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Oranda Lying On Bottom...


Junasai777

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I got 2 goldfishes--a red cap oranda and a bubble-eye--and a new tank 11 days ago. They are both very energetic fishes, wriggling and swimming constantly during the day. But this morning, I noticed that my red cap keeps lying motionless in the bottom of the tank, not swimming at all like he usually does. When I go near the tank and peer in, he will swim up to the surface and toward the front of the tank, wriggling happily and trying to get my attention. But when I go away, he will go back immediately to lying on the bottom. I know something is wrong with him, but I have no idea what it is or what to do. His appetite seemed to be normal when I fed him early this morning. The bubble-eye on the other hand, is still as energetic as ever and there seems to be absolutely nothing wrong with him. The water test came out as: Nitrate: 0; Nitrite: 0; Total Hardness: 50 (moderate); Total Alkalinity: 80; pH: 6.8. I've been doing partial water changes (with water that's been standing for at least 24 hours) every other day. The red cap's appearance looks normal--no changes, at least to my unpracticed eye. I have been feeding him flakes and some veggies every day and have been careful not to overfeed them. I put in some blanched cabbage today, but the red cap won't touch it (the bubble-eye is nibbling constantly at it). Please help me if you know what I should do for him! I'm thinking of going to go get some aquarium salt right now. These are my first goldfishes, so I would appreciate any information. Thank you very much!

Jun

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it sounds either like costia or flukes. costia can usually be treated with salt but flukes are tricker to get rid of unless you have prazi. if they have split fins it could indicate flukes but if not then its probably costia. either way salt is a good idea. good luck :)

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costia and flukes are parasites. symptoms are sitting on the bottom in both cases, split fins with flukes and extra slime around the fishs head with costia. i made an info sheet about both of these actually. ill get them up for you :)

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Costia

Costia are one of the smallest fish parasites and so are often overlooked leading to mass casualties. They can only be seen under high power microscopes and even then just as tiny tear drop shaped things corkscrewing around the slide. Some fish will be able to carry these parasites during summer without becoming ill until the outbreak in spring. Here is a highly magnified picture of some costia:

Costia.jpg

Causes

The introduction of new fish can bring in costia the same as any other parasite or disease. However, costia can survive drying so it is crucial to sterilize all equipment that is used on more than one tank before being used again or better still, use a different piece of equipment for every tank and limit it to being used on that one tank.

Symptoms

Affected fish develop slimy patches over their head and gills and tend to clamp their fins, often refuse food and deteriorate. Some fish will begin gasping at the surface for oxygen as the parasites destroys the gills, others will die without symptoms.

Treatment

Despite its devastating effects, costia can be easily avoided by keeping salt in the water at all times at 0.3%. Salt seems to be a weakness of costia and is easily obtainable and cheap for the hobbyist. Treating the whole tank with 0.1% salt every 12 hours for three applications should eliminate them. This can be measured as being 1 tablespoon per gallon every 12 hours for three applications. There are strains of costia that are resistant to this salinity so we need to treat the tank with 0.1% salinity but for 6 applications. Leave this in the system for a week or so and the problem should be solved. Remember to always use salt specifically made for use treating fish. Also remember to sterilize any dry equipment that has come into contact with the water like gravel siphons. Never use cleaning products on your equipment. Instead, make a strong salt solution and clean the apparatus thoroughly.

Flukes

Flukes are the bane of every fish keeper?s life. They are a common and relatively large parasite (as parasites go) and can be very hard to get rid of if the correct meds are not available. Flukes can only be seen under a microscope and are easily visable at as low a setting as x40 magnification. Much higher magnification and it?ll scare the22 out of you. They?re hidious things to look at. Here?s a pic of what you?re likely to find:

fluke.jpg

There are two types of flukes, both requiring the same course of treatment; the egg laying type and the live young bearing type. Flukes are extremely prevalent. They are often found to have more than 4 generations inside the live bearing type, when dissected in labs! For this reason, treatment must be swift or we run the risk of losing the fish. Not all fish will catch flukes if they are in the water, however. Closed communities of fish are often immune to its presence.

Cause

There is no particular cause for the introduction of flukes into a community of fish other than the addition of a new member or transportation via one body of water to another. This can be prevented by making sure all equipment being used on more than one tank is sterilized before using it each time and quarantining new fish for a period of AT LEAST one month having done a mucus or gill scraping to eliminate their presence (not recommended on small fish).

Symptoms

In many cases, the first indicator to an inexperienced fish keeper that their fish have flukes is large numbers of fish dying at around the same time while the water quality may be perfect. Split fins are also a good indicator that there is a possible fluke infestation in the system. If your fish has split fins, do a mucus and/or gill scraping to confirm their presence and treat accordingly.

Treatment

Treatment for flukes can be very hard as they do not respond to most medications and the correct meds are often not available. By far the best medication I have found is Prazi. It is safe to use with even the most sensitive of fish and if used properly practically guarantees the elimination of the flukes. Despite its popularity, Prazi is very difficult to obtain and I spent countless hours searching for a website that delivers to the UK and lo and behold, there is one! The address is www.rockymountaindiscus.com if any of you need to order from there. At face value, it may seem a little pricey but considering it is one of the only fluke treatments that works, doesn?t affect your fish in any way at all and lasts a very long time, it?s worth its weight in gold.

hope these help you out. the rockymountain thing will deliver to the us too as far as i know. keep us posted how everything goes :D

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Thanks so much for all the detailed information! I'm so relieved to report that Bubbles (the red cap) seems to be doing much better now. I bought the salt and put 1 tablespoon into the tank, and also bought some canned peas, which I fed him and the bubble-eye. They both actually ate the peas and now the red cap is swimming around, instead of lying at the bottom in the corner. I was really scared that he would die, but I'm glad he seems to be turning around! On a side note, although I skinned the peas, and sort of mushed them up, I wasn't sure how small I should make them and the bubble-eye actually choked on a piece for a while!! :o I felt like such a bad mom! But he got it down and is not choking anymore. Whew! Thanks again.

Jun

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just thought of another couple of things. some fish will sit on the bottom if the current of the water is too strong but when you go over to the tank they will act fine. a good test to do to check that is putting a button on a piece of cotton and put it in different parts of the tank around but not resting on the bottom and seeing if it moves. if the botton does move you need to change the current. another thing would be a swim bladder problem (the boyancy organ). some fish with swim bladder problems will float, others will sink but its pretty obvious if it is to do with the swim bladder as they will have a lot of difficulty getting off the bottom. as for the size of the pea, i tend to chop them to around the size of the fishs eye (obviously not for telescopes). it seems to be a good guideline in my opinion. be very careful they dont choke on any gravel. ive had to save a fish from choking on some gravel before. she never was quite right afterwards. just a word of warning. i tend to go for fine gravel (but not sand) so they can easily spit it out. good luck with the fish and im so happy your little red cap seems to be doing better :D

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Thank you so much for all your thoughtful replies. Yesterday evening, after I put in the salt and gave him the peas, he got a lot better and was swimming around until pretty late at night...I don't know how long he was swimming because I went to bed at around 11 PM and he was still swimming around at that time. But this morning, he was back to the bottom of the tank (always the exact same spot, too). He won't budge for hours and hours on end. He ate the peas that I gave him today though, so at least, he moves when I give him food... He doesn't seem to have any difficulty getting off the bottom when he wants to (which is only when I go very close to the tank), so I'm guessing it's not swim bladder disease. What bugs me is that this behavior started yesterday morning, all of a sudden. Until then, he was very active, so something must be wrong. I put in 1 tbsp. of salt yesterday, but should I try it again? Do I need to put in more salt? Also, my bubble-eye is 100% fine for now, and is it OK for him to be in this salty water when he isn't sick at all? I'll try the button thing you mentioned. Do I have to sew it onto the cotton???

Jun

P.S. I was careful to chop up the peas to a smaller size this time around!!

:)

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Jun I know you have said that the water is fine, but could you post that info along with the other answers to the box above. Amy has hit on some great stuff but we really need all the information before a diagnosis is made. I would hate for something to be missed or not thought of.

Thanks

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Test Results for the Following:

Ammonia Level? 0

Nitrite Level? 0

Nitrate level? 0

Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines)? 6.8

Ph Level out of the Tap? 6.8: I've been putting in filtered drinking water (the 6.8 is from the drinking water), and when I put a post in the water chemistry messageboard about this, I was told that this was bad for the fishes and that I should switch to tap water, so I've put out tap water tonight and plan to pour it into the tank tomorrow.

Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running? 10 gallons; 11 days

What is the name and size of the filter/s? TopFin 10 (came with the 10-gallon TopFin Tank)

How often do you change the water and how much? every other day, about 40-50%

How many fish in the tank and their size? 2 fishes (red cap oranda--the sick one, and a bubble-eye--perfectly healthy and active), both about 1 and half inch

What kind of water additives or conditioners? Dechlorinator; and 1 tbsp. aquarium salt yesterday, and 1 and half tbsp. salt today

Any medications added to the tank? No.

Add any new fish to the tank? No. These are both new fishes, and came 12 days ago.

What do you feed your fish? Nutrafin Flakes, orange slices, and veggies like zucchini, cabbage, shelled peas, romaine lettuce. Twice a day.

Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt",

bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? No.

Any unusual behavior like staying

at the bottom, not eating, ect..? Stays at the bottom all day during the day, not on its side, but lies on the gravel motionless. Will come up for food, and eats whatever I give him, although his appetite isn't what it used to be. He will suck in the food, and often spit it back out. These behaviors began yesterday morning (so 2 days total). Up until then, he was very active and swimming practically all day, and had a voracious appetite.

Thank you very much for your help.

Jun

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When a fish sits on the bottom and spits it's food out you can almost always guarantee it's some form of parasites, perhaps gill flukes. Have a re-read of Blinky000's post above for suggested treatment or try a broad spectrum parasite cure such as Jungle.

edit: sorry, in your water chemistry post I didn't realise your fish was spitting it's food out. Nevertheless, I still recommend that you use tap water rather than filtered water. ;)

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I agree. With that said I ask why you are doing such large water changes at this point?

While your tank is cycling you should base the water changes on what the levels are. If everything is at 0 you should only do little water changes with a quick vacuum of the gravel.

Are you familar with cycling a tank, and with fish in it?

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Jun, I find it weird that after 12 days with 2 goldfish in only 10 gallons of water that there is no ammonia present in the tank. Usually, it would have started to rise by now. Maybe check the ammonia level again to be sure. :)

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First off, thanks everyone for your replies and thank you for your patience, with my lack of experience/knowledge. I checked the ammonia just now, and it was somewhere around 0.50, I think. These color charts on the test are confusing, because the colors almost never match. The reason I'm doing such frequent water changes, is because the tank smelled very bad. It is getting a little better I think, after I put in some live plants. I posted a thread on it before. The tank smelled like cat's urine, but there was no ammonia in it before (really!). I thought maybe if I changed the water enough, the smell would go away... It still smells, but I think it might be a little better. Also, I'm still confused about how often I should change the water. It seems like every article I read says something different. Some of them say about 10% change weekly, but then others say you should change more often... :blink: Same thing with the salt baths. I'm not sure how much to put in because people say different things, and it always seems like such an awful lot! Also, is it really OK for my healthy bubble-eye to be in such salty water when there is nothing wrong with him??? I only have one tank.

About the parasites, I guess I should just try an all-around remedy, because I have no idea if it's costia or flukes, or something else. I don't have a microscope. According to Amy, if it's costia, salt will work, but if it's flukes, it won't...and I don't know what it is!! I'll reread the page on cycling. Thanks again.

Jun

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Jun The cycling process can be confusing but it is really simple. I think we try to make it harder than it is. At least this is what I did.

Your 10 gal tank is overstocked, so once the ammonia starts to show be careful for it can get out of control quickly.

Test every day, now that ammonia is present you will want to do water changes to keep the ammonia from rising higher than .5. If this occurs then do a 10-20 water change. Retest in a hour and see what it says.

See ammonia needs to be present to start the nitrogen cycle, however it is very deadly to the fish. So you will have to control the amount they are exposed to.

Next will come the nitrites, more deadly than the ammonia but nesassary for the cycle to set up in the tank. You don't want the nitrites to go above 0.5 as well.

So testing everyday is a must and change what water you have to in order to keep the cycling moving forward yet not letting it kill your fish.

(this is a balancing act that can change every day. There is no set water change on how much.)

Now for the salt. You don't have to run salt in a tank all the time but since you are suspecting parasites you should. Salt is also a stress reducer for the cycling process. So a double benefit.

Salt dosage is 1 tsp per gallon of water = 0.1%

To get to a 0.3% concentration you must do this slowly over the next 36 hours. Every 12 hours you add 1 tsp per gal of water until you have done this 3 times. then you are at 0.3%, to maintain this concetration you must measure exactly what you change out and replace it with the appropriate dose. (i know it sounds confusing but really it isn't).

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Your post really helped to clarify things for me! Thank you very much. So ammonia and nitrites are both very bad for the fish, yet necessary for the cycle to progress? That's what I couldn't understand till now... I hope my fishes will be strong enough to get through it (and I hope I don't make mistakes!).

I have one question about the salt baths: since I was doing it up till now without really being sure of how much I should put in, should I start over again? I already put 1 tbsp. the day before yesterday and 1 and half tbsp. yesterday, so I'm not sure what to do now... :(

I will check the water everyday and make sure the ammonia and nitrites don't go above 0.5.

Thanks for helping me and my fishes!

Jun

P.S. Update on my red cap: He is swimming around at this moment--rather feebly, but at least he's moving about.

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Glad to help. You are right in the begining the ammonia and nitrites are nesassary to start the cycle, once they get going the nitrates start the third and final stage of cycling....the nitrates. Nitrates are the good "bugs" that convert the nitrites and ammonia so they aren't toxic.

(ammonia turns to nitrites, nitrates to nitrates).

Ok, for the salt you say tbsp (that is table spoon correct?). The dose is teaspoon. 1 tsp per gal of water.

Since you didn't really have a good grasp on the salt I wouldn't add more until you have changed out 100% of the water.

Now I'm not saying to do a 100% water change. Just keep track how much you change over the next few days and add it up, when you reach 100% changed out you can start fresh on the salt dosage.

Make sense?

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I bought Parasite Clear (Jungle Labs) and put in a tablet tonight. Bubbles (red cap oranda) isn't doing much better right now, he's been wriggling in the same spot for a couple of hours now, with no interest in food. I don't know which is better: wriggling in the same spot, or lying motionless, but he is obviously not feeling well. I went to the store from which I bought him (to get the Parasite Clear) and looked in on the tank where he used to be. There were several orandas looking much worse than he was--one was so emaciated and kept swirling helplessly in the current. :( I thought surely he must be dead, but he was still living, his gills were moving. It made me so sad! I wonder if my red cap caught something there, and is showing symptoms now...although 10 days is a long time. He was completely fine for 10 days after he came to my house... I'll post again to let you know if the Parasite Clear works for him.

Jun

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By the way, on a side note, my pH has gone up! :) So at least, there's SOMETHING good happening, although I'm still worried sick about my oranda. When I put in some tap water (dechlorinated and left out overnight), the pH went up to 7.2.

I have another question (sorry for all the questions): it says to take out the filter cartridge when using Parasite Clear, but how long do I have to leave it out? Also, since I'm using Parasite Clear, should I not do any water changes for a few days? I'm especially anxious about these things because the ammonia level right now is at 0.5 (I just checked), and I don't want it to get any higher.

Thank you.

Jun

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Jun you have another thread going in the 911, is this the same fish? If so we need to combine the threads as people will get confused. Let me know and I can do that for you.

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LaurieP, yes, it was the same fish and he died just now, so please delete both of the threads. I posted in 911 because he really deteriorated in the last couple of hours. Thanks for all the help though. I would've felt much worse if he'd died without me trying to do anything.... At least, he's not in pain anymore, so I should be happy for him although I can't quite feel that way yet. :cry1 I have a question about my bubble eye (he has a black stain), so I'll start a new topic for him, instead of continuing here. Thanks again.

Jun

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