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Very Sick EBJD!! Need help with diagnosis!!! Need help with diagnosis!

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Hey everyone! I have a juvenile EBJD that seems to be really sick :( Initially I thought he had internal parasites but now I'm not sure. Could it be bacterial?

It started with him swimming erratically and crashing into things violently. Then he would come out at feeding time but wouldn't eat any or spit the food; also he had intermittent stringy and normal poop. Another of my fish, an Angel, had been showing signs of HITH so I dosed API general cure into the water column and made some medicated food. The angel is eating and acting completely normal except for a few smallish holes on his face.

EBJD showed no improvement after a week, so I stopped dosing and only continued to feed the food mixed with general cure to my other fish and moved him into a 20gal tank. After a week unmedicated doing 30% WC every two days I dosed Albendazole (human dewormer tablet dissolved in water; part of FenBen family). Two days later (today) I added another dose and did a small WC as per recommended on another forum. No improvement has been noted.

He is floating near the bottom in a back corner, doesn't answer to movement around the tank as if dazed. He only moves if i remove the screen he is hiding behind. He tried to eat a single pellet today and spit it out almost immediately. Breathing is normal and fins are not clamped.


20 gal tank
HOB filter with filter media from my 125 gal
Fish measures aprox 2.5 inches
Water parameters seem normal
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Need information about the tank was in to be able to give diagnosis.
Water parameter numbers:Ammonia, nitrate, nitrite

Tank size and occupants/ any aggression in tank from incompatibility or breeding behaviors? Has this fish just been introduced into aquarium?

Any other fish die in tank that fish came from within last 6 weeks? Symptoms?

What food/foods do you feed.

HITH is due to stress in cichlids which can be either environmental ( stress of shipping and acclimation to tank, poor water quality, incompatibility with other fish) or due to inadequate nutrition. If it is HITH, the stressor may still not have been removed so the General Cure was ineffective or, like you said, there is a secondary bacterial infection; and should treat for septicemia. Without more information of cause of stress that leads to illness- any treatment will be ineffective or temporary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Need information about the tank was in to be able to give diagnosis.
Water parameter numbers:Ammonia, nitrate, nitrite

Tank size and occupants/ any aggression in tank from incompatibility or breeding behaviors? Has this fish just been introduced into aquarium?

Any other fish die in tank that fish came from within last 6 weeks? Symptoms?

What food/foods do you feed.

HITH is due to stress in cichlids which can be either environmental ( stress of shipping and acclimation to tank, poor water quality, incompatibility with other fish) or due to inadequate nutrition. If it is HITH, the stressor may still not have been removed so the General Cure was ineffective or, like you said, there is a secondary bacterial infection; and should treat for septicemia. Without more information of cause of stress that leads to illness- any treatment will be ineffective or temporary.

He had been living in a 120 gal aquarium with a 7 inch common pleco, a 3 inch blood parrot cichlid and 4 juvie angelfish.

I had a female 3.5 inch Angelfish die about 3 months ago, she was bullied by a male trying to breed. I moved her into the hospital tank and she live there for about 2 months before passing even though I treated for parasites and did regular water changes (2x a week). Symptoms included emaciation, refusing food, stringy poop and lethargy even after being moved into the smaller tank.

The 120 gallon tank had a nitrite spike a little before my EBJD became sick. I was in hospital due to some health issues and had no one to do a water change that week so the tank went 2 weeks without cleaning. Amonia was 0, nitrites were 0.60 I didnt check my nitrates.

The tank has been running for about a year and has had no additions in the past 6 to 8 months.

EBJD was added 2 months after tank setup. He was about a month and a half old when I bought him so he was really tiny.

I had been feeding tetra pellets and switched to NLS Thera A+ non medicated food 3 weeks ago. They also get some omega one veggie waffers (they are for the pleco but everyone eats) and omega one cichlid flakes as treats. He had been eating until about 3 days ago. Now he doesn’t even come out when I put food in.


The only real agression I noticed came from the EBJD, sometimes the EBJD would chase the larger angels at feeding time. Overnight he lost half a pectoral fin, probably from fighting, and became shyer. This was about a week before I moved him into the 20 gallon. He also went from being a little shy but still active to being completely reclussive in like 2 days. He doesn't have any holes typical to HITH and lateral line erosion.

One of the angels that is still alive does have one hole in his cheek, this also started when I was in hospital but he eats like crazy, poops normal and is very active.
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Sorry for the long post and Thanks for you for your help, I’m at a loss on what to do.
 

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Okay, I am fairly certain we have identified the stress-- water quality when in hospital--- very understandable.

It is also good that you are now feeding NLS Pelleted food. NLS is an exceptional brand and it is all that I feed to my cichlids as well. I would include the flake food into their diet as a staple ( not as a treat) in addition to the pellet that you are feeding, this will give your fish a more balanced diet than feeding one food alone. I would recommend that when the Omega flakes are gone, you also switch to NLS Flakes, they have much higher nutrition than the Omega brand. The Omega Veggie Rounds appear to be pretty good. Here is a link to an analysis of the nutritional values and ratings of different fish foods.
Fish Food Reviews

It certainly sounds like Hexamita. But, with the EBJD the condition has worsened into an internal bacterial infection, possibly septicemia. I would treat with kanamycin.

Metronidazole is a very difficult medication to treat with because the doses need to be high enough to be therapeutic, and it is very soluble once it hits the water when on medicated food. The fish need to eat it fairly quickly before med disperses in water.

When you treated all your fish with General Cure.. can you answer these questions.
How many doses did you do into water column?
How many days did you feed the medication? Did you use a binder so the medication adhered to food once in tank? Did thge EBJD eat the medicated food along with other fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, I am fairly certain we have identified the stress-- water quality when in hospital--- very understandable.

It is also good that you are now feeding NLS Pelleted food. NLS is an exceptional brand and it is all that I feed to my cichlids as well. I would include the flake food into their diet as a staple ( not as a treat) in addition to the pellet that you are feeding, this will give your fish a more balanced diet than feeding one food alone. I would recommend that when the Omega flakes are gone, you also switch to NLS Flakes, they have much higher nutrition than the Omega brand. The Omega Veggie Rounds appear to be pretty good. Here is a link to an analysis of the nutritional values and ratings of different fish foods.
Fish Food Reviews

It certainly sounds like Hexamita. But, with the EBJD the condition has worsened into an internal bacterial infection, possibly septicemia. I would treat with kanamycin.

Metronidazole is a very difficult medication to treat with because the doses need to be high enough to be therapeutic, and it is very soluble once it hits the water when on medicated food. The fish need to eat it fairly quickly before med disperses in water.

When you treated all your fish with General Cure.. can you answer these questions.
How many doses did you do into water column?
How many days did you feed the medication? Did you use a binder so the medication adhered to food once in tank? Did thge EBJD eat the medicated food along with other fish.

When treating with general cure I did 4 doses (every 48 hours as instructed in package), so a total of 8 days of general cure in the water column.

Aditional to this I fed 16 days of pellet food mixed with general cure. The first week I fed the prepared food and medicated the water column and the second week I only did the food.

The EBJD refused to eat the medicated food, he would only take one or two pellets and he usually eats 5+.

While doing this treatment I only fed the medicated food so they would have no choice but to eat this. Putting enough so the pleco would it this too and removing any uneaten food with a turkey baster.

I didnt use a binder. I found a recipe that used general cure, epson salt and water only.
 

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Okay. I think that they all got a good dosing of the metronidazole.
I would , like I said earlier, treat the EBJD with kanamycin. This is the active ingredient in Seachem Kanaplex which you can get from most LFS or Amazon. If you would like to get other sources for the kanamycin, I can provide some links.
 

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Okay. I think that they all got a good dosing of the metronidazole.
I would , like I said earlier, treat the EBJD with kanamycin. This is the active ingredient in Seachem Kanaplex which you can get from most LFS or Amazon. If you would like to get other sources for the kanamycin, I can provide some links.
I’ll get some kanaplex tomorrow. We don’t have that much variety here but thankfully my LFS just started importing Seachem products.

Thanks sooo much for your help! I’ll update once I start dosing.

Hopefully my little Robert will make a full recovery. 🙂
 

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Although I think everyone has done a good job of identifying the illness and reccomended proper treatment, you may also want to check for stray voltage in either the quarantine or display, as this could be a contributing factor for certain necrotic conditions like hole in head or lateral line (more of a saltwater issue).

Based on some of the symptoms, you may also want to include an anti-parasitic to your quarantine regimen.

Sorry for the loss of your fish. That sucks 🙁
 
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