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Treads4heads

Please Help, Possible Septicemia

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Test Results: Coming tomorrow

Ph=7

Tank Size: 55gal

Filter= Will find out, bought this system complete with 2 filters

I change maybe 20% every 2 weeks

5 Comments, about 2.5-3inch, 6 Loaches 1-4inch

Have been using pimafix

2 New Otos

Wardlys Essential Flakes

bloody streaks, sluggish behavior, at bottom

Hello and thank you all for being apart of this forum. I am very new to all this ( >6 months) but I have been enjoying every second, untill now. I added 2 new otos to help with algea and just get a solid community going. I saw one day that my one comet had white on his belly and red spots. I ran to the pet store and they suggested pimafix. I used that for 4 days and saw some color return, but what looked like they were getting worse. Finally i decided to do some research and am assuming due to the red splotches and red fins along with the sluggish behavior. I ran out to get something to help. I was suggested to use salt and tetracycline (spelling?) in the form of a goo which they will eat. I have since seen his condition now going downhill and 2 other commets getting the red spots. I cannot add salt due to the scaleless loaches and they will not eat the tetracycline. I think what happened is the otos ate all the algea and began sucking on the fish, stressing them, and finally caused this. The otos come out tomorrow and will go to a local store but Is there ANYTHING I can do? I think i need to treat the entire tank but am afraid that the pimafix plus tetracycline (not the food kind) will nuke the fish. Any help would be greatly appreciated. The tank was going well for 6months before the otos arrived and its all going downhill. Thank you all in advance

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Hello, and :welcome

I'm certainly not an expert (yet), but I've learned a thing or two hanging out here at the forums. One is that I know how hard it is to wait for a response for your questions! :) Two, the first thing someone is going to suggest for you is that your tank is overloaded -- 13 fish (5 of them goldies) is way too many for a 55 gallon tank, and only changing 20% of the water every two weeks isn't helping much. I'm willing to bet your water quality is suffering as a result. The first thing I would do is change a hefty quantity of the water -- 50% or more.

It does sound like it could be septicemia, but it could also be water quality issues, or both. The red sores could indicate a bacterial infection, or could be from all the bottom-sitting. The sooner you can get your water test results up, the sooner we can get a better picture of what's going on and help you out.

Hopefully a senior member will be along soon with more advice. Good luck, and hope your fishy gets better soon.

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Thank you! I am glad to be part of what seems to be a great group from what I have read. I'm sorry for not having the results, for everything was closed by the time I realized what it was and have not been able to post untill now. I did not know that 5 in a 55gallon is to much, while I am just starting, everything I have read seems to point that 55 should be fine with that amount, but I will take your word on it. I will also conduct the 50% water change (hard being in the very far corner of the house, but worth it). Thanks again for the welcome.

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G'day and welcome to Koko's! :D

Starla is right, the first thing that everyone is going to say is you've got too many fish, and too little waterchanges :yeah: her suggestion to start with a 50% waterchange is a good one. just to get you up to speed, on this board it is kind of a rule of thumb to suggest 20 gal per single tailed goldy (that's like your comets) or 10 gal per double tailed (fancy) goldfish. any less and it's just too much hard work to keep them healthy and thriving. The otos should not be attacking your goldies, they are not aggressive fish, I have never experienced any otos attacking other fish.

Do you have a water test kit? we really need to know the state of the water (ammonia/nitrite/nitrate/pH) to help us work out what's going on. -If you don't have a test kit, you should consider investing in one, with the above four tests that I mentioned. But if that's a bit spendy for you straight up, most aquariums will test your water for you, just take a clean glass jar (rinsed really well to get rid of any residual detergent) filled with some water. Get the aquarium assistant to write down the actual levels of each test in ppm (parts per million) not just 'that's an okay level, this is too high/low etc.. and post us the levels. My guess is that your nitrate levels are very much on the high side, this is the final breakdown product from the ammonia that all your fish excrete (it is processed by good bacteria in your filter) the nitrates are an indicator of the level of organic wastes in your tank. Over time the organic wastes will eventually surpress your fish's immune system, making them very susceptible to infection by commensal organisms living in your tank. (like you mentioned, nothing bad happened for 6 months, getting the otos at the same time as your other fish could be just that it tipped the cycle slightly causing your already weakened fish to succumb to a bacterial infections) The best way of getting rid of these organic wastes is to do lots of water changes.

I'm sorry to say that it does sound like your fish has an internal bacterial infection. The red blotches on the belly coupled with the lethargy are indicative of this. -Have you seen your fish poop? is it long white and stringy, or short brown/food coloured lengths? Whereabouts in the world are you located? if you're in the US you can get much better oral (food) antibiotics for goldfish than tetracycline.

you can use tetracycline in combination with pimafix, as far as I know, but if you want to be on the safe side, cut out the pimafix for now, it is more useful healing external wounds reducing the likelyhood of infection. The best thing you can do for your fish right now is to do lots of water changes, you'll be amazed at how much this can help, without having to spend heaps of money on toxic medications. try doing 50% water changes every day/other day for a week and see how that helps your fish.

Good luck with treating your fish. :) Lets us know what your water params are looking like, I'll get back to you.

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Good morning and thank you again. Today I will be doing a 50% water change (I will be at classes all day). I will get back to you with all the information. The one guy is really, really bad though, is there nothing besides water changes, or would that tetracycline be an option I can use. Thank you for dealing with all these "newb" questions and lack of information. I will post all the info later today.

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I also forgot to add that poop is normal and the color of the food. Yet there seems to be much more now, along with constipation from what seems like every one of the comets. and yes, I am in the US. The woman at the pet store suggested using this due to its what she gave her fish. Any other suggestions to oral medication? Do local place carry that "Medi-gold" that I have seen?

Edited by Treads4heads

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Good morning and thank you again. Today I will be doing a 50% water change (I will be at classes all day). I will get back to you with all the information. The one guy is really, really bad though, is there nothing besides water changes, or would that tetracycline be an option I can use. Thank you for dealing with all these "newb" questions and lack of information. I will post all the info later today.

Water changes are the best thing you can do for him...until you find out what your water parameters are. Toxic water will make whatever he is suffering from much worse. What water conditioner do you use with your water changes? Many swear by Prime or Amquel plus.

Keep in mind that we are counting your total fish in the tank, not just the goldies. They all contribute to the bioload of your tank, but the goldies do contribute the most.

And a good water test kit is about twenty bucks....it is well worth it if you can afford it right now. I know those medications are expensive, too.

Medigold is available from

http://www.goldfishconnection.com/

Rick is a great guy, very helpful....if you ever need to order from there it is good to call him and pick his brain. He really knows his fish, and is always willing to go over any problems you might have.

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Hi Treads4Heads and welcome to the forum.

Mads isnt back right now so I'll chime in with some added thoughts.

I would like to say that feeding medicated food and running medications a) will make fish worse in bad water conditions and b) should not really be done until an accurate diagnosis is made. This is very difficult without a picture or better description of these red spots.

Is it possible to get a photograph pasted here or else answer the Qs below.

You see there are red sores that appear when parasites have entered your tank. It seems suspicious to me that disease emerged when the new fish were introduced. Yes it could well be bacterial from the extra load and insufficient filtration to cope with this but bacterial meds will do sqaut for killing parasites so here are some more questions for you.

1. Have you noticed the sick fish/any of the fish yawning or scratching their bodies on the gravel or tank sides/ortnaments?

2. What does the sick fishes poop look like? Stringy? White? Normal?

3. These red sores. Are they open like small scabless wounds-? Are they pinprick dots? Are they pink with white heads? Look closely- and remember any details may help.

First= perfect water. Second= as accurate diagnosis as possible Third = medication, or not. That's the order for optimal success here.

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1. Have you noticed the sick fish/any of the fish yawning or scratching their bodies on the gravel or tank sides/ortnaments?

No scratching that I have noticed, nor yawning. Everyone seemed fine untill I noticed the red splotch under his scales with white on his belly. I went straight to a local aquashop which from what I described, said it would be cured with pimafix. After using it for 5 days, his color went back to normal (no more white patches) but thats when I noticed the blood in the fins, which I have now seen on 2 other of my goldies.

2. What does the sick fishes poop look like? Stringy? White? Normal?

Poop looks normal, but alot more of it. I now see them constipated much more often

3. These red sores. Are they open like small scabless wounds-? Are they pinprick dots? Are they pink with white heads? Look closely- and remember any details may help.

The red sores do not look like open wounds, just a discoloration under the scales. But it does not look good by any means.

I will hold off on the tetrcycline and try and get the water to the best quality I can, I am just afraid im running out of time and wasted way to much on the pimafix which didnt do anything. I am unsure which water conditioner I use (I am not home to read my bottle) but I am pretty sure its either a ATI product.

Its really been rough. This is my first attempt at anytype of aquatics so pardon me for my lack of knowledge. I never realized how much thought, work, and care must be put in to have a truly sucessful tank. I never spent much time researching untill the past 4 days, so I thank you all for sharing all your experience with me.

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Hi and Welcome! :hi

I just wanted to say that you're not alone coming here with no fish keeping knowledge. Practically everyone here came to Koko's the same way you did - AFTER there's a problem!! :exactly Put the fish in a tank, feed them and change the water once in a while.... What could be simpler?? WRONG!! :rofl They are definitely a lot of work - but well worth it, in my opinion! :heart

I wish you the best of luck with your fish!! I know it's hard when your fish is ill and you want nothing more than for your fish to be healthy again. You're in safe hands with Trinket, believe me!! :D

:goodluck

Debbie

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With the help of my sister, and several buckets, the water change is done. It stirred up alot of junk on the bottom. Poop, what looked like uneaten food, and maybe scales? Do goldfish shed? or it may have just been all food. I used my stress coat to both calm them and as a de-chlorinator. I am now off to the store to get a test get to bring you the different readings.

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Good job. With this info it is looking more bacterial. Do you have the water under control- let's get those water params next.

Which country are you in?

Edited by Trinket

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Hi hun, the best way to get rid of the stuff that accumulates at the bottom of the tank is to use a syphon, or 'gravel vacuum' you can change the water that way, as you remove the water using the syphon you suck up all the gunk, poop, uneaten food etc and collect it in a bucket on the floor, this is much easier than bucketing directly from the tank and will leave your tank cleaner than just scooping off the supernatant water from the top of your tank. Trink, T4H is in the US ;)T4H, tetracycline is a very old antibiotic and is particularly harsh, and often is not as effective as some of the other abs on the market, as you are in the US you have access to a great variety of ab medications, unfortunately I'm from australia, we don't have access to the abs you guys do so I'm not experienced enough to suggest which ones to use. Trinket will probably be able to help you more on this front, or sweetshannon if she comes back to this thread (BTW, sweetshannon, don't be a stranger! we could do with more people like you on this board :) I've seen you browsing on and off, you don't know me much but I've been a browser myself on other GF forums ;) )

Goldfish don't 'shed' scales normally, they do lose them if they receive trauma, or are ill, if you're wondering, scales look like clear plastic discs, food shouldn't look like this, it's pretty obvious if they're scales, do any of your goldies look like they're missing scales?

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I am back. Thank you both trinket at Mads. No, they do not look like scales then according to your description. Here are the params, and I am really not proud to be posting them, but this is my first attempt with fish and I can't beat myself up to bad. I am not sure how accurate they are from just having done a water change, or if that makes any difference at all. I also bought a testing kit to provide the proper information If I need to seek your wisdom once more.

PH- 7.6

Ammonia- .25ppm

Nitrate- 160ppm

Nitrite- 50ppm

I was told that both Nitrates and Nitrites are very high according to the pet store and the best way is water changes. Please let me know what you think.

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I am back. Thank you both trinket at Mads. No, they do not look like scales then according to your description. Here are the params, and I am really not proud to be posting them, but this is my first attempt with fish and I can't beat myself up to bad. I am not sure how accurate they are from just having done a water change, or if that makes any difference at all. I also bought a testing kit to provide the proper information If I need to seek your wisdom once more.

PH- 7.6

Ammonia- .25ppm

Nitrate- 160ppm

Nitrite- 50ppm

I was told that both Nitrates and Nitrites are very high according to the pet store and the best way is water changes. Please let me know what you think.

Here is what I did while I had a cycle going on.....

When you have a nitrite reading, you can use aquarium salt to help the fish deal with this toxin. Ammonia can be detoxified between water changes with Prime (which works for 24 hours), and nitrites with aquarium salt. Water changes are the BEST way to deal with any water quality issue, IMO.....but Prime and salt also help them to deal with what is left over after the change. Those nitrAtes are HUGE, too. I would keep up with the changes every day to get that down. It will slow down the cycle, but your fish won't be suffering so much.

If you do use salt, be sure only to replace what you remove with the water changes so as not to over salt the water. And you can also use rock salt (MUCH CHEAPER!!!!) Just be sure that the ONLY ingrediant is salt, nothing else.

And you can get a pretty cheap gravel vac to help with that gunk in the gravel, which is also contributing ammonia to the water.

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(BTW, sweetshannon, don't be a stranger! we could do with more people like you on this board :) I've seen you browsing on and off, you don't know me much but I've been a browser myself on other GF forums ;) )

Thanks so much! :D

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Shannon is right, water changes are going to be hard on you if you don't have a syphon. I, too, am cycling a tank and what I have is a basic 5.00 syphon from Big Als. I open the window next to my tank and stick the end of the syphon out the window and suck all the gunk off the bottom. Then, i only have to use a bucket for refilling the tank. My 5.00 syphon does just fine for me, but you may want to get a Python as your tank is larger than my 29g. Good luck to you on getting those numbers down. Also, you may want to consider getting rid of some of your fish. Maybe give them to a lfs or a friend, to cut down on your toxicity in the tank. With that many fish, you are prolly going to keep problems in your tank. :(

Edited by Nickie73

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Quick update, he seems much happier! I am not sure if it could have been all the excitment of bucketing 25 gallons out and replacing it, or if the water makes him feel that much better. He is eating!! and out and about instead of hiding on the bottom. I am still afraid about the otos though. I caught them the other day sucking on one of my goldies. They did a great job of eating all the algea and I have yet to see anymore. I have just started them on algea tabs once every 2 days because I would assume they would suck the mucus if they had no food. but I am unsure. I am just thankful the little guy is more active. Thank you all and I will update tomorrow.

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oh yes! it will be the fresh water that will be making him feel better I can assure you! :) Those water params are pretty toxic, but as you said, you're a newbie, and most people find their way here in a very similar situation, so don't feel too bad, it's great you care enough about your fish to find and post on this message board. :yeah:

If you've got the mojo, keep up your 50% water changes every day until you've got your cycle under control (ie no ammonia or nitrites and your nitrates down to about 20ppm), you will be amazed at how much perkier all your fish will be.

Hmmn, you say your otos are sucking on your goldfish? :unsure: are you sure they're otos not chinese algae eaters?

I had to laugh at nickie's post about syphoning her tank out the window, this is also what I do, a cheap syphon is well worth owning, it will make your water changes so much easier, and more effective to boot. :)

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When I first had to filled my tank, I lassoed my hose from outside and pulled it in through my window to fill up my tank. I will try again with the 50% water changes but wont this stress the fish even more than just lowering the nitrates or nitrites with some type of stabalizer? I was told taking out the bacteria in the water and replacing it with tap will do just as much damage. Also, the store said they were otos. According to the woman there, she said if the otos become starved from eating all the algea, they will suck the mucus off the fish while they sleep. I feel the stress of that along with the bad water is whats hurting them. How soon before I should start medication?

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hey hun, you mentioned that you have bought a test kit, you can be the judge of whether you should start treating your fish, you need to have perfect water condition, ie NO ammonia, NO nitrItes, and less than 40, preferably less than 20 ppm nitrAtes. -If your water params are bad, dumping something as harsh as tetracycline in your tank with your fish in the delicate state that they're in at the moment would be too much for them to handle. I think, if you retest your water, and your ammonia levels are still high you could probably up the waterchanges to 70% as long as your water is pH and temp matched. -this might be stressful to your fish, but it is more stressful to maintain them in water with ammonia and nitrIte.

with a tank your size, I would personally mix up water with chlorine remover in a bucket before transferring it into your tank, when I was talking about a hose through the window, I meant when syphoning the water out of the tank!

As sweetshannon mentioned using rocksalt as a tonic to protect your fish against nitrites is a good move, I know you have loaches, hmmn, I guess that's why I never keep fish like that in with my goldies, it just restricts how much you can actually help your goldies if and when they do get sick. :unsure:

Can you perhaps post a pic of your otos, I'm not so sure they are if they're sucking slimecoat off your fish. :idont

here's some pics of otos and CAEs

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It is amazing how fast those water changes can perk up a fish. Good job! Do you have access to a fish store with Biospera? That might help your fish, too. But it is pricey.

If anything is attacking your fish, you should bring it back to the store. I wouldn't risk my goldies with anything. If your fish are weakened from the cycling tank, any kind of attack could kill them.

And Mads is right, salt can kill some kind of fish and snails. :exactly

Decreasing the bioload in your tank will benefit your goldies by making the environment more stable, too. Do you know anyone with a tropical tank that can take them?

Edited by sweetshannon

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I think I will be getting rid of the otos, they are just not worth the fuss. I loaches are great though, I can turn behind me now and see one fasinated with suspending itself from the filter, swimming away, then doing it again! I will do a 30% water change followed by testing the params again to see where I am at. My one questions today is while he has perked up a bit, he seems to be..twitching? Now that he is swimming, he seems to be having a hard time keeping balance and twitching his back fin to try and help balance him. That does not seem normal. Could it be the infection (he still has blood in his fins) is effecting his swim bladder?

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