Need Some Help? Please read this.

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Registered Member
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Sep 21, 2006
Lupin Information Super Highway/Goldfish Informati
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Need Some Help? Please Read This...

Welcome to our General Cold & Temperate Water forum. If your fish are sick and you need some advice, please provide the following information. This will help us better understand your situation so we may respond to you faster, with more appropriate advice, and in greater detail.

First, create a new thread with your questions, describe what you've observed, and include the details requested below (if you know them). This will begin a separate dialogue between you and other members that is focused on your concerns about your fish. Continue to monitor that thread for updates and keep us posted of changes until the matter is resolved.

Important Information to Include (You're welcome to cut/paste these questions into your first post.)

1. Describe the problem (behavior, physical symptoms, observations, duration, severity).

2. Describe your fish (what kind, how many, what size, how old, how long you've had them).

3. Tank setup (how long, cycled/uncycled, tank size, filtration, lighting, aeration, substrate, plants/decor).

4. Water conditions (water source, conditioners used, temperature).

5. Water parameters (method of testing with results for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH, KH, GH).

6. Care and maintenance (frequency of water changes, feeding, gravel cleaning, quarantine).

7. Environment (treatments attempted with results, medications used, fellow tankmates).

8. Other details relating to the problem (anything else you feel is relevant).

If you have or can obtain photographs to show us how the affected fish appear, please include them.

Common Causes of Unusual Behaviors
This will cover common ailments only. The more complicated health conditions can be found here.

1. Fish is scratching more than usual.
-This could be ich, bacterial infection of the skin, gill flukes, skin flukes and external parasites such as fish lice (Argulus sp.). Refer to this.
-Injuries. Keep water clean to allow injuries to heal.
-Silt irritation. Use filter floss to flush out the fine particles responsible for irritation.
-Fiber glass attached to plant roots. Fiber glass can cause irritations even to human skin. Remove the material.

2. Unusually tattered fins or fins with punch holes.
-Deteriorating water conditions. Check your water parameters and correct wherever necessary.
-Aggression. Correct the aggression issues and consider isolating the aggressor if things do not improve.
-Sharp decorations. Replace the decorations with sharp edges.
-Exposed filter outlet of the powerhead.

3. Faded or unusually dark body color.
-Deteriorating water conditions associated with ammonia and nitrite intoxication. Refer to #2.
-Improper acclimation procedure. Compare your water parameters with your source and correct it.
-Stressful activities. This will include high traffic areas where people keep passing by, bright lighting, boisterous activities of tankmates and unnecessary disturbances around the tank.

4. Unusual patches on the body.
-Fungal infection (saprolegnia). This is very rare. For further information, check here.
-Bacterial infection. An infection more common than most people anticipate and often mistaken for fungal infection. For further information, check here.
-Skin infection. This will comprise of trichodina, costia, tetrahymena, etc.
-Infected wounds or injuries. Use mercurochrome as a topical treatment here.
-Fish tuberculosis.

5. Graze marks.
-Sharp decorations. Refer to #2.
-Aggression issues. Refer to #2.

6. Cysts, craters or spots.
-White spot or ich, oodinium, bacterial infection. Go here.
-Lymphocystis or viral disease.
-Tumor (whether benign or cancerous). Euthanasia is the last option if the fish has a rather slim chance of recovery otherwise the tumor can be removed surgically.
-Vitamin deficiency for craters or hole in the head/lateral line erosion.
-Internal parasites for craters.

7. Unusual bloating.
-Dietary issues. Post your food menu and guaranteed analysis (ie. crude fiber and crude protein percentage).
-Deteriorating water conditions. Refer to #2.
-Internal parasites. Refer to this.
-Improper acclimation procedure. Refer to #3.

8. Protruding eyes and scales.
-Deteriorating water conditions. Refer to #2.
-Internal parasites. Refer to #7.
-Injuries. Refer to #1.
-Fluid buildup in conjunction to dropsy.

9. Gasping and listless movements.
-Deteriorating water conditions. See #1.
-Oxygen deficiency. Raise surface agitation using airpumps or increase the power of the powerheads and filters to create surface turbulence.
-Fish tuberculosis.
-Lack of tolerance for high temperature.
-Improper acclimation procedure. See #3.

10. Red veins.
-Hemorrhagic septicemia.
-Deteriorating water conditions. See #2.

11. Refusal to eat.
-Internal parasites. See #7.
-Deteriorating water conditions. See #2.
-Inappropriate treatments. Stop using treatments for a few days and repeat with a new brand (making sure diagnosis is correct).
-Improper acclimation procedure. See #3.
-Stressful activities. See #3
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