Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 11-27-2013, 09:37 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Rockford, MI
Posts: 9
Unhappy Sick Calico Fantail

Hi,

I've not sought help on the Internet like this before, but I'm not sure where to go next for advice.

I have what I believe to be a calico fantail that is stressed (3 days now). It is sitting on the bottom of the tank and coming up (sometimes grabbing air from the top of the tank) or moving only when approached, or it is time to feed.

There is no ick or other surface defect that I can see on any of the fish in the tank. The only thing I can tell through testing is that the nitrates are high (above 80 ppm). I did a 30% water change a day ago and started adding a natural nitrate reducer (but that will take a while to become effective).

Any advice on if the nitrates are the real cause of the problem (since other 4 out of 5 fish are fine and moving normally), or something else I should be checking.

Answers to the specific questions in the sticky thread:

1~What type of fish is afflicted? Calico fantail (resting on bottom of tank in same spot)

2~What are your tank parameters (ammonia <1ppm, nitrites <0.25ppm, nitrates >80ppm, temp 78F, pH 7.8)?

3~ How large is the tank? 50 gal How long has the tank been set up? over a year

4~What type of filtration are you using? Two (2) AquaClear power filter 50's (200gph each).

5~How many fish are in the tank? 4 goldfish, 1 Pleco, all about 4-6" range

6~When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel? 1 day ago How often do you do this? Not very > 2 months How much water do you remove at a time? 30% change

7~How long have you had the fish? about 2 years

8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.? No

9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently? Same standard goldfish flakes and granules for past 2+ years


Thank you all for your help. Your time is greatly appreciated.

Photo of Stevesie:
__________________

__________________
cbhiii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2013, 01:18 AM   #2
Roz
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Roz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 472
Hi there,

I'm no expert and can only help with limited knowledge. I would think your water quality could be contributing to the little guy feeling poorly.

Your water parameters are high - especially Nitrate, and you are not doing very regular water changes. I am not saying this to put you down, as I know that goldfish aren't easy to look after.
My little Calico Fantail, Spotty, is usually the first fish to start behaving in a mopey way if the water is not good. Perhaps Calicos are more sensitive to the effects of less than pristine water? Ever since I learnt more on this site about looking after my goldfish, I have been undertaking many more water changes, and Spotty is a much happier little fish.

Until more experienced members arrive with advice, perhaps you could undertake at least a 50% water change?

I hope this is a little helpful. Good luck, Roz
__________________

__________________
Roz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2013, 01:43 AM   #3
jlk
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
jlk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: philadelphia suburbs
Posts: 11,119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roz View Post
Hi there,

I'm no expert and can only help with limited knowledge. I would think your water quality could be contributing to the little guy feeling poorly.

Your water parameters are high - especially Nitrate, and you are not doing very regular water changes. I am not saying this to put you down, as I know that goldfish aren't easy to look after.
My little Calico Fantail, Spotty, is usually the first fish to start behaving in a mopey way if the water is not good. Perhaps Calicos are more sensitive to the effects of less than pristine water? Ever since I learnt more on this site about looking after my goldfish, I have been undertaking many more water changes, and Spotty is a much happier little fish.

Until more experienced members arrive with advice, perhaps you could undertake at least a 50% water change?

I hope this is a little helpful. Good luck, Roz
+1

Water quality and lack of sufficient water changes are the main issue here. You have both ammonia and nitrite present with very high nitrates. Bottom sitting is a classic sign of high toxin levels as is gasping at the surface for air. I would work daily water changes until your ammonia and nitrite are zero and your nitrates are at 20ppm or less though under 10ppm would be best especially with an unwell fish.

I suspect the biological capacity of your tank right now may be more than its capable of handling due to the presence of ammonia and nitrite. A cycled tank should always read zero for these toxins. Weekly (likely more frequent) 50+% water changes will be necessary once your tank is back to a healthy state. If you are unable to keep ammonia and nitrite at zero and nitrates well under 20ppm, then this indicates that its likely time for a tank upgrade.

I would also add daily veggies into their diet along with the sinking pellets. Flakes are not a good choice for fancies that are prone to buoyancy issues.


Please ask any questions you may have and welcome to AA!!!!
__________________
jlk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2013, 09:49 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Rockford, MI
Posts: 9
Hi. Thank you for the replies.

According to my test kit both Ammonia and Nitrites are zero (0). I was simply indicating that both readings were below the first marking on the color card I have in my test kit, with a less than symbol.

I will focus on the Nitrates and proceed with another water change, this time at 50%.

Any other things to consider, if it's just a Nitrate issue?

Thanks again.
__________________
cbhiii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2013, 03:24 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Rockford, MI
Posts: 9
I've made the 50% water change and nitrates are still high per the test. Almost no change at 80ppm.

How often can I perform a 50% water change to help reduce the nitrates faster?

Thanks again for your help!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image-732788227.jpg
Views:	48
Size:	127.1 KB
ID:	209734  
__________________
cbhiii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2013, 05:20 PM   #6
jlk
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
jlk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: philadelphia suburbs
Posts: 11,119
Continue to work on water changes until you are able to bring them under control. I would space them out as much as feasible for you, cut feeding in half until they are control and have some patience. As this did not occur overnight, it will take a up to a week of daily (or 2-3x day) wcs until things are under control.

I am glad to hear ammonia and nitrite are zero! Let's let's start with working on getting your tank healthy then if we need to address issues further or things have not improved, we can proceed from there. Keep us posted!
__________________
jlk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2013, 07:06 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Rockford, MI
Posts: 9
Sounds good. Thanks for the direction. I will continue water changes and cut feeding in half.

Will update in the next day or so.

I appreciate you taking the time to help me.
__________________
cbhiii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2013, 07:09 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Scottyhorse's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Washington
Posts: 3,823
Have you tested your tap water nitrates?
__________________
Starting over...... Kinda.

3, 20, 25, 33 Gallon FW Tanks.....For Now


Scottyhorse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2013, 07:21 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Rockford, MI
Posts: 9
Yes, I have. I thought the same thing this afternoon before refilling. There are none from the tap.

Appreciate the suggestion!
__________________
cbhiii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2013, 05:37 AM   #10
Roz
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Roz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 472
Hello, Spotty and I are tuned in and hoping all goes well. You might need to undertaken quite a few water changes, and perhaps gravel and filter media.

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image-146239844.jpg
Views:	37
Size:	184.2 KB
ID:	209818  
__________________
Roz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2013, 05:43 AM   #11
Roz
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Roz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 472
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roz View Post
Hello, Spotty and I are tuned in and hoping all goes well. You might need to undertaken quite a few water changes, and perhaps gravel and filter media.
Edit: sorry, I meant to say clean the gravel and perhaps change the filter sponge.
__________________
Roz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2013, 08:37 AM   #12
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Rockford, MI
Posts: 9
Update:

50% tank changes continue each day. Nitrates dropping. The test is taking longer and longer to darken each time so that is also a measurable sign.

Looks like they are between 40-80 ppm now. It's hard to see the orange tint of the solution in the vial.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image-2603372853.jpg
Views:	38
Size:	122.9 KB
ID:	210056  
__________________
cbhiii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2013, 10:32 AM   #13
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Rockford, MI
Posts: 9
Concerned:

I'm not sure if this is an improvement, but my Calico is now swimming more and resting less, BUT it seems to be swimming to the side and more vertical than I've seen.

It definitely looks like it should be resting, but it's not. Maybe it's just me, however.

Update:

It seems that when I gestured over to the tank to feed them, that it's movement became more deliberate and moved with purpose like a normally swimming fish. I'll guess that the behavior of swimming to the side or vertical is simply a resting and floating with the current type of movement, to conserve energy.
__________________
cbhiii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2013, 04:15 AM   #14
Roz
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Roz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 472
Hi there, I found that in my previous, much smaller tank, that my fishies swam at a funny angle. I eventually worked out it was probably the current created by the filter.

The little guys are in a bigger tank and with a much better quality filter now, and they don't swim at funny angles anymore.
__________________
Roz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2013, 07:47 PM   #15
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Candiceg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 266
You may want to consider getting a water changer that hooks onto your faucet. It makes large water changes a breeze and I find I will change water much more often because it's easier. Best thing I've ever bought for my tank.
__________________
Candiceg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 09:31 PM   #16
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Rockford, MI
Posts: 9
Looks like my nitrates are finally down at 5 ppm. Definitely something more manageable than what I started with. The fish is moving around a bit more, but still resting at times. Maybe that will change as the days go on.

In my water tests tonight, I notice my PH was high (well water). I haven't done too much with this in the past, what do people here recommend to bring that down?

Thanks again for all of the help so far!
__________________
cbhiii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2013, 09:41 PM   #17
jlk
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
jlk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: philadelphia suburbs
Posts: 11,119
What does your ph read in your tank? Unless it is something extreme (8.8+), there is no need to be concerned. Goldfish do best in high ph/kh/gh water. There are even a few members on here that keep goldfish in water that is 8.8+ without an issue.

Your tank was reading a lower ph simply from lack of water changes (lost minerals and buffers in addition to very high nitrates). Great job getting things under control!! Let us know if you have further concerns in respect to your calico. Hopefully, her activity level has improved along with the tank conditions.
__________________
jlk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2013, 09:29 PM   #18
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Rockford, MI
Posts: 9
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlk View Post
What does your ph read in your tank? Unless it is something extreme (8.8+), there is no need to be concerned.
I just took another pH reading and it is about 8.2 according to the color chart, so I will relax about that. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlk View Post
Great job getting things under control!! Let us know if you have further concerns in respect to your calico. Hopefully, her activity level has improved along with the tank conditions.
I'm grateful for all of the help I received here. She is swimming a little funny still , but none the less moving around. I've read online too that this type of fish is prone to those kinds of buoyancy issues. Not sure if I need to pursue that or wait it out a bit longer as the tank settles.

Thanks again for your help and time!
__________________
cbhiii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2013, 09:35 PM   #19
jlk
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
jlk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: philadelphia suburbs
Posts: 11,119
Glad to hear this! Keep us posted if you have further concerns!
__________________

__________________
jlk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fantail, ick, sick, tail

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off








» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×