Someone please help - clowns still not well...

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soul-hugger
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Post by soul-hugger » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:11 pm

Hello again..,

Sorry I have not been around as much to respond; I just got all four of my wisdom teeth removed and have been somewhat out of commission.

I would second what Diana says about the carbon. I read your post and your tank change routine was impeccable. No problems there. But I have heard of instances where Loaches, especially Clowns, are "allergic" to certain types of carbon. This might cause some of the mottling you are seeing on them.

Between that and just the move to new quarters might have been hard on them. Some of yours have been so long-lived they might have been very used to their old tank, even though the new one will be better long-term. You might compare it to an elderly couple who have lived in the same house since their children were born and have had to sell.

Pardon the personification, but I truly believe fish have a lot more intelligence than people give them credit for. You are giving them a good home. Your tank looks lovely!

soul-hugger
Success is measured by the amount of obstacles you have overcome.

tmcmullen
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Post by tmcmullen » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:44 pm

Thank you so much soul-hugger. I hope you are feeling better, I have been through the wisdom teeth extraction and also had all four pulled, but I was about 17 or 18 at the time. It was no picnic, but it was nice having Mom to take care of me! :) Lots of popsicles and cold soft foods.

I'm going to change the carbon immediately. I had so much going on this afternoon I completely forgot to stop at the pet store to get some. I need to put new carbon in tomorrow to remove the MarOxy and do another water change.

It is ironic that I got this nice big tank FOR the clowns and they aren't appreciating it so much. It's times like these when we wish we could communicate with them better to let them know our intentions are all good. They were spooked when I tried to net them to put them into buckets during the move. I haven't had to net them in 8 years (when we moved into our current house) so they didn't know what was going on. Eventually they'll settle in. I'm planning on adding another 3 or 4 clowns to keep them company, but I will definitely use a QT for the first few weeks before introducing them to the tank.

Thanks for the tank compliment too! I take a lot of pride in my tank and I am always trying to think of ways to improve. I will eventually work on getting some live plants in there, but every time I try they end up dying.

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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:40 pm

I wouldn't trust the rumor that clowns are allergic to activated carbon. The theory started here at this forum after someone was having several undiagnose problems for a very long time. IMO, long-term salt usage, large water changes, and skipping quarantine was probably the cause to their problems, not activated carbon.

Just rinse the carbon well before using it and it should be fine.

tmcmullen
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Post by tmcmullen » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:38 am

I will still switch the carbon back to what I was using before I purchased the last batch. I know that my problems aren't due to new fish since I haven't added any since the move. I appreciate the insight though!

Can anyone show me pics of what a clown looks like when they have excess slime coat? I saw one of my smaller clowns today, who is looking a little on the thin side, and he has some stuff coming of the back of him on the section that looks "marbled". It almost looks like a fungus, but yet it looks like it could be bacterial, so I am trying to decide if I change water and carbon and wait a few days or go ahead and treat the entire tank with both Maracyn and Maracyn II. I'll try to submit a picture if he'll stop running from me.

Another question - what brand of carbon do you use/trust?

Diana
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Post by Diana » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:42 am

Excess slime coat might come off in gooy strings, or somewhat more sheet-like.

I do not use activated carbon, except in case of emergency. At that point I use whatever I have on hand. This is AC that I got when I bought a new filter. I have bought several filters over the years, and less than once a year use any AC at all. If I ever run out of carbon, I would have to go shopping around. If I ever have to buy it I would want my money to go as far as possible, and get the best AC for aquarium use.
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 29, 2010 11:51 am

Diana, do you use the AC to remove any medications from the water?

tmcmullen
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Post by tmcmullen » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:33 pm

Here are a few more pics of the tank and my clowns:
This is the whole tank - I was doing a water change so everyone was out and about!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/49654217@N ... 3957698990

Here's the clown I'm most worried about - you can't see it in the picture but he has some spots in the last black stripe near the tail. I'm hoping it's excess slime. I am keeping a close eye on him.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/49654217@N04/4563828252/

And here are my four clowns huddled together waiting for me to finish cleaning out their favorite hiding spot.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/49654217@N04/4563194563/

hmmm, I tried to post them as pics, but it's not working, so I had to post links.

Diana
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Post by Diana » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:39 pm

Yes, that is one of the uses, and it has been a couple of years since I used it for that. I have been using a UV sterilizer for Ich most recently (and even that was several months ago)
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 30, 2010 2:28 am

I've had good results with Black Diamond activated carbon by Marineland. To filter out old medications, the carbon should be replaced with fresh carbon every few days.

Dehydration and loss of color are just a few of the side effects of salt and medication usage.

Osmoregulation is when the fish adapts to the mineral levels of the water. When minerals levels are increased (like when you add salt), the fish will adapt by losing water from it's body. This will make the fish look dehydrated.

IMO, the salt treatment should be close to ending by now if it started 2-3 weeks ago. To remove the salt, I'd recommend doing daily 20% water changes for 2 weeks without adding anymore salt to the water. Then you can just do twice weekly 20% water changes there after.

You really need to let the fish settle in. Only time and good water quality is going to help them with any cosmetic or coloration problems. So no more medications.

tmcmullen
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Post by tmcmullen » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:01 am

I can get black diamond, so that's what I'll buy. Diana, everything you said makes total sense. I will be doing even more water changes - every other or every 3 days just to keep the water as clean as possible so they can heal. I was doing the salt treatment at 1Tbsp per 5 Gallons, but up until about two months ago I had done that as a regular water treatment because I was told all fish need salt (some need more some need less) and it never seemed to affect the clowns.

Recently I have been pulling back on the salt treatment by making 20 to 30% water changes without adding salt in case the salt was making it harder for them to recover. I will stop putting salt in and keep the water clean and see how it goes.

Thanks again, your help is invaluable.

tmcmullen
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Threadfin rainbow with fin disease

Post by tmcmullen » Wed May 05, 2010 11:34 am

My clowns have been doing "okay". They still have some patchy coloration, but I'm giving them time to heal from the MarOxy and other meds they've endured lately.

Now I have a Threadfin Rainbow that looks very skinny, but I'm not sure if there's really anything "wrong" with him. A different threadfin Rainbow has a spot on it's anal fin- it's dark gray in color, and this fish also has a slightly bent spine, which could be from a bacterial infection, or possibly TB (hopefully not). This one has had a bent spine for more than a month now. The spot is new.

My QT tank is occupied by my new pleco and three new clown loaches. I don't want to treat the whole tank unless it's necessary to guard the other fish from whatever this fish has. What should I do?

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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Wed May 05, 2010 3:12 pm

You should get a TDS meter so that you can accurately gauge the salinity levels of your main tank. Any water changes will be stressful since salt was used frequently. It's going to take a few weeks or months to condition the fish properly. The changes need to be done slowly.

It sounds like the Rainbowfish are wasting away. IMO, they should be Quarantined, or euthanized.


New fish add risk of cross contamination, so you'll need to be extra careful. You'll need to keep them quarantined them for at least a few months. I would suggest prophylactic treatments for the most common parasites while they are in quarantine.

tmcmullen
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Post by tmcmullen » Wed May 05, 2010 4:19 pm

I haven't used a great deal of salt in my tanks, just 1 Tbsp per 5 Gallons. I only added salt for new water that was added after a water change, so I want to make sure that it is not assumed that I put a lot of salt in carelessly. I've used salt from the day I set up my 55 gallon, which was 9 years ago, and the only time I ever increased the salt level was when I had ich in the tank, which was over 6 months ago. After the ich was under control I brought the salt and temp level down by doing regular small water changes and not adding salt.

As for the rainbows, I may just pull them and put them into an old 1.5 gallon tank we have in storage. This will get them out of the main tank and give me time to figure out what to do with them. The one with the bent spine concerns me, because of TB, but as you mentioned earlier, it could be from a bacterial infection (hopefully).

I'll look into a TDS meter, but first I'll check with my LPS to see if they can check the levels.

Thanks!

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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Wed May 05, 2010 7:41 pm

1 Tbsp per 5 gallons = 950 PPM of salt. That alone is enough salt to make it near brackish water conditions. Since you've been adding that much salt for 9 years, I'm not sure what the best thing to do is. I suspect that the fish have developed immune system deficiencies. If you continue to lower the salt level, I'm not sure if the fish could handle it. If the salinity is dropped it should be done with great caution and done extra slow. I mean one drip at a time slow at about 1 gallon per hour.

A single TDS reading from a LPS isn't going to help at all. You'd need to have a TDS meter 1st hand so you could check the source water and aquarium water frequently. They only cost about $10 -20 on ebay. The readings can give you better knowledge of the water chemistry and can help monitor water quality.

tmcmullen
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Post by tmcmullen » Thu May 06, 2010 11:03 am

I'll check out TDS meters today on ebay and get one. My head spins when it comes to doing the right thing for them. I remember when I started the tank learning that "all fish need some salt" and was told that 1Tbsp per 5 gallons was best and would be good for the clowns. I was at a pet store over the weekend and purchased a nice new Red Cactus L114 pleco from a shop that had really good reviews from customers. I drove over an hour to the place because of it's reputation. The owner told me that he puts in a tsp per gallon. I'm not going to take his advice, don't worry, but I have to tell you that the three clowns I got from him are some of the healthiest looking clowns I've seen at a LPS. They are extremely active and also very skittish. I plan to keep them in quarantine for a long time, to make sure they don't bring anything into my 75 gallon tank. I also want my older clowns to appear normal, like they were before the move, before I add new fish.

I'm still investigating a UV sterilizer, but I'm a little confused on the brands, and they are very expensive!

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