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Old 03-17-2010, 07:31 AM   #1
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Intro: Goldie, Halloween, and me

4 years ago, my son brought home an tiny little goldfish he won at a carnival. I thought a bowl was better than a bag. He named the fish "Goldie." Original.

I grew to love that little fish and the baby sitter would exclaim almost every day for two years "I can't believe that fish is still alive!"

Then, when "Goldie" started getting odd red streaks a year ago, I did some searching on the internet and found I actually needed to get a proper home for my growing goldfish - "bowls are inhumane!" everyone was yelling at me.

Petsmart sold me a "starter" kit: 10 gallons with Topfin filter. They sold me some gravel (you know, that neon colored stuff), crummy flake food, some plants (which turned out to be BOG plants, not for the aquarium), and 3 otos to keep the tank algae free.

TROUBLE BEGINS...
1) STONE: Goldie ate a bright blue stone and I was up all night trying to figure out what to do (have you seen the youtube videos about how to get a rock out of a fish's mouth? I didn't have the nerve) -- but Goldie managed to either cough it out or somehow make it go away. We have replaced the fake colored gravel with larger river rock over the substrate.
2) CLAMPED FINS: Goldie started darting and had clamped fins. Several visits to Petsmart sent me home with pH adjusters, Aquarium Salts, De-activated Carbon for my filter, Ammo-Chips, meds for "general illness".... I became obsessive about testing water parameters (sometimes 3X a day!) and tons of water changes. I finally figured out that several weeks prior, when I had cleaned the filter really well and threw away the old gunky one, plus did a rather large water change, I had probably thrown off the nitrogen cycle and my tank was recycling. Well, we worked that out and I've changed out all of the bog plants that were disintegrating for true aquatic plants and now have a heavily planted tank and even installed a bubbler.
3) HUGE MISTAKE: Once we got everything back to normal, I thought it would be nice to get Goldie a little friend and bought my daughter an itty-bitty little calico comet for Christmas this year; we named him Kyrell. We let the plastic bag float in the water for a few hours (like the nice teen at Petsmart told us to). PARASITES! It was awful. I tried everything I could to save Kyrell, spent countless nights scouring the internet for info, trying to decide which opinion was correct, had three different "hospital buckets," and long story short, Kyrell didn't make it. And then Goldie started exhibiting signs of parasites, then white patches, then ragged dorsal fin, and one of the otos disappeared. Ugh! More sleepless nights, VERY annoyed husband. Well, here we are in March and Goldie seems to be all better and I have...
4) A NEW TANK: I bought a 29 gallon tank! I saved some water from water changes in current tank, cut the bio sponge in my current filter in half and put it in the new bigger filter that is running, plan to use the substrate and plants from current tank. I plan to set it up within the next few days. Hope, crossed fingers and advice are certainly welcomed.
5) NAUGHTY: While shopping for the bigger tank, I must admit that I gave in to a lovely little white comet with an orange spot on her back and matching orange lipstick. Bad fish husbandry, I know. We named her Halloween and have kept her quarantined for about 2 weeks, used Jungle parasite bubbling tablets and the medicated food. Tonight seemed like a good time to introduce her to Goldie.
6) OTO DINNER: I couldn't believe it, and this is how I found this particular fish forum -- I HAD to share this story! I was keeping an eye on the tank to see how the two goldfish would do, and I suddenly noticed Goldie had one of the otos crammed down his throat! (I posted this part of my story in my first post,earlier) I grabbed Goldie and for some reason gently squeezed her abdomen. Out popped the oto from one of her gills!

So now I have the otos in a bowl until I can figure out what to do with them. I plan to transfer the goldfish to the 29 gallon as soon as I can. Any advice?

And thanks for the great forum!
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:11 AM   #2
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LOL! Thanks for the giggles and welcome to AA!
How come you saved some of the water? Very little good bacteria live in the water column. When you transfer the substrate and decor, make sure it stays wet, so you don't kill your bacteria.
So technically, you have your Goldie the Heimlich? LOL! That's pretty good! And it worked, that's great! How is the little oto, he still acting normal?
I too have fallen victim to more fish, hence the reason I now have 4.5 tanks running LOL.
Congrats on your new tank! You will have more in no time! HAHA!
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:28 AM   #3
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Hi dkpate,
Thanks for the nice welcome!
Saving water? I had understood it was good to put some of the old water in the new tank. Will b sure to keep substrate, decor wet.

I had no idea that the gills were attached to the mouth in that way, and I honestly did the little squeeze only because I couldn't think of anything else to do. I knew that by trying to pull the oto out the other way the barbs would get stuck and most likely kill both fish. Surprisingly the little oto is acting normal, being his little oto self and I see no sign of physical damage (I hope I didn't jinx him!). Maybe I'll return him and his little friend back to the 10 gallon once I get the goldfish to the new tank. Hmmm... who would make a nice little companion fish in a 10 gallon for 2 otos.... U R right, I am "hooked"!
Thank you!
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:50 AM   #4
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No need to put the old water in there, just make sure you can kind of acclimate your fish before putting them into the new tank.
I knew gills were sttached, I just didn't know a FISH could squeeze through them! LOL! I am glad to hear he is no worse for the wear from his grand adventure!
You could possibly get one male betta or a few female bettas to go with the otos? (I am partial to the little guys (bettas) because I feel so sorry for them in those little dishes, and they have HUGE personalities when they're feeling good!)
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:33 PM   #5
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Welcome to AA!

Wow, what a story! I would definitely put the Otos in the 10g when you move the Goldfish and then maybe you could pick out some small Tetras or Rasboras and have a school along with the Otos. Just be sure to get a heater if you don't have one. Otos like it warmer than Goldfish. We'll definitely talk you into more tanks here!
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:44 PM   #6
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:59 PM   #7
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Thanks for the warm welcome from all of you! What beautiful tanks you have. Such inspiration.
I will put my otos back in the 10 gal with heater. Still trying to decide who would be an easy and nice companion for them. Any suggestions for a nice low easy-ish ground cover (now that the goldfish will be out of this 10 gal tank I can get some more delicate plants). I am a low-tech heavily planted-type gal.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:57 PM   #8
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:15 PM   #9
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Thanks for the welcome, ampa one.

Say, I am wondering if Goldie may have eaten the first oto that went missing a while back -- Goldie developed a small bump near his vent at about the same time the first little guy went missing. Possible leftovers? If so, I wonder if I should try to gently squeeze that out of the back? The bump gets bigger when he eats, and almost disappears when he hasn't eaten in a while. From what I've read on the internet, it seemed like possible constipation so I've been feeding peas and spinach. I also treated for parasites, but the bump remains. Should I post this on another thread? (Newbie! Thanks for your input.

Still considering what to do with the 10 gallon, and after looking at your suggestions and pics/info, a school of tetra might be nice in a heavily planted low-tech tank. They are pretty hardy, right (I'll have a heater for them to keep them happy)? And I can put my 2 remaining otos back once the goldfish are in their new home. Tetras school together nicely it seems and look pretty against the lush green background. Any suggestions on fast growing ground cover/medium light?

You all are great!
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:26 PM   #10
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IDEA: a small school of lemon tetras (like 7), maybe with some red cherry shrimp to scavenge the bottom, and the 2 otos? In a 10 gallon, heavily planted (but with room to swim back and forth in front) with topfin.30 back hanging filter. I understand otos like the bubbler, not sure about the tetras? Decisions, decisions, decisions.
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