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Old 10-04-2022, 04:33 AM   #1
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Posts: 8
Red Shoulder Severum Mystery

Hi everyone!


As is obvious in the attached pictures (please excuse the algae buildup I've accumulated with my CO2 tank being down for too long), we currently have a bit of funky coloration going on with this juvenile severum, which I'm trying to get to the bottom of. Here's some background that may be relevant to diagnosing the problem...

I have had him for over a year now, from the time he was still more or less a baby, yet old enough for sale. Over several months, I saw him transition to a more "juvenile" state, growing a bit and presenting the pattern and increased coloration to be expected of a red shoulder severum his age. While he has not grown significantly since then, he has continued eating normally, and his behavior does not seem to have really changed.

Regarding his behavior, he has always had a bright, alert, curious, and precocious demeanor. He spends most of the day concealed within a labyrinth of swords, crypts, and ferns, but I can sometimes spy him weaving in and out of them exploring. He always makes his way to the top when it's dinnertime, and uses this opportunity to explore the open area and the unplanted surfaces in the tank, scavenging for food along the way. And, while I obviously don't have eyes on him the entirety of the day, I have not seen him or any of my other fish itch up against anything in the tank except on infrequent occasion. I have 125 fish in my various aquariums at the moment, with no other cases like this evident in any of them.

He's obviously displaying very unusual pattern and coloration currently, which I haven't come across in other severums or in pictures posted online. This has developed over the past several months; however, I know that many severums go through a series of pattern and color transformations as they grow up, and his health and behavior have appeared to be otherwise unaffected. That said, as the apparent whitening has continued rather than developing into something else, I figured it might be time to consult some other hobbyists to see if this is anything anyone has ever come across.

There doesn't appear to be any dimension or fuzziness to the whiteness. I haven't noticed any other types of "critters" anywhere on him. I can't seem to match this fact pattern or his appearance up with any of the photos and writeups I've seen online concerning the 20-or-so most common parasitic, fungal, or bacterial fish ailments.

If there's something internal at play, I'm just struggling to reconcile the fact that, for several months, he has continued to eat, swim, and behave normally, with no other visually apparent anatomical developments.

Normally, when I don't immediately know what's going on with a sick fish, I will try to treat a broad array of possible infections. For example, I might use Seachem PolyGuard, Seachem KanaPlex, and API Aquarium Salt. Or, I might use Fritz Maracyn, Fritz Paracleanse, and Hikari Ich-X. That said, given that this has gone on for some time now, I'm hoping to at least narrow down the realm of possibilities to the category I should be targeting (e.g., bacterial, fungal, or parasitic), so that I can hopefully reduce the stress that I'm putting on him while trying to get rid of this several months' long mystery condition.


Does anyone have any ideas about what might be going on, or what general category this infection might fall into?

Thoughts on which of the medications I have on hand (listed below) is likely to give us the best chance of knocking it out with maximum efficiency?



- Hikari Ich-X (Formaldehyde, Methanol, Malachite Green Chloride)
- Fritz Maracyn (Erythromycin)
- Fritz ParaCleanse (Metronidazole/Praziquantel)
- Fritz CopperSafe (Chelated Copper Sulfate)
- Fritz Expel-P (Levanisole HCI)
- Fritz Maracyn 2 (Minocycline)
- Fritz Maracyn Oxy (Sodium Chlorite)
- API Aquarium Salt (Sodium Chloride)
- Seachem StressGuard (Salts, Non-Amine-Based Polymers)
- Seachem Paraguard (Glutaral, Malachite Green)
- Seachem KanaPlex (Kanamycin Sulfate)
- Seachem SulfaPlex (Sulfathiazole)
- Seachem PolyGuard (Sulfathiazole, Malachite Green, Nitrofurantoin, Nitrofural, Quinacrine Dihydrochloride)
- Seachem MetroPlex (Metronidazole)
- Seachem Focus (Polymer-Bound Nitrofurantoin)
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Old 10-04-2022, 09:38 PM   #2
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First off, stop buying chemicals/ medications. You have a number of antibiotics in your list of treatments and these should only be used as a last resort on known bacterial infections that haven't responded to normal treatments.

Improper use and mis-use of antibiotics has lead to drug resistant bacteria that kill people, birds, animals, reptiles and fish.

You also have a lot of medications that do exactly the same thing. If you are adding these chemicals to your aquarium on a regular basis, you are creating drug resistant diseases that will cause long term problems to everything on the planet.

Only treat fish if they have a disease and use the correct medication for that disease. Using multiple medications (chemical cocktail) or the wrong medication simply makes drug resistant varieties of diseases in the tank.


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

The fish could have a Microsporidian infection. This causes the muscle tissue to turn white and eventually the fish dies. Salt can be used to treat it. See directions below for salt.

It could be natural colouration. In which case you don't need to do anything.

If the skin is missing, it could be muscle tissue that we are looking at. For the skin to be missing, it would most likely be caused by bacteria. However, if the fish had the skin missing from both sides and over that much of the body, I think it would probably be dead or at least in a great deal of pain and discomfort and wouldn't be eating or acting normally.

So it's either a Microsporidian infection or natural colouration.

Does it look like the fish has scales over the pink parts?
If yes, then it has skin under the scales.


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

The fish shouldn't be hiding in the plants.
Do you have other Severums or big cichlids in the tank?
Can you post a picture of the whole aquarium?


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

SALT

Using Salt to Treat Fish Health Issues.
For some fish diseases you can use salt (sodium chloride) to treat the ailment rather than using a chemical based medication. Salt is relatively safe and is regularly used in the aquaculture industry to treat food fish for diseases. Salt has been successfully used to treat minor fungal and bacterial infections, as well as a number of external protozoan infections. Salt alone will not treat whitespot (Ichthyophthirius) or Velvet (Oodinium) but will treat most other types of protozoan infections in freshwater fishes. Salt can treat early stages of hole in the head disease caused by Hexamita but it needs to be done in conjunction with cleaning up the tank. Salt can also be used to treat anchor worm (Lernaea), fish lice (Argulus), gill flukes (Dactylogyrus), skin flukes (Gyrodactylus), Epistylis, Microsporidian and Spironucleus infections.

You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt) or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres (5 gallons) of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

If you only have livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), goldfish or rainbowfish in the tank you can double that dose rate, so you would add 2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres and if there is no improvement after 48 hours, then increase it so there is a total of 4 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria but the higher dose rate (4 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres) will affect some plants and some snails. The lower dose rate (1-2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres) will not affect fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
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Old 10-04-2022, 10:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmcnamara View Post

Thoughts on which of the medications I have on hand (listed below) is likely to give us the best chance of knocking it out with maximum efficiency?

- Hikari Ich-X (Formaldehyde, Methanol, Malachite Green Chloride)
- Fritz Maracyn (Erythromycin)
- Fritz ParaCleanse (Metronidazole/Praziquantel)
- Fritz CopperSafe (Chelated Copper Sulfate)
- Fritz Expel-P (Levanisole HCI)
- Fritz Maracyn 2 (Minocycline)
- Fritz Maracyn Oxy (Sodium Chlorite)
- API Aquarium Salt (Sodium Chloride)
- Seachem StressGuard (Salts, Non-Amine-Based Polymers)
- Seachem Paraguard (Glutaral, Malachite Green)
- Seachem KanaPlex (Kanamycin Sulfate)
- Seachem SulfaPlex (Sulfathiazole)
- Seachem PolyGuard (Sulfathiazole, Malachite Green, Nitrofurantoin, Nitrofural, Quinacrine Dihydrochloride)
- Seachem MetroPlex (Metronidazole)
- Seachem Focus (Polymer-Bound Nitrofurantoin)
Anything containing copper or Malachite Green can be used to treat external protozoan parasites like white spot, velvet, Costia, Chilodonella & Trichodina. Salt can also be used to treat Costia, Chilodonella & Trichodina. Use 2 heaped tablespoons of rock salt per 20 litres for treating these.

Heat can be used to treat white spot and velvet. Raise the water temperature to 30C (86F) and keep it there for 2 weeks, or at least 1 week after all the spots have gone.

*NB* Malachite Green (aka Victoria Green) is a known carcinogen and should be handled with care. Avoid handling the powder form of Malachite Green.


----------

Fritz Paracleanse and Seachem metroplex both contain Metronidazole, which is an antibiotic designed for people. it can be used to treat internal protozoan infections in fish.

The Fritz Paracleanse also contains Praziquantel that treats gill flukes and tapeworm.

You don't need both of these products. If you have to get one, get the Paracleanse because it contains Metronidazole and Praziquantel.


----------

Re: Hikari Ich-X and Seachem Paraguard.

Glutaral (Glutaraldehyde) and Formaldehyde/ Formalin are preservatives used to kill microscopic organisms and preserve bodies and body parts so they last for years.

Methanol is a type of alcohol and is a bad type of alcohol.

You don't want any of these things in an aquarium.


----------

Paracleanse, Maracyn, Maracyn 2, Kanaplex, Sulfaplex, Polyguard, Metroplex, and Seachem Focus all contain antibiotics.

The only people that should be handing out these types of medications for fish or animals is a vet. They should be banned from pet shops because most shop workers have no idea what they are doing to the environment.


----------

The Levamisole treats round/ thread worms and can be used to prophylactically treat new fish for thread worms.

Praziquantel can usually be bought on its own and used prophylactically to treat tapeworm and gill flukes in new fish. Salt can also be used for gill flukes.

All new fish, shrimp and snails should be quarantined for at least 2 (preferably 4) weeks before being added to an established aquarium. Fish can be dewormed while in quarantine so they don't introduce worms into existing aquariums. However, you should make sure the existing aquariums don't have worms.


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

Unless you live miles from the nearest pet shop and get fish in on a weekly basis, you have no need for most of these chemicals/ medications. If you want something on hand to treat sick fish, have a bag of rock salt (swimming pool salt), a bottle of dechlorinator and a gravel cleaner.


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

*NB* All medications and test kits, including fish medications, should be kept in a cool dry dark place, away from children and animals. The reagents/ medications go off very quickly in warm or humid environments, or when exposed to bright light.
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