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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! First time posting and I have quite an urgent health issue!!!

I have two comets that I bought about a month ago. One (pure orange) has always been completely healthy. The other (orange and white) had a few days of clamped fins and mouth spasms/head jerk for a few days when I first got it. That cleared up without me having to do anything, and both have been healthy for about 3 weeks. They always have a great appetite and were very active around the tank. They are currently in a 6 gal tank as they are tiny at the moment, but will be moved to a larger tank in a few months when they are a lil bigger.

Yesterday both fish suddenly got sick. The orange and white one showed symptoms first:

*Swimming erratically around the tank
*Strong head jerk combined with mouth spasm: opening and closing mouth rapidly and erratically, shimmying
*Occasional yawning: only saw this a couple of times
*Rests at the surface listlessly, opening and closing mouth
*Fins clamped

The pure orange one was healthy at this point, but within a few hours was also darting erratically around the tank and jerking occasionally (previously that morning he had seemed a bit off, but I didn't think anything of it). Neither fish was rubbing against anything that I could see, and neither had any visible spots of streaks. Both still had a healthy appetite and regardless of their strange behaviour, still would swim excitedly up to greet me at feeding time! There are also six small snaills in the tank that have not shown any sign of illness.

The night before this, I had just done a 20% water change. I re-tested the water when the fish showed these symptoms: pH - 8.0; ammonia - 0.25ppm (can't seem to get it below this point, even though tank has been cycling since February); Nitrate - 10ppm; Nitrite - 0ppm. Temperature is warm, about 81 F, since we've been having a warm spell. I also have a filter that churns up the surface of the tank and adds bubbles, so I wouldn't think that there is a severe lack of oxygen.

I decided to do a large water change since about an hour before the fish got sick my boyfriend inadvertently sprayed some windex beside the tank while cleaning a mirror. I thought that perhaps the windex had contaminated the tank and poisoned the fish, so I changed about 80% of the water. I also took out an ornament that had been losing paint, since I was afraid of lead poisoning. Unfortunately this didn't help, even after about 6 hours.

I did some research and the symptoms seemed to point toward flukes or some parasitic infection. I added the recommended dose of Tetra Parasite Guard (similar to PraziPro; main active ingredient: Praziquantel), as I have heard that there would be no ill effect on the fish and thought it would be worth a try.

This morning, both fish are so much worse and I am afraid of losing them :(. 10 hours after adding the medication, the fish are showing the following symptoms:

*Very listless: when I woke up both were resting on the very bottom in separate corners and looking ill
*Fins clamped
*Orange and white one has occasional severe head jerk/mouth spasm
*When fish are swimming, either swim listlessly at top just staying in one spot, or dart erratically
*Swimming is a bit wobbly sometimes
*Occasional yawning (only saw this a couple of times)

Both still come eagerly over to me thinking they will get food, so that gives me some hope....... Does anyone have any ideas?? Did the prazi make it worse? Or should does the prazi take awhile to work? I can't think of anything else to do!

Please help!! :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did, I have been using Tetra Aquasafe water conditioner... I am quite sure I have been putting the right dose in. The back of the bottle says 1 tsp per 10 gal, and I measured this out counting how many drops I would need for my 6 gal tank. Since then, I have been counting drops proportionately as measured this first time. Would it hurt to add more to the tank?
 

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I would try dosing for fungus too. Every time I have a fish that gets clamped fins and muscle spasms, they tend to get white fuzzy patches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
mistergreen, I posted the ammonia and nitrite levels. They aren't severely high and never have been.

ValMM, what would you suggest to use for fungus?
 

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Children Boogie
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fungus is caused by poor water conditions. I wouldn't trust your test strip. The ammonia level is probably much higher. I'm going by the way the fish act.
 

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+1 On getting a larger tank. Comets get really big, as big as 14 inches. They need a bigger tank. At least a 30 gallon to start out with.
 

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Note: I am by no means a fish doctor, other people are probably giving you a better diagnosis than me.
If you really want to try and dose for fungus, research Maracyn I and Maracyn II. I know one is for fungus, I forget which.
 

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Since the tank is so small I would do 75% changes with prime until you can get a proper sized tank for 2 goldfish (30 gallon). I suspect that they are goners though, not trying to be mean but it does not sound promising.
 

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Have you ever seen comets swimming in a large tank like a 40 or 55 or larger? they are faster than you think. and very lovely when they can stretch their fins. even the smallest type of fancy goldfish can grow quite large.
 

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Inside of my goldfishes gills are red. They are mostly closed so it was hard to get a good look. plus they keep looking at me and not turning around. lol. i have a guppy that i just got with red inflamed gills. she is in qt. i will add salt and keep her water changed daily. Your fishes gills should be red inside but not inflamed or hanging open. That could mean amonia burns. ich can start in the gills. but you would see itching or flashing with most parasites. shimmies is usually a water parameter issue. i would add a 1/2 teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon. And purchase an amomia checker. O is the only right answer. maybe you could add on another hang on back filter. i dont think you stated what kind of filter you have now. i will re read the post. take care.
 

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When you say the tank has been cycling since feb. were there any fish in there? did you add amonia to start it up? or are the goldies the first fish in this tank?
 

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Is your ammonia reading always .25? If so, it shouldn't be b/c your cycle and plants should bring that reading down to 0 shortly after adding your tap water in the tank.
 

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I know test strips can be inaccurate. My test strips show 0.5 ammonia level (color matching method) even from my tap water yet I have a large stock of fish none of which have had any problems.

I bought those darn things for $23 and now wish I had bought the test tube kit instead.

With so many people suggesting its the water conditions, I'd heed the advice and do some immediate water changes with prime dosing to bind that ammonia away at least temporarily.
 

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Sounds like ammonia poisoning from my own personal experience with killing goldfish in the past before I knew about the nitrate cycle. To reiterate the others, any amount of ammonia is a bad thing. It's dangerous and often deadly. Also, your tank is much too small for goldfish, even babies. They are dirty fish, as all carp fish are. You need to move them to a larger tank and improve the water quality. Then if they are still showing symptoms after a few weeks, treat them then. However, with that amount of ammonia, I'd be surprised if they make it. Sorry to say.
 

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Mmmmm sounds like a nasty situation.....the prazi wouldn't of hurt the fish...but I do have to agree with other previous posts that goldfish are dirty buggers and they should have over powered filtration, a filter that turns over the water at least 3 times per hour just to keep up with their dirty habits.
Sounds to me the nitrogen cycle was just beginning in your tank, the ammonia spike is the first stage....personally I don't like test strips....they are in my experience quite inaccurate. :icon_neut
Another thing is when your ph is 8.0 the ammonia present is much more poisonous...I would take a sample of your water and head to the local fish shop and get them to test it for you...just too see how accurate your test strips are...
I would not use anything to bind up the ammonia as it will put a halt on the nitrogen cycle, what I would do if possible is add some good bacteria to the tank to help speed the cycle up. This can come from a tank that has already been running for 6+ months....or as an emergency buy a product like Cycle or an equiverlent and dump it into the tank like no bodys business...I have saved many, many fish buy doing this. :icon_bigg
Also if it is possible add a heater to the tank and have it about 18-20 degrees, warmer water speeds up the growth of good bacteria.
One last thing if the ammonia is quite high and your test stripes are inaccurate add a bubbler into the tank for extra oxygen.....hope this helps your fish out...:icon_bigg
 
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