sick pleco and catfish

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sick pleco and catfish

Post by loachmeyers » Tue May 03, 2016 8:40 pm

Hi Everybody,

Trying to pinpoint this disease which is effecting my pleco's and catfish. I don't know if this is a bacteria or fungus, or where it came from. I have a 125 gallon, gravel bottom about 1/4" above the black plastic frame, ph is 7,4, wet n dry for a 200 gal tank, ammonia, trites are zero, trates never go above 10, 15 ppm. The water gets changed two times a week. Fish load is 9 discus, was 3 pleco's, was 6 catfish., and was 10 gold head rams. The rams were breathing fast when I got them... I noticed they were breathing fast in the LFS. Probably never should have bought them. One by one all the fish passed. The rams died 1 or 2 every day or so with no signs of disease. I don't know how long the pleco's or catfish had whatever disease it was as they started hiding, plus you rarely get to see the bottom of the fish. I lost 1 discus probably due to stress from the meds (no outward signs of disease). The LFS said it was a bacteria. I tryed Metroplex for 2 weeks. After that I used Kanaplex for 2 weeks. During this time I was changing the water every other day. Directions for Metro and Kana say to dose every other day. I changed the water just before the dosage was due, and right after the water change I dosed the tank. I did the water changes to keep the discus happy. In retrospect perhaps that was a mistake. After going crazy for a few weeks, and multiple opinions, I took everything out of the tank. Driftwood, fake plants, gravel. I took 1/8th of the gravel out every week, so as to not disturb the good bacteria. I am down to the last foot or so of gravel. I still have 8 happy discus in an almost bare tank. To give the discus a break, about a week ago, I stopped the meds and turned on the UV lamp in the 125.

I thought whatever it was might be gone.... BUT, the pleco in my 75 gallon tank got it. He has a white spot on his bottom which I think is the start of whatever disease I am dealing with. The spot was about the size of one of your smiley faces (maybe slightly bigger). There is only 1 discus and 3 pleco's, and 4 clown loaches in the 75. The clown loaches seemed to be unaffected, but as a precaution I moved them to a 20 gallon quarantine tank I just set up. I also medicated the 75 with Metro and Kana... but that did not seem to help. Last week I started with API Melafix (for bacteria) and Pimafix (fungus). These 2 are "natural" items, not really meds. The pleco's seems to be responding... the white spot is getting smaller... I started those 2 meds last Thursday (28th).

I don't understand how the disease jumped from one tank to the other. I was very careful to wash everything that was in each with bleach after every use. When it became clear, I had an issue I purchased new nets, water change equipment, test kits, food, etc. I used rags once and washed. I was careful to wash my hands anytime I went from one tank to the other (such as feeding times). The only fish which was common to both tanks is a 4" Albino Discus from Asia. He is a nasty little thing, and I moved him from the 125 to the 75 so he couldn't run the others to death.

Note... My memory is vague, but at some point I might have taken some gravel from the 125 and placed it in the 75 to jump start the bacteria. I don't remember if I actually did, or when, but it is a definite possibility.

Sorry for being so longed winded... I just want to knock whatever is in my tank(s) out !!! I posted on another forum but was not pleased with the 1 reply which I received. I would really like to put this to rest, as I would like to have a fully decorated tank and add a few more fish. I hope the pictures work...

Here are 4 pictures.... ... lder%2cjpg

Thank You

The Angry Loach
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:03 am

Re: sick pleco and catfish

Post by The Angry Loach » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:26 pm

Fast breathing is the only symptom you're sure of then? Check to see if the area around the gills is inflamed or puffy at all. it could be flukes. The pleco's symptoms may not be related, since the others didn't have any wounds or spots. The melafix with help heal up the spot, either way. I have 3-4 tanks set up at any given time, and i have learned that a lot of things can spread things from one tank from another. Thermometers, nets, hands, plants, etc. Whenever I'm dealing with potential bacteria, i stick to tetracycline. It makes a huge mess, but it does wonders. I'm losing fish with no symptoms as well, but maybe the bottom bump was just a "boo-boo"?
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