Fish curled up in tank, other tank mates dead, need help

raingerr

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Hi, I have a small comet goldfish and two rosy red minnows living in a 10 gal tank. I’ve had the goldfish for over a year and the minnows for about 5 months. Yesterday I noticed the goldfish swimming erratically and unable to balance. I assumed it was swim bladder disease as the other two fish were fine and all chemical levels were normal. Come today I change the water and the minnows both die in the process. Both ended up swimming erratically in a similar manner for a few minutes and then died. Each had been acting perfectly normal not even 10 minutes before they died. The goldfish is now curled up on his side and I feel like it could be nitrate poisoning instead, however the nitrate levels read at 20 ppm which I have heard is a typically safe level. Other parameters are:
Nitrate 10-20 ppm
Nitrite 0
GH ~150
Chlorine 0
KH ~100-120
pH ~7
Ammonia 0
He still attempts to feebly swim around although is very uncoordinated and bumps into things. I can still see his gills and mouth moving even when he lays otherwise limp. Is this nitrate poisoning or something else? Can I still save my goldfish?
 
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Sgooosh

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the nitrate is a little high since 20 is like the brim of safe and unsafe. they probably got shocked by something. the new water may have been too cold/hot
photos?
 
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raingerr

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the nitrate is a little high since 20 is like the brim of safe and unsafe. they probably got shocked by something. the new water may have been too cold/hot
photos?
image.jpg
this is how he’s been sitting, he tries to swim occasionally or moves his gills and fins. the water was a very similar temp to the tank water iirc.
Do you use a dechlorinator? How large was your water change?
i use Prime to detoxify the water when i add it in, which normally takes care of all ammonia/nitrates/nitrites/chlorine. i added it here as well after i filled the whole tank, which was after the two minnows had already died so idk if i should’ve added it sooner. I also use reverse osmosis water to fill it since the normal tap water isn’t the greatest quality here. the water change was probably about 60% as i hadn’t been able to change it last week since i was super busy.
 

itiwhetu

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Something has shocked these guys, not sure what. Someone here will have an answer for you.
 

Slaphppy7

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You should always add water conditioner as you begin to fill the tank

What kind of test kit are you using?
 
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raingerr

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You should always add water conditioner as you begin to fill the tank

What kind of test kit are you using?
i use the API 5-in-1 test strips for everything but ammonia, for the ammonia i use a different test strip but i can’t remember the brand right now, so i can check when i get home.
 

Essjay

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I also use reverse osmosis water to fill it
Do you use all RO water or mix it with tap water? If it's all RO you don't need water conditioner as that does not contain chlorine or chloramine - or ammonia or nitrite or nitrate. There should be no ammonia or nitrite if the tank is cycled. If there is ever ammonia or nitrite, the tank is not cycled. Prime detoxifies ammonia, nitrite and nitrate for 24 to 36 hours, then they become toxic again. They still show in the tests even in the temporarily detoxified state.

Did you do anything different at this water change, anything no matter how insignificant it may sound? For example, do you normally add remineralisation salts to the RO or mix it with tap water but forgot to do that this time?
 

Slaphppy7

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Invest in the liquid API Freshwater Master test kit, paper strips can be inaccurate & unreliable, especially if aged

 
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raingerr

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Do you use all RO water or mix it with tap water? If it's all RO you don't need water conditioner as that does not contain chlorine or chloramine - or ammonia or nitrite or nitrate. There should be no ammonia or nitrite if the tank is cycled. If there is ever ammonia or nitrite, the tank is not cycled. Prime detoxifies ammonia, nitrite and nitrate for 24 to 36 hours, then they become toxic again. They still show in the tests even in the temporarily detoxified state.

Did you do anything different at this water change, anything no matter how insignificant it may sound? For example, do you normally add remineralisation salts to the RO or mix it with tap water but forgot to do that this time?
i used mostly RO but had i believe one gallon tap so i added the conditioner. i cant possibly think of anything i did differently this time besides taking out two of the tank decor to clean them. could it have been that? i dont know if that could’ve stressed the minnows enough or anything. i also took out the goldfish instead of leaving him in the tank since i was worried. still not sure if it’s the nitrate as it’s at the same level as yesterday and the fish is still alive. before i get home i’m planning to buy a nitrate remover to see if that helps anything.
 
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raingerr

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Invest in the liquid API Freshwater Master test kit, paper strips can be inaccurate & unreliable, especially if aged

thanks, i will look into it!
 

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