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Old 02-07-2007, 10:04 AM   #1
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Need tips on treating fish disease

I bought a pair of albino bristle nose plecos on Jan. 23, 2007 and today I noticed one was looking really pale and ill. He's missing half his tail and has some weird sores on his body. One of the sores looks as if it was bleeding. My guess for the missing fins is tail rot and I have no idea what the body sores might be.

It tried my best to get a nice crisp picture of him. I drew a line where his tail should be (1) and circled the weird sores, They are really hard to see (2).




Here's some pics of a sick dwarf gourami that passed away over 6 months ago. All my dwarf gouramis died from this (7+) 6 months ago as well. I have reason to believe it's the same illness. Notice the tail rot and the body sores. On the second picture I circled a serious body sore. The scales are completely gone and you can see the meat.
I currently have two male dwarf gouramis that were born a couple days after all my adult dwarfs passed away and one seemed to have fin rot. I treated him with Melafix and Pimafix and the fin rot stopped but part of his dorsal fin never grew back. That was about 4 months ago. I also noticed that the other dwarf doesn't have fin rot but I have seen him rub himself on my plants and decor as if he was trying to get something off his body.




Here's a pic of a Sunset Gourami I currently own. I also noticed something weird. It might not be a big deal but you can never be to safe. It looks as if a small piece of his tail and lower fin is turning black. Looks almost like fungus/grim/dirt you see around your bathtub, usually on the silicone and grout.



I was going to ask how to treat my ABNP but I just checked on him and sadly he didn't make it through the night.
Either way I still want to know what this disease(s) are and how to treat it in the future. I guess I should focus on my Sunset Gourami and the Dwarf Gourami that has/had fin rot. Since the 4 months ago when it 1st showed up it doesn't seem to be getting worse but like I said, his dorsal fin hasn't grown back. Also, since my new ABNP just passed away from it, it must be because the disease is still present in my aquarium.

Here's some information you might find useful to help me treat this.

Inhabitants:
2X Dwarf Gouramis
1X Sunset Gourami
1X Clown Loach
8X Fancy Guppies
15X Ghost shrimp

Water parameters:
29 gallon planted aquarium
No ferts
No Co2 injection
1" Leveling sand
1" Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate
1X 40 watt 5000k compact fluorescent
1X 20 watt 9600k fluorescent tube

PH = 7.5
NH3 = 0
GH = 220
KH = 110
NO2 = 0.1
Temp = 60 F (My heater broke, that's the highest temp it will go to, if anyone has an old working heater and is willing to donate it please PM me preferably in Miami Florida. Must be strong enough for a 29 Gallon tank.)

List of medications I have on hand:
  • API Melafix
  • API Pimafix
  • Mardel Maracyn-Two
  • API Triple Sulfa
All these medications treat pretty much the same thing. Which is the best?

I was just reading the back of the API Triple Sulfa and it says it treats... "Hemorrhagic Septicemia: A bacterial infection of the bloodstream. Fish may show blood streaks on the body and fins, bleeding (red patches) and localized swelling."
Looks like that might be the weird sores on my fish. I have noticed the blood streaks before and I think my clown loach might have this as well. I saw some blood streaks around his tail the other day.
In this case I should treat the whole tank right?

I don't have a quarantine tank but I do have about 4+ extra 10 gallon glass tanks laying around the house that I used to keep my lizards in. Some still have sand in them so I would like to know how to disinfect these tanks. Do I wash them with a sponge and dish soap and throughly rinse them till there's no more soap residue and them leave them filled with water and/or bleach for a couple days?

Since I will most likely dose my main tank with medication to treat all my fish, which should I use?
Should I add aquarium salt?
I know I should raise the temp but that is not a choice atm until I get a working heater.
Will any of these medicines harm my shrimp or plants?
I have alot BBA (red algae), BGA (blue/green algae), BA (brown algae), and HA (hair algae).
Will any of these medicines make things worse? For example, make is spread faster or change my water chemistry?

Any useful information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 02-07-2007, 06:49 PM   #2
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Wow, 60F! I'm surprised your fish are still alive. I would look into getting a heater asap, even if it's one of those preset small ones that walmart sells for about $7.

As far as what is wrong with your fish, I would guess something bacterial as well. Perhaps columnaris. Those sores are nasty. I would definitley treat the tank with antibiotics. Since you have Maracyn-Two on hand, you can try that. But if you have the extra cash, I would try some Tetracycline first, simply because it wreaks less havoc on your water. Maracyn-Two has the potential to kill all of your beneficial bacteria, which will cause your tank to cycle, ammonia to go up, etc. It is a good med though.

How often are you testing for ammonia? Another concern with all of that algae is that whatever dies off is rotting in your tank, causing ammonia.

HTH, and sorry to hear about your fish.
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:34 PM   #3
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You should of seen the temps before I even noticed the heater was broken. It was at about 40 to 50 F and there was no deaths at all except I don't have anymore snails in my tank. I used to have a bunch of red ramshorn snails and 3 mystery snails and they all died. Right now I have my heater set to 99F but my thermometer only says 60F. Maybe my thermometer is faulty and not my heater? Possibly not, otherwise I would be smelling fish soup by now.
I'm testing for ammonia once a week and doing 20% weekly water changes.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well I just added 5 tablespoons of Aquarium salt and 5 tablets of Maracyn-Two. I added enough for 25 gallons of water even though I have a 29G tank. I did this because I believe that my substrate and tank decorations are using up at least 5g to 10g of space, so I didn't want to overdose just in case. Is this ok or should I dose the full 29G by adding 1 more tablet and 1 more tablespoon of salt?
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Old 02-08-2007, 01:01 AM   #4
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You would be able to feel the difference between 60o and 99o water! Your thermometer is probably right.

Long periods of time in cool water will stress tropical fish and weaken their immune system - leaving them more susceptible to diseases they would normally fight off.

Your fist priority should be getting a 150W heater - even if it is a cheap one.

Rather than subjecting your plants, beneficial bacteria, and healthy fish to unnecessary medications, you really should set up a hospital tank. It need not be fancy. A brand new plastic tub would work nicely. An air pump and a spare sponge filter would keep the water aerated and clean. Of course, you'd need a 25 W heater for the hospital tank. With a hospital tank, you would not need to use as much medication - saving money.

I wouldn't advise using the reptile tanks because they may not be designed to hold a full load of water. Having to disinfect them would be a hassle and add another variable to your problem. I sugest going plastic - rubbermaid, sterilite, or even a paint bucket - so long as they are brand new and never used.

I once used a brand new 5 gal Home Depot paint bucket to treat a fish so badly infected with columnaris that he looked like a cottonball with fins. I changed 50% of the water every day and replaced it with freshly medicated water. I'm not sure whether it was the frequent water changes or the medicine, but he pulled through. I would suggest using the Maracyn since you already have it - it's a very good broad spectrum antibiotic.

Good luck!
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Old 02-08-2007, 02:17 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice QTOFFER. I have already added the salt and meds to my main tank. :| I used Maracyn-Two. I also have Melafix, Pimafix, and Triple Sulfa, but I used the Maracyn-Two because it expires next year before the others and also because I have two boxes of it. I decided I'm going to continue with the meds and set up a hospital tank next time. I actually got another 10G tank in my room that someone gave me that had a goldfish in it. It's currently cycling and hasn't finished the cycle yet. I got a HOB filter and a 50W heater on it as well. I was going to use it for my fry guppies. Since it isn't cycled yet I was thinking of putting the 50W heater in my 29g until I can get a new heater for my 29G tank. I'm going to leave the broken heater in there because it can only reach 60 F and use the 50w heater to try and reach the 75F mark.
Someone just mentioned to me that aquarium salt burns ABN pleco's skin and that I should remove him from the tank. I didn't know I had to dissolve the salt before I added it to the water.
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