||10-06-2009 12:56 AM
Problems with Pictus Catfish
Hi, I am new here. I really would appreciate some help with my one remaining Pictus Catfish. I had 4, but 3 of them have died, with very generic symptoms. I have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 5 nitrate. The pH is high, not sure what, but I have been working on bringing it down gradually with the regular water changes, using an increasing percentage of RO water. Anyway, I originally bought 3 pictus. These fish did fine for about 3 weeks, I believe. At that time, I bought a 4th pictus and kept him quarantined. He had a net caught on his fin from a local store (we don't have any good fish stores in this town). The other three fish were in their regular tank. One evening, they stopped eating and they were breathing heavy. This was the first clue anything was wrong. The next morning, I noticed that there coloring was off. Almost like the dark spots had faded. At this point, they were very clearly sick. But with virtually no symptoms to go on, I had no idea what to do. I went to the one store that caries actual antibiotics and bought Furan 2, because it seemed like the most likely option at the time. After a little more research, the closest thing I could come up with was gill flukes. I bought the API General Cure, with metronidazole and some praziquantel in it. I wasn't sure what else to do because the symptoms were so vague. After adding the second medicine, the fish seemed almost immediately better, they even resumed eating. The following morning, the 4th pictus had ich. I was very concerned about over-medicating in his small tank, so I medicated the large tank for ich, and added the 4th pictus. I followed the directions for the medicines. All fish appeared to be doing better. Then I finished the dosage. At that time I increased the aquarium salt (I found out I didn't have enough in there to treat ich), as the 4th pictus still had some ich spots on him, and the other fish each had about 5-7 ich spots as well. (How they got ich with medication in the water is beyond me). At this time, all 4 fish stopped eating again. I tested the water. No ammonia, and no nitrite. I did a water change. The next day all four fish looked worse. Their barbels had gotten very weak, instead of almost straight out like they were. The pictus with ich died that day. I did another water change, and did not add salt for the water that I removed, because I had no idea what else to do. The following day, the smallest pictus got very weak, and died. Then, the day after that, the largest pictus became very weak and died. The final pictus is still not eating. (He may have taken a couple of bites the last 2 days, but I don't think he ate anything today). I have remedicated the tank, this time with prazi-pro, and another dose of the furan-2. I didn't want to use the metronidazole again, because I read that it builds up in the fish, and eventually poisons them. And really, I don't know how much remedicating will help anyway, I just am at a complete loss as to what else to do. I'm beginning to think that there is no hope. So to sum it up, the only symptoms I have seen is a loss of appetite, loss of color, heavy breathing, lethargy and soon afterwards, death. I'm sorry for my novel, I just want to help this fish. I don't know what else to do.