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Blind?


lcwinne

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I hope I have the right area for this question. If not forgive me. I wasn't sure if this was a medical question vs something for the general forum.

I have a black Ranchu that is beginning to look to me as if he might be blind. He has his eyes but they seem a bit cloudy in the center. I can't seem to get at a good angle to see if I can see a reflective light in the back of them, since he's not very still.

My cue is if I put food directly in front of him, instead of grabbing it like the rest of the gf's, he seems to swim in the other direction as if he is hunting for it. By the time he comes back around, the others of gobbled it up. He's getting plenty to eat, so I'm not worried about that. I'm just wondering if there is a way that I can tell for sure if he is blind?

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Hi lcwinne,

I think you did! :) White cloudy looking eye's are generaly a bacterial infection. It can also be a secondary infection. Have you seen anything unusual? Behavior? Any scratching, flicking or flashing on things?

Can you give some basics too? Ph, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, kh & gh, size of tank and how many fish?

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His eyes have been like this for a while. It's only been recently that I noticed he's not grabbing at the food as it falls but he IS right up at the top with the rest when I lift the lid to feed them. The only new behaviour I have noticed is that he seems to be "tailing" the one's I think are the girls. That is he seems to be chasing them with his face right up to their tail fins. :druel

What is flicking or flashing?

I have a 54 gallong tank w/ 2 emperor 280 biowheels. I change one of the filter cartridges every weekend and the charcoal cartridges once a month. I use large gravel in the tank an have it planted.

6 gf's. Largest is my son's red cap at 6" from tip of nose to the very tip of his top tail fin. The smallest is my orange ranchu at 3.5" and the rest range in between. My black Ranchu is 4"

Regular checks on levels have been normal but this is the first I've heard of kh & gh. What are they?

I just did a water change this morning. About 10gals. But taking the level's now the Ammonia seems to be off the chart!!!!! I have just added AmmoLock to the tank to try to help bring down the toxicity. Ammonia levels last weekend were normal.

Did I forget anything?

Oh yeah there is one small chinese algea eater, one flying fox and 2 clown pleaco's. None of which seem to be doing a very good job on the algea.

I think that is about it.

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Flicking or flashing is like scratching on stuff, excessivly or darting round. Its normal for them to scratch, but not excessivly.

KH & GH: Kh is carbonate hardness, GH is general hardness. generally these go hand in hand with your ph.

Goldies do like the higher ph ranges 7.5 upwards to as high as 9. The calcium and magnesium contents in the water is something there body needs! :)

Chaseing the girls is normal,lol!

How old is everything? The ammonia spike suggests maybe at least the filters are pretty new? I'm semi-familiar with those too, I have two 400's on my 55 gl. Do they have the xtra media baskets with it?

There's actually no need to change the filters every week, a gentle swishing in tank water cleans them up nicely. If they have the extra media basket, you might want to consider putting bio-glass cyclinders in for the extra bio bug bed. That would help with the ammonia also more.

If you would, post the test results too. They really do help.

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Hi Icwinne,

Kathy has given you good advice and you should check the various parameters as she suggested. However, I would like ask a question as well. Is the grey cloudiness inside the eye like the pictures attached? That is fish cataract and this is about 70%. They will start by just being a bit cloudy and then progress until it is totally opaque and the fish is effectively blind.

I only suggesting this because you said that he has been like that for a while but progressive got worst but there does not seemed to be any obvious symptoms related to infections. It is only a guess and other causes are just as valid at this point in time.

post-4742-1107864285_thumb.jpg

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Kathy....

Thanks for the info.

I don't notice and flicking or flashing or scratching... He does do a bit of darting but that seems to come about when he gets too close to something...like the tip of a plant or the other fish. More like he's startled.

My tank is fairly new Set up in the beginning of Nov and started to transfer the gf just before christmas.

My bio Filter has a separate cartridge to fill with charcoal. I have just found out that my 9yr old son has been feeding my fish too...because he thought they looked hungry :glup That could be the reason that my filter cartridges look so bad. I tried to do the rinsing thing with the regular cartridges but it seemed to only clog them up more and the water would run over the top instead of through I only change one of the cartridges each week so you could say that each cartridge is in there for 2 weeks. I'll look for the bio glass cylindars.

My water is clear. Readings this morning are nitrites-.25 nitrates-between 20-40 Ph seems to have gone down to 6.4 Ammonia is still way up to the top but closer to the shade of green at 8. than yesterday's alarming color of almost blue..... which caused me to do another 5gal water change after my last reply. I am putting in more AmmoLock this morning I really don't like using the chemicals in my water and would rather try to adjust with water changes. I think the chemicals have a tendancy to effect the other readings... but the the ammonia the way it is right now I'll use the AmmoLock. I may try doing small changes every couple days to try to bring the readings back to safer levels. This way I hope I am not causeing the tank to recyle.

captk......

Thanks for the pics. I think they helped. I really hate to say that he has cateracts but his eyes look not quite but closer to your first picture of 70%. I have no idea how old he may be. I bought him at the fish store in October...he was probably the same 4" when I bought him. The biggest fish in the Tank, so to speak, but since then a couple of the others have surpassed his size. I have also noticed a few pale white blotches on his forhead and gills. I am hope this is only because he has bumped into something. It doesn't look like ich and I hope it's not the "coming of age" spots I've read about. :lovewhip

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I'm sorry but I have to run so I can only do a quick post. One thing stood out on your results. Your pH is too low. 6.4 is just a whisker from a pH crash. You need to bring it up soon. Baking soda is effective. I'll post again in a few hours but hopely Kathy will be online soon and talk you though. OBTW, need a KH test kit if you haven't got one.

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I would like to see your carbonate hardness tested. You will need a KH & GH test kit for that. It is not unusual for KH to take a dive when a tank is cycling as the nitrifying bacterias use up carbonates as they carry out the nitrogen cycle process. So a sudden jump in their number can lead to a drop. Unfortunately, the other function of carbonate is to buffer against pH swings especially a downward swing so if your KH is very low, your tank will tend to become more acidic as most natural processes produce acids.

You would want KH to be around 100ppm or about 5degs for now. Once the cycle is over, you should lift that to around 150ppm to give yourself some stability and margin for error.

Baking Soda is effective for short term adjustments but you have to be careful that you don't use too much or too fast as it can cause the pH to jump to 8.4 and that would be real bad if you are sitting around the 6 mark. You would try to adjust KH by 20-30 ppm per day. For a 56gal tank, you would use about 2 teaspoons of BS a day. The best way is to check the KH and pH one hour after you added the baking soda. Adjust the dosage a little if needed. You just don't want any sudden jump in pH. It will rise but just not a leap.

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All I could find close to my house was a Tetra test for the KH & GH. I'm not sure I like this tester. I like the color coded ones better that give you the ppms by shade of color it turns. But here it is....the KH turned yellow on the first drop. According the the instrustions If the water sampl immediately turns yellow with no blue then the sample is likely to be extremely soft with less than on degree of hardness. Is that good????? :unsure:

Then there's the GH that says count the drops that change the water from red to green..Well it took 21 drops all together to turn green but started to shade at 19. BUt it took about 18 of those drops to make it a dark orange...still not quite red??????? So is that 21 drops or 3 drops to represents the hardness lever. The instructions says that most freswater fish thrive at a general hardnes level between 6-16dh.

I hope you understand this.... I guess I'll go out tomorrow to see if I cant the ones from Aquatic Pharmecuticals

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Okay, this is pretty much as I expected. Your KH is very low. Less than one deg. BTW, 1 deg is roughly 17.9ppm. At this point in time, you want your KH to be up around the 5 drops(deg) mark and then go up to around 8 drops once the tank is cycled. Your GH is, on the other hand, very high which means very hard water with lots of dissolved minerals.

I think it would be safe to start adding baking soda now if you have any handy. If not, just get some from you local supermarket. They are also called bicarb of soda.

As I mentioned before, get a cup of tank water, dissolve 2 teaspoons of baking soda in the cup. Gradually add the BS back into the tank. Make sure it mixes well. Test your KH and pH again in an hour. They should increase a bit but not excessively. Repeat the same procedure the next day around the same time. Do that until your KH is around 5 drops or about 90ppm. Your pH should be in the high 7.

Any questions, please ask. :)

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After adding the Baking Soda my readings are as follows.

Ammonia coming down a tad.....between 8 & 4 It's closer to 8 but not quite there so I'm going to say 6.5-7

Nitrate is - 10

Nitrite is - still .25

Ph looks like it's up a bit at 6.8

Gh - does that ever change? It's still at 21 drops total or is it the 3 drops from orange to green?

KH - is now 3 ....Light blue at 1st drop...clear to hazey green 2nd and yellow at 3rd.

:thanks Looks like I have some progress.

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