RBPumpkin RBPumpkin
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  • Joined: 13/9 12:52
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  • Posted on: 13/9 13:00
Very sick goldfish- please help #1
Hi everyone,

New to this forum and desperate for help with understanding what is wrong with our lovely goldfish. We have had him for a year- he is a fancy goldfish and he has had a few problems over the year but is now much worse than previously. He is not eating and floating on his side around the tank without moving - he has developed many black marks over his body.

Our tank is 94 litres and only houses this one goldfish. We have a filter set up and always running along with an airstone. We have 3 living plants within the tank and one ornament. We do 20-25% water changes every week. We regularly add aquarium salt to the water and yesterday began treating with Melafix.

Our water readings are as follows:
Nitrate - 0
nitrite - 0
PH - 7.5
High range Ph- 8.2
Ammonia - 0

Timeline of issues are:
- he started to get a little ‘floaty’ and would occasionally float upside down. We fasted him for a few days and started to feed him less as recognise swim bladder is usually over feeding. This issue came and went a few times but seems to have gone for now. We use small sinking pellets and feed him between 5-8 of them per day.
- next, we noticed he was a little listless at the bottom of the tank but he was still feeding and interested in food
- then, about 2 weeks ago, he started to develop black marks all over his body - we know this is often ammonia burns but there has consistently been 0 ammonia in the tank.
- at the same time as the black marks we felt he looks like he has some dropsy as his tummy is swollen and scales a little spikey.
- the black marks are worsening and he is no longer showing any interest in eating.
- We have just begun treatment with Melafix but so far no improvement.

We know from extensive reading that poor water quality is usually the issue but we don’t have any water quality issues - we regularly clean, test, change and have a constant water filter and air stone. We are really struggling to know what is wrong and are very worried.

One other thing to mention is that we have had pumpkin for a year now- however when we got him we didn’t cycle the tank in advance (we didn’t know any better at the time sadly). Once we learned we tried our very best to get through the cycle whilst keeping him safe (daily water changes etc)- but wonder if we have caused him lasting damage?

I have attached photos showing the worsening blackening and the slightly spiky looking scales on his tummy. Any ideas or help would be so appreciated as we just want to make him well!

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Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 13/9 21:54
Re: Very sick goldfish- please help #2

Sorry your fish is unwell. Looking at your test results there's something not right as nitrate should not be at 0 in a properly cycling tank. Nitrate is the end product of the cycle so there should always be some present. Which test kit are you using? When you say, "we regularly clean, test, change ", are you changing the filter media? If so, stop doing that as when you change the media the good bacteria that operates the cycle gets thrown out with the old media and then you have to cycle from scratch again. Just clean the media in water taken from the tank when you do a water change.

Melafix is not terribly effective so I would run a course of Esha 2000 in case the fish has an internal bacterial infection, but as he seems to be pineconing (scales sticking up), it may not be effective. Once that has started to happen it's rare for them to come back from that so be prepared as he may not make it