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Red Streaks In Tail

Guest neezerandbeet

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Guest neezerandbeet

Ammonia Level? 0

Nitrite Level? 0

Nitrate level? 20ppm

Ph Level? unknown, tends towards low, but have been buffering with baking soda

Ph Level out of the Tap? unknown, but is low for goldfish, see above

Tank size(How many Gals) 29

and How long has it been running? over a year

What kind of Filtration? Whisper 30-60 gal

How often do you change the water and how much? 30% roughly once a week, have stepped up changes lately

What kind of Water additives or conditioners? Pond Novaqua, AmQuel Plus as needed

Any Medications add to the tank? no

How many fish in the tank and there size? 2 roughly 6" and two apple snails, one over 5", one under 2".

Add any new fish to the tank? no

What do you feed your fish? Hikari Oranda Gold

Any unusual findings on the fish? Such as "grains of salt", bloody streaks, frayed fins, fungus? One fish (orange colored celestial has been lethargic for several days, began with frayed tail fins, now has some bloody streaks. Has also developed a red spot on his side near the rear 1/3 of his body.

Any unusual behavior? Like staying at the bottom, not eating, ect..? has stayed at the bottom quite a bit over the past few days, although not all the time. Eats less but still does come up for food.

If you can what is the chloramines Level from the Tap? Cannot test, but assume none, as it is a well, and has not been treated with chlorine for some time.

We have been having a problem with nitrAtes lately. The readings above should be fairly stable as they were taken after a large, roughly 60% water change yesterday. However, they are from recollection, as I am not near my tank right now. I know that some of our celestial, Beet's, symptoms (see above) can be attributed to the high nitrates, even though our Moor, Neezer, does not seem to be affected in the same way. Anyway, after increasing the frequency and volume of water changes, the water quality has improved but the symptoms haven't.

Is this a case of him stilll recuperating from the burns, or has the stress caused him to get some sort of infection or parasite? If it is an infection, are there medications I can still use with snails in the tank, or should he be quarantined?

As an aside, he also reacted very badly when the ammonia spiked with the initial cycling of the tank, when he was tiny, but he bounced back once the water quality leveled off.

Thanks for your help, we have learned a lot from these forums.


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first of all get your ph level tested. your pet store can do this for you, so take a sample of both the tap and tank water to get them tested. if you donr know the ph level then adding the baking soda could be dangerous as you dont know what the level is.

the nitrate level is fine. sounds like a bacterial infection causing fin rot and then leading to other infections.

get your ph tested and post back those for us to help you more.

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Guest neezerandbeet

Okay, let me clarify. I test my ph along with all other water params. but I am at work right now, and don't recall the reading. I know it tends to read slightly low (below 7), however I have been buffering with baking soda lately to correct that.

I know my nitrates are normal now (as of the latest testing last night), but I have been having problems with them lately. Last weekend, the water turned dark red almost immediately (the highest reading is dark red, and it is supposed to take 5 min. to develop; I think the highest reading on my kit is 60 ppm?? I use Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, if anyone can confirm).

Anyway, my question is, given the known water quality issues that I am addressing, what can I do about the symptoms my fish is having?

Also, there is the issue that some medications can be harmful to invertabrates. I do own a 10 gal. that can be used to quarantine, but should all the water in the main tank be treated? I could move the snails to the 10 gal. and treat the main tank, if necessary.

I will test all paramaters at home tonight and write them down to post tomorrow if you think that will help, but if it fairly clear there is a bacterial infection, I would like to treat it ASAP, or at least set up the hospital tank tonight.


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Guest neezerandbeet

Okay, last night I re=tested nitrAte and pH.

Nitrates remained 20ppm, although I reiterate that all the bad effects began when the nitrates were too high to register a reading on my kit.

Tank pH was about 8.4 - I immediately changed 5 gal to unbuffered (but otherwise treated) well water. The water from my tap has a pH that is probably too low to register, it is lighter than the lowest reading on the chart, which is 6. Realizing this drastic difference in pH, I added the new water as slowly as possible. I retested a few minutes later, and the tank pH , well the color looked to be in between 8.2 and 8.4 - I expected this because the buffer would make the water resist a change in pH, right?

Anyway, I freaked about the high pH at the time, but I thought baking soda as a buffer prevented the pH from swinging high as well as low, so I didn't know what to do. I researched a bit online today, and find that I was not mistaken, baking soda should keep it around 8, and I read elsewhere (a koi site) that high pH is not as big a deal as low pH.

I also found that my husband added some crushed eggshell to the compartment in the filter (our snails are a little pitted).

Anyway, I read more about nitrates, and I found conflicting information. Some sites say that red streaks, frayed fins, and red spots on the body can be caused directly from exposure to high nitrates, but I was told here that it sounded like a bacterial infection. Also, I know stress makes them more susceptible to infection.

There is little change in my fish. I got home from work to be told that he didn't seem to move all day. I did all of the above with the water, and he moved around, seeming completely normal, rooting, etc. I fed them, and he responded normally. This morning he was back in his spot.

Is there any advice for me? I know the pH is higher than recomemended, how should I lower it? The main question remains what is causing my fish's symptoms and how should I treat it?


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Given all that has been going on in your tank, I would not medicate right now as long as he seems lively and eats well. There seems to be nitrate issues and your pH changes may have contributed to it as well. Try to keep things stable and see what gives. Some fish seems to have something like "ren-vein instablility meter" installed.

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