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Guest emariepike

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Guest emariepike

I have a small red cap oranda who has recently begun to "shed" scales. she is eating and swimming fine but her stomach seems to be swelling and i fear dropsy. tank is still cycling but water is being changed frequently. should i be worried?

tank info:

nitrite- 0

nitrate-0

ph- 7.2

tap water is conditioned with tetra aquasafe, recently treated oranda with tetracycline for suspected bacterial infection (she healed very well), and i occasionally use API accu-clear to help clear the water.

thanks in advance :)

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You didn't mention what the ammonia tested at. It would also help us to know what size tank you have and if you have other fish in it and also how often you're doing water changes and how much. Pretty much, the more answers you can provide to the questions posted at the top, the better we'll be able to help you.

You may want to go to GoldfishConnection and order some Metro-meds now before this turns into an overnight emergency requiring overnight shipping charges. You won't necessarily want to feed this yet, but it's always good to have this food on hand.

Also, if you don't have epsom salt, I would suggest buying some of that too. If, indeed, based on the additional information you provide to us, it is decided that your fish is swelling due to dropsy or SBD, etc., you will be advised to add the epsom salt to help reduce the swelling.

We're here for you and look forward to more info to help! Good luck!

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Guest emariepike

there are three small 1" goldfish in a 10 gal. tank. im not sure of the ammonia level yet, i need to get an ammonia test strip. but i'm guessing the NH4 level is high since the tank is still cycling. am currently using tetra easystrips (which doesn't test ammonia for some reason). ive been rinsing the filter cartridge about every three days and changing 20% of the water weekly. should the oranda be quarantined just incase she actually does have a big problem? and is Metro-meds a regular food or only for disease treatment? and does it treat dropsy specifically or a wide range of diseases? im new at this so please bear with me :) every bit of info is very appreciated!

I have epsom salt and will buy an ammonia test. What level ammonia is too high and should it be too high, should I use a chemical to lower the NH4 or just remove the fish?

Liz

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Guest emariepike

forgot to mention, there are 4 live plants in the aquarium. don't know if that was useful information or not, but live plants are helpful when cycling a tank aren't they?

Liz

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there are three small 1" goldfish in a 10 gal. tank. im not sure of the ammonia level yet, i need to get an ammonia test strip. but i'm guessing the NH4 level is high since the tank is still cycling. am currently using tetra easystrips (which doesn't test ammonia for some reason). ive been rinsing the filter cartridge about every three days and changing 20% of the water weekly. should the oranda be quarantined just incase she actually does have a big problem? and is Metro-meds a regular food or only for disease treatment? and does it treat dropsy specifically or a wide range of diseases? im new at this so please bear with me :) every bit of info is very appreciated!

I have epsom salt and will buy an ammonia test. What level ammonia is too high and should it be too high, should I use a chemical to lower the NH4 or just remove the fish?

Liz

Hi Liz~~~

Welcome to Koko's.

I don't know alot myself, but I do know that you have too many fish in that tank. One fancy tail needs a 10g all by themself, the three need at least a 30g. You also need a filter big enough to filter water at the gph rate that's 20x<--? the size of your tank. IE: 10g needs 200gph filter. I think this is right. I know Lynda441 knows and she will correct me if I am wrong.

If you pick up a test kit look for API master Drop test kit. It's a decent one that won't break the bank.

If I understand correctly, ANY ammonia is bad. Since your tank is still cycling, I would begin doing a 50% water change 2x week.

I think I will stop there. I am still learning and I don't want to give out the wrong info.

I would, however, do a 50% water change with conditioners as soon as possible keeping the temp and the ph of the new water the same as the tank it is going in.

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forgot to mention, there are 4 live plants in the aquarium. don't know if that was useful information or not, but live plants are helpful when cycling a tank aren't they?

Plants can help, yeah, but you can't count on them as a major contributor or in lieu of you doing what you need to do water maintenance-wise.

there are three small 1" goldfish in a 10 gal. tank. im not sure of the ammonia level yet, i need to get an ammonia test strip. but i'm guessing the NH4 level is high since the tank is still cycling. am currently using tetra easystrips (which doesn't test ammonia for some reason). ive been rinsing the filter cartridge about every three days and changing 20% of the water weekly. should the oranda be quarantined just incase she actually does have a big problem? and is Metro-meds a regular food or only for disease treatment? and does it treat dropsy specifically or a wide range of diseases? im new at this so please bear with me every bit of info is very appreciated!

I have epsom salt and will buy an ammonia test. What level ammonia is too high and should it be too high, should I use a chemical to lower the NH4 or just remove the fish?

Don't buy strips. Strips just aren't reliable enough. Drops are much better.

Accu-clear really isn't necessary. Sometimes being able to see whether we have cloudy water will help us determine the health of our tank. What you need, though, is a dechlorinator/stress coat.

Three goldfish, no matter how small, in a 10 gallon is seriously overstocked. Each goldfish needs a minimum of 10 gallons of water per fish and, depending on whether you have single tail or fancies, and of course, size, you may eventually need 20 gallons or more. You really need to get these goldies into a larger environment. That will help tremendously. If you can't afford at least a 30 gallon tank, you can buy a 30 gallon rubbermaid type bin. Then add a filter to that.

You didn't mention what size filter you have. As goldfish produce huge amounts of waste, which is why you need such a large tank, they also need massive filtration. A filter should move 10 times the water as the size of the tank, so for a 10 gallon tank, you need a 100 gph filter, 30 gallon tank, 300 gph filter, etc.

Also, don't rinse the filter cartridge/media in tap water if you are. That's where your beneficial bacteria is and needs to be. Rinse it in some of the water you removed from the tank during cleaning and just lightly enough to remove the food and poop debris.

When you're cycling a new tank, you need to do daily temperature matched water changes with dechlorinator of at least 50%, even for just one fish. I do 90% every day in a new tank with ammonia readings of 0.25ppm-0.5ppm. I never let ammonia get higher than 0.5 ppm. Some may say that 0.25 ppm-0.5 ppm is okay, but I feel you can never be too safe. I'm overprotective and I'd rather the cycling take longer with safe water, than shorter with questionable water. So, with 3 fish in a 10 gallon, you need to be doing 90% water changes every single day. Possibly even twice a day, depending on what your readings are.

Ammonia is the first reading that you get in a newly cycling tank, so it should be the first thing you test for. Once the beneficial bacteria starts developing and eating the ammonia, the ammonia will drop and you will see a spike in nitrites. Then, after 20 days or so, you should see the same thing happen with nitrates. Your tank is cycled once you have readings of ammonia - 0, nitrites - 0, and nitrates lower than 10-20 ppm. Read up on this Koko's link about the Nitrogen Cycle. It will help you understand all of this better. Nitrogen Cycle

Yes, metro-meds is a special med food just for disease treatment. It is preferred to be used for dropsy over other med foods because other med foods can affect the internal organs negatively and only worsen the problem.

We were all new to this at one time so all of your questions are understood and we're glad you're asking.

EDIT: Roni beat me! Well, Roni, 20x sure won't hurt if the fish can handle the flow/current!

Edited by lynda441
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Hi Liz -- Welcome!

Roni is right -- you've got too many fish in there and your ammonia levels are probably sky high. At this point your best bet would be to get those fish into a 30 gallon Rubbermaid container until you can get a larger tank. There is absolutely no way that you're going to be able to successfully treat your fishes' problem until your water situation is under control.

Have you read about the nitrogen cycle? At this stage of the game, you need to be doing lots and lots of large water changes (as overstocked as you are, probably 75% PER DAY) but not a lot of filter rinsing. By rinsing your filters (particularly in tap water) you are killing the precious beneficial bacteria that you are trying to cultivate during cycling. For the time being, feed very sparingly (one light feeding every other day) and leave your filter cartridge be.

Can you tell us more about your filter? Brand? GPH? This is important info.

Roni is right -- you need a drop test. Strips are worthless.

Please keep us updated!

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Guest emariepike

thank you so much for all your help! im going to see about getting a bigger filter. i have a tetra whisper 5-15 that came with an aquarium beginner set. I have looked into it and apparently it only filters at about 100gph. Will change the water today and check ammonia level. If this is what's causing stress to Gina, will her scales stop falling off or regrow? and how long until I know? Temperature is kept at 74F or 75F so I don't believe that is a problem. I originally wanted to get a bigger tank, but I didn't have enough money at the time and didn't know I would be taking on a third fish, but I will work on that ASAP. Thank you again for everything!

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The scales will eventually regrow, but only after your water quality is perfect. That will only be AFTER you're finished cycling, which will probably be another 6-8 weeks.

Your priorities now should be 1) a 30 gallon container (tank or Rubbermaid), 2) a 300 gph filter (Emperor 280 or AquaClear are good choices -- get extra BioMax media bags to stuff in any extra space & don't let the pet store people sell you ammonia removers), 3) an API test kit.

In the meantime, 100% water changes every day would be the best bet to keep your fish alive and to prevent secondary infection from setting in on your pearlscale.

P.S. Live plants are only helpful AFTER a tank is cycled -- they consume the final product of the nitrogen cycle (nitrate).

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Sounds like you are on the right track! :thumb: Keep us posted, and follow the advice above!

Here's a thought---> If you can't get a larger tank immediatly, you might return 2 fish? It would help the situation. Or, as suggested before, get a 30-gallon rubbermaid tub.

Edited by Petperson04
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thank you so much for all your help! im going to see about getting a bigger filter. i have a tetra whisper 5-15 that came with an aquarium beginner set. I have looked into it and apparently it only filters at about 100gph. Will change the water today and check ammonia level. If this is what's causing stress to Gina, will her scales stop falling off or regrow? and how long until I know? Temperature is kept at 74F or 75F so I don't believe that is a problem. I originally wanted to get a bigger tank, but I didn't have enough money at the time and didn't know I would be taking on a third fish, but I will work on that ASAP. Thank you again for everything!

You're welcome! I'd love to know that you're going to get a larger tank or bin too! That is equally important! I know, it's such an extra output of money, but it really is necessary. This tank you have now will make an excellent quarantine/hospital tank down the road, so it isn't going to be wasted, ultimately. But, if you make up for the smaller size with lots of very large water changes and keep the ammonia low to non-existent, it should be okay for a little while.

As with any more serious illness, it will take time for Gina to respond and get better, but the sooner the problems are caught and corrected, the better chance she'll have. How long it will take depends on many factors, how well the water quality is kept, feeding, temperature, etc., but patience and persistence is key. You just need to keep at it until she's better.

The temperature is okay, but don't let it get any higher. High temps will lower the immunity and stress fish. If they do, you either need to increase the amount of dissolvable oxygen in the tank or reduce temperature. I've been lowering the temp this last week by having a fan blow across the top of the water. It really works amazingly well!

Edited by lynda441
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