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Goldfish Was Going Phsyco!


atryeu

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On Friday or Saturday my smaller goldfish starting acting really strange. It began bashing itself into the walls of the tank rather hard and finally ended up dazing itself or something. It's mouth was bleeding and part of the right gill looks a little torn. I kept a close eye on it and it continued ramming the walls so I moved it to a small 1.5 gallon bowl for about 2 days (I don't have anything larger) and kept it well clean. She wouldn't eat anything during that time but it was just small enough so she couldn't injure herself any more. I placed her back in my tank with my other goldfish and she has calmed down a bit. Her mouth doesn't look so well and the gill is slightly torn still. However, for the last 48 hours or so the fish has been floating verticle in the tank quite often. She seems to be breathing okay and is not near the surface for air... She just floats verticle. I'm very worried about her since this is not normal behavior.

The strange behavior started last week after I finished a salt treatment (recommended by somebody on the boards to me) for ich, which has been all cleared up for over a week now. That was the very first time the fish had ever been sick for over 2 years (since I got them) and they have never acted this way before.

My larger fish is fine, although she hasn't been eating often and is sticking close to the other's side. I'm not sure what to do, so any advice is greatful! I thought my poor GF would die over the weekend so I'm very surprised it's hanging on still :(

Also, sorry but I don't have a test kit :( None of the stores here carry any and I just now got a catalog I sent for 3 weeks ago to purchase one through mail, but it might be a little while since money is very tight still :(

Please help!

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:( Sorry to hear about your fish problems. What size tank are they in,and how long has the tank been set up? How often are you doing water changes,and do you use a water conditioner & match temps when you change out water? Most Pet Stores will test your water free of charge if you take a sample into them. Not really knowing anything specific,I would probably do a 25% water change & go from here.Please post back with a little more info. ;)
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Thanks :( It's sad since I've had them for over 2 years now, since they were little and they've never had any problems before :(

*sigh* It's only a 10 gallon tank :( The fish and tank were from a friend of mine. I know it's to small for 2 goldfish but I can't get anything larger for awhile -_- They've never had problems before though. And like I said, when they just recently caught ich, that had been the very first time they've been sick or had any problems at all in that tank.

I do 2 weekly water changes.. a 50% change on Sundays and a 20-30% change on Wednesdays (haven't done yet). Our water comes straight from a well we own so there's nothing added to it and I don't use conditioners. The night before I do a water change, I fill out my gallon jugs and let them sit over night in my room so the tempature evens out.

Would mmm do something like that? We recently got a mmm in here but it's a 45 minute drive away (and I am without transportation :crp ) If they do I could perhaps try and get a ride up this weekend but it wouldn't be 100% certain.

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With that erratic behavior,my firsts thought were of a PH crash or something. How big are these fish? Sounds like you are doing a fairly decent amount of water changing,but without #'s on Parameter's,it's only a guess. Our mmm's around here,not only test your water,they also sell the test kits them selves. Big Al's online sell them also,at a pretty decent price I might add. It sounds like your well water's been fine if you've had them both for two years,and you haven't added any new fish,so I'm a little stumped here without knowing the Param's. What type/size filter do you have on the tank,and do you clean the gravel?

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I'm not sure of exact measurements but my guess was 4-6"... my larger one (that's acting normally) is a little bigger because of it's fins.

I seen some test kits at mmm when I dropped by, however the cheapest Freshwater one they had was $45 and not something I can afford to buy. Big Al's was the one I was going to go through for the test kit. I can't order online so I had to send off for a catalog for them which I recieved the other day.

The filter is an Aqua-Tech 5-15 Power Filter which came with the tank. I have one of those gravel vacuum's I use to clean the gravel (there isn't quite an inch of gravel in the tank) and empty some water from the tank.

No fish have been added to this tank. It's always been just the 2 goldfish since they were little. At one time I did add a few ghost shrimp as a treat but otherwise nothing else has ever lived in the tank with them.

[Edit: I have to clear the phone line for about 45 minutes - 1 hour. My brother needs to get through in case our car dies on him.. It isn't running well -_-]

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Then definately go with Big Al's .I think their Fresh Water Master Kit is something like 12.95? I'm not the most experienced in sick fish(thank goodness) but I will bring this thread to the attention of other Mods.Toothy is our expert Diagnosis person.Hopefully he'll be around soon.Hang in there!

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It may be that your fish finally outgrew the biocycle of your tank - for anytime ich appears it tends to signal that there are water problems.

I also suspect parasites other than ich - once again probably opportunistic ones that have appeared because the goldfish are stressed by less than quality water conditions. Fish can flash sometimes so hard to try to get rid of parasites that they smash themselves into the glass and decorations and injure themselves. (Could they be chasing each other in breeding behaviour?)

I hope you can get some water tests soon. It is so difficult to diagnose without more information. I think Devs suggestion of water changes might be a good idea.

Have you changed any part of your filter recently?

I am sending loads of good thoughts to your and your fish!

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I'm unable to stay very long again, but I'll try and check the topic a few more times before I have to clear the phone line again.

While I was offline and I went ahead and did my 2nd weekly water change. I also cleaned out the filter parts and rinsed them in the fish water I took out from the tank really well. (I try to do this towards the end of each month to make sure nothing gets clogged up)

I thought perhaps it could have been another parasite or some other sickness however it's just the smaller fish. My other one is perfectly fine still and has not injured itself. It's also eating normally still. Since both fish are in the same tank and it's been 5 or 6 days since this started, I thought perhaps the other would begin to show similar symptons but it has not.

I thought about the breeding as well and it was one of the first things I checked out, but it doesn't appear that's what was going on before. They'd chase each other around the tank now and then, but from images and information I've looked up online in several places, it doesn't look like either are males. Both appear to be female so I figured it was just a little game they play.

I have been keeping a very close eye on the fish and neither show any signs of parasites latched on anywhere or anything else physically wrong.

About the filter change. Do you mean purchasing a new part for it or something? Aside from the filter cartridges, nothing on the filter has been changed. Once a month after I take some tank water out I'll take the filter apart and rinse the parts out really well in the old tank water. That's about it though.

Before I did the water change, I noticed the fish having the problems wasn't really swimming and it floated to the bottom of the tank and layed down on it's side for about 5 minutes before swimming around upside down and finally managing to flip itself over again and go rest in the gravel. Also, I forgot to mention this earlier, but I haven't seen this fish eat since the problems started Friday/Saturday. My other one is eating fine still, but the smaller one isn't :(

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I'm so sorry your goldie is not well. :(

A couple of extra questions if I may. When he is vertical, is the head pointing down or the tail? Have you notice him gasping or breathing hard even when resting or breathing rapidly? Does the belly look bloated or more swollen?

Can you run a check of her gills for me. Do they look fresh meat red or pale pink/grey/brown? Are they in a nice fan shape, not slimey/tattered?

Poor water quality is certainly high on the list in terms of possible causes but there is increased risk of bacterial infection after an ich infection. This can be centered on the gills (bacterial gill disesase) or internal (systemic) both. More feedback might give us more clues.

Please post back soon. :)

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When she's vertical, the head has been up.

Her breathing has been normal as far as I've noticed. Before I did a water change earlier she was breathing rapidly but it slowed down after a minute back to normal. The belly looks normal.

I just looked at the gills and they were a "fresh meat red". They appeared to look okay and not tattered or slimey. I've never checked a fish's gill before but they seemed to look okay.

If this were caused by water quality, wouldn't my other fish be having some problems as well? That's the only thing I keep coming back to if it were a water problem. They share the same water and always have but the other is perfectly fine.

My fish looks to be doing a little better than earlier. She's swimming around slowly near the bottom of the tank with the other one by her side right now.

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Hi there. Sorry your goldie doesn't seem to be doing too well. I have a few ideas and suggestions for you.....

Okay, off the top, you should never ever totally break down your filter and clean it spotless. And too boot, you should never do in depth cleaning of filter at the same time as cleaning the rest of the tank. Essentially, what you are doing, is tripping up your nitrification cycle every time. It takes days and even weeks for it to establish itself again. You see, all that brown gunk and buildup in the filter and on the pads are actually what keeps your water free of ammonia and nitrItes. Instead, you should stagger cleaning as much as possible. One week, rinse the cartridge out in tankwater, the next week, clean out a bit of the stuff from the uptube and impeller assembly (intake tube, strainer and the magnetic fan housing). Also, ANYTIME you add a completely new filterpad/cartridge, do not clean anything else in the tank for a week. In doing all of this, you will be preserving the viability of your beneficial bacteria that keeps your water clean. Please note that these tchniques ONLY work when you are providing filtration that pushes ten times the amount of water in the tank, per hour. For a ten gallon tank, the filter needs to push 100gph (at least). In a ten gallon tank with too many fish, you need almost double the gph.

Okay, you say that you have never added any fish to your tank in two years right? I see you have added ghost shrimp before. When was this in relation to the ich appearing?

Have you ever added any live plants or ANYTHING that has previously been in another tank without drying or cleaning?

All it takes is one drop of water from another tank to introduce any number of parasites to your tank. I suspect that the ghost shrimp (or something else) brought the ich in to your tank. This is because ich, once in a tank, can and WILL show itself very quickly, usually within weeks or a month. Although many parasites can sit dormant or breed undetected for many months or years, ich is not one of them. That statement is directed more towards the microscopic parasites we never see with the naked eye. I also suspect that the ghost shrimp (or whatever) may hav brought in another parasite with the ich. This is evident in the amount of time it has taken for them to become prevalent enough to affect the fish. Truthfully, to me, it sounds like flukes. But, that is an educated guess at best.

I would suggest that you re-treat with 0.3% salt for 2-4 weeks. At the same time, feed medi-gold and medicate with praziquantel. All three of these, used together, gives you an awesome blanket treatment for 90% of the parasites we commonly see in our tanks. All three are also VERY safe to use and WILL NOT affect your bio-filter. You can get medi-gold from here: goldfish connection and I suggest the brand of praziquantel here: pondrx the test kits from big Als should also be a priority as Devs has suggested.

I realize that this may not be cheap but it is truly your very best bet in tackling this problem. Remember, swift and sure is the best way to deal with parasites so try to get these meds and tests ASAP.

Until you can get the medications, I highly suggest salt dips as a way to control this infestation until the big guns arrive. here is a link to a page on salt dips for bugs: salt dips for flukes and other parasites

Also, here are some very important links to some pages that will help you greatly in understanding the basic principles in keeping goldfish happy:

Keeping Goldfish (by Emmahj)

Cycling tanks

Filters and maintenence

So, It looks as though you have a little reading to do. When your done, I'm sure you will have some questions. Please don't hesitate to ask anything that needs clarification. Thats what we're here for! :D

Post back soon. :unsure:

Paul

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Tail standing is usually a usually associated with poor water and/or gill problem.

No two fish are alike. If the problem is massive then every fish will suffer but even then, the is a chance that some fish will survive while others are gone in hours.

Smaller fish has less in reserve. They feel the effects of disease more and takes longer to recover. The gap grows longer as the illness progress. The fact that they had ich only complicate things as ich will weaken them and the exit wound of the trophozoites leaves the host's skin makes perfect entry points for bacterias. That is why secondary complications can follow a fish that just recovered from ich. :(

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I know about the filter and I usually clean it out a bit a few days between water changes. There was a bunch of gunk in the bottom that floated back into the tank when I changed the filter cartridge this time though so I needed to do something about it. For the gph, how do I figure that out? It was not listed anywhere on the filter or the aquarium box the tank/filter came in.

The ghost shrimp has nothing to do with the ich, unless it can survive without being noticed for quite sometime. I added the Ghost Shrimp last summer, nearly 1 year ago. Nothing has been placed in the tank without being thoroughly cleaned before. Before I added the newer gravel I have (which was added about 4 or 5 months ago) I cleaned and soaked it in hot water for a day and let it dry for another full day. I did have a small ornament, which I also had cleaned well before adding to the tank but I removed it almost a year ago to give the fish more room to swim. I have never had any kind of plants in the tank or any other

I had to get a different type of fish food (which they've had before in the past) since nooppee was out of the TetraMin goldfish flakes I usually get them. About 2 weeks later I noticed the ich (which cleared up on the fish after 24 hours with a dose of medication and I made sure I did the salt treatments recommended to me in another topic. The 2 weeks for the salt treatment was up over the last weekend). Aside for the change of food, nothing has been added/removed from the tank, my water change schedules and feeding times have not been changed. I don't know what could have cauced the ich but it was treated and I made sure to clean the tank bottom and gravel well to catch anything that might have been left by them.

If it is flukes, how can I tell for sure and where can I find more information about that?

I can begin salt treatments on Friday again. The last dose of salt with the last treatment used up the rest we had in the house. The medication, I'm afraid, is something I am unable to do though. I don't have the money for them and no way to get any extra cash. I've had a total of $8 for the last 3 months or so and no possible way to get transportation for a job :( My family currently has some very very large house payments and insurange bills to pay and we cannot afford to purchase many extras. I will, however, see if a friend has either of the medications since she also has goldfish and will see if she can bring them over Sunday during her visit. The test kit I will be ordering through mail via Big Al's catalog I recieved the other day. I hope to have it ordered by next week.

I will check over the link to the salt dips page, however I cannot purchase anything online. The only major pet store we have around here now is mmm. Would they have something like that, and any idea on an estimate of what they'd cost?

I actually have no question. I have raised goldfish before in the past. Before my family had to move to a smaller house a long time ago and give the tank and fish away, I'd had a Comet that was 5 years old and had never once been sick. This is the very first time in my whole life I've had fish that any of them have ever been sick (after the Comet I had taken care of tetras and bettas when we moved to a bit larger house). I know how to take good care of the animals but they have never been sick so this has kind of stumped me. The water quality could be off I guess, but I don't know. I do the 2 weekly water changes and the water has remained crystal clear all this time. After a power outage and the filter goes out, it clouds a little but I make sure I clean it up again afterwards.

I just remembered that my friend did have a test kit, but I'm not sure if it's freshwater. I will call and find out about it and perhaps she can bring it over Sunday.

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Sorry for the double post....

I just called my friend and she said she has a freshwater test kit and will bring it over Sunday (or sooner, she said, if things with my fish get worse). She doesn't have anymore stuff for Ammonia and can't remember what else she had for sure, but it's at least a start!

Also, reguarding the medications that were listed... My mother said depending on the price, if we can find them at Fred Meyer, nooppee or mmm, we can possible purchase some. If it's only available online or they cost too much, there's no way it'll work :(

Thanks! If there are any more suggestions, please let me know! I will be online now for a few hours. If I notice the condition of the fish get even worse or something changes, I'll post back.

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Sorry for another reply. I looked into the medications you listed...

I can *maybe* get the Medi-Gold, but I'd have to order by mail with a money order/check so it could be to late to treat my fish by the time I get the item.

The other one, prazi?, is definatly something I cannot get though. It is way way to expensive for me to purchase :(

I've been looking around and was wondering if something else could work, along with the salt...

I found this at the mmm site and thought they might carry it at their store as well: Anti-Fluke

Would something like that work?

I also remember seeing something at nooppee but I don't remember what brand it was or the full name.

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Hi Atreyu (a fan of the Never-Ending Story, eh? :) ),

If Prazi is outof your reach then use Potassium Permanganate instead. It also shifts flukes and is much cheaper than Prazi. It is not as easy to use and not quite as effective, I think, but it will certainly do the job. You can get PP easily in most fish stores. The PP should come with dosing instructions, but if not post here and we can run you through this.

I do not know about the Anti-Fluke treatment you found at mmm; the ingredients listed are not familiar to me. But something that claims it kills flukes, anchor worms and lice is a bit suspect, as they are totally different types of parasite and need different treatments to get rid of them. It may be a bit like those bottles of 'Fish Disease Cure' you sometimes see, which claim to cure everything! I am happy to be contradicted by someone else here though if they've used it and think it works. :)

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Hi Emma. Heh, sort of. It was a favorite movie when I was little and the username has sort of stuck for over 10 years or something now! LoL

Thanks for the medication recommendation. I'll look into it first thing in the morning. I believe there is one fish store in the next town over but I'm not sure where. I wonder if mmm would have it.....

An update on my fish.... It's worse :( She's been laying on her side and floating upside down at the bottom of the tank and is having an extrememly hard time flipping over again. I moved her to a big mixing bowl I found earlier for the night. She's really not doing well and if she does pass on during the night, I don't want her laying around in the tank to stress my other fish out, who's behavior has slowly started acting a bit odd since the last post (She's swimming around still okay, but she's been at the bottom of the tank a lot swimming straight into the glass... Not hard enough to injure her, but it's definatly not normal o.0).

I'll check back in the morning as soon as I can with an update about my poor fishies :(

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I'm sorry, atryeu that your fish has got worse. :( I would suggest that you don't use Potassium Permanganate. PP will push a fish that sick over the edge. It is a strong oxidiant and it maybe too strong for his current condition.

To tell you the truth, I don't think there is much more we can do other than to make it as comfortable as possible and see what the next few hours bring. I'm sorry. :(

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I appreciate the help. After she got worse last night, I seperated her, like I said and doubted she'd make it... She didn't :( She died sometime last night :(

I will still be getting some of the tests done when my friend comes up on Sunday and will post on the diagnosis board reguarding my other fish. As far as I've seen so far today, she hasn't been acting strangely. I haven't fed her yet but I don't know if she will eat much. She didn't yesterday *sigh* If it continues over the next day or two I will post back.

I will also begin the salt treatment again tomorrow afternoon when somebody brings some home. Should I look into the PP still, for my other fish just in case?

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definitely a parasite. The symptoms are classic. Very small fish are the first to be succeptsble too.

I would highly suggest that you not only start running salt in the tank but run some salt dips as well. Whatever it is that is infecting them is infecting their gills (as apparent by the passing away so fast).

Ultimately, you are going to want a medication that is going to kill off most of the parasites we commonly see on our fish. To me, the best all-in-one med would be Jungles Parasite Clear. It should be readily found at most local shops too. Follow the directions explicitly. I would even go for 2 full rounds.

Hopefully you can get this nipped in the bud before your other goldie start to succomb.........

Post back soon.

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As soon as I get ahold of the salt tomorrow, I'll add some to the tank. I will look into the salt dips as well.

I will see if Fred Meyer carries the medication and if not, perhaps nooppee will. If not, maybe I can talk my friend in to stopping by mmm since she lives closer to it than I do.

My other GF's symptoms haven't gotten worse yet. She's not eating still though and I have noticed her trying to flash a bit more often then she was the other day. I'll be sure and keep a really close eye on her.

Thanks again for the help!!

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Start the salt dips ASAP. You saw how fast a killer this parasite can be so you don't want to give them the upper hand.

Good luck and if you have any questions not answered about the dips, don't hesitate to ask. By the way, don't worry, they are completely safe to do and 90% of the time, you will see improvement within hours after the first dip. ;)

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Thanks for the advice with the salt dips. It says it requires Peroxide? I just ran upstairs and we don't have any around the house anymore. I guess it was all used up *sigh* I'll add that to the list for tomorrow and hope we have the money to pick that up as well. I know for a fact that's carried at Fred Meyer :)

I will also check and see if my friend has any if we can't afford everything. If she does perhaps she can come over tomorrow or Saturday instead and I can get a few water tests and such done early.

I'm pretty sure I understand the salt dip info that was posted on one of the other boards. The instructions are pretty simple, but if later tonight or in the morning I think of a question, I'll post back!

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Nope, no peroxide is EVER needed in a salt dip. You might have read something about a peroxide dip but those are VERY stressful on the fish.

For the dips, its very simple. And VERY safe

You need the vat to dip them in. 1-2 gallons is fine

A transfer receptacle (plastic ziplock container works great)

Lots of salt and a measuring cup with ounces marked on it

Okay, a 3% dip is 4 ounces of aquarium salt per us gallon. this dip should not go any longer than 5 minutes.

A 1.5% dip is 2 ounces of salt per gallon. This dip should go on no longer than 10 minutes.

For your fish, I suggest you hit him with a 1.5% dip first. If he goes it well and rebounds quickly, your next dip can go to a full 3%. Since this parasite seems to be perticularly nsaty, hit him with a 1.5% dip on the 3rd day. then break for a couple days. Then start a 3 day dip regime again. This time, you can alternate whatever dips you feel are helping the best.

Take your fish out of the tank in as small a recaptacle as will house it and transfer it to the dip. Note the time. sit and watch it while it begins to cough and sputter (and seeming to be cussing you out). You will first notice a white sheen on those that are colored. This is normal and is just the slime coat thickening and/or sloughing off. You might also notice slime coming out of thier mouths or gills (not much really). this too, is normal. Lastly you will see them rolling onto their sides or acting drunk and/or floaty. If their gills are still moving, they are fine, really. Poke it lightly with your finger and if it continues to swim about (drunkenly), it can go longer. Remember, its all in looking at their gill movement. If they are still flopping open and close, they are still breathing oxygen, albeit, a bit less. Once they are either too floaty or the time limit is up, transfer them back to the tank. Usually, they go and sit on the bottom for about 5 minutes and cough up slime. After a bit, they begin to swim around again. Within 30 minutes, you wont even be able to tell they were ever dipped. Besides the marked improvement you should see. ;)

I hope this helps. :)

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I will hopefully be able to start a salt dip and get things going shortly. I'm hoping to get the items in under an hour, and hopefully the store carried that medication <_<

When I start the salt dip, do I do them just once a day, or a few times a day? I reread the info I found but didn't see much about how often to do them.

From what I got from the info, I add 1 part peroxide, 9 parts tank water... Dip the fish in for about 10 seconds... I repeat this for about 3 days and then take a 2-3 day break and start again for a few more days. So in the end, it's roughly done for about 1 full week, correct? Just want to make sure I got it right :)

I also seen somewhere that if I can get another container for the fish to live in, I could "starve" the tank or just clean it out really well and get the cycle started again if I don't mind waiting a bit. We might have another bucket around here somewhere we can clean out really well this afternoon but I'm not 100% sure. I'll need to wait around for another few hours before my dad gets up and heads off for work (*sigh* he's working graveyard this week -_-)

Please get back to me about the salt dips! I'll try and do one as soon as I get the peroxide. My poor fish got much much worse last night and she's having a very hard time getting up off her side right now :( I'm worried it's to late to do much good :crp

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