12-10-2006, 04:45 AM
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The reason nitrate concerns me is because if it's at zero, then one of two things is happening in your tank water... either there is a high ammonia or nitrite reading which hasn't broken down to nitrate yet, and both of those are more toxic than the nitrate, or... your water quality is "perfect" with zero everything, which means it hasn't cycled, and with no ammonia ever present, that also means no beneficial bacteria present. Unless you're performing almost a complete water change very often, or are not feeding your fish... there should be SOME sign of waste in your tank if it has living animals in it and food going in regularly. Balas are extremely sensitive to water quality. Ammonia and nitrite can both burn the skin and cause sores such as those in the picture. There are other causes for sores such as that, but it's difficult for me to sort it out without complete and accurate test results from the water quality. Something doesn't make sense.
Any information you can offer, inlcluding those other test results, would be of big help. In the mean time, Melafix would also be my choice for treatment to prevent secondary infection. There are other medications, but Melafix would be least affected by the water quality should there prove to be an issue there.
Those of us here at ff that work so hard to answer questions like these, appreciate when we have as much information about a situation as possible. When we ask questions, it's because without the answers, we can't properly sort through any situation. Think of going to a Dr that never runs tests... just prescribes medications without knowing the problem... it would be a shot in the dark to treat something only knowing partial information, and little of it. We, also, would be shooting in the dark if we were to try to find the cause of your problem without the proper information. That picture concerns me because I have worked with balas for many years, and they don't have strong immune systems, and are not always an easy fish to keep. They get quite large, are very sensitive to everything, environment, stress, illness/infection, etc. I'd hate to see something happen to this animal if it can be prevented.
So, what else can you give us to work with???