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Old 02-18-2020, 07:00 AM   #1
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Help! Fish Emergency

A few days ago my SO decided our fish, 12 year old regular goldfish, needed a bigger tank. So he purchased a 29 gallon, up from a 20 gallon, and changed everything added stress coat and transfered the fish. He started doing poorly right from the start, wouldnt come out of a corner and and started getting red splotches. We spoke to a vet friend who suggested we put some old water and rocks in. The water got cloudy and no fish improvement. Yesterday he started gasping at the surface, looked at the thermometer and it was nearly 80 degrees, so we removed the lid and floated some ice packs until the water dropped in temp and he stopped gasping. Today (which is now yesterday i guess, ive been up all night trying to make this better) the tank is still cloudy, added a second filter, more old rocks, and got some amonia strips, it was high, so we changed 50% of the water and added "Ammo lock" no improvement. In fact hes worse. he hasnt eaten since transfered, he has redness around his eyes nose and fins, he has what looks like amonia burns on his head. I bought some "Melafix" but havent added it because i wasnt sure if it would do any good and I was afraid of making it worse. I dont know what to do, he sits at the bottom or comes up by the filter and sits. He is starting to list to the side, and I feel like he's dying and nothing im doing is helping a bit. I know I shouldnt have allowed all this in the first place, and I feel terrible for that, but my SO has done this before and he was ok, thinking maybe it was the total filter change that messed it all up but IDk. we dont have amonia in the tap water, its been tested, and I have no clue if it is coming from him, he isnt eating so he isnt producing waste, or something else. Im considering putting him in a bowl of water and changing it every hour, Im at my wits end. ANY advice would be hugely appreciated, I apologize for the terrible spelling and grammar, I am exhausted and in a bit of a panic.

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Old 02-18-2020, 09:39 AM   #2
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Ok. What did the test strips say about your tank? What is the current temperature of the tank (after adding ice)? I take it you don't have a heater in there? If so remove it.
Did you use the old filter pads in the new filter?

It sounds like your tank is going through a cycle and the cloudiness is a bacterial bloom. There are articles on this website that will walk you through a fish in cycle. I would link to it but I'm typing this on my phone.

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Old 02-18-2020, 12:43 PM   #3
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Do not put him in a bowl. The ammonia is coming from him and putting him in less water will make it way worse. Feeding makes fish make more ammonia, of course.

Giving him more space was a good idea but the way you did it; Basically you took away the entire biological filtration system when you put him in a new tank with new everything and unless you kept the old filter material damp you have to (like sarahB said) do a fish in cycle which is very tough with goldfish which produce a lot of waste. To make things worse you didn’t realize the ammonia was a problem until after it had damaged him (the red streaks) .

So what to do now... Do you have the old media still damp or any other currently running tanks with established filters? A trusted LFS which might give you some filter material? There are also some ‘bacteria in a bottle’ products you could look into getting to speed things up.

Here’s a couple of links with info on fish in cycling :

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