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Guest theerer3

All Fish Starting To Get Sick! (one Read Streaks In Fin, Others Listless At Bottom)

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Guest theerer3

Story:

I recently (3 days ago) noticed my all-white Koi has red streaks in his fins. Further, the next day, I noticed one of my fish was uncommonly sitting in the bottom corner of the tank for most of the day. Now it seems that nearly all goldfish (fancy tails and blackmore) are sitting at the bottom until I come up to them - just two more days later. When I come up to the tank or look at them closely, they perk up, and swim normally, have huge appetites. They are eating like monsters (maybe I'm feeding too much?? Currently been feeding them Koi/Pond goldfish pellets like 4 x per day). None are swimming akwardly when they swim.

Tank/Fish Info:

72 Gal

2 koi, 2 fancy tails, 1 goldfish, 1 black moor, and 1 sucker fish (total inches <30)

Water Quality/Temp:

I had the water tested at the store - they said the water is absolutely fine. has tested with perfect water over last 3 months.

Water temp has been pretty high - 76-78 over the last few weeks as the weather has gotten warmer. I dropped some ice cubes in to get it back down to 74/75 (is that a bad idea? - didn't result in more than a 1 degree change at a time).

Algae growth recently started increasing over the last two weeks or so, nothing major, and I wiped it off the inside of the tank and cleaned it off one of the decour items.

Treatment:

In second day of treatment for tail rot using Maracyn-TC.

Did a 20% gravel vac/water change about 3 days prior to this, replaced with slightly cooler water to help get that temp down from 78 degrees.

-Still seems to be a lot of waste at the bottom, but the water has tested great.

Other Questions Above:

Filter - Fluval 404, old, haven't changed any of the filtration media since I bought it (and I bought it used)

I do regular gravel vac about once every 3 weeks, right around 20-25% of the water. Each time I do this, I add in stress coat.

Added a fish about 10 days ago.

I don't want to loose all my fish! The water's fine - what the heck is wrong? Am I using the right treatment? What else could they possibly have? Aside from the red streaks in the white koi, no other visual issues at all with the other fish - appear fine.

Edited by theerer3

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Hiya and welcome! You've come to the right place, there are super-helpful folks here who will definitely be able to help. I'm a bit newer to fish-keeping, so I'll try to do what I can until more knowledgeable folks come along...

Don't feel overwhelmed by this info...just trying to help! It might seem like a lot...

First things first, it sounds to me like you're having a water problem. Even though the fish store people tell you it's fine, you should really invest in a drop-test kit ASAP. They typically test with strips, which are unreliable...and they never tell you your exact parameters (which you need to know). Measuring ammonia, nitrAte, nitrIte, and pH are critical right now. I had crazy toxic water once, and my pet store kept saying it's fine, fine, fine. The drop kit showed otherwise big time!

Another thing that leads me to think it's a water problem is the frequency and amount of your water changes. You should probably be doing a large volume (50%) change once a week or so.

Also, your tank is a bit 'overstocked' -- around here, folks recommend 20gals for single tail fish (common, comet) and 10 gal for fancy fish (ryukin, oranda, etc.). Plus, koi are pond fish and they need waaay more. This is because goldies are such dirty fishies -- especially if you've been feeding a lot. Your ammonia readings may be super-high (may be causing the red streaks).

So not to freak you out, cause your set-up is probably do-able (with more filtration)...but you definitely need to get on top of the water problem asap.

Good luck and don't get discouraged. You can definitely help your fish out -- and the folks here will definitely help!

Edit: Another thing... You are treating for tail rot with the Maracyn. Is this because of the red streaks? Are there any other signs of rot -- looking ragged/torn? If not, I might suggest stopping the treatment. You need to stabilize the water first, most likely. Just a thought -- maybe wait for others' opinions.

I sort of went round and round with this type of thing...thinking my fish was first constipated, then infected with a parasite, then fungus, etc. All turned out to be bad water that caused the sickness and led to a bacterial infection.

Edited by uberleslie

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Welcome to koko's Theerer!

You've come to the best place for goldfish learning and help! :D

As uberleslie said, a lot of the responses you'll get may seem like a lot of information to take in at once and it'll get repetitive and a bit much at times. Just be sure to keep in mind that everyone here just wants the best for you and your goldfish.

1. Is there any way (if you don't have a drop test kit) for you to go back and get specific water parameters from the pet store? Get the actual numbers, and ask them what kind of test kit they're using. It's really important for the mods to have as much information as possible in order to give you the best advice on how to proceed.

2. Could you answer in a little more detail as many of the questions in the white box above as possible? Such as when you set up your tank, how long it's been running?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So far, the things I would recommend are:

A) doing at least a 50% water change... if you're able to do more.. i'd even suggest a 75% water change as soon as possible.

as uberleslie said before, your tank is overstocked. the one inch rule applies to tropical fish and not goldfish. so with your 2 koi, 3 double tail goldfish, 1 (i'm guessing) common, and 1 suckerfish, your tank is busting beyond the limits. it would be just about the right size for your two fancies, black moor and common.

I also think that your red streaks are probably caused by the water quality. :) the most important thing for goldfish is excellent water quality.

some things to keep in mind though is that:

~ commons and fancies aren't recommended to be kept together since fancies swim a bit more slowly and commons are pretty fast. this may lead to the common eating most of the food, getting bigger, and then getting faster. :)

~ koi really need to be in a pond... they get to be HUGE! if you don't have room for a pond, see if you can exchange them for fancies, perhaps?

okay back to the suggestions...

B) water changes need to be done more often. with a 72 gallon tank, the suggested water turnover rate or gph is 720 gph. so although the fluval 405 is a great filter, it only turns over 225 gph. which still leaves you 495 gph short. it would be a great idea to add some filtration since again like uberleslie said goldfish are SUPER dirty.

with an overstocked tank, it will seem like all you do all day long is change water. :blink: again, a water testing kit would be helpful to let you know when a water change is needed and about how much to change out. :)

C) 78 degrees is just fine for a goldfish. you don't have to worry about them cooking in the water. :) so when you change water, actually try and match the water temperature in the tank. that way the fish won't be stressed too much by fluctuating water temperatures. (it would be the equivalent of you taking a nice warm shower and then the water going cold... i don't imagine that is too pleasant.)

~ you also might look into purchasing some aquarium salt if you're looking into getting a water testing kit. ;)

um... i think i'll leave my suggestions at that for now... i don't want to completely bombard you with suggestions and information. the last thing i'd just want to ask you about is your suckerfish. what kind is it? if it is a common pleco, it will eventually become a problem. :unsure:

please keep us updated about how your fish are doing!

again welcome to koko's!!! i hope you find this forum and website helpful~! :heart

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The only thing I'd like to add here is what do you mean by "sucker fish"? If you are talking about a common pleco, they are not good tankmates for goldfish.

I wasn't sure if thats what you meant or not.

Good luck! You've been given great advice!

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Guest theerer3

thank you for the information.

so i'm going to try to boil down what I've read:

1. I need to not buy anymore fish - possibly return one

2. I need to do a large water change - 50%, keeping the water temp from fluctuating

3. Need to test the specific water with a tester kit.

4. I would really like to keep all my fish - I will start doing more regular water changes.

Some more specifics:

I've had this tank running since March of this year - slowly went from 2 fish to 6 + sucker fish.

Sucker fish pretty much hides all the time from the others - will have to figure out what kind it is though, I don't remember.

I moved the tank at the beginning of May - I took out a good 80% of the water for the move.

Remaining questions:

1. What the heck do I do about the red blood streaks then? I will test the water tonight and get you the results - assuming I can g et to the store.

2. So do you all think my fish can make it?

Scary to hear how the store tests aren't very reliable.

3. I don't think they sell any larger filters - this thing is rated for a 100 gal, so why is it so deficient? Are you recommending I simply add another filter? That's a lot of hoses, etc.

Thanks!

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thank you for the information.

so i'm going to try to boil down what I've read:

1. I need to not buy anymore fish - possibly return one

2. I need to do a large water change - 50%, keeping the water temp from fluctuating

3. Need to test the specific water with a tester kit.

4. I would really like to keep all my fish - I will start doing more regular water changes.

Some more specifics:

I've had this tank running since March of this year - slowly went from 2 fish to 6 + sucker fish.

Sucker fish pretty much hides all the time from the others - will have to figure out what kind it is though, I don't remember.

I moved the tank at the beginning of May - I took out a good 80% of the water for the move.

Remaining questions:

1. What the heck do I do about the red blood streaks then? I will test the water tonight and get you the results - assuming I can g et to the store.

2. So do you all think my fish can make it?

Scary to hear how the store tests aren't very reliable.

3. I don't think they sell any larger filters - this thing is rated for a 100 gal, so why is it so deficient? Are you recommending I simply add another filter? That's a lot of hoses, etc.

Thanks!

so far, you've got the right idea. :) and yes, i think if possible, return the common/comet goldfish (the single tailed one). The fancies and moor need about 10-15 gals each, so your 72 provides plenty of room.

as for the koi, if you are able to return those for fancies that would probably be best unless you are planning on having a pond someday. koi are really pond fish and will require lots of space in order to grow properly and stay healthy. OR a temporary fix for your overstocked fishtank may be to get a stock pond (the kind that farmers use to water horses and cows) or a pond container such as the ones from laguna to keep your koi in.

ok so to answer your questions...

1) IF this is a water quality problem (which is what i think we should work on first), then as the water quality improves the streaks will gradually disappear by themselves.

~ of course i cannot say that the streaks can only be caused by poor water quality, but that would be what i would suggest we work on first.

~ yes... petstores often use dipsticks which aren't as accurate as drop tests, so usually the colors show a huge range and so what may read as "okay" or "fine" on a dipstick, may be slightly bad.

~ also many of us koko members tend to take what petstore sales people advise as a grain of salt. that is not to say many petstores have started to hire more informed individuals, but goldfish require a bit more care than many of them would suggest. so due to the fact that many people think that goldfish are a disposable type pet and are "easy" to care for, many times fishkeepers are misinformed.

2) it is possible for all your fish to make it, of course i cannot guarantee it or anything. however, if what we are dealing with is poor water quality, than you can definitely do lots to help your fish out. if it is a water quality issue, than with water changes and improved parameters, you should see a definite improvement of your fish behavior. it's really important for you to look into getting a water testing kit though.

3) the fluval 405 is the biggest fluval you can get i think, and it is rated for up to 100 gal tanks, and i'm sure would work perfectly for a tropical tank and might even be overkill for one. thing is though, goldfish produce much more waste than a tropical fish. they are basically the piggies of the aquaworld. :D (cute ones!) they eat a lot more, poo a lot more, and therefore produce more waste products a lot more! so in order to make sure that the water is properly aearated, filtered and that you provide a good place for beneficial bacteria to flourish... it's recommended that you take your tank size and filter it at a 10x turnover rate. so for instance on your 72 gal tank you'd want 72 x 10 = 720 gph with your fluval 405 you get 225. i know that canister filters can be quite costly and take up quite a bit of space, so many of us use hang on back power filters such as marineland emperor filters (the 400) or penguin 350s becuase they provide more space in the filter to stuff media. you could look into gettting two 350s or even 400s. it never hurts to over filter a little bit with goldfish. :rolleyes:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

as for your sucker fish... does it look like this?

Hypostomus_plecostomus_2.jpg

if not... what color is it? :)

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Guest theerer3

Thank you so much for the details!

I can't see the pic for the sucker fish - could you send me a link? I'm 95% sure it's the kind you mentioned - I googled it, and it looks very much like the pics that came up. Should I def get rid of it? Why is it a problem - it seems to just hide and stay away from everyone.

Finally, is this test water kit sufficient:

http://www.nnnn.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2754034

I'm assuming I would need the master kit version - please advise, I will pick up in 2 hrs and test tonight around 9:00!

How long do these test kits last? Should I test every week initially and then every 2 weeks or so as I get it back?

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The test kits last awhile. I can't see your link, but if it's an API master kit then that's a good one.

When I had bad water I tested every day, sometimes twice a day. And I did water change after water change (daily, or every other day). It was a lot of work, but seriously helped. Of course, I'm dealing with a 20 gallon and your work would be more considerable. Just know it may take several water changes for your tank to level out and cycle. (There's lots of info on the Nitrate Cycle here -- just go to the Water forum). Only when your water is stable (you're 'cycled') can you test once a week or once every other week.

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You've been given some very good advice so far which will be very helpful to you, but one thing has escaped notice:

You introduced a new fish 10 days ago this is almost certainly the reason for all you fish to be bottom-sitting and streaking. New fish, unless quarantined, usually bring in parasites, and with the tank at 78 the life-cycle will be turning over at a cracking pace. You are treating for bacterial infection whereas parasites are the more likely problem.

As you are very overstocked the water quality, as the others have said, is also likely to be problematic- but water readings will help us navigate once you can post them.

There are a few things you should do immediately.

*Return the koi - they need 150gals each and cannot be kept in a tank.

*Try to find the sucker fish other accommodation as he will not tolerate the salting you need to begin for parasites. Depending on type he is potentially a risk to the goldies as he may prey on their slimecoats.

*Treat for parasites:

Make a very large water change first. Start raising salt to 0.3%. This means adding 1 tsp aquarium salt, pre-dissolved in tank water, in three doses, 12 hours apart. Dose 1 = 0.1% and by dose 3 you will have reached 0.3%. (kosher, pickling salt will do - but nothing with any anti-caking agents though)

Keep heat up to the high 70's and order some Prazi online to treat for flukes. Rick at the Goldfish Connection will overnight this to you if necessary.

Get a drop kit and test the readings every day to make sure that ammonia and nitrite are always at zero and nitrates are below 40 at the very highest.

Welcome to the board and post back with any further questions you may have - I know it is rather a lot to take in at once!!

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Thank you so much for the details!

I can't see the pic for the sucker fish - could you send me a link? I'm 95% sure it's the kind you mentioned - I googled it, and it looks very much like the pics that came up. Should I def get rid of it? Why is it a problem - it seems to just hide and stay away from everyone.

Finally, is this test water kit sufficient:

http://www.nnnn.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2754034

I'm assuming I would need the master kit version - please advise, I will pick up in 2 hrs and test tonight around 9:00!

How long do these test kits last? Should I test every week initially and then every 2 weeks or so as I get it back?

the picture was a common plecostomus.

common plecos are pretty docile while they're small, but they grow to be fairly large. once they get larger, some will actually start to feed on the slime of goldfish. i've personally seen my pleco do this to my goldfish so i had to separate them. they also seem to live FOREVER and require a lot of room. so just be prepared to eventually get a tank for the pleco if you need to separate them.

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...st&p=763162

that's a link to some pictures of one of my new 55 gal. tanks that i dedicated to the pleco since it outgrew my 29 gal.

like uberleslie said, the test kits seem to last forever, and the one she suggested the aquarium pharmaceuticals, inc. freshwater master test kit is also the one i use. :D it's a good idea to replace your test kit perhaps once a year or year and a half since the readings might begin to be a bit off after a while.

she made a good suggestion about you testing daily in order to check and see if your water needs changing.

i think in the beginning you should check twice a day once in the morning and if you do a water change another one after your water change.

your results will help you determine how much water to change out...

for instance if you have an ammonia level reading of 1 part per million (ppm) and you do a 50% water change, your ammonia should be around .5 ppm (but will still climb since your fish are still producing waste)

so if you actually do have a reading of 1 ppm... you might decide to do a 75 or 80% water change to bring down the ammonia level as much as you can while not doing a 100% water change. :D haha does that make sense? :)

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Guest theerer3

Again, thanks - yes a lot of different info to take in, but I'm following it and extracting at least what is common. I guess I'll really know when I test the water tonight.

Do the test kits have the ideal numbers should be for each test? (would assume so) or do you all have that?

One thing I realized I left out. When I put that last coy in, about 10 days ago, I also dropped in a 5 lb. drift wood bought from the fish store. I boiled the wood to lower the PH effect, but the owner of the fish store said goldfish and koi wouldn't notice the pH effect from the log.

Sucks I dropped $25 bucks on that last Koi.

I'm not bailing, but for future reference, are tropical fish easier to care for?

Will pick up API Freshwater Master Test Kit

Is it feasible to keep my Koi until they get bigger and then sell them back - provided I start doing water changes more frequently? Thank God I don't pay my water bill :o )

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Yes, tropical fish are easier to care for. They don't have the waste output that goldfish do, nor are they quite as sensitive to water params as goldfish except for temperature. Thats not to say that they don't need care and pristine water also, though.

I would take the koi back asap. They will not get much bigger in the 75 gallon, and it in fact will stunt their growth and cause them many other problems.

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Guest Jimc

As for the driftwood ! even after boiling it, it will keep producing tannic acids in the tank, which is great for amazon fish such as Discus,plecos or angel fish, but goldfish like they're water a little bit on the harder side!

Edited by Jimc

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What kind of water conditioner are you using? You didn't mention it, and it's a vital part of water changes/water quality (chlorine in tap water is bad for fish and the beneficial bacteria breaking down fish waste).

There are a lot of options for filters. I suggest the Aquaclear 110 (500 gph). This would bring your filtration rate to the recommended level, and the aquaclear can be found online for a good price. Also, you might be able to get two Penguin 350's (as Tink mentioned) for almost the same price, and get even more filtration.

In the explanation for salting you were given, the "per gallon" part was left out: 1 teaspoon (5ml) of salt per gallon yeilds a concentration of 0.1% salt in the aquarium.

Edited by A Penguin

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Eeek! Thank you A Penguin for catching that ommission! Yes, 1 tsp per gal.

Also, as the tank is big you will be adding quite a lot of salt, so it is worth noting that 1 tablespoon = 3 tsp and that 1 cup = 16 tsp; it makes life a little easier during dosing.

Here is a detailed guide to salting written by Trinket

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=60876

Once you've got the tank sorted out you'll find that goldies are not super-difficult. It's really just a case of getting the basic requirements right and your 75g should be great.

It is a shame about the koi as they must be beautiful. Know anyone with a pond?

From now on - do yourself a HUGE favour and get your advice here; the fish stores usually give terrible advice and are not reliable. You will find a ton of helpful articles here and everyone as you see is very friendly and quick to offer help.

Ideal numbers, just for reference:

Ammonia and nitrite need to be zero;

Nitrate, below 40 at most, but under 20 is best;

PH should be at least 7.2 to be safe from PH instability.

PS. Jimc is right about the wood - anything which lowers the PH is not great in a goldie tank.

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Guest theerer3

RESULTS ARE IN:

Ph (hard to tell) but 6.8-7.0

Amonia - 0 ppm

Nitrite - 0 ppm

Nitrate - 30

KH = 71.6 ppm

GH - I think the test was backwards, it said put drops in until turn from orange to green, but it turned from green to orange around 3 drops - so 53.7. I put like 30 in and it was still orange so I think it was backwards.

I'm going to do a 50% water change now, get something tomorrow to treat that Nitrate, and I have a Ph Upper tablet that I will use until I hear otherwise.

I'm going to STOP the medicine treatment for the koi's redish fins as the fin does not appear to be rotting at all - nor the other fish. I'm guessing the low Ph or somewhat high nitrate is what has them acting up.

Please provide feedback! and thanks!

Also, I bought salt, and I'm pretty sure 1 Tbsp = 2 tsp (not 3)

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Yowza, it looks like your tank is sorta cycled. See, I thought it would be ammonia stress causing the red streaks. That's what I get for being new!

Anywho, there are 3 tsp in 1 tbsp. I just googled to confirm.

Good luck with your guys...I'm sure they'll pull through if you keep a watchful eye on the water parameters. I'm struggling with goofy pH at the moment...

You won't likely need something for the nitrate though -- a few water changes will bring that down. Just be sure to gravel vac and swish off your filter media in tank water. The best thing for your water now probably is just good water. (Sometimes it's helpful to read your tap water to see what you're working with to start.)

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Guest theerer3

So I'm thinking I should def keep treating the water with the medicine as it does look like the fin is just starting to rot away maybe and the red is def brighter than ever.

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Guest theerer3

Okay, I made the 50% water change - the water was slightly orangish. Water looks much clearer now, fish are swimming around like crazy - although probably just from the excitement.

I took the infected fish (the one with the blood streaks in his fin) and put him in a 5 gal bucket with some rock from the other tank (along with water from that tank).

Please advise on continuing the "quarantine" as well as treating the quarantine tank and regular tank through the 5 day cycle of fin-rot medicine.

Thanks - I HOPE THIS WORKS!

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Guest theerer3

Retested, Nitrate down to 10, and Ph is right at 7 after water change.

I have salt - should I treat?

Thanks

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Do you have an airstone you could put into the bucket? If you don't have a filter you can put in there, you'll have to do many temp matched, dechlorinated wcs in a 5 gallon bucket.

Yes, I'd salt, but be careful to follow the directions and use aquarium salt (or pickling salt) as 5 gallons is a small amount of water. And I wouldn't use meds in a 5 gallon bucket with no filter or airstone.

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Okay, I made the 50% water change - the water was slightly orangish. Water looks much clearer now, fish are swimming around like crazy - although probably just from the excitement.

I took the infected fish (the one with the blood streaks in his fin) and put him in a 5 gal bucket with some rock from the other tank (along with water from that tank).

Please advise on continuing the "quarantine" as well as treating the quarantine tank and regular tank through the 5 day cycle of fin-rot medicine.

Thanks - I HOPE THIS WORKS!

I would not try to treat your fish in this bucket for several reasons;

a) you have no filter in there, so the ammonia will escalate very quickly in that small space. Ammonia + meds = toxic soup;

b) meds depleat the water of oxygen, so without filtration and an airstone the fish will suffer;

c) if you run salt to 0.3% in the main tank and maintain very regular water changes this will often heal the fin-rot.

Give it few days with the salt and partial w/changes to see if there is any improvement. You can always go for the meds if it doesn't respond, but I think it is best to try pristine water and harmless treatments before coming in with the big guns.

Remember that salt taken out via water changes must be replaced - only add back salt for the quantitiy of water removed (not the whole tank)

Do not forget to order the Prazi online to treat for flukes, which salt unfortunately doesn't kill.

This is a lot of new info to take in and I remember that re-reading all the posts really helped me to consolidate all the ins and outs when I was in your shoes. It is so easy to miss or forget things when you're doing emergency work!

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5 gallons is not a lot of water to QT in, especially if you don't have a cycled filter running on it. I would recommend QTing in a larger container, like a 10gal rubbermaid tub with an airstone. While you're treating in the QT bucket, you'll have to replace the water daily to remove ammonia (ammonia + meds = lethal) and then add back the medicine.

Edit: my bad luck today; I'm posting right on top of everyone else!

Edited by thoughtsofjoy

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Guest theerer3

I've got a QT tank set up - 10 gallon with a filter running and I'm finishing the treatment for Fin Rot in both tanks since both are likely to be infected and the fish in the large tank are still spending an inordinate amount of time at the bottom.

I also added some salt in both - hopefully things will improve, but the water tested perfect for the second day in a row, but the stress is coming from something. I feel like the feedback has slowed since I found that I have good water conditions, but I'm still open to advice.

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I also added some salt in both - hopefully things will improve, but the water tested perfect for the second day in a row, but the stress is coming from something. I feel like the feedback has slowed since I found that I have good water conditions, but I'm still open to advice.

I first advice I gave you, and repeated with my last post, is that you need to treat your fish with Prazi for flukes - you may have missed it with all the replies you've received.

If you add an unquarantined fish to your tank and notice soon after that all the fish begin streaking, bottom-sitting scratching/flashing etc. the obvious cause is parasites, brought in on the new fish. Flukes attack not only the gills but also the body and fins - the fish are then opened up to all sorts of opportunistic secondary infections - including fin-rot. Fin rot is most likely the secondary rather than the primary.

When trying to diagnose and treat symptoms, the order of approach must always be this:

water quality> parasites> bacteria.

If water params are good, the next thing to rule out is parasites. Unless fish have an obvious bacterial infection, this should always take precedence over bacteria.

"I'm finishing the treatment for Fin Rot in both tanks since both are likely to be infected and the fish in the large tank are still spending an inordinate amount of time at the bottom".

You are treating your fish for bacteria with tetracycline even though only one fish has visible signs - this means that the greatest threat (flukes) is going untreated. Fin-rot isn't something with an incubation period which all fish must be treated for 'incase'.

Salt is normally enough to deal with fin-rot and many parasites, but not flukes. This is why you should order Prazi asap. Right now, you are prioritizing the running of meds (which are most likely unnecessary) over the more pressing need to rule out flukes.

My guess is that if you maintain salt and run Prazi, the fin-rot will sort itself out. If not, you can move on to meds, then.

Google Prazi for the best price in your area.

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