I Really Don't Know Anymore

Jacob MacDonald

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Okay so, I have a 26 gallon lightly/ moderately planted bow front tank. Living in the tank right now are 3 GBRs (1 male and 2 females), 6 Dwarf Pencilfish, 6 Kuhli Loaches (hopefully, the most I've seen at once lately is 4, but there are lots of hiding spots) and 2 nerite snails. For plants, I have some Java Fern, Water Wisteria, Anubias and Jungle Val. I have a Fluval C3 as my main filter (essentially an Aquaclear 50) and a Tetra Whisper 10i (that I solely use for carbon as I don't put any in the C3). The tank's temperature is always in between 79-80F, and I just tested water today and go 0 Ammonia and 0 Nitrite (as per usual). Nitrate is always really low, the plants really eat it all up, <5. pH was 6.8, gH was 40 and kH was 20. Now you know the details, here are the problems:

April 20th I got another female GBR as originally I only had 1 male and female. The original 2 had spawned (the eggs never made it) but then a while later the female got gill mites and was hiding all the time. I treated the tank with Prazi Pro and that seemed to have done the trick. Although, when she started coming back out into the open water he started getting extremely aggressive with her (both of their fins took a lot of damage). So I introduced another female on April 20th (as already stated) to hopefully calm things down. The new female looks great and the male isn't bothered by her but he still chases the original (it's not as bad). You can tell she is stressed, she still eats, but sometimes she doesn't get a chance too as he'll chase her away. Her colors have really faded. Is there anything else that I can do to help this problem? (I'm not able to get another female ram. But I do have a small breeder box that floats at the top of the tank, should I put one of them in it to separate them?)

Another problem is with one of my Kuhli Loaches. When I had introduced that new female ram, it looked like she got stressed and was started to catch gill mites, so I dosed the tank with Prazi Pro again on April 27th. She is fine now but one of Kuhlis seemed to also have it, his colors were fading and he was breathing rapidly so I dosed again on May 1st as it says you can dose every 3 days and that Kuhli seemed to still be having problems. He seemed to have been getting better but now he is still looking really bad. Should I dose again?

I usually do water changes every week or two, it depends on how the fish are looking/ feeling and if the tank is dirty. My last water change was April 27th (then I added the Prazi as already stated) so one is coming up either this weekend (so today) or next but I really don't know what I should do. Water changes really seem to stress out the fish and could make more gill mites reappear or make the Kuhli worse. But I do have maintenance due on my Fluval C3 now and the flow has slowed done.
So I don't really know if I should do a water change and maintenance of the filter.

I know this is really long and confusing and as you can see it's the same for me. I have no idea what to do. So any help is really appreciated. If you need me to clarify any information as there is a lot of it feel free to ask.

Thanks
 

Lunnietic

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There are two things that help to clear aggression in my mind at least.

1) Rearrange the tank. I know this sounds silly, but believe me sometimes this helps to clear it up because they have to find territories for themselves. This isn't always full proof.

2) Removing one of the fish from the situation.

I would do the water change, I know they are stressful for some fish. But it needs to get done. Its like taking a dog to the vet.

I do wish you luck, I have never heard of gill mites, so I am unable to help with that
 

TexasDomer

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What makes you think they have gill mites?

Water changes are good for fish, even if it temporarily causes them to hide more. Don't skimp on water changes for that reason - I'd be sure to do them weekly, some of your fish are very sensitive to water quality.
 
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Jacob MacDonald

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Okay then water changes it is.
As for the gill mites I had a GBR die from gill mites (she lost colour, was breathing rapidly at the water surface and her gills were bulging out) a week after getting it. It seemed to have spread to my male so I bought the Prazi Pro and treated the tank. Everything seemed to have cleared up so then I got the new female but then she got it. Treated the tank again but that’s when he started getting really aggressive so then I bought another one. But all to say, I’ve thought that the tank was clear from it but now a Kuhli Loach is breathing really fast, colour fading and his gills are bulging out. I’m really not sure how the gill mites keep on coming back, are they immune to the med?
 

Platyarelife

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Jacob MacDonald said:
Okay then water changes it is.
As for the gill mites I had a GBR die from gill mites (she lost colour, was breathing rapidly at the water surface and her gills were bulging out) a week after getting it. It seemed to have spread to my male so I bought the Prazi Pro and treated the tank. Everything seemed to have cleared up so then I got the new female but then she got it. Treated the tank again but that’s when he started getting really aggressive so then I bought another one. But all to say, I’ve thought that the tank was clear from it but now a Kuhli Loach is breathing really fast, colour fading and his gills are bulging out. I’m really not sure how the gill mites keep on coming back, are they immune to the med?
Months and months and months ago I had a platy community tank and I ended up Gill Flukes in that tank. I was treating it the best I can and none of the fish made it, however, I did learn, from research, that if the tank isn't taken care of right away and cleaned really well, filter and all, some of the parasites can survive and find it's way back to a host. I don't know what gill mites are but if they are similar that could very well be the issue. When you have infected fish like this it is best to move them into another tank and treat them there so that : 1. The rest of the fish don't get infected. and 2. You can clean the main tank and free it of issue before adding the fish back after treatment. I didn't have another tank to do this in when the gill fluke outbreak happened but I can tell ya know it would have helped a lot.
 
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Jacob MacDonald

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I don’t have another tank but I’ll definitely give it a good clean and add some more medication.
 

TexasDomer

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You're unlikely to get new infections of gill flukes in your tank - there aren't the correct intermediate hosts in your tank for their life cycle to complete, but new fish can definitely have it. If they're not new fish, they've had them for a while (they don't always die with one round of PraziPro). I would also increase your water changes and treat with another round of PraziPro.
 

GuppyDazzle

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I'd recommend doing water changes every week. Don't wait for your water to look dirty or for your fish to show signs of trouble. Then it's too late.

You didn't say how much water you change. I'd recommend 25% once a week. Keep an eye on water readings to make sure it's working.
 

angelcraze

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My fish had gill flukes a few years ago, they had the same symptoms, colour loss, inflamed gills, labored breathing and hiding/sulking. I did one round of Prazipro for 7 days followed by a good water change and siphon. The infected fish looked better the very next day after adding the med, it only took one dose, no problems again, but I was very careful to siphon the substrate well. With Prazi, you do a WC before dosing and a WC with good siphon after the 7 days. I think it's important to siphon the tank well with each WC to get all the eggs/larvae possible.
 
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