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PSA: When in doubt, let the behavior be your guide.


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  • Helper

So. Some of you have seen my thread on D&D relating to the Columnaris of doom. We have been treating aggressively and everyone seemed to be improving and had turned a corner. But today, I did another water change, dosed salt and meds normally and figured we were fine. Temp was right, water was dechlorinated, salinity was right, ph and everything else was bang on.

But my fish weren't right.

They were avoiding the bottom of the tank where the salt water was seeping from the sock I was using to diffuse it. Then one of them seemed to be shedding some slime cost. Both were a bit lethargic, respiration get slowly, and then eating bubbles at the top of the tank and hanging out there. No rhyme or reason, no cause I could see.

I spent all evening watching them, and their behavior was NOT right, even four days after near death with the fast moving, virulent strain of Columnaris we were battling.

It is 2:30 am my time, and I've just completed an 80% water change.

BAM! Normal fish behavior again. Just like that.

I still don't know what as amiss. Maybe mismeasured salt or a med? Residue from sterilized rank equipment? The wrong moon phase or just bad luck? Your test kit tells some of the story, and is a great tool, but PLEASE don't rely on it, routine, or habit to gauge the health of your fish. Watch them, watch how they act, and any cues their behavior or their physical condition might yield. If they are looking or acting just the slightest bit off, CHANGE THE WATER. And if that hasn't solved your issue in a few hours, then investigate salt, meds, whatever. But let the behavior be your guide. You can almost always tell a sick or stressed fish long before a test kit or frayed, reddened fins indicate the issue. Just familiarize yourself with normal, watch them carefully, and don't ignore even small warning signs. You will never, ever hurt your goldfish with properly treated water that is adjusted for your specific tank. And water changes are our very best tool in the kit for keeping our well housed, well fed pets in the best condition they can be.

I don't know what would have happened if I went to bed instead of hauling out the Python for the second time today. But I did not want to take the risk of finding out, either.

I'm sure you all know this, but I think it bears repeating. Temperate, clean water is the very first thing we should do when something in the tank isn't right. Good night, Koko nuts!

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  • Regular Member

So. Some of you have seen my thread on D&D relating to the Columnaris of doom. We have been treating aggressively and everyone seemed to be improving and had turned a corner. But today, I did another water change, dosed salt and meds normally and figured we were fine. Temp was right, water was dechlorinated, salinity was right, ph and everything else was bang on.

But my fish weren't right.

They were avoiding the bottom of the tank where the salt water was seeping from the sock I was using to diffuse it. Then one of them seemed to be shedding some slime cost. Both were a bit lethargic, respiration get slowly, and then eating bubbles at the top of the tank and hanging out there. No rhyme or reason, no cause I could see.

I spent all evening watching them, and their behavior was NOT right, even four days after near death with the fast moving, virulent strain of Columnaris we were battling.

It is 2:30 am my time, and I've just completed an 80% water change.

BAM! Normal fish behavior again. Just like that.

I still don't know what as amiss. Maybe mismeasured salt or a med? Residue from sterilized rank equipment? The wrong moon phase or just bad luck? Your test kit tells some of the story, and is a great tool, but PLEASE don't rely on it, routine, or habit to gauge the health of your fish. Watch them, watch how they act, and any cues their behavior or their physical condition might yield. If they are looking or acting just the slightest bit off, CHANGE THE WATER. And if that hasn't solved your issue in a few hours, then investigate salt, meds, whatever. But let the behavior be your guide. You can almost always tell a sick or stressed fish long before a test kit or frayed, reddened fins indicate the issue. Just familiarize yourself with normal, watch them carefully, and don't ignore even small warning signs. You will never, ever hurt your goldfish with properly treated water that is adjusted for your specific tank. And water changes are our very best tool in the kit for keeping our well housed, well fed pets in the best condition they can be.

I don't know what would have happened if I went to bed instead of hauling out the Python for the second time today. But I did not want to take the risk of finding out, either.

I'm sure you all know this, but I think it bears repeating. Temperate, clean water is the very first thing we should do when something in the tank isn't right. Good night, Koko nuts!

I would completely dissolve the salt before returning the fish to the tank.  Changes in salinity can be stressful.  We also don't want to give the parasites a break from the full salinity.  I usually do this in a container of hot water, cool it with ice cubes and then add it to the tank.

 

The sock method is fine for the first time you add the salt.  After that, I recommend predissolving the full dose..

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  • Helper

Yes, I'm thinking this is wise. I let about half of it dissolve before adding them back in and had no issue on the previous water changes, but that seems the most likely culprit to me, too. They were getting worse and not better as the night went on. But here at 6:30 am everyone looks perfect again. Normal swimming, normal eating, socializing, slime coats, etc.

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