Today Steve and I went all-out on the Save Seagate mission. He’s been in his quarantine tank for 24 hours and spent most of last night sitting on the bottom looking depressed, which is exactly what the other two goldfish did before they died on us last year. After an hours research about every ailment known to goldfish-kind we were thinking a mild salt solution was the way forward. This is a natural approach, works well on a fair proportion of fish ailments and is therapeutic for ulcers and damaged scales (Seagate has what looks like a little bite out of one side of him). To do this, you also need to keep the water well oxygenated, so a trip to the pet store it was (i think they are staring to recognise me in there), to get a pump and airstone for the quarantine tank.
At the pet store the tank of goldfish that Seagate orignally came from had a sign up saying they were no longer for sale as they were receiving treatment. I cornered a friendly shop assistant and quizzed her on what was wrong with them. She seemed a bit vague about what exactly they were being treated for, but recommended a bacterial treatment for the tank, which we bought because she was friendly, helpful and spent so long talking to us about it all, even though I was secretly thinking I wasn’t going to use the dodgy chemicals on our fish.
She told us we could bring Seagate back if we wanted to, and they would swap him for another fish. Wahah! Not likely – I don’t want another fish!! What would they do with our little sick baby?? It doesn’t even bear thinking about.
In the car I looked into the treatment we had purchased and confirmed my suspicions about nasty chemicals. I told Steve we had a bottle of prettily packaged FORMALDEHYDE, and we decided that salt was still the best thing, as we didn’t want a mummified fish. We got home, put the scary formaldehyde at the back of the cupboard and set up the air pump. Seagate seemed to like this a lot. We then diluted the salt and added it to the tank. I watched him like a hawk for about 40 minutes and he seemed to perk up – he swam around the bubbles, ate some dinner, and has stopped sitting on the gravel at the bottom. Concentration should be at 0.1% now, and we need to increase it to 0.3% over the next day or two, which is the recommended amount for longer-term salt treatment. Hopefully the fact he was more active this evening is a good sign (A Google search on salt treatment for Goldfish and Koi will provide you with lots of info if you are thinking of doing the same. It’s v important to get the proportions right though, so read as much as you can on it, and remember that UK and US gallons are different).
The other three are as happy and hungry as usual, and were very interested in all the goings on in the kitchen. We’ll just wait and see now what tomorrow morning will bring…