I don't know why my goldfish have died

piddyJanuary 4, 2007

I'm not a beginner when it comes to keeping goldfish. I have a small (550 gal.) pond outside, and a small aquarium in the house.

I'm having a problem that's a real stumper.

About 3 weeks ago I started a small tank (5.5 gal) for 4 small common goldfish, the largest about an inch and a half. It was an unplanned "rescue".

So the tank was running fine. I have an in-tank submersible filer/pump unit, and the tank isn't in the sun. For about 6 hours a day I keep the aquarium hood light on, but the water wasn't ever more than 75 degrees.

A few days ago I noticed two of the fish weren't acting right, they were spending a lot of time resting on the bottom. I checked the pH, it was between 7.0-7.4 (I have trouble judging the color), but it was within normal limits. I checked the nitrate level and salt levels, everything was fine, but I changed about half the water anyway.

Later that night, those two fish were dead. Today, I noticed the two surviving fish were also spending a lot of time resting on the bottom. Just a couple of hours ago one of the surviving fish died, and the last fish isn't looking very good.

I know the standard guidelines for goldfish are 1" of fish per gallon. Only one of the 4 fish was over 1" in length, so I didn't think it was over crowding.

I wasn't over feeding. In fact, I was away for a couple of days over Christmas, and then again for New Years. The water is nice and clear.

Any ideas what's up?

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hey did you say rescue maybe they were in shock oh and if one fish or two die you should clean the tank and remove the remaining fish immedietly or they might die as well dont take any chances

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 6:15PM
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What is the reading for ammonia levels? What was the NitrAte reading? Goldfish are MAJOR poop producers. Poop and pee = ammonia big time. Also they do NOT need salt although I don't think that's a cause. I'm betting on ammonia poisoning.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 7:20PM
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Piddy, first being rescues who knows what occured or stress events prior.

Some info.

Salt ok for goldfish (well I raised them outdoors and inside as kid and used a pinch per Dr Innes)

(I realize there are differing opinions on this so not judging one way or another)

Unless you used huge amounts this mho had nothing to do with their deaths. (although I think I read somewhere it can exacerbate ammonia poisoning? BUT not sure if memory serves)(or was that help in nitrate nitrite poisoning)

the old rule one inch per gallon (I read this and makes mucho sense) is ok for small flatish fish, but larger fish body mass needs to be considered. Ie a huge paccu for example might be 10 inches long well - the rule would provide a way inadequate tank size for such a fish. So need to go by mass.

My first thought was too small a tank for four fish.. Just too much waste with goldfish so more tank for fewer fish. I said one in five gallon. That said they were relatively small, you had a filter, so that doesn't make sense to me, unless the water wasn't cycled, and fish waste (they are major waste producers)

Had the tank been cycled?

Ammonia spike that may have been missed? did you check ammonia?

If you are changing water, is this such and amount (was filter new, ie no stuff, gravel or filter material with bacteria in it) that you cause recycling again.

I have done much recent research on gourami disease and found also information on viral crossing with goldfish to gourami and other fishes now.. Almost epidemic overseas, an hidden... so could be something not to do with you at all.

but, again, ammonia and too many fish in too small a space. Not re size but waste, esp if not cycled. How many water changes if not cycled - would need one a day.

That said, I know when young some who had fish in bowls and they hung on for weeks and months sometimes longer as person changed water (ps was not me!)

so maybe they were not well to begin with.. You as you say, have experience... sometimes in old innes book, he would say use water from pond or established tank, feed live worms, so on, salt water cure... to bring them about.

Any other symptoms, spots, diseases that you notice. or just run down and die? Best Sherry

How was their breathing. Gill coloration? Any obvious symptoms. Sometimes when I buy new fish, and am quaranteening one just quitely dies, just lays down and floats off. (I seperate and give low light planted tank for their ease) I figure they often have survived a nasty trip, horrible conditions at pet store (low ph, hose to fill tanks, guys often don't check temp, cooked some fish once, so on) so they just can't take it. poor things

so maybe not knowing what they had been through prior, and even with your care in transportation, and new home they were just tired from stress and went over edge.

(I make really long all day sometimes more water changes, dribble method (my petstore has extremely low ph 5, so go slow one degree in 24 hours is max per day. ) was the transfer to much a shock from where they were prior?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 1:59AM
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I still haven't emptied the tank. I need to get an ammonia test kit so I'll have a definitive answer on if the ammonia levels were too high.

On at least two of the little dead fish, I thought there might have been a reddish (bloody) looking spot under the skin near the anal fin area. No worms, flukes or parasites were observed.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 10:44PM
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