ID this disease please... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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ID this disease please...

Hi all, I rescaped my 40g 2 months ago and previous fish were put back and happy/healthy. 3 weeks ago I got 10 Black Phantom tetras from Petsmart. They were cheap so I took a chance and brought 'em home and I put them in a quarantine tank for about 9 days. 1 of the Phantoms was a bit listless from day 1 and he died 2 days later. Otherwise everyone else seemed fine so put the rest in main tank on day 10. Maybe too soon....

2 days later I noticed 2 of my 6 old Neons had a few white spots. I assumed Ick maybe brought in by Phantoms, so I turned heat up slowly to 86 degrees. This took a couple days and by day 3, spots were gone and havent seen any since! Kept temps high for a full week just in case. Let heat come down to normal over a few days so water is back to 77. Now one of the Phantoms has topline looking pale and almost whitish (dorsal fin to nose), but not fuzzy like a fungus. That fish is active, but not eating much. Another Phantom has a reddish patch on tail, a ragged anal fin and is lurching around. I'm euthanizing him All other Phantoms, neons and corys look fine and no deaths except for the Phantoms mentioned. So 7 of the 10 Phantoms look good after 3.5 weeks. But I fear something is lurking.

Water params are normal and I do 25% water changes once or twice a week depending on my work schedule. Did I just get a batch of sickly Black Phantoms? I looked up Columnaris and some symptoms seem correct, but not all. Deaths haven't been rampant or widespread. Same for tail rot, external parasites, etc. I'm hoping it's just a poorly kept batch of phantoms as my original fish don't seem affected. Should I just treat whole tank with Coppersafe to prevent further events?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 12:28 AM
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Well, yes, you did move the fish out of quarantine too soon. I leave them in there for a month PAST the time any needed medication has been cleared from the water.

Good you caught the Ich so fast.

Pale from dorsal fin to nose... no idea. It is a surface thing like something growing on the fish? Or does it seem to be deeper in like the flesh itself is discoloring?

Reddish on tail and ragged fin could easily be any of several (mostly) Gram negative bacteria that cause fin rot. Flavobacteria columnare is only one possible bacterium, but most are responsive to antibiotics that target Gram negative bacteria.

I would not treat the tank, especially not with any copper preparation.

You might double the water change frequency, and emphasize vacuuming the floor of the tank the best you can. If anything is lurking it will probably be among the organic matter that is turning into mulm.
If some disease does show up you can then target the medicine to treat whatever you can ID, rather than a shotgun approach that may not help, and will poison the tank.

Once you have treated with copper it seems to linger, making shrimp keeping impossible in that tank.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Diana. For the fish that is paling dorsal to nose, there isn't a fungus or fuzz growing on the fish. Looks more like loss of pigmentation, so something internal - I'm guessing. I vacuum when I do my water changes and there is never any visible detritis or mulm on my substrate, but will continue to vacuum to possibly "catch" any parasites. Oh, I don't keep shrimp...just a few assassin snails. Thanks!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 02:38 AM
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copper would kill snails too.

the pale fish might just be stressed, or it could have some sort of infection.

ragged fins sounds like fin rot, do water changes and maybe add some freshwater aquarium salt to the tank. adding salt would also prevent fungal outbreaks.
red patches sound like ammonia burn to me, or fin rot... or it's possible the fish scraped itself on something? check your tank for any rough surfaces.
check your parameters, do you know for sure that your tank is fully cycled?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 03:30 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, only 1 of the new fish had the red patch and my nitrate, nitrite and ammonia levels are 0. I cycled my tank with my old filter media, along with extra gravel for more good bacteria. My old fish were in the re-scaped tank for over a month without incident before I decided to add the Phantoms. Water parameters were always consistent, so no reason to think it wasn't cycled. NOTHING bad happened until I got the new Phantoms so I fear they brought some hitch-hikers
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 02:57 AM
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fish disease diagnosis

4/26/2012, lost the finest man. Rest easy Pops...
<--Great Danes are people too!
180g, Fluval FX5, 404, 128watts t-8, low tech, heavily planted, with Albino and reg bristlenose plecs, Congo tetras, Amanos, a herd of Corydoras Sterbai, Boesmanis, a big old common plec, & Otos.
32g tall eclipse3, fluval403, with a handful of bristlenose plecs.180gallon corner in-wall build journal
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
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I decided to add Coppersafe since all diagnoses pointed to external parasite/s. Lated today my remaining Phantoms are active and normal-acting. They are eating and the males are flaring and doing the quiver-dance as they circle around the females! And instead of hanging out in the lower back corner of my tank, they are swimming up, down and all around the entire tank. OK, I find it hard to believe that the Coppersafe worked in less than a day, but I have no other explanation for the total turnaround in the behavior of these Phantoms! Guess I shouldn't wonder and just enjoy the results.
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