I hope your weekend was great. Mine was subpar at best…
I’ll start out with the background of this issue, (heads up this post will be mostly about poop)..
Over the past few weeks my goldfish have had poop that is below normal. It started off bubbly, and floated-sometimes just the casing came out with nothing in it. this past week their poop was completely white, no color at all. It was still large and not stringy-which made me confused because it would be considered parasites/bacterial infection if it was thin and stringy according to the research I was doing, but I didn’t rule it out as being that.
At this point I was pretty fed up with this and exhausted on finding a solution. All of my fish were bottom sitting, not active and twitching.. at this point it could be both bacterial as well as some sort of external and internal parasite. Feeling desperate I decided to run a salt bath.
For this bath I used Morton canning salt, which is just salt. As you probably know you don’t want any additives in the salt as it can kill your fish.
This was my first time doing a salt bath and after some of the videos I’ve seen I was very nervous. A lot of the fish start to “pass out” and you have to make sure they stay alert and moving. I used 30 tsps. for 1 gallon of water- for the salt bath I used 2 gallons, so 60 tsps. all together. I have 8 butterflies to do this dip on for 5 minutes each.
The first fish I performed this on did everything that was seen in the videos online-which terrified me, but after it was over she was fine once acclimated back into the fresh water. I thought, “Okay, I can get through this.” She didn’t make it the full 5 minutes, but she was close..I chickened out and couldn’t risk it any further. the next few made it to just about 5 minutes with seconds to spare and were fine.
The two chocolate/lavender fish from Dandy Orandas did not do well. At first they seemed like they bounced back fine in the holding bowl, so I transferred them to the 50 gallon holding tub with the others while I finished up. Upon returning to drop another fish off in the holding tub I noticed that the two lavenders’ were on their last leg! I was extremely frantic and tried everything to help them, but in the end they did not make it. It’s such a shame because they were beautiful fish and I was looking forward to getting this color variation in my fry. I have only had them since November, but I will miss them terribly.
I’m not exactly sure what I did wrong, if anything. Maybe they couldn’t take the amount of time I left them in for..or maybe it’s due to the fact that they had some underlying diseases that I wasn’t fully aware of. After they passed I took my smallest two fish (about 3 in with tail) and only kept them in the dip for two minutes which worked out well, they were fine.
After everyone was done and in the holding tank, I did a massive 100% water change on the tank, and scrubbed it down completely. I added Prazi-pro to take care of any lingering parasites or anything in the water that could be hurting them. I returned them to the tank and held off feeding for that day.
I have started feeding them only de-shelled frozen peas for the past two days and will discontinue those after the three day mark, as you really don’t want to feed your goldfish peas for more than that because it can rob them of nutrients-they will not be able to absorb the nutrients due to the fiber in the peas that pushes everything through. I think once they are back to their normal feeding routine I will begin feeding them peas once a week to keep them regular. To find out more about incorporating peas into your fishes diet, and the pros and cons, click here.
I still really don’t know what they had..I am leaning several different ways, I think it was a variety of three things..
1-bacterial infection internally. This would cause them to poop white or even have trouble pooping to begin with
2-External parasites. This would be what the twitching was for, they were not flashing but this alarmed me that there could be something living on their body.
3-Constipation. This one is more of a “just in case it was this” remedy that really wouldn’t effect them if I added this on to their salt baths and medicine.
Although I am very sad I lost my two lavender babies, I am happy that they did not die in vain. My remaining fish have bounced back tremendously. They are not bottom sitting anymore, they are active and swimming around, they are starting to poop more normal than before (still not the best but improving). They are eating their peas and have an appetite and there is no more twitching that I can see. So at least I can say that I helped them some.
This incident was very tragic to me and it has made me even more weary of salt baths than I was to begin with. However, I cannot disregard their benefits on my fish. Does this accident make me a bad fish keeper? No it doesn’t, It makes me want to understand and learn from this mistake to find more effective ways to fix things in my tank. I think a lot more fish keepers should take these freak events in stride and chalk it up to learning. If you meet a fish keeper who “has never had and accident” or “has never lost any of their stock” for any reason, then are they really a fish keeper? This is a dark part of the hobby that comes around every once in a while and although you may get frustrated, try and look at the positives from it and know that you are not alone in these struggles. It’s very hard to care for sick fish because there are so many things it could be and they can’t tell us what they are feeling!
All in all, happy fish keeping and remember that patience is a virtue, more knowledge will come from failed efforts.
On a happier note, I am visiting a newly opened aquarium in my area for the first time this weekend! I am very excited to see what they have done with their set ups and what species they are carrying. I won’t have the video up until next week sometime, but it’s something to look forward too 🙂
See you soon!