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Posts posted by Chester's_Mommy

  1. [*]Ammonia Level? 0

    [*]Nitrite Level? 0

    [*]Nitrate level? 15

    [*]Ph Level, Tank 7.6?

    [*]Ph Level, Tap 7.6?

    [*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API drops

    [*]Water temperature? Room temp

    [*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 15 gallons, 6 months

    [*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)? Two of those 20 gallon Whisper filters

    [*]How often do you change the water and how much? Daily 10%, once a week 50%, once a month 100%

    [*]How many fish in the tank and their size? One medium sized

    [*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime

    [*]What do you feed your fish and how often? Twice a day -- flakes, veggies, gel food

    [*]Any new fish added to the tank? No

    [*]Any medications added to the tank? No

    [*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Frayed fins

    [*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Bottom sitting

    I came home today from work and Bette Davis was lying on her side on the bottom of the tank, gasping, while my shrimp ate her fins.

    Probably the most disgusting thing I've ever seen.

    But I fought them off, and now she's huddled in a corner of the tank.



    Laying on her side

    Slightly curled up

    Belly looks swollen but not pine-coney

    Bottom of stomach looks red and irritated

    Super-eaten fins (shrimp...)

    Chunks out of her side (again, I assume shrimp?)

    I seriously think s he's about to die right in front of me -- she's got basically every bad-looking thing happening to her that I can think of.

    Help!!?! Or ideas on euthanizing the poor thing!?!!

  2. So there I am, friends, cleaning my tank at midnight, because that's what all cool people do on a Friday night, right? Right!

    And I'm sort of humming to myself, and looking at the goldies, who are engaging in a very rated-R sort of mating dance all over the tank, bashing into walls and scooting under plants and basically being obnoxious.

    As they round one corner though, completely throwing all of the plants and rocks up in the air, I see a couple of little... things shoot out and scurry across the tank.

    Oh dear God.

    More babies.

    *Wild* babies.

    I just got rid of my three newest ones last week! Where did these ones come from!?

    I guess I assume they were bred while I was in Sweden, but I can't figure out how I've missed them doing tank cleanings every day! At the very least, you'd have thought I'd have siphoned them up by now....

    Anyway, I very quietly poured the new gallons in, turned off the light, and walked away. They've made it this long, they'll survive another night, and I'm *not* going to think about them seconds before bedtime. ;)

  3. anyone have any recommendations of how I should switch from my filter to the new one? I don't want to take off the old filter and put on the new one only to have it take a while to cycle before it actually starts working. should I put on the new one while the old one is still on to ease it into the cycle?

    Is your tank cycled right now? You could hook both filters up at the same time and have them run together for a while, or you could take the filter media out of your current filter and jam it into your new Penguin. At least, I'm pretty sure that's what you'd do.... :unsure:

  4. I'm so sorry Chester's having eye probs.

    - it does happen that opthalmic defects/cataracts occur in fish. Usually its either a nutritional deficiency or a genetically inherited thing.

    These will not usually respond to treatment.

    -If it is cloudy eye caused by high organic load/bacteria these will clear up in time. Sometimes quite a long time :(Sustained low organic load for several months, light salting can help. The bacteria specifically choose the eye and are not likely to move from their preferred location- to the face or body for example.It can also be brought on by a trauma or injury.

    - it isn't really a huge deal unless there are accompanying ill health symptoms. Are there? Some fish are most certainly more prone to cloudy eye than others and healing is always a lengthy process. Keeping Chester separate for a month, with low organic load, would be a good chance to either clear this or observe if it is in fact genetic and here to stay.

    Is he eating well and behaving as normal for him ?

    He's doing absolutely fine -- I think his cyst is even receding a little! (Knock on wood....) But yes, normal appetite, normal swimming, normal mating with everyone, etc.

    I'll separate him again, then, and add a bit of salt. He'll pout but will presumably get over it. Would I salt to Medicating level? Or just at 0.1%?

    (I am glad to hear it's not going to spread all over his face. I was having nightmares of coming down in the morning and seeing, like, a cottonball with fins floating around the tank. Glaaaaah.)

  5. [*]Ammonia Level? 0

    [*]Nitrite Level? 0

    [*]Nitrate level? 15

    [*]Ph Level, Tank 7.7?

    [*]Ph Level, Tap 7.6?

    [*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API drops

    [*]Water temperature? Room temp

    [*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 29 gallons, 13 months

    [*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)? Penguin Biowheels 250 and 100

    [*]How often do you change the water and how much? Daily 10%, once a week 50%, once a month 100%

    [*]How many fish in the tank and their size? Three biggish guys

    [*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime

    [*]What do you feed your fish and how often? Twice a day -- flakes, gel food, veggies that I snuck into my napkin during dinner....

    [*]Any new fish added to the tank? Nope!

    [*]Any medications added to the tank? Not in the past two weeks

    [*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Nope!

    [*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Nope!

    So for the past three months, I've been fighting what I assume is cloudy eye in Chester's left eyeball.

    I've isolated him. I've kept the water so clean I'd be willing to drink it. I've tried salt. I've tried Medi-Gold. I've tried MelaFix. I've tried professional counseling. Nada.

    It isn't getting any worse, but it's not getting any better -- he just has a disk of white about three-fourths as big as his eye, chilling there.

    My question(s):

    - What's the likelihood that at this point he's just blind and the white is permanent?

    - What's the likelihood that the bacteria (or whatever) is slowly going to consume his face?

    - Can I, at this point, just assume he's got one more weird thing wrong with him and go one with my life as normal?

  6. Bette Davis did, however, miss me enough to produce a creepy toothy *thing* which is currently growing out of her side ,that I'm sure will soon turn into a tumor the size of my fist, rendering her fins useless and forcing her to scoot along the bottom of her tank whilst using her eyeballs as stubby little legs.

    Or, maybe she's evolving what every goldfish covets...a second mouth...


    Scary mental image.

  7. Ta-da! The conquering heroine has returned, only slightly blotchy from crying hysterically the whole plane ride home! ;)

    Sweden was incredible -- there are no words. And I don't think it was just the company I was keeping. :wub: The country did legitimately seem to rock. (There will be photo updates on my Real Blog, if anyone is interested -- the link is my goldfish siggie.)

    Much as I would have hoped that they would have stopped eating out of missingness of their beloved owner, the goldfish seemed to fare fine in my absence (and the birds... and the sea monkeys...). Bette Davis did, however, miss me enough to produce a creepy toothy *thing* which is currently growing out of her side ,that I'm sure will soon turn into a tumor the size of my fist, rendering her fins useless and forcing her to scoot along the bottom of her tank whilst using her eyeballs as stubby little legs.

    So we'll look forward to that!!

    In other news, what the heck happened to the forum?! When did it become so smooth and streamlined and awesome?!

  8. Hi all!!

    I made it back from Sweden in one piece -- thank you so much for taking care of my mom while I was gone. :bighug She was so grateful to have help!

    The fish are in perfectly fine shape and the cycle in the big tank seems to be back to normal. Also, apparently killing off their sibling agreed with my babies -- in three weeks they grew from the size of an eyelash to the size of my THUMB.

    Bette Davis actually managed to sprout some sort of terrifying porous-looking tumor (small but scary) which I'll post pictures of tomorrow in a separate thread, but I assured my mom that it's not that she was taking bad care of the fish, but rather that, thanks to my choice of inbred freaks, three weeks with less than Absolutely Perfect water changes is enough to let the bad genes run rampant. ;)

  9. I'm sorry to bother you guys, but Minx told me to call on you if I wasn't sure what to do. The fish actually seem pretty ok after two weeks in my care, but I thought maybe I should check some of the various levels that I seemed to have kits for (API). The ammonia was negative (hurray), the pH was at least 7.6 (which is as high as the test goes), and the nitrites (NO2) were 0.25. Minx will be home in a week. Would it be ok if we just did a partial water change, and maybe stopped feeding them so much? The tank is also getting sort of algae-ish, but Minx assured us that we could ignore that if it happened. These are, after all, goldfish -- I hope that they are relatively hardy, as they have survived for years with fairly significant birth defects and early traumatic injuries...Um, I think it's a 30 gallon tank, there are three pretty big goldfish in it, it also has some plants of unknown variety, and there are two baby fish in a little tank floating in the big tank. (There were three, but the little deformed sickly one died yesterday. I don't believe this reflects water quality; it was not a good fish.) I've been feeding them goldfish flakes that Minx provided, and most days also giving them several gelatin cubes made out of either vegetables or pellets. They don't really seem sick -- maybe doing a little bottom sitting, but not to a dramatic extent. But I don't know much about fish. Bette Davis is in a different tank, which I haven't had the nerve to check -- she's acting fine.


  10. All RIGHT!

    My bags are packed (mostly), I have my itinerary (mostly), I know how I'm getting there (mostly) and I am totally psyched (completely)!

    I also provided my parents with a positively *breathtaking* five-page instruction manual on fish care, including my password and directions to the Emergency 911 portion of the forum.

    They gave me this look: :yikes

    But I know deep down they appreciate it.

    Sweden here I come!!!!!

  11. I had a batch of gel food like that -- it set just fine, but when I'd soak it afterwards, out of the freezer, it would break apart into little weird pieces.

    The *next* time, I smashed the bag of pellets with a hammer a couple of times before adding them to the blender. ;)

    (Sorry about poor Edwin...)

  12. Oh, you know I will! ;)

    I spent all day today writing up this hugely detailed list for my folks on Fish (and parakeets, mustn't forget the parakeets) Care, and then walked over to have a chat with Chester about it.

    "See this list?" I said to him. "Well it says that as long as Mom cleans your tank on a regular basis and feeds you delicious gel food, you're going to behave. Your cloudy eye will NOT get worse, you will NOT start dropping scales right and left, and you will NOT bleed from ANY orifice. Okay?"

    He looked at me as though I had somehow insulted him -- as though it's crazy to suggest that he would *ever* even *think* of getting ill.

    I threatened to take away his bubbler, though, so hopefully that'll provide some motivation....

  13. The babies have sort of divided up their tank, with the Crippled Mutated Freaks on one side and the Absolutely Gigantic and Muscular Bullies on the other.

    The big ones, obviously, are rehoming faster than the shriveled ones -- two have already moved in with their Forever Mommy, and one more is heading out this weekend. Once the rest of the big ones are out, I'm hoping the smaller ones will do a little bit better. Obviously most of their problem is (terrible, terrible terrible) inbreeding, but perhaps the inability to compete with their massive brethren is slowing them down too. Maybe. Actually, it's probably just the inbreeding. :doh11:

    To be fair to the big guys, it's a little early to shove them out of the nest, but I'm leaving the country for a month and the less my poor mother has to do, fish-wise, the better. Chester still hasn't gotten over his stupid cloudy eye, and that's probably going to be all the stress she can handle taking care of!

    Oh, lord, that reminds me. Is anyone willing to be On Call for my mom, while I'm in Sweden? I told her that probably she could just hop on the Disease board, should disaster strike, and post a note with a header like "I Am Minx's Mother And Her Fish Is Bleeding Out Of Its Right Eyeball And It's The One With No Fins That She Likes And If It Is Dead When She Gets Home She'll Cry And Oh, God, There Goes Its Other Eyeball Someone Help Me!" and someone would leap to the rescue, Kokos-Style, and reassure her that Chester always bleeds out the eyes -- it's just his way of saying hello -- and if she wants she can add some salt.

    Because you guys rock solid like that, right?

    Right! :Jig:

  14. I'm as back as I can be! ;) It's still a little touch and go -- I'm woefully unskilled at managing my time to include computer hours -- but fear not! I'm sure I will improve once again!!

    I had to have a serious conversation with my shrimp this morning about their role in Bette Davis' tank.

    "Now guys," I started out with, "you are scavengers. You are supposed to *scavenge*. Like a vulture. So you can eat stuff that's floating around the tank, you can eat stuff that's stuck to the filters, and you can certainly feel free to eat stuff that's trapped in the plants."

    And they're all nodding like they're paying really close attention.

    "HOWEVER! You are *not* allowed to swim around the tank snatching up all of Bette Davis' dinner before she gets a bite. For the love of God, she's blind and mentally impaired! You can't just grab a piece of gel food right out of her mouth! She'll starve!"

    They looked really apologetic and promised that it wouldn't happen again, so we'll see. I might have to get them their own tank if this keeps up, though.

    (I have no idea what they are, side note. I thought they were ghost shrimp. They have, however, grown to be the size of my thumb, and have these insanely creepy crane arms that stretch miles out in front of them and enable them to snatch things from practically across the opposite side of the tank, and all in all I find them alarming. Alarming, and piggish. Sigh.)

  15. ::: clings to computer :::


    I will make many wonderful excuses about hard drives crashing, and new soul-crushing and time-consuming jobs, and all the goldies being healthy and worry-free and all is forgiven, right?


    Also I brought baby pictures!! Eh? EH!? ALL IS FORGIVEN!?


    Here's BabyFish, day two. He's kind of blah, actually. Not all that exciting.


    Here's BabyFish, day four! He's actually almost fish-shaped! At the very least, he resembles something that may some day become fish-shaped....


    And BabyFish after my flash went off and caused him to spin in terrified circles inside his egg. I've never been given a death glare by something the size of a pinhead before. It was a disconcerting experience.


    At last! BabyFish day five! Trying to escape!


    Still trying to escape....


    Still... still trying... still trying to escape.... I think this bodes ill for BabyFish.

    I don't actually have any pics of his dramatic entry, the next morning, into the tank, because I was babysitting at the time it happened. And of course this meant that the children and I were far too busy screaming and gesticulating wildly at the water and (all three of us) trying to suck various little squirmers out with turkey basters.

    We ended up getting six, not counting one that has its swim bladder hanging outside its body (I haven't culled it yet because it's eating, but at some point he'll probably have to go, the poor thing), and they've been living in a shot glass for the past two weeks getting increasingly fat and happy.

    And by shot glass, I obviously mean forty gallon tank with a filter.

    One that looks suspiciously like a shot glass.


  16. Phew. It has been a crazy couple of days in MinxWorld, friends.

    Am still running around like a maniac trying to learn the ropes at my new job, which leaves me completely exhausted by the time I drag myself home. (Whine whine whine....)

    The Triple Sulfa meds have killed my cycle in my main tank, so I've -- also in maniac fashion -- been doing ridiculous numbers of water changes.

    And to top it all off... my computer has died! ALAS!!

    Apparently the "WHRRRR WHRRR WHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRKKKKKKKKKKCHKCHKCHKCHK" noise it was making was a bad sign.

    Who would have guessed?!

    Luckily I have stolen a friend's laptop for the afternoon, so I can at least empty out a week's worth of email from my inbox. ;)

    On the upside, my fish all continue to do splendidly, and the shrimp survived their time in the bucket and actually seemed to have gotten larger.

    Assuming I can get my cycle straightened out, my next Tank Task is figuring out what kinds of plants I've got growing in there. I can identify some of the main ones -- moss balls and java ferns, anyone? -- but there are a large number of them that seem to fall under the "green and sort of spikey" category, and I long to know what they actually are. Just so when people ask, I don't have to give them a blank stare, all "How should I have any idea what kinds of Misc. Foliage I have creeping up the walls of my aquarium? Who actually knows stuff like that?"

  17. Aw, thanks! :)

    Yeah, I'm hoping the biowheels will be okay since the Triple Sulfa-ated Water was running all over them. ::: hope hope hope :::

    I've started just abandoning the eggs in tank. The shrimp (when they're not in qt because of medication) are really good at getting all but the most tucked-away ones, and if I happen to every once in a while see little swimmers scooting around the tank... well, that's what filters are for. ;)

  18. Trekkie Loch Ness Monsters!? Best idea ever!!! :Jig:

    I was at PetDumb yesterday picking up some more TripleSulfa -- Is it bad that my fish medicine chest is more complex than my people medicine chest? -- and they had the cutest little bubble eyes over in the goldfish section.

    Unfortunately, most of them were missing a bubble, so the whole tank was sort of swimming sideways and frantically.

    ("Cuuuuuuuuuuuuu~uuuuuuuuuuuuuuute!!!" squealed Minx, her eyes pressed up against the glass. "They are all adorable and broken!!!!! I MUST HAVE THEM ALL!!!!!!!!")

    Luckily I was distracted by the thoughts that a) I had to get medicine for the broken fish I already own, b) I had to get a new cuttlebone for the 'keets, and c) I had to then paw through the rest of the store looking for gifts for the dog and cat, so they wouldn't be jealous that the "lesser" animals were getting more fun things than they were.

    Although I doubt anyone would suggest sulfer medication falls under the category of Fun.

    Unless, you know, you find sulfer to be really super awesome?

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