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Help with new goldfish, it's all going wrong

(89 Posts)
Booboostwo Wed 12-Apr-17 21:30:27

DD won two fish at her school bingo (preschool gambling is all the rage apparently) and we went to collect them today. As expected it was a con and we got fish worth 3 euros but paid 110 euros for their aquarium ( and two more friends).

The advice the shop gave us was a bit crap. They gave us water from their tank to put in ours but it was so little it barely covered the sand. So we had no choice but to add a lot of tap water which disturbed the sand and made the whole water very muddy - of course we have not put the fish in there yet!

We have a filter which is trying to clean the mess, a heater which is working and have put a chemical in to try to balance the water. We got really worried about leaving the fish in their bags so now they are in a contained with their original water, the contained itself is balanced inside the tank but not in contact with the muddy water. This way the container will remain reasonably warm we hope. Was that the bets thing to do?

We also placed a piece of cardboard partly over the container trying to hedge our bets between allowing oxygen and preventing the fish from jumping out. Was that a good idea?

Will the sandy water have settled by tomorrow? I am very disappointed in the rubbish advice we got. I've never owned fish before but I tried to follow the instructions.

MollyHuaCha Wed 12-Apr-17 21:34:49

What a shame... it's possible your fish might live, but they're having a poor start. We have fish. But first we set up the aquarium and let the water settle for six weeks. Before any fish went in it we tested the ph and nitrate level of the water. It wasn't ready, so we had to wait another week and a half. It's not your fault. Whoever was giving away fish as prizes should be told it's wrong. Good luck. Hope they survive (it is possible!).

Booboostwo Wed 12-Apr-17 21:39:33

Oh my goodness I hope they don't die! The shop assistant said we could add the tap water within 24hrs, he said nothing about waiting weeks. Poor fishes, I have to sneak into DD's room to check on them now.

Funnyfarmer Wed 12-Apr-17 21:40:45

I have goldfish. Don't have a heater there cold water fish. I use gravel at the bottom of the tank so can't help with the sandy water sorry. Have you put water conditioning in the water? Pets at home are great for advise if you have one near you?

PurpleGlitterSparkles Wed 12-Apr-17 21:40:55

How many goldfish and what size tank??

I'm gonna be honest here, goldfish get massive and produce a massive amount of waste.

Also do you have a filter?

Realistically you've got 2 options here.

1) take the fish back to the shop

2) do daily water changes.

Goldfish need a filter and a Huge amount of space.

I've been in your position and my fish came out the other end and are now in a massive tank.

If you want to keep the fish you will need.
A API master kit (to check water reading)
Water conditioner to make tap water safe.
A shyphon to clean the sand.

The pet shop SHOULD NOT have sold you fish when your tank has not been up and running. It's not your fault most goldfish owners have been in the same predicament.

If you want to keep the fish google "fish in cycle" to try to understand the they ammonia cycle.

1st most biggest mistake new fish owners make is do not overfeed. Rule of thumb is feed them the same amount of food as big as their eye.

The more food = more waste = unhappy fish.

The sand should settle overnight.

Tomorrow if you can post a picture of your fish I can try and find some guides for you.

Funnyfarmer Wed 12-Apr-17 21:42:26

Do you have a bubble thingy for the oxygen? Sorry don't know what it's called

CornflakeHomunculus Wed 12-Apr-17 21:45:17

There's lots of very good information on the It's Not Just a Fish site, I would highly recommend giving it a good read.

Booboostwo Wed 12-Apr-17 21:48:03

Sorry I didn't include basic information.

I have four fish in a 45 gallon tank which is supposed to be suitable for five fish (all this according to the useless pet shop guy though).

The heater is set between 20-25, we have a filter and we added a chemical to balance out the water. We don't have a testing kit, will get one tomorrow.

If I do daily water changes how much of the water do I change? Do I replace it with water I have already treated with the balancing chemical (instructions on the bottle suggest it requires 24 hours to work)?

We have a feeding box that releases enough food for five fish - is that aon as well? They have eaten the one dose I gave them today.

Booboostwo Wed 12-Apr-17 21:51:26

45 liters not gallons!!!

reallyanotherone Wed 12-Apr-17 21:51:35

Pers at home are generally not great for advice.

Find an independent shop with someone who knows about fish.

Fishkeeping requires a fairly in depth knowledge of water chemistry. Try for advice

Booboostwo Wed 12-Apr-17 21:55:52

We're in France.

A quick read suggests the tank may be woefully small! I am a bit shocked at the rubbish information I got from the pet store. I clearly said I wanted to look after them well, that they were living animals and their welfare was important.

TeachingPostQuery Wed 12-Apr-17 21:56:09

45 gallons would be almost ok for 4 fancy goldfish. 45 litres is too small for one I'm afraid.

It's not your fault, shops are terrible for selling goldfish in rubbish conditions.

As another poster has said, if you post a pic of the fish, you'll be able to get appropriate advice. But normal goldfish really need to be kept in a pond rather than a tank.

PurpleGlitterSparkles Wed 12-Apr-17 22:01:03

Oh no 4 goldfish in a 45 L is that correct?

If that is correct your really going to have to return the fish.

I had 2 fancy goldfish in a 25L within 6 weeks they were moved to a 200L and they are fancy goldfish. Those 2 £10 fish cost us a fortune all because pets at home are USELESS.

Goldfish are coldwater fish and do not need a heater.

MycatsaPirate Wed 12-Apr-17 22:06:24

We have a tank in the house, it has a filter, oxygenating system, heater (not needed for goldfish, they are cold water fish) with gravel, live plants and we do a 1/3rd water change every few weeks. We do this by sucking up the crap from under the gravel so we reduce the ammonia in the water.

Our goldfish are in our pond. We currently have about 35 although it's hard to count as they keep breeding and the youngsters are still black (don't change to gold until 2-3 years old). They get massive. Our biggest ones are approx 9-10 inches long. They produce a massive amount of poo! We feed them pond sticks and flake plus they eat the weed in the pond.

I would consider either taking the fish back and going for something smaller and easier to keep - guppies are great, good for breeding and won't get too big. You will still need a filter and some live plants and will still need to do a part water change at least once a month.

Or build a pond. Personally I'd go with a pond but we already have two grin

I really wish places would not give goldfish away. They really do need a lot of care and can't just be dumped in a small bowl. You've tried really hard to do the right thing but sadly the advice you've been given is pretty shit from the pet shop.

Booboostwo Wed 12-Apr-17 22:09:02

This is a complete disaster, poor fish. I haven't cycled the water which doesn't give them a chance in hell right?

DD is sleeping so I can't take a good photo. I don't know if you can see the tank, but the fish are tiny, about 4-5cm long.

MycatsaPirate Wed 12-Apr-17 22:15:12

Is there any oxygen going into the tank? Poor guys, it's not your fault. You did ask for advice but really the shop has no business offering advice when it's that crap!

It should also be gravel not sand as it helps contain the poo.

Do have a think about whether you want to keep them and how you can manage that. Or see if someone you know who has a pond would be willing to take them on and maybe give you some money to buy some little fish.

Booboostwo Wed 12-Apr-17 22:16:21

It may be I am a total I am not sure they are goldfish! They are called poisson rouge which I assumed meant goldfish but maybe they are guppies?

TeachingPostQuery Wed 12-Apr-17 22:22:14

It's not the water that needs to cycle, it's the filter. So long as you treat the water appropriately you can do regular changes while the filter cycles. That could be a short term plan, but if they are goldfish I'm afraid you'll have to sort something more suitable for the long term and so may just prefer to return them to the shop.

reallyanotherone Wed 12-Apr-17 22:27:40

If you have squeezings from an established tank that will help get the tank cycled a lot quicker. It contains the bacteria to colonise the filter.

TeachingPostQuery Wed 12-Apr-17 22:29:43

Sorry - I meant treat the water before you add it to the tank, I just realised my post wasn't clear.

We had to take 2 fancy goldfish at short notice and set up a 135L tank. I did daily water changes of min 20% for weeks until things settled down, and one of the fish still didn't make it. (Although we don't know why, I presume the cycling didn't help.)

If you keep up with regular changes and regular testing of the water the fish might be ok short term, but you do have a lot of fish in a small tank.

Booboostwo Wed 12-Apr-17 22:42:55

DD woke up, but at least I have better photos.

These two came from a tank full of orange fish and the odd black one.

Booboostwo Thu 13-Apr-17 07:20:51

Some better photos. What breed fish are they?

TeachingPostQuery Thu 13-Apr-17 08:00:04

They are lovely. I think they're common goldfish, but someone more knowledgeable will be along shortly.

DalaHorse Thu 13-Apr-17 08:07:54

You need dechlorinator liquid and fast, firstly. Then you are best doing a tank with fresh tap water and some bio liquid (also from pet shop). Fresh dechlorinated water is better than what you have now, it won't be worse.

DalaHorse Thu 13-Apr-17 08:10:30

And goldfish are pond fish, it annoys me no end they are sold as tank fish. Goldfish are just baby koi carp which can grow to 12 inches and beyond.

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