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Old 04-03-2012, 03:13 PM   #1
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Question I need help please!!! Dosing with metro

Hello to everyone and thank you in advance for any and all advice/comments!!
I will do my best to organize this information as best as I can.

My personal experience with a freshwater aquarium was 15 years old at best until about three months ago when my brother and sister in law's 3 month old daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease that needed months of treatment before a bone marrow transplant could be preformed. My husband and I were enlisted to care for their home, 2 other children, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 1 ball python and the 240 gallon tank just finishing cycling and about ready for fish. I feel like I need to clarify here that my brother has no aquarium experience at all and only bought this one from a friend who had to sell it and needed the cash...so he got the entire setup for only $500. He and the rest of the family are excited and eager to learn all there is to know however...so he went for it. He had an experienced friend help him get it set up and cycled...although after reading all that I have since, he made a few choices that he may not have if he had taken the time in advance.
This is his setup when I enter the picture:
240g plexiglass tank...8'x2'x2'
Fluval FX5 400 Gallon Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Canister Filter
2-36" 4 bulb lights with 2 daytime and 2 nighttime (blue) lights in each
Crushed coral substrate (not the best idea IMO...buffers way too much for his fish...local ph already high)
3 Dalmation Mollies, 2 males and 1 shy female.
The tank had been running for about a month and the fish had been in there for about 2 weeks...but they had never done a water change, never added anything to keep the algae under control, never even washed the coral before adding the 200lbs of it (and all the dust) to the tank. All it had was a few small decorations...2 with air...no plants of any kind.

This is where my husband and I came into the picture.

When we arrived, we were told nothing about the tank except to feed the fish which seemed obvious...lol. As I said earlier, we hadn't kept fish for more than 15 years...and even then it was only a 30g tall with an under gravel filter.

Ok...this is already way too long...so I'll fast forward a bit and tell you what we have now. I need to clarify that we have not selected most of these fish...my brother and his family have...I'm just the one doing all the reading trying to keep up! My poor husband has been doing all of the labor...3 hour partial water changes once a week++!!

The tank now has 10 air lines in various applications and I have forbidden the use of the blue night time lights! The growth of the blue/green algae when those lights are used is awful!

The fish include:
7 Red Minor tetras
3 black skirt tetras (started with 5)
4 white tetras
5 Buenos Aries tetra
3 female dalmation mollies (not original ones)
2 red wag pladies
5 Mickey Mouse pladies
2 Sunburst wag pladies (started with 5)
4 painted pladies (started with 7)
5 turquoise Rainbowfish
2 dwarf neon rainbowfish
1 threadfin rainbowfish (other 4 didn't make it)
2 angelfish
2 upside down catfish (started with 3)
3 pleco (have lost 5 over time and replaced)
3 cories (have lost @5 of these over time too and replaced)
1 dwarf gourami (this is the 4th)

These are what we have lost in addition to above:
3 glass catfish
3 white/silver mollies
1 powder blue gourami
2 large spotted Cory
15+ neons (gave up on them)
3 original mollies

That's 53 fish!!! We also have a snail issue...but I'm waiting to clear up the disease before adding any loaches. The fish that we replaced died within the return policy and were replaced. We took a water sample with us for each return and the water was "fine". I have since bought an API test kit and here are the water parameters as of yesterday: 0-0-5 with a pH of 8. We just did a 50% wc last night. I also dosed the tank with metro but I'll get to that in a second.

Here is the current list of issues:

Male dwarf gourami: White stringy poop, slightly bloated, grey stuff on scales near head, bumpy sore near mouth. He is eating for now and swimming around.

Pleco: red sore at base of tail in between forks.

Asst cories: some fin fraying just starting.

Dalmation mollies: all 3 have fat bellies and rusty spots on bodies. Stringy poop.

Asst pladies: big bellies, stringy poop, a few wags getting more black on head.

That is what is obvious today...lol...conditions change daily. My main concern is the mortality rate...I won't add another fish until I'm sure they are all healthy! We have set up a hospital tank to separate the sick fish in the future...but I don't feel right not treating the whole tank since I'm sure everything has been exposed to whatever is going on. Any new fish will be quarantined in the hospital as recommended...but I'm at this point dealing with what I've got!

I've just started dosing with metro after trying the Jungle parasite food for two weeks with moderate to poor results. I have also just finished treating for ich and hope it is finally gone! In addition, I have been adding pimafix and Melafix in hopes that the fin shredding and what looks like fungus and sores will heal.
I have never posted on any forum ever...but I really could use some advice. I have read and read and read...something like over 250hours over the last few months...and even went out and got myself a little 20g because I have rediscovered how much I love it...and I don't want to get frustrated.

I tried to be as complete as I could...sorry if I am long winded and especially if I have forgotten anything!

Thanks again for all the great information I have already received from this forum!
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:54 AM   #2
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Can you take pictures of the diseased fish? This would go a long way in helping to diagnose the affliction and ensure you are on the right path.
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:34 AM   #3
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Im working with my iPad and haven't mastered posts with photos yet, however, I put some pics in an album called problem solving on my profile. I'm working on getting to a computer to post them properly...sorry to be so tech lame...lol. I should have them posted properly with more added by tomorrow. Thanks again!
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:45 AM   #4
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From your pictures I think, and I say think because the pictures aren't very clear. You have what appears to be ich in there, Metronidazole should take care of that. It looks as though you may have some fin/tail rot as well. This could be treated wtih Erythromicin. I would suggest using a hospital tank for treating the fish as it will be pretty costly in a tank that size to treat appropriately. If you have a hospital tank set up up use it for treating the fish and crank the temp up on the display tank to 86 degrees to kill off the little ich buggers. My worry with just cranking up the heat with the fish in there is that if something like columnaris is hiding in there you could make it spread like while fire.

Also what are your current readings on the aquarium?
PH:
Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
Temp:

Are you removing the chlorine and chloramine (If applicable) from the water during water changes?

Do you use salt in the aquarium? If so are you replacing the salt you are removing with PWC?
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:51 PM   #5
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Hi! Your pics are not very clear beyond signs of fin rot. From your descriptions though, there are a multitude of issues happening. Do you specks that look like grains of salt? If so, this is ich. Fw ich (ichthyophthirius) can not be treated with metro- this only applies to sw ich (cryptocaryon). Two completely different types of protozoa. Please let us know if this is a symptom you see.

Red sores/ulcers and fin fraying/rot are signs of a bacterial infection. The majority of the causes of these types of infections are aeronomas, psuedomonas & flexibacter which all gram-negative bacteria. Metro & erthromycin are gram positve antibiotics thus will have zero effect in treatment these type of infections.

I think you need to finish the full course of treatment of metro before considering switching to a different med. Combining different types of meds can potentially cause fatal reactions. The metro will need to be removed from the water before via water changes & active carbon after treatment. Treating this size tank with additional meds will be expensive- we need to figure out which issue is most critical & should be addressed first. In respect to the fish that have not survived- which symptoms did they display most prevalently prior to death (bloating, white/stringy poop, skinniness, sores, unusual behavior/swimming, changes in color, lack of appetite, white/fuzzy spots or patches, etc)? This will help us figure out which issue needs to be addressed first.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlk View Post
Red sores/ulcers and fin fraying/rot are signs of a bacterial infection. The majority of the causes of these types of infections are aeronomas, psuedomonas & flexibacter which all gram-negative bacteria. Metro & erthromycin are gram positve antibiotics thus will have zero effect in treatment these type of infections.
The erthromycin will work fine for fin/tail rot, ( I have used it with great success ). Just read the label it will tell you what it is for. It is important to note that fin/tail rot can be both a gram negative or gram positive infection.

The metro I misread as I do not use this generally, so go with JLK on that. Always seems to have good advice.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:13 PM   #7
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Ok...well...I have had Ich in the tank and took steps to kill it over about four weeks. I treated for 5 days past the last visible sighting of the white spots and had just done a 50% water change when those pictures were taken. The water is much clearer today and some of my pics seem to be better. If I do still have Ich...what is recommended for treatment? The first product I treated with was Kordon Ich Attack. After going through the 3 bottles I purchased from Petsmart, I got some Rid Ich Plus after reading that it would not harm my bio filter and had several good reviews...plus that they were out of the Ich Attack. I did not know at the time that it would turn everything in the tank blue...but that is the least of my worries. I have read much about using salt and heat to get rid of ich...but this tank is not heated and I was afraid of hurting the cories. I am curious to know why you think it is ich...i do not see any of the tell tale white spots...on the fish or in the pics.

I am baffled by a new question today however...I tested the water and the readings are as follows:
Temp: 75f
pH: 8.0
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0!!
What the heck!?!?! I saw another post on here where the Nitrate dropped to 0 and it was decided it was due to the plants...I think. I do have a few live plants in the tank...was told it would help with Oxygen...but they are not an important factor...the fish come first.

This tank was fully cycled and had perfect normal readings every other time I have checked them. My only concern in these readings has only been the pH...which I can do nothing about with the coral substrate. Ugh!

So the pics show the gourami...grey stuff on head and sores on mouth area. His little feelers are getting shorter as well and his tail is a bit frayed.
The pleco has a huge sore on his tail area that is not getting any better...he is acting normal otherwise. The mollies are big and bloated and have spots of rusty color on them...I hope you can see them.

I am at a loss and dont know what to do now. I am supposed to do one more dose of Metro today in their food...but then what?
Thanks again!!!
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:17 PM   #8
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oops! Here are the rest of the pics...sorry. The cories in the above post have fraying dorsal fins and look pinker than normal.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:32 PM   #9
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Are you able to quarantine anybody?
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:01 PM   #10
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I have a 10g tank almost done cycling now that I set up about three weeks ago or so for a hospital/quarantine tank. Would it matter if it isn't done cycling yet? I'll test the water tonight and see where he levels are...
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:57 PM   #11
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If you dont mind doing daily water changes on the qt, it doesnt matter that its not fully cycled. What you will have to decide is who is in the most dire need of treatment right now & then we can go from there.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:18 PM   #12
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Boy this is a bloody mess... I hope everything gets sorted. I've never had to deal with illness like this.

Everybody here knows what they're doing and they'll try to help you through it.

When you do inevitably lose fish, don't immediately restock. Thats where a lot of issues come from. Ich probably came from your poor neon stock, for example.

Always stock conservatively, but I'm sure you know that, since you didn't pick most of the fish.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:33 PM   #13
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A bloody mess is right!! I have no problem at all doing daily water changes in the qt tank! It's only a 10 gallon...lol. As far as which fish to qt...which ever ones I can save. My concern is that I get the main tank healthy.
I do believe you are right that the ich came from the first batch of neons...and I've been fighting it ever since. I do not see any signs of it right now...but I am still watching it like a hawk! My brother just kept buying fish before anything showed up...and I did keep telling him we had to stop! I did at least convince him we HAD to have the qt tank.
I will even loose the plants if that will help...
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:39 PM   #14
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A bloody mess is right!! I have no problem at all doing daily water changes in the qt tank! It's only a 10 gallon...lol. As far as which fish to qt...which ever ones I can save. My concern is that I get the main tank healthy.
I do believe you are right that the ich came from the first batch of neons...and I've been fighting it ever since. I do not see any signs of it right now...but I am still watching it like a hawk! My brother just kept buying fish before anything showed up...and I did keep telling him we had to stop! I did at least convince him we HAD to have the qt tank.
I will even loose the plants if that will help...
Plants will only ever do you good, in my opinion.

I'm working on a build which will completely remove the cycle from the equation. But you've got different priorities :p
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:14 PM   #15
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Ok- a bit more info will help. Your treating with metro. How are you using the metro & how long have you been treating with it? Is it plain metro or combined with another med such as prazi or fenben? Are you using salt at all?
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:24 PM   #16
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I'm using pure metro powder...dosing per instructions on the container into their food. I was told it was likely parasites and that this was the only sure effective way to kill them. The dude at the LFS said to dose three times and not to feed them anything else while dosing them...and that should do it. I haven't seen any improvement except to say that the gourami is swimming around much more than he was.
I am not using any salt at this time because of the plants and cories...but I am willing to try anything at this point...well...anything logical. There is no heaters in the tank because when my brother set it up he was told that they were "dangerous and you don't need it with such a large body of water". I can make him buy a heater (or two) if it is needed.
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:01 AM   #17
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Just so I am clear, you have only done 3 treatments of the metro? Consecutive meals? Consecutive days? Every other day? Metro is effective for certain parasites but it really should be used for at least full 7 days. You will achieve a broader spectrum treatment if you combine it with praziquantel. Prazi in form of Prazipro is in a lot of lfs ( not chain stores) & widely available online. Very easy & safe to use treatment for water. Together, the combo will knock out most bugs with a few exceptions of course.

Salt- you can add a very low dose of salt safely for both cories & plants. 1 tablespoon per 10g. Premix in container tank water. Add 1/2 amount slowly over 24 hrs & see how everyone does with it. If all is well, add second 1/2 slowly over another 24 hrs. Make sure it's a flat tablespoon & not heaping spoon. When you do wcs, only add back what you remove- 50%wc, add back 1/2 original dose.

You can try your lfs for antibiotics but don't expect much in selection & the cost will be outrageous to treat this size tank. I would suggest ordering online. You will need to finish parasite meds before switching meds as well, so one problem at time. If anyone's sores/infections get worse, you can treat in qt with med from lfs. Kanamycin sulfate would be my first choice. Going to try to post link (on cell-don't have my list links in front of me)- if it doesn't come up, go this site 'National Fish pharmaceuticals'. Hope this all makes some sense!!!

http://www.nationalfishpharm.com
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:22 AM   #18
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Awesome and clear instructions....thanks!! Sorry to be so vague...today is the third day in a row that I have dosed their food...and they have gotten no other food except the once a day metro meal. I will continue the treatment for a full 7 days and am on my way in the morning to pick up some Prazipro to add to the treatment and salt. Are any additional water changes required for these treatments?
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:41 AM   #19
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The Prazipro is pretty simple to dose- you just add it & leave everything be for 5-7 days. I would do a water change as a safety precaution before starting treatment just to be sure your water is as healthy as possible. You may notice a bit of foaminess/bubbling, dont worry if you do. Its safe for your good bacteria, too. Using strong antibiotics will be another story but you have yet to cross that bridge so let's not worry about that yet.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:32 AM   #20
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I may have missed it,but, what kind of salt are you going to use? Aquarium salt, epsom salt, table salt or kosher salt? I am sure there are a few I missed. Make sure you use uniodized salt with no anticaking agent.
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