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Julian's Tail Is Fraying!


Guest jeffandjen

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Guest jeffandjen

We've just noticed splits in the tail of our goldfish Julian.

We've had him and his friend Ricky since we got them as small feeder fish in the summer of 2005.

They spend more than half of the year in a tub pond (with pump/waterfall & aquatic plants) on our balcony, and we bring them indoors for the winter to a size 10 aquarium and filter.

The only ornament in the aquarium is a large plastic hollow stump with various holes, with plastic plants attached to it. Julian likes to have a place to hide so he goes into it frequently and we worry he may be snagging his tail on some part of it.

Should we ditch the structure? Add salt? Take other steps?

These are our first fish, but we've grown quite attached to them, so would appreciate any advice.

J&J

goldfish%20julian.jpg

* We have no test results

* Tank size = 10 gal, running for six weeks

* Whisper Bio-Bag filter

* Water change = Once / month. 30 %

* Two goldfish, 1.5" to 2"

* No additives/ meds

* No new fish

* Food = TetraFin goldfish pellets

* Only unusual findings = frayed tail

* No unusual behaviour - very active, healthy appetites

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  • Regular Member

Your picture didn't show up, so I can't see what kind of goldfish Julian is :(

One thing that I noticed, is that your tank has only been running for 6 weeks, so you could be dealing with a cycling issue. When you first set up a tank, it goes through a process of developing beneficial bacteria in the filter material, on ornaments and on gravel. These bacterias process ammonia and nitrite (which are deadly to fish) and convert them to nitrate. Nitrate isn't harmful to fish unless it reaches very high levels. These levels are kept in check by regular water changes.

I would suggest a few things. If you can, take a sample of your water to a fish store and have them check it, particularly for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph. Get the numbers, not just "good or bad", and post the numbers back here. That will give us a good idea of what is going on with your water.

I would also do a large water change in your tank asap. (Take your water sample first, though). I would change out about 80% of the water. Replace with water that is close in temperature and use a good water conditioner. Use a gravel vac to clean the gravel at the same time.

I would rinse out the filter bag in dechlorinated water. Empty out the charcoal in the bag, but keep the filter bag intact and reuse it after it has been rinsed. Charcoal becomes saturated and can be a detriment in the tank after it is a month old. It isn't necessary and most experienced goldfishkeepers do not use charcoal on a regular basis. You can continue to use the same filter bag for months and months (basically until it wears out).

I would add salt to the tank. Use 1 TEASPOON per gallon. Use aquarium, pickling, kosher, coarse or sea salt (a salt without additives). Dissolve in tank water before adding. Salt will act as a bit of a tonic and will help heal Julian's fins.

With good water, Julian's fins should heal in a few weeks.

I would suggest doing about a 40-50% water change weekly for your fish. If possible, you will most likely have to move up to a larger tank in future. Goldfish get very large and will outgrow the 10 gallon.

Please keep me posted on his progress and feel free to ask questions.

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For some reason, I am just getting one of those annoying little red x's where your photo should be, and when I click on the link I am informed that I am not authorized to look at this page :(

Are you familiar with Photobucket? Can you use that photo hosting site?

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Guest jeffandjen

For some reason, I am just getting one of those annoying little red x's where your photo should be, and when I click on the link I am informed that I am not authorized to look at this page :(

Are you familiar with Photobucket? Can you use that photo hosting site?

OK. I think I figured out what was wrong. Can you see the photo this time....

goldfishjulian.jpg

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Yes, I can see the photo this time. And Yazooo is right, you do have a sarasa comet and he is lovely.

I can see the fin problem. I would do what I suggested. The large water change and add salt at 1 teaspoon per gallon as instructed. Then up your water changes to once weekly of 40-50%. If you keep your water pristine, your fish's tail will heal quickly.

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Guest jeffandjen

Yes, I can see the photo this time. And Yazooo is right, you do have a sarasa comet and he is lovely.

I can see the fin problem. I would do what I suggested. The large water change and add salt at 1 teaspoon per gallon as instructed. Then up your water changes to once weekly of 40-50%. If you keep your water pristine, your fish's tail will heal quickly.

Thank you so much for the advice.

We have done a 75 % water change, vacuumed the gravel and added 10 tsp of salt in total to the 10 gal tank. We have also switched filters, added 5 mL of Cycle bacteria and 10 ML of water conditioner.

We 'll do the frequent water changes as directed. Should we continue to add 1 tsp of salt / gallon of water replaced in those changes? For how long should we do that before reducing the salt level in the tank?

The water now seems slightly cloudy. Is that normal?

We should be able to get a water test from our local shop in the next day or two.

Thanks!

J&J

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Guest jeffandjen

When we did the big change we also removed the main ornament.

It's a large hollow plastic stump with four openings into the inside of it, and a bunch of plastic plants afixed.

We had worried the plastic plants might be a hazard.

But on close examination, we noticed the inside of the stump has many razor-sharp plastic edges that could easily have done damage to Julian's tail. So we're keeping that out for now. If we reinstall it, we'll sand down sharp parts first.

For now we have a ceramic pot on its side in the tank to offer a hiding area.

J&J

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It is a good idea to remove the ornament with sharp edges and remedy that problem.

Yes, replace the salt that you remove. Salt at that level is a bit of a tonic for goldfish and will help heal the tail.

The cloudiness should disappear in the next day or so.

Also, if it were me, I would add another filter to the tank. Your tank is overstocked, and you should have a minimum filter pumping ability of 100 gph. I usually run two filters on all of my tanks.

How does the tail look today?

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Guest jeffandjen

Update: As of today (Saturday) Julian's tail looks about 75 per cent healed.

Still a little way to go, but we are seeing much progress.

Both the fish are frisky and energetic.

We'll continue the weekly water changes.

Thanks again so much for your excellent advice.

J&J

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