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Guest karamelina

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Guest karamelina

Hello. First of all, excuse my english, it`s like my 5th language.

So, here`s my problem: a week ago I recieved like a present a little goldfish. It came along with the tank. It`s a small tank- about 3 or 4 gallons. The first two days the fish seemed ok, all I noticed was something like little white spots on his tail. On the third day he began swimming on the top of the water always gasping for air for about 1 minute each time, and then again to normal swim. On the forth day (saturday evening- Murphy`s law I say, all the pet-shops are closed) he began sitting on the bottom, on one side and didn`t move at all. on sunday he looked better, i mean, he was swimming and eating again. On monday, after work I got to the pet-store and axplained the situation and they gave me some medicine about a rot. I came back home and saw half of his tail was gone. I started using the medicine-they said to me i had to use it for three days, and tomorrow is the third, but his tail is getting worse. I went to another shop, and there they told me to make salt baths with cooking salt, but I all i have is iodized salt. So can I use a sea salt? And I don`t know for how long to do these baths. I increased the temeprature and now it`s about 80F and when i did that he began to swim again, but is almost always swimming near the top, gasping for air. Please, can someone help me? I just don`t want him suffering, he`s so little.

So, I don`t have a filter, because in the pet shop yesterday they told me I don`t need it for just one fish in a little tank. They told me to do water change everyday- 20 to 40%.(I was doing this already)

A friend of mine made the tests on the water today, and told me everything is ok, but didn`t tell me the results, so I can`t tell them.

Oh, and the part of the tail that`s missing- on the end of the still staying part there`s a redish line.

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  • Regular Member

I'm not a goldfish expert but it does sound like fin rot. Do you have an air pump on this tank? What type of goldfish do you have? Fancy goldfish need about 10-15 gallons of water and I suspect your water quality may have something to do with your problem. Goldfish are very messy fish and allthough he may be tiny now he will grow and need to be in a filtered tank.

Do you have a plastic rubbermaid type tub you could put him in?

Do you have water dechlorinator you are using with each water change?

Do you have a dropper test? Are you able to give us water parameters of the tank?

I have many friends in Bulgaria and have been there quite a few times, its a lovely country!

I'm sure one of our goldfish experts will be along any minute to help, hang in there!

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Guest Juliosmom

I am very new to goldfish keeping, but I can answer a few of these questions.

First off, yes, you absolutely must have a filter.

Secondly, your tank is too small for a goldfish, even just one. They are horrendously dirty wee beasties and require a minimum of 10 gallons for a fancy goldfish and 15 to 20 for a single tail variety. I would think your ammonia/nitrite is causing the tail problem and medication won't fix that until you have the water quality under control. MORE water changes and big ones. I have just been through the water change issue and an overstocked undersize tank and I feel your pain!!

I'm sure someone much more experienced will answer your note very soon but in the meantime, do a big water change, make sure to condition tap water before adding it to your tank to take the chlorine/chloramine and heavy metals out of it.

Also, the mods on this forum will want to know the answers to the above questions. Considering what the pet stores have told you already, I'm assuming they haven't told you about test kits etc....? Answer what you can and if you can, get to a 'fish' store and get a test kit that will test pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate ASAP!! Search the bulletin board for cycling your tank and testing your water. You'll learn quite a bit in a very short time on the Koko's site if you take some time to read through.

Good luck and I hope I've given you the right info! I'm sure a Mod will correct anything I've said that is incorrect.

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  • Regular Member

Hi and :welcome

Sorry to hear about your problem.Important thing to do is obtain a water test kit and test the ammonia,nitrites and nitrates in your tank.Your problem will have been brought about by poor water quality.Given the size of your tank it would be best to do an immediate 100% water change then do daily water changes.From what you say it does sound like fin rot but you really do need to address the water problem first.Do not use household salt with your fish as it will kill them.Aquarium salt is best however if your fish is under 2inchs do not salt your tank.You will also want to consider a larger tank as a fancy goldfish needs 10gallons of water minimum per fish common/comets require 20gallons minimum per fish.

To aid you better please give as much information as asked for from box above it helps us help you better :)

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Guest karamelina

Thank you very, very much for the answers and the welcoming.

So i`m going to get a new bigger tank with filter and one kit for testing and all the other stuff etc., but i can do this on friday, because my work doesn`t leave me free time at all. But what to do with the fish`s tail till then? can I cure this? And if I can, can it grow back? And what kind of treatment to use? Or all that`s left is to pray the fish will survive on its own? :unsure: Because this rotting just keeps getting to the base of the tail, and I`m afraid it`ll get to his body. :cry

So, I forgot to tell- it`s a fancy goldfish. As for now, i have only the medicine- about rotting and other stuff like fungus etc., another smaller tank (it`s a bowl infact), where I keep the fish when i have to change the water and a dechlorinator. Oh, and some homemade thing a friend of mine gave me from his old tank, that keeps the water warm.

And, Katalist, i`m glad you like my country :D

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Guest MidnightClyde

So i`m going to get a new bigger tank with filter and one kit for testing and all the other stuff etc., but i can do this on friday, because my work doesn`t leave me free time at all. But what to do with the fish`s tail till then? can I cure this? And if I can, can it grow back? And what kind of treatment to use? Or all that`s left is to pray the fish will survive on its own? :unsure: Because this rotting just keeps getting to the base of the tail, and I`m afraid it`ll get to his body. :cry

I'm a newbie to the goldfish world too, but just wanted to give you some helpful advice when buying a tank...and mods, correct me if I'm at all wrong. Like someone said, keep in mind fancy goldies require at least 10 gallons per fish. When it comes to filters, you're going to need a filter that does at least 10gph x your tank capacity. (In other words, for a 29 gallon tank, you need a filter that can cycle 290 gallons per hour).

Apparently, the 'drop' test kits are the way to go. I found out yesterday, that the strip test are, for the most part, unreliable and innacurate (Funny, I have strip tests at home thinking I had a bargain... you learn something from koko's every day! :rofl ). I would recommend getting one of these, and make sure it tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and ph.

As far as your fish goes, finrot, I believe, can be corrected if caught in time. In your case, this finrot was probably caused by poor water quality. I'll let the experts tell you how to treat it from here, but the best thing you can do for your goldie right now is keep his water 100% clean....

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  • Regular Member

So, I forgot to tell- it`s a fancy goldfish. As for now, i have only the medicine- about rotting and other stuff like fungus etc., another smaller tank (it`s a bowl infact), where I keep the fish when i have to change the water and a dechlorinator. Oh, and some homemade thing a friend of mine gave me from his old tank, that keeps the water warm.

I just wanted to add that its not necessary to remove your fish durring water changes. From what I understand this just stresses the fish out even more. What I do is just leave the fish in the tank and take out the old water. Before I add any new water I add the dechlorinator to the tank and then add the water.

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  • Regular Member

Hi there karamelina and :welcome

The only thing I have to add to the already excellent advice is if the rot is making its way to the base of the fin, then this is quite serious :( When stressed, a fish will be susceptible to many problems, one being bacteria as stress leads to a lowered immunity. So when the immunity is compromised, the ability to fight off infection is gone and this is when you see fish deteriorate rapidly.

Meds are usually needed in situations like these but unfortunately they won't work if water quality is less than perfect - this is because they're designed to work alongside of the fish's own immunity to fight infection.

So i would up the waterchanges to 3 x 50% daily - totalling 150% every 24 hours and the reason I suggest this amount for changing is due to the size of the tank. Fish produce an enormous amount of ammonia daily via gill excretion and their poop so the level of ammonia climbs quickly. In a smaller tank, these levels aren't as diluted as they would be in a bigger tank so lots of small waterchanges will help keep the water healthy.

Where abouts do you live? I'm wondering if you have any medicated food available to you?

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Guest karamelina

Hello again and once more thanks for the advices. Tomorrow I`m going to get the new tank, but I wanted to tell you about the present situation: So, when I increased the tempreture of the water two days ago, the fish wasn`t swimming and most of the time stayed on the bottom. Today he`s swimming normally (means he just isn`t stopping) and I have to say he looks much more healthier and happy. And he`s eating again!!! :) And the rot has slowed down, but still continue. So, I m`thinking of a medicine. I found there`s a medicine, they say, that cures the fin and tail rot and makes the tail grow again fast (because the one I have isn`t working). And they also have some special food. And let`s hope that with the new tank and the medicine, my little fish can and will survive.

Oh, and I stopped removing the fish from the tank when i do the water changes three days ago.

I`m posing here the links of some images of the tail of my fish, so you can tell me if it`s serious(I mean-very serious).

tail

tail again

and again

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  • Regular Member

Any type of finrot can turn serious if the underlying cause isn't fixed but if you improve your water first, this will be what helps your fish heal :) Have you increased the waterchanges daily? If not then adding meds really isn't a good idea for your fish especially if it was a water quality issue to start with. So try going with excellent water for a couple of days because in many cases, improving their environment can show the best results.

And good on you for getting a new tank - your fish will be much happier :)

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Guest karamelina

Ok, so I provided the new tank with all the equipment needed for it to run properly. And now I have the tests results from my old tank (the fish is still in it). So here are they:

Ammonia- 0

Nitrite- 0

Nitrate- 20

PH- 6

And I`m doing the daily water change- 20 to 30%.

The fish is feeling alright now, he looks happy and has gained weigth already (by the looks of it- he has gotten too skiny since the rot has started), and he`s swimming and eating and playing at the bottom, but the rot just isn`t stopping. Please, tell me what more can I do?

I was treating the fish with a medicine called Sera costapur for three days, but nothing has changed.

I don`t know what to do, as I can put him in the new tank after two weeks (the man in the shop told me so

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Guest MidnightClyde

Don't go by what the man at the fish store says. He's 'somewhat' right... it should be a few weeks before you can put him in the new tank.

However, you need to wait until the tank is cycled, which could be as little as 2 weeks or upwards of a month. Browse around koko's a little and read up on the tank cylcing process..... there's some really good information on here about it. Do not put your fish into that tank until it's completely cycled.... whether that's 2 weeks or 1+ months. You'll need a test kid for this, but if you put a fish into a cycling tank it'll almost surely kill him. Here's a link for more info and understanding of 'cycling' a tank

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/cycle.html

Also, a question for the more experienced people on here, should you even move a 'sick' fish into a new tank? Considering we're not 100% sure what's causing the finrot, could this possibly contaminate the other tank if you move the fish before completely healing and it actually is a bacterial infection? (Again karamelina, this isn't advice.... I'm seriously asking myself)

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  • Regular Member

MidnightClyde is right, don't take any notice of what the shop guys said about moving the fish. Yes the tank will be cycling, but since your old tank didn't have a filter to begin with there wasn't much cycle to begin with, and the large volume of water will mean that the level of ammonia wont rise as quickly as it would in the smaller tank. Also, you didn't metion whether you got a filter, this is really important to have for goldfish, although most fish store attendants don't know/understand this, most specialise in tropical fish/cichlids and consider goldfish what 5 year olds 'cut their teeth' on in the fish husbandry game. Goldfish are as messy as cichlids, so if you go into a store and tell a fish store attendant you were planning on keeping a cichlid in a 5 gallon tank without filtration, they'd laugh you out of the store... It's a real shame in the western world that goldfish are not considered with as much esteem as they are in the east.

As for treating the fish, yes, you can use sea salt, the reason why they don't want you to use table salt is that iodine is poisonous to fish. it would be best to add the salt to the tank water slowly, but you want to raise it to 0.3% salt, by adding it by 0.1% a day. I have also had luck with tail rot with giving the fish a 20min salt bath at a stronger level, which is not suggested on this board very often, but is good to try and curb the bacteria that is eating away the tail.

I've got a 10litre container and I add 3 tablespoons of aquarium salt, (although in your case seasalt will do) -that's just under a teaspoon per litre. It's quite strong, so you have to keep your eye on the fish while you're doing it, if it starts to float, then it's time to put it back into the tank. I've had a lot of success with the tailrot I've had, and the fish tolerate the high levels of salt for short periods quite well. Give the fish this bath twice a day, and see if it helps. Also if you've got something called Melafix at your local aquarium, this is also a good antiseptic, which will help after the salt baths.

JenW is right, if the rot gets close to the base of the tail, it's a serious disease, and becomes a lot more difficult to treat.

The best thing you can do is keep the water levels perfect ie. ammo = 0, nitrite = 0, nitrate = <20... Also noticed that your pH is quite low, what is the pH of your tap water?

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Guest karamelina

Well, yesterday I just gave up. I found a vet that came home (thanks god he agreed to come and see a 3cm long gold fish-most vets just wouldn`t even consider this) and after seeing the fish and doing some water test also:

Ammonia- 0

Nitrite- 0

Nitrate- 15 (the nitrates in the tap water were about 10)

PH- 6.5

and after I told him about the situation, he said this is a bacterial thing (I forgot to mention here the fish`s poop is stringy and white and veeerrryyyy long) and that probably the fish was already ill when i got it. And that nothing like filters and other stuff would have helped. And now, after the treatment with the medicine it is up to the fish to pass through the illness. So this leaves me nothing but to keep my fingers crossed and wait.

Oh, and I can`t put sea salt even, because the sea salt in my country is also iodized, i understood that it`s forbidden to sell a salt that is not iodized. So if I want to put some salt I have to get aquarium salt.

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  • Regular Member

bummer about the iodised sea salt. -Do you have crushed coral available at your lfs? -just mentioning this as your pH is very low (acidic), this is not going to help your fish which is already under stress. -By adding crushed coral to your filter, you will raise the pH (crushed coral is like calcium carbonate stones, and will dissolve in mild acids thus raising your pH) in your tank to a healthier level. It is really important to try and get your pH to neutral (pH 7), -it's okay if the pH is a little too high, but it's detrimental to the fish if it is too low.

Sorry to hear it's become a systemic infection (stringy white poop is a sign of this), these infections are the most difficult to treat. :( Good luck, and remember, if things don't work out, this was not your fault. As the vet said, it was probably sick before you got it.)

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Guest Kiki Lola

Aw it's such a pretty fish, reminds me of my kiki :) i hope it all works out for you.

I've been to Bulgaria many times (love it) and I have noticed there is a lack of animal experts over in your country. Your fish seller should have advised you of the proper conditions to keep your fish in :(

Good luck!

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Guest karamelina

Hello. I just wanted to tell you that at the moment my goldfish is feeling better and what`s more important his tail is GROWING BACK!!!! :krazy:

I couldn`t bew more happier. And his poop is getting better. Now it`s black and little.

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