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Synodontis Eruptus - Flaky Peeling, or is it Cloudy Skin?

This is a discussion on Synodontis Eruptus - Flaky Peeling, or is it Cloudy Skin? within the Tropical Fish Diseases forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I am of the opinion this fish is being burned by salt. That does not look like any ich I've ever encountered. I noted ...

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Synodontis Eruptus - Flaky Peeling, or is it Cloudy Skin?
Old 10-11-2009, 03:47 PM   #11
 
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I am of the opinion this fish is being burned by salt. That does not look like any ich I've ever encountered.

I noted in your first post the phrase "salted freshwater tank" and then (after I'd recovered my breath)read through the rest. The symptoms before suggest irritation to the skin, and salt is notorious for that. If you've ever swum in the ocean and opened your eyes underwater you'll know the feeling.

I would immediately do massive partial water changes each day to reduce/eliminate the salt. Unfortunately you aggravated the issue by increasing the salt thinking it was ich. I will post again in a moment as i want to go into detail on this salt issue, but will send this message as an immediate help.

Byron.

P.S. Thanks for PM-ing me to alert me to this, and thanks Joanna for suggesting it. B.
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Old 10-11-2009, 04:35 PM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I am of the opinion this fish is being burned by salt. That does not look like any ich I've ever encountered.

I noted in your first post the phrase "salted freshwater tank" and then (after I'd recovered my breath)read through the rest. The symptoms before suggest irritation to the skin, and salt is notorious for that. If you've ever swum in the ocean and opened your eyes underwater you'll know the feeling.

I would immediately do massive partial water changes each day to reduce/eliminate the salt. Unfortunately you aggravated the issue by increasing the salt thinking it was ich. I will post again in a moment as i want to go into detail on this salt issue, but will send this message as an immediate help.

Byron.

P.S. Thanks for PM-ing me to alert me to this, and thanks Joanna for suggesting it. B.
Is there anything I can purchase to check the salinity of the water in order to know if I'm over salting the tank? It's just regular API aquarium salt, not salt water salt.. sorry for the poor wording.

Would salt burns cause cloudy eyes and white dots on the eyes? I'm leaving for work now so I won't be able to change any water until this evening... should I cut the temp. increase or let that keep going, just in case it is ich? it hasn't gone up much yet, maybe a degree

On a side note, is my tank overstocked? I've got about 19 inches of fish... the catfish (shes around 6-7 in.), a pleco (3-4 inches), 4 tetras (an inch each), a danio (1.5 inches), and an obnoxious goldfish (3 inches). I'm running a pretty decent filter, it's got a good flow, plus a bubbler and I do weekly water changes... it's a 44 gallon, is that really over stocked? The same person that is telling me this is also recommending I use Pimafix for my catfish problem... so I don't know, I'm hearing so many things... I just want to save my fish.

Last edited by MagicWings; 10-11-2009 at 04:51 PM..
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Old 10-11-2009, 04:55 PM   #13
 
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A few observations on the use of salt in freshwater aquaria. Many knowledgeable and successful aquarists use salt, either regularly (some sort of "tonic") or to treat specific health issues or parasitic infestations like ich. I never do, for the reasons following.

Fish have evolved to live in their natural waters. Freshwater tropical fish mostly come from water that has not the minutest trace of salt in it. Brackish water fish are different, and there are a few freshwater fish that can tolerate salt--black mollies, pristella tetras, and undoubtedly others I'm not aware of; but most do not. Obviously then, adding salt to an aquarium of freshwater fish is adding a foreign substance to the water, and the fish are unable to escape it. There may be long-term negative effects; short-term negative effects on some fish, and on fry, are scientifically proven facts.

I firmly believe in knowing both sides of the issue, particularly when it involves something that is not completely certain either way. A few weeks back in another thread, a member brought a related article to my attention, and I'm adding the link to it here, as I believe it is worth reading.
Frequently asked questions on using salt | Practical Fishkeeping magazine

The conclusion of the several experts mentioned in this article is that salt should never be added as routine to a freshwater aquarium, never. Using salt for medicinal purposes is recommended but with caution as certain species will react adversely, and that causes even more stress when the fish is already under stress fighting off whatever disease or parasite has attacked it. I therefore never use it as treatment, since I see no purpose in making the fish's condition worse by further stress which we know weakens the immune system in fish just as it does in us. Laura Muha cited facts from several leading ichthyologists and biologists on the effects of salt in an article in the December 2006 issue of TFH. The conclusion Ms. Muha reached was that subjecting any fish to a level of salinity outside its normal preference in nature causes the fish's metabolism to work considerably harder to maintain the ph of its blood, feed its tissues, and maintain its immune system. Her analogy was that of driving a car up a steep hill; it takes more gas and wears out the car trying to maintain the same spped. On the fish, this causes stress. One could rightly argue that any medication will do this, and that is probably true. For me, it is a case of doing the lesser of two evils, and providing the best remedy under the circumstances.

Of course, as the linked article mentions, salt should never be seen as an alternative to regular aquarium maintenance which is always the best preventative, and should be our responsibility as aquarists to our fish.

Byron.
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Old 10-11-2009, 04:57 PM   #14
 
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They do sell hydrometers to measure salt gravity, but most do not read down to the levels of a freshwater tank.
I have used the tablespoon per 5 gallons, without any harm done to my catfish. How much salt have you been adding? Maybe I gave some harmful advice if you added that amount of salt and there was already salt in the tank.
I did see my catfish skin dry out with ick treatment before, so could be a combination of the salt and ick meds drying out the skin.
I will turn it over to Byron now. You will be in good hands. Thanks for stepping in Byron!

Edit*** I was a little slow with my post!

Last edited by Twistersmom; 10-11-2009 at 05:02 PM..
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Old 10-11-2009, 05:07 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicWings View Post
Is there anything I can purchase to check the salinity of the water in order to know if I'm over salting the tank? It's just regular API aquarium salt, not salt water salt.. sorry for the poor wording.

Would salt burns cause cloudy eyes and white dots on the eyes? I'm leaving for work now so I won't be able to change any water until this evening... should I cut the temp. increase or let that keep going, just in case it is ich? it hasn't gone up much yet, maybe a degree

On a side note, is my tank overstocked? I've got about 19 inches of fish... the catfish (shes around 6-7 in.), a pleco (3-4 inches), 4 tetras (an inch each), a danio (1.5 inches), and an obnoxious goldfish (3 inches). I'm running a pretty decent filter, it's got a good flow, plus a bubbler and I do weekly water changes... it's a 44 gallon, is that really over stocked? The same person that is telling me this is also recommending I use Pimafix for my catfish problem... so I don't know, I'm hearing so many things... I just want to save my fish.
There is equipment to measure salinity (marine aquarists may know about this...) but I wouldn't waste the money or effort. Salt is not good long-term in freshwater tanks, and getting rid of it is the only recourse. Having said that, using it as a medication is recommended by some, but I am not of the opinion that ich is the problem here, since this flaking of skin, cloudy eyes and such was noticed first, and given this is a sensitive catfish species I attribute that to the salt already in the water, and Twistersmom said the same more than once. That may have stressed the fish to bring on ich of course, if ich is present, which I'm not certain.

I agree with Twistermom's suggestion to provide a water change and stop the medications. I would leave the temp where it is. The salt is causing far more damage than ich if it is present, and the idea is to get things normal to ease the additional stress. Compounding medications can cause even more trouble. Until the water is fresh again, I would not add further fixes.

Quick comment on stocking and filters. No filter is going to handle overstocking. Fish produce waste, liquid and solid; the solid breaks down in the tank or in the filter and turns to liquid. The total liquid waste remains in the water permanently. no filter can remove it. Plants do to some degree, but the partial water change is the only and best method of removing liquid waste from the fish. What this means is that no matter how many filters or how good they may be, they will not make up for overstocking.

Synodontis euptera attains close to nine inches. In my view that is too large a fish (consider its bioload) for a 44g tank.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 10-11-2009 at 05:15 PM..
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:22 PM   #16
 
I did a large water change just now, no salt at all in the new water... in fact, I ran out today so no worries about me adding more

Should I change more water tomorrow as well? What if theres no improvement or my catfish gets worse? The white spots on her eyes still make me worry it's ich... and her body practically looks like she's just covered in bumps now...

I definitely see some signs of ich on her fins, but I don't want to treat her with meds yet... the goldfish had ich as well, so I know there was an "out break" of it within the last few days.

As far as being over stocked goes, I intend to get rid of the goldfish. I don't like it, never have, and it just poops and eats a lot. I haven't seen my cory recently, I'm worried it died... but once everything is settled down again, I want to get some new fish. I really liked the powder blue dwarf gourami they had at the LFS...

A 44 gallon is the biggest tank I'll probably ever have, and I didn't intentionally buy a large catfish to put in it. This catfish is an estimated 3-4 years old, at least... but when I got her (from WalMart of all places) she was only like 2 inches long and I was told she would only grow about 3 inches. She spent most of her life in a 10 gallon guppy tank until she was upgraded to the 44 a year or so ago... so it's much improved comparatively.
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Old 10-12-2009, 03:23 PM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by MagicWings View Post
I did a large water change just now, no salt at all in the new water... in fact, I ran out today so no worries about me adding more

Should I change more water tomorrow as well? What if theres no improvement or my catfish gets worse? The white spots on her eyes still make me worry it's ich... and her body practically looks like she's just covered in bumps now...

I definitely see some signs of ich on her fins, but I don't want to treat her with meds yet... the goldfish had ich as well, so I know there was an "out break" of it within the last few days.

As far as being over stocked goes, I intend to get rid of the goldfish. I don't like it, never have, and it just poops and eats a lot. I haven't seen my cory recently, I'm worried it died... but once everything is settled down again, I want to get some new fish. I really liked the powder blue dwarf gourami they had at the LFS...

A 44 gallon is the biggest tank I'll probably ever have, and I didn't intentionally buy a large catfish to put in it. This catfish is an estimated 3-4 years old, at least... but when I got her (from WalMart of all places) she was only like 2 inches long and I was told she would only grow about 3 inches. She spent most of her life in a 10 gallon guppy tank until she was upgraded to the 44 a year or so ago... so it's much improved comparatively.
Yes, the advice given out at stores is often unreliable, sad but true. Corydoras are quite sensitive to salt and chemicals, I fear you may be right that he's gone.

Daily partial water changes can work wonders; given the recent issues, I would do them as quietly as you can, syphoning the water from near the top and replacing it, no vacuuming the gravel, etc. to be crashing around the tank. Let the fish settle down as much as possible. Use a good conditioner, same temp water (assume the pH is not going to be far off), good treatment. But not likely to cure ich if it is a bad infestation.

You have to be the judge as you are there to observe things. If I felt it was ich and decided to medicate, I would only use Aquari-Sol. When I've used it I have noticed significantly less stress to sensitive fish like catfish (my corydoras and Farlowella) for the first few days, compared to other meds for ich. After the fifth day I did notice the Farlowella start to get restless again, so I stopped and did a partial water change. The ich disappeared, no fish losses.

Byron.
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Old 10-12-2009, 05:43 PM   #18
 
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Yes, the advice given out at stores is often unreliable, sad but true. Corydoras are quite sensitive to salt and chemicals, I fear you may be right that he's gone.

Daily partial water changes can work wonders; given the recent issues, I would do them as quietly as you can, syphoning the water from near the top and replacing it, no vacuuming the gravel, etc. to be crashing around the tank. Let the fish settle down as much as possible. Use a good conditioner, same temp water (assume the pH is not going to be far off), good treatment. But not likely to cure ich if it is a bad infestation.

You have to be the judge as you are there to observe things. If I felt it was ich and decided to medicate, I would only use Aquari-Sol. When I've used it I have noticed significantly less stress to sensitive fish like catfish (my corydoras and Farlowella) for the first few days, compared to other meds for ich. After the fifth day I did notice the Farlowella start to get restless again, so I stopped and did a partial water change. The ich disappeared, no fish losses.

Byron.
Well, I've done some water changes... most of the salt should be out... but my catfish just seems to be worse. Her eyes are pretty much completely clouded over and she isn't eating... just hanging at the top of the tank by the heater, all the way in the back.

How long would it take for her to start recovering if it was just the salt? Should I wait another day before I do anything else?
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Old 10-12-2009, 06:32 PM   #19
 
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Well, I've done some water changes... most of the salt should be out... but my catfish just seems to be worse. Her eyes are pretty much completely clouded over and she isn't eating... just hanging at the top of the tank by the heater, all the way in the back.

How long would it take for her to start recovering if it was just the salt? Should I wait another day before I do anything else?
I can't answer that question, and I doubt any of us could. Diagnosing fish ailments is no easy matter. And internal damage from adverse water conditions is a surmise without pathological dissection. Your fish does not sound good, and it would be miraculous to me if it lives. If there are no other fish showing any symptoms of ich in this tank, I would not add meds. Beyond that, i am sorry that there is nothing else I can suggest.

Byron.
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:16 PM   #20
 
Thank you very much to everyone who has helped me. My catfish is eating again today and has come out of the corner to 'greet' me.

While I'm so glad to see this, it's given me an up close look at her. Her eyes seem... different somehow. Sunken in or bigger... I'm not sure, they just seem different.. a little less cloudy, but the rim around the eye just looks different. Also it almost looked like she had very tiny pieces of glass or bubbles on her... they were super small, but shiny and clear. They weren't covering her whole body, just in one little area. It almost looks as if they aren't quite attached, swaying a little in the water but not actually floating away...? Any guesses on this one?
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