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Poorly Fish But Not Sure What To Do


Miaowen

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I posted some time ago about Clive my oranda, he shares a 20 UK gallon tank with a black moor, they been together since Oct 2004 when I got them as babies.

I said that I had noticed a difference in his behaviour, used to sleep flat on gravel then started with having nose in gravel and body floating upwards, or he was floating on top of water.............thought at time it was swim bladder but did'nt understand why it happened all of a sudden.....he was swimming ok, still going in frenzy at feeding time, no marks on his body. I did more frequent water changes, fed more fruit and veg, started making gel food and he seemed to improve then he seemed to act odd again, it was more pronounced at some times than others (though never coincided with water changes, ie water quality did'nt seem to be an issue)

I became obsessed at keeping everything ok in case it was my fault. I increased water changes and checked it more frequently, added another filter just in case, in fact I actually got nitrates to undetectable (had always tried to keep below 10 but sometimes was 20) Anyway water was as perfect as it could get, better than it had been all the years I have had fish, but sometimes he was ok and seemed his normal self, then other times seemed as if there was something wrong

Recently, he started sleeping more than usual, but always woke when I went to tank, still went mad at feeding time but started this nose on the bottom and body drifting upwards again................did what I always did when it happened, an extra water change, did'nt feed at first then just fed veg (poor old Ruby, my moor has to put up with this treatment too)

He always seemed to be a bit perkier when I did this but I am beginning to wonder if I was just seeing what I wanted to see, over the last 3 to 4 weeks or maybe even longer, I knew he was getting worse but he still looked ok.............. I did not come on here cus I would have just been repeating what I said before and I know I would have been asked about the water etc which I know I have got right, I also tried to take pics to post in case they showed something that experts would recognise but that I could'nt but he would'nt keep still..................8 days ago I found him nose in gravel but body upright against latest filter I put in (its only a medium internal thing I added to over filter kind of thing) I panicked thought he had got drawn into it or something, but he started swimming when I tapped on the glass but I knew he was not ok

Anyway I know now there is definitely something wrong, I have taken him out of tank, put him in small 3 gallon bucket which is all I got at present, put in air stone and am changing 100% water change daily and have salted up to 0.3% over last 2 days.................I think I know he is going to die. Now that I can see him so close up he seems to have very thin vein like things in his tail, he has always had orange streaks in it it but these are very fine and dark, I have tried to photo them but does not show up in pic. He does'nt seem so active when I go up to the bucket but he could be missing Ruby his tank mate as they were always so close

I am sorry for such a long post but I just wondered if it was possible for a fish in captivity to become ill from something not attributed to water quality ie could it have been something that I did not cause

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Have been checking but no one has answered my post, maybe I worded it so that folk thought I did'nt want a reply, or maybe not enough details Im' not sure

Anyway i have had Clive in 3 gallon bucket for 4 days now with just airstone, doing 100% water change daily and perhaps even more, trying to do it in little bits to avoid stress. He is just lying still all the time with his back end twisted to one side (this is not a new thing, I thought a while back that maybe he was deformed in some way, perhaps from breeding???? heck am grasping at straws here) he does move when I go near or move his fibre plants (just put in to give him some cover) and then looks normal and swims around ok, but just goes back to laying still again. I have not fed him for 2 days and have just given him one pea this morning which he ate

Have just read a post by toothless about parasites and flukes and also about a product called 'wormer plus' which is available here in the UK. I am going to give that a try even though Clive has not displayed any of the obvious symptoms of parasite infection but will try it anyway. Toothless also mentioned abot microscopic parisites. I work in an environment where there are microscopes..........I no longer work in that area myself but there may be a chance that I could ask someone to do the testing for me...............................Would it be a swab from fish body? and would it have to be a wet or dry slide? I cannot see any way that I would be able to provide a wet slide in time

I think he is going to die but I would do anything I could to try and save him....................would welcome any kind of advice at all

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Hopefully, someone with a bit more knowledge can get on here and help you out but I didn't want you to feel so alone. Have you added any salt to the bucket? That is something you can do while waiting. I would just salt it to .01% for now which is 1 tsp. per gallon of water. That would be 3 tsps. Just make sure you use aquarium salt or pickling salt, but not regular table salt because it often has ingrediants in there that aren't safe. Salt is a tonic for fish and can help in times of stress.

When a fish is pressed up against the filter it means that they are not getting proper air through their gills for some reason so this could be a sign of flukes. I'm not sure how you do a swab, but I know that can help.

You have three fish in a 20 gallon (I'm not sure how a UK gallon translates to a US gallon), but space could be an issue here. Fish get stressed when they are cramped and that makes them more susceptible to disease and parasite infection. Have you ever treated for flukes? If not, I would treat the entire tank and the QT tank.

Basically, all fish have some level of parasites on their bodies at all times, but normally their natural immune systems can keep them in check. But when something stresses them or something else happens to weaken them this can allow the parasites to take over and multiple. This is why you can see one fish covered in ich in a tank and another will be fine.

Anyway, please keep us posted. The details of your water are a big help as well. What is your PH? How are your other tests coming out?

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I'm really sorry you've had to wait. Sometimes a thread gets missed. I know how frustrating that feels, so I really apologize.

Sure, if you can get a free microscopic evaluation done, it can't hurt. Scales, and gills if you can. Get a fecal matter test done as well.

Possible key words for me in all of this were "back end twisted to one side." But, you said this was not a new thing. How not new? When did he get the kinked back? Can you remember the sort of things you were doing when you first noticed the kinked back? Were you medicating the tank? What were you feeding? It could be genetic, it depends. There are several causes for a kinked back. Genetic, nutritional deficiency, overmedicating or electrocution.

Regardless of the reason, trying to swim with this sort of deformation is difficult and exhausting. Your fish could be ill with something else AND have a kinked back, or he could be just fine health-wise and the behavior could just be because of the kink and it's just too exhausting to move.

Where you said you've kept such good care of the tank, I do have to question whether he really could be sick. And it's not good to medicate or treat a fish when you're not sure of the illness, so, short of a low level salt solution, 0.1%, I wouldn't do anything else right now in the way of medications.

Keep feeding him regularly, but I would stay away from processed foods. I'd like to see a lot of high protein and high fiber.

I'll see if I can bring in Daryl for any ideas from her.

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Mio- personally I would think that being in the bigger tank would be less stressful. 3 gallon bucket is very small. :(

You have salted and have been doing a great job with your fish! :) If you haven't prazi'd...wormer plus there...I would give it a whirl.

However, I have a fish that does the same thing yours does.....hang out near the filter and sleep. But I have nitrate issues....but this fish is also blind. When he hears me come to the tank he swims like no tomorrow and is perfectly fine!

Maybe Trinket or Al are you around...you know the dosing procedures on that right?

Hang in there :heart

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When a fish is weak enough that they do not wish to swim even the slightest current will carry them. The currents in a tank always lead to the intake of the filter - and the fish that is just drifting is naturally pulled to the intake. This is a sign that your fish is DEFINATELY not doing well.

A fish that hovered lethargically at the bottom of the tank, yet swims normally when disturbed is USUALLY displaying symptoms of parasites. With flukes, the gills are compromised to some degree - making it harder work to swim. The fish CAN swim, but chooses not to, unless needed.

Hand in hand with parasites goes two other nasty problems. When a fish is very inactive, it is possible for the food that is taken in to stagnate in the gut - causing gas, constipation, floatiness, unstable swimming, lethargy, idiopathic illness. Parasites also bring in bacteria - BAD bacteria that can attack in many ways - from internally to externally. All of these problems can weigh heavily on a fish. A long term, low grade parasitic load can wear a fish down and cause a bacterial infection that may, over time, simply be something a fish cannot overcome.

I would look towards possibly treating for parasites, with a close look for bacterial secondary infections......

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I do not believe this, I just spent ages replying to everyones replys and advice they gave me and when I tried to reply it just crashed

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Thank you all for your replys,

I did do a an itemised answer to all who had helped but computers tend to do what they want

Anyway thanks for all your answers, I have ordered melafix and wormer plus (was unable to purchase locally)

You all do a marvelous job and am gratefull to you all

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Have had a terrible week, computer crashed unable to get it on at all, treatments that I had ordered over internet for my oranda Clive never arrived on Tues when I had been assured they would and I was unable to contact the company as all details were on my computer. Eventually found that it was only my moniter that had died and I have bought a new one today, so have come on here immediately

I continued to keep Clive out of the main tank but transferred him into a storage container, it is not much bigger than the bucket he was in but does hold about 7 gallons compared to the 3 he was in before

I carried on doing 100% water change daily and kept water salted to 0.03%. I started feeding him sinking wafers and shrimp and broccoli gel food. I fed tiny amounts at a time to make sure he ate it all.

He did start to seem ok, he was eating fine, no marks or sores on body, no fin clamping, he in fact did look ok except for this kind of kink in his tail and still resting more than he used to, though it is a bit difficult to gauge as he is in such a small container. I was so disappointed when the treatments did'nt arrive when they should have done and all I could do was carry on with what I was doing.

I did not get them delivered until yesterday afternoon (Fri) a little bit different to Tues morning like I had been promised, but found that it was mistake by Royal Mail rather than supplier. I was not very pleased to say the least

Anyway used the Wormer Plus yesterday.....supposed to kill fluke and parasites, but not sure what to do now. It says it is a one off treatment but may require further treatment in 7 days if heavily infested, although don't think I will need to use again. Thing is does it work in 24hours? if it does'nt I have got a problem as I am doing 100% water changes daily (I have tried everything I can think of to try and get a filter in this container without success)

I have got melafix to use when Wormer Plus has been removed...........I could'nt get online to find out for definite so just assumed that you cannot use both together

I will hold off doing anything for as long as possible, but in the event of getting no reply in time I will just assume that the wormer plus has done its job and maybe change 50% of the water, I can always check the water quality, only thing I am worried about is if I do not do the whole 100% water change I may find that readings are ok tonight, but what if amonia spiked overnight? can it go high quite quickly? plus Clive is not 100% himself, plus he is also in a very small container.

I will wait and see..........................if I do not get reply in time, will maybe search other areas of the board to see if I can find similar circumstances

PS Amy, thank you for your reply when I needed it

Lynda, thank you also, microscopic evaluation was totally out of the question, friend I asked nearly fainted and thought I was joking, so fish swabs definitely no no!! as for bend in tail, I do think it is still there

though every time I try to take photo it is not apparent, maybe I am imagining it

Newbie, thank you for telling me about your fishes problems, I always assume that you all have perfect fish because you know what you are doing and that any problem is down to the owner

Daryl, thank you for all your info which I have copied and printed off, you frightened me a bit but it made me do something straight away and order treament stuff just in case (despite them not arriving for nearly a

week)

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Hmm. I'm taking big guesses here, but if the medication says it works in 24 hours then it needs to be in the water for 24 hours. If you need to do a water change (and I would test your water to see...I can't remember if you have a test kit), then you can replace the removed 50% water with treated water and another 50% dose of the wormer. That way you will still have the same level in for 24 hours.

It may be safe, but for a little goldie's body I always think the best thing to do is to never use two meds together. Melafix is fairly safe, so although it may not help it shouldn't hurt.

Hang onto your Wormer Plus...if you still see no improvement than you can use it again.

Keep us posted!

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I think Amy's guessing sounds right to me. You need to leave the fish in the wormer for 24 hours. And, if you need to change the water before then, just re-add whatever amount you took out with the water change. 50%, 75%, 100%, whatever.

I'm assuming you already have a filter and don't want to go buy another. But, just to throw it out there, if you were willing to buy another filter, you could use an internal submersible canister filter very easily. They sit inside the tank and don't need to hang off anything. Just make sure you buy one with about 100 gph. http://americanaquariumproducts.com/ViaAqu...owerFilter.html

But, if you can only use what you have, try using packing tape to tape the filter to the inside of the container. Just get it in place and tape it anyway you can to make it stay.

If you're doing daily 100% water changes, filtration isn't so much an issue as aeration. But, your little one needs lots of oxygen, so it at least get lots of bubblers in there.

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Yes I agree with all -24 hrs for the W + and add back the amount you took out when you do the water changes. I always do exact 50% water changes when medicating if possible so that re-medicating is just half the initial dose added back, easier to calculate. Melafix can be used with anything safely but isnt warranted unless there is a surface visible problem like mild frayed fins or a small wound.

The Wormer + is a good one and it may be the very thing for Clive. Do you have a bubbler in there? It is amazing what bubbles an dextra oxygen can do for stress levels in fish and healing. I suggest you also cover half the tub so he gets some hidey spot.

You are doing great - it is so hard seeing our fish sick.

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Thanks amy and lynda,

It does'nt actually say on packet of Wormer Plus how long to leave fish in it. Just says it is designed for a one off treatment and to repeat in 7 days if necessary. This would have been no problem if Clive had been in his tank as I could have left it in for a week but because he was in just a 7 gallon container I had to change water every day. I did try a small internal filter I got but it seemed to take up so much room that I decided to just change water daily...........so the Wormer Plus was only in the water for 24hrs............I have kept the packet so can always treat again in 7 days if need be

I would have had this same problem with the melafix as well, as that says to dose daily for 7 days then do a 25%water change so have put Clive back in with Ruby his black moor tank mate. It will be easier for me to moniter his behaviour as well now that he is in his normal environment.

I am assuming it will be ok to use the Melafix and still keep Ruby in the tank as well.........it does sound as if it is quite safe. My other option would be to put Ruby in my other tank with Stan my Shabunkin and just make sure that Ruby got her share of food at feeding time

Will look up more about Melafix before I add it to tank water

Thanks for all your help, will keep you posted

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This a new problem............ done the wormplus and melifix treatments, seemed to work but now worse than ever, looks like swimbladder ie floating towards surface, buoyancy problems, problem of his back end turning sideways seems more pronounced and he has a kind of swelling or lump to his right side near his his tail.

Thought at first that it was him gobbling all the food meant for 2 fish, normally I would stay around and make sure that Ruby (black moor) got her share, but that was not always possible........now I do not know what to think

my shabunkin moved into the most fabulous pond last Tues so his 25UK cycled gallon tank which I had planned to get rid of is now to be used again......I have changed 100% of the water, internal filter I have cleaned but have left external filter untouched

Amonia, Nitrites and nitrates 0

PH is 7.8 same as tank he coming from

have matched temp exactly

am convinced it is not flukes or parasite, but am a novice so would love to be proved wrong.........do not know what else to do, can do another worm plus treatment tomorrow (7 days since last one), am feeding him peas and brocolli only at present in case this is some kind of blockage..................I go on holiday in 4 days so do not know what to do. I have 2 friends who come in and feed when I am not here but would not expect them to do any more than that

I have taken about 50 pics this afternoon trying to get a photo of this swelling I can see is, but he wont stay still when I am close to the glass

If he is really ill I would rather put him to sleep than go on holiday and leave him in the hands of people who will feed but not notice if there is anything wrong.......I do not want him to die, but I do not want him to suffer

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Does your camera have a "sport" function? If so, that may help with getting a clear picture.

And just to clarify, is Clive in the 7 gallon container?

If not and he's back in the main tank, was he in there when you medicated with Wormer +?

If Clive was isolated when you medicated with Wormer +, it may very well be that Ruby has flukes or some other common parasite as well which means with Clive, you may be back to step one.

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Hi Tink, thanks for replying,

I used the worm plus when clive was on his own in 7 gallon container, but moved him back in to 20 UK gallon with Ruby (black Moor)) to treat with melafix

I can see where you coming from but Clive is only fish that having problems, Ruby was and still is in perfect shape........................strange really cus in the beginning, Ruby was always the one that was 'sensitive' ie needed that extra bit of attention

I am startng to think that maybe he has got a problem that is not treatable,, if that is the case then I will have no hesitation in putting him to sleep. I have heard that fish have no feelings.................. think I am saying that to ease my own conciensce

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He is getting worse........................I know for definite now that it is not water......I know quality could not be better................cannot believe after all this time that he is goon suddenly gonna d

die

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