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Guest shellyjrose

White Spot On Head. Please Help!

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Guest shellyjrose

- 55 gallon tank. Been running for 2 months. Was moved from TN to KY. I saved about 1/4 of the old water to set up tank.

- Penguin 330 and Emperor 400 filters.

- One fantail, four years old.

- Water conditioner, salt and API Stresszyme are used when water is changed. 35% water change every 2 weeks or so.

- Freshwater Master Test Kit PH=6.6 (this is low) Ammonia=0ppm Nitrite=0ppm Nitrate=0pp

- Diet of peas. I know some may disagree with this but I have had fish grow and thrive and this for many years.

We moved from TN to KY and I tried to take as much of the established tank water as possible. Over the past few week my fish, Larry, started to develop a small white spot on his head. It is white area with a raised spot in the middle. It almost looks like a pimple that's ready to pop. The white spot is getting a bit bigger. I have had a lot of fancy fish over the years and have seen different diseases. This isn't like anything I've ever seen. I can't decide how to treat it. He is acting normally. Maybe hole-in-the-head disease? I never seen any holes though. I'll fix the PH but how should I treat this. I have tried to get a picture but couldn't. I'll keep trying. Any help is greatly appreciated!

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It sounds to me like more than anything, your fish were probably stressed from the move, and therefore, had a weakened immune system, making them more vulnerable to disease.

I can't think of anything that white spot could be. It does not sound like Ich the way you phrased it (as a large pimple ready to pop) so perhaps it is some other sort of fungus. Does your fish have a wen? This white spot could also be just another part of the wen starting to sprout up. Or is your fish a male? It's unlikely, but perhaps your bump is a breeding tubercle. Males get them when they're frisky and ready to mate. A picture would really really help.

The pH is Wayyy too low. You should be somewhere around 7.5 for goldfish, as I recall. Start by checking the pH of your tap water. If it is high enough, try doing daily or twice daily water changes of 30 to 50 percent to stabilize the pH. Another thing you can do (I've done this myself) is add crushed coral to your filter or gravel. It helps raise the pH in your water.

Good luck, and keep us posted :)

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- 55 gallon tank. Been running for 2 months. Was moved from TN to KY. I saved about 1/4 of the old water to set up tank.

- Penguin 330 and Emperor 400 filters.

- One fantail, four years old.

- Water conditioner, salt and API Stresszyme are used when water is changed. 35% water change every 2 weeks or so.

- Freshwater Master Test Kit PH=6.6 (this is low) Ammonia=0ppm Nitrite=0ppm Nitrate=0pp

- Diet of peas. I know some may disagree with this but I have had fish grow and thrive and this for many years.

Hi Shelly - just wanted to offer a couple of thoughts which might help - based on your info.

As BB said, it is comon that moving causes problems as the fish is stressed by the upheaval and new water etc. This spot could just be fungal, or it could be the beginning of a bacterial infection - is there any way you can post up a pic for us?

A few things jump out at me here, so I'll list them one by one and you can reply with more info when you have a moment.

1)- your readings, which show 0 for nitrates, suggest that you have probably lost your cycle in the move. There should be some sort of score for n'ates in a cycled tank. You mentioned that you saved some water to set the new tank - but I'm wondering how you transported the filter media, because THAT is where all the bacteria live - the water by comparison contains very little. Did you keep the filters wet or did you toss the media? If you tossed it, you will have lost all your bacterial colony and will need to re-cycle.

2) - your PH is very low - do you remember if the PH was different in TN? The trouble with a low PH is that the beneficial bacteria (which prefer a slightly alkaline environment) do not thrive well. I would suggest adding crushed coral to the filter to buffer up the PH, or perhaps order some 'Buff it UP' from the Goldfish Connection. Many people here find it an excellent and reliable PH adjuster.

3)I would suggest changing water every week rather than every 2 weeks. Bacteria builds up quickly in a tank and keeping fresh water coming in on a weekly basis tends to keep bad bacteria and other pollutants at a manageable level. Also, you mention adding salt. How much do add at each change? Using it while fish are stressed, suffering a nitrite spike or as a treament for parasites is helpful but other than that, it is better not to use it a part of your regular routine.

4) Lastly as far as feeding goes, variety is important in providing enough nutrition. Peas are great but maybe you can add a few other foods in order to give more vitamins. I also feed good quality sinking pellets, along with other veggies, mysis shrimp and bloodworm. If you read the goldfish food section you will find a lot of info there.

The most important thing right now is your water. We need to establish whether or not you have lost your cycle.

I would concentrate on keeping the water as perfect as you can, as this is the key to removing stress from your fish. Do a big water change and let us know the answers to the few Q's I have asked.

Above all, don't rush to get a treatment for your fish before we are sure of it's condition.

Hope to hear back from you and we can take it from there.

All the best,

Pixie

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I'm concerned about the PH, not that it is low but that you want to alter it. Sure, 6 is low for PH but fish can tolerate a wide variety of PH levels, they get used to them but they can't tolerate sudden changes. Between doing water changes, adding and then readding ph buffers, you may cause more stress. I lost a fish during a PH crash where I resorted to PH buffers but I found the best thing was a pair of hosiery filled with crushed coral which raises the PH, gh/kh (can't remember if it is just one of the gk or kh) and not suddenly.

Pictures are a must, there could be a variety of things affecting yer fish, horny gf, hole in the head disease, a worm, fungus etc...

Pic for the win!

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I'm concerned about the PH, not that it is low but that you want to alter it. Sure, 6 is low for PH but fish can tolerate a wide variety of PH levels, they get used to them but they can't tolerate sudden changes. Between doing water changes, adding and then readding ph buffers, you may cause more stress. I lost a fish during a PH crash where I resorted to PH buffers

Just to clarify this info - a tank is more at risk of PH crash the lower the PH. The higher the PH, the more alkalinity the water contains - this alkalinity acts like a sponge in absorbing the acidifying process of the nitrogen cycle (ammonia is alkaline, but as it is converted into nitrate it becomes acidic). A tank in the 6.00 range is far more at risk of a crash then if it can be buffered to about 7.5. Coral and Buff it Up will not cause a crash; they prevent it. Other products like PH7 or Perfect PH have been known to crash the PH so those ones are to be avoided. It is important to test the KH (this measures carbonate hardness, rather than GH which tests mineral content)as this provides a more acurate picture than just PH.

The PH must always be raised gradually to avoid stress. A drop is far harder on a fish then a rise, by the way. It may be that the water is lower in KY than TN - this would have been a stressor to the fish.

Hope this makes things clear.

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I'm concerned about the PH, not that it is low but that you want to alter it. Sure, 6 is low for PH but fish can tolerate a wide variety of PH levels, they get used to them but they can't tolerate sudden changes. Between doing water changes, adding and then readding ph buffers, you may cause more stress. I lost a fish during a PH crash where I resorted to PH buffers

Just to clarify this info - a tank is more at risk of PH crash the lower the PH. The higher the PH, the more alkalinity the water contains - this alkalinity acts like a sponge in absorbing the acidifying process of the nitrogen cycle (ammonia is alkaline, but as it is converted into nitrate it becomes acidic). A tank in the 6.00 range is far more at risk of a crash then if it can be buffered to about 7.5. Coral and Buff it Up will not cause a crash; they prevent it. Other products like PH7 or Perfect PH have been known to crash the PH so those ones are to be avoided. It is important to test the KH (this measures carbonate hardness, rather than GH which tests mineral content)as this provides a more acurate picture than just PH.

The PH must always be raised gradually to avoid stress. A drop is far harder on a fish then a rise, by the way. It may be that the water is lower in KY than TN - this would have been a stressor to the fish.

Hope this makes things clear.

Like I said, I had this problem a while back and some crushed coral solved it. It's cheap and easy to find. Plus, it does not drastically alter your pH as some chemical buffers or additives can. Another bonus is you don't have to keep adding more and more, I never have. It just does it's job.

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Guest shellyjrose

larry2.jpg

Finally got a picture. Hope you can tell anything from this. I moved to a VERY small town and there is pretty much only a nnnnnn. They had no crushed coral. I did find out there is a new fish store and they had none either. They are getting some at the end of the week. They had no Buff it up either. When I transported the filter media it was kept wet in tank water and used to set up the new tank. I have tried giving him different food over the years but he will only eat peas. The other fish used to go for it, but not Larry. I have tried unsucesfully over the years to tell if he was a male or not, so I'm not sure. Should I really do weekly water changes on a 55 gallon tank with one fish? Please take a look at the picture and tell me what to do from here. I will do a big water change. I will add coral when the fish store gets it in. In the meantime....??????

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OK - So the good news is that you saved your filter media, great. As far as your PH issues are concerned you could always order Buff it Up from the Goldfish Connection online if you don't want to wait for the coral - there used to be a link at the top of the page which I can't find anymore. I would change some water each week - it just keeps the bacterial count down which removes stress from the fish.

Now the spot. The photo is a little blurred so I'm not getting the 'perfect view', but it looks like a small fungal spot to me. This could easily be swabbed with a Q-tip dipped in Hydrogen Peroxide, if so. However - I will check with Trinket that it is not the beginning of columnaris; this is often characterized by a single, pimple-like spot on the head.

Q's: Has the spot changed at all? Is it fuzzy or smooth and raised? Is he eating normally? Does his poop look normal? ie. not white and stringy.

One thing you could try - hold your fish and raise his head just above the water line so he gapes; look inside his open mouth to see if it appears red or if there are any white strands at all.

I'll get Trinket to look at the pic.......

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I agree Pixie. It looks like a little fluffy fungal spore type spot that would either rub off or be easy to swab there.

Both fungal hyphae -and bacteria initially- settle on the surface and so are easy to kill with hydrogen peroxide.

Since there is no saddleback lesion or yellowing of fins and the spot is not pimply like a whitehead it looks more fungus like to me. For the moment.

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I agree Pixie. It looks like a little fluffy fungal spore type spot that would either rub off or be easy to swab there.

Both fungal hyphae -and bacteria initially- settle on the surface and so are easy to kill with hydrogen peroxide.

Since there is no saddleback lesion or yellowing of fins and the spot is not pimply like a whitehead it looks more fungus like to me. For the moment.

Oh great - thanks for the confirmation, Trinks.

So - what to do:

Dip a Q-tip in hydrogen peroxide. Next, grasp your fish and pull him just above the water line- that way if he wriggles he will fall back into the water and not on the floor! Swab his spot with the Q. Be careful not to get any in his eyes or mouth. You should see the spot disappear within the following day.

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Guest shellyjrose

Sorry, I know the pic is blurry but he wont stop swimming. My "action" shots are always blurry. The outer portion of the spot is flat and white. The very middle of it is raised. It hasn't changed much except the outer white portion may have became a bit bigger. He is eating normally and his poop is fine. He acts like he feels fine. No unusual behavior. I will swab it with peroxide. That seems simple enough, and it couldn't hurt to try. I will continue to do some water changes. I figure by the time I order buff it up on line and have it shipped the coral will be in stock here. I would pay to overnight it but I can't afford it. This wonderful economy has me broke! Thanks so much for all your help! I have benefited so much over the years from advice from wonderful people like you guys! I have been keeping Goldfish for 10 years now and there is always something to learn. It's nice to know when I have a question I can get answers from Goldie lovers like yourselves. Thanks and I'll keep ya posted!

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Guest shellyjrose

Sorry for the delay in update. I had to go out of town for awhile. I got my PH up to 7.2 and my Nitrates are registering now. I actually retested them the day after I put the original question up and they were not at 0. I think I didn't let the test sit the 5 minutes to develop properly. I swabbed the area with peroxide and it looks slightly better but no real change. It was a huge undertaking to swab him. My fish is huge! A real "two-hander" and he put up quite a fight. I did start Pimafix because many of you thought it was fungal and I have had great success with Pimafix in the past. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Also, I tested my PH out of the tap and it is 6. What should I do when I do water changes to make sure it dosen't lower my PH? Buff it up? I haven't had this problem in the past with my PH out of the tap. Thanks guys!

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