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Author Topic: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!  (Read 757 times)
Goldiegirl
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Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« on: January 20, 2012, 06:57:09 PM »

Ok so I am kind of in a hurry while writing this...

I bought Koroit probably about...hmm, 2 months ago.  I wasn't going to buy him at first because he didn't seem like a healthy fish...at the store he simply hung about in one corner not socializing with the other fish.  About 2 days later I came back and saw that he was looking much better, swimming around and foraging with the other fish.  He was soooo beautiful - a veiltail telescope eye with pompoms.  I did something only an experienced fish keeper should do...bought a questionable fish. 

After taking him home I noticed he bottom sat a lot.  Tested the water and it was fine (as it usually is) and added some epsom salts and kosher salt to help him out.  Thought it was probably an internal infection of some sort.  He recovered fully after about a week and a half.

Since then he has shown occasional signs of buoyancy trouble by bottom sitting or floating at the top of the water unable to sink - just as he did at the store.  Now I am not so sure his problem was an internal infection because he showed no external signs of one (i.e. collapsing in the belly, bloody streaks). 

Recently I walked into the room to find all of my other fish CHEWING ON HIS TAIL!  It was mutilated at the bottom completely.  He was acting puny and found it hard to escape their bullying, so I isolated him temporarily in the floating basket (since all of the other fish were picking on him, not just one) and the next day his tail looked a little better and he was acting good again.  I waited a few days and let him out again (while observing) and right away they started to shred his tail and beat him up.  So, I put him in the holding tank again, where he is now. 

He is looking very poorly.  He finds it hard to rise and sort of "scuttles" across the bottom of the basket.  I think he is getting weak from lack of exercise.  I have a 10 gallon quarantine tank for emergencies but haven't had it set up for 2 years (yeah, I know, not good.)

So.  My question is: would it be more stressful to place him in the quar. tank and RE-CYCLE the whole thing with one of my sponge filters than to keep him where he is now?  What should I do?

Any help appreciated greatly.  Smiley
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fantailer
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2012, 05:59:44 AM »

Iwould put him into the cycling ten gallon and do a lot of water changes.
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Skwishee
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2012, 07:43:50 AM »

Oh gosh, I'm sorry to hear that Goldiegirl.

How long do you think it would take to cycle the tank?
Could you possibly leave Koko in the floating basket while you cycle the little tank?

I wouldn't risk putting him back in with the others, until you know what's going on. I wonder why they're like that all of a sudden?
Do you think they can sense his an 'ill' fish?
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2012, 12:59:44 PM »

Thank you both for your advice.  The filter that I would put in the 10 gallon is completely cycled in my main tank, so I'm not really sure how long it would take to "cycle" the quarantine tank. 

I think the others can definitely sense that something is wrong and he isn't "normal" like the others.  I really do think it comes down to the survival instincts of the others...when they figure out that one fish is exhibiting problems, they want to destroy it to eliminate the chances of contaminating the other fish.  Just my little fishy guess on that. 

I actually think I did figure out part of his problem.  A few days ago I fed my fish avocado for dinner and gave him a little bit more than I should have.  I repeated that for him for the next day or so, and with him being in the floating basket it spelled disaster!  He was unable to exercise to work off his meal because of the small space.  I am pretty sure this is what is causing his inability to rise off of the bottom.

Right now I am fasting him and putting him on a mini exercise program.  I have put Crystal and Carnelian, the two fish that were leading the bully group, into two separate floating baskets while I let Koko out into the main tank under HIGH SUPERVISION.  My other telescopes are so blind they don't even really know he's there, and Elsie Amber is not taking any notice of him either, fortunately.  I am watching him swim back and forth across the tank, forage in the gravel, and generally look much better.  So far, so good. 

*fingers crossed*  Smiley
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Skwishee
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2012, 03:31:22 PM »

Glad to hear his doing better  Grin

I have heard of some horrible stories of goldfish attacking each other recently, it is rather odd how they can just turn like that isn't it?
Makes me glad I only have one at the moment! XD

I would have originally thought the tank would be immediately cycled with the mature filter, but having moved Lucky and everything over to her new tank recently I have realised this isn't so! There really is no short cut to cycling is there  Roll Eyes
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GoldFishNoob
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2012, 05:26:34 PM »

I agree  that other tank mates can sense when another fish is ill. When Moe, my black and gold sarasa comet was healthy, no body in the tank would mess with him XD He was the largest (Although still small by goldfish standards) fish in my tank and resembled a shark and would swim around with silent intimidation almost. But when he suddenly fell ill, my second largest goldfish, Larry would pick on him to the point where he would just hide under the little green pot and if he came out he was bothered relentlessly. :/ So I hope you new buddy gets back to 100% and can be returned to his tankmates. Goldfish are social creatures and it's wonderful to see them be buddies and get along, but it's unnerving to see when they're not.
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Nossie
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2012, 05:26:13 AM »

Sorry that I'm late! D:

I think you should just keep watching him, but I have a feeling that this bullying isn't really going to stop. And he may have some chronic problems with his swim bladder. But in case it would get worse, just separate him into the quarantine tank! If you have a cycled filter, that won't be a problem. Pulled off that stunt myself but there was no cycling going on... Smiley

Keep us posted! Smiley
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2012, 05:35:29 PM »

Thanks guys for all of your stories/suggestions.  Smiley

The bullying doesn't stop, no matter what I do, so I have a bad feeling about putting him with the others even after he gets 100% better.  His tail is so long and flowing they shred it like the boiled lettuce they love. 

I'm encouraged to hear that a cycled filter will make the old quar. tank safe for him.  I think I am going to pull it out of the garage and make a little "hospital" for Koroit beside my main tank so he can get his exercise.  Every time I let him out (while I lock the bullies up in the floating baskets) he swims around for a bit, then alternately rests on one of the plastic plants in the tank.  I believe he is getting weaker from staying in the floating basket day and night and only coming into the main tank for a few hours a day. 


On top of Koko's problems, I seem to be encountering yet another issue with my tank.  (When it rains it pours, right?!)  Yesterday I did my weekly water change - a little more than usual because I had overfed this week.  I replaced the water with treated tap water and they all seemed fine.  Now this morning Crystal has red streaks in her fins and all of my fish have occasional "spasms" from an irritant in the water.  I added a double concentration of Prime just in case and can't detect any traceable amount of ammonia in the water.  The all of my fish have stopped flashing except for Crystal...she must be more sensitive than the others.  I have a theory of why this is happening.  When I cleaned the tank yesterday I also scrubbed my tank hood and light box with vinegar to get off the mineral deposits of salt.  I rinsed the hood pretty good and wiped down the light box with a damp cloth, but maybe somehow vinegar got into my tank? Does anyone know if vinegar causes fish to act irritated?

Also, I noticed that my ph was a bit on the low side when I tested the water...like, almost below 7. 

Sooo I am stressing out a little bit.  I really don't want to lose Koroit, but it makes me so depressed to see him sitting on the bottom of the floating basket when he can't be out swimming in the main tank.  Having my other fish not act themselves is hard too.

Would welcome any more helpful comments.   Undecided

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Ron H
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2012, 12:47:36 AM »

In regards to the bullying problem Goldie, I have read a little about this and it's quite common in the bird and animal world too, especially with certain species that live in small social hierarchical groups. If they perceive that one of the group is weak, some individuals will seize their chance to either move up the hierarchal chain by bullying and displacing the weakling that way, or they engage together as a group to bully the weakling till it either submits, learns it's new place and gives them a wide berth, moves on, or die's... In this case it is mostly about the structure of the hierarchy, whether it is a re-arranging of this hierarchy or just re-enforcement of the existing. 

I would often hear, when being bought a sick or weak Magpie "the other Magpies were picking on it and I thought they were killing him" But it's not always because a bird/animal (or fish) is sick or weak, the same behaviours can also be triggered by adding a new bird/animal/fish to your community, and it can also be about maintaining a very dominant and strong group that can withstand encroachment from other groups of the same species (and others sometimes) into their existing territory... as you can see it can be a very complex issue and I hope you can get it sorted, all the best. > Ron
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Nossie
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2012, 04:09:25 AM »

Only solution to the bullying I can think of is indeed setting up the quarantine tank :/ And you remember, of course to check the water every day for the first week to make sure it doesn't have any ammonia/nitrite spikes Smiley

I don't think vinegar would have such an "extreme" impact on the goldfish, especially since it should've been only a small, small amount that would've gotten into the tank. Did you test the nitrite as well? I noticed that most of my fish were acting pretty strange during the nitrite spike recently, including bloody streaks in the fins.
How long has it been since the water change? I'd change some more, but this time maybe 30-40%? And add water conditioner and a dose of beneficial bacteria for the entire tank. If vinegar got in there, or if there's any problem with water quality, this should help with it Smiley If it's still not getting better after that, I guess we'll have to keep brainstorming.

I hope everything will turn out fine! I hate having such a streak of bad luck myself... D:
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2012, 03:54:41 PM »

Thank you for your insights, Ron, and karma to that information; you obviously are experienced with social structures among not only fish but other animals as well.  I guess isolation is an effective but sadly temporary remedy to the root cause - a weak fish.

When I tested the water the nitrite was 0, Nossie, isn't that unusual?  My water change occurred on Saturday as usual...it was a 60% instead of a 50% because I'd overfed a tad that week and didn't want to risk an ammonia spike, which was exactly what I got after the water change.   Huh  I think I'm going to do another water change today, like, 40% like what you said. 

Hhyyygrh...fishkeeping can be so stressfulUndecided
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fantailer
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2012, 05:17:32 PM »

Yeah I almost shorted out the whole house's electrical system when I spilled water all over a plug.
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Nossie
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2012, 04:10:49 AM »

I usually have close to 0 on the nitrite, which is of course good, when I talk about a "nitrite spike" it wasn't much of it needed to get Berry sick Undecided It might have been there though but gone away after the last water change, maybe?

Argh, it's always much harder to figure out things like this in practice than theory xD
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2012, 06:37:40 PM »

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Yeah I almost shorted out the whole house's electrical system when I spilled water all over a plug.
Lol fantailer!  Tongue

Nossie: I know right! Well thank you for giving me your best advice.  I don't know what we'd do without you on the forum!  Your insights are always so helpful.

Maybe so about the nitrite spike.  I seriously have no idea what's going on because I tested the water and I have no ammonia or nitrite levels but Elsie Amber and Carnelian are scratching on stuff...so my next guess would be illness but I can find nothing external or internal to point to a problem of that sort. 

I'm sad to have to report that I'm pretty sure Koko isn't going to make it.  I can just tell by looking at him (my experience has made me able to usually tell whether a fish will or not) even though he has his own little quarantine tank and filter.  He's having trouble eating (a really really REALLY bad sign) and just sits on the bottom looking so droopy.  I hate to see him suffer so...I don't want to prolong his pain but I love him so so so much I almost couldn't bear to put him down. 

 Cry
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Nossie
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2012, 03:17:36 AM »

Thank you for that, Goldiegirl Smiley I'm glad I can help Smiley

Have you tried examining their gills for flukes maybe? That's the only hard-to-detect parasite I could think of now... if their gills have normal color, I'll be clueless again @_@

I am so sorry to hear that! Cry Oh that poor thing Sad It doesn't sound good at all... but maybe, just maybe you'll be able to help after all? However, having problems eating is never good Sad
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2012, 07:15:57 PM »

Yep, everything normal...the color of the gills I mean, and no sign of anything on them.  I check them over several times a day and sometimes even use a small light to examine the body if I ever even think I see something suspicious. I guess my goldfish must be more sensitive to the ammonia level than even my tester kit! XD


Well I have sad news.  I had to put dear little Koroit down last night.  His condition had deteriorated rapidly since the beginning of that day, so much so that his belly looked very hollow from him not eating anything for a long time.  He was having trouble swimming and I just couldn't stand to watch him suffer anymore.  I tried to get him to eat but he acted repulsed by the food (totally a bad sign) and seemed to be so weak that it took all of his energy just to take a breath.  I kept urging him, both verbally and physically, to eat and get better, but he wouldn't even bob his mouth open and closed when I wiggled my fingers by his eyes.  So I had him humanely euthanized in the freezer.  I have to say (I hope you won't laugh at me) that I bawled my eyes out all night long.  I never thought I could say goodbye to him and I am still incredibly grieved for the little guy's departure.  Cry

So thank you all for doing your best to advise me.  We all tried our best to help him out and I hope that he enjoyed the last couple months of his life after I took him home from the pet store. 
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fantailer
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2012, 06:42:24 AM »

Oh no! RIP Koroit.

I bet he'l meet Thor in the endless pond.
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Skwishee
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2012, 06:56:42 AM »

Goldiegirl I'm so sorry to hear that, you did everything you could *Hugs*
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2012, 07:12:15 PM »

Thank you both for your condolences. And *hugs* back, Skwishee.  He was a sweet little fish.  Cry
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Nossie
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2012, 04:51:54 AM »

So sorry it had to end that way Sad There's nothing worse than having to put one of your dears down... Cry

Are the others alright now? Is everything back to normal in the main tank?
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2012, 05:34:29 PM »

So true Nossie.   Sad You know how it is to lose one of your babies...

Everything (as far as I can tell) does seem pretty much back to normal.  Did another water change yesterday to get the salt out of there I had in for poor Koko (*sniff*) and everyone seems like their regular selves.  Whatever the weird water quality problem was is gone now.  Thanks all for your imput.
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Vicloz2006
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2012, 09:18:55 PM »

I am so sorry goldiegirl it is horrible! R.I.P koroit! I bawled my eyes out when I lost Worf this month! They aren't just fish they are apart of the family! So sorry again!
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Goldiegirl
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2012, 10:37:58 PM »

Thank you Vicloz2006, your words mean a lot to me.  It is so true that you feel affection toward them the way you would any other pet. I'm sorry too that you lost Worf! You just get so dang attached to them...
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goldfish girl
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Re: Emergency for Koko! PLEASE HELP!!!
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2012, 04:13:22 AM »

oh poor you! it must have been hard to let him go.  Cry Cry Cry hugs 
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