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Summer Time
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another sick fish
« on: August 06, 2010, 07:53:59 PM »

Hi.  My shubunkin is sick.  Sad   He has red near his mouth.  He is still swimming around, but is not constantly foraging on the bottom for something to eat, like he normally does.  I called the new pet store that I am using, and they seem to know a lot about fish and are very patient when answering my questions.  They said it's 'hemorrhagic septicemia'. 

She told me to use an anti-bacterial fish medication called 'E.M. Erythromycin'.  I just picked some up and started treating the whole tank, since I seem to be having a problem here, as my comet goldfish (who I had for 2 years) just died from what looked like tail rot, which this medicine also treats, so they may be related.

I change 15-20% of my water weekly, and have not missed a week.  I also test weekly, and the results are always great.  I have some live plants that they can nibble on.

Does anyone have any experience or knowledge with this problem?  I don't want to lose another goldfish.  If I do, maybe it's time to sterilize my tank and start all over again, or just give up completely since my heart is breaking.

Does my tap water have some weird bacteria or something?

Do I have to worry about contracting this disease when I vacuum the tank?

Thanks for any advice anyone can send.

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nabi
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2010, 08:44:35 PM »

I would agree with the pet store that it's probably some form of bacteria infection. Hemorrhagic sempticemia is a bacterial infection of the bloodstream and seems like a good diagnosis.

Do you have a separate hospital tank to treat sick goldfish? The antibacteria medicine they recommended does trick septicemia , but it will also probably affect the tank's nitrogenous bacteria that help convert ammonia to nitrate.  If you do use the medicine  in the main tank, i would monitor ammonia and nitrite levels to make sure they stay at a safe level. I also recommend you try feeding the shubunkin some medicated fish food.  This will go after the bacteria from the inside and outside.

Something like this: (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)

As far as your tap water, it's probably safe , because most of the time the water coming into your house is treated with chlorine or chloramine to eliminate most of the bad germs, unless it's water from a well.

You don't have to worry about contracting the disease from the tank. These diseases often specific only to fish.  It always a good idea to make sure you don't have any cuts in the skin or hand when you are cleaning the tank. Also , be sure to make it a habit to wash your hands and arm thoroughly with soap after vacuming the aquarium water. 

Don't sterilize the tank , because bad bacteria are always present in the tank water. It's the fish's immune system that helps it from becoming sick.  Water quality is often the number 1 reason most goldfish become sick.
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Summer Time
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2010, 09:24:32 PM »

Thanks for helping.  I don't have a hospital tank.  I have a total of 2 goldfish, and the other one I just got 1.5 weeks ago, and is only about 1 inch long.  I thought I'd treat both fish, just to make sure that the new one doesn't catch the same thing.

I use city water, not well water.

I will pick up the medicated food that you recommend tomorrow morning.

My water quality has honestly been great, and I don't know why my fish have gotten sick.  They are usually so full of energy and happy to see me, but now they have only about half the energy; yet still happy to see me. 

My ammonia and nitrite levels have been constantly 0, but if they start to climb because of this medicine, does that mean that more frequent water changes will keep them low?  Kind of like cycling again?
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nabi
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2010, 04:18:28 AM »

You said you got a new goldfish 1.5 weeks ago? Did you quarantine it for a few weeks? There's a good chance the new goldfish was already sick when you brought it home and it infected your other goldfish.

Just continue with the treatment until you cure the sick fish and remember to quarantine any new fish you purchase next time.
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Summer Time
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2010, 09:47:49 AM »

He is more active today.  Hopefully this treatment will work.  I'll let you know.

I will get a hospital tank for future use.
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Summer Time
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2010, 12:57:46 PM »

I think the new fish that I bought was sick when I brought him home.  Next time I will quarantine.
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Hanna
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2010, 07:20:30 PM »

Even if the new fish wasn't sick when you bought him, due to the stress of moving, like being sloshed around in a plastic bag, than put into a new environment like different water quality ( pet store tank into yours ) different temp, etc can cause a healthy fish to get sick. Just due to stress. As good and bad bacteria are always arround the bad ones took over when the fishies immune system was weakend because of the stress he was in.

This is another reason why we should quarantine our new friends. Wink

It is like with us humans, we all are healthy but our immune systems are not the same strenghts, one is weaker, one is stronger, one gets a flue pretty quick, others only now and then...
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Summer Time
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2010, 08:40:15 PM »

I think you're right.  The new fish is a comet, and has really pretty coloring, but I noticed a couple days after I got him/her that the underside of his mouth (are there gills there?) looked orange too.  I thought:  "that's weird, but kind of neat."

Well, I think this "coloring" by his mouth was really red, not orange.  So sorry.  I hope these medications help.  This one is so tiny, and I think either the disease or medication has taken more of a toll on him.  He looks pretty tired.

For anyone else reading, I guess I learned the hard way about the importance of quarantining new fish.

I did buy the medicated anti-bacterial food and fed them with it today.  Kind of funny.  They were really eager to eat it at first, but it must either taste really bad, or it's really filling.  They didn't eat much.  And the little one ate 3 pieces (they're used to flakes, but this is not flakes) then spit them out one by one.  Smiley
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Hanna
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2010, 06:52:30 AM »

The gills are the little half round plates at the side of their heads, just imagine where us humans have our ears, there you can see the fishies gills. They open and close, while the fish pumps water through and "breathes" the oxygen solved in water.
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Summer Time
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2010, 12:24:51 PM »

I lost the new fish last night.  Sad    He/she was just so tiny.

I wonder if maybe he ate the food too quickly, and it expanded inside.  He slowed down right after eating it.  I think I'll soak this medicated pellet food before feeding.

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Summer Time
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2010, 12:37:36 PM »

On a brighter note, my shubunkin (Shamrock) is doing very well.  I think this medication may have been just what he needed.  He's swimming around like his old self, nothing is even phasing him.  Smiley

When he's completely recovered, I will get him another friend, AND QUARANTINE.  I may try to find another pet store tho, because I'm not sure about their fish.  A week before I brought home my little one (Halley), I was looking and they had goldfish with black marks, like ammonia burns.  At the time I didn't know what it was, but since then I saw a picture of it on this forum.

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Hanna
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2010, 03:54:11 PM »

Sorry for your loss Cry

Take your time before you add another fish into the new tank Smiley
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Summer Time
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2010, 07:40:41 PM »

Just to let you know, I do know where the gills are, but there is some skin under the mouth that has a certain shape, that I thought might have a special name.  Maybe it's just how a fish chin looks.
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Summer Time
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2010, 07:53:08 PM »

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo!!

My shubunkin (Shamrock) is looking so much better!  Finally something positive for me to write about! 

Shamrock's coloring is back to normal.  No more red blood-looking color under his skin.  I am so happy, and have to give some credit to the pet store for directing me to the correct medication, and to this forum for mentioning the anti-bacterial food, and for the other tidbits of information and moral support.  This disease looked so serious that I really thought nothing could fix it.  I also ran out and bought the medication as soon as I saw the symptoms.

I wish I could find some anti-bacterial food in flake format, tho; this pellet stuff is so hard and really swells up in the water.  I have to crush it and soak it before I put it in the tank, because my fish eat it so quickly, I think they can really choke on it, or just have it expand inside after they've eaten too much.  I think I'll mention this to the company (Jungle) so maybe they can say something about it on the directions on the bottle.

We miss Halley, but I am happy to at least have some success.  Tonight is the last dosage of medication, but I will closely monitor to make sure he is completely cured.  Smiley


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Nossie
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2010, 03:45:26 AM »

It's not that often that a fish ends up healthy on this forum! Most seem to just post "Omg, my fish is sick!" to later ignore the post. Glad to see some progress here! Smiley
And about the pellets, I think it would be enough if you'd just soak them for a few minutes before feeding them to your fish, if you're worried Smiley But in general, pellets are a better option of staple food for goldfish, because they don't have to gulp for so long by the surface.
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Summer Time
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2010, 06:36:16 PM »

Maybe some of those people wait too long to post the question, and then it's too late, so they don't post an answer.  They must care, otherwise they wouldn't be hunting around on the internet for help.

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Summer Time
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2010, 06:48:02 PM »

I found this on answers.yahoo.com last week when I was looking for help.  Imagine being the poor person who wrote trying to get help.  I can't believe some people!



"My goldfish is sick!?
He was fine one day, and the next day his scales were puffing up around a lump on his side. No scales are puffy in any other area. He is swimming a little weakly too. Can i put salt in the tank? How much? I know there not salt water fish, but i heard it helps diseases go away. My cat had accsess to the tank for a long period of time because the top broke, but he is usually on the bottom swimming around and searching for food. how can i help him?

    * 4 years ago

Answers:

flush him down the toilet!
Source(s):
all seeing eye

    * 4 years ago


Omg, it is a goldfish! They only last like a week and cost about a quarter. Go flush it down the toilet or let your cat eat him and go to the pet store, and buy yourself a real fish!

    * 4 years ago


prepare for a funeral

    * 4 years ago"
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Nossie
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2010, 04:32:59 AM »

I would like to kick the *sses of those people. That's pure crap! A goldfish can live much longer than some stinky dog OR cat if one has enough brains to actually change water once in a while and not to keep an overstocked tank. Man, I've gotta go sharpen my knife and make someone bleed...

And I do believe that most people who post don't really care as soon as there's something like "test the water!" involved. Seems too hard to deal with. And most threads I've seen have been something like "my fish has been floating FOR WEEKS!", so if they don't ask for help in time, what could they possibly imagine would help the fish?
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Hanna
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2010, 04:39:41 AM »

Hi Nossie, just wanted to start a reply when the warning came up of a new message on this tread, LOL

Summer Time, geez there are some "peeple" out there and I TOTALLY agree with Nossies comment.
Unfortunately it is so true, as soon as those 3 words come up like "test the water" or "how is your waterquality" etc, some people just feel offended and "drop dead" on this forum if there is some emphasis about the importance of those things.

I am soooooooo happy that you sticked with us and also let us know about the improovement. CONGRATULATIONS!

Keep us informed about your fishies, be part of the "core" of this forum so we all can also chat about our common hobby. Wink
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Nossie
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2010, 11:38:18 AM »

Hanna: Lol, we seem to be on here on similar hours! Grin

Good point about "getting offended" they do as soon as anybody says "Your tank is too small for all these fish!!" Because there are too many exclamation marks Sad Or like the one that got upset about you writing with capital letters at some point! xD Man... some are so sensitive and at the same, they don't give a crap about their fish d:
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Hanna
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2010, 01:37:40 PM »

Nossie, yes, sometimes we are, LOL, cool...
Yeah and you are soooo right there Sad

Now it's only 4:30 am, cannot sleep, hubby went to work and I am excited because we are thinking to get another tank from our neighbour - if she wants to sell it, it is sitting in her garage doing nothing , and it is brand new with filter, etc - to get some guppies... geez this hobby just grabs you... seen some gorgeous coloured ones at our fish guys shop...
How are your fishies going?
Ours are really well now, Brian thinks that even their sheen is much more intense in the big tank than it was in the AquaOne.
Hump and Hep with really bright orange-golden flash, Skippy white-silver, Sunshine that greyish yellow-gold and our little Matilda got those little orange patches reflecting the light. Lately when I maintain the tank they even swim inside my hand / palm, they are so trustfull. Hubby even said, especially Hepsiba if she could she would come to me and give me a kiss, he never seen such loving fish... I feel so happy  Cheesy
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 01:42:47 PM by Hanna » Logged
Summer Time
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2010, 07:17:09 PM »

Fish are a lot of fun.  I never knew they had such great personalities, too.  Two of mine would kiss the tiny bubbles off my hand while I vacuumed the tank.  Smiley

And Shamrock has a whole dance series that he runs thru, every time I put my face nearby to say 'hi'.  He has about 4 different swims that he'll do across the front of the tank.  It's so cute.  Smiley
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Hanna
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2010, 07:32:08 PM »

Yes Summer Time, this is so true,  Grin maybe you can post some oics of your fishies?
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Nossie
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2010, 03:00:45 AM »

Hanna: My fish are fine! I keep doing water changes and testing the nitrates Smiley Everybody are happy, active and eager to eat Wink So I bet they're a bit annoyed at me for feeding them only in mornings for now Tongue
Yesterday I bought some more things for my tank! Another piece of airline some bubble tube and valves for the pump Smiley I might need to buy those safety valves too... I think I must have the air pump below the waterline this time... >> (Unless I'll hang it on the wall) I found some interesting water conditioner too... It contains beneficial bacteria at the same time as it neutralizes ammonia and chemicals and it also works to encourage the slime coat of the fish and prevent some disease as it helps the fish heal from small wounds and lighter fungal infections! Smiley Thought it would be good to use the first few weeks!

And I just cleaned our apartment, so we'll start moving in sometime this weekend if possible! So I'll set my tank up then as well Smiley Hopefully I'll get the fish there next week at some point! But not all of them, I thought I'd introduce only my fantails for now and see how it's going!

I'm so excited about that tank you're getting! Did you mention how big it is anywhere?
I'm planning to sometime soon get a 120 for some tropicals Smiley Some guramis and the like maybe Cheesy And later a 400 liter for african cichlids!! YAY!!
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darren
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2010, 12:04:19 AM »

My thoughts re a sick fish.  The bugs are generally always in the water and can sometimes affect a fish.

Once a fish is affected a quick treatment of the fish and removal to a clean body of water prevents having to treat with chemicals in with the fish long term.  This fish has picked up a bacterial infection from constantly banging in to the bottom of the tank looking for food.  Tank treatments can be hard to dose and be too weak or too strong with subsequent doses.  Try a fifth of a capful of dettol dissolved in a 10 litre bucket of water, add the fish and leave until it appears dead (about 30 seconds).  Once the fish is unconscious and free of bugs transfer it to another bucket of clean water with an air stone while you clean out your bacteria ridden tank.  It's best to treat all fish in the tank, even healthy looking ones which may be carrying bugs.  Half an hour after treatment the fish should be swimming around  looking better than they were.
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Summer Time
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2010, 10:25:16 PM »

Hi Darren,  

Your post is very interesting, but the technique that you mentioned may be for someone more advanced than I.  I will keep it in mind tho, as it strikes my curiosity.  If I continue to have problems with him and he continues to get sick, I may need to resort to another method.

Fortunately, Shamrock is very healthy now.  He continues to search the tank for food, etc., but I know he isn't starving, because I feed him every morning and he has live plants to eat.  I wonder if I need to make my layer of rocks deeper.  I only have one layer of those small oval glass stones.  Some small areas of the tank bottom are bare.

How would you clean out a bacteria ridden tank?  Just dump the whole thing and start over?  I've only had this tank cycled since April, and the test readings are always really good.


Does anyone know how long I should wait before getting him another companion?
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 10:37:10 PM by Summer Time » Logged
Nossie
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Re: another sick fish
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2010, 03:35:30 AM »

I think it's a good idea that you have the glass pebbles layered that thin! Because it's so easy for food and dirt to get stuck between them so the fish won't reach it, and it'd be harder to clean. But if you want a thicker layer of something there, buy some round pea-sized gravel and make a 2-inch layer Smiley

If you want a new friend for him, it'd be best to wait until your current fish has recovered completely, while making sure that he doesn't get sick again because of something in the tank. So just a few weeks of observation should do it!
His new company might do good if you'd put it in quarantine for about 2 weeks, just to be sure that it won't introduce any disease or parasites to your tank when you've finally gotten rid of the previous disease!
And of course, you need to make sure that there's enough room for another fish! Nothing smaller than 20 or 30 gallons for two Wink That's why it's best to buy as big tank as you can get Smiley
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