My poor Jack in in trouble again... please help

  1. l

    lotus Valued Member Member

    I have been treating my Jack Dempsey for a week with parasite clear. He is in a 40g tank by himself, tank setup for 4 months, water parameters 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 20 nitrates. I5-20 % water change every week, gravel cleaning every 2 weeks, water temp 78f , pH 7.6. I started this treatment because I noticed white stringy things hanging by his gills, along with breathing very heavy( not coming to the surface and gasping for air though) and not eating for 6 days. He seemed to be responding well to the PC except for still breathing heavy, and loss of appetite until yesterday, when he ate some garlic soaked pellets and this morning he had half a cube of bloodworms. His color was good and he was swimming around and his breathing seemed better. He has had the initial treatment of PC, followed by 2 more doses spaced 48 hrs apart as per directions on box. Now, this afternoon, I noticed a black "line along the edge of his gill, a bulge in his stomach, and a small hole right below his gill. He is losing his color, and is lethargic. I was so relieved when he ate, but this is the result! I don't know what to do. The nearest pet store that has a decent stock of medications is 2 hrs. away and will be closed by the time I can get there.The local 1 is useless, I remember I went there to get an incandescent bulb and they didn't even know what that was!!
    I only have the parasite clear, maracyn, melafix and pimafix on hand. Oh- methylene blue too.
    What can I do now??? What should I get tomorrow when I can get my hands on something decent? I know I'm kind of freaking out here, I have been keeping fish since I was a kid but never had much experience with diseases. I can try and take a picture if someone will tell me how to upload it.
    I appreciate any advice.
  2. hampalong

    hampalong Fishlore VIP Member

    The white stringy things sound like excess mucous, which would normally mean bad water. Are you sure your test results are accurate?

    Is the water soft by any chance?
  3. OP

    lotus Valued Member Member

    I'm pretty sure it's not the water. I have 5 other tanks, I use API master test kit (liquid) and use that kit on all of them, all test fine and the fish have no problems. I do not have anything to test for hard or soft water, but all my other fish are fine in the same water (jewels, firemouths, angels, convicts)
    The JD is not pooping, maybe the bulge in his belly is from constipation? I fed a cooked pea, he ate part and then looked at me like he was saying you want me to eat THAT? He really doesn't look good, I'm at a loss here. I did a 25% water change, no improvement. I don't know what else to try, it sure would seem like parasites to me. What else could cause that little pinhole in his belly? And what about that black line on the edge of his gill/ It was never there before.