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Hi Anna, Ihave just typed out my question and will paste under…

Hi Anna, Ihave just typed out...
Hi Anna,
Ihave just typed out my question and will paste under this:
I would be grateful for advice regarding my goldfish, Karibu. I have been having difficulty with the tank water for a number of weeks – huge algae problem/cloudy water. Carried out 50% water change and continued with partial daily changes for last couple of weeks. The tank had also become slimy. My little fish developed what appeared to be cloudy eye and I treated her with Primafix & Melafix but the condition became worse and she also developed mucus on one eye, veins had become red down her fins and they began to look ragged. I have been in touch with various aquaria/fish specialists and followed all advice to no avail. Having first sorted the water quality out, I started treating her with Myxazin – today is her third day of the treatment but no improvement – she is much worse. Both eyes are completely covered – white – the left has cloudly film floating off it. She is on the bottom of the tank, laboured breathing, has not eaten for two days. The people who advised the use of Myxazim suggested if no improvement, after the course has completed to leave 4 days and then use Protozin for five days. I am most concerned that she is getting weaker and am wondering whether there is anything else I could do. The water is very cloudy again …. test results show all at 0 except pH – 6.5.
Any thoughts/comments you may have would be most appreciated.
Margaret.
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Answered in 16 minutes by:
11/2/2014
Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11,923
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Hello Margaret. Thank you for requesting me. Your fish is exhibiting classic symptoms of ammonia toxicity, so I need to know more about the test results.
Did you use test strips that you dip in the water, or a test kit with test tubes and chemicals you add to water samples?
How long have you had your test kit?
Are there other fish on the tank? If so, how are they?
What size is your tank?
Thank you.
Anna
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago

Test strips - purchased a couple of days ago.

No other fish in tank.

Tank is 40 ltrs.

From what I have been researching I feel you are correct.

All help much appreciated - she is much loved.

Thank you for getting back to me. I’m working on your answer and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. (I am not a fast typist). Please don’t respond to this post as that can lock me out of the question. I want you to know that we are dealing with a very critical situation, and it may be too late, but we will do everything possible. I’ll be back shortly.
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Thank you for waiting. Those test strips are very unreliable to begin with, and to complicate matters even more, they often sit in stores for months, and as they age, they don't measure anything anymore. Karibu has red veins on her fins and a slimy coating, and because of those symptoms, I am almost certain there is ammonia in your tank. From your description, your water is in horrible condition. No medicine is going to help.

I suspect the underlying cause of the problem is that Karibu has outgrown her tank. A 40 liter tank, no matter how good the filter, cannot maintain water quality for a fish this big. It was fine when she was smaller, but it isn't now. Consider getting a tank that will hold 8 liters of water for every 3 centimeters of the fish's length from mouth to tail tip.

For now, we need to take emergency measures. If you have filters that use activated carbon, put in new carbon or cartridges. It would be a good idea to buy your own water test kit (the kind with test tubes) at a pet store and test your water for ammonia and nitrites, so you can see just how high the levels are, and monitor them regularly. You can also buy an aquarium chemical such as Ammo-lock that helps to tie up the ammonia in the water. It won't take the place of a water change, however.

Change 75% of the water in the tank right away with temperature-matched, dechlorinated water. After today, change 50% each day until the ammonia and nitrite levels are zero. If the damage hasn't progressed too far on your fish, you may be able to save her. After the first water change today, add 1 gram of aquarium salt per liter of water. That helps the fish cope with poor water quality. And in these circumstances, I certainly recommend using AmmoLoc or another ammonia remover.

Your pH is also approaching a too low level. Low pH causes a condition called acidosis, which is fatal. This usually occurs if the pH falls below 6.0, so yours is borderline. Water this acidic can also kill the good bacteria in your filtration system, so it can't work as effectively. A water change should help with this, too.

In summary, I recommend a 75% water change with conditioned water, change carbon in the filters, and add a aquarium salt. If possible, buy a test kit and a bigger tank.

The problem with ammonia toxicity is that as it progresses, internal organs are damaged. Once it reaches that point, the fish can't be saved. The fact that Karibu has labored breathing is a very bad sign.

I know you are very worried, so I suggest you stay in touch with me as we try to remedy the situation. Go ahead and do the things I suggested, then get back to me and let me know how it is going. At the very least, I can offer moral support. I hope we can save Karibu.

Anna
Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11,923
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago

Thank you so much, Anna. I will go and do a change immediately. I have a new tank on order - 12 gallons. I also purchased a new filter a couple of days ago as feel the existing one may have been part of the problem. Will do all you suggest. She was a rescue fish and in an awful state when I got her so she has been a brave little one thus far and I pray she can do it again.

Thank you so much for your help, Anna.

I will let you know how she is.

How do I get back to you?

You can get back to me by keeping the link to this question and posting a REPLY. You can do that even after you rate my answer (and there will not be any additional charge).
I wish you success.
Anna
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Hi,

I thought that perhaps you weren't able to get back to this question, so I'm contacting you. How are things going? I hope Karibu is hanging on and that you're getting the water under control.

Anna
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago

Dear *****,

Thank you for getting back to me. I had attempted to send an update but matters have changed drastically since then.

It is with heavy heart that I write to let you know I lost my precious little water baby in the early evening of yesterday. Needless to say, I was distraught and unable to send word last night. I had honestly thought she would make it … such a brave, brave little soul.

Had I found you a couple of days earlier, it would have been a different story. It is absolutely heartbreaking to have inadvertently caused suffering to a little one and I am appalled at the lack of assistance in an emergency and well before, to those who keep fish.

You were absolutely correct regarding the test strips. When tested with the bottles, the Ammonia was 8….. yesterday morning it was down to 0. I had placed her in a sick tank and she really did pull round for a while. I had hoped she would be able to hold on for another couple of days. With the water finally dealt with correctly, I thought she stood a good chance. It is so sad that I had been given incorrect advice and against my inner feelings, I was following said instructions to the letter.

Thank you so very much for the assistance you gave to me at a very difficult time and also for taking the time to follow up on little Karibu. There will be many lives both human and other, that you touch each day …. you are special indeed.

My regret is that I did not find you in time.

Thank you, Anna.

With fond wishes,

Margaret

Oh, Margaret, I am so, so sorry. This was not your fault. You tried to get advice from people who you thought know something, but unfortunately they didn't'. Pet stores are in business to make money only, and they don't pay their staff enough to hire truly knowledgeable people.And the shops sell products - like the test strips- that are worthless. It makes me so sad that I see similar situations every day, especially with fish and pet reptiles, where people who love their pets lose them because of the bad advice they receive.

Once ammonia reaches 5.0 internal damage occurs, so I'm sure that's what happened to poor little Karibu. I feel so bad for you because you tried so very hard to save her.

I understand how you feel because in my early fish-keeping days, I lost to ammonia 3 beautiful 6 inch goldfish I had raised from babies. They had simply outgrown their tank and the filters couldn't keep up. I didn't even realize it was such a big problem because the water looked nice and clear. Like you, I took pet store advice and tried medications.I never figured out the real problem until after they died. Like you, I was heartbroken. It was years and years ago, but I will never forget that experience. Now I know that ammonia toxicity is the leading killer of fish.

I know that you have a new tank ordered. If you have plans to get another fish, please let me know and I can give you some tips to get off to a good start (at no extra fee).

I want to let you know that you do not need to rate this answer, and that if you do, you would be charged a second time. There is no need for that.

If you just want to talk some more, I will be here off and on. Again, I am so, so sorry you are going through this.

Anna
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Just a note: You may receive emails that are inappropriate for the situation and look like they are from me. They are not. They're computer-generated emails. JA is programmed to automatically send them out. Just ignore them. I apologize that you'll be getting them, but I have no way to stop them.

Anna
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago

Thank you for the kind words, Anna. Having gone over and over the last few weeks, I see full well what happened and have had yet another lesson as to how one should follow one’s instincts. I will not dwell on the situation but wish there was some sort of control …. with the majority, it is only about the dollar. Sad….. could be a balance.

Your own experience is heart breaking …. I fully understand how devastating it was for you. The feelings never go away, they simply change shape. The thing I would hold close is that each and every one of them was dearly loved and everything within your power was done. How wonderful you had raised six golden water babies.

Personally I hope in due course, to use this experience to help another little one and will indeed accept your offer of advice when the time comes. Karibu was only small – she had been living in stagnant water in a tiny bowl when I rescued her. Needless to say, it took months for her to heal. It will take time to come to terms with losing her but I do not want to let the experience gained not be used in a positive way.

Someone approached me a number of months ago to see if I would home their goldfish as they no longer want her. Unbelievable. She is also very small and in a tiny tank. This is the one I hope to be able to offer a loving home to. Unfortunately, she lives five hours away but I think there may be someone coming to visit this area in the next month or so.

Thank you again so very much, Anna. You have helped more than you know at a very difficult time.

Margaret.

You have an amazing attitude, Margaret. Any fish you take in will be fortunate. When you are ready to add a new one, let me know about a month in advance, and I'll give you all the information you need to avoid problems from the outset. It actually takes about a month to prepare a tank before putting fish in.
Even though we didn't get the outcome we hoped for, it was a pleasure to meet someone else who loves goldfish.
Anna
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago

Thank you for your kindness, Anna. I will indeed get back to you when starting to prepare a tank …. doubt it will be this side of Christmas.

I have to say, it has truly been such a different experience having your input over all this…. how refreshing to meet someone who understands the value of these little lives.

If we do not converse again before winter truly sets in, I do hope all will flow in a positive manner for you.

Margaret

I wish the same for you, Margaret. I look forward to conversing with you under more pleasant circumstances.
Anna
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