Important Extremely Sick Pleco

johngreen

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Tank

What is the water volume of the tank? 10 gallon (quarantined)
How long has the tank been running? (not entirely sure)
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 78 F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) One suckermouth pleco (quarantined)

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? Every two weeks
How much of the water do you change? 50%
What do you use to treat your water? API Conditioner
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Both

*Parameters - Very Important
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5
pH: 6-7

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Daily
How much do you feed your fish? One algae pellet a day + cut up lettuce or cucumber once a week
What brand of food do you feed your fish? API
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? Approaching five years

How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? Three days ago

In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
Red streaks on body, yellow-ish specks on head, fin rot, lethargic, not much movement and unable to attach onto wall without sliding down

Have you started any treatment for the illness?
Only melafix, but seeking stronger treatment.

Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
No

How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
More lethargic and noticeable symptoms listed above.

Details:
I noticed the above listed symptoms a couple days ago, and it all began when my pleco jumped out of the water a week ago and seemed to be left with bleeding fins. I thought it was a minor scrape from the fall so I have been adding melafix. However, his condition has become increasingly worse (as you can tell from the picture) and I suspect a serious bacterial infection. Looking for advice for treatment of both him and his tank mate (who has no noticeable symptoms but has most likely been exposed). Thoughts on purchasing Furan-2 or other antibiotics?
 

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AlpineTheBetta

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I suspect bacterial infection. Your fish damaged his slime coat and probably had injuries plus elevated stress. That is enough to open doors to bacteria in your tank that are normally present, that he can normally fend iff with his immune system, to start attacking him.

Did he jump onto the floor?

If he tolerates salt I would start with 0.5 tsp per gallon. However I do not have a pleco and don't know the specie, this is general first aid for injured fish to help with osmoregulation. Look up pleco and salt and see if those who have pleco would recommend it.

I would also start treating with kanaplex + furan 2 asap. This would cover most common gram negative bacteria in your tank that is infecting him. 10-14 day course is recommended, as no academic text ever recommend treating for such short duration as advised on manufacturers packaging. The powerpoint below shows antibiotics susceptibility of some common strains of bacteria in aquatic environment.



Yellow spot look like yellow grub which is trematode- external parasite. However sice you said the onset was the trauma from jumping it is probably unlikely. If it is really trematode, prazipro or trichlorfon may help. Note that any oddly colored spot on fish can be caused by bacterial infection too.



If fish is this weak I would not stack bacterial and parasite treatment together. If it is really triggered by the injury, it is most likely bacterial. actually I don't even think trichlorfon can be combined with any other meds mentioned. if you are unsure if you can combine meds, don't. Chemical poisoning most of the times will kill your fish faster than the disease itself.

Look up fish vet in the area. Since he is a pretty big fish blood can be drawn, skin scrape taken, he can also get antibiotics injection if needed. For fish this size if you are trying to save him and treating at home does not give you any results, fish vet can do a lot. Also check this video out, it is about a fosh vet treating a koI for injury.


best of luck to both of you, I am so sorry this happened.
 
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johngreen

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AlpineTheBetta said:
I suspect bacterial infection. Your fish damaged his slime coat and probably had injuries plus elevated stress. That is enough to open doors to bacteria in your tank that are normally present, that he can normally fend iff with his immune system, to start attacking him.

Did he jump onto the floor?

If he tolerates salt I would start with 0.5 tsp per gallon. However I do not have a pleco and don't know the specie, this is general first aid for injured fish to help with osmoregulation. Look up pleco and salt and see if those who have pleco would recommend it.

I would also start treating with kanaplex + furan 2 asap. This would cover most common gram negative bacteria in your tank that is infecting him. 10-14 day course is recommended, as no academic text ever recommend treating for such short duration as advised on manufacturers packaging. The powerpoint below shows antibiotics susceptibility of some common strains of bacteria in aquatic environment.



Yellow spot look like yellow grub which is trematode- external parasite. However sice you said the onset was the trauma from jumping it is probably unlikely. If it is really trematode, prazipro or trichlorfon may help. Note that any oddly colored spot on fish can be caused by bacterial infection too.



If fish is this weak I would not stack bacterial and parasite treatment together. If it is really triggered by the injury, it is most likely bacterial. actually I don't even think trichlorfon can be combined with any other meds mentioned. if you are unsure if you can combine meds, don't. Chemical poisoning most of the times will kill your fish faster than the disease itself.

Look up fish vet in the area. Since he is a pretty big fish blood can be drawn, skin scrape taken, he can also get antibiotics injection if needed. For fish this size if you are trying to save him and treating at home does not give you any results, fish vet can do a lot. Also check this video out, it is about a fosh vet treating a koI for injury.


best of luck to both of you, I am so sorry this happened.
Thank you for your advice. I have purchased Furan 2 and Kanaplex to start the treatment. He did jump on the floor and was out of the tank for a while because I wasn’t present at the time, and by the time I found him he already left a bit of blood on the ground. I’ll try to just treat for bacterial first and then see if the yellow spots clear up with the other symptoms. Hopefully it’s all just due to one infection. Thanks again!
 

AlpineTheBetta

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Just want to add, you may add some methylene blue, malachite green and acriflavin to the mix. I find that this would prevent secondary fungal infection and sometimes speed up cure even if the infection is bacterial.

I use kordon's methylene blue and jungle ick cure ( which contains malachite green and methylene blue. And which I never really use for ich because I get better results treating ich with something else)

I am not sure if plecos would tolerate methylene blue, malachite green and acriflavin though. Look around to be sure, I have heard you need to half dose malachite green on scaleless fish but since I am not well versed in those species I can't say for sure.

Wound can also be swabbed with mercurochrome, but since he is a big fish and needs to be sedated for that maybe only do this as a last resort.

Sounds like starting with kanaplex and furan-2 is a good plan. If no improvement after a week consider double dosing kanaplex or adding the meth blue, malachite green and acriflavin. Monitor your fish carefully because sometimes really sick and weak fish can't tolerate medicine too well and could have adverse reaction. If he acts drunk , start listing or starts acting weird you may need to immediately dilute the meds and go for half dose instead, or try milder meds.

Also more frequent water change may help to reduce bacteria load in the water. If he is already quarantine keep his tank super clean. If large water change is done, be sure to match water source and all parameters (ph, temperature, kh, gh) and slowly drip new water in rather than dump in by the buckets.
 

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