Fish gasping and frayed tail fins

Discussion in 'Illness and Disease' started by Debbie P, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. Debbie P

    Debbie P

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    Any advice most welcome! Ihave to solve this asap as I am leaving in a week to attend my niece's wedding

    - have a pond approx 550 gal. - have a bubbler and large drum fiter - have lots of comets
    - no problems last 7 years and ok water numbers (for numbers below used a Hagen kit I had and also water tested at local pond store)
    Today's water testing :
    Salt 0 - 0.02%
    Phosphate .5 - 1 (was 1.5 on Sunday)
    Nitrate 5mg/L
    Ammonia 0
    PH 7.6 ( was 7.4 Sunday)
    Nitrite 0.2 - 0.3 (was less than 0.1 on Sunday)
    Water has been clear and still is.

    A week ago (last Wednesday) I received 2 shubunkins and a water lily from a friend who was closing down their small container pond because they were travelling for 5 weeks - Unfortunately I did not quarentine since my friend is very knowledgable about fish/ponds and has never had problems. Now my fish are having big problems and I have lost 1 or 2 every day since Saturday - filter was flushed Wenesday

    Saturday - fish not active - most gasping for air at surface or sitting on bottom - fins tight to back, some had shredded tails
    - had water tested at pond store and all numbers were very good - water clear
    - I did a 10-15% water change - added 1 cup pond salt - added water prep with water replacement - added melafix
    Sunday - 1 fish dead - had red streaking on tail - fish still gasping and lethargic - water clear & test numbers ok - removed water lily
    - did 20-25% water - added 2 aerator stones - added water prep with water replacement - added Melafix
    Monday - 1 dead, lots with shredded tails, a bit more active many around aerator gasping, some on bottom
    - added Melafix
    Tuesday (today) - 2 dead - fish still gasping - some with red streaking and many with split tails - some more active -water clear & numbers above
    - added Melafix

    I don't know how to proceed next and am worried that things will not get better before I leave- - I have reduced feeding - quite a few were interested in eating today - should I get a medicated food or add an additional treatment?
    I do have too many fish - was going to give many this week to a friend who lost all of his and was restablishing his water numbers after a complete water change
    Info and advice desperately needed!
     
    Debbie P, Aug 2, 2017
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  2. Debbie P

    Debbie P

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    Forgot to mention that the pond has arrowhead plants - bunches in different sections of pond - total would probably be approx 50% in total coverage
     
    Debbie P, Aug 2, 2017
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  3. Debbie P

    mrsclem mrsclem

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    Did you check to see if Melafix can be used with salt? A lot of meds don't.
     
    mrsclem, Aug 2, 2017
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  4. Debbie P

    Tula

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    If this were my pond, I would NOT use Melafix. Please do some research on it that isn't promoted by it's manufacturers.

    Cleaning plants before putting them in your pond is as important as quarantining new fish. There are several products used to do this : PP, bleach and hydrogen peroxide.
     
    Tula, Aug 2, 2017
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  5. Debbie P

    Debbie P

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    checked online and read that Melafix can be used with pond salt
     
    Debbie P, Aug 2, 2017
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  6. Debbie P

    Lisak1

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    Gosh I'm sorry to hear your fish are struggling. I have no knowledge to share - I've not dealt with sick fish before - but wanted to offer some moral support!

    It does sound like the new fish were the tipping point - often, even though fish are each healthy in their own environments, they can bring issues into a pond that your well-established fish have not been exposed to and it makes them sick. New fish can also create stress which could make the whole pond more susceptible to illness.

    @Meyer Jordan - any help in this situation?
     
    Lisak1, Aug 2, 2017
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  7. Debbie P

    Debbie P

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    Thanks for the support - it's been extremely stressful - I am so worried it will go into a tailspin again when I leave.for the wedding.

    Some fish seem better today and are perked up but there are still some that are on bottom not doing well or still gasping by aerators.
     
    Debbie P, Aug 2, 2017
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  8. Debbie P

    DutchMuch Lord Of The Aquascapes!

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    What are your water parameters? CURRENTLY (why does no one ask this? its so important...)

    Ammonia:?
    nitrite:?
    nitrate: ?

    Don't let the store test your water, they use the dumb stick test strips and are WAY off on PPM.
    Get a liquid test kit yourself and take parameters, then come back to me because I think I know what the problem is...

    Don't use medicines (yea I know this is a huge shock, fix your problem, or pop a pill), half the time they are a rip off, and 99 percent of the time its your water quality that is screwing up the fish.
    Do 25 percent water changes every 2 days, you WILL see improvement.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
    DutchMuch, Aug 2, 2017
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  9. Debbie P

    Tula

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    Tula, Aug 2, 2017
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  10. Debbie P

    DutchMuch Lord Of The Aquascapes!

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    I was never a fan of melafix itself anyway, thanks tubla though for posting this!
     
    DutchMuch, Aug 2, 2017
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  11. Debbie P

    Debbie P

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    Water numbers for yesterday (Tuesday) at top in initial post - will be testing again today.
    I did my own testing with a master kit that I've had - went to pond store for testing in case my testing chemical drops were old and not accurate - The pond store that I go to uses drops so seems fairly reliable but only tests for Ammonia, PH, Nitrates & Nitrites.
     
    Debbie P, Aug 2, 2017
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  12. Debbie P

    Lisak1

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    No one asked because she had already posted it. "Today" seems pretty current.


    The pond stores we frequent don't use strips either - I would trust their results.
     
    Lisak1, Aug 2, 2017
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  13. Debbie P

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    How many is "lots of comets"?

    Clamped fins and tail rot are initial symptoms of stress which may quickly progress to bacterial and/or fungal infections.

    Melafix does work when properly dosed. It should be applied at the dosage appropriate dosage level for your pond (9 ox. for 550 gallons) daily for Seven (7) consecutive days with no water changes until after the last dosage has been applied (next day).

    Since most health issues with fish begin with undo stress, I would explore what has stressed your fish. I would suspect that it is a combination of adding new fish to an already overstocked pond.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Aug 2, 2017
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  14. Debbie P

    DutchMuch Lord Of The Aquascapes!

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    weird the post says yesterday...
    they use liquid?
    Depends on who tests for you. A professional pond store who isn't a car salesman, or Petco for example.
     
    DutchMuch, Aug 2, 2017
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  15. Debbie P

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Yesterday is current. If any major parameters changed dramatically in 24 hours the fish would all likely be dead.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Aug 2, 2017
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  16. Debbie P

    DutchMuch Lord Of The Aquascapes!

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    Not if it where for the good.
    Ph can change in an hour, or less. (ph is important, depending on the situation)
     
    DutchMuch, Aug 2, 2017
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  17. Debbie P

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    But you did not ask about pH.
    Rapid changes (hourly) in pH are a rarity in a typical Garden Pond or a natural pond for that matter. The diel fluctuation in pH is normal and fish adjust to this easily.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Aug 2, 2017
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  18. Debbie P

    DutchMuch Lord Of The Aquascapes!

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    Actually,
    depending on the fish they do NOT adjust easily, or at all.
    But I was just giving my 0.02 not going to get into a debate on this topic... :)
     
    DutchMuch, Aug 2, 2017
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  19. Debbie P

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    True. but we are dealing with Pond fish not tropical marine species.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Aug 2, 2017
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  20. Debbie P

    DutchMuch Lord Of The Aquascapes!

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    just tropical.
     
    DutchMuch, Aug 2, 2017
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