I begrudgingly return with more fish health questions...
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:07 PM   #1
mattjm20
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I begrudgingly return with more fish health questions...


Hello everyone,

I'm a bit embarrassed at the state of my tank right now, or at least my inability to figure it out, and I would love your advice. I'll give you the top line and then the specs of my tank and other helpful, relevant details.

Top line: a number of my fish appear to be breathing heavily and have slightly reddened gills it appears.

Here is a short summary of "events." All of my fish were fine, and I foolishly added an Apisto to my tank without first quarantining him. The apisto himself was fine for about two weeks, and then he became sluggish, produced a white poop commonly associated with an internal parasite, and quickly passed away. There wasn't much time to react to that, but I now feel like an idiot and will quarantine every new fish until the end of time. At that time and shortly after his passing all other fish were fine.

After his death I did some research on how to deal with parasites and began treating my tank with PraziPro. That started about 4 days ago. This morning things appeared to be worse with the heavy breathing in some of the fish so I did a 50% water change and re-dosed the PraziPro. Note that PraziPro recommends waiting 5 days before doing a WC and re-dosing, but I felt I had to do something given the worsening conditions, so I'm basically 1 day early.

I was able to catch the two most obviously weakened Boesemani's during the WC (no easy task in a 90G planted tank) and they are in a hospital tank also with a different Mardel anti-parasite treatment as well as a bit of salt and they look like they are breathing better, although they are clearly nervous from the stress of moving and no longer being in a school. I switched to the Mardel treatment because it didn't seem like the PraziPro was working... though it could also be the change in the tank i guess?

Now, my ammonia and nitrite levels are both at 0 even before the WC, and Nitrates were at about 5ppm (possibly a little bit more, it is hard to tell on the color scale... but definitely less than 10 ppm). Given that my levels seem fine, i suspect that the infected apisto introduced some sort of parasite. Based on my story, does that sound correct? If so, given the heavy breathing and reddened gills, would you suspect some sort of gill flukes?

Here are some other important details:
-90G planted tank -- lots of plants and hiding places. No aggression in the tank besides a few hilarious face offs between the 2 Bolivians.
-I ALWAYS add Seachem Prime to the buckets of new water when doing a WC, as well as some Prime directly to the tank. I do not think chloramines are the issue.
-Again, ammonia and nitrite levels are always at 0.
-I do a 25% WC once per week, with the last one before today being last sunday AM. The WC today was 50% because I'm kind of freaking out.
-I run a fluval 406 and I have it providing plenty of surface agitation right now to make sure aeration is not an issue. I have not recently disturbed filter media.
-Temp is at 80F
-pH is approximately neutral. I do not know gH or kH, I have those test kits coming in the mail though.
-I do not run CO2 or dose.
-My stock includes 1 apisto, 2 bolivian rams, 2 small angels, 15 neon tetras, 5 black neon tetras, 5 adolescent boesemani rainbows (2 of which are in the hospital tank), 5 sterbai corys, and 2 juvenile SAE. I believe this to be understocked for my tank, which is 90G.

It's early to say, but I think the breathing has improved a bit since I did the WC and re-dose this morning, although the gills still look kind of reddish on some fish.

What do you think the problem is and how should I treat? I have an extra bottle of PraziPro, a bottle of Bifuran, and a bottle of Mardel for ich treatments in reserve (although they certainly do not have ich or I would not need help diagnosing).

Thanks so much for your help in advance. I usually consider myself to be a decent aquarist but I'm sort of on the ropes right now and don't know where to turn

Last edited by mattjm20; 01-03-2014 at 09:02 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:33 PM   #2
brandon429
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:40 PM   #3
scapegoat
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i don't know the answer. but if the water change and dosing meds seem to work i'd recommend you do that daily. hopefully flushing out anything that could be causing an issue.

good luck. i'm sure you'll get better advice than i gave as others come in
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:14 AM   #4
TDerivan
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If you're worried about parasites I would recommend feeding the fish some garlic. It can make your house smell like a bad italian restaurant, but it does a good job of killing off parasites.
If it's gill flukes you've got a serious problem. A formalin dip would kill off the flukes on the fish. You could treat the tank with clout, but that will stain your silicone and is bad news for inverts.
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