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Comet Has Blood In The Caudal Fin...


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Hi Gang,

New member to this forum. Thanks for having a place for newbie goldfish lovers like me!

We have a beautiful Comet that started out as a feeder and 5 or so years later is now about 7" tip-to-tip. Last week, I upgraded from a 10gal tank to a 25 gallon long, and just prior to that move we bought an 8" Common to be a tank mate for our Comet, and a few days ago added a little 4" Comet.

Things were going fine until I noticed blood streaks inside the upper part of the caudal fin on our original Comet. Then there was a blood spot under the right lower lip corner, along with what appeared to be a tiny white "bump," like a pimple, appearing in the center of the lower lip. The new tank mates are showing none of these signs, and all 3 fish act/swim/eat perfect.

However, the blood streaks continue to move as a group outward toward the tip of the caudal fin, and then the same thing began to happen on the lower section of the caudal. (See photo below) The white lip bump got bigger, but stayed looking smooth, and then yesterday it got puffy and appeared to finally have burst. For a while there was some loose skin hanging off the lip. This now has progressed to being skin that's sort of sluffing off around the area where the white bump was.......so about 3/4 of the lower lip is sluffy skin. (See photo below) In the last couple of days the Comet has also been occationally flicking it's head back and forth. Not very often, but we have seen it several times.

So those are the symptoms I'm dealing with, and now I'll give some details:


Tank is glass w/ glass lid...25 gallons (36"long x 16"tall x 10.5" front to back)

Filter was a Fluval 205, but today I upgraded to a Fluval 405 which holds about 2 gallons and moves 340gph

Air Pump is a Tetra 60 gallon rated pump, pumping into a 23" bubble wall tube

15-20lbs of smooth round epoxy coated pebble type gravel in the bottom, an inch or 2 deep.

3 tall flowing plastic plants

6-8 real plants (some are like crass, the rest have leaves)

no other decorations

Water Conditions:

Water temp: 75*F with no heater

Amonia: Yesterday it was dark green on the test strip, so it was very high. I did one 50% water change in the morning with 100% gravel vacuuming, and then a 75% change, including the filter water a few hours later. I've been treating the water with an amonia detox and since this morning I'm getting readings showing basically zero ppm of amonia.

Nitrites: were very high yesterday and using a nitrite absorber in the Fluval, they are down in the 3.0 range, so still high

Nitrates: super high yesterday, but now down in the 10 or so range

Clorine: zero

pH: was up in the 8.5 range as that's what comes out of the faucet, but I've dropped it to about mid 7's over the past 24hrs and it seems to be holding.

Medications and other steps:

I've been using aquarium salts for about 2 weeks, ever since upgrading to the 10gal and adding the 2nd fish.

Treating the water for clorine

The white bump I thought might be ich, so I treated for that 2 days

Spoke to a local aquarium store owner who tested my water and showed me how bad it was. He thought the symptoms might be amonia/nitrite poisoning and recommed a dip for 10 seconds in methalene blue, which I've done to all 3 fish. He was also concerned there might be an internal bacteria causing the bleeding and mouth sore, so I'm on day 2 of antibiotic (powder in the water). Yesterday I left the new marinland charcoal in during the first round of antibiotics, but today when I set up the Fluval 405, I left the charcoal out and treated the 2nd dose of medicine. Since the amonia and nitrites/nitrates are coming down, I've left the charcoal out all day just in case it would help the fish get more of the antibiotic.


Normally they get Tetrafin crisps and 2 cucumber slices (very thin). Typically 2 feedings of the crisps and 1 pair of cucumber slices. I'm probably over feeding on the crisps. The aquarium store owner suggested not feeding them for 4 days to see if that would help the tank's water conditions. So I didn't feed them all day yesterday, or today, but this evening I gave them 2 cucumber slices, and a very small amount of spirulina flake food.

So I think that's it. Sorry for the terribly long first post, but I wanted to get all the info out that I could, in order to speed up/help replies.

I'm feeling pretty bad about the condition of our original Comet. It's been a perfectly healthy fish for all these years, and as soon as I try to finally do a decent job of caring for it, bam....




Thanks for reading!

Edited by austinado16
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Before anything else - WELCOME TO KOKOS!!! :-)

Okay there are a number of things that could be going on here and causing the problem. A few questions though first..

1) When u moved the fish into the larger tank did u add the filter from the old tank onto it? Or more importantly, did u add any of the filter media from the old tank to the new tank? This is important because it determines whether u will be cycling from scratch or if you will have a little bit of a boost so that ur cycle will even out faster. How familiar are you with cycling? Here is a link to check out if u are not familiar:


2) Did u quarentine the new fish at all before putting them in, and/or treat them with salt or prazi at any point BEFORE going in the tank with the old fish. Was the original fish ever treated with salt or prazi before the new fish joined him?

3) How much salt exactly is in the tank??

4) What antibiotic did they give you exactly??

Let me post these questions for now, then I will start explaining what I think is going on here, and what should be done!

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Welcome to Koko's, Austin!

I'll try to answer a few of the flaws here one by one so please bear with me!

The first thing I noticed is the tank size. Despite the upgrading of your tank, 25g is still VERY inadequate unfortunately. Usually fancies would be better suited but considering these are singletails, singletails grow much larger and therefore will need a much bigger tank. A good guideline would be 20g per fish. For three singletails, in my opinion, they should be kept in a 75g minimum. This will allow them plenty of space to swim properly. Note they DO need plenty of space as they are quite agile.

Your filtration seems sufficient with a turnover rate more than 10x the water volume, more than we usually recommend BUT your tank is still overstocked as I mentioned earlier. Even if you had done your homework on this filtration bit, the tank size remains an issue and should be addressed as immediately as possible. If space and money are not an issue, see Craigslist site. They will have plenty of tank bargains you can indulge in. Get the biggest tank you can afford or a cheap fiberglass pond to keep the 3 of them. If you want fiberglass ponds, aim for the largest you can fit on your budget and space.

Secondly, you mentioned you are using test strips. I'd scrap them off and switch to API liquid drops. These are the most reliable kits I can recommend. When you have them, recheck your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and even pH. Test strips are OFTEN grossly misleading. The results are not often reassuringly accurate.

Assuming these are actually your water parameters, ammonia and nitrite should be zero. At over 0.5, both substances are dangerously toxic ESPECIALLY ammonia since your pH is at 8.5. Your ammonia would be extremely toxic. A lot of goldfish fortunately (or even unfortunately) can bear the brunt of their toxic effects but at the expense of their health. Ammonia and nitrite intoxication involved heavy gasping, listlessness, red streaking of fins, pale gills and even black smudges indicating ammonia burns.

Regarding the salt, the only time I'd ever use them is when they fall sick and when a particular health issue actually needs it. Ich, bacterial infections and minor injuries to name a few are valid reasons for using salt TEMPORARILY. Even as part of quarantine regimen temporarily will also work to ensure invisible ectoparasites are immediately eliminated while a fish is undergoing quarantine process.

The person who advised a methylene blue dip to you is horribly wrong. Had a fish suffered ammonia and nitrite intoxication, the best way to remedy it is do PLENTY of water changes. No medicine will ever fix this one issue. Only water changes can. Medicines are not fix-all products.

Carbon can and will remove any med except for salt.

Please do not use pH adjusting chemicals! You really do NOT need that! 8.0 range is fine for goldfish. Actually, they are better off with pH at 7.4 or more as acidic pH can CAUSE sloughing of slime coat and even frayed fins. It can contribute to your fish sloughing off the slime coat and even frayed fins.

Edited by Lupin
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Okay before anything else I have some bad news. Don't hate me!!

The 25 gallon tank is actually going to be way to small for 3 comets/commons in the long run. :(

We like to recommend a minimum of 20 gallons a piece for single tail goldfish such as commons/comets. So 3 fish would ideally need at least 60 gallons.. I would suggest only keeping ONE common/comet in this 25 gallon tank for maximum health and water quality reasons. Is it too late to return or rehome the new fish? Or upgrade to something even larger? It seems like its plenty of space I know, but in reality its not enough for the 3 fish..If you want the best quality of life (and less sickness) for your original fish I strongly recommend it.

Okay, the symptoms your fish are showing could be because of the high ammonia and nitrites in the water. Red streaks are very common when a fish is stresssed due to water quality or stressed from anything for that matter. One reason for the high levels could be the new tank.. If u didn't add any media over u from the old filter you are cycling this tank from the beginning and it will take weeks until the good bacteria can handle the amount of ammonia/nitrite being produced. Until then u MUST keep the ammonia and nitrite down through water changes.

The overcrowding of the tank is probably making this matter worse. The more fish, the more waste which means higher ammonia/nitrite levels. Right now 3 fish in a 25 gallon (that is likely cycling from the beginning or at the very least stalled because its a new tank) is producing so much ammmonia and nitrite that the fish are showing signs of stress.

When a fish is stressed, they become more susceptible to illness, and bacterial infection, which may explain the mouth sore..

Another thing that could be going on here is the possibilty that the new fish carried with it some sort of parasites. For this reason its important that new fish be quarentined BEFORE being added in with old fish for at least 30days if possible. During that time, its best to treat the fish with salt at 0.3% and prazi.. These two things are SAFE and will kill MOST parasites. It's a good idea that ALL your fish have 0.3% salt and prazi at some point in there life. Just a tip - salt should only be used in QT and for disease treatment. Some people keep a level of salt in their tanks all the time, and that is not needed or recommended.

I see you've been salting now, which is good because your fish is stressed and has a sore. Salt should help both things. Salt will not only kill any possible parasites but it can also help heal bacterial infections, such as the problem on the mouth... So salting is a good place to start.. Parasites of course, can also stress fish, and like poor water quality, can lead to the red streaks. Red streaks are basically your fish telling you that something is wrong. And in ur case I believe its a combination of possible parasites, poor water quality, stress from new tankmates and a new home. I am pretty sure the mouth sore is a result of these other things, and not the cause and I believe with good water quality, and salt and prazi you may be able to fix everything..

But you need to salt to a certain level to kill any possible parasites.. This is why I wanted to know how much salt is in there exactly. Here is a link on how to salt properly.


Another thing I am seeing here is the fact that u say u lowered ur PH. PH adjusters can be very harmful to fish. Especially when using them to LOWER a ph.. If it is lowered too fast, it can burn the fish.. I personally would suggest you leave ur PH where it is.. The goldfish can handle higher ph's, and they are must better off at a natural consistant level than one that is adjusted with chemicals.. My PH is very high as well.

Now here is the tricky part. I would not have started your fish on any medications or antibiotics just yet actually.. Sometimes meds are not needed and sometimes they can make things worse. Especially if the meds are added to water with ammonia and nitrites. I would not have done a meth blue dip but I suppose its too late now. I wouldn't have started antibiotics yet either. But once you start an antibiotic you must continue with it. I would like to know exactly what antibiotic u are using though... You are probably going to have to continue with that..

Normally I would suggest u do a full water change with temperature matched, dechlorinated water.This way you've removed any possible ammonia/nitrite/chemical that could be in your water.. I would then suggest u add the amount of salt that u currently have back in and from there increase ur salt slowly until it is at 0.3%. (Assuming you've never salted to that level before).

However since u have already lowered ur ph, I don't know that I want you to change out all of the water all at once. So instead I would recommend 50% changes back to back until your readings of ammonia and nitrite are as close to 0 as possible.. Do not add in any ph adjuster this time. Do use dechlorinator though! :-)

Remember that when you remove water you remove salt. So you will want to keep record of the amount of salt that is coming out and being put back. Once I know how much salt is in there currently I can help u with that if u need.. To salt to 0.3% you will need 75 teaspoons of salt in there, added gradually.. Not at all once.

I think that's it for now. I will wait for your response and reread things to see if I have missed anything.

OH! I see that Lupin has already responded. (We are writing at the same time again Lupin!) Most of what I say is the same as him, but I will go ahead and post anyway in case there is something different, and also because if you see that two people are saying the same exact things, it might give u a little more faith that we know what we are talking about! LOL I remember when I first joined this forum I doubted a lot of things and trusted the pet store workers. Now I know that many don't care, many don't have the right knowledge. And even ones that care AND have knowledge don't always have the correct knowledge for GOLDFISH! So trust us, not the pet stores! LOL

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Thanks for the fast and thorough replies folks! And thanks for the welcome. I hate to wade in here with "Hey, I'm the newbie......please help," but I feel pretty bad that the ONE fish "we" care about is doing poorly, and it's my fault.

I'll try to address all of you questions and not miss anything:

1) Just did another 50% water change late tonight. Did not add back any salts. Waited a while and tested the water with the "quick dip" strips. Amonia was near or slightly above zero; definately wasn't at .05. Nitrite was at 3.0 Nitrate was at under 10. pH was back up to 8-something which is what our city water runs at. I did use declorinator, but I've tested our water right out of the faucet and it doesn't register any clorine on the dipstrip.

2) When I changed from the 10gal I transfered some of its water over, and all of its gravel, but none of of it's filter media. I had a new Aquaclear 30 on it, so it's biofilter hadn't started to do anything anyway. So yes, I'm starting this tank from basically nothing. I did ad a bottle of quick start bacteria to get it going on Friday, so that's been in there a day.

3) Amount of salt: I've been following the instructions on the API box, so 1 rounded tablepoon full per 5 US gallons. I've only been keeping up with that since starting the 10 gallon tank (less than 2 weeks now).

4) Medication: Sentry AQ Mardel Maracyn. The instructions do not say to remove carbon filters. I have 3 days left to treat with that.

5) The reason I jumped on the dip and antibiotics was based on the advice of the aquarium store (a very small little place that does both salt and tropical, but not really goldfish other than as feeders. He said they dip fish to detox from amonia, keeping them in the dip about 10-15 seconds. Kind of a knee jerk reaction on my part, I guess, but I tried to get real info from a real aquarist. My concern was that the lip was getting worse (it hadn't burst yet) the fin bleed was now on both parts of the fin and was sliding rearward toward the fin tips, and the Comet was starting to flick it's head side to side occationally. I figured if I didn't take action (including jumping on the multiple water changes, testing the water every few hours, going to activated carbon and seperate denitrifier granuals, and an amonia detox chemical in the tank water, that I was going to have a very dead fish in a couple days....most likely sometime during the weekend when the real aquarium place(s) might be closed.

6) I'll do another 50% water change in the morning and look into a better water test system. Too bad these Jungle brand Quick Dip test strips are so inaccurate. That's what the aquarium guy sold me, along with most of the other chems/medicines.

7) Regarding the tank size and the fish. Sure, I can take back the little one. Could probably take back the big one. I'm not interested in having a pond. As far as tank size goes, yes, Craiglist is king and that's how I found this 25. All sorts of fantastic tanks on CL. Problem is the space and weight. Victorian home, single layer wood floors, and then just the physical size of bigger tanks. I don't want a 1,000lb tank sitting in one spot on these floors, even if it's on a wood stand......plus, I don't want a tall tank because that's not really how these goldfish seem to swim. So if I go with a bigger tank, it would be a long style tank like I have now...and there's just no room for something that big/long. So for now, I may have to take back a fish or two. Although what I'd like to do is see how this Fluval 405 does once the biofilter is up and running, and then make a decision then.

8) Regarding the new fish, no, I didn't quarantine them. I didn't have a seperate tank to house the big one for a month (or the room) and he, and his other slightly smaller plastic outdoor aquarium store pond mates were in beautiful condition. We looked at most of the fish in that "pond" and they were all very nice. We'd gone to a different store that had about a dozen plastic above ground ponds with a huge sand filter, and while they initially looked great, when we scooped them out, they were all damaged in some way. So anyway, the big one came home and went right in the tank...and has been fine. The newest little Comet we'd seen a week or 2 ago and they'd had it for quite a while. I'm not saying that scientifically means anything, but I just figured that if it was the biggest one in their tank, and it had survived and flourished and was still there doing the same when we came back, it was probably pretty healthy. So it went right into the tank too.

I think that's it. If I missed anything, let me know.

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Just dipped the water again:

Amonia is still at about zero. The yellow of the test square is barely any different than a new strip. That's a big improvement.

Nitrites: Have dropped to 1.0 from 2.0. Still within what's labeled as "stress" range, but it's a big improvement over what it's been.

Nitrates: Still somewhere in the zero-to-ten range.

I'll wait to see what you folks have to say, but I'll do another 50% water change in the morning, and maybe another one tomorrow evening. I won't put back the carbon unless you think it's a good idea, since I'm medicating. I will put back salt, but not until I hear back from you. It's about 3am, so I think I'm done for the night.

Thanks to you all for the fast and thorough input. (Just read about cycling the tank. Great writeup)

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Thanks for replying to everything so thoroughly!! It really really helps!!! :)

Hey, I'm the newbie......please help," but I feel pretty bad that the ONE fish "we" care about is doing poorly, and it's my fault.

Don't feel bad OR feel like it's your fault! You didn't KNOW.. Now you do and hopefully everything will turn out FINE! I really think it will!!!! Ur smart, ur ready to take the right steps, and ur fish is NOT doing that poorly. I've had fish get better from WAY worse! Trust me!

1) Okay.. u say your nitrites are 3? That bothers me. That is EXTREMELY high... If that number is accurate then u will want to do a 100% water change. The PH is already back up and typically going from a number in the high 7s to a number in the low 8's is not going to hurt the fish. Its far worse to drop in PH than increase in PH. And the nitrites being that high is far worse than the possible PH change in my opinion.. So I would do a 100% water change, temperature matched and treated with dechlor (even if ur water doesn't test for it, MOST city water is treated with SOMETHING so its best to use a water conditioner to remove not only chlorine but chlorimines and heavy metals)

2) The gravel being moved over will have helped a bit.. Hopefully ur tank will go through the cycling process MUCH faster than a BRAND new cycle.. Maybe a week or 2 compared to 6-8 weeks like a new cycle can take.

In my opinion those bottled bacterias don't do a thing, but others say they work so thats totally your call..

3)Amount of saltyou had in there is not a bad starting point, but to treat for parasites u need the 0.3% dose like I said. So you will basically want to ignore the directions on the box and follow the directions in the link I provided... Then remember to replace the salt whenever u do a water change.

4)Medication.. Maracyn is Erythromycin. It is a medication that treats Gram Positive Infections and the majority of most infections are NOT gram positive.. This medication is probably useless in your case... Now a few things regarding this med. First of all it will kill off your good bacteria.. So if you weren't already starting from scratch, you are now.. (They should really put warnings on these meds, don't u think). Second, once u start a med u must continue it to prevent medication resistant bacteria... However... IF you had carbon in your filter the whole time, the majority of the meds were removed immediately from the water. So IF you had carbon in your filter, I would just discontinue the medication if it were me.. (Lupin, Trinket? Do you guys agree). If you DID remove the carbon, and have given 2 doses, then I think u should probably continue with the Maracyn.. Good news is I do not thing that the Maracyn has helped anything, but I don't think it has really hurt anything (besides ur good bacteria). In general u wanted to always remove carbon from filters when u are medication besides salt. And when u are done a medication you want to put fresh carbon in to remove any extra that could still be left in the water.

5)I don't think u "jumped" on the dip or meds. To me u just followed instructions given by someone you THOUGHT was knowledgeable. I would have done it too. (in fact, DID do it too, which is what led me to this board in the first place). We've all been there, done that. No worries!! :-) I could be missing something major here, but I don't think anything has been done that can't be reversed with clean water, and a little salt/prazi (Prazi -I'll explain that one later).

6)Yes the drops are MUCH more reliable.. The strips can sometimes give u an okay guideline. They are better than NOTHING. But the drops are a much much better choice. See if you can exchange them maybe??

7) Good filtration may help.. But even with the BEST filter u are not going to reduce the amount of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate that is produced by your fish.. The only way to keep THOSE low is to stock ur tank properly and do weekly 50% water changes (or more).... So even with an excellent filter, I would recommend returning 1 or 2 of the fish or getting a larger tank.. You maaaaay be able to make due with a 55 gallon, excellent filtration, and weekly water changes, or bi-weekly water changes. But most people don't want to do the extra maintance. I would not keep 3 commets/commons in a 25 gallon even with the best filtration if it were me.. I am not sure how a 55 gallon would be on ur floors I know absolutely nothing about things like that! LOL All I know is I've had 55 gallon tanks on the 3rd floor and I'm okay. But again.. totally clueless when it comes to that! LOL a 55 gallon is a nice tank which is longer and good for the fish to swim though! I DO know that! :D

8) Often u CAN tell a bit just by looking at the fish. But parasites and disease don't always show right away. Or sometimes, a healthy fish can be carrying parasites/disease but when placed with a new fish it can spread.. Fish are picky and the teeniest change can stress them out.. So for example, you could take UR fish who has been healthy for quite some time, but add in another fish that seems healthy (and even has been for quite some time) and put them together, and end up with two sick fish.. The best way to prevent this is to QT ALL new fish, and treat ALL new fish with salt/prazi. Even then there CAN be issues, but it's the best way to rule them out and keep them at a minimum..

I think I wrote back everything I wanted to say. At this point I would do the full water change and begin salting like according to the link. Leave the salt at 0.3% for two weeks, then you can gradually take it down.. Add ur next dose of meds when it is time IF the carbon was removed, but if the carbon stayed in the tank and absorbed most of the meds I wouldn't continue with that.(Unless Trinket comes on and suggests otherwise). Trade in your test kit for drops and continue to monitor the water. Keep the ammonia and nitrite as close to 0 as possible. Both should be under 0.5ppm preferably even lower if u can. Then just address the tank size, and keep up with weekly water changes..

Almost forgot! Prazi is a med that kills a parasite called flukes. Salt takes care of MANY parasites but not flukes, so I would recommend purchasing some prazi and doing multiple treatments. Prazi is safe to both fish AND to your cycle.. You can buy prazi at many stores sold as Hikari PraziPro liquid.. Let us know if you have trouble finding it, or if you have any questions regarding dosing..

Finally... please let us know if u see any changes or odd behavior in the fish. Also let us know how the mouth progresses. If there is still a problem after the salt/prazi/clean water then we can consider other options!!! Good luck with your fish! You're doing GREAT!

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Just saw ur update - few more small things to add now that I have that info..

With the nitrites getting lower u may be able to avoid a FULL 100% water change. Maybe do a 80% change, leaving just enough water for the fish to be covered... That will take your ammonia and nitrites to a safe enough level.. Figure out how much salt is left based on what u've put in and how many water changes u've done so far. Then add whatever amount of salt u need to make it 25 teaspoons total.. You should go from 25 teaspoons, to 50 teaspoons 12 hours later, to your final point of 75 teaspoons 12 hours later. Once there, replace the salt as u do water changes. You will prob need to do daily water changes of 50% or more right now to keep the ammonia/nitrites low enough. Maybe higher depending on the readings. So if u do a 50% change while u have 75 teaspoons of salt in there, you must add back in 37 1/2 teaspoons.

I see that u DID remove the carbon so the Maracyn WAS effectively in the water for 2 doses. I think u should continue the full course in that case.. As I said b4, if Trinket pops in and says that is is safe to stop the Maracyn, then listen to her! :-) Otherwise I would continue with it..

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LOL... you didn't see what my current water test results are:

Nitrates are 1.0, not 3, so I'm starting to see some improvement.

I'll do the water change, maybe like 75%, in the morning and start putting salt back in.

It's killing me that this guy sold me a bunch of stuff that I didn't need. Regarding the use with carbon and harm to good bacteria. Says on the first page of the instructions that it's been tested with good bacteria and doesn't harm them. It does say to remove "fresh" activated carbon and chemical sponges. So yesterday's treatment was absorbed by the fresh activated carbon that I put in right before the treatment. And today's treatment....well, I'd removed the carbon, but just put in the Fluval Pre-Filter ceramic "cylinders" and 2 bags of their water cleaning granules. So maybe today's treatment was a waste too?

So should I continue to give the antibiotics?

I'm off to get some sleep, and dream about healthy Comets racing around in a tank full of clean water and cucumber slices! 'night....and thanks again!

Edited by austinado16
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Hmmmm I just asked the other mods what they thought regarding whether u should continue or stop the meds.. Maybe wait a bit and see if one of them responds?? The more I think about it, and based on the info u just gave me about ur carbon and adding new media, I am leaning towards u stopping the medication....

Yes I did see that ur nitrite dropped! Thats why I said maybe u could do an 80% instread of the full 100% change! 1 is still high but much much better than 3!!!!


And for the stuff he sold u, don't be too angry.. He was on the right path. With testing the water, and even with u maybe needing meds at some point.

I think what happens is that different people are better with different areas.. For example I worked at a pet store last year in the fish department. When people came in with GOLDFISH questions I was like "you've got it MADE! I'm all about the goldies". But when people came in with other fish I had to use more general knowledge..

It seems this guys GENERAL knowledge was right, but he didn't have all the facts for us goldfish keepers!

And as for the Antobiotics... I go around "testing" workers all the time regarding their knowledge. So many don't know all the little things about each one. Like, some work better in low Ph. Some can't be used with other meds. Some are more likely to harm the bio filter... I still don't even know ALL of those things.. I'm still learning my best with that.. I find that a lot of times people just aren't aware or haven't been trained.. I think thats how it was in your case.. Its seems that u got lucky actually and has a store that does CARE and TRY. And sometimes thats the best the stores can offer. Even aquarium only stores.. Usually thse people are GREAT at helping with equipment, and helping with product like filter media, lighting etc. But sometimes they don't know all the intricate little details regarding meds for each type of fish.

P.S. I edited this a few times so make sure to go check what I wrote at the top about the meds! :-)

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Okay. I'm in the middle of the water change w/ a thorough gavel vac. Counting gallons (by a gallon jug) and marking them on the side of the tank so I have a future reference point. The tank took 18.5 gallons during this water change, and I'm doing the filter right now, which holds 2 more.

The water was treated with AquaSafe as each gallon was filled.

Haven't done the salt yet, but will as soon as I get the filter finished and running.

I'm going to put back the Marineland activated charcoal.

I'll not give any more antibiotics.

What are your thoughts on one of those water powered vacs that hook to the faucet and do the draining/vacuuming, and then can be switched over to put water back into the tank? Sure seems like it'd make this easier and faster?

I'll report back in a while with an updated water test.

Thanks again for all your help!

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Water change is done.

Filter is up and running with 2 tray compartments (that's one full tray = 1 pound/450g of carbon) of Kent Marine "Reef Carbon." These are the larger pellets that don't fall through the slits in the Fluval's tray.

I removed the Zeolitic granules that I was using to remove amonia and nitrites since salt appears to make it discharge what it's trapped, making it useless.

Fish are eating some spirulina and 2 cucumber slices.

Getting ready to salt....

Is there any chance the mouth and tail problems are due to fin rot and mouth rot...and be bacterial? Or are they most likely just bleeding veins related to the amonia and nitrite levels?

Just dipped the water and it's current:

Amonia = zero

Nitrite = zero

Nitrate = also looking like zero, certainly well below the 10 in color chart.

pH = back up to our normal 8ish

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Just tested the water again. Definately zero's across the board now. I'm pretty happy with that. Maybe this pound of fresh Kent Marine Reef Carbon is really helping, along with the 340gph of filtration cycling?

Still haven't salted yet, but will when I get back from a couple errands.

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Okay I talked to another mod and they think that u SHOULD finish the antibiotic course even though the carbon was in there the first day. It doesn't really matter, u s dosing today. Just go ahead and do the third dose now... With the carbon out.. (Sorry looks like u are going to have to play around with the filter again!!!! lol)

I removed the Zeolite granules that I was using to remove amonia and nitrites since salt appears to make it discharge what it's trapped, making it useless.

Excellent that u caught that! I didn't know that the Fluval Water Cleaning Granules contained zeolite so I didn't think ANYTHING of it! The other mod noticed that RIGHT AWAY!!! So you did the absolute right thing by taking those out.. You should never use an ammonia removing product under normal circumstances if you can avoid it, because with the product removing the ammonia, there is nothing to "feed" the good bacteria. And u end up NEVER getting a fully cycled tank. Plus, once the product is full, it releases the ammonia back into the water. AND, as u found out, salt also makes it release ammonia back in the water.. Good research!! And I apologize that I did not realize zeolite was in that!!!! I wanna kick myself!! lol Zeolite is great for emergencies when u have to put a fish in a non cycled hopsital tank though.. (When there is no salt! hehe)

What are your thoughts on one of those water powered vacs that hook to the faucet and do the draining/vacuuming, and then can be switched over to put water back into the tank? Sure seems like it'd make this easier and faster?

These are AMAZING! I love em! I have one for all of my tanks! I use the Python brand but there are a bunch of them..You should DEFINITELY buy one if you can! :-)

Is there any chance the mouth and tail problems are due to fin rot and mouth rot...and be bacterial? Or are they most likely just bleeding veins related to the amonia and nitrite levels?

The tail problem to ME looks like signs of stress/ammonia poisoning. The mouth rot is likely a secondary bacterial infection brought on because the fish was already weakened from the stress/ammonia. But, in many cases 0.3% salt/clean water can cause bacterial issues such as mouth rot. If it gets worse, or does not improve then we can consider a different medication or antibiotic, but I would try just the salt for now if it were me..

Just tested the water again. Definately zero's across the board now. I'm pretty happy with that. Maybe this pound of fresh Kent Marine Reef Carbon is really helping, along with the 340gph of filtration cycling?

Zero's across the board is good in the sense that u have no ammonia or nitrite harming the fish. But you won't be officially "cycled" until u see ammonia and nitrite at 0, and have some reading for nitrates.. I think the main thing that is helping u with that is the water changes (because carbon won't remove ammonia or nitrites).. Keep up the good work with those!!

And ur very welcome for all the help! :)

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Looks like Sue got it all straightened out and I agree so far. I was going to respond last night but had no time and didn't want to keep a short reply.lol Yes, I'd finished the antibiotic course once it is started. If Maracyn does not work, the other antibiotic I can think of is kanamycin.

Good luck, Austin. Hopefully Maracyn alone will be enough to resolve the bacterial issues and don't forget not to take clean water for granted. This is your best defense.

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Another water test and still zero's for amonia and nitrate, and barely a color change for nitrite so it's not to .5ppm.

Just added the first round of API salt following the instructions in your salt thread.

Heading out in a moment to find PraziPro and pickup a water power gravel vac/water changer.

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Thank goodness the ammonia and nitrite are still nearly safe range although doing a water change is not a bad idea especially when it is needed daily until tank is fully cycled (not at this point due to presence of antibiotics).

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Here's the latest:

-Removed all chemical filtration media from the filter and added dose #1 of Maracyn Two. Got a little laugh while sprinkling it into the tank because the sick Comet swam around and ate some of the clumps.

-Couldn't find any PraziPro but did find a Tetra Lifeguard product that treats flukes, so that's also in the tank.

-1st stage of salt is in.

-Purchased the Python water powered vac.

-Water test about 30min ago still showed zeros for amonia/nitrite/nitrate

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What ingredients does Tetra Lifeguard contain? Please be careful when using meds that claim to treat flukes. There are products that add harmful active ingredients. You only need prazi, fenbendazole or flubendazole. Prazipro is available in petstores or online stores. Droncit is available in veterinary clinics.

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Active ingredient is listed as: 1-chloro-2,2,5,5,-tetramethyl-4-imidazolidinone

Just tested the water and amonia, and nitrites are starting to come up slightly into the "stress/caution" zones of below .3 on amonia and below .5 on the nitrates.

Can I be doing PWC's with meds in the water? If so, would it be a process where I'd wait 24hrs for the meds to get as used up as possible, and then do a PWC, and then add the next round of meds, and put back the salt?

Red streaks in tail appear to be getting lighter and moving more toward the tip of the tail. The red spot in that lower right mouth corner area is also fading, but the sluffing area of skin on the lip is a little bigger. But, he's back to picking at the gravel, although more cautiously.....I guess an indication that the lip hurts?

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I am not sure I'd feel comfortable dosing meds with vague ingredients (unless you're a chemist). That's why I stay away from meds that register ion complex or something close to that.

No, when you perform a water change, you also need to redose med after a water change per water volume replaced. Some meds tend to deactivate after awhile so a full redose is needed. I don't do that with antibiotics though. I just try to do a large water change and redose per water volume replaced.

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Well, I couldn't find the Prazi today, so I went with the Tetra product.

I'm still not understanding the proper PWC method while I'm medicating.

I understand that after a PWC I need to replace the salt to whatever % I'm using. No problem.

But with the Maracyn Two; Does it lessen the benefit of the antibiotic when I do a PWC, or does it not matter because right after the PWC, I can put in dose #2 of the Maracyn Two?

I'm new to this, so if you can spell it out like you were talking to a bag of hammers, that'd be great!

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-Removed all chemical filtration media from the filter and added dose #1 of Maracyn Two.

U were dosing with Maracyn b4.. U said u had done two doses. Why did u STOP the Maracyn and start Maracyn 2??

Well, I couldn't find the Prazi today, so I went with the Tetra product

I agree with Lupin... I wouldn't be using the Tetra product at all...

Like I said, I would have recommended NO meds at this point other than salt and prazi.. The PraziPro contains no other ingredients and is very safe for the fish. When u start getting other medications that's not the case. I also said to continue with the Maracyn since u had started it already. Since once u start a med u must continue it. But I didn't say to stop and then start Maracyn Two..

I'm really confused now with why u are treating with what u r treating with.. Right now I am more concerned with all the various meds being used, then with the amount of meds going back in after partial water changes... And that actually depends on the medication.. Certain ones need to be replaced exactly like u would with salt...Certain ones u can just do the next dose if u are doing the partial water change right b4 the meds added. I ended up contacting a bunch of companies when I needed to use antibiotics.. For example.. When I used API Triple Sulfa I was told that I could do a daily partial water change prior to the new dose, and still only add ONE dose of the meds. While other meds u actually need to replace what WAS in the tank, then add the new dose..

So to me it's not a simple answer.. (Maybe I am still confused on this one.. but thats what I was told).

But like I said... I wouldn't be using the Tetra, and I really really don't understand why u stopped Maracyn and started Maracyn 2?????

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My apologies for not following the advice to the letter.

Regarding doing harm to my biofilter. This is all new.....new tank, new filter. So the biofilter isn't alive yet. IMO, the priority right now is getting the fish medicated and I can worry about cycling the tank after that. From what I'm seeing, I can cope with the water quality via partial changes and that's now easier and faster with the Python that hooks to the sink faucet.

Regarding the choice to switch to Maracyn Two. The filter contained brand new activated carbon during the first day of the Maracyn treatment, so it sucked up all the medicine. On second day, while the carbon was removed, there was still 2 other granual type chemical filter products inside the filter....so I'm guessing they sucked up all or most of the second dose. It appeared Maracyn Two was the better choice, so that's what I went with yesterday, with no chemical filtration.

Regarding the choice of the Tetra "Lifeguard" product. I've now been to 3 stores and non carried the Prazi. So I had to make a decision based on my options. Could probably order it online, but don't want to wait the several days for it to arrive and in the meantime, if the fish does have flukes, they're multiplying exponentially, and the fish is getting sicker and sicker.

Did a 50% water change this morning, put the salt back to .2% where it was, and the new doses of antbiotics and anti-fluke and haven't fed them since now I've removed all the carbon and other chemical filtration and I need to keep the toxins as low as possible. The tail and mouth continue to look better and the behavior remains normal, as does the appetite.

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