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Graham Is Sick!


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If Graham does not make it, it will kill me:

~Ammonia Level? 0

~Nitrite Level? 0

~Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines)?

7.4 - stable; KH ideal, gH - >300; chloramines - excessive, treated with Prime, double dose

~Ph Level out of the Tap? 7.4

~Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running? 20g four months+

~What is the name and size of the filter/s? Eheim 2215

~How often do you change the water and how much? 30-40% every week under normal conditions, according to test kit indications; more (amt/freq) if required.

~How many fish in the tank and their size? 2 x 4.5 inch GF

~What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime; salt

~Any medications added to the tank? salt 0.2%; MAroxy one dose; Parasite Clear one dose today - will not redose but plant to use Praxiquantal tomorrow if no improvement. Used Prazi - 3x every fourth day over a month ago; used Maroxy for five days last week; used antibac bath the week before that (and tried Maracyn Plus on the dead fish the week before that - NO response to a-bios) - water changes between all; tomorrow fish will have been on two weeks of MetroMeds -

As far as I can tell, none of these treat,ments has had any affect whatsoever on whatever killed Jean Lafitte and made Jean le Blanc, and now Graham Norton sick - with the possible exception of Maroxy which may have contributed to Jean le Blanc's recovery although it cannot be proven and I have no theories about it.

~Add any new fish to the tank? yes - three weeks ago, one week QT; one fish died, the other became sick and is now recovered, now the original fish is sick.

~What do you feed your fish? Normally, Mazuri gell food, Pro-Gold, and peas; last two weeks, a few peas (for SBD issues) and MetroMeds.

~Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt", bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? GN always has haemorrhagia on his tail. It resolves briefly only to come back again. A few days ago and ammo/nIte spike induced a new strak in the lower fan onthe left side and soider veins throughout, which never really resolve even in the absence of an haemorrhage.

~Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, ect..? Graham is eating but he is staying on the bottom unless disturbed by JB, then he swims about seemingly normally. He is BOUNCING on the bottom - whcih I take to be the same listnessness that affected the other two fish previously (although GN is not lsiting to one side, instead he bounces on the bottom); other odd behaviour earlier in the week culminating in the same diabolical stringy white poop that marked the beginning of full-blown disease in the other two fish. Whatever this diesease is - it is insidious and opportunistic. It started to affect GN after the WQ destabilized after JB's treatment with MarOxy - I had the water stabilised with 36 hours. Now GN is sick.

I am trying to reach Rick Hess now...

PLEASE keep in mind before writing to comment on all the meds that these have been used over a period of three weeks in two different tanks. Thanks.

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Guest JustJayde


I sure hope these smart peoples can help you this time because we all know that lil fishie means everything to you.

Keep your chin up and let's hope for the best.

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  • Regular Member

I am so sorry...I know you are looking for an answer, unfortunately I have none.

You poor thing; and poor GN. I cannot believe this. Please keep us posted with GN's condition (and yours!) You guys are in my thoughts... :heart

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Guest Chishower

Awwwww, not GN! :cry1

This has been a bad week for everyone, it seems.

Many hugs, and I will pray he gets better soon.

One thing, have you contacted the dealer? Maybe one of their tanks had this bug in it and it was cross contaminated to your new fish, and if so, maybe they know how to treat it?

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OK - some improvements.

I tested the water again after posting and the situation was dramatically different:

Nitrate - WAY >40 - cannot determine just how high b/c it was so high

NitrIte - 0.25 again

Ammonia - just a hint of it - not quite the 0.25 mark but >0

pH - 7.6

Immediately I did a 70% water change! Graham stated acting A LOT better! Strange thing is, Jean le Blanc is acting very slightly odd - like he cannot adjust to such nice water... (I have a theory about this - later - cf. thread re: his illness).

I will test the water every 12 hours and plan to do 2x water changes per day (can't go higher than 70% at once anyway - but prolly better not to) - and according to the readings. Meds removed! Only using salt at 0.2% and Prime.

Test results 12 hours post water change:

Nitrate - 20

NitrIte - 0

Ammo - 0

pH - 7.6

Funny, since I use double dose Prime in the water - I would think those values would be lower or not even present... ? :idont

So, clearly, the tank is partially cycling again after the MarOxy treatment that apparently saved JB's life. I thought it was stabel again but it was NOT!

Although Graham is acting very much better he is still not acting totally normal.

I am wondering if the stringy poo was from the the medicated food and the sick behavior being from poor WQ - it just looked like he had what the Frogs had...

So, the medicated food was supposed to end today - but I will abstain from feeding for a few days (no more than three) to help the tank stabilize. The tank will remain slated to help protect against nitraItes and any other opportunistic bugs. I will watch and wait and hold my breath and pray to the gods that this theory is right as that means it is fixable. I will fervently wish for the package with the additional filter media arrives soon! Like - saturday! :please

QUESTION: Should I "rinse" the filter right away, wait a day or two until the package gets here so I only have to "derange" the filter once, or wait completely to "clean" the filter until the tank stabilizes?

Thanks for your advice and all your warm and loving thoughts! I am really looking forward to an end to this whole saga... SOON! :heart

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I am glad GN is showing improvement. Nitrates can definitely make them feel bad. Hopefully that is all it was. If your cycle is going through a little glitch, I would not do a thing to the filter (unless it is just overflowing with gunk). Especially if you are about to change it completely (do I understand that right?).

I am curious as to your ideas about the chloramines. I recently discovered the water in my tap has 1.0ppm ammonia. It makes doing water changes challenging, especially in uncycled tanks. Like hospital tanks where you are trying to keep the water pristine.

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Sorry to hear that GN is faring too well. :(

I have one major question:

What is this "bouncing" you are mentioning? It certainly sounds un-natural and could be the key to figuring this out..... :unsure:

Also, double dosing Prime wont lower ANY numbers on the test results. It detoxifies, but does not remove, amm. trites and trAtes.

How are they both doing today? :huh:

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Hi Everyone! Graham is doing a lot better! I think it was WQ and medicated food - I see a lot more normal poo in the tank and only a little stringy poo - maybe the gut flora is re-establishiung itself...? He is still acting a little weird but the WQ has stabilized after some hard core management. The weird behaviour is hanging out at the top of the tank - plenty of 2, water params just right,

I was going to clean the canister b/c I wanted to add more bio-media since I ido not use carbon filters.... but the media did not arrive - backordered - AND the electricity went off (two minutes) so I had to restart the filter. For future reference for anyone who is thinking of buying an Eheim - they are wonderful - but if they are turned oof even for a second, the whole thing has to be taken off the tank, opened up, dumped out, and then reattached just to get it started again.

oh - Have to run - I will finish later!

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Hi, I'm glad GN is making an improvement, he is one of the little characters on this site that I love to hear about, such a loved little fishie.

As for the cannister filters, -yeah, they can do that, the bugs get starved of oxygen, and then cark it, the whole thing starts again...

keep us up to date! I'll keep my ear to the ground..

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Hi everyone - sorry I had to dash - it has been a really bad month in general added to which there was a sudden death in the family last week so I have not been able to follow up on this thread... Thank you for your patience but mostly...

Thank you so much for your kind words and warm thoughts! I can't tell you how much it means to me! I have been so worried about Graham and you guys really know how much I love the little fellow! :heart We have been through so much!

He is basically still ok but still acting weird. It got very cold all of a sudden and I am starting to think part of his current bahavior is that he cannot tolerate the temperature fluctuations so well - and I learned that the heater is not working (don't worry - the plumber is here as we speak)! I am hoping that by keeping the heat on low at night will keep the tank temp. more stable but I may have to get a heater...

He also lost a few scales :yikes He is eating perfectly fine but still has stringy white poop! :krazy:

OK - bouncing: he has not done it since I originally wrote the thread - until yesterday - he did it again. In between these episodes of bouncing, he has had intermmittent SB symptoms. I don't know what the heck is going on! Between these occasional "fits" - most of the time, he is perfectly fine - he even did some swimnastics yesterday for the first time in a long time! Basically, he sinks to the bottom of the tank, stays there, and literally bounces off the bottom, up and down like a slo-mo basketball - always in the same corner... he struggles a bit to swim (or stay in place? not sure...) and then sinks back down and bounces again! The rest of the time he has bouts of SBD!

He has this new habit of sleeping like he is playing dead! It is very scary! Every morning he looks DEAD - lying on the bottom of the tank! Either he sleeps differently having company or he doesn't feel well....

WEIRD QUESTION: Do GF get hypoglycaemic? GN seems perfectly normal after he eats - and if he has a fit of listlessness and then I feed him, he seems fine?!

As far as the SBD goes, I am trying to change water two x week @ 50%, rinsed out the canister, added a bit more media (Ehfisubstrat <10%) and fanatcal checks on Nitrates. My nitrates out the tap are 20 - I give Prime doublel dose (b/c of exceptional chloramine levels) and cannot seem to be able to keep the nitrates below 40 for more than two days!

Also, double dosing Prime wont lower ANY numbers on the test results. It detoxifies, but does not remove, amm. trites and trAtes.
Right. That's why my readings are alwyas so high, right? So, then the nitrates are present but not-toxic... so how do I know when I have toxic levels if my nitrate is basically always close to 40 right after a water change? Should I assume that all of this is bound nitrate and that when it increases form there is when I should do a water change? Becasue at this rate, I will do a water change everyday which is also not good... at least I can tell you that the bio-media has recovered form its MarOxy "hiccup"!

Sorry this is so long - trying to address everything! In short, WQ stable and basically good - GN hanging in there, Jean hasn't got a care in the world and shoots around like a fat little torpedo, hogging all the food! GN looks dead in the mornings, in the evenings sometimes has SB issues, has stringy poop, and at about 9pm at night, floats listlessly at the top of the tank, drifitng, smacking bubbles. I stopped hand feeding him b/c I think the surface feeding was contributing more to SBD than the nitrate levels... I am making sure he gets enough food just by spending a lot of time feeding individually. SB issues appear to be resolving but this weird behaviour persists... at this point, on average his behaviour is NORMAL 85% of the day. Is he just getting weirder? :blink:

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Hmmmm, so you have chloramines right? Do you know the average levels of them? If so, I would pay special attenton to the amount of choramines versus the amount of Prime that you are using. As you know, Prime will break the bond of cloramines. But, you have to be sure that your adding enough extra Prime to detoxify the ammonia once the chlorine is removed from it.

Also, because you have chloramines and are using Prime for it, I think it would be best if you were to purchase a "free-ammonia" test kit. they are a little more expensive than the standard ammonia kits but you will get a VERY precise reading for ANY ammonia that is not bound by the natural ionization of ammonia OR ionization of ammonia by sodium thiosulfate (Prime). In essence, because you are using Prime, nessler and salicylate test kits will only provide you with a TOTAL ammonia reading, then its takes lots of calulations to figure out exactly how much of the ammonia in the kits is actually bound. In fact, after a few regular waterchanges, days apart, it becomes next to impossible to calulate...... ;)

Just a thought. I know that larger fish seem to be more succeptable to ammonia/nitrIte poisoning than smaller fish. Probably becasue a largerbody mass allows for more of the toxin to accumulate in their gills/bloodstream.

I hope things start to look better for GN! :heart


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Hi! After playing dead this morning, Graham has been acting normal all day!!!!!!

I feed 3x a day now instead of one, the heat is fixed so if it gets cold again the room will be warm enough to keep tank temp steady, and I ordered the free ammonia test kit - I hope this is the right one -


What you said make so much sense - THANK YOU - as usual! :D

I have become really paranoid about all this since Jean mysterious and horrible death, GOAT coming down with it and then Graham acting similalry...

I think it comes down to two things at this point:

1) GN is really fighting the evil-Jean-killing bug with everything he has got!

2) he is developing newer (and weirder habits) because of having a GOAT for a tank mate.

Added to which, I think what you said about bigger fish being more sensitive - he may be more sensitive, adding to either case above, since there are two of them in his 20g. I am doing everything I can to keep the water pristine - maybe it just takes some adjusting...?

Thank you ALL (hi MMCM!) for all your support - he is not getting worse and that is at least a good thing! :) Weird but stable weird - I am just terrified because this is how it was with Jean Lafitte... But, I think the Grhamling is fighting it and maybe winning!

(knowck wood)

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