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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not to sure what this is I've tried isolating him from my 230 gallon into a 25 gallon and treated with salt. That didn't work so I tried jungle parasite clear. That didn't work so I tried eurethromycin. That didn't work and other fish are getting it too so I put him back in the 230 and gave him and all other fish a salt dip. Now I'm retreating with parasite clear upping the dosage to treat 240 gallons and treating twice with 25% water change in between. Does anyone have a clue if this will work or what this is? How to treat it? I also treated with melafix.



I added a UV sterilyzer to buy me some time and tank is filtered by 2 FX5's temp 80F. I recently had a nitrite spike after stirring up an anaerobic spot in the sand just to add to this problem and lost 4 fish before I could get that under control. Lots of small water changes. My tap water contains chloramine which I treat with chloram-X. My nitrates are at 10 ppm. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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I would stop with the anti parasite med. You were on the right track with the eurethromycin but you need to use it in combination with another antibiotic. Try treating with Maracyn and Maracyn-two together.
Also: turn the heat down to 76, add salt at the rate of 1-2 Tablespoons per five gallons and before any of that do a large partial water change.

High nitrite is one of the main 'trigger's for Columnaris.

Robin
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
[
High nitrite is one of the main 'trigger's for Columnaris.

Robin[/quote]

I thought columnaris at first too but now I think its more like a Costia infestation. Is this a likely culprit or am I in left field .
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also this fish wasn't in the 230 gallon when the nitrites spiked and I have been doing 40% water changes weekly. I also removed a 5 gallon pail of sand to remove the likelyhood of getting another anaerobic pocket. I believe the large water changes may have contributed to this in some way as the chloram-X simply bonds with the ammonia so it is no longer free ammonia but the bacteria still has to deal with the bonded ammonia and the result of that is nitrite which then turns to nitrate. Perhaps smaller water changes would work better? Say 25-30%?
 

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RDFISHGUY said:
[
High nitrite is one of the main 'trigger's for Columnaris.

Robin
I thought columnaris at first too but now I think its more like a Costia infestation. Is this a likely culprit or am I in left field .[/quote]

Is the fish rubbing against things? How does the rest of his skin look? Any gray or milky looking film?

I don't think the 40% water changes are related to the problem and if your biofilter is well established then it will handle any ammonia, bonded or otherwise. If you hadn't done a water change in a long time, say over a month, then it would be best to start off with smaller water changes. But 40% isn't even that large of a water change.

Nitrite is just one trigger for Columnaris. Really, any stress can be a trigger for Columnaris.
:(

Robin
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This particular fish doesn't rub at all but I have noticed others that rub all the way from one side of the tank to the other and then squirm like they have a bad itch. Also my azureus is exhibiting clamped fins and although he's still eating tends not to move around a lot and twitches his fins. No gray film or anything like that. Starts out as a few scales lifted then over the next 2 days to a week becomes a large ulcer . Looks like a chunk was bitten out of them or sanded off. I'm away at work right now so if you still think I should change treatment please advise and I can get my wife to begin a ne treatment.
 

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A question from left feild....do you have any chinese algae eaters in this tank?

I had two large one in my main tank and a few of the fish started to exibit marks that look identical to your picture. Turns out they were bites. Algae eaters out, no more bite marks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I believe I've found the fountain of information on ulcers. Not costia but more like what Robin advised. They appear to be caused by aeromonas bacteria read article SRAC 478 in the following link:
http://srac.tamu.edu/index.cfm?catid=26
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update . I got home from work Wed afternoon to find my taiwon reef dead and other fish breathing heavy. Did a large water change and NO SICK FISH ulcer meds came in the mail so I began treatment. next morning fish were breathing heavy again so I did another water change and continued with the No Sick Fish . Came home at 6 pm and fish were again breathing heavy. I did a 40% water change . Came back to check at 9 pm and all were either dead or in severe distress. I removed the live ones to a 20 gal where they came to life immediately. Tested the water and ammonia / nitrate/ nitrite were all at 0 ppm. I did a 100% water change and tried again this morning - all is still zero. Added a chocolate cichlid as a canary and went to a friends to remove some fish lice. Came back 2 hours later and it was dead. I decided that the filters would have to be the only likely source and upon opening the first FX5 I found about a million little snails. Can these be part or all of my problem?
 

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A clogged filter will kill fish fast and it sounds like the snails may well have clogged your filter. With a clogged filter oxygen levels drop and carbon dioxide rises. And despite your water readings there may have been a spike in ammonia if the beneficial bacteria in the filter died off from lack of oxygen.

My advice to you: spend the next several weeks focusing on improving water quality in your tank. Get rid of as many snails as you can manually but for now don't dump any snail killing meds in there until you've got the water in good shape.
Improve the water quality by doing daily or every other day partial water changes with a good quality declorinator. Siphon the gravel. Feed sparingly.

Your test kits may not be giving you accurate readings if you're getting 0 for nitrate. In an established tank there will always be some nitrate unless the tank is heavily planted. Test kits have a shelf life and generally speaking the type with test tubes and liquids are more reliable the paper strip kind.

Sorry for the loss of your fish. Hopefully things will start to turn for the better now.

Robin
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I use the liquid kind and they haven't expired yet. The tank has had a lot of water changes recently. Tomorrow I will get a test kit from a friend and retest . Feeding won't be an issue as there are no fish left to feed. It would be impossible to remove all of these snails short of nuking them with some kind of snail remover. I haven't even checked the other FX5 but will likely find the same thing . It seems to me that I can't have high water quality as long as these snails are in the filter. With a 100% water change, and using chloramx as a water conditioner, isn't it entirely possible to have 0 ppm readings? Perhaps the key is the lack of oxygen. Remove the snails , remove the problem.
 

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I think it was the clogged filter that killed your fish, not any specific problem with your water parameters. Sorry not to have been clear about that.
But since you've had the recent deaths, and the fish with the sore--which may have been water quality related I suggested that you focus on improving water quality with the increased partial water changes.

If you did a 100% water change, then yes you could have 0 nitrate.

Really sorry to hear that you lost all of your fish.

Unless you're attached to the snails then I would take this unfortunate opportunity to rid of them. If you choose to use a product that will kill the snails then at least you won't have to worry about harming your fish. Getting rid of snails can be a HUGE challenge.

Again, sorry for the loss of your fish. Good luck with getting the tank re-stocked.

Robin
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just to be clear, by clogged you don't mean lack of flow, but clogged media. Because flow has been good through this whole ordeal. These tiny snails, however, have infiltrated every little available space in the foam and the bio-rings. I don't believe poor water is the cause of this problem as I am very diligent with 40% weekly changes. I believe , rather , the poor quality is a result of the infestation. I have 3 other tanks on the very same maintenance schedule and they are in good condition. I tried everything I could to save these fish. The only thing I didn't do was clean the filters because I didn't want to remove any of the bacteria. I guess the snails did that anyway. I did everything I could possibly do to correct the problem from a barage of medications to large water changes and even added a UV sterilyzer. I am relieved , actually, to have found these pests. I thought I was doing something to poison these fish but I now know what the difference is between this tank and all the rest. SNAILS! Once I've gotten rid of most of them my loaches should take care of the rest after I get the tank up and going again. I have been banging my head against a wall for over a month trying to get to the bottom of this. Asking myself several questions only to come up with the same answers over and over again. I thought maybe there was something wrong with my water treatment- but I use the same treatment for all the other tanks. That couldn't be it .
Maybe I got some kind of airborne contaminate- but why isn't the other tank having the same problem?
I even tried to lay blame on the FX5 filters because that was the only difference between the 230 gallon and all the other tanks ( which are filtered by AC filters).
With 15 yrs in the hobby I haven't experienced anything quite so enigmatic. This hobby is always teaching me new things . The amount of articles on disease and treatments that I've read in the past month ,searching for a cure , is staggering.

One conclusion I can definately make is that there are a lot of meds out there that treat symptoms but the key is to find the trigger and I believe I have done that. I currently have no scientific proof but I'm confident that once the snails are gone so to will be my problems. I expect to hear a bunch of people come in and tell me that they actually use these snails to help keep their tanks clean and in smaller numbers they may be effective but not when they become a plague of locust-like proportions.
Lastly I'd like to thank you Robin for your expert advice and kind words. If you have anything else to add or if any of this information appears misleading or incorrect please post so we can help somebody else if they encounter similar problems. Losing a tank full of fish that took over a year to collect and grow out is not something I"d wish on anyone. It truely is heartbreaking.
 

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i am sorry for your lost. reading this wants me to go check my canisters but then again i dont want to disturb the bacteria. i hope you solve your problems by getting rid of those snails

again sorry for your lost
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I clicked a few shots while cleaning out the second filter. I decided to bleach all my filters and media and treat the main tank with coppersafe to whipeout any left in the sand . I retested the water with a different kit and got the same results.






I didn't want to disturb mine either but from now on if my water tests OK but I still have problems with sick fish - I will definately be checking the filters.
 

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You're welcome on the help, RDFISHGUY.

I don't mess with my canister filter every water change but you should open them up from time to time --like every two or three months to rinse out the excess gunk--or in this case, snails.
And you never know what else you'll find! I once found THREE C.Moorii fry living in the lightless water at the very bottom of my Eheim canister. One died but the other two have grown into beautiful adult fish. Now when I clean out my Eheim it takes forever because I have to examine every drop of water just in case there are any more brave little dolphins swimming around!

And you're so right, RDFISHGUY, meds and treatments abound but figuring out what ailment your fish have and as you say, what the trigger is, is the real challenge.

So on a happy note: what kind of fish are you going to re-stock with?

Robin
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think I am going to move my 125 set up to the 230 and move what's left of the Africans to the 125. Since I was going to have to upgrade the tank size for my synspilum anyway , I figure now is a good time to make the move. Once the ulcers are gone I'll add the following to the 125: 1 dimidiochromis kiwinge, 1 mylochromis lateristriga, 1 n. venustus, 4 m. msobo, 2 yellow labs ,1 labeotropheus fuelleborni , 1 ruby red peacock. I'd like to find a phenochilus and another Taiwon reef to add to that group, and maybe some more yellow labs.
 
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