Help! Sick guppy with white blister like pustule! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-26-2009, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Help! Sick guppy with white blister like pustule!

I have a 10 Gallon tank with 2 guppies, 2 zebra danios, and 1 cory catfish. I noticed yesterday evening that the guppy I have had for about a year now had what looked like a tiny white blister/pustule (no bigger than the head of a pin) on one side of his dorsal fin. On the other side there were two more that were smaller. The look like perfect globes that just got stuck onto his fin and is pulling it over onto one side of his body. He is swimming almost normally - but he is shimmying and resting at the bottom or on plants a bit more than he normally does. From looking at pictures and things I think it is a bacterial infection. So today I went to Petco and got Melafix which I have treated the aquarium with. Before I put the treatment in the tank - I briefly scooped both guppies out into a clear glass (instead of netting to cause less stress of course) and looked at him and now the underside of his belly is red and inflamed looking and it almost looks like it's eaten through his scales! It's terrible...but I treated the tank and am crossing my fingers that I'm not too late.

As I was trying to take a picture to post of my guppy - (I failed because it kept moving around) I noticed that one of my danios doesn't look right either! He swims so fast and never stays in one place it's almost barely noticeable, but he has a tiny white dot on one of his pelvic fins. In addition, both of his fins seem a little frayed. Could this possibly be fin rot? And if so - will the Melafix be good for this? It's crazy that they can look like this and be swimming so normally. Also should I be feeding them anything differently? My sick guppy kept going up to eat and then spitting out the food....

Also…after putting the aquarium salt in (I don't know if that makes a difference or not) I tested the water

Nitrate - High (160ish) Unsafe I know...
nitrite - Low (0) Safe
Hardness - High (150ish)
chlorine - Low (0) Safe
alkalinity - High (180ish) Ideal
pH - High (8ish) Alkaline

Yesterday after I noticed he was sick - I did about a 20% water change. I also added some API StressZyme (as well as API StressCoat as a conditioner). I don't know if these tests are serious enough to require an immediate water change again or if because of the new addition of the meds and the aquarium salt if I should just wait it out...

Does anyone have any thoughts on what this might be and if I need to be doing anything differently?
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-26-2009, 10:23 PM
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Hello and welcome to the forum!

Do you have a reading for the ammonia levels?
Not sure what you have going on, if you can capture a picture it would help.

Sometimes clean water is the best medication. With nitrates being so high, I would do daily 25% water changes to lower them.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-26-2009, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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It looks as if his abdomen is spilling out It looked like it was sort of red and irritated before but now there's this bulbous thing coming from his abdomen which I think is probably his intestines. There's no coming back from that is there?
I don't know what to do...should I put him out of his misery?
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-27-2009, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
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Okay...WEIRD. I did another 10% water change before I went to bed just to help with the nitrate levels. When I wake up in the morning his hernia looking thing is gone. And I mean it was very large and pinkish looking. Could he have possibly healed himself with the medication and everything? Or does this sound like a parasite?
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-27-2009, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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He died It was very sudden. He was doing fine swimming around this morning with everyone but he didn't eat. Then all the sudden I saw him chilling at the bottom like resting against things. he got kind of caught in a plant so I reached in to move it to help him get out. He swam away vigorously. Then the next time I look about 30 minutes later he's upside down stuck in another plant! When I moved it he fell to the bottom of the tank and I knew he was dead. But now I can post good pictures of it so that maybe we can diagnose the problem correctly and the other fish don't get sick.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-27-2009, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Here are the pictures - the belly view is to show the hole in his abdomen...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_4354.jpg (126.3 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_4353.jpg (114.4 KB, 26 views)
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-27-2009, 10:35 AM
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To be honest, I am not sure what happened to your fish.
My guess would be internal parasite, but can't say for sure.

I see the blister on the top fin. My goldfish had a bubble like that at one time. It went away on its own without treatment, only added extra air to the tank. It happened after a water change. I think they say adding to cold of water can cause it, but I would have to read up on it again to be sure.

Air Bubble Disease
Clear small blisters under the skin (0.5-2 mm)

Oversaturation of the water with gas

Aerate the water very well.

The other fish still appear healthy right now? If so, I do not see a reason to medicate. Keep up with the water changes to lower the nitrates. Go get yourself an ammonia test kit, if you do not have one. Sounds like you are using test strips, the liquid API fresh water testing kit is more reliable.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-27-2009, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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I've decided I'm going to go get a bigger tank for everyone - I think this might help. Because I know I was at max capacity with 5 fish, and I know my guppy needs a friend (he's already stressed out that the other died and is swimming up and down the tank quickly thinking the reflection is the dead one). So I'm getting a 20 gallon for them that way there will be more breathing space for everyone.

Suggestions for making this change? Since it is twice as big I was going to put all of the old aquarium water in the new tank which would effectively be a 50% change of water. What should I do with the old carbon filter? I took it out when I put the medication in the tank - should I use it in the new 20 gallon filter? Or will the old water have enough of the good bacteria? The old one was starting to clog up my filter anyways and make the water run slower, so maybe this is a good thing to start with a new one? I thought this was also a good opportunity to wash out my gravel and get out what was possibly causing the high nitrate readings.

I was gonna wait a week or two for the fish to get settle into the new tank before getting a new guppy. Now at least I have a place (the old tank) to isolate the new guppy so no one gets sick again!
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-27-2009, 06:00 PM
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The more you move over from the 10 gal to the new 20 gal, the better.
The water its self, does not contain enough bacteria to seed the new tank.
I would suggest moving all the gravel over to the new tank, but instead of giving it a good wash, place the gravel in a bucket with some of the old tank water, (the water you where going to put in the new tank) and just give it a light cleaning from the bucket and place in new tank. Washing the gravel in tap water will kill the good cycle bacteria.

For the filter, clean the media the best you can in removed tank water and reuse. Most of the bacteria you need is in the filter, filter media, and gravel.

Waiting to add new fish, sounds like a good plan. In the meantime you will be able to test the water and make sure the transfer went well.
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