Red spots on fish? Help!!!

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jijifish

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Hi hi!

Fish emergency: A few fishes have red spots and I’m unsure what the cause is:

Size of aquarium/pond - i’m not sure
Types of fish - koi and goldfish? I’m not too sure
Number of fish and sizes - 7 fishes
Filtration used and how do you clean it and how often - sponge pump filter (last cleaned today) and underwater mechanical filter (last cleaned 18th August)
How much in the way of water changes and how often -- Weekly water changes 25%
Do you dechlorinate - Yes
Symptoms of sick fish ie, spots, behaviour, etc -
  • Red spots on its belly, fins and tails on four of the fishes
  • one of the fish has a red spot on its mouth
  • Fish aren’t as active as before - lethargic but they are still eating
How long has the fish been sick and which medications are your currently using or recently used - unsure, I only noticed the red spots yesterday

Test results for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph both from the tap and tank -
1/09/2023
test results:
Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrite: 0
PH - 6.8
Nitrate: 160ppm

Anything else you need us to know -
  • I’m completely new to fish keeping and i’m looking after my parents fish for a few months
  • I understand that the ammonia is a concern since it is dangerous for fish, so I did a 30% water change straight away yesterday and I cleaned the sponge filter pump today. I haven’t tested the water yet, since I did a 10% water change today. Can I test the water straight away or should I wait til tomorrow?
  • Also is the ammonia level; the cause of the red spots? Is that the reason why? Or is it because of red pest disease? How would I treat that? I read that aquarium salt is a solution? Or an anti internal bacteria solution might help?
  • In addition, for some reason the tap water already has 20ppm nitrate in it and there are a lot of fish in the tanks so it is overcrowded. So nitrate level is going to be high. Is there a way to reduce the nitrate level down?

I would appreciate any advice, since I honestly have no clue what it could be, I don’t want to add the wrong medication to the fish tank so any advice is helpful! thank you in advance!!

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Poor water quality and a dirty tank. Best treatment is big (75%) water changes and gravel cleans every day for a week or two. Try to keep nitrates as low as possible (20ppm is as low as you can go due to the tap water).

The ammonia is not an issue at that level or pH.

How did you clean the filter?
 
Poor water quality and a dirty tank. Best treatment is big (75%) water changes and gravel cleans every day for a week or two. Try to keep nitrates as low as possible (20ppm is as low as you can go due to the tap water).

The ammonia is not an issue at that level or pH.

How did you clean the filter?
thank you for replying!

what do i use to clean the gravel? any recommedations for products?
I cleaned the filter using the water from the tank and just lightly swished it around.
 
For cleaning the gravel you can get an attachment for you siphon and simply just move it through the gravel while doing your water change. There also electric gravel vacs/siphons that allow you to clean the gravel without siphoning the water.
 
You can buy a basic model gravel cleaner from any pet shop or online. Or make one from a garden hose and plastic drink bottle.

There's a picture of a gravel cleaner in the following link.

To make a gravel cleaner, get a 1, 1.5 or 2 litre plastic drink bottle. Remove the lid and plastic ring from the top and throw those 2 bits in the recycling. Use a pair of scissors and cut the bottom off the bottle and throw the bottom bit in the recycling. That's the gravel cleaner part.

Stick a garden hose in the top of the bottle and run the hose out the door.

Start the water syphoning and push the gravel cleaner (bottle) into the gravel and lift it up. The gunk will get drawn up and out of the substrate and drain out via the hose.

After you have drained 50-75% of the tank water, stop syphoning water and fill the tank with dechlorinated water.
 
You can buy a basic model gravel cleaner from any pet shop or online. Or make one from a garden hose and plastic drink bottle.

There's a picture of a gravel cleaner in the following link.

To make a gravel cleaner, get a 1, 1.5 or 2 litre plastic drink bottle. Remove the lid and plastic ring from the top and throw those 2 bits in the recycling. Use a pair of scissors and cut the bottom off the bottle and throw the bottom bit in the recycling. That's the gravel cleaner part.

Stick a garden hose in the top of the bottle and run the hose out the door.

Start the water syphoning and push the gravel cleaner (bottle) into the gravel and lift it up. The gunk will get drawn up and out of the substrate and drain out via the hose.

After you have drained 50-75% of the tank water, stop syphoning water and fill the tank with dechlorinated water.
oohh okay, thank you for explaining, i'll give it a try!
 
I did a 50% water change today and yesterday. One of the fishes red spots are slowly becoming less red which is a good sign but one of the fish keeps lying vertically on the pump filter? is there a reason why? its the first time its done that, is it because the nitrate levels are too high? or because of the water changes, its getting stressed?
 

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It's covered in excess mucous (creamy white film over its body and fins) so it's probably from poor water quality. Just keep doing water changes for a week and see if it improves.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.
 
It's covered in excess mucous (creamy white film over its body and fins) so it's probably from poor water quality. Just keep doing water changes for a week and see if it improves.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.
kk thank you!, i'll keep doing water changes this week!
 
kk thank you!, i'll keep doing water changes.. hopefully it will go down to 40ppm.
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https://www.myaquariumclub.com/members/fishji/
hi hi!,

an update.. I carried on with the 50% water changes for 10 days. One of the fishes' red spots have healed. However one of the fishes has red scales and its gills or arms, are a bit red. Originally this fish didn't have a red spots, but after a couple of water changes, they started to appear. Is this because of stress? or the nitrate problem? a disease?

The other fishes red mouth seems to be redder on the other side. And one of the fishes tails is still a bit red at the ends.

Should I continue doing 50% or even bigger water changes? e.g. 75%?

Also one of the underwater filters is due for a clean, do you think that would help the nitrate levels?

Also, I saw tetra sell nitrate remover?.. is that effective? does it work?
Test results:
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
PH - 7.0
Nitrate - 40ppm
 

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The gravel should be cleaned with a gravel cleaner any time you do a water change. If you have an undergravel filter in the aquarium, then the gravel cleaning will clean the filter.

If there is lots of gunk in the gravel, it can encourage higher nitrates. Regular gravel cleaning will remove the gunk and keep the substrate cleaner.

I would do a 75% water change a couple of times a week for a few weeks and see how the nitrates go. You want nitrates as close to 0ppm as possible and under 20ppm at all times. A big (75%) water change will dilute things more effectively than a smaller water change.

I would add some salt to help with the red mouth and sore on the side of the body. The red mouth could be a bacterial infection or blood blister. The red sore on the side could be the start of GUD (goldfish ulcer disease), which is caused by a bacteria that appears when the fish are stressed.

If there's no improvement in the red after a week of salt, or it become much worse during that time, post more pictures asap.

------------------

SALT
You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), swimming pool salt, or any non iodised salt (sodium chloride) to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres (5 gallons) of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

If you only have livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), goldfish, koi carp or rainbowfish in the tank you can double that dose rate, so you would add 2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres and if there is no improvement after 48 hours, then increase it so there is a total of 4 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria but the higher dose rate (4 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres) will affect some plants and some snails. The lower dose rate (1-2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres) will not affect fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
 

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