Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
-   Tropical Fish Diseases (
-   -   new tank, ich, eye pop, dead fish (

aleete 02-05-2011 10:31 PM

new tank, ich, eye pop, dead fish
1. What is the size of your tank?
47 gallon

2. What are your water parameters? State the brand of test kit used.
"normal" on our test strips
"Ammonia Quick Dip" and "6 tests in one strip quick dip" Jungle brand

3. Is your aquarium set up freshwater or brackish water?

4. How long the aquarium has been set up?
one month

5. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?
started with 3 mollies (2 male 1 female) and 3 black skirted tetras Jan 12
added 3 female mollies, 1 Mickey platy, and 3 blood fin tetras Jan 17
they are all 1-2 inches
We had to add the female mollies as our original male molly was getting territorial

from our Jan 17th batch, our creamsicle molly delivered some babies last week and died 5 days later
ich was discovered same weekend of her delivery
today, a blood fin tetra and black skirted tetra died

6. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)?

7. What temperature is the tank water currently?
it was originally set at 80 degrees
we turned it up to 86 last night based on advice to "speed up" the ich cycle

8. Are there live plants in the aquarium?

9. What filter are you using? State brand, maintenance routine and power capacity.
Penguin Power filter bio wheel, model 350
removed filter cartridges once started ich treatment

10. Any other equipment used (aside from heater and filter which are two very important components of the tank)?
heater and filter only

11. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? What is your lighting schedule (assuming you do not rely on sunlight for our viewing pleasure)?ern
we live in northern michigan - not a lot of direct sunlight this time of year
we turn on aquarium light a few hours a day

12. When did you perform your last water change and how much water was changed? How often do you change your water? Do you vacuum the substrate?
this past week we have been doing daily water changes of 20 %, vacuuming each time

13. What foods do you provide your fish? What is the feeding schedule?
omega one flakes 2 times a day (7a and 7p)
1-2 times a week give frozen brine shrimp

14. What unusual signs have you observed in your fish?
white ich spots developed on all fish except for the original mollies and blood fin tetras Jan 29
white eye pop developed on 2 mollies (one from each batch)
2 fish (one molly and the platy) delived a few babies (only appeared to have about 3-5, but difficult to tell as they were eaten rather quickly)
1 molly died Feb 3
1 blood fin and 1 black skirted tetra died today (following increase in temperature last night)
today many of the fish are hanging out at the top most of the day and one molly keeps disappearing
I'm also seeing more bubbles at the top of the tank and along the heater

15. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? If so, what treatments did you use? State your reasons for planning ahead of proper diagnosis.
based on the white spots on almost all of the fish, we treated the tank with Kor Don Rid Ich Plus. (this is our second bottle of treatment so I don't know what the original bottle was. We started with once a day treatments but have now gone to 2 times a day with this second bottle. also increased the water temp last night, but will likely lower that back again to 80 after 2 deaths today.

all of our test strips keep coming back in the normal range for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate but I think we need the liquid test kit referenced in other posts. Are the fish that we got not "hardy" enough to cycle the tank? Can fish deliver babies when they are stressed? How long does it take for the ich to go away? We are getting tired of the cloudy water, constant medicating the water, and spotted fish. Is the eye pop related to the ich? Are the extra bubbles a problem?

Also, when our fish die, the are on the bottom of the tank, not floating "belly up" like I thought fish do.

My goal is to have an angel fish some day, but we need a much more stable tank for that. I hate seeing our fish die and getting these diseases. Please help!!

Lupin 02-06-2011 01:55 AM

The first issue we have is your test kit. I don't trust test strips for the job. I advise that you switch to API liquid kit and test again for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. The issues seem water quality-related and ich being parasitic, will attack the gill tissues. They are introduced only by carriers but can be eliminated completely when you complete treatment course consistently.

Full stop on all meds except salt. Let's just slow down and try salt as our ich treatment. Add a teaspoon per gallon of salt. The second set must be added in 12 hours and the third set 24 hours from now. That should summarize three teaspoons per gallon of salt and should be sufficient enough to destroy ich. Continue 10 days treatment with salt after ich disappears.

My ich article in the sticky thread is outdated. Here's a more updated version.


White Spot Disease (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis)
Ich, Ick

Early signs of white spot begin when fish flick themselves against rocks. They may also swimming in an odd behaviour as if they were trying to use the water to wash away an irritation. Some of the more common causes are stress, bad water conditions, live food that have been infected by the pathogens or already infected fish without quarantining it.

Ich is a protozoal infection that afflicts fish and can rapidly kill them, most often by damaging gill tissue. It is highly infectious and potentially lethal and manifests as tiny white spots all over the fish. The spots are no larger than grains of salt. The wide host range of this parasite is its life cycle, and speed of multiplication especially in a tropical aquarium. When you see the white spot on your fish, it is already too late for those ich particles to be avoided.

The organisms, trophonts goes through a life cycle of a small white spot feeding on your fish which drops off to the floor of your tank and encases itself in a cyst called tomont. While encased in a cyst, it divides into up to 2000 new mobile organisms called theronts. The cyst then ruptures, thus releasing the theronts which seek out a host to feed into. They must locate a host within 24 hours otherwise they will die. Only the mobile stage is vulnerable to treatments.

Ich will appear if the fish is stressed. Note that it acts more as a 'contaminant' and is not part of the tank's ecosystem. Any new fish should be quarantined for 2-4 weeks. Failing that will increase the risk of introducing diseases which wil affect other occupants. New fish are always possible carriers of diseases.

Increase the temperature to at least 84-86 degrees as much as the fish can tolerate. Add aquarium or table salt (dissolved in water) at a ratio of 1-3 teaspoons of salt per gallon of water in your tank equivalent to 0.1-0.3% depending on the tolerance level of your fish.

For basic procedures, here are the steps.
1. Dose one teaspoon per gallon of salt or equivalent to 0.1%.
2. After 12 hours and assuming the fish has tolerated it very wellso far, repeat step 1.
3. After another 12 hours, repeat step 1 again.

While waiting, it does not hurt to add a powerhead or airstone to increase the oxygen level. Over the first couple days, your fish will appear worse and will eventually recover as the treatment progresses. In most cases, ich will disappear on the sixth day. However, there is still a probability that some cysts have not yet ruptured so it is advisable to keep the treatment up for full ten days.

If you are not able to raise the temperature at all especially if you are dealing with fish that lack tolerance for temperature above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you may need to extend the treatment although a good general guideline is to continue 7-10 more days of treatment right after the ich had seemingly disappeared.. At 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the life cycle of ich is quicker. The colder the temperature, the slower the life cycle thus the treatment will extend even longer than required.

Level of Tolerance
For bottom dwellers such as plecos and loaches, you may need to maintain the saline solution at 0.1-0.2% so it will not be detrimental to them although there have been few instances where some catfishes can tolerate as much as 0.3%.

Do make sure your fish can tolerate the elevated saline solution. If in doubt, be prepared to do a water change to relieve the fish of the osmotic stress caused by the salt. Try not to lose focus on the actual saline solution you already administered or you might end up overdosing the salt more than it was necessary.

Clown loaches and young oscars are notorious for getting ich after they are transferred to your tank. These and many others can tolerate salt. If you are unsure about your fish’s tolerance for salt, be sure to look for answers in a reference book or ask an expert.

A salt test kit available at your local fish store will help you get the exact dosage. Something in the range of .2%, is where you want to be.

Water Changes vs. Salt
Should a water change be necessary, make sure you redose the salt solution per the water volume replaced.

For example, a 10g needs 30 teaspoons at 3 teaspoons per gallon of water measurement. If you wish to change at least 50% of the water, then another 15 teaspoons of salt should be redosed to keep the saline solution effective against the parasites.

Teaspoon vs. Tablespoon Measurement
For those not familiar with the teaspoon = tablespoon conversion, a leveled heap of tablespoon is equivalent to 3 teaspoons whereas a round heap of tablespoon is equivalent to 5 teaspoons.

In Australian standard, a tablespoon is equivalent to four teaspoons so please adjust the necessary dosage as much as possible.

Plants Goners Or Not?
Unfortunately many plants do not do well with this salt treatment and may appear to wither but will usually come back in time once the salt treatment is over. Removing them to a salt free environment after a thorough rinsing may save them, however they must be kept at a high temperature or for an extended period of time. When the cyst breaks up in the plant holding tank, the small parasites will be unable to find a host and will die within 24-72 hours depending on the environmental conditions. Ich is easily transferred to other fish tanks so do not share nets, heaters and wet hands between infected and non infected tanks.

Mutual Relationship of Bacteria vs. Ich
Abstract explaining the presence of endosymbiotic bacteria within ich and bacteria with mutual relationship towards ich developing its infective capability can be found here.

Other Treatments:
Malachite Green, Formalin

Do NOT combine formalin and salt.

Check this list for contraindications of the above treatments.


Lupin 02-06-2011 02:00 AM

I'll continue my post here as there is 10,000 character limit per post.

The salt should as well neutralize nitrite's toxic effects as it causes brown blood disease or nitrite poisoning, in layman's terms. Since we cannot tell from the test strips, then start over your treatment. Do a water change again until you buy your new kit, get rid of the carbon (if any) and start adding salt.

What filter media do you have in your filter currently?

Yes, when a fish becomes stressed, it may also be forced to drop its fry even prematurely. The labor alone however is stressful enough for the fish and so it triggered the ich to appear even to the naked eyes. The ich usually resides in the gill tissues as a low profile infestation until you spot them and plan on eliminating them completely.

Quarantine all new fish for 4 weeks in a separate tank.

aleete 02-06-2011 07:49 AM

thank you! Can we put our filter back in with the salt? we have power filter cartridges, black diamond premium activated carbon. we lost another fish (white molly) this morning.

Lupin 02-06-2011 05:06 PM

Huh?! Your filter still has carbon? :question: That carbon would remove any meds except the salt! Ditch the carbon. As it's replaceable every 4-6 weeks, it's not really wise to use it on permanent basis. There are much better media out there such as filter floss, sponge, ceramic rings. You can get these in your pet store. Or stuff gravel in the nylon stocking and place in the filter along with series of other media.

aleete 02-06-2011 09:08 PM

while we were using the ich medication, we were only using the bio wheel and had removed the carbon filter cartridge. Taking your advice, we have added the salt today and purchased a liquid testing kit. We also put the carbon filter cartridge back in today. Our water testing is as follows:
ammonia - less than .25 ppm
nitrite - 0
nitrate - 0
I also purchased a Coralife Deep 6 hydrometer. The current reading is 10 parts per thousand (however the needle has not "seasoned" for 24 hours yet).

Lupin 02-06-2011 09:12 PM

Was the test before or after water change? Ouch. The tests indicated you're on the beginning of cycle phase.

fan4guppy 02-07-2011 07:54 AM


. How long the aquarium has been set up?
one month

New Tank Syndrome probably could be an issue here besides having disease.

How many fish are in your tank now. You may loose them all due to your tank is probably new and the only tank you have.

Carbon is not the best filter media in the world either. Using any form of filter floss, or sponge filtration is better.

A good idea is having a quarantine tank in regards to any new introduction to an new aquarium that should be monitored for external and internal parasites, bacterial diseases, etc. This tank should be set up away from other aquariums or fish room and other issues such as having seperate syphon hose, nets and other products may come in handy for this. Use Gloves when dealing with all aquariums and never use any oral means to start a syphon there are bacteria diseases that can be quite harmful to other animals including yourself besides fish.

When buying fish you should think about what you are going to buy ahead of time to add to an established aquarium as I would think with this tank only being up one month that it has not gone through the Ammonia, Nitrogen Cycle.

Quarantine the new additions in the quarantine tank, observing the fish for any signs of stress such as clamped fins can be a sign of disease or upcoming disease issues. Look for wounds etc these may also cause issues with bacterial infections. Some people including myself use preventative measures such as Aquarium Salt, and other products that are often recommended for the quarantine time. I keep mine in the quarantine tank for up to 6 weeks to make sure that most issues are safe however there are forms of pathogens that can take longer to eradicate.

aleete 02-07-2011 08:59 PM

During the week of ich medication treatment, we were doing daily 20% water changes. The water test done yesterday was a day after our last water change. Tonight's water test is as follows:
ammonia 1
nitrite 0
nitrate 0

We currently have 13 fish, 1/2 have ich spots and 2 have what I think is popeye. But they are all swimming around and look much happier than when we had the ich medication in there.

Is it possible that doing too frequent water changes could inhibit a tank from cycling?
What should our water change schedule be? Should we do water changes while in this salt treatment phase?
If we do not have a quarantine tank, what other options could we use when we obtain new fish in the future?

Lupin 02-07-2011 09:05 PM


Originally Posted by aleete (Post 584013)
Is it possible that doing too frequent water changes could inhibit a tank from cycling?
What should our water change schedule be? Should we do water changes while in this salt treatment phase?
If we do not have a quarantine tank, what other options could we use when we obtain new fish in the future?

No. Do frequent water changes as necessary to get rid of ammonia. Use Prime to detoxify ammonia. The beneficial bacteria resides mostly in filters so there is no reason to worry about inhibiting them since they don't live on the water column.

Daily water changes at this point are important. Don't forget to redose salt per water volume replaced.

Use a tub as your alternative to tank.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:14 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome