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TonySydney

Nitrate poisoning recovery

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Hi Everyone,

I know what I have done wrong; I just need to know if I have done any permanent damage to my goldfish Buster. I have four telescope eye butterfly tail goldfish in a 300 litre tank. I have been changing 50% of my 300 litre tank's water twice a week since it was set up over 8 months ago. Things have been going along really well for ages now and then I forgot to clean my filters and the Nitrate levels got to 20ppm.

 

I have a nitrate sensitive fish, Buster and he was sitting on the bottom a lot for 2 days before I realised he was not suffering from over-eating and I tested my water parameters.

 

Everything was zero readings except the Nitrate. I immediately did a 100% water change but Buster did not seem much better. Over the next few days he was swimming a lot more but still sitting a lot. His appetite is normal.  I have been doing 3 x 100% water changes a week and testing the water and the nitrates are zero when I test for it. He swim more but still sits in sheltered spots in the tank.

 

Will Buster fully recover or is he permanently damaged now? Does any one have any experience with nitrate poisoning?  :no:

 

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This is Buster

Edited by TonySydney

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I'm not sure 20 ppm would cause any problems. Mytanks are regularly double tthat.

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I agree with DP, Buster would have to be very sensitive to be long-term effected by nitrates at that level.  How old is Buster?

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Hope he feels better.

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I agree with the others that it is unlikely that this is a nitrate issue.  Have you tried fasting him and/or Epsom Salt?  If he is still bottom sitting, I would put him in a QT with 1/4 -1/2 Teaspoon of Epsom Salt per 10 gallons of water and fast him for 2 days.  You can also gradually raise the heat to the mid to upper 70 Fs to get his metabolism going.  If this doesn't help, you may want to consider treating for an internal parasite or bacterial infection with Metronidazole and something like Kanamycin.

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Hmm a nitrate 20 ppm seems manageable, I am in agreement with a previous poster and am thinking that is not the cause.  Have you ruled out constipation, flukes or even anchor worms?

I would feed him some shelled peas- to rule out constipation.

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Hi Everyone - I made a gel food out of peas that I give my fish and I have been giving it to Buster. He is pooping so I don't think he is constipated; although that is what I thought I was dealing with initially. He is a greedy feeder. Is constipation the usual cause for bottom sitting? 

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Is his poop normal?

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Hi Everyone - I made a gel food out of peas that I give my fish and I have been giving it to Buster. He is pooping so I don't think he is constipated; although that is what I thought I was dealing with initially. He is a greedy feeder. Is constipation the usual cause for bottom sitting? 

There is no 'usual' cause for bottom sitting, since bottom sitting is an unusual behavior. Constipation is just the easiest thing to rule out. What color is the poop?

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Hi Everyone - I made a gel food out of peas that I give my fish and I have been giving it to Buster. He is pooping so I don't think he is constipated; although that is what I thought I was dealing with initially. He is a greedy feeder. Is constipation the usual cause for bottom sitting? 

There is no 'usual' cause for bottom sitting, since bottom sitting is an unusual behavior. Constipation is just the easiest thing to rule out. What color is the poop?

 

We also like to rule this out before suggesting medications for possible internal parasites or bacterial infections.

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Of course now that you ask about his poop I have not seen any from him. I will let you know when I spot him going. I have noticed that when sitting on the bottom he will sometimes list to one side a little bit. Otherwise he seems perfectly health. It took forever but I took the skin of a packet of frozen peas then steamed them and then blended them together with vegetable agar agar to make it into a gel food. I can feed him that if you think it will help. I took this picture a few minutes ago.

 

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I forgot to mention that Buster has shown a low tolerance of Nitrates before. At the time some one suggested doubling my filtration as I was only using an internal filter of 1000 litres per hour. I now have two of these, I know the tank is still a little under filtered but I do a very thorough clean two to three times a week and am now doing close to 100% water changes two to three times a week.

 

By the way there is no need for me to raise the water temperature to over 70 degrees F. I live in Sydney Australia and it is late summer here and the average temperature is 77 degrees F in the house.

 

Thanks again to everyone who is offering advice it is much appreciated

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Doubling filtration will have no effect on nitrate level. You could octuple it and it wouldn't make a difference. Is octuple even a word? I don't know. 

 

I should clarify, if ammonia and nitrite are 0, more filtration will have no effect of nitrate level. If ammonia and nitrite are present, adding another filter would raise nitrate levels more quickly, once the second filter establishes.

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Thank you for clarifying that about the filtration. I will continue the big water changes for the moment. He seems a bit better but still sits a lot. I will fast him for two days as was previously suggested and add some Epsom Salts too. I have not been home much this weekend so I have not been able to see if he is producing poop - no matter how many times I check.

 

I have been feeding the fish gel food (mostly the pea based one) to see if I can get him to poop so I can describe it here. I actually never thought I would EVER write a sentence like the last one! :D

 

Buster is zooming around the tank right now as I have just put in some gel food and he really loves his food - here's hoping he poops soon!

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Hi Everyone,

Buster is better - I fasted him like everyone suggested and he perked up. He must have been constipated after all. Thank you all for your advice.

 

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Buster is the bottom fish in this photo waiting to be fed at the top of the tank

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Glad he is improving :)

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TonySydney love the look of your tank and your fish are beautiful! 

 

Is that black gravel? What kind of plants are in your tank?

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I am glad you like the tank. This is a recent photo:

 

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I only have two species of plants in the tank, a narrow leafed form of the Java Fern and an Anubias (I don't know the species of the Anubias neither did the people at the aquarium shop where I bought it) All the plants are on driftwood so I can easily remove them from the tank when I do my twice weekly water changes.

 

The gravel is black and fairly small, I bought it at my LFS and it was just labelled goldfish gravel. I only have a very shallow layer of it so it is easy to keep clean.  :)

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Your fish are so adorable!

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Beautiful tank. I'm so glad Buster is feeling better. I have a fish that is sensitive to nitrates as well and even at 20ppm his behavior begins to get 'off'. Glad it was just s poop problem, though :)

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Thank you Arctic Mama - Buster is fine now, I have just finished the Prazi Treatment recommended on this website. It is a tedious process but I am assured a necessary one. I hope the fish will be even healthier now.  :)

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