Identification and Advice for New Fish Additions in Quarantine Tank

smoosh

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Hi everyone. I'm reaching out for some guidance regarding the newest additions to my quarantine tank. Yesterday, I introduced several fish, but I'm unsure about the specific species of a few of them and have some concerns about their health. I received a fish with an orange/yellow stripe and a gray body alongside cherry barbs. It was purported to be a cherry barb, but its appearance has me questioning if it might be a rasbora instead. Any insights on distinguishing between the two would be greatly appreciated.

Additionally, one of my cherry barbs seems to have a bent spine. After researching, I learned it could be genetic, but I want to ensure it's not indicative of a more serious issue like fish TB. Any advice on distinguishing between genetic deformities and potential health concerns would be invaluable.

I'm uncertain about the identification of the white-colored fish, orange-spotted fish, and black-colored fish. Are they mollies or platies? The white and orange ones appear healthy, but I'm worried about the black one, as it exhibit small white streaks/patches on its body. Could this indicate ich or is it a natural variation? All fish are displaying normal behavior and appetite.
 

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Long skinny fish (top left picture) is a redline rasbora with what appears to be the start of white spot on the tail.

The cherry barb is really skinny and could have intestinal worms and gill flukes.

The other fish are balloon mollies, which shouldn't be kept. Balloon fishes are man made mutants whose bodies have been shortened significantly and their internal organs get squished up so they can't function properly. I would return the balloon mollies, redline rasbora and cherry barb and if you want more cherry barbs, get some that aren't sunken in. If you want mollies, get normal shaped ones.

The black molly with the white stuff has excess mucous. This is from something in the water irritating the fish. It is most commonly caused by poor water quality (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate or incorrect pH for the species), or external protozoan parasites like Costia, Chilodonella or Trichoodina.

Test the water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and GH. Mollies need a pH above 7.0 and a GH above 250ppm. If the water quality is good, add some salt to kill the Costia, etc.

You can raise the water temperature to 30C (86F) for 2 weeks to treat the white spot on the rasbora. If you want to use chemicals, anything with Malachite Green or Copper will kill white spot, Costia, Chilodonella and Trichodina. However, Malachite Green is carcinogenic (causes cancer) and Copper kills invertebrates like snails and shrimp. This should not be an issue if there are no inverts in the quarantine tank.

Increase aeration/ surface turbulence when using medications, salt or increasing the temperature.
 
SALT
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.
 
Just to chip in an addition, all of the deformed "balloon" mollies are fin clamped, that means they're stressed and unhappy, along with the excess mucus.

If you have any female mollies, which I think you do from the photos, any that survive will begin popping out fry every month or so, also deformed and not from quality parent fish, can quickly find yourself overwhelmed with so many fry each female pops out, then those first batches of fry get old enough to have fry of their own, and with each female able to pop out 30 or so fry every 5-6 weeks, the numbers can quickly get overwhelming, plus you have the hassle of trying to find a store willing to take them off your hands, or trying to sell or give them away privately.

Did you order a package of random fish from somewhere, that doesn't even tell you what species they're sending you? I'd avoid that in future, but especially wherever you got these. They're sickly, deformed (both the mollies, and bent spine cherry barb), and one random rasbora that needs a group of the same species. They've imported mass produced cheap fish, that haven't been well cared for and are likely loaded with worms and potentially infected with other diseases, and showing every sign of poor health and potential trouble, I'm sorry to say.

Better to go to an actual store and examine the fish you want before buying, and avoid deformed, sickly looking ones, or if there are many dead fish in the tanks. Large chain stores tend to be much worse than privately owned, small business fish stores, so worth seeing what kind of local fish stores are near to you, visiting just to see them and check out the general state of the tanks and fish, and researching any fish you're interested in before you buy them.

Sorry it's not better news. :(
 
Hi everyone, thanks for the advice. I asked to get platies but accidentally received mollies, which was why I was confused by their appearance and wondered what were. The guy mistaked one of the redline rasboras for a cherry barb. I was able to return the mollies and redline rasbora today, and I exchanged the curved cherry barb for a normal-looking one.

Regarding the cherry barb with the curved spine, I'm wondering if it could have spread any disease specific to the curve other than potential intestinal worms and gill flukes. For intestinal worms and flukes, I will monitor my fish's poop and gills. Additionally, I had 12 baby neon tetras, but unfortunately, they were eaten by the boesmani rainbowfish, leaving only 2 by Wednesday night. I observed this on camera footage and suspected it might be due to their appetite, especially after fasting all my fish for a day post-acclimation.

However, after feeding them, they no longer seem to bother the remaining 2 baby neons. To protect them and other small fish, I've created a DIY tank separator using netting. As a preventative measure, I've decided to treat the tank with Seachem Paraguard for the duration of the 2-week quarantine, as it targets a wide variety of parasitic and bacterial infections.
 
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Just to chip in an addition, all of the deformed "balloon" mollies are fin clamped, that means they're stressed and unhappy, along with the excess mucus.

If you have any female mollies, which I think you do from the photos, any that survive will begin popping out fry every month or so, also deformed and not from quality parent fish, can quickly find yourself overwhelmed with so many fry each female pops out, then those first batches of fry get old enough to have fry of their own, and with each female able to pop out 30 or so fry every 5-6 weeks, the numbers can quickly get overwhelming, plus you have the hassle of trying to find a store willing to take them off your hands, or trying to sell or give them away privately.

Did you order a package of random fish from somewhere, that doesn't even tell you what species they're sending you? I'd avoid that in future, but especially wherever you got these. They're sickly, deformed (both the mollies, and bent spine cherry barb), and one random rasbora that needs a group of the same species. They've imported mass produced cheap fish, that haven't been well cared for and are likely loaded with worms and potentially infected with other diseases, and showing every sign of poor health and potential trouble, I'm sorry to say.

Better to go to an actual store and examine the fish you want before buying, and avoid deformed, sickly looking ones, or if there are many dead fish in the tanks. Large chain stores tend to be much worse than privately owned, small business fish stores, so worth seeing what kind of local fish stores are near to you, visiting just to see them and check out the general state of the tanks and fish, and researching any fish you're interested in before you buy them.

Sorry it's not better news. :(
new local fish store. The one I'd been going to for the past year was in the midst of relocating and wasn't available unfortunately
 
Rainbowfish will eat small fish and it's best not to have small narrow (slim/ slender) fish with rainbows. Melanotaenia boesemani in particular are predatory when it comes to neons and cardinal tetras. if the rainbows are fed really well, they are less likely to eat the small fish but I prefer to keep them separate. Most rainbowfish also require different water chemistry to neon tetras.

Make sure the rainbowfish get plenty of plant matter in their diet. At least half their diet should be plant based.

The following link has information about rainbowfishes from Australia and New Guinea and is written by one of the more informed people who have kept them.

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There is a chance other diseases could have gotten into the tank from the fish but the most likely reason for the cherry barb's skinny body is intestinal worms.
 

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