I have a common goldfish in a tank with 2 weather loach they have been together for around years and no previous health issues with any of them. My goldie has caught himself on something and I am concerned that it has not healed quickly - having read up on it looks like a fungus treatment is required. I have melafix and pimafix but have read a number of comments about those products not really making a difference.
I have now dosed the tank with Pimafix (yesterday evening) using a slightly lower dose than recommended, the goldy is improving and more active, the weather loach seem fine but not sure that they are quite as active as they have been last few days. It does say dose daily and no water changes for 7 days - bit worried about this will it be okay ?
I tested tank yesterday morning, ammonia and nitrite were at 0, ph was around 7.2, Nitrates were raised at 80 (did an extra water change and gravel clean prior to dosing) but should I have sorted my water out first prior to meds in ? The tank is 180 litre and originally was for just the goldy, the intention was to get a much bigger tank (but due to finances this has not yet happened), I am aware it is overstocked and with hindsight should never have got the loach (I do absolutely adore them tho).
If there is waste, debris, decomposing things in the substrate then this can divert some of the medicines.
Best to do a really big water change that includes really thorough vacuuming on the gravel to remove as much of this as possible. Then the medicine can latch onto the disease cells and be more effective.
Also, the fish are under some stress as the NO3 rises, and 80ppm is not good at all.
What I would do:
1) 50% daily water changes including vacuuming the floor of the tank until the NO3 is no higher than 10 ppm.
2) Clean the filter media in water removed from the tank for a water change. Just slosh the media around.
3) OK to dose the medicines but (if I remember correctly) it says to dose a larger dose as the first dose. Do it this way:
Right after a water change dose 1/2 of this loading dose. 12 hours later dose the other half of the loading dose. Next day is a 50% water change, so repeat this dosing method. Once the NO3 is low enough you can dose the regular dose per label directions.
If the dose is too strong be ready to do an immediate 50% water change.
Better to treat in a hospital tank. Bare bottom, and vacuum it daily to make sure there is no organic matter in there. Won't take much of a vacuum to do this when you can see everything in the tank. Add some plants or a rock or something so the fish will feel safe.
After you get the NO3 down to 10 ppm monitor it. When it gets to 20 ppm that is how long you can go between 50% water changes. If you do not want to do 50% water changes then you will have to do smaller ones more frequently.
A single Gold + 2 Dojo Loaches should be in a tank not smaller than about 4' long (1.2m), which could be a 45-55 (American) gallon or larger tank (here, tanks that are 4' long can be over 100 gallons). So the tank you have might be right at the minimum for these fish, meaning you must stay right on top of tank cleaning and water changes. The least slip and the NO3 will skyrocket as you are finding out.
You can also slightly reduce the NO3 build up by feeding more plant based foods. The Gold ought to eat vegetables and algae based foods. Just read the label for the protein content. Lower is better. The Loaches may or may not eat these foods. Watch to make sure they do. If they do not like them, then alternate between higher protein foods and low protein (plant based) foods.
Happy fish keeping!
thank you so much for your reply, I have scouted around the web over the last few days and really struggled to find anything relevant.
I did dose the tank last Thursday with lower than the recommended dose of Pimafix, I have been continuing to dose half the recommended dose daily since (and worrying a lot about it). My gut instinct was to get the water back to where it should be, I will be honest and say that water changes have slid from once in every 7 days to once in every seven to ten days - this has come and bit me on the backside and I deserve it
I will start daily water changes today (I did about 25% change last Wednesday, and about 40% last Thursday prior to putting Pimafix in). The tank is a Juwel Rio 180 litre with a built in internal filter (carbon removed at the minute), I also run a eheim ecco pro 2032 external filter.
I have been feeding them on Tetra Pro Algae (which I was recommended and they all seem to go crazy for) and frozen bloodworm and sometimes daphnia (only around once a week at the most). I used to feed live bloodworm (really enjoyed that, but not had any for a long time as I understand they can pick up disease from live food).
Thank you again for your reply, I can think straight now and get on with a course of action.
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