*please Help* Harlequin Rasboras Dying Daily *urgent*

Kevin Dennis
  • #1
I have been rapidly losing Harlequin Rasboras. Since Sunday I have lost a total of six.

I am hopeful someone here can tell me how this happened and how I can prevent it from taking out the rest of my tank.

The tank is 80 degrees and has:

8.2 PH
0 ammonia
0 nitrite
5 or less PPM Nitrate

Mouth/head rot.
Wasting away and losing color( they look like zombie fish).
Flipping upside down.
"Passing Out" and sinking to the bottom, sometimes they will come back, sometimes not.
Staying near the surface and not moving.
Rapid and trouble breathing. ( One was trying to "water ski" on the surface right before he died)
Not schooling with the ones less sick.

I watched one die on the surface. My wife watched one just sink to the bottom and die. All the bodies I have found in the mornings were on the bottom.

Strangley enough they will still eat, or try to eat until the end.

Thank you.
 

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Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #2
I have a bump on the head of another Harlequin, and some of my Betta's scales appear to be turning white.

I have never experienced fish disease before and am not sure how to proceed.
 
Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I still don't know what killed my fish. I will consult with the LFS to see what they recommend but I am considering API General Cure and API EM as it appears they can be used together and treat multiple diseases and parasites.
 
Ziggythecat
  • #4
Could be parasites, but I can’t really see the harlequins head
 
Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Here's another picture of him when he was still alive.

Another harlequin is flipping upside down somewhat regularly.

Thank you for the reply.
 

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Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
I now suspect it may be Columnaris due to the quick death, rotting above the mouth and white sores on other fish.
 
bitseriously
  • #7
I’m no expert, by any means. But to me, this doesn’t look like columnaris. It might be present, as a secondary pathogen, but I don’t see it lingering for long enough to literally rot away part of your fish’s head.
I would recommend doing everything you can to ensure the best possible water quality and general conditions for all your fish, and monitor closely for additional signs of infection. If you haven’t done so already, read up on the signs and symptoms of the most common fish diseases. That should help you to connect the dots between what you’re seeing, what’s causing it, and what course of action or treatment to take.
 
Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
I lost another one today. Same result, his head above his mouth was rotting away. I am now down to six, and three are very sick. They are dull in color and have sunken bellies. They are having trouble swimming and are staying near the surface. One is rapidly losing his head tissue like his brother and I would be surprised if he makes it the next 12 hours.

The three healthier ones are staying in a tight group near the bottom.

I have removed the Betta and put him in another tank.

As for treatment, in have been performing daily gravel vacuums with 50% water changes. I have not added any meds as I am unsure what the disease is.

I took a few more pictures of the sick ones.

I am really hoping the expertise here can help me with a diagnosis so I do not lose my entire tank.

Thank you.
 

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bitseriously
  • #9
Well, if you're losing multiple fish to the same presentation of symptoms, that certainly suggests some sort of communicable or infectious disease.
I'm not sure who the disease experts are on this forum who would be best to ask. Lucy and Coradee are a couple of the moderators I know of, and hopefully by me tagging them into this thread, they can suggest a few members with more experience in these matters. Or maybe they will be able to help directly...
What other livestock do you have in the tank?
Fingers crossed.
 
Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Three more died overnight.

There was a Betta in the tank. He has been removed. The only other animals currently in the tank are three Nerite snails which are doing fine.

Thank you for your help.
 

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Lucy
  • #11
Hi, I'm sorry about your fish. Unfortunaly I'm no help hee.
DoubleDutch or KimberlyG might be able to help.
 
DoubleDutch
  • #12
Sorry can't be a real help.
Looks like mouthrot (bacterial). But if that is the only issue we're facing I don't knoe. The ones swimming in the pics look quite poor.
 
OneLittleBubble
  • #13
Culumnaris can be treated with kanaplex. Good luck.
 
DoubleDutch
  • #14
Only doubting it is Columnaris (not the cause of mouthrot)
Culumnaris can be treated with kanaplex. Good luck.
 
OneLittleBubble
  • #15
If it is culumnaris. I really cannot tell from the photos sorry
 
Goldiemom
  • #16
That is so odd. I'm afraid I don't know either. So no fish left at this point in the tank?
 
Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Out of a total of nine I have three Harlequins left in the tank and they are starting to get thin and lose their color. I am afraid they will die before I can diagnose their disease.
 
DoubleDutch
  • #18
Sorry mate !
Out of a total of nine I have three Harlequins left in the tank and they are starting to get thin and lose their color. I am afraid they will die before I can diagnose their disease.
 
Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Only doubting it is Columnaris (not the cause of mouthrot)

What do you recommend for the mouthrot?
 
DoubleDutch
  • #20
If I am correct mouthrot is caused by aeromonas / pseudomonas bacteria.
I am not familiar with antibiotics used overthere.

What do you recommend for the mouthrot?
 
Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
Another shot of the head rot (I tried a small tank for him because he was struggling to swim)
 

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Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
Sorry can't be a real help.
Looks like mouthrot (bacterial). But if that is the only issue we're facing I don't knoe. The ones swimming in the pics look quite poor.

The symptoms are:

Mouth/head rot.
Wasting away and losing color( they look like zombie fish).
Flipping upside down.
"Passing Out" and sinking to the bottom, sometimes they will come back, sometimes not.
Staying near the surface and not moving.
Rapid and trouble breathing. ( One was trying to "water ski" on the surface right before he died)
Not schooling with the ones less sick.

I watched one die on the surface. My wife watched one just sink to the bottom and die. All the bodies I have found in the mornings were on the bottom.

Strangley enough they will still eat, or try to eat until the end.

Now I apologise for not having all these listed upfront but to be honest it has taken days of observation to see all these symptoms.
 
Goldiemom
  • #23
I would go ahead and start treating. I wonder if it could be hole in the head disease or Hexamita? Have you read on that? Here is treatment for that.

A common treatment for infection with Hexamita includes the addition of the antibiotic metronidazole to the treatment tank housing the infected fish. Water quality must be closely watched, and the water quality adjusted to the exact standards required for the fish. Improving nutrition by adding fresh or frozen meaty foods or vegetables in the form of seaweed strips or lightly steamed broccolI may help. Make sure to target the nutrition to the species you are treating. For example, some cichlids are primarily vegetarians, whereas oscars are carnivores. In cases where secondary bacterial infections are present, additional antibiotics such as Maracyn, Kanacyn, or Furan may be needed. When treating this or any disease, try to use a separate treatment tank and treat as soon as the first symptoms appear.
 
Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
My friend thinks it is hole in the head, but he also said he's never seen anything like this. Hole in the head pictures I have seen on the internet do not look like this but on the other hand I am not a fish vet.

He recommended I try API General Cure. Maybe if I did that yesterday my buddies would still be alive.
 
DoubleDutch
  • #25
Kevin, Rasboras aren't prone to HITH.
Also that has another timespan/ isn't this progressive / doesn't eat the jaws etc.etc...
My friend thinks it is hole in the head, but he also said he's never seen anything like this.

He recommended I try API General Cure. Maybe if I did that yesterday my buddies would still be alive.
 
Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
ok thank you.
 
DoubleDutch
  • #27
Must be a bacteria I'd say.
 
Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
The question is how to proceed. It looks like Kanaplex and Furan 2 are commonly recommended for bacteria.

I just don't want to kill them quicker with the wrong meds.
 
DoubleDutch
  • #29
Yeah very difficult.
 
bitseriously
  • #30
I noted earlier in the thread you talked about a betta in the tank, now removed. Their aggressive behavior towards tank mates often results in injuries, both direct and indirect (eg caused by the betta, or caused by injuries sustained while fleeing/hiding).
Even when no aggression is observed, when all other possibilities have been exhausted...
 
KimberlyG
  • #31
I would have used the kanamycin/nitrofurazone cocktail on this tank. It's a very broad spectrum approach. None of us have labs in our house so it's always a best guess when it comes to situations like this. I'm thinking that you are dealing with a naturally occurring bacteria that was presented with the right conditions which enabled it to rapidly expand it's population. A healthy fish's immune system can get worn down and once that happens, things can go bad quickly. The vast majority of bacteria we deal with in our tanks is gram negative. Kanamycin is probably the most effective medication we have access to. I do not just throw it in tanks, it has one major drawback. I have seen it used in situations that could have been treated with water changes and aquarium salt. When it is your "Cure-All" for everything, the over use will cause kidney damage in the fish. Sorry to ramble on, I was trying to explain why I don't always recommend this treatment, and why I would try it in this case.
 
Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #32
I would have used the kanamycin/nitrofurazone cocktail on this tank. It's a very broad spectrum approach. None of us have labs in our house so it's always a best guess when it comes to situations like this. I'm thinking that you are dealing with a naturally occurring bacteria that was presented with the right conditions which enabled it to rapidly expand it's population. A healthy fish's immune system can get worn down and once that happens, things can go bad quickly. The vast majority of bacteria we deal with in our tanks is gram negative. Kanamycin is probably the most effective medication we have access to. I do not just throw it in tanks, it has one major drawback. I have seen it used in situations that could have been treated with water changes and aquarium salt. When it is your "Cure-All" for everything, the over use will cause kidney damage in the fish. Sorry to ramble on, I was trying to explain why I don't always recommend this treatment, and why I would try it in this case.

That is very informative. Thank you.
 
Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #33
I noted earlier in the thread you talked about a betta in the tank, now removed. Their aggressive behavior towards tank mates often results in injuries, both direct and indirect (eg caused by the betta, or caused by injuries sustained while fleeing/hiding).
Even when no aggression is observed, when all other possibilities have been exhausted...

That is a very good point. I left the betta's tank up in case there was aggression. I noticed exactly one flare from the betta, becides that the two species ignored each other but there is no telling what happened in there while I was at work or at night.

I hope my Betta did not get infected. So far he looks good.
 
Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #34
In the last two days I lost two more Harlequins. I have one left.

The store gave me some meds to try. They seemed to stop the head tissue loss but the fish kept getting pale, thin, and having trouble swimming until death.

I guess I am now looking at tearing the tank down.
 
bitseriously
  • #35
Sorry for the continued losses. Sometimes all u can do is focus on the silver lining: in this case u can start all over and with proper disinfection protocols (bleach is what I’d recommend) u can be confident in starting off on the right foot. Don’t be afraid to seek advice/recommendations/2nd opinions here as you set up (if u go that route).
 
Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #36
Can I use a normal sponge with the bleach?

Can I keep my plants? Will a bleach dip disinfect them? spent a lot of money on them and would rather not throw them away.

I will throw away the gravel.
 
Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #37
One Harlequin is still alive and does not seem to be succumbing to this sickness. He is frantically swimming all over the tank I assume looking for other fish.
 
Kevin Dennis
  • Thread Starter
  • #38
The last Harlequin survived the death of his friends. I have purchased seven more Harlequins from a different fish store and I haven't had any more deaths in over a week now. The new fish's colors are somewhat duller than my buddy who survived but with no more deaths or heads rotting away I am optimistic.

Thank you everyone who helped me.
 

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