Jump to content

My goldfish isn't well


Recommended Posts

  • Regular Member

     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?

API drops

    * Water temperature?

Room temp, about 72 degrees F.

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

55 gallons. Was running for over 4 years. Since our fish got sick we removed all the water and all the rocks and cleaned everything about a week ago. We did not add the rocks back in. Since then, we have been closely monitoring the levels in the tank and there hasn’t been a spike in the nitrates, nitrites, or ammonia levels.

    * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?

Aqueon QuietFlow Power Filter 55/75- 400 GPH. There are also two air stones in the tank.

    * How often do you change the water and how much?

Since our fish got sick we have been doing 25-40% water changes every few days unless we are treating with an antibiotic.

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

6 days, 100%

    * How many fish in the tank and their size?

1 common goldfish about 8 or 9 inches long. We won him at the fair about 5.5 years ago.

    * What kind of water additives or conditioners?

Tetra Aquasafe Plus water conditioner

    * What do you feed your fish and how often?

Pellets, freeze dried shrimp, freeze dried blood worms. That was before he got sick. He doesn’t eat anything now no matter what we put in the tank.

    * Any new fish added to the tank?


    * Any medications added to the tank?

Yes, several.

    * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.


We first noticed something was wrong with five days left in November. He started swimming funny and was just laying on the bottom of the tank, so we thought we had overfed him or he was constipated and it was causing a swim bladder issue. We fasted him for 3 days and then tried to feed him peas, but he wouldn’t eat them (He has never had peas before). His poop was still normal but then it started turning clearish/whitish and was really stringy. We noticed he had a few white spots on him (mostly on his head and sides) so we got a heater, raised the temperature to about 82 degrees F, and added salt. We tried this for about two weeks but nothing was getting better so we decided to switch to medicine. We tried API Liquid Super Ick Cure and did that regimen, which did nothing.

Then we got Mardel Coppersafe and tried that for about two weeks. His gills started turning white and swollen, and at this point he stopped eating so we thought that he might have internal parasites due to the white stringy poop. He also developed red streaks in his fins. We decided to stop the Copper treatment and switched to PraziPro. We did two bouts of that but he still wouldn’t eat, but the red streaks on his fins started to mostly clear up, his gills started turning red again (but some were swollen), and he started swimming around more actively. Then we decided to try Maracyn Two and did one full treatment of that. We also tried the Copper treatment again since the PraziPro seemed to have helped a lot. Nothing improved. Right after this is when we force fed him a little bit by holding him gently and feeding him with a syringe. Since none of the medications had helped so far, and all the antiobiotics had probably killed all the good bacteria in the tank anyway, we decided to clean the entire tank.


We put our fish in a plastic storage container and cleaned out the tank. 100% water removal, we took out all the rocks and threw them out, cleaned out the filter and threw out the filter media. We wiped/scrubbed the tank with vinegar and thoroughly rinsed it. Then we filled it back up, put the air stones back in, and put the filter back on with new filter media minus the charcoal. We did not add the gravel back. At this point we had no clue what is wrong with our fish and hypothesized that maybe he swallowed a rock. We looked in his mouth but didn’t see anything though. His anal gland appears to be open at all times, maybe potentially swollen, but not by much. His fins also got red streaks worse than any that have shown up, and his fins started to rot. Since nothing else had worked, we decided to try Maracyn Plus right after the 100% water change, which is where we are now. We did that complete water change on Tuesday 1/24/17 and have given the Day 1, Day 3, and Day 5 dosage of Maracyn Plus. He also still gets occasional white growths on his head like before and then they appear to turn red.


At this point, our fish has not shown any signs of improvement. Based on my research, he is showing all the signs of ammonia poisoning (streaked fins, fins fraying, no appetite, gasping for air) but the ammonia levels are and have been fine. His anus is also slightly swollen and he hasn’t really been pooping (probably because he hasn’t been eating). There are the occasional white spots that show up on him but there are never more than three or four of them.


    * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

Bloody streaks in fins, frayed fins, what looks like ich but there are only every 3 or 4 spots. His gills may be turning pale/white again.

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

He hasn’t eaten normally in about two to three weeks. He’s hardly eaten at all. Any food in the tank, if he does take it in his mouth, is immediately spit out whole. We got a syringe and sort of force fed him about a week ago, but he spit the vast majority of it out, only eating a little bit. He is not interested in any type of food we put in the tank, and has not eaten in about 7 days since last force-fed. When he isn’t just hanging out on the bottom of the tank, he is swimming around some, but now he has started to go to the top of the water to get air. He is still responsive to us though. If we put our arms in the tank, he will swim away. If we walk up to the tank, he notices us.

Sorry for the long post. I hope we covered everything. At this point, I just don’t know what could be wrong with him. In addition to trying to find out what is wrong with him, we are very concerned that he hasn’t eaten in a while. Any assistance or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Welcome to Kokos and thank you for filling out the form.  Just one request for the future  -- put the answer after the question rather than on a line of its own to keep things more compact.  I like the red. :)

You won't like this much, but I think a he is suffering from medication toxicity.  That doesn't mean he doesn't also have an infection of some kind since he was sick before you started medicating.

I don't know if the spots were ich, a picture would help.  A few white spots that appear and go away are not ich.  We use only 0.3% salt with or without heat for treating ich.  It works very well and does not harm the fish at all.  Super ich has some very harsh ingredients like formaldehyde.  

Goldfish are extremely sensitive to copper, to the point that they can be killed by tap water that has passes through new copper pipes that have not yet developed a coating inside that keeps the copper from leaching into the water.  I learned that from experience many years ago.

Prazipro helped, which means he had and probably still has gill flukes.  These can cause poor oxygen uptake and a "sore throat," both symptoms you have described.  We routinely treat new fish with praziquantel for a month during initial quarantine.  It doesn't harm the fish at all.

I suspect your fish has some intestinal parasites.  It's hard to treat these if the fish won't eat.  I'm going to look for someone with experience in syringe feeding for some advice there.

In the meantime, please treat the fish with Prazi and 1 teaspoon per gallon of salt.  See if you can find metronidazole  at the fish store.  It's a good antibiotic with some antiparasite activity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Thank you for the replies! Here are some images below. As a note, his left gill covering has been damaged/open his whole life. It's been helpful as far as getting a clear view of his gills right now, but it's been like that forever. We also just found an exotic pet veterinarian a few hours away, and we're going to transport him on Wednesday so that maybe they can help feed him and assist with nursing him back to health. Tonight we're going to do a 15% water change and try to syringe feed him a bit again (that's what the vet said to do for now). We're currently out of the Prazipro, so we're working on getting more (nowhere around carries it, so we have to order it online). We'll also add some salt into the tank in the meantime.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Thank you for all the comments. We took our fish to the hospital on Wednesday. Unfortunately, he passed a little while after arriving. The doctor told us that a lot of the over the counter medicines are not very effective in that they may treat topical wounds and symptoms, but may not be effective against internal infections. The doctor also said that for antibiotics to be effective for most fish, they need to test specifically for what's wrong and inject them directly into the fish. Rather than trying to self treat, if you are able to locate a vet or animal hospital and able to afford it, we would recommend taking your fish there to increase the chance of survival. We didn't find out about the vet until recently, and it was too late. Again, we truly appreciate your replies and help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...