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Fin Rot? Need Help

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  • Regular Member

Hey all,

I have an issue and I am not sure what to do next.........

I recently purchased 3 new goldies, and after a month long QT (well, probably more like 3.5 weeks) they went into the main tank.  When I put them in the main tank, I did a large water change, and stupidly replaced all the sponges in my Fx6.  Since then, I have had readable levels of ammonia in the tank.  I am pretty sure between the added bio-load and replacing sponges I threw my tank into a mini cycle.  I am currently doing 80-90% water changes every other day, with double dose prime on the "off" day.  Still getting ammonia readings and it has been over a week now.

One of the new fish (a rather large oranda) is not looking great.  He still swims and eats well, but I have started to see some red veining in his tail and now the tail fins looks to be shredding at the ends.  I believe this is probably a case of fin rot, due to the poor water quality, but I am really not sure, and I don't know what the next step is. 

I can pull him and put him in a 20L for treatment, but I am not sure what/how to treat with.........................below are a few pics of his tail, and the completed questionnaire.  Thanks all!





  • Test Results for the Following:
    • * Ammonia Level(Tank) .25
    • * Nitrite Level(Tank) 0
    • * Nitrate level(Tank) >10
    • * Ammonia Level(Tap) 0
    • * Nitrite Level(Tap) 0
    • * Nitrate level(Tap) 0
    • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.8
    • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) didn't test
    • Other Required Info:
      • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API drops
      • * Water temperature? 77 degrees
      • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 150 gallons, almost a year
      • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Fluval FX6 & 1 Emporer 400 biowheel
      • * How often do you change the water and how much? every other day, 80+% (normal schedule has been once a week, apx 80-90%)
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? last night, 85%
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 10 goldfish (1 1in baby, 2 7-8in fish, the rest are between 4-6in) + 1 SAE & a couple young apple snails
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? Repashy, Paradigm, NLS Thera A pellets, saki hikari, peas, fresh veggies.  Feed 1-2x per day
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? yes, 3 fish added just over a week ago
  • * Any medications added to the tank? not currently
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank.Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.  QT fish were treated with Prazi (3 rounds) and salt, the main tank gets prazi treatments every few months as a preventative
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Bloody streaks on tail and frayed tail fin on the largest of the new fish just added
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? No
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  • Regular Member

Ok guys, just went home for lunch, and Mellow (one of the other new fish) has a small red spot on his side, and his fins are looking blotchy.  Not ragged or frayed yet, but like they might be starting to do that.  I also think his tail looks a little pink and veiny, but it is less noticeable because he is yellow.

I really need help...........should I pull both of these guys, or consider treating the whole tank?  Everyone else looks fine.

Red spot on side just behind the gill http://35A68743-2C39-4D11-924C-9E7FCEFE025C_zps



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  • Helper

How long were the fish quarantined for?  Are you seeing any white patches on their bodies or any excess slime coat?

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  • Regular Member

They were in QT for just under 4 weeks.  No white patches on bodies, slime coat doesn't look or feel excessive.  I pulled both of them and put them in a 20 gallon with an airstone.  I started treating them with Furan 2, as per the instructions on the box, and both of them are already looking much better.  I am doing 100% daily water changes for them as I have no filter on their tank, and feeding very very lightly.  So far, so good.

In good news, the biofilter has caught back up in the main tank, probably due to removing 2 fish from it.  I am showing zero ammonia again, tested twice with a 12 hour gap.  Yay! 

So......I already started the Furan 2 treatment, it was what I had on hand that looked to be the best choice for the fin rot, but I really have no idea what meds would/wouldn't be best.  I plan to finish the treatment, per the box directions, unless there is something else I should try/be doing.  I was considering doing a round of ParaGuard after I finish the Furan, just to be sure they are in good health before I reintroduce them back to the main tank.  If I can keep the water quality good in their hospital setup, I will keep them there for 2-3 weeks before moving them again. 

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  • Helper

The furan 2 was going to be my choice as well, but I needed to rule out some things first :)


I'd like you to dose the furan 2 for two weeks with 100% water changes every other day.  Please keep an eye on the ammonia and watch the other fish for symptoms.  We can treat these two in quarantine provided nobody else shows symptoms.  In the meantime watch your water like a hawk during the mini cycle :)

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  • Regular Member

Mini cycle seems to have passed, I am reading ZERO ammonia and nitrites, and my nitrates are reading around 10.  I am still doing water changes on the main tank every 3 days for now and everyone looks good.

The fin rot is much much better.  I am continuing with the Furan 2 and daily 100% water changes on the hospital tank.  Ammonia seems to be sitting between .25 - .50 before their water change, and I am double dosing prime every day.

The one fish with only fin rot looks excellent!  However, Mellow has something else going on and I have no idea what to do with him.  His fins have healed as well, but he still has a few little red spots on his lateral line, and on his underbelly as well.  They look like pimples (slightly raised red bumps with a white head in the middle).  There are 3-4 of them in a row, on his left lateral line behind his gill, and his underside looks red and sore, like maybe he has been bottom sitting and has bed sores, but I don't ever see him bottom sitting, he is mostly always swimming, and both are eating very well.

I think I will start a new thread for him, as I think he has something different going on besides the fin rot, which seems to be healing very well.

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  • Regular Member

Please test the pH of your tap water. You can stress your fish doing large water changes if the the tap and tank have significantly different pHs.  The ragged fins you showed look very similar to what happened to some of my fish about two months ago.  Several fish in different ponds had the ragged tails, while most of their pond mates did not.  The fish didn't act sick.  

I observed the the tattered tails happened a day or two after the coldest night of the year to date.  The temperature dipped into the 40s, not unusually cold in a normal winter, but we had temperatures  in the upper 70s and 80s through December, January, and February, and in March we had already hit the 90s a few times.  So they had experienced an uncomfortable temperature change.  I just watched them, and in a few weeks, the fin tips looked fine again.

Fin rot usually occurs in poor quality water.  Your large water changes should result in very good water quality.

Prime protects against ammonia up to 1.0 ppm.  Doubling the Prime  for lower levels to ammonia seems like overkill to me. Overdosing Prime won't hurt your fish, but why waste it?

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  • Regular Member

Thanks, I will go back to just regular dosing prime, that stuff is like liquid gold.  :-)

I will test my tank and tap PH tonight and report findings.  In the past, my PH has always been pretty close between the tank and tap, but no reason not to check it.

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  • Regular Member

I had a heavy rain out front affect my KH and pH. One fish showed signs of mild fin rot. He seems fine and that was the only major change so I figured to wait it out. I thought about salting but there are snails in there and they're hard to find and I just don't wish to do it if it can be avoided. I also don't want to remove the fish from his pond just to salt him and subject him to ammonia etc in hospital. If his fins worsen I'll probably begin there but not yet. 

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