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lolochlo11

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Hi All!

I'm very new to fish keeping so you'll have to bear with me!

I have a 64L tank, currently housing 5 black widow tetras, 3 mollies, and 1 betta fish. All getting along happily (yes including the betta, yay :) )

Tank has been running a few months, cycled before adding any fish. Everything was going well until I added the 3 molly fish around 2 weeks ago. The day after I added the molly fish, I noticed 4 molly fry, which I've now separated so they don't get eaten. They seem to be doing well.

I noticed yesterday that one of the adult mollies has what looks like white spot, and now 3 of the tetras also have this (one also keeps leaning to one side for a moment, shaking then going back to normal) . I've ordered some medication which should be with me tomorrow. But I've just noticed this white string hanging from my black molly, which I'm concerned my be intestinal worms? I've attached a photo which hopefully will show what I mean.

Sorry for the long post, but any help would be welcomed!

Tank parameters are as follows:
Temperature: 27°c
Nitrate: 10
Nitrite: 0.5
General Hardness: 7
Carbondate Hardness: 3
pH: 6.8
 

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Byron

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There are serious issues here, and members with more experience with "disease" will undoubtedly be able to offer advice on that. I will confine my post to other factors which may seem unrelated but in fact are without question factors in the "disease."

Mollies must have much harder water than a GH 0f 7 dGH, and they must have a basic (above 7) pH. This alone is a serious weakening force with this species, and that only makes diseases more likely.

There is another problem just down the road, tank size. Mollies need much larger space, and so do the tetras. The detriment of this factor is not likely too relevant now, but it certainly will be before very long.

There is an indication of ich, and that is a disease I can help you with. Raise the temperature to 86F (30C) or even a tad higher (these fish will all be fine), and increase the surface disturbance to allow a better oxygen/CO2 exchange. You can use a water change to partly raise the temperature (a 70-75% W/C is part of getting things fixed anyway) and raise the heater to bring the water up to the warmth. This will kill the ich over a week, but give it two.

You canot keep a Betta in with Black Skirt Tetras. You may think this is not an issue, but it is. These tetras are known fin nippers, and the poor Betta will soon be targeted. It may already be, which is another factor in disease; fish release phermones and allomones which other fish read, and even without actual physical aggression it is still there causing stress. Stress is the direct cause of 95% of all aquarium fish disease, so anything causing it (like the water parameters, inappropriate mix of species, tank space) makes disease far more likely and virulent.
 

FishGuest5123

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Byron addressed just about everything. The worm looks like a round worm which you can treat with Levamisole. Not sure if you can get it in your country but check. @Colin_T can probably offer more options on this.
 

Colin_T

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The fish have excess mucous (creamy white film over their body and fins). This is normally caused by poor water quality or something (like chemicals) in the water stressing the fish.

What is the ammonia level?
You have a nitrite reading (0.5) and that will be contributing to the excess mucous.

Ammonia and nitrite levels need to be on 0, and nitrate levels need to be below 20ppm. The easiest way to reduce ammonia, nitrite or nitrate is by doing a big (75-80%) water change and gravel cleaning the substrate every day until the levels are at 0.

What sort of filter do you have and how do you clean it?

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What medication did you order?
If the medication is to treat whitespot, you probably won't need it.
See if you can cancel the order or return it for a refund.

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The fish do appear to have a couple of small white dots on the fins. Like Bryon said, whitespot is easily treated without chemicals.

Do a 75-90% water change and gravel clean the substrate now. This will dilute any ammonia or nitrite in the water, as well as reducing the number of whitespot parasites in the tank.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before adding it to the tank.

Increase aeration/ surface turbulence to maximise the oxygen levels. The whitespot parasites make it harder for fish to breath and the higher water temperature will reduce oxygen levels. Increasing surface turbulence helps the fish get through this.

Raise the water temperature to 30C (86F) and keep it there for 2 weeks. The heat will kill the parasites and you won't need to use any chemicals.

The following link has information about whitespot. The first post on page 1 and second post on page 2 are worth a read.

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Fish do a stringy white poop for several reasons.

1) Internal Bacterial Infections causes the fish to stop eating, swell up like a balloon, breath heavily at the surface or near a filter outlet, do stringy white poop, and die within 24-48 hours of showing these symptoms. This cannot normally be cured because massive internal organ failure has already occurred.


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2) Internal Protozoan Infections cause the fish to lose weight rapidly (over a week or two), fish continues to eat and swim around but not as much as normal, does stringy white poop. If not treated the fish dies a week or so after these symptoms appear. Metronidazole normally works well for this.

There is a medication (API General Cure) that contains Praziquantel and Metronidazole.

It's interesting that API and the Californian government have listed Metronidazole as a carcinogen. That's a concern considering it was widely used to treat intestinal infections in people.

Anyway, if you use this or any medication, handle with care, don't inhale the medication, and wash hands with soapy water after treating the fish or working in the tank.


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3) Intestinal Worms like tapeworm and threadworms cause the fish to lose weight, continue eating and swimming normally, do a stringy white poop. Fish can do this for months and not be too badly affected. In some cases, fish with bad worm infestation will actually gain weight and get fat and look like a pregnant guppy. This is due to the huge number of worms inside the fish.

Livebearers like guppies, mollies, swordtails & platies are regularly infected with gill flukes and intestinal worms. If the fish are still eating well, then worms is the most likely cause.

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, which treats both lots of worms.

In the UK look for:
eSHa gdex, contains praziquantel that treats tapeworm and gill flukes.
eSHa-ndx contains levamisole and treats thread/ round worms.

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 to prevent cross contamination.
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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lolochlo11

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Ahh I feel so guilty! I had no idea there were so many issues! I was told in pets at home that they were all fine together!

I've bought a new tank today so I can remove the betta which will hopefully help reduce stress and he'll be happier. Hopefully soon I'll be able to upgrade the tetra / molly tank. What minimum size would you recommend?

GH and pH issues:
How would I alter these levels? As I said, this is my first time keeping fish, so sorry if I'm coming off a little stupid!

Ich problem:
I've raised the temperature to 31°c, and added some more airstones to the tank. Is that the right thing to do in the way of surface disturbance? The medication I've ordered is Interpet anti-white spot treatment. Unfortunately it was too late to return, but I'll keep it just incase the temperature raise doesn't do the trick.

I've also done a water change and cleaned the gravel. I'll keep up with daily water changes, and hopefully this will help reduce nitrite levels in the tank too. I'll take an ammonia reading and if above 0, hopefully the water changes will help.

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Colin_T – my filter is an interpet CF2, which is what came with the tank. To clean I rinse the filter media in tank water that I've just removed as part of a water change. Then I change the filter media monthly as adviced on the filter care instructions. When I do a big water change or change the filter media, I also add a bacteria starter (Microbe-Lift Nite-Out II from maidenhead aquatics).

White stringy poo:
The fish are still eating eating fine and swimming about normally, so I'm assuming it is worms. Sadly, my local pet shops have shut due to coronavirus lockdown, and im struggling to find the treatment online. I'll keep looking, and hopefully will be able to start treatment soon.
 

Colin_T

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Ich problem:
I've raised the temperature to 31°c, and added some more airstones to the tank. Is that the right thing to do in the way of surface disturbance? The medication I've ordered is Interpet anti-white spot treatment. Unfortunately it was too late to return, but I'll keep it just incase the temperature raise doesn't do the trick.
You only need 30C, not 31C.

You might see more white spots appear on the fish over the next couple of days, but after that they should drop off and no more should appear. Give the heat treatment at least 7 days to work and do not add chemicals while the temperature is at 30C because the combination of high temperature and chemicals will kill the fish.

Yes, airstones are a great way to increase surface turbulence. :)

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Colin_T – my filter is an interpet CF2, which is what came with the tank. To clean I rinse the filter media in tank water that I've just removed as part of a water change. Then I change the filter media monthly as adviced on the filter care instructions. When I do a big water change or change the filter media, I also add a bacteria starter (Microbe-Lift Nite-Out II from maidenhead aquatics).
Don't replace filter media unless it is falling apart. The filter media hold beneficial filter bacteria and if you replace the media, you get rid of the good bacteria, and you can get ammonia and nitrite readings.

You can get sponges for different brands of filter and use a pair of scissors to cut them to fit in your filter. Run a sponge with your current media and in a couple of months you can remove the old filter pad and just have sponges in the filter. Sponges get squeezed out in a bucket of tank water, like you normally do. However, sponges will last for 10+ years and only need replacing when they start to fall apart.

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White stringy poo:
The fish are still eating eating fine and swimming about normally, so I'm assuming it is worms. Sadly, my local pet shops have shut due to coronavirus lockdown, and im struggling to find the treatment online. I'll keep looking, and hopefully will be able to start treatment soon.
There's no rush on treating the fish for intestinal worms. Just make sure the fish is fed regularly and it will be fine for a few months with worms.
 

Essjay

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Don't believe anything Pets at Home tell you, they have a terrible reputation.

GH and pH issues:
How would I alter these levels?
The problem is that you have hard water fish (mollies) and soft water fish (tetras and betta) If you alter the hardness to suit the mollies, the water will be too hard for the tetras and betta. There is no hardness which will be OK for all the fish. They really need to be in different tanks, where one tank is just tap water, and the other has minerals added to make it harder for the mollies.
 

Byron

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GH and pH issues:
How would I alter these levels? As I said, this is my first time keeping fish, so sorry if I'm coming off a little stupid!

Agree with essjay. And you are not stupid. Just take a look at the dozens of threads in just the past few weeks where beginning aquarists have beeen thrown off-guard by water parameter issues. Most fish stores have staff with limited (sometimes not even basic) knowledge. I knew nothing about GH, KH, pH when I started keeping fish.
 
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