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Very Sad But Mostly Horrifying Goldfish Experience.

Guest Katherine

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Guest Katherine

I'd just bought a beautiful butterfly moore from my lfs which I later found had a minor case of ich. I treated the fish, and the day that I had figured he was completely rid of the disease and out of QT, my mom had to make a trip out of town. Unfortunately, I'm not trusted alone in my house because I'm a mischevious teenager. D: None of my friends are particularly knowledgable in fish keeping, but I called a few of them anyways to see if they could keep an eye on them for me. Nobody felt that they had the knowledge or time for watching my fish, so I left them alone for five days. This was the worst mistake I've ever made when it comes to fishkeeping. :(

Five days later, I come home. The first thing I do is run to my fishtank to check up on them. This is probably about where this story gets kind of gruesome.

Apparently, the moore had passed on while I was away. The only reason I knew it was the moore was because he was the only fish missing from the tank; the corpse was nearly picked clean of scales, eyes, skin and organs. All that was left was the fleshy white insides and the bones.

So I'm guessing either the fish died and my four other very hungry goldies ate him, or out of starvation they attacked him, being a weaker fish and ate him aliv. Either way, it was very traumatic. :[

And on top of that, my black moore is entirely covered in ich.

So now I'm going to have to quarentine all 4 goldies and put my pleco in with the betta. I'm going to have to throw out my substrate and completely empty out my 55 gallon, just to be safe. I guess it's sort of a good thing tat I have to empty the 55, because it's leaking anyways and i've been meaning to reseal the entire thing with silicone anyways.

I'm kind of really stressed out now. :[

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  • Regular Member

At least you know what to do to fix the ich that cropped up again. Through the whole story, I kept thinking: pleco. This sounds like a pleco, and sure enough, you finally mentioned a pleco. Typical behavior for a pleco, which is why we say not to keep those little suckers, lol! in with goldies. Now, your goldy may have died and the pleco subsequently ate him, and that's probably the case, but plecos have been known to suck on slow/sick goldies while still alive and sometimes kill them if not caught soon enough. I would suggest that the pleco not be returned to the goldy tank, especially now that he's gotten the taste for goldies.

I'm so sorry that you had such a setback just as it sounds like you were getting a hold on the situation. It's too bad.... my condolences. :tou

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Guest Katherine

Thank you for caring :wub:

Yeah, he's a pretty small albino bristlenose pleco (about 1.2 inches) but I can understand how it might have been his doing. I had a similar experience with a CAE before I knew how aggressive they could get, but that experience was a little less graphic. The four other goldies are not yet in quarentine simply because it's too late and I'm exhausted, but I did a 65% water change (the salinity levels were very high because I wanted to keep the ich from coming back while I was away, which obviously didn't help -_-) and added two tablespoons of rid-ich while keeping a close watch on my little water puppies :[ Basically, this means I will not get any sleep tonight as I feel the need to check on my fish every ten minutes and I have an appointment to get to at 9am which is in four hours. Fortunately, the pleco has not been displaying any aggressive behavior as of yet, although he did manage to somehow jump into the HOB filter, where he sulked for probably two hours before I noticed he was in there. I like to think he feels guilty for eating P.T. D:

In the long run, I might end up making some arrangements and keeping him with my betta while he's still small. As long as I put a cave in there for him I don't think I'll have much to worry about, especially since it's a 10 gallon all to just the betta. There are plants in there and some seriously heavy algae growth, but since my amazon swords are growing like CRAZY I'll probably take some of them from the main tank for more hiding places. I'm planning to go barebottom once the main tank is emptied (after this everlasting bout of ich, i am a certified fish diseasophobic) and repaired. I can't afford 800 pots for my plants, so it all works out.

I'm mostly a novice at goldfish keeping, so would it be okay if anybody with more experience could tell me if this treatment plan is acceptable?

Basically, here is my plan for tomorrow:

I'm going to seperate the four fish into two groups: fish showing physical signs of illness and fish that are not. Each group will get their own 20 gal rubbermaid and 350gph HOB filter (already cycled from the main tank, will the filter media harbor the ich or will the ich eventually die from the medication? I'd really hate to keep the goldies in an uncycled tank, even if I am changing that water 50-100% daily), plant and airstone for extra aeration.

My moore and ryukin (physical signs of illness) will get 2 tsp of rid-ich and a 50% water change every 12 hours.

My lionhead and fantail (no symptoms) will get 2 tsp of rid-ich and a 50% water change every 24 hours.

This treament will continue for 3 days after all physical signs are gone.

I am going to remove and dispose of substrate. Plants in the main tank will be placed in the rubbermaids and the betta tank, simply because I am pretty sure that plants cannot harbor ich. If this isn't true, please tell me. xD I don't want this case of ich cross contaminating because I am assuming it is a pretty hardy strand of it. I'm not going to do anything with the tank ornaments except for let them air dry for a week or two, which I'm pretty sure will kill the ich.

The main tank is going to be completely emptied, sterilized and re-sealed.

Although I'll probably be facing rediculous fague, my boyfriend promised to come over and help me all day :slicedbread

It may seem that I'm taking a rediculous amount of precations but I really don't want to lose my fish. :[

Edited by Katherine
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Hi Katherine -- Sorry to hear that you're having such a hard time.

I agree with Lynda that any type of pleco is not safe with goldfish -- I had a "safe" bristlenose pleco who turned out to be a viscious predator, even though I never saw him commit any of his crimes.

Remember the debate that we had a few months back about sand vs. gravel vs. barebottom? (http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=70043&hl=) A number of people mentioned in that thread that they would steer clear of sand because it would be next to impossible to get rid of parasites such as ich or flukes with a sand substrate. At that point in time you were very certain that you wanted to proceed with a sand substrate. I hate to say "I told you so", but I think that this stubborn case of ich that you're dealing with now is probably related to that choice. I think that you will find that things will clear up much more easily now that you have decided to use a barebottom set-up.

Whether or not the treatment plan that you have devised will be effective and/or safe for your fish depends somewhat on your water parameters, including pH. Could you please post that information? When you are using chemical treatments such as Rid Ich you need to be extra careful. I agree that you should use the cycled filters in the Rubbermaids -- any amount of ammonia along with medications is a recipe for disaster. Also, could you tell us what level of salt is/was in the 55 gallon? Ich can certainly become salt resistant, but if your salt level has been less than 0.3% you might consider trying that as treatment for the ich first. It really is remarkably effective in most cases of ich.

Good luck & keep us posted.

Edited by Acupunk
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Guest Katherine

Haha, I know right? Sand did work beautifully for the past few months, the goldies loved it and keeping it generally clean was not a problem. I do QT my fish and that was one of the reasons why I wasn't worried about parasitic infections breeding in the sand. However, I guess I wasn't quite as lucky with the last new fish and that is exactly why I've decided to go barebottom. You guys were compeltely correct on the parasite issue and unfortunately it was a con that I did not look into well enough.

Thank you for everyone who tried to talk me out of it anyway. If I would have listened, I probably wouldn't have this problem.

The salt treatment that I preformed on the main tank before the trip was .3%, and usually I keep my tank at .1% salinity just as a general tonic. I also gave all of my goldies a salt dip (until they floated to the top) in a 1/2 cup salt per gallon dose. Unfortunately while I was away I realized that this was probably a bad idea because the salt dip would destroy the slimecoat which probably made them more suseptible to the ich in the water/substrate. I was always told that salt is the best, safest cure for ich which is why I tried that before anything else but I'm pretty sure it's immune to salt. :/

Maybe this thread will get moved to the disease forum since that's kind of what it's turning into. My water params are as follows (as of last night around 11pm):

Temp: 76 degrees farenheit

Ammonia: 0ppm

NitrIte: 0ppm

NitrAte: 5ppm

pH: 7.6

(kh and gh unavailable)

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