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Need Some Advice - Possibly Sick Fish


Tripod

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My common goldfish (Tripod) has been doing very well since the last time I posted on here about his new tank. I was thankful for your advice and have been working to keep him happy. Just a few days ago he began acting a little strangely and i noticed his top fin was down and he would not bring it up. Recently he has begun laying on the bottom of the tank and only moving every few minutes or so until retreating to the same spot on the bottom. I cannot find any signs of disease (the only marking is a small spot on his side where it appears he lost a scale). I recently added a small pleco to the tank but removed it after only a few days and have not reintroduced it.

14 gallon tank - running 1.5 months

Aqueon power filter 30

water changed about every week and a half (50%) - Just did a 95% change

1 fish - 4.5 inches

Top fin water & bacateria conditioners

no meds

new fish (see above)

tetrafin goldfish products (food)

no unusual findings

lays on one spot on bottom, will make sporadic movements back & forth in the tank, suck rocks off the bottom, the retreat to same spot and lay down. His top fin is down and he is only using his front fins for movement (the other remain plastered to his side)

Any advice would be very helpful... I can't lose him.

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  • Regular Member
My common goldfish (Tripod) has been doing very well since the last time I posted on here about his new tank. I was thankful for your advice and have been working to keep him happy. Just a few days ago he began acting a little strangely and i noticed his top fin was down and he would not bring it up. Recently he has begun laying on the bottom of the tank and only moving every few minutes or so until retreating to the same spot on the bottom. I cannot find any signs of disease (the only marking is a small spot on his side where it appears he lost a scale). I recently added a small pleco to the tank but removed it after only a few days and have not reintroduced it.

14 gallon tank - running 1.5 months

Aqueon power filter 30

water changed about every week and a half (50%) - Just did a 95% change

1 fish - 4.5 inches

Top fin water & bacateria conditioners

no meds

new fish (see above)

tetrafin goldfish products (food)

no unusual findings

lays on one spot on bottom, will make sporadic movements back & forth in the tank, suck rocks off the bottom, the retreat to same spot and lay down. His top fin is down and he is only using his front fins for movement (the other remain plastered to his side)

Any advice would be very helpful... I can't lose him.

Hi Tripod.

Do you have a test kit? Are you able to answer the rest of the questions above? you say no meds, but is there salt? Did he lose the scale when the Pleco was in the tank? If you can't test, would you smell the water and discribe it? When you did the water change, was the temp, ph, nitrItes and Nitrates the same out of the tap as your tank? What items are in your tank? ie:gravel, plants - live or plastic, etc. What is the gph of your filter?

I know these are a lot of questions, but the people who can help you really need this info. Could you post as much as you can as soon as you can? It sounds like others have been helping you before so someone should see your post soon, but they are going to need all the info found on the top of the page again to know what's going on.

A couple of things I see tho is your tank is too small for the comet, so water changes should be done twice a week. Since the tank is only one and a half months old, it probably isn't established enough to handle all the ammonia from the comet and/or nitrate build-up. These can spike quickly for many reasons. I'll let the more experienced people go into that more.

If he still is bottom sitting, fins clamped, I would do another water change double checking the tap readings with the tank readings. If the tests show diffences, list them on here, but Don't change the water until someone explains how to regulate the tap or how to do it so that it doesn't stress out your "baby" anymore than necessary.

hope this helps.

I'll check back soon.

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  • Regular Member

Hello Tripod, :welcome

There are several possibilities for your fish's behavior. We really need to know your water parameters in order to help you-- that is, we need to know the test results for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH-- kH and gH, if you have tests for them. These tests will tell us your water quality, something that is VERY important to fishkeeping. Do you know about the nitrogen cycle? The nitrogen cycle is a basic, natural process that all water ecosystems go through in order to make the water safe for a fish. The water tests will tell us about the state of the nitrogen cycle in your tank.

The BEST tests are the drop test kits, like this one. They are a bit expensive, but it will be your best friend as a fishkeeper, and save you time, money, frustration, and possible devastation down the line. Don't buy test strips-- they are horribly inaccurate. You can also bring a sample of your water into a local fish shop and ask them to test it for you. If you do that, make sure you ask them for the exact numbers, not just "this is good" or "this is bad."

Let us know soon!

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To answer the other questions:

-yes salt has been added to the water (during each water change)

-I have medicine form past problems (melafix & tank buddies parasite clear) but have not used any yet this time

-the tank features natural gravel, two medium fake plants, and two small (fake) structures.

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Also, i just noticed small red patches on the underside of his belly (looks like a blood bruise) is this due to his laying on the bottom or something more sinister?

He seems (for now) to be doing much better than this morning, but now i'm concerned about the brusing on his stomach

Edited by Tripod
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Your ammonia reading should always be 0, and also your nitrite reading. The fact that you are showing nitrates means that your tank is probably cycled, but you are not doing enough large water changes. You should do an immediate 75-100% temperature matched and ph matched water change. Be sure to dechlorinate also. Just doing partials isn't enough to remove the ammonia and nitrites that are poisoning your fish. Water changes don't stress fish out. The poor quality water conditions stress them out.

I'm sure you've read here on the site that the minimum recommended tank size for a comet is 20 gallons. Anything less and your fish doesn't have room to grow, and the ammonia and nitrites build up very quickly, as you can see. An Aqueon 30 would be great if you had tropical fish in the 14 gallon, but it can't keep up with the waste output of a goldfish.

I'd like to suggest that you try to get a bigger home for Tripod, even if its a Rubbermaid container temporarily until you can get a bigger tank. Many posters here use them very successfully.

The red patch could possibly from nitrite poisoning. Right now pristine water conditions will be the best thing for him. A large water change now, and at least 50% every other day until you get him in a bigger home, which hopefully will be soon.

Good luck, and post back and let us know how he is doing! :)

Edited by vickielm
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Your nitrite is the problem. It needs to stay below 0.25 ppm, preferably zero. When there is too much nitrite in the water, it damages the fishes' gills and prevents them from transporting oxygen normally. This makes the fish bottom sit because he feels crummy.

A few things to do to address this:

  • Frequent, large water changes. If your nitrite is 1.0, you need to change at least 75% of the water to get it down to 0.25 (1.0 - 0.75 = 0.25).
  • Salt -- how much is in there now? 0.1-0.3% salt will help protect your fish against nitrite poisoning. 0.1% is 1 teaspoon of coarse grained salt per gallon of water and 0.3% is 3 teaspoons of coarse grained salt per gallon. If you are going to go up to 0.3%, do so in three doses with 12 hours between doses.
  • AmQuel+ will convert the nitrite and ammonia in your tank into a form that is not harmful to your fish. This takes a little bit of heat off you with regard to water changes, but it doesn't replace water changes.

You didn't post details on your filter (brand, gallons per hour, etc.) We need to know that to help you further.

Take care.

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Also, i just noticed small red patches on the underside of his belly (looks like a blood bruise) is this due to his laying on the bottom or something more sinister?

He seems (for now) to be doing much better than this morning, but now i'm concerned about the brusing on his stomach

I have nothing to add ..your getting great advice :exactly another thing with the red spot on the belly of your fish could be due to his bottom sitting ...gravel is rough and could contain nasty bacetria and when a fish is going through new tank syndrome it leaves your fish immunity a little low leaving him open to all sorts od infections and disease that is why it is soooo important to test water regularly and stay on top of daily waterchanges until your tank has cycled ...I would at the moment move gravel and clear a space for him to bottom sit (we don't want him doing that ) but in the meantime clear a nice smooth spot for him ...the only thing that will get him better at this point is waterchange and salt and vacume that gravel really good adding meds to a tank that has ammonia and nitrItes is very dangerous for your fish ..

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You didn't post details on your filter (brand, gallons per hour, etc.) We need to know that to help you further.

Prolly just missed this hon, but in the first post Tripod says the tank has an Aqueon 30 power filter-- that pumps 200GPH.

Tripod, you've got some great advice here, and I have nothing else to add. Those water changes are going to be the biggest help to you now.

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Guest nimajneb

Hi Tripod

You've found an oasis here to help you out and the guys and gals who have posted already are right - this place will offer you great advice no matter how complicated or trivial you think it might be. Your story is very similar to mine that I am going through right now so you might find it useful to read through my thread as well - the tank size problem, the red mark/missing scale, your previous water maintainance schedule etc. If you're serious about looking after fish in the long term you're in for a few suprises but rewarding ones. Have a read if you care to take the time. You're about to find out in the coming days that not all but the majority of staff in your LFS are basically the spawns of Satan - and thats saying something coming from an ex estate agent/realtor!

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=70599

Good luck

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