My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been a Vet Tech for 30+ years an a Fish Keep for 40+ years.
Can you tell me the size of the tank?
Do you have filtration?
Is this the only fish in the tank?
have you checked the Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates and PH?
What are the levels?
What type of test kit did you use to test the water?
What medications have you used?
I do apologise for replying a bit late I went to the nearest pet store to get the water in the tank tested since one of your questions involved that. According to the test yesterday the level of Ammonia is 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20 and PH 7.6. They said it was quite normal. The tank has a filter and is a 16L tank. He is the only fish in there. His body is about 5cm with the tail about 7.5cms. He is a beautiful orange colour ornamental gold fish called Goldie. As I said he has a black thing on the orange part of the fin eating it away. He also gets little white spots on his head sometimes and sits on the bottom of the tank and "can not open its mouth like a normal fish"! the latter really worries me! I was told by an expert from the pet store once to use a general anti internal bacteria medicine and the second time when I mentioned the black thing on the fin they said it could be some kind of parasite so they suggested an anti external bacteria medicine. a few days after putting the medicine in the tank I noticed a little red spot on his body and something came out of it but then it healed after a few days. I change his water every week and put a product called API stress coat to remove chlorine and balance the water, along with some API aquarium salt in the water. I stopped adding API stress zyme that contains live bacteria (in case that's the cause of parasites)! I feed him Tetra premium gold pellets and sometimes king British bloodworms and sometimes variety fish treats but not all at once just as treats once or twice a week. He just doesn't seem to have the appetite like he used to or maybe its because he is just not able to open his mouth to eat! But then again how has he stayed alive with this condition for nearly a year now?! Please could you advise what the poor little fish is suffering from since nobody at my local pet store has any knowledge of his condition and I would not like to overdose him with the wrong medicine from time to time. I just want him to be healthy like before. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Many Thanks.
I need to ask one more question. When the pet shop tested the water did they use a strip test kidt or did they use a test tube kit. Something does not add up as fra as the symptoms you have explained and the problems the fish is showing. Joan.
I just contacted Pets at Home where I had the test done. They confirmed they used API test kit which consists of different types of liquid mixed with the water from the fish tank to get the above results. I forgot to mention there is a small live plant in the fish tank to produce more oxygen, gravel on the bottom but no lights in the tank which I'm not sure would make any difference to the situation! I look forward to hearing from you soon.
It sounds like you are dealing with fin rot. The problem this is a symptom of something wrong, and not the illness itself. We can try and stop the progression of the fin rot with a medication that is not harsh. The first thing is to do a 50% water change. Replace with 50% water that has been treated with the Stress coat, add 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon of water being replaced and we are going to add an antibacterial medication that is very mild but very effective. It is called Melafix: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002567SW/thegoldfishtank-20
Follow the instructions on the bottle which should help if this is indeed a bacterial infection.I would remove the plant, because they can bring in parasites into the tank and that may have started this whole issue. I would make sure you have a good power filter to be sure the water quality is good. The API master test kit is the best Test kit that can be used and it is recommended that you keep a kit at home. The Ammonia should be at 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 20 ppm or less and the PH 7.0. The water parameters can cause fins to shred, the black or red spots on the body, swim bladder and other problems. I do not like to over medicate a tank, so I would start with these instructions and see how the fish does. It will take a while for the fins to grow back out, but we want to stop the progression of the fin rot. Please let me know if you have further questions. Joan
Thank you very much. I'll definitely do as instructed. But what is the reason for the fish sitting on the bottom of the tank and "not being able to open its mouth" which is my main concern as mentioned before. I just double checked now and there are no signs of fungus or rot on the mouth.
The fish has to be able to eat somehow, so this may be a form of paralysis, birth defect or injury. It may even have a piece of gravel lodged inside the mouth. Without actually seeing the fish, it is hard to tell whe is happening, but it is taking in nutrition which is good. I can see if I can locate some Fish Vets in the UK if you would like me to. That would the best thing to find out the cause of the mouth issue. Joan
That would be great Joan. Thank you.
This is a link for Aquatic Vets in the UK: http://www.fishvetsociety.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=102:list-of-vets-willing-to-treat-pet-fish&catid=40:ornamentals&Itemid=79
I hope this helps. Joan
Thank you so much I found one in Keighley which is quite near to us. Just one last question please Joan. Do you think API stress zyme which is supposed to put good bacteria in the water would also cause diseases linked to "parasites" in fancy gold fish? The reason I ask is because I stopped adding this liquid in the tank water as mentioned before in case this was one of the causes of our fish getting ill!
I do not think the Stresszyme would be a problem. Nitrifying bacteria is very important. If anything it could have been the live plant that came in with Parasites. Joan
Many thanks Joan. Appreciate it :-).
Please let me know what the Vets says after the visit. I will check back in a few days to see how things are going. Joan