Stress/Shaking Goldfish....scared owner - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-22-2008, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Stress/Shaking Goldfish....scared owner

1. Size of aquarium? Two gallons
2. Is your aquarium setup freshwater or brackish water? Freshwater
3. How long the aquarium has been set up? First set up on Thursday 1/17
4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know) One-fantail goldfish (very small)
5. Are there live plants in the aquarium? No
6. What temperature is the tank water currently? 65-71
7. What make/model filter are you using?'s a fishbowl
8. Are you using a CO2 unit? see above
9. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? No
10. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed? today (and yesterday) approx. 20% both days
11. How often do you perform water changes? Once a day?
12. How often and what foods do you feed your fish? Three times a day a single flake of wwardly goldfish food
13. What type of lighting are you using and how long is it kept on? Not? other than the lights in my ceiling
14. What specific concerns bring you here at this time? see below
15. What are your water parameters? Test your pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Everything except PH seems seemed a little alkaline
16. What test kit are you using and is it liquid or test strips? test trips it's the quick dip 5
17. When was the last time you bought a fish and how did they behave while in the pet store tank? Thursday, and the fish seemed a little calmer

Basically, my concern is part anxiety of a new fish owner. Starting last night, it's seemed like he's really stressed--shaking as he swims (in a way that I hadn't seen before) And just swimming almost frantically around the tank..shaking all the way. I just don't know what could be wrong, and if I have to I'll get a tank and everything I just had been told that because he was so small a 2 gall bowl was ok...
any insights?

Also, took a video of him swimming around but it doesn't catch what I'm talking about on tape, really...
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-22-2008, 02:03 PM
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Ok, the tank is still cycling. Chances are there is a a lot of ammonia that is not showing up on the test strips. The levels will go up very fast with a fish that is as dirty as a goldfish. Yes it is small but they still produce a lot of waste for a 10 gallon tank. You might even be seeing nitrites in the tank and again, the strips may not be accurate enough to tell this.

First off, do a 50% water change and make sure to treat the water before you put it in the tank. Do a 50% water change at least once a week if not 3 times a week until you see no ammonia and no nitrites for a week.
If you can, get a liquid regeant test kit for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. The test strips are terrible. I had test strips also and when I switched to liquid tests every single one of my test strip results were off by at least 50% and my nitrites and nitrates tests were off by 300%. There has to be ammonia in the tank and I would guess it is likely close to 2ppm if not higher. Make sure to clean the gravel as well as possible when doing the water changes also.

What are the levels of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? 2ppm or higher ammonia can cause it, any but mostly .5-1ppm nitrites can cause it and nitrates over 40ppm can cause it.

Don't use chemicals to remove the ammonia. All they do is change the composition and when they break down later it can and often does make a bigger problem.

Test before the water changes and after them and keep up with the water changes. I also want to make sure you know that the goldfish will eventually need a larger tank. 10 gallon tanks just don't cut it for them regardless of how big they get.
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-22-2008, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Should I do a 50% water change right now? Concidering I just did a 20% about a few hours ago (fish is still acting strange)
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-22-2008, 05:12 PM
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I agree, it sounds like a water quality problem. Goldfish produce waste so quickly that it won't hurt to do another water change. If you're worried about such a large change, try a 25-30% change and test to see what the levels are after that. There are definitely toxins in your tank, and will continue to be until the cycle is done.

If you have a friend with fish, try adding some decorations or something from their tank, that will bring bacteria from the established tank into yours.
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-22-2008, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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I just caught some of the shaking on tape...I ended up getting a slightly larger aquarium with a water filter and tested the water and said it was basically ideal...
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-22-2008, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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second link is acutally
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-22-2008, 08:34 PM
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Aww, sounds like you're doing everything you can!

Honestly, it looks like your fish is incredibly active and healthy. I'm not sure what shaking you're talking about, but it looks like he's just nuzzling the walls of the tank, which is a very common activity and nothing to worry about! I don't feel comfortable declaring there to be no problem, but there wasn't any behavior in those two videos that was anything to worry about. He's very active swimming around his tank, which would indicate that he is happy and comfortable in his surroundings!

You should still keep an eye on the water parameters, as your tank is new and is still cycling, but if you keep doing daily water changes until the nitrogen cycle has stabilized you'll optimize your fish's survival.

Best of luck!
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