Siamese Algae Eater Has Lost a Lot of Weight - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-14-2019, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Siamese Algae Eater Has Lost a Lot of Weight

I bought 3 SAE 3 week ago from my LFS and am having trouble diagnosing an issue. My tank is 2 years old, with injected CO2 introduced 5 months ago. In the middle of the day, my ph is 6.8 and KH is 5, so I think my CO2 levels are ok. There's guppies, angelfish, and shrimp in the tank right now and they all seem fine.

One SAE died the first day, maybe from stress and transportation. The second has thrived and is much bigger than when I first got it. The last one has lost weight and seems emaciated. It's actually shrunken and looks really skinny. I don't see any other signs of disease on its body. It swims around a little more slowly, but still eats a little. Both remaining SAE ignore my fresh veggies and veggie wafers, so I'm guessing they're surviving off algae.

Any ideas what's wrong?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 05:50 AM
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Are these true SAE or the more common algae eaters? If one is doing well and the other is not then maybe something internal like parasites of some kind. Just a guess. Wouldn't happen to have a quarantine tank would you?


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 06:42 PM
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Did you quarantine the fish or treat with dewormer?


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Are these true SAE or the more common algae eaters? If one is doing well and the other is not then maybe something internal like parasites of some kind. Just a guess. Wouldn't happen to have a quarantine tank would you?
I'm pretty sure they're true SAE. They look like the images I've seen online and not like flying foxes others. I've attached images of both of mine.


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Did you quarantine the fish or treat with dewormer?

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No, I didn't. I've never had diseased fish before. If it's a parasite or worm, what product should I use?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ryguystye View Post
I'm pretty sure they're true SAE. They look like the images I've seen online and not like flying foxes others. I've attached images of both of mine.









No, I didn't. I've never had diseased fish before. If it's a parasite or worm, what product should I use?


Looks like wasting to me. Id quarantine and treat with API General Cure.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ryguystye View Post
I'm pretty sure they're true SAE. They look like the images I've seen online and not like flying foxes others. I've attached images of both of mine.




No, I didn't. I've never had diseased fish before. If it's a parasite or worm, what product should I use?
@Discusluv

Hopefully she can help. That guy looks to be in really bad shape. I wouldn't want it in my main tank IMHO.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 07:01 PM
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General Cure is a good recommendation to start. Or, if not available to you, look for active ingredients praziquantel ( can be found in Hikari Prazipro) and metronidazole ( active ingredient in Seachem Metroplex). Can also get these at 100% concentration online from Jehmco or AngelsPlus.com.

However, the problem is that, since this fish is not eating, will need to treat in water column which isn't as effective as when fish ingest medicine through food. To increase efficiency of medication stop all Co2, UV ( if applicable,) fertilization, or any chemical filtration in aquarium. In addition, change 25% of water before each dose- organics in system offsets the effectiveness of medication as well.

When internal parasites are suspected its best to treat all the fish that have been exposed-- so treat in display tank. Neither of the active ingredients ( praziquantel and metronidazole) will harm biofilter or plants.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
General Cure is a good recommendation to start. Or, if not available to you, look for active ingredients praziquantel ( can be found in Hikari Prazipro) and metronidazole ( active ingredient in Seachem Metroplex). Can also get these at 100% concentration online from Jehmco or AngelsPlus.com.

However, the problem is that, since this fish is not eating, will need to treat in water column which isn't as effective as when fish ingest medicine through food. To increase efficiency of medication stop all Co2, UV ( if applicable,) fertilization, or any chemical filtration in aquarium. In addition, change 25% of water before each dose- organics in system offsets the effectiveness of medication as well.

When internal parasites are suspected its best to treat all the fish that have been exposed-- so treat in display tank. Neither of the active ingredients ( praziquantel and metronidazole) will harm biofilter or plants.
Ok, thanks very much! I've had my SAE for 3 weeks and my other fish look fine, but I'll treat everyone to be safe. Is General Cure something I can find off the shelf at Petco/Petsmart? My LFS is far away and I don't want to deal with commute traffic after work.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ryguystye View Post
Ok, thanks very much! I've had my SAE for 3 weeks and my other fish look fine, but I'll treat everyone to be safe. Is General Cure something I can find off the shelf at Petco/Petsmart? My LFS is far away and I don't want to deal with commute traffic after work.
I have been able to get General Cure at Petsmart pretty reliably in my area. I haven't used what Discusluv recommended, however I do know that from both her, and others' experiences, they are confidently good products.

In the future, it may be worth while to set up a separate quarantine tank and prophylactically treat new fish.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ryguystye View Post
Ok, thanks very much! I've had my SAE for 3 weeks and my other fish look fine, but I'll treat everyone to be safe. Is General Cure something I can find off the shelf at Petco/Petsmart? My LFS is far away and I don't want to deal with commute traffic after work.
I see at Petsmart, but not Petco.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 06:16 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
General Cure is a good recommendation to start. Or, if not available to you, look for active ingredients praziquantel ( can be found in Hikari Prazipro) and metronidazole ( active ingredient in Seachem Metroplex). Can also get these at 100% concentration online from Jehmco or AngelsPlus.com.

However, the problem is that, since this fish is not eating, will need to treat in water column which isn't as effective as when fish ingest medicine through food. To increase efficiency of medication stop all Co2, UV ( if applicable,) fertilization, or any chemical filtration in aquarium. In addition, change 25% of water before each dose- organics in system offsets the effectiveness of medication as well.

When internal parasites are suspected its best to treat all the fish that have been exposed-- so treat in display tank. Neither of the active ingredients ( praziquantel and metronidazole) will harm biofilter or plants.
Thanks for the help so far. I used my first dose of General Cure today, but had a question about the timing of the second dose. I was reading up on its use and found some various forum posts with people recommending not following the instructions. Instead of the manufacturer's recommended 48 hours, some people suggest waiting up to 5-7 days later for the second dose. I think I gathered that for some parasites, it's better to wait, and for other parasites, it's better to dose more frequently.

What would you suggest for my fish? I think I recall seeing white poop floating around the tank earlier, which I must have mistaken for decomposing hair grass trimmings that I forgot to pick up. Is that evidence of a type of worms? When should I add the second dose of General Cure?
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 12:33 PM
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This must be a confusion with thinking that General Cure will work on nematodes or, more specifically, camallanus worms-- it will not. With nematodes you need to use either levamisole or fenbendazole; both of which gets dosed every 7 days. With camallanus worms you do get wasting as well, but you will see red worms protruding from vent.

Basically, it comes down to a misunderstanding of active ingredients in medications and what the treat.

What you are treating for right now is protozoa and flatworms. The white feces is a good indication that worms are present and being eliminated from the praziquantel. Dose according to instructions on back of box.
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