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LunaWolf

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Hello, I joined because I'm having a problem with my goldfish, Renard. Recently he's started staying at the top of the tank gulping air. A lot of the time his fins are clamped too. I just did a 50% water change but he started again. He has a bubbler and a small waterfall, does he still not have enough air or is it something else? What can I do?

He's in a 16 gallon until I get a 75 gallon for christmas. It has a cover, would that cause not enough air to circulate?

He's the first goldfish I've had who's survived for more than 3 days, I'm determined to keep him that way.

Thank you,

~Luna

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What is probably happening is that your tank has not completed the nitrogen cycle, and he is being poisoned by his own ammonia. Click on the "Cycling" link in my signature (sorry it's not very fancy) and read up on it. This is what you need to do:

1. do 50% water changes every day until...

2. you buy a water testing kit that measures ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. drop kits are best, but strips will do in a pinch.

Basically you want your water parameters to read at 0 ammonia, 0 Nitrites and very low Nitrates, less that 10 as shown on strip tests. This will take some time, up to 3 weeks, since you will have to change out so much of his water every day. But be patient and it will be worth it. He has a nice big home and that is wonderful!

don't worry! we can hopefully get him feeling better soon! :) Welcome to the forum!

Edited by Chloeheartsfish

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Ahh, I figured his tank was cycled already. I used some water, gravel and filter media from his previous home, I figured that was enough. :doh11: I hadn't even thought of that. I suppose I'll have learn how to do water changes without spilling water all over the floor...

Thanks a bunch

~Luna

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Not a problem Luna! How long was he in the other tank? It's possible that one did not cycle either. Also, if you are like I once was, I diligently washed things out with tap water between cleanings - and killed my cycle every time!

The only way we can really get tabs on your cycle is with numbers from water tests. So I can't stress getting one of those enough. That's the #1 thing we need to diagnose pretty much any fish problem.

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Have you ever treated him for flukes? This could also be a reason he's gulping, and it's highly recommended to treat all goldfish that you buy for flukes. There's a product called Praziquantel that works great for it, you can find it in liquid as PraziPro, or Jungle Parasite Clear Tank Buddies (never used them myself, but I've heard they work just fine).

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Welcome to KGW!

I am so glad you found the right site to answer your queries, hun. Okay, let's get to the important steps!

Firstly, Chloe got almost everything covered so that's a first step done. I'd recommend getting API liquid drops although the master test kit containing ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH kits cost $23-30 so take note of the cost as it is kinda expensive but it is a worthy investment in the long run and you get to used it for a year or two depending on your frequency of usage. I would suggest avoiding test strips as they are indeed misleading.

The fact that despite the presence of the bubbler and your goldfish is still gasping, it indicates your ammonia and nitrite may be dangerously high so please do water changes asap! I'd use Prime as your dechlorinator to bind chlorine and chloramine.

For now, I would advise treating Renard with 0.3% solution of salt and praziquantel. The steps are easy but we'll take it slow!

When you dose the salt, the first thing to do is dissolve it thoroughly or most of it. The grains can burn their skin when they accidentally rub on the grains although my goldfish like to nibble on it without any issues. Most salt grains won't dissolve anyway. It does not matter whether it is table salt or aquarium salt nor iodized or not. The iodine concentration is hardly an issue so iodized table salt will be fine.

Here are the basic steps to adding salt.

1. Treat with 0.1% (one teaspoon per gallon). That is 16 teaspoons or 5 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon.

2. After 12 hours if fish tolerates it, repeat step 1.

3. Repeat step 1 again after another 12 hours prior to doing step 2.

The next med is praziquantel. It is an anthelmintic used to obliterate flukes and intestinal worms. Flukes are an extremely dangerous parasites and commonly affect goldfish. They cannot be seen by naked eyes alone except for microscope but they are usually indicated by frequent scratching on the same body area particularly gills, clamped fins, listlessness and labored breathings. You need to dose 2.5mg per liter. It is not cheap so you have to dose that in the 16g to save a bit on your money. You can buy it either as Prazipro in petstores and online sites or as Droncit in veterinary clinics. Prazi can be combined with salt.

Once you have the 75g, I'd use the 16g as a quarantine tank. Quarantine tanks are always a must.

Hope this helps! If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask away.smile.gif

Edited by Lupin

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The other tank had him in it for about 2 and a half weeks, and the tank was sitting for about 2 weeks before that. I didn't rinse his stuff before putting it in his tank.

I'm getting a test kit soon too. I havn't treated him for flukes. I'll buy some praziquantel too. I have some "aquari-sol" I got for my betta a few weeks ago, it wouldn't do something similar would it?

I just added some salt.

I did another about 30% water change and he calmed down a little and I think he's sleeping now.

I was actually going to give the 16 gallon to my brother because he wanted to get some crabs or fish, I think I have a 10 gallon I could use as a quarantine though.

Thanks

~Luna

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Welcome to Koko's tank!!

You will get great advice from really nice people here to help with any issues. Good Luck.

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Hi Luna,

Did you do anything to your tank before you got your fish? I mean like adding ammonia to start the nitrogen cycle for the bacteria to convert ammonia into nitrite? If not, chances are good the cycle had been stalled for a moment until you added the fish which begins the nitrogen cycle process. Unfortunately, their poop is the ammonia source which can intoxicate them. Watch out their gills carefully! Gills are a very critical part and should be healthy red and well defined in appearance. Pale red may mean more serious issues especially water quality being the top cause as ammonia and nitrite burn gills.

Aquarisol is copper sulfate, right? I would advise completely against using that! Copper is dangerous when accummulated in high levels and it is not very easy to measure the copper traces without a copper test kit for that. I'd just steer clear of it and go with praziquantel. Prazi is milder and less harsher to your nitrogen cycle.

Hope this helps!:)

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I did add some ammonia right when I set the tank up. The water turned cloudy after a few days and then became clear again, I thought that was the tank cycling.

His gills look ok.

When I get the new tank am I going to have to start this whole process all over again?

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No, I'd just move everything from the 16g to your 75g.:)

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:welcome i wish you luck with your tank/s

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...Unfortunatly, I went to feed him this morning and found him lying on the gravel... His medicine arrived later that day. :cry1

On a happier note, I was shopping and decided to stop by the pet store to get some cat food. I was passing through the fish isle and saw the two sweetest little baby fantails. I figured the tank was empty now... :newfish I named them Patricia and James. Patricia is a little calico and James is a solid gold one. They're settling in nicely. :)

I noticed though Patricia holds one of the lobes on her tailfin at an odd angle, she holds it out straight beside her. Should I be worried? It doesn't seem to bother her, she swims just fine. I think she started when I put her in the tank, I'm pretty sure she wasn't doing that at the store.

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Hi Luna,

I am so sorry about Renard. Swim free, baby.heartpump.gif

As for Patricia, many goldfish do sport kinks on their fins and tails. It does not bother them however even though it is a genetic defect or injury. Many goldfish tend to injure their fins during transport so if the bag must have been small, it can cause a high incidence of tail injuries.

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I see... Is there any chance of it healing when she gets bigger? I think it may have happened on the ride home, they didn't put much water in his bag and it's a pretty bumpy ride.

I'll see if I can get some pictures of them.

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Any pics? Usually, it becomes a permanent defect.:(

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I couldn't get a picture of them. Try as I might they all turned out completely blurry. However she seems to be holding it a bit more normally today. Patricia seems to be gasping at the surface a little. I'm treating them with the praziquantel though.

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Please make sure the water is well oxygenated. Does it receive vigorous surface movements? It may either be gill flukes (which prazi should hopefully resolve), ammonia poisoning or reduced oxygen level. Could you please check your water parameters? Perhaps, answering this diagnostics will help a lot for us to correct some possible issues.

[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level?

[*]Nitrite Level?

[*]Nitrate level?

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

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

[*]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 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?

[*]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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I think Luna should get the tank cycled first dont you Lupin?

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James was dead when I went to feed them this morning. :( I think it was from the stress of the long car ride home. That was really unexpected, he looked like the healthiest goldfish on earth yesterday.

Patricia is looking good today though, she hasn't gone to the surface all day, and her fins arn't clamped or anything.

I don't have the test strips yet but I'll try and answer all the other questions.

[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level? Unknown

[*]Nitrite Level? Unknown

[*]Nitrate level? Unknown

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)I had a bottle of ph test, but I didn't have the thing you compare it too. :doh11: It turned the water light green though.

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)Same as above.

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? Aquarium pharmiceuticals inc. drops.

[*]Water temperature? 67 degrees F

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 16 gallons been running for 2 weeks.

[*]What is the name and size of the filter(s) Unknown name, It's rated for a 20 gallon aquarium

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? 50% Every day.

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 1 inch fish

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? Stress coat, salt, praziquantel.

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? Tetramin, soaked before feeding and half a pea. Once a day.

[*]Any new fish added to the tank? Yes

[*]Any medications added to the tank? Praziquantel

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? No

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? She has been staying near the bottom, she hasn't been eating much, she used to gulp at the surface.

Sorry there were quite a few unknowns, I got a lot of my fish stuff used and a lot of it came without packaging.

EDIT: whoops, forgot to answer your question. There's quite a bit of surface action. I have a pretty powerful air pump hooked up to the bubbler, and the waterfall from the filter makes quite a bit of motion.

Edited by Luna the Wolf

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Luna, which brand of test strips are you getting? I did not recommend the test strips earlier but API liquid drops so you will get a much more accurate set of water parameters. If it were me, I would be more convinced and have a peace of mind to trust the liquid test kits than test strips. A master test kit costs $23-30 usually depending on the shop but it's a worthy investment lasting a year or two depending on your frequency of usage.

Here's a post containing test kit charts for incidents involving missing charts.smile.gif

http://www.aquariace...46&postcount=13

Okay, so we can rule out the possibility of oxygen depletion as the possible culprit of her gasping at the surface. I do wonder about your water parameters. If the fish is not eating very well and possibly not pooping a lot either, and then temperature and pH very low as well, then the ammonia may just be there with some of it converted to ammonium but not as dangerously high unless the tapwater itself already has ammonia loaded in it. Please get API liquid drops for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate asap, hun so we can resolve whatever issue there may be that is related to water quality.ohmy.gif

Perhaps try encouraging the fish to eat bloodworms or switch to sinking pellets (small sachet only). My goldfish love Hikari Lionhead and even sick ones would not resist the smell but it could only be my experience and as the smallest bag I can find for myself is usually 100g, I'm not sure you'd want it if you cannot use it up in a few months. I'd get only a pinch and freeze the rest (bloodworms) back in the fridge. It may be loaded too much proteins but it might somehow encourage her to eat. If you could, try crushing a half tablet of Centrum (multivitamins) and mix with some foods you give. This might help. I normally make gel foods and use it for that job but you may not be able to use up a large amount of gel foods for one small fish.

Another good option is add some floating plants particularly anacharis and hornworts. Aside from the security it provides your fish thus gaining its confidence a bit, it helps with water quality control as it does consume ammonia and nitrate and harbors microorganisms that your goldfish can freely nibble on. I do not think it hurts to do this. Plants always have been beneficial to fish.

The last option is garlic. Soak pellets or granules on garlic juice or add a few drops of Kent's liquid garlic. Pellets or granules hold the juice much better than flakes. It's worth a try. Garlic irritates parasites but it also entices even shy fish to eat. It might just improve Patricia's appetite.

Edited by Lupin

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Whoops, I meant test kit, not test strip. I'm getting Red Sea Freshlab kit. I should have it pretty soon, I had a hard time convincing my parents to let me spend 30$ on a little box of fish stuff.

According to that chart the ph is 6.6.

I have some bloodworms for my betta, I'll see if she wants to try them. I don't have any centrum, I have another brand of multivitamin though, can I use that?

I really want some aquatic plants, my brother's getting some fiddler crabs, I'll see if I can get some plants with them. I'll try the garlic too.

Thanks

~Luna

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Ahh..The pH is kinda acidic for goldfish. Is there a chance you can put crushed corals in your filter to help increase the pH a bit for your goldfish? They do much better in alkaline water but you also need to check your KH (carbonate hardness) and GH (general hardness) using API test kits sold separately from a master test kit. I am sorry this seems overwhelming for you but I figured checking the hardness levels is very important if you have to attempt adjusting the pH to suit your goldfish's needs!:o Do you know the pH of your tapwater?

What brand is the multivitamins you have? Usually some people prefer to use the one for men since there is no added iron in it compared to women. It's likely because the foods we add already are rich in iron so there is no necessity in adding the extras which may have a side effect if consumed in large amounts.

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I don't know where to get crushed coral, but I have a bottle of something called "ph up" in my bag of fish stuff. Wold that work? I think I can go get some gh and kh test kits today, are they a common thing that I can find at most fish stores or will I have to shop around to find them?

Whoops, I thought thought that tap ph and tank ph were the same thing. The tap ph is 6.6 but the tank is between 7.2 and 7.6.

The multivitamins are Rainbow Light brand.

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Sorry for double posting but I couldn't figure out how to edit my post. I was looking at her and I noticed some cloudy, white, fuzzy... stuff on her. there's a clump of it on her head and a thin coating of it all over her body. Is it some kind of fungus?

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