Why on earth do all my fish keep dying?!

jazzle92March 13, 2013

So the past years I've been a solid fish killer. But a totally unintentional one. Recently, 3 weeks ago I bought two healthy looking nymph goldfish, I prepared the water for 24 hours with water conditioner and drops before introducing the bag of fish into the water, leaving it for 15 minutes, adding some water to the bag, another 15, then letting the fish swim out into the tank.

NB: I had one plastic plant and some white pebbles that were thoroughly cleaned before being out in the tank, the tank is also the right size for two small goldfish.

So I gave them some fish food (only a little to settle them) and so far so good. This "goodness" continued for two days when in the morning I went to uni after feeding my fish (2 small amounts a day they're fed) and came home that evening to find Pequeño Naranja belly up I'm the tank. I took him out and flushed the poor fella and checked the pH. It was perfectly fine. I changed 1/3 of the water one week after (as to clean up the tank as per fish keeping instructions) and Blanco Jörge was fine, one week went by, changed the water and then two, and today I come home from an overnight stay at my friends - I had fed him the previous morning, and he had passed away and sunk to the bottom, I checked the pH level and it's was again, fine. I did notice on Friday last week, (a week ago) that my little fishle wasn't using(opening) one of his gills, it didn't seem to be struggling and I couldn't find any info on why this would be happening. So yeah I got home and he was at the bottom of the tank, I had a look at his gills and there didn't seem to be any obstructions, but then again I'm not too up to date on the anatomy of a fish.

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How large is the tank and what type filtration are you using. Also, is the water heated?
Did you test for ammonia and nitrite during this time?

24 hrs is not long enough for a tank to stabilize and run thru a complete cycle, so my guess is high levels of ammonia and nitrite killed the fish. Even with water changes the level of ammonia probably got too high, especially since goldfish produce a lot of waste.
A fish swimming in a tank with high ammonia is like being in acid.........

Here is a link that might be useful: Tank setup

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 11:28PM
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I agree with annz about what the problem may be, but I also wanted to suggest that next time you may want to get something other than goldfish. Goldfish should really be in a pond so they can grow to their normal sizes, which can be quite large. Their growth is stunted by living in a tank and the high levels of waste they create makes it difficult to maintain a good environment for them.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 7:32PM
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You need to get a water test kit. I recommend the API Freshwater test. Since I don't know your conditions, I'd just tell you to get the Master Test kit for freshwater.

Make sure your levels are fine. I'm assuming ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are fine if your tank has been cycled and enough beneficial bacteria has been built up in your filtration media. Make sure the tank and filter are sized accordingly to accomodate the fish you have and their bio-load. Make sure the water is the right temperature for the species you're keeping.

Make sure you're feeding enough fiber. Goldfish tend to do better with gel food because they're prone to bloat and constipation.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 7:41PM
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