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Dead Goldfish!


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Hi, apologies in case my other message posted before I finished - I was half way through typing when it disapeared!

I'll give the above details and then explain what's happened.

Test Results: Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5mg/L, PH Level 7.8 using drop test, Nutrafin and Aquarium Pharmaceutical brands. My tank is 40 gallons and has been running 2.5 years. My filter is a fluval 204. I change the water once a week around 30%. There were 3 fish in the tank but as of today I now have one ranchu who is 1.5 inches long. I use Aquasafe during water changes and PLant Gro once a week, but other than that I don't use anything. There are no medicines in my tank. I feed a range of foods to my goldfish. I use King British flakes, bloodworms, tubifex as well as peas, lettuce, and they love to munch the plants in the tank. I've not added any new fish in the last two years. My unusual finding was that my fish was dead - without any warning! Will explain further.

The beginning of march two of my three fish showed signs of swim bladder trouble and I suspected a bacterial infection so I moved them to my 10 gallon hospital tank and treated them with Methalyne Blue, which worked. After 5 week,s I moved them all back to the main tank where they appeared to all be fine. At the end of May, I attended a wedding in Glasgow and was gone 5 days, leaving a 7 day food block of Nutrafin Basix. When I cam back, my blackmoor (who had been one of the affected previously) was at deaths door. I had suspected that due to his blindness recently becoming total, he was having trouble feeding. He was no longer growing at the same rate as the other two. I was very upset to find him in a poor way. He was hiding in a corner and was bent double. He didn't make it through the night and although he took food at first, he stopped around 5 in the morning. Water tests were fine and the other two goldfish were well, so I thought that maybe he was weakened from getting less food and had been unable to get any from the block while I was away. I know he found the block because I checked that before I left, but perhaps he wasn't there when it released. I was surprised he could go downhill so quickly as he'd been behaving fine before I left.

My other two fish, an oranda and a ranchu, have both been fine since my blackmoor died. Yesterday, I went to work and fed them in the morning as usual. I spent the night away, but didn't leave a food block as I was only away for one night. I came back this evening (approx 32 hours later) to find my Oranda dead. Not just dead, but in a shocking state. He was pale, with a film over his eyes. some of his fins were missing and his back end had turned black. I just don't understand as he's been completly fine! Swimming great, looking for food all the time, he ate fine yesterday morning. My water tests show that there was no filter crash while I was away. Percy (the ranchu) is swimming fine but now I'm terrified that there is something majorly wrong that I'm missing. The Phosphate in the tank is at 1, which is slightly on the high side but they were due a water change tomorrow and also I don't know when monkey )the oranda) died, so he could have cotributed to that.

I've done a 50% water change and will do another tomorrow. I'm sorry if this doesn't count as an emergency, given that Monkey is dead an Percy seems fine, but i'm worried because he died so unexpectedly!

I hope the above detail can help someone help me identify what is happening, because I've never seen anything like this before. I've had fish die (an unfortunate case of not quarantining when I started out - Delroy, the blackmoor was the only survivor of that) but there are always signs like they start hanging out at the top of the tank (I call it the death corner now!), but this didn't happen with Monkey at all!

Very long message, but wanted to give as much detail as possible. My boyfriend took a picture of his body if that would help.

Thanks

Shelley

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  • Regular Member

Welcome to Koko's shellstar, but sorry you had to join in such horrible circumstances. I don't know anything about UK meds, but we have moderators here who are familiar with them.

There is a box at the top of the page with some questions. If you could answer as many as possible, it would be easier to diagnose what is going on with your water and your fish. Hopefully that will help solve the mysterious deaths of your fish. :(

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Thanks.

[*]Test Results for the Following:

Ammonia Level? 0

Nitrite Level? 0

Nitrate level? 5

Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines)? 7.8 (I don't have the KH or GH info)

Ph Level (KH/GH) out of the Tap? I don't know but will find out. I think it's about the same

Brand of test-kit used? (strips or drops?) I'm using drop test, Nutrafin and Aquarium Pharmaceutical brands

[*]Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running? 40 Gallons, runninng for 2.5 years

[*]What is the name and size of the filter/s? Fluval 204

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? 30% weekly

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? Currently 1, previously 3. I was wrong about size in my previous post (tired and upset) because they were all around 3 - 3.5 inches.

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? I use Aquasafe during water changes and PLant Gro once a week, but other than that I don't use anything

[*]Any medications added to the tank? No

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

[*]What do you feed your fish? I feed a range of foods to my goldfish. I use King British flakes, bloodworms, tubifex as well as peas, lettuce, and they love to munch the plants in the tank

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt", bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Monkey had cloudy eyes and dishevelled fins (so upsetting as he had the wonderful fins). Also his back end had turned black. 32 hours previously he'd been absolutely fine!

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating,ect..? None whatsoever, he was happy and growing!

I had a thought this morning that maybe he choked on something? Do you think that's possible? Percy seems ok at the moment but I'm worried in case he suffers the same fate!

Shelley

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Hi Shelley and welcome :exactly

One message for you NEVER use block feeds!!!

5 days is perfectly fine to fast a fish. Especially since you have plants in your tank for the fish to munch on. Fasts are healthy and quite okay up to 5 days occasionally in fact. No fish starved to death in 5 days.

I suspect the food went bad. Those release blocks are notorious for bacteria breeding houses. the combination of unchanged water plus resident food spells disaster. My whole tank came down with ich and were bottom sitting when I used afeeder years ago. Food in water left longer than a few days = excess ammonia = ammonia spike =bacteria= trouble.

I am very sorry about Monkey. Now you have to focus on Percy and hopefully he is a fighter and with some excellent water and good food he will be just fine.

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Yes indeed - and a pH crash is exactly what follows an ammonia (or even nitrate) spike. From those food blocks.

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Sorry, I think my first post was too long and confusing.

Monkey didn't die from a food block - that was months ago and only Delroy was affected so I think he must have been ill from something else. Monkey also didn't have a white film on him - just his eyes were cloudy when they hadn't been before. I didn't use a food block because I was only away for a night.

There has been no PH crash - it's been 7.8 since day one of the tank set-up two and a half years ago. No ammonia or nitrite spike (my tank is cycled and my filter hasn't crashed). Literally he was perfectly fine on Tuesday morning and then was dead on Wednesday night. I'm very confused by this because I just can't work out why he died so suddenly!

Thanks for helping.

Shelley

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Hi,

This morning Percy was acting a bit odd. I went to feed him as usual and he started darting about the tank and acting really scared. He then hid in a corner until I'd put his food in. Everyday he is always there to greet me and take his food, so this is very odd behaviour.

He hasn't been flashing but I'm beginning to suspect a parasite from the eratic swimming. Also, some of his poo has been red, but then there are some red leaved plants in his tank so it could be that. The water parameters are still fine (better even as the phosphate is much reduced due to my water changes).

Do you agree with my diagnosis that it could be a parasite? I don't know why that would kill Monkey so fast because there was no odd behaviour before Thursday, but I have some Parazone, which is a herbal medicine that doesn't affect the filter or colour the tank, so I'm able to treat the main tank where the parasite is. I've found it very effective in the past.

Thanks

Shelley

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

How is Percy today, Shelley? It could be a parasite, but since you haven't added any new fish, that is unlikely. However, you say you have plants in the tank - bought any new ones lately? And if so, did you sterilize them before you put them in the fish tank? Those plants can bring stuff in, just like new fish can. :)

As to why Monkey had cloudy eyes when he died - that is often seen in dead fish. Do you have any idea on how old Monkey was? If a fish is perfectly healthy one day and dead hours later, it could be a stroke or heart attack. Yes, as strange as it sounds, fish do get those as well. I personally have seen one of my fish die like that years ago, and it wasn't pleasureable to watch. Of course, it is impossible to tell since he died while you weren't home, and all we can do is guess.

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