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  1. #1
    Senior Member geekboy's Avatar
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    Goldfish White spots, red spots, veins, deteriorating fins

    First off, I feel a bit guilty joining a forum for the sole reason of asking for help... but I'll get probably get over it. I could probably be convinced to stick around. For now, I'm just looking for some guidance on a couple of sick goldies. I apologize if the following info is overkill, but I like to provide any background that might help.

    I have an established 75 gallon, 2-year old, cold freshwater tank for goldfish and dojos. It is overstocked (I know). I have tabooed by mixing fancies and commons (I know). The stock is as follows:
    - 1 large Common
    - 2 large Comets (the sickies)
    - 1 large Shubunkin
    - 1 medium calico ryukin
    - 1 medium red ryukin
    - 2 small chocolate orandas
    - 3 full-size dojo loaches
    - 2 small golden dojo loaches
    - 1 Pleco (about 4 inches, and growing like an SOB).

    Features a couple of mopani wood pieces, various plastic plants, and a castle. The loaches are often nowhere to be found for all the hiding places. The gravel is a bit coarse for their liking though.

    Equipment:
    - Single tube standard flourescent hood
    - Fluval FX-5 Canister
    - Aquaclear 300/70 HOT
    - Two bags of Fluval nitrate remover in the Aquaclear. They don't solve my nitrate issues, but I keep them around to sort out the tannins from my mopani wood.



    Water test levels are
    Temp: Warm Canadian weather (!) has pushed it as high as 80F in the last week. This might have worsened things. Typically 72-76F.
    O2: >7 ppm
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: >80ppm. This despite weekly 25% water changes. I've cut back on food and started twice-weekly changes to try and reign this in. (I'm also plotting to build a denitrator, but this probably won't help in the near future).

    So basically, I live in the boondocks where the only aquarium fish store within 100 miles is a Walmart. I've long since learned how reliable those offerings are (though all the large goldfish came from there about 2 years ago). So I happened to be out of town a couple weeks ago, and found myself near a Petsmart. I got a bit overexcited upon seeing more than 2 kinds of fish, which explains the overstocking problem. (You see, believe it or not, I just got rid of a 14" Koi last month, so the tank seemed spacious by comparison).

    About a week after the Petsmart fish (orandas, ryukins, golden loaches) were introduced, I've got a problem that only seems to have afflicted the comets and their long flowy fins. This is what the more advanced case looks like today:



    The disease seemed to take the following steps:
    1) The thin translucent fins (mainly the tail at first) seemed to develop a series of opaque whitish spots throughout. These develop some depth to them, like growths.
    2) The red vessels, already partially visible, became much more pronounced. The ventral and anal fins became involved, and were turning rosy or red in large areas (septicemia?)
    3) The white spots seem to come to a reddish head, and seemed to hemmorage, often leaving holes and rips behind. The weakened fins are obviously prone to tearing.

    The fish are behaving and feeding normally, but seem a bit anemic.

    So far, I've tried the following:
    1) For the last week, the fish have fed on Goldfish Connection Medi-Gold.
    2) I initially tried a parasite tab medication I found at Walmart ("Jungle" brand). This ran full strength for 3 days, and half strength following a water change. This might have had some minor affect on the spots of one of the comets, but may have been coincidence. It might also have been a crappy product.
    3) I have tried low levels of API super Ick Cure, but haven't been fully dosing the tank for fear of harming the loaches. This doesn't seem to have had an affect.
    4) For lack of success from medication, I've resorted to daily water changes to try and manage the nitrate levels, and possibly reduce any parasite that is present.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks all.





  2. #2
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    That looks like septicemia to me. If so I'd say get out any other meds that are still in the tank (using carbon and water changes), and try Maracyn 2.
    Septicemia is a bacterial infection caused by poor water quality. I'm afraid increasing water changes alone won't offset your problems. You've got enough fish for a couple of 100g tanks in a single 75. After you get the infections cleared up I'd suggest finding new homes for two-thirds of your fish.
    I have 4 fancies and 3 dojos in my 75g, and I'm at the maximum stocking capacity for my tank.




  3. #3
    Hiding from my children THE V's Avatar
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    It is finrot or hemorrhagic septicemia. These are both bacterial infections. Look for a gram negative antibiotic like Marycin II (minocycline), erythromycin, tetracyclin, oxytetracyclin, or if nothing else penicillin. Very clean water can help the fish fight off the infection until you find some. I would start doing 50% water changes daily and keep it up until you find new homes for most of your stocking.

    And welcome to the AC. Most of the members here joined because they had a problem with their fish. I did. Other than being overstocked your tank looks pretty good. There's lots of information here so go ahead and ask more questions.



  4. #4
    Senior Member geekboy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. I honestly lost sight of how crowded the tank really was until I listed the residents for my post. I'll have to give some thought to how I'll deal with the extra fish before too long, since many of them are just going to get bigger.

    To add to my Nitrate management problems, I've just learned that my well water starts out with 15-20 ppm. This clearly works against me in the water changes. What's more, while I have an RO filter I can use, the well water is also very hard (with a PH around 8), which makes using a lot of RO water risky due to possible PH swings.

    Regarding my sick comets, I'm a bit skeptical that the bacterial infection alone is the source of the fin problems. While I'll agree the redness points to an infection, does this not seem inconsistent with the white "cysts" that appeared before? I worry that any antibiotic I use will only be treating the symptom and not the cause.

    In any case, I think I'll order some Marycin II which I should have for Friday. All I have until then is some Melafix, which I doubt would be much help. Hopefully they'll hold on until then.



  5. #5
    Moderator Lupin's Avatar
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    to AC, Geekboy!

    Don't feel guilty for coming here and asking for advice. Problems come and go and we understand that even with your efforts to keep them healthy, you cannot completely guarantee your fish will never fall sick at all. This is why we are here to help.

    No information is overkill. Your first post asking for help and stating all the possible statistics is excellent. I certainly wish some people would follow your example and avoid us asking repetitive questions.

    Your tank is very nice! The V is right. Unfortunately, the stocks need trimming down. It's either giving them away to responsible hobbyists (not the ones who would put them in fishbowls or use them as feeders) or getting them their own tanks/ponds. One can never have too many tanks. This is your chance to get another tank if space and finance are not an issue.

    API Super Ich Cure will not work. Your case certainly does not involve ich. Neither will Melafix help at all. Follow what The V advised you. I'd combine Maracyn and Maracyn 2 to cover both the gram positive and gram negative bacteria that may be weakening your fish.

    Please keep us updated. Fingers crossed your fish will recover. They are beautiful fish and it would be a shame if their health deteriorates.

    By the way, I moved your thread here since you will get good responses here from fellow coldwater enthusiasts than in another forum.
    Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase!
    Storm clouds may gather,
    And stars may collide,
    But I will love you until the end of time!



  6. #6
    Senior Member geekboy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the confirmation. I have already placed on online order for just the Maracyn 2 -- so for better or worse I will not have coverage for both bacteria types. If this seems like too much of an oversight, perhaps I can get the order changed.



  7. #7
    Senior Member pezzy's Avatar
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    jungle lab antibiotic food helps my fishies alot
    30 Gallon Long// 1 Zebra Danio, 4teen platies, 4 bloodfin tetras, 5 bleeding heart tetras
    20 Gallon Long// 1 Oranda GOldfish
    10 Gallon // 1 betta




  8. #8
    Senior Member geekboy's Avatar
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    48 Hour Update

    I'm a bit bummed to say that antibiotic treatment alone doesn't seem to be putting these fishies on the mend.

    It has been about 48 hours since I began a 5-day round of both Maracyn and Maracyn 2. This is in addition to about two weeks so far on Goldfish Connection Medi-gold food, and I'd say that these are either stubborn bacteria, or else something else is causing the damage.

    Here are two pictures each of the two affected comets as they are this evening:





    Fish two, and the one that was pictured in my initial post:






    The fish in the first pair of pictures is getting especially lethargic and hangs around the bottom. Both are still feeding normally. Up until now, I've been medicating the whole group in my 75 Gallon tank, but I'm setting up my backup 25G as a hospital to, if nothing else, save on medication costs.

    I'll continue the antibiotics for at least the first round. I only have enough of them currently for another 3 or 4 days. Is there perhaps some kind of a parasite suggested by the blotchy appearance in the pictures above? Any further help appreciated.



  9. #9
    Senior Member LeahK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geekboy View Post
    Regarding my sick comets, I'm a bit skeptical that the bacterial infection alone is the source of the fin problems. While I'll agree the redness points to an infection, does this not seem inconsistent with the white "cysts" that appeared before? I worry that any antibiotic I use will only be treating the symptom and not the cause.
    Quote Originally Posted by geekboy View Post
    Is there perhaps some kind of a parasite suggested by the blotchy appearance in the pictures above? Any further help appreciated.
    Poor fishies! Those fins look painful, and I'm sure the constant water changes are tiring you out! Sorry you're having these problems, but it sounds like you're really trying your best to correct the situation.
    I wanted to say, regarding the question of whether this is bacterial, just know that many many bacterial infections cause white patches, weird blotches, and sometimes raised or fuzzy patches. This is can happen with fin rot, columnaris, and many other bacterial issues. There definitely do not have to be any parasites involved to cause the fin damage in the pics above. That looks like a clear-cut bacterial infection to me, so I think the antibacterial/antibiotic meds are the way to go.
    I have heard good things about Kanamycin for persistent bacterial infections. I myself have had good experiences with Jungle Labs Fungus Clear fizzing tablets. Even though the name says "fungus" the medications in the tabs are bactericidal. It cleared up fin rot for me, and it got rid of a mysterious white patch on one of my husband's platies.
    Although, of course, you've put quite a few meds in your tank recently, so I'd hesitate to advise switching around even more. Maybe it'd be best go for another round of the Maracyns, and see if they can't get a hold on that infection. I hope things start to improve!
    Tankless.



  10. #10
    Befriend a feeder! Flaringshutter's Avatar
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    geekboy, the others have you covered on the antibacterial medication. Excellent advice - Maracyn/Maracyn II will definitely help.

    I just want to add that septicemia and finrot are almost always triggered by poor water conditions. In this case I'm pretty sure this is a result of chronic high nitrates. If I were you, I would pause treatment right now and before you do anything else, undertake a thorough tank cleaning.

    Gravel vacuuming - DEEP vacuuming, algae scrubbing from tank & decor, intensive filter cleaning, as large of a water change as you can manage (at least 60%). Remove any hollow ornaments to eliminate any pockets of stagnant, toxic water. Reduce feedings or move to a food that will create less leftovers, like a freeze-dried or frozen cubed food. This will all help contribute to the immediate, drastic drop in nitrates that we're looking for.

    Once you've completed all that, continue with the antibacterial. But the antibacterial won't do anything unless you have extremely clean water and the fish can stop wasting immune system effort on fighting off nitrate poisoning.

    You might even think about moving the affected fish to another tank (a large rubbermaid tub makes an excellent hospital tank) so that you can treat them separately and control the water quality better.

    Best of luck with them!



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