Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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tf1265 07-30-2011 09:59 AM

Flashing Catfish - already treated for ich
Recently I noticed my catfish flashing. I recently had an ich outbreak in my tank, and I separated out the catfish (3 peppered, 1 panda) from the neon tetras and did a salt + heat treatment (so I could half-dose the catfish). I have seen zero spots on the cats, even before the treatment.

I still don't see any spots, and they have always been very active so it took me a few days to realize that they were flashing instead of just chasing and playing. Or maybe it just got bad. I do pay quite a bit of attention to them.

Is it possible they are flashing because of the salt? I know catfish don't always tolerate salt treatments (I did 1 dose of 1 tsp per gallon and have been doing 10% changes daily for 4 days to dilute it).

I need advice. I'm not convinced it's ich, but I don't know how to treat anything else, and they've already been treated for ich. I don't know if it could be a reaction to the saltwater? What can I do for flashing catfish?!

Please help!

1. Size of tank? 10 gallon

2. Water parameters - all normal, cycled tank, tested this morning
a. Ammonia?
b. Nitrite?
c. Nitrate?
d. pH, KH and GH?
e. Test kit?

3. Temperature? 78 degrees

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

5. How long the aquarium has been set up? 3 months

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them? 3 peppered catfish, 1 panda catfish, 1 mystery snail (the other tank that had the bad ich outbreak only has 5 neon tetras, same setup at the 1st tank)

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? 1st batch of fish

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants? live plants
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? gravel
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors? nothing rough, which might be why it took me a while to see the flashing. Smooth porcelain hollow jugs

9. a. Filtration? aquaclear 20 HOB
b. Heater? no

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used? 8am-6pm
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long? slight, through a north facing curtained window

11. a. Water change schedule? lately, 10% daily because of salt treatment
b. Volume of water changed?
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? treated tap water
d. Water conditioner used?
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed?

12. Foods?
How often are they fed? once a day

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? flashing, otherwise very active and normal
b. Appearance of poop?
c. Appearance of gills?

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? treated for ich last week
b. What meds were used? 1 tsp/gallon salt water, 1 time dose, let it sit for 3 days then started changing out the saltwater with fresh water

kitten_penang 07-31-2011 09:06 AM

for that answer you first need to get rid of the salt in the point in having salt in the tank for catfishes if they aren't having white spots.btw are they scratching themselves on rocks or decor?

sik80 07-31-2011 09:53 AM

You need to do a larger water change than 10% to get rid of the salt. 70% would be good. Good water conditions are the best treatment and way of avoiding ich in the first place.

tf1265 08-01-2011 07:53 AM

Thanks! All Better!
Thanks for the help. I ended up leaving my apartment (gasp!) and going to the local pet store in my neighborhood (note: this is a private, independent pet store, NOT a petsmart or petco). It turns out the owner is a really really expert fish guy and he gave me a lot of great advice, and also showed me how to detect ich in fish before the spots appear, which hopefully will come in handy so maybe I can catch it before i gets into the whole tank next time.

BTW, one of the things he told me is that he doesn't ever use the salt and heat ich treatment on any fish. I thought it would be less stressful on the fish and tank, but he firmly believes that the amount of time it takes to work makes it a lot more stressful than rid ick+. Just thought I'd share that.

kitten_penang 08-01-2011 07:55 AM

mind sharing the ways to see ich before the spots appear. i know everyone of us is dying to know :-D

tf1265 08-01-2011 08:04 AM

Haha, I can try. He said it is difficult, very very difficult, and he doubted anyone at chain pet stores would have the experience to do it.

1) Dorsal fin- if it is not completely erect (in general. Obviously it goe down on occasion depending on swimming speeds) it is the biggest sign that something is about to go seriously wrong. He said that is what he recommends paying the most attention to when buying a new fish from any tank, but especially chain stores.

2) Socialization. Sick fish tend to be by themselves more often than would normally be (is only useful in community tanks or schooling fish).

3) Breathing. Labored breathing, which you'll still see once they have spots, but if you pay a lot of attention up front you can spot it earlier.

Obviously none of those alone are that useful, and even all together they are still difficult to really detect, but it might help a little bit when buying new fish. He walked me around all the tanks in his store and pointed out several fish that he knew were about to get obviously sick (not all ich, but still useful). And of course, since he knows what he's doing he couldn't find that many fish in his store that were sick!

Hope that helps a little. It might be worth going to a local expert fish store in your area and asking, sometimes seeing it is the best way to know what to look for.

kitten_penang 08-01-2011 08:13 AM

good advice at the end.. and thanks for sharing :-D

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