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Sick Common Pleco and Platy

Discussion in 'Tropical Fish Emergencies' started by Silencedogood, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Silencedogood

    Silencedogood New Member

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    I have a common pleco that has been sick for a few months now. At first, she had discolored patches on her body. ( I was treating my 30 gal tank for ick at that time. I lost half of my community tank to ick over a period of two-and-a-half months. Then I moved my remaining fish to a ten gal QT tank and all symptoms of ick disappeared). After a week of them being in the QT tank, I noticed white spots on the plecos gills and around her eye sockets. (I had previously added salt to the QT, as recommended by an aquatic specialist). Now, the pleco is struggling to stay on the floor, is breathing VERY fast, and is bloated. She also doesn't have much appetite and is pretty much staying in the same spot. Any ideas?
    Water Parameters:
    ph-7
    alkalinity-low
    hardness-soft
    nitrite-0 ppm
    nitrate-0 ppm
    water temp-82
    I feed her algae wafers and occasionally some cukes. I do regular water changes and when I added the salt, I did half the amount since catfish are supposedly sensitive to salt.

    I recycled my 30 gal for 3 wks and then added my remaining fish ( besides the pleco). I tested the water today and the nitrites were up to 0.5 ppm. All other water parameters were good. Any ideas why the nitrites are going up?
    Thank You!

     
    #1 Silencedogood, Jan 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum :)

    What have you been using to treat the fish (besides salt)?
    How much salt have you been adding to the tank?

    Can you post a picture and short 20 second video of the sick fish?

    Some catfish can tolerate salt, others can't. It depends on where the fish originate from. If they come from the upper reaches of the Amazon River they won't tolerate salt. If they naturally occur in a harbor they will be fine with salt.
    Plecos come from the Amazon and don't normally encounter salt in the wild.

    Do you have driftwood in the tank for the pleco?
    Do you feed any algae or fresh plant matter (not dry food) to the pleco?

    ----------------------
    The best thing to do if a fish is looking unwell, is a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate each day until the problem is identified. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

    There is more info about this at the following link. It's pretty long and boring but worth knowing.
    http://www.fishforums.net/threads/what-to-do-if-your-fish-gets-sick.450268/
     
  3. Silencedogood

    Silencedogood New Member

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    I haven't done any other treatment in the 10 gal tank besides the salt, but in the 30 gal tank ( where the ick started) I used three different treatments: Kordon Ick Attack, Marineland Ick Remedy, and API All-In-One. None seemed to work.
    I added one rounded tablespoon of salt to the 10 gal (half dose).
    No, I am only feeding dry food; I had live plants, but they rotted because of the extensive ick treatment. I don't have any driftwood, either. Is driftwood necessary?
    I switched the pleco to the 10 gal 2 wks ago, but when she was in the infected 30 gal she was fine except for the discolored patches. When I moved her to the 10 gal all of these new symptoms appeared.
    The 10 gal tank has only been running for 2.5 wks. If I do a 75% water change, will that harm any beneficial bacteria?
     
  4. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Big water changes will not harm filter bacteria as long as the new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

    All suckermouth catfish need driftwood in their tank. They graze on it and it helps with digestion. They should also get some fresh plant matter or algae.
     
  5. Silencedogood

    Silencedogood New Member

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    I just noticed that the pleco's fins are rotting and it looks like she might have pop eye. What is that caused from? And is it strange to have so many different things affect the fish at once? Are both of those treatable? I was told that salt takes care of a variety of problems, but the fin rot and the pop eye are a week after adding the salt. What is the best course to take?


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #5 Silencedogood, Jan 2, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  6. Silencedogood

    Silencedogood New Member

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    Here are the pics.


    Can I use other medications on top of salt? And why would the pleco get fin rot if the ph levels are neutral?
     

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  7. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Fin rot and popeye are caused by a dirty environment and poor water quality that damages the fish and allows bacteria and protozoans into the damaged tissue where they start to cause problems.

    The best way to treat both of these is with big daily water changes. If there is no improvement after a week or the swollen eye gets worse then you look at using a medication.

    Having said that the right pectoral fin looks more like physical damage and does not look like fin rot. And the eye looks normal from the picture but it is not a good picture to see a swollen eye sticking out. If you want to take a picture of the fish from front (looking at its mouth and face), that will give more information as to whether the eye is actually swollen.
     
  8. Silencedogood

    Silencedogood New Member

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    The fin rot/damage started out as a red area on the fin. Then the fin started looking ragged and after that was when I noticed that pieces of the fin were missing. Now the dorsal fin has pieces missing and all of the other fins are getting that ragged appearance and have the redness. Is this, by any chance caused by the salt? If not, would the salt clear this up? ( The salt has been in the tank for 10 days now).

    Will Melafix treat fin rot? And can I use treatment while the salt is in the tank, or will that be too much for the pleco to handle?


    I tried to get more pictures, but the pleco wasn't being very compliant:)
     

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  9. Silencedogood

    Silencedogood New Member

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    I should mention that my mickey mouse platy is not doing so well, either. She is in my main tank with 3 other platys and 1 tetra. She has a loss of appetite, has become very thin, and is hiding a lot. One person told me that worms is a possibility. Does it seem like worms?
     

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  10. Silencedogood

    Silencedogood New Member

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    Also, is it strange for tropical fish to have ick for three months?
     
  11. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    I can't see anything on the pleco. If you let the fish settle down in the tank and take a number of photos, you can check them on your computer and post a couple that clearly show the issue. When fish are lifted out of water their fins squish together and their colour changes a bit making identification of health issues hard.

    Salt does not cause fin rot. Salt can damage the kidneys of some fish if they come from soft water and are exposed to high levels of salt for long periods of time.

    Salt can be used to treat minor bacterial and fungal infections, as well as some protozoan infections. You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), sea salt or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

    If you only have livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), goldfish or rainbowfish in the tank you can double that dose rate, so you would add 2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres and if there is no improvement after 48 hours, then increase it so there is a total of 4 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

    Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

    The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria but the higher dose rate will affect some plants. The lower dose rate will not affect plants.

    After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that.

    ------------------------
    Melafix & Pimafix don't treat finrot. They don't do much at all except make the house smell like a gum tree after it's rained.

    ------------------------
    If your fish have whitespot for 3 months, you are not treating it properly.
    Do the fish actually have small white dots on their body and fins?
    If not, then what are the symptoms?

    ------------------------
    Intestinal worms and gill flukes will cause fish to lose weight over time. Livebearers are renown for having these parasites. Infected fish will still eat. If the fish has lost weight rapidly (over a week or two) and is not eating, then it has an internal protozoan infection.

    You could look for something like API General Cure if the fish has worms and an internal protozoan infection. You treat the whole tank. This product will kill filter bacteria so you need to monitor ammonia and nitrite levels after using it.

    If the fish is still eating then it is probably just intestinal worms and gill flukes. Praziquantel on its own will treat tapeworm and gill flukes. You can also look into Levamisole to treat thread/ round worms. You use these medications separately. You treat all your aquariums at the same time. I would use Praziquantel first and treat once a week for 3 weeks. Do a 75% water change and complete gravel clean 24-48 hours after treatment.

    You can use these medications with salt in the water.

    ------------------------
    To work out the volume of water in the tank:
    measure length x width x height in cm.
    divide by 1000.
    = volume in litres.
    When you measure the height, measure from the top of the substrate to the top of the water level.

    There is a calculator/ converter in the "How To Tips" at the top of this page that will let you convert litres to gallons if you need it.

    Remove carbon from the filter before treating or it will absorb the medication and stop it working. Carbon does not remove salt.

    Wipe the inside of the glass down, do a 75% water change and complete gravel clean. And clean the filter before treating. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

    Increase surface turbulence/ aeration when using medications or salt because they reduce the dissolved oxygen in the water.
     
  12. Silencedogood

    Silencedogood New Member

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    Thank you for your reply:)

    Here are some better pics of the pleco. If its not fin rot, then what else could it be? ( I have never noticed the ragged fins on the pleco before and I've had her for 2 years)

    Concerning the ick:
    Yes, the fish appeared with a couple of white spots, and then I wouldn't see it (white spot) for a few days, and then it reappeared with a lot of spots all over the body. I did use three different treatments, but I lost 6 fish over a period of 3 months. Now it seems that my mickey mouse platy has ick again; a couple of white spots near the dorsal fin. This the third time she has gotten ick and she is in my recycled 30 gal tank ( I just moved her to my QT tank). I'm not sure why she would have it again. Is Tetra Lifeguard sufficient to treat ick? Or will salt treat it? Also, with the Lifeguard, the box says not to use with newly set up tanks and my QT tank is only 3 wks old. I talked with an aquatic specialist and he said that it might be a chance that I have to take. Is there any other treatment that would treat ick and fin rot at the same time?

    Is there a point when ick is in the gills and you just can't treat it? Maybe that's why it came out again?
     

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    #12 Silencedogood, Jan 4, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  13. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    The following link has all you need to know about whitespot and how to treat it. Salt will not kill whitespot and I have no idea what's in that tetra product but I would not use that either. The safest treatment for tropical fish is heat. You get the water temperature up to 30C (86F) and keep it there for 2 weeks. Then bring the temp back down.
    Increase aeration/ surface turbulence to maximise the oxygen levels in the water.

    You need to treat all the fish and the tank at the same time so put the platy back in the main tank because the parasites are still in the main tank. You need to either flush out and dry the quarantine tank or treat it with a whitespot medication, because that will have whitespot parasites in it too.
    http://www.fishforums.net/threads/what-is-ich.7092/page-2

    Before you increase the temperature, wipe the inside of the glass down, do a 75% water change and complete gravel clean, and clean the filter. Then increase the temperature to 30C.

    Do not add any salt or medications while the temperature is high because they will reduce the oxygen levels even more and potentially kill the fish. Just raise the temperature to 30 and keep it there for 2 weeks.
     
  14. Silencedogood

    Silencedogood New Member

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    Hi and thanks for your reply.

    I did raise the temperature to 86F while treating the ick the whole time they showed signs of ick. It didn't really seem to do anything. The temp was 86 for more than 2 wks.

    If I clean the filter, will that kill my beneficial bacteria? ( The tank has only been running for 3 wks).

    The nitrites in my 30 gal are up to 1 ppm. How can I get them down? And what would cause the nitrites to slowly raise?

    Does it look like ( from the photos) that the pleco has fin rot?

    Is the ick definitely in my main tank? All of the other fish look and are acting normal.
     
  15. Silencedogood

    Silencedogood New Member

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    What would a beneficial bacteria filter do and how is it different from a regular filter?
     

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