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I Need Help In A Diagnosis.


Guest MrMatt

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Guest MrMatt

Hi. I am new to your community and relatively new (1 year exp.) aquarium enthusiast. I have a 30 gal aquarium with 1 black moor goldfish named Velvet. I did have another one that was a calico but it recently died of a disease that I can't seem to pinpoint. Now Velvet is dying of the same disease. I want to say that it is a fungus but am not quite sure. Here is what happens.

At first, you will see white spots on the fish as if it has Ich. Then by the next day, it will be covered over most of it's body and fins with white patches, however, they are not cottony in appearance but rather slimy white covering. The fins seem to be as if they have been nibbled at also. And then they will have red sores next to some of the fins but not on the rest of the body, such as right behind the pectoral fins. They still eat but eventually become sluggish and lay on the bottom with clamped fins. When Calico eventually died, he was covered from head to toe in white slime and eventually developed anchor worm in the last few days. Now, Velvet is in the early stages of the same symptoms.

I have tested the water quality in the tank and everything sems to be normal and clear. I am currently trying a a salt bath with Velvet and it seems to be helping a little. I haven't tried any medication because I am not sure what the problem is. I really want to save Velvet because he is my absolute favorite. Can someone help me with what this is and what to do? And also maybe recommend something I can treat the tank with to rid it of this? :(

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  • Regular Member

Can you answer the questions in the white box? It would help to actually see your readings from the tests. Salt (.3% solution) does cure most parasites...but the red sores could be ulcers and I would worry that the salt would make those worse (burn them). Someone with more experience can probably diagnose better but I know everyone would benefit from the test readings. From first glance, it sounds like a parasite (especially if salt helps some) and that is most often caused by bad water quality or by introducing new fish without quarantining them.

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Yes, it is strange about the anchor worm. I can't imagine them lying dormant for a year then striking your fish down. Have you had both fish for a year or was introduced recently? Have you added any new live plants to your tank?

It certainly sounds like a parasitical infection to me, the ulceration would be secondary bacterial infections, also the fungus too. They are very opportunistic and will strike when the fish is weak.

I agree that salting your tank to .3% for a fortnight is a good idea. Salt will kill all parasites except flukes (and a rare strain of costia).

To achieve .1% concentration of salt, dissolve 1 rounded tablespoon of salt per 5 gallons of water, then add to the tank. Repeat over the next 2 days to bring the dose up to .3%. Remember to replace the salt with any water changes.

You can use aquarium salt from the pet store, just do 3 of the recommended doses. Or you can use rock salt, sea salt, kosher salt available from the supermarket at the dosage rates mentioned above.

It would be really useful if you could answer as many questions as possible in the white box. If you don't have your own test kits you can take a sample of water to your pet store, most test it for free.

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Guest MrMatt

First of all, thanks so much for the help. I'm sorry about not posting the info in the white box. I was preoccupied with describi ng everything else. Here's the info...

Ammonia Level: 0.25

Nitrate level: 40

Nitrite Level: 0.25

Ph Level: 7.0

What kind of Filtration: I'm not sure what to answer for this one other than I have the Whisper Power Filter 60.

Tank size: 30 gl.

What kind of Water additives or conditioners? Nothing except for when I clean and do water changes, I add Stress Coat with Aloe Vera. 3 teaspoonfuls. Also added salt to the tank beforehand. 1 tbs per 5 gl.

Any Medications add to the tank? Yesterday, I added Fungus Clear by Tank Buddies. 3 tablets.

How many fish in the tank and there size? I had 3 Goldfish. 1 Common, 1 Moor, 1 Calico Ryukin. The Common was given away to my sister about a month ago and the other 2 I have had for about 2 months. The Calico died last week.

Add any new fish to the tank? See above answer.

What do you feed your fish? A variety of food. Peas, Bloodworms, Flakes and pellets.

If you can what is the chloramines Level

from the Tap? Unkown

Today Velvet looks a lot better but is still lying on the bottom like he is exhausted. He is still eating, so I suppose that's a good sign. I'm getting ready to clean the gravel in the tank and replace some water. Any suggestions or further diagnosis would be great! Thanks.

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Hi,Unfortunately, none of your water parameter's are reading normal ,or clear.In a cycled tank,both Ammonia/Nitrites,should be reading zero,Your NitrAtes (to be safe) should be reading at 20 or under.That right there,says that you either are not doing weekly water changes,or that you are not changing enough of the water.Poor water quality alone will show the symptoms your fish have. About the Anchor worms,chances are that you brought the fish home,and just didn't see them at first.You did say that you've only had the fish for two months,right? Anyway,I'm thinking that your fish have been suffering from the Anchor worms,and that the poor water quality has madeVelvet more vulnerable to secondary infections.You're also going to have to do Gravel Vac's to get any Anchor worm eggs that could possibly be laying around in the tank. secondary infections more viable. What have you done concerning the Anchor Worm? The treatment of salt is probably what has Velvet feeling somewhat better.Doing the Salt bath will take off her slime coat,and help kill any parasites on her. The first thing that you need to do,is get those water parameter's in check.There's no point starting treatment with poor water quality.Start out with a 30% water change. Those Ammonia/Nitrites,need to come down to 0.Replace the salt amount that you'll be taking out for the water changes that you'll have to do.Do you see any actual Anchor Worm on Velvet as of yet?

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Guest MrMatt

You are right about the water parameters. I have the hardest time maintaining the correct balance when it comes to the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. I do a gravel vac once a week. In doing so, it removes about 25% - 30% of the water. I fill it back up with water that has been treated with Stress Coat. Yet it is still hard for me to get these parameters to 0. I even have 2 snails to help out. :D Should I be adding some kind of chemicals to get these readings down and if so what should I use and how often should I add them.

As far as the anchor worms, you could be right that I just didn't see them when I brought them home. Velvet does not show any signs of anchor worm as of yet whereas Calico was already infested at this point. However, as soon as I noticed the anchor worms on Calico, I quarantined him. I haven't treated for the anchor worms.

By the way, how do I determine the exact amount of salt to replace when I replace water that has been taken out.

Thanks for all the help, you guys are great!

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I am not a fan of dumping more chemicals in to bring down ammonia/nitrite etc. All those chemicals do is bind the ammonia...they do not actually remove them. When it comes to fish, the more natural you can go the better...that is why my answer is: Water changes, water changes, water changes! Daily, if needed and test the water a couple of hours later to see how you are doing.

As for replacing the salt, only replace what you take out (1 tsp per gallon)...so if you take out 10 gallons of water, you need to add back 10 tsp of salt. Unfortunately, it can be a pain knowing how much water you took out but I try to get the closest guess I can by knowing what size bucket I am using to take the water out and put it back in.

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Yep, there are 2 ways of measuring salt to reach .1%. When doing large water volumes it is easier to measure 1 rounded tablespoon per 5g, otherwise as fishyfan7 suggested, 1 small level teaspoon per gallon.

Have you repeated the dosage 2 times to achieve .3%? Because .1% is not strong enough to kill parasites.

Try doing an ammonia and nitrIte test of water straight out of your tap, sometimes there are low levels in tap water which are detoxified by your water conditioner but it will still show up on your water tests.

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Guest MrMatt

I am very happy to report that Velvet is on his way to a quick and complete recovery, thanks to everone's help. After adding Fungus Clear and doing a good gravel vaccum and doing daily water changes (making sure to replace the salt), he is up and swimming! His white fungus is almost completly gone and his two ulcers are also almost completly healed. Ammonia and Nitrites levels are down to 0 and the Nitrate levels are between 40 - 60. Thanks everyone for your friendly advice! :D

If you would like to see some pictures just click below. They're not all that great because they were taken with my cell phone camera but you'll get the gist. :fishtank:

http://www.geocities.com/witneser/Fish/fish_tank.jpg

http://www.geocities.com/witneser/Fish/velvet1.jpg

http://www.geocities.com/witneser/Fish/velvet2.jpg

Thanks Again!

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:D Glad to hear that Velvet is doing better! It's real important that you maintain those Water Levels too ,for a complete recovery for him.You'd be surprised just how fast a fish can make a turn around for the worse with secondary infections etc.,when water isn't kept Pristene.Definately keep treatment going it's full term recomended also.You may see the Adult Anchor Worms gone from the tank since only your one fish had visible signs of them,but there's also a chance that larvae could possibly be in there too..Keep up the good work! ;)
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