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Wound On Forehead.


Guest Brett

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Guest Brett

First off, you guys are going to hate me. I know nothing about goldfish whatsoever.

My girlfriend who moved in about 6 months ago has two common goldfish, the kind that you get at nnnnnn. She has had them for almost 3 years and she doesn't ever remember them being sick before. There is also a small African Clawed Frog in the tank that has been there as long as the fish.

They live in a ten gallon tank with no filter and flourescent lite on top. (We don't always keep the light on) We change the water as soon as it looks like it needs it... the last time was probably 3 weeks ago. (We are going to change it again very soon) She uses a water conditioner called Start Right ( I think it is Jungle Brand?) that we bought at nnnnnn whenever she changes the water.

We also occasionly use No More Algae tabs (also Jungle Brand?)

The fish ate goldfish flakes and the frog ate Betta food for a long time, but she noticed the fish eating betta food too and about 5 months ago we just started feeding them betta food.

I have no clue what the chemical levels of the water are.

Anyways, before one fish was white and the other was a golden color, but about a month ago the golden one started to turn black on his top scales and the tips of his fins. I searched this forum then and couldn't find any fishy diseases that fit, so we changed the water and watched. He seemed healthy enough and the black has started to fade, so we thought he was better. Note that the other fish has been fine thru it all.

Tonight we got home from work and noticed our formerly golden fish has a white spot on his entire forehead that you can see blood thru most of it. He isnt actively bleeding, but it does look like he might have. I don't know if it's a blood blister or dead skin, but it covers most of his forehead. His nostrils are where the sore ends and they seem slightly inflamed.

Well, my girlfriend is very scared for her fish and I am completely clueless. I don't think the other fish or the frog would have attacked him after all this time and I'm not sure he could cause that much damage to himself if he ran headfirst into the wall several times.

Can anyone tell me what is going on? Does it have anything to do with his recent color change? Any ideas on what that was while we are here?

Please help and thank you in advance.

Brett and Ashliegh

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Guest VxShady

All I can tell you is that you are incredibly overstocked and since you don't change the water as often as it needs to be, the black spots were most likely ammonia burns. I would do a big waterchange right now to relieve some pressure off of them, and they are going to need a bigger tank. With three commons, I think thats what you're referring too, you'd need at least a 60 gallon tank for three of them. If they have double tails, then you'd need a 30 gallon. The rule of thumb is 10 gallons of water for the fancy breeds, and 20 gallons for the commons. Test kits are incredibly important and my guess is the problem is the water quality. But without all the information its hard to say.

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Guest VxShady

And by the way, probably the majority of us started off in a similar fashion. So no we don't hate you, mistakes happen. I had three crammed in a 5 gallon when I first started. We all have things to learn. :)

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Guest Brett

If by double tail you mean a fin on the top and bottom of their tail, then yes, they are doubletails.

The third tank occupant is an African clawed frog. My girlfriend says they can get quite big but this guy is no bigger than the goldfish.

Is there any reason why the gold one got the ammonia burns and the white one didn't? Reading around that does sound like the problem, especially since we have no filter. How often should we be changing the water? Do we need a filter?

Finally, any idea on what the wound/sore is? Do we need to put him in a little tank of his own? (She has a little fishbowl type thing)

Thank you very much.

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Guest VxShady

You definitely need a filter. The rule of thumb for filters is they have to turn the tank over at least 10 times an hour. So for your 10 gallon, you'd need a filter that pumped 100gph.

I don't know how to describe this, but a single tail fish just has the one regular tail with the two points, and a double tail has four points. Umm. Here's a link to a picture of one of my fantails.

http://photobucket.com/albums/y101/VxShady...rrent=fish2.jpg

The tail doesn't have to fan open like that, but if it has the two symmetrical tails then its a double tail. If the tails not doubled like that then its just a common. Or if she got them out of the "feeder tank" then its a common.

If thats what both the fish are then you need at least a 20 gallon then. Maybe a bit bigger for room for the frog. In a 10 gallon neither of the goldfish nor the frog are going to grow to their full potential. How many inches are the goldfish now without tail?

Without a filter and since the tank is not cycled, you'd have to do a 100% water change every day, probably more since its overstocked. And I'm not sure on the wound at all. Some one will be along shortly to answer that one, I'm sure.

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Guest Brett

By the way, when you say a big waterchange, do you mean all the water in the tank? That is how we have done it before, but reading around here makes me think that isn't right.

How much water should we change now? All of it?

For future reference, should we gradually change water from now on? (A gallon every few days or something?) You must take all the water to clean the bottom of the tank sometime, right?

Edit: Half of this got answered while I was typing it. :)

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Guest Brett

They are single tailed fish then, and they are approximately 2 to 2 and a half inches without the tail.

By the way, my girlfriend says thank you very much.

I don't know if we can afford a bigger tank right now, but we will look at the cost of tanks and filters as soon as we can.

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Guest VxShady

If you don't have a filter then yes, I would do a 100% water change immediately, especially since its been so long since the last one.

If you have a filtered tank that has been cycled or is going through the cycle, then you don't ever want to do a 100% water change. It would kill the cycle of the biological filtration and you'd have to go through it all over again and put the fish through a lot of stress. I recommend that you read up on the cycle if you haven't already. Goldfish do a lot of poopin, which creates ammonia in the tank that is now harming your fish. You cannot cycle a tank without a filter. The filter houses a lot of the bio bugs that convert the ammonia into nitrite and then into the less toxic nitrate.

But right now you have a sick fish and the best thing for him right now is good clean water. Clean water can do a lot to help out a sick fish.

When you have a cycled tank, you clean the bottom with a gravel vacuum. You don't need to empty the tank. You never remove the gravel from the tank and clean it off. The gravel houses a lot of the bio bugs as well.

If you have a cycled tank, how often you do water changes and how much depends a lot on the level of nitrates you have in your tank. But right now, if you want to keep those fish healthy in an overstocked, uncycled tank without a filter, the only way really is to do 100% water changes every day. Its like if we were constantly having to breath air from an exhaust pipe of a car. Clean water does the fishy body good.

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Guest VxShady

Then they are commons which means you need at least a 40 gallon tank. If they're three years old then their growth is probably stunted. Another thing about waterchanges is fish release some sort of toxin, I can't remember what it is, that stunts their growth. So clean water helps them to grow too. Goldfish can get to be over a foot in length and with good care they generally live between 10 and 15 years. Some into their 20s.

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Guest Brett

Thank you again for all your help, we are going to clean the tank now and I will check back again in the morning to see about the wound.

My girlfriend just said she thought goldfish would be easy to take care, and that she should've gotten a cat instead because they are less trouble. :D

She wanted me to let you know she was just kidding though. :)

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Guest VxShady

They're a lot more difficult then people think. They're probably by far the most abused fish in the world.

When I got mine I thought they were "beginner" fish as well. Then I found this website and was like "Dear god what have I done?" Its amazing how much trouble getting a little fishy can get you into.

But hopefully Laurie or one of the other experts will be around shortly to shed some more light on the situation. You might need melafix or salting for the wound or something, but being that I don't know what it is and I'm not qualified to make that kind of diagnosis I wouldn't do anything as of yet. Fresh water should help out quite a bit though.

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  • Regular Member

I agree with everything Sandy says :D and IMHO it sounds as though your fish has developed an ulcer. They're normally caused by pseudomonas and aeromonas bacteria and appear as pinky-white open wounds, often with a white edge. The cause? very poor water quality unfortunately or an excessively high pH level. Minor scratches can become infected if conditions are poor. So as Sandy says, if you can, conduct a 100% water change. Also, fish lose salts quickly through open wounds, so if you can, try adding salt (any kind that doesn't contain yps) at 1 teaspoon per gallon - this should help some.

You may need to resort to some stronger meds if this doesn't help but in all honesty, without perfect water parameters, anything you do will sadly be useless.

Hope this helps :D

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Guest Brett

Well we changed the water last night and they do seem pretty happy.

What kind of salt should we add to the water and where can we get it?

Can we still add it into a full tank or do we need to do a 100% water change again with the salt?

I am going to work now, but I am going to try and get a filter tonight or tommorrow. I hope they dont cost to much.

Thanks for all your help.

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Guest VxShady

I just use aquarium salt because I know its safe. But pretty much any salt that doesn't have anti caking agents.

Yes you can add it to the filled tank. But you want to first dilute it in a bucket of tank water first, then add it in. I'm not sure how much salt to use. I guess start with .1%. Thats 1 teaspoon per gallon of water, as Jen said.

Filters can get pretty pricey. You can usually find some on the internet for cheaper then what the stores sell them at, I think. But I think right now your fish will be pleased with any improvement, but I don't think you'd be able to cycle the tank right now since its overstocked. Maybe. It would be difficult. For a 10 gallon a hang on back filters are the best. Undergravel filters are bad for goldfish unless you really know what you're doing. Remember it should do at least 100gph, perferably a little more since you're overstocked.

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Guest VxShady

So did you get a filter? I also was curious to know if you have any aeration in there at all since you don't have a filter? Do you have a bubble wall or air stone?

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Guest Brett

We didn't get a filter yet, but I found a 125 gph one for 24.99 at mmm.com. That might be what we get. We still are going to check local petstores first.

The air in the tank comes from the frog right now... when he goes up to the top and gets a mouthful of air little bubbles escape on his way back down. Then the fish get the bubbles. Kind of interesting I thought.

Thanks for the advice about the frog.... we have a little fish bowl for him.

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Guest VxShady

Thank you for that Sandy. I completely forgot about the frog.

Okay.. they need more oxygen then a frog burping. Especially since the one is not feeling well.

I want you to check out these right here. Big Als has probably the cheapest aquarium products EVER! Its awesome. And these are really good filters.

Penguin150

Penguin100

The Penguins and the Emperors are the best filters I've ever used. The biowheels on them collect biobugs. You would pay at least twice as much for these in stores.

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Guest Brett

That looks good to me....

I am going to order the 150 gph filter and some aquarium salt. In the future we will look at a bigger tank, as I would like to see a foot long goldfish. :)

Good news by the way, the wound on his forehead has been healing up since the water change and is nearly gone. He looks pretty happy now.

I want to have salt on hand for next time just in case though.

Thanks for all the advice! I get the feeling I will be learning a lot about fish here, and may even get a few more. (In another tank of course.) :)

I've always been a dog person, but fish are a lot more interesting to me now.

Thanks again!

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Guest VxShady

Well I'm glad to hear he's doing better and that you are considering a bigger tank for him. And I would keep Big Al's website handy as well. They have the BEST prices anywhere.

Definitely read up on cycling too. I'm not sure if you can cycle that tank since its overstocked, but give it a shot. The filter will help a lot though. You may still want to get a test kit. Big Al's has the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals master test kits for a really good price too, from what I've heard.

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