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Thread: Head-standing after Aq. Salt Treatment

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    Default Head-standing after Aq. Salt Treatment

    Hello all! Any help on the below would be greatly appreciated. Please note, this post is primarily in regards to the head-standing fish. There is another sick fish, whose symptoms are also described for reference, but my biggest focus in this particular post is for healing the head-stander. Thank you!

    1. Please explain the problems with your fish. When did you notice the problems and did anything unusual happen that you think started them?
    - The fish is head-standing, completely vertical, and unable to correct her balance for longer than a couple minutes. There are no other symptoms; no white feces, darkening color, lack of appetite, etc. Just the head-standing. This came on suddenly with no other symptoms in this particular fish. One night she's good, the next morning she is vertical. There was an existing issue with another fish in the tank. That other fish appeared to have fin rot. It was very dark and the finnage between it's dorsal rays was receding, leaving a very spiny appearance. It wasn't eating either. I began a treatment of daily WC (75%+) with aquarium salt on the entire tank. For a couple days I dosed half as directed on the packaging, working up to the full recommended dose of 1 Tbsp. per 5 gallons. I did this for ~10 days, at which point I decreased the dosage over a couple days to acclimate back to no salt. It was at the end of the 10 day period, before reducing the salt I think, that the head-standing began in the other fish. They have both now been moved to separate QT tanks. The head-stander is still vertical but with no other symptoms. No further treatment has been attempted for her.

    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).
    - Head-standing, no other symptoms in the fish under question. The other fish had fin rot, darkening body, and lack of appetite.

    3. What medications/ treatments have you already tried and what were the results. Include dosage and duration of treatment.
    - salt and large, daily WC. Described further in my answer to question #1.

    Tank/Water

    4. Tank size and ages, numbers and sizes of fish.
    - 125g (72 x 18), 12 discus most ~5", a couple at 6" and a runt/stunt at 4"

    5. Water change regime (What percentage and how often).
    - usually 75%+ every two days, daily when available

    6. How long has tank been running? Is it bare bottom? If you have substrate, what type and how deep is it?
    - running for about 1.5 years, current filters have been on for 7 months. Used to be tile-bottomed but a few weeks ago I took that out and added a very thin layer of sand. I kept the existing manzanita branches, which have been in there about a year. This came before the head-standing started, but after the other one got sick with fin rot. It was when I was adding the sand and re-arranging driftwood that I actually 1st noticed the 1st fish was sick.

    7. Do you age your water? If you do for how long and what is the ph swing.
    - Yes, 24 hours with a large air stone and heater to get to very similar temp. as the tank. PH out the tap is ~7.5 and settles between 8.0-8.2

    8. Parameters and water source;

    - temp 82-84

    - ph 8.0-8.2

    - ammonia reading none detectable using liquid test kit

    - nitrite reading none detectable using liquid test kit

    - nitrate reading minimal detectable, hard to be sure with color-based test kits, I'd estimate ~5ppm

    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%

    9. Any new fish, plants or inverts added recently.
    - No new fish added. About 2 months ago I did reintroduce this particular fish to the main tank, coming from a breeding tank. It's mate also came and has had no problems himself. They both had previously been in the same main tank with all the other fish for a year. When reintroducing them I removed two other fish for the breeding tank, so the bioload in the main tank did remain consistent.

    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.
    - Sera Staple Diet granules, Al's FDBW, Hikari Vibra Bites, homemade BH/Seafood mix (same recipe as for over two years), occasional frozen blood worms

    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.
    Discus 1.jpg
    Discus 2.jpg
    Discus 3.jpg

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    Default Re: Head-standing after Aq. Salt Treatment

    I'm sorry you're having problems here. I doubt this was caused by the aquarium salt.

    It's hard to see, but is there swelling or a bulge in the mid-section?

    You say you were treating for fin rot before, what was your water change routine before all this began?

    Brian

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    Default Re: Head-standing after Aq. Salt Treatment

    Hello. In this main tank I typically do 75% WC every two days. But I work it in daily when time permits.

    That is my usual schedule. During this treatment I was doing it daily no matter what.

    And no, I have not noticed any swelling or bulges. I'll check more closely tonight, though.
    Last edited by Revan; 05-16-2019 at 11:56 AM.

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    Default Re: Head-standing after Aq. Salt Treatment

    Interesting, I have one doing the same thing for a month. It can still eat and in good shape. Tank mates are fine. I'm now thinking this is old age syndrome..

    IMG_20190516_212727-01.jpg
    Koji

    75 gallon bare bottom, minimalist discus tank.
    16 gallon salty with way too many BTAs and 2 clowns.

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    Default Re: Head-standing after Aq. Salt Treatment

    I think I read somewhere on SD that this problem may be neurological...it may have even been Al that wrote the post but I cannot be sure. If it is neurological I am not certain there would be a treatment option...

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    Default Re: Head-standing after Aq. Salt Treatment

    This type of head standing is usually caused by a bad or infected swim bladder. But... if the swim bladder is at fault, there is usually a bulge in the mid-section of the fish... This can be caused by prolonged poor water quality, which does not seem to be the case judging by your water change routine. Unfortunately, if the swim bladder is infected or ruptured there is no cure because the illness has been affecting the fish long before symptoms are visible...

    I've also read where people suspect a neurological condition, to which there is no cure as well. Since we can't confirm either at this point, I would QT the fish and lower the water level to just above the dorsal (give resting time) and add salt at 3-5 TBS per 10g. I've done this in the past and the discus seemed to recover for a few days but always crashed (definite bladder). If we suspect an internal infection I would treat with Kanamycin...

    No offense, but I don't believe in syndromes, I believe in causes However, as inbred as discus are, there very well could be a genetic condition....

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    Default Re: Head-standing after Aq. Salt Treatment

    The only thing that stands out of your perfect keeping routines as potential cullprit to the disease is the occasional Frozen bloodworms feeding . Maybe some pathogen was introduced via FBW feeding that led to swimm bladder infection .

    I would try salt and lowered water levels in a QT tank , and a course of Kanamycine before I gave up on him.

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    Default Re: Head-standing after Aq. Salt Treatment

    Hey all,

    I'm trying the lowered water level idea. It seems to help her stay properly level. We'll see what effect that has.

    As for the kanamycine...I've never heard of it. What is it generally used for, and how is it administered?

    Thank you,

    Evan

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    Default Re: Head-standing after Aq. Salt Treatment

    Kanamycin is an antibiotic that is great for internal infections and dissolves in the water.

    https://www.jehmco.com/html/medications.html

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    Default Re: Head-standing after Aq. Salt Treatment

    Definitely not from the salt. Swim bladder is a good guess... especially since you had another with fin rot in the tank.
    curious .. have used any medications in the last 2 weeks with the fish?

    Al
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    Default Re: Head-standing after Aq. Salt Treatment

    Hi Al,

    No medications were being used on any tanks within a few months prior.

    I'm beginning to suspect the fish got spooked and rammed into something, causing a swim bladder injury. Could that be it? Or maybe I slacked on maintenance aspects beyond the WC. I.e. wiping the glass, vacuuming under the floor tiles, etc.

    I might have suspected the new sand brought some pathogen with it, but that wouldn't explain how the other fish got sick prior to that.

    It's a bit embarrassing to admit two of my Discus have become sick (and may even die) under my care. I really thought my husbandry had improved over the last couple years.

    Thank you to everyone for the feedback and tips.

    Evan
    Last edited by Revan; Yesterday at 09:32 AM.

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    Default Re: Head-standing after Aq. Salt Treatment

    Evan,
    Your fish keeping is fine here. Sometimes fish get sick and sometimes die for no apparant reason at all. We give them the best care we can and hope for the best.

    Sometimes medications can cause head standing. Its been noted with some dewormers.This can reverse in time. If the fish did smash into something that caused this its usually accompanied by dark discoloring which isnt shown here. Bacteria is possible and if you want to try and save the fish ...kanamycin is what I would use.

    I am afraid that its likely this fish wont recover. I personally would not try to treat it.

    Im sorry Evan,
    Al
    AquaticSuppliers.com Freeze Dried BlackWorms and other foods your Discus will Love!!!


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


    Al Sabetta
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