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Septicemia


Cynders

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  • Regular Member

I've been seeing this a lot lately on the forum, and I was hoping this thread would help out newer members who may be thinking that their fish has septicemia. Most often, it's not septicemia, but rather poor water quality causing the blood streaks.

I thought I might post some tips that will prevent users from buying that icky expensive medicine that does more harm than good, and so it'll save them time and energy in treating their fish. :)

1. Before doing as a pet store employee says, check the forums or ask a question. We love questions! Many times when 'blood-streaked fins' is mentioned to employees, the employees jump on the septicemia wagon and immediately advise medications.

2. These medications can kill your cycle if you're just starting out with goldfish and are cycling your tank with fish in it. This can be detrimental to the health of the aquarium

3. Test your water. If you are currently cycling your tank, check the ammonia levels and nitrite levels. Ammonia and nitrite are more often than not the causes of red streaked fins. When cycling the tank you want to keep the ammonia under 1 as well as the nitrite. Aim to have them at 0 at all times. There are many cycling bacteria buffers such as nutrafin cycle that you can use to help keep the ammonia and nitrite processed. You can also use Prime water conditioner to neutralize the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

4. If your water quality is perfect, please don't hesitate to ask!

I really hope this bit of info helps out a lot of newer members who may be scared that their fish has septicemia. Sometimes red streaks in fins can take weeks to go away.

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I absolutely agree with you Tay.

Another reason can be bacterial infection like Hugo had it. I still think that somehow the rough textured gravel caused it, since her tail brushes over the bottom of the tank a lot. Even though I did thorough gravel vacuuming twice a week, I have to say.

But I guess since the gravel was originally epoxy coated, and the coating came partly off over the course of 16 months, there was more room for some sort of bacteria that caused Hugo's tail to get an infection.

I treated it with pristine water and salt, and slowly removed the gravel and replaced it first with river stones (very smooth surface and no way a goldfish can pick it up and choke on it), and now I went to completely bare bottom.

It took a good long time until the redness was mostly gone. It still is slightly there after probably a couple months, but barely visible.

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This is a great post, Tay!

You are so right when you said that pet store employees are quick to suggest a medication to make a sale. Occasionally there will be a knowledgeable staff member, but often they often aren't very informed. It is so important to do your own research and ask questions!

I had no clue what I was doing when I first started out. I was basing all of my fishkeeping decisions off of what a store employee was telling me. It wasn't until I started doing my own research and until I found kokos that I really began to understand about fishkeeping.

I'm rambling a bit....

What I am getting at is: posts like yours are such great tools to becoming more informed! Knowledge is POWER! It's wonderful that kokos offers a place where people can share their experiences and knowledge to other goldie lovers :)

I love my goldies even more because of it.

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So, just out of curiosity, is there any way to differentiate between the physical symptoms of septicemia and water-quality induced blood streaks?

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Thanks Allie! It's very true, everyone has something to contribute and it's such a nice place here.

It's usually very hard to differentiate the symptoms, but usually with septicemia the fish will become extremely lethargic. It sometimes involes an internal infection. I think the best way to rule it out is if you have ammonia do the water change and if they fish goes back to normal, the ammonia was the issue.

Perhaps we should start posting on this topic on how to recognize septicemia? If anyone has more knowledge on this subject please do share. I've rarely seen septicemia in goldfish especially since everyone here is so on top of their water changes.

Edited by Haruka
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The reason I first sought out help here and joined Koko's was because my little tiny calico telescope had red streaks in her tail and I thought it was septicemia, so I was using Maracyn 2. It turned out not to be septicemia of course! It was just a brand new aquarium and when I tested ammonia and nitrite, sure enough, they were very high!

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This is helpful. Thank you! My fish has the red streaks on the fins only and is very lethargic and my water quality has been perfect for the past couple months......so I am hoping these last couple days of Marcyn 2 will cure my ryukin. :(

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  • 1 month later...
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My fantail, Susan, has had a blood-streaked tail and is occasionally flashing and tipping up on his nose. He still eats and his fins are not clamped. He occasionally swims around, but spend most of his time resting at the bottom. Yes, Susan is a boy, but I didn't know that when I named him Black-eyed Susan. The other goldfish are fine. When I first noticed the blood around January 10th, the nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia were all perfect. From googling, I suspected septicimia. On the advice of the pet store, I treated him with Maracyn Two. Then on the advice of Wet Web Media, I treated him with a fungicide. Now I'm on the first day of treating him with Maracyn and antibiotic food. The blood is worse in his tail. I'm devastated. I've had Susan for almost five years and I love him.

I have a 55 gallon tank that has been set up for almost 5 years (I completely took it apart and cleaned it after The Great Ammonia Poisoning of 2006. I tend to learn some lessons the hard way.) The water temperature is 72 degrees kept that way with a small heater. I have an aqua-tech 30-60 filter. I do a 25% - 30% water change about every two weeks. I put Stress Coat water conditioner in the water every water change. I rinse the carbon filters if I'm not changing them. I change the filters about once a month to every 6 weeks. I use Jungle Brand Quick Dip strips. PH 8.4, Total Alkalinity was bluer than High 300 Kh ppm, Total Hardness (GH)ppm 0 - 25, Nitrite 0 (No2 ppm mg/L), Nitrate 20 ppm (mg/L). I'm copying the ppm info off of the side of the bottle. The results are identical to my tap water. I always do a tap water control. We have soft water and our local water bubbles up through limestone so the PH is very high. For Ammonia I use API brand drop kit. The results are 0ppm. I have four goldfish - two Fantails and two Ryukins. I feed them Tetra brand goldfish flakes once a day. I have a Dixie cup that I scoop up water in, put the flakes in the cup, and then pour the cup in the tank. This has cut down on the swim bladder disorders. They also have lettuce and orange slices occasionally.

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I think you should start a new thread on this in Diagnosis and Discussion, but I can tell that there is not enough water changes in that tank. You should be doing 50%-80% water changes weekly on the tank :) I would do a large 80-100% water change to get that medicine out. I have no idea why they would suggest fungicide for streaked fins. I would also switch to a sinking pellet feed multiple times a day instead of flakes. Flakes have little to no nutritional value for the fish and once a day is far too little food for them. You also should not be changing the filter media since the beneficial bacteria live there. Only swish them in old tank water to get rid of the gunk. :(

So,

1. do a 100% water change if you can to get that medicine out. The clean water quality will also help.

2. Add 0.1% salt to your tank (1 rounded teaspoon per gallon).

Red streaking in the tail is rarely septicemia, but poor water quality.

Do you know what your nitrite levels are?

Edit: Forgot to ask what antibacterial food? The problems with Maracyn and these fungicides are that they are way too harsh from the fish and have too many medications in them and it may push an already sick fish over the edge.

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Let's not forget that a majority of cases of bacterial infections (septicemia, columnaris, fin rot) are often a consequence of parasitic infections or untreated injuries (graze marks, ammonia burn, etc) so if you are encountering bacterial infections with your fish, please bank on your fish's health history and causes. Fix the issue from there and prevent it from happening again. Resolving the secondary issue without addressing the primary cause will not completely fix everything.

If for instance ich strike and columnaris also strike as a consequence (with ich and columnaris bacteria being symbiotic with each other), then address the ich issue first. Ich is parasitic and these parasites can destroy slime coat allowing the bacteria to infiltrate the blood vessels sickening the fish in the process.

If you are unsure of your assessment, I would advise that you ask here first before you attempt to take matters yourself. You could be wrong in your assessment and may end up damaging the fish more than you are trying to resolve.

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Thank you Haruka! I am new to Koko's Goldfish forum and I need all of the help I can get with both the Forum AND my fish. I will look into how to start a new thread....after I change my tank water. My Nitrites were zero and the antibiotic food is Jungle Brand Anti-batcteria medicated fish food. I'm so glad I found this website!

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  • 2 months later...
  • Regular Member

Just treated my new oranda and im pretty sure he had septicemia, appeared to be constipated, probably had been for a few days before i bought him, the stress of the move etc must of pushed it over the top and he was bloody all over in a matter of hours, Am stoked feeding him only peas sorted his constipation and salt treatment slowly healed his wounds. So glad i didnt bother with antibiotic treatments from the petshop which probably would of made it much worse and possibly ended up very sadly. Now hes very happy indeed, when he was at his worst he was bloody all over, very lethargic, so much so anyone would of thought he was dead he was sitting so still. Broke my heart but so glad i persevered, he is so beautiful :)

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  • 3 months later...
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