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Diagnostics Needed


birdies

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  • Regular Member

OK, I was a BAD goldfish mom and I let the tank and filters go a tad too long between water exchanges and filter exchanges. Bad mom! Bad!

I did about a 50% exchange about 10 days ago, and changedout the filters. I noticed that the slime coating of the fish seemed to be whisping away on the water. This did not seem like a really good thing. I also noticed 3 scales on the floor of the tank when vacuuming. Never seen that before. I did a lot of reading and did a 1% salt solution last weekend (with total fear that if they wern't dying, the salt would do them in) and then yesterday I did a 50% exchange. There are still whisps of mucus-like stuff floating occasionally through the water. I've watched them closely and there isn't any dots anywhere on them. There's no excited flashing going on. They're eating like usual. But I'm worried about this mucus-like stuff. Here's tank info:

[*]Ammonia Level? Dunno

[*]Nitrite Level? 0.5

[*]Nitrate level? 20

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 6.0 -- typically comes out of the tap (last night) at 7.0 and I have a hand full of crushed coral in the tank to help keep the pH up

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7.0

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

[*]Water temperature? 72

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 55 gal. running for about 8 months, but fish are 2years plus

[*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)? AquaTech 40-60 HOB, and a WisperAir 30-60 HOB

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? Weekly, about 50%

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 3 comets, 2 are about 8-9 inches and one is about 5 inches (although all gotten at the same time)

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? None generally, but salt last week -- trying to figure out if I should do a 3% now.

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? They eat medium sized NutriMax floating pellets; some flakes occasionally and some dried bloodworm occasionally; peas on Monday because mom used to think if anything was wrong, cleaning you out seemed to be a good idea

[*]Any new fish added to the tank? Nope

[*]Any medications added to the tank? Nope

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? 3 scales on the floor of tank and mucus-like stuff floating in tank I do have brown algae that seems to be worse lately.

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? They like to snooze at the bottom, but use the whole tank.

I talked to the lfs person last weekend and she thought using salt was hooey. She sold me some antibiotics that I HAVe NOT used yet. I thought it might be good to have some on-hand. I've never had problems with this tank or these fish. Nothing new has been introduced. The only thing I can think is that when I was being a bum the water paremeters got too whack and they maybe got a fungus?????? I don't know. I don't know how to tell. BIG QUESTIONS: Should I try a 3% solution this weekend while I can monitor things closer? What the heck would cause the slime coating to weep off them like this? It's not super excessive, but I've never seen it before in the water. Have I doomed my fish to a terrible death by being a lazy fish mom?

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  • Regular Member

Looks like what has happened is your pH is out of line. The crushed coral efficiency may have expired or was not sufficient. The brown algae indicates high nitrates making the water even more acidic. The slime coat mucus and scales coming off is typical. You need to do a temp matched 100% water change and get your pH back up above 7 asap. May be all you need to do...

Do you use a de-chlorinating product?

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I have a question about the crushed coral. Is it safe to just let it lay on the bottom of the tank? My fish have gotten SO big that I was afraid to put small stone-like stuff in the tank in case they ate any of it. I opted to put it in a Whisper filter bag and just let it lay on the bottom of the tank. Thoughts? I'll add some baking soda to the water to get the pH up tonight. THANKS!

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  • Regular Member

Hi Birdies,

I am really not an expert on pH...Trinket has been guiding you on that and would be the best person to understand wats happening.

I am bothered abt the following..

I did about a 50% exchange about 10 days ago, and changedout the filters.

Do you mean you simply removed the old filter pad completely and replaced it with a new one??? If so, the cycle is disrupted...the beneficial bacteria resides mostly in the filter pad and the gravel and bottom substrate...but simply removing the old filter pad means washing away the beneficial bacteria...and thereby forcing your tank to cycle again...I think in addition to pH problems, ammonia is building up too..would be really good to have the ammonia drop tests on hand...umm, I really think the cycle is disrupted...

And you are not a bad fish mom... :) ...I guess we all have been there..I am very new myself and kind of still fighting with problems..so don't be so hard on urself..you are a wonderful mommy... :):hug

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Well, yes, I did just remove the filters. I figured that the brown algae and stuff that was on the bottom and the residual in the filter boxes would be sufficient to sustain the cycle. Because I'd been a bad fish mom the filters were just so gunky that I felt like they needed to go, and I've never done that before. Usually I put new filters on one side, and then just rinse the filter on the other side. Next week I put new filter on the other side and rinse the filter on the previous side. This time everything was so gunky I thought it best to let there be a fresh start and that the residual gunk in the tank and equipment would be sufficient to stustain the cycle.

This morning there was some muscus-like gunk on two of the airstones (I have 3). The fish seem to be doing alright, but clearly that muscus-like substance is stilll being exuded from the fish.

I'm thinking I should clean the tank more and put in more of the crushed coral after a water exchange. Put in some water buffer stuff. Take water measurements, etc.

The brown algae is still overgrown, no matter what I do. I figure the neglect really put things out of whack but I don't want to change things too dramatically. Perhaps I already have. Thoughts before I do the above?

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  • Regular Member
Well, yes, I did just remove the filters. I figured that the brown algae and stuff that was on the bottom and the residual in the filter boxes would be sufficient to sustain the cycle. Because I'd been a bad fish mom the filters were just so gunky that I felt like they needed to go, and I've never done that before. Usually I put new filters on one side, and then just rinse the filter on the other side. Next week I put new filter on the other side and rinse the filter on the previous side. This time everything was so gunky I thought it best to let there be a fresh start and that the residual gunk in the tank and equipment would be sufficient to stustain the cycle.

hmmm..I thought so. In addition to low pH you also have a bump in the cycle...you should ideally never start fresh with fish.. :) ...this forces the tank to cycle with the fish...ammonia rises..nitrites and nitrates grow toxic..for cycling with fish, it is very important to have a close log of all the water parameters and huge water changes..tht is the key...

This morning there was some muscus-like gunk on two of the airstones (I have 3). The fish seem to be doing alright, but clearly that muscus-like substance is stilll being exuded from the fish.

I am no expert..but I would say it could be the slim coat..tht is very dangerous...when the pH is low, acidic...the slime coat over the fish comes off... :(

I'm thinking I should clean the tank more and put in more of the crushed coral after a water exchange. Put in some water buffer stuff. Take water measurements, etc.

Before doing anything I would suggest getting water parameters..and precise..be sure of all the measures...if the pH is low yes please buffer it...goldfish need hard water...other than that..I would not suggest scrubbing anything more, as you have a bump in your cycle..and water chnages might be necessary due to the bump in cycle..but no more scrubbing and cleaning..plain water change..and siphoning once every week shud be good..

The brown algae is still overgrown, no matter what I do. I figure the neglect really put things out of whack but I don't want to change things too dramatically. Perhaps I already have. Thoughts before I do the above?

I think brown algae is again low pH...ummm..I really really maybe wrong here..I am forgetting the reason..but has to do with one of the water parameters...once they are sorted out..this will go away too...you might wanna concentrate on pH first and also the cycle...please keep us posted... :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

Follow up: I've been watching the pH and keeping it up. Everyone seems to be doing lots, lots better. I took a measure tonight of params after the water exchange. I get a GH of 0, KH of 240, pH of 7.5, N02 of 0 and NO3 of 80.

Being not quite bright about what the readings mean, is this good? I flushed one filter tonight and left the other two to keep collecting crud and good bacteria.

Since keeping the pH up is one of my issues, I still am not quite sure about the crushed coral. I've been told to use it to help keep the pH up but it's so small and my goldies are so big I wonder about the safety of having that on the floor of the tank. Is it ok for it to be loose? I've been keeping some in a bag rather than letting it be loose, but I am worried the bag will just become another surface for brown algae. So.....thoughts on the crushed coral?

I appreciate all the help. My friends seem to have dodged my neglect "bullet" and seem to be happy and doing well now. Your swift replies when I first posted were a big help. I wanted to let you know there are some happy endings out there. Bubba, Doc and Baby are doing swimingly.

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Follow up: I've been watching the pH and keeping it up. Everyone seems to be doing lots, lots better. I took a measure tonight of params after the water exchange. I get a GH of 0, KH of 240, pH of 7.5, N02 of 0 and NO3 of 80.

Being not quite bright about what the readings mean, is this good?

NO3 is very high...should be not more than 40....needs a 50% water change...others look good...and would be gr88 if you could also get a reading of Ammonia... :) ..I am guessing the bbs have established so would be zero..but still good to test it.. :) ...pH is good too...try and maintain it... :) ..I know you are...gr88 work there.. :D

I flushed one filter tonight and left the other two to keep collecting crud and good bacteria.

As far as there is enuf media that has bacteria established on it..its fine...however, changing filters is not essential at all...I mean so frequently...just rinsing the pad in the old tank water during a water change is really enough..I would encourage you to test ammonia.. :)

Since keeping the pH up is one of my issues, I still am not quite sure about the crushed coral. I've been told to use it to help keep the pH up but it's so small and my goldies are so big I wonder about the safety of having that on the floor of the tank. Is it ok for it to be loose? I've been keeping some in a bag rather than letting it be loose, but I am worried the bag will just become another surface for brown algae. So.....thoughts on the crushed coral?

Not so sure about the crushed coral...however as Imo has suggested with time the coral will lose its ability to help keep up the pH...and then before you know it..the goldies are not sooo well...I see you are in USA...you can order Buff it UP from goldfishconnection.com...Everyone here swears by the product...and I am sure its really good..members have been using it for a long time...and is a very good product to deal with pH issues...some other good stuff to order with it is Metromeds and Jumpstart...keep it handy just in case..Please do not open or feed it..just as first aid box... :D ...it has a good shelf life.. :)

I appreciate all the help. My friends seem to have dodged my neglect "bullet" and seem to be happy and doing well now. Your swift replies when I first posted were a big help. I wanted to let you know there are some happy endings out there. Bubba, Doc and Baby are doing swimingly.

I am soooo happy all the babies are doing sooo good... :) ...Koko's rocks..ain't it... :panana all the members here are sooo helpful and awesome... :) ...I really hope all ur fishies swim happily for years to come.. :) ...and you have done a gr888 job with the pH and water changes... :heart:flowers:goodjob ..you are such a good Mommy!!!!

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