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Rapidly Worsening Pop-eye


Guest goldienewbie

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Guest goldienewbie

Ammonia Level? 1.0

Nitrite Level? .50

Nitrate level? 10

Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines)? 6.6

Ph Level (KH/GH) out of the Tap? 7.4

Brand of test-kit used? (strips or drops?) API Drop Kit

[*]Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running? 29 gallons- 1 week (uncycled)

[*]What is the name and size of the filter/s? Eclipse 3 System

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? Varies- usually 1-2 times per week (25-50%)

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 3.5" oranda and 1 3" lionhead

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? Amquel Ammolock Conditioner- added 1x daily for the last week due to high ammonia levels; proper pH 7.0

[*]Any medications added to the tank? Melafix (5 ml per 10 gallons) 1x daily for the last 3 days and yesterday fed Jungle Anti-bacterial Medicated food

[*]Add any new fish to the tank? No

[*]What do you feed your fish? Alternate between sinking shrimp pellets and algae wafers

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as

"grains of salt",

bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Yes- the tank was being treated for fin root due to the oranda's prolonged yet mild case of it. Overnight the lionhead's eye developed popeye.

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating,ect..?

Over the last day the lionhead has become lethargic and began bottom sitting.

Please help- I have been treating my uncycled tank with Melafix for 3 days due to one fish's prolonged and mild case of fin rot. Yesterday I began feeding them Jungle Anti-bacterial medicated fish food. Overnight the lionhead developed a cloudly, swollen, pop-eye. His eye has dramatically worsened in the last hour. I just tested the water and replaced the carbon filter. I am very concerned because the Melafix is supposed to treat pop-eye and the little guy is getting worse so quickly. There has been little change in my oranda. Her fin rot has neither gotten better nor worse. I am going to preform an immediate 50% water change, but I don't know what to do. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by goldienewbie
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Guest goldienewbie

I just changed out 12 gallons of water (approximately 40%). I retested the water and here are the new results:

Ammonia: 1.0

Nitrate: around 10

Nitrite: .25

pH: 6.6

I removed all of the decorations from the aquarium because I didn't want to take any chances with him scratching his eye on anything. The water is looking more clear than it had earlier. It seemed to have a yellowish discoloration before. Since I replaced the carbon filter it should be filtering any additional medication from the water. The pH of water out of the tap is 7.4, yet my pH was unaffected by the water change. I reread the labels of the Melafix (1.0% melaleuca) and Jungle's anti-bacterial food (2.3% sodium sulfathiozole, .13% nitrofurazone). The food bottle said it may be used with external water treatments, but the Melafix bottle did not specify.Should I dose the new water with aquarium salt or proper pH? I forgot to mention earlier that I dosed the aquarium with aquarium salt 5 days ago ( i used 4 tablespoons- which is the equivalent of dosing 2/3rds of the water). Over the last 24 hours I added proper pH 7.0 (to a total of 3 scoops as specified for 30 gallons). Should these two have not been combined? I am very worried about him. His eye is very cloudy and swollen. It looks as if it could actually pop out of the socket. I have a 6 gallon aquarium that they lived in for a while before. I put it back in the box, but I could set it up again and move him into it. However, this seems like it would be a very dramatic and stressful transition to make even if I combined old and new water in this aquarium. Also, I discontinued the anti-bacterial food because this happened after the first day I began feeding it to them and the filter and water chance are removing the Melafix, so what do I do as far as treating the pop-eye? Bacterial resistance is a concern because I stopped the treatment. However, at this point I am just concerned with keep Stewie alive. Please help

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I was a little hesitant to reply, because I'm not very experienced, but since no one else has posted in the past hour and a half...

stick with the water changes. 40% twice a day = 60% once a day. you would be a lot closer to on track for treating something this serious with twice daily 40% changes than just once a day. but you're on the right track. keep up the good work for your fish.

both the fish sound like they have bacterial infections. they could be the same infection or different. most fish infections are gram-negative bacteria, but you can't know for certain. many people on this forum will recommend staying away from antibiotics, but i can't do that in good conscience. i've treated with basic sulfa drugs, which are exceptionally broad-spectrum and fairly eco-friendly, and have had reasonable success when i was quite scared for my fish. you don't want these to be your first choice, because, since your tank isn't yet fully cycled, even gentler antibiotics could wipe out what little cycle you have. still, keep in mind that you can buy sulfa cocktails at your local petstore for very little money if that's what it comes to to save your fish.

however, a more immediate help might be salting, which can relieve the osmotic pressure on your fishs' gills and allow them to fight their infections better. i will find the article about salting that i used, which helped me immensely, and post it for you here soon. in the mean time, search your home for pickling salt, or another salt with no preservatives or anti-caking agents. i'll be back asap.

Edited by drkslvr
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Guest goldienewbie

Thank you for your help. There is salt in the water. I'm not sure if the perfect pH 7.0 contains salt, but even after this water change there is enough aquarium salt in the aquarium to treat 1/3rd of the water (according to the packaging, which indicated 1 tbsp/ 5 gallons). I am not sure what percent this would be. I am hesitating to add more, because there is still some perfect pH in the water as well, so I am waiting to see if this contains salt. I took pictures of the fish. I am currently trying to figure out how to post them.

Thanks again,

Laura

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for pictures, photobucket is probably the best site. it's easy to use, too, but you do have to sign up for it. still, it will only take you a few minutes. however, if you'd rather go faster, a free flickr account is included with any yahoo email address. if you have a yahoo email address, you alreay have a flickr.com account. no sign-up necessary

now, about that salt. is this salt especially for salting a sick freshwater fish, or is this saltwater salt? the two are not the same thing! you don't want to put saltwater fish in with your sick goldfish, because it will contain minerals and buffers and chemicals and crap that your sick goldfish do not want or need. i really would go with the pickling salt. it's food grade and about as pure as you can find NaCl except for laboratoy use. still, the choice is ultimately yours. it's fine grain, too, which lets you disolve it more easily.

either way, though, check out this link: http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=60876 (Thanks Trinket!) it details how to salt. it's as much in the method as in the salt. your fish don't want that whole pound of salt poured strait into their tank! really, do read that page. also, another thing you might do is keep a log of how much (what 1% by mass, approximately) salt is in your tank. it gets complicated, because each water change removes a certain percent, and all the while you're trying to slowly up the dosage. keeping a log really helped me keep from overdosing, as well as letting me know how many rutine water changes it took until the salt was 99% gone from the water (it took a long time!). because you don't necessarily want to add salt and meds or salt and epsom salts at the same time as each other, it's good to know when you've eliminated it from your aquarium. i'll be back soon to see those pics.

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i should have noted this earlier, and i'm sorry that i didn't:

most of the time, salt is actually used to treat parasites, not bacteria. it's my experience that it works, but many more experienced goldfish owners may feel it's an unwise idea. still, now you know how to use it, if you so choose.

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Hello goldienewbie and sorry to hear you are having problems.

The first thing here is that your tank has only been set up for a week. Your fish are likely suffering from New Tank Syndrome. Using Ammolock will prevent your tank from cycling. You are showing ammonia readings and no medications will work with ammonia or nitrites present in the water. In fact it can make things much much worse.

Here is a link that explains the nitrogen cycle of the tank that will help explain how your tank cycles and what needs to happen.http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/cycle.html

Right now you should do a large (75% at least) water change, ph and temp matched, and put carbon in your filters to remove any medications. Be sure not to rinse your filter media as you need this to help cycle. I'd suggest that you start with pristine water conditions and go from there. When you are cycling your tank, you will need to test and change your water daily sometimes to remove the ammonia. There really aren't any shortcuts.

How long have you been feeding with the Jungle food?

Your ph is low and I was wondering if you have tested it coming out of the tap?

The problem right now is that you have an uncycled tank to which there is ammonia and nitrites present, and now has medications and salt added to it. This turns your fish's water into a very toxic mix. This is why I've suggested removing everything but pristine water and starting from the beginning.

Be sure and post back and let us know what your new readings are and we can go from there! Good luck!

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Guest goldienewbie

Thank you. I used Conditioning Salt for freshwater aquariums. I have a log of the salt that I've added and my test values. Currently the salt concentration in the aquarium is enough to treat 10 of the 29 gallons. His eye seems to be getting worse. The photos of him do not show the full extent of the cloudyness or swelling. Given what I have read on other posts and that it does seem to be bacterial I am tempted to feed them the Anti-bacterial food. I would love to hear back from you drkslvr on your option. I am very inexperienced as well and two minds are often better than one. If I don't hear back from anyone I am going to plan to do so if I do not see in improvement within the next hour. Stewie is deteriorating very rapidly.

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Guest goldienewbie

Thank you Vickielm for your help. I began feeding the anti-bacterial food yesterday. They were on melafix for 3 days. I changed 40% of the water a couple hours ago, but I will go ahead and do a 75% water change now, slowly adding the new water back, so they can have time to adjust to the difference in pH (the pH in the aquarium right now is 6.6, but out of the tap it is 7.4). I also put the carbon filter back in a couple hours ago to filter the medication out. I am going to stick with your advice and not add anymore salt or perfect pH. I had originally added the perfect pH because my pH crashed and I seem to have very little buffering capacity in my water. This large water change should help with the low pH, ammonia, and nitrites, but I am very worried about his eye. Will the pristine water be enough to get this under control in time? Would it be okay to feed with the anti-bacterial food if I continue these large water changes?

Edited by goldienewbie
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a 40% water change + a 40% water change = a 60% water change

a 40% water change + a 60% water change = a 75% water change

a 40% water change + a 75% water change = a 85% water change

i'm not saying what the right way to go is, just remember that the consecutive water changes build on each other.

second, the low pH and the high ammonia are both bad. don't get me wrong there. goldfish like pH 7.5 and ammonia 0. anything different raises the chance of disease. however, lower pH makes ammonia slightly less toxic to your fish, and so it might not be quite as bad as it looks at first glance. keep up the water changes. it's your best bet. but i'm not certain that a complete water change is going to be good for your fish. they're under enough stress as it is. they really don't need to go from pH 6.5 to pH 7.5 in a single night. you're right to add the fresh water back to the tank slowly, but even at that, your tank water is 10 times more acidic than your tap water. i wouldn't change it all at once. also, note that completely eleminating ammonia will keep your tank from ever cycling, and you'll have to do this again and again.

third, make sure that whatever chemicals you do leave out of your water, you do get dechlorinator in there. not dechlorinating your water will get your fish, and that will be the end of this thread. not a very happy ending.

finally, i think that most people are more wary of medicating your tank's water than of feeding medicated food. what i say isn't gosple truth. honestly, i've never even used medicated food. but it seems to me like it couldn't hurt. i'm not buying the bit about it not working in higher ammonia water. (which, yours certainly isn't the worst out there. many goldfish live through 2.0 or worse!) the reason ammonia is so bad is because it changes the equilibrium in the way the fish metabolize protein to energy. it's not directly related to infection itself, it just makes them weaker and easier to infect.

your goldfish don't seem to be dying, not right now. yes, it's very serious, and yes, they may die, but with a little luck you can still prevent that. keep doing your best. if you're really lucky, they'll end up like my fish, which have been sick but in the end, have virtually no permanent damage. one strech mark is the only thing I know of that is left. the water changes very well may be enough to do it for you, but you'll have to be very attentive with them. and even then, be ready with something else if you need it.

Edited by drkslvr
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I'm not 100% sure about the best way to treat for his eye, but I will yell for help for you on that. I believe that if you start a regimen of anti-bacterial food, then you have to finish it out or the bad bacs will develop a resistance to antibiotics at a time when you may desperately need them.

Someone will help you soon on the eye, though, and good luck!

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You must finish the Jungle food course now it is started. It may help the pop-eye. But it is a temporary fix.

The main problem here is you cannot medicate in an uncyled tank :( You say you treated for finrot in this tank? What medication did you use for that? I think this all goes back to ammonia+ medication which is a death sentence for fish. You need to focus on the cycle. If you are cycling and a fish gets sick you would need to remove that fish to a QT tub with minimum an airstone and preferably a filter too- and be prepared to do daily 100% water changes (or add ammochips not ammolock) and medicate in that.

Pop-eye, bottom sitting, white poop- these can be caused by ammonia and cycle stress.

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Guest goldienewbie

I will continue the medicated Jungle food and 50% daily water changes. I had begun treating the tank for finrot with Melafix. I treated for 3 days, but I removed it from the water today with water changes and by putting the carbon filter back in.

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good luck to you and your fish. keep us updated on their status. we're all looking forward to see you posting that they're much better.

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Guest goldienewbie

Thank you so much! They do seem to be improving. I did a second 40% water change, which puts me at a 60% change for the day. I readded the water slowly throughout the afternoon and evening due to the difference in pH between the tap and aquarium water. The pH went from 6.6 to 6.8 today, which is a dramatic difference, so I wouldn't want to change anymore just yet. Nitrites are at 0 ppm. Unfortunately the ammonia is still at .5 ppm. This is due at least in part to the fact the tap water here contains ammonia, even once I have conditioned it. I fed them the anti-bacterial food and they ate, which at this point I consider good news. I have also noticed that his eye has stopped swelling and has even become less cloudy over the pupil. I have a long trek out of the woods left I'm sure.

I considered moving the lionhead with pop-eye into a quarantine tank. However, I'd have to set up my smaller aquarium, which is not cycled at all. Due to the stress he caused the female while they were spawning they were seperated by a divider for a while. During this time he became less active and seemed somewhat depressed (an anthropomorphism I'm sure). Given these things I think he might be better off staying where he is to minmize further stress. However, I am still learning, so I take my own opinions with a grain of salt.

Here is my plan of action:

-Cover the aquarium with a blanket for the night to minimize stress

-60% water change daily until the cycling process allows me to reduce this (as indicated by drop testing)

-Finish out the medicated food over the next week

-Move Stewie to my old aqaurium (which would become a QT tank) if he loses the eye and becomes a pirate

Thanks again everyone for your help. I am not sure my beloved fish and I would get through this without it.

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A qt tank doesn't have to be cycled and you can use Ammolock or zeolite in that. The point of a qt tank is that the fish needs pristine water NOW, and it is a temporary "hospital". The thing is though that you have already medicated and started the Jungle food, so you will have to continue with it until the regimen is finished, and I don't think that Stewie's problem is something that is contagious. If it is, your other fish has already been exposed so moving him would be unnecessarily stressful at this point.

If Stewie does lose the eye, you still don't have to move him. Most fish can do well with one eye if they have to. Hopefully he won't lose it.

There are a couple of things you can do about the ammonia in your tap water. You can let the water for the water change sit out overnight and test it in 24 hours. Many times the chlorine will dissipate after this, so possibly the ammonia will also. You can also use Prime, which will neutralize the ammonia, but it only does so for 24 hours. This basically gives you some breathing room when you can't be there to do water changes when its necessary. Remember that its only a temporary help.

I also had to cycle my tank with the fish in it. Luckily at the time I was between jobs taking classes and could do the testing and water changes as needed. There were some days that I did 2-3 40-50% wcs a day!! I went through testers like crazy and didn't think it was ever going to cycle, but it finally did. If I ever have to cycle a tank again, it will be fishless as the stress just drove me nuts!! :krazy: Its difficult, but you can do this.

The main thing that I have learned here is that most problems with your fish start with your water conditions. Almost every problem can be traced back to water quality. Most of us have found ourselves to be more keepers of the water, as if you take care of the water, the water will take care of the fish. Thats one reason why we ask for your water params. Often pristine water does more for goldfish than meds, as meds are harsh, often unneccesary, and won't work properly in poor water conditions.

Your plan looks good, except that I wouldn't move Stewie right now. The water changes should help, but the ammonia and nitrites need to get to 0 very quickly. Good job on slowly re-adding the water. You are doing great!

Your ph is low, but as long as its stable I would leave it alone for the moment.

Keep us posted!

Edited by vickielm
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Guest goldienewbie

Well I am glad to report that Stewie and Hobbes are still with us this morning. His eye is looking a lot better and they are actively foraging. I have noticed they are a little skiddish this morning. It isn't like them to dart around when I approach the aquarium. Luckily this seems to be the only time they're doing this. I imagine the change in pH (6.6 to 6.8) from yesterday is still putting stress on them. I checked my water and the ammonia is still at .5 with no nitrites, so I am going to wait until this afternoon to change water again. I believe I've read that they cannot tolerate changes in pH well and since the water in the aquarium is 6.8 and out of the tap 7.4 I want to give them as much time to adjust to the change as possible and make it as gradual as I can. Yesterday when I did the water changes I just readded water slowly (a few gallons per hour) until it was full again. I got some new water ready like you suggested and I will test it when the 24 hours is up to see if that worked.

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This is very good news! :D

You are right that fish don't react well to changes in ph. When things get more settled, maybe we can figure out how to get your ph up to the 7's, but for now you need to concentrate on getting that ammonia to 0. The fact that you have no nitrites shows that your tank isn't cycled yet. If you read the link I gave you, then you know that ammonia is the first fight and high nitrites are the next. You must keep a very close eye on your water params as nitrites are just as deadly to fish as the ammonia.

I'm really hoping that letting the water sit for 24 hours will dissipate the ammonia in your tap water. That will give you a good start. Cycling is a pain in the :booty , and it is stressful and nerve-wracking, but remember that once its done, its pretty well done. Then you just maintain the params with regular water changes, but not daily :rolleyes: , and sit back and enjoy your healthy happy fish! :exactly

Keep posting and keep us informed of what is going on, ok?

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Well I am glad to report that Stewie and Hobbes are still with us this morning. His eye is looking a lot better and they are actively foraging.

I'm so happy Stewie is doing better! Don't expect and instant recovery (You're going to have to stick with these water changes!), but it sounds like you've put the worst behind you. Be sure and post again soon!

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Guest goldienewbie

I performed at 50% water change yesterday.

I retested my water this morning and my pH crahsed again and the ammonia spiked

pH: 6.0

Ammonia: 2.0 ppm

Nitrite: .25 ppm

Nitrate: 10 ppm

I need to change large quantities of water to deal with the ammonia spike. However, I am scared that if I raise the pH too quickly with the water change I will end up killing these sweet little fish. If I change 50% of the water (due to the fact that my pH out of the tap is 7.4) I will raise their pH from 6.0 to 6.7 in one day, which seems very dangerous. I have some Perfect pH 7.0 I was considering adding this to the tap water to lower its pH so that the change is less dramatic. I could also add Ammolock and do a smaller water change. Please let me know what you think!

Also Stewie's eye is still looking a lot better, but the Oranda's tail is looking worse. The red edges are getting worse and she has red streaks in her tail. I can set up and move her to the QT tank, but the problem is the extreme difference in pH. I really don't know what to do.

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Guest goldienewbie

Big uh oh:

I just changed out 9 of my 29 gallons. I retested the pH and it still reads 6.0?!? I did the math and my pH should be between 6.4 and 6.5 now. I am going to wait 15 minutes or so and test it again, but if my pH somehow managed to drop below 6, I don't think my fish would even still be alive. What in the world is happening here?

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:yikes Hon, the problem right now is your ammonia. Ammonia readings of 2.0 are deadly. You have to do a 100% water change and I would do it immediately. The unstable ph is not a good thing, but with your ammonia readings it is a lethal combination. If your ammonia reads 2.0 and you do a 50% wc, you still have 1.0 ammonia. Lets try to take care of one thing at a time. The wcs aren't going to stress your fish, but the ammonia will.

Please do the wc and post back with your readings, ok?

Edited by vickielm
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Besides, high nitrates and in your case, a completely unstable water situation, can cause ph to crash, which may be why your ph reads so low. Yet another reason to do that 100% water change.

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