Help With Mystery Illness That Is Killing My Fish

AnonyMissJ

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
25
Reaction score
0
Several months ago, I had 3 Otos die in short succession, from what a type of body fungus. The first died in the tank before I was able to notice it, and the other two were quarantined and passed in the QT tank.

All was well for another few months until, suddenly, one of my dear Silver Hatchets passed on. He had no physical symptoms that I could discern, and had been acting fine until I noticed him on the bottom of the tank. He was at least 3 years old, and I've read that that's their life expectancy, so I assumed he died of old age. I tested the water at that point, and the results were ammonia: 0, nitrite: 0, and nitrate: 5.

Just a little over a week ago, another of my Silver Hatchets suddenly passed, with no symptoms. He was much younger than the other two Silvers. I tested the water again, and the results were the same as last time (ammonia: 0, nitrite: 0, nitrate: 5). I wondered if the fungus the Otos had months before could somehow be contaminating my fish, so I medicated the tank with maracyn-2 for five days (did exactly as the box told me).

Now today, I found one of my Striped Kuhli Loaches dead at the bottom of the tank. Its stomach looked white and bloated, but they are rather fat (lots of snail eggs to eat along with their food) and always have been. The only signs it had been showing were that the three of them (I have 3 Kuhli Loaches... well, 2 now =( ) had been hanging out at a front corner of the tank, which they usually never do. They tend to hide most of the day and come out and wander at night.

I tested the water again today and the results are still ammonia: 0, nitrite: 0, and nitrate: 5. What do you think could be happening to my poor babies? I'm so sad about this. =( I love my fish so much and I want to help them as best I can. Please, help me help them!
 

fishyfeet

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2004
Messages
1,464
Reaction score
0
Location
essex uk (nr colchester)
It could be that the fungus (if thats what they had) that killed the otos (only they are quite hard to keep, i never seem to keep them long) and the hatchets, then the med you used had copper in it and you have to be careful with loaches, so thats what killed that, now you should be ok. Does that make sense. Regarding otos, ive had quite a few, some die within days or weeks, it seems or i beleive they eat only certain types of algae, and if this runs out or they have competition for it they can starve, and only some seem to recognise algae wafer or other veg as food, when we get them they are often in poor condition as not many shops have algae in their tank for them to eat. Anyway i think you had a problem and the medication to fix it prob did the loache in. Have you run a carbon filter through your filter to remove it all, and i would maybe purchase your otos elsewhere. di
 

WILDER

Retired Moderator
Retired Moderator
Joined
Nov 5, 2004
Messages
21,638
Reaction score
10
Location
GB
The fungus on the otto's did it look like fluffy cotton wool.

The white patches on the fish does it look like bleaching beneath the skin.
Any signs of flicking and rubbing.
Any excess mucas on the fish body or gills.
Do the gills look pale with excess mucas, or red and inflamed.
What does it look like when the fish go to the toilet.
Is the anus of the fish enlarged or red and inflamed.
Any worms protruding from the anus.
Any fish show signs of a sunken in belly, or spine bending.
Can fish maintain balance in the water.
Do any fish act listless and lethagic.
Do any fish look pale or darker in colour.
Are scales sticking out.

And finally what do you feed the fish?
 

GuppyGoddess

Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2009
Messages
1,037
Reaction score
0
Location
US
Are you sure there are *no* fungus symptoms? I ask only because my guppy tank had a run-in with that a few weeks back and a couple of the fish only had a single *dot* of fungus and I took those out and culled them just to be on the safe side. I know that is harsh, but it was the only way I could think of to save my remaining guppies (and two did live). The tank was medicated afterward.

Like Fishyfeet said, ottos can be difficult to keep. Months back I brought one home and then read online that the majority die within a month so he was taken back to the LFS.

Best of luck. Hope you figure out what the problem is.
 
OP
AnonyMissJ

AnonyMissJ

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
25
Reaction score
0
It could be that the fungus (if thats what they had) that killed the otos (only they are quite hard to keep, i never seem to keep them long) and the hatchets, then the med you used had copper in it and you have to be careful with loaches, so thats what killed that, now you should be ok. Does that make sense. Regarding otos, ive had quite a few, some die within days or weeks, it seems or i beleive they eat only certain types of algae, and if this runs out or they have competition for it they can starve, and only some seem to recognise algae wafer or other veg as food, when we get them they are often in poor condition as not many shops have algae in their tank for them to eat. Anyway i think you had a problem and the medication to fix it prob did the loache in. Have you run a carbon filter through your filter to remove it all, and i would maybe purchase your otos elsewhere. di
I did not know the medicine could hurt my Loaches. =( I feel so awful if that is what happened! When I was running the medicine, I just had a sponge in the filter (I have a 30g Aquaclear filter), and after the water change, I removed that sponge and replaced it with a new one, and added the carbon and ceramic stones back in the filter. Is there something else I should do to protect the Loaches if the medicine hurt them?
 
OP
AnonyMissJ

AnonyMissJ

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
25
Reaction score
0
The fungus on the otto's did it look like fluffy cotton wool.

The white patches on the fish does it look like bleaching beneath the skin.
Any signs of flicking and rubbing.
Any excess mucas on the fish body or gills.
Do the gills look pale with excess mucas, or red and inflamed.
What does it look like when the fish go to the toilet.
Is the anus of the fish enlarged or red and inflamed.
Any worms protruding from the anus.
Any fish show signs of a sunken in belly, or spine bending.
Can fish maintain balance in the water.
Do any fish act listless and lethagic.
Do any fish look pale or darker in colour.
Are scales sticking out.

And finally what do you feed the fish?
Only the Otto's showed signs of the fungus, and it did look cottony and white. The body of the Loach did feel mucousy, and the stomach did look a bit bleached. I haven't noticed any worms, and the stool I've seen in the tank are tiny brown strings. The Loaches hide a lot during the day, so I can't tell if they are more listless than usual. They don't seem as energetic at night as they used to. The other fishes' behavior is consistent.
I feed them a mixture of Spectrum brand pellets, OmegaOne brand freshwater flakes and OmegaOne sinking shrimp pellets, Sera brand sinking pellets for Loaches (2 different types), an occasional OmegaOne brand algae wafer (rarely, left over from the poor Ottos), and frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp and/or daphnia.

Are you sure there are *no* fungus symptoms? I ask only because my guppy tank had a run-in with that a few weeks back and a couple of the fish only had a single *dot* of fungus and I took those out and culled them just to be on the safe side. I know that is harsh, but it was the only way I could think of to save my remaining guppies (and two did live). The tank was medicated afterward.

Like Fishyfeet said, ottos can be difficult to keep. Months back I brought one home and then read online that the majority die within a month so he was taken back to the LFS.

Best of luck. Hope you figure out what the problem is.

When I removed the 2 Hatchets and the Loach, I didn't see any white dots or anything resembling fungus. Thanks for your help.
 

WILDER

Retired Moderator
Retired Moderator
Joined
Nov 5, 2004
Messages
21,638
Reaction score
10
Location
GB
I would feed more frozen foods like daphnia and brime shrimp.
Introduce some green veg into there diet.

it sounds like the otto died of columnaris.
 
OP
AnonyMissJ

AnonyMissJ

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
25
Reaction score
0
I would feed more frozen foods like daphnia and brime shrimp.
Introduce some green veg into there diet.

it sounds like the otto died of columnaris.
I thought it was columnaris as well (just forgot the name when I was posting this). I do feed a good deal of frozen food, I try to mix it up. Thanks.
 

WILDER

Retired Moderator
Retired Moderator
Joined
Nov 5, 2004
Messages
21,638
Reaction score
10
Location
GB
Preform some water changes also.

If any more problems get back to the board.
 

trending

Staff online

Most reactions - Past 7 days

Top