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Mysterious Caviar/poppyseeds Strike Again!


Guest Mrs. Raven

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Guest Mrs. Raven

Fish Pals...

I have two more fish exhibiting the same signs Janet started off with last Saturday. She died 24 hours ago.

The same caviar/poppyseed symptom is present. There has been some "manic" swimming. Is this what is referred to as "flashing?"

The tank chemistry is good. Salt at 0.3%. Have been fed Medi Gold 7 days. I've added biozyme to start growing bacteria, but have treated with malachite green hydro... pulling all carbon filters. I've added extra airstones for additional oxygen in addition to the two used with the underground filter.

I did have the classic Ich with one fish the first week of August and treated 5 days as recommended by the staff at the store. Does this timeline work for the final stages of Ich? They are not showing any salt or sugar-like skin symptoms.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I've braced myself for this being out of my hands, but sure would like to be able to look myself in the mirror and know I tried everything I possibly could.

So far, I have two more who seem healthy...for the moment...

Thank you,

Mrs. Raven

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Guest Mrs. Raven

Both are breathing normally... and ate normally today. Gills appear normal on outer sides. It is quite possible they are inflamed. They are very small fish. No more than 1 inch in length, not counting tail fins.

One of the fish has black and white colour with a "glow" between his eyes on the top of his head (the smooth, skin w/o scales.) This has now extended past his gills. The other one is orange around his gills.

I would await any instruction to examine them which would cause stress.

Thank you for your quick response.

Mrs. Raven

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Hi Mrs R - it sounds as though they could have Velvet disease. It appears as a kind of 'gold dust' and is basically a tiny parasite known as oodinium. Is this what you may be seeing?

It has similar symptoms and lifecycles to ich only it produces white pustules on the fish, however they are much finer than the spots seen in ich. Also, just like ich, it only becomes a pain in the you-know-what when fish are stressed by poor water quality, fluctuating water temperature and being transported.

The more obvious symptoms are:

- flashing

- lethargy

- no appetite

- laboured breathing

- clamped fins and

- yellow/rust coloured film on skin

In advanced stages skin peeks off :crp

Because velvet is dependant on light, dimming the lights aids in eliminating the infestation. Increasing water temp to 82?F will speed the process, and adding salt to the water will ease the labored breathing caused by destruction of gill tissue.

You would also need to get some meds containing copper sulphate as it destroys them.

Please post back if you think this is what you are seeing.

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I think I may have a possible bug for you to check out:

Its called Ergasilus (or gill maggots), they are closely related to fish lice (argulus).

http://mainegov-images.informe.org/ifw/fis...ges/vol2is4.jpg

http://www.dekoi.be/afbeeldingen/ergasilus2.jpg

Basically, they can be from a brownish coloration on their bodies but their two trailing egg clusters remain somewhat pale/white. When they are seen in clumps, thier egg clusters are easily seen and can be mistaken for maggots or worms. Hence, their nickname, "gill maggots". Your description of poppy seeds stuck together instantly made me think of them......

Treatment for them would be as follows:

Purchase Dimilin and dose it according to the directions. If Dimilin is not able to be easily attained, I suggest treating with Jungles Parasite Clear according to the directions for fish lice. In the meantime, daily gravel vacs and light waterchanges will help to remove unhatched eggs.

Until Dimilin or Parasite clear can be does, salt dips of 1.5% for up to ten minutes (depending on the fish's size) will help to purge most fo the beasties from the body and gills.

Post back soon. :)

Paul

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Guest Mrs. Raven

Paul and Jen W. and Others,

I spent the evening doing a large water change...75-80% The ammonia is reading at 2 ppm. My tap water is at 0.25. Nitrites and Nitrates...0 Added fresh ammonia chips...

Salt at 0.3%

I now have a third fish (out of four) with lethargy. I treated for velvet with Maricide this evening after the water change. Quite concerned results of ammonia levels, however.

I've set up water for another change tomorrow. How do you define a light water change? 10 to 20%? Will be dipping in salt per your comments first thing in the morning. I will check this board before I start should anyone have any insights or cautions.

Would the Dimilin or Parasite Clear be compatible with the Maricide? Do I need to eliminate the Maricide or can they be used in conjunction with one another? The Maricide instructions do comment on not using another medication.

Both of you offer some promising information. The egg clusters are not on or near the gills. They have shown up on their sides past the halfway point of their length. I would not rule your suggestion of a "gill maggot" on colour alone. Possibly I have the first case on the block with dark egg clusters. Would location of the clusters be variable?

Everybody around here is tired so your help and concern are deeply appreciated. So looking forward to chats with you all on how to decorate the aquarium for Halloween....

We are all off to bed...and will be the first ones in the buggy tomorrow to the Fish Pharmacy...

Much appreciated,

Mrs. Raven

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Guest Mrs. Raven

For those following this thread...

I woke to find all four of my fish in the clutches of whatever we are dealing with. Another large water change was required to keep ammonia levels down. We did the salt dip. Since I had started the Maracide, both of us humans thought it best to stick with it for a few days since the fish were a bit perkier than last night. Started up a heater and gradually increased the water temperature to 82 F by bedtime and covered the tank completely all day to keep the light out.

As of tonight, three were acting rather normal and only one is isolating himself and sitting at the bottom of the tank out of the current, etc.

I will test the water again tomorrow morning and make whatever change is necessary to keep the ammonia down until I can get the bacteria up and running.

I will keep you all informed as to how we are all doing.

With all our fins and fingers crossed,

Mrs. Raven

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Thats good news that they seem to be doing better. :)

It might not be a good idea to heat the tank your fish are in. Formalin/Malachite green medications are best used at normal tank temp. Formalin displaces LOTS of oxygen. Higher water temps deplete oxygen too. So, you 02 contet of your water should be pretty low right about now. Try increasing aeration for them if you can.

Ergasilus does not have to be strictly a gill parasite. Although they preffer the gills of fish, they can be found anywhere on the fishes body once an infestation has been established. Coloration of the bugs varies as well, the egg/tails aren't always white either.

Anyways, if at all possible, try removing one of the fish and scraping some of the growths you see off. Then try to examine the spots very closely to see what they are.

If at all possible, try to get a good macro-shot of a few of the fish and the spots.

Good luck and keep us posted...... :)

Paul

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Guest Mrs. Raven

Good Morning...

Let's get the bad news out of the way...

Ollie did not make it through the night. He was the only one who was not doing well last night.

The good news...

The others are still moving around like fish should. One is a wee bit confused so I will be keeping an eye on him all day.

So...it's clear I have no idea what I'm doing, but I am learning a great deal from all of you. I will let the water temperatures go down to room temperature...now in the low 70s and will rise to mid 70s by end of today. I am needing to be ambitious with water changes with current ammonia levels.

Continuing salt treatments at 0.3%

Is it best to continue with Maracide? ...I understand there has been a formulation change and my box is labeled "Maracide Concentrate". Dosage is 1 drop per gallon every 24 hours for 5 days. I assume by the end of the five days, I am to have 5 drops for every gallon. I am replacing what I'm removing with water changes...i.e. on day two each replaced gallon of water contains 1 T salt and "2" drops of Maracide and on day three, 1 T salt and "3" drops of Maracide.

Does it make sense to use Parasite Clear and remove the Maracide...

I'll do anything I need to do for these guys. Your help is really appreciated as I am more committed to keep going after this episode and learn from my experiences...

Kindly,

Mrs. Raven

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When using formalin based products like Maracide, NO other medication should be used, not even salt. I will repeat that for emphasis, do not use any other additives or medications when using Formalin.

That being said, I think it would be best if you were to discontinue the formalin. Instead, we should concentrate on what this is, while treating with parasite clear and a salt solution of 0.3%.

For now, I really think this would be helpful if you were to tke pictures of each of your fish exhibiting these "poppyseeds". Keep taking pics until you have a good shot of them. Use the macro setting on a digital camera and get up close. But, keep the camera angled so that the flash doesnt reflect off the glass, directly back at the camera.

The bugs that I linked you to earlier like to attach to soft spots on the fish, fins, the skin between the scales, gills, even wens and the like.

So, discontinue the formalin and go with the parasite clear.

Post back soon.

Paul

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Guest Mrs. Raven

Note to Paul (as I am not able to sent you an e-mail or message privately yet):

Got it and I'm on it....

I will be changing out all the water...

On my way to pick up Parasite Clear...

I will check back when I return from the store to see if you have any cautions about changing out all of my tank water (other than not netting the three fish I have left...)

Gratefully,

Mrs. Raven

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Change as much water as you like. The more, the better, really. Do not start using the parasite clear until either 100% of the water has been changed, or fresh carbon has been running in the filter for 24 hours.

Remember to bring the slainity up to 0.3% slowly(over 3 days), unless they are already in that concentration.

Try doing a 1.5% salt dip on them according to these directions:

1.5% dip

Use 1/2 cup of salt per gallon of water, adjust the temperature, so the fish does not get stressed from temperature shock. Put the salt into the water. When the salt is dissolved, add the fish to the sater and start the timer. A dip between 1 and 5 min is sufficient, as long as the fish does not show any signs of stress. Small fish, of course, can only go for a couple minutes.

The fish should be swimming around in the bucket, and start to float on top of the water. This is a normal reaction. Just poke the fish, and continue the dip IF the fish starts to move around again. If the fish does not react to your poking, take him out immediately. For bigger fish, even if they are swimming constantly for the whole 5 min, this is the maximum, anything longer than that can kill them.

If the fish, especially smaller ones, start to swim or roll around funny, other than floating, after being put into the dip, they need to be taken out right away, no matter how short the dip was. Then they are not able to handle the dip any longer.

You can perform these dips, once a day for 3-4 days maximum. After that, let the medication do the rest.

Do not put the fish back into the infected tank after the dip unless a parasite treatment is administered.

These dips will clear much of the fish slime coat as well as the parasites invading it. Not to worry, the fish creates new slime coat almost immediately. Adding the fish to medicated water, after the dip, will help to get the drug to every nook, cranny, and crease on the fish. Thus, increasing the efficacy of the treatment.

Good luck and post back soon. :)

Paul

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By the way, work on those pics for us. If it is indeed gill maggots you are seeing, a good close up should reveal them. Check for photo tips in this link: http://www.thekrib.com/Misc/photo.html

Check your fish's gills too. Its a two person job. Use a tounge depressor or popsicle stick to hold the gill flap open and peer inside with a penlight or flashlight. The person holding the fish should have a firm, yet gentle grasp on the fish. Make sure the fish is not able to stuggle too much. Keep the fish ABOVE a body of water so that if it slips out of grasp, it lands safely back into the water.

If you see anything besides bright, meaty red gills, somehting is amiss. Describe what you see.

Paul

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Guest Mrs. Raven

Chapter __ of the Mysterious Caviar/Poppyseed Fish Tale...

Ok, the tank has been completely refilled with new water..this will probably help with my out-of-control ammonia problem.

Added Parasite Clear, salt to 0.3% as they been at the level for a week, Stress Coat at the repair level (2 teas./10 gal.)

Did the dip... everyone made it 3 min. 40 sec. and one went 4 min. 20 sec.

Put back into the new tank water. It took several minutes for two of them to come back from being exhausted by the salt dip. They would rest, swim a bit, rest again. Within five minutes, all were swimming normally and acting like fish.

I will be making arrangements for feeding in a manner which will keep the food spitting contained as much as possible. Also I will be testing water twice a day.

As for pictures...I'm on my own with the live ones. I did thaw Janet and take a look at her gills. The gills looked good, but the tissue next to her body did have a dark streak which mirrored the outer shape of her gill. The poppyseed "thing" had broken with the freezing. It did pull up into a mushy "string" of tissue though. I'm going to be better at drawings than pictures. My digital camera is not particulary good. So sorry...

Will follow the routine specified with the salt dips and the medication instructions...

Anybody ready for a nap? Me too....

Mrs. Raven

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Thats great everyone took the dip well. I cannot overstate the positive effects of them when dealing with parasites. They REALLY help greatly. Incidentely, did you notice any of the mysteries left behind in the dipwater? I forgot to tell you to seive the water through something like pantyhose to get a closer look at them. Oh well, try it again tomorrow or the next day. ;)

All in all, I think your on your way to ridding them of whatever it is. Rembember to keep a close eye on the ammonia and nitrItes. Daily testing with large waterchanges should be done until the cycle can re-establish itself.

Paul

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Guest Mrs. Raven

Good Morning....

FINS UP !!!!!!!!!

Sorry, I could not help shouting....I'd be on the rooftop if it wasn't so much work getting there.

Everybody looks really, really good...

This morning tests results:

Ammonia 0.50

Nitrites 0

Nitrates 0

pH 7.2

Temperature 76 F

Salt 0.3%

Parasite Clear and new Water - 09.05.2005

Ok... Today's Plan is to "Do the Dip" at tea time this afternoon. As for anything remaining in the bowl after yesterday's dip, I saw nothing. Arnie still has his little poppyseeds. I will, however, be mindful of looking before tossing out the bath water.

Instructions on Parasite Clear indicate additional dose and 25% water change at 48 hours (tomorrow). I am understanding this to mean do the water change 1st and then add medication.

If I've got this wrong, please let me know. I am enjoying the peace which has descended on the kingdom.....

With a bounce in my step,

Mrs. Raven

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Wow! I can feel the glee blasting through the monitor over here! :lol:

Thats wonderful news indeed. I suspect you should find nothing but more improvement as this progresses.

Yes, parasite clear, if used on goldfish alone, can be used in quite a few treatments in succession. The directions are very unclear in that respect. I highly suggest that you run a 3rd or 4th treatment of it on them. Just be sure to do at least 25% waterchange before adding the new dose.

So, run 3-4 treatments on them during 8 days time. then, treat them once a week for 3 more weeks. I still suspect some copepod type parasite and the last 3 weekly treatments knock them out.

I REALLY think we need to have a very close look at what these "poppyseeds" are. Try to remove the fish that has the most to a small, clear-sided container. Study them up real close (with a magnifying glass, if possible) and sketch what you see.

So far, all I can picture is that your godfish look like they are turning into hamburger buns.... :blink:

Keep us updated! :)

Paul

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Guest Mrs. Raven

Dear Paul and Fish Pals...

We did the tea-time dip and everybody made it the whole 5 minutes.

I did collect 3 to 5 little poppyseeds, which I can see with a 6x magnifying glass. I will sketch what I see. Arnie still has some on him so it's quite possible we will collect more as time goes by. I am willing to get these to someone if it's possible to connect up with someone who is nearby with better equipment.

To make sure I have my instructions correct:

1. Two more days of salt dips.

2. Change out 25% water every 48 hours and add 1 dose of Parasite Clear until a total of 4 doses have been given.

3. Continue Parasite Clear treatments for an additional 3 weeks, one every 7 days.

4. Continue testing water daily.

5. Stay in touch...

What a relief...I promise to study up on goldfish care and disease in my newly available non-worry, free time.

Mrs. Raven and the Triplets

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You got the directions to the "T". ;)

The dips may not be needed after the 3rd day of them, use your judgment as to wether they can handle it.

If at all possible, you can place the "poppyseeds" on an opposite colored surface and hold the magnifying glass in between the camera lens and snap shots that way. You get the fulll effect of magnification too. It takes some experimenting though.

I eagerly await your sketch of the mystery "seeds".....

Paul

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Guest Mrs. Raven

The Latest...

We've done a third salt dip. They are tolerating it well as all three have gone for the total 5 minutes on the second and third dip. As they are really covered with this stuff, we are going for four tomorrow.

25% water change today with addition of 2nd Parasite Clear.

I sent pictures to Koko last night with some close ups of spots. They are multipled greatly in the past few days and in some cases, scales are liftingbut only as poppyseeds multiply... No more than 2 to 4 per fish.

So far, they are a bit tired after the salt dips, but seem to bounce back in a couple of hours. Tank water has low ammonia load (0.50) and kept clean of uneaten food. All are eating well. Lots of air introduce to water with bubble wands and two undergravel filter tubes with air stones.

Have recovered only a few black things with dips. Sure would like to see them fall off the fish...anywhere would be fine with me.

I trust the pictures will be posted soon. It was my best effort with the equipment I have. We can ask Nikon to sell me a digital at cost as a "donation" to goldfish science...

Doing well for the moment,

Mrs. Raven

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Guest Mrs. Raven

Pictures...

Pictures are posted on the first Caviar post when Janet was the first to come down with this "stuff".

It's now located on the Diagnosis/Treatment section.

Mrs. Raven

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I saw the pics but I cannot see much.

The closest thing that I can find is called Diplostomum spathacaeum. AKA Eye flukes or black spot. Your description seems pretty close to what this disease is.

Here's a link: http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-1...27376--,00.html

It is indeed very rare to see in an aquarium but not impossible by any means.

I will research further for you. :)

Paul

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