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Fish are always brushing against stuff and flipping against stuff.

1267 Views 13 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  roadmaster
Fish are always brushing against and flipping against stuff.

Could this be velvet disease? What do you guys think?
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It is often a sign that something is not fitting what they like. However I would not do the large jump to any specific disease but first look at general water and tank situation. Many times a simple water change can set off a round of flashing for a few hours so I check for things that are more common then velvet. If you have not just done a water change, that is almost always my first step.
My GBRs were doing that recently too. In my case it did turn out to be Velvet. But they also had a thin layer of mucous on their skin that was clearly visible and made their colors very dull. That's what confirmed it for me. They also had clamped fins and were much less active so it was obvious that something was wrong. I've been dosing Seachem polyguard for a week now and they are almost back to normal. I agree with PlantedRich though. Sickness is usually brought on by stress, so it's important to identify possible causes of stress. Water is always the first place to look. And a water change always helps.

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Many things will cause that, chlorine, ammonia, and a host of other irritants. My first step is to add 1 level teaspoon of salt per 10 gallons. If it was one of the easier things, it should stop the scratching in less than an hour. If not, keep doing water changes with a good source of water until it stops. I feel fish get velvet and a host of diseases as a secondary response to not having bad water remedied.

I run high stock numbers as a breeder and sometimes it can take as little as 3 days before the fish start showing the first signs of being unhappy with the water quality.
So, I'm not saying it is a neglect thing at all. I just need to push slightly too hard on feeding to cause it.

Also if you brought anything wet in from a pet shop, keep an eye open for ich. It can cause the same symptoms and may be hard to spot as it likes attaching to the gills.
Many things will cause that, chlorine, ammonia, and a host of other irritants. My first step is to add 1 level teaspoon of salt per 10 gallons. If it was one of the easier things, it should stop the scratching in less than an hour. If not, keep doing water changes with a good source of water until it stops. I feel fish get velvet and a host of diseases as a secondary response to not having bad water remedied.

I run high stock numbers as a breeder and sometimes it can take as little as 3 days before the fish start showing the first signs of being unhappy with the water quality.
So, I'm not saying it is a neglect thing at all. I just need to push slightly too hard on feeding to cause it.

Also if you brought anything wet in from a pet shop, keep an eye open for ich. It can cause the same symptoms and may be hard to spot as it likes attaching to the gills.
Do you have plants and Tetras? I heard they both do not tolerate salt very well.

I am thinking about adding 2 stand along UV sterilizers in addition to the current UV sterolizer on the Sunsun. I also have Kordon ICH attack which say that is a natural herbal treatment for ich, protozoans and flagellates. Maybe as a secondary possible step.

I had a dead bloodfin turn up last week and my zebra danio which I had for a year since I first setup the tank died yesterday. Seems like every 2 weeks I have a fish die. My ammonia alert say the tank does not have any ammonia. I have a 264 GPH and a 500 GPH filter on the tank now. So it should have good biological filtration.

My pleco catfish does look like it has something grayish on its skin. So that is why I suspect velvet.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks.
This is a very light dose, but the molecule's similarity to nitrates, block the sites these would normally get taken up with providing fish relief.
We are not talking ich killing levels here, rather just the few ppm of salt required to help the fish.

There are too many things which look like velvet to the naked eye but are completely different under a microscope... Luckily the big label medicines are formulated to cover a range of conditions as a stop gap.
I do not feel adding salt is a cure all for many cases. In fact it does not seem to be a really good idea at all. It is cheap but poor advise. If the water is not good, I work on getting it good. I do not add stress to fish who are suffering due to bad water or other conditions. For some occasions and some fish it may be correct but it is certainly not the first step for me.

When the OP mentions filtering and what he "thinks" is true about his water, it indicates he is guessing. A far better way to find the correct answer is to test the water. The ammonia alert is not what I would call a good substitute for actual test results.
My first question would be how much ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are in the tank? Reading some levels, not guessing because there are filters on the tank. Knowing there are filters doesn't tell us anything about what level of good bacteria those filters have, nor how the general tank is working. Fish are dying so it is quite possible there is a dead fish hidden somewhere and that can certainly blow all the water parameters off the charts.
Adding salt will not cure a dead fish and what it is doing to the water. Taking any action like adding medicine without knowing why is just making the solution harder to find.
Test and think first before acting.
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I also don't believe salt is a cure all. But when my fish respond positively to salt, I am reasonably certain the problem lies with the water as opposed to some infection.
I do not feel adding salt is a cure all for many cases. In fact it does not seem to be a really good idea at all. It is cheap but poor advise. If the water is not good, I work on getting it good. I do not add stress to fish who are suffering due to bad water or other conditions. For some occasions and some fish it may be correct but it is certainly not the first step for me.

When the OP mentions filtering and what he "thinks" is true about his water, it indicates he is guessing. A far better way to find the correct answer is to test the water. The ammonia alert is not what I would call a good substitute for actual test results.
My first question would be how much ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are in the tank? Reading some levels, not guessing because there are filters on the tank. Knowing there are filters doesn't tell us anything about what level of good bacteria those filters have, nor how the general tank is working. Fish are dying so it is quite possible there is a dead fish hidden somewhere and that can certainly blow all the water parameters off the charts.
Adding salt will not cure a dead fish and what it is doing to the water. Taking any action like adding medicine without knowing why is just making the solution harder to find.
Test and think first before acting.


I did the test.

Ammonia 0 PPM
Nitrites 0 PPM
Nitrates 5 PPM

I have a total of 764 GPH of filtration as well as biomax filled in the sunsun
( 500 GPH Odyssea and 264 Sunsun ( with UV sterilizer )
I do have a lot of fish in my tank that I gotten from LFS, Petco, Petsmart

Plants gotten from LFS and RAOK.

Its possible that I may have picked up something
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It is more likely if you had any recent additions to the tank... be it fish, invert or plant.
I'm not sure if you mentioned any newcomers.

Common meds used for velvet is copper sulfate (not safe with shrimp), formalin, malachite green, methylene blue (stains), and acriflavin or a combination thereof combined with a blackout for a week as velvet gets some of its energy from photosynthesis.
It is more likely if you had any recent additions to the tank... be it fish, invert or plant.
I'm not sure if you mentioned any newcomers.

Common meds used for velvet is copper sulfate (not safe with shrimp), formalin, malachite green, methylene blue (stains), and acriflavin or a combination thereof combined with a blackout for a week as velvet gets some of its energy from photosynthesis.
What about Kordon ICH attach?

It said on the bottle that its a herbal formula.

Said it is treatment for diseases caused by ich, amebae, ciliates, protozoans, and dinoflagellates.

Safe to use wtih most aquatic invertebrates( snails, shrimp and crabs)

Contents

5% activate ingredients( multiple natural herbals containing naphthoquinone)
95% inert ingredients.
I'm not sure, it is not something available on the market over here.
Okay, with knowing the water tests good, I would then move on to sorting out some specifics of what may be happening. One thing that is easy to do is to get too many things going on in a tank and all at once. One common way for this to happen is when adding fish. If we don't QT new fish, we have no way to know what they may bring with them. This sounds like what you may have going on right now. It is really tough to sort out multiple diseases at once. It is tough to be sure of treatment for just one disease at times! Ich is one of the easier diseases to ID, so it can be somewhat easier to fight than others. Hard to treat but at least we can go with confidence that we are fighting the right disease. With multiple diseases possible, life gets really difficult.
At his point, I might look and watch very carefully and try to sort out which specific fish is not acting right, move that fish to a QT tank and treat it as needed. If fish are only flashing and not showing other signs, I might wait. Since they may still be getting fully used to new water, new tank situation and new to other fish, the flashing may not be that significant. But certainly something to watch.
If one fish flashes now and then, no problem, but having 10 new fish and each one flashes once and hour may give you the impression that there is a lot going on.
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My feeling is that without QT,and fish illness is suspected,you in essence have a planted hospital tank or unplanted as case may be, and I would not move fish from one tank to another but treat the current tank and all fishes therein.
If I were going to try the Kordon ICH med I would do so as instruction's say, and finish the treatment before trying something else if no relief was realized after a few day's of finishing the treatment or can maybe treat again if med allows for repeat treatment.
Everybody I think at one time or another fail's to quarantine and sooner or later,we pay for it.
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