Flashing...How much is too much?


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So recently I had a episode with my fish. In which the larger of my two shubunkins was lethargic, lost her appetite and was surface breathing. I treated with aquarium salt and aquarium coops paracleanse prophylactic dosage suggestion. However during the treatment I became more suspicious that the issue was more related to long term exposure to small amounts of copper and chloramine I wasn't aware of in the water. I fixed all water issues but now about a month later the fish exhibited flashing behavior the other day and the largest of the two started surface breathing and acting lethargic again. I turned up the aerator, which is rated for a much larger 500 gallon pond, and the surface breathing stopped. It's been two days since this strange behavior. I've seen some darting behavior since but no obvious rubbing that I can positively identity as flashing. Obviously there's a problem with oxygenation but I am having a had time identifying what is causing it? Parasites possibly. It makes no since that the dissolved oxygen level would be low. Its a 125 gallon pond, the aerator is rated for a 500 gallon pond and it wasn't even turned down to half. Plus there is a waterfall that runs 12hrs a day in addition. I see no signs of ick but their Shubunkins the speckled pattern makes it hard to be certain. It could be gill and fluke and my dosed down treatment only knocked them back periodically. I would just watch and wait but I am really concerned about the weather changing and being able to safely reacclamate them back out into the pond. The water is down to 65.5 F already. Help I need advise from those more experienced!
 
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So recently I had a episode with my fish. In which the larger of my two shubunkins was lethargic, lost her appetite and was surface breathing.
How many fish and how large are they? Is the pond cycled?
I treated with aquarium salt and aquarium coops paracleanse prophylactic dosage suggestion. However during the treatment I became more suspicious that the issue was more related to long term exposure to small amounts of copper and chloramine I wasn't aware of in the water.
Okay good, but don't keep doing more of what didn't work.
I fixed all water issues
How? Have you tested the water parameters? Do you have a testing equipment? If not, take a sample to a pet shop.
but now about a month later I've seen some darting behavior since but no obvious rubbing that I can positively identity as flashing.
Look at their gills. Do you see any reddish tint on the gills? Flashing is their way of saying something is wrong. Yes, fish dart in play and chasing food etc. but not continuously.
Obviously there's a problem with oxygenation but I am having a had time identifying what is causing it? Parasites possibly. It makes no since that the dissolved oxygen level would be low. Its a 125 gallon pond, the aerator is rated for a 500 gallon pond and it wasn't even turned down to half.
Of course keep the aeration going but if the water quality is poor it won't solve the problem. Test your water.
Plus there is a waterfall that runs 12hrs a day in addition
Why only 12 hours per day? Run it 24/7.
I would just watch and wait but I am really concerned about the weather changing and being able to safely reacclamate them back out into the pond.

It sounds like the fish are now in some sort of hospital tank. How many fish and what size tank?
 

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and consider this; MOST ponders/people think an aerator is some magic machine PUTTING air INTO the water. That is false. It's false because oxygenation occurs imperceptibly with the bubbles rising up through the water. It DOES become perceptible at the surface, though, which is where all the oxygenaion occurs. So to say a pump is rated at this or that, is a misnomer. It depends on how much agitation you're creating on the surface. And then the question becomes; how much open surface area do you have? How large of a spread of agitation does the pump make? If you have larger fish in too small of a pond, you're going to run out of oxygen, especially with warm water. As noted above, run your waterfall 24/7; the fish are still breathing the oxygen (or trying to) at night when your waterfall is off.

A small pond (which yours is) is infinitely harder to care for than a larger one where mistakes don't create immediate repercussions. If you have a lot of plants covering the surface, you need to thin to only 60% area coverage. If you have underwater plants, which give off O2 during the day but take it IN at night, keep the quantity down to 30% bottom coverage.

And also as noted, stop with the chems until you know what is wrong.

In answer to your question; I've had my fish flash and become concerned. But, conditions have to be prevalent in more than a few and the occurance incidence frequent. Especially in the spring, I've noted fish flashing. Since then, nothing discernable.

As pointed out above, water parameters are the first check; if your water is okay, work then from there.
 
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How many fish and how large are they? Is the pond cycled?
2 shubunkins 4-5.5 inches pond is approx 125 gallon. 3 years old fully cycled.
Okay good, but don't keep doing more of what didn't work.

How? Have you tested the water parameters? Do you have a testing equipment? If not, take a sample to a pet shop.
I tested weekly. Last test was monday ph. 8.2, ammonia, nitrite were 0 and nitrate was 10. Tested copper and Chloramine 0. Using API master test kit.
Look at their gills. Do you see any reddish tint on the gills? Flashing is their way of saying something is wrong. Yes, fish dart in play and chasing food etc. but not continuously.
Haven't notices redness. They're not darting constantly. Saw this behavior monday and then today.
Of course keep the aeration going but if the water quality is poor it won't solve the problem. Test your water.
Have tested. The issue is not water quality.
Why only 12 hours per day? Run it 24/7.
Because the water fall causes loss of water due to over splash. The problem can't be aeration the 500 gallon rated bubbler runs 24/7. That should more then take care of the needs of 2 fish in a 125 gallon pond.
It sounds like the fish are now in some sort of hospital tank. How many fish and what size tank?
No they are in their 125 gallon pond. I am debating about removing them to two 20gal hospital totes to treat for parasites. Parasites are treated quicker and more effectively at warmer temps so I would most likely treat them inside. I feel like I need to decide quickly due to the cold weather coming on and being concerned about reacclamating them to the pond.
 
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and consider this; MOST ponders/people think an aerator is some magic machine PUTTING air INTO the water. That is false. It's false because oxygenation occurs imperceptibly with the bubbles rising up through the water. It DOES become perceptible at the surface, though, which is where all the oxygenaion occurs. So to say a pump is rated at this or that, is a misnomer. It depends on how much agitation you're creating on the surface. And then the question becomes; how much open surface area do you have? How large of a spread of agitation does the pump make? If you have larger fish in too small of a pond, you're going to run out of oxygen, especially with warm water. As noted above, run your waterfall 24/7; the fish are still breathing the oxygen (or trying to) at night when your waterfall is off.
Waterfall gets turned off aerator is always on. Attaching picture of pond. Fish are approximately 4 and 5.5 inches. Just two. Water parameters are checked weekly with api master test. Last test monday ph 8.2 ammonia and nitrite 0 nitrate 10 even ran test to check. Copper and Chloramine both were 0. Water temp today was 68 F. I am waiting for a dissolved Oxygen test to arrive.
A small pond (which yours is) is infinitely harder to care for than a larger one where mistakes don't create immediate repercussions. If you have a lot of plants covering the surface, you need to thin to only 60% area coverage. If you have underwater plants, which give off O2 during the day but take it IN at night, keep the quantity down to 30% bottom coverage.

And also as noted, stop with the chems until you know what is wrong.
I haven't started any chems. If you are referring to that paracleanse that was approximately a month ago when these symptoms first appeared. They reappeared monday for one day. I turned up the aerator to its highest and surface breathing resolved. It was only slightly turned down. The darting behavior continues. Picture shows plant coverage. No underwater plants yet.
In answer to your questioin; I've had my fish flash and become concerned. But, conditions have to be prevalent in more than a few and the occurance incidence frequent. Especially in the spring, I've noted fish flashing. Since then, nothing discernable.

As pointed out above, water parameters are the first check; if your water is okay, work then from there.
If there's something missing i should be testing water parameters for please share and explain significance.
 

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brokensword

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Waterfall gets turned off aerator is always on. Attaching picture of pond. Fish are approximately 4 and 5.5 inches. Just two. Water parameters are checked weekly with api master test. Last test monday ph 8.2 ammonia and nitrite 0 nitrate 10 even ran test to check. Copper and Chloramine both were 0. Water temp today was 68 F. I am waiting for a dissolved Oxygen test to arrive.

I haven't started any chems. If you are referring to that paracleanse that was approximately a month ago when these symptoms first appeared. They reappeared monday for one day. I turned up the aerator to its highest and surface breathing resolved. It was only slightly turned down. The darting behavior continues

If there's something missing in should be testing water parameters for please share and explain significance.
from your post(s) and pic, I don't see anything obvious. I would think that quantity and quality of water is fine for your two fish. Though I'm not much into water changes, in this case, I think I'd change out 25% and see if the fish do better. If you don't see regular flashing activity, I'd not do any parasitic chems yet. Do some reading re O2 testing as I think it can be erroneous if you haven't calibrated well, etc. You state this is a 3 year pond; has anything changed since you were having success?
 
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Lol the fish just came in july. 1st round of symptoms came end of August beginning of September sometime. I introduced a plant around that time of micro cattails but it was quarantined 3 days. I diversified their pellets with some sinking hikari pellets but their primary pellet is still black water creek growth. They also get kelp. Freeze dried bloodworms and shrimp two to three times a week. The food and plant are they only things I introduced around the time they 1st got sick in September. Should I catch them and have a closer look at their body condition? This is them literally last friday. They don't look sick but the orange spotted one surface breathed and got lethargic hiding under a lilly pad and starring vacant for hours monday. She was the worse one the 1st time they went off in September too. I can't figure it out. I have noticed her poops are rather thick strings and they tend to trail quite long before released but they aren't white. Trying my best to be observant but I don't know.
 

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brokensword

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Lol the fish just came in july. 1st round of symptoms came end of August beginning of September sometime. I introduced a plant around that time of micro cattails but it was quarantined 3 days. I diversified their pellets with some sinking hikari pellets but their primary pellet is still black water creek growth. They also get kelp. Freeze dried bloodworms and shrimp two to three times a week. The food and plant are they only things I introduced around the time they 1st got sick in September. Should I catch them and have a closer look at their body condition? This is them literally last friday. They don't look sick but the orange spotted one surface breathed and got lethargic hiding under a lilly pad and starring vacant for hours monday. She was the worse one the 1st time they went off in September too. I can't figure it out. I have noticed her poops are rather thick strings and they tend to trail quite long before released but they aren't white. Trying my best to be observant but I don't know.
They look fine via your pic. From what you're telling me though, I'd suspect water issues. Does she sit on the bottom not moving? That's more typical, imo, of a sick fish. They also hide more and don't swim with the others, though in your case, you only have ONE other to swim with. My gf will often 'surface breathe' and yet, all other behavior is fine. i once thought I had an O2 issue as well but it was hard to fathom with 7k gallons, 4 waterfalls, an aerator, and lots of plants. I'm assuming this current behavior is different from when you first put them in, right? But like I said; the pic shows a good form and shows no immediate evidence of discomfort. I know it might be overkill/hard to do, but can you post up some video of her behavior, something representative of what you see? Doesn't have to be long, maybe 5 minutes or less. You can post it up on youtube and link it here in your reply. There might be something to be seen by other GPF ponders that you don't. And show some (if any) interaction of this shubbie with the other.

I'd still do a water change just to see if there's any improvement.

Oh, and from your feeding description, I'd stop feeding for a bit; you're almost babying these two and gf are very hardy fish--they can literally NOT be fed by you and do very well in your pond. Most of us feed because it pleases us, not because we have to.
 
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Are you sure they are breathing at the surface? Fish will come to the surface and look like they might be breathing heavily when they are actually skimming oils and small particles from food and tiny insects off the top of the water. Some of mine do this every day.

The darting would be more concerning to me if it is happening often.

If you decide to treat for parasites, don't remove the fish from the pond. Treat the entire area so you will get the parasites that are not on the fish at that time. If you only treat the fish, you may introduce them back into infected water when you return them to the pond.
 
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Are you sure they are breathing at the surface? Fish will come to the surface and look like they might be breathing heavily when they are actually skimming oils and small particles from food and tiny insects off the top of the water. Some of mine do this every day.
She definitely surface breaths and floats bobbing at the surface of the water completely vacant. While the blue one swims away and comes back to her. She's normally a very engaging fish but she just goes blank. The blue one is doing most of the darting behavior. I will try to get a video. Might take awhile. I've never uploaded to youtube. I am assuming I need to create an account?
The darting would be more concerning to me if it is happening often.

If you decide to treat for parasites, don't remove the fish from the pond. Treat the entire area so you will get the parasites that are not on the fish at that time. If you only treat the fish, you may introduce them back into infected water when you return them to the pond.
I wouldn't know whether to treat for ick or gill flukes at this point. I could do both but I have concerns for the well being of a bullfrog that lives in the pond. Although I haven't seen the frog in several days. I hear they ick treatments will kill frogs
 
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They look fine via your pic. From what you're telling me though, I'd suspect water issues. Does she sit on the bottom not moving? That's more typical, imo, of a sick fish. They also hide more and don't swim with the others, though in your case, you only have ONE other to swim with. My gf will often 'surface breathe' and yet, all other behavior is fine. i once thought I had an O2 issue as well but it was hard to fathom with 7k gallons, 4 waterfalls, an aerator, and lots of plants. I'm assuming this current behavior is different from when you first put them in, right? But like I said; the pic shows a good form and shows no immediate evidence of discomfort. I know it might be overkill/hard to do, but can you post up some video of her behavior, something representative of what you see? Doesn't have to be long, maybe 5 minutes or less. You can post it up on youtube and link it here in your reply. There might be something to be seen by other GPF ponders that you don't. And show some (if any) interaction of this shubbie with the other.

I'd still do a water change just to see if there's any improvement.

Oh, and from your feeding description, I'd stop feeding for a bit; you're almost babying these two and gf are very hardy fish--they can literally NOT be fed by you and do very well in your pond. Most of us feed because it pleases us, not because we have to.
Lol yes I agree I do baby my Shubbies but I baby all my animals. However it's their fault I wasn't expecting goldfish to be so endearing with personalities and everything. I am a helicopter fish mom. I confess.
 
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You can't see flukes with the naked eye. You need a microscope for that. But you can see ich, so it's easy to tell those two things apart. Ich is very small white specks, like grains of rice.

By the way, bullfrogs will eat fish and most anything else they can catch, even birds.
 
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This bullfrog is much too small to eat my fish. I am monitoring her growth though and will relocate her should she begin to out pace my fish in growth.

I have seen no signs of the white specks but should I catch them too look? Their speckled color might make that difficult to see in the pond?
 
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This bullfrog is much too small to eat my fish. I am monitoring her growth though and will relocate her should she begin to out pace my fish in growth.

I have seen no signs of the white specks but should I catch them too look? Their speckled color might make that difficult to see in the pond?
ich will stick out from the body, so look along edges, not straight on. Will also be in the fins, more usually. I didn't notice anything from your pics.

and remember; a bullfrog's mouth can expand to the size of their body width.
 
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ich will stick out from the body, so look along edges, not straight on. Will also be in the fins, more usually. I didn't notice anything from your pics.
Yes I examined the fish again. I just don't see any signs of ick. I sat and videoed for about an hour but of course they're acting perfectly normal.
and remember; a bullfrog's mouth can expand to the size of their body width.
Thank you for this information but even at full expansion of the mouth both my fish are as long or longer then the frogs body. Unless frogs have stomachs as long as their entire body or can bite off chunks of their prey I don't see how they could be in jeopardy at this point. I do think she's preparing for hibernation elsewhere as I've seen less and less of her in the last two weeks and nothing of her since monday. Perhaps she will just move on to a larger pond for good. I didn't introduce her. She just showed up on her own so unless I feel confident she is a danger to my shubbies I am hesitate to remove a native species. I do understand she is a predator and has the potential to become a threat. She proved it when she took out all my toad tadpoles (around 75 tadpoles) in 3 days time.
 
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ich will stick out from the body, so look along edges, not straight on. Will also be in the fins, more usually. I didn't notice anything from your pics.

and remember; a bullfrog's mouth can expand to the size of their body width.
P.S. the koi in your avatar is just exquisite. Is that one of yours?
 
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brokensword

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P.S. the koi in your avatar is just exquisite. Is that one of yours?
Yeppa; it's a ghost kikokuryu. Nothing with any kingly genetics and it's been interesting to see the black come out as it only had wisps when I got it last year. If it stays this way, it's a winner in my book, too!

Thanks for the compliment!
 

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