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Think I may have messed up - can someone advise re DCs new fish please?

(11 Posts)
MooMooFarm Sun 05-Jun-11 21:11:46

Would really appreciate some advice please!

DCs wanted to get a goldfish each - so we got some (childrens) library books and followed the advice - bought a tank & aquarium sand, washed the sand, filled with water (treated with aquasafe), put in filter & left running for a couple of weeks - all as per books.

Shop said all sounded ok and DCs picked one black moor & one small fan tail.
Added to tank as per advice - ie leaving bag floating in water for 20 mins first. Since then have only been feeding a tiny bit each day.

At first they both seemed fine, darting around, etc. But now three days on, they've changed their 'behaviour'. The fantail seems fine apart from that it is constantly chasing the black moor around and poking at it. The black moor, I think, is not happy. It keeps hiding in a cave ornament in the tank, and when it comes out, althoug it swims around quickly, its top fin is almost flat, not sticking up like the fan tails fin does.

It is coming out of the cave less and less and today only seemed to come out when I put the food in - or when the fantail chases it out of there!

I've been googling all this and am now worried that I didn't do it all right in the first place! The (RSPCA) book we read didn't say anything about 'cycling' a tank first or 'new tank syndrome', but I'm now wondering if that's the problem? I'm a novice and hadn't heard of these terms before.

So, bearing in mind that I already have two fish - what can I do to help them?

Thank you smile

jobo84 Sun 05-Jun-11 21:29:20

I had the same problem with my fantail goldfishes and black moors, had 2 of each, one of the fantails became dominant it attacked them and destroyed most of the moors fins, i ended up returning the moors to the fish shop as it just wasnt fair, on them, fish shop did tell me that they would have eventually been killed. I am sorry to break this news, but it may be fairer to take one of them back and maybe pick a different fish, shubunkins are pretty cool fish,with loads of different colours,look a bit like goldfish only more colours, this is what i used to repace the moors, and they have been able to hold their own against the fantails.
Can i ask, is the fantail bigger than the moor?

MooMooFarm Sun 05-Jun-11 21:42:04

No the moor is quite a bit bigger than the fantail. Thanks for replying - don't know how I will break it to DC that one of their fish may have to go sad

Do you think that's why the black moor's fin is flat then? I was thinking it may be to do with water quality, but I was obviously way off!

TeamLemon Sun 05-Jun-11 21:48:47

Moors are so in-bred that they can be quite lumbersome and easily bullied by other fish.
What food are you giving them?
Flakes and floating pellets mean that fish like black moors have to gulp at the surface and they can get swim bladder problems.

Our black moor is on his way out (long story) and so we're restocking the tank with some exciting zebra danio.

Popbiscuit Sun 05-Jun-11 21:57:48

The fish store should have advised you re: community fish (those that can get along fine with other types of fish).
Fantails do like to "play" though, so that might be what you are seeing.
YY to the zebra danios--they last FOREVER and get along with everybody grin.

EauRouge Sun 05-Jun-11 22:59:10

Most books don't mention about fishless cycling because very few people are willing to wait 6 weeks before they can get any fish! Don't worry, you can save your fish but it'll take a bit of effort.

Firstly I will tell you that goldfish get very large and need a huge tank. If you can't provide the space for them then you'd be better off with smaller fish. Even zebra danios need quite a big tank because they are so active.

Smaller 'beginner' tanks are actually no good for beginners at all, small tanks are very hard to maintain because the water parameters can change very quickly. Something around 60 litres is a good size for a beginner and you can keep a small shoal of 6 or 7 white cloud mountain minnows quite happily in a tank that size. It would be too small for danios or goldfish though.

If you do decide to keep the goldfish, here is some info on tank sizes and life expectancy. Common-shaped goldfish like shubunkins and comets should not be mixed with fancy-shaped goldfish like fantails and moors because they can out-compete them for food and hassle them too much when they are spawning. The common-shaped ones are best off in ponds anyway.

If your tank is big enough for the goldfish and you want to keep them in there then here are some instructions on how to save the day grin

You will need a water test kit like this one to test for ammonia, nitrIte, nitrAte and pH at the very least. That will give you a good idea of what's going on with the water.

Hope that helps a bit.

MooMooFarm Mon 06-Jun-11 09:51:21

Thanks very much for the advice - really helpful and has made me realise that fish keeping is not as easy as I imagined confused.

Am going to order one of the kits you mentioned and also have a friend with a long-established tank who is going to donate some gravel as per the article.

Have also already done a partial water change, and although the black moor has still been hiding quite a lot, when he came out this morning he was darting around quite quickly and I think his fins look a bit more healthy.....

Thanks again!

EauRouge Mon 06-Jun-11 10:14:12

Brilliant, a friend with a mature tank is a useful friend to have grin See if you can get something from the filter, a piece of sponge or a handful of those ceramic balls/hoops. Transfer them as quick as you can to your own filter and don't let them dry out, then more of the bacteria will survive.

Lots of water changes in the next few days will do him good, hopefully he'll continue to perk up smile

MooMooFarm Mon 06-Jun-11 10:16:34

Thanks - by the way does it matter if their tank is a heated, tropical one? If it does my friend says she can get something out of her outside pond instead, if that would work too?

Should I change the water again today? I did it last night....

Sorry to bombard you...

EauRouge Mon 06-Jun-11 10:42:53

Nope, it's the same type of bacteria! You may get some die off because of the temperature change but not too many. It would be better to get something from the tank, you never know what's in a pond.

Yes, you can do another water change today, small daily one or every other day are a good idea until you get your test kit and then you'll be able to tell whether you need to do a water change or not. Don't forget to keep using the tapsafe/aquasafe or whatever it is.

MooMooFarm Mon 06-Jun-11 10:46:47

Thank you! smile

Test kit is on the way, and will be getting some gravel & water from friend's tank tomorrow. Will do another water change today and just keep everything crossed the fish last that long....

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