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Dying Fish


Guest alisong1946

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Guest alisong1946

I have a 10-gallon tank with 2 goldfish, Nitrates/nitrites tested with strips are safe levels. Ph and ammonia are no problem per the test-tube things-I think it's called "Aquarium Products".I use an aqua-tech filter system.

My 2 year old gorgeous goldfishfish is ill; his buddy is not. About a month ago I saw a bulge in the right side of his abdomen. Here is what I have tried so far: a course of tetracycline drops(twice); the fizzy fungus treatment that claims to treat bloat; English peas as just an extra, and once as the only food for 3 days running; fasting; frequent 20 to 25% water changes. Nothing has helped; he has just gotten bigger. The past 2 days he is mostly swimming upside down, poor baby must be exhausted. I can't stand it any more. Unless someone has other suggestions for treatment, I need a humane way to end it .

Thank you.

I forgot to mention that there are no other problems I can see on him . I had previously fed pellets, but switched to flakes.

Thanks again

Edited by alisong1946
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Hmmm, I'm not an expert by any means, but there are alot of people on this board that know sooo much and they just might have suggestions for you before you put him down..I've seen them save a lot of fish that were thought of as goners.

While waiting for them to come, could you possibly retest the water and get exact numbers? Not just "safe"? Before the moderators/members can give advice on treatment they like to know the exact water conditions first. Actually, if you could just copy & paste the box of questions at the top, that would be the best way to have all of your information sorted out.

When is the last water change you did and how much? In most cases a large temperature matched water change is the first course of action.. treated with dechlorinator, after you get the test results.

What type of goldfish do you have?? Before I found this board I had 6 goldfish in a 29 gallon tank, and I was told that single tailed common goldfish needed 20 gallons minimum each, and fancy goldfish need at least 10. In either case, your tank is overstocked and that may be part of the problem.

Post back as soon as you can with those results. And I almost forgot.. Welcome to Koko's!! : )

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Hello Alisong and welcome to Koko's!

As Sue has already said, no matter what type of goldfish you have, you are overstocked. Test strips are notoriously inaccurate, and ANY reading of nitrites or ammonia is too much. They must be at 0.

20-25% water changes really aren't enough. Right now you really need to do an immediate 75-90% temperature and ph matched water change as Sue suggested.

Having your water params would be very helpful for us to help you help your fish. Don't give up on him yet. Fish are pretty amazing in their recoveries once you find out what the problem is. I thought my fantail was beyond help too before I came here, and the wonderful people here helped me figure out what I was doing wrong. Now he is a fat, happy gorgeous little pig!

We'd love to help you. Please give us some info so we can get started!

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Guest alisong1946

Here goes---I am finally at home and can give numbers:

Amminia>5 to 1ppm(looks at the low end of that) Aqua Pharmaceuticals

Nitrite .5,nitrate 40 ppm(Jungle Quick Dip); PH in tank-Aqua Pharmaceuticals7.4; from tap(well water)6.8

Using Regent system, Aquatech 5-15 filter.

Had water change of probably about 80% 3 months ago. Pst 2 weeks, a 20 to 25% change almost every day.

We have well water, no additives or conditioners. We are in Colorado.

He was just a nnnnnn fishy but has developed lovely long fins, tail, etc He is colored like a calico cat, has one blue and one gold eye---he's my pal! His friend has been in there at least 10 months, is about 1 1/2 inches.

I see no streaks or anything weird except that he is blown up and swimming upside down. Please see my first post for other info as to what all i have tried

I appreciate any help I can get. he is still hungry, by the way. On another website it sugested frozen bloodworms so i got some yesterday and he has eaten.

I am on the way to change a lot more water right now.

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Hey again!! Thanks for getting those readings posted!!

The first thing that concerns me is that you have ammonia and nitrite readings at all. Are the fish in the same tank they have always been in? Or is this a recent change? Once a tank has been running for a long time it becomes cycled. In short, beneficial bacteria grow on the filter and the filter media. They convert the ammonia into nitrite. Then the nitrite into nitrate. Nitrate, which can very well be harmful, is not as toxic as the ammonia and nitrite. Which is why whenever there are ANY levels of those two things present, it can cause problems for your fish. It appears that your tank has run into a bump in the cycle, and when that happens water changes are absolutely crucial.. Right now I have two new fish in an uncycled tank, and therefore am doing 90%-100% water changes daily, to keep the levels down.

Here is a link that explains the cycle better than I can explain it. It may give you some more insight into what is going on in your tank.

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/cycle.html

I'm not familiar with using well water, so I don't know if you should still be using some sort of additive or not.. guys?

You say you did 80% three months ago, and then 20-25% daily these past two weeks. What was your water change schedule like in between then and now? If you hadn't changed any water between three months ago and up until two weeks ago that is a huge problem right there. Typically a water change of 50% once a week is neccessary, but with two fish in your tank, you would actually need to be doing even more. I would suggest at least twice a week, if not more. Then I like to do a full 100% change once a month. When the water changes are not frequent enough the nitrate (while less harmful than ammonia and nitrite typically) can build up to a level that is harmful to fish, and is known to cause fish to flipover. I was recently told that even a small amount can cause flipover in sensitive fish. Generally nitrate must be kept under 40, although a lot of members here chose to keep it under 20 or even under 10.

You say the fish is bloated.. are you seeing anything like scales sticking out, or eyes popping out? Or just bloating all around.

I am not really in the position to diagnose your fish, or recommend treatment, but I am trying to help get the details figured out that way someone else can help you out better. : ) Someone should be here to check on you again soon..

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Guest alisong1946

Thank you for the cycling info---clearly i have not changed often enough. I have had the tank for years and my last goldfish was about 9 when he dies so I thought I was probably doing things okay all this time!

The bloat is mostly on the right side of his tummy, getting bigger. He is having a hard time staying upright. There are no scales sticking out,and I think his eyes are okay. Yhank you. Looking forward to more input.

Alison

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Your welcome Alison! I had goldfish for 2 years and had NO idea how to take care of them! It took coming on here with a problem to learn how to do things the "right" way.. : ) SO I completely understand..

I think I've offered everything I can at this point, so now we'll wait for someone else to pop in. Good luck getting everything sorted out in your tank, and I hope your fish recovers. I know that buying them cheap doesn't have anything to do with how we feel about them. The 25 cent feeder fish are the same as the expensive collector fish when it comes to how the owner feels : )

Welcome to the board!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! :)

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CountryLovah is giving you some good information so far and right on. Two goldfish in a 10 gallon is way overstocked, and with only 20-25% water changes only every couple of weeks, that's just not enough and that shows in your test readings. I read another thread where someone had a fish that had the same problem; that being a bump on one side. Trinket said that she felt the fish had an internal bacterial tumor and this sounds like it could very well fit your situation. With such low and infrequent water changes, bad bacteria can build up inside a fish. I'm not really an expert either on how to treat such situations. I need to find that thread and also I'll send a note to Trinket to check in on you here. If I can find that thread, I'll post the link.

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Here's the link to that thread. Bump On Side, Swollen Body, Two Raised Scales And sorry. It wasn't a tumor, it was an ulcer. Some of the other comments may or may not apply, such as impacted eggs or internal worms brought in by new plants or snails.

Some other things. Stop any medications if you are still using them. I would say do a complete 100% temperature matched, dechlorinated water change. If your tests are correct, your water is completely out of whack and you have no cycle anymore anyway. Rinse out all of your filter media and any other gunk that might be collected anywhere. If you have gravel, vacuum it really, really well.

Here is Trinket's response:

"Ok.

I think this could be an internal bacterial ulcer forming. If so, it will get a little larger (has it?) and eventually develop a pimple head. Then it will either burst (and toxins are released into the water-not good) or it will subside...

It is certainly not anchor worm.

It could possibly be internal worms (snails are carriers as are plants- did you QT the plants?)

I dont think its eggs either but just to check- have you seen this fish being "nudged" in the belly (actually in this area) by the other fish at all?"

Edited by lynda441
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Hi Alisong and welcome,

I am sorry you are having problems with your fish. He sounds so pretty with his different colored eyes and long fins. I suggest you don't give up on him just yet and lets see if we can get him back into shape.

There are a few things that need attention fast. Strip kits do not give accurate results and I suspect 'safe' for nitrates is way under an estimate in a small overstocked tank that has not had a 100% water change for a long time. That would be the place to start ( a 100% water change) as others have said. Nitrate levels are a good indication of bacteria levels and I suspect the bacterial count in the water here is very high. You may also need to rinse the filters and clean the pipes. Dont do all this on the same day as your cycle seems unstable and needs watching. Any ammonia/nitrites are going to impede healing.

Heres my take on the meds you have used so far: The tetracyline was not a bad guess. But obviously it was not the right antibiotic. The fungus meds may have made him worse -not sure which those are but this is an internal problem and fungus is an external skin/slimecoat issue.

The food switch. Why? Generally speaking sinking food is much better for fish than flakes which can cause bloat. The peas were an excellent idea as was the fasting.

I suspect this is a bacterial problem. Water osmotes through the fish and bacteria with it. The bacteria then ferment inside the fish causing bloat or ulcers. Tumors too.

Since this is entirely internal (no external marks) and since he is still eating (very hopeful) I suggest you get hold of some medicated food for your fish asap. Jungle anti bacteria food is a pellet food that contains sulfa antibiotics and nitrafurazone. Sulfa antibiotics are very good for reducing swelling and nitrafurazone is quite broad spec and suitable for many of the typical opportune aeromonas bacterial infections that occur in tanks where bacterial count has rocketed. These are bacteriostatic antibiotics best for floaty/kidney impaired fish.

Hope you will see this soon and post back with an update. Wishing him a complete recovery :)

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Guest alisong1946

Hello--I had to go to a big city to get the antibacterial pellets; we only have a tiny nnnnnn here and medication selections are quite limited. Anyway,I started him on those last night. He has eaten some, but it's tough for him since he is upside down due to the swelling. How long can they stay alive upside down? The swelling has increased, I believe, over the past 2 days. I have toyed with the idea of using a net or something to keep him right side up but that would add even more stress, I suppose.

In response to someone's question, I don't have live plants or snails in the aquarium.

Is there anything I can do to give him relief? Or, should I put him down? If not now, when will I know? And, back to my very first question, what is the most humane way to do it? I actually saw one website that suggested as a last resort, to try withdrawing air or fluid whatever the swelling is, surgically---and another site that said NEVER do that. It is all new to me.

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Hi Alison! I wish I could be of more help, but right now the main advice I am really comfortable giving is related to water conditions, tank maintence. Stuff like that. When it comes to diseases and medicines I am still learning and am not really able to help you out there. It's good that he's eating the medicated food. Did you end up doing the 100% water change as Trinket suggested?

There are options for a humane way of putting him down, but I would love to see how the fish responds to regular large water changes, and the medicated food before resorting to that.

I also am wondering if maybe it wouldn't hurt to try to add some sort of water conditioner. Like I said, I don't know how well water works. I don't know if it's totally free of chlorine or metals. But maybe there is something in there, that a water conditioner might fix. This is only a guess, but I also know that it wouldn't HURT anything.

I'm sure someone else will check back on you soon. Things have just been really hectic for some of our regular moderators lately. Sorry : )

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I agree that right now water changes, large and regular, are your best starting options, along with the medicated food. Are his scales raised, like a pinecone shape? Has his swelling gone down at all?

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Guest alisong1946

Sorry to be late in replying, but thought I would continue to change out the H2O and feed the antibacterial food for a few days. Amazing to me, he is still alive. He continues to spend most of his time upside down in a high corner. Since I began the antibacterial food on Sunday evening, he has continued to eat and is somewhat peppier, though. A few scales quite near the tail are raised somewhat, but not really to the pinecone extent. His fins are getting a little shredded-looking. I did use a water conditioner after the last change 2 days ago. Please continue to give me input----I really want Choo-Choo to get well if possible, but do not want him to suffer.He's really hanging in there.

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Sorry to be late in replying, but thought I would continue to change out the H2O and feed the antibacterial food for a few days. Amazing to me, he is still alive. He continues to spend most of his time upside down in a high corner. Since I began the antibacterial food on Sunday evening, he has continued to eat and is somewhat peppier, though. A few scales quite near the tail are raised somewhat, but not really to the pinecone extent. His fins are getting a little shredded-looking. I did use a water conditioner after the last change 2 days ago. Please continue to give me input----I really want Choo-Choo to get well if possible, but do not want him to suffer.He's really hanging in there.

Well, with floating and potentially lifting scales, I would suggest getting some epsom salt in the water. 1/4 tsp per 10 gallons of water. This will help expel excess fluids. Don't use salt. Salt can encourage bloating. Water dechlorinator should be used with every water change, and you probably should be doing daily water changes of at least 50%-70%, and up to 90%, depending on your drop test readings, and continuing to use the dechlorinator and re-adding a percentage of epsom salt based on the percentage removed at the water change. And continue feeding the med food. That your gf is eating is always a good sign.

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Guest alisong1946

Okay, I will get hold of some epsom salt tomorrow. He is just so huge. I keep thinking he is going to explode. Thank you for the suggestion.

Alison

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Guest alisong1946

I put in the epsom salts as suggested, but see no change yet, after only 24 hours.. So I understand, this bloating is liquid that is building up in him? I see the salts are a laxative sort of thing---should I perhaps throw in some peas again with the medicated food? He is still eating, still gets excited when he sees me. I will continue the water changes and salts as suggested. Thank you.

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Guest alisong1946

Okay, 2 days since I put in the epsom salts, and no change in him. Please, is there anything else I can do? No one replied to my note yesterday, so I hope someone will today. Thanks in advance.

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I'm sorry that no one has been around to reply to your questions!! I know that must be very frustrating for you... I really wish I could be of more help.. If the scales ARE raised and the espom is not helping then the only thing I can suggest is that you try ordering MetroMeds from Goldfish Connection. My fish recently had pop eye and slight raising of scales, and the MetroMeds took it back down. The problem is that I see that you have already started on another medicated fish food and I am not sure what the rules are when it comes to switching.. Normally I know that once you have started a course of a certain medication, you must finish out that course before trying something else.. I will send out a few PM's for you and see if I can get your thread some extra attention.

When you are doing the water changes, you are adding back in the same amount of epsom salt that you are removing correct? Just making sure. I am also not sure about the peas. Ususally when medicated food is being given, it must be the only food. There could be a suggestions. LIke I said, I will try to get one of the mods to come back and check on this thread!!!

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Just to let you know I sent PM's to Trinket & Pixie so if they sign on one of them should be with you shortly!!! Again sorry about you waiting for responses. Everyone has been really busy lately it seems, and a lot of people have been online less than normal : )

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Did you manage to do that 100% water change Alisong? It is absolutely essential to reduce bacterial count before adding medication of any kind. And essential for any kind of bacterial infection. The less bacteria breeding in the water the better your chance your fish has of getting better. The less bacteria he has to fight off you see. The epsom will work best and only after that large change.

Then you should continue with the medication. Epsom in the water and feed NOTHING but the medicated food, and feed plenty of it. As much as he wil take and a least twice a day.

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Guest alisong1946

I am almost out of the Jungle antibiotic fish food anyway.He has been on it since July 20. I will try to get the MetroMeds ASAP. Is that okay?

I continue the water changes, replenishing the epsom salts. Please, any other suggestions? Though the swelling had started low on his right belly, it has now moved to the other side as well, to the extent it is now his left side that is topmost. Thank you so much for your response---I thought I had gotten into the Twilight Zone with no answers! No has responded to one of the questions I had---which is, how long can he continue to live upside down until I find the right medication?

Thank you,

Alison

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Fish can live years and years upside down as long as they are not diseased and as long as they are eating. I had a pearlscale that lived 3 years upside down.

Get the Metromeds and start on them soon. These will help the swelling. There is nothing else to do but this except keep his water very clean and perfect and make sure the temperature and pH is stable so hes comfortable. Continue with the epsom but remember not to add too much which is also stressful. The dose is 1/4 teaspoon only per 10 gallons so a 50% water change involves adding back 1/8th of a teaspoon...

How old was the Jungle food? Antibiotic food does not keep more than about 4-5 months after opening-and only then if stored carefully with no damp. It will be ineffective after this time.

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