What is the water volume of the tank?
Main Tank 55 gallon; quarantine tanks are 10 gallons.
How long has the tank been running?
Main tank has been running for over 6 years; the quarantines were set up this week.
Does it have a filter? The main tank has two 2+ year old Marineland Emperor filters (cycled) and the quarantine tanks each have smaller filters and airstones. I've removed the carbon from all filter pads.
Does it have a heater?
No, I have heaters available, but I don't use them.
What is the water temperature?
The water temp is between 70 - 74 degrees.
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
1 Stick Catfish (he's just passed away.)
2 Upside-Down Catfish (They both died yesterday.)
4 small weather loaches/dojo loaches about 4 inches long. 3 large weather loaches 8 - 12 inches. (The 8 inch loach died yesterday, and the largest loach has been in a quarantine tank for 3 days.)
How often do you change the water?
Every two weeks.
How much of the water do you change?
I change approximately 20 % every 2 weeks.
What do you use to treat your water?
API Tap Water Conditioner
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
The tank was cycled, and had been set up for years.
What do you use to test the water?
I have the water tested at the local fish store. They use API 5-in-1 and API Ammonia test strips.
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
(Total alkalinity tested at 280, and water hardness was 300. The fish store manager tells me that everyone in our area has extremely hard water, but that it's not a problem.)
How often do you feed your fish?
Twice a day. Morning and mid-evening.
How much do you feed your fish?
About as much as they can eat in 1 minute. They'd usually gulp it down.
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
50% Tetra Crisps, and 50% Wardley Bottom Feeding Shrimp Pellets.
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?
Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
The youngest is 4 years.
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
6 days ago.
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
Staying near the top of the aquarium (trying to get air?) dark red fins. The fins are ragged at the edges. Listless, and floating in the water rather than swimming. It also seems as if they are "shedding" some skin in the advanced stage, and they also get white blotches - definitely not fungus. Their bodies get bloodshot-looking, and then they have died.
Have you started any treatment for the illness?
Because of the white blotches on the dojo, I thought that maybe he had columnaris. I treated with Kanaplex and Jungle Tank Buddies Fungus Clear Tablets (which contain Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone.) I dosed according to the instructions on the package 2 days ago, and administered the Kanaplex again today. I've also been giving them all API Melafix for the past 4 days. They haven't seemed to adjust well any of the meds - they've all been extra listless especially after the Kanaplex.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
My guys have always been healthy and lively. But please see the details below.
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
They are all listless and mopey.
Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)
Please help me diagnose what is wrong with my fish, and recommend a treatment, so that I can treat them properly and save the remaining ones.
A friend was pet sitting for me while I was away last week. Last Saturday; 7 days ago, she rescued three sad looking goldfish from a local superstore and put them with my loaches. By the time I got home Sunday evening, one of the goldfish was already dead, and the other two were drifting near the top of the aquarium. I removed them at placed the two remaining goldfish in a separate tank. I also changed almost all the water in my loach tank, leaving only about 95% of the old water in the tank. I really thought that the goldfish had suffered only from ammonia poisoning in the store. Their bellies, and gill and vent area was bloody looking, as if they had hemorrhaged. They had long tails, and over the next two days the tails got ragged looking and pieces of the tails even started falling off. The goldfish both died late Tuesday night. My weather loach started to "drift" around in the water and spend time at the top of the aquarium on Monday, and the Stick Catfish also began to stay at the water line. I removed them and placed each of them in separate 10 gallon tanks with heavy aeration. Meanhile, in the main tank, the two Upside-Down Catfish both died Wednesday night. The weather loach passed away yesterday, and the Stick Catfish today. They all show vibrant red fins and red patches on their bodies. The loach also had some white blotches, but it's hard to tell if the Stick Catfish has any. My largest loach has been very listless and "drifting" since Tuesday, and he is in another 10 gallon tank now. His pectoral fins are reddened. Neither he nor the fish in the main tank have any appetite.
Also, I have another 55 gallon tank with two large common plecos and a brood of juvenile bristlenose plecos in it. This tank has almost the same parameters as my loach tank. I noticed yesterday that the large plecos seem to have their fins clamped, and the bristlenoses were alost all clinging high on the glass. Usually the bristlenoses spend their time in their ornaments or scurrying around the substrate. I changed about 90% of their water yesterday, but their behavior hasn't changed. Upon pressing my friend, she admitted to having had originally placed the goldfish in my pleco tank, but that they didn't seem happy there so she placed them with the loaches after about half an hour...
Please help me! My fish have always been so lively and friendly. The 3 large loaches and one of the plecos even take food from my fingers. They all have adorable personalities. I must treat them and prevent any of the others from getting sick, if they are not already so.
I will try to attach a photo of the Stick Catfish below. Beware, it's a sad photo - he had already passed when I took it. I only thought to take the photo about an hour after he died, and much of the redness in his body seems to have subsided. When I first took his body out of the water the red was much more obvious.