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Fish for the Planted Aquarium Planted Aquarium Fish - Discuss which type of aquarium fish are best suited for the aquatic plant environment you have created. Create a natural home for aquarium fish using aquatic plants.

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Old 05-16-2006, 01:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by raven_wilde
I'm sorry Jan, that was a bit cavalier of me, flushing is horrible, I do know better... anyway, I'm not a member of AquaDen so I can't read that link, so what kind of alternative methods are we speaking of?...
I didn't think it would be like you to do that. Thanks for bringing it to my attention about not being able to read the article it if you're not registered. It wasn't supposed to be that way, so I fixed it and you should be able to see it now. It is worth the read.
I personally use the freezer method, and I've heard they just go to sleep and don't feel much.

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Originally Posted by dwalstad
I hope to see the day when hobbyists will seek out stores like yours--- stores that make an effort to buy fish from reputable sources and to care for them properly.
Yes, it would be nice if more places made the effort to carry only high quality fish and treated them like they would their own. Hopefully with more people getting serious about it, the stores may find they have to come around. Is that wishful thinking?
The annoying thing is that now our big chain store must be losing fish sales, so they've started selling the same types of fish as the good store does, but for a lesser price, and of course lesser quality....
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hmmmm, Diana, I also have a question.

Last fall, I got a trio of red veil-tailed guppies from a hobbyist & breeders auction. They and some red wag platies from the same auction are in a tank established just for them (kind of permanent quarantine). The male guppy died inexplicably about 5 weeks in. I added a larger male Endler, just for kicks. No other casualties since the male guppy. Platies are breeding, and everyone eats vigorously. However, both the female guppies constantly look like they're hugely gravid. Dark gravid spot, and the ribcage pushed like they have a huge load of babies ready to be dropped. However, They have looked like this continually for 7 months now. I KNOW the male Endler is extremely attentive, and they've appeared receptive, or at least it looks like they've been mating. There was ONE baby that looked like it was probably a guppy baby, but I only saw him for a few days. The population density is such that he probably got eaten by a larger platy. Could this be TB in the female guppies?

Thanks for always-interesting posts!
-Jane
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Old 05-17-2006, 07:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Probably a dumb question but:

Endlers and guppies can interbreed?

I don't know why I am surprised by this, livebearers have always been a bit of a mystery to me, even the ones I've managed to keep successfully.
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Old 05-17-2006, 08:02 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Endlers and guppies can interbreed?
Yes. If my memory serves me correctly, Endlers are (were) a subpopulation of guppies that were environmentally isolated. Someone please correct above if wrong.
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Old 05-17-2006, 09:30 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm not quite sure about their classification - they CAN interbreed, and produce fertile offspring, so that rules out the usual species distinction (think horse + donkey = mule, which is sterile). BUT, I've read articles about female preference and breeding selection in Endlers and Guppies, and the females of both groups show a strong perference for their "own" type of males. Offspring from a "cross" are not as plentiful (smaller brood size).

Typically the offspring from a "Fancy" guppy x Endlers cross are not as colorful as the fancy guppy, because the specific traits that have been bred for are "diluted". But, there are some very pretty offspring, nonetheless, so I was curious. Often the brilliant coloration of the Endlers shows up in the offspring (neon green streaks, day-glo red spots). Besides which, I have PLENTY of the Endlers (pure wild strain, 'Center Peacock' in their own Endlers-only 15 gal). So, this male will never go back to his fellows - I'm keeping the wild strain isolated. But, I guess I must have less respect for the fancy guppy lines (DOH!) because I was willing to mess with them.

Anyhow, the one solitary guppy baby was probably the Endler's offspring (it had a black dot in his tail developing at only 8-10 days old!). But, he's nowhere to be found, now. This was all recent, too, and both female guppies still look ready to drop a brood of dozens! Their scales are NOT ruffled out, (in fact, they're quite shiny and healthy looking) and other than this unnaturally long-lasting fullness, they show no signs of ill health.

Has anyone else noticed this continual mega-pregnant look?
-Jane
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane in Upton
Hmmmm, Diana, I also have a question.

Last fall, I got a trio of red veil-tailed guppies from a hobbyist & breeders auction. They and some red wag platies from the same auction are in a tank established just for them (kind of permanent quarantine). The male guppy died inexplicably about 5 weeks in. I added a larger male Endler, just for kicks. No other casualties since the male guppy. Platies are breeding, and everyone eats vigorously. However, both the female guppies constantly look like they're hugely gravid. Dark gravid spot, and the ribcage pushed like they have a huge load of babies ready to be dropped. However, They have looked like this continually for 7 months now. I KNOW the male Endler is extremely attentive, and they've appeared receptive, or at least it looks like they've been mating. There was ONE baby that looked like it was probably a guppy baby, but I only saw him for a few days. The population density is such that he probably got eaten by a larger platy. Could this be TB in the female guppies?

Thanks for always-interesting posts!
-Jane
Dear Jane,

That's too bad that the fish you got from a hobbyist were diseased. I'm also sorry to hear that people are selling sick fish at auctions. However, this disease is very hard to pin down (without an autopsy).

Because of disease prevalence in guppies and symptoms you've described, I would guess that it is tuberculosis. Their bodies are filled with fluid, not babies. Normal guppies don't hold their babies for months. Below is a well-written article about Fish TB in Rainbowfish that describes the myriad of bizarre symptoms, including body swelling. The swelling can, in my opinion, come from either an internal build-up of ascites fluid (Dropsy) or a liver malfunction that makes the fish overweight. Two of my Rainbowfish became grossly overweight from the disease.

http://members.optushome.com.au/chelmon/Myco.htm

I don't think disease spread to the Platies or other tanks is inevitable. Fish species differ in their susceptibility and mycobacteria differ wildly in their virulence. The fish's luck can also be a factor, as some fish do completely escape infection even in infected tanks.

I don't see any reason to tear down the tank, but I would euthanize the two guppies.
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Old 05-18-2006, 05:03 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Thank you for the reply, Diana.

Darn - I figured it was TB, but was still holding out hope that it was some odd "guppy thing". And you answered my "next" question before I asked it - about euthanizing the guppies. I don't think the platies have it, as they're breeding, eating and generally look in top-notch shape (no odd swellings).

I'll keep the remaning occupants of that tank isolated, and obviously never pass on any platy offspring born in it to other hobbyists. I'm going to be very thorough about washing everything after working in that tank, too. I'm thinking of the earlier posts (on WT, but worth looking up here on APC for those who are interested) about transferrance to other tanks and the potential risks to humans.

Is there a way to sterilize tools between tanks? Or would a thorough "hand scrub" with very warm to hot water (what I do now) suffice?

Can I transplant plants from that tank to my others? I recall that thread about this type of bacteria, and I believe someone mentioned that the genus is on plants, in soil, and generally well distributed in the environment, BUT, once it has "set up" in fish, it was unlikely to go back.

If it is transferrable via plants, is there a method of sterilizing or ridding the plants of it (like a diluted bleach dip)? I have a few really nice things in that tank I'd hate to just trash.

Thanks!
-Jane
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Old 05-18-2006, 06:44 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Hi Jane,

I'm not sure that I would worry too much about it.

Why? Because many fish that have passed through my tanks (over the years) probably had tuberculosis. I suspect that the many of the store-bought guppies, Blue Dwarf Gouramis, etc that died within a few weeks were probably infected with TB.

In earlier post (this thread) I discussed the Neon Blue guppies I purchased from an aquarium store in 1987. I suspect now that were infected (at the wholesaler level) with tuberculosis. I purchased at least 6 pairs of these fish over time. None lived more than a couple weeks.

However, I kept one male with a non-infected female (different strain purchased from a guppy breeder) for two weeks in a 5 gal tank before he died. His offspring (see Color Plate 1 in my book) were not infected. Note: TB can be transmitted from a guppy female (or any livebearer) to her young. The chances for a male transmitting it via sperm is probably much, much less.

None of my fish since 1987-2004 seemed to have problems-- despite the fact that I took no precautions.

I do not think that sterilizing equipment is necessary or advisable in your home aquarium situation. Moreover TB bacteria are extremely resistant to sterilization methods-- chloroxing, chemicals, antibiotics, salt, etc. I think cleaning measures just kill normal bacteria that eventually will "outgrow" them. What will truly kill mycobacteria is: a few minutes at 70C (think of "milk pasteurization" used to kill human tuberculosis bacteria) and UV light.

I would keep an eye on the platies but not worry too much. As long as they are breeding and not showing symptoms, you're probably okay. Should any show symptoms (lethargy, not eating, etc), I would euthanize the afflicted fish immediately.

It seems to me that the really virulent strains that cause the problems are mainly associated with diseased fish. Thus, letting fish die in the tank and be picked on by healthy fish is a real no-no. I suspect that mycobacteria don't last long once outside the fish.

Hope this helps!

Diana
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Old 05-19-2006, 07:49 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanS
Yes, it would be nice if more places made the effort to carry only high quality fish and treated them like they would their own. Hopefully with more people getting serious about it, the stores may find they have to come around. Is that wishful thinking?
JanS,

I share your line of thinking.

The more we educate hobbyists in caring for their fish (as you are doing so nicely), and warning hobbyists of the prevelance of diseased fish in the aquarium hobby, the better.

I'd love to see aquarium stores start addressing the disease issue head-on. I think they could make a lot of headway over chain stores by making some effort to sell relatively disease-free fish and educating their customers. They should let their customers know that they have a superior product, and that it just might be worth the extra cost. A little pamplet saying, "Here's what our store does to sell you healthy fish."

Aquarium store managers should be actively addressing the TB issue, since the disease can be transmitted to humans ('Fish Tank Syndrome') and have nasty consequences. Employees who daily clean tanks and handle fish deserve some warning. Even if its just simple precautions not to dip hands/arms in tank water if they have an open sore, and to scrub-up after cleaning tanks.

I'm having wishful thinking too!
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Old 05-19-2006, 10:15 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Thanks for your kind words Diana.

One thing that really impressed me with our store in addition to insisting on healthy stock is that they ask the customers questions about their tank conditions before a sale. If they don't believe the customer has the proper accommodations, they won't sell to them even though it means losing a sale. The owner says that he'd rather do the ethical thing than make a couple of bucks.

I agree that more people should be educating aquarists about the possible dangers of the disease being transmitted to humans. I know of one case that it happened and the guy went through an ordeal he never wants to experience again.
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