Jump to content

Bottom-Sitting Shubunkin


Guest fishy_nz

Recommended Posts

Guest fishy_nz

I have a shubunkin, about 2 years old which has been sitting on the bottom of the tank the last 4 days. It was swimming to eat, but now it is not doing that. If i place it in an isolation net it uses its pectoral fins to keep afloat. It can swim, but the bottom half of it's tail appears to be stiff, the top half is still flowing. A few weeks again i found the fish stuck behind the filter missing the end of the bottom tail half.. but i've just started to see red streaks - ?tail rot. I'm usually really good with water changes, but recently missed 2 because I was away and the person i had feeding them didn't do it. When i came back the tank glass was covered in algae so i did a 50% water change and it's since then the shubunkin has been bottom-sitting. The other fish appears fine.

As per the posting at the top - here are my tank parameters: (tested this morning at local pet store to make sure my readings were accurate)

Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level? 0

[*]Nitrite Level? 0

[*]Nitrate level? 0

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? Ph = 6.8 (don't know others sorry)

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? Ph = 6.9

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API - drops (my readings matched ones done at local pet store using professional kit)

[*]Water temperature? - unsure (but tank is kept in cool room and out of direct sunlight)

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 30 gallons approx, has been running over 6 years

[*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)? Fluvol, not sure of size but have been assured it is appropriate for tank

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? every week - 2 weeks, 20%.

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 2 fish, a shubunkin (3 in) and a comet (1 in)

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? I use water conditioner when i change the water, otherwise no additives.

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? a variety of flakes, shelled peas and spirilina discs - fed once a day and only what they eat in 5 mins

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

[*]Any medications added to the tank? i have used melafix over the last 3 days, no effect

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? possible red streaks on bottom of tail - hard to tell as he does not move much. He may also have a brown spot just before where his tail is... and is also missing some scales i think since i have come back from holiday.

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? bottom sitting, was eating but not now.

I'd love to know if there's anything i can do - very worried as it does not seem to be able to swim as the tail is stiff. Are there any treatments at this stage or is it nicer to euthanise?

Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hi there,

I'm so sorry to hear about your troubles, hopefully we can help.

A couple of things are concerning me. You have 2 large fish in a 30 gallon tank, which is pushing the limits of your filter. A 20% water change every 2 weeks is much too little. You should be doing weekly water changes of at least 40-50%.

Also, how old are your test kits? A reading of 0 nitrates sets off alarm bells. Unless you just did a 100% water change or have a heavily planted tank, you should have nitrates. With the size of your tank and fish, I'd actually suspect the level to be high.

As for your fish's symptoms, everything to me is pointing to possible water issues. The red streaks could be ammonia poisoning (but if you do have 0 ammonia, that's not it) or an internal infection of some kind.

My advice for now is do a massive water change, as big as you possibly can, and re-check those tests. I don't think 0 for all measurements sounds right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest fishy_nz

Hi, thanks for your reply.

First just to clarify - i've previously had 3 similar sized fish (1 - 3 in) in this tank until they got to about 8 years old and outgrew the tank - i never had any problems with spots or poisoning etc. I've had these two fish in the tank for the last 2 years, and don't feel they've outgrown it yet. I usually do weekly water changes of 20%, although sometimes this stretches out to every 2 weeks (when i change 30-40%). I've never had any high readings of ammonia, nitrate or nitrites before - i replaced the test kit about 6 months ago.

To make sure my test kit was accurate i took a water sample into a local pet store which has a specialised fish expert who tested the water and the readings were right (i'd done a 50% water change 5 days before the test). I have quite a few plants. As i was away for 6 weeks before this and relying on a friend to feed/clean (who didn't clean) i was concerned about the water quality but it appears to be ok.

I did another 50% water change yesterday (rechecked tests - all still 0). The fish is still bottom sitting, but is occasionally swimming around. I've also started treating the tank with an anti-bacterial/anti-fungal treatment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

The plants are probably the reason your water shows 0 nitrate, so that is good. :)

But just because you hadn't anything ammonia related happen in the past doesn't mean it couldn't happen in the future or now.

So I really would start 50% minimum water changes weekly, it won't hurt to do that. The effect will be better water quality for your fish.

Maybe you could find out what fluval filter it is. Usually they have the name and type somewhere on there.

Most petstore employees unfortunately have no clue of fish keeping and give you false information. A filtration of 10x (so in your case 300 gallons per hour) is recommended. If you find out what filter it is you can usually google the gph for it :)

Red streaks don't have to be tail rot, but could be either ammonia or a bacteria infection. My own shubunkin had red streaks on the bottom lobe of his tail fin months ago, since she is a tail dragger. Dragged her tail over the gravel back and forth when swimming low, and since gravel catches poop and bacteria, she got a bacterial infection. I got completely rid of with pristine water - twice weekly big water changes of about 75% or more) and salt to 0.2%. No medication required.

This doesn't solve the problem about the bottom sitting though.

Here I really think it was the poor water quality since your fish sitter did not change the water and the fish went without water change for a few weeks. Here again, pristine water is probably the treatment of choice.

Is there any way you could get a photo of the tail with the brown spot and missing scales? :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

If having one 1 inch fish and another 2 inch fish in a 30 gallon tank than I may be doing it wrong! I was told on here that two goldies in a 30 gallon should be ok. Chrissy, couldnt Fin rot be an issue or Septicemia which can cause streaks or blotches in the tail. If the fish has that it needs to be treated quickly (esp if it isn't eating). From my experiences, I have found once they stop eating it is hard to turn them around.

I'd ask Chrissy to confirm - but what about thoughts on salting the tank? (Ive never used salt before tho personally)

I also agree, this was caused by poor water quality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I don't think anyone's mentioned this but the overstocking of two single tails in a 30 gallon as well as the pH. Single tails are so much bigger and are probably producing more wastes. Also the amount of food being fed could be the issue as well.

5 minutes only once a day is too much in a single time frame and maybe the food is mucking up the water. Babies should be fed multiple times a day and in shorter time frames so digestion is more efficient.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest fishy_nz

Wow thanks everyone for the help :) - i really appreciate it :)

I got the filter brand wrong - its an Eheim Liberty 2042 - pumping out 200GPH. Its a canister filter - i was told that anything from 5 - 10x with a canister filter was good (by fish specialist - who is not pet store employee but someone with a degree in marine science who contracts/travels round pet stores in my city - have found them helpful and knowledgeable in the past).

I've been treating the tank with melafix over the last five days and yesterday got a natural fungal/bacterial treatment http://www.goodingslab.com/mainmenu0/cat35/BioPet+Aquatic+Products/p270/BioPet+Bacterial+and+Fungal.html (doesn't harm plants or other fish). I also took him out of the tank this morning and gave him a 30 min salt bath (didn't want to add salt to the aquarium while i'm using other treatments). He is looking a little better, ate something this morning (yay :) ).. and although is still sitting in the same place on the bottom most of the time is swimming up when i go into the room - hopefully he'll keep improving. I tried placing him in a breeding net enclosure to stop him from sitting on the bottom with all the bacteria and he just used his pectoral fins to keep himself afloat - didn't sit on the bottom of the net which was interesting.

I thought it may have been due to poor water quality - annoyed i didn't test water before i changed it. I'll try to get a photo later when i'm home.

Thanks for all the suggestions as well - will start doing 50% water changes and feeding less but twice a day and see if that helps as well. Whats the general rule re fish/gallon? I was told that 3 gallons per inch was absolute minimum(given that goldfish produce lots of waste)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Good news, I would perhaps take the medication out and do a good large water change so you can get clean water and treat with 0.1% salt (1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon). This is much gentler and less likely to affect your cycle than some medications are.

The general rule for goldfish is 20 gallons for your first fancy goldfish and 10 gallons for each additional fancy. For single tails it's much great. The bare minimum single tails can have is 20 gallons per fish, but they get so big so fast they need a lot more room and are more suited to ponds. This is a great rule as it allows the fish to grow and be just happy fish, and they're less likely to develop problens later on (And less water changes for you!! :D)

I hope they continue to improve :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

For single tails it's much great. The bare minimum single tails can have is 20 gallons per fish, but they get so big so fast they need a lot more room and are more suited to ponds.

Yep. I always think that my Hugo is such a perfect example for this. 20 gallon tanks are 24 to 30 inches long, Hugo started out maybe 2.5 inches long when I got her and within one and a half years she reached a length of 9 inches, and she is not done growing yet. A 20 gallon tank would literally give her no room to move, especially since single tails like to dart. A pond or a quite long tank like the 125gallon long tanks (72inches long) will give a single tailed goldfish much room to move around :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

If having one 1 inch fish and another 2 inch fish in a 30 gallon tank than I may be doing it wrong! I was told on here that two goldies in a 30 gallon should be ok. Chrissy, couldnt Fin rot be an issue or Septicemia which can cause streaks or blotches in the tail. If the fish has that it needs to be treated quickly (esp if it isn't eating). From my experiences, I have found once they stop eating it is hard to turn them around.

I'd ask Chrissy to confirm - but what about thoughts on salting the tank? (Ive never used salt before tho personally)

I also agree, this was caused by poor water quality.

I think salting would be a good idea. As for the overstocking, I didn't realize how small the fish are - BUT they are not fancies and generally the rule is 20 gallons per single tailed fish.

The plants are probably why you have no nitrates for sure, that would explain it!

Do you have a lot of gravel in there? Or any hollow ornaments? Either can hold bacteria and cause infection (something I'm dealing with now actually!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member
!

Do you have a lot of gravel in there? Or any hollow ornaments? Either can hold bacteria and cause infection (something I'm dealing with now actually!)

Showing my noobness but... hollow ornaments? Like what would that entail? For my own curiosity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member
!

Do you have a lot of gravel in there? Or any hollow ornaments? Either can hold bacteria and cause infection (something I'm dealing with now actually!)

Showing my noobness but... hollow ornaments? Like what would that entail? For my own curiosity.

Anything that allows water to sit inside it and not circulate. They create little spaces where anaerobic bacteria can grow. If these bacteria get out in the tank, they can potentially make your fish quite sick (depending on the strain, etc.).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest fishy_nz

Thanks everyone for all the helpful suggestions and comments - i tried a lot of things, and for a little while he seemed to be getting better. Unfortunately he died overnight - i think whatever he had was just too advanced to be fixable.

Thanks all :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...