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Posts posted by Chester's_Mommy

  1. Thanks guys!

    I've got a quarantine tank stabilizing in the basement - I'll run out tonight and get some epsom salt, since all I've got at the moment is regular old aquarium-type salt, and we'll get him on the road to recovery. Or at least, the road to hopefully maybe looking slightly less like a character in a horror movie. (Not that he sort of didn't already... :borggs: )

    Helen, if it's not fluid retention, a five-day epsom soak won't make anything worse, will it?

    Good luck! There's been a rash of eyeball problems around here lately. We might never get a telescope fish after all these stories. :no:

    Oh, go for it. There are weirder things that can happen with other varieties of goldfish -- think about orandas, and the way you sometimes have to trim their wens! And to be honest, Sirius has been very healthy (much more so than, for example, my fantail) with the sole exception of his Eyeballs of Doom. And in a worse-case scenario... so what? Their eyeball falls off because it hits the filter intake wrong, and then you've got a slightly lopsided fish. It'll add to his character. ;)

  2. Test Results for the Following:

    • * Ammonia Level 0
    • * Nitrite Level 0
    • * Nitrate level 5
    • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.6
    • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.6

    Other Required Info:

    • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API Drops
    • * Water temperature? <70
    • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 30 gallons, three years
    • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Penguin Biowheel 100 and Penguin Biowheel 200
    • * How often do you change the water and how much? Alternate weekly 50% and 75%
    • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Two days ago, 50%
    • * How many fish in the tank and their size? Two fish, approx 2” and 3” (body length)
    • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime
    • * What do you feed your fish and how often? Once a day, either veggies, gel food, frozen brine shrimp or pellets
    • * Any new fish added to the tank? No
    • * Any medications added to the tank? No
    • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. There is no way to list history. Assume at one time or another he has been treated for everything, but not treated for ANYTHING in the past six months.
    • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? No
    • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? No

    I don't want to sound like I'm not panicking when I should be, but he has had that pool of blood in his giant eye for literally three years now, without it changing. At the time, we treated it with salt and... something else, I can't remember at this point, and quarantined for a month. And about a year ago, he was quarantined and salted again after a particularly rough bout of mate-chasing left him kind of battered and bruised. It has stayed pooled there throughout with no apparent ill effects. Except now, with the eye bubble....

  3. Hey friends! It has been a while, but clearly I cannot permanently stay away from the Disease forum. ;)

    As anyone who remembers Sirius the Telescope might remember, he has over the past three years or so started slowly growing uneven. In the eyeballs.

    I don’t know how fish eyes work, but imagine there are two water balloons and they’re connected by a straw, and you’re gradually squeezing one of them so that it empties out, but the balloon on the other side has to get bigger and bigger and BIGGER to compensate, and you’ll have a pretty good visual of what’s happening.

    Initially, I tried hot water, cold water, brackish water, salt water, Prazi, swabs, Medigold, and every over-the-counter drops that PetDumb sells. I bare-bottomed the tank and took all possible knock-his-eye-off accessories out, replaced the media a couple of times in case there was an eyeball eating virus hanging around, and basically was a crazy person.

    But after a while, he started acting stressed out by all my frantic “cure” attempts, and I figured whatever, he’ll do what he does, and as long as he’s eating and swimming and laying eggs like a champ (he’s a she, clearly) I won’t worry too much about the fact that he’s flat on one side, and gigantic and pooling blood on the other.

    So for the past year or two since then, I just check the ammonia, nitrate/nitrite, and Ph levels daily, and I keep his water so clean I pretty much would be willing to drink out of it.

    That’s the back story.

    But NOW, guys. He’s mutating. I don’t even. Look at this.


    You might say to yourself, “Minx, what is that?!”

    And I will say, “I have no idea, but it looks like a bubble. Like he’s growing a bubble. Out of where his collapsed eyeball used to be. He’s spontaneously becoming a bubble eye. Make it stop!”


    I just...


    I hesitate to even ask, but… has anyone… had any experience with this? Um. Or have any ideas about what I can do to make him stop? Because God knows I love him, but every time I look at him now my stomach sort of flips.

    (And no, he doesn’t appear to notice. He’s still eating fine, swimming fine, laying eggs fine, terrorizing Bob fine, etc. Thank goodness he's blind, I guess, because if I were him I would seriously be freaking the heck out whenever I noticed my reflection on the side of the tank.)





  4. Anyway, eventually she hit one wall too many and slid straight down onto my goldfish tank. Kids, I have never been more relieved in the WORLD that I've got a lid on it--the ridiculous part is this isn't the first time my birds have gotten out and made a beeline for the tank. What possesses them? They've got a very nice bath of their own--do they seriously want a wave pool too!?

    Of course they want a wave pool. Who wouldn't want one? ;)

    I'm SO SCARED of wave pools!! I used to absolutely love them, and then I decided to be all brave and go to the very, very very very deep end, at which point I was sucked under and almost drowned. Minx = not a strong swimmer. Alas. ;)

  5. I was changing the bird bath in my parakeets' cage this morning (while waiting for the tow truck to come and get my car, which I accidentally somehow drove into a ditch earlier) (still waiting for them, actually...) and my older bird, in a ridiculously uncharacteristic desire for freedom, threw herself out the door while my back was turned.

    Once she got out, she panicked, because she's all institutionalized and feral and has never been allowed to fly free in my apartment. So, screaming, she began ricocheting off of the walls. I started screaming too, which probably didn't help matters--and I know that chasing after her and trying to catch her in a laundry basket didn't help either. ;)

    Anyway, eventually she hit one wall too many and slid straight down onto my goldfish tank. Kids, I have never been more relieved in the WORLD that I've got a lid on it--the ridiculous part is this isn't the first time my birds have gotten out and made a beeline for the tank. What possesses them? They've got a very nice bath of their own--do they seriously want a wave pool too!?

  6. I read that book under my desk in fifth grade -- one of my classmates had a copy that her sister had given her. I remembered it as being this torrid, romantic thriller, so you can imagine my shock when I reread it a few months ago and realized it was garbage.

    I still read it cover to cover, of course. It might have been garbage, but it was classic garbage. :rofl

    I'm convinced they're breeding just to annoy me, but happiness is a nicer thought!!!!

  7. I love your blog, it literally had me up two hours past when I was supposed to go to bed a while back.

    So incest huh? Doesn't surprise me :P

    WHOO! If there's one thing I am a fan of, it is totally throwing bedtime to the wind in favor of playing online. (Curse you, fanfiction, you have kept me up so many nights....)

  8. Vee, I'm a little unsure about this now, having just read a bunch of websites saying things like "Whisker shrimp grow to be a foot long!" and "Whisker shrimp ate my baby!!" but... I had two of them in with a very slow-moving, visually impaired goldfish, and they never even looked twice at her.

    Well, until she got dropsy and stopped swimming, at which point they leaped on her like rabid hyenas and chewed the eyes right out of her head before I could get her out of the tank.

    But prior to, they coexisted quite peacefully. ;)

  9. So for some reason, my cousin insists on calling Gilligan "Stubby" so I guess that's his name now :P

    Also, I got two little fantails for my birthday! They are out of QT and in the main tank now, but I still haven't named them yet.

    I demand photos! ;)

  10. I checked on the babies today, and dear God no, the entire tank was covered in eggs. I mean, it looked like an explosion had gone off in a fish egg factory. Absolutely ridiculous.

    I'm not too worried about them hatching, because of the weird crispy-shell issue that seems to affect the majority of what they lay (see this post that no one had an answer to, aha), but it was still a little alarming.

    "Children!" I calmly shrieked at them. "What have I told you!?"

    "That I shouldn't be sexing up my tiny deformed sibling?" said Bob.

    "That I shouldn't be sexed up by my gigantic equally deformed sibling?" said McGee.


    "But Mooooooooom..."


    They looked properly chastened, but I'm not holding my breath. ;)

  11. Oooh, fantastic ideas!! I threw a whole piece of cooked pear in today; the two babies are currently swimming around it in circles trying to decide if they should make a coordinated attack, or send the shrimp in first to see if the pear is dangerous. ;)

    I've never made fruit gel food. I imagine it smells much better than the one I make with beef heart.

  12. In an attempt to distract me from Chester's passing, McGee decided to develop some sort of weird red sore running the length of his stomach.

    He appears to be ridiculously proud of it. ("Hey Mommy! Hey! Hey! See, I'm wounded and freakish too! You can dote on ME now!!!")

    I'm not planning on doing anything too dramatic with it for now; I'll keep an eye on him, though, and if alien babies start erupting from his midsection I'll be sure to let y'all know.

    In related fry news, Bob has learned to like fruits and vegetables. It was an uphill battle for him, but I think it was parsley that finally changed his mind. Upside: I can now fling whatever I'm having to eat (ie pieces of orange, pear, lettuce, etc) into the tank, and he goes at it like it's his job. Downside: He has started eating the plants. CURSES! If only they made spray for fishes like they do for dogs--you know, the kind that tastes like Sour and is supposed to keep your puppy from gnawing on the legs of your antique dining room table? I'd love to have something like that for my poor, increasingly-shabby-looking anubias.

    This is probably a question I'll have to ask the main board, but does anyone have any thoughts on how to get McGee eating fruits and veggies too? He can almost manage squished up gel food (although because of the loose consistency he has difficulty keeping it in his mouth) but no matter how small I chop up pieces of pea they're still too big for him to handle. If you were going to be feeding something to a fish who can only tackle food the size of Hikari Micro Pellets, what would you suggest? I'm almost at the point where I'm going to stick a banana in a blender and throw the entire gooey mess into the tank. He'll eat it just by accidentally inhaling!! ;)

  13. At what age do the goldies start laying eggs? I assume they have to be mature. Mine are only 3 inches or so.

    Thanks in advance

    Dave, my babies are laying eggs like it's their job, and the smaller one (who I *think* is the female) is just over two inches, counting the tail. They were a year old in August, and I noticed eggs showing up in the tank a few months after that. Of course, none of them have successfully hatched yet... :)

  14. And it's official: Chester passed away last night after a ridiculously short bout of dropsy.

    I'm actually feeling fairly okay about it. Like I had said, he had been sick for a long time, and was getting fairly old in even in people years. For a goldfish that I bought for $1.25 at the grocery store (which my Mom continues to mock me about: "You paid money for a goldfish that was floating sideways and bleeding?!") I think he had a pretty good run. Not that it stopped me from sniffling all over the place, much to the horror of my well-meaning but pet-challenged boyfriend. ;)

    I'm going to tell you though, guys, that there was a super crazy moment last night. I'd moved Chester upstairs to be in his quarantine tank, and was sitting down in the living room with the rest of the goldies, ostensibly to read a book but mainly so I could keep an eye on them. They always followed Chester's lead; if he was having a bad day and was lying on his side on the bottom, Sirius and Angst would be right there with him, on their sides, freaking me the heck out. So when I plucked Chester up off the bottom yesterday to quarantine, the other two were also down there with him, buried under the plants. And when I moved him, they stayed there, sunk. Which I found unnerving.

    So I read, and they sat, and I read, and they sat, and I poked at the tank, and they sat, and I read. And then all of a sudden they started whipping around the tank, throwing rocks and leaves and really distressed shrimp in all directions. After about twenty seconds of it, they both settled down and started to swim like normal fish again.


    Are you ready for this? When I went back upstairs, Chester had died.

    And it's ridiculous, and it's anthropomorphism, and it's me attributing psychic powers to animals that swim in mindless circles all day, but I really do think that somehow they knew he had died and were reacting to it. How's that for something from a boring episode of Twilight Zone, huh?

    Anyway, RIP, baby -- and I apologize again for that time freshman year when I tried to feed you uncooked carrots and you almost choked to death right there in your tiny, inadequately-aerated bowl.


  15. Well kids, it looks like Chester is officially on his way out. :(

    He has been getting slower over the past couple of weeks -- missing food on his first lunge, kind of drifting instead of swimming purposefully, etc -- so I'm not incredibly surprised. When I checked on him last night, he had sunk to the bottom and was curled up in the corner, and definitely starting to show signs of dropsy. I've got him in quarantine now with meds and soothing music, but it might just be time.

    Poor baby. He's had so many illnesses in the ten years I've had him, that I think it's better if he just kind of eases off... but I did run out to get clove oil this morning, if it looks like I need to help him on his way.


    I'll keep y'all updated.

  16. Had my entire extended family over for Christmas -- my father was leading the hoard of tiny cousins around the house like he was the docent at a freak show.

    "I know, you were terrified of the Fish With No Back Fin. But if you come into THIS ROOM," he said, pointing dramatically, "I'll show you the fish that was BITTEN IN HALF, but is still ALIIIIIIIIVE!!!!!"

    Thanks, Dad. ;)

    In other news, Happy Holidays, y'all! Hope it was filled with gel food and joy!

  17. I was showing my mother photos off the latest GC auction, and in the midst of all the "Why does that one's brain look like it's on the outside of its head?"s and "Why does that one have bubbles coming out of the side of its face?"s, she suddenly noticed how much some of them actually cost.

    "Oh, my God," she says, "do they die?!"

    "Um. Yes. The immortal ones cost even more."

    "Because I would never spend that much on a pet that could die. Especially one that is prone to dying. Like... a goldfish."

    Silly mother. She obviously does not truly appreciate the hobby. ;)

  18. I've been meaning to ask this question and it kept slipping my mind, but I was cleaning the tanks this evening and remembered... so here we go.

    Does anyone know anything about factors that affect the quality of eggs? My guys lay them ALL THE TIME, on at least a monthly basis, but I've noticed that with a few rare exceptions, most of them aren't viable.

    Instead of being cute and round, the way they're supposed to be, the majority of eggs in each batch (clutch? or whatever the proper term is for a group of goldfish eggs?) tend to flatten out and stick to whatever surface they land on.

    The eggs also have a tendency to be hard -- almost shell-like. I can skim them across the tank with my finger and they don't come off the side of the glass or get squished. In fact, it's fairly difficult to get them off the tank at all. I have to take my nail and actually snap them in half, because otherwise I can't get the "seal" to break and they stay firmly attached to the wall.

    As a result of all this nonsense, the eggs aren't hatching. The babies will develop perfectly, to the point that they'll have eyes and spines and start moving around looking for an exit, but they don't seem to be able to break out. They'll squirm for a day or two, and then just die.

    My tank walls are perpetually covered in tiny, crispy shells containing tiny deceased fish babies. It's ridiculously depressing.

    Ready for a photo montage? Photo montage!







    Anyway, I'm not suggesting that I want all of these dudes to start hatching. God knows we don't need more of my type of fish in the world. ;)

    But I'm worrying that it's a sign of some sort of underlying problem with my goldies. Like when birds are being poisoned by pesticides and the shells of their eggs get really thin!!!

    Has anyone had any experience with this? Any suggestions on anything I should do with the mamas and papas? Or is this just yet another example of my babies being ridiculously strange?

    "Um, excuse me," says Sirius, "but I am offended at the suggestion that you don't want hoards of my offspring multiplying on every surface of the tank, swarming over the plants and eating everything in sight. Who wouldn't want more studly fish like me in their lives?"

    Sorry, Sirius. I didn't mean it. You're incredibly good looking and I would be honored to have a tankful of your babies.



    You know that's right.

  19. ::: laughs ::: Breathe, Dawn, breathe! :teehee

    There was a post going on in General Discussion about how to figure out if one's telescope goldie is blind. I refrained from adding my own information, which consisted of, "If one of his eyes has completely deflated and flattened out into a little empty sac, and the other eye has swollen to the size of a golf ball causing him to swim crooked and bounce off of things, then you can be pretty sure he can't see any more." :lol Probably that doesn't pertain to too many fish other than Sirius?..

    I had to abandon my babies for the week, as I'm off to visit my grandparents. My poor mother; she always gets so nervous when I ask her to take care of the babies. It's even worse now, because she has become genuinely fond of the baby babies, and will occasionally even greet me at the door with updates. ("Bob was standing on his head today! Do you think that's normal?") I've told her that when in doubt, she should add salt and recite my patented fish care mantra: They have lived through worse, they'll live through this. We'll hope for the best.

    Quasi, as requested, I bring you? Bob and McGee swimming! I apologize in advance; I wanted to add sound to make it less boring, but the only .wav file I have on my laptop is the original Hamster Dance song. Yes.

    Anyway, were I to name this clip, it would be called "Your mommy spent hours laboring over a hot stove to make you that gel food, so why have you torn it into tiny pieces and thrown it across your tank, you little monsters?" Nothing like siphoning out food crumbles to make you appreciate your bigger fish, who actually *eat* their food rather than just playing with it....


  20. Quasi lost a part of his lower halve of his right tail. It looks like 3 rays got broken and that piece just fell of.

    He had such a gorgeous tail, I hope it grows back soon and gets as long as before :angelstaf:

    Also a few scales are missing. My guess is that he damaged himself why he was hunting down algae :doh11:

    Chester lost half his tail at one point, and it grew back just fine, to the original length! So I wouldn't worry too much.

    Of course, it grew back a different color......... ;)

  21. I think something might secretly be wrong with Little Creeper. He was such an active little vampire shrimp when I first dumped him in the baby tank; I'd look over and he'd be scurrying around and eating things off the floor, and basically looking terrifying and alien-like.

    Now, though.

    Now he just... lays there.

    For the first few weeks of this, he was at least in the safety of one of the pots. I'd feed the fish, and he (on his back, mind you, like he's too lazy to roll over) would very casually unfurl these huge fan-hands, and start leisurely shoving food in his mouth.




    He has apparently decided that he's not getting access to enough food this way, though, and today chose to lay out in the middle of the tank, right where he could be snapped up by a passing goldfish.

    Still on his back.

    I'd scold him, but honestly I'm so impressed with the dedication to immobility he's showing that I more want to give him a hug.

    That's my baby! Way to be sedentary, just like your mommy!! :rofl

  22. Bob really did look like was going to be totally normal, before his parent(s) decided to play "Who wants to catch that delicious moving appetizer that looks vaguely like one of our offspring?" and gnawed his tail off. His only other "problem," as far as I've been able to tell, is the way one of his gill covers curves in, like a bowl, and the other one flares way out away from his head. But seriously, given the massive levels of inbreeding, he's my shining star of health. :I-Thank-You:

    McGee... yeah. McGee is a Special Fish. :rofl

    My folks try to herd him into a corner behind the plants when they have company over, so he doesn't scare people while they're eating dinner with his vacant stare and gaping mouth. But when you take into account the fact that he has no jaw and has to suction up tiny scraps of food through a frozen rictus of pursed lips, he's looking pretty darn good!!!!!!!!

    (He's also a living example of why I am not fit to breed fish professionally. Culling? What is this "culling" you speak of?)

  23. Oh Minx, I just wanted to say that I love love love love LOVE your blog!!

    I just spent my lunch hour reading it and now I believe my colleagues think I am almost completely mental (they were only a little suspicious before)! My office is really quiet so on a few occasions I had to sit rocking backwards and forwards with my hands covering my nose and mouth to stop the laughter - add to that a few episodes of loudly spilt tea due to said laughter and now I am getting some very funny looks rofl3.gif

    Why thank you! I have friends' blogs where I have the same problem -- my co-workers are looking at me like I'm absolutely insane, and I'm laughing so hard I'm crying and snorting my uvula out my nose. Very unprofessional of me.... ;)

    BTW: Do you have any ''normal' pets? ;)

    I'm sure I do! I must! I--no. No, I don't. The most normal pet I have is my cat, and she is completely insane. Adorable, but the kind of animal where you expect she spends her free time in the basement building nuclear reactors, and cackling to herself.


    Okay! As promised, I've got some baby photos!

    I have almost, but not quite, put them into little silver frames and hung them around my room, but I worried that my mother would start to bemoan the fact that she still doesn't have grandchildren, and figured it was better that I didn't provoke her. :rofl

    Everyone, say hi to Bob! He looks fairly horrified that I'm trying to take his photo.


    And to McGee! He has almost lost his baby colors, which he is inordinately proud of.

    I try not to point out that his brother (sister?) has already turned a beautiful gold color.

    Don't want to give the poor thing a complex....


    McGee always has this look of perpetual surprise on his face. It's not his fault -- he can't close his mouth.


    I don't know if it's a factor of them growing up together (or... the fact that they now apparently are trying to breed, WHY!?!?) but they stick to each other like it's their job.

    (No, seriously though, can you imagine what their babies would look like? I'm thinking six eyes per fish. And fangs.)


    Aw. So cute together.


    I hope y'all appreciate these, because by the time I was done taking photos they were both giving me the kind of death glares that only tiny fish can truly pull off.

    "Why are you trying to burn out our retinas, Mommy? Why? Don't you love us and our eyeballs!?"

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