Gills are red and visible... what is going on!?

GMZner

Noticed one of my otocinclus had very visible red gills, particularly on his right gill. Can someone tell me what is wrong with him and what medication can I use?

I am from Canada and anything anti-bacterial or anti-viral is not readily available.

Dorsal fin also appears to have been ripped off... the other 7 otocinclus in the tank appears to be normal and healthy.
 

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MacZ

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I haven't seen any Otos come back from that condition. This is basically all a result of the way they are handled before reaching the retailer.

I'd put it out of its misery.
 
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FishareFriends6

From personal experience, MacZ is right, they wouldn’t normally recover, due to the fish being a sensitive one.

My main suggestion would be to ensure the water quality is pristine and you keep them fed. The belly isn’t looking bloated or full, just standard.

The oto looks like it’s been through a lot, with the missing dorsal fin too. It looks more like the part that covers the red gill underneath is missing, so it may be a birth defect rather than a sickness, but I can’t be certain. I wouldn’t put it out of its misery, but keep it fed and in nice clean water.

My 2p :)
 
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GMZner

Man, that's really upsetting.

At least so far he isn't showing any odd behaviour. He still got good appetite and actually still quite energetic like all otocinclus do.

Wether to put him down or not, my biggest concern right now is the possibility that this is contagious. I have three tanks and all are inhabited so there really is no spot for him to isolate. If this is something contagious, I'll have no choice but to remove him from the tank and put him down, otherwise I don't mind keeping him and giving him the best care I can 'til his health declines. Can someone please advise?
 
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MacZ

No, it's Oto specific. They all have it, it's just the questions of if and if yes, when it shows. It is a result of the catching methods and weeks of starvation between South America and whereever they are sold to the end customer. Whatever secondary infections the fish might have due to the injury is not really contagious but just the regular bacteria in your tank using a weak immune system. I'd still do extra waterchanges, keep the water clean and soft and add IALs.

Sometimes Otos also can have nasty parasites that are hard to get out of a tank, but this one doesn't show any signs of that. Just so you can be reassured, that this is not the case here, should that come up.
 
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