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Old 02-13-2005, 04:50 PM   #1
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sick tiger barb?

Hi all, the tank is still cycling, water parameters are:

NH3: .33
NO2: 0
NO3: 10
pH: 8.4

This white blotch started last night and now looks as in the picture. He ate fine this morning and isn't quite as active as his tankmates (3 other tiger barbs) though he's still cruising the tank when they come near. Mostly he's hanging in a secluded spot near the gravel.

The white spot doesn't appear to be stringy or fuzzy.

Am I looking at new tank syndrome or some sort of fungus (columnaris?) or infection? I've been doing 33% pwc every other day; I've had them about a week in a 29 gallon tank. I'm only feeding a small portion once per day while working through the cycle.

I'm taking suggestions...
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Old 02-13-2005, 04:59 PM   #2
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How many gallons is the tank? It'd be a good idea to tank him out. Put him in a bucket with an airstone if you don't have a QT. Treat the fish with a mix dose of Methyline Blue and Malachite Green (half dose each). A little salt can help too. As of why the fish isn't doing well could be a mixture of contributing factors. New tank syndrome, illness, maybe even being picked on by tank mates.

The water changes should be subdued as well. That much that often can hamper the establishment of nitrifying bacteria. 10% to 15% once or twice a week is more ideal during the establishment. After that, provided there is no overfeeding, ovedrcrowding, and the filters not neglected, 15% once every two weeks is enough.
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Old 02-13-2005, 05:04 PM   #3
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Sure, I can QT him easy enough. It's a 29 gallon tank. I understand that at a pH of 8.4, nearly any amount of ammonia is toxic to the fish hence the reason for my water changes (not touching gravel). I'd love to hear that this is incorrect.

I've been searching for some bio-spira, none of my local lfs's carry it.

When I do QT him, should I add a fish or two to take his place in the cycling process? He's pretty good size. Or stick with 3?
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Old 02-13-2005, 05:33 PM   #4
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Bring the pH down by using peat moss. It's natural and safe. Keep tabs on pH changes. Once the pH is at an acceptable level, take the peat moss out. Continue to monitor pH. If it starts to increase, put the peat moss back in. Once you have lowered the pH to about 7.4 decrease the amount of water changed to what was specified in my last post. To help for now...a 10% water change every day instead of 33% every other day will be less stressful. The more frequent the water changes, the less amount of water should come out.

If you can't find BioSpira, then grab a bottle of Cycle or NitroMax. Double dose for the first time and then a single dose every other day for a week or two. You can use Prime water conditioner to help ease the toxicity of the water. It doesn't remove these toxins, but simply seals the toxic molecules and protects the fish.

Do not put any new fish until the tank is fully established with nitrifying bacteria...even if you end up with no fish. The ammonia needed is already there.

Here's some info and a tip about feeding fish: Most fish do not know when to stop eating. The neural impulse that signals a full belly does not exist in most fish. Disciplined feeding is a must for overall health of the system. Many food packages do not have appropriate feeding directions. Some have made changes, but not enough. Give your fish a time period to eat instead of measuring amounts of food. Two to four minutes per day depending on the type of fish is a good time scale to go by. The more active the fish, the more food they need to eat. Barbs, minnow, and rainbows for example are very active fish and burn more energy in a smaller amount of time than say a slow fantail goldfish. Feeding several times a day is more beneficial than a single feed. Divide the time period accordingly.

Once they reach their nutritional needs, anything extra is still eaten but does not become a used source of nutrition and gets pooped out.
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Old 02-13-2005, 11:44 PM   #5
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I moved this to the unhealthy fish forum.
If you can, quarrantine this fish and treat him to small, frequent water changes. It's hard to tell what the white patch is - could be bacteria - so medicating would be a stab in the dark.

Peat will lower your pH and so will real driftwood. Whatever yopu do, stay away from chemicals like pH Down. A stable but non-optimal pH is far better than a wildly fluctuating pH.
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Old 02-15-2005, 08:23 PM   #6
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Thanks QTOFFER, flipped a coin on which forum to post it to

Update: He's still swimming just fine, eating well and his coloration is great, he's not exhibiting any signs of stress. The spot is still there, it's almost like those scales turned white. When I get a good head-on look, there's no fuzz on it.

However, tonight he's started spitting out a bubble every 10 minutes or so. Parasite? He's quite deep bodied, much larger than the similarly sized fish he started with. I'm not sure that's relevant.
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Old 02-15-2005, 10:11 PM   #7
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Here's a shot of him today
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