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Tail Rot?


Guest jamble

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Guest jamble

Hi folks,

My shubunkin is looking very poorly indeed and it's a recent development after months of swimming happily around in her tank. I wonder if you'd be able to advise on any pointers?

Here are some test results I've done:

Ammonia Level?

0ppm

Nitrite Level?

0ppm

Nitrate level?

0ppm

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

apx 7.6

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

Drops

[*]Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running?

Starter tank from pet shop - apx 20 litres and has been running for about 5 months

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

[*]How often do you change the water and how much?

apx 25% change weekly

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size?

1 shubunkin - apx 5cm

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners?

None, occasional "weekly cleaner" which says "all natural ingredients"

[*]Any medications added to the tank?

Just added some "interpet anti fungus and finrot" liquid in last water change

[*]Add any new fish to the tank?

No

[*]What do you feed your fish?

Flakes

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as

"grains of salt",

bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

Frayed tail with some reddening around the base and tail / spine appears to be curved upwards

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

Not really. Fish is swimming constantly (ie, not staying at bottom), appetite is good. Fins clamped to back though.

Any thoughts on what course of action I might be able to take to help repair my fishes tail fin and make her happier would be hugely appreciated. I'm aware that there will be some folks who suggest the tank is too small but unfortunately this is the one thing I can't do anything about. I change the water regularly and keep an eye on her, but she does seem to be worsening in terms of the tail.

Many thanks!

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  • Admin

You are right tank is to small for this fish :(

I noticed that you didnt mention a filter, does this tank not have one? All goldfish tanks should have a filter: helps keep the tank cycled and gets rid of waste :D

I also noticed that you dont have any nitrates in the water quality. Im thinking you might have lost the cycle of this tank. The fishes fins being frayed and redness is a water issue.

If you dont have filter I would get one, then I would get a water conditioner like Prime or Amquel. Since you said you have that med Im assuming your in the Uk or somewhere close to that area. So water conditioners might be different than what I have said but you should be able to find one like them, they help keep the bad stuff in the water away from the fish :D

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Guest jamble

Thanks for the reply, yes I do have a filter which has been running I just don't know the name of it.

What should I look to do to get the cycle back into the tank? I do have a water conditioner I bought, it doesn't have much in the way of ingredients listed on the bottle though so I'm not sure if it's going to do much as it simply says the active ingredient is "natural micro organisms"

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Guest jamble

Here's a photo, just done a complete water change and she's still swimming away but the tail looks even worse than a couple of days ago and quite deformed :(

She also doesn't appear to have much appetite now (compared to a few days ago) and I'm not sure if I've seen any goldfish pooing.

Large pic so I thought I'd link to it : http://www.welcomebrand.co.uk/gubbins/IMG_3913.JPG

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Was this fish's tail (bent) when you got him?

Im going to get a mod that knows more about UK meds....Since Im in the US its different :(

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Guest jamble

Thanks for the help, no the tail wasn't bent. She's been in great health until about the last 2 weeks when it's been a sharp decline .

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Hi jamble, I am just wondering if you regularly check your water for amm and nitrites? The reason I ask is as koko pointed out nitrates indicates a cycle crash and this will cause extreme stress which in turn causes these symptoms. The scales missing is often a burn affect from something caustic in the water. Maybe chloramines, maybe ammonia, maybe a swinging pH.

20 liters is really a very small space and any problems with water are much more lethal in a small space for fish. In this size tank you need to be looking at 25% water changes daily I would think, not weekly.

The Interpret meds you have there will not work if there is the slightest amount of ammonia/nitrites in that water. In fact they may make him worse. I suggest you do a 100% water change for him before using those. I am sure our UK Mod Pixiefish will check back on you later...

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Hmmm. I agree with everything you've raised here but I am struck by the bent spine and the very wasted look of the fish. Aside of the water issues and their effects, I am wondering if the fish has wasting disease (TB myco bac).

As far as I remember, the active ingredient in the Interpet med is Phenoxyethanol; this ingredient is used in the UK as a fungal treatment and also as an anaesthetic. It is claimed that it can be effective against some columnaris strains and interestingly, mycobateria - how effective, however, I am not sure.

BTW - how old are your drop testers? Could you post up todays readings?

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Guest jamble

Morning update:

Her condition appears to have worsened significantly again and she's now down at the bottom of the tank and her tail is again significantly worse (frayed and probably about 70 gone in fact).

Just did some extra tests after yesterdays 100% water change and Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates read at 0 but the Ph has skyrocketed to 8.8 which I am sure will be causing great distress. I don't understand why it would be so high, I've tested the water regularly in the 6 months I've had the fish and it's never been anywhere this high so I don't know what could be causing such huge swings in conditions and obviously as a newbie owner it's frustrating to see an animal / fish suffering like this :(

Ph out of the tap is around 7.2 - 7.4Ph which I think is possibly on the high side but not too bad to be causing all this.

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Hello again.

I think in future you must try to test the water before making a change; that way you get an accurate picture of what is happening in the tank. If you make a 100% w/c and test afterwards, all you are testing is the tap water reading - do you see?

OK - just to narrow things down a little.

Which test kit do you have?

Is your filter one of those mini-airpumps with cartridge that comes with a starter kit?

Can you describe it or find the name of the make on the box it came in? The reason I ask is to get a sense of whether it may contain a chemical agent called zeolite which absorbs ammonia and would explain the zero nitrate reading.

Your PH although highish is unlikely to be the cause of this trouble. Goldfish do fine in quite a high PH.

Just for info's sake, can you test the tap water and then test it again after 12 hours to see if there is a rise? Very often the PH will rise as dissolved carbon-dioxide evaporates. This is not, however, where we need to be focussing as far as the fishes illness is concerned.

Will your fish eat today? Try cooking a pea in the m/wave for about 40 sec in a little tank water - shell the pea and offer one half. Watch the fish to see if it tries to eat or not.

Until I know more about your filter I am hesitant to advise treatments, as if there is carbon it will absorb the meds and if there is zeolite we cannot use salt.

So post back and answer the Q's I've asked and also maybe test the water this evening and let us know the results.

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