Your goldfish is suffering from a severe bacterial infection which is the reason that the Ick medicine did not effect a cure as the medicine used is designed to treat parasites and not bacterial issues.
What I recommend be done is:
1) Verify that the water temperature is in the proper range for goldfish which is 62f-72f degrees. If not then slowly adjust it.
2) Change 25% (6.25 gallons) of the water. This should be done once a week, instead of every 30 days, as a matter of regular tank maintainance. When the water change is done do not add any more salt as the salt is liable to irrititate the area exposed by the missing scales.
3) Begin to treat with a medicine called Maracyn Plus which is easily found at most major pet stores. Follow the directions on the product label for usage/dosage instructions.
4) As a precaution before starting treatment have the water tested for levels of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Ideal results should be ammonia=-0-, nitrites=-0- and nitrates=20ppm or lower. Differing results would indicate a water quality problem which would need to be fixed before treatment.
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Depending on how far advanced the problem is the scales might or might not regenerate but they most probably will if the fish recovers from the problem.
I don't know if Petco carries Maracyn Plus but if they don't you can ask them to order it.
Ick manifests itself as little white spots all over the fish giving the fish the appearance of being sprinkled by salt. Obviously this is not the case here.
Also if this were another external parasite problem the Ick medicine would have most probably been effective against it.
I would still recommend the Maracyn Plus but do make sure the water quality is in order or no medicine will be of use.
If the fish is able to recover and much of this depends on how far advanced the disease has become the the scales should regenerate. If the fish is not able to bounce back then not only will the scales not grow back but the fish will die.
Remember good water quality plays an important role in the recovery process.
Thank you for your accept.
If the problem is not too far advanced and the fish reacts favorably to the treatment then the scales should start to regenerate within 10-14 days.
The results are not confusing at all as they clearly state--nitrites (no2)=5.0 and
nitrates (no3)=below 40ppm.
This is what's causing the problem--the presence of harmful nitrites in the water. Both ammonia and nitrites should never be present in an establshed aquarium as they will harm and eventually kill a fish.
Before beginning treatment nitrites must be completely eliminated or no medicine will have a positive effect. Repeat--nitrites must be eliminated in order to treat effectively.
What needs to be done to eliminate nitrites is a series of daily 15% partial water changes in conjunction with a drastic reduction on the amount and frequency of food being fed. For now feed the fish only a small pinch of food once every other day. This will not starve or harm the fish as they are genetically hard-wired to go days without food. Overfeeding causes excess fish waste and decaying matter all which contribute to ammonia/nitrite formation. Continue this regimen until both ammonia and nitrites are both at -0-.
If your using carbon/charcoal in your filter it would be beneficial to change it for new fresh carbon as this will help the water quality.
Once the water quality is in order you can begin to treat the fish. You can substitute Maracyn 2 for Maracyn Plus.
Remember that prolonged exposure to nitrites and/or ammonia will kill the fish!
I'll be signing off shortly so if you have additional questions I'll address them later in the day.
You wrote-"The nitrates are within the "normal range" on the illustrated scale" but as I recall nitrites (no2) were the problem so I'd advise checking/testing them as soon as possible.
If the fish is making progress with the Maracyn 2 then continue to finish out the treatment if not then switch over to Maracyn Plus but make sure both ammonia and nitrites=-0- before continuing.
I was speaking of nitrites (no2) as they are far more dangerous than nitrates but as you've mentioned they're at -0- and ammonia too then all is almost well with the water as the nitrates need to come down to at least 20ppm. To acheive this cut down on the feedings and make sure the filter is on par. 15%-20% partial water changes help too.
Try adding a product to the water called Stress Coat. It contains the natural healing ingredient aloe vera and helps with the fish's natural slime coat. If no improvement is seen within 72 hours re-treat with Maracyn-Two.
You wrote--" I checked the levels a bit over a week ago and the tank was in good shape." I assume that to mean ammonia=-0-, nitrites=-0- and nitrates=20ppm or lower
, if not then there's a water quality problem.
Also please remember what I had cautioned about on 06/01 and that is "depending on how far advanced the problem is the scales might or might not regenerate" but the good sign here is that you have not mentioned the fish not showing any other negative symptoms.
Ammonia is fine, nitrates as you're aware are too high and will cause problems at this level. It would be advisable to check for nitrites too. Live plants would not have a negative effect on the nitrate level.
Yes continue to do daily 15% partial water changes for the next two days whilst adding the corresponding amount of Stress Coat.
No need to remove the carbon when using Stress Coat. It would be beneficial to the water to leave the carbon in the filter for the next two days.
Assuming ammonia=-0- the test results are fine. I don't know if we covered this but as a precaution test the ph too. If it's too low or high it could have a negative effect on the fish.
Live plants are beneficial in an aquarium but they do require work such as cleaning up dead leaves from the tank and filter intake.
Sounds like a green light to go ahead and treat again tommorrow.
Green water is a sign of algae although not harmful but unsightly. Plants do not cause algae growth but excess nutrients do, i.e. food, waste products. A high level of phosphates in the water will also stimulate algae growth.
As for the scales not growing back, apparently the problem was too far advanced thus the scales did not regenerate.
Septicemia is basically internal bleeding and it's primary symptom is red streaks on the fish. You can try using the medicine listed in the post you read as it will not do any harm.
I'm not sure it will fix the problem.
I'm glad to be of assistance and admire your efforts to save the fish.
25% water changes once a week are ideal.
I wouldn't recommend using an algae treatment, only as a last resort. They can sometimes cause problems as a fish will have a negative reaction to them and with your fish's scale problem I wouldn't want to risk that.
Take care Jennifer and have a safe holiday.
I disagree with the advice that treating goldfish is not recommended as if a goldfish becomes ill what is a fishkeeper to do?, let the disease progress. If so then the fish will surely go downhill. At least treating with medicine gives the fish a chance. Yes it's true--over-medicating will not help a sick fish but that's why it's important to follow the directions on a medicine's product label as stated and to not treat with too many medicines nor too often.
As for adding aquarium salt- what I think would be the best course of action is to add a small dose of salt to see how the fish reacts. Instead of the usual recommended dosage of 1 teaspoon per every 5 gallons/20 litres of water try 1 teaspoon per every 7.5 gallons/ 30 litres of water. If the fish doesn't have a negative reaction after 5 days then
add the corresponding amount so that the normal recommended dose is reached.
Hi again and I'm glad to hear your goldfish has been doing well all along.
Ok for starters the water test results are good although the darting and brown spots would be an indication of ammonia burn so the first thing I'd recommend is having the water re-tested for ammonia by an outside source such as your local pet shop. If their results coinicide with your test results than I think it would be safe to say ammonia is confirmed at -0- if not then there might indeed be an ammonia issue.
I would avoid adding any kind of salt at this point. Do an immediate partial water change as you have planned=25% and add a product to the water called Stress Coat right after the water change. If after 24 hours the fish has not improved then begin to treat with a medicine called Melafix.
The fish's symptoms are indicative of a reation to something in the water more so than a bacteria hence my not recommending any of the Maracyns.