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Internal Parasites


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Hi Everyone,

Would like to hear from anyone on the symptoms of internal parasites.

I have a sneaky suspiscion that my fave black moor may have something wrong, but I'm not sure.

All of my other fish in my other tanks are mega active, but not my black moor.

He is about 5" including his short stubby tail and is very fat and rounded up to his vent. No pineconing observed.

He is very lazy/sluggish and only swims by dragging his tummy along the bottom of the tank.

He eats once a day and usually poops normal stuff, though ocassionally thin white poop.

I have only had him for about 4 months and he has been like this since I got him. He lives in a 10 gallon tank on his own, with a hang on top filter plus a small box filter run from my air pump.

I change about half the water at least once a week and amm/nitrites are zero. Nitrates are always low.

Would be grateful for some pointers :D

Slugger

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Hi there. :D

First, I must say, you sound like you are doing a wonderful job of keeping him in a good clean environment. However, a little light on your tapwater chemistry would help to clear some things up. Namely pH and KH (carbonate hardness). Do you know the pH/KH from your tapwater and from his tankwater?

Ok, I've got several other questions for you:

When you say he swims by dragging his belly on the bottom, is this ALL the time or does he swim around normal sometimes?

When you feed him, how much do you feed (pellet size and amount, how many pinches of flakes, etc.)?

How big is he (body length)?

Are his fins clamped close to his body at all? Is there any fin erosion?

What is the temp of his tank?

Are there any other symptoms you noticed since you got him, even ones you don't see anymore?

Sorry for all the questions. Its just that this isn't exactly the run of the mill symptoms here. There could be numerous things wrong and I'm just trying to narrow it down. As of yet, nothing is really pointing towards internal parasites, yet.

Post back soon. :)

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Hi Toothless,

Sorry I took so long to write back, I just came back from a formal dinner I had forgotten about. :alc

I just did some addtional water tests and this is what shows up:

Tap

GH 60ppm

KH 40ppm

pH >7.6

Tank

GH 80ppm

KH <10ppm

pH 6.2

Answers:

He usually stays stationary, close to the bottom, with his tail facing the front of the tank. When he does swim, he normally swims with his tummy bouncing/dragging along the bottom. Ocassionally swims to the top, by the sides but never along the front.

I feed him 3mm pellets, just over a thumbnail's worth

His body is 4" long

None of his fins are clamped and no fin erosion, though there is a permanent kink in his right fin. No discolouration on this fin.

The tank is 30C/86F, room temp (Its summer!! :nana )

A couple months back, he did have an infection, white wispy growth on his fins, tail and mouth. A dose of salt got rid of all signs.

Something else I forgot to add, I use Nurafin Aqua+ for conditioning, and I usually add a teaspoon of salt during water changes (50%). As I said before, I change the water once, somethimes twice a week.

His inactivity really bugs me. It makes me worry because he really is my favourite fishy. When I last lost a Black Moor, I stopped keeping all fish for over a year. It hit me quite bad.

Hope this info can assist you to shed some light on my problem, ahem.

Thanks

Slugger

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Well, there certainly are a couple of things that needs some work. I believe once these problems are worked out, you will see some marked improvement.

At a temp of 86 degrees, the water your goldie is living in is very low in dissolved oxygen. This, in itself, can and usually will cause goldfish to become inactive. Usually they will pipe at the waters surface or sit on the bottom. Either way, I suggest upping the aeration by adding a bubble wall to his tank. Even though you have an aerator hooked up to a little filter, its o2 increasing ability is hindered because of the filter. Leave the filter and get another aerator with bubble wall.

Another thing that concerns me (well, your goldie) is the difference in pH (and KH) from the tap to the tank. KH is what keeps your pH stable. If the kH is low or drops, the pH will plunge as a result. This as well as low o2 levels, causes many symptoms to appear. I highly suspect that the pH diff is the main culprit here. Fixing the pH/KH problem might or might not cause an immediate improvement. It just depends on the extent of the damage done.

Good news though! His appetite is perhaps the best sign you can hope for. With him eating, it will make a recovery all that much easier. ;)

Ok, how to fix your water chemistry problems remains to be seen. There are several ways (baking soda, crushed oyster shells, crushed coral, commercially bought buffers) to increase your KH to more optimal levels. Figuring out wich one will work best for you will be by trial and error. There really isn't any other way. Just whatever you do, do it in small increments so that any sudden changes to pH in the tank are minimal.

So, I suggest that you start a thread in the water chemistry forum for further guidance. There, you should recieve some very good advice on how to fix this. In the meantime, you are going to have to start doing a lot more waterchanges to keep your pH steady. Daily testing and waterchanges are going to become a chore until you get a good regemine figured out. Once done, your waterchanges can resume to once or twice a week again.

Go ahead and start by doing a 25% waterchange. let sit for an hour and then do another 25% waterchange. Etc. Etc. Test after each change until the pH in the tank is matching that of that tank. Remember, slowly but surely. Once the pH from the tank matches that of the tank, start teting the pH daily. Whenever you see a drop (however slight) in pH, do a large enough waterchange to keep it there. After you get the pH up and steady in the tank, you can begin working with whatever medium is chosen to control KH.

I'm going to go ahead and move this thread to the water chemistry forum for you. That way, all the info is right there. B)

Good luck!

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Thanks for your advice, its very much appreciated.

I had laughed when a similar sort of thing happened to a friend of mine keeping tropicals....

I'll start the water changes & pH monitoring and give the results soon. Should I monitor KH as well?

For this much pH testing, I'm gonna get myself an electronic pH tester. Any reliable brands recommended?

Thanks and I'll keep you posted.

Slugger

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I dont know of a good pH pen, myself (im in the market or one too), but I'm sure an inquiry in the products forum will get some results. ;)

You can (and probably should) test for KH when testing pH. This way, you will be getting a complete picture of whats going on.

I forgot to tell you the reason why your KH is falling. Simply put; the nitrification cycle is an acidic process. The KH is used up by the acids being released from fish waste and thus reducing your pH. The frequent waterchanges you will be doing will be replacing the KH before it can be reduced enough for the pH to fall.

So, anyone have any suggestions as to what Sluggers best course of action would be? :huh:

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Wow, that's a pretty concise summary Toothless and very easy to understand. All this kH stuff is beginnng to sink into my thick little skull now. I can't think of anything more to add except to make a product recommendation.

I use Seachem Gold Buffer to maintain a steady pH. I was using a different product but it was making my water too hard. Seachem was recommended to me by the owner of the koi farm I visit, I am mighty impressed by his fish!

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It's past 1am and I'm tired of water changes for today.

I got the pH to 7.6 and the KH seems to be stuck at 30 for the last 3 water changes.

Out of the tap, pH 7.6 and KH 40. Water temp 28C

I'll start again tomorrow.

I haven't been to the fish shops yet, so no pH meter, nor additional airstone.

I've seen this Seachem stuff in the shops, but never knew what is was for. Fishmerised, do you add this to every water change?

I plan on going to the fish shops :D , tomorrow afternoon or after work on Monday, to buy whatever I need for remedial action.

Thanks for the help.

Slugger :yeah:

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Yea. the buffering capacity of your tap water is low (KH=40ppm), so partial water changes won't be enough to keep pH from getting acidic.

I'd use baking soda to increase KH. a little under a quarter of a teaspoon should raise your KH by about 1 dh or 18ppm. Predissolve in tank water then add slowly to a high flow area. Give it time to disperse and then check pH and KH again. The rule of thumb is to change pH by no more than .4 per day and the goal is to gradually bring KH up to around 120ppm. That should keep pH stable and in the high 7s between partial water changes.

Another thing that would help, is to add crushed coral or crushed oyster shells in a high flow area (either a media basket or knee high hose in your filter if it'll fit or in an other high flow area. Those dissolve when pH drops below 7.5 and will increase general hardness (GH-calcium and magnesium) and KH (bicarbonates--to maintain pH). Given your tap water is low in KH, even with the crushed minerals, you may need to buffer the change water up some.

Ditto on the O2 levels. warmer water holds less oxygen, so doing things that disturb the surface of the water will promote O2 saturation in the water.

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Add the initial dose gradually (I started with a third dose at a time to increase pH slowly). I had to add the full recommended dose first time round to get the ph to 7.8.

After that I have only had to add half recommended dose with each water change to maintain buffer/pH.

Our water is very soft. I did request readings from the water board as I don't have gH/kH test kits (and my brain just doesn't work well with chemistry/physics). They send me a mega document was was beyond me so I just took the word of the customer service operator who said it was "soft water".

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Thanks for the response, this is what I plan to do:

Add baking soda to increase KH. Does this increase pH as well?

Remove carbon and add crushed coral to the hang on top filter

This seems the cheapest option, I'll buy the Seachem stuff if this doesn't work.

Any other things I should keep an eye on?

I'm going to buy the stuff tomorrow after work, and I'll keep you posted on the results.

Thanks

Slugger

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That sounds like a good plan. :)

at first it will raise pH, cuz the bicarbonates get used up buffering the acids present, then you'll see KH increase as you add more baking soda.

Just keep an eye on ammonia and nitrIte for a while. Your biofilter bacteria don't like low pH and I believe they actually need bicarbonates to do their thing, so they may be a bit unhappy.

My moors tend to hang out on the bottom more than my other goldies do... and my big moor lumpy is similar to what you describe. He went thru a reallly tough time Dec 2003 when we were clueless and I almost killed him trying to treat them. His swim bladder just can't handle his bulk.

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This is what I did this evening:

-Changed the carbon in my HOT filter to crushed coral

-Added 1/4 tspn sodium bi-carbonate to 25% water change

Before these changes:

pH 7.2

KH 20

After the changes:

pH 7.6

KH 40

Temp 30C

I'll continue the 1/4tsp soda with the 25% daily water changes till I get to KH 120.

No changes in behaviour of my fishy.

Wish me luck...

Slugger :D

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A thought just occurred.... :hmm

I used small sized broken coral because I thought they might dissolve better.

Should I have bought the larger sized pieces? Do they contain more calcium carbonate?

Slugger :D

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This is what happened this evening:

Before water change:

pH > 7.6

KH 60

After 25% water change & 1/4 tspn soda

pH > 7.6

KH 80

temp 28C

KH is on the up!!

My pH test only goes up to 7.6. I don't think that this should be a problem because I'm only using baking soda. Even if I add loads of soda, there should be a maximum concentration that I can reach. ie. I don't think I can make a super alkali out of baking soda. Agree?

Slugger

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right... the highest baking soda will take pH is 8.3, so I doubt it's even close to that.

It sounds like that should be the perfect amount of baking soda for partial water changes. Test KH and pH right before your next partial water change to see how they're both running.

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OK....so this is what happened this evening:

Before:

pH 7.6

KH 80

After 25% water change and 1/4 tspn baking soda

pH >7.6

KH 100

temp 28C

Nearly upto 120, so close and yet so far.

What do I do when I get to the "Holy Grail"? :D

Slugger

PS I'm doing the same for my other goldfish tank. I didn't post the results because I didn't want to mess up this thread. I'm getting very similar results, but the fish are misbehaving.....too much mating ;)

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Oh those naughty fish.

I've been following your thread Slugger in the hope of learning something. I have a question too.

Since you have the crushed coral in there too won't that contribute to raising the pH? Sooner or later will the coral be enough without adding more baking soda?

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Hi Fishmerised,

I'm not 100% sure whether the coral will raise the KH or pH or both. It must do something huh? I'd guess it raises the pH, or rather maintains, just by looking at my results.

It looks like only the baking soda is increasing my KH.....

Hold on.....if I have crushed coral, which I guess maintains pH, then surely my KH won't drop. Unless the carbonates measured by KH are more easily eaten up than in pH? :hmm

Could anyone enlighten me?

Slugger

:listen:

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the crushed minerals (coral or oyster shell) dissolve when pH drops below 7.5 increasing general hardness (GH--primarily magnesium and calcium) and increasing KH (carbonate hardness--in the form of bicarbonates). KH buffers the acids produced in the tank and keeps pH from getting acidic. If you have enough crushed coral to dissolve when needed, it should maintain KH levels which in turn should help keep pH up in the mid 7s.

However, if your tap water is really low in KH (40ppm is low) and you have a large bioload in the tank... your partial water changes would lower KH and the crushed coral may not be able to dissolve fast enough to immediately keep up. So if your water has really low KH, then you may still need to buffer the change water with baking soda up to KH around 70 or pH of 7.5-7.6 when you do partial water changes.

The way to tell is after you get KH up stop adding backing soda and check KH/pH after your next partial water change and see how it does.

My tap water KH is about 70ppm, so the crushed oyster shell maintains my pH just fine and I don't need to buffer with baking now.

I hope that made sense!

There's some good info on it linked from here:

http://dataguru.org/misc/aquarium/FishInfo.html#WaterQuality

See the pH, KH, GH and biofiltration section.

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Thanks Dataguru for the info in easily digestible chunks. ;)

Once my KH reaches 120, I'm going to stop the daily water changes and carry out daily monitoring of pH and KH.

I'll also see what happens when I change water once a week without baking soda to see what happens.

I haven't quite figured out the pH chemistry yet, so it looks like more reading for me.....

I forgot to say thanks to toothless for the info on coral, so thanks to you as well.

I'll post my latest water parameters this evening.

Slugger :D

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