55g With 60% Of Fish Dead; Ich And Dropsy

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Semperly, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. SemperlyValued MemberMember

    Hello, everyone!

    I am in need of severe help. Almost all of my fish have died in my tank and I am not sure what to do anymore. I started with 3 Platys, 1 Opaline Gourami, 2 Pearl Gouramis, 3 Boesemani Rainbows, 2 Bristle nose Plecos, 1 Rubber Lip Pleco, 8 Harlequin Rasboras, 8 Cherry Barbs, 12 Neon Tetras, and 10 Emerald Cory Cats. So a total of 50 fish. The fish were added as juveniles in small batches over the course of 6 months.

    Just for background, I perform weekly 25% water changes and have a gravel substrate that I vacuum with the water changes. I also 3 HOB filters which I thoroughly clean each piece (except my bio-wheels) every other water change. I check my water parameters with the Master API test kit every week before I do water changes which have consistently read 0 for everything and 7.8 pH. I also keep the tank at 76F.

    About 4 months ago, my tank had an outbreak of a fungal infection (white cotton attached on most fish--not ich). I treated that with Pimafix and aquarium salt for the recommended dose and time period and all was resolved within a week without any casualties.

    A month later, my cory cats started to look as if they were bleeding from every pore of their body. Extremely bright, blood red. I then treated the tank with Melafix and salt and lost 5 cory cats and oddly 1 Boesemani rainbow fish during the process. The Boesemani was EXTREMELY pale before he died the next morning. So that brings the fish count to 44. The surviving cory cats returned to their natural color and everything seemed well in the tank.

    As of this last month, I have been mysteriously missing fish. My neons always schooled together in their group of 12 and one day I woke up to only find 8. Same with my rasboras and cherry barbs (I could only find 6 rasboras and 5 cherry barbs). I started thinking my Rainbows were eating them. The Rainbows are only 2 inches and the small, schooling fish are either one inch or less. Each week when I would do water changes, I would find one or 2 fish skeletons which furthered my suspicion that the Rainbows were eating them. Thus, my fish count is now 35 at this point.

    Every day for one week I would find dead fish with no apparent reason as to why. 2 platys, 4 neons, 2 rasboras, 1 cherry barb all mysteriously would be dead one at a time each morning. Now my fish count is 26.

    After this episode, my tank got ich. I immediately started treating the tank with salt and progressively raised the temperature up to 86F. I was doing daily water changes and gravel vacuums. This was a week and a half ago. I continued treatment and observed for 5 days and saw more and more fish becoming infected. I then got desperate and started dosing the tank with API's Super Ich treatment. I hate using harsh chemicals on my tank but I did not want anymore fish to die.

    Today, I poured my second dose of the Ich treatment (with the temperature still at 86F), when I noticed two of my rasboras were floating at the surface, panting with giant, inflated bellies and pineconed scales. I immediately euthanized them as I am certain they had Dropsy. My Rubber lip pleco, rest of the neon tetras, and a Cory cat had all been discovered dead. This brings the fish count to 20.

    Currently, no other fish seems to have physical symptoms of ich or Dropsy. One rainbow looks to be on its deathbed, however, as it lays on the floor most of the day and is becoming pale.

    I am not sure what to do... I am desperate and do not want any of my other fish to die. Please help!!!!!!!
  2. vijay3242Well Known MemberMember

    Your tank is really overstocked and has lots of problems. I would think that your problems are coming from that. I would try to keep the remaining fish alive without planning on adding any more fish. I would try to rehome the incomplete schools if the fish are healthy.

  3. SemperlyValued MemberMember

    Thank you for your reply! What should I do about my double Dropsy and ich problem at the moment, though? I will rehome the incomplete little schooling fish after these problems are resolved. And believe me, no more fish in this tank ever.

  4. vijay3242Well Known MemberMember

    Unless there any visible symptoms I would stop dosing meds. Unnecessarily dosing meds is not good. But start trying to dose them if there are more symptoms. I would also reduce the temperature a little bit. I would keep it at 81-83 degrees to make sure the ich is gone. Don't give up. You just had something go wrong just keep trying to keep the things under your control perfect. Next time I would recommend asking around here about stocking to prevent any mistakes the first time.

  5. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember

    Dropsy and ich normally does form on healthy fish (as long as you haven't added a diseased fish recently). The overstocking issue most likely causes the compromised immune system. Right now, with how many you have in there, the double dose may be too much. Sometimes meds can be more harmful than helpful. 25-30% daily water changes will keep it clean and may actually may be better in the long run. Keep the temp at 80-83.
    As for the ich, there is a method floating around proving to actually cure ick and gentle enough even for sensitive inverts. QT those affected may be best, but if you cant, go for the whole tank. At this point, you sound as if you have nothing left to lose

    Hope this helps and best of luck!
  6. BetrayerWell Known MemberMember

    I'm sorry that you have lost so many fish. That sounds terribly stressful. I agree that you have some stocking issues.

    A couple of other details stand out to me:

    1.) Cories can be very sensitive to salt.

    2.) I don't think you are supposed to dose medications at the same time you are using heat treatment. That has the potential to drastically lower the oxygen level in your water.

    I'm not an expert on illnesses, but I'm sure someone with more knowledge will chime in. I wish I could be more helpful. Good luck!
  7. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember

    Oops! Forgot to add the link!
    And I also forgot to mention, your "bleeding" corys could have also been very much attributed to the salt as well
  8. AWheelerWell Known MemberMember

    What is your current stock that is alive, what are your water readings and what is the temp of the tank right now? Also, do you have any air stones in your tank and is your water level a bit lowered to help keep oxygen in the tank?
  9. SemperlyValued MemberMember

    Thank you so much for your help! I will lower my temperature down and keep an eye out for anything else!

    Thank you so much for your response and this link! I will definitely go an do a water change now and keep doing daily water changes until things start calming down. I did not know that the bleeding cories could have resulted from the salt! I feel so bad!!!!

    Do you think I should not do anything right now for the possible Dropsy unless I see another fish with it?

    I am so grateful for your response! Thank you so much! Another member just told me that the bleeding cories could have resulted from the salt! I had no idea!!!!

    As for the heat, this specific medication said increasing the temperature would speed the healing process. But I am going to lower the temperature right now to 83F then 81F as other members agree that 86F is too high. Thank you again!!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2017
  10. James17Well Known MemberMember

    I'm a little confused which isn't that unusual but how can the readings be zero all the time, was this tank ever properly cycled?
  11. SemperlyValued MemberMember

    Hello and thank you so much for your response!!!! My current surviving stock is as follows:

    1 Platy
    1 Opaline Gourami
    2 Pearl Gourami
    2 Boesemani Rainbow Fish
    2 Bristlenose Pleco
    4 Harlequin Rasboras
    4 Cherry Barbs
    4 Emerald Cory Cats
    (Total of 20 fish)

    I have lowered my heater to 83F just now but the tank still reads 85F. I do not have an air stone but my tank is not full (I have left two inches from the top so my 3 HOB filters, with 4 outlets, splash water to add more oxygen, hopefully). I am checking my water parameters right now and will respond with them shortly.
  12. BetrayerWell Known MemberMember

    In relation to this, I have a thought. Semperly-When you describe thoroughly cleaning each piece of your filter, can you explain that a little more? The filter media is where most of your beneficial bacteria is contained. When you clean it, it's best to clean it in tank water (that you removed during a water change). You actually don't want to clean it too aggressively. If you wipe out too much beneficial bacteria, you could be constantly sending your tank into mini-cycles. Have you ever had nitrate readings? In a properly cycled tank, it is normal to have nitrates.
  13. SemperlyValued MemberMember

    Hello!! Thank you for your response! This tank was establish in September 2016. I cycled it for a week before adding fish with Stability. I'm guessing the readings are always zero or very close to zero because I do a 25% water change every week and do not allow for significant nitrate build up.
  14. James17Well Known MemberMember

    I'm just wondering, I'm no expert, I have a 125 gallon with 39 plants and about 27 small fish and I always have a little nitrates.
    I also change about 30% every Saturday night.
  15. SemperlyValued MemberMember

    I have 2 Marineland 150B filters and 1 Marineland 350B filter. These filters contain a total of 4 bio-wheels which is where the bacteria is supposed to grow and accumulate. I never clean the wheels and always make sure they are spinning and hydrated. I clean the tubes that suck up the water because they always seem to have an incredible amount of brown gunk in them, preventing adequate suction if I do not clean them regularly. I also quickly clean off the brown gunk that accumulates on the filter itself, always leaving a little behind because I try to leave some good bacteria on it just in case. I hope I am not inducing mini cycles because of this! I always thought that's what the bio-wheels were for.

    Oh wow okay so you do even more than me! I wonder if me not having any real plants has anything to do with it? I am currently checking my water parameters so I guess we shall soon find out what the nitrates say!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2017
  16. James17Well Known MemberMember

    I'm sorry, hope your not upset at me, but now we will have to wait for someone more knowledgeable than me to help.
  17. JRSWell Known MemberMember

    You probably do, but I am going to ask anyway. Do you shake the heck out of bottle #2 for 30 seconds and shake the test tube for 1 minute after adding bottle #2? Otherwise you will get a false reading
  18. James17Well Known MemberMember

    With less plants you should show more nitrates, plants help get rid of them somewhat.
  19. JRSWell Known MemberMember

    I meant for the nitrate test - sorry not clear. And that is about where my knowledge ends. I am sorry for your fish troubles.
  20. BetrayerWell Known MemberMember

    I second this. Re-read the instructions for the nitrate test. They are very specific and involve a huge amount of shaking.

    Thanks for clarifying. Yes, the bio-wheels should house a good amount of the beneficial bacteria. Some should also be contained within the filter cartridges or other media. What do you use for media within your filter?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2017

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