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Where once was gold(or silver) now is black

22 replies

Ryoko · 07/04/2011 16:20

My goldfish some kind of fantail ryukin cross breed who is over 2 years old, and has had swim bladder trouble her whole life (don't give her dried food she will be bobbing about like a cork).

Started going black last week, it started at the fins I thought it was blood streaks and did an emergency water change and all that. but it is black not blood and it's spread to her body now, black speckles of various sizes, along her back on the sides and mostly on the fins and belly. now I know they go silver as they get older but is it normal for them go specked black/gold and silver?.

I googled it and found nothing, she's looking like a Shebunkin now.

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EauRouge · 07/04/2011 18:16

Have you checked the ammonia level? Ammonia can cause burns which look like black marks. Ammonia spikes can happen if your filter bacteria take a knock, have you had a power cut or accidentally switched your filter off, or used tap water to clean your filter sponges?

Ryoko · 08/04/2011 18:55

I'll check I did have to clean it with tap water last time because part of a bunch of flowers fell into the small tank, I keep the filter in while cleaning.

what do I do if it's high? I've alreadt changed half the water how do I get the filter back to normal.

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EauRouge · 08/04/2011 19:37

If it's high then keep doing water changes to get the level down. You can change around 50-75% a day in emergencies, just check the pH and temp of the water is the same before you add the new water (and don't forget to dechlorinate!).

The filter will cycle again with the fish in there but you need to keep an eye on the ammonia and nitrIte levels, I'd be testing every day for a couple of weeks until the nitrIte level starts to drop. If you see the fish gasping at the surface or if the inside of their gills looks brown instead of red then increase the oxygenation by turning up the filter flow or adding an airstone to the tank. HTH :)

Ryoko · 10/04/2011 19:25

I've been using a AquaSafe, as there was a few drops left of the water conditioner and bio cycle stuff that I was using before, I've dumped it all in a bowl and stuck the filter in it, it's been sitting in there filtering away for about a day and half I'm hoping that will sort it out if it's not working properly as that stuff is for a new tank set up.

I've got just over half a tanks worth of water out getting to temperature for the fish.

Hopefully I should be able to get to the pets at home or Syon park fish shops to get some water test kits later this week, but thats all I can think of to do, I thought the filter would be alright as the AquaSafe says it has bio agents in it.

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EauRouge · 10/04/2011 20:24

Sorry, I don't follow you- have you taken the filter out of the main tank? What bio cycle stuff have you used?

Ryoko · 12/04/2011 13:49

Yes took it out and put it in a tank with the cycle and water conditioner to try and get the bio stuff growing in it good as I didn't have enough for the main tank.

this stuff the cycle and the conditioner.

I have been using AquaSafe in the the main tank as it's what they sell at the nearest pet shop, I have to go to the Brentford miles away to get the other ones.

I've put the filter back in now, I don't want to upset the fish but I really want to get the gravel and plastic plants cleaned for piece of mind, is that a good idea or leave it until the tank is sorted out?.

I'll be able to go out tommorow, DF is off and can look after DS so I can get the tube and bus to the proper fish shop to get a test kit and amonia lock or something I don't know I'm just going to read loads of bottles.

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Ryoko · 12/04/2011 13:53
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EauRouge · 12/04/2011 14:05

Right, the cycle stuff won't have done anything because the type of nitrifying bacteria you get in filters is aerobic so it can't survive in a bottle so don't worry about using it.

Whatever you do, don't take the filter out of the main tank again. Your fish need a filter in there constantly otherwise they will be swimming about in ammonia soup. Just stick with the water changes until the bacteria level rises.

You can get a product called ammolock that will convert the free ammonia into ammonium (sorry for all the chemistry stuff) which is much less harmful but can still be used by the filter bacteria. This will mess up your ammonia test results though so don't panic if it says the level is sky high. It will also do nothing to help with the high nitrIte level that comes after a high ammonia level so you'll still need to monitor that.

Yes, you can still clean the gravel, any poop that you remove will help to keep the ammonia level low.

Ryoko · 12/04/2011 15:01

OK I've taken water out again stuck it in a washing up bowl and cleaned the plastic plants in it, I'm taking a break for the min to let the tank settle as poo got disturbed and then I will clean the gravel, got a load of clean water with AquaSafe in it to put in it after.

I have been looking at PetsAtHomes website to see the sort of thing I might get along with the water tester, do you think this is any good?

Do you think this is worth getting as well?, would adding this along with the AquaSafe in the weekly change would help itt not happen again or is it pointless?.

I think my tank may be very high maintenance due to what I feed her, (no dried foods).

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EauRouge · 12/04/2011 15:09

No, the only thing you need in a healthy, properly-stocked tank is dechlorinater. Everything else is just snake oil Grin Any kind of good bacteria product is unnecessary because if you clean your filter properly then the bacteria will survive.

Ammolock will help you out in this case but you won't need it every time. Stress zyme is not necessary, never used it on any of my tanks. The aquasafe stuff you've got is fine.

Easy balance is good for if you're going on holiday so can't manage a water change but it's no substitute for a proper cleaning schedule. It would be total madness to only change the water every 6 months, I can't believe their blurb says that Shock

No dried foods is good, you have a lucky fish! If there's lots of veg then that's good but high protein stuff like brine shrimp and bloodworm will bump up the ammonia level pretty quickly.

EauRouge · 12/04/2011 15:12

BTW, this is the best test kit they sell at P@H but you can get it for about half the price on ebay. Don't bother with the strip tests, they are rubbish and work out more expensive in the long run because you don't get as many tests.

Ryoko · 12/04/2011 16:17

Thank you.

I wish she was a lucky fish, as I said bladder problems from the get go, she spends most of her time upside down, feed her dried food and she bobs about at the top like a cork, otherwise she swims around upside down and has done so for two years, I knew she had trouble from the moment she was given to me (I didn't buy her I got her off my dad), it's a strange thing to see an upside fish pecking about at the bottom of the tank and swimming around but I've gotten used to it and she clearly has too.

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Ryoko · 13/04/2011 17:08

The Nitrates 2 and 3 are within the safe zone, ammonia is somewhere between 0.00 and 0.25.

The fish looks like it's dying she's just sitting around on the plants Confused

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EauRouge · 13/04/2011 17:11

It might be that she's picked up an infection, poor water quality can give their immune system quite a knock. Has she got any red streaks in her fins?

Ryoko · 13/04/2011 17:17

Nope, no red or pink anywhere no white no nothing just black patches which are clearly nothing more then black colouring to the scales because they shimmer the same as the gold scales.

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EauRouge · 14/04/2011 10:03

I think the black patches are likely to be ammonia burns but keep an eye on the levels just in case. If your fish doesn't perk up once the water quality has returned to normal then I would try treating with some antibiotics which you can get from a vet or illegally off ebay. Metronidazole (sometimes called Fishzole in the aquatic industry) is the one most often used for fish.

Ryoko · 19/04/2011 21:53

The day after my last post she died, I did actually not have her in the tank, I took her out when I took the filter out and put her in another tank with disease safe.

Shes in a plant pot now and I'm considering what to put in the tank, I was thinking minnows but I'm thinking of leaf insects now.

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EauRouge · 20/04/2011 08:53

Sorry to hear about your goldfish :(

I love leaf insects! I had this big plan worked out to set up a tank in DD1's room but she saw them at the zoo and was terrified of them Hmm

How big is the tank? If you do decide to keep fish then it would be better to strip it down and give it all a good clean so that nothing is passed on to your new fish. You'd need to replace the filter sponges and re-cycle the tank so it'd take a few weeks.

Ryoko · 20/04/2011 23:28

Well I'm going to clean everything with hot water anyway regardless of what goes in it, it's 21 litres. (then I'm going to borrow my mums big book of freshwater fish to see about other fish)

it's tall rather then long (which is a problem), I wanted Neon Tetras before when I got the tank in the first place) but DF doesn't want anything tropical for some reason.

I might rescue some locusts, they make lovely sounds, no idea how long they live or what they eat tho.

Pet Shop in Chiswick used to have the poor sods in little plastic boxes awaiting their doom.

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EauRouge · 21/04/2011 16:15

21 litres! Crikey, no wonder you were having problems. Unfortunately it's way too small for fish, including minnows. 21 litres isn't big enough to keep the water parameters steady, 60 litres is a better size.

The tank should be perfect for inverts though, stick insects especially as they need height rather than length in a tank. I love the sound locusts make too, DH doesn't like them though :(

Ryoko · 21/04/2011 23:15

They only live a couple of weeks, I'm torn between the constant having to get rid of dead bodies and the prospect of a few weeks in my tank being better then ending up inside a snake (it would cost a lot of money to restock my tank but lets face it being born to be eaten is horrible), she was a small fish, I don't get all this tank size stuff my mum has had comet tail goldfish in ten litre ones for 15+ years, isn't it all to do with how often you can be arsed to clean them out?.

anyway stick insects are boring, looking at cockroaches, it's amazed me that most of them insects people keep don't even live a year, cockroaches live 2-5 and eat fruit, don't ever look up pictures of Antlions why people want yo keep them I don't know, they look like the thing Khan put in peoples ears in Star Trek 3.

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EauRouge · 22/04/2011 09:19

PMSL, they do don't they Grin

Most insects will breed so you will have some the whole time even when the original ones die.

Your mum's comet was the exception rather than the standard, kind of like when people say their granddad smoked 20 fags a day and lived to be 90. Goldfish aren't as tough as they used to be either, the gene pool has got pretty shallow and fish farms are churning out quantity rather than quality so they are pretty crap delicate now.

Cockroaches are brilliant, they make good pets. Yet another thing that my DH hates though!

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