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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all

Something seems to have gotten into my tank. I had quarantined some clown loaches and dwarf chain loaches, but I guess not long enough before moved them into my main tank. White spots began to show up on some of the clown loaches, and some of the tetras. This is a heavily planted tank, which also contains invertebrates, so I cranked the temperature up to 88. This was about 2 weeks ago. The ich never got any worse, and did not spread to any other fish, and the spots slowly disappeared over a week or so.

However, a few of my cardinals had developed white spots on where their tail tapers down, just before it meets the tail fins. There were two spots, looking much like a colon ( on their tails. The fish were otherwise behaving normally, but I pulled them anyways for observation. I also treated the hospital tank with Seachem Aquazole in case they had any ich left. These fish are still in the hospital tank, the spots aren't gone, but greatly diminished.

About 1 week ago I was at the LFS, and they had a beautiful Apistogramma cacatuoides, so I picked him up. I thought, since I have the tank up in temp, I may as well throw him into the big tank - probably a big, big, mistake.

Things were fine for the first day or two. I had another (male) Apisto in the tank, but they didn't seem to have any problems other than the usual saber rattling. Then I noticed that one of my male Blue Rams wasn't looking too well, his colour, which wasn't the best tom begin with, was very dark, and I noticed that he had a whitish growth on his head. I pulled him and put him into the hospital tank, he died the next day.

The next day, my other Apistogramma (not the new one), wasn't looking well. I had seen him in the morning, he looked OK, but then we couldn't find him throughout most of the day. He appeared about mid-afternoon, but wasn't looking well, clamped fins, rapid breathing, etc. Nothing else externally wrong. We went to pull him, but he disappeared again, found him about 1 hour later, dead. Also that day, we noticed one of our green and gold cories was out and about in the middle of the day (very unusual), and breathing rather rapidly. We decided at this point to medicate the whole tank, and dosed it with Maracyn and Maracyn 2. The cory was dead the next day.

Over the next 2 days, we lost several cardinals. Yesterday, I started dropping the temperature in case the heat was allowing bacteria to multiply like gangbusters. Temp is about 84.

This morning, one of the dwarf chain loaches was laying on the bottom, breathing heavily, with one eye clouded over and perhaps a bit swollen. I pulled him and put him into the hospital tank and medicated it with Maracyn and Maracyn 2 as well as Aquazole. Also, one of my SAE's is resting on the bottom, fins clamped, and a reddish spot on his back, along with some damaged scales:

http://www3.sympatico.ca/n.lasko/sae.html

I posted this on another forum earlier in the day, the SAE has since died...

OK, so this is what is in the tank, and how it is doing

3 SAE's
5 Dwarf chain loaches, they are all behaving fine
2 Green and Gold Corys, OK
3 False Juli (sp?) Corys, OK
11 Cardinal/Neons, they look OK, colour is good, no external spots
3 Clown Loaches, OK, and I watch them closely, as they are frequently the first to show problems
2 Pearl Gouramis, OK
2 Sturisoma festivum, OK
10 Rummy-nose Tetras, OK
6 Black Neon Tetras, OK
3 Silver-tip tetras, OK
1 pair Blue Rams, male OK, female perhaps breathing a little heavy this morning
1 male Apistogramma cacatuoides, OK
8 (or so - hard to count) Otocinclus, OK
4 Bamboo shrimp, OK
unknown # of Amano shrimp, all look OK, some have gotten quite large, over 2"

This is a 90 gallon tank, very heavily planted. PH is 6.8, KH 3, Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates are all zero. I have been keeping Nitrates around 5 or 10, but I have held off dosing the ferts over the past 2 days as I am expecting an Ammonia spike. The tank is getting CO2 from a diy setup, 4 bottles, one changed per week. I also supplement with Excel. Water changes once a week, about 30%, sometimes a little more. Treat the water with Seachem Prime, 2 light teaspoons per water change. Filtration is two Aquaclear 300's, plus a powerhead with the quickfilter that cycles on for 10-15 minutes per hour during the day.

Whew, sorry about the long-winded post, but I'm worried I've perhaps picked the wrong treatment.

Any suggestions or advice very welcome, I'm kind of at the end of my rope.

Thanks,

Brian

Oh yes, and BTW, I've learned my lesson about adding new fish. From now on, I'm doing a two stage quarantine. A week or so in the 2.5G hospital tank, then another week in the 10G quarantine tank before _anything_ gets near the main tank. I'm also going to be more aggressive in pulling fish that don't appear to be behaving normally. As soon as I thing something's up, out they come, if only for closer observation than anything else...
 

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Children Boogie
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forget dosing and just do plenty of water changes.
And adding gram negative antibiotic will be fine for the plants.

I think you still have ich. They don't completely go away without meds or a tankless fish for a month.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, mistergreen.

So you think I should crank the temps back up?

I'm not discounting what you say at all, but, at this point, there are _no_ white spots on any of the fish. The aforementioned cardinals have those white spots only on the tail, and all in the same pattern, it hasn't spread at all, fins are clean, etc. The fish are going from zero symptoms to dead in about a day and a half.

Clown loaches, especially, are OK, and they are the ones I noticed the ich on first.

I examined the dead SAE carefully, looked under the gill plates, etc. He has red streaking as shown in the above link, on the upper half of the body between the head and dorsal fin. He also has red on the underside of the mouth. I took a picture:

http://www3.sympatico.ca/n.lasko/deadsae.jpg

(give me a bit to upload the pic, not there yet...)

In the middle of a 50% water change right now - will the Maracyn (gram positive) harm the plants? The only thing that seems to have even blinked from the high temps is the java moss, everything else seems OK.

Is there any ich med that won't harm the plants _and_ invertebrates? I could get the Bamboo shrimp out without much trouble, but the Amanos hide. For some reason, they all came out one day, I was amazed at how many I had in there, thought they were all dead...

Thanks again,

Brian
 

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Children Boogie
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I'm not sure about the ich but it sounds like you have bacterial infections.
I can't say witout pictures.

gram positive will not harm the plants but will harm the good bacteria in your filter & substrate... It might help your fish so, who knows.
 

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Is there any ich med that won't harm the plants _and_ invertebrates? I could get the Bamboo shrimp out without much trouble, but the Amanos hide. For some reason, they all came out one day, I was amazed at how many I had in there, thought they were all dead...
Unless you are using medicines that contain copper sulfate, there is no need to remove the invertebrates.
 

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Heat-treating ich

This is a good article I found on treating ich that just uses heat- sometimes the medications can do more harm than good, not saying that's what happened here but it's best to keep it simple. I would definitely put in an airstone because the high temps really lower the O2 in the water. Maybe back off on the CO2 a little as well.

www.aquahobby.com/articles/e_ich2.php - 25k

Good luck!
 

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Unless you are using medicines that contain copper sulfate, there is no need to remove the invertebrates.
while copper sulfate is harmful to invertabrates.... you need to read the directions on the medication bottle....i have seen medications that dont contain cs that are harmful to snails and such
also
just because you dont see the white spots on the fish that doesnt mean that the ich has been eradicated...the white spots will fall off and the trophonts (which you cant see) will attack the fish

fish diseases are so hard to diagnose without a microscope because alot of the symptoms are interchangable with different diseases....

im not sure of what meds to point you too....but i have a box of jungle "fungus clear" that describes many of the symptoms that your fish are showing ie:clamped fins ,septicemia,and white patches

you having ich in the tank could have caused secondary infections on some fish who were healthy enough to fight the ich...but not the fungus...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK, I uploaded the pic of the dead SAE now, the above link works...

Lost one female Ram, one Neon and one Oto this morning. They do not appear to have anything externally wrong with them, unlike the SAE.

The Dwarf Chain Loach that went into the hospital tank is dead as well.

The Maracyn/Maracyn 2 does not seem to be working.

These fish are going from no symptoms to dead in less than two days. The remaining male Ram is breathing a little hard this morning, my prediction is he will be dead by tomorrow...

Should I be trying another med? Temps are back up to 88 degrees. While I may still have ich, ich is not killing these fish. I've seen ich many, many times before, and this isn't it.

Ich may have opened the door, but something else came in...

Anyone?
 

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That's textbook Ich. Crank the temp back up. Once you can see the spots, it's already too late. That's the last stage of development before the spores drop off and multiply. The offspring of Ich are free swimming and won't survive without a host. They get into the host's gills LONG before you ever see any spots. If you can get all the fish out for about a week or so, it'll die off. If not, I have sucessfully used QuIckcure as a LAST RESULT with inverts and plants.

Tommy
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I'm glad to say that I was wrong about the Ram so far. The last remaining male Ram is still alive. He's breathing hard/rapid still, but, he's not dead. His colour looks better than yesterday, so here's to hoping.

The rest of the fish, knock on wood, are looking like fish should be. The 5 dwarf chain loaches are doing laps, the remaining tetras are OK, clowns are clowning, etc. I pulled almost all the remaining Cardinals/Neons yesterday and hospitalized them, they were gasping as well, and they're hard to find once they're dead. Only one has died, though.

As far as the Tetras are concerned (so far, anyways), I have only lost Cardinals/Neons - my Rummies, Black Neons and Silver-tips are all OK.

One (hopefully) final question. Yesterday was the last day of Maracyn/Maracyn 2 treatment (5 days worth). I have at least one treament worth left, should I treat the tank again (or longer)?

Again, here's to hoping,

Thanks

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The Ram died this morning.

Lost a few neons in the hospital tank, moved a red flame tetra into that tank today, prognosis for him isn't good.

I'm currently setting up a temporary hospital tank with a spare 25 gallon tank. I'm going to move everyone to that tank and hit it with copper and the Maracyn combo...
 
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