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Sick Common and running out of ideas


hmiddleb13

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Ammonia Level(Tank)- this mornings reading is .25

 Nitrite Level(Tank)- 0

 Nitrate level(Tank)-5

 Ammonia Level(Tap)- .25

 Nitrite Level(Tap)-0

 Nitrate level(Tap)-0

 Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)- 7.6 (normal for her tank) (High Range pH 7.4 also normal for her tank)

 Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)- 7.6 and High Range 7.4

Other Required Info:

 Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API Master kit drops

 Water temperature? 76 F (I had turned it up last night.)

 Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? This is a 55 gallon and has been set up almost a year. She started in a 5 gallon to keep it cycled and then went to a 20 gallon and then a 29 gallon. I've had her almost 3 years

 What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Aqua Clear 100 there are 2 air stones in the tank as well

 How often do you change the water and how much? General maintenance about 15 percent but Oct/early Nov didn't get regular maintenance and then since Mid November water changes with treatment listed below

 How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Last night about 80%

 How many fish in the tank and their size? There is one surviving peppered cory cat that has moved with her from the 5 gallon tank she started in. 

 What kind of water additives or conditioners? I use Prime and Aqualife Activate

 What do you feed your fish and how often? She used to eat a combo of flakes and shrimp pellets. She had some live plants that she ate up. I fasted when I first noticed her sick but she then became interested in eating and she's gotten shelled peas, shrimp pellets, and GF bug bites on rotation. Used to always feed 2 times again. In October I started only doing 1 feeding. Now I count how how much she gets 2 times a day and it's anywhere from 7-10 pellets and when it's peas its about 4

 Any new fish added to the tank? no

 Any medications added to the tank? Right now she's on day 6 of melafix and there is aquarium salt 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. She had 10 days of Kanamycian Sulfate 

 Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Her mouth has had injuries. Started with just some veining but then there was a period of time she would swim erratically and hit things and it was red. Then she had a place from a jump (see below) and her mouth was flakey. She has some veining now on bottom of her bellow and fin where she's been laying on it. Yesterday I thought it look like vent area is swollen and blocked. 

 Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Bear with me.

About mid Nov I noticed LIly was sitting on the bottom of her tank in one spot. Nov 27 I tested nitrates and they were literally off the charts. I even took them to local fish store and they weren't reading them that way. I kept testing because she was exhibiting all the signs of nitrate poisoning. I stopped feeding and lowered temp. I went back and they finally did an electronic test and got the high reading. At this point we decided that my under gravel filter must have gotten backed up. This was the case. I was originally going to do a reverse flow and I had changed to sand on the bottom so I had a filter pad covering the UGF. I ended up not doing that but it kept the tank clean and numbers perfect for a year. But when it fails it fails big. When I pulled it all out on Dec 3 the water was black! Got the tank cleaned and by Dec 7 the numbers were pretty much back to normal (pH was 6.6 and normally 7.6). I think around this time I also ordered some Mean Green Remedy form The Organic Fish. She was still on the bottom but she wasn't clamped  and she would at least move to different spots (Barbie the cory was definitely feeling better and back to normal). After posting on a FB group they recommended aquarium salt so I started with salt in the tank. I finally decided to try a salt bath. When she was just about back into her tank she jumped and fell behind the aquarium cabinet. I have never felt so horrible. I was able to get her but she had torn some scales off on both sides and injured her "nose" area. I went back to the aquarium store and showed them her picture and they suggested the Kanamycin sulfate. On day 3 of this she was up and swimming! I cried happy tears! She was looking for food and pooping clear casings. I started warming temp up and I think i gave her some peas because at that point it's all I could get to sink. By day 5 of antibiotics she was back down. If she ate peas she would have really short green poop the next day. On day 8 she would mosey around the bottom of the tank like she was looking for her food (i use long tongs to basically drop it in front of her. and then she goes for it). Ammonia was going back and forth at this point so I was continuing water changes accordingly and using prime and double dosing. At one point I used Stress Coat+ and she swam around a bit the next day. By Dec 16 her mouth/nose injury looked terrible and flakey. I was out of aquarium salt at this point and couldn't fine it anywhere. At this point some one suggest Melatfix. She was doing some erratic swimming at this point but i think she was trying to shake off the flakey injury. I should note too that when she's been down she is not rubbing her belly etc. By Sunday December 18 she would motor along the bottom looking for food and I was starting to see some normal poop but it was very short not even 1/2 in. I did find aquarium salt and added that back in after about an 80% water change. She was swimming around a bit at this point and the next day would stay low but was floating and not laying on the sand which was good because that morning i had noticed the red area and veining on the bottom fin. Monday she was back down. This week she has stayed at the bottom but she moves around to different locations. But yesterday I noticed her vent looked swollen and I could see poop but realized there was none of any kind anywhere in the tank. Last night I fed peas again but no poop this morning. I am at a complete loss and am so worried about her. When I squatted down this morning to check her out she moved around so she could see me. She rolls those big sweet eyes at me. One thing I have noticed is that if and when she gets to the top and takes in air she drops down and lets out a HUGE bubble. I had never noticed that before. I'm wondering if I should try epsom salt bath. Any and all thoughts will be appreciated. (not sure how to insert images here)

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Hi there! That’s quite a mess, and quite a lot of treatments. 
 

First, please upload some good, closeup pictures of her in bright light so I can see what you see.

 

Second, am I understanding that you still have an under gravel filter?  May I see a picture of the tank? 
 

Third, most of those treatments aren’t ones that need logging, though I see a few that could have interacted in terms of ingredients and made this worse.  How long, total, was she on the kanamycin?

 

Fourth, for the love of Pete, please explain what is in the water now and how much. Just salt? What strength of salinity? Right now your best bet is NOTHING in the water, lights off and warm, low stress environment, and stop with the peas (they can actually be rather hard on the fish’s system, try blanched lettuce, seaweed, or duckweed). We are going back to a KISS approach to try and untangle this. Good water quality prevents many problems (like the nitrate spike that started this all) and is still one of the best remedies for helping the fish recover on their own. It’s likely medication will be needed, but you can’t tell what’s working when there are seven different factors at play, you know? :)

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tank-211223.jpgOnly thing in tank now is aquarium salt and the melafix (today was day six of it). She had 10 days of the kanamycin at the beginning of December. UGF was removed 1st of December and numbers returned to normal. Im assuming the antibiotics messed with the ammonia. I can’t figure out anything thing else. I tried other greens leaves but she doesn’t maneuver well and seems like she can’t see them or isn’t interested. Other than the aquarium salt none of the other treatments really overlapped. I left her for several days when she finished the kanamycin but her mouth injuries looked terrible and she was swimming erratically like she was tried to get it off her face. Someone suggested the melafix and it has healed her nose. It seems so strange that she got better of day three and four of Kanamycin but then went right back down. None of the parameters were really off and I was doing water changes accordingly as ammonia would creep up.

when I went to take tonight’s picture she’s moving around a bit. It’s like she rocks back and forth to get going. And at times seems like she wants to move but just can’t maneuver and at times leans to the side. When I do a big water change she will swim tilted on the bottom.   

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Photo journey  lily-211127.jpglily-211204.jpglily-211204b.jpglily-211207.jpglily-211216.jpglily-211222.jpgHer mouth is better now. And she was doing what I call her “tail wagging” when I went to take the last pictures. Moving around a bit. I swear she does it in response to seeing me. 
 

I’m concerned im not seeing any sign of poo. Should I do the one last day of melafix (day 7) and then stop everything and just keep doing water changes as ammonia numbers dictate? When I do this should I replace the salt that would be taken out?

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No salt, no melafix. At this point Kanamycin is out, too, since you did 10 days without much improvement. Tank looks good, though generally it’s best to run treatment in buckets or a hospital tank because some of these medications can affect your filtration, or exhaust themselves in an excess of biomatter and then don’t treat the fish as effectively.

 

If you can obtain it, I think furan-2 is our best bet right now, it’s particularly good with topical infections and mouth ulcers. Also, for your weekly water changes, you need to do more like 50-80% each week to keep the nitrate manageable, not 15%. That’s ridiculously too little for goldfish, who are very very messy.

 

Now since she is the only fish in there, you can go by your test kit. At a week out from water change, test your water. If it’s still at 10 ppms of nitrate or lower, you don’t need to change for another week. But minimum 50% every two weeks even if your nitrates are low is a good compromise for redox potential and keeping her in optimum health from here on out :) As you unfortunately discovered, once they’re weakened and sick by water quality issues, treatment is much more difficult than prevention.

If you cannot get furan 2, we can look into triple sulfa and methylene blue. Treatments like melafix or malachite green are either not effective OR harmful, especially with salt in (these treatments can react with one another).

 

So back to basics. 
 

JUST dechlorinated tap water, nice and warm (76 degrees is fine, hold it there). NO salt. Nothing until you can get another antibiotic. No tank lights. No feeding aside from a few small pellets (no more than the size of her eyeball is a good rule of thumb, twice daily). We are just going to let her body rest for a bit while we get medication,

If you cannot obtain anything other than kanaplex, we can run another round of that next week. But again, I think her best bet is just backing off, because more treatments add more metabolic stress even if they also help combat infections. Right now we want you don’t no more harm while awaiting other treatments. Does that make sense?

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Thank you! Her nitrates had literally been zero until November. The UGF was great until it wasn’t. But I also feel like I jinxed myself by thinking aloud that with all of my tanks I’ve had no problems for the 4 years in the hobby. 🤦🏻‍♀️
 

I think they may have that med at the fish store. I didn’t remove her to another tub because moving her stressed her so much and she had the injury with the last move and several recommended just doing in tank and keeping an eye with testing. I don’t do lights ever really because they have always stressed her. 

This morning she has pooped and she’s hovering some. Her back end seems to float more than the front of course. I’m not worried about the nitrates at this point but I am worried about the ammonia. 
 

 

89D80CC1-D952-4959-BE5B-EB688905B465.jpeg

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Remember when you’re doing the nitrate test to shake the bottles of reagent for a minute each, then the tube for a minute once the drops are in there. No cycled aquarium has zero nitrates unless it is heavily planted and has animals that produce almost zero waste, like glass shrimp. Goldfish are among the worst for raising nitrates quickly because they’re large bodied, heavy waste producers. And if your nitrates got above 40-60 ppms, where it wasn’t even readable on the test because it was all just dark red, that was months in the making.

Lots of people administer that water test incorrectly, because it’s the only one that requires agitation to properly take :)

The other thing I’d like you to consider is changing from an undergravel filter, which are fairly poor filtration in general, to a sponge filter. You already have airstones in the tank and it would be an easy switch, just run the sponge in there for a few months to establish it, then dismantle your old filter around February or March and leave in the new. But they’re much easier to clean and maintain and make for happier fish.

This brand is the one I use and they’re fantastic. Literally all you do is just lift out the filter and thwack it into your rinse bucket of tank water every few water changes, and that’s it. https://www.amazon.com/Lustar-Hydro-Sponge-Filter-Aquariums-Gallons/dp/B0002602SM

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Once you’re at the fish store let me know what they have. Furan-2 and Triple Sulfa should both be readily available in the US at a fish store, but they stopped carrying them at big chains like Petsmart, sadly.

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Yes, let’s just let her rest and stay put until Sunday or Monday when things open back up and you can tell me what they have available! I’m glad she is swimming again :)

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9 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

Remember when you’re doing the nitrate test to shake the bottles of reagent for a minute each, then the tube for a minute once the drops are in there. No cycled aquarium has zero nitrates unless it is heavily planted and has animals that produce almost zero waste, like glass shrimp. Goldfish are among the worst for raising nitrates quickly because they’re large bodied, heavy waste producers. And if your nitrates got above 40-60 ppms, where it wasn’t even readable on the test because it was all just dark red, that was months in the making.

Lots of people administer that water test incorrectly, because it’s the only one that requires agitation to properly take :)

The other thing I’d like you to consider is changing from an undergravel filter, which are fairly poor filtration in general, to a sponge filter. You already have airstones in the tank and it would be an easy switch, just run the sponge in there for a few months to establish it, then dismantle your old filter around February or March and leave in the new. But they’re much easier to clean and maintain and make for happier fish.

This brand is the one I use and they’re fantastic. Literally all you do is just lift out the filter and thwack it into your rinse bucket of tank water every few water changes, and that’s it. https://www.amazon.com/Lustar-Hydro-Sponge-Filter-Aquariums-Gallons/dp/B0002602SM

My oldest tank is 4 years old and has never had nitrates after it cycled. The 55 gallon tank does have a sponge HOB filter as well. The UGF was a mistake but I went with it with the purpose of doing a reverse flow after a bunch of research. But I met a man who had a man who had had a ton of luck running it regularly (as well as my dad back in the day when he had tanks). After I decided i didn’t like the noise with reverse flow I just let it run regularly. And for a year it did so beautifully. And I did have perfect numbers with no nitrates upon testing in mid October. But I missed my November testing and the air got super dry in our house and evaporated about 4 inches out of all of my tanks very quickly. It was very strange and after that nitrates in two tanks went up. The 15 gallon went up to about 80 and it has no UGF. It is the 4 year old tank. The 10 gallon which looked the worst (because it’s nerite snails finally died) has maintained normal pH, no nitrites, no ammonia and no nitrates. 🤷🏻‍♀️ It’s been a huge mystery. I really appreciate your help. I’ll keep you posted on how she does the next couple of days. Her face is all healed up and snd her belly had gotten red places on it from laying down and I noticed that’s gone too! 🤞

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If the filtration experiments are stable keep it up, generally the no nitrates and UGF are red flags, but you know your system. Just test before water changes and keep an eye on it, as your filter might have been knocked back in efficacy with the meds. Poke me if you need more help :)

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Well Lily was back down yesterday. She’s like a little car  revving her engine when I get near the tank. She’s wags and tries to to get going but can’t. I think her mouth looks flakey again and she just took of swimming shaking her head like she’s trying to shake off the flake  😞 today numbers are 

pH-7.6

HpH- 7.4

NO2-0

NO3-5 

but ammonia is .5

 

i looked online at aquarium store which opens at 1  they have this  is it the same at Furan 2  

E99CB78C-EE69-4411-B258-B8AACCED4DED.jpeg

40FB0C4F-FBE7-4113-81DA-BD07D74AD9D2.png

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If the ammonia is rising, that makes me think the filter got knocked back or wiped out during some part of this. Do a water change, at least 80%, as soon as the ammonia crosses .25 ppms. Any higher will make her sicker and just add stress. You may need to do big water changes every 2-3 days while your tank cycles again, for up to three months. But I’m hopeful it will only take a few weeks if the filter’s denitrifying bacteria weren’t totally killed.

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20 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

If the ammonia is rising, that makes me think the filter got knocked back or wiped out during some part of this. Do a water change, at least 80%, as soon as the ammonia crosses .25 ppms. Any higher will make her sicker and just add stress. You may need to do big water changes every 2-3 days while your tank cycles again, for up to three months. But I’m hopeful it will only take a few weeks if the filter’s denitrifying bacteria weren’t totally killed.

Ok. Doing this should I still hold off on the furan 2 a few more days and see if she evens out? I just am so sad she has one  good day every week and a half and then it’s back to the bottom. And her mouth looked all healed up Friday but is flaky again. But Thursday was the last day of the melafix so I feel like it healed but then whatever is going on just took over again. 

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So yes, please copy your pictures and comments into this thread and not messages so I can track them in one spot :) and if you need me, just type @ and then my screen name.

if you’re of the opinion that the redness and flaking is getting actively worse, we can run a course together of kanaplex and furan 2 for fourteen days, changing the tank water out 100% every two days and redosing the full dose of meds. This is expensive to do in your main tank and doesn’t work super well, so I recommend using underbed plastic totes or five gallon buckets if you don’t have a little hospital tank. It takes less meds to dose and just needs a heater and air stone running.

If you need more explicit instructions please ask!

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Lily’s nose looked better on Friday at the end of the melafix treatment. At least it looked better. Maybe it hadn’t released the injured skin yet but now it’s flaking off and it causes her to go swimming crazy trying to shake it off and she hits things which has made her mouth look terrible again.

My hesitation with moving her to a different container to treat is that we have cats and curious dogs. I’ll be thinking on where I could put it. 
 

@arcticmama, So you think the kanamycin would need to be done again too with the Furan 2

 

 

 

317A1DB5-14B8-4248-B08F-8D4FC6E8E181.jpeg

EA60D035-A3B2-4629-9F66-6E08DEFF0ED6.jpeg

DEF8F937-111F-4739-A38B-6E9FAF711CC6.jpeg

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On 12/27/2021 at 3:56 PM, Arctic Mama said:

if you’re of the opinion that the redness and flaking is getting actively worse, we can run a course together of kanaplex and furan 2 for fourteen days, changing the tank water out 100% every two days and redosing the full dose of meds. This is expensive to do in your main tank and doesn’t work super well, so I recommend using underbed plastic totes or five gallon buckets if you don’t have a little hospital tank. It takes less meds to dose and just needs a heater and air stone running.

If you need more explicit instructions please ask!

FBDB1444-F0CA-4F06-A006-C18C3ADF7C94.jpeg

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On 12/28/2021 at 6:22 PM, hmiddleb13 said:

Lily’s nose looked better on Friday at the end of the melafix treatment. At least it looked better. Maybe it hadn’t released the injured skin yet but now it’s flaking off and it causes her to go swimming crazy trying to shake it off and she hits things which has made her mouth look terrible again.

My hesitation with moving her to a different container to treat is that we have cats and curious dogs. I’ll be thinking on where I could put it. 
 

@arcticmama, So you think the kanamycin would need to be done again too with the Furan 2

 

 

 

317A1DB5-14B8-4248-B08F-8D4FC6E8E181.jpeg

EA60D035-A3B2-4629-9F66-6E08DEFF0ED6.jpeg

DEF8F937-111F-4739-A38B-6E9FAF711CC6.jpeg

 

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So Lily went into 10 gallon hospital tank on 12-29 with a heater and air stone. The next day though I add a HOB 10 gallon filter. She is still eating and I alternate between shrimp pellets and  goldfish bug bites. She swims around a bit interested in what we are going when we are at the counter but still lays on the bottom mostly. I have been. Checking ammonia and doing water changes between 1-2x a day. Her nose was fine but today I noticed it flakey and red again. She is trying to shake it off. Before the nose thing I was just going to continue without the nitrofurazone treatment but now I’m wondering if I should go ahead. 
 

@Arctic Mama what do you think? I’ve attached a new pic of her nose and the bottle directions of Nitrofurazone. 32131A2F-6D8A-48AB-8E90-C015CFCC6FDE.thumb.jpeg.c6931d40010aad5e512b652bcbb23b2d.jpeg2B8B16F1-9843-4DAF-B4CF-8BD82747892A.thumb.jpeg.c91742ad14dfe0ea446ff8026e04e072.jpeg

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The meds won’t make it worse, though the healing may cause some skin to slough off. And yes, I recommend doing the two meds together at this point for the duration of the treatment :)

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Yes, if you’re having to change daily to keep up with ammonia. That’s what I do. And just scoop the fish into a cottage cheese bucket with old water while I change out the whole hospital tank and redose meds, then scoop him back in when it’s done.

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