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Pepper's Bottom Sitting Worse...


Acupunk

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I posted yesterday about how my black ranchu Pepper had been acting a little "off" the past few days -- hanging around the bottom, not being as active, etc. I wondered if it was because she has had a lot of wen/pom pom growth lately.

Late last night and this morning the bottom sitting seems worse. She didn't eat breakfast with the other fish and has sort of been letting herself be knocked around by the other fish swimming around her. I moved her to a plastic box at the surface and did get her to eat a few pellets, but not with her usual excitement. I am thinking perhaps she is looking the tiniest bit pineconed (my imagination?), but no other visible symptoms.

In QT Pepper got 2 weeks of Prazi (dosed every 72 hours) and 2 weeks of 0.3% salt.

75 gallon tank, running ~ 4 months

Emperor 400, Aqueon 325, and Rena Filstar xP3 filters (1025 gph)

The monster Goldfish Connection UV sterilizer

Six fish in the tank (two large, two medium, and two small)

Ammonia = 0

Nitrite = 0

Nitrate = 10 (today is water change day)

API drop tests

pH = 8.2 (same from tap)

KH = 350+

Feeding ProGold, Dainichi, Spirulina Flakes, Jumpstart, Veggie Rounds, peas, gel food, etc.

NovAqua water conditioner

Change water weekly or twice-weekly, depending on heavily I am feeding. Change 50-75% at a time to keep nitrate below 20 ppm.

Temp = ~78 degrees

Pepper is relatively new -- I got her 4 weeks ago, quarantined for 2 weeks (during which time there were no issues). She has been in the regular tank for 2 weeks. For the first 12 days or so since moving into the big tank she was fitting right in and showing no signs of stress.

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Hmm. It does sound suspicious. Weakness and getting pushed around easily is not normal and a little worrying.

Are you sure there are no other body symptoms like small red spots? Could she be full of eggs?

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She is deep, velvet black so I can't see any red spots. She doesn't look full of eggs. (I am just guessing on her sex because of her lack of breeding stars. Many other fish at Tommy's of the same size and in the same pool had them.) Last night I moved her to a plastic container at the top and got her to eat a few pellets. I did the same thing this morning and she took the pellets initially and then spit them out.

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Is she flopping forward onto her wen?

No. If anything she is listing slightly to the right. Nothing dramatic, though. Mostly she is just resting on her belly.

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Sounds like it could be eggs to me. If the males dont chase, the eggs can build up and bloat and cause lopsided sitting and loss of appetite. Have you seen any poop at all and if so when & what was it like?

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Sounds like it could be eggs to me. If the males dont chase, the eggs can build up and bloat and cause lopsided sitting and loss of appetite. Have you seen any poop at all and if so when & what was it like?

It has been several days since I have seen any poop from her. Is there anything that I can do to help her? Would a big water change prompt her to drop the eggs, do you think? I am planning a 75% water change for this afternoon.

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Yes indeeed. It usually does help. Have you also had a change in air pressure/weather/temperature too?

My female fish have behaved like this with eggs. I cant imagine she has an infection in your good UV water and with the QT routine you see.

Kristen, I am going to have to sign out now as I have had a he* of a long and bad week here and I have to sleep. If she starts to pinecone make sure you have epsom salt to add immediately. One 1/4 teaspoon per 10 gallons. I will check on you in the/my morning.

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Yes indeeed. It usually does help. Have you also had a change in air pressure/weather/temperature too?

My female fish have behaved like this with eggs. I cant imagine she has an infection in your good UV water and with the QT routine you see.

Kristen, I am going to have to sign out now as I have had a he* of a long and bad week here and I have to sleep. If she starts to pinecone make sure you have epsom salt to add immediately. One 1/4 teaspoon per 10 gallons. I will check on you in the/my morning.

Thanks, Trinket. Sweet dreams & I hope you can rest this weekend.

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Winston is due to come out of QT today and he is my only fish that I have that I know for sure is male. He has a nice little row of stars on his pectoral fins. Maybe he will get Pepper to drop her eggs. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

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Winston is due to come out of QT today and he is my only fish that I have that I know for sure is male. He has a nice little row of stars on his pectoral fins. Maybe he will get Pepper to drop her eggs. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

oh I hope sooooo Kristen ...Winston the super stud to the rescue!!...Ms Muggles will go to a corner for a day or 2 and tip to one side a little while she is absorbing ..but usually the males don't give the poor gal the chance and the next thing I know I have eggs everywhere...and it does only seem to happen after a HUGE waterchange and a good cleaning of filters and tank :exactly it brings on the spawning behaviour...also a good way to trick fish into spawning is if you have a low pressure system coming in do a big waterchange and drop the water a few degrees and let it warm up this will trick the fish into spawning mode I will find a link that has Daryl explain it ...post #4

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...gg+impaction..I ...

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I am getting more worried about Pepper. I did my 75% water change and moved Winston into the tank. He is happy as a clam, but doesn't have any interest in Pepper. She is still bottom sitting and I am beginning to think it is not just my imagination that she is beginning to pinecone. I added epsom salts (1/4 tsp per ten gallons) and moved her to a breeder net at the top of the tank so that I could start her on Metromeds. She takes the pellets but then spits them out. :(

I have decided to treat her in the main tank because the filtration is better than on the QT tank and I want to keep her in water treated with the UV sterilizer. The very small dose of epsom salts isn't bothering the other fish and keeping her in the breeder net enables me to feed her medicated food and keeps the other fish from bugging her.

I am beginning to wonder if temperature fluctuation could have caused her to dropsy? The weather here is very hot, so I have been using a clip-on fan during the day which drops the tank temp to about 76 degrees on its lowest setting. Then during the night it gradually comes back up to 79-80. Perhaps a steady tank temperature of 82-83 would have been better?

Has anyone else noticed that black fish are more fragile than others? Both goldfish that I have lost have been black moors and now my black ranchu seems to be very stressed by something that is not bothering the other fish at all. Is this just coincidence, or does selective breeding make them more delicate?

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Has anyone else noticed that black fish are more fragile than others? Both goldfish that I have lost have been black moors and now my black ranchu seems to be very stressed by something that is not bothering the other fish at all. Is this just coincidence, or does selective breeding make them more delicate?

That's a good question Acupunk...I hope everything ends up ok for Pepper :( ....I've got my fingers crossed.

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There are genetically more delicate fish and fish that also go through periods where their immune response is suffering. Since you got your ranchu from Tommy I imagine he is a genetically strong fish having a hard time with something. Yes some fish are temperature fluctaution sensitive, most definitely. In fact a rise in temps can cause some fish extreme stress.

Acclimation is an important thing to think about too. Your fish has been switched tanks (with inevitable fluctuations) a few times after shipping stress when stress levels are very high anyway. I know there was no other way that this could be done but some fish are also very very sensitive to handling and being moved. Inability to acclimate goes with stress levels too so a fish with high levels of cortisol racing around will not be able to acclimate itself to temp etc so easily.

The main tank is best. Epsom is good.

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There are genetically more delicate fish and fish that also go through periods where their immune response is suffering. Since you got your ranchu from Tommy I imagine he is a genetically strong fish having a hard time with something. Yes some fish are temperature fluctaution sensitive, most definitely. In fact a rise in temps can cause some fish extreme stress.

Acclimation is an important thing to think about too. Your fish has been switched tanks (with inevitable fluctuations) a few times after shipping stress when stress levels are very high anyway. I know there was no other way that this could be done but some fish are also very very sensitive to handling and being moved. Inability to acclimate goes with stress levels too so a fish with high levels of cortisol racing around will not be able to acclimate itself to temp etc so easily.

The main tank is best. Epsom is good.

Thanks, that makes sense. Since I've had her for four weeks I hadn't thought about acclimation still being an issue, but I am sure that it is. Particularly with QT.

With regard to temperature -- the room temperature in our home ranges from 80-83 degrees. If I don't use the clip-on fan, the tank temperature hovers around 82-84 (I think the UV sterilizer warms the water slightly). Is it better to maintain a steady 83 degrees, or attempt to cool it for part of the day leading to some temperature fluctuation?

One other thing that I just thought of -- I just added some new lights two days ago in an attempt to move past the brown algae stage. Perhaps this is another factor contributing to Pepper's stress? I will turn the new lights off for now.

Is there anything else I should be doing/not doing?

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Even though she is still spitting out the Metromeds and still resting on her belly in the breeder net, Pepper's scales seem to have gone back down flush. It has only been about four hours since I added the epsom salts, so I am pleased they helped this quickly. Hopefully they have relieved some of her stress.

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Yes reducing any and all possible stress triggers is absolutely crucial. Its not always just perfect water params needed. When I QT fish I never use lights. I keep the cycled small QT in a dark corner actually.

Heres a link to some research I did on how big an impact stress has on fish. Cf. to humans or larger animals stress causes an imblanace in osmotic functions and the ability to transport crucial nutrients around the body of the fish as well as the undermined ability to fight off any opportunistic pathogens. While a fish may be able to manage one stress factor - as the numbers increase so the fish becomes overwhelmed. Shipping is a major stress factor to start, so you already have one very big stress factor going that you cannot avoid. Temperature stress is a big one too. Fish are poikilothermic meaning they rely on the water they are in for body temp. Stress hormone release increases as temperature rises. Immune function takes time to equilibriate to the higher temp while pathogens adjust more quickly causing an opportune window for nasties. Oxygen is so crucial. You can simply not have enough at high temps. I lost 3 fish (my sons fish) 2 weeks ago to a heatwave in green water. They died of hypoxia (suffocation from lack of dissolved oxygen). Moreover increased DO levels boosts immune strength.

I think we should never underestimate the role stress plays in fish health.

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Yes, I read your article about stress. I guess when I think "stress" I think about financial problems, divorce, traffic jams, getting fired, not brighter lights or fluctuating water temperatures, but you are totally right -- those factors are just as potentially stressful to fish as more "major" factors in my environment.

I have a Rena 400 air pump attached to two 16 inch bubble bars. Do you think that is enough? What are your thoughts about using the clip on fan (and bringing the water temperature down to about 75 but potentially having some fluctuation) or doing without it and maintaining a steady 82-83?

Right now Pepper is snoozing in the breeder net with the lights off. I will plan on leaving the lights off all day tomorrow.

Thanks a lot for your help.

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Well I think constant is best. However you can juggle that. The fan may be good ...if its not directly on the fish at the top there. A surface ruffle also deters pathogens.

But priority should go to stable temp. Im so glad she isnt pineconing and the epsom has helped some. Im sorry she isnt eating though..

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I figured out a way to clip the fan about two feet above the tank. Hopefully this will enable me to run it all the time and maintain a steady, but lower, temperature.

Hopefully she'll eat in the morning. I will keep you posted.

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Sounds like you are doing all you can at this point Kristen . Fins crossed and let us know how she is in the morning :heart

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Not good news this morning -- she is hanging on by a thread in the breeder net. She is lying on her side in the dreaded curved position. Every 90 seconds or so she flaps her fins and tries to right herself. Her gill movement is slower than it was yesterday. Do you think she is suffering? Do fish ever come around from being this unwell?

I have the clove oil/water mixed up in a jar but am really hoping not to have to use it.

P.S. All the other fish really seem to like the epsom salts. They are particularly perky and cheerful this morning. I am so glad that they are well but I just wish Pepper could join them.

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