Swordtails sick- what is it? Help!
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Swordtails sick- what is it? Help!

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Swordtails sick- what is it? Help!
Old 02-25-2011, 11:12 AM   #1
 
Swordtails sick- what is it? Help!

Hello-

I am a new fish person and have recently joined the great world of tropical fish. Here is the information on my tank, toward the bottom is my actual problem. Thanks for taking the time to help out!

1. Size of tank? 10 Gallons
2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia? Not yet tested
b. Nitrite? 0
c. Nitrate? 0
d. pH, KH and GH? 7.9
e. Test kit? Dip Stick

3. Temperature? 76

4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)? Freshwater

5. How long the aquarium has been set up? Month and half

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?
Male Swordtail- ~inch half long- had for three weeks
Female Swordtail-~inch long- had for three weeks- Pregnant
Male Platy-~inch long- had for five weeks
Female Platy-~inch long- had for three weeks- small girl

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? NA

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants? Fake plants- Three large
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? Gravel
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors? Two Tea Cups and a Sugar Bowl

9. a. Filtration?Aqua Tech Filter
b. Heater? yes

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used? Light hood on about 9-11 hours day
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long? No

11. a. Water change schedule? Once weekly
b. Volume of water changed? 50%
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? Tap water
d. Water conditioner used? Tetra conditioner
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed?

12. Foods? Tetra flakes twice a day- bloodworms twice a week

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms?
-Male platy is bloated, swordtails and female platy have black markings on head/upper body. Still eating well and swimming like normal.

b. Appearance of poop? Long loops- pink, though once two days ago male platy had poop white with red tip

c. Appearance of gills? Fine as far as I know

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? No
b. What meds were used?NA
__________________________________________________ ______________________________

Here is the overall scare going on now,

My female swordtail is pregnant, so I have been watching her a lot lately. Four days ago, I noticed some black markings developing on her and my male swordtails heads. Two days ago, they were worse and just yesterday them seem to appearing on my female platy. My male platy still shows no signs of the symptoms. I visited a pet shop and they said most fish diseases appear white and they had no idea what could be black. They suggested I got to fish forum. So, here I am begging for help to save my babies. They are still eating, swimming, etc normal. Just change in appearence.

I am going to take some water to another pet shop that is more of a specialist in fish. Though I already tested my own water, I am going to see what they think. I have heard that Tetra water conditioner doesn't always work as well as it should...could this be the problem? I am really worried about my female swordtail as soon she will already be weak from birthing and I want her to have as much strength and health as possible.


PLEASE HELP- Hobbes, Tigerlilly, Belle, and Goofy, truly appreciate it and so do I,

Thanks,
Brittany
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:22 PM   #2
 
Hi there, I'm certainly not the most knowledgable person on here but there are many who are and I'm hoping they'll come to the rescue here, but in the meantime I'll try to help!

I'm a bit suspicious about your water............ with readings of 0 on nitrites and nitrates your tank doesn't sound cycled to me and I'm wondering whether what you're seeing on your fishies is ammonia burns after a major ammonia spike. Do you know all about the nitrate cycle? I won't go into here incase yopu do and if not you can look it up better than I can explain.

In the first instance I'd do an immediate water change on your tank, (it won't do any harm) to dilute the amount of ammonia in the tank. Put fresh water back in the tank but don't forget to condition it first. Save some of the water you take out and get it straight down the fish shop to be tested don't hang about with it as the quicker its tested the more accurate your readings will be.

Also can you get a picture of your fish? If you can upload one someone here may be able to identify what is wrong.

Don't dispair all is not lost! xx
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Britty Bee (02-25-2011)
Old 02-25-2011, 12:29 PM   #3
 
Just re-read your particulars again, I'm pretty sure it's ammonia burns as your tank is only 3-5 or so weeks old and I'm 99% sure it's cycling. Be very wary of dip stick test strips they are notorious for be in-accurate, the liquid ones are much better.

Make sure you know how the ammonia-nitrite-nitrate cycle works and get your water tested. You have to cycle this tank (I'm presuming it's not) with the fish in it and it'll be lots of hard work but worth it to get your babies through! Let me know if you need help to do this and I'll do my best to explain it to you.

Good luck xx
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:14 PM   #4
 
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If it's uncycled, or if there's some other problem, the beginning treatments are the same.

Up the water changes. I would say, 20-30% DAILY. (every two days minimum)
I agree on the strips, please try to save up for a nice liquid test kit. API Master and Tetra Laborette are good. (Tetra is a bit cheaper, but API has lots more tests in it and is the better value)

Pictures would also help.

Observe their eating patterns. Do they eat like they should? (Only feed them 5-6 days a week. Overfeeding is another major cause of ammonia spikes)

Until you have a better diagnosis, do not touch your water with your bare hands, and wash your hands after handling the equipment. Fish TB is one of only two diseases I can think of that causes dark spots, and humans can catch it. (causes a skin infection.. Not deadly, but definitely something to avoid.)

If several of these additional symptoms show up, then say your goodbyes. It's untreatable.-

Curved or Crooked Spine Skeletal deformity.
Lesions on the body.
loss of scales
Body wasting Progressive thinness
Eye protrusion
Dark coloration and granular appearance of the cornea.
Skin defects, including blood spots and open wounds that may ulcerate
Black spots, or overall dark coloration

I omitted other common symptoms that wouldn't be definative, like clamped fins, hanging at surface, and sluggish movement.


If the spots are smaller, it could be a rare (but treatable) disease called black-spot.

Symptoms are:
Flickering (AKA Flashing)
Small black smudges or speckles
Scratching against surfaces
Very irritated/itchy skin

For treatment, use a typical anti-parasite medication.

Last edited by redchigh; 02-25-2011 at 01:25 PM..
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Britty Bee (02-25-2011)
Old 02-25-2011, 10:42 PM   #5
 
Question Water was tested! Some Answers, but few questions...

Took a trip to the fish supplier today and he tested my water via a liquid test. My water looks fine.All levels check out and yes i am very unhappy with strips and will get liquid kit as soon as I can. I have cycled my tank.

He said that sometimes swordtails just get a stripe down the top of them and since the one is pregnant the whole tank will be stressed. Can I get a second opinion on this? Could this be true?

As for my male platy being bloated...? I almost second guess whether he is a male...could be female and preg? Oh boy... Ill post a picture of him- swordtails are hard to get a decent picture of. I have been unsuccessful so far cause they are fast.

All my babies are eating well, and swimming as usual. Behavior is normal. None of the severe symptoms are showing, thankfully.

Thank you so much for the suggestions...and things to think about.

Brittany


Last edited by Britty Bee; 02-25-2011 at 10:58 PM..
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:49 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pufferfish22 View Post
Just re-read your particulars again, I'm pretty sure it's ammonia burns as your tank is only 3-5 or so weeks old and I'm 99% sure it's cycling. Be very wary of dip stick test strips they are notorious for be in-accurate, the liquid ones are much better.

Make sure you know how the ammonia-nitrite-nitrate cycle works and get your water tested. You have to cycle this tank (I'm presuming it's not) with the fish in it and it'll be lots of hard work but worth it to get your babies through! Let me know if you need help to do this and I'll do my best to explain it to you.

Good luck xx
I agree. Ditch the strips and get API liquid kits.

The black coloring is healing tissues, sign of ammonia burn beforehand. This is indeed ammonia burn case. It can damage the fish's organs so bloating may coincide with ammonia poisoning and renal damage as a result from it. Once the organs are damaged, there's nothing you can do about it. Any pics of the black areas and bloated fish?

What exactly were the readings as the store tested? Ammonia and nitrite should remain zero if you are keeping fish but there also needs to be minute traces to indicate nitrogen cycle is ongoing. The nitrate should not exceed 20 ppm. The lower the nitrate, the better for the fish.

Aside from water changes, add a teaspoon per gallon of sodium chloride. Aquarium salt, pickling salt and rock salt will work. Make sure it does NOT contain yellow prussiate of soda. You'll need the salt in case of traces of nitrite present there. Nitrite is toxic to fish.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:59 PM   #7
 
Here is the swordtail top. I know it looks like nothing, but it is really difficult to get a pic of it
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:24 PM   #8
 
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It's so hard to say whether it is part of the coloration or healing tissues. Did you add salt yet aside from water changes?

Try switching to Prime for your dechlorinator to detoxify ammonia and nitrite as well.
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Britty Bee (02-26-2011)
Old 02-26-2011, 12:39 AM   #9
 
I'll definatly get salt tomorrow...prime, may be a stupid question, but is that the brand?
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:34 AM   #10
 
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It's a product of Seachem.
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