Sunset dwarf rainbowfish

CaptainBarnicles

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The male and his 2 females have been acting very strange lately and I've not had a clue what's going on as admittedly I've not had a lot of experience with fish illness, apart from worms, ICH on one occasion and dealing with a bit of constipation I've not had any sick fish thankfully....

Yesterday I lost one of the females, it's my own fault as I didn't move fast enough, and I was too afraid to attempt netting them as they're so fast and didn't want to risk stressing them further...but my hubby helped me with a couple of extra nets and managed to catch them both to move them to the hospital tank.

After observing their behaviour closely I'm suspecting something like Costiasis from my research but I may be way off....

In certain light they both have white patches that I think may be excess slime coat, they flick, mostly just in the water but I've witnessed them doing it against plants too. In the community tank they were swimming frantically against the filter current and spending all their time at the surface. The female that died was literally just swimming in circles like she was going round a roundabout. They are still eating although I've not fed them yet.

This is where I may be told off for medicating without knowing 100% (and also going against my own advice 🤦‍♀️😩) ...last night I started a treatment with Protozin that I bought when I suspected them to have fungus...but only because my salt has disappeared and this has malachite green in it that I figured wouldn't hurt!

Watching them this morning and they have calmed right down, they're exploring the tank and he's flirty with her so must be feeling better at least...they still have white patches and I've seen them flick but the male has coloured up which is positive.

They're in a 60l which is the best I can do, I took some plants from the community and its heated to 27°c ish...there's an old bubbler I found in there and the hang on back filter is creating a nice cascade so water should be well oxygenated.
 

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Colin_T

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Excess mucous can be caused by poor water quality or external protozoan infections.

The best treatment for rainbowfish is cleaning the tank and adding some salt. However, Waterlife Protozin will also kill external protozoans.

Don't overdose with medications because rainbowfish are sensitive to chemicals.

Make sure you do a big water change and gravel clean the tank every week to prevent protozoan infections. I recommend doing a 75% water change and gravel clean every week.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Make sure they get lots of plant matter and plant based foods. Rainbowfish should have a diet consisting of 50% plant matter and the rest can be insects, fish, prawns, or other types of marine based meat foods.
 
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CaptainBarnicles

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Thanks Colin, I usually do 50% every week and I do disturb the substrate but don't vac it as its fine and just gets sucked away....the tank is well planted, I feed frozen brine shrimp and hikari micro pellets alternatively...I have 2 boesemani and 6 neon dwarf who appear unaffected 🤔🤷‍♀️ the 3 sunsets are new additions who I've had around a month
 
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CaptainBarnicles

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These are terrible photos, he just doesn't stay still long enough to get a good shot...but can you see the white stuff? It looks a little furry?? I've completed 5 days of Protozin, last treatment day tomorrow...I've found my salt so added some of that as well, I figured it wouldn't hurt.
 

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Colin_T

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Did you remove any carbon from the filter before treating the tank?

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It looks like excess mucous but is a bit hard to tell. Fish naturally have a thin layer of clear mucous over their body to help them move through the water and it also acts as a first line of defense against disease organisms and poor water quality or chemicals in the water. When the fish is stressed, it produces more mucous. When the mucous appears in patches on fish in a tank with good water and a clean filter, it is normally caused by external protozoans affecting certain areas of the fish.

Malachite Green, Copper Sulphate or salt will treat most external protozoan infections.

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If the problem continues after the course of medication, do the following.

Wipe the inside of the glass down with a clean fish sponge. This removes the biofilm on the glass and the biofilm will contain lots of harmful bacteria, fungus, protozoans and various other microscopic life forms.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for one week. The water changes and gravel cleaning will reduce the number of disease organisms in the water and provide a cleaner environment for the fish to recover in. It also removes a lot of the gunk from the gravel and this means any salt or medication can work on treating the fish instead of being wasted killing the pathogens in the gunk.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

Filters should be cleaned at least once a month. Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it. Wash the filter materials/ media in a bucket of tank water and re-use them. Tip the bucket of dirty water on the garden/ lawn. Cleaning the filter means less gunk and cleaner water with fewer pathogens.

Increase surface turbulence/ aeration when using salt or medications because they reduce the dissolved oxygen in the water.

Add some more salt, (see directions below).


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SALT
You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), sea salt or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres 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.

When 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.
 
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CaptainBarnicles

CaptainBarnicles

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They're in a 60l hospital tank on their own so water is good. I don't use carbon, the hang on back has sponge and ceramic rings in it...black limpopo sand, bog wood and a handful of plants with a bubbler is all that's in the tank. Today is the last day of the protozin treatment but I'm not sure that there's much improvement....thanks for the info, like I say, I'm not very experienced with illnesses 😕
 

Stan510

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Some Rainbows are prone to white cotton growth. It's a weakness. The best cure is just use antibiotics like Maracyn. Dyes and the rest are iffy. But if your against antibiotics blue or green dye medications are simplest.
 
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CaptainBarnicles

CaptainBarnicles

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Some Rainbows are prone to white cotton growth. It's a weakness. The best cure is just use antibiotics like Maracyn. Dyes and the rest are iffy. But if your against antibiotics blue or green dye medications are simplest.
We have to have antibiotics prescribed in the UK, not something we can just get off the shelf that I'm aware of...but the salt seems to have done the trick, they should be good to go to the community tomorrow
 

Wills

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We have to have antibiotics prescribed in the UK, not something we can just get off the shelf that I'm aware of...but the salt seems to have done the trick, they should be good to go to the community tomorrow
Great news :) well done on nursing them back

Wills
 

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