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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I have had some concerned behavior with my Reds. I am in process of uploading videos of the actual behavior to get a first person view of the behavior but it's uploading to YouTube slowly and says it has 2 hours left so I will post a reply with the links to them as soon as they're uploaded.

In the meantime I will explain the basic situation. One of my Reds I noticed had some of the fins bitten off and chunks out of other fins so I separated him from the others and used Melafix as I always do when this happens. But this time once I took a closer look he had white things porturding off his eyes, not a film but actually portruding. It looked as if the eyes were inverted but if you look down the side of the fish you can see his eye behind whatever the white thing is that's on there. In addition to the eyes he seemed kind of lethargic and not moving much, he'd stay in one spot for a long time. The others had no issues. About 3-4 days later I noticed the other three also had the white things starting to portrude on their eyes and they all started bumping into the glass into each other etc. I feed them every couple weeks live gold fish and when I fed them the other day they didn't even go after let alone eat the goldfish.

I thought maybe there was a water issue so I did a 3/4 change and sucked up the waste from below the rocks and scrubbed the decorations, etc. In addition I have a 4 stage canister style filter system consisting of foam padding, activated carbon, scrubbies, and the white/grey de-nitrate rock. I went ahead and changed all the filter elements and after the new water was added I tested it (and yes I used the good drop solution in the test tubes not the crap test strips lol). Now this is the first time Ive ever tested the water, my piranhas have always been perfectly fine so never have really worried to test it so, with that said, I'm not sure A what the numbers are supposed to be and B what to do if they are off. The numbers are as follows:

PH 6.8

AMMONIA 0.25 ppm

NITRITE 0.25 ppm

NITRATE 80 ppm

I want to thank everyone in advance for any and all help you can give me with the water testing and/or adjusting and what the issue is with my piranhas eyes/behavior.
 

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When you say "changed all the filter elements" do you mean cleaned or totally replaced?
 

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Replacing all of the cartriges removed all of the beneficial bacteria, the tank is going through a cycle again. In the future you should replace them one at a time

You will need to keep up on large water changes, with treated water (no chlorine) to keep the ammonia down as thats whats causing the cloudy eye.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is it still eye cloud if the white stuff is litterly protruding off of the eye like a measurable amount? Here are the videos, I had to break it up into tow videos. Thank you for taking the time to watch these. The links are below.

WATCH THIS ONE FIRST

WATCH THIS ONE SECOND

Thank you again for taking the time to view and respond.
 

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Yeah, it doesnt look like pop eye. Ideally you want 0 ammonia and nitrite, and nitrate less than 50ppm... keep up with large water changes to hold them down until the tank re cycles.

With that many reds, you might have to add another canister or get a larger one if they dont drop.

I would also get rid of the goldfish, not helping anything and are an easy way to introduce parasites or ICH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What do you recommend feeding them? I've always fed them live gold fish usualy 25 every 2 weeks. As I said usualy the gold fish are gone within 30 minutes or less. Do you recommend I get stuff to bring the nitrite, trate, and ammonia down? Is the PH within normal levels for Reds? Sorry for all the questions, I've had these fish for almost 10 years and never have delt with the water chemistry cause they have all been perfectly fine in the past. Thanks again for your help and advice.
 

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Feed a good mixture of things, white fish fillets (talpia etc) shrimp, seafood (my grocery has a seafood medley that is lots of frozen scraps and fairly cheap) and even salmon and beef heart occasionally. I would also suggest a good pellet like Hikari Gold as they contain everything needed and are easy.

PH isnt as important, as long as its stable... yours seems fine as long as its not bouncing around

Water changes will bring the params down, I HATE using things that arent needed and a temporary shortcut. Best thing would be keep up on water changes, and if possible get some established filter media from a friend to stick in the canister. Like I said, if the params dont settle out after some time you might need to add another canister.

Lesson learned about replacing all the filter media, things will be fine it will just take some time to settle out again.
 

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You had them for 10 years, this means you have been keeping them in good condition in order to survive that long, water params will get better and as Ægir said you should never change all media at once, change water with a good conditioner that you are very sure of to remove chlorine (I delayed my cycle by a couple of months just by using the wrong conditioner).

They seem to act very placid, kinda like they are unaware of stuff around them, do they still have their sight? Check somehow.

I would never add any other fish to my tank, probably why they got the white stuff in the first place, I dont think ammonia would do that, I had 5ppm for about 2 months and they only got a little gill burn.
My suggestion is remove the gold fish immediately, change water daily, test and test, and as Ægir said, maybe another canister would be a good buy !

Fingers crossed and keep us posted ! The very best of luck !
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You had them for 10 years, this means you have been keeping them in good condition in order to survive that long, water params will get better and as Ægir said you should never change all media at once, change water with a good conditioner that you are very sure of to remove chlorine (I delayed my cycle by a couple of months just by using the wrong conditioner).

They seem to act very placid, kinda like they are unaware of stuff around them, do they still have their sight? Check somehow.

I would never add any other fish to my tank, probably why they got the white stuff in the first place, I dont think ammonia would do that, I had 5ppm for about 2 months and they only got a little gill burn.
My suggestion is remove the gold fish immediately, change water daily, test and test, and as Ægir said, maybe another canister would be a good buy !

Fingers crossed and keep us posted ! The very best of luck !
Thanks for all the responses. I have been using Melafix daily and the white from there eyes is gone. They now scurry when you come to the tank which they didnt do when the white was on the eyes. I also dropped in some liver and they swam over and ate it so they do have site. Now they are very active, almost constantly swimming. One question regarding oxygen, I basically have a plastic pvc tube with a bunch of holes that stretches the length of the tank that the filtered water goes through and I have a volcano with an air stone. Is that enough oxygen running through the water? As I said Ive had them a long time and I've never noticed this in the past but now their mouths seem to be moving pretty quick as they breathe. Like I said I never paid much attention in the past to how they breathe so I can't say for certain if the way they are now is normal, but does that seem like enough oxygen moving through the tank or should I add something else? Thanks again in advance for the advice.
 

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I have never used an air stone or any air pumps... using a canister spray bar and agitating the surface has always been more than enough.

You are more than fine with your setup
 

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I got both.

Canister dumps water from the spray bar from an inch above the waterline and I have an air pump with two outlets, one goes to an airstone, one to a sponge filter. I only keep them around out of fear, had a big filtration problem. I'm sure I could do without them but they dont bother me or the fish.

Do as Ægir says ! Make sure you have surface agitation, if breathing is hard add an airstone, maybe they do help...I can barely notice my fish breathing.

Check parameters, nitrite makes them breath heavily.

Glad to see you they are better, keep at it, war's not over.

Forgot to say this, I don't think red meat is a good diet, why don't you try shrimps, fish fillet's, stuff that fish eat.

Liver is good catfish bait tho !

Raise the pvc tube above the waterline.
 
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