Blood Parrot tilted/sideways in salt bath for Ick Treatment

americanninja

Hi All,

So I recently added a blood parrot (3inch) and Jewel Cichlid (3inch) to an existing tank which has 1 blood parrot and 2 platys. I know a strange setup, but the platys were there first and they are buddies with the blood parrot. They have really never interacted, they stay out of each others way.

I was a bit surprised when I added these two new fish, as I was hoping it would be a good tank mate / buddy for the blood parrot. The first day, the tank boss (existing blood parrot) harassed the heck out of the younger blood parrot. No damage was seen, but he constantly hit him with his mouth and chased him around. I took out the tank boss for an hour into a 5 gallon bucket, rearranged the rocks and stuff and then put him back in. He was less hostile, but still aggressive towards the younger blood parrot. He could care less about the Jewel cichlid.

Day 2 they settled in and he only occasionally reminded the younger blood parrot that he was the boss. They were seen swimming together, floating side by side, in fact, the Jewel cichlid joined in on things. However, the strange thing was that the Jewel cichlid never ate anything (pellets, flakes, frozen blood worms). He did not show any interest and wouldn't even try to put anything in his mouth. Occasionally he would swim around during the feeding time (as if he was putting on a show, pretending like he was going to eat, but then not eat anything). He also didn't eat in the store when the staff feed the tank he was in. Which was the 1st red flag.

However, since he has been in the tank, the first 2 days he was swimming around, seemed healthy and quite active.

Day 3 and 4: both the younger blood parrot and the jewel cichlid have stayed fairly stationary hiding behind a rock or in a cave and have stopped eating. The young BP was eating the first 2 days, but stopped on day 3 and 4, the Jewel cichlid has not eaten at all. So I was already fearing that something was going on. I don't know if it is a disease of some sort or they are just scared. They seem quite scared, and it doesn't help, because my big dopey BP will randomly freak out for no apparent reason and dart towards the wall, running into it. He did this a few times on day 2 and now they seemed to have picked up his habit and are now quite fearful it seems.

So today, day 4, I decided to take out the younger BP and Jewel cichlid and put them in a quarantine tank, in case they have some disease ( I did get them from a Petco - I really should quarantine any fish I get from a petco going forward).

When I put them in the quarantine tank, I noticed that the blood parrot had about 10 or so white spots on its tail. I've not had an issue with ich in the past, but it does look like it's ich, or possibly it could just be from stress and a false positive of ich? I think my large blood parrot also had a few white spots that appeared after one week of having him. I thought it may be ich as well, but it went away after a few days and that was 3 months ago.

So, seeing that these two guys have been stressed out anyway and potentially it could be ick, I decided to put them both in a 5 gallon bucket with heater (set to 82) and sponge filter. I figured it would at least help them to get out of the other tank if they are stressed because of it, and to put them in a darker tank to not be frightened by people walking by.

I don't have Ich-x. I ordered some today from Amazon. While I wait for that, I thought to just try the salt treatment method. I used Kosher salt (no additives or anything) and I added 1 TEASPOON per gallon and added about 4 gallons to the 5 gallon bucket.

I would appreciate anyones advice on what you think it may be and advise whether or not I am doing the right thing here. One thing I noticed, which prompted me to ask the question here, is that in the bucket, I noticed that the blood parrot is hiding out by the sponge filter and it appears to be slightly tilted to the side. He's not sideways, but he is definitely leaning to the side. This has me a bit concerned. Are blood parrots okay with the salt method? He wasn't tilted before I put him in here, so just trying to figure out if its a sign that I should remove him from the salt bath. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

richiep

I would get him out of the salt stright away it could be affecting him, wait for your ich x to come and maybe put him to normal temp for that fish
 
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americanninja

I went to check on him again and tried feeding him some frozen blood worms. He decided he wanted to eat those and ate quite a bit. The jewel cichlid stayed hiding in his little pink housing. He didn’t eat. They look okay, it was a very slight tilt, and I think it may have just been because he wants to watch/see what’s above him (they are in blue opaque bucket).

The temp is actually the same temp of the main tank, it seems that room temperature (even with my AC on in my California house) is around 80-82F. I have two tanks and this bucket, and all are around 82 without a heater. I have no idea how people are keeping their tanks at around 76-78 degrees.

Anyway, I’ve had my green terror, platy and blood parrots in this temp for the past 3 months, during which the blood parrot laid eggs and the platy gave birth to 13 fry. So I assume the water parameters and temp are probably fine for them. Unfortunately, I can’t really easily bring the temp down. Up, no problem with the heater, but not sure how to go the other direction.
Btw, once the ick-x arrives, I’m thinking to put these two back in the main tank and treating the whole tank. Is that a good or bad idea? I didn’t see any ick in the other 4 blood parrots when I bought this guy and all the fish looked healthy with no red flags. I’m wondering if ick has been in my tank.

Just curious what is the recommendation. Just to take out the fish and treat in a quarantined tank or to just treat the whole tank. I don’t want to deal with this again in a few weeks if it’s still in the main tank.
 
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richiep

If any ich had fallen off before you took them out you should see signs on the other fish a few days later, if they are clear I'd not touch the big tank or put those two back in,I'd replace the salt water with tank water then treat with ich x, in the quarantine tank
You seem to be ontop of things anyway
 
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americanninja

Thanks! Good point. I guess if none of the other fish in the main tank are exhibiting symptoms after a few days, I should be safe. During my research I have just read that some fish could be asymptomatic carriers, so I was just thinking if it wouldn't harm anything, maybe just dose Ich-x on the entire tank...just to be sure it's completely killed off. But if you think that's not necessary, I could just go with as you suggested. I know that Aquarium co-op said that they treat all fish coming into their shop with Ich-x as a preventative measures, so I didn't think it would be too harsh to just treat the entire tank. I'm thinking how to avoid any relapse of this thing.

Sounds good. Thank you again for your advice and insight. I think the Ich-x won't arrive for a few days (e.g. 5 days). So I was thinking given the life cycle of ich and the fact that I have the temp around 80-82, I assume if no signs of white spots and they are both active and eating by day 5, I would think it would be all clear. Or just to be cautious, perhaps I just replace the salt water with some water from the main tank on day 5 (if no further signs) and then dose for another 2-3 days with Ich-x and then return them to the main tank.

There is no substrate in this quarantine tank. I plan to vacuum the bottom every day to replace 50% of the water and then add new water with same level of salt. And do this over the course of 5 days. Just to remove any of the ich pieces that fall off (to further reduce the chance of them to be around). Given the cycle is about 3-4 days at that temp, I think I should be safe by day 5 if no visible signs.
 
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americanninja

Okay, I have an update and looking for help/advice.

So yesterday, I noticed that one of the platy's I recently added to the tank (around the same time I introduced the blood parrot and jewel cichlid) had 2 white dots on its tail. I wasn't sure it was new or not (or just part of his color pattern). Today I woke up and noticed that now he has ~5-6 white spots on both sides of his tail. It's very hard to see, but definitely different from yesterday, which would lead me to believe he now has the ich.

I have attached some photos so that you can all see.

So what is the recommendation now?

I currently have the new blood parrot in the quarantine tank with heat and salt bath (he's been in that for about 72 hrs). Should I add this platy to the quarantine tank with him, or should I simply add both back to the main tank and just treat the main tank?

My Ich-x hasn't arrived yet, so I was thinking to move him temporarily into the quarantine tank and then move both back into the main tank and treat the main tank. Does that sound like a good idea?

I'm thinking I should treat the main tank to make sure this has been completely killed off in my tank. During my research I read that most fish will build a tolerance from ich after they have had an infection, so they could be carriers of it or it could simply be in the tank and will attack once a fish is new and stressed with weakened immune system. I'm wondering if that's what happened? The reason being, the original blood parrot and platy that have been in the tank from the beginning seem completely fine. And in fact, about a week after I got the first blood parrot (3 months ago), he did have white spots on his body in a few places. I thought it may have been ich, but at the time, I wasn't sure and somehow it just went away after a few days. It could have been simply because my tank is kept fairly high temperature wise regularly (around 80-82).

So, looking for advice here. Is there any downside to just treating the entire tank with ich-x?

In the tank I have one type of plant (Egeria Densa (anacharis)), 2 blood parrots, 1 jewel cichlid, 2 platys, and 1 lace catfish.

Given that, what would be the harm to just treat the tank with ich-x for say 5 days? Would this be the best course of action to rid ich from the tank and avoid a relapse?
 

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richiep

That looks like ich to me, I dont think it makes any difference how you go about this but the main tank has to be treated, if the two in quarantine are free then you could leave them there until after the treatment or treat separately or move them back
There's no quick fix here,one way or the other I think they all need treating
I've found over the years that mollies,plates are prone to ich and I always kept one or the other in my tanks where possible,like an early warning system
 
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americanninja

I like the early warning system bit. They have been fighters, love them for that and they get along with the big guys in the tank (for now), so I like that they help to give early indication of things.

Sounds good. I will treat the entire tank. It will be a good exercise to learn about this disease and have the knowledge going forward. Thanks again!
 
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