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Author Topic: Are my fish dying?  (Read 1489 times)
Onael
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Are my fish dying?
« on: October 02, 2011, 07:18:54 PM »

My two large fantails just fall to the floor and don't move. My small fantail and moor hangout with them in the corner, but they spend most of the day swimming around. Also the two fantails are covered in white spots and black marks. They haven't lost their appetite, but once they are finished eating, they go back to the corner. I know I'm overcrowded, but right now I only have a 10 gallon tank. I just got my goldfish and tank about three weeks. I haven't tested my water so I couldn't tell you what's going on in there. I do 50% water changes daily to keep up with their waste. Please help.
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Nossie
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2011, 03:53:53 AM »

Sounds like a parasite and everything else infection is going on... I doubt you'll be able to save these two fish after reading the symptoms and their behavior. But you can always try adding a salt solution to your tank, that should deal with the parasites, but it's incredibly hard to treat goldfish when the water is most likely in such bad shape that you can't even let the salt work in peace for a week... but you need to try of course!! Another solution would be to get some medication against ich, but then you need to make sure that you can leave the tank alone for at least a few days, depending on how the dosage should work. (Some medicines want you to add a new dose every few days).

The black marks are most likely attempts to heal burns on your fishes' skin. Most likely from the crowding problem and bad water quality, ammonia is a very common problem in a crowded, uncycled tank. I'm glad you keep up with the water changes though!
When can you upgrade? You know that by getting 3-4 fish (I'm not sure if you have three or two fantails), you have bound yourself to a 30, respectively 40 gallon tank?
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Skwishee
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2011, 03:57:22 AM »

I'd agree with Nossie Smiley

I too thought of ich and ammonia burns after reading your description, as she said, treat the fish as best as you can and get a bigger tank asap for those little guys!
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fantailer
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2011, 04:00:59 AM »

Oh get a filter if you don't have one!
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Onael
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2011, 10:25:32 AM »

Thank you for the tips. It was confirmed this morning when I found them dead. I still got my moor and the small fantail. I was reading into the ich and other parasites medications, but I don't think I'll be able to follow the dosages as recommended. Kind of a double-edged sword. Removing the carbon from my filters (5-15 AquaTech & 20-40 Tetra) doesn't seem like a good idea. Also with as much as I'm having to do water changes, I don't think the medications would work. My moor has a film over his eyes and body and the remaining fantail has a little bit of finrot. A friend recommended Melafix in addition to the AquaSafe. Would it be okay to go ahead and use any treatments with the filter cartridges in?
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goldfishluver12
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2011, 02:52:50 PM »

The bigger the tank the better and easier it will be to keep up with the water quality. Changes will be more difficult cause of the big amount of water but its worth it!
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2011, 04:41:10 PM »

Ach that's a pretty bad situation you've got there...an uncycled tank and sick fish to boot...I would not recommend adding any meds right now (other than salt) because it will only make the situation more dangerous for your fish. Right now you have a water quality problem, and adding meds will make it even worse. It will also be hard for the fish to heal in bad water if you run into complications concerning medication doses. I would discourage the use of anything but a .3% concentration of non-iodized natural salt. The salt should help with fin rot and the cloudy-eye. I have found this the most helpful thing in my experience, as I have combatted fin rot and cloudy-eye myself. It is probably the least stressful meathod for dealing with illness with bad water, as well as help to absorb harmful nitrites around the gills (which you probably have). Daily 25-50% water changes should also help your water quality...as soon as you can, get your water tested either with at test-kit purchased by yourself or by an employee at a local fish store; they usually provide free testing for their customers.
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Onael
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2011, 04:56:53 PM »

Thank you, all. I'm going to the LFS this evening to get a water sample tested. Then I'll start on the salt solution.
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2011, 05:21:36 PM »

Good to hear! Something I've found that helps when you have a mini-cycle or a parameter spike is adding a product such as Prime or Stress Zyme. Prime detoxifies chlorine and chlorimines, as well as converting ammonia and nitrite into a form easily removed by a filter. The sooner your water quality is back on track, the sooner your fish will get better. The ideal water conditions are as follows: ammonia and nitrite 0, nitrate under 40 ppm, ph 7.0-7.8ish, and so forth. These are the essential conditions for goldfish, everything else (kh, gh, so forth) isn't really as important.

Also you should really invest in a nice test kit. It is important (in the future) to have a way of testing the water on hand whenever you need it, lest you should encounter a situation you need to investigate right away with your fish. Every aquarist should have one so they can do their best to keep their fish healthy and stress-free.

When you add the salt I recommend pre-disolveing it in tank water by stirring it in a cup before adding it to the tank. This can reduce the chance of stressing your fish and burns as well. Pour it gradually around the tank, and the goldfish will not be irritated by granuals sticking to their slime coat.

Hope this helps!  Smiley
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Onael
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2011, 06:40:20 PM »

Should I dissolve and mix in the entire .3% of salt solution at once?
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Nossie
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2011, 03:18:56 AM »

Some people prefer to add a little bit of salt every 6 hours, but I haven't ever found a problem with adding it to the tank right away. Take a little plastic cup (to use only for the tank from now on!) and dissolve some sea salt in it (NOT IODIZED TABLE SALT!!), then you pour it near the filter outtake so that the solution will spread evenly in your tank Smiley

Why are you using carbon, and why don't you want to remove it from the filter?
It seems a lot more important to you than it actually is, carbon doesn't do anything but remove chemicals from the tank fro a limited time. Some carbon pads will last for a week, some a month, but you'd still have to exchange it all the time, which wouldn't be very economical. If you leave the same carbon in the filter for too long, it will start releasing the same chemicals into the water again. So net time you rinse the filter (in a bucket of tank water, right?) you might just as well remove the carbon too, that's up to you Smiley I hope the other two fish will make it! Crossing my fingers.
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2011, 06:17:29 PM »

As usual, Nossie has great suggestions.  Smiley

Yes, in my experience I've never run into trouble from adding the whole .3% concentration of salt to the tank all at once, so long as you just pour it in gradually.  Wink My goldies act much more irritated if I dump in undisolved granuals of salt.  Undecided

Keep in mind that fin rot is a pretty fierce disease, and if it goes untreated for too long it can eat away the fish's entire tail, which may never grow back! O.o

I have also found that using a Q-tip saturated in hydrogen peroxide dabbed on the affected area helps a lot. This procedure is a bit tricky, so it is important to hold the fish in one hand GENTLY over the tank, in case it happends to wriggle free. That way it will not end up on the floor!  Shocked After treating the fins, put the fish back into the tank and you can usually see bubbles forming on the affected areas, showing that it is working.

 Wink
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Nossie
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2011, 02:58:13 AM »

Maybe you should try the Q-tip advice from Goldiegirl? I get so happy every time I see that xD

Goldie: From where do you get hydrogen peroxide by the way? Smiley
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2011, 04:43:06 PM »

Nossie: You can usually find it at your local drugstore.  Smiley

I love using more natural means such as they hydrogen peroxide and salt to treat illness rather than strong medications that can destroy good bacteria in the tank. The last thing you need when treating a sick fish is for a parameter spike to occur.
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Onael
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2011, 06:08:18 PM »

Thank you. I'm not blowing you off. I've been busy.

I'm going to take a bottle of tank water to PETCO today after work to get it tested. Do you know if they'll give me the parameter readings or just a thumbs up or down? Here is an update. My two big fantails didn't make it. Over the last few days there has been a big change for the better. My moor's eyes are clearing up, I count only six white spot on him and none on the small fantail. The milky layer that was covering their entire bodies is going away. It seems to be falling off like dead skin. The finrot has stopped eating up their tails. My friend insisted on using some of his Melafix and it has been doing the trick. I'm also using a few drops of Quick Cure. Things are turning around.
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Nossie
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2011, 02:48:19 AM »

Goldiegirl: I'll be looking that up Smiley Can it be stored for long or does it expire? (In case I'd keep it in stock for emergencies)

Onael: I'm really sorry for the fantails Sad But it's great that the two others are getting better!
I never went to the pet shop to get my water tested, but you can always ask them to tell you the numerical values on the results, just to make sure for yourself, because you never know, suddenly your nitrates are 60 and the pet shop people go "Your water's fine!" when it really isn't.
I'd still like you to answer my question about your carbon media though Smiley
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Onael
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2011, 06:50:37 AM »

Nossie: Oh yes. Sorry. I did remove the carbon from the cartridges. That's probably why they're getting better, so thank you for that tip Grin. The only reason I was hesitant to remove it, was because I thought it had to be there. I'll have to study up on the subject of filtration to see what's best.

BTW, if I didn't mention this before, I got these two fish at PETCO and the two large fantails I got from Walmart.
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Nossie
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2011, 03:03:07 AM »

Some people do, just because nobody really says what it does! In the biorb system I have for my platies right now, they mention that the activated carbon inside should be changed every month (no, they whole filter cartridge actually, which costs 10) I take out the carbon after the month and then leave the filter sponge in there until I think I need a new one, saving money.. c:
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2011, 11:41:26 AM »

Onael: Sorry to hear your two big ones didn't make it. :'<

Nossie: Yes, the peroxide can be stored for a very long time...I think it doesn't expire for a few years, if I'm not mistaken.
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Nossie
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2011, 01:30:44 PM »

Sounds great in that case... Smiley
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Rae
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2011, 03:19:30 PM »

Hi, I have 3 goldfish (comet goldfish i think) and i think one of them (Malibu) has fin rot    (i think) his tail has been frayed and turned white at the ends.He has always been shy out of the three and the other two goldfish (Bubbles and MJ) both look healthy. I am going to buy fin rot medicine tomorrow but i would like to know if i should do a water change before i add the medicine and how much water shall i change and also if it is safe to add it to the tank with the two other fish in them. Also Bubbles keeps nipping at Malibu's tail and i dont know what to do to stop him? lol

I have a very large tank i'm not sure how big but its pretty huge, with a filter system in it, it has been set up for about a year now and ive had all 3 fishes for 2 years now. I do have a problem with the water going green quickly so i have been doing water changes every week, about a third of the water i remove and clean new water with tetra easybalancer. and try to feed them less than i usually do. Any other advice to combat green water?? I do water tests and i do find my nitrate levels are high but i have been struggling with keeping it down. Any advice for that as well?
Thanks!
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Onael
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2011, 03:42:19 PM »

I got my water tested this morning at PETCO. She used the Jungle Labs Quick Dip.

My tank status as of this morning is:
-10 gallon tank
-1 Moor, 1 Fantail
-300 GPH filtration plus aeration
-Temp: 76C degree
-Water changes are 10% daily and 50% bi-weekly
-Parameters:   Ammonia:  .25ppm
         Nitrite:  0ppm
         Nitrate:  0ppm
         pH:  7.0


I don't know if my water changes are a bit excessive, but I'm trying to keep the ammonia down. I don't seem to have any nitrate readings which I understand is indicative of not having an established cycle. I'm glad things are turning around. Thank you everybody for your advice.
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fantailer
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2011, 04:42:35 PM »

The waterchanges are fine. Everything is nearly perfect!
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Nossie
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2011, 03:24:22 AM »

Onael, I think it sounds good what you're doing Smiley Hope you'll find some good deal on a 20 gallon tank soon though, I think that would help tremendously!
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2011, 03:53:36 PM »

Onael: Pretty good results, keep in mind that ammonia is dangerous in any measurable ammounts so just keep up with the water changes.  Wink Keep us posted on how combating the bit of fin rot and cloudy eye is going.

Rae: Doing a partial water change (recommended 25%) is a great idea before adding any kind of medication. Also, it is common for a sick fish to get picked on and bullied. That is why it's a good idea to isolate injured/ill fish in a separate area to avoid potential stress as well as treat that fish alone. Any cycled tank 10 gallons and over makes a great quarentine tank. Now, about the green water and high nitrates, the best thing for that is water changes. Instead of doing 1/3 water changes just when the water looks mucky, you need to be doing 50% EVERY WEEK. Anything less isn't as effective as it should be. That will help to keep your water safe and clear.
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Onael
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2011, 04:06:02 PM »

Goldiegirl, thank you for replying to Rae's concerns. I didn't know how to answer.

As for Hank (moor) and Merl (fantail), the finrot has stopped. They're completely clear of all that film that looked like dead skin and Hank's eyes are clear enough to see people approach the tank. Now that he can see again, he's swimming all over place. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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Nossie
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2011, 04:05:48 AM »

Onael: That's absolutely wonderful to hear!! Smiley Do you have any photos of these fish? Smiley

Rae: I answered your second post in the "FOR EVERYBODY AND ALL NEWBIES"-thread in Health/Illness section too Smiley
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Onael
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2011, 01:03:01 PM »

Hank (moor) & Merl (fantail)

My iPod sucks at taking pictures, but here you go.
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Onael
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2011, 05:18:12 PM »

How long will it take for their fins to grow back?
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Are my fish dying?
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2011, 05:28:06 PM »

Oh I'm so glad we could help! It makes all the time and effort of thinking through problems and typing out advice worth it.

Beautiful fish both of them, and they look so happy.

You may want to consider prolonging treatment for a few days after their recovery to prevent reoccurance of the illness. Sometimes people stop treating their fish the moment they no longer any signs of illness, only to find the fish have had a relapse shortly afterwards.

As to the time duration for fin growth, I've found that can mend itself completely in a few months usually - but it also depends on how bad the damage was.
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