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Camille

Comet has turned white with cloudy eyes

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Hi im looking for suggestions on how to treat my comet goldfish that i've had for 8 years. Over the last year he has lost his color and turned white along with having very cloudy eyes. His fin also has some red streaks on it. I have tested his tank using the nutrafin test kit and all the parameters including pH have been normal. I change his water weekly with a partial change. I recently switched him to RO water using the Seachem replenish which has made my fish less lethargic and now he is swimming more. He has never stopped eating. He eats the bug bites goldfish food but was on Cobalt Spirolina Premium food up until this last 6 months. He likes the bug bites better.  

Medications I have tried: Aquarium salt, Melafix, APR Bacterial Infection Cure, API Fungal Cure, Malachite Green, MetroPlex (metronidazole (70%)) - Nothing has made any difference so far.

Attached are pics of him before (fish has color and no cloudy eyes) and now. 

Anyone have any suggestions?? Thanks in advance!!

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The replenish is a good move, but you may consider buffering the water a bit more. Goldfish tend to like it on the slightly harder and more alkaline side, and if that’s what he spent much of his life in before your RO filtration switch it might be a good move to add a teaspoon or so of baking soda per gallon and see if that can get your pH to 7.4-7.6 pH and a little more hardness with it, but less expensively then Replenish?  It’s your call:

The color change is actually somewhat normal, goldfish coloration isn’t stable over there life for many of them, and losing the orange isn’t a sign of illness, fortunately!

The fish may have an infection going on; especially with the lethargy when streaky fins. But perhaps not, it could just be cataracts from age, too. How long did you run the metro for?  Could you fill in our diagnostic form with as much detail as possible, including general dates and durations of treatment for all of those meds above?

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?

* Water temperature?

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

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

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

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

* How many fish in the tank and their size?

* What kind of water additives or conditioners?

* What do you feed your fish and how often?

* Any new fish added to the tank?

* Any medications added to 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.

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

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

 

 

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Thank you! I will provide the test results later this evening after work. For the majority of his life he was on tap water with water conditioner but when I moved to a different city the tap water with conditioner almost killed him (he went completely vertical, into shock) so I switched to RO water with Replenish and hes been acting normal. When you say use baking soda to add hardness is that in conjunction with the Replenish? 

Its good to know that the color change could be normal and that there is a chance he has cataracts instead of an illness. I had brought him to a vet who suggested cataracts but Im worried about the red streaks on the tail. When I first got him (from someone else) he had ammonia burns on him and looked really bad. I then got him healthy and now that hes lost his color, it has worried me. The attached picture is what he looked like then 8 years ago (top) and when he was healthy (bottom).

He was on the MetroPlex for the recommended every 2 days for 3 weeks. 

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Okay, I’ll wait for the form. I’ll need time details on the malachite green, fungus cure, etc as well.  Some of these we don’t want to use again or in conjunction with other treatments if the course has already been long, it can harm their organs and cause more harm than good :)

 

What a bummer about the tap water change, we had similar issues when I moved across the country and I lost an ancistrus due to it.  Yes, the baking soda would be in conjunction with the replenish, to buffer it a bit more.  You can add more replenish, too, but that’s expensive.  Using it for trace minerals and baking soda to go the rest of the way is a cheaper method and doesn’t hurt to try.

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I'm definitely going to try the baking soda. I know when I first use the RO water the pH was low (a little over 5) so I used a pH stabilizer to bring it to 7. This has been happening for over a year so I dont remember the exact times of medication as I felt like I tried everything.

 

I moved around a few times from 2012 - 2016 so he was on either spring water or tap water. From 2016 to 2018 he was on tap water and he was doing great. It was when I moved to a different city and tried the tap water he went into shock. Before he was on spring water bought from the grocery store with seachem prime added. The tap water where I live with water conditioner added is too harsh for the fish. it caused him to go in shock and immediately had to put him in spring water to bring him back to normal. Switched to RO water in October 2019. Got the water heater in December to maintain water temp as one day the water dropped from 76 to 62.

 

Test Results for the Following:

* Ammonia Level(Tank) - 0.3 mg/L

* Nitrite Level(Tank) - 0 mg/L

* Nitrate level(Tank) - 5 mg/L

* Ammonia Level(Tap) - RO water will get in a day

* Nitrite Level(Tap) - RO water will get in a day

* Nitrate level(Tap) - RO water will get in a day

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) - 7.5

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) - RO water will get in a day

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? Nutrafin test kit drops

* Water temperature? 78 F with tank heater to keep consistency, house is drafty

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 10 gallons, 2 years running since having to empty all water due to moving houses

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Tetra Whisper PF10

* How often do you change the water and how much? weekly-biweekly 25%

* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 7 days ago 25%

* How many fish in the tank and their size? only one fish, Carlton a comet goldfish thats roughly 4-5 inches

* What kind of water additives or conditioners? I add Seachem Replenish to RO water (5ml), vitachem, pH stabilizer if needed

* What do you feed your fish and how often? Once a day in the morning with Bug Bites Goldfish, the majority of the years  ive had him he was on cobalt spirolina. Changed to bug bites this past december and he seems to like it more

* Any new fish added to the tank? no

* Any medications added to the tank? Yes

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

This has been going on for over a year so I dont remember the dates I did which but I remember how long I did them and what order. I would do water changes and wait a week or months before starting a new medication.

API Fin and Body Care probably 1.5 years ago - followed directions of 4 doses for a full treatment

API Fungal Care about a year ago - 2 doses for full treatment

API liquid Super Ick (benzaldehyde green)- 8 months ago - 2tsp repeat dose after 48 hours then 25% change

Aquarium salt in October

MetroPlex - Ever 2 days for 3 weeks in december

API Fin and Body Care February for a total of 3 doses

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Blood streaks in tail and frayed fins started first then slowly getting cloudy eyes until completely opaque

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? He used to be more lethargic until I switched to RO water. He swims a lot more but isnt as active as he used to be

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RO Water

pH - 5

Nitrite - 0

Nitrate - 0

Ammonia - o

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Hmmm, why are you getting ammonia?  Did you replace the filter media recently?  That’s unusual and that amount would explain the red fins and lethargy.  

Did you treat his illness in your main tank with your filter in, perhaps?

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Hmmm. I always take the filter out when treating with medications. I treated in the main tank. I need to replace it and will today after buying a filter. 

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If you can not replace your filter I recommend it.  Every time you let your filter dry out or replace the media you lose your bacterial colony responsible for keeping the tank cycled, and treating with something like Malachite Green in your main tank will actually affect the denitrifiers in your gravel and on your ornaments too.  That biofilm is important.  It looks like your tank is going through a little mini cycle now from the treatments, so your goal from here is to just make sure you’re doing a water change every time you get ammonia reaching .25 ppms.

That, plus the additional buffering, should help him be his happiest self.  I’d like to give that a week or two before we assess if any more treatments are needed, as I’m thinking you’re looking at cataracts and water quality pouting in behavior more than an infection.  
 

Sound good?

If you need to replace your filter, can you instead just smack it against the side of the tank or a bucket or tank water to knock out the poo and replace it?  I have media in my filters that is going on two years old, it only gets removed entirely when it disintegrates ;)  It would be even older but I had a virus I had to nuke that necessitated a whole tank breakdown and sterilizing.

Cartridge filters are tricky but not impossible to reuse.  We can give you tips if you need help with that.  With my old terms filter I used to just rubber band filter floss into the original frame that I could remove, squeeze out well into conditioned water, and then attach back to the cartridge frame again.  No charcoal is needed so I tossed that part and didn’t miss it!

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Sorry I’m a little confused. My filter system comes with a green plastic part that supposed to keep biomass that I always keep in even during medication and then a white filter cartridge with charcoal. I replace the white filter cartridge monthly as it turns green. Should I not replace the White filter? And throw away the charcoal?

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Can you take a picture so I can see what you’re talking about?  Let’s make sure we are not talking past one another.  
 

Generally no, you don’t need charcoal in any filter except for specific reasons.  

 

And generally if you’re doing ANY medication you want to have the fish in a separate tank with just an air stone, because the medications affect the beneficial denitrifying bacteria that keep your tank cycled and can decrease or even kill them, as well as the poo and other detritus in the filter making the medication less effective overall. That is why I believe you are seeing ammonia and why your fish is acting off, there was a die-off of some (but not all, as you’re still showing nitrate) of your bacterial colony when you treated for the cloudy eye, and now the spikes in ammonia as waste products are breaking down and you don’t have enough bacteria to detoxify the waste products are irritating and making your fish sick on their own, now.  We call this a mini-cycle, and it takes a good 6-8 weeks generally to clear it as your filter matures again and the bacterial colonies rebuild.

During that time is when you want to be testing your water every day or two to make sure the ammonia and then nitrite are staying within acceptable levels.  
 

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Wow I really had no idea about not medicating in the tank or that charcoal isn’t necessary. Why does the charcoal come in the packet? I feel like I’ve been a bad fish mom lol. So here are pictures of the filters. The whiteish one is a filter cartridge that comes with charcoal inside. The green is the biomass grid. I’m confused at which one you said you don’t change and just knock off the poo. The white filter cartridge gets almost like a green black sometimes.  I never clean the green grid I leave it as is. 

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So the surface area of the green frame is way less than the white floss.  That has much larger biomass.  All you have to do is squeeze and knock that white floss against the water change bucket - or rinse in tank water, but never tap water - to remove the solids.  It discoloring is normal and harms nothing as long as the actual physical waste goes down the drain every month.  Consider it a poop *catcher* - there to hold the detritus until you can knock out clean.  Then it goes back in the catch more poo. But every single fiber of that filter floss is a surface with much more area for colonization it bacteria than the green clip frame.  Every time you toss the white media you’re tossing poo and ALSO your beneficial bacteria in the biofilm on the fibers.  That is what we want to keep, until the little bits fall apart in a few years.  And heck, even then we want to put the new filter fabric in with it for a few months so it can grow its own colony of bacteria before we toss out the existing one on the old filter fabric :)

Here is an example in one it my tanks,  I use sponges instead of white filter fabric in this one, and every water change I squeeze out the poo and put it back.  Even when I’m starting a brand new sponge I’m definitely not tossing the old one, though.  As long as its not completely destroyed it is doing its job as a substrate for beneficial denitrifying bacteria and poop catching!


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You don’t need any carbon because you’re not trying to absorb a medication or toxin from the tank.  Chemical filter media like charcoal or purigen absolutely has uses, but they are specific and only certain circumstances, not in a healthy normal tank.  
 

The happy news here is that you only have to buy a new filter for that sucker every once in a blue moon.  I had a similar one many years ago and replaced the white fabric once in five years. But because that was in the tank when you medicated now we need to rebuild the bacteria that died in the treatments (metro doesn’t usually do it, but API fungus cure and malachite green both harm denitrifying bacteria). 
 

That’s why I want you to test for ammonia and just manage the water quality for now.  Because I think you have a fish who isn’t happy with the cycle bounce of treatment more than anything suggesting a separate illness.

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Thank you so much! When I knocked out the poo, there wasnt any... (Ive seen my fish poo regularly). All that came out when I knocked and squeezed was yellowy-white cloudy water. Im guessing thats from the food I give him, he really likes it but it makes the water so cloudy and I can see tiny fragments of the food all over the place. I may look for a different kind after I can get the water issue back to normal, dont want to do too many changes at once. I noticed that the water doesn't flow well when the white floss isn't white anymore, should I look into a new filtration system? 

I had no idea about the charcoal! So basically I can just keep the charcoal in the box and just use the white floss.

I am so grateful for the knowledge you have given me! Thank you so much!

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The poo breaks down into that pulpy mulm, it can be uneaten food too but is very likely not.  It’s no big deal, just keep knocking it out.  And don’t worry too much about the flow rate.  As long as it is moving, even a trickle, you’re good to go.  If you need additional gas exchange then I recommend a good air stone, it helps a ton :)

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I changed his food back in December and since then I've seen more large particles all over the bottom of the tank. Im going to search the website for food ideas for the future! I have an air stone but I guess it doesn't get things super moving.

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Hey! One of my goldfish problem with its eye, and after trying a bunch of stuff, I was advised to just let it be as long as the fish is still eating and looks healthy. My fish can't see me, but he still swims around and eats. He's been having this cloudy eye for 3 years now.

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We would need pictures but three years out it’s likely an infection that damaged the lens of the eye or cataracts, neither of which is treatable. Just consider the eye a cosmetic issue unless you notice behavioral changes or him looking off or sick (like red fins, clamping, lethargy, or just ‘not right’).

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On 4/9/2020 at 4:21 PM, mygoldfishmylife said:

Hey! One of my goldfish problem with its eye, and after trying a bunch of stuff, I was advised to just let it be as long as the fish is still eating and looks healthy. My fish can't see me, but he still swims around and eats. He's been having this cloudy eye for 3 years now.

Hi! Carlton’s had white eyes for a year now. I try to talk to him every time I feed him so he knows food is coming! I wish it would go away but I’m sure it’s permanent now. I call him my little old man lol. 

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I’ve been following the advice I was given on this thread and green algae is starting to grow more. My fish has started laying on the bottom of the tank most of the day. He lays his head on a rock and he doesn’t seem to have trouble breathing. He lately has been only swimming after he is fed and then floats above that rock and then goes down to rest. I noticed that his fake aquarium safe plant was rusting so I removed it and I tested his water. I’m not sure if there is illness or age (I’ve had him for 8 years, he was a carnival fish) or part of the tank cycling. Thank you!

Test Results for the Following:

* Ammonia Level(Tank) - 0 mg/L

* Nitrite Level(Tank) - 0 mg/L

* Nitrate level(Tank) - 5 mg/L

* Ammonia Level(Tap) - RO DI water - 0 mg/L

* Nitrite Level(Tap) - RO DI water - 0 mg/L

* Nitrate level(Tap) - RO DI water -mg/L

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) - 8-8.5 it’s really hard for me to tell the color difference on my test kit. I have been using baking soda and replenish to get pH higher than how it starts out with plain RO DI water

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) - RO water 5

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? Nutrafin test kit drops

* Water temperature? 76 F with automatic tank heater to keep consistency, house is drafty In winter

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 10 gallons, 2 years running since having to empty all water due to moving houses but about 2 months since using the suggestions on this thread

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Tetra Whisper PF10

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

* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 8 days ago 25%

* How many fish in the tank and their size? only one fish, Carlton a comet goldfish thats roughly 4-5 inches

* What kind of water additives or conditioners? I add Seachem Replenish to RO water (5ml), now baking soda, and vitachem 

* What do you feed your fish and how often? Once a day in the morning with Bug Bites Goldfish, the majority of the years  ive had him he was on cobalt spirolina. Changed to bug bites this past december and he seems to like it more

* Any new fish added to the tank? no

* Any medications added to the tank? Not since the start of this thread

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

This has been going on for over a year so I dont remember the dates I did which but I remember how long I did them and what order. I would do water changes and wait a week or months before starting a new medication.

API Fin and Body Care probably 1.5 years ago - followed directions of 4 doses for a full treatment

API Fungal Care about a year ago - 2 doses for full treatment

API liquid Super Ick (benzaldehyde green)- 8 months ago - 2tsp repeat dose after 48 hours then 25% change

Aquarium salt in October

MetroPlex - Ever 2 days for 3 weeks in december

API Fin and Body Care February for a total of 3 doses

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Blood streaks in tail and frayed fins, cloudy eyes

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? The past week he started laying his head on a rock for a long time and always comes back to the same spot. I’ve never seen him rest his head on anything. He doesn’t swim as much  he will float up do a half circle around the tank for a minute or less then go back to that rock.  if I feed him he will get up and forage but then goes back to the rock. He seems to spend more time on the rock then swimming. In the pictures I have attached are him on the rock, then where he is in the middle of the tank is where he floats up to and then goes back down or does a lap. 

 

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I’m wondering if I should move him back to my home town where my parents live as he’s gone downhill since I’ve moved to Tampa and can’t use the tap water here. 😭

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6 hours ago, Camille said:

I’m wondering if I should move him back to my home town where my parents live as he’s gone downhill since I’ve moved to Tampa and can’t use the tap water here. 😭

Why can't you use the tap water?

That Lego structure, did you make that? 

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9 hours ago, koko said:

Why can't you use the tap water?

That Lego structure, did you make that? 

I did make that Lego structure years ago. I can’t use tap water in Tampa as that almost killed Carlton when I tried to use it with water conditioner. He went completely vertical and I had to go out and buy water from the grocery store to put him in it. In the post above this one I explained how he’s resting on the bottom a lot which is unusual behavior for him. 

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On 5/14/2020 at 8:18 AM, Camille said:

I did make that Lego structure years ago. I can’t use tap water in Tampa as that almost killed Carlton when I tried to use it with water conditioner. He went completely vertical and I had to go out and buy water from the grocery store to put him in it. In the post above this one I explained how he’s resting on the bottom a lot which is unusual behavior for him. 

Okay if it was me.

The first thing I would do is get all of the ornaments out of the tank. It might be leaching into the water. Then I would do a water change. Then I would do a .1% salt in the tank for 3 days. :)

 

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