tattered fin and skinny
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tattered fin and skinny

This is a discussion on tattered fin and skinny within the Tropical Fish Diseases forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> i have a female swordtail who's tail is rather tattered. i noticed it a week or two ago and have been keeping an eye ...

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tattered fin and skinny
Old 09-22-2011, 08:55 AM   #1
tattered fin and skinny

i have a female swordtail who's tail is rather tattered. i noticed it a week or two ago and have been keeping an eye on her. it has not gotten any worse and i haven't seen anyone other than the male swordtail bothering her, but he doesn't seem to be biting her or anything, just nudging her occasionally. i noticed yesterday that she is also looking skinny. i'm in the process of setting up a hospital tank for her, so i can monitor her more closely. i'm wondering what people think i should do.

29 gal
pH: 7.6ish (that annoying area at the top of the standard pH test and the bottom of the high range one, making it hard to read accurately)

nitrate between 10 and 20 before water changes (i can't tell the difference on the card, i'm thinking about looking for a different kit where there is more color change)

temp: 74 (recently reduced from 78, realized none of my fish need it that warm)
tank mates: 1 common pleco, one male sword tail, one other female swordtail, 9 tiger barbs (i have watched and none of the barbs have been bothering her)

water changes: at least 20% once a week (thinking i'm going to have to up this with my nitrates being a little high)

lightly planted
driftwood, rocks
gravel substrate
feeding: aqueon tropical flakes twice a day five days a week, algae disks (for pleco) once a day, zucchini once a week

nothing has been added in over a month.

i don't think there is anything else i haven't covered. if you need any more information, let me know. she is being removed from the 29 gal to a 10 gal hospital tank once the temp in that one is up to where it needs to be.
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:58 AM   #2
oh yeah, and no change in behavior. she's always been a little more timid than the male, but she's been out more the last month and that hasn't changed, nor has her appetite.
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:42 PM   #3
ok, so at the moment she is in the 10 gal tank by herself. i just added a dose of Melafix and removed the carbon from the filter. if anyone thinks i need to do something different, please let me know.
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:54 AM   #4
i did a 25% water change and added the next dose of melafix. this swordtail always has been rather timid; she isn't liking the hospital tank. she eat last night, but didn't seem interested this morning. she was too busy hidding. since i don't have any substrate in the tank, it is easy to see if she doesn't eat. any advice?
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:15 AM   #5
it is surprisingly frustrating to try to determine if a fish is acting "normal" when it has always been "abnormally" timid. i can't tell if she feels ok or not...
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:17 PM   #6
ok, something is definitely wrong with her. she is now just sitting on the bottom of the tank pushed up against the back of a rock, and seems to be gasping. she is definitely skinny and didn't come up to eat today (i was out of town all weekend, so that probably didn't help)

i just did a 25% water change for her and added another dose of melafix (for her tattered tail).

is there any thing else i should/can do for her?
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:33 AM   #7
so, she came out from behind the rock for a moment today, just to dart back there when i tried to feed her. she did not eat yesterday or yet today. she does have a low level of ammonia in her water (maybe .25 ppm). i will be doing another 25% water change momentarily. i haven't bothered to check nitrite levels, since i have to do a water change anyway. the tank was seeded with the sponge part of the filter from my established 29 gal, though i did put that back in the filter yesterday (i had an ammonia reading yesterday before the water change too, so it apparently didn't help enough).
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:49 AM   #8
oh yeah, and i added another dose of melafix after the water change. i know the melafix says to do a water change at the end of treatment, but with ammonia levels are the food she isn't eating, i'm going to keep doing water changes.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:01 PM   #9
so, apparently, she has started eating again the last two days. i haven't done water changes (ammonia and nitrite back to 0) and there is no food on the bottom and there is a little bit of poop. so that may be a good sign. she's still sitting on the bottom up against the rock and still looks skinny, but eating is usually a good sign. i'm going to continue with the melafix through tomorrow, at which point i'll just do water changes every couple of days and keep an eye on her, since there is no sign on infection on her tail and that is all the melafix is for. if anyone can think of anything else i can do for her let me know.

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Old 09-30-2011, 11:47 AM   #10
i'm doing a 50% water change on this tank today. should i put the charcoal back in the filter? is making sure all of the melafix gets removed that important? and is there anything else i should be doing? she isn't looking any better, just not as stressed from the change of tanks. she also won't come out from behind the rock long enough for me to get a photo of her.
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