Animal Stories - Fish Disease and Treatment


Animal-World Information about: Fish Disease and Treatment

Introduction to aquarium fish diseases and treatments.
Latest Animal Stories
Teresa Hindman - 2014-03-01
I have a 29 Gallon Aquarium with gouramis and german rams and gold rams and a rummy nose and neons. Over the past two weeks my fish have been one by one dying. Starting with my rams, they start breathing rapidly and it just increases, they get lethargic and stop eating and then die. Looks normal it went through all my rams and now my pearl gouramis are dying. I've treated with seachem paraguard and now using copper and still dying. Did water changes of 25% and 30% and had water checked was told it is very hard water. What is killing my fish? Does anyone know?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-03-09
    Hard to say, as you didn't identify anything you see on the fish, though you do describe lethargy and loosing their appetite. It may just be overcrowding, which causes too much bioload on the tank, increasing the ammonia. You have done the right thing for defense, good water changes, but if your fish aren't doing any better, then you need to look as the ability of the tank to house the fish you have. Also make sure there are places of retreat, like rocks and plants. As an aside, newer tanks handle fewer fish then well established aquariums.
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John - 2013-12-29
I have a 30 gallon half moon tank. The water conditions are good. I have had a goldfish losing his scales for about 2 months now. The water conditions were bad then but not now. But, all 6 of my goldies are losing scales, and that 1 that has been loing scales for a while is now flashing and swimming uncontrollably. What meds can I use? I understand it's a parasite. I believe my choices are maracyn, maracyn II, and maracyn plus? What should I do other than keep water in good conditions? Maybe heat the water and medicate? Or just use medication and leave temp where it is at (72-75 farenheit)? Please help.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-01-04
    As goldfish are cold water fish, they do best in cooler water, but can be kept in tropical conditions. Good quality water provided with regular water changes are always needed, not only to prevent disease but also to help cure it. Check out the Maracyn types at the pet store and pick the one that best suits your situation. Then follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer, it should tell you if a specific temperature is needed for best results.
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-16
    Abel, African sharptooth catfish, Clarias gariepinus, are subject to a wide variety of diseases including bacteria, fungi and miscellaneous parasites. these are usually the result of stress, overcrowding, and poor water quality. I would recommend a good water change, and the addition of Melafix, which is a natural antibacterial treatment.

    Bacterial infection is one of the most common, often identified as white spots with a red periphery appearing on the skin. There is also something called an 'ulcerative disease'. It is described as 'Skin ulceration; sluggish behaviour; red or white necrotic skin ulcers' and these sores can be found in the mouth area, but are also found on the caudal peduncule. This disease has no known 'fix' other proper water management. I would recommend a good water change, and the addition of Melafix, which is a natural antibacterial treatment.
  • Abel - 2014-02-16
    I have clarias gariepinus, I noticed some patches towards the tail, but as time went on, it started peeling off into sores. It ended up eating up the tail. What do I do because I have lost o much of them. They are less than 3weeks old
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Joyce - 2014-02-15
I have a black red tailed shark which has recently developed a very large swollen white lump over its left eye. I have no idea what this could be or what may be causing this. I have several other fish in the same tank but this appears to be the only fish with this problem. Do you have any idea what could be causing this and what i should do about it?I

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-16
    It could be he is running into somthing, make sure there is a large open area for him to swim and no aggressive tankmates chasing him.
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Leah - 2014-02-05
My golden dojo loach is about 5 months old. He is in a 46 gallon tank with a common pleco, rainbow shark, amd a dwarf neon gourami. The tank has a live plant (along with hiding places and rocks), filter, sand, and heater. A few days ago I noticed he sort of floated from his tail end but managed to keep himself where he wanted to be. An hour ago I noticed he was floating upside down at the top and breathing. I have been watching him and I notice he is trying to flip back right side up but can't seem to do it. I'm very worried about him and not sure what to do. I have a smaller tank with my dwarf frog that I could transfer him to but I don't want to make him more uncomfortable with the transfer. I also don't know if he's been eating enough. I feed them a very good amount but the gourami and shark seem to always be hungry and eat. I've caught the shark chasing him around the tank a few times but the loach doesn't have any noticeable injuries. Just a little pale. Please help me out. I love this lil guy.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-05
    These are strong fish, but he sounds like he's very stressed, most likely from the tankmates A separate tank to recover would be good, and make sure there are plenty of hiding places, especially with soft whispy plants.
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Jana Beth Berry - 2014-02-03
About 2 weeks ago, my goldfish started growing these bumps on his nose/ upper lip. Now there are 3 of them. He is about 7-8 inches long , shares a tank with another goldfish of the same size and a 14 inch pleco. They are in a 30 gallon tank with 2 filters, one for a 25-50 gallon tank and one for a 10-15 gallon tank. I haven't used chemicals in their tank since right after it was set up. They seemed fine until this growth a couple of weeks ago.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-04
    If your fish is a variety that has a cap, like an oranda or lionhead, it could just be the beginnings of his cap.
  • Jana Beth Berry - 2014-02-04
    I dont believe he is, but I am not sure. He is at least a year and a half old now. I got him from the 25cent tank at the pet store. I am not familiar with those breeds of gold fish. Would it take this long to grow his cap?
  • Jana Beth Berry - 2014-02-04
    I just looked up the oranda and lionhead goldfish. He looks like neither one. He has a single tail and a dorsel fin. I cant figure out how to upload a picture on here to show what I am talking about.
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-05
    If you fish is eating an acting normal, I wouldn't worry too much. As far as the cap... The cap is known as a 'wen'. It can starts to show some as early as 3 - 4 months, but it really starts forming at about 1 - 2 years, and becomes full in about 2 - 2 1/2 years.
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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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