all the stones and the two larger pieces, replaced the filter, and bought new food.  They have been doing very well up to this point.  I change the water in the six gallon tank every two weeks and clean everything out with hot water. <No need for hot water... do have a need for a larger system> Lately, though, one of the fish has been turning white. <Sometimes happens... generally not a large health issue> It started around his eyes and mouth (I am assuming that it is a he) and has spread to just in front of his fins.  I freaked out because I have become very attached to these fish and I don't want them to die.  I thought that he might have a fungus so I bought a tablet from the store.  His eyes are not popping out more than normal and the whiteness is not fuzzy but just in case, I changed the water and added this tablet.  Nothing has changed.  His head is still white and he is still happy, so it would seem, but I am just worried that I will come down and find him dead. <Not likely> The other fish has not been affected in any way.  Please tell me what I should do, if they are in any trouble, and thank you so much for your site, writings, and time.  I will be a lot calmer once I know what is going on. Sincerely, Katharine <Do a bit more reading on WWM re Goldfish Systems http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm), Frequent Partial Water Changes... Bob Fenner>

Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets....  10/10/2005 Hi <Hello.> I wrote a while ago about my large (body is 3.5") fantail, Lola, who was just staring off into space all the time. <Sabrina with you, today - please for future reference include previous correspondences when possible, as there are a number of us answering questions, and plenty of questions being answered; without the name of the crewmember or the previous correspondence, we have no idea where to route replies or continued correspondences.> Everything checked out OK with water quality and Lola's health. I started feeding peas and she gradually became more active -- and obsessed with eating. <Sounds like a goldfish!> You guys suggested I get her a dither fish. Today I put a medium (body 2") fantail goldfish in with Lola. Lola immediately started chasing the new fish. So I fed them both peas --at the same time. Lola chased the new fish aggressively until it barfed up the food it had just eaten.  <Mm, it probably didn't actually regurgitate, just spat it out.> Lola immediately ate the barf.  <My guess is the new fish did not know quite what to do with the peas yet, and Lola just relished this uncertainty. Give it some time.> Now Lola is only mildly annoyed with the new fish. The aggressive chasing has stopped; more like a moderate teasing now. The new fish is not happy.  <Give it some time.> The dorsal fin is not clamped however. Is this aggression about not feeding them enough?  <Possibly, but could just be even friendly. Or stranger yet, the newcomer may be female, and Lola may be a mature male. Again, give it some time.> I give the larger Lola 3 peas a day. Is it about territory?  <Unlikely.... goldfish don't tend to be territorial.> They are in a 20 gallon tank with filter. Is the tank too small? <Will be in the long run.> Is this just "getting to know you" behavior? <Likely.> Is Lola afraid she will not get enough food with a new friend in the tank? <Perhaps.> Would a munchy plant help the situation? If so what kind? <An excellent idea. I would recommend Egeria/elodea/Anacharis.... A few species of plants fall under these names; all grow similarly and goldfish love to eat 'em.> Should I separate them permanently if it continues? <Again, give it some time.> Should I also feed them frozen brine shrimp? <If you like.> Besides green veggies and rice, what else would round out their diet well? I read so much about their digestive problems and have eliminated the dry food (even soaked dry food). <Sounds like you're doing great so far. Some frozen brine would be okay to add to this, or frozen bloodworms once in a while.> Do they need protein from other than plant sources? Can they eat Abelmoschus manihot leaves? (It's a human food crop in the tropics and loaded with protein.) <I have absolutely no idea whatsoever. I thank you for mentioning this plant, though; I just had an opportunity to learn about Abelmoschus - apparently okra is in this genus! How neat! But, again, I have no idea whatsoever if A. manihot leaves can be eaten by fish.> Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Tell me what to do and I will do it!  <Lola is indeed a lucky fish to have you as a pal.> Lola is a family pet and I hate to see her being so mean to her new friend--such as it is. <Give it some time; hopefully this will sort itself out in a week or two.> As usual I thank you for your valuable advice and for your incredible web site! <And thank you very much for these kind words, Steve! I do hope all goes well with this.> Steve Erickson <Wishing you, Lola, and the newcomer well, -Sabrina>

Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets.... - II - 10/12/05 Hi, Sabrina <Hello, again.> Thanks again for your advice. As you said, the situation is quieting down.  <Ah, good.> In fact, Lola is back to staring off into space, motionless. The new fish, Golda, doesn't understand Lola's behavior and tries to rouse Lola into swimming around. I expect she'll be back to her old self soon.  <Yes, they will sort things out with time.> It's amazing that she has these emotional phases. But that's why we all care for her so much!  <And a good reason, too.> Regarding A. manihot: I can send you some seeds to grow the plant. It's very easy to grow in any climate.  <If this can be done legally, I'd absolutely love to do so. Where are you from?> Right now most of the garden is fading but the 7 foot Abelmoschus is still blooming.  <Wow!> Perhaps you guys could experiment with feeding the leaves and flowers--which taste like lettuce-- to goldfish. With its high protein content, I suspect that it would be an excellent food source for them. <Certainly a worthwhile idea!!> Thanks again. <And thank you, as well.> Steve <All the best, -Sabrina>

Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets.... - III - 10/12/2005 Hi Sabrina <Aloha, Steve.> I live in New England and I am sure there are no restrictions on Abelmoschus manihot.  <Ah, very good. I thought you were outside the US for some reason.> I originally bought the plant at a local garden center. I start the seeds in the early spring and mid-June (for a later crop like now). I'm not sure if there are restrictions in your area. You can check on Google. Let me know--I have lots of seeds! <I will find out, and let you know - I am indeed very interested now.> Steve <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Great Start On Goldfish - 10/09/2005 Hello! <Good morning! Sabrina with you today, on holiday in Hawai'i> Wonderful site, I've been searching and reading for a while now. <Ahh, good. That's the best start you can give your fish.> I have a 29g tank set up for a young calico lionhead (who I do not have yet, he is on hold). <Beeeee-autiful! I'm assuming you plan to set up and cycle this tank first, eh? SO glad to read this. You're off to a great start.> I was originally going to fall into the "goldfish/ Pleco " trap, but knew I should wait until I had done more research. <I'm smiling bigger with every sentence!> I plan on just the one lionhead, and then upping to a 55g when he is bigger. (Unless you suggest making the switch now.)  <Ahh, wonderful!! Unless he's already *massive*, the 29 will be a fine home for a long while. Do consider getting him a couple pals when he's into the 55 (or sooner, if they're all quite small), as goldfish seem more comfortable with conspecifics around.> Since the Pleco route can be dangerous, <Mm, I wouldn't say so much 'dangerous' as 'undesirable'.... Common Plecs grow to be massive.... 18" or so.... and prefer somewhat warmer temps than are ideal for goldfish. If you want tankmates of a different species, look to the weather/dojo loach.> I'd still be interested in another bottom algae eater "fish". <Mm.... Some of the smaller Plecs might be of consideration, here; but you'll still have the temperature preference issue.... I know clown Plecs can hail from surprising cold waters, but they're more of a wood and meat eater, if I recall correctly (no guarantee of that!).> In addition to the best filtration I can find, I also plan to vacuum and water change once a week, so I thought a snail might be a good choice. <Sure, if you like snails.> I've done some reading on the apple snails, but can't seem to find a lot of info on snails AND goldfish in the same tank. Will one snail/one goldfish get along? <I'm sure.> What extra food/attention will I need to give the snail? <Plant matter.... Likely same fare as what you will be offering the goldfish.... Blanched human consumption greens (spinach, cucumber, zucchini....), live aquatic plants like Egeria/elodea/Anacharis....> In a 29 or 55, is more than one snail necessary? <Mm, 'necessary'? Depends upon what you wish the snails to do.... Be pets? Eat algae? Eat plants?> How big will the snails get? <They do call them 'apple' snails for a reason.... Make a fist. Imagine it's a snail. There ya go!> Will our heroes make it through the treacherous mines?? (It's Friday. I'm giddy) <Heh!! It's Sunday morning (wow, sorry for the delay in response time!) and I'm almost giddy, too. Quite an ocean view here for answering fish questions!!> Thanks so much for the help. :)  <You bet.> P.S. If you know of any definitive resources on the differences (if any) between Ranchu and Lionheads I'd be interested. It's a neat subject matter! <In all honesty, I do not. If you do come across any, send some links my way; I'd like to take a look. Also, I'd like to touch a bit on the algae janitorial work you expect of the snail(s).... There are other methods of algae control; perhaps the best/most efficient is by outcompeting the algae for nutrients with other (vascular) plants. Plants like Anubias sp., java fern (Microsorium pteropus) and java moss (Vesicularia dubyana) will hold up to most plant eaters, goldfish and snails included. Do please take a look through our Aquatic Plants articles, about fighting algae and such.... You may find that you don't need an algae consumer, and can stock more around what you like than what you think your system might (or might not) need. I'm not at all trying to discourage you from an apple snail, mind you! They're pretty cool animals. Wishing you well, -Sabrina> 

Great Start On Goldfish - II - 10/10/2005 Thank you so much for the reply! <Oh, sure thing!> I was looking for the snail as algae control/pet. I decided on a golden apple snail, since according to applesnail.net http://applesnail.net , the Pomacea bridgesii prefers and does well on artificial fish food, along with dead and rotting plants. So, another question to come to mind would be- What types of artificial foods (in addition to peas, blanched greens, and eventually possibly live Water Sprite) would be good for both lionhead and snail? <Anything primarily vegetable in nature.... Spirulina flakes/pellets/wafers, frozen prepared vegetable fish foods (like Ocean Nutrition's "Formula Two").... Plenty of options. Sushi Nori is an easy option.> I was recommended gel, and I'm not sure if there's a brand preference. <In all honesty, I'm not familiar with gel fish foods.> I have floating pellets and flakes, but after reading more, I'd really like to avoid that swim bladder problem!  <A very good problem to avoid.> I pick up Charlie (the lionhead) this evening, and am waiting until my LFS gets some golden apple snails in. Any advice is appreciated!  <I imagine the snail will enjoy any of the same veggie matter you offer the goldfish.> Thank you again!! <Any time, my friend. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Great Start On Goldfish - III - 10/12/2005 Ok, last question, I swear! My lionhead is now happy in his new tank! <Ah, good.> He's very friendly, and even comes to the front of the tank (when I was expecting a much longer adjusting period). He does spend some time in his chosen "spot" tucked behind a bit of rock, and on the gravel, but it doesn't seem like a sick or unhappy habit. I feel he's just settling in.  <Likely so.> Now Charlie is a small fellow, about 1 1/2", and the bubbler I have in there is pretty big- a flat round disc about 2 inches across, placed under the gravel. I was concerned that he wasn't "enjoying" the bubbles, and felt trapped on the "quiet" side of the tank. I just turned it off briefly, to see if he prefers the lessened agitation. Should I hold off on the bubbler until he's a bit bigger, or is his aversion to swimming the whole tank just due to him settling in? <Could be. You could get a valve for the airline to shut off some of the flow so it would be less intense, if you like. These are usually sold at large/r fish stores, in packages of things like "T" splitters and such, near the air pumps and air tubing. There are brass ones, and clear or green plastic ones.> I searched "goldfish" and "bubbler" and "small", but didn't find anything related to the goldfish size. (Or lack thereof). Your site has been SO very helpful, and I appreciate the patience for my multiple questions. <Glad to be of service.> Can't I send a box of cookies to the Crew or something? <<A box of See's dark chocolates are always a good way to go.  Marina>> <Mmmm, peanut butter with chocolate chips? Just kidding.... your thanks and the fact that you have learned something that you can now pass on to others is more than thanks enough!> :) Julie <Wishing you the best, -Sabrina>

Goldfish Rescuers Rescue Goldfish Refugees 10/9/05 Hello, <<Greetings. Marina here.>> My wife brought home 16 goldfish in a small goldfish bowl. She rescued the fish from another lady who was using them as a decoration on a table. The next morning we could hardly see them in their little bowl. <<Ahh.. sort of the "wedding fish" thing, eh? Too common, and cruel in my opinion if they have made no further arrangements, even to move them along as feeders.>> So we ran out and bought an aquarium. It holds 8.5 gallons, in addition it came with a bio wheel and a filter. <<FAR too small, even for tiny baby goldfishes (1" and under). This number of animals will need a 50 gallon just to start. Do consider thinning the herd.>> For Christmas my wife is going to buy me a larger tank, but we got the fish on Sept. 21st. Today is October 8th, so I have a while to go, with an overloaded fish tank! Since the beginning we lost 5 fish and we now have 11. <<They have thinned their numbers for you.>> One of them is {was} named Gorbachev, who is {was} the smallest goldfish. I have been doing a 25% partial water change every week, and have been tracking nitrates 5.0 ppm, 0.5 nitrites ppm, 8.4 pH, 300 alkalinity and 300 hardness. Our tap water is running at 7.8 pH. <<There's no need to worry about alkalinity and/or hardness with goldies. The other parameters are disturbing, you don't mention ammonia, but I'll be it's always present. You MUST boost biological filtration my fine, altruistic friend. pH is fine, just don't go messing with it, let it find its own balance.>> We then learned to cut back their food, because the water was cloudy. <<Cloudy water isn't necessarily a sign of too much food, it IS a sign of excess nutrients (nitrogenous waste) and demonstrates that a balance between certain bacteria has not been found here. Much is written here on biological filtration. Yours must be increased, but no vacuuming of substrate (as that removes beneficial bacteria), no wiping down of tank sides.>> I went out and bought a second filter and installed it on the tank because I knew that the tank was two small for all 15 goldfish. <<Perfect move. Now, just increase the water changes in frequency (every three days or so), possibly in amount, too - something more like 33%.>> We now feed the 11 remaining fish two pinches of TetraFin Goldfish flakes a day. <<I bet they look at you like you owe them money, don't they? Keep the tank temperatures as cool as possible and this will slow down their metabolism.>> For the last four days all 11 fish stopped swimming around the tank and just sit under the filter together. <<Uh oh...?>> There are no visible problems at all. <<Yes, there are. The fish have stopped swimming around. Question is, is that *really* a problem..? Read on.>> Even the fish look fine. The house has gone from 75F to 65F, which is normal for us this time of year, because our house is very old. <<Aha! You've already done it! The fish are going to go into something that could be described as a sort of "stasis". If you allow the temperature to fall even further it will do no harm (though not to freezing, they can't be frozen like some other animals and survive). Do NOT feed during this time!>> They are not gulping air bubbles or even gasping. In fact they don't even looked stressed. <<I'm impressed, whether you've done this by actual knowledge or just by the seat of your pants, you've done all the right things. Your fish should be fine.>> It bugs me to see the fish on the bottom, they look fine and healthy with no visible signs of sickness. But I know that something is wrong and last night Gorbachav died! He was always the small weak one. <<The tank is still overcrowded, but what could push a weak fish over the edge just as easily is too fast a drop in temperature. Did the ambient temperature in the house fall quickly? (>5F/24hours) If so, that could explain it. If not, then we have to chalk it up to "runtiness". In any event, prevent fast drops if at all possible.>> I did another 25% water change today and will go tonight to the fish store and get some peas for them. <<The peas are not necessary at this point (plus, why buy "fish store" peas? Just visit the frozen food section of your favorite market, squeeze 'em out of their skins before feeding). You don't want to feed them, as a hungry fish is a healthy fish.  But more importantly, I think that with the temperature drop the fish have gone into "winter mode". Water changes are fine, but I would keep the water cool, to match the tank's temp. Again, don't feed during this time.>> But I don't understand why they are all sitting under the filter. I wish I had a camera to take a picture, all 11 of them are all hunkered under the second filter and sitting on the bottom together. <<If you could look at the bottom of a pond at this time of year, you'll see the same thing. It is perfectly normal for goldfish and koi, for many fishes that live in temperate to cool climates. As the sun warms the water some may venture up, but generally don't forage for food much.>> Why are they sitting there? <<They think winter is coming.>> Did they all of a sudden get lazy? <<No, they've done their work for the year.>> Is this the sign of a serious problem? <<Not given the information you've provided (other than the very small size of their tank).>> I don't understand the significance of this. <<It is as significant as the changing of the seasons.>> I would like your opinion. <<Opinion is as above, I would also Google our site for goldfish health and care. I would also suggest you do a general Google and pay particular attention to Canuck and British goldie sites and care. They're accustomed to dealing with how the animals behave in cooler climes. Don't panic, but be diligent in the water change routine, pay particular attention to the nitrogenous waste readings (and do include ammonia in those - ammonia and nitrite really must be zero).>> Thank You, Matthew and Pauline Pratt (and posthumously Gorbachav) <<You're very welcome (poor Gorbachav.. RIP). Keep up the great work, you two are doing the little fishes well with your care and husbandry. A warning - be careful as spring approaches. I wouldn't be surprised if folks like yourselves have a bit of a wet thumb and find yourselves with lots of wee goldies by June! If such is the case, what do you think about setting them up in their own pond? Marina>> 

Please help my wounded goldfish 10/7/05 I've had a little turtle (the tiny ones you can get in China town about the size of your palm) for 3 years and a goldfish I got in July. The turtle has grown some, not huge but of comparable size to the fish. I was reading online and heard you can put them together in a tank. I just built a 30 gallon tank and put the turtle and fish in together. I monitored their behavior for hours and days and they were just fine. All of a sudden about an hour ago the turtle decided to attack the fish!! <What they do usually> It bit part of it's tail off and by its upper body. It was bleeding and I took the fish out quick, put some 10% Povidone-iodine on his back and fin with a cotton swab. He kind of swims but mostly has his head down in the corner of the new tank. Is there any way he can heal??? What do I need to buy to help him? Please help me save my fish... <Mmm, only you can do this. Please read on WWM re goldfish disease. Bob Fenner> 

Re: New Goldfish in Quarantine (Update)  10/6/05 Thanks for the information. Okay, I did a 30% water change in the 10 gallon Quarantine tank to dilute the CopperSafe as you advised to avoid the Copper. <Good> I added tablespoon of salt in with the new water. I'm checking the ammonia (it's reading at  zero) and the Nitrate (currently reading at 20) and the Nitrite (Currently reading at 0.5) <Do keep the nitrite below 1.0 ppm.... through chemical filtrants, water changes> I am concerned about whether to continue the Maracyn treatment because of the water clouding.  You said that the clouding could perhaps be harmful to the fish. Since the partial water change, the clarity has improved, but is still not 100%. <Will likely be cloudy/ier with the Antibiotic use> I'm wondering what you think this affliction may be: I've noticed that the fish has a small white spot near the bottom of the Wen growth, near the top of the gill slit but not on the gill.  I'm not sure if this is ich or not. <Very unlikely... much more probably "environmental/genetic"> This spot is what concerns me most, because it seems to "come and go". For example, last night I was observing the fish, and watched a piece of the white spot break off and fall to the bottom of the tank. It looked as if there was a tiny string hanging from the spot, and I thought maybe it was parasitic. This morning the spot was much smaller, almost gone. Now, this evening, the spot is back again. It's tiny, the size of a pinprick, but it shows up on the black coloring of the fish.   <Very common in... fish with Wens, changing environments... is mucus (all fishes have), forming as spots, strings...> It also looks as if there may be one small white discoloration on the inside of one of his tail fins,  and on his bottom lip but I am not sure if that is the fish's natural coloring (he has a white belly and throat.) The tail spot and the lip spot do not look fuzzy , and been there since I purchased the fish the other night. The bite wound on the anal fin seems to be healing, but still has a whitish appearance at the wound site.  Could this be fungus or parasitic? <Likely neither> If so, what do you recommend I do, as you see I am concerned with water quality and medications. <Nothing other than what you're doing... optimizing, stabilizing water quality, providing good nutrition...> I appreciate your help! Michele <When/if in doubt, read over the Goldfish sections on WWM. Cure will come with loss of nitrite, a few weeks going by. Bob Fenner>

Comet Conundrum - 10/05/2005 Hi! <Hello!  Sabrina with you today> Firstly, what a fabbo site! I've been pouring over all the FAQ's and have had a few questions answered but I'm hoping you might be able to help me with my specific problem as I've already lost two fish and don't want my new buddies to meet the same fate. <We shall try.> I have two new comets, one is white (Hunter) and the other is half orange half white (Duke). Hunter and Duke have only been in the tank (10-15L? I didn't purchase the tank myself so I'm not sure) on my desk here at work for the past two days. <Please understand that this is too small for goldfish.  We tend to recommend 10-15 US gallons (that's about 38 to 57 liters) per goldfish.  They get very large, and produce a lot of waste.  They're just not a good fish for small tanks at all.> They replaced two fish that passed on over the weekend due to lack of oxygen in the tank. <A strong sign that this tank simply cannot support goldfish.> I've cleaned the tank, done a full water change and tested all the pH and ammonia levels before loading in the new fish.  Their first day out seemed to be fine - They were zipping about the tank and being otherwise fishy and fancy free. This morning when I came in they were sticking to the surface and 'gasping' - Much like their sadly missed chums. I raced off to the pet store and have now bought an air stone to go along with the filter I already have in the tank. I've done a partial water change (about 25%) and set up the tank again with the air stone in place. <The air will help, but in all honesty, it's only a matter of time in such a small container.  It is unlikely that they will survive long in there.> How long should I wait to get results? Should I be worried if they don't improve overnight? <Yes....  I would worry now, in fact, and try to get these guys into a larger system or a buddy's pond or something.> The lady at the pet store didn't seem overly knowledgeable on fish much to my disappointment. Do you have any other suggestions on what could be wrong? <Too small a system, too much fish.  I would urge you to start over, and consider a fish called a "Betta" or "Siamese fighting fish".  One male Betta would be a very pretty and suitable fish for your tank, with proper care.  They do very well in small systems of a few gallons, and come in almost any color imaginable.> They are such lovely fish and I'm attached to them already - I'd hate to have to see another pair go because I'm doing something wrong. <Start by reading here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm  and here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm .> Thanks,  Danica <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>
Comet Conundrum, Continued - II - 10/08/2005 Hi, <Hi again, Danica! Good to hear from you.> Sabrina - Thanks for all the advice! As grim news as it was, it was still good to have someone let me in on the big secret - pet store people don't know anything! <Sadly, some stores do seem to be in it more for the money than for the fish. There are some good stores out there, too, but it will take some searching on your part to find one you really like.> I was told by the attendant that my tank was fine for two fish and that there must be a problem with the water.  <Mm, either she is ignorant about goldfish, or preferred to "keep you in the dark" so you'd have to come back for more fish later. Hopefully the former is true, but I have been to some downright malicious stores. There aren't many, though, so hopefully that's not the case here.> Unfortunately Hunter died overnight, as I suspected. <I'm so sorry to hear this.> He wasn't looking too good yesterday and I figured there wasn't much else that could be done. Duke is doing a little better this morning and I am hoping I can nurse him back now that it's just him in the tank. <Significant (50-75%) water changes daily for a few days will help - and getting him into a bigger tank is the key here.> If he makes it through the rest of the week I am going to try and find a new home for him with someone who has a bigger tank. <The sooner, the better; it may mean life for him.> I'm afraid getting a bigger tank just isn't possible for my desk here in cubicle land.  <Completely understandable!> Will read up on the Bettas and see if I'm ready for another fish. <You will be, if not now, then soon - once you have found the right fish for a pal. Bettas are excellent pet fish, each has a different personality, and all are so colorful. Do please take a look at that article, it will help you, I think.> I'm awfully upset about having lost three fish already - Poor little buggers. <Many/most (maybe even all!) of us did learn the hard way.... That you are willing to learn is what's important - I am confidant that you have the drive and desire to keep fish successfully. You will do fine, when you are ready.> Thanks again, Danica <Wishing you and Duke well, -Sabrina>

Flicky goldfish 10/3/05 Hi, I would firstly like to say what a fantastic web site this is, so glad I found it, it gives more info than you could ever know! Keep up the good work!  <Thanks!> I have been having a few problems with my goldfish, he is in a 23 liter tank <6 gallons> (sorry don't know measurements in gallons. got an F in math's exam lol!) and is aprox 3 ½ inches long, he lives with 1 white cloud and a small fantail, the only way I can describe the problem is his fins flick, when he has been resting on the bottom of the tank, or normally swimming around, his front fins flick and go into a sort a spasm, this lasts for a couple of seconds, but can result in him swimming violently round the tank and swimming into the gravel, face or even side first. It can be really distressing to watch! This doesn't happen all the time, the last time this happed was round about 6 months ago, I have been treating him with a blue chemical PROTOZIN that I got from my local pet shop, I don't really think this is helping a lot. <Your fish are too crowded.  Goldfish are really messy fish.  These three fish need at least a 20 gallon tank and a 30 or 40 would be much better.  White clouds also like a bit of same species company.  Basically, your fish is probably being poisoned by fish poop (ammonia).  There is just not enough room in the tank to break it down.  I suggest large water changes (50% daily) with dechlorinated, temperature matched tap water until you can get a bigger system.  A filter for the tank would also help.  I would discontinue use of the medication, as the problem is environmental.  Read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm for more information.> I really hope you can help. Many thanks, Sue <Anytime, Catherine>

Lil' Punkin Needs Help!  10/3/05 Hello, <Mornin'> I am having a very serious problem with my Orange Oranda, Lil' Punkin and I want to be sure I am doing everything I can. I had recently cleaned my 44 gal. <Cleaned? Not totally I hope/trust> tank and tested the water. PH, ammonia and nitrites tested good. About 2 weeks ago I noticed there was a small pointy spot on his side and then he lost a few scales a couple of days later. It then began looking like a skinned place where maybe he had gotten startled and scraped against a rock, <Maybe> just a little reddish looking like a skinned place. The next day it looked a little more reddish and more skinned. I put Stress Coat in the tank hoping to prevent any infections. The following day it became an open sore and then a day later it looked bigger (the size of a dime), deeper and more reddish. I also saw a couple of little white bumps on his forehead, his tailfins looked ragged and whitish on the edges and his eyes had gotten white stuff on them. I had introduced a new fish into the tank not thinking straight at the time so he didn't get quarantined like he should have but that was probably 6 months ago. <Should be fine then> I immediately started treatment of the tank with Ruby Reef Rally when this started happening for 4 days. I ran out of Rally and couldn't get it for a couple of days so I filtered and cleaned the tank while I waited for the Rally to arrive. I again started tank treatment with Rally, this time for 7 days but I didn't see any real difference. I was beginning to think the other Oranda might be eating this one little by little so I separated them. (I did these things based on advice from my local fish store which in the past have been wonderful in helping me with problems over the past 5 years or so. They are very knowledgeable but I just want your opinion as well for the sake of saving Lil' Punkin because I feel like there is something I still am not doing). I had begun to see whitish patches on both fish which looked like body fungus. Before I moved Lil' Punkin I saw whitish stringy stuff coming only from his wound so I thought it might be infection. That is when I moved him to the 20 gal. tank for hospitalization. I used water from the 44 gal. tank because I didn't want to start having an ammonia problem too, therefore it still had 7 days worth of Rally in it. <Stop with this product...> Immediately (within minutes literally) after I moved him the stringy stuff started coming off of him and seems to be gone now. I went back to the fish store and talked to them again and they said it sounded like he had a body fungus, fin rot and possible infection of his wound so they suggested getting a medicated food from PetSmart that they had used before. The medicated food PetSmart suggested is Jungle Anti-Bacterial Medicated Fish Food for Internal & External Bacterial Infections. It says on the back it aids in control of internal bacterial infections such as bacterial enteritis, septicemia, kidney disease and wasting. Also aids in many external infections such as open wounds, ulcers, Columnaris and fin rot. It says I can still use external treatment so I thought I would start with Rally again. The food that wasn't eaten got rather messy so I cleaned the tank, did a water change and filtered it again. I evidently cleaned it too well <Yes, the root problem here> because when I tested the water again the ammonia and nitrite levels were really up but the PH was fine. I now have a solution for the tank getting so messy with this food and can continue treating the tank with Rally now. Lil' Punkin is still active and eats very well. He still comes to the glass to see me and when my hands are in the tank he comes to me like he wants to be petted or something. He seems like he is breathing a little hard but I suspect that might be due to the ammonia in the hospital tank so I put some Kordon Amquel Plus in the tank. Is what I am doing correct? I don't want to wait too late to start with the right treatment because I don't want him to die. The wound isn't getting any bigger now and actually looks a little better to me although I really can't pinpoint why it looks better. It just seems a lot cleaner looking I guess and less red. The whitish bumps on his forehead are gone but now there is a black spot on his face. I am afraid it is another wound waiting to open. The tank temperature is 80F at the moment, it increased while I had the light on but is usually about 78F. I am sorry this is so long but I didn't want to leave any details out that might be important. Also the other fish still has white patches on him too but nothing else seems to be wrong. His tank is still biologically stable and if I can prevent it I don't want to kill that. Can you help me please? Thank you for your time. I hope my spelling is correct, my spell check isn't working tonight. Cindy <Do read re Goldfish Systems on WWM... I would get/use BioSpira to return biological cycling in your system and simple "Aquarium Salt" at a level tsp. per five gallons... this will very likely effect a cure. In future, limit "cleaning" to 20% or so of water volume... cleanliness is not sterility as the saying goes. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Goldfish scale loss ... and much more 9/29/05 I have a common goldfish that has grown to about 6 inches long in the last five months (from about 2 inches when I brought him home).  He was a pretty little fish, but as a newbie I think I have not taken care of him as well as I could have. <Self-effacing behavior... a good start> I know I overfeed him, usually five or six times per day, enough until  he starts pooping.  He actually starts pooping as soon as he sees me coming toward the tank.  It is like I trained him! <You have> Every day I feed him flakes, floating pellets, cheerios, brine shrimp, Tubifex worms, blood worms, and peas.  I also throw in a vacation pellet every few days to make sure he has in between meal snacks available. <Toss in Pizza and I'm getting in the tank with him> My original goal was to see if I could make him fat. Except for having a pear shaped cross section he just seems to grow longer.    <Yes> The tank came with a biofilter wheel, and a mechanical and charcoal filtration system.  To compensate for so much waste, I put in about 2.5 pounds of crushed lava rock in the bottom of the tank, <Too sharp for this type (gold) of fish> plus a Duetto 90 submersible filter.  This is in a five gallon tank.  I also do a 25% water change every week and a 90% change once a month to clean the tank. <Too small a volume...> Ammonia and nitrites always test zero and nitrates seldom get over ten ppm. <Good> With all this pumping, the tank stays right about 80-82 F in a 74 F air conditioned house.  The tank light raises the temperature to about 85 F in a few hours so I usually leave it off. <High/er temp. will shorten the lifespan...> The goldfish is always active and seems happy.  The only problem seems to be that he has lost about 30% of his scales and the remaining scales are not shiny anymore.  The guy at the pet store said he probably had ich, so I treated the tank daily for a month with Ich Away (malachite green), Melafix, and Stress Coat. <No... doesn't have ich... ridiculous... does have an over-heated metabolism... other mal-affects of crowding...> His scales looked shiny again, but new scales do not seem to be growing back very fast.  I can see the outlines of where they are growing but it is not what I would call a scale.  Some of them have been missing for months. Do you think I should just continue the medical treatments? <Definitely not... will just shorten this fish's life further> At what point can I conclude that the scales will not grow back? <Need to move this fish to at least a twenty gallon tank... ultimately a forty, sixty... if it lives... as it will grow, approach a foot in overall length>   Frankly, I have half a mind to throw him into the river (he was only a $0.29 feeder fish to start with) and start over. <Do not release this, or any other non-indigenous life to the wild... is a potential disaster...>   There has been a heron hanging around there, so maybe I can help the heron and the goldfish fulfill their respective rolls in the circle of life. <Perhaps you will be reincarnated as a "feeder"...> Any suggestions about the scale regrowth are appreciated.  I have really enjoyed over feeding him but giving him medicine does not give me the same kick.  (Maybe that is why the idea of feeding the heron does appeal to me.)  OK, thanks. <Many important lessons (for you) here... What is life to you? Do you really care for this fish, world at all... or only what they can/apparently do for you? Think deeply re what you do... this is your life as well. Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish scale loss, no improvement in intelligence 10/10/05 Thanks for the advice. I bought a ten gallon tank and a couple of friends for it. <Too small, crowded> The new friends are two koi and the one is about the same size as the goldfish. I cut the food way back, to about three pellets a day (each). They seem to be fighting a lot but if you think they are happier, so be it. <Keep reading http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm Bob Fenner> 

Gold Fish are jumping out of my pond  9/27/05 I have a 20 Gallon pond in a large terracotta container with plants, a fountain and bubbler (to provide extra oxygen). <Would be much better to have (additionally) a sponge filter... air driven, or internal power filter>   I change out the water when it becomes murky <... too late> (I de-chlorinate it) and let the algae grow as well as provide plenty of places for the fish to hide and swim.  There are currently three gold fish in the tank but I have two problems.  The first is I rarely see them swimming around, but they do come up on some days when I feed them. Secondly a couple of them have jumped out of the pond.  I have never seen them jump in the water but yet find them dead beside the pond (there are no animals around that can get to them).  So is it odd that they are never seen, is there something wrong and why do they jump out of the pond and how can I stop them?   <Improve your water quality... the water is literally so bad your fish are leaving. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm Bob Fenner> Cheers, Greg

Lots Of Goldfish, Webmail - 09/10/2005 Hi, You have a great site and I am nearly reading it on a daily basis. Some time back I had asked your help and your response was really great. <Thank you very much for these kind words!> However my subsequent queries went unanswered. I hope this one catches your attention. <Hmm....  I'm not sure what could have happened with your other queries....  We will typically answer every question that comes to us.  Some quick tips: give your email a subject; doesn't have to be fancy, just something that can make your email obviously a fish question and not spam....  Even "Freshwater Question" would work.  If you reply to an answer we give, leave the previous correspondence attached, and put the crewmember's name in the subject line.  Also, for others reading, try not to send email in HTML, all caps, or with no caps/punctuation.  All of this will help us in our Webmail system.> To refresh I have a 15g tank with one internal box filter, white gravel, one arrow plant, two artificial plants. I change 25% of water on a weekly basis. <So far, so good....> The fishes are One bubble eye goldfish approx 3 inches, two Shubunkin approx 2 inch, one orange goldfish (dont know exact variety)2 inch , one albino shark ( this is the name fish stores are calling, might be variety of tiger shark). <Mm, actually, a cyprinid.  Minnow-type fish.> Kindly help me with following questions (1) Is my tank overstocked? I suspect it is. <You suspect correctly.  Goldfish are MESSY, and we tend to recommend a minimum of 10g per goldfish.  They grow fast, and they foul water quickly.> (2) I would like give my fishes more room. Therefore should I trade my tank for a 30g tank and transfer all my fishes or I go in for a 2nd tank of 15g and separate my fishes. <Well, the "shark" is probably a tropical animal and would appreciate a tropical environment; the goldfishes prefer cooler water.  Honestly, if you're in some sort of balance right now, I'd like to suggest waiting until you can afford a tank on the order of 55g; not only will that be enough to house all your goldfish for a long time, but you could probably add a couple weather loaches (compatible and very interesting animals!).> (3) In case I separate the fishes what should be my combination. <I would keep the "fancy" goldfish separate from the more normally shaped goldfish.  But, really, the larger tank is a better idea.  Less maintenance, more room for error, etc.> (4) One of the reasons for my thinking of separating of fishes is at feeding time shark swims like mad at the bottom of the tank and hardly gets any food as goldfishes eat it at the surface itself. <I recommend removing the shark from this system if possible.  Perhaps a friend or fish store would like it.> (5) Can I use coarse river sand for my gravel after appropriate washing. <Mm, you can, yes, but be aware that there is significant risk of bringing in organisms that could harm or even kill your fish....  Parasites, bacteria....  Lots of bad could come of this.> Thanks  -Sandeep <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Lots Of Goldfish, Webmail - II - 09/12/2005 Thanks for your prompt reply. <Sure thing.> I would like to add more plants in place of plastic plants, I have read that they help in stabilizing the system. <They can/do, to an extent.> To raise plants would it help if I placed tank near a glass closed window so that they can get sunlight? would it harm the fishes? <Direct sunlight would actually be more likely to cause algae problems than help your plants....  Start reading here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PlantedTksSubWebIndex/AquariumGardenSubWebIndex.html .> I live in India where temp. range from 30-38 C in summer & 18-25 C in winters. <As long as you can keep the tank roughly between 21 and 30 C, you should be fine.> Thanks for everything. <Glad to be of service!  -Sabrina>

Goldfish Population, Size, Variety.... - 09/10/2005 Good morning!! <Good morning to you, as well!> I have a 30 gal tank with 2 fantails and 1 black moor goldfish.   <Sounds good.> The first black moor we put in the tank with the others, started swimming sideways and eventually died.  We got another black moor and the same thing happened.  I read an article that they have an eye impairment and might not be getting food.   <Actually, though this is perhaps possible, I would suspect a nutritional disease....  If you're feeding only with pellets and/or flakes, please consider offering human-consumption veggies like frozen peas (squeeze the shells off), blanched zucchini, cucumber, spinach....  and add some plants like Egeria/elodea/Anacharis to munch.> The other two fish are very fast and I am not sure the black moor fish were getting enough food.  Water tested fine so I can't imagine what it could be?  Also, we would like to add a fish now that we've lost the other black moor.  We've cleaned the tank and did a water change. <Mm, honestly, I'd keep your system as-is.  Let these guys grow out some; they'll need the space as they grow.> We are interested in getting a fantail the same as we currently have, only these two fantails are about 2 ½ in long.  We'd like to get a larger one, maybe 5 ½ in long.  Will this be a problem and will the large fish pick on our smaller fish? <It could, yes.  Keeping fish of roughly the same size is a better idea to prevent aggression.> Help!  -Anne <Anne, if you haven't yet, please read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm .  Wishing you and your goldies well,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish Population, Size, Variety.... - 09/10/2005 Thank you for the advice for my goldfish.  I've added some plants and have been feeding cucumbers <Err, just pieces, right? (grin)> by dropping them in the tank, letting the fish chew on them for awhile, then removing them so they don't leave waste in the tank. <Beautiful.> I find your site extremely helpful.  I've searched through the FAQ's on ammonia but can't find a complete answer to my question, so I want to be absolutely sure before I do anything. <Okay.> Nitrates are at zero, so I tested for ammonia right after I cleaned the tank.  To refresh, I have 3 goldfish and two snails in a 30 gal tank.  I change out 10 gal of water, twice per week.  I use a vacuum to clean the bottom, rocks, ornaments, etc.  I do not currently have any algae so I do not use an algae scrubber yet.  I changed the water last Thursday, all was well.  I changed last night and the ammonia readings were high.   <Test your tapwater, too, just to be sure.> The ammonia levels tested between a .25 and .50 so my question is, do I change the water daily to get the ammonia levels down or do I add something to the tank to combat the ammonia?   <Don't add stuff to remove stuff; go for the water changes.  You'll probably only need to do one or two, as the levels aren't terrible, just disconcerting.  You might want to remove the cucumber bits after a shorter amount of time.> I do not want my fish to get sick and I can't find anywhere that says these readings are acceptable, so I am assuming they are high and should read at zero.  And after I do daily water changes, do I check for ammonia or do I wait a day or two after daily water changes and then test? <You can test right after the water change, if you like.> Thanks for your wisdom!   <And thank you for your obvious care for your fish!> Anne <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Question about my hexagon <goldfish> tank  8/30/05 Hello, <Hi there> I have a 32 gal. hexagon tank with 2 fantails that are about 3 to 4 inches long. Pity buy from Wal-mart about 3 years ago, I know, bad me. I have read that a hexagon tank is bad to keep them in due to the restricted O2 exchange, <Mmm, not as "good" let's say as the same gallonage/volume shaped in a more flat fashion> but they are in there with a bubble disc, a bubble curtain, 9 live plants, was 10 but they ate one, and an external filter with and aeration valve. <Sounds very nice. Years back, I helped form, run an aquarium service company... We had many Hex-tanks with fancy goldfish...> There's no problem with the current being to strong and the water is good. They have been in there for about 2 weeks now and seem to be doing fine, is there anything i should be worried about either now or later on down the road with the tank? <Mmm, no... other than doing regular maintenance... weekly water changes with gravel vacuuming, providing a mixture of foodstuffs for good nutrition... Bob Fenner>

Wanda the carp in too small a tank  8/25/05 Good Morning, We have a 9" carp (I assume at that size that she is not a goldfish); <Could be> anyway, for months she has had intermittent long stringy white feces. <Might be food, the environment...> We bought anti-parasite food (didn't work), we bought "Clout" (didn't work), we bought garlic (didn't work).  All of a sudden she had diarrhea (very long lite brown feces, but normal diameter) and has not felt good since. <Could be resultant from the "medicines">   In fact she has quit eating.  In addition, the nitrates in the tank are very high. <How high is this? More than twenty ppm?> We have added "Fritz-zyme", <Won't change nitrate...> done three 1/3 water changes, added salt, stress coat and more plants.  The nitrates will NOT come down!  Nitrites are fine, ammonia is fine.  She does cruise around her 37 gallon tank a little, <Too small a volume...> nothing like before-she has been a very active fish.  She has eaten one pea a day for the last three days. This has been going on for about 8 days now and we are at a loss as to how to help her get better? <Better environment...> What can we do? <Learn re the nitrogen/biological cycle... fix this animal's world> How will she get better?  I'm worried sick about her!! Please help.  (There are no other fish in the tank-she is an only child!!) Thanks in advance for any advise you can offer. Lucinda Sanchez <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwnitrates.htm and the linked files above... You will see there are a few ways to ameliorate the present condition... larger volumes, anaerobic digestion... Bob Fenner>

FW maint. 9" goldfish, Wanda 8/26/05 Thank you so much for your response. . .I do however have 3 more questions/comments and then I hope to not have to bother you again. 1)  Yes, the Nitrates are higher than 20; they are at the highest level on the color coded card. 2)  I read thru' some of the info on your web site but could not find a definition of "anaerobic digestion"--is there a food that you sell or that I can purchase somewhere that will help her with these dastardly pesty parasites? <Mmm, no... we sell very little... one book that we produce, have written> We are presently using Koi food that is higher in protein than goldfish food. <Mmm, please read re nutrition of your species... don't need, want high/er protein in cooler water...> 3)  You say her environment is too small.  I thought I read that one should consider 3 gallons of water per inch of fish; <Mmm, a fallacy... better to use volume per volume as a guide... a cubic inch of fish per... five gallons let's say>< we therefore "assumed" that 9" of fish X 3 gallons of water = 27 gallons, so that she/we had some time before buying her a new aquarium. Is there a rule of thumb as to size of tank that is needed as we were obviously misinformed. Thanks sooooooooo much for your help!  I look forward to your response. Lucinda <Happy to render it. Bob Fenner>

Black Moor Now Gold Moor 8/9/05 Hi there! Love your answers, very informative. I had always been told that goldfish only need a couple gallons each to live. <Mmm, not quality, long lives... w/o increased risk of trouble.> I have nine goldfish, one a black moor in a 30 gallon tank. I have had the same setup for four years and have moved the fish around my home probably five or six times in those four years. All are healthy, never seem stressed by the move. <You're very likely very diligent re maintenance, feeding> I have a power filter and a bubble stone, a few aquarium plants and three log/castles for them to swim into/around. I clean out the tank completely about once every three months if needed. <Not a good or safe practice> Other than that, I just add water as needed. It seems I am doing quite a bit wrong! Do you see anything I could add to my tank or anything imperative I need to do? <Change to more frequent partial water changes, get a larger system...> One of my goldfish has grown to probably five inches long, he is huge (to me!)! How big do most goldfish get? <Fancy varieties to about this long, Comets to more than a foot> If I put them in a bigger tank, won't he get even bigger? <Possibly> As I have always heard they adapt to the size of the tank? <Ah, no... another "urban/e myth". Crowding many animals, polluting their water, stunts them, shortens their life span...> Also, the black moor, who was so beautiful, has turned completely orange except for his eyes and lips; he looks like he's wearing eyeliner and lipstick! Is this a permanent change? <Likely so... happens... even in pristine, optimal conditions.> Best regards, Jennifer Freels <Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwh2ochgs.htm and the linked files above where you lead yourself. Bob Fenner>

5 gallon -> 10 gallon -> 120 gallon (Goldfish) 8/7/05 Hi Crew, <Hey, Mike G with you this afternoon.> Firstly thanks in advance for helping me. <You're welcome (in advance)> I read your FAQs every day and I always learn something. <The wealth of information is astounding, is it not?> I first started reading when we decided to buy a 90 gallon tank that cost an arm and a leg. I figured if I spent the money on it I should do some research before stocking it :) <Of course, but you should always do some research before stocking anything.> In doing that I discovered that I was horribly abusing my 3 goldfish, they were living in a 5 gal tank. <Rather small. Best to keep 1 goldfish to 10 gallons> Being a vegan I felt horrible, but I didn't have the money right away to buy them the tank they needed. <Give them back to the pet store?> My husband refused to put goldfish in our new tank. So I bought a ten gallon to hold them for now with religious water changes. <Good for 1 fish.> Their water quality has been steadily fine. <I prefer numbers to words when gauging the quality of the water.> Then I got a great deal on some used tanks that were scratched. <Very nice.> We polished them out using a random orbital sander, with a towel instead of sand paper, and Brasso. Worked great! <A tip I'll have to remember.> After a huge cleaning to get all the Brasso out I have a shiny 120 gal (yea!) for my fish. <Wow! Now there's a happy ending!> So here are my questions. I haven't got a filter yet, I am having trouble finding one that will turn the tank enough. Will a Fluval 404 be okay? <Should be, if coupled with water changes.> If not what should I go with? <Ah, so many options. It really is up to you.> Can I start cycling the tank before I get the filter? <Yes.> Fill it with water and gravel and then feed it? <That would work. Bio-Spira, when dosed in a 3x recommended dosage, has never failed to cycle a tank for me.> We decided that we want 6 goldfish and a school of Cory cats (6-8). <Incompatible temperature range. Not a good mix. Corys need warmer water, goldfish need cooler water.> The available goldfish in our area are all Black Moors, Red Cap Orandas, and Orange Orandas. That's exactly what we have. Since we live in driving distance of San Francisco and want beautiful fish to spend 20 years with we decided that we would buy them there. <Alright.> Here's the question, where? Could you recommend a good store with nice goldfish? <Sorry, I cannot. The yellow pages and online forums (maybe one for a San Francisco fish club) should help you locate a nice establishment. Is ordering online out of the question?> We definitely want a Pearlscale, and a Panda. One more question, after my fish move I am think of using the ten gallon for Guppies. Would it be okay if I got all males? <Yep.> I've read about Guppy aggression but it seems to be centered around females. <It is.> I don't want any babies. I don't have the heart to use them for feeders, or the resources to grow them our and care for them. <A good choice, then.> If it's not I'll choose something else. <It is fine.> Thank you so much for helping us give Buzz, Timmy, and Woody a better life. <You should be thanking yourself for going so far to do so.> I can almost see them looking at their new home with longing. I am sorry for the novel, but since I was writing I figured I'd ask it all :) <It's always important to include as much info as you can. Helps us help you.> Peace and thanks, Nicole <Mike G>

Goldfish systems... health, longevity 7/12/05 Hi all, this is the first time I have read your Website and have found it really interesting. Please if you have a moment, can you answer this one for me, my family have had a restless night. <Not good> We have three goldfish in a big, outdoor bowl, a pump, water plants, everything that the pet shop asked us to do. These three have been with us since mid 2001, the fourth died about a year ago. How long does a normal, healthy goldfish live ? <Ten, twenty years or more. Most are prematurely killed off... from inappropriate environments, pollution, lack of nutrition, stress...> Yesterday, I found one of them on his/her back, motionless I thought. It then turned over and went swimming away. But behaved erratically I thought for the rest of the day, lots of upside down, motionless floating and then dashing about the tank. This morning, Thank God, he/she is more normal. Could this fish be pregnant, is this normal behaviour for a fish carrying eggs ? Please tell me what I should look for and anything I should do. I will be extremely grateful and my family all cope a lot better. This little one is our favourite and we thought we'd lost him/her. Is this a good time to get another pair of medium sized goldfish, how large do they need to be, so the two bigger fish won't eat them ? I will check this site many times today, my son is so anxious. I sincerely thank you for any help you can give us. Regards, Lyla Sydney, Australia <I suspect the crowding, growth over the years, change in season/temperature are taking their toll here. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm Goldfish need more gallons per than you are providing... Bob Fenner>

Re: Aussie goldfish in a bowl languishing 7/13/05 Good morning Bob and thank you for your time and replying to my question. <Welcome> Our three goldfish are in a big outdoor bowl, approximately 20 to 25 gallons. There is a pump to circulate water, elodea plants and we feed them only pet shop recommended pellets. Two fish are about six to seven inches long, one is three to four inches. So I am still concerned as to why the little one did the floating upside down on the surface, motionless behaviour, and then mad dashing about the bowl. Yesterday and today, there is far more normal behaviour, though I sense all three of them are a bit stressed. I have reduced the feeding amount over the last two days as well. I do apologize if I have missed something, but I read through a good deal of your Website and could not find anything to explain this strange behaviour. <Just the ill effects of crowding... metabolite poisoning... affects the newest, smallest individuals the most> Any thoughts please Bob ? Are we doing anything wrong ? Weather in Sydney is usually warm, and in these winter months, I cover the bowl at night to give them some protection, but our temperatures never drop below 7 degrees Celsius. Also, we run the aeration pump through the day and then switch it off at night. They have settled into this pattern for four years now. Look forward to any more suggestions. Many thanks again. Lyla <Each fish needs about twenty gallons of water... thin the herd. Bob Fenner>

Re: Goldfish, bowl, down under 7/14/05 Thank you again for your time and patience Bob. I am hoping things will settle down. Obviously, we will stay at three fish and not add any more. Regards. <Do keep your eye on the goldfish's behavior... particularly during warmer days... this is the best indication of pending trouble... need for water changes. Bob Fenner>

More on a goldfish 7/22/05 Thank you I stopped with the ice cubes and I am trying to save up to get him anew tank with all the fancy stuff. His red mark is clearing up thank you so much I was so worried about him. I know he is just a fish but he has sentimental value <Ah yes... Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Stocking Density 7/10/05 "Is my tank too small?" Hello my name is Danielle and my daughter had won a goldfish at the fair, so we went and got a tank but decided to get it some friends. we have 1 comet, 1 black moor, 1 fantail, and one loach.  we have them in a 5gallon tank for right now because that is what we can afford right now. <In response to your subject line, "Is my tank too small," I can tell you with much confidence that, yes, your current tank is well too small for its current inhabitants. To be honest, if you could only afford a 5 gallon aquarium, then you should have only kept fish that would do well in such a situation. In this hobby, if you can't afford the right environment, don't buy the fish. Sad to say, a 5 gallon would be a tad small for any fish in there: the rule of thumb I like to go buy when stocking goldfish is 1 fish per 10 gallons of water. Of course, I also like to stock according to adult sizes, even when buying juveniles.> we talked to the person at the petstore and they said that for right now the tank will be okay but later we need to upgrade.  How long will this be okay for?   <Well, I think you should go ahead and purchase a larger tank as soon as is possible. Your fish will not be forced to experience stunting, they will grow faster, grow larger, and be all-around healthier.> They seem to be doing fine, it looks like they are having fun they are healthy, they are eating, and they are playing. and the dojo loach doesn't bother them at all.  will this be okay for a while.   <Depends on how you define 'okay.' Your fish could probably survive in that situation for 6 months to a year, but that would be a rather uncomfortable predicament indeed from the fishes' standpoint(s). If I were you, I would go about buying that new tank as soon as is feasible.> My husband only wants to get a 12 gallon tank will that be okay for all 4 of them?   <For a while? Yes. In the long run? No. I would suggest you maintain what you have in your 5 for a few months, until you can afford a tank of 30+ gallons, bigger is always better.> please write back and let me know. I am really new at this and I am thinking of starting a goldfish family.  Thank you so much <I am glad I could assist, and I applaud your enthusiasm to improve your pets' environment. Best of luck, Mike G>

Two of my fish are sick... overcrowded, under-filtered goldfish system 7/7/05 Hi, I currently have a 20 gallon fish tank with 3 Ryukins and one black moor. They are approximately 3 years old <This tank is too small> and after checking my water, all appears to be normal. <Not helpful information> They are not acting strangely, and appear to be active and eating well.  I have two fish which I need your advice on. Fish 1: One of my Ryukins was completely orange, but appears to be losing her pigmentation on her head (this only started appearing over the past week or so).   <Happens> I checked her out to see if it was a fungus, but her scales are smooth, and it doesn't resemble cotton.  Is this normal or should I medicate her.  I read that color loss could potentially mean that it is a parasite, but I am not too sure at this point.  The discoloration doesn't appear to be consistent, but patchy, which to me, is a little suspicious.  She has a big patch on the left side of her face and a smaller patch under her right eye.  None of the other fish appear to be experiencing the same symptoms though.  Any ideas? <Read...> Fish 2: As well, my black moor is my little boy,.  When I first got him, I had issues with my ammonia.  After that, the water stabilized and has been normal ever since.  Since the initial shock of the ammonia spiking, he developed a gill curling issue, where his gills curl forward.  This started off as his gills just being swollen, but now, it has been getting progressively worse and his gills have curled towards his eyes. I'm afraid that if it keeps going, he will develop a breathing problem and die or his gills will eventually grow into his eyes.  I found a web site that said to cut off the curled section of the gill so that it can grow back, but when I examined him, it felt like it was thick cartilage. <I would not cut the gill opercula> I was worried that it may be too thick to cut, or I would slip with the scissors when trying to cut through it.  I just left it as is in hopes that it wouldn't grow any further, but it doesn't appear to be stopping. Can you please give me some advice as to how to help him?  Is trimming his gill safe? <Yes> Thank you very much, and I hope to hear from you soon. Sincerely Nicole <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above... You need a larger system, more filtration, understanding... Bob Fenner>

Goldfish system temperature, Grammar, WWM 6/29/05 Hi crew, your website is wonderful. I have 4 medium sized goldfish in a 20 gallon tank, two years old now, thanks to your expert advice.  It is freshwater with a basic pump and sponge filter.   <Likely could use more filtration than this...> With the recent warm weather can you suggest how to cool the water down, i thought about ice cubes. What is the correct temperature my tank should be, please in Fahrenheit and centigrade.  We are hoping to go away for a week and don't have a fish sitter, i wondered what your opinion was on the vacation white blocks you buy from the pet shop, and if you approve, how many would i need, to last for a week. many thanks. Lynn. <Lynn, your message is taking minutes to correct its English... there are spaces after commas, no such word as "i"... Your answers re temperature are posted on WWM, but to re-answer succinctly, I wouldn't fool with ice cubes, trying to manipulate temperature with these goldfish in such a system (size, filtration) as yours... too dangerous to cause more trouble than this is worth. I do encourage you to acquire, use another filter... the best choice, some type of hang-on power filter... Like a Marineland BioWheel product. I wish you well. Bob Fenner>

Year old goldfish needs HELP, actually just a real system Hi, <Hello> We have had a goldfish for a year, by himself in a octagonal 1 gal tank.   <Too small...> 2 weeks ago, we made the mistake of bringing home a couple more goldfish from the fair, where he had come from.  Those fish all passed within a couple of days, and while they were there and for a few days after he kept darting around the tank and acting like he was really hungry all of the time.  The tank started to algae up with him being fed more frequently, so we gave it a really good clean up and bought a  small Plecostomus (sorry I am sure I misspelled). <No worries, but this system/volume is too small for any one of these fishes>   He seemed to settle down, after a couple of more days, and doing some resting on the bottom - I thought he had just pooped himself out with all the hyper behavior.  We just came home from a 5 day vacation, and the Pleco. is dead and Rusty (the gold fish is struggling at the bottom of the tank, and has white patchy dots all over his body and over his eyes.  At some angles it seems like there is a fuzzy surface, but on his scales I can definitely make out pin point little white dots.  My guess is Ich or fungus. But I really am just guessing, and all of our pet stores are closed as well as really far away, and I have called 4 emergency vet clinics, but they don't know fish.   Please help.  My 5 year old has been so dedicated to him.  He even tried to "write somebody on his computer to ask them how to save a fish" as he informed me as I was beginning my e-mail to you. <I see> Also when we got the Plecos. I also added 2 little bulbs to the tank to grow into water lilies. <Wish you had a larger system...> Tara Martinelli <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm re Goldfish Systems... an on to the linked files above, including Goldfish Disease/Health. Bob Fenner>

New Tank Syndrome - Can I prevent my 2 remaining goldfish from dying? Dear WWM Crew; I can't thank you enough for your website. I am hoping that you can help me save my 2 little fantails (each measure approximately 1 inch from snout to the start of their caudal fins). <Hi, Gage here, I will do my best.> Sixteen days ago I foolishly purchased "a bag of goldfish" and a 2 gallon tank. I had some remote childhood memory of having goldfish in a bowl and, without having done my homework, thought this would be fine. (An aside, wouldn't it be something if one had to take a class or two on basic fish care & aquarium maintenance before one could purchase any fish!) <fool. Just kidding, happens all the time I am glad you are open to learning how to take care of your fish, nothing foolish about that.  Fish school, I like it.  We could issue Fishing Licenses.> Once I got them home and read the aquarium guide included in the 2 gallon kit I realized my new goldies were in trouble.  The next day I purchased a 10 gallon tank with AquaClear 20 filter, more water conditioner, two 2 gallon buckets, a siphon, an air curtain, and a Tetratest Laborett (pH, KH, GH, NO2, CO2, NH3/NH4).<BAM!> I kept one fish who looked overwhelmed in the 2G tank and safely transferred the remaining 6 fish to the 10G tank (still too small, I know. I am saving for a larger tank). <Good, ~10gal per goldfish:-)> The first week went by without much distress, but then I had to go to a conference for the weekend and the 20% tank changes were put on hold for 3 days. <Unless you are battling some water problems this is not too big of a deal> The day after I got home I returned to my usual 20% tank changes and then I noticed that a couple of my fish had white spots on their caudal fins. ICH! <Bingo!> After doing some reading I purchased some Malachite Green treatment and gave one dose. After some more reading I realized that the ICH was more a symptom of my uncycled tank than a "new" problem. <Well sort of.  Uncycled tanks do not create Ich, however uncycled tanks cause stress on fish which lowers their immune system and makes them prone to disease which may already be present in the environment.  Especially goldfish which I am going to guess are "feeders" and have not been raised in the best conditions.> My first fish died day 13 (Bubbles, sniff). I then did 75% changes on both my tanks and have treated the ICH with aquarium salt. Now I am doing daily or twice daily tests and water changes once or twice a day. <Once daily or every other day depending on the test results.  You may find that too many water changes can prevent a tank from cycling as well as diluting the meds that are in the water.  The thing to look out for is Ammonia and Nitrite, when these get to high your fish die.> Today we have had our 5th death (Remus) and only Romulus and Blaze remain. The ICH is gone (apparently). They had a few good days after my first 75% tank change. And now I have come upon a now all too familiar scene, they are resting quietly at the bottom of the tank, dorsal fins down. The tank's pH is 7.5, NH3/NH4 is 0.25 mg/L, NO2 is 0, and temperature is 24 degrees Celsius. The only way I know to keep the NH3/NH4 down is by doing the water changes as I have been doing. Today, in desperation I added an AquaClear Ammonia Remover to my filter. <You are doing all that you really can, these fellas may have been doomed from the git'go.  The only thing you can do is offer them good water quality and see if they pull through.> Do you have any suggestions for helping my little ones? Could my frequent water changes/gravel vacuuming have stressed them out too much? Perhaps they are still recovering from the ICH and the ammonia poisoning? Thanks in advance for your sage advice. And now that I know better, I'll do better - I am saving up to purchase a 60G tank in the coming months and will cycle it first before adding my goldfish! <good plan>P.S. Is there a conversion factor for NH3/NH4, NO2, and NO3 between ppm & mg/L? <I stole the following from www.thekrib.com (an excellent resource) http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Fertilizer/dosing.html "Terminology and Computational Procedures Concentration units of chemicals in the aquarium are often expressed in parts per million (ppm), for example milligrams of nitrate per 1,000,000 mg of solution. (A liter (L) of water weighs 1000 grams (g) or 1,000,000 mg, and so one ppm is one milligram per liter). One ppm is also the same as 1 g (1,000 mg) per 1,000 L." Best of Luck, Gage>

Goldfish Environment 6.12.05 Over the past five days I've had a range of problems with my five goldfish. <I thought you said 4 goldfish.> Firstly, my comet has a " air sack" in its belly and its not eating, so I transferred it in a 10 litre container and added the inside of peas (for it to eat), MelaFix and a water conditioner. is this right ? should I double the MelaFix formula? <So far as I know Melafix is not going to help the swim bladder issue.  10 litres is too small.> Second, my fantail got caught in a sandstone rock on Wednesday and I separated it into a 3 litre (with MelaFix formula) ceramic container. Now it lies at the bottom and hasn't eaten for five days the wound is healing slowly though. Is this also right what I've done? <way to small, he will use up the oxygen in the water and foul the water super fast.> Last, my large red Oranda, black Moor and white fantail have been put back into the 20 litre tank with 2 ml of MelaFix to fix the blood hemorrhaging. Again, Is what I've done right? Why are all these problems happening and how can I prevent it? also,  what other food could I feed them apart from flakes? <This is what I would do in this situation.  Get at least a 75 liter (20gallon) aquarium, (Please let me know if my conversion are wrong, it is very possible).  Do not use any sharp/rough decorations, goldfish are big fat and clumsy.  Put them all back in the same tank, it does not sound like they have diseases that are going to spread to one another.  Feed them peeled peas, thawed frozen goldfish food, or soak your dry flaked or pelleted food in a small container of tank water prior to feeding.  Do not skimp on the filtration or aeration.  If possible add some Elodea/Anacharis to the tank, this is a live plant that is good for digestion among other things. Best of Luck, Gage>

Got Air? I saw your website re: goldfish and have a question.  Two weeks ago I had 5 goldfish - I had had them for 3-4 months (1 big one for a year).  He/? was the first to die.  two days later a younger one was floating on top of the water (dead of course); about two days later, another.  Obviously I only have two left. The only abnormal thing I am noticing about these two is that they appear to be gasping for air (at the surface of the water)...?  WE have several small plants in the pond along with the 'fountain' - Any thoughts? We have been trying to keep the water cool and at a consistent temp. thanks at least for listening.  Help if you can. Jayne white < A couple of things could be going on. Check the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Ammonia and nitrites should be zero. Nitrates should be under 25 ppm. If any of these numbers are excessive then it could be burning the fishes gills and hamper their ability to get any oxygen. The remedy would be to clean the filters and change some water. Too much food or waste would have this effect. Warmer water temps mean the water has less capability to absorb oxygen so you may need to increase aeration.-Chuck>

Little Worms in Goldfish Tank I also notice in the tank that there are little white worms swimming in the water. What might these be? < Probably Planaria worms or plant leeches.> And what do  up suggest I do? < When the tank cools down and the goldfish is better you can treat the tank with Fluke-Tabs.> I also have a  little dwarf frog in the tank. I have the goldfish with the red spots on  them. My daughter said I  should just get rid of the fish. Could I replace  them in a pond and would the frog get sick I hate to get rid of him.  Help < The frog would probably crawl away and the goldfish will die if not treated. In the long run the pond may not be a bad place if your temp.s continue to get too hot.-Chuck> Cycling a New Goldfish Tank Mike, I'm back.24 hours after the below water change and AmmoLock the ammonia level is now 2ppm.  The fish still appears relatively healthy but are obviously more "bothered" than at their baseline.  Their names, by the way, are Fred & Rachael (named by my 5 year old boy whose room has the tank). Both goldfish now have much more obvious black "spotting" than yesterday (perhaps 10% of their surface area).  Tonight, I "treated" the tank with AmmoLock again and also added StressCoat & StressZyme (helpful?, harmful? or neutral?). < Lots of chemicals, What are you trying to do?>  Additionally, I went ahead and treated with MelaFix (didn't know if it might help with any "sores" which may be subject to secondary infection). Tomorrow, I plan to do another 25 - 30% water exchange.  I guess my goal is to get the ammonia levels to BELOW 1 ppm? < The lower the better.> I now have a pretty good grasp of the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate cycle and the need for the bacteria to facilitate it all.  I guess that adding the OLD gravel to the new tank would have been very beneficial, huh? < You bet.> I still would like for you to explain, at some point,  how I should have properly gone about cycling the new (nearly 3 times larger) tank before or at the same time as adding the same 2 fish from a 'procedural' standpoint. Thanks again & I'll look forward to your  reply, David < Go to Marineland.com and go to Dr. Tim's library. There is an article there titled "The First 30 Days". This should explain the nitrification process in case it wasn't very clear in past FAQ's.-Chuck.>

Goldfish and Crushed Coral I got a 30 gallon cube tank that originally had African cichlids in it. I want to use it to house 1-2 fancy goldfish. Is the crushed coral that came with the tank an appropriate substrate for fancy goldfish? If not, what should I use? Thanks for all you good advice. James <I would suggest switching to regular, natural gravel. Crushed coal is used in African Cichlid tanks to keep the pH high and the water hard. Goldfish can live in these conditions but if you have a vastly different pH value in your tap water, water changes could be dangerous. A quick drop in pH is deadly. Don>

Cloudy Tank with Problems I have had a 72 gal tank now for three yrs. What I have in my tank is #3- 3in. Ranchu Goldfish. We had 4. Recently lost a 6 in Pearlscale the size of a peach. You guys gratefully helped me early on when it was discovered I was keeping the tank too clean! Since then alls been well. I do not overfeed, have kept the lights on only in the eve when we are home and still, change 1/4 -1/2 water every weekend, HAD a nice carpet of green algae on the back and sides. One Eheim 2 for biological and don't mess w/it. Also one Fluval that is changed (and not rinsed w/tap) every 2 weeks, also vac. All was well for a few years. Now, all winter the water is cloudy and green.  Lost a Pearlscale as I mentioned. Hung around at the top and went belly up. The rest for now are active (and funny) and eating well. I was advised my gravel had bad gasses under it and I wasn't cleaning enough (sigh). Had to change the gravel. I changed the gravel. Cleaned the hoses (again) and did not change the Fluval until the next 2 weeks. STILL I have green cloudy water. Oh, forgot to mention I also took off all the algae on glass as some brown specks were on there as well. The water parameters seem fine as I purchased even new kits just for sure. Using "7.0" conditioner/ph lock as the fellow advised me. I used to use Prime. I just can't seem to get a handle on it and as sad as I am to give up my Ranchu's I adore, I'm ready to give in and give up. We have no room to install an ultraviolet light to system. I have researched all the articles, just kinda lost. Thanks for any help. Kind regards...Robyn < Water parameters should be as follows: ammonia-zero, nitrites-zero, nitrates < 25ppm. Temp 70 degrees F. If all these are fine then maybe the new gravel was not well washed and silts and clays are leaching into the water. The pH should be around 7. If all else is good then maybe a change in diet is needed.-Chuck> 

Cloudy Tank II Thank You Chuck. I appreciate the advise. Ph=7.0 Nitrite=0 Nitrate=0 (?) Seems like that can't be Ammonia=0 Truly I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed again the gravel in small amounts. Took me all day project :) They eat good food... Sho gold & Pro gold, sometimes some blanched Swiss Chard, taken out after an hour (Stalk really), occasionally algae & Spirulina pellets. Except for Chard, they are fed a piece at a time, a few each, not "dumped" in. Looks like my new Nitrate kit isn't right. Thanks Again. Regards...Robyn <Sounds like you are doing everything right. If you have lots of algae then you might not have any nitrates but it is highly unlikely. Look for a nitrate kit that uses dry reagents. They don't break down as much over time.-Chuck> 

Cloudy Tank III Thank You Much Chuck. I also ordered a UV sterilizer that I'm told I can duct tape to my filter and hopefully that will solve a good part , if not all of the problem. Will look for that right kind of kit as you suggested. Again, Thanks an awful lot :-)Regards...Robyn < The UV sterilizer will eliminate any free swimming organism and algae. I would be surprised if this helps. Take a clear drinking glass and fill it up with aquarium water and let it sit for a couple of days in a quite cool spot and see what happens. If the cloudy material settles out then it could be a rock or substrate that is breaking down and dissolving in the water. Then it is just a matter of finding out which rock.-Chuck> 

High Nitrites with Goldfish okay sorry to bother you again. < No problem, that is why we are here.> I just did a 25% water change and did a water test. The ph was neutral and has borderline soft and hard water but however my nitrite is pretty high. My fish still on the floor and not eating and swimming as much. I added salt as recommended. How would I do to help bubba and lower my nitrites. < Clean the tank. Vacuum the gravel to remove the waste that has accumulated there and clean the filter. Feed only once a day and only enough food so that all of it is gone in two minutes. Remove uneaten food after two minutes. If Bubba is not eating he may have an internal bacterial infection and need treating with Metronidazole.-Chuck>

Goldfish Acts Strange After Water Change Bubba my black Oranda needs your help. After I changed the water and added all the additives to the water. Bubba stays in the corner has not swam out in about 1 day. What has happened to him? Do you know what happened? <A good water conditioner would handle any chlorine and chloramines. "All the additives" has me concerned. Without knowing what you did or what you were trying to do it makes it hard to comment.-Chuck> 

Goldfish Getting Better Okay well last Saturday I did a 50% water change because he was under the treatment of rid ich. So when I replaced the water I added the stress coat, cycle bacteria (because a new aquarium), and AmQuel plus (removes all the chlorine, ammonia, etc). I went to PetSmart and they told me the nitrite is high and wait a couple of days for the AmQuel to work. He recommended me to add aquarium salt so I did. Now I see some improvement. He swims but still seems stressed and darts across the tank, and then still goes to his corner. I did a water test on my own and I notice that his temp is 80- 82 and then his nitrate is safe. His nitrite is danger 5.0 or greater and his ph looked like 6.2 acidic. So I figured that the nitrite and ph are problems. To solve this problem ASAP, do I need to do a 25 water change to remove some nitrite and how do I handle the problem with the pH. Please hurry. Thanks < Too hot for goldfish. Ich is gone and go back to the low 70's. Clean the tank as recommended and cut back on the food. Only feed once a day and make sure all the food is eaten in two minutes or siphon out any left over food. The pH could be a little higher. In a separate bucket, treat the tap water with the stress coat and bring the pH up to 7 using a pH buffer. Use this water to add to your aquarium when doing water changes. The water changes will slowly bring your pH up while reducing the nitrites.-Chuck> 

Goldfish and orange water We bought my daughter (4 yrs. old) two goldfish for her birthday a couple of months ago. I've cleaned their tank twice and they act happy and look healthy. <Mmm, likely need to institute weekly water changes...> Two or three days after cleaning the tank the water starts to turn orange. The tank is filtered. I've been changing out about 50% of the water when it gets like this, but I have to do it once a week. What's causing this and is there any other way to prevent it. <The simplest? Not to change all the water (this practice is disruptive to microbial life that is necessary to make the goldfish water safe), but to change out part of the water... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwh2ochgs.htm  and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm.  Bob Fenner> 

Nitrate levels in goldfish water Hello all ,      1st off can I thank for providing all the info and help on the site , it's a great source of info. I have had my freshwater aquarium for about 4 months now and have never had any problems at all , I only have 2 Orandas and they have loads and  loads of room , but when I cleaned out the other day as I always do , I  carried out the water checks the day after only to find unusually high nitrate  levels (7mg/l). <This is actually not high at all... Most goldfish systems have a few to many tens of mg/l of NO3> I cant seem to get it down , the fish seem fine and I have cut the feeding down but I don't know what products to use (don't want to buy any old stuff recommended buy the brain dead 17 year old puppy sales person at the only pet superstore near by)     is there any thing you can recommend please. thanks Rik. <No worries... just keep up doing what you're doing. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish at top of tank I read a lot of FAQ's and I couldn't find my problem exactly so thanks for any help you can give. First, I made a lot of mistakes about 6 weeks ago with feeding and my tank got very dirty. I spent much time rehabilitating the water quality and just had it tested for the nth time two days ago and the quality was very good. I had 2 Danio fish and 2 3" goldfish in the tank at that time. The two goldies were at the bottom with red in their tails which I know is not good. <Correct... due to poor water quality likely... this system is big enough, filtered? Some water changed out weekly?> I was advised to move the Danios as they are (and I have noticed it lately) aggressive and was told perhaps they were bothering the goldies. I saw some improvement in my goldies within a day but noticed that one of them is now seemingly stuck at the top almost in a trance. He eats when I feed them and does move at times but he's been at the top for quite a while. I have nursed these fish quite diligently and don't want to lose them. Any ideas? Thanks again, Jen. <Do you feed just dried food? Please go back and re-read on WWM re goldfish systems, foods/feeding/nutrition, and disease... Bob Fenner> 

Fish New to College Life, (Goldfish's) Water Getting Cloudy, Reassurances Hi, there. <<Hello Elizabeth. Marina here.>> I recently bought a beautiful calico fantail goldfish... and that seems to be pretty much the extent of my knowledge. <<Oh lord, I do hope you have some more than that. <giggle> >> I've been doing some research online to make sure I keep my fish happy and healthy for as long as possible. I apologize if you repeat yourself, but I've been looking through the site and I'm just hoping I understand everything correctly and am on the right track for taking care of my fish. <<Alright, reassurances seem to be what you need here.>> My fish is living in a college dorm room, which means limited space. I know that its tank is too small (1 gallon) but the guy at the pet store said that it'd still live about 6 months. <<Depending on a few factors, maybe.. I'm assuming you've got yourself a small baby - no larger than 2" of fat fantail.>> Within the next few, I hope to be getting a larger tank, hopefully 2 1/2 gallons, again, still keeping in mind spatial issues. <<We'd still hope for a minimum of five gallons, these fishes are short, fat-bodied fish, and goldfishes in general create more nitrogenous waste than other pet fishes.>> The tank that the fish is in now (I'm still working on a name) has an undergravel filtration system and I'm using Start Right from, I think Jungle for the water. Even with the filtration system, the water seems to be getting cloudy. <<New tank syndrome.>> I figure this is from the ammonia produced by the fish and perhaps more frequent water changes are required (more than once a week, like the people at the pet store said). <<You figure right regarding the ammonia being the root cause (see? You have more knowledge than you thought!), however, MORE water changes are not the answer here. At least, NO water changes with gravel vacuuming. What you have is likely "new tank syndrome", a situation where the nitrifying bacteria (benthic) are still losing the battle with free-swimming bacteria in the competition for food (ammonia). IF the ammonia and nitrite levels are low (below .25ppm) then you should be able to let it go a week or two - the longer the better in this situation - without water changes. Let it settle in, let the nitrifiers get their foothold, THEN do water changes without vacuuming any more than 1/3 the gravel. Also, be sure that you've got the RIGHT gravel in there, needs to be "pea gravel", that is to say, no larger than about 1/4" in diameter.>> I plan on getting testing strips to check for nitrate in the water and the treatment for the water if need be. I can't afford anything expensive, so I'm heading to Wal-Mart to check their selection. (Small college town means smaller selection) <<A suggestion: You can get online, how about going to a local bank and buying a pre-paid credit card? My 15yo did this with some extra money he had when he wanted to buy some gaming things online. I wouldn't do it for him, and this was our solution. I believe that this is the best way to buy online when you don't already have a line of credit built up, and you should not only find better prices than Wal-Mart, but a far better selection!>> I chose my fish because it had spunk. I put my finger to the glass of tanks to see which of the fish will follow it and this one seemed to almost want to bite off my finger, so I figured it had some fight in it. <<Agreed, and personality, too. Remember, these fish can and do learn who their owners are, learn to come for feeding, scritches, attention.>> (My last fish came into my possession unhealthy, probably from an extremely small space... almost like the carnival fish.) Sometimes I worry a little when the fish moves quickly... almost spastically, but then it settles down. It almost seems to be looking for food. Also, it'll sometimes open its mouth really wide... It'll come to the front of its tank and open widely, then close its mouth a few times, though no air that I can see is coming out. <<If it's doing this at the surface, this is called "gulping" and it's an attempt to get more oxygen to its gills. The surface of the water is where the O2/CO2 exchange takes place, so surface agitation is very important, especially with goldfishes.>> Maybe it's just talking to me, but I want to be sure. Again, I apologize if you repeat yourself, though I have looked through the site. I'd rather be safe than sorry and make sure I can hold onto my beloved fish as long as possible. (My the people on my floor in the dorm haven't had a lot of luck with fish.) Thank you for your patience and time. Elizabeth <<They'll have better luck if they come here. ;-) Anyway, continue going through our site, you're on the right track, and the new tank problem should resolve itself within a month or so. Then, regular maintenance, basic husbandry re: regular water changes, etc., don't feed too much (about an "eyeball-ful" is what they need daily). Do watch for constipation with fancy goldies, don't feed surface-floating foods to fancies.. what else..? Oh, if you can occasionally get a hold of cooked peas (or frozen), then squeeze them out of their skins for him/her. Let us know how it works out! Marina>>

Dorm Goldfish Girl?  Hi! I'd just like to thank Marina for taking the time to reassure me with my fish. <<Elizabeth, if I recollect, with the goldfish? Sorry, but my memory banks don't work so well these days, that's why keeping previous correspondence in the body of the text is helpful (not just to me, I hear). In any event, hello!>> I know it was only a couple days ago, but the fish seems to be happy and healthy so far. I have a few more questions, though. <<Alright, let's do this.>> By the way, my fish's name is Schrodinger (Schroder for short), named after the physicist and his theory (I'm a physics geek). I will give an explanation later if you like, but I know you have many e-mails to read, so I'll move on. <<Most geeks I know who have an inkling who Schrodinger was would have thus dubbed their CATS Schrodinger. Unfortunately, for some reason as yet unknown, "Stinky" seems to be the most popular cat name in America. I'd rather have a fish. Cool beans on the physics, too. Not many girls are getting into this field, more should, as well as more U.S. students in general, but hey, that's a rant left for another site.>> I don't have a gravel vacuum yet... I went to get one today, but they didn't have one, so I ordered on. Meanwhile, I take the majority of the gravel out of the tank and rinse it as much as I possibly can. Does this help at all? <<Eek! No! It does exactly the OPPOSITE. Remember those little "benthics" I mentioned? They're easily disturbed from the surfaces upon which they've attached. DON'T do this anymore, don't even vacuum for the first month. IF you must do water changes (likely with a goldie in a small setup), change out ONLY the water, make sure it's dechlorinated - easy enough to do if it's just chlorine, leave it out overnight. If it's chloramine, easier to buy specific products that break down that bond between the chlorine/ammonia. At this point, if you can get some BioSpira (Marineland product - salt and fresh) that will help you a LOT. Kick starts the cycle by inoculating with bacteria, which in turn helps tip that balance back in the favor of those consumers of nitrogenous wastes. Jeez.. I REALLY hope you're the girl with the goldfish..>> Also, at night, Schroder's back fin will go down. I've pretty much chalked it up to him being tired because it doesn't tend to go down during the day... but I'm keeping an eye out for any illnesses. <<Yeah, fishes need to "sleep", goldfishes usually sink to the bottom, find a place of little/no turbulence, etc. Do keep an eye, of course. I really hope you're Elizabeth. Marina>>

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