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Nitrate Poisoning! My Friend Needs Help!


gialeigh

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My friend on another message board wrote this:

I knew it was going to be bad when I woke up, but...

My fish are sick. I'm pretty sure it's nitrate poisoning that

happened over months and that they are permenantly damaged from that.

It seems that I might have a couple with septicimia (a blood

infection, right?), Ich seems to be making an appearance. I'm going

to euthanize the one that is the worst as she's bleeding into the

water.

Any ideas on how to minimize the damage? I'm salted and melafixed.

The newer goldfish doesn't seem to be affected at all, lending me to

believe it's the nitrate levels over time that contributed to weakened

immune systems.

Help! Thanks!

Dennis

and this

Thanks. I'm gonna walk up to mmm and look for it. Everyone is pretty much sitting on the bottom of the tank now. Would some food with antibiotics be a good idea? I've been doing daily changes of about 40% to get the nitrates down. Too little too late I think, but...

Thanks for your help, Justin.

Dennis

I was not able to get any other info from him before he left. Please, maybe someone can help him? Obviously I dont know the info above because I was not able to ask him but I hope someone can help anyway. Apparently this has been going on awhile. He is very knowlagable about fish so I would assume all the basics he should have had under control...but somehow this was beyond him.

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Gia, it is best that he himself ask his questions, we need more information to advise what to do. I know you are trying to help him, but with your own problems going on it may confuse our memebers.

Also running back and forth with "he said she said" isn't the best way to transfer information.

Tell him we don't bite, he can join our site..........it is free.. B)

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Yes I figured it probably wasnt the best way, I just wanted to try to help him. He said he is going to get back to me with the answers to the questions. I just didnt want to see him have to put his fish down if there was something he cold do to save them.

The only thing with joining is it took me 2 days to be able to post anything once I joined. I was thinking that by then it may be too late for him. Im not sure if everyone's ability to post was delayed, but I know mine and another member's was. So anyway, Ill let him know that he should join. THanks for your response

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Well, this is from Dennis. If anything can be done to help Im sure he'd appreciate it. I told him about Koko's and the forums so hopefully he will sign up today.

Hi Gia,

Here's the info you asked for.  I'm sure you know, but you're welcome to post those pics as well too.  Just copy and paste below for Koko's and if I've missed anything let me know.

------------------------------------

Tank temp: 76

Ammonia:  0.25

Nitrite:  0

Nitrate:  between 10 and 20 (still I high, I know.  Been doing daily changes.)

pH:  7.4

Tap pH:  7.2

Tank size:  80 gallons roughly (300 liters)

Filters:  Magnum 350 canister filter (350gph) and an Emporer 400 power filter (400/gph).  Charcoal is out at the moment.

Water change:  Weekly, about 40% on average.

Water additives:  Tetra Aquasafe water conditioner, Doc Wellness Aquarium salt.

Medications:  Melafix, existing salt.

Fish:  8 fancy goldfish, ranging from 5"-8", 1 common pleco about 9", three dwarf plecos, under 4", 8 plant plecos about 1.5", one zebra danio about 2", three algae eating shrimp, lots of anachris.

New fish:  A 3" lionhead introduced about three weeks ago.  He is unaffected and is by far the most active, I think because he hasn't been in toxicly high nitrate water for a long time, like the others.

Feeding:  Wardley small floating pellets, Tetra Flakes, Hikari Algae Discs, Hikari frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp.  Occasionally live brine shrimp.

Unusual findings:  Bloody fins, large bloody veins in the tails of some fish, ragged fins (within 24 hours) Cloudy eyes in another,  floating upside down with another.  ALL but the septecimia bloody fin one sit on the bottom motionless unless I approach the tank.  Black moor seems to have ich.  All fish will try to eat except the worst one, the septicimia bloody fin guy.

-----------------------------

God, I'm smoking for the first time since July I'm so nervous.  I know they are "just fish" but still want to do my best.

Thanks for forwarding this info to Koko's, whatever that is! lol

Dennis

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I see a couple of problems and have a little bit of information that might help.

First - nitrate poisoning does occur over a bit of time, but it really takes a great deal of nitrate to "poison" most fish. When we are talking a "great deal" I would say over 100ppm for a while. I have seen readings that come back at 300+. Some fish still do "OK" at those levels. Others do not. Once a fish is "poisoned" they commonly have swim balance problems, sensitivity to nitrates at higher levels (some to as little as 10ppm), and a lowered immunity to every other nasty that may cross through the tank.

At 10-20ppm nitrate, he is doing just fine in that tank. I expect the anachris is helping a great deal to keep the nitrates under control. 750gph is definately underfiltered for that size tank - he really needs to have at least 800 gph in the tank - I would shoot at more like 1000 to 1200 goh for that tank.

In an 80 gallon tank, having 8 goldfish is pushing the limits, for, as the goldfish get larger, it will take more and more diligence to keep the nitrates under control. He not only has 9 larger goldfish in there, but 16 other waste producers in that tank - making the tank grossly overstocked. It seems he has built a good bio-filter base - one that is capable of processing the large amount of waste those fish create, but the end result is loads of nitrates. Without diligent water changes and loads of plants, he will have problems with nitrate. The readings he gives at this time, however, are not worrisome. Anything under 40ppm is considered good - with only a few exceptions for a few special fish.

That said - what he is describing sounds like a roaring bacterial infection. (with ich involved, potentially). Bacterial infections are often opportunisitc little nasties - they can come in on a new fish - for example the new lionhead that was introduced. The lionhead may be immune to, or strong enough to resist this particular bacteria, but the others in the tank are not. They have succumbed to the infections - leading to the bloody fins, etc. Emergency help is needed in this tank.

First, I would remove the common pleco - a real hazard in a goldfish tank. They will attach to the goldfish when they are sitting quietly at the bottom of the tank, sleeping, and suck on the slime coat. A large pleco can kill an entire tank full of goldfish in one night. This one fish may be the ground zero of the entire problem - for he could open up wounds and such that could lead to infection.

Next, he should remove all the non-goldfish in the tank- relocate them to another tank or tub. Every last fish, dainio and pleco and shrimp should be moved. Leave only the goldfish. .

As far as treatment, since I do not know what he has available, I will mention a few of the commoner treatments available. MaracynII is a good staple antibiotic bath treatment that is commonly found in many PetCos and vvvv. It may do the trick, or it may help do the trick. Next, I would recommend that he order some MediGold from Goldfish Connection,

http://www.goldfishconnection.com/shop/det...uctId=8&catId=5

This is an antibiotic laced food of the highest quality. Rick, at goldfish connection, will ship very swiftly - Dennis should have it within a day or two of ordering it.

I would have him raise the salt level in the tank to .3% for now - if there really is ich in the tank. It will help keep the ich under control - and possibly may conquer it. For the time being, the bacterial infection is far more worrisome and urgent. That and removing the common pleco.

I am sure others will post here soon.

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Well it seems Daryl has said about everything there is to say. I will wait to hear further.

On the other note, when I joined I could post right then. I am not sure why it took you so long.

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Oh fantastic! Thank you so much! I just copy and pasted every single word you just said, put it in quotes, and posted it for Dennis. I know he was looking forward to hearing from you! Thanks a million!

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Thank you Gia, mod and Daryl for your help. I'm such a ditz. I didn't even know I was registered on this board. Shame on me! I belong to a great yahoo group and don't look outside of there much.

I see a couple of problems and have a little bit of information that might help.

First - nitrate poisoning does occur over a bit of time, but it really takes a great deal of nitrate to "poison" most fish. When we are talking a "great deal" I would say over 100ppm for a while. I have seen readings that come back at 300+. Some fish still do "OK" at those levels. Others do not. Once a fish is "poisoned" they commonly have swim balance problems, sensitivity to nitrates at higher levels (some to as little as 10ppm), and a lowered immunity to every other nasty that may cross through the tank.

Actually, from what I can tell, it must have been in the 800 plus range for some time. When I realized I had a problem with nitrates I had done two 50% water changes and they were finally dropping below 200. I've been doing daily 40% changes and today is the first time they have ever been close to ten. My anachris grows about a foot a month. I thought it was because of the 260w lights (I often just turn on half), but now I know nitrate helped the anachris and the algae that COVERS the anachris.

At 10-20ppm nitrate, he is doing just fine in that tank. I expect the anachris is helping a great deal to keep the nitrates under control. 750gph is definately underfiltered for that size tank - he really needs to have at least 800 gph in the tank - I would shoot at more like 1000 to 1200 goh for that tank.

You're kidding!? I thought I was OVERfiltering. I added that canister filter about two months ago to replace an even older less effective internal strange thing that came with the tank. I'm shocked. Maybe just another Emporer 400 hanging off the back? That wouldn't really be noticeable or ugly, but sounds like it might be the extra umph the tank needs.

In an 80 gallon tank, having 8 goldfish is pushing the limits, for, as the goldfish get larger, it will take more and more diligence to keep the nitrates under control. He not only has 9 larger goldfish in there, but 16 other waste producers in that tank - making the tank grossly overstocked. It seems he has built a good bio-filter base - one that is capable of processing the large amount of waste those fish create, but the end result is loads of nitrates. Without diligent water changes and loads of plants, he will have problems with nitrate. The readings he gives at this time, however, are not worrisome. Anything under 40ppm is considered good - with only a few exceptions for a few special fish.

I thought I was following the informed rule of 1 adult goldfish per 10 gallons, but I'm learning that the health of the fish still is at high risk with that. I also admittedly never had a pleco grow that long. I was wrong to think that the plecos aren't big waste producers, I'm finding out differently. Hopefully my fish pull through, but if a few don't, I'm definitely not going to keep as much of a bioload in there.

That said - what he is describing sounds like a roaring bacterial infection. (with ich involved, potentially). Bacterial infections are often opportunisitc little nasties - they can come in on a new fish - for example the new lionhead that was introduced. The lionhead may be immune to, or strong enough to resist this particular bacteria, but the others in the tank are not. They have succumbed to the infections - leading to the bloody fins, etc. Emergency help is needed in this tank.

First, I would remove the common pleco - a real hazard in a goldfish tank. They will attach to the goldfish when they are sitting quietly at the bottom of the tank, sleeping, and suck on the slime coat. A large pleco can kill an entire tank full of goldfish in one night. This one fish may be the ground zero of the entire problem - for he could open up wounds and such that could lead to infection.

I've been "meaning" to get rid of the pleco because he IS aggressive. He doesn't suck on them that I see, but what makes me think that when I go to bed, he isn't doing damage for 8 hours? I'm taking him to the LFS tonight.

Next, he should remove all the non-goldfish in the tank- relocate them to another tank or tub. Every last fish, dainio and pleco and shrimp should be moved.  Leave only the goldfish.  .

As far as treatment, since I do not know what he has available, I will mention a few of the commoner treatments available. MaracynII is a good staple antibiotic bath treatment that is commonly found in many PetCos and vvvv. It may do the trick, or it may help do the trick. Next, I would recommend that he order some MediGold from Goldfish Connection,

http://www.goldfishconnection.com/shop/det...uctId=8&catId=5

This is an antibiotic laced food of the highest quality. Rick, at goldfish connection, will ship very swiftly - Dennis should have it within a day or two of ordering it.

I would have him raise the salt level in the tank to .3% for now - if there really is ich in the tank. It will help keep the ich under control - and possibly may conquer it. For the time being, the bacterial infection is far more worrisome and urgent. That and removing the common pleco.

I am sure others will post here soon.

391448[/snapback]

I just treated the tank with Maracyn to and some ich medicine. I'll find my hydrometer and see what the exact salinity of the water is as well, and bring it to .3%. I'm heading to goldfish connection shortly to check that out. I did feed as normal and everyone was surprisingly active, even the "goner". The medicine tablets are almost dissolved and the nitrates are 10-20, so maybe they were due for an energy rebound.

I've got pics, but not sure if I can post them since I'm "new" to the web site. lol

Thanks for the advice, and if anyone else has something to add, please do!

Dennis

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Dennis, have a look at Photobucket.com, its a great photo hosting site, and its free. From there you can just copy and paste your pictures and put them here... :)

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