Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 01-15-2022, 07:37 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 7
What did i do wrong?

About 3 weeks ago I introduced 3 different types of cold water goldfish into my 80L tank. It has just been gifted to me and its the first time I've ever had such a big tank, and about 15 years since I kept fish at all. The tank didnt have much in it, and i bought some things to brighten it up, some ornaments and pebbles, and a volcano bubble stone with a light. I soaked all these new things in water overnight before i placed them in tank. I also did a 50% water change at the same time. I was pleased with the result, the tank looked really pretty and i was pleased there was better water circulation now with the bubble stone installed. Then I went out for the afternoon and when i came back, all 3 fish were dead. where did i go wrong?
Just to clarify, the fish were 3 weeks in the tank first, seemingly healthy, and then I added all the other stuff yesterday and they died after a couple of hours.
I would like to note that I did not take the fish out of the tank while i made these changes, was this the mistake?
Also, a couple days previous I noticed one of the fish had started to poop white stringy stuff and seemed bloated. Did whatever he had wrong, get circulated to the rest of the fish faster because of the bubble stone being installed?
Any constructive criticism welcome, because I don't want to buy more fish and have them die again for the same mistakes. (Of course i will take all the water out and clean everything before putting more fish in the tank.)
Any tips for me?
Thanks in advance!

__________________
EmmaPebbles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2022, 09:08 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 2,761
A few things.

To kill fish that quickly, the likely cause is chlorine/chloramine in the water. Did you add a water conditioner to the water when you added your water and when you did your water change?

Other causes could be not acclimating the new fish to the water conditions of the tank. How did you add the fish to the tank?

Going further. This wont cause the death of your fish so soon, but it doesnt sound like you are cycled, and if you dont know how to cycle a tank you will run into issues down the line. What do you understand about the nitrogen cycle? Do you know how to cycle a tank.

Even further down the line, an 80 litre tank isnt big enough for 3 adult goldfish. Fine for short term and allowing them to grow out, but too small a tank will stunt goldfish, they will suffer ill health and not live a full life. If kept in a suitable tank, goldfish get very big, live decades, and are very messy. They need big tanks. Your tank is on the small side for a single goldfish, for 3 probably look for something twice as big as you have.

These threads might help you understand the issues with providing a suitable living environment for goldfish.

https://www.aquariumadvice.com/forum...re-377527.html

https://www.aquariumadvice.com/forum...ve-265871.html
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2022, 05:11 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 7
Thank you for taking the time to respond.
I have no idea what nitrogen cycles are, or how to cycle a tank. No i didn't treat the water because i live in Mallorca and the tap water is not drinkable, so i presume its not treated. When i bought the fish, the pet store didn't say anything about treating the water, and as i said the fish were living in the tank for 3 weeks without problems until i put the new decor in. I also asked her how many goldfish i could put in a 80L tank, and she said 7.... and tbh i was under the impression that fish grow to whatever size they have space to grow to. I didn't know that not having space to grow to full size is unhealthy for them.
I am obviously very under informed, and I need to educate myself more if I intend to be a fish owner.
I have also read about paint toxins on decorations. Could that have been what killed them? I just bought the most economical, nice looking ones i could find on Amazon. I didn't realise they would have toxins, especially as they are sold specifically as aquarium decorations.
__________________
EmmaPebbles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2022, 06:04 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 2,761
Ill post some stuff about the nitrogen cycle and basic details about how to cycle a tank. Have a read through, let me know if you have questions, try and decide if you want to proceed with a fish in cycle or fishless cycle and i can provide some more detail specifically on how to cycle a tank based on your decision.

Im sorry. I missed the bit about the fish being ok for 3 weeks.

What might be happening is your water could be treated with chlorine. Chlorine evaporates from the water over a period of 10 or 12 hours. When you first set up your tank did you fill the tank, and then sometime later add your fish after the chlorine had chance to evaporate? You do your water change, this water still has chlorine in it because its straight from the tap, result dead fish after 2 or 3 hours. Another possibility is if the water was a lot colder than the water in the tank, temperature shock could have killed the fish. Always try to temperature match new water with water in the tank. Unless you are very sure there is no chlorine or chloramine in the water, then treat any new water with a water conditioner. Seachem prime is a good one to go for.

I would speak to your fish store about your water supply. Or maybe you have a local aquarium club whose members you could speak to.

Of course the decor could be a cause also. If you arent sure throw it.

Might any soap or perfume (or more commonly hand sanitiser nowadays) have got in the tank?

With regards to what your fish store told you, there's an early lesson. Fish store employees often know no more than you do about keeping fish. And even when they do, they are there to sell you stuff. If they can sell you a tank and fish that arent compatible and they get sick, they get to sell you medicine. If they die they get to sell you more fish. They may get to sell you a bigger tank and bigger tank.

7 goldfish would need something around 360 litres of water and filtration rated for 760 litres.

As said, if tanks are too small the fish get stunted. In poor living conditions they release hormones into the water that stops them growing. But their internal organs dont stop growing, they suffer from ill health and wont often live a full life. From that point of view they do grow to the size of the tank, but then they most often die.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2022, 06:04 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 2,761
The nitrogen cycle is the natural processes that go on in your tank that convert ammonia into less harmful substances.

Ammonia gets into your tank through various pathways. Fish waste, decaying uneaten food, and dead, decaying plants are common ammonia sources in an aquarium. Its also possible your tap water is an ammonia source. Chloramine is a common water treatment and when treated with most water conditioners the bond in the chloramine breaks and releases ammonia into the water.

Ammonia can be toxic to fish, depending on how much there is, and what the pH and temperature of your tank water is.

The first stage of the nitrogen cycle is the removal of ammonia. If you have real plants in your tank some of this ammonia will be absorbed as part of their natural growth. Generally though ammonia is consumed by denitrifying bacteria that lives mostly on your filter media. These bacteria consume the ammonia and produce nitrite. Unfortunately nitrite is pretty much as toxic to fish as ammonia.

The second stage of the nitrogen cycle is the removal of nitrite. A different denitrifying bacteria will consume the nitrite and produce nitrate. Nitrate is much less harmful than ammonia and nitrite, and for most aquariums the nitrogen cycle ends there. Excess nitrate is removed through your regular water changes.

A further stage of the nitrogen cycle can also happen, but its difficult to remove all the nitrate from a typical freshwater aquarium. Plants will absorb some nitrate in a similar manner to how it absorbs ammonia to grow. There are also nitrifying bacteria that consumes nitrate and gives off nitrogen gas which will simply offgas from your aquarium. This nitrifying bacteria is difficult to grow in freshwater aquarium.

“Cycling” a tank is the process you go through to grow denitrifying bacteria in your aquarium to consume ammonia and nitrite. You are said to be “cycled” when you have enough bacteria to consume all the ammonia and nitrite that your tank produces and turns all of it into nitrate. If you test the water of a cycled tank you should see 0 ammonia and nitrite and some nitrate.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2022, 06:09 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 2,761
To cycle a tank you need to grow denitrifying bacteria to consume ammonia and nitrite that your tank produces. The bacteria needs an ammonia source to grow colonies sufficient in size to consume all the ammonia and resultant nitrite and turn it into nitrate which typically you remove through your regular water changes. Two commonly used methods to cycle a tank are called a “fish in” cycle and a “fishless” cycle.

A fish in cycle uses fish waste as an ammonia source and regular water changes are undertaken to ensure that water parameters are maintained at relatively non toxic levels. This has been the go to method to cycle a tank for many years, and it commonly is the way new fish keepers cycle a tank when they have bought fish with no knowledge that a tank needs cycling and how to go about it.

Pros.
• You get to keep “some” fish pretty much on day 1 of setting up your tank.
• More consistently gets you through your cycle.
• Only real choice if you already have fish.
• If done simply, eg stock lightly, add fish slowly, you can fishless cycle safely without testing. Although testing your water while cycling is still a good idea.

Cons.
• Lots of water changes, especially if you are doing a fish in cycle with a fully stocked tank.
• Although you should be doing plenty of water changes to maintain relatively safe water, your fish will be living in waste which isn’t ideal.
• Can take a long time (several months) to go from an empty tank to fully stocked if done safely.

A fishless cycle uses an ammonia source to replicate the fish waste that a tank of fish would produce. This ammonia source can be pure ammonia, an aquarium specific ammonium chloride product like Dr Tims Ammonium Chloride, a cocktail shrimp or fish food.

Pros.
• You cycle the tank before adding fish, therefore they shouldn’t be exposed to their own waste.
• No need for regular water changes while your tank cycles.
• Can be quicker to go from an empty tank to fully stocked.

Cons.
• Needs patience, you will be looking at an empty tank for several weeks.
• More technical approach requiring dosing ammonia and will need to be done alongside regular testing.
• Less consistently successful than fish in cycles, especially with new fish keepers who don’t understand the process and expect it to run to a timetable.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2022, 06:12 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 2,761
Look into your water issues locally. Have a read on the nitrogen cycle and the 2 common ways to cycle a tank. If you come to a decision on either a fish in cycle or fishless cycle then i can give you more guidance on the specifics.

I would also consider what fish you want to keep. If you want goldfish then you either need to settle for a single fish or plan for a much bigger tank. 80 litres would make a nice tank for some smaller schooling fish.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2022, 08:32 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 7
Wow, thank you for all that helpful information. I have spent the last couple of hours reading up on Nitrogen cycles and watched a couple of videos on YouTube, so now I understand more what is going on.
That's interesting you mentioned the water of the tank, because its true, I did have the tank filled with untreated tap water for about a week before I got around to going out and buying the fish. (I don't have a car right now, so its a 40 minute bus drive to the pet store. I was pretty impressed that the fish survived the journey home to be honest, so i was surprised when they died so suddenly as I thought they were quite hardy). I don't mind which type of freshwater fish I get I just took my 3 kids to the pet shop and they chose one each. But this time I will go myself, choose two fish, bring them home and see if they get on alright in the tank before buying anymore.
I think I would rather do a "fish in" cycle, because I don't want to be messing around with chemicals I know nothing about. I would also like to try to have real plants in the tank.
I like schooling fish, but I always presumed they were more delicate and thats why as a beginner I leaned more towards the classic gold fish.
Its very good to know all these things. Its a lot more complicated than I realised but I am enjoying learning, and can imagine it is very satisfying when you get it right!
__________________
EmmaPebbles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2022, 08:43 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 7
Another quick question....is it necessary to have a sponge filter on this kind of tank? Or is it sufficient regular partial water changes, and the air stone for circulation of oxygen?
__________________
EmmaPebbles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2022, 08:59 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 2,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmmaPebbles View Post
I don't mind which type of freshwater fish I get I just took my 3 kids to the pet shop and they chose one each. But this time I will go myself, choose two fish, bring them home and see if they get on alright in the tank before buying anymore.
Goldfish are commonly considered a beginner fish, but their size and messyness make them anything but.

How about a school of zebra danios? They are small, bullet proof, fun to watch. They are temperate fish like the goldfish so dont need a heater. Your 80 litre tank could hold 10 to 15 of them. Start off with 3 of 4 to do your fish in cycle. They do really well with live plants. Get some java fern and anubias, maybe an amazon sword. These plants are super easy too and dont need anything in the way of specialist equipment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmmaPebbles View Post
Another quick question....is it necessary to have a sponge filter on this kind of tank? Or is it sufficient regular partial water changes, and the air stone for circulation of oxygen?
Im assuming your tank has a filter? If you have a filter and an airstone you dont need a sponge filter too. A filter that makes ripples on the surface will give plenty of oxygen to the water, in which case an airstone wouldnt be needed, but it certainly wont hurt anything, looks cool, and some fish like to play in the bubbles, and its a great oxygenator if your filter isnt causing a rippled surface.
__________________
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2022, 09:01 PM   #11
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 2,761
To cycle a tank you need to grow denitrifying bacteria to consume ammonia and nitrite that your tank produces. The bacteria needs an ammonia source to grow colonies sufficient in size to consume all the ammonia and resultant nitrite and turn it into nitrate which typically you remove through your regular water changes.

A fish in cycle uses fish waste as an ammonia source and regular water changes are undertaken to ensure that water parameters are maintained at relatively non toxic levels.

Set up your tank. Make sure everything is running smoothly. Make sure you have used a water conditioner product with any tap water you have put in your tank. Seachem Prime is a water conditioner that will also detoxify some ammonia for a day or two, so is a good choice for a water conditioner while cycling a tank with fish.

You should have a test kit. Preferably a liquid test kit. It should test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

In ideal circumstances you should be starting a fishless cycle with a low bioload (number of fish). 1 small fish per 10 gallons/40 litres is a good number of fish, but this can be tweaked a little for fish that are social and don’t do well on their own. Ideally a hardy type of fish. You may have fully stocked (or overstocked) your tank before you knew about cycling. In these circumstances, if its not possible to return fish, you will have to make the best of it.

If you haven’t already done so, add your fish. Acclimate them to the water in your tank before doing so.

Feed lightly to start with. Daily as much as is eaten in 2 minutes, or as much as it eaten in 3 minutes every 2 days. You can increase to full feedings if you are confident your parameters aren’t getting too elevated too quickly and water changes don’t become a daily thing.

Start to regularly test the water for ammonia and nitrite. At least daily. Depending on your bioload you could start to see ammonia quite quickly. Nitrite will likely take a little longer to appear.

Your target should be to keep ammonia + nitrite combined no higher than 0.5ppm by changing water whenever your water parameters exceed this target. 0.5ppm combined is a level of waste that is sufficient for your cycle to establish but relatively safe for your fish.

If you see 0.5ppm ammonia and 0.0ppm nitrite (0.5ppm combined) then leave things be. If you see 0.5ppm ammonia and 0.25ppm nitrite (0.75ppm combined) then change 1/3 of the water. If you see 0.25ppm ammonia and 0.75ppm nitrite (1.0ppm combined) then change 1/2 the water. If water parameters get worse than these levels it may require multiple daily 50% water changes to maintain safe water conditions. This is more likely to happen with a fully stocked tank.

Remember to add water conditioner whenever you put tap water in the tank.

Over time the frequency of water changes and amount you need to change to maintain your ammonia + nitrite combined target will reduce. You can also start testing for nitrate and should see this rising. If you are finding the ammonia and nitrite in your tests are consistently low, and you aren’t already fully stocked, you can add a few more fish. It may take a few weeks to get to this point.

Once you add a few more fish, continue to regularly test the water and continue to change water if you exceed the 0.5ppm combined ammonia + nitrite target. With added bioload the frequency of water changes and amount you need to change may increase again until your cycle has caught up. Again once you are consistently seeing low ammonia and nitrite you can add some more fish. Rinse and repeat with testing, water changes, and adding fish when safe to do so until you are fully stocked.

You can then cut back on water changes to control nitrate only. Typically you want to keep nitrate no higher than 40ppm, but I would recommend changing some water every 2 weeks even if your water test says you don’t need to.

A fish in cycle from an empty tank to fully stocked can take several months.

A good way to speed up this process would be to put a small amount of filter media from an established filter into your filter, or get a sponge from an established filter and squeeze it into your tank water. Perhaps you have a friend who keeps fish who could let you have some? This will seed your filter with the bacteria you are trying to grow and speed up the process.

Another option is bottled bacteria like Dr Tims One + Only or Tetra Safestart. These products wont instantly cycle a tank as they claim but in a similar manner to adding established filter media they can seed your filter with the bacteria you are trying to grow to establish your cycle. These products are hit and miss as to whether they work at all, but are an option if established filter media isnt obtainable and may speed up the process from several months to several weeks.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2022, 04:43 AM   #12
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 7
Again, all that information is so so helpful! Thank you so much!
No the tank doesn't have a filter, or a lid.
I have always loved those coloured zebra danios �� thanks for the tip! Now i know what to go for when i get my tank set up again. Also thanks for the suggested products for the water treatment. There are so many on the market its hard to know what to go for.
After a little research I have found an aquarium store (not a pet shop), in the city of the Island. So even if i don't buy the fish from there (because the journey back will be too long for them in bags probably), I can go there for advice as they will know all about the water on the island and what treatment is needed etc, and they have a lovely selection of live plants.
I can see what people mean about this hobby getting addictive and expensive! and ironically i chose fish as a pet because I thought they would be the least trouble! Ha! But now after learning all this and seeing other people's aquariums, I really want to make this work! When I can I will get a new tank (this one I have someone was second hand, hence no lid).
__________________
EmmaPebbles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2022, 04:46 AM   #13
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 7
Now I'm researching filters!
__________________
EmmaPebbles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2022, 04:47 AM   #14
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 2,761
Pretty much every tank needs a filter. Very heavily planted tanks with low amounts of fish you might get away without one. But get a filter. Without one your cycle cant establish, fish will be living in their own waste, and die in short order. Throw this into the mix of possible reasons why the fish died.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2022, 05:09 AM   #15
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 2,761
With regards to transporting fish. Its getting more and more common for fish to be purchased mail order, where they can spend hours and hours in transit in a bag in a box and they generally arrive just fine. Ive heard people report delays in delivery and them arriving in good condition after more than a day in transit.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Where did it go where did it go?!?! Greenpillow Saltwater Reef Aquaria 4 02-22-2013 07:12 PM
How did you test your floor (or did you?) prissysmom Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 11 10-02-2009 03:32 PM
did u know Cories have a labyrinth organ?? i did know that!! Bubble_B0y Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 11 08-08-2005 03:13 PM
Did i buy the wrong lighting?? also-online plant retailer? mgkaelen Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 10 12-24-2003 05:24 AM
did i pick the wrong fish? bumblebean Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 16 07-07-2003 06:10 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.