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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday looking close at my fish I thought some of my cherry barbs looked dusty. After dark I shone a flashlight on them and some of them had glittery, gold/bronze colored patches especially on the top of the head. My first thought is velvet disease, but I don't see any other symptoms- none of the fish are flashing, clamped, lethargic, and they were all eager to eat this morning. I had a thought to check on my betta in the smaller tank last night too, because in the past I've often thought he looked a little 'dusty'- I'd assumed before that his scales are just not very shiny/metallic. When I put the flashlight on him, I thought I saw gold specks gleaming under his gills and along his sides. But if Oliver has it, he's had it coming and going for a long time- how is that possible without my fish being dead? Is it because I feed them garlic about once a week? Or is maybe this not velvet disease after all?

I'm going to the store here soon to look for meds- my list of things to try and find:

Paraguard
Quick Cure
Coppersafe
Flubendazole (in Safeguard dog dewormer if I can't find it in a fish med)
Are any of these unsafe for kuhli loaches??

But I've noticed in the past there is not a lot of selection of fish meds at either chain store near me. My other plan is to raise the tank temp over 85-86° and maybe do a 3-day blackout- don't want to extend that longer and loose all my plants.

I realize that with some of those meds I'd have to pull out my nerite snails, and get as many trumpet snails as I can- I can put them in my QT temporarily. Would the snails be carriers and reintroduce disease to the tank, though? If I have to remove them, how long should I wait before putting them back in?

If I use something that kills snails, I'm guessing I will have hundreds of dead MTS in the substrate- is this going to cause a big ammonia spike or will the plants just go happy consuming dead snail mess under there?

I'm writing out all my thoughts to have a good plan in mind, I don't want to panic and unneccesarily treat the tank if it's not really velvet, but I know it can kill fish in a few days if it is that and I don't act.
 

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Sounds like velvet. I'd recommend Kordon Ich Attack. I have never had to treat Velvet, but have treated ich with it a few times and it's the best med I have came across. Very gentle on fish (even "scaleless" fish) and safe for plants and inverts.
Ich Attack® | Kordon!

Most meds that treat ich should work for velvet as well.
From the list you have, I would get Seachem Paraguard.
I personally think fish tolerate copper-based treatments (Seachem Cupramine is safest form) better than Formalin/Malachite Green combo meds (QuICK Cure, Rid Ich, etc), but copper can stay in your aquarium for a long time, so it limits your ability to keep inverts in that tank.

Regarding anti-parasitic/dewormer meds to treat ich, I have heard a little about that, but I haven't looked into how successful they are. If any of them did work, Praziquantel, Metronidazole and Levamisole are generally safe meds. Fenbendazole (I think Flubendazole also) are a bit harder on livestock and not safe for many inverts.

I still hands down recommend Kordon Ich Attack above all other ich/velvet treatments (same ingredients as Kordon Rid Fungus, but do not confuse with Kordon Rid Ich).
Treat ASAP so the infections and fish health do not significantly worsen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Tetra medica's Fungistop is colloidal silver based, I used it on tanks with snail and plants, nothing died.
From the name I would assume Fungistop is aimed at killing fungus- isn't velvet a parasite? Did you use it to treat velvet?

Bump: Waterlife- thank you for that detailed assessment on meds I was considering. I remember now I've used Ich Attack on ich in the past- but I used it all up so will have to get more. I don't think the stores carry it but I can order next-day delivery online.

In the meantime, do you think the blackout/heat treatment will be helpful in stalling progression?
 

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subscribing to this thread, wanna know of the outcome :smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Ok. Raised temp on my small tank is 83°, larger one is 82° now (normally they're at 79° and 76°). I've started dosing the Ich Attack. Plan is four days of dosing twice a day, then three days dosing once a day, then a water change to finish off first round of treatment. So far the fishes all look the same- behavior and appetite normal, no one seems unduly stresses by the raised temperature, quite a few barbs have dusty looking scales. I'm reducing light on both tanks too. With the tenner I'm just switching off the light strip and keeping nearby window blinds closed, it will still get low ambient room light (disease issue and algae seem minimal in this tank). With my thirty-eight I'm wrapping it in black plastic with just a portion at the top loose a flap to lift to dose the meds and feed the fish daily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well so far so good. My betta and otos in the ten gallon look unchanged- at least they are not too stressed by the medication. I really don't like having the big tank wrapped (black plastic) because I cannot check on the fishes. When I open the lid to dose (room lights off) I do see from above a few barbs swimming around, but not enough to tell if they're all ok, or see anything of the kuhli loaches. Tomorrow I will unwrap the tank and at that point check the fishes with flashlight, to see if the symptoms are abating.

Curious to see how much algae got killed off as well, and I hope none of my plants suffer too much from the blackout.
 

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It will probably take a bout 5 days to see any change. You might want to add some carbon to your filter for a while after the water change to mop up medicine remnants.
If it is not better after then, and you have access to a gram scale I will talk you through doing a 4 hour permanganate bath, the way it is done industrially.
 

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Raising the temp isn't necessary with Kordon Ich Attack. You can, but I don't. The med is so gentle that I don't mind leaving it in/taking a bit longer to treat without the increased temps. I personally think the warmer temps, and with that, less dissolved oxygen, is a bit more stress added, compared to leaving the med since it's so well tolerated. I personally don't even remove Ich Attack with Activated Carbon (I only remove by regular maintenance water changes, whenever that may be, even if it's weeks later). I just leave it in like I do with Melafix. That's how safe I think the med is.

Now with a harsher med, like Formalin and Malachite Green combo meds, I do see the increased temps as less stress-inducing than the harsh meds. So I definitely do recommend increasing temps slightly (just enough to speed up treatment, but not apply much stress to the fish) in order to shorten necessary exposure time to the harsh meds. Also use activated carbon ASAP when treatment is completed and do water changes.

Make sure that wrapped tank is still able to get enough fresh air for atmospheric exchange (oxygen!).

I have not researched velvet in particular very much, so I am not all too familiar with it's life stages. I don't know if treatment requires an additional 3-4 days of dosing/treatment (with any treatment method you do) after all visible signs of the infection are gone (like treating ich requires). Hopefully someone else can comment on that. -with my lack of knowledge on velvet, and with Ich Attack being as gentle as it is, I would treat the extra few days just to be extra sure the infection is completely cured.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nordic- I wanted to at least check and make sure I didn't have fish dying, and so far they still swim to the top when I open the lid twice a day to dose. I saw a kuhli loach swimming down on the bottom today too, so at least most of them are doing ok I think. Thanks for the pointer on permanganate. That's the purple stuff, right? I actually have some, but have been leery of using it unless it's really neccessary.

WaterLife- Ok. I didn't realize that. I thought it would speed up the life cycle of the organism, just like it does for ich. I guess I hadn't thought it thru all the way. Yes, I will be treating 3-4 days extra past disappearance of the velvet, just to be sure. Especially if this has been hanging on in my tank a long time, I certainly want to get rid of it for good!

I think the tank is getting enough air- I taped black plastic around the sides and then draped another piece loose over the top- so it hangs down far enough to block light but is loose over the filter box so I hope enough oxygen gets in. When I do open the lid briefly, the fish come up from below so I don't think they are gasping for air at least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ended the blackout yesterday.

The fishes are all alive, barbs look good- I think they have less 'dusty' appearance but haven't done flashlight check yet. Kuhlis have poor color, I think they are feeling stressed. Plants look great incidentally- my aponos, crypts and bacopa have a lot less brown algae on them now.

I'm still dosing ich attack once a day.
 

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The kuhlis will take medicating a bit worse, so it is not surprising.
If you need to do a second round of medicine, I would house them separately and give them a skip for at least a week.
Also keep an eye on them to make sure they do not show signs of infection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, I think I misdiagnosed and there was no problem after all. I finished the treatment, did a water change, the fishes all look the same. I used the flashlight and see the gleam on a few of the larger barbs, but now I suspect it is just their natural coloring. Nobody is clamped or lethargic or flashing. I've done more reading in the meantime and I get the impression that a fish actally infected with velvet would show those symptoms- would really look sick. Mine don't. So I feel rather foolish now that I wasted money on medicines and troubled myself to go thru that treatment round.

But if anything, the plants look better and algae is reduced a lot after the blackout. I'm glad I did that.
 
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