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Old 09-01-2006, 03:10 PM   #1
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Gill problems.

1~What type of fish is afflicted? In addition, please describe what is wrong with the fish to the best of your ability (i.e. cotton like growth, bloated, etc.).
Congo tetra, swordtails, harlequin rasbora, two danios maybe others.
I recently bought two swordtails, a male and a female. These were introduced directly into my main tank as I do not have a QT yet (I will definitely be getting one soon). After about 3 days in the tank the male became listless and hovered near the top. I did not notice any other signs of problems at this time, so I did a 25% PWC. However, after one day of this he was found dead the next morning. Yester day, the female sword began to develop bright red gills (at least the gills look bright under the operculum). Since then I have noticed that one of my congo tetras, is unable to close his operculum on one side, the harly is the same way. In addition, all of the fish have the redness. The red gills and inability to fully close the operculum are the only signs present at the moment. Currently all of the fish in the tank are acting normal.
On a side note. I also purchased two platies when I bought the swords. They are in a 10 gallon tank where I work.and exhibit the same symptoms. All of the parameters are the same as I have changed nothing in this tank. It is on the same city water system and has been set up for much longer. The platies also have stringy poop, wich I understand is typically a sign of parasites. I treated them with Jungle parasite clear and considered doeing the same with the 55 gallon but the platies have shown no improvments at this point. In fact I just took a look at them and they apear to be withdrawing and hovering near the top.
2~What are your tank parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temp, pH)? Please give exact values.
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites:0
Nitrates”10
Temp: 78
pH:7.2
3~ How large is the tank? How long has the tank been set up?
55 gallon. It has been set up for 2 months.
4~What type of filtration are you using? Please give the name and number (i.e. Fluval 304) and amount of gph if known.
The filter is a Penguin. I’m not sure of the number, I think it is a 350. It has dual filters and bio wheels. I can’t recall the gph (sorry I’m at work now)
5~How many fish are in the tank? What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes?
5 neons, 4 congos, 1 harlequin, 4 corys, 3 otos, 1 swordtail, 2 danios
6~When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel? How often do you do this? How much water do you remove at a time? I change 10 to 20 percent on Wednesday and Saturday. So, the last change was on Wednesday.
7~How long have you had the fish? If the fish is new, how did you acclimate it/them?
All of the fish have been in the tank for two weeks with the exception of the swordtail. The swords were right at a week. I had 2 (male and female) but the male died presumably by the same cause. I slowly acclimate by pouring in ¼ of a cup of water every 10 mins. until the bag is almost full.
8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.?
Nothing here but the swords.
9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently?
No changes recently. They are on a variety of food but mostly flakes and bloodworms.

Any help would be greatly appriciated.
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Old 09-01-2006, 07:03 PM   #2
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Reddened gills are generally a sign of bacterial infection. Try a simple solution: next time you do a water change, do NOT add dechlorinator. A low dose of chlorine can actually be beneficial for treating bacterial gill infections, believe it or not.
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Old 09-02-2006, 01:27 AM   #3
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I actually read that somewhere today. I've been doing a lot of research on the topic. However, I also read a topic on this board today about whether or not to add declorinator for a whole tanks capacity. The consensus was to ad declorinator for the full capacity and not just for the amount of water removed. I have been just adding it for the amount removed and was wondering if it could be chloramine irritating them. I'm not sure but I think my water supply is treated with chloramine. What about a salt bath? I've been reading about how it is not too invasive and can help several things. However, I also read that sensitive fish may have problems with this (i.e., the congos).
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Old 09-02-2006, 10:41 AM   #4
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Chloramine is fine as well.

If you think you have not been adding enough dechlor, try using more. But the symptoms you describe seem to go beyond gill irritation.

A salt bath could be mildly effective. Bacteria have defenses against such an exposure, so the treatment will take longer.
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Old 09-02-2006, 01:11 PM   #5
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you could also try dosing melafix. if you do a salt bath, add about 1 tbsp/5gal
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Old 09-02-2006, 07:18 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info. I was thinking that it was bacteria related but was hoping it would go away on its own. I was thinking about dosing with melafix. I haven't used it before. Is it possible to do a bath with it for a specific time and put the sick fish back in the main tank. Regarding the salt bath, how long would you suggest to leave them in that particular mixture? If it is not too evasive I will try this first. Also are there any recommendations on the number and frequency of exposure to the salt bath. Most of what I have read suggests to do two baths on consecutive days.

Thanks everyone.
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