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Help With Diagnosis

Guest goreysgolds

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Guest goreysgolds

Hi all:

I'm a little worried about two of my fish, and I'm hoping for some advice. Here are my tank readings/specs:

[*]Ammonia Level? 0

[*]Nitrite Level? 0

[*]Nitrate level? 40

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

7.2 ? KH: 0, GH: 60

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API test strips for everything except pH and ammonia: they were API drops

[*]Water temperature?

72 degrees

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?

29 gallons, running 10 months

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

2 Top Fin filters -- one 20 and one 30

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

25% water changes every 7-10 days

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

3 goldfish, about 10 months old (5 inches not including tail)

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners?

Prime when doing water changes

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often?

Once a day -- give them shelled peas, sometimes flakes

[*]Any new fish added to the tank?


[*]Any medications added to the tank?

10 days ago, added pH Up to increase pH

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

White spots on dorsal fin, tail. Not Ich (I've seen that before). These spots are larger and a little "feathery". The gold-colored goldfish also has a few orangish-red spots on his body, but they've been around for a few months and haven't changed size

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

One fish (Calico Ryukin) sits at the bottom every few days and gets constipated a lot, so that's why I do peas every day. The gold goldfish, who is always very active, started acting a little funny today -- not bottom sitting but cramping up his dorsal fin and floating a little low in the tank. His appetite is ravenous as usual, though!

Basically, I'm wondering about the white "spots" but also wondering if the change in the pH as well as the water temperature change could cause this problem. The fish were used to water temperatures of about 76 to 78 degrees in the summer, and we just had a sudden cold spell, which dropped the tank temp. to about 72.

Any advice is appreciated!


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  • Regular Member

pH fluctuations will damage the slimecoat and make it weak in spots and areas. Then these spots will be attacked by regular opportunistic bacteria in the water and you may see fungal spores or bacterial columns (the fuzzy stuff) growing on the skin in those damaged areas.

The first thing to do is deal with the KH of zero. That is your main issue by the looks. Nitrates could also be a lot lower.

pH up products only last for alimited time and then plunge so unless you can dedicate time twice a day or so to check pH they can be trouble as the pH slips back when we are unaware. Bottom sitting occurs at these times usually or gasping.

Anyway before treating for the fuzz I suggest you get the pH permanently stable -look into using coral stones/gravel which really does work longterm or a more efficient/expensive water buffer like Buff-it-Up by Goldfishconnection I think.

If you're fish are use to being handled sometimes the fuzzy spots may heal simply with a one off application of hydrogen peroxide but if you and the fish are nervous about that (and it can be a nervy experience doing topicals) then you may need to feed Jungle antibacterial food which deals very efficiently with early stage flex infections like this probably is.

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Guest goreysgolds

Thank you, Trinket! I will try to find Buff-it-up online. I've never tried to handle my fish except when they eat the peas off of my finger, so I'm sure they wouldn't love the application of hydrogen peroxide! But I should treat the pH problem first before giving them antibacterial food?

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That's what I would do. That way you can see if there is any improvement once the pH is where it needs to be. You don't want to feed the food if it's not needed. It could not work when you really need it. That's what I've been told, anyway. I could be wrong, though. :\

Edited by whitner
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  • Regular Member

also i noticed you do 25% water changes about every week to week and a half.

with two goldies in your 29, i think it'd be safe to up that to at least 50% water changes...

especially since your two topfin filters have a combined turnover rate of 250gph.

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