Cichlid Fish Forum banner

Tank Illness...4 gone in 3 days...any clue? red spots

1804 Views 5 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  cichlidaholic
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.


Thanks for all the help

See less See more
1 - 3 of 6 Posts
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.

See less See more
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.

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.

See less See more
1 - 3 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.