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AkPudge

Mysterious goldf-issue

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Hello everyone! I was referred over here from R/Goldfish on Reddit to seek help from more knowledgeable goldfish people.

I have 4 small fancy goldfish in a 55G tank, 2 HOB 30-60 filters and 2 bubblers. I do 65% water changes every week. Pre-water change; Ammonia is 0PPM, Nitrite is 0PPM, Nitrate is 5.PPM, 72F (non heated, room tempt tank). All goldfish have been in the main tank for 5 months. All eating Saki-Hikari sinking pellets.

A few weeks after getting them I came home to one of the goldfish laying on the bottom, very tired looking. I put him in a 5G hospital tank, daily water changes, treated with Maracyn 2 for 1 week, he had the very beginning of fin rot I think. He started acting normal again, and I put him back in the big tank. After a few weeks I noticed he would spend a lot of time swimming at the surface, when hes not at the surface he will zoom to the top of the tank, sometimes breaching a bit and landing on his back, then swim to the bottom and burp out a big air bubble. He was still eating during this and I decided to wait it out and see, after a few weeks he started laying on the bottom of the tank again. Last night I put him back in the hospital tank with some aquarium salt.

I am very limited in medicine I can get, I have to buy it when I fly down to the lower 48 as most placed wont ship medicine here. I have T.C Tetracycline, ParaGuard and Marcyn 2 currently. The other 3 goldfish are showing no symptoms, they do not spend as much time at the surface, they don't seem to struggle at all in the current. I am not sure what the issue is, or what to try and treat it with. I'm open to any suggestions, also, let me know if theres some information I left out that might help diagnose the issue.

I've attached two pictures, on from when I first got the goldfish, and one from last night, before he went into the hospital tank.

G0ZYmAF.jpgmlr7eSe.jpg

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Welcome to Kokos and hope your Goldfish feels better.

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Small update, I noticed a very thin red line from the base of the tail and slightly into the tail fin. I'm not sure if that's normal for translucent/white skinned fish, like seeing the pink of the gills on him, or if its actually a symptom. I know that the red streaking is normally a water quality issue, but the water is perfect pre-water change every week and no one else has any issues. I have no clue what is wrong with this fish. He's still in the hospital tank, 5G with 1 TBS of aquarium salt, hes eating like a cow still. I have medicine but I'm hesitant to start treatment if I don't know what the issue is.

Edited by AkPudge
Added more info

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The redness of the gills makes me think its water quality related. Or was at one point.

Do you have an airstone in the tank? I would suggest adding one if you dont asap. The darting to the top makes me think he may have issues getting oxygen out of the water. 

Can you please fill out the following? This is from the sticky in the forum. 

 

On 3/10/2016 at 0:47 PM, shakaho said:

Some people, including most new members, feel overwhelmed by all the questions on the D/D form  AKA "Help Request Checklist".  We have a reputation for helping sick fish, and can help them mainly because we don't diagnose or recommend treatment without all necessary information.

 

I want to walk you through the form, explaining what we need from you at each step. 

 

Please remember that our moderating team consists of volunteers who have jobs and other responsibilities, as well as more questions,  and may not get to your post for several hours.  Also, this international forum includes people living in different time zones who will respond in the morning.  In an emergency,  use the "report" button to alert the moderating team to your post.

 

Please copy & paste fill the following form and fill it out to the best of your ability when requesting help for Goldfish Problems:

Please follow this instruction. Copy the form, paste it in your post, and fill in your answers after the questions.  If you can't copy and paste, just quote the form.  To help us even more, you can italize or color your answers, to make them easy to find, but you don't have to do that.  

 

Feel free to use metric units, I didn't use both systems here to keep things compact.  

  • Test Results for the Following:
    • * Ammonia Level(Tank)
    • * Nitrite Level(Tank) 
    • * Nitrate level(Tank)  If you have a test kit, take these readings before you do a water change. If you don't have a test kit and can't get one immediately, please take samples of tank and tap water to your fish /pet store and request a test. Demand numbers for each test.
    • * Ammonia Level(Tap) 
    • * Nitrite Level(Tap) 
    • * Nitrate level(Tap) Please test tap water. It may contain ammonia or nitrate.  Tap water often varies in quality with weather/season, so don't just report an old test.  
    • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) Difference in the pH of tank and tap can cause distress in your fish. We need both tap and tank results. 
    • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)   If you don't have KH and GH tests and have municipal water, you can often get this information from the water company.
    • Other Required Info:
      • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?  Please answer both brand and type.
      • * Water temperature?  If you don't use a heater, give the the air temperature. 
      • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?  Please answer both questions. If you aren't sure of the volume of the tank, give the length, width, and height. 
      • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? By the "size" of the filter we mean the gph/lph that it claims to turn over.
      • * How often do you change the water and how much? Please answer both questions.
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Please answer both questions
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size? You may give the weight of each fish or the length.  For goldfish, include the variety, and use (and indicate that you used) the standard length (sl) -- the length from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail fin.  You can estimate length. For example: 1 oranda, 3" sl, 2 pearlscales 1.5" and 2" sl.  For other species of fish that don't vary in tail length, you may use total length, from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail fin,  but please specify.  For example: 2 bristlenose plecos 3" tl 
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? Water conditioner means the agent used against chlorine.  If you don't use a water conditioner, say why, for example, "well water."  "Water additives" include anything else that you regularly or recently have added to your water, including buffers, water clarifiers, algaecides, etc.
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? Give the brand, type of food (sinking/floating pellets, gel food, steamed vegetable, etc.), and how frequently you feed each.
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? If you have added new fish in the past few months, indicate which ones,  the duration of quarantine, and any treatments you used during quarantine
  • * Any medications added to the tank? This includes any used recently or currently in 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.  This can be a long answer if you have a sickly fish.  You can link to old D/D threads if we have advised on treatment before.
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? List all physical symptoms.
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? List all behavioral symptoms.

 

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I apologize, I found this format right after posting and didn't know how to edit my main post. I agree, he does seem to have issues with oxygen, but why? The 3 other fish have never shown any signs or symptoms of any issues, air stones constantly going, water params are right where they should be I think. I do agree his gills are pink and it freaked me out at first, but I was told on Reddit that its normal because of his translucent skin.

 

I went on vacation in March and wasn't able to change the water for 2 weeks in a row, this is when I first noticed his darting. I assumed he had burned his gills. There were only 2 total fish in the 55G at that time, so I didn't expect the ammonia level to climb very quickly while I was gone. I have kept the water as clean as possible since. He was treated for a week and seemed to perk up, had no issues in the big tank for a few weeks then started doing it again, but the water quality never dropped. How long can gills be damaged for? will he ever actually heal if that is the issue?

 

  • Test Results for the Following:
    • * Ammonia Level(Tank) 0PPM
    • * Nitrite Level(Tank) 0PPM
    • * Nitrate level(Tank) 5.0PPM
    • * Ammonia Level(Tap) Didn't test tap but can.
    • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) PH 6.4
    • Other Required Info:
      • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API Freshwater Master Test Kit drops.
      • * Water temperature? 72F, Unheated.
      • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 55G, 6 months, used seed filter floss media to cycle. (Media from healthy 5 year old tropical freshwater tank)
      • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? 2 Aquatech 30-60 HOB filters. Also have 2 large air stones going.
      • * How often do you change the water and how much? Weekly, 65%
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 7 days ago, 65%
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 4 fancy goldfish, 1 Oranda 3 fantail. All 1-2"
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? SeaChem Prime
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? Saki-Hikari sinking pellets, once daily.
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? No new fish in at least 2 months.
  • * Any medications added to the tank? None in the 55G tank, sick fish is in a 5G with 1 TBS salt currently.
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank.Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. Sick goldfish was treated for 1 week a few months ago with Marcyn 2 in hospital tank. Hospital tank has a small filter and bubble going.
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? I noticed today a thin red streak from the base of the tail to the tail fin on sick fish.
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Sick fish was acting strangely, swimming rapidly to the surface to gulp a bubble of air, burped it out and kept swimming, fish did this for a month or so. A few days ago the fish started to sit on the bottom of the tank and look tired. I moved him into a smaller tank to rest and get treatment. Same thing happened to the same fish months ago, treatment was Maracyn 2 in a hospital tank until he was more lively and put back into the 55G, showed no issues for weeks.
Edited by AkPudge

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Water looks good, I would have expected more Ammonia.

Can you please test your tap water? Just to make sure that your test kit is still good. 

It's been 7 days since your last change, you might as well do another one too. 

More pics wouldn't hurt either. Full tank is encouraged too.

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Today is water change day, I'll do the usual 65%. I will test my water again before changing it and test my tap water as well. I will also get those full tank shots ASAP. Ill attach a few shots of my other fishies for now. :P

Oh7EgZi.jpgyaWspaA.jpg

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Hi there!  Where is Alaska are you?  I started out in Juneau and am now north of Anchorage :). As for fish meds we have several good stores in the main cities but even if you are more rural there are plenty of places who will ship medication, including Amazon and American Aquarium Products.  The latter ships priority and it can be a bit expensive but they've been amazing for harder to find medications.

 

http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/Aquarium_Medication.html

And here is the product page:

http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/Aquariumtreatments.html

On the menu at the top there are links to numerous medications and what they treat.  I get all my Seachem products from AAP, including tons of metronidazole and kanamycin ;)

Edited by Arctic Mama

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I'm in Ketchikan, its an island so I don't have the option of driving somewhere. I tried to order the T.C Tetracyline I needed for another fish from many places (Ebay and Amazon included) it absolutely can not be shipped here, I flew down to the lower 48 and brought it back in my suitcase.

Currently the issue isn't getting medicine, its trying to figure out whats wrong, I don't know what medicine to treat with because I can't figure out what the issue is.

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Alright, I took a few photos of sick goldfish, you can just barely see the very thin vein in the tail. Also, a very sad looking full tank shot. Ill have to try again when it gets dark out, lots of glare on the tank. I also have a huge order of live plants coming, got a variety to test out what works well.

 

4uCrJQg.jpgRwq1aWt.jpgvivB1qN.jpg

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3 hours ago, AkPudge said:

I'm in Ketchikan, its an island so I don't have the option of driving somewhere. I tried to order the T.C Tetracyline I needed for another fish from many places (Ebay and Amazon included) it absolutely can not be shipped here, I flew down to the lower 48 and brought it back in my suitcase.

Currently the issue isn't getting medicine, its trying to figure out whats wrong, I don't know what medicine to treat with because I can't figure out what the issue is.

I'm very familiar with Ketchikan.  Use American Aquarium Products, they can get it to you with no issue as they ship priority and not UPS/Fedex ground only, which can be problematic to Southeast.

 

I'm also aware that you need to have a diagnosis first, but we are volunteers and cannot be available at the drop of a hat to help.  We do our best but it can take time.  I was asked to provide you with some shipping options for the treatments the team recommends, I wasn't aware you weren't being helped by someone else.  Please be patient :)

 

Just off what I see, your pH is extremely low.  Have you tested for hardness on your water source?  Are you well or city water?  It looks like your fish are well acclimated to it overall, but if there was a swing in the source, like from spring thaw if you're on the city's water, that could stress an already weakened fish.

 

When have these goldfish last been prazi'd?  That and potentially buffering your water are the basics we want to manage first :)

 

 

 

 

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I wish bottom sitting had a specific diagnosis, but it usually just means "I don't feel well."  Roughly what fraction of time during the day does the fish sit?  Does it ever go to the top now?

I totally missed the low pH.  I guess my eyes slid right past it when you said you didn't test the tap water.  Please do so.  We particularly need to know the tap pH.  While goldfish can adapt to a steady pH of 6.4, a pH below 7 often indicates a low KH and an unstable pH.

Is the sick fish currently in the small tank?  What is the water change schedule and the parameters of that tank?

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20 hours ago, RobertTheOranda said:

The redness of the gills makes me think its water quality related. Or was at one point.

Do you have an airstone in the tank? I would suggest adding one if you dont asap. The darting to the top makes me think he may have issues getting oxygen out of the water. 

Can you please fill out the following? This is from the sticky in the forum. 

 

 

This is the "d/d form".  You posted the instructions for filling out the form.  Lots of people have done this, and it produces an unreadable mess when people add their answers to the instructions. :)

You normally see the red gills through the operculum of white, or mostly white, matte or nacreous goldfish.  

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To ArcticMama, I'm sorry, I'm not trying to sound impatient, I've been dealing with this same fish issue for months and have kept him alive but really want to be able to help him. I am able to get things in general shipped here, the issue with the T.C Tetracyline was a legality issue, not a shipping issue, I placed many orders but they were all canceled and I was told it was do to this particular antibiotic being abused and used on people who couldn't afford to see a doctor. I will use the link you provided for any future fish medicine needs though, thank you.

The PH is low, I am on city water, the PH is always this level in the tanks it hasn't fluctuated, we haven't had a freeze/thaw since early Feb I think but even then, no change. I have added a cuttlebone to my tropical tank, I noticed my snails shells deteriorating and realized it was duh, the acidic water. The PH in that tank is 7.2 now, I change that tank in smaller but more frequent changes, to limit possible swings of PH. I am open to doing the same in the goldfish tank if you think it will help, I read that level PH was more important than perfect PH, thats the only reason I haven't fixed that issue.

I haven't used any medicine on these fish except the one week of Maracyn 2 and salt, only the sick fish got that treatment. I have only ever dealt with ich before this, and it was cured with salt, any meds I used in the past killed more than they help so I'm usually med shy.

 

To Shakaho, This is the general timeline of the sick fish, its re-occurred twice now. First the fish is normal in the main tank for a couple of weeks, then slightly more surface swimming than the others (goes on for a week or two), then the darting to the top and gulping combine with more surface time (goes on for a week) then the bottom sitting happens with a few swims to the surface but often just sitting on the bottom, moves away if another fish bumps him or hes otherwise disturbed (I usually wait one more day while I set up a hospital tank). In the hospital tank he still sits at the bottom a lot, has less of a struggle to get to the surface since its a smaller tank and he continues to dart up and gulp. Last time he was treated with Marcyn 2 for 1 week, he became more and more active, and far less darting up and gulping. I returned him to the main tank and he started the whole month(s) long cycle again. Fish never loses his appetite and keeps pooping during all this. I change the water 75% daily in the small tank, I haven't been testing that water since I assumed it was fresh and clean from daily changes, but I will test that tonight.

I was told its normal to see the gills in white fish, so its very hard for me to tell if they are normal red or excess red, but the thin vein in his tail doesn't seem normal, I can't say if its always been there or not, usually that means it hasn't.

I will also test tap tonight, extremely soft water is a well know issue with our water, so the low PH is our normal at least. I did just test my mothers water from her tank, she is not on city water, she has a cistern, but its also extremely soft. Her ammonia was pretty high, no nitrites and high nitrates, I know her tank isn't what we are discussing here, but I didn't know if that helped decide if my kit was still good or not. (Her fish are now in a big plastic tote at my house in cleaner water until she fixes her cistern issue)

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Alright, tested the tap water. I took it straight from the faucet into the vials. PH 6.4, Ammonia 1PPM, Nitrite 0PPM, Nitrate 0PPM.

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On Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 6:47 PM, AkPudge said:

Alright, I took a few photos of sick goldfish, you can just barely see the very thin vein in the tail. Also, a very sad looking full tank shot. Ill have to try again when it gets dark out, lots of glare on the tank. I also have a huge order of live plants coming, got a variety to test out what works well.

 

4uCrJQg.jpgRwq1aWt.jpgvivB1qN.jpg

Pretty tank.

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The gill color is normal.  One little red streak is not unusual.  Visible veins in the tail indicate stress, and usually go away when the stress ceases.  I wanted to know the pH of the tap water to see if it differed enough to produce some pH stress with water changes.  

You can use a cuttlebone in your tank or add some crushed oyster shells , sold as chicken grit in farm stores, or some crushed coral from a fish store.  Put this in a filter, or in a fine mesh bag in the tank. This should raise the KH and stabilize the pH.

 

50 minutes ago, AkPudge said:

Alright, tested the tap water. I took it straight from the faucet into the vials. PH 6.4, Ammonia 1PPM, Nitrite 0PPM, Nitrate 0PPM.

Wow! I've not seen tap ammonia that high before.  Fortunately at pH 6.4, most of the total ammonia will be ammonium, which has little toxicity.  On the other hand, the low KH of your tap water restricts the growth of the nitrifiers which require carbonate as their carbon source.  

 

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Yeah, I'm thinking this is a delicate young fish who doesn't like the pH and softness when it swings.  Agreed, Shakaho.

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They added chloramine to our water a year or two ago, it was a huge deal. Lots of protests, lots of sneaky local government crap, just a big ordeal. Anyways, the water smells like a pool now. So I treat with Prime, I treat the entire tank amount in the tank, then add the water from the faucet with a hose. I added a chunk of cuttlebone to the filter today.

So two new things. 1) I notice when I fill the tanks the hose creates A LOT of tiny bubbles. I've read that its ok, that won't harm fish, but I've also heard its bad for them, anyone have feelings on that? I was thinking about it last night and remembered that the bubbles (not many, less than 10 bubbles) stick to the sick fish normally, so that means his slime coat is having an issue right?

2) Sick fish now has tiny white edges on the tips of his tail fin. This happened last time I moved him to the hospital tank as well, which is why he got the Marycn 2 treatment.....So I added the T.C Tetracyline today, I guess I should have waited to see if that was the right choice but I panicked. Is it the stress of moving? is it something he already had the flairs from the stress of moving? is the 5G just too small for a hospital tank and causing build up of toxins over night? (I'll test the water today and see what the params are)

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The white could honestly be ammonia burns.  Can you take a picture?

 

The micro bubbles aren't helping anything, but if you just run the water onto a plate or rough rock and let it splash into the tank with that disruption upon impact that should help dissipate the worst of them.  Even just putting your hand under the hose flow could help quite a bit.

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I'll try to take a photo tonight. It wasn't on him before putting him in the small tank. I'll test the water tonight and see if theres ammonia in the small tank.

 

When I refill the tank I have the hose inside of the vase on the far right, so its hitting the vase bottom/pebbles in the vase and overflowing the rim into the tank. Slowing the flow of water or speeding it up doesn't seem to help bubble being made, neither does using my hand as a block unfortunately. Ill try a rough rock next time I change it though.

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Alright. I messed up so bad. I feel absolutely awful. I change the water at night normally, but I came home lunch and my fish went from 3 tiny spots of white to his entire body. The ammonia was at .50PPM. I immediately changed 100% of the water, added a tiny bit of salt but not the full tablespoon. I wasn't expecting 1 day to build up so much ammonia. I am going to set up a big tote with water tonight, the 5G is just too small. He was laying on the bottom when I got home, but after the water change hes swimming around more. Attaching a picture, its sad. Any emergency advise?

 

iBroQ0l.jpg

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It happens to the best of us!  Excess slime coat and ammonia burns, the latter of which may turn black as they begin healing.  Just change the water daily, feed lightly, and dose with prime as needed to keep the ammonia below .25 ppms.

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What is the temperature of the tap and tank water?  If the tap has a lower temperature and gets warmer when mixed with tank water, it will release bubbles.

You reported your tap water contained 1 ppm ammonia.  If the ammonia in the tank was 0.5 ppm, that sounds like a reduction rather than an increase,  Changing 100% of the water should raise the ammonia level.  Perhaps I didn't  understand.

Do the tiny white spots look like grains of salt?

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I refill the main tank with 72F water from the tap, same as in the tank.

The hospital tank water was at .50ppm, the untreated tap water is 1ppm, treated its at 0ppm. So I refill the water in the hospital tank with treated tap water, it has raised to .50ppm in less than 24 hours. I assume the hospital tank is just too small for the sick goldfish. Its more of a slime coating all over him and frayed fins. It goes away when I change the water, but at the end of the day its back. I'm going to put the goldfish in a big rubbermaid tote tonight to help, because I'm not sure what else to do.

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