I'm pRaying that I didn'T accidentally kill my niece's giant goldfish.
We're still housesitting, and the tank has been fine. Not super super clear, but not gross, either. The filter was going, fish were fine... then, this morning, I notice that the tank went from "decent" to "Omg disgusting" basically overnight.
I figured out how to change the filter, cleaned what I could (it's a big tank... 50 or 60 gallon, I'd guess about a dozen fish of several varieties), put the filter back in, and added a couple of gallons of fresh water and some water conditioner (as I had been directed).
I checked a couple times during the day, and the tank was really not improving. The filter is working, the bubbler is working, but the tank is brown and murky and just gross. One of the small fish was most definitely dead when I checked it right before dinner. (We had a burial at sea...*flush*)
This is the point at which my youngest confessed to putting in a HANDFUL of fish food flakes yesterday.
I pulled out the filter again to check if I'd put it back together right, and the new one was almost as clogged and nasty as the old one had been. I scrubbed it as best I could (don't Have any other extras), put it back together, and put it back in.
She's got 2 huge goldfish in there, and I noticed one was acting weird, kind of sticking it's face up and gasping, and then the other started floating on it's side and looking sick. The other small fish appear to be ok, still.
Other-husband filled a ziploc bag with water and a drop of the conditioner and we got the 2 big fish into that while we figured out a better solution. He found an old cooler and scrubbed it out, filled it, and put the bag in it to equalize the temperature so as not to shock the poor fish any more than necessary. After about 20 min, we put the fish into the tub.
The one that had been gasping was doing ok... looked a little befuddled at all the moving around and changes, but was swimming around pretty normally. The one that was on it's side FREAKED. It started flipping around, swimming in circles while still on it's side, jumping almost entirely out of the water, and ramming into the sides of the cooler. It did this in bursts, hanging motionless in the water on it's side in between.
I have never seen a fish act that way. Wtf did I do to it???