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Lethagic oranda losing colour


Shukura

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Hullo from NZ! Hope everyone had a good Christmas. I have a problem in the form of my favourite Oranda becoming lethargic and losing her gold colour. I would appreciate any help on the matter.

Test Results on 25th Dec:

Ammonia Level - 0

Nitrite Level - 0

Nitrate level - 10-20

Tank pH Level - 7

Other:

Test-kit - API freshwater master test kit - liquid

Water temperature - 24C / 75.2F (this is room temp for us at the moment)

Tank size - 160L / 42gal

Run time - 7 months with fish, 8 without.

Filters - Eheim internal 2010 = 220-500 l/h + Eheim internal 2012 = 220-570 l/h

Water change - 25% once a week

Last water change - 24th 25%, 25th 50%, 27th 10%

Fish - 3 10cm (not including tail) oranda, all female and one year old, 8ish adult red ramshorn snails

Additives/conditioner - Seachem Flourish in the correct dose once a week after water change.

Food - Mix of Hikari oranda gold, wheat germ, saki growth, kanshou spirulina twice a day. Extra feeding of either peas, frozen/frezedried bloodworms, gel food, freeze dried baby shrimp 3 times a week.

New fish - No.

Medications - No

Entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank - Never had any problems till now. I cycled the tank for a month and a half when I first set it up with live plants but no fish. The fish have been healthy and thriving up until now.

Unusual findings on the fish - Loss of colour in one fish. Used to be a brilliant gold, now is turning white. The change began with the wen and I attributed it to rapid growth and then her body started fading too. This is the first year I've had them so I'm new to the Oranda growth process.

Unusual behavior - Same oranda is lethargic and often gets caught in plants and seems unable to escape, very lethargic, sits at the bottom of the tank and only moves for food. Often does headstands while foraging after feeding. She doesn't sit on the gravel with her body, more like she rests on her fins.

As far as I'm aware, nothing has changed. I reorganised the tank and added a large piece of clean planted driftwood about 2 months before she got sick, they didn't seem to have any problems with it then. I removed it yesterday just in case but no improvement. I've added an extra air pump to no effect.

After I found the nitrate was at 10-20 I did a 50% change and after that she seemed a bit better, but the next morning she was hiding in the corner again.

It is Summer here in NZ so the fish are growing a lot and room temparature is up. I should also mention that our water is pure with no additives at all.

Also the other 2 fish in the tank seem to be fine. They haven't lost colour or energy at all.

Thanks for looking! Please let me know if you need more info.

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Wow she is Gorgeous :) maybe just going through a normal color change ;) maybe up your w/c's to 50% 2 x a week and see if that helps :)

How deep is your gravel?do you have any hollow ornaments in the tank?are you sure she is a she?maybe gravid with eggs as you said your temps in you area are warming?

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hello shukura, welcome to koko's.

i agree with shelly, i think it may just be a coincidental colour change.. the orange still looks quite vibrant and her finnage seems to look healthy..

you mentioned that you introduced and removed some driftwood.. driftwood has in the past been known to carry bacteria and parasites (if taken from a wet source) how was the driftwood prepared prior to adding to the tank?

what else do you have in the tank? can you take a pic of the entire tank set up? and when you do waterchange, do you siphon the gravel really well? ie, stir it up and siphon?

resting on the bottom can be a bacterial issue, are there any other habits she's displaying that are different from the norm? how is the quality of her scales? are they shiny still? sticking out at all?

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Thank you!!

I thought it might be natural but it happened so quickly, within a couple of weeks. I will certainly up the water changes. I'm working on getting a bigger filter too.

My gravel is about an inch / 3cm deep. It's largeish white marble chips. I originally had hollow ornaments but my ladies outgrew them and I was worried someone would hurt themselves so I took them out about 3 months ago.

I'm about 95% sure she's a she. I put my male in with them a short while in october and he was very interested in them, though he's a lot smaller than them and couldn't keep up when they swam away. :) If it is eggs related, what could I do to help it?

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hello shukura, welcome to koko's.

i agree with shelly, i think it may just be a coincidental colour change.. the orange still looks quite vibrant and her finnage seems to look healthy..

you mentioned that you introduced and removed some driftwood.. driftwood has in the past been known to carry bacteria and parasites (if taken from a wet source) how was the driftwood prepared prior to adding to the tank?

what else do you have in the tank? can you take a pic of the entire tank set up? and when you do waterchange, do you siphon the gravel really well? ie, stir it up and siphon?

resting on the bottom can be a bacterial issue, are there any other habits she's displaying that are different from the norm? how is the quality of her scales? are they shiny still? sticking out at all?

The driftwood was dry and new when I bought it from my LFS. I soaked it for about a month before I put it in the tank, regularly pouring boiling water over it, and then added plants and left it soaking another month. It's too huge to do much more with it. I didn't have any issues immediately after introducing it.

With my water changes I use a gravel vac and dig around in the gravel with it. Though I haven't been digging so much recently as I added JBL substrate fertiliser about 2 months ago for the plants and didn't want to suck all that up. But right now I'd rather get my fish healthy than the plants.

Her scales and fins all seem normal. There are a few red streaks in the lower part of her tail but I'm pretty sure they're veins... I would get a photo but I don't think my camera will manage it. I haven't noticed any other odd behaviour like gasping or flashing. She's just not active. Although I've noticed at feeding she usually will come to the suface to get the floating food but now prefers to wait til it's at the bottom

Here's the tank in October with driftwood. I took the other oranments out the following week.

The heater was on at this point at about 22C

The green airstone on the left is a homemade CO2 thing which I've been usuing for around 4 months with no problems.

octobertank.jpg

And here's the tank today:

The heater is unplugged.

decembertank.jpg

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everything looks good :)

for now, it think if you just did 50% or greater water changes daily (really get stuck into that gravel and ensure there are no rotting leaves on your plants) and monitored the activity of the oranda in question for about a week, that might be all that needs doing. there may be some foul gasses caught in the gravel that one is sensitive to.

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i would also stay away from adding products for the plants. there should be enough waste coming from the fish to feed the plants. i used to add fertilizer to my tanks years ago and it messed with their slime coats and caused red patches on my back then oranda.

all i add now is fresh water and prime, no other additives.

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i would also stay away from adding products for the plants. there should be enough waste coming from the fish to feed the plants. i used to add fertilizer to my tanks years ago and it messed with their slime coats and caused red patches on my back then oranda.

all i add now is fresh water and prime, no other additives.

Exactly!

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How long have you been using the Flourish?

I've been using it a while. Ummm about 3-4 months? Never had an issue with it in any of my tanks. But I'll stop to be safe :3

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It was the 1 thing that jumped out at me-that's why I asked. I've heard of probs before w/ ferts-I'm glad you are playing it safe :thumb: Good luck,and let us know how she does! :)

Edited by kukana
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Earlier I did a 50% waterchange and vacced the gravel super well. I was just watching Cas (the sick fish) and she just had a swim around, went to the surface and zoomed from one side of the tank to the other (possibly assisted by the filter ;D) but she seems much more active. I'll change the water again tomorrow and see what happens. Hopefully more good things!

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The only other thing I notice is the lack of surface movement. In your pictures I do not see any bubbles or similar and the surface looks very still. In combination with the plants - which use oxygen when there is no light for photosynthesis - I wonder if there is a bit of a lack of oxygen for the fish too.

As the others said, the water changes need to be upped. You did several smaller water changes over the past few days and show 10-20ppm nitrate. The nitrate should stay below 20ppm at all time. Still having 10-20 after all these water changes means that before that, this toxin was present in a considerably higher concentration.

Other than that I would like to say that these are some gorgeous little fellas :)

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There is plenty of surface agitation and bubbles, honest. My camera is just rubbish. I have a mist bubble wall with the filter stream pointing through is to spread it around, and the other filter has an air intake and bubbles quite violently.

I can't increase it that much more as the tank's are in my bedroom and I can't sleep with irregular noise.

After the 50% water change on the 25th the nitrate was very near 0. Not sure what it's at now. I'll test it again tomorrow before I do another change.

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well it looks like maybe after removing your drift wood (which is an awesome piece) perhaps there was some waste beneath it,or trapped gasses :(

keep up with the w/c's and hopefully she will continue to improve :) please keep us updated :)

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Cas was good this morning, worse again now :(

...Aaand I just did a nitrate test 4 hours after a 50% water change and it's between 5 and 10ppm, closer to 10, which could explain why. A bit of a worry. I'm thinking it might have been cause I accidentally churned up the gravel heaps when I was refilling the tank...? Obviously I'm not vaccing the gravel well enough.

Would it be worth taking out most or all of the gravel or would that screw up the bacteria levels too much? Or remove it, rinse in tank water and return?

Sorry about the daily updates. I'm a bit paranoid. :P

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