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Cerise

Any Advice Please

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Hi all,

Two days ago at night I went to the goldfish tank and saw that all my fish were covered with white coating (possible fungus like but not so fluffy) to which bubbles stuck to. They looked awful like fish that had been dead for a while. They were not swimming much and some had the white coating over their eyes creating a cloudy eye effect. I immediately did a 50% water change and added Wardley's Fungus Ade thinking it must be fungus. Once I added the Fungus Ade I saw the white coating shed off in slimy biofilm-esque pieces. Immediately they started regaining normal activity (they are usually very active) and by the next morning were completely back to normal except for one fish who still had two opaque white spots on his clear tail. I considered this a successful treatment. However, today I went to feed them and they had rapidly returned to their previous condition except twice as worse. One fish had already died and was covered with bubbles sticking to its body. The other 3 were barely moving. One was floating at the surface gasping and another was near the bottom gasping. All were covered by the same white material to varying degrees. I quickly removed them into a smaller hospital tank with 100% fresh water, added a bubbler and added some Wardleys Fungus Ade again. The agitation from the bubbler started to remove some of the white film/fungus. The two bubble eyes are a little better (one is still having trouble swimming with swimbladder looking symptoms) and swimming around more but the other surviving fish which was in the worst condition is now experiencing more movement but still looks pretty bad. That one has had an increase in dark coloration on his body and fins spreading from his dorsal fin in a saddle shape. However, this fish did have dark coloration on its head when I first bought it.

[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level? 0.25ppm when looking through the side of the test tube. Darker (like 0.50ppm when looking through the top without the lid on.

[*]Nitrite Level? 0

[*]Nitrate level? 0

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? pH crash?! Reading lowest possible, it's yellow in colour. (using vitapet pH indicator solution). I don't know how this could have happened! :(

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7pH. I have been unsuccessful in getting a KH and GH reading despite having the api kit. The water never changes color no matter how many drops I put in. I suspect I have very soft water.

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API (drops) for Ammonia/nitrate/nitrite, Vitapet for pH solution.

[*]Water temperature? 74F

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 160 litres (approx 42 gallons). Approx 1 month.

[*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)? Dolphin P-708, 1380 litres per hour.

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? every week, 20%

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 4 fish, bodies approx 1 inch length (they are babies)

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime, Seachem Stability

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? Once a day Australian Dried Black Worms, or New Life Spectrum Community pellets. Tried to feed a peeled grape and some softened cucumber before but they didn't eat it.

[*]Any new fish added to the tank? No

[*]Any medications added to the tank? Only Wardley Fungus Ade which seemed initially successful

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Ends of fins seem frayed now.

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? As described in the paragraph above. Additionally, a few days before the initial outbreak I noticed they were not as excited about feeding, they used to feed from my hands and would clamor and peck enthusiastically at my fingers. They also seemed less active but were not demonstrating any physical symptoms.

Edited by Cerise

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Welcome to Koko's. I can see that this is your first post. I'm sorry your first Koko's experience has to be in search of a cure for a fishy illness.

The slime description sounds very very unusual. I would think that (based on your descriptions) it is some sort of fungal infection(s). The fins could be finrot, while I have no clue what the deal with the slime is. My advice to you: Continue using some sort of fungal medication. Make sure you follow the dosing and even when your fish seem better, use the medication for the full period. Otherwise, it could very well come back (which is what might have happened). Other things you can do are just keep up with your 50 percent water changes. Daily. Water changes are an essential part of combating any fish illness. Unless your medication specifies otherwise, do water changes. Also, bump up the amount or or number of times you perform a water change per week. 3 or 4 goldfish in a 42 gallon tank is kind of crowded, and being messy fish, requires more than a 20 percent a week change. Also, if meds don't do the trick, perhaps look into a salt bath for your fish. Know that this is advised only if you fully understand it and if you are off all other medications. You don't want to stress your fish out too much.

Keep us posted, and I hope your fish get much better very soon!

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Your situation sounds fairly complicated and I think only a mod or helper should really advise you here. :unsure: I would think the first culprit is the pH crash and not a fungus, but that is my inexperienced opinion only. Please wait to do anything until a moderator checks in! :) It shouldn't be too long, and in the meantime if you could upload a picture to Photobucket and then link to it on this thread, that would help out a lot as well. Best of luck to you and your fish :heart

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Excess slime coat could indicate that you are having problems with your ph as sakura mentioned above, i had a ph crash in my tank and the symptoms were almost identical to yours. I treated successfully using aquarium salt followed by melafix. Do you have any aquarium salt available ? There are loads of links on here on how to use it correctly. I would recommend that you do more regular water changes until your ammonia is reading 0. I see that you are using prime and this will de-toxify the ammonia but leave it in your tank for your bb's. your readings indicate that your tank isn't cycled yet so your priority should be keeping your water pristine. 50%-75% daily is what i would go for if not more. I would also steer clear of grapes as they are poisonous to most animals. Try feeding peas or gel food :)

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Since the tank is only been set up a month it needs to cycle. Cycling with fish takes longer but still can be done. You need to do daily water changes and water testing. Cyclling with fish takes a little longer cause you have to make sure the fish live threw it but it can still be done.

Read this it explains the cycling with fish and what to expect.

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/cycle.html

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Hi Bubbleboy, Sakura and alistarw,

Thanks for your replies. I really appreciate it.

Bubbleboy: Thanks for the welcome. I didn't do a waterchange between the first occurrence and today's one as the medication specified that it was to be used every 4 days so I assumed it needed 4 days to work and I didn't want to waterchange it out. But now I think I will be doing daily w/c.

Sakura: I've had a betta where this pH crash happened overnight from a nice 7.0 down to what the goldfish had. The betta seemed unaffected so I wondered whether it was a wrong reading perhaps my kit was expired.

alistarw: Yes I thought it might be excess slime coat (is there even slime coat on the eyes?) as it came off easily from water agitation. I will put some aquarium conditioning salts in. I have Bettafix but no melafix. I currently have the 2 fish in a 9Litre tank with fresh water and bubbler and 1 fish in a 10 Litre tank with bubbler. Should I keep them in the smaller tanks and do several daily waterchanges until the big tank finishes cycling or put them back in the large tank? Sorry I didn't much about the cycling process and I really regret making the fish suffer. They are defenceless :( Today there is white discoloration on the top half of the tank glass (possibly some form of algae?) and I am worried about putting them back into that tank even with the water changes. Also, once I found out about the cycling process (unfortunately after I got the fish) I have been putting prime into the tank everyday to detoxify. I thought that might have had bad effects.

Update on fish: the black bubble eye is having real difficulty keeping afloat. The orange bubblefish is constantly swimming underneath the black one and seemingly supporting and pushing it back up when it drops down :(

I will post some pictures soon.

Edited by Cerise

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Since the tank is only been set up a month it needs to cycle. Cycling with fish takes longer but still can be done. You need to do daily water changes and water testing. Cyclling with fish takes a little longer cause you have to make sure the fish live threw it but it can still be done.

Read this it explains the cycling with fish and what to expect.

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/cycle.html

Hi Hidr, I have read through the page and will continue doing the waterchanges. I did notice a cloudy period which has been over for about a week or so now and the water is very clear. If my ammonia tested as 0.25ppm, would it be possible it will head down to zero soon? Thank you for your help.

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You should only use prime each time you add untreated water to the tank. I don't think that the prime should be causing any problems unless there is a massive build up in the tank. I would try and get the fish in as large tub/tank that you have. If all your fish are showing symptoms then it would be best in my opinion to change 100% of the water in your 42 gallon tank then get them back in there, the more water there is the slower it will take for the ammonia to build up. Excess slime coat can cover their eyes, it looked like cobwebs on my fish when it happened

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Definitely I agree with the others that this is a pH crash. It can be made worse by meds which make the water acidic. I would get those out fast and do a nice half tank temperature matched water change. A pH rise will be good for the fish here not bad and a 50% water change will achieve this.

I also have had several pH crashes and agree with Alistair the slimecoat looks like its crystalized all over the body with little bubbles and the fish are white and stringy looking.

It is easy to fix with repeated water changes and you will need to check the pH twice daily and add a buffer of some sort as its likely you have a low kH. Thats the one that tells how long your pH holds in the tank after it goes in. Fish can survive this well if you act fast with those water changes.

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Hi guys, here are some photos. They look better in the photos than in real life, but their condition is not as scarily critical as when I first found them (when they were lying on their sides floating in the water). Their fins are frayed/shredded at the ends now.

Sorry, it was hard to get pictures of their side view!

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii165/raining-helium/IMG_1354.jpg

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii165/raining-helium/IMG_1323.jpg

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii165/raining-helium/IMG_1322.jpg

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii165/raining-helium/IMG_1399.jpg

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii165/raining-helium/IMG_1400.jpg

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii165/raining-helium/IMG_1404-1.jpg

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii165/raining-helium/IMG_1327.jpg

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii165/raining-helium/IMG_1328.jpg

alistairw, the fish shop guy said I could directly put prime into the tank to alleviate high ammonia so I did so that could be a contributing factor.

I don't think I got the cobweb effect on the eyes but they looked glazed and milky on the outside 'lens'.

Hi Trinket, thanks for your advice. I have the fish out of the tank at the moment and in fresh dechlorinated water in smaller tanks. I will do a large waterchange in the big tank and do tests before putting the fish back in when it's safe. Yes, I have lots of bubbles from my filter and it looks like their body became sticky and the bubbles got stuck on them when they swam through. Could this also possibly be ammonia poisoning?

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Hi there! How are the fish doing?

Any improvement or turns for the worst?

In my experience, I have never seen a fish slough their slime coat from ammonia poisoning. (I had a big cycle crash about a year ago, the ammonia was up at 1-2ppm in less than 8 hours. And the slime coat didn't slough like that).

PH crashes, however, will quickly cause the slime coat to shed. It's the acidity of the water that causes this.

Do you have access to a good quality buffer? Or can you get crushed coral to add to your tank? You can use it either as a substrate (no more than 1/2in thick) or you can bag it and add it to your filter.

The buffer will work faster, but I actually recommend using both. The buffer is fast acting and can raise your pH during water changes or like now, but the crushed coral will continuously leach calcium and carbonate into the water which will stabilize your water and allow you to wean off the buffer.

Avoid cheap buffers (such as the API "pH up" or comparable products) as they will not hold the pH, rather they offer a quick fix that lasts only a few hours or a day at most. Then because of the low Kh, the pH will slip right back down.

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Hi there! How are the fish doing?

Any improvement or turns for the worst?

In my experience, I have never seen a fish slough their slime coat from ammonia poisoning. (I had a big cycle crash about a year ago, the ammonia was up at 1-2ppm in less than 8 hours. And the slime coat didn't slough like that).

PH crashes, however, will quickly cause the slime coat to shed. It's the acidity of the water that causes this.

Do you have access to a good quality buffer? Or can you get crushed coral to add to your tank? You can use it either as a substrate (no more than 1/2in thick) or you can bag it and add it to your filter.

The buffer will work faster, but I actually recommend using both. The buffer is fast acting and can raise your pH during water changes or like now, but the crushed coral will continuously leach calcium and carbonate into the water which will stabilize your water and allow you to wean off the buffer.

Avoid cheap buffers (such as the API "pH up" or comparable products) as they will not hold the pH, rather they offer a quick fix that lasts only a few hours or a day at most. Then because of the low Kh, the pH will slip right back down.

Hi Ryukin Girl,

Thanks for your advice. I have the fish in smaller tanks where I can easily change water and avoid another pH crash. I bought some clear ammonia online and am trying to finish cycling the large tank without the fish.

I read about bicarb soda and used it on the large tank according to the calculator(when the fish weren't in it) and it raised the pH but unfortunately the pH is super high now. I did a 50% waterchange to bring it back down but it hasn't affected the pH. I can try to find some crushed coral from the aquarium shops, but I'm worried my high pH will stall the cycle?

Regarding the fish, they look physically back to health except for frayed fins, however behaviourally they are still poor. They barely eat and are seemingly afraid of me now whereas previously they were the complete opposite. One fish just floats there with its head facing the corner and the other black bubble eye floats in a vertical position at the water surface. They both stay very still and look depressed. I have been trying to coax them to eat and have managed to get the black bubble eye to eat a few pellets by dropping them directly next to his mouth on the watersurface. It tries to eat but the movements are slow and 'drugged'. But I have seen them move fast when they want to. I'm not sure what to do anymore :(

P.S. What did you do to get out of the cycle crash?

Edited by Cerise

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