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Help For Dorothy


Rachelle K.

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Background: About two months ago, I had my larger Ryukin, Dorothy, in a five gallon tank with 3 white cloud minnows. There were issues with the Ryukin trying to eat the floating flake food for the minnows and due to previous swim bladder issues in another Ryukin I had, I decided to give away the minnows. Then, my filter broke on the 5-gallon tank so I bought another one but did not have the time to cycle it through for several weeks so I started added Nutrafin to the 5-gallon tank instead. I then purchase the API Master Test Kit and noticed I was having a hard time getting my water quality to where it should be. I worked on it but at the same time decided to add a smaller Ryukin to the tank (which was a mistake but with the intent of moving them both to my 10-gallon tank once the water quality was good). Until tonight, I had a really hard time with it. My pH was 6.0 and I couldn't seem to get it to increase. My Ammonia was 1-2 ppm (usually 1 after doing a water change but I couldn't get it lower than that even when I did a 50% water change). My nitrites were also 1-2 ppm and my nitrates were 40-80 ppm. So tonight, I made the decision to take 75% of the water out of the 5 gallon tank (3.75 gallons) and add 6.25 gallons of clean water to the 10-gallon tank. I added Stress Coat, AmQuel Plus, pH Up (2 doses after the first one didn't work), Nutrafin cycle and aquarium salts. I let it cycle through for a bit with the filter in the 10 gallon and all the old (and some new decor) put in the tank as well. The test results below are AFTER I did all of this. I was actually able to get my nitrites down to 0 ppm 3 or 4 days ago so that wasn't a concern this evening. It was the pH, ammonia, and nitrates I was concerned about. I am also a little worried that I brought the pH up so quickly (from 6.0 to 7.2) and am not sure how Ryukins handle this or if it stresses them.

[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level? 0 ppm

[*]Nitrite Level? 0 ppm

[*]Nitrate level? 10 ppm

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7.2

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

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? ATI Master Freshwater Test Kit, Drops

[*]Water temperature? Unknown...I don't have a thermometer

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 10 gallons. Just set up tonight.

[*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)? Aqua Clear 20....Runs at 100 gph (bought a month ago)

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? Recently, daily or every other day 10-15% water changes. Usually 25-30% every 2 weeks

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 2 Red Ryukins. Larger one is 4 inches. Smaller one is 1 and 1/2 inches.

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? API Stress Coat, API pH Up (pH was very low previous to tonight), Kodron AmQuel Plus (had high

ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates even after multiple water changes), API Aquarium Salts, Nutrafin Cycle (to help cycle tank after adding new filter)

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? Hikari Lionhead Sinking Pellets. I just started giving them blood worms yesterday and plan to add brine shrimp and veggies to their diet as well

[*]Any new fish added to the tank? 2 months ago, added in smaller ryukin after getting rid of 3 minnows

[*]Any medications added to the tank? Added Melafix everyday for a week....this was about 2 months ago because the larger fish had white cloud on his eyes. I did the appropriate water change after the 7th day of dosing. I haven't noticed any recurrence of the white cloud.

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? NO! Both fish have beautiful fins.....not at all frayed. No spots or streaks on either of their bodies

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? The larger Ryukin (the one I'm concerned about) swims around a little bit but seems to tire really easily and almost sink to the bottom of the tank. He is eating just fine (as is the smaller ryukin). The other thing that concerns me about the larger Ryukin is his poop. His poop is normally reddish brownish and very long. But, for the past month or so it is white and stringy. At times he even poops these translucent bubbles that look like linked sausages in terms of their formation. I haven't noticed any red or brown poop in at least a week. I am unsure whether the issue (with pooping) is parasitic in nature or constipation. I offerd him some lettuce this evening and he was uninterested.

Any help would be appreciated! My daughter and I love Dorothy and would hate to lose her or our smaller ryukin, Bella.

Rachelle

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Hi Rachel,

Welcome to KGW!

The first issue we have is the tank size. Do you know that both ryukins need a space of at least 15g per fish? Do you know that ryukins can easily gain a humongous size of 8-10 inches when given the best conditions? Yes, they do grow that large and in order for you to accomplish that feat, they must be housed in a tank as large as possible. If at all possible, the bare minimum tank size I'd give them is at least 30g. The bigger, the better. And the less likely they'll get stunted as stunting will simply make them more vulnerable to floaty issues and shorten their life span. When their body stops growing while the vital organs keep growing in disproportionate ratio, the time will come they will have difficulty balancing themselves. They'll be very miserable as a result.:(

I suggest upgrading the tank ASAP. Is it possible for you? If a large tank is not an option for the time being, I'd just try a large fiberglass tub or rubbermaid tub.

Secondly, please check your KH (carbonate hardness) and GH (general hardness). If your pH is fluctuating, please understand that the pH up chemical is only a temporary solution. In time when it wears off especially during water changes, your pH will fluctuate again which will eventually kill your fish. I suggest that you check both hardness levels and correct properly with natural solutions such as adding a bowl or two of crushed corals in your tank.

For more information on hardness, please read this.

http://www.e-aquarium.com.au/water-hardness.htm

Thirdly, stop using the Melafix. According to your data about the symptoms they exhibited, none requires the use of Melafix.

I'll try to continue this post later. I'm running out of time but I hope I addressed a few essentials for now that you need to address.:heart

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Okay, I'm back. Now to add more thoughts including those you may need soon.

With regards to the poop, the stringy white poop is associated with various issues. It is not very easy to determine what exactly the cause could be. I'll ask you a few vital questions in connection to the poop.

1. How did the fish react to the other foods, bloodworms in particular? No fish can ever resist the smell of bloodworms that they find somehow appetizing. Not even pure vegetarians can which causes them digestive issues in the process. Not that goldfish are one of those pure vegetarians. They're omnivorous.

2. Did you blanch or cook the lettuce? Leaving it raw is fine and raw is always best as cooking the vegetables diminish the nutritional quality.

3. Does the fish in question look bloated at all?

4. How do the gills look? Pale? Deep red?

Quarantine procedures. I don't think I saw anything that indicates you quarantined the smaller ryukin. It would be preferable if you have a spare tank for hospital or quarantine purposes. Of course, a tub is another option but a tank, preferably 10-15g will always be better since you are able to check your fish much more efficiently than a tub with side view limitation. When you consider quarantining every new fish, quarantine EVERY new fish you get for at least 3-4 weeks. Always have spare medicines in your first aid kit but be sure you know what you're doing. Don't treat UNLESS you know what exactly is going on. If not sure, you can always ask here. A few essentials are aquarium salt, praziquantel, metronidazole/metromeds, iodine solution/hydrogen peroxide and then spare heater and filter.

How much salt was added by the way?

At this point, what we can do now is simply keep water quality on top by doing water changes. Fortnight water changes are very inadequate. For two goldfish in a 10g, I would do daily or 4x a week at the very least until they are moved to a bigger tank. You may add some live plants to help with the water quality particularly Egeria densa, although chances are good this particular plant may get obliterated by your ryukins once they regain their appetite. If you added too much salt, the plants will only end up wither. They may likely survive a teaspoon per gallon dosage though (which I think out to suffice for the time being although this still does not replace water changes which is more important).

Hope this helps so far.

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Hi Lupin,

Thanks for your reply. To answer a few of your questions.....I am aware that Ryukins need 10 gallons per fish since they do grow large. What I have done in the past is upgrade as they grow. Since I only have 5 inches of fish in the 10 gallon, I thought this would be plenty sufficient for a month or so. When I moved several years ago, I sold all my fish supplies and larger tanks. :o( I have literally spent $100 over the past couple weeks on test kits, pH adjusters, AmQuel, etc.....so I am not in the position right now to buy a bunch of supplies although I will as soon as I am able. I will however purchase the test for KH and GH....and the corals to put in the tank. My pH seems to not stay where it's at. Example, last night I got it up to 7.2...this morning it was down to 6.0 again! So, more pH up as I realize 6.0 is much too acidic for these fish. How much crushed coral should I add to the 10 gallon tank? I do still have the 5 gallon tank that I could put the small Ryukin in temporarily but I don't have a filter for the tank since I am using it for my 10 gallon. Suggestions?

About the Melafix, it says on the bottle that it treats eye cloud (which my Ryukin had). When I used it for the 7 days suggested, the eye cloud cleared up and hasn't returned for the past month....so I haven't used any Melafix except that one time to treat the eye cloud. Sorry, perhaps I confused you in my orignal post by saying "white cloud" instead of eye cloud....it was late. :o) The eye cloud was getting progressively worse which is why I chose to treat it. What else should I have done to clear it up?

About the poop:

1) Both fish loved the bloodworms. In fact, both of their appetites have been just fine. Both are eating normally. The smaller Ryukin is popping just fine and doesn't seem distressed at all. The larger Ryukin is the issue. I'm wondering if I should hold the food for 2-3 days and then feed only deshelled peas for a few days to see if it may be constipation and that may clear it up? Suggestions on that? I think I read that on this forum actually but wanted to double check. Since the larger Ryukin is eating fine but not pooping normally, I imagine his food is not being digested or excreted. One thing I realized is that I HAVE to soak the Hikari pellets before I feed the fish. I was not aware of this. Geesh....I thought I did plenty of research but obviously not. :o(

2) Lettuce: I left it raw and they were not at all interested. Would it help to tear it up into tiny pieces or is a veggie clip recommended?

3) My fish does not look bloated that I can tell. He seems to have the same size belly and it seems appropriate to the rest of his body. He's not having any flotation issues that would suggest swim bladder problems and it seems like last night he became more active for an hour or two....I'm not sure if this was due to me bringing the pH up to normal and getting rid of the ammonia or not. This morning the pH is low again (6.0) and the ammonia is now 0.25 ppm (up from 0 ppm last night). I added some additional pH Up but not sure if I should keep adding it until I get the pH up to at least 7.0? I don't want to stress my fish anymore than I already have.

4) Gills: I am having a difficult time viewing the gills as my fish is only shallowly opening them. From the outside, they are deep orange just like the rest of its body. From the little bit I can see, the gills look red.

As far as the aquarium salt, I add it as directed. I believe it's 1/2 rounded tsp. per gallon and I only add as much as the fresh water I put it. So if I were to change out 4 gallons, I would add 2 tsp.

In terms of water changes, would once a week (25%) be better than fortnight water changes? How much should I ideally be changing out once a week?

I do have a combined media that has carbon and material to bind up the ammonia. Should I put that in my filter now instead of the plain carbon that's in there currently?

Thanks for all your help!! I obviously have a lot to learn....I don't remember it being this complicated with my last ryukin or my tropical fish tank....

Rachelle

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The water in Washington is very soft. For your pH concerns, try to find some crushed coral, a cupful or so will be enough, and don't use pH Up. I agree with Lupin you're going to have a tough time try to keep your two fish in a 10 gal. I take the 10 gal has not finished the cycle? Daily water change with AmQuel Plus is a must.

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P.S.

Hi, I just saw your last post. You do need daily water changes until your tank is cycled, 30%-40% depending on ammonia/nitrite level. Your first goal is to cycle and stabilize the tank. (And it is easier to accomplish this with a bigger tank.) If I remember right, AmQuel Plus will detoxify ammonia/nitrite/nitrate for 24 hours (please check the bottle for this) to keep your fish safe until the following day's water change. And again, do not use pH Up--in soft water like ours, it's a recipe for a disaster. I wouldn't worry about adding extra stuff in your filter. You just need some media for the beneficial bacteria such as media rocks/cylinders (came with the filter?) or sponge/floss material, and add some crushed coral in a mesh bag. As for food/poop concerns, first thing I would do is to stop feeding. Digesting food is such an ordeal for many fancy goldfish that it can actually add more stress on them. Given they're not malnourished thus far, they'll do better at dealing with the current unstable environment without all the tummy troubles.

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Got it!

1. I don't presoak Hikari Lionhead. I just let my fish eat them as soon as I drop them but I make sure to control the number of pellets they eat. Since you seem to be suspecting constipation, I suggest in the next few days, just feed them both with chopped shrimps and green peas. See if that helps. Both fresh foods will help clear off the pellets off their gastrointestinal tract.

2. Use veggie clip and leave it for 24 hours in your tank.

3. And so with Yuko's information about soft water, I think I understand now why your pH is fluctuating. With that much bioload of both your fish, it does cause the pH to acidify very fast. Two bowls of crushed corals will do it. It's for this reason I wanted you to rehome them asap as the larger tank will allow you better control of your water quality aside from increasing their growth rate and lessening the stunting possibility.

No more pH Up. It's going to eventually destroy your fish. Sloughing of slime coat and fine grain spots are two symptoms that will eventually become more evident with them if they continue to live in fluctuating pH conditions. This can kill your fish quickly.

4. Noted. It seems to me water quality is the main issue at this point. Even if ammonia is high with acidic pH, most of it would be converted to ammonium. The pH is easily more the problem with its fluctuation since high nitrate contribute to acidifying it.

5. Cloudy eyes are a result of either injury, poor water quality or both. Melafix itself is not needed. Clean water should be your main priority. For issues like this, I don't advocate the use of chemicals to sort them fast. They're only temporary solutions. Clean water is your permanent solution.

6. Weekly is always better than fortnight. The water volume needed to be changed will depend now to your water quality. It will be easier if you either move one of your goldfish or move both into a larger container. Is there a chance getting a large fiberglass tub?

7. I'd just keep the carbon and the other media for ammonia aside for now. Water changes and crushed corals are your main priority. Once you're done putting the ammonia and nitrite back to zero again, once you also place the crushed corals inside the tank in two bowls, I'd adjust dose rate of salt to a teaspoon per gallon. The two bowls of crushed corals may need to be cleaned periodically to remove organic materials accumulating in them.

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Okay, so I just bought some additional supplies today. I tested the GH and KH. The GH was 75 ppm and the KH was 0 ppm. I am suspecting that the 0 ppm KH is what is keeping my pH from maintaining more of a neutral reading. So, I have the crushed coral and will put two bowls of that in the tank. How big should the bowls be for a 10-gallon tank? Can they be plastic tupperware bowls?

I am also going to look at a 29 gallon tank, stand, and canopy tomorrow that someone is selling on Craigslist. Any advice for setting this one up given that it's a used tank and I don't want to stress the fish any further? If I end up with the 29 gallon, then I can use my 10 gallon as a hospital tank as suggested.

I will start doing daily water changes for a while until I can get the tank properly cycled. If the ammonia is between 0.25 and 0.5 ppm, would you recommend a 25% (or less) water change every day?

Rachelle

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Okay, so I just bought some additional supplies today. I tested the GH and KH. The GH was 75 ppm and the KH was 0 ppm. I am suspecting that the 0 ppm KH is what is keeping my pH from maintaining more of a neutral reading. So, I have the crushed coral and will put two bowls of that in the tank. How big should the bowls be for a 10-gallon tank? Can they be plastic tupperware bowls?

I am also going to look at a 29 gallon tank, stand, and canopy tomorrow that someone is selling on Craigslist. Any advice for setting this one up given that it's a used tank and I don't want to stress the fish any further? If I end up with the 29 gallon, then I can use my 10 gallon as a hospital tank as suggested.

I will start doing daily water changes for a while until I can get the tank properly cycled. If the ammonia is between 0.25 and 0.5 ppm, would you recommend a 25% (or less) water change every day?

You mentioned the chopped shrimp and peas to help clear the fish out....Would the frozen brine shrimp I have be sufficient. I also have regular frozen shrimp that I could thaw and chop if that would be better. I don't have any peas at the moment but perhaps the veggie clip will help as well?

Rachelle

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Hi Rachelle,

The plastic ware will be fine as long as they are new and clean. Porcelain bowls are another option. I always fancy those honestly especially if they look decorative. Is your tank barebottom? Better remove all trhe substrate and replace with bowls of crushed corals. I forgot to ask you if your tank has substrate or not.

Then bleach the new tank you get. Dispose the old filter media which may harbor bad bacteria and parasites but retain and clean the used filter. Dispose the old substrate in the garden.

For fish, clean water is always best. I'd say 25-50% or until ammonia and nitrite are both zero.

Anf then frozen brine shrimp is fine. So are chopped market shrimps as long as these ones are washed properly and chopped into pieces small enough for them to swallow easily. If you have to use leafy vegetables, you can still stab them with a spoon to weigh them down if you don't have a veggie clip yet.

Hope this helps!

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I have large porcelin bowls....cereal sized bowls. I don't have any porcelin bowls smaller than that. The plastic bowls I have are not new but they are clean. I have about an inch of gravel along with some decorative polished stones and a few smooth river rocks in the tank. Does the gravel affect the pH or something? 1/2 of the gravel is new and the other 1/2 is from the old tank. Can I ask the purpose of the bowls? Why can't the crushed coral be scattered in the bottom of the tank? How long will it take the crushed coral to neutralize the pH?

I will do a 25% water change this evening along with adding some brine shrimp. I did get a veggie clip today so I will attach some lettuce to that until tomorrow night. Hopefully this will clear the Ryukin out if constipation is the issue.

Thanks again,

Rachelle

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Another option which I prefer for crushed coral is to put a couple cups of it into those mesh aquarium bags that are sold at pet stores. Then you can place the mesh bag into your filter box. I just think it's easier to deal with and cleaner that way :) The mesh would have to be fairly fine though to make sure it all stays contained. Also make sure you rinse the crushed coral really well before adding it to your tank to get all the particulates off. If you don't, it will turn your water slightly milky.

Edited by Sakura
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I have large porcelin bowls....cereal sized bowls. I don't have any porcelin bowls smaller than that. The plastic bowls I have are not new but they are clean. I have about an inch of gravel along with some decorative polished stones and a few smooth river rocks in the tank. Does the gravel affect the pH or something? 1/2 of the gravel is new and the other 1/2 is from the old tank. Can I ask the purpose of the bowls? Why can't the crushed coral be scattered in the bottom of the tank? How long will it take the crushed coral to neutralize the pH?

I will do a 25% water change this evening along with adding some brine shrimp. I did get a veggie clip today so I will attach some lettuce to that until tomorrow night. Hopefully this will clear the Ryukin out if constipation is the issue.

Thanks again,

Rachelle

The river rocks may be inert so not much. From the looks of the situation going on, both your substrate and rocks are inert as the pH just keeps going down easily.

The bowls are supposed to hold the crushed corals in place so you won't have to vacuum them to clean them. You can freely remove the bowls of crushed corals out of the tank for cleaning. It is much easier that way. Test your water after 12 hours and see the difference in pH and hardness levels. You want your pH to be on alkaline side as goldfish prefer the alkaline side. Doesn't matter if it goes up to 8.

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Update: Okay, so I did a 25% water change last night in addition to giving the fish some brine shrimp and lettuce on a veggie clip. I added 3 rounded tsp. of aquarium salt and the recommended dose of stress coat for the 2 and 1/2 gallons I changed out. I then did my water quality testing this morning, about an hour ago, and things are looking better.

pH: 7.2 (FINALLY!)

GH: 75 ppm (where should this be ideally?)

KH: 80 ppm (where should this be ideally?)

Ammonia: 0.25 ppm (Should I do another 25% water change this morning or should I start doing 50-75% water changes every night?)

Nitrite: 0 ppm

Nitrate: 20 ppm (Is this within normal range and what does this say about where the aquarium is at in the cycle?)

Chlorine: 0 ppm

My fish seemed to be a little more active last night after the water change and seems to be a little more active this morning but she is still swimming just a little bit (a lap around the tank) and then she sinks right back to the bottom of the tank again. But I think it's a good sign that she is swimming more than she was (even if they are just short spurts followed by sitting on the bottom). Could her constipation (if that's what the issue is as opposed to parasites or another illness) be causing this?

I also have a question on gill function. I imagine that the gills are related to the "respiratory" system of the fish (kind of like us breathing). How many times should I see her gills opening and closing in a one minute period (or isn't there a range for that)?

Rachelle

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Dang! Your water is really soft just as Yuko said! Were you able to add crushed corals? I must have missed this one. How much crushed corals were added?

Does she still look bloated at all? What about the poop? I'd still do what I advised earlier.

Since you seem to be suspecting constipation, I suggest in the next few days, just feed them both with chopped shrimps and green peas. See if that helps. Both fresh foods will help clear off the pellets off their gastrointestinal tract.

The gills are part of her respiratory system. Hmmm...I've never counted clearly the normal gill movement other than distinguish between normal and labored breathing. Is her breathing seemingly laborous?

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Thanks Lupin for all your help. I put two bowls with approximately 1 cup of coral in each, in the tank.

My pH this evening (before my water change) was 7.4.

The ammonia had crept up to 0.5 ppm.

I will see where the ammonia level is in the morning to try and figure out exactly how much water I should change out every night in order to get to ammonia to 0 ppm.

I did a 60% water change this evening. I used stress coat as usual but it seems like the AmQuel also dechlorinates the water in addition to handling the ammonia. So, do I ONLY use the AmQuel for my dechlorinator when I do water changes? I also rinsed out the sponge type thing in the bottom of the filter. There was a alot of green stuff in the very bottom too but I wasn't sure if I should be cleaning the actual filter or not seeing as it needs time to build up the good bacteria. Recommendations for now on the filter?

I fed the fish some chopped frozen shrimp this morning and by the time I got home my fish seemed very active! I also changed out the veggie clip and put lettuce on this one again in addition to some broccoli. I did see my larger Ryukin poop a little bit. It was back to normal size (not the thin stringy white stuff that was caught in plants and such). It looked to be the exact color as the frozen shrimp so I'm hoping this is helping to clean her out. Watching my fish at the moment, I don't think I've seen her sink to the bottom of the tank once in the last hour or so which is a HUGE improvement. The smaller fish also seems more active too.

What is the goal as far as my GH and KH and how do I get it there? Will the crushed coral alone take care of this?

I did look at that 29 gallon tank tonight and it was filthy and the stand did not look sturdy (it was homemade) so I will keep looking but am not sure I can afford it right now anyway. Right now, I have one inch of fish per 2 gallons which I think is adequate for now as long as I get and keep the ammonia at 0 (as well as keeping the other parameters within range). Once my tank is cycled, I'll do water changes several times a week if that's what I need to do until I can afford something bigger.....unless of course you have an extra $300 for me?! :o)

Thank you for all of the education. It has been a huge help and I feel much better knowing that my fish are happy in non-acidic water. I feel so bad that I had no idea before that my water was so acidic. The fish were eating and swimming and totally healthy. So glad I purchased the test kit!

Rachelle

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Oh...and I forgot to mention that my fish was never bloated looking, not that I could tell anyway.

I know what labored breathing looks like in a human (I'm graduating from RN school next quarter) but what does it look like in a fish?

Rachelle

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Hey Rachelle!

I'd aim for at least 150 ppm of hardness level. Have you tested the hardness levels again? You can add more crushed corals if there is gradual increase. Hopefully, it'll stay that well. By the way, when you do water changes, please be sure to check carefully your hardness levels as the new water may cause your hardness to fall again. You can always age the water by adding crushed corals there and even aerating it so it'll be ready for use the next time you make another water change again. I'd get a large storage container for this purpose. It's so frustrating when you have soft water while keeping fish that prefers the opposite. Patience, patience though...

Yes, you can use the Amquel by itself. All you need to add for every water change is simply dechlorinator to bind chlorine, chloramine and heavy metals as they are designed for. No stresscoat needed. I never use one if I can help it, not even if my fish had skin infection problems. I rely more on salt and water changes to do the fixes for me. Natural fixes help more than artificial (and even abnormal) fixes. The stresscoat usually is aloe vera based but the fish can produce slime coating just as quickly as aloe vera prompts them so. The overproduction of mucus would only suffocate the fish anyway.

Labored breathing for fish is usually fast beating of the gill covers with mouth open. The fish gets erratic in the process. When this happens, you need to check water quality to rule out poor water as the cause and then keep water well aerated to rule out the depletion of oxygen as another probable cause. Parasites also contribute to this issue. It's for this reason I also recommend checking if the gills are healthy red or pale. Pale gills indicate even organ failure (in dropsy cases) and then bleeding gills possibly by parasites attacking the tissues.

As for your filter, clean it out only when it clogs or the water flow is slowing down. At this point, I don't think you need to.

If the stand or the 29g uncycled remains an issue, I suggest getting a tub that is at least 30g until you can sort the tank better.:) I don't think tubs are that expensive even for temporary use. Better have enough space than confine the two continuously in a smaller tank. They'll feel much better there.

Glad to hear your fish are improving a lot! It'd be nicer if they're back healthy 100%.:heart

Edited by Lupin
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Hi Lupin,

Update: Dorothy was very active last night for several hours. The fish were swimming together and chasing each other along with nibbling on the lettuce an broccoli. But, this morning she was back to sitting at the bottom of the tank again! I don't understand given her activity level last night and my near perfect water quality today. Okay, here are my current water quality readings for this morning:

pH: 7.2

Ammonia: 0 ppm (finally!)

Nitrite: 0 ppm

Nitrate: 10 ppm

Chlorine: 0 ppm

GH: 75 ppm

KH: 40 ppm

WATER HARDNESS: I have been continually (2-3 times a day) checking water quality,including hardness, before and after each nightly water change. I also have been checking my parameters of the water before I add it to the tank. The only number that seems to differ between the tap and the water in the aquarium is the KH so I will try adding crushed corals to the water the night before to see if I can get my water hardness to increase. Could Dorothy's issue simply be a hardness issue? Would that be enough to make her so lethargic?

LABORED BREATHING: She doesn't seem to be doing what you are describing. She does open her mouth really wide occassionally (just once in the last hour). Is this just to move water through her gills? The gills are definitely not moving quickly. Seems like the same as my other fish.

FILTER: I don't mean completely clean out the filter. But I have 3 media componets within the filter. The one at the very bottom is a rough sponge like thing. That is what I was wondering if I should rinse out every 2-3 weeks.

AQUARIUM: Can we please not talk about the bigger tank anymore? Please don't take offense to this, but the only thing it's accomplishing is frustration on my end (which I realize is not your intent). I am a single parent, in school full time (graduating next quarter with my RN), living off student loans and grants, and cannot afford a tank and ALL the stuff that I have to buy with it. What I CAN do is save over the next 2-3 months for a stand and tank and filter. My fish do seem very happy even though the larger one is not 100% healthy right now. I have always (with all my fish) upgraded the tank as my fish grew. My last goldfish that I had for 15 years grew to 9 inches. It would not surprise me if he is still alive. I sold him when I moved out of state. My point is that not every person who comes on this forum is well off enough to spend money on tanks and stands, etc.....especially not in this economy. I just want you to be aware that the continuous mention of the larger tank only leaves me feeling bad and with no way to fix it right now. I have spent $200 on fish supplies in the last few weeks and have stretched myself so thin that I'm not sure I even have enough to pay my next bill. I have done this because I obviously care about my fish and their health. There is only so much I can do right now and I am doing it. Any suggestions that don't have to do with a larger aquarium or tub (as that also requires a filter and somewhere to put it)are very much valued and appreciated!

Thanks again for all your help and for your concern and care about my fish.

Rachelle

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Okay, something else going on now.....Now Dorothy is up at the top of the water, skimming the surface....opening and closing her mouth very fast. She has been doing this for 40 minutes. She comes down briefly and right back up again. It looks like she is drinking the water althought I'm sure it has something to do with oxygen. I just checked my water quality less than 4 hours ago and it was fine (see prior post for numbers). I am concerned that her constipation may be more than that. Is there another reason that would cause her not to poop normally besides consipation and parasites? My fish still has the white stringy poop but now I'm not sure if that because I am only feeding her shrimp to help clear her out or because she is not getting enough food.

My other fish is swimming around happily and not displaying any of the same behavior. I will try a 50% water change right now to see if that helps. Does the water coming out of the filter need to disturb the water surface a little bit? Could my water level be too high which causes no turbulence in the water which lead to not enough oxygen?

Rachelle

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The KH fell again I see.:undecided: I'd try adding more crushed corals and match the new water's hardness with the tank's.

High water especially if it's near the filter output does prevent a more vigorous surface agitation. Either lower water level or elevate the filter a bit. You can still add airpump to help with aeration.

I wonder if gill flukes may be involved here. Have you treated them with prazi before?

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I've bolded my questions on this post to make it easier for you to see.

I am not positive that the KH actually fell. When I measured it last night, it was really hard for me to tell based on the color chart if it was 40 ppm or 80 ppm. I think I may have mispoken with saying 80....as it's been more clearly 40 every other time I've checked it. I realize this is still not ideal though so I will add another cup of crushed coral and see if that helps. Can I just put it directly in the tank after thorough rinsing? I don't mind vacuuming it to clean it but just wasn't sure if there was another reason to not put it directy in the tank

Okay, what I did was take the lid completely off the tank and lowered the water level by about an inch. This seems to agitate the water much more. At first she kept swimming through the bubbles but now she is back to swimming normally, like she was last night. So, I think it's an oxygenation issue. How much of an opening should I have around the filter and canopy? Right now there's just a little space around the filter. Could this also affect oxygenation?

I have never treated Dorothy with anything but the Melafix a few months ago. What is gill flukes and how would I know she has it? How do I know if it's parasites vs. constipation? I still have not seen her poop normal.

Hopefully she didn't suck in so much air earlier to give her swim bladder issues!

Rachelle

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You can put it in the tank directly after rinsing, but it may be more effective to put it in the filter box in a mesh bag, or if you can't go to a pet store, regular old pantyhose will work just fine. This way the water gets filtered through the coral and the coral will buff the water more quickly.

I don't think the level around the canopy will affect oxygenation, but lowering the water level will help especially in warmer temperatures. The warmer the water is, the less oxygen there will be in the water.

Flukes are a deadly gill parasite if left untreated that hinder the fish' ability to breathe. This is most likely the cause of your lovely girl's surface gasping. It is basically guaranteed that all fish will have gill flukes. Some fish have more severe cases than others. You will want to get some prazi pro to treat for flukes. This will kill the flukes and keep the numbers under control. :D Fear not though, if money is tight this can wait or you can try finding it on sale online.

What do her poos look like? White clear and stringy? Or long?

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Well, ever since I took the water level down about an inch and now that the water surface it more agitated, she seems fine. If it were gill flukes, would she be continually up at the surface....I will see if the water level takes care of that issue and see if keeping my water quality up will prevent her from sinking to the bottom of the tank. She has been very active this evening, again, once I got the water level down.

I am still keeping an eye on her for possible swim bladder issues. It just seems like if she is not actively swimming, her back end floats up until she starts swimming again but I'm not sure if that is normal. She either spending A LOT of time looking for food or it's a swim bladder issue. :o)

She poop has been white and somewhat short for her, for a few weeks now. At times, she poops out these clear bubbles. They are oval shaped and linked together like sausages almost. But then other times it is white and stringy. When giving her the pellets in the past, her poop has always been well formed, reddish/brownish in color , and an inch or two long (I was probably overfeeding her). But I haven't seen her poop like that for weeks. Can gill flukes give them parasites in other parts of their body that would affect digestion or is it just the gills?

Rachelle

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