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Pearlscale Goldfish is upside-down, need diagnosis + treatment


SorrelSong

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Today, when i woke up at 6:47 AM, my fish was sleeping upside-down at the bottom of the tank. She can still swim but she seems to get tired and stop near the bottom in a corner, then she slowly tips over nose first until she's upside-down. She wouldn't eat anything. She's alive and is breathing more than usual but that seems to happen when water quality is low, and she have been breathing more over the past while, it's about 2-3 mouth movement per second. On what i think is a good day she'll breathe either once every second or once every 2 seconds. I'm sorry that I don't have a water test kit to tell you all the measurements, they're expensive and i don't think my dad wants to fork out that kind of money (he is a food delivery man.) However, in my mums medicine cupboard there were some PH testing strips, so after i did a maybe 30% water change I took water from the near bottom and tested, i think the PH is 5.8, theres a picture just in case in this album: https://imgur.com/a/DJ78C#0

I have a 10 Gallon tank with my female pearlscale named Ficker, the filter is an Aquaclear power filter that says it is for use on a 20-50 US Gallon aquarium( https://usa.hagen.com/Aquatic/Filtration/Clip-On/A610), i have the regular sponge, the biomax, but instead of the regular carbon insert i put in the zero carb insert somewhere around the end of march after a full water change, said to remove ammonia so it sounds good to me. Beyond that, heres everything... I think I've had my goldfish for 2.5 yrs? I forget but i wrote it down somewhere. I've only recently read that not all pearlscales reach maturity and live due to swim bladder problems :( It all started maybe 2 or so weeks ago? 3? I unfortunately have a bad habit of not changing the water until the tank walls are green with algae, but she's seemingly so hardy she bounces back some days after the water is changed. My pearlscale was getting bigger lately and her poop showed signs of constipation so i decided to ease up on the food. I don't remember if it was before or after the poop but i also noticed her water was quite cold, so i turned up the temperature thing in her tank and the water became a bit warmer than tepid. Usually I give her 3 small pinches of food a day, and i am a small girl with small fingers: breakfast lunch and dinner and she eats that happily. to cure the constipation, I decided to only give her dinner, fast her for a day, then just fed smaller brunch and dinner for a couple days (didn't have any peas on hand). However, she soon lost her appetite and wouldn't eat. So I immediately do a full water change and remove the gravel to make removing excess food easier. It works within limit and she only eats sometimes, but soon she wouldn't eat again. I put the gravel back(Sunday April 20th?) and her appetite returned. I fed her some frozen bloodworms that i keep forgetting exist, there were 2 cubes left ( i only fed one, and there were leftovers) and the frozen expiry date is May 2014. I don't know if the worms induced this or if it was brewing before, but my goldfish's poop was a thin white stream followed by a sudden thick grey poop, and her food is pale yellow, not grey. The only diagnosis i found was that it could be some sort of diarrhea/ not properly digested? Not sure. Back to the bloated fish thing. Her scales are sticking up a little bit, and I have some guesses. Maybe she is maturing into a pearlscale and is getting the supposed "pearled scales," maybe she has dropsy/ swim bladder problems and is dying, or maybe because of the temperature change I made, maybe she is eggbound. I am reluctant to do any salt treatments, don't know if it's too late and should euthanise, so here I am and I request your diagnosis and reccomended treatment. We have some epsom bath salt we could use if needed/adequate. I found this ( http://www.goldfish-emergency.com/viewpage.php?page_id=198 ) to use if she's eggbound, but am reluctant to handle her or alter water chemistry with oils and garlic water, and idk if i should handle her because she hates that and i don't want to wreck her slimecoat. Also is it okay to run the filter while she's like this? Hopefully the pictures i took are adequate, if you'll notice her, ahem, poop chute is white, has a small protrusion. its usually smaller than that. She has spawned in the past but hasn't spawned this year. Please and thank you very much for any help. :idont

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Hi SorrelSong. I'm sorry your pearlie is not doing well. :(

If you could please fill out the chart, providing numbers for all result, that will really help the mods in being able to determine the cause of her ailments (if it is a water quality issue), as well as what is safe for treatment. We recommend the API Freshwater Master Test Kit, or you can bring a sample of water (don't forget to bring tap water too!) to most pet stores to be tested. Please ask them for exact numbers of the results.

Pictures would also be helpful - especially a picture from directly above so that her scales can be assessed, and also to see if there is bloating. Videos are good too, especially when floating is involved.

hang in there, and don't do anything drastic (adding salt or meds) until you can post this info and are instructed by a mod. I hope everything goes well! :)

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There is a link to the diagnosis form in my signature, so it will be easy to find. Please answer all questions, including all water parameters. It is important that we get actual numbers and reliable results to be able to provide a safe and effective treatment.

I know it is natural to want to immediately diagnose what you believe is going on with the fish, but please wait for a moderator to come and review your case before beginning any treatments. Our team is extremely knowledgeable and very willing to help once the form is filled out and photos or video are taken so that they know what's going on since we can't be right there next to you.

I hope everything goes well for you and your little pearlscale!

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Thank you for your detailed description of what is happening with your fish. I hope it has a speedy recovery! Could you please fill out this form? It is an easier format for our mods to read when they are dealing with multiple D & D cases.

  • 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.?
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Hi guys. My mum had some money and did some research and decided to diagnose my pearlscale with dropsy, since her scales were sticking up a bit taC7yGhs.jpg

and the sources say if you don't catch it soon it'll be too late, and so we went to a petshop. They were apparently the only ones that had some dropsy medication (Maracyn Two), and they reserved the last dropsy medication for us :) @jenzaar thanks for the advice, we asked and they actually did test the water for free :o i couldn't beleive it. That place is so much nicer than the usual shop at the mall we go to, the carbon inserts for my filter are $2 cheaper there. i didn't bring tap water or get down some precice measurements, but the fish department lady says my fish's water is fine accept the Ph is just a little low. She confirmed our suspicion on the dropsy, said that fish don't pinecone when they have swim bladder disease, and the increased temp some weeks before could have caused a bacterial bloom and stressed the fish allowing the bacteria to move in. @chelsea and @jenzaar sorry that i haven't waited for a moderator like you instructed, the medication is already in. The fish department lady and my mother's research all sounded like it checked out alright.

Thank you for your detailed description of what is happening with your fish. I hope it has a speedy recovery!

@ahardeay thank you for taking the time to read my detailed description about my fish. In retrospect i probably knew the dreaded tank chemistry readings were a requirement, but I guess I was whistfully thinking that just giving as much info as possible about her life story over the past weeks would result in a diagnosis like "yup, sounds like disease-name to me, do so and so," completing the instructions and the result would either be hollywood happy ending or sad fish version of "Marley and me." There is some potential that she could die so i guess that made me dramatic. I don't usually get much work done when i dramatize it. I never would have thought earlier that it'd be as simple as what we just did. Now all there is to do is use meds and hope for the best. @Heidi030 Yes I hope so too, thanks for the support.

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:hi

I agree that does look like dropsy. However I would not recommend treating with Maracyn 2. Maracyn 2 is a tetracycline antibiotic which are very hard in the kidneys. When fish have dropsy, they are bloated/retaining excess fluid as the internal organs (including the kidneys) are not functioning properly.

Dropsy is best treated with MetroMeds from goldfish connection (found online only) along with Epsom salt. If the fish is not eating, metronidazole powder along with an antibiotic such as erythromycin or kanamycin can be used in addition to the Epsom salt. The Epsom salt helps to reduce the bloating/fluid build up.

Also I'm curious as to what exactly your pH is. "A little low" to some people is vastly different. Some fish do fine in low pH. GF need a pH of at least 7. :idont

Good luck with your fish. Let us know if you have any questions.

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@fantailfan thanks for the info, as for the PH i don't know the exact reading the lady got but i did do sorta a pH test after i did a 30% water change this morning. However I think the original purpose of the test strips are to check the pH of saliva, not aquarium water, though it instructs you to dip it into the substance you want to test, so substance could be anything man. I think the strip says 5.8: https://i.imgur.com/OQEKGoM.jpg though this was, like 9 or 10 AM, the lady tested water that came from my tank at approximately 3PM.

and thank-you, i'll ask if something comes to mind. :)

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My goldfish died :( The worse thing is i don't think it was the dropsy. We tried leaving a cup in there for her to rest in maybe right-side up instead of upside-down, but she hated it so she avoided the inside. I didn't bother taking it out, and didn't think that she'd get stuck inside it in the middle of the night and maybe suffocate to death? :bye2: Thanks for the advice but it's goodbye, Flicker...

Edited by SorrelSong
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Sorry for your loss :(

Before you get another pet goldfish, if you want another one, I would recomend getting the API drop test kit for the freshwater master kit . Checking water quality and maintaining good levels is the easiest way to keep a fish healthy and prevent disease in the first place. It is very important to know the exact #'s when taking care of our fish. It is possible that changes occurred in your tap water and you wouldn't know without a test kit. These changes can stress your fish and if the levels are not being monitored there is no way to know that there is an issue until the fish is showing signs of distress.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/320965256947?lpid=82

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@ahardeay Thanks, but I don't plan on getting another fish, at least not for awhile. I love 'em but I've decided goldfish are a bit too much work for me. If I ever did I think I'd get a bigger tank first so I could have multiple goldfish who have the space they deserve :gfish::gfish::gfish:

Thank you for your time and your support though, all of you :grouphug

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Hello, I'm so sorry your pearlie died. :(

I do think it's dropsy, and while Maracyn 2 may advertise itself as a medication for dropsy, it's a very lousy one.

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