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Parasite?


fantailfan1

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Info requested from red box:

Ammonia-0

Nitrite-0

Nitrate 10-20

pH-7.6

chloramines-0, not used in disinfection, just chlorine

Tank size: 37 gallon running almost 3 months

Filters: Eclipse 250 gph and Eheim 2026 170 gph

Weekly water changes-50%

2 fish: fantail 6-7 inches including tail, ryukin 3-4 inches including tail

I changed the water on Saturday, along with removing the remainder of my gravel, added river rock and an air stone. I added Prime just in case of cycle bump after removing the remaining gravel.

No meds, no new fish. Fed ProGold daily, peas 3Xs week, treat (bloodworms or brine shrimp-both freeze dried) once a week

I don't notice anything unusual on the fish but they both have been "yawning" quite frequently (the fantail more than the ryukin). I would say several times a day. I noticed the fantail twitching her pectoral fins yesterday but that's the only twitching I noticed. She also darts on occasion but no scratching or flashing that I've noticed. She also will go to the surface and suck air for 15-30 seconds at a time maybe once an hour. So the fantail is the one I've noticed the most symptoms in. The ryukin just yawns, no flashing, darting, scratching but does very very rarely go to surface for air (couple times a day).

I read toothless's thread on parasites and seems to me this may be microscopic parasites. Does that sound right? If so, I should start by salting the tank--1 tsp per gallon? Anything I should I should pick up while I'm out tomorrow? (I already have Doc Wellfish's Aquarium Salt from when I cycled but should I pick up any anti-parasitic treatments or just start iwth the salt?)

I do not have access to a microscope. If absolutely necessary I could maybe buy one but would need recommendations on type and about how much one would run. If possible to treat this without one that would be great!

I will not begin any kind of treatment until I get some response to this. Thanks in advance for helping!! (And sorry the post is sooo long but I wanted to be thorough as I can't really check the post until tomorrow.) :unsure:

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The most typical causes of yawning (more than a few times a day) where a fish attempts to clear his/her gills normally indicates problems with the gills. If it isn't a rock stuck in the mouth, or exposure to any toxic compounds, then it could be due to gill bacteria or parasites.

I'd go with the salt starting at 0.1% (1 teaspoon per gallon) and if you can, try a couple of salt dips - about 6 hours apart. You could start with a 1% dip which would be 2.5 teaspoons of salt in a 1/4 gallon tub - keeping them in there for 10 minutes. And if you find they deal well at 1% - the next dip could be increased to 2% (5 teaspoons in 1/4 gallon)...

Are you able to check their gills? Are they a nice meaty red in colour? Any fraying or tattering?

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I'll salt the tank today. I'm a little leary of doing salt dips but will do that if it will help. How often should I do a salt dip? (I see JenW recommends six hours apart but do I do just 2 of them or do more another day?) How long should I keep the tank salted?

What's the best way to check their gills?

Sorry for the newbie questions but I want to do this right! :yeah:

Edited by fantailfan1
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Hi fantailfan1, I would agree that it is probably a parasite. Jen has given you some very good advice. I would just add to be careful with the salt dips especially on the littlier fish. Some don't tolerate it well, if you notice any "limpness" or floating you should remove the fish immediatly.

Now onto the gills, you can lift the gill plate with your nail gently and check the gills. The should be a nice reddish pink color.

A good parasite med is by jungle labs called parasite clear. It is safe and yet effective.

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Ok I just salted the tank and noticed that both fish were pooping--about 1/2-1 inch thin whitish (slightly tan) poop. Is this probably because of the parasite?

Also when doing the salt dip can I put both fish in the bucket at once or do it one at a time?

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If you are a bit wary of salt dips - then you could go with the parasite clear and see if this shows any improvement. Added to that, you could try feeding medicated food and together they may resolve whatever is ailing your fish.

I'm a great advocate for salt dips but Laurie's right, not all fish do well with them so for now, if you have any on hand, go with both Parasite Clear and some medicated food. These should hopefully show some results.

Otherwise, you can go with salting to 0.3% (3 x 1teaspoon per gallon x 12 hours apart) and try a 1% salt dip - which is a relatively mild dip. This may be all they need.

If you do go with salt dips - then each in their own tub is the best way to do it. It can remove some slime coat and you want to dispose of it after each bath.

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What would be less stressful and/or more likely to cure the fish (I'm not worried about me getting stressed by the salt dip--I want what is best for them)?

Parasite Clear and medicated food (please recommend a couple brand names :) ) OR salting to 0.3% plus a 1% salt dip?

And thanks for all your advice, JenW!! :thanks

One more question: both fish have been a bit less active (esp the fantail--sitting on bottom quite often but she does swim around when I walk by). Could that be because of the parasite?

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Please forgive me for posting yet again but I have done some reading and found a post by toothless from a while back. In that particular post he recommended that the person treating for parasites do a blanket parasite treatment of salting to 0.3% and Parasite Clear (3-4 treatments, I think). Would this work for me?

And what about praziquantel? Would that be better than parasite clear (or does parasite clear contain it?)? If prazi would be better, is there a name brand I should look for?

So many questions, so little time . . .

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I would go with the Parasite Clear and the 0.3% salt combination. Parasite clear has the prazi in it. ;)

Try and relax I know this can be frightening but hopefully if you start treatment tomorrow they will make it.

The medicated foods I would recommend Medigold or metromed from goldfish connection. Both are really good. However they aren't going to help with the parasites.

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Ok I will up the salt to 0.3% (gradually) and get some Parasite Clear in the morning.

Am I correct that the MediGold or MetroMed would be treating bacterial infection? Is this suggested because of the whitish poop? Also do you have a preference between the two? Will it get here fast enough (I have no problem ordering it if it gets here quick enough to help the fish) or is there something I can buy locally that will work?

Finally :D I don't know if it's jsut my imagination (or wishful thinking) but my fantail has only gone to the surface for air once since I salted (4.5 hours ago) and both fish seem to be yawning less! And through all of this there has been absolutely no decrease in appetite!

Thanks LaurieP! Your help is always appreciated! :heart

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You are very welcome.

And either food is good. I tend to like the Medigold for white poop, but to have both on hand isn't a bad idea.

I use the metromed for heavier infections such as septicimia and dropsy.

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Here's the latest--I am salted to 0.2% and will get to 0.3% later this afternoon/evening. Both fish are looking alittle better. Not as much yawning for sure!! Also both fish have had normal looking poop since they had teh white poop. The fantail has had 2 normal looking and the ryukin 1.

Also is Parasite Clear very safe? If it is then I will definitely start ASAP. But I was kinda wondering if it's not real safe if I should hold off and see if salting the tank will be enough since they tend to be showing slight improvements already.

One last question (for now :D ) how long should I keep the salt at 0.3%?

And once again LaurieP, you are truly a gem! Thanks for all your help! ;)

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Parasite clear is a very safe medication, I would go ahead and do it. Even though there seems to be improvement already...............YAY!!!

I would run the parasite clear treatment and when done leave the salt at 0.3% for 30 days total. A good month to blast those nasties out of there.

Thanks for the sweet words, it is my pleasure to help you with your fish. :thanks

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I got some Parasite Clear to treat my goldies. I'm wondering how many treatments to do. On the box it says "treatment may be repeated up to 2 times with 48 hours between treatments and a 25% water change". In one of toothless' threads he recommended using it 3-4 times. I am treating for microscopic parasites.

Should I treat 2, 3, or 4 times? (I don't want to over due it but I do want to make sure I zap those buggers dead!)

Also when should I do the water change--24 hours after treatment or right before the 2nd (and any subsequent) treatment?

Thanks in advance for the help! :)

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Hi Fantail, If you could it is always best to keep all the same questions and problems in one thread. It can confuse others as to what is going on. Thanks ;)

So I merged your threads.

Now to answer your question. What I did is to run the 1st treatment and kept daily checks for the levels, and then did a water change after a week. If the cycle starts to crash or bump then I did water changes until they got back to normal and retreated a second time.

Depending on how long you can run the treatments in without doing a water change will determine how many times you should be able to treat. Make sense?

You can run the meds safely twice, after that you may want to give them a couple day break and run the carbon.

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Sorry about starting a new topic--wasn't sure if I should or just keep this one going. Thanks for straightening it out. :D

So let me make sure I got this right. I take the carbon out and add the Parasite Clear. I then check the pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels daily to make sure the cycle isn't bumped. If params are good, do a water change in one week and add the 2nd dose of PC. Or are you suggesting that as long as water params are good I can add the 2nd dose within that first week and not do a water change.

If cycle begins to crash, do water changes (daily? or more often) until back to normal and then add the 2nd dose (whether it takes say 2 days or 5 days to get the cycle back to normal).

I guess I don't exactly understand your statement "Depending on how long you can run the treatments in without doing a water change will determine how many times you should be able to treat".

After I do 2 treatments I add the carbon back in and hope all symptoms are gone. If not, wait 2-3 days, remove carbon and try again.

All of this for a couple of spoiled little fish!! Oh and I must remember also that with any water change to keep the salinity at 0.3%. This is getting a bit complicated! :huh:

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I know it can be overwhelming at first but you got a good grasp of it.

"are you suggesting that as long as water params are good I can add the 2nd dose within that first week and not do a water change." RIGHT!!

If the cycle bumps you will have to get it back to normal before proceeding. OK??? Then go ahead with the rest of the treatment........hopefully that makes more sense. If not let me know. WE'll get it straightened out.

And yes it seems complicated with the salt but really it isn't. I find it helpful to write doses and times down that way you can refer back.

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Ok I think I got it. Tomorrow is my normal water changing day so I'll proceed to do that, salt the exchanged water to 0.3%, remove carbon and add PC. Then daily checks of water params. From there I will keep you posted of our progress--how the cycle is doing, when I add 2nd dose (I'm assuming I should wait at least 48 hours before I add the second dose), etc.

Thanks again for all your help! :flowers

By the way I do write down everything I do to my tank--weekly water changes, test results, anything I add, etc. After 2 kids my memory isn't what it used to be!

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:goodluck

Sounds like you got a plan!!! I hope everything goes smoothly.

And even though I have yet to have kids, the memory comes and goes. So I can relate with you there!! :popcorn

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Ok so this is where we are:

Yesterday I did a 50% water change, added Prime, salted the exchanged water to 0.3%, removed the carbon and added the first dose of Parasite Clear.

It is now about 30 hours later and water params are fine: ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5, pH 7.6.

Now for a couple of questions (of course :D ):

Assuming my water params are still good when I test tomorrow (48 hours later than 1st dose), I can add 2nd dose of Parasite Clear, correct?

Then can I add 3rd dose 48 hours later (Wednesday) if params are still good or should I wait to see if 2 doses clears things up?

Also at what point do I add the carbon back?

One other question not really related to this as I noticed this a week or two ago: the fantail has a spot on her side where a scale is missing--looks "clean" just not reflective/metallic like the rest of her. And if her scales weren't so big I honestly don't know that I would have even noticed the spot. Anything I should do for that or jsut keep an eye on it?

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"Assuming my water params are still good when I test tomorrow (48 hours later than 1st dose), I can add 2nd dose of Parasite Clear, correct?" YES.

"Then can I add 3rd dose 48 hours later (Wednesday) if params are still good or should I wait to see if 2 doses clears things up?" ------ I would hold off on a 3rd treatment and see how they do. I would let the 2nd dose stay in the tank until the appropriate water change is needed. Then run the carbon and wait a few days see what happens. If you see symptoms reappear you can run another dose then.

I would just keep an eye on her scale. Losing one scale is fine, as long as there doesn't seem to be a sore there. Good water should help her regrow it back. It may take a bit though.

Keep me posted.

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