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Old 01-12-2013, 11:30 AM   #1
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Goldfish with Burst Stomach

I'm guessing the answer is no, but is there any hope for a fish whose stomach appears to have burst?

I've had this fish for several years and over the past year he has been spending quite a bit of time at the top of the tank upside down. I did some research after I first noticed it and it was clear that it was having a difficult time digesting food. I significantly cut down what I already believed to be a rather moderate amount of food and though it did it less often, it would still sit at the top of the tank upside down from time to time.

It has been fine for the most part lately, but about a week ago it was staying at the bottom of the tank and breathing significantly faster. More research suggested it had a stopped up digested track. I gave the 'frozen pea without the skin' method that seemed to help with the floating upside down issue a try, but it refused to eat.

A couple days ago I noticed that its abdomen area had turned red. I was pretty sure that meant something on the inside finally burst. Now, this morning there is what appears to be a small hole in this same area.

First, am I correct in thinking that things got so backed up that they just finally burst? Second, it still swims around if I get close enough to the tank and looks incredibly healthy in every other way. I can upload pictures if anyone thinks it would be helpful.

I'd hate to have to euthanize it, but if I know there is no getting out of this situation I'd much rather do that than let the poor thing suffer for an even longer period of time.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:02 PM   #2
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Hi! Welcome to AA!!! Lets start with basics and we can go from there. First though, it does not sound like your fish's stomach has burst and euthanasia is not even a consideration at this point.

Tank size? Stocking? Exact numbers for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate & ph and what your using to test (liquid or strips)? Water change schedule (%/#wk)? Exact diet (brand/type food, other foods)? Country your in for med suggestions?

Pictures would absolutely help us to see what exactly is going on, too! Thanks!
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:42 PM   #3
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Tank size?
30 Gallon

Stocking?
Just my sick friend and his buddy of equal age and size. (3 years, 6" from nose to end of tail)

Exact numbers for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate & ph and what your using to test (liquid or strips)?
I'm a terrible person. I have never tested. I considered getting a testing kit the other day, but once I was concerned it was beyond the point of no return I hesitated. I'll get on top of ordering one on Amazon this weekend.

Water change schedule (%/#wk)?
I usually change out 25% of the water every few weeks with a syphon. I'm sure I will be scolded for not having a filter, but keeping it clean, not overfeeding, and having an air-bar thing that runs along the entire bottom has seemed to keep these two guys quite happy until now.

Exact diet
Aside from the occasional peas without the skin, these guys have strictly been on Omega One Goldfish pellets. According to the pet store down the street its the best stuff they sell.

Country your in for med suggestions?
I'm located in the US.

Thanks for the help. I can't seem to figure out uploading images and don't have quick access to uploading the image elsewhere to link to it, so for now it will have to remain picture less.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:11 PM   #4
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If your on a computer, click 'advanced reply' below. On the window that comes up, you will see a little paperclip on top of box in the symbols. Click this & you can upload pics from your computer. From the cell app, just click the '+' sign & you can upload pics from your cell.

Ok, until you have your test kit, can you atleast take samples of your tank & tap water to lfs and them tested? Most use strips which are not great but it will atleast give us an idea of your numbers. Ask for specific 'ppm' (parts per million) for ammonia, nitrite & nitrate plus ph and write them down. Don't let them tell it's 'ok' or 'fine' or whatever. Let us know what these read!
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:57 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help on uploading. Hopefully this works. I will try to get to the store tomorrow. I ordered the test kit and it will be here Monday, so if I don't make it to the store tomorrow the poor guy won't have to wait much longer.
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vedder9
Thanks for the help on uploading. Hopefully this works. I will try to get to the store tomorrow. I ordered the test kit and it will be here Monday, so if I don't make it to the store tomorrow the poor guy won't have to wait much longer.

Poor little guy. Ok so, even if you do have a filter, goldfish poop ALOT so you should do 50% water changes at least once a week. Since you do not have a filter doing even more water changes would be good. If he's sick I would start doing water changes like, now and continue at 25%(at least) to 50% every day or every other day to help them heal whatever is going on. Treating illnesses is tough, but its alot easier in pristine water conditions. Which you want to give them anyway. Good luck with your little buddy!
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:25 PM   #7
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Good deal. I shall get to cleaning right now. I'd hate to see him go. Once I get my testing kit on Monday I'll report back and see if anyone has any other suggestions. Thanks again for all the help.
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by vedder9
Good deal. I shall get to cleaning right now. I'd hate to see him go. Once I get my testing kit on Monday I'll report back and see if anyone has any other suggestions. Thanks again for all the help.
You should save a small sample of the water you have now before you do water changes. Then when you get your test kit you can see what a big difference the more frequent water changes will do. Before I knew what I know now I changed water like you are and let me tell you now that I know about cycling(which you should look up by the way and how often water changes needed to happen my fish are soooo much happier and I'm saving a butt ton of money not buying meds trying to treat illnesses I could have prevented by changing more water
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:15 PM   #9
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Thank you for the pic!! He is a beautiful fish!!! But, he has a very serious infection & there is also fungus growing on it. Ok, do you have a decent lfs that carries meds/pond supplies? Not a chain store. If you dont & only have a chain store, I will make different suggestions than if you have a store that carries actual meds. You need to get him started on something as soon as possible. Are you able to handle him (pick him up)? Also, do you have an aquatic vet or would you be willing to take him to an aquatic vet? We can help you find one if this is a possiblity.

Also, water changes are a very good idea because I suspect your water quality is very poor. As suggested, keep some of the water aside for testing so we know what you started with. Just make sure you temperature match & properly condition all new water.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:20 PM   #10
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I do have a great place right down the street from me. I can't say for sure that they have such things on hand, but I'd be surprised if they didn't. It isn't a chain and the people there seem to actually know stuff about the things they sell.

I haven't ever tried to grab either of the fish, but when I change water they have no issues with me being near them and will brush up against my hand on occasion. Especially in his current condition, I'm guessing if I needed to get a hold of him I could.

Unfortunately, I didn't see the responses until I had already changed the water. And yes, I'm sure the water quality is poor. I've had aquariums since being a kid (i'm about 30 now) and know the basics, however I've never had to deal with illnesses. I was hesitant to get fish and not have a filter, but due to the location in which I built the bookshelf that it sits in, I had no easy way of adding one.

Because these two grew up looking so great I figured all was well as long as I kept doing what I was doing. Looks like I was wrong.

I'll swing by the store tomorrow to see if they have any of the meds you think I should pick up, and thanks again for all the help. The internet is an amazing thing.
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:21 AM   #11
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Ok, your going to have to see what your store has and we can work with it. The best thing for his infection would be Medigold- its a kanamycin medicated goldfish from the Goldfish Connection. Its not something stores have or will stock but you can ask & maybe they have some for their own fish. If you want to order it, go to the Gc's site/store. I think this link works: GoldfishConnection.com - GoldFish Showroom

Next option would be to make your own medicated food food for him using kanamycin (seachem makes 'kanaplex'- your store may carry it). More common but not as effective med would be minocycline (sold as Maracyn2- do not buy regular Maracyn). Once again, make your own med food. Heres link on how to do it: Goldfish and Aquarium Board Article-Medicated Gel Food

As a last resort, you can treat the tank but it will likely harm any good bacteria you may have and may not be the best thing your fish that is not sick. But, your sick fish needs meds (antibiotics) as soon as possible so work with what you have. Tank treatments can be kanamycin/kanaplex, Maracyn Plus or minocycline (Maracyn2) combined with erythromycin (Maracyn). I would generally recommend increasing the salinity but I think he is under enough stress already and Im not positive if the floating issues are completely water related, a combo of infection & water or if he may have something else amiss as well such as a kidney issue (salt would make this worse) so lets skip this for now. Petsmart does carry the Mardel line (maracyn plus, etc) if you get stuck.

For the fungus, see if your lfs has a product called 'Bio-Bandage'. Chain stores dont carry it. This would be the best stuff but if they dont have it, a little bottle of methylene blue will serve similar purpose. Carefully pickup your fish y the tummy with clean hands, quickly dab the spot somewhat dry with a q-tip or cotton ball & dab a bit BB/meth blue on the spot. Do this 1-2x a day. Just have everything setup before picking up the fish. It shouldnt take longer than @5secs, quicker with practice.

Ok, last but not least, start adding daily veggies into their diet. This will help with floatiness especially if its diet related. You may also want to consider switching them to a gelfood (homemade or commercial)- this can also help with diet related buoyancy issues. Heres some more info on goldies too but check out the diet section for some more feeding advice: http://www.myaquariumclub.com/goldfi...-11174823.html

Ok, I think I got everything for now- please ask any and all questions and let us know how you make out at your lfs!!!
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vedder9
I do have a great place right down the street from me. I can't say for sure that they have such things on hand, but I'd be surprised if they didn't. It isn't a chain and the people there seem to actually know stuff about the things they sell.

I haven't ever tried to grab either of the fish, but when I change water they have no issues with me being near them and will brush up against my hand on occasion. Especially in his current condition, I'm guessing if I needed to get a hold of him I could.

Unfortunately, I didn't see the responses until I had already changed the water. And yes, I'm sure the water quality is poor. I've had aquariums since being a kid (i'm about 30 now) and know the basics, however I've never had to deal with illnesses. I was hesitant to get fish and not have a filter, but due to the location in which I built the bookshelf that it sits in, I had no easy way of adding one.

Because these two grew up looking so great I figured all was well as long as I kept doing what I was doing. Looks like I was wrong.

I'll swing by the store tomorrow to see if they have any of the meds you think I should pick up, and thanks again for all the help. The internet is an amazing thing.
If space is an issue consider a course sponge filter. It goes in the tank, all you need is an air pump with tube, there are lots of DIY options for super cheap, you can google also you can buy one for around 10$ online but your local fish store may have them cheap also.That would at least give you some good bacteria to help eliminate the yucks.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:08 PM   #13
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Thank you both. I've got my list all written down and the pet store just opened up a few minutes ago. I'll see what they have and will do what I can for now and if I need to order things online I'll do that as well. I'd hate to lose this guy.

I'll also look into the sponge filter. Since it looks like this was directly due to my inability to properly take care of them I figure I owe them some change. However, first things first, I will see what kind of drugs these guys have and go from there.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:19 PM   #14
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Keep us posted!! If you need help at your store, dont hesitate to ask or run meds by us before buying! For sponge filters, I would consider buying 2 cycled sponge filters from AngelsPlus- they will help much more than a new sponge filter because they already contain all the good bacteria you need to process ammonia & nitrite. Just make sure its says 'active' or your just getting a new sponge filter. Heres their link:

Aquarium Sponge Filters
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:59 PM   #15
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Okay, they only had the Kanaplex on hand so I went with that. We will see how that goes.

They did not have the bio-bandage or Methylene Blue on hand, so I'm going to have to order some online.

It also looks like I will be doing some research this evening on those sponge filters you provided a link for as well as making my own food for these guys.

I should also have the testing strips tomorrow when I arrive home from work, so I will post those numbers. I should be smart enough to know what I'm reading and what I need to do to correct the issue, but you guys definitely know far more than me, so sharing the info with you certainly can't hurt.

Many thanks and stay tuned...
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:44 PM   #16
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Ok, until you get some Biobandage, do you have hydrogen peroxide in your med cabinet? For now, you can dab the fungus (white growth area) once a day with this. Keep us posted!!
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:30 PM   #17
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I didn't have any hydrogen peroxide on hand, but a short walk to the grocery store solved that problem. The dude was a trooper. He's been swimming around much more today than yesterday. I can't imagine the meds in the water had that much of an affect on him already, but he didn't put up a fight at all when I pulled him out.

The q-tip definitely had a red substance on it after lightly applying the hydrogen peroxide. I'm assuming like any open sore that it was blood. Either way, he's been cleaned up for the night. I'll repeat the process tomorrow morning.

I can't thank both of you enough. I know he is far from healed at this point, but the knowledge people hand out around here blows my mind. I truly do appreciate what you guys have shared so far and hope to not only have a healthy fish in the end but also get this tank up and running properly.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:27 AM   #18
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Just do the peroxide once a day- don't rub the sore, just dab/drip a bit on and set him free. Offer him a treat right after of something he likes so he has a positive association with being handled. A pinch of defrosted bloodworms or something else tasty works well. Keep us posted!!
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:00 PM   #19
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Okay, i've been following the hydrogen peroxide once a day for three days now. The spot is definitely still there, I think it might be cleaning up a slight amount. Perhaps it's just wishful thinking, but hopefully that is the case. His breathing is still quite fast, but hopefully that will subside over time.

I've treated the water with the Kanaplex twice now. Once on Sunday and then again this morning. Both times have been as directed on the bottle. It says to do it up to three times, so what do I do when Saturday rolls around? I have yet to change the water because I didn't want to mess with anything. Provided I do the third (and what the bottle suggests as the final treatment) on Thursday, should I change a bunch of water and do a smaller dose of the Kanaplex on Saturday? Or perhaps a full dose?

I also got my testing strips today. I followed the directions on how to test properly and this is what I got.

General Hardness: 180 (I'm assuming this is either really good or really bad. Probably bad)
Carbonate Hardness: Somewhere between 40 and 80mg/L
pH: right around 7.0
Nitrite (NO2): 0
Nitrate (NO3): 40

What do you think? I'll consult the instructions that came with it and jump on the internets to see what it says as well.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:14 PM   #20
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You really need to know your ammonia levels (NH3/NH4). Before the next med dose, do a decent water change before dosing. You need to treat for 7-10 days, though in your case, 10 days/5 treatments minimum. I would do a water change each time before redosing. Please also consider purchasing the Medigold from the GC- getting the meds internally will be much more beneficial to him. Keep us posted!
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