Panicked beginner, I used aquarium salt instead of epsom salt to help my sick convict. Can I even use the epsom salts now? 55 gal tank with nitrate problem (working on that). She is hiding, not eating and has the anal bulge and long white string.
We use salts for various ailments but they aren't always effective on their own so for the moment, don't worry about the salt.
A few quick questions for you:
How long has the tank been set up?
What is your nitrate, ammonia and nitrite reading?
How long has the fish been sick--days, hours,--a week?
How long have you had this particular fish?
How many and what other species in the 55 with her?
What have you done so far for the nitrate?
In the meantime do this:
30% partial water change using a good quality dechlorinator. Siphon the gravel
Add Epsom salt at the rate of 1 tablespoon per 5gallons--dissolve it first and add it gradually over 6-8 hours time.
I am ashamed of my nitrate levels but I just did a test and they were 50 which is down from 100 yeaterday. I have a large sunspot catfish and a young Herichthys tamasopoensis I have had for about 3 weeks. I have had the Convict for about 3 months but she has only been sick for 3-4 days. 25% water change last night. I am very bad about overfeeding as my husband pointed out when he checked the canister filter a few hours ago. used focus powder and kent garlic liwuid to dose the food but since she is not eating I don't hold our much hope for that to work
Okay well that's great that you've already gotten the nitrate down that far. Once nitrate gets 'up there' it can be a bit of effort (daily or every other day partial water changes) to get it down.
It sounds like she may have Bloat. Since she's not eating you can treat the water. Here are some options on meds:
Jungle Parasite Clear
You want to start treatment right away so see what your local fish store has available. Last time I checked Walmart carried some Jungle products. Whatever treatment you go with start with a 30% partial water change and gravel siphoning. Keep the Epsom salt at the same level, (1T/5gallons).
You can remove the convict to a hospital tank and treat separately or treat in the 55g. I don't know how sensitive your catfish may be to any of these meds so you might want to separate and if you have the choice of either Clout or JPC the JPC is likely to be less harsh.
If you find the Metronidazole powder, (Seachem usually), you may want to go with a stronger dosage then what you find in the directions. Most find that you can dose 250mg/per ten gallons twice daily.
Fish that have been exposed to Bloat but are not showing symptoms should also be treated. If you separate them then you can feed your still healthy fish with a medicated food.
Thank you Robin for your help. Sadly she did not make it and that could have been avoided. On the advice of a local very reputable fish store, I gave them some dried seaweed and the convict gobbled all of it up. If I do decide to get another one I have learned a sad but valuable lesson. Thanks again.