2 Tetra left due to disease. What can I do now?
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:55 AM   #1
DeerFriend
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2 Tetra left due to disease. What can I do now?


Hi, I'm new here. Great to meet you all ^^

I cycled a 10gal tank and after a water test a few weeks later, bought 5 diamond tetras from a petstore near me. One was smaller and weaker than the others. I thought he was just jossled from the trip. Nope, turns out he had mouth rot or columnaris or something. Long story short, after medications and salt, 2 of the 5 remain. I was told to treat the entire tank instead of quarantine individuals by a lady at a petstore whom I'm not sure I should have listened to.

I'm pretty much brand new to fishkeeping and this was an interesting way to start the hobby. I'm not going to give up but I don't know what to do now. I only have 2 schooling fish which they likely are not fond of. I don't know if the water is clear of the disease. I don't know if I can ever put other fish with them or risk the issue over again. I don't know if they're healthy now even though they look it (more or less).

The water parameters seem ok. I wanted to return the fish but they wouldn't accept them since the issue didn't show up right away other than the little fish acting more tired than the others. Distinctive symptoms showed up after about a week, a day after the 2nd water change. Before that, the fish seemed to be ok other than being a little more standoffish with the others which I should have found odd.

If the remaining die too, what do I do with my plants? Is there a way to know if the disease is clear? One appears to have no symptoms, the other has consistently minimal symptoms for a bit now. Are there any other meds I should try? Can I ever add new fish to balance out their numbers? This is the 5th day of their maracyn II treatment.

Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

Last edited by DeerFriend; 01-05-2014 at 03:26 AM.. Reason: context issue
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Old 01-05-2014, 03:55 AM   #2
TDerivan
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You can repeat a Maracyn II treatment once if necessary. If the symptoms persist or if the fish get worse euthanasia may be the best route to minimize their suffering, in which case I typically use Tricaine Methanesulfonate buffered with baking soda or pH up followed by a dose of grain alcohol.
As for the plants you could wash them in a diluted bleach water solution to kill of any remaining bacteria and start all over. This should not be attempted on fragile plant species.
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:28 AM   #3
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What a great pet store. Pet stores shouldn't sell fish if the workers know something is up with the tank. If the treatment that TDerivan advises doesn't work, you should try to restart the tank.

A good recommendation that you should do is get a quarantine tank and put any new fish you have in that tank to see if they contain any diseases. Once they're fine in that tank, you can go ahead and put them into the main tank.
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:02 AM   #4
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. . . after medications and salt, 2 of the 5 remain. I was told to treat the entire tank instead of quarantine individuals by a lady at a petstore whom I'm not sure I should have listened to. . .
That was actually good advice, because that lady realised that you had infected your entire tank.

Otherwise, I agree with TDerivan's plan.
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:22 AM   #5
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In case euthanasia is necessary I should clarify that the Tricaine should be added VERY slowly until the fish's gills are moving very little or not at all and then overdose the fish. The grain alcohol should be added to ensure that the fish doesn't just fall asleep only to wake up on a roller coaster ride through the sewer system. I have found this to be the most humane way to put a fish down as long as you take your time and make sure that the Tricaine solution is buffered to match your water's pH. Tricaine is very acidic, so adding it alone will cause the fish a lot of discomfort.
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:59 AM   #6
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I would do alot of research forums here. There is alot of information about starting up a new tank and what to watch out for. I would be finding a new fish store, I would check around with people in the forums from your area to find a good LFS that will truly help you. The place I go to offers a lifetime guarantee of the fish, if it dies before the expectancy of the fish they will replace it.

I would find a nice local store and do alot of research and start with some smaller hardy fish that will take some trial and error. Get a quality test kit and understand your water quality. People here will help you and will give you some good information!
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctaylor3737 View Post
I would do alot of research forums here. There is alot of information about starting up a new tank and what to watch out for. I would be finding a new fish store, I would check around with people in the forums from your area to find a good LFS that will truly help you. The place I go to offers a lifetime guarantee of the fish, if it dies before the expectancy of the fish they will replace it.

I would find a nice local store and do alot of research and start with some smaller hardy fish that will take some trial and error. Get a quality test kit and understand your water quality. People here will help you and will give you some good information!
That must be a great pet store. I don't know how they stay in business though. I know I made a lot of mistakes when I first started.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:58 PM   #8
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Yea we all do in the beginning lol. And sometimes trying new things, you always learn though and it turns out good in the end.

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Old 01-06-2014, 01:39 AM   #9
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Thanks for your help everyone. I thought the one with symptoms was getting better but he died a little after I posted here last night. It looks like the other one may pull through. Throughout it all, he hasn't displayed any symptoms like the rest and has been active the entire time. I did a water change after the other one died but I'm not sure if the last one is healthy. I don't want to euthanize him if he's healthy but I can't really tell. If he pulls through, do I need to euthanize him to start the new tank? I don't want him to come all this way just to die. How long does he need to display correct behavior and no symptoms to be sure he's healthy? Anything specific I should do with him?

Last edited by DeerFriend; 01-06-2014 at 01:40 AM.. Reason: Missing information
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:12 AM   #10
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I would quarantine him for 4 weeks to make sure he is healthy.
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:39 AM   #11
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Alright, quarantining sounds good. I'm not really sure how quarantine tanks work in terms of what is needed for them in this situation since I no longer really have a "main tank" at the moment. Should I repeat the treatment? I was planning on starting a larger tank after this one but I'm not sure if I should. What from his current tank do I move to the quarantine and how should I move him without terrifying him? He seems fairly active at the moment. The only issue I've had with him today is he's reluctant to eat but they have all been that way since I got them so at this point I'm counting it as a possible symptom to be safe.

My boyfriend thinks the food the petstore gave us isn't suitable for them and that's the issue but I'm not sure. We were recommended Omega One Veggie Rounds, crushed into 3rds 3 times a day and one feeding of bloodworms replacing a veggie round feeding once a week. The fish seem to have difficulty seeing the food or it's too big for them. We have also tried flake food and crushing the rounds further. They still either don't see it or don't want it. They only seem to notice it if it's falling. They haven't gone for the flakes at all and the further crushing is hit and miss, often just making more uneten food to get rid of that's more scattered. The one we have left ate the bloodworms he was given today. They seemed to have less issue eating them consistently.

Thanks again everyone!

Last edited by DeerFriend; 01-06-2014 at 04:01 AM.. Reason: Clarification
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:39 AM   #12
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A quarantine tank doesn't need to be fancy, it just needs to be functional. The little guy needs a tank (10 gallon will do fine) with a filter and perhaps a piece of pvc pipe or a simple, cheap decoration (that would be easy to clean) to hide in. You shouldn't use any substrate as this would be a breeding ground for any parasites you may need to treat for in the future. If the QT tank is not cycled then you will need to carefully watch the water parameters and may need to perform frequent water changes to avoid a lethal ammonia and/or nitrite spike. You can either try a different treatment in the QT tank or you can just keep a watch on him and hope for the best.

It would be a good idea to find a good place to keep this tank where it can be a permanent fixture. In the future you might want to quarantine all new fish to avoid having to use large amounts of medicine to treat your display tank and risk exposing your other fish to a potentially lethal disease. ALWAYS check the fish over for ANY signs of illness BEFORE you buy them. Don't buy it because you feel bad for it. You'll feel even worse if all of your fish get sick. Any fish store worth shopping at won't mind you checking the fish over.

Now, on to the feeding. Fish will adapt to being fed on a wide variety of schedules. Probably the best way to do it is to feed them VERY small meals several times each day. Most beginner aquarists have a propensity for overfeeding their fish though, so once a day is what I usually recommend. I personally feed all of my fish on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. They are all well fed (my 4-line pictus is proof of this).

If your little guy is eating the blood worms then let him have that for now. You can switch him to a quality flake food (such as New Life Spectrum, Omega One, or Cobalt Aquatics) later. Right now he needs to eat to keep his immune system working. I would keep the veggie rounds in case you get a pleco or something in the future.

I hope he gets well soon.
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Old 01-12-2014, 05:12 PM   #13
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How is that diamond tetra doing?
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:57 AM   #14
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Apparently he's a she. I have named her Hope. She is doing pretty well. Thank you so much for your help! ^^ She seems to have no symptoms. I'm going to use her quarantine time to cycle the 29 gallon tank I have. (4 weeks right?) She has also learned to eat floating food and looks much healthier than when I got her. Hopefully everything will be alright by the time the new tank is cycled.

Thank you all so much I'll try and get some pictures up of the full tank somewhere here (It looks like there's a place for it) once it is all set up.

Last edited by DeerFriend; 01-13-2014 at 02:17 AM.. Reason: fixing error
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:13 PM   #15
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Awesome! A very apt name! I'm glad to hear that she pulled through the worst of it. Yeah, a 4 week QT should suffice.

I'm very happy that we could help you These are the moments that remind me why I got into the aquatics trade.
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