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Guest starryeyed

Help! I Don't Know What's Wrong!

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Guest starryeyed

I bought my fish 2 years ago as a feeder fish for my Oscar. Out of 10 other feeder fish, he survived! When he was 3 inches long, I broke down and bought him a 60 gallon tank and some friends. He was a big (9 inches!) happy goldfish until about a two weeks ago. I noticed he had white spots on him like Ich, so I seperated him and treated the tank with Rid Ich for a week. But things only got worse and worse until his eyes bulged out noticably. So I thought it was Pop Eye and switched medications. Then about 3 days ago his fins began to erode and white film hung from his eyes. I panicked and bought him medication for every disease I could find. Now he's COVERED in this white filmy stuff, it looks like he's being eaten alive! This is my favorite goldfish. He's survived so much in his life, I can't stand to watch him suffer like this! I have no idea what he could have. I'm amazed he's even alive in the condition he's in. Any thoughts or advice is greatly appreciated.

I'm trying to get pictures. I will post them soon.

I had my water tested two weeks ago. I don't remember any numbers but my water was perfect. I also installed a ph and ammonia gauge on the side of the tank. Ammonia is "safe" and ph is between 7.0 and 7.4.

[*]Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running?

55 Gallons, running for over three years.

[*]What is the name and size of the filter/s?

I have two filters a Emperor 400 and smaller nondescript filter that came with the tank.

[*]How often do you change the water and how much?

Water is usually changed every other week, about 20-25 gallons. Now I change it every other day. I would change it more, but the fish seems pretty stressed out by it.

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size?

In the hospital tank, one very sick fish that's about 9-10 inches long.

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners?

I use Aqua Safe with every water change.

[*]Any medications added to the tank?

Many. At the moment, I'm only using Maracyn-Two, which a friend suggested.

[*]Add any new fish to the tank?

No!

[*]What do you feed your fish?

Wardley Koi pellets, but he stopped eating yesterday.

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as

"grains of salt",

bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

Yeah, the fish seems like he's being eaten alive! White film hangs from him, but he hasn't lost any scales yet.

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating,ect..?

Sits at the bottom, hugs his fins close to his body, recently stopped eating, stressed out by small things like water changes.

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Oh, poor guy. He looks like he's in rough shape. I'm newer to fishkeeping, so will refrain from advice. However, I will say you probably need to get a drop-test water kit immediately. I went through a toxic water experience, and my local pet shop kept testing water and telling me it was 'perfect' too. They typically test with strips, which are very unreliable (and often kept in poor storage conditions).

Exact water parameters will help the folks here diagnose quickly and accurately.

Good luck, and hang in there!

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I'm so sorry that your fish isn't doing well. I wanted to comment on the Maracyn two that you're using. It becomes de-activated with light, so you need to keep the lights off the tank, and keep something around it (like a towel) to keep light out.

I'm no pro, but to me it looks like it could be columnaris - but let the pro's tell you for sure. They'll know which meds are perfect for whatever is wrong with him. His mouth looks a bit funny in the pics, as well -but it could be the picture.

Best of luck with your fish!!

Debbie

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Hello staryeyed, I am really sorry about your poor goldfish. I am so not knowlegeable enough to offer you advise as to what may be wrong with your fish. But I am wondering, because this monitor sucks and I can't see in your pictures clearly, the white stuff on the fish ---- does it look slimy or fuzzy (like little hairs or mold)? Like I said I am not qualified to give advise but I wish you luck in helping your little (ha) finned friend.

By the way........ you originally bought him for food for your oscar? Do you still have the oscar too??

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Guest starryeyed

Thanks for that tip about Maracyn not working in light. I put a towel around the tank.

I'd say it looks like mold. He's covered in it now, but when it first started it was mostly around his eyes. Two weeks ago he had white spots that I thought were ich. They faded away when this white film developed.

His mouth looks weird because he only has half a mouth. It's a birth defect I never noticed until he got bigger. He never had any trouble eating though.

My poor fish is having trouble floating upright. I fear this may be the end of him. I'm going to be watching my other goldfish in the main tank like a hawk. Maybe if I spot this sickness soon enough, Maracyn Two will do the trick.

I gave the Oscar to a friend of mine, but he's still alive and well.

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I am a little confused -- is the "hospital tank" and the 55 gallon tank you describe in the information about your filtration, etc. the same tank? If not, how big is the hospital tank and how much filtration does it have? Is the filter on the hospital tank cycled?

I think that a lot of your fishes' problems have to do with too much medication, possibly dangerous water parameters (the combination of ammonia and/or nitrite and medications is especially dangerous), and possibly falling pH.

The fact that you had the water tested two weeks ago at a pet store doesn't mean much now. Often pet stores will give you wrong advice and information and water parameters can turn bad in hours or days, much less weeks.

Our best disease diagnosis and treatment moderators are in the UK and in Japan, so they are asleep right now. While you are holding tight and waiting for them, there are a couple of basic things that you can do right now:

  1. A 100% temperature-matched, dechlorinated water change in the hospital tank. Fresh water always does a sick fish good. The good it will do your fish will outweigh any stress the water change may cause. This will temporarily reverse any problems that you are having with ammonia, nitrite, falling pH, and/or dangerous combinations of medications.
  2. If you don't already have one, get a filter on the hospital tank. Add mature media to it such as sponges, biostars or floss (from the 55 gallon tank filters).
  3. Bring the hospital tank up to a 0.1% salt solution. For the sake of simplicity and expendiency, use aquarium salt from the pet store. Add 1 tsp for each gallon the tank holds. Dissolve the salt in the tank water in a separate container before adding to the tank. This will soothe your fishes' irritated skin and will be helpful regardless of the eventual diagnosis.

Good luck and keep us posted!

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BTW -- Those pH and ammonia gauges are not worth a darn. I have seen the ammonia gauges read "safe" in water that I know was dangerously high in ammonia. Don't rely on them.

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Hello starryeyed and Welcome to Koko's!

Hon, the first thing you need to do is stop medicating immediately. All of these harsh meds together are creating a very toxic soup which your fish is swimming and breathing in. I'm glad you're doing daily wc's now, but the original problems could have stemmed from wcs every other week. Thats just not often enough for goldies, who are ginormous waste makers.

How many gallons is your QT tank? Are you adding meds to this tank? Is there a filter or airstone in the QT tank? The absolute best thing that you can do for your fish right now is not to panic. Just breathe for a minute. The more medications you add, the worse your fish is going to get. Imagine if you were ill and didn't know what was wrong, and just started taking everything in the medicine cabinet that you could get your hands on. See what I mean?

Right now the best thing you can do is give your fish pristine water. Do a 100% wc, use a carbon filter to get the meds out of the water. Make sure the water is ph and temperature matched.

I realize your lfs told you your water is "perfect". Unfortunately many of us have lost fish do to incorrect advice. You need to get a drop tester that tests for ammonia, nitrate, nitrites, ph and kh. And you need to do this very soon.

Please do an immediate wc, and let us know how he's doing. Good luck and post back soon.

LOL, sorry Kristen!! Looks like we posted on top of each other and we both said the same thing!!

Edited by vickielm

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I think it is very important that you get yourself a proper drop-test kit. The tank monitors can be inaccurate. With all the meds you have run, I'd be surprised if you haven't crashed your bio-filter; having reliable water readings is especially important under these conditions.

The effects of so many meds are very harsh on the fish and symptoms start to be hard to distinguish, but I think it sounds like it may be columnaris; the beginning white spots followed by creeping fuzz. Are you sure the mouth is a birth defect? Columnaris causes the mouth to eventually disintigrate.

Before we go any further, I think we must know where your water chemistry is at - medications can become very toxic if there is ammonia, nitrite or an unstable PH.

Edit: Oh no, quadruple post!!!!

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Looking at those pics it looks to me like a very bad pH crash. This can happen with overmedicating a tank as Pixiefish says. Your fish will suffocate if he is left in the water. As others have said PLEASE immediately get your fish into 100% new de-chlorinated water and lets take things from there. I recently had a sudden pH crash and my fish looked just like this. In new water they shed more skin and grow new skin within 24 hours. Please act fast. Whatever this turns out to be, new clean unmedicated water is the very first thing this fish needs.

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Starryeyed, how are things with your fish now? Any improvements? :)

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