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Newbie Fish Keeper Needs Help With Ulcers

Subject: Newbie Fish Keeper Needs Help With Ulcers
by marko on 9/9/2007 20:25:04

I'm a keen newbie fish keeper, I inherited a fibreglass pond of approx 1500 litres when I bought my first house last year. When I moved in the pond was in a real state (dark green water ect) and contained no fish or signs of life. Since then I've drained the water, cleared out everything (sludge, weed, golf balls ect) and installed a pump / filter with a waterfall back into the pond.

I filled it up with tap water and left the pump running for about 2 months before buying my first fish. I now have 2 Sarsa Comets, 3 lemon goldfish, 2 shubunkins and a goldfish. The have all been in the pond for about 6 months and have been doing really well (growing well ect) until recently when 4 of my fish have developed ulcers on their bodies.

I first noticed a mark on the side of one of the lemon goldfish, which I kept an eye on as I wondered if it was a injury and noticed over a week it seemed to be getting worse. I netted the fish and checked out the wound, reading a book I have on pond fish I came to the conclusion it was a ulcer. I purchased some spray on ulcer treatment from my local aquarium and applied this to the wound daily for a week. Following this week of treatment I then noticed that 3 more of my fish were developing similar ulcers which has lead me to believe there is something wrong with my water.

I've checked the water quality and the stats all look good, except for the ph being a little high. Ammonia Nitrate and Nitrite are all close to zero and my ph is around 8.5 to 9.

I went back to the aquarium to get advice on what to do next, I came away with some ph treatment for alkaline ponds and some anti ulcer treatment for the water. I was advised to use the anti ulcer treatment first and then use the ph treatment as as ph of 8.5 to 9 isn't going to cause immediate danger to my fish.

The anti ulcer treatment has now finished but my fish don't look any better, if anything the ulcers seem to look worse now then they did last week. Although the fish don't seem to be bothered by the ulcers on thier bodies as they are still swimming round happliy and eating well.

I've been back to the aquarium and didn't get any useful advice, basically they told me the my fish are only cheap and it'll be cheaper to buy new fish than to keep treating them.

I know my fish are only cheap but I really don't want to just let them die and replace them.

Can anybody advise me on what I could to to try and help my fish fight whatever is attacking them. I've attached pictures of 3 of my fish netted so you can see the wounds / ulcers they have on their bodies. Sorry if I've posted this in the wrong place but it seems like an emergency to me as I'm worried all my fish will be dead soon.