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arethusa

Female Comet in sudden distress-well documented-pls help.

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Test Results for the Following: on 11/23/13

* Ammonia Level(Tank).25

* Nitrite Level(Tank)0

* Nitrate level(Tank)

* Ammonia Level(Tap)0

* Nitrite Level(Tap)0

* Nitrate level(Tap)0

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.4

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)

pH: 6.1 /Well water, no additives, only an iron filter

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API Freshwater Master Test Kit-drops

* Water temperature? 70.7F

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 75 gallons/ 2 years and started with water from a smaller tank that had been running for a year.

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s) current: Eheim professionel 3e(new filter), run concurrently w/a a Marineland 350 Magnum canister filter during transition, Eheim solo now for 1wk.

* How often do you change the water and how much? vacuum the bottom 1xwkly with 10%water change./1xmonth take it down 20%. * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Yesterday afternoon after I saw my fish in distress and tested the tank. 15% change.

* How many fish in the tank and their size? 3 goldfish

10 in. female comet, 6 in. male black moor, 6 in. male choc. oranda

Note: Female has laid eggs that turn opaque several times. Males display breeding tubercles and engage in breeding behavior.

Note: Have two air tubes hooked to a Fluval air pump and a UV filter in the tank. LED lighting changed from fluorescent. No cover on tank. Natural small pebble substrate at 1/2" depth.

* What kind of water additives or conditioners?

* What do you feed your fish and how often? 1 x daily: "API premium pellets for all goldfish varieties sinking pellets" and shelled peas 1 x weekly

Any new fish added to the tank? no

* Any medications added to the tank? no

* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. Have not medicated since July 2013. Forum advice was that meds were unnecessary at that time. One other anti-biotic med app in 2011.

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? body swelling only. scales flush to body.

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Yes. Our large female goldfish suddenly started top hanging and mouth gasping yesterday morning. She looks a bit bloated but her scales are flush to her sides. She will swim down to the bottom and around the tank for a bit but her swimming is irregular. Refusing food. The other two goldfish are both males and are behaving normally and eating normally. *Current: as of this afternoon her eyes are showing their whites.

Yesterday 11/22/13 morning our female comet was found in distress, mouth gasping(first time ever), hanging at the surface for brief periods(first time ever), and having some trouble going down to the bottom. During the day her body seemed to swell a bit. This morning that size is unchanged. Scales still flush to side.

I fed all the fish shelled peas that morning, but the comet was not interested in food(first time ever). I have not fed them today.

I decided to do a levels check and got these readings on 11/22/13: Ammonia approx. .15, Nitrite .25, Nitrate .80 or more, pH level 7.0.

We always have had sporadic problems with our tank, mostly ammonia issues with occasional algae blooms. Even so, we have had our three goldfish with the loss of a gold oranda 7 months ago, for three years now. I contacted this forum for the first time in July 2013 about" ill fish" that were not actually ill, and got good advice re: our acidic water causing constant stress to the fish. We added a small net bag of crushed coral to the Magnum filter per the advice gained here, and have maintained a constant pH of 7.4 since.

We also purchased the API Master Test kit to monitor nitrite and nitrate levels.

We had a Marineland 350 Magnum canister filter and decided to upgrade to an Eheim Pro 3. We wanted to get off a carbon filter and go to a biological filtration system that also had a higher water exchange rate. Plus, in monitoring nitrite levels(always 0 until yesterday) and nitrate levels, we saw that the nitrate levels were fluctuating, sometimes to toxic levels.

We also made the decision to feed the goldfish less food and to add a small UV filter to control algae. We never had "green water"- but a year ago did have a build up on the sides and so, decided to try to cut down on scraping the sides.

On 9/03/13 we added the Eheim Pro 3 filter and kept the Magnum 350 going for 45 days in conjunction with the Eheim to avoid a tank crash. We had excellent levels with no red markers. At just before the recommended filter change, the nitrate levels spiked to 80.

We took the Magnum 350 offline when we changed the filter material out in the Eheim Pro 3. We brushed out and rinsed the tubes on the Eheim Pro 3.

We looked into the Eheim Pro 3 and found a lot of green algae clumps. We dumped the water out of the Eheim Pro 3 and the first layer of biological filtration material fell out by accident. We scooped it out and rinsed it off in the sink, replaced the water and hooked the Eheim back up. We replaced the sponge as per the filter written instructions.

The levels were fine all with numbers at 0 and nitrates at .20 for a week but we didn't check it the following week.

Yesterday, during evaluation of the tank conditions, my husband found that the UV filter was filthy inside to the point where it clouded the water when he shook it. Mulm came out. We removed this litter by vacuuming and performing another 5% water change. The water was brought up to pH 7.2 with the addition of pH Up prior to adding to the tank. Aged for 1 hour.

He removed the bag from the Eheim Pro 3 and reinserted it into the Magnum 350 and set that filter up again to run. His thought was to use the Magnum350 to restore the pH to the former level. Unfortunately the Magnum system is leaking so by last evening my husband removed it. With the buffering with pH Up for the new water and running the pump for 12 hrs, the pH went up to former level of 7.4 .

For a brief period of months we had harmony but not now back to a tank cycling in and out.

I don't know if my fish has a bacterial disease, is reacting to pH changes, the high nitrate level, or a combo of any of the above.

I would appreciate any advice and I will follow it.

We would like to help our distressed female comet.

Get the nitrate issue under control and get the ammonia levels back down to zero.

We would like to figure out why the eHeim Pro 3 didn't maintain the pH level when we inserted the bag of crushed coral into the top layer of bio-filter. his issue is vital as our well water is so acidic.

Please view our tank photos at: http://gallery.njpineways.com/p485985643

I could not upload photos to your forum and followed your advice.

This is a secure server and only open to those I share the link with.

When this issue is resolved I will remove the link.

Thank you in advance for your time and concern! :)

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Please disregard ordering options when going to the link and opening the photo gallery. This is a closed gallery, open by invitation only, and the ordering function has been disabled. For viewing purposes on this forum only.

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:hi and thanks for all the information.

Have you seen any poop from the comet? Can you get a photo from above? I know you said her scales aren't raised but it's a little easier to appreciate the bloating from above . . .

Do you have a way of isolating her? A spare tank or food safe bin? How long since she has eaten?

Do you know the gph your Eheim is rated to filter?

Hang in there . . .

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Hi fantailfan1. I just took and uploaded two photos to the same gallery listed above.(http://gallery.njpin....com/p485985643). I added text to the photos, "new photo from above". I have not seen her poop but have been away from her for a few times and over night. I can isolate her if I purchase a bin or tank. The Eheim filter is rated at 160GPH. She has not eaten since 11/21/13. I didn't offer her food today.

Our pet stores close at 8:00pm EST tonight.

Thanks!!! :)

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Thanks fantailfan1.

I just took two photos of my comet from above and posted them to the same gallery link in my first post. I put text on the photos: "new photo from above" for easy id. No, I have not seen her poop but I have been away from her at times and over night last night. She has not eaten since the morning of 11/21. I didn't offer her food today pending suggestions received here.

Yes I can isolate her but will need to go purchase a tank or tub. Our pet stores close at 8pm EST tonite.

Our filter is rated to move 160GPH.

I am really concerned about the high nitrate levels.

Thanks!!!

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Thanks for the additional pics.

Her scales appear a bit prickly to me. Ideally I'd like her isolated and treated with Epsom salt (for the bloating) and metro. Since she is not eating, I'd like you to see if you can find powdered metronidazole. You won't find it at any of the big chain stores. If you have a locally owned pet store nearby, that would be your best bet. With a fish that size, I'd probably look for a 20 gallon long tank or a similiar sized food safe bin.

Also once she is eating again, we may want to feed her metronidazole. You can do that by making a gel food with the powder or feeding her MetroMeds which can only be purchased online at www.goldfishconnection.com

Finally, do you have any other filter on your tank besides the Eheim? :idont

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I have the Magnum 350 canister filter here. The leaking issue is at the tube ends where it connects to the canister, so we can purchase new tubes and get this going again.

I can purchase a 20 gallon tank.

I only have access to basic packaged meds like boxed API products that a major chain store sells here. They are one of the small large stores-don't stock a full range of products.

I am unfamiliar with metronidazole but we have a fish store about an hour and a half a way that we could call and see if they stock it. We could drive there tomorrow if they stock it.

I have Epsom Salts in the house but have never used it to treat a fish. Would need technique and dosing instructions for a 20 gallon tank.

How can I get the nitrates down in the tank before the other fish are affected. Major water change? Thanks.

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I see online that metronidazole is flagyl. I saw the powdered form offered for fish meds under the brand name Fish Zole. Definitely do not have this product available in a 45 minute radius of me.

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What are the nitrates currently in the main tank? :idont And, yes, WC is the way to do it. As you know you'll need to bring your tap pH up first. The bigger the WC you can do the better.

I will absolutely help with the Epsom dosing. It's quite easy . .

Can you call the fish store that's a ways away and see if they carry plain metronidazole without any ohter meds? If they don't look for a broad spectrum antibiotic. See if you can find a medication with metro and kanaplex or metro with any other broad spectrum antibiotic.

What gph does your magnum canister filter?

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Sorry didn't see your post. Yes, Fish Zole is what we're looking for. :D

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I have located the product an hour away at a pet store and need to get in the car very soon to make it there and get home at a decent time. Pls let me know any suggestions you have. If another specialty product is recommended at this time I would need to purchase it at this specialty store or have it sent via mail. I don't have time to go back and forth to this store. I have a smart phone and laptop w/me. Pls let me know any suggestions you have-because if this is an acute situation-this is my one time option- until a pkg could arrive here by mail.

Thanks so much!

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Ok. I just read your post. The attendant said they have powdered Metro at $8.99 a bottle.

I will need to go online to the Marineland website.

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magnum 350 rated for 350 GPH and the Eheim is rated for 360 GPH. Sorry for earlier info.

Metro in powder form for 8.99

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I have my smartphone and iPad with me so I can follow this thread in the car. We need to go. I will try to get this going tonite or tomorrow morning. Long haul w/a lot of traffic. NJ. Jeez. ;)

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Oooooooooooooooh, duh. I thought you meant you needed to go online to get the product. Saturday. Brain not functioning at 100% :rol

OK, if you can get the metro that would be great. And you have the Epsom. That should be it at that store. MetroMeds (metro in food form) is a great food to treat with as it attacks the infection from inside out but we need to get her eating first. Do you think you will be able to order MMs? :idont

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If you don't think you can order MMs, then you may want to look for gel food at the store you're heading to so that the metro powder can be added to the gel once she's eating again . . .

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Gah, also do you know how big the bottle of powdered metro is that you're getting? I'd like to make sure 1 bottle is enough. Keep in mind the fish will be in an unfiltered QT and we'd like daily very large (I do 100%) WCs. I don't know how feasible this is with your water situation but as we do WCs to keep the parameters under control, you'll need to replace the metro you remove. :D

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If the fish has dropsy(?)or something else life threatening that can cause death in hours or a few days, we feel our best option is to get on the road tonite and secure the required antibiotic. I also need to set up the quarantine tank and sort thru:

how and when to dose the fish with Epsom salts

how and when to dose the fish with metro.

how to get the fish to eat.

When to change the hospital tank water.

and come home and do a massive wc on the 75 gallon tank.

So here we go. We're leaving now. ;)

I can order the food online tonite or sometime tomorrow

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I do think it's dropsy BUT keep in mind, many of us have had fish recover from dropsy. Myself included.

You do have a big night ahead of you. :hug Don't worry many of hte mods around here (including me again) are up til all hours of hte night. We won't leave you stranded. Alhtough I do need to walk the dog at some point. :teehee

Once your QT tank is set up and ready for hte fish (temp and pH matched within reason), you will dose the tank with Epsom at 1/4 tsp per 10 gallons. Let's see what the directions are on the metro powder but in general you will dose 0.4 g max per 10 gallons. We will figure this out once you have it.

Once the fish is feeling better, hopefully she will begin to eat. Do you have blood worms (frozen)? Most GF can't resist them and we could use them to test and see if she's interested in eating after being in the metro water for a day or 2.

No rush to order the online food tonight. It wouldn't ship til Monday at the earliest . . .

:D

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Water changes of 5-15% are not nearly enough for goldfish because they are such massive waste producers. Right now while the fish is sick, I would change at least 50% daily. Once he is healthy again (fingers crossed), you could change 50% just once or twice a week. You will also find that bigger water changes will really help you bring your nitrates down.

You have a lot of great recommendations regarding treatment - I just wanted to add this about the water changes. A lot of people think small water changes are better or necessary (this is what I was also told before I found Koko's), and they are for many tropicals, but not for goldfish.

Good luck! I hope your fish gets better, it's so stressful when they're not doing well.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk

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I was concerned about a couple of your comments.

* How often do you change the water and how much? vacuum the bottom 1xwkly with 10%water change./1xmonth take it down 20%. * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Yesterday afternoon after I saw my fish in distress and tested the tank. 15% change.

We recommend a minimum water change of 50% weekly. When you have a big difference between tank and tap pH, it is good to do smaller, more frequent water changes, such as 10% daily. Your low water changes are almost certainly responsible for your high nitrate.

I decided to do a levels check and got these readings on 11/22/13: Ammonia approx. .15, Nitrite .25, Nitrate .80 or more, pH level 7.0.

I assume that is supposed to be 80 ppm nitrate. The presence of any ammonia or nitrite in an established tank indicates a problem with maintaining water quality. You have already determined that part of your problem was crud collecting in filters. The high nitrate shows clearly that another problem is not enough water changed. Fortunately, that is easy to correct.

A couple of months ago, I had a fish in one of my ponds suddenly develop dropsy and popeye. I removed him for treatment (which was successful) and tested the water. I rarely test water in my ponds since the results are "always the same" -- zero ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and pH in the low 8s. I was shocked to find 80 ppm of nitrate! I checked the other ponds and none of the others had any nitrate.

I did a little thinking and noted that I got casual about the amount of water changed in the summer because the summer rains are so heavy. However the rains had stopped for more than a month. Oops. I also noticed that the plants in the filter were not growing vigorously, probably because they needed more light, so I wasn't getting much phytofiltration. Although the water temperature had dropped, I had not decreased the amount I was feeding.

I did a 50% water change, flushed the filter and cleaned the pump, then upped my daily water changes to 20% for a week, then did a daily 10% change. I put some low-light house plants in the filter, which started growing quickly. I cut the amount I fed by a third. Then I tested nitrate weekly and watched it go down. I waited for the nitrate to get below 10 ppm before I returned the fish to the pond, just in case the high nitrate caused his illness. He's doing fine now.

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We have the hospital tank filled with water at the same temp and pH levels as the big tank. We need assistance in understanding how long the Epsom Salts are supposed to be in the tank. I have read on forums in the past about aquarists using Epsom Salts to bring down swelling and aid in healing, but from what I understand, advice is to use Aquarium salt in our area and so have no experienced person to consult about this method here.

I have 3 5 gram bottles of Seachem Metronidazole powder with instructions to use their measure per 10 gallons of water. I haven't added Epsom salt, medication, or the fish to the tank yet.

Many thanks.

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Epsom salt helps with the swelling. Aquarium salt will exacerbate swelling. We typically use Epsom salt for 8 days, give or take a couple of days. We will decide as we go along depending how the swelling looks. Go ahead and dissolve 1/2tsp of Epsom salt in the QT tank.

Do you know how many mg the dosage spoon is that came with the metro? 3 5 gram bottles will be plenty. :teehee

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