Sick Goldfish Help!
Hi folks first of all let me say what a great site this is it's my go to place for info.
In early November I built a pond 440 gal plus observation tower. I run an all in one filter (biological plus UV which feeds a bell fountain/waterfall at 550 gal per hour).
I let it run for 2 weeks and then added 2 2" petshop goldfish to get things started in mid December I added 10 3" pond goldfish everything seemed to be ok until last week when one of my petshop goldfish seemed to be swimming listlessly.
My first thoughts were swim bladder but the fish have never been fed and if he stops swimming he ends up upright head to the sky!
I checked the water parameters ammonia 0.2, nitrite 0.25 kh is low at 50ppm which I rectify by adding backing soda at every 10% water change I do ( twice a week) the pH is 7 but the general hardness is soft our water is soft in the northwest on England.
I have given him two mild salt baths of 3 mins but they don't seem to of down out intact he's more listless now and stay mainly on the bottom.
Visually I cannot see any other signs his fins are not clamped and he's showing no signs of a swollen abdomen, I really want to save him as he was my first fish, any idea guys and gals will be much appreciated please see photos
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A few observations.
You live in the North of England. From my last visit, I would expect December to be reasonably chilly, therefore the water will also be quite cold. As you have a large filter, (excellent choice), the bio-load of two 2" Goldfish would hardly have built up a large beneficial bacterial colony.
You then increased the bio-load by 750% by introducing the 10 3" fish.
The filter would take some time to build up sufficient bacteria for the larger population. Cold water would slow the process even further. There may have been an ammonia spike which stressed the fish.
I conclude this because you still have ammonia and nitrite readings. If the filter was biologically healthy, these should both be zero by now.
Because you introduced more fish into the pond, and if you didn't quarantine them, they could have introduced a pathogen that your first two fish didn't have. The other possibility is that they were already carrying something but with only two fish in the pond, they weren't stressed.
My conclusion is your filter still isn't functioning at the appropriate level. Add something like API Stress Zyme to accelerate the process. Make bigger water changes in the short term, say 20%.
The fish obviously has some pathogen. Were those red spots on the caudal peduncle?
I suspect parasites, either flukes or a protozoan parasite such as Costia.
Get the fish back into a salt bath and leave it in the solution. If the problem is Costia, a tablespoon of un-iodised salt per gallon is required, but I would bring the strength up very slowly
. I would have thought the water was too cold for Costia, but the temperature may have slowed its spread.
If its flukes, salt won't kill them. You need a Praziquantel base medication that will actually kill both parasites, plus any internal ones.
You need to act quickly because whichever it is, it's affecting the gills, hence the upwards swimming motion.
P.S. you need to feed that many fish in a relatively small pond. Hunger will also stress fish.