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Everything posted by bmblsad

  1. Hey all...I am a newbie fish keeper. I have an 3-4 inch oranda (purchased in May) who has been the picture of health until this week when I noticed his fins starting to fray. I don't know why or what to do. I have API aquarium salt but no meds - however, can easily get them today from LFS. I also have a 5.5g tank that I could use as a hospital tank temporarily if needed though it seems really small. Here are the answers to some key questions. PS - it's been a rough month; my MIL died 2 weeks ago after a brief illness so my fishkeeping habits have been unbalanced (feeding and lighting schedules off, water changes done hastily and off schedule, etc, throughout most of October) What symptoms are you noticing, and when did the symptoms start? Fins beginning to fray 3 days ago; progressing rapidly; thought I was imagining it at first. How big is your tank? 29g planted with anubia, swords, 2 crypts, 2 morimo balls; sand substrate How long has the tank been set up? July; it was an upgrade from a 15g; moved cycled Fluval AQ70 filter from 15 to 29g. Heated to 74. Use airstone. How many fish and what kinds of fish do you have in your tank? 1 oranda: Barney 1 BN pleco: P-Lucky 1 nirite: Luiz 1 mystery snail: Boris Am I overstocked? How often do you do water changes, and how much water at a time? 30-50% weekly; yesterday 50%; the week before 30%. Have you cleaned or replaced anything in your filter? Squeeze out filter sponges every week Emptied and wiped down filter 2 weeks ago What are your water parameters for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and pH? (Please give numerical values; "fine", "good", "normal", etc are not readings and will make it difficult to help you. If you do not have a test kit please say so.) I use API Master Test kit + API GH and KH liquid test solutions; following readings were prior to water change last night pH: 8.4 (!) It has been a very stable 8.2 until about 4 weeks ago and then it moved up to 8.4 (I keep a spreadsheet) Ammonia: 0.25 (usually 0) Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 30ish; color was somewhere between 20 and 40; nitrates have always hovered around 5-10 and then late September shot up to 30-40. We've had a lot of rain. I'm on a well. I live in an agricultural area where I'm sure lots of ferts are used on nearby fields. Could they be seeping down into the groundwater and into my well? I tested the straight well water and the nitrates are now around 30 where they used to be 0. GH: 4 drops KH: 15 drops What do your fish normally eat? Switch it up a lot. I may feed 6 omega one goldfish pellets soaked in tank water in AM and then some frozen brine shrimp or blood worms in PM. Sometimes I feed pellets AM and PM. I usually have kale/spinach/lettuce hanging from a clip, and a slice of zucchini and/or carrot. I've just started rotating rapashy gel food into the mix. I fast them every Friday and then feed peas on Saturday AM that have been blanched in tank water. Have you added anything (water conditioner, medication, algae chemicals, etc) to the tank? When I do water changes, I add a large drop of prime and about a quarter cap of Stress Coat to a 5g bucket and then I add an airstone and let it degas overnight. I add a heater so it's within 1 degree of the tank temp before adding the new water. I am on a well with super hard water and lots of iron (will turn your hair orange). I started out in the spring using straight softened water (Kinetico) but my plants looked like crap. After consulting a few planted tank forums, in August I started using a 50/50 mix of well and softened water. At that time, the well water was 0.25 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates, 16 drops GH, 15 drops KH. When I first noticed the jump in nitrates in my tanks I tested the well water and realized nitrates had increased from 0 to 30ish so reduced the mix to roughly 70/30 softened to well water. The softened has no nitrates or ammonia. So, I'm perplexed. I have 4 tanks total and am worried that Barney (my oranda) is like the canary in the coal mine. My other worry is that maybe the BN Pleco is stressing him out -- but I NEVER see any aggression of P-Lucky towards Barney except the one time Barney tried to take P-Lucky's green bean away. I dunno. Please Help. Love my fishies and snails. Should I pull Barney out and put him in the 5.5g? Pull out the Pleco and put him in the 5.5 temporarily? Or, use this as an excuse to upgrade to a 55g tank? I have abundant filters, heaters, etc. Just tell me what to do. Hope the pics help.
  2. Hey all, After reading some raving reviews, I thought I'd give the Rapashy Super Gold a try. Mixed up a batch yesterday and cut it into cubes. But... how much of this stuff should I feed an Oranda whose body is about 2 inches. Maybe 1/4 tsp 2x per day? I dunno... He really likes it so guessing he'd be happy to eat more. Beth
  3. Ah, physics. Good point about the sand and pebbles separating. Definitely need to rethink that one. The anubias and javas are currently growing in (rhizome above) a layer of caribsea eco complete in a 15g. I'm going to tie the anubias and javas to driftwood when I move them to the 29g tank. I also have some dwarf hairgrass growing in the 15g (though not all that well) that my oranda mostly ignores. I was hoping I could move it over and get it growing in the sand and add some other things. I just don't know how deep the sand should be to allow roots to grow. I can see already that the amount of sand I've put in is too much, so will need to remove some before I go any further. Thanks so much for the tips!
  4. I'm setting up a 29g for my oranda (moving him from a 15g). I am using Carbsea torpedo beach sand. I'm planning to plant it, too, with anubias, java ferns, and other low-light, low maintenance plants. But I've read that sand can get compact and develop dead spots. So was wondering if I should mix it with some Imagitarium (Petco) snowy river gravel. Any opinions on mixing gravel and sand for a goldfish tank? Thanks! Beth
  5. Hey all First, my fish are both healthy so no emergency. But I'm new to fishkeeping and like to be prepared. I see many references to hospital and quarantine tanks. Do you all keep an empty tank on hand and fill it quick with conditioned tap water when you need it? Or do you keep a cycled, fishless tank at all times "just in case"? Thoughts? Thanks, Beth
  6. Hi all, First post to this forum in a long, long time. After 5 years or so, I'm trying to get my aquariums up and running again and have found my memory is kinda foggy. I am in the process of doing a fishless cycle. I'm using fish food to produce ammonia, and am afraid I didn't use enough to produce the right results. Here are the tank basics: - Size: 5g tank w/ aqueon quietflow E filter, and aqueon 10w mini heater - Future fish: betta - Substrate: Caribsea Eco Complete - Plants: 1 live Anubias congensis (TopFin brand, Petco I think) - Other organics: 1 7" cattapa leaf, small hunk of driftwood - Cycle starter: Omega One Betta Buffet pellets Cycle Tracking: As you can see in the screen cap of my tracker, the ammonia only went up to 0.5, then it dropped back to 0. But, it did result in nitrites and then a stable nitrate reading. Can I call it cycled? Or do I need to juice it up with more food again so the ammonia goes higher, like 10 or 20, and drops back to 0 before I call it fish ready? Thanks all. Appreciate any input. Beth
  7. I do - I fill up my buckets with water and then run an air stone in them for about 12 hours. That usually gets the pH to stabilize at 8.2-8.4.
  8. Well, Davina is quite nice I think :-) Okay, so s/he looks much better. I don't see the darkness around the abdomen that I saw last night and s/he doesn't seem as budgy. I looked over Helen's pics and tried to sex him/her. I don't see any of those stars, but couldn't get a real good look at the shape of the vent. s/he apparently is quite shy because coming anywhere near my hand to allow me to poke and prod was out of the question. So I don't have any answer for the whether or not the abdomen is firm or squishy, or if Dave is Davina. But, the positive is that s/he looks better...so unless something goes south quickly I would say my mini-crisis is over Back to enjoying a restful gaze at the tank.
  9. Hi Alex, Well this morning he doesn't look any worse. Physically, he looks about the same - maybe slightly better? he's still a bit round around the belly, maybe a little darker in that area, too, like last night. His behavior is better. He isn't erratic and darting around the tank so I take that as a good sign. Here are answers to your questions... 1. Are you sure Dave is a male? No - I am not really sure how to tell the difference. 2. Is Dave floaty at all? Sometimes, but especially so yesterday. Maybe I should switch him over to gel food permanently...? 3. Have you tried to feel his tummy? No I haven't. If I do, what is it I'm feeling for? 4. Try using something other than peas, such as cooked baby spinach or green beans. I have some beans in the freezer so will blanch one and mush it up shortly. Alex - can you be my mathematician again just in case he does start to pinecone I want to be ready. He's in a 15g tank with no other meds added. Per Helen's previous advice, I want to do a 400mg/10gal dose of metro. I have Metro+ on hand. The hikari people say that "One capful (9.7g) of Metro+ will give a 5 mg/liter concentration of the active ingredient [metronidazole]" If I did my math right, and I don't usually, I would add about 19.4g to the 15 gal tank. Is that anywhere in the ballpark? Would I also start the epsom salts if he starts to pinecone? Thanks so much for checking my logic!
  10. * Ammonia Level (tank): 0 * Nitrite Level (tank): 0 * Nitrate level (Tank): 10 * Ammonia Level (Tap): 0 * Nitrite Level (Tap): 0 * Nitrate level (Tap): 0 * Ph Level, (Tank) (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines): 8.4 * Ph Level, (Tap) (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines): 7.4 Other Required Info: * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API drops * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Aquaclear 70 * What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime * Water temperature? 73.4 * How often do you change the water and how much? every 7-10 days, about 70% * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 4 days ago (thurs, 9/6) * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 15 gal, 1.5 years * How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 goldfish, about 3 inches * What do you feed your fish and how often? ProGold, 4-5 pellets/day * Any new fish added to the tank? no * Any medications added to the tank? no * List previous issues experienced (dropsy, SBD, etc.) Ulcer followed by Dropsy about 3 months ago (late May) * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Appears bloated, vent is stretched; no visible pineconing but don't want to wait too long like the last time * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? swimming a little erratic for him * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. Refer to my previous thread from May with details about metro+ and epsom salts used to treat dropsy, * You can really help us to identify with the concern more accurately if you post some pictures and a short video. I noticed this evening that Dave appears bloated. I have two pics that I took tonight. I don't see any pineconing; he's just a more rounder than usual. I also noticed that his vent is stretched, but couldn't get a pic, and he's a little bit erratic in his swimming behavior - darting around a bit when he usually just swims rather leisurely through the tank. I'm hoping this is just bad constipation so I just fed him two peas in hopes that I can catch this early and remedy. Assuming this is constipation, Is there anything else I should do at this point? It has me worried because in May we went through a rough patch where he started out bloated and then it turned to dropsy. I've read that if they dropsy once, they'll dropsy again. If I start to see the beginning of any pineconing, should I start metro+ again?
  11. Phew! I was thinking, "for crying out loud - what now?!?!" Definitely didn't want him getting sick with me heading out of town. I will finish my WC tonight, and then do one more before I head out of town tomorrow and then another as soon as I get back. Thanks for the quick response. Youse guys are wonderful!
  12. * Ammonia Level = 0 * Nitrite Level = 0 * Nitrate level = 10 * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) = 8.4 * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) = 7.2 then rises to 8.4 after aerating Other Required Info: * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API drops * Water temperature? 73.6 * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 15g, 1.5 yrs * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Aquaclear 70 * How often do you change the water and how much? weekly, 70% * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 5 * How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 fancy tail GF about 3 inches long + tail * What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime * What do you feed your fish and how often? Progold, but has been eating Metromeds since 5/24 b/c of dropsy episode * Any new fish added to the tank? No * Any medications added to the tank? Not since 5/29 * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. ​5/9 Noticed tiny bump on right side. 5/13 Started bottom sitting 5/19 Cyst broke, salted to 0.1% 5/20 Salted to 0.2% 5/21 Started pineconing, did massive water change and then added epsom salts 5/22 Gave one dose of API General Cure (combo of metro and prazi), continued epsom 5/23 Switched to Metro+, continued epsom 5/24 Appetite returned, started feeding Metromeds, continued Metro+ and epsom 5/29 Discontinued epsom and Metro+, continued Metromeds; will continue metromeds until 6/24 * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? 6/11: noticed slight darkening of very edges of tail fins, a little bit of raggedness on edges of tail fins and on dorsal fin. Searched Kokos and found references to salting possibly being the cause. Darkening started to disappear. 6/17: red streaks appeared in center of tail fins * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Behavior is pretty normal for this rather sickly fish So as you can see from above, we recently went through an episode of dropsy and I'm still feeding Metromeds. The water parameters are fine, his behavior is good (for him), so why the sudden appearance of the red streaks? I will be doing a large water change tonight. Because of his recent dropsy, I'm thinking I should not salt the tank. Should I be doing anything else? Unfortunately, I have to go our of town tomorrow for 3 days so the DH will be in charge.
  13. I've been traveling for work again so my apologies for the delay in responding. I finally figured out why I couldn't upload my pic - b/c I've exceeded my max limit. Doh! So here's a link to the image on photobucket This was taken on June 1, 14 days after the cyst on his right broke,and about 10 days after the second cyst on his left appeared. I did see a small amount of white stuff ooze out of the 2nd cyst but it did not drain at all like the first one did. The area around the 1st cyst is much reduced, but there's still a bit of a bump and some raised scales around the 2nd. I can't tell if they're raised because the cyst is still there or because those scales aren't going to return to normal due to the dropsy. I am continuing the metromeds. I'm on day 16 of metromeds (started on May 24th), and will continue for a total of 30 days. Do you think I should do another 5-day round of Metro+ in the water, too, to see if that will reduce the bump? Or wait until Day 30 of the metromeds and then reassess?
  14. Good news! I haven't seen him hanging out at the filter tube at all since my last post - a good sign! He's still eating well, swimming about, and picking through the gravel. The cyst on his left is still there...or at least the scales are still raised around it. (I have a pic but keep getting an error when I try to upload it - it's only 22k so I don't think it's too big). I do have a somewhat urgent question though - I was just reading the post about Delilah pineconing in the 911 forum. In it, Helen mentioned that the epsom never goes away and after 8 days must be stopped or you risk anemia. Looking at my spreadsheet I see I went 10 days with the epsom in the water , and on the 10th day I only did a partial water change - about 65-70%. I did another partial WC since then, so there's still a trace of epsom in the water . I have the water prepped to do another 70% change this morning, so more will be removed - but there will still be some present. My math skills suck so I have not idea how much. Is this okay? or should I do a 100% to get rid of any traces altogether? That's it for today! Hope all you folks and your GFs are doing well! Beth
  15. Just thought I'd pop in with an update. While Dave still spends a lot of time bottom sitting he is swimming around more, too, so I think he's making progress. A few times though I've found him right next to the filter intake - I wouldn't say stuck to it but definitely a little too tired to fight it. So I don't think he's close to normal yet, and will keep monitoring him. I'm doing water changes of about 10gals every other day now, no epsom replacement. I discontinued the metro+ after 5 days (as per the label), but am continuing to feed the metromeds, which he's eating hungrily . Today is day 10 of the metromeds, so 4 more days to go. Then, I'll start him on the gel food I made. He's still producing really long poop segments, but they're well formed and the color of the food - so I'm assuming that's okay. I can still see a little bump on his left side where the original cyst appeared and burst, and also on on his right side that developed afterwards. The water parameters are staying within the normal ranges. So all in all, things look good. I will be out of town for most of next week, so I will do a large water change before I go and hope for the best! Thanks again to everyone who offered advice and encouragement. This has really been a learning experience.
  16. Just thought I'd check in quick with an update. Continuing the daily water changes with the redose of metro and epsom salts. Most recent water parms are looking good: Ammonia - 0 Nitrites - 0 Nitrate - < 5 pH 8.4 He's eating his metromeds, and continuing to leave me nice presents on the bottom of his tank to vac up :-) He seems to be swimming a bit more than bottom sitting, although I haven't had long periods of time to watch over the last couple of days. I don't want to say we're out of the woods yet, but I do think the trees are thinning.
  17. :alc Thanks! Couldn't have made it this far without you.
  18. Morning report: Dave is still with us, pooping up a storm with very long but otherwise healthy looking poo. No listing or sideways swimming at all. The two bumps that were the cysts are almost imperceptible, though the scales around them look just a tiny bit irritated. This is day 6 of epsom salts and day 5 of metro+. He keeps plugging along.
  19. I think you might be right about the constipation. He must have been because you would not believe the size of the poo that just came out of him! It must be 3 inches long. But it's the color of the food and well formed. I just fed him a couple of the metromed pellets but will give him a pea, too, to keep things moving along. After being away all day again today, things are looking reasonably good tonight :-) Fingers remain crossed.
  20. I have been watching Dave for quite some time now waiting for him to do what he was doing last night...and he just isn't. At most, he might lean ever so slightly to the left when resting. But mostly, what is different, is that he seems to get pulled around the tank by the current rather than just sitting still in one place. I did take a vid of that and uploaded it. You can see it here. Last night, he was laying completely on his side. But now, other than having the current pull him, he looks pretty good. So maybe it was only a temporary setback...?
  21. Well, I'm happy to report that Dave is still with us this morning. But so are the buoyancy issues. I have read that dropsy can result in problems with the swim bladder. Is that what's going on? I forgot to plug my phone in last night so I need to give it a little bit of juice before I can take/upload a vid. I do match the water temps within less than 1 degree difference (use a digital thermometer to be sure), and do also match the pHs. I don't have a heater in the tank. I have seen the temps fluctuate between 69 in the morning and 73-4 in the late afternoon depending on how warm it is in the house. Should I put a heater in to try to stabilize it? Helen you had asked some questions in your post yesterday. Here are the answers: how often do you clean the filter(s)? I used to clean them monthly, keeping track in a spreadsheet b/c my memory has disappeared. But due to the house move and the illness/passing away of my father-in-law it had been 3 months before I cleaned it this last time. The dropsy appeared about a week after the filter cleaning, but he had been doing some bottom sitting prior to the cleaning. and when you do clean them, what is the process? I clean the filter during a routine water change. I pull out the little plastic sling that holds the media sponges and the ceramic rings, and set them all in a bucket of the old tank water. Then, I swish the bag of ceramic rings about in the water, rustling them around to shake them up and release any particles that might be stuck. I do essentially the same with the sponges, swishing and squeezing them for a short time under the water. And finally, I clean off the sling. Then I disassemble the filter intake tube and clean it with a large pipe cleaner, again using the old tank water. Finally, I remove the filter box itself from the tank, empty out the contents into the sink and wipe it down using the old tank water again. how about the rest of the set up? When I do a water change, I use my siphon tube to clean what little gravel remains in the tank. Then as the water continues to siphon, I use a paper towel to wipe down the ugly brown algae that always seems to form in the cracks and crevices and on the walls. It had been a particularly heavy build-up this last time because it had been almost 3 weeks since I cleaned the tank. This was when my FIL became quite ill and ultimately passed away, so I had only been doing water changes and not really dealing with the rest of it. Quite a bit of it was floating in the water as I did the water change so I'm sure he was exposed to a bit of gunk. I also remove the ceramic ornament and clean it in the tank water. when you wc, do you wipe down all internal walls? hollow ornaments? Yes do you have driftwood? Not in the tank, but I do have some. It brought the pH down so low in my test bucket of water (to like 7.2ish if I remember) that I was afraid to put it in the tank lest I cause a pH crash. I will upload vids as soon as I get enough juice in my phone.
  22. I have been observing him now for about 40 minutes. While the listing to the side isn't as bad as it was, it's still evident. Puzzled.
  23. I do believe we've had a reversal, though I'm not sure exactly what's going on. I came home tonight, about 40 minutes ago, and he seemed to be okay. He was resting in the corner per usual and started swimming around when I turned on the light. Looked pretty good actually. Then, I fed him two pellets of metromeds which he gobbled. I then started my water change. As I sat there siphoning out the water, I watched him start to list to the left as he rested in the corner. Then, when he swam, he appeared to be having issues staying upright. He hasn't flipped over completely, but he is spending more time on his side than upright. Sigh. And things were going well. Is it possible I didn't soak the metromeds long enough and they're creating some buoyancy issues? Or is it something worse...?
  24. Dave continues to improve! This morning he swam to the top when I fed him and did several laps around the tank. I'm also seeing more poo although it is white and somewhat hollow, almost like a casing. But at least something is being expelled. His vent is still stretched and he is still somewhat oddly shaped, but scales are down and eyes are no longer bulging. I have to spend most of the day away today but I'm pretty confident when I return that he'll look even better. Thank you again Alex and Helen for guiding me through this - there is no way I could have done it alone. And thanks also to all those who have been silently pulling for him. I have learned much about the health of goldfish and the kindness of people.
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