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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the second of my fish with this problem. The first one happened 5 days ago to the same species as this one.



The first one this happened to had a fairly bloated belly and then the side just sort of popped open.

On this one pictured I didn't notice any bloating but just now noticed this hole in its side. The holes are both on the same side of the two different fish.

The first fish this happened to I isolated and treated with Metronidazole and it seems to be healing ok.

Any ideas what this could be and if I should just continue to treat with antibacterial?

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 20ppm
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I am treating my main tank similar to how I treated my first fish that I put in isolation. I will slowly raise the temp to 85, soaked pellets in metronidazole, and will continue this for at least 5 days.

If anyone has any other diagnosis or suggestions please let me know.

Thanks.

edit: My reasoning for that temperature is I read metronidazole precipitates out of water below 85 and I'm dumping the metronidazole left from the food soak into the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A week has passed and the first fish to exhibit these symptoms is doing ok in the main tank. Eating well but still has a small hole.

The second fish, pictured above, ended up passing today. I had thought it was doing well but then it was lethargic at the bottom of the tank. I isolated it yesterday and it passed today.

Here's what it looked like.



I'm still working under the assumption this was a bacteria infection and there is probably nothing I could have done differently to try to save this fish. I have stopped medicating the main tank but I may go back to medicating their food for another week.

Any thoughts?
 

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Sorry for your loss- I'm glad the first fish is okay.

I think you're right about it being bacterial. The problem is that raising the temp to 85 helps out the bacteria to keep growing. Metronidazole has solubility issues in high pH water; I haven't read that temperature is an issue with using metro.

Lower the temp back to normal, and I also recommend switching to a drug better suited for external infections. Maracyn I or other erythromycin product should be used.
 

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Medicated food is usually a good thing but with something like this it might be better to hold off on feeding for a few days. Food passing through may increase the liklihood of infection.

Keep the water conditions perfect and perhaps treat the water, not the food.

Robin

Amazingly this is not an unusual occurrence and even more amazing is that fish can and do recover. I remember someone who had a fish with a hole in it's side and food was escaping from the hole!!

If you have a fish that is bloated and still eating the first thing you want to do is stop feeding the fish for at least a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input and advice.

The main tank temp was set back to 78 as soon as I isolated the fish that died.

I hadn't realized Metronidazole had the solubility issues that it does until I needed to use it. I guess I'll leave that for when I soak food.

I do have a box of Maracyn I on hand so I'll monitor the surviving fish and see if I should isolate him and treat with Maracyn.

The thing I learned from this is how delicate fish can be. Next time I'll take precautions against bacteria before introducing a major stress factor in their lives.
 

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Next time I'll take precautions against bacteria before introducing a major stress factor in their lives.
Bacterias that threaten our fish are often ubiquitous to the tank and they cause the fish no harm until something else stresses them and then the bacteria gets out of control.
So the best way to handle it is just good care and maintenance of the tank. Keep compatible species so there's less of a chance for fish to fight and injure each other, (injuries get infected), don't overfeed your fish, do weekly partial water changes, etc.

I would not do anything like medicating the tank with an antibiotic to kill bacteria before any sort of illness or problem arises.

Fish do get all kinds of weird, even grotesque illnesses. (hole in the head, bloat, popeye, etc) but if you catch these things early enough, address any water quality issues, fish are actually fairly resilient.

Best of luck with getting this fish back to good health

Robin
 
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