Maguro's Life Story

I purchased an adorable redcap oranda from PETCO and although it is cute and spunky when I bought it...I did notice it is not in perfect health.
Hello my name's Maguro...yes, it does mean tuna in Japanese.
My cute little friend here seems to have a yucky case of fin rot. Not only are its fins tattered, but it seems to have some black fungus covering the edges. If I can't get the fins to improve within two weeks it may get returned to PETCO because when fins continue to rot and lose more and more growth...eventually the fish will not have a tail and will more than likely not survive. It also appears to not have perfect looking scales, not sure if these were removed or something else, but hopefully it can build up a better slime coat by using the proper water conditioner.
My owner took me to a sushi restaurant during our first day together...she thinks I look like maguro nigiri, hence my name Maguro.
Also, I have never owned a goldfish like this (comet's yes, oranda's no) and I am beginning to wonder if it has a heart condition or this is normal behavior... I will see its gills move in and out, it swims about a bit and then it decides to stop...its gills stop moving and it remains motionless at the bottom (still right-side up of course). Its gills then start moving again and it swims about after seconds of being motionless (which feels like minutes at times)...or could it be sleep apnea?

I will keep this post updated with an "after" photo within two weeks time (or less).
Click image to enlarge
Day 1- Added my tap water with Maguro's petstore water (added random chemicals to test how fish would respond). Maguro had eaten a little flake food but did not seem to be a fan of brine shrimp.

Day 2- Changed out all Maguro's water with my tap water (added random chemicals to test how fish would respond). Maguro did not eat any food.

Day 3- Soaked Maguro in clean tap water with Jungle Clear Water (active ingredient: potassium permanganate) for 30 minutes. Solution: 5cups Water mixed with 1/4tsp Jungle Clear Water. However, after doing the soak for the first time I'd only recommend to leave the fish in the solutuion no longer then 15-20 minutes, then remove the fish from this soak and move onto the next step here (during the soak was the most active I had seen Maguro since I got him). Next I mixed together 1/8tsp MelaFix, 1/8tsp PimaFix, 1/4tsp Tetra AquaSafe and 9cups of clean tap water (I will do this treatment again tomorrow for its water change). I crushed up a little flake food and Maguro ate a bit of that, Maguro did not seem to care much for algae wafers.

Day 4- Today Maguro was his most active-self thus far, he was eatting and swimming around more, even after the water change today. I did notice a few white flecs (looked similar to dust really) on Maguro's wen yesterday, was wondering if it might have been a bit of white spot but I couldn't really see it today so it may have cleared from the treatment already. I do think Maguro may have some constipation so I will probably feed it a grain of epsom salt during its water change tomorrow. I also purchased some Aqueon Color Enhancing Goldfish Granules today along with Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Aquarium Salt which is said to help clear numerous ailments for goldfish (1/2TSP of API Aquarium Salt per 1 Gallon of Water for Goldfish).
Click image to enlarge
Day 5- I actually caught Maguro going to the surface of the water this afternoon, several times in fact, since he had only been staying at the bottom of the bowl. He does not seem to stop breathing anymore like before. Maguro is also eatting EVERYTHING (Algae Wafers, Flakes and Granules)...including his own poop (disgusting I know), so I decided to give him a bit more food then I had been. I made a gallon of water with 1/2tsp of aquarium salt and a 1/2tsp AquaSafe, I then added 5cups of the mix to a bowl with 3/4tsp of Jungle Clear Water and left Maguro in there for 15minutes. However, the salt in this mix seems to absorb the Jungle Clear Water and turns it tea colored instead of purple colored like before so I do not think the salt is an effective combination this time. I then placed Maguro with 10cups of clean Aquarium Salt mix with 1/8tsp MilaFix and PimaFix.
Click image to enlarge
I also fed Maguro a tiny grain of epsom salt today, which was a little challenge all its own. First I had to lift Maguro out of the water, next I had to cover one of its eyes with my finger (everytime my hand moved in to place the salt into his mouth he'd close his mouth). So once the eye was covered I brought my hand around and was able to wiggle the salt into his mouth and dropped in a few drops of water to make sure the salt went down (as it'd stick to his lips and come back out).

Day 8- Maguro was seeming to get better until today, for some reason all he wanted to do was float around and do the back stroke while blowing bubbles at the waters surface. The black fungus on his tail has maybe gotten a little less dark due to all the Aquarium Salt water changes which I have been doing over the past few days regularly, but it's really hard to tell though to be honest. I personally think Maguro has gained a little weight and his wen seems bigger to me. I do think his tattered fins have been mending a bit and becoming less jagged and more rounded. Although I fear something internally is harming him today and I am not even sure he may live past today or the next few days. He is currently undergoing a Marcyn Two water treatment for today.

Day 9- Maguro is still alive! Apparently I may have fed him a bit too much flakes and brine shrimp yesterday and he took in too much air thus causing him to float upside down a bit while blowing out bubbles. He was well and normal this morning. However, I am concerned about the black fungus because it seems to have gone onto the tip of his dorsal now, even though it doesn't seem to have spread elsewhere on him. At this rate I am beginning to think to just move him into a tank by himself rather than the 10cup bowl I have been quarantining him in, perhaps less stress of daily water changes and chemicals may be more effective then what I have been doing to treat the black fin rot fungus.

I also did more research on the fungus which says...
In general, fin rot occurs when the fish is stressed. The most common cause is...

-Poor water quality (which couldn't be the cause for it getting worse since I change it everyday)
-Overcrowded environment
-Handling of your fish

To help prevent fin rot, make sure you...
-Do water changes every week (have been doing daily)
-Test the water (to make sure all is ok) (water is fine)
-Try not to over feed
-A little bit of stress coat should help keep out bacteria and allow electrolites from being lost (Instead of a treatment type med)

If there are red streaks or fuzz growing on the affected areas, then you can treat for baterial or fungal infection. Otherwise, just keep nitrates low. Sometimes these things may have permanent damage so if the slits don't fuse back, but don't become infected then don't worry.

So this means that I need to monitor his food intake, use stress coat rather than treatments, provide it with more swimming room and less handling of my fish. So yes as I stated before Mag's will be moved into a 10gal aquarium to see if he makes any progress. For more tips and advice on treatments checkout the link, I will also try raising the water temp in the new tank environment.
Perhaps an inner parasitic infection causing the sunk-in appearance and red spots.
Day 10- No Maguro isn't dead, this is just one of his recent tricks...err problems. Second time that I have cleaned his water that he decides to turn sideways or upside down but later on he goes back to normal. Not to mention he hasn't seemed to have eatten in the last few days. I think the black fin rot doesn't seem as dark as it was although it is still present as you can see. He also has some other black fungus on his wen now along with ick yet again.

Day 11- Marguro seems practically dead today, he has been laying on his side again since this morning on top the water, all limp bodied and barely if at all breathing and hasn't ate in days. At this point I don't think there is much else to do accept say goodbye to Mags, return him back to the store and hopefully get a refund. R.I.P. lil fishy.


PETCO Acclimation Tips/Guarantee

I just purchased a new fish yesterday from PETCO and decided that for those of you that have PETCO stores in your area and wanted to know what their aquatic life policy states upon purchase then here is their acclimation tips/guarantee written word for word...

-Before adding new aquatic life to the aquarium, float the bag on top of the water for a minimum of 15 minutes, no longer than an hour to allow the aquatic life to adjust to the new water temperature. The water temperature in the bag should be the same as that of the tank prior to placing the fish into the tank.

-Aquatic life, introduced into an established tank, can carry disease and/or may become aggressive or be attacked upon its release. Change or move the decor to alter the established territories. Feeding established fish prior to introducing the new fish may help alleviate potential aggression in the established fish. PETCO will not refund or replace established aquatic life that have been injured or become ill as a result of introducing new fish.

-In a properly established habitat, we guarantee our freshwater fish for 15 days from the date of purchase. A receipt and water sample is required for all refunds or exchanges (please see store for details).

-There is no guarantee for saltwater fish or other marine life. These animals have unique requirements, and are very delicate. They are not recommended for the beginner aquarist.

-PETCO provides a care sheet for all our Aquatic Life Care sheets are available from any associate in the store or at www.petco.com

I can't say I totally agree with what they have written here, how would they really know if it was "established aquatic life" unless you told them? Also, what good does a water sample do when you could have changed the water the fish was in prior to returning it? I am also not totally sure that within 15 minutes the water in your fish's bag could have adjusted to the exact temperature in your tank. PETCO should have healthy aquatic life to sell to people so I do not understand why it says: "can carry disease" who would really want to buy fish from a store like that after reading this? Luckily I have 15 days to return my freshwater fish if need be.


Death by Moss Ball and Review

Sadly with all the different methods of water testing, chemicals and new products that come on the market it can also result in tank fatalities. In under 24 hours I placed an Exo Terra Moss Ball into my tank and lost all of my fish (I did post my review on the product on the stores site as a warning), I had found two fish barely holding on, but they were too far gone to make a recovery.

On the upside, I will get my $5 back for returning the moss ball which I can use toward purchasing new fish. Ironically the same day all my fish had died I got an e-mail from Petco reminding me that it was also my guppies birthday and I can get a 10% discount.
I am still debating loading the video of the night I added the moss ball into my tank so that you can see how spooked my fish were... wish I had realized why they were so scared at the time.
Click image to enlarge
Above are a few images which are inspiring me to create a new aquascape, I especially like the 3rd photo the best.


How to Quarantine

I am sure everyone has their own method to quarantining their fish for those that do it, but this is how I do it. Here is another website which has some good tips and advice on it as well. Since most of my fish aren't too costly in price and a lot of fish stores have a short return policy I'll generally quarantine my fish within a week's time (7 days).

Step 1: Have your new fish tank setup at least 24hrs before purchasing your new fish. This means your water is new and unused (no other fish in the tank), the decor has been cleaned and the filtration system, and you have put in the proper chemicals to treat the water for your new fish.

Step 2: Once bringing your new fish home place it into a plastic bag (if not already in one) and place it into your water-filled tank. This will let the temperature in the bag adjust to your aquariums temperature (important if you use an aquarium heater). I don't like to leave my fish in the bag for 24hrs since they're already a bit stressed, so I'll wait several hours before placing any new fish into the aquarium.

Step 3: Remove the bag from the aquarium and place it into an appropriate sized bowl. Cut the bag open and carefully pour the water and fish into the bowl. Next use a fish-net and scoop the fish out of its old pet-store water it came in. Slowly place the fish into your aquarium water and release the fish into the tank.

Step 4: Inspect your fish making sure it is swimming normally and seems in decent health, you may want to watch it on and off for several hours before proceeding to the next step.

Step 5: I then use chemicals and such to treat common fish diseases such as ich, slime coat, fungus, etc. Now is probably a good time to give your fish a little bit of food as some fish when under stress won't take to food right away and it will just become waste (Guppies, however are typically eager to take to food rapidly as they always beg for food even when they aren't exactly hungry at all). Be sure not to overfeed your fish or use too much of any chemical treatments.

Step 6: After watching the fish for a week, if all seems well with them I will do an entire tank cleaning of my current fish tank and place all of my fish in the tank together. Be sure to return any fish that do not look healthy (or dies) back to the store, if this is the case you may want to continue another week of tank quarantine on the fish you keep and repeat this process over. Once all your fish look healthy then proceed to place all your fish in a clean tank to live together.

Tip: When looking your fish over to insure its overall health look at its coloration, scales, gills, swimming pattern, fins, eyes, diet, behavior, etc. Remember that not all fish get along well with other fish and could possibly eat, kill or nip at other fish, be sure do research prior to purchasing new fish or keep them in a separate tank, use a divider or an in-tank box/net if necessary. This is also my method if I find any of my current fish seem ill as well.


Quick Tank Update

I purchased the Top Fin Greek Pavillion with Airstone for my 10 gallon fish tank recently but unfortunately it was slightly too wide to fit inside the tank, so either I'll return it or keep it until I decide to setup my larger tank again in the future. I did look at some of the other Greek style decor they had but I opted to purchase the Conceptual Creation Stack Stones I found in the terrarium isle instead. The devils ivy in my tank has grown a lot so I trimmed down the length of the vines and re-anchored them back into my tank. I am considering setting up another tank I have because I am looking into the possibilities of purchasing a Ranchu in the near future and I would not want a goldfish type living with my current fish. Unfortunately I did lose one of my store bought guppies during my week vacation (and no it was not the barb lover, hah). I also purchased a fisheye lense for my DSLR camera so you can expect to see a lot more of those photo's to come. I have been medling with my water quaility lately and it has been a learning experience which I hope to share more of soon.

Hope you enjoyed my quick video!