Bizarre Burn Mark On Rummy Nose Tetra?!

Jenoli42

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Hey team.

so we just got home late. I went to feed our established 165L tank. i froze. one of our rummy noses has a horrid black mark on its head... and our heater has turned black on the inside?! it's still working! temp is normal. I put my hand in. . Didn't get electrocuted ever when hearing light was on.

what? um. . if the heater blew why is it working?

the poor fish is eating normally & schooling normally. no other fish seem hurt.

we're mystified. pls help?
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Jeffsglo

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I don’t think that’s s burn mark! I saw another post recently by someone. And it might be a disease. But cant recall what it was you might be able to google black spot on fishes head. And see what comes up. But I would not put your hand in any tank that has electricity that is live. Always turn off power please!!! You can kill yourself that way. Replace the heater as soon as possible.
 

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Absolutely replace the heater. Don't mess with those! As for the black head my guts say it's bacterial but gram positive or negative I'm unsure. I would wait until someone that's treated it chimes in. I'd also get the fish to a QT tank asap as of it is bacterial you don't want it spreading.

My order of business would be getting him to qt first then replacing the heater and neither would I dally around about.
 
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Jenoli42

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Absolutely replace the heater. Don't mess with those! As for the black head my guts say it's bacterial but gram positive or negative I'm unsure. I would wait until someone that's treated it chimes in. I'd also get the fish to a QT tank asap as of it is bacterial you don't want it spreading.

My order of business would be getting him to qt first then replacing the heater and neither would I dally around about.
Mate. i totally trust you. but... bear with me so I understand?

so... you're saying that the black mark which appeared out of nowhere, and the blackened heater which also appeared out of nowhere on the same day, are unrelated? surely that is the opposite of ockham's razor?

I'm not trying to avoid good advice but the simplest explanation is usually the correct one, right? meaning the two would be related?

it's after 10pm here & we discovered this after any tank heater supplier closed. so we will get a new heater tomorrow... I'm happy to return the fish currently in our QT at the same time & quarantine this one.

BUT. are you convinced these two very coincidental events aren't related?

parameters are perfect so where would a bacterial infection come from do you think? we haven't added new fish for 8 wks & we quarantined those we most recently added for 28 full days..?
 

2211Nighthawk

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As someone who gets a lot of burns (welder ) burns are not black like that. Plus, if a fish gets burned it’s usualy on their side from brushing up against it, not on the top of their head like that. I agree that it’s not a burn, but really bad timing.
 
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Jenoli42

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As someone who gets a lot of burns (welder ) burns are not black like that. Plus, if a fish gets burned it’s usualy on their side from brushing up against it, not on the top of their head like that. I agree that it’s not a burn, but really bad timing.
yeah. my partner who is also an ex saw doctor & welder thought it was soot but I didn't want to touch the heater & it seems to be inside the glass...

we'll bag up the fish in our cursed QT tomorrow, transfer the black headed one into it & head to town to return the fish & get a new heater.

but what bacterial infection looks like that & what's the cause?!

Just for context dear FL people, here's why I'm reluctant to put anything into the QT... if it's not actually sick.

Help - 4 Dead Cardinals In Qt - Why?!?!?
 

sfsamm

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Mate. i totally trust you. but... bear with me so I understand?

so... you're saying that the black mark which appeared out of nowhere, and the blackened heater which also appeared out of nowhere on the same day, are unrelated? surely that is the opposite of ockham's razor?

I'm not trying to avoid good advice but the simplest explanation is usually the correct one, right? meaning the two would be related?
No offense taken lol at all but no I don't believe them to be related just a really no good tank day.

Now that said I could totally be wrong I saw this post while trying to return to sleep last night but I still think the same after a full sleep. I've been in the hobby long enough to know I will continue to make mistakes no matter what. Any discoloration like that though it's not a burn that I can say for certain, fish don't burn like that generally is a reddened area and often ends up missing scales. Unless maybe he was inside the heater? Lol it's more like a water scald on our hands, kinda takes the skin right off but if you grab a hot poker it'll blacken you where as if you touch a halogen light it just melts your skin... They get more of that scalded type reaction.

As for bacterial infections they make me super uneasy I hate them. I have always had the worst luck with them. I've learned more recently but I can't ID and I can't track which is which in gram positive or negative somehow it ties me in knots but.... One single other thought and maybe I jump to bacterial from the photo and you may be better able to tell in person is an injury. Like a bruise. They can break blood vessels under the skin and essentially bruise just like we do. Had he panicked when the heater popped and smashed into something he well coulda really racked himself on something and be bruised. That would be a no panic no meds situation.
 

mattgirl

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It actually looks like a bruise to me and the heater looks like it is close to being burned out. Please replace as soon as possible.
 
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Jenoli42

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I don’t think that’s s burn mark! I saw another post recently by someone. And it might be a disease. But cant recall what it was you might be able to google black spot on fishes head. And see what comes up. But I would not put your hand in any tank that has electricity that is live. Always turn off power please!!! You can kill yourself that way. Replace the heater as soon as possible.
I should clarify so you don't think I have a death wish.
I put my hand in to feed them, froze when I saw the black head, looked at the heater & saw it was blackened & light was on, & yanked my hand out immediately. but my hand was in there when the scary thing was on... and i thought that was worth noting.

It actually looks like a bruise to me and the heater looks like it is close to being burned out. Please replace as soon as possible.
yep. must woke up & checked tank - no change since last night. we're gonna have coffee & get into town straight away for a heater.

and because it's better to be safe than sorry, we'll return the rummies & put the bruised or sick fish in the QT like @sfsamm wisely suggested...

thank you all

As for bacterial infections they make me super uneasy I hate them. I have always had the worst luck with them. I've learned more recently but I can't ID and I can't track which is which in gram positive or negative somehow it ties me in knots but.... One single other thought and maybe I jump to bacterial from the photo and you may be better able to tell in person is an injury. Like a bruise. They can break blood vessels under the skin and essentially bruise just like we do. Had he panicked when the heater popped and smashed into something he well coulda really racked himself on something and be bruised. That would be a no panic no meds situation.
this is the only disease I could find that affects freshwater tropical fish that has any match. .. although again no other symptoms (swims normally) besides the discoloration (and possibly a swollen eye?) ... which makes me lean toward bruising? wishful thinking?

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here's a video from last night- took forever to upload because it's HD if you change YouTube settings btw. (it ate right after I stopped videoing of course)

 

sfsamm

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He really doesn't seem to be bothered and the others aren't treating him differently. Both good signs but I am not convinced one way or another on what the issue is. Bacterial is generally fairly quick in progressing and slow to recover from. It really does look like a bruise but it's both sides of his head and not just one... It's a toughie, I'm stumped. I would still err on the side of caution, it's better to be safe than sorry but honestly I'm not even 100% certain what I myself would do. Probably QT Mr sick and obviously replace the heater but I certainly wouldn't medicate just yet.
 
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Jenoli42

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He really doesn't seem to be bothered and the others aren't treating him differently. Both good signs but I am not convinced one way or another on what the issue is. Bacterial is generally fairly quick in progressing and slow to recover from. It really does look like a bruise but it's both sides of his head and not just one... It's a toughie, I'm stumped. I would still err on the side of caution, it's better to be safe than sorry but honestly I'm not even 100% certain what I myself would do. Probably QT Mr sick and obviously replace the heater but I certainly wouldn't medicate just yet.
thank you for being just as stumped as we are. seriously. it's somehow a relief lolz.

so. there are 3 "guinea pig" rummies in our "cursed" QT atm. I'm seriously concerned for this bruised rummy going into that tank for 2 reasons:

1. it may be cursed... or legit infected with some horrible disease I didn't get rid of with a vinegar 100% clean because I didn't bleach anything (that's the other thread I linked in this one)

2. I just added these rummies from the LFS like 3 days ago. they may have something.

so. what would you do?

A. bag up the new rummies & return to LFS. add suspect rummy to their water without pwc.

B. return rummies to lfs. 100% wc on QT before adding sick/ bruised rummy

C. just acclimate & add suspect rummy to QT with the other 3

Or some version of above?

obviously option B takes the longest meaning suspect rummy remains in community tank until I bag & 100% change... but is the most careful...

EDIT: if bacterial then fastest way to get him outta the community tank is option C.

2nd EDIT: we're gonna return the new rummies for their health & not do a pwc (but of course acclimate) when we add the suspect rummy

got a 150w heater on hold waiting for us at the lfs.

one last paranoid question before we return the rummies... will our suspect rummy get stressed to the point of ill health being alone in our QT?
 

mattgirl

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one last paranoid question before we return the rummies... will our suspect rummy get stressed to the point of ill health being alone in our QT?
That is a very good question. I think if it were me I would go ahead and keep the ones you were thinking about returning if you decide to move him so he won't be all alone. The move is going to be stressful enough and if he is all alone it may push the little guy over the edge. I know you are really finding yourself between a rock and a hard place but I am sure you will make the right decision.
 

sfsamm

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Assuming your qt is smaller than your other tanks. You can go either way honestly. It does risk the new rummies health but being smaller its easier to medicate. And he has the added bonus of friends. It's kind of a catch 22 because it may be a bruise and he is risking an illness from them as well... Your choice here, I could easily see myself doing either. But I wouldn't risk putting the new rummies in the existing tank.
 
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Jenoli42

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That is a very good question. I think if it were me I would go ahead and keep the ones you were thinking about returning if you decide to move him so he won't be all alone. The move is going to be stressful enough and if he is all alone it may push the little guy over the edge. I know you are really finding yourself between a rock and a hard place but I am sure you will make the right decision.
we agonized over this. In the end, he's in the QT alone & we caught him relatively easily (for the fish... pain in the bum for my partner).

I've returned the other 3 just minutes ago & have a new heater & a back up.

I'm totally not sure I made the right call. if it was just me, I probably would've put him in with the other 3. but my partner reminded me that's somewhat unfair to the other 3 (who were, ironically, doing better in our cursed QT)...

I really think it's a bruise but I'll inspect him better once I'm back home.

never a dull moment

Assuming your qt is smaller than your other tanks. You can go either way honestly. It does risk the new rummies health but being smaller its easier to medicate. And he has the added bonus of friends. It's kind of a catch 22 because it may be a bruise and he is risking an illness from them as well... Your choice here, I could easily see myself doing either. But I wouldn't risk putting the new rummies in the existing tank.
thanks mate. I just returned the new 3 to our lfs. all the staff were crowded around my phone and they agreed he just looks badly bruised... but thats because it doesn't look like anything else commonly known.

what could've bruised him? .... hmmmm...
 

sfsamm

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what could've bruised him? .... hmmmm...
That's exactly why I'm not sold on bruising. Usually it's one spot and it's his whole skull. It's a weird one. Since he's alone just be sure he has lots of places to hide as being alone that's what he'll want to do.
 

mattgirl

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This is definitely a hard one to know what to do. Is there anything in the main tank that he could have caught his head in? It is amazing the predicaments they can get themselves into and back out of. Hopefully if it is just a bruise he will soon be back to normal and he will soon get to go back home. Only time will tell.
 
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Jenoli42

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Is there anything in the main tank that he could have caught his head in? It is amazing the predicaments they can get themselves into and back out of. Hopefully if it is just a bruise he will soon be back to normal and he will soon get to go back home. Only time will tell.
not really? maybe he tried to follow a kuhli under the helicopter & got stuck? then thrashed around to get his head unstuck? idk... but I'll keep you posted

btw, there was moisture & condensation inside the eheim heater. the entire front panel that has the temperature markings so you know where you're setting the heater at was opaque black.

I initially thought this meant the brand was rubbish but after seeing it continue to work without harming me or the fish I've decided that might be a safety feature we should be grateful for. ..

replaced with an aqua one 150w with a jebo 150w in the cabinet as back up.
 
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Jenoli42

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so... it could be the fact that there's no tank lighting in our QT but he looks slightly less black on one side of his head. we'll see. plenty of hiding spots @sfsamm

used the flash for one photo because I didn't realise he was there! oops... he's fine.. tho I feel bad

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Jeffsglo

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I should clarify so you don't think I have a death wish.
I put my hand in to feed them, froze when I saw the black head, looked at the heater & saw it was blackened & light was on, & yanked my hand out immediately. but my hand was in there when the scary thing was on... and i thought that was worth noting.
So sorry for your predicament!!! I was just saying. but not to insult you. that it’s easy to forget even when there is no problem with heaters. that we all should always turn power off to everything electric in water. No matter what, electricity is dangerous. When putting our hands in the tank.

I think you did the right thing. By QT the little guy. And taking back other fish. You have now isolated the problem fish. And can concentrate on fixing the problem. You will be able to add new fish. After you figure out what is going on. Keep us updated. I am hopeful you will have an answer soon.
 
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