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Red Cap Wen Rot Infection


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 This Monday I just noticed that my red cap oranda has a ton of wen rot. I suspect bacteria infection. I fully expect him/her to die. I have formalin/Metronidazole. I don't know how to medicate him/her.

I've put the red cap in a 20g quarantine tank and I am just keeping the water as clean as possible. Let me know if any of the medications I have can be used. I suspect I should use the antibiotic. What's the dosage and procedure?

Things I know already

  • I was lazy/busy and didn't wash the filters for over 2 months -> hence why my red cap is dying. I already washed all the filters
  • I know I'm overstocked by 2 goldfish -> gotta compensate by water changes(twice a week)
  • Red cap is probably going to die
  • Yes, I know 40-80ppm nitrate is high, I'll do more water changes.
  • I bought him/her 7 months ago at 5g, now she's almost 100g. Would be a shame if he/she died
  • No plants, clear bottom tank, no ornaments either
  • Automatic feeder 4 times a day, daily total of 0.25% of total body weight of all goldfish


  • Test Results for the Following:
    • * Ammonia Level(Tank) 0ppm 
    • * Nitrite Level(Tank) 0ppm
    • * Nitrate level(Tank) 40-80ppm
    • * Ammonia Level(Tap) 0.25ppm
    • * Nitrite Level(Tap) 0ppm
    • * Nitrate level(Tap) 0ppm
    • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 8.0
    • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.4
    • Other Required Info:
      • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? api master kit 
      • * Water temperature? 28C with heater
      • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 80G for 1 year
      • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? AC70 x2, Fluval 306, FX6
      • * How often do you change the water and how much? once a week 85-90%











  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? yesterday 90%
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 
  1. ranch orange-80-86g
  2. Ranchu cali-74-79g
  3. Pearl scale-68g
  4. Ryukin-90g
  5. Red cap-96-98g
  6. black ranchu - 20g
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? prime
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? hikari lionhead
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? not in the past 6 months
  • * Any medications added to the tank? none atm
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank.Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. prazi 1 month quarantine for new arrivals 7 months ago 
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? red cap has a ton of wen rot and floating upside down in the corner for past 5 days, fully expecting him/her to die
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? floating in the corner upside down





Edited by georgelee92
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Oh ouch.  When you say ‘wash the filters’, did you just been tapping out the gunk/detritus or giving them a swish in tank water?  We don’t want to clean them too aggressively with chlorinated two water or really sanitize them, that’s going to do more harm than good.


Honestly, you cannot have that aggressive of a feeding schedule and not stay up on filter maintenance.  That is a ton of food and the nitrates are revealing as much.  Heavy bulking feeds also tend to shorten the lifespan of the fish.  Cutting the quantity of each feed back by half and keeping up on dumping the accumulated mulm from the filters as soon as your nitrates cross the 10 ppm threshold will help immensely.  The water quality from overstocking can be managed, but huge feeds are making it worse, not better.  Frequency of water changes is a great idea, but filter maintenance is critical too - if that stuff is just decomposing in the canister it’s still causing problems.


As for this fish, you don’t need the formalin.  Do you have access to a gram negative antibiotic, not just the metro?  I’d be looking specifically for nitrofurazone (furan-2) or triple sulfa, plus something like kanamycin or oxytetracycline.  Are you in a country where those are something you can obtain?

Edited by Arctic Mama
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Yeah when I clean it I mean using the tank water and squeezing the gunk out of them. I was lazy and didn't squeeze out the gunk for 2 months. I know shame on me!

I can't readily get access to those antibiotics easily, unfortunately.

Is that bag of liquid metro any good? Please let me know the dosage and instruction if it's viable. I'm not worried about risk if you think using it might increase the chances of survival. 

Otherwise, I'm going to just keep the red cap in 20G quarantine, keep doing water changes, and hope for the best. 

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The thing with metro is that it is gram positive, not gram negative, and the infections caused by poor water quality tend to have gram negative bacteria causing them (aeromonas and pseudomonas are the biggies).


I would not use the metro on that fish because, honestly, I think it would waste your antibiotic.  Clean, warm water and 1 tablespoon of dissolved pure salt (no additives, like iodine or anti caking agents) is probably going to be more helpful.  Here are salt instructions :)



I wouldn’t even mess with the colloidal silver, in this case you’re looking at sepsis and I wouldn’t expect that to have much effect for the cost.


Do you have a video or images of him in the quarantine tank so we can see how he is swimming or floating?


If he is hanging in there and not looking worse in 24 hours we can reassess.  But I don’t suggest doing more than giving him his best chance by keeping stresses low on his body to see if he can turn it around or is too far gone.  And please consider trying to order internationally, through whatever shady channels or by calling a vet, to obtain powdered dry antibiotics.  eBay is often not a bad source.  Which country are you in?


Edited by Arctic Mama
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4 hours ago, koko said:

Thank you Taryl. I learn something new everyday :thumb:

I’m only thinking sepsis because of the body wide redness and streaking in the fins, along with the ulcer.  If it was JUST topical then it could be treated from the outside, in.  But this is clearly a systemic infection or more than one going at once, just based on what little info we have already.  The only way to beat it back is the fish’s own immune system at this point.  No medication is going to miraculously turn around an animal that simply doesn’t have the energy left to heal, and this one may be past the tipping point.


We will see what the OP says.  The silver is a good idea if it is environmental or topical, but not so much internal bacterial infections or something viral.  And when multiple systems are affected at that point the goal is to promote energy focused ONLY on healing.  Anything from light to movement to food and yeah, even meds, could potentially detract from that.  The body has to kick in the immune system enough to at least begin to regenerate tissue or clot, and an animal floating listlessly and stiff is usually beyond that point.  Fighting the bacteria would cost money and promote antibiotic resistance, but even if you managed to kill off some of the population they’ve already essentially overwhelmed the host.


Same with the colloidal silver - it might clean things up, but it costs money and it’s an added environmental factor in a situation where even help could hurt.  Dark, warm, and salty is about all that can be done.  And I’m even so-so on salty, because that is stressful too.  I’m just gambling that the OP has it on hand and it could aid slime coat production and inhibit *some* of the topical necrosis of that wen if the fish does survive, without any cost or trouble. 

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