Clogged throat and white film?

Laura306

Hello all!

I have a small shubunkin goldfish. A while ago she started to have some issues with eating. She is still interested and active, but just spends a long time "chewing" her food before spitting the majority back out again. It seems to me that she has something stuck in her throat, making it difficult for her to swallow food.

She still has pretty regular poops. They tend to be dark green and short because she loves eating the salvinia from the top of the tank. So she seems to still be foraging fine. I think the first time I saw her do this was after giving her some repashy goldfish gel food. It was maybe the 2nd or 3rd time I'd given this food. Right before the repashy, I gave her a singular bloodworm (freeze-dried). She gets those about twice a week as a protein snack. That went down fine, like always, but then the repashy started the struggle, seemingly.

How can I safely look down her throat and remove something if there is anything visible? She is maybe 2 inches at most, not counting fins.

I don't want her to starve a few weeks down the line, or for some internal issues to take the opportunity. She's been pretty fragile from the start and I've tried to take good care of her because she is a tiger striped shubunkin and I don't see myself finding another like her. She's very friendly and enjoyable too.

Before she moved to the big tank, she was in a smaller tank and there was treated with esha exit, 2000 and gdex (separately) and aquarium salt (she had a torn fin and some fluff grew on the wound. Salt cleared up the fungus within 2 or 3 days and the wound has since healed completely back together).

The second thing started this morning. I woke up and switched on her tank lights just to find she has a very obvious white, filmy patch on her head. It looks ever so slightly raised above the level of her skin, but is not really consistent with ich. I will attach pictures, but they probably won't show it well.

I was watching her for a long time after I noticed it, and she was at this point swimming with her head against the glass. I'm not sure it's a symptom because it was her feeding time and I was watching her instead of feeding her. She has been in the middle of the tank as usual throughout the day as I walked into the room. So she might've just been begging. I just mention it in case.

Because she is small, it crossed my mind that maybe she bumped into the filter and it's an injury of that nature? It's a fluval u4 internal filter, placed horizontally, so the intake is at the top and bottom. I sometimes see her resting underneath it, but never really see her very close or touching it.

Tonight when I went to sleep, I checked on her again to see if she had gotten worse or better. The tank lights had already been off for a few hours, so I didn't have as much light to see her by, but the film is still there. In the darker light it kind of looked like it was focused around two more concentrated specks of white, but it's mainly speculation because she was acting a bit anxious and panicky from being disturbed in her sleep.

If there is any help you can offer or any idea what is going on, it would be greatly appreciated. The second fish is ready to come upstairs to the big tank too, but I don't want to move him until I'm sure it's at least not infectious.

Parameters in the latest test were:
pH 7.2
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 20

She did have a little nitrite spike a few days after being added (even though the tank cycled 33 days) but with water changes and daily testing it never got very high and was resolved pretty quickly.

Sorry for so much info, I just think it helps to give all the details. Thanks so much for any help!
 

jtjgg

beautiful colors and pattern.

you could try netting her and use a flashlight to try to look in her mouth. or use clove oil to sedate her, but be very careful b/c too much clove oil could kill her. there are several youtube videos. search for "wen surgery goldfish."

the film might be fungus? hard to tell from the pictures. you might try an aquarium salt bath in a separate container.
 
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Laura306

beautiful colors and pattern.

you could try netting her and use a flashlight to try to look in her mouth. or use clove oil to sedate her, but be very careful b/c too much clove oil could kill her. there are several youtube videos. search for "wen surgery goldfish."

the film might be fungus? hard to tell from the pictures. you might try an aquarium salt bath in a separate container.
Thanks for your answer! And thanks for the compliment to Mirai, she is pretty special. I'm sure she would appreciate it if she could understand!

I've been thinking about shining a light in her mouth too. Sedating sounds great because then I won't worry about sudden movements.
I researched some stuff about clove oil and found that it's quite unstable and unpredictable... But I don't think I can get a proper anaesthetic like MS222 around here, so it may be my only option.
The thing that worried me more than potentially finnicky preparation of clove oil is that some people said it causes brain damage to the fish... Do you know if there is any truth to this? Or is there a more first-time friendly product available over the counter?

Ive been given a microscope by some friends today and was planning to do a gentle mucous scrape, so sedation is definitely something I would prefer. I understand scrapes need to be taken very gently, and any movement of the fish compromises her safety.

Fungus seems accurate. I will treat with salt, thanks. Would it be okay to also treat with esha 2000 at the same time? It's compatible with salt and treats fungal infection, but I don't want to overload her with treatments, so your opinion would be appreciated!

I know the pictures are bad, I just can't seem to take good, clear pictures of my fish (or anything really) so I think it's a combination of my camera (settings or camera itself) and my total lack of skill in photography! She also likes to be quite still when I'm looking at her because she's expecting food, but as soon as I point my phone in her general direction she's having a marathon around the tank.
 
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jtjgg

i've not heard of clove oil causing brain damage. even Vets use clove oil to do surgery on fish.

looks like esha is malachite green. i would do the bath in a separate container. i would do either aquarium salt bath or the esha bath, since the fungus doesn't look too severe.
 
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Laura306

i've not heard of clove oil causing brain damage. even Vets use clove oil to do surgery on fish.

looks like esha is malachite green. i would do the bath in a separate container. i would do either aquarium salt bath or the esha bath, since the fungus doesn't look too severe.
Okay good to know. I'll order some then!

The composition of e 2000 says ethacridine lactate, copper sulphate, and Proflavine hemisulphate

I'll begin with the salt bath, like you say it doesn't look that bad and it's stayed the same the last 2 days. I haven't used salt as a bath before, only in the small tank (low concentrations over 2 weeks).

Could you walk me through giving the salt bath? Does she need to acclimate to the water, or should I just take some of her tank water and add salt to that? I'll attach a picture of the salt I have (the instructions don't mention how much for a bath). Thanks again for your help with this! Sorry for all my additional questions, I don't want to make things worse by guessing!
 
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jtjgg

i believe that is aquarium salt.

yes, put some of the tank water into a separate container. dissolve the salt, about 1 teaspoon per gallon. then place the goldfish in for just a few minutes. you need to keep a constant watch on your goldfish, remove him if he shows signs of stress, like thrashing around, laying on its side. pay attention to the mouth and gills, make sure he doesn't stop breathing, if he stops, put him back in the main tank and move him back and forth to get water through the gills.
 
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