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.
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.
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!