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Sick Goldfish?

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 2:38 pm
by Siegfried
Hi April,

I have a goldfish in an 180 litre tank(40 gallons).  My water parameters are ammonia zero, nitrite zero, nitrate almost zero and PH between 7.4 and 7.8  I do weekly water changes of about 25% and my aquarium is set up almost two years.  I have two hang on filters on my aquarium.

Long story - I had two goldfish up until last week when one died due to a bad parasite infestation.  My remaining goldfish I got about 4 weeks ago and I believe was probably the cause of the parasite infestation.  While my other goldfish was sick, my local pet-store recommended Wormer Plus to rid the tank of parasites and they also told me to use Melafix alongside it which I did. They also suggested that I dose the tank on day 3 again with Wormer Plus even though it said on the instructions that it was a one-off dosage but if things were bad to dose again on day 7.  Anyway my sick golfish died.  I noticed on my remaining golfish last week that his tail fin had a white-ish edge to it and his body was quite whitey in places but not like fungus, more like his slime coat was coming off.  I continued to dose with melafix but then read online that too much melafix can be bad.  So I decided to do a water change to rid the water of some of the melafix.  

Now over last weekend, my Goldfish started to sit on the bottom of the aquarium on occasion but was still very active most of the time and was still feeding.  I decided to bring him to my local pet-store who took a scraping from him but they could see nothing wrong.  He was clear of parasites and they didn't see any spores to indicate a fungal infection.  They told me to keep any eye on him and couldn't really recommend anything else.  So I decided to put a general tonic into the water on Saturday afternoon(Paragon Oxygen Tonic).  Yesterday morning when I checked on my goldfish I noticed that he had a black mark around his mouth, it looks like somebody put black lipstick on him which is obviously not normal.  He is still happily swimming around and eating but I know there has to be something wrong.  At lunchtime I popped home from work and noticed that he had black edges to some of his fins, only very slightly but they are there.

Sorry for the long winded story - is there any chance all the mix of meds could have stressed the fish out or damaged him?  I am heading away this weekend for 4 days so would really like to have him sorted before then.  Bear in mind I have done a few water changes over the course of all these treatments.

Sick Goldfish?

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 4:44 pm
by Chas
Hi April,

I have a goldfish in an 180 litre tank(40 gallons).  My water parameters are ammonia zero, nitrite zero, nitrate almost zero and PH between 7.4 and 7.8  I do weekly water changes of about 25% and my aquarium is set up almost two years.  I have two hang on filters on my aquarium.

Long story - I had two goldfish up until last week when one died due to a bad parasite infestation.  My remaining goldfish I got about 4 weeks ago and I believe was probably the cause of the parasite infestation.  While my other goldfish was sick, my local pet-store recommended Wormer Plus to rid the tank of parasites and they also told me to use Melafix alongside it which I did. They also suggested that I dose the tank on day 3 again with Wormer Plus even though it said on the instructions that it was a one-off dosage but if things were bad to dose again on day 7.  Anyway my sick golfish died.  I noticed on my remaining golfish last week that his tail fin had a white-ish edge to it and his body was quite whitey in places but not like fungus, more like his slime coat was coming off.  I continued to dose with melafix but then read online that too much melafix can be bad.  So I decided to do a water change to rid the water of some of the melafix.  

Now over last weekend, my Goldfish started to sit on the bottom of the aquarium on occasion but was still very active most of the time and was still feeding.  I decided to bring him to my local pet-store who took a scraping from him but they could see nothing wrong.  He was clear of parasites and they didn't see any spores to indicate a fungal infection.  They told me to keep any eye on him and couldn't really recommend anything else.  So I decided to put a general tonic into the water on Saturday afternoon(Paragon Oxygen Tonic).  Yesterday morning when I checked on my goldfish I noticed that he had a black mark around his mouth, it looks like somebody put black lipstick on him which is obviously not normal.  He is still happily swimming around and eating but I know there has to be something wrong.  At lunchtime I popped home from work and noticed that he had black edges to some of his fins, only very slightly but they are there.

Sorry for the long winded story - is there any chance all the mix of meds could have stressed the fish out or damaged him?  I am heading away this weekend for 4 days so would really like to have him sorted before then.  Bear in mind I have done a few water changes over the course of all these treatments.

Sick Goldfish?

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 10:00 pm
by Tadeo
Hi Katie,

I like long-winded, it gives me better insight to the real problem!  If you have perfect water quality, and 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 5-20 ppm nitrates is perfect, it had to be the new fish that introduced the illness to the tank(unless you use live foods - these too are often the source of illness).

Melafix isn't doing anything because Melafix is for very mild bacterial infections and parasites have nothing to do with that.  You are learning now that most pet stores know very little, if anything at all, about the proper care of goldfish and especially the diagnosis and treatment of disease.  I wouldn't use the Melafix at all.

Out of curiosity, what were the symptoms of the fish that had parasites and died?  I guess what I am getting at is how was this determined to be the diagnosis?  I'm asking because sometimes when the wrong diagnosis is made and is treated for incorrectly the fish dies and the next gets worse.

At any rate, a good treatment for parasites that lasts a long time is Mardel's Coppersafe.  If you suspect this is still an issue, I would use it.  I would also switch to a medicated food for parasites as if they are internal, a medicated food is usually the ONLY effective treatment.  Coppersafe will cure a wide range of external parasites like ich(not the case here), velvet(also not the case), chilodonella, costia, flukes and the like.  Chilodonella and costia will cause white slimy patches and will cause scales to fall off and also cause ulcerated skin.  Flukes will also do this as well but will cause sitting on the bottom and breathing difficulties and jumping or flashing against objects.  It's often hard to discern what the fish has because with costia, flukes and chilodonella because the symptoms are all about the same and aren't as obvious to distinguish between as ich and velvet are.  Flukes stands out in my mind because flukes can also cause black spots.  Coppersafe will take care of this.  The only other thing that usually causes black spots is ammonia but if the tank has 0 ammonia then it points to flukes.

If the fish has white fuzzy patches or has white string like things trailing then it's likely columnaris and is not parasitic or fungal at all but is bacterial and needs to be treated immediately with Mardel's Maracyn and Maracyn II.

Good luck :) April M.