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FishMom

100 Gallon, 5 fish, and 1 concerned FishMom.

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First - THANK YOU all for being here... I've been reading on here for the past 4 weeks, as I've been increasingly concerned about my fish, and I've learned SO much from you all on here.

Not sure if this is 911- pls move me if not... but my 8 yr old common has increasingly bad symptoms. Intermittently and some clear then change. Listing to side in last few days concerns me most but seems to go away after 12 hrs or so. red behind front fin "elbows", White spot/wound been there about a year, but eyes look popped out ever so slightly & right side of head seems growing tiny bit larger. Has gulped and yawned and small fin twitches for as long as I remember, also racing sometimes, and I thought it was normal until recently.

Last night after I turned out lights, Trout and 2 others had violent scratching episodes against rocks on bottom that freaked me out. I was worried about Trout only, until then.

(Note: I just dug out my never used API master test kit 2 weeks ago and started testing often- not sure if I am doing right still. Results are strange, and I've learned from here my tap water has major issues- including a toxic groundwater clean up in last couple years right near by! Eek..)

* Ammonia Level (tank): .25

* Nitrite Level (tank) 0

* Nitrate level (Tank) 10ppm

* Ammonia Level (Tap): .50 (maybe 1.0) on tap then tested via tub to double check & it was 1.0 for sure.

* Nitrite Level (Tap) 0

* Nitrate level (Tap) 0

* Ph Level, (Tank) (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) PH: 8.2. GH 16 drops, KH 6

* Ph Level, (Tap) (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) PH 8.2, GH 14, KH 7

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API Drops

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?Aquaclear 110 x 2 (but moved one to a Quarantine tank bought 3 days ago) and Fluval 205 running until I broke it last pm.

* What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime for past 2 weeks (after much reading on here!) but before that NovAqua Plus mostly or Amquel

* Water temperature? 72

* How often do you change the water and how much? inconsistently... everyday for past week 25-40%- since I've been very concerned & read on here about importance of tank for health.Been cleaning feverishly.. I've been struggling with a new diagnosis of an autoimmune/endocrine issue and haven't been the best fish mom due to its symptoms getting severe recently... Had an algae overgrowth- green, black, brown. Scrubbed most away in past week. Used to do approx 20% weekly prior to about 6 months ago.

* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Yesterday - 40 %, every day for past week at least 20%

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 100 Gallons- 2 years

* How many fish in the tank and their size? 5- "trout" my 8 year old Common (my baby) - 12 inches. 3 other fan tails (5 inches, 3in, 3 in, and one comet 3 inches.

* What do you feed your fish and how often? Flakes- just got sinking pellets too. Was feeding like an Italian grandmother, but been curbing it to once a day since health issues.

* Any new fish added to the tank? no

* Any medications added to the tank? no

* List previous issues experienced (dropsy, SBD, etc.) Ich in another tank about a year ago- with new fish that were in another tank now taken down. Tried to med with machlite green and salt and huge water changes, but lost all. I'm scared to medicate these guys/tank and hurt them worse- especially my special 8 yr old.

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Trout- my old boy who worries me mainly- has had a white open cotton looking wound on his forehead for a while now. I believe from banging on the glass panels on top accidentally. He doesn't do it anymore, but 1/2 inch white spot on forehead remains. It got a black dot (4 weeks ago that started my deep concern & action to fix things) But black dot went away. 2 new red dots on side. Few whitish scale areas and once pronounced bump 1 scale size, on size. Been there a year. Others look healthy visually until a couple started to scratch rocks last pm.

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Trout- gasping , yawning often. Small fin twitches. other symptoms intermittent but often, changing. I can't tell what effects it- he has been listing to side slightly and looking stunned sometimes, floating into the others slightly which is SO not like him. He is aggressive, strong, and maybe racing (which I thought was normal until recently) I added a 2nd jet and 2 extra bubbler sticks, and added air line direct to other jet. They all gathered around bubbles when I added one, so I thought the oxygen content may be low.

* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. None- never medicated tank or fish.

Trout just scratched against rocks again. Never seen that before last pm. Eeek.... help! I bought salt & some meds online, but wanted advice before i proceed.... Thanks!

Hopefully these pics/video work. Video is trout. behaving normal currently, except scratching now.

DSC_0586.jpg

More pics:

http://s1356.photobu.../q735/FishMom1/

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Hello! Thank you for posting, and I hope we can help you sort things out. :)

The symptoms that you describe (the itchiness, the blood pectoral fin bases) are very consistent with flukes. We normally treat for this with a product called Hikari Prazipro in conjunction with aquarium salt. However, I think given some of the other issues that Trout seems to have, I may want you to treat in conjunction with this medicated food called Metro-Meds instead. Would you be able to order these?

Prazipro may be obtained from our sponsor, Tastyworms.com

Metro-Meds from goldfishconnection.com

It's great that you are changing water daily, but I don't know that it's necessary. If you like, just do twice a week, or even one large weekly change. Your stocking level is perfect! :)

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Thanks for your quick reply!! I received a 4 oz Prazipro from Amazon today ... after I ordered a couple things to prep for what may be needed. Is 4 oz enough?

Also, I received 26oz of Real Salt 100% Seal Salt.... do I need more than this?

I will order Metro Meds right away,

Thank you!

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Great! You may need another 4 ounces to finish out the rounds of treatment, but that is something you could order later, since what you have now is enough.

For now, I would like to hold off on the Prazi treatment until we get Metro-Meds, although if things change in their behaviors, let me know and we can start on an alternate plan.

Do you have a kitchen scale? I would like to start adding salt to the tank, and it's probably better if it can be weighed :)

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Yes, I have a kitchen scale. I've read the "Using salt" by trinket, but worried about the ammonia presence. And treating such a large size...

Do I need to do anything before adding it (water change, etc)? 1 tsp. per gallon, correct?

Let me know and I will do whatever you feel is best. I would love to start on something, my poor guy looks bad, gasping and straining,

Will order metro-meds & another Prazi tomorrow.

Thanks again for all the input.

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That level of ammonia in the tank is OK for salting. It looks like you have ammonia in the tap, but your cycle is doing its job in processing it.

I'd like for you to bring the salt to 0.3%, and we will do this in 0.1% increments. Since you have a scale, let's use grams.

For a 100 gallon tank, let's assume 95 gallons of water. 0.1% salt in 95 gallons is 360 grams. You can either dissolve this separately, or cut a piece of pantyhose, seal one end, add salt, and tie off the other. You can just then hang it on the tank and let it dissolve on its own. 12 hours after that, repeat, and then one more time. By the end you will have added a total of 1080 grams salt to the tank. Thereafter, when you do water changes, change out 50% each time, and add back 540 grams of salt. This way, you have a simple way of making sure salt is maintained at the level during treatment.

I may ask you to add the Prazipro right after the salting reaches 0.3%, so let's talk about that at that time :)

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Excellent, I will start on this and advise when I am at .3% & get Metro-meds.

Thanks!!

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Sorry- one more question. I have a 8 in. Pleco in the tank too. Do I need to move him while treating, or can he stay?

I've heard conflicting things regarding salt & plecos, and not sure if he can get flukes..... or should go to the new QT tank.

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Oooooh. I'm glad you mention him. Plecos normally don't do well with that much salt, so he must vacate the premises, at least temporarily. He too can carry flukes, and he can be treated with Prazipro. I will need to think on how best to do this. We have the option of treating separately, or we can try to treat together.

I think you may have see this from your readings, but common plecos and goldfish are generally not recommended to be tank mates, since the larger plecos can grow to love goldfish slime coat. There are of course exceptions, but this happens often enough that it is a concern.

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Okay, good thing I got a 20 gal QT the other day! I used the main tank water to start it... so I believe it should be good and cycled. But sounds like it may have same issues then.... I'll put him in there before I add the salt to the main.

I didn't know they shouldn't be together... but they have never had an issue, so I have never read about it. He's about 5 yrs old and been with Trout the whole time. He's a scary cat though. Do you mean they can eat or bite the goldfish because they like the slime coat? Him & Trout avoid touching each other, so I've never known!

Will separate him and start the salt.

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Do you have a filter for the QT? The main tank water won't be able to do much for the QT tank, because there really isn't much beneficial bacteria there.

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I may ask you to add the Prazipro right after the salting reaches 0.3%, so let's talk about that at that time :)

*raises hand like in classroom*

Just my :twocents , but remember when Red (?) had contacted Hikari about the usage of Prazi Pro in combination with salt, and the manufacturer actually replied to her that at 0.2% salt, the prazi pro is not very effective anymore?

Or am I remembering this wrong? I am just thinking that it would be a shame if the PP is more or less wasted if it is barely effective at 0.3%?

I didn't know they shouldn't be together... but they have never had an issue, so I have never read about it. He's about 5 yrs old and been with Trout the whole time. He's a scary cat though. Do you mean they can eat or bite the goldfish because they like the slime coat? Him & Trout avoid touching each other, so I've never known!

Generally common plecos are not a real problem in combination with goldfish. The problem usually is caused by the fish keepers, by underestimating the amount of food that the pleco actually requires. Keeping a pleco with goldfish can often result in the pleco not getting enough food, since the goldies are such pigs.

Keep in mind that plecos are for the most part herbivores, but when starving they will naturally go for any food source they can find, and goldfish's thick slime cloats are rich in nutrients.

You can prevent the pleco from starving by keeping large pieces of vegetables in the tank. This gives the pleco enough time to eat as much as he needs. Zucchini, cucumbers, lettuce, kale, spinach are some of the favorites. The algae growing in a tank alone is in most cases not enough to feed these big fish.

You say your pleco is 5 years old and 8"? That is actually rather small for a common pleco of that age, which can be the result of him not getting enough food. At this age, he probably should be a good foot long. :)

Another issue with the combination of plecos and goldfish is that they are often kept together in much too small tanks/overcrowded conditions, like keeping a pleco and two goldfish in a 29 gallon tank etc. Common plecos grow to be up to 18-24" long and need a lot of room. Overcrowded conditions can make them irritable and aggressive, especially when there aren't many hiding places for him. These fish are for the most part nocturnal (thus the Omega pupil) and will hide a lot during the day. Having no hiding place and being surrounded by these crazy goldfish that never stop, plecos can get quite stressed.

That said, with your current tank setup it might work out pretty well. It's lightly stocked, a large volume tank. You might want to ensure that the pleco doesn't get overly hungry and makes a snack out of the goldfish. If there aren't any already, provide some hiding place for him too. Plecos will usually highly appreciate driftwood; as shelter as well as to graze on (the wood fibers benefit their digestion and some even say that a healthy pleco needs to have driftwood).

With that, I can see how your goldfish and pleco would live happily ever after, but of course that is no guarantee. You never know what may suddenly tick that guy off :D

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Hi Fang,

I had my own communications with the company about salt and Prazipro, and it's true that a regular dosage should not be used with salt higher than 0.2%. In my own experience, this can compensated for by doubling the Prazi amount, if you choose to use 0.3%.

Either way, my plan was to treat only with salt at 0.3% to deal with the bacterial issues first for now. Then when MMs arrive, I will switch to MMs and Prazipro, with possibly 0.1% salt. This is because Trout is showing some signs of external bacterial issues, and I don't want to risk secondary infections.

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Hi Dnalex, Yes, I have a filter on the QT- moved one 110 Aqua clear off the main tank to it after rinsing the 2 filters in tank water to remove excess poop. The pleco is now in there, and I feel like I do want him seperate from now on... may have to get him his own place.

Thanks for all your input, Fang. The Pleco aggression part scares me enough to keep him away, and I know that he is underfed because Trout is a food hog.

Just got home from work and I am quite worried. Trout looks very red behind his pectoral fins, and his eyes are bulging noticeably. I see red under his mouth a bit too. Can add more pics/video if it helps.

He looks like he is constipated as well, with something white stuck in his rear end. Has an appetite as I just fed them for the first time today. He is moving a lot- almost too much in an agitated way. Sucking up rocks after eating like normal, and attacking the jet streams. Should I keep the lights on in the day and feeding them? Not sure if I should try to agitate them less. They all follow Trout going nuts and wagging themselves for me when I get home or feed them.

Salt has been added 2x- late last pm after last post & today at lunch. Metro meds are on order, and standard shipping was only option. I'm scared. :(

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OK...I think we need to start with the Prazipro. Go ahead and raise the salt to 0.3% now, and I would like for you to add a double dose of the Prazipro to the tank as well. Once this is done, no water changes for 4 days, please.

Note:

- Trout will probably start bottom sitting after a couple hours and will probably stay that way for a couple of days at least. This is normal. He may even be disinterested in food for a day or two. This unfortunately is the scariest part of the treatment, but it's unavoidable. We will cross our fins for Trout and everyone else. I think it will be fine :)

I'm glad you are moving Mr. Pleco out. May be you could start a tropical tank featuring him. I love plecos.

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Great, thanks Alex. Does it matter which I add- more salt or Prazi first?

I think I need to go get more salt from the store... but will do tonight and add 3rd part.

Should I keep lights off/ stop feeding for a couple days?

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It does not matter that you add Prazipro right away. I recommend that you do that :)

Get Morton's. It's cheap :)

Keep lights and food as routine. If he doesn't eat, then make sure uneaten foods get removed. Otherwise, no other changes :)

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Will do. Thank you so much for your advice... I would be going crazy without it. I appreciate it so much!

Will update tomorrow.

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If you like, update later and let us know how he is doing after a few hours in the praziquantel. I know how important he is to you after 8 years :)

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Might just have to do that. You all make me feel not so alone with my poor fish! It's true- I never realize how attached I am to him. I tell my family and they say "he's an old fish. He's gonna die sometime."....

Just added Prazi and its fascinating watching their behavior. They all seem in a daze. Drugged. But Trout is the most impacted- slowing down, like the bottom is pulling him down.

Is API Aquairum Salt ok to use? I just found an unopend box under my aquarium, but not sure if its a good product. I used Real Salt 100% natural fine sea salt the first two rounds.

http://www.apifishcare.com/products/product.aspx?productid=49

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API Aquarium Salt is fine. Weigh it as you normally do. :)

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Its been 24 hrs since salt reached .3% and double dose of Prazi was added. Everyone started acting very strange immediately, and until I went to bed. They all went into slow motion, looking stunned, bobbing around aimlessly.

This evening they are all quite active, but with little odd behaviors. I am noticing symptoms in all the other fish, which I had not noticed before. But they all are excited and ready for dinner. But I'm holding off.

<a href="http://s1356.beta.photobucket.com/user/FishMom1/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1356.photobucket.com/albums/q735/FishMom1/IMG_2634.jpg" border="0" alt="24hrs after .3% saly & Prazi start"/></a>

Trout's head seemed to be reduced in swelling- very quickly, and today his whole body looks much less puffy- almost back to what i forgot was normal. I didn't realize how swollen he was everywhere- it was so subtle. His eyes are popping out, which is most concerning. I swear they went down but I check them and see them bulging again.

He is very constipated- I am afraid he hasn't pooped in 24 hrs, because he rear end looks to have the same thing stuck as last pm. He is now noticeably very uncomfortable trying to pass it- straining, choking a bit, racing slightly, with his top fin erect. Poor guy.

Shall I hold back on feeding for a bit?

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Give them some peas, or some cooked baby spinach :)

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Just fed my guys shelled peas for the first time... I was worried they were choking for a bit, but all seemed to either spit some out or try to get more. I don't think they are used to ever chewing so much. They got a bit of their first cooked spinach last pm, and all ate a bit. I think I'm going to attempt to make my own gel food soon.

Just waiting for Metro-meds to come- I'm afraid I have to wait until next week. It's so hard watching them all in this state. I noticed a black spot in the middle of one of Trout's scales that looked missing. His eyes are quite large, and his whole body is having little twitches. He had one violent flash yesterday, that makes a "boom" in the tank because he is so big. It's so disturbing. Others have protruding eyes and small twitched or other strange things.

Day two in .3% salt & Prazi... we shall see what tomorrow brings.

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