Jesus H. Christ...the "Cyst" Like Bumps Have Returned...

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Kaskade10729

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I was wondering if anyone here can assist me with what seems to be an ongoing problem with just about every tank I set up and keep goldfish in...currently, I'm running a 60 gallon Marineland with adequate filtration (two large HOBs, an Aqueon QuietFlow 55 and AquaClear 110), I'm doing religious water maintenance (50% change every week plus a midweek 15-gallon exchange for extra cleanliness), keeping up on maintaning the filter media (rinsing them from time to time in removed tank water so not to strip the BB) and overall just keeping them healthy as best I could. The water always tests good via the API kit and it always looks crystal clear and smells "right" (the infamous pond-like scent). The ONLY aspect I don't keep on top of is regular gravel vacuuming due to the fact that this tank is so darn deep and tall and it makes it almost impossible to get to the bottom of...

That being said -- and my problem is more than likely something "growing" in the substrate because of my lack of vacuuming there, PLUS I'm beginning to see diatoms on my plants which usually indicates phosphates that cause them -- one of my three fancies, a common orange fantail, has developed what many other goldfish I have kept always seem to, which is a "bulge" from beneath the scales but which isn't protruding (yet) and which looks like an internal cyst. I have had a few fancies die on me from this "ruptured cyst" over the past few years and now it seems like it's happening yet AGAIN. The thing is, I don't understand where any of this is coming from -- the water parameters are right, the water is clear and smells good, the filtration is adequate...why do the fish KEEP getting these cysts over time?

I really don't want to treat with chemicals or medications as I have always felt fresh water is much better than dropping chemicals into the tank; I didn't have much luck treating with Maracyn during one of the last infections that wiped out my previous 60 gallon. I do want to nip this before I lose my beloved fantail though, so first I'm wondering what the CAUSE is and what the FIRST STEP should be for treatment -- should I be looking towards salting the tank? I do have API aquarium salt on hand, but I don't know how to dose it...it doesn't get dosed right INTO the water, does it? It needs to be "mixed" and dissolved into water before it goes in, yes? Can anyone walk me through this process?

Now, with regard to the CAUSE -- could the lack of maintenance to the substrate keep causing these cyst outbreaks? Is it like a bacterial infection they're getting from whatever is rotting in the gravel? Should I do an immediate deep gravel vac...and if so, should this at least relieve my goldfish a bit? If it isn't the substrate, what else could this come from? I feed them a mixture of Omega One goldfish flakes, New Life Spectrum pellets and peas (from time to time when there seems to be swim bloat issues)...could this be coming from the DIET? What about my filters -- could a bacterial infection be living in the media or exhausted carbon cartridges of my Aqueon HOB? I know some of these may sound VERY far fetched to many of the pros here, but I'm throwing everything out that I could think of...

If ANYONE could lend ANY insight or immediate help, it would be greatly appreciated -- and please let me know if you need any further information about the tank, conditions, etc. :help:
 

ktrom13

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My guess would be the lack of gravel vacs. Goldfish may forage during the day between feeding and maybe something in your gravel is making your fish get those cysts.if reaching the gravel is a problem you may be able to make a DIY gravel vac with a PVC pipe, PVC fittings, and a hose. I cant say im right but its worth a shot to create your own gravel vac so you can clean the bottom.

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Kaskade10729

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My guess would be the lack of gravel vacs. Goldfish may forage during the day between feeding and maybe something in your gravel is making your fish get those cysts.if reaching the gravel is a problem you may be able to make a DIY gravel vac with a PVC pipe, PVC fittings, and a hose. I cant say im right but its worth a shot to create your own gravel vac so you can clean the bottom.

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Thank you very much trom; indeed, it's what I have been suspecting...how true is the "phenomenon" known as aerobic pockets in gravel? I mean, does this really happen with decaying food/waste?

I am attempting, along with the help of my wife, to do a gravel vac and 50% water change right now, cleaning down the filters, crust on the aquarium surrounds, light fixtures, etc...I hope this helps...
 

Kaskade10729

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If anyone else could lend an insight or add to 'trom's analysis, it would be greatly appreciated; also, I'd like to get some feedback on dosing the water with salt...
 

Kaskade10729

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UPDATE: We did a pretty deep and thorough gravel cleaning last night and changed 50% of the water, and I wiped off all excess sludge and stuff from the filter outputs, etc.; the goldfish affected is still doing okay, eating and swimming, but the cyst like bump almost looks as though it's ready to burst...no other symtoms as of yet...

Do I need to do ANOTHER deep gravel vac now?
 

ktrom13

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Thank you very much trom; indeed, it's what I have been suspecting...how true is the "phenomenon" known as aerobic pockets in gravel? I mean, does this really happen with decaying food/waste?

I am attempting, along with the help of my wife, to do a gravel vac and 50% water change right now, cleaning down the filters, crust on the aquarium surrounds, light fixtures, etc...I hope this helps...
I dont know much about aerobic pockets in substrate so i can really help. I do know that a build up of waste and the likes can be problematic for fish. Mostly grazers and bottom bottom feeders as they might accidentally eat it or cause illness( an example would be a cory catfish. With excess waste their barbels can deteriorate and then the cory can get a bacterial illness). A build up of waste can also cause water quality issues. Hopefully other can chime in and fill in the things i cant really help with such as the cyst and aerobic pockets.

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Kaskade10729

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Thank you.
 

wesleydnunder

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Kaskade, I think you're referring to anaerobic pockets forming in the substrate. This happens when oxygen doesn't penetrate through the substrate and bacteria grow which rely on the lack of oxygen. These bacteria can produce H2S and other issues. Regular deep gravel vacs can help to mitigate this condition somewhat. Reducing the substrate depth can eliminate the issue altogether. I'd suggest less than an inch of substrate depth. Your goldfish's cyst problem may not be bacterial. It could be parisites.

Mark
 

ktrom13

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Kaskade, I think you're referring to anaerobic pockets forming in the substrate. This happens when oxygen doesn't penetrate through the substrate and bacteria grow which rely on the lack of oxygen. These bacteria can produce H2S and other issues. Regular deep gravel vacs can help to mitigate this condition somewhat. Reducing the substrate depth can eliminate the issue altogether. I'd suggest less than an inch of substrate depth. Your goldfish's cyst problem may not be bacterial. It could be parisites.

Mark
I know im not the OP but thanks for the added input. I was hoping someone else would chime in. I completely forgot about the possibility of this being parasitic. OP, it may be beneficial to find the diesease and illness part of this forum as well as researching illnesses that have the symptoms that your fish are experienceing.

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Kaskade10729

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Jun 16, 2013
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Kaskade, I think you're referring to anaerobic pockets forming in the substrate. This happens when oxygen doesn't penetrate through the substrate and bacteria grow which rely on the lack of oxygen. These bacteria can produce H2S and other issues. Regular deep gravel vacs can help to mitigate this condition somewhat. Reducing the substrate depth can eliminate the issue altogether. I'd suggest less than an inch of substrate depth. Your goldfish's cyst problem may not be bacterial. It could be parisites.

Mark
Hello Mark and thanks so much for your added assistance...

If the situation isn't bacterial and it is parasitical, how do I know the difference...and why do all the fish end up getting this symptom of the growths beneath the scales?

The factors, as I see it, are infinite and can range from anything having to do with something in my tap water supply, the exhausted carbon in my Aqueon filter media or the source I'm buying my fish from to something in their diet, the filters themselves housing some kind of parasites, something coming up the air lines to the bubble wands (as crazy as that sounds), the decorations giving off some kind of toxins (even though they are aquarium safe) or maybe something in the Prime I treat the water with....I just don't know anymore...
 
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