sick goldfish,melafix,tetracyline,erythromycine,API general cure,API Fungus cure

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by CobelAli, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. CobelAliNew MemberMember


    About a year ago I bought a gold fish. He was doing really well and grew quickly, so I moved him into a 20G tank with a 50G filter. I usually do 10% weekly and 25% monthly water change. This is the only fish in the tank.

    A few months ago the fish got sick. Around the same time we adopted 2 dogs, but I'm not sure if they are related. The symptoms included:
    • lack of energy
    • lack of appetite
    • cloudy eyes
    • fin rot
    • staying on the bottom

    I tried the natural remedies Melafix and aquarium salt, but they didn't help much. Next I tried API tetracycline and it appeared to work, but it didn't last. Next I tried erythromycine, but that didn't help. I also tried API general cure and API fungus cure. In addition to the original symptoms, there are a couple of new ones:

    • what looks like hemorrhaging on the back
    • when he tries to eat food, he squirts the food out of his mouth
    • sometimes is looks like his jaw is stuck open, but it only lasts a few seconds and I don't see any gravel of food stuck in there

    I have already spent close to $100 on this $6 fish, but I'm willing to try one or two more antibiotics before giving up. There is a huge selection of antibiotics available online, but I'm not sure which one I should try.

    I would really appreciate any help. I tried to post some pictures, but there's something wrong with the forum link. I have sent the error message to the webmaster. I'll try to post the pictures somewhere and paste the link here.

  2. CobelAliNew MemberMember

  3. millcaValued MemberMember

    Sorry to hear about your goldfish. I just finished treating a goldfish that had an open sore on his back, fin rot and some fungus using API Triple Sulfa. It took two 4 day treatments but he is definitely on the mend. He never lost his appetite though so the symptoms aren't completely the same.

    The API Triple Sulfa box says it treats bacterial fish disease, controls a wide variety of pathogenic fish infections, then lists the following:

    • eye cloud
    • fin & tail rot
    • gill disease
    • mouth fungus
    • hemorrhagic septicemia
    • body slime

    It can be found at Petsmart and other fish stores (not Petco or at least not on their online store).

    This med was highly recommended to me to have in hand for my goldfish as it treats a lot if issues that may occur. My breeder also recommended feeding him frozen bloodworms throughout the treatment because they are a very appealing food for goldfish and will encourage him to eat (if he can).

    I hope your cute little guys recovers.

  4. CobelAliNew MemberMember

    Thank you. I think I'll order that along with a more powerful antibiotic just in case.

    Do bloodworms sink or float? Right now he only eats the food on the bottom.
  5. Tank GirlValued MemberMember

    This fish is very ill. What are your water parameters - ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph? What is your water change routine? What kind of filtration? All of these things are very important to know before you use medications.
  6. CobelAliNew MemberMember

    The ammonia, nitrate, and nitrites were good before he got sick. I stopped checking after I added the tetracycline because it turned the water deep red and my tests are color based (API kits). I already posted the water routine.
  7. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    :( He looks septic. I hope the triple sulfa will work for him, as it does treat a lot of different kinds of bacteria. Others you can look at are kanamycin (only use if nothing else works) and oxytetracycline.

    What was his feces like before he started the odd eating habits? White and stringy at all? What does his belly look like? Is he bloated or thin? Or is it normal looking...? Have you considered internal parasites as a root cause?
  8. CobelAliNew MemberMember

    I ordered the triple sulfa and ciprofloxacin. If the triple sulfa doesn't work, I'll try the cipro as a last resort.

    When he was eating, his poop looked normal to me. It looked like a thin brown sausage encased within a thin film. He hasn't been eating for the past few days and hasn't pooped. While I haven't ruled out internal parasites, I think the big red spot on his back needs to be addressed first. I did give him API General Cure after the 2 rounds of antibiotics and should have taken care of the parasites.

    His tail is reddish too, but I don't know if it's from disease or discoloration from tetracycline.

    It's hard for me to judge bloat because he has always been big around the middle.

  9. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Nah, not parasites, then. He'd have had white stringy poop if it was. My guess is something bacterial. Good luck with treatment.
  10. Tank GirlValued MemberMember

    So sorry, missed the water change info. With goldfish, a 10% weekly and 25% monthly water change isn't nearly enough. Please don't take this as criticism. Experienced goldfish keepers change most (75% or more) of the water every week, sometimes more than once a week, depending on the load in the tank. They also have heavy filtration (turning the water over 6-10 times an hour - again, depending on the load). What works well for tropicals isn't enough for goldfish.

    I can see that it's scales are raised along with all the redness, which, unfortunately, is a bad sign. I'd recommend doing lots of water changes for starters. If it's going to have any chance at survival, clean water is a must. Clean water will also allow any medication you might use to work it's best, and medications themselves can be hard on the fish.
  11. millcaValued MemberMember

    Bloodworms sink especially if you use a turkey baster to drop them below the water surface. Just drop a few in and see if he'll eat them. Don't put a ton of them in there as they will just further degrade your water quality.

    The advice you've been given about water changes is spot on. Goldfish a huge polluters and need much more frequent water changes.

    Even more important now that your little guy is sick. Triple Sulfa's instructions will say only 25% water change but if you can manage 100%, that would be preferable for a sick fish.

    I hope he starts feeling better. Keep us posted.
  12. CobelAliNew MemberMember

    The triple sulfa, blood worms, and ciprofloxycin arrived today. Unfortunately I administered the med before reading this post, but this is what I did.

    I took out 50% of the water along with all the decorations. I had cleaned a couple of decorations in a bleach mixture and rinsed it a few times to make sure there is no bleach left on them. I mixed the gravel really well and replaced the foam filter. I put in the clean decorations after mixing the gravel. I had already taken out the carbon filter before starting the Melafix. Two tablespoons of aquarium salt was added since I took out approximately 10 gallons. I added 3 packs of the sulfa to the aquarium. My plan is to add another 3 packs for the next time, followed by two times using 2 packs each time. I'm going to wait an hour or so before trying the blood worm.

    So tomorrow I add another 3 packs, then on Saturday I do a complete water change and do 2 packs and on Sunday another 2 packs. Do I do a complete change on Monday?

  13. CobelAliNew MemberMember

    I don't mind doing more water changes, but I thought too much water change would take out too many beneficial bacteria. Since my nitrogen levels were good, I assumed I was doing enough water changes. I tried to oversize the filter since goldfish eat and poop a lot :)

    Hopefully after he gets better, I'll start doing 25% weekly and 50% monthly changes, assuming the nitrogen levels don't spike.

  14. Tank GirlValued MemberMember

    Beneficial bacteria don't live in the water, they colonize on the filter media and other surfaces. Water changes won't remove them at all and it's the simplest and cheapest thing you can do to keep your fish healthy. 25% weekly just isn't enough.

    You say your levels are "good", what are the numbers? Be very careful using antibiotics. Treating with all of those would take down a healthy fish.
  15. CobelAliNew MemberMember

    I think the triple sulfa is working. The redness on his back is getting better, but he's still not eating very much. I bought Hikari freeze dried blood worms, soaked them in water, and dropped them in front of the fish, but he didn't touch them:( He had a couple of flakes of his regular food, but I'm hoping his appetite will become normal once the medication has worked.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018

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