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wolfsong8

Fish and Wen growth?

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I little bit ago I got a red-capped oranda. He was so little and cute, swimming in the tank at the LPS:-) When I brought him home I had him in a seperate quarantine tank for about a month. He was so tiny I could not feed him any of my regular fish pellets, even after soaking them. He just had a lot of trouble eating them. So I started feeding him beta food. And boy did he grow!! He LOVED the beta food, and got nice and fat on them (his name is Fatty, btw!). After about a month I felt it was safe to add him to my main tank. Shortly after, the only other fish in that tank, my beautiful Firefly, passed away, leaving Fatty by himself.

And then he stopped growing. He has been in there for months now, and I see no sign of growth. We did have a very nasty battle with bacterial fin rot, and I believe he has permanently lost a couple of his fins:-( But he seems to be doing much better now, and swimming and eating happily.

But I still see no sign of growth. Also, I have never really seen any difference in his wen. It is still not much more than a little red patch on his head. I want a BIG wen on a BIG oranda! I try and keep the tank clean, but I do let some algae grow in (he loves it!). I feed him a diet of high protein fish pellets, but not much else. Is there something that promotes wen growth?

BTW, I should mention that none of the goldfish I have ever had have grown once I put them in the tank. Some of them I had for 4-5 years and they never grew. Always stayed kinda small. Thoughts?

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maybe the source from where you get the fish is stunting them? You keep your water clean and feed them high protein food it sounds like... How often are you feeding? Small meals multiple times daily?

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I have owned a few orandas over the years and some of them had very little wen. I had a chocolate oranda who stayed the same size for almost a year and then one day he just started growing. Within a few months he was almost the biggest fish in the tank and his wen just went wild and almost doubled in size overnight. Depends on the background of the fish and the genetics too. Of the goldfish fry that make it past the initial cull by the breeders the best conditioned ones end up in specialised stores with a hefty price tag. All the fish i have had are the rejects and runts that don't make the grade and end up the LFS $2 tank :( How small were your fish when you got them ? I have an oranda that was probably about a year old when i got him and after 3 years with me he is still the same size now even though he had a 65 gallon tank with good filtration, pro gold, hikari and 3 different types of home made gel food.

Edited by alistairw

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Let's see if I have this right. You have a tank in which fish stop growing. You had one goldfish in there who died shortly after you added an apparently healthy new fish from quarantine. That new fish developed severe fin rot and even after recovery has failed to grow.

It sounds to me that something is seriously wrong with that tank. Why don't you fill out the form so we can try to figure out what it is?

Please copy & paste fill the following form and fill it out to the best of your ability when requesting help for Goldfish Problems:


    Test Results for the Following:
  • * Ammonia Level
  • * Nitrite Level
  • * Nitrate level
  • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
  • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
    Other Required Info:
  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?
  • * Water temperature?
  • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?
  • * How often do you change the water and how much?

  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size?
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners?
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often?
  • * Any new fish added to the tank?
  • * Any medications added to the tank?
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. 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?
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

I don't know much about wen growth, but I would expect that if a young fish is not growing, the wen won't grow much either. So the first question we should ask is why isn't the fish growing?

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How often do you change the water? And how much? I believe that water changes are the key to keeping your fish growing and healthy.

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Let's see if I have this right. You have a tank in which fish stop growing. You had one goldfish in there who died shortly after you added an apparently healthy new fish from quarantine. That new fish developed severe fin rot and even after recovery has failed to grow.

It sounds to me that something is seriously wrong with that tank.

No, I already tested the water multiple times. I did have to get a new tank, as the seams on my old one were starting to go bad, and I was worried about waking up one morning to find ten gallons of water all over my floor :blink: . But I had already cleared the bacterial problem before that.

Firefly had been having swim bladder problems for quite some time, and nothing I did resolved the problem (and I think I tried everything!). I think her immune system was weakened and she caught some other disease. Her health declined very rapidly. Her partner, Feather, had a similar problem. For some reason, my fish all seem to end up with SBD. So far, Fatty has not shown any signs of it, though.

How often do you change the water? And how much?

I change the water about once a month. I only have one little goldfish in a 10 gal tank. I do check my water params more often, though. The water is well cycled, and there is usually quite a bit of algae growing, though from time to time I do a major tank cleaning which almost wipes out the algae. At normal water changes I generally change about 40-50%, and at a major cleaning I will change up to 75%.

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What do you feed them? How often? How much? Do you fast them at all?

When you said you tried everything to fix the SBD, could you elaborate on that, please? Goldfish are prone to SBD, but there is no reason why everyone of your fish would develop this problem. This observation leads me to think that there issues might be one of the following: 1) chronically high nitrates, 2) some sort of lingering(bacterial) infection in the system, and/or 3) feeding (food type and frequency etc).

What is the range of your nitrate values over the last 6 months?

I can tell you right away that changing the water once a month is insufficient. Even when you are understocked, which you are not, it is best to do at least one 50% WC weekly. This ensures a fresh supply of water, dilutions of wastes, and possible things like stunting hormones.

Edited by dnalex

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I do have high nitrates, and I can't figure out how to bring them down. For a long time I was doing about a 40-50% water change every week. It made no difference in the water that I could tell (doing before and after param checks) and the fish seemed to be a little stressed from it. So I stopped doing them so often.

I have actually only ever had 3 goldfish (not including a few commons I have had over the years, most only surviving a week or two) - Feather was my first, and he lived with us for about 4-5 years (can't really remember, but it seemed like a while). Then we got Firefly, and the two shared a tank for several years. Then Feather got sick and eventually died, and Firefly followed a few months later. Fatty is the third. I have had him for a little while, maybe 6 months? Sorry, I am not good at remembering when I actually got my fish. He was a tiny little thing, and at first grew very quickly. Once he got the tail rot he stopped growing, but it has been several months with no sign of resumed growth.

When Feather and Firefly started showing signs of SBD, I immediately put them on a three day fast, followed by a few days of peas. But even with the peas, once they started eating, they started floating upside down again. By morning they would be fine. I was feeding them a few pellets (soaked) twice daily, but that went down to one feeding a day. But no matter what I did, they always floated after they ate anything. I feed Fatty a few pellets (soaked) once a day. Maybe I should be feeding him more? I am a little paranoid about the SBD, though, and don't want to overfeed him.

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I'm sorry if I missed this, but how big was the tank you were referring to in your first post? If it was anything less than 30 gallons (with 2 fish in it), and with only monthly water changes, I would say it is safe to assume that this could be a reason your fish aren't growing.

I understand your single fish is now residing in a 10 gallon tank. Unfortunately, I don't think this is enough space for healthy growth, and especially not enough space for your fish to have the greatest potential to get BIG. Also, about the monthly water changes: I have kept all my new fish in a 15 gallon QT tub, and I can't imagine how dirty it would have gotten if I'd only changed the water once a month. Yes, the fish may seem small, but these things can poop! 10 gallons for your single fish is technically being overstocked, and the negative effects of overstocking are exacerbated by the lack of water changes.

High nitrates have been known to aggravate swim bladder issues in goldfish. The high value can be caused by too few water changes, or it could be coming straight from your tap. I would test the nitrates from the tap water, and start there. If you could post the actual number you get, that would be helpful.

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Changing the water once a month will stunt your fish. If you want to grow a big stomper in a 10 gallon you need to step that up. Like stated 50% once a week minimum. If you really want to make it grow do it everyday.

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I'm sorry if I missed this, but how big was the tank you were referring to in your first post? If it was anything less than 30 gallons (with 2 fish in it), and with only monthly water changes, I would say it is safe to assume that this could be a reason your fish aren't growing.

I understand your single fish is now residing in a 10 gallon tank. Unfortunately, I don't think this is enough space for healthy growth, and especially not enough space for your fish to have the greatest potential to get BIG. Also, about the monthly water changes: I have kept all my new fish in a 15 gallon QT tub, and I can't imagine how dirty it would have gotten if I'd only changed the water once a month. Yes, the fish may seem small, but these things can poop! 10 gallons for your single fish is technically being overstocked, and the negative effects of overstocking are exacerbated by the lack of water changes.

High nitrates have been known to aggravate swim bladder issues in goldfish. The high value can be caused by too few water changes, or it could be coming straight from your tap. I would test the nitrates from the tap water, and start there. If you could post the actual number you get, that would be helpful.

Agreed. I have some additional comments.

1. Nitrates most of the time can only be gotten rid of by either having a high plant load and/or frequent water changes. If you've only been doing once month water changes at 40-50% most of the time, nitrates will have risen to very high levels. Doing a 50% WC will halve that amount, but it is still likely to be very high. What you will need to do is to do at 2-3 back to back water changes at one time. This should not be very difficult to do with a 10 gallon. Alternatively, you could remove the fish temporarily and do a 100% WC.

2. Water changes are not particularly stressful, and the benefits outweigh whatever the minimal stress might be. For my biggest tank, I do an 85% WC every 4-5 days, with the very infrequent slacking where I will let it go to 6-7 days. Even then, the nitrates in my tank do not go above 10ppm, and I would like to keep the numbers that low, because as Kailey indicated above, chronic exposure to nitrates could lead to SBD. For some fish, the level is pretty high, while other goldfish can develop extreme sensitivity to nitrates. So, keeping levels under 20ppm at all time is a prudent measure.

3. Fish, especially fish already prone to developing SBD, appear to have very high intolerance to processed food, such as pellets and flakes, etc. You can try making gel food for your fish. This has been found to be very effective in preventing SBD for a lot of people :)

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one more thing do a bunch of smaller water changes for several days in a row, before you go doing a 100%. I have seen fish get shocked to death by clean water believe it or not. Clean water will likely have a much different chemistry than month old dirty tank water.

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one more thing do a bunch of smaller water changes for several days in a row, before you go doing a 100%. I have seen fish get shocked to death by clean water believe it or not. Clean water will likely have a much different chemistry than month old dirty tank water.

This is very true.

So, could you please answer to the questions posted by shakaho, so we have a better idea of how to assist you. :)

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Hmm, interesting. Out of curiosity, how the heck do you find time to do all those water changes so often? I have a full time job, a part time job, and a family to take care of (which is like having another full time job!). Part of the reason I don't change the water as often is because I simply have NO TIME! But also, again, because it seemed to be stressing out my fish. I think Patti may have answered that, though. Very interesting thought.

As for my nitrates, they are generally at around 20ppm, whether the tank is sparkling clean or several weeks old. While this is not a terrible number, I would like to see it much lower, like around 10ppm or less. But as stated before, even when I did have time for more frequent WC, the number ever changed. There are no nitrates in the tap water, only in the tank.

Also, I was always told that for a fancy they should have at least 10gal per fish. Since I only have one fish, wouldn't that suffice? I have a 29gal tank, but no where to put it, unfortunately.

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See having the fish in that 10 gallon tank is going to cause more work for you, Changing water and such plus you cant really have company. I would say if you can figure it out get the 29 set up. The fish will be so much more happier and taking care of it will be much easier. Things wont change as fast on you..like nitrates, ammonia, ph ect. :thumb:

Oh this is a good read on why we need to do water changes often :thumb:

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/7981-the-importance-of-water-changes/

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A 10 gallon can be okay for a fancy in the very early years when they a very little (really it's typically recommended that you have a 20 gallon for the first fish and 10 gallons for each after that), but it is definitely not a forever home. Fancies can get pretty big (6-8 inches easily). My two are 5-6 inches, I had them in a 30 gallon but it was just way too small. I recently upgraded to a 40 gallon, but it will not be their forever home. They are more comfortable there but they would still benefit from more room to move around.

Have you thought about getting a water changer? (the kind that hook up to the faucet) It makes water changes so fast and easy. Like Alex I also change my water 50-80% every 5 days. Keeping water conditions pristine is really the best thing you can do for the health and growth of your fish :) And, as koko said, water conditions will get toxic much faster in a smaller tank than in a larger one. You can think about it as a goldie produces a certain amount of waste each day, in a larger tank the ratio of waste to water volume is larger, so the water volume keeps the toxins diluted for longer. And the toxins in the water will be much more stressful for your fish than the water change itself :) (really they get used to it if you do it on a regular consistent basis)

Additionally, there are a lot of things that build up in the water over time that we don't test for. So, even if you are seeing an acceptable nitrate level over the course of a couple weeks, there may be other things building up in the water that you don't test for that could affect the growth/health of your fish. Water changes are so incredibly important :D

Edited by tithra

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Also, because I upkeep my tank on a very frequent basis, and because I use a water changing system, it takes me about 45 minutes to change 85% of the water in the 100gallon. This includes cleaning the tank and the filters on the rotating basis.

I find changing water to be very therapeutic most of the time. I enjoy doing it :)

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same here I spend at least 2 hours a day changing water only because it is strictly me time and I find it relaxing as well.

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Hmm, interesting. Out of curiosity, how the heck do you find time to do all those water changes so often?

When I first started, WCs took a long time. But after doing it awhile, reading tips from others and getting a waterchanger, it's not so bad. And it wouldn't take you that much more time to do a WC on a 20 or 30 gallon, versus the 10. I have a 36, and I do one big WC weekly, and it takes about an hour.

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I just changed the water on a 60(95%), 2-55's(50%) and a 20(80%) in less than an hour.

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I just changed the water on a 60(95%), 2-55's(50%) and a 20(80%) in less than an hour.

That's pretty impressive! :)

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Thank you Alex of course all tanks were barebottom and i was filling as i was draining.

Edited by Patti

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Do you use the water changer/python to drain? I used to, but I now have a submersible pump to pump the water out to the sink.

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Alex, do you mean a pump that you just stick in the aquarium? I have been looking at alternatives to the water changer, which one do you have? I have been curious about these

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I use a python to drain to my floor drain then i use a mag 7 to pump water back in from the aging barrels.

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