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McBarto

Fish won't move, but not visible signs of disease

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Hey guys! I've posted on this forum before about my other goldfish who unfortunately didn't make it. He had rips and tears in all of his fins and eventually died no matter how much we tried to help. This goldfish also had some rips in his fins, but he eventually recovered. We also had to cure him of ick too a few days after we got him, so he's a fighter. He's just a little 15 cent feeder fish, but we've grown quite attached.

Anyway, this just started yesterday after I did an algae cleaning in the tank to get all the gunk off the walls, then I put some anti-algae stuff in the tank (like I've done a hundred times before). Maybe a few hours later he started getting very lethargic and by last night he was just resting on the bottom of the tank and wouldn't get up, which he never does. I put some salt in the tank and he pepped up for a bit, but then went back down. This morning he was lying on the bottom again and wouldn't get up when I turned the light on or opened the lid. I put some food in there and he went after it and swam around a bit, but now his default position seems to be lying on the bottom. Now he'll get up and swim around every once in awhile, but he won't stay up. His dorsal fin is down, but that's not highly unusual for him. There is nothing visibly wrong with the fish. He looks absolutely healthy, so I don't think any pictures would help. I've done nothing out of the ordinary other than the algae cleaning, but I usually do that once ever couple weeks.

Here's some info:

Tank size: 16 gallons (I put 12 tablespoons of pickling salt in yesterday)

Filter Brand: Aqua Clear 30

-Change water every 2 weeks or so, just did a water change last weekend.

-Just 1 fish in the tank.

-I feed him Tetra goldfish flakes every morning.

-He has survived ick and torn fins

-He is roughly 2 years old (both of our other goldfish of the same kind only made it 2 years as well)

Tank water info:

Nitrite: 0-0.5 (hard to read)

Nitrate: 0-20 (hard to read)

PH: 6.5

GH: 180

KH: 240

Also, like I said, yesterday I put in 40 drops of API Algaefix and then 12 tablespoons of pickling salt later in the evening.

I use API 5 in 1 aquarium test strips. No I don't have the liquid measuring test kit thing and I really can't afford it right now.

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is 16 gal the main tank? is he the only fish in the tank? could you copy and paste the questions above and answer each question? it really does help us to know as much as we can.

would you be able to post a video of his behaviour? what's his poop like? is he eating? we don't recommend anything anti algae as they have harmful chemicals in them that really mess with the slimecoat and gills of goldfish. i learned this first hand from my own experiences.

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I thought I answered most of those questions already. 16 gallons is the main tank. There is just 1 goldfish in the tank. Yes he is eating. I haven't seen his poop recently. He usually poops in the afternoon so I won't be able to tell you until later. Basically his behavior is laying on the bottom, then he'll go swim around for a little bit every 10 minutes or so, but mostly he just lays on the bottom and breathes slowly. It would be a hassle to get a video up but I could do it if you REALLY need it.

Thank you for the quick reply.

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Helen is just trying to make sure she understands the situation before she can help. She's very good at what she does, but every bit of information you provide is very vital in her being able to diagnose and create a treatment plan for your pet. It's always helpful to have videos and pictures of your goldfish's behaviour and though I know it can be a pain sometimes with the uploading process for both youtube and photobucket in the end it's the best you can do for your fish! :)

Good luck with treatment hun, I'm sorry your fish isn't feeling very well!

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Your pH is rather low, but you are using probably the WORST strips made (and unlike other people here, I think some strips are quite good) so your pH reading is probably meaningless. Please take the fish out of the tank, replace all of the water with clean dechlorinated water and return the fish. Algaecides are notorious for killing fish, and any organism can become sensitive to a substance that didn't bother it before.

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Why are the strips so bad? I really don't use them often at all except when there's something wrong, so I never really thought to buy something high priced. He seems to be doing a lot better now. He's up and around and hasn't really sat on the bottom of the tank much. Should I still take all the water out? I won't use the algae stuff anymore. Thank you for telling me about that. I had no idea!

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The strips are not as accurate as the drops and if you're taking the time to test (especially if you're doing it when something is wrong), you want to have accurate results. :)

I would still change the water. Sounds like you'll want to remove that algaecide regardless . . .

Glad he's perking up.

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Your pH is rather low, but you are using probably the WORST strips made (and unlike other people here, I think some strips are quite good) so your pH reading is probably meaningless. Please take the fish out of the tank, replace all of the water with clean dechlorinated water and return the fish. Algaecides are notorious for killing fish, and any organism can become sensitive to a substance that didn't bother it before.

^ This exactly.

You should never ever need to resort to algicides. You can remove most of it yourself. Or you can enlist some helpers of the fishy or snail-y kind. Finally, there is UV to kill green water.

You definitely need to remove all the water ASAP, and do daily (or more) WCs until the fish hopefully recovers.

Shakaho, I know not all strips are inaccurate. I just think the drops are cheaper, and more consistently reliable. The strips are also weird in that they leave out one of the essentials.

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I looked on Amazon, and you can get the API Freshwater Master Test Kit for $19. You can test the critical parameters: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH hundreds of times with this kit. You can buy the API 5 in one strips for $10. You get 25 tests, but these do not include ammonia, so you also have to buy the ammonia strips. These are $13 for 25 tests.

The reason I said the API strips are the worst I have tried is that I typically got multicolored spots on most tests, which made them unreadable. The best strips I have used gave reliable and useful results, but don't give the precision of the drop tests. I like to keep some around, since they are convenient, but they are much too expensive to use regularly.

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Is there any way that you can take a sample of your water before you change it to be tested at a local pet store? If you could also take a sample of your tap to be tested that would be great too.

This would be helpful in determining if your Ph is indeed that low - in which case it needs to be addressed, and if there is any ammonia/nitrite in your tank.

As Alex and Shakaho have said the drop test kit is truly cheaper in the long run, tends to be easier to read and more consistently accurate, and comes with all the things you need to test for, including ammonia, which the strips do not.

You need to be changing your water more often than every 2 weeks. A weekly 50-80% change at minimum is necessary for a goldfish. If you are not cycled - which it is not clear from your test results at this point if you are or not, you will need to change your water more often. Having a reliable test kit that has all basic water parameters is essential in determining this.

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