Hello, my name is Genave and I'm new to posting on this forum. I've used the forum a lot, though, to diagnose problems with my bettas. Google has led me here many times.
Anyway, I posted this question to the Yahoo Answers community but no one answered it. I suspect it is because of the length of the question.
To make a long story short, I had a 2.5 gallon setup that was sealed with hardware store sealant and I learned the hard way that I need to use sealant that is specifically meant for aquariums. I got rid of that tank, but not the plants, heater, and filter that were in it. I now have a five gallon tank divided by two layers of plastic canvas and those binder clip things that you slide onto the edge of papers to make presentation binders.
I plan to put a betta on each side of the tank, but I don't want to put anything into it until I know its safe. I am worried that the plastic plants, the rubber ends on the heater, the betta log, or something on the filter may have absorbed the poison from the hardware store sealant. So, what I have done is set up the tank with the plastic plants (plus one new one), different gravel than what was in the bad 2.5 gal tank, and new filter cartridges in the filter. The local fish store said that the carbon in the old cartridge could have held onto the poison and put it back into the water, so I made sure to get new cartridges before I set up the 5 gal.
I bought two goldfish (one for each side of the tank) and planned to wait a while (a week or two) to make sure that the tank is safe. The problem is, both of the goldfish died yesterday. One died yesterday morning. I saw it lying on its side, still breathing, when I woke up. I did a 25%ish water change but had to rush to class. He was dead when I got back about an hour and a half later. The other one died at about 6:30 pm or so last night. The first one to die (kikkoman) stared at the corner of the tank all day, sometimes floating up or down. His back end was always pointed up at about a 30-45 degree angle. The second fish (panko) was active until today, when he started doing the same things that kikkoman had been doing since I got him. I bought them and the 5 gal tank on monday (today is thursday).
I have a third goldfish now, I got him yesterday morning, and he seems to be really active. I was concerned that there wasn't enough oxygination in the water so I lowered the water level enough that the filter causes a strong current. All night (until the lights went out) he swam vigorously in the current. He seemed to be playing. I watched him swim out of it and around the tank, so I don't think it's too strong or anything. Now he's mostly concerned with the bottom of the tank. However, I'm afraid that he's starting to slow down, stare at the sides or corners of the tank, and that his tail end is floating upward. Overall, though, he's acting more normal than the other two. Right now he's picking food out of the gravel.
I know you guys are going to ask, and I had my water tested (using water from yesterday morning from before the 25% water change) and everything tested at normal levels. Even ammonia. It was a test tube kit as well, so it's fairly accurate. The heater is a 25watt top fin brand heater and the filter is a Marina s10.
The fish that died in the bad tank had chemical burns when they died, which meant that the ends of the fins turned black. Neither of the two goldfish that died showed any signs of chemical burns.
I know that half of a five gal tank is not enough for one goldfish, but it's only temporary. I have a nice outdoor pond that I will put my goldfish in in the spring. I also want to make clear that I love the goldfish and am sad that they died. I know I'm using them as canaries, but I want them to survive. I do care about them.
So, what could be the reason for my two goldfish dying? And, do you think that the plastic in the plants or filter, or the betta log, could have absorbed the poison from the bad silicone and put those poisons back into new water, no matter the tank? And I guess I should ask about the plastic canvas and presentation binder things just in case. They weren't in the bad 2.5 gal tank and I rinsed them off before I put them into the 5 gal. I also rinsed all of the decorations from the bad 2.5 gal twice, both times using scalding hot water.
I forgot to mention that before putting the goldfish into the tank that I floated them in their bags for at least 20 minutes. I also did not dump the water from the fish store into the tank. I treat my tap water with NovAqua Plus. The heater is not on, it's just in the tank. The temp of the tank is 72 degrees. And, I've been feeding the goldfish once in the morning and once at night. I feed them Hagen's Betta Max because that's what I have on hand. There are freeze dried bloodworms in the bag, but I've only given the goldfish the flake part. And I used a net to get the goldfish from the fish store bag into the tank, not my bare hands.
I'm getting kind of impatient because the new betta I bought is currently in a 1/2 gal cube. I'm feeling increasingly bad about keeping him in there, even if I'm doing 50% water changes every other day. I also got him on Monday. I really want to put my two bettas in the new tank, but I'm afraid to rush into anything. I need help.