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Help save my fish please


Deedee

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Hi I've had 4 goldfish and an algae eater in a 55 gallon tank for years. The oldest goldfish is about to turn 7 years old. When he's been sick I would take it to a local pet store. The only place that had knowledgable staff in town. They recently shut down and I am in need of assistance to save my fish.

- the oldest goldfish (all orange) recently developed a black spot on his lip it nearly resembles a mustache. I am now getting a second goldfish (white and orange color) is starting to develop it too. What is that how can I help them? I am noticing that all 4 are not eating now only the algae eater gets food. I removed the only (arandula) I think that's what it's called its a goldfish with the big head and fancy tail all orange. I placed him in a hospital tank because to fast him 2-3 days he has been floating upside down for weeks. I read this was what I should do and then feed him peas. Am I doing the right thing? Someone PLEASE advise me. I don't want to loose my fish. They mean a lot to me.

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Welcome to Kokos, Until a mod moves this to the D&D forum, please fill out the form the best you can so we can help. you. I hope your fish get's better. :hug

  • * 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.?
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Do you have a photo of the colour change? It would be helpful. Also, this might belong more appropriately on the Disease/Diagnosis forum (although I'm sure an admin will clarify), Koko's has a questionnaire there to help with diagnosis. Can you move it, or repost?

I'm sure some of the more experienced forum members will be able to help you more, but here's my thoughts.

The colour change could be a couple of things (that's why I asked for a photo). (i) Goldfish frequently change colour, so it could just be that. (ii) When my 8 year old goldfish started gaining back black patches he had lost as a young fish my LFS owner told me it could be because he was getting older and having trouble processing the food I was feeding and he advised a higher quality food. (iii) It could also be ammonia burns. In fact this is what I think it is likely to be. Are any of the fish getting black colouration on their fins?? I'm guessing it's ammonia burns because four goldfish and a pleco is a lot to have in one tank. The general recommendation is 20 gallons per goldfish. What kind of filter are you running? How often do you do water changes? How much water do you change at a time? I would definitely recommend doing at least a 50% water change asap. Normally I'd say wait for one of the more experienced members before doing anything, but a water change shouldn't hurt anything. Just make sure you keep some of the current water for testing.

On to the not eating. I'm not really sure what this could be, but I have one thought. What kind of algae eater do you have? Common plecos can be bullies and are generally not recommended to house with goldfish. Is he protecting the food? Preventing the goldfish from getting any? I've seen it before (in my didn't know any better days).

As for the floating it could be diet related. The disease/diagnosis forum has several threads on the floating fish topic. I'm also currently dealing with a floater. I've been advised to feed sinking pellets (no floating pellets or flakes). I've also been advised to switch my freeze dried blood worms for frozen. I feed blanched zucchini when my fish floats (it's intermittent for me, not constant like yours) as my fish refuses to eat peas. When you feed the peas you probably want to make sure they're blanched and shelled.

I'm sure you'll get some great advice shortly from someone who has more knowledge than myself, but I hope this helps for now.



Welcome to Kokos, Until a mod moves this to the D&D forum, please fill out the form the best you can so we can help. you. I hope your fish get's better. :hug

  • * 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.?

See, I knew someone would clarify!! We must have been typing at the same time.

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I don't test the water because all these years my fish have always done well. I have a 55 gallon tank and use tap water with 50% or little more water change. The last time I changed the water was yesterday. I also changed it the day before because I read somewhere that most of the time a water change can heal many things. I use 5 caps of prime to make the water safe for the fish. Then I use 5 teaspoons of arm and hammer baking soda every time I change water. I used Melafix thinking it would help the fish but it didn't. I also bought an ammonia remove rat Percocet that reduces the risk of ph drop durning use and eliminates ammonia chlorine and chloramines. . I thought of this product because the food that the fish are not eating is settling at the bottom of the tank and creating ammonia, or is it?I usually change the water 1 a month but due to an injury let it go longer and I saw the water going from clear to a pale color probably due to the fish droppings and food on the floor of the tank. I see they are really big fish so I thought I had to feed them more when I started feeding them more I noticed the beginning of this horror story. I've had this tank for 2 years going on 3. All fish have been there for years. They are fed flakes only in the morning but they don't want to eat now I'm so worried . They have 2 huge filters and there are 4 goldfish one algae eater. One of the 4 the one with a big head and fancy tail is in a hospital tank because he swims upside down. Two of the other goldfish have a black spot on their lips as if it were a black mustache. The flakes they eat are the wardley goldfish flake food. With no artificial colors. This is all the info I can provide. Please help.

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I don't test the water because all these years my fish have always done well. I have a 55 gallon tank and use tap water with 50% or little more water change. The last time I changed the water was yesterday. I also changed it the day before because I read somewhere that most of the time a water change can heal many things. I use 5 caps of prime to make the water safe for the fish. Then I use 5 teaspoons of arm and hammer baking soda every time I change water. I used Melafix thinking it would help the fish but it didn't. I also bought an ammonia remove rat Percocet that reduces the risk of ph drop durning use and eliminates ammonia chlorine and chloramines. . I thought of this product because the food that the fish are not eating is settling at the bottom of the tank and creating ammonia, or is it?I usually change the water 1 a month but due to an injury let it go longer and I saw the water going from clear to a pale color probably due to the fish droppings and food on the floor of the tank. I see they are really big fish so I thought I had to feed them more when I started feeding them more I noticed the beginning of this horror story. I've had this tank for 2 years going on 3. All fish have been there for years. They are fed flakes only in the morning but they don't want to eat now I'm so worried . They have 2 huge filters and there are 4 goldfish one algae eater. One of the 4 the one with a big head and fancy tail is in a hospital tank because he swims upside down. Two of the other goldfish have a black spot on their lips as if it were a black mustache. The flakes they eat are the wardley goldfish flake food. With no artificial colors. This is all the info I can provide. Please help.

I'm no expert, or even close, but that seems like a lot of Prime! I know it gives a lot of leeway, though, for dosing. When I had a 55 gallon, I only used about a cap-full and a half of prime for each full water change.

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Could anyone tell how to post pictures?

I upload my photos to Photobucket and then I copy the "IMG" link on the right hand side of the screen under "Links to share this photo." Then I paste that code into the forum text box!

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My guess is also ammonia but how long will it be until the black spot on the lip begins to clear up and why aren't they eating? They are big eaters :(

The algae eater is a friendly guy doesn't bother anyone. Fish swim over and below him he minds his own business and ignores the other fish.

As for the big head fish aranda swimming upside down in a hospital tank should I be fasting it for now then give it the peas?

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you can post pics through a website called photobucket.com and it's free

I hope your goldfish feel better soon ,you can stop feeding all of them for a couple of days it will do them good and give time to find out whats going on in your tank :)

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A few thoughts:

1) As far as I know there's no need to use more Prime than directed on the bottle. I'd be worried they're trying to sell you more than you need.

2) Definitely don't feed more food than your fish can eat in 2 minutes (or less). You really don't want food sitting at the bottom of the tank. This only adds to the ammonia load.

3) With that many fish in a tank that size you really need to be changing the water more often than once a month. I have an overstocked 55g (just while I'm shopping around for a larger tank) and I do a 25% water change at least once a week, but sometimes twice. That being said I watch my ammonia levels closely and adjust as necessary. I also have extra filtration running.

A couple questions:

Do your filters have a brand or even model number written on them? What size filter media do you have to buy (I'm assuming you have something along the lines of a clip on filter)? If we can figure out what kind of filter you have we might be able to figure out its filtration/hour which can help us, help you maximize your fish care routine.

I realize these questions and suggestions go more towards the long term for you, but that's just how confident I am that others on this forum will be able to help you in the short term.

I don't know for sure about the not eating, but wondering if it could be from the stress of high ammonia levels. Anyone else out there know??

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Yeah, you're overstocked and the fish are getting bigger all the time (so more waste= more ammonia/nitrites/nitrates). Most people here change 50-80% of the water 1-2X a WEEK, so once a month isn't nearly enough, esp. being overstocked.

You simply have to test the water--otherwise you and everyone here are in the dark. Please get an API master test kit and do the tests ASAP and post them! Any fish store should have the test kit or you can order online and have it shipped express:

http://www.amazon.com/API-Freshwater-Master-Test-Kit/dp/B000255NCI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380226748&sr=8-1&keywords=api+master+test+kit

Edited by pawsplus
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A few thoughts:

1) As far as I know there's no need to use more Prime than directed on the bottle. I'd be worried they're trying to sell you more than you need.

2) Definitely don't feed more food than your fish can eat in 2 minutes (or less). You really don't want food sitting at the bottom of the tank. This only adds to the ammonia load.

3) With that many fish in a tank that size you really need to be changing the water more often than once a month. I have an overstocked 55g (just while I'm shopping around for a larger tank) and I do a 25% water change at least once a week, but sometimes twice. That being said I watch my ammonia levels closely and adjust as necessary. I also have extra filtration running.

A couple questions:

Do your filters have a brand or even model number written on them? What size filter media do you have to buy (I'm assuming you have something along the lines of a clip on filter)? If we can figure out what kind of filter you have we might be able to figure out its filtration/hour which can help us, help you maximize your fish care routine.

I realize these questions and suggestions go more towards the long term for you, but that's just how confident I am that others on this forum will be able to help you in the short term.

I don't know for sure about the not eating, but wondering if it could be from the stress of high ammonia levels. Anyone else out there know??

I realize that you are trying to be helpful, and you say things that could be correct, but Deedee really needs to fill out the form the best she can so that we can KNOW and not guess a dozen possibilities. Clearly, she's got water issues, but if she fills out the form, we can get a much better idea of how bad they are.

Deedee, even if you don't know the parameters, PLEASE ANSWER THE QUESTIONS so that people can help. :)

Edited by ShawneeRiver
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I don't want to upset anyone but the cause of the problem is clear. Too many fish in not enough water. 4 goldfish and a pleco need about double the size tank they are in now. If you want them to recover you will need either a bigger tank or much more water changes. Now exactly what ailments the fish have come down with I can't say but I do have a great guess. As noted, fill out as much info as you can and then I am sure the very wise moderators will be along to help save your fish.

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A few thoughts:

1) As far as I know there's no need to use more Prime than directed on the bottle. I'd be worried they're trying to sell you more than you need.

2) Definitely don't feed more food than your fish can eat in 2 minutes (or less). You really don't want food sitting at the bottom of the tank. This only adds to the ammonia load.

3) With that many fish in a tank that size you really need to be changing the water more often than once a month. I have an overstocked 55g (just while I'm shopping around for a larger tank) and I do a 25% water change at least once a week, but sometimes twice. That being said I watch my ammonia levels closely and adjust as necessary. I also have extra filtration running.

A couple questions:

Do your filters have a brand or even model number written on them? What size filter media do you have to buy (I'm assuming you have something along the lines of a clip on filter)? If we can figure out what kind of filter you have we might be able to figure out its filtration/hour which can help us, help you maximize your fish care routine.

I realize these questions and suggestions go more towards the long term for you, but that's just how confident I am that others on this forum will be able to help you in the short term.

I don't know for sure about the not eating, but wondering if it could be from the stress of high ammonia levels. Anyone else out there know??

I realize that you are trying to be helpful, and you say things that could be correct, but Deedee really needs to fill out the form the best she can so that we can KNOW and not guess a dozen possibilities. Clearly, she's got water issues, but if she fills out the form, we can get a much better idea of how bad they are.

Deedee, even if you don't know the parameters, PLEASE ANSWER THE QUESTIONS so that people can help. :)

My apologies if I was unclear. I did not mean to imply that Deedee doesn't need to fill out the water parameters (in fact in my first post I requested that she do so). I simply intended to offer some long term help as regards her overstocked tank (based on information she provided) to prevent future problems regardless of what the current problem might be. My sole suggestion regarding the current problem was in my first post and that was to suggest an immediate water change, while retaining some old water for testing.

Again I apologize if any of my comments were inappropriate or misleading.

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Thanks for everyone's honest feedback. If I need a bigger tank I will start shopping but how big must it be? How about it I make a fish pond outside, would that work for them? I am not at home now but when I get home I will post the brand of both my filters but first I will stop by the pet store to buy a testing kit as suggested by you guys. I will also post results ASAP and will work on giving you pictures. I appreciate everyone's time and help. Keeping my fish alive and well is important to me. I started with one fish my son won at the carnival and a 5 gallon then moved to a 10 , 35 and now a 55. Thought giving the fish company in his big tank would be nice and the lady at the store told me I could have 5 goldfish and algae eater was recommended so I bought him too. I lost a beautiful Black Moore a few months ago and still sad over its death don't want to loose any more. Honestly, I had no idea I needed a bigger tank. I trusted the woman's advise at the store when she sold me the 55 gallon tank and said that was all I need.

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Deedee, please do get your tap and tank water parameters. You can do this by purchasing a drop test kit (like the API Freshwater Master Kit) or by taking a sample of each water to your Local Fish Store to have it tested. Request exact numbers, please. Do not settle for 'fine' or 'okay'.

These parameters are extremely important in our providing a safe treatment for your fish. If we do not have them, there is absolutely no way we could give you a safe treatment for the issues you are experiencing.

Stocking recommendations for goldfish are 15-20 gallons of water per fish. If you have a common pleco in with the fish it would be best to rehome him. Common plecos have been known to attack goldfish and suck on their slime coat until they can no longer fight anymore. They are aggressive and not recommended as tank mates for goldies.

Edited by ChelseaM
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A few thoughts:

1) As far as I know there's no need to use more Prime than directed on the bottle. I'd be worried they're trying to sell you more than you need.

2) Definitely don't feed more food than your fish can eat in 2 minutes (or less). You really don't want food sitting at the bottom of the tank. This only adds to the ammonia load.

3) With that many fish in a tank that size you really need to be changing the water more often than once a month. I have an overstocked 55g (just while I'm shopping around for a larger tank) and I do a 25% water change at least once a week, but sometimes twice. That being said I watch my ammonia levels closely and adjust as necessary. I also have extra filtration running.

A couple questions:

Do your filters have a brand or even model number written on them? What size filter media do you have to buy (I'm assuming you have something along the lines of a clip on filter)? If we can figure out what kind of filter you have we might be able to figure out its filtration/hour which can help us, help you maximize your fish care routine.

I realize these questions and suggestions go more towards the long term for you, but that's just how confident I am that others on this forum will be able to help you in the short term.

I don't know for sure about the not eating, but wondering if it could be from the stress of high ammonia levels. Anyone else out there know??

I realize that you are trying to be helpful, and you say things that could be correct, but Deedee really needs to fill out the form the best she can so that we can KNOW and not guess a dozen possibilities. Clearly, she's got water issues, but if she fills out the form, we can get a much better idea of how bad they are.

Deedee, even if you don't know the parameters, PLEASE ANSWER THE QUESTIONS so that people can help. :)

My apologies if I was unclear. I did not mean to imply that Deedee doesn't need to fill out the water parameters (in fact in my first post I requested that she do so). I simply intended to offer some long term help as regards her overstocked tank (based on information she provided) to prevent future problems regardless of what the current problem might be. My sole suggestion regarding the current problem was in my first post and that was to suggest an immediate water change, while retaining some old water for testing.

Again I apologize if any of my comments were inappropriate or misleading.

Hey, you are probably right. But Deedee should fill out the form so we can also eliminate possibilities too. It just makes things simpler and clearer so that everyone can be on the same page. :hug

Deedee, you have multiple problems with your fish. Based on the limited information that you are interested in providing, I don't think a new tank is going to solve your problem.

The number 1 thing is, you are not changing nearly enough water. Do you have substrate? Are you vacuuming? Frankly, when your water changes color from lack of water changes, your fish are in trouble. I think everyone here has gotten behind on water changes at some point. If you could explain your routine or post pictures, people can help. Without more details, perhaps what you need more than a new tank is a water changer. But I don't know because I need more information.

No. 2, if you aren't changing the water, I have to wonder if you are cleaning your filters and what kind of filtration you have. Again, we are here to help you help your fish, but you need to provide information.

No. 3, you are putting a lot of stuff in the water (TOO MUCH PRIME!!) and you don't even know what the problem is. Please help us figure it out. Right now, what you are doing is like blasting air freshener into a smoke-filled room -- the room still is smoking, but maybe it smells a little better. :no:

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I know it seems like a lot of info :) hang in there!! Your fish are lucky that you are committed to their long term care :)

Pet store employees can be hit or miss on their knowledge. Sounds like yours was off but not too much! At a few stores around here, you might have been told you can keep 10-20 goldfish in a 55. I get my best info here and end up knowing more than the pet store folks about goldies :)

I figure the pet shop workers just need to know a little about a lot, so I understand why they aren't always spot on in their advice. And of course, we are all raising arguably one of the most misunderstood aquarium fish ever.

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I know it seems like a lot of info :) hang in there!! Your fish are lucky that you are committed to their long term care :)

Pet store employees can be hit or miss on their knowledge. Sounds like yours was off but not too much! At a few stores around here, you might have been told you can keep 10-20 goldfish in a 55. I get my best info here and end up knowing more than the pet store folks about goldies :)

I figure the pet shop workers just need to know a little about a lot, so I understand why they aren't always spot on in their advice. And of course, we are all raising arguably one of the most misunderstood aquarium fish ever.

Very true. Hehe. I kinda feel bad for the LFS employees cuz often we flame them. They're probably just students that love animals and need a part time job :P

Edited by georgelee92
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DeeDee: my butterfly has been floating upside for a week, she has a HUGE tank to herself and I have a giant fluval canister plus a hang on the back filter, plants, and Angels fly down every night too, but she's still been sick with exactly what you described for several days.

for TREATMENT: Did a 50 % water change on day one.

day two (today) I started feeding Medi Gold food by hand since she is upside down (bought it online at Goldfishconnection.com)

and today I treated her tank with "Maracyn -TWO FW" (FW means for fresh water) which I bought at PetSmart.

today I took 3 gallons out of her tank and added 2 teaspoons of Epsom salt and let her soak for an hour, it did nothing for her that I could tell.

I hope your fish and mine get better, good luck.

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