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Everything posted by fredct

  1. Thank you all so much. I'm glad he went peacefully in the end and hopefully didn't suffer too much over these last few weeks... I'm also going out of town this week, and it's a weekend today and we're not working, so in all he was very considerate to us on his choice of timing... < soft grin > (Oh, and we're also moving in a few weeks, so again, his timing is very thoughtful) He was indeed an amazing and miracle fish, and brought us so much joy as hopefully we did to him. We'll be off in a little bit to my wife's parents house to lay him to rest.
  2. Yes, he's done it before, but... Fishie... 1997-2011... :cry
  3. I already did a bit of a water change this morning. Originally I was going to put more epsom in with it, but decided against it. There's not a lot of epsom in there relative to your amount. I never went past ~1.5 tsps in a 20 gallon. I didn't do the change slowly, but it was only a 10-15% change. He does still look constipated & bulky though. I've figured that's at least part of what's causing his lack of balance. I guess I don't know if it's really constipation or something else inside (although he definitely has not been pooing much). I tried to hand feed him an algae flake, which is the thing he tends to eat lately when he won't eat anything else. They're very soft. I did not try a pea, I was thinking of it, but my wife suggested that since he's still bulky too, maybe we should hold off. I could try a pea in a little bit...
  4. Thank you so much for all your help over the years, Trinket. You don't have any advice now, do you? Not sure what to do other than wait. Thing is he seems very weak, not trying to move or swallow or anything, he seems further gone than he has before. This is also by far the longest illness/issue. Hasn't been himself in a good 3+ weeks. Previous times he may have fought something for a few days, but was basically back to full strength within a week or so. He's improved here, but never been fully health since early in the month. So my hope is running low.
  5. Unfortunately he's taken a turn for the worst. He was alright yesterday, not moving much, but even pooing a little. But we went out yesterday and when we came back in the evening, he was curved on the bottom and not really able to swim. He's been like that once or twice before and bounced back, but as of this morning, he's not really even trying to swim, nor will he even attempt to swallow food placed right in front of him. That's a first time ever that he doesn't at least swallow and spit out. He's lived a long life...
  6. Thanks Trinket. That's what I wanted to know. So what would you define as an effective, but reasonable, dose for a goldfish with some pretty good constipation going on a week now? (Btw, I think I mispoke before... the advice I read was *one* tablespoon per 10 gallons... I was thinking 3 tsp/1 Tbsp and combined them in my typing - still though, that's 50% more than your top suggestion)
  7. So, things have been going okay, except he seems to be getting very constipated... he's been getting bulky, and we haven't seen any poo in quite a while. I've started to use some epsom salt, feeding only peas, and skipping some days. My question is, generally in the past I've gone pretty light on the epsom salt. This time, some light doses haven't really helped so far. Reading online I've seen as much as '3 tablespoons per 10 gallons'. I don't plan to go that high - I don't think - but is a dose like that really safe? I don't want to go too high because of bad internet advice.
  8. I just wanted to let everyone know that while it's a slow recovery, it is continuing. I would say it took until at least Wednesday (he began eating against last Friday) for him to begin showing hints of his normal behavior, and by took until yesterday (a full week) to be about ~1/2 himself, but he is doing pretty well at this point. Thank you for all your help.
  9. Thanks for your feedback. Sounds good to me. Btw, he's been at ~0.2% salt (maybe a little under) since Friday morning (went to 0.1% Thursday afternoon). Wasn't planning on raising it, but I won't reduce it yet either.
  10. One more follow-up, my wife correctly points out that both of his eyes have a little bit of the cloudyness from the same angle (when you look on frontwards and have a pretty 'shallow' view of his eyes). Which leads me to lean towards that fact that it's just how he is (if it's the same on both sides). You never look so closely as when something's wrong... and I don't want to be a 'hypochondriac' about him, especially when the behavioral signs are all pointing in the right direction.
  11. So, he's still eating and although also still sleeping a lot. His behavior is pretty decent as he's fairly responsive if I stop by the tank. Nonetheless there's one, well two, physical symptoms that is making me wonder if meds might be necessary. First, for the last couple days we were wondering if a small portion of his left eye wasn't a little cloudy. But honestly, we're looking at him a lot closer now than in the recent past, so I didn't know if it's just a trait of his, especially in his old age. As he's been improving, I didn't want to overreact. The second part though is he seemed to have this 'black dirt' on some of his face. Now, he'd been sleeping with his head in the rocks, so I first figure it was just some dirty/algae rubbed off from a rocks. And that still might be the case, considering he's still been sleeping in the rocks. However, it seems like it might be spreading, and it's also really just on the half of his face around his possibly-slightly-cloudy eye. I've looked around online and I can't find a picture of anything similar. I've also tried to take pictures, but my camera won't focus that close in to get a useful picture. As I write this he's actually been swimming around the tank for the last several minutes, up and down, picking for food, and making bubbles at the surface. Definitely his most activity in days. Should I just keep an eye out? Or does this match some known symptom and be cause for medication? P.S. Actually, the black 'dirt' i'm describing looks fairly like what's in this picture at the top of his page (which is *not* an illness picture), although it's just a little bit the left half of the front of his head, not all over like the picture: http://animal-world.com/encyclo/fresh/goldfish/LionheadGoldfish.php Could it just be some change in coloring?
  12. So he seems to be coming around. He's back to eating most things (was still spitting out the gel this morning, but eating several other things since then). Knowing his 'personality', I don't really considering spitting out all that unusual. When he's not feeling up to par, he can get very picky about eating. I'm not sure I want to start a course of medication since he's rebounding so well without it. He's still sleeping 95% of the day - as opposed to his normal goldfish life where he sleeps 80% of the day - but when offered food he goes for it, and then picks around in the rocks looking for more for 5-15 minutes. A big improvement over the fish who wouldn't move or eat two days ago. Not sure if it was due to the salt, or just time, or what, but he definitely appears to be on-the-mend thusfar... we'll see.
  13. I'll try it again in the morning, I'm going to let him rest and digest for the evening... btw, is there a particular reason you suspect parasites? Or do you feel it's just a good general 'broad spectrum' medication?
  14. And 2 hours later I tried one piece more and he sucked up a big piece, chewed on it for a good minute or two, and I did not see him spit out any sizeable pieces. So whatever may happen, at the very least it's nice that he got a little nutrition and isn't quite as hungry.
  15. As a quick update, I tried hand feeding him some of these 'algae flake' things we have (which are actually fairly high in protein, having ground up krill and shrimp and salmon in them). He *may* have taken some of it. It's very gentle too (like standard fish flakes, maybe even a little thinner). On the first go round I didn't really see him spit any out. On the second go-round he chewed for a good two minutes and then spit at least some of it out, not sure if it was all or not. It's the most positive 'maybe' we've had in a couple days, so we'll see.
  16. So we made some gel food with baby food in it, some ground up crisps, and some anti-parasite medication. After several attempts, I finally got some in his mouth, which he chewed on for 10 seconds and then spit out. It was very soft, some of the smaller pieces falling apart in the water as I was maneuvering it. What do I do? Just more salt? Should I try a waterborne med? Or just hope?
  17. Yes, I have the Hakari stuff with probiotic that has actually been a big help for him generally. I'm pretty skeptical that he would eat the gel food, because one thing he's been spitting out is mashed peas. It's pretty difficult to get softer than that. I'm wondering if it's worth considering water-borne medication as a backup.
  18. I made gel food once in the past, but after a wile he wouldn't eat it. He's a 'picky eater' and there are a variety of things that he won't eat... lettuce, cucumber, and gel food were among them. We can try it again though, it'd been years. I tried the jungle food in the past and it made his dietary/digestive problems worse. But it could certainly be worth a shot in this case. FYI, it's very difficult to make him even suck up the food. He doesn't go looking for it, you have to drop it so it falls right in front of his face, and even then only sometimes will he bother. So I'm not sure I could even get him to eat it... but no harm in trying.
  19. No improvement this morning. While he'll suck up a little food now and again, he spits it right back out. And his ability to move when he wants to seems to be degrading as he now reaches three days without much/any food. < sigh >
  20. So I haven't been on here in a while. We have an old (comet?) goldfish, now approximately ~14 years old. For the past few years he's had some diet/constipation issues, but we've learned to manage his diet and he's been pretty good most of the time. He's about 5-6". The last couple days he's taken a turn for the worst. Since Tuesday morning (it's Thursday evening here) he's been sitting on the bottom, not moving much, and either not eating at all or eating very little (can't quite tell). I can get him to move, but not for very long. He'll generally swim up to the top, often try to 'jump' (he doesn't get more than 1 cm of his head out of the water), and then go back to the bottom. I just set up a 0.1% salt level and will consider upping it (he usually has a very low salt level, because I feel it helps his balance). I'm not sure if there's anything else I can do, but I figured I'd post to see if anyone had any suggest. Here's the answer to the questions, although the test kits are a couple year old (but note: a) the results are what they always were, and b) I tested the ammonia kit by using some real ammonia in the dropper and it did register): Ammonia: 0 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 10 Ph: 7.5 KH: 2 degrees (always been very low) GH: ~16 degrees (always been very high) Drop kits, but old as I mentioned, although the ammonia kit did check out with real ammonia Water temp: 74 F Tank Size: 20 gallons, been running almost 4 years Filters: Aquaclear 30 & a small in-tank Tetra Water changes; weekly 50% on weekends, usually an extra ~15% change during the week Recent changes: normal 50% on Monday night, been doing some smaller ones in the past couple days to clean up dropped food he's not eating Additives: AmQuel+ and NovAqua+ with changes Medications: I had noticed some slightly ragged looking fins recently (I could be imagining things), but I did give him a 1 week course of MelaFix & PimaFix that ended about a week ago Not too much unusual. Noticed a little bump on his head recently, and potentially the slightly ragged fins. But as a nervous 'papa', I could be imaging things.
  21. Update: we replaced it with a Hagen Aquaclear 30 (formerly known as: 150), the same flow rate as the Penguin, but its much gentler and more acceptable to him, even at full flow... though the reduced flow is nice for feeding time. So far the Aquaclear has been nice (its only been installed for a few days). It seemed a bit noisy at first, but seemed to quiet down within hours. Pros of the Hagen: - reasonable current w/ adjustible flow - true 3 stage filtration allows it to be easy to take out just one stage (as in taking out the carbon if you need to medicate), and allows you to customize each stage if you like - see-through canister allows you to see how dirty the filter foam is - pretty quiet, at least after it was running for a few hours. I think the Whisper was quieter, but this pretty good. - reasonably priced Cons: - the only one I've seen so far is that it does not self-prime. You need to add a cup or two of water to the back first. However, if you pull the plug, but don't touch it, such that the pipe stays full of water, it *will* start up on its own again. I've waited 5 or 10 minutes and the pipe stays full of water. So it *should* start up again fine after a power outage, just not after you pull it apart to clean it
  22. I recently bought a Penguin 150 to replace our Whisper 20 which seems to be dying (background: we have the Whisper 20 HOB & a Whisper 10 In-tank on a 20 gallon). Well, even though the Whisper 20 hang on back seems to be dying, it was actually the in-tank filter that died first, so I set up the new Penguin to get us back to two filters. But the current on that thing! The bio-wheel was neat, but the current the filter produced was substantial. The water drops a couple inches before shooting out forwards and it was visibly disturbing the water surface all the way to the front of the tank. Where the outflow hit the water was also visibly depressed a good fraction of an inch. Our little guy - who I readily admit is very picky & a bit wussy - sat in the bottom corner and even down there was being pushed around a little when trying to stay still. Has anyone else experienced this with the new Penguin models? I suppose for most people this wouldn't be a problem, but if it is, you should know the Penguin 150 produces some relatively significant current in a 20 gallon, if you have older or pickier fish. Worse, they decided not to include any option for flow control other than their suggestions to use mesh bags or something to partially block the intake. I think I'm tempted to try the AquaClears to replace our still-working, but still-dying Whisper 20 HOB - they have flow control, to at least slowly adjust him to a faster current (meanwhile, we picked up a new Whisper 10i to replace our old Whisper internal).
  23. Improving in activity this afternoon and evening. I feel like he may be resting a bit more often, but when he's awake, his moving around pretty normally. He also seems to have adjusted to being sinky, although he's only mildly so - hasn't been jumpy in several hours. His resting has also occurred more near the bottom of the tank (not on it, just a few inches above it), which is unusual for him, but from what I've read on here and seen of other fish, possibly more 'normal' than his usual behavior. I see nothing to be concerned about at this moment, and will continue to keep a close eye on his fin, which remains no better no worse.
  24. Thanks for checking in Trinket. I've wondered that myself. I can't think of any way to be sure, but both nights he got distinctly sleepier right after the melafix was added. It wasn't like a slow change, but rather a sudden one, both nights. He had had the fin damage for at least a couple days before that (probably more) and never acted like that - was never unresponsive or lethargic until right after I added the first melafix, and worse after the second dose. He's less lethargic last night and today than he was before. Not back to his totally normal self, but less lethargic and more responsive. I've done a couple small water changes and by my calculations there's about a dose of melafix still in the water (unless it wears off on its own?). I can still smell it when I open the top of the tank (it has a rather strong shampoo-y smell). I still don't see any particular change in the fin, either positive or negative. I've made a mental note of where the cut-out semi-circle starts and stops in relation to the 'veins' in the fin, so I can get a better sense of any changes going forward. How long would any healing/regeneration be expected to take? Days? Weeks? Months? Especially in an older fish? The one other oddish thing is for the last day or so he's been 'sinky' - meaning when he sleeps or otherwise stops swimming he slowly drifts downwards. As I've described in the past at some point, he doesn't 'like' this, and every once in a while will dart up to the surface and 'jump' a little. Even some foods that have tended to make him floaty in the past haven't done so is the past day. Which is kinda good, except for his little jumpy reactions. I've tested the water and its fine same as always (amm 0/nit 0/nat <5/pH 7.4-7.6/KH 80ppm), so it shouldn't be a water quality issue, and the jump always happens when he's sinky.
  25. He still seems a bit subdued this morning. I did a small (10-15%) water changed, which is the most I have time for before work (well, I don't even have time or that, but I can be a bit late). In the morning he usually greets you by swimming back and forth, and coming right over to you wanting food, food, food. But today he's distinctly quieter and hanging out in the corner, only coming over with some coaxing. He's more active since the water change I think, but it still seems a bit lethargic. So, assuming that's a no go on the melafix, should I just watch him and make sure he looks like he's healing?
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