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Comet goldfish was subjected to high levels of nitrite and is now acting very strange.  Lays still for a while with rapid gill movement.  Then will spazz out and shoot across the tank.  Sometimes knocking himself out.  Nitrites and nitrates are now at 0 ppm but his weird activity persists. Is there anything I can do to help him recover?

20200614_205944.jpg

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I’m sorry he isn’t feeling well.  Do you know how this happened?  I’m going to need some extensive info about the tank, filtration, age of the fish and setup, etc, to be able to best assist you :)

 

Test Results for the Following:

* Ammonia Level(Tank)

* Nitrite Level(Tank)

* Nitrate level(Tank)

* Ammonia Level(Tap)

* Nitrite Level(Tap)

* Nitrate level(Tap)

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?

* Water temperature?

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?

* How often do you change the water and how much?

* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?

* How many fish in the tank and their size?

* What kind of water additives or conditioners?

* What do you feed your fish and how often?

* Any new fish added to the tank?

* Any medications added to the tank?

* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank.Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

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14 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

I’m sorry he isn’t feeling well.  Do you know how this happened?  I’m going to need some extensive info about the tank, filtration, age of the fish and setup, etc, to be able to best assist you :)

 

Test Results for the Following:

* Ammonia Level(Tank)

* Nitrite Level(Tank)

* Nitrate level(Tank)

* Ammonia Level(Tap)

* Nitrite Level(Tap)

* Nitrate level(Tap)

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?

* Water temperature?

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?

* How often do you change the water and how much?

* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?

* How many fish in the tank and their size?

* What kind of water additives or conditioners?

* What do you feed your fish and how often?

* Any new fish added to the tank?

* Any medications added to the tank?

* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank.Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

Thank you for the reply.  I'll try my best to answer your questions.

* Ammonia Level(Tank)  now 0 ppm, was as high as 1.0 at one point

* Nitrite Level(Tank)  now 0 ppm, was as high as 5 at one point

* Nitrate level(Tank)  now 0 pp, was as high as 20 at one point

* Ammonia Level(Tap)  0 ppm

* Nitrite Level(Tap)  0 ppm

* Nitrate level(Tap)  0 ppm

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)  Gh 0, Kh 240, no idea on chloramines 

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)  Gh 0, Kh 240, no idea on chloramines 

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops  API 5 in 1 strips and API ammonia drops

* Water temperature?  73°

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?  37 gallons, 3 months.

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?  Aqueon powerful 50, 2 running continuously accept when feeding. 

* How often do you change the water and how much?  Every 4-5 days days, 25-30%.  Recently did a 60% to dilute nitrites and an 80% because i feared I introduced a disease when I added live plants. 

* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?  2 days ago, 80%.  Added Prime and Stability to reinitiate bio.

* How many fish in the tank and their size?  Comets (2) 4.5" (almost dead??, quarantined in separate 5 gallon aquarium) and 4", Shebunkin 6", Ryukin 5".

* What kind of water additives or conditioners?  Have been using API aquarium salt and Bio-Boost.  Recently started using Seachem Prime and Stanility (much better and faster results).

* What do you feed your fish and how often?Tetra goldfish flakes and Omega One shrimp pellets.  Was 2 daily, recently decreased to once daily.

* 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.    Bio-Boost at water changes.  Recently used Prime and Stability.  Did emergency doses per directions (dropped nitrites and nitrates to 0 ppm overnight) as well as salts (currently daily).

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?  3 fish are acting almost normal 10p% of the day.  One comet shows no physical signs of illness.

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?  One comet stays at bottom of aquarium with rapid gill movement. Will occasionally freak out and dart across the aquarium and run into something knocking himself out.  Afterwards he lays stuff and twitches with no gill movement for a minute the jerks back to life and lays at the bottom on his side again. 

 

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Okay thank you.  Do you know if you’re filter ever matured and cycled and then crashed or if it didn’t have time to let the ammonia and nitrite ever get to zero?

This looks like new tank syndrome, where your biological filter wasn’t mature enough and your water changes were not frequent enough. Can you explain your me what happened in terms of care and history?

We can definitely help y out get things established safely if this is a new tank, but if it was doing better and then got worse I need more details on exactly what happened :)

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4 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

Okay thank you.  Do you know if you’re filter ever matured and cycled and then crashed or if it didn’t have time to let the ammonia and nitrite ever get to zero?

This looks like new tank syndrome, where your biological filter wasn’t mature enough and your water changes were not frequent enough. Can you explain your me what happened in terms of care and history?

We can definitely help y out get things established safely if this is a new tank, but if it was doing better and then got worse I need more details on exactly what happened :)

The tank was set up and sat for a week after adding bio-boost before adding any fish.  I had problems with my filter cartridges bypassing water after 5 days, so I would change the cartridge out.  It took quite a few weeks for this to happen.

 

On my last water change, I added the emergency dose of Prime and normal dose of Stability.  I also rinsed my cartridges in a water/Prime mixture to saturate my cartridge with Prime.  Plan now is to continue to rinse my cartridges in said mixture to try and help my filters last longer.

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I know what our problem is. First off, you should NEVER be rinsing your filters.  At most, every two weeks or so you can knock your filter flows against a water changing bucket rim or the edge of your sink to knock loose the poop.  They do not need to be clean, nor do you want them to be.  That’s killing your fish.

Your tank isn’t cycling, because the nitrogen cycle can’t establish from just bottled bacteria (those are expensive and useless).  What you need to do instead is test your water daily and every time your ammonia passes .25 ppms (light green on the API test kit) you change your water, 80% to 100% changes.  It will probably be 3 times weekly, because your tank is too small for that number for more than one to two fish, so their waste products will build up faster than in a tank with higher water volume.

As far as water bypassing the filter, I’m unclear what you mean? You may need to make a video of that and we can troubleshoot if your aquaclears aren’t working, but I suspect that is not the issue.  
 

You shouldn’t be needing stability in the water, unless you’re using distilled or have a terrible source.  Can you shed more light on that?

I don’t know where you got your information on setup and management of this tank but it is poisoning your fish big time.  So first thing, you would be in much better shape reading the guide to keeping healthy goldfish:

https://www.kokosgoldfish.com/BRIEFGUIDEFORNEWOWNERS.html

The entire thing is useful, but especially the middle section on cycling the tank. Your goal is to establish a beneficial bacteria column on the surfaces of your filter media that you keep alive - your goal as a fish keeper is really to be a WATER keeper, that is if you maintain good water parameters the rest mostly takes care of itself.

You mentioned you’re turning off your filters during feeds.  Can I ask why? And how much you’re feeding? Goldfish generally need two or three mouthfuls/gulps of food two or three times per day and that is it.  Pellets like Omega One or NLS Thera are less messy than flakes, but the goal is the same.  Just enough food for a few mouthfuls and no leftovers, and you shouldn’t need to be messing with the filters at all.

All of these things are critical to not poisoning the fish with waste products again.  Nitrate levels in the water should stay under 10 ppms long term, but we want to get to the point the ammonia and nitrite shows zero every time. And that is where a few months of watching the water carefully and changing ONLY THE WATER WITH A LITTLE PRIME comes in. You don’t even necessarily want to knock your filters clean that frequently here in the beginning, just because the breakdown of biological waste has to occur to grow the bacterial colony and cleaning too vigorously can delay that.

 

 

NOW.  Your sick fish.  The only treatment you can give him besides clean water and time to see if he bounces back is methylene blue.  Dosed according to the label as an additive to the tank for three days (usually 1/2 teaspoon per ten gallons) will help with the oxygen carrying capacity in his blood and the ammonia poisoning.  It’s good stuff to have on hand for this and physical wounds too.  You do not need to be adding any kind of aquarium or epsom salt, baking soda, or anything else though. Just put your energy into understanding the tank chemistry, feeding lightly, and changing the water when you’re registering more than trace ammonia.  The fish will be fine if you manage that side of it.

@koko did I miss anything?  

 

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On 6/15/2020 at 8:59 AM, Arctic Mama said:

I know what our problem is. First off, you should NEVER be rinsing your filters.  At most, every two weeks or so you can knock your filter flows against a water changing bucket rim or the edge of your sink to knock loose the poop.  They do not need to be clean, nor do you want them to be.  That’s killing your fish.

Your tank isn’t cycling, because the nitrogen cycle can’t establish from just bottled bacteria (those are expensive and useless).  What you need to do instead is test your water daily and every time your ammonia passes .25 ppms (light green on the API test kit) you change your water, 80% to 100% changes.  It will probably be 3 times weekly, because your tank is too small for that number for more than one to two fish, so their waste products will build up faster than in a tank with higher water volume.

As far as water bypassing the filter, I’m unclear what you mean? You may need to make a video of that and we can troubleshoot if your aquaclears aren’t working, but I suspect that is not the issue.  
 

You shouldn’t be needing stability in the water, unless you’re using distilled or have a terrible source.  Can you shed more light on that?

I don’t know where you got your information on setup and management of this tank but it is poisoning your fish big time.  So first thing, you would be in much better shape reading the guide to keeping healthy goldfish:

https://www.kokosgoldfish.com/BRIEFGUIDEFORNEWOWNERS.html

The entire thing is useful, but especially the middle section on cycling the tank. Your goal is to establish a beneficial bacteria column on the surfaces of your filter media that you keep alive - your goal as a fish keeper is really to be a WATER keeper, that is if you maintain good water parameters the rest mostly takes care of itself.

You mentioned you’re turning off your filters during feeds.  Can I ask why? And how much you’re feeding? Goldfish generally need two or three mouthfuls/gulps of food two or three times per day and that is it.  Pellets like Omega One or NLS Thera are less messy than flakes, but the goal is the same.  Just enough food for a few mouthfuls and no leftovers, and you shouldn’t need to be messing with the filters at all.

All of these things are critical to not poisoning the fish with waste products again.  Nitrate levels in the water should stay under 10 ppms long term, but we want to get to the point the ammonia and nitrite shows zero every time. And that is where a few months of watching the water carefully and changing ONLY THE WATER WITH A LITTLE PRIME comes in. You don’t even necessarily want to knock your filters clean that frequently here in the beginning, just because the breakdown of biological waste has to occur to grow the bacterial colony and cleaning too vigorously can delay that.

 

 

NOW.  Your sick fish.  The only treatment you can give him besides clean water and time to see if he bounces back is methylene blue.  Dosed according to the label as an additive to the tank for three days (usually 1/2 teaspoon per ten gallons) will help with the oxygen carrying capacity in his blood and the ammonia poisoning.  It’s good stuff to have on hand for this and physical wounds too.  You do not need to be adding any kind of aquarium or epsom salt, baking soda, or anything else though. Just put your energy into understanding the tank chemistry, feeding lightly, and changing the water when you’re registering more than trace ammonia.  The fish will be fine if you manage that side of it.

@koko did I miss anything?  

 

Appologies for the delayed response. My filters have been notorious for clogging up within 5 days and bypassing the cartridge, please reference photo.  

I read the website you referenced, great information. Thank you.  

I have been feeding my comets goldfish flakes.  I turn my filters off to keep flakes from being sucked into them and clogging my cartidges even more. 

You had mentioned changing water to dilute ammonia, up to 100%.  Wouldn't you have to reestablish your tanks nitrogen cycle if you changed all of your water?  My information thus far has came from the internet.  I have definitively came to the conclusion that the internet is a terrible source.  300 people give their input and there are 300 different ways to do this.  As of late, I have been speaking with a local aquatics speacialist. 

 

My current tank status.  We donated 2 of our comets to a local aquatics pet store.  We are going to donate the 3rd (6") comet tomorrow and only stuck with the single Ryukin (5") until the tank reestablishes.  It has been 2 days since my last water change.  20% water change with a thorough gravel siphon.  I added Prime and Stability (local aquatics speacilist recommendations as to what to add at every water change).  The tank became extremely foggy (white fog).  Today, the tank has cleared up fairly significantly, but there is still white fog that remains.  Nitrites read around .25 ppm, Nitrates read around 30 ppm and Ammonia reads around 4 ppm.  I added AmmoLock to make the ammonia non-toxic while the tank finishes its cycle.

20200616_171657.jpg

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Those filters in my honest opinion, suck. You can remove the filter piece and put just filter floss in there. This way there isn't carbon in the filter when you treat the tank. The reason I don't like them is. You can't hold enough filter floss or bio balls in there. You also don't have enough room to change the filter to they way you want. Say you need a fine filter floss and a water polisher and carbon. In that filter you can't. You have to pretty much but there filter cartridges. 😳

When you can look for the Aqua Clear/ Fluval filters. They are a Hang on the back and great filters.

 

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14 hours ago, koko said:

Those filters in my honest opinion, suck. You can remove the filter piece and put just filter floss in there. This way there isn't carbon in the filter when you treat the tank. The reason I don't like them is. You can't hold enough filter floss or bio balls in there. You also don't have enough room to change the filter to they way you want. Say you need a fine filter floss and a water polisher and carbon. In that filter you can't. You have to pretty much but there filter cartridges. 😳

When you can look for the Aqua Clear/ Fluval filters. They are a Hang on the back and great filters.

 

Thank you for the information. I shall look for alternative filtration.

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