Hoping someone can offer some advice on my comet?s tail as he's been having a few problems recently.
About 10 days ago I noticed that the very tips of the top and bottom of his tail were looking quite red. I tested the water and results were fine (ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 20) and, as he hadn't been displaying any other signs of illness, I figured he might have scraped or banged himself on something, which could explain the redness. There?s very little in the tank which is sharp enough to cause any kind of injury but, as with most goldies, he does like to try and squeeze himself into the smallest, most awkward spots he can! With this in mind I decided to try a course of melafix in the hope that he?d just damaged his tail and that would encourage it to heal.
I stopped the melafix on Sunday after treating him for a week and did a water change but as of today his tail doesn?t seem to have improved at all. If anything, I?d actually say its looking slightly worse and the redness appears to be spreading I tested the water again last night and params are all exactly the same as the previous test. He's certainly not off his food although he does appear to be a little quieter than usual and I have noticed him 'yawning' quite a lot recently.
I've attached a pic so you can see what I'm talking about, although its not the clearest shot - sorry! You can?t see the uppermost tip of his tail in this picture but the redness there is nowhere near as bad as it is at the bottom.
Given the water params and the lack of other physical symptoms of illness I?m at a bit of a loss as to what to do. I wondered whether I should try another week of melafix or perhaps should be considering something else.
Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
This is probably a shot in the dark, but I don't supposed there is any way he could have got it stuck in the filter? Happened to mine the other day and it looked horrendous, but has gone back to normal now!
Failing that, I guess then you are probably looking at an internal infection - how is his poo? But I am sure those who know far more about that sort of thing will be able to advise there.
If it's any consolation I have a fantail that is predomintaely white, though some orange patches, and it developed reddish lines on it's tail. I was worried at first, but kept monitoring it. They seem to come and go a little, and appear to be a natural variation in the fish. I'm pretty sure comets change their colour a bit as they get older.. I guess it depends how old your fish is.
I would keep an eye on it, and see if any other symptoms develop that might give you a clue to what it is (or isn't as it may be) I would probably lay off the antibiotics for now, IME they should only be used as a last resort, and you've already used it so recently.
Catherine - its possible he could have caught it in the filter, but unlikely I would say. I run two Fluval internals and the outflow is much more powerful than the inflow on both. He does like to let his tail ?waft? near the outflow pipe (and also in the bubble stream from his airstone) but this seems to be something he does for fun rather than in agitation and he never gets too close to the filter otherwise. Also, there doesn?t appear to be any fraying, splitting or tearing to his fins, which I?d assume may be the case if he?d got caught in the filter. I?ve been keeping an eye on his poo and there doesn?t seem to be anything unusual going on there either, so I?m hoping its not internal.
Missbish ? thanks for the link. Bit scary reading all that stuff about septicaemia(!) although I?m fairly confident its not anything that severe ? he doesn?t have any sores anywhere and his behaviour is quite normal otherwise, besides the yawning and being a little quieter than usual. Like your fantail, he does have one or two red streaks in his tail most of the time. One of the advisers on here once told me that fish with long flowing tails are prone to poor circulation, so I?ve never been too concerned about those. As you might be able to see on the pic, there is a small part at the very tip of his tail that is much redder looking than the rest and not what I?d describe as a ?streak?. He?s around 8 years old and has changed colour a little over the years, but I?m sure that this is not the cause of the redness he has now.
My only other avenue was temperature as I know this can cause streaks in fins and tails but we?ve been keeping the house warm over the last few weeks and the temp in his tank hasn?t dropped below 19 during the cold snap (it usually sits at between 20 and 21), so I?d kind of dismissed that theory too.
I haven?t treated with any antibiotics, just the melafix. I was thinking it might be prudent to go to the LFS today and pick up anything I might need before Christmas, on the off-chance symptoms get worse, but wasn?t sure what I should be getting. I have some myazxin here already. Is there anything else I should think of using as an alternative? While he?s still eating and behaving normally I?m reluctant to go charging in with the anti-bacterial meds, but would like to be prepared if the need arises.
He?s much the same to be honest. The very dark red patch is still at the end of his tail and streaks are appearing intermittently - one day it looks like its getting better and the next he looks pretty ?veiny' again. I also noticed a very small split in one of his pectoral fins, although this does happen every now and again, so I?m not sure that?s to do with the redness/streaks. All other behaviour (and water params) are fine so I?m still a bit baffled by this.
I was thinking of maybe trying another week of Melafix and seeing how he looks after that, unless there?s anything else you can suggest?
I've read that some fish with particularly long tails are prone to something known as 'fin congestion' due to poor circulation around the longer fins/tails. I wonder if this is what's happening with Stross
Are his poos ok? He's not itchy at all? The other thing to try instead of melafix is salt at 0.3% solution i.e. 3 grams per litre. Add half the amount on one day (take a jug of tank water, dissolve then pour it in) and then the other half the next day. Carbon won't remove salt and you can't mix salt with any med containing formalin or formaldehyde. The only way to get rid of salt is to do water changes to dilute it to negligible amounts.
I think I stated earlier in this thread my suspicions about this potentially being poor circulation and, in hindsight, I think it was probably you who mentioned it previously, which is why I haven't gone into panic overdrive (as usual) about this!
He doesn?t appear to be itchy. I haven?t seen him scraping himself on the gravel or anything else in the tank and I've been keeping a close eye on him over the last few weeks. His poo seems to be okay too. Every now and again it will be white and stringy, but not on a regular basis - the majority of the time it resembles whatever he's eaten!
I did wonder whether salt might be a better approach than melafix. The only reason I didn't try it sooner was because of the amount of water changes it would take to remove it in the event symptoms got worse and I needed to try meds but I think maybe I?ll give it a go. I work it out that I need about 336g of salt for my 125ltr tank, so I should add 168g tonight and the same again tomorrow right?! I?ll be making sure to keep a log of water changes and any top-ups I do this time!
Do you know much else about ?fin congestion? and, if it is that, whether there's anything I can do about it? I've had a google but the majority of info I can find points to it being water quality-related, and I know it?s not that. Many of the threads on other forums advise antibiotics but, again, I?m reluctant to medicate when he?s not showing any other symptoms. For now the redness doesn't seem to be presenting him with any major problems but it does look really sore and I?d like to see his lovely long tail back to its splendid self if at all possible.
I'm not brilliant on the causes of fin congestion, I should really do some more reading on that. From what I understand of it it can be caused by poor circulation, bit like me having cold hands and feet sometimes. I'd try the salt and see if it makes a difference Although 8 isn't old for a goldie he did have a bit of a rough life before you got him so I wonder if there is a bit of legacy there
If you've got 125 litres of water you'd need 375g of salt in total - are you accounting for displacement etc. with your 336g?
Yes, I calculated the 336g based on roughly 112 litres of water, which is the 125ltrs less 10% as recommended for displacement etc.
The 'legacy' of his previous life is always in the back of my mind but I never like to think about it for too long. Despite the fact that he never seems to go more than a few months without problems he's a hardy little thing with a lot of spirit so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be able to get his tail on the mend eventually.
I'll give the salt a go and if there's no improvement in a week or so I'll no doubt be back with more questions!!