Suspicious And Persistent Gill Redness

  • #1
It all started with my one male platy who became ill with generalized symptoms that resembled either a non-virulent strain of columnaris or parasite infection both internal and possibly gill flukes. After 5-6 weeks of treatment in QT (first Paraguard, then Furan II, then Prazi/Metro combo, then rest) he passed away. I tried everything but the Furan II/Kanaplex combo.

Now, my 3 females all seem fairly happy, no tucked fins, some hanging out at the top of the tank for air but generally active and...

everyone has bright red gills

I've tried several rounds of praziquantel/metroplex combo to the point that now when I dose them with praziquantel they don't itch on the furniture (they did the first time), but the gills are still red.

Is this?:
a) still a persistent gill fluke
b) some bacterial gill disease
c) something else
d) your fish aren't sick at all that's just the way they are (they're my first fish)

Water parameters:
0 NH3/NH4
0 NO2
0 NO3
pH 6.2 -6.6

I do have plants in the tank but the 0 NO3 seems suspicious to me, but I also have a Seachem ammonia alert that is sitting at 0.2 so...

Also do water changes with filtered tap water treated with Prime and and little Equilibrium for the plants.

There are too many fry in there (a little present from their late father and testament to the fact that their mommies aren't great hunters) so al least they are surviving whatever it is, but their gills are all flaming red too.

I should say that the redness is higher up on the gills for the most part and almost looks like they are swollen/bulgy a little on the adult fish. Easier to see on the two that are white, translucent but also apparent on the gold one when she's in the light.

I'm stumped and as a holistic medical practitioner have used waaayyyy too many meds on these fish. More than I've used on my family in the last 10 years.

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  • #2
Oh, I should say the temp is 80-82, I have an automatic heater.

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  • #3
Update...turns out the Seachem Ammonia alert doesn't work.
Checked the water parameters again and there was a spike in both NH and NO2
Two days of daily 50%+ water changes heavy doses of Prime and we've now moved out the fry and some of the snail population.
Looks like my bio cycle is back on track today:
ph 6.6
NH - 0
NO2 - 0
NO3 - 10ppm

So about the gill redness? Obviously they are a bit better today but there is still still this puffy redness up at the tops.

How long does it take for their gills to settle down (its been over 12 hrs)?
I'm sure there were gill flukes a few weeks ago and I want to make sure they are completely eradicated, but I don't want to over tax their respiratory systems by adding prophylactic meds when they are recovering from the high Nitrite levels.
  • #4
Those pictures don’t show gill redness. The gills themselves of healthy fish are bright red. What you’re seeing is a translucency to the gill cover (operculum) with the healthy bright red gills showing through.

How soft is your water? It’s very acidic for platies...
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  • #5
I used to suspect that but then after the male died, I've been a little paranoid about illness.

How soft is your water? It’s very acidic for platies...[/QUOTE]

I haven't checked in a while since I ran out of the test strips and switched to the API master kit. Initially it was 80 KH 160 GH (but now I can't remember if that was filtered or tap). I now use only filtered water that takes out heavy metals, chemicals, fluoride, etc and then usually add in some Equilibrium to support the plants. It used to be higher (7.2-7.6) but has been steadily declining over the last 3-4 weeks. Maybe I should switch back to tap.

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