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Fish Health Help Please. I'm Stuck

Author Topic: Fish health help please. I'm stuck  (Read 4726 times)

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Offline mazzamoo

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Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« on: May 18, 2016, 08:46:14 PM »
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 :wave:. Hello.
Ok I'm hoping someone can help me shed some light on some fish issues.  I have 3 rams abd 2 are gold rams.  I have 3 rainbow dwarfs, 1 sword tail, 1 tbar cichlid , 1 golden nugget plec abd 3 loaches Oh and one apistogramma.
The prob seems to be with the 3 rams and 3 rainbow dwarfs.  They all seem to breath very fast with mouth and Gill movements. When I brought the dwarfs home 1 seemed to have a white grown on his chin/lip. I honestly thought he just had an abnormality. It's still there but then another on got 1 on his upper lip. But this sometimes seemed to suck in his mouth and out again. They both looked like cotton wool type growths.  1 of the gold rams when I got him I noticed his lips protrude all the time and both occasions the hold rams were skinny. I made sure they did it but the do look drawn in on the bottom.  But recently the one with protruding lips seems not himself and hides out in 1 corner. Oh abd hes got 1 clamped fin. I do think all the rams have red mouths too. He does eat  though but think he struggles with his mouth. He does seems to have quite red gills. 1 of the dwarfs Gill does look like it's a tiny tiny bit folded back but hard to see as they small. But all the rainbows and rams cause there gills go so rapid the do look but red and open. No I spoke to fish shop and they saud to treat waterline white spot and fungus. I've done 1 full disease and seems to be no improvement on dwarfs mouths. So I called them again.  They said do another dose. But he did say if you can catch the rainbows and can wood the cotton wool bits very carefully with a cotton wool bud then out a daphnia of the fungus treatment on too. I did that and when I put them back in it did seem to have wiped off. However it soon came back like in a day or 2. He did say that rainbow dwarfs are very Scattish and can cut themselves. Mine are scatty. But I've just noticed that my big ram looks like he got 3 white spots above his eyes. They do look like grains of salt. But I'm treating with water life.  Please could anyone have any ideas what it could be or to try. I did wonder if it's internal or Gill diseases but I don't know.  My nitrate nitrite and ammonia are normal levels but I did for a few weeks have very very very low nitrite levels and was suffering with white cloudy water. But that's ok now. 

Thank you
Maria

Offline fcmf

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2016, 08:41:24 AM »
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Hi Maria,

Sorry to hear about these problem.  The whitespot/fungus can be very difficult to treat as you'll gather if you read this thread: http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/forums/fish-health/whitespot-and-quarantine-conundrum/msg25531/#msg25531 .  It often requires multiple treatment courses. Waterlife is a good brand of medication so it may be worth doing another full treatment course. Another option is to try using a different brand and see if that manages to work on this particular strain or possible stage of the disease, if for some reason your fish are resistant. However, I'd be tempted to have another go with the Waterlife brand that you already have.

Before you do anything, though, I'd advise waiting to see what others think. Others have more experience than me in this/these particular condition(s) and also may have further advice based on the other aspects you have mentioned (red mouth and gills). Hopefully others will be online later today and be able to advise further.

Offline mazzamoo

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2016, 09:29:44 AM »
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Hi. Brilliant thank you for that advice. It's good to hear it's a good brand. I'm on my second treatment.  I've done 3 days and got last dose on the 6th day. I was worried about nitrites going up whilst the poly filter wasn't in as I was having a but in there but luckily it's staying down whilst I'm treating the fish. Maybe another disease after this one then. I've got time for more replies before I decide to do another treatment as last dose is sat. Thanks for your reply.
Maria

Offline Sue

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2016, 10:23:14 AM »
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I'm the one who has had problems with persistent whitespot. The final med I used was Waterlife Protozin which appears to have done the trick.

As for the white mouths, are the lips just white or are they fuzzy white with the actual flesh being eroded? Fungus will erode the mouth.

Is your water soft or hard? Depending how far back the breeder last used wild fish, rams can suffer if kept in water that is not soft and acidic and they need it warmer that most fish like. If there hasn't been a wild ancestor for many generations, rams are more tolerant than those with recent wild ancestors, but you can't tell just be looking at them.

Rams also feed from the bottom so like cories, they need a smooth substrate - the photos don't show your substrate, what is it like?

Offline Fiona

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2016, 11:38:38 AM »
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Do you have any carbon in your filter Maria?

You said you took the polyfilter out, that needs to stay out while you treat your fish.

I think you need to watch your water quality too, nitrites and ammonia should always be 0.

Offline mazzamoo

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2016, 06:50:56 PM »
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Hello fiona. No I've got no carbon in I just had poly filter.  My levels are both 0. Think it was cause the tank was still stabilising as it was a fairly new set up. 

Sue my ph is just over 7 and always has been. The rams were ok first if all and the gold rams even paired up and laid eggs. I do feel the make came from the shop with issues though. Also it defo does look like cotton wool bits on the rainbows mouths. However I've not long looked and one of the rainbows fungus has gone it looks and the other one looks bit better. Fingers crossed it goes completely. I've got 1 last dose on Sat to do. I've just looked at the female gold ram though and she looks like she might have an abbrasion on her side near her tail. It's white and I think it's very slightly raised with a bit of speckled red in it. Both gold rams look like the have mottled/speckled red marks in their skin. I'll attach photos.

Thanks
Maria


Offline Sue

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2016, 07:09:32 PM »
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I'm not very familiar with the gold variety of rams; it could just be their colouring. I know that in the natural colour, females develop a pink abdomen when mature.

How hard is the water? Fish can tolerate pH outside their 'normal' range better than they can tolerate hardness outside the range. And pH doesn't necessarily go with hardness - for example, my tap water is moderately soft but my pH is 7.5.

Offline mazzamoo

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2016, 07:19:15 PM »
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Ah ok. I'll test the hardness. 

Offline mazzamoo

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2016, 07:28:40 PM »
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Hello. Right I've tested the kh and gh.

It took 8 drops for the kh to change from Blue to yellow.
And
13 drops for the gh to change from purple to Blue.  I had 2 bottles to use for gh though. I had to add 5 drops of the first bottle then I counted 13 from when I started using the second bottle.

What's your thoughts??

Offline Sue

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2016, 07:38:21 PM »
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What brand tester are you using? I've only ever come across ones that use a single bottle for GH.

If the hardness is 13 german deg, that could be the problem with the rams. It is a bit harder than they like, 10 german deg being the maximum for those fish that don't have recent wild ancestors - and gold ones, being selectively bred for the colour, are unlikely to have recent wild ancestors.

Dwarf rainbowfish are OK uo to 15 german deg, and as low as 5. You could think about using RO (reverse osmosis) water to reduce the hardness for the rams. You would mix tap water and RO water when you do water changes - using exactly the same proportions every time.

Offline mazzamoo

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2016, 08:06:49 PM »
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Oh ok. It's bit annoying really as my lfs was involved all the way from me setting up my tank, doing a fishless cycle and buying my first fish abd they never talking about hardness etc when I brought the little gold rams bless them. Yes I know it's also down to me to research but you also rely on them too. The test kit is from my lfs.

Thanks for all your help.

Offline Sue

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2016, 08:11:08 PM »
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That's not a test kit I've seen before - not that I know them all  ;D

Shops don't know everything about all fish. I only know about rams as I've tried to keep them in the past without much success.

Offline mazzamoo

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2016, 08:21:28 PM »
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Oh ok. Not good. All my other fish seem happy. I'm wondering to see whether the shop will take them back or whether to keep buying the ro water and using that. Will my other fish be ok with the ro water ? If I do decide to go the ro route, just to check. I do a 20% water change once a week so there for 10% should be ro water and 10% my tap water with my tap safe??????

Offline Sue

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2016, 08:35:27 PM »
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You only need to lower the GH slightly so mix up the new water something like three quarters tap water and one quarter RO. The GH of the tank will drop a bit at each water change until it reaches the same 75:25 ratio as the new water. It is important not to make a big change at one go. It'll take a few water changes to get the tank water to the same as the new tap/RO mix.

The only hard water fish you have is the swordtail, but that is OK down to lower than this will take it.




Or see if the shop will take the rams back and get something else that is better in hard water.

Offline mazzamoo

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2016, 09:44:12 PM »
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Brill thanks Sue I appreciate the advice

Maria

Offline mazzamoo

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2016, 10:05:44 PM »
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I've got a filter jug that I use for my drinking water. I've just tested that and the gh changed after 5 drops. It took 13 last time. 😲So I take it I'll be ok to add some of that water would I ??

Offline Anne

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2016, 11:24:11 PM »
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Hi Maria

I wouldn't use the water from the filter jug as from what I have read from other threads on this site, they replace the chemicals with different ones and these aren't good for your fish.

Sue and her chemistry brain will be able to explain it better.

I suggest you use the search function for a better, sciency explanation.

Offline Matt

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2016, 07:12:33 AM »
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Quote
Don't use Brita water!

It swaps the 'hard' minerals for hydrogen ions; pH is an upside down measure of hydrogen ions so Brita water has very low pH. My jug dropped mine to off the bottom of the scale with my pH tester - to below 6.0.
In fact the faq's on Brita's website used to advise against using it for aquariums. - See more at: http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/forums/new-fishkeepers/lots-of-algae-forming/msg24187/#msg24187

Above are Sue's comments 're Brita filters which I'd saved (hope you don't mind me jumping in Sue!) I'm wondering though if the pH is neutral here, if using Brita filtered water would be acceptable.

Now... a massive caveat that I'm not experienced with fish diseases as I have been very lucky in that respect but see http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/content.php?sid=2797 and I believe the red spots and 'mouth rot' are signs of a bacterial infection and so need to be treated differently to white spot... I'd welcome the thoughts of our more experienced members?

EDIT: softening the water to within the fishes normal range would also help it fight the infection I believe

Offline ColinB

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2016, 07:42:37 AM »
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When I lived in a hard water area I used rain water to 50:50 my tap water. This halved both the hardness (down from 16 to 8) and the nitrates that Thames Water so kindly sent me (down from 40ppm to 20ppm). If the water butts were dry (or mucky) I used RO which I bought from my local Maidenhead Aquatics at 1.70 for 10 litres. I only have a small tank so bought RO was cheaper than making my own, especially as we planned on moving house in a few years.

I now have 2 very soft water with just a trace of nitrates, courtesy of Welsh Water.

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Offline fcmf

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2016, 07:48:11 AM »
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Now... a massive caveat that I'm not experienced with fish diseases as I have been very lucky in that respect but see http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/content.php?sid=2797 and I believe the red spots and 'mouth rot' are signs of a bacterial infection and so need to be treated differently to white spot... I'd welcome the thoughts of our more experienced members?
Is there any hard decor in the tank that might have caused the red markings/abrasions? From what I've read here, and looking at the pics, it doesn't sound to me as though it's mouth rot (at least not yet). If it were, there are some medications that can be used together (eg eSHa Exit plus esHa 2000 for whitespot and finrot/bacterial infections respectively; Waterlife's medications don't seem to be able to be used together, though) but, in my opinion, only treatment for whitespot/fungus is needed for now. Once that treatment course is complete, then the whole situation can be reviewed.

What is crucial is to keep water quality perfect to prevent any secondary infections and help healing of those markings/abrasions ie ammonia and nitrite at 0, nitrate at 20ppm or under if at all possible.

Offline Sue

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2016, 11:39:25 AM »
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Rams are one of the nitrate sensitive species; nitrate must be kept low with these fish.

As for filter jugs - be they Brita or another brand - they all work on the same principle. They soften the water using ion exchange resins. This means they remove the minerals that make water hard (calcium and magnesium ions) and swap them for something else. That something else could be hydrogen ions which would dramatically lower the pH, or sodium ions or potassium ions. But adding the 'something else' to the water is not a good idea. In the case of sodium and potassium, soft water fish have not evolved to cope with these so adding them is bad for soft water fish. And with a pH as low as my tap water goes in my Brita jug is also not good.
My tap water has low KH at just 3 german deg - the Brita jug dropped that to zero. So not only did it acidify the water, it also removed all the buffer. Where the KH is higher than mine, the filters shouldn't drop it to zero but they will lower it.

Offline mazzamoo

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Re: Fish health help please. I'm stuck
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2016, 08:16:01 PM »
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Well my lfs took all my 3 rams back so hopefully they will be happy and get back in good health. I'll stick to hard water fish now or fish that can atleast tolerate it.
Thanks for all your advise everyone. Atleast I've learnt some stuff.
Maria

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