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Comet Is Breathing Rapidly


austinado16

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[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level? 0

[*]Nitrite Level? 0

[*]Nitrate level? 20

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? Pretty high, maybe 7's or 8's.

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? Same

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API Drops

[*]Water temperature? 76.4

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?70 1.5yrs

[*]What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?Fluval 405

[*]How often do you change the water and how much?Every 2 weeks

[*]how many days ago was the last water change and how much? 90%

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 3 (2 Comets, 1 Common, all are huge.....6-8 inches

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners?Prime

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often?Ocean Nutrician Spirulina Flakes each morning.

[*]Any new fish added to the tank?No

[*]Any medications added to the tank?No

[*]List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. This tank has never been medicated, but the fish in question did have Dropsey exactly a year ago, and was treated in a seperate 30G tank.

Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. None so far

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? No

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Rapid mouth opening and closing to breathe, occasional clamped fins. Was doing some head flashing last week and I've fed them all minced garlic 3 times and that seems to have stopped now.

Hi Gang,

I could use some help diagnosing and treating one of my Comets. It's doing a rapid breathing all the time, which the other 2 don't do, and I've not seen this one do. It's still eating normally, pooping normally, and rooting around in the gravel with the other 2, just like it's always done. I noticed this starting about a week ago, and it was also flashing it's head occasionally. I fed them all minced garlic about 3 times since and the head flashing seems to have stopped. It's also spending a lot of time with the fins clamped which is not normal for this fish; she's usually all flared up and looks like a shark with her fins all stiff and proud.

She had Dropsey exactly a year ago, and thanks to you guys, I was able to save her. I treated her for that in a 30G hospital tank. She's been fine ever since.

I've not been a good fish keeper the last month or 2 and have let the water changes go 2 and sometimes 3 weeks. I still have zero for Ammonia and Nitrite, but when I've measured Nitrates they've been high. Was using SeaChem Denitrate for a few months, changing it about once a month, but haven't used it in at least a month. Had 1 bag of charcoal in the filter for about 3 weeks and just did a WC last weekend and replaced the charcoal when I inspected the filter.

Been using over amounts of Prime to help keep the Nitrates safe, even though the levels have been high. They are currently 20ppm, and I did a 90% WC last Friday morning. I'm doing a 90% WC right now. Water is always crystal clear, no matter how long between WC's.

The other 2 fish are doing fine.

Could this be gill flukes?

Thanks for the help!

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Hello. The rapid gill movements is indicative of any gill infection with consequent difficult "breathing." Flukes is a likely possibility, although I think any gill infection would also result in rapid gill movements. Have you ever treated your comet for flukes. I think it might be worth it to salt/Prazi.

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Hi,

Thanks for the fast response.

I think I treated all 3 of these fish for flukes, about 2 years ago, when they were still small(er) and in either the 30G, or the 50G vintage tank that I'd just aquired. They've not been treated in this 70G vintage tank since it's been up and running (April '09).

I was going to salt and Prazi, but wanted to get some advice here before I started off in the wrong direction.

So, should I follow the standard Prazi and salt treatment regimine, or do some different level of salt. Been a while since I had to play fish doctor, so I'm waaay out of practice. Going to go read the Prazi page right now.

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I would definitely wait to get some other opinions, since more minds at work on one issue can only be more helpful :)

I understand that there is some concern that Prazipro may not be at its most effective at salt concentrations higher than 0.1%, but from what I understand, it still does work. I would like to suggest doing 0.3% salt/Prazi to cover your bases, since it's not immediately clear that this is a flukes problem. It could very well be some other ciliates, and the 0.3% salt will help with that. Hopefully, others will weigh in soon to give you some help with deciding how to tackle this issue.

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Again, thanks!

Just finished a 75% WC, and went ahead and pulled the carbon, and dosed Prazi and .1% salt, just to get started. I figured it's not going to hurt any of them, and it's probably better to get some form of treatment going.

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And maybe try to go back to your previous, proper water changing schedule to keep nasties down a bit. I know sometimes it is so inconvenient having to do water changes but how much time does it really take, just once a week? :) And I do not like adding chemicals to keep toxins down, unless it is an emergency. Prime detoxifies nitrate for only about 24 hours, right? So you'd have to add it on a daily basis, but the prime then also can cause a lack of oxygen if there is too much of it in the water.

Awesome that you are so honest about this though :)

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Yeah, I definately got off the wagon as far as WC's go. Seems like a week flies by so fast that I'm thinking, geez, didn't I just take this tank apart and clean it the other day?

I didn't know Prime only kept the Nitrate levels safe for 24hrs, so I only add it during the WC, and maybe a couple cap fulls a week after that on weeks where I haven't done a WC.

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Just came home to find our big Comet, (not the one I've been talking about) sitting on the bottom, fins all clamped up. This is not good.

I stuck my hand down in the tank and she started swimming, but stays clamped and just swims with her tail.

I put in a slice of lemon because that usually keeps them all very stirred up and active. The big Common and the smaller Comet went right to it and have been feeding on it like sharks, but the big Comet is just listlessly hanging nearby.

Any advice appreciated.

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Is he eating at all? So far, his behavior is consistent with reaction to Prazi in a fish with flukes. If that is the case, he should be feeling much better in a day or two. Keep an eye on him, though.

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Yes, eating great. They finished the slice of lemon, so I put in a slice of lime and they've been working that over. She was just bottom sitting again, so I put in a very small amount of spirulina flakes (I soak them first, so they sink immediately) and as soon as those hit the water, she popped up and started swimming around and snapping up all she could grab....just as competetive as ever.

Re; the Prazi, do I treat every day for X number of days and then take a break for X number of days? Seems like there used to be a sticky or a tutorial here about it, but I can't find it. I've only treated once, last night after the WC, and haven't treated yet today.

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HsiHou to the rescue! :D

To make things simple, I do four rounds of Prazi, dosing in weekly right after water change (80%). However, this is one of several ways of doing it :). The thing that is important is that Prazi is active for about 3-4 days after adding to the water, and then you need a couple to a few days rest to allow for larvae and eggs to emerge from the mother flukes. Otherwise, they are protected.

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The big Comet is back to normal as of lights on this morning. That's a huge relief. She was not looking good late last night and I wasn't looking forward to what I might find this morning. We don't call her "Nine Lives" for nothing! The small Comet is still acting normal, but still breathing rapidly.

Rechecked the params late last night. Still 0/0/10, so that's good.

Seems weird that I'd get flukes or any other type of parasite, since I've not introduced anything new to this tank, and these fish have been together for almost 2 years. I'll occasionally buy an Anubias Nana from Pet$$mart, but I give 'em a bleach dip prior to placing in the tank. It's been a month or 2 since the last time I put in a plant.

The water temp has been in the mid 70's for a while, couple months at least, so I'd think I would have seen issues long before now, based on what I'm reading as far as hatching times and egg laying rates goes. Strange.

Could this be bacterial and not parasites?

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From your description of symptoms and from her response to treatment, I would say that it's flukes. The problem with flukes is that even when we are so methodical about treating them, we never really get rid of them completely. They are still around in small numbers and are usually kept in check by the fish's immune system. However, when there is some event that resulted in the fish's immune defense being lowered (some sort of stress for example), the flukes could increase in numbers again.

I'm so glad she is doing better this morning. You have some beautiful fish, and I still remember the video of you feeding them from months ago :)

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I'm breathing a sigh if relief myself, so thanks for the help! And thanks for the kind words about the fish. We really are attached to them, and enjoy them very much.

Re; the flukes, I guess I'm thinking that they couldn't live unless they had a host, and if they had a host, I'd have fish that were always acting like they had a problem. Until a few days ago, all the fish were acting fine. So can the flukes somehow survive in small numbers that are basically not harmful, and then surge when the opportinuty presents?

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So can the flukes somehow survive in small numbers that are basically not harmful, and then surge when the opportinuty presents?

That is exactly what happens, and not with just flukes. Flukes is just probably the most persistent of all these pests. Some people actually re-treat with Prazi yearly or every few years. I'm not sure if that is overkill, but flukes are definitely hard to get rid of.

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Guess I'll start treating once a year then. Here I thought the tank was pretty bulletproof since I'm not bring new living creatures (whether it be food or fish) into it.

This has probably been brought on by me being a slacker and letting the tank go a couple weeks at a time between gravel vac's and WC's.

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Guess I'll start treating once a year then. Here I thought the tank was pretty bulletproof since I'm not bring new living creatures (whether it be food or fish) into it.

This has probably been brought on by me being a slacker and letting the tank go a couple weeks at a time between gravel vac's and WC's.

I plan on doing something similar, but probably once every two years or so, unless they show symptoms. Hopefully not. :)

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Just wanted to update:

The smaller Comet is still breathing rapidly and I think her sides are starting to bloat......as in, here comes another bought with Dropsey. She's still eating and swimming normally, and her fins are "up" in shark mode most of the time. I'm keeping a close eye on here, and if the bloating gets more noticable, I'll bring out the 30G hospital tank and treat her with epson salt, higher water temps, dim light, and meds.

The large Comet is back to normal.

Today was Day4 since putting in the Prazi and .1% salt, so I did a big double water change. Basically a 90% WC, filled the tank about halfway, and then used a gallon container and quickly scooped out most of that, and then filled the tank full. I didn't put back any salt because I'm concerned that might contribute to the bloat. I also didn't put back any Prazi, but will (on the Prazi) in a couple more days.

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I would have done exactly the same thing. For subsequent dosing of Prazi, you don't need to add salt anymore. I like to use 0.1% during the first 1 (possibly the 2nd) dosing of Prazi to aid in healing of wounds and to prevent infection at wound sites. Subsequent treatments are presumably not as traumatizing anymore, so salt is unnecessary.

I'm glad the larger comet is back to normal. :)

I hope that it's just a little bloating with the comet, and it's something you can resolve with peas (or peas stuffed with a grain of Epsom inside).

Please keep us updated. Thanks.

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Fired up the 10G hospital tank this morning. The small Comet is starting to show a few "lifted" scales on one side. This is how the Dropsey started last year, and I waited about a week too long before finally taking action. Was lucky to have saved her then, and didn't want a repeat of that this go-round.

So 1/4tsp of Espon salt is in, water temp is on the rise, lights are out, and Metronidazole is in too.

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