Sick JD flashing, head jerking w/ tiger barbs sick as well
Hi everyone I'm a first time poster fairly new to the hobby dealing with my first fish disease and I'm having a bit of trouble. First to start off my water parameters are:
Tank Size- 55 usg
KH- 0-30 GH- 0-40 (Hard to tell as I only have the strips for these measurements)
Tank maintenance- 30% water change weekly
Ok well where to start. The fish in my tank are: 1 Female Jack Dempsey 3 Tiger barbs (used to be 5 :-() and there was a common pleco that I had but it only made it a week and it passed (didn't show any signs of stress just woke up one morning to find it at the bottom of the tank).
Two weeks after I put the pleco in I noticed that the rest of the fish were getting Ich so for 10 days I raised the temp to 84-86 degrees F and added 3 tsp aquarium salt per 5 gallons Which cleared up the Ich. A few days later I notice the jack starting to flash of rocks / driftwood etc.. as well as the Tiger barbs also the JD was jerking her head quite hard, opening her mouth really wide as if yawning frequently (not sure if that's normal or a symptom) and also her eating habbits are kind of odd she won't eat as I put the food in the tank maybe 3-5 minutes after she'll start and when she does she'll eat and spit it out a lot before she swallows it.
So I spent some time on the internet and the best thing I could come up with was that they had gill flukes. I went out and bought some meds for them (maracyn, coppersafe, primafix, and melafix) and added began treating with maracyn. 2 days into treatment the Ich came back. The maracyn box says that coppersafe can be used at the same time as maracyn so I used that as well.
I finished treating with the maracyn so I do a 50% water change. The fish looked great. The JD's color was better than ever, normal behavior, still eating erratically though. The barbs where back to normal as well. This was 3 days ago.
Now all the symptoms are back, I don't know what to do and I don't want to do anything unnecessary again. Did I misdiagnose? Did I treat wrong? Is there something I'm missing?
Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and I hope I didn't leave anything out.
thats kinda tough, im not a expert on these kind of things but just a outside view of the stuation. Im going to assume you took out the carbon of you filter. and then after you treated you put it back. Now heres the part that may have got you, is the carbon built into your filter pad? because w/e the fish have may be on that filterpad and everytime yoo take out that filter i aussume you keep it under water to keep the bac alive. and then when you put it back the pad reinfects your tank. i would maybe try buying new filterpads to pout in after you treat. there is definately something that is causing this. when was the last time you added a new fish? did you Q him before puttin him in there?
Thats my take on the situation hopefully some more knowledgeable people will come forward. Money
Hello and welcome to the forum!
How long has this tank been set up? One thing that concerns me, is that you are getting a reading for ammonia. If this as a newly setup tank, you may need to do water changes more then once a week to keep ammonia as low as possible. I am not sure how much you know about cycling a new tank. Have you already had readings for nitrites?
How long did you stick with the heat/salt treatment after all visual signs where gone? After the ick falls off the fish, they are in a free swimming stage. When treating for ick, its a good idea to keep treating for a week after all the visual signs are gone.
Also, any toxins (ammonia or nitrite) in the tank, leaves fish vulnerable to ick and can make ick hard to get rid of. Test your tap water for ammonia and nitrites, if none there, you should be able to lower that ammonia with more water changes.
If this is a new tank, be careful to not over clean filter and media, this will disturb the cycle. Only clean in dechlorinated water, when really needed.
I didn't take the pads out during treatment. The maracyn says on the package that it doesn't harm the benificial bacteria but later I came across a post where someone says it does. As for any new fish the last one was the pleco but I did not Q him before puting him/her in the tank.
To reply to Twistersmom's post (No idea how to double quote lol)
The tank has been setup for 2 months and I thought it was cycled although I heard that the maracyn can cause a mini cycle sadly I had the API liquid testers and they where 2 months past expiration so I'm not sure how much I can rely on those readings. I have since purchased a new test kit. Anyway I will test ammo daily and up the frequency of water changes as needed just in case.
I would say about a week I kept with the salt treatment although I was really just doing it acording to a thread on Ich where they say just go for 10 days but the visible signs where gone fairly quickly
Tap water has no readings for ammo / nitite / nitrate. Just a slightly lower ph of 7.2
Thank you for the swift replys and your time and help :-)
only reason i said something about the filter pad is because some of them have the carbon built into them. which in turn means that it will absorb all the med before its done doing its job. i agree with twister on the continuance of treating as he said ick will fall off and then is "free swimming" thats when you get em killed lol. Money
Ah that might have done it I forgot to mention that the carbon is built into the pad and is fairly new (only 2 months old)
I would suggest adding new carbon to remove the meds.
If the fish are still flashing, more then likely they are still suffering from ick.
If you decide to go back to the heat/salt treatment, there is no need to remove the carbon.
This is how I do the heat/salt treatment.....
Slowly raise the tempt of the tank to 86 deg. No more than I deg a day, 1/2 deg every 12 hrs would be even better. I add 1 tablespoon salt per 5 gallons of water. Adding the salt over a few days time period will give the fish a chance to adapt. Always dissolve the salt in water first. Table salt is fine to use.
Turn up the air and drop the water line if you use a HOB filter. Higher heat levels, depreciate available oxygen.
At 82 deg, as you have seen, ick fall off the fish quickly. The ick is then in the free swimming stage. Leaving the tempt at 86 deg for a week after all visual signs are gone, should kill the free swimming ick.
Then you can start slowly lower the tempt.
During the heat/salt treatment, water changes will help remove the free swimming ick and help keep the water free from ammonia. If you can fit in a daily water change, that would be great. Just replace the removed salt after the water change.
Also, I think it is normal for some types of cichlids to spit their food, not sure about the JD though.
ok I think I'll do just that. Did a 50% water change and started raising temp and adding salt slowly. I'll post any changes good or bad. Thanks for the advice :)
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