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-   -   All fish dead except 1...very sick..help please ...photo (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/tropical-fish-diseases/all-fish-dead-except-1-very-26696/)

whtroze 08-01-2009 12:38 AM

All fish dead except 1...very sick..help please ...photo
 
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I used to have a beautiful 15 gallon recreational tank, but sadly I am down to only 1 fish...and I fear death is near for him too. For almost a year on and off I thought I had reoccurring bouts of ich. Symptoms appeared to fit and treatment with Malachite Green helped. Unfortunately, it kept coming back after a while and with each bout, 2-3 fish would die suddenly.
2 days ago, I lost my "super" neon tetra. I call him "super" because he continually made it through each bout with no symptoms (the only one who never got sick when everyone else was affected) despite neons are supposed to be a "sensitive" fish. I had him for over a year. With each bout, I never replaced the fish that died, so over time my population reduced.Treatment was always done for a week past symptoms. Carbon filter removed during treatment. 25% water change after treatment. Fish then did well until the next bout which seemed to occur 1-2 months later.
Now, only my cherry barb remains...however...it is very sick and I am not sure what to do. See picture below. (sorry for the blurr...he doen't hold very still...the white is NOT a blurr..its the "fuzz")This white "fuzz" is the worse I've ever seen with my fish and suddenly developed this bad within 24 hours. The fuzz in notable in the photo on his body...it is also around his lips and all fins. I did not feed him yesterday, but today he eagerly ate. He is obviously stressed and rubbing on tank decor. I do not believe this is ich....probably never was. I've heard of Columnaris....does this sound familiar to anyone? Any other ideas? Please...any advise would be greatly appreciated...so that I can hopefully save my last fish.

Tank details:
15 gallon, 20 gallon Whisper filter. Tank has been well cycled and relatively stable with conditions for 1 1/2 years. Currently only 1 cherry barb remaining. Past month there was also a neon tetra until it died 2 days ago. nitrates/nitrites 0.00ppm (slight temporary flux during water change), pH 7.6, temp 76 F, lighting by bulb only (no natural light hits tank)...lighting is on a timer to equal same day/night cycle. Feed premium flakes very small amount every other day. Aquarium salt used for health...only added (small amount over a few hours to control ammonia spike potential) after every 10th water change. Water change done weekly 1/10th. Plenty of artificial plants and rocks to hide and play.

Twistersmom 08-01-2009 09:53 AM

My guess would be columnaris.
I would do a water change, then start a treatment using both Maracyn & Maracyn-Two.

Byron 08-01-2009 05:44 PM

I would agree with twistersmom on this being columnaris, and the treatment.

I'm concerned over the salt. You add salt after every 10th partial water change, and to control ammonia spikes? I'm not understanding the ammonia/salt connection. And I would not add salt to a tank with characins (tetras) since they are sensitive to salt and chemicals. Perhaps you cold explain the ammonia issue more?

Byron.

whtroze 08-01-2009 08:07 PM

I added salt because it was recommended for health by the person I got my fish from. When I started this maintenance, I also had mollies and breeding guppies. The ammonia spiked just slightly because of the reaction that occurs I guess when the salt dissolves. Honestly, I don't know if the salt really did any good or bad. As for the tetras...I did check with a local fish supplier and they are the ones who told me to add the salt every 10th water change and over a few hours so that the tetras would not get harmed and the benefit would still be available for the other fish. I used to have 8 neons and the salt never appeared to bother them. It was this stupid "white fuzz" issue that took out my tank population. Thanks for the concern...I was concerned too when I got my neons because I heard they are sensitive and thats why I checked.

Byron 08-02-2009 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whtroze (Post 221643)
I added salt because it was recommended for health by the person I got my fish from. When I started this maintenance, I also had mollies and breeding guppies. The ammonia spiked just slightly because of the reaction that occurs I guess when the salt dissolves. Honestly, I don't know if the salt really did any good or bad. As for the tetras...I did check with a local fish supplier and they are the ones who told me to add the salt every 10th water change and over a few hours so that the tetras would not get harmed and the benefit would still be available for the other fish. I used to have 8 neons and the salt never appeared to bother them. It was this stupid "white fuzz" issue that took out my tank population. Thanks for the concern...I was concerned too when I got my neons because I heard they are sensitive and thats why I checked.

Fish frequently develop disease due to stress from environmental factors. Forcing the fish to 'adapt" to water parameters (temperature, pH, hardness, salinity...) that are outside the range it can handle through its biological makeup will often result in internal issues such as immune system weakness and organ problems. This is why it is important to maintain fish in a suitable environment, and that includes having suitable tankmates. Neons and mollies come from quite different natural habitats and have different water parameter requirements. Neons are soft acidic water fish, and mollies are basic (alkaline) harder water fish. Salt is sometimes recommended for mollies (although some molly keepers on this forum have written that they do not use it, while others do) because it is one way of adding some mineral to the water. But not for neons, ever. When i had livebearers I used dolomite mixed in the substrate (or in the filter works) to raise the hardness and pH, but only for livebearers (and African rift lake cichlids even more).

Fish that are maintained under optimal conditions will be less stressed and thus less likely to come down with health problems. Their resistance to fighting off parasites and disease is quite amazing, but when this is weakened by poor water quality or being kept in unsuitable surroundings they can succumb. I have elsewhere commented on the internal issues that salt causes so won't repeat myself.

There should not be any ammonia spikes in an established aquarium, unless something goes terribly wrong. Dead fish and plant material not removed, overfeeding, ammonia in the tap water not treated, or doing something to kill the bacteria in the filter and tank are the only reasons ammonia will ever be above "0' once a tank is established. I do not recommend adding any salt to a tank containing characins.


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