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arrburr

Goldfish Ich (among other issues)

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  • Test Results for the Following:
  • * Ammonia Level(Tank) 0ppm
  • * Nitrite Level(Tank) 0ppm
  • * Nitrate level(Tank) 5ppm
  • * Ammonia Level(Tap) .25ppm
  • * Nitrite Level(Tap) 0ppm
  • * Nitrate level(Tap) 0ppm
  • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 8pH
  • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 8pH
  • Other Required Info:
  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API Freshwater Test Kit (Drops)
  • * Water temperature? 76F
  • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 29g
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Aquaclear 70 / Aquaclear 110 (see description)
  • * How often do you change the water and how much? every 3-4 days
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 3
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 3 (~2-3 inches each)
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? Seachem Prime, API Aquarium Salt
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? Tetrafin Goldfish Flakes, Repashy Soilent Green, Hikari Pellets, deshelled peas (2 times a day)
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? all 3 last week
  • * Any medications added to the tank? Mardel Coppersafe (for Ich), and API Aquarium Salt
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. Day 5 Salt, Day 7 Mardel Coppersafe
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Ich white spots, bloody eye
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Lethargic, Bottom of Tank, Top of Tank, Bully by one fish 

 

Hey everyone,

 

I've posted this on numerous places but I figured I should focus on a goldfish specific site because people here understand more. I bought 3 fancy goldfish (ranchu, telescope butterfly, pearlscale) last Saturday and added them to a 29g tank I had cycled previously. I know the tank is overstocked, but they're all very small now so I figured I'd adjust once they got bigger. I also am keeping a close eye on the water parameters and changing water as soon as I see issues. The tank was cycled with goldfish from a friend. At the time I added the 3 new fancy goldfish I was using an Aquaclear 110. Also when I got my pearlscale, I noticed I could see red under the head and some tiny red spots near the gills, but I just assumed it was the clearness of its head that allowed me to see its organs.

 

Day 3I noticed my pearlscale lazy and hanging around the top of the tank. (http://imgur.com/kUmzDun)

From my understanding I was not having oxygen problems because my other fish weren't near the top and my pearlscale was just chilling and not gulping air. I also assumed the Aquaclear 110 was creating enough water displacement for the fish to have enough oxygen. I had been feeding them Tetra Goldfish flakes twice a day following the 3 min rule. I was worried my pearlscale was experiencing constipation or dropsy, so I immediately switched them to a diet of 1 deshelled pea a day and Hikari Sakari Fancy Goldfish sinking pellets (purple bag). 

 

Day 4: The pearlscale began sitting lethargic at the bottom of the tank. I immediately tested the water parameters (0/0/10-20ppm) and did a 25% water change. I primed my tap water with Seachem Prime. I also noticed that the ranchu was pushing both the telescopebutterfly and pearlscale up from behind their butts. He seemed to be bullying them. Here's a video example of the ranchu bullying the telescope and the pearlscale being lethargic (https://vid.me/yEEL). 

 

Some users on other forums suggested that the pearlscale was exhausted and that my Aquaclear 110 (500gph) might be causing too much current and be stressing out the fish. I went out immediately and bought a Aquaclear 70. I wanted to turn off the high powered filter, so I removed the sponge, biomedia, and carbon filter from my old filter and placed them into my tank. I then began my new filter and also added some of the old biomedia into the new filter's biomedia.

 

Also this day my Repashy Soilent Green came in the mail and I began using this to feed the fish.

 

Day 5: The next day I tested the water parameters and they were looking fine. (0/0/10ppm) After seeing my pearscale still chilling at the bottom of the tank for two days straight and my other fish joining her, I got worried and went to my LFS.He suggested aquarium salt, which I purchased and added to my tank. I followed the instructions and did 1 tablespoon / 5 gallons. A few hours after adding the salt, I noticed all my fish perking up, which was great. I assumed everything was fine.

 

Day 6: I came home to all my fish swimming around lively. I was very excited and happy. I then noticed that my pearlscale began developing white dots and immediately assumed she had ich. Here's a video of her swimming around with the dots: https://vid.me/C61H. I tested the water parameters and they were still at 0/0/10ppm.

 

Day 7After spending the night researching how to get rid of ich I was determined to do it naturally by buying a heater and increasing the heat while also maintaining the salt level. I went to Petco to buy the equipment and the sales advisor advised against raising the temperature because goldfish like cooler temperatures. He suggested I go to the LFS and look for some ich medicine. I went to the LFS and he also suggested not raising the temperature because goldfish like colder temperatures and prescribed Mardel's Coppersafe. I went home and added the recommended dosage (1 teaspoon/4 gallons). Later at night I came and checked on the fish and the pearlscale was now hiding behind my rocks. The other two fish were swimming around normally, but I was concerned and tested the water again. 0/0/10ppm.

 

Day 8I came home today and saw all three of my fish hiding behind the rocks. I once again tested the water parameters and they were 0/0/10ppm. I dropped some Repashy Soilent Green into the tank and they were all swimming around eating. At this point I noticed blood in my pearlscale's eye and that the red spots I saw when I originally got the fish were starting to spread. http://imgur.com/6tRXS8u

 

I saw some sites that suggested it might be due to oxygen depravation, but like I said before I hadn't noticed any issues with the other fish trying to gulp the surface of the water. I am curious if my Aquaclear 70 is not producing as much oxygen as they require though. Here's a picture: http://imgur.com/jytGSSG

 

-----------------------------

 

At this point I'm really at a loss of what is going on. I feel like my pearlscale is suffering so much and I'm scared I'm going to end up killing these fish. I've spent a so much money on trying to keep these fish alive on top of all my normal equipment, and I'm still willing to do whatever it takes! I check their water parameters every day and I feel like there isn't a problem with the water, but I don't know what else to do. 

 

Should I consider getting a heater and setting it to 86F like most ich remedy sites suggest? 

 

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

 

Thanks so much everyone!

Edited by arrburr

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:hi and welcome to Kokos.

 

You've definitely got ich.  (Well, YOU don't, your fish do.  :teehee ) The best and most gentle treatment for this is heat (to 78-80*) and 0.3% salt (3 tsp per gallon).  I would bring the heat and salt up to those levels ASAP.  

 

The redness on the pearlscale is also concerning but I'm not convinced we need to treat at this point.  I would like you to look around the local fish stores for metronidazole (it's powdered and you will not find it at the big box stores) along with kanamycin OR  triple sulfa.  If you can't find them locally, you can order them online.   :D

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Goldfish are very sensitive to copper.  When I was a kid I tried many times to keep goldfish, but they died in about two weeks in spite of following all the rules.  It turned out that the fish died because we had copper pipes.  Don't use any medication containing copper on goldfish.

 

As Fantailfan1 just said, salt at 0.3% is the best and safest treatment for ich.   

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Hmmm... I've already started them on the Mardel Coppersafe. Should I do a big water change to get rid of it?

 

Also, I'll look into the metronidazole, but is it bad that I started the other med?

 

Another problem is I'm leaving my house for Thanksgiving break Tuesday night and I'm worried about leaving the heater that high while I'm not present.

 

Thanks so much for your help everyone!

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Stop the copper. Do salt and heat. What heater do you have?

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Stop the copper. Do salt and heat. What heater do you have?

I don't have a heater currently. But I was planning on buying and Aquatop one when I get back from Thanksgiving.

 

My tank stays around 74F. I was planning on getting one to help speed up the Ich lifecycle. I'll do a water change tonight to try to remove as much of the medicine as possible. It's weird because my LFS knew I was dealing with goldfish when he suggested this medicine and I've also seen it suggested on other goldfish sites.

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Unfortunately local fish store employees are a crapshoot. Some are very knowledgable about fish generally, but don't know goldfish. Some know goldfish. Some know saltwater but not freshwater. Some don't seem to know much of anything.

The salt will work without the heater but it is slower. Can you possibly get a heater tomorrow instead of after thanksgiving?

You're in good hands with the other team members here. We DO know goldfish ;)

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Can you possibly get a heater tomorrow instead of after thanksgiving?

 

Yes, I can go out and get one tomorrow. I was just a little nervous about getting a new heater and setting it up and leaving the house for ~4 days.

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People with tropical tanks leave heaters on without supervision.  However, if it makes you nervous, you can just treat with salt while you are away and use the heater when you return.

 

You needn't feel bad about not knowing about the copper sensitivity of goldfish.  The koi people seem pretty aware of it, and also that goldfish have more sensitivity than koi.  Here's a quote from a research article.

 

 
“ Health status of two ornamental fishes Poecilia reticulatae (Guppy) and Carassius auratus auratus(Gold fish) following exposure to therapeutic levels of Copper sulphate
M.H.B.W.M.D.N.H. Wickramasinghe* and A. Pathiratne”
 
…indicates that gill damage occurs in Goldfish at Copper levels of 0.10 mg/L and may not be completely reversible at levels of 0.30 mg/L and recommends that “precautions should be taken especially with the high concentration of CuSO4 (Copper) as it may lead to transient ill health conditions in the exposed fishes.”

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My heater to my 36 gallon and its on all the time... I just make sure its set the temp I want and it stays there. Make sure you get a good heater :) you will be fine :)

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Good luck!

Treating ich is not as scary as it sounds. I did that recently on two little guys in a 10gal QT, with the heater set at the recommended temps. They did just fine, and the heater too. :teehee

 

(those are some seriously cute fish!!)

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Good luck!

Treating ich is not as scary as it sounds. I did that recently on two little guys in a 10gal QT, with the heater set at the recommended temps. They did just fine, and the heater too. :teehee

 

(those are some seriously cute fish!!)

 

 

yeah Ich is one of the easier things to treat :thumbs:

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Hmm thanks for everyone's support and help. Last night I did a 30% water change and I'll probably do another big one when I get home from work tonight.

 

I calculated the the amount of copper sulfate that was actually added to the tank and it ended up being .18 mg/L. I'm not sure how the math works out but with my water change hopefully it's now down to .12mg/L.  The bottle of medicine says the active ingredient is 2.2% chelated copper sulfate, so hopefully that means it's a lot less? I don't know how the chemistry percentages work.

 

 

 

I didn't realize it at the time, but it seems like the medicine caused all my fish to chill at the bottom. When I originally saw this, I thought it was because they were all beginning to show symptoms of ich.

 

Also I noticed this morning that my pearlscale has lost patches of her pearlscales. :(

 

Thanks for your help everyone, I'll go ahead and grab a water heater and air stone tonight. I'll do a slow raise of about 2F/hour. Should I be setting it to 80F or 86F? From what I've read ich can't reproduce at 86F.

 

Thanks!

Edited by arrburr

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Since the research says 0.1 mg/l damages gills, you need to change much more water.  Please change 20 gallons and add the salt as your first priority.  80F will work fine. 

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Since you are leaving soon and won't be back until after Thanksgiving, I would add the heater when you get back and just do the salt until then. The reason being is that while you may set your heater to 80F, it may take a couple of days to "calibrate" the heater so that you get the water to a steady 80F or whatever temp you want to achieve. I use a Eheim heater. When I first got it, it took me a couple of days to get the water to a steady 76F.

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I didn't get a chance to do a water change until I got home tonight and I guess they were exposed to the copper for too long. :(

 

They were all very lethargic at the bottom of the aquarium. My butterfly telescope was white, but now it looks rusty. I can see blood through it's skin near the base of its fins. The rest of the fish kinda look weak.

 

I immediately did a 20g water change. And at first they didn't eat, but they eventually ate and now they're swimming around. 

 

I bought the 100 watt aqueon water heater, and an air pump. I'm planning on starting the heat treatment tonight with the salt. I just hope I'm not too late.

 

Thanks everyone for your help.

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I didn't get a chance to do a water change until I got home tonight and I guess they were exposed to the copper for too long. :(

 

They were all very lethargic at the bottom of the aquarium. My butterfly telescope was white, but now it looks rusty. I can see blood through it's skin near the base of its fins. The rest of the fish kinda look weak.

 

I immediately did a 20g water change. And at first they didn't eat, but they eventually ate and now they're swimming around. 

 

I bought the 100 watt aqueon water heater, and an air pump. I'm planning on starting the heat treatment tonight with the salt. I just hope I'm not too late.

 

Thanks everyone for your help.

 

 

If it was me hun.. I would do another major water change and siphoning the gravel before the salt treatment :)

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When you filled out the form in your first post, you did not indicate how much water you change every 3-4 days. How much water do you usually change every 3-4 days?

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If it was me hun.. I would do another major water change and siphoning the gravel before the salt treatment :)

 

Unfortunately by the time I saw this post, I was already at work, and I was unable to do an additional water change. My wife texted me this afternoon that she saw the pearlscale stuck to the filter intake and she immediately moved it to a 20 gallon bucket we have (she primed it with Seachem Prime), but a few hours later when she checked on it, it had died. 

 

This is really frustrating because I feel like I should've known better and switched the water out earlier. After I had initially added the salt, but before I added the medicine, the fish were looking somewhat more active. I shouldn't have been so gung-ho and try to quick fix it with the medicine.

 

To further complicate things, my wife picked me up from work and we went straight to the airport so I have no idea what's going on with the other two.

 

:(

 

When you filled out the form in your first post, you did not indicate how much water you change every 3-4 days. How much water do you usually change every 3-4 days?

 

I normally do a 25-33% water change and also I make sure I suck up all the poop. I also use a chopstick to poke my sand substrate to prevent anaerobic buildups.

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So sorry you lost your fish.  We should have been more emphatic about getting the copper out of the water immediately but it might have been too late already.  The blame belongs to a company that sells a product toxic to goldfish without a warning.

 

Please read our guidelines.  When you are overstocked or your fish are stressed you have to increase water changes beyond our minimum.  I suggest you do two 50% water changes a week until you are sure your fish have returned to health.

 

With a cycled tank, parameters do not tell you when you need a water change, since you would have to spends hundreds of dollars to get tests to measure all of the things we want to get rid of by changing water.  A regular water change schedule keeps your fish safe from these.

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I'm so sorry about the loss of your pearlscale.

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Thanks for the help everyone! 

Aside from the 50% water changes and my temporary overstocking, my aquarium was set up pretty close to what you're suggesting in the guidelines. Hopefully everything will be alright when I get back from Thanksgiving.

 

Thanks again everyone!

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I returned home and both the other fish were very very weak. Both looked like they had major cases of fin rot. Is that a symptom of ich? I tested the water there was no ammonia or nitrite. I didn't test nitrate but did a huge water change (80%). This morning they both were dead. 

 

I feel so bad. I think I'm going to take a break for fish for a while. This is so heart breaking. :(

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