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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all

I have a pair of sick German Blue Rams. A quick summary

90 Gallon heavily planted tank
Weekly 30% water changes, using Prime as a conditioner
Two AQ300 as filters, PH is 6.8, temp 82, Ammonia, nitrite and nitrates are all zero. I have to dose the tank rather heavily to get any sort of Nitrate reading as the plants use things up. The tank is a bit overgrown right now, so we're not dosing much to keep growth to a minimum until we decide how we want the tank laid out.

In the tank we have 2 Sturisoma Festivum (twig cats), 2 Siamese Algae eaters, 2 Pearl Gouramis, 5 Dwarf Chain loaches, 2 Clown loaches (getting big, will probably need to moved in the next year or so), about two dozen tetras, (mostly rummy-nose, but a few cardinals as well), 6 otocinclus, 4 female Blue Rams, 3 filter shrimp and a bunch of 'Amano' shrimps. The tank has been stable for at least a year, the last additions were the four female Rams about 8 months ago, and the males about 6 months ago. It's a very happy tank, no one chases anyone around (other than inter-species squabbling, but even that's minimal).

In the past few weeks I have noticed singular white spots, once on the tail, another time where the pectoral fin attaches to the body. These cleared up with no other apparent effects in a day or two. More recently, he had a red spot on his side, behind the pectoral fin. It was in the shape of a c, it looked like he had bled a little behind a scale. Again, it cleared up in a few days. He was always eating up until 3 days ago, so then I pulled him and put him into a small 2.5g planted tank for observation. He wasn't looking too good so I medicated with Maracyn 1 and 2.

Yesterday morning, I notice the other male Ram remaining in the main tank is holding at the bottom and looking dark. I setup our 5 gallon tank, moved the first Ram into it, and then captured the other from the main tank and put it into the hospital tank with the other. The sicker of the two Rams has some white spots on his head with some white cottony growth on them. The growth is very difficult to see, and I am unable to get any satisfactory pictures, sorry.

So, I am unsure as to what exactly I am dealing with, so I hit it with everything I had. Maracyn 1 and 2 for bacteria, MarOxy in case it was fungal, and Aquazole (metronidazole-based med)if it was parasitic. I've also got a tablespoon of salt in a cup of water that I'm slowly adding to the tank.

The stronger of the two Rams is still eating, the other is not. He seems to show some interest in food, but eats very little at best. He did have a bit of poo coming out this morning, so I guess he's eating something. but certainly not enough.

Any suggestions welcome, I'd especially like to narrow it down and discontinue the unnecessary meds.

Thanks

Brian
 

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Brian, are you dosing with all these meds at once? If you are, you may not be helping the situation any.

It sounds like you may have more than one thing going on. The white bumps and "c" shaped area sound like potential anchor worm, which would require an antiparasitic.

But the white cottony growths on the head sound like Columnaris, a bacterial infection, which would need immediate attention.

The good news is that you're on the right track with the Maracyn and Maracyn II.

I would stop the other meds and finish a full 7 days, preferably 10, of this combination. You might do a good water change on the tank and replace some fresh carbon for a few hours before adding the Maracyns.

Once you complete this and get them back in shape, you can treat for anchor worm, if the problem reoccurs.

That's just too much medication at once to put in a tank, especially for one of the more fragile cichlids.

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I did treat with all those meds. I initially wasn't able to diagnose, but Columnaris certainly seems to be the culprit. These are one of our favourite fish, we'd had trouble keeping Rams previously, but learned our lessons and these ones were doing quite well.

I've now scaled it back to just Maracyn 1 and 2, wil complete the cycle. The weaker one isn't dead yet, and isn't getting worse at this point (not getting better either, but...). He's showing some interest in food, but not eating yet, hopefully tonight...

I'm changing about 50% of the water each day (it's only a 5G), they definitely seemed to enjoy that...

I'll post any new developments,

Thanks

Brian
 
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