Sick Shubunkin Goldfish


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All,

My pond has been up and running for a little over a year now. This fish was one of the first few fish that I put into the pond. Just to get started here are some stats on the pond.

- 1,000 to 1,200 gallons
- filtered by 300 gallon bog and waterfall system
- no chemicals have ever been added to the pond
- 3 5 inch goldfish
- 5 3 inch goldfish
- dozen or so goldfish ranging from 1/2 - 2 inches
- 5 white cloud minnows
- 1 9" pleco
- 1 6" dojo loach
- several unidentified snails
- hundreds of tadpoles and several dozen dragon fly larva
- 4 lillies (60-70% surface coverage)
- lots of oxygen pants water grasses, anarchis, ect.
- several plats planted in the pond "no soil" to help in filtering the water
- combination of gravel and bare bottom (deep end is bare bottom all shelves have gravel) (60% gravel 40% bare bottom)

Went out to the pond two days ago in the evening and noticed the Shubunkin floating in a shallow part of the pond. When I reached down to grab her I noticed the water in this area was very warm. I have an isolation tank inside with an aerator and immediately got it up and going (used water from the pond). Here is what I found.

- water temperature in deep area of pond 88F (3 inch deep is where temp was taken)
- water temp in shallow end where fish was found 92F (3 in deep is where temp was taken)
- weather has been 92 - 99F for the past 2 weeks (upper 70s at night)
- All plants in pond seem to be doing fine (with the exception of the lillies pulling back a bit due to the extreme heat but still cover over 50% of the surface area)
- decent balance of algae in the pond
- crystal clear water
- the affected fish had no issues with fins or scales (no evidence of itch or other visible illness)
- no new fish have been added to pond for a month or so
- All other fish are eating and acting normally (I have lost 5 white cloud minnows over the past month)

She has been in isolation for going on 2 full days and there has been a slight improvement but not much. tried to get her to eat with no success yesterday. After doing some research I found that the water should be kept to under 85F if possible. In an attempt to help lower the temperature of the water i put up a small sun shade (shades 30% of the water) and added aerators (which i have been meaning to do for a while).

In yalls opinion was heat the issue? If so has the fishes gills been permanently damaged? Any suggestions on how to get her better? Do you think something else could be the cause?

Thanks for reading.

Rowland
 
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Mmathis

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It could be heat stress, but could also be many other things. Do you test your water? It would be helpful to know what your ammonia, pH, nitrite, and nitrate readings are. I'm not a chemist (I barely understand the stuff), but I do know from reading posts here that water chemistry can be a balancing act. And sometimes fish get injured (spawning?) or have parasites. Also, as has been explained to me, sometimes fish just get sick (and we never know why). It sounds like you are taking good care of your pond and have a good handle on what's going on.

BTW, whenever I have a fish I'm keeping a close eye on, I will add salt to the water (but only in the sick tank). You can Google salt treatments. It does seem to help.

Hope you Shubie gets better!
 

Meyer Jordan

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When testing water for temperature (or for any other parameter), the test should be conducted at the mid-level in the deepest part of the pond. Fish will naturally seek the most comfortable temperature in the pond. On hot summer days, it is not unusual for the temperature at the surface of the water to get quite hot, while at mid-level and deeper it is still quite comfortable.
Apparently this fish has other issues as no other fish are showing any signs of distress.
 
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When testing water for temperature (or for any other parameter), the test should be conducted at the mid-level in the deepest part of the pond. Fish will naturally seek the most comfortable temperature in the pond. On hot summer days, it is not unusual for the temperature at the surface of the water to get quite hot, while at mid-level and deeper it is still quite comfortable.
Apparently this fish has other issues as no other fish are showing any signs of distress.
I have to agree with Meyer on this @Rowland Moffatt your going to have to go through everything again with a fine tooth combe to find out your fishes problem .
Have you got a microscope/ if so can you do a scrape to see if there is anything in the way of a parasite issue here .

Dave
 
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Well, unfortunately she ended up dying Saturday morning. I believe it was a more in depth issue then water temp. Before she died here stomach area began turning green under the scales and she became very bloated.

All other fish are doing great. They love playing in the bubbles from the aerator and I feel as though the water is much clearer. Took a temperature of the water at a deeper point as suggested and the temperature was 86F. Much cooler than the 90F being measured on top. I feel comfortable that the other fish are doing well and believe it was an isolated incident. Wish it had not been my shubunkin though. I already went out and got two replacements (2" long). Did my best to pick out females.

Thanks for the advise that was given above.
 

Mmathis

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@Rowland Moffatt So sorry that you lost your fish! Be sure to quarantine any new fish before you add them to the pond. Do a search on GPF and you'll find lots of info about quarantining new fish.
 
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Sorry about your fish. Hmmm.. If they love playing by your aerator it may mean the water is not oxygenated enough and they are doing that to get the O2 they need. Just a thought because it has happened in my pond and I thought it was very cute my fish loved the waterfall until I realized they were doing it for necessity.
 

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