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Old 06-13-2018, 04:27 PM   #1
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Fish died trying to move others to new tank need help!

Hi, I have a 10 gallon tank where 5 comet goldfish "seemed" to be living happily for two years. They are currently 2 and a half to three inches long each. I do a partial water change once a month and change the filter once a month... occassionally may slip to six weeks between a change but for the most part pretty good about it. I have never cleaned the rocks, but the water is always crystal clear, not much algea on sides, plants etc. and it doesn't look like from the bottom edges there is that much crud under the rocks (but I'm worried this could have contributed to the problem along with overcrowding). Anyhow I found 1 fish dead today. He seemed to be missing a bunch of scales in a big patch. I'm not sure how long it's been dead it had gotten stuck at the top of the castle so wasn't floating on top of the water but it was starting to smell which clued me to something and I also saw some whitish mold? growing ontop of filter which I'd never seen before. Of course I took the dead fish out, panicked did a partial water change and put in a new filter. I know one goldfish needs 50 gallons etc. and don't need a lecture on that, my plan was to upgrade slowly over the years. I have a 29 gallon tank that I was going to put them in next month, but now I think I need to move that time frame up. I want to put them in there now, but read about cycling which can take up to two months. I'm worried about waiting that long if the conditions are bad in the small tank - that the rest might not make it that long. I think I should clean the rocks but don't want to stress the existing fish more, maybe I should wait a few days? a week after this death? I set up the new tank today and know about adding ammonia and all that to do the cycling, but I was wondering about putting rocks from existing tank and water strained from existing replacable media filter to speed up cycling process but if theres bad bacteria or anything else in this tank I don't want to add to new tank so perhaps I should not do that? I've never tested the water (went for two years with no issues) but will be getting a kit later tonight to see if any bad readings in current tank... just wondering what would you would do???? My daughter loves this fish and will be very sad when she comes home from school today, I just want to do whatever I can to save the remaining fish!!!
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:18 PM   #2
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1. Fill a clean bucket with tank water and transfer the fish to the bucket.
2. Move the filter (donít change the filter media), rocks, decor, and gravel to the new tank.
3. Fill the new tank with temperature matched, chlorine treated tap water. Start up filter and ensure that it is working properly
4. Normally I would suggest catching and moving the fish from the bucket to the new tank, but since the parameters can be very different, you could try slowing pouring a cup of tank water to the bucket every few minutes.
5. Remove water from the bucket and fill the tank as needed.
6. Repeat this for 15-20 minutes then move the fish.
I would get the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. In the mean time, keep up with the water changes. 40-50% per week is a good start.
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:17 AM   #3
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Thank you so much Fresh2o for answering, what you suggest makes lots of sense... only one slight issue - when I freaked out this morning after finding the dead fish, I tossed the filter cartridge thinking this was part of the problem before doing all the research and learning that is where the beneficial bacteria hang out. I actually still have the cartridge it didn't get dirty in the trash it is just slightly dried out...I'm fairly confident considering what was on top of it and under it (mostly paper) that it wasn't touching anything gross that could add more harmful stuff... would you stick it back in or leave things as is with the new filter cartridge and continue with the plan below? I can't start this operation till tomorrow and fairly sure that the water change I did earlier today did help in the case of an ammonia spike and of the remaining fish three seem really normal, just the smallest seems a small bit out of sorts like he's trying to recover. Also you didn't mention.. do you think the fact that I haven't ever cleaned the gravel had something to do with this even though the tank looked great, or more a matter of the fish being overcrowded (or is the one linked to the other?)
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:17 AM   #4
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If the filter media did not dry out, take some tank water and swish it around for a quick cleaning.

When everything is moved you need to do water changes weekly not monthly. Keep an eye on the water parameters to figure out how much water you need to change as well.
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:06 PM   #5
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Yeah, there is probably awful amounts of crap in the gravel, after you put the fish in the bucket, if you plan on using the gravel in the new tank I would rinse it heavily, there very well could be gas pockets at this point, so you do NOT want to disturb the gravel while the fish are still in there. Fresh2o is on point on how to do the transfer.

At this point they may be pretty stunted from the overcrowding and water issues for so long, so sometimes they hit a point where their immune systems just crash and they die, so you may lose more depending on what's going on, just a heads up.
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