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  1. #1
    Senior Member jaxmom293's Avatar
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    Goldfish dying 1 by 1

    Hi, I had 4 fancy goldfish, 1 pleco & 1 chinese algae eater (tiny thing) as of Monday in a 28 gallon bow tank. Yesterday 1 goldfish died and I noticed a white border all around it as well as on its body. The other 3 looked normal as did the pleco and the little guy. I treated the tank with Maracyn 2, which is all I had in the house. The first dose last night along with a partial water change. Water tested, all within normal range. Today another goldfish has the same look - white border and all over its body (see the pics, sorry about the quality, took with cell phone). He is still alive in the tank but swimming horribly, looking like he's on his way out. I went to check on him and found the pleco dead. WTH is going on in this tank? Should I continue treatment or do a 100% water change and clean/disinfect the entire contents of the tank? Also, can anyone identify what this is and how it got into the tank? No one new has been added to this tank, it's been established for a year and a half. Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member geekboy's Avatar
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    Yikes. Just a hunch, but do you test for PH? That reminds me eerily of some pictures I saw of the aftermath of a PH crash.

    If it's an infection, it's not one I've had the displeasure of fighting before. Hopefully somebody can chime in with quick advice for meds.



  3. #3
    Senior Member jaxmom293's Avatar
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    I can only assume that the Ph was tested. I had the water sample taken in to be analyzed because my daughter's boyfriend's friend works at an aquarium where they have a better water test kits than I do. This is very bizarre and heartbreaking.



  4. #4
    The glistening drop.... Rbishop's Avatar
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    Can you better define "water tested, all within normal range" for us?
    Bob

    Our baggage helped define who we are. How we carry it determines our direction in life.



  5. #5
    Senior Member mel_20_20's Avatar
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    Bob's right, this looks like a serious water quality issue. I would do an immediate 10% water change with carefully temp matched replacement water that has been conditioned with Prime, by Seachem. Add about a tablespoon of table salt to the replacement water and make sure it's completely dissolved.

    You really need Prime. Prime is awesome and will help detoxify any ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in the tank. More and bigger water changes may be OK to do immediately and over the next several days, depending on the answers to the questions at the bottom of this post.

    You may be having a sudden spike in your parameters. You really do need to have your own liquid test kit, API Master is excellent. This looks like ammonia to me, though I can't be positive from the pics. Ammonia and nitrite should be 0ppm, and nitrate at 20ppm or thereabouts. We really need to find out what the parameters are in the tank. Dont get test strips, they are unreliable and cost much more in the long run.

    You may have "old tank syndrome", which means, among other things, that the tank has excessively high levels of dissolved organic compounds, and high levels of nitrate that over time cause difficulties for the fish due to oxygen uptake issues. There may be some finrot going on as a result as well.

    If you do have "old tank syndrome", the water changes need to be no more than about 10% each time, but can be done every day.

    If your nitrate levels aren't extremely high, but ammonia and/or nitrite levels are high then huge daily water changes will be helpful.

    Your tank is overstocked, actually, but let's not talk about that at the moment. Your fish really need your immediate help.

    The volume of the water changes that will be safe to start with will depend on the information you give us regarding these questions:

    How often do you do water changes and what volume of water each time?
    Do you regularly vacuum the substrate each time?
    Have you recently done a very vigorous vacuum of the substrate, after having gone quite a while since the last one?
    How long have the fish been in this tank?
    How do you clean and maintain your filter?
    What kind of pleco did you have and appx how big was he?
    What temp is the tank?
    What kind of conditioner do you use to remove chlorine and chloramines?
    What kind of flitration, type and capacity?
    What is your feeding schedule and do you vacuum/remove leftover uneaten food?

    Again, not knowing the parameters of your tank and tap water I would do an immediate water change of about 10%, add about a tablespoon of salt to the replacement water and make sure it's completely dissolved. This can help if you're having a nitrite spike, especially.

    It is urgent that you get Prime and you can safely use the emergency dose, which is 5 times the normal dose. (instructions are on the bottle)

    I hope this helps. I do think your situation is urgent. There are goldie experts that may come along with more help, and Bob is one of our gurus here, so any advice he gives is right on the money, too.
    Last edited by mel_20_20; 08-18-2010 at 6:03 PM.
    100g: Tank build in progress. Indian Biotope - swiftwater hillstream.
    20g L: Chili Rasboras, Yellow shrimp, Nerites, MTS, Ramshorns, Planted.
    40g B: Rummy Nose Tetras, Cardinals, Otos, Green Babaulti, Amanos, Nerites, MTS
    10g: Blueberry shrimp, Amanos, Ramshorns, Pond snails, MTS, planted.
    10g: Plant quarantine tank
    10g: Hospital/QT (empty)



  6. #6
    Theodore P. Charles Fellow of AC Chrisk-K's Avatar
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    The tank was overstocked and probably the water quality wasn't good. I'd have 2 goldies in a 29g tank.
    2 x Eheim 2236, a 2217 & a 2213; 3 x AC50; Corydoras Leucomelas, Julii, Panda, Haraldschultzi, Schwartzi & Paleatus. Amano shrimps.

    "Life is too short not to use Eheim"



  7. #7
    Senior Member jaxmom293's Avatar
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    I didn't think 4 little goldfish, 1 little pleco (approx. 1.5") and 1 tiny algae eater (approx. 1/2") was overstocking a 28 gallon tank. I'm now down to 2 goldfish and 1 algae eater - is this still overstocked? The other fish seem to be fine but I will get some Prime as well and do water changes. I will invest in my own test kits and not rely on the aquarium testing - although I would think that would be more accurate. I'm talking about an actual aquarium, not the lfs. To answer a few questions, I do a partial water change about 20% every 2 weeks, vacuum the substrate every Sunday, change the filter carts when doing a water change, rinse the media in tank water on Sundays, the pleco is gone so that's no longer an issue, the tank temp is 72 degrees, the filter is a penguin that came with the tank, I feed once a day and because they are goldfish that eat everything there is never any food left over and the conditioner I use to remove is a 3 in 1, the actual name escapes me at the moment. Thank you for your help. I'll be fixing this tank today.



  8. #8
    Senior Member geekboy's Avatar
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    I wouldn't have thought your stocking was a problem either, though goldfish can amazing waste machines. It's good that you had a facility testing your water that you could trust -- though there is something to be said for having concrete numbers from tests you can identify and scrutinize. PH for example, might be "fine" any given day, but it could be a sudden deviation from the previous test that is significant. The Maracyn you used might break the bio-cycle, and cause sudden waste build-up. It's all about the trends.



  9. #9
    Senior Member mel_20_20's Avatar
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    Hi Jaxmom, I hope things are improving for you. I'm not a goldie expert but I've read a lot of threads that talk about how messy they are, moreso than a lot of fish. That's why it's recommended that they have plenty of room and over filtration. The following is an exerpt from a very good article written by one of our moderators, Lupin, who is very experienced with goldfish. It's almost an instruction manual regarding the keeping of goldfish.

    Here's the link:
    http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums...d.php?t=205381


    Nowadays, a lot of hobbyists have access to larger house and lots and modern technology thus improving the life support systems further. They are able to accommodate large aquarium systems which benefit the goldfish greatly. Aquarium size is a very important factor that must be carefully planned as it greatly influences the potential of the fish to reach its adult size. Aside from that, this helps the fish utilize their excess carbohydrates that they accumulate from consuming foods containing excess carbohydrates. If you have heard the saying, “the solution to pollution is dilution”, the saying is indeed very true.

    Goldfish are no stranger to severely deteriorating water conditions however like all other fish, they become prone to several health issues as a result of the poor water conditions. Unfortunately for the fish, they produce a heavy amount of urea and feces especially when their metabolic rate is increased due to the elevated temperature. As a result, the water quality deteriorates rather rapidly especially when the tank is rather less than ideal in size.

    Considering goldfish themselves do not stay small (which is why fishbowls are impractical nowadays) at 8 to 24 inches range, a general guideline for fancy types should be at least fifteen gallons per fish whereas pond types need at least twenty gallons per fish. Previous debates have been offered that the fancy types need a minimum of at least ten gallons per fish. While this point of argument does prove itself feasible, giving more allowance for space would be a much better option for the goldfish.

    The above paragraph does not mean you can freely utilize the spare fifteen and twenty gallon tanks for goldfish. Those tanks are still very limited and you cannot keep goldfish in isolation as these are sociable by nature and unlikely to thrive for a long time if deprived of their company. With the number of goldfish suggested at three as the possible minimum, a 55g would be a best starting point for fancy goldfish whereas 75g would be the minimum for at least two to three pond types.


    I think I would increase the frequency and volume of water changes and this would help a lot with water quality. I think I'd do two water changes a week, maybe as much as 35%. I dunno that may be a lot, more than necessary, but if it is I hope one of the goldie experts will check in with you on that. I've read many many threads by the goldie gurus that talk of over filtration and very frequent and big water changes.

    Please don't be hard on yourself about this. When they are small like that it's very common for the fishkeeper to not know that they need a lot of room to handle the bioload.

    I think once you have your liquid test kit, I'd do testing every day for a while until things settle down. I think very frequent water changes, keeping their water pristine, is really going to help them. From what I've read here on AC, goldfish are tough little guys and have remarkable recuperative powers when kept in pristine water.

    Please keep us posted on how things are going. I'm so terribly sorry for your losses, I know it hurts. Please keep your chin up.
    100g: Tank build in progress. Indian Biotope - swiftwater hillstream.
    20g L: Chili Rasboras, Yellow shrimp, Nerites, MTS, Ramshorns, Planted.
    40g B: Rummy Nose Tetras, Cardinals, Otos, Green Babaulti, Amanos, Nerites, MTS
    10g: Blueberry shrimp, Amanos, Ramshorns, Pond snails, MTS, planted.
    10g: Plant quarantine tank
    10g: Hospital/QT (empty)



  10. #10
    The glistening drop.... Rbishop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxmom293 View Post
    ....I didn't think 4 little goldfish, 1 little pleco (approx. 1.5") and 1 tiny algae eater (approx. 1/2") was overstocking a 28 gallon tank.... I do a partial water change about 20% every 2 weeks, vacuum the substrate every Sunday, change the filter carts when doing a water change, rinse the media in tank water on Sundays....

    I wouldn't think you were originally overstocked, but as the fancies grow, especially with four you would be looking at a 55-75 tank shortly..even if down to 2, I would look for a 55 at a minimum..you know you want more.

    With even just two small fancy goldies in a 28 gallon tank, I would be doing at least a 50% WC weekly.

    Unless those filter cartridges are falling apart, there shouldn't be a need to replace them at all.
    Bob

    Our baggage helped define who we are. How we carry it determines our direction in life.



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