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Thread: 3 Albino discus on hunger strike for weeks

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    Default 3 Albino discus on hunger strike for weeks

    Hi all, I am quite new at raising discus. I had about 10 yrs exp on various freshwater tropicals. A few yrs back I had 4 green discus that I bought at about 3" and raised to 5"+ before I had to sell & teardown the tank.

    I need advice on getting my 3 x 3" albinos eating & back to health again. Hopefully I won't lose these beautiful fishes.

    Thanks!

    DISEASE QUESTIONNAIRE

    Problem

    1. Please explain the problems with your fish. When did you notice the problems and did anything unusual happen that you think started them?

    Had 6 juvies that I bought from local reputable breeder and raised from about 1.5" frys in Feb. Lost bottom 3, one by one, in last couple months. Remaining 3 were barely eating for 3 or 4 weeks now. They used to be pigs and ate 4-6 feedings of freezed dry black worms a day. Now they might take a worm or two if FDBW floats by them.

    2. Symptoms (i.e. turning dark, excess slime, not eating, clamped fins, flashing, darting, clamped gills, white/yellow/green poop, hiding, headstanding or tailstanding, white on tips of fins, rotting or fungus, blisters/white zits on fish, bloated, cloudy eyes, wounds).

    Became very timid & will scare easily & dart away. Generally hiding a lot next to filter intakes or not moving much. Blood/red nose, blood/red underneath gill cover, blood/red on base of pectoral/dorsal/ventral fins, maybe even a bit blood/red on the anal fins. BUT no blood or bloody patches on main body though. Went from fat pigs to having caved in stomachs last 4 weeks.

    3. What medications/ treatments have you already tried and what were the results. Include dosage and duration of treatment.

    No meds. But when I was trying to cure #5 & #6 (both have since died) of a bit of fin & tail rot a couple months ago, I did 1 tbsp per 10G sea salt for 3 days, with 90% WC in-between.
    For the hunger strike, I tried Garlic Guard a few times, and the "orange peel" thing a couple times. No luck.

    Tank/Water

    4. Tank size and ages, numbers and sizes of fish.

    33G with 2 small Bio-Wheel filters and foam pre-fliters. Down to 3 x 3" albino juvies from local breeder's Dec 2017 spawn. 1 Amazon sword plant that was doing fine but now turning yellow/dying, perhaps due to lack of Nitrates (no poop = no NO3 I suppose)

    5. Water change regime (What percentage and how often).

    Was doing 90% daily mostly, or at least every 2nd day. Now doing 90% every 3 or 4 days since the juvies aren't producing much poop and I'm getting disheartened.

    6. How long has tank been running? Is it bare bottom? If you have substrate, what type and how deep is it?

    Bare bottom with white cardboard covering bottom & 3 sides, running since mid-Feb 2018.

    7. Do you age your water? If you do for how long and what is the ph swing.

    Currently using an empty 72G with canister setup to store & age water minimum 24 hrs. pH at 7.0 tap, swing was at 0.2-0.4 before when bio-load was higher. Now pH swing is likely 0-0.2.

    8. Parameters and water source;

    Note: Water Parameters are important in diagnosing problems within a tank. If you don't own test kits for the following information, you can purchase them, test your parameters and post this info as soon as possible.

    - temp: 86-87F

    - ph: 7.0

    - ammonia reading: 0 ppm

    - nitrite reading: 0 ppm

    - nitrate reading: <5 ppm

    What type of water or combinations of water sources do you use? If it is an RO/tap/well water mix, please list percentages in the mix.

    - municipal water: 100% (municipal adds chlorine)

    9. Any new fish, plants or inverts added recently.

    None recently, but shoal of juvies when from 6 in late-Feb to 12 in mid-May (yes I stupidly tried to add 6 more 1.5", from same breeder, to the tank with disastrous results), to 5 and then 4 in June, and now 3 in mid-July. So it's definitely not a good schooling number now.

    10. Please tell us what you feed your fish and how often. This can be critical information for solving the problem so be as specific as you can.

    I mostly only feed Australian freeze dried black worms. Used to feed 3 to 6 times and they ate like pigs. Now I try to feed 3x or 4x very lightly, but even then some get sucked onto the profilers untouched & have to be removed. I did briefly tried some NLS growth pellets & frozen blood worms 2 to 4 months back without success (and having these as leftovers for hours, yes stupid me, likely introduced some of the problems into the tank)

    11. Include any pictures or videos you have which shows the symptoms. If you can't add them to this post, please provide a link to them.

    Please see attached pics.

    Any advices will be greatly appreciated.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: 3 Albino discus on hunger strike for weeks

    It looks like septicaemia, a blood bacterial infection. Your options will be antibiotics or heat treatment (high risk). If it was me I would get the temperature up to 36 degrees C, increase the amount of oxygen and hope that the heat stimulates their immune system, feeding response and kills the bacteria. They could also have worms and the heat may sort that out as well.
    Other opinions?

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    Default Re: 3 Albino discus on hunger strike for weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by Mattgoanna View Post
    It looks like septicaemia, a blood bacterial infection. Your options will be antibiotics or heat treatment (high risk). If it was me I would get the temperature up to 36 degrees C, increase the amount of oxygen and hope that the heat stimulates their immune system, feeding response and kills the bacteria. They could also have worms and the heat may sort that out as well.
    Other opinions?
    Matt I agree it looks like a bacterial infection is likely but not sure what the root cause is.My guess is a parasitic protozoan.If its gotten to be bacterial I would not raise the temp.If anything Id drop it a few degrees. Raising the temp could work against you by promoting bacterial growth. If you had an appropriate antibiotic in there raising the temp may work synergistically (if thats even a word!)


    The Op didnt mention any off colored feces But I would start with basics here and use metronidazole@500 mg/10 gals for 10 days.If the root cause is a parasite knocking it out should let the fishes immune system deal with the any potential bacteria. I think I would also follow up the metro with a general dewormer.
    Sulfur, If you go this route and it works you need to quarantine all future stock to be added to the tank .My suggestion is 6-8 weeks.

    If the metro doesnt lead to an improvement by day 7 I would consider an antibiotic like kanamycin.

    hth,
    Al
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    Default Re: 3 Albino discus on hunger strike for weeks

    I agree with the idea of septicaemia and suggestion of using an antibiotic ( drug of choice being furan-2 ) but doesn't high temp increases the growth of the bacterial infection as well?
    This is not an easy solution but i would put the fish in a hospital tank or reduce the height of water in the present tank to reduce the amount of medication used , reduce the temp to 80 f and go through one course of furan -2 to cure the septicaemia ,you can then increase the temp to increase appetite .

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    Default Re: 3 Albino discus on hunger strike for weeks

    I have had good results with Furan 2 (nitrofurazone)and septicemia in the past,also;if that is what it is.Don't know why they call it Furan 2.They removed one of the doges but still call it furan2.

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    Default Re: 3 Albino discus on hunger strike for weeks

    Oh sorry folks I forgot to mention, whatever little poop that come out are the normal black type. I would say mostly from the 1 fish that is slightly more active. You can see a little bit of it coming out from fish 2 in pics 2 & 3.

    As for root cause, back in late Apr, I added the pre-filters but didn't realize they got plucked pretty bad (until I saw water flow was greatly reduced) after I put in NLS pellets overnight or before work (I was trying to ween them into eating pellets. The juvies didn't care for it much but if I put some in overnight they would be gone in the morning, if I put some in before work they would be gone when I come home, so I stupidly WENT AGAINST NLS INSTRUCTIONS and thought it was ok for the juvies to play/eat it very slowly, as I was doing daily 90% WC anyway). I think because of this, fish #5 & #6 (both smaller red Valentines) developed flared gills & lost part of their gill covers and had some fin rot. No meds were used after consulting my trusty breeder, just daily 90% WC. Fish #5 was ok for another month (but looking at its pic now it did seem to have the same blood/red symptoms???) but developed a couple white pimples near the side of its head that got worse (hex/HIIH?) and died on June 5. Fish #6 became emaciated and died this past weekend.

    I didn't mention this in detail in the 1st post as I didn't want to confuse the issues with more variables. But yeah I just looked at an old pic which I'm also attaching now. It does seem fish #5 had the same blood/red bases on all its fins. But it was my 1st ever red discus and I thought being a red valentine it was just developing its colours. As mentioned I'm relatively new to discus but I would consider this issue of the plucked pre-filter the start of all my tank problems as all 6 original frys/juvies were doing wonderfully well from Feb to Apr while being fed FDBW only.

    BTW I should also mention when I do 90% WC, I also scrub the entire tank as per my breeder's instructions.

    I don't have any meds but will gather consensus here and then visit the LFS once I know what to treat them with.

    Thanks so much everyone! I really appreciate it! Nothing worst than losing fish & then watching your strongest ones slim down & suffer.

    Below are two old pics taken Apr 22 & May 30 of the 1st fish that died June 5. Hope this is relevant info. Again I thought it was a red valentine showing its first colours, but looking at it now, the blood/red base of fins seem very similar to what my current 3 have???
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: 3 Albino discus on hunger strike for weeks

    Based on this last post You seem to have a bacterial infection going on here thats probably been low level present since April /may.

    Id go straight to the antibiotic. Furan is a decent one to use and is more common... Personally I think for internal infections Kanamycin is better as its absorbed readily and is broad spectrum. Down side is its expensive and hard to find pure... another alternative would be maracyn 2...aka minocycline.

    hth,
    Al
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    Default Re: 3 Albino discus on hunger strike for weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by brewmaster15 View Post
    Based on this last post You seem to have a bacterial infection going on here thats probably been low level present since April /may.

    Id go straight to the antibiotic. Furan is a decent one to use and is more common... Personally I think for internal infections Kanamycin is better as its absorbed readily and is broad spectrum. Down side is its expensive and hard to find pure... another alternative would be maracyn 2...aka minocycline.

    hth,
    Al
    Thank you so much Al. I know my LFS stocks KanaPlex and I can pick it up today. Would that be a decent Kanamycin choice? Should I also pickup some Furan while I'm there?

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    Default Re: 3 Albino discus on hunger strike for weeks

    kanaplex isnt pure so you may need to add more to compensate. It depends on how stubborn the bacteria is....but its better than no kana.

    Id settle on one antibiotic and give it a good 8-10 days to work.

    al
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    Default Re: 3 Albino discus on hunger strike for weeks

    Thanks so much again Al. I will see what other Kana the LFS has.

    I will report back in a few days. Hoping for the best...

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    Default Updated: 3 Albino discus on hunger strike for weeks - Miuch better after Kanamycin

    Hi all just a quick update. I dosed KanaPlex on Days 1, 3, 5 according to instructions.

    - By day 4 or 5, all 3 albinos became more active and started to peck at each other and took some freeze dried black worms.

    - By end of day 6 (now), all are eating more and I see healthy black poop from at least 2 of them while feeding.

    The red/blood fin bases are still there, but it looks like the great advices here are working. And I will dose 2 more times for a full 10 day treatment and report back again.

    Question: My 5g KanaPlex will likely run out after 5 doses. Not sure if I need to dose more, but I'm thinking of ordering some pure kanamycin from Jehmco (thanks to other forum members from mentioning this great vendor btw). Should I stock up on metro, kana, and furan-2 just in case of future problems? I imagine the shelf life is at least a few years if kept at a cool dry place?
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    Default Re: 3 Albino discus on hunger strike for weeks

    Glad to here things are working for you.

    For med stocking, personally I am hoarding metro that can treat a whole village.
    Water change is not just a chore, it's my life now...

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    Default Re: 3 Albino discus on hunger strike for weeks

    Metro and furan are generally easy to find in the USA... Kanamycin is harder to find ...its also expensive. Im not one to stock up on meds as it makes us more prone to use them ...my only exception is dewormers as these I religiously use on any new fish I buy. If you asked me 10-15 years ago I would have said "stock up" in case you need it. My medicine cabinet was extensive... and mostly unused!

    I'd just get the kanamycin at this point as you need it. Save your money for more fish or something else.
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    Default Re: 3 Albino discus on hunger strike for weeks

    Hi Al & others,

    So the 3 albinos will complete their 10 days of Kana treatment tonight. They still look the same as end of Day 6 but are active & eating freeze dried black worms, although still not like pigs as before. While the Kanaplex instructions didn't mention WC before treatment, I have been doing about 33% WC every 2 days before dosing more Kana.

    What should I do next? Just let them rest & go back to my 90% WC routine and observe them for awhile?

    BTW I will have some Metro/Kana/Furan2 on hand shortly, as I was edgy & put the order thru before Al had a chance to reply.

    ps. I did scan thru some old pics on my phone and *IF* the red/blood fins & base are a sign of infection, the source *COULD* have come from some Marimo balls that I ordered & put into the tank without quarantine in early Apr. The Red Valentine that died in June started showing these symptoms about a week after I dumped the Marimo moss balls into the tank. I did net them out over a month ago when the fishes stopped eating.

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    Default Re: 3 Albino discus on hunger strike for weeks

    I would let them rest.. too many medications will do more harm than good. With good water, they will hopefully recover on their own. keep a close eye on them.

    al
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    >>>>>We really could use your support. Please DONATE HERE Thanks!


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