i am new here and relativeley new to keeping fish. I am concerned about the largest fish in my tank, a lionhead goldfish(4inches length). He lives with a very small Sarasa Comet(2inches length), an even smaller Red Cap Oranda(1inch length) and a Shibunkin who is also smaller than him (2.5inches length).
All the fish seem very healthy, but i have noticed black areas around the Lionheads mouth and on his underside, after this i noticed the much smaller Comet charging at the side of the Lionhead and headbutting him for no apparent reason.
Can you tell me what has caused these patches and how i can help this fish? Has he been bullied by the much smaller fish?
Hi lseaton first can I just ask you a few questions and then maybe we can see what the problem may be, do you know anything about how to cycle a tank at all and do you check your water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, also how big is your tank and do you have you a filter in it, sometimes fish can get what they call a water burn this is down to not letting the tank cycle first, it shouldnt be down to the smaller fish butting the lion head, also do you have any idea what sex they are as the butting could be down to spawning behaviour, its hard to say really so by answering my questions I hopefully will be able to help you further
Thank you so much for your reply, have read 4 books today but no mention of goldfish turning black.
I have no idea what "cycling" is, but am very keen to find out and have never tested the water before.
What can I do to cure my Lionhead?
This might be a coincidence but the Lionhead started to go black after I added a brand new Carbon Zeolite Filter to the tank. I have removed it now as i have added a treatment to the water, to cure fungus as i think the Lionhead is looking a bit fluffy. None of the other 3 fish have been affected by the blacking and even the Lionhead seems to be behaving normally.
My tank holds about 25 litres of water and is approx 24x8x8 inches. It has 2 small plants in it to. I always use Aquarian Tap Conditioner and have used Aquarian First Aid to try to help and stop infection.
After reading other topics on this forum regarding goldfish "chasing" one another, i am lead to believe my Lionhead could be a girl. The much smaller Sarasa Comet and Shibunkin seem to stay close to it a lot of the time. The Sarasa Comet seems quite an aggressive fish for his small size, only picking on larger fish-inferiority complex?
Also, do you know what i can do about my vertical tiny Oranda. He is quite an unfortunate looking chap, think he is a bit of a runt You seem quite Knowledgeable about these things!
Hi linsay When you first set up a fish tank with a filter etc and add fish it goes through a cycle, that is basicly the filter building up good bacteria to break down the fish waste so that your fish are not swimming in their own toilet and getting poisoned, here is a site to show you what the cycle is about: http://www.fishprofiles.net/faq/begin-cycling.asp
You can buy test kits to check for ammonia etc, but as you have had your fish for a while now I would buy the Tetra 5-1 test strips about £10.99 for 20 strips/tests and are easy to use, you should be able to get them from most local shops that sell fish and fish stuff, all you do is dip them into the tank water and compare with the chart on the side of the tub, nothing to be scared of.
Your other fish seems to be having swimbladder trouble this can be provoked by bad water conditions as well as diet or a bacteria infection, that is why we have to test and keep the water parimitors correct.you should find that once you get the water correct the black marks should go on your lionhead, that is if they are down to water/ammonia burns.
sexing goldfish: Goldfish usually come into breeding at about a year old, the male goldfish when they are mature have white salt like spots on their gills and front/pectorial fins, and the females if you look closley look like they have an egg sticking out of their bottom.
Thank you very much for your help This forum is a great source of information! That is a brilliant link, i highly recommend it.
So if i understand it correctly, i have to let the nitrite & nitrate build up and the ammonia will decrease. I have had the tank about 3 weeks now but have had the fish for about 5 weeks, so i am assuming the cycling is still going on??
I am off to get some test strips on my lunch break!
Hope my Lionhead gets better, it looks like it's lay in coal dust. Poor Tiny Oranda, he looked very sorry when i got him, i felt a bit sorry for him, hope he will survive. I read i can get a treatment for him, will give it a try.
Hi again linsay You say you have had your fish for 5 weeks but only in the tank 3, I take it you had them in a bowl or something like that then before, I would think the cycle is still going on, that is likely why your lionhead has got the water burns/black marks, you will find out once you test the water then remember regular water changes with a water conditioner (I recommend aquasafe by tetra as it came up tops in a servey, the cycle is ammonia to nitrite then to nitrate, the test strips don't test for ammonia, only nitrite, nitrate and ph GH/water hardness, and KH, use the strips and let me know the readings then it will tell you if you need to test for ammonia.
Goldy you have the coolest tank! Just seen it in another post I want one like that when i get a bit more space
Thanks for all your help, it seems not enough people know about 'cycling' as most of the questions are in some way related to it.
I will let you know what readings i get :)
Having read the previous link, i think i could speed up the cycling in my tank, as my aunty keeps very healthy coldwater fish in a much larger tank and i could use some of her gravel. She has had her fish for years so i am confident of their health. Could be worth a try