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Disappearing Goldfish Fins


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[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level? 0 ppm

[*]Nitrite Level? 0 ppm

[*]Nitrate level? 20 ppm

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7.2-7.8 pH

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7.2-7.8 pH

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? 6 tests in One Strip Quick Dip, Aquarium Multi-Test Kit by Jungle

[*]Water temperature? 75F

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 20 gallons, 6 months

[*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)? Whisper 10-30i (in-tank filtration system)

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? 1x a week, 50%

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 3 (1 common goldfish, 1 red oranda, 1 plecostomus), approximately 2 inches from nose to end of tail fin

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? Tetra Aqua AquaSafe, Prime, and Aquarium Salt

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? 1x a day, Omega One Super Color Flakes

[*]Any new fish added to the tank? No

[*]Any medications added to the tank? No

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

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? No

Hey everyone!

This has been an ongoing problem and I've posted on here before but let me explain again...

May 2010 I purchased a 20 gallon fish tank kit from nooppee. Before I had purchased the 20 gallon tank I had a common goldfish and a common goldfish inside a 5 gallon tank, he was beginning to get bigger so it was time to upgrade. Over the summer, June I believe, I was at my local pet store to look for another fish because I thought my goldfish was so lonely. This lady brought a red oranda back into the store that she had previously purchased 2 days ago. The pet store was going to euthanize the goldfish so I took her home.

Her fins were nearly perfect but had a couple tears in them because of all the stress from transporting her. A few days later her fins completely healed and everything was perfect. A month or so later her fins began to start tearing. I put Melafix in the tank, aquarium salt (1 tsp per US gallon) and did water changes at least 2x a week. Her fins didn't repair nor did they get worse. It is now 5 months later and her fins have been slowly, I mean really slowly, getting worse. Her dorsal fin lost about 2mm on the top (got shorter), her swimmer fins have missing pieces and her tail fin has slits and missing pieces.

I don't know what to do. I took her out about a month ago and created a hospital tank. I left her in there for about 2 weeks and her fins did not show any sign of recovery.

Here is a short video I created so you can see what I am talking about:

I need help. If it were fin rot she would already have died, but she is active and happy as can be. She eats a ton and swims around like crazy.

Please help!


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I think this could possibly be from the pleco, common plecos should not be housed with goldfish at all as they sometimes attack the fish. It could also be water quality, you are really overstocked still and 20 nitrates is a bit too high for goldies so I'd do another water change. Are you able to test your water with a drop test kit?

I'm so sorry her fins aren't looking too good :(

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I think that the filter might have something to do with it too. You need 10X filtration at least and the 10-30i gets no where near that. I only have it on my 20 with a penguin 400 to keep the cycle.

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From what I read, I gotta agree with with Tay, I think it could be the pleco. The tank is rather small for even the common goldfish by himself, but you have another goldfish and a pleco in there. The fancy Oranda is slower than the common, this might be why the pleco gets him instead of the common.

As sad as it is, but you cannot keep that pleco with the goldfish. Maybe you can either rehome him asap or seperate them. I know it is difficult to instantly get another/larger tank, but try to at least get the pleco out of the tank, and then upgrade the goldfish tank to as big as you can go, 29 gallon tank minimum.

If you don't want to give the pleco away you can buy a big plastic food storage tub and keep the pleco in there. They come in 20 gallon for only like 15 dollars. Add a filter and a few rocks or a cave ornament for the pleco to hide in and feel more comfortable, and then maybe you can get him his own tank. The common pleco grows BIG though, these fish can get 18 to 24 inches long! So if you want to keep him he will eventually need at least a 55 gallon tank.

Don't feel too bad, most of us didn't know better when we started out. I did the same thing, had a too small tank and a pleco with my goldfish. Luckily no attacks on the fish yet, but I am about to set a second 55 gallon tank up right now, one with the goldfish and one for the pleco and the few other tropical fish.

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Thank you all for your quick responses!

I'm working on getting rid of the pleco but I don't know what to do with him.

The tank upgrade is a little impossible right now because I have to move back and forth a few times because I'm a college student.

The issue with Big's fins (the oranda), how can I get them better? or will they never repair fully?

Thank you!


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They will. Perfectly clean water and maybe some salt (1 level teaspoon per gallon) to bring the salinity to 0.1% supports the healing. Just make sure it is PURE salt!! Do NOT use table salt. Never use anything that has more than salt as ingredient.

Of course it is going to take a while until it is all healed.

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang
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