Alright, lovely year this year. lol
First off, the story of this long and sucky year: last January I had gotten in a Hi-Fin platy. I quarantined her for about two weeks before adding her to my 55 gallon community tank. She showed no issues in QT or for about two weeks after being moved...and then I noticed she was getting very thin. She stayed this way until she unfortunately died, nothing I did helped! She just wasted away. After that, I noticed two other fish came down with this skinny disease of sorts. It continued being only one or two at a time(Staying with my hi-fins, platies and variatus only at the start), since January. I lost several fish to it, and currently have a couple showing signs of the disease or parasite. The only symptom is they get very skinny, have stringy white poo every so often as well, and seem to lack energy. Once they get to the point they're skeletons, they start getting curved looking, clenchy and pass on within a few days of that. I used General Cure for internal parasites, it is the ONLY med I could find for them after months of searching several different LFS's.
Now it seemed to have worked, the fish that was the worst off, I thought she'd die any day, started perking up, going for food as if she were starving, which she was, and gained back weight over the next two weeks. However, she seems too have rebounded again and has gotten very thin and energyless, as have three others fish, two platies and a juvenile molly. Possibly one other juvenile molly, I cannot tell for sure yet.
Now, Recently I've gotten a case of velvet in my tank. I have NO idea where it came from as I have not added any new fish in a few weeks, and the ones I DID add, were in a different tank(Where the velvet hit, no new fish aside from newborn babies have been added to this tank in a few months, this includes plants that weren't in those sealed bags with gel). I had thought it was ich and treated it as such because it started out as white specks and looked very similar. I added in 3 and 1/4 tablespoons of Aquarium Salt to my twenty gallon nursery tank, where it had hit and turned up the heat two degrees, putting it at 82F half an hour after adding salt and went to bed. I got up two hours later to check them and they were all covered in what looked to be white crystals...actually solid white forms that looked like tree branches. I have no idea what caused this, or what it was for that matter. These crystals fell off in particles over the next few hours, and regrew smaller and smaller until they were gone and didn't come back. All fish with them have since lost them completely and seem perfectly fine now, or died within hours.
The stats in the twenty were as follows that day before changes were made: Testing kit used: API Master Freshwater Test Kit. Temp: 80F. PH: 7.4 GH(Unknown GH as I don't have testing solution for it). Ammonia and Nitrites were at zero, Nitrates were at 10ppm, which is to be expected in a tank with a lot of babies, most of them newborns. ^^;
Anyway, when I noticed what I thought was ich I did a 25% water change, and a half vacuum. Usually I only vacuum a quarter of the substrate, but when a disease like this is present I double it. Added in the salt and heat, and had that odd reaction within two hours. This killed off about twenty+ of my older baby fish that were a few weeks old. However, NONE of the newborn babies I had in the nets were effected in any way, not a mark, not energy loss or any problem I could see at all. I am wondering if the net somehow protected them, it's just a mesh net. The other net is plastic and nobody was infected there either.
Anywho, once those crystals fell off, the ones that were left were clenchy and were covered in what looked to be a slimey white, dusty looking film. Many of the fish recovered within two days and I haven't lost any, but some still show signs of it, whereas others seem perfectly fine.
Anyways, that's the story. Problems galore. @_@ It's been off and on for months, just when I think I've nipped it in the bud, someone else gets sick. Seems to be one or two at a time with the parasite, I believe it's given by contact or eating poo from an infected fish, I dunno.
I clean my tanks weekly with 25-30% changes and vacuum a quarter of the gravel, temps are always between 78 and 80 degrees. Tanks are well planted, heated, filtered and have been up and running for a while, the 55 gal since the end of December, the twenty for over a year I believe...
I seem to be hit with these same problems often. I KNOW It came from when I used to not QT new fish before last year and has been kinda going around..
What I want to know is about meds! The only meds I can find to get my hands on is the General cure, pimifix, melafix and salt, things like that. I have not been able to find anything else for parasites. Can ANYONE suggest to me a good medicine that can either fix both, hopefully for good, or two that can go together...or even one to treat one thing at a time here, without hurting my beneficial bacteria colonies, plants, snails, labyrinth fish(Like gourami's) or scaleless fish(I dunno if rubber-lip plecos count, but something that wont hurt them either)? In other words, treating in tank without needing another QT, my QT is only ten gallons and certainly not big enough for a 55 gallon tanks worth of fish.
Or shall I just use the general cure again and use it for longer? I've only used it once and it seemed to have done the trick, but not fully! I think I should have doubled the length it was used in the first place, do you think that may work this time? If not, please tell me about some good meds for these things that I can either order in, or remedies easier to find that most wouldn't think of?