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Old 02-18-2016, 04:19 AM   #1
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Injured Oranda Rescue - Advice for Recovery?

Hi everyone,

While at our local pet store tonight I noticed a huge (huge!) goldfish literally destroying a smaller oranda... I've never seen fish aggression to that degree before… it was actually disturbing to witness. After alerting an employee, the oranda was removed from the tank, but had suffered a large amount of fin/scale damage. I already had a quarantine tank set up at home, so I thought I would give her a chance at recovering… and even if she doesn't make it, at least she'll have known love and will have had some peace and safety. So I have her temporarily set up in a 10 gallon (but will move her to my 30 gallon once she recovers), and based on the info I've found online about treating injuries, have added salt and started treating with melafix to help with healing. All but one of her fins (a pelvic fin) are moderately to severely damaged and some were quite bloody when she was pulled from the tank… her two pectoral fins have been reduced to tiny stubs (she's using her pelvic fins to balance/steer as she swims), she's missing at least half of her tail almost down to the base and a lot of what's left is quite frayed and bloody with some black at the tip (though this seems to be fading since starting the treatment), her dorsal fin is partially tattered, and she's missing large patches of scales on both sides of her body. Behaviourally, she seems quite happy to have a tank to herself and has been swimming and foraging enthusiastically all night with no signs of the injuries slowing her down, which has been so great to see! She's very alert and keeps coming over to see me… she even stopped to nibble at my fingers on her way out of the transport bag But in terms of getting her through to recovery, I'm wondering if you might have any additional advice or insight for dealing with these injuries? Also, does anyone have any experience with fins that are this injured (especially the pectoral side fins) growing back? I've treated fish with mild fin fraying and fin rot before, but I've never had or seen a fish with this much damage… and I just want to give her the best chance I can at a longer life

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Old 02-18-2016, 09:04 AM   #2
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Injured Oranda Rescue - Advice for Recovery?

Fingers crossed!

Heaps of stories of fish jumping out of tanks to land on hard floors and then surviving fine after put back in so hopefully it all grows back. There's nothing special I know of except frequent water changes to keep high water quality.

And welcome to the forum
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:45 PM   #3
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Thanks for the welcome! And I'm glad to hear that fish are good at bouncing back! Definitely going to be keeping up with daily water changes until her fins are healed. She looks so much better today - all of the blood is gone and her fins are already starting to look less tattered
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:46 AM   #4
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Sounds grand. Keep us posted
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Old 02-23-2016, 12:10 AM   #5
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Well, her fins are healing wonderfully, but now she's covered in ich! I'm treating with salt, increased temp, and an herbal ich treatment, as I'm worried about her large patches of missing scales being sensitive to meds… does anyone have any advice on treating ich in fish with missing scales? Poor thing is having a rough week!
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Old 02-23-2016, 07:40 PM   #6
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Not showing any distress at the treatment? That is an unlucky run.
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Old 02-24-2016, 01:13 AM   #7
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Thanks for following up! She was looking miserable today and just hanging out at the surface with a ton of ich spots/fins starting to clamp, so I decided to take a risk and change up the treatment… did a large water change, replaced it with healthy water from my other goldfish tank (tested for parameters and all is good), and started treating with API Super Ich Cure at half dose (which is the treatment recommended for scaleless fish, so I thought I would stick with that to be safe). I also increased the temp to 82 temporarily, watching closely to see how she handles it… She's perked up and is swimming around like usual, so I'm hoping this is going to work!
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:02 AM   #8
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GF need additional air /O2 when the temp goes up, they can't get enough O2. So add an air bubbler and/ or lower the water lever a couple inches to get more splash and O2.
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:56 AM   #9
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Thanks Autumnsky! I forgot to mention that I've had an air pump in for the last few days now, and added less water back in tonight to drop the water level - I'm glad I'm doing the right thing! Do you by any chance know what the max temp would be for an Oranda? I've been seeing a lot of mixed info online, from nothing above 70 to raising the temp to 86 for the treatment phase, and am hoping to find a solid answer instead guessing or following general instructions for tropical fish ich treatment.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:55 AM   #10
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Personally I would err to the side of heating it up for them a degree to 2F each 24 hours say. Then treat until all spots are gone for 3 days and decrease 2F per day same thing and then when you have the temp back to their tolerable level start with water change out for salt and do each couple days pwc and no salt each pwc till the water is normal again.

I think I remember having a goldy in my community tank (I kept temp low and it was early on in my fish keeping awareness of tankmates and compatibility) when treating for Ich. Water quality will possibly be an issue. I wouldn't do meds with heat and salt. Either meds OR heat and salt.

Just figure the amount of salt you have in the tank and do the pwc with the salt dissolved into the pwc water but keep up with the water parameters or you could have more problems for the fish.

Best case would be for the fish to get over it quickly. Hoping it isn't temp resistent. Make sure you read up on the lifecycle of Ich so you can gage the timing of things.

You could post a question in Freshwater & Brackish - Coldwater, Native Fish & Ponds - Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community for more assistance/experience/opinions!
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:58 AM   #11
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GF live in ponds in the lower portions of the US and other counties and the ponds get very warm in the summer.

You might need even more aeration you can't really have too much. They have a hard time breathing properly in heat. Just watch closely.
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Old 02-25-2016, 10:31 PM   #12
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Autumnsky - thank you so much for all of your insight! It's much appreciated! I've never treated a goldfish for ich before (only tropical fish), let alone one with several healing injuries. I'm so glad you posted about adding more aeration - I noticed today that she was gulping at the surface, and I would have been worried it was the meds had you not suggested adding more O2. I added another source of air and she seems to be doing better! There are a lot fewer ich spots today, so I'm hopping that they'll clear quickly! Thanks again - and you're so right about pond fish. We used to have a pond and the water would definitely get up into the 80s in the summer - the fish certainly didn't seem to mind!
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Old 03-11-2016, 05:05 AM   #13
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How's the little guy doing?


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Old 03-12-2016, 02:21 PM   #14
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Thanks for asking, Roz! Her condition deteriorated severely just after I had posted my last message here, and each dose of the API treatment made it worse. Her skin and fins began haemorrhaging, and I had to stop the meds prematurely… in a last ditch effort, I transitioned over to a salt (2 tsp/gal) and heat (82F) treatment, but made the massive mistake of using Melafix as well in an attempt to help her fins and body heal from the damage… within a day her skin began bubbling and peeling, and the outer layer of her eyes also started peeling off. I have never seen anything like it before, and there were a few nights that I didn't think she would make it through as there was so much tissue damage and she was barely breathing... but I thought that it was just the progression of the illness, as nothing I had found online (or on the Melafix bottle) warned against using Melafix with a high-dose salt treatment. It wasn't until I found someone with fish expertise at a pet store in town that I learned the combo of Melafix and high doses of salt can potentially create a toxic chemical reaction that can be deadly to fish. As soon as I found that out and at his suggestion, I did a massive water change and added new carbon to the filter to remove the Melafix, and she began improving by the hour. Within a week, she had recovered completely from everything. Today marks 11 days since I removed the Melafix from the water and began treating only with heat and salt, and she is doing amazing! I was planning on beginning to wean her off of the treatment yesterday, but noticed a tiny white spot on her wen (not sure what it is yet), so I'm going to wait a couple more days to see what it does. Once I'm sure it's nothing/it goes away, I'll be reducing salt and heat over a few days, letting her adjust to normal water parameters for another few days, and then introducing her to my other goldfish. The two tanks are set up in close proximity, and both fish spend a ton of time interacting with each other through the glass, so I'm really excited that she's going to get to move over to the big tank and live with her new-found friend I still can't believe that she made it, but I am so happy that after everything she has endured over the past month, she gets to enjoy the rest of her life. I've since named her Maia, which means 'brave warrior'… I think it's a perfect fit! Thank you to all who provided their insights on this!

This is Maia, feeling much better:
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Old 03-12-2016, 06:04 PM   #15
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Injured Oranda Rescue - Advice for Recovery?

She's a gorgeous fish and very lucky she found you!!

I've read on this forum that many people think Melafix doesn't do anything to help fish. I think your hefty water changes did the world of good!

I'm so please she's doing better


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Old 03-12-2016, 11:31 PM   #16
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Thanks for the update on this and good news on your fish doing better.

I was interested in your thoughts on the melafix and salt as had never come across this combination as a potential issue. To be honest I'm trying to figure out how they could interact and if the previous meds also played a part. Did the lfs offer any more thoughts on what was the max dose of salt with melafix?

Just in case, have you also been testing for ammonia and ph if this may be needed?
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:04 PM   #17
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Thanks Roz and Delapool!

Delapool, as for the salt and Melafix, I would have never clued in that it was the issue when I combined them in treating the ich had the lfs not told me, as I had used them in combination when I first got her to treat the original wounds from her tank mate, and everything seemed to work really well. I had no issue with the combination when I was using 1 tablespoon of salt per 5 gallons of water, with one teaspoon of Melafix daily… but the second time around, I was using 2 teaspoons of salt per 1 gallon of water with one teaspoon of Melafix daily - and that's when the issues exploded. Within 24 hours of her being in that treatment, her skin started bubbling and peeling, and within 48 hours, the outer layer of her eyes also began peeling. Once I got the Melafix out of the water, she began to improve drastically by the hour, and within a few days all of the skin peeling had resolved… the Melafix was the only variable that changed in that timeframe, so I do believe that it was the problem (at least, I believe it enough to never ever do that again!). I've been monitoring water parameters throughout, and at one point during the API treatment ammonia had gotten to .5 ppm, but that's when I stopped that treatment so I could begin doing daily water changes and was able to bring it down.

The person I spoke with at the lfs said that until he had spoken with someone and found out that combining Melafix with salt has the potential to create a reaction similar to mixing bleach with other chemicals, he too had treated with both and lost fish because of it. I believe he said that it can create a toxic gas. He didn't have recommendations around the max concentration of salt that would be safe, but just to get the Melafix out of the water stat. Again, I had no issues with it when using salt at a lower concentration, just with the high-dose concentration for treating the ich.

I'm not sure if the prior API meds had anything to do with it, as I had risked a 100% water change and started completely fresh prior to commencing the salt treatment. But I definitely think it had weakened her, as one of the reasons that I changed treatments from API meds to salt was because she was declining so quickly.

In terms of how the Melafix and salt might combine to create toxicity, I unfortunately don't know (so this is entirely just me thinking out loud), but I'm wondering if there might be something in the Melafix that results in the dissolved NaCl (i.e. Na ions and Cl ions are created when NaCl is added to water) joining with other ions from either the water, something in the water from the Nitrogen cycle, or something in the Melafix to create a toxic molecule… a higher concentration of NaCl would theoretically result in a higher concentration of whatever toxicity is created… but I'm really not sure… it's still a bit of a mystery to me too!

I hope this information helps! Thanks again for your feedback throughout this fish saga!!
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:35 PM   #18
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Hi, thanks for the information. I confess I'm a little stumped but started trying to do some research.

In the references below the patent mentions treatment in SW fish while a marine version of melafix seems to also exist.

I'm not disagreeing, your notes lead me to melafix as well but the mechanics of how it caused the issue is proving to be not as easy as I thought.

Would welcome any articles you may come across.

I do find there was more comment on forums early on when melafix came out but it's also possible the surfactants / emulsifiers have also changed. On quick reading the safety data sheets there may be a difference in these between SW and FW so I haven't ruled out that.



http://www.apifishcare.com/product.p...0#.VudJGEXCanM

http://www.theaquariumwiki.com/Melafix

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...S=PN/5,882,647
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Old 03-19-2016, 02:50 PM   #19
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Hi Delapool,

Thanks for the info and for your interest in the issue!! I'm still stumped too… the reason I thought it was okay to use Melafix and salt was because I couldn't find anything online that indicated there could be an issue, so I agree that understanding what happened seems to be a bit elusive. I do find it interesting though that there is a different Melafix product for marine environments… you could be on to something there!

I'm just so glad she made it after all of that
I moved her into my main tank a few days ago, and she and her new-found buddy Piper have been inseparable It's so sweet.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:39 PM   #20
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Might try a research project on an empty tank next time I get some melafix (only have pimafix at moment) and do some water tests out of interest.

Good news they are doing well. I like the photo
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