Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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NextLeesa 08-27-2011 12:49 AM

One Mysterious White Spot!
White Cloud Mountain Minnow with one white spot on her lip - looks like a snail egg...

What am I missing? I’ve read books and the Internet for hours and this doesn’t look like anything in particular. Does anyone have an educated thought here PLEASE? I’m stumped and too new to fishkeeping to know more. Provided all requested info and a small description of the situation. HELP!!!:roll:

1. Size of tank?
29 gallons

2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia? 0
b. Nitrite? 0
c. Nitrate? <.05
d. pH, KH and GH? 8.0/hard city water (DE chlorinated)
e. Test kit? Yes, API master test kit

3. Temperature? Currently 82 (started at 70)

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

5. How long the aquarium has been set up? 6 weeks now.

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

7 White Cloud Mountain Minnows only, about 1 inch each, 2 weeks. (There are 28 Nerite snails too, removed for now though.)

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? No, first fish (my starters).

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants? Lots of live plants, until the one fish got sick.
b. Sand, gravel, bare bottom? Carib Sea Eco-Complete substrate.
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors? 2 Mopani driftwood, 2 rocks, 1 petrified wood, nothing else.

9. a. Filtration? Penguin Bio-wheel 200
b. Heater? Yes

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used? Minimal lighting 21 LED lights (4 watts total), 7am – 7pm on.
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long? Indirect sunlight from living room window and dining room, both 12 ft. away, daylight hours, about 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. daily.

11. a. Water change schedule? Every 2 weeks
b. Volume of water changed? 25%
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? Tap (very hard)
d. Water conditioner used? Tetra Safe Start, and previously Dr. Fosters and Smith Neutralize and Colonize
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? Tomorrow first gravel vacuuming

12. Foods? Hikari Daphnia (freeze dried), Omega Premium Fish Flakes, Tetra Premium Fish Flakes
How often are they fed? 2 or 3 tiny meals a day.

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? Yes, on one fish only. She has 1 tiny white spot on her lip, looks like a snail egg.
b. Appearance of poop? None that I can see.
c. Appearance of gills? All look well, very tiny fish, the gills seem unremarkable.

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? Not sure of this question and how to answer. (see write-up)
b. What meds were used? Aquarium salt only and increased heat, no meds!

15. Insert photos of fish in question and full tank shot if necessary. They are too tiny to catch a pic of – they’re FAST!

29 gal freshwater tank
Penguin Bio-wheel 200 with additional Chemi Pure Original in spare filter compartment
Heated to 70 degrees, PH 8.0
40 lbs. Carib Sea Eco Complete substrate
2 Mopani driftwood (boiled 9 hours), 2 rocks washed with water (boiled), 1 petrified wood
Fully planted; Anubis, Val’s, Amazon and Ozelot Sword, Banana plant, Moss ball, Java Fern, Elodea, Crypt Walkeri, Acorus
28 Olive Nerite snails (Neritina Reclivata Alexandre)
7 White Cloud Mountain Minnows

This is a new tank. I started with the substrate, plants and rocks for two weeks, and then on the third week, I added the snails from my small 2.5 gal tank for another week - with that filter now in the spare compartment of the bio wheel. (The snail tank had nothing other than substrate, snails, java fern and a rock – never any fish in there.) At 4 weeks I did a 25% water change - water was still great, no ammonia, no nitrites, or nitrates.

After the water change, (tested all parameters, still no toxins, still PH 8.0), I purchased 8 young White Clouds and added Tetra Safe Start and acclimated the fish and put them in this main tank (with the plants, snails etc. as above). On day 3, I noticed one White Cloud was hiding and didn’t want to eat, his little fins were clamped and he (what looked like) shivered... So he got moved to the hospital tank by himself (the former little snail tank). The hospital tank has the same water parameters, PH 8.0, no ammonia, no nitrites, and no nitrates. I watched the little guy for the next day, added 1 tablespoon aquarium salt, second day I added another tablespoon of aquarium salt. He still was not eating, and now was hanging upside down in the Java fern, or by the filter, or by the rock. I thought he was dead, and then he’d zip around the tank like crazy, and then go hang upside down again. His body was unremarkable, no spots, no damage or obvious signs of the problem. On the third day of this, I humanely put him down.

By now, we’re on week 5 in the main tank. The remaining 7 White Clouds are zipping around, playing in the plants, eating regular small meals and seem fine. Their Nerite companions seem happy as well and have begun leaving their little trademark white eggs all over the place (I don’t really mind). I watch them as they eat and noticed one female had a little snail egg stuck to her lip and I wondered, “How on earth did she get that there?” That night, I saw it was still there and thought how odd, and again the following morning. When I came home the second night to see the little white spot still there, I looked very carefully at all of the fish (that took a while!). No one else has any spot/mark at all. She has a great appetite and seems otherwise fine. By now, I’ve spent hours researching and came across ICH and thought, “Oh no, she’s got ICH!” I tested all water parameters again, and still all good – same as above (the tank has not cycled).

Carefully, I removed all plants from the tank and dissolved 10 teaspoons of aquarium salt in some of the tank water and added it, and then turned the heat up to 74 degrees. 12 hours later, I added 10 more teaspoons of salt, turned the heat up further to 78 degrees. 12 hours later, I added 10 more teaspoons of salt and turned the heat up to 82 degrees. All minnows seem just fine, eating, darting around as normal. This has been the same now for 5 days. The female still has just the 1 tiny (seems less noticeable) white spot on her upper lip – and it looks like a snail egg… No one else has any spots, all seem well – just this one strange white spot! The Nerite snails though don’t seem so happy. Some have turned on their backs! Weird because they are freshwater, brackish water and salt water capable and can handle up to 100 degree temps. So, I removed them to the now cleaned little tank and they are much happier – no longer on their backs – all eating well again. But back to my fish…

If this were ICH wouldn’t the spot have dropped off by now - 5 days, with 90 teaspoons (equal to 30 tablespoons or 1 7/8th of a cup) of salt in 25 gallons of water, at 82 degrees?

BarbH 08-27-2011 01:28 AM

Hello and welcome to TFK. More than likely I don't think that the fish has ich. Ich will look like the fish has had salt sprinkled on it. The heat and the amount of salt that in in the tank is likely causing stress to the fish. With aquarium salt it is recommended to use 2 tablespoons for every 10 gallons. As you have added the salt did you do any water changes? If you haven't I would definitly suggest to start doing water changes to get the salinity down in the tank. You will need to do this over a gradual amount of time so that you do not cause futher shock to the fish with a sudden change in the water. I would suggest about 10% daily water changes with adding regular dechlorinated water. Please stop adding additional aquarium salt. I would also gradually lower your water temp. and bring it back down to a temp that is suitable for the fish 60-72 degrees F is what is recommended for these fish. The snails I am sure where reacting to the amount of salt that was in the tank.

As for what is going on with your fish, the spot on her lip could be a number of things, maybe someone else may have a better idea. Though with the spot does it seem if it is fuzzy, or have any filaments coming from it? One of the things that you can try doing to get a picture of her is placing her in a glass or small container to be able to get a picture of her. If you do definitly use the water that is in the aquarium so that futher stress is not caused to her by the change of salinity in the water.

One of the best preventive measures in diseases is keeping the water as clean as we are able to. To achieve this you should be doing weekly water changes of about 40 to 50%. But before starting this the salinity needs to be lowered in the tank which the daily 10% water changes will help in doing. During this time keep an eye on your fish for any signs of stress.

NextLeesa 08-27-2011 12:52 PM

Barb - Thank you so much! There is nothing ragged, no hanging skin etc. I am now going to start the daily 10% water changes. Last night I started lowering the temp (slowly). So, I guess, I just keep watching her (and the other 6 minnows), and keep monitoring all. I appreciate your time and insight! ;)

Beaches 08-27-2011 09:39 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hi NextLeesa :-)

I agree with Barbs post! From your description of the spot "looking like a snail egg", it sounds larger and more bubble shaped, is that correct? If so, then it isn't Ich.

If it is bubble shaped, I have had various tetra species that would develop a blister on/near its mouth/lower jaw, it would disappear after a while, only to reappear at various intervals, and it wasn’t specific to an individual species of tetra. The fish always remained in good health, acted normally, didn't seem to be impeded in any way and never showed any other symptoms.

I don’t think it is truely known what causes it and I may be completely off the mark, but these are my thoughts on these blister type protrusions.

1. Fish, just like any animal/human, can get wart type bumps/growths, cysts on their body, or a buildup of dead cells that may form bumps similar to a pimple.

2. It could be simply a blister that has formed if they have injured their mouth while digging in the gravel, or fighting etc.

3. Perhaps it is a type of virus such as Herpes which produces lesions like a cold sore. I know there is a strain of the herpes virus that affects Koi, but don’t know if other species of fish can be affected by it.

4. It could possibly be a gas bubble. I don’t know the full workings of it, but it has something to do with an oversaturation of oxygen in the water and some fish may have trouble metabolising the gases in their body properly, so a gas bubble builds up and escapes through a body cavity, usually from around the eyes, gills or mouth. This is fairly rare though, so probably isn’t it, but the level of oxygen to cause this, doesn’t need to be as high to affect small fish, as it would in larger fish and you would need to test the oxygen levels in the tank to really know if this is a possibility or not.

5. May also be another type of parasite. (see attached picture...not mine but taken off the web)

NextLeesa 08-27-2011 09:49 PM

I feel like we've entered "rocket science" now... LOL Thank you for your reply Beaches - I appreciate it! Did my water change, and vacummed the gravel. Fish thought they were going to get food. The siphon was fun (yeah, got my face and floor wet, not once but twice - my first time doing this)... Gotta love it cuz I'm already hooked! Many thanks ;)

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