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39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1. Size of tank? 20gal, and 2.5gal

I have been lax with water changes as it's been a rough summer. My grandmother is in and out of the hospital. So I am guessing they are med-to high in the 20gal, and zero in the 2.5gal as I just changed 100% of the water.
2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia?
b. Nitrite?
c. Nitrate?
d. pH, KH and GH?
e. Test kit?

3. Temperature? 80 in both

4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)? FW

5. How long the aquarium has been set up? 20gal 1 year, 2.5 since March-ish

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?

6 corys whom just spawned (I can't seem to get a consistent fry count, but I think there are more then 6), 1 Raphael Cat, a M & F pair of Cherry Barbs, 6-8 Neons, 7 Glowlight Tetras, glofish Danios (orange and blue), and two Betas a red one and blue one. The betas I got in March and the rest I've had for at least a year and the oldest is a cory and my Raph from back in 08/09.

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)?

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants?

b. Sand, gravel, barebottom?

c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors?
Store bought resin stuff

9. a. Filtration?
Fluval for the big tank, and aqueon for the little tank.
b. Heater?
My heater died so until I can get to the store tomorrow I have the original heater to my 10gal Aqueon tank.

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used?
LED light that came with the tank to which I put paper between it and the glass protecting the light as it's too harsh. I try to use natural light for them during the day and turn the light on in late afternoon and shut the light off before I go to bed. The small tanks light doesn't work so I put on a small lamp in my room.
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long?
Yes, 20min to an hour a day.

11. a. Water change schedule?

b. Volume of water changed?
usually 5gal

c. Well water, tap water, RO water?

d. Water conditioner used?

e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed?
None in the big tank, and I vacuum the little tank once a month.

12. Foods?
Aqueon Trop. flakes, Omega one freeze dried blood worms, shrimp cubes, sinking shrimp pellets, and beta pellets
How often are they fed?
nightly, Flakes every night, worms on Wed. sinking pellets on Sat. and all three on Sun. in smaller quantities. I switch out the pellets with the cubes for my betas some nights. As treats they get frozen Shrimp and Blood worms once and a while.

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms?
Today I noticed my red beta (Alfred-Red) is hugely bloated and stays at the top of the tank, lethargic, and scales are popping out.

b. Appearance of poop?
haven't seen any.

c. Appearance of gills?
looks normal

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis?
b. What meds were used?
Aquarium salt, to the specs on the back of the carton

Okay I have had a series of mishaps and a crazy few months. My grandma had a heart attack earlier in the summer and is in and out of the hospital with complications, she's doing well right now. I'm going into my last semester and trying to get work and things finished before the semester starts, and I went on vacation for five days Jul. 20th-42th. I had done an 80% water change on the 19th as I knew my levels were high, and everything was fine when I got back.

Then this past Tues. I noticed eggs in my tank and so I got my Cory eggs in a breeder net etc.. and realized the water was much colder then usual (I generally know what the water should feel like, thus I have one glass thermometer for both tanks) so I flopped the thermometer from my small tank to my community tank and to my shock it was down to between 63 and 65 and my heater wasn't working. I put my 50Wat heater from the 10gal tank that is not in use into my 20gal and now the water is back to 80ish. That night I noticed something was off with my red beta but couldn't figure out what so I shrugged it off and have been keeping an eye on it. Today I have been keeping a close watch on my eggs and noticed I now have some fry in the net. However I got a good view of "Red" from above and noticed his scales were protruding and he is really fat!

So I switched "Blue into a bag and set him into the community tank to get used to the water temp, and preceded to clean the small tank for "Red." I rinsed the gravel as I couldn't get my Syphon to work properly and swished the gravel in the new water with the Prime to make sure it all got dechlorinated. So I got "Red" in his new home and upon research it seemed he had dropsy, so I slowly added Aquarium salt as it's the only salt I have on hand, until tomorrow.

Now a few hours later I checked him and he looked close to the water and something moving caught my eye. Upon closer inspection I noticed there are little worm like things in the water!!! They are very skinny and appear to be white or clear in color, and I would not have noticed them if the light had not hit it the right way.

My big tank has them too, but I'm not sure if they came from "red" or "blue". However I did pluck blue out, and he's going to have to deal with being in a fishbowl overnight.... I don't see any of the wormy things in "Blues" bag, however that doesn't mean that they aren't in there.

So my question is does anyone have any clue what this could be? and how to treat it with out killing my fry? I go to Petsmart, can they test and find out what it is? Please help!

1,265 Posts
Sounds like "Red" has dropsy.

The worm like things are most likely planaria, which are harmless. They can result in a tank being overstocked or not cleaned very well. Although sometimes they just show up for no reason. They can't harm anything, and in fact some fish eat them.

On another note, your 20 gal is very over stocked (and the raphael catfish should really be in a larger tank, he is supposed to grow very large but may not develop properly in such a small tank, which will lead to a shortened life span and stress.)

EDIT: The dropsy is probably occurring due to a lowered immune system from stress. It's probably a combination of the high nitrates, over stocking, and perhaps from rapid changes in water temperature. I've never had nor treated dropsy, but a quick google search should help you there, or someone may come along here with more specific advice.

39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Raphael cat started in a 10 gal, and then I switched him to the 20 when I got it last spring. He's one of my oldest/original fish. The tank is long and rectangular bit also quite tall. He has until I move out to get a bigger tank. My pedants would hang me if I got a larger tank before I moved.

"Red" has been in my 20gal with no problems since I rescues him from deaths door in his cup at the pet store back in Feb/March. I haven't had a problem with his health until my heater quit. So I think it was the temp drop. None of the other fish are showing symptoms.

So I set up the 10gal in my sisters room, and got him Mardel, Maracyn Two and hopefully that will work. He's a little more active and less lethargic since I put him in the medicated tank about a half hour ago. Now I guess it's just a waiting game and water change in my big tank.

Thank you for alleviating my fright over the worms. I'll be keeping a closer eye on water changes from now on.
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh and I forgot to mention Raph is about three inches in width, and 6 long it shocked me the other day when he came out of hiding looking for food, I don't se him/her often. In fact I poke him gently once a month to make sure he's alive and kicking. I can't wait to get a larger tank and do it up for them :)
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