Very Sick Bumblebee Cat!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by live4wetsleeves, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. live4wetsleevesWell Known MemberMember

    Hello all! Not new to the hobby but I never feel like the sub-forums get much traffic compared to the beginner page.

    Anywho, I have a very sick bumblebee cat! I've never seen this before in all my years of fishkeeping and need help diagnosing this thing. I'm not too concerned about saving the cat but I need to know if whatever this thing is will spread. Everyone else is happy as can be, so there are no other symptoms showing in everyone else. I noticed this morning before class that this cat had come out and was gasping VERY hard. It struck me as strange because I never see him out day or night. He's been living hidden away for maybe 6 months. I started with 3 and the first died around 3 months ago, no symptoms that I could see (mostly because he was skeletonized when I found him. I believe there's another hidden away somewhere because I haven't found any skeletons but I have no idea because they do nothing but hide!
    Anyway, ammonia is fine at around .15-.25ppm, no nitrite, and nitrate is around 10-15ppm. I don't know how well my pictures will turn out so I'll describe his symptoms as best I can: he's covered in deep lesions and raised cysts. Definitely not ich and it doesn't look bacterial. His fins are spotless and unaffected as far as I can see, it's all on his body. Like I said he's gasping very hard and his eyes are milky. His abdomen looks swollen, maybe abdominal edema caused by internal infection but I know bumblebees are a little pot-bellied naturally.
    Any help is good, thank you! Image1523653377.394468.jpg
  2. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Yikes! That doesn't look good!
    First of all, why do you have ammonia, if your tank is cycled? Is it cycled?

    I would suggest doing a water change, you should always have zero ammonia at all times.
    What are you feeding these fish, and what other types are kept with him?

  3. live4wetsleevesWell Known MemberMember

    It's cycled, and heavily planted. It's been set up for two and a half years. It consistently sits at around .01-.02ppm. From what I gather, it's borderline overstocked but I have no issues and it's pretty heavily planted. Aquariums don't necessarily need to be at 0 ammonia, ammonia levels are best as close to zero as possible, though a small amount of ammonia is inevitable. You want ammonia and nitrite levels remain consistently low (preferably under 2ppm, and definitely under 4ppm for ammonia, and not too much higher for nitrite.) The levels I have shouldn't even be close to harmful; it'd be very mildly stressful at best. I don't think that's likely where the issue lies. I do a PWC about once a week to every two weeks. Only fish that would maybe cause any physical damage would be my gouramis but they can't fit into the small hiding spots of the catfish. In fact no one but the loaches would even be able to access him to cause physical damage. I'll be able to tell you exactly what I feed the top feeders when I get home but I feed my loaches and SAE's sinking shrimp/algae pellets. Only feed flakes once a day and it gets devoured within 30 seconds and I feed the bottom feeders once every 4 or so days.

  4. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    You didn't list the full stocking.
    I would up the water changes, if you say your tank is overstocked slightly. I would do full 25 - 50 percent water changes every week.

  5. live4wetsleevesWell Known MemberMember

    I just said I do weekly water changes. More often than not it's once a week and almost always 30-50% PWC's. I can list the full stocking if you'd like.
  6. WobbegongWell Known MemberMember

    I suggest you do daily water changes until you think whatever it is has passed, you can also try API erythromycin and general cure, those might be able to help.
  7. live4wetsleevesWell Known MemberMember

    Will do, I was actually planning on this. I can deal with general treatments. I'm mostly just trying to figure out what I'm the world would do this to him. Everyone except him is happy and healthy so I'm not sure why he got singled out. Could also be something genetic because I see no major signs of infection. I have 6 other scaleless fish in the tank that are doing fine as well. I'm keeping an eye on everyone so if anyone else shows any signs I'll be sure to catch it early.

    Full stocking:
    1 male opaline gourami
    3 pearl gouramis (one M, two F)
    1 female platy
    3 S&P corydoras (dwarf species)
    1 bronze corydora
    2 weather loaches
    1 peppered loach (basically a smaller weather loach with a natural color morph)
    3 yoyo loaches (two babies one adult)
    1 female betta
    2 GBR's (m&f)
    1 peacock gudgeon
    1 ABF
    2 nerite snails
    1 assassin snail
    2 ghost shrimp
    1 neon tetra (left over from a columnaris plague last year, he's happy and healthy)
    5 SAE's (all smaller than 1-2")
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
  8. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    You've got some stocking issues, as I can tell so far.
    What size tank, and dimensions?
  9. live4wetsleevesWell Known MemberMember

    It's a 55 gallon. I'd like it to be bigger but I can't change much in my current situation. As far as stocking, I'm open to hear your opinion but I'm not likely going to change stocking. I'm aware of a couple issues, I'm sure there's a couple temperature guideline issues. What issues do you see? Also I know the SAE's will cause issues down the road but my plan is just to exchange them with my LFS when they get bigger. They'll put them up for adoption and I'll replace them with babies.
  10. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    You have too many fish for this size of aquarium, and there are many temperature indifferences.
    Almost all the fish you have are not compatible, either by temperature or by communal agreement.

    The loaches can eat the snails, easy food. Gouramis are best kept to one species, they can fight with other species, especially pearls, they are a bit finicky.
    Yo-yos also eat snails and will if given the chance.

    I strongly advise you to change your stocking, but I cannot force anyone to do anything.
  11. live4wetsleevesWell Known MemberMember

    Everyone is fine. I got the loaches with their taste in snails in mind. In terms of temperament the gouramis get along fine and intermixing gourami species is absolutely fine with the species I currently have. Like I said, stocking is high but with the over-filtration and plants the waste production is manageable. The pearls are the most peaceful species I have and don't pick on anyone, including each other. If these particular fish were wild-caught I would be more concerned with the temperature differences but all of these were raised in captivity and adjust easily to a comfortable mid temperature. I usually keep it around 76 which is acceptable for everyone except maybe the loaches which like it a little cooler but the only repercussion is just slightly higher metabolism and a slightly shorter life span as a result. The tank is happy and everyone is happy with each other. Like I said, I want to diagnose the illness not talk about minor stocking issues that have caused no issues in the two years I've had this particular tank set up.
  12. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Bettas need it a bit higher than 76, and I wouldn’t keep a betta with any of those fish.
  13. live4wetsleevesWell Known MemberMember

    She has plenty of hiding spaces and comes out and gets along with everyone. She's a very timid personality but she's happy as can be. She eats fine and I supplement her food. She's outgoing and happy and bettas do fine in 76 (the tank varies from 76-79 depending on the day), if it's very cold then you get issues. She was a rescue from a friend that couldn't house her, trust me she's much better off in a happy community than getting torn apart in her previous home.

    I don't want to edit my post because you keep replying as I'm editing so a mod will probably join my double post.

    I was going to add that I've gotten lucky with my fishes' temperaments. Everyone gets along beautifully and it's just their unique personalities that explains this. Opaline gouramis are the only iffy species in terms of temperament and I've had them cause issues in the past. Pearls are known to be one of the most peaceful gourami species and if you've kept them you'd know this to be true. They are the most curious and personable fish I have. My one opaline was a lucky pick and gets along beautifully which is unique for them. All this to say, I know where your concern stems but I'm not concerned with my stocking. I acknowledge that it's considered mildly overstocked but if experience has taught me anything it's that there are exceptions to stocking and it differs. My current stocking is a bit high but like I said with over-filtration and the quantity of plants, it's definitely manageable. Nitrates rise generally pretty slow and I can go 2 weeks easily without a dire need for a PWC. I'm concerned with diagnosing my bumblebee because he is the first "problem" I've had in months. This is the first time I've seen a reaction like this in a fish in the 13+ years I've been keeping freshwater fish. I don't mean to be overly defensive, so I'm sorry if that's the way it sounds.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2018
  14. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    To each their own, I won't disagree.
    I am not hating on anything you have here, I just want the best for your tank.

    They can be happy, but really it's not ideal, even when it looks it. I am happy that you've gotten some of the trickier fish to agree, but really you have a stocking that is too high, mixed with too many fish that might not get along with each other.
  15. live4wetsleevesWell Known MemberMember

    Like I said, there are exceptions to stocking limits. Not everyone is full grown, and most won't grow to their "full" size. I've had fish that could grow to be 6" that I had for 4 years in tanks 10x their recommended minimum and they never grew passed 4". Everyone has enough room, and everyone gets along. Minor temperature differences are fine, fish are exceptionally adaptable, especially so when they've been raised in artificial environments. Bettas ideally need around 78-80° but unless they drop below 72-74° they are absolutely happy. I just looked at the temperature and it's sitting at 78.8°. They can withstand temperature in the mid 60's for an upwards of a week or more before they even run into problems.
    I'm working on decreasing stocking anyway because I'm moving the tank later this year and I won't have the time I do now to do as frequent of maintenance. The issue is, I can keep them happy and healthy here or I can give them to Petco, my only LFS, which is kind of like a death sentence.
    Many of the fish like the betta and the platy are rescued or left over from previous tank projects and they needed a better home. You make it sound like I've thrown African cichlids in with a bunch of male bettas. The species I keep are not tricky, all of them are quite manageable. You're right that it's not completely ideal but it works beautifully and no one is in danger. Every one of these fish except the SAE's have lived in harmony for at least 6 months and more. I appreciate your concern but I've been at this a long time and I'm actually majoring in aquatic biology with a concentration in limnology. I know the chemistry and I know the fish. The tank processes waste as if I had half the stocking I do. I actually have a successful anaerobic denitrifying sand bed that converts nitrate into atmospheric N2. It's great, bubbles every once and a while and it's odorless which means it's not nitrogen sulfide and the plants still have enough NO3 to build proteins. Plants are healthy and use up quite a bit of nitrate as well. Strong lights and substrate supplements work together to pump out plant growth amazingly.

    Unless you can directly link that bumblebees illness with my stocking, I'd like to end the conversation over stocking. It really doesn't matter though because the cat died last night. Thanks for the concern nevertheless. I understand where you're coming from.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  16. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    I am very sorry to hear that your catfish died. Just watch the other bottom dwellers, and other fish for any general illness, or any signs.

    I can’t make out what happened to the fish.
  17. live4wetsleevesWell Known MemberMember

    Already two steps ahead of you, I've been monitoring the bottom dwellers, especially the scaleless group. I just did a PWC and will be keeping a close eye on everyone the next couple weeks to make sure whatever that was- won't happen to anyone else. Too bad we couldn't get to the bottom of whatever killed him. I'm not to distraught though, it's not like I ever got to see him anyway. I have some antibiotics on hand in case I need them even though I don't think it's bacterial. I saved one of my yoyo loaches a couple months ago with kanamycin sulfate so that's what I have on hand.

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