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Sakura

Sickly Fish

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Hello, I'm having issues with my fish that were so nice and healthy finally just a couple weeks ago. :( I've already talked to both Ken @ Dandy Orandas and Rick @ Goldfish Connection, but I just wanted to add something on here too for extra insight and ideas. When I talked to Rick he said it sounded like the fish had flukes and also a bacterial infection so he recommended I start Prazi and Medi-Gold med food. I was concerned about Prazi in water that is showing trace ammonia, but he said it would not harm them. They have just finished the first round of Prazi without incident.

Fuu

Fuu has eaten the Medi-Gold yesterday and this morning. However, when I tried feeding her tonight, she wouldn't eat it. She took it into her mouth but then spit it back out right away. (This is what Mugen did before he got worse, and it's also what my ryukin did before dying). Yesterday I just noticed some bumps underneath Fuu's eyeball. There is nothing in the tank for her to scratch herself on. There are four individual bumps that look like pimples with white heads and they are arranged in a perfect line underneath her eyeball. My good camera is off for repairs, so here's a drawing I did. (I can get more detailed in a drawing.) Drawing They are four white bumps sticking out surrounded by an area of red irritated looking skin. It is in the little bit of wen tissue that she has on her cheeks underneath her eyeball. They're not ulcers are they? *Gulp* Her other symptoms are now no longer eating, gill covers sticking out as if swollen, and hanging at the surface. I think that her gills do look slightly better since starting the Prazi, but I'm not too sure about that.

Mugen

Mugen is much worse off. His body is curled in a "C" shape and he sinks to the bottom. He is on the bottom constantly and I've had to put him in one of those breeder net things to keep him from being tossed around and getting stuck on the intake tubes. I managed to get a little bit of the Medi-Gold in him yesterday even though he's not eating on his own, and then last night he actually seemed slightly better. But today it was very difficult to get him to eat and I do not know if he even ate any. His belly is not squishy, but he does have some red blotches showing through his scales (mostly on belly region). When I was holding him to feed him tonight I noticed that he would occasionally twitch his entire body very quickly and involuntarily for a few seconds. It was like very very slight and continuous tremors through his body (like being electrocuted or something?) I think he is in a lot of pain, and I'm pretty discouraged. I don't see him making a recovery, but if there's anything else I can try I will. I have read about Baytril injections, but I think you are not supposed to do that if the fish has lost control of balance, so that might not be an option here. I may be able to try that with Fuu however, if it would help. No pineconing on either of them. This is so strange and really quite upsetting, especially with everything going on with my cat Buttons as well. Which reminds me I have to write an update on that thread, so off I go to do that. Any help is appreciated as always :)

Params:

Ammonia: 0-0.25

Nitrite and Nitrate: 0

pH 8.2

temp: 74

29 gallon tank with two fish

Twice daily 75% water changes

No air stone, but lowered water level

Three evenly spaced filters with combined flow rate of 300 gph

*I think that's everything, but let me know if you need more info.

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I'm so sorry Sakura... I wish I could help you in some way. I've been thinking about you and Buttons and I can't believe you are going through this now. I wish I could give you a HUGE hug. I hope someone comes on here soon. :k055:

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Gosh, this is so distressing. My first thought would be some sort of posioning. It just seems like too quick of a nose dive and that twitching is very much like the poisoning that I've seen. But with your large water changes that just doesn't seem right. How is your PH holding? Anything different at all that you can think of that has happened during the time they got sicker? It just seems weird because they were doing so well.

Doesn't Ken scope his fish? Some of this behavior does sound like flukes to me which is weird if he scopes them? I have used prazi with trace amounts of ammonia and never had a problem. Parasite Clear is stronger and that stuff worries me a bit more with trace ammonia, but prazi should be fine. With your water changes I can't imagine that it ever gets over .25ppm if that.

Any drastic flucations with your water temp?

My new oranda had a very simliar white line of pimples, but it was clearly from a scratch on the airstone. The pimples went away but there is still a faint pink line. The reddish circle you are seeing worries me. But let's not panic about that until you get a picture. Do you have any salt in there now? It may be worth salting with breathing issues and a sore. You could do an HP swab on it if it looks worse in the next day or two.

What a terrible time you are having. I am so sorry. I'm going to go check on Buttons now.

One more thought. Have you tested your tap water for ammonia, nitrites, PH, nitrates?

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Thanks Gina! It's true there's a lot of bad things going on with me lately and I've been pretty down because of it all :( I need to try and focus on the good things, but it can be hard sometimes! But hey, things can only go up from here right? I sure hope so!

Thanks for the reply Amy. Yes, Ken does scope his fish and he gave these ones a clean bill of health, so this is so strange. Especially since I am starting with a new system and I have no other fish who could have cross-contaminated between tanks. I wonder if flukes can be present on a fish in low enough numbers to remain undetected by a scrape and also cause no serious harm until the fish becomes stressed and they can gain a foothold. Then after the parasites rampage through the fish, they open up so many doors for bad bacteria to set in. The fish seem to have had a rough time in shipping, and coupled with the earlier pH stress, I wouldn't doubt that theory could be true. pH is at a constant 8.2 or 8.4 (can't remember which) now that I'm aging the water before use. The air stone in the bucket left sitting out for a few hours works like a charm every time! I've tested ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate a couple times before in the tap, and all were perfectly zero. It wouldn't hurt to test that again, because I'm sure it's possible that it could have changed. No drastic fluctuations in water temp, but there is a very slight difference in water temps whenever I do a water change. I do my best to minimize it, but with all the different sized aging buckets, they all get to different temperatures after sitting out for a while, even though they're all in the same room. But anyways I always leave the fish floating in a bucket until the bucket water and new tank water are the same temp and then release them into it.

Something my husband keeps wondering is if there might be something nasty in our tap water that we can't test for- bacteria or something. All our fish keep dying of bacterial infections, and I know there are many things it could be caused by, but I still just gotta wonder about that tap water. The problem with that theory though is that my betta is fine, but then again he probably has a tougher immune system than the goldfish. Plus I do much less frequent water changes for him- he's way less dirty!

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It certainly could be something in the tap water. I would test your tap water daily for a while just to see if you get ammonia spikes or something like that. My only other thought besides flukes (which I do think can gain a foothold when present in small numbers and I think they always are), is that catching them for water changes might really stress them out. I know the lower stress you can have QT the better. I wish I had a better idea for you, but this does seem really weird.

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Oh Sakura, I am so sorry you are having troubles again with your babies :( Wish I had some advise to offer but I just don't :( You and your Finn babies are in my prayers though :)

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Where does your tap water come from? A big city or small city or well water?

Might they have changed from chlorine to chloramine?

Mine comes from a lake but it used to come from well just a year ago so I know it has changed.

Edited by Texana

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I'm so sorry about all the problems you've been having, Sakura. I agree with Amy and with you that flukes are pretty much ever-present in small numbers, and get out of control when a fish is stressed and/or sick. I throw a dose of PraziPro into my tanks every 4-6 weeks after a water change for just that reason.

Just wanted to let you know that we're all rooting for you. Mugen and Fuu are unbelievably cute, and I really really hope that at least one of them can pull through for you.

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When I talked to someone from the water treatment facility a few weeks ago, he said that they only use chlorine, not chloramines. He said that with water from our area, they do not need to use the chloramines. It's tap water from a suburban area near Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Today Mugen doesn't look any better, but I got him to eat two small pieces of the Medi-Gold. I'm thinking as long as I can get some of that in him each day, then he still has a chance. I'm not giving up on these fish without a fight! He is still on the bottom with his body in a "C" shape though. Doesn't that normally mean extensive internal organ damage? Can a fish recover from something like that, or will he always be a little messed up? Poor guy. I'm willing to care for a "special needs" fish because I really like Mugen, I just want him alive and not in pain! Fuu ate too, without spitting any out this time. Then she wedged herself between the wall and filter tube. She's not stuck, I think she just wanted to rest there, because came out when I put some food in front of her. :idont Her little bumps under her eye are still there, but two of them are no longer white bumps. They are just a red irritated circular area. The other two still have a white bump in the middle of the red area. Hoping the antibiotics can take care of this. I'm really reluctant to HP swab because it's right underneath her eye. But if I might need to, I just use a Q tip and any old HP from the drugstore right? Then put her directly back into the tank water? Won't a lot of it be washed right off when she goes back into the water, and is that okay? I'll try to get a picture of the bumps sometime today, but this temporary camera I have is bad news... lol

EDIT: I got a decent picture!

DSCI0018.jpg

And here it is zoomed in:

DSCI0018-1.jpg

It looks a lot better than yesterday actually. Less inflamed and also less of a white bump in the middle. I don't know how well you can see that, but there are a couple tiny air bubbles that are sticking to the area where one of the bumps appears to have healed a little.

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Sakura, I don't think I can offer any advice but I can send lots of hugs and get well thought to Mugen & Fuu xxx

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How are Mugen and Fuu today? It is so hard to know what is going on here--something in the tank, something in the water, something in the fish--but you are doing all you can. I guess you could take the fish out for day and PP, then really rinse, their tank, in case it is something in there, but if it is the water, what can you do? A UV sterilizer might help if it is free-floating bacteria causing the problem, but they are expensive and wouldn't make a difference if it is chemical. If you have a aquairum/fish hobbyist meetup group near you, they might know if there are chemical issues in your local water. A good LFS might know, too. Good to see that one of the bumps on Fuu is healing. When I had a blister appear and burst on Clementine, I put Metro+ in the water (50% water change per the bottle directions before redosing) and it seemed to help. I don't think you'd want to do that on top of the Metromeds (metronidazole is in both, I think)--and I believe internal dosages via food are supposed to be more effective--but metronidazole did help in my case and I hope it does in yours. I really want Mugen and Fuu to get better, they are just charming.

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The good news is that this doesn't look like an ulcer to me, more like a scratch or something. I think you would safely swab it with HP. Just plain HP from the store, a quick dab on the spot and then back in the tank. Don't worry about it washing off or getting in the water. Are they in any salt right now?

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Today I think Fuu is showing some slight improvement. I've actually seen her swim around the tank a little bit aside from just at the water surface, so that seems good. She still eats very well, and I'm still feeding only the medi-gold food. The weird bumps on her face seem to change every time I look at them. Yesterday there was no white, but only some red irritated areas where they used to be, and today there is no red and only one white bump. So... I don't know. I guess I'll just be watching that for a while to make sure it doesn't start to look worse or anything. Mugen is in pretty much the same condition, but I am a little shocked he is still alive. I've been feeding him the Medi-gold crushed up in some tank water via a syringe now because it's easier to get him to keep it down that way. He's still flipped on his side in a C shape and doesn't really move. Sometimes I have to nudge the breeder net to make sure he's still alive. Or just watch him for a while and see his little eyes move around. He still has red blotches showing through in some areas, but no additional ones have developed since feeding the Medi-gold. He still does not have a mushy belly, which I'm taking as a good sign. Sigh. I so hope he makes it, Fuu needs her buddy. I mean really, these fish are a perfect pair in my mind. It wouldn't do to just have one or the other.

Anybody know what are the odds that he might recover from something like this? I don't have salt in the tank because it would be too much of a pain right now with everything else I have going on in my life. :( Also I don't know if the pickling salt I picked up from the grocery store is truly okay to use or not. I'm nervous about it.

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Fuu has something weird going on under her eye again, but it's different now. Here's the best picture I could get:

DSCI0057.jpg

And zoomed in:

DSCI0057-1.jpg

Looks ulcer-ish to me, or bacterial in some other way. Shouldn't the Medi-Gold be taking care of this? Her color in general looks off to me, but I can't quite put my finger on what it is. She's also started bottom-sitting constantly whereas she was top-hanging before. So yesterday I started the second round of Prazi and I also cleaned out one of the filters that I realized I was forgetting to check on. It was pretty gunky. :doh11:

Mugen is the same; no better, no worse. Still wondering if he'll ever recover, but I guess time will tell.

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They seem so unhappy. I wish I had a good guess. They do make a perfect pair. Pickling salt from the store is totally fine. As long as it says just salt. That is what I use. What are you doing as far as water changes right now? Any response during water changes?

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Okay thanks Amy. I will see about using the salt, I'm starting to think that may help a lot in this situation. Lately I've only been able to do one 75% water change a day, and still using extra Prime to try and detox temporarily any ammonia building up. During water changes Fuu swims around and tries to get food from me, because that's normally when I feed her. Then when she gets a piece she sits on the bottom and "chews" it. She still eats very well on her own. Not really any response from Mugen, he has a hard time moving. I pick him up to squirt some dissolved Medi-Gold into his mouth each day. He's still barely hanging in there, and I just really hope he's not in too much pain. I finally realized what the odd coloration I noticed on Fuu is. There is some kind of large redish sore developing on her side. I'm going to try and get a picture tomorrow if it hasn't improved, but it has me pretty worried. There's nothing she could have rubbed up against really so I don't think it's an abrasion. Also, it seems to be slowly developing which I don't think it would if it was a one-time abrasion. Oh boy, right?! I dabbed some HP on Fuu's face sore today. How often should I do that do you think? Today it has the white bump on it like the sores all had originally. So strange.

I'll just keep doing my best and hoping that things work out!

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Sounds like you're doing everything possible. Hugs to you and fins crossed that you start to see improvement :)

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Sakura I am wondering where you are with your cycle ?

Nitrates at zero scare the life out of me . Are you trying to cycle this tank or are you doing the 75% water changes daily instead? I know its a pain but if you can keep a diary of your water results daily for a few weeks you should be able to monitor exactly how much water to take out to get the tank cycled as fast as possible.

Do you have ammochips in there?

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Not to add more stress to what has already been a stressful few weeks, but a picture of that sore would help. That has me worried. Could it be from bottom sitting?

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Imo- The tank is uncycled, and I'm waiting for their future home (the 55 gallon tank) to finish the fishless cycle process. It is taking a really long time and I've wondered if I'm doing something wrong. But I think it is almost there. Hard to say. In the tank they are currently in I'm not using ammochips. I tried that, but it just did not work well for me. I couldn't get the darn things to stop leaching ammonia after salting to "recharge" and rinsing thoroughly. So I had been doing twice daily 75% water changes, but now it has been cut down to once daily because I just lost my cat so the fish have taken the back seat these past couple weeks :( Water changes are temp and pH matched. The diary of water test results is a great idea, don't get me wrong, and normally I would take that advice! But I just cannot handle it at this time, I've been really upset about my dear Buttons. I can hardly function.

Amy- I don't think it's from bottom sitting, because the sore is on her side, and she is sitting upright. There's actually a similar sore on each side now, and I do think the scales are raised in those areas. Whatever this thing is, it's not looking good. It's night-time here now, so I'll try for a picture tomorrow if I can.

Every once in a while I see Mugen swim around. Although it's more like thrashing, because he can't straighten out his body and also the net he's in doesn't allow for a ton of movement. :( Poor guy.

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Oh shoot. Mugen died today :( Trying to stay positive and focus on Fuu. I actually had some hope for the little guy because he managed to hang in there for so long.

I'm moving Fuu to the 10 gallon tank now, since it's just her. It will make water changes a lot easier, and it will also mean that I can do larger water changes at a time, because I'm going to use the 29 gallon as a water aging bucket. Plus, she will finally get an air stone back! She still has the strange abrasion-looking things on her sides. One question I would like answered if anybody knows... Can I feed her both peas and the Medi-gold, or do I have to only feed Medi-gold? I think she is constipated pretty badly from the Medi-gold. If I can't do that, would it be advisable to add a little bit of epsom to the water? She still begs for food, but bottom sits when I'm not near the tank.

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Don't have an answer to your question, just wanted to say so sorry for the loss of Mugen. Hugs to you :heart

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I'm so sorry you lost Mugen. :cry1 He was such a beauty but you did all you could for him. :heart

One question I would like answered if anybody knows... Can I feed her both peas and the Medi-gold, or do I have to only feed Medi-gold? I think she is constipated pretty badly from the Medi-gold. If I can't do that, would it be advisable to add a little bit of epsom to the water?

One thing I did with one of my fish when he was on antibiotics and he was constipated was to stick one epsom salt grain in a piece of pea and I fed him that. It worked like a charm.:)

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Thanks Edith, it's really sad, but I tried my best. Hubby and I have sworn no more fish (let's hope we can stick to it though!) until Fuu is totally healthy and the tank is established.

That's a good suggestion, and I'm sure Fuu would love that! She loves peas and it would be a great change from all this processed stuff she's gotten lately!

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