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Another dead baby goldfish

Discussion in 'Tropical Fish Emergencies' started by Jim Sinclair, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. Jim Sinclair

    Jim Sinclair New Member

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    I recently posted about a sick baby fish in the thread at http://www.fishforums.net/threads/floppy-baby-goldfish-maybe-constipated.449974/

    Briefly, the baby fish (either common goldfish or common/comet hybrids) hatched July 21. A couple of weeks ago I saw one lying on the floor of the tank; initially thought it was dead; discovered it was alive when I tried to net it; kept it in a hospital tank for a week during which I did daily water changes and never saw any poop; tried salt, Paraguard, peas, and an Epsom salt bath; took it to the vet on October 25; fish died while we were waiting to check out.

    Since then I have been keeping an eye out for any other fish that seem to be swimming abnormally or lying on the tank floor. Everything has looked fine right up through feeding time this evening.

    Then tonight when I lifted the tank lid to do a water change, I saw a fish floating on its side on top of the water. This one is definitely dead. No movement of anything at all when I scooped it out of the water.

    It's about twice as big as Floppy was. I think it looks normal (disclaimer: I have never seen baby goldfish until these last few months), but it has some fine black edges along the fin.

    I had left my phone upstairs to charge so I didn't get a picture. The fish is now in a jar of water in the refrigerator. I can get pictures tomorrow.

    Of course my first thought was ammonia burn, even though I do twice-daily partial water changes in that tank. So I immediately did a water test, *before* proceeding with a water change.

    Results, from the API Freshwater Master Test Kit:

    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 10
    pH 7.6 with the regular drops, 7.4 with the high range drops. (This is the norm with my tanks and my tap water. I just call it 7.5.)

    So, not ammonia poisoning with those results.

    What else could kill a young goldfish that didn't seem to be in any distress when I checked on them a few hours ago, and cause black edges on the dorsal fin?

     
  2. Deanasue

    Deanasue Fish Fanatic

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    Your babies are still getting their color, right? The black could be baby coloring. Often baby goldfish have black tips until they age a little more. By the time they reach young adults they lose the black. This is a possibility. What are you feeding now and what sz tank/temp? Ease up on the water changes. I cleaned my tank every few days with over 60 fry in a 10G. The water changes may be stressing them out. Are you temp matching the water before adding the new to the tank?
     
  3. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Can you post pictures of the tank and some of the fish in it?

    I recommend a 50-75% water change once a day on rearing tanks. Keep the temperature stabile. Feed the fish a varied diet 3-5 times per day. Make sure the tank is aerated and filtered.

    Are you dechlorinating the water before adding it to the tank?

    I assume there is a filter on the tank?

    ----------------------
    Baby goldfish start out bronze and when they are about 2 months old they start to change colour. Some will stay bronze their entire life and this is simply the original wild colouration. Others will change and go red, white black or multi coloured,

    Black patches on the body are usually chemical burns from chlorine/ chloramine, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, plant fertilisers, fish medications or any other chemical that gets into the water.

    A black edge to the fins could simply be colouration. A picture might help. :)
     
  4. Jim Sinclair

    Jim Sinclair New Member

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    Actually from what I've seen, they haven't started getting color yet.

    I'm feeding Tetra Pond Spring & Fall pellets and homemade gel food, small amounts 3 times a day. After each water change I refill my buckets (which originally contained bulk tofu from a local Asian market and have been used exclusively for fish water and fish transport for the last 5+ years) with clean water, add Seachem Prime, and put them beside the tank so they'll arrive at the same room temperature by the time of the next water change. I don't know what the temperature is. I don't have a thermometer in there. The 75 gallon tank they're in is in my living room, where I think the temperature is mid-60s Fahrenheit.

    When I first moved the fry into this tank, I was doing a one-bucket water change once a day. (I'm not completely sure of the volume of the buckets either.) Then at one point I did a water test and found ammonia at 2! I began changing two buckets of water twice a day. I also set up two Sterilite storage totes in the basement and moved some fish into those, and last week I located and dragged out my old 20 long tank and put some in there. The water tests improved immediately when I increased the water changes. The 75 gallon tank probably has almost 200 fish in it now, whereas it had almost 300 (292--I counted) when I moved the fry into it. But they are MUCH BIGGER now than they were then! I'm not sure cutting back on water changes would be a good idea. I guess I'll monitor things with daily water tests and see what happens.
     
  5. Jim Sinclair

    Jim Sinclair New Member

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    I'll post pictures tomorrow. There are pictures on my phone, but the phone battery is taking an exceedingly long time to charge (I probably need to replace the battery) so I turned it off.

    I'm not changing that high a percentage of the water because I simply don't have the equipment to do it. I'm scooping out water in a bowl, dumping it in a bucket until the bucket is full, manually dragging the bucket outside to dump, refilling and dumping again, then scooping clean water from two other buckets into the tank. I am feeding 3 times a day: Tetra Pond pellets, gel food, and occasionally some seaweed flakes. There are two HOB filters, one at each end of the tank. I use Seachem Prime for dechlorinating.


     
  6. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Do you have a gravel cleaner?
    If not, get a basic model gravel cleaner (like the one in the following link) from a pet shop. They let you drain water out of the tank and clean the gunk out of the substrate. You can even buy some more plastic hose and run it out the door onto the garden.
    https://www.about-goldfish.com/aquarium-cleaning.html

    If you have a big tank you can use a 2 litre plastic drink bottle and cut the bottom off it. Remove the cap and throw that in the bin. Stick a garden hose in the top where the cap was, and run the hose onto the lawn. Then have a couple of big plastic containers full of dechlorinated water and use a small water pump to fill the tank back up. :)
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. Jim Sinclair

    Jim Sinclair New Member

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    I do have an old gravel vac left over from when my adult fish lived in an aquarium. (They're now in a basement pond with a canister filter, which makes it MUCH MUCH EASIER to do water changes!) But the old gravel vac must have a pinprick leak somewhere, because it won't maintain a vacuum anymore. And yes, I know a new one would be inexpensive, but I'm also concerned that it would be dangerous to the smallest of the baby fish. There's a wide range of sizes in there, seems like more "big" ones every day ("big" means I wonder if they can safely be moved into the pond with their parents yet; the one I found dead last night was on the lower end of the "big" scale), but still some that are quite tiny. I know a lot of people would cull the littlest ones, but they do all the same things the bigger ones do, appear to be enjoying their lives just as much, and I want to give them an equal opportunity to live.

    As promised last night, here are pictures of some of the healthy ones (these were taken out of the tank to be photographed for the vet after Floppy died; they're about the same size Floppy was) and of the dead fish last night (for scale, it's in a baby food jar). The video the snapshot of the healthy fish was taken from is at
    Recent video of fish in the tank swarming over a gel food cube (made in a mini ice cube tray, about 1/2" on a side) is at
     

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  8. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    The black edging to the fins and tail on the fish in picture 213027 is from chemical burns (chlorine, ammonia, or something in the water).

    Goldfish can grow at different rates with the fantails and moors growing slower than single tailed fish. If all the fry are single tailed then they should all grow at a similar rate. If the fish are deformed and not perfect shape, it will slow their swimming speed down and they get less food and don't grow as quickly as the others.
     
    #8 Colin_T, Nov 5, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  9. Jim Sinclair

    Jim Sinclair New Member

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    I thought the same thing about chemical burns, specifically ammonia. But then I did that water test and got those results which I posted last night (basically perfect parameters). And I use Prime in the water before adding it to the tank. And there are almost 200 other fish in the tank, and as of this morning all of them seem all right. What do you think it could be?
     
  10. Deanasue

    Deanasue Fish Fanatic

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    I think some are sadly just born with issues and as they grow the issues take over. It’s not unusual to have a few deformities or birth defects. You are doing a great job with them! I remember how nervous you were at first and now you’re a pro! Great job.
     
  11. Jim Sinclair

    Jim Sinclair New Member

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    Yes, and I received some great help along the way! Including being warned that a lot of them don't survive. And I did find several dead ones during the first weeks--not as many as I'd feared, maybe a dozen or fewer, but any dead baby is a sad thing.

    But now, after three and a half months? And this one of the bigger ones?

    Deanasue, what do you make of the black-edged fins, given the water parameters I posted?
     
  12. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    If you just fill a bucket with tap water and add dechlorinator, then add that to the tank you might have chlorinated that fish. The best thing to do with tap water is fill a bucket with water, add dechlorinator and aerate for 30 minutes or so. If you don't want to aerate for 30 minutes at least aerate it vigorously for 2 minutes. That will help the dechlorinator come in contact with most of the chlorine/ chloramine and make it less likely to get into the aquarium.
     
  13. Jim Sinclair

    Jim Sinclair New Member

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    As I described earlier, I fill the buckets with water and add dechlorinator immediately after each water change, then leave them sitting next to the tank until the next water change. Even when doing two water changes a day, that means they're sitting there for several hours between having dechlorinator added and being put into the tank.

    I haven't been doing anything special to aerate them, though. They do get jostled around (with lids on) while being carried from the kitchen where I refill them to the front room where the tank is. Then they sit there for hours.

    I will scoop out a few fish into a glass jar and see if they'll keep still enough to let me see if there are black edges on other fishes' fins.
     
  14. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    sorry, I read what you wrote before and it didn't click. time for bed.
     
  15. Deanasue

    Deanasue Fish Fanatic

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    I really don’t know, Jim. I would suspect ammonia poisoning but I know how closely you watch your parameters. The black skin on a fish from ammonia burn is actually like a scab on humans. It means it’s healing which is good news. Is there any time recently where you skipped a day or something happened that could have raised the ammonia! A week or so back?
     

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