Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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pa1ntbru5h 02-10-2011 06:40 PM

Tiger Barb Fin Rot
Hi everyone.
So this fin rot has been going on for far too long..
I have a 30 gallon tank stocked with currently 8 Tiger Barbs.
4 of them are fairly new to the tank.
1 of my barbs has fin rot that hasn't seem to heal. I've used treatments of Melafix which did not help. and I've used API's Triple Sulfa. His fins have been deteriorating for about a month now, but luckily he hasn't died yet. He almost has no fin left, but he is still able to swim at this point.
Now, I notice that another barb is starting to get fin rot!
I've been doing 40% water changes every 2-4 days.

What do you guys recommend?

It is a marineland tank with the bio-wheel filter
Water parameters were checked recently and came out to be normal.
I have been using API's Stress Coat as the water conditioner.

Lupin 02-11-2011 08:53 AM

Please copy and paste this form into your new reply. Provide answers after each question and be as detailed as possible including your water parameters.

1. Size of tank?

2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia?
b. Nitrite?
c. Nitrate?
d. pH, KH and GH?
e. Test kit?

3. Temperature?

4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)?

5. How long the aquarium has been set up?

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?

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

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants?
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom?
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors?

9. a. Filtration?
b. Heater?

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used?
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long?

11. a. Water change schedule?
b. Volume of water changed?
c. Well water, tap water, RO water?
d. Water conditioner used?
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed?

12. Foods?
How often are they fed?

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms?
b. Appearance of poop?
c. Appearance of gills?

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis?
b. What meds were used?

15. Insert photos of fish in question and full tank shot if necessary.
Can you please outline how you started the Triple Sulfa treatment course?
Vacuumed substrate thoroughly?

Sorry, I don't advocate the use of Melafix. Despite its claims to be antibacterial, I disagree. It is useful in accelerating recovery rate of injury but no more than that. A bacterial infection especially severe case of finrot cannot be resolved by melafix and pimafix. Neither of this crap should be used especially with parasites that attack the gills primarily (for your reference).

Do you have access to medigold?

pa1ntbru5h 02-11-2011 03:03 PM

I'll try to answer most of the questions that I can right now.

30 gallon tank (bundle with tank, hood, filter)
8 tiger barbs total (4 about 1.5 in and 4 small ones)
big ones are ~ 1 year old. small ones are fairly new (within 1 month).
the ones with damaged fins are 2 of the big ones.

aquarium has been running for about 1 year
Fake plant and cave
Lights on 3pm - 10pm daily (timer)
Light supplied with the hood. no sunlight. not near any windows.
Eclipse 3 Filtration w/ BioWheel
Heater set at 78 deg F (Marineland 100w)
Thoroughly vacuum substrate whenever water changes are done.
~40% water changes every 2-4 days
Tap water from bathtub faucet
API Stress Coat conditioner
Fed twice a day. once at 3-4pm and once at 8-9pm
The fish with the worst fin rot seems to have red gills, fins moving fast to stay in one spot, opens mouth a lot.

Treated with Triple Sulfa about 2 weeks ago.
Removed carbon filter. added 1 packet of triple sulfa per 10 gallons (total 3)
wait 24 hours, change 25% water. added another 3 packets.
repeat for total of 4 doses. Make final 25% water change and add new carbon filter.

I will try to get water parameters when I have time to test it.

What is medigold?

Lupin 02-11-2011 07:12 PM

The symptoms your fish are showing are signs of water quality issues to me. Hold off my suggestion of treatment first. We'll need to know your water parameters first.

In the meantime, add a teaspoon per gallon of sodium chloride. Rock salt, pickling salt or aquarium salt will be fine. No yellow of prussiate of soda should be found in your choice of salt however, iodine and calcium silicate should not be an issue. This will help neutralize possible traces of nitrite for a moment aside from water changes done daily.

Here's the medigold I meant.

pa1ntbru5h 02-12-2011 11:47 PM

Test Kit:
OceanMaster All-in-One Aquarium Test Kit (Marineland - it came packaged with my tank. it's a powder test kit where you color match)

a. Ammonia - 0 (lowest the kit goes)
b. Nitrite - 0.2 (lowest)
c. Nitrate - 10 (lowest)
d. pH - 7.8 (lowest)

jaysee 02-12-2011 11:57 PM

There's a good chance it's do to nipping. That's something I've always dealt with when keeping tiger barbs. Right now I have one that's starting to loose the tail. I euthanize them once it gets bad. I've treated them in quarantine for months. Once the fish was healed, I'd return it and it would just happen again. It's pretty common for tiger barbs to pick on a fish till it dies, no matter how big the school is - I've had as many as 15 in a 55 gallon.

pa1ntbru5h 02-13-2011 04:44 AM

its weird because i've been losing tiger barbs one by one..
like maybe one a month. due to what looks like fin rot..
i thought it could be fin nipping.. i dont know.. maybe i should just sit and watch the tank for a good 15 minutes one day to see if any of the nip haha

pa1ntbru5h 02-15-2011 11:24 PM

i think you were right. it definitely could be fin nipping.
i caught a few of the smaller tiger barbs bullying the one with the bad fins..

is there any way to stop fin nipping?
i heard having large schools would help but i already have 8 of them..

Lupin 02-16-2011 12:36 AM

Your only solution would be to upgrade the tank. I do not think adding more tiger barbs is the solution to this problem. I kept only four adult tiger barbs in my 75g along with tiger loaches and they were absolutely fine.

jaysee 02-16-2011 01:41 AM

Adding more won't necessarily help. I agree that upgrading the tank will help.

As for what to do about it - you can either return the fish that's being picked on or you can euthanize it.

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