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Head Standing Pearscale


skikes

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OK so it would seem after a bit of trouble my tank is starting to get a little back to normal. The only thing is my pearscale is constantly "head standing". His tail end is floating and dragging him up to the surface. He is spending all of his time hiding in a plant so he doesn't float away. He is barely feeding. I tried starving for 3 days then peas but it didn't work. I think it happened after a large water change... Any ideas?

I'm about to go the LFS now, so quick replies would be appreciated. Thanks.

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As far as I know, head-standing is a definite symptom of problems with regard to swim bladder control, usually due to the intestines pressing against it so that it is no longer at the centre of the body. Apart from fasting and peas, I don't know how it can be treated though :unsure:. And I'm curious to how a water change could (possibly) have had that effect. Hopefully someone else will be able to offer some actual advice :(.

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As far as I know, head-standing is a definite symptom of problems with regard to swim bladder control, usually due to the intestines pressing against it so that it is no longer at the centre of the body. Apart from fasting and peas, I don't know how it can be treated though :unsure:. And I'm curious to how a water change could (possibly) have had that effect. Hopefully someone else will be able to offer some actual advice :(.

I agree. And I can also see why it would happen after a large water change. When you do a large water change, there is a sudden and large change in pressure, which worsens any problems with the swim bladder. This is one of the reasons I avoid doing large water changes (no more than 50%).

I agree that fasting and peas are the way to go - epsom salt can also be used if the peas don't work, but I would try the peas first.

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As far as I know, head-standing is a definite symptom of problems with regard to swim bladder control, usually due to the intestines pressing against it so that it is no longer at the centre of the body. Apart from fasting and peas, I don't know how it can be treated though :unsure:. And I'm curious to how a water change could (possibly) have had that effect. Hopefully someone else will be able to offer some actual advice :(.

I agree. And I can also see why it would happen after a large water change. When you do a large water change, there is a sudden and large change in pressure, which worsens any problems with the swim bladder. This is one of the reasons I avoid doing large water changes (no more than 50%).

I agree that fasting and peas are the way to go - epsom salt can also be used if the peas don't work, but I would try the peas first.

Thanks for the information :D

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Just got back from the LFS, I picked up Interpet Swimbladder Treatment along with Supa Tonic Salts which was recommended to be used along side it. I already tried fasting and peas but the problem is he can't really eat because of his poor balance and the other fish seem to be acting quite aggressive towards him, I tried separating him and feeding him in a bowl but he wouldn't eat. My cycle also seems to be suffering, I just tested the water

ammonia - 0.25

nitrites - 0.25

nitrates - 0-5

Ph - 6.8

I honestly have no idea what is causing my Ph to drop like this, it's coming out of the tap 7.5 and going into the tank in the 6's. It been happening since I stripped my tank last week and cleaned the gravel and tank. I didn't use any solvents, just water and a sponge I use only for the tank. The gravel was placed in a bowl and rinsed with hot water.

My plan is this:

1. 50% water change

2. Bring water to 0.1% salt

3. After 12 hours bring water 0.2% salt

4. After another 12 hours bring water 0.3% salt

5. After another 12 hours do a 50% change and bring the water back to 0.3% salt

6. Add the swim bladder treatment.

Edited by skikes
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Also He is definitely head standing and floating, he can swim straight if he tries but as soon as he stops he starts to float bottom first. He also seems to have a case of pop-eye starting.

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nitrates is known to cause fish to get swim bladder effects. is it possible that before you use the treatments you do 2 x back to back water changes of 60% to bring your params as close to normal as possible? perhaps this is all that's needed for now?

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if all the gravel was cleaned all at the one time using the same methods.. your params might be off as you may have killed too many good bacteria.. ie, when we ask a member to remove the gravel from their tank to bring them to bare bottom, we advise remove one cup of gravel with each water change or once per week.. for the PH, do you have access to crushed coral? perhaps if you can add some crushed coral to the filter it will keep the PH level stable. and in the interim, if you can use either bicarbonate soda or PH buffer (must say buffer on the container) to up it according to the instructions on the packet.

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Yeah I read that if your nitrates go above 40ppm then it can cause swim bladder issues but I can honestly say my nitrates have never gone above 20. I really have no idea what's going on at the moment, just one problem after another...

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i know.. but pearlscales are known to be a tad touchy.. see if you can do the two back to back water changes and if they help at all.. even if just enough to help take food.. then half a pea with an epsom granule in.. that might be all that's needed. how old is the fish? do you know for sure that it's a he? perhaps female eggbound? what's the poop like, have you noticed?

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Well I can't be sure but during their breeding sessions he is always the one doing the chasing and the pushing. His age I'm not sure, I got him in Feb and in he was very small then, no more than a few months. I haven't noticed him pooping for days, which is strange because he is usually always doing it lol

I've just taken out the first bucket, about 1/3 and he seems a little happier. Still floating like a buoy, but active. hmmmm.

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how long has he been headstanding? if we can rule out swim bladder as quickly as possible, that would be favourable.

headstanding can also be a symptom of a bacterial infection or it can be early signs of flipover disease..

in order to determine this, we really need the water to be ammonia 0/nitrites 0/ nitrates 5-10 ph 7.4-8 and then the fish to take food with laxative as soon as possible..

as you said that you noticed popeye.. i am leaning towards bacterial.. but we should really rule out constipation/swim bladder/possible eggbound (due to hesistaion of gender)

we can then take it from there

if the fish is not taking the pea with epsom.. try to get some garlic juice on the pea.. sometimes this helps as they love the garlic flavor.

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how long has he been headstanding? if we can rule out swim bladder as quickly as possible, that would be favourable.

headstanding can also be a symptom of a bacterial infection or it can be early signs of flipover disease..

in order to determine this, we really need the water to be ammonia 0/nitrites 0/ nitrates 5-10 ph 7.4-8 and then the fish to take food with laxative as soon as possible..

He's been headstanding/floating for almost a week now I think. There's no way for me to get my levels to that, my cycle is off, my nitrates are showing almost zero at the moment my ph is going into the tank at 7.5 but changes to 6's as soon as it goes in no matter how much I change. I have no idea why or what to do about it. I don't want to strip my tank again because I've done it twice in past month and I think the stress is making my fish ill.

As for the peas, honestly Statos I have tried. I starved for 3 days then fed them and he didn't get a single piece, I tried again, he got a few nibbles then I seperated and fed him in a bowl and he wouldn't eat. I don't know what else to try.

Edit: Also my Ryukin is still bottom sitting a lot, she's active when she isn't bottom sitting. Not clamping though. It's not unusual for her to bottom sit, just not this much.

Sorry, I know I keep making these topics and complaining about all different issues, I'm just a bit desperate for help. I feel guilty every time I look at the tank. :/

Edited by skikes
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Thanks Vahlla, I've taken the tank up to 0.1% and the fish seem very happy, I haven't seen their dorsal fin stand up so straight in a long time.

Statos I just saw that it is long stringy white poo. Like a casing with nothing in it. Hope this helps...

Also I don't have a ph buffer but I will attempt to bring it up using bi-soda.

Edited by skikes
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okay. 4 of the best books available offer the information & action that i shared with you. i respect your decision & wish you all the best. good luck, i hope it all works out favourably.

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Skikes, I'm sorry you are having so much trouble. I know you said you've tried something similar, but I think it might be good to do as stakos suggested and try the garlic-soaked pea stuffed with a grain of epsom. Don't try to medicate anything at the moment.

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i just thought to share the simplest information (by way of easy understanding) offered by book "fancy goldfish"

symptom: head down, tail at surface

causes: this is a symptom of a bacterial infection or it could be an early warning sign of flipover disease.

solutions: check your water and make sure you check your nitrates. if the readings are normal, you should treat with injections as for bacterial infection. you may lose the head-down fish within a week to ten days if a bacterial infection is the cause. other exposed fish will die later if you do not eliminate any parasites (which probably precipitated in the infection) and bacterial invasion of the fish..

Edited by stakos
correction of spelling error
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It sounds like the pH is dropping because you have soft water. The only way to pH match for water changes in a situation where your pH changes over time is to age the water before doing the water change. And in your case it sounds like crushed coral would help. I think the swinging pH is probably causing a lot of stress to the fish and should really be addressed before you medicate.

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i just thought to share the simplest information (by way of easy understanding) offered by book "fancy goldfish"

symptom: head down, tail at surface

causes: this is a symptom of a bacterial infection or it could be an early warning sign of flipover disease.

solutions: check your water and make sure you check your nitrates. if the readings are normal, you should treat with injections as for bacterial infection. you may lose the head-down fish within a week to ten days if a bacterial infection is the cause. other exposed fish will die later if you do not eliminate any parasites (which probably precipitated in the infection) and bacterial invasion of the fish..

Thanks Stakos, it sounds as though it's an infection. The treatment I will be using in the morning is for swim bladder problems caused by bacterial infection. I know I should wait until my levels are perfect but that would take far too long, I'm worried about it becoming permanent or death. Daily water changes, salt and the med will have to do. I'm stuck.

Thanks again.

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can i recommend you qt? this way in less water, and daily water changes, you can keep the levels at 0/0/0 and treat with less mediacation?

i would also consider salting the main tank at the same time.

your thoughts

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Unfortunately I don't have a quarantine tank Stakos, which I really should because it's what has gotten me into this mess in the first place.

Well bit of an update. I've brought my tank up to 0.3% salt and added the medication. I haven't seen my fish this happy and active in weeks, they are even showing breeding behaviour today. Skittles has stopped bottom sitting and all of Strawberry's black markings have gone. Cookie dough, my pearscale is worse than ever. He is now permanently floating around the top of the tank on his side, he can't control himself at all and hasn't managed to eat in days. I separated him into a bowl with tank water, some substrate and plants so I could feed him. The bowl is not sufficient enough to keep him in there for more than a few hours. I tried peas dipped in garlic juice with a grain of salt in them but he can't get to the bottom to eat. I got so desperate I tried to hold him and hand feed him but he wouldn't take it.

It's been 3 days of a 12 day course of meds. I would think if it was going to work I would have seen at least some form of improvement but no. Though I'm going to stick with it. I really just don't want to see him deteriorate away. :(

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