Help! Fish gasping
My severum and one of the praecox are at the surface gasping. The other fish seem fine.
1 green severum
3 boesemani rainbows
3 praecox rainbows
filtration: Penguin Biowheel 350 and Whisper 60
I tested the water tonight and the params are normal.
Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates 5
I normally do water changes twice a week about 20% each time. I can't see any parasites or anything on them and their gills look fine...not red or anything. Anybody have any ideas what it could be?
Jean, what is your pH? What test kit are you using? What temperature is your tank?
Liquid test kit is Tetratest Laborett
temp is 80F
I just did a water change but the little Praecox didn't make it. The sev looks like he's on his way out. The other fish seem fine but I will be keeping a close eye on them. What could have caused them to go down hill so fast? They were fine last night although I did not check on them this morning as I left very early.
Darn it! Everyone was doing so well too. :cry:
Well, the sev didn't make it. RIP Buddy.
I usually have a 5 gallon bucket of change water ready to go. I keep a heater and a floating thermometer in it to make sure the water temp is the same as the tank temp. If I have to mix up a new bucket of change water I make sure the tap water is same temp as tank water by floating the thermometer in it and also testing it by feel before I add it. I use Aquapure water conditioner and have used it for years with never any problem.
One of the Boes wouln't eat this morning. He kept spitting the food out.
When the fish got sick, did you notice any change in color on the sick fish? Did they get pale before they died?
Were there any symptoms other than the gasping? Were the fish "shaking" or "shivering", or scratching on things in the tank? Are any of the other fish showing any kinds of different behavior, color changes, etc? The fish that have died, did they also begin by not eating before they went to the gasping?
There are a lot of things this could be, but without being able to examine the fish hands on and without the ability to do an autopsy, it's impossible to say for sure.
What I can offer you is a preventive medication treatment to help protect the others if it turns out to be an internal parasite (which is almost what it sounds like) or any type of bacterial infection.
First I would treat the food with metronidazole. Simply take a very small amount (less than 1/8 tsp) of the powdered medication and put it into a zip lock baggie with some of the fish's flake food or pellet food. Shake up vigourously and keep seperate from the other food supply. Feed this once/day for 5 days.
Along with medicating the food, follow the instructions on the metronidazole for treating the tank water. Remove any carbon from the tank, and you may want to insert an air stone during treatment to keep the oxygen content up) WITH the metronidazole, also treat the tank water with neomycin, following the instructions on the packaging for dosing it.
Be sure you don't develop an ammonia spike during medicating, so follow directions for water changes according to the med's instructions and go easy on the food.
Keep us posted and let me know if there's anything more I can do to help. If you have questions about how to use or find the meds, also let me know and I will help.
When I came home that night (Tuesday) and fed them the praecox just stayed still in one corner and didn't eat. The sev did eat but I noticed he was also breathing heavily (gasping) while he was eating. when I checked on them a little later both the sev and the praecox were in one corner at the surface gasping. The praecox was noticeably weaker and seemed to have a hard time swimming. If he got near the filter output he would get pushed around by the current. He also seemed a little paler. I tried looking very closely at them to see if I could see anything in their gills but didn't see anything unusual although I could very well have missed something as I am no expert on diseases. The praecox seemed to get worse and worse by the minute. If he tried to swim to a different area he just kind of spiraled down. I did a water test and everything was fine... 0 ammonia 0 nitrite 5 nitrate. In a kind of desperation I decided to do a small water change (about 5 gallons). I siphoned the water from the opposite side of the tank from where the sev and praecox were so as to try to minimize any stress. Just as I was done the little praecox literally died in front of my eyes. I fished him out with a net. Then started to watch the sev. He would just stay behind a plant once in awhile slowly moving to another area. But I could tell he was also getting weaker fast. I felt so helpless watching him. When I finally went to bed he was kind of laying on his side at the bottom near his favorite rock. I just new he would be dead by morning.
The next morning, sure enough he was dead. And another praecox was exhibiting the same behavior. Staying at the surface and having a hard time swimming. That one died also Wednesday morning.
That's when I decided enough was enough. I just had a suspicion it might be an internal parasite or bacterial. I could be wrong but I didn't want to lose anymore fish. I removed the carbon and dosed with Paragon which is a wide spectrum anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial control and I happened to have on hand. Are you familiar with this medicine? It does contain Neomycin.
I have the 3 Boesemani, one praecox and the pleco left. So far they are doing fine.
Sorry this post was so long.
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