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Not An Emergency But Could Turn Bad Quick.


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Hello everyone. I have posted on here one time about my black moore having this balloon eye thing going on. The only thing that concerns me with him is the eye is getting so big it bleeds as it "stretches" and sometimes gets these clear blisters on the skin surface occasionaly. I have used the search function of this and many other sites with no explanation on how or why this "Popeye" is the way it is. I also have an Oranda that has a problem or two I can't explain. His symptoms are Laying on the bottom of the tank and or letting the suction of the filter keep him from having to swim. Another thing the Oranda has is some white growth (again, searched everywhere with no results) on his face where the "nostrils" are it looks like fungus but looking closer it looks like more growth of the same organ that has not turned orange yet. Ive been waiting to see if this is like his wen growth, turning whitish clear, into orange. I am completely baffelled. Spelling? Also the Moore seems to always swim and always eat when dinner calls everyother day. Ive never seen any problems out of him, bad water or not. I know that water quality is probably one of my problems and I am working on that. I just feel like my tank is a science experiment and my fish are geneticly different as I have never seen this kind of thing before.

I have had some Ammonia problems since I have got this tank, Ive been doing my regular water changes, I use Stresscoat religiously, Aquarium salt sometimes, and Amquel+ every water change. I have treated some of these symptoms in the past with Mardels Maracyn-TC, and Melafix on occasions. My Ammonia readings were in the 1.0 PPM range. I have to get a full blown test kit. Money situations can be tight sometimes though ya know?

Tank size: 30 Gallon tall with minimal decorations as they have gotten bigger.

Filter size/type: Penguin Bio-wheel 350. Its for a 75 gallon tank.

Water changes: Every 2 weeks, sometimes has been once a month (I know, I know :)

There is only 2 fish in the tank, both about 2-3 years of age and both are about 6"s or full grown.

Links to pictures:

http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/2438/1001889ue4.jpg

http://img380.imageshack.us/img380/2153/1001885bf8.jpg

I can add more pics if you guys need. WARNING: They are big. Thanks for any help.

Edit: The string in the picture is from a bag of Aqua Pure stones that are used to take out ammonia.

Havent used them in forever but I thought it couldnt hurt.

Edited by Dreaddinit
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  • Regular Member

Your moor's eye is scary! :o I am not the person to diagnose your fish's problems, but that does not look healthy. Also, your oranda looks unhappy (fins are limp).

Is your ammonia currently at 1 ppm? That is high. You should do a large temperature-matched waterchange to bring the level down, and test the tap water for ammonia. It is strange to have an ammonia reading on an established tank, and the ammonia is very bad for the fish. Water quality problems must be resolved before administering any meds, as the ammonia or nitrites can make the meds especially harmful.

The ammonia rocks are an effective short-term fix for ammonia problems, but will starve your beneficial bacteria and crash your cycle (if it isn't already crashed, as suggested by the ammonia levels). Healthy water conditions are especially important when you suspect there is a problem. I strongly recommend that you acquire a test kit ASAP: Drs. Foster & Smith has the API Master Test Kit for $16 right now. That's a good price.

Somebody more knowledgeable about diseases will come along to help you out with the diagnoses.

Edited by A Penguin
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When did your Moore develop this condition? I noticed you previously posted about this last year. Has this problem with his eye been constant all year? Or is this something that comes and goes so to speak? I agree with Penguin, you're fish do not look healthy, and daily water changes daily will help.

How often do you do water changes? I used those Ammonia rocks for years and always had problems with my uncycled tank (but could never figure out why). If you have salted your tank, these Ammonia rocks may actually put the ammonia back into the water, which may be part of why your Ammonia reading is so high. I would recommend removing them.

Good luck and please keep us posted on your fish. :)

Edited by Desiree
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I think you know the answer to your question -- you said "I know, I know" a couple of times in your post. The root of the problem is with your poor water quality, which has stressed your fish and made them susceptible to diseases and problems that they wouldn't otherwise have. There is very unusual for you to be showing 1.0 ppm ammonia in a tank that has been running over a year. I think if you can get your tank cycled and your ammonia and nitrite levels down to zero all the time that your fish will be much more able to fight these things off.

When was the last time that you did a 100% water change and cleaned your filter media? Tanks that have been inadequately maintained have a heavy load of pathogenic bacteria and fungi in them which the fish then have to constantly struggle against. I would advise a 100% water change with a thorough gravel vac (move the fish elsewhere during that, obviously) and swishing out your filter media. Remove the ammonia chips and get set to do the frequent water changes that you need to do to get your tank cycled for once and for all. Invest in a proper testing kit, as well.

Without these measures any diagnosis and treatment will be temporary at best and deadly to your fish at worst (medications + ammonia in the water = fish poison).

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My black moore has showed this symptom for a very long time. about 6 months after I got him, so about a year and a half now i'd say. I have treated him for everything and nothing works. He seems to be ok but it sure bothers me. I do water changes every 2 weeks sometimes every week. Where I said "I know, I know is there had been times I did it month to month thinking that the tank was cycled and it abviously was not. There had been no signs of the poor water quality until recent because they seemed like happy fish. I knowledgable guy at nnnn told me that some moores have problems with genetic defects, but I dont know for sure. I have learned alot on water quality reading through this whole forum. I just never understood why it did not cycle. Btw, whats the best way to go about changing the filters to keep the good bacteria in and still get new filters and how often should I be changing them?

The ammonia gravel I quit using for the longest time. I put them in there last night just to try and control as it much as possible, along with some Amquel+. I will take them out probably tonight when I do a 100% water change. I posted because I pretty much thought I knew what was wrong I just wasn't 100% sure on the cure. Beleive me, I love my fish and have invested 100's of dollars into them. I'd hate to see them die over something that was controlable.

Thanks for all of the help everyone I will keep you posted about this.

On a good note the fishies do seem more perky today and the Oranda is swimming alot better but not 100%

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I do water changes every 2 weeks sometimes every week.

We know you love your fish or you wouldn't be on here looking for answers to help them feel better. And we're so happy you're here looking for answers. :) Water quality is almost always the answer. Two 6" fish in a 30 gallon is a lot of ammonia to control. Your water changes should be about 50% every week with a dechlorinator/stresscoat added. This won't magically fix the problems at hand, but will go a long way to controlling future problems.

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Perhaps you have had a cycle crash as a result of medications that you've used? Many antibiotic medications (the kind that you add to the water, not medicated food) will kill the beneficial bacteria in your biological filter in addition to killing the bad bacteria that are affecting your fish adversely. This is something that pet store employees are often don't tell you.

You are right that some specialized breeds of goldfish (including black moors) are particularly prone to health problems. But what this really means (in most cases) is that they are extra-sensitive to anything that is less-than-perfect about their environment. If you are in a position to spend any money at all on your fish I would advise you to purchase 1) a drop test kit and 2) a Python so that you can carry out large and frequent water changes without a lot of time and effort. 50% water change a week would be the minimum needed on a tank like yours. Depending on how much you feed you might need two 50% water changes per week.

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Thanks for all of your help guys! I did the 100% water change. I scrubbed everything and put it all back. This time I took out alot more of the gravel so it isnt so thick. I know im not out of the woods yet but it's coming along better than expected. My oranda is now swimming constantly. I also put in some salt as I am lacking some Stresscoat which im grabbing tomorrow along with some stress zyme. I will also be getting the test kit as well. I did go ahead and put in the Amquel+ so this should help until I get home tomorrow to put in the stress coat and zyme. However the test kit for my Ammonia showed 1.0 PPM with all new water and everything. It's probably the Amquel showing a false positive.

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Great! Sounds like things are going well. Good move on removing some of your gravel. Are you using test strips for your ammonia reading? If so, it might not be a reliable reading. AmQuel+ generally does not generate a false positive ammonia reading. If you're on a tight budget I would skip the Stress Zyme and get Prime or AmQuel+ instead of Stress Coat. Either Prime or AmQuel+ can serve the dual purpose of dechlorinator and ammonia/nitrite detoxifier during cycling. Especially with Prime, a little bit goes a long way. Good luck!

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I use the drop test for ammonia, but I heard with the test kit I have which is Aquarium Pharmeceuticals 2 bottle drip test kit (NH3/NH4) will read a false positive with Amquel+, which is what I use. 1PPM is what I have been getting before and after the change with the A+. Is that common?

I beleive I understand your post but let me clarify.

The Amquel+ bottle says use stresscoat together with the Amquel+ because it lowers Oxygen levels. So your saying it's not necessary? (spelling?)

and if im not on a tight budget then Stress Zyme would be beneficial in starting my bacteria growth or is it not necessary?

If I get the API Master test kit will they read a false positive if what I heard about the Amquel+ is true about the readings?

I'm not trying to be hard to get along with I just want to do it right and get these guys where they should have been long ago. Thank you very much for all of your patients.

Edited by Dreaddinit
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If your on a tight budget (as many of us are) I would recommend getting Prime. It is a great water conditioner, many people on the board use it (including myself) and it is very concentrated, so it's more bang for your buck, so to speak. Cycle or Stability may be helpful in providing beneficial bacteria and establishing your cycle. You mentioned that Amquel + lowers oxygen levels. I'm not quite sure why that is a good thing. Especially in summer, when temps are high, it is important that there is increased oxygen in your water. Anyway, I would agree with everyone here and say that more frequent water changes will benefit your fish in the long run, as it appears your cycle has crashed. Please keep us posted on the status of your fish. :)

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I use the drop test for ammonia, but I heard with the test kit I have which is Aquarium Pharmeceuticals 2 bottle drip test kit (NH3/NH4) will read a false positive with Amquel+, which is what I use. 1PPM is what I have been getting before and after the change with the A+. Is that common?

I beleive I understand your post but let me clarify.

The Amquel+ bottle says use stresscoat together with the Amquel+ because it lowers Oxygen levels. So your saying it's not necessary? (spelling?)

and if im not on a tight budget then Stress Zyme would be beneficial in starting my bacteria growth or is it not necessary?

If I get the API Master test kit will they read a false positive if what I heard about the Amquel+ is true about the readings?

I'm not trying to be hard to get along with I just want to do it right and get these guys where they should have been long ago. Thank you very much for all of your patients.

You are not being hard to get along with at all. It is no problem to ask questions or seek clarification.

I don't see on the AmQuel+ where it says that you are supposed to use it along with Stresscoat. The two products are made by different companies, so I don't think the AmQuel+ would be wanting to encourage the use of Stresscoat under any circumstances. AmQuel+ can temporarily reduce oxygen levels in the water, but this is generally only a concern if the water is very warm, there are way too many fish in the water, or if you've added some other agent to the water that also reduces dissolved oxygen. As long as you have adequate aeration/circulation of water and as long as you are only using one dose of AmQuel+ a day I don't think you need to be very concerned about this factor. (BTW, there are people who believe that you should not use Stresscoat at all because it coats the gills and makes it more difficult for fish to absorb oxygen.)

As I was cycling my tank I found the AmQuel+'s manufacturer's website very helpful. There are many articles that touch on just the questions you are asking, such as does AmQuel+ cause false positive ammonia readings (they say "no"), how does AmQuel+ affect oxygen levels, etc. The address is http://www.kordon.com/kordon/index.htm#articles (scroll down to the bottom). Pixiefish put together a very informative post about these water conditioners. The address for that post is:

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=70825. Pixie's post indicates that the API tests don't work with AmQuel+, but that was not my experience (I used up a whole API test kit and a gallon of AmQuel+ in cycling two tanks recently).

Most people around here do not think that bottled bacteria products like StressZyme, Cycle, Stability, etc. are worthwhile. Personally I have found Stability helpful, but only toward the latter stages of establishing a cycle. I think that your funds would be better spent on a test kit that enables you to monitor pH, nitrite, and nitrate, in addition to ammonia.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

Ok guys, an update on my fish.

I have taken your advice, did a 100% water change. Then did a 50% every week and the tank levels seem to be where I want them for now.

Nitrates: 20ppm

Nitrites: 0

Hardness(GH): 75 Soft

Chlorine: 0

KH: about 60ppm

PH: between 6.8 and 7.2

From what I can tell everything seems to be ok. The only thing that concerns me is the moore is having some clearish white glazing on the eyes and the Oranda still has that fluffy growth on his "nose" but I have noticed an increase in activity from both. When it rains it pours> Thanks. Michael.

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