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Project Kindergarten

This is a discussion on Project Kindergarten within the Freshwater Journals forums, part of the Aquarium Photography category; --> Ahh chesh, what a crappy update! That genuinely bummed me out! So sorry to hear that the tank has been having such a hard ...

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Old 01-13-2013, 01:10 PM   #51
 
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Ahh chesh, what a crappy update! That genuinely bummed me out! So sorry to hear that the tank has been having such a hard time! But FINGERS CROSSED it will get better!

Glad to hear that the kids took it all ok though etc, and hopefully gives them a good perspective and teaches them a few things about life and fish along the way!

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Everyone else seemed okay in the tank, and he looked healthy enough - aside from being dead
I must confess i LMAO at this bit, not in a mean way, just the way i read it!

ANYWAY, suppose its chin up and soldier on from here!!!
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:09 PM   #52
 
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That's such a bummer to hear :( I'm so upset over that, that's really unfortunate. Do you have any idea what the disease could be? I've also lost track, how many fish does that leave in the tank?

I'm really sorry to here that, but I know you'll make it through!
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:37 PM   #53
 
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Thanks for the happy thoughts, guys - I'm sorry to bum y'all out with a not-so-happy update, too. But it really isn't as bad as it seems.

First off, life isn't *always* roses and daffodils, as much as we'd like it to be - especially when children are involved. But the truth of life is that sickness and death touch us all, and as a mother, I'd rather my kid be introduced to the idea through a classroom pet than a beloved relative. So there's that. It's all about learning, and though this may be a tough lesson - it's a kinder way of learning it than many other alternatives.

All that aside, the tank IS thriving! With the exception of the single Platy showing symptoms, all of the other fish are happily going about their fishy business in a beautiful tank lush with vegetation - there are even adorable baby fish to swoon over (and swoon they do)! Granted, with an illness like this, there is a strong chance that all of the fish are carrying the same thing - but you all know as well as I do that a healthy fish in a clean and low-stress environment can handle stuff like this with no obvious issues. I worry - but the children don't. The kids, teachers, and parents that come through the class don't see a single fish who is thinner than the rest. The possibility that there is an illness in the tank doesn't even cross their minds! They see a beautiful, 'naturally-styled' tank, and to their eyes, it is the picture of underwater beauty. . . which is the goal, and I'm succeeding.

The children get so much from their tank. I got lucky with a great group of kids. . . they're into it, and excited by every. little. thing. They've already learned so much, and enjoy watching every one of their fish. They're excited over the progression of their driftwood, and watching the plants grow, and THRILLED to be adding frogs and snails to their little underwater paradise soon. We also have plans to put in an Indian Almond leaf or two - not enough to soften the water (the Platy wouldn't appreciate that), but just enough for the kids to have a chance to see the changes that happen to a leaf soaking in the water first hand. They really got excited watching the wood go through it's transformation from solid and floating, to waterlogged and soft - and each child feels so proud and important when their turn comes to feed the tank, and everyone else gathers around to watch. There's so much to be learned from the tank, so many different things to explore and think about - and the class is doing just that - and enjoying every moment of it! Every morning at least one student brings me a piece of fishy-themed artwork that they've done, and I'm always getting random questions - good ones. They're thinking about their tank, learning so much from it, and having fun - so all in all, it's a huge success!




I've a silly little story to share with you that should give you a bit of a giggle. . . the school where my daughter goes isn't a 'normal' school at all. They follow the Reggio Emilia approach to schooling, which isn't very commonly done around here. One of the key points of this style of learning is to allow each individual student the time to delve deeper into the subjects that interest them most, in addition to keeping up with the standards of learning in every subject. This is why I am allowed time to teach the kids about the tank, and have so much freedom in what I do there. As long as the kids are interested and want to learn more, time will be made during the school day for them to do so. Another one of the key points of the Reggio Emilia Approach centers around community, and because of this, every parent is required to dedicate a minimum of 40 hours of service to the school community, and we are always encouraged to be around. There is a very sharp split between school life and home life for children these days, which is something that this school is striving to soften. The idea is that we're ALL a part of the school, even though we don't attend as students.

That said, because this school is unique in our area, visitors from other schools are always coming through to see what it is that makes it so awesome, and the principal happily takes them through and proudly shows off everything she can think of - including such things as parents and fish-tanks. I happened to be doing a water change one day as they came through. I was at the tank filling my bucket, and the principal took the visitor over to the tank. They oohed and aaaahed over it for some time, and then the principal noticed me in the classroom. She explained to the woman that I was one of the parent volunteers and blah blah blah, then she introduced me. . .

"This is Jes, she's the mom of one of our kindergartners, and is responsible for our beautiful fish tank. She's an expert in aquatic environments, and has dedicated a lot of her time to creating this beautiful tank for us, and teaching us how to care for it."

It was all I could do to keep from laughing. So now I'm an aquatic environment expert. . . I feel like I should have a degree to hold that title. . . *snort* At least I'm appreciated!
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:47 PM   #54
 
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You're right, it's a good way for the kids to learn about life and the fact that it can be harsh. But also that there are some beautiful things that come from it (two adorable little fry, for one), and I'm so glad that they get to learn respect for living creatures at so young an age, and how to properly care for them. I hope there's at least one kid in there who will develop a passion for fish because of you :)

Does the tank count as your 40 hours?
And you might as well be, considering the change this tank has gone through, from tacky to lush nature! Speaking of changes, pictures would be lovely. ;D
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:41 PM   #55
 
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The first half of that post jes put such a smile on my face. One of my favourite posts I've read!
The second - love the sound of that school! And expert in aquatic environments ay? Go get yourself a cookie

Big momma Jens right.... it's pic time Jes......
And sleep time now for me
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:27 PM   #56
 
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Wow! That was a big update. I'm sorry the tank has hit tough times, but you're right that it's better for kids to learn about life and death with something small like that.

Also congrats on the "aquatic expert" nomination! It feels pretty good the first time you are call that, doesn't it?
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:26 PM   #57
 
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I've had not the best luck with live bearers since the females die and get impacted I have in my Pleco tank one Dalmatian Molly one male sword and one male mm platy they seem to never get sick since I never put new fish in that aquarium when I did before some would die these 3 are survivors and the last oft live bearers

Sorry about the luck you have been having

My 120 is doing great no deaths I did have a clown loach that had skinny disease that passed a few months ago but no one else has I treated both aquariums back then
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:50 PM   #58
 
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Great news! Our sick little patient is still swimming!

I was really expecting to find him gone after the weekend. . . He looks awful, but he ate voraciously this morning, so I'm really hoping he's tough enough to make it through *crosses fingers* The meds have been in the tank since Saturday afternoon - today is the second dose. Hang in there, little guy!!!

I'm kind of torn - I want to bring him home and put him in a hospital tank where he can rest - and hopefully recover - all alone and undisturbed in a quiet room. And, if he doesn't make it, I'd really rather just TELL the kids instead of having them see it - and be watched by 44 eyes as I net him out, etc. But on the other hand, they've been paying such close attention to him, and caring for him as well as they can. . . I don't want to just 'solve' the problem by removing him, because then they won't have learned as much from the experience. Tough call. . .

Today I saw one of the other males in the tank nip at him *grrrr* I haven't seen any aggression between them before, though it's possible that it happens when I'm not there. . . so a new dilemma is born. I'm thinking that I may put him into the breeder net for a short time, to give him a chance to recover without having to defend himself, and so I can spot-feed him more frequently with high-protein foods to help him regain some weight. But the net that I have is so small, I don't know if being in there will stress him further... thoughts?


To reply to some of your comments/questions. . .

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Originally Posted by jentralala View Post
I've also lost track, how many fish does that leave in the tank?
We started off with 7 adult Platy and 1 juvie Molly - 8 fish total. 1 of the female blue MM Platy got the skinnies, so I brought her home to my hospital tank - but replaced her with a blue MM from my home live-bearer tank, so the total remained at 8. Next we lost Mr.Red in a possibly unrelated accident behind the breeder net, and the juvie Molly died for unknown reasons during winter break. . . BUT Tux's two babies born during Thanksgiving break are thriving - so the total remains at 8 It sucks, because that little Molly and Mr.Red (pics on page 3) were two of the class' favorite fish. Their other favorite? Yeah, Sunny the Sunset Platy *cries* Next in the ranking is Tux, the mother of their babies. So far she's okay, but I feel like she's marked somehow, just because they love her so much. . .

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Originally Posted by jentralala View Post
Do you have any idea what the disease could be?
Short answer. . . Nope!

But I'm not notorious for being concise, so the long answer, as I understand it:

I've come across similar issues before, and so have done a lot of reading and asked a ton of questions trying to figure out a diagnosis on this - and the truth is. . . I still don't know! Even the most current books can have out-of-date information, and internet sources are questionable, at best. . . I know the fish is sick, but the lone symptom of losing weight leaves a very broad range of possibilities open! The tank is clean and toxin-free - so it isn't environmental, and the fish continues to eat and behave normally, with good coloration - so it isn't stress-related.

Anything that causes a fish to lose weight for no discernible reason is loosely labeled 'Wasting Disease,' or 'Skinny Disease,' but that isn't actually a diagnosis - the cause could be bacterial, protozoan, or any number of a other parasites. Without knowing the cause, it's difficult to treat - and one of the first rules about medicating fish is that you shouldn't, unless you know exactly what's wrong. . . sort of a catch-22 in this instance.

Live-bearers seem to be particularly notorious for this, as Boxer pointed out, and often the culprit is mycobacteria, which (if I'm remembering correctly) is the cause of fishy TB. But it could just as easily be a different sort of bacteria, or a protozoan - like Hexamita, which also has similar symptoms at the onset, or a parasitic worm. Whatever it is, it's internal - which is why treating the food is often recommended if the fish is eating - so the medication can get right to the source of the trouble.

So yeah - for all of that, I still really have NO idea what's going on. The medications in the General Cure Powder are Metronidazole and Praziquantel. Metro is effective against some protozoans, and is also an antibiotic. Prazi is one of the go-to meds used to treat worms and other parasites. Of course, there is always the added issue that farmed fish, which live-bearers almost always are, are often treated with medications such as these as a precautionary measure, and so the uggies become resistant to them, and they're no longer effective. Hopefully that isn't the case here, the combination of these two fairly broad-spectrum meds will take care of the problem (whatever it *actually* is) and that the poor lil' thing will recover, or if not - at least that he won't bring the rest of the tank down with him. . .

If any of you more-experienced fish keepers can help me out, I'd be very grateful for any advice you have to offer! I just want this tank to be healthy. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by jentralala View Post
Does the tank count as your 40 hours?
Yup! Tanktime counts - we're all encouraged to document EVERY MOMENT we spend doing anything for the school. The parents do a lot of the things to keep the school running, and that someone would be paid to do in a 'normal' private school, so we help to keep things tuition-free. The school also gets lot of grants from the government and various other sources, and showing how much volunteer help they get helps them to get the money they need to cover teacher salaries and all of the rest. . .so even when I pop in for a quick 5-minute check on the tank when I pick up my daughter, they mark it down as time worked.

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Originally Posted by thekoimaiden View Post
...congrats on the "aquatic expert" nomination! It feels pretty good the first time you are call that, doesn't it?
You had to have been there to hear the principal say it. . . she's a very professional woman, so when she said " expert in aquatic environments" it came out sounding like a job title or a degree. *shakes head* Hilarious. It IS nice to be appreciated, but I really am so far from an 'expert' that its kind of off-putting at the same time - like I'm pretending to be something I'm not.

Nile - I got, and ate, said cookie

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Originally Posted by boxercrazy156 View Post
I've had not the best luck with live bearers. . .
. . .My 120 is doing great no deaths I did have a clown loach that had skinny disease that passed a few months ago but no one else has I treated both aquariums back then
I'm sorry you've gone through this, too. Various forms of the generic 'skinny disease' is also notorious for hitting loaches and cichlids - along with the livebearers - from what I've read (and experienced with one of my rams). What did you use to treat back then, and did any of your skinnies recover? Glad to hear that all is well in your 120 now. I have to say - my home tanks are really healthy, and I take great pains to keep the equipment separate for all the tanks. Still. . . I'm REALLY nervous that somehow this will spread into my home tanks. If anything goes wrong in Becoming, I WILL be a disaster area - that tank, and all the creatures who live there - are very dear to me, and the combination of fish that live there would be a nightmare to treat. . .

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Originally Posted by jentralala View Post
pictures would be lovely. ;D
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nilet699 View Post
Big momma Jens right.... it's pic time Jes......
LOL! You guys and your pictures ;)
The tank actually looks almost exactly the same as it did when I posted pics up on page 3 of this thread, though I'm thinking about pulling out the Fanwort and Anacharis and replacing it with some Crypt Sprialis, because all of the coloring pages that the kids have of fish feature some sort of long grass-like plants. Not sure why or what that is, exactly, but C.Spiralis would fit the bill, and it's growing so quickly in my 55g. If/when that happens, I'll take some updated pictures for you.

I would also like to take pics of some of the adorable little drawings and stuff that the kids bring me - ahhhh, I need a pause-button for the world so I can do all of this stuff!

But I do have a couple other related pics laying around that I can post for you - because in MY world, it's ALWAYS pic time!

This is little Sunny, the fish who's sick, so you guys know who you're rooting for. . . Obviously, this is an older shot, taken when he was healthy and beautiful - you almost couldn't recognize that he's the same fish today :/ Gah! I hope he makes it. . .



AAAAAAAND. . . here is Spot! He's one of the froggies that I'll be putting into the Kindy tank, depending on how things work out with this sickness. . . ADF don't get very big - an inch to an inch and a half, max, but THIS one is sooooo small, he's just a baby!

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Old 01-14-2013, 05:55 PM   #59
 
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OMG your posts are so long!

I read some, putting apizza in now, and nipping to the shop quickly, will read rest whn back......just thought id let you know that they are LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG!!!!!!!
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:33 PM   #60
 
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[quote=Chesherca;1390651][IMG]http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/vv135/HuginnMuninnandMe/Cheshercas%
I'm sorry you've gone through this, too. Various forms of the generic 'skinny disease' is also notorious for hitting loaches and cichlids - along with the livebearers - from what I've read (and experienced with one of my rams). What did you use to treat back then, and did any of your skinnies recover? Glad to hear that all is well in your 120 now. I have to say - my home tanks are really healthy, and I take great pains to keep the equipment separate for all the tanks. Still. . . I'm REALLY nervous that somehow this will spread into my home tanks. If anything goes wrong in Becoming, I WILL be a disaster area - that tank, and all the creatures who live there - are very dear to me, and the combination of fish that live there would be a nightmare to treat. . .




I only had one really skinny one and one that was maybe skinny they were all the same size when I got the clowns 2 were kind of goofy looking they started to grow and the one definitely was not growing as fast as the others but I have had other loaches that did this and caught up later especially my queen loaches since skinny disease cannot be pin pointed to one specific issue it could be bacterial it could be
parasites I treated one week with an aniparasite i used prazipro but also bought metronidazole and an antiboiotic like general cure I treated both tanks because as my clown loach got sicker I placed him in my smaller tank they say skinny disease depending what it is can spread so treat everybody which I did the five clown loaches I have left are all growing I have had more issues with dropsy with my live bearers
then anything they have all died off except for the 3 I have which can't breed so I think thats why they are fine


I think putting you sick guy in the breeding net would be better then transporting home that would be stressful
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