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Fish Sick For 2 Months!


Guest aussiecraig

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Guest aussiecraig

Hello everyone.

Firstly apologies for an epic. I just wanted to put as much relevant information as possible.

My silver fantale goldfish is sick - and has been for nearly 2 months. I have tried a myriad of treatments but so far - nothing is helping. I was hoping someone may have a suggestion.

I have tested my water today with my test kit and here are the stats.

Amonia : 0.50 (but usings Amo-lock so should be ok (harmless) for the fish.

Nitrite : 0

Nitrate : 0

Ph Level : 7.0

Ph out of the tap : 7.0 approx.

Tank is a 38 litres with a built-in filter cartridge (replaced regularly) that includes activated carbon (which I remove during treatments as per instructions), and ceramic 'noodles' (that's what they called them at the shop anyway) hope that makes sense. I feed my fish "Nutir-fin Goldfish Flakes" and also occasionally dried blood worms. I also vary their diet with floating pellets sometimes. The seem to like the food I give them.

I usually perform a 20% water change every 2 weeks and regularly give the bottom of the tank a quick clean with a syphon tube to remove excess waste and any uneaten food. The tank has been set up for about 10 months and there are two 5 year old goldfish in the tank. I use "Cycle" (good bacteria) every week as per instructions. I have also added the correct dosage of "Tonic Salts for aquariums' to the water and use "Aqua Plus" tap water conditioner to remove chlorine etc when doing water changes.

About 2 months ago one fish started to sit on the bottom of the tank. His tail fins developed fin-rot so I began treatment with Pima-fix. Soon after his fins became red and 'veiny'. He has since stopped eating (this week) and keeps going up to the top of the tank for gasps of air, sticking his head out of the water and then swims back down to the bottom. I have installed extra aeration into the tank to assist his breathing. There is now plenty of air in there but he is still doing it. The other fish seems fine. The sick fish can still swim ok and has control over his motion in the water. I cannot see any lesions or sores on his body. I notice also that when he does his poop, it is white (like cotton) and sometimes clear with white squiggles in it. Since he has stopped eating - it is just clear.

On seeing this I went to the pet shop and was told to use a parasite medication which I did (I think it was called "Para-ban" ??? I can't remember as I was just given 3 tablets). The dosage was 1.5 tabs when I got home and another 1.5 tabs 7 days away. I did this - still no difference. I was told he may be constipated...??? But I cannot get him to eat (even if I hold food near his mouth) peas etc. I was told to clean out the tank which I have done - and I bought brand new stones for the tank in case there was something in them that was causing a problem.

I've also tried treating the tank for ICK as he looked like he has 'grains of salt' along his back and sides but these may just be his coloring as he is silver and has some odd colored scales in places. The treatment didn't hurt him, but it didn't make him better either.

I desperation I recently tried a broad-spectrum anti-biotic called "Aquari-Cycline" (375mg Tetracycline Hydrochloride) which the label says assists in the treatment of bacterial infections that are sensitive to tetracycline. I thought it was worth a try! I've used as directed - still no good. It was supposed to help his fin rot - but it's still there - no worse - but no better.

The other fish seems fine, but seems to be sitting at the bottom of the tank in sympathy sometimes, but is eating and pooping just fine and swimming about often. The sick fish is just miserable. I'm worried that if he does not start eating soon - he will just curl up his fins and it will be all over.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Craig

Melbourne, Australia

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Hi Craig, it sounds like you've tried everything indeed! Ok, bottom sitting, air gasping, fin rot, red streaks, not eating. It's been going on for 2 months and it sounds like your fish is reacting to bad water quality (too many nitrItes in the past?) and/or now has an internal bacterial infection.

I guess after 5 years your goldfish must be a decent size? The first thing most people would suggest is to double the size of your tank, it is recommended that goldfish have 10 gallons/40 litres each. This is not always practical and at this point may not be much use to your sick fish.

I wouldn't try anymore medications at this point, I think you've got everything covered. Unfortunately treatment for internal infections is very limited in Australia - you could try an antibiotic injection from a vet. Aside from that option the next thing is to try to get some food into your fish.

This can be done via a syringe. Try soft food such as mushed shelled/cooked peas first of all. Just a weeny bit once a day until you see him doing green poops.

The next thing I would do is try the bucket-to-bucket method. Find a decent sized container (at least 40 litres), you can use a plastic storage container from the hardware store if necessary or small plastic rubbish bins (grab 2, they don't cost much).

Pour some tank water into the container and add your fish. Very gradually (over an hour) fill up the container with fresh water. (Make sure you use the chlorine remover). Add an airstone for circulation.

Fill the spare container with fresh tap water and allow it to sit for 24hrs. Next day move your fish into the spare container. Continue this pattern and your fish is getting fresh water everyday. It makes a heck of a difference.

Last but not least I would add salt to the water. Aquarium salt or rock salt (not conditioning salt with a mixture of minerals, just pure sodium). The dosage is 1 teaspoon for 4 litres. Pre-dissolve the salt before adding to the fish container. The first day just use one third dose, the second day increase it to half dose, the third day use full dose and continue indefinately. You will go through a lot of salt changing containers everyday!

Well, good luck, let us know how things progress.

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Hi Craig, just one more thought about the "other fish". Just in case it is starting to feel poorly try doing 30% water changes weekly and just a hunch - reduce your tonic salt dose by half. Some of these conditioning salts can increase water hardness and over time an accumulation could make the water too hard for a goldfishes comfort.

Also it would be beneficial to sodium salt the regular tank as well, just to perk the fish up a bit. (Don't use table salt as it has anti-caking agents in it).

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Hi there Aussiecraig - and I second aussieannette :D .

I just have one question - i'm curious about your water parameters. Did you scrub your whole tank (inc filters etc?) because it sounds like you're starting a recycle. You have no nitrates which doesn't add up if you're doing waterchanges only every second week and you have ammonia in your water... alll the signs of the nitrogen cycle starting up.

Would this be the case?

Cheers :D

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