Sad, sad time to be a clown owner

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shazam26
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Sad, sad time to be a clown owner

Post by shazam26 » Sat Mar 03, 2007 2:30 pm

There's been a recent outbreak of a strange, devastating illness in the tank of one of my good friends.
This has been happening to his clowns- he recieved some new ones, and they were getting along perfectly fine. Plump, brightly colored, active, playful, eating fine. Then one day one of them starts breathing really rapidly and flying around the tank like it'd gone crazy. Minutes later, it's dead. :? It broke out into red & black blotches, sort of like bruises from the inside. It was so insanely morbid and disturbing. Water stats before and after incident: pH 7.0, ammonia and nitrites ziltch :? I'm boggled.
I've been scared about this ever since. The pet store owner suggested it was an internal parasite, and a difficult one to pinpoint before things start getting deadly.
This has now happened to three of my friends loaches in a matter of about 2-3 days. He's got maracyn II but they all died so soon. He's got two clowns left and has no idea if they're affected, and who else in the tank may be. They seemed to have died so abruptly and very disturbingly. One of the clowns from the pet store died of this as well, and the clown tank is now being treated.
Has anyone seen this, and can anyone give me information on these horrible internal monsters? I'm still very uncomfortable by what I saw.
I'd love to get as much info as possible, in hopes to save the remaining clowns.
3 Dojos: Indie J, Sir Loin, Double D
1 Pictus: Mollie
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1 Red Fin: Tanooki
3 Clowns: Lewellyn, Alfie, Luigi
3 Kuhli's: Jasper, Heckle, Jeckle
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1 Dwarf Gourami: Yazz-Flute
2 Angelfish: Thurstin, Genyevive (Vyvi)

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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Sat Mar 03, 2007 3:59 pm

I've had something like that happen before. I was stumped what the cause was too for awhile, but now I know it was due to not acclimating the fish properly to the new tank water. This can happen after large water changes also. Somtimes the symptoms don't show up right away after the osmotic shock occurs. A TDS meter could help solve this, otherwise check some the mineral contents of water, like the gh and kh. I'd get the kh/gh reading from the tap water, from the tank water, and from the store where the fish were bought. My guess is that the osmotic shock happened at the fish store 1st. Then got shocked again when they were brought home. Travel and acclimation is very stressful to clowns. Also ask if salt was ever added to tanks at the store and in your friends tank.

This is just a process of elimination. If you can rule out osmotic shock, then treating for parasites would probably be the next step.

newshound
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Post by newshound » Sat Mar 03, 2007 5:16 pm

I'd say this story underlines the importance of large water changes.
I try to do a 50% water change once a week.
When a person does a large waterchange, if it hasn't been done for a month, it is important to add the water back slowly over a 24 hour period.
It is less stressful on the fish.
I read stats on just how toxic some elements become quickly with smaller waterchanges. Maybe it was cheifkeith that posted the link...I forget.
ps-good to see you back shaz :wink:
I thought maybe you had frozen on that bare rock out east.
drain your pool!

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shari2
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Post by shari2 » Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:15 pm

I'll second the nice to see you back, even if it is for painful reasons. Glad your tank isn't having problems too.

As for me here, I really try to avoid the large water changes. I don't know the chemistry of my water well, or what the reason is (bet chefkeith could figure it out 8)) but when I do water changes that are too large, unless I add the water back very slowly--like one bucket per hour--it always seems to stress the fish. So I do smaller ones a bit more often. Seems to be better for the fish here.

I really couldn't say what the problem is with your friend's fish. Something that hits that hard and that fast with deadly results...tough to figure out unless you can do some microscopic investigation and know what it is that you're seeing through the scope. If it's parasitic, it should be easier to tell. Worms or microbes will show up and look like, well--worms or organisms.
If it is chemical or water issues it would be hard for me to tell. I'd take chefkeith's advice and see if you can get tests on both the fish store and your friend's tank and tap water. May lead to some kind of idea.
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Emma Turner
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Post by Emma Turner » Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:22 pm

It sounds more like some sort of nasty internal bacterial infection to me. I wonder if the store had kept them off sale for a while after import before selling them, that way they could see if there were any problems?

It also highlights why it is so important to use a quarantine tank.

Emma
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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:52 pm

frequent water changes, no matter what the size is the goal.

A program I wrote can estimate future pollution level plateau's based on water change frequency.

Here's some plateau stats -

10% daily water changes = 1.34% pollution plateau (reached in 93 days)
25% daily= 0.44% (32 days)
50% daily = 0.15% (11 days)

10% bi weekly = 4.88% (1.24 years)
25% bi weekly = 1.58% (122 days)
50% bi weekly = 0.52% (45.5 days)

10% weekly=10.32% (2.74 years) (10.25% after 1 year)
25% weekly=3.22% (273 days)
50% weekly= 1.05% (105 days)

10% every other week= 23.32% (6.13 years) (20.4% after 1 year)
25% every other week=6.73% (1.64 years) (6.72 % after 1 year)
50% every other week= 2.15% (210 days)

10% monthly= 72.79% (20.41 years) (39.25% after 1 year)
25% monthly= 16.34% (4.16 years) (15.63% after 1 year)
50% monthly= 4.91% (1.66 years) (4.9% after 1 year)

0%, with weekly top-offs after 1 month- 5.15%
0%, with weekly top-offs after 6 months- 17.49%
0%, with weekly top-off after 1 year- 54.54%

0%, no top-offs in 1 year- 107.31%

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Keith Wolcott
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Post by Keith Wolcott » Sun Mar 04, 2007 2:57 pm

ChefKeith- Would you explain what assumptions you used to estimate the pollution level plateau's. Unless I am not understanding it, it would seem that you have to make an assumption about the rate of pollution input which would be based on the amount of fish waste products. What do you use for this in your calculation?

Thanks.

Keith

P.S.- I think that your water bridges are wonderful!

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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Sun Mar 04, 2007 4:16 pm

Keith,
The plateau is actually a graphical slope and not a %.. The purpose of the % is for displaying the plateau as a comparative number. The scale is based on or zeroed with a 100% water change. The amount or kind of pollutants, whatever they may be (docs, nitrates, gH, kH, tds, ect ) is not variable in this time line at all. So a 100% water change would have no time line on the graph, which I would call a 0% plateau.

Without a computer doing all the calculations, I don't think this plateau could be seen by an average joe like me. When I 1st ran the program, I couldn’t believe that the plateau and the time line were real, but after some research I found that the mathematics of this was sound. In all, this formulation could be used as a aquarium water stability model, minus the biology. So it's not perfect, but it can paint a better picture of the water chemistry and the impact of a water change.

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Keith Wolcott
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Post by Keith Wolcott » Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:03 pm

ChefKeith,

Ok, so the input pollution is not taken into account. Then for example, if we do 50% water changes every day then half of the pollution is removed each day. So after the first day we have half the original pollution and after the second day we have half again as much or 1/4 the pollution. After the third day there is 1/8 the original pollution, then 1/16, etc. So the formula for the amount of pollution left after n days is 1/2 to the power n. Thus, after for example, 9 days, there is 1/2 to the 9th power or about .19% pollution left in the tank. This is pretty close to your calculation of .15% in 11 days.

But the same calculation for 10% water changes every day for n days is 9/10 to the power n (since 9/10 of the pollution is left each day). For 93 days this is about .0056% which is not very close to your value of 1.34%.

Thus, I don't think that I understand your data yet.

I was thinking that a table that shows what a 25% weekly water change is equivalent to for different amounts of time would be useful. For example, a 4.03% water change every day removes the same amount of pollution as a 25% weekly water change. Another example is that 10% per day is the same as 52% once per week.

I am tempted to believe that more small water changes is preferable to fewer larger water changes since as you have pretty well documented, the water changes can cause stress (TDS, ph, temp, etc).

Keith W

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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:45 pm

Keith-

If you have xls spreadsheet- you can download the xls version of the program here- I wrote this for TDS estimations, but that can be factored out for other purposes.

http://www.geocities.com/chefkeithallen/xltdswizard.xls

The formula factors in a daily .00147% evaporation rate by default. This constant can be changed to whatever you like though.

If you enter 100 for TDS inputs (tds of tap water/tds of tank water), then minus 100 at the end for the estimates, you get the pollution %'s that I listed. This is a good approximation IMO.

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Keith Wolcott
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Post by Keith Wolcott » Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:06 pm

Excellent!!! I understand now. I was not taking evaporation into account. Your spreadsheet is nicely done. Thank you. It explains why you have said that you are going to top off your tanks with RO water to replace evaporated water.

Keith W

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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:35 pm

I agree that small water changes can be less stressful for fish, but that's only if the source water differs from the tank water. I guess I should make a complete chart with a fish stress factor for each water change. That wouldn't be difficult to do.

Discus breeders will do daily 100% water changes, which is probably the best one can provide for fish.

Automatic drip systems are gaining popularity too. I'm not sure how to calculate how an auto drip system works yet. I really want to figure that out though.

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mistergreen
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Post by mistergreen » Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:23 pm

heh, this thread turned into a water change thread..

um.. I think it's internal parasites too.. A drastic water change wouldn't cause the black & red blotches.. Their tissues are definitely damaged from the inside.

read this
http://www.fishpalace.org/Disease.html#Worm

or this
http://www.fishpalace.org/Disease.html#ERM

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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 pm

Usually fish get lethargic and waste away if they have parasitic problems. That's why that's not my 1st guess.

I’m just a hobbyist, so I don’t know anything for sure,
but from what I’ve gathered, organ failure can cause black, yellow, blue, or red blotches. Osmotic shock can cause organs to fail, including the liver, kidneys, spleen, swim bladder, and gills. The black blotches sounds like some kind of massive organ failure to me though.

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mistergreen
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Post by mistergreen » Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:54 am

chefkeith wrote: Osmotic shock can cause organs to fail, including the liver, kidneys, spleen, swim bladder, and gills. The black blotches sounds like some kind of massive organ failure to me though.
You're talking about massive contration of salt or the reverse (basically distilled water).. I doubt that was the problem.

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