Unknown disease - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-07-2012, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Unknown disease

For only the third time in 20 years, I am faced with a disease (presumably) problem that needs diagnosing and then treating.

During the past couple of days, 2-3 fish have died (during the night, I find them in the morning) in the 115g tank. I did a 75% water change, followed by a 50% two hours later yesterday, but two more fish were dead this morning. Photos of a Garnet Tetra with the most visible signs are attached; a couple of the other fish were similar, but most were just pale when the corpse was found.

The area around the vent is red on the pictured fish, this is not so evident on the others. It also has a whitish lump inside the anus that can be seen. No sign of worms of any kind, so this might be a protozoan.

Ammonia, nitrite both zero, nitrate 5-10ppm which is normal for this tank. pH 6.4 and has been steady for several weeks. GH 6 dGH also steady. This tank has been running for almost a year (since changing the substrate). Foods are variety of Omega One and Hikari flake, pellet and sinking. The dead fish have mainly been hatchets, plus 3 corys, the 2 Garnets, 1 Rosy Tetra, and one headstander.

Any ideas?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Garnet T diseased (2).jpg (87.1 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg Garnet T diseased (3).jpg (68.8 KB, 53 views)

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-07-2012, 03:18 PM
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Just asking a few questions to help those who know more diagnose. I was reading through a lot of descriptions and I think some of these details might help narrow it down.

Sorry about your loss Byron and best of luck with this! I hope someone can help!

How are they breathing? Fast? Slow? Irregular?

Do those redish areas appear to be raised or is it just irritated?

Quote:
It also has a whitish lump inside the anus that can be seen
Are they constipated?

It does sound like a Protozoan, but have you ruled out Fungus yet?

Last edited by Termato; 05-07-2012 at 03:22 PM.
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post #3 of 19 Old 05-07-2012, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
How are they breathing? Fast? Slow? Irregular?
Increased respiration for those that I can see, like the Garnet in the photos. But the fish that die during the night, can appear fine the day previous.

Quote:
Do those redish areas appear to be raised or is it just irritated?


The area is red, as if blood is under the skin, but again this does not appear on all the fish that die.

Quote:
Are they constipated?


I doubt it. They are eating normally, and nothing stringy is being expelled, and they have normal appetites.

Quote:
It does sound like a Protozoan, but have you ruled out Fungus yet?
I've not ruled anything out. I have so very little experience with any diseases. That's why when something like this happens, I've no idea where to start, because it is completely new to me.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 19 Old 05-07-2012, 08:16 PM
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I'm sorry your tanks have been hit with this illness. I'm not very experienced with disease either, but I'm (unfortunately) starting to have some. How comfortable would you feel doing a necropsy? It does sound like something internal and images of the organs (GI tract specifically since the visible signs are around the anus) could be very helpful.

---Izzy

Sitting by the koi pond

writings on fish and fishkeeping


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post #5 of 19 Old 05-08-2012, 11:43 AM
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Any updates?

I still haven't anything that really narrows what this could be down to.

Have you started any treatments?
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post #6 of 19 Old 05-08-2012, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Termato View Post
Any updates?

I still haven't anything that really narrows what this could be down to.

Have you started any treatments?
No one had any suggestions so I contacted a colleague who has considerable experience in this area, and the diagnosis is probably a protozoan. I am now feeding the fish medicated food, adding metronidazole to the food. This will deal effectively with internal protozoans. I used this the last time I had a different protozoan about 3 years ago.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 19 Old 05-08-2012, 06:27 PM
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Sorry to hear about your fish woes Byron. It sounds like you got some good advice from a trusted source. Good luck with your treatment and keep us posted.

Sending good fishy wishes your way.

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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post #8 of 19 Old 05-08-2012, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
No one had any suggestions so I contacted a colleague who has considerable experience in this area, and the diagnosis is probably a protozoan. I am now feeding the fish medicated food, adding metronidazole to the food. This will deal effectively with internal protozoans. I used this the last time I had a different protozoan about 3 years ago.
I am glad that you found a solution and have started treating.

do you soak the food in the metronidazole?

Good Luck Byron!
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post #9 of 19 Old 05-08-2012, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Termato View Post
I am glad that you found a solution and have started treating.

do you soak the food in the metronidazole?

Good Luck Byron!
The problem is getting the metro into the food. I'm using two methods, mixing flake and metro dry in a ziplock and letting it set for several hours so the oils in the flakes will hopefully absorb the metro. And for sinking pellets I mix the tabs and metro and very lightly moisten and wait before adding to the tank.

At the rate the fish are demising, there won't be many left when they are cured.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #10 of 19 Old 05-08-2012, 07:17 PM
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Sorry to about your fish Bryon, I hope they pull through.

55 gallon planted tank, starting over!!!( looking crappy, needs a major rescape)
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