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jo4razorbacks

Help W/ Bumps/ulcers(?) On Goldfish

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2 of my son's goldfish have "bumps"/ulcers(?) on them. The common goldfish fish has a raised bump that isn't discolored and not as worrisome (maybe a tumor?). However, the white fantail has a larger reddish protruding bumb/ulcer that is worse in appearance. I have treated the tank with Melafix/Pimafix to no avail and then tried two rounds of Lifequard. They do not appear in distress and the ammonia/ph levels are fine. It's a 29 gallon tank with a bio-wheel and I clean the tank regularly.

Any suggestions/opinions would be appreciated, as I don't know what to do next. I can mail a picture to you. Thank you in advance.

http://s470.photobucket.com/albums/rr69/jo4razorbacks/

My link

[*]Ammonia Level? <0.02 Safe

[*]Nitrite Level? ?

[*]Nitrate level? ?

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7.0-7.4

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

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

[*]Water temperature? 71

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 30g

[*]What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? 2+yrs

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

[*]how many days ago was the last water change and how much? 3 days

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 2 goldfish & 1 small pleco

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? salt & tap water conditioner

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? flakes 2 x daily

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

[*]Any medications added to the tank? Melafix currently

[*]List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. listed above

Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.

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

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? none

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I couldn't open the picture as I am traveling right now. Is the pleco a regular pleco? They do not mix with goldfish and can suck off the slimecoat and cause sores. A test kit for all of the test (liquid drops) is crucial here. I belive water quality my be an issue. How often are you changing the water?

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I can see the cysts.

How fast did these appear and how long have they been there?

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First off, :welcome

Next, you're a new member, so it would make sense to post where you did, but actually, this "How-To" area, is kinda for non-disease relate stuff, so I've asked to have your thread moved to the Disease Diagnosis/Treatment area, so, at some point, you should be able to find it over there.

Anyway, let's get to it!

I typically like to respond to each answer before getting into explanations. We're missing some information that will better explain your situation, so if you can go ahead and get those questions answered, it will help us to better help you.

2 of my son's goldfish have "bumps"/ulcers(?) on them. The common goldfish fish has a raised bump that isn't discolored and not as worrisome (maybe a tumor?). However, the white fantail has a larger reddish protruding bumb/ulcer that is worse in appearance. I have treated the tank with Melafix/Pimafix to no avail and then tried two rounds of Lifequard. They do not appear in distress and the ammonia/ph levels are fine. It's a 29 gallon tank with a bio-wheel and I clean the tank regularly.

Any suggestions/opinions would be appreciated, as I don't know what to do next. I can mail a picture to you. Thank you in advance.

http://s470.photobuc.../jo4razorbacks/

My link

[*]Ammonia Level? <0.02 Safe

[*]Nitrite Level? ?

[*]Nitrate level? ?

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

Strip tests are highly unreliable so we really encourage drop test kits. It's also very important to test for nitrites and nitrates. So, I might suggest you invest in drop test kits for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH and KH and GH and then let us know, again, what your readings are.

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7.0-7.4

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? Higher pH levels for goldfish are preferred, but messing with it can be worse than not, so if your KH and GH are strong, this isn't the worst. So, getting test kits for KH and GH would be a good idea so you know what you're dealing with. Also, testing your water out of the tap will show whether there's a difference between tap and tank and, thus, help us determine if there's something going on in your tank that isn't good. This would go for all tests. Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH, GH and KH.

[*]Water temperature? 71 Good

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 30g

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 2 goldfish & 1 small pleco If both your goldfish were fancies, I'd say this bioload is okay. Pushing the limit, but okay. But, as one of these goldfish is a common, you're over your bioload limit with what you have. Is there a way you could re-home the pleco?

[*]What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? 2+yrs You didn't tell us the name and/or model of your filter, i.e., Marineland Penguin 350B HOB Biowheel Power Filter, etc.

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

[*]how many days ago was the last water change and how much? 3 days How much water do you remove with each water change? And, how do you clean your filter?

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? salt & tap water conditioner What kind of conditioner do you use? Salt is not necessary to use on a regular basis and can, actually, be detrimental to the fish to do so because bacteria and parasites can build up an immunity to it. How much salt have you been adding?

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? flakes 2 x daily Ideally, goldfish should be fed sinking food, so flakes aren't usually the best. Food floating on the surface causes the goldfish to gulp air, which can cause bloating, flipping, floating, or even SBD. So, you want to avoid this. But, even with sinking pellets, which are typically better to feed, you need to soak them, and any food, first. This allows the food to not only sink, but also stops it from swelling inside the goldfish and potentially causing bloating or other internal issues. Also, it's best to feed only once a day with one day a week as a fasting day to help clear out their intestines.

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

[*]Any medications added to the tank? Melafix currently

[*]List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. listed above

Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. You also indicated Lifeguard above. Melafix is gentle, that's okay, but it's best not to add chemical meds until you're certain what it is you're dealing with. It's a bit unfortunate that you have been using salt on a regular basis because it may impede your ability to deal with the bumps without using chem meds, which we try not to do, but let's deal with that.

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

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? none

Aside from getting the additional information, it sounds like what your fish have is a cyst, which usually stems from poor water quality. Don't be upset. It doesn't take much of an imbalance in the water quality for something like this to pop up. The cyst may be viral, but bacterial ones are more common. Viral can't be treated and all you can do is to keep the water quality high, feed your fish excellent quality food and hope they have the strength to fight it on their own. Viral cysts can return at any time. Bacterial cysts can be treated and won't likely return if the water quality is kept really good and the diet is high quality. And, if it is a tumor, short of surgery, all you can do is, again, provide excellent quality water and food and hope it's benign. If it's a tumor, it will probably never go away and may grow even larger.

I'd like to get definite answers to the unanswered/ambiguous parts of your response above, but the first thing I'd like to suggest you do is a really big water change of about 90% - 95%. When dealing with an infection, it's best to start over with a nice, clean slate, or tank, as it were. Save a portion of the old water so you can run your tests on the old water so we know what you had before the water change. After the water change, only add your conditioner. Don't add salt, don't add the med.

I would also suggest an HP (hydrogen peroxide) swab of the bumps in question. It sounds kind of scary, maybe, but it's not that difficult really. Set up a small bowl with HP and several cotton q-tip swabs for each bump. Never re-dip the swab in the HP after it's touched the affected bump. Wash and rinse your hands really well first (never put unclean hands in a tank or touch a fish), then scoop up your fish in a small bowl or cup. Gently pick up the fish so that the bump is best viewed and accessed (it's amazing how much they DON'T struggle), dip the cotton swab in the HP and dab the bump with the HP. The only concern is to not allow the HP to get into the eyes or gills of the fish. Beyond that, it's completely safe. HP, basically, removes a layer of slime coat while disinfecting the area, so don't panic if you see the swabbed area all white and appear as though the skin is coming off. It will disappear shortly. If you burst the bump while swabbing, use a new q-tip and re-swab the bump.

We can tell you how to go forward with treating the tank once we get a better picture of the amount of salt you had been using.

Edited by Lynda Von G

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Next, you're a new member, so it would make sense to post where you did, but actually, this "How-To" area, is kinda for non-disease relate stuff, so I've asked to have your thread moved to the Disease Diagnosis/Treatment area, so, at some point, you should be able to find it over there.

Moved :)

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Thanks for your prompt replies. Unfortunately, due to Comcast outages in our area, I wasn't able to read them until just now. I will try to complete the recommended tests, etc. today and will get back to you. Thanks again.

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Thanks for your prompt replies. Unfortunately, due to Comcast outages in our area, I wasn't able to read them until just now. I will try to complete the recommended tests, etc. today and will get back to you. Thanks again.

I was wondering where you went! lol! Thought maybe you couldn't find your moved thread. Just glad it wasn't anything more serious... like electricity (and filters) going out!

We'll be watching for ya!

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I was thinking you'd like to check out an older thread from one of our members who had a fish with the same type of bump. LINK There wasn't any follow up on the last page as the bump didn't pop or anything but there's a bunch of good tidbits in the thread you can check out.

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Since my computer/phones were out AGAIN until late yesterday, I wasn't able to reply. However, I had printed out the above suggestions, thankfully before Comcast's 2nd outage, and I emptied 95% of the tank water several days ago and used hydrogen peroxide swabs on both fish. The readings now are as follows:

[*]Ammonia Level? <0.02 Safe This was the with the sticks, which now I see are highly inaccurate. With the drop kit, before cleaning were near 1.0, which could be the cause? But, the Melafix bottle had also said to take out the carbon filter, which I had done and put in one without carbon and changed it weekly. The level after cleaning and again today (8/7) is 0 ppm.

[*]Nitrite Level 0ppm before cleaning tank

[*]Nitrate level 5.0-10 ppm before cleaning tank and 10-20 ppm today (8/7)

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? strips at first...now API drop test kit.

Strip tests are highly unreliable so we really encourage drop test kits. It's also very important to test for nitrites and nitrates. So, I might suggest you invest in drop test kits for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH and KH and GH and then let us know, again, what your readings are.

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.0-7.4 with stick test / 7.6 with drop test after cleaning tank and again today (8/7)

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) Higher pH levels for goldfish are preferred, but messing with it can be worse than not, so if your KH and GH are strong, this isn't the worst. So, getting test kits for KH and GH would be a good idea so you know what you're dealing with. I couldn't find a KH/GH test kit and 2 stores? Suggestions?

Also, testing your water out of the tap will show whether there's a difference between tap and tank and, thus, help us determine if there's something going on in your tank that isn't good. This would go for all tests. Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH, GH and KH.

[*]Water temperature? 71 Good

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 30g

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 2 goldfish & 1 small pleco If both your goldfish were fancies, I'd say this bioload is okay. Pushing the limit, but okay. But, as one of these goldfish is a common, you're over your bioload limit with what you have. Is there a way you could re-home the pleco? We could possibly could re-home the pleco, but will need to purchase another tank, as all we currently have for a backup is a little 5 g

[*]What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Nearly 2 years in current home/2+yrs in previous home. You didn't tell us the name and/or model of your filter, i.e., Marineland Penguin 350B HOB Biowheel Power Filter, etc.

The filter is a Marineland Biowheel Penquin 200

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? Usually weekly, typically 25%, maybe not as often this summer due to vacations/weddings.

[*]how many days ago was the last water change and how much? 3 days How much water do you remove with each water change? And, how do you clean your filter?

This week, I removed 95% of water as suggested. Typically clean filter with water (reverse osmosis H2O). What is best to do?

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? salt & tap water conditioner What kind of conditioner do you use? Salt is not necessary to use on a regular basis and can, actually, be detrimental to the fish to do so because bacteria and parasites can build up an immunity to it. How much salt have you been adding?

I wasn't adding salt regularly, but 1 tablespoon for every 5 g, which was 5T. The tap water condition is TopFin. Someone recommended Prime? What about Nutrafin Cycle...unnecessary or waste of $?

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? flakes 2 x daily Ideally, goldfish should be fed sinking food, so flakes aren't usually the best. Food floating on the surface causes the goldfish to gulp air, which can cause bloating, flipping, floating, or even SBD. So, you want to avoid this. But, even with sinking pellets, which are typically better to feed, you need to soak them, and any food, first. This allows the food to not only sink, but also stops it from swelling inside the goldfish and potentially causing bloating or other internal issues. Also, it's best to feed only once a day with one day a week as a fasting day to help clear out their intestines.

Thanks, good to know! Is there a brand you'd recommend? I recently bought Wardley Goldfish slow sinking crumbles, as that's all they had that weren't flakes. I can look elsewhere for something better quality.

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

[*]Any medications added to the tank? Melafix currently.

Since cleaning the tank this week, no meds or salt were added.

[*]List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. listed above (Had previously used Melafix and Lifeguard) Cleaned tank and did hydrogen peroxide swab on fish and added nothing but tap water conditioner and new carbon filter to tank.

Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. I have been using Melafix for a couple of months due to someone's suggestion of it being a natural but it seemed worse when we returned from vacation and tried Lifequard for 2 weeks.

You also indicated Lifeguard above. Melafix is gentle, that's okay, but it's best not to add chemical meds until you're certain what it is you're dealing with. It's a bit unfortunate that you have been using salt on a regular basis because it may impede your ability to deal with the bumps without using chem meds, which we try not to do, but let's deal with that.

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

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? none

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I was thinking you'd like to check out an older thread from one of our members who had a fish with the same type of bump. LINK There wasn't any follow up on the last page as the bump didn't pop or anything but there's a bunch of good tidbits in the thread you can check out.

Thank you, I will read them. I haven't been able to have access to my home computer nearly all week due to 2 so-called outages, according to Comcast, so was just now able to fill in the missing blanks. Thanks.

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Well, first off, I'd, absolutely most seriously, if you haven't already, contact Comcast and DEMAND that they credit you for the time you were without their service. They legally cannot charge you for a service that wasn't provided and they have to credit your account for the time that you were without their service. And, as it was two weeks, this is hugely significant. That's half a month's charge!

Okay, so onto fish.

Good start with the 95% water change and HP swabs. Only do an HP swab once. What it does is to disinfect the area and remove any necrotic skin. So, any additional HP swabs, would only serve to remove any new, tender skin that has begun to heal, in essence, "picking at a scab" so to speak and continually leaving it open and raw. So, only one HP swab is neccesary.

[*]Ammonia Level? <0.02 Safe This was the with the sticks, which now I see are highly inaccurate. With the drop kit, before cleaning were near 1.0, which could be the cause? But, the Melafix bottle had also said to take out the carbon filter, which I had done and put in one without carbon and changed it weekly. The level after cleaning and again today (8/7) is 0 ppm.

[*]Nitrite Level 0ppm before cleaning tank

[*]Nitrate level 5.0-10 ppm before cleaning tank and 10-20 ppm today (8/7)

Now you see how inaccurate those darned sticks can be? Telling you your water is safe when the drop tests clearly show you that, indeed, your water was not and was actualy at a very dangerous level. This is why the first thing we tell someone to do is a very large water change.

Taking out your carbon is what you need to do as the carbon will remove the medication from the water, but changing your non-carbon media weekly is not a good idea as that is where the majority of your beneficial bacteria grows and this can cause a serious bump or crash in your cycle. Rinsing your media in chlorinated water will also kill your BBs. Just to let you know. Now, if carbon media was ALL you had, well, you had no choice and you would've lost your BBs anyway, but I just wanted to let you know. But, as you don't have ammonia and do have nitrates, no bump, no crash, so that's great!

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? strips at first...now API drop test kit. Lovely! Wonderful!

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.0-7.4 with stick test / 7.6 with drop test after cleaning tank and again today

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) And, even with the pH using the drop test, see the difference there? 7.6 is definitely a good number to see and much more specific than 7.0-7.4, which can be anywhere from requiring concern to just barely okay.

[*]Water temperature? 71 Good

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 30g

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 2 goldfish & 1 small pleco If both your goldfish were fancies, I'd say this bioload is okay. Pushing the limit, but okay. But, as one of these goldfish is a common, you're over your bioload limit with what you have. Is there a way you could re-home the pleco? We could possibly could re-home the pleco, but will need to purchase another tank, as all we currently have for a backup is a little 5 g Well, I don't know the exact size of your goldies, but it's probably not a dire emergency at this point, but just keep in mind, that the larger all your critters get, you will need to get another home for your pleco as soon as you can.

[*]What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Nearly 2 years in current home/2+yrs in previous home. You didn't tell us the name and/or model of your filter, i.e., Marineland Penguin 350B HOB Biowheel Power Filter, etc.

The filter is a Marineland Biowheel Penquin 200 Oh look! I was close! lol! Well, this filter only pushes 200 gph. The "rule" for goldfish is that the filter needs to push at least 10 times the amount of water as the size of the tank. So, for your 30 gallon tank, you need a filter that moves AT LEAST 300 gph of water. So, if you were to get another of these exact filters, you'd be 100 gph over and that would be great. Whatever combination or final choice you decide is up to you, but just remember, you need a minimum of 300 gph.

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? Usually weekly, typically 25%, maybe not as often this summer due to vacations/weddings. Water changes for goldfish need to be at least 50% weekly. Changing more than 50% will never hurt and can very well be better too. I, personally, do about 75% weekly. Water changes are not only about keeping ammonia down. They are also about removing bad bacteria and things that can cause, oh.... let's say, bumps and ulcers? So, stay up with your water changes. And if you have gravel, make sure you swish and swirl and sift that gravel with your hand while vacuuming up all debris that gets stirred up. If you have gravel and get cloudy water by doing this, then you need to continue removing water until your water is clear. The amount of water you remove shouldn't be based on a percentage nearly as much as making sure you know that what's in there is completely free from uneaten food and poop. And, as you're dealing with these cysts, you must keep up with weekly water changes of a large amount. Not 90%, unless something gets really out of whack with your readings again, but more than 50%.

[*]how many days ago was the last water change and how much? 3 days How much water do you remove with each water change? And, how do you clean your filter?

This week, I removed 95% of water as suggested. Typically clean filter with water (reverse osmosis H2O). What is best to do? This large water change will really help clear out the tank. Good. Now, as far as RO water, I've not used it, so I can't speak to it, but, I know that RO not only removes particulates, it also removes non-particulates, which includes chlorine, so it should be okay. Just as long as the water you're using doesn't have chlorine, which can kill the BBs. Typically, we just suggest rinsing in some removed tank water. Cheaper and just as good unless you know you have something bad in the water.

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? salt & tap water conditioner What kind of conditioner do you use? Salt is not necessary to use on a regular basis and can, actually, be detrimental to the fish to do so because bacteria and parasites can build up an immunity to it. How much salt have you been adding?

I wasn't adding salt regularly, but 1 tablespoon for every 5 g, which was 5T. The tap water condition is TopFin. Someone recommended Prime? What about Nutrafin Cycle...unnecessary or waste of $? If your tank is cycled, which it appears it is, Nutrafin Cycle, or any of those bacteria cycle products, is unnecessary, so yeah, a waste of $$. Prime is fine. It's just a conditioner that also helps with the ammonia, but it's still a conditioner, so if you choose to use Prime, then the Top Fin conditioner is also unnecessary.

So, the salt you were adding was JUST as a treatment for the bumps/ulcers? Your salt measurements aren't over the recommended amount - they're actually quite below the 0.1% treatment level - so that's fine, but your measurements are a little...... unusual. Take a look at this article, also linked in my signature as "Salt As Treatment." http://www.kokosgold...streatment.html It will give you a little more standard salt measurements. And, seeing as you did an almost complete water change and considering you're dealing with these cysts, I'd suggest you add salt up to 0.3% following the method suggested in that article, i.e., starting with 0.1% and increasing the amount at 12 hour increments. Make sure you understand the part about how to replace the salt when you do water changes. Also, carbon does not remove salt, so you could go ahead and put your carbon medial back in the filter. I would not suggest any other meds at this time.

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? flakes 2 x daily Ideally, goldfish should be fed sinking food, so flakes aren't usually the best. Food floating on the surface causes the goldfish to gulp air, which can cause bloating, flipping, floating, or even SBD. So, you want to avoid this. But, even with sinking pellets, which are typically better to feed, you need to soak them, and any food, first. This allows the food to not only sink, but also stops it from swelling inside the goldfish and potentially causing bloating or other internal issues. Also, it's best to feed only once a day with one day a week as a fasting day to help clear out their intestines.

Thanks, good to know! Is there a brand you'd recommend? I recently bought Wardley Goldfish slow sinking crumbles, as that's all they had that weren't flakes. I can look elsewhere for something better quality. I, personally, unequivocally prefer homemade gel food with ocassional treats of fresh fruits and veggies and proteins such as bloodworms, spirulina or brineshrimp, etc. But, if you choose a pellet, Hikari products are a really good brand to choose. Also, Pro-Gold from Goldfish Connection is an excellent choice.

[*]Any medications added to the tank? Melafix currently.

Since cleaning the tank this week, no meds or salt were added. As I said above, just stick with treating with salt.

[*]List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. listed above (Had previously used Melafix and Lifeguard) Cleaned tank and did hydrogen peroxide swab on fish and added nothing but tap water conditioner and new carbon filter to tank. Perfect!

Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. I have been using Melafix for a couple of months due to someone's suggestion of it being a natural but it seemed worse when we returned from vacation and tried Lifequard for 2 weeks. Melafix is only a gentle healing agent. It's not an anti-bacterial treatment. Pimafix can help with addressing the bacterial infection while Melafix helps heal the wounds, but Melafix won't treat the bacteria alone. But, again, let's just stick with salt treatment.

Edited by Lynda Von G

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Well, first off, I'd, absolutely most seriously, if you haven't already, contact Comcast and DEMAND that they credit you for the time you were without their service. They legally cannot charge you for a service that wasn't provided and they have to credit your account for the time that you were without their service. And, as it was two weeks, this is hugely significant. That's half a month's charge!

Okay, so onto fish.

Good start with the 95% water change and HP swabs. Only do an HP swab once. What it does is to disinfect the area and remove any necrotic skin. So, any additional HP swabs, would only serve to remove any new, tender skin that has begun to heal, in essence, "picking at a scab" so to speak and continually leaving it open and raw. So, only one HP swab is neccesary.

[*]Ammonia Level? <0.02 Safe This was the with the sticks, which now I see are highly inaccurate. With the drop kit, before cleaning were near 1.0, which could be the cause? But, the Melafix bottle had also said to take out the carbon filter, which I had done and put in one without carbon and changed it weekly. The level after cleaning and again today (8/7) is 0 ppm.

[*]Nitrite Level 0ppm before cleaning tank

[*]Nitrate level 5.0-10 ppm before cleaning tank and 10-20 ppm today (8/7)

Now you see how inaccurate those darned sticks can be? Telling you your water is safe when the drop tests clearly show you that, indeed, your water was not and was actualy at a very dangerous level. This is why the first thing we tell someone to do is a very large water change.

Taking out your carbon is what you need to do as the carbon will remove the medication from the water, but changing your non-carbon media weekly is not a good idea as that is where the majority of your beneficial bacteria grows and this can cause a serious bump or crash in your cycle. Rinsing your media in chlorinated water will also kill your BBs. Just to let you know. Now, if carbon media was ALL you had, well, you had no choice and you would've lost your BBs anyway, but I just wanted to let you know. But, as you don't have ammonia and do have nitrates, no bump, no crash, so that's great!

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? strips at first...now API drop test kit. Lovely! Wonderful!

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.0-7.4 with stick test / 7.6 with drop test after cleaning tank and again today

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) And, even with the pH using the drop test, see the difference there? 7.6 is definitely a good number to see and much more specific than 7.0-7.4, which can be anywhere from requiring concern to just barely okay.

[*]Water temperature? 71 Good

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 30g

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 2 goldfish & 1 small pleco If both your goldfish were fancies, I'd say this bioload is okay. Pushing the limit, but okay. But, as one of these goldfish is a common, you're over your bioload limit with what you have. Is there a way you could re-home the pleco? We could possibly could re-home the pleco, but will need to purchase another tank, as all we currently have for a backup is a little 5 g Well, I don't know the exact size of your goldies, but it's probably not a dire emergency at this point, but just keep in mind, that the larger all your critters get, you will need to get another home for your pleco as soon as you can.

[*]What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Nearly 2 years in current home/2+yrs in previous home. You didn't tell us the name and/or model of your filter, i.e., Marineland Penguin 350B HOB Biowheel Power Filter, etc.

The filter is a Marineland Biowheel Penquin 200 Oh look! I was close! lol! Well, this filter only pushes 200 gph. The "rule" for goldfish is that the filter needs to push at least 10 times the amount of water as the size of the tank. So, for your 30 gallon tank, you need a filter that moves AT LEAST 300 gph of water. So, if you were to get another of these exact filters, you'd be 100 gph over and that would be great. Whatever combination or final choice you decide is up to you, but just remember, you need a minimum of 300 gph.

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? Usually weekly, typically 25%, maybe not as often this summer due to vacations/weddings. Water changes for goldfish need to be at least 50% weekly. Changing more than 50% will never hurt and can very well be better too. I, personally, do about 75% weekly. Water changes are not only about keeping ammonia down. They are also about removing bad bacteria and things that can cause, oh.... let's say, bumps and ulcers? So, stay up with your water changes. And if you have gravel, make sure you swish and swirl and sift that gravel with your hand while vacuuming up all debris that gets stirred up. If you have gravel and get cloudy water by doing this, then you need to continue removing water until your water is clear. The amount of water you remove shouldn't be based on a percentage nearly as much as making sure you know that what's in there is completely free from uneaten food and poop. And, as you're dealing with these cysts, you must keep up with weekly water changes of a large amount. Not 90%, unless something gets really out of whack with your readings again, but more than 50%.

[*]how many days ago was the last water change and how much? 3 days How much water do you remove with each water change? And, how do you clean your filter?

This week, I removed 95% of water as suggested. Typically clean filter with water (reverse osmosis H2O). What is best to do? This large water change will really help clear out the tank. Good. Now, as far as RO water, I've not used it, so I can't speak to it, but, I know that RO not only removes particulates, it also removes non-particulates, which includes chlorine, so it should be okay. Just as long as the water you're using doesn't have chlorine, which can kill the BBs. Typically, we just suggest rinsing in some removed tank water. Cheaper and just as good unless you know you have something bad in the water.

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? salt & tap water conditioner What kind of conditioner do you use? Salt is not necessary to use on a regular basis and can, actually, be detrimental to the fish to do so because bacteria and parasites can build up an immunity to it. How much salt have you been adding?

I wasn't adding salt regularly, but 1 tablespoon for every 5 g, which was 5T. The tap water condition is TopFin. Someone recommended Prime? What about Nutrafin Cycle...unnecessary or waste of $? If your tank is cycled, which it appears it is, Nutrafin Cycle, or any of those bacteria cycle products, is unnecessary, so yeah, a waste of $$. Prime is fine. It's just a conditioner that also helps with the ammonia, but it's still a conditioner, so if you choose to use Prime, then the Top Fin conditioner is also unnecessary.

So, the salt you were adding was JUST as a treatment for the bumps/ulcers? Your salt measurements aren't over the recommended amount - they're actually quite below the 0.1% treatment level - so that's fine, but your measurements are a little...... unusual. Take a look at this article, also linked in my signature as "Salt As Treatment." http://www.kokosgold...streatment.html It will give you a little more standard salt measurements. And, seeing as you did an almost complete water change and considering you're dealing with these cysts, I'd suggest you add salt up to 0.3% following the method suggested in that article, i.e., starting with 0.1% and increasing the amount at 12 hour increments. Make sure you understand the part about how to replace the salt when you do water changes. Also, carbon does not remove salt, so you could go ahead and put your carbon medial back in the filter. I would not suggest any other meds at this time.

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? flakes 2 x daily Ideally, goldfish should be fed sinking food, so flakes aren't usually the best. Food floating on the surface causes the goldfish to gulp air, which can cause bloating, flipping, floating, or even SBD. So, you want to avoid this. But, even with sinking pellets, which are typically better to feed, you need to soak them, and any food, first. This allows the food to not only sink, but also stops it from swelling inside the goldfish and potentially causing bloating or other internal issues. Also, it's best to feed only once a day with one day a week as a fasting day to help clear out their intestines.

Thanks, good to know! Is there a brand you'd recommend? I recently bought Wardley Goldfish slow sinking crumbles, as that's all they had that weren't flakes. I can look elsewhere for something better quality. I, personally, unequivocally prefer homemade gel food with ocassional treats of fresh fruits and veggies and proteins such as bloodworms, spirulina or brineshrimp, etc. But, if you choose a pellet, Hikari products are a really good brand to choose. Also, Pro-Gold from Goldfish Connection is an excellent choice.

[*]Any medications added to the tank? Melafix currently.

Since cleaning the tank this week, no meds or salt were added. As I said above, just stick with treating with salt.

[*]List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. listed above (Had previously used Melafix and Lifeguard) Cleaned tank and did hydrogen peroxide swab on fish and added nothing but tap water conditioner and new carbon filter to tank. Perfect!

Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. I have been using Melafix for a couple of months due to someone's suggestion of it being a natural but it seemed worse when we returned from vacation and tried Lifequard for 2 weeks. Melafix is only a gentle healing agent. It's not an anti-bacterial treatment. Pimafix can help with addressing the bacterial infection while Melafix helps heal the wounds, but Melafix won't treat the bacteria alone. But, again, let's just stick with salt treatment.

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Thank you so very much for your reply. I want to do whatever possible to help my son's beloved fish get well. We even moved them with us from IL to TX nearly 2 years ago...2 large buckets in the truck with a portable air pump...all against my husband's wishes. But, our son would have been heartbroken without them, since he'd had them since they were tiny and for several years. I will print out the article about salt and heed all of your advice. As for Comcast...they are a thorn in my side. In June we were without cable for basically 3 weeks, after making numerous calls and getting the 3rd technician out to fix things. We were to have a $70+ credit on our bill...it arrived Sat. and guess what...NO credit. So, I have to call them anyway, so the phone/cable will be discussed as well. :I-Thank-You:

Well, first off, I'd, absolutely most seriously, if you haven't already, contact Comcast and DEMAND that they credit you for the time you were without their service. They legally cannot charge you for a service that wasn't provided and they have to credit your account for the time that you were without their service. And, as it was two weeks, this is hugely significant. That's half a month's charge!

Okay, so onto fish.

Good start with the 95% water change and HP swabs. Only do an HP swab once. What it does is to disinfect the area and remove any necrotic skin. So, any additional HP swabs, would only serve to remove any new, tender skin that has begun to heal, in essence, "picking at a scab" so to speak and continually leaving it open and raw. So, only one HP swab is neccesary.

[*]Ammonia Level? <0.02 Safe This was the with the sticks, which now I see are highly inaccurate. With the drop kit, before cleaning were near 1.0, which could be the cause? But, the Melafix bottle had also said to take out the carbon filter, which I had done and put in one without carbon and changed it weekly. The level after cleaning and again today (8/7) is 0 ppm.

[*]Nitrite Level 0ppm before cleaning tank

[*]Nitrate level 5.0-10 ppm before cleaning tank and 10-20 ppm today (8/7)

Now you see how inaccurate those darned sticks can be? Telling you your water is safe when the drop tests clearly show you that, indeed, your water was not and was actualy at a very dangerous level. This is why the first thing we tell someone to do is a very large water change.

Taking out your carbon is what you need to do as the carbon will remove the medication from the water, but changing your non-carbon media weekly is not a good idea as that is where the majority of your beneficial bacteria grows and this can cause a serious bump or crash in your cycle. Rinsing your media in chlorinated water will also kill your BBs. Just to let you know. Now, if carbon media was ALL you had, well, you had no choice and you would've lost your BBs anyway, but I just wanted to let you know. But, as you don't have ammonia and do have nitrates, no bump, no crash, so that's great!

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? strips at first...now API drop test kit. Lovely! Wonderful!

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.0-7.4 with stick test / 7.6 with drop test after cleaning tank and again today

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) And, even with the pH using the drop test, see the difference there? 7.6 is definitely a good number to see and much more specific than 7.0-7.4, which can be anywhere from requiring concern to just barely okay.

[*]Water temperature? 71 Good

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 30g

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 2 goldfish & 1 small pleco If both your goldfish were fancies, I'd say this bioload is okay. Pushing the limit, but okay. But, as one of these goldfish is a common, you're over your bioload limit with what you have. Is there a way you could re-home the pleco? We could possibly could re-home the pleco, but will need to purchase another tank, as all we currently have for a backup is a little 5 g Well, I don't know the exact size of your goldies, but it's probably not a dire emergency at this point, but just keep in mind, that the larger all your critters get, you will need to get another home for your pleco as soon as you can.

[*]What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Nearly 2 years in current home/2+yrs in previous home. You didn't tell us the name and/or model of your filter, i.e., Marineland Penguin 350B HOB Biowheel Power Filter, etc.

The filter is a Marineland Biowheel Penquin 200 Oh look! I was close! lol! Well, this filter only pushes 200 gph. The "rule" for goldfish is that the filter needs to push at least 10 times the amount of water as the size of the tank. So, for your 30 gallon tank, you need a filter that moves AT LEAST 300 gph of water. So, if you were to get another of these exact filters, you'd be 100 gph over and that would be great. Whatever combination or final choice you decide is up to you, but just remember, you need a minimum of 300 gph.

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? Usually weekly, typically 25%, maybe not as often this summer due to vacations/weddings. Water changes for goldfish need to be at least 50% weekly. Changing more than 50% will never hurt and can very well be better too. I, personally, do about 75% weekly. Water changes are not only about keeping ammonia down. They are also about removing bad bacteria and things that can cause, oh.... let's say, bumps and ulcers? So, stay up with your water changes. And if you have gravel, make sure you swish and swirl and sift that gravel with your hand while vacuuming up all debris that gets stirred up. If you have gravel and get cloudy water by doing this, then you need to continue removing water until your water is clear. The amount of water you remove shouldn't be based on a percentage nearly as much as making sure you know that what's in there is completely free from uneaten food and poop. And, as you're dealing with these cysts, you must keep up with weekly water changes of a large amount. Not 90%, unless something gets really out of whack with your readings again, but more than 50%.

[*]how many days ago was the last water change and how much? 3 days How much water do you remove with each water change? And, how do you clean your filter?

This week, I removed 95% of water as suggested. Typically clean filter with water (reverse osmosis H2O). What is best to do? This large water change will really help clear out the tank. Good. Now, as far as RO water, I've not used it, so I can't speak to it, but, I know that RO not only removes particulates, it also removes non-particulates, which includes chlorine, so it should be okay. Just as long as the water you're using doesn't have chlorine, which can kill the BBs. Typically, we just suggest rinsing in some removed tank water. Cheaper and just as good unless you know you have something bad in the water.

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? salt & tap water conditioner What kind of conditioner do you use? Salt is not necessary to use on a regular basis and can, actually, be detrimental to the fish to do so because bacteria and parasites can build up an immunity to it. How much salt have you been adding?

I wasn't adding salt regularly, but 1 tablespoon for every 5 g, which was 5T. The tap water condition is TopFin. Someone recommended Prime? What about Nutrafin Cycle...unnecessary or waste of $? If your tank is cycled, which it appears it is, Nutrafin Cycle, or any of those bacteria cycle products, is unnecessary, so yeah, a waste of $$. Prime is fine. It's just a conditioner that also helps with the ammonia, but it's still a conditioner, so if you choose to use Prime, then the Top Fin conditioner is also unnecessary.

So, the salt you were adding was JUST as a treatment for the bumps/ulcers? Your salt measurements aren't over the recommended amount - they're actually quite below the 0.1% treatment level - so that's fine, but your measurements are a little...... unusual. Take a look at this article, also linked in my signature as "Salt As Treatment." http://www.kokosgold...streatment.html It will give you a little more standard salt measurements. And, seeing as you did an almost complete water change and considering you're dealing with these cysts, I'd suggest you add salt up to 0.3% following the method suggested in that article, i.e., starting with 0.1% and increasing the amount at 12 hour increments. Make sure you understand the part about how to replace the salt when you do water changes. Also, carbon does not remove salt, so you could go ahead and put your carbon medial back in the filter. I would not suggest any other meds at this time.

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? flakes 2 x daily Ideally, goldfish should be fed sinking food, so flakes aren't usually the best. Food floating on the surface causes the goldfish to gulp air, which can cause bloating, flipping, floating, or even SBD. So, you want to avoid this. But, even with sinking pellets, which are typically better to feed, you need to soak them, and any food, first. This allows the food to not only sink, but also stops it from swelling inside the goldfish and potentially causing bloating or other internal issues. Also, it's best to feed only once a day with one day a week as a fasting day to help clear out their intestines.

Thanks, good to know! Is there a brand you'd recommend? I recently bought Wardley Goldfish slow sinking crumbles, as that's all they had that weren't flakes. I can look elsewhere for something better quality. I, personally, unequivocally prefer homemade gel food with ocassional treats of fresh fruits and veggies and proteins such as bloodworms, spirulina or brineshrimp, etc. But, if you choose a pellet, Hikari products are a really good brand to choose. Also, Pro-Gold from Goldfish Connection is an excellent choice.

[*]Any medications added to the tank? Melafix currently.

Since cleaning the tank this week, no meds or salt were added. As I said above, just stick with treating with salt.

[*]List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. listed above (Had previously used Melafix and Lifeguard) Cleaned tank and did hydrogen peroxide swab on fish and added nothing but tap water conditioner and new carbon filter to tank. Perfect!

Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. I have been using Melafix for a couple of months due to someone's suggestion of it being a natural but it seemed worse when we returned from vacation and tried Lifequard for 2 weeks. Melafix is only a gentle healing agent. It's not an anti-bacterial treatment. Pimafix can help with addressing the bacterial infection while Melafix helps heal the wounds, but Melafix won't treat the bacteria alone. But, again, let's just stick with salt treatment.

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Well, some serious credit needs to be given to you for moving the fish with you and managing to keep them alive for all these years. That shows a pretty good ability to do what's right for them, for sure.

So, I'll tell ya. About 4 years ago, there was a period where I slacked off on water changes. I pushed the changes from 7 days to 10 days. And pretty soon, that slipped up to two weeks. Then, oops!, I tried to get back on track, did regular weekly water changes for a couple of weeks, then slipped again to once every two weeks. Did that three different times, and guess what? My ryukin got a big cyst on his side. I did my treatments. That one went away. Phew! I thought. And even though I'd learned my lesson and kept up with my water changes after that, about a month later, he got another cyst, but this one popped and he died.

So, thing is, no matter how good we do everything else, if we just slip up just that one time or couple of times, that's all it takes for something to happen. That's why we're so emphatic about doing regular, large water changes. I definitely learned my lesson. None of us got here by doing everything right. So, I know how it is. Keep us informed on how it's going!

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