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Strange White Spots


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Test Results for the Following:

Ammonia Level? 0

Nitrite Level? 0

Nitrate level? <5

Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines)? ~7

Ph Level out of the Tap?...same...city water, pretty stable

Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running?

- 20 gallons...about 2 and a half years

What is the name and size of the filter/s?

- Aquaclear 200

How often do you change the water and how much?

- every 2-4 wks, ~ 30%

How many fish in the tank and their size

- 2 fish....one ~5 inches from head to tail...and the other ~ 2.

What kind of water additives or conditioners?

- AquaPlus

Any medications added to the tank?

- nope

Add any new fish to the tank?

- the smaller fish was added about a month ago

What do you feed your fish?

- Hikari pellets mainly, peas, lettuce, tubifex

Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt",

bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

- white spots...larger than ick...on belly and nears tips of fins (along spine of fin)

Any unusual behavior like staying

at the bottom, not eating, ect..?

- none

Hey! I'm writing about some strange white spots that occasionally appear on my fish. My largest fish is the first fish I got, over 2 years ago, and has shown these spots for the last year at least (though it's possible she always has and I just didn't notice before, as she was white, but is now turning orange making the spots easier to see). The spots will appear and disappear with time, and never seem to affect the fish in any way. I have written to ask about them before, but without being able to provide a picture, never really had any conlusive ideas about what it could be. I always just figured it was a benign genetic thing, and didn't worry much about it...as the fish has always been really healthy.

The troubling this though is that my newest fish is showing the spots, and because he is black, they are a lot more obvious on him. They also seem to affect him worse, possibly because he wasn't the healthiest when I got him, and may still have a lowered immune system. I guess this proves that these white spots are contagious, and probably not as benign as I originally thought, but it still doesn't explain what they are. The fish doesn't appear affected by them, and seems really healthy.

The only thing I have found that sort of looks like what they fish have is Fish Pox, but the spots have never gotten much larger than ~2mm, and only appear on the belly and the tips of the spines of the fins (usually the tail, but sometimes the pectoral fins). They also disappear on their own after time...though they seem to be slowly getting worse on my new little guy.

Any thoughts? suggestions? ideas? I'm at a loss, and though the fish don't appear to be ill, I would hate to wake up one day to an outbreak of whatever this is...though that has never happened with the older, larger fish, the smaller one worries be a little.

Thanks for any help!

PS. This is definitely not Ick, as I have seen it before (if fact, the little black guy got it when I brought him home) and this really doesn't look like it...the spots are much larger and fewer than ick, and only appear in specific areas.

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Moe, it's difficult to tell without a photo but it does sound like some type of pox. Fortunately, it's treatable and the treatment is not drastic. So, if you can't find any other solutions you may want to try this.

The recommended treatment for carp pox is salted water and warmer temperatures. The other thing I would suggest is upping your water changes to weekly, this makes a big difference in the long term health of your fish.

So if you want to give this a try you need to get a heater and increase the temperature by a few degrees each day until it's around 80F. Also add 20 teaspoons of dissolved aquarium salt to your tank for two days in a row. Maintain this for about 10 days and hopefully you should see some results by then.

I have read that fish who have had carp pox do better to remain in warmer temperatures forever, any sudden temp changes or drops can bring on another bout. So after the treatment you may wish to gradually lower the tank temp and keep it stable around 72-74F.

Like I said, I'm not certain of the diagnosis, it's up to you if you want to try this.

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Thanks for the help! I will try that. I'm almost certain it's pox of some sort...it's the only thing I've found that matches the symptoms. I have also noticed that the spots tend to disappear after water changes, becoming worse over time...so I will up the frequency and hopefully will see an improvement. I'll also see if some salt will help...as well as raising the temperature.

I've read that fish pox aren't treatable, only controllable...is this correct? I've also read that its not infectious/contagious...but my newest addition clearly "caught" it from the older fish....any thoughts?

Thanks again!


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I don't know that much about it but it's a virus and I'm sure it's contagious in some form, maybe only on contact. (like chickenpox)

I've also read it can't be cured, only treated. Once it's in their system it can reoccur. Please post back afterwards and let us know how it went.

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