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Goldfish Turned Black?


Curraghman

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Hi, I had a 4-5" orange comet, who, a couple of weeks ago started to turn black on his scales! Otherwise, he seemed perfectly healthy and feeding as normal. But over a period of about 10 days or so, the black color was taking over more and more. I then found him at the bottom of the tank one morning looking very sorry for himself, and unfortunately, he was dead by the time I got home from work. I just get the feeling though that he was killed, rather then had died because of the black coloration. I have a small ogon golden koi in my tank, and he is a rather feisty character! I suspect foul play, but can't prove it. Does anyone else here ever had the experience of their fish changing black like this? and if so, is it normal or the sign of illness?

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First I would like to say I am sorry to hear about your fish.

What you are describing sounds like ammonia burns. When the water quality is bad fish can develop ammonia burns, as those start to heal they turn black. If the fish continued to get more black the suspision is the water was hurting him.

Did you test the water?

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really does sound like an amounia burn! Perhaps a small injury got infected? Our ulcer/dropsy case at work healed up in black when his ulcers started healing

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Guest Phreno

I know that Dataguru's fish, one of them, got black patches and died. Let me try and find the page about it.

Here it is.Be warned that it gets a little gross near the end, she did a necropsy when it died. Does this look sorta like what happened to your fish?

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This is just a wild guess, but if your whole fish turned black and your water params are fine and the koi is fine then I doubt it is ammonia burns you were seeing.

I don't see how your koi could be responsible for a fish changing colour either.

I'm going to go with some weird and exotic case of septicimia, like gangrene. Basically the fish went black due to extreme blood poisoning likely caused by an internal infection or organ failure of some sort.

Sorry to hear the sad new. :(

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:huh: Whew, Phreno......I'm sorry about the loss of your fish. But JEE that was impressive! When I lose a fish I feel sad....dip it out & then "burial at sea" :( or wrap in a papertowel & in the ole trashcan.
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Dang, that is SO interesting! 0.0 I mean.. I had a concept of swimbladder before.. but now I have seen one! Sorry... Im a very visual person...

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Guest Phreno

That, er wasn't me that did that! Eww! It must have been sickening!

That's betty's page, she's awesome. SHe knows a lot. People that know a lot are neat.

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Phreno, thanks for the pictures. My comet's black patches seem to be very similar to those on that fish. Interesting to see someone actually go the bother of performing a PM on a fish! To reply to the previous poster, I did not imply that my Koi was responsible for the black patches. I suspected that the Koi killed him, but perhaps he finished him off after the comet was weakened by the black coloration. Funny thing though is that if the black coloration killed him, it took him very fast. For about 2 weeks, he was showing the back color without any change in behaviour whatsoever. It's a pity. I maintain my tank faultlessly. Regular water changes, always change my carbon filters on schedule,22, I even use 2 Emperor 400 bio-wheel filters on my 55 gallon. I guess when something like this happens, there is nothing you can do!

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The only other thing that I could think of was Black Spot Disease. It usually occurs in Pond fish. The Black spots are actually the cysts of Digenetic flukes which normally live in bird Intestines. The birds drop feces,and those eggs then hatch and infect any pond snails there might be in your pond.They are then passed along to the fish.They say treatment is rarely necessary,unless your fishe's Immune system is down,or one of the cysts errupts and then goes into an ulcer situation. Not saying this was your problem---Just a little FYI for any outdoor fish. :)

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Hi there. :)

Are you positive that you test 0ppm for ammonia? If you retest and the test kits shows 0ppm, then try to take a sample of your water to a local shop to be tested. Test kits can and do go bad or are faulty.

Black marks are almost always (99.9% of the time) due to ammonia burns. Other sources would be chemical burns. Even if you test 0ppm for ammonia right now, this does not mean that there hasn't been a jump in any of your params. It can easily happen over the course of 2-3 days and go away. No one would be the wiser if testing werent done every single day.

Burns can linger for weeks after the initial burning. Since the black is a sign of healing, this means the actually rise in ammonia would have happened up to a few days or more before you noticed the black forming.

Ammonia becomes much more toxic at a higher pH. If your pH is somewhat high (over 8), then ANY ammonia that rises could very well cause burns.

Again, all it takes is for a day or two of rise in ammonia to cause this. Once the bio-filter corrects itself, you are left without a trace of the cause. If you have performed any tank or filter cleanings (or changed anything significant in your tank) up to a week before you saw the burns forming, then you could very well have caused a burp in your cycle.

Paul

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I just got through looking at Datagurus thread there and I have a proposed theory for it. The fish might have actually been suffering from an abnormality with slime coat production. Without the slime coat, fish become VERYm VERY succeptable to toxins, parasites and bacteria. Even the smallest, almost unreadable amount of ammonia can burn the living heck out of a fish's bare skin. So can any number of toxins that they would normally be immune to.

I am with Devs on this one. I'm not positive. But, a slime production problem would certainly cause the symptoms that both of you saw.......... :unsure:

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:) I'm no expert,and don't claim to be,it just seemed like the black marks didn't sound like the Black marks you usually see when fish suffer form ammonia burns.All I was doing was kind of rattling off other thoughts on it. :rolleyes::lol:
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Guest Mfish

So my pH is high (8.2.) I'm cycling the tank and don't want my fishie to get ammonia burn. How do I lower the pH? :D

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According to fishfarmacy, a fish completely changing to black or a very dark shade can be caused by a thyroid tumor or a flagellate infection of the gut - treatment Paracide-x. So my original idea of an internal infection wasn't far off the mark. ;)

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So my pH is high (8.2.) I'm cycling the tank and don't want my fishie to get ammonia burn. How do I lower the pH? :D

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You don't want to mess with the pH of your tank at all. Unless it is known to be unstable already. If yours is steady, and you follow the advice on the cycling page. All should be well. ;)

As for what the black marks were. I can only hypothesis along with every one else.............. :unsure:

I hope it all gets figured out.

Paul

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Best bet is to check out the information first hand on www.nationalfishfarm.com.

They claim "several years of research and hard work was involved to bring you the best fish disease information on the net". Dr Gary Aukes.

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