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Ruby and Lyle Not Eating

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Test Results for the Following:

* Ammonia Level(Tank) 0

* Nitrite Level(Tank) 0

* Nitrate level(Tank) 20

* Ammonia Level(Tap) 0

* Nitrite Level(Tap) 0

* Nitrate level(Tap) 5

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.5

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 6.6

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API Drops

* Water temperature? 69

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 100 gal 1 month

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Homemade 5 gal bucket

* How often do you change the water and how much? Once a week 50-60%

* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 6 days ago 100%

* How many fish in the tank and their size? 2 approx. 6"

* What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime

* What do you feed your fish and how often? Hikari Lionhead, NLS Thera A, peas, blood worms.

* Any new fish added to the tank? Both were moved in from outside last week.

* Any medications added to the tank? None

* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. No treatment

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? None

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Not eating, bottom sitting, clamping.

Last week I moved Ruby and Lyle from the outside deck tank to their winter home in the basement. I had already cycled the tank before moving them to the stock tank. They seemed fine outside but as soon as I put them inside they started bottom sitting and wouldn't eat. After about week they are swimming more but are still not interested in eating. This evening Ruby actually jumped out of the water which really worried me. I checked the water right away but the only thing a little off was the nitrates as you can see above. I decided to do a water change to reduce the nitrates.

As you might know my other fish is also not doing well right now. Her illness started after doing a large water change. I am on well water that has a pH neutralizing tank on it. I was a little suspicious of my well water so I decided to check the pH of it as I was doing the water change tonight. The pH of the well water started at 7.2 but decreased to 6.4 when I stopped filling the tank.

I am thinking that the problem with my fish might be that when I do a water change I am lowering the pH.

Sorry about this long winded but I am really worried about my fish. What do you think I can do for them?

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6.4 is too low. And that is a huge drop in such a short amount of time--7.2 to 6.4 is nearly 10 times more acidic.

Do you know your KH? :idont

I would add some baking soda to get that pH up . . . would you happen to have a new unopened box of baking soda?

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I just want to make it clear that the tank pH is 7.0 after the water change. The pH of the water from the tap at the end was 6.4.

I don't know the KH.

I only have a open box of baking soda.

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Ah, good. Thank you for clearing that up. :D

Test your pH in 24 hours and see if it still is 7.

And have a new box of baking soda if you can just in case we need it.

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I will check the pH tomorrow and pick up some baking soda.

Is there anything else I should be doing to help with my fishes recovery?

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The symptoms could certainly be from the ph change. What was the typical ph when they were outside?

No other physical signs? Red spots? White stringy poo? Yawning? Flashing?

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I did find a completely clear poo when I was doing the water change. Last week Lyle was surface breathing and blowing bubbles. Also Ruby jumped out of the water earlier tonight. This is what made me do tonight's water change.

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Let's see what the ph is tomorrow and go from there. Jumping often indicates water quality issues.

The clear poo could be stress related, from not eating much lately or possible infection. I wouldn't do anything else until we see what the ph is tomorrow. :)

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I agree with Lisa that this could very well be a pH issue. That was the only thing that alarmed me when I read your answers to the D&D form above. She is much better at fixing pH than I am :rofl

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Thanks for the resposnses. Unfortunately they still aren't interested in food and it is now a week since they have been transferred. I will check the pH when I get home tonight. I need to go to the LFS at lunch for some meds, do you think I should pick up a KH testing kit. I'm not sure if this would help in the diagnosing the water problems I am having.

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A KH test will help if the pH has dropped as we will use baking soda to raise the pH along with the KH. We will shoot for a KH of no less than 100. If your water started at 7.2 and dropped to 6.4 in the amount of time it took to fill the tank, my guess is the KH is very low.

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Hope they feel better.

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A KH test will help if the pH has dropped as we will use baking soda to raise the pH along with the KH. We will shoot for a KH of no less than 100. If your water started at 7.2 and dropped to 6.4 in the amount of time it took to fill the tank, my guess is the KH is very low.

Lisa, do you think they may be acting off because of a shift in pH whenever fresh tap water is added to the tank :idont

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A KH test will help if the pH has dropped as we will use baking soda to raise the pH along with the KH. We will shoot for a KH of no less than 100. If your water started at 7.2 and dropped to 6.4 in the amount of time it took to fill the tank, my guess is the KH is very low.

Lisa, do you think they may be acting off because of a shift in pH whenever fresh tap water is added to the tank :idont

I think so... Putting a Ph of that low into a tank that is already higher then it drops then goes back up.. I think the fish are having a PH crashing :(

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A KH test will help if the pH has dropped as we will use baking soda to raise the pH along with the KH. We will shoot for a KH of no less than 100. If your water started at 7.2 and dropped to 6.4 in the amount of time it took to fill the tank, my guess is the KH is very low.

Lisa, do you think they may be acting off because of a shift in pH whenever fresh tap water is added to the tank :idont

I think so... Putting a Ph of that low into a tank that is already higher then it drops then goes back up.. I think the fish are having a PH crashing :(

I am hoping I can clarify this a little more. Like I said we are on well water that has a holding tank to neutralize the pH. I have had goldfish for only a short time but have never had such a problem as I have over the last month. Not only are Ruby and Lyle having problems in the basement stock tank but also Daffodil is not doing well in my upstairs main tank. Her problems started when I did a 100% water change about a month ago. These other two fish started having problems as soon as I moved them from outside into the stock tank. Trying to not stress them I did a fishless cycle on the stock tank in preperation for the move. It took about a month but the cycle was complete. I had planned on moving them over the weekend but there was a possiblility of snow showers and I was worried about having them outside. I took water from the outside tank to fill my 20 gallon hospital tub and moved them downstairs into it. The next day I checked the pH of the tap and the pH of the hospital tank water and they were both around 7.2. Since they were close I did a 100% water change on the stock tank, matched the water temperature of the hospital tub, and moved them to the stock tank. Stupidly I never checked the pH of the stock tank after I did the water change. They haven't been the same since.

Yesterday I checked the water parameters on the stock tank and the Nitrates were above 20 so I figured I would do a water change. Being suspicious of the water pH I checked the tap, which initially had a reading of about 8.0. Surprised by this reading I ran the tap a little and did another test. This time it read 7.6. Next I decided to bypass the holding tank and got a pH reading of about 6.0. I reconnected the holding tank, ran the tap some more and got a reading of 7.4. This is not good. I decided to do a water change but I monitored it as I was doing the change. As I said in the original post the tap pH was dropping as I was filling the tank. I stopped filling when the pH coming out of the tap was around 6.4. I checked the pH of the tank and it had dropped down to 7.0.

Based on this I can only assume that when I did the large water changes the pH of the tank dropped very low and that is what is causing the problems with my fish.

It looks like there is some neutralizer in the tank but not enough to keep the pH at an acceptable level when I'm doing a water change. I am calling the company that services the holding tank today and hopefully when they replace the neutralizer this will solve the problem.

In the mean time is there anything I can do to help my sad fish? Also if I need to do water changes is there a way to do them without harming the fish more?

Sorry for the long post. Thanks for all your help.

Edited by GoFishyGo

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Sounds like you have a good idea of what's going on from your above post. Is that person from that Co. scheduled to come over soon? I hope this all gets resolved soon for you and your fish.

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Tested the pH of the stock tank when I got home and it's back up to about 7.5.

They still have no interest in food.

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I'm going to report this to the rest of the mod team so we can discuss it. We will get back with you ASAP.

What medications do you have? Did you pick up a KH test kit?

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I have Kanaplex, Triple Sulfa, and Metronidazole powder. I have the KH test kit.

The guy is coming on Tuesday to recharge the neutralizing tank.

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Please test tank and tap KH. :)

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The tap KH is 71.6

Tank KH 53.7

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Here are the thoughts of the mod team thus far:

First, we need to bring your pH/KH up in order to stabilize your pH. Please take a look at the following thread:

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/110296-stabilizing-your-tank-ph-with-sodium-bicarbonate-baking-soda/

We want to bring your KH up to at least 100 so you will want to add about 5 tsp of baking soda. You may want to add half that to start and see how it affects your pH/KH. Please let us know if you have questions regarding this either before you start or during the process.

Second, it has been suggested that rather than doing a large weekly WC, causing the pH to fluctuate so much, you do daily 10% WCs, assuming that is enough to keep your nitrates 20 or below. If not, you may need to up that a bit but 50% WCs are rather stressful on the fish if your pH drops significantly while filling the tank.

Have you ever had anything like this happen before when it was time to replace the pH neutralizer? :idont

When was the last time these fish were treated for flukes? We may want to do that also but I'd like to get the pH/KH straightened out before that, I think.

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I'm embarassed to say I forgot to pick up baking soda yesterday. I will pick up some today and add it to the tank. Can I add it directly to the tank or do I need to dissolve it first?

The neutralizing tank is usually refilled once a year and it was done about a year ago. I have not really noticed problems before but when I got Daffodil last year she had some problems. I just attributed it to treating her for flukes but maybe the water had something to do with it.

They were treated for flukes just before I put them outside this year so that is about 6-7 months ago.

Just as an aside, I am treating my other fish Daffodil for flukes and having some problems that probably has to do with water changes. I am going to mention it in the other thread but I am supposed to do a big water change tommorow and am not sure how to handle it.

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Please don't do any large water changes. We don't know what is wrong with your water. It may be just a pH issue. If so, the baking soda should correct the problem. However, reviewing some old threads, I see that you had some similar issues when you first put fish in your lovely patio pond. This suggests to me that there is something in your water supply, that is bothering your fish, but dissipates with time.

I have had a similar problem with municipal water this summer. It took me months to realize that mildly sick fish dying in hospital tanks, and fry that failed to grow and developed horrible deformities had one thing in common. They were receiving 100% water changes. That had never been a problem before the tap water turned cloudy in June. The fish that got sick had all been in newly set up or freshly cleaned ponds. The fish in ponds receiving only continuous water change, and the fry that were dumped in the duckweed tub were fine. Now the city has told us that total trihalomethanes in our water went over the FL maximum-allowed in June.

I recommend you set up a continuous-drip water change system in your tank, dripping in 10 gallons of fresh water daily. If you don't want to do that, just change 10 gallons of water daily using aged water. If nitrate is your concern, use plants to absorb the nitrate. I can tell you how to do this. While a few goldfish are very sensitive to nitrate, most can handle several times what you had in the tank. We recommend keeping nitrate at 20 ppm for the safety of those sensitive fish and to encourage water changes.

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