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I have two bala sharks that seem to have pinkish red circular spots on them and are afraid that I will loose them if I don't do something...appetite is minimal and they appear to have yellowish bodies. can anyone please help me?[/book]
 

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Could you provide more details? A picture would definitely help.

What are you water parameters, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. What size tank do you have and what other kinds of fish? Any sharp rocks/decorations?

Take a look at the pink spots, they could be lesions, cuts, or wounds. These should be treated with something like Melafix which will heal them faster making the fish less prone to disease. Do these pink spots look like growths? There is a chance it could be velvet. In most circumstances, fish with velvet possess a yellow or rusty film on their scales; however, Bala sharks should naturally have a slight tint of yellow. Is the fish breathing rapidly? Are its fins clamped against its body?

Again, a picture, and more information would help.
 

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bala's

I am pretty new at this and what info you need..I will try to get the specifics for you....I have a 10 gallon tank, 2 bala sharks each aprox 5" long. I have minimal decor in the tank, yes 1 rock formation and a pillar formation and 1 tree decoration. The spots do not seem to be scrapes so much as circular raised spots...from what I read, velvet and ich are small white spots am I right? I have been reading alot on the fish I could have gotten mixed up with something else though...so much a newbie you know. I have only the stick "quick dip" the readings are as follows:
Temp: 74
Nitrate:in the "safe" zone just below 20? on the chart
Nitrite:Safe....0 - .5
Hardness: with the use of water pillow it is 75 - 15 mid soft/hard
Alkalinity:180 - 300...between ideal and high
PH: neutral...between 6.8 & 7.2
fins seem fine and move fine. no jagged edges either.
I have always struggled with the Ph and the Alkalinity on a daily basis having to add ph 7.0 almost daily and salt almost daily.
The fish were very very rapidbreathers and the fish store sold me everything but....then I thought maybe they just nneded more oxygen so I bought an oxygen stick and put in across the back of the tank...they breathe much better now. I did notice since the beginning that the fish seem to dislocate their jaws occasionally opening their mouths super wide.
I tried to take som pics but they swim so fast that I can't seem to get a really good shot at the spots since you have to look at them at an angle to notice them. Plus I am not sure how to attach a photo to the post.
I hope this helps. If I left anything out let me know. :wink: They keep telling me my jpg file extention is not allowed
 

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Upload your photos to photobucket.com or some similar site (its free :D ) and then you can easily embed the photos in your posts here.

Sorry i can't help with the disease but a 10 gallon tank is no way near big enough for balas, especially 5" ones. There appetite may be minimal due to stress of being in such a small tank, they are a shoaling fish so really need to be in a group of 5-6 or more to be comfortable and i would say a 55 gal tank as a minimum as they potentially can reach approx 15 inches.

Good luck with the problems, i hope you can help them
 

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I need to keep these alive before I try my hand at anything else first...But if I lived in the UK and not the USA I might....thanks though :D
 

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what dimensions is a 10gal?

i think you may be fighting a losing battle with these 2 fish. If it hasn't happened already then the size (i think) of that tank will cause there growth to stunt, leading to internal problems etc....

I would speak to an LFS near you and see if they are prepared to exchange them for a fish more suitable to that tank... and go and give the person that sold you them a slap!!
 

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What about your ammonia, you need to test that. But as stated before, these Bala Sharks need a much larger aquarium. I do not mean to sound harsh, but it is common for beginners to obtain small tanks and either stick a massive amount of fish in there, or get fish that are not supposed to be in a small aquarium. But there is still hope for the Balas....

The act of the fish opening their mouths wide, similar to how we yawn can either be good or bad. This entails that the fish is either 1. Happy, and very comfortable (which I highly doubt in such a small tank), or 2. Poor water quality. They are also stressed out from the lesions on their bodies as well. Have you seen any flashing? This is when they scrape their sides on rocks or decorations, this is also a sign of stress, disease, or poor water quality. You should really do the fish a favor if you care about them enough for them to be happy and healthy, to either invest in a larger tank, at LEAST 55 gallon. They are very fast swimmers and need ample room to dart around. As stated before they are fish that like to be in groups, so if you can get a large tank, get a couple more so they feel more comfortable. If you are unable to get a larger tank, I think it is best if you give back you fish to a quality fish store, or if you have friends that have a suitable tank. This would be a good opportunity to learn from your mistakes, and start over the right way too. Get only a few small fish at first. Do a little research about them prior to buying. Make the effort to have a good environment for your fish, they will appreciate it.

It would be much easier to come to a conclusion based on a picture. But red, circular, raised spots do not sound good. Sounds like either a bacterial/fungal infection, which should be medicated. Any more unusual traits of the pink/red spots? How many are there? How big are they? Any cottony looking substance on them?
 

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Traits are about 7-10 on each side of the bodies...some look like scales have been removed...mostly you can only see them when the fish swim at an angle or as they swim away from you...head on side view you can't tell anything other than the bodies look alittle yellowish....no white cotton stuff... they are aprox 1/8" wide...I notice nothing with the fins that is abnormal other than one fish is loosing color in it's fins...the black line semms to be fading out.
 

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I need to add a few notes here. For starters, the strip tests are the most inaccurate tests you can buy. I would never rely on those results as being the actual water quality.
As was mentioned, you will also need to know ammonia levels, so maybe a trip to your LFS with a water sample for testing is the answer? Ask them to write down exact results and the name brand of test kits they are using. This will help us to help you as soon as possible.
Be forewarned, many LFS's won't take fish while they are sick, so you will want to do the best you can to treat them and get them well before trying to take them back. In the very least, talk to a manager at the LFS, explain that someone sold you the wrong kind of fish for a 10 gallon tank and now the fish are sick and you don't have a large enough tank to accomidate them. Most places will replace them with something suitable and eat the loss if they can't treat the fish themselves succussfully.
However you go about it, 10 gallons won't sustain those fish. I didn't see mentioned about how long this tank has been set up, either. That is important information, and tells us some of what to look for in the water quality test results. Bala's are awesome fish, but they are very prone to stress issues, they're skittish, and very sensitive to water quality and medications. Are there any other fish in the tank with them? I would suggest floating some plants, live or fake, no matter, and increasing the decorations to help avoid stress. If you decide to move them into a larger tank, I can also suggest some safe medication options for you.
It was suggested to put them into a 55 gallon, but be aware that this, also, would be temporary. Balas reach 14 inches full grown, and if properly cared for, can reach that size in the first few yrs. For 1 or 2 of them to go to full grown, you're looking at 125 gallons or more.
Are the fish eating at this point? What kind of foods? How often?
Are there any other symptoms you can list? Do the sores appear to be "open sores"? Are they oozing or pussing?
 

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I have no clue as to the amonia levels...I have taken the water down to the pet store for testing and they said levels were okay...I will have to research a local reputable fish store in town. I took the cd to the pet store today with pics of my fish...they said looks ok...I KNOW BETTER....these fish look and behave differrently than day 1 at home...Plus appetite changes and all...I think they just don't want the hassle of helping me. Hopefully I am wrong. They are the ones who help me set my tank system up and helped pick the fish for my 10 gallon tank...(aprox 24 wide and 15 deep) He said that if it is on the body then it's probably a fin fungus and recommended "Pimafix" by API...anti fungal fish remedy..directions say 1 tsp daily for 7 days... I will try anything as long as it doesn't hurt my fish any more...they also said they do not take fish back even for healing and will not even give store credit to me. I feel stressed myself because I worry they are in pain and can't bear that.
 

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If you want to know how accurate this LFS is giving for information, ask them to tell you about the bala sharks. Ask how big they get, what they need to live, etc etc... sounds to me like THEY don't know.
As for the PimaFix, wait before spending your money, let me make sure that is something safe for the balas. I do know that most common medications are not able to be used for balas because of a sensitivity to them. Balas are in the "silver fish" category when it comes to medicating, and that can make things hard.
Your image isn't showing up, and when I tried to copy/paste the image, the link says there is nothing there. Can you email the pic to me at [email protected] please? In the subject, just put "bala pic" and I'll get back to you with a proper medication for the problem. After all of this, I'd hate to see you lose the fish.
I would also suggest looking for a new LFS, and to really do your research next time before actually spending any money at this one. It is obvious to me that they not only don't know what they're doing/talking about, but their policies for returns, refunds, replacements is also a bit "off". I would stay out of that place if possible, as they're likely to only worry about taking your money. It's unfortunate, but it happens a lot in this industry.
I'm curious about why they would suggest that specific medication for a fish they obviously don't know anything about? :(
 

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WOW!!!! Thank goodness someone other than me is in here...tried..& tried...couldn't get it..Thank you so much for your help...now, maybe solutions to help my babies....I really really want them to live. :cry:
 

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Cindy,
Check your email, I have sent you instructions for medicating the balas. For everyone else's benefit, let me repeat it here...
The medication to use is called Maroxy, please don't use PimaFix... it will likely kill the sharks. PimaFix is for parasite issues, which this doesn't appear to be. At most, from what the pictures show, it is missing scales, which shouldn't be too harmful and should grow back on their own. The maroxy will help to ensure that no infection sets in while the fish heal. Be sure to remove the carbon while medicating, and I would medicate for 5 days, with a daily water exchange of 25% before adding each new day's dosage.
 

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It's too bad to hear that the fish store gave you such poor advice on choosing the fish and tank, but I'm glad you're off to a good start on fixing the problems.

Another thing I'm curious about is what kind of filtration do you have on this 10 gallon tank? And how often to you do water changes and how much do you take out?
 

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I do a patial water change..aproximately 3-5 gallons...every week. the water seems to get pretty cloudy by then, and white spider webbish stuff across the gravel..I use the gravel vac, pull out the rnaments and scrub them off in hot water...then add back more water...add my aqua plus water conditioner...my cycle and a packet of Ph 7.0 and some aquarium salt...I have hard tap water...I use an Aqua Clear 20 power filter with the bio max rocks/carbon bag/foam filter meant for a 20gallon tank (the 10gallon filter didn't cut it)....I also put a water pillow in the filter water that I recharge every 2 days with the aquarium salt.
Today, I see my fish swimming up and down the walls of my tank...I dont think this is a good sign...Bettababy gave soem good advice on the medication, I am trying that today. I really appreciate everyone's help on this. You are all so friendly! :D
 

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Just be sure not to add too many chemicals to the water...and don't forget to remove the carbon from your filter prior to medicating.

Keep us posted on the progress and if you have any trouble, or the Sharks get worse.

I am REALLY hoping they end up in a bigger tank soon. If they stay in that 10 gallon, their growth will be stunted leading to internal problems, and they will be heavily stressed out, making them prone to even more kinds of disease.
 
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