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Carolinedoodle

Ongoing Problem

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[*]Test Results for the Following:

Ammonia Level? 0

Nitrite Level? 0

Nitrate level? <5

Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines)? ph 7.6

Ph Level (KH/GH) out of the Tap? 7.4

Brand of test-kit used? (strips or drops?) API Freshwater Master Testkit, drops

[*]Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running? 3/4 years, 180 litres (roughly 50 US gallons)

[*]What is the name and size of the filter/s? Fluval 204 External Filter, Eheim Aquaball, and Fluval Plus 3 internal filter.

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? about 50% once a week and monthly full changes

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 1- Usher a yellow common, 7 inches, 5 yro.

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime

[*]Any medications added to the tank? Yes salting and dosing with Wormer Plus.

[*]Add any new fish to the tank? No

[*]What do you feed your fish? Hikari pellets, peas, courgette, broccoli, spinach, etc

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt", bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Usually bloody marks appear when this happens. None this time (yet) but for the first time he has black around his fins- it looks like ammonia burns but I've not had any ammonia readings in this tank since it was cycling years ago... I test the water weekly too.

[*]Any unusual behaviour like staying at the bottom, not eating,ect..? Eating fine. Clamping and bottom sitting has begun, again.

Regular members will remember I have an ongoing saga with Usher.

He was ill several times in 2008 and was treated with Cedapraz and recovered well. Then it reoccurred once in 2009, treated and recovered. Same thing in early 2010, treated with Wormer Plus, best recovery yet. It has come back 3 times since then, treated and recovered same every time using salt and Wormer Plus.

I feel like I have exhausted everything and I am so tired of this going on. There is no pattern to it at all. I am considering just getting rid of my entire tank and cycling a new one with all new filters etc to see if that would work- horrendously expensive but perhaps worth a shot.

Just thought I would post on here as this time there is something different to report. The black marks on fins mentioned above are completely new- never happened before. I can only think of ammonia burns, but as stated above there hasn't been any ammonia for at least 3 years. Could they be anything else?

Any thoughts...? Thanks

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Could his tail possibly be getting stuck on the filter? It sounds like a bit of finrot to me. What kind of things do you have in your tank? A picture would be great too.

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No; he avoids the filters generally and he's a strong swimmer and large (7 inches including tail) so it would take a lot to get him stuck. There's no black on his tail anyway.

This is my tank layout, although the plants and pots have been removed as I was paranoid they were bringing disease in despite me treating them when I bought them etc etc:

n273100353_3119805_7689.jpg

I can't get a photo of the black bits on his fins right now because my camera is at home (Usher lives at my parents house and I come home weekends to clean/see him)

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Hmm what about the driftwood? Any hollow spots in it that you've noticed at all? Sometimes if the driftwood is hollow in spots, even small holes, it can harbor nasties in it. He also might have gotten his tail nicked on it.

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The driftwood has been in there since the beginning (way before problems started in 1998!) so I doubt it's that. It's very smooth, but good point about tiny hollows. I've just binned it to be on the safe side.

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Just an update-

He's still clamping on and off and bottom sitting. For the first time ever he stopped eating for a day but he's eating again now. I've removed everything from the tank apart from the stones to be on the safe side.

I've literally exhausted all ideas now.

If anyone can think of anything at some point that I've not tried, please let me know. Thanks

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Can you possibly check your KH? I'm thinking maybe the water is too hard for him?

PH drop can also cause bottom sitting and clamping fins....can you double check your params? Maybe the water drops pH when you add it in...I don't know. I'm grasping at straws here...

It could be a bacterial infection also. What kinds of antibiotics do you have available either OTC or from a vet?

What salt concentration do you have the tank at?

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The PH actually rises from 7.4 to 7.6 in the tank (we've never been able to work out why)

We do have very hard water here though. Do API do a KH test kit? If so, and the KH is bad in my water (I bet it is) then is there anything I can do to alter it? I was under the impression that hard water is actually good for goldfish?

We can't get antibiotic medications in the UK although people have managed to order it online without it being seized at customs... I've always been wary to try food as people on here always say to err on the side of caution before feeding it.

It's at .3 now with salt.

Edited by Carolinedoodle

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PS

I should probably also add if you've not seen all my other threads over the years, he flicks his fins and darts round (symptoms of parasites, hence all the parasite treatment!)

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I'm so sorry you are having problems and I know how hard it can be to keep having recurring issues and not be able to figure out what is causing them... I read this thread and nothing popped out to me like "OH thats the problem" so I don't even have much to offer.. I just wanted to say that the PH rising from 7.4 to 7.6 in the tank is normal.. Same thing happens in my tank.. I believe once someone mentioned that once the water gets in the tank and is aerated it goes up a bit... Mine actually goes from 7.6 to about 8.0... And also I noticed you said you were considering just starting fresh and I wanted to say that I've done this. Had issues with a tank of fish, tried everything. Tried PPing everything and cycling new media and then even moved them to a brand new tank and it still didn't fix anything.. Not that you can't try it, but that was my personal experience.. I would hate to see you spend all of that money and it not fix anything...:(

Whats in Wormer Plus.. does it have a list of ingredients? How is he doing now.. has he stopped bottom sitting/clamping yet now that the salt is added? Is he still eating?

Do API do a KH test kit? If so, and the KH is bad in my water (I bet it is) then is there anything I can do to alter it? I was under the impression that hard water is actually good for goldfish?

They do, but I had to order mine online.. I never found it in a store... And generally I would say its better to have hard water than water with a low kh and ph but reallly really high kh can be bad for your fish. Mine is REALLY high actually...

I wish I had more advice for you.. I've had ongoing issues with some of my fish that I cannot figure out for the life of me. Im trying to think of anything that may be overlooked in your case.. How often do you clean the filters? Do you make sure it doesn't get gunky in there?

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Thanks for your kind words CountryLovah.

Yes; I feel like I know enough (but never everything!) about goldfish keeping after all these years that if it was something obvious I'd have solved it by now.

I thought the PH rise was normal, but it's nice to hear it from someone else.

I think starting afresh would just about bankrupt me. But still, maybe if I get my bonus from work and he's still not well it might be worth a try. I just can't face doing another cycle! Last time it took me 4 months to get it on track!

Wormer Plus is very much the best thing over here for parasites- in fact apparently it's much better than Prazi. There's a thread on it here:

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/72485-fantastic-uk-treatment-for-flukes-and-many-others/

It's a Flubendazole based product: Flubendazole 50mg/g is the base product, with naturally sourced calcium carbonate 0.01% added as a mixture.

He's stopped bottom sitting as far as I can tell but he may still be doing it at night. I don't live with him (he's at my parents house but I come back one night of a weekend of clean him) but I've been here for a few days at the moment as I'm about to go on holiday and am flying from the airport near my parents house, so I've been able to watch him a lot. Definitely better than last week but not back to normal. He's clamping less, but when I sneak up on him to check him he's often clamping on and off as he swims round. Thankfully his appetite is now back to normal. He has never ever refused food before which is why when he ignored his dinner last week I was really panicking. He's had salt in for nearly 3 weeks now I think, and doses of Wormer at every waterchange as instructed.

I'll order a kh/gh test kit when I'm back from holiday just to find out what's going on with it.

I have 3 filters- the big Fluval 204 External Filter, and two internal ones- Eheim Aquaball and Fluval Plus 3. Every week I squeeze out either both the two internal ones' pads into old tank water, or I do the same with the big external one. This seems to work well for me. Oh and I also change the little filter floss pad on the external one every time I squeeze out the big pads, as it tends to go floppy and useless. There's never much gunk in any of the filters, and I have a very stable cycle and have had for years.

I think I've mentioned this but I've also got rid of everything in the tank- pots, plants, rocks. All I have now are a few stones on the bottom. It looks hideous to be honest, as all my algae shows up and Usher has nothing to play with! But it was worth a go to see if he improved. I've binned it all so I'm going to get some silk plants (never having real again just in case) and new pots or something when I'm back from holiday. I think he's quite bored with nothing to swim around or pick at, as he's spent the whole day moving all the little stones from one end of the tank to the other. Also there's nothing in there to break up the current so I feel a bit guilty he'll have nowhere comfortable to sleep! Because clearly he is part human and cares about these things.....!

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How is everything going?? Any updates?

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I just wanted to add that you might consider starting to ease back on the salt and getting him back to freshwater if he has been at .03% for three weeks.

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Thanks for asking CountryLovah. He's completely back to normal now.

It's normally a months before it comes back, but if anyone has anything new to suggest then feel free to PM me. Thanks

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This is a strange thought and probably pretty unlikely, but I wonder if his bottom sitting is acually his normal? When the meds or salt or prazi is in the tank, he acts differently. Once it is out he goes back to lazing about? I have one fish that is prone to rest way more than my others and it might that Usher is a bit bored and a bit lazy. Just a thought.

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One of my fish, Wakka, does that too. He often takes naps or just bottom sits, looking tired or bored. But he is all healthy, and does that ever since I got him.

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This is a strange thought and probably pretty unlikely, but I wonder if his bottom sitting is acually his normal? When the meds or salt or prazi is in the tank, he acts differently. Once it is out he goes back to lazing about? I have one fish that is prone to rest way more than my others and it might that Usher is a bit bored and a bit lazy. Just a thought.

No I don't think so at all. He's not like this all the time when he's not under medication- it's an on/off months apart problem. When he's not ill he never bottom sits or keeps still- he's extremely active. I don't think flicking, bloody marks, darting, and clamping could be signs of natural lethargy anyway, even if the bottom sitting was.

Edited by Carolinedoodle

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hi caroline,

sorry to hear that usher is continuing to missbehave :rolleyes: what's his poop like? is it normal browny, short? or does he appear to be consitpated or have any other sort of bacterial clues that we don't know about yet?

it is mostly bazzar as you seem to have covered a lot of bases here.

i agree with amy's decision of begining to remove the salt from the water as 3-4 weeks at 0.3% salt is really the maximum time for treating. then you need to give the fish a break for a lil bit in the event where re-treating is necessary.

although sypmptoms show the possibility of parasite.. the current treatment usher has undergone should really have cleared all that up. so i am thinking it could be along the lines of bacterial.

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His poo is normal now but during illness it is definitely longer- whether this is because he's stationary or not I've never been able to work out.

It is a bizarre situation!!

The salt was out just before I hit 4 weeks, not sure where I said it was in longer? I generally don't have to keep it in that long anyway. I know 4 weeks is really the maximum but it was worth a go.

I think because of the success in the past with Wormer Plus we've always concluded it's some kind of parasite. If it is bacterial then I think there are ways to get medicated food into the country (although it can get seized at customs) so I'd try that but would not want to treat unless sure- or as a last resort.

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Sorry to drag this up again but the problem has returned again and I'm drastically starting again as I am sick of it and it's making me depressed. I'm buying a new tank, filters, decorations, bubble wall, and plastic plants. Keeping the cabinet and air pump as they're external so can't pass any bacteria over.

The thought of a fishless cycle on the new tank and the ?400ish I'm having to spend isn't filling me with joy but it's my last resort and I would do anything for him :)... wish me luck for paying my rent after this haha... oh and for having a life whilst it cycles haha... ugh measuring out pure ammonia and endless tests- kill me now!!

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I'm so sorry about all of this. I do remember everything you went through last year so it's even disappointing for me to read that things keep happening to poor Usher. I just wish you and he the best!! :goodluck

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Aww thanks. I just hope this works. It's getting me really depressed/stressed and it's all I ever think about.

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