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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

I have lost several fish lately to some kind of ailment. After lots of research, and observing the symptoms of the affected fish, I think the cause is some kind of parasite like digenetic flukes and/or a tapeworm or roundworm infestation. I have been treating individual fish in a quarantine tank (so far unsuccesfully)- but I would like to be able to treat all inhabitants of the tank as these are not good parasites to have around and may be transmittable to humans - aka me! So far only my guppies have been seriously affected - but my kuhli loaches have distended bellies and could also have intestinal parasites (but they could also just be overweight!)

So here is the El natural part of my question - Are there any medications for the above ailments that are safe for use in a DW el natural set up?

Thanks in advance for your advice!!!
 

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Medications are generally not good for plants. Either quarantine all the fishes and apply med in separate tank (no I don't know any meds for this) or get a UV filter, this hopefully will kill the parasite in the water and prevent spreading the parasites.
Diane recommends Submariner UV filter. I don't own one though.
They can be bought at dr foster for around $70.
 

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I've been lucky my fish either dies within a week or two from purchase or live to natural death. Never had any problem spread to other fish in my tank. I would invest in a uv filter if I had a larger tank and keep lots of fish that's for sure though.
 

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Hi Rusalka,

I'm in a similar situation. Now I have a quarantine tank, but it's too late, my fish got ich, in a NPT, and I have too many fish to put them in the quarantine tank, so I must treat the whole tank. Although external parasites are not treated with the same medications, I did a lot of research on people's experience with medication and plants/invertebrates (snails) and experienced some of it myself.

For reference, I have:
- 12 neons (all dead, got ich first)
- 7 lampeyes (killifish, were scratching)
- 2 wild blue rams (got white spots)
- 7 black phantom tetras (were scratching)
- 7 cory panda (one of the smallest cory species, were scratching )
- lots of pond/ramshorn snails. A few MTS.

Plants:
Duckweed
Moss ball
Crypt (walker I think)
Limnophila sessiliflora
Ludwigia repens
Hygrophilia polysperma
alternanthera reineckii
rotala indica

It's a 41 US gal.

Substrate: 1 inch of potting soil covered by 1/2 inch of gravel (it's a tall tank to the water compresses the substrate a lot).

First, for your internal parasites, I think that you can mix medication with food so it does not affect the whole tank (some of the medication leak, but not enough to harm the tank):

Garlic (it's not proven, but it worked for some people):
- You can chop a garlic clove, mix it with your food, put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and then give it to your fish.
- You can use Seachem GarlicGuard or Kent Garlic Xtreme. I used Garlic Xtreme (it was supposed to help ich... did not really help, anyway). I found that my fish did not like flakes with garlic, but jumped on bloodworms with garlic.

Medicated gel/food:
e.g., Gel-Tek Ultra Cure PX (Praziquantel--0.0057%, Flubenol--0.03%, Metronidazole--0.3%): you don't feed your fish for a day, then you put some drops (follow the instruction) of the gel in the tank: the fish will "eat" the drops.

For future reference on ich treatment in a NPT, here is my experience:

- I had a 9W UV sterilizer (50 gal/hr). Did not work.

- I added a 24W UV sterilizer (113 gal/hr). Did not work. Kept the two sterilizers for the two next treatments. Btw, at this flow, I believe that they are supposed to kill free-swimming parasites...

- I tried heat alone (32 C) for two weeks: it did not work. Fish stopped scratching, but my two blue rams still had white spots (less white spots, but still some). I think that there are some dead spots in the tank where the water was less warm. Also, I believe that my soil was less warm than 32 C. My hydor is a Hydor inline heater and after taking the temp readings at three different places, the temp was always 32 C so I don't know why it did not work... I put two large airstones in the tank.

Effect on plants: duckweed really did not like the heat. Other plants slowed their growth, but were still growing.

Effect on fish: the neons did not like it. Other fish were fine (no change in behavior, except that they breathed faster and the rams moved faster).

Effect on snails: they stopped reproducing :) I saw a few empty shells at the bottom. No extermination though.

- I tried heat (32C) and salt (1 1/2 teaspoon of salt per galon, added slowly over four days). Kept that for a week:

Got "rid" of the ich on one of the blue rams. The other ram kept getting reinfected. I saw one tetra scratching and two corys scratching. After a whole week.

Effect on plants: duckweed was almost dead. Alternanthera lost a few leaves. Same for crypt. But they kept growing.

Effect on fish: I lost all my neons (they became bloated, covered in white fluffy stuff and then with white spots). Cories became a bit bloated and were less energetic than usual. Other fish did not seem affected. I suspect that the salt stressed them and that's why they got reinfected. But all in all, this quantity of salt was not sufficient in killing the ich and I would not have felt safe to increase the salt.

Effect on snails: same as heat.

- Seachem Paraguard (contains malachite green and aldehyde): I know that my ich is a strong strain, so I know it will probably take more than three days to get rid of it, no matter the medication (unless I want some of my fish dying in the process).

Before using it, I put carbon in my filter, did a few water changes to bring the salt back to 1 tbs/5 gallons and remove DOC. After three days, I turned off the UV, removed the carbon, brought down the temp to 28 C, and started using ParaGuard following the directions.

All fish stopped scratching after two days. Less white spots on the blue ram, but after a week, I saw a new one yesterday.

Effect on plants: nothing. The plants are happy and starting to get better because less salt and less heat. Paraguard does not seem to affect them.

Effect on fish: well, I guess that the water quality and conditions improved and made a big difference. The first two days, the cories did not like at all ParaGuard (they were again bloated and were swimming near the top). Now they are ok (they swim like their early days :)).

Effect on snails: they started reproducing (I'm seeing eggs) for the better or the worse...

Summary:
- I know that some people got rid of ich more quickly and with gentler methods than the ones I used, so I'm not saying that UV, heat, heat and salt is not good. Maybe it would have worked if I had increased the salt of kept the treatment for longer, but I really felt that my tank ecology, as a whole, would have collapsed.

- ParaGuard seems to work and really does not hurt the plants or the snails. It does not color the water too :) The reason I did not try a stronger medication is that I did not want to destroy my plants and kill a few hundreds snails dying at the same time in my tank. I will continue for another two weeks. If it does not work, I will probably have to use something harder (formalin and malachite green), siphon the inevitable empty snail shells and hope for the best for my plants and fish.

Those medications are hard to administer in a NPT because we have so much DOC that water change is, I think, a must for the medication to be effective.

- More importantly, I have a nano NPT with shrimps and we will introduce some lampeyes to keep them company. They are in the Q-Tank for a month as I write this post... I read about Q-Tank before but thought that I could be ok without them, despite the heavy and convincing literature on them. Oh, and my LFS says that they quarantine their fish. ah ah ah.

Hope this will help someone in the future,
Bart
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bart,

Thank you so much for sharing that information! I almost bought ParaGuard 3 days ago but decided to wait until I had gotten some APC advice. I will buy some and give it a try when this hits again. Although my LFS manager hasn't had experience with El Natural tanks he recommended paraguard as a medication that he uses for very delicate environments and fishes. He even uses it in his reef tanks with no negative side effects.

In the meantime I researched guppy diseases on a website geared toward breeders. Some of the symptoms also matched an external parasite called Gyrodactylus. They recommend a 50/50 hydrogen peroxide/water dip for 2 seconds, with a prompt return to their regular water, so I thought I'd try it. Here at APC there have been discussions on using H2O2 for algae control, so I knew that a bit of it coming in from the fish net would not have any dramatic effects on the whole tank. It also meant that I didn't need attempt to cram all my affected fish into my teeny q-tank (2 gallons). So I dipped all of my main tank and q-tank guppies last night. None of them seem to have had any dramatically adverse affects - except for being stunned looking - and are all now swimming and flirting like normal. My 3 q-tank guppies are still looking worse for wear - so I will keep treating them seperately. I can still see some scale abnormalities on some of the main tank guppies but hopefully that will go away in a day or so, post-dip.

I still haven't seen much of my chubby kuhli's - so I guess that means they are acting and feeling normal!? Having Kuhli's means that adding salt or big heat increases are not an option, so I have to save that for my teeny q-tank.

Thanks again for sharing your experiences! Updates to come!
 

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Pimafix its Bay oil diluted in water

"Treats fungal infections and both internal and external bacterial infections. Will not adversely affect the biological filter, alter the pH, or discolor water. Safe for reef aquariums and live plants. For use in fresh or salt water. PimaFix has been formulated to work in combination with Melafix to enhance effectiveness against fish diseases."

msds: http://cms.marsfishcare.com/files/msds/pimafix_2465.pdf

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Melafix its melaleuca + cajeput oil + water

"Heals open wounds & abrasions, treats fin and tail rot, eye cloud, mouth fungus and promotes regrowth of damaged fin rays & tissue. Will not adversely affect the biological filter, alter the pH, or discolor water. Safe for reef aquariums and live plants. For use in fresh or salt water."

http://aquariumpharm.com/cms/Files/MSDS/MelaFix_2464.pdf

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Kordon Ich-Attack

http://www.novalek.com/kordon/ich_attack/index.htm

"Kordon Ich-Attack contains 5% active ingredients consisting of five natural organic herbals, based on their containing patented naphthoquinones. Totally free of chemicals (such as formalin and malachite) and all heavy metals, including zinc and copper. Does not affect pH of the water, or its oxygen content."

"Ich-Attack is safe for use in all kinds of aquariums and ornamental ponds, as well as on scaleless fishes (such as loaches, elephant noses, electric eels, knife fishes and catfishes), coral reef fishes, young fish and fry, reef aquariums, aquatic plants, aquatic invertebrates (such as snails, crustaceans, corals and sea anemones), amphibians and aquatic reptiles. "
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey there i did some research about primafix and melafix for use in my tank. It turns out that many loaches, especially kuhli's have bad reactions to them, so I won't be able to use them.

Also, I think I may also be dealing with an internal parasitic problem in some of my fishes (who have now been moved to a hospital tank) - so I'm not sure an antibiotic/antifungal will help them.

However, the Kordon ick attack sure sounds promising! That may help with any external parasites. I am still seeing some irregularities on some of my guppies' scales so I may give that a try.
Thanks for passing that on!
 

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Learn about he parasites' life cycles and treat accordingly. Some parasites spend part of their life in a form that is resistant to medications. It is not that they are overall resistant, or a stronger strain, just that you need to time the medications properly, depending on the parasite.
There is a parasite called Super Ich. Looks similar to Ich , but is not killed by the medicines that will generally kill the form of Ich that has been known for so long.

Here is an example, using Ich:
Ich burrows into the slime coat and cannot be affected by the common Ich meds when you see the spots on the fish.
The parasite falls off the fish and lands on the substrate. It can be affected then, not by medicines, but by vacuuming the tank. This can be quite difficult in a densely planted tank.
It reproduces, sending hundreds of swimming babies into the water. This is the phase when Ich can be killed by most meds, including salt and ultra violet sterilizers. The problem with UV sterilizers is that they depend on every bit of water from the tank circulating through the sterilizer frequently enough that the Ich organisms are killed before they can infest the fish. A UV sterilizer works well in a relatively bare tank.

The Ich life cycle is temperature dependent. At average tropical temperatures (mid 70sF) it can take about a week to go through the life cycle. To be sure you are getting all the Ich organisms you need to keep medicines in the tank for about 2 weeks, or at least 3 days beyond the day you saw the last Ich spot on a fish. Ich can hide in the gills, too. Any Ich med that says it can cure Ich in 3 days is not really telling the whole story. IF all the Ich babies emerged at the same time, then the medicine might be fine, kept at therapeutic levels for just 3 days. However, it is much more likely that you have Ich in every stage in your tank, some is just falling off the fish, some got embedded later and are not ready to fall off, some are in the free swimming stage, and not all go through their phases at exactly the same timing.
If your fish can handle warmer water (into the 80sF) the Ich life cycle can be shortened by a few days. Increase the aeration to raise the oxygen content of the water, and if the fish are still gasping lower the temperature back to the optimum level for the fish.
At pond temperatures Ich can last for several weeks or longer.

Most parasites have a life cycle that includes time in or on the fish, and time away from the fish. Any tank with fish that have parasites can be considered infested. Removing the fish to treat in a Q-tank does not rid the main tank of parasites, and the treated fish can just get re-infested when they are returned to the untreated tank.

Some medicines are deactivated if you use UV at the same time. (Especially if the label says to turn off the tank light)
Amquel Plus (maybe Amquel, too, I do not have a bottle to read) is not compatible with dye based meds often used for Ich and other parasites. (Read the label)
Do not combine medicines unless both packages are labeled as safe to use with each other. This includes salt.

Medicines that treat one group of problems may be useless for another group of problems, such as using antibiotics or fungicides to treat a parasite problem. Parasite meds in general will not kill every group of parasites, you need to know which parasite you are treating. Medicated food is a good way to treat if the fish are still eating.

Many bottom feeding fish (Loaches) are still wild caught, and can come to you with internal parasites. The stress of capture and transport can give the parasites the advantage. This is one reason to quarantine and treat all new fish before adding them to the main tank. Often the Q-tank is a bare bottom 10 gallon tank with just enough decor to make the fish feel safe. Makes UV sterilizer a good option, frequent vacuuming to remove fallen parasites is easy, medications are often labeled for 10 gallons worth of water, making dosing easy. If the fish are not responding you can clean out the tank and switch meds easily. Fish are easier to see, so you can watch their reactions to the medication and see if they are getting better.
 

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QUOTE=Diana K;449044] Removing the fish to treat in a Q-tank does not rid the main tank of parasites, and the treated fish can just get re-infested when they are returned to the untreated tank. [/QUOTE]

Good advice and background from Diana K. However, I didn't have to treat the main tank. Why? The Ich swarmers will die if they don't find a fish host within 48-55 hr (at 81C) after being released from the white pimples.

Unlike other parasites, Ich doesn't form a cyst or spore that lasts for years.

I had a big infestation in 2004 (added a new fish without quarantining it first). Chemicals didn't work, so I used the Transfer Method which is basically moving fish into clean water and new tanks every 24 hr. After I got my fish "cleaned up", I added them back to the main tank. (The main tank had been kept at 81F for 5 days without any fish.) Fish were fine, and I've never had a problem since.

Ich is probably endemic to many tanks, but healthy fish have antibodies to the resident Ich and can easily take care of themselves. In contrast, fish that are weak, never exposed to this particular Ich, or chronically infected (e.g., mycobacteriosis) will keep coming down with it.

In Bart's situation, the store may have done a typical 2 week quarantine on the new fish. However, one resistant fish may have a little pimple on its gills that you can't see. A not uncommon scenario... Once in the new tank, the fish's pimple erupts and spews out 400- 1,000 swarmers. Swarmers land on the other fish, which don't have antibodies to this Ich and/or are vulnerable. Presto, you have an epidemic!

Until you can identify a chemical that can truly eradicate this scourge in your main tank, I still would use measures that reduce their exposure to swarmers. Helpful measures are: water changes, diatom filtration, UV sterilizing filters, salt, and just moving fish to a new tank with clean water. It may not eradicate the problem, but it will keep your fish strong enough to survive until you can find an effective chemical (none of the chemicals I used worked on my particular Ich strain).

In addition to all recommendations for quarantine, let me add one that I think would really help and that no one talks about. Call it the Sentinel Strategy. Add a few fish that you can afford to lose to the quarantine tank. These are disease Sentinels. If the new fish is carrying a disease, then the Sentinel Fish will quickly come down with the disease.

So many new fish that are carrying chronic diseases have developed some resistance (specific antibodies and immunity) to their pathogen. That's why they look great in the store, pass their quarantine, but they still bring disease into your tanks. The Sentinel Strategy is a good idea.
 

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Sounds great. Yes, totally removing all fish from a tank for a short time will rid that tank of Ich. There are other parasites that do enter various dormant phases and could live through a fishless period, however.
By constantly moving Ich infested fish to new tanks you are escaping the Ich reproductive phase. No new Ich lands on the fish, so when the current white spots are gone that is the end of it. If you had only 2 tanks (not including the main tank), bare bottom, and alternated between them, rinsing well and drying the other tank daily might work. Having a third tank in the rotation would give you more time to run some form of disinfectant through the used tank, then deactivate it before reusing it for the fish, or a longer drying time between uses.

It is a concern also that Ich that used to respond to just about every treatment on the shelf (When done correctly) is now showing up that is not controlled by these meds.

Been a while since anyone had mentioned what you call the Sentinel Strategy. I did not know the name, but understand the concept. Works for relatively fast moving problems, but some people might get impatient at a long quarantine, and a disease or parasite with a long incubation period might not show up in the sentinel. For example, is a month long enough?
 

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Thanks for all these great posts :) We will definitively try the sentinel technique next time we quarantine. I think you come to fully appreciate these tips when you must eradicate a disease in a medium-to-large planted tank with a good fish population.

Just to add to the previous posts:

1. "It may not eradicate the problem, but it will keep your fish strong enough to survive until you can find an effective chemical (none of the chemicals I used worked on my particular Ich strain)":

It is so true: providing good conditions while finding a solution is important. We found that the environment (i.e., stability of water parameters, lots of plants to hide/play/filter, air stones while trying treatments) is helping a lot: it helps the sick fish, but also the ones that are ok and that must still go through the treatment. Frozen food helps a lot too (live food would be even better). I think that Diana mentioned in another post that giving brine shrimps to diseased fish sometimes "convinced" them to stay alive and go on: seeing how my sick fish jump on the bloodworms, I could not agree more.

2. To come back to the original post, is it possible that the soil absorbs some of the chemicals, making any treatment less effective? I'm not necessarily talking about DOC: I think I read in this forum that with time, the soil begins to adsorb nutriments from the water, so maybe that might be one factor to consider. I also read on another website that chemicals like formalin or green malachite could build up in the soil and later, be released (e.g., because of a bubble, or a plant that is moved): the web site was making a comparison with polluted lakes and rivers. Do you think it's true/significant enough?

3. I spoke with another LFS owner this weekend and he told me that usually heat and salt works well for him, but it took forever to treat ich on blue rams (I originally did not buy mine there) last time he treated them: beside the white spots that kept reappearing, they looked healthy. I wonder if some species or maybe just individuals might be harder to "cure".

4. The LFS where I usually buy my fish quarantines their new arrivals for only one week... but one of the guy there proudly told me that if the fish looks strong, they put them in their tanks for sale the next morning. I was less impressed than he had expected. To be fair with them, they have a great variety of fish and most of their fish are healthy. It's just really bad that they advertise their quarantine procedure without following it (other shops in my area do not use quarantine at all). Anyway, I got rid of this problem by setting up a quarantine tank.

5. I read a lot on ich and found: A) a lot of stories based on experience, B) very few statements backed by scientific publications. I found one or two papers cited and most of the statements came from these two papers, which is not, IMHO, a good sign.

6. We are thinking about the transfer method right now and we are considering buying one or two smaller cheap tanks (we have too many fish for our small quarantine tank). One thing that bothers me is that even when I look at my infected blue ram four/five times a day for extended period (early morning, am, pm, evening, late evening), it seems the remaining white spot never goes away and only "moves" or changes its size (it increases for a while, than I see another small spot at almost the same place). I found one report of a ich that could reproduce under the skin/slime coat of fish and I'm afraid that could be the problem. The transfer method, or the other chemicals, would probably not work in that case :-(
 

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A few answers:

2. To come back to the original post, is it possible that the soil absorbs some of the chemicals, making any treatment less effective? I'm not necessarily talking about DOC: I think I read in this forum that with time, the soil begins to adsorb nutriments from the water, so maybe that might be one factor to consider. I also read on another website that chemicals like formalin or green malachite could build up in the soil and later, be released (e.g., because of a bubble, or a plant that is moved): the web site was making a comparison with polluted lakes and rivers. Do you think it's true/significant enough?

*** Not sure. However, I don't think that these are major pollutants that would stick around. Not like mercury or PCBs. I suspect that they would be inactivated by either light (malachite dye) or reacting with proteins (formalin).

3. I wonder if some fish species or maybe just individuals might be harder to "cure".

***Some species are undoubtedly going to be more susceptible than others.

4. The LFS where I usually buy my fish quarantines their new arrivals for only one week... but one of the guy there proudly told me that if the fish looks strong, they put them in their tanks for sale the next morning. I was less impressed than he had expected. To be fair with them, they have a great variety of fish and most of their fish are healthy. It's just really bad that they advertise their quarantine procedure without following it (other shops in my area do not use quarantine at all). Anyway, I got rid of this problem by setting up a quarantine tank.

***Interesting. I wouldn't depend on stores to screen fish for you.

5. I read a lot on ich and found: A) a lot of stories based on experience, B) very few statements backed by scientific publications. I found one or two papers cited and most of the statements came from these two papers, which is not, IMHO, a good sign.

***I got all my information on Ich from Fish Diseases (T.F.H. Publications, 1987) by Dr. Gottfried Schubert. He suggested the Transfer Method (moving fish to a new tank every 12 hr) as one of the possible treatments. Not a scientific book, but the author seemed like he knew what he was talking about.

6. We are thinking about the transfer method right now and we are considering buying one or two smaller cheap tanks (we have too many fish for our small quarantine tank). One thing that bothers me is that even when I look at my infected blue ram four/five times a day for extended period (early morning, am, pm, evening, late evening), it seems the remaining white spot never goes away and only "moves" or changes its size (it increases for a while, than I see another small spot at almost the same place). I found one report of a ich that could reproduce under the skin/slime coat of fish and I'm afraid that could be the problem. The transfer method, or the other chemicals, would probably not work in that case :-

***Discouraging but interesting. Sorry for your disease problems.

***In 2004 I wrote a nice article on the Transfer Method for getting rid of Ich in my Rainbowfish. If you want a copy, contact me at [email protected].
 

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Works for relatively fast moving problems, but some people might get impatient at a long quarantine, and a disease or parasite with a long incubation period might not show up in the sentinel. For example, is a month long enough?
With the Sentinel Strategy, you shorten quarantine time. You may have to wait months for a new fish that is semi-resistant to come down with full-blow disease. But the Sentinel fish, not being resistant, will quickly come down with the disease.

The length of the quarantine time that will protect from all diseases is impossible to say. For a fast disease like Ich, you should see Ich on Sentinel fish within 1-2 weeks. For mycobacteriois, I'd wait at least 6 weeks. Even if the new fish has mycobacteriosis, if the Sentinel fish aren't showing any problems at 6 weeks, then you can be reasonably assured that the causative mycobacteria are not that virulent.

If you quarantine your new fish for with Sentinel Fish for 6 weeks, then you are reasonably assured that new fish won't cause problems in an established tank.

That said, my biggest problem with aquarium-keeping has been dealing with diseased fish. I am very, very careful now where I buy new fish. When I do buy any new fish, they will go into their own tank with a few Sentinel Fish. I've been burned too many times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I agree, growing plants is a cinch compared to all the difficulties that come with fish keeping! I have not added any new fish for about 6 months and did have a problem with what looked like MB. I just kept removing all fish that started to show symptoms over a couple of months and haven't had a fish death from this problem in probably 3 months. It's probably not gone but all the remaining fish seem to be resistant to the strain that is in my tank.

The only thing I have added was some sunset hygro from big al's that brought along some ramshorn snails with it. After they had a good chomp on my plants I decided to remove them. That's why I assumed that they had been the culprits and had brought in the disease.

I still can't decide what my fish are suffering from - but they seem to have perked up and all the hospital tank fish are still with us.

Here are ALL the symptoms I can see:

- A handful of the fish have what looks like 2-5 individual raised scales, randomly scattered on the body, that seem lighter in colour. I can only see it if the light is hitting the scales in a certain way. I have ruled out dropsy as the cause of this - no other dropsy symptoms are present. There are no cottony, velvety, or white spots. Just these few raised scales.

- 3 of the male fancy guppies have 2 or 3 black spots near their tails - but don't seem affected otherwise.

- 1 guppy had long stringy white poop, which is now gone. I had assumed it was a tapeworm.

- I lost 3 guppies who had these raised scales, were hiding, and had stopped eating. They didn't have the wasted look like MB infected fish do - it seemed to be a faster working problem.

- As far as I can tell only the guppies are being affected, so it may be species specific. When I see my kuhli's they look very healthy. But kuhli loaches are a secretive fish, and probably more so when they are not feeling well.

So the short story is that I have no idea what to treat for. According to my research my fish have about 4 different diseases that all seemed to hit at once. Sigh. So far they are all hanging in and acting normally. As mentioned above I'm feeding lots of the yummy stuff, like frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms and their favourite algae discs so that they all keep eating. My Kuhli's make it difficult to keep the temp too high for too long, and adding salt and some medications are also not an option. I also have a small apartment and only one 20 gallon tank and one 2 gallon hospital tank.

Any suggestions on a course of treatment? I'm at a loss...

Diana you are right - fish diseases are a such a drag!
 

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Any suggestions on a course of treatment? I'm at a loss...
QUOTE]

I honestly can't help you. You could just let the disease play out. Remove and euthanize fish with problems. I frequently had trouble with purchased guppies.

This is why I have not purchased any new fish for 3.5 years. Fortunately, I enjoy breeding and raising babies.

I remember when (decades ago) you could go to an aquarium store and get healthy fish. The owner had bred the fish himself and was proud of his fish. Now, fish are shipped in from overseas and there's no accountability. If you want a chance for decent fish, I recommend Wet Thumb Aquatics. They seem to to know what they are doing and have been in business a long time. Otherwise, its just luck if you get undiseased fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm feeling the same way too - my interest in fish keeping has definitely dwindled with all these complications. I will try paraguard for the external parasites and cross my fingers. Hopefully over time I'll have inadvertently bred a disease resistant guppy and these problems will go away on their own. I guess you could say that I have a Darwinistic, or 'natural selection' breeding program going on in my tank. Interestingly my newer guppies seems to be less 'fancy' than their parents and are reverting to a stockier body shape and shorter fin length that is closer to a wild guppy. Nature is cool man!

Thanks everyone for sharing their advice and their woes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hello again all,

I was searching the internet for info regarding medications for velvet that are El Natural safe and I was directed to my own post above! So here I am again. After dutifully trying to take care of my diseased guppy strain for years the last one finally died about 6 months ago. So I figured it was a good time to start fresh and I tore down the tank, rebuilt it, and it is now doing really well.

So, what about the velvet issue? Well, I foolishly got back into fish keeping despite 6 blissful months of keeping a plant and random snail only tank. Now I have velvet. Here are my inhabitants. 1 kuhli loach that is about 6 years old, 5 ruby tetras (new), a pair of killifish (new). I also purchased 2 additional kuhli's thinking my remaining kuhli might be lonely but they didn't do well in the transport and died within a couple days. So the male killi has what i thought was internal parasites but now I can see that it's velvet. Yesterday I dosed the tank with Jungle Parasite Clear tank buddies - which had worked well for me in a previous NPT. However, nobody seems to carry it anymore and I'm all out.

Since velvet is now in the whole tank and has a lifespan that can last up to 3 weeks I will need a medication that is safe for my tank inhabitants and can be dosed for a long period of time. I also own a UV filter but I know that it is often not safe to use in combination with many medications.

Any suggestions fellow Walstad / El Natural / NPT people?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hello again,

Well I didn't hear from anyone so I'm going to assume that nobody is available who has an answer at this time. So, I'll let you know what I decided to do and how it's going so far.

- I decided to go with Paraguard which is a blend of aldehydes, malachite green, and fish protective polymers. I'm told it's quite safe by my LFS manager.

- I'm a bit unhappy with this option as I'm not sure what 'fish protective polymers' are and I'm not thrilled about aldehydes - which likely includes formaldehyde.

- Day 3 - So far, so good. I'm monitoring the ammonia and nitrites daily. I think ammonia has climbed very slightly (hard to tell from the colour of the API liquid test) so I'll do a 1/4 water change later today.

- Plants seem fine, (nerite is in a different bowl during the treatment) no more fish losses and I think my male killie's fins seem less clamped although is still doing alot of shimmying and 'resting' on the bottom. All the other fish seem fine - but my kuhli is more active, which makes me a bit nervous actually....
 
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