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Thread: Fish illness, co-morbid infections, my fish need your help!

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Grand Forks, ND
    Posts
    970

    Fish illness, co-morbid infections, my fish need your help!

    My fish issues as of late do not signal, to me, a water quality issue, but rather an infectious process of two types. A parasitic infection alongside some internal bacterial infections. I apologize for not having pictures of everything. I will describe the signs and symptoms. I will start with the parasitic infestation.

    It began with one electric blue ram (EBR) and has since spread to primarily my cardinal tetras. It does not seem to have infected the other rams, however more sites have appeared on the originally infected fish. It appears to be a small white worm like parasite in the outer layer of tissue. It affects primarily areas near and on the fins of the cardinal tetras. It is located along the lateral line of the EBR and between the pectoral fin and gill. There are no behavior changes observed with this infestation. I have also seen it infect the eyes on the cardinal tetras, causing the ocular space to swell with fluid. My combat measures thus far have included manual removal with small forceps for examination, quarantine, and treatment with malachite green. Probably not the best choice however I did not have anything else available at the time. I do have a picture of this one:



    The worm like parasite is smaller on the cardinals and not attached as much to the body as it is the fins.

    Here is the description of the suspected bacterial infection. Over the last 2 weeks I have begun to notice a change in 2 fish, one a porkchop rasbora the other a cardinal tetra. There has been discoloration along the lateral line primarily in the belly area of the rasbora and the caudal end of the tetra. The discoloration appears to be suggestive of internal hemorrhaging. Yesterday it seems the discoloration has opened into a sore on the rasbora, which is quite large for the size of the fish. Interestingly the fish is swimming normally and not hiding or breathing in distress. It has eaten normally, however is not schooling as well. No behavior changes in the tetra. My initial reaction is to euthanize the infected fish and observe the others. However just today I noticed discoloration, or rather, a loss of coloration in spots on the EBR's. I do not know if this is due to initial parasitic infection or underlying bacterial. I know i have both problems. I can try to get pictures of these, however I do not know if the quality will be good enough to aid in diagnosis.

    I have erythromycin and AP's general parasite cure ready to go. Can I dose both of these meds at the same time? I believe they will be safe for my shrimp, but if not let me know and I will setup a hospital tank. Instead of saving the severely infected fish I believe it best to euthanize them to stop their contamination of water and other fish. I also have packets of flubendazole, which I have used in the past against some hydra in a shrimp tank. This was effective and safe for the shrimp in the low dosages I used.

    Help is GREATLY appreciated. If you need more info or further details please let me know and I will provide whatever I can. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Surprise, AZ
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    3,210

    Smile No EM at This Time

    Hi Shawn,

    The first sounds like a worm, a parasite,
    trying AP’s Parasite stuff is a good first try, actually it may also help in the second case,the malachite green wasn’t such a bad guess and given you had it on hand.

    The second, do you notice some pitting back of or by the eye socket?


    I suspect it is Head and lateral line erosion, usually referred to as hole-in-the-head disease.
    • It usually isn’t fatal…
      • In non-Cichlids


    I do not think anyone knows for sure, but I treat it as a protozoan. I think it is (should you have access to a microscope) a flagellated protozoan, Hexamita, a close relative of Giardia.

    More in a bit…

    As a precaution, stop any activated charcoal, Purigen or Chemi-Pure (chemical) filtration.

    Do you have Potassium permanganate or hand?


    Biollante
    The first sign we don't know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Disclaimer: I am not trying to make you mad, it is just what I am, an evil plant monster, 'nuf said.

    • I believe the information I am giving is sound, I am not a veterinarian, professional chemist or particularly bright and certainly not a "Guru.".
    • I assume you are of legal age, competent and it is legal for you to acquire, possess and use any materials or perform any action in your in your jurisdiction.
    • When in doubt "don't."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Grand Forks, ND
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    Hi bio,

    I'm familiar with Giardia...not from "personal" experience thankfully. Would the protozoan cause an open wound or ulcer? Hemorrhaging and necrosis is what it appeared to be to me. I will look for the pitting, but i have not noticed anything unusual about the eyes. Only when the worm latched onto that tissue did there become an issue, which looked like edema.

    I will remove the purigen. I do have KMnO4 on hand. I'm trying to remember if I used that in the quarantine tank...I don't think I did. I think I meant to and never did. Probably could have been prevented with that...

    I do not have access to a microscope, no friends in the university bio dept. Maybe a past professor or two who may remember me if I really needed it. I could call in a favor at the hospital, but don't know about that one either, medical labs are so "protocol-ish".

    Would it be best to send the infected fish to their maker? If you needed some type of picture of the wounds or parasite what magnification would you suggest?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Surprise, AZ
    Posts
    3,210

    Smile Worth a Shot

    Hi Shawn,

    Don’t worry about the microscope.

    I have already received a correction,
    I am told only old guys would call it Hexamita, it is now known as Spironucleus, likely, vortens.

    It is also possible the “second” description is really just another manifestation of the “first,” seemingly conclusive parasitic worm infection.
    • Either way the treatment is going to be similar.


    As long as the critters do not seem in great distress I think it is worth a shot saving them.


    I recommend proceeding with API’s General Cure; I am assuming that is what you meant.

    The “pits” around the eye socket are actually lesions and are good indicators of head and lateral line erosion.

    Are these fish recently acquired?


    Biollante
    The first sign we don't know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Disclaimer: I am not trying to make you mad, it is just what I am, an evil plant monster, 'nuf said.

    • I believe the information I am giving is sound, I am not a veterinarian, professional chemist or particularly bright and certainly not a "Guru.".
    • I assume you are of legal age, competent and it is legal for you to acquire, possess and use any materials or perform any action in your in your jurisdiction.
    • When in doubt "don't."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Grand Forks, ND
    Posts
    970
    I have had these fish for 6 months. The rasboras longer, over a year. This worm has popped up a time or two before this, I thought I had zapped it with the malachite green when I broke down the tank and had the fish in quarantine for 4 weeks. All the old plants received a KMnO4 bath before being placed into the new setup, even the ones I wasn't sure would handle it well like some mosses. Maybe just slowed it down or killed all free floating protozoans stopping new infections.

    I'm wondering if they were CO2 stressed while I tried to tune the CO2 allowing it to pop up again from some fish it was dormant within. It has infected the same fish twice. it even carries a bit of a scar from where I excised it. I suspect this one fish is the source as both times it showed signs of infestation prior to other fish.

    Yes, API general cure is the the medication I meant. I will medicate the tank tomorrow and observe.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Grand Forks, ND
    Posts
    970

    Treatment Update

    I dosed API's General Cure according to the directions. For the record, if anyone uses this in the future I suggest covering your nose and mouth with a mask. The fine powder gets in the air and gave me a headache I also felt a bit dizzy.

    I still see evidence of infection on the fish. I'm assuming it may take some time for the internal damage marked by the discoloration to heal, however some of the worm like parasite is still noticeable on the dorsal fin of one cardinal tetra. I was unable to find the ram this morning to view it before leaving for work, but as of yesterday there was still the parasite in the same location. I assumed they would die and fall off...maybe if they are under some tissue layers they may take some time to heal? Or is this a sign the treatment was not totally effective.

    I lost the fish with the open sore last night. He honestly lasted much longer than I expected with the gaping wound.

    Next step?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ft Lauderdale FL
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    427
    Try prazipro from hikari. It's praziquantel and metro in a water soluble form.. Good for deworming.



    Henry tomassini
    www.theplantedaquariumstore.com
    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Surprise, AZ
    Posts
    3,210

    Smile 5% Praziquantel Or 5% Praziquantel Seems To Be The Question of the Day

    Hi Shawn,

    I agree with Henry and think I mentioned Praziquantel, which is the relevant active ingredient in API General Cure.

    • I think if you have or can get Praziquantel it is a good choice to cure the infected fish.

    I was under the (mistaken apparently) impression PraziPro is Oxybispropanol and <5% praziquantel by weight.
    (Oxybispropanol is listed as an inert solubilizing agent, though I found it listed as EPA Pesticide Chemical Code 068604.)

    Whereas API General Cure is the one with Metronidazole (an antibiotic), I am assuming that is the “metro” Henry is referring to.
    (API General Cure is according to its label 80% table salt, 10% Metronidazole (an antibiotic), 5% Praziquantel and 5% silica amorphous.)
    (API apparently uses table salt as its solubilizing agent.)

    I think the underlying problem is the high DOC, as demonstrated by the PP treatments.

    Yes, one option would be to remove the critters to a quarantine/hospital tank for treatment.

    This would allow you to attempt something short of removing the driftwood.

    I have to say realistically though, total pain though it may be the driftwood is going to have to come out and you are going to have to really go after it with a wire brush and screwdriver, knife, ice pick, whatever and anything that moves, wobbles or gives is going to have to be removed. After that disinfecting, the wood with PP or bleach will be required.

    • The advantage in using PP is of course the visual confirmation of the disinfection.


    Removing the wood will also allow you to treat the tank with whatever cure you choose including 5 or 10-ppm treatments with PP as an option. 30-minute treatments with 10-ppm PP are effective and reasonably safe. After 29-minutes the PP is neutralized using standard dose of dechlorinator, this can be done 5-days in a row.

    Biollante
    The first sign we don't know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Disclaimer: I am not trying to make you mad, it is just what I am, an evil plant monster, 'nuf said.

    • I believe the information I am giving is sound, I am not a veterinarian, professional chemist or particularly bright and certainly not a "Guru.".
    • I assume you are of legal age, competent and it is legal for you to acquire, possess and use any materials or perform any action in your in your jurisdiction.
    • When in doubt "don't."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Grand Forks, ND
    Posts
    970
    I've spent 3 months getting mosses and bolbitus to grow over the wood...hygrophilia pinnatifida is growing great up one of the pieces. This prospect is disheartening....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Surprise, AZ
    Posts
    3,210

    Smile What’s 1 Crocodile’s tooth more or less said the Dentist...

    Hi,

    Well can you try a careful examination of the wood?

    Think of yourself as a dentist, ruthlessly picking at any loose or rotting material, you may just get lucky…

    • The fact is the PP can take care of what the pick cannot.


    Otherwise, chock this one up to the experience.

    As I posted elsewhere, Oh, The Righteous Pain You Can Become… Perhaps Even Ol’ Gasbag Status!
    Do not think of the work involved; think instead about the mileage you will get from this.

    • Assuming it is the wood, this will be one of those lessons well learned and
    • You can nag people for the next 50 years about the consequences of improper preparation of wood for aquariums.
    • That is how I look at my misadventures, great opportunities to well and truly annoy people!


    “The Crocodile's Toothache” by Shel Silverstein
    The Crocodile
    Went to the dentist
    And sat down in the chair,
    And the dentist said, "Now tell me, sir,
    Why does it hurt and where?"
    And the Crocodile said, "I'll tell you the truth,
    I have a terrible ache in my tooth,"
    And he opened his jaws so wide, so wide,
    The the dentist, he climbed right inside,
    And the dentist laughed, "Oh isn't this fun?"
    As he pulled the teeth out, one by one.
    And the Crocodile cried, "You're hurting me so!
    Please put down your pliers and let me go."
    But the dentist laughed with a Ho Ho Ho,
    And he said, "I still have twelve to go-
    Oops, that's the wrong one, I confess,
    But what's one crocodile's tooth more or less?"
    Then suddenly, the jaws went SNAP,
    And the dentist was gone, right off the map,
    And where he went one could only guess...
    To North or South or East or West...
    He left no forwarding address.
    But what's one dentist, more or less?


    Good luck,
    Biollante


    The first sign we don't know what we are doing is an obsession with numbers. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Disclaimer: I am not trying to make you mad, it is just what I am, an evil plant monster, 'nuf said.

    • I believe the information I am giving is sound, I am not a veterinarian, professional chemist or particularly bright and certainly not a "Guru.".
    • I assume you are of legal age, competent and it is legal for you to acquire, possess and use any materials or perform any action in your in your jurisdiction.
    • When in doubt "don't."

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