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Old 07-02-2011, 12:39 AM   #1
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Question Molly: Illness ID Assistance Needed

Hey, guys! I try not to post in this section unless it's an emergency, and well, I'm afraid it has gotten to that point.

My Molly, Mimi, has been struggling w/ an unknown ailment for the past 2 weeks. She's housed in a 55g community tank and none of my other fishes are showing symptoms of this illness. I do know for a fact that both of my Mollies have Livebearer Disease due to lack of Electrolytes in the water, but that's not a huge concern at this point.

The water parameters are normal. Ammonia-0, Nitrite-0, Nitrates-40, pH-7.6. The Nitrates have always been a little high, but they're steady and haven't increased past 40ppm.

Symptoms:
- Wiggling: This is linked to the Livebearer Disease.
- Bloated: She was extremely bloated and some of her scales were slightly sticking out. This has been helped w/ salt baths and she looks "normal" again.
- Missing Scales: Lg portion of scales are missing on her side and tail fin and the areas look red.
- Bump: A soft bump is located on her tail fin, (it feels like there's fluid inside). Yes, I touched the bump and she didn't freak out at all. lol
- Tail Slightly Bent: Her tail bends slightly downward.
- Swimming Issues: She swims w/ her tail "dragging" along the gravel.
- Lethargic: Sits on gravel or in plants 95% of the time.
- Not Eating, (or eating very little): She was gobbling up shelled peas a few days ago when I had her in my breeder tank, but now she refuses to eat flake food.

Treatments:
So far I've used the following treatments...
- Salt Baths: 4 baths given, 30 min's each-once a day for 4 days. Used 1Tbs of Epsom salt in 1g container of tank water.
- Isolated Feedings: I placed her in my breeder box for 4 days and she did fine, but I have since released her in the tank. During the first 3 days, I fed her shelled peas and she was eating fine. On the 4th day, I gave her flake food and she refused to eat, (and doesn't appear to be eating now that she was released back into the tank).
- Melafix/Pimafix: Added 5tsp each, once a day for 7 days. 50% pwc was done after treatment.

The salt baths helped quite a bit to reduce the bloating, but the Melafix/Pimafix didn't help heal the redness where her scales are missing.

Incidents:
This may not be related, but I will mention it... my other Molly mysteriously died recently and he looked and acted fine the night prior to me finding him deceased on the gravel.


Unfortunately I don't have any pics of her at the moment, but I will try to take some and post them as soon as I can, (hopefully tomorrow). If anyone has any thoughts as to what is killing Mimi, please give me your input! I'm completely befuddled and I want to save her, but it's almost to the point where euthanasia may be necessary.

TIA for the help, guys!

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Old 07-02-2011, 02:12 AM   #2
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Been folowing your 50g thread and sorry to hear about the sick fishie. Can't help much upfront, but here's a link to a great site with lots of detailed info that might help.

http://animal-world.com/encyclo/fres...n/diseases.htm

Good luck!
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Old 07-02-2011, 02:39 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mr. Limpet View Post
Been folowing your 50g thread and sorry to hear about the sick fishie. Can't help much upfront, but here's a link to a great site with lots of detailed info that might help.

Fish Disease and Treatment

Good luck!
I can always rely on you, Mr. Limpet! Thanks!

I checked out the link and the only thing it sounds like is Ichthyosporidium. Which, oddly enough, I found no info on when I was researching earlier. I guess I wasn't looking in the right place, eh?

Symptoms: Sluggishness, loss of balance, hollow belly, external cysts and sores.

Ichthyosporidium is a fungus, but it manifests itself internally. It primarily attacks the liver and kidneys, but it spreads everywhere else. The symptoms vary. The fish may become sluggish, lose balance, show hollow bellies, and eventually show external cysts or sores. By then it is usually too late for the fish.

Treatment is difficult. Phenoxethol added to food as a 1% solution may be effective. Chloromycetin added to the food has also been effective. But both of these treatments, if not watched with caution, could pose a risk to your fish. It is best, if diagnosed soon enough, to destroy the affected fish before the disease can spread.

http://animal-world.com/encyclo/fresh/information/diseases.htm


It looks like I will be euthanizing.
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Old 07-02-2011, 02:44 AM   #4
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Wow, sounds serious sorry to say. A QT and a watchful mother might just save the little guy though .

So jungle brand parasite or fungus food (whatever it's called) won't work huh?
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Old 07-02-2011, 02:45 AM   #5
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It really sounds like a bacterial infection to me, which would explain the redness and the bloating. I would treat with a anti-bacterial medication, I prefer Kanaplex by Seachem.
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Old 07-02-2011, 03:14 AM   #6
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Don't give up just yet !! U are doing great... Sounds like you've got it narrowed down so that helps
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Old 07-02-2011, 03:19 AM   #7
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Wow, sounds serious sorry to say. A QT and a watchful mother might just save the little guy though .

So jungle brand parasite or fungus food (whatever it's called) won't work huh?
Medicated food might have worked a few days ago, (when she was eating), but I didn't get a chance to pick any up from Petco. I'll be making my way there in the morning and see what they have in stock. I'll also look for a new tank to serve as a QT, (the one I did have has a crack in the glass, which is why she's still in the 55g).

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It really sounds like a bacterial infection to me, which would explain the redness and the bloating. I would treat with a anti-bacterial medication, I prefer Kanaplex by Seachem.
At first I thought she had Dropsy, (which was why I did the salt baths-and they helped w/ the bloating). I didn't treat w/ any anti-bacterial meds due to my ADF's and Bamboo Shrimp being in the same tank. I will definitely look for Kanaplex tomorrow and give it a try once I move her to the QT. Thank you for the suggestion!
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Old 07-02-2011, 03:25 AM   #8
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Medicated food might have worked a few days ago, (when she was eating), but I didn't get a chance to pick any up from Petco. I'll be making my way there in the morning and see what they have in stock. I'll also look for a new tank to serve as a QT, (the one I did have has a crack in the glass, which is why she's still in the 55g).
Well you can blame me since I didn't speak up sooner .

As for the QT, it doesn't have to be a glass tank. I use a $5 (semi) clear container from Target for my QT/fry tank and it works just fine. It's about 5g and doesn't need to be DT quality IMO, plus I get a free lid with it .
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Old 07-02-2011, 03:27 AM   #9
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Don't give up just yet !! U are doing great... Sounds like you've got it narrowed down so that helps
I just wish I had more experience treating this type of stuff. Ich... no problem! Fungus... no problem! Bacterial infections... say what?! lol
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Old 07-02-2011, 03:33 AM   #10
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Well you can blame me since I didn't speak up sooner .

As for the QT, it doesn't have to be a glass tank. I use a $5 (semi) clear container from Target for my QT/fry tank and it works just fine. It's about 5g and doesn't need to be DT quality IMO, plus I get a free lid with it .
Yep, you fail! lol :P

Excellent suggestion on the container! I was actually considering using my pwc bucket if I couldn't find a cheap enough tank. But a cheap container w/ my back-up 10g heater should work nicely.
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Old 07-02-2011, 03:33 AM   #11
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If you can't find Kanaplex, Jungles Fungus Clear also works amazing for bacterial infections, or Maracyn 1&2 work well also. I've personally used Fungus Clear for bacterial infections with great success and it's cheaper than the others from Walmart. The only medication is keep on hand are the Parasite/Fungus Clear tabs and their medicated foods, hasn't let me down yet.
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Old 07-02-2011, 03:41 AM   #12
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If you can't find Kanaplex, Jungles Fungus Clear also works amazing for bacterial infections, or Maracyn 1&2 work well also. I've personally used Fungus Clear for bacterial infections with great success and it's cheaper than the others from Walmart. The only medication is keep on hand are the Parasite/Fungus Clear tabs and their medicated foods, hasn't let me down yet.
I believe that my Walmart had Fungus Clear the last time I was there, so maybe I'll go that route. I can also p/u the container and medicated food while I'm there.

Oh, boy, going to Walmart... on a Saturday morning. lol
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Old 07-02-2011, 03:54 AM   #13
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I believe that my Walmart had Fungus Clear the last time I was there, so maybe I'll go that route. I can also p/u the container and medicated food while I'm there.

Oh, boy, going to Walmart... on a Saturday morning. lol
Nothing better than one stop shopping and you can get in a round of mullet spotting to boot lol. Afterwards, might I suggest Chuck E Cheese for an early lunch? lol
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:05 AM   #14
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Nothing better than one stop shopping and you can get in a round of mullet spotting to boot lol. Afterwards, might I suggest Chuck E Cheese for an early lunch? lol


Good point. Maybe I'll make my husband go. I have yet to step foot in a Chuck E Cheese. But now that I'm a mom, I'm sure I'll be forced into that one. lol

Heading to bed now. Have a great night everyone! Thank you so much for your help and well wishes! I'll keep you posted on how the treatment works.
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:13 AM   #15
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I'm so sorry about your fish. I hope she makes it .
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:49 AM   #16
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Sounds to me like she did have dropsy. The fact that she did and it's gone is nothing short of remarkable. Fish usually die when they get to that point.

Dropsy is not a disease though. It is a symptom of another problem that has advanced to the point that the fish begins to bloat. The bloating is often due to the fishes liver and/or kidneys shutting down, thereby causing a build-up of fluid in their body. What you did to help that was spot-on, so good job.

The problem you have now is the original cause of the disease hasn't gone away. It could be many things, but is usually bacterial in nature. The usual suspect being gram-negative bacteria. This is usually best addressed with an antibiotic food since the infection is internal. But that is problematic in your case.

Other opportunistic infections can also take hold at this point since the fish is already in a weakened condition. That includes the fungus that you suspect.

For your problem a good broad spectrum antibiotic/antifungal is called for. The Jungle products that Hukit is suggesting is a good place to start. I've found that their products work very well against many problems like this. I would defintiely go in that direction to help your little girl.

Good luck with the treatment. I really hope that you can help her.
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:04 AM   #17
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I'm so sorry about your fish. I hope she makes it .
Thanks! I'm hopeful, but now her daughter, Mini Mimi, is starting to have the same issues. She doesn't show signs of Dropsy yet, so I caught it early. I decided to move her into the QT w/ Mimi and try to help both of them at the same time.

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Sounds to me like she did have dropsy. The fact that she did and it's gone is nothing short of remarkable. Fish usually die when they get to that point.

Dropsy is not a disease though. It is a symptom of another problem that has advanced to the point that the fish begins to bloat. The bloating is often due to the fishes liver and/or kidneys shutting down, thereby causing a build-up of fluid in their body. What you did to help that was spot-on, so good job.

The problem you have now is the original cause of the disease hasn't gone away. It could be many things, but is usually bacterial in nature. The usual suspect being gram-negative bacteria. This is usually best addressed with an antibiotic food since the infection is internal. But that is problematic in your case.

Other opportunistic infections can also take hold at this point since the fish is already in a weakened condition. That includes the fungus that you suspect.

For your problem a good broad spectrum antibiotic/antifungal is called for. The Jungle products that Hukit is suggesting is a good place to start. I've found that their products work very well against many problems like this. I would defintiely go in that direction to help your little girl.

Good luck with the treatment. I really hope that you can help her.
Thank you! I was definitely on-top of the Dropsy. Funny thing is, I wasn't 100% sure she had it when I was treating her, but now I have no doubt. Epsom salt worked great and she looked better just after the 1st treatment!

Update:
Well... I went to Walmart this morning. lol Seriously though, it wasn't that bad. Anyway, I went ahead and picked up a 5g tank setup to serve as my new QT, (it was only $25 +/-, so I figured, what the hay). Their med selection was extremely limited and they didn't have the Fungus Clear tabs. They did have Parasite Clear tabs, so I bought those, (along w/ a really cool 'rusted anchor' ornament... yeah, I couldn't help it lol).

I then went to Petco to see what they had for meds, and I was very disappointed! Come to find out, they don't stock medicated fish food. What sense does that make? Anyway, they didn't have have Maracyn 1/2, but they did have Maracyn Oxy, so I picked up a bottle.

Needless to say, both stores are a huge fail when it comes to fish meds, but I'm going to try to work w/ what I picked up.

I set up the QT as soon as I got home. I moved over 5g of tank water from my 55g and placed a really gunky filter from my 55g in the HOB on the 5g. I then added a few ornaments to the tank, (including the inpulse buy ornament that I purchased today). As soon as I was setup and everything checked-out ok, I added a 1/2 tablet of the Parasite Clear and 1Tbs of Aquarium Salt.

I moved Mimi over to the tank, then I noticed that Mini Mimi was still acting lethargic, (she started acting this way a few days ago). So, I decided to go ahead and move her over to the tank w/ Mimi. Both are doing fine in the tank, but they're staying in the corner behind the anchor ornament, and I didn't see them eat when I fed them tonight.

My plan tomorrow is to do a 25% pwc and add the Maracyn. Has anyone ever used the Oxy to treat bacterial infections? Also, should I not add any Parasite Clear once I start dosing the Oxy? I just want to make sure that I'm doing everything correctly.

Thanks for all the help guys!
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:49 AM   #18
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Update

There has been some improvement over the past few days, but not much. They're swimming around more and hiding less, but their appetites haven't improved. I'm trying to stay optimistic that they'll make it through this, but their lack of interest in eating has me concerned.

Another concern I have is the bend in Mimi's Caudal Peduncle. Sadly, it looks similar to what happened w/ my other Molly, (the Molly I had to euthanize). This leads me to believe that whatever illness they have is linked to her and is highly contagious. Luckily it appears that only the Mollies contracted the illness as none of my other fishes have symptoms.

According to the input I got on here, the symptoms pointed towards a bacterial infection. However, with the Mollies being the only ones affected, it sounds like a breed-specific genetic issue. I'm going to continue the Maracyn Oxy treatment and cross my fingers that they will keep improving. I will also continue my research, but I'm still open to any input/advice.

I haven't had a chance to take pics of them, but the pics shown below are of the Molly I had to euthanize.
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:47 AM   #19
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However, with the Mollies being the only ones affected, it sounds like a breed-specific genetic issue.
Not necessarily. Sometimes there are certain fish that are more susceptible to disease then other fish. It could be related to breed, particular spawn mates, fish taken from the same location, fish from a particular breeder, etc. You see where I'm going with this. The point is some fish can be affected by a disease, where other fish in the tank are completely unaffected.

I believe that you ARE dealing with a bacterial infection of some sort. The pictures that you've shown have all the classic signs of infection. You should continue treating it as such. You may even try medicated food since it may have become internal. The deformity shown would lead me to believe this is the case. Jungle Fungus Eliminator is also a very good broad spectrum antibiotic you might try for the external issues. I personally have never had a lot of success with Maracyn products, though others have.
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:31 AM   #20
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Not necessarily. Sometimes there are certain fish that are more susceptible to disease then other fish.It could be related to breed, particular spawn mates, fish taken from the same location, fish from a particular breeder, etc.You see where I'm going with this. The point is some fish can be affected by a disease, where other fish in the tank are completely unaffected.

I believe that you ARE dealing with a bacterial infection of some sort. You should continue treating it as such. The pictures that you've shown have all the classic signs of infection.
That's a very good point and why I assume this could be a genetic issue. All of my Mollies came from the same tank at the LFS, (w/ the exception of Mimi Mimi - she was the only fry that Mimi had that didn't get gobbled up).

The difference between Mimi and the fish I had to euthanize, MJ Fish, (pictured above), was that MJ didn't grow much, (if at all), never looked "right", and could still swim/eat. Whereas, the other Mollies' growth, activity level, appetite, and overall health was perfect, (up until a few weeks ago).

I guess I just find it odd how Mimi, (and now Mini Mimi), could start showing these signs all of a sudden. I still believe they have a bacterial infection, no doubt about that. However, due to all 3 of them having similar symptoms, and coming from the same tank, I feel it could also have something to do w/ a genetic deformity passed on through mass breeding.

I will definitely continue the treatment since it seems to be helping. I did stop using the Fungus Clear Tabs after day 2 in the QT though, (I didn't know if the 2 meds would offset each other or not, but I didn't want to chance it).

I'm going to do a pwc tomorrow, (this will be the first one since introducing them to the QT). Should I be doing more pwc's to keep the parameters stable? From what I've read, Maracyn doesn't interfere w/ the biological filter so I wasn't too concerned about testing the parameters. I will test them tomorrow though to be on the safe side.

Thank you for the input/advice!

Edit: Oh, and about the medicated food... none of the local chain stores sell it, so I will need to check w/ the local mom/pop fish stores.
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