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Urgent Help - Severe Problem With Fantail


Guest kazlper

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Guest kazlper

Hi - hope you can help me. Im really worried about my goldfish. I have been keeping fish successfully for 6 years but have never seen a problem like this before. It basically started approx 8 months ago when my large fantail developed a large, cauliflower like tumor on its head. It didnt seem affected by the tumor - nothing changed in its behaviour and it was eating normally. I kept an eye on it and over the coming months, it just seemed to shrink and when completely flat, with no signs it had ever been there.

Approx 1 month ago, for no apparrent reason (ie no changes in all the other fish, water quality, tank setup or new fish added to tank) the same fish started severe flashing, whirling and seemed to be having "fits" in the tank. It was so severe that I had to remove the ornaments in the tank as it kept catching and ripping its tail. I tested the water for any changes and it was all perfect (ie, PH level fine, no ammonia, nitrate or nitrite). I spoke to my local aquarium specialists (really excellent shop and great for advice). They just recommended I do a few water changes and dose the tank with salt. I did this and after a couple of weeks, it gradually returned to normal and its tail has grown back.

Hower, in the last two weeks, where the tumor once was, a small hole started to appear in its head. It wasnt bleeding or didnt have anythink leaking on it, it was just a small, neat hole. It was behaving normally, so i just kept my eye on it. However, in the last week, the hole has increased in size (its still a clean neat hole), but its getting quite deep now - ie, you can see skin and muscle tissue, buts its not bleeding or weeping. My fish has also started to have "fits" again, is whirling aroung and flashing at the surface and "dithering" at the mout. Ive searched the internet but it doesnt seem a "typical" ulcer or hole in the head disease, as there is just one hole. It also seems to have lost weight quite severely over the last few days (its constantly active and just cannot rest, or sleep). I phoned my local trusted aquarium dealers and they suggested a water change, anti-internal bacteria and salt solution. I have done all these but it doesnt seem to be getting any better.

My nearest vet who specialises in fish is 40 miles away and wont give advice over the phone. Im scared of taking it in case it has fits in the car. I was concerned that it might have TB, but again, its not showing a lot of the symptoms. The hole seems to have stopped growing now, so im hoping we might have halted it for now.

Please help if you can - he's my favourite fish and ive had it for years and its really upsetting seeing him in this state.

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? approx same

Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running? 35 gallons - 5 years

What is the name and size of the filter/s? Interpet - largest size for tanks

How often do you change the water and how much? half a tank, approx every 6 weeks - but test water weekly - if it needs more frequently we change it.

How many fish in the tank and their size? 2 x goldfish approx 5/6 inches, 1 x goldfish approx 2 inches, 1 x plec 2 inches, 1 x bottom feeder 4 inches (eel like fish).

What kind of water additives or conditioners? just added aquarium salt, other than that, none

Any medications added to the tank? anti-internal bacteria

Add any new fish to the tank? no

What do you feed your fish? fish flakes, blood worm, cucumber - fed the same for years

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

bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? ripped fins due to erratic behaviour and catching on ornaments

Any unusual behavior like staying

at the bottom, not eating, ect..? trying to eat but keepts having "fits", severe flashing at surface, whirling and tumbling

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  • Regular Member

Hi :welcome It sounds like you have hole in the head disease combined with parasites.As both disorders can occur combined.

As flashing is a common symptom of a parasitic infection.The link gives you info on treatment for the condition.

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cl...&articleid=2586

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Guest kazlper

Hi

Many thanks for the fast response and the article. I'll nip down to the aquatics shop tomorrow to see if they have the suggested treatment in the article. Im loath to remove it from the tank, as when I did this last time he had the "fits", etc, he seemed to get much worse. Is hole in the head treatable or is it usually a fatal condition?

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  • Regular Member

hole in the head can be treated successfully when caught early.I'm sure with treatment your guy will pull through :)

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Guest kazlper

Thanks for that - i hope so too. :) Ive been reading up on hole in the head, but I wasnt sure it was that - as its only one hole in the exact place where the tumor was. I was starting to think that it could be the tumor again but growing internally. Are there any other symptoms with hole in the head? Also, whats the best treatment for parasites?

Ive also been reading conflicting information about adding aquarium salt - some info on the internet says to add it, but some say it may irritate the wound.

Do you think it might help if I post a photo of the wound?

thanks again for the advice

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  • Regular Member

Yes a photo would help.The treatment in the link I posted will treat the hole in the head and get rid of the parasites.

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Guest kazlper

Hi again

Having a few problems uploading the photos (it took ages to get some decent ones as well due to the erratic swimming of the fish). I'll upload them as soon as I get the problems sorted out.

Thanks

Karen

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Guest kazlper

Hi

Ive managed to get the photos uploaded - links to them are below

http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r4/kazl.../S6000341_2.jpg

http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r4/kazl...%20fish/new.jpg

http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r4/kazl...0fish/fish1.jpg

thanks v much for your help . I'll try the treatment and keep you updated - hopefully he'll pull through. :)

Karen

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Hi Karen and :welcome

It looks like a definite case of Hexamita (hole in the head) and blue's given you some excellent information. I'd like to make a suggestion if I may.... I notice your guys are single tail and getting bigger and as such, their waste load would be increasing a great deal. In a perfect situation, they would benefit from 20+ gallons of water each but if this isn't possible, I would definitely increase the waterchanges to weekly - at least 50%. Doing waterchanges every 6 weeks means that the bacterial count in the water will continue to increase and any time your fish has a lowered immunity, opportunistic bateria will take hold. This is why it's so important to keep up waterchanges weekly - especially if you're overstocked. Unfortunately test kits won't show the other contaminants lurking in the water but waterchanges will help to resolve these.

Another question I have is your nitrates - in a fully cycled tank, you should have a reading. Would you be able to test again and post back the number?

Hopefully you'll be able to resolve it with the meds Blue suggested :)

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Guest kazlper

Hi Jen

Thanks for the advice - ill try changing the water weekly as well and see if that helps. To be honest, ive had them years now and they were only little when I got them, so theyve grown loads over the last few years and I havent changed the water cycling to accommodate (i didnt think really to be honest, cos the readings have always been fine), so ive probably brought on some of this myself :(

I used my last bit of nitrate test kit and didnt quite have enough, which is why the readings probably low. I'll pick up some more today and do another reading.

Thanks again for the advice and ill let you know how I get on. He's eaten a bit this morning so thats more promising :)

Karen

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Guest kazlper

Hi Jen

Thanks for asking. Unfortunately, he's got a log worse :( Ive got the medicine recommended from the link that Blue suggested, but I think he's got an internal bacterial infection now (although the hole in his head is healing up) He's got "popeye" in both eyes and he's all red under his skin from his tummy until the end of his tail. He's just lying on his side at the bottom of the tank now.

Im going to take him to the vets tomorrow - he seems to be really suffering so im hoping that the vet will either have another suggestion / stronger medicine or if not, be able to put him to sleep peacefully for me.

Its a shame, cos I luv him to bits - he's really friendly and always brushes against me when im cleaning the tank (and he's let me stroke him a couple of times as well!!) and he's always responsed to my voice as well.

I'll let you know how I get on anyway but thanks for all the advice - hopefully he might improve and ill have some good news :)

regards

Karen

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