Sick fish with parasites, need help asap
Hello, so I need some help with dealing with parasites. I just determined that there is some kind of parasite problem in my brand new 38g tank, which was introduced into the tank from a friends fish tank when i put one of his fish in my new tank. That fish already died, but my Electric Blue Jack Dempsey is now dealing with some issues :(. Last time I ever trust him with fish....
Basically, a few days ago I had noticed that there was a slight red streak on his fins, and some small red spots along the belly. I also noticed what I thought might have been some kind of external parasite on his tail fin, though I was not sure. So I started using Melafix for 4 days now, and now things have gotten worse. Those things on the tail I thought might have been parasites turned out to be, and I just found two of them left the tail fin and were stuck to the glass wall, so I scooped them two out of the tank. They looked kind of like tiny little leech-like things. Hard to describe, not sure what they are. But those two are gone from the tank, and theres now only one left on my fish that I can spot on his dorsal fin.
But now, I have noticed that he is breathing through only one gill, so I'm assuming that means he has gill flukes. He also hangs around the surface of the water at times, but is not breathing too hard.
Anyway, can anyone tell me what medicines I need to buy and rid my tank of the parasites? For now, I just continued with another dose of the Melafix (5th dose) as well as starting a dose of Pimafix. Its all I have, and its 6am here so I can't go to a fish store yet. Since this is a new tank like I said, there is still a tiny amount of ammonia, but it never got high because I used Tetra SafeStart (works great). Ammonia is currently about .25 ppm, no nitrites, and about 30 ppm nitrates.
This is so frustrating, because this is literally a brand new tank, and I shouldn't have to deal with these kinds of problems on a tank I just set up, especially with a fish I've had for 4 years who's been healthy for years. Thats the last time I ever trust him with fish, he is so careless when it comes to caring for fish :evil:
Also to add on my original post, the water has become very cloudy. I'm not sure if thats from the Melafix, or uneaten food that the fish has been spitting out. It also looks like theres a little bit of stringy growth on the aquarium decorations etc.
Thanks again for any help, I really appreciate it. I just want to be sure about which meds to buy, whether I need something to prevent secondary infections, or get antibiotics, things like that. I've just never had to deal with something like this before, always have had a healthy tank.
Sorry you're having a problem with your fish.
Melafix isn't going to get you anwhere with a true parasite issue. I've only used it for wound healing/sores. I've heard some people talk about Prazipro for parasites. I haven't had an issue with parasites yet so can't speak from experience.
Check out the search function here on the forum or go to the disease section to get more feedback on what everyone uses. Someone with experience will hopefully chime in soon.
I would try something with praziquantel. It comes in all kinds of forms, from liquid to pure powder. I have used API General Cure (which also has metronidazole) and Tetra Parasite Guard with success. Prazipro is also an option if it is carried in your area; it isn't in mine, and ordering it is pretty expensive. If he's not eating I would either stop offering food until he improves a bit or make sure to suction out what he hasn't eaten about 20 minutes after offering it to keep it from polluting the water. You should keep an eye on the red streaks too in case he has an internal infection (septicemia) which would have to be treated with antibiotics. Good luck! I've recently dealt with parasites too and it is just not fun.
I would definitely do a large water change to get your water cleared. That gunking up could very well be from the Melafix and Pimafix. I'm not fond of offering advice on what meds to use unless I know the exact nature of the illness/disease. These "things" (leech like), I have no idea what that would be.
I have used Metronidazole for internal parasites with success, it's a med I keep stocked on my shelf. If it is gill flukes Prazi is the med you would use, as Ostara has already stated.
Any chance you can post a pic of the fish?
My fish just got parasites also I used ICK GUARD and it cleared my blood parrot in a day the other fish are still being treated but are getting better if its cloudy check the ammonia level do a water change , if you dont have your filter running with the carbon in it do that for about a day with a new filter, then try the ick guard you do a 25-30% water change put some med in no filter running see how that goes for a day or 2 if still not better in 48 hours treat again. Thats what I do and my fish are looking much better hope all gets better!
Thank you everyone for the help. I went ahead and got Tetras new "Parasite Guard" since it contains both praziquantel and metronidazole.
On the package it says to use 1 tablet per 10 gallons, but I have a 38 gallon so should I just use a full 4 tablets or do I try to break off a little piece on one tablet? And should I just dose once, wait 2 days and then do 25% water change and add one more dose?
Well I think I'm just going to add the full 4 tablets since my tank is only 2 gallons short of that, and dissolve the tablets in clean water before adding to the tank.
Yea it says "Treatment may be repeated two times with up to 48 hours between treatments and 25% water change." I hope two treatments is all that it will take, but I bought an extra box just in case I need some more.
I also bought an anti-bacteria medicated food made by Jungle, figured it wouldn't hurt to try and feed him some of this when he starts eating well again.
It is often suggested to keep a quarantine tank for new additions to any aquarium and a good suggestion is to have this aquarium as far away from any other aquarium or fish room.
Make sure that you use a syphon hose, net and product for this aquarium that is explicitedly for this particular use. Make sure that you steralize hoses and nets etc after every use, I use bleach for this and properly make sure that it is aquarium safe the next time. Syphons and other equipment can actually be infected by pathogens too
If the fish pass by the quarantine time (which I suggest can be up to six weeks although some particular bacterial diseases may take longer) and some can even be airbourne and some like Fish TB can be dangerous to human exposure. So make sure you use gloves in your aquariums and also good advice is not start syphoning your aquarium using any sort of oral means. There are some infections that are rather uncurable and with a quarantine tank you have also isolated this issue.
I use Tetra Parasite Guard and Also use the Jungle Product Parasite Clear. Both are good products but sometimes there are bacteria infections also that get transmitted through secondary infections that can be treated at the same time as quarantining for pathogens in the aquarium.
Generally external parasites are easy to diagnose in regards to most aquarists problems such as ICK, Fungus and other types of external diseases.
Keep an eye on the issues for signs of stress Clamped fins often show signs of fish in distress.
For Bacterial diseases you may want to use a product called Tetra Life Guard can be used for a quarantine time too.
Be careful though for treating for Bacterial Diseases as they can easily mutate into more dangerous forms of disease and can even affect other animals including humans.
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