Help with fast moving disease

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by atp213, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. atp213New MemberMember


    We has recently come across a new problem.


    This has developed in our tank over the past three days. It started on our pleco and looked like fin rot, we tried to treat with API fungus cure but he died yesterday (day 2). This popped up on one of our two catfish last night (also on day 2) and this is how he looks this morning. I have no idea, and can not find anything that looks similar online or as fast moving.

    We have three black tetra (one looks like he now has this), and two catfish. It is a 30 gallon tank. Also measurements are zero on ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite. The PH is at 6.8. Temperature is at 74.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. NympxzieValued MemberMember

    This is a pretty nasty disease! so so sorry for your lost. Have you tried treating the main tank?

    Hopefully someone knows what this is.

  3. atp213New MemberMember

    We are in the middle of the API fungus cure treatment because it was initially just on the fins of the pleco. However, I can not find anything that looks like this.

  4. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to FishLore!

    First, that appears to be Ich.

    Second, you said the pleco died yesterday (day 2). Does that mean the tank is 2 days old? Your test results would imply that as well. Having 0 nitrates usually means that the tank is not cycled, or you did the test wrong. You really have to follow the directions good for that and bang the bottle hard on your hand, a table or something to get the crystals in the bottle to break apart and float freely in the solution.

    Third, for treating the ich, there are a few ways to do that.

    If you do not have an adjustable heater, and are not willing to get one, skip to next paragraph. I would first recommend the all natural way, which is safest for the fish. This is SLOWLY increasing the temp of the tank until it hits 86 degrees. By slowly, I mean 1-2 degrees per hour. Then you will need to do daily water changes and gravel vacuuming. This will remove the free floating parts of the disease from the water. You will need to keep the temperature up and do these water changes for 2 weeks. It is likely that your fish will appear to get better long before that, but the disease can still be in the tank. Make sure you use a product like Seachem Prime as your water conditioner to remove chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals, along with locking up ammonia and nitrite so that it doesnt become toxic to your fish.

    The next option I would recommend using if you do not, or can not, do the first option, is a product by Kordons called Ich Attack. Many users have used that product with great success. Make sure to follow the directions on the bottle exactly. Also, most important is to remove any carbon from your filter. If you have a cartridge type, you can cut a slit in the filter floss (spongey like stuff) and dump the carbon into the trash. If you do not do this, the carbon will absorb the medication, you will be wasting time, money, and it will do no good. If you choose this method, I would still recommend dosing Seachem Prime daily to lock up toxic ammonia and nitrite.

    If you need a 3rd option, let me know.

    Also, no matter what option you use, the oxygen in the water will be depleted, either by the heat or by the medication, so you will need to increase oxygenation by lowering the water level to an inch or 2 below the filter outflow, and/or add an air stone and aerator. Make sure to only feed once a day during this period so the fish will not produce as much waste, which would result in a more toxic environment.

    Finally, your tank is likely not cycled. This cant not effectively be done while you are treating for the disease. Which is why I said to use Seachem Prime daily to attempt at keeping the water safe. We can get your tank cycled after this disease is gone.

    Reply back with any questions you have.

  5. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to fishlore!
    I agree with alink. Good luck treating it!
    Sorry for your loss. :(
  6. atp213New MemberMember


    Thank you for the response. The tank is actually 19 months old. We have an adjustable heater and an air stone that runs across the entire back of the tank.

    I was referencing the time since the issue was visible until the plecos death. I always thought that it was granular. This appears to look more like sticks. Also, I just got another picture, the pectoral fin shows the patchiness I was referencing as fin rot. The place's fins were literally fraying away.


    Thanks again,

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  7. atp213New MemberMember

    I have no idea why the picture flipped. Sorry.
  8. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    hmm.. That pic does not look like Ich... I have never seen anything like that. I assumed the color was tinted from your camera or the lighting. Ich is white in color.

    Let me do a little digging and get back to you...
  9. atp213New MemberMember

    The green is from the API fungus cure. Whatever it is appears to be mostly white. The patches, like on the pectoral fin, are solid in color and appears also on the tail and the fin directly in front of the tail. The name escapes me at the moment. Thank you again.
  10. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    It could be velvet.....(disease)
  11. alinkWell Known MemberMember


    I can not find anything that looks similar to that other than Ich or some kind of worm, which I assume it is not. However, it appears to be some kind of an external parasite. Fungus cure would not help that so I would stop treatment immediately, do a large water change to remove a lot of the medication. Add your carbon for a day to remove whats left. I would recommend any of the following 3 medications, preference is in order... Kordon Ich Attack (it treats ich and other external parasites), PraziPro (expensive but works great!), Tetra Parasite Guard Tablets. Just use one of those that is available at your local fish store, follow the directions and hopefully that fixes your problem before you lose any more fish.

    I am fairly certain it is a good idea to make sure the old fungus medication is removed before adding a new medication. Can someone confirm this for me?
  12. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Yes, it's better not to mix medications as that can be dangerous.
  13. atp213New MemberMember

    One sec, uploading another pic since the fish just moved.
  14. atp213New MemberMember


    All along the bottom of the fish, and now that I think of it, the patches were primarily along the bottom of the pleco. Any other thoughts?
  15. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    I would say its either ICH or Velvet like Anders247 said. Both can be treated with the same medication. I am certain that its a Parasite, so you want to get a medication specifically for external parasites. Also it will help to leave your tank light off during the duration of the treatment. Kordons Ich Attack, PraziPro, Tetra Parasite Guard, API General Cure, any of those will work. Following directions on the bottle, repeating the dosage as necessary.
  16. atp213New MemberMember


    I appreciate your time this afternoon. I will let you know how it goes.

  17. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Definitely not velvet. Velvet looks like gold dust across the fish and has a lot of symptoms before it becomes visible.

    One thing it definitely isn't is Fungus, so I'd stop all anti-fungal meds. Do a water change and add carbon to the filter.

    A few questions: have you added any new fish, plants, or decor to the tank lately? If so, what is their status?

    Edit: Problems that peak and kill this quickly are usually bacterial. I've never seen this specific presentation, but look into things like anaeromas, columnare bacteria, and generally fish bacterial diseases.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  18. atp213New MemberMember

    There has been nothing new added to this tank for at least three months. This was sudden and brutal. Also, the addition was the tetra which is just starting to show the symptom.

    I can't get a pic of the tetra. It is just starting on him.
  19. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    I have never seen any bacterial infection that would have these kind of "specs" on the fish. Usually they start from the inside of the fish or is concentrated in one spot. These are all over the fish... which makes me believe they are some kind of parasitic tomite. I dont like the color tint that is coming through in the pics, that is making it hard to get a good visual. Its not worms, OP said they were white, which would be ICH, but those are crystal like tomites, and some of these are elongated.. so I dont know what it is exactly, but I do think it is a parasite that is in the water and spreading to the other fish.

    I am not a microbiologist. I could be wrong. If it were my tank, I would treat for external parasites.
  20. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Fungus Cure would treat a pretty wide variety of external parasites though (not particularly well,mind you, but it would have some effect on them) . And I've not heard of any parasite that can kill a fish in as little as two days, particularly external ones.

    The only thing I could think, if this was the case and it was an external parasite, is that the fungus cure might affect the armored fish, as some of them are very sensitive to mal. green and similar meds.

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