Goby Dragon having issues with eyes, red gums/teeth
Hello, this is my first post on the forum & hoping to find some answers. I thank anybody in advance for reading, and taking the time to offer any kind of advice at all. It's very appreciated and I thank you!
I first started my aquarium because a friend of mine had a (roughly) 20 gallon tank in her dorm room at college, and wasn't going to be able to take care of them over an extensive holiday break. I then set up a 20 gallon tank at my house. I took in her goby dragon, along with a handful of other fish. I ended up keeping them all for several months. The goby seemed pretty happy, though he had his differences with a placostimus who was pretty territorial. But he went from having rocks in the dorm tank, to sand in mine, which I think he enjoyed digging in. Granted, he did move the rocks around the other tank a lot as well. I would also add, as the goby got bigger (and the placostimus), they outgrew the tank, so I ended up switching to a 55 gallon.
Eventually, the girl got a new place, set up her own 55 gallon aquarium, and took back only the goby, not the placostimus. She also took back 4 ghost fish/glass cats and a couple zebra danios. Since then, she has filled out her tank with a red tail shark, a spotted cat fish, and a new baby white placostimus. (She likes the placostimus to help keep the tank clean, and said if this new one grew big & had territorial issues with the dragon, she would probably trade it in for another baby) For the most part, things have gone ok with the tank, with the exception of a zebra danio dying, and the goby dragon having the issues listed in the thread's title.
When my friend got home one day, she noticed the goby's small black eyes were either gone, or had turned white. She couldn't see them anymore. I have not personally seen the goby, but that's what she describes to me. She tells me there is no aggressiveness in the tank, and she's clueless as to what fish would assault the goby in such a fashion, or if somehow the goby did it to himself. A week or so later, she's now telling me it's teeth look like they are bleeding, or all red. First she told me he still seemed normal, was getting around ok, eating ok, but now tonight she's changed her tune & said he seems lost, runs into everything & hasn't gone into his normal tunnels he hides in. It's really sad to see the goby sink down such a health spiral, and both of us are hoping to get some experienced or professional advice as to how we can help this guy.
Some other specs worth noting: she did add rocks to her tank, not sand. I was wondering if maybe he hurt his teeth moving rocks around? She has done a few water changes, and adds a water conditioner chemical when doing so, otherwise no chemicals are added. I don't assume it's a water quality issue? I really apologize for not having the ammonia/nitrate/nitrite levels, we share the same water test kit, and it's currently at my place. We will get her one asap, but the levels were all safe last she checked which was 2-3 weeks ago. The tank has plastic plants, and a decoration house which fish & the goby go in & under, that bubbles. It's also decorated with a few other tunnels.
If anyone with goby dragon experience has any ideas, please help us out. Again, thanks so much in advance, anything at all is appreciated!
It sounds like a water quality problem to me, possibly high nitrate.
A few questions that if answered would help:
Was the tank cycled?
How often does she do water changes and how much water is changed?
What is her typical tank maintenance routine?
Does she clean the gravel when changing water?
What filter is she using?
What is the full stock lift of her tank?
Exact water parameters in parts per million
In the future, please also take your time to make yourself acquainted with the care requirements and compatibility of each fish you buy. The current stocking contains potentially agressive fish as well as those that will outgrow a 55 gallon.