Help--my Otos died!! (And now it's affecting my Danios!!!)

  • Thread starter

MamaM

Valued Member
Messages
139
Reaction score
2
Points
178
Well, I have some disturbing news...last night Fred & Rocky died!!!  (Actually, Fred this morning while I was doing the water change after burying Rocky.)  The Oto I bought & died on Thursday must have had something that was contagious to them, but I didn't realize it!!  I am so sad!    

I did a 50% water change today.  The Danios & fry are doing great (normal).  Is there anything else I need to do to my tank before getting any more Otos on Sunday or Monday?  Another water change?  Change filter?  Please advise!
Thank you!
Sharon
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,628
Reaction score
22
Points
358
Experience
5 to 10 years
Re: Help--my Otos died!!

I am so sorry to hear about Fred and Rocky but was afraid of the problems when you had Georgie die so suddenly.  You really need to quarantine the fish you buy for 14 days when you buy them to prevent this type of thing, I am sorry to say. 

I would get a group of otos (all you think you need to have at once if you can) and put them in a quarantine tank for 14 days and then they are going to be safe to add to the main tank.  If they survive for the first 30 days they are going to be some of the hardiest little fish you will ever buy.  My oldest fish right now are my otos and this is the case with at least one other member who had all her fish die of Fish TB BUT the otos who not only survived the exposure to TB but many times of having finrot and injuries and nitrate problems.  They truly are quite resilient and I had a fish with dropsy and had an oto get through exposure to it and is now my oldest fish.  You can leave them in quarantine for 30 days if you want to be super cautious but it is probably not necessary. 

I am truly sorry and my deepest sympathies go out to you.  I do know how this feels and I would not have had this happen for the world.  If I can help please let me know. 

No, I do not think there is anything else you need to do to the tank they were in, but I would not put the new ones in there before quarantine.

Rose
:'(
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

MamaM

Valued Member
Messages
139
Reaction score
2
Points
178
Re: Help--my Otos died!!

Rose, how did I know you would mention a quarantine tank?? Now I truly know the merits of one, even though I read in the main fishlore.com site that "For freshwater fish you may be able to get by without having one" so I was really hoping that this would be true for me!! But I guess not, and if I want to get otos and have them live, then a quarantine tank is the best way to ensure this.

On the QT setup page, it recommended using water from the main tank. Because of my recent losses (even though I did a 50% water change) is this adviseable? If I get a QT, use water & filter media from the main tank to ensure it cycles, would it be safe for new fish (once I've ensure it's completely cycled)? Or should I just use new water, and cycle it from scratch (with ammonia or bio spira) and THEN add the fish. (I still would then have to acclimate them to the water of the main tank...) Could you help me understand how this all would work?

Thank you! (And thank you for your kind words!)
Sharon
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

MamaM

Valued Member
Messages
139
Reaction score
2
Points
178
We just returned from an overnight away, and found a dead Danio in the tank. Obviously whatever killed my Otos also kills Danios. I have 2 females left, and they are currently chasing one another and then hiding in the plants. I don't see any spots on them, and they are just opening & closing their mouths, but don't seem to be gasping for air. They aren't rushing to eat the food I gave them. I have a feeling they, too, won't survive.

What can I do??? It's gotten to near-blizzard conditions now, so I really shouldn't drive the 20 miles into town to the pet store until the weather lets up. Is there anything I can do at home? I've already done a 50% water change yesterday, and it obviously didn't help.

Okay, second question. If (when??) I lose the rest of my fish...can I still use the tank/plants in it? What would I need to do to make it safe for other fish? Do I have to re-cycle or can I use the same filter media to reseed my new filter? Please advise, I'm almost to my wits end. ???

Thank you.
Sharon
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,628
Reaction score
22
Points
358
Experience
5 to 10 years
I think that with losing a whole tank full of fish you may have to strip it down and do a sterilization with a weak bleach solution 1 part bleach to 19 parts water (not dechlorinated). You cannot bleach the gravel but you can the heater and filter (not the filter media or bio-wheel if you have one) (bio-wheel filters can only be bleach treated by running bleach water through them without the bio-wheel in place and you can wash the bio-wheel in regular water and reuse or if you are leary get a new bio-wheel) You should probably not use the same filter media. Of course, you still have the little females alive. You do not need to use the used tank water and in this case I would recommend against it. You can use a clean new bucket, no gravel, and after soaking the heater for an hour and cleaning off with triple strength dechlorinated water you can use the heater from the tank to make a q tank of sorts. You will have to do a 50% water change every day or at the most two, but you can use this as a q tank until you can get one set up. I have used a new bucket a few times and it works quite well as long as it is big enough. 3 gallons can be quite big enough and they do not ned to be very active during their recovery anyway. It also cuts down on the amount of medication needed to treat them. the equipment you treat with bleach is safe to use after rinsing and rinsing and doing a final rinse or run through with triple strength dechlorinated water and when the smell of bleach is gone.

Rose
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

MamaM

Valued Member
Messages
139
Reaction score
2
Points
178
Yes, I still DO have the little females, and they are quite active. I just fed them a little again (I cleaned the tank after the earlier feeding, so there is minimal buildup) and one went straight to the food & gobbled it up--and the other was close behind. I really like the makeshift q tank with a bucket--I had never thought of that! What (if any) should I medicate the fish with--since they aren't showing symptoms? (I thought their "lips" looked a little lavender color, but they could have looked that way all along--I have NO idea what killed the other fish!) What do I do with all the fry that are still living? (Put them in q with the girls, too? Can they be medicated?)

It's a great idea to sterilize the tank! How should I clean the gravel? I have a whisper tetra filter, so I will just throw away the bio-bag, bleach the filter & parts, and the heater--and of course, after all this it needs to cycle again (hello bio-spira!!???). Then it should be fit for my remaining two danios.

Thanks for all the advice & answering my questions! I so appreciate your knowledge & wisdom!!
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,628
Reaction score
22
Points
358
Experience
5 to 10 years
I have never cleaned the gravel as it means baking it and I have never liked that idea. It is not expensive and I usually just end up replacing it. If you want to try washing it with dechlorinated water until it runs clear and then baking it for 4 hours at 300 degrees I think that should do it but let it cool in the oven slowly as rock that cools too quickly can explode into tiny pieces. (like overnight,,,just turn the oven off and let it cool overnight)

The fry should be able to be medicated if the need comes up. The important thing is to get them out of the "sick tank" and deal with the tank and whatever is causing the problem. If none of the fish are having symptoms then they do not need to be medicated, but if they start to get sick then you will need to start them on something fast so it would probably be a good idea to have something on hand as it usually happens when the stores are all closed. If you want a recommendation, I would say Maracyn2 to start with. You always want to start with the most conservative thing first.

Yes the other tank will need to be recycled but you do not want to add any Bio-spira or fish to the tank until you are sure they are okay and that can be up to 4 weeks so you have time to cycle with ammonia or something else too if you do not want the expense of Bio-spira. You can put them back sooner if you are pretty confident they are okay but then you would need to use the Bio-spira instead of the other methods.

Rose
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

MamaM

Valued Member
Messages
139
Reaction score
2
Points
178
Okay, I got some meds today at the base exchange (mini store on the AFB where I live) because I still am not able to get into town.  The only meds they had were erythromycin tablets & a general cure tablet for fungus (with metronidazole, copper sulfate & trichlorfon), and the packages said they could be used in conjunction with one another.  Since my 2 remaining female danios & fry have survived thus far, I did another 20% water change, removed the carbon filter (left in the non-carbon filter), and administered the meds right in my regular tank.  My danios don't seem to be exhibiting any of the syptoms listed on the disease chart (I thought they may have Velvet because of the gold stripe on their back, but I looked at the danios at Petco where I bought them, and they look exactly the same as mine!). It's very perplexing!

(PLEASE don't yell at me for this--I didn't figure it could hurt them any worse than what had already had happened in there!)  I will follow the directions on the package and see what happens.  I don't intend to get any fish for at least 3 weeks to a month until I can get another tank, get it cycled and this one sterilized.  (I promise!)  I just knew I had to get some meds into these gals and fast!  So I will watch, follow directions & see.
Sharon
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

MamaM

Valued Member
Messages
139
Reaction score
2
Points
178
So far so good, they both are looking healthy (Cindy looks like she has a bunch of eggs ready to be laid, but as there is no males, I'm not sure what will happen!). They are swimming together back & forth in the tank, and from I cannot see any external signs of disease. So far so good. (And I've seen some fo the fry around, too!) I now have hope. I was getting so stressed & frustrated!! I am still looking into getting the right 2nd tank as a quarantine tank, then I will cycle, move these fish to that, totally clean out this tank, recycle, move the danios back to the main tank, clean out & recycle the q tank, THEN get more fish. (Sound like a lot of work, but it will be worth it to ensure healthy fish.)
Sharon
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,628
Reaction score
22
Points
358
Experience
5 to 10 years
I would never yell at you...the erythromycin tablets are exactly Maracyn (not Maracyn2 but would have been the next step anyway) You just skipped a step and went to the next level is all and that is perfectly okay. The other med is kind of similar to what MarOxy would do so don't worry you are covering bacterial and fungal infections and that is okay. Now take some deep breaths and relax a bit and try not to stress, okay?

Yes you have some work ahead of you but it is doable and it will be something to do to keep you from stressing. I am so sorry this is happening to you and I do have confidence in your ability to be a very good fish mommy and you did nothing wrong so relax a bit and do not be hard on yourself. No one here is going to be either. We love you and want the best for you.

Now kick back for a bit and take your shoes off and sit in the recliner or easy chair and rest for a bit and forget the work exists for at least 20 minutes and you will find it is not quite so bad.

Rose
 

Terry

Valued Member
Messages
239
Reaction score
20
Points
178
Hi. I'm wondering about the comment on having to bake the gravel after cleaning. I realize it must be to kill any disease or parasites, but when I take one of my tanks down for a thorough cleaning, I always take the gravel in a plastic 5 gallon bucket outside and swirl & rinse it repeatedly till the water is clear, then I give it a healthy dose of chlorine bleach and after several more washings and a treatment with dechor I put it back in the tank and start the cycling process. Is this a bad practice for some reason? It's always worked for me, and avoids the cost of new gravel. Is there something I need to be aware of that I don't know?

Thanks,
Terry
 

chickadee

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,628
Reaction score
22
Points
358
Experience
5 to 10 years
Gravel and anything made of rock absorbs the chlorine and does not release it. It can kill the fish. It is not a good practice to bleach things made of gravel, stone, wood or porous substances.

Rose
 

Terry

Valued Member
Messages
239
Reaction score
20
Points
178
Well, I can understand wood being porous but not any gravel that I'm familiar with. I'll admit it may adhere to the gravel surface, but even if it would indeed absorb the chlorine it would also absorb the dechlor. A test for chlorine after I get done, and a day later is always negative. A test of chlorinated water itself a day or two after exposure to air comes up negative for chlorine. Sodium hypochlorite (active ingredient in bleach) is highly reactive and even with no dechor added it would dissipate on its own in a day or two with exposure to oxygen in the air via normal aeration. Granted it's highly poisonous to fish (and even people) but I'll have to rely on my chemist background and stay with my practice of bleaching the gravel. Wood on the other hand is a different story and I agree that baking would be a much better practice. Frankly I would never put real wood in any aquarium of mine anyway - it's too porous and too good a substrate for bacteria and disease to grown in.

Thanks for your opinion. I hope you don't mind me expressing mine.

Terry
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

MamaM

Valued Member
Messages
139
Reaction score
2
Points
178
(Posting with the laptop as I sit with my feet up in my recliner--just for you, Rose!  )  Thank you, thank you so much for the words of encouragement & advice.  I cleaned out my "fake aquarium" (it had plastic floating fish & such!) today as I was planning to use the acrylic base as a q tank and just get the filter/heater/aerator to complete it.  But I had posted on our local freecycle website, and a wonderful lady has a 10 gal aquarium that she'll never use & wants to give to me!  How sweet!  Her e-mail & your postings make me feel good, give me hope, and reaffirm that I want to be (and will be) a good fish mommy.  If it is a 10 gal tank, I may still use my acrylic one as a q tank, and set up the other 10 gal for otos & a BETTA!  ;D  (y'all are making me want one--I even visited the ebay distributor from Thailand's site  whose fish have been featured here just to look & admire!!)
Thank you!  And I love you all too!  *group hug* 
Sharon
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom