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Need some serious help with fish disease ASAP!

1220 Views 9 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  PRSRocker3390
I'll try to keep it as short as possible. I have my 46 gallon planted bowfront that I have been adding fish to currently. The temp is about 79 degrees with all parameters in check, only nitrates up to 5 - 10ppm from dosing. Ph is 6.6, Kh is 3, and gh is 10. Everything is completely normal as far as that. I have 3 juvenile angelfish in there along with 4 cory catfish and a German Blue Ram. Everything has been fine with them. Now about a week ago I bought some Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish from my LFS. I bought 8 of them and they are pretty small right now. They are all eating very well and enthusiastic with a diet of New Life Spectrum and occasionally frozen hikari bloodworms for variety. Well after 2 days, one female was just hovering near the surface not swimming much, not gasping for air, just looks like she was up there to be left alone. Well I opened the top and easily scooped her out in a specimen cup to look at her. From what I noticed, she wasn't really using her left fin much if at all. Also on that side of the immobile fin, there was this pale-ish, white kind of coloration. Not a fungus looking patch, like under the skin around that area. Like either she lost scales or just lost total color near that area. After putting her in my sick tank, a few hours later she died. I shrugged it off thinking it was just a weak fish and continued on. Well about 2 days ago, I noticed two of the rainbows going up to my large aponogeton and flashing, like just doing that twitching thing near it. I checked for ich or any spots or something on them but nothing visible. They stopped doing it a few minutes later and I only saw one rainbow do it again once more, That was it. All my other fish seemed fine and weren't doing anything like that. Okay, now yesterday I wake up and see a male near the top away from the group. His tail fin had a smooth curved chunk missing but that might of been from a fish biting it after seeing a fish in stress and not moving much, I didn't know. He was swimming but not much and everyone was eating savagely like normal except for him, he didn't eat. So I isolated him to the sick tank. I also noticed where the tail meets the body, he had a patch of white but once again it didn't look like fungus at least to me. I also noticed what looked like a clearish strand of feces or something hanging down from him. About and inch or two in length. It wasn't moving and looked like feces but was clearish and appeared to fall off later. Well he swam around and looked okay in isolation. I went to work and came home to him dead as well. So now I went ahead and took out the 6 remaining rainbows and put them in my isolation tank for further precautions. I'm treating with melafix until I know what it is or what to do. My angels, corys, and ram seem fine still. I'm just stressing mainly over the angels now too. They were very expensive angels I ordered from Angelfish USA and don't want anything to happen to them. Please help me figure out what is wrong with the rainbows. Also, do you think it was something just affecting them or do you think the other fish may be in danger? Is there anything I should be doing for the angels or just looking for? Please help me, I'm very worried. Thanks
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By adding new fish directly to your main tank you have exposed all the fish to whatever diseases or parasites the new ones brought with them.

Quarantine. Always.

A month in isolation would have allowed you to see some medical problems and treat without risking all your fish.

OK... What this sounds like...

There is a very common fish bacterial disease called Flavobacteria columnaris. It looks at first like a bit of color loss or white-grey discoloration. The many forms give it different names, often including the word 'Fungus'. One of the forms is so virulent it can kill within 24 hours. Most often it spreads over the surface of the fish body, but can also attack the fins. It is one of the causes of fin rot.
There are antibiotics specifically for fish that can treat this. Look for antibiotics that treat Gram negative bacteria.
This is not the only thing that might look like this, but it is the most common.

The stringy poo sounds like an internal parasite. Fish get 'worms' just like dogs and cats. Similar medicine can kill these parasites.

What to do...

This is a tricky one. Your established fish might be healthy enough to fight off the columnaris, so I would not start antibiotics on them unless they show signs of disease. Then isolate in the q-tank and treat.

All the fish have potentially been exposed to parasites that made to poo stringy in the one. These parasites (there are many species) generally grow slowly, shed eggs or other reproductive means and spread among the population. The whole tank is considered infested. I would treat with something like Prazi Pro, Levamisol or other wormer. If you can get any ID on what it is you can target the medication to the worm and get the best results.
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Really? You think it is columnaris? I just thought it would be a bit different than what I'm seeing but then again I've never really had diseased fish before. Also, the other rainbows all look perfectly healthy and are eating great in isolation. Could it be just aggression between them and not disease? I'm just thinking out loud and hoping for the best.

Okay, well one more female in the quarantine tank has beat up looking fins now and is a little lethargic. I don't know if they are lethargic first and then the males pick on her to death or if it is a disease doing both. Well I will continue treating the tank for bacterial infections then, hopefully pick up some medicine for columnaris. I only have melafix and a 1 oz bottle of prazipro on hand. Should I be treating the 46 with the three angels? If so with what? Is it plant safe? I don't really think a ten gallon quarantine is enough for 3 quarter size angels. Plus they are really established and happy, and I really don't like removing them if not necessary. Prazipro confuses me because the directions start of saying "As a bath:" and then there are directions. Do I just add that same amount to the tank and leave it? Anyone have any experience with it and how to use it? Or is there an even safer wormer type medicine that is plant safe? Can any of this hurt my fish, especially my angels, if they didn't catch anything and are perfectly fine?
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flubendazole is plant safe for parasite treatment but has to be ordered online. it covers a broad range of bugs too. (not all but a bunch) *** it also kills snails but is safe for shrimp by user reports.
It seems very expensive and huge quantities, anything cheaper? And any thoughts on what could be going on in the case of the rainbows? I also forgot to mention I had 9 rummynoses in the tank with the rainbows as well. I just moved my school of rummys to my 75 last night and they all seem fine too. I don't want to jinx myself but is it possible it is something only the rainbows have or can carry? Or maybe it is something not that contagious. I mean so far out of 8 rainbows, 9 rummys, 4 cories, 1 ram and 3 angels, only the 2 rainbows have had symptoms and died and now a third rainbow in quarantine looks bad. It seems to be all around the rainbows which is sad for them but I'm happy my other older more prized fish are still seeming normal. Any opinions on this information. I'm just really trying to get as close to a correct diagnosis as possible although I know it is very difficult.

Also just a thought, but could it be velvet? I don't see anything but I'm not sure how easy it would be to detect. I'll try to get a pic of the one current rainbow showing some symptoms. If it was velvet, can I treat the main tank fairly easily and plant safe out of curiousity? I'm not buying any other fish from that LFS and if i did I will definitely quarantine.
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Oh and any feedback on using parasite guard by tetra? It has a couple active ingredients and says it treats external and internal parasites. Let me know what other medicines I should possible have? Like one that would be good for columnaris and one for velvet and such because I feel it may be one of these two now. Also any kind of dips I could or should do in case of emergency? I apologize in advance for these last two posts full of questions but I know you guys won't steer me wrong and trust you all more than any LFS.
velvet is also covered by a flu treatment Doc sells as little or as much as you want.
Article links;
Actually after looking again, I don't see any gold like dust on them like it says, at least not that I notice so I don't think it is velvet. Any alternatives to flubendazole? I really don't have $25 dollars extra for medicine. I was hoping something simpler. I just need a simple cheap and effective parasite fix. I have prazipro already and some panacur-C (Fenbendazole) that I used to kill hydra before.
sea salt and heat works on some parasites but it doesn't work well for scaleless fish and can be hard on plants. I'm having issues a second time right now trying to bring in cory's.
Purchased 25 and have lost nine so far. Cursed be the LFS and retail outlets with common filter systems!
So far all the remaining rainbows are alive. I fed them some New Life Spectrum soaked in fenbendazole and they ate the food as enthusiastic as normal. And all the other fish living in the 46 still all seem healthy and show no signs of anything peculiar. At the moment, the rainbows treatment in quarantine has consisted of them eating dewormer soaked food and being treated with melafix for general bacterial infections.
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