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Old 09-26-2021, 09:33 PM   #1
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Help! Goldfish dying…

Had 15 goldfish for a few months, then about a week ago they started hanging out on the bottom of the 20 gallon tank.
I changed about 50% of the water twice, had the water tested the other day and it is fine the temp in the tank is around 68-70.
No idea why our goldfish suddenly stopped swimming around and started hanging out on the bottom of the tank not moving. They have been dying 1-2 a day and we have tried several things to try to get them to respond!
Any ideas???

Please HELP, as this is a time sensitive issue!!

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Old 09-26-2021, 11:33 PM   #2
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15 goldfish in a 20 gallon is your problem, there’s no way your parameters are “fine”. Do you own a test kit? How was the tank cycled?
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Old 09-27-2021, 12:30 AM   #3
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RePonse

It is enough tank according to two pet stores I called and I changed half the water every two weeks. When I took the water in for testing a few days ago, they said the levels were fine almost no amp is.
These are small 1-2” goldfish.
Strange that no one at these 3 different pet store have seen this behavior before from goldfish and could help.
Anyone else have any ideas? They are just sitting at the bottom and only come up for a bit to eat their food and back to the bottom of the tank??
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Old 09-27-2021, 12:49 AM   #4
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The rule of thumb for goldfish is 20g for the first 1, and 10g for each additional, they have large bio loads. Your average pet store employee know next to nothing about fish and it’s their job to sell you things. Without knowing or being able to test your parameters, need actual numbers not just “fine”, it will hard to help you. But 50% every 2 weeks isn’t enough water changes when your this overstocked. How did you cycle the aquarium?
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Old 09-27-2021, 02:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRedsReefs10 View Post
The rule of thumb for goldfish is 20g for the first 1, and 10g for each additional, they have large bio loads. Your average pet store employee know next to nothing about fish and it’s their job to sell you things. Without knowing or being able to test your parameters, need actual numbers not just “fine”, it will hard to help you. But 50% every 2 weeks isn’t enough water changes when your this overstocked. How did you cycle the aquarium?
+1 on this.

There is no way you can maintain safe water parameters with 15 goldfish in a 20 gallon tank changing water every 2 weeks. Even at the small size they are now you probably need 2 or 3 water changes per week and they will quickly outgrow that tank and need some thing like 150g to 200g or better still a pond.

A large proporation of traffic we get on this site starts with poor advice from a pet store and the advice you got here ranks up there with the worst ive seen.
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Old 09-27-2021, 04:03 AM   #6
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And just to add to potential issues with maintaining safe water with such a large bioload in a relatively small volume of water.

When fish dont have enough room to grow their bodies stop growing, but their internal organs dont. They get stunted and suffer from ill health caused by organ failure. 15 goldfish in a 20 gallon tank is certainly going to run into this issue and this may be the cause of the fish deaths. Remember goldfish can grow upto 12" + in size and will easily live 10 to 15 years, possibly 25 +, if kept in a suitable living environment.

And also if you did 2 x 50% water changes and then had it tested, obviously it will test fine. You are basically testing the tap water, not the water they had been living in up to the big water changes.
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Old 09-27-2021, 06:49 AM   #7
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Thank you for responding!!

We are not exactly new to having goldfish, nor are we experts. We have had goldfish that have lived 10 years and I used to change 100% of the water in the tank every 6-8 weeks.

We got the recent 15 goldfish back in June and they were swimming around and seemed 100% normal up to about 2 weeks ago. Once they started to hang out at the bottom of the tank, I stepped up the water change of about 50% every 2-3 days and 2 days ago did 100% water change. The remaining 3 goldfish are still hanging out on the bottom of the tank not swimming around. Temp is 68 degrees and tank is clean.

BTW...there are no spots, rashes or anything visibly wrong with the appearance of any of the fish. They just do not swim and stay at the bottom of the tank. I think I mentioned we did add some "bacterial infection remedy "drops into the tank2-3 days ago as well.

The ONLY variable that changed in the last few weeks is we introduced one new goldfish my son brought home from a carnival. So, we think the new fish brought something (bacteria) into the tank that is killing the other fish??? Two days after that ne fish entered the tank it died and the other fish started dying 1-2 a day since.

Again, thank you for listening nd sharing observations. My question still remains.....what is causing the fish to hang out at the bottom of the tank and more importantly, what will revive them back to normal??

Thank you!!
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Old 09-27-2021, 06:56 AM   #8
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Again, thank you for listening nd sharing observations. My question still remains.....what is causing the fish to hang out at the bottom of the tank and more importantly, what will revive them back to normal??

Thank you!!
The elephant in the room is the overstocking of the tank. What you are seeing is entirely consistent with the living conditions you are providing.
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Old 09-27-2021, 07:03 AM   #9
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I understand, however, these fish have received more water changes than any other goldfish we've owned.
Also, over the last week, the water was nearly all replaced and two days ago, I did a 100% water change, which is why you see several of the fish in the bowl.

If water quality is the issue, we've done all we can do. Thank you!!
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Old 09-27-2021, 07:08 AM   #10
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Water quality isnt the only issue though is it. They also need space for healthy growth which the number of fish you have in a 20 gallon tank simply doesnt give them.

Im not telling you anything you cant find for yourself. Google how big a tank for a goldfish. You will get back somewhere between 20 and 30 gallons for the first fish and 10 gallons for each additional fish.

Again, what you are seeing is entirely consistent with the living conditions you are providing. If you arent prepared or able to improve on that then i dont see how things will improve for the fish.
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Old 09-27-2021, 07:20 AM   #11
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If I wasn’t willing to accept advice, the first thing I would do is get a bubble wand or airstone, or a filter that can provide turbulent laminar flow to disrupt the surface and move gases in and out.

This will rule out any oxygen deficiencies. Listlessness is a symptom of chronic oxygen deficiency as opposed to gasping at the surface which is sign of acute oxygen deprivation.

Those overflow filters don’t move enough water. You want oxygen to be taken from the surface by disturbing it then transported to the fishes gills.

Keep up with water changes every other day.
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Old 09-27-2021, 07:42 AM   #12
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Thank you.

What is strange is we've had several goldfish in the same size tank for 10+ years, changing the water every 6-8 weeks and never had an issue.

Only 3 small goldfish left in a good sized tank with 100% new water. I'll change 50% of the water every few days and hope the 3 remaining survive.

Once again, thank you all for responding & helping.
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Old 09-27-2021, 08:57 AM   #13
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What is strange is we've had several goldfish in the same size tank for 10+ years, changing the water every 6-8 weeks and never had an issue.
Could i ask how big the fish got and how many you where keeping? Did you see die off of a number of fish until they got to a more managable number in your tank?

Genuinely interested in your experience of keeping goldfish. As a kid we kept goldfish in a bowl, some lived a few years, most didnt. They just got replaced after they died next time the fair arrived. The ones that lived longer got to maybe 3" in size. Probably a 2.5g bowl, no filter, just rinsed the gravel along with 100% water change on a sunday morning.

Different fish will respond differently to being stunted. Some will live longer than others. Ive got a 3 year old angel fish that has barely grown since i got it. Genetics? Seems fine, just smaller than my other angels and keeps to itself mostly. Im surprised its lived this long though.
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Old 09-27-2021, 09:05 AM   #14
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Thank you.

What is strange is we've had several goldfish in the same size tank for 10+ years, changing the water every 6-8 weeks and never had an issue.

Only 3 small goldfish left in a good sized tank with 100% new water. I'll change 50% of the water every few days and hope the 3 remaining survive.

Once again, thank you all for responding & helping.

Did the other tank have an overflow filter?

All tanks are not the same. New tanks or young tanks do not process wastes efficiently so the wastes steal oxygen from the water. When oxygen is low everything slows and more stuff builds up.

Good gas exchange = more oxygen

Removing dissolving wastes = more
oxygen.

Clean filter sponge often = more oxygen

Physical removal of decaying leaves = more oxygen

More oxygen = healthy biofilter

Healthy biofilter = safe environment

Safe environment = happy fish

Oxygen = King
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Old 09-27-2021, 09:16 AM   #15
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"Could i ask how big the fish got and how many you where keeping? Did you see die off of a number of fish until they got to a more managable number in your tank?"

As pictured, our fish our 1-2" in size. They were thriving for 3-4 months and then they started dying off. I changed water more & more as I thought it was an ammonia problem. It has not helped.

Historically, we had a pair live for 8-9 year and grew 4-5 inches. As I recall, they got a disease called ick and by the time I treated them, they were too far gone.

So, I think (not certain how everyone else does with goldfish) that we have done well keeping goldfish alive and well. This recent incident is an anomaly for us and not certain why most died off.

If you look at the pic of the size of the tank, there are now 3 lil goldfish hanging out at the bottom after 100% water replacement & tank cleaning. When, I replaced 100% of the water in that tank over the years, the fish acted normally. They swam around and were fine!

We are perplexed at what is causing the goldfish to stay on the bottom of the tank and not move.
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Old 09-27-2021, 02:26 PM   #16
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They’ve been living in a toxic environment for weeks, what your seeing is the affects of that.
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Old 09-27-2021, 08:51 PM   #17
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Tonight, we have one goldfish left.

Seems like the consensus from the forum is the water quality of the water is the issue. A of tonight, only one goldfish is alive.

I was hoping someone could shad some light into the behavior of the fish hanging out at the bottom of the tank and what was causing their death. The water has been replaced incrementally over the last several weeks and recently 100% water change.

Thank you to all that responded. I'll continue to research to see what causes this circumstance.

Take care.
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Old 09-27-2021, 09:30 PM   #18
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The fish are hiding at the bottom due to stress, the stress was most likely caused by a way overstocked tank and poor water quality. The deaths were a result of both most likely. Without info on your system including the act aural parameters, maintenance routine, how long ago it’s cycled its hard to help you. Especially when your given the same answer 3 times and don’t want to believe it.....
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Old 09-27-2021, 10:01 PM   #19
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Thank you again for your and all responses.

The water in the tank has been changed regularly and recently 100% of the water has been changed.

Its ok if members don't have an idea as to what caused the listlessness and death of the goldfish. I had the water check 3 times over the last month and the water quality was not the issue.

take care
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Old 09-28-2021, 08:41 AM   #20
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OK, the consensus is, I killed the goldfish by not changing the water in the tank enough.

I have a confession:
For over 10 years, I've removed all the goldfish from our tank and scrubbed it, changing 100% of the water. Every time the fish went back in and were fine.
This is the first time I did not change 100% of the water. I left about 20% of the original water in the tank the 4-5 times I refreshed the water since June. I changed my usual process based on articles I read on the web indicating it was not good to change 100% of the water because it could hurt the fish. The only other change was the introduction of a lone goldfish a couple weeks ago.

Aside from hitting myself in the head with a tack hammer, I'm going to research and learn more about fish, how to care for them and improve the longevity of their lives in a tank.

Thanks again for all that responded to my post and take care.
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