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  1. That's what I always thought, that having a carcass in water like that, for any amount of time, would contaminate the water and other things in the water, so I always did the full tear-down. But then, after reading about cycling, I thought, maybe the old bits of food or waste would actually help an empty tank stay healthy, or allow it to cycle faster, rather than starting new and going through making the good bacteria grow if it was already present. You all know what I'm talking about...doing a full tank tear-down can be so time-consuming, especially if you have a good-sized tank, I am sure I couldn't have been the only one to think, "is there a faster way?!?" as I sweat over a tank, scrubbing and and squeaking and rinsing and scrubbing some more, picking gravel out the strangest places and wondering how one fish could be so dirty! LOL Anyhoo, I shall keep doing as I have always done. No biggie! I hopefully won't have to worry about it for a long time anyway. Thanks guys!
  2. Thank you! I'm pretty sure Otis will be here for a good while yet, but it's always good to know these things before hand!
  3. I apologize for not checking in and reporting my vet's findings on Monday....I have been working an awful lot, and have frankly been exhausted! Anyways....Otis's Tumor is officially Benign. *YAY* Thanks again, everyone, for all your help!
  4. I have a question about cycling a tank. Now, this is for a future consideration, since I am curious. Generally, when the last of my Lovelies leave this world, I am left without any fish since most of my fish are like Otis...large and in charge and the only one left. In the past, after they leave me for the Big Tank in The Sky, I would tear down the tank, scrub (no soap, but rigorous scrubbing with a sponge just for the tank) it up, clean all ornaments, replace all tubing, stones filters, etc., then re-start the tank as if it were a new tank. I did this because I thought that anything remaining in the tank, either old food bits, or bacteria, or any remains expelled by having the carcass of my deceased one in there should be removed, so that nothing could make any new fish I get sick. I would do a fish-less cycle, not adding any fish for about a month, when all my readings on my tests showed a proper environment. At that time, I would then add new fish. Now, I have doing a lot of reading, about both a fish-less cycle and a cycle that includes fish. My question is this: Should my Swimmer-Son leave me, is this a good thing to do, or would his old water and the subsequent stuff left behind be OK to add new fish to right away, or 24 hours later, or something to that degree? Should I treat the tank as if it still had fish in it, do a water change, and then add new fish? Is the stuff left behind actually beneficial to any new fish I might get, and help keep the tank healthy, or is it best to break it down and start over, like I've done in the past? I'm not really worried about the time-consumption it takes to do this, I'm all about trying to do things right by my little swimmers, but I just wonder if I've been doing it "the hard way".
  5. OK...I have news. The vet came out and examined Otis. It is an external tumor. Due to his age, the vet thinks it's probably genetic-related, and as such removing it would be rather pointless since most likely it would come back. He did say though, that while ugly, the tumor is in an ideal spot....it does not hinder him moving, eliminating, or eating, and that he is an otherwise very healthy fella. He advised against removing it at this time, telling me that the tumor is not really affecting his health or happiness. Since there are no other fish in there with Otis, and that I keep his tank in such good condition, there is nothing to bother him by picking at the growth, and that I don't have very many ornaments means it's less likely it would catch on something and tear off/open. He did say though, if it gets larger, bursts, or should I notice Otis rubbing against things as if he is trying to rub it off himself, that removing it would be ideal at that time. He did tell me that Otis is fully large enough to handle the operation successfully, and that he would be confident to do it, but at this time, fish don't react to tumors like this as a mammal would, he likely doesn't even realize he has a tumor. The Vet believes that while esthetically, it is not pleasing to look at....Otis himself is just fine. He did take a biopsy, and will let me know by Monday what kind of tumor it is, but he told me that nearly all tumors like Otis' are benign, which put me at ease. Should rubbing/bursting/growth happen, I would have to bring Otis to his clinic where he would use a anesthetic and a laser to remove it, saying that a laser is cleaner and easier than a scalpel, and that it would allow him to avoid using sutures, since it's a clean, digital cut. This operation would also allow for quicker healing time. Surgery would last maybe two minutes. He would then be revived and sent home on antibiotics. He did also give me the option to remove it anyway, but he made it clear that he doesn't think it is something that needs to be done at this time. The man has been a practicing "Wet Vet" for a very long time, he tends to the giant Koi in the local Reid Park Zoo, as well as many of the home-owned ponds and larger pet goldfish, like Otis. I believe him....he handled Otis so expertly, taking him out to examine the tumor and timing squirts of water form a special pump he brought with him onto Otis so he could breathe, on a special table and tray he brought with him, while he looked at him and slipped a needle into the growth so fast I almost didn't see him do it...the whole thing lasted less than a few minutes. He placed Otis back in his tank, and Otis was not distressed *at all*. So, I decided, since the vet seemed to really know what he was doing, and as long as Otis doesn't care about his growth, I don't, I only want him to be happy. If all the thing means is that he's "ugly", then so be it, I will never think he is ugly, and that is all that counts. So I will watch and wait, and I've got the Vet on speed dial, just in case. The surgery is actually pretty cheap, only about $600 bucks, so I am at peace knowing that if Otis needs it, it can be done at the drop of a dime. The vet indicated that he can live for a very long time, years, even with the tumor because of the kind of tumor it is, because tumors do not grow on fish the same way they grow on mammals....which surprised me. I am so used to hearing "tumor" and thinking "death", because that is what that means with other pets...that fish aren't nearly as affected or bothered by them unless they are in bad spots that would prevent eating and eliminating is just wild to me. While I am devastated he has this thing (because really, who wouldn't want their fishies to be tumor-free?), I am happy to know that I should have Otis for a long time yet. I shall let you all know the full results on Monday when the tests on the biopsy come back. I want to thank all of you who have supported me, taken the time to help me, and for your knowledge....without you, I might have gone on, just freaking out, not knowing how to find answers, or get help, and spent everyday waking up thinking that this is the day I find him gone. My burden has been relieved and it is thanks to all of you. Thank you for this forum, for existing, and for being there and willing to help newbies like me! I will stick around...I like this place, and I want to learn more!
  6. Oh, of-course I'll keep all of you updated! In truth, I'm just happy there are people who could just tell me what it might be! I am afraid it is a tumor, but I'll cross that bridge on Friday. Sometimes having no idea what it could be is worse than knowing what it is. If you know what it is, you can do something about it. When it grew into this thing, something I have never seen on a fish, I was over my head and needed help from others who are more experienced. Thank you all for your input, comments and knowledge! Now, in my original post,I did not have an ammonia level number. Hubby came home from work, and he brought me a test by API Aquarium Pharmaceudicals. The level according to the chart is 0ppm. I try to monitor his environment very closely because I know Goldies are such dirty fish and are ammonia factories. I ran out of drops a while ago and hadn't tested for it since, so at the very least, I'm glad I have one back, although foolishly I had figured that if the levels of everything else were safe, the ammonia would be too. I really should know better than that. *sigh* I'm off to find something about how Goldfish react and heal to surgery so I can be prepared to help him if it comes to that...thanks again everyone!
  7. Thank you Vee! He is my pride and joy! My little Swimmer-son! You all do have a point..you would need to make sure that the stand it's on is very sturdy...this TV set is one solid, extremely thick metal-and-plastic mold. It was made to survive anything short of a meltdown! LOL The stand is molded as part of the TV, they aren't separate parts, it's definitely not common. I've had this tank for 16 years, and moved it across country...twice. It's solid, heavy and very sturdy, which is why when it is up and running, I don't move it without help. When it's full, it stays put. I can remove just the tank at will though, it is not attached to the set, but rather sits inside it. The only thing I have ever had to replace is the Aquarium flip-top once (broke it), lights and filters/aerators etc. The tank is the original tank I bought for it all those years ago.
  8. Thanks for the compliments everyone! @ Vee: Otis is the only fish in there. It's a Twenty Gallon tank, and he has reached maximum adult size, but for more than one fish like him, I do believe it would be too small. It would depend on the breed and whatnot as to how many fish it can actually hold, otherwise. A School of Neon Tetras would do nicely in the tank, for example, if you want to put a bunch of fish in there. It is deceptive because a good quarter of the tank is hidden behind the panel with the knobs on it. If you look, you can see that the actual lid of the tank is as long and wide as the TV set itself, but the viewing part is much smaller. He often hangs out behind that panel, making it look like there aren't any fish in there at all! LOL
  9. I have been seeing this more and more in pet stores around my area, and I thought I'd ask. I keep seeing Betta's living with Goldfish. The places I have seen this have been from stores that specialize in fish though,not in any big-chain store. I would hope that if one works in a specialty fish-store, one would know more than the average bear, but who knows? When I did ask about it, one employee told me that it was safe, because, "Betta's don't consider Goldfish pretty enough to be a threat, so they don't attack", however, I have found me here a group of folks who know their fish, so maybe I can get a better, more educated answer then, "They live together just fine". I wondered how, since Betta's are Tropical and need warmer water, don't live very long, and need different nutritional needs...not just that males can be aggressive...? Has anyone else seen this? I don't often give pet stores much credit (no offense to anyone who works in a pet store), just because of bad breeding ethics, and the tendency that most employees have no idea what they are talking about...they do dangerous things to pocket pets and fish all the time, I was just wondering if this is a new "bad" thing, or if it is actually a viable living companion for a Goldfish?
  10. So, on another thread where I discussed my sweet Otis, there were several comments made about my tank, and I would love to share with you how I made it so that others out there may enjoy Fish-O-Vision as well! It's fairly simple, the only hard part is finding the old TV-set. The tank: I made this when I was 18 with nothing more than a dry-wall saw, a bit of glue, and some serious elbow grease. Someone gave me the 18" TV set as a gift for my new apartment....problem was the thing didn't work. But it was such a neat set, an old 70's thing that came inside the molded case of plastic. I couldn't bear to throw it away, and then the idea of this tank came to me. I could always watch fish like they were TV, so why not have a Fish-O-Vision instead of a television? So, I pulled out some wire-clippers, and went to work disconnecting the wires on the knobs to the tube. Once I had the tube severed from the casing of the set itself, I pulled it out and dumped it off at a junk yard to be recycled. That left me with the plastic, molded TV case. I cleaned it all up, and measured the inside to find that a 20 gallon Tall tank would fit (24L x 12.5 W x 17T). I then went out an bought all the necessary equipment, the tank, filters, toppers, etc. Anyway, when I got the tank home, I measured the top of the TV set, and marked where I would need to cut. The tank alone fit, but the head-lamp, filter, and flip-top would not. I carefully marked out the area to cut, then I took a Dry-Wall hand-saw, covered my face with a mask to protect against the fine particles of plastic-dust, and began to saw. Looking back, I should have just used a hand-held electric band-saw, but at the time, the dry-wall saw was the only thing I had. To cut through that thick, hard plastic, you need something with a serrated edge. Using the hand-saw, it took me two days to cut through the top of the set, and left me with some really sore arms! After sawing was complete, I cleaned the set up again, and simply slid the aquarium right in. It fit perfectly. It is not held in there, it simply slides in and out when I want to remove the tank from behind. I took the old knobs, sans the wires that had originally hooked them to the original TV tube, and glued them back on the front to complete the look that one would be watching fish in a TV set. Last, I covered the back of the tank with a poster of under-water life, otherwise you just see straight through the tank to the wall/cords, tubes/etc. on the other side, which is fine of-course, but it pops the suspension of disbelief that one is actually watching fish inside a TV. That backdrop is key. Voila! Fish-O-Vision! The trick here is finding a suitable old TV-set to serve as the holder for your tank. Sets from the 70, 60 and 50's are ideal because it was a popular thing to sell an entire TV set within a molded casing. Some were set in wood, others, like mine, in hard plastic. You can find a lot of these sets at junk-yards, yard-sales, Craigslist, Ebay, thrift-shops, or even an estate sale. It is best if you find one where the TV tube has burnt out, or one that is broken, since you will only be throwing it away/recycling it. The drawback is....the thing is incredibly heavy when full. It is a monster to move, and worse to clean should you ever have to do a full scrub-down. Broken into parts, it is very light, but once it's put together and fully functional, there's no moving it without pulling something, since it becomes one entire unit after it is running. Should you decide to embark on a FV of your own, keep this in mind, and have a place that you can gain easy access to the tank, and in an area that you know you will leave it for a long time, or won't be moving anytime soon that is also ideal for the sunlight and whatnot needed for the health of the fish. I know that many of you have giant, beautiful aquariums/ponds, so you know already about what it takes to clean and move a big, heavy tank. Of-Course...there is nothing saying it has to be in a big TV set like this....a small set, like an old Black and White 13" could hold a five gallon for instance, and not bee heavy at all. I hope you enjoyed my little DIY tank-story and wish you all many hours of fun creating and watching your FV! It would be great to see others who have created an FV tank too!
  11. I truly appreciate all of you helping me with this! I had no idea there were vets for fish, so I scoured the telephone book last night and found one this morning...the only one in my city. I don't know why I never thought of that...my mice, dogs, cats and horses have a vet, why not my fishes?!? I feel rather dim! The really good news is this vet comes out to see the fish in their environment! He is coming to look at Otis here in the safety of his home on Friday. My husband is picking up an ammonia test for me today, so I should have those numbers for all of you later. If the vet thinks they can remove it, and that is should be removed, I will have it done. He's only 4, and has so much left! He's had it for a month, only recently has it gotten so large. We will see what the vet says. I know he was only a $6 fishy once upon a time, but he is priceless to me and I have absolutely no issues spending money to have him feel better. He is a life I am responsible for, and he cannot care for himself. I must do my best by him. I am so glad I found this forum! Do you think the water conditioner and Ammonia stuff I use caused this? If so, what can I do to stop using it and still keep a healthy tank for him? Are there special foods I can feed him that might help him retain the energy to live with/fight the tumor? Or heal faster should it be removed? @ Erin: Yes, he is about 7 inches, nose-to-tail. I keep remembering him when we wall teeny-tiny and looked dwarfed in that tank, back then he had friends, and they all looked so small...now, well, he IS a tank! It is a 20 Gallon though, a good quarter of the tank is covered up by the panel that has the knobs and stuff on it. On an unrelated note....for some time, poor Otis has been alone. I don't want to add any fish for him to have friends because that would seriously overcrowd him, but I feel bad because I know he should have company. Am I right to keep him alone, and would it be terrible to be kept alone for the duration of his life? It's obvious he would need a bigger tank should I decide to give him friends, and that's fine, and obviously he can't have any while he is sick, and while he recovers should the tumor be removed, but I'm thinking for the future for him. My next question regarding this is size...he's so large, I am assuming that should I get him friends (they would also be Moors) they would need to be as large as he is to create an optimal environment for peaceful co-habitation, right?
  12. Oh, dear. I was afraid of that. Is it the poor breeding that causes things like this? Or something I did? My poor, darling Otis. I know it seems silly (well, maybe not so silly, you all understand the love, I'm sure!), but I do dearly love my fishy. Is there anything I can do for him? Special food maybe? How long can they live with something like this? What kind of tumor is it? I am so sad. If there is anything I can do, please do not hesitate to let me know. I have just never seen this before in a fish. I will remove gravel at water-change time, thank you for that tip. It explains why I seem to vacuum too much! I know Goldfish are pretty hardy and can stand pH levels higher than other types of fish, I just want them to be happy. My next tank, I shall raise it for sure, but Otis has lived in this tank at 7.3 for all his life, I don't want to change him...not if he's sick with this tumor. On a side note...thank you for the compliment on my tank. Perhaps, if you like, in another section, I can tell you how to make one like it. It's very easy, and fun too. I always said I could watch fish like people watch TV...so I made a Fish-O-Vision (FV). Thank you again for all your help, and Stakos too!
  13. Thank you for answering so quickly!!! I will def. have to get an Ammonia test tomorrow, first thing! I must admit, although I've had them for years, all of them have been pet shop Moors, and I am still very much a newbie, other than the basics, consider me clueless and willing to learn. What would be a good way to change pH naturally? Out here, the water is hard and full of chemicals, it has a tendency to go high and stay high without help, but I don't want to hurt my fish! I do soak the flakes before feeding, and the pellets too. He has about 2 in. of gravel on the bottom, and a nice big open space that I bevel out for him, even though he tends to dig his own special spots. There are only a very few ornaments...I clean them out with the water change use a sponge and nothing else (I scrub like a fiend, basically). I don't have too many things in there because he is so big. What I mean is he sort of "sleeps" with his head up, belly resting against the glass of the tank. His fin is not plastered down, it is erect, then he'll "wake-up" and bounce off the side of the tank. He's done it for as long as I have had him. Here are a few pics: His Tank: Otis:
  14. I am terribly sorry if this is something that has come up before and is a common issue, but I am distressed and I apologize if I have missed the information elsewhere. As per my introduction, I have a single Black Moor male named Otis, whom I adore. About a month ago I noticed a strange lump growing near his tail-fins, on his lower left side. Now, over the last week, the thing has ballooned rapidly into a massive lump, and seems to have bubbled out into several different lumps on top of the original one. Basically, I'm freaking out....he's only 4 years old, and the thing looks painful and terrible, so I'm hoping for some clue as to what this lump is as I have never seen anything like this before, and hopefully some advice as to how to help my poor baby. OK...So to answer the questions: 1.) Ammonia Level: Unknown 2.) Nitrate level: (By Jungle Water Strips) around 20 3.) Nitrite level: Registers in the "safe" zone 4.) pH: I keep a little high at 7.3 or 7.4. GH is Hard, at about 150, Chlorine registers as "safe", KH is between 120 and 180. 5.)I keep his water temp at an even 73 degree at all times. He gets his light turned on during the day, and off overnight. 6.) He is in a 20 Gallon Tall, and is a little over 7 inches, nose to tail. The tank has been active his entire life of 4 years (he'll be 5 in July). This tank has been used many times over the years and has been running continuously for over a decade. 7.) He has a Whisper Power60 falling water/splashing "Large" dual filter system, and has a stone in the tank (he loves bubbles). 8.) He gets about a 25% water change once a week, and vacuumed. 9.) I changed his water just last night. 10.) He is the only fish in the tank....he is far too large for me to give him friends at this point, I do not want to risk overcrowding him. 11.)I do use Kordon NovaAqua+ Water Conditioner and AmQuel+ that removes Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia, Chlorine and Chloramines every water change since our tap water out here is chock full of chlorine and stuff and tends to send the strip-test off the charts on all levels. I also sometimes have to use pH Down from time to time, especially in the Summer. 12.) He gets fed peas, bits of spinach, meal worms, Top Fin sinking Goldfish Pellets and Tetra Flakes. He gets fed twice a day, once in the morning and a tiny snack at night. 13.) There has been no new fish anywhere near him since his friend Henry passed on over a year ago. 14.) No medications 15.) Other than the bulbous tumor-thing....he is perfectly healthy. No steaks, fungus,frayed fins, discoloration (other than on the lump) whatsoever. 16.) He is as active as ever, eating and eliminating normally, he swims as if nothing is attached to him. He is not behaving in any way different then he ever has, although, he does sometimes lay quietly on the floor, or seem to rest perfectly vertical, head up in a corner...but I don't know if that's weird...he's always done that, even as a little guy. I hope that's enough...please feel free to ask me anything more, I'm not sure what to put, but I want you all to have as much information as possible so i can help my beautiful Otis. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment...I truly appreciate it. I do have a picture if you would like to see it.
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