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Pompom Turning Black & Missing A Patch Of Scales

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[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level? .10

[*]Nitrite Level? 0

[*]Nitrate level? 0

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7.7

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

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

[*]Water temperature? 74 degrees F

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 20 gallons running for 1 week

[*]What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Aquenon filter 100 gallons per hr

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? 2 twice 50-60% water change

[*]how many days ago was the last water change and how much? last night 60%

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 Fish about 3.5 inches

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

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? haven't feed in 2 days usually a pinch

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

[*]Any medications added to the tank? 1/2 antibiotic tablet added this morning (giving to us by pet store to fight off any illness he has)

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Patch of scales missing on one side

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

My poor Joseph Fish has turned pretty black on face, head, and tips of fins.

Missing patch of scales on one side of body.

Thought he had swim bladder, not sure anymore seems to be swimming just fine. Will add half cooked pea tonight just in case.

Doesn't seem to be eating or pooping.



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Well, since you have ammonia in the tank he is likely turning black from ammonia burns. I would do another water change to get all of the ammonia out of the tank. Ammonia is stressful to fish. And since your tank isn't cycled, you will have to do daily water changes to remove the ammonia.

The scales missing could be from an injury. Did he have the scales missing before or after you purchased or moved him? Salt would help the patch but with ammonia in the water it can be very toxic.

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I did another water change this time 40% and re-added the Prime Conditioner. Tested the water again had to add Ph uppers again, but other then that the ammonia looks the same, as well as the nitrates and nitrites, (0 for those). I am beginning to think i am just looking at the color in the test tube to be more green aka more dangerous. In any case i bought i tube siphon today and completely sucked up any poop and uneaten food. I also cooked a pea took the skin off and put half into the tank. I don't know what to do if he doesn't eat it. I guess if i don't feed him for a few more days he'll have to eat something. What other way can i get him to eat the pea if doesn't eat it soon?

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Hi and welcome to kokos! :)

Fish won't eat if their water contains burning gases like ammonia and other chemicals that are in the water when a tank is set up. The black showing up and the scales missing are the top signs of ammonia poison in the water. It has a build up effect and happens after a certain amount of exposure, so some of this dates back probably from the pet store tank before you got your new fish. Many new fish have been in high levels of ammonia. You cant smell it or see it, you have to test it.

Your tank is one week new so your fish is suffering from New Tank Syndrome which is just the way it is at the beginning for every new tank. For a period of about one month you need to commit yourself to 40- 50% daily water changes daily. This establishes your tanks mini eco system of good bacteria which live attached to filter media and to an extent gravel if you have it.

To turn black a fish has to have been exposed to high levels of ammonia. It wreaks havoc with their GI tract and the fishes instinct is to not eat.

As soon as your tank settles out and there is zero ammonia in it for a sustained few days or so your fish will eat again. Meanwhile you need to test twice daily for ammonia and change water out till that is zero.

The missing scales could be from fluctuating pH which also needs checking and must be above 7 at all times. Fish may stop eating below 6.5 or 6 which are dangerous pH levels.

pH is best adjusted with a natural buffer like crushed coral (added to the filter or as gravel) but a good buffer like Buff-it-Up from Goldfish Connection works too. Cheaper buffers like pH up are really just one ingredient (household baking soda) and so they do NOT hold the pH they just raise it for a few hours and then it crashes again.

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