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Old 06-27-2012, 10:08 AM   #16
FancyGrayFishJo
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Thank you so much everyone! I added the Tetra safe start and am doing another water change...I'll let you all know how it goes!
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:12 PM   #17
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I was also wondering how everyone feels about tetra fungus guard tablets? I was using melafix but the fish look way worse off! I have A.P.I's tetracycline at the apartment as well. Which medication should I use for the cloudy eyes and fin rot?
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:31 PM   #18
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Be careful with combining meds.

What I would do is try a course of tetracycline, but dose it after major water changes.

Really, the problems here are all caused by water conditions. Can't stress enough that you need to keep the major water changes coming. Keep that water as pristine as possible, and cut feedings for a time.

If your cloudy eye is being caused by gram negative infection (which is usually the case if its bacterial) use Tetracycline as it is more effective against gram-negative infections than maracyn for example.

These treatments really are of limited utility with disease though. Much better at keeping external things like fin rot or injuries out of the danger zone.

Just make sure your fish have the best water quality you can give them and let their own immune systems do the heavy lifting.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:14 PM   #19
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Not much to add, but just wanted to say that until you get a bigger tank and/or fix your cycle issue you could temporarily separate them. A (clean) plastic storage bin for each one could be kept cleaner with water changes then an overcrowded tank, especially if you're fasting them now.
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:33 AM   #20
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A few more ideas:

1) Goldfish handle salt (NaCl, like table salt) really well. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per 20 gallons to reduce the amount of nitrite that crosses the gills.

2) Fish that cannot keep their balance may be suffering from a problem that happens when the new water has less minerals than the old water. You can add salt (NaCl, up to 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons) or Epsom salt (1 teaspoon per 5 gallons) or a combination to help. Do not use reverse osmosis or distilled water. Add either or both of these slowly. Dissolve them in water and pour the water into the tank a little at a time over several hours.

3) Do not use medicines that kill bacteria when you want the new bacteria to grow. I suspect that the symptoms you are seeing are due to ammonia, it burns tender tissue such as in the fins, not disease organisms. Keep up the water changes, and give the Tetra Safe Start a chance to get growing before trying medicines. The problems might clear up by themselves once the water issue is taken care of.

4) Feed lightly. Goldfish like vegetables, and there is less nitrogen (protein) in plant based foods. Perhaps half a pea per fish every other day, or every third day, and a 1" x 1" leaf of lettuce left in there for a few hours on the other day(s). Remove any food (like vegetables) that are not eaten in a few hours.

5) Tetra Safe Start has the right bacteria. Nitrospiros. I have seen some good reports of the Fritz product, but not the ingredients. I have not seen good reports of most of the other cycle-in-a-bottle products. I have seen the ingredient lists. Of course they do not remove ammonia or nitrite. Wrong species of bacteria. The right ones were identified roughly 10 years ago. Look for Nitrospiros in the ingredients. Dr. Tim's One and Only is another product with the right bacteria. Microbe Lift's Nite Out II is another. Give any of these a chance to get attached to the filter media. Do a big water change before adding them to get the ammonia as low as possible, then do not do water changes for a few days.

6) A larger container is a good idea, or separating the fish into several containers. Even running the small filter on a larger container (plastic storage bins are available that hold 15 gallons on up to at least 60 gallons) would be better than a 10 gallon tank. More water will dilute the waste better. Be careful with the larger storage bins, though. They are not meant to hold water, and will sag. Perhaps to the point that the water overflows. Prop them up with bricks or other sturdy things. A child's wading pool would be great, if you have room for it!

Hang in there, things will improve!
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:14 PM   #21
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well, I did a 50% water change yesterday morning. I added tetra start and salt and then did the same thing later in the afternoon, which combined, ended up being about a 75% change overall yesterday. Later, I added a tetra fungus guard tablet and a ph balancing tablet (the water was acidic.) I had to take the carbon filter out bc of the medicine... Which takes 4 days... So, I'm nervous about that...What do you guys think? I've been testing the water 2x daily. This morning ammonia was .25, Nitrites were .25 too and the Nitrates were about 20ppm. All other levels were ideal except for the acidity which was 6.2.

I wish had read all of these new posts yesterday! They are wonderful advice!
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:34 PM   #22
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I think you're messing with it too much, causing fluctuating water conditions which is harmful to fish. Most fish can adapt to a wide range of pH ranges so changing the pH is usually a bad idea. What fish cannot handle is constant pH fluctuations. Therefore, I would not mess with any pH "balancing" tablet. If you truly must adjust the pH, there are much better ways of doing it.

I'd also not be putting in the fungus guard tablets. You're trying to give the fish clean water while also building up the bacteria, and yet, you're dosing the tank with a product that kills bacteria. That won't work. Further, I have never been fond of Tetra medicines so if you absolutely must medicate your fish, it's best to find the most effective medicine available, preferably one that won't negatively affect your bacteria.

My advice is to stop messing with the pH and meds. Give the fish clean water. Work on building up the bacteria so the tank is cycled so the fish have clean water.

If the fish are showing clear signs of illness, then please post the symptoms (pics are most helpful) and let's try to find a medicine that won't negatively affect your efforts of providing the fish with healthy water.
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:51 PM   #23
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Complexity,you think that I should stop the medicine, do a water change, put the tetra safe start and hope they get better? Since they have cloudy eyes, ammonia burns fin rot, I was going to consider this tank as their quarantine tank till their 55g cycles...
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Old 06-28-2012, 06:27 PM   #24
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What I think is there is a better medicine to use than what you're currently using. I'm talking about finding a medicine that helps the fish without exasperating the problems with the cycling.

As far as ammonia burns, use Prime to bind the ammonia.

Can you post a pic of the fish so we can see their condition? What about a video?

Are all the fish exhibiting the same symptoms equally or are any worse off than the others? Are there any other symptoms (other than cloudy eyes and fin rot)? How's their behavior? How are they eating? How's their poo? How far down have their fins rotted? Which fins are affected (all the fins, some of the fins, are some worse than others)? Are their eyes just cloudy or are they protruding any (popeye)? Any shimmering or flashing? Any clamped fins? How are they swimming? Are they active, hanging in one spot, hiding, on the floor or at the surface? Any gasping?

Let's see if we can get a good idea of what's going on with the fish so it can be determined if the fish require medicine, and if so, which medicine would be most effective without negatively affecting your efforts to cycle the tank.

Meanwhile, don't mess with the fish. They need stability at the moment. Hopefully, it won't take long to figure out if you need to make any changes, and if so, what those changes might be. That way the fish won't go through two or three different changes in one day.
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:54 PM   #25
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^Have to agree with Complexity.

Also, yes, pH isn't worth trying to mess with. Its not a problem for your water to be acidic. Yes, goldfish prefer it a little bit alkaline...but they adjust very easily. The problem isn't the pH being at 6.5 as opposed to 7.2 or whatever, its the swinging around back and forth.

Sitting in pH 6.2 water is not at all problematic. Being "acidic" doesn't mean there is acid in the common sense doing damage to the fish, like acid burning or dissolving something in a movie. It just means there is more or less ionic hydrogen floating about (H+). You would need a lot lower pH than that to really have anything to worry about.

Goldfish are tough as nails. Keep the ammonia and nitrite down, and you've done most of what you can do.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:12 PM   #26
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Surprised no one mentioned anything about the feeder tablets, but those things are not worth the trouble. Most fish, gold fish included, can easily go a week without food.

If I'm going to be gone for longer than that I will arrange for someone I trust to feed every other day. I have even used those daily medicine organizers and placed each tanks allotment of food for each day in the slots. That way the only thing the caretaker must do is flip the day open and dump it in.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:21 AM   #27
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Nitrifying bacteria will not grow well in water that is too acidic.

I would add enough baking soda to raise the pH into the 7s. Actually baking soda is adding carbonate, which is often very low when the pH is so low. Nitrifying bacteria use the carbonates as a source of carbon.

And yes, do not medicate the tank when you are wanting the bacteria to grow.

Recap:

Do enough water changes to keep the ammonia under .25 ppm and the nitrite under 1 ppm.
Set up the water for a water change ahead of time. Add enough baking soda to keep the KH well above 3 German degrees of hardness, or the pH in the 7s. Add the right dose of dechlor. Add NaCl. Stir well so it is all dissolved. Make sure it is the same temperature as the tank.

Add salt (NaCl) to the water at the ratio of 1 teaspoon salt per 20 gallons of water. More is not harmful to the fish, golds tolerate salt quite well. However, 1 teaspoon per 20 gallons is plenty to protect the fish from nitrite poisoning.

Add activated carbon to remove a lot of toxins. Keep replacing it weekly (it gets filled up pretty fast when there are problems going on).

Add zeolite to remove ammonia. As the problem gets better under control (the bacteria recover) use less and less zeolite so the bacteria get more food.

Feed the fish a lot less, and feed them more low protein, plant based foods. Skipping a day of food is no problem at all.

Do not add medication to the water. I think the problems are more because of the toxic conditions, rather than a disease, but even so, the constant water changes will help heal the fish even without medicines.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:44 AM   #28
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Diana, thank you! That's exactly what I'll do! They are starting to swim around now a bit more. I've been doing daily water changes and things are finally looking up :-) Hopefully, it continues on this path. Thank you all!
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:04 AM   #29
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Good to hear they're starting to do better. I hope they make a full recovery. You obviously care a lot for them.
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