Blue ram heavy breathing

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Aiden092

Aquarium Advice Newbie
Joined
Dec 27, 2022
Messages
4
Hi All
Im new to this forum.
Parameters
Ph 6.7
Temp 28c
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10
Gh 5
Kh 5
Ive kept blue rams for a little while now but the same thing keeps happening with them, whether theyre local or farm breed.
So all of a sudden they'll start to heavy breathe with lots of gill movement slightly bulged eyes. The fish still has colour and movement but noticed this arvo he's hiding and more lathergic then within a week or two theyll pass. Dosed praziquantel today for a 48 hr treatment.
I've tried treating with kanaplex and metronidazole but have had 0 success.
I recently got a pair of locally bred ram in Australia from someone whose quite reputable in breeding blue ram and other fish and has given me a full back ground on them so safe to say they're pretty much disease free as he spent sometime breeding to get good genes.

So in my tank ive got 1 male and 3 females only the male is affected by this problem. The female that came with him is going well and so are the other 2 females.

What can it be?
 
Sounds like an internal bacterial infection. The question is why? Often, it's a dietary problem where the fish gets constipated and bacterial issues develop in the gut and move on. The quandary is why does it effect only one fish and why does it happen to you every time you try keeping this fish?
Since your water parameters appear good, let's start with their diet. What do you feed your fish?
 
If you added some new Rams to an aquarium with established Rams this might have caused so unrest. Perhaps the original Rams are stressed?
 
Thats what I've been thinking, white stringy poo has been eaiting but hes slowing down now.

I feed my fish a mixture of:
Frozen Brine shrimp or a mixed frozen food. (Hikari brand)
Bug bites flakes
Hikari mirco pellets
This other food packaged by my LFS i cant remember the brand.
Algae wafers
 
Thats what I've been thinking, white stringy poo has been eaiting but hes slowing down now.

I feed my fish a mixture of:
Frozen Brine shrimp or a mixed frozen food. (Hikari brand)
Bug bites flakes
Hikari mirco pellets
This other food packaged by my LFS i cant remember the brand.
Algae wafers

White stringy poo is usually a sign of intestinal worms or actually not getting any nutrition from what it is eating so there's nothing to pass.
If this is worms, the Prazi should take care of it if the condition was caught early enough. Another option if it doesn't is Expel-P by Frtiz . That's a fast action dewormer. I'd keep up with the Prazi for now but would suggest doing this in a separate bare hospital tank so you can see if anything is coming out of the fish.
As for the diet, one of the drawbacks of feeding dried foods is that the fish can get constipated with too much of it. I suggest as a regular plan to make sure your fish get a meal of the brine shrimp or another food that has roughage at least once a day. I usually do this as the last meal of the day. ( I feed 3 times a day. ) Brine shrimp alone has little nutritional value, unless you get the one that is gut loaded, but has a lot of roughage so it helps to keep the fish poo " flowing". Your other foods will supply the nutritional aspect of the diet. (y)

In regards to your poor history with these fish, Rams can be tough fish. Their requirements can be a little demanding. If you get farmed fish, I would immediately treat them for intestinal worms in a separate tank before adding them to your community. If you get them from a local breeder, I still suggest quarantining them for at least 3-4 weeks to make sure they adapt to your schedule and food regimen. Treat for disease only if necessary.

The last option is one I am not too convinced is your problem since it's a repetitive problem and that's stress from injury. Since breeding rams do a lot of face to face courting, a good thump to the face can cause some serious injury and infection if the water quality is not 100%.
 
White stringy poo is usually a sign of intestinal worms or actually not getting any nutrition from what it is eating so there's nothing to pass.
If this is worms, the Prazi should take care of it if the condition was caught early enough. Another option if it doesn't is Expel-P by Frtiz . That's a fast action dewormer. I'd keep up with the Prazi for now but would suggest doing this in a separate bare hospital tank so you can see if anything is coming out of the fish.
As for the diet, one of the drawbacks of feeding dried foods is that the fish can get constipated with too much of it. I suggest as a regular plan to make sure your fish get a meal of the brine shrimp or another food that has roughage at least once a day. I usually do this as the last meal of the day. ( I feed 3 times a day. ) Brine shrimp alone has little nutritional value, unless you get the one that is gut loaded, but has a lot of roughage so it helps to keep the fish poo " flowing". Your other foods will supply the nutritional aspect of the diet. (y)

In regards to your poor history with these fish, Rams can be tough fish. Their requirements can be a little demanding. If you get farmed fish, I would immediately treat them for intestinal worms in a separate tank before adding them to your community. If you get them from a local breeder, I still suggest quarantining them for at least 3-4 weeks to make sure they adapt to your schedule and food regimen. Treat for disease only if necessary.

The last option is one I am not too convinced is your problem since it's a repetitive problem and that's stress from injury. Since breeding rams do a lot of face to face courting, a good thump to the face can cause some serious injury and infection if the water quality is not 100%.

Im going to attempt to make some medicated fish food with levamisole and metronidazole or would kanaplex be better in this situation?
Getting some meds into Aus can be very tricky if not impossible has medication is heavily regulated here.
I feed brineshrimp every other day or 3rd day(they're fully grown bb)
 
Im going to attempt to make some medicated fish food with levamisole and metronidazole or would kanaplex be better in this situation?
Getting some meds into Aus can be very tricky if not impossible has medication is heavily regulated here.
I feed brineshrimp every other day or 3rd day(they're fully grown bb)

Kanaplex is more an antibiotic than a dewormer so levamisole would be my choice. Since this may not just be a worm, I'd add the metronidazole to the food as well. This will be a more wide spread antiparisitic covering a larger variety of pathogens. ( There are commercial mixes that contain both these meds plus praziquantal.) You can use the Kanaplex but not in combination with the metronidazole in the food as this may be too strong for the fish in a weakened state. Personally, I would do the medicated food for the first few days then add Kanaplex to the water if you are seeing results from the food. This way, the fish will have a chance to get rid of the cause so that the Kanamycin can be more effective against any bacterial issues. (y)
As for the brine shrimp, I'd make it a daily food.
 
Pictures and video of the fish?
Upload videos to YouTube, then copy & paste the link here.

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In this case it's most likely an internal protozoan infection. The fish is eating a bit, doing a stringy white poop, and dying after having these symptoms for a couple of weeks.

Protozoan infections are common in dirty tanks, tanks with lots of rotting gunk in, and dirty filters.

Internal bacterial infections can be caused by bad food or Mycobacterium (Tuberculosis/ TB) infections. TB infections are quite common in fish from Asia but the fish normally act/ behave normally until they get internal organ failure and then die 24-48 hours after that happens.

Some brands of frozen fish food can be linked to internal bacterial infections and frozen bloodworms is one of the more common causes.

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What to do if your fish has Stringy White Poop.

Fish do a stringy white poop for several reasons.
1) Internal Bacterial Infections causes the fish to stop eating, swell up like a balloon, breath heavily at the surface or near a filter outlet, do stringy white poop, and die within 24-48 hours of showing these symptoms. This cannot normally be cured because massive internal organ failure has already occurred.


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2) Internal Protozoan Infections cause the fish to lose weight rapidly (over a week or two), fish continues to eat and swim around but not as much as normal, does stringy white poop. If not treated the fish dies a week or so after these symptoms appear. Metronidazole normally works well for this.

There is a medication (API General Cure) that contains Praziquantel and Metronidazole.
It's interesting that API and the Californian government have listed Metronidazole as a carcinogen. That's a concern considering it was widely used to treat intestinal infections in people.

Anyway, if you use this or any medication, handle with care, don't ingest or inhale the medication, and wash hands with soapy water after treating the fish or working in the tank.


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3) Intestinal Worms like tapeworm and threadworms cause the fish to lose weight, continue eating and swimming normally, and do a stringy white poop. Fish can do this for months and not be too badly affected. In some cases, fish with a bad worm infestation will actually gain weight and get fat and look like a pregnant guppy. This is due to the huge number of worms inside the fish.

Livebearers like guppies, mollies, swordtails & platies are regularly infected with gill flukes and intestinal worms. If the fish are still eating well, then worms is the most likely cause.

You can use Praziquantel to treat tapeworm and gill flukes. And use Levamisole to treat thread/ round worms. If you can't find these medications, look for Flubendazole, which treats both lots of worms.

In the UK look for:
eSHa gdex contains praziquantel that treats tapeworm and gill flukes.
eSHa-ndx contains levamisole and treats thread/ round worms.
NT Labs Anti-fluke and Wormer contains flubendazole.
Kusuri wormer plus (contains flubendazole) - sold mainly for discus, comes as a powder which is quite hard to dose in smaller tanks
Sera nematol (contains emamectin)

Remove carbon from filters before treatment and increase aeration/ surface turbulence to maximise oxygen levels in the water.

You treat the fish once a week for 4 weeks. The first treatment will kill any worms in the fish. The second, third and forth treatments kill any baby worms that hatch from eggs inside the fish's digestive tract.

Treat every fish tank in the house at the same time to prevent cross contamination.

You do a 75% water change and complete gravel clean 24-48 hours after treatment. Clean the filter 24 hours after treatment too.

Do not use the 2 medications together. If you want to treat both medications in a short space of time, use Praziquantel on day one. Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate on day 2 & 3. Treat the tank with Levamisole on day 4 and do a 75% water change and gravel clean on day 5, 6 & 7 and then start with Praziquantel again on day 8.

The water changes will remove most of the medication so you don't overdose the fish the next time you treat them. The gravel cleaning will suck out any worms and eggs that have been expelled by the fish. Repeating the treatment for 3-4 doses at weekly intervals will kill any worms that hatch from eggs. At the end of the treatment you will have healthier fish.
 

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