Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest GoldieSalvo

Black Smuge Death

Recommended Posts

Guest GoldieSalvo

Hello everyone, my first post so I hope that I'm in the right section.

I have (or rather had) 2 goldfish, Hook and GoldieSalvo they live in approx 20 litre tank

Anyway my gold fish Hook of 6 years died overnight, I probably could have saved him I did some research and I believe he had black smudge. According the fish "expert" I saw in a pet shop, I was told that the black spots on his fin and underbelly was due to decrease in sunlight being winter and was natural, had I acted on my first instinct that there was something wrong with him he could have been saved.

My concern now is with my 12 year old fish GoldieSalvo (I got him from the Salvation army). He seems ok, with no black marks etc, but I am concerned that the water is contaminated. I'd like to do a full water change (which I have never done) but don't want to upset the good bacteria in the water

Can any one advise how I should clean the tank for my remaining fish, I love him dearly, thanking you in advance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

firstly, i'm sorry for your loss :(

do you mean a 20 litre tank? :unsure: i'm hoping you mean 20 gallons...

black marks on fins and body are usually ammonia burns i think. this is caused by inadequate housing for your fish. what sort of fish are they? common ones (single tail) or fancy ones (deep bodies, double tails)? generally common goldfish need 80 litres each, and fancies need 40 litres each, to be healthy.

as for cleaning your tank, how long was Hook in there after he passed? if it wasn't long, personally i think you can get away with changing the water, no need to scrub anything down. the good bacteria are not really in the water, they're in the filter and on any gravel or ornaments etc. hopefully others will chime in on this topic to help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest GoldieSalvo

Hi just to clarify Goldie Salvo has been in the tank approx 12-24 hours now after hooks passing, I think he's a fantail? a single tail gold fish. I not sure what a gallon is cause we use litres in Australia but my tank takes approx 20-30 litres to fill, maybe I'm a bit ignorant but the tank seems quite roomy (especially now) for 1 fish. Anyway thought I should update these details. Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi and welcome to Koko's. I am sorry about your fishes' death.

Single tail goldfish require at least 75 liters of water each. This is because they generate a lot of metabolic waste. The black smudges on your fish were probably ammonia burns from accumulated fish waste.

In order to help you, we need to know more about your tank. Do you have a filter? How often do you do water changes? When you change water, how much do you remove and replace? Do you use a water conditioner? If so, which one?

Is there a chance that you could take a sample of your water to a local pet store and have them test it for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate? Ask them to write down the exact numbers -- don't let them tell you "it's okay". We need to know the numbers.

The next thing to do is a large water change on your tank -- perhaps as much as 100% of the water. This is not because it has germs in it from the dead fish, but to remove the waste products that probably caused the first fishes' death (be sure to save a sample of the old water for testing, though). Be sure to match the temperature of the water and use a dechlorinator when you do this water change.

Keep us posted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest GoldieSalvo

Ok thanks for that, I'll go to the pet store in the next couple of days for a water test

I change the water every 3-4 weeks (I feel very embarassed now) and change approx 2/3rds of it.

I have a sponge? filter with a sprinkler or spray on top basically it doesn't need charcoal or filter wool

I use API stress coat with aloe vera for water conditioner

I usually leave the water for 24 hours so it matches room tempertature is the water change immediate or could I wait another 12-24 hours?

I'll change the 100% water but do I need to scrub the filter, gravel etc or will the water change be ok for now?

I think I see a Small black streak on GoldieSalvo and I'm freaking out!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should not feel embarassed at all -- most of us came to Koko's because we had sick fish under circumstances that are similar to yours.

The water doesn't need to sit for 24 hours. As long as it is treated with a water conditioner to remove chlorine and is a similar temperature to what is in the tank, then you can put it directly into the tank.

I would advise you to remove your remaining fish to a bucket while you thoroughly vacuum your gravel as you remove all the water with a siphon. There may be a lot of crud in the gravel. Try to get it as clean as possible. If you have more than 1/2 inch of gravel in the tank, remove gravel to bring it down to that level. Squeeze your sponge filter in the discarded tank water (not tap water) to remove any crud from it, but don't clean it too thoroughly because you will lose good bacteria if you do.

As a general rule, you should remove and replace at least 50% of your water each week, more in an overstocked tank.

Is there any way that you could get a bigger tank for your fish, or at least a regular hang on back filter? Sponge filters are good for supplementary filtration, but they are not enough to serve as stand-alone filters for goldfish tanks. You need a filter that will turn over the whole volume of the tank ten times each hour. So in the case of a 20 gallon tank you need a filter that turns over 200 gallons per hour (at least).

It sounds like your other fish is beginning to show signs of ammonia burns, as well. This makes doing the tank cleaning that I've recommended urgent.

Keep us posted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so sorry for your loss. I am brand new and learning, too. That is why I came here and everyone has been so supportive and helpful. It is much harder to learn from a loss, but it is the learning and caring that matters most. It sounds like the water change, a larger tank, and being really diligent about your cleaning schedule will keep your other fish healthy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest GoldieSalvo

Hi again everyone, I'm in a bit of a bother with my fish Goldie Salvo, just for your info again, I had another fish that died from black smudge a few weeks ago, I did a complete water change, and have since treated for white spot (didn't work) and now am treating for fungal just started treatment a few days ago.

He got quite severe fuzzy spots on his eyes and fins, the treatment appears to be working and I will repeat the treament again tomorrow as directed. He's in a 20-30 litre tank, I have brought an air stone so his water is well areated during treatement, I have however stoped the filter as it says treatment will be ineffective with activated carbon and I don't think the filter will work if I take the carbon portion out.

To my horror I have noticed faint black streaks on his fin (similiar to the one that caused his mate to die). Can anyone please recommend anything that may help, I feel if I don't do something within the week he will die, he's a 12 year old comet and very loved. Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest GoldieSalvo

Oh forgot to add I have been doing a 50% water change every week

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest GoldieSalvo

Oh and I did purchase a regular hang on back filter that I haven't yet started to use because of fungal treatment sorry for the multiple replies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back goldie! This will have to be short, so sorry if I get straight to the point LOL

There is a good chance your problems are still stemming from the same thing. Have you purchased a test kit as Acupunk suggested? You MUST do so, and test your water fast and often..

As she previously stated, the tank your fish is in is WAY to small, and without test readings and water changes, adding medications may only be making things worse.. Please find a way to get your test results posted as soon as possible. Thanks : )

Second you must replace the filter. Taking out the filter has ruined your cycle, which will add to the build up of ammonia in your tank, which is probably already high because the tank size is too small.. Right now I believe you want to get the medicine OUT of the water.. It may not be helping the situation. Never medicate without testing the tank water first.

Right now you need to remove all meds. Save a portion of your water to be tested, the do a 100% water change. (temp matched, and treated with dechlorinator). Replace the filter, hopefully some of your beneficial bacteria are still alive. How long ago did you remove the filter?? The carbon is FINE right now, it will help remove the meds, and that is exactly what you want to do right now.

What meds exactly have you put it? Can you please copy & paste the following box of questions and answer them as best you can? It will help sooo much : )

[*]Test Results for the Following:

Ammonia Level?

Nitrite Level?

Nitrate level?

Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines)?

Ph Level (KH/GH) out of the Tap?

Brand of test-kit used? (strips or drops?)

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

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

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

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

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners?

[*]Any medications added to the tank?

[*]Add any new fish to the tank?

[*]What do you feed your fish?

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as

"grains of salt",

bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

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

Sorry for such an abrupt post! My boyfriend is waiting for me LOL Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
He got quite severe fuzzy spots on his eyes and fins, the treatment appears to be working and I will repeat the treament again tomorrow as directed. He's in a 20-30 litre tank, I have brought an air stone so his water is well areated during treatement, I have however stoped the filter as it says treatment will be ineffective with activated carbon and I don't think the filter will work if I take the carbon portion out.

To my horror I have noticed faint black streaks on his fin (similiar to the one that caused his mate to die). Can anyone please recommend anything that may help, I feel if I don't do something within the week he will die, he's a 12 year old comet and very loved. Thanks

There is a saying goldfish keepers have. "Take care of the water and the water will take care of the fish." If you have healthy water, your fish will be healthy, so you need to not put your initial focus on medications to treat the symptoms, but instead, get the water environment healthy.

You cannot stop running the filter at any time ever. What the instructions on the medication mean is that filter media, such as charcoal, must be removed. You need to turn your filter back on immediately. The additional aerators are fine, but you must have filtration. Also, you need to have the proper level of filtration as Acupunk described, that is the filter needs to turn 10 times the water per hour as the size of the tank.

Next, if you have a single tail goldfish that is 12 years old, it must be rather large. A 20L tank is just far too small. With a tank that small, you would need to do daily water changes of at least 50% just to keep the ammonia down. If you can't afford to buy a 75L tank, you can use a plastic rubbermaid type bin. Many of us use those and they work great!

Now I know Acupunk said to go have a fish store test your water and she is absolutely correct. This is what we suggest if you can't afford test kits. And if you can't afford a kit, this is definitely what you need to to, but in the situation you're in now, you are going to need to go take your water to be tested several times a week. So, it is highly advised that you have your own test kits on hand so you can do daily water tests. If you do choose to buy test kits, you need to get drop test kits for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and ph.

The black streaks are ammonia burns caused from high ammonia levels due to fish waste and uneaten food left in the tank. The fungus is a secondary infection that was attracted to the damaged skin from the unhealthy water conditions.

Once you get all of the questions answered, we can better help you with how to treat your fish.

We are here to help so feel free to ask all the questions you need to!

Edited by lynda441

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are getting great advice here! The only thing I'd like to chime in about is advice from the lfs. I have never heard that it is "natural" for fish to turn black on their bellies or otherwise because it is winter. The black smudge is ammonia burns from poor quality water. I've heard all kinds of things from the lfs, but that is a first.

Please take the advice you've been given here as it is excellent and will enable you to save your fish.

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest GoldieSalvo

Thanks guys for your quick replies.

Right I'll buy a ph tester for the water 1st thing tomorrow

The filter has been off for 3 days :(

I started the filter again, it's a new one called AQUA ONE CLEAR hang on filter flow rate is 160/L per hour suitable up to a 40 litre tank I've got receipts so can exchange if you think this is a piece of rubbish. The old spray filter I got was definititely a piece of rubbish and sometimes the water flow/spray was very weak and inconsistent. I will purchase a bigger tank sometime soon but don't wont to go ahead with it if Goldie Savlo doesn't survive, I know the size of the tank is part of the problem but I just can't afford a new tank if he doesn't pull through.

The treatment is supposed to be repeated again tomorrow it's called FUNGUS CURE active ingredients are acriflavine & malachite green, treatment is working and the fuzzy parts are diminishing. However I won't repeat as per your instructions

So now I do a 100% water change right? The other thing I need to ask is I leave usually leave the water 24 hours in buckets before adding to tank, I probably should purchase a themometor and match the room temperature to the water right? But for now as it is urgent would it be ok to just leave the water in buckets for say an hour then go aheah with the 100% change?

I don't think he ate this morning, (the first time ever) it's almost like he couldn't see it. He sought of stays in the one spot alot, not for from the top of the tank near the corner, he's not gulping for air, he seemed to perk up when I started the filter. He is quite a big fish I guess approximately 10cm long

By the way what age can comet fish live to in a tank? Interested to know

I'll answer the box of questions once I purchased the kit.

THANKS again guys for your help!!!!!!!!!! Very much appreciated :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The record comet lived for 43 years. If given adequate space to live and grow properly and healthy water conditions, goldfish can live, on an average, of around 15-20 years.

I have to make a comment about not investing in the things needed to help GoldieSalvo get better. You say that you don't want to buy anything to make its life healthier unless it survives, but that's like saying you're not going to spend any money on taking a sick person to the hospital until they get better first. I'm not trying to be mean. We ALL have been where you are just starting out, making mistakes, but that's how we found Kokos and that's how we all began to learn. And we're all here to help.

You need to buy more than a ph test kit. You need drop test kits for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates as well. It is the ammonia that is harming your fish. Nitrites result from good bacteria beginning to process the ammonia, but nitrites are also very dangerous. Nitrates result from the continuing process of the good bacteria eating the nitrites and nitrates are less dangerous than ammonia or nitrites, but if you don't test for all of these elements, high levels of any of them are dangerous.

Now that you have added a new filter, you may see a bump in the water readings, which is another reason to invest in test kits so you can keep a daily eye on the water quality. It is imperative that, between a sick fish and a new filter, the water quality be kept as pristine as possible. I would also suggest that you keep the old filter in there along with the new one. That will allow the old, established good bacteria in the old filter to still be there while the good bacteria can get established in the new filter.

Yes, you need to do a 100% temperature matched water change now. The Mods don't usually suggest that you start off with medications. Meds are hard on fish and can cause more harm than good if the wrong ones are used. That yours are helping makes this an even more difficult situation to call. Salting the tank is the usual first suggested route. You can use any type of salt that is not iodized. In other words, no table salt. Aquarium salt, rock salt, kosher salt, sea salt, etc. You start by adding 1 tsp per 1 gallon of water. After 12 hours, add another 1 tsp per gallon. After another 12 hours, add another 1 tsp per gallon of water. When you do your daily water changes, you will need to replace the salt at the level you removed it. In other words, if you have 3 tsp of salt per gallon in a 10 gallon tank, you have 30 tsps of salt. If you do a 50% water change, you have removed half of the salt, or 15 tsps. So, you would need to replace 15 tsps of salt in the tank.

Please give us your water readings as soon as you can. Thanks and good luck!

Edited by lynda441

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest GoldieSalvo

Hi everyone, brought a some test strips, I saved a sample of the water from yesterday, this morning I did a 100% water change did not remove or clean gravel and put back the old filter spary (that i pulled out of the bin) it's not on, just clinging to the side as lynda suggested (thanks) maybe this will keep some good bacteria in the water. Unfortunately the pet shop didn't have in stock an amonia tester so a matter of urgency I brought some testing stips anyway that will help with some of the numbers.

I tried to be as accurate as I can, reading the numbers by checking the colors on the strips, sometimes it's a a little difficult to be 100% accurate but I think I did ok

[*]Test Results for the Following: Please note this is yesterdays water before the 100% water change I did this morning

Ammonia Level? Not available as yet (will purchase soon)

Nitrite Level? NO3 20

Nitrate level? NO2 0.5

Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines)? 6.0

Ph Level (KH/GH) out of the Tap? Not yet tested will be available next post

Brand of test-kit used? (strips or drops?) API 5 in 1 Aquarium test strips

[*]Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running? approx 23 litres running for about 7 years

[*]What is the name and size of the filter/s? Aqua clear one hang on filter, filter flow rate 160/ L per hour,

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? recently every week 1/4 - 50% , have done 2 100% water changes in the last 4 weeks once after the first fish died and 100% water change again yesterday to get the fungal treatment out of the water, but before all this sickness only once a month ;(

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 fish in tank, comet approx 10 cm long not including tail

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? I use API stress coat

[*]Any medications added to the tank? added fungal cure 4 days ago and before that white spot remedy before that

[*]Add any new fish to the tank? no

[*]What do you feed your fish nutrafin max flakes

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as

"grains of salt", bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? fuzzy white stuff of eyes and fins (has cleared alot tho since fungal treatement) poo is unusual beige color, tumor (that's what I think it is, near eye has been there for approx 2 years) a white spot also near eye, looks as tho there is some fungal? in his mouth, starting to develope faint black streaks on tail and fin one quite pronounced black streak on fin

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating,ect..? Having a bit of trouble eating like he can't suck the food properly but I think he's getting a bit not like his usual appetite tho, not swimming around the tank

I also did a test of the current water in his tank the only changes are the P.H which is now 6.5 and the NO3 which is 0

I am willing to get a bigger tank for GoldieSalvo and will be looking around for one, someone suggested something like a 70 litre clear plastic storgage container is better than the tank he is in now

Hope someone can help with a diagonosis thanks

ps sorry about the different font sizes, just can't seem to make all paragraphs the same size

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi!

I think you have the nitrate(NO3) and nitrite (NO2) readings round the wrong way. With a full water change (good job) the nitrates will certainly be 0 :) Thats good.

What is worrying is your pH. @ 6 is very acidic. I expect its the meds. They can pull the pH right down. pH should always be above 7 for goldies. Its 6.5 now in the new water but it may start to fall so you need to check often. Check the tap pH too. You will need to get some BUff-It-Up or use plain bicarb of soda, a teaspoon mixed first in tank water. This will raise the pH to a safer level within an hour.

It sounds like your fish have had/are having a columnaris infection. The black patches in this case are not ammonia burn but a kind of necrosis of skin tissue that happens as the bacteria settle in. The best treatment for this is actually potassium permangenate (not fungal meds or white spot meds). You can try and find PERMOXYN by Kordon.

If you cannot get it, you can try a water born oxytetracyline antibiotic like Thomas Labs tetracycline capsules (break into the water) or possibly Mardels Maracyn TC.

Low oxgen and high nitrites increase mortality for this fish disease so you need to get plenty of aeration going in his water and make sure the nitrites are zero all the time.

Even without the meds (and while he is waiting) perfect water in a larger volume tank space will go a long way to improving his condition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest GoldieSalvo

Great advice thanks Trinket!

There's good aeration in the tank now as I did buy an air stone and pump recently

He seems in a bit better today, swimming around a bit more. I will look in the pet shop for some of the meds suggested. I will try the teaspoon of bicarb right now as I have some in the cupboard and check ph level tomorrow

I'll start looking for a bigger tank want to get some more fishies anyway!

Fantastic forum hopefully I can post soon with some perfect water conditions and a heathier Goldie Salvo

Cheers K

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trinket is one of our best Moderators and is extremely knowledgeable. I admire her greatly and if you follow everything she says, you will have a lot of luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest GoldieSalvo

GoldieSavlo is heaps better today! I don't want to get ahead of myself but I think he's on the road to recovery :)

Ph in tank is up around 7.5-8 since I put the bicarb soda in WHAT CAN'T bicarb do?

Nitrates are still in tank water and tap water

Water is looking alot clearer less cloudy

Ph level in tap water is a litle low so I'll make sure I add a little bicarb now with water changes

The GH in tank is very low around 30 and according to the phamplet it should be around 120 can I add any some kind of salts to increase it? Trinket didn't mention anything about that number

You're all so right about the tank it looks so small for him now, I'd like to see him get to swim a bit more freely in his Autumn years.

I'm watching some tanks on ebay at this moment hoping to get a bargain

It's a sad condition in humans that we don't react and change situations unless something goes very wrong, I :heart my fish and see him as my good luck charm, hopefully I can have him for a few more years yet

He's called GoldieSalvo cause I got him from the Salvation Army (where I used to work), he lived in the store in the very same tank until a customer complained about the water conditions he was living in (the tank was basically green), then I took him home. He's seen store robberies, junkies shooting up (probably every night), fights betweens pimps and working girls and God knows what else because he was positioned near the window of a very prominent and notorious street corner. Even tho I know gold fish are quite tough I like to think he's one of the toughest/street wise Gold fish around.

THANKS again ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest GoldieSalvo

Opps :unsure: meant to say in last post on 3rd line nitrates are still 0 in tank and tap water

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a wonderful story :D

He is a streetwise fish indeed and very special. I just want to say that if you continue to see improvement with good water alone (no nitrites) and watching the pH closely, he may recover perfectly well without meds. It is always hard to gage the fine line between when to medicate and when to leave alone since so much depends on the age, background, strength and residue immunity of the fish as well as how many overwhelming factors are at play in his home environment. But given that you seem dedicated and on course to providing him with the best care water wise from here, perhaps this may be enough. Observation is always key with fish. You need to spend time observing his individual "normals" and then you can catch disease early and there is no need to damage your cycle (and fishes immunity) with medication. It's always the best way.

Watch him closely for a day or two. If you see any deterioration or in fact no improvement at all in spite of perfect water, that is the time to consider using one of the meds. Have one at hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sooo happy GoldieSalvo is doing better! YAY!!!!

One thing with the bicarbonate of soda. It is a temporary solution, so keep a close eye on it. A more permanent solution to up your ph is to add some crushed coral to your tank. This will harden the water slowly and because it's there all the time, it won't fade like the bicarb soda will.

As far as correcting your GH, I'm not terribly familiar with all of the ins and outs of GH and KH, so I can't speak to that.

Also, check Craigslist for tanks. Although it can take time, patience and persistence, you can really find some great deals there.

Again, don't beat yourself up over not understanding the technicalities of successful goldfish keeping. They are, in my opinion, the most difficult fish to keep and, at least, one of the most difficult fish. The important thing is that you love your fishy and you care enough to learn.

Ah, yes, the stories GoldieSalvo could tell. And, I know, his best story would be how he was saved and loved by his adoring owner. You.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a wonderful story, and great for that customer to speak up and complain! Too many people don't even notice goldies in those kinds of conditions. GoldieSalvo is so much better off with you, and how lucky that you two found each other.

I'm so glad he is doing better, and looking forward to seeing your posts about his continued improvement! :heart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest GoldieSalvo

Hi everyone, Goldie Salvo is doing GREAT! :D He's looking alot more "gold" and is swimming around like his old self even comes to greet me in the morning when I feed him. He still has a few faint streaks on his fin and tail but improving without meds so far. I can't wait to get him a new tank I'm still searching hard online. Thinking about getting him a friend, would 80 litres be ok for 2 gold fish? Read the tank set up pages, very informative. The other thing I'd like to ask is would he grow any larger if I put him in a bigger tank or are his growing days over being 12 years old? Can't say enough thank yous to all your kind advice! :heart K

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
  • Create New...