Whitespot - And The Consequences Of The Import Spot Variety - ESHa Exit

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Offline Sue

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #150 on: May 22, 2016, 02:19:59 PM »
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There is a glimmer of good news.
After typing the above, I put the microdevarios back into the 180 litre as they were still in the quarantine tank. I haven't dosed that tank for over a week, but the light wasn't good enough to see the fish properly. I could see them as they went back, and they don't have spots. I dosed them in the QT with WS3 so maybe there's hope if I dose the big tank with that.
WS3 is very concentrated - the dose rate is 1 ml per 90 litres. By the feel of the bottle I have quite a lot left so I'm going to dose it till I run out, spots or no spots.

What worries me is that if the fish already in the 180 don't show signs but as soon as new fish go in they get whitespot, how am I ever going to restock this tank? The green neons had been in the 50 litre spot free since March so the bug still has to be in the 180. They've been in the big tank since Tuesday, 5 days.

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Offline Matt

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #151 on: May 22, 2016, 05:44:29 PM »
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Have you been vacuuming your substrate Sue - I feel stupid even suggesting this but it's all I can find after a quick Google I'm afraid...

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Offline Sue

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #152 on: May 22, 2016, 06:29:31 PM »
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Every time I do a water change. I have sand in all my tanks so the mess sits on top where I can see it so I know where I've been. However, whitespot cysts also lie on plants, decor, everything.

I've just fed he fish with frozen food, including  cyclops, and I always turn the filter off when feeding that so the fish can get it all before it gets sucked up. This tempted the green neons to the front of the tank where I deliberately dropped the food, and only a couple of them actually have spots. Maybe the rest with have them over the next couple of days. None of the other fish has as much as one spot between them.

And over the years I've always found that Paracheirodons of all species get whitespot easily.

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Offline Anne

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #153 on: May 22, 2016, 08:25:02 PM »
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Don't know what to say Sue except good luck with the WS3 and hope your tank will soon be spot free. :-\

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Offline Fiona

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #154 on: May 23, 2016, 10:54:29 AM »
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Just a thought Sue but if you did an extremely extended dosing surely at some point all the cysts will have 'hatched' and the free swimming form will have been killed off by the medication.

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Offline Sue

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #155 on: May 23, 2016, 11:01:44 AM »
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That's what I would have thought. The only thing I can think of is that the parasite has actually been attacking my fish but in the gills were it can't be seen. I remember that at the beginning of the second appearance some of the cherry barbs were flicking on the substrate during a water change, an indication that something was irritating their gills. And I have read recently that the gills are the first point of attack for this parasite.


Since fish are supposed to be able to fight off this parasite if they are fit and healthy - and maybe the green neons were a bit stressed by being caught and transferred to a new tank - I'm also dosing the tank with the beta-G I bought for the shrimps a couple of years ago to see if that helps their immune systems.
As you can tell, I'm grasping at straws........

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Offline Fiona

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #156 on: May 23, 2016, 11:15:58 AM »
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As you can tell, I'm grasping at straws........

I wouldn't say that, you're systematically dealing with all the potential issues. I add beta G to my tanks too for exactly the same reason.

I've had fish that flicked but they didn't have spots however they had oddly bruised looking gills.  Whenever I added new fish to the tank they got whitespot. I think the issues I had with the shrimpery which meant I had to use the QT for the shrimps, actually did me a favour in a way. I didn't add new fish to my tank for a long time and I didn't actively remove the meds, so the tank had a prolonged dose. Fingers crossed it works for you.

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Offline Paddyc

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #157 on: May 23, 2016, 09:20:39 PM »
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 :'( :'( :'( :'(

Sue, I was devastated to read this after thinking you had finally beaten the whitespot. I really hope that soon you'll have a lovely healthy tank again. Your fish really do have the best of care, you are doing absolutely everything you can for them which nobody could argue.

We're all thinking about you, chin up  :)

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Offline Sue

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #158 on: May 23, 2016, 09:46:59 PM »
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Thank you Paddy.

I'm feeling better about things now, I'm going to finish the bottle of WS3 however long that lasts and see what happens after that.

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Offline fcmf

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #159 on: May 24, 2016, 08:54:41 AM »
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Also really sorry to read of this - it is very frustrating when doing absolutely everything to try to battle something, only to find that it re-appears repeatedly just when it seems as though you're "out of the woods".

Sounds like you're doing all the right things.

Regarding the substrate, perhaps your sand is a different consistency to mine, but I don't find that the waste sits on top of the sand - the "waterfall" effect from the filter disperses some sand, two of the tetras forage in the sand for leftovers, occasionally other tetras will swish their tails and disturb the sand, and, when I'm re-positioning the silk plants in the substrate after a water change, any slight movement of the sand to cover the base of the plants seems to unearth more waste from deeper down in the sand (albeit it's only 1cm-2cm deep). I'm just wondering whether a thorough siphon of deeper down in the substrate might help suck up any cysts that might have inadvertently fallen deeper into the substrate?

If what you're now doing still doesn't eradicate the problem, then I wonder if it's time to buy a new tank (bigger, of course ;)) to replace the 180L and get it set up with a view to moving the fish into that? You can then work away at trying to eradicate the problem in the 180L so that it can be put back into use (either by yourself or someone else, if you sell it second-hand) without further problem.

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Offline Sue

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #160 on: May 24, 2016, 12:45:14 PM »
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The only way I can clean into the substrate is by sucking it out of the tank. When doing a water change I always suck some sand out from the surface and have to put it back. If all else fails, I'll put the fish in the dustbin, hoover the sand out, wash it and put it back, then the fish. I have a 60 litre green dustbin that I use for fishy things, not the one I put the rubbish in  ;D


There's no chance of another tank I'm afraid. My husband wants me to get rid of the 50 litre as it is  >:(

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Offline Littlefish

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #161 on: May 24, 2016, 03:05:13 PM »
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I'm glad you clarified the bin thing.  ;D

Offline Sue

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #162 on: May 24, 2016, 04:47:02 PM »
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Actually I need to put the bin back among the rafters in the garage. I've been using it to soak a tall piece of wood (well, azalea root) that was too big to fit in anything else. It took about a month to sink so we've had a dark green bin sitting on the patio for ages.

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Offline fcmf

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #163 on: May 24, 2016, 06:46:15 PM »
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As a self-confessed hoarder, the word 'bin' instils a facial expression like this :o  In Scotland, the word 'bucket' tends to be used for 'bin' which doesn't quite cause the same reaction, thankfully. However, when the word 'bin' is used :o in conjunction with the word 'fish', goodness me, my facial reaction was exactly like this :yikes: Thanks for the clarification and reassurance afterwards. ;D

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Offline Sue

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #164 on: May 24, 2016, 07:34:19 PM »
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Almost as good a wind up as your new tank, fcmf  ;D


It's a 60-ish litre container with lid sold as a dustbin back in the 1990s when I first had fish. Back then all I had access to were library books and one of them was quite adamant that tanks must be stripped down every year, cleaned and put back together so I had to get something to put the fish in while I did this. I did it once, then couldn't be bothered doing it again. I've realised since that the author was talking about tanks with under gravel filters which I've never had.
But the container came in useful when I changed from gravel to sand (somewhere to put the fish for the duration) and when I moved everything from the 125 litre to the 180 I had somewhere to put the old water and fish to transport them from one room to another.

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Offline Sue

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #165 on: June 05, 2016, 12:17:48 PM »
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I have had enough.

I have used three different whitespot meds. I have been dosing the tank for weeks. The green neons still have whitespot. Or import spot, a nasty variant of whitespot. I have had several sleepless nights wondering what on earth to do. The last couple of weeks I've been pulling dead fish out of the tank every day - I think all the med has got to them.

After lying awake till 2 this morning I decided there was only one option left. The fish look clear of spots, then I put more fish in and they get spots. Someone in there is typhoid Mary. I didn't have any realistic choice but one. I talked it over with my husband at breakfast time - as a housewife I have no money of my own so he has to pay for everything - and he has agreed.


I have spent the morning clearing the tank. All the fish, well the ones that were left, have gone. I have removed the sand, cleaned the glass, and washed the filters. All that's in there now is the wood with plants on. I will feed the tank ammonia and some fish food to feed the micro-organisms other than the filter bacteria. I will get some new sand and put that in the tank.
And so the tank will remain for 3 months. In early September, I will get more fish from the one shop I've never had disease from, restocking in one go if they'll let me.



If they get whitespot/import spot after all that, I'll get rid of the tank.




Up to this morning during this outbreak I've lost:
12 cherry barbs
7 pencilfish
A female apisto
3 stiphodons
1 oto
both ember tetras
5 green neons

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Offline Littlefish

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #166 on: June 05, 2016, 01:00:04 PM »
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Oh my god, Sue. How awful. I didn't realise quite how many fish you had lost until you listed them.
The past couple of months must have been an absolute nightmare for you with that tank.
Your solution to the problem is quite extreme, but it may have been the only one left at this point. I'm sorry that you were in a position where that was the only final option left for you to take.
 :(

Offline Sue

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #167 on: June 05, 2016, 01:57:29 PM »
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It was not an easy decision. I've spent several nights lying awake trying to think of something I could try next but in the end I couldn't think of anything.

I feel horrible, all those poor fish.




What I don't understand is that none of the new fish I bought - 4 stiphodons and a pencilfish first, then a pair of apistos from another shop - have ever shown a single spot. The only affected fish have been those I've had for ages. One or more of them must have been harbouring the parasite without themselves showing symptoms. In this scenario, even if I had quarantined the fish, it would quite likely still have had the same outcome. If the carrier had the parasite in its gills, I would never have seen any spots and would have put the fish in the main tank after 2 to 3 weeks in quarantine, still carrying the bug.

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Offline Sue

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #168 on: June 05, 2016, 02:27:49 PM »
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Going back through this thread and my notebook:

2 March - bought 4 stiphodons and one pencilfish from shop A.
10 March - saw 1 spot on 1 fish which was only there for a day
13 March - several fish had spots
14 to 19 March - added eSHa Exit.
19 March - spots gone.

7 April - bought apistogrammas from shop B
13 April - spots.
13 to 15 April - eHSa Exit, then ran out.
19 April to 3 May - King British Original Formula WS3 (added every 48 hours as per instructions)
5 to 11 May - Waterlife Protozin as WS3 didn't seem to work. Used the whole bottle. Spots appearered to have gone.
17 May - moved green neon tetras from 50 litre to this tank. These fish not new, bought 11 Feb, no sign of spots in 50 litre.
22 May - green neons got spots. The parasite must still have been in the tank even though no fish showed spots
22 May to 3 June - back to WS3 every 48 hours.
5 June - remaining green neons still have spots as does one pencilfish.



Since there were no spots for 25 days after the first episode, I think the nasty one came with the apistos from shop B.

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Offline Littlefish

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #169 on: June 05, 2016, 02:48:24 PM »
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An awful decision to have to make, and I can understand why you spent several sleepless nights looking for other options. Unfortunately, if you had not taken such a tough decision, you may have left all of those poor fish open to several weeks of suffering whilst they continued to die off. That would have been very stressful for them and you. I know that doesn't make things any better though.
It looks as if you are right about the apistos as well. Considering the amount of different medications you tried to resolve the problem, and over a considerable period of time, it must have been a really persistent outbreak to have carried on through all of that.

Offline Extreme_One

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #170 on: June 05, 2016, 08:27:49 PM »
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So sorry to hear this Sue.

I really feel for you.

I know how much you care for your fish and that you always do your best for them.

I admire the way you've handled this episode and, even though today's decision must have been a tough one, I think your new plan is sensible. Allow plenty of time for the parasite to die off with no host and start again in September.
I wouldn't usually wish away the summer, but I hope September comes quickly for you.

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Offline Sue

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #171 on: June 05, 2016, 09:03:00 PM »
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It hasn't been a good few months. What with this whitespot/import spot and my husband having 4 endoscopies in four and a half months while they try to determine if he just has Barretts cells or if there are any pre cancer cells in his oesophagus, it has been a worrying time.

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Offline Fiona

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #172 on: June 06, 2016, 10:56:20 AM »
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Bless you Sue  :( but I think you made the right choice. You could go 1 step further and leave the tank and filter to dry out completely. It would mean cycling the filter again but I think it would be worth the hassle and you could be 100% sure of a disease free tank. Its just a suggestion though and probably something you've already considered.

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Offline Sue

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #173 on: June 06, 2016, 11:14:57 AM »
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I have considered that too. My husband also suggested throwing away the plants and letting the wood dry out, then rehydrating it. My reason for not doing it is because of keeping the biofilm going on the glass, decor etc.

I did order some more eSHa Exit last week, I'm waiting for it to arrive. But the fish started dying after I ordered it, and that was the deciding factor. I'd remove the bodies, then come back a hour to two later to find more. It was heartbreaking seeing those dead bodies and I couldn't cope with it going on and on till there were no fish left.

Once the Exit arrives, I'm going to use the entire bottle however long that lasts. I have bought a new bottle of ammonia this morning and thrown away the rest of the very old bottle which had virtually no ammonia left in solution. Now I need to buy ammonia and nitrite testers as I finished the last ones cycling the sponge filter for the betta's tank. Then buy more sand. I couldn't believe how disgusting the sand I removed yesterday was.


Using an entire bottle of Exit and leaving the tank fishless for 3 months should work. Leaving the tank empty for 2 weeks would probably be enough but I'd rather overdo the wait. And it'll give me time to decide what to stock with. It's a long time since I started from scratch, even after losing fish to camallanus worms, I still had a lot of fish left.







Standing in the kitchen on the way to bed last night, my husband said that when I get too old to cope with the big tank, I must still keep a small tank with a betta as they are his favourites. This is a very good sign - he's been appending everything with "if I'm still alive by then" for the last few months.

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Offline Fiona

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #174 on: June 06, 2016, 11:25:55 AM »
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Waiting for a diagnosis of cancer is awful, I've been there myself, all sorts of possibilities go through your mind.  Probably the last thing either of you need is dying fish every day. You did the right thing Sue.

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Offline Sue

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #175 on: June 06, 2016, 12:43:06 PM »
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My husband's problem is he thinks the worst.
He's suffered from acid reflux for decades. He's been to the doctor several times and been told take antacids, then take this new wonder product gaviscon. He gave up going as that's all they said time after time. Roll forwards 20 years or so and shortly before Christmas he had an awful pain in his side which with hindsight I think was a tweaked nerve from his back as it followed exactly the same line as the shingles I had last autumn, and has gone completely without any treatment. The doctor took it seriously and arranged a barrage of tests - blood, urine, faeces, CT scan, all of which showed nothing. At the visit for the results he said the pain had almost gone but he still couldn't eat much at which point you could almost see the doc's ears pricking up and she arranged the first endoscopy which showed Barretts cells in his oesophagus, the result of years of acid reflux.
After the third endoscopy and biopsy he saw the consultant at out patients who explained the condition. Acid burns the oesophagus lining which causes changes as the cells try to protect themselves. The first change is Barratt's cells. If left untreated, the cells change to low grade dysplasia, then high grade dysplasia, then cancer. At the high grade stage they remove the cells to prevent cancer, not a pleasant procedure but a lot less unpleasant than cancer treatment. He has Barratts's cells and they think he has a few cells starting to show low grade dysplasia - apparently it is quite hard to be sure in the early stages, hence the 4th endoscopy last week.
He has been prescribed a proton pump inhibitor (a fairly common drug)which has changed his life. He can sleep without waking up with burning pains. He can eat a full meal. He doesn't fill up with wind. This drug stops the acid and there is significantly reduced damage to the oesophageal cells.
But he still reckons he'll die of cancer in a couple of years.

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Offline ColinB

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #176 on: June 06, 2016, 01:09:58 PM »
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I haven't been following this thread until today.... I'm really sorry to hear about all your troubles, Sue.

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Offline Fiona

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #177 on: June 06, 2016, 01:32:01 PM »
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I'm a bit of a pessimist too Sue. On the plus side, you're rarely disappointed because you always expect the worst and you're surprised and delighted when things go right. I'll be thinking of the poor man and you too.

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Offline fcmf

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #178 on: June 06, 2016, 06:39:37 PM »
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So sorry to read of all of this - what a time you've had! - but understand why you took the action you did regarding the fish. [Ended up reading about Typhoid Mary - that does indeed sound like the situation you've had.]

Isn't it typical that difficult situations always happen together? I do hope that your husband gets some relief with the proton pump inhibitor and that the prognosis isn't as poor as he thinks. As Fiona says, though, there are definite advantages to his line of thinking (as long as it's more "erring" in that direction as opposed to a full-blown "giving up"), and then hopefully anything above his expectancies is considered a bonus by him. Best of luck.

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Offline Fiona

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #179 on: June 07, 2016, 08:04:32 AM »
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Just had a sudden thought Sue. If all the drugs you used couldn't cure your Typhoid Mary will using a whole bottle of eSHa exit 'clear' your tank of disease?

ps, it might be worth changing the name of this thread to echo the outcome, it'll be useful for people searching google with the same issue.

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Offline Sue

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Re: Whitespot then fungus
« Reply #180 on: June 07, 2016, 08:13:56 AM »
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The Exit is on its way - 2 bottles in fact as you need quite a bit for 180 litres - so I may as well use one of them and keep one in reserve.


I know that pest snails are not like the snails we want to keep in our tanks - everything we don't want is indestructible, everything we want is delicate. I've even come across the comment that 2 things will survive a nuclear holocaust, cockroaches and Malaysian trumpet snails.
Two of the meds I've used specify that they will kill invertebrates. This morning I have several little ramshorn snails climbing over the wood, the ones I've always had in my tanks but bigger. They are usually about 2 mm across, these are 5 mm.

I'm not too worried about the snails - at least they'll eat some algae. I moved the nerites out a couple of months ago and the plants have algae on them. And as the nerites were in a tank by themselves for 2 or 3 weeks, then I put them in the betta's tank and he doesn't have a trace of a spot, I'm not worried about the ramshorns harbouring this bug. Bettas get whitespot easily because of the large fin area.





Good point about the title.

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Offline Sue

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Re: Whitespot - and the consequences of the Import Spot variety
« Reply #181 on: June 21, 2016, 12:42:29 PM »
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Just an update to say how the tank is doing.

The fish and substrate were removed on 5 June, all that's in there now is the wood with plants and pest ramshorn snails.

I am still awaiting the eSHa Exit as in this thread (the seller says he's going to check up on the person who should have sent it, and they are moving premises hence the problem. I'll believe it when it arrives). So I decided to finish the bottle of WS3. The dosage rate for 180 litres is 2 ml every 48 hours. I've been adding 3 ml every 24 hours starting 17 June. There are no fish to harm and if I damage the bacteria I have time to recycle the tank. If I ever get the Exit, I'll use one full bottle once the WS3 has run out.

I am adding ammonia, currently at the amount to give ~1.5 ppm. I'll increase that nearer the end. I'm also adding a pinch of fish food every few days as I am aware there are more micro-organisms on the wood, plants, filters etc than just the filter bacteria and they need feeding too.

Because I'm adding ammonia, nitrate will be building up and I don't have a tester to monitor it, so I have been doing water changes until I started the WS3 as I don't want to dilute that. The last water change was 11 June, and I should really have done a water change before starting the WS3 but as there are no fish I couldn't be bothered
My tanks usually run at a pH between the 7.2 and 7.6 colours; I tested the pH yesterday and found pH 6.6, so I added a 15 ml spoonful of bicarbonate of soda. Today the pH is back to 7.2 - 7.6.
Once the whitespot treatments are finished, I'll start doing water changes as though there were fish. This will remove nitrate etc so the pH should stay stable, and it will remove the bicarb I added before I can get more fish.



And I've decided 3 months is a bit to long to bear. I'll replace the fish after 2 months.

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