Illness, Health & Nutrition • skinny/wasting disease

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skinny/wasting disease

Postby Louie13 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:38 pm

I'm hoping for some help with this problem that I can't seem to contain. I can't say for sure where it started but my two tanks have become infested with some sort of parasite. I'll try to give as much information as I can.

About a year or so ago I made the mistake of adding some apistos to one of my two tanks without quarantining. I understand parasites are a common problem with many of these fish in fish stores. The trio stopped eating and died shortly after arrival. Pretty much anything I would try to put into the tank after that including Angels and Tetras would develop horrible diseases like gaping holes in the angels and visible worms on the skin of the tetras. I finally broke that tank down and replaced everything and restocked after sterilizing.

So my first question to help pinpoint the problem is if it's possible I spread the disease to my all male malawi tank by sharing cleaning tools and a python during water changes. I would clean and change water on the same day.

This is the tank that I'm watching go down in despair. I noticed my beautifully colored and healthy red empress start to lose it's color and weight despite eating. Eventually he became a skeleton. I thought maybe for whatever reason stress was causing this. Even though he wasn't facing any aggression at all. He also became very inactive and at times looked like staying horizontal was difficult. When he finallty started spitting his food i used the bloat treatment sticky here. He did start eating better after that but continued to lose more and more weight. Looking back now it had to have been a parasite of some sort.

Then the same thing happen with another fish. I also rehomed this fish because it was getting picked on and thought maybe again that it wasn't comfortable. Then another fish started showing the same signs, and eventually died. Then another. Now I see atleast 4 fish with sunken bellys. The one that has it the worst is almost always in a cave now and is breathing heavily and losing color, and scratching a lot. And he has never been picked on.

Another of the symptoms is the activity level. My tank has a 3d background and rocks that are covered with algae. The healthy fish are constantly grazing on the algae, but once they get ill they stop.

The tank is pretty peaceful as far as all male tanks go. It is a 110 gallons, well filtered, and sensibly stocked with 15 mild haps and peacocks. I did not have any such problems with this tank the first two years it was running. It's been up for about 2.5 years now. Parametres are 0 ammonia and nitrite, nitrates around 10, ph 7.4
So far I have tried Metro both in the water and mixed with food which did nothing. As mentioned earlier, clout in a seperate quarantine tank. tSince the last fish has died and new ones are showing signs the one thing that seemed to work was api general cure.There seemed to be an instant improvement. The fish started to come to life right away. I did two back to back treatments with it just incase and with nothing to lose. The result was only temporary because they have regressed back to how they were before. I hit them with epsom salt yesterday but no change.

This is my main display tank and I've had these guys for a couple of years now and I've grown quite attached to them. I feel very helpless watching this thing spread, a fish here and there is one thing but it's spreading and these guys will all be gone and that will be end of all of my fish. I'm willing to try anything at this point. I was thinking maybe clout on the whole tank? I only have 16 tablets on hand and it's pretty much impossible for me to find nowadays. If anyone has any suggestions please share. Thanks
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Re: skinny/wasting disease

Postby Louie13 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:45 pm

If it matters, catfish seem to not be affected. In the original tank there were ottos and in the malawi tank there are synodontis multipuncatus.
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Re: skinny/wasting disease

Postby GTZ » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:28 pm

Absolutely it could have been transferred from your python or other tools.
Another medication you might want to try is Tetra Parasite Guard. If that doesn't work, look into acquiring Levamisole. Your local veterinarian may be your best option. If you can find it, I would choose it over the Tetra product.
This assumes a correct diagnosis of parasites of course.
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Re: skinny/wasting disease

Postby Louie13 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:34 pm

Thanks! what would be the dosage for Levamisole?

I guess no harm in trying the Tetra stuff while I look for the Levamisole?

And finally what should I do about water changes between tanks re the python and just spreading the parasites back and forth?
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Re: skinny/wasting disease

Postby GTZ » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:39 pm

Find another means to do water changes on the other tanks, or, use an additional python. You could try to sterilize the python between uses by running water/bleach but I wouldn't trust it myself. Really the best option is separate tools for each tank.
Try the Tetra product, allow 48 hours before switching to another med, perform a large water change and run carbon for the 48 hours.

Levamisole:
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Re: skinny/wasting disease

Postby Louie13 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:30 pm

Thanks GTZ! Now that I think about this a bit more I wonder....could the last round of meds, the api general cure have actually worked(since it seemed to at first) but I just put the parasites right back into the tank through the python? It sits for a week in between water changes, could the parasites continue to live in there?

I do have two pythons, so I'm thinking I could use one for each tank. But I'm thinking i should sterilize both before using? Basically could I cure the parasites in the fish and the tank, only to just keep reintroducing them through the python.
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Re: skinny/wasting disease

Postby Louie13 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:07 pm

I have potassium permangonate on hand which I could use instead of bleach if that would be a better way to go about it. Unless there are better ways to go about it.
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Re: skinny/wasting disease

Postby dreday » Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:21 am

levamisole would only treat nematodes like camallanus worms, i dont think it would treat cestiodes like tapeworms. If metro did not work i would suspect tapeworms for skinny fish. If they are eating and loosing weight that would be my guess. I would try praziquantel or prazi-pro.

The other cause might be hex, which the metro would have knocked out if the does was high enough. I does metro at 2grams per 100g for 10 days(7 days if i slack on water changes).

I dont think levamisole will treat for skinny fish, I know a lot of people use it for worms but it would only treat stomach worms not tape worms. If you does epsolm salt as well i would lean more towards tapeworms.
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Re: skinny/wasting disease

Postby Louie13 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:53 pm

I have tried Metro, praziquantel, and epsom salts and they have proven to be ineffective in this case. I lost another while trying the the last treatment, so I decided it's all or nothing and started Levamisole. I did have some cardinal tetras with visible worms a while back so I wonder if that was transferred and that is what's going on. Either way, Levamisole is my last hope, and this stuff is serious. What seemed like a small dose has all my fish acting like they are on some serious narcotics for the last 24 hours since the first treatment. So fingers crossed.
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