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Austin 05-23-2010 10:34 PM

Rebecca randomly broke out into disease??
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Ok, in my 29g tank my black balloon molly named rebecca randomly had a bunch of diseases all over her it looks like! She's been in the tank for 4-5 months now. None of the other fish have it (yet thankfully).

I have removed her into her own 1 gallon container floating inside my 10g fry tank to keep it warm. I don't have anywhere else to put her and I'm worried if it is contagious.

I have some pictures attached of her....

She has whitey stuff all over her body and it looks like she had fin rot. She was solid black! She's not just marble colored. The white coloration is something else.

Can anyone diagnose this and what should I do? I'm treating her with QuICK cure for now that's all I got.

Alienbetta1 05-24-2010 09:01 AM

Aw I hope she gets better.:[

LisaC144 05-24-2010 11:22 AM

Austin, shoot BettaBaby a PM and direct her to your thread. She can probably help you out.

JouteiMike 05-24-2010 08:31 PM

Looks like a common bacterial infection columnaris and also slight fin rot to me. It can be highly contagious and I recommend that you invest in a small hospital tank, and see if your pet store sells Maracyn.

What diet did this fish have?
Did you notice any bullying of this fish?
What were the water parameters of the tank it was in?
Any other fish showing similar signs?
Is the fish breathing rapidly?
How long has this tank been set up?

This could happen from a few reasons such as, poor diet, stress, previous injury, poor water quality...
But in some cases, some fish can be more susceptible to various diseases/parasites.

Austin 05-25-2010 07:00 AM

Mike, this fish has a diet of mostly only flake food and on very rare occasions blood worms (They steal some when I feed my frogs)

The male constantly mates with her but his behaviors are not any more severe than months before. Also there is another female, tho he usually only goes after her. I really don't think this is the case though, it's not too bad. No other fish bully her.

Not completely sure about the water parameters. My PH is around 8.0. The tank is cycled and so no ammonia or nitrites. I don't have a nitrate test. But I clean it about 50% every week or 1 1/2 weeks. My water is pretty hard. Also have a lot of plants.

No other fish have any similar signs and it's been about a day and still she is the only one to have it.

Not sure the light is off in the tank as I type and I don't want to shock her, but I don't think she is breathing much different than normal.

It's been set up for over a few years but redone a few times. Since the last time I redid the tank it's probably been about 4 months.

Also, thank you lisa I will shoot her a PM.

bettababy 05-25-2010 12:08 PM

Unfortunately this is a common form of infection in livebearers such as mollies, swordtails, and platys, and it can be quite difficult to treat. I am very familiar with this condition. There are 2 treatments I have had some luck with, but neither is safe for all species of fish.

Can you please list what other animals are in this tank and how many of each? Knowing your water params is going to be vital for treatment... so you will need to get ammonia, nitrite, nitrate checked asap. If you don't have the kits at home then possibly you can take a water sample to a lfs? (Water must be tested within an hour of removing it from the tank to get an accurate result) If the lfs tests your water ask them to write down exact numbers for results. If they tell you "its fine" that does us no good and will not help at all.

Once I know what your water params are then I can suggest a medication that is safe and should work for you. In the mean time, get some carbon back into the filter and do your water changes to remove the Quick Cure. Quick Cure cannot be mixed with the other meds.

Mike is correct that this is bacterial based... but unfortunately the particular strain of bacteria that is responsible for this condition is very resistant to most medications that the livebearing fishes can handle.

I am also going to agree with Mike in saying that you will surely need a quarantine tank to treat this unless its safe to treat the entire tank. I noticed you mentioned frogs... which tells me that no med is going to be safe to put into the main tank. Floating an unfiltered bowl in the main tank is not going to work for this type of treatment, so be sure to get a heater for the quarantine tank as well.

And, lastly... Mike is also correct that this condition is highly contagious to other live bearing fishes such as mollys, platys, and swordtails.

Austin 05-26-2010 03:29 PM

She is in a 1g tank floating in my 10g fry tank (to keep it warm). I don't have anything else for her so that's the best I can do. I know it's not the best, but I can't risk it spreading to all my other fish and killing them all as well. I'm just changing the water often in it. The ammonia is close to 0, nitrite 0. I don't have a nitrate test though still.... :/

bettababy 05-26-2010 05:54 PM

I hate to say it, but I can't suggest meds for a situation like that. How much water is actually in that 1 gallon container thats floating? Can you put an air stone into it? Once I know for sure the water content of her bowl I can suggest a dosage of aquarium salt which will help ease her discomfort... but thats about all I can offer as safe for your situation.

My only other suggestion would be to euthanize that molly so she doesn't suffer, because without treatment, that infection is only going to progress further, and end result will be the same thing... death. Adding her back to the tank with the other fish isn't an option if there are frogs in there because the frogs can't be exposed to the meds she will need to recover.

Sorry I can't offer you a better solution. This is a good example of why a quarantine tank is so important for anyone who keeps fish.

Austin 05-26-2010 06:06 PM

It's exactly one gallon. I have some hornwort in there directly under the light so I thought that may help oxygenate her tank. (Great, now that I think about it, I guess at night it could be a problem.)... but she actually does not seem to be getting worse, if anything a little bit better.

I know I should have a quarantine tank probably. :( It's really random though that one fish gets sick only. The only diseases I've had really have been ich in which the whole tank becomes infected either way.... (I hope this doesn't jinx me)

bettababy 05-26-2010 07:21 PM

There are many contributing factors as to why only 1 fish may be showing symptoms at this time. The age of the fish, the immune system of that fish, the genetics of that fish, what it was exposed to and when... etc. The list goes on. If she was in the tank with other fish then the others have been exposed to this infection, and any of the others may still potentially show symptoms at a later date. It is possible that her immune system was weaker than the others, which made her more unable to fight it. It is also possible that other fish may indeed have this infection but it is not yet in an advanced enough stage to see with the naked eye, so its a good idea to keep close watch on the others over time. This is a very slow progressing infection. I had a swordtail infected with the same type of infection and he lived 2 yrs that way because none of the meds were effective in treating it. The other fish in the tank appeared fine for 6+ months, but then eventually all of the other swordtails developed the same lesions that the original fish had, but they didn't all show symptoms at the same time... The lesions may appear to go away for a while, or at least decrease in size... but expect them to come back again eventually if there is no treatment given.

As I stated in my earlier post, this is not an easy infection to treat.

For her 1 gallon bowl you can add 1/4 teaspoon of aquarium salt, but take into account that water changes will alter the amount of salt in the water. I would suggest slowly bringing her water up to brackish conditions if possible, but this will require the use of a hydrometer or refractometer. When you do water changes, add the salt to the new water before adding it to her bowl so you are not increasing salinity too rapidly. If you have the ability to accommodate the brackish conditions, you can start out by adding 1/4 teaspoon of salt every 3 - 4 days, and check salinity until it registers 1.009 on the hydrometer/refractometer. From there you then have the choice of keeping it within that range or raising it to full saltwater conditions. I would not, however, attempt full saltwater conditions in a bowl. The only thing that would accomplish is the death of your fish.

You will want to be very careful that her salted water does not find its way into the tank containing the frogs. The salt will quickly burn the skin on the frogs, which will leave lesions and eventually cause a painful death for the frogs.

Best of luck to you. If there's anything more I can do to help please let me know.

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