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Brand new to aquarium keeping and need help with an illness!


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Hello there!

I recently started watching and looking at fish to help with overall life issues and just something I wanted to put my focus on with everything that has gone down this year. So I decided to start small. I got myself a single gold fish, in a 40L (8.8ish galleon) tank. After about a month, I noticed I had a spike in Ammonia. Realized that my substrate was FAR too thick. No matter how much gravelling I did, it wasn't doing enough cleaning. I only realised this when I noticed my fish started acting strange.

So after watching all the videos. I did a full clean. Put about 30% of the fish water in a separate container. Fully scrubbed the entire fish tank. Started fresh. Low amount of substrate, fresh water changes weekly (Ammonia returned to clear again). Then I noticed a white patch on my fish. So like the novice I am, I went to the fish store, and just bought all the meds surrounding "fungal", and other things like "EasyBalance" & "NitrateMinus" (both by Tetra) - side note, I already used a dechlorinator and waited a week before adding the goldfish. I started using them all to hopefully mitigate what was going on. I have a filter which uses carbon, so during this, I turned off the filter and left a air stone running to help with water circulation and just overall additional oxygen. However then the white patch opened up. So I thought ok, somethings obviously more serious here. So I started doing every 5 days a 50% water change. Using a medicine called "Melafix" by API Fish Care. I'm started to get worried that what I am currently doing will eventually lead to it's death. Even if its a small goldfish and most who I've talked to said it's not worth the cost... Is not what I am looking for. I want to save it's life at whatever cost. So any help would be much appreciated. It might be a super common thing that I'm just not searching for the right terms or something. 


- Oliver


Image link, sorry it's not a full side on view, I was told it was best to give it a place to hide and rest whilst in the medical stage, and didn't want to disturb it for a photo!


Edited by GamingElectro
Found how to add image + fix spelling mistake
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I believe  this to be a ulcer.



Ulcers most commonly affect cold-water fish, such as goldfish. The ulcers are an inflammation of the external tissues that look like sores. They can be caused by physical injury, parasites, bacterial erosion, bacterial sepsis, bacterial infection or chemicals contained in poor water chemistry, such as high ammonia, nitrate and high or low pH levels.

Be sure to work out if it is one fish or multiple fish that are affected, as the latter will indicate an environmental problem. Seeing the symptoms should lead you to check your water conditions and perform a 30 to 50 per cent water change.

Quarantine the affected fish and treat with Melafix, following the dosage instructions on the label, and use different nets to avoid contamination. You might want to add aquarium salt – if your fish can tolerate it 

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Hey Ben!

I thought it was a ulcer so have been treating with Melafix for around 2-3 weeks now. Doesn't seem to help. Will try the aquarium salt to see if that does anything. I noticed it's tail has stopped functioning as it doesn't use it to swim (only its front fins). Is that something that can heal? I only have one fish and pretty much cleaned and turned my aquarium into a quarantine. I do weekly 50% water changes following a weeks worth of Melafix (same time every day).

Water checks say Ammonia is fine, which I do believe to have been the initial main cause of it. Do you think trying a parasite option along with the Melafix would be beneficial? I will check the pH and nitrates to see if that's also going wrong. 

Thanks for the reply man, helps a bunch. 


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I would say to help prevent this later on, I would get the fish a bigger tank. I had a 30 gallon tank with 8 goldfish when I was a newbie, and saw lots of health signs. I would recommend a 40 gallon so they could stay there their whole life, fancy goldfish can get around 8in. 

All the best for you and your fish. 

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