Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I rescued 2 turquoise jewels over this past summer. About 2 months ago I transferred them to a 29g tank (they came to me in a 15g and it was just awful for them). The female died a few days later. My fish friend and I thought it may have either been bloat or she became eggbound from the stress of the move. Her symptoms were that she'd stopped eating, became very red colored in her abdomen, which also became very swollen. She developed a small, cloudy spot right in the middle of each eye (it looked like it was on top of the lens). After she passed I did a water change, etc. to ensure her mate, Blue, would survive. He did and has been doing well. About a month ago I added 3 juvenile fish (2 male convicts and a jewel). Everyone had been getting along, eating, etc.

Sunday night Blue started moving in a strange pattern, back and forth quickly. I wasn't sure if he was trying to attract the attention of the other jewel. Later that night, I noticed his abdomen looked slightly larger. But he was still eating. By Monday night he had stopped eating and was hanging toward the bottom of the tank. (There wasn't much I could do at this point as we had a blizzard Sunday into Monday and I couldn't get out to the store, which was most likely closed anyway due to weather.) Over this time he also developed the same cloudy spot on his eyes that his mate had had. So yesterday, I initiated Maracyn treatment upon recommendation of my fish friend. I didn't quarantine my big guy; I figured I'd treat the whole tank in case the little ones were affected. Late last night I noticed the his scales taking on the pinecone appearance and realized he has dropsy, not bloat. He is still alive at this point and the pineconing hasn't gotten worse and he actually swam up off of the bottom a couple of times this morning. However, I feel like we're not out of the woods.

My water is 80 degrees and the pH is 7.5 (the tank is always high as Philadelphia has very hard water...I often use distilled for water changes). I added aquarium salt Monday and Stresscoat and StressZyme over the weekend when I added 2 gallons of distilled water to their tank. I have the light off to reduce stress. Does anyone out there think he still has a chance?

Should I add Epsom salts at this point? If he pulls through, my fish guy suggested trying to feed him peas.

And I've read that drospy is usually due to poor tank conditions. Their tank is in great shape. But do you think diet could be the cause? They've been on Dainichi food since I got them, except when I bought some stuff at the petstore in a pinch. I had been feeding that to them around the time of the tank transfer. After my one jewel died, I continued to use a mix of the Dainichi and this food and it caused a weird plant growth in my tank. After clearing that out, I have not used this other food since, except for a few pellets that I gave to my big guy (they're too big for the little ones to eat) in the last week as I was running out of the Dainichi and am waiting for more to come. Could this be the cause?

Any tips, hints, opinions are welcome. This is my first time caring for cichlids and although I've learned a lot so far, I realize there's a ton more to learn.

Thanks for taking the time! :fish:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,008 Posts
How is the fish today?

Water quality and consistency in water parameters is very important to your fish. Whatever you do as far as water changes and adding products to the water should always be the same--you don't want abrupt changes in ph and this can happen if you 'often' add distilled water--I take it that you don't always add distilled water. And really the ph of 7.5 should be fine for these fish. A consistant ph level is more important that a ph that matches what the fish normally resides in in the wild.

Diet should also be appropriate for the species you're keeping and not changed suddenly. Fish become susceptible to disease when they are stressed and varying water conditions and diets will stress them.

If the Jewel is still eating I would stop feeding immediately and then please post back and let us know what sort of symptoms it has today. Sorry I didn't get to your post sooner

Robin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He's still with me but looks terrible. His eyes are very white and he's now bumping into things. I don't think he can see well, or at all. His pineconing appearance has not gotten worse or better. He still has a swollen abdomen and his colors are dark and dull. He is swimming around a lot instead of laying at the bottom. And when I went to feed the little guys today (who seem perfectly healthy), he actually tried to come and join them but didn't eat (not sure if he couldn't see or just didn't want to). I've given the 3rd dose of Maracyn on Saturday (that was Day 5). He hasn't eaten in over a week.

I feel awful. He can't feel good. I don't know how he's still alive and I'm glad he is but I don't want him to suffer either. Any thoughts?

As for your comments, no, I don't often add distilled water. Maybe 1-2 gallons once per month. I do very small water changes (3-5 gallons) at a time to reduce stress. I do use StressCoat and StressZyme as well when I change the water. The pH is always at 7.5 so they should be okay with that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,008 Posts
In a 29 gallon tank you should be doing 25% partial water changes every week. More if you have a tendency to over-feed or the tank is heavily stocked. Any anytime there is something going on with your tank it is usually a good idea to increase frequency and amount of partial water changes. The only time you wouldn't do this is if you suspect the problem is with the source water itself. Also: if your water has chloramines added to it you may need a stronger dechlorinator. Call your water company and ask.

I'm sorry the jewel is not doing well. If there has been no improvement with the Maracyn then you should try something else. Not all antibiotics work on all bacterias. Since we can't test for the exact bacteria your fish has, (and we don't know for certain that it is a bacteria), we try something that is a little more broad range. Kanamycin (Kanaplex) or metronidazole would both be good ones to try.
Before you do anything with meds try doing a few more partial water changes. Space them several hours apart. Try to add water that is as close to what you added previously--we don't want any bumps in the ph.

Let me know
Robin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Robin...he passed away tonight after I came home from picking up more medicine. I waited by the tank as he went. It was horribly sad. It may sound silly but I cried. It's been so stressful waiting to see if he'd get better. And of course, knowing it was my ignorance that took him is so upseting. But he fought a good fight. I took him out immediately and he was so swollen at this point his abdomen was red (not from his normal color) and his skin was starting to split a little. Poor guy.

I will do a partial water change tomorrow. I haven't been doing them weekly so I will pick up on the cleaning. I will also change the media on my filter, but I've heard it's best to wait a couple of days between that and cleaning.

I really appreciate all of the help. Your advice is well noted. I've learned a painful lesson with Blue and will be much more vigilant in my tank cleaning.

On a good note, the other 3 fish (2 Convicts and and a different Jewel) seem to be okay. I will miss my beautiful boy terribly though.

Thank you again for everything. Hopefully the next time I post it will be a happier one.
Jessica
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,008 Posts
Try not to be hard on yourself, Jessica. Fish can get things that cause them to go down hill so fast that there's not much we can do and you did every thing you could possibly do. And as far as the care and the conditions you provided for the fish, they weren't so far off the mark--really. I've seen fish thrive in considerably worse. We'll never know for certain if it was something you did or didn't do that contributed to his death--sometimes they just get things. . .

And I confess to crying over a beloved fish that died. Silly? Maybe --but it was unavoidable.

Hang in there! And sorry about Blue.

Robin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,008 Posts
On tank 'cleaning', just a couple of things:

Once a week siphon the gravel and do a 30% partial water change using a good quality dechlorinator.
Distilled water: it's 'suppose' to be a ph of 7 but you can't trust that it will be, it's often lower, so for that reason alone I wouldn't use it. You always want to know what the ph of your source water is. And practically speaking it's going to work against your goal of weekly partial water changes simply because of the bother of the buying and transporting it. Unless your tap water is extremely high in chlorine or chloramine, or has some other toxin in it, it's usually the best choice for water changes.
Put some tap water in a container, let it sit for 24 hours, and then test the PH. That's the most reliable way of testing it.

Filter Media: you're right that you don't want to change it too often. The filter media traps waste but it's most important job is that it houses your beneficial bacteria--this is what converts harmful ammonia and nitrite into not so harmful nitrate making the aquarium safe for your fish.

If you've got a filter that has two media cartridges then you can alternate changing them. And you don't even need to change them monthly--every other month or two is fine-- just take them out once in awhile and rinse them off in a bucket of tank water, (never untreated tap water) and then just put them back. You'll be saving the beneficial bacteria and money by not purchasing so many cartridges.

A few things on feeding:
Do a little research and find the food that is best for the species you are keeping. Some people like to feed their fish a variety of foods but fish are fine with one (good)food .
Feed your fish ONE small feeding a day. Small means that you give them only as much food as they can consume in a minute.
Never touch the food with your fingers as this may transfer whatever is on your fingers, possibly something seemingly harmless like hand lotion but toxic to your fish, to the food. Shake the food into the cap of the food container and then into the tank.

:)
Robin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for your kind words and support. My fish guy has said the same thing (not to beat myself up, etc). So thank you for reiterating that. Glad to know I'm not the only one who sheds tears for a fish. Many people I know would make fun of me. But they're still living, breathing creatures who feel pain and pleasure, and they deserve the same respect as we give to people.

Thank you for all of your tips regarding the cleaning. I'm printing it out and will follow your advice. And thanks for the hint in how to save money on filter media! I live in Philadelphia so our water quality is very hard. I can also literally smell the stench of chlorine when I run water out of my sink or tub. It's awful. They did a study a few years ago about what was in our water (and the levels) and it was shocking. I got a Brita right away. I will do your 24-hour test though and see what my levels are. It'll be interesting!

As for food, I use Dainichi Color Supreme sinking pellets. When I received my original jewels from the lady I rescued them from, that's what she'd been feeding and they seemed to do well (until I mixed in that crappy store food that caused the weird plant growth). So I just bought a new bag and got rid of the old stuff. However, I have been doing the feeding from my fingers. I will not do that in the future. I always try to make sure my hands are clean and chemical-free but I'm sure it's not always the case. And I don't want to lose anymore fish!

Again, thank you Robin for everything. You've helped make a very difficult time a little easier through your advice and support. I am truly grateful. I'm glad I found this forum. =D>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't know for certain, but after doing some research on the internet I think it may have been Staghorn Algae. I didn't have a single sign of it until after I started using that store-bought food (Aqueon brand) it grew very rapidly and became extremely invasive. I had to do a lot of scrubbing and cleaning to get rid of it as I assumed it probably wasn't healthy for my fish. Since I stopped using that food, it hasn't come back. That was a few months ago, before I brought in the little guys.

I hope it never comes back! It was such a pain to get rid of. And my little pleco didn't seem willing to tackle it either!
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top