Skinny Pseudomugil Signifer?


Hello everyone!

I keep a school of Pseudomugil Signifers in a 55 gallon tank with some thicklip gouramis. They spent 2 months in the tank alone, settling in, and went through a few rounds of General Cure and one 10-day round of kanaplex-in-food to take care of some white lip that wasn't seeing improvement. Since then most of them have colored up and shed their shyness, and I find them in all areas of the tank sparring and generally having a great time.

Except for one. One fish was skinnier and weaker than the rest from day 1, and he was the primary reason I treated my tank during their "quarantine" period.

I had thought the fish was recovering and doing well, but today I found him paler and skinner than the rest, and looking weak again. None of the other fish are struggling so I pulled him from the tank and placed him alone in a 10 gallon quarantine. He spent most of the day a little bit listless, but is now swimming normally, and he ate a bit of frozen daphnia with vigor.

Would you treat this fish with anything, or would you observe for awhile in isolation first? Initially I was considering trying levamisole to see if he'd plump up after that, and then treat the main 55 gallon tank as a precaution if I saw improvement. Now I'm second-guessing and wondering if I should simply observe and see if he perks up on his own. What are your thoughts?

Tank parameters are as follows (same for the 10g and 55g):

Ph: 8.0
Gh: 5 or 6
Kh: 10
Amm: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10ppm

The 55 gallon is heavily planted. The 10 gallon quarantine has floating plant trimmings and a plant light as-needed.

Thanks for the help!




Sounds like you’ve already done a pretty good job of treating the fish, at this point I would just provide clean water and keep an eye on it.


Thanks MoshJosh! I'm seeing more of the same in isolation. Still kinda skinny, but swimming all over and coloring up (on the pale side). Eating all right. Might try to offer 2 or 3 feedings a day to see if it helps. Cycle is well established in quarantine but I keep an eye on parameters anyway.


UPDATE: The fish didn't make it. I attempted a levamisole treatment, and there was no visible improvement. After 4 days I found him floating, weak, and corkscrewing around the tank, still breathing but clearly on his way out. I chose to euthanize him with clove oil.

My question is, since I don't know what on earth got him or whether he was just genetically weak, is there a prophylactic treatment I should make on my 55 gallon display tank? The only signs in the fish were skinniness, weak swimming, and extremely pale coloration. He was interested in food and ate.

Currently the fish in the 55 gallon look vigorous, colorful, active, and healthy, including my thicklip gouramis and catfish. But I absolutely do not want anything else to come down with issues. What would you do? Any good advice?



I'm going to update what happened and how it's going. I went from 10 pseudomugil signifers all the way down to 5 left. The latest death happened today.

The tank has been treated with antibiotics in food (oxytetracycline AND kanamycin), levamisole, metronidazole in food, and praziquantel -- all spaced appropriately apart. I ceased all treatments in late December. Pseudomugils continued to waste and die until then, and I was left with 6. All seemed well between the end of December and now.

Today, abruptly, another pseudomugil started drifting and cartwheeling listlessly around the tank, clearly on his way out. He was eating just fine this morning and yesterday. I took him out and euthanized with clove oil as he wasn't going to make it back from that. Five left.

I can't say I would recommend this fish unless you know your source and the age of the fish well. I don't think this is a contagious disease as it affects the pseudomugils and only the pseudomugils; my gouramis and synodontis catfish are both vigorous and well.

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