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About autisticfish

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    Did a search when I bought my first goldfish two years ago
  • How many Goldfish
    too many to count!
  1. I'm in BC, Canada, in zone 8a. I have a mix of fancies, commons, and koi in my pond and most everyone overwintered very well. Early this spring I lost my two moors to no apparent cause. However the oranda, lionhead, telescope, and telescope/wakin mix all are doing great. My pond is right next to the house so is somewhat sheltered, and it's quite deep (6 feet), so the temperature is pretty stable. In the winter it got down to the low 40's and even the high 30s for about a week (had an inch of ice on the surface for a week or so, but I kept a hole open for gas exchange). In the summer it will get up to the high 80s, but typically the pond is about 10 degrees warmer than the air in winter and 10 degrees cooler than the air in summer. Shade is important for keeping it cool in the summer, as well as aeration. I don't have any problems with the fancies not getting food. They certainly get less food than the koi (as do the commons - koi are just pigs and they're very fast), but they're getting enough. I plan to eventually isolate the fancies to the smaller upper pond I'm building (between 300 and 500 gallons), and when I do I'll likely heat that to 50 over the winter. While the small fancies are doing well, I suspect as they mature and get those really deep bodies they'll have a harder time with the cold in the winter.
  2. Nope, he was not eating medicated food. Metromeds are hard to get here and wouldn't have come fast enough, and the Jungle Food is not apparently very helpful for dropsy (hard on kidneys) which is why I went the other route. Just Epsom salts wasn't an option as the dropsy was spreading through my tank, not just affecting one fish. Regardless, Jupiter died during the night At least he went fairly quickly. I think his kidneys were just too damaged by the bacteria. Everything I've read says if the fish is fully pineconed there's no saving it, and that certainly seems to apply in this case. I've only dealt with dropsy one other time, with a tiny oranda, and I fed metronidozole soaked brine shrimp that time and still lost the fish. Dropsy sucks! The other fish that were showing signs (Gilbert and Baloo) are recovered, and everyone else is looking great. So, I'm going to change out the water and salt back to 0.1% and leave it there.
  3. ditto what BuggyBear said. Koi get MUCH MUCH MUCH bigger than goldfish and are dirtier in terms of waste production too. They need a lot of swimming room. It's not recommended to bother keeping Koi in anything less than 1000 gallons, just for the swimming room. A 1000 gallon pond could reasonably support 2-3 adult koi only. Also, the 20 gallons per fish for goldfish doesn't apply with ponds. With ponds, your filtration rate is going to be much much lower, so it should be more like 100 gallons per fish. If you've got a small pond that you can filter as well as a tank, then you could stock it higher. However for a larger pond, it's just not going to be practical or economical to have a 10x filtration rate, 1x or 1.5x is far more likely.
  4. The rating of a pump, and the actual throughput of a pump-filter-system are usually very different. For example, I have a DD330 pump that feeds the gravity filter. It is rated at 337 GPH at a 0 ft lift. But my filter starts at the top of a 55 gallon drum that is a foot above the pond surface, so now I'm down to a rated 244 GPH with a 4 ft lift. But in front of the pump I have a 18 x 12 x 4 inch filter box with a lot of resistive elements in the bio-balls and two stage foam filters. Then there is the 2 ft of 1/2" hose between the filter and pump, the 5 ft of 1/2" hose to the inlet of the UV clarifier tube, and the 6 ft of hose from the UV to the ornamental turtle which squirts water out of its mouth into the top of the bag filter. The net result is that a measured gallon of water comes out of the turtles mouth every 50 seconds, or around 70-75 gallons an hour. This is less than 1/4 of the pump's 0 ft lift rating. Before quoting numbers from a spec sheet, it is always good to do a bit of field measurement. I have no experience with pressure filters, but my gut instinct is that they are probably pretty resistive and will decreae flow accordingly. In addition, high filter rates are not always good. UV clarifiers work best if the water being treated remains within the tube for a certain minimum time. The UV works by damaging the DNA in the algae and bacteria, thus killing them. But if the water flows through too quickly, not enough DNA is damaged to be fatal, and the organisms can repair the damage before the next pass. I know that the filter I bought recommends a pump no larger than 500 GPH, and I assume they are factoring a series of resistive elements like tubing, pre-filter, and water-feature, all which serve to reduce the actual flow rate. The flow rate through a clarifier can be reduced by installing a T-junction in the system and only running a fraction of the water through it on each pass. If you can, measure the output of your system by seeing how long it takes to fill a 5 gallon bucket. Currently, my pump and filter are on the same level, although opposite sides of the pond. The filter is just a submersible box filter. They are connected by 10 feet of 1" hose, and there's nothing else on the system. *Shouldn't* be sufficient given all the advice out there about big drum or stock tank filters, etc., but based on my fish health, plant growth, and water params, is doing the trick. I have been having decreased flow because I've been using the pump to pull the water through the filter (using the filter as a pre-filter), and the filter is rated for less gph than the pump, and the hose keeps crimping, restricting flow. However, today I decided to put the basket on the pump (it's a solids-handling pump) and hook the filter box to the output instead of the input. Should eliminate the crimping problem. Got things half done and a rain storm started, so at the moment there's no pump/filter running (just the spitter for aeration). Will get it all finished up tomorrow when the rain (hopefully) lets up and see how it works. Long term, as my fish grow, the current setup won't be adequate. However I'm planning to add another 500 gallons in the form of an upper pond, bog garden, and water fall. The water will be pumped from the main pond to the upper pond (which is small and deep), which will act as a settlement chamber basically, then go through the bog garden for bio filtration, before dropping back into the main pond via the water fall. Provided pushing the water into the box filter is effective, I'll have the box filter set up on the bottom of the upper pond as my pump output. Long term, I have the space and option to put a couple 55g drums in as a filter system. Also considering eventually putting in a constant water exchange system. But that's the fun of a pond - tinkering Oh, and no UV for me - not worth the bother. The fish don't mind the spring time algae bloom, and it settles down as the temperatures warm up and the plants take over. My string algae is already gone and the green water is clearing up
  5. Well, I rested the tank overnight, but yesterday Jupiter was already starting to bloat and pinecone more again, so last night I administered the first dose of Furan 2. I think it's too little too late - Jupiter is much worse tonight. I briefly considered taking out the Furan 2, but as he was getting worse before I added it, I don't think that would help. I think there's just irreperable kidney damage. I *should* administer a second dose tonight, but am holding off 12 hours to tomorrow morning to see where things are at. However, I no longer think Jupiter is likely to make it and am considering euthanizing tomorrow He ate a pellet tonight, but is now acting sick as well as looking sick. He's so incredibly dropsied and is now lethargic. It's such a shame. He's my favourite fish, a really gorgeous big fat ranchu. I didn't even like ranchu until I got Jupiter - I thought they looked weird with no dorsal fin, but he was so gorgeous and funny and friendly it won me over completely. The tank won't be the same without him
  6. time for an update! I did a couple big water changes to get rid of the salt, then added epsom salts, however Jupiter continued to get worse (was pineconed all over, scales sticking straight out, and new ulcers forming), Gilbert was no better, and Baloo (pearlscale) started to be lethargic and hide a lot. So I moved on to Maracyn 2. GREAT STUFF!!! Saturday was the last day for that, and Gilbert is back to normal and Jupiter is about 50% improved (less bloated, scales sticking out way less, no new ulcers, old ulcers healing, scales on his peduncle are laying flat). Baloo is still a bit lethargic/hidey, but no visible disease and is eating fine. Might just be stressed from the meds and water changes. Today I'm doing a big water change to remove the remaining Maracyn 2, then will rest the tank at least overnight, possibly two nights, depending on how everyone is doing. Then, I'm going to do a round of Furan 2 to try and knock out any remaining bad bugs. Then rest the tank a few more days before salting back up to 0.1% and keeping it there (I used to keep all my tanks salted to 0.1% and had NO PROBLEMS, I just got lazy with dissolving the salt every water change and now wish I hadn't stopped that practice). I'm cautiously optimistic about Jupiter. I wonder if he's rallying just because of his size? (He's the size of a soft ball). Everything I read says that if a fish is pineconed all over, they're a goner. Jupiter was swollen AND pineconed all over, but is definitely improving. Through it all, he's remained active, normal behaviour, and eating well. Please keep your fingers crossed for Jupiter!
  7. Well, Jupiter looks worse to me this evening, and Gilbert is back to having some raised scales. The salt's been in there 5 days. Sooooo... Doing a large water change (75%) as I write this, including a good thorough vacuuming in there, which will put the salinity down to just under 0.1%, then going to leave things overnight to let everyone adjust. Tomorrow I'll add some epsom salts. I treated Jupiter's ulcer topically with peroxide and polysporin. The peroxide went well, the polysporin won't stick. While the ulcer on top looks good (redness gone, clean edges, healthy skin showing where the scales sloughed off), he's got another one starting beside his vent (no hole yet, just redness showing through his scales). He's still eating, but I'm not optimistic. I'm going to be so bummed if he doesn't make it - such a cool fish For reference, here's a couple pics: Jupiter: Gilbert:
  8. Thanks for the advice folks. I don't have a hospital tank I can set up. I've got a spare 20g and a couple spare 10g but nowhere to put them. I'm also enormously pregnant, in the middle of renovations, and just *can't*. sigh. I know epsom salts is standard, but before opting for the regular salt checked my Fancy Goldfish book. Based on symptoms, it pointed me to regular salt at 0.3%. The book is good and has never steered me wrong, which is why I went that way. The pond fish are all doing great, no ulcers, no signs of disease. Here's what I *think* happened: Being gigantically pregnant and totally exhausted, I've slacked on water changes. Having a high filtration rate and a lot of live plants, I've been able to get away with that in the past. The koi ate most of my plants, and I was having to do a LOT of water changes and filter cleaning for awhile. When I moved them out, I replaced the plants and backed off the water changes again, thinking things would settle down. I think that, while the ammonia/waste settled down, the general filth of the koi being in there as long as they were caused a buildup of bad bacteria. Especially as the mechanical filter pads are old (I rinse them, but maybe it's time to replace them). The intake on my Rena filter was pretty clogged with live plants the goldies had uprooted. It was still flowing, but slower, causing even more bad bacteria to grow. Things reached a critical level, and the bacteria in the water column overwhlemed my fishies' immune systems. An unhappy reminder that water quality isn't *just* about those things we can measure. As for the pH, it's coming out of the tap that way. It's not terribly low, just low for us. Pretty typical during spring runoff season around here. It'll slowly climb back up to 7. I don't like to add buffer to my tanks, it makes it too tricky to match things up at water change time. Tap pH is never lower than 6.6 or higher than 7.2, and changes are very gradual. Anyhow, this evening Gilbert is back to normal, Jupiter is still bloated and pineconed but eating well and behaving normally. His ulcer is looking better. I'm just going to keep an eye on things and not change anything unless he gets worse.
  9. Not really needing advice or diagnosis, more commiseration. Three days ago, I was horrified to see that my favourite fish, a large ranchu named "Jupiter" who'd been perfectly fine the day before, was slightly dropsied with an ulcer on his back, just behind his wen. I immediately tested the water - ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 5, pH 6.6 (a bit low, it's usually 7). Jupiter's had ulcers before, he's susceptible to them, but he's never dropsied. I did a large (2/3) water change, rinsed the mechanical filter pads, and then salted to 0.3% over the next 12 hours. The next day, he looked better, I was really encouraged. Yesterday, no change, which is okay. I just checked on the tank - he's worse again. On top of that, my other favourite fish, a chocolate oranda named "Gilbert" is now showing dropsy too! I tested the water again, ammonia 0.25 (not surprising given the large water change and rinsing the mechanical filters), everything else the same as the other day. Everyone is still eating, active, behaving normally. I think I'm going to add a bit of Prime to take up that bit of ammonia (easier than trying to keep the salinity constant with another water change), and just watch what happens overnight. If they're worse tomorrow, or if anyone else is showing symptoms, then I'll do a couple large water changes to bring the salt down, throw in some epsom salts, and try an antibiotic bath like Maracyn-Two. The only thing that's changed about this tank recently is I removed the two koi that I'd purchased and put in there last year in the late fall (they were small and it was late in the year so I decided to winter them inside). Now that it's warmed up, I sent them out to the pond. It's a 90 gallon tank with 1100gph filtration (one Rena XP3, one Penguin Biowheel 350, one Magnum 350), black fluorite sand for substrate, live plants. Inhabitants are 2 ranchu (1 large 1 small), 5 orandas (3 large 2 small), and 2 pearlscales (1 small 1 medium). Oh, and there's a bushynose pleco in there. I'm just so frustrated and disappointed I could scream
  10. Yup. the fancies (oranda, ranchu, telescopes) are in with the single-tails and wintered over outside. All did just fine. I DO plan to move the fancies up to the upper pond this summer when it's complete. The single-tails aren't aggressive, but are definitely better at getting the food, so separating them will allow me to feed separately and not overfeed. Also, I can heat the upper pond during the winter so that it doesn't go below 45-50F. I'm in zone 8a and my pond is REALLY deep (6 feet) with stable water temps, which is why I can keep fancies outside year round. The temp stayed above 45 for all but a couple of days, and there was only ice on the surface for a week (I kept a hole open). The water was above 55 for all except mid-November to mid-February, so a fairly short, mild winter. In the summer, my pond water is consistently 10 degrees cooler than air temp, not going above about 85F - also important as fancies don't tolerate heat very well (those deep bodies!). The upper pond is 4 feet wide, by 3 feet deep, by 4 feet long, with another section that's 2'x2'x4' and then a bog garden (total volume around 500G), and shares water volume (and filtration) with the main pond (which is about 1400G).
  11. Ponds and tanks are going to be different in stocking and filter turnover. Because you're dealing (typically) with a much larger volume of water, it becomes impractical to have the same level of filtration, so your stocking must be much lighter. Also, a pond isn't nearly the controlled environment a tank is - you're dealing with rain fall, more evaporation, fluctuating temperatures, etc. What I've generally heard is, for medium and large ponds, you want to have the water turnover at least once every two hours. More is always better, but you need to ensure enough contact time with whatever your filter media is. Assuming you're having your water turnover once every 2 hours, you'll want 50-100gallons of water per goldfish. As PP mentioned, you need more water for Koi, as they are very dirty and get very large. If you've got a small pond and can manage to get a pump and filter with a higher turnover rate, then you could stock it more heavily. As an example, my pond is 1400 gallons, with a 2100gph pump running the filter. So it's turned over one and a half times per hour, or twice every three hours. It's stocked with 8 juvenile koi (growing them out, not keeping them all), 2 sarasas, 1 common, 4 shubunkins, 2 telescopes, 1 oranda, 1 ranchu, and a wakin/telescope cross. So a total of 20 fish in 1400 gallons of water. I'm adding 500 gallons to the pond (an upper pond, bog garden/filter, and waterfall) this summer, but will not be stocking more fish, as my current fish are growing and putting out more waste. Oh, there's also a couple of dojo loaches in there, but I never see them (I saw them once this spring, first time I'd seen them in a year!). My pond is heavily planted and in the summer the surface is COVERED with hyacinth and other filtering floater plants. My pond doesn't look over or understocked, and water always tests out perfect. There's no way I could have 10x filtration running on it (14,000 gallons an hour?!) - not only do I not have the space for the pump and filter bed that would involve, but the hydro bill would kill me. So, I stick with stocking it more lightly than a tank. Works well
  12. Where in Canada are you? As a pp mentioned, as long as your pond is deep enough, you can usually overwinter the fish outside. I'm in BC's Lower Mainland, zone 8a. My pond is roughly 1400 gallons and six feet deep (4 feet in ground, 2 above). I wintered my fish (including fancy goldfish) outside with no losses With ponds, you generally have less filtration than with tanks, so you want to stock much more lightly. A good rule of thumb is 1 fish per 100 gallons. I'm a bit overstocked myself, with 7 single tails goldies, 6 fancies, and 6 koi, but am increasing my pond by almost 500 gallons this spring, and keep it heavily planted (great filtration!). I don't do much in the way of water changes - my plants keep the water pretty darned clean (always tests at 0ppm for nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia) - but am planning to put in a continuous water exchange system that will change 25% per week this summer (since my fish will be getting bigger and producing more waste). I did do a couple big water changes at the end of the season to clean off debris from the bottom. The most maintenance for my pond over summer is taking care of the plants: pruning dead leaves, rinsing off aphids, etc. Starting it up and shutting it down with the seasons has been easy - I just turn the pump off and on and move the tropical plants inside (wintered in the garage) and back out.
  13. [ A 500G tank would only let you have one full size adult koi. Not that they need that much water, so much as that they need swimming room. My pond is about 1400G (will soon be 1900G), 6 feet deep, by 8 feet across (it's a square). I plan on keeping 2 or 3 adult koi (I have 6 young ones, plus the two inside that are going out, for a total of 8 that I'm growing out - I'll keep my 2 or 3 favorites and rehome the rest by next year), and that's pushing it even in my pond. Honestly, I wouldn't bother with koi with anything less than 1000 gallons. Your slope doesn't rule out a pond though! And neither do the predators. You can very successfully build a koi pond into a slope using retaining wall blocks. The slope makes for easy waterfall and stream installation, and some really interesting/cool landscaping options. Here's an article on building a pond into a hillside: http://www.ehow.com/how_5090194_build-water-garden-waterfall-hillside.html And another link where someone details their experience building a pond into a hill: http://www.hilltopdesign.com/pond/ Here's are some pics of hillside ponds: http://www.sherbeyns.com/*site/scaled-images/web/Gallery450/natural-serenity%2C-pathways--jpg-450x450.jpg?nxg_versionuid=published&securesite=www.sherbeyns.com http://www.sherbeyns.com/*site/scaled-images/web/Gallery450/jb_koi_pond-jpg-450x450.jpg?nxg_versionuid=published&securesite=www.sherbeyns.com As for predators, if you make sure your pond has steep sides and no shallow ledges along the sides, as well as landscape/plant in a way to discourage predators from perching at the edge, you shouldn't have too much trouble. I had a heron visiting my pond in the fall, but as the sides drop straight down (partly above ground) 2 feet, he wasn't able to catch anything. Plant ledges has been a challenge for me because of the steep sides. If I were to do it again, I would build a bigger pond with an "island" in the middle that comes to about 12" below the water level. Perfect for resting potted marginals on, without giving predators a place to fish from. You can also use predator deterrents such as nets, mesh covers, and motion activated sprinklers.
  14. My pond is not a converted pool, but is 6 feet deep. So for anything that needs to be done at the bottom, I have to go swimming. I don't mind - the water is really clean and smells less "fishy" than the lake I swim in in the summer. The fish (koi and goldies) like to nibble on me while I'm in there - pretty funny feeling. No going in the pond in the winter though - brrrrr! My pond isn't really "heated". I threw a 300 W submersible aquarium heater into a corner during the coldest part of the winter just to keep a hole in the ice open. I had ice on the pond for about a week, other than that it's been ice-free. I expected my koi and single tails to do well over the winter (they did). What I wasn't sure of (and was very pleased with the result) was how my fancies would do. I've got an oranda, two moors, a telescope, a ranchu, and a telescope/wakin in there. All of them did just as well as the single tails and koi over the winter. I'm thrilled to say I didn't lose any fish at all. Everyone looks healthy too "Bruce", my little moor, had a bit of a spot on his dorsal fin at first that I was keeping an eye on (thought I'd end up treating it topically), however it's clearing up on it's own as the water warms and everyone starts eating again. As for hand feeding, it'd be really cool, but I don't really do it. I don't want my fish to be "too" friendly, as I have 3 very curious dogs (one of whom already took a header into the pond after a fish, and wound up snagging a ranchu (hence my only having one ranchu now), and there are lots of herons in the area (as well as cats and racoons).
  15. Ahhhhhh! So, I have a 1400G pond stocked with fancies, single tails, and some koi (growing the koi out, only plan to keep 3 ultimately, and also increasing the size of the pond this spring/summer by almost 500G). And inside, I have a 90G tank stocked with fancy goldfish. It's a lovely planted tank with sand substrate and 1100gph filtration. Or rather, it WAS a lovely planted tank. At the end of pond season this past fall, I picked up a couple teeny tiny very nice koi (3" long). Because it was late in the season and they were so small, I decided to winter them inside with the goldies, and put them out in the spring. OMG, spring can not come fast enough! They're driving me nuts! They've gotten HUGE (6" and 8" respectively), and unlike my polite fancies who mostly leave the plants alone (they're hardy plants like crypts, vals, swords, and anubias), the koi have demolished them. They ripped up and ate my hyacinth that I was wintering in the tank, so now I have to buy new hyacinth this spring. They've ripped up, shredded, and uprooted almost all my vals. They've eaten the crypts down to just little root nubs. They seem to mostly leave my sword and anubias alone, but that's it. Oh, and the java moss? Forget it! All gone. I didn't even think that stuff was edible lol. As if the plant damage wasn't enough, they're so big and active that they kick sand into the filter intake pretty regularly. I'm going to wind up needing to replace the impeller on my Magnum 350. The Rena is okay, since the impeller is in the top (sand settles in the bottom). And you think goldfish poop? Try two growing koi! Man, I have to wash my mechanical filtration out once a week or it gets plugged with mulm. It's warmed up here and my pond water is consistently sitting at 50-55 degrees. I'm thinking another 2 weeks to a month and I can move the big boys out there (I'd like the water to be consistently above 60, since the tank is always around 72). Not looking for any advice, just wanted to rant a bit lol. So, anybody who was thinking about getting koi as tank fish, I REALLY don't recommend it. Besides the obvious fact that they get huge (like 3 feet long huge) and require a very large tank, they also are just really not suited as indoor fish due to their behaviour (digging in the substrate, ripping up plants, fast swimmers, etc.).
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