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Old 01-13-2017, 02:20 PM   #1
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Sick blood parrots, pictus catfish and red finned shark

My friend just picked up some fish that were in a bad situation. They were in an unfiltered, not heated tank. She got 2 blood parrots, 7 pictus catfish and a red finned shark. Their gills are all swollen and they're breathing heavily (see attached pic). She tested the water that was in the bags and it was 2ppm ammonia, 0 nitrite and 160+ ppm nitrate. She quickly set up a hospital tank with media from her 100 gallon, 25% water from her 100g, 25% from
The water they were in and 50% dechlorinated tap water. She has also added API general cure. Any ideas on what is wrong with them? What to do from here? If they'll ever bounce back from this ? She's just trying to do the right thing and save them from their rough start to life. Click image for larger version

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Old 01-13-2017, 05:53 PM   #2
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ammonia poisoning probably. nitrates that are too high can be harmful as well.
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:29 PM   #3
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You need to get the ammonia down to zero. Regular partial water changes will solve this. Remember to remove any uneaten food and poop when doing tank mantainence (the sooner they're removed, the better) as this can make your ammonia levels rise. I think nitrates are supposed to be down to at least 20ppm, not 100% sure.
Have they got a heater now? If so, make sure the temp is from 70-80 degrees. Since they're sick, temps closer to 80 degrees are preferable.
They may just have a bacterial infection, in which case good water parameters and a little aquarium salt will help.
I don't own, and never have owned any of these fish, so please do your research about the aquarium salt as i don't know if all tropical fish can tolerate it. Lots of research is your best friend in these situations.
Good luck! Hope they recover soon. (:
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:40 PM   #4
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Sick blood parrots, pictus catfish and red finned shark

Hello! They're actually doing a bit better now and their colors have brightened a little. She treated them for bacteria and parasites and now they're in her 100g with the rest of her parrots. She said that their gills are still large and inflamed but is assuming they will remain that way for the rest of their life. It's such a sin. She said they were in a 40g that was half filled with no filter or heater. I'm sure they're happy to be in a 100g filtered heated nice big tank with fish of their own kind!

Thanks for the advice
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:44 PM   #5
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Oh my, that is awful!! How people can physically allow animals in their care to suffer like that is beyond me. Glad they're in the care of your friend now.
Also, considering they've only been in good conditions for a week, i'd say it's a little too soon to remove them from the hospital tank. It can put your healthy fish in danger. Even if it seems like they're improving, ideally you need to wait until their health improves 100% or as much as it's ever going to and then wait a few weeks.
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