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SharonR

my fish has red spots and red lines

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I was recommended to come here by Complete Goldfish Care website.  I am hoping that you can help us.  We have had our fish for about 5 years with no problems, she is the the only fish in the tank.  Recently, she has been hanging out at the top of the tank, she gets red spots, off and on around her fins and under her mouth, they have recently started to look like blood lines on her fins.  We had her water checked and the ph levels, nitrate and ammonia in the water and all is fine.  We recently moved her to a 20 gallon tank from a 10 gallon tank.  The problems did start in the 10 gallon tank.  We have changed her water  We have added aquarium salt and treated her with Maracyn Two.  She gets better for a while, but then the spots return.  Today, we purchased a more powerful pump that came with a wheel that removes nitrates and ammonia.  We have noticed that she is moving more, not hanging around the top as much, we think part of the problem may have been our cheap pump.  Do you have any suggestions as to how we can make her better, my daughter is so upset.  Thank you.

 

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  • 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.?

Hi! Please copy and paste this form to your next post, and fill it out to your best ability. It'll help the mods to figure out what is the problem.

Good luck :)

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Just a further explanation of the form above.  Water tests that are "fine" do not tell us anything.  We need the actual numbers. Would you please take another sample for testing and ask for the exact numbers?  We also need to know your regular water change schedule.

 

That looks like a nice big, beautiful  goldfish.  When you give the size of your fish, please give the standard (body) length -- the length from the tip of her nose to the base of the tail, not including the tail fin.

 

You did well to get a larger tank and better filter.  

 

Please show us a picture including the whole tank.

 

When you get a chance, please read our guidelines for healthy goldfish.

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    • * Ammonia Level(Tank)   3.0
    • * Nitrite Level(Tank)  0
    • * Nitrate level(Tank)  10 safe
    • * Ammonia Level(Tap)  0 ideal
    • * Nitrite Level(Tap)  0
    • * Nitrate level(Tap)  0
    • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) Ph - 8.4 basic, KH - 300, GH - 150 hard, chloramines - 0 safe
    • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)  ph - 6.8-7.2 neutral, KH - 100 med to ideal, GH - soft, chloramines - 0 safe
    • Other Required Info:
      • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? Tetra easy strips
      • * Water temperature? 78 - 80
      • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?  20 gal. - 2 weeks, she was in a 10 gal. for year before this
      • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Marineland Bio-Wheel Penguin 100, we just got this filter on Sunday.  Before that we were using a Tetra Whisper 10-30i.  We changed the filter/pump because she was hanging out at the top of the tank.  Since putting in the new filter, she is no longer hanging around at the top.
      • * How often do you change the water and how much? We change 50% about every 1 1/2 weeks.
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?   We changed it on Sunday, 50% when we put in the new filter.
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size?  1, she is about 6 inches.
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners?  none
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often?  We feed her flakes in the morning and Baby Shrimp Sun dried gammarus in the evening
  • * Any new fish added to the tank?  no
  • * Any medications added to the tank? only aquarium salt in this tank
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.  We used Maracayn 2, 2 weeks ago when she was in her old tank, it helped some, other than that we have just used aquarium salt, once in the new tank, one once in the old tank.
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?  She has some bloody streaks in her fins, those have gotten better with the new filter.  It looks like there are some grains of salt on the red spots on her body.
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? 2 weeks ago, she was hanging out at the top, today we noticed she is at the bottom. 

I appreciate your help so much.  I am unable to add any pictures, I can't figure out how I did it the first time.  Let me know how to send the pictures and I will be more than happy to do it.

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Thanks for filling out the form. Few more questions for ya.  :donthit:

 

Are you doing anything to your water to make the pH, KH, and GH rise so much?  I wonder if these readings are accurate as test strips are notoriously inaccurate.  I suggest bringing a sample of tank and tap water to your local pet store and having htem test the water for you and see what they get.  Ask them for the actual numbers, not just "safe", "good", etc.

 

Next, with ammonia at 3, you need to do a large WC.  The problem is if your tap and tank water are actually that far apart, you are limited in the amount you can change.  I would suggest doing about 30% now and another 30% in a few hours.  Retest the pH and ammonia after each change and report it the results here.  You'll probably need to do additional WCs tomorrow.  While you have ammonia in the water (indicating that your tank is not cycled), you will want to decrease the amount and number of feedings.  I would suggest one light feeding per day.

 

I'd suggest picking up a bottle of Prime water conditioner.  Prime will detoxify (not remove, just detoxify) up to 1 ppm of ammonia which will help . . .

 

Did you use any parts/filter floss/sponge/ceramic media from your old filter in the new one?  Even with the new filter you are underfiltered according to our guidelines/recommendations.  We suggest 10X filtration and with your 20 gallon tank you will want 200 gph filtration.  You are at 100.  I would suggest another filter like you have or something similar. 

 

Last, finally :rofl , what media do you have in your filter?  How is it set up?  Do you have carbon?  Any ceramic media?  :idont

 

To upload pics, you need to use a photo hosting site such as photobucket.com.  :D

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The readings I gave you did come from the pet store.  They tested the water for me.  We have not added anything to the water, I was surprised it was so high, since we just changed the water on Sunday.  We actually have both pumps running in her tank now.  The filters have carbon.  I will get the prime and do the water changes.  Thank you

 

 

 

IMG_0325_zpsyyxwhzjq.jpgIMG_0328%201_zpsojn7xumn.jpg

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I did the 30% water change, then added the Prime, here are my new readings:  Ammonia - 4.0 done with API drops, PH - 7.6 done with API drops,

GH - 180, KH - 180, nitrate - 40, nitrite - .05 these last tests were done with API strips.  I will do another water change in a couple of hours.  

 

We have never had an ammonia problem before, we have had her for 5 years.  I think my daughter may have been over feeding her, so we will limit our feedings as you suggested.

 

Thank you

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Please test your tap water for ammonia and pH. That amount of ammonia is toxic. If your tap and tank pH are within 0.5 I'd like you to do as close to 100% WC as you can manage.

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I cannot thank you guys enough for all the help!!!  I tested the tap water, for ammonia it was 0 and ph was 7.6.  I did about a 90% water change, boy that is tough!  I will do what it takes for my daughter's fish.  I did talk to my daughter and I  think she may have been overfeeding her.  We are going out of town this weekend and are testing an automatic feeder, she thought it wasn't giving enough food, so she fed her more.  I will test her water again in a couple of hours.  We will limit the feeding to once per day and hopefully she will be fine when we leave this weekend.

 

Thank you for your continued help, I will do whatever you suggest!

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Her ammonia is now at 1.0, I will do another 40% water change in about an hour.

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You said you feed flakes.  What brand?  Flakes have a bad reputation because low-quality food typically comes in flake form.  High quality flakes are very expensive, so you would best try feeding her a high-quality pellet food.  

 

You can probably find one of these foods in a pet/fish store:

 

http://www.amazon.com/New-Life-Spectrum-Goldfish-Formula/dp/B0002E7JG2/ref=sr_1_9?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1441797076&sr=1-9&keywords=goldfish+food

 

http://www.amazon.com/Omega-One-Goldfish-Small-Pellets/dp/B009POMXF2/ref=sr_1_31?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1441797197&sr=1-31&keywords=goldfish+food

 

You correctly suspect that overfeeding causes high ammonia.  All ammonia in the tank comes from fish food, mostly from that which the fish has eaten.  When you go out of town, do not use the automatic feeder.  Goldfish can go for more than a week without food with no ill effects at all.  With an ammonia problem, you should consider food without daily water changes to be poison.   Two days without food may be just the right treatment for your fish.  Do a large water change before leaving.

 

When you got the new filter, did you remove the old one?  I know you said you have both in the tank now, but was there a period of time with just the new filter?

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We were using the cheap flakes and have always used them, but when this problem started, we have now switched to Omega One flakes and pellets.  I had no idea they could go without food, thank you.  We also have Elodea in the tank.

 

No, we kept the old filter in with the new one.  This morning I did a 50% water change, took out the old pump and filter and changed the filter in the new pump.  Here are my new numbers, other than the ph and ammonia, I have no idea if they are good.

GH - 180, KH - 120, PH - 7.5, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate - 20, Ammonia - .50  It seems like I am on the right track, should I just continue to do water changes?

 

Once we get the problem under control, how often should we do regular water changes?  I can only assume the problem came from over feeding, because in the 5 years we have had her, we haven't an ammonia problem and she hasn't had the red spots before. 

 

Thank you for all your help.

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I really don't understand what you did, but it sounds like you are removing your filter bacteria.  Let's get some terms straight.

 

This device is called a filter, specifically a hang on the back (HOB) filter.

 

marineland-penguin-bio-wheel-power-filte

The filter contains a pump that moves the water.  It also contains filter media.  The blue pad type of filter medium provides mechanical filtration, that is, it removes particles from the water.  When it gets dirty, you can rinse off the crud using dechlorinated water and put it back in.  You don't want to replace it, because this pad becomes a home for the bacteria that remove the ammonia.  Unless it becomes clogged with crud, you should not replace it.  The biowheel will also provide a home for these bacteria.  

 

If you are changing the filter media in your filters, you are throwing away the bacteria, which is why you have ammonia in the tank. New filter medium does not have the good bacteria on it.   If you have both filters in the tank, the new one will pick up good bacteria from the old one.  

 

Is this making sense?

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that is exactly what we have.  Thank you, I had no idea that we just rinse off the crud and put it back in!!  How often can you reuse a filter?

 

How long does it take to get the good bacteria on a new filter? 

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Does your cartridge (the blue one, or is it gray?) have carbon in it?  I use the same cartridge for months, but I remove the carbon.

 

It will take a few weeks for BB to establish on your new filter.  As I said above, I'd continue to run both filters (or get another Penguin) as you are underfiltered with just one of them.  :D

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If you had kept the old filter in the tank with the new one, without changing the medium, it would take a week or two for the new filter to gain a full population of good bacteria.  Without that old filter, it will probably be a month before you have grown enough bacteria to dispose of all the ammonia produced by the fish.  If you can recover the discarded filter medium and return it and the old filter to the tank it should still have some live bacteria.  

 

I'm sorry we didn't realize sooner that you didn't understand "biofiltration".  You have clearly been doing a very good job of caring for this fish without knowing it.

 

Read our guidelines for healthy goldfish and also this thread (with a video) about the process called "cycling."

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Shakaho, I saw your post just before I left for work, I was able to put in the old filter of the tank that is shown.  I cleaned it off like you said.  The other filter was unuseable.  Right now, I just have the one filter in the tank, but will be putting the other one in tonight, it will have a new filter.

 

Fantailfan1, my cartridge is the blue one.  Yes, it has carbon in it.  How do I remove the old carbon and put new carbon in?

 

I appreciate all your help!!  I feel more confident leaving this weekend knowing she will be okay.  My husband is going to do a 100% water change tomorrow night, so she will be all set with clean water while we are gone.  Her redness is disappearing the bloody streaks in her tail are gone!

 

When we get this under control, how often and how much should we change the water?  In the past, we just did about a 50% every 1 1/2 weeks.

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Just cut a slit in the blue filter floss and dump out the carbon.  You don't need to replace it.  :D  With the large frequent WCs we do, carbon isn't needed.  Some people use it occasionally to help remove meds but it isn't needed on a regular basis.

 

With your one fish in the 20 gallon, I'd do weekly WCs.  I would do at least 50%, depending on your tap and tank water pH.   If you'd like more details, test your tap and tank pH before a WC and we can help guide you as to how large of a WC is safe with your parameters.  :D 

 

As far as I'm concerned, bigger is better.  I bring my water down until my fish's dorsal fins are sticking out.  :teehee  Keep in mind, there are lots of dissolved solids and other things in the water that we do not test for plus WCs replenish minerals in the water.

 

So happy to hear the redness is improving!!  :hi5

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thank you so much!!!  We will do this, it will save money!!  If I wanted to replace the carbon, how much would I put in?  So my understanding is that the live bacteria lives on the filter and not in the carbon?

 

I appreciate you all answering all my questions and guiding me to a healthy fish again!!! 

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The bacteria live mainly on the biowheel in your set up.  I would suggest getting a mesh bag and adding something like this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Fluval-Biomax-Bio-Rings-ounces/dp/B000HHSG5M/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

 

to your filter.  It has a very large surface area for BB to live. :D

 

The bacteria do not live in the carbon, or at least they shouldn't.  Bacteria will grow on just about any surface (the tank walls, décor, etc) that isn't wiped or cleaned regularly.  The great thing about the ceramic media I linked above is the amount of surface area it provides for BB to establish.  With that type of media in your filter, the very large majority would take up residence there :rofl vs in other areas of your tank. 

 

Does that make sense?  Sometimes I make perfect sense in my head but others go :blink:

 

:rofl3

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I understand what you are saying, is there a picture of how you set up the mesh bag, I am not getting a picture in my head

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Thank you all very much!!  Our ammonia is right around .25 - .50.  We are giving her a 100% water change tonight before we leave in the morning.  I will check out the videos when I get back.  Thank you!!!!

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UPDATE:  Before we left last weekend, we did a 100% water change, her ammonia was at 0.  She was not fed for 2 days, when we came home her ammonia was at .50%,  I put in some Prime and it went down.  She looked much better when we came home.  We have continued to battle with her ammonia all week.  We are only feeding her once a day.  Today her ammonia was at 1.0%, I put more Prime in.  Today the redness has started to come back.  Is there something else we could be battling with?

 

Thank you!

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How much water do you change each day?  Prime does not remove ammonia, but it can make ammonia up to 1ppm safe.

 

What are your other parameters?

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