Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 12-10-2023, 10:26 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2023
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 7
Velvet?

Hi guys! Iím new to this hobby and having some issues and hoping someone can give me some adviceÖ
So I have a 10 gallon freshwater tank with 3 Mollies, 1 Platy and 1 Molly fry (in her own net) from one of my adult Mollies. I cycled the tank prior to getting them and got them all about 3 weeks ago. Everything was going well- 0 ammonia/nitrate levels, PH of ~7.6 and temp at about 80 degrees F. Using a carbon filter. Last week I noticed one Molly kind of gasping at the surface so I went out and bought an air stone to attempt to rectify the issue, thinking it was due to aeration. It seemed to help a bit but the more I read online, the more it seemed like it could be Velvet. Its scales are a copper-ish color and it seems a little lethargic but still willing to eat and swim around, just seems to tire easily sometimes. Within the next day or so my other fish were getting some of that color to them, too. I went and got Ich-x and the people at the aquarium store said that since it seemed to have spread, just treat your whole tank once a day then do a daily water change(conditioning new water), prior to the next treatment (filter running but carbon cartridge removed.) I have been doing this for 2 days, today being the third. The tank is pretty cloudy and my ammonia/nitrate levels are up to .25%. I added some Fritz&zyme7 and ammo lock to help but Iím nervous to continue treating with Ich-x. The fish are all acting fine and normal but I understand that Velvet can wipe out your tank within days.

Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks

__________________
Jguglielmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2023, 03:08 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 5,842
It does sound like velvet, but can you post a photo so we can take a look?

It sounds like you have a water quality issue. You say you cycled the tank, but how precisely did you do this? You initially indicated zero ammonia and nitrate. The nitrogen cycle takes the ammonia your fish produce and turn it into nitrate, so if you where cycled you would see zero ammonia and nitrite, with some nitrate. Zero nitrate would indicate you arent cycled. You then go on report some ammonia and nitrate, so again, not cycled.

Do you know your nitrite level also?

Mollies arent really freshwater fish. They are brackish water, which is a halfway water between freshwater and marine.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2023, 10:56 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Andy Sager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Lake Wales, Florida
Posts: 8,323
It sounds like Velvet and unfortunately, the best medicine for velvet is copper. You also need to turn out the lights because the parasite that's called " velvet" uses the light to make it's food so darkness will help starve them.
Apparently there are a couple of different products called Ich-X so which brand was the one you used?
__________________
Andy Sager is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2023, 01:09 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2023
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Sager View Post
It sounds like Velvet and unfortunately, the best medicine for velvet is copper. You also need to turn out the lights because the parasite that's called " velvet" uses the light to make it's food so darkness will help starve them.
Apparently there are a couple of different products called Ich-X so which brand was the one you used?

So, the people at the store said they have seen better results with Ich-x vs copper-safe. Thatís the only reason I bought it. I did already have some Copper-safe at home too, so now I have both. The Ich-X brand is HealthAid. It has Formaldehyde in it so it seems like pretty strong stuff. I used it for 2 days and they seemed to tolerate it well but now itís throwing my ammonia/nitrite levels out of whack so Iíve been trying to fix that and I put the Velvet treatment on hold. I checked the Ammonia/nitrate this morning and it was still around .25% so i did another ~25% water change and added more fritz zyme7 and ammo lock.

I guess my question now is- where do I go from here? I donít want then to die.
__________________
Jguglielmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2023, 01:20 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2023
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
It does sound like velvet, but can you post a photo so we can take a look?

It sounds like you have a water quality issue. You say you cycled the tank, but how precisely did you do this? You initially indicated zero ammonia and nitrate. The nitrogen cycle takes the ammonia your fish produce and turn it into nitrate, so if you where cycled you would see zero ammonia and nitrite, with some nitrate. Zero nitrate would indicate you arent cycled. You then go on report some ammonia and nitrate, so again, not cycled.

Do you know your nitrite level also?

Mollies arent really freshwater fish. They are brackish water, which is a halfway water between freshwater and marine.
I have the API test strips that test ammonia and nitrite. I cycled the tank a week or two prior to adding fish, using Fritz zyme 7 that adds good bacteria and neutralizes ammonia and nitrite levels daily. This is what the aquarium store sold me and said to do. I checked the levels before getting fish and they were all at 0. Everything was going well until i started the daily water changes while treating for Velvet and it threw everything out of balance.. I attached a photo of my Dalmatian Balloon Molly that started with the Velvet symptoms initially. ( i know it’s a little hard to tell given her coloring). Now my ammonia and nitrite levels are high (.25%) and I did another water change this morning and added more fritz zyme 7 and ammo lock. I am not sure where to go from here or how to get the levels back down to a safe level AND treat for Velvet without disrupting the balance.


And I have heard mixed things about the brackish water for them. You think i should convert?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_8081.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	253.7 KB
ID:	326089  
__________________
Jguglielmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2023, 01:56 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 5,842
If you arent dosing ammonia while dosing the bacterial supplement then what you are dosing will just die. It needs ammonia.

With a fish in cycle, the fish provide the ammonia. With a fishless cycle, you need to dose ammonia, usually using an ammonium chloride supplement. With no ammonia source, your aquarium didnt cycle. You saw no ammonia or nitrite because there was no ammonia going into the water. Now there is, and because you arent cycled, you are detecting it in your water tests.

Test strips are essentially useless. They could easily be showing a safe level when they are actually at high toxic levels. Get a liquid test kit.

No i dont think you should convert to brackish, changing things wont help anything. The shock of going from a brackish environment where they where probably bred, into freshwater at the store and your aquarium wont have helped their immune system. Changing back again will just cause further shock.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2023, 02:07 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2023
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 7
Thanks for the quick reply! Understood. So with the liquid test kit, if itís still reading high levels, would I just continue daily water changes until the levels get to 0?
__________________
Jguglielmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2023, 02:34 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 5,842
You need to cycle the tank, and as I said, to do this you need to have ammonia in there to feed the bacteria you are trying to grow. If you are doing water changes to manually remove the ammonia your tank wont cycle.

Unfortunately you are trying to deal with 2 issues at once which complicates things. One of the biggest things you can do to help your fish is to have pristine water. That means big, frequent, water changes. The flip side is that it will be to the detriment of cycling your tank. If it were me in your situation, i would treat your fish, keeping the water as clean as you can while you are doing so. If your fish pull through, then look at cycling the tank.

When cycling you want some ammonia in there. Test daily. If your ammonia and nitrite stay zero naturally, congrats. You are cycled and can then forget everything ive said about cycling. If you are seeing ammonia and/ or nitrite in your water, then add the results of those tests together. If they add up to more than 0.5ppm combined, then change some water. You can go back to adding the fritz while cycling, it might help speed things up.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2023, 04:05 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2023
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 7
I really appreciate your insight. I just got home and gave another dose of Ich-X and I will go from there. Hopefully they pull through. I may reach out if I run into another issue but you made it all pretty clear. There is so much to learn. Thanks again! 😊
__________________
Jguglielmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2023, 06:25 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Andy Sager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Lake Wales, Florida
Posts: 8,323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jguglielmo View Post
So, the people at the store said they have seen better results with Ich-x vs copper-safe. Thatís the only reason I bought it. I did already have some Copper-safe at home too, so now I have both. The Ich-X brand is HealthAid. It has Formaldehyde in it so it seems like pretty strong stuff. I used it for 2 days and they seemed to tolerate it well but now itís throwing my ammonia/nitrite levels out of whack so Iíve been trying to fix that and I put the Velvet treatment on hold. I checked the Ammonia/nitrate this morning and it was still around .25% so i did another ~25% water change and added more fritz zyme7 and ammo lock.

I guess my question now is- where do I go from here? I donít want then to die.
Depending on which brand of Ich-X you are using, one brand states that it is safe for the biological filter while the other brand says to treat in a separate tank because it is NOT safe for the biological filter. I tend to disagree with the one that says it's safe because Formaldehyde and Malachite green both affect nitrifying microbes so that is why you are having ammonia and nitrite issues. The fish should have been treated in a separate tank IMO. This is from Fritz Aquatics: Nitrifying bacteria are gram (-) rods up to 2 microns long; most pathogens are also gram (-). Most antibiotics equally affect both nitrifiers and pathogens. Other inhibitory chemicals include formalin, formaldehyde, chlorine, chloramine, malachite green, methylene blue, acriflavine, disinfectants (ex: Windexô), copper (at 0.20 mg/L or higher), potassium permanganate and chloroquine.
As Aiken stated, you are fighting competing issues so that you will not have both remedied at the same time. You first treat the disease because if the fish die from the disease, the cycling problem doesn't matter. If you have a separate tank, move the fish to it with new clean water and use an air stone for the aeration ( no filter necessary) and treat with the Ich-X or Coppersafe. ( My preference is Copper ) and turn off the lights. NO need to add the Fritzyme #7. If you must treat in the main tank, do a 30%-50% water change then treat with either medicine as directed and make sure the lights are off. If there is a lot of ambient light from the room, place a towel or blanket over the tank to keep it dark. Do not feed the fish during the treatment. The fish should be just fine without food in the dark for the few days they will be under medication. Remove any carbon or filter pads with carbon from the filter and do not add the Fritzyme or Ammolock.

If you are treating in the main tank: Once the fish are cured, do a 30%-50% water change and add carbon or cartridge with carbon to the filter so that it removes any residual medication. If you use the coppersafe, POlyBIoMarine makes a pad called the PolyFilter ( https://www.poly-bio-marine.com/ )which removes copper and some meds better than carbon does. You can cut the pad to fit our filter and you will see it turn blue as it pulls out the copper. Do not add the fritzyme until you remove the Polyfilter pad. Monitor the ammonia and nitrite levels.

If you are treating in a separate tank: You can prepare your main tank for the return of the fish by doing a 100% water change and letting it run for 24 hours, test the water for ammonia and nitrites and if zero, if you have ammonia that you can put in the tank, you add ammonia to a level of 2ppm then add the fritzyme #7 back in to restart the cycling process. When the ammonia and nitrites are both back to zero in 24 hours or less, the tank is safe again to add the fish. If this happens before the fish are ready to be returned to the tank, you must keep adding the ammonia to feed the biological bed until the fish are ready to be returned. DO NOT USE THE AMMO LOCK. Make sure your ammonia and nitrites are at zero and your nitrates are under 40PPM before you add the fish back in. If the nitrates are above 40 ppm, do a water change to lower them just prior to you adding the fish back into the tank. Monitor the ammonia and nitrite levels once the fish are back in the tank and if necessary, reduce them by doing water changes and adding more Fritzyme.

Hope this helps.
__________________
Andy Sager is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2023, 09:57 PM   #11
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2023
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 7
The only reason I got the ICH-X was because the aquarium store said that it would be easier on my 2 week old fry than the Coppersafe. I am keeping them in the dark and I put another dose of the Ich-x in about 5 hours ago. They are acting more sluggish and wobbly today and it seems to be more because of the high ammonia levels because prior to the spike they were a lot more lively. I had sort-of tried to start a hospital tank in my smaller 5 gallon tank last week because I wasn't sure how to go about this whole thing and at the time, only one fish was showing symptoms. The water in that tank has been conditioned and i added a little bit of the fritz zyme 7. There is no substrate or anything and I would have to pick up a new heater, filter and/or air stone if I'm going to move anyone over into that tank. Either way, if I'm understanding correctly, treating the Velvet is going to throw the water levels out of whack no matter what and that might kill them if the Velvet doesn't? This is a lot for a beginner to handle at once! I feel bad seeing them suffering

Also, how can I know they have Velvet for sure? I am second guessing myself now
__________________
Jguglielmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2023, 11:13 PM   #12
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Andy Sager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Lake Wales, Florida
Posts: 8,323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jguglielmo View Post
The only reason I got the ICH-X was because the aquarium store said that it would be easier on my 2 week old fry than the Coppersafe. I am keeping them in the dark and I put another dose of the Ich-x in about 5 hours ago. They are acting more sluggish and wobbly today and it seems to be more because of the high ammonia levels because prior to the spike they were a lot more lively. I had sort-of tried to start a hospital tank in my smaller 5 gallon tank last week because I wasn't sure how to go about this whole thing and at the time, only one fish was showing symptoms. The water in that tank has been conditioned and i added a little bit of the fritz zyme 7. There is no substrate or anything and I would have to pick up a new heater, filter and/or air stone if I'm going to move anyone over into that tank. Either way, if I'm understanding correctly, treating the Velvet is going to throw the water levels out of whack no matter what and that might kill them if the Velvet doesn't? This is a lot for a beginner to handle at once! I feel bad seeing them suffering

Also, how can I know they have Velvet for sure? I am second guessing myself now
For starters, a " hospital" tank should be a bare tank, no filter, with an airstone for aeration, good clean fresh water ( treated if it contains chlorine or chloramine) that has no ammonia, nitrite or nitrate, a heater ( if necessary) and some pieces of PVC or other inert things for the fish to hide in. That's it. The meds you use usually have a water change schedule in their treatment so no need to worry about ammonia buildup so no need to add anything like Ammo lock or Fritzyme.

This is picture of a Molly with Velvet: https://aquariumscience.org/wp-conte...-with-v-6.jpeg You'll notice the gold dust like particles are mostly at the top of the head in front of the dorsal( top) fin. That is the most common place Velvet starts before taking over the whole fish.
These are the most common symptoms: Scratching against hard objects.
Lethargy.
Loss of appetite and weight.
Loss of color.
Rapid, labored breathing.
Fins clamped against the body.
Fine yellow or rusty colored film on the skin.
In advanced stages, skin peels off.

Sadly, Velvet is a parasite that can get out of hand rather quickly. If you see it on one fish and don't treat it immediately, it spreads like wild fire ( as you have seen. )

According to Fritz, Coppersafe is safe to use with fry but keep in mind that using the coppersafe requires that you also have a copper test kit that tests for Chelated Copper ( not all test kits do chelated copper levels) so that you have the correct therapeutic level of copper in the tank.

As for it being a lot for a beginner: You need to understand that you are keeping live animals and as such, it's more involved than just adding water into a tank and adding fish. They get diseases, have interspecie issues, might not get along with all other fish, might not get along with other members of their specie, might not be able to live alone and require the best cleanest water possible ( to name a few things. ). Yes, it can be a lot to understand from the start. Add to it with today's fish that many are raised on farms and are heavily medicated there so they do not always do well once they leave those farms. This is why all fish today should be quarantined prior to being placed in the main display tank to help avoid diseases from getting into that tank. The main display tank should be treated like a house of worship, a golden palace, a place of purity so to speak. In the long run, doing this will result in years of enjoyment of that tank with minimal issues along the way. You do this by doing all the things for the fish before they get into the main tank.

With that said, there is an old book that has one of the best diagnosing charts I've seen for diagnosing fish diseases. It's called "Handbook of Fish Diseases" by Dieter Untergasser. It's an old book so some of the medicines suggested for treatment are no longer available but the diagnostic charts alone are worth the price of the book. It uses an " If this, than do that" step approach that helps pinpoint what disease you have as different symptoms mean different diseases while some of the disease can look like other diseases for some symptoms but then one symptom differentiates it from the other similar disease. This is why I have suggested this book since it came out in 1989. ( It's THAT good. ) You can find it used on Ebay, AbeBooks, Amazon, and a whole host of other internet sites so you can get it at a reasonable price. ( I think I paid $10.00 for mine.) There is actually a second edition published in 1992 so if you can get that edition, it will be a little more updated than the 1989 version but if not, the 1989 version will still help. Once you know what you are treating, you can find out what is available today to treat it. The proper diagnosis is the most important part.

I hope this helps.
__________________
Andy Sager is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2023, 09:30 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2023
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 7
I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to give such thorough responses and great advice! So knowledgable. I am a vet tech but I really only work with cats and dogs so my knowledge on fish is very minimal, but I am determined.. I will continue to treat them according to your advice and hopefully they pull through! Thanks again 👍🏼
__________________
Jguglielmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2023, 10:09 PM   #14
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Andy Sager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Lake Wales, Florida
Posts: 8,323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jguglielmo View Post
I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to give such thorough responses and great advice! So knowledgable. I am a vet tech but I really only work with cats and dogs so my knowledge on fish is very minimal, but I am determined.. I will continue to treat them according to your advice and hopefully they pull through! Thanks again 👍🏼
I was actually on my way to Vet school when I got sidelined into the pet business instead so Congrats on getting that far. ( I was going to specialize in exotics. )
With working in a Vet office, you know the importance of separating ( quarantining ) infectious animals from the other patients. Fish are no different. Some of their diseases are personal, some are tank wide. Any parasite is a tank wide situation and if the first infected fish can be isolated into another tank, that move alone can save the others before they get infected. There are a lot of more scientific books on fish diseases than the Untergasser one I recommended but that one really can help with diagnosing. I highly suggest you getting it ( especially because you can have access to meds in the book that the average person can no longer get from online or pet stores. ) And since you can do slides and smears as well, that book has pics of what you might be looking at for better diagnosing. (Just sayin' )
__________________
Andy Sager is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
velvet

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Blue Pearl, Velvet, or Blue Dream Velvet shrimp? RevLine Freshwater & Brackish - Invertebrates 0 07-28-2015 02:10 PM
From Ich, to Anchorworms, to Velvet... *rant* =( grimlock3000 Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 4 12-10-2003 09:03 AM
Marine velvet -oodinium jc118288 Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral 4 07-01-2003 02:05 PM
velvet !!! drmofsea Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral 1 02-15-2003 04:23 PM
ICH or Marine Velvet DHS Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral 2 01-11-2003 11:15 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.