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Long Term Problem Getting Much Worse

Guest Dico

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Hey i posted a long while back about my lil fish bubbles. He always has been a bit funny, flipping at times and never has grown an inch since i got him almost a year ago.

Anyway over the last few weeks his situation has got much worse.

He is currently hunched over swollen on one side and cannot swim. This time 2 weeks ago i had the same problem and literally thought he was about to die however sticking him in a hospital tank and with close maintenence brought him back to reasonable health.

He is now back to that state however, the hospital tank isn't capable of supporting water for more than a day it seems without it growing a hardtop and i have run out of aquasafe.

Other observations i've noticed over recent weeks are that he has on one side swollen and it seems to be reddy under the scales so to speak. Even when seemingly normal he is crocked to one side from his midrift backwards.

My situation, the heater is in the tanks with the filters however i cannot detach the heater and any filters seem to suck the poor thing in when he can't swim.

I have both salt and medigold however he doesn't like eating it..i tend to isolate him until he's ate it.

He is currently in a small bowl overnight with the last of the aquasafe in so it's fresh.

I can't post params as i have run out and its 2:28am however i'll fill the rest in.

Tank size: 60l supposedly, i do have a bigger one but it always ends up dirty and doesn't have a heater/adequete filtration...running a year on saturday i think.

Filters: Juwel standard, Cascade 450.

Water changes: Weekly normally however the two times he's been really bad i've had to leave it ten days to a fortnight to change water..i know this is obvious in an overcramped tank but he literally goes loopy overnight and i don't have all the spare time in the world. Change about 80 percent weekly.

Fish: 2, bubbles is about an inch or 2, Bert is about 4 or 5 inches.

Additives: Aquasafe, occasionally salt

Medicines: Only the medifood which is impossible to get bubbles to eat..its on the floor before he can see it and he'd never find it i dont think.

New Fish: nah

Food: flakes and frozen however over recent times its only been medifood.

Unusual: read above, swelling, funny dark colour under scales now clamped fins.

Behaviour: every bad behaviour in the book now, gets around by spinning himself then always misses the target.

Hope you guys can help, my problem is i have a small room without adequete time/space to do everything correctly...i just hope i can get rid of these problems once and for all and bubbles may actually be able to eat and grow. He really stunts Berts growth as i can't allow him to eat lots and grow. I could use my bigger tank but it's older and a bit scruffy.

thanks all.

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  • Regular Member

Sorry to hear your fish isn't well.

Obviously the first place to start is knowing what the water quality is. My recommendations is to get tests and post them asap. Until then sit out water to do a change overnight. This will help with not having a water conditioner.

You will also need this.

It is hard to say what is going on without knowing all the infomation needed.

It could be bacterial in nature or ???????????

Getting him to eat is a priority as well.

Post back soon and we can go from there.

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the water in the tank is normal however i've isolated him into a bowl and he seems to be doing a little better in fresh water. Obviously i'm changing this water however i'm not sure whether i should be adding salt. I think he's ate the medical food i gave him this morning which is a plus.

It's the fact that he's slightly bent in the middle and has been for a long long time that concerns me, also the reddening in his midrift under the gills is getting progressively worse over time.

What do ulcers look like on fish? could it be that?

thanks for the reply

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Ok, may I ask how you know the water is ok if you aren't testing it?

Water can look crystal clear and clean and be as deadly as they come.

I still stand behind checking the water first, it is where to begin, without knowing what it is like, well to be honest treating may be a waste of time. I am afraid that having him in a bowl may only make things worse. Sorry to harp on water, but that is where to begin.

Any time a fish is bent into a position like a "C", it is not good news. They usually don't bounce back from that.

If it is an ulcer, salt may help, but I always view it would I want salt on an open wound I have?? Probably not, I think it wouldn't feel good.

The reddness on his underside may be a bacterial infection.

How to treat that is "perfect" water (not guessing but knowing) and medicated food for 2 weeks.

You are welcome for the help, I can only suggest what I know to be true.

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oh no i have tested the water, i just didn't bother posting all the results as i isolated him and didn't see the relavance.

Before i did a water change my nitrates were rather high however after the waterchange i mentioned it brought it to:

Ammonia: 0

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: 15

PH: 7.5

As for the C then fair enough, he's been like it for a month now but keeps bouncing back...just this time it appears to be quite serious.

I didn't want to randomly apply salt without good reason.

I have removed him from the bowl and placed him back into a tank.

I have medi food it's just its so hard to get him to eat it while in a tank. I shall keep feeding him the medigold then.

Anywhere where i could find pics to see what an ulcer looks like?

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Ok thanks, how high were the nitrates? This could be part of the problem. See even though they are good now, high nitrates for any given time can start to poison the fish (if they are high enough) so one can't expect once they are down for the problem to immediately disappear.

So let's work that out first.

I am not sure where you can find a picture of the ulcer, keep checking the site here and the net I am sure you are bound to find one.

Just a thought, but remember each time he "bounces" back means the less likely he is too do so.

Post back soon with the nitrates original readings and we can go from there. I think it was a good idea to return him to the tank.

What is the temp of the tank?

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Thanks for that great link there, it helped to establish that i'm pretty sure that isn't teh problem...similar symptoms but looks completely different.

The nitrates were around 40 before i changed the water, it gets harder to tell the higher the reading on my cards but im pretty sure it was around 40.

The temp of the tank isn't very high, i isolated him again earlier to feed him as he doesn't eat otherwise and can't survive with the currents so has to hide in a corner.

I really am finding it difficult to leave him in a tank situation as its difficult to treat him while avoiding any side effects on my other fish..he tends to eat all the medi food instead etc and i dont want to turn his filters off to stop the currents.

I'm going to ensure tip top water quality and isolate him to feed him, as you guys are hinting at it i'll raise the temp of the tank too and see if that has any big difference. Thanks for the help, i didn't think Nitrates could make THAT bigger difference once the tanks cycled.

Merry christmas everyone!

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