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Torn 'bout What To Do...


Badfish

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I had a bad experience in the past with one of my goldies (Penelope, the one in my signature.) She was my favorite fish....I was very attached. I fought a battle with her with what I believe to be some sort parasite (which I eventually lost.) Her symptoms were just slowly becoming thinner and less vibrant, and one thing I found weird (and haven't been able to find an answer to anywhere), was a darkening of color. She was all white, but towards the ends, had smears all over her body, sort of an orangy-brown. It wasn't ammonia burn...they came and lasted for months and months, with pristine water.

My problem is now one of my other two fish. She shared a tank with Penelope during the time she was sick. SHe now has the same exact symptoms, though she has lasted longer than Penelope after showing the symptoms. She is just slowly (over 6 months or more) becoming weaker and skinnier, and darkening in color. She even developed a pretty big big black spot on her gill (almost overnight!) that has been there for, I'd say about 6 months. The other fish with her, I've had him for about a year ( got him in I think April or May, he's been with the other sick one this whole time) and he is in perfect health (he's my first Raingarden goldfish and definitely super healthy from the start.)

I tried everything under the sun with Penelope, and nothing helped whatsoever, so I've done the Metro with the current sick fish to no avail, so I kind of fear I am just going to lose her eventually with the same unanswered questions, and also fear one day the current healthy fish may pop up with the same thing.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any ideas as to what this may be? I've been considering euthanizing her because I don't believe her quality of life is that great anymore. I get really sad when I look at the pic in my signature of her (shes the lavender telescope), because she hardly resembles that beautiful, vibrant fish anymore....you probably wouldn't believe they were the same fish actually. I just went through so much fighting with Penelope, I don;t know if I should just let her go....?

Thanks so much<3

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Hey Constance!

I know how you feel, I lost my beloved Dr.House yesterday :(

I wonder if what you are describing are internal worms? The getting thinner makes me think of those the most. Have you tried Jungle AP instead of the Metro?

You have no possibility of doing a scrape right?

Glad to have you back, even if not in the best circumstances!

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Oh no, this is so sad to hear. I really love your two telescopes :( I thought you had fry too, did any survive and grow up?

About the sick fish, my advice is to find a vet near you who will treat fish. It may be expensive, but this way you will get the answers you're looking for. The vet can check out the fish and do scrapes, gill biopsies, aspirate some fluid, etc until they find out what is wrong. Then they can prescribe you with better medications than you can get in fish stores. Also (and this is most valuable) if the fish does die, you can bring in the body and they can open up the fish to see what's wrong. Then they can send tissue samples off to a lab for histopathology. This means they will culture any bacteria and tell you exactly what the fish died of. They can also check for viruses. So that way, you'll know exactly how to treat your white telescope to prevent this from ever happening to him.

The cost may vary for you, but for me at my vet's office the prices are:

check up (which includes scrapes, aspirates, and gill biopsy) -$70

histopathology on deceased fish -$150 (remember to keep the fish in the fridge, NOT the freezer if you're going to do this)

Most antibiotics ~$15

I hope this helps :hug

Here's a couple I found... I don't know if they're near you or not, but they're in NJ

Bernard G. Levine V.M.D.

Practice: Fish Medicine Diagnostic Services Address: 224 Kettle Creek Road Toms River, New Jersey 08753

Website:

Email: bgfishdoctor@aol.com Phone: 732-864-1979

College: University of Pennsylvania Degree: V.M.D.

States Licensed: New Jersey-Pennsylvania Years of Practice: 48

Personal Experience: 10 years Aquacultural Specialty:

Research Institution: Heart Worm Disease

Michael J. Weiss, DVM

Practice: Koi Veterinary Services Address: 352 Greentree Road Sewell, New Jersey 08080

Website: allcreaturesvetcare@comcast.net

Email: allvreaturesvetcare@comcast.net Phone: 856-256-8996

College: Missouri Degree: DVM

States Licensed: NJ Years of Practice: 16

Personal Experience: 25 yrs Aquacultural Specialty: Exotic Pet Veterinary Medicine & surgery

Research Institution: Aquatic Surgical Equipment Adaptations

Edited by Sakura
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Hey Constance!

I know how you feel, I lost my beloved Dr.House yesterday :(

I wonder if what you are describing are internal worms? The getting thinner makes me think of those the most. Have you tried Jungle AP instead of the Metro?

You have no possibility of doing a scrape right?

Glad to have you back, even if not in the best circumstances!

Oh, so sorry about Dr. House :cry1

I was thinking worms too but thought the Metro would help....I would def try Jungle AP in a second, I never have. Is that available at pet stores? Is it a food?

Scrape would be a little beyond my capabilities unfortunately :(

Thank you, I am glad to be back too! :)

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Oh no, this is so sad to hear. I really love your two telescopes :( I thought you had fry too, did any survive and grow up?

About the sick fish, my advice is to find a vet near you who will treat fish. It may be expensive, but this way you will get the answers you're looking for. The vet can check out the fish and do scrapes, gill biopsies, aspirate some fluid, etc until they find out what is wrong. Then they can prescribe you with better medications than you can get in fish stores. Also (and this is most valuable) if the fish does die, you can bring in the body and they can open up the fish to see what's wrong. Then they can send tissue samples off to a lab for histopathology. This means they will culture any bacteria and tell you exactly what the fish died of. They can also check for viruses. So that way, you'll know exactly how to treat your white telescope to prevent this from ever happening to him.

The cost may vary for you, but for me at my vet's office the prices are:

check up (which includes scrapes, aspirates, and gill biopsy) -$70

histopathology on deceased fish -$150 (remember to keep the fish in the fridge, NOT the freezer if you're going to do this)

Most antibiotics ~$15

I hope this helps :hug

Thank you Sakura! I'm afraid I don't have the means right now to take her to the vet, but how nice that would be, to finally have a clear answer. I truly feel defeated as to whatever this illness could be..the loss of Penelope hit me pretty hard. I want my poor tele girl to get better so badly, too....they are such a cute couple. The male especially is just so crazy about her. Honestly it seems like she could take him or leave him, but he just adores her so.

Ah, my fry! I had so many! I worked SO hard with them, but they all died after a about a month to 6 weeks. Some stayed pretty small, even the biggest didn't seem to be full size. I think I was feeding Hikari fry food, and frozen baby brine shrimp, but they just didn't thrive. If I did it again, I would probably go the live food route, seems to have better results. I really did try, but I think I was just too inexperienced and in over my head!

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I have had great results with the Jungle AP (AntiParasitic) with my dropsy cases (more than metro). You can get it online very easily - like Drs.Fosters and Smith etc. Then just follow the directions for worms. You feed it 3 days a week and 4 days off. They are very small and hard pebbles. I prefer to soak them in very little water and then squish them before feeding (the squishing is important so it sinks - otherwise the fish get very floaty). :)

I think it is worth a try - especially with the thinness - because she eats right? Just doesn't seem to put on weight?

Do you have any pictures?

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I have had great results with the Jungle AP (AntiParasitic) with my dropsy cases (more than metro). You can get it online very easily - like Drs.Fosters and Smith etc. Then just follow the directions for worms. You feed it 3 days a week and 4 days off. They are very small and hard pebbles. I prefer to soak them in very little water and then squish them before feeding (the squishing is important so it sinks - otherwise the fish get very floaty). :)

I think it is worth a try - especially with the thinness - because she eats right? Just doesn't seem to put on weight?

Do you have any pictures?

She is definitely much less vibrant and thinner...and weaker. She eats like a HOrSE. Never had a problem with that. She prefers hand feeding...whenever she sees me she goes to the top and begs for a snack. :rolleyes:

I love Drs. Foster and Smith, I will order that right away, it is definitely worth a good try!

I'm uploading a video now, I'll post when it's done. They are in their new digs...we are getting a bunch of rooms repainted so I moved them temporarily into the hallway today in the 28 gallon bowfront. (May possibly keep them in there, since the 40 gallon breeder takes up SO much space, and I am switching rooms and may not have the space for it.)

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Here is a quick vid, you can see the strange spot that appeared - seriously- like overnight, and the color changes (just check her out in my sig...so different!) She always has piped after eating since the day I got her, and you can see her begging for food when I open the tank. Def a good appetite. She just swims sort of unsteadily I think...she just doesn't look quite right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6rz6Ms2Q9w

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Hi and welcome back Badfish.

That color disintegration you speak of happens when a fish is losing its immunity for one reason or another. It happens when a fish is battling something quite serious.

The black spot looks sort of raised? Is it also fuzzy on the surface or warty at all? Can you get a better look at that with a strong magnifying lens.

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Hi and welcome back Badfish.

That color disintegration you speak of happens when a fish is losing its immunity for one reason or another. It happens when a fish is battling something quite serious.

The black spot looks sort of raised? Is it also fuzzy on the surface or warty at all? Can you get a better look at that with a strong magnifying lens.

Hi Trinket :)

By something serious, are you thinking parasite or worse? I will try to locate a magnifying lens....I had a really good long look up close though and the whole spot area seems to be ever so slightly raised, but I dont see anything fuzzy or anything warty.

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Hmm. Okay. There are also some epithelial skin diseases that present with clumping of melanaphore migration (black discoloration).. and when these go systemic (internalize) they can eat away inside and cause skinniness and eventual failure of organs. I mean serious by when something internalizes and the fish usually shows noticeable behavioral changes..you say she looks skinnier....?

Then, there are gas exchange problems with the swimbladder which would affect balance and explain the surface gasping. Have you been able to see the color of the gills at all? Are they looking red and healthy ? not swollen or strandy or pale or brown?

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Hmm. Okay. There are also some epithelial skin diseases that present with clumping of melanaphore migration (black discoloration).. and when these go systemic (internalize) they can eat away inside and cause skinniness and eventual failure of organs. I mean serious by when something internalizes and the fish usually shows noticeable behavioral changes..you say she looks skinnier....?

Then, there are gas exchange problems with the swimbladder which would affect balance and explain the surface gasping. Have you been able to see the color of the gills at all? Are they looking red and healthy ? not swollen or strandy or pale or brown?

Her gills are super red and have that nice meaty look.

So, if it is a skin condition, is there anything that can be done?

She is definitely thinner than she used to be....she had a nice round robust belly like the white tele, but now shes sort of sunken in. I do suspect its something contagious, because her symptoms mirror Penelopes EXACTLY aside from the black spot.

And she definitely acts differently, she just seems weak and unhappy and just sort of...existing. THe white tele has that sparkle in his eye...she is just sort of listless....except her appetite is always great, thankfully. Thats really the only time she shows any pep at all.

You are amazing with all this knowledge! I searched all over the internet millions of times and have not found this much information concerning her symptoms. Thank you :heart

Edited by Badfish
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.. if it is a skin condition, is there anything that can be done?

She is definitely thinner than she used to be.... I do suspect its something contagious, because her symptoms mirror Penelopes EXACTLY aside from the black spot.

And she definitely acts differently, she just seems weak and unhappy and just sort of...existing...she is just sort of listless....except her appetite is always great, thankfully.

Hmmmm. If it is a skin disease then salt or possibly a waterborne antiseptic type treatment may work but on second thought many skin diseases in fish are not really contagious and are rather more miscellaneous infections caused by environmental conditions..like leeching plastics and other contaminents in the water..or else they are viral*or fungal (for which there is poor or inefficient medication). So, if we are thinking contagious and internalized, and presuming all the fish have been trreated for parasites and flukes - perhaps we should be thinking bacterial.

Skin lesions can be symptomatic or secondary to some bacterial diseases. Lethargy and skinniness and darkening are 3 big symptoms here and in fact rule out lots of diseases that cause bloat and present with redness etc as their main symptoms (like ulcer, furuncle and b.kidney disease for example).

One disease that springs to mind - given the good appetite, the healthy gills + the 3 negatives of skinniness and listlessness and darkness is nocardiosis. It is similar to mycobacter (fish TB) but without the inevitable mass of growths that mycobacter produces and which was not a symptom with Penelope..and also it does not carry with it the fairly inevitable death sentence of mycobacter......also it has a long incubation time which would explain how the second fish came down with symptoms much later and the third fish has none..yet. (Some fish can be carriers only for diseases and never get the disease themselves). There is no proven cure for nocardiosis but the disease can spontaneously clear up. Lower temperatures help to make the organism weaker. It is a cross between a bacterium and fungal spore so antibiotics do not work well.

If we are definitely thinking "contagious" and all the fish have been treated for parasites, then it is most likely going to be bacterial. There are hundreds of viral diseases* (of the vibrio family alone there are dozens) but these almost always cause bloat and pop eye/dropsy so ...I would go with bacterial here.

If nocardiosis doesn't fit, then another bacterial disease may. Since your fish still has an appetite I think you should feed a very general non specific cocktail antibiotic to cover some of the other possible contenders.Metromeds is one that contains krill and plumps skinny fish up.It is difficult to be specific and entirely accurate but I would go with a cocktail antibiotic food here and you can always help your fish osmoregulate and slough old slimecoat and surface cells stimulating immune response by salting to 0.1%.for several weeks.

...would the skin condition be equivalent to skin cancer? :o

Skin cancers happen on fish like people. Interestingly, malignant ones seem to occur much more in pond fish with higher UV exposure.

Cancerous growths grow.. and have uneven edges, and fish can live a long time with them..however this fish displays symptoms exactly similar to another fish that passed away so I would hesitate to say its cancer since cancerous skin growths are not contagious.

This growth could also be secondary, as a fish with lowered immune strength from a primary infection is susceptible to attack from a secondary viral or bacterial attack. It is really hard to tell what is going on with lesions without taking a scrape from the area and then culturing the bacteria in it.

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I have been racking my brain to see if I could pinpoint any more unusual symptoms that I've seen, and I actually remembered one that may help. So sorry and can't believe I forgot to mention this, but she also has a tendency to have jelly-looking stools. I forgot because it actually hasn't happened in a while, but in the past she has definitely had this symptom as well. I did some online searches at the time and found only that it was most likely parasite related.

The stools are clear mixed with regular "poop" color, but super jelly-like and definitely unusual. I can't remember but I think Penelope may have had this symptom as well?

I have done several thorough Prazi treatments, as well as thorough treatments with Metromeds and MediGold in the past (though not for a while.) Neither had any effect on Penelope while she was sick, and I did the sick Lave tele back before she was sick as a preventative, because of the fact that she shared a tank with Penelope. Should I still give Metro another go?

Oh one thing did catch my eye but I think it's ruled out because of her healthy gills....cryptobia? Is it possible that this (or another parasite) just wasnt affected by the Metromeds?

Nocardiosis is a scary thought. It's possible that Penelope just succumbed to the disease before the dark spot symptom was able to appear. I have also thought that Lave tele (I need to rename her....I first thought she was male and named her Hugo, but since finding out she was female I never did!)...anyway I've also thought that lave tele girl's sickness could have weakened her and opened the door for another disease or condition to enter....meaning the cause of the dark spot.

I really, really, REALLY wish I could do a scrape. Probably not, but is there a very cost effective way to do this?

P.S. I do keep the tank rather warm, between 76-78 degrees F....should I lower it to help her fight the possible Nocardiosis? What is a good temperature for this? Thank you :)

Edited by Badfish
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One more thing. At one point, Penelope's vent became grossly swollen. It was hard to look at. I believe it healed but I do not remember how I treated it. Could be completely unrelated but just wanted to mention in case it was important.

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