Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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MagicWings 10-09-2009 07:59 PM

Synodontis Eruptus - Flaky Peeling, or is it Cloudy Skin?
My syno. has what I can best describe as flaky skin or something on her. Maybe it would be right to say she looks like she's peeling after a bad sunburn, but not so dramatic. I noticed she seemed to be agitated and trying to jump/splashing the water at the top of the tank so I checked on her, only to notice her weird skin. I'm having trouble deciding if I want to say shes peeling or looks like she has something ON her. Whatever it is doesn't seem to have progressed very far yet. Her eyes seem a little cloudy, but she doesnt want to come out to really let me see her too well, so it's hard to say. I'm sorry.

I'm currently treating the tank with Ich Attack, I'm on day three because I noticed another fish at small white dots on his fins. I assumed this to be ich and treated. Those spots have disappeared and now my catfish looks like that. This is not my fish, but a good picture of what she usually looks like.

The tank is a 44 gal salted freshwater tank.

Other tank mates include a pleco, 3 phantom tetras, a serpae tetra (spelling might be wrong), 1 cory catfish, one goldfish (a feeder fish for a needle fish I used to have that has somehow outlived everything...), and one zebra danio. I think that's all that's in there right now.

When I tested my levels about a week ago, everything was in a normal range.

Should I do an immediate water change or add salt or what? Please help me save my catfish, I've had her for several years since she was small enough to fit in a 1 gallon "tank" and she's my most cherished fish.

EDIT: I'm willing to drive out to the store to buy treatments, however given the time here (9 PM), only a place like WalMart would be open, no actual fish stores. I'm going to go and get a more recent read on the levels now, will update.

MagicWings 10-09-2009 08:27 PM

I can't find the edit button even though I just used it not 5 minutes ago. I'm no newbie to forums, so consider me stumped.

That aside...

Did a more recent check of my levels... not quite as good as it was, here it is.

pH - 6.4, was closer to 7 on last check
Ammo. - 0 or .25. I say 0, boyfriend says .25
NitrAte - 20 or 40, again hard to tell, but I'm aware it's too high regardless
NitrIte - 0
Temp. ~80 F

Twistersmom 10-09-2009 08:42 PM

Hello and welcome to the forum!
Did this skin problem start after the treatment for ick?
If so, I believe the ick meds are the cause. For sensitive fish, it is recommended to use ick meds at half dose. Even at half dose, I once fried the whiskers off one of my catfish, and have used the heat treatment for ick since.
Are there still signs of ick in the tank? If not, I would do a large water change to remove some of the meds and add some new carbon to the filter.
Best of luck!

MagicWings 10-09-2009 09:44 PM

The fish with ich seems fine, there was no more white spots on him. They disappeared a day or two ago but I was going to treat for one more day just to make sure.

However, I decided to change a significant amount of water and add new carbon to the filter. The tank is a bit cloudy now from me stirring up the filter... I accidentally pulled out a sponge at the bottom and it clouded everything up a little. Once that settles I'll try to get a look at my catfish again.

If she still seems sick tomorrow, are meds recommended? I was thinking maybe a broad spectrum anti fungal/anti bacterial? Something like Melafix and Pimafix... though I know those two specific meds are not widely praised, any alternatives?

Twistersmom 10-10-2009 10:56 AM

To be honest, I really believe the ick meds are what caused the damage. I would give the catfish a break from the use of any meds. With clean water, the catfish should heal on its own.
I would try daily partial water changes and watch closely for any changes. If the fish starts looking worse, despite the water changes, let me know, and we can go from there. (feel free to send me a pm)
If you see another outbreak of ick, let me know. The heat treatment IMO, would be a safer treatment with the sensitive catfish in the tank.

MagicWings 10-10-2009 12:52 PM

Thank you, I will continue to change some water everyday for a few days and see if there's any improvement.

Should I continue to add aquarium salt to the tank or is the catfish sensitive to that, too? I've never had issues with salt that I'm aware of, but I've never asked, either.

Twistersmom 10-10-2009 03:01 PM

Salt will be fine to use in the amount of 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons of water. The only time I use salt, is when there are signs of ick, such as what you have.
Be sure to dissolve the salt in water before adding it to the tank. If it is not dissolved, you risk burning the catfish.

MagicWings 10-11-2009 12:07 PM

My cafish has definitely gotten worse. Whatever is on her is much more pronounced now. Will ich look slightly different on a catfish? On her skin, it doesn't look like ich but on her fins, it sort of does. She's definitely covered in something white, but it's hard to say if it looks like shes covered in "sand" or not.

Her eyes are still sort of milky, too.

Twistersmom 10-11-2009 12:10 PM

Ick does look the same on catfish, kind of like a shinny grain of salt.
Is there anyway you can post a picture of the catfish? Does the water still test fine for ammonia and nitrites?

MagicWings 10-11-2009 02:19 PM

I tried to get a picture, but it just wasn't showing up well at all.

This was the best I was able to do.

On her eyes and fins, its definitely grainy white dots, like sand. On her body though it's not so clear cut whether it's ich or not. I've started to increase the temp. and added more salt. She's not eating though that I can see, but she's still swimming around a little.

Ignore the date, my camera is messed up.

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