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19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All parameters are listed at the bottom.

My 29 gallon tank has been cycled for about three months now, and I began the tank with 2 Gold Barbs and 1 Black Phantom Tetra. I understand that these are shoaling fish however these were rescues and my LFS seems to take awhile to get groups of fish that I order (I ordered more Black Phantoms when I set the tank up and just received them 2 weeks ago). The originial three fish I received were from a friend who placed them in a vase for days while they were setting up their new aquarium. I took them in to give them a better enviroment knowing that they would not last long in the vase. All three fish settled in well with their new and healthy enviroment, and the Phantom Tetra even schooled often with the Gold Barbs. About a month later, I added the 2 Von Rios and 2 Platties (My LFS only had two of each and now more are on order), and a month after that I added the 2 ottos and 2 Cory Cat fish. All of my fish are bought from a store that deals strictly in tropical fish. I do not buy from Petco or Petsmart as I witnessed plenty of fish dying in these stores and tanks full of ich.

Now to where the problem begins:

2 weeks ago I noticed white spots begin to appear on my Black Phantom Tetra. I assumed it was Ich based on all of my reading and began to treat with AP Quick Cure at 1 drop per 2 gallons due to fish sensitivity with the carbon removed from the filter. During the treatment, I did a 20% water change with a gravel vac every three days. The Black Phantom had only one day where he hid and did not come out for food (this was last week). He otherwise appeared active and eating. All other fish seemed to tolerate the treatment well and only one Gold Barb displayed symptoms of Ich which lasted for only one day (no spots, but did scratch at bottom of substrate). Last week, the Black Phantom's fins began to fray, and as the treatment went on, each day seemed to show different results. One day he appeared to be losing the white spots while another he would be covered. Over the last two days, his health appeared to get worse, as his fins were extremely frayed and his general appearance not looking good at all. I had no way to quarintine this fish due to my quarintine tank being used by 4 Black Phantom's that I was hoping to join him soon.

Late last night, I happened to be watching my tank when the Blank Phantom swam quickly on his side and the nose down into some plants. I assumed that he passed, and retrieved the net to get him out. I thought that he might have floated to the bottom but instead I found him still nose down in the plants and alive. I placed him into a quarintine container into the tank (a "birthing" box) and observed him. He floated on his side at the top of the tank while rapidly breathing. With assistance (by slight pushing down into the water), he would make an attempt to swim before floating back to the top. Hoping that is health would improve, I kept him in the quarintine basket over night. This morning, he was still floating on his side and breathing, so I took it upon myself to euthanize him and end his misery. I hope that this was the right call.

I have attached pictures. I am now needing to know was this Ich? Or was it something else? I need to know to ensure that it doesn't spread to the rest of the aquarium and so that I can get the Black Phantoms I have in quarintine into their new home. What should I treat my display tank with and for how long to ensure that whatever this was, it is gone?

I am sure a big factor in this was that the Phantom was by himself for months and that stressed him out. I was really hoping to get some friends in there before his death.

1. Size of tank?
*- 29 gallons

2. Water parameters:

a. Ammonia? 0 ppm
b. Nitrite? 0 ppm
c. Nitrate? 20 ppm
d. pH, KH and GH? 7.5 pH , will test KH and GH tonight
e. Test kit? API

3. Temperature?
*- 80 during treatment, usually 77-78

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

5. How long the aquarium has been set up?
*- 3 months

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?
*x1 Black Phantom Tetra, 3 months, 1" (now deceased)
*x2 Gold Barbs, 3 months, 1"
*x2 Sunset Platties, 2 months, 3/4"
*x2 Von Rio Tetras, 2 months, 3/4"
*x2 Cory Cats, 1 month, 1"
*x2 Ottos, 1 month, 1"

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)?
*- No, but have since invested in a quarintine tank and have x4 Black Phantom Tetras (were supposed to join my one that has died)

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants?
*- x1 Sword plant, x2 Java Ferns on same piece of drift wood, and other long grass (can't think of name right now)
** b. Sand, gravel, barebottom?
*- 3" gravel substrate
** c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors?
*- x1 hollow log, x1 sunken ship (hollow), x1 piece of drift wood with dug out "tunnel" underneath (the cory cats love this)

9. a. Filtration?
*- Ehiem 2213
** b. Heater?
*- Marineland submersible

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used?
*- 11AM-9:30PM, T8 Full Spectrum (to be upgraded soon)
*** b. Any sunlight exposure? How long?
*- Very little in the morning

11. a. Water change schedule?
*1x per week
*** b. Volume of water changed?
*** c. Well water, tap water, RO water?
*** d. Water conditioner used?
*Sechem Prime
*** e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed?
*1-2x per week, depending on appearance

12. Foods?
*Tetra flakes daily, Hikari Bottom Feeder Wafers daily, Hikari Algae Wafers ~2x /week depending on algae growth, krill 2x /week
*** How often are they fed?
*See above

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms?
*- All other fish appear normal except one plattie will come up and do what seems to be grabbing air from outside at top of tank a few times a ** day, no other fish do this and the Eheim output creates plenty of turbulence at the top of the tank to allow air exchange.
*** b. Appearance of poop?
*- All appear normal however, yesterday one otto seemed to take a while to get out a long string brown piece.
*** c. Appearance of gills?
*- All appear normal, no rapid breathing.

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis?
*- Yes
*** b. What meds were used?
*- AP Quick Cure at 1 drop per 2 gallons due to fish sensitivity


5,139 Posts
Would not treat the tank with any more med's for now.I would place some fresh carbon in the filter for a few day's (to remove any medication residual) and perform twice weekly water changes of 20% for a couple week's.
If no other fishes are acting sickly,,no more med's would be my choice.
Formalin in Quik cure is hard on fish,perhap's harder on some than other's.
If oto's are still kicking,,this is good sign.

19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply. The ottos surprised me; I learned after I bought them how they are captured and that buying a dozen usually yields two live ones in two weeks. I bought two not knowing this and they are both doing great. Any idea what my phantom might have had? Was it likely Ich? I attached pictures.
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