Animal Stories - Fish Disease and Treatment


Animal-World Information about: Fish Disease and Treatment

Introduction to aquarium fish diseases and treatments.
Latest Animal Stories
Jim Simon - 2014-01-23
Hello, I have a 75gal tank , I started noticing white spots on some of my fish some flicking or rubbing on things . I treated for what I beleived was Ick . Have had a major die off of all species of fish. Now I've tried treating with E.M. Erythromycin fish still dieing.I looked very closely at front glass of tank and I can see very small white worms on glass . What do you suggest for a treatment . Any advice would be greatly appreciated .Thank you. Need help before everything dies

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-01-24
    If the white spotes look like sprinkles of salt, that is the parasite Ich, but if they are a bit larger, it could be caused by the bacterium Chondrococcus columnaris, known as mouth fungus.  Erythromycin is a good treatment for that. As far as the worms, well this sounds like you may have Planaria, often referred to as White Worms. Planaria are very small flatworms, they are related to flukes and tapeworms. If you look at them closely, you can see tiny eyes as well as protrusions from the sides of their heads. Planaria doesn't harm fish, but it is an indication that something is wrong with your tank. You need to give your tank a good cleening, especially the substrate as that is where they find food. They also feed on waste and dead plants.
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Taylor - 2014-01-18
I have a 75 gal tank & with an Albino Cichlid that started loosing weight but no loss of appetite. Now lays in a cave on the floor, it has no marks of injury or illness (ie: spots, external parasites, etc), the other fish seem healthy but have noticed 2 of the Electric Yellow Cichlids developed dark mottling around their faces. I have had all of these fish for a few years so I ruled out anything brought in by new fish. Does anyone have any information? Would metronidazol help?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-01-18
    I'm sorry to hear about your Albino Cichlid. Figuring out what's going on is a bit of a crapshoot. It sounds like an internal disorder and could be something called skinny disease / chronic wasting syndrome. This is a fairly general term, and can be the result of a bacterial infection, parasites,  or mycobacteria (fish tuberculosis - TB). Metronidazole may help as it is effective against a vast array of parasitic infections.

    The blackening on the faces of your Electric Yellows is also difficult to be certain about. It tends to happen mainly in males as a sign that a male is dominant and ready to breed. But it has also been said that it can be a sign of stress or it can be genetic- a sign that the fish stock is not a really pure strain. Hopefully there is an internal parasite and you are successful in treating it. Wishing you all the best.
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Holly - 2013-12-24
Hello, I have a clown loach that I noticed yesterday he has white spots on his tail. From what I can see its only his tail. It does not look like grains of salt its a bit bigger, not raised at all and is flat from what I can tell. Is it possible this little guy has something other than ICH? This same clown loach is much smaller than the siblings that I got at the same time and seems to have from the looks of it a small portion just behind his head sunken in, which resembles skinny disease. He is eating and playing with the others. I cant catch him as his in a 120 gallon tank. Since yesterday I have raised the tank temperature to 86f and added aquarium salt, although thus far I did half the recommended to watch how they react. This morning I did a big water change as usual and added more salt at half dose. Temp still at 86. I also went out and picked up coppersafe after reading this was safe for my all loach and upsidedown catfish tank. Since I noticed a few scrapping against objects I figured its better to treat them all. Now I have had dry levamisole powder on hand for awhile and I am also wondering if its safe to add the Levamisole now or should I wait? I have used the levamisole before, switching between levamisole and kanamycin and once had levamisole flakes which I noticed that 2 of my yoyo loaches rather large bellies went down after feeding the flakes. Levamisole is said to improve the immune system and be 'beneficial'. So my 2 questions are is it possible that the white spots may be any other disease? Is it safe to use the coppersafe with the levamisole so I would be covering internal and external parasites? Thanks

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-12-26
    Larger white spots are usually an indication of a fungal infection, which is usually results after some other issue, like a bacterial infection or a parasite.

    Personally I wouldn't use Levamisole in an aquarium. One report by an aquarist who attempted to use it for 'camellanus worms' ended up loosing a number of his fish and the other fish 'appeared appeared lethargic and uncoordinated' until he did massive water changes to remove it.

    Here's what I found on wikipedia, 'The drug Levamisole was withdrawn from the U.S. and Canadian markets in 2000 and 2003, respectively, due to the risk of serious side effects... The key toxic effect of the drug is agranulocytosis, a severe depletion of white blood cells that leaves patients vulnerable to infection...Currently, levamisole remains in veterinary use as a dewormer for livestock.' Apparently it is more availabe in the Europe.
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ashley - 2013-12-19
I currently have a 4 inch goldfish that I have had for years. About 3 days ago I noticed a spot on his nose and it has progressed rapidly now with what looks like the scales around his mouth have completely disappeared. He seems to be acting normal but I moved him to a new tank. He also has red blotches all on his body I'm not sure what to do with him or what he even has but he was in a tank with 7 other fish, him being the biggest and the tank is 60 gallons. Any suggestions? I have pictures if anyone is willing to look.

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  • Chrissy - 2013-12-21
    Hi Ashley, I've dealt with this before. It sounds like a fungul infection. If you don't do anything it can eventually kill your fish, but it is actually super easy to treat and I have cured many fish with these symptoms. Your local petstore or grocery store pet department (like Walmart) will have all kinds of fish medications. You could try a fizz tab like 'Jungle Fungus Cure', but there are lots of other options. I would suggest grabbing a few different kinds of medications just to have on hand if you decide you need to try another one a few weeks later. Follow the directios really closely on the box, take out your carbon from the filter, and make sure you do the recommended water changes. I would also recommend adding 'Water conditioner' and 'Quick Start'-to add the beneficial micro-organisms back into the aquarium water (Petco or Petsmart etc will have this) after you are done with the medication treatment. It is okay to treat the fish in the original tank with the other fish. Sometimes you cannot apply these medications to newly set up aquariums or it overdoses the fish (the directions on the box will say this under the 'cautions' section.) I have had one fish that would constantly get all kinds of infections and for the first two years we had him, I would have to treat him with meds regularly. Good luck! I hope your fish gets better soon!
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noronorobeam - 2013-12-15
My red tail catfish doesn't eat for a month? Help me..any proposal?

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Jennifer - 2013-11-25
I bought two new balloon Mollys 4 days ago and they have fin rot. One of the Molly's was pregnant and had her babies on the way home from the fish store. My question is can I treat my tank and four day old babies for fin rot with out killing all of the babies?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-12-10
    I believe you can, read the medication carefully though, just to make sure. It would be best if you could treat the adults in a separate tank though. Also make sure the water is pristine in the tank with the babies.
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Brian Boliba - 2013-12-07
My adult male midas cichlid has a lumpy redish swollen sore on one side behind the gill but before the fin. He is acting normal, eating normal and swimming normal. But this red lumpy looking growth is worrying me. Please help. I have no idea what it is or how I should start to treat it. He is in a 200 gallon tank with 7 other fish. Should I have to seperate him I only have a 35 gallon tank, would this be ok?? Thanks for any help! I have pictures of this growth/sore.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-12-10
    Various types of problems could cause a lump, though they are all just guesses. It could be An injury like from an aggressive tankmate, an ammonia burn, a bacterial infection, or possibly a fungal infection,

    Cases where similar wounds have been reported as treated successfully by directly applying melafix to the site with a q-tip. If you  rule out injury, then look at a bacterial infection, possibly columnaris. You could definitely isolate the fish and treat it with a broad spectrum antibacterial medication.

    Because you are commenting through the facebook app, you can upload pictures of your fish here as well.
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Shamin Shax - 2013-12-06
plz help me my silver arowana not wel not eat 3 week ago and line down plz help me plz

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-12-10
    A fish that isn't eating, will not survive. So the question is, why is the fish not eating. Water quality may very well be the reason, do a water change (use a water conditioner especially if you have chlorinated water), and then watch your ammonia and nitrite levels closely. Then look for aggressors, are there other fish that are dominating the tank? And finally, look at the habitat, make sure your fish is comfortable with appropriate decor and hiding places. If all that is good, then try enticing him to eat with live foods, bloodworms work great for this. Good luck!
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paing oo htut - 2013-12-04
My goldfish is in an upside down position now. What can I do? I have no medicine for fish.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-12-10
    Goldfish can suffer from internal 'swim bladder' problems. A good treatment is to feed some peas (thawed and skinned).
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Judy - 2013-12-01
Hi... I have a new (one of four) shebunkin goldfish that has developed a slightly swollen belly, amber colored and slightly bulging eyes, and a few red spots on her body. She was in a 600 gallon aquarium with other fish, and began to act sluggish three days ago, but would still eat when they were fed. I've moved her to a hospital tank because I noticed the red spots and the problem with her eyes. She now will make an attempt to go after her food and eat, but will immediately spit it out. Any ideas as to what this is and how to treat it?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-12-10
    Goldfish are prone to bloating, called bloat or dropsy. Bloating can be caused by bacteria that are commonly present in all aquariums. Healthy fish rarely effected and are only susceptible when their immune system has been compromised by some stress factor. Stress factors can be poor water quality, diet, or aggressive tankmates. Usually bloat doesn't cause bleeding externally, but can result in red streaking on the body or fins. The mortality rate is high, but if caught early it may be cured. The best treatment is to move it to a hospital tank, add salt at 1 tsp per gallon of water, feed high quality foods, and treat with an antibiotic.
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