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Everything posted by mary

  1. Thanks so much, everyone! Yes, I do think he or she has very pretty fins. As to there being an Eowyn fish in his future - well. He/she got the name because I have a little betta in a gallon bowl "next door" to his tank. I bought her as a baby, too young to determine her sex or type - and I do know I shouldn't have, but she was a rescue. She thrived with clean water and decent food, and will be two years old this October. Well, her name was going to be Boromir betta, but my sister talked me out of it. "Boromir dies!" she said. "Don't name him after someone who dies!" Then, as the betta grew, it seemed clear she was female. So I named her Eowyn. I got the baby goldfish a year later, and of course he had to be Faramir. I suspect he's a girl, though! Eowyn is a lovely red veiltail - in other words, a common or garden variety betta. I have not introduced them and probably won't. But I'm very glad they're both doing well now.
  2. I can't seem to post a pic from Dropbox; I'm trying to share the link. Some of you may remember that my new baby comet, Faramir Fish, was ill this past winter. You all helped me a lot, and I wanted to share a pic of him now. He's twice as big as he was and doing very well. This should be the URL, at any rate. I don't know why I can't post the pic. https://www.dropbox.com/s/62wtom3j0m51l96/2015-07-30%2018.51.59.jpg?dl=0
  3. Oh, Mickyrom, I am so sorry! You can ignore everything I just said - that is, until you get another goldie. I hope you will, since you were clearly trying to do the best you could for your fish.
  4. Mickeyrom, I just wanted to chime in though you may not be checking the thread any more. I just want you to understand that the people here, especially the experts like ChelseaM, are really passionate about giving their fish the best possible environment. They really aren't trying to blame or shame newbies. I always found Koko's to be a friendly, welcoming, and helpful place, and I learned a lot here. That said: I would hope everyone with a pet would want to give that pet the baseline of care that he or she needed to have a good life. Just the baseline! That's what I'm aiming for. What many of the experts here would prefer is that every pet, and every goldfish, got the exceptional care that would give them the chance to reach their full potential. Full potential, for a goldfish, really does mean the chance to grow to perhaps a foot long and to live for ten years or more. It really does mean having society - either fish or human or both. Goldfish CAN be trained; I have trained every one of my fish to eat from my hand. I know they can recognize and remember people. So I believe Chelsea when she tells me about her adventures in training. I think that's really cool! Now, obviously, a fish isn't a dog or cat. But fish do have memories; they do have basic needs; they do have basic emotions. You can actually bond with them and interact with them. I hope Goldie is doing okay. Faramir fish is doing swimmingly right now! As to keeping nitrates down, he really wouldn't need more than a 20 percent change every week. His nitrates have never gone above 5ppm. But I learned here that more is better, because nitrates aren't all you have to worry about. You also have to worry about pH, and larger water changes help keep the pH from crashing. That's one reason why people here push large water changes. They really do help. Let us know how Goldie is doing, and have fun with her! She can be fine in a smaller tank, provided it's well filtered, not too small, and you change enough water.
  5. Still not succeeding with the pics, but Faramir Fish is doing quite well now. I have upped his water changes a bit and am feeding the New Life pellets. His blotch grew for a while, but is now almost entirely faded. He, too, seems to be growing a bit. I'll post pics when I can, but I think he's through the worst of it, whatever it was.
  6. Thank you! I really appreciate the help I've gotten over the years, and hope my experience can help other newbies.
  7. Yes - Doctor Johnson has a whole list of plants that don't like salt, but it seems most will survive. I was terrified of killing the marigolds, but, so far, they don't even seem to have noticed. They're still blooming like mad. Thanks for your help and your response! About the plants: I imagine the experts here do all the parasite treatment in separate containers before the fish go into the planted tank. That's obviously the best way, but, alas, I have neither the space nor the money for that. I am still happy I got such good guidance here on treating for parasites.
  8. Hi, everyone! Some of you may know me from years back. I've relied on Koko's for good advice since my very first fish, Gilbert Keith Chesterton Goldfish. I learned a lot over the years, and I'm certainly not going to reinvent the wheel! But you can always learn more. I really think my new little rescue, Faramir Fish, is alive today because of you guys. So- Here's what I JUST learned. 1. Of course, you need to have at least a ten gallon tank for one small goldfish. Of course, you need a filter. Of course, you need to change the water every week. But I learned that, if you have a heavily planted tank or a plant filter (plant filters are great!) you can't rely on the nitrate level to guide your water changes. The nitrates in my tank are always near zero, because of the groponix filter. BUT I still needed to change more water! I noticed this way back when I was moving little Gilbert into his bigger tanks. He would perk right up after a big water change. So, from now on, I'm aiming for 50 percent a week, even if the parameters seem perfect. Even more would be even better. 2. Your goldfish almost certainly has flukes. Especially if it's a rescue from the feeder tank. Be proactive and minimize those guys! Hikarki prazipro (what I'm using) is a gentle med that can help your fish a lot and won't kill the filter. 3. You CAN salt your tank, even if it's planted. It's a good idea to treat all new fish for parasites. Believe it or not, I hadn't done this with my earlier fish; I would watch and wait and treat after symptoms showed up. But, when symptoms show, your fish is getting attacked by nasties! You can and should take care of the major ones he or she is likely to have before you see any symptoms. One thing I learned is that the therapeutic dose is bigger than I'd imagined. I had, in the past, used the guidelines on the aquarium salt boxes. That's not enough to kill ich and other parasites. You really do have to get the concentration up to 0.3 percent to do any good. 4. Give your fish good food, and presoak it I began by feeding flakes, and they were leading to constipation and other problems. New Life and Omega one foods are so much better! Eventually, I'll probably get Faramir fish to eat a pea. Then that can be a weekly treat, and I'll look out for other fresh foods for him. 5. We've all heard you shouldn't overfeed your fish. You shouldn't underfeed them, either! I'm serious! When I got Charlie Weasely goldfish from Dr. Tepper, it turned out that I was seriously underfeeding the poor little guy. I wasn't feeding Faramir right, either. Dr. Tepper told me I was starving Charlie, and that I must feed him more. Underfeeding will stress and weaken your fish. Yes, they make a mess when they're fed right! That's why you need to change so much water. So that's what I learned in the past month, (point five got reinforced this past month.) Of course, I did some things right, too! With Faramir fish, I did my first fishless cycle. I also took great care to acclimatize him to the tank. And I do think plant filters are awesome, especially for goldfish. Dr. Tepper, of the Long Island fish hospital, did a lot of research into plant filters and how they help guard the fish from disease, as well as cleaning the water. I'm happy Faramir is doing so much better now. The places on his face that looked red and swollen are now black, which I think is a sign of healing. His gills aren't swollen, he's not constipated, and he doesn't look as skinny. Thanks to everyone over on the other thread for all their help! And - one of the things that's cool about keeping goldies is that there's always more to learn! So thanks again, and happy goldfish keeping!
  9. Bagho, I just wanted to add my condolences. It is so hard to lose a beloved pet.
  10. Oh - just one new wrinkle. Faramir now has a brown blotch on his face. It looks as though someone gave him a black eye. Otherwise, he looks good! Is this a sign of healing? I thought at once there could have been an ammonia spike at some point. Tried testing with the old drop kits and got: ammonia: 0 nitrates: 0 pH: 7.6 or a bit under. The color is very hard to read - it's a sort of pale blue. I am also soaking his food now, but I don't need to soak the New Life spectrum pellets for five minutes. They fall apart if I do. So I am just soaking them for 30 seconds to a minute, and that seems to help him chew them up fast. Thanks, everyone, for the help! I am going to try to get a pic of the spot, and some "before" and "after" pics, later on.
  11. Here is the latest film, which explains why Faramir fish is named Faramir. I wish the quality were better! He looks much better to me, but I don't know if it's clear in this film.
  12. I am sorry, Mickey. I know you did your best for him.
  13. Thanks! Did another big change today, added the salt (15 teaspoons for five gallons), and added about 7/8 teaspoon of prazipro. And - he didn't crash! (yet). No fin clamping; he's swimming and eating normally. I am going to leave the salt and meds in the tank till Wednesday, when I'll do another big change and then replace the salt. Thank you so much for your help. I think I want to do a short "what I learned" sort of post over on the main page. One of the main things I learned from this is that you really do need to get the salt to the correct concentration. It seems like a TON of salt, but it can really help. Another thing - and I'd noticed this way back when I moved Gilbert, my first goldie, to a larger tank - is that bigger water changes are always better. I am going to keep them up from now on, especially since the tank is rather small. Since he doesn't seem to be reacting (yet) to the prazi, should I still give him another dose next Saturday? He will then have had: 1 week prazi. 3 days off 4 days prazi 3 days off. Thanks again. Oh - I'm going to start taking the salt out gradually next Saturday. He should then have been on salt treatment for a minimum of a week and a half. Hopefully, that should be long enough to kill off any ich or other nasties.
  14. Mickey, how are they doing now? I just wanted to add that the people here are super helpful and know what they're talking about! 0.3 percent seems like a shocking amount of salt - I am adding 15 teaspoons back with each 5 gallon tablespoon - but it is the therapeutic amount, and it can really help with parasite infestations. My little guy is doing much better after being treated with salt and prazipro. And the plants are hanging in there. It's actually a tolerable amount, and will kill off many parasites without doing much harm to your plants, or any to the biofilter. Bagho, that's a great tip about soaking the food. I am going to start doing that, too. Mickey, you have lovely fish, and I hope they're better now.
  15. And i had meant to respond, but I've had an awful allergic reaction to the antibiotic I was taking for sinusitis! The situation right now: I did two big water changes, and all the prazi should be out of the water as of Tuesday. I did up the salt with the second water change, so he should be at 0.3 percent. I think I want to keep the salt in for the ten to 14 days Doc Johnson recommends, so that would be until next Friday, when I'll begin to take it out. So far, the plants are surviving. And Faramir is not bottom sitting or clamping at all! Now, most of the time, when he "vanishes" in the tank, he is cruising around like a normal goldfish. He's pecking algae off the walls and seems eager to eat. I haven't seen that "crashing to the bottom" that I tried to film for three days now. Still exhibiting two behaviors I don't like: 1. He gulps at the surface sometimes, especially near the water inlet. I don't know whether he's trying to get air, trying to clear his gills, or trying to chase bubbles, thinking they are food. 2. His poop's still stringy. But he seems a much happier little fish, and eats enthusiastically and holds his fins out. His gills also don't look so swollen to me. As to antibiotics, I have some of Rick's bacti-bath left, but it's quite old - I think it dates from the time of Charlie Weasley goldfish. And, given my recent experience, I don't want to give him any more meds unless he clearly needs them. Speaking of needing meds - if he did have gill flukes, a week of prazi won't be enough, will it? Won't I have to redose? Thanks again for all your help! Mary
  16. Yes, I was talking about those warnings. It made me scared to throw the bottles in the trash. I also gave myself quite a burn once testing for nitrates. As to the tank pH, yes, 7.6 would be quite normal for me. It's what I've always gotten when running the biowheels, but the plant filters have tended to run a little lower for me, because there's not quite as much surface movement. Are you sure about taking out everything? I only just today got the salt up to 0.3. I don't think I have any antibiotics left. I will look tomorrow. In the meantime, I did get another film up. I'm afraid the quality may be slightly worse, but I got the scary behavior I was talking about. Once again, thanks so much for your help and your patience! Here is the link:
  17. I have always use the API drops before now. They worry me because they are highly toxic and I don't know how to dispose of the empty bottles. However, I had a master test kit left over from my last fish (who died suddenly after we lost power and the tank got very cold). When I tested with that, I got very inconsistent readings. PH from the tank read as 7.6, and from the tap as about 7.2. Can these tests expire? I couldn't see an expiration date on this kit, but I know I must have gotten it in 2012 (when Toby died) or even earlier. Yes, I have Prazi in my tank now. I first dosed the tank on Tuesday, and added a replacement dose after the big water change on Friday. He is due for a big water change tomorrow, I think, if I have that five day schedule correct. Then I'll bring the salt up to the full 0.3 percent. Then I'll redose with the Prazi on Tuesday, and go on from there. Faramir is still eating, but otherwise doing almost nothing but bottom sitting now. He's dangling feces, also - a long, thin thread as long as his body. It's mostly clear, but the end is the color of his food. I'm afraid he may already have a secondary bacterial infection, and that I'm going to lose him. But I will do what I can against the flukes. And I'll try to pick up another test kit soon. I'm working on getting pictures or another film, but it's difficult. He's so tiny, and he mostly lurks behind his rock near the air tube. I tried to film him today and will get that film up as soon as I can. Thanks for all your help.
  18. Oh - one more answer. This is Ryan's older system, not the new one. It came with a tetra whisper air pump slated for a ten gallon tank. That's what's driving the water flow. I was planning to upgrade the pump before this happened, and replace it with one of the rechargeable air pumps. I may still do that if Faramir fish comes through.
  19. A few more answers, Shakaho: I tested the treated water before adding to the tank, and there were no nitrates. The pH was 6.8. Tap water is 7 on one strip; closer to 6.8 on the other. Ryan also told me, when I bought the system, that it was designed to run at about pH 6.8, because that was good for the plants and okay for most fish. I think he has some additives in the planting medium that feed the plants and also stabilize the pH at this level. I honestly don't think I've ever had a pH crash. If the low pH has been stressing my baby - well, I just feel awful about that. I don't think there is much I can do. I had been using vitamin C tablets as dechlor. They are 500 mg tablets and I would cut one in quarters, crush one of the quarters, and shake it up in a gallon jug. Just now I got a chemical free D-Klor, made by Korman. I used that for the last big water change I did on Friday. It says to use 1 teaspoon for 10 gallons, so I used 1/2 for my five gallon bucket, and 1/8 for the gallon jug. Slightly over the recommended levels, but not very much so. Oh - GH and KH from the tap are the same as in the tank - 80 (only slightly alkaline) and 150 (moderately hard). This evening I added nine teaspoons of salt to the tank and intend to repeat this dose tomorrow morning and tomorrow afternoon - if Faramir lives that long. His behavior is really worrying me. I saw him swimming and darting a bit, but, when he stopped, he literally dropped like a stone and crashed to the bottom. His fins are clamped and he looks very unhappy. OTOH, I did also get the recommended New Life Thera pellets, and he ate! He seemed to like them, and ate all three, which may have been a little too much. It took him close to ten minutes to find them all. But I was so happy to see him eat them and keep them down. Just to clarify - should I double the prazi dose now, or when I get all the salt into the tank? I did some research, btw, and it seems marigolds are somewhat salt tolerant. So I'm hoping for the best, but I am worried. The poor little guy is so unhappy! When I think back, this has actually been coming on for awhile, and I wish I'd caught it sooner.
  20. Um - okay. I really thought I gave all the answers in the original post. Unfortunately, I can't give you a flow rate in GPH, because all I would know is the rate of the air pump. It's not a strong current. I'm going to try to answer the questions I didn't before. No ammonia in my tap water, as far as I know. No nitrites,either. I will double-check re nitrates when I get back, because our city water is truly horrible. The pH from the tap is 7.0. I condition with vitamin C. No medications have ever been added to the tank before the prazipro this week. I typically change 20 percent of the water every week. (Note - I also top up about a gallon because I lose a lot to evaporation.) The fish is about an inch long and is alone in the tank. Nothing has ever been added since I got him in October. I did start two more marigolds in the top part of the filter so that they'd still be going if the first ones started to die back. Maybe they are causing pH to rise and fall? or oxygen levels, ditto? I had done a fishless cycle of the tank before buying him. I used goldfish flakes to do this, and it took about 6 weeks. The tank was fully cycled when I added him. I have already described his unusual behavior and the progression. You may be right about the pH - I acclimatized him carefully over several hours when I got him.But plant filters like this do tend to run at a slightly low pH, and, when I myself got sick in late November and again in January, I wasn't keeping up with the water changes. It might then have dropped lower than it usually runs. Otherwise, I'm afraid it's only poor diet that might have stressed him. I have put the film I took today on youtube, and here is the link. It's not a very high quality film, but it does show the odd swimming behavior, and also how big his head looks compared to his poor, skinny, little body. Thanks for your help.
  21. Thank you both! I hope so, too. Chai, I had not realized I would need to dose the prazi so long! So that was very helpful. However, I have a plant filter, and am scared to use salt lest it injure the plants and destroy the filtration. Chelsea, thanks for the tip about the food. I bought him API sinking goldfish pellets, because they have pea protein in them, but he couldn't handle those at all. I will look for the other pellets, and also try a pea again later this weekend. A question for you both: Is it actually possible for a small fish to carry a burden of flukes for more than two months without showing symptoms? It didn't seem likely to me; it seemed they would have killed him/her outright by now. But - from the little I know, the symptoms match. And at least the prazipro wasn't going to harm either him or the plants. I will let you know how he does, and get a pic or film up as soon as I can. Can I link to a youtube video here?
  22. That's a bit of a joke heading - I really do try to be a good fish mommy, but I'm worried now. The situation: A ten-gallon, which I cycled with flakes, doing a massive water change before adding my baby. The filtration is Ryan Coughlan's plant filter. Here are the parameters: The tank's been running for about four months. Current temp is about 70 F. Ammonia - zero Nitrites - zero Nitrates - trace pH 6.8 KH 80 (moderate) GH 150 (hard) These parameters have been absolutely stable (except for temperature, which has gone down slightly in the winter - I have no heater) every time I've tested. I've also confirmed them with drop tests from API. I normally do a 15 to 20 percent water change every week. Inhabitant: Faramir fish, a baby comet I rescued from our local Petco in October. He is about an inch long. No gravel. Four Marigolds on top of the tank. Two plastic plants and one bio-rock in with the fish. I have been feeding him Tetra flakes, morning and evening. I know they're not the best, but he is so little that he couldn't begin to handle pro-gold. Also, I have not been able to buy it - Rick is sold out. On one occasion, a bit more than a month ago, I overdid it with the evening flakes. Afterward he was bottom sitting, and then he had a string of dangling feces. It was a bit bubbly, but the color of his food. I saw more signs of constipation in the weeks following. I tried to feed him a pea, broken up small, but he wouldn't touch it. In the past two weeks, the bottom sitting has increased, alternating with his gulping air at the top of the tank. He grazes on the algae in the tank when he has the energy. He seems thin, and his gills look a little swollen to me. It also seems he's been struggling to eat, even the flakes. He used to inhale them, but now he spits them out and then pecks at them. Also, he's not noticing his food right away, as he used to do. So, thinking he might have gill flukes, I dosed the tank with Prazipro (Hikari) on Tuesday. It seemed to perk him up, but the bottom sitting increased. Today, I did a 40-50 percent water change and re-dosed. He was sitting behind his rock with his fins clamped before the water change, and again just now. His color seems a little pale to me, and, as I said, he's thin and has swollen gills. But otherwise there's not a mark on him. Since I added the Prazi, he doesn't seem to be gulping air as much. I intend to give him another big water change on Monday. Took a film - with my phone - of him swimming today, and also a somewhat blurry pic. I'll try to post these below if I can figure out how. Oh - I do know the tank is small, but he is tiny, and I thought he'd be okay for awhile. You can see Ryan's filtration system by googling "groponix". I wish he would come up with a larger one for a 20 long or 29 - that would be ideal! As it is, I think it's a great system; it would be wonderful for a feisty betta that didn't mind all that space, or for a group of White Clouds. But I love goldies! And I really thought this would work for a baby, for a year or two, anyway.
  23. I thought I needed to post this - at the store where I bought Pip, I went in to get help after he'd crashed. (see 911 thread for that story). A young man there was helping a little boy and his mother. When I explained that Pip was bottom-sitting, he chimed in, "green peas. Feed him green peas." I then went on to look for a heater, brine shrimp, etc. As I did, I saw this young man take a siphon out and show the little boy and his mom how to siphon a tank. When I went to the cash register, the little boy was clutching a bag with two calico Ryukins like Pip. They had a tank with a HOB filter, and it was clearly already set up at home. Yes, they'll probably be overstocked, but that's a lot better than many employees would do! So I wanted to mention that. It's rare to find an employee who's knowledgeable about fish.
  24. Thank you, everyone. Pip is dead - I think he was very close to death last night, and died sometime during the night. I am sad, but also relieved, in a way, that s/he's not suffering any more. It was awful to watch him struggle and be unable to help.
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