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FAQs on the Minnows called Barbs, Danios and Rasboras Disease 2

Related Articles: Barbs, Danios & Rasboras, A Barbed Response; Wrongly maligned for being fin-nippers, barbs are in fact some of the best fish for the home aquarium by Neale Monks

Related FAQs: B,D,R Disease 1, B,D,R Disease 3, B,D,R Disease 4, Barbs, Danios, Rasboras 1, Barbs, Danios, Rasboras 2, B,D,R Identification, B,D,R Behavior, B,D,R Compatibility, B,D,R Selection, B,D,R Systems, B,D,R Feeding, B,D,R Reproduction,


Cherry barb with big belly     11/11/13
Hi there,
I have two Angel fish (female and male), 2 striped Raphael Catfish,  5 cherry barbs and 5 bleeding hearts, they all get along fine, I have had them for one year, 11 months now.
About a month ago, one of my female cherry barbs has been showing a big belly, she swims vertically pretty often
along the corner of the aquarium, or some of my plants, then she goes down to the bottom like the weight pulls her,
and then she goes up again, sometimes she swims normal, but her belly is huge, its been a month or more so
I don't think she is pregnant, but I believe she is uncomfortable, how do I help her?
<Mmm, if the above is all you have livestock wise, I'd add a bit of Epsom/MgSO4... Search, read on WWM re. Bob Fenner>
Also, we -had- 5 bleeding hearts now we only count 4 (today we did a water change) is there a possibility the
Angels or Raphael ate it? :(
<Not likely; no>
thanks a lot,
Re: Cherry barb with big belly     11/11/13

Hi thanks for replying, yes 2 Angel Fish and 2 Raphael the four of them have been with us 1 year and 11 months,
the 4 bleeding hearts and 5 cherry barbs for probably 15 months.
Can you please be more specific? I did a search re: Bob Fenner at the WWM site and found lots of things about lots of topics, can you point me exactly to what you suggest I read?
<... about Epsom...: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
thanks a lot,
Re: Cherry barb with big belly     11/11/13

thanks a lot! one more question, if I use the Epsom salt it won´t harm the other fish?
or do I have to isolate the Barb?
<Keep reading

Neale: Cherry barb with big belly    11/12/13
Hi! is there a way this can be addressed to Neale? he has helped me very thoroughly in the past a lot with all my aquarium issues I am attaching pictures of my Cherry Barb who has been living with a huge belly for more than a month now,
<Indeed. Could be gravid, constipated, or somewhat bloated. Is she still feeding and active? If so, then the news is good! Add 1 tablespoon Epsom salt per 5 US gallons/20 litres, and raise the water temperature a degree or two if possible. Run like this for a week or two, and if you do water changes don't forget to add Epsom salt to the new water (so if you take out 5 gallons, then dose the 5 new gallons with the 1-3 tablespoons needed) so the concentration stays steady. Epsom salt is a good muscle relaxant, all you need now is a laxative. Cooked peas or spinach are ideal, but failing interest in these, live or frozen daphnia and/or brine shrimp work quite well too.>
my questions:
how do I treat her?
<See above.>
do I have to isolate her?
<If as above, no, Epsom salt is safe.>
I don't have another tank, will a glass to divide my tank suffice like I've said below, I have:
my 53 gallon / 200 liters community tank:
2 Angelfish
2 striped Raphael Catfish
4 Bleeding Hearts
5 Cherry Barbs
I've had them for more than a year and a half.
I received a reply yesterday suggesting me to "Search, read on WWM re. Bob Fenner"
<Ah, yes.><<Aye ya. Confusing, confused>>
I did but I can't find anything related to a bloated cherry barb or if the other fish in the tank will be affected or the quantity of Epsom salt I should add, etc.
<He likely wanted you to see this article:
And maybe this one too:
Together they should provide links to FAQs relevant to your problem.>
I would appreciate if someone can help me! I attach two pics where you can see my affected fish trying to swim upwards and with huge belly,
<Welcome, Neale.>

cropped and not

Re: Neale: Cherry barb with big belly      11/13/13
Neale, as always, thanks for your thorough response and help!, bad thing is in Mexico its not easy to get Epsom Salt, I found an online vendor and its going to take 10 working days :(
<Oh dear. I'm surprised. Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) isn't anything fancy. It's widely used for all sorts of things.>
I hope she makes it. I really think she is uncomfortable, I dropped 3 peas last night but none of my fish has nibbled at them. Also, I  can´t find daphnia or brine shrimp here in Mexico, any substitutes?
<I bet you can find Daphnia in local ponds! Look for bodies of water without fish in them. Garden ponds for example. But you can also buy Brine Shrimp eggs online, and these are easy to hatch. Freeze-dried Daphnia might work as a substitute, but sometimes freeze-dried foods make constipation and bloating worse.>
Last question, I had 5 Bleeding Hearts, but with this last water change I noticed I only have 4 now, what do you think it happened, definitely it didn´t jump because my tank has a glass cover, do you think the Angelfish or the Raphael ate it?
<More likely one died, and the Raphael consumed the corpse. Bleeding Hearts are quite big by tetra standards, and tend not to be eaten by small predators like Angels.>
they don´t leave a trace when this happens?
<Quite so.>
I am perplexed,
<I'm not.>
thanks and best regards,
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Danio with a big mouth    11/11/12
Hi all!
   I'm writing on behalf on a gold Longfin Danio that seems to have it's mouth open and is unable to shut it.
<Mmm, almost assuredly the result of a physical trauma... not "treatable"... One can only wait and hope... for spontaneous repair/remission>
About the tank, right now he's one of 6 in a quarantine, 20 gallons long, waiting to join the 8 in the big tank.
Ammonia 0 Nitrites 0 Nitrates 10. Temp is 73F and I do have a bubbler going.
Normally I feed flake food and once in awhile Tubifex worms for a treat. I noticed today at feeding time he's swimming around with his yammer open wide and can't get the food until a piece small enough starts to float to the bottom. If the other little piggies let any get away that is! He's not gasping but he does seem upset with his predicament...meaning he chases anyone who gets too close. I began to search your website for help, but all the fish this seems to happen to have a bit bigger mouths. Is there a way for me to check for blockage?
<Not practically, no>
Anything else I should do?
Thank you so much, you all and everything you do is wonderful!
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Danios problem   6/5/12
I am relativity new too fish keeping, around 6 months we have had our tank for. Its 112 litre tank, we have 4 adult Danios (was 5 until yesterday), 2 neon tetras and 20-25 maybe more Danio fry ranging from 4 months old to a couple of weeks.
<Sounds good.>
We have never separated the fry they just seem to survive in the main tank anyway, I know this is too many fish and we will be giving some away once they get bigger.
<Wouldn't worry about that just yet. It'll take a while for the fry to get big enough to impact much on water quality. I'd be tempted to leave them be, and let them fill out the aquarium. A big group of Danios can love very nice!>
We cycled the tank fine, got some Danios and tetra's, after a couple of weeks added a few more tetra's and a Pleco unfortunately not long after this we got a bad case of Ick, lost 8 of the tetras and a Danio and the Pleco (treated it with heat and Ick treatment) .
<I would not add a Plec to this aquarium. At most, a Bristlenose Plec (Ancistrus sp.) which you'll find a much safer, better choice for an aquarium this size.>
Since that though we have had the fry and everything seemed fine until about 2 weeks ago, i found two of the older fry dead on the filter, I just assumed this just sometimes happen that not all fry survive (i have a mesh over the filter atm as the fry kept getting sucked in).
<Yes and yes.>
Then about 3 days ago i noticed one of the adult Danios was not swimming around as usual, hiding away looked thinner than the other ones. It then started to just sit at the bottom of the tank completely exhausted until i found it dead on the bottom of the tank :-(. Now another of Danios is starting to hide away from the rest of them in the corners of the tank, and i am really worried that something is wrong with the tank and he will die too :-/ I checked the nitrate levels and pH balance this evening they where fine,
<Meaning what? Nitrate is pretty much ignorable in most sensibly-stocked tanks (i.e., tanks this size without the Plec added but just stocked with small tetras and such). But what about ammonia and/or nitrite levels?>
also checked the temperature of the water which again was normal. I normally do a 20-30% water change once a week. I thought maybe stress,<Could be.>
<Very rare, and virtually non-existent in freshwater tanks with the sorts of fish you're keeping.>
or is it Ick again (i cannot see any spots on any of the fish atm but will keep an eye out/ rubbing the tank).
I have read so much about what it could be, but i really don't want too use anything to treat it until i know for sure. Any help would be appreciated, any treatment or anything I can do to stop anymore from dying?
<Do need more information here. Water quality is the obvious issue, so at minimum check the nitrite (with an "i", not nitrate with an "a") and see how water quality is. Next up, check the temperature is right (around 22-24 C is ample for Danios and Neons). Also make sure the water is moving quickly enough all around the tank, not turbulent, but enough for clean, oxygenated water to circulating through the whole tank. Give the filter a clean if needs be, but take care not to kill the filter bacteria (e.g., by rinsing under a hot tap). If you need to clean the media, rinse in a bucket of aquarium water, then throw that water onto a favoured houseplant or garden plant (they love aquarium water!). I would not medicate at all just yet. I'd wait for things to settle down, and only medicate if clear symptoms of disease appear. Instead focus on good water quality and frequent small water changes (10-20% every day for the next week) to freshen things up in the tank.>
Thank you in advance
<Cheers, Neale.>

Puntius padamya health; water chemistry issues; was: Thorichthys in community tank 11/09/11
thank you for a primer in water chemistry in your email, along with your comprehensive articles on this site. I've read up properly and realise with some sadness I won't be able to keep loaches in London water. I'm honestly a little curious as to why the fish shops stock so many species that won't survive the local water hard to imagine the average hobbyist buying RO water/collecting rainwater?
<It's a bit more nuanced than this. Yes, you can keep soft water fish in hard water. And that's why fish shops sell them. The problem is that they generally don't live as long as they do in soft water. Neon Tetras are the classic example, and these commonly live only a year or so in London tap water, compared to 4-5 years in soft, slightly acidic water conditions. To be fair, there are some soft water fish that seem to adapt just fine. Corydoras catfish, for example, seem to do well in hard water provided other parameters, i.e., water quality and temperature, are acceptable. Other tropical fish have been farmed for so many generations that they've become adapted to a wider range of water chemistry conditions than their wild ancestors. Angelfish are the classic examples, but Discus are also a lot more tolerant now than they were originally. Some of the more adaptable loaches would fit into this category too: Weather Loaches and Yo-Yo Loaches are the two that spring to mind. Nonetheless, there remains a very large selection of soft water fish that are risky investments if you have a hard water aquarium: Neons, Cardinals, Harlequin Rasboras, Dwarf Gouramis, etc; most of the other commonly traded ones are soft water fish too, including Clowns and Kuhli Loaches. Now, the better aquarium shops in London do indeed have soft water sections, for example Wildwoods in Enfield, probably the store with the biggest variety of freshwater fish anywhere in the area. Most of the Maidenhead Aquatics stores I've visited seem to work the same way, keeping the more difficult soft water fish in soft water tanks. Even if you don't want to invest in an RO filter (they are expensive to buy and run) then rainwater isn't all that difficult to collect and store. That's what I do, and apart from the water butt and a couple of 5-gallon buckets with lids, it's a free and easy way to do things.>
Now for another question: I've got a school of Odessa barbs in my tank, and they're doing so-so. I bought them in two batches, six specimens in the first batch. Two of them got very listless already a few days after purchase. They stopped feeding, were only kind of twitching on the spot in a dark corner for a couple of days, got darker in colour and then died. I noticed the dead fish had become quite dark. Two more of that first batch are now hiding, twitching and darkening. I expect them to die as well.
<Not good.>
Any idea what could be the matter with these fish? Shall I remove them to avoid contaminating the rest? Anything I can do to help them?
<Puntius padamya is generally not a problematical species. Water chemistry isn't a major issue with this species, so assuming your tank has the same sort of water as the retailer's tank, that shouldn't be a cause of trouble. Copper and/or ammonia in your tap water might be issues, so do check your water conditioner neutralises them, alongside Chloramine and chlorine. Next, check water quality in your aquarium; as always, you want 0 ammonia and nitrite. Look to see that your filter is providing adequate circulation; these fish inhabit streams and dislike oxygen-poor water. Try lowering the waterline by a few cm, so that there's plenty of splashing. Clean out the filter too. See if the combination of better aeration and faster water flow helps. I wouldn't buy any more of these until things have settled down. You might have a bad batch. Do visit your retailer: are the specimens there looking healthy or off-colour?>
I removed the pesky single Glowlight Danio, to try and diminish stress on the Odessas.
thank you! Fredrik
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Re: Puntius padamya health; stocking 180 l 11/13/11

thank you again for your detailed reply. Three out of the first batch of six Odessas have died and a fourth one is hiding, not feeding, going darker. She keeps opening and closing her mouth rapidly, and her belly is swollen.
<Not good. Does sound like environmental stress of some sort, or perhaps poisoning. Hard to be sure, really.>
Her scales are not protruding. The second batch of ten Odessas appear healthy and happy, so maybe I got a bad first batch?
I increased aeration. My nitrate readings have become slightly higher, between 30 and 40 ppm. Ammonia and nitrite consistently 0. I downloaded a detailed water quality report from my council (see attached), can you see anything I should try and eliminate? I use Tetra AquaSafe water tap water conditioner.
<Water quality is excellent in terms of drinking water, but you do have standard London "liquid rock" and you need to choose species accordingly. While I doubt this is what has killed your Odessa Barbs in such a short period of time, it's a factor you can't exclude in terms of long-term care.>
As soon as the Odessas have stabilised, I'm would like eventually to add some Swordtails following your advice. Beautiful fish that suit my hard alkaline water.
<Correct. Since you're in London, check out both Wildwoods and Wholesale Tropicals. Both of these get oddball livebearers, for example the excellent Xiphophorus alvarezi, the Spotted Swordtail.>
Current stock (180 l planted):
2 x Ellioti cichlid
13 x Odessa barb
2 x Bumblebee goby
1 x Bristlenose Pleco
1 x Apple snail
Would swordtails be suitable tank mates for them? How many could I add? How many males/females?
<Swordtails can be "nibblers" on Apple Snails, but are otherwise fairly good, if aggressive, community fish. Keep at least two females per male, and keep either one male or at least 3; if you have two males (alongside four or more females, of course) you'll probably find one male bullies the other continuously.>
Would the Swordtails be better "dither fish" for my big bully Ellioti? He doesn't seem to care about the tiny Odessas, so Ellioti Jr is getting all the heat at the moment
<Swordtails are first-rate dither fish. But that doesn't affect bullying by one of your two cichlids. It's "target fish" that do that. Classic choices are medium-sized, territorial, fast-moving midwater cyprinids like Red Tail Black Sharks, but I wouldn't recommend one of those for your aquarium. It's too small and the water chemistry isn't ideal.>
many thanks, Fredrik
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Re: Puntius padamya health; Ellioti chasing... Odessa Barb hlth. 11/16/11

Hi WWM again,
update on our sick Odessa: her belly has now swollen up even more, still no obvious pine-coning. She is hiding behind plants and not feeding. Shall I better remove her from the tank to avoid her infecting the others? Is there any treatment I can try?
<Honestly, I'd euthanise this fish, unless you have a completely separate aquarium where you can treat it.
In all likelihood, she has a systemic bacterial infection, and these are difficult to treat in small fish. 30 drops of clove oil stirred into 1 litre of aquarium water will create a bath that painlessly kills small fish.>
All other Odessas appear healthy and happy.
<Good. May be a one-off.>
I have lowered the tank temperature from 27 to 25 degrees and I would say the "alpha" Ellioti is slightly less aggressive than before. Could this be the case?
<Yes. Cichlid aggression is very sensitive to temperature. In short, cichlids become aggressive mostly when they're about to breed. In the wild they typically breed when the water is warm, and during the cooler part of the year they are quiescent. Varies, of course, but as a general rule, if you lower the water temperature, you'll find cichlids cause fewer problems.
Do be aware of the minimum temperature requirements for a cichlid species though. Too cold, and they'll get sick.>
thank you,
<Cheers, Neale.>

eye condition afflicting one of my Rose Red Barbs 11/8/11
Hi Crew, got a question for you, on my Rose Red Barbs has an eye that doesn't look right, The left eye looks fine but the right eye is sunk in a little and the pupil is almost completely closed. any ideas?
<Likely a physical injury... Really naught to do other than the usual good conditions and nutrition. Bob Fenner>

Danios with Disease 9/11/11
We seem to have a fish tank that has become more of a death trap than a fish tank.
<Oh dear!>
We have had several fish die. The last few were Danios. We have a 20 gallon tank that now has 4 Danios in it so I don't believe it's over-populated.
We had 6 Danios in it before two died today and before the 6 Danios that are now in the tank we had a mix of a few fish (Danios and guppies, I believe but don't remember).
<Not a great combination. On the whole I'd recommend against Guppies. But Danios mix well with X-Ray Tetras and Peppered (or Bronze) Catfish, all of these enjoying the same sort of conditions in terms of water chemistry (soft to moderately hard) and temperature (not high; 22-25 C).>
Needless to say, all of the fish before the Danios died except one Danio.
We then added the 5 Danios to create our six Danios of which 2 are now dead. I am thinking we have a disease in the tank and two of the fish had noticeable white, fluffy or cotton type spots on them. It's not grainy and small like salt so it's not Ich.
<Sounds like Finrot and Fungus; both are common when fish are damaged and/or stressed. In new aquaria they are both EXTREMELY common. If you have ammonia and nitrite test kits, you do need to use these: if ammonia rises above 0.5 mg/l, and nitrite above 1.0 mg/l, your fish get very stressed and prone to infections. If your tank is new, less than 6 weeks old, and you added fish before cycling the filter, then these problems are almost a certainty.>
A couple of the other fish did not have white spots on them but they all exhibited the same types of behaviors where they stopped eating and swimming and would sit on the bottom of the tank. I am thinking we might have Columnaris in the tank. I have attempted to research the topic but everything I read doesn't seem to point to Danios getting Columnaris.
<Columnaris is difficult to distinguish from Finrot and Fungus, and lots of folks misdiagnose it. Danios certainly can get it.>
I would assume it's still possible though. I thought of treating the 4 remaining fish with an antibiotic to ensure the same things doesn't happen but am looking for some advice. We do regular water changes of 20% and have increased the water changes since the fish started to die to every couple of days. The water temperature stays around 78-80 degrees (prime for Columnaris).
<But too warm for Danios, which really do want coolish, oxygen-rich water with a brisk current.>
From the time I notice the behavior to death, it has seemed to take a few days which would indicate the slower version of the Columnaris disease if that's what is troubling the fish. To add to the difficulties, the ammonia levels in the tank have spiked to between .50 - 1.0 the last few days.
<Here's the smoking gun.>
Should I go ahead and treat the tank with antibacterial medicine or just keep up the water changes and hope the remaining four fish don't die?
<For now, concentrate on fixing the aquarium. Don't add more fish. Do 20% water changes daily for the next couple of weeks. After that time you should find ammonia is zero and nitrite is below 0.5 mg/l. You can now switch to 20% water changes every 2-3 days for the next 2 weeks. After that, down to the normal 20% once a week. Through this time minimise feeding, one small meal every couple days, and not at all if ammonia is above 0.5 mg/l. A "small meal" is the size of the fish's eye. Don't think about adding any fish for at least 6 weeks. Medicate as per Finrot, but pay attention to removing carbon and other instructions supplied by the manufacturer. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Swim bladder issues? 11/10/10
Happy to report the Danio was right side up permanently two days into the seven day wet-frozen purely carnivorous diet, and has been happy ever since. Thanks, Neale! (And I'm with you, I could never do 24 hour fasts once a week, ha.)
- Celeste
<Real good news! As good as flake foods are in general, their lack of fibre can cause problems. That's why I like to offer some wet-frozen or green foods to my fish at least a couple times per week, even if they do well on flake foods. I generally avoid those freeze-dried bloodworms and the like because they seem to cause constipation in fish more often than anything else. Cheers, Neale.>

Black Ghost Knife and dying tankmates 11/7/10
We bought a Black Ghost Knife (that will go into our ~1 year old, 75 gallon, planted tank) and at the same time bought 5 Snakeskin Barbs.
<Puntius rhomboocellatus, a nice species.>
We put all six fish into our 10G quarantine tank - 50% of the water from our cycled tank, and media from our cycled filter into the QT filter. Everything was fine for 2 days, when we lost one of the barbs. No nipped fins, just belly-up.
<Puntius rhomboocellatus is a delicate species. It's sensitive to "old" water, and apart from zero ammonia and nitrite levels also needs very low nitrate levels. Water hardness should be low; this isn't a species for hard water tanks.>
We checked the levels, and we had some (~20) nitrates, possibly from the main tank water, or from overfeeding.
<Indeed. While 20 mg/l shouldn't be lethal to either Puntius rhomboocellatus or Apteronotus albifrons, both will resent nitrate levels much above that.>
We stopped feeding the fish, did a 30% water change. Checked the levels the next day, and then the morning of day 4 we lost 3 more barbs. Levels were OK (Ammonia: 0.5, Nitrite: 0, Nitrate: 0).
<That ammonia level is far too high for both species.>
We noticed that temperature was 75 (down from the 78 it was set for). We had had some cold nights, so I assumed that it was shock from temperature drop? We made sure to keep the room temperature more steady, and we are now covering the QT at night to keep it steady. That evening, we lost our last barb, and the temperature was fine (78-79).
<A little warm for both species; aim for 25 C/77 F. Both species need LOTS of current and plenty of oxygen.>
Levels were the same, and we did another water change. All this time, the BGK looks great, is active, is eating, and is behaving normally (for a BGK, that is). We waited 6 days, doing water changes every 2-3 days). We added in a guppy three days ago (as a canary). Last night the guppy was dead. Checked the levels this morning - Amm 0, Nitrite .5, Nitrate 0.
<Again, the non-zero ammonia and nitrite levels indicate the filter isn't mature. Or, if it is mature, the filter is too small for the aquarium or you're maintaining the filter badly.>
Temp is good (78-79).
<Actually not good.>
It's apparent that our QT isn't fully cycled, but I don't think the .5 nitrite is enough to kill a guppy (and not affect the knife?).
<Yes, non-zero ammonia levels are always dangerous and can be lethal. To some degree there's a relationship between pH and ammonia, but in any event, if you detect either ammonia or ammonium, it clearly indicates problems with the filter.>
We are going to do another water change now. Could the knife be carrying something (parasite, disease) that is killing the tankmates, but not affecting itself?
Or could these be small, new tank woes?
<See above. Both Puntius rhomboocellatus and Apteronotus albifrons are crashingly bad choices for new aquaria.>
We would like to get the BGK into our main tank soon, but we don't want everything in that tank dying. Advice? We are tentatively planning on keeping the BGK in the QT for another week, then adding another guppy to see if it lives.
<Guppies are fairly delicate fish, and in any case require hard water, which is the opposite to what your Puntius rhomboocellatus and Apteronotus require, so buying Guppies is pointless. Remember, for your Puntius rhomboocellatus and Apteronotus albifrons, you're after 5-10 degrees dH, pH 7 to 7.5.>
Thanks in advance for the help! Your site is awesome!
<Thanks for the kind words.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Sickly Dwarf Gelius Barb [Bob, parasitism?]<<Maybe>> 01/10/10
Hi Crew,
<Hello Susie,>
If you don't mind me picking your brains, I have a query about an ailing dwarf barb...there doesn't seem to be a great deal of information about them on the internet, and unusually, only a handful of mentions and articles on WWM!
<Indeed. Puntius gelius is a small, somewhat sensitive subtropical barb. It doesn't do consistently well in community tanks, which is why it has attracted relatively little attention. In a moderately cool aquarium it can be combined with Corydoras, Neons and Platies, but it's a bad choice for the usual tropical conditions; consider 20-24 C/68-75 F about as warm as these barbs like to be.>
The tiny barb is one of a school of 10, in a community tank of 20 gallons (I now have a Fluval Roma 90, big upgrade....I did it Neale, its your fault).
The barbs have been through two tank upgrades since I first bought them (I had 6 of them initially, now 10), and they are bright and lively, nicely rounded, healthy and feeding well.
With the exception of one. He was one of the originally purchased 6 fish, and I noticed from the start that he always stayed away from the school and appeared barely aware of them, swimming on his own somewhere else, or with my small group of Neons. I thought perhaps he was being "bullied", but the main school ignore him completely - he's not one of their crowd! I have a varied community of 28 mostly dwarf species of fish, and none of the others take any notice of him at all.
He is now much smaller and paler than the others of his type, with a flat, virtually concave stomach, picking listlessly at food without really taking anything in. He's gone from swimming aimlessly around being unaware of his own species nearby, to sitting in the middle of the tank on his own, and now to hanging out quietly in the bottom corner by a plant.
<I can see. Parasitic infection is probable here, perhaps worms, but otherwise something protozoal or bacterial. Very difficult to say.>
I have asked the LFS where I bought them about him (the very excellent Maidenhead Aquatics chain), and they said it wasn't unusual for one to be outcast...and that his lack of appetite might be caused by worms, but to treat the tank would also kill my 5 assassin snails.
<Certainly a risk. Snails should be fine in a warm room in an unheated tank, even a bucket if you change the water every few days. As they cool down to room temperature the snails should go dormant.>
They haven't suggested anything else, and this little fish appears to be wasting away. I could always temporarily remove the assassins if worms were a possibility?
<Yes, wise.>
Water parameters are ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 20, pH 8, hardness 5 GH, temp 25 c. I'm doing 10% water changes 2 or 3 times per week, and feeding three small meals a day which they usually scoff in a few minutes.....one or two crushed up Spirulina/veg crisps with a normal flake, a 6th of a cube of wet frozen (defrosted) mix of brine shrimp, bloodworm, daphnia etc, and a couple of fragments of peas/cooked courgette at night. I have a sandy substrate which is clean as a whistle (loaches and shrimp v helpful), but I do syphon over it during water changes.
I'm not sure what I can do to help him....the way he's going, I'm sure I'm going to find his little barb body lifeless one morning. He seems to be getting lower and lower in the water - but he is level, swimming normally (if not very far), doesn't appear to be gasping, has no abnormality to his mouth that I can see, and no spots or sores anywhere on him. Pic attached, but he is ever so small so not easy to capture on camera! You can see how much rounder the neon behind him looks.
My other fish are all in rude health, no problems at all. Thanks very much for any advice on offer.....
<Would treat for parasites in this order: first Protozoans, then bacteria, then worms; worms last because +they tend to be quite uncommon and make the fish swell rather than waste away. In the UK, your access to anti-parasitic medications is limited without a trip to the vet, but there are some anti-Hexamita medications available such as "eSHa Hexamita" that treat a range of internal bacteria/protozoan infections. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Sickly Dwarf Gelius Barb, now kinky loaches, algae on (nee) Echinodorus 10/2/10
Wow...that's what I call service, thanks!!
<Not bad for free>
Okay, will decrease temperature a little, and look into anti-Hexamita medication (mysteriously and collectively referred to online as a treatment for discus, it seems??)
<Indeed. Hexamita is one of the so-called Discus Diseases, and in fact is most often encountered among cichlids generally. Whilst I doubt this Barb is suffering from Hexamita itself, it may be something similar, and an anti-Hexamita medication might help.>
Will keep you posted.
While I've got you, am I permitted to ask a couple of unrelated questions? Will try to be brief (not easy for me, as you know). I have 5 loaches, 2 striata and 3 yo-yo.....both my striatas were "cast-offs" from different aquatics stores, I spotted them swimming in random stock tanks with other fish, totally unnoticed by the shop. One is very small (partly why I bought him), but I've noticed that he has a strange kink in his body (just behind the dorsal fin). Could this be the deformity of the spine that I read about in loaches? How will it effect him long term?
<Kinked spines are either congenital, caused by malnutrition, or much more rarely, caused by some sort of trauma. There's nothing you can do to fix them, but they don't seem to cause the fish undue harm, at least not under aquarium conditions.>
I also have an issue with algae on my live plant leaves. I have some tall Amazon swords, and a few of the leaves have very lovely brown smears on them, plus what looks like black spots (like felt tip) on one or two.
<Yes, very common with Amazon Swords, typically in situations where light intensity is not that high, and the aquarium isn't densely planted with fast-growing plants. Certain fish help, particularly those sorts that eat Red Algae, but improving overall conditions for the plants will be the main issue. Do read:
Despite my reading, I can't seem to find an accurate description of it online - I thought it was brown algae/diatoms but it doesn't completely fit that description....???
<Brown Algae and Diatoms are different things. Brown Algae are the kelps and bladder wracks, and they're essentially absent from freshwater environments. Diatoms -- sometimes called Golden Brown Algae -- are unicellular things that form thin, greasy films on the glass walls of the tank. Occasionally they bloom in the water. They're basically harmless and tend to go away by themselves once the aquarium settles down. Snails eat diatoms readily, so control of the few remaining diatoms is easy. Red Algae form the bushes, threads, and small but hard spots seen on glass, solid objects, and of course plants. These are among the most difficult algae to eliminate.>
The shrimp, panda Corys and zebra snail have all had a go at eating it, but it won't shift - and I can't seem to scrub it off manually. Some of the leaves are perfectly clean.....so will this be a case of simply removing the algae stained leaves altogether, is there nothing I can do?
<To some extent, plants combat algae themselves under good conditions. A decent clump of floating Indian Fern will go along way to removing nutrients from the water and suppressing the growth of algae. Otherwise use fast-growing plants such as Hygrophila and Vallisneria under intense lighting -- ironically, one of the best ways to fix algae problems is to add more light so your plants can grow more rapidly. If you aren't pruning weekly, then your fast-growing plants probably aren't growing as quickly as they should be.>
Thanks very much!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Pearl Danio pic with problem in stomach and side - 5/22/10
To who so ever can answer this ? as soon as possible it would be extremely helpful. My husband has a 50 gallon freshwater tank, which he has owned and maintained with different varieties of fishes throughout years and their
lifespans. He has had a few Platies that have given birth to live fry and some of those were lucky enough to survive (without the others eating them as plenty of plant cover let them survive) and they are now second generation in his tank. However, recently, he has had a pearl Danio that has appeared to develop a swollen tummy.
<Mmm, off to the side of this area>
We both believed she may be carrying eggs and so he purchased a nursery net for her.
Throughout the past, oh maybe 5-6 days that this has been occurring, we have also noticed an inwards bend to her spine and, when swimming close to lights, a sort of group of round brown spots on one side, as if you can see
through the skin into the stomach. Yesterday was the day he put her into the nursery net and today he told me she has not been eating, as you can see the food he has put there for her still floating around. Also, looking down at her from the top of the tank, there is now a protrusion from her side and the small round brown spots have taken on a long connected "worm-like" shape.
<May be a worm>
I will try to attach a good picture of what I am describing (there are 4 due to bad camera phone and her fast frenzied swimming making it hard to fully capture). BTW, prior to this growth starting, there was no new plants, Decos, or fish introduced that may have brought upon a parasitic guest nor have any of his other fish shown similar symptoms. Thanks for any help in advance.
<Can't discern from your images or description clearly what this might be, but I suspect either a tumour of some sort or indeed a worm parasite. Please use the WWM search tool with these terms and "Danio" and read the
cached views. Bob Fenner>

Gold barb with not much tail remaining 2/24/10
<Hi there>
It is late and I've been keeping my eye on a sluggish barb in our aquarium.
We have 2 of these
<Ahh, such "picky" species are best kept in larger numbers>
along with 3 tetra Neons. The quiet one often hangs out by himself.
Tonight I noticed that he is struggling to stay horizontal and much of his tail is missing.
<Likely chewed off by the other>
At the risk of sounding like an idiot, I assume there isn't much hope.
<Yes... fishes have remarkable powers of regeneration. I'd isolate the "winner" here... in a floating plastic colander likely>
I hate to see him struggle and suffer - it doesn't seem like it is able to feed. It is having a hard time steering and maneuvering. Also, I noticed from your web site that you recommend a larger school of this type of fish.
Maybe that would have helped prevent the problem of this one's tail being attacked. What is the humane thing to do? I hate when my husband travels.
I'm a huge animal lover and this is hard for me to deal with. Thanks, Amy
<I'd hold out hope myself. A pessimistic mind might suggest euthanization.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Gold barb with not much tail remaining 02/24/10

Thanks!! I'll try to isolate him and hope that he can pull through. I had no idea that they may be able to regenerate a tail!!
<If not bitten too far back... to/beyond the hypurals...>
I can flush a dead fish, but I just can't flush this little guy. If he dies on us, then I'll know it was nature, not me. Amy
<Life to you Amy. BobF>

Danios Fish, hlth. 8/26/2009
I have Danios, one of them is not doing well.
<Start by checking the environment. First and foremost, Danios need water that is clean: 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite. Water chemistry is not critical: pH 6-8, 5-20 degrees dH is acceptable. But water chemistry should be steady, without too much variation from week to week. Temperature should be moderate, around 22-24 degrees C is ideal. They need lots of swimming room:
the aquarium should be at least 60 cm long. Danios are social fish, and will not do well kept singly. However, they can be aggressive if kept in small groups. Always keep them in groups of six or more specimens to avoid bullying.>
It's not swimming but on the bottom of the fish tank, it breathes but it's gills look red.
<I see.>
Is that a symptom of some kind of disease or infection?
<It can be. Mostly, it's a sign of environmental stress. But certain diseases will cause fish to breathe heavily or gasp at the surface of the tank. The most common example are Whitespot (Ick) parasites that irritate the gills. Other possibilities include Velvet, gill flukes, and some bacterial infections.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Ill Danio 8/11/2009
I fear this is a lost cause, but I'd rather know I did everything I could before the presumed inevitable.
<Sounds ominous...>
I have two Zebra Danios in a five gallon tank and they've been lovely for months now.
<You can't keep Danios in a tank this small. Any problems you're having will be, at least in part, a result of this. Danios need tanks at least as big as a "long" 20 gallon tank. Partly it's because they're so active, and
need plenty of swimming room. But it's also because they're highly sociable, and must be kept in groups of at least 6 specimens, and realistically 10 or more, to avoid problems like bullying and nervous stress.>
But, recently, things have taken a dark turn. I discovered one had white spots much larger than those described in Velvet and Ich descriptions.
These appear larger and there were fewer of them on the body of one of the Danios. They were white, but they seemed like salty clusters rather than the light, all-over spotting I've noted in photos and these clusters seemed to rest on the body.
<Are you sure these aren't patches of Finrot and/or Fungus? Dead tissue will often look white, especially in combination with excess mucous. I mention this because a 5 gallon tank will, almost by definition, have poor
water quality unless extremely carefully maintained. And yes, your idea of "careful maintenance" and mine are likely very different. In any even, 5 gallons is too small for Danios.>
The sick fish was also heading to the bottom of the tank and seemed to have ragged fins and little interest in consuming food, although traditional feeding behavior was evident. I did not note any flashing during my
observation, but I began research into the cause and assumed it was Ich.
<Why assume anything? The ragged fins are a CLASSIC sign of Finrot. Ergo, the water quality was likely poor, and given you had two specimens, bullying may well be causing physical damage as well, exacerbating the situation further.>
I have been treating with QuickCure for five days, have removed the carbon from the filter, have increased the water temperature, and have been performing 25% water changes daily before adding Quick Cure drops. The afflicted Danio seemed to improve after day one - white clusters were disappearing, it was exhibiting more social behavior - but it has now relapsed into, well, I feel the death throes. On day four, the fish developed a white cluster on its mouth and was noticeably gasping, its little mouth opening and closing rapidly. The white bump was diminished on day five, but this morning he's begun fainting it seems. He'll be fine for a time, swimming as normal, then his little body goes lifeless and he floats for a bit then twitches and seems to wake up and swims again.
The other Danio in the tank did have white spots, but did not exhibit any of the listlessness or disinterest in eating. He seems to be fine now, swimming and trying to school with the ill one.
<Two fish can't school; must be kept in groups of 6+ specimens.>
Unfortunately, I do not have water statistics to share, nor do I have a quarantine tank.
<I know you don't want me to say this, but you need a much bigger tank as well as, at minimum, a nitrite test kit. Folks often come here looking for help, and get annoyed when I tell them they're doing everything wrong. But sometimes they *are* doing everything wrong, and nothing else I say can change that. You simply cannot keep Danios in a tank this small. Indeed, apart from a single male Betta, there's no fish you could safely keep in this tank. If you chose this tank without reading an aquarium book first, then the fault is yours. If you chose this tank because the retailer said it was a good aquarium, then the retailer took advantage of your ignorance.>
I fear this "fainting" will soon overtake the other fish and I'd like to do all I can to prevent it. Any advice or suggestions you can make will be appreciated.
<Buy a bigger tank. A long 20-gallon tank, a filter rated at 4 times the volume of the aquarium per hour, 20% weekly water changes, and the use of anti-Finrot medication such as Maracyn (not tea-tree oil or salt!) are all essential steps. If, as seems likely, both fish will soon die, then don't keep any fish in this tank. It is too SMALL. End of story.>
Yours sincerely,
<Sorry I can't offer any cheery, easy advice, but there isn't any. In this case, these fish are sick because you bought a useless aquarium. Seemingly you did no research at all. I've given you a shopping list of what you need to save these Danios and keep them healthy. Your move. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Ill Danio 8/11/2009

Somehow, after reading all the posts, I knew that's what I'd hear.
<Glad I didn't disappoint...!>
And I appreciate you taking the time to share the information with me.
<Not a problem.>
The tank was indeed sold to me based on my ignorance. We had a community aquarium at work in which one lone Danio was having a hard time and attacking other fish.
<Despite being sold as "peaceful" fish, they can be very aggressive unless in large groups; hence, you need six or more. In smaller groups they become frustrated, and single males (I guess) can become real pests.>
I volunteered to take him home and was guided by a fish store to purchase a five gallon.
<I see.>
What I should have considered was the fact that that fish store also suggested keeping the Danio in a tank with Guppies which, upon personal research, is a terrible idea.
<Indeed, often the case, though in big tanks, they can keep out of each other's way.>
With zero experience in the fish department, all this information is a great help and I knew there wouldn't be an easy answer.
<Often the case, in life.>
This has been a very valuable education and I will definitely do my homework in the future. For now, I'll track down a larger tank and see what happens.
<Suspect you'll find a bigger tank more rewarding. A 20 gallon tank is only marginally bigger than 10 gallon one (lots of folks couldn't tell them apart) and the price differential isn't that great given things like heaters and lights will often be very similar. But the additional volume of water makes the aquarium so much more stable that the result is a better, easier to maintain aquarium. "Long" 20 gallon tanks are best of all, since
they have extra swimming space and a very good surface area to volume ratio (which means more oxygen in the water). Do have a peruse of these articles in particular; the first is a general piece on your first tank, the other two on choosing livestock and what works best in tanks of a given size:
Again, Neale, thank you for your help and your patience with a novice.
<Glad to help.>
Yours sincerely,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Need diagnosis for tumor/blister growth 7/26/2009
Dear Crew,
<Hello Leah,>
I'm turning to you as a last resort.
<Oh, sounds ominous!>
One of my male rosy barbs has a tumor or blister-like growth over its nostril. Other symptoms include not eating and hiding in a corner. I noticed the tumor and the sickly behavior on Friday, July 24th. I researched this online, and I concluded that the fish might be suffering from a bacterial infection, specifically Aeromonas. I made a judgment call and decided to treat the entire tank. I am at the end of day 2 of a 4-day treatment course of Nitrofurazone (in Jungle Labs Fungus Clear tabs). But things are not improving and I am beginning to doubt my earlier diagnosis.
<I would concur with this; certainly looks like a tumour of some kind, benign or not as the case may be. I've asked Bob for a second opinion, if he has one.><<I do not... if there were time/interest, would elaborate on a wild speculation re seeding the universes with "viral particles" and their probable to evident consequences... see "life", planetary, initialization... RMF>>
I have researched fish tumors and blisters some more online, and it seems like many things can cause them, from bacterial infections, to viruses, to cancer. I don't want to dump more medications in my tank without a proper diagnosis, which is why I am turning to you for an expert opinion. I have attached two pictures, which show the tumor/blister fairly well. Can you help me decide what is ailing this fish?
<Precisely as you say, warts, growths, and tumours can have a variety of causes. Blisters, i.e., bacterial infections, tend to be associated with dead and dying tissue, so you usually see areas of inflammations (i.e., red streaks) as well as dead tissue (i.e., white, flaking areas of skin or muscle). That isn't obviously the case here, though it's just possible we're looking at a sub-dermal infection, hence the rather "clean" appearance. If there is a bacterial infection, you'd fully expect antibiotics to clear it up, though it may take some time (weeks, even months) for fish's immune system to deal with the dead white tissue causing the swelling. If antibiotics aren't having any affect, and the thing continues to grow, then you probably can discount this theory. Among the Cyprinidae, the carps and barbs, one possible cause is Fish Pox, a Herpes-like viral disease equivalent to the Lymphocystis seen on higher bony fish (typically Perciform fish like cichlids). Fish Pox isn't treatable as such, but neither is it particularly dangerous, and over time, almost always goes away without causing the fish any harm. As with Lymphocystis though, it may take many months, even years, for this to happen. However, Fish Pox typically has a white, wax appearance, so I don't think that's the issue here. Finally, there are tumours caused by genetic or environmental issues. Tumours typically press against the skin from underneath, so you usually see an area of swelling covered with scales, rather than bare flesh, as on your specimen.>
Here's some more info that may be relevant to making a diagnosis: The tank is 55 gallons, containing 9 rosy barbs, 6 Otocinclus catfish, and 6 celestial pearl Danios. The tank has been established for about 20 months.
The temperature is between 81 and 82, due to summer heat (I'm in Honolulu).
The ammonia and nitrite both read 0. I keep the nitrate below 20 with regular water changes of at least 30% per week. The last inhabitants added were some new Otos in March. They were quarantined for 3 weeks. However, I did lose 3 of the new Otos over the course of about 3 months, after the group was added to the main tank. They looked well-fed and never showed any weird symptoms before dying. At the time, I attributed their deaths to the fact that Otos are notoriously delicate--now, I wonder if there hasn't been
a slow-building outbreak of something going on in my tank since they were added. However, right now, besides the barb, no other fish are showing any symptoms or any unusual behavior. I no longer have a quarantine tank, but I have a bucket and an air stone that I can use in a pinch, if I need to remove the sick barb. I do worry about infecting my other fish. Your help is greatly appreciated! Best wishes, Leah
<Bottom line is this: it's unlikely to be contagious. Even Fish Pox doesn't tend to be especially contagious (though anything that damages the skin, like clumsy netting, can allow infective particles to move between fish).
Opportunistic bacterial infections are possibilities in all tanks, all of the time, because the bacteria responsible are part of the normal nitrogen cycle. So if the thing is bacterial, provided your other fish are healthy, there's no real reason to expect them to develop similar problems. At least from now, observe rather than treat. If the fish shows signs of suffering, and the growth becomes such it prevents the fish from swimming or feeding normally, then euthanasia would be appropriate. I doubt any commercially available medication would help beyond the antibiotics already used, so there's no point treating with anything else. I will make one further observation: Rosy Barbs are subtropical fish, and prolonged periods of high temperatures (anything above 24 C/75 F) will stress them, so given your climate, their health will likely be compromised to some degree. Rosy Barbs do best when given warm rather than hot summers, and somewhat cooler winters. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Need diagnosis for tumor/blister growth on Rosy Barb (RMF?) 7/30/09
Thanks for the advice, Neale.
<Happy to help.>
After reading your reply, I stopped medicating and started doing daily 50% water changes. A few days ago the tumor appeared to rupture.
It looked pretty gross at first, but now all that is left is a deep pit where the tumor used to be (and, unfortunately, where one of his little olfactory organs used to be).
<I see; sounds more like a bacterial inflammation than a cyst, and quite possibly inside the nostril at first.>
I'm hoping that the clean water will help the fish avoid a secondary bacterial infection while it has this open wound.
<Can do; this is one of those times tea-tree oil might be worth a shot, but to be honest, I'd have a bottle of Maracyn or equivalent to hand, just in case.>
This morning, the pit does look just slightly smaller, so maybe it is starting to heal up. However, despite looking somewhat better, the fish continues to act like it is sick. It hides in a corner or behind a plant, and it hasn't eaten since at least Thursday the 23rd, when I first noticed the tumor. I will euthanize it before I let it waste away, but I'm not going to take any drastic action just yet.
Considering these updates (that is, that the tumor ruptured and the fish still isn't eating), do you have any more ideas about what this might be and any opinion on whether it's something the barb can recover from?
<With suitable treatment, yes, you'd be surprised how quickly a fish can recover from this sort of thing. I've seen photos on Planet Catfish of a little Plec that got all but sliced in half, and then got better! It's quite remarkable.
An antibiotic might be a useful treatment if there's any sign of secondary infection, but otherwise clean water and lots of oxygen are about the best you can do.>
Thank you! Leah
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Need diagnosis for tumor/blister growth on Rosy Barb 7/31/09
Hi Neale,
<Hello Leah,>
I have good news and bad news about this poor barb. The good news is that his sore has almost completely healed. It's amazing--you can hardly even tell that the tumor or the deep pit were ever there.
The bad news is that he continues to refuse food. And he's noticeably weaker.
<I see...>
Although he can still swim just fine when he needs to, he mostly just hovers in one place or kind of drifts. Plus, over the past two days he has grown very pale. He's so pale that I mistook him for one of the female rosy barbs.
<Eek! Well, force feeding is always an option, but tricky with small fish.
You need a steady hand and a small syringe. Essentially you open the mouth of the fish (sometimes easier using, gently, a toothpick) and then squirt in a solution of flake and water. Sometimes you can use the toothpick to force in a small piece of food, like a chunk of prawn. But this is very stressful for fish (as you'd expect) and pretty difficult to do if you're not familiar with handling small animals.>
I won't just let him starve to death, so I'm prepared to euthanize him if necessary, but I'm not sure when to do it.
<In theory, fish can go several weeks without food. But this does tend to assume the fish was somewhat healthy beforehand, so was able to lay down a little fat. If the fish is still basically rounded around the belly, I'd not be worried; but if the belly has a convex profile when looked at, i.e., appears "sunken", then the fish is indeed starving.>
If it were you, how long would you let him hang on like this, if he continues to refuse food?
<Maybe two weeks.>
How long can fish go without eating, anyway? For this barb, it's been at least 8 days since he ate anything.
Thank you,
<Good luck, Neale.>

Sick Danio... Need data, reading 04/03/09
Dear WWM Crew,
Hi; please help. I have a Danio that is almost a year old. She has a couple of sores on her side. One sore is red in color and the other sore is white in color.
I also noticed by pectoral fin and gill cover she has red a streak/spot. She has not eaten in two days now.
When she swims she is swimming wobbly. I have been treating her for two days now with Maracyn-two. I am assuming that this is a bacterial infection or the beginning stages of Dropsy?
<Need to explore root causes here... these issues are almost always linked if not derived from environmental and nutritional mal-influences>
The water in the hospital tank reads: Ph 7.2, Ammonia 0 and Nitrite 0. Please give advice.
Thanks Jean
<... Need to know more re your set-up, foods/feeding, maintenance, and importantly, what other life is present (gives clues as to what might be going on here)... I suspect some sorts of long-term toxic issue/s and/or deficiency/ies nutrition-wise. You might want to read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/BDRDisFAQs.htm
and the linked files above... For background, and a glimpse of the sorts of information we're looking for. Bob Fenner>

Sore on side of Danio 1/31/09 Hi Fantastic WWM Crew! Hope Saturday has treated you well... Have a question about a Danio I have. My tank is a 180 Ltr Juwel Rio, 0 nitrate, 0 ammonia, 10 nitrate (last water change 30% about 4 days ago, usually do 20-30% every 10days to 2 weeks) My little fishy friends are: 12 x Puntius pentazona (5-banded barbs) 10 platies (2 males, 3 good sized females and 5 juveniles of unknown sex) 2 x Bristlenose Ancistrus (about 2 inches long - the biggest fish in the tank at present) 3 x golden (I think) Gouramis (little chaps, very cute, purchased from eBay for a mere Ã'£1 a go from a guy round the corner clearing his tank) 9 adult Danios - mostly zebras, 10 2 month old Danio babies (I need another home for these little guys soon!). (1 x pearl Gourami and 3 SAE's in QT at present waiting to go into main tank) So that is my set up.... and here is the question. I have one Danio who always seems to have a sore looking patch on its side. It is to my mind a deformed fish - very strange long fins, different body shape to the others. The sore patches do not seem to get any worse or any better, certainly are not bothering the fish, which east well, swims with the others and seems fine. I have no other signs of illness in the fish (one with swim bladder issues which after a week in isolation picked up and became a happy little fish again and is now back the main tank). I have attached a picture FYI. In no.3 you can see how he is not as straight as the other Danios and has a lot of very silly long fins. To me they look wrong, he however has never had any fin problems, the whitish tinge on the end of the dorsal fin is a colouration, not fungus (I have looked at him a lot!) I would be grateful to have your opinion on this rather odd fish and its sore bits... Looking forward to hearing from you.. Kind regards and many thanks Sarah <Sarah, SNAP, we have the same aquarium. The Juwel 180 is a nice system, so good choice there. The short answer is that your long-fin Danio does have a slightly kinked spine, and that's pretty common with Danios generally and the (inbred) fancy strains especially. There's nothing you can do about it, and in mild cases isn't a serious problem, though I wouldn't breed from it. But as for the sore on its side, it may be a tumour or it could be an ulcer. Difficult to say from your photos because they're quite small. Tumours are untreatable, but usually benign, so aren't necessarily a disaster. Ulcers usually happen when bacteria get into a wound, and are much like Finrot in causes and treatment. I'd recommend eSHa 2000 as a reliable cure for bacterial infections, assuming you're in the UK or Europe. It's safe to treat him in the tank alongside the other fish. A bigger photo, or at least something with a close-up of the pink patch, would help confirm/refute my ideas here. Good luck, Neale.>

Re: sore on side of Danio Thanks Neale.. Will try to get a closer pic - it is just a fast mover! Right now am configuring Wi-Fi system for install at deep cut barracks Monday am and am truly hacked off with it! Thanks Sarah <Okay. Well, hope you get your wires all fixed. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: sore on side of Danio Hi there... Just snapped a few pics - the fish actually has a sore patch on either side form the looks of it - symmetrically it seems. One side is worse than the other. The pictures are as taken, so I apologise if the files are a little large. Thank you! Sarah <Sarah, it isn't obvious to me that this is an open wound or sore, but looks perhaps like a swelling or discolouration of some sort. It's perhaps easier for you to see with the living fish. In any case, treat with eSHa 2000 anyway (it's inexpensive and safe) and see what happens. If there's no change, but the fish otherwise seems fine, I wouldn't worry overmuch. Cheers, Neale.>

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