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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Apologies in advance for the long post.

I have 125 gallon tank has been set up for 3 weeks now. It was sucessfuly cycled using a product called Stability by seachem (your basic bacteria in a box). Cycling was confirmed using test kits. Last readings before a 30% water change last sunday were 0 ammonia 0 nitrites and 5ppm of nitrates. Temp is a steady 78.5 and ph is around 8.1.

Products I'm using include:
Prime
Seachem Flourish (about 3/4 of recommended dose)
Seachem Cichlid salts (about half dose)
Feed is: NLS Growth and Mysis shrimp

I think two things have happenened to weaken some fish. First, the cycling of the tank with them in it (ammonia never above 0.5ppm, same with nitirites). Second was a very aggressive hap alhi that took over the tank after after introduction. The alhi, as of last Sunday, has been removed.

About 10 days ago, I noticed a 1 1/2 inch Lethrinops Albus rubbing his gill area against the gravel more often than is normal. This was soon followed by others doing the same (mostly Eureka Peacocks) but others were also joining in. The next day the Albus's breathing was laboured and stopped eating. I commenced using a 6 day course of metro which seemed to help out quite a bit as the albus's heavy breathing has stopped, but not the flashing.

Everyone was looking pretty good last Sunday when I did a water change. After the water changed, things started to fall apart again. There are now a number of fish who are flashing (the albus is now practically doing barrel rolls accross the front of the tank). Also, it looks like the colour has been drained from my 3 inch male Eureka Peacock juveniles (they are almost transparent) and their fins now seem a little clamped. Everyone seems to be eating well and there are no signs of infection like ick that I can see. The only thing I've noticed is that some of the fish have a red colouring around their gills, which is espcially noticeable with the peacocks due to their lack of colour. Most of the fish - even those with this noticeable reddening around the gills - seem to be breathing and eating fine. The Albus are the ones that show the worst symptoms, but due to their silver sheen, I can't see any red around their gills.

From my reseach it looks like I'm dealing with either gill or skin flukes. Seems like the best med for this is something called PraziPro. I have some on order and am expecting to receive it today along with some Paraguard from Seachem.

I'm wondering if there is any chance this may be a bacterial problem rather than flukes. Is there any bacterial infections that affect the gills only causing them to turn redish?

Anyone have an opinion on which med to try first: the Prazipro or the Paraguard. FYI, the Paraguard is a methalene green based product that is designed for a broad spectrum of stuff including bacterial, fungal and viral issues, but I dont know anyone who has tried it.

pete
 

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My first worry are your water parameters. What kind of test kits are you using? Dip stick or liquid reagent? (The dipstick are unreliable, as is the Stability...)

Were the fish added immediately with the Stability? How many fish? What is the full stock list and what sizes are they?

It may be gill flukes, but I'm a bit hesitant to have you add more meds to a relatively new tank without digging a bit further.

I would get a second opinion on my test results first thing. The fish are behaving as if they could have ammonia poisoning, but the symptoms are much like gill flukes.

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply.

I'm using the API master test kit with liquid reactants. Kit was puchased just recently so it shouldn't be a problem. I'm testing about 3-5 times a week. Water changes are approximatly 40%, once per week. There was one week when I did two changes due to small ammonia spike of up to 0.5 ppm. I have been using carbon but not since the testing showed the cycle was completed.

FYI, the kit distictly showed a rise to 0.5ppm for ammonia, then it dropped. Then the Nitrites rose to 0.5 ppm, then dropped. Then the Nitrates rose to 5 ppm. I assumed then that the tank had cycled. Hard to believe that all three seperate reactents could be faulty and show such a distinct pattern.

BTW, the last reading I took for Nitrates showed that it has raised to 10 ppm.

There are now 19 fish in the tank in total, mostly juveniles. Biggest fish is a sunshine peacock at 4 inches at most. Tank is being filtered by a Eheim 2229 wet dry and a Hagan HOB 110. Fish are fed twice a day with NLS growth and a little freeze dried Mysis shrimp.

I understand your line of reasoning though. Its just that I have done everything in the book to prevent a spike from getting out of hand. The other thing that puzzles me is why things seemed to fall part after the last water change. Seems (maybe) like I might have stirred up the eggs that survived the metro and reinfected the tank. Its also funny that the peacocks seem to have it first and the worst. They are the most avid gravel sifters in the tank. The 6 comps have a very light flush around their gills (barely perceptable and perhaps even my imagination) and are barely flashing at all. The peacocks are the real canaries in this coal mine. Aside fromthe flashing, the Albus are swimming around like little fools - I've never seen them so active.

pete
 

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Okay, now I got it...

It sounds like the Stability didn't do much as far as "instant cycle" goes. (Biospira is the only "bacteria in a bottle" that I know of that people swear by...I've used both Stability and Cycle in the past, but found the Stability didn't work well at all and the Cycle only works with minimal fish load...)

So, the fish went through the cycle...

I'd treat for gill flukes, then. PraziPro should be fine, but keep in mind that gill flukes can be quite hard to get rid of, so you may need to do several rounds of treatment.

If you need further help, post back...

And squeeze in all the water changes you can!

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's my conclusion too, but thanks for hearing me out. Its nice to confirm with someone who has more experience than myself. One last question if you don't mind.

I'm contemplating using metro-soaked food (flakes, NLS and Mysis) between fluke treatments for some added anti parasitic punch. I realize I'll have to do a few rounds with the prazipro to kill the fluke cycle, but in between, I was thinking about the metro since it is both effective and well tolerated. At the very least I was thinking of trying this between the first and second round of prazi treatments.

Good idea or is this overkill and just another stress on the fish?

If this is a good idea, any tips on soaking the food (like how long and how many scoops)?

pete
 

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Well, I don't think it's going to hurt anything! Fish are more prone to other problems when they are dealing with illness, so IMO, it's not a bad idea. (I keep Jungle antiparasitic food at all times and use it along with alot of other meds!)

When I soak food in meds, I use pellets only, and use a daily dosage of the medication along with a tablespoon or so of tank water. I stir it well to make sure each piece is coated well with meds and water, and let it sit for a half hour before feeding.

Good luck!

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey Kim:

Progress report and question.

Did a 60% water change last night and added the Prazipro. I was able to watch them for about 15 minutes this morning and didn't see any signs of flashing. Fish seemed a little reserved though and didn't feed as aggressively as usual. Might have been the big water change freaked them out a bit or it could be the meds, I'm not sure. The comps for the most part remained hidden. Some fish were spitting the Mysis, but that may because it was soaked in the metro. Will do another big water change on Monday (4 days from last change) and treat again with Prazi.

Question: assuming I'm on the right track here, how many days should it be before I see the blush and reddish colour leave the area under the operculum? With the flashing gone (hopefully) this is the last visual sign that something is wrong.

Thanks in advance,

pete
 

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As I said earlier, gill flukes can be really hard to get rid of, so once the flashing has stopped entirely, I would say you should be able to see some improvement in a week or so.

The biggest problem I've seen with gill flukes is that hobbyist tend to think the fish are fine and stop the treatment too early.

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yep, that's what I've read. From what I can tell the egg cycle is about 4 days hence the retreatment on day 4 and perhaps on day 8.

Thanks for your help Kim.

pete
 

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I would extend it to day 12 or 16, just to make sure.

The meds we have access to are relatively mild, if they weren't, we'd need a prescription. I almost always double the treatment courses recommended!

Kim
 
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