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Kayla102968

Pond goldfish with very ragged/deeply split tails

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  • Test Results for the Following:
  • * Ammonia Level(Tank) 0
  • * Nitrite Level(Tank) 0
  • * Nitrate level(Tank) 5-10
  • * Ammonia Level(Tap) 0
  • * Nitrite Level(Tap) 0
  • * Nitrate level(Tap) 0
  • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.9
  • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)7.1

Other Required Info:

  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API drops
  • * Water temperature? 62
  • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 700 gallon - 2 years
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? 2 homemade bucket filters - 30 gallon and 55 gallon
  • * How often do you change the water and how much? 10-15% weekly
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 2 days ago - 10%
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size?  around 27 fish (9 adult size)

     

  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? Seachem SAFE
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? winter (cold water) pellets - once per day
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? No
  • * Any medications added to the tank? No
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. - I prazi the pond every spring and fall just as a precaution.  Last time was September 2015.
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? tails have very deep splits and are very ragged on at least 2 of the adult fish.
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? No

The weather has been unusually warm here for this time of year.  It will definitely be getting colder again before spring comes.  Right now the water temperature is at 62 degrees (with 2 small heaters).  I have just noticed that at least 2 of my large goldfish have very split and raggedy tails.  What can be the causes of this?  I know that flukes can be a factor but I just prazi'd them in September.  I didn't intend on prazi'ing them again until April when it starts getting a lot warmer in the Spring.  Is there anything else that could cause these badly split tails or should I just prazi them early.    

Thanks for any help.

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I forgot to add that I've never had problems with my pond goldfish having split tails at all until this year.

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Hope your Goldfish feel better. Someone will be along to help you.

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Have you fed "winter" food in previous years?  The koi people have almost entirely abandoned this and feed decreasing amounts (down to about 1/8th what they feed in the summer) of high protein food as the water temperature decreases.  Consider this:  If you could only digest a tiny amount of food daily, would you eat cereal (winter food) or would you focus on protein and vitamins?  The primary winter foods of wild carp include lots of insect larvae.  I bring this up only because I can't think of anything other than nutrition that looks problematical.  Your pond conditions appear fine.

 

I don't know all the causes of split/shredded fins.  Usually they come from mechanical injury.  You can remove the affected fish to a stock tank and treat with salt or maybe colloidal silver, which I think Koko has used successfully for treating damaged fins.

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Hi Sharon - I'm starting to wonder if it is nutritional, since this is the first year I've had problems with this.  Is it that the low nutrition causes them to be more susceptible to flukes, or that the lower nutritional value itself causes the tails to split?  Last year I fed Kenzen Koi food all winter long (small amounts) and my fish looked great.  I think I used to feed ProGold all year long (small amounts in the winter) before that.  I have never before had fin problems.  One thing that is hard about feeding the Kenzen food is that it comes in such large bags (and is expensive) and the size of the pellets are too big for many of my small fish so I ended up spending a lot of time crunching them up.  I wasted a lot of the food because it expired before I could use it all (and I had someone sell me only half a bag...couldn't imagine if I had a full bag).  I tried freezing it, but our electricity goes out about 2 times a year here for 2 or 3 days and I'm never sure if the food is still good anymore, so I end up throwing it out.  The only other food I have here other than winter food now, is Blackwater Premium Koi and goldfish food...which I really like in the summer...but it is a maximum growth food it says...so I worry about feeding that in the winter even in small amounts.  Could I use any high protein food (not just Kenzen) and feed it all year long do you think (small amounts in winter)?  Kenzen seems to advertise that only their food is okay to feed all winter long as a high protein food so I thought it was 'special' :).  They make it seem that only their food is appropriate as a high protein food that can be fed in the winter and other high protein foods can and will cause problems with digestion.  Is there any high protein food you could recommend that would be good to feed in small amounts that has the proper nutrition?  I didn't realize that feeding winter food in the winter could result in nutritional issues.  I don't have anything in the pond that would cause mechanical damage and I haven't seen them chasing these fish to the point where their tails would be that damaged from breeding behaviour.  

Should I go ahead and give them a pond prazi dose?

Thanks for your insight Sharon.  Much appreciated.

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I feed this, and Drs Foster and Smith have the best prices.  I never worry about food going bad unless it gets wet.  Rancid food stinks.  You couldn't possibly feed it by accident.   The Blackwater has almost the same protein as Kenzen,  and comes in small pellets.

 

Companies found a way to sell more fish food in the winter, when people usually stopped feeding, by claiming fish would digest low protein food more easily.  They never presented any evidence for this, but it sounded good, so people bought it.  They made out like bandits, selling food made up mainly of cheap grains at a time when people usually didn't buy fish food, and for a higher price than the more nutritious regular food because it was a specialty item.

 

Kenzen has made a lot of money because they introduced common sense about winter food.  In the winter, fish eat animal food because there aren't any plants available.  Fishmeal has the highest digestibility of any protein source for fish, so put in lots of fishmeal.  Then tell people this is special because you can feed it all year around, just feed much less as the water cools.  Now Kenzen and Blackwater Growth have much the same protein amount  and fishmeal as their first ingredient.  However Kenzen has never sold a "wheat germ" cold water food, and Blackwater does.  Like all the other companies, Blackwater says their regular food works for temperatures above 60F, below that you should feed the cool water formula (which is more expensive).   All of these companies have told people they need to buy a special food when the temperature drops below 60F. So how can they say that you can feed their regular food just like Kenzen, when that clearly implies they were ripping you off with the winter food?  But, of course you can.

 

Kenzen said:

 

 

 

Kenzen Primary Diet is safe and beneficial for your koi through the winter.   Yes that’s right the same food you feed in the summer is the same food you feed in the winter.  There is no need for different bags of food as water temperatures change.   Kenzen Primary Diet has been proven to be digestible by Koi in water temperatures all the way down to 36 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to feed them through the Fall and into Winter as the water cools so they are prepared for Winter feeding

How is this possible?  Every other brand says that protein levels must decrease as temperatures go down.  Kenzen uses high quality protein sources that are assimilated by the koi in all seasons.   We do not use plant-based proteins, which inhibit digestion, especially as temperatures go down.   Honestly the whole idea of reducing protein levels as temperatures go down escapes us.   In the natural model the larval flies that koi go after in a mud pond average 50% protein.   In fact the Vienna School of Veterinary Medicine studied carp in aquaculture ponds and where able to show that carp seek out natural foods that are 50% protein in water temperatures as cold as 36F.

So what are we trying to accomplish with feeding through the winter?  By feeding koi on a regular schedule they get the nutrients they need to maintain white blood cells counts, good slime coat, and physical mobility.  By feeding the koi they stay off the bottom of the pond.   All of which protects the koi from parasites and infections.   

 

 

 

I really like the way Kenzen has made the other companies squirm about their winter foods, but not enough to pay their ridiculous  prices. :)

 

Frankly, I just threw out the nutrition idea because I couldn't think of anything else that might have changed from last year.  I also have a half dozen or so books on fish diseases and not a one of them gives any cause of split or shredded fins other than mechanical injury.  But maybe feeding a low protein food at temperatures that don't decrease their appetites much could lead to a mild protein deficiency.  :idont

 

You probably shouldn't waste your prazi  by trying to treat in cold water when the fluke life cycle slows down.  

 

 

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Sharon - That food you have is the same one I was feeding mine all summer long...but it even says on the package to not feed it at temps lower than 65 degrees.  Surely, they wouldn't deceive us just for the money they make off the winter food?  Kenzen also says that you need to feed only their food all year long and not to use any other food with it or it won't be good for the fish.  Then they say not to use any high protein fish food in the winter unless it specifically says that it can be.  Since all of the high protein foods specifically say not to use it in the winter...Kenzen has a pretty good thing going there :).  I do have to say though...if I could get Kenzen in smaller bags I might consider purchasing it again.  The fish loved it.  They also say they have bioceuticals in the food (probably probiotics) that I think are great for fish immunity.  Also, when I opened the bag, it smelled so strong of fresh fish and garlic :).  I have never smelled another fish food like that...I can see why the fish loved it!  I fed it all year round...even into the 40 degrees and my fish still came to get it every day anxious to eat...just small amounts.  They were the most active I had ever seen them at that temperature.  Previous years my fish would really slow down at 40 degrees and wouldn't come up to eat.  They looked really great come spring. 

I guess I will try using the Blackwater (protein version) and just feed in small amounts.  I did use ProGold one year and only fed at 50 degrees and above and they did fine.  But...I do remember them still not being as active in the cooler temps as they were when I was feeding the Kenzen...maybe it is the strong garlic that calls to them and gets them excited...lol.

Thanks again Sharon for all your help.

Edited by Kayla102968

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I don't know whether anyone intended deceit, of whether someone decided that wheat germ food was the way to go for winter food and everyone jumped on the bandwagon.  Once they said that wheat germ food was for temperatures below X, they pretty much had to say the regular food was for temperatures higher than X.  

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