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Re: [APD] My goldfish are dying
I checked with the water company (as stated in a prior post earlier this week), and they use chlorine and NOT chloramines. I do let the water sit to get to room (tank) temperature, and then condition it also. I am switching to Prime, based on several experienced people's strong urging. I am quite confident there is no chlorine or ammonia problem in my aquariums. I have ruled this out now.
I also maintain low salt in the aquariums ongoing, and did extra salt dips for some of the sick fish, but that didn't work, obviously. The temperature increase is something I have never tried or even heard of before, but it's the best new idea to have come to me from this whole forum exchange I've been undergoing this past two weeks, so I'm trying it now. It makes logical sense to me to change the parameters in which pathogens can survive and hopefully either kill it outright by the higher temp, or "help the fish fight it off," as Don says in his follow-up post.
----- Original Message -----
From: Donald Hellen<mailto:donhellen at horizonview_net>
To: aquatic plants digest<mailto:aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2006 4:50 PM
Subject: Re: [APD] My goldfish are dying
On Thu, 1 Jun 2006 14:22:29 -0600, "Mark R"
<oldsan at gmail_com<mailto:oldsan at gmail_com>> wrote:
>let your water sit for 24 hours you don't even need de-chlorinator.
That used to be true in most places, but now many
municipalities use chloramine instead of chlorine.
Chloramine is more complex and longer lasting. For that
reason many municipal water systems are using it. Yours
may be one that is still using chlorine and an
overnight rest in an open container or a boil and
cool-down would remove this if this is the case.
Unfortunately, some dechlorinators don't work on it.
Most of the ones you buy today do, fortunately. And
sitting the water out for a day or two won't work if
your water has chloramine in it. The easiest way to
find out is to ask your water department.
If you have chloramine in your water and dechlorinate
it, you then may have ammonia to deal with, since that
is part of chloramine.
A planted tank without fish will break this down, but I
wouldn't want my fish to endure the gill burn they'd
experience without a dechlorinating product.
A more technical guide can be found here:
>Also, why are you raising the temp of your tanks to 78 F? That isn't
>necessary and goldfish are cool-water fish. If you must do something to help
>out in some vague way, add a little salt.
A little salt is not a bad idea. It's recommended by
the experts in the field.
You might think that since goldfish are cooler water
fish that raising the temperature might not be a great
idea. However, according to the latest goldfish
textbooks and experts, warming the temperature is an
acceptable way of helping goldfish fight many diseases.
I don't remember the maximum acceptable temperature but
it was over 80 degrees F, so Jamie's 78 is plenty on
the safe side. Joanne Burke recommends 86 degrees in
some cases (she's possibly the foremost goldfish expert
and the only person I know of who did her Ph.D. thesis
We've used that technique with our fancy goldfish with
no ill effects, only positive. That's not the
temperature to keep them at, of course, but it makes
for unusual conditions for some parasites and bacteria
and helps the goldfish fight them off. Additional
medication like Medi-Gold food or certain antibiotics
might be needed in some cases, but many times the heat
and salt works very well.
This web site (not my textbook sources, but I can copy
and paste this information easily) had information
about using heat to treat goldfish.
An excerpt follows, and the web site explains how to
raise the temperature slowly and in what increments on
a daily basis until the maximum is reached:
"Increase the Temperature of the water. If the fish
you're treating are in a warm water aquarium with an
aquarium heater, carefully increase the temperature of
the water by 4 degrees to a maximum of 82 degrees F.
Click here for information on how to adjust your
"Even if your fish are coldwater fish such as Goldfish,
it will probably help them to increase the water
temperature by 4 degrees to a maximum of about 78
degrees. This is somewhat controversial, but I have
tested it for many years. It often helps and rarely
I think our textbooks recommend up to 82 degrees, the
same as the web site above, but we've kept at or below
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
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