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Missing Scale


seheap

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Dragon lost a scale! This is the first time something has actually happened to him....I'm worried. At first I thought it was a trick of the light, because on the other side he has a slight dimple (has had it as long as I have had him) and it looks like the same thing from where I was sitting. Then I realized it was on the wrong side! I immediately booted up my computer, tested my water, and came here.

[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level? 0

[*]Nitrite Level? 0

[*]Nitrate level? 20 (whoa! I am going to do a water change as soon as I finish typing this)

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7.6

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? haven't done today. It usually hovers around 7.2 ish

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

[*]Water temperature? 80 (I'm not sure why it's so high. I think I will keep the light off...)

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 20 gallons running for about 4 months

[*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)? AquaClear 150gph (I know I need bigger, I'm working on it!)

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? Every week 50% and once a month 100%

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 Ryukin about 5 in.

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

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? Hikari Marine A sinking pellets, freeze dried shrimp, algae strip (he doesn't like it much), spinach, peas, grapefruit (he LOVES this!). Twice a day varied and fasted once a week. Although this week he was fasted both on Saturday and Wednesday (usually it's only Wed) because I went home for the weekend (I live at college)

[*]Any new fish added to the tank? Nope but I did add two mystery snails, one of which died yesterday. I wanted to make sure he was dead (you know how snails can be) so I only took him out a couple of hours ago.

[*]Any medications added to the tank? None

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Lost scale. It looks like he has pronounced veins in his caudal fin as well, but I think those have been there since the move to college.

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? He acts completely normally. He eats, swims, dances for food...the usual. Although he has been flashing occasionally. I'm not sure how much is indicitive of bugs and how much is just a normal "itch" kinda thing.

I really hope it's nothing big. I have to do a 100% water change soon. I have another ryukin in QT and want to do it at the same time that I introduce her to the new tank (about a week). But I would rather do the 100% now and keep Dragon healthy and the tank clean if you think this is a better idea.

Thanks in advance

Sarah

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Hi Ryukin Girl. Usually a missing scale is just a sign water has not been quite perfect - pH too acidic or filtration may be due a clean, that sort of thing. When my fish get them it usually makes me have a good think about whats not right, like maybe filter media needs some new sponges added and so on.. But the thing that worries is the flashing and the introduction of snails that have died. You may have introduced some parasites here and these too can first attack slime coat and scales will fall off.

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He has been flashing since before the snails were introduced though, hmm. And the snails were both from a LFS that has told me (many times cuz I always ask) that they QT every creature they get before putting them in show tanks.

I am so thankful for the speedy reply, I am thinking now about all the possible things that could be wrong. I know I am due for a new sponge in the filter. Do you really think it could be a parasite? I have prazi from the QT, I could treat him with that if you think that's a good idea. And I will do the 100% water change this weekend. I'd rather not risk Phoenix getting the parasite (?) right out of QT.

Thanks Trinket!

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I should check your pH in the tank immediately. Do you know your kH too? pH can swing and plunge daily with a low kH and is a classic cause of missing scales.

Changes as small as 2 points can also cause flashing as can sudden temperature swings. If your water is very hot, lack of dissolved oxygen can also make a fish dart and then be lethargic which looks akin to flashing.

Also check your filter media is not clogged, sponges are rinsed and filter is turning over well. A large water change is always a help, providing its pH and temp matched.

It's prob. one of these things. If any more symptoms develop post back- you may need to prazi/salt.

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ok my pH is still 7.6 (just tested) but I have no idea what my Kh is.

His scale looks more like it was torn off (the coloring around the missing scale has jagged edges) as opposed to falling off. And it looks like another one on the same side, near it is starting to do the same thing. Do you think perhaps it was damaged when he was darting around?

Speaking about the flashing, I think you may be right about the lack of oxygen. I used to have a airstone in the tank but I had to use the pump for the QT so he's been without for about three weeks now. I think I may cut Phoenix's QT short a few days so the airstone can get back in as soon as possible.

I don't have a buffer, so how do I pH match my water? How do I know if CO2 is affecting my tap water and bringing the pH down (or is it up)?

As soon as I get a reply to the last questions I will do the 100% water change.

Edited by ryukin girl
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Definite on the flashing causing scales to get scratched off. Your fish is big- he needs a lot of oxygen. Can you adjust the filter so the out pipe is higher or re-directed so there is some surface splash. Splash/bubbles anywhere on the water surface pulls oxygen in and dissolves it into the water to be used by your fish. You can pH match water only with a kit. Just check the water from the tap today is the same as the water in the tank. If not post back.

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It wasn't the same but I went to pet co today and bought the API pH up kit. It took a bit but the pH is now the same as before. He really hated me for taking him out and putting him in the bucket. He will probably be giving me the evil eye all day tomorrow. O well, had to be done.

I will do what I can on the filter, and I am thinking that the airstone will be back in on Tuesday. Perhaps until then I will take out some of the water so the return from the filter splashes more. There is no pipe, it's HOB so it just kinda...falls in.

I was about to buy some coral subsrate (not live) from pet co, and put it in a a nylon and use that in my filter instead of the carbon but was wondering if this was a good idea. Doesn't coral help keep pH stable?

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Oh yes. I have masses and masses of coral gravel in my filterboxes, & as substrate, wherever I can fit it. At one point I had so many hoses hanging round the tanks it looked like the hoisery department (after a flood lol)- but then I decided to just empty them out and use the gravel as substrate. Looks nice and since you can fit so much more on the tank bottom it does a very good job of stablising the pH. You really dont need to bother with buffers if you have enough coral. But be warned stabilising effect may need a week or so to kick in..and rinse it real well before adding.

Here's a pic of the kind I use, larger pieces- from the tropical section of an aquarium store:

IMGP1069.jpg

And as substrate looks like this :CalandFlap.jpg

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Ok Thanks! I will pick some up the next time I go to the store!

And Dragon is indeed giving me the evil eye......poor baby! I fed his peas as a kind of bribe....didn't work!

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