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Fat and Fancy

Lethargic pearlscale, shed slime coat, and won't eat. Please help.

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Hello. My boyfriend recently brought home four new pearlscales and plopped them into the main tank, not quarantining them. Sigh. So three of them are doing fine. Have been in the tank for four days. However, one seems to be on death's door. I have given her a salt dip in a 3% saline solution, have been trying to gently net her and feed her since she can't seem to maintain a stable balance (the slightest pressure from the bubbler will blow her over) and she is routinely near the top of the tank, not gasping at the surface, but hovering there.

 

I have a UV sterilizer running and was advised by the breeder where we got her to try a course of antibiotics. I treated the tank with 1,250 mgs of amoxicillin (60 gallon tank, 250 per 10 gallons). I have done a partial water change today and will treat again with amoxicillin. It should be a 4 day course. I order PrasiPro and it should arrive Monday because it could potentially be flukes if it's not bacterial.

 

She shed her slime coat after I performed about an 80% water change using Prime and API stress coat (yesterday). It scared me to death because there were long milky peels hanging form her sides last night and now she has red, raw sides. I cannot get her to eat anything substantial although she shows interest. I feel like she is on a slow march to death :'( Please help.

  • * Ammonia Level(Tank): 0
  • * Nitrite Level(Tank): 0
  • * Nitrate level(Tank): 0
  • * Ammonia Level(Tap)
  • * Nitrite Level(Tap)
  • * Nitrate level(Tap)
  • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines): 7.8 Ph
  • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
  • Other Required Info:
    • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API freshwater master kit
    • * Water temperature? 78 degrees
    • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?: 60 gallons, 3 months
    • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Marineland Penguin 200 HOB (2 of them) each has ceramic rings and carbon filters. Combined, they filter 20x the tank's overall water capacity.
    • * How often do you change the water and how much? Change the water twice a week, about 60-80% each time
    • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 1 day ago, 80%
    • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 5 fish, each 2-3 inches
    • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? Seachem Prime, API Stress coat, API aquarium salt
    • * What do you feed your fish and how often? Hikari lionhead growth pellets, twice a day. Shelled peas, once a day
    • * Any new fish added to the tank? yes, 4 pearlscales
    • * Any medications added to the tank? amoxicillin
    • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. Please see description at the top of the post
    • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Mildy frayed doral fin, very red sides where slime coat peeled away, red, swollen looking gills.
    • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? When I feed her flakes (as she cannot control her bouyancy and make it to the bottom to gather pellets) she will chew one or two and spit it out ground up. She sows interest in food, just not capable of consuming it.

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What kind of pleco is in there? 

 

Did you do the dip in fresh tap water (pH 8.8) then add her directly to the tank (pH 7.6)?

 

Your Penguin filters do 200 gph so you have a total of 400 gph.  You have about 6.7X filtration, not 20X  . . . . unless I missed something.  :idont

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Hmm, I think he is a leopard sailfin? And haha, you aren't wrong, I just am terrible at math. XD When I did the salt water dip it was tank water and it was 2 days ago for two minutes. She almost completely fainted immediately upon hitting the water so I tried to circulate her around but didn't make it to the recommended five minutes because it was making me nervous. Since I didn't have a quarantine area, I did put her back in the tank. I didn't notice anything negative immediately after the salt dip though. If anything, she perked up for an hour. It was the next day, after I did a water change that about 4-5 hours later the milky strands of slime coat started peeling off of her. now she just looks raw. Her gills look noticeably swollen to me. I just hit the tank with a 25% water change and a second does of amoxicillin per the insturctions. I'm stumped.

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Those marks look like she got stuck on a filter intake. Do you have yours covered?

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Filters are covered and I am home the majority of the day, she hasnt been sucked against the filter :/ She is very stationary. Droopy and frayed fins. Just sort of listless. It breaks my heart to see any animal in pain.

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Just throwing this out there for any mods who might not be pearlie-oriented: Pearlscales get that under-the-skin "bruising" look when something's not right. Doesn't necessarily indicate a filter injury or pleco "suckage." For my fish, it's often been an outward manifestation of an internal problem, but not necessarily the root of the problem itself. Kind of like how fin rot isn't a disease, but a symptom?

Hoping that's helpful...

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Just throwing this out there for any mods who might not be pearlie-oriented: Pearlscales get that under-the-skin "bruising" look when something's not right. Doesn't necessarily indicate a filter injury or pleco "suckage." For my fish, it's often been an outward manifestation of an internal problem, but not necessarily the root of the problem itself. Kind of like how fin rot isn't a disease, but a symptom?

Hoping that's helpful...

Great point. I have suspected something internal for the bruised coloration, which is why I'll be treating for fluke as well.

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I wonder if the pleco got to her . . .

i agree on this. Gibby plecos are quite aggressive in my opinion. I have had them and all of them chased my goldfish. I re-homed them.

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I wonder if the pleco got to her . . .

i agree on this. Gibby plecos are quite aggressive in my opinion. I have had them and all of them chased my goldfish. I re-homed them.
:yikes That certainly looks to be a suction wound, which is why I asked.

If the filters are covered, we may just have found the cause. :(

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I'm afraid of my pleco now! I have a 20 gallon guppy tank and may rehome him there. Update: she seems a little better after the second antibiotic round. She actively chased food this morning. Dare I hope? Unfortunately, she has lost most all of her pearls, which I think I read that they do not grow back.

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Plecos are pretty gentle creatures, but they happen to find goldfish slime coat to be a tasty treat.

If you want to have a Pleco with your goldies, I suggest a Bristlenose instead. I agree with Ranchu that this may be a two-in-one issue. The wound does appear to be a Pleco wound, but I also feel there's something underlying because of it. If a fish has slowed down, it makes it an easy target for the Pleco, and it continues the cycle of attacking her.

I would continue your current treatment for her benefit, and to curb antibiotic resistance.

The scales will grow back as normal scales, but she will still be a beautiful fish. :wub:

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I removed the pleco because lo and behold I saw him make a dive towards her. It's strange because he is well fed with veggies and algae wagers but I guess pearlies taste better. I received prazi in the mail today, when would you all recommend starting? (Thanks!)

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You can start it asap. :)

You can follow this praziquantel schedule or the closest to it that works with your recommended antibiotic schedule.

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/105076-schedules-for-the-treatment-of-flukes-etc-using-praziquantel/

It's very gentle and should not affect them much, aside from some possible sluggishness upon the first dose. If it persists, let us know.

I'm sorry your Pleco was a butthead, but the slime coat must be extra yummy. :yikes

I had one for a while who managed to lived through Sandy with us. Temps in the tank dropped to about 30°F.... when the power came back, I saw he was still alive and I was thrilled! I was so attached and he lived with Chai for quite some time before deciding she was tasty. I didn't know either, but he was brought back to my LFS where they were happy to take him back at his larger size. I still admire Plecos very much, but not a possibility at this time.

Edited by Chai

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in your original post you said you were planning in a 4 day course of amoxicillin. Why only 4 days?

How is she looking today?

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in your original post you said you were planning in a 4 day course of amoxicillin. Why only 4 days?

How is she looking today?

Hello. Four days because that's what it recommended on the bottle. Should I go longer?

She has perked up considerably. She is voracious now when I feed the fishies. I'm getting hopeful. I don't want to cut the antibiotics short though so let me know if it should be a longer treatment.

I really appreciate the advice everyone! Will start prazi too following those instructions.

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You can start it asap. :)

You can follow this praziquantel schedule or the closest to it that works with your recommended antibiotic schedule.

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/105076-schedules-for-the-treatment-of-flukes-etc-using-praziquantel/

I had one for a while who managed to lived through Sandy with us. Temps in the tank dropped to about 30°F.... when the power came back, I saw he was still alive and I was thrilled! I was so attached and he lived with Chai for quite some time before deciding she was tasty. I didn't know either, but he was brought back to my LFS where they were happy to take him back at his larger size. I still admire Plecos very much, but not a possibility at this time.

Yeah he is a cool fish but I love my little golf balls too much to risk it! I guess leaving them together was a rookies mistake ????

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Best of luck! :carrot::bighug

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Update: day 4 of antibiotics (treating tonight) and post first dose of prazi: she is holding very still and props herself against a plant to stay out of the current of the filter. She is eager to eat but clearly is having swim bladder issues because she flips upside down and twists around in loops as she tries to get to the bottom for pellets. I end up sinking some flakes because they are easier for her to reach.

Any hope for fixing a swim bladder issue? Her sides are healing and she is noticeably fatter. Just holds still most of the time as though she is trying to rest.

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Clean water and time should help. :hug The swim bladder is an organ that may have been injured by the pleco attacks. :(

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