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keyplayer

Diagnosing Sickness

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URGENT!!!!!

I have 10 smallish (2-4 inch) goldfish (Red Comet types) of varying colours which started out in my POND but had to be moved to a 30 gal tank when the pond was destroyed by a hurricane. ALL ten made the switch nicely but today ONE was found huddled in a bottom corner of the tank almost comatose. I moved her (???) to another tank where she makes feeble attempts to swim but basically just rests on the bottom. Before this incident she was almost totally RED but now, suddenly, 3/4 WHITE from belly upwards. I've looked in all sorts of books and on the 'web but found nothing useful. The other 9 are swimming and eating normally and don't appear to be stressed. I can provide digital images on request.

Thanx. Keyplayer

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RESPONSE to questions requested by FORUM:

[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level?

[*]Nitrite Level?

[*]Nitrate level?

DON'T HAVE CHEMISTRY FOR THE ABOVE

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

7.0

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

We use a 2-week CONDITIONED combination of pond water and rain water

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?

Nutrafin DROPS

[*]Water temperature?

61 degrees F (stable)

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?

25 gallons running three months

[*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)?

DynaFlow 2

[*]How often do you change the water and how much?

every 2 weeks about 25-30%

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size?

10 - smallest about 2"; largest about 4"

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners?

CYCLE plus bacterial host and nitrate-absorbing media in filter

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often?

Laguna Goldfish & Koi Food (SMALL grains) ONCE per day

[*]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?

normal RED colour turned suddenly WHITE on the lower 2/3 of her body.

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

lying on the bottom on her side with laboured breathing and only tiny fin movements (VERY SAD)

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Welcome :) Sorry to hear about your pond :( Can you get a hold of some rubbermaid totes to use temporarily? Your goldies need 20 gal each, so the sick one is probably a result of poor water quality. You'll want a test kit (drops not strips) or take in a sample to get tested. Also, you'll need to do more, larger water changes (50% weekly is recommended for a well stocked, well filtered cycled tank).

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Absolutely as above....color changes maybe caused by differences in water..you need to provide more water space and test the water . Please post back soon with pics if you can, we want to help! :)

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Thanks for your interest. Marco Polo died last night and I have frozen him for a possible post mortem. We're trying to cope with the pond disaster by keeping the fish INdoors until Spring when we'll be able to make repairs and mods to prevent damage in the future. The original plan was to overwinter them OUTdoors but with the pond liner floating on top of disaster-level groundwater that couldn't work. Meantime we HAVE to use aquariums (we have THREE: Largest is approx. 30 gal. and ALL fish are currently in that one. The next largest +/- 20 gal. we use as a supply tank for changing the water in the large tank so that it is already cycled and tested when we introduce it to the big tank. The 3rd one is only about 15 gal. and currently dry. We COULD run all three and divide the fish up but we thought they might be happier ?together? as they always ?schooled? in the pond with ?OPRAH? appearing to be the ALPHA and 6 of the 9 others constantly following her. Getting FREE tanks, filters, etc. has not been a problem. (We're on a very low fixed income.) ?God bless KIJIJI!!!?

When we first introduced the 10 fish to the big tank (from the next-smaller one, there was a couple of days of what we assumed was ?spawning behaviour? with 4 ?males? chasing a couple of the much-bigger ?females? VERY aggressively. Eventually this quieted down and they have been behaving ?normally? ever since although they are much more active in the larger tank than they were in the almost 2 months they spent in the 20 gal. one.

I don't know how to POST pictures to this FORUM but the POND, AQUARIUM, and FISH pictures can be found on FaceBook at ?Freeman Dryden?. This FB account should be accessible to anyone. I will post pix of Marco Polo asap there also.

Many thanx for your interest and support. FAD

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I'm so sorry that happened, I think you'd be better off separating them. Rubbermaid totes work just as well, they're just like stock ponds and give you extra space really cheap.

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Here is the URL for my SICK FISH pix on FaceBook. I'll also try to upload ther pix but it took me a half-hour to wade my way thru to this spot.... arrrrrrgh!

Nono/album.php?aid=2077504&id=1188713183&l=e54ad4901b

Marco Plol died while this discussion was underway. ONE other fish has shown the same semi-transparent vent discharge but seems normal otherwise as of now.

I want to DISINFECT the ?hospital tank? before I refill it to cycle repalcement water for the big tank. Is ot OK to use KMn03 (Potassium Permanganate) and what do I do about the FILTER and bacterial media for that tank??? Is there a process for recuperating any of the filter media or does it ALL have to be trashed and replaced with new?

Also, is there anything I can do to the water in the big tank to protect the other fish from possibly picking up the same affliction? (BTW, I still don't have any kind of diagnosis; everything is still on holiday closure here.)

Thanx for any help. I'll keep looking here (the eMail ?thing? I clicked doesn't work).

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Oh wow, I saw the pictures of Marco Polo. The "white" area you refer to is actually not color change. It looks like the scales and skin have actually been eaten away in those places. Also, you'd do best to throw away the body now, because a post mortem only works if the fish has been stored in the refrigerator, NOT in the freezer. I suspect that water quality in that small tank was poor, and that opened the door for Marco Polo to develop a bacterial infection. Perhaps after he died the other fish took bites out of him. It happens :( That is just my best guess.

Letting the water sit in the 20 gallon tank for a while before putting it into the 30 gallon tank is beneficial, but it does NOT mean that the water is "cycled". You cannot have cycled water, rather it is the filter media that grows beneficial bacteria on it and becomes cycled. This is a long process that takes lots of time and patience.

Of utmost importance here is getting these fish into larger spaces, and also getting a test kit for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH to make sure these are at safe levels. If you do these two things you can easily avoid any more fish losses. Since this is only a temporary situation, I think you can get away with allowing only 10 gallons per fish for the smaller ones, but for the 4-inch fish, you really want to allow 20 gallons per fish. So you will need either more tanks, or a larger tank, and then slit them up accordingly. Since you're on a very tight budget, I think you should buy the aquarium test strips rather than the API drop test kit that I normally always recommend. The test strips are less accurate in general, but it's still better than nothing. These test strips can be found at most large chain pet stores. (Just keep in mind that if you can manage it, the API drop test kit is the better choice, and will last you much longer.)

So once you get these two things taken care of, you will know how often you need to change the water to keep the fish happy and disease-free. In the meantime though, I would advice at least a 50% water change daily. This is because the tank is extremely overstocked as it is right now.

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166260_1587906056081_1188713183_31290907_3693345_n.jpg

Here is the photo, for anyone who cannot find it.

Edited by Sakura

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I've tried to REPLY to all of you. Thanks for the early responses. Don't seem to be getting any feedback. I also posted a URL for pix of the sick (now dead) fish. Sorry if I'm making a mess of the forum but I'm going crazy trying to hack my way thru the jungle of disappearing choices and just RE-finding my posts each time I enter the forum. I'm not having any further problems just now and have used the cycled water from the ?hospital tank? with some added (proved safe) well water to refresh the main tank. The remaining NINE are active, eating, and seem healthy.

I'm off today to my excellent resource person at Aqua Creations for an autopsy on Marco Polo and some advice on filter maintenance, disease treatments, and tank hygiene/disinfection.

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SORRY, Sakura, and mahalo nui loa for your post. I didn't realize that like FBook the threads appear upside down! SO.. I scrolled to the BOTTOM [arrrrgh! computer geeked again!] to find you had made some very detailed observations.

My response:

In fact, the ?small tank? really is CYCLED as this water is inoculated both by the bio-filter which runs 24/7/365 and the addition of ?CYCLE? which I notice some enthusiasts like and others warn against. Changing 50% water per day is a huge challenge. I think it's going to be a lot easier to make space for all three tanks as HOUSING. Now the head-scratcher is to decide how to divide them up. As I mentioned B4 they are VERY gregarious and have ?schooled? naturally with OPRAH as the alpha ever since we've had them. ANY SUGGESTIONS???

BTW... our house is only 900ft/sq with no useable basement so non-freezing space is at a huge premium. Anyhuuu.. we soldier on and now watch every day for signs of stress. I'm going to investigate some RubberMaid tubs for preparing the exchange water. We have to pump it from our DUG well (our tap water is definitely NOT fish-friendly!) with a drop-in pond pump and at that point it's not far from the freezing point so it takes a couple of days INside to reach the 61-62-degree temp the big tank seems to maintain without any interference from us (or a heater). Thanks again. I'll keep an eye out for more advice, <8-)))

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Whoooooooooops! YES, I now understand that ?cycled? has to do with how the FILTER and its beneficial bacteria process the ?bad? water. I have been very careful to have as much bacteria-friendly media in the filters and tanks as possible. We used barley-straw ?pillows? in the waterfall stream of our recirculating pond with excellent results. The pond depends on rain and occasional topping up with natural groundwater from our DUG well and did VERY well until it was storm-damaged. The fish THRIVED in it!

ALSO, MANY THANKS to the others who kindly responded -- I can't seem to get a handle on navigating the forum topics, threads, and pages.... oh well, just call me a CyberKlutz.

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