Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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jeaninel 04-29-2008 01:33 AM

Need help please!
To top off a terrible day I come home and discover my Rainbow and Congo are having problems. I can't believe it...I am so diligent about keeping a clean tank and religious with weekly water changes. Here's the readings I took today.
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrates between 5-10
Ph 7.5
Tank Temp 77F
Last water change was yesterday(Sunday) about 25%
I always gravel vac at each water change.
The fish are fed a varied diet which consists of flake and NLS pellets as the staple with frozen bloodworm and brine shrimp a couple times a week as well as the occasional pea. They also snack on zuccini, algae wafers and tropical wafers that I feed the bottom dwellers. They also had live brine recently.

First up, my Boesemani has a white growth on his lip. Could this be columnaris?

My biggest female Congo appears to have maybe a fungal or bacterial infection just below her dorsal fin.

And one of the male Congo appears to have the beginnings of maybe something similar?

Everyone is eating well. I haven't noticed anyone flashing. The rainbow does gape his mouth.

I have read that Congos can be prone to fungus when stressed. Being new in the tank could that possibly be what this is? There's some redness so I'm thinking maybe bacterial? Are parasites a possibility?

Please help me help my babies!

willow 04-29-2008 02:09 AM

aww you poor thing :(
bacterial i think,
did you net them before adding them,or did you add lfs water ?

1077 04-29-2008 03:43 AM

I am not a fan of using meds. or chemicals in the aquarium except in extreme emergencies. Being as how the affected fish are the latest addition to your tank and your water tests and maint. regime are good, I would go along with previous poster in that water from lfs probably was not of the same quality as what you have in your tank.And PH shock may have playeed a part if fish were not quarantined or acclimated properly. Most fishstores do not use UV sterilization and the same water runs through all of their tanks making it easier for parasites and bacteria to be transferred from tank to tank. That is why some recomend quarantine tank for all new fish before adding them to your aquarium. If you are set on trying meds. to save the affected fish MELAFIX is a medicine you may wish to consider. If you use it or any other medications follow the directions MORE is not BETTER. some medications recomend removing any carbon filtration while using them and sometimes water changes are needed between doses. I hope your fish recover and for the record ,I am , no expert on fish diseases but only can suggest options you may wish to consider. GOOD LUCK :wink:

jeaninel 04-29-2008 11:08 AM

Thanks for the replies guys.

The rainbows I've actually had for about 6 months. The affected female Congo I've had about 2 weeks and the male Congo a little longer. To acclimitize I float the bag in my tank for about 15-20 minutes then add about 1/2 cup of my tank water to the bag, wait about 5-10 minutes, add another 1/2 cup and repeat this about 5 times. Then I net the fish out. I never add the LFS water to my tank (nasty!).

This morning when I checked on them the rainbows lip was much better. It appears to be going away. The Congo looked about the same. I will keep a close eye on them. I do have Melafix and Pimafix on hand.

Shame, shame on me for not having a QT tank. All I have available right now is an empty 5 gallon and there's no way these guys would fit into that! lol

willow 04-29-2008 01:00 PM

great news,i'm glad they are on the up.
nothing worse than the helpless feeling.

okiemavis 04-29-2008 04:18 PM

Glad to hear things are getting better. I was worried that your new fish had passed something on to your boesmani, hopefully that's not the case. Definitely a lesson in quarantine tanks. I have such a hard time keeping one- I keep turning my QT's into another full time tank!

jeaninel 04-29-2008 04:25 PM

lol...that's probably what I would do too since I would probably need at least a 20 long for a QT/hospital tank for these guys. It would be so hard to have that tank sitting empty!

jeaninel 05-01-2008 11:27 AM

Last night I noticed the white growth was back on the Rainbows lip. He's gaping his mouth almost like he can't close his mouth. When I fed them he tried to eat but because he couldn't close his mouth the food just floated back out. I tried looking in his mouth but didn't see any growth in there. It did look a little red on the inside.

Also, the patch on the female Congo isn't any better. In fact, it looked a little bigger. And the male Congo has a white pimple like growth on his side similar to what's on the rainbow's lip. I started Melafix/Pimafix treatment but not sure if this will help.

Anyone have any ideas of what this is? Is the Melafix/Pimafix the right treatment for this or do I need something stronger?

jeaninel 05-01-2008 05:27 PM

I went home at lunch today and the female Congo looks worse. The patch has gotten bigger and redder. She also is developing the white growths. One of the other Rainbows also has the growths on his lip. The male Congos are getting these growths on them as well.

Anyone have an idea of what I should treat them with? These are my babies and I fear I may lose the whole lot. :cry:

Please help!

bettababy 05-01-2008 10:16 PM

Hi! I've spent some time going over the posts and descriptions of how things have come about, and also the photos.
What I am seeing is what appears to be a viral infection on the mouth, and then I am also seeing what appears to be secondary infection which is likely both bacterial and fungal. I say that because of it's characteristics and your descriptions of how this has progressed.

Before treating this with any new medication, it's going to be very important to get carbon back into your filter for 24 hrs and to do a 25% water change, to remove the Melafix/Pimafix medications out of the tank.

The proper meds to treat this are going to be Furacyn and Kanacyn together. There is no treatment for a viral infection, unfortunately, so I won't expect this to clear up the problems on the mouth of your rainbow fish. Viral problems have to run their course. The meds I am prescribing here are to treat the secondary infections that were most obvious in the congos. Please follow all instructions on the medications, and please use them both at the same time.

There is also a possibility of a parasite issue, which could be where some of this began. The best thing to do right now is to get the Kanacyn and Furacyn in there to clear up the secondary infection so we can better diagnose any primary issues that will have caused that. There are steps that can be taken later if there is, in fact, a parasitic problem to be dealt with. It's very hard to diagnose this sort of thing long distance via the internet. If I were able to examine the fish, get a scraping to put under the scope, we would have exact answers of the extent of the problem. So, with the situation what it is, this is the best approach I can offer to you. My hopes are that these fish are strong enough to fight off the illness with the help of the medications, but sadly, I have to warn... not all of these fish may survive. Keep them clean, keep their temp stable, and keep them as stress free as possible during treatment.

I will agree with the importance of a quarantine tank. You could have saved yourself a lot of heartache and possibly lives of the fish if you had quarantined the new fish for 2 - 3 wks, which should be standard procedure in anyone's tank.
Best of luck to you! If things should appear to worsen or any new symptoms appear, please let me know. We can adjust treatment as needed, but I think these meds should do the trick. Also, please don't use aquarium salt on these fish... the rainbows might be able to handle a salt treatment, but the congos would suffer.

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