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Nitrate Poisoning?


Guest miaow

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Hi all!

I'm at a loss at the moment, I've got a 40 litre tank, two seperate filters (not sure of their filter rate, sorry) and I had two calico orandas & two pearlscale. After a week away I came back to find that the usually good water parameters had gone. Mainly the Nitrate, which usually sits around 5 - 10 had shot up to 40.

My orandas seemed the worst hit, both pearlscales seemed fine. One oranda was upside down on the bottom of the tank, the other was on his side at the top of the tank. I moved them both to a hospital tank & added something called Revitaliser Tonic (made by King British) I did a 75% water change in the main tank & the pearlscales still seemed fine. That was all done on Saturday (3rd Sept)

Today, the one oranda that was lying at the bottom of the tank, died. The other is still a little floaty, and is currently 'resting' against the filter intake! My two pearlscales in the main tank now seem out of sorts. They are paired up in the corner of the tank above the filter. One has a slight tilt, the other just seems lethargic. Both sets of water parameters are perfect

Main tank:

pH: 7.6

Ammonia: 0

Nitrate: 5 - 10

Nitrite: 0

Hospital Tank:

pH: 7.6

Ammonia: 0

Nitrate: 5

Nitrite: 0

I can't see any parasites or excessive slime coat on the dead oranda so can only assume that the exposure to high nitrate stressed him?

Can anyone confirm this or give me any other ideas as to why he died and what might be causing my other fish to be out of sorts!

Any advise or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, and if you need any other info, I will try to oblige!

many thanks

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Hi miaow and :welcome . I'm so sorry for your loss :(

Nitrates at 40 certainly aren't deadly for fish - in fact the ideal is <40. Just from what I can gather, they may have fallen prey to a bacterial infection (bacterial sepsis).

Have you noticed what their poop looks like? Is it solid with a colour texture of the food you feed? Or is it clear and stringy?

As a suggestion, i'd add 1 teaspoon of sea, rock or aquarium salt per gallon to your tank - this may help your remaining fish. Salt can cure many ills, then if you see no improvement, it may be time to look at something a little stronger ie. medicated food...

Please post back soon :)

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I really do not think a nitrate reading of 40 is anything that should have caused that sort of distress in the fish. The high nitrates that are truly dangerous are the ones over 100ppm - I have seen tanks that register so high that the test kits cannot read it - 200+. Nitrate is also what I would call a "contributer". In most cases, it is not directly responsible for problems, but can cause any little problem to be magnified dramatically.

If I had to take a guess, I would strongly suspect that you have a bacterial infection in your tanks. Infections can rage through tanks in a remarkably short time.

What antibiotics, or medicated food do you have available?

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Hi Jen & Daryl,

Thank you both for your replies. Unfortunately I have not noticed the state of the fish poop :( but I will take note!

Daryl, I don't have any antibiotics or medicated food to hand at present, so it seems a trip to my LFS is in order...is there anything you reccomend I should get? Should I move the remaining oranda back into the main tank and treat them all together? Also, how do the bacteria start, or is it a case that they are always present, but higher nitrates allow them to multiply to unhealthy levels?

Suze

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Hmm, slight problem, I'm in the UK...I've searched the net for suppliers of medi-gold & metro-meds over here...can't find a thing :( I guess I'll have to search for something similar! Is it just the fish I have to treat or do I need to treat the water too?

Thanks

Suze

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Ok, I've found out that the only medicated type of food available in the UK contains or has been treated with something called Oxolinic Acid...still haven't had any luck finding any tho!!!

I have found two products which may help, I dunno?!

1st is Interpet Anti Internal Bacteria No9 which claims to cure bacterial gillrot, dropsy & ulcers.

2nd is King British Bactera Control which claims to kill the bacteria which cause saprolegnia, mouth fungus & infections in open wounds & abrasions (including aeromonas...whatever that is?! lol) Also cures internal inflammation & septicaemia!

Do you think either of these treatments would be any good?

Suze

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Well, took a trip to the LFS, and picked up the Interpet Anti Internal Bacteria treatment (advised by my husband that it was a better treatment...he's a bio chemist, so he read the labels properly!!! lol) and within a couple of hours of treatment, the fish seemed to perk up! This morning however, one of the pearlscales is back in the top corner above the filter, and the remaining oranda is hiding in the house ornament, so I'm not sure if he's still floaty or has stabalised! I'll just have to keep an eye out for him today.

Does anyone know if fish miss each other, like when one dies, do his tank mates get depressed? My four used to pair up, the two orandas used to swim round together, and the two pearlscales stayed together. I'm just wondering if on top of everything else, they'll be missing Clash?! :cry1

They're due a second treatment in four days, so I will keep you updated. And if this Interpet stuff is any good, I shall recommend it on the UK message board! Not being able to get medicated foods over here, this stuff might be a god send!!

Suze

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I suze - hopefully they'll continue to improve.

There's some debate about fish missing each other but IMHO, I think fish may become stressed if alone so it's a comfort if they have other tank buddies.

Just as an aside, medicine containing oxolinic acid is handy to keep in your fishy medicine cabinet as it's readily absorbed by a sick fish who can no longer eat and is effective against both gram negative and positive bacteria. Also, I believe many people have had great results with Interpets internal bacterial med :)

I hope your guys show some major improvement soon - and my fingers are crossed :)

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Hi Jen,

It's good to know other people have had success with the interpet treatment, kinda makes me feel better!!

They all seem a lot better, and the remaining oranda (Cosmic is his name!!!) finally came out of the house, and is swimming quite happily, no floaty behaviour, so hopefully the effects will last until their next dose on Saturday!!

I'll pop back and let you know how things go!

Thank you all for your help, I'm so glad I found Koko's...so are my fish!! :D

Thanks again

Suze

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Yes Interpet Anti Internal Bacteria No9 has had some good results

I hope they contine to improve!

keep us posted as there are other meds available that can be water bourne

I am in Australia so I know what you mean..we just dont get the meds the US has

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Oh dear :( Fish seemed ok last night, but when I got up this morning and checked on them, they all seem to be having float problems. The oranada is upside down, and both pearlscales are on their sides.

They're due another dose of the interpet treamtment tomorrow, do you think it would hurt to administer it today? I don't want to overdose them, but neither do I like to see them struggling to stay upright :(

Any advise would be appreciated

Thanks

Suze

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Hi Suze - any news?

It's always best to dose as per the instructions and one of the reasons is that while helpful to fight off illness, medicines can actually cause a lot of stress to fish.

I'm just hoping you have some good news - please post back soon

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Hi again,

I'm afraid I have no good news...fish are still the same, lethargic, lop sided and/or upside down! They've had three doses of the bacteria medication, but it doesn't appear to be making any difference. Would it be worth trying a swim bladder treatment? My largest pearlscale (Beaker!) is on her side (found out it was a girl after I caught it re-absorbing eggs last week!!!) My other pearlscale (Bobbins!) just 'sits' above the filter looking pathetic, and Cosmic is always upside down in the morning, they all huddle together above the filter for some reason? Altho Cosmic is in the 'house' today, so I'm not sure what state he's in until he makes an appearence!!

Water parameters are still fine, altho I'll have to do a water change if I intend to treat them again with internal bacteria medication!

Would it be worth trying them on peas before getting a swim bladder treatment? Only problem there would be that the pearlscales aren't good at feeding from the bottom of the tank, and seeing as peas sink, I'd worry they wouldn't get enough! (I usually soak a few flakes for cosmic, and sprinkle the rest in the tank, that way Cosmic can feed from the bottom, and beaker & bobbins can feed from the top!) Is there any way of making a floating gel food?

I'm sorry for all the different questions, but I'm getting desperate, I don't wanna lose any more fish!! :(

Any info would be great!

Thanks

Suze

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Oh crikey :(

My smallest pearlscale, Bobbins, has a red swelling on his underbelly, I noticed it last night. It looks like a pimple, but very red, and quite large, looks sore too! (if someone can tell me how to add a photo, I'll post one up!)

After the internal bacteria treatment had finished, I did a 75% water change, and added interpets swimbladder treatment, (they're due a 2nd dose today) all fish have been perfect since, until Bobbins' problem! Can anyone tell me what it might be, and what I can do about it? It just seems to be one thing after another! :unsure:

Thanks

Suze

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Hi suze - if the bacterial meds didn't have the desired affect, and now there's red spots on the body, it leads me to a few questions:

- how long have you had your fish?

- have you introduced any new fish/plants in the last few weeks?

- is there any flashing or scratching? (erratic swimming)

- how do their gills look? A deep pinky red? No tattering?

I can't help but think there's a parasite at work here but will wait until you post back before going down that path.

Please post back soon.

PS. Is there any chance of a better pic?

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Hi Jen,

We've had Beaker & Cosmic since January, Bobbins came along about June. We haven't added anything new to the tank, apart from replacing filters (half at a time!!!) Can't say any of them are swimming eratically, Bobbins still rests above the filter, the other two are swimming happily! Gills look fine too.

The swimbladder treatment has worked wonders, and I will be continuing with it (it's a four dose treatment) but I'm at a loss with this red lump? Neither of the other two fish have any sores, or lumps, so I'm not sure what's going on.

I'm just off to drop my daughter off at pre-school, I'll try and get a better pic when I get back! (would it hurt Bobbins if I craddled him in my hand to get a good pic?) The sore is in an awkward place to photograph!!!

Thanks for you help

Suze

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Well the red spot could be part of a bacterial infection. They can usually be associated with either parasites or bacteria.

What kind of medication are you using? Swim bladder problems can at times be associated with bacterial infection so i'm guessing the meds you have are designed to treat this?

So they're improving a little then? Have they more energy now? Still eating?

And yes, you can gently hold him while taking a pic :)

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Yes, the swimbladder treatment (Interpet Swimbladder Treatment No.13) is designed to kill off the bacteria that can cause swimbladder problems, so I assume it's doing the job coz all my fish are the right way up, and not at all floaty!! They are eating fine, and swimming around quite happily!

I managed to get some half decent photo's....tell ya what, there's nothing like having to take a pic with a new camera in order to give you a crash course in how ultra zoom works!!!! lol

Bobbins was very good in my hand, bless him, 1st time ever I've held him!!

Anyhoo...pics, hope they help a bit more than the first one, but like I said, the redness is in a very awkward place!!!

PICT0055.jpg

PICT0054.jpg

PICT0053.jpg

Suze

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Great pics :)

Was he resting on the bottom at all? I had a fish with a similar problem when he had a bacterial infection - it caused a bit of blood to appear near his belly.

This cleared up as he got well so hopefully the same will happen.

Is there any more improvement?

PS. i'm glad they're no longer flipping and my fingers are crossed for the speediest of recoveries :)

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Quick update!!!

The red mark seems to be fading!! :) They had a second dose of the swimbladder treatment on Thursday, so hopefully by the time the full treatment has completed, everything will be tickity-boo!!

Bobbins still rests on top of the filter, so I wonder if that's the equivalent of resting on the bottom of the tank, or whether he just likes the vibration of the filter?!! Trust me to get a kinky fish!!! :teehee lol

Anyhoo, will keep you updated!

Thanks again for you help!! :)

Suze

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Hi Suze, just reading your thread, hope all is going okay with your fish, I noticed that you said your tank is 40 lt? that's only 10 US gallons, really only big enough for one goldfish. Not wanting to be a party pooper, but this may not be helping the state of your fish. If you want to treat them successfully, keep up the regular water changes, even if the water conditions seem fine at the time, keeping the water -perfect- is the best thing you can do to assist them fight the disease. Good luck. :yeah:

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Hi Tosakin

I realise the tank is small for three fish, but that's why I have two filters running! I do a 50% - 75% water change every week, their water is nearly always perfect. (apart from when the filters need cleaning/changing!!)

One point I'm not entirely clear on tho, and that's whether I should do a water change while I'm still adding medication....they have another two doses to go before the treatment is complete...one dose every four days. Do they need the medication to 'build up' in the current water, or should I still do my regular water changes?

Any advise would be appreciated! :)

Thanks

Suze

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