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About fishywomble

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  1. Pixiefish.... we last exchanged messages on this forum about a year ago? I just tried messaging you several times but it seems that it doesn't allow me to send messages anymore. Remember Flo, our oranda that had severe swimbladder problems??? Well she never recovered from the swimbladder disease, but somehow lasted for a year and she just died a month ago. We're a bit heartbroken and have decided to give up on the fishkeeping hobby as we've both realised that we don't have enough time to devote to this, and really don't want to kill anymore goldies! So - remember the aquarium we discussed? It's a Juwel 120 L tank.... please email me at fishywomble@gmail.com if you're still interested, we're giving it away free of course. Thanks!!!! fishywomble
  2. Well, Flo has surprised us all yet AGAIN. It has been several days and I resorted to using Interpet's No 9 anti-bacterial treatment, but I don't think it necessarily contributed to her recovery. Her swelling went down after 2 days, and the scales stopped sticking up. In a few days, the redness was all gone, and while you can just about see where the swelling used to be, she's back to NORMAL. I can't believe this. I really thought she had dropsy less than a week ago, and now she's spunky, fiesty and scooting around the tank bottom, begging for food! What seems to be permanent is that her swim bladder is no longer working. She can no longer raise herself upright, nor swim above the bottom. That is causing some stress, and red streaks in her tail, which have persisted since last July. I don't think there is anything more we can do about it. When she was sick last time, we were this close to euthanising her. It was sad because we had to go away for 3 weeks and had NO ONE to look after the tank, so the auto feeder went crazy and we only found out when we got back. Water quality was horrendous and probably caused her bacterial infection. It is amazing though, that she survived despite that! Here's a video I made of Flo being hand-fed a dried shrimp 2 nights ago. Can you tell that she was pineconed just a few days before this??? http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=U1fQt06cc4o fw
  3. Haven't got Sera Baktopur, I think I have to get it from online retailers as I haven't seen it in the shops. We also have to get a separate QT tank - I've read somewhere along this thread that you need to change the water every day if you use this medication??? I'm afraid by the time all this is done, Flo will have died anyway - plus the stress of moving her into a new tank, since she can't swim and we'll have to physically move her, which might be stressful when there is a swelling on her side. We're still watching and waiting. We've put in Interpret No 9's treatment. She is still lively and voraciously hungry, and is happy to be hand-fed. I just don't know what else to do. fishywomble
  4. Pixiefish, thanks for your response! I tried asking people (some of whom keep goldfish) - if they wanted to re-home Flo, but to no avail. I guess no one wants a disabled goldfish that lies on its side. I did try and keep the water as pristine as possible, changing ever so often and checking the quality with our Hagen test kit. Unfortunately, there was a family illness and we had to go abroad for 3 weeks to visit my mother who had a sudden operation. Living where we do, it seems impossible to find someone to come in and check on the fish from time to time! We barely know our neighbours, and our friends live too far away for it to be considerate to ask them. One friend used to check in on our fish whenever we went away on holidays, but he was unavailable this year. So with a heavy heart, we had to leave Flo on her own for almost 3 weeks, with only an automated feeder for company. We have used the feeder before on shorter trips, but not for prolonged absences such as 3 weeks. But Flo had somehow always coped very well with being left to her own devices. But possibly not so when she's lying on her side and incapacitated. Anyway, we were SO happy to come home and find out that Flo had survived our absence, but the feeder had gone awry. There was a small mountain of fish food in the bottom of the tank, and the water smelt foul! Despite jet lag and all the rest, the first thing we did when we got home from the airport was to change the aquarium water... before collapsing in bed! The next day we also slowly dosed the aquarium with aquarium salts to ease the stress on Flo. She still seemed to be OK, with some blood-red streaks in her tail, but she'd recovered from this previously, so there was no reason for us to think that it'd be any different this time. But a few days ago, we noticed that her red streaks had got worse, instead of getting better. We did another emergency small water change in case it was the high nitrates. But I noticed a bulge on her right side, and yesterday the scales began to stick out, so I think Flo is not long for this world... :( This is profoundly upsetting as we've had her for 2.5 years until things got the better of us and we were unable to maintain the tank as frequently as we'd have liked to. Now, she's just lying on her side but still quite lively, she still goes around chasing food despite her swelling. I don't know whether I should just buy some clove oil from the pharmacy and then euthanise her this evening? It is horrific either way... either to kill her humanely, or watch her suffer and die naturally, which may still take some time. Anyway, I have an unopened bag of Hikari fish food (with Probiotics), some unused Juwel filters, etc.etc. that all readers from this forum are welcome to, once Flo dies. We're giving up with the goldfish-keeping. If you are located anywhere in London, we will also be giving away our 125L Juwel tank. I guess I should post this in the general forum once Flo is dead. With a heavy heart, fishywomble
  5. Another thing, I've noticed that on Flo's right side, there are red spots on her body, on or under the scales. They weren't there but appeared right after the pH crash. Is this a sign of severe stress from the pH crash? What can I do about it? The last time we had a pH crash, there were blood streaks in her fins. She is eating well. But I really don't know if Flo is long for this world. fishywomble
  6. I just thought I'd give you all an update on Flo and Ming. We're giving up on keeping goldfish. We've decided that with our busy schedules, sometimes even changing water once every 3 weeks is too much for us.... with a 125L tank and 2 filters going, tons of algae grow only after a week, and the only plants that seem to survive in our tank are hornwort. Flo has been on her side for months and things aren't improving, and probably never will. In the past few weeks, she seems to lie on her left as well as her right, which is an indication that both her swimbladders on both sides are damaged. She still tries to get around the bottom of the tank though and still manages to get food despite her desperately impaired condition. Her tail fin is streaked with red, and I kept thinking she'd die soon, but she is SUCH a little fighter. I am so sad because we think we might have to euthanise her to end her suffering, but she is such a perky fish, it is so hard. She'd swim to the side of the tank and beg for food, even in this state. She still has a healthy appetite. The sadder news is that we suffered yet another pH crash yesterday. We had not changed water in 3+ weeks because we were much too busy/tired after work, but we had been feeding the fish only sparingly. The pH indicator I'd bought had sunk to the bottom of the tank, out of sight. And Ming, previously healthy, had died... I found her stuck under the Fluval filter the next morning, it was a sad sight. We've had her for almost 2 years and she had grown into a big fish with an untidy wen (that Flo kept trying to eat). The shocking thing was, Flo was STILL alive. She didn't look very happy, but she was lying at the bottom of the tank, gasping. We did an emergency water change and a few hours later, she was scooting around the bottom of the tank, looking for food! We feel terribly guilty about Ming's demise and don't think we should keep anymore goldfish as we obviously don't always have the time to look after them properly, i.e do the required water changes in a timely manner. But now we're stuck with a disabled goldfish, which is a bigger burden because we don't know how to feed her if we go away on holiday. We are concerned she will get stuck somewhere in the tank and starve to death. Right now, we occasionally dip our hands in the tank to prop her upright, to help her hunt for food, which she does so very energetically. Or sometimes I hand-feed her a dried prawn. Does anyone have any ideas? fishywomble
  7. That's the thing, there is no blurb apart from it saying that it only alters the pH by 0.3 at most, does not affect water hardness, and "does not affect fish in any way". My assumption is that it shouldn't affect ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels which DO affect fish.... but I don't know the contents of the bag and don't want to make things harder for my poor sick fish. I guess I am just asking what fertilisers contain, in general. fw
  8. Those of you who may have read of my problems with a pH crash in the other diagnosis section, and subsequent problems with one fish swimming on its side (swim bladder problems?) may know why I am asking these questions... Anyway... here goes. I always used fertiliser teabags called Pro Aqua from Greenline Aquatics here in the UK, with no problems for nearly 2 years. The instructions say that the teabags will not affect fish in any way, or alter the water chemistry, and will not change the pH by more than 0.3. Which should be fine as I have hard water in my area anyway. However, the pH crash happened a month ago because things got a little out of hand, and because we were too busy, we had not cleaned the tank in two weeks and more importantly, had not changed the filters in the Fluval filter for ages and ages, to the extent that it became slightly blocked and was no longer pumping water as efficiently through it. We suspect that may have something to do with the pH crash but don't know for sure! But anyway, it coincidentally happened the day after I replaced a worn-out fertiliser teabag with a new one. After the crash, we took out the new teabag because we were worried it had contributed to the pH problems. Anyway, one of my fish has swim bladder problems and we had to use a Nitra-Zorb pillow to reduce nitrates in the water - our water has high nitrates straight from the tap. Anyway it's been a while now, and my plants are really suffering from the lack of fertiliser etc. I suppose plants also feed on nitrates in the water?? They are looking sickly and yellow and I am tempted to put in a new teabag of fertiliser. So my question is (thanks for reading so far!) - will a fertiliser teabag increase the nitrates in the water? Right now I don't want my nitrates too high although the fish had always coped with high nitrates before. I'm a bit undecided about what to do. fw
  9. Lemme try posting a picture... taken last year sometime. Flo and Ming doing some synchronised swimming.
  10. Pixiefish, our last fishes have all died while in QT with anti-bacterial treatments. Seems like I can only get Sera Baktopur from online retailers. We haven't done this yet because we're unable to work out the logistics of using a second tank with our old Fluval 2 filter (which we used with the 3 fish that died > 2 years ago). For some reason, Flo seems to have perked up. We're back o feeding her normally, but with a more varied diet of ProGold, peas, spinach, dried shrimp and Tetra's daphnia, brine shrimp etc. range of foods. Flo is amazingly, able to right herself again, sometimes with the help of some pebbles in the tank. She was so lethargic last week I thought she was never going to get better, but now she's perky again. She still spends most of the time lying on her right side, but whenever there's food involved, she can work out how to right herself and then swim around, feeding! She still seems to have difficulty rising to the surface, or swimming for long periods, but she is definitely looking better. I am feeling more hopeful now. Just doing plenty of small water changes to ensure the nitrates don't get too high.... Will keep you all posted! fw
  11. Thanks Yazoo. I haven't put in any meds yet because I want to be absolutely sure of what I am doing. There hasn't been any significant change in Flo's behaviour. Pixiefish, I am sure it's a male fish so egg impaction is ruled out. When I got Flo I assumed it was female so it's an old habit to refer to Flo as a 'she', I apologise for the confusion! I inadvertently fed it some ProGold pellets while trying to feed the other fish. You see, the other fish is quite 'dumb' (even for a fish) and even in her incapacitated state, Flo is quite capable of beating that fish to food by wriggling over the tank floor on her side. It's been over a week now that she's been on her side, and I don't think she's going to get any better. But she's still greedy and when I prop her upright, especially after some food, she's able to swim around quite normally, but with a tendency to drop downwards after a while. So I really don't understand what is up with her. The KH of our tap water is normally quite high but the carbonates might have been exhausted when the pH crashed, we hadn't done a water change in 2 weeks and may have been overfeeding the fish. There had also been a lot of algae growth in the tank. The pH from the tap is fairly constant - at 7.5 or thereabouts. The pH in the tank fluctuates from 7 in the early morning to almost 8 at night after the light's been on all day. Will this daily fluctuation harm her? Likewise, the tank water is always heated up by the tank lights to the mid-high 20s. I still haven't put a heater in because I am concerned about keeping the heater switched on 24/7. At this point I don't really know what to do. The fish vet is in East London and I am in the west so it is a bit of a trek, but that may be our last resort if we can get antibiotic tablets. It's all a guessing game here. It is distressing to watch Flo struggle to move around and right herself. Her wen has also developed a slightly whitish patch where she keeps resting on it all day.... I still cannot figure out how to strap a sling onto her as she is still pretty lively! fw
  12. I am tempted to try the Interpret No 13 swim bladder treatment next... you're right it might be bacterial, worsened when she was stressed by the pH crash. She had been occasionally listing a little to the right for some months now, but was otherwise so lively that I could not imagine anything was wrong. She is not swollen and has no other external signs of an infection though, but the whitish/greenish poop last night was discouraging. She still has a huge appetite though. Yesterday she swam encouragingly for the first time, even coming up to the surface once, but her movements while swimming are a bit jerky, like she is working very hard to float upwards. While she is swimming, she is perfectly able to stay upright, but when she keels over on her right, she is unable to get up again. Can I apply the swim bladder treatment in the present tank, with the other fish in it as well? I only have a small quarantine tank which is really not ideal, its very small and not cycled and I fear if we put her in there, she will definitely die. I have Aqualibrium salt in my tank right now, salted it to 0.3%... it serves as a pH buffer and I started adding it 2 weeks ago after the pH crash. I think there is a pH swing of about 1 between morning and night, when the tank light is on/off. The KH has always been reasonably high and we have 'hard' water in central London. fw
  13. Thanks a lot, Pixiefish! We tried making the sling; so polystyrene and vaseline in the tank water are OK?? We had the worst trouble trying to get Flo into the sling though, she is a big fish and she wriggled away every time we tried to fit her through the sling. We gave up after thinking that we might end up stressing her even more. When she's upright, she manages to swim around for quite a while before tipping over again, but the main problem is getting upright from a lying-down position. I also noticed that her poop last night was light green tinged with white/grey. Worried that this might mean an infection... she was pooping normally up until last night. Before that, I'd fed her a couple of freeze-dried shrimp and some peas yesterday. No, haven't tried the Epsom salts. I have the tank salted with aqualibrium salts so we have to do a massive water change before putting the Epsom salts in. The tank temperature is about 24-25C as the water is heated by the lights - is this warm enough or should we increase this with a heater? fw
  14. Actually, thinking back about it, I think Flo's problems with her swimbladder may have started more than 2 months ago but we just never realised. At least 2 months before, we noticed a tendency for her to hunt for food and then lie on her side chewing for a long time... we always thought she was 'playing dead' but then she had a lot of quirks, and we dismissed it as another 'Flo quirk'. She could swim fine at other times and certainly never lay on her side for very long periods, just when she was chewing. But this was also fairly recent behaviour. Maybe the pH crash just worsened things dramatically. Now when I tip her back with my finger, she is able to swim about normally for a while... she seems slightly better today but when she is on her side, she finds it impossible to right herself without help. But I've noticed her sitting occasionally with only slight listing to her right. I'm feeding her sparingly, not starving her, because I don't think she is constipated - and she also seems much perkier after a feeding... when I fasted her for a day, she looked so miserable and lethargic that I thought she was dying. How long does it take the Nitrazorb pillow to work? I think my nitrates are going down slowly... but its still between 10 and 20 ppm.
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