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Congo tetra's .. is one sick ?

dirty_bishop

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Hi there,

I've had these congos for about 3-4 months. For the most part they seem to be thriving. One though, has always been a bit of a lost sheep.Firstly, I think they are all male. Is the "sick/small" one female ? I have a feeling he has always been a littl epicked on and hasn't gotten the same sustenance as the others.
They have a ph of about 7.4. Weekly 20% water changes. I feed them (I believe) good quality flakes and weekly blood worms and brine shrimp.

Any comments welcome. I am now a little worried as not only is he small, he seems to have a sunk in shoulder line and not looking too good. He's always been smaller than the others but it seems it's crept up on me, and now he's half the size of the others. (Pictured in detail on pics 3&4).
 

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Colin_T

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The small congo tetra is either a dud and should have been culled at the breeders, or it has worms and gill flukes, or it has an intestinal problem that prevents it digesting food properly.

Try deworming the fish and feed them more often (3-5 times per day for a month). Feed frozen (but defrosted) foods every day during this time.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate twice a week while feeding more often, then do it once a week.

20% water changes are useless coz they leave 80% of the gunk in the tank.

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You can use Praziquantel to treat tapeworm and gill flukes. And Levamisole to treat thread/ round worms. If you can't find these medications, look for Flubendazole.

Remove carbon from filters before treatment and increase aeration/ surface turbulence to maximise oxygen levels in the water.

You treat the fish once a week for 4 weeks. The first treatment will kill any worms in the fish. The second, third and forth treatments kill any baby worms that hatch from eggs inside the fish's digestive tract.

Treat every fish tank in the house at the same time.

You do a 75% water change and complete gravel clean 24-48 hours after treatment. Clean the filter 24 hours after treatment too.

Do not use the 2 medications together. If you want to treat both medications in a short space of time, use Praziquantel on day one. Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate on day 2 & 3. Treat the tank with Levamisole on day 4 and do a 75% water change and gravel clean on day 5, 6 & 7 and then start with Praziquantel again on day 8.

The water changes will remove most of the medication so you don't overdose the fish the next time you treat them. The gravel cleaning will suck out any worms and eggs that have been expelled by the fish. Repeating the treatment for 3-4 doses at weekly intervals will kill any worms that hatch from eggs. At the end of the treatment you will have healthier fish. :)
 
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dirty_bishop

dirty_bishop

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Thank you,

But that sounds like a hellova regime for assumedly one sick fish.
He was always the smallest from when I bought them so I'm not yet convinced he has parasites. Appreciate your info but I think I'll monitor for a little longer. Hope it's not as great a problem as you're predicting, as this tank has always had good fortune. I have metronidazole somewhere from a previous cichlid problem. Would this not help ? Everything is via post here in my small town.
 

Colin_T

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metronidazole is an anti-biotic and should only be used on known bacterial infections that haven't responded to normal treatments.

the small congo tetra is emaciated and has a sunken head and back. it is starving to death. the most common cause is worms.
 

seangee

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If it is worms they will all end up with them. I would treat the whole tank, and as Colin suggests, any other tanks in the house.
 
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dirty_bishop

dirty_bishop

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Thanks for all the information. I have moved him to a smaller tank, and will source some meds.
 

Colin_T

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if you are going to treat it for worms, you need to do every tank in the house because they will all have them.
 
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dirty_bishop

dirty_bishop

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if you are going to treat it for worms, you need to do every tank in the house because they will all have them.
I'm not convinced the tank has worms with only one fish undersized, who has always been the smallest. Will continue to monitor..
 

Colin_T

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Most fish have gill flukes and intestinal worms. Fish with only a few worms don't show any symptoms. Fish with lots of parasites will lose weight, become anemic, won't grow or grow very slowly.

The fish has something wrong with it. It's either genetic, parasitic (worms and gill flukes), or the fish can't digest food properly.

By treating the fish for worms, you remove one of these factors and if there's no improvement after deworming you can look into genetics or malabsorption issues. Alternatively, euthanise the fish or leave it and watch it continue to deteriorate.
 
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