diagnosis and treatment for whitish patches
I have a stable, heavily planted 20 gallon tank with co2 injection and about 2.5 wpg. The tank is about 1.5 years old. Last week I added six new jumbo neons. The tank was home to three adolescent angels, two siamese algae eaters, and a couple of jumbo tetra.
About four days after the new tetras were added (sans quarantine, alas) the algae eaters and angels changed their behavior. They became sluggish, with the sae staying under the java ferns all day and the angels huddling together under the HOB water return.
Five days after the new tetras were added I noticed that four of the new tetras had disappeared, but I assumed they had been eaten by the angels. Then I found one of my mature tetras at the bottom of the tank and became really concerned.
Six days after the new tetras were added two of the angels were gone, with 2mm x 2mm whitish flakes of skin hanging off their mouths and patches on their fins. Now the third and final angel has the same on its side (see picture).
I'm running through a four day course of API E.M. Erythromycin, in the hopes that it will clear things up.
I've been testing my water almost daily, without any surprises. Ph is 7.4, Ammonia is 0, Nitrates and Nitrites are basically zero unless I fertilize (the plants take up everything I put in). Iron is barely measurable, so I don't think I overdid the trace elements.
Any comments or suggestions, even if it is just to tell me that I should have acted quicker (I was just too smug, because the tank has been so stable for so long...argh), would be appreciated.
Rich in Santa Cruz
Neons are a bit tricky to add, even in a well established tank. Sadly, it appears to be normal to have a few die. Neons appear to be a bit more sensitive to water conditions and stress.
Have you checked the water parameters of the place you bought the neons from? If they are rather drastic in comparison to yours, I would suggest finding a new place or slowly acclimating them to your tank parameters.
After looking at it more closely, it just appears to have lost some scales. The good thing is, it will grow back. Just make sure you keep the water clean. Using erythromycin will help in case of infections, but as long as you keep the water clean, it should be fine. My smallest clown loach some how acquired a taste for angelfish scales. I had noticed the scales on the angels gone and one day, I noticed the loach just eating the scales off the side of it. The angel just stood there, letting it do it. I captured the loach and placed it in another tank for about a month to let the angel heal itself. When I did return the loach, it never even touched the angel anymore. I guess it knew I was punishing it for it's actions. :D
What a mischievious clown loach (and they look so playful; who would've thought?).
I wouldn't be so worried about the white patch if the other two mature angels hadn't expired two days ago with white flakes of skin falling off around their mouths and fins. I don't want my last :( angel to meet the same fate.
Nevertheless, it seems either the water changes or the antibiotics are helping this last fella, because the white patch hasn't grown over the last two days.
The SAEs are 3.5 inches long. The white patch on the angel is about 8x the size of their mouths, so I feel an aggressive SAE is unlikely here, but I won't rule it out.
I'll continue to monitor fish health and water quality. Hopefully both the angel and the sluggish SAEs have turned some sort of corner already.
Sorry to hear about the other angels. I hope this one does make it fine.
I thought it was rather strange that my loach was eating the scales from the angel. It made me think that the angel had something irritating it where the scales were and the loach was just helping it out by picking it off. Oh well. I'm glad the little issue resolved itself. I would have hated to seperate the loach with the rest of the group.
Just a quick warning, angelfish don't last too long in a 20 gallon tank. As they get older they tend to get more aggressive and can be very territorial, alongside of the fact that they reach 6 - 8 inches in diameter at full grown. If you want to keep angelfish, I'd highly suggest a much larger tank.
Thanks for the advice!
Unfortunately about a day after my last post the final angel bit the dust. I think the new tetras brought in some velvet and that took care of the angels and most of the tetras.
The tank has stabilized and the SAEs have survived, along with three of the neon tetras.
I'll probably restock with some smaller fish, since my 20 long is indeed no place for a mature angel!
You're back eh.:mrgreen: Hope you could visit this site more often.:thumbsup:
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