Advice needed. Disease or Evil Fish. 3 dead, 1 certainly dead by tomorrow.

June FOTM Photo Contest Starts Now!
FishForums.net Fish of the Month
🏆 Click to enter! 🏆

TC33

New Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2024
Messages
50
Reaction score
45
Location
UK
So some of you may seen a post around a guppy I had that I had to euthanise. It was sat at the bottom of the tank for a considerable period of time, not moving, not eating even when the food was near and eventually was going to die and get eaten. If so you will also know that I lost a guppy a day or 2 before. Missing in action (Presumed and after this amount of time surely also dead)

So that was over a week ago. I was planning to replace the Guppies this weekend as that would then be a 2 week period (I don't know what the period should be)

Today I come home and OH NO! A guppy is lying on its back at the bottom of the tank being nibbled by a Cory. (So that is now 3 guppies in the space of a week)
My heart sank as with no more fish loss and no real signs of visable issues with the fish (I inspect often) I assumed I was ok.

I fish the guppy out and go into the routine that its feeding time. Few flakes for Guppies and catfish pellets for the Cory's/Bristle nose.

That is when all hell breaks loose. The Bristlenose attacks everything across the tank, guarding all food across the bottom (35 x 121.5 tank dimensions, so some area to cover)
Now the bristlenose has been known to be a bit of a git at feeding time, but normally its lunge here and there and the other fish skitter off and find food elsewhere or retry. Nothing has been hurt before.

This time it goes all Mike Tyson on one of the Cory's, that shoots off, lands upside down (head down, tail up) in some Java Moss, where it does not move for 5 minutes. At this point I figure farewell my sweet sweet Cory (Note my Cory's are the love of my tank, the rest of the fish are additions) I get my net and lift the lid of the tank.

At this point the Cory moves, slowly and sadly but not dead at least. (So I thought)

It turns around and I see a huge dark red splodge about half the size of its body.

Now I know I will either find the Cory dead tomorrow, or never see it again.

This comes to my questions.

Clearly I am not going to get new Guppies this weekend. Disease is still an option and a new unknown death was discovered.
However given what I have seen, should I be getting rid of my Bristlenose, as beautiful as she is, My entry to last months fish of the month competion. (pssst I know the answer, I need someone else to say it)
Secondly, when should I look at introducing new fish, is 2 weeks too short?
Thirdly, I thought Bristlenose fish were supposed to be peaceful. Could something trigger this, or did I just get a wrong one!

Note, for questions on the disease front.
Water parameters fine and not changed for months.
Nothing new introduced to the tank.
25% Water change each week, conditioned.
 
I haven't seen your other posts but as if I'd need another reason to get rid of such a filthy beast....rehome the monstrosity, do a nice big water change and get your new fish 👍🏻
 
Try to increase the vegetable diet for him, distraction by plugin him on a zucchini slice while feeding the other bottom occupant well apart.

The rare times I seen Bristlenoses being extremely aggressive over food is because they where "really" hungry. If they are not supplemented enough and there is not enough algae and bio-film in the tank to suffice, they will become terrible tank mates.

Reduced competition = Reduced stress. Increasing the Pleco tablets size and frequency fixed the problem. An happy pleco poops nearly all the time ;)

Even with the smaller pleco I use the largest tablets available. They are not suitable for cories because they cant swallow them and they keep the pleco occupied for a while. BN loves Big Spirulina tablets.

And a good piece of wood for him to munch and hide.
 
Bristlenose catfish don't hunt and kill guppies. If guppies are dying regularly (3 in 2 weeks is not normal) they probably have a disease.

I need pictures and video of all the fish and 1 picture showing the entire aquarium so we can see how it's set up.

Make sure you have driftwood and algae in the tank for the pleco. If you don't have any algae, increase the lighting period a few hours each day. You can have the light on for up to 16 hours per day but the fish and plants must have at least 8 hours of darkness.

As others have mentioned, drop a cube or slice of cucumber, zucchini or pumpkin in the tank each day for the pleco. Leave it in the for an hour and then remove it. If it floats, you can put a fork into the piece of fruit to hold it down.

Bottom feeding pellets/ wafers can also be used. You drop one at each end of the tank. The pleco will take one and the other fishes can eat the food at the opposite end.
 
Video can be found here. Note the Cory that got in the scuffle does appear to be still alive, in the video. Still doubt that will be long term.

Picture of the tank - I will try and get some of the fish throughout the day and upload later.
PXL_20240509_055402704.MP.jpg
 
The guppies are gasping at the surface and that indicates a lack of oxygen, gill flukes, or something toxic in the water. Maybe even a combination of those. Increase aeration and see if it helps.

The Corydoras is very pale (possible Microsporidian infection) and has excess mucous and an infection. You can try salt. It can help with Microsporidian, minor infections and gill flukes.

---------------------

SALT
Using Salt to Treat Fish Health Issues.

For some fish diseases you can use salt (sodium chloride) to treat the ailment rather than using a chemical based medication. Salt is relatively safe and is regularly used in the aquaculture industry to treat food fish for diseases. Salt has been successfully used to treat minor fungal and bacterial infections, as well as a number of external protozoan infections. Salt alone will not treat whitespot (Ichthyophthirius) or Velvet (Oodinium) but will treat most other types of external protozoan infections in freshwater fishes. Salt can treat early stages of hole in the head disease caused by Hexamita but it needs to be done in conjunction with cleaning up the tank. Salt can also be used to treat anchor worm (Lernaea), fish lice (Argulus), gill flukes (Dactylogyrus), skin flukes (Gyrodactylus), Epistylis, Microsporidian and Spironucleus infections.

You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), swimming pool salt, or any non iodised salt (sodium chloride) to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres (5 gallons) 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, Bettas & 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 (4 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres) will affect some plants and some snails. The lower dose rate (1-2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres) will not affect fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
 
On the second point
"The Corydoras is very pale (possible Microsporidian infection) and has excess mucous and an infection. You can try salt. It can help with Microsporidian, minor infections and gill flukes."
Do you mean ALL corydora or just the one that got injured last night?

On the first point
The guppies are gasping at the surface and that indicates a lack of oxygen, gill flukes, or something toxic in the water. Maybe even a combination of those. Increase aeration and see if it helps.
Oxygen - I would of assumed it would affect the other fish too and they seem fine, I assume there is a test I can do for this. Not sure how I would increase aeration any more, the filter creates a fair amount of surface agitation.
Gill Flukes - I know little about so will do some reading.
Toxic in the water - Not sure what that could be, my tests for Nitrate, nitrite and amonia, hardness are all fine. Nothing has been added. I usually do a 25% each weekend. Should I do a large one today just in case?

*Additional - I have come to realise that the Guppies are spending alot more time than usual hanging around the top of the filter rather than swimming around.
*Additional 2 - Fish pics. (I will try and get better of the guppys but they are not playing camera friendly at the moment.
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20240509_064548900.jpg
    PXL_20240509_064548900.jpg
    334.2 KB · Views: 10
  • PXL_20240509_064556309.MP.jpg
    PXL_20240509_064556309.MP.jpg
    277.5 KB · Views: 10
  • PXL_20240509_064730003.jpg
    PXL_20240509_064730003.jpg
    299.3 KB · Views: 9
  • PXL_20240509_065224622.MP.jpg
    PXL_20240509_065224622.MP.jpg
    282.1 KB · Views: 9
  • PXL_20240509_065422298.MP.jpg
    PXL_20240509_065422298.MP.jpg
    280.2 KB · Views: 13
  • PXL_20240509_070210096.jpg
    PXL_20240509_070210096.jpg
    284.8 KB · Views: 9
  • PXL_20240509_070220856.MP.jpg
    PXL_20240509_070220856.MP.jpg
    193.8 KB · Views: 10
On the second point
"The Corydoras is very pale (possible Microsporidian infection) and has excess mucous and an infection. You can try salt. It can help with Microsporidian, minor infections and gill flukes."
Do you mean ALL corydora or just the one that got injured last night?
The one with the big red patch on its side.


On the first point
The guppies are gasping at the surface and that indicates a lack of oxygen, gill flukes, or something toxic in the water. Maybe even a combination of those. Increase aeration and see if it helps.
Oxygen - I would of assumed it would affect the other fish too and they seem fine, I assume there is a test I can do for this. Not sure how I would increase aeration any more, the filter creates a fair amount of surface agitation.
Gill Flukes - I know little about so will do some reading.
Toxic in the water - Not sure what that could be, my tests for Nitrate, nitrite and amonia, hardness are all fine. Nothing has been added. I usually do a 25% each weekend. Should I do a large one today just in case?
There is virtually no surface turbulence in the video. You need to raise the filter outlet so it's spraying across the surface, or use an air pump with an airstone.

Gill flukes are small parasitic flatworms that live on the gill filaments and suck blood out of the fish. They reduce the amount of oxygen the fish can absorb and leaves scars on the filaments, which makes it even harder for the fish to breath. Salt or Praziquantel or Flubendazole will normally treat gill flukes.

Poisons in the water can be anything that shouldn't be there. Stuff might come off your skin or fumes might blow in from another room. It can be anything that shouldn't be in the tank.
 
If not that is quite shameful on me as there is where its been for 3 months.
Now moved, does this look better

So I guess next actions
1. Large water change - 50% (Guess I have to be somewhat careful given the shrimp, heard they do not like sudden mass water changes)
2. Treat with Saltwater for a week or 2. (Again going by the post, need to go steady and not too long given the Cory's)
3. I know you say feed the Bristlenose more, but does get a good amount and mix of Wafer, Bugbites and Fresh Veg and tank algae, anymore and I will probably have a list of other issues. Also I feel it would just be safer to re-home and keep the Cory safe.
4. Get an oxygen test kit (Likely futile on picking up past mistakes if the move of the filter is now oxygenating the water better. But at least I can rule it out in future)

Just to ask though, it would not be down to maturity would it, she recently started getting her chin bristles. Its not a case of her being equivient to a teenager? Or does that not happen with fish :D
 
Surface movement looks better in the new video. Can you raise the outlet anymore to increase it more, or is that as high as the filter can go?

I don't know where the rumour about shrimp not liking water changes came from but it's been around for 20 years and is in my opinion, a load of bs. I had shrimp in my tanks and did 75% water changes every week and they were fine. I think the issue started when people were keeping cherry shrimp that were inbred and kept in different water chemistry. Those shrimp went into shock easily when put into aquariums with different water chemistry. If the shrimp have been in your tank for a few months and you use the same water source, they shouldn't have any issues with big water changes.

Add salt to the aquarium for 1 to 2 weeks and see how the red area looks. If it doesn't improve after a week with salt, stop using salt and use a broad spectrum medication that treats bacteria and fungus.

I wouldn't worry about an oxygen test kit. You will use it a few times and then it will sit in the cupboard for the next 5 years. Just try to have some surface turbulence and the oxygen levels should remain high. If you add an air pump with airstone, that will maximise the oxygen levels permanently.
 
I don't know where the rumour about shrimp not liking water changes came from but it's been around for 20 years and is in my opinion, a load of bs. I had shrimp in my tanks and did 75% water changes every week and they were fine. I think the issue started when people were keeping cherry shrimp that were inbred and kept in different water chemistry. Those shrimp went into shock easily when put into aquariums with different water chemistry. If the shrimp have been in your tank for a few months and you use the same water source, they shouldn't have any issues with big water changes.

I agree, all the shrimps born in my tank have no problem with water changes. The initial little colony struggled hard every time I changed water, and even 4 months later one died from evident WROD and one overmolted to death. while all the others are doing great.
 
I’ve not found bushy’s to actually go after and kill, but they love to much on dead stuff… agree the guppy’s look suspect huddling at the top like that
Unless your red has his nose bent, about not winning the beauty pageant… I’ll gladly give up the banner, if it would make red feel better…

I actually have several reds, and mine are one of the most peaceful of the plecos I have
 
Lack of oxygen in the water will make the fishes very nervous in the beginning. The feeling of imminent doom provoked by slow suffocation, creates a high stress situation and can trigger very aggressive behaviors for no apparent reasons with some species.
 
Surface movement looks better in the new video. Can you raise the outlet anymore to increase it more, or is that as high as the filter can go?
I cannot really, even though its about 1.5cm from the top, it has a small upward slot for a venturi so raising anymore it just gargles.
But it did have a small nozel cover on the top that limited it a little. So I turned that around and now it shoots slightly up. It's now a bit stronger than it was. (It was probably supposed to be this way around anyway!)

fluval-directional-output-nozzles-for-u-internal-filters.jpg


I could also get a bar for it worst case that should do more.

Unless your red has his nose bent, about not winning the beauty pageant… I’ll gladly give up the banner, if it would make red feel better…
She definately does not deserve it, if the competion was still on I would remove her from it

Lack of oxygen in the water will make the fishes very nervous in the beginning. The feeling of imminent doom provoked by slow suffocation, creates a high stress situation and can trigger very aggressive behaviors for no apparent reasons with some species.
Ok, so with this post maybe I should leave it a week and see how it goes before saying my goodbyes. Whilst also adding in a wafer each morning to ensure its not hunger.

I wouldn't worry about an oxygen test kit. You will use it a few times and then it will sit in the cupboard for the next 5 years. Just try to have some surface turbulence and the oxygen levels should remain high. If you add an air pump with airstone, that will maximise the oxygen levels permanently.
Do air pumps/airstones offer any other benefit or just oxygen and aestetics? Are they quite bulky? And any recommendations? Also do I risk going the other way and having too much oxygen in the tank (Gas Bubble Disease?)
 
Attach a piece of airline to the venturi nozzle on the pump. That will make a huge difference to aerating the water and you won't need an air pump or airstone. One end of the air line goes in the venturi part and the other end of the air line goes above the water so air can be sucked in.

You can't have too much oxygen in the water. Water only holds a certain amount of gasses including nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide. Water that is heavily aerated has more oxygen and less carbon dioxide.
 

Most reactions

Back
Top