New Tank -- Bully, or something else wrong?
We recently set up a 30 gallon tank, with three gold fish. A black moor, a calico god fish, and another fancy. We've seen the Black Moor be a bit aggressive, and sort of running into the backs of the other two while feeding. We've also noticed that our 3rd fish has a "pop-eye," as well as occasionly coming to the same corner of the tank and floating there, not gasping for air, but just kind of sitting there. It also seems that he has something up with his swimming, when he isn't using his fins, or tail to move around, he's kind of bottom-heavy, meaning his back kind of floats above his head. His activity level has been normal, he eats, hes swims around, however has this eye condition, and is beginning to develop little white dots, and or tiny holes on his back fin.
These fish have been with us for about a week, and have been treated to a new tank, new filter, and just overall good care. So I guess we're just trying to figure out what all is going on, do we have a bully, and if so what do we do, or is there some sort of issue with the water. The black moor, and the calico are very lively, and are often swimming around. However the third seems to be going through some issues. What should we do?
Re: New Tank -- Bully, or something else wrong?
As far as your fish go, sounds like you may just have a cheeky black moor.
Your fancy, on the other hand, does have some problems. It sounds like it's suffering from pop-eye (http://www.flippersandfins.net/pop-eye.htm). Pop eye sometimes goes away on its own, sometimes it doesn't. However, it usually isn't fatal unless something like a tumor is involved. There are several causes so finding the right treatment may be a test of patience.
The white spots developing sound like ''ich'' (http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/hdwspot.htm , http://badmanstropicalfish.com/meds/ick.html ). My Betta recently endured this infection, however I successfully treated him for two weeks, and no new spots have shown up. I suggest you buy some ich meds and treat your goldfish. However, it may take considerably longer to treat since goldfish are coldwater fish, and the ich parasites lifecycle is dramatically sped up when temperature is raised significantly in a tropical tank.
The third problem your fancy has could possibly be swim bladder disease. It induces loss of stability in fish, loss of equilibrium occurs. It could also be a result of the following: http://www.aquariumfish.net/catalog_...im_bladder.htm , which there's not much you can do about. I once also read an interesting article about how fancy goldfish are bred for their chubby, stubby appearance to the extreme that their organs are so compacted their swim bladders are distorted and the fish won't ever be truly able to swim properly with any kind of treatment.
Hope this helps.
So we think we've figured out that it's dropsy, which is not good. We plan on going to get a bowl to put him in by himself, along with some things for treatment, my only worry is that we can't afford an additional filter right now, and how do we keep him happy without a filter? He's a very small fan-tail goldfish if that helps with anything. We think this has been going on for at least a few days, however I remember noticing something with his equilibrium the day we got him almost a week ago.
I also didn't know about the 2 weeks of cycling, which makes me feel pretty bad, as if we had something to do with it. We had let the tank cycle for 3-4 days, hearing that 1-2 days was usually good.
Do we have a chance of curing him after he's been sick for this long? Do we need an additional filter for the "hospital tank"? Even the thought of euthanizing him if he gets much worse, which we would really prefer not to have to do, but understand if that's the only option due to how long he's been sick, and the pain he is suffering.
We also read this is usually bacterial, is there anything we can do to make sure our other fish aren't at risk besides removing the infected from the tank?
If you get a liquid reagent test kit, you can test for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. To be honest, I think they may be the culprates for any illness symptoms you see such as the pop eye and the irregular swimming.
In the absense of a test kit, you can do large water changes, 50% maybe once or twice a day, to see if the fish begin to recover.
Cycling a tank while they are in it, is going to cause them a great deal of stress, which is going to make it difficult for fish to fight off secondary problems like fin rot, pop eye, swim bladder issues, etc. I think water changes with the same temp, pH and dechlorinated, can give them all a good chance in the mean time.
It is too bad that fish stores don't always pass on the information new consumers need to establish a good home for new fish; but you appear to want to do everything you can for them, including importantly, a proper sized tank for the fish.
If the fish are still under guarantee, you can consider taking them all back, or 2 back, and gradually increasing the amount of fish over time. Otherwise, considering getting Bio-Spira (not Cycle), some Hornwort or other ammonia soaking plants, a test kit, and doing as many water changes as it takes to keep the ammonia at a minimum, like around .25ppm. Prime as a water conditioner is said to bind ammonia and turn it into a much less harmful form for the fish, while still helping the cycle progress.
Also cut back on the feeding... maybe go once every other day until you can be sure of the level of the ammonia in the tank.
A cheap alternative to a test kit is the Seachem Ammonia Alert, for $6 which will hang in the tank and give you a constant reading.
When in doubt, and you see strange fish behaviour, definitely consider a big water change asap.
Quarantine may be a good idea, however Dropsy is not simple to treat. It could be a bacteria problem, a parasite problem, or some other organ failure. To be honest, I think this is an unlikely diagnosis, but fish illness is very very difficult to read without a microscope.
The quarantine will have the same problems as the tank - it's uncycled. If you think you can handle so many water changes on separate containers, and you're sure your fish has something contagious, I guess it's up to you.
It can be as simple as a large new 5g bucket or a large Rubbermaid bin with a bubbler filter (very cheap), or a 10 gallon kit which for the long term of your fish you might want to consider.
I am not sure I would put a fish who is already stressed and possibly sick, in a bowl of water. The stress, waste and toxic build up could be very fast and be worse for the fish.
EDIT: one more edit... while some people call setting up the tank and letting it run "cycling", it's not actually - in order to begin the cycle, you have to give the good nitrogen bacteria a reason to show up - a food source. Be it fish poop, uneaten fish food, a cocktail shrimp, or actual drops of pure household ammonia.
I recommend doing a lot of reading in sticky posts and other fish online articles about the nitrogen cycle process, so you can understand what is happening to the fish.
Edit no. 2: yikes, ich! A week was how long it took for my first fish to show ich infestation, after buying them! If this is the case, there is no point in a quarantine bin, as the whole tank and all the fish need to be treated.
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