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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11544
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Water parameters:ammonia: 0 ppm,pH 7.6 High Range pH 7.4,Nitrite

Customer Question

Water parameters:ammonia: 0 ppm,pH 7.6 High Range pH 7.4,Nitrite 0 ppm,Nitrate 40 ppm tap water with prime added and aquarium salt. 2 Goldfish 1 Blackmoor 1 bristol comet .55 gallon tank with a fluval 406 canister filter pump. All biological media in canister .Temperature is at about 70 to 72 .They were eating Medi Gold antibiotic food but have now switched to Debride medicated food. Since this is a newly established tank have not been treating water so as to not disturb cycling .Both fish were expose
d to cycling. High nitrite for about 7 days and are still showing problems.Comet is showing red spider veins in fins and tail while Blackmoor is getting white on top side of gills and on fins and tail .Both still have health appetite and have a fair amount of energy,though there are times of bottom sitting and also stringy poo sometimes in the middle it looks good but white and stringy on both ends.This is 2nd time for me to pay and didnt get answer so also like to deal with that issue.Waiting on answer.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in fish. I can't find a record of your first question, and as an expert, I only have access to questions, not your account information. Customer service can help you with that. Their email is***@******.***I want to let you know I'm working on your answer. I actually had it typed up once, but someone who else at JustAnswer locked on your question and when I was able to get back to it, everything I typed was gone. I'll be back shortly. I appreciate your patience.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for u for waiting. Regardless of how hardy they may be, cycling is very hard on fish. There are other ways to cycle a tank without using fish. The reason we have gone to those methods is because we often lose the fish during cycling no matter how careful we may be,. Food, actual ammonia, or a piece of fish fromt he meat counter can be used for fishless cycling, but it is too late to do that now. I’ll give you information on that for future reference.The red veins you see on your comet indicate either ammonia toxicity or septicemia. Symptoms of either are harder to see on black moors because of their dark coloring. The symptoms of septicemia and ammonia toxicity are so similar that it is extremely difficult to tell them apart. However, you have been feeding a medicated food, and that is how we treat septicemia.Despite your test results, we cannot rule out ammonia. If you used the test strips that you dip in the water, they are completely inaccurate. The kind with test tubes and chemicals you add to water samples are best That may be what you already have, but I wanted to mention this in case. For septicemia, the treatment is to feed a triple antibiotic food, keep the water at 68*F to 70*F, and add aquarium salt (table salt sometimes has toxic additives) to the water at the rate of 1 teaspoon per gallon. Antibiotics you add to the water don't work on septicemia. Because you have done these things, I do suspect we are dealing with ammonia or nitrites. It may be your tank never did properly cycle, and that has led to ammonia burn, which the fish have not been able to recover from. I would do a 1/3 water change, today, followed by 10% every day until there is zero ammonia and nitrites for about a week. If any of these chemicals show up again after a week without them. start the water changes again. If there are absolutely no nitrites or ammonia in the water, all you can do is wait. If it’s possible for you to increase aeration, that would be a good step to take.Ammonia toxicity damages internal organs as well as the skin and gills. If the damage progresses too far, the fish cannot recover even after cycling is complete. Since your fish are active I am optimistic that they will be able to recover. When healing begins, the red veins will disappear, and black marks may appear in their place. The black marks are the first stage of healing.If you have more questions, just let me know. I hope your fish will be fine.AnnaMy goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service after you have all the information you need. I will greatly appreciate a positive rating as that is the only way I am compensated. Thank you!FISHLESS CYCLINGOnce the initial cleaning and set up is finished, you can add some of the commercial bacteria solutions you can buy in pet stores. The bacteria need food to get started, and that food is ammonia. There are a few ways to provide it without endangering any fish. You can buy some pure ammonia. It has to be unscented and not have additives in it. Ingredients will just be ammonium hydroxide and water (distilled). Add just two drops to your tank. Wait a few minutes, then test the water. At this point, you want a reading of 5 parts per million. If it isn't that high, add two more drops and test again, etc. until you get the 5 ppm. There will be no nitrites or nitrates yet. Repeat the addition of the ammonia and testing the water every day until you get a nitrite reading. That tells us the cycle is starting. Then you can reduce the amount of ammonia to 1- 2 drops per day. Keep testing. When you start getting some nitrates, and both ammonia and nitrites are at zero, your tank is cycled. This process typically takes 3 to 6 weeks. Don't try to rush it.If you can't find pure ammonia, you can try the second best method of cycling. Buy a small piece of raw fish or a raw shrimp and put it in the tank. As it decomposes it will produce ammonia, and begin the cycling process. You'll follow the same procedures from there as you would with ammonia. However, it may take a couple of days before your water tests for any ammonia since the decay process has to begin. Another method is to sprinkle fish food in and wait for it to decay and produce ammonia. That smells better than decaying fish or shrimp.
When ammonia and nitrites are at zero, the next step is a major water change to eliminate any additives that may have been in the ammonia. Change about 90%. But don't vacuum or clean the gravel because many of the good bacteria have colonized it. Add just a pinch of fish food to continue feeding the bacteria. Before adding fish, test the water once more. Ammonia and nitrites must be at zero. Nitrates should be 40ppm or less. If everything is stable, now it's time to add fish.