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one sick little red oranda... need advise


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i'm gona try to post a video i took of this little guy. all my water conditions are normal, its just this one little fish that has been sick for a long time and everyone else is great. i got him at petsmart in mid march.. i thought he was a little "different" looking and maybe consitpated looking but seemed like i could just feed him peas and seemed healthy otherwise, but im now convinced that he is stunted and thats why he looks kind of weird in his face/eyes, and am wondering if all his health conditions are because of it or not, or if i should just euthanize him, or give him away to someone willing to spend even more money on treatments for him. im not sure how to tell if he is suffering in pain or not. he definitely 'looks' uncomfortable to me. and seems to get knocked around by the bigger fish.
he was fine for about a week after being fed peas, then he started looking really more bloated in his butt area, it is really big and round more so than the other orandas i have under the tail. and had started pine coning, he has been bloated and pineconing with bulged eyes since april. now he is getting some red streaking. and has had a few scale injuries from the water changing hose because he isnt healthy enough to always stay away from it, he swims and still tries to eat but sometimes he swirls around like his belly wants to float. today ive now noticed a buldge or bubble looking lump under one of his eyes. my fish eat sinking hikari products and peas regularily. since april he has been treated with epsom salt, aquarium salt, dropsy meds, prazi-pro, Proform LA (because of another fish in the tank), and liquid mardel maracyn plus antibacterial antibiotics, melafix and pimafix.. (of course with appropriate water changes and time in between) with absolutely NO results on him what so ever. i still have some of the antibiotics and prazi pro left(but i dont see this to be fluke). im not sure if i should give more antibiotics or just quit? or what i should do, i would be sad but im accepting of euthanasia if i can get some confirmation that it is best. or could he be saved by some other treatment im not aware of or just let him be until he dies in the tank? i never have any good luck with isolating a fish they always seem to die in a day or two when i do that. he never looks any better no matter what ive done and little by little he seems to be getting more and more things wrong with him. please help with any ideas or advise. thanks
(its taking a looong time for this video to load so im going to come back with it and post it later if i can figure out how)
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Sorry your little one is having a rough time.

The mods will need the full form filled out to be able to assist you properly.

  • Test Results for the Following:
    • * Ammonia Level(Tank)
    • * Nitrite Level(Tank)
    • * Nitrate level(Tank)
    • * Ammonia Level(Tap)
    • * Nitrite Level(Tap)
    • * Nitrate level(Tap)
    • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
    • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
    • Other Required Info:
      • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?
      • * Water temperature?
      • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?
      • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?
      • * How often do you change the water and how much?
      • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?
      • * How many fish in the tank and their size?
      • * What kind of water additives or conditioners?
      • * What do you feed your fish and how often?
      • * Any new fish added to the tank?
      • * Any medications added to the tank?
      • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.
      • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?
      • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

Time spans on the treatments would probably be helpful for the team to get a better picture of the treatment history.

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<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=10152861323815487" width="640" height="480" frameborder="0"></iframe>

(i took the video during a water change to kill some time.. so the waters not always that low and that blue hose isnt always in there) sorry its so long but he moves a lot and only in some frames you can see his swollen back side and the lump is under his left eye when hes facing you. and in some scenes you can see the pine coning.. sorry the rest is so blurry!

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  • Regular Member

Hi there! sorry you are having trouble with your oranda. If you could fill out all the questions Avepico listed for you above that would be very helpful. We will need exact numbers for your tap and tank water parameters.

If you could also place your oranda in a clear tupperware container and take some clear pictures from a top view that would also be very helpful.

When you say dropsy meds, what medication was this? also what antibiotics do you have?

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  • Test Results for the Following:

    • * Ammonia Level(Tank) 0
    • * Nitrite Level(Tank) 0
    • * Nitrate level(Tank) 10ppm
    • * Ammonia Level(Tap) .5
    • * Nitrite Level(Tap) .5
    • * Nitrate level(Tap) 15ppm
    • * Ph Level, Tank 8 (kept at 8 on purpose for my snails using crushed coral in my canister)
    • * Ph Level, Tap 6.5
    • Other Required Info:

      • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? api drops
      • * Water temperature? 72
      • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 38 gal with 42 gal sump (80 G total water vollume)
      • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? sun sun 370 gph UV canister. 500gph aquaclear 110. 40gph nitrate reactor. 50 gph algal turf scrubber.
      • * How often do you change the water and how much? 50% once every other week or longer as nitrate tests require
      • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? today 50%
      • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 7 orandas and lionheads, 1 bn pleco. 3 inch. the sick one is like 1 or 1.5 inch.
      • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? rescue pond start removes chlorine chlorimine municipal ammonia and detoxes nitrite. pondcare salt 1 tbsp per 5 Gal. occasional stress coat when someone has possible skin injury or has been netted.
      • * What do you feed your fish and how often? hikari wheat germ sinking, hikari saki fancy sinking, hikari lionhead sinking, and peas alternating on different days, and hikari tubifex worms once a week. fed one or two times a day skipping a day or two after peas once a week.
      • * Any new fish added to the tank? no he is the newest
      • * Any medications added to the tank? yes for him
      • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank.: pondcare salt is in there all the time except when i tried treating with epsom salt (i cant remember what i used it was so many tsp per gallon i found some where on this forum, there was some proform LA in the tank when i got him but was in the process if changing the water out, i treated the tank with him in it with prazi pro for a week as the directions said (fish were acting like they needed it and he wasnt looking good either), then all the fish but him looked better and did water changes and carbon etc, then treated with maracyn plus antibiotiocs because he was looking like he had dropsy and it said it treated dropsy and internal bacterial infection that was an every other day dose for 7 days. did water changes and carbon and then he looked no better at all and then i treated with melafix and pima fix daily for a week because he had some open spots of missing scales where he had gotten stuck to the hose and was hoping to keep any sores that he had from getting infection or fungus and they didnt but he still looked no better anyway.
      • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? bloating and pineconing like dropsy, bulgy eyes, round swollen rear end, now some redish streaks, missing some scales, bulge under eye, very thin single hair or fishing-line-like poop, doesnt seem to open his mouth wide enough for food
      • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? no he just looks awful, but he swims and tries to eat, but sometimes seems like his belly makes him float around against his will

Time spans on the treatments would probably be helpful for the team to get a better picture of the treatment history. ;

i just followed the directions on the bottles and did big water changes and carbon after and waited a few days in between. didnt really document it.

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Hi there! sorry you are having trouble with your oranda. If you could fill out all the questions Avepico listed for you above that would be very helpful. We will need exact numbers for your tap and tank water parameters.

If you could also place your oranda in a clear tupperware container and take some clear pictures from a top view that would also be very helpful.

When you say dropsy meds, what medication was this? also what antibiotics do you have?

his scales stick out like a pine cone, like all the pics ive seen of dropsy in goldfish. thats the only way i can describe it but i cant get any pics that show it. sometimes it looks better on some days they stick out less and then stick out more on another day. i dont think is has any thing to do with my water. all the other fish are fine and he was funny looking when i brought him home which probably should have been my clue not to. i used Liquid Mardel Maracyn Plus Antibacterial Antibiotic (that whole thing is the name of one product). it has a broad spectrum antibiotic in it that treats dropsy and internal bacterial infection among other stuff.

im mainly wondering if he could be having all these problems because of renal failure due to being stunted as apposed to some disease.

Edited by Sarahanne1984
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Could you try to take some top view pics or video for us? Just place him in a separate container and you should be able to get a decent view.

In the meantime do you have a qt tank you can move him to and do you have Epsom on hand?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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and the tank has been running for four years since the last time it was moved. the filters have been "seasoned" with bacteria and lever alowed to dry out for about 10 years. forgot that on the thing above

Edited by Sarahanne1984
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already tried epsom salt for like a week and a half or 2 weeks. nothing happened. i took pictures but there really is no point in trying to post them because they all come out blurry no matter what i try even in a tupperware he just looks like an orange blob and theyre not any better than the video that took an hour to load. ive described him over and over again in all the posts above. i dont know what else i can do to make people believe he looks like what i'm saying. i dont have an QT tank up and running currently. and every time i move a fish into a separate container they die within a day or two even with air and filtration where i take seasoned sponges out of the current filter to put bacteria in the QT filter. so i really dont want to take him out unless i am intending to put him out of his misery.

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when a fish is stunted and their organs don't have room, are these the usual health issues? or how their life typically comes to an end because of it? it seems like severe constipation and renal failure to me, but i havent delt with many sick fish,. would treatments i tried before possibly work if i did them again? (the maracyn plus, or epsom salt) or is there a point if its not an infection and due to his organs being squished and didnt have any result the first time?

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already tried epsom salt for like a week and a half or 2 weeks. nothing happened. i took pictures but there really is no point in trying to post them because they all come out blurry no matter what i try even in a tupperware he just looks like an orange blob and theyre not any better than the video that took an hour to load. ive described him over and over again in all the posts above. i dont know what else i can do to make people believe he looks like what i'm saying. i dont have an QT tank up and running currently. and every time i move a fish into a separate container they die within a day or two even with air and filtration where i take seasoned sponges out of the current filter to put bacteria in the QT filter. so i really dont want to take him out unless i am intending to put him out of his misery.

There has been no indication that what you are describing is not true. However, it is difficult to give proper treatment advice without a clear picture of what the fish actually looks like. There can be different degrees of scale raising and depending on how raised the scales are and where exactly the raised scales are occurring, something different may be going on. You wouldn't call the doctor and ask them to diagnose a broken bone without seeing you, same sort of idea here.

Epsom salts are the best treatment for the bloating (which I can clearly see in the video) and metronidazole food is the best treatment for dropsy. Do you have a vet that could prescribe you metronidazole tablets? You unfortunately cannot get this antibiotic over the counter where you are.

My advice as of right now is to place the fish in QT and treat with epsom salts (1/4 tsp per every 10 gallons) and do large daily water changes, adding back in the epsom you take out. The fish should be in QT when treating with epsom, as the other healthy fish should not be treated. In the meantime try to get your hands on some metro, as this will give your fish the best chance at recovery.

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when a fish is stunted and their organs don't have room, are these the usual health issues? or how their life typically comes to an end because of it? it seems like severe constipation and renal failure to me, but i havent delt with many sick fish,. would treatments i tried before possibly work if i did them again? (the maracyn plus, or epsom salt) or is there a point if its not an infection and due to his organs being squished and didnt have any result the first time?

There actually isn't any real evidence at this point for the theory that the organs continue to grow when a fish is stunted, in fact what we know about other animals would suggest that in a stunted animal, the organs would grow to fit the body cavity.

The treatments you tried before are not the best treatments for dropsy if that is indeed what this is. Epsom salt should help with bloating in general, but will ultimately not do much if not used in conjunction with the proper antibiotics.

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Metro is the antibiotic you need as I said above :) however you'll need to get a vet or doctor to prescribe this.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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already tried epsom salt for like a week and a half or 2 weeks. nothing happened. i took pictures but there really is no point in trying to post them because they all come out blurry no matter what i try even in a tupperware he just looks like an orange blob and theyre not any better than the video that took an hour to load. ive described him over and over again in all the posts above. i dont know what else i can do to make people believe he looks like what i'm saying. i dont have an QT tank up and running currently. and every time i move a fish into a separate container they die within a day or two even with air and filtration where i take seasoned sponges out of the current filter to put bacteria in the QT filter. so i really dont want to take him out unless i am intending to put him out of his misery.

There has been no indication that what you are describing is not true. However, it is difficult to give proper treatment advice without a clear picture of what the fish actually looks like. There can be different degrees of scale raising and depending on how raised the scales are and where exactly the raised scales are occurring, something different may be going on. You wouldn't call the doctor and ask them to diagnose a broken bone without seeing you, same sort of idea here.

Epsom salts are the best treatment for the bloating (which I can clearly see in the video) and metronidazole food is the best treatment for dropsy. Do you have a vet that could prescribe you metronidazole tablets? You unfortunately cannot get this antibiotic over the counter where you are.

My advice as of right now is to place the fish in QT and treat with epsom salts (1/4 tsp per every 10 gallons) and do large daily water changes, adding back in the epsom you take out. The fish should be in QT when treating with epsom, as the other healthy fish should not be treated. In the meantime try to get your hands on some metro, as this will give your fish the best chance at recovery.

can i use seachem metronidazole? curious as to where you think i am? :) im sure can order it online. or this flake food? : http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-oz-Metronidazole-MEDICATED-Fish-Food-FAST-N-FREE-SHIPPING-/320996264338?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4abcde4992

How long are you supposed to treat with epsom salt for?

Edited by Sarahanne1984
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So sorry, I saw the Irish country flag and assumed you were in Ireland! I now see you are in the US, which is great news because metro meds from goldfish connection are the gold standard treatment for dropsy and can only be found in the US

You can order them here https://www.goldfishconnection.com/shop/details.php?productId=9&catId=5

They are typically very quick with their shipping.

Length of treatment with epsom is dependent on symptoms.

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So sorry, I saw the Irish country flag and assumed you were in Ireland! I now see you are in the US, which is great news because metro meds from goldfish connection are the gold standard treatment for dropsy and can only be found in the US

You can order them here https://www.goldfishconnection.com/shop/details.php?productId=9&catId=5

They are typically very quick with their shipping.

Length of treatment with epsom is dependent on symptoms.

its cool i just have those cuz i'm half irish and half native canadian, but i do live here in the good ole US of A now :) i had tried contacting goldfish connection a while ago about buying products because i had questions about how to pay, actually im pretty sure that was the food i was trying to buy but they never did get back to me guess ill try again. so we'll go with epsom again and that food hopefully i can get it and see what happens. thanks!

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So sorry, I saw the Irish country flag and assumed you were in Ireland! I now see you are in the US, which is great news because metro meds from goldfish connection are the gold standard treatment for dropsy and can only be found in the US

You can order them here https://www.goldfishconnection.com/shop/details.php?productId=9&catId=5

They are typically very quick with their shipping.

Length of treatment with epsom is dependent on symptoms.

its cool i just have those cuz i'm half irish and half native canadian, but i do live here in the good ole US of A now :) i had tried contacting goldfish connection a while ago about buying products because i had questions about how to pay, actually im pretty sure that was the food i was trying to buy but they never did get back to me guess ill try again. so we'll go with epsom again and that food hopefully i can get it and see what happens. thanks!

Please let us know when you get the food (or if you have any trouble getting it). It's important that you feed 1% of the fish's weight in food a day for a minimum of 2 weeks :)

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when a fish is stunted and their organs don't have room, are these the usual health issues? or how their life typically comes to an end because of it? it seems like severe constipation and renal failure to me, but i havent delt with many sick fish,. would treatments i tried before possibly work if i did them again? (the maracyn plus, or epsom salt) or is there a point if its not an infection and due to his organs being squished and didnt have any result the first time?

Tithra is exactly right on stunting. Here's some info regarding this topic

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/109096-for-those-who-have-a-hard-time-noticing-stunting/?hl=stunting

It simply does not happen. Personally, I'm also not one to believe stunting is permanent

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also can you give us a tank shot....im worried that there is stagnate water in this tank and also how many fish in there?

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if you read what i wrote, i took the video during a water change so the pumps were off at the moment and the water was lowering. if you read what filtration i have , stagnant water is very unlikely since when everything is actually running, plus my power heads which run intermittently and sweep the bottom and the surface, the tank looks like a snow globe most of the time. i have kept goldfish and aquariums successfully for 20 years. i'm not a beginner. my only inexperience is with fish disease itself (and some of the new more modern technologies that have to do with lighting and wiring things lol). i had my first ever sick fish a few months ago and this is the second sick fish. but they were both sick when i bought them. guess ive always been lucky that no one ever sold me a sick fish before in all those years. if hes not stunted then he just had a miss-shaped head with really big bulgy eyes that seem to take up a good portion of the sides of his head, and a lot of wen for his size when i got him, so maybe the miss-shaped head and bulgy eyes were an indication of something else wrong with him. his tail fan also bends down at a 90 degree angle in the middle as if he were previously injured or something. so he's not stunted,. just physically weird looking. he also hasnt grown at all since march despite being fed good foods.

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well actually let me know what you think looked like an indication of stagnant water and ill check it out just to be sure, but in the video the water wasnt moving because the pumps were off for the water change. it takes forever for it all to siphon out the door so i took the video and started the process of posting it while i was waiting on it. most people tell me i have too much filtration and the water moves too much. but my fish seem to not mind the current, and its not sucking them up or anything. and i know people will ask, the statue is in there is solid, not hollow. so no stagnant water in there. i filled it full of layers of sand and 100% silicone and capped off the whole bottom with silicone. and i check it every water change to make sure its solidly sealed still.

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well actually let me know what you think looked like an indication of stagnant water and ill check it out just to be sure, but in the video the water wasnt moving because the pumps were off for the water change. it takes forever for it all to siphon out the door so i took the video and started the process of posting it while i was waiting on it. most people tell me i have too much filtration and the water moves too much. but my fish seem to not mind the current, and its not sucking them up or anything. and i know people will ask, the statue is in there is solid, not hollow. so no stagnant water in there. i filled it full of layers of sand and 100% silicone and capped off the whole bottom with silicone. and i check it every water change to make sure its solidly sealed still.

I cannot speak to Koko's concerns, but I will tell you my concerns (I was kind of waiting until after we dealt with your little oranda, but since we are on the topic now ;) )

From the video the couple things I see as potential issues are:

1. the buddha statue - is it hollow inside? If so this can be an issue in terms of trapping stagnant water that can lead to bacterial issues in the tank

2. the driftwood - any holes in it where water could stagnate? do you check it regularly to make sure it hasn't softened etc. There are many people here that successfully keep driftwood in their tank without issue. There are also folks here that have had significant issues with driftwood (including Koko), leading to illness in their tank. Driftwood that is nice and solid and has no hollow spaces poses the least threat.

3. Number of fish - Although you have a combined 80 gallons when you include your sump there are a couple issues concerns I have about your current setup: (1) even with the extra volume from the sump you are currently overstocked. Goldfish require 15-20 gallons per fish. (2) Despite the extra volume from the sump, a 38 gallon aquarium does not provide 7 goldfish with adequate space just in terms of living quarters. This will become a particular issue as they continue to grow.

4. Water change schedule - A very minimum of a 50-80% weekly water change is recommended in appropriately stocked setups regardless of nitrate readings at the time of water change. This is because there are many things that build up in the aquarium environment that we do not and cannot test for. In a closed system regular water changes are important for the health of your fish. Because you are already overstocked, a more frequent water changing schedule would be advisable, I would personally suggest 50-80% every 3-5 days. But definitely a big water change weekly at the very least.

I think you have a lot of great things going on in your setup including the algae scrubber, sump and good filtration ;) but the things listed above have the potential to cause issues down the road.

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its mopani hard wood supposedly intended for aquariums its heavy and hard and i check it. i also boiled each piece for about 10 hours before i put it in. mainly to get the tannens out, but i assume that would have killed anything too. it doesnt really have any holes or caves in it. one piece had a small hole that i shoved a java fern in. i need it for my bn plecos diet. the statue is filled. when my fish get too large for a tank i usually sell them, except for my two lionheads. so none of them will be in there permanently. and eventually they will be in a bigger tank again, which ever of them i still have. they are in the 40 gal seaclear 36x16x16 (which used to my my QT tank) and sump right now because my 300 Gal ended up with one side shattered for no apparent reason while i was at work.. think the stand was slightly not level and that did something to it. so that was fun. .. sold and gave away more than half the goldfish i had to thin them out for the smaller tank, and am working on holding it together while i save for another large tank. hoping to go with acrylic this time and avoid any more tank smashing tragedies.

Edited by Sarahanne1984
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