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Hello again! and UPDATES from Cali

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Hi all, 

Not sure if anyone saw my reply to Ian's post in 'Off Topic' but I mentioned that I came back to see how things were here and to my surprise there were some very recent posts! Not daily posts, but at least within the last month or so! I was really happy to see that so I thought I'd jump back on the bandwagon and post some updates, in case anyone was curious. 

First, let me start by saying that for the most part things have been smooth sailing for all my fishies! The weird little runt babies are still weird little runt babies.. I still have 12. They are done growing but man are the feisty as ever! I have spent more of my time on the two fancies. If anyone recalls, I have a 7-8 year old Fantail named Big Guy, and a 2 year old bronze Oranda named Chai. You may also recall that a hand full of you here on the forum helped me bring Big Guy back from an extreme DROPSY case over a year ago. Basically you all helped me save his life, and I am still so grateful for that. 

My gratitude was reaffirmed when the student who GAVE me Big Guy happened to be walking past my classroom the other week (the high schoolers cut through the middle school to get to wherever they want to go in the neighborhood) and I immediately recognized her and remembered her name (I NEVER remember former student's names) and told her I had something to show her. When she saw Big Guy, her jaw just about dropped to the floor, and she didn't really believe that A) he was still alive and B) how big he'd gotten. She thanked me for taking such good care of him. She admitted to me that she was actually VERY sad to give him up and she had quite a bond with him before she donated him. It was her parents that didn't want the tank any more. When I showed her his 'offspring' she actually teared up, and her friends started giving her a hard time and calling her 'fish grandma!🤣

Anyway, that interaction just about made the rest of my year and it would not have happened at all if I had given up and let Big Guy die. I am by no means an expert fish keeper and don't have many strong opinions but ever since then, when I see people on youtube or in comments/articles say that 'dropsy means it's time to euthanize', I HAVE to disagree. It's worth a shot. A long shot, but a shot nonetheless. I've gone on a tangent now, but in case any of the original members are reading this, I just wanted to share that story and let you know how much I learned form you all. This student is now going off to college next year (my god I'm getting old) and I told her to come back and pick out 2 babies for her dorm if she wants to! I had fish in college and they helped me in the absence of my dog. She said she was interested! 


Big Guy has been pretty healthy, with minor bouts of those darn bacterial cysts that keep popping up on his fins. I'm actually still not sure if they are fungal or bacterial, so I keep them at bay with clean water, extra prime, and whenever they stick around I do a 7 day treatment of Melafix AND Pimafix. This never makes them go away completely but I just make sure I stay on top of my water. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know. He still eats, swims fine, is active and explores the tank, so until he starts behaving oddly I'm just going to monitor I suppose. Plus he did have a large bacterial cyst on his dorsal that POPPED earlier this year, and healed in a weird sort of way. It looks funky. He loses scales from time to time. They take forever to grow back. I don't know why he loses scales so easily. Has anyone had a 7+ year old fish? Do they lose scales more easily? He's a little rough a round the edges in the last year or so but he is still ruggedly handsome. I don't have many good pics of him at the moment. 

As for Chai...I made the mistake of never weighing any of my fish but I wish I had. I think she's done well! I have attached some photos of my little chunky girl. I remember thinking she may be a sickly girl, she was from Petsmart, but she has turned out to be the friendliest, happiest, hungriest little trooper! I love her so much! She makes Big Guy look like Oscar the Grouch. The last couple photos I attached are from 2017 when I just got her, for comparison. She used to be so shy and weak and hide in the fake plants, poor thing. You guys also helped me a lot with her. 

Okay I know this post is way too long but there is  one more thing I have to tell you about...the scariest incident since Big Guy's dropsy... My first really BIG mistake as a fish mom....I let them get sucked up by the gravel vacuum! I felt like a freaking MONSTER! The last pic is what it did to Chai's poor little side belly :( it was at lunch time and I hooked the Python siphon to the side near the bottom corner, and the fish have ALWAYS stayed away from it for YEARS.... well this time Chai got a little curious... went over, and got her self sucked up! I don't know what happened next but I think Big Guy either came to help her or see what was up, or was also just over near the hose being nosey...and one of his gill plates must've gotten sucked up too because when I ran over he was in shock and bleeding from the gills, poor thing! He bottom sat the rest of the day. I'm lucky he didn't go into extreme shock or something. Meanwhile Chai is just swimming arounf begging for food as if she didn't just get HALF HER SCALES RIPPED OFF... my babes. I felt too terrible and I got teary eyed and then the bell rang and I had to teach my lesson like I wasn't completely distracted! 

Guys the worst part is how I discovered something was wrong... ugh.  I was eating lunch at my desk about 10 feet away and heard the siphon make a strange noise. I look over from my desk and see BLOOD in the hose going to the sink..... I didn't know I could run so fast! I've literally had nightmares about this. I thought I turned my fish into a smoothie :( I don't even like thinking or writing about it but I just have to tell my story because literally no one else in my life understands how traumatic that was, lol. Has anyone ever done this with their vacuum? I don't know WHAT got in to their little fishie brains to all of a sudden be curious about the hose after YEARS of not giving a crap, but I'm so lucky I didn't kill both of them. Big Guy stopped bleeding after a few minutes and was fine the next morning. Chai took a few weeks to heal but is pretty much back to normal. The scales are growing back and the tissue healed. I did small daily water changes and extra dosed with prime and I also did a little salt for a few days, but other than that, they healed on their own. Clean water really is the best remedy. 

So how's that for an update? lol. 

If you've read this far.... WHY? lol. also thank you. I've been meaning to update for a while. I'll check in more often from now on and try to contribute more to see if we can get some more activity on the site. I will also post about moving my fancies home... it would be much less stressful to maintain their tanks on my own time, instead of during 30 minute lunch blocks. 

Hope everyone else is well. I've been catching up on other's posts... @myrasosweet, your hair looks cute, and love the fuschia lipstick color as always. Anyone else who still checks, HI!!! Let me know how you're all doing. 

Take care, 


Big Guy 2019.HEIC








Edited by mzwatts
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Hello. Wow Chai looks great. Great job. Glad the handsome guy is still well. I begun to work too much and we had a horrible rainstorm one weekend and I wasn't home at all to buffer. I suffered a crushing pH crash that killed some of my larger fish outright and sickened some of the smaller ones.

Both the adult Comets died outright. Rustic and Shrimp. I also lost my largest Ryukin... Whisper. I had to put down two smaller single tails Common and Sasha. The rest of the fish somehow have recovered and are okay. I thought I was going to lose everyone AGAIN. 

My show boy Bayana had suffered an odd injury the week before. I thought he was going to die. He was not in the pond when it crashed. He recovered as well but his fins will never grow back right so he can never show again. Mary the blood parrot is fine. I lost one Tiger Barb (not sure how) but the other 5 are fine. 

Hair is light blue on the ends now... Different again. I also got THIS on Sunday. Didn't intend to but couldn't let him die. His name is Malone. Been busy busy. I also somehow went into acute liver failure after a horrible UTI... So that's been horrible. On meds forever but I am okay now and back at it. 

I will get some video or photos of my remaining fish for you hopefully tomorrow. This site has been abandoned by most members as well as all the ADMIN/MODS. Only a few members check in now and then. 



Edited by myrasosweet
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Hi @jnifer and @myrasosweet !!!

Glad to see a few people still check in. It sounds like keeping fish outdoors takes some really thick skin because of all these events that are out of your control. I would have such a hard time with that. Even here in California where the weather is usually mild, I see hawks, egrets and herons ALL the time (they're so beautiful) even in neighborhoods where they shouldn't be. I live near the Guadalupe watershed which runs through San Jose, so even if I didn't get huge storms like you do, I'd still be too afraid of predators...but I don't know maybe some day if I ever own my own house and can build some kind of protected pond area. Malone is so frikken' cute! Wish our landlord would let us own pets...I grew up around dogs and I miss coming home to one. Why was Malone going to die? Was he at a shelter? 

Thanks for the update, sorry to hear about all the illness (fish and human) but glad you bounced back.



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The people who had the puppies were new to this state. Their county shelter had no room for puppies and they had 7 under aged puppies, 6 girls and a boy. They brought the puppies to this state with them. They said that a lady had dumped the box of them and that in Texas where they're from, it's nearly impossible to rehome dogs so they hoped Georgia would be better.

They couldn't keep any puppies. They had 3 kids and not much money. Regulations here require that you bring the puppies only to a shelter in your county. So where ever your address is, that must be in the same county as the shelter you take your dog. Even if there is space in another county's shelter, you may not take your dog there. It will be rejected. 

Entire litters of 6 week old puppies are usually rejected so it did not surprise me when she told me that. They tell you they can't take them. Many people then just leave a box of puppies outside because there's nothing they can do with them either. The shelter will put them all down. They don't have the space for all of them, they don't want to give all the extra shots and care for them, and they don't have the staff to nurture them etc. The shelters are constantly too full. Way too many dogs, nobody to take them. 

I don't want a female puppy at all and was prepared to leave them all... But as it turned out, there was ONE little boy. I decided to take him. $20 for him. He had 1 set of shots and he and his litter mates appeared healthy and vibrant, but were flea infested. They begged me to take two girls for free, but I just can't. I try not to think about the fates of the puppies because I already know that they won't all find homes. 

As for the ponds... in the south, we suffer from very acidic rain. Atlanta always has terrible air quality, as well. This can easily destroy your pH in smaller systems. Burned a few of my fish to a crisp. But all is okay now. There is an owl that hunts my fish, but he is deterred by nets. 

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