Filter Question~

lellie(z9 Anna Maria Island)September 14, 2005

Tank is a 29 gallon...2 Goldfish (3 years old).

Presently, I'm running an Emperor 280, but because one of the fish appears to have ich and possibly tail rot, I purchased an Emperor 400, which has 2 Bio-Wheels.

I need to get their water cleaned up...water changes aren't cutting it.

I've been performing 50% water changes every 3 or 4 days, adding aquarium salt and StressZyme.

I've been re-reading every post on this forum...there's some fairly contradicting advice here.

Someone said to stop using StressZyme...that over-conditioning of the water is not good.

So...I've discontinued using it for a while.

FWIW: I have well water, not municipal water.

My question is...the newer, larger filtration system has 2 bio-wheels. Can I simply begin running it with no ill effects on my fish, if I switch out one of the new Bio-Wheels with the 'seasoned' wheel from the smaller system?

Because I'm confused about how to treat Fussy for ich & tail rot, I now have on hand both Mardel Maracyn AND Ick Clear Tank Buddies. I haven't used either yet. I'm just hoping the larger filter and the water changes accompanied by salt treatments will help him.

Below are a couple of pics...what do you folks think?

Tail rot?

Healing tail rot?


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sandywesttexas(zone 7)

Your fish does not look like it has ich ( which are small white spots that are on fins and body, fish will look like someone sprinkled him with salt), or fin rot. Goldfish are prone to getting rips and tears in their fins. In fact I have a red capped oranda that often has a spilt tail fin due to the fact the others get a little nippy durn feeding time. These kind of injures are like split hairs on us. Now if the fin receeds quickly, falls off in chunks, or has what looks like slimy bacteria hanging off of it then you may be looking at fin rot. Like I said I see no ich on your fish. Remember medications often weaken fish and some times they will kill the fish only to be used as a last resort and when you know the fish is really sick. Now for fin rot how I have treated in the past was take fish out of the water and dab hydrogen peroxide on rot( only on rot never get in eyes or gills) then I put fish back in water so he can catch a breath. I proceed to take him out again quickly dry the area with a paper towel then rub antibacterial ointment on the fin. You must do all of this quickly and return fish to water. Again only if you know fish has rot. This method never fails me, and I have so far never had it return. I like this method because it spared my fish from having to go threw horrible medications. I have used this method on one betta and one goldfish that had a spot of columanaris starting on one fin. Frankly water antibiotics have never worked for me I always lost fish to it. Now I only use the neosporin and antibacterial fish pellets from Jungle. Now why are you doing 50 % water changes every 3 to 4 days. What are your water readings. If you are having high Nitrates then you are proably over feeding them. I change out 15 gallons on Monday, 20 gallons on Wed, and 15 gallons on friday every week. Other weeks I do a 15, 15, 15. This is for a 125 gallon indoor pond this is a 35% to 40% water change every week. You may be changing out too much water all at once. Little water changes are best. Get a water test. Pet stores will often do it for free. Do not clean you tank too well.If you have ammonia or nitrites your tank may be cycling again then you will have to do lots of water changes to keep fish alive. I think 100% water changes in about a week period is too much. I use a phython and only clean small areas with it. on Monday I clean this area , wed this area etc. Try not to kill off your good bacteria. Hope this helps . I do not think your fish is sick. Is he eating and active? If he is eating and active then let him be a fish. They do have an immune system. Sometimes when we try to be helpful we only make matters worse.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 10:14PM
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lellie(z9 Anna Maria Island)

Thanks Sandy, for your help.
He's fine...swims fine, eats like a PIG, poops and plays with the other GF.
In no way does he appear sick, that's why I held off using ANY meds until I know for certain if he is, in fact, actually ill.

I have 4 test kits and normally test the water every week before and about 3 hours after a water change.
Have not had a bad reading so far. I think the Bio-Wheel filtration system is doing one jelluva job! LOL

The reason I was doing 50% water changes was because someone on this forum suggested that I do.
Personally, I'm wondering if it's overkill...and perhaps stressing out the little guys.
Before Fussy developed any symptoms, I did a 25% water change once a week.

As far as over-feeding them...well...I could be guilty of that, I suppose...will cut back their food.
It's only been lately that I've upped the pellet amount from 6 only to about a dozen that I think about it, that's way too much food!...even though Gussie, the other GF is huge! I just assumed he needed more food, but Fussy is the PIG...LOL

Again...thanks for your help.

BTW: Since you didn't address my initial Bio-Wheel question should I assume you think the 400 is over-kill?
I'll check out Marineland's site and see if I can find the answer.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 7:36AM
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sandywesttexas(zone 7)

The filter . The bigger the filter the better. Only I worry about is you need to do this with out killing off your good bacteria and having to cycle again. Maybe, I would run the old and the new filters together and only end the old filters use after the new filter has fully gained bacteria say two to three months. I got a large pond filter for my 125 gallon pond. I put out the extra money and I am glad I did. I put used filter material into it so I did not go through much of a cycle. Yet I still had a cycle it took about twenty days to get good water readings.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 1:20PM
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lellie(z9 Anna Maria Island)

I installed the Emperor 400...using one of the two new wheels and keeping the existing cultured bio-wheel as well.
Will see what happens.

'Cept now...the larger of the 2 GF doesn't seem interested in eating, which never happens!...
...and Fussy, the little one has turned into a fish-herder/butt-sniffer...LOL

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 1:51PM
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sandywesttexas(zone 7)

Make sure the filter is not blowing them around to much. Does it seem more powerful than your other filter ? If so break the water pressure by using soft fake aquarium plants. That is what I did with a Betta in a ten gallon . The fake plant is braced up against the front of the filter. The water hits the plant and its force is lessened.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 12:56AM
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lellie(z9 Anna Maria Island)

I'll check the flow...plan on going out and purchasing some live plants today...i previously removed them all before I added aquarium salt...
...thanks again, Sandy!

BTW...I'm now thinking the tiny white spots I thought were ich, are mebbe breeding stars?!!!?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 9:30AM
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sandywesttexas(zone 7)

I also reccomend keeping around the jungle antibacterial food pellets. This has been a life saver for me. This is an antibiotic that is fed internally where the fish needs it the most bought mine at pet smart. Whenever I notice one of my fish is not acting right I give them some pellets twice to three times a day for 5 to 10 days. I have only had to use this once this year. Came back from vacation and my fish was slow sluggish, redness in tail,, and not wanting food as much. After five days on the pellets she was back to normal. I like this because you only need to treat the sick fish. If the other fish are well you just feed them regular food.I never treat well fish only the sick.. I will never again use water treatments. In the begining of my fish hobby I use to use water treatments as directed I always lost the sick fish and they suffered. Usually the water treatments kill off the good bacteria and really mess up the tanks eco system. I have even used some treatments that said they did not effect the good bacteria and they did . Making the fish sicker then they were before . When I separated the fish for treatment they just got weaker and never perked up. In a quarentine you deal with bad unstablized water from the medications and the effects of the medications themselves when you separate them into a treatment tank.. Some of the medications are dangerous for us as well. In my hobby in the begining I lost at least four fish. It was sad. Now I have a moto- if the pellets and antibacterial ointment do not work then I will let them pass away in peace. Luckily the pellets( for internal infection ) and the ointment (neosporin triple antibiotic ointment original must be original not have pain killers in it ect.)( for external infection) have always worked. What is nice you can use both of them without harm at the same time or one at a time. For the fin rot on the Betta I used just the ointment. Fin rot is an external infection. Bought this fish from Walmart with this problem tried some water treatments would not cure had nothing to lose and that is when I used the ointment. Fin rot disappeared and never returned.For my lion head some time back who had a case of columanaris starting on his tail I treated the site with the ointment/perioxide treatment and then proceeded to feed him the pellets for five days. I have all my fish who are healthy and active as witnesses. Knock on wood. I use salt for parasites.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 1:32PM
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RodeoSquirrel(zone 6 SePA)

sounds like your changing the water a little too often and you are adding way too many chemicals to the water. ease up a bit. the fish look fine, thats not ick, the fins dont look bloody from the photos.
are you also syphoning the gravel with these water changes?
i dont see the use of salt for fresh water aquariums, its pointless. if your fish dont have and parasites for 2 years there not going to magically appear out of no where, well unles you add more fish or live food (worms etc) then theres a chance (hasnt happen to me in 20 years) also adding salt with goldfish increases their slime production which can be quite messy and clog up filters. the bio wheel filters ive had them and i hated them. they dont have much surface area for waste to hold on to. ive had better luck with aquaclear external filters. the filter sponge is huge and the carbon bags are large also, and you can add an ammo bag if needed (i dont)
so my advice, change 30% water only once a month, lay off the salt, and the only chemicals to add should be a dechlorinator...and less feeding :o)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2005 at 3:03PM
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lellie(z9 Anna Maria Island)

RS...I was thinking I was doing too many water changes as well, but I was following someone else's advice...they suggested my tank water was unclean...I know better...LOL

I bought and tried a syphon...doesn't work well and priming it freaked out the fish! LOL

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 9:29AM
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RodeoSquirrel(zone 6 SePA)

alot of board people go by the book a little too much, not to sound rude i love these boards, but ive gotten some bad advice, not on aquariums but on gardening etc.
do a search on the python no spill clean and fill, this is like the bible of fish keeping :o) i can clean several tanks in less than a half hour with this device. it hooks up to your sink and comes in many lengths 25' to 100'
its power is amazing

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 12:57PM
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sandywesttexas(zone 7)

Rodeo Squirrel is right love the phython and if I was going to buy a filter it would be the aqua clear.... Larger more freedom to put in your own things.....Here in my town you can buy one at pet smart. I found cheaper prices over the internet for it. Pet Solutions is a company with lower prices .They are over the internet and will send you out a free catalog.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 9:51AM
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today is the first time i have done my 25% water change
added some fish and tried the gravel vaccum thing -not in that order -i am a NOVICE fish owner -anyway i have some questions

one of my new fish has lost part of its tail fin -will this be fatal? will it grow back? will it hinder his growth?

with the gravel vac -when i used it today it seems as if i made more of a mess with it. -the water looks cloudier than when i began. is there an easier solution that gives good results?

in doing all this tank maintenance, i have displaced some of my plant material -will placing my hands in the tank with the fish harm my fish in anyway?

i have two gold fish and a shibunkin -will they be ok together?

it seemed as if you gave some really good information-looking forward to hearing from you soon,thank you in advance for your help

mrs ware

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 2:32PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

How was the tailfin lost (got caught in something/bitten or started to turn red/brown and looks like it is eaten away)? Yes it can grow back as long as the very base of the fin/tail is not damaged. If the tail is damaged from finrot , it can be fatal. Finrot usually indicates problems with water parameters. The part of the tail can become infected or an internal bacterial disease may be next. What type of gravel vacuum did you use? It takes time to get used to vacuuming gravel. Once you get the hang of it it gets less messy. Placing your hands in the tank wont harm your fish unless you have left over soap residue on it, also perfume, hand lotion etc. Clean your hands and arms well and dry witha clean towel, paper towel is best (no laundry detergent). Use caution if you have tretaed the water with a medication (malchite green and formalin are toxic to humans) also if the fish have tuburculosis (sp?) it is said to be contractable. The goldfish and shubunkin are fine together.

Here is a link that might be useful: Goldfish website

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 10:52PM
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