Possible Bacterial Infection - Advice Needed - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-02-2007, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Possible Bacterial Infection - Advice Needed

Hi Guys

This is my first time posting on the forum, and I am doing it out of an urge to gain some information from people obviously more experienced than myself.

To give a background on the problem, I had an establish 30 liter tank that had been going fine for around 10 - 11 months. I then had to go over-seas for business and the tank was left being cared for by my father for three to four weeks. I beleive he over-fed the little guys and upon my return I found I had a nitrite problem on my hands. I rectified this through emergency water changes and dosing the tank with prime. Unfortunately though I lost two fish (tigerbarbs) before the problem could be rectified.

It had been about a month since that incident and everything seemed to be going along quite well when I noticed that one of my bristlenose catfish seemed unwell and listless. He would sit in the corner of the tank and barely move for the entirity of the day, wouldnt touch food either. He had a red bloody mouth, red gills and a red anus. Two days later he was dead and was covered with very large white patches.

I have been told that due to stress, this poor guy contracted an external bacterial infection which essentially overcame his ailing immune system. It has been four days since this incident, and I have kept a close eye on my tank. Everything seems fine and all the fish seem quite hungry and happy but my friend (also a fish enthusiast) is encorouging me to dose the tank with an antibiotic and wipe out the bacteria present. This will obviously not only wipe out the nasty bacteria but will totally destroy my nitrogen cycle also. He advised dosing the water with prime during the treatment cycle, then upon completion give the tank a thorough water change, gravel clean, then add a nitrification supplement in a strong dose to start up the tank again. This all seems very risky and I dont want to do this if it is not needed. I dont want to lose any more fish via hitting them with truck-like quantities of antibiotics, then threating them by taking away their nitrogen cycle.

What advice would you guys have for this situation? Should you deal with the bacteria that caused a fish to die, or will it be okay as long as the fish dont get stressed out?


- Q
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-02-2007, 09:19 PM
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Welcome to Fishforum.com, Quad.

What are your water parameters right now? Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH. I believe with the overfeeding, your fish have been subjected to damages by the presence of possible ammonia and nitrites.

30 liters=10 gallons. What fish do you have initially and currently? How often do you maintain your tank? What type of filtration do you use and what is its capacity?

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post #3 of 6 Old 08-02-2007, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Hey mate

My water parameters are around as follows.

My ammonia is ~ 0 ppm, keep that quite low.
Nitrite is also ~ 0 ppm.
Nitrates are ~ 20 - 30 ppm currently.

pH is ~ 6.5

I keep the tank well airated, and also have a heater maintaining the water temperature at 25 degrees celcius. I do a 1/4 to 1/3 water change once a week.

I have a small canister filter on the side of the tank incorporating both ammonia filter pads and phosphate filter pads (to keep algae down).

I have a couple golden bards at the moment, a rainbow shark and a small bristlenose catfish.

Thanks for you interest.

- Q
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-03-2007, 09:32 PM
When such things occur in my tanks I like to use natural potions, if possible. Products like MelaFix and PimaFix from Aquarium Pharmaceuticals (API) seem to do the trick under most circumstances. If those don't work, I resrt to more drastic measures and use stronger meds.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-04-2007, 01:46 AM
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i would imagine its a tight tank....esp with a plec. do daily 30% percent water changes (water that has sit overnight) every day (yes every day) and tank meds and a little pinch of aqua salt. sanitizing a tank needs careful care and a watchful eye. good luck =)

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post #6 of 6 Old 08-05-2007, 11:40 AM
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hi and welcome aboard.
Now this is just my own personal experiance:
i went away on hloiday for two weeks,and left my
fish to be fed by a family member,
i came home to find.........Bristlenosed cat Dead.
Tiger barb dead.2x albino barb dead,and a couple of guppies dead.
i did a water change,and again every day for the rest
of the week,i did not add any potions,and all resumed
and i have not had any more losses.
maybe i was just lucky,i just thought i would share.
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