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Sick rummynose tetra?

wgoldfarb

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Hi,

I've been a lurker here for some time, reading and benefitting from the collective knowledge in this forum. I was active a while back for a short time (here is my thread, which I will go and complete at some point soon, and slaphppy7, whistling badger and boundava may remember me from a previous forum), but life gets in the way!

I have a 29 gallon planted tank (the onse from the thread above). The tank has been set up and cycled for about 2 months, but I wanted the plants to grow a bit before adding fish, so fish were only added on Friday (5/24). I am not completely inexperienced, this is my second round at fish keeping (I kept a planted 29 for a few years before health reasons forced me to take a vacation from the hobby)

Everyone was doing well, the rummy noses had nice bright red noses. I did the first water change yesterday (50%) and this morning one of my rummynose tetras is showing something strange (picture is attached), and I am not sure what it is.

Here are the details:

Tank size: 29 gallon, planted
tank age: Cycled and planted for 2 months (adding ammonia every other day to keep the cycle). Fish added on Friday
pH: 7.4
ammonia: 0ppm
nitrite: 0ppm
nitrate: somewhere between 10 and 20 ppm (those color scales are hard to read!)
tank temp: 78

Fish Symptoms: Please see the picture. There seems to be a white thick "band" around the fish's abdomen, which actually seems to be inside the fish. He is staying apart from the group, but seems to have no trouble swimming or controlling buoyancy.

Water changes: I do 50% every week because I use EI dosing for the plants. did the first one since adding fish just yesterday.

Chemical Additives or Media in your tank: Prime for conditioning, daily Excel for the plants (3ml). Flourish (5ml) 3x per week, 1/4 tsp KNO3 3x per week, 1/16 tsp KH2PO4 3x per week. 1/4 tsp Seachem equilibrium at water changes. I have a canister filter with three layers of sponges and lots of biomedia (see the details on the thread linked at the top). At the time I added fish, the filter was handling 3ppm ammonia in under 24 hours.

Tank inhabitants: 10 rummmy nose tetra, 10 ember tetra, 2 otos.

Recent additions to your tank (living or decoration): All fish are recent additions. Sand substrate, drfitwood and all plants have been in the tank for about 2 months. Driftwood was treated in an oven (250 degrees for 30 min) and plants were treated with "reverse respiration" method before adding them to the tank (not sure if it is acceptableto post links to other forums, but if you google reverse respiration you will quickly find it :) ), so the chances of parasites from the wood and plants are small.

Exposure to chemicals: Other than the chemicals mentioned above, none. Tank has a tight lid, and no cleaning products are used anywhere near it

Digital photo (include if possible): attached

I have a 10 gallon quarantine tank at the ready. I also have prazipro if needed but don't want to medicate until I know what this is.

Any ideas?

Edited to add: I feed Xtreme community falkes alternating with Northfin community pellets. Otos get a cucumber slice, which they haven't yet touched.
 

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The fish has either an infection or a wound with excess mucous. It may have panicked yesterday during the water change and got damaged. Clean water and salt should heal it if that is the case. However, it might be the start of a bacterial infection.

I would add salt and see how it goes over the next 24 hours. Monitor the remaining fish for the same symptoms. If more get it, then it's a bacterial infection and you need to treat them with something strong that kills bacteria (preferably not an antibiotic but that may be necessary).
---------------------

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.

Keep the salt level like this for 1-2 weeks. If there's no improvement after a week, post more pictures.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria, 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.
 
Colin

Thank you for the quick reply! Would it be better to transfer the sick fish to a QT and do the salt treatment there, or should I treat the entire tank?
 
Update: as I went to check the fish, I found him stuck to the filter intake, unable to swim away. He is breathing but apparently weak. I've truned the filter off, and transferred him to a QT. When I put him in the QT he is upside down and floats to the surface, then he will swim back down, and float up slowly again... all while he is upside down.

Does this change anything?
 
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The band around the body is a concern, as it's often seen as a columnaris or flavibacter infection - a communicable bacterial infection that can kill rapidly. I do not have access to fish antibiotics where I live, so I can't comment on treatments.
The last time I saw it, on newly arrived fish, it killed them all. I know that sounds dire, but it ripped through their qt tank in days.

So, buy no new fish for several weeks. Look up the disease and see what treatments are available to you where you live. Cross your fingers and hope...
 
The band around the body is a concern, as it's often seen as a columnaris or flavibacter infection - a communicable bacterial infection that can kill rapidly. I do not have access to fish antibiotics where I live, so I can't comment on treatments.
The last time I saw it, on newly arrived fish, it killed them all. I know that sounds dire, but it ripped through their qt tank in days.

So, buy no new fish for several weeks. Look up the disease and see what treatments are available to you where you live. Cross your fingers and hope...
Gary,

Thank you for the warnings. I've moved the sick fish to a QT, so if this is indeed one of the infections you mention I hope the other fish have been spared. For now the sick rummy is just floating near the surface in the QT, and moves less and less. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
 
That rummy has no chance, I'm very sorry to say. I have never seen a fish recover.

People here used to call that belt effect "livebearer disease" when I was a kid. It can affect all fish though.
 
Turn the filter back on if you haven't already.

Euthanise the tetra if it isn't swimming normally.

Do a big (75%) water change and gravel clean the substrate in the main tank. Then add salt to the tank. Keep salt in it for 2 weeks. Monitor the remaining fish for any unusual symptoms and post pictures asap if anything looks odd.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.
 
Sorry I hadn't posted updates earlier. After Colin's first reply above I immediately moved the sick fish to a QT but I'm sad to say he did not even last the night. He died less than 18 hours after I noticed any symptoms, which was incredibly fast.

I first noticed the symptoms on Monday. It is now Wednesday and everyone else seems to be doing OK. I'll keep a close eye and post updates if anything changes, but hopefully the rest of the fish were spared.

Given how fast the sick fish died, and that everyone else seems to be doing fine, could something else be going on? The day before I first noticed the symptoms I had fed Xtreme crave community flakes. Could the flakes have somehow caused the problem? I'm thinking maybe I did not rehydrate the food completely and it somehow cuased a blockage? is that possible? Just to be safe fasted the fish one day yesterday and haven't fed the flakes again.
 
That has nothing to do with food. Either the fish was injured or had a bacterial infection. Monitor the remaining fish closely for a few weeks and do some big water changes and gravel cleans to dilute anything that might be in there.
 
Thanks for the reassurance. I was concerned it was something I had done with the food.

It's how Thursday afternoon and everyone in the take looks happy. I will keep with water changes and will keep a close watch.

Thank you both for your very fast responses. And Colin, I did not know how versatile aquarium salt can be for treatments! After your response I read some of your other posts on the topic, and I am now a convert 🙂
 
Just wanted to post an update: it has been almost a week since I first noticed the sick fish, and 4 days since he dies. So far, everyone else in the tank seems healthy and happy. I'l keep monitoring and will post an update if anything changes. I have also already cleaned my QT and other equipment (thermometer, net) with bleach and gave everything a very thorough hose down afterwards. It is now empty and dry.

@Colin_T and @GaryE your quick advice may have helped me avoid a much larger problem -- thank you!
 

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