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Author Topic: Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress  (Read 1773 times)
AA82890
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Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress
« on: June 06, 2011, 12:52:53 AM »

1. How big is your tank:  10 gallons

2. For how long has the tank been set up: around 10 days

3. How many fish: 2

4. What kind of fish: 1 common goldfish and 1 comet goldfish

5. What are the water parameters:    Ammonia.........ppm  DO NOT KNOW
                                                            Nitrite..............ppm  DO NOT KNOW
                                                            Nitrate.............ppm  DO NOT KNOW
                                                            pH..........................  DO NOT KNOW
                                                            Temp...............71 degrees Fahrenheit

6. How often do you perform water changes: daily

7. How big are your waterchanges:      .....................15%

8. What kind of waterconditioner are you using: Nutrafin Aquaplus

9. Do you add beneficial bacteria: No

10. Symptoms your fish is showing: red markings on common goldfish and hard breathing/erratic swimming in comet goldfish

11. Since when does your fish show these symptoms: since yesterday   

12. How is the normal behaviour of your fish: normal/healthy

13. How do the other fish behave: common goldfish behaves normally

14. Post pics of the sick fish:

15. Do you have a filter on your tank, what kind, how big (gallons per hour): Marina S15, 150 gph

16. Do you provide extra aeration with an air pump and air stone/diffuser of some kind: YES, airstone

Hello, I have two goldfish in a 10 gallon tank that is (hopefully) cycling (something about which I've been doing a good amount of online research). I've been performing regular daily 10-15% water changes and feeding twice a day, a little bit each time. One comet goldfish is around 1.5" and the smaller common goldfish is 1". I recently acquired an air pump/stone and stupidly stirred up the gravel yesterday while getting it to the bottom of the tank; in the process, a good deal of debris and fish poop got scattered everywhere in the tank. I immediately did a 15% water change to help alleviate the debris. However, a few hours later the larger comet goldfish began displaying some respiratory distress (hard breathing, really opening its mouth wide) and also looked like it was swimming about aimlessly. It hasn't lost its appetite but it definitely is breathing a lot harder and swimming around aimlessly a lot more. I performed another 15% water change last night and relocated the larger comet goldfish to a smaller container with pristine water but the symptoms were still there this morning so this afternoon I attempted (first time) to vacuum the gravel using a siphon vacuum and got 25% of the water and then returned the comet goldfish to the tank. I don't have any test-kits, but from online research, have been keeping up with water changes; the goldfish, prior to this, were doing just fine. As a side note, the smaller goldfish has small red markings underneath its chin (kind of like a goatee) which weren't there before (possibly septicemia?)...I have since added 2 teaspoons of sea salt to the tank.
In the way of background information, this comet goldfish is 1 in 5 original goldfish I previously won from a carnival. All 5 were kept in a goldfish bowl (bad, I know) until I could get back home from college; 1 perished before I got back and 3 more died before I figured out to use human amoxicillin to treat. So this comet goldfish has been through a 5 day course of amoxicillin and made a relatively full recovery and was fine until the air pump incident. This goldfish has already been through a near-death experience and is the last goldfish from the batch I won at the carnival and is very sentimentally dear to me. Any advice is much welcome and thanks guys in advance!
-Anthony

***UPDATE actually, it looks like the smaller common goldfish isn't exactly "fine" like i previously thought. the red markings have spread to cover most of the right side of its lower jaw and there are red markings on its tail. this was easy to see because the common goldfish is mostly white, whereas the comet is orange. close inspection of the comet, though, reveals no such red markings...
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Nossie
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Re: Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 03:02:13 AM »

Far too small tank, they're poisoning themselves, make a large water change (I mean 50-75%) and buy a 30-40 gallon for these two fish. You have a common and a comet, they need a large tank to be comfortable. They can grow to be a foot long and are fast swimmers.

Stirring up the gravel won't pollute the water, you already have the pollution in there, constantly hurting the fish. You need to start vacuuming the gravel every week and change the water at least twice a week, about 50% to keep the nitrates at bay.
Another pump is only a good thing in such a small system!

From the red markings, it sounds like he's got an internal infection, and there isn't much you can do about that when it starts showing as red spots. However, you can try treating with an antibiotic, and filter with zeolite (this will absorb ammonia in the system when the antibiotic kills the bacteria). Perform a large water change before you add any medicine, to make sure there's as little salt as possible in the tank, salt releases the ammonia from the zeolite back into the water.

Moving the fish back and forth isn't a good thing to be doing either, you're only stressing the poor thing, and saying "pristine" about water that you have no test results on, isn't working, there's probably even more ammonia in a little plastic container after 15 minutes of the fish staying there than in the tank with both fish!
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AA82890
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Re: Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2011, 11:07:06 AM »

So I've been making 50% water changes and both goldfish seemed to be doing better. However, since last night, the larger comet goldfish has been sitting on the bottom. It still has an appetite but most of the time it just sits on the bottom breathing a good amount.
I obtained a test kit and tested around a half hour ago:
pH: anything from 6.8-7.2 (the color chart wasn't really decisive at all)
Ammonia: around 0.5 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
I'll be performing another water change soon to reduce the ammonia...What do you guys think of the test results and above-mentioned symptoms? What should I do?
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AA82890
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Re: Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2011, 12:03:50 PM »

I have just changed some water and re-tested the pH and ammonia, which came out to 6.8-7.0 and 0.25-0.50 ppm, respectively. However, both goldfish are now sitting on the bottom. It seems that things are deteriorating even though I'm improving the water quality...What should I do?
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Nossie
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Re: Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2011, 02:09:27 PM »

You should definitely do another water change! Your tank is cycling, and it could end up acting a bit strange since you have a crowded tank, I once cycled a 10 gallon with 3 small fantails in it, so it WILL work, it'll just be stranger, for instance, the nitrites may not appear at all or something like that.

Just be patient, test the water every day, and change between 25-50% if the ammonia gets high Smiley
Have you checked out some of those special water conditioners with beneficial bacteria? They're sometimes called fluid bio filter media, and they will definitely help out with the cycle! A few brands to mention would be Nitrivec by Sera, "fluid bio-filter medium" by Easylife, Stablity and Prime by Seachem, Stress Zyme and Stress Coat by API. (Here are links to the Seachem products in case you'd like to read more to see which ones would suit you better: (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.) , (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.) and the API products: (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.) and (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.) ) Note that two of them are normal water conditioners, but many users on this forum use them Smiley I've tried them out myself as well, so they're definitely to recommend.

Please keep us posted over here in case there's any trouble or if you have any questions! Smiley
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AA82890
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Re: Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2011, 02:36:12 PM »

I did a ~60% water change around an hour ago. Ammonia is down to somewhere from 0-0.25 ppm. Nitrite and nitrate are both 0. However, both goldfish tend to sit on the bottom; sometimes, when they do swim about, they do it very erratically like something's irritating them and then they go right back to sitting again. What is wrong? Sad
A friend suggested that it might possibly be a parasite or flukes??? Thoughts?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 02:40:11 PM by AA82890 » Logged
Nossie
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Re: Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2011, 06:59:35 AM »

They're just irritated from the problems in the water, that's all Smiley
Are you adding any water conditioner to your tap water? There's usually some chlorine present there, so if you don't neutralize it with a water conditioner, it may start burning the fish.

It would be a good idea to try and find a bigger tank for them as soon as you can! Remember, 10-20 gallons per fish!
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AA82890
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Re: Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2011, 07:15:43 AM »

I currently use Nutrafin Aquaplus and I definitely condition water before adding it to the tank. I went drastic last night and took out all the gravel, changed out 80% of the water, lowered the water level so that the filter would make a slight waterfall, and dialed down the air stone so it's only blowing a couple columns of tiny bubbles.
The smaller common goldfish swam a little bit but both are currently just sitting there again.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 07:18:27 AM by AA82890 » Logged
Nossie
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Re: Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2011, 09:00:34 AM »

That wasn't the best thing to do, unfortunately :/ You're only making the cycling process harder on both the fish and the beneficial bacteria in the tank by removing the gravel. Please put it back, and leave the tank alone for two-three days. Try to just stay calm and don't do anything drastic, water changes when the ammonia gets high and regular water testing should do the trick.

If I didn't mention it before, try not to feed the fish unless it's the day you're planning on doing a water change Smiley
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Bel
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Re: Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2011, 09:50:48 AM »

Bare bottom is fine but usually its best to take gravel out a cup at a time a day so it doesn't cause to much upset in the tank.   Your bacteria will be growing on your filter media so you won't really loose anything there and honestly since its gone already I wouldn't add it back.  The less "stuff" in the tank right now the better since its a small tank.   If gravel is too thick it can be bad anyway by traping harmful gas pockets that can release when cleaning and cause major problems for your fish.   

Keep a close eye on that ammonia and change the water if it is at .5 or above like mentioned.  It does sound like you may have a case of the flukes possibly but I would wait a bit for treatment until you have things more under control in the water params.   Hope you have a quick cycle and can upgrade the tank size very soon!
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AA82890
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Re: Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2011, 12:38:04 PM »

It has been bare for a couple of days now.
I got a bottle of Prime by Seachem yesterday and have been making 20% water changes and treating the whole tank with the Prime (just did a 20% change half an hour ago). The smaller common goldfish is basically back to normal now, fins unclamped and swimming around. However, the larger comet goldfish still sits in a corner, fins clamped and only swims around when it's feeding time.
Last night I tested the water and the ammonia came out to something below 0.25 ppm and there was no nitrite. I'm just confused as to what's wrong with the comet...
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Summer Time
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Re: Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2011, 03:44:33 PM »

It sounds like things are getting more stabilized for your tank.  Keep doing what you're doing.  The Prime will neutralize the ammonia and nitrites.

The red 'goatee' could be septicemia, I'm not sure if your fish is still showing these signs.  If it is, you may need medications to treat it.  I have been thru this with my goldfish and he recovered 100%.

Clamped fins could be a sign of almost anything, it means that he doesn't feel well.  Darting around could be parasites or flukes.  Any hiding or anti-social behavior is also a sign of not feeling well.

The tank sounds quite dirty.  I vacuum my aquarium once a week, moving the stones and decorations around, and there is NO debris on the bottom of the tank when I'm done.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 03:48:35 PM by Summer Time » Logged
AA82890
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Re: Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2011, 05:09:42 PM »

I just treated the comet (with respiratory problems and swollen right gill cover) with Cipro in a separate gallon bowl for an hour. I put it back into the tank and fed both fish and both have normal feeding behavior.
As for the red goatee on the smaller common goldfish, it seems to be getting less red and starting to fade away, so maybe the Prime is taking care of that.
The tank has a bare bottom and I vacuum it when I do my daily 20% water change, so it's pretty clean right now.
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Nossie
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Re: Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2011, 02:40:34 AM »

Sounds good. So that medication is supposed to be used for a bathe treatment? How often?
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AA82890
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Re: Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2011, 11:42:43 AM »

The Cipro instructions are 250 mg dissolved in a gallon of water, immersion for an hour per day for 5-7 days. It's supposed to nuke gram-negative bacteria. So far the comet still looks the same, but at least it's still eating...
After around 5 days if there's still absolutely no change, I'm going to try some Erythromycin (gram-positive bacteria), which requires actually housing the comet in a different container, since I have no idea what these medicines do to a tank's nitrifying bacteria...
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Summer Time
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Re: Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2011, 10:54:55 PM »

The gram positive meds will most likely kill your good bacteria, since they are gram positive themselves.  But if you need it, be sure to use it. You'll just have to handle an ammonia spike during treatment.
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Nossie
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Re: Please Help, Goldfish In Serious Distress
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2011, 08:52:39 AM »

I would rather advice against all those strong medications. Treating for 7 days with this really strong bath treatment and then switching to another strong medication is not going to have a good impact on your fish. If you don't know what you're treating, don't treat it.
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