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Guest Johnny

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Guest Johnny

Ammonia Level - don't know - no test kit

Nitrate 20 ppm

Nitrite between .5 and 1.0

Tested with strips

Tank is 35 gals? Running 7 years

Ellipse filter system

Have been changing water about 20% every second day for past week - but Johnny looks worse instead of better. Changed water about 30% today.

Tried PimaFix and Melafix - stopped now because he was getting worse

Johnny's body now looks bruised all over. Started with a scrape like sore on his side, (I thought he got stuck in the coral tube thing where the pleco lives) then bloody and frayed fins (now badly frayed) has sort of stringy slime bits on his body. Now has developed sort of a sunken gill sore- darker, looks like he is losing weight.

Fed flakes and peas and tablets, like always. Ate fine last night - not hungry today.

Sits on the top of the water and swims around occasionally.

This is the worse he has ever been.

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I see you have a pleco ...plecos can take a liking to slimecoats of goldies..,attacking them while they sleep .yes some people can have luck with a pleco but it is risk ,making plecos not very good tankmates for goldfish..I would remove the pleco asap. he may be the culprit while you are not looking.keep water pristine and salt up tp 0.3% (1teaspoon per gallon) x 3 with 12 hours in between do not salt with a pleco ..they cannot handle salt very well ..a mod will chime in when they are able, to help you further..good luck !! :)

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Guest Johnny

Strange, because the Fritz the Pleco just lives in the tunnel - only comes out a few times a day or night and sucks the glass - and has shared the same tank with Johnny for 7 years, together with a catfish (2") black moor (2.5") and a siamese algae eater (3"). The Pleco doesn't bother anything that I can see. If anything, the Moor bothers IT. He used to also nibble on Johnny but stopped that a few months ago. I will move it from the tank, but I don't think that is the problem.

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it may or may not ..many of us here have lost goldfish due to plecos goldfish sleep during the night while plecos are most active making a snoozing goldfish one sitting duck for one hungry pleco...we just want to be sure that it is not what is causing the problem..as it is hard to diagnose without knowing your exact setup and how many fish do reside in the tank..also I see your tank is not cycled due to the nitrite reading you are getting and I would get ammonia tested asap also ph,if ph crashes it can cause your fishes slimecoat to shed off, do daily waterchanges as most problems are due to waterquality .if possible go over the Q's in the white box above answere what you can about your set up this will help the mods tremendously :)

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You need to buy a kit which tests for ammonia, because sometimes medication can exasperate the problem when there are high levels of ammonia present. Johnny needs to be removed from the main tank, if not for the sake of your other fish, for his sake. The pleco and Siamese algae eater could be sucking his slim coat off at night. I used to have a pleco in with Athena in her 20 gallon, she was missing scales for a while and when the pleco was removed(and returned to the store, I didn't have enough extra space) there were no more missing scale incidents. Unfortunately, I never caught the pleco in the act, but I know he was the culprit.

Your tank is overstocked, unfortunately so removing Johnny would also help in that area.

DO NOT salt with the algae eater, and I don't think the catfish will tolerate .3% salt either. This is why removing your Johnny will be a good idea, place him in his own hospital tank/tub.

It sounds like he has an infection of some sort, and I am thinking you're going to be asked to buy medigold, or some other type of medicated goldfish food. The experts will be in here to help you shortly, hang in there and I hope your fish pulls through!

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You are getting great advice here! I'd just like to chime in and mention that a ph crash will affect your fishes slimecoat, causing it to string from their bodies. A reliable water testing kit is an essential tool for goldfish keeping. It gives you indication of where a problem is before it starts. As Heidi said, plecos are nocturnal fish and will do most of their damage at night when you are sleeping. You MUST test for ammonia. You are showing nitrites, so likely the ammonia is there. Both are fatal to your fish.

The Eclipse setups are nice, but the filtration is intended mostly for tropicals that don't have the waste output of goldies. I have an Eclipse for my tropicals. Your tank is overstocked, and that may be the start of your troubles...that and poor water quality. I mean no offense by this as we all started here at the same point. Please do a 100% temp and ph matched water change and use some carbon in the filter to remove the meds. If you can't get a drop tester right now, take a water sample to the lfs and get the numbers of each.

Good luck and post back soon! We're here to help.

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It might not be a bad idea to test your tap water for nitrites, and if they're okay (should be zero, but <0.20 would be manageable) than you could do some larger water changes (>70%). Note that it's better to do a few really large water changes than a lot of smaller ones. For instance, if you do two 50% w/c's your concentrations will have become 25% of what they were before (0.5*0.5=0.25). If you change 20% twice your concentrations are still two-thirds of what they were before (0.8*0.8=0.64). Therefore say two 70% would be advisable (0.3*0.3=0.09 ~10% of what it was before). Although it could be argued that the w/c's are stressful for the goldfish, living in high ammonia and nitrite water is even more stressful and damaging on the long run.

(The calculations above assume that nitrite levels in your tap water are zero. If not your new concentration would be for one 70 percent change: 0.3*currentconc+0.7*tapconc. So once you get it down to about the same as the tap concentration, then it becomes useless to do more w/c's (for the moment))

Edited by Erinaceus
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Goodmorning Johnny.

Your fish sounds in a very bad state and your water does too. You are showing nitrites at dangerous levels on a strip kit which are notoriously inaccurate and I suspect you also have ammonia. You need to do an immediate 100% water change in this tank and get yourself a drop test kit urgently to monitor nitrites and ammonia and pH over the next few crucial weeks.

I suspect you have had a pH crash (possibly onset by an algae crash which happens when too many algae eaters are on board combined with extra warm water and therefore lack of dissolved oxygen). This combination of pH crash + ammonia+ nitrites will produce all the symptoms your fish has here. Nitrites at any level above zero are particularly harmful to gills and will have the fish gulping at the surface. Nitrites compete with the uptake of oxygen and suffocate fish. Swinging pH often goes with a nitrite tweak and the fish loses slime coat in strings as you describe.

FIRST CALL: Do that 90-100% water change, matching for temperature (approx with your finger will do)and if possible pH matched. Then please post back.

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Guest Johnny

I put Johnny in a separate "tank" this morning and will do a water change in the main tank again. His fins are very badly frayed and he sort of hangs in the bottom corner. In the new tank he was swimming around for awhile, but is now just looking into the corner of one of the walls.

This is just a bucket he is in, no filteration or anything. Should I go and buy another complete tank?

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I put Johnny in a separate "tank" this morning and will do a water change in the main tank again. His fins are very badly frayed and he sort of hangs in the bottom corner. In the new tank he was swimming around for awhile, but is now just looking into the corner of one of the walls.

This is just a bucket he is in, no filteration or anything. Should I go and buy another complete tank?

he will need filtration and lots of airation like an airstone ...a good way to save on cost ..is to grab a rubbermaid tub they make great hospital tanks I have a 15g and a 20 g that I use all the time and I just hang one of my extra filters over it :) ..just reinforce the sides with bungi cords

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I agree, rubbermaids or just any plastic tub is great. Just make sure you wash them out well. I don't think you will need too much filtration right now, atleast not a filter with carbon because when/if you need medication this can remove the meds. Zeolite can help with ammonia, because you'll need pristine water conditions which, in a bucket, will require water changing everyday.

<3 Good luck with Johnny! I hope he gets better soon.

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Guest Johnny

As suggested I have put him in the separate tank and got a water stone. He swam around earlier today, but tonight he is worse I think. He is mostly laying on his side now , when I come around he raises his dorsal fin and tries to swim a bit, but mainly he is pretty quiet. He hasn't eaten all day. Tried to hand feed him both flakes and peas, but no luck. It doesn't look good for him which makes me just want to cry. :( In the other tank, the black moor - Molly - is swimming much more actively than usual, darting back and forth all day. The others look fine and it's business as usual there. Do you think Fritz the Pleco will go after Molly? - I am still not sure that he is the culprit. I am up all hours of the night and have never seen him near Johnny - or any of the others.

I don't know what else to do for Johnny - tried Melafix, salt, clear water, .... just did a 20% water change and added a bit of salt to his clean hospital tank now.

Edited by Johnny
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The main tank after a water change is infinitely preferable to an uncycled bucket with no airstone or filter. Did you manage a HUGE water change (I mean 90%-20% w/cs are useless when a fish is very sick like this) in the main tank yet? Sick fish need extra pristene but cycled water- the main tank is best but you do need to monitor the water with a drop test kit.

What kind of plec is Fritz? Do you know? And how large?

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Guest Johnny

Johnny passed on early this morning. Fritz looks like a Hypostamus Pleco. I don't really know inches, but he looks to be about 6" long, maybe a bit more. Not quite as long as the width of a page of paper (8-1/2"). I turned the "nanny cam" on for two days now and the pleco has not interacted with any of the other fish, and neither has the siamese algae eater which I heard also pesters fish. I have never seen them do anything other than just suck around the tank. Molly the black moor and the little catfish swim around sometimes together. Molly seems to be going stir crazy without Johnny now. I had changed the hospital tank water 2 times in 24 hours so it was clean as could be in a bucket. I put a air stone in it as well, but nothing seemed to help. I changed the water about 30% + these last couple of days, but the main tank fish don't seem to be affected at all with Johnny's ailment. I would have thought that if the water was that bad, Molly the moor would show some symptom of something.

thanks for all your suggestions and support.

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:( So very sorry that you lost Johnny. It is frustrating beyond belief when your fish are ill. They can't tell you what the problem is, and you can't tell because they are in the water. Usually by the time they show symptoms it is already bad. In caring for fish, we mostly care for the water and let it take care of the fish. Medicating and diagnosing is so hit and miss...thats why fishkeepers have to rely so heavily on dependable water testers. And thats why we have moderators and helpers here who are almost marine biologists in their knowledge. The more info we can give them, the sooner we can get to the bottom of the problem. But sometimes its still to late.

You gave him a good life and cared for him, and I'm sorry it didn't turn out better.

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I'm so sorry about Johnny! Sometimes we just can't help them enough, even when we give it our all. <3 :tou You should know you're a great fish dad for seeking help for Johnny and trying your best. I hope your main tank fairs well, it's great that they're not experiencing illness too.

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I'm so sorry you lost Johnny, but just remember this. Don't be hard on yourself. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US HAS BEEN THERE and even the best still have the occasional loss. Sadly, this is how we learn to be better fishkeepers. Goldfish are a very difficult fish to keep and, in my opinion, even more difficult than saltwater fish. So, don't give up. Just keep reading and learning. :tou

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. Goldfish are a very difficult fish to keep and, in my opinion, even more difficult than saltwater fish.

I've never had saltwater fish, but I do have tropicals and bettas. I love Moby and Florence and wouldn't trade them for anything, but they are a lot more work and require much more attention than the other fish. Kind of "fish divas".

Don't give up. As we all said, we have ALL lost fish before.

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