Aquarium Updates and DIY's

Lately, I have had a few aquarium mishaps, the first being that I managed to crush my glass intake tube as I was trying to pull it apart from the tubing. That said, there has to be an easier way to separate those two pieces so if anyone has any tips on that please leave me a comment below and let me know as I have yet to see anything on that topic. Luckily, I didn't manage to cut myself as the tube shattered in my hand (I felt as if I was the Hulk that day) and I had kept the plastic intake tube that came with my canister filter originally so I will now have to use that one in the mean time.
Red spots on Ramen - before (top image) and after (bottom image)
For those of you that don't follow me on IG I have lost 2 of my goldfish recently (Pocky and Ramen) due to some red spot/sore problem (as seen in the photo here). The size of these red sore looking spots would range from half an inch in size to smaller dots, and it was not caused by anything hurting them in the tank. Honestly, I probably could've prolonged their lives by not removing them from my main tank and placing them in 5g buckets for treatment but I didn't want to risk further harming my healthier looking fish and after months of trying to remedy this, I figured it was time to let them go (Ramen was basically stuck on her side for a month and began having trouble eating so, I didn't want to prolong that any longer). I'm not even sure what this is as I haven't been able to find many photos in which to identify this. I believe this may be VHS (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia), but I could be wrong as I have never dealt with this before. I tried tons of different medications, etc and I failed with all of them. Whatever this is, it's definitely highly contagious for my goldfish (not sure about other fish as this is just a goldfish tank currently). I noticed when I did my large weekly water changes it often would clear up a bit but over the course of a week it would reappear but the red spots would jump to random places on the body (not really the tail or head area). Sometimes there would be an almost grayish scab that would appear in the center but not always, which you may think is a parasite but I don't believe that was the case (I even dosed with Prazi). Whatever it is I believe to be an internal virus of some kind (I'm not a vet but that's just my best guess) and both fish suffered from Swim Bladder Disease before that occurred.

I am beginning to feel as though fish that end up with Swim Bladder Disease are more susceptible to having secondary issues. Perhaps a weak swim bladder could be a sign of a weak immune system (or SBD weakens a fish in general). It just seems little is known on how to remedy true Swim Bladder Disease without the aid of surgery and the fact it's called a disease makes me want to relate it more to a poor immune system which may have been affected by certain medications, or it could just be a heredity issue. I know some aquarists feel SBD can be remedied with diet change but I feel those results are temporary from my experience, and a major SBD issue won't truly be resolved by diet alone.

Also, I finally got around to trying out my Virkon tablets which are better at killing nasties than bleach and I will say that... it's not that bad. It does have a slight odor to it but I don't find it nearly as offensive as bleach or ammonia. Also, someone mentioned to me that they stopped using this product because it is corrosive, and actually in its powder/tablet form it is corrosive but once you get it to a 1% dilution in water (1 tablet + 1 pint of water) it is no longer considered corrosive (according to the label). Personally, I really like this product thus far as it doesn't seem to leave any residue as with bleach, but I would avoid using it directly on anything metal or electronic just to be on the safe side in terms of corrosiveness (the same can be said for products like Windex). 
Carpet mold from the tank when I started scrubbing it out.
As for my last mishap I learned that if you're using an untreated wood stand of some kind for your aquarium and it has an entirely flat base that rests on your carpet (I was using the top of a wood hutch) than you are basically asking for a mold problem. If any water goes near your carpet, overtime that moisture will creep under the wood base and thus you're very likely to end up with some mold, which was my experience this week. I ended up with some dry black splotchy looking mold and the best way I found to clean up this mess (first dispose of the moldy tank stand and find something better if possible) is to make an ammonia dilution (2 capfuls of ammonia per 1 gallon of water). Using an abrasive brush scrubber you'll than scrub over the carpet in circular motions with the ammonia mixture until the mold coloration removes (or is killed rather) and then you'll repeat this with some clean water. Next use a wet/dry vacuum to suck out the water from the carpet (and its surrounding areas) and then use a fan to help further dry out the area. The carpet may require an additional cleaning after this initial one has had time to dry out as it could still be a bit discolored.

That's all I have to share for this week and I have been super busy lately (hence the lack of posts) but I am working on putting together some new posts before I start back up at University the end of the month so do come by again soon!

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