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Cotton eye growth on fish

Discussion in 'Fish Keeping Chat' started by Ellieb1, Jan 13, 2021.


  1. Ellieb1

    Ellieb1 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, I’m new here.
    I have 2 telescope fish which I’ve had for 3 years. They have huge eyes and one of them always seems to have problems with one of his eye. It used to get cloudy and red and then go back normal after I gave him some anti bacterial medicine.
    A week ago my fish started to get this cotton wool like growth on his bad eye so I went and got some anti fungal treatment and gave him that. So now, a week later, nothing has changed and it’s just gotten bigger and bigger. He’s still being semi normal swimming about, not eating as much and now I’m stuck on what to do as nothing is changing. Baring in mind my other fish has been completely fine this whole time and I have also cleaned the tank before I put the second lot of medicine in last night. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    Hi. Welcome to the forum. Could you answer as many of these questions as you can, please? They'll help us to help you. I've given an explanation as to why underneath each question;

    How big is the tank? (in litres, gallons, or physical dimensions length x width x height)
    We ask about tank size because the smaller the tank, the quicker things can go wrong. Knowing tank size or volume can also help us work out medication dosage, if necessary.

    2) How long has it been set up? Could you tell us the make and model of the filter?
    This is in two parts;
    A) Age of the set-up gives us a vague indication of how likely the tank is to be fully cycled. For example, if you've had the tank for 2 weeks and got fish a day after the tank, we know you're 2 weeks into a fish-in-tank cycle. Plus, the newer the tank, the more likely it is that it's a causative factor in the problems you're experiencing.
    B) Knowing the make and model of the filter can help us work out if it's appropriate for your tank and stocking.

    3) Did you cycle it before you added the fish? (Cycling involves adding a source of ammonia to the tank and testing daily until ammonia and nitrite return to 0ppm and you have a nitrate reading. This process takes weeks - not days. You can find a link with more information on cycling here).
    This is related to Q2.

    4) Do you have any test results for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, (in ppm or mg/l - "water parameters fine" doesn't tell us anything) pH, GH and KH? Also, details of the test kit you're using will be beneficial, too.
    Another question that has multiple parts.
    A). Water quality problems (ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate) are the single biggest causes of illness and death in the hobby. "Fine" is subjective, we need the actual results.
    B). PH, GH and KH, collectively known as water chemistry, affect the toxicity of any water quality issues. Plus, fish kept outside of the parameters they've evolved for are more susceptible to problems
    C). Dip strip tests are usually less reliable than the liquid tests, and you usually have to buy a separate kit for ammonia (which makes absolutely no sense to me, but then I don't work for a test kit manufacturer), so if, for example, your fish are showing all the signs of nitrite poisoning, but the kit says it's 0mg/l, we'll take that into account but advice you do a 50% water change anyway. :D

    5) Could you give us a full list of tank inhabitants, including species and numbers?
    It's important to know then full stocking of the tank for a number of reasons;
    A). To rule in or out the possibility of overstocking
    B). To ensure that any treatment we advise is safe for all species - for example, there's no point in advising a copper based treatment if you have inverts or sensitive fish in the tank, because it'll kill them.
    C). To rule in or out any compatibility issues.

    6) When was the last time you did a water change? How much, and did you use dechloronator?
    The day-to-day running of the tank doesn't change much, which makes water changes the most common variable in the hobby. It's the one part where we can screw up - forgetting the dechlorinator is just one part. Also forgetting to plug the filter back in, like I did, 5 weeks ago :Bag

    7) When was the last time you added anything new to the tank - fish, inverts, decor Did you quarantine them? If so, how long for? You can find more information on quarantine here
    Adding new fish (or any inverts or decor that was in a tank with fish) can come home sick. Fish shops and suppliers often keep diseases under control by using UV sterilisers, which can mean the fish have no immune system to speak of, which means as soon as they come off UV - like your home aquarium, for example, they have no defences against any and all diseases out there. Plus, any immunity they have gained is put to the test with the stress and shock of transport.
    If you put them straight into your main tank, any diseases they come with can quickly lead to a tank-wide problem.

    8) Could you post pics? Mainly of the fish in question, but also of the tank. Sometimes a member might spot something that you may have overlooked.
     
  3. Ellieb1

    Ellieb1 PetForums Newbie

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    Hello, the tank is 32 litres I believe. It has been set up for 3 years, I couldn’t tell you the make right now as I’m not too sure. I never cycled the tank with the ammonia, I just made sure it was cycled for a couple of days. I don’t have any test results for ammonia/nitrate etc. There is just my two telescope fish and small stones at the bottom. Did a water change yesterday and put dechlorinator. Don’t have pics available at the minute as my camera has broken on my phone, I shall ask a family member to take one.
     
  4. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    Oh dear.

    Ok, prepare yourself.

    32ltrs is nowhere near for a goldfish - not even one. They're members of the carp family, and should reach about 10-12". For two goldfish alone, you're looking at a tank that's about 150ltrs upwards. They're also messy poop machines of fish, which require filters that are designed for tanks up to twice the size of the one they're in.

    So two goldfish, in a 32ltr tank for three years, will be severely stunted. The filter will be struggling to keep ammonia and nitrite at bay, and nitrate will be through the roof.

    Furthermore, if you don't add ammonia to a tank before you get the dish, all you're really doing is checking it doesn't leak and that the equipment works. The cycling process can't start until a source of ammonia is added - either bottled ammonia, fish food, or the fish themselves.

    All of this explains the secondary symptoms you see - all the problems with the fish's eye.

    You need a test kit - check eBay for the API liquid master test kit, or the NT Labs liquid master test kit. Carry out daily 30-50% water changes until they arrive, using the dechlorinator.

    You also need a much bigger tank and filter. 2nd hand tanks will be fine. Just check for leaks. As for filters, the best one you can get for Goldies are external/canister filters.

    Once the test kit arrives, post the results and we'll guide you from there.
     
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