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Old 02-20-2018, 09:53 PM   #1
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Help with Oranda

Dear experts,

I have been on a rollercoaster of emotions over this past weekend. I have Archie, a three year old red oranda. I added a new black moor who apparently brought ich home with her, but that's just the beginning. Let me start with my specs.

55 gallon freshwater planted
Marineland Penguin 350 filter
Whisper 10 gallon filter
UV sterilizer
Sand substrate
API liquid test kit, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 5ppm nitrate, currently 82 degrees, pH 8.2 (always high). I've had a cycled tank for over three years now, weekly water changes (Seachem Prime) and monthly deep cleaning, I leave my biowheel untouched for my much sought after biological filtration. I feed shelled green peas, variety of sinking pellets, daphia and blood worms.

This adventure started Thursday, Archie likes to scare my husband and I just about every day by rolling around and occasionally upside down (i know what you're thinking), but after years I realized this is just his personality. Thursday he didn't become upright again. Friday night I did a 50% water change due to being a little worried. Saturday I saw the dreaded white speckles of ich and started researching. I bought Melafix, Pimafix and aquarium salt, (i've spent an obscene amount of money at the LFS lately.) Forums said bump up the temperature to 82-86 degrees, add 1 Tbsp per 5 gallons of water (dissolved before adding), Pimafix + Melafix at 5ml per 10 gallons, and do 90% water changes daily until better. I did this for three days. Everything has just gotten worse. Nothing online tells you what signs to look for or what constitutes as "better," just a foreboding "it gets worse before it gets better." Archie looks like death, with a multitude of things going on - tattered, white, red fins, he's breathing hard, he isn't upright, the white spots are now patches. The moor is in better shape, upright but clamped fins in a bottom corner. I am all out of options. I don't know how he is still alive.
I'll add that I'm a veterinary technician and although it's hard for me to watch him suffer, my husband wants to keep trying. I'm thinking of giving it one more day. Tonight I've replaced 95% of my water with Prime treated water only in some last ditch effort.

Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated. I feel like a horrible fish mom.

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Old 02-21-2018, 03:11 AM   #2
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Well depending on how bad it is you may need medicine. Rid Ich is probably the most common and reliable. If you are going the heat and salt route then here's a guideline until you get medicine......

Bump the temp up to 86 if you haven't already. Add one teaspoon of salt per gallon of water. Do 50% water changes twice a day with a gravel vac. When you vac suck up just a little bit of the surface substrate. Add prime and API stress coat each water change. If you don't have air stones then buy a few with a pump. Crank up the air. This helps with oxygen in the tank that you will lose with heat.

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Old 02-21-2018, 06:13 AM   #3
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White patches as opposed to white specks means columnaris to me...
Turn the temp down !
Get the them back to where it was or even turn heater off,
It sounds like the heat is causing issue to me.. Raising the heat will help bacterial infections unlike ich..
You can leave the salt as it is step one for columnaris also.
If turning the heat down does help then on to meds...NOT any of the fixes they are a waste of money for any real issue besides a 'boo boo'.
Columnaris needs salt first ,low heat.
If that does not work then Kannamycin and Furan 2 together...
Ask if you want links on columnaris..
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Old 02-21-2018, 03:13 PM   #4
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Last night I turned off the heater, nothing I was doing was working and actually seemed to make it worse which would support the colunnaris theory. I have plenty of aeration, a bubble wall along the back of the tank. I am heading home with furan and I've ordered kanamycin, it will be here tomorrow. The moor isn't as affected as he is, I don't know if that's a good sign. I'll keep you posted..
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:13 PM   #5
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Oh! How is your little ornada doing??
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:52 PM   #6
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Archie passed last night and the moor won't be far behind.. I'm going to deep clean and start all over, down to step one with ammonia dosing and charting the levels. One thing that makes me feel better is reading that columnaris is almost always lethal and because it's a gram negative aerobic bacteria it thrives in cleaner, well oxygenated tanks. So even if I did things perfectly it wouldn't have mattered.
Thank you for everyone's help.
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:15 PM   #7
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Very sorry to hear that...

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