Skinny Bolivian Ram - sickness? - Page 2
Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources » Freshwater Fish and Aquariums » Freshwater and Tropical Fish » Cichlids » Skinny Bolivian Ram - sickness?

Skinny Bolivian Ram - sickness?

This is a discussion on Skinny Bolivian Ram - sickness? within the Cichlids forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> Thank you for your help, as always. . . I actually have been following that thread, along with a few others. As you have ...

Check out these freshwater fish profiles
Convict Cichlids
Convict Cichlids
Discus
Discus
Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools vBmenu Seperating Image Search this Thread vBmenu Seperating Image
Skinny Bolivian Ram - sickness?
Old 05-26-2012, 01:21 PM   #11
 
Chesh's Avatar
 
Thank you for your help, as always. . .

I actually have been following that thread, along with a few others. As you have mentioned, this seems to be a reoccurring problem at the moment. . . so I would like to ask a few additional questions, for clarity, and also to help any others that find this thread in search of information relating to the same illness.

Regarding the medication. . . the only things that I can find locally (I’ve called around) is the food by Jungle Labs (which doesn’t seem to be recommended by Dawn) and API’s General Cure, which is 250mg Metronidazole and 75mg Prazaiquantel - and treats the WATER (I can't find Metro+ or pure Metronidazole). I understand that feeding a food taken internally would help to get the drug to the problem in a faster and more efficient way, but as there is nothing available locally - would treating the water with this WORK at all to get rid of the protozoan?

If not, treatment will have to be delayed until I can get the drug here through an internet source. Monday is a holiday, so even if I pay for next-day-shipping - it won't be here until Tuesday at the earliest, more likely Wednesday. Are there any specific brands or shops that anyone can recommend I order?

I don’t think it would be a problem to get him to eat it, he eats very well, and has not refused any food I've given to him. . . but the method does make me a little bit nervous, to be honest. Metronidazole, in humans, is dosed according to body weight (and age). I know the treatment will work, as it did in Byron's tanks. . . but it seems kind of hit-or-miss to add a seemingly random amount of drugs into the food in the hopes that the fish would eat enough of it to do it good - and how do you know you won’t accidentally overdose? I’m really nervous that I’ll kill him with the cure, so to speak. Maybe I’m worrying over nothing?

Byron. . . you seem to recommend treating the entire tank - but I’m getting the impression from Dawn’s postings that she’d be happier if I ONLY treat the sick fish (who has been moved into a QT tank). I do NOT like medicating when it isn’t necessary, so I’d like to be clear on this. Obviously being in a quiet environment will help the one who is obviously ill recover more quickly, and allow me to keep a close eye on him - but am I also to be treating the main tank? Or should I watch, wait, and see if any of the others develop any signs of illness first?

Regarding symptoms: the only thing that my fish is showing is an overall thinness and failure to gain weight in comparison to the others. He swims, eats, ARE there any other symptoms of this disease that I should be watching for in the others? Would his thinness put him in the advanced stages, or is this still early enough on that he might be saved?

Sorry for so many questions. . . it’s my way, lol! I really feel nervous about doing things that I don’t fully understand, even when the advice comes from trusted sources. I hope you take no offense!
Chesh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2012, 01:44 PM   #12
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chesherca View Post
Thank you for your help, as always. . .

I actually have been following that thread, along with a few others. As you have mentioned, this seems to be a reoccurring problem at the moment. . . so I would like to ask a few additional questions, for clarity, and also to help any others that find this thread in search of information relating to the same illness.

Regarding the medication. . . the only things that I can find locally (Iíve called around) is the food by Jungle Labs (which doesnít seem to be recommended by Dawn) and APIís General Cure, which is 250mg Metronidazole and 75mg Prazaiquantel - and treats the WATER (I can't find Metro+ or pure Metronidazole). I understand that feeding a food taken internally would help to get the drug to the problem in a faster and more efficient way, but as there is nothing available locally - would treating the water with this WORK at all to get rid of the protozoan?

If not, treatment will have to be delayed until I can get the drug here through an internet source. Monday is a holiday, so even if I pay for next-day-shipping - it won't be here until Tuesday at the earliest, more likely Wednesday. Are there any specific brands or shops that anyone can recommend I order?

I donít think it would be a problem to get him to eat it, he eats very well, and has not refused any food I've given to him. . . but the method does make me a little bit nervous, to be honest. Metronidazole, in humans, is dosed according to body weight (and age). I know the treatment will work, as it did in Byron's tanks. . . but it seems kind of hit-or-miss to add a seemingly random amount of drugs into the food in the hopes that the fish would eat enough of it to do it good - and how do you know you wonít accidentally overdose? Iím really nervous that Iíll kill him with the cure, so to speak. Maybe Iím worrying over nothing?

Byron. . . you seem to recommend treating the entire tank - but Iím getting the impression from Dawnís postings that sheíd be happier if I ONLY treat the sick fish (who has been moved into a QT tank). I do NOT like medicating when it isnít necessary, so Iíd like to be clear on this. Obviously being in a quiet environment will help the one who is obviously ill recover more quickly, and allow me to keep a close eye on him - but am I also to be treating the main tank? Or should I watch, wait, and see if any of the others develop any signs of illness first?

Regarding symptoms: the only thing that my fish is showing is an overall thinness and failure to gain weight in comparison to the others. He swims, eats, ARE there any other symptoms of this disease that I should be watching for in the others? Would his thinness put him in the advanced stages, or is this still early enough on that he might be saved?

Sorry for so many questions. . . itís my way, lol! I really feel nervous about doing things that I donít fully understand, even when the advice comes from trusted sources. I hope you take no offense!
For some of these questions we will have to have Dawn's expertise. But in the interim, my thoughts are as follows.

There are countless (likely) types of protozoan, just as there are countless strains of bacteria, or fungus, or parasites. So symptoms will likely vary. In my case, fish suddenly began dying, and some--but not all--of these had specific symptoms, whereas others simply died and the corpse had a pale bland appearance. Dawn is best to advise specifics to deal with the likely issue.

I had to treat the entire tank, since fish were dying several each day, from corys to tetra to hatchets. The protozoan I had was very obviously contagious, as it arrived with a tetra species and within a week the other fish started dying. In this situation trying to net out fish would have been pointless. Dawn can comment on any side effects to "healthy" fish from feeding medicated food. But I will say that Dawn has advised me to use this medicated preparation for one week on all new fish while in QT, namely characins and corys, that I intend to acquire to replace the losses. And I intend to do this, since I have now twice recently acquired new fish and had a protozoan problem (in two different tanks).

As for dose, the food itself has to absorb the metro, and I am assuming this is fairly minimal. However, when I fed this preparation, some of the metro itself was included, floating on the surface. It eventually dissipated into the water; whether or not any fish actually ate the metro on its own, I've no idea.

Another point is that you have touse what you can get. I live in Canada, and some of these drugs are not available, for various reasons. The Metro+ by AS was all I could get, at that time. Dawn can clarify on this and the specific products mentioned.

Byron.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Byron For This Useful Post:
Chesh (05-27-2012)
Old 05-26-2012, 02:19 PM   #13
 
Chesh's Avatar
 
Thanks, Byron.

I DO have a QT tank, I think I might just treat any new additions in there to prevent this in the future. . . it seems like sound advice. None of my fish are dying, and only one shows symptoms. . . I'm not sure if I'm being daft to wait, or being wise in my caution, but I'd really rather have a more complete picture before I make any moves. I just hope delay won't cost my creature(s) their lives. . .

It seems that there are basically 3 types of Metronidazole available to me in pure form if I order online. . . one of these seems to be 100mg, one is 250mg, and the other is 500. It seems the usual doseage to the water column is 125mg/10gal. I've read (from questionable sources) that it is very rare for an overdose to occur with this medication, though I'm not sure if snails would be harmed by this treatment. . . I'm still very leery to do anything without a full understanding behind what I'm doing. The only thing I could do right now anyway is to dose the tank water with API's General Cure, or try feeding the food from Jungle Labs - both of these contain Metronidazole as well as Praziquantel, and I don't know if Praziquantel will be safe to my other critters (loaches & snails specifically). . . I'll hold off and see what she has to say. Hopefully Dawn's poor bird is feeling better, and she'll get a chance to stop by for a moment. . .
Chesh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2012, 04:58 AM   #14
 
bettababy's Avatar
 
I thank you for your patience and apologize again for my need to run out so quickly the other night. My bird is doing better today, I thank you for your concern.

Now, to answer your questions.
To start with, this is the medication I recommend for you.
Metronidazole - 5 g

If you don't wish to purchase it at Big Al's (which is a very reliable place to get it) then you can do a search for "Seachem metronidazole" and see what other sources are available. Big Al's usually has some of the best prices online but most important is that they are a reliable place to do business with.

In regards to waiting, yes, I agree that waiting to get the proper medication is more than worth the risk of using something that is less than idea and could cause more harm. As I mentioned previously, when you are using a medication with other ingredients then 2 things are happening... 1. your fish are getting medications they don't need, and 2. they are not getting the full strength of the one ingredient they do need.

Many people rush to dump medication into a tank just to be doing "something" to help their fish. This more often causes additional problems or the death of the fish they are trying so hard to save. In the aquarium hobby the #1 most important rule of thumb is patience. If a fish is so sick that waiting an extra couple of days to get the medication means the loss of the fish then it is likely it was too far gone to save in the first place.

As Byron explained (wonderfully, I might add) there are many different species of protozoan out there and they are not all created equal. The symptoms the fish may show are going to depend on a number of factors. 1. the species of protozoan, which can only be determined via lab work, and in some cases only via autopsy, 2. the conditions in the tank itself, 3. the species of fish, 4. the stress levels and overall general health of the fish, 5. the fish's immune system and what state it is in, and the list goes on from there. Even water temperature can affect the symptoms. This is why fish medicine is such a complicated field and why it takes so long to learn it, get the needed experience to be successful, and to constantly maintain studies and research to keep up with the ever changing state of the medical field. Diagnosing and treating fish medical problems online has the extra complication because I don't have the ability to examine the fish in person and perform any needed lab work to properly identify species or source of the problem with the most accuracy possible. Be it fish, other animals, or even people... the medical field always has some level of risk to it.

Your concerns about over dosing the fish are valid, so I don't want you to take that lightly. I applaud you for asking and expressing your concerns, as most people don't. It is much more likely to overdose any medication when treating the water vs treating the food. When it comes to coating the food a few things need to be remembered. While the food will absorb the medication, as soon as the food hits the water some of that medication is going to be released, thus the amount of it on the food will instantly be reduced. This is why carbon should remain in the filter when treating a fish using medicated food vs the removal of it when treating the water. Carbon will help to remove any medication that is released into the water.

Next we need to address the amount of food the fish will eat in a given sitting, which isn't very much. The food can only hold a certain amount of medication no matter how much of the medicine you mix into it. This also helps to prevent overdosing, again, provided the carbon remains in the filter during treatment. If you are able to get the medication I suggested it should come with a small scoop for measuring/dosing. In a small zip lock baggie put in 2 wks worth of food and 3 - 4 scoops of the metronidazole, and shake well until all of the medication disappears completely. You should see a slight change in color to the food, it will have a white hazy appearance to it. Look over the food in the baggie carefully and be sure that all of the food appears to be coated. If there is still any loose medication in the baggie don't worry, but be careful not to dump that into the tank water when you are feeding the food to the fish. If the food doesn't look entirely coated then add 1 - 2 more scoops of the medication and shake again until you can see that the food is completely coated.

When treating the water instead of the food there are some things to consider. Some medications are more readily absorbed through the skin and blood vessels in the gills than others. The longer it takes for the medication to enter the blood stream and work its way through the fish's system to the target area of the problem, in this case, intestines... the longer it takes before the problem is actually being treated, allowing the problem to progress further in the process. Basically the option to feed the medicated food vs treating the water boils down to knowing the medication, knowing the species of fish, and understanding the illness.

Lastly, in regards to treating your whole tank... I don't think at this point that is necessary. If another fish begins to show the same or similar symptoms then we may want to consider such a thing, but at this moment I see no indication to warrant such a thing. While protozoan issues can be highly contagious, this again takes us back to what specifically we are dealing with... some are more highly contagious than others and the immune systems and overall health and stress levels of the other fish also play a large role in whether they are able to fight it naturally or not. From looking at your photos of the other rams, I don't see anything that indicates the others are suffering with the same problem, thus I would not medicate them at this point. That can always be done later if the need arises.

I hope I was able to answer all of your questions but if you have more please post and I will do my best to clarify for you the best I can. If I missed anything then I apologize, please just let me know and I will get to it as soon as I'm able. Best of luck to you and your fish!
bettababy is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to bettababy For This Useful Post:
Byron (05-27-2012), Chesh (05-27-2012)
Old 05-27-2012, 05:27 AM   #15
 
bettababy's Avatar
 
As a side note I want to go back to clarify one thing I see that I missed. In regards to using a different medication with other ingredients in it...
When you take multiple ingredients and mix them together the job they do is different than if you were to use one ingredient by itself. Mixing any kind of medication causes various types of chemical reactions to take place, reactions that don't happen when a single ingredient is by itself. This affects how the animal and the illness (in this case protozoan) reacts to the medication and how successful it will be in treating/curing the problem. If you have any knowledge of people medications think about how dr's and pharmacists warn us about mixing certain meds, spacing some from others, and how the dr's will often change one that is effective to something safer because another one is needed for a new/different problem. The same thing applies with animals, including (and especially) with fish. Because each species of fish has it's own sensitivities to various medications, this can be a very touchy area when it comes to what is safe and what is not for treating a given illness. Many people attempt to treat their sick fish with medications that contain ingredients that are either toxic to that species of fish or an ingredient that their fish is sensitive to without ever knowing or realizing it. This is why I always tell people to get the help from someone trained and experienced in this field rather than relying on package labels and guess work when it comes to dosing any medication for their fish. Packaging is very lacking when it comes to these warnings, as are pet store workers who rely on the package labels when suggesting something to their customers.

It has taken me over 20 yrs to learn the things I know now and as new medications come out onto the market and as various illnesses become immune to some ingredients, I must always study and research to keep up with it. That is also a reason why there is such a lack of qualified people in this field of work and when you can find one (such as an aquatic dvm) they seldom have time for or do volunteer work and they tend to charge very high fees for their services. It is a tough and intense job and a person has to really love what they do and really have a passion for the animals to stick with it. Online forums make this even more frustrating because the handful of qualified people who are willing to do such things spend the majority of their time defending themselves from personal attacks and always being told to prove what they say or think because it usually doesn't match up with the info running rampant by those less qualified and so easily found online. Many of my colleagues have tried to help in online forums in their spare time and have given up because the frustration involved was just more than they were willing to deal with for free. They still tease me that I am a glutton for punishment, however, it has taken me years to prove myself in the few online forums/groups I visit and stick to exclusively. I no longer make my rounds to all of the online forums that I used to visit for that reason alone.

I continue to do what I do because I have that passion for the animals, passion for my work and science in general, and because I see the intense need for it. I continue to come here when I can because I am given the respect from the members and moderators alike, which makes it less frustrating, though I must admit there have been times where I have considered just giving up the volunteer work alongside of my colleagues for the same reasons they stopped. If I find things revert back to the disrespect and constant battles, then I, too, would retire from the volunteer work and be content with my regular job in this field... which in itself is hard enough.

So I thank you and all of the others here for making my time and presence at this forum a good situation for all of us and I look forward to continuing my work in helping others as much as I am able. Saving lives is the most rewarding "job" anyone could possibly have.
bettababy is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to bettababy For This Useful Post:
Byron (05-27-2012), Chesh (05-27-2012)
Old 05-27-2012, 08:16 AM   #16
 
Chesh's Avatar
 
Dawn - I can't thank you enough for taking the time to answer all of my questions. I feel FAR more comfortable now that I have a clear understanding of what you're telling me to do - and why. Thanks for giving me a specific brand and place of purchase, as well.

I sincerely hope that you didn't get the impression that I was attacking your advice - this is not the case in the least! I actually DO have a back-round in pharmaceuticals - for people, not fish - and I'm sure that it's partially because of this that I am so leery about doing things without full understanding. I'm very familiar with the drug Metronidazole and the way it works in humans. Fish are a whole 'nother thing, and one that I am not familiar or comfortable with on the whole yet - much less the illness and medication aspect. I am so grateful that there are people like you (and Byron and a few others, to Boot) who continue to take the time to instruct the wayward internet masses on how things should be done. It didn't take me long to learn that there are VERY few people out there that I can trust when it comes to my underwater world, and finding someone trustworthy is always a relief. . . Hopefully others in the same situation will stumble across this thread in their searches and be steered in the right direction - you can never know how many people you're helping by putting good information out in internetland. Don't ever give up!

The medication is on order, and I'll let you know how things go from here. Hopefully I'll have a healthy and chubby little Ram in no time!

If I may, I have a few additional questions. . . Of course!

Aside from him starting to gain weight/grow, will there be any other signs to indicate to me that he is healthy?
How long should it take after medicating before I am able to see weight gain/growth?
How long should I keep him in the QT tank after his treatment is complete?
After medicating, should I return to my normal feeding schedule, or are there certain foods that will nourish his body and bring him back to full strength more quickly?

I think that's it! Thanks again for all of your help - I'm glad to hear that your bird is feeling better, hopefully he'll make a full recovery very soon. A sick pet is NO fun, poor thing!
Chesh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2012, 01:18 AM   #17
 
Chesh's Avatar
 
Talking Final update. . .

I've been meaning to update this thread for some time in the hopes that the end result of this illness and treatment might be able to help another in a similar situation in the future. . . since I have a picture on-hand right now, tonight seemed like a good time!

Here is my little C.Cat as he is now:



C.Cat was not treated with Metronidazole via food. I was unable to get that medication alone, and so used General Cure by API, which comes in a powdered form that is dissolved directly into the tank. This medication put a total of 250 mg Metronidazole and 75 mg Praziquantel into my 10-gallon QT tank. Two doses were given, as per package instructions, and C.Cat remained in solitude in the QT tank for around 5 weeks AFTER his treatment. It took some time for him to begin to fill in, and as you can see from the image above, he remains on the thin side - his tummy is flat, while the 3 females that share his tank have always had more rounded stomachs. He is still catching up, but growing well, and has significantly improved from the gaunt baby he was in the first image on this thread. He is reaching maturity, and his tail filaments are starting to lengthen - he is a beautiful and active fish.

Throughout all of this, C.Cat never seemed ill, aside from the shrunken belly and failure to gain weight. He swam, ate, and behaved just as the others - and still does to this day. He has never lost his dark striped pattern, but I firmly believe this is his natural coloration, and not indicative of illness. I have gotten to know him and his reactions to stress, and when upset, his vertical striping fades, and is replaced with broken horizontal stress stripes - just as with my other rams (luckily this has only happened twice since he has been in my care).

I will always watch and worry over him especially, as well as the others who were not treated, and may still carry this protozoa. To date, there have been no signs or symptoms to indicate that any of these four fish are unwell. All four are thriving, have grown and gained weight since the original images were posted, and seem to be healthy and strong! I'm hoping this truly is the end of this story, and that they all go on to lead long and happy lives!


Last edited by Chesh; 10-02-2012 at 01:22 AM..
Chesh is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fuzzy looking sickness? Calmwaters Tropical Fish Diseases 8 09-20-2009 07:40 AM
Oranda Red Cap Sickness Puffy Tropical Fish Diseases 6 03-08-2007 07:33 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:26 PM.