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Old 05-22-2006, 02:32 PM   #1
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White Stuff on Fish

This morning I noticed my cory cats acting funny, swimming where they usually don't. Upon closer inspection I noticed white stuff on their eyes and a little on other parts of their bodies. The white stuff has a somewhat powdery appearance. One of them must be mostly blind at this point as he is running into things. The other appears to have one good eye. I was on my way to work, but I did a partial water change, a little vacuuming, and changed the filter.

I read some of the info above and think it may be ICH or columnaris (sp?), but I'd like any advice anyone would be willing to offer.

Can I use the ICH cures (e.g., Protozin) with Bronze cories?

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.). See above.
2~What are your tank parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temp, pH)? Please give exact values. Don't know, but it had been about a month since my last water change, which is why I did the change this morning.
3~ How large is the tank? How long has the tank been set up?
It's a 12 gallon tank I've been running with the same community of fish for a little over a year. I lost a hatchet fish a couple of months back when I waited too long on a water change.
4~What type of filtration are you using? Please give the name and number (i.e. Fluval 304) and amount of gph if known. Cheapo filter that came with tank as part of package deal. It has carbon in the filter.
5~How many fish are in the tank? What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes? 2 hatchet fish, 4 sepae tetras, 2 bronze cories (infected), and 1 cat fish of unknown species.
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?
Usually once a month, half the water.
7~How long have you had the fish? If the fish is new, how did you acclimate it/them?
All fish have been in tank at least a year.
8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.?
No.
9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently?
Standard flake from the store. No recent changes.[/b]
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Old 05-22-2006, 05:31 PM   #2
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Would this happen to be an Eclipse System 12? The filter isn't bad for all that it comes with the tank.

Ick tends to look like salt grains, are these finer spots?

Do you have a heater? The best option for you may be the heat treatment. Most forms of ick can't take the heat. (See article linked below.) There are medications, but they can be tricky to use correctly. Salt is effective, but some catfish and tetras are sensitive to salt.

You may also want to step up your water change routine. Ick spends part of it's life cycle on the bottom of the tank. If you can suck some of them out, you will reduce the severity of the tank infection, while your primary treatment plan is doing it's thing. While the fish are sick consider a 25% weekly water change routine.

Do you have any test kits? It would be useful to know ammonia, nitrite, pH and such. What is your current water temperature?

Read Article: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/articl...q=2&fldAuto=32
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Old 05-22-2006, 06:51 PM   #3
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It could be velvet if you say it looks like powder. If its more salt or sugar grain like then it ick.
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Old 05-22-2006, 08:00 PM   #4
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When I got home, the fish looked much better. The amount of white stuff on them had decreased significantly and both the Cories were swimming normally, at or near the bottom of the tank; no longer swimming blind and bumping into things as they had when the white stuff covered their eyes this morning. Given the improvements I've already seen, I think I will stick with water changes.

I have Cories and Serpae tetras which seems to make both salt and medication problematic. All the fish in my tank have temp ranges with a maximum of 82, and from what I read you have to maintain 86 for quite a while, so heat is out.

The white stuff does look a bit like grains of salt, but I'm not sure it's ICH. What struck me about it this morning was the way the biggest outbreaks were clustered around the eyes, the pictures I've see of ICH don't show this pattern, but rather a more or less random distribution over the entire body.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCFatz
If nothing new has been added to the tank in a year,then imo,its not ich and is more likely fungal do to poor water quality.I don't think ich will be dormant for that long...
I think this may be correct, especially given the dramatic turn around I've seen.

Aside from the partial water change and new filter, I also spent time cleaning the pump; tore it down completely and took a tooth brush to all its parts. I hadn't cleaned it thoroughly in several months and had noticed that it was not moving as much water as it used too. After cleaning, it was moving much more water. Maybe the dirty still water fostered something.

Finally, it is interesting to note that the only affected fish were the two Cories, non of the other fish have any sign of a problem.
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Old 05-22-2006, 11:52 PM   #5
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If the white spots look like grains of salt it is ich and you can turn the heat up with no problem. You might think that your fish can't tolerate the temps but in reality they can quite fine as long as aeration is increased.

I would have to agree that it is most likely fungal from lack of water changes. On a 12 gal you will have to do water changes weekly at the least IMO. I would get a master test kit such as Aquarium Pharmacueticals master test kit, if you haven't got a test kit.

Good luck with the fish and keep us posted.
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Old 05-23-2006, 09:15 AM   #6
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Morning Update: The Cories are behaving and swimming normally, and there is no sign of white patches on any other fish. The white patches shrank a little more since last night. It's down to two patches the size of a pencil tip on one Corey, and a somewhat larger patch on the other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagz
If the white spots look like grains of salt it is ich...
At 42, my eyes aren't what they used to be, so it is hard for me to say if they look like salt grains. They don't have the sharp edges that salt grains have, but they are about that size. At one point this morning one of the patches appeared to be trailing a string.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagz
... you can turn the heat up with no problem. You might think that your fish can't tolerate the temps but in reality they can quite fine as long as aeration is increased.
Please confirm that despite the fish profiles indicating that 82 is the maximum temperature for my fish, I can run my tank at 86 for a couple of weeks without a problem. Is that because the ranges given are for optimal temperature and the fish are fine for a few weeks at temperatures higher than optimal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagz
... On a 12 gal you will have to do water changes weekly at the least IMO.
I'm going to do another water change this afternoon. I think every other week would be more than enough. Monthly has worked for over a year. I think part of the problem was that the pump had gotten clogged and was not moving water as well as usual, and maybe I'd been using the same filter too long.

I've been wanting to switch to black gravel, so I might do that now. Switch half the tank tonite, then the other half in a week or so.

Those test kits are expensive, but I'll look at it when I go to the store this afternoon. What would you suggest for someone who wants to be very cost effective. Maybe just ammonia and nitrXte, so I can see how the cycle is behaving.

In the final analysis, I'm very glad I took the time to change the water, filter, and clean the pump yesterday morning before work. I was on the fence with that one, 'cause I have a new boss. But, it was time well spent 'cause it obviously helped the Cories get better and if I hadn't acted quickly I might have had to explain why all the fish were floating upside down to my kids.
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:04 AM   #7
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If it is patchy rather than random distribution, it probably isn't ich. The 82 degree max is an optimum. A little heat is easier on your fish than a bunch of poison dumped into the tank. As far as test kits go, buy online. You'll save at least half IME. Big Als even has the favorite Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master test kit on sale.
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenbsmith
Please confirm that despite the fish profiles indicating that 82 is the maximum temperature for my fish, I can run my tank at 86 for a couple of weeks without a problem. Is that because the ranges given are for optimal temperature and the fish are fine for a few weeks at temperatures higher than optimal?
It's not comfortable for them, but it won't hurt them. They won't breed under those conditions. Good water circulation or an airstone is essential when turning up the heat, as warmer water contains less oxygen than cooler water.
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
At 42, my eyes aren't what they used to be, so it is hard for me to say if they look like salt grains. They don't have the sharp edges that salt grains have, but they are about that size. At one point this morning one of the patches appeared to be trailing a string.
If there is a string trailing behind it, most likely isn't ich. Keep up with the water changes and keep an eye on the situation. Probably water related.

The link AG provided for the test kit is very reasonably priced IMO. Chances are, less expensive than purchasing 2 separate test kits.
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Old 05-25-2006, 09:27 PM   #10
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Temperature is up to 82 now, by this time tomorrow it will be at 86. I'm tempted to go faster, but I'm upping it a couple of degrees twice a day as suggested (in the article?).

The only fish that still has a problem is the smaller Corey. He is still acting normal, but on close inspection there are still a few small white spots. In addition, I've now noticed that his left barbell is mostly eaten away, and the tip has a red and white patch. I've also noticed blood red coloration at the base of the pectoral fin.

I will order that test kit, but don't yet have one.
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