Someone please help - clowns still not well...

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tmcmullen
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Someone please help - clowns still not well...

Post by tmcmullen » Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:38 pm

I've posted questions within my other topics about this but it has been a few days and I'm getting not response to this specific concern. My 9 yr old clowns were recently moved to a 75g tank and in the process they stressed, got cloudy eyes, stopped eating, and one just keeps hiding most of the day.

Water quality is great, nitrate is 10, nitrite is 0, no ammonia, ph is 7.6.

It has been 3 wks now and they still won't eat. Three of them stay in one section of the tank and just "tread water" for hours. One has started scratching, but no signs of ich. Could it be flukes? Other symptoms - the top lip is white, and I never noticed this before. My local petshop owner said he sees red streaking. I see red just before the tail fins, but not really what I would call streaking.

I have coppersafe. Should I treat with that? How much do I dilute?

I've added 1Tbsp of salt for every 5 gal of water to prevent brown blood while we were going through the nitrite spike, which lasted about 4 days. I used Maracyn2 also, and the LPS owner recommended using it for a 2nd round, but I don't think it helped at all.

Please give me some advice. I don't want to lose these guys. :(

EDIT: I just realized one of my threadfin rainbows may have tiberculosis! I'm freaking out a little because my hands have been in and out of that tank fairly regularly. The only symptom is a curved spine right now. Should I quarantine? Could it be something else (I pray)?

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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:23 am

Sounds like Osmotic Shock to me. Brown/black spots, eye problems, and frayed fins are all symptoms of this. I've also seen barbels and upper lip becoming infected. Some will float near surface and gulp air because their gills are damaged. Some have swim bladder problems also.

It's very important to keep the medicinal salt level consistent when the fish are trying to recover. So if you have the salt at 1 TBLS per 5 gallons of water, you'll need to keep the water at that dosage until the fish have fully recovered. If you drop the salinity level, it will make matters worse, and I'm not sure if there is a cure.

You shouldn't use Coppersafe unless you are using it in a Q-tank and fish have noticeable external parasites. Also, Coppersafe mixed with antibiotics can be toxic to the fish.

Also at this point you shouldn't want to do any large water changes. Water changes should be small, and the dosage of salt should be premixed to the water change water.

IME, with rainbowfish, they get incurable bacterial problems rather easily. Bent spines doesn't necessarily mean fish TB. The rainbowfish should be quarantined nevertheless. Salinity level needs to be the same in the q-tank.


Edit-
Sorry I didn't see this earlier. It didn't realize your post was almost a week old.

tmcmullen
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Post by tmcmullen » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:35 pm

Chefkeith, thank you for taking the time to respond. They seem a little better, and I will heed your advice about keeping salt at the appropriate level. I am wondering, however, if they may have flukes. My yoyos are flashing, and once in a great while I will see one clown flash, but this has been going on for a few days and we all know if it were ich we would be seeing white spots by now.

What can I use to treat them for flukes just in case that is the problem? The yoyos are also breathing a bit rapidly.

Edit* I just noticed that a few of my rainbowfish have small white spots on their fins, but not ich, more like a fungus. Should I treat that with MarOxy, or is there something better to use that will address both the flukes and the fungus?

As for sensitive fish (for treatment purposes) I have clowns, yoyos, kuhlis, and a black ghost knife. Please let me know what you think is the best treatment for the entire tank.

Thanks!!

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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:52 pm

The salt treatment alone can eradicate many parasites, such as ich, gill flukes, Oodinium (velvet), and Costia. The usual dosage that I recommend for treating ich, flukes, or velvet is 2 teaspoons of salt per gallon of water, which is 3x your current salt dosage. Costia can be eradicated with the current salt dosage you are using (1 TBLS per 5 gallons = 1 gram per liter).

Small Ich infestation can live and stay hidden in the fish gills and go unnoticed for many months, perhaps even years. Besides the flashing, is there any other reason for you to suspect ich? Do you have a failsafe quarantine procedure for new incoming fish?

I have no experience with BKG's, so you might want to double check if salt treatments are safe for them.

Rainbowfish are very prone to bacterial infections/Columnaris Disease. I've never been able to cure them long-term once they are infected. There are short-term gains with antibiotics, but for the long-term IMO they really don't work. IMO, they make matters worse by growing more resilient bacteria.

Rainbowfish need pristine water conditions, with low Nitrates and low suspended solids (turbidity). The Loaches and BKG are probably producing too much fish waste / suspended solids for your filters to handle. The bacteria responsible for columnaris disease, populate on the suspended solids (which are naked to the eye).
Best course of action is to filter the water better to remove those suspended solids from the water column. Canister filters do a great job at removing these solids. A UV sterilizer would also help combat those bacterial populations in the water column.

tmcmullen
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Post by tmcmullen » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:11 pm

I didn't realize Rainbows were so prone to fungal infections. I have researched the salt tolerance for BGK fish and haven't been able to find a good reliable answer. I started treating tonight with Coppersafe. I'll keep a close eye on them and see how it goes.

I have a nice canister filter that does a great job. I have two levels of bioballs and other bio media in the filter. I have never used the UV sterilizer. I'll do more research on that.

I have a small tank set up as a quarantine tank. I QT new fish for 2 wks prior to introducing them to the tank. I didn't used to have a QT tank, but it has been a while since introducing new fish.

tmcmullen
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Post by tmcmullen » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:34 pm

I was researching UV sterilizers - Yikes! They are expensive, and I have no idea what I would need or if there is any way I could do it wrong. If you have any advice that would be great!

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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:23 pm

I have a UV connected to the output of a canister filter. They can do a good job at preventing algae outbreaks also.

One thing I should mention about UV's if that they shouldn't be used while medications are in the water, especially with coppersafe. UV can make them toxic.

tmcmullen
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Post by tmcmullen » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:10 am

Chefkeith, are you knowledgible enough to recommend a UV brand or size for my 75 gallon?

clint
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Post by clint » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:22 am

I've looked into the UVs and if i were to purchase one it'd probably be the self contained Submariner made by JBJ. It is its own little unit you place into the tank vs many of the others which have to be plumbed to the canister outake. For your sized tank you'd need a 9watt. I've provided a link below.

http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/p ... atid=19643


Either way i'm sorry to read about your problems, i hope you can find a solution soon.

tmcmullen
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Post by tmcmullen » Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:01 pm

Thanks Clint. I'm trying hard to get this tank back in order. I rarely have problems with the tank, so this is very frustrating. I'm seriously considering the UV sterilizer.

I do have a question on the UV sterilizer. If I put carbon in the tank to get rid of any meds how long do I need to wait before adding the UV sterilizer?

Diana
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Post by Diana » Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:17 pm

Most medicines can be cleared from the tank with a big water change to remove most of it, then follow up with activated carbon to remove the rest. With a filter that circulates the tank water really well the carbon may remove most of the medicine as fast as 24 hours.
For extra insurance you might add fresh carbon for another 24 hours. Can't hurt, and might remove any lingering meds.

Copper products are not so easy to remove. People who keep shrimp (very sensitive to copper) have reported that shrimp added to a tank that had copper based medicine months ago, long since presumed to be cleared, still had problems with the shrimp in that tank.

The dose of salt for nitrite is 1 teaspoon per 20 gallons. It does not take very much to interfere with the nitrite crossing the gills.
The higher dose of salt is required for killing parasites, though.

How is the BGK holding up to the salt and medicines? I also have heard they are delicate, but no specifics.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

tmcmullen
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Post by tmcmullen » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:17 pm

The BGK seems to be doing very well. He's active at night, and hides most of the day, which is normal. I've been watching him very closely.

It's insane the amount of varying information you hear from people in the field (LPS) about how much salt to use. One guy told me to use 1 cup per 20 gallons. I've always added 1 Tbsp per 5 gallons because that's what I was taught in the beginning. I'll reduce the salt now to see if that helps. I'm just at a loss on the flashing and red gills on my yoyos. The clowns may just need more time to come back around to being comfortable again.

My driftwood is heavily covered with algae and I need to clean it, but I'm afraid of making the clowns feel even more unstable by removing it.

Diana
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Post by Diana » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:35 pm

Think of the algae as a natural part of the environment. It helps by removing ammonia.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:55 am

tmcmullen wrote:Chefkeith, are you knowledgible enough to recommend a UV brand or size for my 75 gallon?
Not really, I only have experience with the one I have. I've have a Coralife 36 watt Turbotwist 12x .

Here's a few articles that might help-
http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/p ... 24&aid=440
http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/p ... =0&aid=435

tmcmullen
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Post by tmcmullen » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:45 am

Thanks Diana, but it's difficult to see it in a positive light when it makes my water so murky. :)

Chefkeith, thanks for the links. I found a great article yesterday about UV sterilizers. I'll have to find that page again. It recommended specific brands and warned not to purchase the cheaper brands that can be found on ebay because they usually dont last.

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