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Amz

Please help Hugo! Bottom sitting, yawning?

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Hi guys! Was wondering if you could help me out with my fantail Black Moor, Hugo. He's not been acting himself recently; I'm getting a little concerned about him.

Firstly, I'll tell you a bit about him. I've had him for a year, he has never been sick before. He has had a few tank mates that have passed away, but he has never gotten sick himself. I would say he's roughly 15cm long. He has been living in his 140L tank for almost 8 months now. He has lovely pink, crisp gills, no physical ailments, no split fins... He looks, physically, perfectly healthy. I know he's a boy as he has shown his breeding stars. :) The filter is new, about three months old (I can't really remember when EXACTLY I put it in but it was roughly 3mo ago, give or take a couple of weeks) as the old one that came with the JEBO gave out. I don't have any live plants, the only other fish in there are 6x Zebra Danios. They are perfectly healthy, have no problems and get along fine with the Goldfish.

I noticed over the last fortnight Hugo started acting funny. He is bottom sitting- at first I wasn't concerned because I only caught him sitting once, and didn't see him do it again...

Then he started yawning, I catch him yawning a bit now, (can't really specify how many times per hour etc) but it's very unlike him. Once I saw that, naturally I checked his gills out, but they are just as crisp and lovely and pink as always. Now he's spending almost all day sitting, he swims around a little bit, and is super active only in the nighttime around about his dinnertime and first thing in the morning. I also noticed, just over the last couple of nights, his poo is looking a little stringy. I have had fish with internal bacterial infections before, it's definitely not super long or white or trailing or sticking, but it will be broken up with small gaps of empty casing. I know it's normal for fish to have a little bit of casing or gaps now and again... I don't know if that's related at all but I felt it would be worth mentioning.

A few days after the initial bottom sitting I did an antibiotic run with Maracyn (something I need to import from the US as we don't have antibiotics available for sale here in Aus) but it didn't really seem to help.

He does swim around, it doesn't take much to rouse him after he settled but it is a complete change from his usual self, swimming around and eating algae off the ornaments all day. I can't think of what has happened, considering I never miss a water change, keep all the levels steady, alternate his diet between fresh Nutrimax flakes, frozen brine shrimp and soft peas, give him plenty of light, aeration... His tankmate is doing perfectly fine too.

Admittedly his tankmate is new, but the behaviour started about a week BEFORE I added the second goldfish, Cornelius, into the tank. Cornelius was quarantined for three weeks, he is in perfect health.

The only event I can think of coinciding with his behavior was that I fed him some live brine shrimp... It was soon after his shrimpy-treat that his behavior started changing. I know some live food can carry bacteria and parasites, could this be a possibility? I would estimate that his behavior started about 2-3 days after the last bit of live food I fed him. My Danios snacked on them too (they LOVE Brine Shrimp), they all seem fine save one, who seems to be feeling a little low as well.

Anyway, here are my parameters:

Other Required Info:

  • * Ammonia Level
    0ppm
  • * Nitrite Level
    0
  • * Nitrate level
    0
  • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
    7.6, GH is at 160ppm
  • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
    I checked a while back, but from memory they were both quite low-it the pH was about 6.4 and the GH about 70ppm...
  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?
    API master test kit- Drop test.
  • * Water temperature?
    Fluctuates between 16-18 degrees Celcius. It has gotten a little colder now that it's Autumn.
  • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?
    140L, running eight months. New filter has been running for three.
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?
    700L capacity, Moray Internal Filter by Aqua One.
    (Not the best, I know, but after the old one gave out I had to buy one quickly as possible and just never got around to buying a better one. Seems to be doing the job just fine...)
  • * How often do you change the water and how much?
    Once a week, sometimes twice, 30%-40% of water changed.

  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?
    Last change was three nights ago, I changed 30%.
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size?
    Two goldfish, one is 15cm (Hugo) and the other is 12cm (Cornelius)- both have telescopic eyes and are fantails. 6x Zebra Danios vary in size, ranging between 5cm-7cm
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners?
    Stability, Prime, Stress Zyme, Goldfish Water Conditioner.
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often?
    Every night, either a couple pinches of nutrafin max flakes (for all of them, both Goldies and Danios) or 2-3 boiled, sofy, mushed up peas. Occasionally I thaw some frozen brine shrimp and feed them half a block. Other times I buy fresh Brine Shrimp from my local Aquarium.
  • * Any new fish added to the tank?
    Yes, but behavior started prior to new fish.
  • * Any medications added to the tank?
    Did do one run of Maracyn- didn't help.
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.
    Couple of 5-day runs of Maracyn and Maracyn II in the past- most recently a week ago, time before that was probably four months ago when his tank mate fell ill. (Still not sure what happened to the tank mate, died suddenly with no symptoms other than bottom sitting the day before. Physically, no ailments, not sure? This is why I'm so worried about Hugo!!!)
    Couple runs of Melafix and Pimafix after an old tank mate had a couple of split fins about six months ago.
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?
    May be my imagination (you know you don't find something wrong unless you go look for it...) but his eyes look a little bit cloudy over the last couple days.
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?
    Bottom sitting, yawning... Other than that he eats like normal, interacts with his tank mate like normal. His fins do not clamp at all, even when he bottom sits. About two months ago he was fin-flicking, but stopped by himself after a couple of days. Don't know what was wrong but he didn't do it again?

He is my special little guy!! I would do anything for him, price is not important. Please know though, that in Australia we don't have a lot of the medications that you guys do in the US!! Every time I've gotten a Mardel product I've had to order it on eBay and have had to wait a minimum of four weeks for it to arrive. :( It is also hard for me to really monitor him properly as I work 5 days a week, leaving at 6AM and arriving home at 7PM. I'm only able to monitor him weekends and evenings. I have tried to supply as much info as possible so that you guys can help me as best as you can... Any more questions, I will do my best to answer!!!!! I would do anything for Hugo!!!!!! :cry

Thank you - Amz.

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Sorry Hugo is not doing well :(

Could you upload a video of him? Thanks! :)

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Hi Tithra, thanks for replying & for your concern. :) Here's a video of him, he got a little excited to see me after I came home so he was happy to snap out of his currently unwell self and take a bit of a swim. Unfortunately this means I wasn't able to get a vid of his current lacklustre behaviour. I was able to catch him hiding away and being gloomy and bottom sitting, (which was the first shot I got of him) but... Not sure if you can see much, one thing I have noticed taking a good look over him though- and I'm not sure if it shows very well in the videos- but his slime-coat does seem a little overactive*.

He is an enigma! You can see he looks perfectly fine (minus one curly fin, which he's had since I got him... I think it gives him character) other that what I just mentioned about the slime-coat. (Or at least I think so? But I am not the expert here!!) :) Thanks for helping.

EDIT: * When I said it was overactive, I should have clarified. You can see a bit in the video, just above his right gill, there is a white mark. There are also very light white marks along and at the base of his lovely chocolate-black tail. The white mark above his gill has been there a while now, much longer than his current, surly behaviour... But they seem to have gotten a little more noticeable over the last couple of weeks?

Edited by Amz

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I got a question, is that a white spot i see on his lip ? If so is it fuzzy or flat looking ?

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I got a question, is that a white spot i see on his lip ? If so is it fuzzy or flat looking ?

His mouth has always been like that, it's actually his bottom lip, it sticks out like a little bump and has always been lighter than the rest of him. It's never looked fuzzy, it looks smooth like the rest of him. :)

When I get home tonight I will take a closer look and make sure it hasn't changed though, just in case!

He did seem better last night though, he didn't sit down as much. I've taken a break from flakes and have been feeding him nothing but boiled vegetables- (peas, broccoli, carrot)- so his poo is looking heaps better.

One thing I did notice last night, the new fish, Cornelius, started yawning. I had never seen him yawn the whole time he was in his 'new-fish-quarantine' tank, it's only started when he got into the big one.

And, I wasn't sure if Hugo was just begging for food but he may have been piping a little bit. Could it be that there's not enough oxygen in the tank? I have the filter and an air pump running 24/7...

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I'm glad to hear his poo is looking better, that is certainly a good sign.

have you ever treated either fish for flukes? The yawning, piping, and bottom sitting are common symptoms of flukes.

EDIT: how long ago was it that you fed the live brine shrimp?

Does his bottom/vent region look squared at all (a pic of this area might be helpful if you can get it, I wasn't quite sure from the video)?

Edited by tithra

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I'm thinking Flukes, too. The yawning is a way to stretch and relieve discomfort to the gills, which the Gill Flukes cause.

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I had a suspected case of flukes a while back, I treated the fish for them with Fluke & Tapeworm tablets whilst he was in quarantine... He was piping and yawning. I didn't know lethargy was a symptom of flukes? I thought it was really just piping and a few yawns... Anyway, the other fish was fine after the treatment- but could the medication not have killed all the flukes and he brought them into the tank anyway?

I did take a good long look at Hugo's gills this morning and they were clean, clear, crisp and a lovely pink. Will flukes change the appearance of gills or is it something you cannot see with the naked eye?

Lucky for me, I actually have some mild medication on hand for flukes and tapeworms, if he does need them. :) Would you guys suggest I give it a try?

Thanks for helping me everyone! I feel a lot better knowing I have experienced members helping me out with Hugo. :heart

EDIT: Um, I think the live brine shrimp were about 2 weeks ago, no more than 3. Like I said he only started acting like a grump a few days after the last bit of shrimp, which is why I thought it may or may not be related... I did check out his vent, it looked like normal. There has been no discolouration or swelling, even before the all-veg switch. He is passing without any troubles. I tried to take a photo of every angle of him last night, but I don't think this is a very good shot...

Hugo

Edited by Amz

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What mild medication are you planning to use? When you last treated, how many rounds did you treat? You need to do 4-6 rounds, unfortunately.

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What mild medication are you planning to use? When you last treated, how many rounds did you treat? You need to do 4-6 rounds, unfortunately.

Its the 'Aquamaster Fluke & Tapeworm Tablets' (Praziquantel), it's been recommended on these forums which is why I got it way back when the other guy was sick (seemed to be the product of choice?) the back of it says "Dosage: Use 1 tablet per 20L of aquarium water. repeat after 7 days to prevent re-infestation" which is what I did, along with water changes like the product described. I did the first round, then a second time to 'prevent reinfestation' after 7 days as it asked on the box, and then once more... That was about 4-5 months ago now though, do they stick around that long? :o

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What mild medication are you planning to use? When you last treated, how many rounds did you treat? You need to do 4-6 rounds, unfortunately.

Its the 'Aquamaster Fluke & Tapeworm Tablets' (Praziquantel), it's been recommended on these forums which is why I got it way back when the other guy was sick (seemed to be the product of choice?) the back of it says "Dosage: Use 1 tablet per 20L of aquarium water. repeat after 7 days to prevent re-infestation" which is what I did, along with water changes like the product described. I did the first round, then a second time to 'prevent reinfestation' after 7 days as it asked on the box, and then once more... That was about 4-5 months ago now though, do they stick around that long? :o

I was on my phone earlier, and didn't notice that you are from Australia. :)

These tablets are indeed the recommended treatment for flukes. The issue with flukes is sometimes the treatment will only knock them back to sub-clinical levels but not really eradicating them.

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This product looks good :) Main ingredient is prazi.

It can be difficult to completely exterminate flukes. Fish often carry low levels of flukes that there immune system is able to handle so they do not show symptoms. It is possible for these low levels of flukes to spring up, particularly when a fish becomes stressed or sick (due to decreased immune system response).

I think it would be a really good idea to treat again, but to do 4-6 rounds this time. I would also recommend doing a 5 day treatment period instead of the 7 day :) Here's the basic schedule:

Day 0: add meds

Day 4: big water change (at least 50%)

Day 5: big water change, add meds again

You will also want to bring the salt up to .3% for the first 2 rounds of meds (after that you can allow water changes to take out the salt).

You can use either aquarium salt or a store bought salt with no additives/anti-caking agents.

.1% salt = 1 tsp per gallon

Your 140 L tank is approximately 36 gallons

You will add 36 teaspoons (dissolve well before adding) 3x, waiting 12 hours between each dose of salt. This will get you to .3%

Edited by tithra

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What mild medication are you planning to use? When you last treated, how many rounds did you treat? You need to do 4-6 rounds, unfortunately.

Its the 'Aquamaster Fluke & Tapeworm Tablets' (Praziquantel), it's been recommended on these forums which is why I got it way back when the other guy was sick (seemed to be the product of choice?) the back of it says "Dosage: Use 1 tablet per 20L of aquarium water. repeat after 7 days to prevent re-infestation" which is what I did, along with water changes like the product described. I did the first round, then a second time to 'prevent reinfestation' after 7 days as it asked on the box, and then once more... That was about 4-5 months ago now though, do they stick around that long? :o

I was on my phone earlier, and didn't notice that you are from Australia. :)

These tablets are indeed the recommended treatment for flukes. The issue with flukes is sometimes the treatment will only knock them back to sub-clinical levels but not really eradicating them.

Haha yep it's a little confusing for me here in Melbourne (I'm actually at my desk in my office on the forum... Instead of working. Oops!) as all the aquarium product names are different! Haha. It's okay though, I manage to find Aussie substitutes for a lot of the medications mentioned in these forums. :)

Oh I'm glad I picked up the right ones then. I didn't know they don't eradicate the flukes completely!! Maybe I'll try a round of fluke medication and see if he picks up?

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This product looks good :) Main ingredient is prazi.

It can be difficult to completely exterminate flukes. Fish often carry low levels of flukes that there immune system is able to handle so they do not show symptoms. It is possible for these low levels of flukes to spring up, particularly when a fish becomes stressed or sick (due to decreased immune system response).

I think it would be a really good idea to treat again, but to do 4-6 rounds this time. I would also recommend doing a 5 day treatment period instead of the 7 day :) Here's the basic schedule:

Day 0: add meds

Day 4: big water change (at least 50%)

Day 5: big water change, add meds again

You will also want to bring the salt up to .3% for the first 2 rounds of meds (after that you can allow water changes to take out the salt).

You can use either aquarium salt or a store bought salt with no additives/anti-caking agents.

.1% salt = 1 tsp per gallon

Your 140 L tank is approximately 36 gallons

You will add 36 teaspoons (dissolve well before adding) 3x, waiting 12 hours between each dose of salt. This will get you to .3%

Wow Tithra thank you so much for the in-depth schedule!! :) I will follow it and see whether or not he improves along with his veggie diet. Maybe I'll make up some special gel-food for him as a treat...

Thank you so much everyone who helped, I'll try out Tithra's schedule and see whether or not he improves/is responding to the medication, and definitely keep you all updated. :D He is a trooper, so I'm sure he will be fine.

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