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Guest PenelopeFish

Cotton-like, Peeling Skin All Over My Goldfish's Body.

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Guest PenelopeFish

-I don't test the water...ever, actually. I've never had a problem till now...

-It's a 30 gallon tank that has been active for 3 years (sort of, I've moved the tank between numerous apartments, but have kept the tank pretty much established.

-I have two aquaclear "30" filters.

-I change 1/3 of the tank water about every three weeks.

-There are 5 fish in the tank. 3 Goldfish and 2 corydora catfish (very small little guys). The largest goldfish is 4 inches long, nose to tail tip. That's the black moore. My ranchu is a little smaller, maybe 3 1/2 inch. The smallest (and youngest) goldfish is an oranda. She is 2 1/2 inches.

-I add Start Right water conditioner.

-There are no medications in the tank.

-There are no new fish.

-I feed my fish Wardley Goldfish Pellets and peas. I feed them every other day.

I recently moved my goldfish and their tank to a new apartment. I made sure to leave a little water in the bottom of the tank, as well as water in the filters, so that I could save some bacteria. I've done this before, without a lick of trouble. Now I have TROUBLE. Big trouble. My oranda has the worst of it. The skin is peeling off and her red wen is all white. My black moor has become infected and patches of white-ish cottony strings are trailing off of him. There is no redness where the cotton meets the fish's skin, hence ruling out those strange parasites. They're fins are clamping too. I instantly thought of ick, but when I look at the pictures on the internet, they aren't right. The pictures look like grains of salt. My fish have cotton! So, I thought cotton wool disease was the diagnosis, but that looks nothing like what my fish have. My mom is pretty convinced it's ick, so maybe it's the pronounced stages of it. I feel terrible, because I haven't had a chance to really spend time with my fish. I've been moving into my new place and school keeps me busy too. It's been a week since I moved them...God they got sick fast! I've had these fish for sooo long...I can't lose them now. Seriously, my heart is hurting just thinking about it. I love them so dearly.

I'm going to take a picture and attempt to upload it asap.

Thanks for reading my plea...

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Its urgent you test your water quality. Also it sounds like the slime coat is coming off your fish and if thats the case its urgent you do a water change immedietly.

Am not sure of start right water conditioners. Personally I use API products stress coat and stress zyme one helps protect the fishs slime coat as it contains aloe vera.

Your problem sounds definately water related I suggest obtaining an API master test kit and testing as look after your water an it will care for your fish

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Guest PenelopeFish

Okay, yes. I will most definitely clean their water and get a test kit tonight.

The white spots on my two bigger fish are mostly present on the gills and in the "armpit" areas. The little fish has it worst and it seems that her gills have rotten away slightly. This is so gruesome. Here are some pictures of the bigger (and not so bad off) fish. I can't take a proper picture of the little one, because she's white and my camera can't focus up close very well. From the front of her dorsal fin to her mouth, the skin is peeling off. The black and gold larger fish have white spots, but they aren't like salt crystals. They're rounded and some trail off away from the skin.

This is a picture of the smallest, most ill fish (not a good picture, it's true):

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Guest PenelopeFish

Here's the balck moor. He's a big, sexually mature guy, which is why he has the bubbles on his front fins and white specks on his gill covers. What is NOT NORMAL is the large white chunk on the edge of his gill and the white spot under his fin, in his "armpit". He has other spots on his head that I couldn't get a good picture of.

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Guest PenelopeFish

And here's the ranchu:

She has spots around her armpits and on her face.

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Guest PenelopeFish

sheesh, this is crazy! I've just looked at seven million different pictures of ich, columnaris, and fungus. Did you know that columnaris looks like a fungus, but is not a fungus? Confusing!!!!

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Hello Penelope and :welcome !

Hopefully a mod or helper will be along here soon to advise you, but you most definitely need to get a test kit as they will need your water params to be able to help you. I'm not all that knowledgeable about some of this stuff, but it really looks like your fish are losing slimecoat, and from what I've learned on here, thats frequently water quality related. Ich looks more like salt or sugar granules. There is a thread on here somewhere about cottony strings hanging down from the fish. You'd have to search a little for it, but I think it is somewhere in the Diagnosis section.

While you're waiting for some help here, I'd most definitely do a water change. A moderator or helper will tell you whatever else to do to help your fish, but pristine water is the best thing you can do for them until then. There is a box up at the top here and if you can answer the questions there, that will be the best info for them to diagnose what is going on.

:goodluck Your fish are cuties, and good luck!

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Penelope, I searched the forum for you and found the thread which is also about a black moor with cottony strings. Hope this helps until help arrives:http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=63750

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I agree that you should do a large water change ASAP with PH & temp matched water. I am not a mod either, but I do agree that it is most likely water quality related. I had a very similar experience years ago, when I also did not test my water...I woke up one morning to a dead fantail, and my ryukin's slime coat was peeling off, and it looked just like what you are describing. I immediately took a water sample to a local store to be tested, and my PH was way low, and my ammonia was really high. I hope a mod or a helper (there are many excellent here)will be along to help you soon, and I wish your fish a speedy recovery!! Keep us posted on the progress :)

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Hello PenelopeFish.

Sorry your fish are having problems. From your description and pics it certainly does not appear to be ich.

It's very important to get your water tested asap before we can make a proper diagnosis.

It would be so helpful for you to have your own test kit, as without one you are flying blind. But if you can't get one first thing tomorrow, you could go to the nearest lfs and get it tested there. Please update us as soon as you can, letting us know the PH of your tap as well as your tank. Also, post ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings - tell us exact numbers rather than 'good' or 'normal range'. With fishkeeping the water is everything.

Grain and the others are right on track with their suggestions of water quality problems - a sudden PH drop and ammonia presence can leave fish shedding slimecoat, so we need to rule that out first.

The fact that you've moved the tank to a new apartment is a clue; you could have a had a PH crash due to insufficient beneficial bacteria surviving the move; or, perhaps you've moved to an area where the PH is different?

The other thing that catches my attention is that your tank is overstocked and your water-changing is insufficient. 1/3 every 3 weeks is way too little, especially with all those fish. Goldies need weekly w/changes and I would be thinking more along the lines of 50-60%. Otherwise, the build up of organic waste escalates fast, leaving you at risk of PH crash or bacterial infections.

I would save some water for testing in a jug/beaker and then do a largish water change, if you have not yet done so.

It's vital to get on top of the water-chem before trying to diagnose or think about meds. OK?

Update soon and I'm sure we can help get your fish on the road to recovery.

Edited by Pixiefish

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Guest PenelopeFish

Thank you all. I really appreciate all of your ideas. This hasn't been a fun evening, but it helps that I have knowledgable people on my side. I have done a 70% water change and cleaned the filter tubes of any debris. I can't go to the pet store tonight, because it closes early here in the winter. But I'll be there first thing in the morning. I know I won't get much sleep tonight. I've had a22 of a time trying to diagnose this problem. The internet has me going in every direction. I am dedicated to finding out what the problem is, before I put any crazy meds in the tank. Is it possible to do a salt treatment for any disease? That's the only all around treatment that I can think of. Blah...I'm at a loss and I am so sleepy now. My poor poor babies...

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Don't do anything else now. You've done a 70% - so get some sleep and then you can get going tomorrow am.

I'll check in tomorrow.

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Guest PenelopeFish

Good morning all! I have good news...sort of. My small Oranda, with the peeling skin, is feeling much better this morning. She's back to her old, silly self. Though, the skin is still peeling a little. Most of my Ranchu's white, cottony lumps are gone from the edge of her gills. She still has some on her face, but it's an improvement. Jack, my big Black Moore isn't doing so hot. He's still got the white, stringy cotton on his gill edges, and it seems to be eating away at his armpits, much like how my Oranda's skin was being eaten away. Some of his tail is turning white at the very edges, and his "arm" fin is getting ragged. He's lathargic and sits on the bottom most of the time. He gets up and swims to the glass when he sees me. He's not feeling well and it's breaking my heart. I was thinking (actually I was thinking all night long...) that if this problem is purely a water perameters problem, then aren't these fish going to need protection from secondary infection? They have some wounds. I guess I'm getting ahead of myself. None of my fish are really in the clear yet. Alright, well just updating you all. Thanks for listening.

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Penelope, listening is no problem! :hug When Moby (my fantail in my pic) turned black all over, he looked like a little sick black puppy, and every time I looked at him I cried, he just looked so sad and ill. Thats when I came here for help. Most of us have done that. We think we're doing fine with our fish, and then BAM something dreadful happens and we panic and look for help. You came to the right place. Everything I have learned from the wonderful people here helped me to learn how to properly take care of my fish, and they are happy and thriving right now. I'm sure that yours will be the same very soon!

Most of us have been in a similar situation as you are, and we do feel your pain. :exactly

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I was thinking (actually I was thinking all night long...) that if this problem is purely a water perameters problem, then aren't these fish going to need protection from secondary infection? They have some wounds. I guess I'm getting ahead of myself.

Take things a step at a time - once we know what's happening with your water it will be much easier to choose the right course of action. Just hurry to get your water tested and then we can help you get things on track. OK? :D

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Fish keep improving, PenelopeFish? :)

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