Red forest jewels all get sick eventually - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-11-2006, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Red forest jewels all get sick eventually

Help please

We have two tanks
(a) 500 litres. Established over 5 years. Contains: 4 silver dollars, 3 Salmon Tails, 6 Tiger Barbs, 2 Loaches, 2 Moris, Numerous electric yellows (that breed rampantly), 2 Electric Blues, 2 Red Empress. All are healthy and happy ... EXCEPT for the Red Forest Jewel (the last survivor from this tank .. now in hospital)

(b) 300 litres. Established around 7 months. Contains: 3 angels, 3 severums, 4 sucker fish, 3 guarmis. Also healthy and happy ... EXCEPT to Two red forest jewels (also in hospital).

Our Red Jewel saga. We have tried repeatedly in the 500 litre tank to house these fish ... any every time, they start off as beautiful fish, exhibiting red colours with blue dots. We were even blessed with two that bred (although most babies were eaten). We managed to salvage around 12 small fry, but only 2 grew up in a separate nursery. When these two reached around 1 inch long, we moved them to the 300 litre tank. They continue to grow, appearing to thrive and reached around 2.5 inches. Then, almost overnight, they started to rest on top of the filters, and then on the bottom of the tank. They started to lose their colour, and began this 'silly swim' where they roll sideways and flick themselves around the tank. Soon after this was noticed, one died. The other was moved to hospital where he joined two others (both from the 500 litre tank).

It is now around 10 days since they were moved. All have the 'silly swim', and their colour is not good. They are in a 40 litre tank. We have been treating it with a Bacterial and Fungal treatment, by Interpret. This is a daily treatment for 5 days - but since all the residents did not arrive together we have continued the treatment for 8 days. We have been performing regular water changes, and also adding (on alternate days) Melafix and Pimafix.

All three are still alive, and will eat frozen food daily. The largest one (around 3.5 inches) stays at the top at a 45 degree angle. One of the others is also at the top at a similar angle. The other just rests on the bottom. They all 'silly swim'.

We are really not sure how to proceed from here. We also have Myxazin and Protozin on hand, but have not used these products this time. Part of the problem is that we do not know what we are treating ?? swim bladder, ?? velvet ??, ???

It would be great to hear from some one who has had similar experiences, and even better if someone can explain what it is that we are doing wrong. As indicated previously, all other fish are fine - but both tanks, either with red jewels bought from the shop, and even those bred at home, end up with the same condition

Thanks for reading - I really look forward to hearing from the experts.
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-11-2006, 03:58 AM
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Hi and welcome,

Before we start the diagnosis, what are your water parameters? Pls post your ammonia, pH, nitrites and nitrates. You need to buy a test kit.
How do you maintain your tank?
When was the last time you bought the Red Jewel? Some fish in the shops are potential disease carriers. The parasites are already in their body, yet they feel healthy as you see them. However if their immune system weakens, then the parasites will obviously have an easier chance of penetrating the fish's body, thus weakening the fish until it eventually dies.
Pls post the picture of your fish to speed up diagnosis. I can't figure out what is happening to your fish without pics and water stats. If it were swim bladder problems, your fish could have already struggled in swimming as they tend to swim upside down due to failure in their internal organs.
I'd say that the jewels you had in your home contracted the disease through the new ones from your lfs.
Here's a link on velvet disease to help you determine further if it's really velvet.
Personally, I doubt that it is velvet.

On the compatibility issue...
By the way, are these Red Jewels the ones with a scientific name Hemichromis Bimaculatus? If so, you made a wrong mix in each of your tank. Your sucker fish is probably the Chinese Algae Eater. That CAE is not compatible with the angelfish and gouramis.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-13-2006, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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Further info on DWILHAM red jewel problems

1.The last time we bought red jewels was around Sept 2005, when we bought 6 or 7 from our regular, reputable aquarium shop. All was well for the first couple of months, and then a couple of them developed symptoms as described previouly. The rest were OK, and around January this year we had many babies - most were eaten but 2 grew to around 2 inches. Following the births, some of the remaining jewels also developed the same problem.

We have managed to save 3 - 1 male and 1 female from the 500 litre tank, and 1 of the 2 new borns, that grew up in the 300 litre tank. All three are now in hospital.

2. Tank maintenance. We change water weekly, and do gravel cleans / filter cleans approx fortnightly.

3. Tank chemistry

A. 500l PH 7.4, Nitrite zero, Ammonia zero, Nitrate 35 mg/l
B. 300l PH 7.3, Nitrite zero, Ammonia zero, Nitrate 30 mg/l
C. 40l (hospital) PH 7.4, Nitrite 5mg/l, Ammonia zero, Nitrate 30mg/l

4. PHOTO - since the hospital tank has had a treatment that included malachite green, the water is not clear. The picture is not the best, but it does show dull colour, clamped fins - the fish is unusually horizontal - but is regular at 45 degrees or greater to the horizontal.

PS tried to upload picture - but got a 'image directory' error. Will try and check help files following this post.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-13-2006, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DWILHAM
C. 40l (hospital) PH 7.4, Nitrite 5mg/l, Ammonia zero, Nitrate 30mg/l
Your first two tanks don't seem to have anything wrong with the water chemistry but the last one is.
Your nitrites is quite high at 5. You need to carry out more water changes on this by doing daily water changes.

Uploading pics will have to wait as the admin is trying to include the videos uploading thus affecting inadversely the uploading of pics.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-24-2006, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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I have an update on my red jewel problems, and am seeking more advice.

It would appear that the problem with the red jewels is skin flukes (and possibly gill flukes also). I have been treating the tank daily with Intrepid's Anti-parasite treatment, and have noticed a good deal of improvement.

- there is less of the 'silly swim'
- the tail and fins are not nearly as compacted
- the fish appetite has improved, and all are keen to eat frozen green food

However, the treatement is a daily treatment, and supposed to go for 5 days. I have continued the treatment to day #7, and although improved, they seem to have stabilised but are not 100%. There colour is not particularly good, and the scales are still irritated - hence, the 'silly swim'.

I have addressed the nitrite problem with regular water change, and there is now neglibible nitrite in the tank - light yellow in the test kit.

I notice from reading about flukes that Potassium Permanganate is an alternate treatment, and would like to know the group's thoughts on this -

(a) Should I start a Potassium Permanganate treatment? If so, should I wait a couple of days first ?

(b) Should I leave a couple of days and have a second course of the Intrepid medicine ?

(c) Any other ideas ?

Tnanks for reading. I look forward to hearing from you.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-24-2006, 03:31 AM
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Have you read on this site?

It's incomplete but there are meds readily available for emergencies.

If you try using methylene blue, pls take note that the methylene blue may harm your beneficial bacteria so it's best to treat the fish in a hospital tank than in the main tank.

As I haven't tried the potassium permanganate yet, it's best that you read this.
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