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Goldie Owner

Pleco ripped fins or fin rot? Need help!

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I'm new to owning goldfish and recently set up a tank a few months ago. In addition to my three goldies I added a bristlenose pleco and a chinese algae eater, having been assured that they would make great tank mates and would help keep the algae under control. After bringing them home and having them for a good while I noticed some aggressive interactions between the them and my goldfish. After doing a bit of research I learned that suprise suprise! They really aren't the best tank mates. The last couple of days I noticed that my black moor was looking a bit torn up, but I wasn't sure who was doing the tearing, and today I checked again and it is much worse, as well as my fantail and pearlscale showing some tips and tears. Which leads me to my question, is it fin rot or are my pleco and/or algae eater nipping at them?

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What would be the best way to go about stopping the aggression or curing the fin rot?

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BNs are generally fine with goldies,  but do require driftwood and usually a heater depending on your house temp, i keep my BN at around 23c

I would think the chinese algae eater is the culprit, but can you fill out this form, please,  to help us work it out? 

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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Hi FishyMandy! Thank you for getting back to me.

Test Results for the Following:

 Ammonia Level(Tank) - 0 ppm

 Nitrite Level(Tank) - 0.5 ppm

 Nitrate level(Tank) - 20 ppm

 Ammonia Level(Tap) - 0 ppm

 Nitrite Level(Tap) - 0 ppm

 Nitrate level(Tap) - 20 ppm

 Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) - GH 30, KH 0, Ph 7.0

 Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) - GH 30, KH 40, Ph 7.0

Other Required Info:

 Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API test kit, drops were used for ammonia, strips were used for the rest.

 Water temperature? 70 degrees farenheit

 Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 40 gals and has been running for about 3 months.

 What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Fluval size 30

 How often do you change the water and how much? I do about a 30-40% water change weekly.

 How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? My last water change was 4 days ago and I did a 50% water change.

 How many fish in the tank and their size? Three goldfish, each about 2 inches, one 2 inch pleco and one 1.5 inch chinese algae eater.

 What kind of water additives or conditioners? I dose my tank with 4 ml of liquid Co2 booster once daily and I add a stress coat to the new tank water before adding it in with every water change.

 What do you feed your fish and how often? I feed my goldfish one medium/small sized pinch of Aqueon Goldfish Flakes every afternoon, it uses to be every morning and night but I have cut back a bit on their food. My algae eater and pleco get 1/3 of a Hikari algae wafer once every three days.

 Any new fish added to the tank? My chinese algae eater was my most recent addition, he was added in about a month ago.

 Any medications added to the tank? Yes, Microbe-Lift Lice and Anchor Worm to deal with a fish lice that came in with my Pearlscale.

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

-Microbe-Lift Lice & Anchor Worm, once a week for three weeks, started treatment sometime around July 8th, I cannot remember the exact date.

-Methylene Blue baths for my Black Moor, duration was about 1 week, treatment was August 12-19

 Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Frayed fins on both my fantail and my black moor.

 Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? No

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Ok, So I think the CAE is probably causing a problem. I would seriously look into rehoming it, unless you have another tank it can go in as they do get large and aggressive. I was given some a few years ago that I had to take to the LFS, they were about a foot long! I tried to find my photos I had of them but haven't been able to

The other thing that stands out to me is the Nitrite level, we really want that to be 0. It looks as though your tank hasn't fully cycled yet. @koko might be better at explaining the cycle than me. But You'll need to do frequent testing and waterchanging until you get that stable at 0.

This goes in hand with the above point, but with 3 goldfish and a BN in a 40g, I'd up your WCs to at least 90% weekly. We recommend 20g per goldfish, and a BN would need 20g as well. Heavier stocking is doable, but requires more maintenance :) 

The fins look like they should heal with clean water, but some salt wouldn't hurt and that's usually all I use for torn fins. You can use any salt that doesn't have any additives. At 0.1% (which is 1 gram per litre, so for a 40g tank would be 150grams)

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I would agree with @FishyMandy the CAE fish is beating your goldfish up. Also having that many fish in that tank is making the filter work over time. It can keep up with that much waste. Plus it shows in the water tests. A tank that is fully cycled and balanced won't have ammonia or nitrites in it. The only thing we should see in a fully cycled tank is nitrates :)

Im having a hard time keeping up with 2 full sized goldfish in a 40 gallon tank. The two filters I have on the back are working hard and I have to change 50% of the water every other day to every 3 days. Goldfish are messy and need a lot of water changes and filter cleaning. :)

Your Kh is also non existent in the tank Im little worried that your ph might drop. :( 

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@FishyMandy Hmm, I will definitly see what I can do about rehoming my CAE, I did try and change his routine up a bit by removing him from the tank for a few hours and he seems to be leaving the goldies alone, but if it continues I will definitly rehome him or find a new tank for him, and I will be sure to up my water change to 90%, thank you for the advice!

@kokoHmm, I have thought about increasing their tank size as they grow. Is there any way I can increase my Kh? 

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13 hours ago, Goldie Owner said:

@FishyMandy Hmm, I will definitly see what I can do about rehoming my CAE, I did try and change his routine up a bit by removing him from the tank for a few hours and he seems to be leaving the goldies alone, but if it continues I will definitly rehome him or find a new tank for him, and I will be sure to up my water change to 90%, thank you for the advice!

@kokoHmm, I have thought about increasing their tank size as they grow. Is there any way I can increase my Kh? 

Yes you can get some crushed coral in a pantyhose and place it in your filter....or Wondershells are another great option. I use them all the time. 👍😁

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