No longer losing fish, for the time being at least

Bill
  • #1
Now I'm getting worried. One guppy died from finrot the other day, but the day before yesterday a female dropped dead suddenly, and now another female (who was looking thin and stressed yesterday) is dead. No external signs of anything, the water parameters are fine etc etc.

It's very sudden, and now there's a loner neon who's looking thin as well...

When I fished out the second guppy, I noticed there was a spiky red thing poking out of her anus (or maybe her cloaca? I wasn't sure, but she was the only female guppy who wasn't pregnant). It looked like it might have been the tip of some horrible internal parasite, but I couldn't be sure. It wasn't moving, whatever it was.

Anyway, I want to stop the rest of my fish going the same way - today after school I'll go to my lfs and get whatever meds/vitamins I need, but I'd appreciate any advice/diagnosis from you guys before I buy the wrong stuff. I'll be going even deeper into debt to try and save my fish, and I want to do it right I can't use anything that will kill inverts, or Melafix (I have a gourami) and the range of meds is smaller than in the US, so I might have to find substitutes for any suggestions, but that's my best shot. Do I need a carbon filter pad too?

Thanks a lot.

~Bill
 
armadillo
  • #2
Re: Please advise what meds I need to save my fish ASAP

HI Billl

Tough one. I wish I could help on the specific meds but what we each get seems to be country-specific. I was comparing with Tazmiche a couple of times and even UK - Netherlands are different from each other. So I can only say what I'd do in generic terms, and hope that it still helps. I am sorry if you've thought of some of this before, but am trying to be thorough. Lots of my advice here is not disease-specific, but will help and give them a better fighting chance.

1/ Salt (1tbsp/5 gallon) and increasing the temperature. Don't know if that's OK for all of your inverts and your gourami. You might have to check on them specifically.
2/ If you could get a hold of anti-internal parasite medicated food, that would be fab, then you can focus-medicate.
3/ I think it's definitely a possibility that the fish have the finrot as a secondary infection.
4/ Have you checked your pH lately, to see what's gotten things out of whack all of a sudden? I know you say water parameters are fine, but I didn't know if you meant only n'ates/n'ites/a'nia.
5/ I'd feed them garlic, or garlic-based stuff (try to find guarlic guard from Seachem to dip food in) and other immune system boosters (tetra menu flakes has one flavour like that that I use for sick fish to pep them up).
6/ I'd put liquid vitamins in the water, and I'd try to feed some of the fish a 'squiggle' of gel vitamin (kind of looks like a worm when squished out of the tube. Sometimes, my mollies get it. Other times, they ignore it)
7/ I'd try to get a hold of an antibiotic that contains sulfa. In Europe, I know I can get Seachem Sulfathiazole. The only reason I say this is that it seems sulfa is very powerful against finrot. I don't know, however, wehther it's appropriate to be used with livebearers, and certainly not sure whether it's inverts-safe)
8/ I'd do 50% water changes every 2 days, including gravel vac (50% gravel each time).

I hope it at least gives you some thoughts and ideas for comparable products and the way to go.
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Re: Please advise what meds I need to save my fish ASAP

Thanks a lot Arma, I'll see what I can find.

~Bill
 
armadillo
  • #4
Re: Please advise what meds I need to save my fish ASAP

No problem. I've found the medicated food on the internet, but they won't ship to holland. You might have better luck in the uK? It's Jungle's anti-parasite medicated food.
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Re: Please advise what meds I need to save my fish ASAP

Here's what I got...

Interpet AntI Fungus and Fin Rot
Interpet Liquisil
Interpet freeze-dried Brine Shrimp
TetraPro supreme fish food ;D

I needed some new food, so I got the best I could find, and as there weren't any decent looking vitamin supplements I got brine shrimp instead, as they are full of goodness anyway

The antI finrot is in at the moment, do I need to use a carbon filter pad to remove it once I'm done? It doesn't say so on the packaging.

Liquisil is a general tonic for keeping background levels of fungus, bacteria, parasites etc. down so that they will never get to a high enough level to infect any of my fish. That's a monthly additive, which will go in after the finrot stuff.

Can I continue to use my weekly additives (Stress Zyme and Plant Zone) in the tank? I'll have to use Prime in any case, but it says on the antI finrot instructions a list of what other Interpet treatments can be used at the same time, so I get a feeling it might not mix well with other stuff.

Also, after research it seems that sunken belly is a sign of internal bacteria; one neon currently has that, and is isolated from the rest, and the last guppy that died did too. I better get that Liquisil in soon. Anyway, the finrot at least should be taken care of, and general health will be better with the new foods, so I'm feeling optimistic

Cheers

~Bill
 
COBettaCouple
  • #6
Re: Please advise what meds I need to save my fish ASAP

sounds like you've got the situation in hand now. best of luck and hope to hear good news from that tank soon.
 
armadillo
  • #7
Re: Please advise what meds I need to save my fish ASAP

That's great, Bill. Bet your bank balance isn't happy, though.

Would you please tell me how you go with the meds? They sound familiar so I think I may actually be able to get a hold of some for myself. Would be nice to get your feedback on them to see if they're worth it.

I have no experience of using Stress Zyme or Plant Zone. To be on the safe side, I'd contact the companies that make them (including Interpet) to ask whether they're compatible. The people who've tried that in the US have received pretty good and knowledgable advice form the customer service dept, as far as I hear. Perhaps it's as good in the UK?

Regarding the activated carbon, I don't know that you have to use it after meds, but it's definitely recommended by a lot of people. If you are going to use it, yes I would wait until the whole course of meds is over, like you're saying. Do read on the AC pad box after how long you're meant to remove it. It's either a week (most) or 2 (some longer-lasting ones). If you leave it too long, it will spill the products back in your tank.
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Re: Please advise what meds I need to save my fish ASAP

OK, some updates..

Bad news. My favourite guppy, Eric (the lovely blue male) died today. He had the worst finrot, but once I put the meds in it seemed to "flare up"; when I came home from school today he was barely alive, with only the rays of his fins left

Also, my one remaining female guppy now has mouth rot.

Could the meds be making the bacteria flare like this, or is it just bad timing and finrot speeds up mightily near the end? It consumed his fins in a couple of days, whereas it was taking ages to progress before.

And after reading the instructions closely, it looks like I can't do a water change while the stuff is in there, as any other additives might bugger it up. Which is bad, because I'm due a water change on Sunday and I won't be able to do one until Thursday.

Arma, I expect you can get this stuff over there, it's extremely ubiquitous - I'll let you know how effective it is.
 
armadillo
  • #9
Re: Please advise what meds I need to save my fish ASAP

I am really sorry you lost your favorite, Bill. That's really awful.

No water change til Thursday? That's really not going to help things, poor fish.

I think it's really worth calling Interpet and asking them precisely what additives are OK. There's no way you can hold off the water changes for the duration of the treatment. What if you need to keep treating for, like, 2 weeks?
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Re: Please advise what meds I need to save my fish ASAP

One treatment of 7 days should do it. I'm going to test my nitrates, and if they're 20+ I'll do a water change regardless. It can't screw up the stuff too much.
 
armadillo
  • #11
Re: Please advise what meds I need to save my fish ASAP

That's what I think too.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #12
Re: Please advise what meds I need to save my fish ASAP

:'( we're sorry you lost your favorite one & hope no more are lost.
 
Butterfly
  • #13
Re: Please advise what meds I need to save my fish ASAP

Bill please refresh my memory on what size the tank is and what fish you have in there.
Carol
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Re: Please advise what meds I need to save my fish ASAP

Ok, better make that

2 guppies
1 variatus platy
1 Mickey Mouse platy
1 red wagtail platy
1 neon swordtail
7 neon tetras
1 baby bristlenose plec
1 dwarf gourami
2 bamboo shrimp
2 blue ram cichlids

What the **** is going on here?

The guppy had finrot, but those tetras just seemed to die for no reason (apart from that skinny one I mentioned earlier). One of the neons had a funny clear tube sticking out of its stomach, but other than that they had no obvious marks or anything on them. They just died.

I tested the parameters (including pH), it's all god, but nitrates were up to 20 so I did a 25%. I didn't add Stress Zyme or Plant Zone, just used the normal dosage of Prime.

One thing I've noticed, which might be a key issue:
All the fish that have died (apart from thew female gourami, who was killed by the male) were from LFS 2. The neons and the guppies and the BN were from there - the BN is going great, but I have a feeling this might be because he was bred in-store. I've had 5 guppies and 5 neons die on me.

The rams, shrimp, gourami, platies and swordtail were all from LFS 1 - and they're fine. Even the platies that have finrot are doing well, unlike the guppies, whose fins were weirdly consumed overnight when I put the meds in. If there were any issues with water quality, I would expect the more sensitive fish (rams) or the inverts (shrimps) to die or look poorly first, but they are both going very strong.

I have a nasty feeling that there was something dodgy in LFS 2 (maybe different suppliers, overcrowding, conditions or whatever) which made the guppies and neons less resistant to disease, less hardy or maybe even infected with something in the water there. All fish from LFS 1 are doing fine, no signs of ill health apart from some mild finrot, and the rams are looking particularly vibrant and happy, which I am extremely pleased about since they are supposed to be pretty hard to care for.

I won't be buying from LFS 2 again, for the time being at least... I'll see how the finrot treatment goes and I won't add any new fish until I'm confident everything is healthy. I'm now at least well under the stocking capacity of my tank (34.5" not including the shrimps). I've also turned the heater up a couple of degrees to help get rid of the finrot.

~Bill
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Re: Still losing fish

Update:

The two remaining guppies are doing well (in fact, one of them never had finrot even though he has the largest fins). They are eating and moving about freely, and seem to enjoy one another's company. The red wagtail platy's finrot is under control, though I have noticed strange pale patches on her sides which I think might be slime/velvet (not little spots, just splodges). I'll give it a week and redose if things haven't improved, but the fish that have survived all seem okay for the moment
 
COBettaCouple
  • #17
Re: Still losing fish

sounds like things are stabilizing & hopefully just going to settle & clear up.
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Re: Still losing fish

Update

No more fish have died, but Colin the gourami is looking very stressed out (grey instead of silver parts) and is swimming funny. He is really sluggish and doesn't dash away when I put my hand in the water, and seems to be gulping rather a lot. Could it be that these meds are bad for labyrinth breathers like melafix is?
 
COBettaCouple
  • #19
Re: Still losing fish

i'm not sure.. what are the ingredients? is moving Colin to a different tank an option?
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Re: Still losing fish

Colin died this morning. He had something up with his swim bladder (he couldn't balance himself at all and kept spinning upside-down, sinking to the bottom etc.). I looked it up, and apparently this can be caused by bad water-quality/poisoning, Swimbladder infection, or internal bacteria.

It's not bad water quality, but it might have been poisoning from the finrot treatment (not very likely though)

Most likely is that the fish have been dying from an internal bacterial infection (hence several apparently unexplained deaths), and the finrot gave the bacteria something to latch on to.

I need to get some pimafix/melafix for the remaining fish now if I have any hope of solving all the problems. My red wagtail platy now has mouthrot as well.

I've now had 11 fish die. Not good
 
armadillo
  • #21
Re: Still losing fish - 11 and counting

11 fish? This is getting so extreme. I am so sorry, Bill. Man this must be tough. I would be at my wit's ends.

Can you think of any new ornament or plant or substrate that you put in your system that could be poisoning them? Could they be poisoned by the tap water?

It sounds like one thing is stressing their immune system, and so they're coming up with lots of secondary infections. Could it be a sudden fluctuation in pH or temp?
 
COBettaCouple
  • #22
Re: Still losing fish - 11 and counting

it might be good to check this link that armadillo found: i'm sorry to hear that you lost Colin. :'(
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
Re: Still losing fish - 11 and counting

Thanks.

My diagnosis is this:

The guppies have long fins

They get finrot

Dormant bacteria infect and kill most of the guppies with finrot (bacteria jumps at the chance where there is tissue damage/wounds)

The neons get infected next because they're small and not resistant

Colin... either he got killed by the meds, or he was infected with the same nasty bacteria and for some reason that did for his swimbladder.

Basically, I'm pretty sure I have an internal bacteria on my hands (not literally ) and with the current finrot meds I can't treat it. Pimafix treats internal and external bacterial infection, and finrot/fungus all at the same time. I can use that to save the remaining fish because I no longer have a labyrinth breather in there.
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
Re: Still losing fish - 11 and counting

More evidence that it's an internal bacteria; my red wagtail platy died. Exactly the same way as Colin, except she got mouthrot too. I have a feeling that the fish that died in the night (female gupies mostly) must have had the same swimbladder dodginess caused by bacteria.

I phoned up both LFSs, only one had pimafix; I got a lift there and what they had turned out to be out of date So, here's my new plan of action, after advice from the very knowledgeable owner of the LFS I went to:

25% water change, carbon filter to get rid of residual finrot meds

7 teaspoons of tonic salt over two days, to keep the finrot at bay (now only affecting a couple of fish)...

...while I do two four-day treatments of Interpet Internal Bacteria Killer Stuff

Then remove that with carbon, another water change and a 7-day treatment with my original finrot meds.

It looks like the remaining fish are a lot stronger than that platy was anyway (the finrot had infected her quite far), and they are all behaving normally, very active, apart from Pablo who, seems a bit stressed out by all of this. For some reason the shrimps are happier than they've ever been, and the tetras are very sprightly too.

Here's hoping I've made the right choices this time :-\
 
armadillo
  • #25
Oh, man, Bill! This is tough stuff. I hope this course of action works. Best of luck.
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
Found Pablo dead this morning

I knew he was infected, but I thought he might hold out until this morning (last night was when I put the carbon in). Same symptoms; he went dark, his swimbladder packed up and he died. I'll really miss him :'(
 
armadillo
  • #27
Bill, have you looked up these symptoms in a disease engine (particularly going black)?

Please check this link: . I am not saying that's what it is, but it's worth looking it up. I hope for you it's not.
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
Bloody ****, I hope not

If another fish dies maybe I should dissect it

The dying fish didn't turn black, just dark, so I think it might have just been stress. Certainly haven't seen any of the other symptoms recognised apart from skinniness.
 
armadillo
  • #29
Oh good. Didn't mean to freak you out, but, you know, it is so mysterious.

I wonder what it is. I really do. If only your water conditions were really terrible, that would narrow it down, but your levels are fine, aren't they.
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
Yup. Nitrates 7.5, Ammonia and Nitrites 0, pH constant 7.6.

Like I said, most likely culprit is internal bacteria. that would explain the apparently symptomless deaths, as well as the ones with f*d up swimbladders, and the finrot fish dying first.

Miguel, the remaining ram, is going strong. He's my water-quality tester
 
armadillo
  • #31
But what kind of a bacteria? Different meds will treat different problems, and am so baffled about what to use nowadays.

Are you completely ruling out parasites? Was it only one fish who was thinning? How was their poo?
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #32
Poo has all been fine. It was one guppy and a couple of tetras that became emaciated before they died. The vast majority have had something go wrong with their swimbladder as they died (in fact, all the ones that I actually saw die). According to the symptoms/diagnosis thing in the interpet meds, that's caused by one of several species of internal bacteria that are killed by using the meds.
 
armadillo
  • #33
Oh that's really interesting. Thanks. I am sorry we need to build our knowledge on your bad experience, but it will help future people with the same problem. We'll be more able to help then.
 
armadillo
  • #34
How are your fish doing, Bill?
 

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