When to Hand Feed Fish

This post is based solely on my experience and opinions with hand feeding fish versus using something like an auto feeder. There are some fish keepers who are big fans of having their fish approach them for food. I personally do not like hand feeding fish for numerous reasons although hand feeding a fish may not be completely unavoidable depending on the fish you are keeping.

Why should you stop hand feeding?

1. Bare hands touching food or the fish could cause illness in your fish from bacteria (wear gloves or pour food into its habitat).
2. It's not natural for all types of fish to approach something that could harm them (fish tend to associate outside tank/pond movement with food so, they could associate a cat, raccoon, or something else possibly harmful to them as delivering their food source as well).
3. A predatory/carnivorous fish could end up biting you during feeding.

When should you hand feed?

1. When you can't use an auto feeder to feed your fish (not all food may fit or work in a feeder).
2. If you choose to have your fish approach you... all the time (although a fish is not a dog so why make it act like one).
3. When you have predatory/carnivorous fish that require food movement to attack/eat their prey (try to use tongs or something similar during feeding to avoid introducing bacteria and keeping yourself from getting nipped).


Goldfish Update

Not long ago I talked about my goldfish having some type of highly contagious red spot issue for a long time now and I finally did one big last attempt to hopefully rid it from my two remaining goldfish (of course, it's hard to remedy something that you aren't sure as to what it is). So I did several rounds of API's Tetracycline and Triple Sulfa together since I suspected it may be VHS (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia). Also, I only used a large sponge filter in the tank because I didn't want anything bad building up inside my canister nor did I want any media to have an effect on any medications I was going to use. So after I ran those medications I did leave the Tetracycline in the water for extended periods of time. 

After a week or so of no longer seeing the red spots appear (mainly on my fish Sumo) I did some parasite and ich treatments (using a liquid Prazi and NOX ich) since there were some tiny white dots that appeared, and again I am not completely sure what to make of that either. I did notice that a liquid based Prazi does appear to eat away at the fishes slime coat which I feel may actually help make certain medications absorb better. Just know that your fish may turn slightly pink (you may notice this more if your fish is white in color) as it loses this protective slim coating (which will rebuild again as the fish heals). I also fed the fish some medicated food for internal parasites (New Life Spectrum's Hex Shield) which I believe is just a food heavily coated in garlic so, you could probably use something similar. 

After all the treatments I am still using a little NOX ich during their weekly change; some Vitachem; and a good amount of Jungle's Aquarium Salt just to aid in rebuilding my goldfish back up. I will still feed them the Hex Shield almost bi-weekly or as needed based on what I see with my fish. I have noticed that my goldfish Sumo has had an increase in wen growth which seemed to appear more with use of the Tetracycline, or it could be because I have switched to using just a sponge filter. 
Sumo the lionchu
For those of you that have followed my goldfish over the years than you will be happy to know that Sumo recently turned 3 years old which means that Sumo is officially an Oya (an adult fish 3 or more years old)!


Doctors Foster and Smith & USPS - Review

I have ordered from the website Doctors Foster and Smith once or twice in the past and I don't remember having as many issues as I have been experiencing recently. I am not even sure it's completely their fault so much as it is USPS but here's my review with what I experienced over the course of several weeks in regards to a recent purchase (an item I have purchased from them before in fact).

On July 10th 2017 I made a single item purchase on the DFS website. According to USPS, my item should have arrived July 15th but at the latest, I was expecting it to arrive by July 19th (based upon the DFS shipping time frame). When my item did not arrive I decided to contact the DFS customer service on their website about my item not arriving and that I checked the tracking on USPS and it appeared stuck at a sorting facility, etc. I then got an automated number from the DFS site stating "Your Question has been Submitted" and then it gave me a reference number stating "A member of our support team will get back to you soon" and that was on July 21st.

On July 22nd at 12:08 am I finally received notification from USPS that my package had finally arrived at a different sorting facility. Then at 2:08 am, it had arrived at a distribution center and at 5:53 am for some reason it was still at the same 12:08 am facility, very strange. Along with that last notification, USPS stated that "The package is delayed and will not be delivered by the expected delivery date. An updated delivery date will be provided when available. Your item arrived at our ---- destination facility on July 22nd, 2017 at 5:53 am. The item is currently in transit to the destination". So on the 23rd, I did not see anything again from USPS which is probably because it was Sunday so, by Monday (the 24th) I was hoping to receive another notification from USPS as there was now no definite date of when my package would be arriving. Another odd thing that happened was that my local USPS called me on the 20th when I only signed up for text notifications and all his message said was how the item has not yet arrived at the facility and that I could contact him if I needed to and he left me a number. Personally, from a business perspective, I always prefer to have things in writing (maybe because I'm a Blogger) but when it comes to showing proof of events that happened I feel it's more reliable to an extent (I've watched Judge Judy, haha).

So back to DFS with that reference number they gave me stating how they would get back to me soon. I sent them a notification on the 21st in regards to my order and by the morning of the 24th, they finally got back to me. They were very nice about the situation and told me they would pay back my shipping costs and if I didn't receive my item by the 26th to contact them again. Luckily for DFS my item finally arrived before their new date. Worst case if I didn't hear from USPS or DFS that I would have sent my problem over to PayPal since I purchased through them and from my years of experience it is usually better at solving such online payment issues which would have at least gave me my money back from DFS. When my product did arrive everything in my package was fine, and I really don't know why USPS was holding the package as it was only a MagFox that I had ordered. Overall, my DFS experience went well but USPS has let me down numerous times now and I'm really glad it wasn't a package of live fish or something similar.


Treating Eye Cloud

When it comes to "eye cloud" or "cloudy eye" it is said to happen due to a shift in low pH; dietary deficiency (lacking in Vitamin A); bacterial/fungal infection; or the presence of ammonia. Personally, I feel this is more related to a possible bacterial/fungal infection. What I found to work well as a quick remedy is API MelaFix which is used to treat bacterial infections. MelaFix contains tea tree oil which is often used as an antifungal and it also helps to repair damaged fins, ulcers, and open wounds.
Eye Cloud
Eye Cloud looks similar to fogged up water goggles, as it's just a smokey looking film over the fishes eye/s (in the image here you can see my fish Boba with some minor eye cloud appearing). It may be very likely that a fish that gets eye cloud continues to have some reoccurrences of this happening again in the future. Some other remedies I have come across online but not yet tried myself are Tetracycline Hydrochloride; Nitrofurazone; Sodium Sulfathiazole; Sodium Sulfamethazine; Sodium Sulfacetamide; Victoria Green; and Acriflavine. Nitrofurazone is the only medication I'm familiar with using when it comes to goldfish so, I would probably start with that if you're not having luck using MelaFix to clear up the eye cloud as this should clear up in a week.