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Two Fun Issues


Dhlusak

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I have suddenly slammed into two issues, but I am not sure how to treat them, and I believe I was given horrible advice for one of them... so here goes:

I have a 28 gal that has been solid about 6 months. One 5" oranda, a 4" fantail, and a newer introduced (month and a half) 2.5" blackmoor Its a cute dysfunctional family.

As with dysfunctional families, however, fights began to break out. Over the course of the past 3 days, the blackmoor's rear fins have become tattered, and white. From watching them closer, it looks like the oranda has begun to nip at the fins of the blackmoor, and the blackmoor is now remaining at the top of the tank.

This is not normal for the oranda, and I have been seeing him suddenly yawning/gasping more than usual, and rubbing himself sideways on the rocks.

Ammonia / Nitrite are at 0, Nitrates 0

PH is at a pretty high 8.0, but out of the tap it's about 9.0... known problem in the area. I do about 30% water changes weekly, and use aqua plus conditioner.

Before noticing the oranda picking at the blackmoor, I talked to a friend who stated he was sure it was bacterial finrot, and advised I use a tank antibiotic to resolve it. Desperately wanting to resolve the situation, I immediately used 2 tabs of tetracycline in the tank, and have more ready to use, but I am definately second guessing that treatment now that I have seen the oranda's behavior.

I am planning on moving either the blackmoor or oranda to a segregated tank shortly (I have a 10 gal avaliable) but could definately use some advice!

Thank you in advance!

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Hello, you have come to the right place to seek advice.

I can help you with the moor's issue, as I see several overall problems but let's start there.

It is best to seperate the moor from the others. Moors can be more fragile, being an "eye" breed and a bit slower. Although not much slower than the other 2 fish.

Whether or not the oranda was exhibiting breeding behavior or plan aggression I wouldn't chance the moor in again with the others.

Once removed from the other fish, keeping the water at top quality will be essential in healing. I wouldn't use the antibotics, as they can mess with water quality. The water is going to be key in healing the fins.

You can use a bit of salt 1 tsp per gallon of water to reach a concentration of 0.1%, to help with the fins as well.

That is all I would do for this problem. It should heal with a few weeks. However.........................

Since the oranda is now showing signs of parasites (as you described above) the moor could be infested too, so treating him for this is also nescessary.

A good over all treatment for parasites is Jungle Labs, parasite clear. Used twice as prescribed is a good way to cover most parasites.

Other than doing gill scrapings and looking under a microscope you won't know what you are treating. If this does not cure the problem you may have to go onto other parasite treatments.

Now for another problem I see.........the ph. This is not my area so I will see what the others recommend, hopefully they can help you with it.

Hang in there, hopefully we can get it all worked out.

Oh and are you sure your nitrates are 0? Reason I ask, is a 0 reading on them means your tank isn't cycled correctly........another "MAJOR" problem.

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Whooops. No, Nitrates ate not at 0, I was just in a hurry this morning prior to work. I'll get the correct numbers later tonight, but as I recall, it was nothing unusual.

I'll give the group a once over for the parasites, and move him over.

Is it normal for a black tail to end up white from biting, or is there possibly an additional problem?

Thank you so very much for your help!

I'm not looking forward to seeing what the antibiotics do to my water over time, assuming it has killed some of the good guys. :unsure:

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pH of 8 and 9 is rather high but not unusual for some places. Around here the water has a very high pH and very high KH. As long as that is what your fish are used to and it is not fluctuating it shouldn't cause any harm. A low, unstable is something to be more concerned about.

Laurie gave you good advice about the other things. Like she said, water quality is the most important thing to aid in healing. I am also not one to just toss antibiotics in the tank.

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I just had to pop in here for a moment and stress a couple of things (WElcome, by the way. :) )

Most times when "tail nipping" is involved, it comes AFTER the damage has been done - usually by parasites. A shredded tail seems to set some fish off into spasms of tail biting. You may happily find that your oranda will leave tails alone after all has been brought back to health.

Make sure that you do finish the antibiotic treatment - whether you think it needed or not. A partially completed regiment can create populations of antibiotic resistant bacteria - NOT what you want in a tank. Your friend's advice may not have been too far off. It definately sounds as if you are dealing with parasites, but so many problems have secondary problems attached. With just about every parasitical infestation, you will find a subsequent bacterial or fungal infection. You can solve the parasite problem, but if you do not address the bacteria/fungus it can all reoccur or turn into something totally different and very nasty.

Tetracycline is a good antibiotic, but is notorious for killing your beneficial bacteria in your filter. It is almost certainly negatively impacted and may have shut down completely. You will need to keep a VERY close eye on it.

As the others have said, I think treating the whole tank for parasites is essential. Once the parasites are under control, and any secondary problems are solved, your fish's tail will heal.

A pH of 9 is livable - your tank is at 8.0..... you will need to be a bit careful of water changes. Make sure you "age" your water - allowing it to degass and drop in pH before addition. It would also be a good idea for you to know your kH and gH..... They can play a part in the tolerability of pH. Keep in mind that some medications are more effective/less effective, more toxic/less toxic in high/low pHs. The pH of a tank, as long as it is steady, is not a real concern but you need to be aware of it when using meds.

8.0pH is a fine pH. I ran my tanks at 8.4 for YEARS. Most people around me have tanks at 8.0-8.2 and are doing fine. :)

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Oh am i ever relieved to hear the bullying could stop. I really don't like moving fish from where they have been.

I used the last of the tetracycline last night (box contained / reccomended 3 doses, and actually mentioned exactly what you said regarding the resistant bacteria, didnt want to stop it) before really getting into it... and what I discovered wasn't fun. After this last run of it, an hour later, the tank was a mess.

In the corners of the top of the tank, I received the nice gift of some brown, creamy, foamy goop. All I can presume this was is dead bacteria from the tetracycline. I have no other ideas what would cause that.

Now with that over and done with, my nitrites are spiking. I have added some prime. I have segregated them and added a bit of salt for the moor, and I am waiting a day before beginning with parasite clear.

Nitrites 3.0

Nitrates 20

We'll see what happens from here, but my bacteria... my poor, poor bacteria!

;)

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Thanks for your input girls.

I wish you luck with getting everything under control. Yikes those nitrites are a bit high. To be expected with using the antibotic, so as Daryl said you'll have to get that back on track.

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