Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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jsesti 10-27-2006 03:10 PM

Fin Rot
Hello everyone,

I just bought a 3 gallon tank for one goldfish. I know it is small but I don't have much space so this is perfect. My goldfish was fine until I performed the first water change and added a miniature water lilly to the tank. It started to develop fin rot about a month ago (that is when I changed the water). I tested the water and all my parameters are in order (nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, pH). I have added salt to the aquarium and administered antibiotics as per the instruction of the pet shop staff. The goldfish still has fin rot and it is getting worse. It has also been sleeping a lot. I'm not sure what to do. Any advice.

joeshmoe 10-27-2006 04:49 PM

do another water change dont put any more salt in, salt is not the best for goldfish. do you put any thing in your water when u do a water change?

Lupin 10-27-2006 06:29 PM

Hi and welcome aboard, Jsesti.:wave:

3 gallons is not enough for goldfish. One goldfish alone grows to 25 cm max and will need 30 gallons for just one with very efficient filtration. A 3 gallons tank will most likely have a high level of ammonia and nitrites killing the fish instantly.:blink:
That tank is suitable only for a betta rather than a goldfish.

joeshmoe 10-27-2006 06:34 PM

yes blue is right. will you lfs take back the gold fish my be you can get a betta or dinos

bettababy 10-27-2006 11:20 PM

For starters, Blue is right about the goldfish not working in a 3 gallon bowl. There is probably a huge problem with oxygen depletion in this bowl unless you are running a filter or air stone. Goldfish are heavy consumers of oxygen compared to the average "tropical fish".
The salt was a good thing, so long as it's not too much or too often. Salt is good for medicinal purposes, it acts as a healing agent, but is not something to use continually for goldfish, as it will cause health problems.
When you clean the bowl, how much of the water are you changing at a time and how often? Are you acclimating the fish into the new water or just plopping it into brand new water each time? You can cause shock by just dropping a fish into clean water without acclimation.
Also, how often are you feeding, what kind of food, and what is the temp? All of these things will also have an effect on your fish, especially considering the environment it's in.
For a situation such as yours, I will suggest a daily water exchange of 50%, keeping the water room temp. Treat the new water with water conditioner, such as AquaSafe, by tetra. BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVERDOSE THE CONDITIONER. This can kill your fish quickly, and it's a horrible way to die. Talk to your LFS, see if they will take the fish back and maybe exchange it for a betta. Remember with the betta... 1 fish per bowl! In a 3 gallon bowl, so long as it is kept at above 70 degrees and below 90 degrees, kept clean with a weekely water exchange of about 20 - 30%, fed every other day with betta pellet food or live blackworms/bloodworms, or live brine shrimp, it should thrive.
There is NO other fish I would suggest for a bowl with no filter or heater. If you decide to add an air pump and filter (PenPlax designs one for use in bowls, it has a snap in cartridge with sponge and carbon, once each month you change the cartridge), then you could work with a small school of about 3 - 5 white clouds or danios. The kinds of fish able to thrive in a bowl are few and far between. Most fish small enough for that size of a container will need a heater, the danios and white clouds the only exceptions. All others beside the betta will need a filter. You can actually do quite a bit with 3 gallons if you add heater and filter. It sounded as if space was your only issue, not funding? If that is the case, let me know and I can teach you how to add what is needed and turn it into a "tropical tank" with filter, heater, and up to 5 bright colored fish, live plants, the works... I have fun setting these up because so many people think it's not possible to do in a bowl. A container is a container, it's what you do with that container that makes it different from the rest.
Hope this helps....

jsesti 10-28-2006 08:17 AM

Thank you for the replies. I really appreciate the help. About my tank.... space is definitely the issue. I would love to have a 20 gallon tank with plants and all, but right now that is not physically possible :) unless I put it on the bed :). In any case. The tank I have is an Eclipse 3 gallon tank, so it has a filter and a powerwheel. I don't have a separate oxygen pump because I figured the stream of water coming down the filter would be enough (I could be wrong). I don't have a heater, but the temperature in the tank never goes under 72degrees because we have conrolled heating in the apartment. It can be quite warm though, up to about 82 degrees. I guess you guys are right about the goldfish. We actually had bought two feeder goldfish in order to cycle the tank, but they died within a day. So my husband bought a fancy goldfish thinking it was the same thing. And it just never died. I feed it twice a day with some goldfish flakes. With regard to the parameters of the tank (ie ammonia etc.) I took some of my water to the store and they said it was fine. I don't know.... I guess I will follow your advice and try to give it back to the store, and instead get some danios. I also wanted to ask about plants in the aquarium. I have medium sized rocks in the bottom of the tank, can I still have plants with these rocks or do I have to buy special dirt. Thanks again for all the replies.

Lupin 10-28-2006 09:43 PM

Hi Jsesti,

Regarding this matter...


With regard to the parameters of the tank (ie ammonia etc.) I took some of my water to the store and they said it was fine.
Pls do not allow your lfs to say that. Let them write the exact figures of ammona, nitrites, nitrates and pH. Even better, buy yourself a test kit so you can determine the exact figures without being conned by lfs into believing the water is "fine" or "perfect".
There's no such thing as "perfect" water conditions. Even the wild habitats are dirty thus the water is not perfect.
To say "fine" is just a jump to conclusion. In a 3 gallons tank with a goldfish, ammonia and nitrites will always be terribly high. Your fish is living only in borrowed time and will die any time soon.


can I still have plants with these rocks or do I have to buy special dirt.
Yes. You can have plants. I doubt you have space in a 3 gallons tank though and your goldfish will definitely eat them. You might give hornworts a try though and just hope your goldfish won't eat them.

bettababy 10-28-2006 10:14 PM

The goldfish don't tend to eat the hornwort, but Blue is right, there is no way that water quality in a 3 gallon tank is "fine" if it's housing a goldfish that is being fed twice/day. If you can't afford the test kits of your own, have the LFS write down the exact numbers for your results, and also the name of the test kits they are using.
I have been to LFS's who test water for free... and I have watched them use the strip tests, and not even use them properly. In one instance, they tested water for a friend of mine, told him the same thing... his water was fine. Knowing already that something was wrong, he brought that same sample right to me, and when I tested it, he had very high ammonia and nitrite levels, nitrates were off the chart.
The other problems I notice in your last post is that you are feeding flake food to a fancy goldfish, this is a no no. If fancy goldfish have to feed at the surface, they tend to gulp a lot of air, which causes swim bladder problems. If severe or often, this can lead to permanent damage of the swim bladder, which leads to a painful death for the fish. The proper food for fancy goldifsh is SINKING GOLDFISH PELLETS.
Temps that fluctuate from 72 - 82 will have the potential to wipe out even the heartiest fish. A 10 degree jump may not seem like much to a person, but fish don't have the immune systems that people have. This jump in temp, and then dropping back down, will also cause severe illness issues, and could be very deadly... even to the danios when you get them. You would be much safer putting a heater into the tank, setting it for a constant 76 degrees (after the goldfish is removed), and keep track of it. If it goes above 78, ventilate it by opening the cover, add an air pump with an air stone.... not many fish can handle temps over 80 degrees, but jumping from 72 - 80's will kill.

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