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Old 03-17-2011, 08:40 PM   #1
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Exclamation My ryukin is losing his scales? Help

So I know I've been doing things wrong with my fish and am correcting it now, I previously had 2 common and 1 oranda and 1 ryukin in a 20 gal tank. I've now bought a 50 gal and have the 2 commons in it until they grow more but for now they're just 2 inches.
both tanks are double filtered and I'm waiting for my new 50 gal to cycle before I add the others, but right now my ryukin is losing his scales and I don't know why. My test strips say the water is good. (I know they're not very accurate, but didn't at the time, and our town is out of proper kits for now so I'm doing pwc daily.
anyways he was calico before and over the past couple weeks seems to be losing his scales. the ones on his back half are mostly off, and his skin looks grey where his back scales were.
Over the past while he seemed to be having trouble swimming, he would always be gasping for air at the top and constantly against glass almost to rest? I added another air pump/stone to the tank and he continued with this. once I separated the 2 commons (2 days ago) he's been a happy fish swimming around and only gasping for air once in a while
was there just too much ammonia and that was his problem? I did a 50% water change and again, he's happy
but why are his scales falling off? my oranda is fine
Also, I have a bucket type thing in the tank for decoration, he likes to swim in there and goes to the corner and just stays still... I THINK he's sleeping since it's easier with no water current in there but could he actually be sick and thats a symptom? he still does that without the other fish...
I know its a lot of stuff but any help would be awesome, Like my name says, i'm a fish newbie so I really don't know much, but i'm trying to change that
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:55 PM   #2
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I hope JSoong sees this and can help you out!!! He is a goldie expert.

Sorry I can't be more help, but I don't know what would cause him to lose his scales since you are keeping the water really clean.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:35 AM   #3
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Could it be from unclean water? I'm using the test strips so they might be lying... and would it be ammonia or some other problem?
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:15 AM   #4
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It is possible, you could try changing part of the water every day, I know that woudn't hurt!
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:16 AM   #5
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Have you seen your goldie rubbing up on stuff? Because a bacterial infection is a probable cause. Also, is there anything sharp or jagged in the tank? Ryukins and other "fancy" varieties have those gorgeous little egg-shaped bodies that are a little cumbersome and catch on stuff like that.

It could be stress-related, but it's hard to tell with those testy strip thingies. As soon as you can, get a liquid test kit! They're so awesome, they take most of the guesswork out of this hobby.

Is it possible that another goldie is attacking him?

In any case, you need to keep a close eye on him to make sure he doesn't develop a secondary infection. Scales are like armor. Once you lose that, you're pretty vulnerable to any nasty little buggers that want to infect you.

Keep a close eye on his behavior. Scraping/scratching/rubbing against things in the tank indicate a parasite or a bacterial/fungal infection. If other fish are nipping on him, it could be due to the aggression. If your ammonia/nitrites are high, it could be due to the stress.

Like I said, watch out for secondary infections!

Good luck! Hope he feels better soon! Keep us posted!
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Old 03-18-2011, 03:57 PM   #6
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GFN, I take it this is the thread you were PMing me about?

+1 Chelsea

Glodfish have very delicate/sensitive skin (?) and they will flash from the slightest irritation. If any decorations have sharp edges/surfaces it's easy for them to damage themselves on it. My big Moor would tear himself up really bad on a statue that "was" in the tank. Depending on what other fish you have in the tank, aquarium salt used over a week or two of PWC will help heal the damage.

The underlying issue is what's causing it? Ammo poisoning, fungus, parasities, etc are all possible issues that can cause it.

Posting a clear pic would be helpful (if possible) and as someone said, hopefully Jsoong will comment. Don't be afraid to PM him and include this threads link in your message. He IS da man when it comes to goldies (and more).

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Old 03-18-2011, 04:26 PM   #7
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thanks! none of the fish ever picked on him, and I don't really have anything for him to scratch on, but like I said, he loves to be against the glass, could he be rubbing/scratching on that?
and my only other fish in there is my oranda, I plan on moving him to the other tank once its cycled, I know thats still overstocking but they're all 2 inches and I'm getting rid of my commons once they grow more
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:31 PM   #8
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IMO I'd have to say no, it can't scrape its self against the glass to cause that kind of damage.

Do you have a bottom feeder in the tank too? They'll suck the slime from goldies (another mistake from way back when by me) and could cause it.
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:58 PM   #9
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nope, just the oranda and ryukin... agh! and I sent Jsoong a message, hopefully he checks this out soon... I'm definately doing 40% water changes a day just to be sure nothing happens now. now i'm worried, but my API test kit is coming in 3 days, I have someone who was travelling so they're gonna stop at the nearest petsmart for me any idea how much it will cost?
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Old 03-18-2011, 05:08 PM   #10
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Keep up the PWC's which is your best defense. Kits retail are 30.00 here, online I think I've seen 20 - 25 bucks.
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:14 PM   #11
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having some issues getting the kit. my friend who went to petsmart asked and they said they dont carry it, they sold the nutrafin test kit or something but it was 135 bucks so I just cant do that, I phoned up my lfs and they said (prepare to cry) they dont carry it because its too expensive, but dont worry about testing water as long as it's partially changed weekly
he wasnt even interested in ordering it for me. so now i'm looking online but shipping is so expensive... i'm going to order it though somewhere, it just might take a few weeks now agh i hate living in the middle of nowhere!
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:08 PM   #12
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Where are you in BC??

The Nutrifin kit is $30 in Edmonton. You can get the API kit from MOPS (out of Toronto) for maybe $40 including shipping.
Freshwater Master Test Kit

OK, back to the subject of the scales. .... I saw the start of this thread yesterday but didn't have any good ideas, so I was holding off for more expert comments! <Sorry to disappoint .... sometimes I am stumped.>

My $0.02:

The 20 is cycling, and it is not unusual for fish to get stressed & develop disease. Clean water is the first line of treatment.
The lethargy & the rapid breathing May be nitrite poisoning ... as nitrite binds to hemoglobin & prevent O2 uptake, so the fish acts like there is not enough air. It is strange that it is only the Ryukin showing signs, tho ... the Oranda is supposed to be more sensitive to poor water.
It is possible that the fish has an external parasite so is scratching ... & losing scales in the process. It is possible that this is ich, and ich sometimes can lodge in the gills, giving the symptoms of inadequate O2.

For now, I would suggest:
1. pwc's daily on spec. Like everyone else said, clean water is a must.
2. Maybe add a bit of salt - I would suggest 0.1% level at this time <upping to 0.3% if you suspect ich or other parasites>. Salt will protect against nitrite poisoning, and will help wound heals. It is also effective against a host of surface infections/parasites.

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Old 03-18-2011, 09:58 PM   #13
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thanks so much, I'm doing the 50% water changes, just finished another one but i'll definatley add the aquarium salt. I lost my box (it was ripped so its just in a bag) so I'm not sure how much to add to the 20 gal.
other than the salt should I add medication for the possible parasite, or just try the salt for now since i'm not sure?
I do have ich medication also if thats the cause,but i've read not to medicate unless absolutely necessary, and my oranda shows no signs. thats originally what I thought my ryukin had when I saw his grey skin, but then I realized it was from missing scales, not the "cotton" type stuff over it
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:01 PM   #14
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Oh, and i'm in Smithers... so northern bc, I tried to see in terrace but they didn't have any. I'm thinking of phoning the prince george pet store and seeing if they'll ship
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldfishNewbie
thanks so much, I'm doing the 50% water changes, just finished another one but i'll definatley add the aquarium salt. I lost my box (it was ripped so its just in a bag) so I'm not sure how much to add to the 20 gal.
other than the salt should I add medication for the possible parasite, or just try the salt for now since i'm not sure?
The normal dose of aqua salt is 1 rounded tablespoon for each 5 gals of tank water. Many (including the mfg) say just put it in your tank. For me, I prefer to take some tank water and dilute/desolve it and put it in just before a PWC. But that's. Just me.

Good luck!
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:31 PM   #16
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cool thanks so much! and thanks Jsoong for the link! There isn't a single store in my town that sells anything cheap, I guess i'll be shopping online from now on
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:43 PM   #17
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To treat parasites, etc. you want to be fairly precise in your salt level.

0.1% of salt = 0.1 g/100ml or 1g/liter

20 US gal is ~ 75 l, so you want 75 g of salt to achieve 0.1% in your tank.

Ideally, you want to weight the salt. However 1 tablespoon is approx 15 g, so you can also use 5 tablespoons instead of 75 g.

I always pre-dissolve the salt. <Goldies thinks anything you put in the tank is food, so is liable to eat the grains if you just dump it in.> And don't forget to add back the salt with pwc's. <ie add back 50% if you do 50% pwc.>

0.1% is good for many bacterial infections & some parasites. For ich, you need to go up to 0.3%. But since there is no ich spots at the moment, I wouldn't go that far. <Nor will I add meds at this point.>
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:49 PM   #18
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thanks! I'll hopefully be adding a picture of him soon, I'll use my dads camera, I just cant imagine getting a good enough shot to show whats wrong
Also, how long should I keep adding the salt? Like right now I'm doing 50% water changes at least until I get the test kit, but should I keep adding aquarium salt the entire time, or stop after a few weeks?
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:12 PM   #19
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A picture certainly can help. <Hint, wait till the fish is resting before taking the pic ... sometimes my fish would stop completely to chew the food after a mouthful, that is a good time for a pic. And don't use a flash, the glare on the glass often obscure details ... better pics if you use a bright light over the tank & the camera against the glass.>

As for how long to treat with salt, depends on what you are treating. Treating nitrite poisoning - you use salt until the tank is fully cycled. Treating ich, it is 3 weeks after the last spot is gone. Bacterial inf & surface wounds is somewhere in between ... generally a week 10 days till the fish looks better.

During treatment, you maintain a set concentration. <Thus you need to replace any slat removed with pwc.> When you are done, you let the salt goes down to zero gradually with your regular pwc's.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:21 PM   #20
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thanks, my dads gone tonight but hopefully tomorrow i'll have a somewhat decent picture
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