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So, test results are

Amm, 0

Nitrite, 4

Nitrite 0+

ph 7.2 kh and gh?

Drop test uses.

50 gall

Fluval 205

changing 25% every 2-3 days 5 fish 2-3"

Amquel, Stress zyme

Meds, melafix

No new additions

Fed Hikari Oranda

Salting at present, wide outbreak of Ich, now finding small grey discs singly on fish, 3-4mm across, fuzzy looking

No unusual behaviour, in fact much better with the salting, everyone seems happy happy happy...

Please tell me they aren't fish lice!

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Oh dear! They're fish lice!

You'll need an anti-crustancean treatment for those - I think interpet do one. Dimilin is the best but we can't get it here unfortunately.

You could also try Sera Cyprinopur - However all the meds we have are harsh on the fish and use pretty noxious ingredients. Check the label for ingredients - some are PH and heat sensitive and depending on your tank could be more or less harmful. As your tank is only PH 7.2 I would avoid anything with copper as it is dangerous in a low PH.

The other problem with lice is that secondary infections are a great risk due to the open wound the louse makes to feed. You could try to gently remove the lice with tweezers and swab the wounds with a Hydrogen Peroxide-dipped Q-tip or Neosporin cream.

It is very important to Vac your tank and change water daily - this way you can suck up as many babies as you can and keep bacterial levels low. Raising salt will also give your fish a little more protection. What level are you at right now?

BTW - "Nitrite 4, Nitrite 0+" Which one was nitrAte? Nitrite must be zero.

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I'm terrible at this aren't I...Nitrate is 0+( as in not 0 but not the box above yet)=, NitrIte is about 4... I'm STILL cycling, (since mid Feb) Filling buckets now!

I have removed the lice, the fish were very patient, the lice, they're gross. I'll pop to the store and see what I can get for them. Can I medicate whilst I've salt in the tank?

THe salt is at 0.3% solution, will that be enough to keep any advantageous illnesses at bay?

When will this d*** tank settle and I can begin to "enjoy" the fis, rather than have continual and persisitent stress!!!!!!

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I'm terrible at this aren't I...Nitrate is 0+( as in not 0 but not the box above yet)=, NitrIte is about 4... I'm STILL cycling, (since mid Feb) Filling buckets now!

I have removed the lice, the fish were very patient, the lice, they're gross. I'll pop to the store and see what I can get for them. Can I medicate whilst I've salt in the tank?

THe salt is at 0.3% solution, will that be enough to keep any advantageous illnesses at bay?

When will this d*** tank settle and I can begin to "enjoy" the fis, rather than have continual and persisitent stress!!!!!!

Hi Manktank :)

I'm sorry that your fish are battling both ich and fish lice. :ill The poor things!

One thing that needs to be done, is a good large water change. Temperature and pH matched, and the correct amount of salt added. A nitrite level of 4 is very dangerous for the fish. Doing 25% water changes just doesn't bring it down enough. It only takes away 25% of the nitrite - so you have 3ppm after a water change. Even a 75% change will still leave you with 1ppm. Perhaps two 50% changes back to back?

I know that large changes on a large tank aren't fun.. but the fun comes after the fish are safe in a cycled tank. You're almost there! Your ammonia is gone, and you have a hint of nitrate!

I believe that high nitrites block the fish's gills from taking in oxygen. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong... but I know for sure that a level as high as yours is extremely dangerous.

The happy day of a cycled tank will come!!! It only feels like it's forever! :D

Debbie

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:yikes Fishy is right! 4ppm is dangerous.

Put the fish in a bucket of dechlorinated temp-matched water immediately and change the whole tank out.

Nitrite is lethal in lower doses than ammonia as it prevents the uptake of oxygen, causing the fish to suffocate. In addition your fish are already under attack from parasites which harm the gills - a double whammy!

From now on, do not allow the nitrite to climb past 0.25. You must test daily and change enough water to keep levels from rising. At the same time as removing the nitrites you will also be keeping harmful bacterial levels from escalating and helping to remove larvae and eggs from the substrate. :thumb:

One other thing to bear in mind; the nitrobacters (nitrite eating bacs) are particularly sensitive to salt and need time to adjust, so expect to be changing water daily for a while.

Are you keeping a very accurate written log of salt going in and coming out? It is so easy to miscalculate unless it's written down.

Medicating in an uncycled tank is very tricky, as many meds become lethal in combo with amm/n'ite.

Let's see how you go with PERFECT water and 0.3% salt for the next few days.

PS. Did you swab the wounds as I suggested or did you not have HP or Neosporin cream to hand?

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No I didn't swab them... I haven't any HP or Neosporin

I have written down all the calculations I've needed and they are in my regular readings pad... One day I'll plot the graph just cos I am that nerdy and let you all see; cos I know some of you are funny like that!

So, I'm going to the lfs and then will change the water, 50% twice... I haven't enough buckets for 100%...and I'mgoing to get a small hospital tank too. It's something that I have think I might be best getting now rather than when it's absolutley neccessary!

I know I am making progress, I know, it's jsut the fish look so happy, and the tests seem so encouraging and then something like this strikes and I feel I am back to square one ...and mis-treating the fish into the bargain!

Stress; worry, whine, moan, gripe, whimper, sob!

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Sorry to go on...I'm curious...whre can these lice have come from?

I only just remembered that I have also given them the frozen food, "Tropical Quintet" Bloodworm, Daphnia, Mollusc, and two others, I thought that they'd be better than the live alternatives as they could contain contaminants...

Are fish lice able to live through the freezer???

There's no other way I can think of getting the lice in!

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Hello there - to answer your Q, parasites usually come in on the fish or any plants you may have added. How long have you had the fish? Parasites can sometimes take from around 4 -6 weeks to make themselves known.

How is everything going with your cycle? Let us know your params and progress and also if you see any new lice appearing.

I'm afraid to suggest meds as the treatments we have here are very toxic in an uncycled system.

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Today, Amm 0

NitI 0.25

NitA 20

Coco the fish I found the louse on has been bottom sitting for the past couple of days, she ( I presume) looks real glum! Why is it that I am only finding lice on her??? No-one else seems affected in any way, all the rest (4) are happy-go-eaty... being perky and chirpy, but Coco's not happy... (it doesn't help that Othello is working through a bity phase, or at least it better be a phase or he's out of here!)

The cycle's obviously moving along...at last, but can they put up with the occasional louse till the cycles done?

I have my finals at Uni at present and can do without the extra stress.... arghghghghghghh!

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Update... water params

Ammo 0

Nitrite 0

Nitrates 10

pH 7.2

Havent seen any lice since last posting.

Though all the fish are looking pretty miserable, the largest are bottom sitting and the smallies are listless...

on the advice of Pets at Home people have just given each fish a salt bath (0.6 solution) for a couple of minutes....

Are my fish going to die? What can I do? Apart from occasional bursts of energy they all look pretty pathetic.

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"Bin the fish?" What a horrible idea! I would always try to save a fish if possible and if not, there are humane ways to euthanize. Right now they may still recover.

Before going any further I want to ask about the salt dip. How much salt did you use? Fish need to be dipped only for as long as they can remain swimming; once they float at the surface they must be removed immediately. Was a couple fo minutes the longest they were in? Tell us what reactions you observed, if possible.

The trouble with lice is that they leave open wounds which make the fish very vulnerable to infection; this is why why fish cannot 'put up with' a few lice without risk and why I also suggested HP or Neomycin for the wound sites - the chemist sells both. It is likely your fish have developed secondary bacterial infections - in addition they have been exposed to very high nitrites which can often pulverize their gills.

So, what to do now is tricky for two reasons. Firstly we need to judge whether it is the after-effects of cycling, or an infection, which is causing their lethargy. Secondly, we have absolutely crap meds here when it comes to bacterial infections.

So, first order of business is to check the fish closely; are they all bottom-sitting? Look at the gills from behind and try to see what colour they are - red, pale, brownish? Is respiration slower, faster than normal? Are they eating? Do they move and swim once distrubed? Any red marks or spots on the bodies? Any red-streaking to the fins? Any bloating.

This will give us a better idea of their condition. Meanwhile, be sure to do substantial water changes each day PH/temp matched. Are you still at 0.3%?

I will wait for your answers and think about possible meds.

PS. Othello's chasing may be breeding behaviour which might be another aspect to consider. Was he chasing and biting at her vent?

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Othello's mainly biting at her sides... not vent.

I never meant "Bin the fish" btw... I am just doing everything I possibly can and don't know what else I can do...

Behaviour. three are bottom sitting, and when disturbed do swim away, though they predominantly just bottom sit. Occasionally they might have a brief flit about the tank, but nothing more than that.

Coco, the worst affected is barely moving her gill covers for me to see... there doesn't sem to be any sites of infection externally, in fact all the fish LOOK perfectly healthy...

I had initially thought they were constipated... but I have fasted them for a couple of days also and it hasn't made any difference, as for breathing, they seem to be breathing slower and shallower, if that makes sense, does this indicate gill damage... I was assuming the infestation was the root of the problem... as for physical symptoms there aren't any... they look great, just listless. They are eating...no change there

Water quality, since you said I have changed about 30 gallons + a day making sure the Nitirites aren't allowed over 0.25...they are closer to 0 at the time of change every day so I don't think water quality has been such a recent factor... it might have been but isn't now.

The salt bath was for barely a minute, and all fish swam in the higher solution, none seemed disturbed by the treament. It hasn't had any affect either. the tank is still salted to 0.3%.. and it has been for 1 wk 2days...

I spoke with P.A.H(pets at home) about the interpet "Anti-Crustacean" treatment.... they've withdrawn it from sale... to harsh and toxic a chemical for their customers.They recommended continuing with the salt...

They recommended Methylene Blue...but that's probably going to be really harsh on my babies... and knock the BB's for 6 isn't it... My partner suggests a Methylene dip-bath for each of the fish and then see what that achieves... but I'm not dealing with the cause then am I... an infestation of Lice.

THey look so pitiful, I really dont think they will pull through, is it likely???I don't get if it is the water quality that's caused the initial problem why ALL aren't affected and why two seem completely oblivious to the problems the others cannot handle...

Edited by Manktank
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I've just watched them all pooping....

Coco had stringy clearish the earleir in the week..hence me fasting them all, but now I am monitoring them and three have pale, raggedy poop, "breaking up" rather than the usual falling off and settling... when it is broken away it seems filamentous and stringy.

Are they all suffering from an intestinal infection perhaps...I'm clutching at straws here?!!?!?!?!??!

Dean who is usually most boisterous, his fins are clamped as are the other sufferers but they look as if coarser, the radials are darker than normal and I imagine when opened might be ragged...

Stumped, well and truly stumped!

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It will take along time to get your fish better because you haven't finished cycling. The very best you can do for them right now is exactly as Pixie says, daily water changes. As long as these are all temperature matched with the correct percentage of salt added back you have to believe you are doing your best for them.

Fish lice (did you look at them up close -were they grey/green & did you see small eyes?) eggs and larval forms can lie dormant in water - are usually brought in via the water the fish are in when we buy them. Its one reason not to add any of that LFS water to our tanks.

If it was me I would continue to cycle the tank with pure ammonia. Living parasites cannot survive without a host so this way you can nuke the tank and continue cycling. Gravel vacs will take care of larval forms. Living lice will have prob. died in 0.2% salt.

Then move the fish to a rubbermaid or clear plastic container that has never seen soap or chemicals and add a bubbler only (filter is not absolutely necessary with 100% water changes daily and no plans to cycle- but if you have a spare you can use it) and get ready to do 90% -100% water changes daily. Each day you throw out the water you throw away thousands of nasty parasites and bacteria. It saves the fish from more meds and gives them a break from the very dangerous levels of nitrite you are seeing.

While this may seem a hassle at first glance, think about it. All you need to do is spash some ammonia in the tank every morning before Uni and when you get home feed them in the large (should be 10 gallons per fish) container and do that 100% water change.

You can salt the water if you want but I would suggest you take it down now to 0.1% or 0.2% because your fishes gills as Pixie notes are very damaged and they need EXTRA oxygen and clean fresh daily water MORE than salt right now. I have seen bottom sitting when salt goes over 0.3% in sensitive fish and it is so easily done when you are in a hurry....the rubbermaid version of bucket to bucket here will get your fishes immune response up and ticking again I think.

PS Edit: You say two fish have handled the cycling. This is how it is. Every fish has an individual sensitivity level to ammonia/nitrites/nitrates/bacteria and even parasites. ...and meds. Each individual immune system has different strengths and weaknesses just like people. It is only the more robust fish that should be subjected to cycling. Some people say NO fish should ever be subjected to cycling and that fishless cycling gives the fish the best start.

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