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Parasite?


fantailfan1

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Woo hoo!! OK, I'll do the water changes this afternoon and early evening and then add QC dose #1.

Then I don't work again til Monday so I can watch them (and water params) real closely, changing water as needed and adding the remaining 4 doses of QC 24 hours apart.

By Monday, I should have a pretty good idea how the fish and water params are doing. I can do a pre-work water change if needed and most likely be OK to leave them while I work. Then one final water change and dose #5 Monday night--and hopefully that will do it. :D *crosses fingers, toes, eyes, legs, arms, etc*

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Oh I almost forgot!! Should I do a 1.5% salt dip with the bigger fish?

If yes, should I do the salt dip, then put her in the main tank and add the half dose of QC? Or do the salt dip, watch her in the main tank for a while, then add the half dose QC?

Or have we salted her enough?! :)

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That, again, is up to you. Personally, I believe its safe to salt dip goldies once they have reached 2-3 inches in length. The key is to watch closely for the visual cues that the fish has had enough of the dip. 1.5% can go anywhere from 3-10 minutes, depending on if the fish has not floated up on its side. If that happens, remove the fish immediately.

Try to keep the number of dips to a minimum. no more then 3 days in a row, or one every other day for 3 dips.

Paul

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Oh my stars!! I jsut did the 1.5% dip and was I scared!! I think it went OK.

Dorothy lasted about 3.5 minutes before I thought it was time to come out. When I first put her in, she would float to the top and swim to the bottom (as described in the salt dip link). Then she would swim to the top, I'd gently poke her and she'd swim to the bottom Well then it got to the point where she'd float to the top, I'd poke her and she'd kinda react but not really swim any more so I took her out. Wehn I put her back in the tank she didn't move (except her gills) for like 30 seconds then she began to swim. Does that seem appropriate or should I have taken her out sooner?

Shoomey, who is shorter but "thicker" than Dorothy (and, in my opinion, healthier), was in for 3 min 15 seconds. When put him in he did the swim to the bottom float to the top also but this seemed to last a little longer before I needed to poke. His swimming also seemed stronger. I maybe could have left him in a little longer as he was still reacting to my pokes when I removed him but since he is smaller I thought I should get him out of there. (And after having Dorothy just sit for 30 seconds I wanted to make sure I didn't leave him in too long.) Should I leave him in longer next time as long as he responds to my poking? He was putting up a bit of a fight on the way back to the tank whereas Dorothy was just kinda laying there. :(

So my next step is adding half dose QC then observing then the other 1/2 dose if all is well.

Tomorrow evening when I do dose #2, how much QC do I add to the tank? If I do a 50% water change do I add 1 drop per gallon changed or do I treat the whole tank (1 drop per gallon of the whole tank)?

Well I'm off to watch my fishies for a while before adding the QC. ;)

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So it's been a little over 12 hours since I added the QC and the params are fine--pH 7.6, ammonia and nitrite 0. I did not test nitrates as I've done several large water changes over the last 24 hours and will do another one tonight. I'm assuming it's ok not to test nitrates?

Does QC affect pH?

Also Dorothy lost 1 scale yesterday and is losing 1 more now. Any ideas why she continues to lose scales? Is there anything I can do about it?

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I can only assume that losing scales is from flashing. Essentially, its mechanical damage that parasites thrive on. So, the fact that they agitate the fish to flash and injur themselves is an evolutionary trait that stuck with parasites. Lost scales are par for the course. Luckily, they do grow back very well. Unless a pearlscale is involved. Then, the new scale grows back in as a regular scale.

As for your salt dips, you did everything right. You paid attention to the visual cues very well and was probably able to sense when they had enough. Good Job! ;) Be mindful of their breathing patterns as well. If gill movement begins to slow down, this is another cue they are done.

Your pH should be fine as long as you have a good KH to start with.

For tonights dose, use one drop per gallon, as you should at each addition. Just be sure to perform at least a 25% waterchange, as per the instructions on the bottle. When, and if, you have to perform a waterchange between regular additions of meds, you have to replace the % of meds that were removed. So, say you add the meds and in the morning, find that your nitrItes rose in the middle of the night. You should perform a waterchange. If it is more than a few hours away from your next regular addition of meds, you should add mack the % of meds you removed.

So, the fish are acting well? :huh:

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So my tank is 37 gallons--at tonight's water change I add 37 drops? (Just don't want to overdose--making sure I read that correctly.)

The fish seem fine. I'm still seeing some yawning--maybe 2 times today. No darting from my ryukin, maybe once or twice from my fantail.

When I feed them they act as if they haven't been fed for days!! I thought they were going to jump out of the tank when I gave them spirulinia flakes for the first time in 2 weeks!!

Fantail still does some bottom sitting but for the most part her (previously) bent dorsal fin is up--could be she's just resting. We all need to rest.

So if you think it's ok I will perform another salt dip tomorrow evening, assuming all goes well with tonight's addition of QC.

Well I'm off for a walk. I've been watching these little guys a lot today. Need to get out for a while!!

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Hehehe! I believe they are a lot more hungry because of the decrease in the amount of parasites affecting them. Sounds as though the treatment, as well as the salt dips, are working! Sure, hit 'em up with another round. Then, if they are still taking it well, wait a day and give them a dip on the last 2 days of the QC addition. :D

Yep, 37 drops at each regular addition. Don't fret if you add a drop or two extra, on accident. ;)

Good Luck!

Paul

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Sure, hit 'em up with another round. Then, if they are still taking it well, wait a day and give them a dip on the last  2 days of the QC addition. :D

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So another round of QC tonight or QC and a salt dip?

(I was kinda going by 5 days of QC with a salt dip on days 1,3, and 5 but if you think I should do otherwise, by all means, I will!! :yeah: )

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OK so dose #2 of QC is in the tank. I watched them for about 5 minutes then put my husband on fish duty :rofl while I finished up my kids' (with skin) bath. It was kinda funny because I told him to watch them and let me know if they are not doing well. He's like "OK what am I watching for?" and I'm like "Well I guess I don't really know. :lol: Just let me know if they start floating to the top or flipping over or . . . I really don't know?"

Anyway they did just fine. I fed them about 30 min after adding the QC and they devoured it again so I'm assuming that means they tolerated the treatment well.

I'll do another dip tomorrow and again on day 5 if my :heart and my :goldfish: can take it!! I will take them out again once they aren't responding much to my poking.

Water params were great again. I pulled out a water report I requested a while back and the average kh of my water is 106. I don't have a kh test and honestly have no idea what the ideal range is but you asked what it was as my tank pH is pretty steady at 7.6.

One last question I almost hate to ask--I was reading in Fancy Goldfish that formalin (dips) should not be used on veiltails. I have a strong feeling my Dorothy (who I call a fantail) is actually a veiltail after reading another post on it here today. QC contains formalin but I'm assuming not as strong as doing a straight formalin dip. If Dorothy is a veiltail is QC safe to use on her? Of course throughout this treatment (since maybe 3 or 4 days after starting the salt and then PC) her tail has gone from looking bad to worse. I hope it will regrow?! :unsure: Any thoughts? BTW: Even if it doesn't regrow, I'm just happy (esctatic is a better word) that she is alive and doing well!!

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Her tail will re-grow once everything settles down. But, depending on the extent of the damage (how much of the tail was lost) it may, or may not, regrow to look as it did before. Also, while splits between the rays can and usually do fuse themselves back together (very rapidly in some cases), sometimes a split or two never seem to want to fuse together again. This is usually when a split has formed right at the leading ray of the fin in question. Pelvic fins are notorious for this in fine finned fish....

Above all else, the gusto at wich they eat their food is one of the most important visual cues to monitor when dealing with sick fish. Their increase in appetite tells me that the treatment could very well be a success. Just be prepared to go for a second round, if need be.

So, how are they acting as far as any parasitic symptoms? :huh: Every little bit of info helps ....

Paul

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ARGH!! Just when I think things are looking up--

Well I decided to just sit and watch the fish for about 15 minutes. My ryukin did not dart/flash/twitch, but he did yawn 2 times. My fantail darted once, did not flash or twitch but yawned probably 5 times. :crp

And as far as Dorothy's tail (the fantail/veiltail?) it's not just frayed with spots missing between the spine, it's like it's missing. The end of her tail had blood in it and now that part is gone and what's left of the end has blood. Less than before but still present. :cry1

I will do salt dip #2 this evening (I hope they do OK) and add QC #3. Water params have been great and, in general, the fish look pretty good (despite teh looks of Dorothy's tail). They are quite active. I ahven't seen Dorothy bottom sitting, just spends a little time in her log kinda treading water. (I think there is a slight current in there because if she stops treading she floats backwards.) When she wasn't doing well at all she sat in the corner for most of the day.

So while they are much more active (actually if I wasn't watching soooo closely I wouldn't suspect anything was wrong with the ryukin) my fantail (Dorothy) is still yawning but the darting has definitely decreased.

Guess we'll finish off this round and go from there. :unsure:

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I'm feeling especially articulate tonight. I guess I'm just trying to put some disjointed thoughts somewhere so that I can retrieve it later..... ^_^

*Takes a deeeeeep breath*......

The continual yawning could go on for a week or more, even AFTER the last parasite has died. They leave a "path of desctruction" in their wake as they graze the slime and epthelial tissues. Not to mention any bacterial infections waiting for the parasites to leave openings in the slime coat so they too can invade. So, they would still have some healing to do once the baddies are offed. I'm not saying that the yawning IS a result of damage but it is certainly a factor. Yawning not only helps to clear out the gills of bits of whatevers and parasites, it also allows for a "good deep breath" to increase the uptake of oxygen. Very often, you will see fish yawn when they are in oxygen depleted waters. Conversely, fish with gill damage are experiencing a decrease in the level of oxygen uptake, causing them to respire faster and/or yawn.

Just a couple of ideas on the possible reasons for the yawning. ;)

Here's another thought; The free living "parasites" that have been documented in the fishkeeping hobby/industry is actually quite a bit longer than many folks realize. Here's a compilation that I can come up with from memory:

Coleps

Epistylus

Apiosoma

Capriniana

Ambiphrya

Trichodina

Tetrahymena

Chilodonella

Trichophrya

To boot, some from the list above and from other groups can actually parasitize each other and other micro-organisms. Trichodina is known to parasitize flukes and other soft bodied things.

Ambiphrya, Apiosoma, Capriniana and Epistylus are all sessile ciliates. Meaning, they attach themselves to a surface with a regular source of food. Wether it be on a fish's skin, gills and fins or attached to substrates like the filterpad, plants and gravel, they attach wherever they are recieving a high flow of edible debris floating by. In short, they are not parasites, they are just taking advantage of the fact that the surface of the fish or substrate recieves contact with more water, laden with edible debris, than the rest of the tank. They actually colonize EVERYTHING, its only the ones in the high flow areas that survive and proliferate. If you've ever seen the fine opaque film that grows on the surface of the glass where the water return hits first, then you have seen millions of the organisms listed above (along with other living things).

You know the creatures I compiled above? Add about 50+ more organisms to the list and you've got a VERY realistic number of different "things" that are living in most freshwater fishtanks. Especially if its been running for a few years and has recieved additions from other tanks during that time. Soooooper especially if the tank, or tanks the additions came from, have plants. Sooooper doooooper especially if those additions were not quarentined and/or disinfected before being added. I won't even mention all the bacterias, beneficial and pathogenic. Now, imagine all that action/chaos going on in your tank, including uneaten food, poo and dead and decaying algaes/plants. My reason for pointing this out is that QC, PC, PP and many other oxidising agents, are spent pretty quickly on oxidising the wastes and non-pathogenic organisms as well as the pathogenic. Since "other organic stuff" comprises the majority of biological matter in any given fishtank, the therapeutic level of the oxidising agent is reduced rather quickly. Stagnant spots, anywhere in the tank or water column, will only allow for a potential hiding spot for these nasties. An overly algified corner or a small puddle of water trapped between the filter and the tank-rim, things like that can often allow an organism to "dodge" meds in the water.

You can easily re-infect your tank in many different scenarios. Remember, it only takes a single drop of water to transfer hundreds, even thousands of micro-organisms.

Ok, whew! :rolleyes: I guess I'm done. Anyway, thats my experience with ciliated parasites that can be free-living as well as parasitic. It took me two full treatments in a sterile environment to kill off chilo and tetra. That was after trying salt and PC while his tank was still cycled. So, I researched all this stuff like a madman.

Keep it up, you might very well be successful with two treatments in the main tank. ;)

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I did the 2nd salt dip.

Dorothy made it jsut short of 3 1/2 minutes and then (I guess because of how she didn't move when I first put her back in the tank after the 1st dip--scared me) I took her out. She was at the point where if I poked her she would still swim but barely. However when I put her in the main tank this time she swam around right away (unlike the 1st time when she sat motionless). Should I leave her in longer next time? At what point do I take her out? I feel like maybe I didn't go long enough this time?

Shoomey did most excellent!! He made it the full 5 minutes and I think I only poked him twice!! Then he swam around right away when returned to main tank.

Should I do another dip tomorrow (day 4) and then again on day 5 OR just wait til day 5 as planned? Now that I've done it a couple times I'm comfortable with it and wouldn't mind doing it the next 2 nights but if that's too stressful for the fish I'll jsut wait til day 5.

Well I'm off to add QC #3. Til next time . . . . and thank you again! ;)

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Sounds like your goldies are getting use to the dips! sure, if she seems like she could go a bit longer, go ahead. You know what to look for.

If it looks like your going to do the second round of QC, then wait a day til you do the next dip... ;)

Good luck! :)

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Umm - double chocolate fudge chunk - with cherries - might be in order! And you desrve whipped cream becuase you are working so hard! :exactly You just might win GF Mom of the year award! Your kids are the lucky ones! (Graham has dumb luck - it is only and accident that he's not dead yet - man, the things I do that fish)! :bighug We are going to conquer! :lol2 Go Dotty! :bath

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Umm - double chocolate fudge chunk - with cherries - might be in order!  And you desrve whipped cream becuase you are working so hard! You just might win GF Mom of the year award! Your kids are the lucky ones!  (Graham has dumb luck - it is only and accident that he's not dead yet - man, the things I do that fish)!    We are going to conquer! Go Dotty! 

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I'll take the ice cream minus the cherries (don't like to mix my ice cream with fruit). And it's funny you called her Dotty because I have a friend in Atlanta who calls her Dot. :) Thanks for the encouragement! We will beat this, Graham!! (And some day we will ahve to share dumb luck stories--mine are pretty bad!)

Now, Paul--all I can say is OH. MY. STARS. I missed your post last night (the one where you were feeling articulate). How do you remember all that? I need a sticky note to remind myself to put the garbage out!!! :lol: Truly amazing!

Anyway, your thoughts on the yawning makes me feel a bit better. It's kinda frustrating because since I started the QC and dips they were looking better. Then yesterday afternoon it was a yawning frenzy and more darts from Dorothy than I've seen for a long time. Since dip #2 last night and the QC #3 they look a bit better today.

I will plan on Dip #3 tomorrow night along with QC dose #5. I'll plan on going a second round. How soon after round #1 should I start #2? Do they need a little break in between or will that only give those nasties a chance to replicate?

I'm still working on the upgrade. My husband (bless his little heart) actually would prefer I get a 90 gallon instead of the 75 because "the 75 looks too short in that stand/canopy set up"!! So I'm working on getting the stand/canopy (I have a retired uncle with a woodworking shop in his basement who said he would like to build it for me). He went to the lps yesterday to check it out. The reason I can't get it from the lps is they can't order it to match my cabinets even though they told me they could about a month ago. :(

So I should hear from him soon and get an idea of how long that will take him to build. Really I just need the stand to get things up and running--the canopy can come later. Then I will need some filters and other stuff . . . .

I'm thinking about a 20 gallon long for a hospital tank. That way I can use my Eclipse 3 hood on it (250 gph) and not have to get another filter, just the ones for the new tank. I can keep my babies in there while I cycle the 90 since the filter is already established. If I can wait a bit to do the 2nd round (or if a 3rd round is a possibility/needed) perhaps I could do the sterile tank scenario?

Thanks again for all the help.

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Yes, if round two does not end the parasites reign, I would set the twenty gallon up and treat them for another round or two in there. However, I would give them time to recoup before going with the sterile tank scenario. 3-5 days should be enough time.

If it goes on to treating them in a sterile tank, You wont need the filer running. Instead, just put a couple airstones in there to keep the water circulating. Both airstones should be used to run a couple sponge filters so that suspended debris (poop) that builds up in the water, overnight, will be trapped in the sponges. Then, when you do your 100% waterchange, you should rinse out the sponges in tapwater to remove the debris.

Paul

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Yes, if round two does not end the parasites reign, I would set the twenty gallon up and treat them for another round or two in there. However, I would give them time to recoup before going with the sterile tank scenario. 3-5 days should be enough time.

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OK so if I need to do the sterile tank scenario I will give them a 3-5 day break before starting.

Do they need a break before starting round #2 in the main tank?

Will round #2 be the same as round #1? QC five days, salt dips days 1,3, and 5?

Also after reading your post from yesterday, I was wondering . . . Are the chances pretty high that these parasites came from my ryukin who, at the advice of the lps :angry: , was added directly to my main tank without being quarantined? (The guy also told me it was OK to add my fish to the tank after running it 24 hours. About a week later the fish weren't looking so good, took the water in and it was a mess--that is when I found Koko's and stopped getting advice from the lps.) The tank was set up end of July. I suppose it's very possible the parasites were introduced the. Hmmmmm . . . . :hummm

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Hey faintailfan...I think you know the answer to your own question! It may be possible the parasites came from the ryukin....you know those folks at the lfs aren't always passing along the right info! I got the same raw deal you did...they told me I could put 3 or 4 fancy's in a 10 gallon!!

And I, unknowingly, added the plants to my tank w/out sterilizing them...so I am 100% that's where my prob came from. My tank was set up July 4.

You are doing FAB work, my dear. I am so loving reading the info in this post. So much to print and file! :D

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Hey faintailfan...I think you know the answer to your own question!  It may be possible the parasites came from the ryukin....you know those folks at the lfs aren't always passing along the right info! 

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I know I know the answer too but I hate to think:

1. I did this to my babies.

2. They probably went for 2+ months dealing with the stupid parasites before I wised up and noticed something was going on. :cry1

All I can say is I know better now and when/if I decide to get them a couple of tank mates in there new home, the new kids on the block will be quarantined for a year!! :rofl

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Its all good. I don't think that anyone gets into the hobby (lifestyle?) of keeping fish knowing all this stuff. Heh, I was BLISSFULLY unaware of all the testing, waterchanges, parasites and everything for several years before I opened my eyes a bit wider and realized the complexities of keeping fish in small, closed systems.....

As for being sure of the point of infection, it impossible to tell. Keep in mind that our goldies have the ability to supress the invasion of parasites when the population of fish in a tank is low. Add a fish or two, and you just added an extra source for them to survive and breed from. It takes very few added fish to upset a balance found between parasite and fish. In short, your original goldie/s could very well have been harboring these bugs and when you added an extra body, the bugs got the upper hand.

The QC additions are the same for round two. Break for a day or two before starting the new round. I'll let you decide on the days you dip your goldies during the next round. I think it best to play it by "ear" at this point. Use their responses and recovery time to judge the frequency of the dips. ;)

Paul

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Well I added QC#4 tonight. Both fish are quite active--looking more and more like themselves. My mother-in-law (who comes over every week on Sunday) even commented that they looked better/more active than last week.

I'll do the salt dip and last dose of QC round #1 tomorrow night. Then I'll watch them closely for a day or two and decide when to start round 2.

I was busy, busy, busy today so I didn't get much time jsut to sit and watch. But whenever I glanced over I didn't notice any darting or yawning. The only crazy swimming I saw was when I dropped food in--especially peas which they ahven't had for oer 2 weeks. They (especially Dorothy) was darting all over and doing her little (controlled) flip trick. :rofl

So I guess it's just wait and see . . . . :D

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Q: How do you know you've lost it?

A: You find yourself talking to your fish, "coaching" them thru their salt dip!! "C'mon little Dorothy--keep swimming, you're doing great, c'mon girl, you can do it . . . ."

Well Round One of QC (5 doses) with salt dips on days 1,3 and 5 is complete.

This time Dorothy lasted 4 minutes before I felt I needed to take her out. This time she seemed to spend a lot of time gasping for air at the surface. I'd poke her and she'd go down and then come right back up. But when I put her back in the main tank she sat for a couple seconds and then started swimming again. Now, is it safe to assume that since she did ok with 4 minutes next time I can go a little longer?

Shoomey did most excellent AGAIN--5 minutes, no problem. When he went to the top and I'd reach in to poke it's like he would see my hand and swim back down. He's a tough little guy! :D

So now I'll just watch them for a few days and give them a break from it all. I'll start round #2 Thursday or Friday night if I'm still seeing symptoms.

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