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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry ahead of time for the novel that follows ;

Ive killed two fish in a hospital tank in the last week or so. Killed them overnight in both cases. Im not a very good Dr. it seems. I approached both cases with a similar plan of action and both ended in disaster with a fish laying on its side in the bottom of my tank--very much dead.

First case was a Paradise Fish that had a cotton fungus or bacteria issue. He had been sick for a while and vigorous water changes, salt treatment and darkness to soothe him had done NO GOOD. So, I put him in a 2.5 gallon tank with fresh water, prime, Melafix, half dose of salt and API Fungus Cure ( with Acriflavine ) Dead within hours.

Second case is a Peppered Cory from the same tank that the Paradise Fish was originally in--had been lethargic as compared to the others in the tank and developed Pop-eye symptoms yesterday. Same treatment as with the Paradise Fish except with less of each med due to the sensitivity of the Corydoras. Again, DEAD within hours.

Now, obviously Im killing these fish trying to make them better. What I am after is some advice to help me avoid the same fate for future fishes. For now, I dosed the main 10 gallon tank that they were in with the Fungus Cure. I ordered some Jungle Fungus Eliminator but it hasnt arived yet so I just used the API stuff. Jungle claims to rid the tank of bacteria and fungle issues--API just mentions fungus.

I dont know the root of the illness of my fish but I do know that I change the water religiously ( 30-50% weekly, the tank is not overloaded ( currently 1 male betta and 5 Peppered Corydoras ) and I dont overfeed ( betta pellets eaten immediately and either a pinch of flakes on the bottom or a sinking wafer for the Corys gone within an hour--sometimes frozen brine shrimp or bloodworms as a treat )

Planted 10 gallon
Multiple water samples taken with API Master kit.

pH 7.6
Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates <10

When I setup the hospital tank I used a bare bottom with no ornaments and floated some watersprite. Fresh clean water treated with Prime and set to approx 78* ( same as other tanks ) No light. Red Sea Nano HOB filter with no carbon.

Im thinking I will buy another 10 gallon tank to use as a hospital/QT tank. That would make it easier to add the proper amount of meds since most of them give portions based on 10 gallon. Makes it hard to portion properly for a ultra small 2.5 gallon.

Any suggestions or ideas of what could be going on to make my fish sick?

I thought the Paradise Fish was an isolated case and I put my Betta in the tank he came out of-now Im hoping I didnt put him in an infected tank that is going to kill him.

Im getting fairly frustrated with the whole aquarium thing. Seems like everything is going great--then disaster. Ive got Ich in one tank, some sort of disease or whatever in another and then I have an empty tank with just gravel and driftwood that I am scared to add any fish to.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Wow, so sorry to hear about all your struggles and losses!

My first thought is that it's usually a bad idea to mix medications, and this may have been an issue from my reading of your treatment.

My 2nd thought is that it sounds like these fish were pretty sick at the point where you moved them into the QT tank for treatment. Just moving them may have been what pushed them over the edge; fish really struggle with adapting to change even when healthy.

Next time you need to move a fish into QT it's often a good idea to set up the tank with water from the main tank to minimize acclimation stress.

It sounds like at least one of the fish you purchased for your 10gal tank brought in a disease that's making its rounds in the tank. Next time I'd also recommend QTing all new fish for at least 2-4 weeks before adding them to the main tank- and you should be able to catch and prevent the spread of any issues.

At this point, I'd probably just keep Melafix and Pimafix combo going in the main tank for a few weeks, and keep up the water changes to be sure the water stays clean.

Sad to say, we've all been in your shoes. It's frustrating to say the least. I do hope that you don't give up, though! It sounds like you're doing the best you can, and that's all any of us can ever do. And I certainly wish your remaining fish the best of health!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nah, I put the betta in there after the Paradise Fish died--I mentioned above ( Its a book to read, so I can understand missing that part-lol ) that I thought the Paradise Fish was an isolated case so I felt that the tank was safe for the Betta. He had been in a small tank and I felt that he was better in the 10 gallon.

I have a 10 gallon with just gravel/sand and artificial driftwood that I could put the betta in if I have to--but I dont want to infect another tank if there is something wrong with this one.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Ah, I had missed that part.

You know, I'd probably put the betta in a separate tank and medicate it with the adjusted dosage, and still medicate the main tank with the "normal" dosage.

Just to be on the safe side.

Really a judgment call if none of the fish are currently showing any symptoms, though. I just tend to try and catch things sooner rather than later and err on the side of caution.
 

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Do you think Melafix / Pimafix is ok for a Betta and Corys at full strength? Ive read conflicting information on that.

Thanks for the info.
I quit using Melafix &Pimafix after dosing with it killed some discus a few years back. The products didn't kill the fish. I couldn't have explained it better myself, so here's a quote from another site:

"Both Melafix and Pimafix are organic compounds. The bacteria in the tank water (not necessarily the ones on the fish) these products don't kill, sometimes use the Melafix and Pimafix as food! This means that when you add these medications to a tank (especially a tank that has not been maintained well or one that hasn't had regular water changes) there is a small chance that a bacterial bloom will ensue and take up dissolved oxygen. This could mean that you could see, under such circumstances, your fish significantly increase their respiratory rate. This will of course be adding a significant stress factor to an already stressed, sick fish. If the aquarist has any doubt or concern about this, perform an oxygen test before and during the treatment for monitoring purposes."

No, I'm not jumping to thinly based conclusions, either. This has been confirmed by the manufacturer, API.

So my guess is the uncycled hospital tank had a HUGE bacterial bloom, a corresponding ammonia spike & decrease of oxygen after you introduced the Melafix & Pimafix.




Tommy
 

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Wow, I've never had any issues with the Melafix/Pimafix. I've never used it on discus though. I have found it to be pretty effective even in a larger than normal dose on angelfish.

The two fish that died--have you had them a while, or were they recently purchased?
 
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