Firstly, my apologies that my first post is a cry for help. I read this forum alot but have never posted yet.
I have a 4 foot 200L tank with a mixture of fish, including a clown loach, 5 black-finned silver sharks, 2 phantom glass catfish, 3 peppermint catfish, 2 coloured widows, 2 tiger barbs, a black ghost knife, 3 dalmation lyretail mollies, and 3 guppies.
Ph is normally at 7.1, temperature I had kept at 30 degrees for a long time. I had bristlenose catfish in the tank and they were happy at that temperature, they even started breeding and after their first batch of fry, I moved them all (adults and babies) to another tank so the sharks didnít get them like they were.
I had the tank set to 30 degrees to avoid white spot problems that my brother-in-law had. I had then read that 30 degrees is far too high for catfish and that they wonít breed, which my catfish proved was an absolute lie, but for some stupid reason I turned it down over the period of a week to 26 degrees.
Recently, I introduced an upside-down catfish from a (supposedly) reputable fish shop. You know where this is going...
Anyhow, I bought the most active one at the shop, got home, no quarantine tank, so I floated him etc, then he disappeared hiding somewhere and I never saw him again. I shrugged my shoulders and carried on my merry way.
Over the past few days, I have noticed a few of my fish have been acting a little strange. My clown loach was hiding alot, normally he is very active. Some of my black-finned silver sharks even started hiding, this is very odd for them. A few fish have been getting a bit lethargic, I suspected something was up. Last night I checked the fish, and the sharks all had white spots on them, just a couple on some, maybe 10 or so on some others.
Let me just start by saying: Yes, I should have known better. Yes, I feel like an idiot. Yes, I will be buying a quarantine tank now.
In my feeling-bad-for-my-fish state last night, and desperate to start the healing, I bought some White Spot cure stuff which has malachite green and some sort of blue in it. It said on the bottle to use 5ml per 20L or 5ml per 40L if you have young fish or scaleless fish. I have a clown loach but heís pretty tough so I opted for a middle of the road approach. I have a 4 foot 200L tank, which I figure would have 170 odd litres in it by the time you take into account the unused space at the top, the gravel and ornaments / plants (using my highly toned guesstimation skills) but there is extra water in the external canister filter. I have no active carbon in my filter. I did the recommended 20% water change and put in around 25ml and watched open mouthed as my whole tank turned green.
Well, the fish werenít real keen on this, they were obviously agitated. All the fish were swimming around, the peppermints came out of hiding looking for fresh water, and surprisingly the upside-down catfish came out for the first time. It was at this time that I noticed my poor ol clown loach had white spot as well, probably worse than the sharks too.
I also turned the temperature up slowly, planning on getting it to 30 again. For the record, I have an extremely large air pump with a few air curtains in the tank so I am fairly sure the water will be oxygen rich enough for the meds and temp.
After I put the treatment in as per the directions, I jumped online to start learning how I could best treat them. A few sites reckon malachite green is bad stuff and shouldnít be put in, and that catfish take this stuff pretty hard. I immediately felt bad for my peppermints, Iíll be devastated and angry at myself if they die from this. I also read that at a temperature of 30 degrees, that white spot cannot reproduce.
This morning, I woke to find a snail (where did that come from??) on the glass so I threw that into the bin. A guppy didnít survive the night, but all else appeared ok, except the peppermints are either hiding or DOA.
I am planning on doing daily 20% water changes from now until itís gone. If my peppermints survive this first treatment, I am debating discontinuing the meds and just letting the temperature do its business, as I desperately do not want my peppermints to die.
I have a few questions.
1. This one is regarding the ridiculous water coloration from the dye. If I retreat the water in three days like I am supposed to, youíll be lucky to see in it. Does this just get less and less through water changes?
2. I am extremely fearful for the peppermints. These guys are too expensive to just lose due to careless actions; I already feel I may have endangered them unnecessarily. Should I discontinue the meds and let the water temp do the job?
3. If I continue the meds, should I reduce the dosage or keep it the same?
4. How should their diet change during this period, if at all?
5. I read the meds will kill the bacteria in my canister filter. Do I need to put in some of the bacteria promoting agent that you put in new tanks to get the biocycle working?
A very concerned Timmeh. :(