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Old 07-29-2013, 09:23 AM   #1
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Newbie here

Hello. Ok, please no yelling, since I am just a newbie here and trying my best.

Anyway, my son won a goldfish (I think it is a Sarasa Comet) a few weeks ago. For the first few days, we just kept him (George) in a large glass bowl to make sure he would live long enough to go buy a tank/supplies. Well he lived, and so we bought a beginner 10 gal. tank, plants (plastic) gravel, cave etc. After a few days of George swimming around, my younger son decided that he wanted a fish as well, so we went out and bought another goldfish (oranda I think?) named Fred. I was testing the water each day and the ammonia was hanging between .25 and .50. Water was a bit cloudy so I did some partial water changes every other day.

We went away overnight and came back to find that Fred was dead. We only got him 4 days before. After the funeral services, the ammonia level went up to 1.0, which I assumed was b/c there was a dead fish in the tank.

Now, a week later, the ammonia is between 0 and .25 but the water is still a bit cloudy (but getting better). I am now feeding George every other day (flakes and pellets-not together, just rotating them with each feeding)

I'm not even sure what to ask....(why the cloudy water, why did Fred die, was that an ammonia "spike" that I hear of, can I get another fish)

I do have test strips, for PH and Nitrates etc. I hate them and will be getting a better kit today, like I have for the ammonia (8 drops of each bottle into a water sample and then wait 5 min.) but so far, everything looked "normal" according to the results, except that it is almost impossible to tell how high/low the nitrites/nitrates are. It looked for a long time that both were at 0 (when my ammonia was high) and now that my ammonia is lower, it looks like nitrites are 0-ish and nitrates are maybe 20?

Again, I'm a newbie and I'm sure you will all tell me that a 10 gal tank is not even large enough for 1 fish but I had 4 goldfish in a small bowl when I was a kid and they lived for years.....I never knew any of this stuff. Just trying to do my best for the fishies!

Any advice will be appreciated.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:32 AM   #2
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welcome to aa im sure there's gold fish experts here to help u. hope to see pics of your goldie soon
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:30 AM   #3
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Welcome to AA!!!

Bad news first. Yes, a 10g is going to be impossibly small for a common/comet. They easily grow to 12+inches very quickly. Most 'fair' fish that are given away are common goldfish. Please do not purchase any more fish in the interim.

In addition to a proper test kit, I suggest you invest in a bottle of Prime to use as your water conditioner. It will help keep ammonia, nitrite and nitrate detoxed between frequent water changes (wcs). Test your water daily and do 50% wcs anytime your ammonia/nitrite hit .25ppm or higher. You want to try and keep them at or below .25ppm. Make sure you temperature match and properly condition all new water. When you get your test kit, please test both your tank water and your tap water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph and post the results so we can further advise on wcs. Please read the link below and ask any questions!

I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?! - Aquarium Advice
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:40 AM   #4
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I totally agree with jlk 10 gallon is way to small even for him now
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:49 AM   #5
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Welcome to AA!


I would search your Craigslist for a cheap 30 gallon or so - for a temporary home. Or a 75 gallon+ for a permanent home. Yes I am dead serious. Goldfish grow very big. It doesn't seem like it. But they do. If you do end up getting a larger tank, you can replace the first goldfish but after the tank is cycled. Read the article that was posted about cycling with fish in.

Get the API master freshwater test kit. It really helps. It's around 20-30 dollars depending on where you get it, just FYI. But it is worth it.

Also get prime. It is the best water conditioner. It will remove toxic chemicals in the water and help reduce your fish's stress.

Now as for your new tank. If you are getting gravel, you will need a gravel vacuum. Otherwise, get sand or leave it bare bottom. Bare bottom is easiest to work with IMO.

Get a good strong filter suitable for a 10 gallon. HOB (hang on back) filters are good, but there are nice under gravel filters as well.

Good luck! Hopefully more goldfish experts will chime in too
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