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Author Topic: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far  (Read 2344 times)
se7enty
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recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« on: November 30, 2010, 12:18:04 PM »

i have a 55 gallon tank with 5 goldfish. 2 black moors, 1 oranda, 1 pearlscale, 1 generic comet.  they have been living in this same tank for over a year now. about 3 weeks ago i noticed they were all moving kind of slowly & had their dorsal fins down. a couple of days later, one of them had white gunk starting on top of the head. it moved down the body & onto the other fish within 24 hours. it wasn't fluffy or cottony looking. no sores. red gills. no red lines in fins.

i tested the water. nitrates were a little high. i didn't have time to do a water change that night & already had some fungal meds, so i added that & some slime coat stuff. the next day i put the heater in the tank & changed the water (added salt too). they got better.

about a week later the same thing starts again, but kills the pearlscale (fairly young & small fish). i tested the water, the pH had crashed. i put the heater back in the tank, changed the water again (tested fine), & they got better. i thought i had figured out how to control this. i left the heater in.

now, a week after that, the white gunk is back on the smaller black moor's head & he's not looking very happy. i'm about to go home for lunch, & i'm pretty sure the others will be sick too. i really don't understand what's going on. nothing new has been in the tank for over 6 months. the water values test within normal ranges.

any ideas?? anything else i can do??? i appreciate all contributions.
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Katarine
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2010, 12:40:57 PM »

Did you treat your water with.... Pimafix (or Melafix I cant remember which?Did you isolate your sick fish right away to prevent the pread of disease? Do you have a hospital tank set up?

Isolate your sick fish, otherwise they are gonna keep dying.
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Katarine
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2010, 12:41:29 PM »

I also think that your fish are comming down with a fungus.
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Mindemae
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2010, 12:55:11 PM »

You're biggest mistake was adding meds to a tank with water parameters less than perfect.
What exactly are your nitrate number readings?
What exactly were your pH readings?
I'm not sure what you mean by "crashed" regarding the pH.
But if it suddenly dropped by a substantial amount I would guess your fish got pretty stressed, with a real drop in pH they can suffer from acidosis.
Best to do a large water change and keep your eye on on the water parameters and get your water chemistry back to perfect.
I would also at this point treat the whole tank with aquarium salt, 1 TBS per 5 gallons of water and melafix and pimafix until you get your water parameters back to perfect! Smiley
If your nirates are above 40ppm you will maybe have to do a daily even every other day water change to get those numbers down.  You can also buy something that wil absorb the nitrates.  I use one by API.  It works well and you can just place the pre-filled bag into your filter. Smiley
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Nossie
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2010, 01:06:59 PM »

I'm not sure what "gunk" is... slime? Mindemae more or less covered it though, I'd do as she says Smiley
But if you mean that the fish are producing excess slime coat, it could be all kinds of things, parasites, fungus... but first things first, water quality.
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se7enty
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2010, 02:07:32 PM »

- i don't know what the gunk is either, which is why i called it that. it wasn't obviously a fungus.
- pimafix is for fungus. melafix is for bacteria.
- the fungal treatment i have already used was API fungus cure powder (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
- the fish were about to kick the bucket (we're talking mintues to hours) and i had no other option than to try to treat with something.
- i don't remember the nitrate levels. they are normal now though.
- the ph crashed as in it was really low all of a sudden. it was not low the week before. the ph is normal now, as in 6.5-7.
 i was on my lunch break & i had to do something.
- i've already done 3 large (about 75%) water changes in the last 3 weeks, and have been treating with salt.
- i don't think there's any point in taking a fish out to a hospital tank if they all get it within several hours of the first one. the whole tank needs to be treated.

after seeing them at lunch a bit ago, the little one seems to be better. i left the light off for the last 24 hours. i can't imagine that had anything to do with it, but maybe it did. idk. they look normal, as of 1:30, but i don't consider this to be over at all.

nevermind, i found the nitrazorb stuff
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 02:24:13 PM by se7enty » Logged
Mindemae
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2010, 02:57:02 PM »

With acidosis, the pH drops to below 5.5.
The acidity of the water irritates not only the gills but also the skin and all external body surfaces, resulting in excess mucus production.  (The skin will show a milky turbidity) and reddened skin areas, especially in the ventral region.  Low pH levels also increase a fish's suceptability to disease, particularily to bacterial infections.
The whitishness you saw could have been from the low pH.
You fish may have a bacterial infection, tho.
Keep an eye on your parameters and you might even want to treat with a oral anti-biotic which you can use with melafix and pimafix and the salt.
While melafix and pimafix are a good tonic and can help aid in healing, they are NOT anti-biotics but more of natural remedies which can help stimulate the fish's response to illness. Sometimes, however this isn't enough to kill a bacteria or fungus and you may after trying them for a few days with no responce, want to switch to a stronger medication. Smiley
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se7enty
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2010, 03:01:10 PM »

i haven't been using melafix or pimafix, though i have in the past. they're made from tea tree oils; i used an actual fungal medication by api.

the low ph symptoms you describe could match up.
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Nossie
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2010, 03:13:30 PM »

Maybe you should check your KH (Carbonate hardness) values too? These are in direct connection to the pH, if your carbonate hardness is high, the pH will be more stable Smiley These tests usually work that way, that you put one drop at a time into a vial of tank water, shake after each drop until it turns a certain color. The levels should stay around 10 or more. If it's much lower, you may need to keep an extra eye on your pH and test it daily to be sure that it stays constant!
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Mindemae
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2010, 03:57:21 PM »

Not doing regular water changes and letting the nitrates get extremely high can also cause pH to drop suddenly or to "crash" so to speak. Smiley
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se7enty
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2010, 05:03:31 PM »

^i had just done a water change the week prior to the crash.
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Nossie
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2010, 05:07:35 PM »

And you usually change water every week?
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se7enty
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2010, 05:18:40 PM »

no. please go back and reread my post. i have already covered that...
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Nossie
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2010, 05:24:23 PM »

Quote
i didn't have time to do a water change that night

So you skipped it once? That's really all the info I can find.
Either way, you should never let it happen again. If you will feel like you don't have time to do a water change the day you're supposed to, test all the water parameters, and if the nitrates are pretty high, you have to either make time to change it, OR change it the following day. Really, the easiest way is to avoid problems like this in the first place (through regular water changes), it's far more time consuming to try and treat sick fish. Not to mention how much harder it is to "repair" the water quality issues than to prevent them.
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se7enty
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2010, 09:03:13 PM »

Quote
i've already done 3 large (about 75%) water changes in the last 3 weeks, and have been treating with salt.

i've done 3 water changes in the last 3 weeks. this is not typical. i did this because the fish were sick.
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Goldiegirl
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2010, 10:12:56 PM »

Meds + Bad water = Disaster.

Not doing regular water changes probably caused your parameters to blow. I believe Minde's on the right track about the acidosis.

3 water changes in the last 3 weeks SHOULD be normal. You really must change the water once every week (usually 50% water change) regularly. In saying this is not typical, you are pointing to an underlying problem. Do you have a filter of some kind? Cycling your water helps prevent a drastic problem in the case of skipping a water change or postponing it until the next day. I don't mean to be harsh, but you really should never ever treat with medications unless you know for sure the problem is that other than water parameters. If you don't get those meds out of your water you are only going to encounter more issues.
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se7enty
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2010, 10:22:28 PM »

seriously?? i have NEVER in my life heard of anyone doing water changes weekly!! i have a BS in animal science, took several companion animal classes which had curriculum that included aquariums, specifically goldfish. no more than once a month was recommended. i've been keeping goldfish for 10 years and have never heard anyone change water that frequently with success. the only people who do that are beginners who think they are cleaning the tank, but actually are just getting rid of most of the good bacteria, and end up killing their fish. this is crazy.

people, the meds are out of the water. the water has been changed TWICE since i put meds in, the carbon filter has been replaced. the only thing besides water in the tank is salt & stress coat. the water parameters are all normal currently.

(mod edit: comment removed - using foul or offensive language is not allowed)

okay, i'm moving on from this site. i don't think i'm going to get anything useful here.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 10:25:20 PM by se7enty » Logged
Mindemae
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2010, 11:44:04 PM »

I have never heard of once a month water changes without disaster happening with fish getting sick or water parameters getting out of control!  Certainly you must check your water chemistry and do a water change according to the test results.
If you have so much experience then why come here and ask for help only to argue with everyone that is trying to help?
Nirates do not get at high levels overnite.  C'mon even beginners know that they rise slowly over quite a period of time.
If your nitrates reach too high a level it will cause your eco system to crash, because of the pH crashing.  All your good bacteria die off in huge numbers leaving your fish exposed to ammonia poisoning, which will lead to extreme stress, illness and even maybe death.
I think what you need to ask yourself at this point is:
What caused my nitrates to get so high and my pH to crash and what can I do to make sure this doesn't happen again.
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Andrea
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2010, 07:11:21 AM »

Seems like you already know what you are doing so why bother asking  Roll Eyes Seriously everyone on here was just trying to help by offering suggestions, no photos were offered and no 100% descriptions were given, I'd like to see you treat an animal when you don't see it and the owner can only describe it sort of!

You specifically said this "i appreciate all contributions" but then it seems like you swore at someone. You act more like a 14 year old than such a smart animal 'expert' who knows so much but let's the nitrates get high and calls stuff gunk without offering any more help to us for what is.

We do weekly water changes (some of us) and we aren't the ones with the sick fish and high nitrates  Undecided
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Nossie
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2010, 11:35:37 AM »

I say, a professional wouldn't mention "gunk" in the first place. Sorry, really, but even I know some parasites in latin and I had my very own goldfish setup for about 13 months now d: no offense.

I haven't heard of someone doing water changes once a month, ever. On the other hand, there are TONS AND TONS of EXPERIENCED aquarists that swear by weekly or bi-weekly water changes to keep the NITRATE LEVELS at bay and the water quality good. I am one of those that test it regularly, and follow a good schedule when it comes to maintenance. Sorry, but so far... I've never had an water quality issues, even in the seriously crowded 10 gallon. This is common chemistry with a hint of biology, so I bet there's nothing new there for ya.
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April
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2010, 01:12:04 PM »

I do hope your goldies get well and you can solve the mystery you are faced with. Unfortunately some integrity is always lost when profanity enters the equation. I can appreciate the frustration regarding their illness. I am still very new at caring for a goldfish so I don't have anything I can share at this point, sorry Undecided All the best se7enty.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 01:14:06 PM by April » Logged
Goldiegirl
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2010, 03:14:36 PM »

I wish you luck with your dilemma, however you seem unwilling to acknowledge the many experts we have here on this site. Hopefully somewhere you will find the correct information you need to resolve the problems you are encountering with your fish. Though our years of education may be less than yours, (I myself have never taken a specialty class in goldfish) we have learned success through listening to people like those found on this site.

Like Nossie, I have never EVER heard of doing a water change only once a month. If you can't find the time to devote to changing the water at least once every week, the goldfish is not a good pet for you.

April: It takes a big person to say what you said Cheesy karma.

All of you ladies on here, may I close with a condoning word for all: good job for trying to help those who need it! We couldn't do it without you, and though some may reject sound advice, know that the vast majority always appreciates your time and efforts to assist those in need.

Thank you.
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Katarine
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2010, 04:05:18 PM »

I agree with everyone here. For you who says you have  BS in Animal science, then you should be at least aware of aquatic environments.

Water changes once a week are a necesity, no doubt about that. Any more, and the fish waste will build up, decompose, and pollute your water. Thus, you get problems like a build up of ammonia, nitrates.. Sometimes PH drops or PH spikes.

Fungus and other diseases will also become prominent without proper water changing, testing of the water, and isolation of your sick fish.

If you won't listen to people here on this forum, I suggest you do the research yourself, because I personally will not help someone as argumentative and stubborn as you.
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Mindemae
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2010, 04:07:28 PM »

I just want to say one more thing.
This isn't a job.  We don't get paid for our advice we give.
We love goldfish and care about their well being!
We want your goldfish to live a long and happy life.
We also do not offer any advice that we have not tried successfully or wouldn't try on our own goldfish.
So please respect the people's opinions here.
You don't have to agree but to get angry over someone trying to help is ridiculous.
If you don't agree with the help offered then say thanks and move on. Smiley
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Goldiegirl
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2010, 04:17:20 PM »

I have been to almost every goldfish/aquarium fish keeping website on the board.
I have never found any website as good for helping goldfish keepers as this one, and probably never will.

Anyone who comes across a website as helpful as this one should be thanking their lucky stars, not swearing at it for our opinions.
The people who give advice here know what they're doing and are not trying to make anyone look st*pid or ignorant, so there is no need to take offense.

Like Minde said: we don't get a salary for all the countless hours we spend trying to help fish and their owners! And none of us here are trying to hurt your fish further - far from it! You obviously have a problem, and are seeking advice. When you get it, you are angry because the problem's causes reflect negatively upon you. Find other opinions if you would, but pray don't loose your temper with us for trying to BE NICE.


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Hanna
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2010, 05:05:10 PM »

Sorry, I am late on this thread, but just want to put my few cents in:

I totally agree with what was already said and I don't repeat it.
I only emphazise that I am on other forums too, I also joined an aquarists club and am friends with professionals in the aquarists hobby. They all are dedicated to fish keeping.
I never ever heard that one couldn't remember their test results, especially if they asked for advice or another opinion. Also describing your problem with words like: " gunk , a little high, some fungal meds, some slime coat stuff, pH had crashed " isn't scientific and professional at all. So how can you expect professional help??? Numbers and facts are needed!

Things will happen even to the best of us where we need to ask for any help or more ideas.
But we all are able to give detailed information because this is what is needed to get the right help and the right advice. You should know that, as you've got the BS in (animal) science, etc.
You also should know that majority of the beneficial bacteria live in the filter media and substrate, less in the water. And NO one here had problems with doing weekly regular water changes. You should also know that poor water quality >>> stress>>> sick fish... >>> dead fish.

Unfortunately I missed the words where you apparently abused some of us while trying to help you. I wish you for the future to skip profanity and be grateful for any help offered regardless in what matter.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 07:19:50 PM by Hanna » Logged
Katarine
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2010, 07:35:58 PM »

Well said, Hanna. I couldn't agree more.

Frankly, I'm offended, and, though I came on late when the profanity was removed, I'm sorry for those that had to deal with the attitude.

If you don't want our advice in the first place, leave, and do the research yourself. I put this out as a warning to anyone who may come to this forum.

Another bit of my two cents:

Alot of us have been keeping fish for a while now. Though none of us are experts, many are well rounded with the ways of fishkeeping, and if we dont know an answer, we have and will look it up so we can get the right information across. DO NOT, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, blow us off because we are trying to give you the advice that, hey, YOU ASKED FOR.

So don't go giving the rest of us lipservice about how much you know about whatever; the fact of the matter is, you came for help and you ignored it.


Okay. I'm done. I swear I'm done this time.
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Hanna
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2010, 09:07:51 PM »

Karma for all of you Ladies who tried to help and were abused in the end.
( I agree with Kat, even if we ( Kat and myself ) weren't able to read the profane words, we all were offended....apparently the autor of this thread has been on another forum, last post over a year ago, perhaps same behaviour...)

Anyway, we keep doing what we do, helping others who appreciate our advices. Those ones who don't I only feel sorry for their fishies...

Karma for EVERYBODY
« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 11:59:13 PM by Hanna » Logged
April
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2010, 09:59:31 PM »

may all those little treasures somehow pull through.

I am so very grateful to all of you who have enlightened me on this journey, for opening up and sharing. My heart is full for having taken on the responsibility of caring for such an amazing little and joyful soul.
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Katarine
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Re: recurring mystery illness, losing slime, 1 dead so far
« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2010, 10:33:30 PM »

I'm glad April. Hugs and Karma for you Tongue

Ah what the heck. Hugs and Karma for everyone. XD We deserve it
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