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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I received a dozen Cardinal tetra from online and a lot of them were very skinny. One of them was so skinny, it looked like it was missing an organ. It also never schooled with the other Cardinal tetras and mostly hangs out on the surface. Anybody know what this is? The white dots in the picture are just bubbles.
 

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It looks like it's been starved. Most likely it has intestinal parasites of some sort, and at this point, it's probably not going to survive. Treat the entire tank for intestinal parasites, keep an eye out for any other diseases that may take hold in the weakening fish, and never order from that seller again. In fact, see about getting a refund if the others look anywhere near that bad, because that is an extremely sick fish. If it doesn't eagerly eat, it has pretty much no hope.
 

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It looks like ick from what i see, do you see the fish try to scratch himself against objects?

The picture isn't very clear to me but if you see white spots like this then it could be ick



if so, try this product called Quick Cure by Aquarium Products

Separate the fish to a nursery and treat him there, make sure NO INVERTEBRATES ARE IN THE TANK TREATED WITH THIS OR THEY WILL DIE

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The dealer sells fish from his house, but the cardinals came from a fish farm in Florida. I bought a dozen other cardinals a month ago from him and now they're looking very healthy, but this shipment of fish look very starved. The fish doesn't have ick, those were bubbles on him. I'm going to try keeping the fish for week and see if any of them recover from their starved looking stomachs. Hopefully they'll get better.
 

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Here are some of the other new cardinals:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=612745&stc=1&d=1459388103

Is this normal? Can they recover from proper feeding?
I'd really think about getting them into a separate tank with no other tankmates to compete against for food. Feed them a diet of medicated flake and good frozen food. Change their water every other day, about 25%~35% to keep the ammonia and pollutants low. I'd give them about a month or so to recover before putting them back into the community tank.
 

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The one in the first pic is severely starved/malnourished. All the others in the other pic are starved a bit as well (bellies are sunken a little).

Treat for internal parasites/worms. Use Praziquantel (found in Hiarki PraziPro) or Metronidazole (found in Seachem MetroPlex or Aquazole). Treat ASAP.

The others have a good chance of surviving if treated and fed well. The really skinny one doesn't sound or look too good. If he is eating at all, make sure to feed him as much as you can, multiple feedings as much as he can eat. That way he is getting the nourishment he desperately needs. Internal parasites would be stealing some/most of the nutrition from the food, but if you feed a lot, he can gets some nutrition to stay alive. Only chance he's got. Him being separated and inactive is a indicator he is not doing well at all (dying). Not eating is a danger sign especially (even if skinny and could use the food, they are too weak).

There is still hope though. Treat right away. Feeding medicated foods (soaked in meds mentioned above) is quicker acting, but if the fish isn't eating, dosing the water column is still effective. I kind of prefer just dosing the water column, that way you know you have dosed properly, instead of having to figure out if each fish ate the correct amount to properly be dewormed. Keep other stresses to a minimum as well.

Prazi and Metro are both pretty gentle meds, safe for plants and inverts. Treat the whole tank.
Levamisole and Fenbendazole are even stronger anti-parasitic meds, but are a bit trickier to get. And I haven't personally used them so I don't know how well fish tolerate them. But I do hear good success with them.
Prazi and Metro both seem effective enough for most of the common internal parasites.
 

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You can get levamisol HCL in 99% water soluble form from any place that sells deworming stuff for farm animals.
Also a few online guys sells it in low volumes (I payed about $10 for a lifetime supply 4.5oz at the coop).
I treated the first few tanks on sundays, and am happy to report my fishies have the most beautiful poop now. Nice solid, dark and brown.

It is also an immune booster, seems like you fish can do with it.


Example for 100 litre tank
To calculate dosage for the HCL form of levamisol,
take (volume of water in litre x 2) / 1000
so (100x2)/1000=0.2
Now
take the 0.2 and divide by 204.32 = 0.0009788567
Take that and multiply by 240.78 for dosage in gram
So
.0009788567 x 240.78 =0.236g or 236mg

There are online retailers selling and advocating using 5 times that dosage (which I will concede is a kill dose), but I would in fact use half the recommended dose, twice 3 weeks appart.

The 204 and 240 amounts have to do with the molecular weight of levamisol vs levamisol HCL

The tank has to be covered in dark for 24 hours, after which you vacuum and siphon off as much water as you feel safe with. (I do about 80% on the larger tanks and dump out the small tanks completely).
Feed them well before and during medication, you want them pooping as much as possible. They will be excreting dead worms and nematodes etc. for 24 hours.

If you use it on commercial edible fish, at least one week should pass before harvest.

P.S. researching levamisol, I found out that it is a major cutting and production agent in the manufacturing of virtually all cocaine... it also potentiates it, some people are allergic and get these massive sores and necrotic tissues on their faces.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The very starved one already died this morning. I'll give some time for the other fish to see if their bellies will recover from proper feeding. If not, I'll use some of the medications listed above.
 
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