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Old 03-15-2013, 11:57 PM   #1
seuadr
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fish - oto redness around gills?




is that normal?

i've noticed that both of them have it. they are eating like crazy and swimming around a lot.. they have done a fantastic job of cleaning up my driftwood and slate.

but i know i've read that often they don't live very long in tanks, and i am worried this is not normal coloring.

to be honest, i haven't noticed it till today, mainly because i haven't seen them up against the glass before today.

water parameters have been pretty good, until sometime early today, when my ammonia spiked to somewhere above .5 and nitrates were up over 20ppm. i think it was the root tabs i added last night. I did an 80% water change, and then several hours later i was still reading .25 so i did a 50% water change along with a good substrate vacuuming. i am back reading not quite 0, but below .25ppm on ammonia and 5.0 on nitrates.

possibly just stress?

thanks,

Jared
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:27 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by seuadr View Post


is that normal?

i've noticed that both of them have it. they are eating like crazy and swimming around a lot.. they have done a fantastic job of cleaning up my driftwood and slate.

but i know i've read that often they don't live very long in tanks, and i am worried this is not normal coloring.

to be honest, i haven't noticed it till today, mainly because i haven't seen them up against the glass before today.

water parameters have been pretty good, until sometime early today, when my ammonia spiked to somewhere above .5 and nitrates were up over 20ppm. i think it was the root tabs i added last night. I did an 80% water change, and then several hours later i was still reading .25 so i did a 50% water change along with a good substrate vacuuming. i am back reading not quite 0, but below .25ppm on ammonia and 5.0 on nitrates.

possibly just stress?

thanks,

Jared
Those look like his gills to me.....
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:28 AM   #3
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Those look like his gills to me.....
They are. They are reddened due to ammonia damage. With ammonia at the level OP described gills become red an inflamed. It is the first sign of amonnia poisoning
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by seuadr View Post

is that normal?

i've noticed that both of them have it. they are eating like crazy and swimming around a lot.. they have done a fantastic job of cleaning up my driftwood and slate.

but i know i've read that often they don't live very long in tanks, and i am worried this is not normal coloring.

to be honest, i haven't noticed it till today, mainly because i haven't seen them up against the glass before today.

water parameters have been pretty good, until sometime early today, when my ammonia spiked to somewhere above .5 and nitrates were up over 20ppm. i think it was the root tabs i added last night. I did an 80% water change, and then several hours later i was still reading .25 so i did a 50% water change along with a good substrate vacuuming. i am back reading not quite 0, but below .25ppm on ammonia and 5.0 on nitrates.

possibly just stress?

thanks,

Jared
As you say they are lively, eating and seem fine.
Are there other fish in the tank and how are they?

Those readings sound odd to me. 90% W/C and still reading .25?
What size tank is it?
Working back that puts it potentially at 2.5 mg / L.
The don't swim around and eat in that range.

The other thing is the whether the test kit measures total ammonia NH4 +NH3 or NH3 only.
Did you test pH? Old tank syndrome might bounce NH3 high but these figures seem plain wrong.

Also I found several ventral pictures of otos on the web and all but one or two had obvious pink colouration behind and below the operculum.

Let us know was eventuates.
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:12 PM   #5
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the ammonia is an issue that needs to be taken care of, however gills are red, an increase in redness could be caused by the ammonia that you are currently dealing with.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:40 PM   #6
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As you say they are lively, eating and seem fine.
Are there other fish in the tank and how are they?

Those readings sound odd to me. 90% W/C and still reading .25?
What size tank is it?
Working back that puts it potentially at 2.5 mg / L.
The don't swim around and eat in that range.

The other thing is the whether the test kit measures total ammonia NH4 +NH3 or NH3 only.
Did you test pH? Old tank syndrome might bounce NH3 high but these figures seem plain wrong.

Also I found several ventral pictures of otos on the web and all but one or two had obvious pink colouration behind and below the operculum.

Let us know was eventuates.
well, i've been doing some more reading, and it sounds like the ammonia absorbing filter bag i stuck in there is probably giving me a false positive. just to be safe i got some seachem prime this morning and added the recommended dose to the tank. all i have in the tank are the two otos, a couple shrimp and a dwarf puffer. all are swimming around and acting "normal" as far as i've seen them in the several weeks.

the test regent that i have reads for NH3 and NH4 (api master kit stuff) i just retested it, and it is still reading .25 i tested another tank and it read 0, then i tested my tap and it tested 0, so i don't suspect contamination of the test kit and the regents are good till 2018 (just bought the kit a couple months ago) I am still reading nitrates, but they are at the 5ppm level, and nitrites are reading 0.

given all the evidence, i suspect that i did have quite a spike, and i am still not sure why (a member here suspects that it was actually disturbing the substrate when putting the tabs in and i have no reason to think that is incorrect), but that it is under control now. I haven't had a chance to see if the otos are still showing red in that area, as they are usually face down on something.. they don't get on the glass much during the day, but they must at night, because any spot of algae that appears is usually gone within 24 hours.
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Old 03-16-2013, 05:37 PM   #7
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well, i've been doing some more reading, and it sounds like the ammonia absorbing filter bag i stuck in there is probably giving me a false positive. just to be safe i got some seachem prime this morning and added the recommended dose to the tank. all i have in the tank are the two otos, a couple shrimp and a dwarf puffer. all are swimming around and acting "normal" as far as i've seen them in the several weeks.

the test regent that i have reads for NH3 and NH4 (api master kit stuff) i just retested it, and it is still reading .25 i tested another tank and it read 0, then i tested my tap and it tested 0, so i don't suspect contamination of the test kit and the regents are good till 2018 (just bought the kit a couple months ago) I am still reading nitrates, but they are at the 5ppm level, and nitrites are reading 0.

given all the evidence, i suspect that i did have quite a spike, and i am still not sure why (a member here suspects that it was actually disturbing the substrate when putting the tabs in and i have no reason to think that is incorrect), but that it is under control now. I haven't had a chance to see if the otos are still showing red in that area, as they are usually face down on something.. they don't get on the glass much during the day, but they must at night, because any spot of algae that appears is usually gone within 24 hours.
You still haven't told us the three most important factors in ammonia toxicity.
The pH
The temp
The Tank size.

If you use prime or any similar treatment, including your bag probably, the std ammonia test kits give ridiculously incorrect high readings. Since you used Prime and still get .25 you can be sure it's absolutely wrong.
http://www.seachem.com/support/FAQs/Prime.html

As for minor substrate disturbances generating enough ammonia to reach .5+ and remain at .25 after a massive W/C? After over 35 years experience with aquaria and countless hours of uni lectures and study this member has every reason to think that is incorrect.
More likely a constituent of the root tab and I'd be sceptical of that.

Anyway hope it all works out.
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Old 03-16-2013, 05:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by papwalker View Post
You still haven't told us the three most important factors in ammonia toxicity.
The pH
The temp
The Tank size.

If you use prime or any similar treatment, including your bag probably, the std ammonia test kits give ridiculously incorrect high readings. Since you used Prime and still get .25 you can be sure it's absolutely wrong.
http://www.seachem.com/support/FAQs/Prime.html

As for minor substrate disturbances generating enough ammonia to reach .5+ and remain at .25 after a massive W/C? After over 35 years experience with aquaria and countless hours of uni lectures and study this member has every reason to think that is incorrect.
More likely a constituent of the root tab and I'd be sceptical of that.

Anyway hope it all works out.
7.6
78
7 gallons

i didn't use prime till after the massive water change, i don't normally use prime at all. i have well water which is a 7.8 ph and has a GH of 9 with no chlorine. i've never even owned prime till today.
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Old 03-16-2013, 05:47 PM   #9
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Just out of curiosity what filter(s) are you using, and you mentioned got prime this morning, have you not been treating your water before going into the tank? I know you have ammonia, but why a bag? how long have you been using a bag? *we posted the same time lol*

Have you done any filter cleanings lately? How long has the tank been running for? What is your filter media? Nitrates are fine under 20ppm, but it can be bad too under 5ppm.

Even though you use well water, well water can still have nitrates, and sometimes nitrites in it, which prime can help with as well as ammonia. Well water can be just as bad as city water, dont fool yourself :P Your dealing with more organic things opposed to additives.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by seuadr View Post
7.6
78
7 gallons

i didn't use prime till after the massive water change, i don't normally use prime at all. i have well water which is a 7.8 ph and has a GH of 9 with no chlorine. i've never even owned prime till today.
OK but you said you added prime in the morning then retested and got .25 and I'm saying you can't trust readings after using prime and as you already said you bag gave false positive as well and since your fish and inverts are fine I reckon the spike, if any, was minor.


The reason the tank size is interesting is it gives you a total release figure.

26 litres at .5 is 13mg of ammonia generated. Since a massive water change still left .25 we could guess that the production was likely higher. Guess 20mg or higher. Imagine the bioload or sequestered ammonia in the substrate that could produce that!

If you did have enough stuff in the substrate to produce those amounts from a few tab placements in that time then lucky you used prime because the spillover from the vacuum will kill the tank. But I'd be very surprised if there ever was that amount.
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Last edited by papwalker; 03-16-2013 at 06:07 PM.. Reason: Addition
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:08 PM   #11
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Just out of curiosity what filter(s) are you using, and you mentioned got prime this morning, have you not been treating your water before going into the tank? I know you have ammonia, but why a bag? how long have you been using a bag? *we posted the same time lol*
i have a wet/dry sump built into the back of the tank. it uses an aqueon "large" filter pad, the current one has carbon in it, then it trickles into the second chamber, which has somewhere between 500 and 1000g of seeded fluval bioblocks, then down to the pump and back out to the tank.

i just added the bag yesterday, for the last couple days before i'd been seeing .25 or so, and doing 25% water changes. i thought, well, hey, why not try it to help clear that up. when i got home yesterday, though, ammonia was reading around .5 and nitrates over 40ppm.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CrypticLifeStyle View Post
Have you done any filter cleanings lately? How long has the tank been running for? What is your filter media? Nitrates are fine under 20ppm, but it can be bad too under 5ppm.

Even though you use well water, well water can still have nitrates, and sometimes nitrites in it, which prime can help with as well as ammonia. Well water can be just as bad as city water, dont fool yourself :P Your dealing with more organic things opposed to additives.
the tank has been established since the beginning of February. i used a fishelss cycle, along with 500g of bio blocks from my existing 36 gallon tank and it settled down pretty quickly, in a few days, but i let it sit with just plants in it for 3 weeks just in case.

I don't actually clean the filter so much as just rinse the mechanical pad off. i usually use a small container of tank water and swish it around to get the heavy stuff off, then rinse it with cold water and put it back in. been doing the same thing with my big tank with no issues, but it might just be because of the small size?

i've tested my water for nitrates, nitrites and ammonia, they all 3 test 0.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:13 PM   #12
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OK but you said you added prime in the morning then retested and got .25 and I'm saying you can't trust readings after using prime and as you already said you bag gave false positive as well and since your fish and inverts are fine I reckon the spike, if any, was minor.
fair enough on the prime, but the original high of .5ppm was before i added the bag, or prime.

it killed off one of my shrimp, though the other two appear to be fine.

now, i guess whether or not .5 is something to be overly concerned about is another matter. i haven't had measurable amounts of ammonia in this tank since it was established, nor in my 36 gallon since it was established 4 years ago.. so i may have over-reacted with the prime. the bag was just an impulse purchase while i was at the LFS after seeing my ammonia up a little. I'd pulled my purigen bag to soak in bleach and re-use, as i've read that if you properly treat it and allow it to dry it can be acceptable to re-use.

so fortunately, i was going to purchase the prime to treat the purigen bag anyhow, if it was un-needed.

i guess mainly, i'm confused and not sure what brought about the ammonia, as the only thing that has changed in this tank for a few weeks was adding a single anubas, which appears to be very healthy (last week) and adding these tabs on thursday night.

i vac the surface of the tank for water changes. i clean most of the crud out of plants and scoop the leaves. I scoop up uneaten puffer food. i am sparse with my feeding of the otos.. a mini wafer every 2 or 3 days at best. when i first put them in, i had a little bit of carrot, but removed it after a day.

i'm just not sure what i did wrong, and want to prevent it again. i re-tested the water several times, with 4 different vials and 2 different kits (both api, one for each tank)
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:25 PM   #13
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fair enough on the prime, but the original high of .5ppm was before i added the bag, or prime.

it killed off one of my shrimp, though the other two appear to be fine.

now, i guess whether or not .5 is something to be overly concerned about is another matter. i haven't had measurable amounts of ammonia in this tank since it was established, nor in my 36 gallon since it was established 4 years ago.. so i may have over-reacted with the prime. the bag was just an impulse purchase while i was at the LFS after seeing my ammonia up a little. I'd pulled my purigen bag to soak in bleach and re-use, as i've read that if you properly treat it and allow it to dry it can be acceptable to re-use.

so fortunately, i was going to purchase the prime to treat the purigen bag anyhow, if it was un-needed.
You would need to seriously over feed to get .5. It doesn't sound like you do, most shrimp guys are careful. That's why I think your reading were some sort of false positive.

I love Purigen, but can't use it because I run blackwater tanks.
I use Seachem Alert on all my tanks. I test them periodically. They work.
I use prime even with the RO.
I trust the guys at Seachem. They're enthusiasts, they provide documentation and support and they're Americans. IMO I don't believe they are just in it for the cash.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:28 PM   #14
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You would need to seriously over feed to get .5. It doesn't sound like you do, most shrimp guys are careful. That's why I think your reading were some sort of false positive.

I love Purigen, but can't use it because I run blackwater tanks.
I use Seachem Alert on all my tanks. I test them periodically. They work.
I use prime even with the RO.
I trust the guys at Seachem. They're enthusiasts, they provide documentation and support and they're Americans. IMO I don't believe they are just in it for the cash.
i've not used those before.. but i have seen them at the LFS. i think they might be worth a try. i usually test my water every day in the little tank. the big tank has gotten to the point where i test it monthly, nothing changes. i've had the same plants, same fish, same shrimp for 3 years in it.. i test the water the day after i do a water change. but then, that tank is over filtered and significantly under stocked.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:37 PM   #15
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BTW a real total of .5 is dreadful. But with all the maintenance you're doing I can't see it being real unless something is going on in the filter system. (dead snails n stuff) but I can't see it.
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