Will Someone Please Help Me. I've Already Lost A Fish. Help

  1. Z

    Zarpy New Member Member

    I've been having one heck of a stressed out time since I got my fish just shy of 2 weeks ago. I cycled the tank for 2 months before getting fish and did a bunch of research on common diseases during that time so I could look out for the signs.

    The tank is 125 gallons, I ordered 20 male African Cichlid & Hap Peacocks. The site I ordered them from is very reputable.

    Here is the most detailed timeline I can give:
    June 7th
    Received fish, all 20 were individually bagged. All looked good minus some color which is normal. Two fish had foggy eyes, also normal as I've read. I fed the fish a few hours after putting them in, and they all kind of ate minus the OB Blueberry. I've been feeding them 2mm NorthFin Cichlid Formula.

    June 8th
    The OB Blueberry I got looked kind of sparkly. Originally I thought this was just the design because the specks were so small they were kinda glittery. Through out the day they got a tiny bit bigger, nearly barely noticeably bigger, but enough to notice, and started to think ick. Based on advice I got here on the forums, I left him in the tank instead of separating him and started a treatment of API Super Ick Treatment after doing a 50% water change. Fed them again, they all ate minus the OB.

    Pics of OB Blueberry at this stage:
    d6256bc238391c097276659069aa7d97-jpg.jpg
    29d94b158e4e2fe8071ec1df69fab190-jpg.jpg

    June 9th
    The ick got much worse in just 24 hours. It was now very visible on the OB Blueberry. Saw no white spots on the glass or substrate. Continued treatment. Again fed the fish, everyone ate but the OB. I did 2 separate water changes during the day, one was about a 20%, then I don't really know how much when I vacuumed, probably also about 20%. At around 11PM before heading to sleep I did one last check on everyone. The OB was at the surface of the water gasping. He had fin clamp, and major buoyancy issues. He died minutes later while I was panic Googling what to do.

    Last pics of the OB Blueberry:
    6ecf9dd2ae2a3c05acee28b9c3bd7b8f-jpg.jpg
    aef45fb7b4f25b840fd0f5c5bdea3d8a-jpg.jpg

    June 10th
    Continued ick treatment, also did more water changes. Everyone was eating, had no signs of ick and were still gaining more color. I had finally got the temp stable at 85F as per recommendation of the ick treatment I was using. I very slowly raised the temp over those 2 days from 75F-76F.

    June 11th
    I have 3 orange fish, 2 are albino and one is not. Of the 2 albino fish one is the smallest in the tank, the other is one of the biggest. In the next few day updates we will be talking about them a lot, so I will just use, small orange, albino orange, and big orange. So this day threw me off. My two albino orange fish were very lethargic, they would stay together but avoid all other fish and just hover just above the substrate for ages. Big orange though, he had a big abdomen all of a sudden, to the point he couldn't put his bottom fins all the way to his body. I assumed the worse and thought it was bloat, being that late in I knew his chances were low. It was to late in the day for me to do anything, I had to sleep.

    June 12th
    The two 2 albino fish were more of the same, still lethargic and wouldn't eat. Big orange all of a sudden was totally normal, abdomen shrank back to normal which was a huge relief and I figured maybe he just overate, he is my most aggressive eater by far. That relief though, very short lived. Later in the afternoon I found him at the top of the tank struggling to swim and breath. Was nearly the exact same situation as the OB Blueberry, but he wasn't having buoyancy issues. With him having a hard time swimming I noticed he actually couldn't put his mouth above water to get air. I decided to use the net and kind of hold him up in a way where he was still in water but his mouth was above. He let me net him and it didn't even phase him. After about 2-3 minutes of doing this he flipped and I let him out and he swam down. He seemed fine after this, he didn't seem to be having trouble breathing anymore. I honestly didn't know what to make of this.

    Pic of big orange having trouble breathing and reaching the surface. All the bubbles was because I pointed my powerhead at the surface to help get oxygen in the tank but rather pointless because everyone else was fine:
    a189173bbdeb31e507522baf9ac8373f.jpg

    June 13th
    This was a really big break threw day for me. I saw a long stringy piece of poop float across the tank and get sucked up by the filter. Finally had some answers that I'm dealing with a parasite. Lot of things made more sense to me at this point. The OB dieing so quickly to ick had me stumped for a bit, especially because while looking into tips on treating it I saw much much worse cases in videos. Based on symptoms I determined I'm dealing with Body and/or Gill Flukes. Which perfectly lines up with ick symptoms. I now believe that the OB Blueberry had both ick and flukes, the ick being the obvious visual trigger, but the flukes being the deadly one.

    Even worse though, since I had the temp so high for the ick, I also sped up the cycle of them without any treatment in the water. At this point the entire tank was sick, no one would eat. By time I got the treatment fish were looking like ghosts. Multiple fish in the tank were sitting on the bottom of the tank, others were struggling to breath, it looked BAD. I was crushed, I honestly thought I was going to lose them all by nights end. Also saw signs of fin rot and in general just shredded ends to fins. The best panic plan I could come up with was salt and Tetra Lifeguard All-in-One. The Lifeguard claims to treat fin rot, ick and both gill and body flukes. I felt it was the best option because I didn't want to give up on ick treatment and have that come back to bite me.

    Pics of a few fish at this point:
    d38191e76f7a44cccbe7e50cf48c070f.jpg
    f5c4a81c57771c7f765971b4f8626424.jpg
    cfd022c4df98cc080e0a39d048e6e8c4.jpg

    June 14th
    Got nearly no sleep, was basically living in front of my tank monitoring everything. Really happy to report no losses. They started getting color back, though not much. By the end of the day I tried to feed them and most of them ate. As far as I saw none of my orange fish ate anything.

    June 15th - Now
    So this Lifeguard treatment is a 5 day treatment, it recommends leaving it in the tank for a 6th day then doing a water change and putting in activated carbon to remove it. Today (June 18th) is day 5, and day 6 starts at 8PM EST.

    Happy to have no other losses up till the time of this point other then the OB Blueberry. All of the fish minus the albino orange ones which I'll get to in a minute, are very colorful and I'm seeing colors on them that I haven't seen yet. Like one that I thought was just camo/brown actually has white highlights on the fins and has some blue hints on his body, he looks awesome.

    The 2 albino orange fish have been a big concern of mine for a few days now. Neither of them have eaten in about 4-5 days. Today I am going to get some frozen shrimp and cucumber, I've read they are both good snacks for these types of fish to see if I can get them to eat something. The bigger albino orange fish has taken pellets into his mouth a few times in the last 2 days but always spits it back out. He also is still pretty lethargic and has actually gotten pretty pale on his top side, which I kind of assume is from not eating. As for the small albino orange, his color looks good as far as I can tell but he spends almost all of his time at the top of the tank. Hes been hanging out up there for about 3-4 days now. I've watched him for very extended periods of time and he never goes up for air I think he just hides up there to get away from other fish since he is much smaller then a lot of fish in the tank. Not sure though.

    Today (June 18th) I found a new issue, which is a mark on one of the fish that looks like a bruise or something. I put some screenshots below but my camera really sucks. There is 2 damaged spots, on the left side it's tiny, on the right though it looks a bit worse. It doesn't look like it's something on the fish, but rather damage to the scales. I had a piece of driftwood in the tank that was a bonsai tree. Originally the tree had moss on it but the fish tore it to heck pretty quick and it's been naked for a while. Anyway I wasn't sure if maybe something spooked him and he hit it wrong so I removed it to be safe for now. I also wasn't sure if that's the damage that body flukes cause, I can't really find images of late signs of flukes online to verify. Also he isn't eating now.

    Hurt fish pictures:
    Tiny white spec on side is damage to scales.
    d3a05a817ea2e4c92ccf28edcb7ad44a.jpg
    Much bigger spot on his right side, it looks like stringy stuff is coming off it but he barely shows this side to me no matter how I face the tank he always turns his left to me. So its hard to get a picture of and examine.
    12044db3b161529121f60a4aa1949630.jpg

    So I know that timeline is crazy long, but basically what I'm looking to get out of this topic is what should I do next? I've stumbled my way through all of this and I'd really like some advice from some people that have been in the hobby for a while. I have roughly 24 hours to decide what to do next. If I want to start another treatment of the same stuff since it seems to be working, or switch to something more specific instead of general medication, like really target flukes to make sure it's gone.

    Basically, advice on what to do next, what to do about my 2 albino orange fish and finally what to do about my hurt fish or whatever it is that happened to him.

    Thanks for your time, sorry for the long read. Hopefully someone can help me with this, cause I'm honestly pretty stressed and beat over this journey so far.
     
  2. AquaticJ

    AquaticJ Well Known Member Member

    How exactly did you cycle for 2 months prior to getting fish?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Z

    Zarpy New Member Member

    Added pure ammonia to the tank. I followed a guide from Dr. Tims that said to add pure ammonia every other day to equal 2PPM Ammonia until you can add 2PPM Ammonia and it's zero within 24 hours. I've been pretty good about testing the water since the fish went in and ammonia has tested zero for every test I've done.

    Edit: Also thanks for the reply. :)
     
  4. AquaticJ

    AquaticJ Well Known Member Member

    No problem! When you used super Ick cure, did you remove carbon? Also, did you do those water changes per the instructions on the box? If not, you removed the medication.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Z

    Zarpy New Member Member

    As far as I could tell the default media that came with my filter (Fluval FX6) didn't have any carbon. The description for all of the stuff just said foam filter, or egg shell foam filter for "maximum grab" or something stupid. I do have carbon on hand to remove medications though. And yes I was following the instructions, I believe on day 2 or 3 it said to vacuum everything and do a water change then reapply.
     
  6. edevingo

    edevingo Valued Member Member

    Fx6 does have carbon. The black flat sponge is carbon. Have you been checking your parameters? Even though your tank was cycled, still need to keep an eye on it especially when adding a large bioload at once. I've found it very hard to keep my ph up with wood also.
    If you zoom in on a few of the pics. I see a bit of HEX. Which Metro is almost always used first. Mixing with their food is best. Since you really want to get Hex from the inside out.
    Best bet though is to finish the treatment and give them a few days and see how they do. I have a few Hap/peacock tanks. I've never had any of mine shipped but I do know how stressed and out of sorts they can get just from the store to my house. Takes them a while to settle in, figure each other out ect.. I have a few old men in my tank that still can get grumpy and not eat for whatever reason. They keep you on your feet. Lol
    I also swear by weekly water changes. Knock on wood ever since I've maintained my tanks at least once a week, haven't lost anyone. I've got the opposite problem now, every day someone is spawning.
     
  7. AquaticJ

    AquaticJ Well Known Member Member

    If that’s true, the carbon pd was just removing the medication you were adding.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Z

    Zarpy New Member Member

    Well that really sucks to find out if that's the case. I compared everything that's in mine to the documentation online and I did see the flat carbon filters but mine is so much thinner then that, the carbon ones they show have a bit of thickness to them but mine is like paper thin and really doesn't feel or look like carbon so I thought it was just a course filter or for water polishing or something. If I have to treat for something else I will remove it though.

    Right now things are looking okay, other the two ablino orange still haven't eaten and they are pretty much white at this point. Also think the medication I used uncycled or decycled, I don't know the proper term, but I have both ammonia and nitrite in the tank which is a new issue. I'll have to keep my eye on that and do water changes as needed. Kind of sucks because I did 2 months of research casually and been watching fish videos for over a year now and it sort of feels like nothing prepares you for this other then just going for it. Felt pretty hopeless a few times now. Plus with the dumb oversight of the carbon I can't help but feel more responsible then ever for the death of the OB Blueberry I had.
     
  9. edevingo

    edevingo Valued Member Member

    I have an FX the carbon sponge, if it's been in there since you set it up, I highly doubt it was or is active enough to remove all the medication, if any.
    As far as the OB goes I wouldn't beat yourself up about it, for him to go that fast there most likely was something going on with him before he got to you. My son had a tank in his room with ,10 common goldfish. I did a fish in cycle, they lived for years, until I purchased 2 more for him. Needless to say within 3 days and the tank was gone. I spent more money on trying to save them, looked allot like your OB, I thought ick also but I've never seen or heard it killing so fast.
    In my experience firefish. Albinos anything orange/red they've always shown their mood most through their color and from day to day. Also anything with an Albino gene even humans, have a high probability of eyesight issues. They could very well take longer to settle down to new surroundings. Better yet they probably are eating just wont while your watching. I have 2 Haps, had for yrs and they still wont eat if I'm looking or to close to the tank. Lol.
    I'm a SAHM so I spend allot of time around my tanks (prob to much lol) I inherited 3 fish from my Uncle and the first thing that grabbed my attention was the fact that these fish, actually realized I was there. Lol I've been hooked ever since and now have MTS with hopes to upgrade my 110g for my bday in July. Point being researching and learning before is always great but you are very correct especially with Africans it's allot of learning as you go. They all have their own personalities and almost never follow the"rules"
    As far as your cycle, some needs unfortunately do ite can put you in a mini cycle. Shouldn't take long for your tank to catch up. I've used Prine and stressgaurd and knock on wood never lost a fish. Stability seems to help it catch up also.
    Good luck and hope everything keeps looking up.
     
  10. AquaticJ

    AquaticJ Well Known Member Member

    I also hope they didn’t charge you something crazy for a Blueberry OB, because that’s not nearly as blue as the Blueberries should be. Good luck with your tank though, sorry this all had to happen!