Jump to content

Mandarin And Tangerine In Trouble Again...


Guest asteriskadonis

Recommended Posts

Guest asteriskadonis

Recently (5 days ago) our new orandas recovered from a spell of ich, and we were so happy because we thought that our fish had become well again! However, after a couple days of bliss, we started noticing that our fish were behaving oddly again.

First it was Mandarin, our slightly larger oranda. (Mandarin is about 2 inches not counting the tail; Tangerine is about 1.5 inches long not counting the tail.) He seemed to be having problems breathing. He was breathing heavily, and making what looked like "coughing" or ?gulping? movements with his mouth. Now and then he would swim around frantically. He has also lost a lot of color ever since he got sick with ich about a week ago. The ich is gone, but his deep red color has not yet come back.

This happened for a day, and we hoped that it was simply a result of him just recovering from ich, and still possibly having stress in the gills. Our smaller fish was fine.

However, today the problem got much worse. Mandarin is now sitting on the bottom of the tank almost all the time, and is not very active at all. His "coughing" has gotten worse.

I do not think that the problem is a parasite problem, as our tank solution has been at 0.3% salinity for 7 days now. I think that the problem is bad water conditions. (Which probably caused the earlier ich infection in the first place.)

We have bought an ammonia test kit, (AquaPharm, two-bottle) and discovered levels of about 0.25 ppm. We have been doing water changes daily, as part of our ongoing salt treatment for our earlier ich problem.

We tested the tap water, as a control, and found that it ALSO has ammonia levels, higher than in our tank, between 0.25 and 0.5 ppm.

We also discovered that our municipal water supply contains "chloramines." We have been using AquaPharm brand "tap water conditioner" to treat for minerals and chlorine, however, we have not been adding enough drops for the product to also treat for chloramines, as we did not know that we had them in the water supply before tonight.

So... our problem is probably manifold: we have ammonia in our tank water at a concentration of around 0.25; we don't know how much of that is NH3 or NH4+. We probably also have residual chloramines in our tank water, as we have previously not been adding enough product to break the chloramine bond.

Our tank is relatively new, it has been set up now for about 4 weeks. We have two small goldfish only, and a power filter that filters 100 gallons per hour. Salt is at 0.3% and has been there for 7 days. Temp is 77 degrees. We do not know our pH or nitrite levels- we will be buying these kits tomorrow. (However, our water company says the target pH for our area is about 9.)

What can we do to help our fish as fast as possible? Their symptoms seem to be the result of ammonia stress and/or of chloramine poisoning, which destroys their hemoglobin and causes them to become anemic. We don?t want to completely get rid of all the ammonia in our tank, as that might mess up the cycle we have hopefully by now started to establish. Should we add something like AquaPharm ?Stress Zyme? which would boost our bio filter, or might this mess up what we already have going?

Please help!! Last week was22, but we helped our fish survive ich; we don?t want to lose them now because of problems with water chemistry!!! (Who knew keeping goldfish was so hard? We are trying our best!!!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

If you can, urgently test your ph - with ammonia present and a ph of 9, that's way too high for your fish. Ammonia becomes more toxic when ph levels are high and to be honest, this is the most important test kit you can buy.

Please post back your level of ph asap as this could be the biggest contributing factor :)

Otherwise, it could be another parasite or a bacterial infection brought on by the ich... but as you say, the only thing that's going to build their immunity at this time is perfect water and the only way you'll know whether it's perfect is by testing, testing and testing....

Are you able to get some drop test kits?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I agree with Jen about another parasite or bacterial infection. Yep, there are issues with your water but it wasn't bothering your fish before they became sick.

Salt can be an effective treatment for ich and I've used it myself but it is not 100% effective on all parasites.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest asteriskadonis

We have found some test kits for pH and have the following results:

Tap water pH is above 7.6, and is probably much higher. (our test kit only tests up to 7.6.) The water from our tank has a pH of 7.2, which should be OK. The problem is that in the past week, as part of our treatment for the ich, we had been doing water changes and gravel vacs daily, at about 30% each time. This was probably causing pH levels to fluctuate a lot in the tank, stressing out our fish. Do you guys agree?

The ammonia levels in our tank are below 0.25, which should be safe for our temperature (76) and our pH (7.2) levels. The ammonia in our tap water is at 0.5 or higher, which means that at least our ammonia bacteria has become established.

We are still worried about nitrate and nitrite levels though, and are renting a car in an hour to go to the closest place that we can find test kits for these. We will report those levels when we find them.

We also managed to get some AmQuel, which should help, and will try to get AmQuel+ when we go to the massive vvvv in an hour.

Our fishes symptoms remain the same. Mandarin's "coughing" or "gasping" is getting a bit more convulsive. Here is a link to a video we have of it. (please do not watch over and over, in case I exceed my bandwidth allowed by the university!)

video of Mandarin coughing (LARGE FILE)

Tangerine has also started to get what looks like white smears on his tail. It is not ich- we are not sure what it is at this point. However, he remains very active and otherwise happy. Mandarin remains mostly inactive and heavy-breathing, but will swim around now and then when we look into the tank.

Salt is still at 0.3%.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Gosh, you guys are dedicated to rent a car in order to get fish supplies. :)

Changing 30% of water daily is a good idea while your tank is not fully cycled. I don't think the pH swing would be very large because it's only 30% new water and the pH difference in the tap water is only .4. So when the tap water is mixed in with the tank water the pH rise in the whole tank should be less than .15 which is neglible.

While you are out shopping I suggest picking up a parasite medication such as Jungle Parasite and Fungus Clear. It really seems as though the salt isn't doing the trick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest asteriskadonis

Amazingly, even after renting a car to drive to the nearest vvvv, they were out of all their nitrite and nitrate test kits, so we returned without them.

However, we were able to get a bottle of AmQuel PLUS as well as a bottle of Stress Zyme. As we are still unable to test our nitrite levels, which we suspect may be very high and the cause of our problems at least in part, we have poured a standard dose of AmQuel PLUS into the tank. This should go a long way towards neutralizing any chemical problems we are having without messing up the bio filter.

Conditions of the fish remain the same, except for some changes: Mandarin's poop has been long, thin, and white for about a day now. Because we were initially afraid our problems were caused by overfeeding (which we WERE doing before our fish got ick, we found out) we have fasted them for one day. Mandarin is still pooping out constantly, but it is all thin and white, with clear poop as well sometimes.

Mandarin seems to be having trouble swimming around, when he decides he wants to leave the tank botton.

The fins on both fish have started to get slight blackish or reddish streaks in them, along the edges. Tangerine's tail fin still as the odd white cloudiness that we cannot identify. Mandarin is still having obvious breathing problems- breathing fast and sometimes convulsively. (coughing or gulping problem reported earlier)

We have a bottle of Melafix- should we commence that treatment? Or should we start treating for parasites, or should we start treating for bacterial infections???

We just don't know what to do...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

The AmquelPLUS will help with the nitrItes and make Mandarin a bit more comfortable. As all you have is melafix you may as well use it. I'm not sure if it will do any good but it is a gentle medication and should do no harm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest asteriskadonis

We decided against the Melafix for now, because it doesn't seem like it will likely help with any of our symptoms or possible diseases, and we are afraid that if what we have is some form of gill parasite or gill bacteria infection that Melafix migt irritate the gills.

We have narrowed what we have down to 3 possibilities:

1) internal/gill bacterial infection: consistent with white poop, lethargy, bottom sitting, and problems swimming (Mandarin has started swimming with only one pectoral fin). Also consistent with the fact that over 7 days at 0.3% salt and we are still having problems.

2) gill parasite infection: flukes. consistent with flashing early on after the ich cleared up, and later lethargy, bottom sitting, labored breathing, and again, the fact that whatever this is is surviving in 0.3% salinity.

3) other parasite infection: chilodonella. consistent with breathing problems, gill pumping, bottom sitting, hiding, and fin and tail rot. (and living in 0.3% salt)

Our problem is that we could have ANY of these three problems, or any combination. All our symptoms are present in these three infections, although to me bacterial gill infection or chilodonella seem most likely.

Does anyone have any advice? Specifically, I don't know if there is a way to treat for parasites AND bacteria infections at the same time. If not, or this is too risky, which one should we try first?!

thanks for your help, whoever reads this! :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Good call on the melafix. ;)

Some parasite medications or broad spectrum medications contain an ingredient called acriflavin. This has antibacterial properties also. A good in ingredient mix would be malachite green, methylene blue and acriflavin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest asteriskadonis

An update:

We decided to go with Maracyn 2, which claims to be good for all sorts of bacterial infections, including gill and internal infections. Our symptoms, all in all, seemed to be most indicative of a bacterial problem. The tank has been treated for one day.

As we still have not found a test kit for nitrite, we don't know those numbers, but just as a precaution we have been adding extra AmQuel+ into the tank each day, equivalent to a half-dose, in order to keep any nitrite at bay. (AmQuel+ claims that you can leave extra doses in the tank without toxic effect, which will neutralize any nitrite or ammonia that comes along.)

Temperature has dropped and is holding at 75. pH is steady at 7.2. ammonia is at 0. nitrite and nitrate are also presumably at zero.

We are just trying to keep the water as pristine as possible, to let their own immune systems kick in, and work alongside the antibiotics.

Tangerine seems fine, and is hanging around Mandarin to keep him company. Mandarin seems a bit more active, is no longer sitting at the bottom, and is now usually hanging around the surface, inthe tank corner, not moving very much, but will respond to your presence and swim about, although he still has some difficulty.

Is hanging around at the top a good sign? (At least Mandarin is no longer hanging around at the bottom!)

I hope we are doing the right thing!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest asteriskadonis

We found a new pet store nearby, and got a nitrite kit! (they didn't have a nitrate kit for sale, sadly) The nitrite level in the tank was 0.5 ppm, so we immediately added a full dose of AmquelPlus, which brought it down to 0.25 ppm.

The next day, we tested the nitrite again, and it was somewhere below 0.25 ppm, so we added another full dose of AmquelPlus.

Today, the nitrite is still at 0.25 ppm. I have added yet another full dose of AmquelPlus, but am getting worried because we can't seem to get it to go away.

We are in the middle of a Maracyn2 treatment, so I don't think we can do a water change. Is that true? If I can't do a water change to try to get the nitrite levels down to zero, should I just keep overdosing on AmquelPlus until the nitrite goes away

What should I do?

All other tank params are the same. Ammonia = 0, pH = 7.2, temperature steady at 75.

Also, we have had the tank at 0.3% saline level for about 2 weeks now, as a left-over for treating the ich, and as a guard against whatever new problems we are having. I am starting to get worried about leaving the salt in for so long- will this cause problems?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hi Jen and Annette,

I answered a few question from asteris on another thread he posted in with question related to this thread so I think I'll cut & paste it over here and see if you guys have any comments. :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi asteris,

Umm, we are now talking about your sick fish (from another thread). I'm afraid I don't have much background on them. Did you start a thread elsewhere on them? It might be better if I answer your question there.

But very quickly. M-2 or any water column based antibiotics is only to have limited impact on treating internal bacterial infection (as I mentioned before). If they are eating at all, then give them medicated food.

I can't comment on the parasite angle as I don't know the background. The three common parasites that can have definite impact on gills are ich, costia and fluke. There are others but they are variation of these. If you haven't introduced anything new to the tank then it probably is not parasites.

However, there is one area that might not have be covered. Toxic chemicals in the water. Ammonia poisoning can cause bright red gills and so can other chemicals and even cyanide. Has anyone use any spray or cleaners around the tank?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest asteriskadonis

Hi captk, jen, annette, anyone else who may be out there,

I'm sure that there is no possibility of some kind of outside toxin like cyanide from sprays or cleaners near the tank. We had the fish for 3 weeks before they first got ich, and after the ich cleared up they were well for a few days before whatever the heck went wrong that is now causing all these mystery symptoms.

We now have all the requisite test kits, which cost a fortune, and have been testing several times a day, because it makes us feel like we are at least doing something. Ammonia and nitrite readings have been at zero constantly for a couple days now, nitrate readings have been at around 5.0 ppm, and pH has been constant at 7.2. We have been slowly lowering the temperature about a degree a day (after the ich treatment period ended) and it is now at 73 degrees.

We also bought an air pump and a 4-inch airstone, just to make sure that oxygen is sufficient, in case that helps. We are trying to do everything we can, but this is like an invisible enemy- not like the ich, which we could see and diagnose immediately and easily treat successfully. We can't seem to get a handle on this thing, whatever it is.

The fishes' condition remains the same, if not a little worse. Tangerine is now getting a bit sicker. Both fish huddle together at the bottom almost all day, breathing heavily and at some times convulsively. Mandarin comes up now for food, but, unlike Tangerine, just swims right past it and won't actually injest it. This is very worrying to us, as Mandarin was ALWAYS eating, no matter how bad he looked, until tonight. After coming up briefly, both fish alwas return to the bottom. Fin and tail rot is worsening.

We have done 4 our of 5 days of the Maracyn2 treatment, and it seems to have made absolutely no difference. We cannot find medicated fish food anywhere, even after visiting all 4 pet shops in the area. I can help but think that if the problem WAS bacterial, that the Maracyn2 should have at least helped a little bit. It doesn't even seem to have made the black streaks on our fishes' fins and bodies go away or even diminish. I simply don't know WHAT is going on.

Could be salt-resistant parasites. The fish did swim about quickly and rub a lot about a week ago, but at the time we thought that was just from the ich. Could the ich have left damage in the gills? But if so, why does the problem seem to be worsening? Tangerine seems to be getting worse and worse each day.

Could be resulting from chronic poor water quality- before we started testing, before we knew there was a problem apart from the ich, it seems that their ammonia levels were at a constant 0.25 ppm for at least a week or more, due to the fact that we weren't getting rid of the ammonia resulting from de-chloromination. Thus, when we were doing 30% water changes daily for a week during the ich treatment phase, we were essentially delivering them a fresh batch of ammonia daily. Goodness only knows what the nitrite levels were before we started testing and using AmquelPlus like fiends.

What is the result of chronic ammonia and/or nitrite poisoning? Is it consistend with all our symptoms? Will the fish ever recover, and if so, how long does it take?

This ordeal is starting to become such an emotional strain... I worry about our fishes all day, and every day when I get up in the morning and come back from work I am terrified that I will find one of them floating. They show no signs of dieing, but they also refuse to get better! What else can I do????? :cry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest asteriskadonis

sorry, one more thing occurred to me: what about the salt we used to treat the initial ich outbreak, before all this other stuff happened?

our salt level has been at 0.3% for almost 13 days now. can that eventually cause the problems that we have been having? could this nightmare all be as simple as us leaving such a high salt concentration with two very small goldfish for way too long??? :krazy:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hi asteris,

I know it is distressing and we feel for you but in a lot of cases, there is no magical cure. It is a case of keep trying and not giving up. :heart

Okay, a couple of points. The black marks on the body and fins are quite possibly healing ammonia burns. They look like black haze on the skin. They will go away eventually but can take some time. Meds are not going to do anything for them as they are actually part of the healing process.

Ammonia poison can cause the gills to go bright red or purple. NitrIte poison makes the gill go brown. Have you checked their gills?

As I mentioned before, water column antibiotics has limited effect on internal infections that is why medicated food is useful as it delivers the drugs to where it do the most good. You can buy medicated food online. go0gle medigold, Romet-B and metromeds and you should find online shops with them.

No, 0.3% salt is not an issue. It can be left there for weeks. You can dilute that down to 0.1% if you like as long as it has been at least 6-10 days after the last white spot dropped off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest asteriskadonis

Our tank has suddenly became very cloudy, probably some kind of bacterial bloom. However, all our tests remain negative for ammonia and nitrite, and nitrate levels are low. Pur pH fell from 7.2 to 7.0, which shouldn't be that bad, as small changes around neutral should have little effect on actual water conditions. Hopefully the cloudiness will clear up on its own soon. It doesn't seem to have affected the fish, whose condition remains the same.

Mandarin started eating again last night, although he spat out most (not all!) of the food that we gave him. This was very encouraging, although I wish that he wouldn't spit out his food, and I don't know what this signifies...

Our power was out for about 8 hours, so that, combined with the already cloudy water, made us decide to go ahead and do a 30% water change, because we were worried about oxugen levels, although we should have waited another 8 hours or so to have an exactly full 5 days of the maracyn2 treatment. I don't think that this matters, since the maracyn2 wasn't doing anything anyway, and 8 hours isn't too early, I hope!!

We did finally get a good view of the fishes' gills in the light. I am not sure what color they are suposed to be normally, but the gills on both Mandarin and Tangerine, but especially Mandarin, are a bright, brilliant, deep red color. I suppose that this confirms some sort of ammonia poisoning that happened earlier, which we expected all along. However, we have been carefully monitoring ammonia and nitrite and nitrate levels for almost a week now, and they have been kept at zero.

Does anyone know how long it usually takes for such ammonia damage to get better?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

The M-2 probably upset the tanks ecosystem and your water is a bit unstable now. Unfortunately, it is pointless to say that water is good just because NH3, NO2, NO3 are in the normal range. Lots more stuff goes on in the tank and it doesn't take much to upset the applecart. ;)

A lot of chemical burns and poisonings take a long time to heal as you are literally waiting for cells to regenerate and be replaced.

Asteris, I think it is best that you stay in one thread as info are not flowing between the two and things are missed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest asteriskadonis

ok... so what else besides ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, chloramines, and pH do we need to worry about, if there are more things than these factors that can cause tank water to be bad for goldfish?

so far all the levels of the above chemicals have been kept at zero for over a week (except for nitrate, which stays around 5 ppm due to water changes). we have added the activated carbon back into our filter and are doing 30% water changes once a day, which is slowly making the tank less cloudy.

Mandarin has stopped eating again, and has no not eaten anything for 2 days. He will swim around, but will not keep any food down! Tangerine acts fine, but has lots of black patches on his fins and his wen- recovery from ammonia burns, I suppose.

Does anyone know EXACTLY (more or less) how long ammonia problems take to heal themselves? If they don't improve soon, does this mean that the culprit is likely a salt-resistant parisite?

I hope that our fish can still get better, and that it wouldn't be best to simply put them out of their misery... :cry1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hi asteris,

When we talk about water quality based on NH4, NO2, NO3, pH, KH etc, we are talking about a set of parameters that we can test readily and control within our means. So many other things impact on the water quality. Heavy metals, toxins, bacteria count, fungal spores, oxygen level, CO2 level, phosphate, etc, etc. It can be a real chemcial soup in there just like the air we breath. We take in a lot more stuff than just oxygen. ;)

There is no way to predict how long it takes to heal from any type of chemical burns. It all depends on the degree of damage, the spread of damage and where are the burns on the body.

Parasites have to come from somewhere. If you can't identify the source then it is most likely not parasites.

Unless they lie on the bottom and listing to one side and won't response even when touched, it is not too late. They might recover overnight. That is why I say we need to support them more than cure them. They need to do the healing in a good safe environment. We don't have magical cures but we can support them as they heal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest asteriskadonis

Our fish finally are showing signs of making a (second) recovery!!!

Tangerine has been very hungry and active for days now, although ever day he seems to be getting more black patches on his body and fins, probably the result of healing from previous chemical burns, poor thing. (thank goodness we were finally able to buy our set of kits and have been monitoring water quality very very carefull for over a week now!)

Mandarin had not eaten in 3 days, and was sitting at the bottom. Tangerine would keep him company, which was so cute, but we were very worried. His fins were always erect though, and he would every now and then move to a different spot in the tank, so I tried not to be too stressed out about his condition.

Tonight, after we did another 30% water change, Mandarin suddenly came up to the surface of the water like he wanted to eat again! We quickly fed him and Tangerine some flake food, and... Mandarin started eating! He ate like he hadn't ate in a week (which was almost true...), but we resisted overfeeding him. Afterwards he swam about and pecked at the bottom of the tank and at the plastic plants like old times. We were so relieved! :D

I really really hope that this is a good sign, that even if he still sits on the bottom a lot of the time, that he at least continues to eat, and slowly gets better. His breathing has not been very fast for a couple of days now, so perhaps his gill damage is really better! :lol:

I also hope that whatever went wrong hasn't permanently affected them... I think I read somewhere online that some chemical poisoning problems can permanently stunt goldfish growth?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest asteriskadonis

hello,

I just wanted to give an update, since you were all so helpful to us with our goldfish problems. Mandarin and Tangerine are doing pretty well now. They haven't recovered yet 100%, but both fish are very active again. The difference is like night and day! Just like captk said, the change occurred overnight. One day Mandarin was as listless and lethargic as ever, and the next day he was swimming all over the tank like he was making up for lost time!

Both fish still have a lot of black fin-rot marks, probably just recovering still from damage that happened much earlier. I am sure this will go away though. So it looks like we finally made it!!!

thanks again for all your help. :heart

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...