When male rainbows spar, do they cause damage?

Spiskits

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Hi all.
I've had my Boesemani's for some years now and they are fully grown. Two of the similar sized males in particular have always sparred and displayed to each other since they were small. They get along just fine and the displaying is great to watch. The colours are fantastic!!
However, just lately I've noticed what looks like slightly damaged scales on the flanks of both fish. All others are unaffected. One fish did have a slightly open sore but it healed with a 3 day treatment of esha 2000 but there are still some "raggedy looking" scales on both fish that seem to be permanent. They are dotted around the sides, maybe three or four on each fish, one side affected, one side not. Is this where the males "peck" at one another? I've only noticed the damage in the last three weeks even though they have always fought for dominance. There are 3 females in the tank for them to chase.

The only other issue in my tank is one of my red females is very thin and has a small "bump" near her tail fin. No open sores, but it looks like someone has put a tiny marble under her scales. However, she is very old so I reckon she's on her last legs (or fins).....

For info.
Tank 120 UK gallons.
Water parameters are perfect (API liquid test kit).
Nowhere near stocked to potential (I hate overstocked tanks).
Water changes: Gravel vacuum and top up mid-week if required. 25% every Saturday with 50% every last Saturday of the month.
Rainbows love highly oxygenated water so I have two air stones running 24/7.

TIA for any help.
 

Colin_T

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Pictures of the fish showing the sores/ scales missing?

They don't damage each other unless one is huge and the other small. Two equal sized males will not do damage to each other.

The most common cause of small sores appearing on the side of rainbowfish, and scales falling off is Fish TB. The sores start out like a small pimple that ruptures and turns into an ulcer. The TB is inside the fish affecting the organs but it weakens their immune system and allows other bacteria to do damage. It might not be fish TB, but it is a common symptom of fish infected with TB.

If any rainbowfish suddenly bloat up, stop eating, do stringy white poop, hang out under the surface or by a filter outlet, and die within 24 hours of showing these symptoms, then they probably have fish TB.

There is no cure for fish TB and any fish infected will eventually die.

Keeping the fish at cooler temperatures (20-24C) will slow the growth of the Mycobacteria (TB) and extend the life of the fish.

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Make sure you wash your hands and arms with soapy water after working in the tank. And don't get aquarium water on any open wounds (cuts, sores on your skin) because the Mycobacteria can infect the wound and cause you to develop granulomas (lumpy growth of TB cells).

If you get any sores that don't heal after a week or two, tell your doctor you have fish and they might have fish TB. Get the doctor to take a swab of the wound and send it off for culturing and analysis. Find out what the results are before taking any medication. If you do have a fish TB infection, it will only respond to certain medications and taking the wrong anti-biotics can make it harder to treat. So find out what it is before taking anything.

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The sores in rainbowfish can usually be prevented by giving the fish lots of plant matter in their diet. At least 50% of the diet should be algae or plant based. Duckweed is a small floating plant that is readily taken by bigger rainbowfish. Soft leaf plants like Ambulia and Cabomba are also eaten.

You can feed them goldfish food, which are usually plant based or have more plant matter in.

Doing big regular water changes and gravel cleaning the substrate can help reduce the chance of sores appearing but not always.

Some brands of frozen bloodworms encouraged the sores/ ulcers. Do not feed frozen bloodworms to the fish if they might have TB.
 
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Spiskits

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Thanks for the replies. I'll try and get a picture but they are so fast moving it's difficult to get a clear photo. When I get near the tank they get all excited and swim frantically preparing for food.
I feed them bug bites, flakes, and blanched peas. The only frozen foods I give them are cyclops and artemia.
I'll try and get a pic for you.
*Edit*. The fish are both beautifully marked, have normal poop and swim around the tank normally. No gasping at the surface or fast breathing. Apart from these strange marks the fish are superb.

Sorry for the fuzzy pics, they're the best of many. :(
 

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Spiskits

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The Boesmani's were fed peas yesterday and their poop was normal today as always. Tried to get more pics this evening but the above photo's are the best I could manage.
 

Colin_T

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I can't tell anything from the pictures. A video might show more, otherwise keep snapping away with the camera until you get someone where the fish are in focus.

If you do get a good video, upload it to YouTube and then copy & paste the link here.

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Fish infected with TB act normally until the bacteria rupture an organ. Then the fish suddenly bloats up and shows the other symptoms listed above. This can happen any time and the fish can be swimming around one day and dead the next. So just monitor the fish and if any bloat up suddenly and die, then it is probably fish TB. Until then, treat the tank as if it is infected and keep the tank water off any open wounds.
 
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Spiskits

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You'd think a decent quality smartphone would focus on my intended target.

Probably user error!! :oops:
 
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Spiskits

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I am not a 100% sure so I would hold on Ang treatment for now
Thanks, Corypower. I'm absolutely gutted, I give my fish so much attention to water quality, diet, etc but I seem to have no luck. They display and breed like any healthy fish would, every morning and evening they're chasing around and flashing their colours. It's great to watch. As I type this my Tebera's are displaying to their females and the colours are so intense. I absolutely love Rainbows but the amount of problems I'm having over the past few months is really getting to me. I don't know where this started as I've introduced no new fish for quite some time.
 

Colin_T

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It's not Columnaris.

It doesn't look like TB ulcers either.

It just looks like a few scales that have been damaged.
Add 1-2 heaped tablespoons of rock salt per 20 litres to the tank and keep it in there for 2 weeks.

Rainbowfish are easy to breed and grow up. Separate a pr and put them in their own tank for a week, then move the adults out. Grow the babies up in the breeding tank.
 

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