What disease is this? Need help! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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What disease is this? Need help!

Hi Guys,

Hope you can help me out. Today my fish seems to have been hit a a disease I haven't seen before and I need some help identifying.
As you can see from the images below, the symptom appears to be excessive slime growth and fins appear to look like they've got fin rot.
The ones with severe slime are disoriented and swim around in circles.

I've treated my tank with Sulfaplex and Pimafix, but hasn't seem to have stopped more fish from dieing.



Swordtail with this disease. She was perfectly fine yesterday!


I've got alot of other fish with more mild symptoms that I'm hoping to save. Any help at all is appreciated!

Thank You

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 02:10 AM
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New set up or established tank?

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by aguila9 View Post
New set up or established tank?

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

This is an established tank, been running for a few years and recently (a month ago) switch from a HOB to a marineland 160 canister filter.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 02:38 AM
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I dont know enough about your tank to make a guess.
Illnesses fall in 3 categories:

Environmental stress: declining water quality, stress from improper conditions like temperature and hardness, and stress from incompatibility between species. Environmental issues tend to be slow and cumulative. They may not kill your fish outright, but they will allow illnesses to get a foothold in time.
Have you done any water testing today: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate?
What fish in tank and how many?
Tank size?
Temperature?

Nutritional deficiencies - What do you feed and how often?

Most issues begin with the first 2 and lead to the 3rd.

Pathogens/Parasites
When was the last time added other fish to aquarium?
This erosion of fins- that just popped up in one day? Thats unusual.
It isnt unusual to get shedding of slime-coat in one day to some kind of irritant- whether it be a toxin that got into the aquarium, ammonia/nitrites, or water added to aquarium with lots of gas bubbles. Are the fish darting around as if trying to get away from something irritating them?
If thats the case it could also be a parasite: such as Velvet.

Or- it could be a bacterial infection. A particularly aggressive one.
Are the fish still eating?

Need more information.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
I dont know enough about your tank to make a guess.
Illnesses fall in 3 categories:

Environmental stress: declining water quality, stress from improper conditions like temperature and hardness, and stress from incompatibility between species. Environmental issues tend to be slow and cumulative. They may not kill your fish outright, but they will allow illnesses to get a foothold in time.
Have you done any water testing today: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate?
What fish in tank and how many?
Tank size?
Temperature?

Nutritional deficiencies - What do you feed and how often?

Most issues begin with the first 2 and lead to the 3rd.

Pathogens/Parasites
When was the last time added other fish to aquarium?
This erosion of fins- that just popped up in one day? Thats unusual.
It isnt unusual to get shedding of slime-coat in one day to some kind of irritant- whether it be a toxin that got into the aquarium, ammonia/nitrites, or water added to aquarium with lots of gas bubbles. Are the fish darting around as if trying to get away from something irritating them?
If thats the case it could also be a parasite: such as Velvet.

Or- it could be a bacterial infection. A particularly aggressive one.
Are the fish still eating?

Need more information.
1.I just did a 50% water change on Saturday night. However, doing a water test today shows
PH: 6.0 (or below. Yikes!)
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 60ppm

2. I've been feeding a variety of flakes, frozen, and baby brine shrimp.

3.It's been a few months since any few fish was brought in. The fish were very actively eating the baby brine shrimp today, but are all listlessly hanging around on top of the surface.

I think it's clear i need to do an emergency water change to try and fix the tank params. I think I also need to test the tap water and see if there's anything up with that. Ph has always been around 7 in the past.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 03:04 AM
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I am thinking water quality is the issue- especially since you did a 50% water change 2 days ago and still have a nitrate reading of 60 ppm.
It is typical of Old tank syndrome to have increasing acidification in the aquarium. The lower pH makes sense.

Do you typically do 50% water changes? Have you done this size water change before (recently) and not had any issues afterward. It can be a problem if a tank is suffering from old tank syndrome to do too large of a water change because of the difference between the pH of the tank and the tap.


Im also concerned the fish may be dealing with velvet as a consequence. It thrives in tanks with low pH and high organics. It is difficult to see but one way you can see it is to turn out the lights and shine a flashlight on the fish. It has the appearance of a velvety film on the skin that resembles gold or rust colored dust.


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, good news folks. no new casualties this morning. And one of the swordtails I was considering euthanizing is still alive.

What I did was a 50% water change, added aquarium salt, and also used baking soda to balance out the ph to 7. Honestly, I probably added too much baking soda at once as the ph has jumped up a whole number. Fortunately, the fish do not appear to be shocked.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 02:29 PM
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Not to be harsh but this is what I call "new guy" disease! Even if the "new guy" has had the tank for years, it shows a lack of experience when we ignore our maintenance until we see a disease. With more experience, most will determine it is far better to do the routine, necessary, drudge work to keep the tank conditions better so that we avoid the trauma of trying to treat disease as they will certainly show up.
The time spent deciding what disease and how to treat it on the odds we might be successful is much better spent doing the work needed to avoid the disease in the first place.
Better use of time, better use of money! Your meds probably cost almost as much as your fish, didn't they?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 07:56 PM
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I would be very cautious about adding baking soda to an aquarium that had acidified over time, should you ever find yourself in this situation again (hopefully you won't). A series of partial water changes using source water with the parameters you want is a much, much safer way to get where you need to be. I'm rather surprised they survived it, to be honest; a pH of 7.0 is ten times more alkaline than 6.0 and the fish were already compromised. Slow and steady wins the race and there's no shortcut to proper husbandry. Not beating up on you here, just can't stress that enough.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2020, 11:03 PM
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Not sure because of the acidification being spoke of but will crushed coral help ? I use it in my tanks to keep pH stable , but like I said I don't know how it will react with the OP's water .
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-01-2020, 02:55 PM
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It would certainly be a slower way to raise KH than baking soda, but I'm not sure OP needs to raise his hardness. Assuming his source water is okay, the tank just went far too long between partial water changes. Presuming a NO3 level of 120 since it was at 60 after a 50%, there was an awful lot of ammonia in this tank at some point and that's just deadlier at a higher pH. If the water is very soft, that might be an idea when things get settled but I'd want to know his KH out of the tap before suggesting that.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-01-2020, 07:02 PM
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So this is a bare bottom tank?

So when you moved from hob to canister a month ago did you bring seasoned media (bacteria colony) over to new filter or run both filters long enough so that new canister got colonized?
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-01-2020, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
It would certainly be a slower way to raise KH than baking soda, but I'm not sure OP needs to raise his hardness. Assuming his source water is okay, the tank just went far too long between partial water changes. Presuming a NO3 level of 120 since it was at 60 after a 50%, there was an awful lot of ammonia in this tank at some point and that's just deadlier at a higher pH. If the water is very soft, that might be an idea when things get settled but I'd want to know his KH out of the tap before suggesting that.
I see now . My water is very soft so the coral does me good in a couple ways . Thanks .
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-01-2020, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cokers View Post
1.I just did a 50% water change on Saturday night. However, doing a water test today shows
PH: 6.0 (or below. Yikes!)
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 60ppm

2. I've been feeding a variety of flakes, frozen, and baby brine shrimp.

3.It's been a few months since any few fish was brought in. The fish were very actively eating the baby brine shrimp today, but are all listlessly hanging around on top of the surface.

I think it's clear i need to do an emergency water change to try and fix the tank params. I think I also need to test the tap water and see if there's anything up with that. Ph has always been around 7 in the past.
If you need any more help please let me know. If you would feel more comfortable private messaging me- please do.


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-02-2020, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Everything's A-ok now, all symptoms have subsided.

I haven't checked ph in almost a year because my tap comes out at 7ph and aside from a small bit of driftwood, nothing should really be lowering ph (or so I thought) and I've been told consistency is more important.

It's a pretty heavily planted tank, but it's been up and running for quite some time now. I think I'll scoop out the substrate and give that a deep cleaning to try and fix the acidification.
I'll also toss back in my seiryu stones which I've read raises ph.

I've skipped a week or so here and there of water changes since I started using the canister filter because I thought me quadrupling the pre-exisitng filter capacity would keep the paramters in a good spot for a longer period of time. But obviously, filter's don't do squat to ph.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
So this is a bare bottom tank?

So when you moved from hob to canister a month ago did you bring seasoned media (bacteria colony) over to new filter or run both filters long enough so that new canister got colonized?
Yup, I tossed in all the old media as well as used a bacteria booster for a few weeks, so it should at the very least be functioning as well as the filter I was using previously.

Bump: Well this has been a learning experience for me.

I've always thought the process fish get affected by bad parameters as
[Bad Parameters] -> [Unhappy Fish] -> [Parasite/Bacteria/Fungus attack] -> [Sick Fish]


But this time, the symptoms seem to have been caused directly by the bad parameters.

No self respecting aquarist worth his salt is without a bucket -Anon


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