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Tumor/absess/parasite? Thing Bursting Out!


Guest Suzie

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Guest Suzie

Ammonia level: sorry, don't have this test

Nitrite level: 0

Nitrate level: 10

Ph level: 7 neutral

Ph level out of tap: slightly alkaline

Filtration: internal filter. Carbon removed and replaced with more sponges as per aqaurium guy's advice. Has been running carbonless for 1 year

Water additives: water conditioner, no salt currently

food: goldfish flake, occasional zuchini or peas.

Tank size: 25liters

Water change: Every week 25% - used to do them every 2 weeks but have gotten more vigilant due to sickness and not having a very large tank.

Fish: 2 fantailed goldfish, about a year and a half old

I should also add that there has been a bit of stress in the tank recently with a low pH problem that has now been fixed. However these things have been growing in him for a while.

So the problem - I noticed that Cookie, the calicao fantail in question was starting to protrude on his/her left side about 4 months ago. It was a slight protrusion of the midsection, mostly only noticeable from the top. He wasn't acting any differently, and the people at the aquarium shop were telling me there was nothing to do, so I just hoped it was a benign abnormality.

3 weeks ago I noticed a white spot growing on the outside of where he bulged out the farthest. The tank was treated with Promethusul (broad spec bactierial and parasite meds) and the white fungusy spot went away.

Recently after I noticed that I could see something round and white inside his body (I could see it through the clearish white scales he has in that patch.

I could only see this one because it was in an area that he was white, but the original protruding spot was in a black patch.

At the same time the original protrusion started to grow more, causing the scales just in the immediate area to stand out. Now the white thing in the other side that is inside the fish's body has started to stand out a bit more. and there is white something or other coming out between the scales.

The original protrusion now looks as if it has exploded out of his side. He has lost a few scales, and now there is a large exposed white infected looking spot (about the width of a pencil eraser - maybe a little smaller)

It looks as if whatever is was is bursting out. I assue this will happen on the other side as well now, and I think I see one other small on on the left side as well (that has not yet started to grow). This however has not appeared to impact on his behaviour, but I get the feeling it won't take too much longer for this to happen.

I have tried taking photos but my camera is new and I am still trying to work out getting a focused image. will post one if I can get a good shot of it.

At first I though it was some type of parasite i could see through his skin, but now I'm not sure.

There is no redness anywhere on this, it's a white circular thing that has grown and burst out and left a white patch.

I was thinking of trying salt or salt dip but did not want to stress him out too much.

There is currenly no salt in the water because last time I put salt in (rock salt) one of the fish pineconed. this is possibly unrelated to the salt, but I was a bit freaked out nonetheless. She is in the hospital tank recovering nicely from the dropsy (no more swelling, scales lying flat, eating happily. But this also means I am out of isolation tanks.

Was also thinking of doing a hydrogen peroxide swab. is this the right thing to do?

Unfortunately, as I am living in Australia at the moment, I do not have access to any medicated foods as they appear to unavailable or strictly controlled here.

There is not really anything here to use to treat them internally (although one aqaurium guy suggested if I thought it was worms that I could ground up the dog worm tablets they sell at the supermarket and feed it to my fish)

This definitely started from the inside out, and I have no idea what it is.

Do you have any guesses or advice??

Is it a parasite/absess/tumour?? Help please!!!

Thanks for any advice you can give he is a very treasured fish

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Very strange, Suzie. I have recently had something similar happen to one of my pond fish except I think the time frame was different.

My fish is white too. High on its side, a bit behind the gills was a raised white area, it opened up and was red. I medicated with antibacterial Myxazcin and the redness and swelling went down in a few days. A few days later the same thing, in exactly same place except on the other side of the fish !!! I then medicated with Protozin for protozans and fungus. The other side healed up in a few days too. Looking from above I can still see two white bumps on the fish.

I have no idea what this is all about, I'm not sure if either of the medications helped at all. My instincts say some type of bacterial infection but I don't know. btw my white fish is fine and didn't appear effected by these lumps.

So both your fish have been with you for around a year and a half, no new additions of live plants or anything? Have you seen your fish suddenly zip around the tank like it's been scared? or has it been rubbing itself on the gravel or ornaments?

You did mention a previous pH problem and this may have been caused by high levels of nitrAtes in your tank although they are low atm. Your 25 litre or 6 gallon tank would really be struggling to house 2 goldfish and I think this could have led to the pH problem. I would suggest that you need to be doing 25% daily water changes to keep up with the bioload.

Without sounding pessemistic, I think the longer you keep your fish in your current tank, the more problems you are likely to encounter. The more they grow, the highter the bioload. We like to recommend that goldfish have a minimum of 10gallons (40 ltrs) each, it allows the water and the fish to stay much healthier.

I think your best bet atm is to perform daily water changes and add salt to the tank. Try a .1% solution which is achieved by dissolving 1 level teaspoon per gallon. I'm sure this will have no adverse effects on your fish, I keep my tanks salted at .1% all the time. If the other side breaks out repeat the medication. Good luck and keep posting. :)

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Hi again. On re-reading your thread, your fish symptoms actually seem alot different to mine. (should have read more carefully ^_^ )

I've found a few possible causes. The first is intestional worms. Various types of intestional worms can penetrate the intestines into the body cavity and be visible through the skin. There is no mention that they actually break through the skin.

The second possibility is sporozoan cysts. These can form in the musculature of the fish, there is not treatment. Sorry I don't know where the sporozoans come from or how they infect the fish.

These possible causes don't really offer a solution to the problem, so I still recommend concentrating on water quality and .1% salt.

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Guest becky

This sounds similar to what is happening to one of my fish right now. I just lost one and am treating another. The difference seems to be that in my fish, the "white spot" seems to come up very much like a pimple and then bursts and leaves a red spot that quickly heals. It sounds like the infection in your fish is deeper.

The fish that just died developed a more generalized swelling and began leaking blood from the swollen side. She died within 24 hours of these more severe symptoms.

I have a thread that Toothless has been helping me with that I have linked you to below. Maybe you can get some help there. Basically I treated with both maracyns (or erythomicin) and fed medigold. Sorry you don't have access to medicated food. I guess it would be illegal to mail some to you? I have tons.

Pimples/cysts/abcesses

My fish also does not seem to "feel" bad. But if Toothless is correct, it is a pretty bad bacteria.

Good luck!

Becky

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Guest Suzie

Thank you Fishmerized and Becky for your help.

I know I need a bigger tank. I went to an aqaurium shop and told them the tank size and they said 3 or 4 fantails would be fine. I have recently learned quite differently, so have been looking around for a bigger home for them.

So an update on Cookie, he's still acting fine, still no scratching, flashing or zipping around. The older burst bit which is white and fuzzy is still there, although maybe a little less swollen. The new one on the other side is starting to come up a bit, and the very small one near the original one looks like it's trying to slip out between the scales. I know this sounds weird, but it looked like a small white round egg in his body that is trying to get out whole by slipping between the scales.

Last night we did a 30 second 3% salt dip in case that could get at any parasites. We also applied hydrogen peroxide directly to the infected wound part. This was the first time taking any of my fishes out of water to treat them, which was a bit scary but went extremely well thanks to a convenience small tupperware container that we drilled holes in that we used to lift him out of the water. I have also added a little salt to the tank as recommended - .1% (thanks)

I guess I'll go for trying to treat the holes that are appearing in the fish, as I can't see how I will treat the actual cause. From Fishmerized's descripytions, it sounds like the worms or sprotozoan cysts could be the cause.

The aqaurium guy said I could use dog worm tablets (but then again they also said I could keep 4 fish in 6 gallons and that I should euthanise my dropsied fish that we've now saved)

Has anyone heard about using dog de-worming tablets for fish? It might be the same thing that you can get in the fish food there.

Becky thanks for the offer with the medicated food, I have been thinking of how to get it in next time I'm back in the US, but with quarentine restrictions here, I'd probably just end up arrested.

On an unusual and irrelevant side note, a woman was arrested in Melbourne airport last week becasue customs officers heard a strange sloshing and "flipping" noises near her. It turned out she had 51 live tropical fish in bags in an apron under her skirt. bizarre

Thanks both for your replies. I think if these things keep creeping out of his body he will not make it too much longer, but I'll try anything. I have a photo, but haven't seen how to post it here (i'm new to the forum).

Hope your fish pulls through ok Becky

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Hi again. I haven't heard of using dog worm tablets but ... who knows? The tricky bit would be trying to estimate the dose and trying to get the fish to actually eat it.

I have tried twice to get medigold into the country with the assistance of some members here, both times they were confiscated. The sniffer dogs must smell the fish food. ;)

nb. I saw that article on the fish smuggling too. :lol:

edit: there is a product called Sterazin by Waterlife available in Australia. It is a parasite medication. On there old labelling (or instructions) it claimed to treat internal parasites. It is now in new packaging and there is no mention of treating internal parasites, maybe they changed the formula or decided to drop the claim because the evidence wasn't strong enough. Anyway, it might be worth a shot.

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Guest Suzie

Thanks Fishmerised. I hadn't noticed you were in Sydney as well, sorry, this time I've spelled your name correctly.

Update on Cookie, I bought an antibacterial/antifungal iodine based ointment to put on him, but it just slid right off, and then I worried he would try to eat it, so grabbed it out of the water. Since that didn't work I went back to the hydrogen peroxide which fizzes away.

I remember hearing you were supposed to use either cream or ointment becasue one sticks and the other doesn't. I couldn't remember which I was supposed to use, but i think I guessed wrong. Any experience with this?

We're also now having a white stringy poo issue, however when I fed him peas they came out looking how they should. I've heard white stringy poo is a bacterial thing, but I'm not sure.

fishmerised, do you know of any reputable aqaurium places near the city where they don't give you absolutely garbage advice? It's unbelieveable how little some people know about fish and then try to give advice.

Other thoughts, if this is bacterial I could treat with heat, but if it happens to be parasites it will kill Cookie pretty quickly, and honestly I have no idea what it is.

Will keep trying with the hydrogen peroxide until hopefully whatever is inside finished bursting out.

thanks again for advice, will have a look for the medicine you mentioned

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Suzie, we have a member called Kevkoi who has business connections with a place called Slippery Little Suckers, 632 Anzac Parade, Kingswood, ph 9315 5288.

He says he is usually in store on Wednesdays and Sundays, so you might catch him there.

I will pm him and ask him to drop in on this thread.

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  • Regular Member

I'm actually currently based oversease sourcing fish for SLS.

However, your syptoms sound to me like an aeromonas bacterial infection that has left an ulcer on the body.

Anywhere else in the world, I'd suggest an amoxylin intra-muscular injection, but that's going to be a hard thing to get done in Australia, and especially if this is a small fish.

Your best bet IMO is to stay with the Waterlife treatments (Myxin for bacterial and Protozin so the wound doesn't fungus up) and add 0.3ppm of rock salt into the tank. Aerate the tank well and cross your fingers.

kev

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Ok, just pursuing kev's line of thought. An aneromic bacterial infection doesn't require oxygen (like gangrene), this would explain how it survives inside the musculature of your fish, either from an internal bacterial infection or from breakages in the skin that allowed the aneromas to penetrate.

Now, I'm sure we have all experienced whiteheads at sometime or other. Whiteheads are actually puss from infection that has dried out and hardened. Could this be what you are seeing in your fish? Perhaps these infections are coming to surface and being expelled in the same way as whiteheads?

As Kev said, the best bet would be an internal antibiotic treatment but that is not an option over here. All that is left to do is to treat the symptoms as they arise to prevent re-infection. The medications that Kev mentioned are good, they are the ones I use but if you had success treating the outbreaks with your brand then may as well continue to use it.

Since there is no treatment for the other possible causes (apart from dog worm tablets), you can only treat the symptoms and hope the fish shakes off whatever is causing them. Don't forget daily water changes. Good luck and keep posting updates. :)

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Guest becky

That is actually the bacteria that Toothless diagnosed my fish with also. He recommended erythromycin (which is the active drug in Maracyn) a very common anti-biotic. Perhaps you could find some of this and figure out how to mash it into your fish food so you could get it to him internally? You would have to be careful with the dosages. I have no idea what would be appropriate for a fish. ;)

If you get me your address, I could send him a get well card. :whistle:stop

I don't think I would try the dog worm pills, unless I knew for sure it was worms and the fish was about to die.

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Guest Suzie

Thanks for all of the advice.

Fingers are crossed and tank is well aerated.

He was starting to swell up on both sides, which may be localised swelling but he is a small fish, so any swelling is a significant amount of swelling. It is especially noticeably when I look at him head-on, he is much wider than he used to be.

I used the hydrogen peroxide for 3 days (one topical application once a day)

My plan was to hold off on the topical treatments after 3 days to give the new skin a chance to develop. The peroxide has improved the look of the area.

The swelling was increasing and I was getting the sense he was going to die if I didn't do something, so I had to take a gamble on whether this was parasitic or bacterial. My feeling is that it's bacterial so I put him in the hospital tank and brought the temperature up rapidly to 86F. I have read that the majority of aeromonas strains can't survive the high heat. This has worked to get rid of the bacteria that has caused dropsy in my other fish.

If it is a parasitic infection (for which I know heat is a no-no) I'm not sure how long it takes for it to go wild when heated, but it's been 2 days and he is not looking worse.

He has lost most of the scales in the larger infected area. I noticed what looked like a whitehead just near his tail yesterday. once in the warmer water the whole white had squeezed iteself out and nothing has reappeared there (I am celebrating all small victories in this case).

So I currently have the temperature in the tank at 30C / 86F and will add more salt.

There is promethyusul in the tank, which is supposed to take care of bacteria, fungus and parasites. I wouldn't want to remidicate right now, but do you recommend the Myxin and Protozoin over this? I can change medications when this one has been changed out of the tank (doesn't take too long with daily water changes)

I have some Amoxycillin, but from what I have read this may or may not work for aeremonas bacteria, and then there's the complication of calculating dosage for a small fish and getting it into his food. I will try though if this sounds to be a good idea.

I will keep you all up to date on what happens to Cookie in case you face this problem in the future as well

thanks for the useful info, and thanks Kev for responding while overseas

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Hi Suzie, congratulations on your small victory. :)

Myxacin and Protozin cannot be used together, so it is probably better to stick with an 'all-rounder' type of medication that treats both bacteria and fungus.

We don't have all the options that our US friends have but I have stumbled across something that to me seems like a 'miracle drug', it's called Tri-Sulphur by Aqua Master. It does not claim to treat internal infections but my pet store suggested I try it. So far it has successfully treated one case of dropsy and I'm in the process of treating another case that looks promising. It also treated another fish who's only external signs were finrot but it also was not eating, sitting on the bottom, swimming difficulties, etc.

When I treat with TS, I do not use a cycled tank or filter. I treat in a container of fresh water that the fish is slowly acclimatised too. Daily testing for ammonia/nitrIte revealed none so I did not change the water during the course of the 3 day treatment. I did repeat the treatment after 3 days as suggested. I do not use regular salt when treating with TS and the water is at room temperature.

So maybe you'd like to give TS a try. There are no guarantees but if it is a bacterial/fungal issue you are seeing it can only help.

Good luck and keep posting.

edit: I have tried soaking flake food in a solution of flagyll on one occassion. It didn't help in my particular case. I only think it would work if you could somehow feed the fish directly by hand, otherwise the solution will just pass out of the food into the water. There is no guide as to dosage that I'm aware of. :idont

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Guest Suzie

The people at the reef shop in Randwick suggested TriSulfa as well, thanks for the tip, I think I'll pick some up.

I bought an amonia test kit over the weekend. It is nil in the regular and hospital tank

The heat seems to have brought some of the internal swelling down. The infected bits haven't gotten any worse either I don't think. Of course I do think that there's some type of tumour/growth problem underlying the infection problem, so I wouldn't expect all of the extended bit on his left side to go down.

It's very encouraging that my fishy has been such a trooper through this whole experience. He hasn't acted sick at all, and considering his body was swelling up and he has had pus leaking out of one side and a hole in the other side of his body and three other unidentified white bits coming out from within, I think it's pretty amazing.

I think this whole thing was triggered by the pH crash in the tank. I had some large smooth black rocks in the tank for decoration. They had been in the tank for about a year. When I couldn't bring the pH up I did a controlled trial. Two glasses with fresh tap water, one with a black rock in it, one without. After a half a day the pH was still reading slightly alkaline on both, after 2 days the one with the rocks was so acidic it was off of my pH chart. Rocks are now gone, pH is perfect, fish hopefully recovering. These types of things may be obvious to those with more experience than myself, but I guess I am learning some things as I go.

Cookie's personality has entirely changed as well since we raised the pH. He is much more social, schools with other fish, and doesn't spook as easily. It would be such a shame to lose him now just as we're getting to meet a not-so-cranky version of him.

It has been fantastic to get help and support from this forum. Fishmerised, you are a gold fish keepers angel !

Thanks again

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Glad to hear that things are improving and that Cookie is such a trooper.

That's very interesting about the black rocks, I wonder what they were? There is an acid test for rocks that simply involves applying a few drops of vinegar. If the vinegar sizzles or bubbles, the rock is too acidic for fish tanks. If you still have those black rocks around it would be interesting to see if this test works.

I think you're right about the pH. pH swings can do strange things to fish and not all the fish in the tank are necessarily effected the same way. It's encouraging that Cookie is acting so much better than normal even though he's obviously got problems. I've got a hunch that if the swelling goes down those outbreaks will heal and the lumps will sort themselves out.

Good luck and keep us posted on Cookie's progress.

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Guest Suzie

The vinegar test seems familiar, I actually think I tried it ages ago on these rocks. Just tried it again and there is no sizzling. I think it's possible that the rocks were porous and trapping decaying matter in some way, therefore it may not have been the rocks themselves leaching acid, but hanging onto the organic matter. Not sure. The rocks were black round smooth ones I think I got in a gardening store. They are about the size of a lemon but flatish. They are pretty common in the $2 shops and garden stores.

Cookie seems to be stable now at the high temperature. The large scaleless patch is now gray and flat (not fuzzy) It looks to me like new skin and not infection, but I have never seen new skin on a goldfish. Is this what it looks like in your experience? I presume if this heals up the scales will regrow.

Hopefully all of my fishies will be reunited soon when they are all feeling better. I am looking for a larger tank, and the three footers seem to be about the right size. Is this the right idea, about 10 gallon per fish range for 3 fantails?

I am happy for the forum administrators to move this thread out of the emergency section, as it's just a bit of watch and wait now.

Thanks

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I know the type of rocks you are referring to, very strange, eh?

The average 3 foot tank is a 30g, the taller ones (more than 12") can be more like 36-40g. Certainly a 30g is suitable for 3 fantails.

I don't recognise the grey coloured skin but it certainly sounds like new skin growing. Congratulations, that's fantastic news. Sometimes new scales don't grow back if there was a deep wound but sometimes they do. It's just a case of wait 'n see.

I'm so glad everything seems to be working out. :)

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Guest Suzie

time for an update.

First a summary on the treatments for Cookie in case anyone else has the same problem (white growths inside the body coming out and leaving leaving a white/grey hole in the body):

He was given a strong salt dip at the start of his illness.

Promethesul was added to the tank (recommended dosage on bottle) to try to assist with the healing of the large open would.

Hydrogen peroxide was applied topically with a q-tip to the open white coloured wound. This was done once a day for three days. It was stoped to allow new skin and scales to grow.

Cookie was placed in a hospital tank and the temerpature was brought up quickly to 86F. I did this becasue I was pretty sure it was bacterial, and we have no access to medicated foods in Australia. This was my only chance at kicking the bacteria and something needed to be done urgently.

So I'm very happy to report that two weeks after my first posting he seems to have recovered completely. The scales have already grown back over the entire large open wound. The slight general underbelly swelling has subsided. The white lump on the other side appears to have been reabsorbed because it is entirely gone and I didn't see that one come out through the scales.

I have begun to slowly bring the temperature down, and will take it down very slowly over the next 2 weeks. Oddly I have noticed that he has changed colour rapidly though. Is this becasue of the heat? Where he was black last week he is now bronze, and all dark patches have lightened substantially.

He seems happy, no more stringy poo, he's eating well and seems to be a happy fish. I think he might have overheard about the new 160L tank I'm going to get next week.

Thank you for all your help Fishermerised, Becky, and Kevkoi, you have saved my fishie! :D

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Suzie

Update again on Cookie. His previous problem has completely cleared. I think I mentioned before but even the lump that was there under the skin for about 4 months has disappeared.

So, from one problem to the next. I noticed some dark black areas on his tail, not unusual because he is calico, but they seemed a bit new. Now where is was darkest the tail has disintegrated leaving a slice in the tail (not touching any edges, more like a hole in the tail)

one side of his tail has not grown since I've had him, I thought he was just a bit lopsided, but now think there may be a long standing infection. On one side it is very close to his body because the fin is so stumpy.

Is the black fin rot? I have heard of several things like using mercuracrome etc. Anone know if it's available in Ausatralia? Had any particular luck with any one treatment?

thanks

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Hmmn, :hummm are your water parameters OK? The first thing one thinks of when we hear of black scales or fins is ammonia burns. The black is actually a sign that the burns are healing, often this is the first time people realise there is an ammonia problem. The splitting fins could also be caused from ammonia present in your water or it may be another bacterial issue.

Ask at your local pharmacy about mercuracrome, I think we have it over here. Alternatively you could swab the affected are with a dab of hydrogen peroxide once a day for 2-3 days and see if that helps. If the fins continue to split try salt to .3%, I like to use salt first before trying other medications because it is very gentle on the fish.

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Guest Suzie

Afer reading many posts in this forum I thought of amonia as well. However since I got my amonia test kit last month, there has been no detectable amonia in either the hospital or regular tank. It is possible it is a problem from a few months ago resolving itself now though. However I never had any detectable nitrites or nitrates, so I'm not sure. Unless of course none of my test kits work! (always a possibility)

I will try salt and see how he goes.

It seems to be one thing after another with these fishies. My other two are trying to mate now, I am discouraging this by giving stern looks. It seems to be working

btw, the randy male that just got his breeding stars is a very small fish, not even an inch long. I didn't know they started going so young!

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I hope that the salt helps with the fins. If in doubt about your test kits take a sample of water to the pet shop and see if they test the same results.

Some fish reach sexual maturity at a young age, from 6mths! :o Although it doesn't necessarily mean they are very fertile. The most fertile age for a fish is between 3-5yrs. I wish stern looks worked for me. :lol:

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