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Brown Spot On Goldfish


Monkeygirl

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[*]Ammonia Level? 0

[*]Nitrite Level? 0

[*]Nitrate level? 5.0

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 6.4

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 6.0

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? drops

[*]Water temperature?

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? approximately 50 gal, several years

[*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)? whisper 40-60

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? bi monthly, one-third

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 3 goldfish, one 3-inch and two 2-inch

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? prime

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? progold once a day

[*]Any new fish added to the tank? no

[*]Any medications added to the tank? no

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? brown spot, see pic

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? acts normal, sleeps head down, eats normal, poop looks normal

orbi.jpg

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It could be that your fish is simply deciding to change colors. It doesn't seem confined to one spot... the brown is spread out along the spine and the caudal fin in varying intensities... if it were an indication of a problem, I would expect it to be more localized.

However, your pH is a little too acidic for goldfish. Do you know what your carbonate hardness (kH) or general hardness (gH) is? If your carbonate buffer is low, your pH might be fluctuating and irritating your goldfish. A kH test is a handy thing to have-- if you don't have one, I would test the pH daily to make sure that it is stable.

One last thing-- even though your water params are perfect, you don't change your water very often. 15 gallons every two weeks seems on the low side. I prefer to change out more gallons more often (I also have a 50; with 4 fish).

Edit: Ammonia burns are usually more black than brown, and in my experience affect the tips of the fins before the body.

Edited by thoughtsofjoy
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Thank you for all your tips. I'll change the water more often and I'll get a kH test it next time I go to the LFS.

This fish originally had a lot of black on him and then changed completely orange. I think he is about 4-5 years old. I hope it is just a color change. I would hate to loose him. He is such a sweet little thing.

This is what he looked like originally

orbison2.jpg

Edited by Monkeygirl
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Especially since your fish has a history of color-changing, I strongly suspect he's just got bored of being all orange.

However, keeping a close eye on your pH and knowing what your carbonate hardness is will help rule out other potentialities.

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Yes, it's hard to say. My first response would be ammonia burns, but since you know that you haven't had an ammonia spike, I would just say watch it and your test readings. Fungus is white, so it isn't fungus. Here's Kokos link to Melanophore Migration. It says these spots can be brown or black. Black is a sign of healing, as we know, but it doesn't specifically go into what brown is. It only generally says that melanin changes in the pigment can be from adrenaline stimulation and to blend into its surroundings. As it doesn't speak directly to brown, I would conclude that brown is not a concern.

I also agree, your water changes aren't frequent enough. Water changes aren't only to keep the ammonia low, but also to rid the tank of bad bacterias. You should be doing weekly water changes of about 50% with a 100% water change once a month, and if you have gravel, doing very thorough vacuuming.

Also as mentioned, your ph is very low. Don't use ph up products as those are temporary and an up and down roller coaster ride is worse than a stable lower ph. But, you could add some crushed coral to your tank. This should slowly bring up your ph to a better level.

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Also as mentioned, your ph is very low. Don't use ph up products as those are temporary and an up and down roller coaster ride is worse than a stable lower ph. But, you could add some crushed coral to your tank. This should slowly bring up your ph to a better level.

The crushed coral actually raises the carbonate hardness (kH), which acts as a pH buffer. What that means is that when the pH is low (acidic, or has a surplus of hydrogen ions [H+]), the carbonates absorb the extra H+; when the pH is high (basic, or a deficit of H+), it releases its H+, in order to keep the pH at a stable, mostly neutral level.

Crushed coral might not do any good if monkeygirl already has an adequate kH level.

100% water change? Wouldn't that mess up the cycle?

Actually, no. Almost all of your beneficial bacteria live in your filters-- hardly any are in the water. So long as your filter media remains wet, you can change as much of the water as you like and your cycle should remain safe.

It's very important that you match the temperature and pH of the water that you put back into the tank. Large shifts in pH or temperature can shock and harm your fish, even fatally.

Edited by thoughtsofjoy
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