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  1. #1

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    Default please help with diagnosis!


    0 Not allowed!
    I think my new lionhead has body fungus. I've only had my 30 gal. tank set up for 10 days, did not cycle except with store bought bacteria, and added fish the same day I set it up. (I know...I should have done some research) My two fish seemed fine until yesterday. I noticed a white-ish, filmy, stringy in places, substance on one of my fish. The tail and fins are the most affected. I called the petstore where I bought them, (the one's who told me NOTHING about cycling, and pushed me to buy fish the same day I bought the tank) and they told me to add salt to my tank. I then went to PetSmart and spoke to a seemingly knowledgeable young woman who sold me a product called Mardel (Maracyn). It is used to treat a variety of things, body fungus (Columnaris) included. She told me to remove any charcoal filters for the duration of the treatment, which is five days. I have questions about this. Won't removing the filters (I was told to replace them with new ones after treatment) remove any good bacteria I've already established? Also, will my water quality deteriorate without filteration? Should I add salt to my water?
    My fish are still eating, but seem a little more sluggish than usual. I am also worried about the medication getting too concentrated with no filteration. Also, should I reduce the feedings? I am at a loss as to how this fungus came about. Can just stress cause this? I had my water tested at the local pet shop yesterday, and was told that it was fine. I have no idea what I did to bring this on. Can someone please help me? Thank you for any and all suggestions!
    Roxy

  2. #2

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by roxy1
    She told me to remove any charcoal filters for the duration of the treatment, which is five days. I have questions about this. Won't removing the filters (I was told to replace them with new ones after treatment) remove any good bacteria I've already established? Also, will my water quality deteriorate without filteration? Should I add salt to my water?
    My fish are still eating, but seem a little more sluggish than usual. I am also worried about the medication getting too concentrated with no filteration. Also, should I reduce the feedings? I am at a loss as to how this fungus came about. Can just stress cause this? I had my water tested at the local pet shop yesterday, and was told that it was fine. I have no idea what I did to bring this on. Can someone please help me? Thank you for any and all suggestions!
    Roxy
    Well, let me try to answer your questions individually.

    Won't removing the filters (I was told to replace them with new ones after treatment) remove any good bacteria I've already established?
    No, she wants you to remove your filter media pad containing charcoal which will filter out the medicine. Leave in your sponge filter pad.

    Also, will my water quality deteriorate without filteration?
    You should still have filtration without your charcoal filter.

    Should I add salt to my water?
    I wouldn't. I've never had success treating fish with salt. I think keeping the water as good quality as possible is your best bet.

    Also, should I reduce the feedings?
    Definitely, I would feed every other day.

    I am at a loss as to how this fungus came about. Can just stress cause this?
    As you mentioned, you didn't cycle. Disease in a new tank is almost certainly going to happen if you didn't. The bacteria you bought for your filter haven't had time to multiply yet to filter out the colorless ammonia which is building up in the tank.

    I had my water tested at the local pet shop yesterday, and was told that it was fine.
    Pet shops usually use testing strips which are incredibly inaccurate. Try getting a liquid test kit from API and testing it yourself if you have the funds.

    Can someone please help me?
    Sadly, there is no one way to take the right steps to take care of your fish. No one has this down to a science yet unfortunately, so its all pretty much trial and error until you find out what works for you. I know first hand how hard that is to accept, but you should be glad that you are caring so much for your fish. In the pet store you can imagine they would have suffered an even worse fate, so try to take care of them the best you can... but don't beat yourself up if things go south.
    Last edited by megastealer; 05-21-2010 at 04:39 PM.

  3. #3

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    0 Not allowed!
    First off I'm sorry to hear that you're having problems. It's no fun when you have a problem with your tank/fish and don't know the best solution to fix it.

    Now, in order to really help you I'm going to give some advice and ask some questions.

    questions.

    1. How exactly are you testing your water? (do you have your own test kit?)

    2. If you don't have your own test kit you need to get one. Get a liquid test kit. DO NOT use strips as they are unreliable.

    3. If you are only getting your water tested at the fish store (by the same people that said to buy fish right away) I wouldn't necessarily trust what you're being told.

    4. To help you fix your problem we need to know a few things....
    a) what are your parameters...ammonia, nitrite, nitrate.
    b) what is your current stocking in the tank.
    c) exactly what filtration do you have.
    d) if you can it would also be helpful if you took pictures of the "body fungus" and posted it so that we could better identify it.

    5. If you haven't already you really need to read the free ebook and the information on cycling your tank. I have links to these things in my signature below.

    6. In general (this is not always the case) IME someone who spends about 30 minutes reading up on fish keeping has a vast amount more knowledge than the employee(s) at your LFS. That is not to say that all LFS employees are bad, it's just that most don't really know what is really involved in properly keeping fish, so they just spew out the crap that their managers tell them too.

    Finally, I want to say that all is not lost for you or your fish. You've done the right thing by asking questions and wanting to learn more. Hopefully, now that you've found a better source of information than Joe Schmoe at the LFS, you will be able to recover from your troubles and have a happy and healthy tank soon.

    Good luck and keep us posted as to how things go.

  4. #4

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    0 Not allowed!
    Thank you for the quick replies! I was only getting my water tested at my local pet store...guess I should have known better...They even suggested that I put rock salt directly into the tank. "Just pour it in", they said. I knew this could not be right. They told me that they do this when their fish came in, to reduce stress. And the fact that they only sell paper test strips makes me realize that this is probably how they are testing my water. I will make another trip to PetSmart today to buy the better testing kit. If my water conditions become bad, should I do a partial water change while medicating? I don't know what is worse...removing the medicine, or leaving them in bad water...Maybe doing a partial water change before medicating again? I only have the two lionheads in my 30 gal. tank, and plan to only keep the two, as I know they need room. What I don't understand is why one fish is affected and the other one seems fine. The affected fish is a little smaller, and has a much bigger wen, so I'm just assuming that the fancier the fish, the more fragile it may be. As for my filter, I have a double, hang on the back kind, and the filter cartridges contain charcoal. They are a two-in-one kind of cartridge, so I will buy just the sponge filters today. Again, thank you for the quick replies, and the advice on reading the ebooks! I plan to do that today as well! I always thought that goldfish were so easy...I remember having them as a child, only in fish bowls, and they lived for years! We would fill the bathtub up sometimes and just let them swim around. I'm sure they were exposed to chlorine, soap residue from the tub, and God only knows what else...but they just lived on and on! Of course, they weren't fancy goldfish...they were ones we'd won at fairs, and when I think back on how we cared for them, I know they had to be tough! We fed them fishfood, along with bread crumbs, swatted flies, whatever we thought might be a treat! I don't know how they survived this, but they did!
    Anyway, thank you again...off to do some reading now! (I keep checking on my fish, and the poor things think I'm going to feed them everytime I walk up to the tank! It's really hard not to drop in food! They are so cute, with almost little puppy-dog faces, and seem to know me! I really hope they make it! I've already gotten so attached to them!)

  5. #5

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    0 Not allowed!
    I know exactly how you feel, I get attached to my fancy goldfish too. They're like little puppy dog fish IMO lol, and they definitely can tell who feeds them. They always got excited when I walked near their tank and not when our roommates would, I guess because I was the one who feeds them... and it was noticeable enough that all of us laughed about how my fish get really excited when they see me.

    If it were my fish, I wouldn't use liquid medication. The only mediation I've ever used that worked was this stuff:


    I would honestly do a few water changes for a day until and medication you have added is out, and then drop the 2 tablets (I think they are 15 gallons/tablet) in. I found them at Walmart, so maybe yours has them as well. I think the treatment time was a lot more reasonable with these, but it has been a long time since I used them.

  6. #6

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by roxy1
    I think my new lionhead has body fungus. I've only had my 30 gal. tank set up for 10 days, did not cycle except with store bought bacteria, and added fish the same day I set it up. (I know...I should have done some research) My two fish seemed fine until yesterday. I noticed a white-ish, filmy, stringy in places, substance on one of my fish. The tail and fins are the most affected. I called the petstore where I bought them, (the one's who told me NOTHING about cycling, and pushed me to buy fish the same day I bought the tank) and they told me to add salt to my tank. I then went to PetSmart and spoke to a seemingly knowledgeable young woman who sold me a product called Mardel (Maracyn). It is used to treat a variety of things, body fungus (Columnaris) included. She told me to remove any charcoal filters for the duration of the treatment, which is five days. I have questions about this. Won't removing the filters (I was told to replace them with new ones after treatment) remove any good bacteria I've already established? Also, will my water quality deteriorate without filteration? Should I add salt to my water?
    My fish are still eating, but seem a little more sluggish than usual. I am also worried about the medication getting too concentrated with no filteration. Also, should I reduce the feedings? I am at a loss as to how this fungus came about. Can just stress cause this? I had my water tested at the local pet shop yesterday, and was told that it was fine. I have no idea what I did to bring this on. Can someone please help me? Thank you for any and all suggestions!
    Roxy
    You have some awesome advice going on in this thread. I just have a few questions and comments:
    Your "lionhead" is that a lionhead goldfish?
    How many fish are in the tank?
    What species are they?

    Comments:
    Please get a liquid test kit as soon as possible.

    Ill look for your replys Good luck!!
    “Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.” - Nikola Tesla

    "GoT FiSh?"

  7. #7

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    0 Not allowed!
    Yes, they are lionhead goldfish. I only have two, in a 30 gal. tank. I only plan on keeping the two, as I've seen them get to their full growth, and they do get pretty large. I would actually like to get even a larger tank later on. My sister had a red-cap oranda which grew to the size of her hand and was so tame that she could hand feed it. It was amazing to see! This fish lived for over 10 years, and was still doing well when, somehow, her cat knocked the aquarium hood to one side and caught the fish. It was so tame that it thought the cat was a friend and swam right up to it. My sister was just heartbroken.
    I've just come from Wal Mart, and saw the fizz tablets used for fungus. I know this is only the second day I'm medicating with the Maracyn, but it doesn't seem to be working at all. The dosing is for 5 days, so maybe I'm expecting results too soon. The girl in the pet dept. at Wal Mart also suggested the fizz tablets, and partial waterchanges before each dose. She told me she never had any luck with the Maracyn. She said that I should vaccuum my gravel during these waterchanges to pick up the spores that fall from the fish when they reach maturity. I told her this wasn't ich, but she said that many times fungus and ich go hand in hand, and that it wouldn't hurt to treat it like ich. She also suggested that I only feed every other day, and that I feed live foods if possible. I don't know if I agree with that. Wouldn't that mean "high in protien", and therefore a lot of waste? But, again, if I'm doing a %25 water change daily, I'd be picking up a lot of the waste. I've been doing a lot of reading on the internet, and unfortunatly, have gotten a lot of different advice. I guess what works for some, does not work for others. I just hope I wake up tomorrow morning and my little guy is doing much better! Thank you again for all the help! I very much appreciate it!
    Roxy

  8. #8

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by roxy1
    Yes, they are lionhead goldfish. I only have two, in a 30 gal. tank. I only plan on keeping the two, as I've seen them get to their full growth, and they do get pretty large. I would actually like to get even a larger tank later on. My sister had a red-cap oranda which grew to the size of her hand and was so tame that she could hand feed it. It was amazing to see! This fish lived for over 10 years, and was still doing well when, somehow, her cat knocked the aquarium hood to one side and caught the fish. It was so tame that it thought the cat was a friend and swam right up to it. My sister was just heartbroken.
    I've just come from Wal Mart, and saw the fizz tablets used for fungus. I know this is only the second day I'm medicating with the Maracyn, but it doesn't seem to be working at all. The dosing is for 5 days, so maybe I'm expecting results too soon. The girl in the pet dept. at Wal Mart also suggested the fizz tablets, and partial waterchanges before each dose. She told me she never had any luck with the Maracyn. She said that I should vaccuum my gravel during these waterchanges to pick up the spores that fall from the fish when they reach maturity. I told her this wasn't ich, but she said that many times fungus and ich go hand in hand, and that it wouldn't hurt to treat it like ich. She also suggested that I only feed every other day, and that I feed live foods if possible. I don't know if I agree with that. Wouldn't that mean "high in protien", and therefore a lot of waste? But, again, if I'm doing a %25 water change daily, I'd be picking up a lot of the waste. I've been doing a lot of reading on the internet, and unfortunatly, have gotten a lot of different advice. I guess what works for some, does not work for others. I just hope I wake up tomorrow morning and my little guy is doing much better! Thank you again for all the help! I very much appreciate it!
    Roxy
    Ok well here is my opinion for what it is worth.
    First of all you are right in your gut feeling that Maracyn isn't helping, It is an antibiotic and a very strong one at that. The main ingredient in this product is ERYTHROMYCIN. It wont hurt your fish or anything but it wont do anything for fungus either. I often see this drug incorrectly prescribed to treat fungus by LFS employees. I can only reason that since it is good for bacterial infections that look like fungus and in fact is very good at this type of bacteria, it just may be they are somehow confusing this application for what it is not intended for.

    If I may suggest? You have (2) options:

    1) Take the goldfish back to the store and ask to speak with the manager and ask him why someone would give you fish the first day you buy a tank, and even more so why they would give you fish that are more expensive and less appropriate for the purposes of cycling a new tank. Get your money back and buy (3) danios (why? They are very hardy fish and will get the job done with the least help needed besides normal new tank cycling activities. For more details on the best fish for starting a tank with go to this link - its also in my sig.). Cycle your tank with them and once it is cycled you can sell them back to LFS or donate them or get goldfish and let them eat danios.

    2) Use the fizzy stuff if you are already attached to the fish and fully understand the long road you may have ahead of you as you cycle that tank with those fish. It is doable though and if you wish to do it it is all that matters and you should.

    That having been said. In the future if you get fungus here is what I personally use and recommend.

    METHYLENE BLUE
    Dosage: (As water treatment for fish) 2.5 ml of a 2.303% solution per 5 gallons of water.
    Duration: Every other day.
    Procedure: Complete water changes before each treatment..
    Recommended treatment period: 10 days.
    SPECIAL NOTES: Effective against Fungus, some Bacteria, also as an antidote for poisoning including damage (assuming damage is not too far along)This med will nuke your BB!! best not to use it in your main tank. Only use in Hospital tank or as a dip.

    Well I hope this helps ya and whatever you decide don't worry you will eventually get it under control. You have the right attitude and you seem determined to learn all you can & most importantly, you now have US...hehehe. So with that combination you cant fail
    Last edited by tanks4thememories; 05-22-2010 at 05:09 AM.
    “Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.” - Nikola Tesla

    "GoT FiSh?"

  9. #9

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    0 Not allowed!
    I am too attached to my fish to return them, but may call the shop manager and tell him what I think. His reasoning to me, when I was questioning buying the fish the same day I bought the tank, was that they would most certainly be sold by the time I went back, and if I wanted them, I'd better get them NOW. They were $25 each, and I'm still spending money on treatments. I guess I will try the fizzy stuff tomorrow. I do have a question about that....Do I need to change the water to remove the Maracyn before putting the fizzy tabs in? I don't have a hospital tank, but may try to borrow one...For some reason, one fish got sick, and the other did not. I hate to keep drugging the healthy fish. I just hope my sick fish isn't too far gone to be helped. It still acts hungry, but when I'm not near the tank, is listlessly floating in a corner. The other fish is still very active, constantly hunting for food, and even seems to try to get the sick fish to move around. Again, thank you for taking the time to help me. I'm very glad to have found this site, and such caring people!
    Roxy

  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by roxy1
    I guess I will try the fizzy stuff tomorrow. I do have a question about that....Do I need to change the water to remove the Maracyn before putting the fizzy tabs in?
    I'm not sure about the fizzy stuff I don't use it and I do not know the active ingredients. I will see if I can find them. If in the mean time any other member knows if it is compatible with maracyn please feel free to chime in. In my general experience you can often mix antibiotics with anti fungal meds. But once again it is really on a drug by drug basis. To be safe you can drain the tank down to 25% then refill with dechlorinator added of course. Do that procedure twice and you should be ok.

    Quote Originally Posted by roxy1
    I don't have a hospital tank, but may try to borrow one...For some reason, one fish got sick, and the other did not. I hate to keep drugging the healthy fish. I just hope my sick fish isn't too far gone to be helped. It still acts hungry, but when I'm not near the tank, is listlessly floating in a corner. The other fish is still very active, constantly hunting for food, and even seems to try to get the sick fish to move around.
    I'm sorry to tell you at this point your cycle is blown. Maracyn is an antibiotic - its job is to kill bacteria it can not tell if they are beneficial or detrimental. Thus your BB are either all dead or very close close to extinct. So at this point it is like you are starting over. Now for the good news, You don't need a hospital tank cause you basically would use one to keep from destroying:
    A) your other fish
    B) the beneficial bacteria in your main tank.
    So as you can see you have no need for a hospital tank at this point. This brings another point.

    Be very careful with ammonia and all cause goldfish are heavy polluters and on top of that you have no BB to help you keep that pollution non toxic.
    The above is another reason I gave you option number 1. Cycling this tank with those fish could be a very expensive long adventure. Your call but I just want you to have everything you need to make an informed decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by roxy1
    Again, thank you for taking the time to help me. I'm very glad to have found this site, and such caring people!
    Roxy
    You are most welcome. I belong to a lot of forums and this one is by far my favorite for FW animals. The main reasons are the awesome people and the great information.
    “Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.” - Nikola Tesla

    "GoT FiSh?"

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