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Chilodonella help please


Wen73

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03/16/14 Edit: DNAlex edited the title to reflect that the official diagnosis, as made by the OP using a microscope of scrapes, is chilodonella.

  • Test Results for the Following:
    • * Ammonia Level(Tank) o
    • * Nitrite Level(Tank) 0
    • * Nitrate level(Tank) 10
    • * Ammonia Level(Tap)
    • * Nitrite Level(Tap)
    • * Nitrate level(Tap)
    • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 8.2
    • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
    • Other Required Info:
      • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?
      • * Water temperature? 23-24
      • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 60 litres, quarantine tank 1 month
      • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? sponge
      • * How often do you change the water and how much? 60-70% every 2 days
      • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? yesterday 60%
      • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 very large oranda
      • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? prime
      • * What do you feed your fish and how often? hikari and veges daily
      • * Any new fish added to the tank?
      • * Any medications added to the tank? formalin?malachite green, salt
      • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.
      • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?
      • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? bottom sitting sometimes - getting worse

I have to make this quick because I have to go to work but I am quarantining a lovely oranda who I think has costia. Grey patches of slime and now small sores appearing on her body. I have salted to 0.3% and am treating with formalin/malachite green for 2 days but I don't think its killing the parasite - more slime, a couple more sores appearing since treatment started. Fish looking worse. I don't have access to a microscope unfortunately.

I'd appreciate any suggestions on treatment. Is a short bath with a stronger solution and then back into salty water more effective? How strong would the solution need to be? My solution is formaldehyde 37 mg/ml , 0.32 mg/ml malachite green

I don't think salt alone will work as the shops that import fish here suggest that costia from asia is usually salt resistant.

Anyone use metronidazole in feed? I saw a paper on that but it's a really big dose of metro (40 g per 1 kg feed)

Thanks in advance for any help

Edited by dnalex
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How do you know it's costia? Sounds like it could be any number of parasites, including costia.

Would you post some pics?

Metro in the feed is easy, and 40mg per g is not that much. :)

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HI Alex, I really don't know that it is costia - I'm taking my best guess based on what the fish looks like.

The long story is I bought a new ranchu, quarantined it for 3 weeks - no problems, added it to my main tank. A week later a different fish was bottom sitting, flashing and swimming erratically. (This fish I have had for years with no problems, the ranchu was the first new thing to go in the tank in over a year) I could see faint white inclusions on his fins - thought it might be ick. Treated the whole tank with foramlin/malachite green for 6 days and salt to 0.5%. They are all fine and have been for 10 days post finishing treatment. I don't actually think it was ick but whatever it was the sick fish responded really quickly to the formalin/malachite and was back up and swimming within 12 hours of the first dose. (while I was still gradually adding the salt)

But there was some cross contamination between that tank (my main tank) and my quarantined oranda before the one fish got sick. I have been watching her carefully, or thought I was, but I've missed the early signs. Her behaviour has been perfect until a few days ago when she began bottom sitting. The tank is under my main tank so it's not lit - hence I missed the early signs of illness and am now presented with the grey slime and small sores.

She did not look good this morning so I have done a 70% water change and increased the salt to 0.4%. As yet have not put any formalin/malachite back in the tank. I have been told by a fish vet who works in Australia that they will tolerate salt to 0.5% and my other fish did. But everything I have read/been told suggests I would need to salt to 0.6-0.9 % to get rid of costia. Anyone salted that heavily before?

I really don't want to lose this fish as she's really special and I'm just not sure what the best way forward is. I feel time is running out as she is getting weaker.

Alex, I have some metro (human) and can mix up some gel food tonight. Should I do that?

I will try and post pics when I get back tonight.

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I'd like to see some pics. For costia, there should be some rather characteristic pin prick red hemorrhages.

You can salt that heavily, but you need to make sure that it doesn't get out of control, meaning that you need to weigh your salt, and you need to do 100% WCs when you do them.

Making metro gel food is a good idea, but let's see what's going on with the fish first.

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Hi Alex, I took half a day off work to try and deal with this. Here are some pictures. It's hard to get good images but you can see the extensive grey patches on her side, and the red spots are the open wounds. All suggestions welcome. She is not doing well.

I have also managed to borrow a rather old and primitive miscroscope but it goes up to 400 x magnification so I thought I would try and do a scrape and scope.

What is the best way to do that?

Thanks in advance.

fishy0.jpg

fishy1.jpg

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What a gorgeous oranda! I hope we can help him/her right away! :)

Here are some suggestions/comments:

1. I would like for you to check gills to see that they are normal/healthy, and then proceed with a 3% salt dip (maximum time 5 minutes, or until he can't right himself). Then, have him in salt at 0.3%. Use a scale, please.

2. I'm not convinced that this is costia, but a microscope will be able to tell you this easily (I think). Scrape at one of the slime sites, one at the belly, one under the chin, and one at the place where the pectoral fin meets the body. Costia looks like wriggly commas under the scope. Here's a video

This site may be helpful as well, although they do not have pics for costia

http://www.cnykoi.com/articles/micro2.asp

Once you get a better idea, we'll know what to do better. Until then, the salt dip and salt in the water should be some help. :)

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Ok, so I did the salt dip. Lasted for 4 minutes and she is back in the tank. She looks a bit funny now - kind of has her head pointing straight up and breathing a bit hard - how long does it take for them to recover and might she need to go in less salty water. Currently at 0.3%.

Thanks

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She should recover within a couple of hours. You could even take out all the salt (or have her in a salt free 5-10 gallon tub) for a while during the recovery.

Did you notice her slime coat peeling away during the dip?

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Thanks Alex. Yes, I think some of her slime coat is gone.

Tomorrow I am having a bigger tank delivered. I have been waiting to upgrade her - her quarantine was meant to be over now :( I am still going to proceed with getting the new tank (400 litres) even though she may not make it. Even though large tanks are a pain to medicate I'm hoping that it might make things less stressful for her. In terms of filtration, I was thinking of removing one of the cannister filters from my main tank. It runs with two sizeable cannisters and a sponge. Do you think if I remove one of the cannisters that the main tank will catch up quickly or do I run the risk of it crashing? And then of course there is the risk of bringing over something from the main tank to the new tank via the filter.

I have been running a little sponge filter in the quarantine tank and it is cycled, but there won't be much reserve.

Even though I'm not getting an ammonia reading I think there may be a little in the water that is more toxic because of the salinity. Overnight the veins in her tale have become dilated and with orandas that seems to happen very quickly in response to water quality. And her bottom sitting has got rapidly worse. So I'd really like her new tank to have adequate biological reserve. She's getting too thin too, and really needs feeding up, which I can't do as long as water quality is going to be an issue.

Any thoughts?

Thanks again

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Hello, I think the upgrade is a fantastic idea, BUT let's wait until she gets better before moving her in. I don't think she or we are anywhere near giving up on her. :)

My reason for not moving her to a big tank yet is because we don't know what we are dealing with just yet. So, we don't want to contaminate a new tank. In addition, QTs should be about 40-80L big, to facilitate ease of water changes so you can do more, and to make medications more practical if we have to do anything with the water. Using 2x Prime everyday to detoxify ammonia is recommended.

Don't worry about salt + ammonia. I'm not sure where that idea came about, but there is no validation for it.

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Thanks everyone. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. She's a lovely fish - really friendly and sweet. I hate seeing her unwell.

She seems a bit better after the salt dip and isn't bottom sitting as much.

I haven't been able to track down any microscope slides though, only slip covers. May be able to use that at a pinch but not ideal. Maybe I can find someone else that sells them tomorrow. I'd really like to know what this is.

Do I do another salt dip tomorrow?

I'll hold off on putting her in the new tank just yet. She is in a 2 foot 60 litre tank for quarantine purposes but it's a bit small as her body length is almost 20 cm and I'm worried it's adding to her stress.

I have also just got rid of my tropical fish and I have a 150 litre 3 foot tank. Just wondering if this might be a good compromise but I would have to sterilise it well first.

Thanks again

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Let's do another dip 48 hours after the first one. Although these can be done daily 3 days in a row, I'd like to hold off.

I'm glad she seems a bit better. :)

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This morning she is back to where she was yesterday - bottom sitting and looking generally weaker. I am having trouble finding a physical store that sells microscope slides but am hoping I can track some down today and find out what this is.

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So unfortunately I can't find anywhere in Brisbane that sells microscope slides - if I order online they are a week away which is too late. I tried to take a smear just with a slip cover but it didn't work too well and I really don't know what I'm looking at. The microscope I have is very old and dusty so there are already lots of round things even before you put the slide on. I did see one thing moving but it wasn't anything I could identify. I don't really know what are air bubbles and what could be parasites.

I feel defeated and my poor fish definitely looks worse again today. I'd give her a couple of days tops before she dies.

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Why don't you make metro gel food and start feeding? The formula is 1% med by weight in the gel, which you feed 1% of the fish's weight daily for 14-30 days.

I am thinking of prazi treatment as well, but not yet.

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So I've gone with my gut that this is probably a parasite and have restarted the formalin/malachite green. I had started the treatment with no improvement, and then stopped it. However, I realised the bottle I had just bought had actually gone out of date, so I bought another bottle that's in date and thought I'd try again. She seems to have improved - less bottom sitting and more reactive. Still eating.

My next question is - should I combine this with a salt dip to slough off extra slime coat and allow better penetration of the formalin? Or would that be too hard on her gills?

I'm also not sure how long I should keep treating for?

Any thoughts appreciated.

Thanks in advance

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I think that would be too hard on the gills. I too think it's a parasite, although I am not sure that I would have chosen formalin/malachite. I also don't think that these compounds would have expired, especially formalin.

Regardless, now that you have started, I would finish the course.

Best of luck, and I hope the treatment does the trick! :)

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Hi Alex, What would be your preferred method for treating an external parasite? The grey slime coat and small sores on her body make me think it's something other than gill flukes. So I don't think prazi will fix the problem. I'm open to suggestions about what might be gentler but still effective. I'm just not convinced salt at 0.3% will be enough, since there are a reasonable number of sources that suggest you'd need to salt to 0.6% to 0.9%. Koi keepers use salt at much higher concentrations to rid their fish of the same suite of parasites but goldfish won't tolerate the same amount of salt as koi.

I feel caught between a rock and a hard place and certainly not in the clear yet.

Is metro effective against any parasites other than costia?

Thanks again

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Hello,

As I said, I would not endorse the formalin/malachite green, because it's just too harsh, and possibly unsafe for you. However, now that you've started it, I would recommend that you finish the course for it, whatever that may be. It's actually worse to abandon a treatment course to seek a different one, unless we have a clear idea that the treatment is wrong/inappropriate. In this case, I don't think it's wrong.

I had relied on you being able to get microscope slides and do the diagnosis that way, as well as taking pics of these sores. It sounded like there is a similarity to costia, except for the very critical difference that costia would have killed the fish by now. It's the same with columnaris. A lot of time it's thought to be the culprit, but it was unlikely because of the lack of aggressive attack on the fish.

How is she doing?

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HI Alex, there is no set length for formalin/malachite (unless it's for ick, in which case 3 days water redose and a further 3 days at a minimum is recommended) - it's really just continue to treat until parasite is gone, which usually requires 3 days or longer depending on how heavily infested a fish is Some people use a continuous bath and others use a shorter stronger bath for an hour or so every day, depending on what you are treating. If you catch parasites early and the fish are in good condition, they usually handle the treatment very well. If they are already weakened then it can really knock them around.

For most external parasites, trichodella, costia, chilodonella - wouldn't the treatment be the same? With the exception that metro might work for costia I suppose

The small sores have healed. But she is looking a bit worse for wear today, probably from the formalin. Back to bottom sitting

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