• #1
HI all!!!
I posted here a couple of weeks ago--I was struggling with keeping my fish (two mollies and a bunch of fry) alive in an uncycled tank. Just wanted to share that today, after 3 weeks of worrying, testing, constant water changes, medication for fishies, the ammonia reading is 0!!! (Down to only two babies though )
Now, does it mean that the tank is cycled, or is there anything else I should be concerned with? (Nitrite is 0, pH at 7).
  • #2
You are cycled, but it would probably be best to give the cycle a chance to establish itself before adding many more fish. The cycle is able to handle the fish you have but when you add more, just one or two at a time. They should be quarantined for 2 weeks before putting them in the main tank when you bring them home. I have seen whole tanks wiped out by failure to do this. By the time you got the quarantine period over with the tank could take a couple more fish and then you can repeat the procedure until your tank is complete.

  • #3
Now be careful When I was cycling my tank. My ammonia dropped to zero but my Nitrites were high (which is stressful) and I had no Nitrates!! It took another 2 weeks once my ammonia dropped to get a completely cycled tank.. Just test and be sure
  • #4
I believe it was stated that the Nitrites were 0 as well. There was no result given for Nitrates.

  • #5
Good job! Listen to what Chickadee is telling you so you don't go back into another cycle. I know the temptation is high to "fill the tank", but don't do it.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
HI All!!
Thanks so much for all your advice. Unfortunately I have bad news to report. The next day after I posted here about ammonia, my male molly suddenly became ill. The only symptom I could observe was his sudden and very apparent weight loss--not only his big stomach was gone, it appeared to be sucked in. He started to eat less, move around less. Yesterday became much worse, his breathing became laborious, today sat on the bottom of the tank and by the time I got home from work, was gone. Meanwhile, the female seems to follow in his footsteps. I also have one fry left, that seems more or less OK. Could this be fish TB? Should I be worried for myself, I've had a lot of contact with water doing all the water changes. Is it too late to move the remaining fish to a different tank? Please help!!!! This is my second and again unsuccessful attempt at keeping fish. I tried so hard to do things right this time and to no avail. Ready to give up
  • #7
I'm so sorry that you are having such a hard time keeping fish. You were doing all the right things so don't know what could have gone wrong. Don't give up though. Even if you have to start back at square one it is worth it to have the sweet little fishies entertaining and interacting with you. I'm sure that one of our fish experts will soon give a much more informative reply than I can.

  • Thread Starter
  • #8
I just wanted to add that last week I noticed that both fish were occasionally scratching, so I got anti-parasite medicine.
  • #9
I do not know but if the fish were just wasting away, it could be TB but more than likely it could also be the ammonia and cycle process killed them. They could have made it through the process and died as a result of it. Ammonia poisoning can happen and fish lives are usually alway shortened by a cycle process if they are the means of doing it. (and they always are in an uncycled tank)

If you did not have open areas on your hands when you have been in the tank, you are going to be okay, but if you have had open sores or cuts or scratches and any of them seem not to want to heal correctly then I would check with your doctor. You should never put your bare hands and arms into a fish tank unless you have good skin quality and not sores, cuts or even scrapes that may lessen your bodies natural defences. If you want more information, try Googling "Fishkeepers Granuloma" to check out what the infections caused by this type of thing can be like.

If you need more help, please feel free to let us know. I do hope that the fish do better and the fry you have survive okay.

Please do not give up outright. Fish are so lovely to own. I really think that the problem might have been cycle related and it would be a shame for you to give up.

I am very sorry for your loss of the Molly and I hope you are okay. :'(

  • Thread Starter
  • #10
HI Rose,
Thanks again for your very helpful advice.
I have researched fish TB and fish tank granuloma. My fish only had some of the symptoms so I hope it's not TB. Stupidly enough I used to help start off the siphoning with my mouth and once a little water got in my mouth. I read that it takes a couple of weeks to show symptoms. Will see...
I am quite sad though that I couldn't save my male fish. Surprisingly, all along he seemed as the strong one and than suddenly got sick and died. The female is still alive and seems better today, swimming around but not eating. She's been loosing weight for a while now, he stomach is caved in. One last fry seems OK.
Since they are holding on, I absolutely have to also. Don't know how to proceed from here though.
  • #11
First we need to make sure this is TB...can you explain to me exactly how the fish look, act, etc? Are they eating? swimming? is there any possible other reason for the deaths? (the rest I am going to tell you is assuming you do in fact have TB)

If there are any fish left in the tank who are not sick, get them out of there immediately. TB spreads mostly through direct contact so it is possible to save them. I still have 2 fish from a tank where all the others died of TB, if that gives you any hope.

I don't think swallowing TB germs is a way you can catch enters your body through breaks in the skin. Even so don't start the siphon with your mouth again. You know how to start the siphon w/o your mouth, right?

Don't feel bad about not saving the male. If this is TB there is nothing you could have done. In fact--and I really hate to say this--but if you have any fish who appear to be suffering you may want to consider euthanasia because I have seen some fish waste away very very slowly from this disease.

Also just so you know, the TB germ can not be killed with bleach. You are going to have to throw EVERYTHING that could possibly have come into contact with sick fish away.

I am so sorry your female is sick and you need to be prepared that there is no way she can recover. :'( All you can do for now is to try and keep them comfortable, feed her if she will eat, and keep your hands out of the tank if at all possible.

Let me know if you have any questions, concerns, etc. arrgh, I'd hoped I'd never see the day when someone else had to go through what I did..... :'( I'm so sorry this is happening to you.
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
HI 0morrokh:

First of all--thank you!!! I'm so happy to have found this website and so grateful for all the thoughtful advice everyone has given. It's great to have all this support.

I am not positive that it is in fact TB, however from what I've read on the net, many of the symptoms suggest it. I would really like to be more sure.  These are the symptoms the female has had over the past 4 weeks (the male has developed and died with the similar symptoms, however he has developed them just recently and VERY rapidly):

-End of week one: her back became deformed, tail was pointing down and she appeared not to use it
-I also noticed long feces hanging from her anus
-Stomach became slightly caved in
-Week two: She (and the male) hung at the surface of the tank. I assumed it was high ammonia and/or nitrites and started doing frequent water changes, which seemed to have helped--both fish became active and even playful. Ate normally
-Then I noticed female scratch occasionally (at which point I treated the water for parasites) She appeared to become better. Regained the use of her tail. Meanwhile, male was looking pretty fat.
-Week four: Her appetite become so-so. (The male ate and looked normal and then suddenly lost weight, became lethargic and died. His eyes appeared to bulge out a bit.). She started to move sluggishly, but was better the next day.
-Now female sits on the bottom of the tank a lot. Swims around for a couple of minutes and sits back down. Eats VERY little. Sometimes hides.
-There are NO apparent defects on her skin that I can see. No discoloration, no loss of scales. She is a black molly, so it's hard to tell. Also, eyes appear to be very dark.

Sorry this is long... Any ideas? I have considered euthanasia, but every time I'm about to do it, she starts to move around and I think maybe there is hope...

Thanks again,

  • #13
I am sorry but they definitely (as definite as it is possible to be going by a description) have TB. The symptoms you are describing are exactly how my Guppies and Platys looked when I had a case of TB, plus a few other symptoms I have read of but not seen. (eg...long feces, curved back, caved in stomach, hanging at surface, alternating sick and acting ok, bloating, loss of appetite, sudden weight loss, sitting on bottom, pop eye, slowly wasting away -or- sudden death "for no reason", etc...) I am so sorry but if any of your fish are showing symptoms they are not going to make it. :'( I would recommend euthanasia to a) make sure they don't suffer and b) protect your safety by limiting exposure to TB. You can not imagine how much I hate telling you this, especially after I went through the same thing just months ago so I know how awful it is.... :'( :'(

Well just let me know if there is anything I can do. And if there are any fish that are not showing symptoms of illness it is still possible for them to make it. I had given up on any of my fish making it but then my two Otos just refused to get sick. So don't give up on any of yours. If you have a q tank do an alternate quarintine--that is, quarintine the fish who seem to be ok and leave sick fish in the infected tank. If you don't have a q tank you should, so now would be a good time to set up one. All you need is a tank, bucket, or plastic container that holds water of 5-10 gallons, a heater, the cheapest filter you can find (sponge filters are good), and a plant or other cheap hiding place.
  • #14
Hi, Group -

I came to the site to investigate the "wasting" sickness that has started plaguing my tank, read some of the other threads, and now I'm really scared that what I'm looking at is fish TB as well. I've lost two female guppies so far, and now one sunburst platy and one danio are starting to exhibit similar symptoms: strange arching of spine, long feces, caving in of abdomen, discoloration, staring scales, loss of appetite, back half drooping, bruise-like discoloration ... a long, slow, depressing process. Is there anything else that this could be and is there really nothing that can be done?

Help. I love my fishies! :'(
  • #15
I am so sorry about your losses. It sounds like you do have TB, although with your case I am not 100% positive but pretty sure. Could you describe how the Guppies looked and behaved from when they first started showing symptoms till they died?

There is nothing you can do for the fish who are showing symptoms, I am really sorry. If they are suffering you may want to consider euthanasia...

However, if there are fish other than the Platy and Danio in the tank who are not showing symptoms, they may be saved if they are removed from the infected tank immediately. In other words do a reverse quarintine...all fish which appear 100% TB free need to be moved to a clean tank, and remain there for 6 months (which is the incubation period for the disease).

Be extremely careful handling sick fish and their tank, as the disease can occasionally be spread to humans. It would be a good idea to use rubber gloves for tank maitenance.

I have heard that bleach does not kill TB germs. So, once the sick fish are gone and any healthy ones moved to another tank, everything that came into contact with the sick fish needs to be chucked.

Of course, the above only applies if your fish in fact do have TB...there is a chance they could have something like internal parasites. But be very careful handling them just in case (do NOT put your hand in the water if you have any cuts on it), and quarintine any healthy fish asap.

A pic of an infected fish would be helpful if possible. And, sorry if I've been rambling about stuff you already know, but since this can be a dangerous disease I wanted to make sure you know everything.
  • #16
after reading this post, I'm getting concerned about my dwarf puffer... for the last week or so he has done nothing but sit on the bottom of the tank, occasionally swim around, then just sit on the bottom again. I have him with two other dwarf puffers, and they both look full and healthy, but he (Killer) looks terrible. I haven't seen him eat lately, even when I put a bunch of snails in the tank. he looks like an upside down "V" almost, with his back coming to a point and his stomach looking like someone bent him over a rail...please tell me this isn't TB....neither me or my girlfriend could stand losing Killer, he is one of two fish to live through my cycling process (since I started it before finding this site and learning it wasn't smart)
  • #17
Could the folks experiencing TB write down your locations? I'm just wondering if this is regoinal...

  • #18
I don't know that this will be much of a help, but there is a way to kill mycobacterium on surfaces.  I am a nurse, and at the hospital we use something called TB Quat.  It's a "multi-killer" in that it will kill just about everything, including mycobacterium and HIV.  Potent stuff. I don't know if it's available in any form to the general public, but I was just thinking that anyone having dealt with a case of it could possibly salvage some of your supplies.  This stuff is for hard, non-porous surfaces only.  I hope all of you dealing with this problem have good luck with your fish.  Stay healthy!  If you have a quarantine tank or a contaminated tank that you even THINK is having TB issues, go to your local vet and see if they will give or sell you some of those shoulder-length gloves that they use for examining cows.  That way you'll be able to deal with your fish and water and keep yourself from being exposed. 
  • #19
Whetto--could be TB, or could just be some sort of deformity. Can you tell me how he is acting and if he is showing any other symptoms? If you have a q tank, do a reverse quarintine...that is, move all healthy fish out of the main tank. If you don't have a q, them it would be a reeeally good idea to have one...

MSteel--I'm in MN. However, I think I know how I got TB--[bold]my Petsmart's Guppies carry TB[/bold]. I have been there several times in the past few weeks, and saw several Guppies dying of what was obviously TB. (only saw TB in Guppies, which makes me wonder if it has something to do with their supplier---in that case I have to ***strongly caution anyone from buying Guppies from Petsmart.***) Well, then I put it all together...I had fish from 3 different stores in my tank that was infected with TB, and the very first one to come down with symptoms and die was a female Guppy from Petsmart. I would consider her among the hardiest fish I had in the tank, so she must have been majorly exposed to the disease before I purchased her.

Starshine--thanks for the info. About that TB killer stuff, though, I would have to say that if it can kill all those germs then it could probably kill fish too...not sure if I would want to use something like that on an aquarium...just a thought.
  • #20
If the pooh is white long and stringy it's definetly Hex. What happens is the fish comes down with internal parasites and must be treated with Prazi- Pro for 3 days at minimum. If your fish have been sick for a long time the parasites turned into the disease Hex which can be treated with Metro*******,its a long name and is quite expensive. I had to use this on 3 of my Discus and only 1 survived and he still don't act the same. But the Prazi- Pro will force out the white stringy pooh(which is actually the fishes intestines) and then you must medicate with the Metro******** for up to 5 days, sometimes longer.  

It just so happens I bought them all together at the LFS and who knows how long they were infected. It's a very bad way for fish to go.

These are the symptoms mine had:

1. Hiding
2. Loss of appetite,in other words did not eat at all for weeks, they ate the 1st 2 weeks
3. Loss of color
4. Sluggish and hanging around near the top of the tank
5. Eyes became huge
6. weight loss with bellies sucked in
7. swimming sideways when they did swim,which was rarely before treatments began.
8. clamped fins

I just caught the disease when it was to late and if I knew it at the beginning, I most likely could have saved all of them,the 1 that survived is in the 120 gallon tank and only comes out occasionally.

I never had any fish that I know of that had TB but as you can see quite a few of the symptoms are quite the same. I got all the info on this from simplydiscus members and they helped me through the process of trying to save them.

Anymore every Discus I get goes into a QT before being added to 1 of the main tanks.

Hope this helps


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