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My goldfish has scales missing and some blood streaks on his

body. JA: I'm sorry to hear...
My goldfish has scales missing and some blood streaks on his body.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the goldfish's name and age?
Customer: Chico and he is over 10 years old.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Chico?
Customer: No he has been a happy healthy fish.
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Answered in 40 minutes by:
7/7/2017
Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11,581
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with over 40 years of experience keeping fish. I'm sorry to hear that Chico is not well. These are serious symptoms that often indicate a problem with the water. The first step is to test the water. If you don't have a test kit, you can get them at most pet stores. The API Master Test Kit is a good one. The simpler rests with strips you dip in the water are not accurate.After you test, please let me know the results in parts per million (ppm) for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. We'll proceed from there. Thank you.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
GH 180
KH 40
PH 6.5
No2 0.5
No3 200
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I do not want to call.
Thank you for getting back to me. Those phone call requests are sent automatically by the JustAnswer site. Just ignore them. I'm working on some information for you now, and will post it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience.
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Thank you for waiting. You have a combination of factors that are enough to make your fish sick. NO2 (nitrite) needs to be at zero. NO3 (nitrates) should be below 40 ppm. The pH is borderline. You didn't give me ammonia, but it must be at zero, too. Chico's symptoms could be caused by either the nitrites or nitrates, but when both are high, it is even worse.You need to do a major water change of 75%. Be sure to use de-chlorinated water that is the same temperature as what's in the tank. Then add aquarium salt at the rate of one teaspoon per gallon of water. Salt can help fish cope with water quality problems. Please take these steps as soon as possible. In the morning, test the water again. Let me know the results and we'll figure out what to do next.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Ok will check in tomorrow morning.
I'll keep an eye out for your reply.
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
This morning Gh (180)
Kh (40)
Ph (7.0)
NO2 (0)
NO3 (40)

Thank you for the new results. Those are good results for nitrites and nitrates, and your pH is now in the safe range. The pH is also normal. When bad chemicals are in the water, the first symptoms are usually redness, appetite loss, breathing difficulties, and lethargy. If it goes on too long, the internal organs are damaged, and then recovery isn't possible. I hope that didn't happen with Chico.

Now I'd like to figure out why this happened, and what we can do to prevent it in the future.

How big is the tank? Is Chico the only fish? How long is he from tip of nose to end of tail?

How often do you do water changes and clean the filter?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
10 gallon tank. Chico is the only fish in the tank I started with 6 in 1998, Chico is the last of the 6. He is about 6inches. I don't change the water very often. I use to change it all the time but the fish would die. Therefore, I stopped changing the water and just changed the filter. When the water is low I would add water but that's it. I would say I clean the filters every 2 months. I have been cleaning the filters but I have not bought new filters in the last 6 month. Just cleaning the old ones. Chico is pretty hardy, he is almost 20 years old, I often felt less was more but maybe I didn't do enough.
Thank you for the additional information. I'm going to type up some more for you now, and will post it as soon as I finish.
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Whoever gave you your information on care greatly misled you. The only reason Chico is still alive is because of that hardiness you mentioned. Even though you've been doing your best, ***** ***** didn't have correct information to begin with, things were bound to go wrong.

You were sold the wrong size tank. There is no way more than one tiny goldfish can live and be healthy in a 10 gallon tank. It used to be recommended to have one gallon (about 4 liters) of water per inch of fish. that still holds true for tropical fish, but not for goldfish. For older, large fish, 30 gallons (about 113 liters) per fish is recommended. I’ll share my own experience with 12 inches total of goldfish (3 fish). They are in a 90 gallon tank. I have an undergravel filter, a hanging filter, and a powerful canister filter. It takes all three of those filters to maintain perfect water quality. Regardless of tank size, frequent water testing is needed.

There are a couple of reason why fish might die after a water change. Not de-chlorinating the new water is one. Another is that if all the water is changed at once, it upsets the balance of bacteria in the tank. That allows ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates to accumulate. There is no disease or parasite that kills as many fish as bad water does. It is the leading cause of death in goldfish. Goldfish are wide-bodied fish and they produce a lot of waste. Without frequent water changes, the fish are swimming around in ammonia-laden water. That's like living in a pool of urine. Charcoal in the filters removes some of the waste, but over time, it becomes saturated with the chemicals and can't remove any more.

I can tell you care about Chico. It would be best to get him at least a 30 gallon tank. But it would have to be set up in a certain way in order to be a healthy home. I'll tell you about that in a moment. If you want to continue to keep him in the small tank, you'll need to test the water every day. If there are bad chemicals in it, do a water change of about 1/3. Put new charcoal on your filters.

A new tank has to be cycled. The nitrogen cycle is what keeps the water cleanIn the first step, certain bacteria change ammonia to nitrite. Different bacteria then change nitrite to nitrate. The fish add more ammonia, and teh cycle goes on and pn. When a tank isn't cycled before adding fish, the bad chemicals just accumualte and fish die. When a tank is too small for the fish in it, the bacteria can't keep up with the nitrogen cycle.

Once you have a new tank set up, 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. We can get the tank cycled without fish, so we aren't risking any fish lives. You'll buy some pure ammonia. It has to be unscented and not have additives in it. It's sold in the cleaning supplies area of stores, and also in pharmacies. Add three 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 2 - 3 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.Ingredients will just be ammonium hydroxide and water (distilled). If you can't find any, 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.
After you get the proper readings, 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.

I hope Chico hasn't already suffered irreparable organ damage. If he survives, a new tank would be best. If you can't get one, be sure to test the water daily and do changes as needed. If you have more questions about any of this, just let me know. I'm happy to help.

Anna

Anna
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11,581
Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
Verified
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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11,581
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Experience: 40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.

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