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Dropsy: Mango’s fight

So as I have stated before in a previous entry Mango has mysteriously come down with dropsy. Although I had done an epsom treatment on my little guy it seems it hasn’t been enough to rid him of his problem and it has worsened. It’s very rare that a fish with the beginning symtoms of dropsy will be cured just by epsom, in most cases it will need medical intervention.

As you see from the picture here he is almost in full bloat:

It does break my heart to see such a young fish suffer like this.

Over at Koko’s a wonderful person has offered to ship me some metro-meds (which is a metronidazole enhanced food to feed your fish). I’m still anticipating it nervously in the mail but unfortunately days count and so with a lot of searching at my local fish stores I haven’t been able to find metronidazole for sale on shelves. It was by chance a fish store employee generously offered me some from the back room for the sake of helping my fish and so with the help from those lovely people at Koko’s Goldfish I have concocted a medication to keep Mango from getting worse.

Now I just need to feed this food to him according to his weight! Mango is a hefty 15 grams of pure fishy muscle! (bad joke, I know!)

I have also purchased Garlic Guard for it’s anti becterial and anti parasitical properties and have decided to soak his food in it once a week as a new regimen.

As a side note I have also purchased a new ammonia kit (as I had finally run out) and new suction cups for my heater since my previous ones broke!

Please keep your fingers and fins crossed for Mango and his fight against dropsy!


What I learned

I like to think that knowledge is a thing you acquire through experience, but after the learning is done it is your duty to pass it on in good will of someone in need. I always hoped that others would share their experience to help others become better at what they are doing.

For me as a beginner aquarist it’s known that I’m going to learn through trial and error. Here are some things I learned that I would like to pass on to the next person in hopes that they could use it too:

First thing: You’re only human. Things happen that are beyond your control.

Instead of feeling bad and beating yourself up about it, learn from your experience so that it never happens again. Make sure you pass on the good word and share your story.

Next: Always place a mesh on your gravel vac or python.

Accidents happen. Many people have shared their horror stories about getting distracted and accidentally sucking their fish in the gravel vac causing eye loss or even worse; loss of life. Always make sure it’s covered with something to avoid it.

Next: Give up the bucket method.

I know the good old fashioned way of carrying buckets. I did it myself for months. Just don’t do it. Locate your tank somewhere conveniently to the tap that you change your water with. Invest in a python or similar product. You will not spill water on the ground or have to lug heavy buckets anymore.

Next: Baffle your filters when you have young fish.

Though there is never such thing as too much filtration, there is such thing as too much current. Current tosses your fish around and causes them stress. When they can’t rest it causes them stress and stress in turn causes your fish to secrete more ammonia and lower it’s immune function.

Next: Baffle your filters with bottles, not with filterpads.

I’ve learned this one the hard way. I had originally baffled my filter with a pad. It’s messy, and when it dislodges it creates particles in the water. It doesn’t look good in the tank. It’s not secure. It raises the water level in your filter creating a potential for an overflow. Get a plastic bottle. Cut the top and bottom off of it. Then cut it down the middle, wash it and boil it to keep it clean. tape the top of it to your filter lid and allow it to curl under the filter. This stops the current. Here is a how to guide on it.

And lastly:

Always enjoy your time with your fish. Never miss a heartbeat because you never know how long you will have with them in this brief moment of your lives where your paths have crossed 🙂

summer is almost over

…but the heat wave sure isn’t!

Here in Waterloo the temperatures soared to about 90F this weekend and I found myself in a bit of a predicament as the tank temperature slowly climbed from 70F to a whopping 78F in a couple days time. For those of you who own cold water fish you can surely understand my distress as the tank reached tropical fish temperatures that I was worried for Mango’s wellbeing.

Of course a week ago back when the temperatures outside were normal and cool I didn’t think anything of the fact that our air conditioner broke. It was the last week of summer after all and I thought the heat had finally left for the year. I was obviously wrong.

Goldfish can live in a wide range of temperatures from waters just above freezing to 85F tropical temperatures. That being said, I would always like to keep my tank’s temperature at an optimal level to make sure Mango is happy and healthy.

Since Mango has been my first cold water fish I was unsure of what to do to keep the tank cool and vented. I owned no fans and my window had been set wide open for any little amounts of air circulation I could get from outside. When problems like this arise I go back to Koko’s Goldfish Forum for help. I did get some excellent advice on how to combat heat waves from members who live in hotter climates than I do.

Here was the solution:

The tank lid was left open, the lights had been turned off and the curtains have been drawn. I was told and would like to pass on the good word on how you too can cool your tank down.

Firstly unless you have LED lights on your tank, turn them off. Light produces unnecessary heat that will only add to the problem in your tank.

Secondly open your tank lid. I was told open lids increase water evaporation (much like splashing filter outlets do) The more surface agitation the more evaporation and oxygenation you will have. This brings me to my third point below.

Because warmer water holds less oxygen than colder water does you want to maximise the amount of oxygen touching the surface area of your water. Make sure that you have an air stone attached to an air pump, set it on a high setting.

Hope this helps your goldfish stay cool for the summer!