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Sick Fish, Not Sure What Disease

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My fantail goldfish has some funky disease (or tumor?) that I haven't been able to diagnose from fish disease websites. Unfortunately I freaked out and made an immediate 50% water change this morning once I noticed the swelling got worse, so I don't have accurate water readings to give right now. I have a 20 gallon tank with just this fish (about 3 years old), perform water and filter changes every 2-3 weeks Last night I noticed a lot of its scales had fallen off, its belly is swollen, and there are some pimple-type growths on its underside (almost like its about to burst from these growths...ewww). Long stringy red poops, sluggish while swimming. I added some aquarium salt and melafix earlier today. Hopefully I can attach a picture, but please give (additional?) instructions on how to do so if nothing comes through. ....Ugghhh, can't figure out how to attach a picture, please help!

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Can you fill out the form at the top for us? We really need more information to help. Especially your water params and tank routine. I can already suggest that you need to do more regular and larger water changes.

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Ok first I need for you to answer the questions in the box above, we need to know your water parameters etc.

Second, don't change your filter pads that is where your good bacteria live, chances are your tank isn't cycled and that is probably contributing to whatever your fish's problems are.

Third you can attach a picture through photobucket or a third party hosting site like that. Get the direct link to your photo, click the photo icon at the top of the post response box and paste your link then your photo should upload.

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My fantail goldfish has some funky disease (or tumor?) that I haven't been able to diagnose from fish disease websites. Unfortunately I freaked out and made an immediate 50% water change this morning once I noticed the swelling got worse, so I don't have accurate water readings to give right now. I have a 20 gallon tank with just this fish (about 3 years old), perform water and filter changes every 2-3 weeks Last night I noticed a lot of its scales had fallen off, its belly is swollen, and there are some pimple-type growths on its underside (almost like its about to burst from these growths...ewww). Long stringy red poops, sluggish while swimming. I added some aquarium salt and melafix earlier today. Hopefully I can attach a picture, but please give (additional?) instructions on how to do so if nothing comes through. ....Ugghhh, can't figure out how to attach a picture, please help!

DSCN1699.jpg

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My fantail goldfish has some funky disease (or tumor?) that I haven't been able to diagnose from fish disease websites. Unfortunately I freaked out and made an immediate 50% water change this morning once I noticed the swelling got worse, so I don't have accurate water readings to give right now. I have a 20 gallon tank with just this fish (about 3 years old), perform water and filter changes every 2-3 weeks Last night I noticed a lot of its scales had fallen off, its belly is swollen, and there are some pimple-type growths on its underside (almost like its about to burst from these growths...ewww). Long stringy red poops, sluggish while swimming. I added some aquarium salt and melafix earlier today. Hopefully I can attach a picture, but please give (additional?) instructions on how to do so if nothing comes through. ....Ugghhh, can't figure out how to attach a picture, please help!

DSCN1699.jpg

Fish is about 3 1/2 inches long (not including tail). I feed with tetrafin goldfish crips, use tetra filter cartridges, Prime conditioner, Mardel and Quick Drip tester kits. Water tests done right now indicate nitrate (level 20 - safe), nitrite (level 0 - safe), hardness (level 50 - moderate), alkalinity (level 240 - need to add pH-), pH balance (level 7.8 - need to add pH-), chlorine (level 0 - safe).

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COuld this be like what Helen's Rocky had?

Hopefully she stops by.

I think she treated Rocky with Metro food and salt. (epson salt possibly to get the cysts to burst).

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It does look like cysts. The important thing is to keep the water extremely clean. Is there gravel in the tank? If there is you need to vacuum it very well to remove anything that oozes out of the cysts when they burst. The aquarium salt will help. I can't remember exactly what meds Helen used but I'm sure she will stop by soon and offer her advice. :)

Edit: How is the fish acting now since you have added the salt and melafix? And how much salt did you add?

Edited by caitie

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It does look like the cysts that Helen's Rocky has. I believe the very last time he came down with it, she just QT and treated only with clean water that is changed out multiple times each day. I'm sure she'll see this threat shortly :)

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Gross!! Cysts that will burst? Ewwww. I added 4 TBPS of salt per the container directions...should I add more? And if I change out the water more than once a day, how do I adjust for the Melafix drops...add more each time too or just one treatment cycle per day? So is there a name for this disease or are they just cysts?

Thanks for everyone's replies...

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I would say that they are either Aeromonas or Pseudomonas bacterial cysts.

What are your ammonia readings? Also right now, 4 tablespoons in a 20 gallons = 12 teaspons in 20 gallons, which makes it 0.06%. You'll want to up the salt to at least 0.2% or to 0.3%, but you can only increase by 0.1% during a 12 hour period. So, for now, I would add 2 more tablespoons to make it 0.1%, since I'll just assume you actually only have 18 gallons of water in the tank. Tomorrow morning, dissolve 6 more tablespoons and add it to your tank. Then, 12 hours after that, add another 6 tablespoons.

I don't think that you really need to use the Melafix. Just stick with the salt. When you do water changes, please note how much water you are taking out and add back the appropriate amount of salt. If you need help with the calculations, let us know :)

Edit: I want to add here that it is extremely important to perform daily water changes. It's better if you can do more than one water change each day as it will wash out the bacteria. Remember to replace the salt, and you should be able to see if the salt has any effects after 2-3 days, as you should be able to see signs of healing on the sores.

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hi there,

yes, yes!.. this is very much what my fish suffered.. but here's the problem. you must not salt under any circumstance or use any medicaion until you fill out the form with all the questions asked.. particularly the water parameters.. salt cannot be used if ammonia is present in the water, if this happens, you fish will become seriously ill and possibly die.

i take it that your fish is currently behaving normal?

how many goldfish do you have? are they in the same tank..

please, please, please fill out all the questions in the white box.

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May I mention, that you should not be "adding PH" whatever that means. I am assuming you are using some type of PH controlling liquid. I think you are far better off with whatever your PH is naturally. The fish will adjust. Using a PH liquid, you will be constantly chasing numbers.

Good luck getting your fish well.

Edited by waterfaller1

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Here are the water parameters from this evening...not much changed since this morning's results. I'll add more salt per the previous comments.

[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level? 0

[*]Nitrite Level? 0

[*]Nitrate level? 20

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7.8

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

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? Jungle Quick Dip and Mardel

[*]Water temperature? (no thermometer)

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 20 gallons, 7+ years

[*]What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Tetra (formerly Whisper), size large

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? Normally every 2-3 weeks (closer to 2 most times)

[*]how many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 50% change this morning (June 17)

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 fantail, approx. 3 inches long (just main body)

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

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? goldfish crips, 1x/day

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

[*]Any medications added to the tank? June 17: Melafix, salt

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? cysts on belly, lost scales, droopy tail

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? slower moving around (lethargic), breathing seems to be labored, eating okay (although I didn't feed it today)

I'll do frequent water changes as needed. Haven't noticed the cysts bursting yet (again...GROSS). Should I stop feeding? Behavior is more sluggish than usual.

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ok.. all seems good.. very happy to read that..

there are a few changes you need to make to your regular maintenance routine. but we'll discuss that soon..

where abouts are you? ie, country?

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Helen, did you feed any medicated food?

it is good he is alone. water changes are crucial. make sure you check the gravel/ ornaments/ filter for any gunk that could have caused this.

No need to stop feeding, he needs energy to recover.

Once he recovers it is best to try for a 50-80% weekly water change to keep the bio/bacteria load low.

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Now that stakos has seen the thread and since this is something that she's dealt with a couple times with Rocky, I'm sure she'll give you excellent suggestions/help on what to do.

There are a couple things that I do want to point out that may or may not be related, but should be addressed:

1. You should aim to keep nitrates below twenty at all times. This will give you a nice padding before it gets to the danger zone. The reason for this is once your fish develops nitrate issues, such as swim bladder problems, the problem can be chronic, so it's better not to ever get there in the first place. So, I would do a nice 75-80% water change to get the nitrates down 2ppm.

2. Those strip tests are horrible! I speak from experience, and they really give you very inaccurate results. I would recommend getting the API freshwater master kit, which can costs you upwards of $35 depending on where you get it, but it's a great investment and will provide you a few years worth of accurate readings of pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

3. When you are back on schedule and this fish is healthy, I would recommend doing at least one 50% water change each week at a minimum.

4. Flake foods are generally discouraged because they quickly lose their nutritional values as those leech out into the water, and flakes also encourage surface gulping. I would look into getting sinking pellet foods, which you can pre-soak for a minute or so prior to feeding.

Best wishes for a quick recovery from the ulcer! :)

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Thanks for the great replies! I'm from the US, by the way. Total fish novice even after 7+ years of miscelleneous goldfish care. My son is glad to hear that Bubbles will (hopefully) recover from this.

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Aww Bubbles...

Hope you can get her healed up too! Just sending well wishes for you and your fish. :angelstaf:

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nice.. rocky is over 5 years old now.. he started gettin cysts around 4 years old.. about a year ago..

i had him in a 10 gallon tank. here, in australia, we don't have the medicated foods that are available to you..

my instruction from the Mods was to use a product called Flagyl.. the active ingredient in Flagyl is Metronidazole.. you will find this medicine in a product available in the US called MetroMeds.

per 10 gallons, i would be required to dissolve 1 400mg tablet into the water.. i would also be required to keep and maintain salt levels at 0.2%

so.. as you have medicated foods, you will need to order MetroMeds, and buy aquarium salt or anti caking salts from your supermarket. be sure to choose pure salt.. if you're unsure, head down to the LFS and buy aquaruim salt and if they have it available MetroMeds.

you cannot salt at 0.2% immediately, you will need to first dissolve 1 level teaspoon per gallon of water. so you will need 20 level teaspoons of aquaruim salt dissolved in some heated tank water (i find it dissolves best when simmering on a stovetop whilst stiring).. after 12 hours, repeat the salt routine and that will bring it to 0.2%..

then we have tricky part. every day, i would change 80% of the water. the reason why we change the water is because the cysts, when they pop, they leach bacteria and puss into the tank.. this needs to be removed immediately. as we cannot find it, we're best to change as much of the water as possible. when the water is changed, and the tank is refilled, you need to also replace the salt that was removed with that water change.

do you have any anti caking salts at home? i hear the best anti caking salt there is Morton's and the type is Kosher salt? then you need to get your hands on some MetroMeds and feed by the packet's instructions.

the cheaper alternative re the salt will be the Morton's.. seeing as you will be doing frequent water changes.

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Rocky had a relapse of cysts a few months later.. but that might have been the few that had not appeared.. ie, too deep within his body for my eye to see potential problems.. but since then.. we've been cyst free for about 8-9 months :)

just so that you know.. this will take some time.. can take 6-8 weeks for everything to settle back to "normal"

here's what he looked like:

poorrocky.jpg

rockywithcystdiagram110510.jpg

here's the oozing i mentioned:

burstbump1.jpg

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bacteria.. caught either in gravel, ornaments, stagnant water etc..

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Thanks for the pictures of Rocky. Based on what you mentioned, it looks like one of Bubble's cysts has already burst and two more are soon to do so. They look sooo painful, I can't believe this doesn't kill the fish! Will be cleaning the water a lot over these next few days and weeks.

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you're welcome. will you be getting the salt and the meds? this will play a huge role in ensuring the possibility of them not coming back..

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Just wanted to pop back in and say good luck with Bubbles. :) You are in great hands with Helen helping you out with this problem.

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