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Old 04-13-2013, 02:36 PM   #1
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Super Frustrating Mystery Disease

Hi all,
I just joined the forum to try to get some help with my sick aquarium before I give up at being a fishkeeper! Hopefully I can get some insight into what is going wrong...

I have a 10 gallon tank that is 1 year old currently occupied by 4 panda corys and 5 "glofish".

Here's the background info to help out:

1~ Every few months one of the glofish gets sick and dies. First it starts losing weight (while eating), then eventually stops eating and gets too weak to swim, then dies. This process takes several weeks each time. I don't see anything strange on the fish's body (no spots/wounds/etc). The most recent sick fish did lose a lot of his blue color and seemed to have bright red gills, but they could have just looked bright red because the rest of his body was so pale. This didn't happen in any of the other fish. I think all of the corys are fine, although one does seem a little smaller and more shy these days, but I might just be paranoid.

2~ Temp is 74. Water parameters according to API test kit:
Nitrate- 5; Nitrite- 0; Ammonia- 0; pH- 8.2 (it comes out of the tap this way, and I was told that a stable pH is easier on the fish than trying to lower it with chemicals)

3~ Its a 10 gallon tank, one year old.

4~ The filter is an aquaclear 20.

5~ There are currently 9 fish in the tank. One is almost dead. They are all full grown I think...

6~ Last water change/vacuum was two days ago. I do this about once a week and change about 30% of the water. I use seachem prime when adding new water.

7~ All of the fish have been there at least 6 months. The longest is 1 year.

8~ Nothing new has been recently added to the tank, other than a few live plants, but the mystery sickness started long before that.

9~ I feed mostly OmegaOne flake food, but also some sinking algae wafers and shrimp pellets for the catfish. I recently tried frozen brine shrimp to try to get the sick danio to eat. I also sometimes give them peas.

A litte more info:
About 3 months ago I did some research and thought maybe my fish were dying due to intestinal worms. I treated the whole tank with Prazipro and did see a lot of worms come out of the glofish. After that, I didn't have any sick fish for about 2 months. Then about a month ago, a power outage caused the temp in my tank to drop several degrees, which I think may have weakened my fish. When I noticed one getting sick again, I re-treated with Prazipro, but it did not help this time. I didn't see any worms and my fish did not recover.

Here's a photo from a few days ago. The blue fish has since lost most of his color and is laying on the bottom of the tank. I am considering euthanizing him, but wanted to wait for advice, and see if there was someway of examining him to determine what made him sick. There are now two more glofish who seem to be in the beginning part of losing weight, but still active and eating.

Please let me know if you have any ideas what may be killing my fish. I'm really sad and frustrated, and am hoping to treat the remaining fish so they can stay healthy this time!!

Thanks so much for any help
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:43 AM   #2
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The first thing I thought when you mentioned reddened gills might be camallanus worms, because sometimes this infection will present itself through redness in the gills. However I'm told camallanus only affects live bearers (not sure if that's accurate or not) and a danio is apparently not a live bearer.

It does kinda sound like to me like a parasite of some sort. I'm trying to get my fish over a camallanus outbreak. It's been recommended that I try levamisole, which works better than what I was using before, which was "General Cure" but API, which is a general parasite medication.

You asked if there's a way to examine the fish after is passes to determine cause of death. On something so tiny, and with so many things that can go wrong, it might be hard to determine. I'm not advocating that you do this, and if you do do this be super careful not to hurt yourself! I've been known to do like an "autopsy" on my fish when they die. If you've ever watched a fisherman "clean" a fish, they usually start by slitting the abdomen of the fish from the gills to the tail. I get a sharp knife and do this and then can observe the abdominal contents. I started doing this when I had a pregnant guppy and she died and I thought I might be able to save her fry. Unfortunately I was not able to save her fry. I've also found these stupid camallanus worm things as of late.

Back to your sick fish problem, I don't know if this would be advocated but you could try administering a round of antibiotics and see if that helps as well. With the camallanus worms, often they say what kills the fish is not the parasite itself, but the secondary infections that the fish become susceptible to because they are weakened by the parasite.

Other things to look at, make sure water quality is good with regular water changes (you probably already know this), keeping a good water temp (I usually keep my tank a bit warmer, 80 to 82 degrees and my glo danios seem happy), and allowing them plenty of room to swim and hide. Also glo danios are a schooling fish, so you really should have at least 3 to 4 of them at a time (not sure how many danios you have specifically). I would be careful of your live plants. I think they are great for water quality, however they are a source for introducing stuff. I'm pretty sure that's where my camallanus worms came from. Some advice given to me by one of the professionals at my local shedd aquarium was to soak the plants in a mild bleach/water solution for a bit, then rinse them, then introduce them to the tank.

Anyway I've said a lot here, I hope this helps you. I know mystery diseases can be incredibly frustrating. Hang in there. When I started with the glo danios I had a lot of casualties too, and I wondered if the glo danios were maybe just a bit less hardy then regular danios or other fish.

Good luck!!
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erarebirth View Post
The first thing I thought when you mentioned reddened gills might be camallanus worms, because sometimes this infection will present itself through redness in the gills. However I'm told camallanus only affects live bearers (not sure if that's accurate or not) and a danio is apparently not a live bearer.

It does kinda sound like to me like a parasite of some sort. I'm trying to get my fish over a camallanus outbreak. It's been recommended that I try levamisole, which works better than what I was using before, which was "General Cure" but API, which is a general parasite medication.

You asked if there's a way to examine the fish after is passes to determine cause of death. On something so tiny, and with so many things that can go wrong, it might be hard to determine. I'm not advocating that you do this, and if you do do this be super careful not to hurt yourself! I've been known to do like an "autopsy" on my fish when they die. If you've ever watched a fisherman "clean" a fish, they usually start by slitting the abdomen of the fish from the gills to the tail. I get a sharp knife and do this and then can observe the abdominal contents. I started doing this when I had a pregnant guppy and she died and I thought I might be able to save her fry. Unfortunately I was not able to save her fry. I've also found these stupid camallanus worm things as of late.

Back to your sick fish problem, I don't know if this would be advocated but you could try administering a round of antibiotics and see if that helps as well. With the camallanus worms, often they say what kills the fish is not the parasite itself, but the secondary infections that the fish become susceptible to because they are weakened by the parasite.

Other things to look at, make sure water quality is good with regular water changes (you probably already know this), keeping a good water temp (I usually keep my tank a bit warmer, 80 to 82 degrees and my glo danios seem happy), and allowing them plenty of room to swim and hide. Also glo danios are a schooling fish, so you really should have at least 3 to 4 of them at a time (not sure how many danios you have specifically). I would be careful of your live plants. I think they are great for water quality, however they are a source for introducing stuff. I'm pretty sure that's where my camallanus worms came from. Some advice given to me by one of the professionals at my local shedd aquarium was to soak the plants in a mild bleach/water solution for a bit, then rinse them, then introduce them to the tank.

Anyway I've said a lot here, I hope this helps you. I know mystery diseases can be incredibly frustrating. Hang in there. When I started with the glo danios I had a lot of casualties too, and I wondered if the glo danios were maybe just a bit less hardy then regular danios or other fish.

Good luck!!
Callmanus worms can effect egg layers too! It's not true that they only effect live bearers.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:41 PM   #4
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Callmanus worms can effect egg layers too! It's not true that they only effect live bearers.
Well there we go! Learn something new everyday!
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:14 AM   #5
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I would treat with a good parasite medicine or try raising temp. Salt and anti-parasite feed. It is always best to administer med thru feed. Gets in them better. Not stopped by slimecoat. Dosent sound bacterial to me. Is their poo stringy?
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