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Is it too late to save my goldfish?
05-11-2012, 02:36 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-11-2012, 05:09 PM by Thor.)
#1
rwzheng1997 Offline
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Is it too late to save my goldfish?
I just realized that I may have partially poisoned my fish with ammonia poisoning. I read an article about the symptoms, and my fish has most of them. Cf2
Can I take out half of the water once in the morning and once at night? I have one shubunkin goldfish in a bowl (Trying to get a tank as soon as possible. I know its way too small. Undecided ) I am hoping that this water changing will keep my fish alive until the water cycle thing is complete. Also, half of the water I started with was from a pet store's water (Petco), so I am pretty sure that that water has some of the bacteria.
Will I need a filter, if I get a 20 gallon tank and change about half of the water every week? The filters are expensive, but if it is essential, I'll gladly buy any filter. I bought the fish exactly 3 days ago. Also, I am refilling the tank with tap water mixed with a dechlorinator. The dechlorinator also states that it removes ammonia.
Sorry for the long post.
If I do need a filter, will this do? http://www.amazon.com/AquaClear-20-Power...B000260FVG
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05-11-2012, 04:45 PM,
#2
Thor Offline
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RE: Is it too late?
Fish bowl is no place for fish. They are all for marketing, but not for fish.

To keep any kind of tiny fish, a minimal 5 gallon is required.

Consider you have a goldfish, which produce tons of ammonia.
You must get a minimal 20~30 gallon tank immediately. A filter rated much higher than 20~30 gallon is needed. That AquaClear 20 is not all that powerful consider you keep a goldfish. Get a AquaClear 50.

Nope, old tank water holds next to 0 beneficial bacteria required for aquarium nitrogen cycle. It wouldn't do you any good even if you use 100% water from the pet store. In fact, I would avoid it, since many pet store especially chain stores have parasites and diseases in their tanks.

What you need is a piece of old filter media, that is where most nitrogen cycle bacteria live on. They only colonize surface areas in your tank, and the filter media has most of it.

Read details on aquarium nitrogen cycle.


What water conditioner are you using? At this stage, I would recommend you to get Prime. It detoxify ammonia up to 48 hours, turn it into less harmful ammonium.
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05-11-2012, 04:47 PM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Is it too late?
I am certainly not the fish expert here, but from all I have understood with the fish I have kept, at some point you just have to let the tank cycle. The more water changes you do the more you will slow down and inhibit the cycling. And if you use a water conditioner, you may remove all the ammonia, but then the tank will never cycle.

Goldfish are pretty hardy little critters. He may be fine. But the more you mess with the tank, the longer it is going to take to get a nitrogen cycle established.
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05-11-2012, 04:59 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-11-2012, 05:07 PM by Ram.)
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RE: Is it too late?
To OP, you need to upgrade to a real tank as soon as possible.
For a fancy goldfish, minimal 20~30 gallon for each.
For a common goldfish, minimal 40~55 gallon each.

Your fish will die within weeks in a fish bowl. They shouldn't even sell these fish bowl, since it always kills the fish.

A filter is a must if you want to keep the fish alive at all in captivity. Without it, ammonia produced by fish will always build up no matter what you do, and the fish will get killed by this toxic produced by itself.




(05-11-2012, 04:47 PM)Fishbone Wrote: I am certainly not the fish expert here, but from all I have understood with the fish I have kept, at some point you just have to let the tank cycle. The more water changes you do the more you will slow down and inhibit the cycling. And if you use a water conditioner, you may remove all the ammonia, but then the tank will never cycle.

Goldfish are pretty hardy little critters. He may be fine. But the more you mess with the tank, the longer it is going to take to get a nitrogen cycle established.

That would be not quite accurate.
We always recommend cycle the tank before getting the fish, which is what we refer to fishless cycle. Unless the tank is huge and the fish load is low, in that case cycle with fish won't do much harm if done properly.

He has a puny fish bowl, without doing water change on daily basis, or even multiple water change on daily basis, the fish won't last long at all. Although he must do partial water change to avoid shock the fish with sudden change.

You confused water conditioner with some ammonia reducer products. Wink
Water conditioner usually only neutralize chlorine in the tap water, and makes it safe to be added into the fish tank. Only SeaChem Prime and very few other water conditioner actually have the ability to turn ammonia into ammonium for 24~48 hours, then the less harmful ammonium will revert back into the toxic ammonia. So water conditioner does not remove ammonia at all.

Keep doing water change multiple times every day will surely slow down the nitrogen cycle, but it will not stall the cycle. Since the fish produce ammonia on a constant base, there is always ammonia in the water. Even if you do 100% water change at once (which is not recommended in order to avoid shock the fish), the moment you put fish back into the tank, the ammonia start to raise again. that is why water change is never substitute for having a cycled filter. Bottom line, if he wants to keep the fish alive for more than a few weeks in that fish bowl, he must do partial water change every day.

In fact, I recommend him to do partial water change two time a day if he can't get hands on Prime. If he can get Prime, then partial water change of 30~50% once a day might help, since all the ammonia will be in the form of ammonium.

However,
Without upgrading the tank, or get a good filter, nothing will help the fish to stay alive for long. The frequent water change with Prime is still highly recommended after the tank upgrade and the installation of a proper filter, until the tank is cycled.

I also recommend to get Tetra SafeStart to speed up the nitrogen cycle. (after you upgrade to a minimal 20 gallon tank, and have a filter)
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05-12-2012, 03:41 AM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Is it too late to save my goldfish?
You responded while I was typing Big Grin As I said, I am certainly not the fish expert.

So the one thing I don't understand. I get the danger of the ammonia. and what is required for cycling, etc... But I had always thought, that doing water changes in a tank that didn't have an established nitrogen cycle would slow down the process of getting the cycle established. I know that goldfish produce allot of waste. and the ammonia content in a small bowl would become dangerous, but wouldn't doing constant water changes only lead to always having to do more constant water changes if the cycle didn't become established? Or will the tank cycle anyways with no ill effects?
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05-12-2012, 03:58 AM,
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Thor Offline
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RE: Is it too late to save my goldfish?
The tank will always be in the process of cycling if there is presence of ammonia. Even just 0.1ppm of it.
As we do not recommend 100% water change, partial water change will always leave some ammonia in the tank after the water change. Not to mention the fish are still producing ammonia between water changes, which means there is always ammonia in the water. Only a fully cycled tank can convert ammonia as quick as the fish produce it.

Water change will only slow down the cycling process, but it won't stall it. The more urgent problem here is the fish will definitely die in a small bowl without immediate partial water change on daily basis. You may get away with fish dying if it is a large tank, but it is not the case here as ammonia concentration can raise very quickly in such small amount of water.
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05-12-2012, 11:21 AM,
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rwzheng1997 Offline
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RE: Is it too late to save my goldfish?
I started water changes two days ago, and after 4 changes, the fish seems much more lively. He ate some food but spit the pellets (designed for goldfish) back out again. My "bowl" is actually 4 gallons. If I got a filter within 72 hours, will it still work? Huh
Also, I have a dechlorinator (it says it changes it into ammonuium), and I was wondering which type of water I should use. I have basic tap water, and I have this "filter". Its this "filter" (not aquarium filter) that my family uses to filter tap water for drinking. Which one would be better? I think that the "filter" adds some minerals.
With the filter, how often do I have to change the water?
Many thanks to everyone for the help! Smile
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05-12-2012, 06:01 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-12-2012, 06:02 PM by Ram.)
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RE: Is it too late to save my goldfish?
The first thing you need to do is to get a much larger tank. Like we already said, 20~30 gallon minimal.

Then get a filter. Aquarium filter and home drinking water filter are completely different and they do different things. They are no substitute of each other.
Your drinking water filter only has activated carbon in there and it has no filter media like an aquarium filter for nitrogen cycle to take place.

So get yourself a real aquarium filter.

Which water conditioner are you using? It should have the name on the bottle.

Tap water is perfectly fine if you use aquarium water conditioner.

Aquarium filter is used for nitrogen cycle. If you read the article - fishless cycle, which we had posted link above, you should know it is no substitute for water change. Water change is used to remove the final produce of the nitrogen cycle - nitrate. We typically do 30~50% partial water change once a week in a well established tank just to remove nitrate, restore water buffer, etc.

Your current situation is you have a tiny fish bowl that is unsuitable for the fish, and you have no filter to speak of, nor the tank is cycled. You must quickly fix the first two, then hopeful the best that the fish can survive through nitrogen cycle. So you need to do water change every day as we suggested. By using Prime as water conditioner, it helps the fish to survive better, although nothing can guarantee your fish will 100% survive.

Good luck! Boozing
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05-13-2012, 04:51 AM,
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rwzheng1997 Offline
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RE: Is it too late to save my goldfish?
I got a 8.5 gallon tank, with these black stones on the bottom. I have this filter and a light. I'm moving my fish in today! Thumbsup This was from a garage sale, and I also got a little bit of this beneficial bacteria bottle. Should I put it in?
How should I transfer the goldfish to the new tank? Should I use the old water?
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05-13-2012, 05:01 AM,
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Thor Offline
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RE: Is it too late to save my goldfish?
8.5 gallon is still way too small for a goldfish, but if you can't afford a bigger than, then I guess it will have to do.

First wash your new tank clean, same with filter.
Install the filter, make sure there is filter media in it. Fill the tank with water, use water conditioner in it. Make sure the filter is running.
You haven't told us what water conditioner you have.

What beneficial bacteria bottle are you speaking of? Tetra SafeStart is the only proven working live bacteria product for nitrogen cycle. If what you said is indeed Tetra SafeStart, then you may dump it all in at once into your tank water. Let it run for 24 hours before transfer your fish into it.

Old water has 0 value for transferring bacteria. You don't want it.
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05-13-2012, 07:10 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-13-2012, 07:16 AM by rwzheng1997.)
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RE: Is it too late to save my goldfish?
I actually dont know how to measure it. I measured it, and it calculates to 8.5 gallons. It looks like a 10 gallon though, and my fish seem to be MUCH MUCH MUCH more active. In fact, its racing laps around Smile
Thanks everybody! the fish's swelling has stopped, and its color is back to normal. However, when I feed it food, it keeps spitting the food back out. I think that the goldfish is too small, so I will change to flakes for now. How do I take left over food out? It gets like buried in the gravel.
Also, I added a second fish to the tank (my sisters). They are both goldfish, although one is about 1.5x the other one's size. Will they attack or harm each other?

also, what kind of goldfish does my sister have? Its a orange one with a little white stripe across it. It's fins are more "sturdy", and less wavy/feathery.
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05-13-2012, 01:22 PM,
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RE: Is it too late to save my goldfish?
You must not to overfeed. If the fish refuse to eat, no need to add more food. You only need to feed it once a day, with no more than the fish can eat in under a minute. Remove leftover fish food immediately after feeding to avoid spoil the water. Or the leftover food will break down into more ammonia and poisoning your fish.

Your 8.5 gallon tank is too small even for a single goldfish. By adding another bigger one is not a good idea. You will increase the ammonia production. Remember that your tank is not cycled. There is nothing in your tank to reduce the ammonia as of now.

Can't tell what kind of goldfish it is without a good photo. Probably a fancy goldfish most likely.
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