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Freckles is sick! Help!

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Hey guys one of my goldfish is sick I believe and I need help figuring it out what it is...

heres the copy/paste forms

  • Test Results for the Following:
  • * Ammonia Level(Tank)
  • 0ppm (all tests were done today)
  • * Nitrite Level(Tank)
  • 0ppm
  • * Nitrate level(Tank)
  • less than 20ppm
  • * Ammonia Level(Tap)
  • not @ home :(
  • * Nitrite Level(Tap)
  • * Nitrate level(Tap)
  • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
  • 7.6
  • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)

  • Other Required Info:
  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?
  • API master kit
  • * Water temperature?
  • 73 degrees I believe
  • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?
  • 50G, been running for 3 months? 4 months?
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?
  • aqua clear 110
  • * How often do you change the water and how much?
  • every friday or saturday and usually 25-50%

  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?
  • Today 50%
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size?
  • 4 fan tails, about 4'' long to their tails, a few months old each.
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners?
  • I use Prime dechlor. when I do water changes as recommended by the label
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often?
  • Hikari lionhead sinking pellets 2 small meals daily
  • cooked veggies twice a week (usually broccoli and/or peas)
  • blood worms once a week if i remember instead of the pellets (always forget they're in the fridge)
  • * Any new fish added to the tank?
  • no
  • * Any medications added to the tank?
  • no
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.
  • nothing thus far
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?
  • no, coloring is great, fins look great
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

Yes--- this is it

Freckles my calico fantail (petsm*rt fish), I've had him since May. He's always been a pretty swimmer, loves to play in the air bubbles, swim to the top, to the bottom etc. But lately (in the past weeks) he's been more blah. Hes been hanging out up at the top in the back (typically he likes to swim in the front top) but instead of swimming around hes just been sitting there. The reason why I'm posting is also the other morning when the lights first turned on (timer) he went to the bottom and literally just sat with his belly on the sand. I tested the water and the ammonia was a litter higher (0.25ppm) so I did a 50% water change and put some additional ammonia remover media in my filter (theres already carb-ammo but I added fluval ammonia remover) I tested the water today (2 days later) and no more ammonia (0ppm) but his behavior still hasn't improved very much, in the past weeks I also tried fasting him for 2 days and also a 3 day pea diet (as with the others in the tank who all seem fine, no change in behaviors)

Additional info: filter has been properly cycled and running for months, no change in temp except barely a drop since I'm not using a heater this winter and no substrate change.

Not sure what else to do, my goldfish haven't been sick before :(

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Hello Sarah,

Would you be able to post some pictures and a video to show us his behavior? I am wondering if maybe you do not have a cycle or you starved it with adding all of that ammonia remover. I only use a sponge in each of my filters and the ceramic biological media. We also don't recommend carbon unless it's being used to remove medication. If carbon isn't replaced every 3-4 weeks it starts to break down, and that's not good. How are you testing your nitrates? I find it that people are testing it wrong in my town, so I just want to make sure you are doing this.

1. add 10 drops of bottle 1 and invert it several times.

2. Shake bottle 2 vigorously for 30 seconds.

3. add ten drops of bottle 2.

4. shake vigorously for 1 minute.

5. let it sit for 5 minutes and check the results.

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Thats exactly how I test my nitrates. I can post a video on Friday, I'm not home until then. I keep a sponge in the bottom of my filter and ammo-carb (by Marineland I think its a blend of activated carbon and ammonia removing stuff) in the middle with bio-media in the top, I find I always have to keep ammonia remover in the filter otherwise if I miss my weekly water change by a few days I have a slight raise of ammonia due to technically being over crowded (4 in a 50G). But as long as I keep to my weekly water change schedule the tests are fine. I only change the carbon insert every other month and I typically just rinse the sponge if needed and leave the bio-media alone. This tank has been set up and stable for months, and the filter was on my previous tank before that so I don't think its due to not being cycled. The other thing is this behavior has been going on for weeks, and I can't think of anything I've done differently. I'm thinking he may have an issue with the pellet food lately? As he seems to hang out on top more when he eats that vs when he eats the blood worms. I'm just curious as to if theres any other goldfish diseases that may be causing these symptoms. Or maybe I'm just overly protective and he's just been more floaty than usual??

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Fresh bloodworms (and blackworms) have been implicated in some Betta maladies, but I don't know if that translates to goldfish as well? The issue isn't as pronounced with freeze dried food, and seems to be a soaking issue rather than pathogenic at that point (but since goldfish owners tend to be more cogent of swim bladder problems, it seems like most on this forum already soak their dried foods).

I'm sorry Freckles isn't doing well :(

Edited by Arctic Mama

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Thats exactly how I test my nitrates. I can post a video on Friday, I'm not home until then. I keep a sponge in the bottom of my filter and ammo-carb (by Marineland I think its a blend of activated carbon and ammonia removing stuff) in the middle with bio-media in the top, I find I always have to keep ammonia remover in the filter otherwise if I miss my weekly water change by a few days I have a slight raise of ammonia due to technically being over crowded (4 in a 50G). But as long as I keep to my weekly water change schedule the tests are fine. I only change the carbon insert every other month and I typically just rinse the sponge if needed and leave the bio-media alone. This tank has been set up and stable for months, and the filter was on my previous tank before that so I don't think its due to not being cycled. The other thing is this behavior has been going on for weeks, and I can't think of anything I've done differently. I'm thinking he may have an issue with the pellet food lately? As he seems to hang out on top more when he eats that vs when he eats the blood worms. I'm just curious as to if theres any other goldfish diseases that may be causing these symptoms. Or maybe I'm just overly protective and he's just been more floaty than usual??

okay, but I wouldn't know why you don't have any nitrates with 4 fish in a 50 gallon. When you clean the bio-media and sponge do you use tank water or tap water? I would maybe remove the carbon and ammo-chips all together and have a set up like this.E827724E-A7AE-4579-9A4C-F4806D5A8071_zps

It is the sponge on the bottom, and then tons of ceramic media on top. I have a micron pad in the middle, but it isn't necessary. You could even use matrix instead of the ceramic rings (I am switching to that when I get my canister). I would also recommend upping your water changes to 75-90% weekly water changes or 50% twice a week. having no nitrates seems to me that there isn't a cycle; if there is ammonia, then your bacteria isn't processing it and your tank is relying on the ammo chips/ammo-carb to remove it.

Edited by Mikey

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Thats exactly how I test my nitrates. I can post a video on Friday, I'm not home until then. I keep a sponge in the bottom of my filter and ammo-carb (by Marineland I think its a blend of activated carbon and ammonia removing stuff) in the middle with bio-media in the top, I find I always have to keep ammonia remover in the filter otherwise if I miss my weekly water change by a few days I have a slight raise of ammonia due to technically being over crowded (4 in a 50G). But as long as I keep to my weekly water change schedule the tests are fine. I only change the carbon insert every other month and I typically just rinse the sponge if needed and leave the bio-media alone. This tank has been set up and stable for months, and the filter was on my previous tank before that so I don't think its due to not being cycled. The other thing is this behavior has been going on for weeks, and I can't think of anything I've done differently. I'm thinking he may have an issue with the pellet food lately? As he seems to hang out on top more when he eats that vs when he eats the blood worms. I'm just curious as to if theres any other goldfish diseases that may be causing these symptoms. Or maybe I'm just overly protective and he's just been more floaty than usual??

okay, but I wouldn't know why you don't have any nitrates with 4 fish in a 50 gallon. When you clean the bio-media and sponge do you use tank water or tap water? I would maybe remove the carbon and ammo-chips all together and have a set up like this.E827724E-A7AE-4579-9A4C-F4806D5A8071_zps

It is the sponge on the bottom, and then tons of ceramic media on top. I have a micron pad in the middle, but it isn't necessary. You could even use matrix instead of the ceramic rings (I am switching to that when I get my canister). I would also recommend upping your water changes to 75-90% weekly water changes or 50% twice a week. having no nitrates seems to me that there isn't a cycle; if there is ammonia, then your bacteria isn't processing it and your tank is relying on the ammo chips/ammo-carb to remove it.

My nitrate readings are typically 20-30ppm, the last time I tested (yesterday I guess?) the color looked closer to 10ppm than the 20ppm which is why I said less than 20ppm. I'm confused as to how there could not be a cycle because I've had the filter set up for 6 months, the bio-max I use has the ideal brown-ish look to it, the readings have been pretty stable and I haven't added any new fish.. When I rinse the sponge I use the aquarium water I just siphoned out, not tap water. If I should remove the carbon-ammo chips what are the risks to that would there be any chemical spikes or drops or is there anything I should add in its place? Just more bio media? I feel like my ammonia would get too high without some sort of remover or would the additional bio media help with that? And should I decide to remove it should I do it at once or take out half at a time or add the new bio media first and then remove it?

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Thats exactly how I test my nitrates. I can post a video on Friday, I'm not home until then. I keep a sponge in the bottom of my filter and ammo-carb (by Marineland I think its a blend of activated carbon and ammonia removing stuff) in the middle with bio-media in the top, I find I always have to keep ammonia remover in the filter otherwise if I miss my weekly water change by a few days I have a slight raise of ammonia due to technically being over crowded (4 in a 50G). But as long as I keep to my weekly water change schedule the tests are fine. I only change the carbon insert every other month and I typically just rinse the sponge if needed and leave the bio-media alone. This tank has been set up and stable for months, and the filter was on my previous tank before that so I don't think its due to not being cycled. The other thing is this behavior has been going on for weeks, and I can't think of anything I've done differently. I'm thinking he may have an issue with the pellet food lately? As he seems to hang out on top more when he eats that vs when he eats the blood worms. I'm just curious as to if theres any other goldfish diseases that may be causing these symptoms. Or maybe I'm just overly protective and he's just been more floaty than usual??

okay, but I wouldn't know why you don't have any nitrates with 4 fish in a 50 gallon. When you clean the bio-media and sponge do you use tank water or tap water? I would maybe remove the carbon and ammo-chips all together and have a set up like this.E827724E-A7AE-4579-9A4C-F4806D5A8071_zps

It is the sponge on the bottom, and then tons of ceramic media on top. I have a micron pad in the middle, but it isn't necessary. You could even use matrix instead of the ceramic rings (I am switching to that when I get my canister). I would also recommend upping your water changes to 75-90% weekly water changes or 50% twice a week. having no nitrates seems to me that there isn't a cycle; if there is ammonia, then your bacteria isn't processing it and your tank is relying on the ammo chips/ammo-carb to remove it.

My nitrate readings are typically 20-30ppm, the last time I tested (yesterday I guess?) the color looked closer to 10ppm than the 20ppm which is why I said less than 20ppm. I'm confused as to how there could not be a cycle because I've had the filter set up for 6 months, the bio-max I use has the ideal brown-ish look to it, the readings have been pretty stable and I haven't added any new fish.. When I rinse the sponge I use the aquarium water I just siphoned out, not tap water. If I should remove the carbon-ammo chips what are the risks to that would there be any chemical spikes or drops or is there anything I should add in its place? Just more bio media? I feel like my ammonia would get too high without some sort of remover or would the additional bio media help with that? And should I decide to remove it should I do it at once or take out half at a time or add the new bio media first and then remove it?
I would definitely up the water changes to 50% twice a week.

The reason why I think there is a cycle bump is because of the ammonia remover, the bacteria isn't used to processing it, it's mostly relying on the ammonia remover, and when it runs out, you had that small ammonia spike. I don't think removing it will cause a problem. I would just get more bio media and just test your levels daily to monitor them. You will have enough bacteria soon to process the ammonia in your tank. ;)

Edited by Mikey

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I hope freckle's feels better.

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Yes, any updates? I'm hoping for the best for you and Freckles!

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Yes, what brand bloodworms do you use?

I just wanted to verify that the fish has not been treated with salt or prazi, or anything else. Is that correct?

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Yes, what brand bloodworms do you use?

I just wanted to verify that the fish has not been treated with salt or prazi, or anything else. Is that correct?

Nope haven't used salt or prazi but if you could explain how to treat with those it would be great if you think it could help. No improvement and seems to be getting worse...the other goldies don't have any symptoms but freckles continues to show signs of swim bladder. I removed the carbon and ammonia media like suggested and have continued to do 50% daily water changes to no avail. No signs of any bacteria type infection on his scales or fins. No bloody eyes, no red streaks, just can't keep himself upright and now swims sideways and upside down so I'm pretty sure it's swim bladder... water continues to test regularly no difference. The brand of blood worms I use are hikari but for the last three days I've been feeding peas, spinach and broccoli. He's still in the main tank, since I don't think it's contagious but should I switch him to a quarantine tank? If so what filter should I use? I have a smaller filter and then just use the bio media from the main tank?

What else can I do to help him? :(

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Am I see this right you have one filter an AC 110 for the 50gallon tank? With four fish in it?

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Right now I would change 50% every other day (or even daily) if he is getting worse, instead of 25-50% a week. A frequent supply of fresh water is a good idea.

I would also reduce feeding if it's a swim bladder issue - feed nothing for 2 days and then peas until it gets better. One of my pearlscales has occasional swim bladder problems and this works for me; it is usually a quick improvement. If this is insufficient please let us know as a more rigorous treatment plan may be necessary.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk

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Yes, what brand bloodworms do you use?

I just wanted to verify that the fish has not been treated with salt or prazi, or anything else. Is that correct?

Nope haven't used salt or prazi but if you could explain how to treat with those it would be great if you think it could help. No improvement and seems to be getting worse...the other goldies don't have any symptoms but freckles continues to show signs of swim bladder. I removed the carbon and ammonia media like suggested and have continued to do 50% daily water changes to no avail. No signs of any bacteria type infection on his scales or fins. No bloody eyes, no red streaks, just can't keep himself upright and now swims sideways and upside down so I'm pretty sure it's swim bladder... water continues to test regularly no difference. The brand of blood worms I use are hikari but for the last three days I've been feeding peas, spinach and broccoli. He's still in the main tank, since I don't think it's contagious but should I switch him to a quarantine tank? If so what filter should I use? I have a smaller filter and then just use the bio media from the main tank?

What else can I do to help him? :(

Hello,

Worse as in being listless at the top, or bottom sitting?

I'd like for you to go and get Tetra Parasite Guard from Petsmart, or an LFS that carries them. Then, when you have it, we will treat the entire tank, and it will be slight different from the directions on the box. So, let me know when you have it.

Hang in there.

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Hi guys thanks for all the help/suggestions. I've had finals these past two weeks so not much time to update but looks like freckles is getting better. Not so dull, no swimming issues and got his personality back. I began soaking his hikari pellets before I feed and feeding peas every other day. Feeding a mix of soaked pellets an blood worms sometimes. On water changes I'm still doing 50% twice a week (tues and friday) and he seems to have gotten a lot better. Also switching to gel food, I read the forum thread on anti floaty food (thanks @dnalex!) and am trying my own recipe hopefully tomorrow. Or as soon as I can find agar. You would think with the million different grocery stores in my area I would be able to find some but no. Lol.

As far as the filtration goes I know I'm under requirements but unfortunately I can't drop $70 to get a new filter in the middle of the semester. Money is limited especially when my classes are putting me in debt. (yay for a $90k piece of paper!!) But I ordered a canister filter (the ehiem ecco 2236 I think?) for Christmas so hopefully will be able to set that up in January. I do enough water changes so that my parameters don't go crazy, last water change yesterday evening I was 7.6 ph, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 40ish nitrate. Also removed the carbon from my filter like suggested.

Don't think he's completely out of the woods but he has gotten a lot better so hopefully making the gel food will make him happy again.

Again thanks everyone for your help!

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