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Oh No....My Fish!....Help, Please!

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I recently bought an aquarium and some fish. They've all been doing very well until this morning when I only three came out to eat!

I was worried, but couldn't see another fish anywhere! At closer inspection, I've discovered that one of them has died I haven't got a clue what to do! I've never had fish before and nowhere in the instructions does it say what to do in this situation!

Can anyone please help me with what to do? If I fish him out, where do I put him?! Do I need to find out what hurt him or will my other fish be okay?! I just don't know what to do!
post #2 of 26
Aww Sarah!

First please be calm!

What kind of tank and fish do you have?
Once I know what kind of fish you have I can help you out ok?
I'm not an expert beyond an ordinary tank though...

But for the poor little fishy that didn't make it, this may sound harsh but, flush him. If he isn't already out of the tank get him out!!
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you for helping, Ashley!

I just have an Elite tank with filter and they are ordinary gold fish! I haven't got him out yet - I'm feeling a bit yucky about it!

Shall I get him out and put him in a cup or something?! Flush him
I'll go and try to do it now!
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sar
Thank you for helping, Ashley!

I just have an Elite tank with filter and they are ordinary gold fish! I haven't got him out yet - I'm feeling a bit yucky about it!

Shall I get him out and put him in a cup or something?! Flush him
I'll go and try to do it now!
Oh sweetie! I'll PM you about all of this!
post #5 of 26
ohno sorry I cant offer any advise. I have goldfish but they live in a pond outside. I hope Ash can help you out... awwww my friend
post #6 of 26
well if you have an algae eater it can eat it. then its not so horrible to think about because.. its their nature!

i was shocked to see one of my fishies vanished a while ago.

your fishie could have been sick when you bought it but didnt realise, they usually swell up when they are sick
post #7 of 26
Oh dear, Sarah, I'm so very sorry about your fish.How upsetting for you.
post #8 of 26
We used to have the same problem until I started treating the tap water with a chlorine neutraliser and cut down their feeding to twice a day. We have 7 goldfish and I only clean the filter & change 2/3 water about once a month.
Oh and I only clean 3 sides so there's a nice green growth on the back for them to nibble at.
post #9 of 26
Did you cycle the tank? Also, how big is the tank and how many goldfish are in it? Goldfish are little ammonia factories and I have heard that you really don't need more than about one per 10 gallons of water. Contrary to popular belief, goldfish are really not beginner fish except that they're cheap.
post #10 of 26
I used to have 2 55gallons freshwater tanks and I know that you have to watch the water the first month. It can have too much algea or not enough. It takes a while for the tanks ecosystem to "set-up".If you have a pet store that deals with fish close by, I would take a water sample in to them and have it tested.It could have (Im not sure if Im right about the *exact* name) to high of nitrates in it. If it has too high or too low of anything they can tell you what you need to do. You can also buy your own home test kits and maintain it on your own. Unfortunatly whenever you get anything bigger then a fishbowl, it takes more to keep it up them feeding them. It's more work then people think lol.. thats why I dont have mine anymore
Oh and also Im not sure but most pet stores have a policy about if the fish dies withen 24hrs or a week (diff policies at diff stores) they will replace it for free!
Good Luck hun!
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseHawke
Did you cycle the tank?
I was going to ask the same thing. I'm in the process of cycling my new saltwater aquarium and recently lost a fish in the process, so I know what you're going through . Have patience, follow Ashley's advice, and I certainly hope your tank thrives
post #12 of 26
First you need to take your other fish out of the aquarium and scour out everything. This will make sure that if the fish was sick when you bought him - say an infection - then the other little fishies won't get it as well. You have to make sure that any toys, plants, gravel is cleaned. Fresh water goes back into the tank and that the fitration system is functioning properly. We had a problem with an infection with fish when my brother had them - there were no outward signs of it, and then suddenly a fish would go belly-up, with no warning whatsoever. It did take a really thorough clean out of the system before the problem stopped. Take Ashley's advice as well, and I reckon you'll be on a winner.
post #13 of 26
Yep, goldfish are dirty little buggers. Chances are your tank isn't cycled and you have an ammonia buildup. A tank that is cycled has bacteria that turns ammonia--fish waste and rotting food--into nitrites, which are somewhat less harmful to the fish, and then the nitrites get turned into nitrates, which are even less harmful to the fish. You remove the nitrates by doing regular water changes. Or if you have live plants, the live plants will "eat" the nitrates.

Most likely you don't have a diseased tank; you probably just have an ammonia buildup. I second Dixie Darlin's recommendation to take a water sample into a fish store. They can help you from there. Another thing to keep in mind is that way more fish die from overfeeding than underfeeding. Remember, your fish's stomach is about the size of his eyeball. Extra food equals extra waste in the tank.

Oh, and one more thing: please don't get in the habit of flushing your fish. You can introduce disease into the water system that way. It's better to throw them away or bury them.
post #14 of 26
I would NOT clean the tank. The fish probably died because the bacteria levels aren't right yet. Cleaning the tank will put you back to square one. It takes a while for the bacteria levels to get in the right levels. Some people buy those cheapie goldfish to get the bacteria going and cycle the tank. When I set up my new tank, the fish guy told me to put my old filter on the tank, so the bacteria in the cartidge would help cycle the tank, and to put some of the water and gravel from the old tank in the new tank. Right now all I have are very hardy fish (betta, pleco, cory cats) and he told me to just put them right in. So far everyone's fine and I'm going to get more fish when I have more money.
Anyways, back to the tank, don't clean it, but get the water tested. Take it to any good pet or fish store and they'll test the water for free, and tell you what you need to do, if anything. Probably just have to wait a few weeks and then it will be good. Also, make sure you have one of the filters that hangs on the back of the tank, under gravel filters are pretty worthless, really. My fish guy told me not to bother with those.
Hope your tank gets cycled soon and you can get some more fish!

Wanted to add a ditto on the feeding thing. The can of fish food says to feed them several times a day. DON'T! My fish get fed every 2-3 days. Enough food gets in the plants and gravel when I feed that they scavenge around and eat it. Fish aren't supposed to be round, they are supposed to be kinda thin. It's just as bad for fish to be fat as it is for people, dogs, cats, and any other living thing!

Amber
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatkitties
I would NOT clean the tank. The fish probably died because the bacteria levels aren't right yet. Cleaning the tank will put you back to square one. It takes a while for the bacteria levels to get in the right levels. Some people buy those cheapie goldfish to get the bacteria going and cycle the tank. When I set up my new tank, the fish guy told me to put my old filter on the tank, so the bacteria in the cartidge would help cycle the tank, and to put some of the water and gravel from the old tank in the new tank. Right now all I have are very hardy fish (betta, pleco, cory cats) and he told me to just put them right in. So far everyone's fine and I'm going to get more fish when I have more money.
Anyways, back to the tank, don't clean it, but get the water tested. Take it to any good pet or fish store and they'll test the water for free, and tell you what you need to do, if anything. Probably just have to wait a few weeks and then it will be good. Also, make sure you have one of the filters that hangs on the back of the tank, under gravel filters are pretty worthless, really. My fish guy told me not to bother with those.
Hope your tank gets cycled soon and you can get some more fish!

Amber


Don't feel too bad about your fish dying. It can actually be pretty tough to keep fish alive while a tank is cycling. Water changes and good filtration--mechanical, chemical, and biological--are your friend. I also recommend you vacuum your gravel every week; it's easiest to do while doing your water changes. You probably don't have a gravel vac; Python makes them. They are used to remove fish poop and old food from the gravel but do not adversely affect the "good" bacteria you need in your tank. I heartily recommend getting one that is long enough to reach your sink. That way you can, with an adapter, use the flowing water from the kitchen sink to create a siphon.

Oh, something I just thought of: if you decide to get any more fish once your tank is stable, remember that goldfish are cold water fish, and most other fish sold for the hobby are tropicals and need heaters. You will need to stick with cold water fish and not overload the tank. (Rule of thumb: one inch of fish per gallon for smaller fish.)
post #16 of 26
You all know about cats AND fish??? I'm lost! This is one smart bunch of people here at TCS!

Sorry for the loss of your little fish. Hugs to you!
post #17 of 26
Sar, sorry to hear about your little fishy Please read some of the advice given above as it is nearly spot on. I have had two goldfish since January and both (touch-wood) are doing really well. I left my tank to cycle for 4 weeks before adding any fish. I am also very careful not to feed them too much - I normally feed once a day or every other day, just small amounts. Goldfish are messy things and will eat and eat even if they are full up. If they are fed too much then the food will rot the water. If you havn't already, please take out the dead fish otherwise it will pollute your water.

Let us know how you get on
post #18 of 26
Ohh another thing sarah, i feed mine once a day, i bought the fish food where you just click once, one click feeds 5 fish! i just cleaned the gravel 3 weeks ago,and took 3/4 of it out because my mother is planning to buy me a new tank for my birthday i was so disgusted to see how much food was wasted!
this is why i feed mine once a day
post #19 of 26
How long was your tank set up and cycling before you added fish?
How many gallons was the tank, and how many goldfish?

Goldfish are one of the dirtiest fish (waste wise) and because of that, it takes very few of them to crowd and poison a tank.
Typically, the rule of thumb is 1 gallon of water per inch of fish, for goldfish though it should be a lot more.

If the tank wasn't allowed to cycle long enough then your beneficial bacteria had not yet colonized enough to handle the load.
Tanks should bne set up and cycling for at least 24 hours to 2 weeks to establish a good bacteria culture, I fully recommend two weeks.
You can shorten this by seeding the tank with about 1-2 cups of gravel from an already established and stable tank.

General Goldfish care
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
How long was your tank set up and cycling before you added fish?
How many gallons was the tank, and how many goldfish?

Goldfish are one of the dirtiest fish (waste wise) and because of that, it takes very few of them to crowd and poison a tank.
Typically, the rule of thumb is 1 gallon of water per inch of fish, for goldfish though it should be a lot more.

If the tank wasn't allowed to cycle long enough then your beneficial bacteria had not yet colonized enough to handle the load.
Tanks should bne set up and cycling for at least 24 hours to 2 weeks to establish a good bacteria culture, I fully recommend two weeks.
You can shorten this by seeding the tank with about 1-2 cups of gravel from an already established and stable tank.

General Goldfish care

Just to clarify for the benefit of any new fish owners: a tank filled with dechlorinated tap water with a brand new filter won't cycle on its own. It has to have something to start the bacteria, like a sponge filter or some gravel from someone else's tank OR some fish you don't mind sending to that great aquarium in the sky (though it is possible to keep fish alive through cycling) OR—and this is a bit trickier—ammonia. You can cycle the tank with just plain ammonia (no soap added); there are web pages out there that tell you how to do it.

And if you start it with gravel or a sponge from someone else's tank in an otherwise new setup, since there are no fish in the tank you will have to "feed" the bacteria if you leave the tank without fish for more than a few days. I imagine a few flakes of food every couple of days will do it.
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnicat
You all know about cats AND fish??? I'm lost! This is one smart bunch of people here at TCS!

Sorry for the loss of your little fish. Hugs to you!
And for me, dogs, horses, and reptiles! Although I don't have any horses or reptiles at the moment. I don't know a whole lot about fish, everything I posted there I just learned in the past couple months from my fish guy at Petco. He's had fish for years and years, and is a walking encyclopedia about fish! As soon as I have more money, I'm getting some more fish. My tank was through cycling a long time ago, I've just been broke! It looks empty, bit 29 gallon tank with 4 fish in it!

Amber
post #22 of 26
Oh Sarah, I"ve never been able to keep any kind of fish alive.........
post #23 of 26
Sarah I'm so sorry to hear about your fish. We treat the water with TapSafe to make it suitable for the fish. There is also medicine you can put in the water in case there was an infection in the tank here is a link to the stuff we use http://www.petspantry.tv/acatalog/Pe..._Kits_261.html
I'm not the expert on fishcare though - hubby does that.
post #24 of 26
I've heard others mention this, but I wanted to stress it even more- you need snails, bottom feeders, and most importantly live plants. With this balance you won't even need to clean your tank- it will become self-sustaining. When my husband left for work over the summer the cats knocked the filter out of wack and it wasn't working. For almost four months the larger tank went without filtration. There was no buildup in the tank whatsoever, because of the plants. Goldfish are yucky fish, but they should not eat algae- it will poison them. They should eat live plants, plus fish food. As someone else mentioned, the number of fish rule doesn't apply to goldfish because they are large and dirty and take up more oxygen. The problem with goldfish is that you can't really have other fish because goldfish are tiny carps, they live in cold water. You could throw them in a lake and they'd probably be fine, but my platys, mollies, and guppies would not. Most freshwater fishies live in nice, warm water- about 80 degrees. If you find that they keep dying try different fish, like the ones I mentioned above. The platys and mollies are quite hardy fish and they are also quite personable (my husband thinks I'm nuts here), but I love my fishies!

The book, "Setting up a freshwater aquarium: An owners guide to a happy healthy pet" by Gregory Skomal is a great book that even lists illnesses. We got it at Petsmart.
post #25 of 26
Actually algae and other greens are good for goldfish.
They are really an omnivorous fish, they need plant material as well as animal material.

Aquarium or fancy goldfish need temps between 70 degrees F and 80 degrees F
Generally, the fancier the breed, the higher it's temp requirement.
I do not recommend snails unless you have fish or animals in your tank that will eat either snail eggs or young snails.
Snails don't need a mate, they can propagate quite well by themselves and can choke out the oxygen supply in no time.
For coldwater bottom feeders I recommend Dojos/Weather loaches, they burrow into gravel to eat uneaten fish foods.
Some Algae eating fish for janitorial services can be kept quite well in an unheated aquarium. My recommendation there is Otocinclus.

Good, fast growing, hard to kill plants that do well in unheated tanks are Anacharis.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
<snip>...Good, fast growing, hard to kill plants that do well in unheated tanks are Anacharis.
Anacharis is a mid-light plant. You need at least 2 watts per gallon or you will end up with a mess of dying weeds. Most of the "lighting" (if you can call it that) that comes in aqurium hoods equals less than 1 watt per gallon.

Good plants that will grow in low light, and are pretty carefree are anubias, java fern and java moss. I've heard one planted tank enthusiast say you could probably grow java moss in a closet . These plants are also unpalatable to most fish if you'd rather they didn't eat them, but they will contribute to the biological filtration in the tank. While I wouldn't put these particular plants into cold cold water, I've some anubias and java fern that I had in a goldfish tank kept at room temperature and they survived fine. That particular tank has since been converted to a tropical tank and the java fern and anubias are still fine. Of course, as with anything, YMMV.
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