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A Very Sick Rescue


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Guest Halloween

I had a question regarding the movement of my fish. She rests on the bottom and every couple of minutes (or less) she'll wiggle her body about for a second and then swim up to 6 inches to a new spot and then sit there for a while and then repeat. Could it be she's trying to "shake" Flukes or the Ich off of her? Like, say a Fluke dies, does it just fall off or would the fish have to shed them? I'm just so curious and nervous about her recovery and what not!!!! Could the Prazi and salt be helping that quickly? I know my salt concentration the last 2 days has NOT been high enough to kill the Ich. I learned today that it should have been higher. Do the parasites/Ich die this fast?

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Guest Halloween

Oh my gosh I'm sorry I keep responding over and over to this but I keep freaking myself out. I was just at fish disease treatment site and it mentioned internal Flukes and madications to cure those (as Prazi can't get at those? It didn't say if Prai is effective against internal Flukes (is it???)) and it listed the medication that IS effective againt internal Flukes (said the Jungle Anti Parasite food works, but I've heard that the Jungle medicated foods don't have ENOUGH medicine to do any good). How do I know if my friend has internal Flukes or not??? Would her poop be affected? Does really bad body/gill Fluke infestations migrate inside the body if they are not treated or are internal and gill/body Flukes considered two different diseases??? Yikes, I think it's time for me to go to bed and strop freaking myself out!!!!

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Technically the monogonean group of parasites called flukes do not prefer the inside of the fish. Sometimes a few strays can get into the rectal cavity, ureter and blood. But these kinds of parasites actually feed on the wet dermal mucus and gill mucus of the fish. They are strongly organ specific = skin/gill/eye are the usual chosen preferred places for the 3 types of fluke to live.

Curiously a single fluke can spend the complete cycle of its life browsing only a few centimeters of the chosen fish. Since flukes are hermaphroditic they can reproduce right in the same spot and their offspring literally grow up beside them and so it continues all around and over the fish until the infestation is so heavy the fish can no longer survive and or secondary infection sets in as stress builds and immunity weakens. The puncture wounds where the parasites attach are easily infected with bacteria the flukes themselves may carry and/or from the water.

The various levels of infestation can often be guessed at thus: flashing (to flick off initial hooked itchy invaders)> lethargy (giving up)> isolation and clamped fins (seriously infested/overwhelmed)> loss of appetite (critical). At this point secondary and fatal bacterial infections may set in.

They just go on and on reproducing :(

Now about management.

Firstly be very careful you dont transfer flukes to other tanks. Its so easily done. Prazi is to me the best choice for medicating a fish already this sick. Pottassium P is also excellent if the fluke infestation is caught earlier. Prazi will kill many flukes stone dead within minutes. Literally. One estimation is between 3 and 4 minutes for the average fluke to die.

However. Some flukes reproduce by dropping eggs. And these eggs may be all around the tank and hatching out can be as long as 2 weeks. Which is why prazi needs to be dosed again. Preferably every week for a month but there are many variations.

The Jungle antiparasite meds contains a concoction of excellent parasite meds: metronidazoleat 1.0% extremely effective at eliminating intestinal worms/flukes, levamisole-at 0.5% known to kill rarer parasites, prazi- at 0.4% kills stray flukes. The percentage is low because the food is repeatedly fed so the ventual accumulative percentage is actually far higher. Obviously with larger fish you can feed more to build the dose up. Internal meds should only ever be used if you are 99% sure you have an internal problem to be dealt with in the first place. Poop can be a teller, wasting away another.

However, I think you are at risk of overmedicating this small, very sick and stressed fish. Be careful. I would stick with the prazi and salt for now. Overmedicating and mixing meds can be worse in many cases than the disease itself in terms of fatality risk.

Medications tend to reduce the fishes strength by killing off protective bacteria and important enzymes responsible for basic immune response. They cannot differentiate. Better to focus on good water, good nutrition, the stable chosen treatment for a few weeks without changing around. It will take time and patience. I'm sure your Astrid Hope can do best like this.

Edited by Trinket
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Guest Halloween

Well thanks :) Now I feel better. Her poop is normal color and she's eating. So I wouldn't call her critical. Phew. Time then.

Thanks again. I'll stay away from excess parasite/medication articles in the meantime.

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Guest Halloween

Ok, I've got a question about the Prazi now. The box of my Parasite Clear tabs says that Treatment may be repeated up to two times with 48 hours between treatments and a 25% water change. One, thats confusing to me, and two, I just did a 50% water change (maybe just under 50%) and I have not added any Prai back into the water. I readded the salt though. If I'm reading this box correctly that means I SHOULDN'T put another tab in??? I've confused myself. I did a 50% water change because the water was really cloudy and the fish seemed rather sluggish (she already seems better now that I changed some water) Since I took more than 25% of the water does that I mean I should add more Prazi? Or wait? I'm so confused!!!! :( And I'm sorry, the answer is probably really easy to figure out! There's a reason I'm taking 7th grade math in college!!!! I'm dumb!

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wait at 48 hours after you put the first dose in before you add the 2nd tab.

i think the 50% water change is OK.

Also, you only added as much salt back as you took out, right? (not the entire amount?)

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Guest Halloween

So just to be clear, I would add another WHOLE tab after 48 hours (from when I did my water change?) Is there still enough Prazi in the water to kill Flukes??? Also, technically there is half a Prazi tab in the water still as I took and replaced half of the water in the bucket so if I were to add another WHOLE tab even after 48 hours there would be a tab and a half of Prazi, more medicine than the box lists is safe for the amount of water the fish is in. 10 gallons. I read somewhere that Prazi containing medicine can burn or otherwise harm a fish if left in the water to long. I can't remember if that was pure Prazi or if they meant Parasite Clear... My biggest concern is that there isn't enough Prazi to kill Flukes. I also understand that I need to break the fish from the medicine so no ill effects take place on her systems (or whatever Prazi harms when left in to long).

And just to update everyone on how she's doing :)

She's still eating pretty good, still spits food that isn't really soft and small. But as far as I know she is eating all of it even if it takes an hour. She was active this morning but then I went to check on her she was rather unresponsive so now I have my tank light from the tank above hanging over the edge so she gets light (I read that light can help aid recovery + it's snowing like another Ice Age has arrived and it was pretty much dark at noon and now it's 5pm. She seems more active now with the light (My hope is that she was just in a funk from being in the dark (her bucket sits under a small table, it's hard to explain I'll draw a picture LOL) My heater was bugging out or something and I lost a degree and a half so I ajusted that and everything seems calm again. I haven't seen any poo today but all the poo I sucked out when I did her water change was normal colored. When she rests on the bottom her fins now lay open. She doesn't have them clamped so tightly to her body. It seems as though that would point to recovery but I'm still watching her very closely and not venturing to far away! Always checking temps and activity levels. Thanks for all the kind wishes you've been giving me. I'm glad other people care about her recovery.

astrid.gif

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Guest Halloween

Hi, more questions (in addition to the ones above).

It's possible I'm just freaking my self out again.

Can someone explain the difference between severe frayed fins and Hexamita? I know there are other symptoms of Hexamita other than severely frayed fins but I can't help but notice Astrid's fins. I have a book here that has a picture of a fish with Hexamita and Astrid's tail fins look disgustingly similar!!!!!! She ISN'T wasting, I wouldn't say she has milky skin but she is a calico and has white skin in some areas so it's difficult to tell, she is very lethargic. I was under the impression though that wasting and extreme thinness were one of the major symptoms, which I wouldn't say she has. (Her belly is NOT wider than her head but her body most certainly isn't shaped like a tear drop either) She has SOME weight on her.

Also; (sorry, I just keep going!!)

I know that Ich will appear to become worse for 24-36 hours before it starts to go away. Her Ich seems to be a lot more abundant than when I first started treating her but what I'm concerned about is her increased lethargy. Tonight she doesn't resist my hand much when I cup her, and she doesn't seem as excited to eat (I'm having difficulty getting her to eat all her food).

So, is increased lethargy part of the Ich worsening right before it gets better????? :( I'm so worried about her again!! Plus, I'll be away from the house tomorrow from about 2pm to 8 or 9pm so I won't be here to keep vigil. Also on Christmas day I'll be out of the house for about the same amount of time...

Thank you so much to all who have been helping me and putting up with all my questions and just supporting me!!!! I appreciate it very much!!!!

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well, i am not really sure about the other questions, but as for the parasite clear, i have used this before myself, and you should add the 2nd dose 48 hours after you did the 1st dose, NOT 48 hours after the water change.

I would try not to handle her as much as possible to avoid stressing her out. Also, I read somewhere that handling fish too much with bare hands can damage their slime coat.

It is an excellent idea to keep a salt journal. This will help you to keep track of how much salt you put in and take out so that you can be sure that you always have the proper amount in there.

I think (and please, someone correct me if i am wrong), but I think it would be best to concentrate on the most severe problem first, and that sounds to be the ICH. I would try to get her clear of that before trying to treat with anything besides the salt and the parasite clear that you have going on now.

Like Trinket said, concentrate on keeping her water in the best condition as possible, that is very important. Also, ich does get better before it gets worse. Mantaining the .3% salt should start to kill them off soon. I think that ich can even become free floating in the water at a certain stage, and they can drop eggs as well, so water changes will be key along with the salt.

Because of this, you may want to finish the 2nd dose of the parasite clear, and then just concentrate on the salt to kill the ich.

Hopefully Trinket will be along soon to give the best possible treatment regimine for poor Astrid!

I'm really pulling for you, I know you are doing all that you can to help the poor girl! I have my fingers crossed that she makes a complete recovery!! :)

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Guest Halloween

Alright, say I add another Parasite Clear tab 48 hours after my first tab (which was yesterday around noon), ok, tomorrow, I'll do another water change (a 50% water change daily) that means my original Parasite Clear tab will be very dilute, so adding the second one won't blast her with to much Prazi.

If this sounds correct than I'm on track and will add another whole tab tomorrow after her water change. And of course re-add the salt and match water temps.

THANK YOU!

PS:

Now she seems quite active! This is a rollercoaster ride man!

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Can someone explain the difference between severe frayed fins and Hexamita? I know there are other symptoms of Hexamita other than severely frayed fins but I can't help but notice Astrid's fins. I have a book here that has a picture of a fish with Hexamita and Astrid's tail fins look disgustingly similar!!!!!! She ISN'T wasting, I wouldn't say she has milky skin but she is a calico and has white skin in some areas so it's difficult to tell, she is very lethargic. I was under the impression though that wasting and extreme thinness were one of the major symptoms, which I wouldn't say she has. (Her belly is NOT wider than her head but her body most certainly isn't shaped like a tear drop either) She has SOME weight on her.

I know that Ich will appear to become worse for 24-36 hours before it starts to go away. Her Ich seems to be a lot more abundant than when I first started treating her but what I'm concerned about is her increased lethargy. Tonight she doesn't resist my hand much when I cup her, and she doesn't seem as excited to eat (I'm having difficulty getting her to eat all her food).

So, is increased lethargy part of the Ich worsening right before it gets better?????

Hi Halloween. Grain gave you some excellent, helpful advice about parasite clear tabs and replacing the salt so I'll stick to these two Qs. First of all I would say that frayed fins/split fins are a very typical sign of flukes. Remember you found flukes on her tail didn't you? While there may be flukes plus a 3rd parasite it is more likely that this is flukes plus ich. Anyway- Parasite clear treats for ALL of them !! All parasites. Worries over!. If the Hexamita (for example) parasite is present you will get the crater dots in the head or around the lateral line that are so typical. True, you would not have seen hexamita at a low power field magnification but symptoms for hexamita sound quite different from Astrids so please dont worry about 3rd parasites for now. Dont read too much, and trust the diagnosis of flukes + ich. Thats enough parasites to manage!!

The ich is serious. Salt is the best treatment for it. Ich trophants cannot tolerate salt. The ich trophozite you can see eggs are totally immune to treatment until they hatch so yes you will get several stages where the ich appears worse (in a nutshell) and it is crucial you keep the salt up at the right level for one week after you see the last spots on her. I just hope she is going to be okay with the salt -some fish are salt sensitive, often the smaller ones. Hopefully she will manage if you can keep all other stressors away. Temp stable and raise it slowly to 80 to speed the ich cycle and always try to maintain a stable pH in QT.

The reason the p/c tabs are run with a break is the possibility of gill flukes (not live bearers)/other parasite types who will drop eggs and the second/third doses clear them as they hatch out. In between YES do those daily water changes, as grain suggested keep a medication journal of every w/c and every med added. Water is still number one- that is zero ammonia/nitrites which if showing will have her get a lot worse.

I would be more worried about the ich than the flukes at this point. Most flukes will have already been killed-So salt management is key. You can do it. Just stay calm and write everything going in the tank/coming out down. If things get really bad (total lethargy) I would personally quit the p/c and concentrate on the salt. You can always go back to the p/c. when the ich clears.

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Guest Halloween

Thanks. I only wish I was able to be more relaxed... But now she is floating near the surface... I can't tell if she has a air inside her or what... She looks as if she's trying to take deep breaths but she ISN'T gulping air (she's totally under water). She's at the surface with her head tilted up, occasionally shaking her head and trying to swim down :( I don't like it. It reminds me to much of dying.... She alternates between quick breaths and more relaxed ones. This is a new symptom, she hasn't done this since I got her....

:(

Also before I forget, does it matter how far down the air stone is in the water? I know more oxygen is needed for warmer temps (I just turned that bad boy up) and the air stone is about halfway to the bottom. Should be as close to the bottom as possible or does it not really matter?

Edited by Halloween
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It doesnt matter. If I have a QT fish thats bottom sitting I will hang the bubbler just skimming the surface. All that matters is that there is a disruption of the surface water occurring with some bubbles, even gently will be beneficial. Meds take all the oxygen. She needs more -if pH is fine it may just be that. Dont go over the salt dose. A little under is probably going to be still effective- 2.5%. Theres no gravel here...that may be enough. She is small....Keep us posted.

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I would put the airstone down to the bottom, this will help circulate the water and air better. You do have a filter on your bucket? You didn't mention having one in your beginning post.

Ich is a stressed induced problem, probably from the fluke infestation. But, it is easily treated. :)

As for treating ich, it looks like a couple steps have been missed, so here's the whole regimen:

To deal with ich you'll want to get a heater and raise the temp to around 80*f (raise 1 to 2 degrees per hour). Make sure to

have adaquate aeration in the tank when doing this. Higher temps equal lower oxygen levels in the water. Then you'll want to

turn off the light on the tank and cover the whole tank with a towel or blanket (this helps reduce the stress level with your fish

allowing them to battle ich better). On every 3rd day you'll want to gravel vacuum the bottom of the tank to remove any

dormant ich particles in the gravel. Along with all of this you will need to either:

1) medicate with a product containing malachite green such as Rid Ich+ found at your local fish store

(mmm, nnnn etc.) Make sure to remove any carbon in your tank, it'll absorb the meds rendering it uneffective.

OR

2) treat with salt, add salt to a total of 3 tsps per gallon in increments of 1 tsp per gallon every 12 hours.

Use any salt which does NOT have anti-caking agents in it. Dissolve it first in a container with a little tank water

before pouring it in. Remember when doing water changes to add enough salt for the amount of water that was

removed. With the water changes use water closely matching the tank temp and add a dechlorinator appropriate

for the amount of new water going into the tank.

Keep up the treatment until the fish has been completely ich-free for at least 6 days (which might well take a couple of weeks)

I do agree with the others--you should deal with the ich first and then move on to treating other stuff. One last suggestion,

check on your fish only when you do a feeding. This will help keep the fish and the fish owner calmer. ;)

PS--ENJOY CHRISTMAS

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Guest Halloween

Thank you.

She is in a 10 gallon bucket with no filter and no gravel. I have a tank heater in the bucket, I just raised the temp from 78/79 to 80. I am treating with salt. I was told to avoid medicines because she is small and it might put her over the edge. I will cover the bucket though thank you. She is totally blind (she has an eye but something went terribly wrong with it and it's been jammed inside her head (it's rather strange looking). But I will still cover it to hinder the Ich from finding her (I read that in the dark Ich can't see well so it's harder for them to find hosts LOL (I thought it was funny))

Her Ich has spiked and I've been told that it should going away now because of this. This is my hope anyway. I do daily water changes of 50% and am sure to add back salt and Prazi when I need to, I also match the temps.

Thank you again.

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Guest Halloween

I had a scary thought, even though I'm keeping track of the salt now I wasn't before... What if there's to much salt? Could that be making her float at the surface??? Shes acting exactly that same as she would be if she were at the bottom, just floating....... Yikes.

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Halloween, I don't know if you're familiar with hippie music, or the Mamas and the Papas but...(OT) Mama Cass Elliot pursued a VERY lucrative solo career, and she's something of my favorite singer EVER :o ...(I love the Mamas and the Papas, too!) Anyway, I was listening to a song off one of my CD's called ''For As Long As You Need Me'' by Cass Elliot and this just reminded me so much of you and Astrid! It's like she's your own child and you're fighting for her life! It really moves me that a human could care so much for another creature as much as you obviously do about Astrid! Kudos to you and Astrid both! :) :) :)

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Guest Halloween

I love Mamas and the Papas! I can't say I'm as familiar with Cass Elliot but that is what the internet is for!!! And BearShare. Ok ok ok ok back on topic!

I'm not going to lie, last night was THE hardest night yet. Her floating at the surface.... Well, I did a water change of about 20% before I went to bed because I just couldn't stand it, I mean I wouldn't be able to live with myself is if WAS to much salt and I killed her!!! So this morning I check on her and she's back at the bottom, moving every once and a while like before (PHEW) STILL ALIVE. lol. With all that said, I'm going to go ahead with another small water change (I did this 20% water change at like, 2am) and then I'll re-add her salt and another Parasite Clear tab!!!! I'm about to examin her up close to see where her Ich is at!!! I'll try to edit this post to update.

It was a hard night, thank you!

Edit:

Actually, I'll be doing 100% water change, how fast I forget the whole salt problem.

Ich looks same if not worse!!! I don't like this getting worse before it gets better stuff!!! I was hoping that the 24-36 hours would be only 24.. It looks as if it's going to be 36 hours or more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PS. She still seems extra lethargic. Is this due to the worsening of her Ich?

Edited by Halloween
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Guest Halloween

I'm home. She's still kicking. She didn't eat any of the food I put in this afternoon but I am trying again now. I don't know if she isn't eating because I was in a rush and didn't have time to guide her to it or hand feed her of if she's lost the desire. I'm hoping it's the first. Other than that the Ich looks slightly better, but maybe not (it looks like it's migrating from her tail to her front half???). Still wondering about the questions on top of this post, other than that, will keep you posted on any new or different symptoms.

Edit:

She just took a piece of food from my hand and is still quite interested in eating :) Looks like we were both just a bit rushed this afternoon. Phew.

Edited by Halloween
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Guest Halloween

Ok, Trinket, I gotta know your opinion on the fish's MUCH increased lethargy and unwillingness to eat.

Is she losing the battle, or is this increased lethargy due to her Ich worsening/healing.... I've noticed a slightly great DISinterest in eating. She isn't totally refusing food but she seems to weak to lift her back end up and point her mouth toward the food to suck it up.... I either have to place the food right in front of her mouth or GENTLY lift her back up up and point her toward the food. Once she has a TINY piece she'll suck on it and eat it.

One other thing I've noticed and haven't brought to light. It looks as if in addition to her damaged eyes, she has a damaged mouth. I have 4+ other fish with smashed mouths (making their mouths smaller and thus harder to eat) but with Astird. I look at her head on and her mouth opens fairly large but then there's this.... Thickness right on the inside... I didn't notice that right away so I don't know if it's swollen... Or what.. It's not red or pink like it's inflamation (it's white like the white on her white areas LOL sorry it's past 2am and I'm SLEEPY)

mouth.gif

I realize that this is probably part the fact that it's harder for her to eat but it doesn't calm my worries about her being weaker and unable to maneuver into an "eating position"

I know there isn't much else I can do medicine wise. I'm keeping up on salt, heat, clean water, offering plenty of food many times during the day (due to this new eating difficulty). Like I mentioned above somewhere, her Ich seems to be lessening slightly. Certainly moving AWAY from her tail end and moving towards her front half. (She has it a lot on her wen and on her empty eye socket and on her lips :( )

Thank you for all the help you've given me already and an advanced thank you to your future opinions/help!!!! It's appreciated so very much!!!!

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Guest Halloween

I think it's the end. Shes having trouble staying upright. And her Ich is actually a lot better looking today. One more water change... Then I have to leave again today.

Edited by Halloween
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