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*Amanda*

Sensitivity to salt?

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My QT for incoming fish is 2 months. I put in 0.3% salt at 80F to kill off any ich (which is common at all the shops in my area), leave it in for 1 week, then gradually remove it through ~60% weekly water changes. I also treat with PraziPro per the instructions on the bottle (I'm not there now, but I think it's 5 mL per 20 gallons for the first 2 weeks). I QT in a cycled 20 gallon that is now bare bottom. (I know it's best for the QT to be uncycled, but the tanks are not at my house and there is no way my boyfriend would do the amount of water changes necessary for an uncycled tank. He even thinks weekly is a bit excessive.)

I normally buy fish from Petsmart and they seem to tolerate the salt and PraziPro very well. I acclimate by first floating the bag in the tank to equalize the temperatures, then adding 1 cup of water from the tank to the bag every 5-10 min for about 45 min, at which time I remove the fish from the bag with my hand and put him in the tank. I throw the bag water away.

The problem is that the fish I bought today from my LFS did not seem to tolerate the salt well at all. After the acclimation, we put him in the tank, observed him briefly and went out for a short errand. When we returned, he was bottom sitting and looking very uncomfortable. Mind you he was very lively in the store, with no observable issues (we went to the store 2 weeks in a row just to be sure). In case it was the salt, we replaced 50% of the water, and he perked up almost immediately.

Has anyone else experienced this? Are some goldies simply intolerant to salt, or could it be something else we are doing? Before we bought the fish this morning I tested the water with API drops and it was 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and <5 ppm nitrate (same as my tanks always are).

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I did experience this with mine when I had a nitrite spike. The fish were laboring a bit from the nitrites, but as soon as I added the salt, 3 out of 5 hit the bottom and stayed there for a good few hours. They did get used to it eventually, but it seemed to hit them hard at first.

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I did experience this with mine when I had a nitrite spike. The fish were laboring a bit from the nitrites, but as soon as I added the salt, 3 out of 5 hit the bottom and stayed there for a good few hours. They did get used to it eventually, but it seemed to hit them hard at first.

How much salt did you add? Mine is at 0.15% now and the fish (who I named Tiger - he's a gorgeous red and black butterfly) is doing much better. I panicked because I have never seen a fish react to salt like this before, and didn't know if it had something to do with the conditions at Petsmart (where I normally buy fish) vs. my LFS. When I was really new to fishkeeping and got a nitrite spike (during cycling), I freaked and just took all the fish out of the tank. Stupid LFS guy told me it was fine to add fish as soon as my ammonia read 0 ... grr.

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Does your pH drop in your tank? I once thought my fish was reacting to salt and did a 50% water change and she immediately perked up. She improved because the pH raised up to better levels and it did not have to do with the salt. Just something to check...if your pH levels might be dropping.

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My guys are very sensitive to salt. Then again, they have also had dropsy. Mine can't be in any salt. Especially my one, or she gets wobbly, bottom sits, is in her side, doesn't swim, or all of the above at the same time.

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Does your pH drop in your tank? I once thought my fish was reacting to salt and did a 50% water change and she immediately perked up. She improved because the pH raised up to better levels and it did not have to do with the salt. Just something to check...if your pH levels might be dropping.

I've never experienced this in my tanks. Fortunately in my area all the water parameters in the tap water are exactly the same as the tanks. My pH is 7.8, which is the same as it always tests at.

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My guys are very sensitive to salt. Then again, they have also had dropsy. Mine can't be in any salt. Especially my one, or she gets wobbly, bottom sits, is in her side, doesn't swim, or all of the above at the same time.

Wow, I'd never thought of this. I had an awesome crown pearlscale die in QT on day 3 a while back using the same QT protocol. He was the most beautiful fish I'd ever seen in a store and I bought him completely against my better judgment; he was swimming slowly near the top of the tank and was not very responsive. I suspected dropsy or a swim bladder problem and maybe the salt just pushed him over the edge. :-(

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I would like to say that what you think is sensitivity to salt is really an indication that there are wounds/irritations on the fish, and the addition of the salt makes it uncomfortable.

Imagine that your reaction to salt when you have a cut, as opposed to skin without a cut.

There have been numerous studies that show that goldfish can tolerate salt quite well, at very high concentrations.

Also, a fish that is sensitive to something in the water will want to jump out of it, not just sitting there.

Here is another false reasoning. It's like a fish that's been heavily infested with flukes getting treated with Prazipro for the first time. It's going to bottom sit, and be unwell for a couple of days. You remove the prazi, and voila! The fish is fine again. So, the fish must be sensitive to prazi... :/

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I would like to say that what you think is sensitivity to salt is really an indication that there are wounds/irritations on the fish, and the addition of the salt makes it uncomfortable.

Imagine that your reaction to salt when you have a cut, as opposed to skin without a cut.

There have been numerous studies that show that goldfish can tolerate salt quite well, at very high concentrations.

Also, a fish that is sensitive to something in the water will want to jump out of it, not just sitting there.

Here is another false reasoning. It's like a fish that's been heavily infested with flukes getting treated with Prazipro for the first time. It's going to bottom sit, and be unwell for a couple of days. You remove the prazi, and voila! The fish is fine again. So, the fish must be sensitive to prazi... :/

That makes sense. I was originally wondering if it could be the Prazi, but I've always heard that goldfish tolerate Prazi well so I suspected the salt more.

Now, would you suggest that I leave things as they are for now and then add the Prazi at full concentration per the bottle next week and also the week after? Is that a reasonable plan? Tiger was yawning in the store, which I understand is a sign of flukes, and I know for a fact that this store doesn't treat with Prazi.

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Most stores won't treat with Prazi, because while it's not expensive, it's also not cheap.

Just clarifying...so you have prazi in the tank, as well as salt at 0.3%?

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Most stores won't treat with Prazi, because while it's not expensive, it's also not cheap.

Just clarifying...so you have prazi in the tank, as well as salt at 0.3%?

I do have Prazi at half the dosage on the bottle (so 2.5 mL/20 gal) and 0.15% salt, because I changed out 50% of the water.

The owner of this store is actually opposed to treating with Prazi unless she can confirm that flukes are present. I talked to her at length about this when I had fry and asked her to order a bottle for me. She ordered it, but didn't agree that I should be treating the fry unless I knew for sure that the parents had flukes. (I trust you guys.) But when I went in today, they had a lot of Prazi on the shelves for the first time - they must be getting demand for it.

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Hi Amanda, why are you using the prazi at half strength? That can severely compromise the effectiveness of the meds. I actually can't remember the dose response curve for prazi at hand, but the 2.5mg/L dose (5 ml/20 gallons) is standard, and should be used as is, or doubled, actually.

I understand, and fully endorse the idea, that one should not treat unless there is cause. Flukes is one of them.

I would ask the store owner if she is willing to certify that her fish are flukes free, and if she is, by what method. Shouldn't proof a clean bill of health be the onus of the one(s) who sells it?

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Hi Amanda, why are you using the prazi at half strength? That can severely compromise the effectiveness of the meds. I actually can't remember the dose response curve for prazi at hand, but the 2.5mg/L dose (5 ml/20 gallons) is standard, and should be used as is, or doubled, actually.

I understand, and fully endorse the idea, that one should not treat unless there is cause. Flukes is one of them.

I would ask the store owner if she is willing to certify that her fish are flukes free, and if she is, by what method. Shouldn't proof a clean bill of health be the onus of the one(s) who sells it?

Sorry ... what I meant was that I had put in the Prazi at full strength (5 mL/20 gal) prior to putting the new fish in and then did a 50% water change a few hours ago out of concern that the fish was not tolerating the salt and/or the Prazi. I didn't know if you guys would tell me to remove the rest of the water, or if the fish was uncomfortable but not in danger and I could go back to full dose. Sorry if that wasn't clear. If you think it is OK and the fish will not be harmed by the Prazi treatment, I will text Mario now and ask him to add more Prazi. Should I have him put in an additional 2.5 mL (for a total of 5 mL/20 gal) or an additional 7.5 mL (double the dose on the bottle, or 10 mL/20 gal) to our 20 gal tank?

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I could also stop by and add whichever dose of Prazi you think is best tomorrow, if that would be OK. It's 11:30 pm here in California and Mario is asleep - he has to be at work by 4:30 am!

So you don't think all fry should be treated at 2 weeks of age? I'm just curious because I have heard that on this forum. I had a massive die-off at 2 weeks before adding Prazi, but then again I also had a lot of fry die after adding Prazi. Last year was my first experience breeding and I didn't do so well. I wasn't prepared at all and didn't even know my black moor was gravid. My male Ryukin is now showing breeding stars again and I hope to do better this time around.

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No, I do think essentially all fry should be treated at 2 weeks of age, unless the parents are those whom you've bred and raised yourself, and have thoroughly eliminated the possibility of flukes. Even then, it might be a good idea to treat. Here's a case to emphasize my point, although I am not trying to say that this is how it always is. Lisa, one of the mods here, had one fry recently. All her adult fish, which included the parents, have undergone prazi treatment and maintenance treatment subsequently. YET, her fry still developed symptoms of external parasitisms, and prazi treatment resolved the issue. So, at least in this case, there is no guarantee that previously treated parents will result in flukes free offspring. This is due at least in part to incomplete immunity against the flukes. The parents' immune systems, in conjunction with the treatment, keep the flukes burdens low, but it's not zero. This then can be transmitted to the offspring, who presumably does not (yet) have immunity.

I would leave things as they are, and update tomorrow.

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Fish,particularly new fish, often pout when conditions change. "New tank, water tastes different -- It's the end of the world!" (or the fishy equivalent). I had a tank of fish that would pout for an hour every time I changed water.

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Tiger is doing much better today. Should I go over there and add 2.5 mL/20 gal Prazi to get up to the full dosage of 5 mL/20 gal? I am worried about leaving the Prazi in the tank at half dosage for too much longer.

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Yes, please, at your earliest convenience. :)

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