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Dangerously Ill Fish - Please Help!


Guest Blue_moor

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Guest Blue_moor

Hi, I'm new here, I wish it was under happier circumstances but I'd like to say hello and ask for some advice and help. My black moor is in serious trouble, he is mainly floating on the top of the water on his side and his body is curved round. I think his swimbladder has gone, I first noticed he wasn't himslf a few days ago and his fins were a bit damaged. However yesterday I found him floating and I thought he was dead but he was still breathing and his eyes were still full of life. He trys to swim now and again but he can't swim properly and is even turning upside down. He has fed a little from the plant and bogwood but I've tried to put flake food right by him but he can't manuvere round to eat it, although he's obviously trying.

Today over 24 hours later he hasn't improved and I am really upset to see him suffering like this. I wondered if I should put him out of his misery, but I wouldn't know how to and I don't want to completely abandon hope as he seems to be putting up a good fight. His fins seem to be getting worse and they are going white round the edges. I will answer the questions as best I can.....I hope you can help me and Boris :ill

Test Results for the Following:

Ammonia Level? Nitrite Level? Nitrate level? Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines)? Ph Level out of the Tap? Havn't done the tests, I am going to get the guy in the shop to test the water tommorrow for me.

Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running? Not sure on Gallons, but the tank is about 2 foot by 1 foot and 1.5 foot deep. It has been going for about 3 and a half months.

What is the name and size of the filter/s? Fluval Plus 2

How often do you change the water and how much? Change about 3rd of water once a week.

How many fish in the tank and their size? Boris who is ill is 3inches long, there is also one other - a normal goldfish, Carlos who is 2inches, he is in perfect health.

What kind of water additives or conditioners? Cycle and dechlorinator

Any medications added to the tank? No

Add any new fish to the tank? The ill fish has been here about a month.

What do you feed your fish? Flakes, pellets

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

bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? The moors fins are frayed and white at edges, I think he was also injured by the pump.

Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, ect..? As described at start of post

Please, please, please help! Thanks in advance :(

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Guest Blue_moor

Also I forgot to say that I've had to temporarily turn the pump off as it keeps pulling Boris towards it and he could get his fins trapped again, theres no way he's strong enough to swim against the current.

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  • Regular Member

Hi there, Blue Moor, and :welcome !

Unfortunately, most of us ended up here because of a negative experience or illness with the goldfish, so you are in good company. :)

I have to say that all the symptoms you are discribing it doesn't sound too good for the fish. Getting pulled onto the intake tube of the filter shows some serious weakness in the poor guy, and I am not sure if we can do anything for him at this point.

Curving of the spine like that can be caused by multiple things - toxins in the water, constant exposure to high nitrates, internal bacterial trouble. He hasn't eaten at all, but is trying? Maybe if you hold him gently, lift only the head out of the water, and the fish will automatically open its mouth. Its a reflex, and gives you the chance to drop a food pellet into his mouth. Hopefully he'll keep it in.

Other than that, and without knowing your exact readings for ammonia/nitrites/nitrates/pH and such, it is really hard to tell. From the tank measurements, sounds like its a 10 gl tank, 15 gl at the most, which is a bit on the small end for two fish.

For now, until you get the water readings, the only thing I could tell you is to do a nice, good water change with temperature/pH matched water, maybe add some salt to the water. 1 teaspoon per gallon of water, and NOT the usual cooking salt. Anything that has something else in there besides just plain salt isn't good - I use pickling salt, rock or solar salt. Of course, aquarium salt will do it too. Or the salt the ice cream is made with, that is also okay.

Get the water tested, and we can go from there. I just hope the poor guy makes it through the night.

Sorry that I can't bring you more good news at this point... :(

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Hi and welcome.I'm in total agreement with Andrea on this.Anytime you see a fish having problems,the very first thing you should try, would /should be a big water change.It doesn't take long at all for toxins to build up,and hopefully doing this will show some sort of improvement. :)

Post as soon as you get the test results with the #'s that they gave you and how he's doing today.Hopefully after the water change,you'll see some sort of improvement.Good luck. :)

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Guest Blue_moor

Hi Guys thanks so much for the warm welcome and your advice.

The good news is that Boris is still alive and he managed a few flakes of food today, although I practically had to put them in his mouth for him. I did a half tank water change today as advised here, putting out of the way in a plastic bowl while water was changed. New water dechlorinated and cycled.

The bad news is that the pet shop chap tested the water and said the ph level was very high in alkaline and he reckons this has burned the edges of Boris's fins & tale (he said this is why they've gone white). I also fear though that swimbladder could also be part of the problem and maybe I could make it worse by feeding. What do you think?

I have been given some stuff to get the ph down and the guy said he'll test the levels again next week. Another problem is though that I'm gonna gave to leave the pump off as he gets sucked towards it still. Under these circumstances how often should I make water changes?

The volume of the tank has been calculated now its 54litre thats 11.88 Imperial Gallons or 14.27 Us Gallons.

Thanks so much for your expert advice :)

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Did he give you any actual numbers for the ph and the rest of the water params?The thing with Goldfish is the fact that they can tolerate quite a wide range of ph's,what they can not tolerate are sudden swings in ph.Had you just done a water change before you got it tested?

This is where having your own test kit is so important. If your ph is consistent,it may possibly be safer than trying to adjust a normal ph to another level.Did he give you any other readings for ammonia/nitrites/nitrates?

With swim bladder,you want to make sure to keep your params pristene,your Nitrate levels under 20 ppms,as they tend to aggravate the SB problems even more.When feeding your fish,try to presoak all flakes and pellets to take the air out of them.How much do you normally feed,as overfeeding can lead to these problems also.

I think leaving the filter off gives a chance for more problems in the tank. I would look into using a slotted plastic basket or something that floats,that you can set him in to help prevent the filter catching hold of him.It's really hard to guess how much water changes you'll need to do with out you actually having numbers to give us.

Your tank is actually small and overstocked by having 2 fish as we recommend at least 10 gal. per fancy goldfish,and 15 to 20 gals. to start for any Commons/Comets/Shubunkins,so that means it's more important than ever to try and pick up a Drop Test kit so that you can be aware of param numbers.

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Guest Blue_moor

Bad news folks - Boris has now passed away :cry1 Yesterday he actually seemed a bit better and was trying to swim and regain his balance, I thought there was some hope of recovery, but alas today I found him dead.

I thank you all for your advice and will take it all on board to avoid another loss. Kristi - I do feed them peas now and again and was going to give him some today, but it was sadly too late.

Devs - the ph level was about 11, very high for goldfish he said. He said all the other things were ok,. but didn't mention any specific numbers. He said PH was undoubtably the cause but I must admit I thought it strange that my other fish (a 2inch regular goldie) seems completely unaffected and hasn't deteriorated in health at all. I will definately buy the testing kit and make sure everything is OK before adding another fish. And the water I submitted for the test was from before the water change.

I think I will have to stick to common goldies in this tank in future as I don't believe this type of power filter seems safe for fancy fish. this is the 2nd Black Moor to die in this tank and I have also had a fantail die - all of these have been harmed by the pump and seemed to struggle swimming against the current and getting their food from the surface in the current. Im surprised to hear the tank was overstocked (at one stage there were 3 fishes in the tank) as all the fish have been very small. How many of the commons or shubunkins can live in this size tank? When I am more experienced I hope to start a second tank where I could have moors and fancys, maybe an undergravel filter would suit them better.

Thanks for all your help.

Blue Moor

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:( I'm real sorry that the little guy didn't make it for you Blue Moor.

I also have to say that I've heard of people dealing with high ph's,but never an 11.WOW!!!

Going by your calculations,the closest I can come is a 20 gallon high.

As mentioned,for Commons,Comets,Shubunkins,we try and recommend at least 15-20 gallons per fish to at least start with.The reasons being that these fish are quite capable of getting a foot long in a tank,and the sleek long way they're shaped,makes them faster swimming fish that need as much room as possible.

If they're small,you can keep two for a while,but at some point,you'd have to do an upgrade to really give them the space that they need for growing and swimming. :)

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