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Guest bloodybeauty

Sick Shubunkin

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Guest bloodybeauty

[*]Ammonia Level? .25 PPM

[*]Nitrite Level? 0

[*]Nitrate level? 0

[*]Ph Level, Tank 7.6

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

[*]Water temperature? 75

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 20gal but its am aquaponics setup so its a constantly recirculating system utilizing a 1 x 3 grow bed serving as the bio filter we also have an air pump pumping in oxygen to the tank and the grow bed The system has been running 4 months

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? There is no need to change the water since the plants filter out the waste, but we add about 1 liter of water every 2 days

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 4 Veiltails, 2 Fantails, 1 Shubunkin, 1 Chinese Alge Eater, 1 Snail(not sure what kind)

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? none

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? 3xday Wardley Advanced pellets

[*]Any new fish added to the tank? We started with the Veils then about 2 months ago we added the snail and the fans. 2 weeks ago we added the Subunkin and the chinese alge eater

[*]Any medications added to the tank? none

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? His fins look very thin and he keeps the close to his body

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? he's not eating, he is mostly hanging out on the bottom of the tank or hiding

All of our fish have been very healthy and active. Up until this morning the shubunkin was full of energy and his fins were always splayed out and beautiful. I really hope we can help him!

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Guest bloodybeauty

Sorry the test kit is API master

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i dont know what aquaponis is but a 20 gallon is meant for 1 fish. Does aquaponis add water volume? May i ask why you dont use water conditioner? Chlorine hurts goldfish. Most algae eaters are dangerous for goldfish. I think Chinese algae eaters are one of the dangerous ones for goldies...

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oh and you should def be doing watr changes weekly. Topping the tank off only just adds water that evaporated. There are other things that can grow in the water that you can not test for. I recommend a lrge water change for starters. Others will chip in soon

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I am not familiar with the filtration system you are using, either, but in any case 20 gallons is absolutely too small for all of those fish (considering swimming space alone). Hopefully a more experienced member will stop by to point you in the right direction :unsure:

Edit: It also seems that you have no cycle, indicated by the presence of ammonia and lack of nitrates. The fact that you add no water conditioner (meaning chlorine is present) is probably the reason for this, and it is harmful to your fish as well.

Edited by Kailey

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Could you please post pics of the setup? That would help us greatly!

Also, I agree with the previous posters, 20 gallons is much too small to contain that many fish. This in itself will cause much stress (which equates to getting sick). Also, as demonstrated by the ammonia detected, the biological filter seems incapable of handling that much bioload. Lastly, even though your continuously circulating system may be to eliminate most of the nitrogenous wastes, there are other toxins than can accumulate over time which we don't measure for. So water changes are critical, even in your system, I believe.

Having said that, I have two suggestions:

1. I think you will need to upgrade your system or re-home some of the fish. The stocking guidelines suggest 20 gallons for the first goldfish, and then 10gallons/additional fancy or 20gallons/addition single tail. A good temporary solution is to get rubbermaid tubs to use. They aren't so pretty to look at, but will be great as housing. Just make sure you provide adequate (meaning 10x or more) filtration.

2. Do an immediate 80% WC to get rid of most of the ammonia. I would check this parameter daily. The clamped fins could be the result of the ammonia stress.

Good luck!

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Some pics if you can but it appears to me that your fish just may be very stressed about something inspect the whole tank see if something is bothering your shubunkin it may be the other fish in a small tank like that their bound to get aggressive

Edited by thefishofultimatejoy

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I do know what aquaponics is, although I haven't tried it. When I researched the subject, I read that ornamental fish (goldfish and koi) were not suitable for aquaponic production because they could not handle the crowding required to produce enough waste to grow vegetables. What I saw scanning the web just now for systems using goldfish argues that this is true. The small tanks with large numbers of small goldfish were clearly designed for the fish to die young and be replaced. If all those fish grew to normal adult size they would be overflowing the tank. I noted that one person said his fish seemed healthy except that some had jumped out of the tank. Sometimes a goldfish will jump out of a tank for no good reason -- just a crazy fish. But the most common reason for a fish jumping out of the tank (particularly if it happens more than once) is that the water conditions are unbearable.

I'm a biologist, and I do understand the ability of plants to purify water, but you have evidence that your plants aren't doing the job adequately. An established system should not have a detectable level of ammonia. You have ammonia, and that alone can explain sick fish. I use plants in what I call an "in-pond bog filter" and the readings for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are always zero. Even with perfect filtration, crowding fish leads to stress and facilitates the transfer of pathogens and parasites. More than one goldfish per 10 gallons is crowding.

You also have to consider that your shubunkin may be a victim of that chinese algae eater. They are notorious for eating the slime coat of goldfish, eventually killing the fish. They do this at night, so you can't expect to observe it. Just get rid of that thing.

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Exactly...the fish are used to produce waste to feed the plants. They are essentially considered food. Most people use feeders if they use goldfish. I've never heard of fancies being used for this sort of set up. And based on the water params, the plants can't keep up with the massive amount of waste.

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Bloodybeauty, you did a very good job of filling out the form and explaining your system. Few people do that on their first post.

I have been reading up on using goldfish in aquaponics, and have looked at some of the commercial and home-made systems. I conclude that they were designed (as amynmitchell said) for growing plants rather than for the welfare of the fish. They see goldfish as little fish that are cheap, live a few months and are easily replaced. But healthy goldfish -- particularly those of the normal body type -- should live a decade or more and may grow to weigh more than a pound. People here are totally geared toward the welfare of the fish, so some responses might seem a little harsh. You clearly don't regard your fish as "disposables," since you are looking for help.

We can't tell for sure what is stressing your shubunkin. It could be some disease or parasite it was carrying when you got it that is just being expressed. That's why we always tell people to quarantine new fish for at least 3 or 4 weeks no matter how healthy they might appear. It might be the ammonia. It could be that algae eater. The best thing to do is remove the shubunkin to another tank. Every fish keeper should have a quarantine/hospital tank available. A 10 gallon is big enough. Use fresh dechlorinated water in the hospital tank. Get a filter for the hospital tank and put some stones from the grow bed in the filter to seed it with bacteria. Check the water every day and change enough to keep ammonia and nitrite as close to zero as possible. Then tell us how your fish is doing. Perfectly clean water and isolation is the first step.

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Bloodybeauty, you did a very good job of filling out the form and explaining your system. Few people do that on their first post.

I have been reading up on using goldfish in aquaponics, and have looked at some of the commercial and home-made systems. I conclude that they were designed (as amynmitchell said) for growing plants rather than for the welfare of the fish. They see goldfish as little fish that are cheap, live a few months and are easily replaced. But healthy goldfish -- particularly those of the normal body type -- should live a decade or more and may grow to weigh more than a pound. People here are totally geared toward the welfare of the fish, so some responses might seem a little harsh. You clearly don't regard your fish as "disposables," since you are looking for help.

We can't tell for sure what is stressing your shubunkin. It could be some disease or parasite it was carrying when you got it that is just being expressed. That's why we always tell people to quarantine new fish for at least 3 or 4 weeks no matter how healthy they might appear. It might be the ammonia. It could be that algae eater. The best thing to do is remove the shubunkin to another tank. Every fish keeper should have a quarantine/hospital tank available. A 10 gallon is big enough. Use fresh dechlorinated water in the hospital tank. Get a filter for the hospital tank and put some stones from the grow bed in the filter to seed it with bacteria. Check the water every day and change enough to keep ammonia and nitrite as close to zero as possible. Then tell us how your fish is doing. Perfectly clean water and isolation is the first step.

Hi there, I have a sick fish with ich and swim bladder infection. I noticed you told her to get a quarantine tank and u said to get a filter for the tank and put some stones from the grow bed in the filter? what did you mean? i have a marineland bio wheel and an aquaclear 70 for my 36 gallon.

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It looks like you posted your own thread and I responded on there. That is a great start to getting help.

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Any updates here? How are the fish? Did you manage to do some extra large water changes as suggested? :)

Those two new fish may have brought something in if they were not quarantined first. Please post back with news! :)

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