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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Im very upset now. *** been a long time lurker and looker but this is my first post. Everything started about a month ago. I had a healthy tank with about 10 fish in a 55 gallon tank. I went on vacation for 2 weeks and everything went to h**l. I had my GF feed and watch after the tank (not that she really had anything to do with the problems). Before i left i noticed some behavioral changes in the fish, Some lost apatite, One died, and then it was good for the week. The next week rolled around and i was back for 4 days. 2 fish died and i then went to my local Cichlid gu-ru's to get their opinion. They suspected something bacterial from my description of the fish.

Well lets skip ahead a few weeks and 3 of 4 dead fish later...Now I'm down to five. They are acting like they have ick, breathing heavy, no appetite, scratching, no real signs of ick spots. Went to my gu-ru again and we both decided it was ick. I have been treating for 2 days now and i have lost 3 fish and Im sure another will be gone in the morning. Everything really went downhill fast. Tonight i noticed on one of the two last that it has some red almost like small pimple spots on him. (see photo below).

Any idea on whats going on? I know its probably a lost cause now but i would really like to know where i went wrong for the future. The tank has been established and running fine for about 1.5 years. I do a weekly 20-25% water change and keep a close eye on everything. I have noticed lately a thick dark green slime has formed on all the rocks that get light. I don't know if this has anything to do with it.

I'm beginning to loose trust in my local so called gu-ru. I just feel bad because I love my fish and i did not mean to kill them.

Photo:


Thanks for all the help

Ian
 

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Welcome to CF! Sorry your first post has to be one like this.

What are the water parameters on the tank?

Was any tank maintenance done in your absence? Do you think the fish could have been overfed? (This one looks a bit bloated...)

Are you using a good dechlorinator that works against chlorine and chloramines?

The fish in the pic above appears to have hemorraghic septicemia, which means blood poisoning, basically.

You may have more than one problem going on in your tank...Although I do see some spots that look like ich, I think that may be the least of your worries.

Your first step should be to get the septicemia under control, if it's not too late. I would do that by doing a huge water change (50%), then adding both Maracyn and Maracyn II to the tank. This will give you antibiotic coverage against both gram positive and gram negative bacteria, and will be your best bet for reversing the septicemia. You may need to administer the meds for 7 - 10 days, and squeeze in all the water changes you can prior to the daily dosage.

Once you get that cleared up, we'll see how the fish are behaving and try to determine whether you need to treat for bloat, as well.

I wouldn't waste any time initiating treatment. Remove carbon from the filters if it's been in use for less than 2 weeks, as it will remove the meds from the water as fast as you add them.

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
hello Kim,

Parameters are all ok....took a sample to the aquarium shop although im not 100% sure what he tested, probably nitrite and nitrate ....i know i really need my own test kit. That will be my next purchase.

There was the normal maintenance done while i was gone...Water changes etc... I don't think they could of been overfed. They get fed one a day and only a minimal amount. THe fish pictured has not eaten in about a 5 days.

The dechlorinator does work against both...not sure on the brand though.

hemorraghic septicemia sounds like a slow painful process....i do believe its gone past the return point though. I woke up to another fish gone, not the one pictured, He is the only one left.

I did a large nearly 50% water change on Thursday afternoon.

I really don't think that he will make it until i get home from work. If he is i will start on the Process ASAP.

Im moving in less than a month so the best thin might be to start fresh if this last one does die. If i do do this, is there anything that i need to do to treat the tank and its contents before i set it up to run again? Should i even try and save the water or just start a recycle when it is set up at the new location? I feel so bad and I should have made this post sooner. :(

Thanks for all your help

Ian
 

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If it is septicemia, it was caused by poor water quality or organ failure. Organ failure might fly if it were only one fish affected, but many times organ failure stems from poor water quality, so there aren't any clear answers here. I do believe that is what you are dealing with, and I would strongly advise you to get your own liquid reagent test kits rather than rely on the LFS. (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph should be tested regularly at the very least...)

If you lose this one, I would tear the tank down and allow everything to dry thoroughly, then start from scratch once you move.

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So should i be doing more than a 30% weekly water change? less feeding? I feed only once a day and they usually devour the food within 2 minutes and thats all they get for the day.

I will defiantly get a liquid test kit. Any location you can point me to buy online?

If he passes i will clean everything out and start fresh at the new location. Once I move I will have to recycle the tank and wait for everything to even out again correct? It should cycle faster with established substrate and rocks correct?

I know it is my sole responsibility for the health of my fish and i dropped the ball big time on this one, I just don't want this to happen again. I just want to learn as much as i can from this experience and try my best to prevent a situation like this in the future.

Thanks for all your help Kim, I truly appreciate your views and guidance.

Ian
 

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There are several factors that will tell you whether a 30% water change weekly is sufficient.

The first thing you need to do is be able to monitor your water parameters. Once nitrates reach close to 20, it's time for a water change.

The second factors is in making sure you have great filtration that is in tip top running shape at all times.

You will lose all beneficial bacteria in our substrate and rocks if all your fish die. You need the cycle of food/waste in order to keep your balances in check.

Try cutting back their food to no more than they can consume in 1 minute.

It could also be that you have something more than sepsis going on. They could suffer from internal infection, as well.

The Maracyn and Maracyn II combo should be helpful.

Kim
 
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