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Urgent Response Needed. Please Help!


Diva

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  • Regular Member

Hi.

I am so worried about Bubble, My celestial eyed goldfish.

I noticed two nights ago that he was not his usual self. Seemed quiet and floating about 6 cm above gravel level. I thought that perhaps with it being evening that he was just resting, and he had eaten (hand fed, since his eye sight is not as good as the other goldfish I have), so I wasn't too concerned. The next morning my heart missed a beat when I couldnt see him, but found him sitting on the gravel behind the cave. I now notice his gills are moving quite rapidly, but I cant see any obvious symtoms apart from that.

I fed them all peas several days ago, which I try to do once a week. This doesnt look to me like swim bladder. The tank is fully mature. No Nitrite, no traces of Amonia, I did a PH test yesterday which read 7, I read that goldfish like it at 7.5, but 7 doesnt seem too low, plus all the other fish are fine.

I have had Bubble for 5 months and he has always been healthy.

He is my baby, he feeds from my hand and is so unbelievably friendly.

My tank is a 106 litre tank, I have 7 little fish altogether, which I am told is not overstocked. I have a Fluval 3plus filter system, since its winter in the UK I heat the tank now to around 72 degrees which I am told is comfortable for the fancy goldfish types.

Three or four days ago I did a gravel suction clean, which I do once a fortnight. This usually removes around 40 to 50% of the tank water if I am thorough. The tabk has been running since July and with no problems since maturing.

I havent offered him any food today, I dont think he looks like he would accept anything, and I am being cautious incase he is constipated. I noticed earlier that there was a very small see through poop, which I read is related to bactrial infection or parasites? I have bought a tonic which says it will revitalise a lethargic fish. If I could see any obvoius sypmtoms I would know what to treat it with.

PLEASE HELP. I am devastated. I love him dearly.

Thanks for taking time to reading this.

Diva

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Guest kamitoki

First of all you have to isolate him from the rest of the fish, so they don't catch whatever he has, and we can further isolate the problem. Put him in a nice clean bucket with conditioned water. Transfer him to another bucket the following day. And so on till he's better and you can put him back.

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  • Regular Member

Hi,

Thanks for the quick response. Sadly he has died about an hour ago. Totally devastated. Now I am terrified that the others may fall ill as a result. Should I carry out a 70% water change? I feel totally helpless, this is so hard when fish mean so much more than decoration. I absolutely adore my fish, and do everything I can to keep them healthy despite the hard work involved.

Can anyone advise me how I can make sure the others will be ok?

thanks again for such a swift response.

Diva

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Guest kamitoki

Since they're okay so far and you just did a gravel clean, I'd say just keep on a watch for now. No sense stressing them needlessly.

And dissolve a teaspoon of non-iodized rock salt into the water.

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Guest podded_pea

Hi Diva, am very sorry to hear you lost Bubble, its always horrid to lose a fish :huh:

The resting near the bottom looking a little depressed symptoms can be due to many things, one of the first and easiest to treat is High Nitrate levels. Have u got a test kit for that? if you havent, it doesnt matter, you need to start a daily water change regime of 30%-40%, atleast for a week. If its a well established tank, nitrate levels can rise very rapidly if you dont keep an eye on them, whilst the Ammonia and Nitrite will be at 0. This would be first priority action, if they were my fish. The added bonus here , is that any toxins that could have possibly got in the water will be thinned out very quickly. I would also recommend using the gravel symphon every clean, toxins released from pockets of trapped "stuff" in the gravel can cause illness in the fish, it maybe he wasnt as hardy as the others... gravel should be in tip top shape after the week ( i.e. no gunk when you syphon!)

Is there any way parasites/disease could have been introduced into the tank recently? New plants, new fish etc? The other thing it can ofcourse be is a parasitic cause... but we need more symptoms to accurately diagnose that. Look out for flashing, yawning, reddened gills, white spots, mildewy looking patches etc, on the other fish and report back if you spot ANY, or any unusual behaviour.

If you have some spare pH test kits, check its remaining at a constant 7 from day to day AND that your tap water is also at 7. Fluctuations in pH can be harmful to fish, but its consistancy thats the key here.

With 7 fish in 106 litres, you are fully stocked, infact if they grow you will be over stocked, so you'll prolly need to invest in some test kits to check out your water as often as you can afford, when it settles, you can reduce the testing, but you defo need Ammonia, Nitrite , Nitrate and pH test kits, to use occasionally to check whats going on.

I am sure someone else might drop by with some more safety checks to perform, but I heartily recommend setting up some water today, treating it for chlorines etc and starting the daily changes tomorrow, good quality will help whatever the root of poor bubbles illness was.

Come back if anything is troubling you with the other fish, hopefully we can help some more and sooner!

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Hi podded pea. Many many thanks for taking the time and trouble to message me in such depth. I feel so ignornat, and really thought I was looking after the fishes well. I have tested the PH of my tap water which reads 7.5. I also took another PH tes of the tank water which now reads 6.8, which has dropped since the last test which read 7. Is this a drop for me to be concerned about? Today I have decided to remove some of the gravel at the bottom of the tank. I possibly have too much, about three inches high. From what you state about a syphon clean which should run clear, mine never actaully runs clear because with the area being large, before its running clear, all the water has disappeared. Less gravel I think would solve this, and I would be able to clean it thoroughly. Would this be a good idea?

I ran a nitrate test straight away, which I ran about a month ago, a month ago it read 0, today its reading 5.0. Is this a bad level to have? The instructions indicate although its best to have zero nitrate, acceptable levels can run as high as 40 which seems absurd!

I already have all the test kits you recommend. PH, Nitrite, Amonia, and Nitrate, but I will test more regularly, I was testing about once a fortnight, but I will be adament in testing weekly from now on. I am so paranoid now, I want to test daily!!!

I will carry out the daily water change for a week. I really will do anything to save my fish, I am so worried that I am responsible for bubbles death, I feel so guilty. I wish I could have done something, he was so wonderful, but I have been told how delicate celestial eyed goldfish can be.

Sometimes I really thing shops who sell you fish etc should be asking you questions to check that fish will be looked after well. I had done some research before I bought anything, and bought the kits, and tested regularly while the tank was maturing, I only had two fish knowing how an immature tank could be fatal. When the tank was mature I asked the shop how many fish I would have in the tank I bought from them, and they told me that around 8 would be max. Now I know that I will be overstocked when they grow is useful, and I would definately purchase another tank to accommodate them when the time comes.

The other fish seem fine still so far, although I noticed my ranchu yawn, just once, but who knows.he may yawn when I am not there to watch him. Should I be concerned about this? No other unusual behaviour other than that to report.

Thanks again for such detail. With the knowledge of people on this web site I feel at ease.

Kind regards Diva

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  • Regular Member

Hi Diva,

I'm sorry about you loss. :(

Please calm down. You are hunting for the thing that kill your fish but you can't just muck about without a clear aim. Hopefully ithis is a one-off problem. You can do more damage if you just start changing their environment willy-nilly or start dosing with meds, just in case. :)

First of all, it is not a good idea to disturb the gravel bed too much. The reason being that there is a good chance aeromonas (bad bacteria) are growing in the oxygen poor water in the lower layers of the gravel bed. Siphoning up the solids is okay because you are removing the water and the nasties at the same time. If you just go in there and dig up handful of gravel then you are stirring the whole lot up. You can accidentally release toxins and H2S which is very poisonous. If you can smell rotten egg gas, your fish are in trouble.

Secondly, the info on nitrAte is correct. To have it at zero is very difficult and almost pointless in a well stocked tank. NitrAte is the end product of the nitrogen cycle and your fish is constantly generating ammonia so nitrAte is also being created endlessly. Levels up to 20ppm is good. Up to 40 is tolerable for awhile.

Thirdly, your local petshop employee are not always well trained. In fact the opposite is nearer to the truth. We were just helping a new member who was told by one sale staff that it was quite okay to keep 3GF in a 2 gallon tank. Really?! I'm not saying that they are always wrong but it is wise to take their remarks with a grain of salt especially if it may affect a sale.

106L is ~28gal. The general RoT is 10gal per fancy GF so theoretically you should only keep 3 GF in your tank. Granted, if they are small and you have a good filter and aeration you can keep more than 3 but you can see how far off their estimation is.

Best thing you can do now is to run the test more regularly. Step up the partial water change but not to the degree that it causes stress to the fish in the tank. Monitor them carefully and let us know if any of them start to show symptoms like lethagy, gasping, rapid gill movement, stopped feeding, flashing, isolating from other fish, spots, sores and ulcers.

Good luck! :D

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Guest podded_pea

Diva,

Dont feel bad about Bubbles, honestly fish are hard to keep, its not as easy as people think ( I didnt know a bowl was cruel when I first looked into keeping fish..) You are doing loads of things right, and the main thing is, you care enuf to want to do even better. Many fish owners could learn a thing or two from you, so dont feel bad! :)

I am a bit worried about you pH in the tank. If you have the money go invest in a kH (and gH) test kit, and while you are out buy some baking soda. If it continues to drop we will need both! If you can find your kH readings for the tank this determines the "fixedness" of the pH of your water, (it acts as a buffer to pH swings) you are looking for a reading of 120 - 150 ppm, do a test on the tap water and the tank water for everything..btw ( just once on the tap water, my tap water has traces of ammonia in it, so I know when I water change to expect to see this etc..) If the pH starts to drop more rapidly over the next few days ( a pH crash) I would post on the boards asking for some advice... but generally a teaspoon of baking powder (raises the buffer capaxity)for every 50 litres of water, will be the ratio to higher the pH. You do it and test before adding more. Fish can tolerate a gentle change in pH but not vast changes so if it now settles at 6.8 thats ok, its if it keeps dropping you need to worry. You dont want to keep having to mess with the pH tho, hence asking the forum for some better advice on long term solutions. ( I am not knowledgable on the subject!) You can use baking soda in a weekly maintenance schedule but you'd need some more details on this. So yep, keep a check on the pH closely for a while, and with most other things, water changes will help in the short term.

Having a bit of a think here, seeing as it was 7.5 out the tap... if it was my tank, i'd probably add just a teaspoon of baking powder now, it does seem that you have a low kH value and this will help keep the pH level more constant. Rapid pH drops towards acidity cause "acidosis" which can kill fish...add a teaspoon, and have a retest of the pH... remember you want the rise to be gentle! You might also want to look out for some oyster shell grit, keeping some of that in your filter can act as a better long term solution to pH issues... I still havent spotted it in the LFS yet, but if you are there already? If you start to worry about the pH now, pop up a new post to get some helpful hints, or do a "search" on the boards, and there are plenty of replies to posts with tonnes of helpful advice!

Just to check, you arnt using amquel are you? ( it effects kH alot.)

okies, nitrate next! :) IMHO ideal nitrate levels should be less than 20 ppm. Tho up to 40 is acceptable I think, regular water changes will keep the level low, hence water changes even in a cycled mature tank especially if you dont have any live plants ( which take up the nitrate). So back to checking your tap water here, if its got nitrate in it of 10 ppm it'd be daft to try and get your tank lower than that amount! Once again we are back to water changes keeping things healthy!

Gravel... well...I think that depends on person to person.. lots of people at Koko's have barebottom tanks... they find it cleaner and easier to keep clean. Unless you have an undergravel filter, I would say about an inch of gravel is enough, my syphon seems to let me clean that quite well, and runs clear with regular changes... you have lots of fish, thus lots of poop, so you want to make things easy to keep clean. Remember as you disturb the gravel you can release toxins, so maybe work on a small area per clean?

If you havent introduced anything new to your tank recently its more likely to be your water chemistry causing issues, rather than diseases. Fish do yawn like we do, but if you suddenly catch them doing it ALOT, post here, and we can have a review of the issue :) Bubbles might not have been quite as hardy as his companions so was more suseptible to a small change in water conditions, it happens to even experienced fish keepers who are guru like in their knowledge. You have a huge resource base at your finger tips now, shout up with any questions, ask for help, and hopefully we can keep the other ones healthy :)

oo and take a photo soon, cos I'd like to see them ;)

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  • Regular Member

Hi kaptk.

Thanks for your info. I am keeping all the messages for further reference, and to pass on to my sister who is also a novice at this. When I clean the tanks ornaments etc, (which were bought from a aquarium stockist) there is one which is like the roots of a tree, and is hollow at the top, when I pull it out to wash it through, I have noticed an eggy smell which is worrying. Although the tank smells fine, but this smell comes from inside the ornament when I go to clean it. Should I now discard this item, or is there anyway I can safely seal the top of it. Everything else I have in the tank always smells ok. When I syphon the gravel there are never unpleasent smells from there, its just that particular item which now really is concerning me.

Thanks again. I will keep everyone posted on their progress. Hope I am not a nuisence!!!

kind regards Diva

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  • Regular Member

Hi podded pea.

Thanks for getting back to me in depth. Everyone here is so helpful, and I really appreciate the time and effort from all concerned.

Firstly..*thumps my head in ignorance*.... what is amquel? I am totally unfamiliar with whatever it might be!! I hope I am not using whatever it is!!

I am about to go shopping for baking soda. Sounds as if its a useful addition to have around in emergencies.

You advise putting oyster shell grit in the filter, would coral sand suffice? My friend had some left over from her tropical fish, although she has since removed it from her tank due to its tendency to raise PH levels. So perhaps this is simlar to oyster grit??

I am stressing out bigtime. Stupid I know!! I am more than prepared to put in the hard work, I just hope I can get the tank regulated. And I am still concerned about the amount of gravel and what horrors might be lurking underneath. I should try to get it down to around an inch, maybe remove a little at a time during a gravel clean? Dont like to think whats under, since I didnt gravel clean the first two months, just regular water changes, I had no idea there was such a thing, and thought I would have to conduct a complete clean out once every few months. Which would of course meant starting the cycle again, unless the filter would have the bacteria needed to stablise it.

Anyway I am waffling!!

One more thing. I have tried posting an image of the fishes and my tank, but it doesnt seem to work. I will keep trying.

Thanks so much again. You are all stars!!!

Kind regards Diva

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Guest podded_pea

Hi Diva :)

okies, so Amquell! First, never seen it in the UK, but I had to check incase you were using it, it effects the pH of your tank I think, read that a few times here.

There is a good article here:

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/Amquel.html

explaining all about it far better than I could, but no worries , I was just checking!

I "think" Coral sand is the same kinda thing as Oyster Grit, but as I have the opposite problem from you, a very alkaline pH, I havent as yet used any of those products, so you really need someone more experty for some guidance here! I;d grab it off your mate regardless, cos its probably the same thing! Maybe do a new post if noone replies to this one with some pH help, grab their attention!

Its hard with big gravel cleans to weigh up the stress of taking the fish out, to leaving them in and exposing them to toxins, but if they look happy and healthy I would just do a very slow thorough clean tackling a bit of the tank every day. It being clean my also impact on the pH drop btw, make it more stable. Maybe take out a few cup fulls of gravel each time, not only will it be easier to clean but also provide space for more water, and the coral sand ( which I think you can put in with the gravel, but you'll need to check before doing that ok? )

Stop stressing! you are being a very good fish mommy! Change water daily this week, keep an eye on the water params and the fish behaviour and I am sure all the others will get on great! If you get some advice ready for pH issues you'll be all set if there is a problem and can act straight away, making you a superb fish mommy ;)

Right, good luck, and if you send me a picture I can always post it on the thread if you want? eekbob1@hotmail.com or even a new thread if you tell me where you want it, goldfish photos etc :)

Report back anytime, i am keen to know how it all goes !

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Guest podded_pea

Ah, just spotted Captk's post, must have been blind. I agree, gently is the way to go with things... and calmly ;)

Personally I would start on the gravel and just attempt a very small area sucking up every bit of gunge, but if you think too much stuff is coming out you may want to stop..its up to you :) I think Captk is suggesting you leave it awhile until you are confident all the other fishies are ok, this is a good suggestion, perhaps we can tackle the gravel issues later to find out the best way to clean them and reduce the amount thats in there? :)

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  • Regular Member

Hi podded_pea :hi & Diva,

The problem with that type of ornament is that it creates an area of dead stale water in the middle. That is the perfect breeding ground for aeromonas. The rotten egg smell you spotted is their trademark. There will always be some aeromona in a tank. They will out compete the good bacteria everyday so you can't avoid them. What you need to do is to avoid stirring them up unnecessaily. That is why I always suggest the softly-sofly approach when dealing with gravel/plants/ornaments. :) "let the sleeping dog lie" is my philosophy.

Yes, coral sand, lime stone, marble chips, crush shell can be used to stablise KH naturally. When KH reaches a certain level, pH will stablise around 8.4. Some people likes that (moi :) ) others want it lower than that (certain tropical fish). GF & Koi's don't mind 8.4 as long as it is raised gradually and is then rock solid. They hate pH swings. High but stable pH is not a problem.

Good luck, Diva! :D

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  • Regular Member

Hi.

I checked the PH level this morning and its risen slightly from yesterdays 6.8 reading to 7. So it looks like the PH isnt going to crash. I have done a 20 litre water change, and slowly removed that ornament, lifted up slowly without disturbing the water inside the top, I didnt lose any water from it. I dont think I will return it to the tank again. I cleaned it around 9 days ago, and today it had this egg smell, so that cant be good. Anyway the tree trunk has gone.

All fish seem fine so far. None seem listless or showing any out of chracter symptoms, so I am hoping that losing dear little Bubble is just oneof those things. I really do appreciate your help and knowledge, everyone here has given sound advice. I will keep you all posted on the progress, and I am sure I will be back to bother everyone again if there is anything else I am unsure of. I will strive to give these fishes the best life possible.

Thanks again.

Kind regards Diva

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Thanks captk.

Fishes fine so far.

My PH in tap is 7.5, when I carry out a water change I notice that when I add TETRA TAP SAFE to the tap water, the PH drops from 7.5 to 6.8. So the drops in PH are down the the TAP SAFE, but overnight the PH stablises at 7.

I am getting to grips with this science stuff!!

Will keep all up to date with my fishes.

Thanks again captk.

Kind regards Diva

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