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Old 01-21-2012, 07:24 PM   #1
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Cry for help!!! Septicemia - Goldfish

About 2-3 months ago I got three goldfish. They had previously lived in horrific conditions in a 8g tank for two or more years. They are stunted and are suffering from a few health issues. They now live in a cycled 40g. One of them has suspected septicemia (blood infection) and antibiotics are not available for fish in my country.

So far I have tried a few different things.
I made a gel food with cephalexin (human antibiotics) at a dosage of 500mg of drug per 150 g of food. We are now on day 9 of treatment with this. No improvement.
The last 4 days I have been dosing Myaxin to the QT. No improvement.
On day 1-3 in QT I was dosing a half dose of salt but then forgot to add more (oops! I feel bad about that). Now I have been at 1 tablspoon per 5gallons for two days. No improvement.
I am doing back to back 50-75% PWC twice a day on the QT because it is not cycled and the gel food fouls the tank almost instantly.

IF ANYBODY HAS ANY ADVISE ON HOW I CAN TREAT THIS IT WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!

thank you
-Elise
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:27 PM   #2
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This is the original thread. It's very long.
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...sh-180614.html


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Old 01-21-2012, 07:37 PM   #3
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How can you tell a fish has septicaemia ???? Just curious
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukdans1k
How can you tell a fish has septicaemia ???? Just curious
From the red in the tail. That's the first sign. It can then move to the body. Then death.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:48 PM   #5
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I'm about to do one of my daily back to back PWC and add 80g of salt. It was brought to my attention the dose I was using was too low for goldfish.

Any other ideas?

Edit:
PWC done, salt and myaxin added.
I'm nearly out of Myaxin.
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:07 PM   #6
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Has any body ever had this problem???
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:25 PM   #7
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Last thread was popping. This one is a slow starter... Sry Mumma. I am sure he will pull through. Fingers crossed... BTW Sry I am no help other than positive thoughts.
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joejeff
Last thread was popping. This one is a slow starter... Sry Mumma. I am sure he will pull through. Fingers crossed... BTW Sry I am no help other than positive thoughts.
Thanks joejeff. I thought I might get at least one bite!
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:17 PM   #9
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What is your fish's behavior and appetite like? Red streaking in the fins is not always due to bacterial infections...it could be a water quality issue although I know you said the tank is cycled. It might be worth triple checking all facets of your water quality. That caught me by surprise before after I thought the tank was definitely cycled.

Also, after having a full course of cephalexin, I would think your buddy would've improved if it was a systemic bacterial infection....or succumbed to death if it wasn't and it was something extremely serious. The problem is that there isn't a lot of information on goldfish husbandry, so there is a lot of guesswork we need to do.

Is your goldfish eating, pooping, and swimming regularly. Where does he hang out in the water column when he's not swimming? Is his breathing normal? Are there any weird patches or colors on his skin?
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:27 PM   #10
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Red veining like that in goldfish is either:
bad water or
internal infection.

<it can also be the fish's regular coloring masquerading as blood ....>

Since you had been taking good care of the water, internal infection is likely.

Septicemia is most likely bacterial, but it is kind of unusual to see it coming on in a previously healthy fish without some sort of trigger (a period of bad water condition, eg.) Statistically, internal parasites or even virus is more likely in an established tank.

The treatment is normally:
1. fix any water parameter problems,
2. Antibiotics if needed, +/- anti-parasitic drug.

Now, Cephalexin, being a first gen cephalosporin, is not too effective due to bact resistance. Normally, I would say go for the big guns - ie. Kanamycin +/- metronidazole +/- Praziquental (for parasites). All of these should be given in food. But since you can't get that in Oz, we will have to settle for 2nd (or 3rd) best...

I would continue the existing antibiotics for full 14 days. Adding salt is an option. I might start with 0.3%. (Do not add all at once ... better for fish to do this over 48 hours ..... ie give 1/3 now, 1/3 in 24 hr & the final 1/3 24 hr after that. ... Less stress for fish if high salt levels are built up slowly.) I might keep this level for 2 weeks or so (so you need to remember to add the appropriate amount of salt when doing pwc.) Then maybe down to 0.1 or 0.2 for another 2-4 weeks. Salt is primarily good for external parasites, but is good for a couple species of bacteria. It does little harm, so is often my first line of defense.

One more thing you might consider in lieu of antibiotics is temperature. Some bacteria are heat sensitive, and fish has better immunity at higher temp, so high temp is sometimes successful. This has to be balanced with the increased stress to fish at high temp. <I am talking mid 80's here.> Generally, if you have very good aeration, fish will do fine. <My tank routinely go up to the 80's in summer.> But stressing a sick fish with high temp may be counter-productive. If you want to try this, I would say bring the temp up to mid 70's right away, then up it by a couple degrees a day & watch the fish for any ill effects.

Finally, there had been talk of seeing viral infections in goldfish & koi. These can be very lethal. <More so in koi than goldfish.> There were some talk from goldfish keepers that high temp can eradicate some virus. <Basically, they see things looking better in summer.> The jury is out on this one ....

This is all I can add at this point. Anyone has a better solution??
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidspoof
What is your fish's behavior and appetite like? Red streaking in the fins is not always due to bacterial infections...it could be a water quality issue although I know you said the tank is cycled. It might be worth triple checking all facets of your water quality. That caught me by surprise before after I thought the tank was definitely cycled.

Also, after having a full course of cephalexin, I would think your buddy would've improved if it was a systemic bacterial infection....or succumbed to death if it wasn't and it was something extremely serious. The problem is that there isn't a lot of information on goldfish husbandry, so there is a lot of guesswork we need to do.

Is your goldfish eating, pooping, and swimming regularly. Where does he hang out in the water column when he's not swimming? Is his breathing normal? Are there any weird patches or colors on his skin?
Hello and thank you for answering!
Apart from the redness in the tail the fish is completely normal. Swimming correctly, eating everything offered and producing waste. I have not checked my tap water in a few months but I will. The main tank he came from was getting constant 0, 0, 5-10ppm pH 7.6-7.8 (PWC 2-3 times a week) until I started antibiotic treatment with the gel food. It crashed big time from the excess waste from the gel breaking up and fouling the water. It's nearly back to normal now.

The fish swims around in QT as if nothing is bothering him. I watch him from my kitchen regularly. Go gasping for air or rapid gill movements. He rests on the bottom of the QT at night but other than that is very active. Other than the redness on his tail the only other thing I have noticed is a small change in his overall color. He was a bright white when I got him but has started showing yellow pigmentation around the face. I put this down to him being in a brighter environment. The tank is outside and receives about an hour of full sunlight early in the mornings.

I have considered that is not septicemia. I am afraid that if I decide it is not that the fish will suffer and die because treatment has stopped. At this point I don't know what to do.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:42 PM   #12
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Did a bit more digging at my trusted goldfish resources. One (Puregold) suggests that fish do not get internal bacterial infection unless there is a preceding parasitic infection, breaching the skin defense. Therefore treating for parasites on spec is suggested.

In your case, best course of action would be:
1. A bare bottom hosp tank. <Parasites tend to hide in substrate.>
2. Perfect clean water. <Daily checking +/- pwc.>
3. Salt at 0.3%. <Salt dip x1 is optional.>

She suggested that you have the salt level up before upping the temp, as increasing temp increases parasite activity.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsoong
Red veining like that in goldfish is either:
bad water or
internal infection.

<it can also be the fish's regular coloring masquerading as blood ....>

Since you had been taking good care of the water, internal infection is likely.

Septicemia is most likely bacterial, but it is kind of unusual to see it coming on in a previously healthy fish without some sort of trigger (a period of bad water condition, eg.) Statistically, internal parasites or even virus is more likely in an established tank.

The treatment is normally:
1. fix any water parameter problems,
2. Antibiotics if needed, +/- anti-parasitic drug.

Now, Cephalexin, being a first gen cephalosporin, is not too effective due to bact resistance. Normally, I would say go for the big guns - ie. Kanamycin +/- metronidazole +/- Praziquental (for parasites). All of these should be given in food. But since you can't get that in Oz, we will have to settle for 2nd (or 3rd) best...

I would continue the existing antibiotics for full 14 days. Adding salt is an option. I might start with 0.3%. (Do not add all at once ... better for fish to do this over 48 hours ..... ie give 1/3 now, 1/3 in 24 hr & the final 1/3 24 hr after that. ... Less stress for fish if high salt levels are built up slowly.) I might keep this level for 2 weeks or so (so you need to remember to add the appropriate amount of salt when doing pwc.) Then maybe down to 0.1 or 0.2 for another 2-4 weeks. Salt is primarily good for external parasites, but is good for a couple species of bacteria. It does little harm, so is often my first line of defense.

One more thing you might consider in lieu of antibiotics is temperature. Some bacteria are heat sensitive, and fish has better immunity at higher temp, so high temp is sometimes successful. This has to be balanced with the increased stress to fish at high temp. <I am talking mid 80's here.> Generally, if you have very good aeration, fish will do fine. <My tank routinely go up to the 80's in summer.> But stressing a sick fish with high temp may be counter-productive. If you want to try this, I would say bring the temp up to mid 70's right away, then up it by a couple degrees a day & watch the fish for any ill effects.

Finally, there had been talk of seeing viral infections in goldfish & koi. These can be very lethal. <More so in koi than goldfish.> There were some talk from goldfish keepers that high temp can eradicate some virus. <Basically, they see things looking better in summer.> The jury is out on this one ....

This is all I can add at this point. Anyone has a better solution??
Ah you found my other thread yay!
Don't know if you saw the other post in 'saved goldfish'. The salt content is at 0.18% at the moment. I will raise it up to 0.3% over today and tomorrow morning. The QT sits at 70-72 durning the day without a heater. I have a spare so I will put it in and raise the temp up to 74-75 today and raise it some more tomorrow to see how he goes.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:44 PM   #14
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You got a very nice, thorough reply for a combo of meds before this one, so keep us posted if you do any of those treatments and what the results are!!

But in terms of your fish's behavior, it seems unlikely that he has a life threatening condition only because this has been going on for so long and his appetite, swimming behavior, and respirations are normal. in my experience with ANY animal dealing with a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection (especially a systemic one) is that it if the immune system and/or meds are not working to fight it effectively, the animal's condition worsens.

With that said, something like praziquantel is very gentle on most species of fish, including goldfish. It's definitely worth a shot, if only to just ensure your fish don't have any parasites.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsoong
Did a bit more digging at my trusted goldfish resources. One (Puregold) suggests that fish do not get internal bacterial infection unless there is a preceding parasitic infection, breaching the skin defense. Therefore treating for parasites on spec is suggested.

In your case, best course of action would be:
1. A bare bottom hosp tank. <Parasites tend to hide in substrate.>
2. Perfect clean water. <Daily checking +/- pwc.>
3. Salt at 0.3%. <Salt dip x1 is optional.>

She suggested that you have the salt level up before upping the temp, as increasing temp increases parasite activity.
Ok thank you. QT is bare bottomed (so is DT) already. I'm keeping up the twice daily HUGE PWC. I will increase salt first.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumma.of.two View Post
I have considered that is not septicemia. I am afraid that if I decide it is not that the fish will suffer and die because treatment has stopped. At this point I don't know what to do.
I also considered that this can be normal pigmentation, rather than blood in dilated veins. Esp. when the fish is acting normal.

Something to look for:
1. Color of gills.
2. Any redness at the base of the fins (esp. the pectorals)?
3. Can you look at the redness at the fin with a magnifier & see if that is actually blood vessels (branching, no gaps, some going all the way to the base of the tail) rather than pigment in skin?

The yellowing is normal in goldfish ... Almost all white goldfish gets a yellow cast (or turn orange altogether) as they grow.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidspoof
You got a very nice, thorough reply for a combo of meds before this one, so keep us posted if you do any of those treatments and what the results are!!

But in terms of your fish's behavior, it seems unlikely that he has a life threatening condition only because this has been going on for so long and his appetite, swimming behavior, and respirations are normal. in my experience with ANY animal dealing with a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection (especially a systemic one) is that it if the immune system and/or meds are not working to fight it effectively, the animal's condition worsens.

With that said, something like praziquantel is very gentle on most species of fish, including goldfish. It's definitely worth a shot, if only to just ensure your fish don't have any parasites.
I will keep you posted!
I most certainly hope it's not life threatening. I do agree with you. It's either not or he's doing an alright job at fighting it off. Never heard of praziquantel but I will look it up now.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsoong

I also considered that this can be normal pigmentation, rather than blood in dilated veins. Esp. when the fish is acting normal.

Something to look for:
1. Color of gills.
2. Any redness at the base of the fins (esp. the pectorals)?
3. Can you look at the redness at the fin with a magnifier & see if that is actually blood vessels (branching, no gaps, some going all the way to the base of the tail) rather than pigment in skin?

The yellowing is normal in goldfish ... Almost all white goldfish gets a yellow cast (or turn orange altogether) as they grow.
I will have a look now. I might hold him gently in my hand to inspect him. Will that be ok? I don't want to stress him too much.

That's what I thought. Never thought to mention it before because I had read they can change color from white to gold.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:57 PM   #19
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Ah praziquantel = prazi d'oh! I've heard of that. Don't know where to get it though. Will have to do some digging.
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:07 PM   #20
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