Help This Fish Has A Giant Ulcer

  1. J

    Jin_Yu Initiate Member

    Hi all! I'm new here. I am taking care of a friend's 2 iridescent sharks and the 16" albino shark developed a big ulcer on its side over the course of the last 2 days. The owner is out of town, I sent him pictures but he has no idea what it could be. I haven't been able to find any pictures online to help identify what this is.

    At the beginning it looked like a bump of air under the skin like goldfish get when their bladder is acting up. This morning though, an open sore opened up and it leaking white grains of sand or flesh into the tank (but they float). The fish is 16" long and it shares this massive tank with another black iridescent shark. As you can see, I'm not an expert here but freaking out at the thought of a giant dead fish or that whatever is wrong with this fish will also infect the other fish.

    Here's some links:
    Iridescent sharks ulcer
    Iridescent sharks in their tank

    Update: Progressed Ulcer (day 3)

    Any help would be appreciated..

  2. 2211Nighthawk

    2211Nighthawk Fishlore VIP Member

    Heh sorry to disappoint you but that is a *really* small tank for fish that big. Those guys should be in a tank 20' long at least (if not a heck of a lot more)

    BUT aside from that. My first though was parasites. Have you seen any worms or something like that on/in the wound?

  3. OP

    Jin_Yu Initiate Member

    Hi Nighthawk, thank you so much for your reply. I haven't seen any visible parasites, but it does make sense in terms of the buildup and eruption of that sore. The other idea I had was some kind of bacterial infection. Any thoughts on treatment?

    Based on what I've read here and in other forums it looks like quarantining each fish, fixing water, adding some kind of medication. Any recommendations for that process? Not sure what to do about the giant gaping hole in the side of opal the fish.

    I agree with you on the tank size--its hard to watch them try to maneuver around, they don't have enough space to turn and they often times bump into the sides of the tank (not my fish, not my tank but I will pass the concern along).

  4. 2211Nighthawk

    2211Nighthawk Fishlore VIP Member

    Normally you would quartine because some meds can kill your cycle but I have no idea how you'd quartine an 18" fish. I've never seen bacterial do something like that but I've been lucky with healthy fish.

    I'd ask Alliesten but I have no idea how to do shout outs yet...give me a bit.

  5. Books&Fish

    Books&Fish Well Known Member Member

    @AllieSten @2211Nighthawk Just use the @ symbol and start typing the screen name. A box pops up for you to click to link their name. If you're using desktop anyway.

    I have no help for the fish, but I could help with getting help. :)
  6. 2211Nighthawk

    2211Nighthawk Fishlore VIP Member

    Ha! Got it @Books&Fish :)

    Yeah, wait for Allie
  7. 2211Nighthawk

    2211Nighthawk Fishlore VIP Member

    Another thing. Iridescent sharks are actally a type of scaleless catfish so most meds can actally do more harm then good. Scaleless are the worst to treat.
  8. OP

    Jin_Yu Initiate Member

    @Books&Fish @2211Nighthawk @AllieSten Thank you so much for all your help and suggestions, I have been really stressed out about this all day and having you all there really made me feel better.

    So here's the latest update: I went to Pacific Aquarium here in NYC, they suggested I mix 250 mg Metronidazole/75 mg Praziqantel with a handful of the Wardley fish pellets (they usually eat just 12 little granules per day) mixed with some of the tank water, then freeze into little chunks to feed to the fish for the next 2 weeks. I removed the charcoal from the filters and took out 20gal of water from the tank, added 10 gal of fresh water back in. I will add the rest of the water tomorrow after I pick up some water conditioner since the stuff here expired in 2010. Pacific Aquarium asked me to bring in a water sample they will test for me so we can figure out what is up with everything and hopefully rebalance that.

    The fish are super agitated and the gaping hole in the side of one is so gross. Here's hoping that I don't wake up to a couple big dead fish in the morning!

    Thank you!!!
  9. Sarcasm Included

    Sarcasm Included Well Known Member Member

    Tetra pond treatment would be the most cost effective treatment
  10. AllieSten

    AllieSten Fishlore VIP Member

    The best thing you can do is water changes to keep the water clean. It should heal up on its own. With sharks you have to be sooo careful with meds.

    Now as far as the cause, who knows. I would have also suggested API General Cure. (Metronidazole/Praziquantel) It has an antibiotic and anti parasitic in it. So glad you were able to get some advice from the aquarium. It is very easy to use. Just be sure to take the carbon out of the filter and follow the instructions exactly.
  11. 2211Nighthawk

    2211Nighthawk Fishlore VIP Member

    Make sure you get the numbers for the parameters, don't just accept 'it's fine'. Those are big gorgous fish and it would suck for one to die.
  12. OP

    Jin_Yu Initiate Member

    @AllieSten yay! Yes it is General Cure, but they are having me feed it to the sharks rather than put it into the water. Check charcoal out. They suggested keeping it out for about 2 weeks while the fish are eating the pellet-general cure mix. Does that sound right?

    @Sarcasm Included tell me more about Tetra Pond treatment--I'm new to all of this so what would that do?

    @2211Nighthawk thanks for the tip on the water parameters, I'll post them when I have them.

    Backstory: I'm just fish-sitting, the owner has had them for like 20 years so it would be heartbreaking if I had to call him and tell him his fish were dead. This has all been an interesting learning experience :)
  13. Corine

    Corine Well Known Member Member

    Aside from medicating, I'd recommend picking up some Kordon Fish Protector to use until the sore heals. Frequent water changes are also advised.
    Fish Protectorâ„¢ | Kordon!
  14. Corine

    Corine Well Known Member Member

    Accidentally double posted and I can't recall how to delete post. :p
  15. Sarcasm Included

    Sarcasm Included Well Known Member Member

    It is quinine hydrochloride and formalin, very stong so be careful not to overdose. One of the few good products of Tetra but is getting harder to find. It is an antiparasitic with antimicrobial properties.
  16. 2211Nighthawk

    2211Nighthawk Fishlore VIP Member

    is it safe to use with scaleless fish? That's the problem with sharks.
  17. AllieSten

    AllieSten Fishlore VIP Member

    I would stick with what the aquarium suggests. They have way more education than most of us. Especially with sharks. So stick with General Cure for now. What a great resource you found with them.
  18. Sarcasm Included

    Sarcasm Included Well Known Member Member

    Yes and no.... it is no more dangerous to scaleless fish than it is any other fish but I wouldn't call it "safe". Quinine will kill your fish if you overdose it and the medicine is concentrated to treat large volumes of water. Much care should be used with it. Kinda like the Pond Prime I use instead of regular Prime, it takes me half the dose to treat the same amount.
  19. OP

    Jin_Yu Initiate Member

    For folks that have dosed their sharks with Metronidazole/praziquantel, what dosage did you go with? Based on what you all said, I was worried and went and found this Iridescent Shark that suggests giving sharks 50% of the recommended dosage. What has worked for you all? And how do you know when the dosage has been too high? Do additional sores appear or does the fish behave strangely?

    @Corine thank you for the suggestion for the Kordon fish protector, I'll see if the aquarium folks have it (and order it online otherwise)
  20. 2211Nighthawk

    2211Nighthawk Fishlore VIP Member

    The standard is 50% for scaleless. I don't know what would happen if you overdose but I would think it would act like a burn or something because that don't have the same protection. It's a big fish so I think you have a little more leeway then with smaller fish but I'm not sure.