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QandD

Mystery, never-ending parasites

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  • Test Results for the Following:
    • * Ammonia Level(Tank) 0 ppm
    • * Nitrite Level(Tank) 0 ppm
    • * Nitrate level(Tank)
    • * Ammonia Level(Tap) 0 ppm

       

    • * Nitrite Level(Tap) 0 ppm

       

    • * Nitrate level(Tap) 0 ppm

       

    • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 8.0
    • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7 - 7.2
    • Other Required Info:
      • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API Master Kit drops
      • * Water temperature? 78.5 F
      • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 29 gallons, 13 months (post-move), a few months beforehand
      • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? 2 AquaClear 70s
      • * How often do you change the water and how much? Every 5 days at around 70%, though sometimes more with all of the medication/health issues.
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 2 days ago, at least 85%
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 fantail (6+ years old and 49 g) and 1 juvenile oranda (19 g)
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime, GoldBuffer, Flourish comprehensive and a very small amount of Excel
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? 2-3 times daily: Thera-A; Repashy SuperGreen, wall-algae, or nori; sometimes frozen bloodworms
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? the oranda since May 28 after a month-long QT (4 prazi rounds, .3% salt for 2 weeks)
  • * Any medications added to the tank? .3% salt, heat, double-dosed PraziPro yesterday to see if that helped
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. 14 days of Metroplex with 2 Prazi rounds (most recent); previously, Metro and Kanaplex for a bacterial infection; several rounds of Prazi multiple times at .1% salt; 
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? 3 pimple-spots on the fantail's dorsal fin, opaque spots and fraying on tail fin (this has been like this for several months and now getting worse) and now on the pelvic fin as of this morning, missing scales; on the Oranda: mouth/lips have turned white, some unevenness on lower left caudal lobe; sparkliness (white sparkles?) on her body that are hard to capture on film--but she is a white fish...
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? fantail: frequent gulping and splashing when diving, zoning out, some uncontrolled swimming; a little twitching (head shaking), a little dorsal clamping

 

 

I've written about my fantail, Duchess, before, but I am sorry to have to come back. Her tail is not improving, and as of this morning, one of her pelvic fins is starting to fray. I've done multiple (MULTIPLE) rounds of Prazi with and without salt (the most recent bout was with Metroplex instead of salt to see if that would help), and her fins simply do not heal, nor do her missing scales from a lot of flashing and scraping from what was almost certainly a fluke problem some months ago. But I am not convinced that something else is going on given her very frequent gulping, lethargy, and the fin problems. My water quality is consistent and excellent, although I am confused why I never really get nitrate readings and the tank has been trucking on for a good while. I treated her a few weeks ago with Metroplex and Kanaplex since she went through a bout of bottom-sitting and stringy poop that she seems to have recovered from. 

I currently have her at 78-79 degrees F and .3% salt in case of ectoparasites. I added a double dose of Prazi yesterday just in case these flukes will just never quit. I have never treated her with salt and heat this way, since I got her before I understood a lot of appropriate treatment. My oranda, Vickie, went through a proper QT. Duchess has been at .3% salt for 9 days and with heat for 4 days. This morning I noticed that the tip of one of her caudal lobes is thickening and one of her pelvic fins starting to look ragged. Her behavior has not improved. Here are some pictures, but the thickening looks worse in person and I can't really capture the sparkles on her body (but not her fins), so I don't think it's ich. 

 

Patch of slime thickening on tail with some minor splits on lower lobes:

 

IMG_2717_zps4tuckkss.jpg

 

IMG_2718_zpse71ilo86.jpg

 

Newer fraying and thickening on fin tips:

 

IMG_2929_zpsemzkbkop.jpg

 

New small fray on pelvic fin plus Vickie being Vickie. I couldn't get a picture of the three pimple-things on her dorsal fin. They look like little cysts rather than grains of salt. As I mentioned, her sparkles don't show up.

 

IMG_2728_zpsw2rkwd47.jpg

 

Additionally, I should note that Vickie's mouth/lips have turned white (and not uniformly) in the past week or two and that her left lower caudal lobe looks rough/irregular. Otherwise she is healthy, and both fish are eating.

 

Here are some photos of her mouth:

 

IMG_2857_zpsgtkxtlnm.jpg

 

IMG_2846_zpsjlj3czae.jpg

 

IMG_2688_zpsjcrrneso.jpg

 

Thanks for reading and sorry about all the photos/long post. I am really losing my mind trying to figure out what the heck is going on. 

 

Oh, and medications I have on hand include: metroplex and kanaplex, triple sulfa, furan-2, melafix, salt, epson alt, metro flakes (not metromeds), PP, methylene blue, QuickCure, malachite green

 

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I'm going to report this and see what the mod's have to say. I have a strong suspicion of what you're dealing with but we will get more eyes on it and see.

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I'm going to report this and see what the mod's have to say. I have a strong suspicion of what you're dealing with but we will get more eyes on it and see.

 

I'm glad you have a suspicion because I am at a loss!!

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In the meantime I'm going to ask you to *lower* the heat and keep the salt going. I know it is odd advice but if you are dealing igh what I suspect the heat worsens it, especially in that range. Dropping it down to room temp over the next day will help.

We can always increase it again if need be,

Edited by Arctic Mama

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In the meantime I'm going to ask you to *lower* the heat and keep the salt going. I know it is odd advice but if you are dealing igh what I suspect the heat worsens it, especially in that range. Dropping it down to room temp over the next day will help.

We can always increase it again if need be,

 

OK--I have unplugged the heater. 

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Hope they feel better.

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I hope you can finally solve this mystery!

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Okay, first question: do you have any other fish or aquariums? You may want to move these two into a hospital tank for treatment so you are using less medication, but it is up to you. You're going to want to sterilize your fish keeping equipment as a precaution. Anything that has touched the tank water since your newest buddy came home :)

We have talked it over and are recommended you begin a fourteen day course of treatment:

Begin with Meth Blue dip for both fish, please, if you're comfortable with it. It is gentle and inhibits both bacteria and parasites, as well as being anti fungal, but won't sting or burn the raw mouth spot. Use a bare container, 1 qt of your currently salted tank water, and 5 drops of Meth Blue. Watch your fish carefully for fainting or thrashing, if they seem distressed remove them. Otherwise leave them in the bath 20-30 minutes if they are tolerating it well. Please stay by the bath just in case they get distressed, don't walk away from it :)

Then do a complete water change of your system, if you're not using a hospital tank, and dose as follows:

Day 1: Kanamycin dose, Furan-2 dose, both as directed.

Day 2: Furan-2 dose

Day 3: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 4: Furan-2 dose

Day 5: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 6: Furan-2

Day 7: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 8: Furan-2

Day 9: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 10: Furan-2

Day 11: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 12: Furan-2

Day 13: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 14: Furan-2

We will re-evaluate and see if more treatment is necessary when this is completed.

Edited by Arctic Mama

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Okay, first question: do you have any other fish or aquariums? You may want to move these two into a hospital tank for treatment so you are using less medication, but it is up to you. You're going to want to sterilize your fish keeping equipment as a precaution. Anything that has touched the tank water since your newest buddy came home :)

We have talked it over and are recommended you begin a fourteen day course of treatment:

Begin with Meth Blue dip for both fish, please, if you're comfortable with it. It is gentle and inhibits both bacteria and parasites, as well as being anti fungal, but won't sting or burn the raw mouth spot. Use a bare container, 1 qt of your currently salted tank water, and 5 drops of Meth Blue. Watch your fish carefully for fainting or thrashing, if they seem distressed remove them. Otherwise leave them in the bath 20-30 minutes if they are tolerating it well. Please stay by the bath just in case they get distressed, don't walk away from it :)

Then do a complete water change of your system, if you're not using a hospital tank, and dose as follows:

Day 1: Kanamycin dose, Furan-2 dose, both as directed.

Day 2: Furan-2 dose

Day 3: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 4: Furan-2 dose

Day 5: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 6: Furan-2

Day 7: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 8: Furan-2

Day 9: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 10: Furan-2

Day 11: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 12: Furan-2

Day 13: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 14: Furan-2

We will re-evaluate and see if more treatment is necessary when this is completed.

 

 

I do have a 10-gallon QT/hospital tank that I used for Vickie's quarantine. I am currently soaking it, my normal WC holding tank, and other fish keeping equipment in bleached water. I plan to empty the tank by running the bleach-water through my pond pump that I need to use for the hospital tank since it is on the floor. If this is a bad idea, please let me know. I will soak everything in Primed water after the bleaching is done. I have a special siphon for QT detritus, so hopefully that'll help with contamination.

 

I realize that the 10 gallon might be small for both fish, but I'd like to keep costs down. However, if my main tank contaminated with.. whatever this is? (Do you have a provisional diagnosis, by the way?), should I nuke everything?

 

I am OK with doing a methylene blue bath. Another question: for the QT tank, would I maintain the .3% salt solution?

 

Sorry for all the questions, and thank you for your suggestions so far. 

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If you have no other fish you don't need to maintain the salt. The salt inhibits the spread of what I suspect we are dealing with, but that's moot if the only fish you own have already been exposed and would likely just add to their stress, which wouldn't help in healing.

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If you have no other fish you don't need to maintain the salt. The salt inhibits the spread of what I suspect we are dealing with, but that's moot if the only fish you own have already been exposed and would likely just add to their stress, which wouldn't help in healing.

 

OK--I have no other fish, so fresh water it is. 

 

Do I need to nuke my main tank after I move my fish to the hospital tank? If so, do you have any recommendations as how best to do so? I have a few plants and a piece of driftwood with a sand substrate.

Edited by QandD

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Your disinfecting procedure sounds fine. With that water change schedule and light feeding your QT isn't going to be too small for treatment. Just be sure run an airstone or a filter with no media to keep gas exchange high and the water properly oxygenated. Room temp, clean, treated water should help immensely,

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If you have no other fish you don't need to maintain the salt. The salt inhibits the spread of what I suspect we are dealing with, but that's moot if the only fish you own have already been exposed and would likely just add to their stress, which wouldn't help in healing.

OK--I have no other fish, so fresh water it is.

Do I need to nuke my main tank after I move my fish to the hospital tank? If so, do you have any recommendations as how best to do so? I have a few plants and a piece of driftwood with a sand substrate.

Yes, you should probably nuke the tank, if the driftwood was in with the treatment that would suffice, but in lieu of that I'd recommend using potassium permanganate (Condy's crystals) instead of bleach. Otherwise, baking the wood and substrate in the oven at 225 degrees for at least 30 minutes should help, along with drying it out COMPLETELY.

Whatever is ailing your tank will likely not survive a reducing agent like PP, heat, drying out, AND a lack of hosts :)

Edited by Arctic Mama

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If you have no other fish you don't need to maintain the salt. The salt inhibits the spread of what I suspect we are dealing with, but that's moot if the only fish you own have already been exposed and would likely just add to their stress, which wouldn't help in healing.

 

OK--I have no other fish, so fresh water it is. 

 

Do I need to nuke my main tank after I move my fish to the hospital tank? If so, do you have any recommendations as how best to do so? I have a few plants and a piece of driftwood with a sand substrate.

Yes, you should probably nuke the tank, if the driftwood was in with the treatment that would suffice, but in lieu of that I'd recommend using potassium permanganate (Condy's crystals) instead of bleach. Otherwise, baking the wood and substrate in the oven at 225 degrees for at least 30 minutes should help, along with drying it out COMPLETELY.

 

 

Sorry--just so I understand, if I were to run PP through the whole system, I could leave the driftwood and sand where it is without baking/drying it? I live in a small apartment with a reasonably understanding roommate, but I don't want to test his patience too much with sand everywhere, etc., if I don't have to. 

 

Also, how much PP would I put in the tank and what would I do exactly? I have crystals but haven't used PP before, so it makes me nervous.

 

Again, I'm really sorry for all of the questions.

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Yes, you could definitely just thoroughly clean the substrate with vacuuming and do a complete water change, use the PP and let it reduce in the tank until it went fro purple to brown, and then do multiple water changes to remove it from the system. Running it like that without the fish in it for several weeks would be perfectly safe, too.

You would still need to make sure all water lines, air lines, airstones, thermometers, heaters, nets, scoops, etc were also sanitized either in the PP or bleach, and drying out the substrate and driftwood is an extra precaution but not absolutrly necessary if you're using the PP.

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As for PP, I just add enough to make the water a nice magenta color. It's not an exact science :)

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Great--OK. I should be able to move the fish to the QT tonight. The equipment and tank are soaking in Primed water after about 30-40 minutes of bleaching. Then I'll deal with sterilizing the rest of what I can take out of the tank. I might consider stirring the sand in the PP solution without the filters running and letting it settle again since I am neurotic. 

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Okay, first question: do you have any other fish or aquariums? You may want to move these two into a hospital tank for treatment so you are using less medication, but it is up to you. You're going to want to sterilize your fish keeping equipment as a precaution. Anything that has touched the tank water since your newest buddy came home :)

We have talked it over and are recommended you begin a fourteen day course of treatment:

Begin with Meth Blue dip for both fish, please, if you're comfortable with it. It is gentle and inhibits both bacteria and parasites, as well as being anti fungal, but won't sting or burn the raw mouth spot. Use a bare container, 1 qt of your currently salted tank water, and 5 drops of Meth Blue. Watch your fish carefully for fainting or thrashing, if they seem distressed remove them. Otherwise leave them in the bath 20-30 minutes if they are tolerating it well. Please stay by the bath just in case they get distressed, don't walk away from it :)

Then do a complete water change of your system, if you're not using a hospital tank, and dose as follows:

Day 1: Kanamycin dose, Furan-2 dose, both as directed.

Day 2: Furan-2 dose

Day 3: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 4: Furan-2 dose

Day 5: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 6: Furan-2

Day 7: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 8: Furan-2

Day 9: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 10: Furan-2

Day 11: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 12: Furan-2

Day 13: Complete water change, redose the Kanamycin and Furan-2

Day 14: Furan-2

We will re-evaluate and see if more treatment is necessary when this is completed.

 

Just in case anyone is around--D&V are in the methylene blue bath, after which I was going to put them straight into the hospital tank that has an airstone and the antibiotics going. PH and temperature match. Sounds good?

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Sounds great. You may want to add a teaspoon of salt per gallon to the first day of treatment if they're showing signs of being touchy, so the salinity change isn't so abrupt, but most fish don't seem to mind.

Edited by Arctic Mama

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Sounds great. You may want to add a teaspoon of salt per gallon to the first day of treatment if they're showing signs of being touchy, so the salinity change isn't so abrupt, but most fish don't seem to mind.

Thanks--sorry for all the questions--just don't want to screw anything up.

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Better safe than sorry. Ask away!

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In my opinion, the heat shouldn't be any higher than the low 70s or so here. It's adding stress to an already comprimised fish. The gulping maybe caused by a lower dissolved oxygen content in the water. The higher the temperature, the more oxygen they need and unfortunately the less they actually have available to them in the water. Also making for a more optimal temperature zone for the parasites and or bacteria affecting the fish to multiply in. So temp down first of all. Second the quarantine setup, I saw a suggestion of running the quarantine filter media free... Carbon free obviously, but as for media free, I would be extremely wary of this because you already have a stressed fish, first they're sick with parasites and/or bacterial infections, then they're being dumped out of their home into a much smaller tank which most likely wasn't running beforehand or effectively cycled right, so ammonia isn't being processed and its in a smaller space, concentrating the pollution... Now dosing meds on top of this... I hope you see where it's going. It's a massive amount of stress for the fish to endure. And unfortunately the most important factor in disease prevention and control is stress, most fish with low stress and healthy immune systems can effectively fight these things off before they even become a problem. So take every measure to minimize it the best you can, I saw you intend to sterilize the media, I personally would never sterilize my bio media, use it in your quarantine and treat with your fish... But I wouldn't bleach it or boil it.

Edited by rhanrahan

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Rhanrahan, there are definitely varied opinions about running a hospital tank with cycled media, but with parasites or bacterial infections, oftentimes it is just adding to the nitrate load at best or haboring them, at worst, to use cycled media. It tends to discourage the frequency of water changes we recommend, too. This is a bit of a different situation than a general quarantine for a new fish or one showing mild symptoms.

If it is what we suspect - keeping anything unsterilized could lead to a recurrence down the road. An ectoparasite or bacterial infection like columnaris has already survived multiple gentler treatments - the team isn't recommending aggressive treating to Q&D lightly and our recommendations on hospital procedures and medication routines are used precisely to maximize effective while minimizing stress :)

Edited by Arctic Mama

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I should note that Duchess has had a gulping problem at 68 degrees and at 79 degrees. I also have very thorough surface agitation since I was worried about dissolved oxygen as well. 

 

Both of the fish are in the QT tank with a very large airstone. They're not thrilled to be in there but have been active and not gulping as much. I think they like the company, but they are not pleased to be in a smaller space... at least Duchess is not. 

 

I have also broken down the main tank and have nearly everything I could remove soaking in PP. I added too much PP to the main tank and stirred the sand, but after about an hour I got nervous and neutralized with H2O2. I have to figure out how to get it out of there now, other than using my mouth-siphoning! I will probably try to use the pond pump once the sand settles. I've also boiled the ceramic media and thrown away the sponges. New ones are on the way. 

 

I'll let you know if D&V have any problems while following your suggested medication protocol! 

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I understand the idea, but if it's enough to effectively treat the fish in quarantine it should likely be enough to effectively treat the media as well? I suppose this maybe wrong, I've never had issues with my quarantine tanks this way, but I may not have experience with something so resilient. But I'd be just as concerned with the added effect of ammonia on the immune compromised fish while preparing to endure a rather lengthy stressful quarantine, I'm not at all questioning whether or not the treatment is being taken lightly, Im aware it's a quote serious matter. Assuming the tank goes without any of the bio then, were now in 1/3 the tank volume and water changes won't be available between certain intervals while dosing, even regularly tolerable ammonia buildup in the meantime will do the fish no favors. Unless they're also dosing with something to bind and neutralize the toxic build up daily I suppose.

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