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:'( Any Way To Save This Fish?


fish1

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..she is barely hanging on. if there is anything else to try before euthanizing i will give it a shot. (salt dip??) otherwise i have club soda and a freezer, or could let nature take it's course. just read about clove oil but would not be able to get that until tomorrow.

same fish as mentioned in d & d post: '1 very inactive goldfish, 1 dead minnow..'

i did the recommended things [thank you for suggestions]-- water changes, filter, prime, etc. all fish improved, most are doing ok. biggest problem was a plant polluting the tank. will post updates on the other 7 fish later.

Test Results , etc:

3 water tests in last couple days. latest results posted here [same values for tank and q.t.]:

[*]Ammonia Level? 0 {was up to .25}

[*]Nitrite Level? 0 {was up to .8}

[*]Nitrate level? ~ 1 {was ~12.5}

[*]Ph Level, Tank

- pH ~ 8 {was 7.8 then 7.7}

[*]Ph Level, Tap

- pH was ~ 7.7

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

- drops

[*]Water temperature?

- ? room temp. range ~ 68-85 F

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

- 10 gallon. 1 yr. previously, moved and set up here ~ 2 weeks ago. getting fish well before move to bigger tank(s).

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

- elite 10-gallon in-tank filter

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

- maybe 4 changes in last couple of days, 20%-60% each, now cutting back to 30% every 2-3 days in tank.

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

- about 20% yesterday. small changes in current q.t./bucket

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

- in small bucket now. other fish were bugging her and she was getting sucked into the filter. was in tank w/ 6 other goldfish 2-3" each, + 1 minnow.

(too many fish in the tank. they lived this way for 1 year and were healthy before i got them about 2 weeks ago)

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners?

- prime

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

- tetrafin goldfish flakes, cut back from once daily to once every 2 days. has not eaten in 1 1/2 days, ate a little 2 days ago.

[*]Any new fish added to the tank?

- no, but just got these fish and this tank about 2 weeks ago. about 2 gallons of the old water was kept, the rest is new.

[*]Any medications added to the tank?

- 1 dose of melafix previously but is probably out of the water now.

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

- 2 small black marks on fins, 2 small tears in fins, pale color.

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

- hardly moving, mostly at the bottom, on side, bent over. tried to eat yesterday but could not get at food. very weak. was very inactive for a couple of days, then seemed a bit better.. then thought she was dead last night, but she will sometimes swim a little.

any ideas to revive her?

for euthanizing, pet store suggested club soda as anaesthetic, then the freezer.

thank you for any suggestions.

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Hello. I'm very sorry to hear that she isn't doing well. The decision to let her go or not is a very personal one. If you do choose to do that, I would strongly recommend use clove oil, as that is the most humane way. Otherwise, make sure you have an aerator in her bucket and to change that water at least twice a day, as she is now without a filter and in a smaller space. The fresh water alone may be helpful to her. You can try to handfeed her some cooked, de-shelled peas. Again, I'm sorry :(

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thank you for the input. will try to respond to all the questions..

she has been out of the tank and in the small bucket less than 24 hours. i try sticking the filter in there but she just gets pushed around and sucked into the filter and i'm trying to let her rest. i pour water with a cup frequently and do frequent small water changes. i could do bigger water changes, or could put her in the tank and isolate her with a net about 4x5x5". (the other fish were nipping at her and she was getting pulled into the filter). not sure what's best. also if she's sick she could infect the others. bucket water was tested earlier today and levels were all ok [posted at top of message].

i did try hand-feeding pea w/ no luck but will try again.

i was told the club soda would anesthetize her, so she would not suffer when put in freezer. is that not correct? the idea would be to lessen the suffering, so if the club soda's not a sure thing i'll wait until tomorrow and get clove. does anyone know if the club soda works or how to do that?

thanks again.

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I absolutely hate having to make the decision of whether to put a fish down or not. Personally I have never had the strength to do it. I've always been lucky enough to have a fish recover or have the fish pass on its own right when I was at the point where I was considering euthanasia.. Without seeing your fish, its hard to give an opinion.. I just have to say that I have seen fish bounce back from sickness that seems like there was NO possible way they would recover. So that being said I would think maybe if you gave the fish some time separated from the other fish there is always a slight chance it might get better? I agree with everyone else that you need to get some type of water movement in that bucket and will have to do more water changes because of the small volume of water. Perhaps a rubbermaid container would work better? Another idea would be to get a second bucket and basically do a bucket to bucket method for this fish. I did that once with a very very weak fish when I did not have a quarentine tank and no cycled filter media.. Twice a day I would prepare the new bucket with water of the same temperature, and add salt to match the amount of salt that was in there, and water conditioner of course, then gently move the fish over.. You would still need to get an air stone or something as well to switch with the bucket..

Have you or are you salting this fish (or the other fish?) You may have mentioned that but I might have missed it.

You can try to handfeed her some cooked, de-shelled peas

I agree, I have had success with this is the past.. I always gently guide the fish towards the food while still under the water and see if I can get them to eat a bit.

Im sorry you are having such a hard time. I do agree that if you decide to euthanize I would wait until you can get the clove oil..

You know about a year ago I had a similar situation. A fish was becoming very very weak and was being sucked into the filter, pushed around by other fish. Her tail was completely frayed and her scales were missing in areas where she was stuck to the filter.. She looked like there was no hope. But I moved her to a hospital tank and hand fed her and to my surprise she recovered.. So there is always a chance! Good luck!

*** i wrote this before I saw you wrote back just to let you know**

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i'm ready to euthanize but posted to see if there is anything else i can try to revive her, like a salt dip (?). i tried a salt dip with a weak solution and it had no effect. afraid a strong one would kill her. no salt in the water now. she's really very weak any stress could do her in at this point, but i will try at least transferring her to another bucket w/ fresher water..

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I wouldnt do a dip... You don't want to stress her more. Just add salt at a low concentration which is 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon and leave it like that. Makes sure it dissolves.. You may not see a change immediately.. If the fish is going to recover it may take some time. If it survives then eventually you can increase the salt but I would really like to see you get some form of aeration in there first and perhaps a larger amount of water.. I agree that if she is getting sucked to the filter you dont want that in there, but a small airstone may work to add oxygen without giving too much current..

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Okay I just checked out your other thread to see what info if any I may have been missing and if there was anything more I could add. I know you really do want to save this fish if possible and I would like to help you understand what is probably happening here..

Just like Oerba Yung Fang explained to you in the other thread, goldfish really do need a larger amount of water. 10 gallons each if they are fancies, 20 each if they are singletails like commons or commons. Often pet stores do not give us this information and we keep way to many fish in way too small a tank or bowl. (Trust me I did it too!) Many times the fish survive like that for a while, even a year like you said. But because of the small amount of water, they are living in a very high amount of waste and that leaves them weak and susceptible to disease. A slight change such as new tank, new fish, change in water quality can often lead to them getting sick.. In your case, its possible that that the new fish you added brought in parasites. This is VERY common (most pet store fish have parasites)... And your old fish who SEEMED to be healthy, became sick..

At this point one of the steps that can be taken to treat parasites is salt. But like I said before, not as a dip. Just as a 0.1% concentration (which is equal to one teaspoon per gallon). Salt should be added to the main tank AND the fish in the bucket.. The salt will eventually be increased to 0.3% which is 3 teaspoons per gallon. But that has to be done gradually. (Usually we go up 0.1% every 12 hours)... Once there, the salt must remain at 0.3% for two weeks to kill the majority of parasites. This is why you may not see a positive change right away.. it is important to make sure the water quality remains good (0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and preferably 20 or less for nitrates. I like to keep mine around 10)..

With such a small tank, and so many fish it will be hard to keep the water quality in check but it can be done. You will need to make sure they have more space very very soon. Its so crucial here.

I know its seems kind of complicated at first. Believe me I was in the EXACT same boat as you were when I first came to this board. But it can all be corrected and hopefully you can save this fish, or at least some of the others.. Whatever you do, do not add medication to the water. It will likely make things much worse.. once things settle down, we can get into some of the other things like filtration and cycle of the tank. I just dont wanna scare you with too much too fast..

If you have any other questions please feel free to ask! I really hope things get better :)

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ok thank you. i'll try the transfer with salt and when stores open in the morning i'll get an air stone in there.

ps- made another attempt feeding pea and she weakly nibbles but i don't think she ingested any.

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Poor thing, I have been in the situation you are now. I would not do a salt dip, too strong, but you may want to try 1 teasp dissolved aquarium salt per gallon, added gradually I think in this case, and put an airstone in the tank to increase the O2. She may be past helping, but O2 and fresh water will give her the best chance. It can do wonders. If you have a big, clear rubbermaid, that can work as a temp tank and provde more water volume for now, too. IIf tihngs do not improve in a few days and you do decide to euthenize, clove oil really is best. I believe you can find info on how to use it on this site. Where are you in NM? If in Albuquerque, Riverside Aquarium in Rio Rancho may have it (I'd call-they have two stores and may have it there or in their ABQ store), or otherwise maybe Wholefoods or Pharmaca.

{edit--Ah--I see you already have the salt info--missed it when I was skimming the postings in response to yours}

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Weakling nibbling is a good sign!! :) Any attempt at eating means she still has a little bit of life in her... I think some peace and quiet away from the other fish will do her good. And remember, fish are more like humans than you know.. Stress plays a HUGE factor. Just like people can get physically sick from stress.. So clean water, peace and even dark can be helpful!

If she is still alive after 12 hours or so, you can up the salt content to 0.2% (two teaspoons per gallon). Then 12 hours alter up it to 0.3% (three teaspoons per gallon, or approx 1 tablespoon).. Then you can just prepare the bucket each time with 0.3% so the amount is the same when you switch her..

Switching her back and forth might be a bit stressful. However I believe that the risk of ammonia build up because there is no filter and such a small amount of water is worse. So just gently and carefully switch her over ..

Eventually a nice big tank for the whole crew would be great and a rubbermaid really will work wonders in the meantime. Perhaps you could even then use the 10 gallon as your hospital tank?

Hoping for good news tomorrow! Fingers crossed! :goodluck

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thank you for all this it's very helpful.

to clarify, all these fish lived together in this tank for a year or more, no new fish were added. i got all these fish in this tank about 2 weeks ago from people who were getting rid of them. i asked lots of questions but it turns out most of what they told me about caring for the fish, including the transfer, was very bad information.

the fish did seem happy and healthy but the move was really rough and after a week some signs of distress showed up and the smaller minnow died.

i'm eager to get them into bigger tanks but was trying to get them healthy first so the move doesn't kill them. i have some plastic bins i could use but i thought it would be too much stress right now. i also don't want to give someone else a sick fish.

not sure if there are any signs of parasites or if all symptoms are from stress.

the weakest fish still in the tank is kind of sluggish, and her color has paled, a few scales are very pale or almost white, and possibly a slightly fuzzy look to her. (hard to tell). the others are basically ok but a bit less active and not as shiny and healthy-looking as before. some have their fins down.

i'm a little confused about the salt but i guess i will move her to one teaspoon per gallon solution. (one reply said to add it slowly, but i'm not sure how to go about that).

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Okay I see.... that makes sense. Well like you said, even without new fish, the stress of the move could be enough to have made these fish become sick. The thing about parasites, and even bacterial infections and such are that things can seem to be going great... But one small thing happens and it can take over. Like a person who has been fighting off a cold but goes outside and catches it. The parasites/and or bacteria may have been there all along, but the fish were fighting it off. The stress of the move may have brought it on. Or its possible you are dealing with just a water quality issue here. In any case, clean water and salt is often the best, safest and easiest way to treat most parasites, aid in treatment of bacteria, can help heal wounds, and can also help with the stress. We always salt ALL of our fish here to 0.3% for two weeks minimum so that will be your best move no matter what is causing the fish to be ill..

By saying to go slowly, they probably just meant to go in increments like I explained. From 0.1% to 0.2% to 0.3%.. basically 0.3% is the concentration that will help the most and kill the most possible parasites, but you have to add it gradually to give the fish time to adjust. Salt is very safe. So much safer than many of the medications you can buy and it cures so many things. Just add the right amount of salt to a cup of water from the bowl or tank. Stir it up so it dissolves and pour it in. Remember to salt the main tank and the bucket.

As for the people that gave you the fish, its so possible that they were given wrong information from someone else and just did not know. When I used to work at the pet store in the fish department I would talk to so many people who were told wrong information. A lot of times, the problem was that often pet store employees dont know much about goldfish. There are a lot of types of tropical fish that are small, remain small and you can actually have a higher # of them in a small tank like a 10 gallon. Goldfish have the potential to get very big. And they need that extra space to thrive.. When I first bought goldfish I was told I could keep 3 goldfish in a 3 gallon bowl so thats what I did. No filter. Nothing. They stayed that way for over a year.. No problems that I was aware of. And it wasn't until I moved them to a larger tank and got a new fish did everything go wrong.. Thats when I found this board and realized that I had been keeping them totally wrong. Now, looking back I realize that those fish never grew. They started out tiny and stayed tiny. They were always gasping at the top.. They lived but were not healthy or thriving.

I know in a way you think the stress of a bigger tank right now will be too much. But actually I think getting them into a tank that is big enough for them is the very best move you can make. I do understand though that you may not be prepared for the expense of a new tank.. And I do understand that you dont want to give away sick fish.. I think in your case a rubbermaid would work best. Cheap enough but also giving them room. You can put a filter on it. Then you can decide whether you want to upgrade to a large tank or give away the fish..

You might take a look on craigslist if you are looking for a cheap tank. Sometimes you can find good deals on there.

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ok. i have a 2-gallon bucket of fresh water ready to go, would it be better to move my sick fish to that or add salt to the bucket she's in?

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I think I would add salt to that fresh bucket, then move her to that... Then in 12 hours if she is still hanging in there you can prepare another fresh bucket with 2 teaspoons per gallon of salt. So its increasing. Don't forget the prime and remember to try to make the temperature as close as possible so there is minimal stress! :)

If you end up getting a rubbermaid for the other fish, and the 10 gallon is free, then you can move this fish to the 10 and just do water changes on that so you wont have to keep transferring her back and forth. But for now this will at least work so that you are keeping her in nice clean water but away from the other fish. Ammonia can really build up fast in a small bucket without a filter and in her weak state any ammonia would be bad. So I think this is your best option.

Im going to be going to bed soon but I'll check back tomorrow on you (and the fish! lol)

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Fins down and all is probably related to the water quality, I'd guess. Did you start with a new filter/new filter media? If so, the tank isn't fully cycled yet (it looks like it is not, as you are getting both ammonia and nitrite readings), so you do not have the bacteria in place to eat the waste (which would have helped some in the previous steup, even though the tank is small for that number of fish). That may be why they seem worse now than when you first got them. Daily large water changes will help/will be necessary until the filter is cycled. Basically, you'll want to change the water when you get an ammonia readings above a certain low level and then when you get nitrite readings above a certain level --that's the next phase of cycle process. -(you can read about it on this site). You are cycled when your ammonia is zero and your nitrites are zero. I know daily changes seem like a lot, but it is not forever--just until the filter is cycled. :)

But If you do have nice extra large, clear rubbermaid, that will help a lot as further volume will dilute the waste until the filter is cycled. (I think you'll want to pick up a bigger filter--for a 50 G tank, for example, you'll want a filter that moves 10X the tank volume per hour, so 500 G per hour. Add in the current filter media so any existing beneficial bacteria can transfer). I understand you are worried about stressing them by moving them, and that is a concern, but the water issue is critical. Here's one way you can do it to minimize the stress:

--rinse out the rubbermaid well, no soap. If you have to use soap, rinse it very, very well.(soap residue clogs their gills.

--transfer the current water and the fish to the rubbermaild. The least stressful way to move the fish is to scoop them up in some of their water in a tupperware container or something like that (rather then a net) and and then release them inwater in the new tank/rubbermaid.

--gently add an equal volume (10G in this case, right?) of fresh, dechlorinated temp matched water (this is equivalent to a 50% water change)

--wait an hour

--fill up the rest, again with temp matched, dechlorinated water

--then tonight do a 50% water change of the whole thing.

I usually add salt gradually the sort of the same way. Dissolve the aquarium salt (1 teasp/gallon the first day) in the microwave or on the stove--let cool --declorinate the salted water--add half --wait an hour or so--add the other half. Not everyone does it this way, but I think it gives them a chance to adjust. Most members recommend increasing by no more than .1% a day when you are trying to get the the .3% level--in other words, you would not be up to .3% until day 3.

Remember to replace the salt you are taking out with water changes with new salt. It can get confusing, especially if you are increasing the salt level to .3% over three days and doing daily water changes (salt out, then salt added back in)--and you do not want the salt to ever get above 3 teasp/gallon--so I usually write down what I am doing to keep track.

Good luck to you-it's great that you are trying to help your fish, and I hope they all perk up.

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P.S. If your rubbermaid is much longer/wider than your tank, you may want to put in a few gallons of new water first--then add the old and the fish-then add the additional new water. Otherwise, it may be too shallow when you first add the fish. Anway, the idea is to change the environment in stages over an hour or so. Hope this is not too much detail! I mean to make it easy--not overwhelming!

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Just a tip on moving the fish without stressing them to much.

I use a large plastic cup, like the large from a fast food restaurant. I will usually just stick it in the water and gently scoop them up with the cup and then you can gently release them in the new bucket/tank easily. :) I try to keep only half the cup full when putting them in the new water as not to add to much of the bad water back in. I use this method whenever I move any fish so that I don't have to grab them with my hand or a net and take a chance of them getting stressed even more. :) Hope your little guy can pull through. :angelstaf:

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How are things going today? I am anxious to see if the little fish survived!

Spillies method on transferring to a rubbermaid is very good and you can definitely start doing that today! It really will help the fish in the long run to have more water therefore better water quality... I was going to talk to you a bit more today about water changes for the main tank, cycling and filtration but I didn't wanna give you too much info last night you know? I wanted to make sure things were settled with the one that was in an emergency. I hope she is hanging in there today!

Will check back later for updates!!!

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thanks for checking in.

nothing much to report, she is still hanging in there but not improved at all. i got an air stone in there and i'll up the salt tonight. i had the water tested again (strips) and levels were still good, about the same as last time in both tank and bucket: ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate ~5ppm, 'hardness' ~150, chlorine 0, pH ~8. the 'alkalinity' test was not conclusive, the strip was a bright green.

i'm checking out other tank options, etc. and will try to set something up tomorrow. i think i want to isolate the one other fish as well. her pale/whitish spots are more noticeable.

the tank filter feels slimy and there is still a film on the glass from before. i wiped off the top half during water change, but left the rest rather than stir it up.

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How's everything going today? Any change yet in the fish?

thanks for checking in and for all your help. she died today.

~~~ r.i.p. sweet pea ~~~

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