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Gill Curling


Guest Jenna

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Hi,

I'm a bit worried as one of the gills on one of my fish appear to have folded forwards. I'm not sure how this has happened, but it's on both sides. He's still just as active and happy as ever, eating, although he is gulping a bit. I've checked the ammonia, which is zero. He is one of two comet goldfish, in a 20 gallon tank which was set up 10 months ago. Nitrites are 0, not sure about nitrates, pH is 8.5, dh 18.5. I have a rena 3 and a fluval 2 plus an air stone. I treat my water with salt and amquel +.

Please could anyone tell if the gill curling is a problem and what I can do about it? How did it happen? my other fish is fine. they don't have any blood streaks in their fins. However the one with the curled gills does occassionally get these wierd red patches that appear to be on the surface of his fins, they are not like blood streaking through finrot and always clear up very quickly. Has anyone got any suggestions?

Please help!

Jenna

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Hi there and :welcome

Okay, I see that your ammonia and nitrItes are checking ut, but I'm not sue about your KH and pH. Your water hardness is certainly up there so you Should have a fairly high KH. BUt, to be sure, can you get an analysis of your local water supply? I fear that something is causing your pH to be too high fo omfort for the fish and it could stand some investigation...

Now, for the protruding gills, is this the entire operculum (gill flap) that is protruding outwards/curling forwards or is it just the thin membrane that protrudes from under the operculum?

Can you see the red of his gills easily?

Post back soon. :)

Paul

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Hi Jenna, Sorry no one has gotten to your thread yet.

This is new to me, I will be honest. I am sure someone will be along soon. In the meantime, how long has this been happening?

Was the fish normal when you got him?

Also how is he acting?

Your ph is a little high, but once again not my strong suit. Is there anything else you can add? Maybe a picture?

Paul I see we were posting at the same time..... B) Glad you are here!!!

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Hi,

Thank you both for replying. The pH of my tank water is 8.5, that'show it comes out of the tap here! The local water is very hard and very alkaline. I asked my lfs about this, they said that their water is also pH 8.5 and that it was best to try and let the fish adapt rather than continualy try to adjust it. But I agree, I was a bit horrified when I found out what my poor babies were swimming about in!

I've had minor problems ever since I moved to this area, little bits of finrot and fungus. I'm not keen on medicating and was hoping that by keeping the ammonia and nitries down that the problems would sort themselves out.

Anyway back to the gills. My knowledge of fish anatomy isn't that great, but it appears that it is the translucent edge of the gill covering that is curling, just the bottom half. It looks like a fleshy bit. I can see inside and it looks a good red colour. The fish is behaving like his normal self, eating well, destroying any plantlife that comes in his way, that sort of thing. I first noticed the problem a few days ago, I don't think it was a problem before.

I read on another site that you should cut the curled bit off so that it grows back normally, but I REALLY don't want to do this. If it comes to that I may contact a vet.

Any ideas? Should I try altering my pH?

Jenna

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This sounds like my fry Maxi! He got his curled gills while he was still small, and it looks like he have big ears! He is just fine, happy and healthy, he just have to live with those gills!

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I'm with the guys - one of my larger fantails has the same, where the edge of each gill plate curls outwards. She's a happy, healthy girl and has been like this since I got her a year ago :D

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No worries. Your not the first person to some here wondering what was up with that little curling membrane. One person insisted that it was most certainly not normal and it took me several posts to help them see the light. :rolleyes:

Paul

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Unless my memory fails me, I think I've seen on a few websites that this is just another "weird" (= not wild-type) trait that goldies can have, like telescope eyes or pompoms or a double tail. Anyone else seen/heard this?

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Yep, in fact, fish with much more lush finnage seem to have a very lush membrane (branchiostegal membrane) that protrudes from behind the gill flap (operculum). Its common to even see this membrane Protrude so far that it rubs on the fish's pectoral fins. No worries there. Its a very tough membrane.

The job of that membrane is to seal the ventral side of the gill cavity, upon contracting the operculum. Wether to hold food in, keep bubbles in longer, or what, its basically like a seal.

If you look closely at a male bettas operculum, you'll see a VERY pronounced membrane. That membrane does the same thing for bettas as it does for goldfish. Bettas just happen to have a different set of gills than goldfish in that they can breathe/process atmospheric oxygen. At least, thats my understanding of it. ;)

Incidentally, this membrane can and does experience fin/tail-rot. It can erode just as fast as the fins. Especially when flukes, tetrahymena, chilodonella, etc. and their secondary bacterias are involved.

Paul

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