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White Bumps On Veiltail


szinke

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The symptoms one of my veiltail goldfish has is that its tail is showing white spots. I know what ich is and this is not ich. The spots are small and round and stick up a little... and they are spreading. At the pet shop, I was given tetracycline as the store owner thought it sounded like columnaris. But without a fish vet, how can I be sure? The fish seems to be losing steam. I feed koi pellets which I soak for 10 minutes and only enough that they can eat it all in under 3 minutes. Also defrosted frozen peas. It lives with one other goldfish in an Eclipse System 12 (12 gallon bio filtered system). I tested the water: no ammonia, nitrite, nitrates and ph is a little high (8.0) but given the fish's condition, I didn't want to acidify the water. I salted the water. Did 20% water changes every other day for several weeks but still the spots are spreading. Right now they are still on the tail so I want to catch the disease before it spreads to vital areas. I moved the other fish to a separate tank and started the tetracycline treatment today. I also submitted this post in the "fish vet" topic because I'm desperate to find a fish vet in the southern or central coast area of california.

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Hi, dont' think I have seen you around.

Sorry to hear you are having issues with your fish.

My first concern is 0 nitrates. How long has your tank been cycled?

Could you answer all the questions above? This is important for us to help you.

My other concern is that it sounds like ich. A picture would be helpful. You can post on photobucket.com for free and link us.

Post back soon.

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Hi Laura,

Thank you for answering my post.

I uploaded pics to photobucket.com, album "szinke". Please look at the white bumps on the tail and let me know what you think. I've had my vailtail for 4 years in the same tank so I know it's cycled. It grows algae so it definitely supports life. I think the nitrates are low because I've been doing a 20% water change every other day for several weeks to see if it cleared up the problem. I just retested before this post. I just joined this forum because the only fish vet in my area retired this year. I'm desperate to find another. Please help with this diagnosis.

Ammonia Level = 0

Nitrite Level = 0

Nitrate level = 10

Ph Level = 8.0.

Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running: 12 gal, 4 years

What is the name and size of the filter/s Marineland Bio Wheel, Eclipse System 12.

How often do you change the water and how much: 50% weekly. Lately, 15% - 20% every other day.

How many fish in the tank and their size: 2 goldfish. 4 inches each.

What kind of water additives or conditioners: I use Kordon Nove Aqua and AmQuel

Any medications added to the tank: today I introduced dose 1 of tetracycline.

Add any new fish to the tank: No

What do you feed your fish: Hakari Koi Pellets plus defrosted skinless peas. I feed only as much as they consume in under 3 minutes.

Any unusual findings on the fish: White bumps on tail fins.

Any unusual behavior: Fish is an enthusiastic eater at mealtimes but stays in its "house" most of the day (an opaque glass cup).

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Hi Szinke :) I think one of the biggest problems you face is space for your goldies. 2 x 4 inch goldies should be living in at least 20 gallons of water as they're such messy things so water quality could then lead to stress and stress lowers the immunity letting many opportunistic nasties in.

Is there any way you can paste the link of the pics? Otherwise we have no way of being able to see them.

When you say white lumps, do they look pale and waxy to you?

Will wait until you post the link to the pics :)

PS. Is there any way you can retest your nitrates? In a cycled tank, they should be present as nitrates are the final conversion of ammonia and nitrites so you should be seeing a number there :)

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

Thanks Fred :D

Yes, these look to be the lumps I'm talking about and a couple of my fish have them. They disappear when the temps are warmer and reappear as the water temps cool - also, they appear when fish become a little stressed. If they're the waxy spots, they're viral in nature don't cause any harm. Do you see any other symptoms? Also, what's the temp in your tank at the moment?

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The link to the pics is http://s123.photobucket.com/albums/o297/szinke/

Please let me know what you think. Could it be fungus, ich, or both? I am wondering if I should continue the tetracycline treatment (Today was the first dose).

I think getting a bigger tank is a great idea and I hope to do that this month. I like Marineland products so plan to get the same bio filter system in the next size up: 25 gallons.

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I just retested the Nitrates and they are between 10 and 20ppm. (Not sure about the effect of the tetracycline on Nitrate readings). Water temp is 70 F. The lumps are pale but not sure whether waxy or cottony. My concern is that they are spreading. However, the fish is not languishing and eats energetically though for the last month or so, the only time it comes out of its "house" is for meals.

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As you've dosed with tetracycline, you'll need to finish the round. It may cause problems with your cycle because being an antibacterial med, it can disturb/destroy the good bacteria in your filter. Have you removed any carbon you may have? It will affect your nitrates if it destroys your cycle because without any good bacteria to convert ammonia and nitrites, the nitrates will start to drop. So testing often will help :)

I think it's viral and it does multiply quickly. My blackmoor has about 8 white spots on his fins but they've been coming and going for over a year. Whenever it happens, i increase the temp of his tank to around 80 and they start to vanish.

If it is viral, then the tetracycline won't have an affect but if it's bacterial or fungal, it should do some good.

How long have the lumps been present?

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:) if you have the budget, i'd actually go as big as you can. 25 gal meets the minimum, but your fish will be happier with more swimming space. :heart just a thought!
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I agree with Jen, these bumps look to be ok. I don't know much about the viral infection however I think it would be fine to leave it for now. But as Jen said finish the meds so the fish doesn't become resistant.

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As you've dosed with tetracycline, you'll need to finish the round. It may cause problems with your cycle because being an antibacterial med, it can disturb/destroy the good bacteria in your filter. Have you removed any carbon you may have? It will affect your nitrates if it destroys your cycle because without any good bacteria to convert ammonia and nitrites, the nitrates will start to drop. So testing often will help :)

I think it's viral and it does multiply quickly. My blackmoor has about 8 white spots on his fins but they've been coming and going for over a year. Whenever it happens, i increase the temp of his tank to around 80 and they start to vanish.

If it is viral, then the tetracycline won't have an affect but if it's bacterial or fungal, it should do some good.

How long have the lumps been present?

I took out the carbon and will finish the antibiotic treatment. The lumps have been present for about 6 months. I first noticed them shortly after the fish injured itself on an aquarium decoration (tore a tail fin). He seemed to recover just fine, or so I thought. Perhaps it stressed him and lowered his immune response.

Thank you so much for your help.

--Shayne

ps. I'm buying a 29 gal Eclipse today.

I agree with Jen, these bumps look to be ok. I don't know much about the viral infection however I think it would be fine to leave it for now. But as Jen said finish the meds so the fish doesn't become resistant.

Thank you for your help. :)

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Shayne, in my experience this is a rash caused by contact with surfaces which have a film of bacteria on them. It appears more on the tail and fins because they make more contact with surfaces and there is less slime coat on the fish in those areas to protect from the irritation. Simply scrub all the surfaces which the fish's tail and fins come into prolonged contact with like the bottom of the tank and the glass sides of the tank until they are squeaky clean (another reason I keep my tanks bare bottom). If you run your fingers across the glass and it feels slimy, then it has a bacterial film on it.

The fish's natural immunity will clear the rash on its own once the cause of the problem is eliminated, so no need for medication or salt etc.

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Gratz on getting the new tank. Can you add a HOB on the back of those? Cause my understanding is those eclips(sp) do not filter enough water for a goldfish. Or maybe add a canster to the tank.

Hope your fish gets better soon.

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Guest ctrainor

I am curious to get more info on these clear bumps as two of my fish also have these. Like you guys said, they come and go and don't seem to harm the fish at all. Please give me all the detailed info you have on this virus. Thanks!

Christan

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Please give me all the detailed info you have on this virus. Thanks!

It's not a virus. It's a reaction to sustained phyiscal contact with bacteria (or some other unknown microbe) irritating the fish where the slime coat is too thin to provide a shield. Simply keeping the surfaces pristine where the fish's fins come into long-term contact with will ensure the 'virus' goes away, which means it's not a virus.

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AW - do you have more information on this? My fish have these bumps that clear with raised temperatures and I clean the surface of my tanks weekly and do 70% waterchanges - so there's no growth on the tank walls. I'd be curious to see more information on this outcome - especially as it affects my fish also :)

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Just my experience with Big Red, Jen. He actually does have a virus with tumour growths coming out if his back and eye, but because he's not 100% he bottom sits all the time where he gets these blisters on his tail where it comes into prolonged contact with the bottom and side glass. His tail blisters are totally different from the actual virus growths. A blister compared to a wart.

These blisters start appearing if I don't clean the surface squeaky clean every 4 or 5 days, so it doesn't take much I think. I'm guessing it's a combination of the amount of bacteria x the amount of contact time. So a small amount of microbes can cause it if the contact is continuous, or a large amount of microbes with shorter contact time. Either way, the blisters clear away pretty quickly (within a day or two) on their own without any meds or salt, which isn't something I'd imagine a virus would do. Antibacterials could help control the bug levels, but a good scrub does a better job I think!

PS. I have a UV unit on his tank, so maybe it's only in my case the surface is the culprit instead if the general water. I would assume if it was water-born bugs, it would still affect the areas on the fish with the least slime coat protection like the tail. So I guess it's just a matter of deciding if the blisters are appearing only on the parts of the tail which contact surfaces, or they appear all over the tail. The real clincher for me though was that I've only ever seen these blisters' appear on the dorsal fin (which usually never comes in contact with anything) on a fish that was upside down, otherwise they never appear on the dorsal fin, which is when I started coming to my conclusions about what it is and what causes it.

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Are they blisters? or waxy lumps? My guy has waxy lumps that appear on the caudal fins - never any place else and as soon as i raise the temp to around 80, it slowly starts to abate but when winter comes, so too the lumps. They remain on the fins for some time, and at the littlest sign of stress, reappear... I think my guy's are viral and i've learnt no amount of meds will resolve it.

ctrainor - here's the information I found when I was searching for an answer:

Waxy lumps

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Here's a large close-up picture of the 'waxy' white bumps caused by carp pox, courtesy of a norwegian fish site:

http://koi.no/helse/images/wiggocarppox.jpg

If yours looks like this Jen, then your fish definitely has the virus! (That temperature affects it is a very interesting observation I've not seen anywhere else, so you may be onto something there).

To my eye though, they don't look like the symmetrical round blisters on szinke's veiltail (or on my Big Red) but rather like asymmetrical milky tumours. And they seem to grow on the surface of the fin rather than from inside it. The term 'waxy' is misleading I think as it applies to both really. One other major difference is that the pox appears on the body as well, not just fins, so if it's on the fins only and only where the fins make contact with any surfaces, I suspect it's just a rash rather than the pox.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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I wanted to thank you for your help with my veiltail. She is doing very well. I found a fish vet who diagnosed "Carp Pox", a kind of herpes virus for which fish have can a genetic propensity. The solution was the same as yours: heat the water to 80 and the pox magically disappear. Now I keep the water at a steady 72 degrees and everything is fine. I switched to "Pro-Gold" and they are happy. My new tank finally finished cycling and so they are now both happy in their new 30 gallon home. Merry Christmas!

Shayne

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That's great news Shayne. I love hearing about positive outcomes. :)

Jen and everyone else were absolutely right about what the white spots were, and I was wrong so I'm glad you took their advice!

What appears on my fish must be completely different because I used to keep my tanks at a constant 27C (80.6F) and the white spots still appeared if I didn't keep the tank glass and bottom pristine.

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