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Small "chunk" Of Tail Missing


Roano

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Ammonia: 0

Nitrite: 0

Ph Level, Tank: aprox 8.1-8.2; kh and gh are within safe range?

Ph Level, Tap: usually around 7.4-7.6

Brand of test-kit used: API drops

Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running: 10 gal. cycled, running over two years; bare bottom

Name and size of the filter(s): 2 Topfin 20?s (200 gph)

How often do you change the water and how much: about 50% weekly

Fish in the tank and their size: one ryukin; about 2 inches excluding tail

What kind of water additives or conditioners: Prime

What do you feed your fish and how often: fed once a day; recently changed to Formula Two gel food (from Saki-Hikari which made him float); peas; bloodworms as treat; some Emerald Entr?e (frozen food)

New fish added to the tank: None

Any medications added to the tank: No

Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus: small ?chunk? missing from one tail lobe; it?s an upper lobe and the missing piece is right on the edge of the top of the fin (about ? to .75 cm from scales or so). Not very deep; I said chunk because it?s closer to that than a rip or tear, but it's more like a dip that wasn't there before; there?s just a dip in the fin where some fin is missing. The edges are clean (not torn) and I think it?s trying to heal: I see a thin piece of fin that seems to be growing between the upper two tail lobes (just out from where they meet). It?s hard to explain. It?s hard to tell if the dip itself is becoming less pronounced because I just noticed it (I think I first noticed it yesterday, but may have this weekend). Nevertheless, I think there?s some fin growth where there wasn?t fin before, although it seems to be happening on the side of the fin instead of on top of the dip?

Normally, I?d just put .1% salt in and watch, but I changed a filter cartridge 1 week ago and I?m worried about a cycle bump if I add any salt. (I transferred media but there wasn?t much so I cut up some old floss and put it in with the new stuff.) For a week, params have been normal. Would a .1% potentially cause a cycle bump if my cycle isn?t that strong? (I have another filter running, but I don?t want to add salt and then have the cycle get messed up if his tail's healing on it's own.) Should I add salt, or just wait and keep an eye on his tail? It?s kind of close to his flesh, but there is some leeway there and I can definitely tell if it starts to ?spread? in that direction.

(Side note: he?s got a few uncharacteristic rips/frays in his fins lately? not much, but I?m wondering if this could be left over from some stress because he was having SBD issues about a week ago? He has been treated for parasites before. If they persist, I will add salt but I just think it's sort of too close to when I changed the cartridge.)

Thank you... sorry if it's sort of scattered. ;)

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Hmmm...I'd say it's just a matter of watching if the fins are beginning to regrow. Adding salt is an option you can consider but I don't think you need to add salt at this point. Let the clean water do its job.

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Nitrates are 5... They're always very low so I don't tend to test them that regularily (I know, bad habit...) I don't think I've ever had nitrates over approx 7 with this fish.

Thanks for your replies, guys... I'll just keep an eye on him and see how it goes.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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The rips in his fins seem to be getting worse, although the "chunk" seems about the same.

This Tuesday, it'll have been three weeks since I changed one of the cartridges, and the parameters haven't changed as far as I can tell. Is it safe to add .1% salt tomorrow? And probably go up to .2% in a few days/week? I would think if I was going to have a cycle bump, it would've happened already, so I'm figuring I'm probably safe to add salt. (I know this is sort of a water quality question, but it's also sort of medical.)

Thank you.

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You can add salt to 0.1%, 12 hours later you go up to 0.2% and another 12 hours up to 0.3%. I have fish with injured fins myself and am treating them with 0.3% salt, and it is slowly healing. Of course, large tears will take a while to be alright.

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I would say fraying, at the edges of his lower lobes mostly. I added the salt, I'm going to wait and see if .1% takes care of it for now. I'm frustrated about this because I don't know what's causing it. Water params still good, this fish has been treated for parasites by salt and Prazi-Pro. This is the first time something like this has happened to this fish, although I've had some issues with fin splits in my other tank. :( I don't get it.

He could have got it caught on the plastic plant I keep in there, but the fins are more fraying at the edges than a tear in one specific area, so I'm thinking that's probably not it. He's been fine (fin-wise) for over a year until this point.

Maybe it is a water issue? I haven't noticed it get worse after a water change necessarily, but it's something to consider. Or can fraying happen if he's just not that healthy of a fish? (I think he's got damaged gills from high ammonia levels at the petstore, and I consider him the fragilist of my fish.)

I'll see what happens with the salt. Thanks.

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This isn't parasitic. The issue is bacterial. Unfortunately, bad bacteria always exists in tanks. Only water changes can help reduce them. The salt will allow the tail to heal and keep infections at bay.

The other issue, though, it's still similar to the first one, is weakened immune system. Unfortunately, when a fish is exposed to ammonia and nitrite for long periods, their system becomes compromised and easily vulnerable to infections. Fish that were able to avoid prolonged exposure to ammonia and nitrite in elevated traces are far healthier than those who have undergone intoxication from both substances for a period.

Edited by Lupin
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Yeah, I didn't think it was parasitic either. (I just know frayed fins can come from flukes, that's why I mentioned it.)

Poor Cricket... Exposure to high ammonia/nitrites is the only thing I could come up with for the way he acts sometimes. (Ex: yawning more frequently than my others.) Thanks Lupin.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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So... I upped him to approx .2% on Oct 24th because his fins didn't seem to be healing. This Sun, he'll have been at that concentration for 3 weeks... His fins haven't gotten any worse (I think they might have worsened a little just before I increased to .2%) and I think they're getting better, but it's slow going. I'm a little worried about the prolonged salt use... is that a concern at all? Should I up it to .3%? (When I had this issue before in another tank, .2% took care of the problem pretty easily, so that's why I let it stay at .2%.)

Any thoughts?

Thank you...

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One of my fish lost a chunk from the center of his tailfin during shipping and it did indeed fill back in--but it certainly took a long time. I'd say in his case, it took maybe 3 -4 months or so. So, it is not a fast process. I may have had him in salt in the beginning, but did not have him in salt long term, and it did get better. As long as it does not get worse, and the water is kept clean and there are no other signs of bigger issues (red streaking in fins, etc.), I expect your fish's fin will mend fine--it just takes time. As for the cause, could he be getting caught in the filter intake? Just a thought...

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Thank you guys... Spillie, that's good to know. That really reassures me, and I'm glad the salt level is good and can be left at this concentration for awhile.

The edges are more "rounded" now... it seems smoother. His other fins still have the rips in them, but I think they are healing as well. (They're not getting bigger/more noticeable, they seem to be getting smaller but it's hard to tell.) I will work on getting a picture, but won't be able to post one tonight unfortunatly.

(I suppose getting caught on the intake is possible, but he seems to have pretty good control of himself and I've never seen him get caught on the intakes before... I don't think they're that strong. Who knows though; he's never had this issue before either.)

Something else has cropped up... last weekend, I think Friday, he had some red around his vent/anus. This has happened before in the past but went away within 2 days or less with .3% salt, so I wasn't concerned, I was just going to leave him alone. I skipped feeding for the two days (until the red disappeared) and then fed peas for two days. Monday night we lost power here for 8 hours, and then I noticed today that he's got a red spot/area on only one part of his vent (it's very tough to see.) Poo looks normal today, and he seems himself. I didn't feed him today because I'm worried about poo pressing on/hurting that spot. I think I will wait and see what happens... our recent loss of power makes me not want to up the salt concentration even more. Thought I'd mention this though.

Thanks again... I'll attempt some pics tomorrow.

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His vent is even redder today, it seems (although I noticed it yesterday when he was pooping so it may have been somewhat obscured.) Fed him anyway, because he'd gone two days without food (and I'd skipped a couple of days last weekend.) Hopefully this doesn't make things worse and it'll start healing soon.

First pic is of "chunk," the dip right where the orange meets white on the top of his tail fin:

Chunk.jpg

These two are of the vent; you can see the red, but it's pretty indistinct... it seems like it's right around the edge of the vent, maybe not the vent itself. The redness is more concentrated on the bottom right hand side.

Vent1.jpg

vent2.jpg

I apologize for the quality of all of these... they are not very good and the last two are pretty awkward pictures.

By the way, I looked again at some other rips in his tail lobes... they are definately healing. So right now what's concerning me most is his vent.

Edited by Roano
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Well, his vent looks fine now, and since it takes a long time to repair fins and he's already been at .2% for four weeks (I think), I'm considering not replacing the salt when I change him this weekend... or would it be better to keep it in there until everything's healed up completely (except for the chunk, because that would take the longest)?

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