Another Emergency?!?! My Poor Glowlight Tetra’s 2nd Time Around :( Help

  1. River Gray Member Member

    I'm bad at expressing things succinctly so I'll try to post the immediate problem as simply as I know how and then afterwards add a more detailed account of how it started and what I've tried already for those that want/need more info. Even still I will most likely make this too long of a post by normal standards and I apologize for that.

    Essentially I have two glowlight tetras that got or have either Ich, Coloumnaris, even NTD, or likely a combination of two or all of them... I tried to get it handled pretty quickly after noticing it however I fear that it has done to much damage that at least one may not ever be able to have a fulfilling life even after all of the issues are cleared up. I'm also running out of ideas of what to do to make sure they are both completely clear of disease, healthy, and safe to return to the general population tank.
    They are in a 5gal tank by themselves
    A HOB rated for 10-20gal (I think) with the flow turned low and do not seem to have trouble with any current.
    A circular air bubbler to keep the water well oxginated.
    Very sparse gravel substrate, mostly just enough to hold down three artificial plants to help them feel more secure and safe in the tank as well as a small piece of driftwood to also hopefully help them feel safer.
    It's hard to tell how much or if they even are eating but I think they are some tho nowhere near like they did before getting sick.
    They behave relatively similar to how they always have with the exception of not going after food the way they used to and they seem to alternate between hiding and hanging out in the open in one place for awhile, but do on occasion dart around place to place, both behaviors that they did previously only I'm more aware of it with just them in the tank so it seems amplified by that I think.
    The water didn't have much of a chance to cycle before we had to QT them and since the medicines kill of a lot of the bb it's hard to know exactly what is happening.
    The ammonia has fluctuated some but I use Prime in proportion to each water change to keep it from becoming toxic. It normally reads at a .25 but has hit .5 and even up to 2ppm usually when I test too close after adding the medication.
    Nitrites are at 0 except for one spike that I hoped was just signaling that some of the water was going thru the Nitrogen cycle.
    Nitrates are at about a 5 or less though again at least once they did read a 10/20 (there is almost 0 color difference on that API chart between the two!) following the nitrite spike I believe.
    PH is around a 7.4 typically tho it is seems to range closer to 6.8-7.2 after adding the driftwood piece.
    Temperature is at about 78° F tho I did raise it higher in the beginning when we thought it was Ich more than cotton rot. (I sincerely hope that isn't part of why or how they ended up as possible permanently disfigured as I fear they may be now.)
    I have also used on occasion both Stability and Stress Guard by Seachem after water changes or before adding medicine to the tank tho I worry about adding too many chemicals, even "all natural" ones like the -fixes, at once and screwing up the treatment and/or making the poor guys sicker or hurt more.

    I really feel I've let these guys down and am very sad, mortified, and embarrassed to even post pictures that might be needed to get the best advice because I very much fear that I'll be considered an awful person who should never be allowed to be entrusted with fish :/ and I'll be excommunicated from the forum after my first post! However I owe it to them to post them if need be to help figure out what the best course to go thru with is...

    (I also know now that they would be happier being in a group of closer to 4 or 6 even rather than two, but obviously can't conscionably add other fish into the QT while they are sick.) I have a lot of pictures of them which I took while they were in a "ParaGuard" dip that I can post once I know how to do so on here if they are needed.

    Extra details:
    I have had two glowlight tetras in our friendly tank which consisted of mainly other "Glo" tetras and two ottos, along with a few shrimp that have come and gone, all with its own high and lows and the awkward nitrogen cycle learning curve. We managed to get through that but ended up, ironically, having a slightly overcrowded tank because of getting a larger tank from my sister. Since I didn't want to repeat my mistake of not cycling it completely before adding any new fish waited a while to get any new fish for it. However when we started having a bullying probably in what was set-up as our QT tank that we had added an "adopted" guppy that had been my nephew's who probably wasn't the best fish keeper as he's a typical 8yr old lol. So we had to move a couple into the mid sized tank for awhile and all seemed fine for quite awhile. All the tests came up fine except that the nitrates were a little high, even though they I was keeping up with WCs using a gravel vac it wouldn't seem to budge no matter how little I fed or much I cleaned. That's a problem I'm still working on, but I also think it might be what led to the two glowlights becoming sick. One of the two has always had a messed up looking dorsal fin which I now suspect may have been caused by having an earlier case of fin rot while at the pet store or while still at the previous owners house, but I never thought it could be a sign he could be a carrier and possibly have a weekend immune system because of that untill this happened. None of the other fish (tho mainly also all tetras tho different kinds) became infected and thankfully the big tank had finished cycling so I could move the "bully" and a few other fish and shrimp/snails into the biggest tank (it's only a 30 so I know that it's in no way what most people consider a "big" tank but it's our biggest for now anyways so please excuse the misnomer) easing the overpopulation in the medium (10gal) and allowing is to put the glowlights into the 5gal QT and treat them more vigorously since there were no scaleless or invertebrates to worry about. I've tried ParaGuard treatments and also dips twice, Salt once, quICK cure, mela and pima "fixes", a generic brand parasite remedy, and finally kanamycin. All of these at different times for the specified amounts according to the labels and while do partial water changes every few days or so depending on the treatment and results it showed etc. I'm sorry I don't have a better kept log of what I did exactly when. I never expected that it would be such a battle and that they would either heal or succumb to whatever it was. The first medicine that seemed to help was the quICK Cure but only for the first treatment, it didn't seem to do much after that. The ParaGuard seeneed to help when used in a dip situation, but ultimately the kanamycin worked the best tho the directions of when and how long to use it aren't very clear and even it can't seem to completely get rid of all the spots. I'm also just not sure if either, but one especially, will ever be able to function or have decent quality of life as his poor face and mouth have taken a great deal of damage sadly. I love these two little guys and have had them almost a year now and hate losing even things like ghost feeder shrimp, so the thought of them dying is heartbreaking yet so are both the idea that they may be suffering and might live but always have difficulties living anywhere close to a normal life, however dealing with the idea of actually having to euthanize, or make the call to do so, is what stopped me from pursuing a career as a vet back as early as high school and that hasn't changed so I am very torn. I feel very guilty that they got and are sick and could be suffering because of something I did or didn't do and almost embarrassed to have to post pictures that shows just how horrible of a fish caretaker I have been.
  2. AllieSten Fishlore VIP Member

    Hi there. Sorry you are having a rough time of it.

    As far as antibiotics go, you need to think of the dosing like you would for humans. The medicine needs to remain in the tank anywhere from 7-14 days. So that will require, usually, 2 or 3 rounds of treatments.

    In your case I would go back to the kanaplex, and add metroplex to it. This will give you broad range of antibiotic coverage. Do the treatment for 7-10 days total. Then see where you sit. I would do 2 complete rounds, re-evaluate, then decide if you need a third round. Don’t give up yet. You said that kanamycin helped, you just need to do the treatment for a longer period of time.

    You can use AQ salt at the same time if you want also. 1tsp per gallon of water, that is up to you.

    If they have open lesions, I would also add methylene blue baths to the mix. Once per day, have them soak in a MB bath for 10-15 minutes. However long they tolerate it. It works as a topical antibiotic also. Sort of like you would put on a cut. So it will aid in healing. Plus it helps get oxygen to all the affected areas.

    If you use MB, be careful it stains everything. You will need 10 drops per gallon of water. I use old tank water, and then just top off the tank with new water. That way the fish are used to the water, and don’t get shocked by new water and the bath all at once. Use a food safe container that you don’t mind staining blue. You will need a medicine dropper also to dose the MB. Remove them from their hospital tank and put in the MB bath once per day for 4-5 days. Just decide how long, by how well they tolerate it.

    I hope this helps.

  3. tokiodreamy Well Known Member Member

    I'm sorry for the battle you have been experiencing with your fish! I would stop dosing everything and wait until there's a defined answer to what the problem is and how to solve it. Also, make sure you add new carbon back into the filter to take out all meds in the water and do a large 50% water change.

    First off, can you post photos of your fish? What kind of symptoms do they currently have?

    How often are you feeding? How much? And what are you feeding? Do they seem bloated at all?

    Don't worry! I too also care way too much even for the feeder shrimp! I completely understand!! I'm also tagging @CindiL because she has helped me so much with my tetras
  4. River Gray Member Member

    The directions on how to dose the kanamycin are confusing to me. On the package/bottle it says "once every 2 days". Does that mean every other or every third day? Maybe 2 on and 2 off or 2 on 1 off? And do that for a week of 7 days or max 3 in a row like the quICK Cure says (I can't remember what the length of time is worded on the bottle as right this moment). I use an old, but not scratched or broken and minus the filter and middle part, Brita pitcher as my 1gal bath/dip with a bubble stone and a auto temp heater slipped in thru the pour spout area. Is methyl blue going to give much different or better results than the malachite green that is in the ParaGuard? I have had trouble finding the big difference between the two besides the wound staining and since the only sign of an actual open wound is some redness around or perhaps in the gills I've just added some StressGuard by Seachem because it says it bonds and helps repair and heal wounds and sores.
    I just did a larger water change and tho I have not added back in any carbon there is two different "barrier" filter material layers in the HOB. For the last few days besides minor water changes, about 10-15% approx, I have only been adding in these "Lifeguard" tablets by tetra brand. I don't expect them to help much to get rid of anything but more I'm using them as a means to just keep it in check for now and hopefully prevent it from getting worse while figuring out what to do now, or if it's even have to continue to do anything but let them go. Yes I have pictures I can post tho they are cringe worthy especially ones I took thru a magnifying glass while they were in the pitcher bath. I will upload and post some in just a moment and hope no one judges me too harshly. I have really tried to do my best for them, past the point my husband thinks is crazy even, but I so still feel like a miserable failure and a potential soon to be pariah!

  5. River Gray Member Member

    Thanks for moving the thread... Somehow I couldn't find this forum before! TYTY!
    Also my pic files are saying they are too big so I'm trying to upload them else where and just link to the folder...It's got way too many pics in the folder that I was having a hard time just picking a couple anyways.
  6. Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    Hi, if your images are too big you can resize them for free here
  7. River Gray Member Member

    If I sized them most of the detail would get lost so I'm going to try to revive my ancient photo bucket and load them there and just link it here.

  8. River Gray Member Member

    Ok so I hope this works... Its a folder with just a lot of photos of my sick fish. The ones at the end are probably the best and some are "live" photos...If they work anyways... I know it's a lot of them but if this works I can go in and be more selective maybe. Didn't feel like sorting thru if it didn't work anyways. Also remember that some of the pics were taken while they were in their "dip" in a pitcher that has curved sides distorting them sometimes but I kept the pic because it showed one area of the fish or the other well even if it messed the rest of it weirdly like a fun house mirror, same applies to the pics taken with help or use of magnifying glass. Also, although I tried to keep it and the pitcher clean some of the time they both or one had dust/fuzz/etc on those surfaces, rather than it all being on the fish!

    iCloud Photo Sharing
  9. River Gray Member Member

    ED6AF2C3-E3AC-420A-9D20-A11E4B2C2CE1.jpeg I took some snaps right now in case there's a viable difference... One, Jr., has flopped over shredded dorsal fin (always has since I've owned him) and is a bit bulkier (hasn't always been but not sure if it only changed after the sickness or if it started earlier) and the other, Terry, has a normal top fin and is slender. This is only one that would load. I'll link the smaller folder of just the few I took just now.
    iCloud Photo Sharing
  10. tokiodreamy Well Known Member Member

    So once every 2 days means one dose every 2 days. So skip a day inbetween.

    What are you currently dosing and what day are you on?

    I would make sure that between brands of medicine to put fresh carbon in the filter. This is to rid the tank of any medicine that is still lingering. So if you're currently treating, wait until it's done then add the carbon wait a day or two then do your next steps.

    I'm still not 100% sure on what symptoms you're seeing? I dont think you answered that part yet

  11. River Gray Member Member

    Sorry I figured the photos were better. It started as a couple of white spots on each of them, thought it might be inch but after awhile it got more pronounced and looked fuzzy. It eventually was all over their front and gills. Now ones bottom lip is crooked and both the tips of their faces look almost like like they melted a bit, more on one than the other. Now I think most of the “white spots” are actually places where their scales have rotten and fell off but I’m not sure if there isn’t some lingering or how to help them heal and/or regrow their scales and if they will be able to eat etc.... Their attitude has been a bit muted and their appetite is definitely what is was, I’m not sure how much or if they are really eating at all, but for the most part all the symptoms have been physical.
  12. tokiodreamy Well Known Member Member

    What are the current water parameters of your tank?

    Definitely not ich if its only by their mouths and fuzzy. More likely to be a fungus. Maybe NTD? Possibly columnaris? I'll tag another person on that one @Discusluv

    Are you sure its fallen scales and not just patches of fuzz on the scales?

    I would monitor their feeding to see if they're actually eating.
  13. River Gray Member Member

    Can you see the pictures in the album? The second link only has a few and most recent shot pictures, they show their current state. I’m pretty sure it’s not ich now. One of their tails had a kind of tear in it early on but seems that has improved. If they are eating it’s not a whole lot. I can’t tell easily because they tend to hide in the back if I try to watch the tank close enough to see if they actually eat or not. Often I have seen one or both go up to the surface almost like they are straining the flakes that are still floating into their mouth, but they could just be taking in air? The water has plenty of aeration but maybe they just find it easier atm. The water parameters will still read inaccurately as it’s not quite been 24hrs since the last water change and addition of Prime water conditioner. I’ll post the test results as soon as I administer them after the 24hrs is up.
  14. River Gray Member Member

    I’m starting to think that euthanasia might be the most numbness thing to do for them. Jr. has probably lost most of his lips beyond repair and also is showing signs of white in his gills again and even with how puffed out they seem I can’t really tell what it is or if it is fluffy or hairlike in texture. I’m also worried that my oldest shrimp has died somewhere I can’t find her in the 30gal tank which just breaks my heart. The driftwood pieces are going to have to come out I think because they make the water so cloudy and tea colored, even though we got them directly from a store that had them in their clear tanks without any hint of tanks in the water anymore but they are definitely making ours hard to see anything, especially shrimp, pregnant or not (or even dead) and that’s a problem when trying to start at least a sustainable stock in the tank. I’ll try boiling them probably before I give up on them totally, and if we do have to say goodbye to our glowlights then the wood can soak in the small tank for awhile till it’s finished leaking as much as possible... It’s days like today that I just feel maybe I really am not cut out for fish husbandry... (or much else! But that’s a different story/forum :| … )
  15. tokiodreamy Well Known Member Member

    Aww I'm sorry you feel like giving up! I feel the same way a lot as well but you have to stay positive!

    I have a ton of wood in my tanks. Use carbon in your filter and change it out every 3-4 weeks. That will get rid of most of the tannin color. Also, weekly water changes of 50% are a major help!

    If you do end up euthanizing thw two, please use the clove oil method if you can.
  16. River Gray Member Member

    I’ve heard that the clove method can be unreliable for certain fish. I haven’t looked up glows for the best way, but I’ve heard that there’s a way to use Vodka very similarly to clove and it works about the same. I worry about the astringent properties of it but don’t worry I will reasearch methods well and do it as humanely as I possibly can.

    I just am not sure. It seems to look like poor jr has had the front of his face from just in front of his eyes practically amputated off... could he really have a viable life disfigured that much or even if it’s not quite that bad I think it must be pretty close. It’s really hard to tell even when he stays in one place that is at a relatively good angle. And I forgot to take a water sample out before I added a new dose of kanamycin and malachite green (I researched extensively as to whether the two were compatible and found they can be used together) because I sorta freaked a little when I saw what looked to be new growth protruding from his gills so added the meds right then. The two day break and water cleaning did not help the situation at all :/. I almost wish he would just let go and drift to that big ocean in the sky....
    Debating giving them a MG (don’t have any MB) and/or Salt bath. Just don’t frustrating.
    I did find my oldest shrimp while cleaning the 30gal and taking the wood out so I can boil it and then I’ll put it back. She’s alive but is either close to going to die or hopefully just going to molt soon. I’m worried she might have gotten exposed to some copper or something in one of the meds that the tank was treated with before she was moved there even though I did as thorough of a cleaning as I could while trying to keep the bio-filter as intact as possible. Just a bad fish (and in general I suppose which definitely doesn’t help any) day for me.
    Has anyone been able to see the photos at all to give their assessment?
  17. Racing1113 Well Known Member Member

    Definitely looks like columnaris. That is treated with Kanaplex WITH nitrofurazone (API Furan-2, jungle fungus clear, Hikari bifuran and Tetra Fungus guard all have nitrofurazone in them so pick whichever one is easiest to get).

    If you decide to treat, stop using the Kanaplex until you get the nitrofurazone. If you decide to euthanize, I have used clove oil with tetras before and it is very reliable with them.
  18. tokiodreamy Well Known Member Member

    If it is columnaris, I went through this myself with my neons. It was so early on that I don't remember the symptoms besides a white patch or two. These were the meds I used with success: Peabody's Medicated Flakes - Kanamycin Sulfate & Mardel's Maracyn Two. I think there was one more but I may have used all of it and tossed the box.
  19. River Gray Member Member

    Jr. is not going to make it....he’s lost the ability to swim in any direction and is just being tossed in the tank! I feel horrible because I have n clove oil as just earlier today both the tetras were finally trying to eat for sure though I saw a lot spit out so I don’t know how much either actually ate.... How can I help JR pass without hurting as much as possible if I don’t have clove oil or the over the counter meds?

    Edit: Sent my hub to the 24hr store to get clove oil because I just can’t let him suffer. Even tho he seems to be stabilizing himself a tiny bit now that he is in a small transfer tank that has no filter and only a very tiny air stone that barely works anymore so it adds oxygen but little current. I’m not deceived tho I know he’s just never going to recover to any working level now so it’s best he goes without more suffering.

    I am worried about the other tetra too tho. Even if I get the second medicine to use also with the kanamycin I have to wonder how he is going to fare being such social fish all by himself in the 5gal hospital tank with his buddy that has been with him since before we even get inherited them, now gone. Will he be able to heal physically in that kind of social deprived stat? Any help, words of wisdom, suggestions, or even encouraging thoughts would be Greatly appreciated. RIP: Jr., One of the best cute floppy finned glowlight tetras ever. May you always find more females in your shoal in the tropical rivers of the sky.
  20. tokiodreamy Well Known Member Member

    I'm sorry about your loss. I understand how hard it can be. My neons that had columnaris while in their QT lived a long time after treatment. But several months ago they caught a viral infection that is not treatable and I lost more than half of my neons to it. I only have the two left.

    I've added mirrors to the outside of the tank so they can school with their own reflection and feel safe. They actually do this nonstop and it's helped them quite a bit. I would suggest adding a mirror or two. Put it this way, if your other little guy gets treated and is cured, you'll eventually have more friends for him to be with!