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Please Help! New Tank + Whitespot?


Guest Shanti

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Guest Shanti

Please help - I want to make sure my fish are okay.

Here's the situation: I had 3 very small goldfish (1" + tail) in 1 10-gallon tank. Pet store told me this was okay, just switch to a larger tank as they got bigger.

I just purchased a 40-gallon tank 1 month ago. In the meantime, a family emergency took me out of state. I put 1 goldfish (2") in a 2.5 gallon tank by itself, and kept the other 2 (3" long bodies, 2" long tails - 1 is an Oranda, 1 is a fancy tail) in the 10-gallon tank. Put a vacation feeder in the 2.5 gal and used a mechanical timed feeder for the 10 gal. Came back in 1 week after family emergency was taken care of. Fish in 2.5 gal had dropsy and died last week. Timed feeder had dispensed an overload of food into the 10-gal tank with the two fish. Tested water, did 50% water change, and kept an eye on fish.

White spots appeared only on gill areas of 1 Oranda in 10-gal tank. Put Oranda into 2.5 gal tank ("hospital") and gave Maracide. Spots disaappeared from gill area, then came back. Kept giving Maracide. Pet store told me bacteria/parasites probably in 10-gal tank. Took down the 10-gal, put fancy tail from there into another container, did regular water changes.

Checked on internet and saw that white spots on gills were most likely breeding tubercles on a male fish, not ich. Meanwhile, fancy tail was looking sluggish and lying on bottom of tank, so started treatment with Maracyn-Two. Pet store advised me to set up 40-gallon tank, start water cycle by putting food in the tank, and put fish in after 1-2 weeks. Waited 1 week, tested water, put in Oranda. Transferred fancy tail to 2.5 gallon hospital & kept giving Maracyn-Two. Fancy tail perked up very quickly, swimming, acting normally. Now he also has white spots on gill area only.

Called pet store & spoke to a different person this time. Now I'm told that the fish probably have "burned gills" and that I should have put a starter fish into the 40-gal. tank.

Please help! Are the white spots breeding tubercles, burned gills, or what? Did I put the Oranda into the 40-gal too soon? What do I do now? Do I have to set up the 10-gal again and wait for the 40-gal to cycle? Is it safe to put both together in the 40-gal and do water changes until aquarium finishes cycling?

Thanks for any advice.

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  • Regular Member

Hi Shanti! Welcome to koko's! This question is better for the Diagnosis & Discussion section. One of the board moderators can move it for you, that way it will get more attention : )

You are in a very similar situation to a lot of us on this board. You've gotten advice from pet stores that in some cases is not the best, and some of the advice is contradictory! I've been there (we all have).

Right now there are a few first steps you can take. Can you copy and paste the questions below and fill them out in this form?? Althought you have provided some of the info, it helps our members to have things set up in this format.. Thank you : )

[*]Test Results for the Following:

Ammonia Level?

Nitrite Level?

Nitrate level?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners?

[*]Any medications added to the tank?

[*]Add any new fish to the tank?

[*]What do you feed your fish?

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as

"grains of salt",

bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

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

The first few questions require a test kit.. These are very important to making sure the fish are healthy. And these numbers are CRUCIAL before adding medications. Unfortunatly the pet store should not have advised you to be adding these medicines without knowing your water information.. High ammonia and medicine can be TOXIC to your fish. (Same thing happened to me)

Right now if you could keep a sample of the water to be tested, then do a 100% water change I think it would be your best bet. You want to make sure the water is the same temperature as the water the fish are in now, and make sure to use a dechlorinator (I like Prime). Fresh water can often be the best medicine for fish, and right now it appears your fish may be suffereing due to overmedications in an uncycled tank. (I'll touch on that in a second)

Then if you could either 1) buy a test kit, such as the API Master Test Kit or 2) take the sample of water to your pet store and have them test it for you. Get them to give you actual numbers, not just say "your water is fine". Actual numbers are important!

Maybe you have a test kit already? I'll post what I have written so far (so you know someone is out there) then I'll add extra info!!!

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Alright, BACK! You seem familiar with cycling of the tank. Just in case, you can take a look at this link, it has everything spelled out perfectly:

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

Right now, as I said, I think fresh clean water is the first step.. Do you think you could get a picture of the spots? They may be breeding stars, or it may be something else.. A picture would really help.

If it were me, I would put BOTH fish in the 40 gallon tank right now.. Move any filter material that you had in the 10 gallon into the 40 gallon. You can even move the whole filter onto the 40 gallon. This will speed up the cycle. Right now we are unsure where you are at in your cycle. Your 10 gallon may be partially cycled, fully cycled, or not at all. The test results will show us where you are at. Although the 40 gallon is not cycled yet, putting them in that tank will give them a large amount of water, which will make it easier to keep the water perfect, which is what your fish need right now.

Post back with the information, and hopefully test results, and then we can take it from there. : ) I'll check back in on you shortly! : )

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Guest Shanti

Thank you so much, CountryLovah!!

[*]Test Results for the Following:

Ammonia Level? I was re-checking when you were replying to my first post - it was 2 ppm & I just did a 50% water change in the 40 gallon tank, based on the article I found & read on the linked page (cycling an aquarium). Now I feel really dumb - should I change out all the water now? Or should I give it a couple of hours & re-test?

Nitrite Level? (Sorry, didn't test these before changing the water - saw the ammonia results & rushed into action)

Nitrate level?

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

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

Brand of test-kit used? (strips or drops?) API 5-in-1 test strips and API Ammonia (NH3 and NH4+) Ammonia test kit (drops)

[*]Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running? 40 gal, up for 2 weeks

[*]What is the name and size of the filter/s? AquaClear 50 gal, max capacity 300gph

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? Just did a 50% water change. Normally (when they were in the 10-gal) I changed 10-30% every week to 10 days.

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? Two 5" fish (3" body + 2" tail) - 1 Oranda + 1 fancy tail

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime, API Stress Zyme and Jungle Aquarium Salt

[*]Any medications added to the tank? None added to the 40-gallon - this was used in the 2.5 gallon & the other container. Only moved the Oranda into the 40-gal after I thought he was just showing breeding tubercles, not ich

[*]Add any new fish to the tank? No - I've had these 2 for several months

[*]What do you feed your fish? HBH Goldfish Pellet Food ("small nibblets" size), plus split green peas once every week or so, plus Hakkiri freeze-dried Bloodworms

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as

"grains of salt", No

bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? The oranda has 2 red veins in his white tail - is that okay? No frayed fins, excess mucus or signs of fungus

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating,ect..? The fancy tail stayed on the bottom and ate very little while in the container. Since moving to the 2.5 gal "hospital tank" he has perked up a lot & eats regularly. He has always been a kind of a "jerky" swimmer - darting & bobbing quickly. Started chasing the small fish, which is why I put the little guy in the 2.5 gal tank originally (while the other 2 were still in the 10 gal together).

Hope this provides a clearer picture. Thanks so much for your help! I really want these guys to be okay.

I'll see if I can get the guys to pose for the camera....

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Thank you for posting all of the information so quickly!!! : )

Now I feel really dumb - should I change out all the water now? Or should I give it a couple of hours & re-test?

Do NOT feel stupid. You are not stupid at all! This has happened to ALL of us, trust me. I came to this site a few months ago not knowing ANYTHING. Going through it is how we all learn, and then can help others.. You've done nothing wrong at all, actually you did great by coming here to get help!

If it were me, I would go ahead and do a 100% water change. Changing out half the water still leaves your ammonia at 1ppm, which is still high, and for fish that are already stressed, it can simply be too high for them to tolerate.. If you do a 100% water change now, (assuming your tap water has no ammonia), you can bring them down to a perfect level, and then work from there.. You will have NO medicine in the water, and it will give them a chance to heal.

If at all possible, I do still suggest getting the drop tests for the other readings. They are far more reliable and really worth the investment..

Once the water is all fresh and new you can start testing the water daily, and doing daily water changes based on your readings.. You want to try to keep the ammonia and nitrite as close to zero as possible. (Under 0.25 is great, but does sometimes require a few water changes a day). How much salt is in the tank? After the 100% water change I would suggest adding 1 teaspoon of salt per gallon to your tank. This amount can help reduce the stress of being in a non cycled tank, and can help with various smaller problems. This combined with the clean water may just be enough to get all of your problems taken care of.

Once your tank is cycled, you will want to up your water changes. I've found that 50% changes weekly using a syphon to thoroughly vaccum the bottom works for me.Then I do one 100% water change each month.. Hopefully you will find that with the larger tank, and better water conditions, your fish will improve quickly..

Keep us informed with your test results and the behavior of your fish. Medicine MAY be needed, but a more experienced member can help you if and when medicine is needed.

he oranda has 2 red veins in his white tail - is that okay?
This is most likely due to ammonia stress.. Reducing the ammonia and giving your fish perfect water will hopefully clear this up..

I hope I answered everything. If I missed something just let me know and I'll do my best to help : )

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Guest Shanti

Thanks so much!! I'll do the 100% water change and re-test. Will also pick up the drop test for nitrites+nitrates this afternoon.

I tried taking pictures, but everything comes out blurry - sorry. The spots are like pimples under the skin, if that helps.

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Hmm. You say the spots are JUST on the gill covers?! If they are found no where else it could be stars, but you want to be careful and make sure it's not something else.. Even a blurry picture may be able to do the trick (koko is really good at judging things from even the blurriest of picture)

Here is a photo of one Chrissy Bee's fish George. It is a clear picture of breeding stars. Does it look anything like this?

tubercles.jpg

Oranda's can also get white pimples that indicate wen growth (mine get them all the time) I freaked out at first but it turned out to be nothing.. Just to be safe, keep trying for a picture.. I would hate to tell you it's stars or wen growth and have it be something else..

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Sue is giving you some great advice here.

Ich looks like grains of salt sitting on top of the skin and it is never just restricted to the gills. So, if these spots look like white spots under the skin, and based on your description, it does sound like breeding stars. Of course, a picture can always be the best way to make the final determination.

It's true. Most employees of pet stores, whether chain or independent, really don't understand goldfish, even if they do understand other fish. For example, telling you that 3 goldfish, regardless of size, are okay in a 10 gallon tank. So, we have learned to never listen to much advice they give and take what they give with a grain of salt and confirm that advice with someone we KNOW we can trust and you've come to the right place for this.

You have four goldfish total. Two single tail 3" fish and two 1" fancies. Because goldfish produce so much waste, each goldfish needs at least 10 gallons of water each. Because single tails can grow to be so large, it is best to plan 20 gallons per each single tail goldfish. Also, because single tail goldfish are such fast, strong swimmers, it is best advised not to keep single tails with fancies because the fancies will not be able to swim fast enough to get enough food, especially as they are still so small. The four fish in the 40 gallon is okay for now, but because of the ammonia output and the feeding situation, the ultimate best situation for you would be to put the two single tails in the 40 gallon tank and get a 20 gallon tank for your two fancies.

Next, you advised that your filter turns 300 gph. Again because of the high waste output, goldfish require a filter to turn 10 times the water per hour as the size of the tank. So, for a 40 gallon tank, you need a 400 gph filter. So, you will need to increase your filtration by either getting one 400 gph filter, or adding a second filter to your tank so that the combined filtration makes 400 gph. Many gf keepers combine filters as each type of filter excels at one particular type of filtration; biological, chemical and mechanical, than another.

Again, because of the high waste output of goldfish, water changes must be every week of at least 50% temperature matched, dechlorinated water. When you have a full load, such as you do, water changes may even need to be as high as 80% weekly. It is best to based the amount of water changed on your water tests, which should also be performed at least weekly, and possibly more often if you have any questions about the water quality of your tank.

With regard to water testing, strips prove to be very unreliable. It is best to use drop test kits.

Short of being in too small a tank and having the water fouled with too much food, it doesn't sound like your goldfish are really suffering from too much. The red streaks in the tail are most likely stress-related and are most likely from the bad water and/or all the moving around you've been doing with the fish.

Because the one fish that died of dropsy was alone in the 2.5 tank and you have since cleaned that out, there shouldn't be too much concern for any of that bad bacteria being transferred to your other fish. At this point, you haven't given any information that would indicate burned gills.

I think Sue's advice for discontinuing all medication, doing a 100% temperature matched dechlorinated water change and adding (aquarium) salt at 0.1% (1 tsp per 1 gallon of water) is very good advice. When adding fish to a new tank, whether during cycling or after cycling is complete, it is best to add fish slowly, one at a time, so as not to add too much ammonia too fast to the tank which could cause a "crash" in the cycle. Cycling with one fish is best. Keep an eye on your other tanks, as they are very small, and test them daily so you are very sure of the water quality. Do water changes based on those results. As Sue said, for instance, if you have a reading of 1ppm ammonia and you do a 50% water change, you will have 0.5 ppm of ammonia when you are done. 0.5 ppm is considered acceptable, but it really is best to be vigilant about your water quality and keep the ammonia as absolutely low as you can.

This division of substances in the water after water changes also applies to salt. For instance, if you add 10 tsps of salt to a 10 gallon tank for a 0.1% salt treatment and then you subsequently do a 50% water change, you now have 5 tsps of salt left in the tank. So, when you add more salt after the water change, you only need to add 5 new tsps of salt.

Based on what you have advised, it doesn't sound like your fish are suffering from anything too threatening. The best thing to do now is to be vigilant about your testing and water changes and keep a close eye on your fish.

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  • Regular Member

Welcome to Koko's, Shanti..this is a wonderful place to learn and get the right kind of help for successful goldfish keeping..Very knowledgeable members and as you can see very helpful..You are doing a good job already..I can see you do have good knowledge yourself...

Awesome advice from Sue and Lynda..need I say anymore??..Personally I really think having 1 fish in a 40 gallon and the other in 10 gallon will help you a lot...I think would be a little extra work with water changes in both..but will pay off in the end...with 1 fish in the cycling 40 gallon it won't get stressed as much as with 2 in there...and yes test kits kept handy is a gr8 help..test your water at least twice a day and follow the Cycling link Sue has provided there..Follow the instructions on cycling with fish and at this moment it is very important to keep up with the water changes..Try and have aged conditioned water at all times for any sudden water change needed...and the salt treatment Sue is suggesting is an awesome advice...Saltbath helps...

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[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? Two 5" fish (3" body + 2" tail) - 1 Oranda + 1 fancy tail
You have four goldfish total. Two single tail 3" fish and two 1" fancies. Because goldfish produce so much waste, each goldfish needs at least 10 gallons of water each. Because single tails can grow to be so large, it is best to plan 20 gallons per each single tail goldfish. Also, because single tail goldfish are such fast, strong swimmers, it is best advised not to keep single tails with fancies because the fancies will not be able to swim fast enough to get enough food, especially as they are still so small. The four fish in the 40 gallon is okay for now, but because of the ammonia output and the feeding situation, the ultimate best situation for you would be to put the two single tails in the 40 gallon tank and get a 20 gallon tank for your two fancies.

Okaaaay. I was under the impression that Shanti was saying she had two fish total, one being a 5 inch oranda, and one being a 5 inch fancy that she was uncertain of type. In that case she was doing wonderful with a 40 gallon tank, but yes, if it's 4 fish (esp two being single tailed) then Lynda's advice is exactly right. Shanti, can you clarify the number of fish? LOL

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Guest Shanti

Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate all of your support and guidance. What a relief!

Okay, just to clarify - there are 2 fish total - 1 Oranda + 1 fancy tail. Unfortunately there are only 2 options for housing right now, if I cycle with only 1 fish in the 40-gallon tank:

Good news is that the ammonia level last night & this morning was 0.25 ppm. I'll continue to monitor it 2x each day.

Option 1: 1 fish in 40-gal + 1 fish in 2.5 gal (and I know he really doesn't like that confined space!)

Option 2: 1 fish in 40-gal + 1 fish in 10-gal (which, unfortunately, was taken down a couple of weeks ago - this means that the fish in the 10-gal would also be having to go through a new tank cycle, right?)

Please advise. Thanks!

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Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate all of your support and guidance. What a relief!

Okay, just to clarify - there are 2 fish total - 1 Oranda + 1 fancy tail. Unfortunately there are only 2 options for housing right now, if I cycle with only 1 fish in the 40-gallon tank:

Good news is that the ammonia level last night & this morning was 0.25 ppm. I'll continue to monitor it 2x each day.

Option 1: 1 fish in 40-gal + 1 fish in 2.5 gal (and I know he really doesn't like that confined space!)

Option 2: 1 fish in 40-gal + 1 fish in 10-gal (which, unfortunately, was taken down a couple of weeks ago - this means that the fish in the 10-gal would also be having to go through a new tank cycle, right?)

Please advise. Thanks!

Yes, you are correct with the new cycle assumption for the 10 gallon. The thing is, that a 10 gallon is going to handle the ammonia better than a 2.5 gallon and the extra space will create less stress for your goldfish, giving it more time to get healthy. Daily water changes based on tests will keep the ammonia in check.

If your fish were smaller, I would say that you could put both in the 40 gallon without really affecting the cycle at all, but with larger fish like you have, it will impact your cycle more with two 5 inch fish. But, with both tanks cycling, it really is up to you. With only one fish in the 40 gallon, the ammonia won't build up so fast so you may not need to do daily water changes. You still will, however, need to do daily water changes with the 10 gallon. If you want to do daily testings and large water changes, you could keep both fish in the 40 gallon. The goal simply is to keep the ammonia readings low however the fish are housed.

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Whew I am relieved to hear that it is just two fish LOL That makes things much simpler! LOL

I agree with Lynda, it's your call right now. Definitly either put BOTH in the 40, or one in the 40 and the other in the ten.. It's a matter of preference on your end right now, and a matter of whether you feel like testing two tank and doing water changes on two tanks..

I actually think putting them both in the 40 and allowing it to cycle would be just fine.. I recently bought two new goldfish about the size of yours and only had a 10 gallon tank to QT them in. It was partially cycled but there was a major bump in the cycle when I added the salt. I've been doing daily 75% changes and the fish and water are doing fine. And that's 30 less gallons than you would have by putting two in the 40. Do what feels right to you. As long as the water is tested daily, and the water changes are made daily based on those tests, I think you will do just fine : )

Lynda, don't you love how the two of us always phrase things our own way, but basically just say similar things to each other?? Two heads are better than one though! : ) (unless it's me and you that could just be bad lol) I'm always like "I agree with Lynda on this one".. LMAO

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