Injured black moor laying at bottom of tank
Some basic stuff about my tank: It is a 40 gallon started August 2012. We do about a 30 - 50% water change every two weeks because we have an overstocked tank. We test the water using an API kit weekly. Our last PWC was a few days ago. Our test tonight showed readings of:
Nitrate: 2 ppm
We had the typical problems with Ammonia or Nitrite while our tank cycled, but not since. We are on well water but still add de-chlorinator. Our tank has a pleco, a Shubunkin (6 inches - we are in the process of moving him to a pond), 3 fancy tails and a Black Moor. We 'inherited' these fish and were told at the pet store 40 gallons would be enough. Believe it or not, they used to all live together in a 10 gallon tank!! Next August, our daughter moves out permanently and will be taking a couple of the fancies with her, so the situation will soon be remedied.
Anyhow - about our 'incident'.
Our Black Moor was added about 6 months back. (Another 'gift'.) He has always floated at the top and away from the other fish. They tend to school on one side of the tank, he stays on the other. Well, he began showing signs of constipation (unable to swim to the bottom of the tank, floating upside down), so we stopped feeding daily and went to an every other day cycle. Fed him some mashed peas and stuff and it got better within a day. He was all over the tank. The next day, I woke up to find one of his eyes was completely gone. (The lady at the fish store said it was probably the Shubunkin since it is the only thing in the tank really large enough to hurt him and they could sometimes be territorial?) We did a water change and added a .01% salt solution to help with healing. We have started a 10 gallon hospital tank, but I don't want to put him in it until it is completely cycled. In the meantime, to protect him, we inserted a divider into the tank to separate him from the other fish. The first day after the accident, he seemed completely normal. He continued to be normal into the second day. Once I inserted the divider, he began acting a little strange and began laying on the bottom of the tank. He swims to the top whenever we lift the lid (he thinks he is going to be fed) and he is eating well. Occasionally, he will take a swim around, but always comes back to the bottom of the tank. The eye cavity is now white (was silver and red when it first happened) and there seems to be no outward sign of infection or parasites. The only other change is that his breathing seems to be more rapid.
I'm sure he is stressed, and I really want to move him to the other tank, but not until it is cycled. Is there anything else I can or should be doing for him? I really love this little guy and don't want to see him die!
I am surprised that your nitrate readings are so low. You have A very heavily stocked tank and change 50 percent if the water very two weeks, while most people on this forum change the same amount of water every week or even more regardless of stocking. When testing for nitrates you really have to shake the bottle and the test tube very, very hard to get accurate results, otherwise you might get low readings. I am not sure what may have caused your fish to lose its eye, freak aggression is always a possibility, especially with a shubunkin(or any other "single tail" goldfish kept with fancy type ones, which are deformed, slow and sometimes have bulging eyes, an inviting target. ) or maybe it was something building up over the course of time. I very much doubt that the high bioload produced by 5 goldfish and a pleco would have been adequately covered by a water change every two weeks, so it may have built up over time(regardless of what your nitrate test says). High nitrate levels do all kinds of funny things to fish that are not immediately diagnosable.
I question the accuracy of those nitrate readings too. Seems far too low for a tank with 6 heavy bio-load fish and few water changes. Nitrates are toxic to fish, just like ammonia and nitrites, but they can tolerate higher levels. High nitrates will hurt the fish and stress them to the point that all sorts of nasty's can happen, like pop eye, cloudy eye, etc... Does the divider you have in the tank allow the filter to filter that side and give good circulation? The best thing you can do for the fish now is more water changes. Start with a 50% change today and continue at least every other day to keep the water pristine so the fish can heal.
I agree with Andreahp's suggestion to add an air stone.
Last edited by mommy1; 02-26-2013 at 02:02 PM.
When I go fishing I just place a sharp rock in the water and sit there waiting for all the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
Brutal honesty will be shown on this screen.
I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
Tolerance is a great thing to have, so is the ability to shut up.
I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.
5 goldfish in 40 gallons is stretching it, as well, depending on the types of goldfish. Growth sizes for the different species is listed in my signature. As you will notice, several types get very large. Also check on types for compatibility as not all belong together..........example of that would be commons with fancies.
+1 with the water changes - with an injured fish, you should be doing 50% water changes at least once a week if not twice a week.
Originally Posted by huguelet
Regarding your QT, you could take some cycled media from your larger filter and stick it in the filter meant for the 10gal (unless you've done that already)- you are cycling the 10gal filter in your larger tank?
You could also try putting a small airstone in the tank to increase the oxygen (unless you have one in there already).
It sounds like you are doing everything you can at this point to help the eye heal - good job.
I also agree that's way too many fish for that sized tank - I have never seen a reading of 2ppm for nitrates - are you sure it's not 20ppm? A good nitrates level is 20ppm or less.
Also, I'm sure you know by now that you can longer take any more "gifts" LOL
46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, green corys, 1 guppy, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies