HELP mouth rot in fish/turtle community tank?!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by maddiewotherspoon, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. maddiewotherspoonNew MemberMember

    Hi, im new to fish and this forum. I have a 4ft by 2ft tank which is currently holding about 40 gallons.

    In the tank are 2 musk turtles, a mud turtle, 2 silver shark fish, a pictus catfish, a hoplo, 6 corys and shoals of red eye, neon and red minor tetras.

    It has always been a peaceful community tank, until yesterday I found a red eye tetra with what I believe to be mouth rot. It could only be described as a growth by his mouth, and there was another little one by his fin too. I quarantined him off, but he has now died and ive found another one with a growth.

    Ive now separated the fish and the turtles, and turned the temperature down to 75.

    PLEASE HELP as to what to do next! I am very worried for my fish and as I said, new to this!

    Also if anyone could tell me what could of caused this that'd be really helpful!

    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
  2. babynemoValued MemberMember

    To me that tank sounds a little overstocked. The sharks from what I've seen and if they are the ones I'm thinking they are, can get up to a foot long. The hoplo can get up to 8inches. I would get the turtles their own tank and leave them in their own tank. Depending on the sex of the turtles you have you can expect anywhere from 4-8 inches from the mud turtle and 4-5 inches from the musk turtles. I would get at least a 75 gallon tank dedicated just to the turtles. A general rule with turtles is for every inch of shell, ten gallons of water is needed. Do you know the sex of your turtles? Males will usually get territorial with other male turtles. They can seem peaceful one day with each other and the next you could have a dead turtle.

    I do not know much about fungus in fish.But, turtles produce a lot of waste in a tank and since the tank is over crowded, water conditions can go down and that can lead to infection. Does the growth look fuzzy? I would definitely separate any fish that is showing the infection away from all other fish. What are your water parameters? What filter are you using on the tank?

    Also, you may want to research the water requirements such as PH, temperature, and hardness for the fish you have. You may find that some of them are not compatible with each other.

    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
  3. maddiewotherspoonNew MemberMember

    The tanks capable of holding upto 99 gallons, and as the sharks and turtles are both only tiny, id assumed I'd be able to up the water level as and when they need it. And no, I bought the turtles unsexed and I'm unable to as im no expert and theyre babies.

    I wouldnt say the growth was fluffy, its sort of brown and makes him look like he has a swollen lower lip. The filter is a 200-400l, I'm going to get the water tested locally and buy something to do it myself regularly.

    I was wondering if there are any treatments which would help, and mean I can still keep the turtles with the fish. I cant afford to run two tanks so if not, I will have to think about rehoming.

    Thank you so much for your help

  4. babynemoValued MemberMember

    As your turtles age, and they will age quickly, males will kill each other. A male will chase a female and bother her until she dies. I am unsure about treating a tank with fungus medicine with turtles as I don't know if the medicine could harm the hatchlings. Can you post pictures of the turtles? I may be able to sex them for you.

    How are the fish that are infected swimming? Are they swimming regularly? Staying at the bottom of the water? Top of the water? Barely moving at all? Gasping for air? Also, can you post a picture of the infected fish? Especially the area you noticed.

    Most LFS especially Petsmart/Petco will not tell you the exact reading of the parameters, and will try to sell you unnecessary things. I would just purchase an API Freshwater Master Kit. They run about 25 dollars but are absolutely essential to keeping an aquarium healthy.

    It is also recommended that when you have a high bio-load, which you do from the turtles, that your filter be rated for twice the size of the tank you have.

    Eventually you will have to rehome at least one turtle depending on the sex of them. I am going through the same thing now with my three turtles. I have two males and one female and the males are ganging up on her.
  5. maddiewotherspoonNew MemberMember

    I'll try and take some photos of the turtles in a minute, I feel kinda cheated though I was told they'd be fine, how does anyone manage to keep more than one turtle if they all eventually kill eachother?!

    There's only one thats infected and hes swimming and eating fine, staying with the shoal along the bottom. He is gasping for air and ive tried multiple times to catch and separate, and take photos of him, hes just too fast.

    Thats really good to know about the filter, and I'll have a look online for the kit, thank you. I have Aquarium Doctor Vitamin Tonic Additive which can be used as aftercare or to boost the general health of fish, should I use this or find something specific to treat them with?
  6. babynemoValued MemberMember

    Most people end up having to give their turtles away once they realize they will hurt each other. Many people do one turtle per tank. It's rare for a tank full of turtles to work and not have any problems as time goes on.

    I've never heard of the Additive, I suppose you can try it.
  7. maddiewotherspoonNew MemberMember

    These are the turtles, first is Chip (razorback musk), then Jaws is the mud turtle and lastly Scrat is another razorback. I'll be amazed if you can sex them from these photos as they dont show their markings too well but thanks in advance!


    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  8. babynemoValued MemberMember

    Yeah, a little too young. But, I was just reading up on these guys and read that many, many people have to rehome and keep only one once they reach about 1-2 years old. So just a heads up.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  9. wiedowValued MemberMember

    Can I see some pictures of the tank. I'm very interested to see what it looks like.. Sorry for being off topic....
  10. maddiewotherspoonNew MemberMember

    yeah course, its a bit dismantled now but these are from a few days before this problem surfaced. They're not great quality, but here you go :p






    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  11. ToniaWell Known MemberMember

    For the turtles, please check the Georgia laws. Most states will NOT allow you to keep a turtle that is under 4 inches across. This is because the babies tend to carry salmonella. Also, for any Turtle home, they MUST have a place to get out of the water and bask. The turtles, as they grow, will try to catch and eat any fish in the tank. To keep 4 turtles healthy and happy, you really need a small pond. The tank is a nice size for one maybe two turtles, but from the look of the setup, there is no basking area for the turtles. They require a dry land area and very strong filtration. There are some tanks made just for turtles. They are set up with a slot cut in the side so that you can put a filter through but the turtles can't get out.

    The turtles also prefer cooler water, but a warm basking spot. This is usually provided by a heat lamp. The fish you have chosen prefer warmer water.

    Make sure you check the laws in your state/city regarding the minimum turtle sizes allowed. If a pet store sold them to you, they can be liable for selling illegal and/or harmful pets. I would hate for you or your family to become ill, so be sure to wash your hands and arms thoroughly every time you handle the turtles or any item or water in the tank.
  12. maddiewotherspoonNew MemberMember

    Hi, I live in England and theyre currently in a separate tank, when they go back into the larger one they will have two basking spots, theres only one at the moment but im going to build up the slate staircase on the left.

    Id thought about the fish problem, which is why I'd been careful about sizing and I'm now thinking I may have to rehome some of the fish and buy a bigger filter.

    Im just lost as to what to do, the turtles were what started the whole aquarium project so I really want to keep them, but I have no idea what to do with all these fish and I was told before buying that everything would be fine
  13. wiedowValued MemberMember

    Looks great
  14. babynemoValued MemberMember

    I would really rehome all turtles but one and re-think your stocking options. I would also have a tank just for your turtle, not for the fish and turtles.
    Whoever told you that "everything would be fine" is wrong and I hope you don't listen to them anymore.

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