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Can The Stress Of Transfer Cause Red Streaks On Tail?


kelz0429

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Hello all!

Before I even begin, I know that I have made a huge mistake but I am not sure how else I could have handled my situation. One of my good friends saw a fish at a LFS that she just knew I HAD to have, so she bought him for me. :blink: She showed up at my house with this really nice-looking red and white Ryukin and a nice "SURPRISE!" Of course, I was really excited, as this fish was just too cute and I have been look for a mate for Oscar for quite some time. I quickly began to panic, however, b/c I did not have a quarantine tank set up. She is not a fish-y person, so she had no idea that she was putting me, the new fish, AND my poor Oscar in a scary, possibly tragic situation. I should have taken the fish back to the store, but I made the hasty decision to acclimate him to Oscar's tank :(

I looked the new fish over, named him SuperBad, and after acclimating him to the temp and params of Oscars tank, picked him up and plopped him in. He totally freaked out, of course, and sat on the bottom looking very frightened for about 10 minutes. Soon thereafter, he perked up and began to explore a bit. While watching him explore, I noticed that he has some red, veiny streaks on his tail fins. I am about to have a heart attack thinking that this fish is infected with some sort of horrible bacteria.

So, my question is this: could the stress of the move and the acclimation process have caused this streaking? I did not noticed the streaks before I moved him to Oscar's tank.

Test Results for the Following:

Ammonia Level: Broke one of my test tubes a month ago--have not replaced it--will do so tomorrow.

Nitrite Level: 0

Nitrate level: between 0 and 20

Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines): pH=6.6, KH=40, GH=30

Ph Level out of the Tap: 6.6

Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running: 20gal High, running for almost exactly 1 year

What is the name and size of the filter/s: Aquaclear 50

How often do you change the water and how much: 15% water changes twice each week

How many fish in the tank and their size: Oscar (Fantail Goldfish)=2 inches, SuperBad (Ryukin)=3-4 inches

What kind of water additives or conditioners: AmquelPlus, NovAqua, Aquariam salt (approximately 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons)

Any medications added to the tank?: Have been treating Oscar with Melafix for 2 days because of an abrasion caused by a since removed aquarium decoration.

Add any new fish to the tank: Unfortunately, YES! And now I am regretting it.

What do you feed your fish: Brine Shrimp, Blood Worms, Krill, Algae Flakes, Flake Food, the occasional pea.

Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt", bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus: Bloody streaks on SuperBad's tail fins; Oscar looks beautiful (as usual)

Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.: Both boys seem to be acting perfectly normally now. At first, SuperBad sat on the bottom making frightened eyes at me.

If these symptoms are pointing more toward an illness, what steps should I take at this point to save both of my boys?

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I see that your PH is very, very low, so it's possible the fish is reacting to that. My personal preference would be to get the KH/PH up where it should be. Have you read all the threads on the forums about those issues? They are really important to goldies' health....and guess what? Easy fixes!

Hang in there until a mod shows you the ropes.

Make sure you get that ammonia tested ASAP, since it should be done weekly like your other tests. You can't rule out a cycle bump without knowing all your params.

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Hi and Welcome to KoKos!!! I had a similar experience with my two fish and my ph being low. For a while now, my fantail has been showing red streaks in his tail fin. I treated it with Medi-Gold twice. Recently, my demekin started bottom sitting. I knew my ph was too low; it was 6.8 and I have hardly any KH at all. I am now raising the ph with baking soda and both my fish look very good now. Like Lola said, chances are, the new fish was in a higher ph at the pet shop and it may have gotten shocked when it went into your low ph.

I am sure a mod will be on shortly to help you out. Hang in there!!!!

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Thank you for your replies. I do hope a mod arrives soon.

I treated Oscar with Medi-Gold for fin rot last year and still have almost an entire bottle/jar. I read on the GoldfishConnection Website that the food should "last" for six months. Any advice on whether or not it is still safe to use...should I wait until I have a new bottle?

As for the pH, I will grab a box of baking soda at the grocery tomorrow and work on slowly raising it.

Based on your replies, it seems that the streaks can be a result of stress caused by environment changes. At least that makes me feel better.

What can I do as a help to relieve the stress of both fish? I have been salting the tank for the last week due to Oscar's injury and have already raised the salt content a tiny bit tonight. Any advice?

Thanks again!

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It is not uncommon for a newly arriving fish to react in one way or the other, some with red streaks, yes. Too bad you didn't see him in the pet store and could have noticed if he had red streaks there as well. A lot of fish that have a ton of white in them show those veins more visible than other fish (I had a redcap for years that looked like that).

Even if it is from stress, I would still be doing a certain regime for any new fish, even (or especially) for those who weren't quarantined. Perfect water is one of them, keep the lights off for a few days to reduce any stress, and add aquarium salt to the tank. 1 teaspoon per gl, dissolved in a container of tank water, and then the solution poured into the tank. Do that dosage 3 times alltogether, in 12 hour intervals. Watch out for any strange behavior, especially on Oscar, since the new fish might bring in something that could get Oscar into trouble. The salt doesn't hurt Oscar, and takes care of quite a number of potential nasties, plus its a de-stressor.

Look into the pH issue, and just give the little guy some quiet time for now. :thumbs:

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One other thing - as the new fish a larger than Oscar you may get a spike as the filter expands to meet the new output. Be sure to get the ammonia tested and monitor it for the coming week. Feed a little sparingly and things should be OK.

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Thank you all for your help.

I do feel better now, knowing that the red streaks are a possible side effect of the stress of changing water conditions.

Does anyone have an opinion on the Medi-Gold issue?

Also, should I raise the temp of the tank? It is sitting between 69 and 70 degrees currently.

Another question about salt: How long can the fish remain in such a high salt concentration? Should I be maintaint the salt with water changes for the next week, two weeks?

Thanks again!

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Thank you all for your help.

I do feel better now, knowing that the red streaks are a possible side effect of the stress of changing water conditions.

Does anyone have an opinion on the Medi-Gold issue?

Also, should I raise the temp of the tank? It is sitting between 69 and 70 degrees currently.

Another question about salt: How long can the fish remain in such a high salt concentration? Should I be maintaint the salt with water changes for the next week, two weeks?

Thanks again!

I'm not sure about the salt, but you need to make sure you replace the salt you take out when you do a wc. I would not go over .3% salting. As for the Medi-Gold, I would wait on that and see if the red streaks get better with wcs before jumping into meds. Also, the temp of your tank is okay as GF are cold water fish. I like to keep my tank about 74-75 degrees as that is what is a natural temp in my house right now as it is cold here. Maybe maintain the salt in the tank for a week and see how the fish looks. If the red streaks are gone, then you can start taking out the salt in your wcs. Like Trinket said, you really need to check your water params each day for a while to make sure you don't have a bump in your cycle. Good luck to you!!!!

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I think that you should raise the temp to around 78.

Whilst under normal conditions a temp of 70 is fine for GF - the reason for raising the salt to 0.3% in this instance is as an attempt to catch any incubating parasite or bacterial problems the new fish may be bringing in. You will be doing a quarantine of sorts. By increasing the temp, the life cycle of any lurking bug will be speeded up where is can be killed by the salt. I think keeping salt at this level for about 14 days is probably best. During this period you are likely to see anything which may be lurking. Just watch your params for any spikes.

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Well, I bought a new API Master Test Kit tonight and began re-tested my water. While I knew my API strips were not as accurate as liquid tests, I had no idea HOW far off they could be. The pH was readings tonight were VERY DIFFERENT. My new results:

Ammonia Level: The color was a bit difficult to read--I thought I read 0.25ppm, while my partner said she saw 0ppm

Nitrite Level: 0

Nitrate level: 10ppm

Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines): pH=it is a toss up between 7.2 and 7.4, KH=strips read between 0 and 40mg/L, GH=strips read between 0 and 30mg/L

Ph Level out of the Tap: a definite 8.2

Given my new readings, does anyone have any additional advice--should I suspect the worst with SuperBad...Septicemia??? It seems that my pH could be a BIT higher (7.5 is just about perfect, right?). I know I could add a bit of crushed coral in the filter and on top of the gravel. Other than that, everything seems pretty good, right? I think I am going to raise the temp of the tank. Oscar has never seen temps over 72, so it will be a change for him. Again, any advice is appreciated!

Thanks again!

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That doesn't look all that bad, Kelz - I have seen a h-ell of a lot worse in stressed fish.

Your pH, well, with a low kH/gH reading like that, I can see why it goes from 8.2 to 7.4. There isn't all that much buffering in there. Although 7.4 is perfectly okay for goldfish, I would wonder how much lower it could be dropping, and how fast it goes down. I would worry about a pH crash. Did you ever test the pH every day and write down the numbers? That would be something I would be interested in. Especially after waterchanges I'd think that the pH in the tank goes up somewhat due to the new water having higher pH.

If it was me, I would just salt the tank for a week and see how the red streaks look. If you can find crushed coral, I would add a teaspoon or two in a nylon baggie, or even a piece of stocking, and hang it into the tank. Keep testing the pH and write down the numbers, and compare them to before/after waterchanges, and especially how the pH goes after adding the crushed coral.

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I agree your pH is a potential problem. What was the pH in the bag that the fish arrived in? I don't suppose you know but chances are it was higher than 6.6 :unsure: in which case that sudden transfer would have been a major shock factor. The bottom sitting and scared, along with the red streaks appearing would fit with shock stress.

I agree with Andrea, the streaks don't look too bad. Many white finned fish show red vessels faster than other colored fish. I would be much more worried about the pH stability and the fact that the fish may be carrying some parasite load. Salting the tank and both fish to 0.3% and a course of prazi would be good. And you don't need medigold- that medigold really does not stay effective anyway after 6 months from opening.

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What was the pH in the bag that the fish arrived in? I don't suppose you know but chances are it was higher than 6.6 :unsure: in which case that sudden transfer would have been a major shock factor. The bottom sitting and scared, along with the red streaks appearing would fit with shock stress.

That's an excellent point Trinket. I didn't even think about testing the pH of the bag water when one gets a new fish but that is something we all should be doing if we aren't already.

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Well, I tested the water this morning and found that the pH is right at between 7.2 and 7.4 (probably closer to 7.2). The color of the test didn't really seem to change much from last night.

I am going to head to my LFS and hope to find a teeny bag of crucshed coral (wish me luck ;) ). I hope the salt will take care of any nasties brought in by SuperBad.

Now, I need to be thinking about getting a 30+ gallon tank--I am starting to feel guilty giving them only 20 gallons :(

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Hello all!

As everyone has advised, I have been keeping a close eye on Oscar over the past few days. I went out of town for the night last night and, when I arrived home this evening, I had a scary surprise waiting for me: Oscar's tail fins seem to be showing signs of fin-rot. Both of the upper lobes of his tail are split down the center and the tail seems to be generally thinner. He also seems to be clamping his fins just a bit.

The water params have stayed stable and are currently:

Nitrite: 0ppm

Nitrate: 10ppm (before my 15% water change--haven't tested since)

Ammonia: 0ppm

pH: somewhere between 7.2 and 7.4

I have reached 0.3% salt concentration and am dosing with Melafix (I swear by the stuff when my Bettas' fins are looking ragged).

The only thing that has changed dramatically is the temp of the water--I was just able to find and install my heater (will a 25 watt heater sufficiently heat a 20 gallon tank?) and the air temp of my house dropped to around 64 degrees while I was gone (I didn't remember to bump up the heat before I left). The water temp, which is usually pretty stable between 70 and 72, is now just under 65 degrees.

There are no signs that SuperBad is nipping Oscar's fins. I am so worried that Oscar is now stricken with a bacterial infection. Could the lower temp of the water contribute to this fin problem? Any ideas/advice?

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I believe this may qualify for a new topic, but do not want to confuse anyone.

I am concerned that Oscar may have Skin Flukes or something worse--see last post, above.

What should I do outside of what I am already doing? Thanks!

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I agree your pH is a potential problem. What was the pH in the bag that the fish arrived in? I don't suppose you know but chances are it was higher than 6.6 :unsure: in which case that sudden transfer would have been a major shock factor. The bottom sitting and scared, along with the red streaks appearing would fit with shock stress.

I agree with Trinket on this point, that's the first thing that popped into my mind after reading your story.

Are you sure that your first fish has tail rot, is it just a split fin, or does it look like the edges of the split are thickening and whiteish? You are worried about skin fluke, are your fish flashing/yawning, what makes you think this is fluke other than your fish's tail problems and fin claming, these could be symptoms of other ailments also. My theory (unless proven otherwise) in your tank is that because your tap water is soft, and doesn't have much mineral content/carbonate hardness, your tank is constantly undergoing pH swings. You said the pH out of your tap is a definite 8.2 and the pH in your tank can swing as low as 6.6, with all this pH swinging, your fish has been under a lot of stress in your tank. With the new fish, your biological filtration is working harder, and one of the outcomes of converting ammonia to nitrates is that your water becomes more acidic, as you don't have much carbonate hardness in your water to buffer the amount of acid produced from the filtration your pH swings much more quickly with the two fish. This extra stress on your first fish that has been under chronic (long term) stress from your pH problems has made it display clamped fins, it's not coping too well with the new environment. My suggestion is to raise the carbonate hardness in your water ASAP with crushed coral in your filter, this is the best and cheapest long term fix for this problem, I live in an area with very soft water like you, and all my tanks have a large amount of crushed coral/coral sand in their filters.

0.3% salt and melafix will help your fish if it's just a mild case of finrot, or even if it's just a split fin, it will help, but perfect water is imperative if it is to do any good. I would hold off adding any medication right now, by the sounds of it your first fish is in a pretty weak state and any harsh meds like ABs could tip him/her over the edge. Keep an eye on it and keep us up to date, if the 'finrot' starts to get worse then you might have to medicate, but I'd hold off for now and see if the salt/melafix does the trick..

Good luck.

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Thanks, Mads--I appreciate your advice. I do, however, think that my posts have been misinterpreted. My first tests were done using my API test strips, which are registering my pH at 6.6. When I began using the liquid tests, the pH in my tank has registered at a constant reading of somewhere between 7.2 and 7.4 (even after water changes). I am not so sure that I can trust the test strips, as the pH is STILL measuring at 6.6 on the strips, while the liquid tests are measuring 7.2-7.4. I am sorry that I was not as clear as I could have been about the discrepancy between the tests.

I do understand that I need to buffer the water in the tank, as the tap is definitely more basic than the tank--so I have hung a bag of crushed coral in the tank(forgot to mention on my last post). I do not believe, however, based on the test results and the constant readings of 7.4ish, that my tank is in a pH crisis. Even after my routine 15% water changes, which I have been doing twice a day since I added SuperBad, the pH (according to the liquid tests) has remained stable, as have all other readings (nitrates have fluctuated, as can be expected, between 5 and 10ppm). As a result of these stable readings (and the fact that I only do 15% water changes), I really do not believe that Oscar has been under constant stress due to pH fluctuations.

At this point, I do believe that Oscar is exhibiting symptoms of some kind of illness. I have mentioned Flukes because I know that split fins are a common early symptom of the illness. I have had quite a bit of experience with fin issues, as I have kept Bettas for years. In my experience, fin-rot is almost always a result of a bacterial infection of one kind or another. At this point, Oscars fins are definitely NOT in their usual form, and I think I can even see a hint of red/pint at the very tip of one of his tail fins. As Oscar is completely white, it is difficult to see a whitish edge. I have, however noticed a ragged look (not drastically ragged but ragged nonetheless) at the edge of his fins and a general thinning (if that makes sense).

Neither one of the fish are exhibiting any unusual behavior. They have a voracious appetite and seem to be getting along very well. I am slowly raising the temp of the tank tonight, bringing it up to 71 from 69 over the course of a little more than 4 hours. The salt concentration is 0.3% and I have continued to dose with Melafix (although I have not removed the activated carbon from the filter--perhaps I should).

Since I am seeing strange fin symptoms in Oscar, is there anything I can do that is gentle that might prevent a continued decline?

Again, I am sorry that I was not clear when I explained the inaccuracy of the test strips (I have always used the strips b/c I am not keen on working th corrosive chemicals used in the liquid tests). According to the API Master Test Kit readings, my water is in very good condition and, in case of a true hardness issue (and to deal with the pH of the tap water), I have added the coral.

Any other ideas/advice?

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So the pH was not 6.6 but in fact 7 point something and stable ...much better. And you feel your fish has some bacterial issues form the petstore presumably that are causing the fin problems?

Maybe so. In which case you are doing the very best thing for them 0.3% salt and melafix. The carbon will remove the melafix btw.

Those twice daily 15% water changes must be a total nightmare though replacing the salt that you took out and keeping track of percentages. I assume you keep a salt diary for these changes?

I would like to disagree about the fin problems always being bacterial. Most of the time fin problems are in fact triggered by stress, which is why the helpers here were bringing up stress related factors (pH is a main one) as being fundamental. Bettas fin problems are rather different from goldfish. Bettas blow their own fins regularly for example. Goldfishes fins are the very first place that suffer under stress and changes in water minerals/chemical balance are the most common trigger for stress in fish whose life support system is water.

Only if you see red at the tips of the fins can you assume bacterial finrot. Other fin issues(including streaks in the tail) are most likely shock/stress and temperature change related.

Early bacterial finrot is best treated with 0.3% salt and some people use melafix.

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My first tests were done using my API test strips, which are registering my pH at 6.6. When I began using the liquid tests, the pH in my tank has registered at a constant reading of somewhere between 7.2 and 7.4 (even after water changes). I am not so sure that I can trust the test strips, as the pH is STILL measuring at 6.6 on the strips, while the liquid tests are measuring 7.2-7.4. I am sorry that I was not as clear as I could have been about the discrepancy between the tests.

A quick 'after detail' - ignore the strips. They easily become currupted by humidity and are very unreliable. As you have the drops I'd say those are your true results and you can put the others out of your mind.

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