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Oranda Hasn't Eaten For Over A Week


Guest pawsawhile

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Guest pawsawhile

I have an oranda, Carmen, who is one of the first fish purchased two years ago and is 20cm/8" long. She hasn't eaten for over a week, swims around slowly, but totally disinterested in food - have tried all her favourites. When I place food in the tank she swims away from it. There are no outward signs of a problem - her fins and scales look perfect. Her eyes look very slightly cloudy, but I am not sure if this is new or she has always been like this as I am not very observant. She lives with 10 other fancy goldfish in a 100gal tank and all the others are very happy and healthy. The water parameters are fine: PH 7.3, Nitrite 0.25, Ammonia 0.1, Nitrate 10. I have been doing two 25-30% water changes every week. Have added aquarium salt to the tank in addition to melafix. If any one has any ideas as to why the goldfish is not eating and what else I should be trying, I will be very grateful. Thanks so much.

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  • Regular Member

I am so sorry your fish is not feeling well :( .

I am going to move your post into the diagnosis forum where we can help you better.

Meanwhile if you could have a look at her mouth and see if its blocked or swollen or in any way different. I will check back on you once I have moved your thread...

Welcome to kokos and glad you found us.

(Oh, it seems only koko can move posts in this section-we'll have to work from here)

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Guest pawsawhile

Thank you for your response. I have tried looking at her mouth from outside the tank but difficult to see inside. She is opening and closing her mouth normally. Doesn't seem swollen on the outside. What is the best way to look inside her mouth. Thank you for your help.

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You can put your hand in the tank and very gently cup the fish and bring her to just under the surface allowing her head only to leave the water. Fish automatically gape when their mouths leave the water, its a natural instinct. Quick as you can and not squeezing her gills in the process -take a look inside the open mouth. Its a good idea to attach a bright light to the tank first or have someone help you by shining a torch into the mouth.

You are looking for:

A pink or white lump (mouth ulcer)

Stringy fluffy cottony stuff inside the mouth (infection)

Or: redness in the throat or roof of mouth (disease)

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Guest pawsawhile

Dear Imogen

Thanks so much for your prompt reply. Its now night time here and fishies are asleep. Will have a look in the morning although I am nervous about it.

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Okay. I do understand. But there's no need to be nervous. Fish are handled when they arrive at stores like this, it wont be a first for her/him.

If there is no obstruction and the mouth is clear - she may have an internal intestinal infection. How much salt do you have in the tank at the moment?

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Guest pawsawhile

I put in about 2 handfuls of aquarium salt. Its a 100gal tank. This morning I gave the fish some bloodworm which they love and one happened to go into her mouth and she spat it out. On researching I did take out the carbon filter yesterday as some sites advise that medications don't work if this is in. Is this the correct thing to do. Thanks again

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I think she may have an ulcer in her mouth and you should check.

Or:

Did you ever treat this tank with prazi for flukes? Its not mpossible to have them in a closed system like this and for weak fish to harbor a growing population of them. Flukes will cause spitting out of food and cloudy eyes too.

Yes, carbon part of the filter should be removed with all meds. Salt included.

The salt amount sounds fine.

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Guest pawsawhile

Again thanks for your prompt reply. I just researched a bit about flukes and she doesn't have the symptoms of flashing or gasping, although she may have slightly cloudy eyes and spits out the food. I have never treated the tank with Prazi. If she has an ulcer, how do I treat this. Thanks for all the info. You are very helpful and knowledgeable.

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There is an ointment you can get for mouth ulcers. Link here..

But we need to check her mouth first , to eliminate the other few things could be going on :)

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I think she may have an ulcer in her mouth and you should check.

Or:

Did you ever treat this tank with prazi for flukes? Its not mpossible to have them in a closed system like this and for weak fish to harbor a growing population of them. Flukes will cause spitting out of food and cloudy eyes too.

These are the things that I like about being on Kokos. I know a lot about the general keeping of gf and even identifying basic diseases, but I am very weak on unusual diseases, parasites, etc., and especially on meds, which treat what best and, especially, mixing meds and salt, etc. So, this is very interesting to me. So, I'm just sitting in and learning on this one. One common symptom I came to notice in buying my last two fish, which both turned out to have parasites, was simply quick, almost neurotic-like, swimming back and forth. Not the typical flashing like I imagined flashing would be, that is, lunging toward the bottom and scraping its sides on the bottom. I didn't understand well enough on my first fish to catch it early and she ended up dying of a bad case of ich, which I question actually may have been velvet, but nevertheless, my new fish did this same fast back and forth swimming like the first one, but with ocassional lunges down to the bottom of the tank, more like the stereotypical flashing I imagined it would look like, so I thought of parasites this time. So, I treated with prazi and after a couple of days, he's slowed down and stopped that quick back and forth swimming and is calmed down and stopped acting like he's a neurotic on speed! So, I guess what I'm saying, is that "flashing" may not be as stereotypical as we imagine sometimes. This wouldn't apply to a mouth ulcer like Trinket suspects, but more toward flukes causing spitting out food and cloudy eyes. Anyway, just sharing my two cents!

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Guest pawsawhile

Very difficult trying to catch Carmen, as she is large - don't want to stress her out so will enlist the help of my nephew who has a big tank also. Her mouth does look a bit swollen now that I am looking at her in daylight and she doesn't seem to be opening it as much as the others.

This is the first time I have been on any forum so very interesting and informative

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Well, when you do go to catch her, don't chase her around frantically. Move your hand(s) slowly toward her in such a way that you are trapping her against a side or in a corner. Come in with one hand from behind first and then one hand at the side or front. If she does dart off, don't go madly trying to catch her all around the tank. Just let her go and let her slow down again, then start the process of slowly moving your hand toward her again. Once you have her, just sort of hold her in your hand underwater for a second to let her know you mean no harm. Go in with gentle confidence, not brute force and they will respond much better. Good luck!

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Guest pawsawhile

Thank you for the tip, will try your method. I tried gently a few times to catch her this morning, but she slipped out of my hands. Now realise its a two person job as once I grab hold of her I need a torch to look into her mouth.

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Guest pawsawhile

Thank you everyone for your help with Carmen. Just wanted to let you know the latest. I decided to get someone from the aquarium shop to have a look and he said she looked perfect, hasn't got anything stuck in her mouth, her mouth wasn't swollen (although to me it looks much thicker internally than that of the others), doesn't have fungus, or an ulcer in her mouth. Her eyes were slightly cloudy so he gave her two salt baths which he said will fix the problem. He couldn't see that she had any parasitic infection.

Having said all this, she is still not eating so am totally perplexed. Its now two weeks since she has eaten. After asking me what I feed them, he did say that I was overfeeding the fish by 30% and this has elevated the readings in the tank slightly which is not good for the fish.

If anyone has any further ideas, I would be happy to hear from them. Thanks again

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When the man said the water readings were "elevated" did he give you exact readings for nitrite, ammonia and especially nitrates? pH? Looking back at the water info you posted at the beginning it is quite possible that all that is needed here is a 100% water change. When did you last do one? Some fish are particularly sensitive to the build up of bacteria and nitrates that s inevitable with small water changes only over a period of time.

This is where I would start in an effort to get Carmen's appetite back.

Did the man look inside the fishes mouth?

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Guest pawsawhile

Thanks Imogen - the readings were elevated from the readings I took a few days ago, but he didn't say to what. He had the same testing kit as I have so I could see there was an elevation.

He checked inside her mouth. I was hoping he would find something stuck there, but he didn't. He said her mouth wouldn't be moving like it is if, if there was something lodged there. We changed 25% yesterday. Do you think I should do more, and will that affect the bacteria levels. Thanks

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Bacteria multiplies in unchanged water. Every single tiny peice of poop that enters the water column and before it is picked up by the filter is capable of breeding thousands and thousands of new bacteria that are then released back into the tank. Every peice of food that goes uneaten and gets stuck somewhere - the same. To keep a tank bacteria free without a UV sterilser (and even then) is impossible. What matters are 2 things.

#1 The level of bacteria present= the bacterial count and #2 the bacteria tolerance threshold of each fish.

When a fish is weak in any way, a cut on the skin, a lack of vit C from old food or a pellet that was old, that threshold to opportune bacteria declines and the fish is a sitting target for bacteria in the water to attach. This is why when you have a sickly fish the first thing to do is a 100% water change to rid the water of bacteria and start afresh. The fewer bacteria in the water the fewer dangers and the best chance of recovery :)

Since your water params are elevated I suggest you monitor them very closely for a while daily..changing out water to get you back to zeros for nitrite and ammonia. Nitrites for example typically will cause loss of appetite. Start with the 100% change and then try 25% daily for one week. Water is the fishes life support system and it can heal the fish completely if it is managed carefully.

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Guest pawsawhile

Thanks again for your very informative and detailed reply. Have learnt a lot from you. Have done what you suggested and will let you know the progress. She is still not eating, but hopefully she won't get worse.

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Guest pawsawhile

Sorry to advise that despite doing all that was suggested, oranda has developed dropsy and still not eating. Pains me to look at her. Thank you everyone for advice, but don't think there is anything else I can do

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If you can manage it, give her one last chance please. Do you have a separate container like a large rubbermaid that you could house her in temporarily? You would need an airstone- changing out almost all water daily if you dont have another filter...You can then try some antibiotic treatment - perhaps Maracyn 2 and add a pinch of epsom salt to the water too. It is worth a shot, it is always difficult diagnosing with so few symptoms but there is always hope. Many fish have come back from dropsy although it is true that it is thought of as a final stage symptom.

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