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  1. I had an issue with strange zits, sores and tumors- and found out my water is too soft. I'd suggest raising your KH and GH parameters, this helped me. Goldfish require quite hard water with a high mineral count, something that is not typically discussed. I have a cichlid tank and use that buffer and cichlid salt for my goldfish tank- at the same parameters directed for cichlids. Do this gradually to acclimate the fish, good luck. This is preventative- not a cure.
  2. I have had issues in the past with bacterial infections in my goldfish that seemed to come out of nowhere despite excellent water quality. Random cysts, bloat- I was really discouraged! What REALLY helped- that no one ever seems to mention in these forums- is upping the GH and KH of my water. I keep my GH now at 150 PPM- about the same as a cichlid tank. As a matter of fact that is what I use to treat my water, to add essential minerals to it, is the Cichlid Salt and Buffer sold commercially here in the US. So my advice moving forward- as a preventative- keep your gold fish in hard water. Of course never make any changes in water chemistry all at once.
  3. Here are some links- speaking to the theory of using activated carbon and its contribution to HitH disease. They speak to carbon stripping out essential minerals from the water, and not with contributing bad bacteria to the water. Activated carbon that is left in the tank makes a good home for bio filtration. My feeling is not to use it unless its got a specific purpose- like removing old medication from a system. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=16+2160&aid=2586 http://pets.thenest.com/need-change-charcoal-aquarium-filter-12767.html Charcoal filters are generally regarded as safe, but some controversy surrounds their long-term use. Charcoal filters are great at sucking bad stuff out of the water, but they can also absorb trace minerals that are important for healthy fish and plants. Lack of certain nutrients in the water can lead to head and lateral line erosion, a condition also called hole-in-the-head disease that can be fatal to fish. Discus fish and oscars are particularly susceptible. Having a carbon filter doesn’t mean your fish will get the disease, but over-filtration of aquarium water can be a contributing factor. Charcoal will also suck up most medication, so remove this form of filter before medicating your tank.
  4. A couple of other questions to ask yourself after you get through these initial problems: Are you running activated carbon on a regular basis?- And- what is your GH and KH on the aquarium? -Running (freshly changed) activated carbon continuously can cause long term complications like hole in the head disease. -Goldfish like hard water that has a good mineral base- too soft of water can open them up to being more susceptible to bacterial attacks. I had an issue with ulcers and weird cysts on goldfish that I'd had for over a year- because I was not maintaining a high enough GH. (12 dh or higher for Goldfish)
  5. Yes Goldfish do better at higher ph levels and are less likely to have disease complications. They also like harder water, something that is often overlooked. 12-18 dh (210-320 ppm hardness) is good for them. Sudden drops in ph (from adding vinegar) can be very stressful on your fish- I don't recommend doing this.
  6. Hmm a nitrate 20 ppm seems manageable, I am in agreement with a previous poster and am thinking that is not the cause. Have you ruled out constipation, flukes or even anchor worms? I would feed him some shelled peas- to rule out constipation.
  7. the ribbon thing is f'n annoying I will weigh in on that- I think it is spamvertising! As far as bottom sitting- I brought home Anchor Worms from a fish bought at a big box retailer. The little monsters got in to my other resident fish's gills and mouths making them lethargic and bottom sit. I treated with a very safe insecticide called Dimilin-X found on Ebay for $25- and the problem gone / done in 3 days. Look in your fish's mouth and its outer body area for anything that looks hair like- not saying it is anchor worm- but be sure to rule them out. And yes get a much bigger tank.
  8. I added a UV sterilizer to my 55 gallon goldfish tank last week- it was $40 on D Fostersmith- I can't believe how much clearer the water is. This is not a replacement for water changes- but does combat green water keeps water crystal clear. On a side note someone mentioned using Prime with large water changes. This is important as it will also neutralize any ammonia released in the dechlorination process.
  9. A suggestion. Goldfish do well in high PH and hard water- and are more susceptible to bacterial issues in more acidic conditions. After you get your other issues with stocking figured out in the long term -work on getting you KH between 70-120ppm and GH 200-400. Adjusting your KH up will in turn increase your PH, a Ph above 7.5 to 8.2 is preferred- a ph of 6.8 is too acidic for goldfish. I use African Cichlid salt mix and buffer for my goldfish tank- and it's just fine. For increasing KH you can simply add sodium bicarbonate plain old baking soda. Do it slow 1/8tsp per 10 gallons till PH is attained. Symptoms of low pH or KH levels may include; gasping at the surface, reddened gills, bulging eye, pop eye, bleeding from eye indicating a pH crash.
  10. This is terrible- I am not certain....My first reaction is that there was a large amount of free NH3 (ammonia)- released when your water was dechlorinated. Sodium Triphosphate is the typical compound used to neutralize chlorine and chloramines. However without a binding agent to convert it to NH4, ammonium (this binding agent is found in Prime)... Sodium Triphosphate can be detrimental in the amount of ammonia it cuts loose from the Chloramine molecule. With smaller water changes its OK- but with larger changes the amount of Ammonia can be too much for the system. Goldfish are pretty hardy creatures- they may have survived 2 days of ammonia toxicity...? http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/chlorine-chloramine One very important note should be made if chloramines are present. Sodium thiosulfate will neutralize the chlorine portion of chloramine. However, the free ammonia that is released in this reaction gives rise to an obvious problem since ammonia in small amounts is toxic to aquarium life. It would be far better to use products that specifically claim to safely remove chloramines. Na2S2O3 + 4NH2Cl + 5H2O ----> Na2SO4 + 2H+ + 4HCl + 4NH3
  11. No chemical for me either, unless its an emergency to remove toxins or left over medications from the water. I read on the 'Internets' that overuse of Carbon can contribute to Hole in the head disease. Source below for what its worth. For filters that contain carbon built in them- I try and strip it out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_and_lateral_line_erosion
  12. I would ditch the UG filter- reverse flow or not. Unless the tank is torn down completely every 3-4 months- detritus is going to build up in under that filter screen, causing water quality problems. They're serious a PITA.
  13. I had to rehouse a Ranchu that was introduced to my tank- she was continually beating up my 2 year old, larger Ryukin. My Ryukin is pretty passive and gets along with her tank mates; two juvenile telescopes and another 2 year old Oranda. I think it just depends on the personality of the fish. I might try and reintroduce the Ranchu back in the tank at some point to see if everyone can get along.
  14. Could be one of the following: Ammonia Spike: -An ammonia spike from your declorinator reacting with the chlorine- releasing NH3 in to your water. http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/Prime.html Not enough dechlorinator: This source states that sodium thiosulphate should be double dosed for water sources that contain chloramine. Not clear if your water supply has this in it or not- but safe to say that it probably does as that is the trend with municipalities. I definitely not use less than what the directions tell me. http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/chlorine-chloramine Sudden death after water changes also can result from PH drops and Nitrate drops (dropping Nitrate suddenly can kill fish). But it does not sound like these were the culprit based on your tank parameters. My novice advice is to use Seachem Prime for these really large water changes. It takes care of the two C's in the water and locks up any NH3 released during the dechlorination process.
  15. I wanted to start a new post about Anchor Worms and my experiences with various treatments, as I think it will be a help to others. There is not much general information out there online about Anchor Worms (Lerrnaea) as they have not been as common of a problem as say Ich or Flukes. I believe that there will be more of a need-- especially with outbreaks taking place at large retailers- and those purchases ending up in the home aquarium. My topline judgment, for those who do not want to read my pontifications, is: If you see one anchor worm on your Goldfish- Please Order the Dimilin X Pond treatment immediately, so you have it, as the infestation will get worse. Its $25 American Dollars on EBay. (Credit for this information to Shihpuff who has also posted on this forum). Most likely the inside of the fish’s mouths and gills will also have the worms attached to them in- either in the invisible larvae or adult form. (Gross!) Dimilin is the only treatment that has worked for me- more on that and the treatments that did not work- later. Anchor Worms are brought in from the outside- and fish do not need to be stressed or be in poor water conditions to have them. I was foolish not to quarantine a fish from Pet Smart which then infected my entire tank. My water conditions were perfect, and I had a very light bio load, so there were no other stressors in my tank to make this parasite worse. I, in turn, made the situation worse, and lost time with a misdiagnosis. Some key observations that got me confused as to what it was I was dealing with: -An anchor worm infestation can mimic fluke-like symptoms- with bottom sitting fish, lethargy and a general sadness of the population. There is so much information on the web about flukes- with good reason- but that hype made me jump initially to the wrong diagnostic conclusion! -Even if you just see one or two Anchor Worms on the outside of the fish- the gills and inside of the mouth is also probably heavily infested- especially if your fish are showing lethargic behavioral symptoms. The invisible larvae also house themselves in the gills of fish, so if you have an adult AW in the tank, chances are you’ll have young Klingons that you cannot see festering in the gills. In sum- You may have them multiplying in areas that you cannot or did not think to previously observe! My Treatment Notes: -Fluke medicine (Prazi) and the API’s Parasite Guard will not address Anchor Worms, even if other sources they say they do. The API Parasite guard simply damaged my filters instead. I have Prazi on hand at least - if I should ever get flukes in my tank! -There is a solution on the market that treats the ‘conditions’ caused by Anchor Worms- but it does not take care of the worms themselves, Please read labels carefully! -Salinity was increased in my tank to 3 TSP / gal- (just under 3.5 of AQ Salt total cups for a 55 gal tank) while this helped with preventing infected wounds & secondary disease caused by the Anchor Worms- it did nothing to control the worm population or their spread. This is also a common statement/solution on the web- which did nothing for my situation. If I were to do it again I would still salt but probably at 1.5-2 tsp per gallon- as 3 tsp per gal is very hard on the bio filter. -The heat was turned up to 79F- to help speed the lifecycle of the worm, this probably made them spread faster- but I wanted them to move through their lifecycle so the treatments I was using would also work sooner on the eggs and future larvae, coming up through the ranks. I’d still recommend increasing the heat during treatments. -1 methylene blue dip was done per day on the fish at 1 TSP per 5 gallons for 30 minutes- I believe this helped with secondary bacterial/fungal prevention but it did nothing to eradicate the worms attached to the the gills, mouth and outer scales. I’d still recommend doing this for lethargic ‘sad’ fish as this helped pep them up a bit. Methylene blue is a mild anti-fungal/bacterial agent that also helps the fish with gill function and oxygen absorption. - Minn Finn, is a Peracetic acid based medication that is left in the tank for 30 min (up to an hour if the fish can handle it) with a neutralizing solution to clear the medication at the end of the treatment period. It states it will control Anchor Worms in 2-3 treatments. Nope, nope and nope. I used this as directed for 1 hour over 3 treatments/days as directed- and it simply did not work. This killed my bio filter from kinda dead -to D.O.A. Now my notes on Dimilin: Dimilin X is the only thing that worked on this parasite. Because Anchor Worms are crustaceans they go through several life stages where they molt their outer skeleton. Dimilin is an Insecticide, NOT a medication. This insecticide interrupts the molting cycle of the worm- not killing it right away- but killing it as it moves through its lifecycle and molts its exoskeleton. In my online ‘research’- it’s the only real guarantee out there for getting the job done. There are university studies done on it for aquatic agriculture. Dimilin is not going to be sold in a big box pet chain store- nor will it likely be in your local indie fish shop. I wouldn’t even try looking for it. You might find it at a specialty koi pond store, if there is one in your area. Its really marketed for larger ponds and for treating koi. The word ‘Insecticide’ sounds scary, but Dimilin is much safer to humans and fish than Formalin, Potassium Perm and other really harsh nasty treatments on the market. Please don’t waste your energy, money and time with other ‘cures’ that say they will work, you’ll just lose equity and valuable time. It’s also noted on the label that it will not stress or harm the bio filter in a system- another huge plus! I used Dimilin X- based on the dosage of 1 TSP per 500 gallons. Have a friend in the hobby? Split the cost as it’s a very very concentrated formula and again is formulated for ponds. I calculated this to a little bit less than 1/8 TSP for my 55 gallon tank! The first 24 hours after treating with Dimilin there was no noticeable change in behavior or the number of attached Anchor Worms- this is understandable as the insecticide is systemic and focuses on exoskeleton formation. It will not kill the parasite immediately. About 30 hours (1.5 days) later- the fish started acting more alert and more like themselves, with more active swimming, attentiveness and less sadness. I caught the fish and noticed that the Anchor Worms attached to the fish were still slightly attached- but appeared to be dead. The ends of the worms closest to the fish’s body looked to me to be almost disintegrated- 'slimey' instead of solid. The worms pulled off with very little effort or discomfort to the fish. When pulling a live anchor worm off a fish- you need a strong tug and the will to pull them out! 48 hours later (2 full days) the fish are acting almost normal- with active swimming and the desire to eat. One of the fish- hit the hardest with bite wounds is still being dipped in meth blue on a daily basis. A couple of worms are still attached to one of the fish but appear to be hanging on dead. 60 hours later (2.5 days) the fish are acting normal- no sign of the attached worms on anyone that I can see. So finally in summary!- I spent two weeks trying to combat this problem with medications/methods that did not work. Dimilin eradicated the pestilence in less than 3 days!
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