Hello everyone! I've been lurking for a few days and decided to make my presence here official.
I became a fish owner before I had a tank...
Long story short, my wife brought home two goldfish who otherwise would have been flushed. They were being used as decorations at a High School dance!
Anyway, we didn't know any better so we set the pair up in a 2 gallon tank my wife had from college, only a basic thing with a gravel filter. The next day I go researching on how to keep these guys alive since as a kid I never had any luck. In the mean time my kids had named the fish (oh no!) Rocky and Rina Turns out I need a 20 gallon tank minimum and the general recommendation is 30+ for two comets.
[I realize that most of what I have done to this point has been wrong, so rather than say that 50 times I'm just disclaiming it here.]
So I follow the 20 gallon kits directions and let it run for a day before moving the fish to the new tank. Predictably, we had issues. Within 12 hours both fish were showing signs of disease/stress. They both had this grey/white cottony filament on their bodies and Rina had what I later learned is called fin clamp. It was late at night so I couldn't go for any medication. I was just hoping they could hold on until I could get to the store.
The next morning the fish are still kicking but very lethargic, I head off to PetSmart for meds and a water test kit. The clerk seemed knowlegable (what do I know?) and suggested some Tetra Fungus tabs. I added Pimafix to the cart based on some research. I also picked up the API Full Monty water test kit.
When I get back Rocky was gone, he was in the same spot, but clearly lifeless, floating on his side. I was crushed and my son moreso, Rocky had been the more active of the two. I did water tests (0.25 a, 0 ni, 0 na
, 7.8 ph) and took no action based on those numbers. I added the fungus tabs after premixing them in cup.
Twelve hours later Rina seemed to be doing better, less white stuff anyway. Can't be sure it wasn't my hopeful imagination. I added a dose of Pimafix.
The next morning Rina was full sails as all fins were 'unclamped' and she was swimming around more actively, no imagination this time, the white stuff had dramatically faded! Off to the interwebs for more research as I'm concerned about the traces of ammonia.
I head back to PetsMart for a syphon hose and Lowe's for a couple 5 gallon buckets. I get back and do a 25% water change/gravel vacuum and since it's been 24 hours, another dose of Pimafix. Finally last night I make the decision to cease Pimafix and re-insert the carbon filter to resume tank cycling, also did another 25% water change/vacuum after getting the following test results: 0.25 a, 0 ni, 0 na
, 8.2 ph.
Rina looks like she's on the road to recovery for now. I plan to do 25% water changes through Saturday and monitor the levels daily.
My only remaining concern is feeding, Rina hasn't eaten in 3 days. She has had one bad eye since we got her, it looks cloudy, not sure the cause of this or if it's causing her not to see food. She may also be constipated since the last time she tried to eat 3 days ago she repeatedly spit the food out (I tried 2 varieties; Tetra Goldfish Crisps and whatever Wal-Mart sells as Goldfish flakes. I haven't tried feeding peas yet.
I've grown quite attached to both these fish and what started as an effort to keep the fish alive for my kids sake has turned into a genuine interest in the hobby for me. I'm already regretting not getting a larger tank, but I'm not messing with the formula now that I'm down to one fish. I'll go bigger when the need arises.
And if you read all this way, thanks for taking the time!