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Author Topic: Sick Shubunkin  (Read 2710 times)
tmm522
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Sick Shubunkin
« on: July 19, 2010, 09:07:27 PM »

I have a sick Shubunkin goldfish that I am looking for suggestions for treating. Since he was small, we have kept him in a small tank with only some gravel and a bamboo plant, where he was a happy and very active fish until he outgrew his home. He was recently transferred into a new, bigger tank. In this tank we added new gravel, and a few more live plants labelled specifically for use in freshwater aquariums. The tank also has a new larger filter.

Somewhere around 24-48 hours after being transferred to his new tank, Dexter became apparently ill. His eyes clouded over almost completely (I have attached a picture to this post). He has become extremely lethargic, sitting in a corner at the bottom of his tank, only occasionally swimming slowly back and forth to the back corner. I've noticed a few small frays in the edge of his tail and dorsal fin, which are NOT seeming to get worse, and may have been there before he got sick. The most concerning thing to me is that he is not eating - he seems to not be able to see the food, or anything else for that matter.

I have done quite a bit of online research, and consulted with the employees at the pet store regarding his condition. The most likely thing I have come up with is a bacterial infection. I have tested the water, which seems to be okay except for a high alkalinity - so my first question is, what is the best way to lower alkalinity? Would this even be the cause of a bacterial infection?

I purchased some antibacterial tablets suggested to me by the pet store, added some freshwater aquarium salt to the tank, and there is a vitamin stone in the tank as well. What else can I do to help my little Shubunkin get back to his healthy, vibrant self?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
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Andrea
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Re: Sick Shubunkin
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2010, 03:01:09 AM »

How big is the new tank? It doesn't say in your post so I imagine you didn't cycle the new tank, however this is a bit opposed to the fact that you said you tested the water and it was fine. Does this mean there was no trace of ammonia at all? It's best to cycle your tank anyway Smiley
I've never seen a fish eye's cloud over like that so I'm not really to sure what is going on. But everything else sounds like a sign of stress probably from moving into a new home and the water quality. To fix the ph you can get stuff like ph down, I prefer to use this little white blocks called ph neutralisers which will sit on the bottom of your tank and dissolve according to the ph levels in your tank. They work great and it means you don't have to worry about ph too much.
It sounds like most of the stuff you are doing is pretty good. Keep a very close eye on water quality and do some water changes (10-120%) per day until it is sorted out.
The small frays sound like fin rot which can be fixed by melafix and also sorting out your water. Your pet shop should have it and it does a great job.
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Andrea
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Re: Sick Shubunkin
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2010, 03:02:02 AM »

Not 120% that would be impossible  Huh I meant 20%
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Hanna
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Re: Sick Shubunkin
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2010, 04:31:44 AM »

For how long did you have the tank set up before moving Dexter into it? Did it cycle long enough?
Or is the tank about to cycle now?

If it is, my advise is the following: Use Prime from Seachem: it removes chloramine from tapwater, it also detoxyfies Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. Also it provides a healthy slimecoat.
Also use Stability from Seachem. This is beneficial bacteria, it will boost your biological filter and lowers the spikes in the nitrogen cycle. Follow the instructions on the bottle.

Do minor waterchanges as Andrea mentioned: 10-20% max at least every 2nd day. Monitor the chemistry very carefully.

I do keep fingers crossed for Dexter and you, that all will turn out fine.

Please keep us updated
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Nossie
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Re: Sick Shubunkin
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2010, 05:31:14 AM »

Cloudy eyes are probably caused by the infection, yes. It's common with stressed fish who have just been shipped far, or had their eyes hurt somehow physically Smiley (And in infected fish.)

You're doing well so far Smiley I'm wondering about the feeding, does he do any attempts to eat? Or is it just that he can't see the food?
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tmm522
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Re: Sick Shubunkin
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2010, 04:30:35 PM »

Thanks everyone. We added some pH balancer last night. After everything we did for him, he perked up quite a bit and has been swimming around a little more. This morning he ate a little something! His eyes are still cloudy, though we think they look a bit better.

I have maybe a st*pid question, but what do you all mean by 'cycling the tank'? There is a carbon filter that is supposed to run up to 100 gallons per day I think (I dont have the box right at the moment). But the instructions on the antibacterial tabs said to remove the carbon filter cartridge during the 5 days of treatment. Is this okay? What else is involved in cycling the tank?

To answer some of your questions: The new tank is 10 gallons. I dont think he has fin rot, other than two small frays at the end (which are not getting worse) his fins all look healthy. The tank was not set up very long before we moved Dexter into it, it was a brand new tank. Is it supposed to sit for a while first? We have been using Prime already, since we first got Dexter. Should we use the Stability on top of the Prime? As for his eating, as I mentioned he did eat a little this morning. It seemed as though he either wasnt feeling well enough to eat (just sitting at the bottom instead of racing around the tank like usual), or else he was not able to see the food at the top when we fed him. He really just would sit there and do nothing.

Thanks again for all the advice. I will keep you posted, but I am glad he seems to be doing a little better for now.
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Nossie
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Re: Sick Shubunkin
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2010, 04:32:02 AM »

The thing we call "cycled tank" is a tank where the nitrogen cycle is complete. It takes an average of 2 months or more for this to happen, and during the first weeks you have to test the water daily to keep an eye on ammonia. That's why you shouldn't add any fish until this has gone away (at least!) after the ammonia starts decreasing, the nitrites will rise. That's thanks to the nitrosomona bacteria Smiley They consume ammonia and change it into nitrites, which is a less toxic compound than ammonia. After the nitrites are gone, the nitrates will rise, and that's when the tank is cycled! You keep the nitrates down by doing regular water changes Smiley

Most people don't know what this is, and the new fish die from ammonia/nitrite poisoning, or they start showing various symptoms of bad water quality. It's called "new tank syndrome" but the title also covers the general problems with cycling that may arise if the tank's over stocked too early. I guess you figured out that the safest way to cycle a tank is to cycle it without any fish Wink Or at most one or two specimens of a hardy variety. So you should see the ammonia and nitrite tests showing 0, and you don't need to worry about them anymore Wink

It's great to hear that your fish is doing better! Smiley
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Andrea
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Re: Sick Shubunkin
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2010, 06:49:03 AM »

Nossie explained it pretty well as normal Smiley It's pretty much the idea that you need to build up good bacteria to help fight the bad bacteria which can kill your fish. There is alot about it on the net because it took me awhile to understand and I've explained to my mum (who is not a fish person) multiple times and she doesn't get it Tongue
You can remove the carbon and it is best to do this whenever treating with any medication. To be honest my filter doesn't have carbon in it  Undecided It came with it and I use to use it but then I read that it is not necessary with goldfish. I have no idea if this is true so don't take me word on it but my fish is doing fine and so is my water quality. However, when I get my new tank I'm going to leave it in there.
You have the perfect size tank for your goldfish and shubunkin's are quite hardy so all should be good and it is good to hear he is eating. But keep a very very close eye on him. Test your water quailty everyday as it has not been cycled and ammonia could get at dangerous levels as more waste is created. Also don't feed him for a few days or feed very little as you don't want to create even more waste until the good bacteria has kicked in.
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Mindemae
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Re: Sick Shubunkin
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2010, 12:11:05 PM »

Sounds to me like your fish is suffereing from new tank syndrome.  Doing small water changes and getting a water test kit will help considerably.  I bet your nitrites at some point were extremely high.  Your ph should be more alkaline for goldfish.  They can tolerate quite high alkaline ph so I don't understand why you are trying to lower the ph.
Also, living in a small environment can cause nitrate poisoning which one of the symptoms is cloudy eyes.  Your fish may never have clear eyes again, unforunately. Undecided  Fish cannot tolerate nitrates over 40 ppm very well.  You need to keep a close eye on your water quality and that is why a test kit would come in handy.  Doing regular water changes will help keep nitrates down also.
Taking a fish from a small polluted environment to all of a sudden a clean environment can cause them to go into shock.  People think they are doing their fish a favor by dumping them into a bigger tank but the water chemistry must be the same in both environments for the fish to be able to cope with the transition alright.  Adding water from the old tank to the new tank, doing daily small water changes and adding clean water gradually to the new tank is the best way to avoid shock.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2010, 12:15:45 PM by Mindemae » Logged
darren
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Re: Sick Shubunkin
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2010, 05:40:44 AM »

As the fish got sick so quick I would say its eyes have been chemically burned.  Did you wash the new gravel before adding, just looking at it I would say it is the cause of the problem.
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tmm522
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Re: Sick Shubunkin
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2010, 07:49:41 PM »

Darren, the gravel was washed before adding to the new tank. I dont believe his eyes were burned, because after following the suggestions of others on this post, Dexter is doing much better, and his eyes have almost completely cleared! Thanks everyone for you help. Dex is back to his healthy, rambunctious little self - he even got a new Shubunkin friend today!  Smiley
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Nossie
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Re: Sick Shubunkin
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2010, 03:28:31 AM »

That sounds great! Smiley Get to posting some pics of them both soon! Smiley
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