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Zorse 09-07-2011 02:17 AM

Featherfin catfish I think they have ich but it looks yellow? Not getting better
My cichlid tank got ich from a fish I bought (didn't notice it until I got home, he just had one tiny spot on his lips but it quickly spread). :cry: I'm never not going to quarantine a new fish again, that's for sure.

The featherfin catfish were the last to become affected by it and it quickly covered their whole body. It's worse on them than it got on any of the cichlids. I've done 2 doses of Ick Guard by Tetra at half dose with 84'F and my cichlids look like they have no ich left, but now they have frayed fins and cottony spots. My tank was extremely healthy before adding this new fish, and the water parameters were perfect, not sure what they are now.

The ich spots on my catfish are yellow instead of white. Does this mean that it's not ich but something else?

Any suggestions? Keep up with the Ick Guard or try something else? I'm scared to try salt since I heard it'll kill catfish. I also have a bristlenose pleco in the tank.

For now they're still acting normal and eating. They don't have clamped fins and their eyes look normal. But the spots on them seem to be getting worse and worse. Should I vacuum the gravel everyday to get rid of the ich or would that be bad? I vacuumed it after the first ich treatment.

Also, I tried taking pictures but they're very blurry so I'm not sure if anyone could make anything out of them or not. But, I can post the pictures if needed. I really don't know what to do right now, I've never dealt with ich before and it looks so bad on my poor catfish. I'm about to perform a water change and add another half dose of Ick Guard for tonight. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

btw, if it lets me post this, I'm not so sure if I'll be able to reply. I haven't been able to post since the last time I posted, I keep getting an error message. If I can't reply then I'll edit this post to reply if it'll let me.

tf1265 09-08-2011 10:49 AM

In my experience with ick, it has always been white white white - looks like grains of salt stuck to the fins/body. I'm not experienced enough with featherfin catfish or other diseases to know if it sometimes takes on different appearances, but I suspect that it is not ich. Does the ick guard say if it is for a variety of parasites? Or only ick? The cottony spots could be an infection from wounds left by the ick, or they could be a separate fungus. Without pictures it's hard to know. If you have a QT tank, I would separate your catfish so that you can treat him accordingly, since he is the reason you are having to lessen the dose. If you suspect it is infection in the cichlids, adding salt will help. Your catfish may be able to withstand a very small dose of salt - 1/8 teaspoon per gallon and then upped to 1/2 teaspoon. I've heard that featherfins are hardier than most catfish, but I don't know a lot about them specifically so please try to find another source before adding salt. I've done a very low dose salt treatment on my cory catfish, but you must be very careful about how long they stay in the salt and how high the concentration is. It's risky.

There are disease profiles in a sticky at the top of the tropical fish diseases and emergencies section of the forum, many of them include pictures. If you haven't, I would browse through there and see if you come across anything that sounds or looks like what you're dealing with. A different antibiotic may be in order for your catfish, but I unfortunately can't recommend anything. I use Rid Ick + as my ick treatment, but I'm not sure how different that is from Ick Guard.

Good luck! Definitely keep up with water changes and gravel vaccuuming. It won't do any harm, just don't change more than 50% of the water at any time. The cleaner the water, the quickerthe recovery and the less likely it will return!

Zorse 09-09-2011 04:06 AM

Thank you very much!

I looked through it and I think it might be velvet. I read more about it and after a 24 hour blackout the spots are nearly gone on the catfish but not on my bristlenose. But now the catfish look like they're losing skin and they have white marks on them, which I have no idea what is. :( I've done a good vacuum cleaning and water change and added Ick Guard again. I was considering adding salt but now their skin looks like it's coming off I'm scared that would be deadly. Also was thinking about adding Coppersafe for the ich/possible velvet but after reading some horror stories about it I'm not so sure if I should risk it. Unfortunately my quarantine tank is full (which is the reason I didn't quarantine the new cichlid) so I can't put them in there.

The Ick Guard box just mentions treating ich. I think I'm going to go to the fish shop this weekend and see if they can suggest anything since I have no idea what to treat with now. I'm torn between trying to get rid of the ich/the possible velvet and trying to cure their white spots (which don't look fuzzy, just flat). I'm almost out of the Ick Guard so I'll look into the Rid Ick. I just really hope I can figure this out soon. I'll do a daily water change and probably every other day vacuuming or maybe every day.

tf1265 09-09-2011 07:55 AM

Eek, that sounds like a mess. I don't think I'll be much help. Catfish are scaleless and don't tolerate salt well, so it was a good move to hold off on the salt.

What kind of filter do you use? If it contains activated carbon, it is important to remove the carbon while medicating a tank. The carbon will filter out the medication, making it less to not effective.

What kind of "white marks" do the catfish have? Do they look like ich spots (grains of salt) or do they look more puffy or fuzzy? If there was a parasite in your tank or something else that damaged the skin of the fish, the white spots could be infection from that. The most important thing you can do is keep the water as clean as possible to both prevent further infection and help heal any existing infection. Pictures would be really helpful, even if they're kind of blurry. They might attract some more experts to the thread too who have dealt with more disease in their tanks than I have.

BarbH 09-09-2011 09:43 AM

If you are able to post pictures it might help in figuring out what your fish have.

Zorse 09-10-2011 05:51 AM

I got pictures! I found a new setting on my camera, they're still not the best pictures but much better than the original ones I took.

Today they look A LOT better so I feel relieved. Cichlids look good, catfish don't look as bad, but my bristlenose still has the yellow spots. :( The skin no longer looks like it's peeling, I'm wondering if the peeling part of it was excess slime coat? Is that possible? Doesn't look like any skin actually came off but there was definitely something strange going on with their skin last night, and today the area looks orangish/yellowish. He always had a stripe by his gills this yellow/orangish color but now the coloring has spread. I'm thinking it's nothing harmful but I'm not sure. The big white spots don't look fuzzy or like anything is hanging off of them, they just look flat. Also they're not white-white color one is more white, one is more yellowish, and the other is more orangish with two white spots on the edge of it. They have some small (but seem large than ich) similar spots too. My bristlenose doesn't seem to be eating, he always waits for an algae wafer at feeding time but he hasn't gone to them. :(

I removed carbon before add the Ick Guard. Tonight I did another vacuum cleaning and water change. I'm going to use up rest of my Ick Guard and keep the tank blacked out since that seems to have helped.

Let's see if I can get pictures to post...
Pictures of the big spots, as you can see there are three main big spots on him:

Picture of the new yellow/orange coloring, and shows 3 smaller spots by his fin. The spots seem bigger than the ich spots they had:

Picture of the yellow/gold spots the catfish had. My bristlenose still has these gold spots, mostly around his eyes:

I'm very relieved that my catfish look much better but still worried about my bristlenose. Thank you for the help!

tf1265 09-10-2011 09:37 AM

Oh my goodness, I'm glad you posted pictures because that is not what I was imagining at all!

The large white spots do look like infections to me. If he had ich or anything else that caused a small open wound in those places they likely just got infected from the mess of stuff in the tank. Keep keeping the water clean.

The 3 small white spots do look like ick to me, but the fact that there are only 3 of them makes me think you might not want to worry about the ich yet.

The yellowish spots all over are what worries me. I have no idea what that is. It looks like it could be velvet, but I've never seen velvet so I don't know if it's that pronounced.

Keep doing what your doing. Now that you have a better idea of what goes into treating the tank (being aware of what's going in and gettng it out before you add something else, "combo" treatments are a bad idea, etc), you can try something and if it doesn't work you'll be able to take the steps to try something else without doing too much damage to your fish.

Poor little guys, I hope you get them back to health soon!

BarbH 09-10-2011 09:51 AM

I agree the large spots look like infection. The last picture looks like it could be velvet here is some information from the site about this disease

Velvet Disease (Oodinium)

Coral Fish Disease, Amyloodinium

Fine gold-white "dust", rapid breathing, erratic behavior, flashing, clamped fins, lack of appetite

Amyloodinium pillularis infests fish in freshwater environment whereas Amyloodinium ocellatum infests fish in saltwater environment. The fish will look like they have been poured with flour as the spots rapidly spread.

This parasite is a dinoflagellate that can easily spread to other hosts hence it is very contagious. Poor water quality can attribute to their rapid reproduction.

Freshwater dip, hyposalinity, Copper Sulfate, Atabrine (Quinacrine hydrochloride)

Also I don't believe that you have posted your water parameters, what is the level of ammonia, nitrite and nitrates. Also if you could provide the information on the following form, it can help in trying to figure out what is going on. It does look like there are multiple issues going on here. Definitly keeping your water as pristine as possible is going to help alot.
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.

Zorse 09-11-2011 05:53 AM

Thank you guys! Is there anything I should do for the infections or should they go away on their own with good water quality?

Today my cichlids are flashing and my rusty has ich spots on him again. My bristlenose still has the yellow spots but not as bad. My smallest catfish looks like he has some clear film over his eyes. My cichlids are acting like they're scared to death and don't really want to eat. They'll only eat if they can eat by sticking their heads out from under rock but they won't come out to eat... usually they go crazy at feeding time and swim all over the tank. Also I can tell my bristlenose isn't doing good since there's getting build up on the tank walls now, he would always scrub the walls and keep them clean but not now. Really worried about him. :(

Any suggestions on what to use to treat the tank would be great since I have no idea what to do now. On hand I have aquarium salt, Coppersafe, Ick Guard, Maroxy, Maracyn I, and Maracyn II.

1. Size of tank? 36 gallons (I know this is too small in long run, if/once they get better I'm going to move them to the bigger tanks I have)

2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia? 0
b. Nitrite? 0
c. Nitrate? Above 0 but under 5, I'm guessing 3.5 probably low from all the water changes lately
d. pH, KH and GH? pH 8.0
e. Test kit? API master test kit

3. Temperature? 84'F-86'F, usually is at 80'F

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

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

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them? 1 bumblebee, 1 rusty, 2 Ndonga blue dolphins, 1 yellow lab, 2 featherfin catfish, 1 bristlenose pleco. I've had most of them 3-4 months except for my rusty I think I've had him for a week he got my tank sick. Small dolphin is 3", other cichlids 4", rusty 5", big catfish 3.5", small catfish 3", bristlenose 4". All guesses and include their tails.

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? They were all introduced about the same time, I did quarantine the blue dolphins and bristlenose. Not my rusty though obviously.

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants? 3 fake plants
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? Gravel
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors? Rocks and a coral (not hollow but they dig under it to hide under it)

9. a. Filtration? Quietflow for 40 gallons (with pre-filter sponge, course sponges, microfiltration sponge, regular filter floss with carbon) surprisingly this filter is great for this tank
b. Heater? 150 watts I think
10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used? Regular strip light, about 12 hours a day
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long? No

11. a. Water change schedule? Every week
b. Volume of water changed? 50%
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? Tap water
d. Water conditioner used? API brand then I add some stress coat
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? All the gravel every week

12. Foods? New Life Spectrum cichlid formula, Omega One veggie wafers, Hikari algae wafers
How often are they fed? 2 times a day

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? First there was ich in the tank affected all fish, then that went away and then my cichlids got cottony on their fins which went away, then all the catfish (including pleco) got gold dust which went away on the catfish but not on my bristlenose. Now my catfish have infections on them and my cichlids are flashing again with ich spots on the rusty. I think my smallest catfish has a clear film over his eyes. No clamped fins so far. Cichlids acting scared and nobody really seems to want to eat. Bristlenose is extremely inactive and doesn't seem to be eating.
b. Appearance of poop? Normal
c. Appearance of gills? Normal

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? Yes
b. What meds were used? 1 1/2 boxes of Ick Guard by Tetra treated 20 gallons each night so far

Zorse 09-11-2011 11:14 PM

Sorry for double post, but things have really gone downhill today. Please someone help with treatment! Today my big catfish looks very skinny, sunken in by his gills. One of the infections is also bloody now. I'm going to treat with Maracyn I and II if I get no suggestions by tonight. My cichlids are just sitting at the bottom of the tank, my bristlenose has clamped fins. I'm really scared I'm going to lose my catfish and bristlenose.

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