Pixxie Pixxie
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  • Joined: 29/1/2010 14:52
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  • Posted on: 29/1/2010 14:54
Advice on sick Blue Oranda & Black Moor #1

My coldwater tank has developed some problems and I wondered if any of you very knowledgeable people on here might be able to help me?

I have a 13 gallon coldwater tank which I recently upgraded to from a 7.5 gallon tank. I had the usual issues with a new tank with the bacteria 'blossom' and it settling down. I took some water to the local aquatic centre where they tested it and told me my levels or ammonia and nitrite were quite high. My Ranchu had developed what look liked a cotton wool type fungus on his head, which didn't seem to affect him at first but then continued to get worse, despite treatments of Protozin, Methylene Blue, and a short salt bath (all recommended by aquatic centre). He eventually died after his head looking like it was starting to disintegrate.

The tank has since cleared up after a dose of Intrapet Filter Start. The water is crystal clear and has no odour, as before. However, now my Blue Oranda and Black Moor have also developed a sickness on their heads (see below for photos). The oranda has a white blob with a rusty area in it, and the Black Moor has a white blob on his head - it did have tiny white spots on it's tail and body but these have cleared now after a dose of Protozin.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how to treat either sickness? Or know what they are? Will they settle down or is there no hope?

I would really really appreciate your help as I don't want to lose anymore fish! I haven't had any problems at all up until now.

Many many thanks,


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Violet Violet
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  • Joined: 22/11/2008 17:42
  • From West Yorkshire
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  • Posted on: 29/1/2010 19:05
Re: Advice on sick Blue Oranda & Black Moor #2
Hi Pixxie, welcome to FK

Oh dear

Firstly, do you have exact water readings for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate please?

How long have you had the fish? Did you initially cycle the initial tank before adding the fishies at all? Did you move the filters from the first tank to the second one when you moved them over? Although baby Fancies look tiny in shops, they should grow to up to 8 to 10 inches with lots of growth occurring in the first two years.

I?m sorry to have to post this, but that tank is just far too small for fancies ? hang onto your hat now, you may wish to sit down ? but you are looking at a minimum of at least 180 litres and a 3 foot tank to keep two, really.

Have a look here:

Goldfish sizes and tanks: http://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles ... -size-life-expectancy.htm

Cycling a new tank: http://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles ... hless-cycling-article.htm

You might want to consider getting your own test kit so you don?t have to rely on the LFS. Means you can test whenever you need too. Most of us here use the API Freshwater Master Test Kit, you can buy this on Ebay for half the price (about ?15) as it costs up to double in the local shops. Gives you hundreds of tests so well worth the initial investment.

See here: http://shop.ebay.co.uk/?_from=R40&_tr ... _sacat=See-All-Categories

Immediate action: Sounds like poor water at this point. I'd suggest an immediate 50% water change with pre treated water (you do use a dechlorinator I assume to remove chlorine and chloramine?) brought up to temp with the kettle. If you have a combi boiler you can use the hot tap though. Then, given the emergency and tank size/stocking 30% daily water each day thereafter until we have some results.

I would also suggest getting your hands on some Amquel plus, that will help lock up the toxic forms of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate whilst the tank fully cycles/can be upgraded. It?s sometimes hard to find in shops but www.aquaessentials does 24 hour delivery.

Fancies are poop machines needing big tanks and even bigger filtration - filtration is usually aimed at double the tank size - just to keep the water healthy.

Post back with any questions?? and FX for you all
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Miss Pennyapple Miss Pennyapple
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  • Posted on: 29/1/2010 19:15
Re: Advice on sick Blue Oranda & Black Moor #3
Hi, and welcome to the forum.

The first thing I'm going to say is that these illnesses and death of your fish will be more than likely caused by water quality issues. You tank is too small for your fish to begin with. 2 fancy goldfish require a tank of 100L minimum. It also sounds like you didn't cycle the tank before you added the fish. Did you? This means adding a souce of ammonia (fish food for example) to the tank for approx 4 - 6 weeks until the good bacteria needed to keep you fish safe, can establish in the filter.

Here's the process every filter/tank must go through before you have good water quality; fish produce ammonia through their waste and this is highly toxic to them. Without the good bacteria in the filter to convert this ammonia to NitrITE the fish will get sick. Once the bacteria convery the ammonia to NitrITE, this is still toxic to them. NitrITE will suffocate your fish, which is why another type of good bacteria is needed. NitrITE is converted to NitrATE. NitrATE is the end product of the Nitrogen cycle I've just described and is tolerated by your fish at low levels. THis end process indicates that the tank is 'cycled' and safe for the fish. Unless you allowed this process to happen in your tank for 4-6 weeks it is unlikely your tank is cycled.

The bacteria needed to keep the fish safe and break down their waste lives in your filter. It is vital that you never clean the filter under the tap, as this will kill all the good bacteria you need. You must only ever rinse your filter sponges in a bucket of old tank water.

How ofter are you performing a water change? You need to get a test kit asap to test you water and give us the resuilts for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. The API kit is good, don't use the paper test strips as they are not accurate.

The damage to your fish doesn't look too bad at the moment - the moor looks ok. Don't add any more meds to the tank. They will be having an adverse effect at the moment on your water quality and cycling process.

Until we know your water test results, you should perform a 50% water change as soon as you can, and there after a 25% water change everyday. Remember to use a dechlorinator and temp match the replacement water. If you can keep the ammonia and nitrite as low as possible for the moment with the water changes until your tank is cycled I'm confident your fish will recover.
165L AquaOne - 1 Blackmoor, 1 red telescope fantail, 1 white telescope, 1 panda moor

Tank upgrade on its way!
Miss Pennyapple Miss Pennyapple
  • Quite a regular
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  • Posted on: 29/1/2010 19:16
Re: Advice on sick Blue Oranda & Black Moor #4
Hehe, great minds think alike Violet!!
165L AquaOne - 1 Blackmoor, 1 red telescope fantail, 1 white telescope, 1 panda moor

Tank upgrade on its way!
rachyw82 rachyw82
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  • Posted on: 30/1/2010 12:56
Re: Advice on sick Blue Oranda & Black Moor #5
Hi Pixxie,

I love your blackmoor!! I am a total sucker for moors and yours is sooo cute!

Anyway, I agree with Violet and Miss P that the reason you're having problems is because your tank is too small for the type of fish you have. Is it just the 2 fish in there or are there any other inhabitants?

The stocking levels on this forum suggest 180 litres for 2 fancies. I myself have 2 moors in 180 litres, and 2 fantails in 125 litres.

I think a tank in excess of 100 litres for 2 fancies is sufficient to begin with, then it's up to you to judge how they grow to see if they need a bigger home. I think next year I'll have to upgrade my 125 litre tank.

The reason for the larger volumes of water is to help dilute the said toxins produced by your fish so that the filter can cope and build up the good bacteria needed to process these toxins into the end product, nitrATE. The fish also need the room for proper swimming - a small tank or bowl may hinder the growth of the fish from the outside, but the internal organs will continue to grow and eventually become compacted causing all sorts of problems and eventually death.

We've all been in your situation where we bought a tiny tank and were assured by the aquatic store that it was safe for 5 goldfish...what you have to remember is that most stores don't give out the correct advice as they're just out to make money. I had one of these bad starts but listening to advice on forums has made sure that the fish I have now are incredibly healthy and happy, can grow to their proper sizes with no stunting, no ill health, and the best bit is watching them being able to swim freely all over the tank - there's nothing worse than seeing a large fish in a small tank with no room to swim. It's like us being in a tiny room and never allowed out. My fish may look lost in their tanks now, but they are growing so so fast that I can see I have room for no more.

Please try to get your fish a much bigger home, they are so pretty and the water quality will be so much easier to manage in a bigger tank. It doesn't have to cost a lot, eBay & Freecycle are good places to look, so is your local tip!

Good luck and let us know how you get on
Juwel Rio 180 - female black moor & female panda moor
Fluval Roma 125 - male red fantail & female red cap oranda
Eheim 2213 classic canister filter on each tank