Have a really sick fish and [I think] a really big problem!

Mmathis

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A pond-wide problem!!

Found one of my gold fish semi-floating earlier. She looked like she was struggling to breathe. I put her in a bucket with an airstone, then started through all the diagnostics I could think of. Did the best exam I could.

Nothing external seems wrong with her. She wasn't previously acting any different than normal.
Her gills didn't look normal, though -- they looked like they were all mashed up, like hamburger. They looked more like an internal organ, say a liver, instead of like gills :( Normally, when I pull the gill cover up, I see layers of "gill things" [sorry] underneath -- I didn't see separate "things" this time.

I did multiple scrapes but didn't find anything [still learning to "operate" the microscope and still never 100% sure what I'm seeing....]. Did actually get some gill tissue, so I watched a video that showed the difference between normal & abnormal gill tissue under the microscope.

That prompted me to re-do my scrapings and I think I hit pay-dirt! I was able to take pictures via my camera [not smartphone], but will have to wait for hubby to get home so we can set up the wi-fi allowing me to "share" them with the iPad -- then I'll have some microscope shots for you. There was nothing moving on the slides, but things were there that I don't recall seeing before.

Also, on the slide with the gill tissue, it looked like there were little grains of rice scattered around, but they weren't moving and I didn't see "eye spots" or anything, so don't know if they were significant. I went back to take a picture, but couldn't find them the 2nd time.

Here are pics I took when I brought her in. I'm going out now to check water, but will post this now and report water later.

I'm really NOT expecting her to survive -- she isn't even struggling much any more, but if this is what has been causing the occasional deaths [like one or 2 a month] that I was having, and is something I can treat....... Well, I don't want to lose her, but.......something good will have come of her death :(:cry:
 

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Mmathis

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Water tests:
ammonia 0ppm
nitrite 0ppm
nitrate 0ppm
pH 8.2 (normal for my pond)
KH 126 (great for my pond)
water temp. 79.3
DO >8
 
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Sorry to hear, TM.
Is there any chance that the clove oil you used on your plants got into the pond?
 
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Mmathis

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I am so sorry Maggie

Do you have an idea of what you saw under the scope?

Great pictures by the way
No idea and I'm too new at fish "diseases" to even guess, even trying to compare to pics on the internet. And this might be nothing but my vivid imagination, so really want to run it by folks who have more experience with microscopes than I do.

Sorry to hear, TM.
Is there any chance that the clove oil you used on your plants got into the pond?
No, I doubt it. I used it on a plant that didn't overhang the bog, and there was no dripping.....
 

Mmathis

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We got the pictures moved over, but I'm disappointed that they aren't quite as clear and "obvious" as looking at them in person. I wish I had gotten shots of the the "rice grains" or [as they also looked like....] small bananas, or fat commas -- there were lots of them and first thing I thought of was flukes, but there were no obvious body parts, eye spots, etc., and no movement.

The position of the "pointer" isn't significant....

First 2 pictures are of same thing, different magnification. Gill tissue.
image.jpg
image.jpg







I think all of these are from an external gill/body scrape, but the 1st one might still be from gills -- don't remember, sorry.

image.jpg
image.jpg
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image.jpg
image.jpg
 

fishin4cars

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Maggie, third picture down shows a parasite. I'm not 100% sure which one but from the books I have and the information I'm reading I am leaning more toward Trichodina, But it also has a look of Chilodonella. problem is the most effective treatments are quite different for the two. Trichodina is best treated with Formilin and Malachite green, Chilodonella, is treated with Potassium permanganate. If for any reason you start leaning toward treating with Pot. Perm. be sure and watch video's and do the research on treating as it's dot the easiest medication to properly dose and you may need to dilute quickly if the fish start re-actin badly from the treatment, Hydrogen peroxide neutralizes it but I don't know dosages. Also have you tried adding salt to your pond at all?
 

Mmathis

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Maggie, third picture down shows a parasite. I'm not 100% sure which one but from the books I have and the information I'm reading I am leaning more toward Trichodina, But it also has a look of Chilodonella. problem is the most effective treatments are quite different for the two. Trichodina is best treated with Formilin and Malachite green, Chilodonella, is treated with Potassium permanganate. If for any reason you start leaning toward treating with Pot. Perm. be sure and watch video's and do the research on treating as it's dot the easiest medication to properly dose and you may need to dilute quickly if the fish start re-actin badly from the treatment, Hydrogen peroxide neutralizes it but I don't know dosages. Also have you tried adding salt to your pond at all?
Larkin, thanks so much for reply!

No to salt. Not a believer as a routine additive. Could it be used as a treatment in the pond (and then do water changes to eliminate excess)? And if so how to dose? Afraid of harm to plants & trapdoor snails, as well.

Afraid of treating entire pond for anything, so will be looking for moral support if Tx is necessary.

I think I'll scrape another fish or 2 in the morning just to see what I get. No fish that's died, including this one, has shown any symptoms prior to death -- no flashing, or anything.
 
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Larkin, thanks so much for reply!

No to salt. Not a believer as a routine additive. Could it be used as a treatment in the pond (and then do water changes to eliminate excess)? And if so how to dose? Afraid of harm to plants & trapdoor snails, as well.

Afraid of treating entire pond for anything, so will be looking for moral support if Tx is necessary.

I think I'll scrape another fish or 2 in the morning just to see what I get. No fish that's died, including this one, has shown any symptoms prior to death -- no flashing, or anything.
Maggie, third picture down shows a parasite. I'm not 100% sure which one but from the books I have and the information I'm reading I am leaning more toward Trichodina, But it also has a look of Chilodonella. problem is the most effective treatments are quite different for the two. Trichodina is best treated with Formilin and Malachite green, Chilodonella, is treated with Potassium permanganate. If for any reason you start leaning toward treating with Pot. Perm. be sure and watch video's and do the research on treating as it's dot the easiest medication to properly dose and you may need to dilute quickly if the fish start re-actin badly from the treatment, Hydrogen peroxide neutralizes it but I don't know dosages. Also have you tried adding salt to your pond at all?
How is it when I take the day off I miss all the exitement , your descritions could well be either Tricodena thats if they are spinning around like little manic buzz saws . which is a Malacite and formalin treatment as Larkin says .
But you also state that these look like little commas with a tail , that discription points to Chilodonella which Larkin is again right in suggesting a treatment of Potasium Permanaganate.
Again as larkin correctly warned this isnt a treatment to be trifled with and would be easy to OD the pond so keep a few bottles of Hydrogen Peroxide handy ready to neutralize it should you need to
So you will need to know the exact gallonage of pond water before treating with it to be totally on the safe side .
You say the gills are all gloopy , this could well be due to the fact the fish has died and thus nothing to worry about however the little grains of rice you describe sound like gill maggots.
@fishin4cars nice to see you back again my friend , a question for you which is pertinent to Maggies problem that I can answer?.
Larkin I know koi suffer from gill maggots but I am unsure if goldfish can any ideas as to this question ?
I know the treatment for them is Organophosphate based , I also know that superverm would kill all the goldfish because they cant tolerate it would you know of any they can just in case they do? .
Maggie at what magnification are you working with at the moment , if you go higher the bigger they get, which means far more detail .
Remember if you then see what you think is parasites quater the slide one quater at a time and count any parasites that may be present and are a problem...
If you have a problem then it stands to reason that you should see large numbers of them .
Why are you affraid to treat the entire pond Maggie [stop putting yourself down] you know alot more than you think you do .
Remember to scrape only live fish as parasites quickly abandon ship from dead ones.
Its best to keep the salt out of the water , I'd sooner do dips

Dave
 
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Mmathis

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How is it when I take the day off I miss all the exitement , your descritions could well be either Tricodena thats if they are spinning around like little manic buzz saws . which is a Malacite and formalin treatment as Larkin says .
But you also state that these look like little commas with a tail , that discription points to Chilodonella which Larkin is again right in suggesting a treatment of Potasium Permanaganate.
Again as larkin correctly warned this isnt a treatment to be trifled with and would be easy to OD the pond so keep a few bottles of Hydrogen Peroxide handy ready to neutralize it should you need to
So you will need to know the exact gallonage of pond water before treating with it to be totally on the safe side .
You say the gills are all gloopy , this could well be due to the fact the fish has died and thus nothing to worry about however the little grains of rice you describe sound like gill maggots.
@fishin4cars nice to see you back again my friend , a question for you which is pertinent to Maggies problem that I can answer?.
Larkin I know koi suffer from gill maggots but I am unsure if goldfish can any ideas as to this question ?
I know the treatment for them is Organophosphate based , I also know that superverm would kill all the goldfish because they cant tolerate it would you know of any they can just in case they do? .
Maggie at what magnification are you working with at the moment , if you go higher the bigger they get, which means far more detail .
Remember if you then see what you think is parasites quater the slide one quater at a time and count any parasites that may be present and are a problem...
If you have a problem then it stands to reason that you should see large numbers of them .
Why are you affraid to treat the entire pond Maggie [stop putting yourself down] you know alot more than you think you do .
Remember to scrape only live fish as parasites quickly abandon ship from dead ones.
Its best to keep the salt out of the water , I'd sooner do dips

Dave
Dave, just a quick reply for now. The comma-shaped things I saw didn't have a tail. They didn't have a tail [or any recognizable parts] and they weren't mobile. I don't recall the magnification, but I'm guessing I was at 400, so they were very tiny -- too small to have been seen with the naked eye. Only saw them one time, so not even sure what I saw. What are gill maggots?

Also, the fish was still very much alive when I examined the gills and took the scrapings....
 
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Exactly what it means minute maggot t,ny creatues that take over the gill of the fish [not flukes]
Gill maggots in reality are tiny crustaceans hat if are left in the untreated state can cause major damage to a koi's gills [not sure if goldfish get them thats why I asked Larkin].
They infest the mouth gills and gill casings.
Care when an outbreak is spotted has to be taken to not only eradicte the adult gill magggots as well as the present in the water.
The cycle of life of this nasty parasite strts when a female infects the gills of a koi .
She then will lay little white egg sacks that resmble maggots and thats where their name originates from.
These juveniles are then realeased from thei egg sacks to enter what is the free swimming stage , they continue their developement till they happen across a host .
Now at this stage sex rears its ugly head and they mate with the males who then promtly die off .
The female then lays her egg sacks in the gills and the life cycle continues ** note the female can live a considerable time if the fish isnt treated .
That Maggie is the gill maggot :(

Dave
 

Mmathis

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@Dave 54 I tried looking for pictures of it (gill maggot) viewed under a microscope but no success. If you know of such a picture, please share it so I can see if it looks like what I saw.

The fish, surprisingly, is still alive, but......the symptom of dropsy --- pine coned scales ---- is now evident. I think euthanasia is my best move at this point.

I pulled 2 random fish from the pond and scraped them this morning. I didn't see anything on either one, but still might check a couple more.

I did learn something new, though....Brownian motion! That and the movement effects of capillary action and convection current of water under the cover slip. So, not ALL movement is caused by a living organism/parasite.
 

Mmathis

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PM'd you with photos Maggie

Dave
Looking at the picture, not sure. Those are some pretty big maggots. What I saw (if it was anything -- I never saw it again) was way, much tinier than those. What I saw was microscopic, literally!
 
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They are gill the maggots of a different species of fish Maggie on koi they are quite small so if goldfish also suffer from them it would be that they were around about the same size

Davr
 

Mmathis

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@Dave 54 Regarding gill maggots: I doctored the picture I took of gill tissue and drew in a spec that was roughy the size of what I saw at 400x to give you an idea. It's at the end of the pointer.

image.jpg

From what I read up on gill maggots, even a gold fish sized critter would still be large enough to almost view with the naked eye. Also, what I looked up didn't actually LOOK like a maggot.

But, all that's really beside the point. Oh, dear..... And I'm still not sure what's going on, but think I'll pull and scope a couple more fish today.
 

Mmathis

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Any updates Maggie?
Thanks for asking, Maria! No, I'm at a stalemate at the moment. I'm just not convinced that I have an active parasite problem, though it would explain a lot. Trying hard NOT to succumb to denial, so keeping options open. Water parameters are and have been normal; pond ecosystem is healthy judging by # and variety of inverts; there is plenty of filtration and aeration [probably to the point of over-kill....oooh, I didn't mean it to come out like that....].

To date, I have scraped & scoped a total of 7 fish, including the sick one [ she finally died :( ]. Even though I've found a few "things" on a couple of the slides, there hasn't been anything that screams out PARASITES! So, still doing research and asking more questions. I'll post a couple of pictures in a separate post.

But it still seems odd that THIS fish has become ill and died, again, within a week or so of a bad thunderstorm with lightening so close you could feel it. Odd, very odd.
 

Mmathis

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A brief follow-up. As I'm learning, there is so much more to using a microscope and trying to identify parasites than meets the eye [pun intended]. It's not as simple as looking through the eyepiece and instantly seeing a textbook image of whatever the textbook says you should be looking for. I am finding things that look like parasites, but are non-motile. And things that don't look like parasites that are motile. Then there are things like Brownian Motion, convection currents, and capillary action that make the things under the slide move -- which is deceptive and alarming to the newbie.

Where am I now in figuring out what's going on with the fish? Well, I explained that in the previous post [#19]. But where I REALLY am, is climbing my learning curve, trying to learn about all those extraneous things I'm seeing on the slides so I can teach my brain how to distinguish between normal, abnormal, and WHOA! There's a lot more "normal" to be seen than there is "abnormal," as I'm discovering, with a smattering of "WHOA!"
 
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